Guerlain with Tea & Scones


Post by Portia


Hey Crew,

Do you ever get together with frag buddies? I have met so many wonderful & varied people in the fragrant world, a few of them turning into lasting and close friends. I’ve also had some of my long term besties come out as frag nerds too. So irregularly there are get togethers with one or more buddies. Yesterday was special because someone I’d only ever interacted with online is in Sydney and she had bought a bottle of perfume from me. What else could I do but ask her around for Morning Tea and a sniff? So Latai came and we had a lovely time, well I had a lovely time and I think she did too.

Guerlain with Tea & Scones

We decided early on that as Latai had not spent much time in the Guerlain fragrance vault that we should focus our noses there for the day. So I thought it might be interesting to take her on a Semi Ages of Guerlain tour.


We started with a few of the most well known vintage extraits, Vold de Nuit, Mitsouko & Shalimar. With this set I also got Latai to smell modern Samsara extrait that Jin & I bought recently in Japan.

From there I jumped to a couple of my most loved masculine Guerlains: Vetiver and Cologne du 68. Interestingly Vetiver turned out to be one of Latai’s favourites of the day and we really enjoyed its light oily grassy scent.

We also tried Vega but it was absolutely not to her taste and she scrubbed it off.


Then the last two from the Guerlain range we smelled were vintage Chamade extrait and for something totally up to date Promenade des Anglaise, which turned out to be her absolute favourite of the day.


Halfway through I made some scones that we ate with fresh whipped cream, home made apple and raspberry jam (thanks to my mate Linda, YUMMY) and lemon curd. This washed down with some very lovely tea that Latai brought to share.

It was a really nice, zero fuss, fun day: full of silliness, laughter and fragrance.
What brand would you choose to sniff for a day with perfumistas?
Portia xx

Guerlain: Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney: Photo Essay


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hello lovely Perfume Junkies!

How are you all coping in the slippery slope into the festive season? Have you sent your fragrant orders to Santa? Have you been naughty or nice?

I have a confession: I couldn’t wait! I just bought a bottle (with a free additional bottle) of Sylvaine Delacourte’s new Florentina from her new La Collection Muscs. (An independent side project, i.e. not Guerlain)If you’ve not tried them, go on her website and pay a tiny 4 euros and order the sampler – then it’s a one off buy one get one offer on a full bottle – irresistible!

Sylvaine Delacourte Adventures Down under!

We had the pleasure of greeting Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney in November – THE QUEEN BEE OF GUERLAIN. She really is personable, fun spirited and of course extremely talented and knowledgeable in person. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read my interview with her for APJ while I was in Paris in October, which fills you in on all things Sylvaine Delacourte.

Guerlain: Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney

Photo Essay


Cosmax, the distributers for Guerlain in Australia hosted a lovely lunch in Paddington at the Four in Hand Hotel for press and important people like Michael Edwards from Fragrances of the World. Here we ate and drank amongst beautifully set tables full of flowers and bee bottle factice. Sylvaine talked about her more than 20-year history with Guerlain and she held the group captivated. It was also at this lunch the newest Guerlain Exclusif was launched, Neroli Outrenoir.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Table setting at the Neroli Outrenoir launch in Paddington

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Michael Edwards and Sylvaine Delacourte


Now available instore – David Jones – the exclusives collection is to die for and worth popping on your list to Santa. I bought myself Angelique Noire (the greenest one) when I was in Paris, however I have popped pretty much the rest of the collection onto my wish list. DEELICIOUS! The core theme is Sylvaine’s desire to showcase raw materials in unexpected spotlights so the gardenia is presented in a lacey way. In Cuir Beluga we have leather, however it is more of a light soft caress of suede rather than something tart from a tannery. Neroli Outre Noir’s magic lies in the top notes seeming to remain throughout nearly the whole dry down. Any perfumer will tell you this can almost only happen by pure MAGIC. Notes of combined citrus, orange blossom, smoky, earthy tea for me also makes it a win.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAngelique Noire I bought in Paris in Septermber!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bee bottle Factice from table setting to swoon at

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Lily of the Valley that was on my table setting at home in my Mud vase!


Sylvaine then spent a few days upstairs at David Jones level 7 where she did a question and answer style talk for VIP’s and the Sydney Perfume Lovers Meetup Group. In addition and a highlight for me were two workshops where participants created their own Guerlain-esque floral fragrance. After learingin all about the raw materials from Sylvaine herself! I spent the entire time with jaw on the floor, inspired and absorbing everything. How lucky we were to have her visit and share this wonderful insider knowledge and experience!

Have you experienced the Exclusifs range? What are your thoughts and favorites?

Xx until next time! XX Ainslie XX

Cookie Queen: Perfumes I Have Worn In 2016


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Good Day APJ.

What is a REAL blogger anyway?

Over the years I have thoroughly enjoyed bloggers’ roundups of best perfumes including what have they have been wearing. Not considering myself a proper blogger it did not occur me that I could do my own list. However, it will be four years with APJ for me next year so bloody hell, I will award myself the status of “blogger”

Cookie Queen: Perfumes I Have Worn In 2016

I do not wear samples. I try samples out on my left wrist, and if I get over excited perhaps on both wrists. I only wear perfumes that I have full bottles of. (All perfumistas have idiosyncratic behaviours – don´t you?)


VERO PROFUMO. All of them of course! Most worn this year would be the Kikis, I nearly finished a bottle of the juicy, delicious, erotic, sadly under-rated Kiki EdP. The Kiki Extrait is laced with ambergris and is so divine I worked my way through at least 15 mls of it. The Kiki Voile a Prozac of a perfume. 🙂

HERMÈS. I received a bottle of Hermès Doblis as a gift at the beginning of the year, a belated birthday present. Probably the most exquisite perfume I have ever been given. Also in heavy rotation was the Muguet Porcelaine. This stunning lily-of-the-valley is wonderful in cool weather. Cuir d’Ange, a favourite for the last couple of years, was worn as much ever. And more recently Osmanthe Yunnan also fab in cold weather, although if you believe all you read you would be forgiven for assuming it is a summer scent.


CHANEL. Bois des Iles Parfum and EdT. Cuir de Russie Parfum and EdT. Misia EdT. Coromandel EdT. And the heliotrope heavy Boy EdP.

GUERLAIN. Shalimar Extrait Vintage, Shalimar Extrait current. Shalimar Eau de Cologne.


AROMA M. Geisha Noire EdP and Oil. Vanilla Hinoki EdP and Oil.

LANCÔME. Cuir de Lancôme.

winner getentrepreneurial


Hermès Galop d’Hermès Parfum

I don´t want to get carried away with my newfound status as a real blogger so I will only select one. Without a second thought it goes to Hermès Galop d’Hermès Parfum. A poised and elegant perfume. The rose, the quince, the saffron and leather. It´s a work of art.

There are a number of new fragrances that I did try and enjoy, but they did not make the full bottle grade. I love the scene, the people, the perfume shows, and the vibe of the fragrant world. But the many hundred of new launches have me running for cover. I do own other perfumes, including a number of Lutens but this was not their year.

What perfumes do you REALLY wear huh? I am über-interested.

Real Blogger Bussis

HOLIDAYS!! Japan 2016: Photo Essay


Post by Portia


Hey Hey APJ,

Jin and I are in transit from Japan to South Korea. I was hoping to have the post written and organised long before this but, bloody hell, it has been non stop. We are having a ball and wish you all were here with us. 3 nights and 2 full days was a great taster for Jin and a lovely reminiscence for me. Sadly we didn’t get to see everyone on the list but next time we are going to make it a fortnight and travel around a bit.

HOLIDAYS!! Japan 2016: Photo Essay


Korean Air = Roomy & cheap. Staff are amazing and food yummy. NOW I want them to sponsor my ass.


Our first full day in Japan is a public holiday so we get to share the perfect autumn weather with millions of families. Tokyo remains surprisingly roomy. We love the day in temples, parks and galleries.


We particularly loved seeing a few Korean National Treasures stolen during Japanese occupation of Korea. Jin couldn’t help but be excited when one of the most famous historic buddhas was on display.





That night we were taken to Torikizoku, a famously modern young Japanese hang where booze and snacks are the order of the night. Loved it. Thanks Luke. We worked out that we’ve been friends around 27 years. Amazing.



Jin is basically on a gastro-tour. EVERYTHING from street food to hand created sushi, fast food and VERY slow food was on the menu. I think he tried about 20 new dishes, or ate authentic Japanese versions of old favourites. watching him discover new delights was like living with a perfect sunrise.






Of course we had to do the obligatory fragrance shopping. Isetan in Shinjuku is a fabulous department store with the most unbelievable Food Hall in the basement. We spent a small fortune buying Japanese delicacies for Jin’s family in South Korea.

Because we spent so much time & money down there I wasadamant that we check the fragrance section. It was well stocked with a large range of masstige and designer fragrances. From CREED and Le Labo to Annick Goutal and MFK we were thrilled at the choice. I ended up buying the Hermès Jardin of Monsieur Li gift set and extra body wash and a 30ml Samsara parfum which I have put off buying until now they have DCd the fabulous bottle. Having bought the EdT for my Mum many years ago it’s the Parfum I have long coveted and my little vintage 2ml is just a gasp away from empty.




From back in the mid 1990s a lovely girlfriend that used to come watch the shows and hang out in the clubs with us, Miharu, came into Shinjuku for dinner. It was a magical catch up and Jin was on his absolute most hilarious behaviour. We spent the night laughing, eating, wandering and catching up. So many wonderful memories and now a new set of Japan 2016 with Miharu.



OK, so we are now on the plane for South Korea to see Jin’s family. Loaded down with booze, sweets, money and love to pass on to his parents. This is the first time I get to meet his Grandma too. She was a very clever young woman and studied in Japan in her youth. Now she is suffering Alzheimers and Dementia we are hoping the Japanese sweets and savouries will give her a jolt into the past and present.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this very thin slice of Japan.
Where are you going for holidays next? Where would you go if money was no object?
Portia xx

What Perfumes Remind You Of Mum?


Post by Portia


Hello Fancy Fragrance Freaks,

Today I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for my Mum who died back in 2001 of leukaemia. She was an excellent Mum, not perfect of course but perfect for me. Sometimes when I’m cooking the meals she used to regularly make, there was a rotation of about 10 regular dinner meals and a couple of extra special ones, grocery shopping or cleaning the house I will be struck again by what a huge hole she left when she went. Questions that Mum always had the answers to, little bits of quiet advice or even the yelled loudly kind, I still miss them all.

So I thought we could all get in the mood and remember our Mums together through our shared hobby, fragrance.

What Perfumes Remind You Of Mum?

Mum loved fragrance. Not in a perfumista way but in an “It feels so glam to spritz with abandon” way. Never one to spritz the air and wander through mum wanted it on her skin and her scarf, a blazing scent trail riding slightly ahead and half a block behind. Why? Well my Dad was a notoriously stingy bastard and when Mum worked in their Jewellery and Watch shop as the saleswoman for the first few years of their marriage she made Dad get in Gifts as well. These included everything from Lladro and Wedgwood to Fragrance. Because it was good business for the shop person to be wearing the scents they sold the reps would give Mum bottles to liberally spritz and she fell in love with that luxury. For the rest of her life she always had a couple of fragrances in the house and one respritzer in her purse.

So which ones stand out in my memory? I have touched on most of these before in comments and posts but I thought it high time I brought them all together.


Anais Anais by Cacharel: This was only a one bottle fragrance for Mum because we all laughed so hard at her wearing Anus Anus. It does stand out in memory though because of that. Can’t remember the smell at all.


CHANEL No 5: Mum LOVED No 5 all the way through her life. It was the ultimate signal of luxury for her and that love has rubbed off on me. It was her “Going Out” fragrance for the big events. If ever Dad was winning awards, or charity events, her golfing dos or big birthdays it would be the waft throughout the house. I remember her hugging us goodbye and introducing us to whatever babysitter we had and CHANEL No 5 was the scent.


Giorgio Beverly Hills: HA! Even thinking about Giorgio makes me remember Mum’s cars. In my later teen years it was the respritz bottle in her handbag and the car would smell so strongly of it your clothes would basically be dry cleaned in a 10 minute drive. No matter what fragrance I was wearing I’d get out of the car smelling like Giorgio.


Samsara by Guerlain: I remember buying mum Samsara one Christmas with my pay check from being a Squirt Bitch at the Department Store as a Christmas holiday job. She was so thrilled that I had bought her fragrance and I remember her bragging to her girlfriends at the shop when they noticed her scent. I felt a million miles tall.


Shalimar by Guerlain: Shalimar wasn’t just my Mum’s perfume, a whole bunch ofd the crew wore it and sometimes sitting in the living room with them was like being in the middle of a Shalimar fumigation. It’s the fragrance I most relate to Mum even though she had other loves. Whenever I spritz its magical oriental dream I am immediately taken back to days when there seemed almost no cares other than swimming, running, biking and eating delicious home cooked meals.

There were a few more but now I want to hear what your mum wore please?
Portia xx





Stress and Perfumes!


Post by Sandra


Hi there fellow perfume aficionados. Hope ya’ll are doing well.

We received a life changing phone call a couple of weeks ago and it is now official – we are moving from Vienna, Austria to Rotterdam, The Netherlands! Yikes! I thought I would never leave Vienna, and yet here I am planning our move which comes unfortunately during the holidays this year.

Stress is of course the norm now but so is the anticipation and excitement. I have lived a largely nomadic lifestyle until I landed in Vienna and got married. Being a global nomad brings its challenges but also its treasures. Home is everywhere. Learning a new language and culture feeds my soul. Meeting new people and making new friends adds color to my life. As I grew up living in a number of countries I find the process of moving painful but the end effect and the nesting period exhilarating. For my husband and son it will be a different experience and I have to try and make it as smooth as possible for both of them. Hence, the stress.

Stress and Perfumes!

Perfumes have always given me a sense of comfort – a cloak in which I am invisible and I can be stronger than I am currently feeling. Here are a couple of perfumes I have been frequently wearing lately.


Micallef Cuir Vanille has given me a shield with which I protect myself. I can face the day knowing that the leathery vanilla will be there to soothe my anxieties.


Guerlan Cuir Beluga is my old trusted friend whose shoulder I can lean on for support and guidance. The soft suede laced with vanilla done as only Guerlain can do.

I tend to reach for amber or vanilla in stressful situations, but the other day I encountered a stunning perfume which made me feel like I was prepared for anything that may come. I wore Hermes Le Galop and was blown away at its morphing capabilities. It started out all fruity and slightly sour then moved to a leathery suede which made me feel strong. In the evening I noticed that the gorgeous gentle rose tinged with suede. My world seemed ok.


Last but not least – Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur – deep velvet red cushions embroidered with royal purple and golden threads. I rest my head and breathe a deep sigh of relief. Home.


My husband has turned to Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan – it smells completely different on him – smooth, rich, dry amber deliciousness. He has never before been complemented by a man on his choice of perfume until the other day … .


My son, seven years old, has always enjoyed a spritz or two of Hermès Un Jardin Sur la Toit until recently when he keeps wanting a spritz of Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 Mortal Skin. It must be that he is also needing an extra layer of perceived protection with all the stress.


As the moving date nears I will find it interesting which perfumes I will reach for most. Let me leave you with some of my recent pictures of Vienna which has been home for 22 years.








What perfumes do you wear when you are under a lot of pressure and stress? On another note, have any of you shopped for perfumes in The Netherlands? Any suggestions?

Samsara EdP by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1990


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Hello lovely-dovely sweetly-scented Perfumistas,

That was then: This is now
Life before and after the basenotes…….
Val CQ

I was gifted with a bottle of vintage (if you can use that word for a relatively young perfume) Samsara EdP last week. I haven´t worn it since the early nineties, nor retried it during my perfumista journey

Samsara EdP

I bought a bottle of the Samsara EdP in 1990. Lovely. Nice bottle. I carried on with my life.


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, ylang-ylang, peach, green notes
Heart: Jasmine, woodsy iris, narcissus, violet, rose
Base: Sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, amber, musk


Samsara EdP by Guerlain 1990

Samsara EdP by Jean-Paul Guerlain

“Oh my gosh! This is fabulous. It´s kind of lemony and leathery and is that jasmine, and wait, I think I read once there´s some sort of licorice note in it. Is there, can I smell it, concentrate hard, it must be there. I got it! Yeah, licorice. I found it. And yang-ylang and jasmine, I can’t believe I never knew. It´s so oriental, spicy, and SANDALWOOD? The Guerlain vanilla, tonka, orris, but WAIT I have never smelled sandalwood like this. Really? All this incredible sandalwood, which after Googling I found out was enhanced by John-Paul Guerlain whisking in a dash of polysantol, giving it a massive lift so it wouldn´t sit flat on the skin? Whoa (Thanks Monsieur G)”
I then pass out on the floor into an exhausted sandalwood oblivion.

Val CQ Samsara 2016Photo Donated Val CQ

Samsara EdP Conclusions

The question is which incarnation of me enjoyed it more? I have been pondering this question for the last week. My good grief, I can most certainly say I had NO idea when I wore it in the early 90s and I went through at least three bottles of it, that there were top, heart and basenotes. I just enjoyed the whole experience without having to think myself insane. But once you walk through that field of poppies and end up in Oz there is no going back. (And then you do think yourself insane!) Hard to fathom that I never clocked the sandalwood in it, and this IS a sandalwood bomb if ever there was one. Creamy and divine. I have come to the conclusion that
the younger me delighted in Samsara while the perfumista me delights in, savours, relishes, revels in, and most of all appreciates Samsara for the magnificent oriental Guerlain masterpiece that it is.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Black Narcissus
Any Guerlain counter or store will have Samsara
Surrender To Chance is selling out their Samsara EdT at $15/5ml

Any of you APJ readers had a similar experience? Do tell. 🙂

Batshit Crazy Perfumista Bussis