Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!





A friend asked me for advice – she’d been finding her favourite fragrance was not smelling the same in her skin. She was looking for something new. Did I know anything that was similar which she could try?

So firstly we chatted about her signature scent. My friend has been using Dolce & Gabbana – Rose the One, which obviously is rose-centric but balanced out with lychee and peony. Instead of asking what she liked, we started with what she didn’t – this being any fragrance that was overly floral or sweet. But there’s only one way to find out – go shopping!

Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!

So off we went on a perfume safari. We went to Myer / Mecca in Sydney city. Myer is open till 8:00pm which was perfect for dropping in after work. This excercise was also helping her to learn how to test & what to watch out for. When we got there I directed her to the Bottega Venetta and Narciso Rodrigues displays where I grabbed a handful of mouilettes. If I’m bulk testing, I’ll put a spray or two on paper & pop the end under the display bottle to let it dry a bit & keep track of what’s what. My nose lasts much longer (ie doesn’t get blown out / insensitive) if I’m sniffing dry paper, not wet.

Narciso Poudree Narciso Rodriguez FragranticaFragrantica

So then we sniffed everything in those two ranges over about 15 minutes – chatting & learning about first impressions as we went. We chose Narciso Pourdée Eau de Parfum to try on skin, and found immediately that my friends skin amps fragrances in a sour direction. Good to know.

She was super quick to learn about top notes, dry down, what she liked and within 1/2 an hour we split up & she worked her way around Myer, the Libertine section, and Mecca with some wonderful sales assistants. I felt a bit proud when I over-heard her saying ‘my skin amps sour’ to the nods of an SA. Yay!

Gypsy Water Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

We had loads of fun in our adventure. I unfortunately fell in love with Gypsy Water by Byredo while she was off gallavanting…. maybe I should have kept my hands behind my back.

Other fragrances she tried on skin were Lady Vengence by Juliette has a Gun, Arcana Rosa by L’Artisan Perfumer – Natura Fabularis collection, Lys 41 by Le Labo, and Gris Clair… by Serge Lutens. Both the JHAG and Le Labo were fantastic and the SAs generously gave her small vials to give a proper run through at home.

Lady Vengeance Juliette Has A Gun FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Lavender
Heart: Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose, Patchouli, Hedione, ISO-E-Super
Base: Ambroxan, Vanilla, White musk

The next Monday she came back to me to say she loved Lady Vengence so much she went back & picked up a bottle of it. It’s a rose & patchouli scent and the quirky JHAG branding suits her so well. A win!

Have you ever had a friend find a new fragrance love through your recommendations?

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Skin Drenching Moisturising Potions


Post by Trésor


Autumn is officially in full swing in my humble little corner of the globe and the mercury has finally begun its lengthy descent into what I’m expecting shall soon be one hell of a winter. As much as I adore the delightful chill that comes along with such utterly magnificent sweater weather it also brings with it a far less welcome guest: dry, itchy skin; otherwise known as *the* bane of my existence. Luckily for me (and you beautiful readers, if you just so happen to enjoy a fragrant treat or two…or five) I’ve happened upon a number of exquisite lotions and potions that are both positively nourishing and olfactoriaely sublime and it would be my pleasure to share a few of my favourites with each of you.

Skin Drenching Moisturising Potions

Angel Perfuming Body Cream

Angel Perfuming Body Cream from Thierry Mugler

I’m fairly certain you’re well aware of just who Angel is, she needs no introduction. She’s the face that launched a thousand ships, the high-octane über-gourmand who’s DNA runs through an astonishing amount of fragrances which occupy the spheres of both designer and niche alike. Here, contained within her fantastically celestial flying saucer, her edges have been softened and entire demeanour expressed with a sense of fluidity and grace. Her holy trinity of neon candy floss, camphorous patchouli and sumptuous dark chocolate are still fully intact but wear closer to the skin, their rich languidity reimagined effortless sensuality in her altered form. Deeper, earthier yet somehow transparent; her beauty now bound to the Earth as much as it is to the stars above.

LAFCO Feu de Bois House & Home Nourishing Body Cream

Feu de Bois Nourishing Body Cream from LAFCO

The aroma of burning wood is one of my favourites in this entire world. Growing up on the East Coast of Canada where winters are considerably harsh and wood stoves are aplenty one comes to associate the fragrance of woodsmoke with their morning routine, the promise of glowing warmth and comfort after waking up to stone floors as cold as ice or conversely the abating comfort of curling up by to the fire in a sinfully cozy blanket and taking a glorious nap on a particularly chilly evening. LAFCO has captured the essence of these moment’s so beautifully, all the while wearing with an incredible ease and a great deal of comfort to skin which may be feeling a bit under the weather. Soft plumes of woodsmoke are joined by the delicate emerald hum of conifer resins that illuminate their sylvan radiance through the diaphanous haze. Utterly sublime.

Pulp Body Cream from Byredo

Pulp Body Cream from Byredo

There are certain accords in the realm of fragrance which one (myself, at the very least) may develop a particularly blasé attitude toward as time passes. One such example for me is the fruity floral, compositions of this nature truly wield the power to bore me to absolute tears but that, of course, is simply my own personal opinion. Every once and a while, though, something comes around and challenges my preconceived notions. It has me falling head over heels for a fragrance that by all accounts I should very much dislike. Meet Pulp from Swedish niche house Byredo, one of the very first fragrances to have put me in this precise position and caused me to reconsider my exploration of an entire genre. Pulp is absolute divinity, a symphonious amalgam of wildly nectarous fruits like succulent blackcurrant, crimson red apple and unbelievably juicy fig, overripe and on the cusp of decay. It’s absolutely magnificent and in my opinion even more enjoyable in the body cream, which lends a most sensual aura to Pulp’s already subversive leitmotif.

Are there any fragrant body creams which you enjoy breaking out when the temperatures begin to fall?

Until next time, my darlings.

Trésor xx

Byredo: Portia’s Favourite 5 Byredo

Hi Crew,

As you know I am now writing fortnightly for the crew at My Perfume Samples. Can’t express fully to you how proud I feel to be asked to write for them. Excellent crew with great prices and service. This week there is also a wicked Byredo GIVEAWAY!.

Portia’s 5 Byredo Favourites – My Perfume Samples


Please go check out my personal favourite Byredo fragrances. They all have special meaning through my own enjoyment or because they are my close friends fragrances. Byredo has excellent quality and interesting mixtures yet still retain the wearability that I love in a good fragrance.

Portia’s 5 Byredo Favourites – My Perfume Samples

While you’re there please leave me a hello so I know you’ve dropped by, your response is your entry into the GIVEAWAY.

Also, It makes me happy to see you all around the web.

Portia xx

November Sample Challenge Part 2

Don’t forget to enter our Olympic Orchids GIVEAWAY!!<<<JUMP


Post by Madeleine


Hello fumie friends!

Well, I am continuing the sample challenge set up by a friend on the Aussie Fragrance Network group on Facebook with some unexpected results. Read on to find out what happened.

November Sample Challenge Part 2

Wooden Fishing Tackle Box bdoutdoorsPhoto Stolen BDOutdoors

Sunday, November 10: One terrific by-product of the challenge is that it has made me organize my very disorganized sample lot. Well, the challenge and the fact that Mr M has very kindly bought me a fishing tackle box for said purpose. I categorized things alphabetically and am finding things that I had completely forgotten about. Feel very excited about continuing now and celebrate with a dab of Serge Lutens Bois de Violette. It’s beautiful, but there is just something in the Serge Bois series that just doesn’t agree with my skin chemistry.

In the evening, I fall in love with Amouage Interlude Woman. How on earth did I ignore this for so long? I adore the coffee, kiwi fruit and green goodness that seems to sparkle on my skin. I must get some more of this, so head off and order a decant of this, Amouage Fate Woman, Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore (another big bottle want) and thrown in some Castlebajac for good measure after trawling the site for a while. I’m excited about Castlebajac. It’s a clean almondy scent that I wore years and years ago in London and the thought of it reminds me of a great work Christmas party.

Monday, November 11: I cheat. I wear Lys Mediterranee. Not a sample. Difficult day at work and I needed something I knew and loved to comfort me.

Wednesday, November 13: Chanel Beige. Wearing this today and the sample of 31 Rue Cambon the other week has taught me something: I love Chanel top notes but not the dry down. Chanel Beige starts so luscious with frangipani and the sunshiny-ness of hawthorn, it’s gorgeous. But I want it to stay this way, and of course, last a little longer like all the Exclusifs, sans Coromandel.

La Collection Couturier Parfumeur New Look 1947 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Friday, November 15: Oh hello lovely! I’ve had a sample of Dior New Look 1947 for ages and thankfully rediscovered it, due to new not-rummaging-around-in-drawers-for-half-an-hour-superorganized sample storage. This just FEELS like ME and I can’t get enough. It makes me pleased cos I’ve been quite cross at the House of Dior for mucking round with my beloved Diorissimo and Diorella. This just might make up for it.

Monday November 18: Bad, bad M. Have fallen totally off the wagon over the past few days due to sampling ennui. Maybe, just maybe, it is because I have been so busy and stressed at work that I haven’t had the headspace to enjoy my samples. I always need to be calm, relaxed and not half asleep or in need of valium and vodka to sample properly. In fact, I have been thinking that, when it comes to perfume, I need much less, not more. Decide to sell some more partial bottles.

 Isles Lointaines Keiko Mecheri FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Wednesday, November 20: Ok, so somebody must have hacked into my computer Monday or I was possessed by my alter ego as that stuff was just craaazy talk. But today, I had another issue: wanting, pining after a sample THAT I DID NOT HAVE. ARGH!!!! The-sample-that-I-must-have-right-now is Keiko Mecheri’s Isles Lointaines. I blame the boss’ PA. She asked for help with planning destinations for her honeymoon and asked if I’d been to the Amalfi coast and Positano in particular. Mr M and I went on one of our first romantic trips to Paris and Positano and Isles Lointaines was one of the samples I wore. I need to revisit those memories. NOW.

Pulp FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Saturday, November 23: Byredo Pulp. This is another one that’s just been sitting right there for ages, completely ignored, but yet, so readily available. I thought Dionne’s APJ review was terrific, but never got round to smelling this. It’s a luscious, full bodied citrus that just can’t help but make you smile. And even though it’s pouring with rain and has been wet for eons, I’m happy and warm with this on.

Samples are available from:
Surrender To Chance
Posh Peasant

So, how did you think I went with the second leg APJ peeps? Have I mentioned any favourites?


Pulp by Ben Gorham + Perfumer for Byredo 2008

Guest Post by Dionne

You Want Fruit? You Can’t Handle the Fruit!

or Happiness in a Bottle

Hey-o, fume fiends! It’s good to be back post-Christmas, and I’m hoping you all had a wonderful holiday as well.

One of the fun and interesting challenges of writing for APJ is deciding on a perfume to review, because I typically want to write about what I’ve been wafting lately. But like many of you, what I wear is influenced by the weather, and where I live it’s cooooold right now (was -25°C in these parts Christmas week) . I’m rocking my heavy snugglers. I had every intention of writing a review of Queen by Queen Latifah until someone at Facebook Fragrance Friends mentioned how hot it was in Aussie-land right now, and since there’s no way in Hades I could wear Queen in the heat of summertime, I’ll hold off until….hmmm…. maybe the southern hemisphere’s autumn when winter is still lingering around here?

SummerVsWinter trojannewsjpgPhoto Stolen TrojanNews

So, what to pick instead? An idea came because of a discussion I had on Christmas Eve. We had a bunch of people over for our annual fondue, and as the evening wound down a good friend checked out my fragrance collection. As we smelled and chatted, she asked which ones influenced my mood most. After showing her one of my I feel really smart right now category, and my how YOU doin’? fragrance, and an I feel pretty, oh so pretty perfume, I mentally slapped myself in the forehead for not bringing out today’s offering at the start. “You have to smell this one. It’s the happiest perfume I own.” And sure enough, just the waft from the piece of paper I sprayed it on brought a gigantic grin to both of our faces.

Pulp by Byredo 2008

I first smelled Pulp in Las Vegas about two years ago, when The Engineer and I got away for our 20th anniversary. Good man that he is, he was perfectly willing to tag along for a day while I hit a bunch of perfume counters and squealed over a bunch of lines I’d read about but never encountered before. The SA’s at Barney’s were especially delightful: “Ohhhh, a perfumista. Take your time, we like you guys.” After a good hour moving slowly through different collections, sniffing and generally geeking out, the Byredo rep said, “Try this. I think you’ll like it.” Cue my first big Pulp-induced grin; it was love at first huff.

Pulp FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

That first rush of delight whenever I smell this has never gone away. Like many perfumistas, I have crushes and infatuations that come and go as some hot new thang comes along, but Pulp belongs to a select group that I can’t ever imagine myself going without. In fact, I don’t think The Engineer would let me be without this. I wear a lot of things he likes, but he can only remember the names of two of my fragrances, and asks for them regularly. Black Cashmere, and Pulp.

Notes from Fragrantica:
Top: bergamot, cardamom, blackcurrant
Heart: fig, red apple, tiare flower
Drydown: cedar, praline, peach blossom

Technically, Pulp is big dollops of fig and blackcurrant and apple, but once they’re all thrown in the magical pot of the perfumer and bottled, the vibe I get is rhubarb.  Juicy, tart, in-your-face rhubarb. And did I mention juicy? Technically again, this is supposed to be a fruity-floral, but screw that. Pulp went and created its own category: the fruity-fruity. I get great longevity off of this, but it’s rare that I don’t, so take that for what it’s worth. Also, this has some serious waft. In my experience that just amounts to oodles of compliments, but be advised. Grinch-type people could find their hearts growing three sizes when they smell you.

Byredo has 50ml/$145 but only send to USA & Europe
MeccaCosmetica in Oz have 50ml/$158 with FREE Oz Shipping!!
SurrenderToChance starts at $6/ml

happy-new-year fabiovisentinPhoto Stolen fabiovisentin

Have a joyous 2013!



Scented Niche Christmas Gifts to Impress

Guest Post by Madeleine

Ten Niche Scented Gifts for Christmas

Hello APJ friends! Hope you are all well and looking forward to the festive season.
When Portia suggested I compile a list of niche perfume Christmas picks, I was filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Excited because I could get really creative and think outside the square and scared because, well, let’s face it, buying perfume for loved ones, let alone niche, is fraught with difficulties.
So, I have taken a deep breath and hopefully risen to the challenge. For ease, I’ve chosen more approachable scents and assumed price is no object. Enjoy!
1.   Dad: Bigarade Concentree by Frederic Malle
Bigarade concentree Frederic Malle for women and men
Jean Claude Ellena’s modern take on eau de cologne, Bigarade Concentree starts with piquant, zesty blood orange and aromatic cardamom notes before settling into soft orange and hay. This is as refreshing as a dip in an ice cold pool, but still a refined classic scent.
Notes: bitter orange, rose, cedar, grass and hay
2.   Mum: Antonia by Puredistance
Antonia Puredistance for women
Possibly the most beautiful and sublime release of 2012, Antonia is an intricately weaved green floral with galbanum, ivy and jasmine. The Antonia woman is intelligent, graceful, self assured and wise – the best qualities of Mums everywhere,
Notes: jasmine, rose essence, ylang ylang, orris, ivy greens, galbanum, vanilla and vetiver.
3.   Brother: Sunday Cologne by Byredo
Sunday Cologne Byredo for women and men
A slightly balmy and spicy scent, Sunday Cologne combines the freshness of bergamot with star anise, incense and lavender. Clean, cool and utterly debonair, this can be worn equally with a sharp suit or t-shirt and jeans.
Notes: cardamom, bergamot, star anise, lavender, geranium, incense, vetiver, patchouli and oakmoss.
4.   Sister: Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens
Nuit de Cellophane Serge Lutens for women
A refined take on the standard fruity floral, Nuit de Cellophane combines osmanthus and jasmine to create a gorgeously translucent scent. Nuit de Cellophane is demure and pretty with just a hint of coquettishness.
Notes: mandarin, osmanthus, jasmine
5.   Significant other (Male): Amyris Pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Amyris Homme Maison Francis Kurkdjian for men
Sex in a bottle. A blend of aromatic rosemary and mandarin tempered by cool iris and warm woody notes, Amyris is the tall, dark handsome stranger at a swanky bar who buys you an ice-cold martini before saying sotto voce: ’Come hither’.
Notes: rosemary, mandarin orange, amyris, coconut, coffee, iris, milk chocolate, tonka bean and agarwood.
6.   Significant other (Female): Flor Y Canto by Arquiste
Flor y Canto Arquiste for women
A bewitching white floral, Flor Y Canto tempers the heady notes of tuberose and frangipani with bright marigold. Sunny and carefree, but still devastatingly sexy, this is for a confident woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Notes: Mexican tuberose, magnolia, frangipani and marigold
7.   For the budding perfumista friend: Frederic Malle’s Coffrets
In my opinion, Frederic Malle offers the best variety of all niche brands. These coffrets offer small vials of the brand’s scents: men’s, women’s or a 2012 selection. Your friend is sure to find new love, whether it’s the mint barbershop vibe of Geranium Pour Monsieur or the brooding oriental of Portrait of a Lady.
8.   For the friend that hates perfume:  Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candle
An impressive, weighty candle without an oppressive scent, Aqua Universalis is a fresh and delicate blend of green notes, orange blossom and jasmine.
Notes: bergamot, sicilian lemon, lily of the valley, sweet mock orange, light and musky woods
9.   For kids: Les Bulles d’Agathe by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Les Bulles d'Agathe Scented Bubbles 3
These blowing bubbles are lightly scented with pear, violet, mint or cut herbs – fun for the little ones or just for the kid in all of us.
10.  Top niche Christmas pick: La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens
La Myrrhe Serge Lutens for women
In one of those coveted bell jars, Serge Lutens and his partner in crime Christopher Sheldrake have created a luminous rendition of myrrh – the essential oil and resin carried by the Three Wise Men. Warm aldehydes suggest the twinkle of Christmas lights on powdered snow while gentle spices and almond evoke the last bite of Christmas pud washed down with a glass of warm Amaretto.
Notes: mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento
Pictures sourced from Fragrantica, Basenotes, Polyvore and Wantist.
Where to Buy:
Arquiste: and Barney’s
Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Serge Lutens: Les Senteurs, Luckyscent and Mecca Cosmetica
Puredistance: Luckyscent
Serge Lutens bell jars: and Barney’s
Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks. What are your top niche Christmas choices?
M x

Pulp by Byredo 2008

Guest Post By EmmaKate

Hello hello!

First I would like to introduce myself. My name is EmmaKate and I, like you, am obsessed with fragrance. However this isn’t an obsession I realized I had until I started working in the beauty industry. I have been lucky enough to work at Estée Lauder for a little while and Mecca Cosmetica for a much longer time.

Secondly I would like to say a massive thank you to Portia for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful blog.

While working at Mecca I was lucky enough to meet Frederic Malle, Fabrice from Le Labo, Francis Kirkdijan, Ben from Byredo and many more.
I will share with you stories and insights into these perfumers and their brands, and many more in my blogs.

Today I am going to talk about Byredo’s Pulp. Byredo is a fragrance house created by Ben Gorham.


Photo Stolen Byredo

Ben is a native of Sweden, born to an Indian mother, Canadian father and grew up in Toronto, New York and Stockholm. He studied fine arts at Stockholm Art School and became interested in fragrance as his form of expression. Byredo was born.

The entire Byredo range is something to behold but Pulp moves me.


Photo Stolen Byredo

This fragrance upon opening smells of a freshly cut fruit salad, fruity, juicy and delicious. It reminds me of fruit punch with a kick of gin to amp up the sauciness. As it dries down green fig comes into the mix to round it out. The fig gives it body and depth, whilst not compromising the sensual and flirty fruitiness.

Fragrantica gives the notes as

Top: Bergamot, cardamon and black currant
Heart: Fig, red apple and tiare flower
Base: Cedar, praline and peach blossom.

When I wear this fragrance I feel happy, excited, serene and a bit juicy myself 😉 As I smell it I can feel a hint of summer, a girlie frock and mango juice running down my chin and arms…bliss.

Mecca Cosmetics has 50ml $158

The Posh Peasant has samples starting at $5.50

See you next month,
EmmaKate X