Halfeti by Christian Provenzano for Penhaligon`s 2015

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Portia

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Heya Niche Nerds,

I done’t remember this little beauty being released. Clearly I must have read about it somewhere but the name rings zero bells at all. Nick, my mate from Libertine Parfumerie sent me a sample to try and he usually knows what I’ll like so let’s give it a test run together.

Halfeti by Penhaligon`s 2015

Halfeti by Christian Provenzano

The Penhaligon’s story goes: All respectability forgotten, we have travelled far, as far as Turkey! And here in Halfeti, the red roses appear black so intense is their magic. Here, the British Levant Company traded in the opulent treasures of the Ottoman merchants to secure the pick of the crop.

Libertine gives these featured accords:
Top: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Green notes, Armoise, Cypress
Heart: Cumin, Nutmeg, Violet, Saffron, Rose, Jasmine, Muguet
Base: Leather, Oud, Amber, Resins, Tonka, Vanilla, Sandalwood

Dry leather, nutmeg, oud and some sweet resinous funk open Halfeti. I know that Val the Cookie Queen would not enjoy wearing it because the familiar oud/woods/leather trope is front and centre. Here it’s dark, sharp, smoky and animalic. A very masculine leaning woodsy concoction. So nothing incredibly groundbreaking but expansive and powerful for a Penhaligon’s scent, who are usually so quietly reticent.

Obviously I can imagine this on a man but in my head I wonder what sort of woman would wear Halfeti? She would have to be strong willed, happy to break the mold, probably unknowingly walking through life causing change and creating new roads for people to follow. Halfeti strikes me as a comfortable fit for a woman unafraid of being judged, happy in her choices and able to command. There you go, some scent inspired ramblings.

WikiCommons

Longevity is excellent and once the fireworks burn off a sweet, soft and comfortable woodsiness encapsulated within a soft focus vanilla/amber will hum above your skin for hours.

So, do I like it? Yes, I like it a lot but I have something quite similar and I can’t pinpoint what it is, or was. Don’t worry, it will come to me at 4am.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Fragrance Daily
Libertine has $329/100ml plus FREE Australian Delivery

What fragrances do you think of for people who break the traditions?
Portia xx

 

 

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all,
Since I heard that Annick Goutal is to be re-branded early next year, I’ve been carefully ticking off certain of its older offerings from my ‘to-try’ list. If, as has been reported, the line will be cut from around 45 fragrances to 25, at least some of the great classics are surely headed for the chop.

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

A wander through the Goutal catalogue

Fragrantica

I tried and loved Eau du Sud at the airport on my way home from holidays in January. Unfortunately my excitement did not outlast the post-holiday glow. I bought a decant so as to give Sud a thorough test but, lovely though it is, I’ve found it collapses on skin in hot weather. As it is a summer scent, that’s a disappointment. I still like it, but I’m not going for a full bottle when there are plenty of other Goutals jostling for the attentions of my credit card.

One of those jostlers is Sables (immortelle, cinnamon, pepper, tea, sandalwood, amber). Now this one really could be on the endangered list. Already it seems to be in limited distribution because it’s hard to find and never cheap. You have to have a deep and abiding commitment to the curry-and-burnt-sugar effect of immortelle (or helichrysum) to enjoy Sables. The other notes are bit players, although a lot of people smell cinnamon distinctly (I don’t). Sables is absolutely outstanding but it would take me at least 147 years to get through a FB. A single spritz lasts all day and can survive a shower the next morning. A large decant may be all I’ll ever need.

Then there is Passion (tuberose, tomato leaf, jasmine, ylang, vanilla, oakmoss, patchouli). This is one of the early releases (1983) and it does reference some of the great florals and chypres of yore. Tropical notes are balanced by the green twang of tomato leaf and a mossy base. Overall, Passion has (for me) a slightly tailored, formal feel to it. It’s perfect for professional settings, being neither too stuffy nor too cosy and casual. FB-worthy, yes, and much cheaper than Sables.

Fragrantica

Gardenia Passion (gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, vanilla). This should be named ‘tuberose passion’ really, but it is no less beautiful for that. The opening is so dramatic I gasped aloud. A white floral accord so buttery and so green it stole away the very breath I was trying to use to smell it. Then – it’s gone. Gardenia Passion leaves my skin, and the building, in under an hour. So, this one is off the list.

The last in my little clutch of Goutal samples is Grand Amour. . I think this may be a scrubber. The problem is the hyacinth, which normally I like but here it seems too cutting for my taste. But I’ve only tried Grand Armour on skin once, so who knows. It might improve.

Annick Goutal

So – over to you. Do you have great loves from the house of Goutal? Are you doing what I’m doing – snatching at them before they go?
Bye for now everyone!
Anne-Marie

Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1996

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Hey APJ!

Cuir Mauresque is an odd creature. I have a bell jar of the stuff and have worn it a lot. Which should indicate that I like it.
Although it always smells the same when I sniff it in the bottle, it is an absolute risk putting it on as I have no idea as to whether
I am going to enjoy the experience or not. Hours of pleasure or hours of pain?

Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens 1996

Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Amber, incense, cinnamon, cedar, jasmine, civet, nutmeg, cumin, musk, mandarin peel, orange blossom, sweet spices

Like a number of Lutens, it is a casserole of components. Perhaps the order of these materials are forever swirling in the bottle?

Like most of us I have perfumes that I have to be in the mood for, and perfumes that only I might only want to wear once a year. That
would include Vero Profumo`s Onda EdP and a recently acquired vintage Mitsouko. But I enjoy both of them and know what I am going to get when I wear them.

Cuir Mauresque on a good day is sumptuous and warm. Spicy, golden, a supple leather. Stylish, rich and fragrant, comforting, balsamic, seductive, and classy. It opens with a floral burst of jasmine and orange blossom, resting on top of the darker and more spicy ingredients. I love this version all day and all night! It is agreeable and slouchy, relaxed and comfortable.

PDI

However Cuir Mauresque on a bad day is a whole different kettle of fish. We are talking an artificial fruity shoe polish opening, or perhaps furniture polish, powdery and cloying, old wet leather, and an underlying feeling that you´ve spilled a bottle of cough syrup over yourself. The kind that sticks to everything. Perhaps a dab of floor polish? It remains sickly sweet and very waxy. There is a a continuous leather note, running through the whole composition, but it´s the recently deceased cow vibe. Hmmmmm.

Nevertheless, I wouldn´t want to be without Cuir Mauresque. I love it.

Val XX

Further reading: WMSSL and Scented Hound
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3.50/0.5ml has

WTF? I wonder what causes this extreme difference in what I experience. Any of you know what I mean?

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Bountiful Bussis
CQ

Sunshine: Skin & Body Care

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AF Beauty

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Hey APJ Crew – how are you all?

It’s been a while I know, I took a little longer in the shower than I’d originally planned! #dallas #bobbyewing

Sunshine: Skin & Body Care

Actually, while I’ve been away, I’ve been in the bath more than the shower – I’ve been working out at the gym after work, so I drag my beaten self back home and throw myself in the bath. I have fallen in love with the bath again, it has been bliss – and something I’ve really missed when travelling and not having a bath available. But you know what I’ve noticed, Australia has a really pathetic range of cheap and cheerful bath products – either I have to use shower gel or radox crystals.

Amazing Oils

In fact, I am mostly using magnesium based crystals – not for beauty reasons, but for muscle recovery. I have been using an Australian brand of magnesium, similar, but not the same as Epsom Salts – this one is from a company called Amazing Oils and specifically for recovery. And though I say this isn’t a beauty product, magnesium REALLY helps me sleep, so if beauty sleep is a thing, then these crystals make me beautiful!

The other thing that’s happened while I’ve been away – SUMMER! Yessss! The sun has been shining, it’s been hot! The sun has been enjoyable but first things first – the sun does dry the face and you will get wrinkles – or at least, *I’m* getting wrinkles – if you don’t take care of your skin. Second things, wearing makeup all changes when your skin is a fraction darker than it was two months ago.

Garnier

Skincare first: The difference in skin is hard to pinpoint, it just seems less plump and drier – while greasier. As usual, if there are obnoxious skin combinations to be had, here they are. I have resorted to old favourites to continue to treat my skin and have bumped up the night-time treatment. I should have added a regular daytime SPF but I still search for the elusive sun protection that isn’t heavy, greasy, claggy, or just disruptive to usual make up. I’ve worn tinted moisturiser with SPF – it has been my saviour. Nothing fancy, I think I’ve written about it before – Garnier’s BB Cream in Anti-Ageing and medium. It’s been a summer saviour helping me resist marching into Myer and buying a new foundation. The good (or bad) thing about a tan is it’ll wash away quicker than it ever took to acquire.

I have tried Nivea Face Veil (OK, but a bit greasy), Jurlique SPF Lotion (really nice texture but caused my foundation to pill). And I’m sure I’ve got others, but I’ve also got a bit of a skincare addiction, so they’re probably underneath a load of other things, whoops! To add to that I noticed as I researched this that Jurlique has some new sun protection products that’ve caught my eye (See? Addicted!) so I’m going to see if they’ll give me some testers.
Until next time, I’m off to the bath…..

AF Beauty XXXX

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1972

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Portia

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Hey Hey Vintage Fragheads,

1000 was a fragrance I had basically ignored. Joy was my Patou fragrance and at some point I had a Sira des Indes too but though it was lovely it didn’t float my boat at the time and I sold it on. Back in 2014 my mate Michael & I went for a 2 hour private class at the Osmotheque in Versailles, Paris (the suburb, not the palace, walking distance though) and when we got there out tutor was none other than Jean Kerleo himself. It was the most fabulously surreal afternoon and I will never forget it. The photo below is taken when Patricia de Nicolai came in to thank us and very kindly tell us it was time to leave. We’d still be there had she not.

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Patou 1972

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Osmanthus, violet, apricot
Heart: Jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, geranium
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss

A floral chypre! Yep. My knowledge of chypre (sketchy at best even though I love them) is that they have no flowers because Cyprus (or Chypre as it’s also known) is all about citrus, foliage, conifers and herbs. Anyway, so many of my chypre loves have flowers who am I to bitch?

This bottle was a recent eBay purchase and I already have some pristine vintage parfum so I have a pretty good base line to mark it from.

The osmanthus, violet and apricot in the opening are there if I look for them, particularly the violet and I would have picked fruit but not that it was apricot and would add there also seems to be a low-key slug of citrus. Aldehydes too, giving a softly oily radiance to everything.

Wikipedia

The hearts bouquet is basically overrun by the base with only a passing reference to roses that I can pick and without notes I probably would have missed them too. Not incredibly creamy sandalwood and furry oakmoss seem the stars of the show for me and I am 100% OK with that. After reading NST review I realised that there are also animalics that I was totally nose deaf to, having smelled Jean Kerleo’s remaining musk tincture the memory jumped out at me again. Heavenly.

1000 is dressed up and ready to rumble, what I really want to do is triple spritz my chest and go grocery shopping or clean the car. The sheer weight of its glamour would be excellent as a backdrop to the turbines of tedium.

PDI

Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
The current 1000 is available in department stores and on the discount sites.
Surrender To Chance has EdP & Parfum samples starting at $6/ml

How about you? Ever wear the really flashy good frags to light up the everyday?
Portia xx

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

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TinaG

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Hi APJ, hope your week is travelling well so far.

It is a sultry rainy day in Sydney, and I’ve just turned the house upside down looking for my 1.5ml sample of ‘lightscape’ so I could wear it for the second time. I have a house full of bottles, decants and samples so 1) it was difficult to find and 2) it shows how determined I was. Standing with hands on hips, surveying the chaos, I glanced over to my side table – there it sat, almost looking at me with a faux-innocent “….What? I was here all along.” expression.

Right.

Grab. Spray spray spray.

Bliss.

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, violet leaf, lemon
Heart: Iris, rose, violet, cyclamen, cedar
Base: Ambergris, tonka bean, cashmere wood, musk, ambrette (musk mallow)

I’m surrounded by the most wonderful green galbanum and that strange violet leaf note which is both floral and verdant at the same time. There’s a background buzz of lemon floating in and out and a touch of sweet dry wood. An ever so soft powdery iris starts wafting through at around 10 minutes. Fab.

I had a pre-conceived anthropocentric impression of lightscape, for no good reason; a city at night, all those white & yellow sparkling lights and flowing red through the veins of its streets. Maybe because of the NY connection. Wrong. This is the dappling of light through a sparse forest & the smell of crushed plants as you walk on through.

Geograph

That effect lasts about an hour and from then the sillage settles slowly by degrees. I’m not quite sure when it morphs to the next dry down stage, it seems to sneak up on me – maybe 3 hours? It’s pretty – an elegant pink musk mallow being the star of the show, supported by tonka bean, more musks, and ambergris giving it a lived in skin effect. It’s alluring, confident and comforting.

I’m enthralled with this fragrance. It’s the type of perfume which has the potential to be part of life’s tapestry as it weaves its own stories into yours. I can’t wait to buy a full bottle, maybe during my visit to Los Angeles later in the year.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and EauMG
Ulrich Lang has $120/100ml has
First In Fragrance has €95/100ml + Samples

A big thank you to Portia for the sample of lightscape, along with nightscape, aperture, and anvers. Thoroughly enjoyed giving these a run through.

Have you ever worn a fragrance and immediately thought – yes, you will be mine…. ??

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Europe 2017: Jin & Portia’s Big Adventure

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Portia

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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