Europe 2017: Jin & Portia’s Big Adventure




Hey there APJ,

Jin and I leave for our holidays on Tuesday, yes tomorrow. Bags are packed. Friends over for dinner tonight and Jin has done a huge plate of meat & veg that we all make our own Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls from. He is an artist at it and it’s one of my favourite things he does. So fresh, healthy and delicious.

europe_topography_map_en Europe 2017

Europe 2017: Jin & Portia’s Big Adventure

So where are we off to? Here’s a run down of our dates & cities. It’s mainly a driving holiday with a couple of short flights added in for ease and comfort. So the dates are the nights we spend in each city. All dates are in March. Everything in bold is a city we have never been to before, exciting.

8/9/10: Prague, Czech

11/12: Zilina, Slovakia

13/14: Berlin, Germany

15/16: Hamburg, Germany

17: Hanover, Germany

18: Rotterdam, Netherlands

19/20: Luxembourg

21/22/23: Paris

24/25/26: Milan, Italy

27/28/29: London, UK

So that’s where we’ll be. Should you be in any of this cities or nearby and like a catch up, food, sight seeing or a sniff then please tell us where you are in the comments below and we’ll try and organise something.

What frags am I taking? I’m not sure but I’m very tempted to take only Parfum d’Empire Equistrius and Patou 1000.

Here we come Europe, can’t wait to see you.
Portia xxx

TinaG’s Fragrant Adventures: Berlin, Germany: Photo Essay


Post by TinaG



I’m travelling in Europe for a few months and thought y’all might like a short snapshot of my fragrance shopping in Berlin.

Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

Holy WOW. Terminal 5 at Heathrow is stunning. Duty Free had a fantastic fragrance collection including Miller Harris, By Killian, Memo, Amouage, Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Collection, Guerlain Pera Grantia, Rosa Pop and L’Homme Ideal EDP, amongst others. The staff were super-friendly & very knowledgable.

Étui Noir by Miller Harris 2016

Miller Harris has two Heathrow exclusives – Ètui Noir and Lumière Dorée. I picked up Ètui Noir which is a gentle leather fragrance

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Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamo, tangerine
Heart: Incens, iris
Base: Vetiver, leather

TinaG’s Fragrant Adventures

Berlin, Germany: Photo Essay

Berlin: I stayed at the Grand Hyatt, Berlin Mitte. All my fragrance shopping was within walking distance of the hotel.

Tourist Tip: check opening times, many places are closed on Sunday.

Frau Tonis Parfum

I had only recently heard of Berlin’s Frau Tonis Parfum so I was excited to visit their one and only store. The display made it easy to try every fragrance so I worked my way around sniffing stoppers & making notes. My poor nose was absolutely tortured from 23 hours of aircraft travel so I was totally surprised to find it still worked! Joy!! Kristiane and Clarice were wonderful & helped me with my many questions, like what does the number mean? It’s simply a catalogue system as it’s easier to remember numbers than names.

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Frau Tonis have very sensible bottle sizes – 8ml travel spray, 15ml, 50ml and 100ml. They also take custom blend orders, so you can mix & match and make your own bespoke combination. And yes they ship to Australia.

I chose three 8ml fragrances: 10 Linde Berlin (lime and honey), 14 Grasse à Toi (Jasmine, ylang-ylang, lilly of the valley, iris, peach, red berries, vanilla) and 37 Veilchen (which may also be called 37 Violet) which has violet, liquorice and raspberry.

Tourist tip: the store is near Checkpoint Charlie and Topographie des Terrors, a display & section of the Berlin Wall.

Galleries Lafayette

This department store has an atmosphere of a ‘pop-up’ shop for fashion & makeup. I went to Galleries Lafayete to fine the Berlin-based Schwartzlose.

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Yea, interesting. Rausch probably got my attention the most because of the animalistic notes, it was damn dirty & fun. Altruist is their newest which has a cologne freshness with May rose, lemon and pepper. Testing was rushed in a crowded area, I didn’t buy anything.

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Tourist tip: save yourself time by asking an SA to take you to this display. The store layout is frustratingly circular with a space in the middle.


Krigler currently has stores in Berlin, Beverly Hills & New York. The store in the Hotel Adlon Kempinski has the full range of fragrances and make candles on-site. Their first fragrance was crafted in 1879 – 79 Pleasure Gardenia. The fragrance numbering relates to the year it was made, that one is the only ’18’ prefix. If a second or third is made, a 2 or 3 added to the number. The 2000 series drops the second zero, ie: 214 = 2014, 2142 = the second fragrance made that year.

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What do they smell like, I hear you ask?? But I haven’t yet told you about the long history, the famous people who wore Krigler, or the quality of the ingredients. Or the extravagant prices. £16 for a 2ml sample…. Painful. Yes they ship to Australia.

Established Cognac 66 was the stand out for me. A thick caramel with rich cognac cut through by a sharp juicy apple note, taking the edge off the heaviness. Apparently it used to have 80% cognac but the current formulation is 50% – still quite potent. I also picked up samples of Oud for Highness 75, Schöne Linden 05 and Extraordinaire Camelia 209.

Tourist tip: these guys are right near the Brandenburg Gate.

Ritz Carlton – “Fragrances” cocktail bar

OK this Fragrances cocktail bar was the primary reason I wanted to go to Berlin! And it totally blew me away. I’ll dedicate a separate article to my evening here because the Bar Manager, Arnd Heissen totally took me under his wing and showed me around both Fragrances, and its sister bar The Curtain Club. The bar staff were absolute fragrance & mixology experts, I had a fabulous time, so much fun!

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The cocktails are created to emulate a fragrance profile. I think there are about 30 on the menu. You walk in to a display which has a bottle of the actual fragrance, the ingredients, and a photo of the cocktail glass. I chose two cocktails, Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles and Bulgari Au Thè Bleu. Both were beautifully done and wonderfully presented. I was curious to see how they managed the incense in Fille en Aiguilles – this was created by using a particular smokey tea. Fab result.

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Ok I’m sure I’m over my word count (sorry Portia!) so I’ll leave my fragrant Berlin travels stories for now. It is an amazing city any my short 2 days there wasn’t enough.

Have you visited any of these places? Or do you have more recommendations for my next Berlin adventure?

xx Tina G

Voile d’Ambre by Olivier Pescheux for Yves Rocher 2005

Hey there frag crew,

A couple of years ago Jin and I traveled to Europe together, we had never traveled together before, not even for a weekend, yet we decided to put together a wonderful 6 week extravaganza of a holiday. We saw about 10 countries, saw family, met new and old friends, saw sights, laughed, ate, shopped, discovered and generally had the most wonderful time. There were only a couple of minor melt downs on the whole trip and those due to exhaustion rather than lack of common interest. Anyway, the first fragrance I bought while in Europe on that wonderful holiday in a little Yves Rocher shop in Prague was Voile d’Ambre….

Jin Portia Arc de Triomphe Paris Europe 2013

Voile d’Ambre by Olivier Pescheux for Yves Rocher 2005

Voile d'Ambre Yves Rocher FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin leaf, cardamom, mandarin orange, myrtle
Heart: Opoponax, incense, myrrh
Base: Patchouli, Australian sandalwood, Madagascar vanilla

Memories!!! Every time I spritz Voile d’Ambre I get a warm hot rush of happiness that is less to do with the sweet herbal amber that jumps off my skin than it does the wonderful memories of our first trip together. I can see us rugged up in our winter woolies in cities filled with mainly the residents because who is silly enough to travel midwinter through the heart of Europe? We got to see everything we wanted with zero wait time and the staff of everywhere were happy to see some foreigners and have a chat. I have done Europe in all the seasons now and I’ll always try to go in winter, it’s 100% more fun.

Voile d'Ambre Yves Rocher Prague WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Voile d’Ambre gives me a boozy, incense laden amber that is smooth and clean, a warm amber that is in no way challenging. This is comfort fragrance, warming, easy and cuddly. Though I wore it all through that winter in Europe I can also easily apply it in 30C Sydney heat and be comfortable, Voile d’Ambre is spare enough and has enough air through it that I’m not overwhelmed or constricted. I think it may be to do with the Australian sandalwood, which I find a little more astringent and green than the others, slightly eucalyptus feeling and that added to a clean but earthy patchouli rounds the whole fragrance out.

I make it read like the notes are discernible, they are not unless I have a notes list ion front of me, what I smell is a beautiful amber that changes slightly from greener in the beginning to non foody vanilla at dry down. It’s not a big and varied story but a soft and floaty ride through comfort to comfort, and filled with joyful memories. I am smiling right now as I write to you all.

If you’ll excuse me I think I need to give Jin and big hug. While I’m gone, what is your favourite amber fragrance, as a main note or a side one?
Portia xx

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