Vanille Tonique by Mark Evans for Evocative Perfumes 2014


Kate Apted


G’day APJ folk!

Vanilla? Yuck, no thanks!

I hate vanilla in perfumes. End of story. It belongs in foods and reminds me of endlessly of vanilla ice cream and vanilla flavoured rice puddings. Just don’t bring me a bottle and ask me to try it if it is vanilla centred. But then one day…

I bought a sample set of Mark Evans’ Evocative Perfumes; the alcohol based scents. Out of a solid sense of duty to the effort gone by Mark to make all the scents in the pack, I felt I owed it to him to try every single scent. Even the dreaded one called Vanille Tonique. I sprayed with my breath held and forgot I was even wearing it minutes later.

Vanille Tonique by Evocative Perfumes 2014

Vanille Tonique by Mark Evans

Vanile Tonique begins in a very humble, quiet way. There is nothing booming about it in the way some other vanillas open. It eased its way to my nose about 15 minutes later with a slightly spiced, non sweet glow. I actually had to wrack my brain to think of what I was wearing. I was running errands that day and quite busy, so it had slipped my mind. I got home to find out what I had sprayed. Aha! Vanille Tonique. Oh. No.

I lasted out the few hours of the day til shower time to gauge the development of Vanile Tonique; desperate to find a reason to hate it. I sprayed all of Mark’s other creations on cards and tried each of them again. As much as I love several other of Mark’s scents nothing captured me quite like Vanille. I had to admit by shower time that the mildly buttery development and the simmering spices were a love. My body heat had amped up the voracity of the whole composition without once making the vanilla sweet or overpowering. And though not a powerhouse, it had accompanied me in my shadow the whole 6 hours. It had trailed off to a skin scent by 5 hours, but I find I get bored of scents by then.

Vanille Tonique by Evocative Perfumes vanilla-flower PixabayPDI

A week later, at Tafe, I had been craving something, but I wasn’t sure what. I grabbed a few of the Evocative samples and smelled them at all the red lights on my way to Tafe. Vanille Tonique still stood out. It was exactly what I was after. I ordered a bottle during my break and as I ate my food, I pondered on what had shifted in me. I smelled my arm and it did not interfere with my appetite.

One of the things I totally deplore about sweet, gourmandish scents is that they do affect my desire to eat. As a half-arsed body builder (that is another story), I have to fit a certain number of calories into my day. Vanille Tonique doesn’t ever interfere with my food and appetite. As projection is arm’s length, and the spices are what bring the subtle heat, the vanilla is left to be what it is. Just a delightful, somewhat sensual, warm glow that does not have that hyper vanilla of ice cream.


Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies
Evocative Perfumes has $40/12ml oil + Samples from $4

Are there any gateway scents that have completely spun you around? Are there any notes you still won’t try?

Kate xxx

NEW! April Aromatics + The Different Company




Hi APJ! How are you all doing? Can you believe we are nearing the end of the year already?

Where has the time gone? We are in full autumn swing here, buckling down for the coming winter. The heat is on and there is a chill in the air outside. I have been here in Rotterdam for soon to be eleven months! It definitely feels like home now, but I still have not hung any paintings on the walls – what is up with that?

Autumn is a time of closure for me. Summer is over with its long days and warm air kissing my skin. My son goes back to school which ends the innocent joys of childhood summers. The trees show colours of vibrant yellows, oranges and reds and then loose their foliage all too quickly. Even the birds are changing – many fly south and yet others arrive for the milder winters here. I have not seen the hedgehog in a while, perhaps he is already hibernating? All of this closure has brought me to think about my first year here in The Netherlands.

When I am completely honest and look past the challenges here and there of navigating a new language and culture, it has been a year of awakening and coming back to myself. I have lovely friends and neighbors and this is now home. I am no longer weary, I am stronger and more self assured than I have been in years.

With this new awakening I am now ready and excited to try and test new perfumes and there are two perfumes that fit into this new self quite well.

NEW! April Aromatics + The Different Company


Pink Wood by Tanja Bochnig for April Aromatics

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Sandalwood, Agarwood, Cistus, Labdanum, Oakwood, Rose Otto, Rose absolute, Geranium, Rosewood, sweet pink fruity notes

Pink Wood is my first experience with April Aromatics. I eagerly sprayed my first spritz of Pink Wood and was taken by surprise by the beautiful rose and wood opening. Many roses turn sour on my skin but this is actually remaining rosy which is a big plus in my books. There are no pink fruity notes for me though. The warmer my skin is the woodier the perfume. The roses stay more in the background leaving me with a wonderful woody rose perfume perfect for autumn days and walks in the park.


Santo Incienso, Sillage Sacré by Alexandra Monet for The Different Company

gives these featured accords:
Top: Calabrian bergamot, petitgrain, nutmeg
Heart: Palo santo, atlas cedar, hedione
Base: Incense, myrrh, musk, vetiver, guaiac wood

This is not your usual incense perfume at all. For me it starts with a blast of bergamot with an air of spice. There is something citrusy in there but it slowly fades into the background leaving behind a warm woody accord. I have no idea what Palo Santo smells like, so I cannot assume that this is what I am smelling, however, it is beautiful and intriguing pulling me in. In the middle stage through to the dry down there is a magic happening with the incense and myrrh where the woods are warmed through. What I love about it most of all is that the incense tendrils waft up to my nostril throughout the day and bring me such joy and calm.

Both Pink Wood and Santo Incienso, Sillage Sacré are getting a lot of wear time. The days are shorter and colder but the lighting is stunning taking my breath away on an almost daily basis when the sun is shining. This is my favorite season of the year.

Do you have a favorite perfume for autumn or spring walks? Do you have a favorite season?

Sending sunny hugs to you all.
Sandra xo

Figment: Man + Woman GIVEAWAY WINNERS





Thanks to our fabulous friends at Libertine Parfumerie and Agence de Parfum here in Australia for this generous giveaway.

So excited to get these out to you all. Check and see if you’re one of our lucky winners.

Portia xx

Figment: Man + Woman GIVEAWAY WINNERS

Figment Man Amouage FragranticaFragrantica

Figment Man by Amouage 2017

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, geranium, pink pepper
Heart: Ssandalwood, animal notes, vetiver
Base: Llabdanum, guaiac wood, earthy notes

Figment Woman Amouage FragranticaFragrantica

Figment Woman by Amouage 2017

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Sichuan pepper, saffron, gardenia
Heart: Tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, lily, ylang-ylang, cassia bourbon
Base: Orris, papyrus, incense, patchouli


This week there will be 5 winners who will receive:
1 x Amouage Figment Man decant
1 x Amouage Figment Woman decant
P&H Anywhere in the world




Entries Closed Monday 20th November 2017 10pm Australian EdsT
Winners were chosen by






The winners will have till Monday 27th November 2017 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit

SOTD 20 – 26 November 2017





I see these SOTD (Scent Of The Day) threads all the time on Facebook and they are really good conversation generators.

SOTD 20 – 26 November 2017

The idea is you’ll chime in through the week with whatever scent you are wearing. You don’t need to be super knowledgable, have high faluting tastes or be a published author to comment. Just tell us what fragrance you’re wearing, smelling, buying etc.

You probably won’t have time to write every scent, every spritz but whenever you feel the mood take you share your current spritz and a few things about it. Maybe you love/loathe it, want it, are excited by the notes/bottle/SA who sold it: WHATEVER! As always here at APJ, taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a Scent Sample Pack (from my collection)
This week:
Guerlain Mitsouko EdT
Pharrell Williams Girl
The Different Company Oriental Lounge
Vintage Fendi original
Vintage YSL Opium EdT
Comment purposefully on yours or anothers comment & you’ll have a chance, will draw on Sunday.


Please send me your address to portia _ turbo AT yahoo DOT com DOT au


Go To It Crew.
Portia xxx

Saturday Question: What Have You Been Sampling?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a $10 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Over 200 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Comment purposefully on yours or anothers comment & you’ll have a chance, will draw on Friday.

Last Weeks Winner: Didn’t make 100 comments

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with the eMail you’d like me to send your Gift Card to.

Saturday Question:

What Have You Been Sampling?

I do a lot of fragrance sampling to bring APJ to you every week. I love the thrill of getting a new to me scent and the constant question of will I love it, hate it or be bored by it. I often wonder though what it is that you all are testing lately and how much did you enjoy it. Where did you hear about it or was it a lucky sniffy find? Will you be buying a bottle or is your sample/decant all you will ever own. Do you use the online sample services or do you hope the SA will gift you a few?

My Answer:

OK, obviously I am constantly trying new stuff. I get sent a few samples each month from brands and distributors. Also, I love to trawl through the newest stuff at Surrender To Chance and can get lost there for hours. There are a couple of split groups I’m part of as well as FaceBook groups where there are often excellent splits and decanters.

What have I tried lately that has caught my attention?

Still haven’t given proper skin time to all of the Amouage Library Collection Sample Set. A couple are worn to empty and others neglected.

Criminal Elements: I cannot impress enough upon you all how much I love their new sample set.

My latest Surrender To Chance order was a BIG one. All of a sudden it added up to well over US$200. I know, gluttony gone mad. My only excuse is that there is so much new stuff that I am unable to get my hands on here in Australia. Added to that is loving a spray so that’s 2ml of each. I have Amouage Beach Hut Man, Eric Buterbaugh Nick’s Sunflower, a few Parfumerie Generale that I’ve missed in my sniffing and a couple of Keiko Mecheri same, plus a bunch more I’ve not got my sniff on yet.

The Baruti sample set is wonderful, freaky and interesting

The Maison Incens samples that Kate Apted sent me are also intriguing.

My Saturday Question to you is:

What Have You Been Sampling?

Monsieur Eau de Matin by Francis Kurkdjian for Jean Paul Gaultier 2008




Hi there APJ,

What did I wear today to go hang with thousands of people in Prince Alfred Park for the Same Sex Marriage results? JPGs Monsieur Eau de Matin.

Monsieur Eau de Matin by Jean Paul Gaultier 2008

Monsieur Eau de Matin by Francis Kurkdjian


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citruses, bergamot
Heart: Spices, petitgrain
Base: Guaiac wood, cedar

A bracing citrus burst opens and a cool green undercurrent is present, like shade on a very warm sunlit morning. It’s pretty, simple and very comfortable to wear. A real spritz and forget scent that pushes no boundaries, creates nothing extraordinary. Fresh citrus with a s;right green and a little swirl of creamy basil.

If you are looking for a masterpiece then you will be bitterly disappointed. Here Mr Kurkdjian has kept a very simple cologne scent that smells excellent but is as joyously lacking in depth and breadth. Two hours maximum and then Monsieur Eau de Matin is pretty much gone, just the merest whiff of wood.

FragranceNet has $35/100ml before coupon

Same Sex Marriage Results

Monsieur Eau de Matin was a perfect foil to the roiling emotions of our morning as the Same Sex Marriage Vote findings were announced. Jin got me out of bed bright and early, we caught bus and train to town where we had breakfast under a mocking image of our last Prime Minister and famous NO advocate, Tony Abbot, marrying himself.

Then we trotted around the corner to the Official Announcement Event in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park with thousands of others. It was a tense and nervous wait but fortunately we were surrounded by friends. It was wonderful bumping into people from my life since school and all the way up to now. So many familiar faces, old and new. When the numbers were announced, nearly 62% in favour, it was a tearful and elated Jin I got to cuddle. So many of us were completely and utterly overwhelmed with joy.

Today was a big deal in Australia. The people voted nearly 2:1 for Same Sex Marriage. Hopefully we are on the road to real and full equality here in Oz.

Now we await the legislation. Fingers crossed it will be soon.

I hope your day is as full of joy as ours has been.
Portia xx

Boxwalla October Beauty Box


Val the Cookie Queen


November Greetings APJ

From L.A. The Boxwalla October Beauty Box
From L.A. to New York, from New York to L.A.

I chatted a lot with the charming Lavanya as she was in the process of setting up Talking about it is one thing, and doing it quite another. Two years on Boxwalla continue to offer four different subscription boxes; the Beauty Box, Food Box, Film Box and Book Box. The boxes themselves are superb. Boxwalla have them made by a small company in India, who make the paper from cotton scraps. Tree-free handmade paper. I keep my decants in an empty box. They are very strong and tough.

Boxwalla October Beauty Box

The October Beauty Box is nothing short of divine. I am most impressed that products are either full sized at least a large travel size. I am not partial to tiny samples that you need to rip open with your teeth, squeezing out the three drops from within. Boxwalla´s Beauty Boxes treat you to amazing green beauty products. We have most certainly moved on from what my daughter and I refer to as “Müsli products” which we wouldn´t touch with a bargepole.

The October Beauty Box showcases products. The Rapha Harmonizing Cleanser feels stimulating on the face. I wear a lot of makeup, which I chose to remove in my normal way. I followed it up by massaging the cleanser into my face, soothing my skin and removing with a hot flannel. Skin is noticeably softer each time I use it.

The Propolis Regenerative Mask felt wonderful, I don´t know if anything has regenerated yet as I have only used it once! The Kinu, a decadent body balm is so good, leaving my skin hydrated and amazingly soft for hours. It smells divine, laced with essential oils of grapefruit, cedar wood, bergamot, rosemary, and vanilla.

Shipping within the US is free, and Boxwalla ship their boxes abroad too, with the exception of the food box. Fifty bucks every two months? Worth every cent and more.

Next time: We go to New York: Aroma M Geisha Marron Eau de Parfum

From sea to shining sea.
Roasted marron bussis

(ED: All Photos supplied by Val. XX)