Scent Diary: 20.3 – 26.3.17

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Portia

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Scent Diary: 20.3 – 26.3.17

Monday 20:

Luxumbourg has an excellent cafe/chocolatier on the Place Guillaume. we had afternoon tea there and wrote postcards.

I might have bought these in a corner perfumery with a 20% discount. YAY!

Tuesday 21:

Arrived in Paris around lunchtime. We are staying in a new to us hotel near the Arc de Triomphe. Coming out of the Metro on the escalator and being hit with one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks is pretty spectacular.

Obligatory Serge Lutens flagship store visit. Bought Jin a new MKK because he is going through his bell jar rather quickly and got Scotty something too for house minding our place. SHHHH.

Near the Louvre Museum they had a memorial to all the homeless that died in Paris last year. Hundreds of them, not all with names, were represented by a flowering plant. We laid a rose and said a prayer for one who died on Jin’s birthday. Very moving tribute and a woman danced through the memorial to French provincial music played by a smell band.

Yes, went to Guerlain Champs Elysees store but did not purchase. they still have Liu if you’re looking for it.

Dinner with Nicolas & Enno from Le Galion and Aether. They are bloody wicked company and we laughed and chatted the night away. So glad we are mates with such clever, passionate men about life, work and fragrance.

Scored the brand newest Aether scent and will be doing a giveaway when we get back so you can try it too. Based on the smell of hot metal and made with only captured molecules Methaldone is really good stuff. Freaky, wearable and smells good to me.

Wednesday 22:

Since 2013 Jin and I have reminisced about having crepes for breakfast one morning in a market with our mates Aaron & Gerard. They were delicious and it was a great thing to do. Jin decided we would repeat the adventure and painstakingly worked out where the market was and on which days it is open. They were as good as we remembered and it was fun to go back.

Then we went inside Notre Dame. We have been outside a few times but never went in. This time we went in and lit candles for friends & family. Beautiful.

Here I wear the Eiffel Tower as a hat. This is the bridge near Princess Diana’s tunnel where she died. Still sad.

In the afternoon we went to the Grand Palais and saw the Rodin exhibition. Really interesting look at an artist that I know not very much about. We learned a bit but more than anything I loved that he was a great sketcher and we saw a lout of his drawings/inks and that captured my imagination more than anything else.

Jin called this the Beyonce Single Ladies statue. We bloody lost it and all the French matrons looking at us like we were from outer space as we laughed and did Single Ladies singing & dancing impersonations.

Thursday 23:

Ahhh, Galleries Lafayette. I know that Printemps is posher but the shiver of excitement I feel whenever we shop beneath that glittering dome is worth more than anything. Yes, bought the Hermes Collection Colognes. The Hermès SA loaded us up with extras too and made me SWEAR I’d come back and shop with her. Indeed I will.

We saw the Pissaro exhibition, excellent. Seeing the way he grew as an artist. There were all sorts of wonderful pieces in the pointillist, separatist, impressionist genres but interestingly he also had a sideline in simple watercolour and gauche paintings that were really easily sold by his art dealer. That was the way he paid the rent and fed his family. It also meant he could pursue his grand pieces. The last ones were so magnificently painted that they looked like the light was streaming out of them, as if backed by light boxes. Unbelievable.

We tried to go to the Louis Vuitton Foundation but there was no exhibition on. Having paid for the best tickets available we were a bit grumpy. The building is a ridiculous conglomeration of hideous architecture wankings anyway. What a pile of shit.

 

Friday 24:

OMG! Jin and I flew to Milan in the early morning, had some lunch and then met a few of the frag crew in clouding Val the Cookie Queen. We then went in to Escxence. It is enormous, filled to the gills with perfume houses. So many of them brand new and hardly any of my most loved.

Charles de Gaulle had an interesting selection of Mass-Tige fragrances including Diptyque, Amouage, Lutens and Goutal.

Val the Cookie Queen is mortally afraid of photographs, weird because she’s so beautiful.

Nick (I’m sorry I didn’t get a pic with Pia too) Gilbert and Lucasz from Chemist In A Bottle

Antonio Gardoni of Bogue and Francesco from Luckyscent

Adam & Francesco from LuckyScent, Vero Kern, Neela Vermeire and up the back Judith Fox, Val CQs best friend (and psychotherapist). This is my favourite Esxence pic by far.

It was so overwhelming that I only allowed 3 houses to give me their sample sets. I already love Miller & Bartaux, their product is weird and wonderful while remaining perfectly wearable.
Atelier des Ors is a favourite of Ainslie Walker and I know Megan their rep.
Brand new and winner of the worst brand name ever Homoelegans, I liked one of their frags particularly, more on that later.

We finished the day with a bunch of great mates for dinner. They all really needed a quiet wind down and we found a spectacular candlelit restaurant close by that served wonderful food for very decent prices. Petit is the name and they worked hard to make it a special evening for us all.

Saturday 25:

Started my morning at the Milano Savoy with Aussie milliner to the stars Naomi Goodsir. I bloody love her.

This years offering is Nuit de Bakelite. It’s green with a tuberose heart. The closest analogy I can make is a 21st century Niki de Saint Phalle EdT.

The Duomo. The Pope was in town, he missed us by minutes.

Neela and Jin. The display was gorgeous at the NVC stand and Neela was swamped by people all day, every day.

At Campo Marzio 70. I might have bought a Kiki Extrait at retail, so good.

Farewell to Vero Kern & Antonio Gardoni with Val the cookie queen.

I might have got this to…….

Sunday 26:

Up early for a farewell breakfast with Val the Cookie Queen and Judith. Saying goodbye to people we love is shit.

We dropped into Esxence to see Neela and she gave us a bottle of Bombay Bling to photograph on our travels in Milan today. BIG responsibility. Jin is up for the challenge.

A cup of tea with Neela before bed. The fragrances she creates are as warm, wonderful and delicious as Neela herself. I love her passion and perfectionism.

So what has happened in your week, fragrant or otherwise?
Portia xx

Fed Up With Fragrance? Perfumed Apathy!

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Hello APJ Readers!

The very fact that you are reading this already shows that you are at least one step beyond a normal person. Normal as in spritz and go and pay no attention at all to what you are wearing. I sometimes wish I could be like that, but there is not turning back is there? It is a very real part of the perfume junkie obsessive compulsive disorder, well mine at least. Analysing fragrances can be so exhausting.

Apathy set in a couple of months ago. I´m like, so bored with all this perfume stuff. I have some beautiful perfumes, but just haven´t been feeling the groove. However that most certainly does not mean I have wanted to stop wearing fragrance. That is a point I have not yet reached! I don´t feel properly dressed without perfume and probably never will, it brings great joy.

Fed Up With Fragrance? Perfumed Apathy!

MY CURRENT GRAB AND GO, NO ANALYSING OR DISSECTING NECESSARY FAVES

Fragrantica

CHANEL N°5 Parfum

After years of not having renewed my bottle of this I bought one at the end of last year. Am now half way through it. Sensual, rich and exquisite. Not to be confused with any other version of N°5. This is not all about aldehydes, we are talking vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber …….. Divine. Try it if you haven´t.

Fragrantica

CHANEL Boy EdP

Definitely a rare spray and go for me. Heliotrope, vanilla and musk. Hints of lavender and fruits. Lovely.

Fragrantica

Vero Profumo Kiki Extrait

So familiar with Kiki that it melts into my skin and just becomes a part of me. Luscious lavender, caramelised musks, patchouli, ambergris. Stunning.

Fragrantica

 

Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan

Came to this beauty extremely late. I only have a 15ml travel bottle and will be purchasing a full bottle. Have only worn it in the winter months. Smoked tea, apricot, bright, juicy, and yet resting on a bed of suede. A vibe of elegance and simplicity. Gorgeous.

Donated Val XX

But fear not! I am off to the Esxence in a month. Not only is NAJA, the new Vero Profumo ready for launch, but rumour has it I will be picking Portia up from the airport too. Coma sniffing, bring it on.

What do you wear when you´re kind of fed up with it all?

Bussis
CQ

 

3 Best 2016 Fragrance Buys

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Portia

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Hello Fragrant Family,

We have suddenly jumped into 2017 and we’ve had some time to reflect. I’ve been madly going through my fragrance wardrobe to find things that need to be culled. Already 31 full bottles and some excess lotions have found new homes and I’m pretty chuffed about that. Hopefully I can sell or gift at least another 70 so my cull will reach 100.

Obviously the cull will merely make space for more fragrances. It’s a vicious cycle and Scott & I have a theory that it’s the hunting & buying that brings me the most pleasure anyway. Especially the vintage stuff.

Anyway, in my cleanup I’ve found a bunch of my 2016 fragrant purchases and was wondering which of them I get the most wear and enjoyment from.

3 Best 2016 Fragrance Buys

Here are my regulations for the choice:
1: Only bought in 2016, release or manufacture date irrelevant.
2: Must be a bottle, can be used or new at purchase time.
3: Can not be a backup
4: Can not be a replacement

So here are my 3 Best 2016 Fragrance Buys

Fragrantica

Morn To Dusk by Eau d’Italie: 
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lily of the valley
Heart: Vanilla
Base: Musk

Crunchy vanilla with a few bells & whistles. Probably too simple for most perfumistas and could very easily be a perfect ambient scent rather than fine fragrance but I love it. So warm and enveloping. It really does last from Morn To Dusk too and goes through some cool to warm and then lightly fleshy to end.

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li Hermes FragranticaFragrantica

Monsieur Li by Hermès:
Fragrantica
 gives these featured accords in one line:
Kumquat, jasmine, mint

I know. Most of you didn’t adore this baby. JCEs Hermès swansong, but it smells good on me and people notice it and comment favourably. It is the perfect spritz and go, or spritz and sit. Today I wore it while paying bills and it kept me calm as my available cash reserves dwindled. No mean feat.

Sang Bleu Le Galion FragranticaFragrantica

Sang Bleu by Le Galion: 
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Galbanum, orange, bergamot, lemon, wormwood, rosemary, eucalyptus, geranium, jasmine, rose, violet, pink pepper, carnation, cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver

The Le Galion crew make wonderful fragrances. Why the hell isn’t EVERYONE madly in love with their shit? Sang Bleu is as perfectly composed as the rest of the line, smells great but not challenging and lasts well throughout a hectic day. Not to mention how lovely the bottles are visually and tactilely. Sang Bleu is a unisex cologne loaded for romance.

So of all my fragrant buys in 2016 these three have the most air in them and are most regularly used around the house on personal scenting time.
What are your 3 Best 2016 Fragrance Buys?
Portia xx

 

Un Jardin Après la Mousson by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2008

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

In an effort to combat Sydney’s summer heat and humidity, I’ve been seeking out fragrances that I find refreshing. These have ranged through modern and retro aquatics, juicy citrus, and magnolia.

Un Jardin Après la Mousson by Hermès 2008

Un Jardin Après la Mousson by Jean-Claude Ellena

A new fragrance in my wardrobe is Un Jardin après la Mousson by Hermès. I can’t say what exactly made me race off to buy a full bottle of this, but one sniff in David Jones was enough to make me swoon – and so it’s now mine. The official blurb on this fragrance locates it somewhere unspecific in India, taking us to a garden which was in drought but has now been refreshed by monsoon rains. I’ve never been to India but I’ve experienced heavy tropical rains in Papua New Guinea, and the solid downpours can be quite punishing – here’s hoping that the imaginary garden of this fragrance survived the onslaught.

Un Jardin après la Mousson opens with a burst of warm spices and watery notes. Ginger, cardamom and black pepper waft up into the air. There’s a distinctive green melon note which develops at 5 minutes giving the watery effect but in a fruity and very mildly fetid way rather than anything specifically river/ocean/storm related. I really enjoy this combination, I have been finding that it cuts through the summer heat and provides a refreshing aura that even manages to get me through morning public transport in train carriages with no airconditioning. Urg. Speaking of punishing….

Wikipedia

And, as far as fragrance development goes, it is fundamentally linear. At 3 hours, the pepper and melon have softened appreciably, and there is a light white floral accord that I find very subtle and pretty. Reapplying at 4 hours for me brings out the sweet aspects of cardamom and a touch of coriander seed in the background. I’m not sure I find much ‘vetiver’ in there. Longevity is good – there’s still tangible scent on my skin at +8 hours even without a respritz.

The joy in this fragrance for me is very much in the wearing. In the summer heat, it becomes more beautiful and “lived-in” with an added touch of salty skin and dry summer dust. I think this fragrance is wonderful on its own but it is enhanced though use, it’s meant to be worn and be part of a day rather than placed up on a pedestal and admired.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Olfactoria’s Travels
Hermès stores and department stores carry the Jardin range

What fragrances do wear to cut through, or compliment, the summer heat?

Till next time,
Tina G

5 Favourite Tea Perfumes

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

It’s tea-time. I thought I’d share with you a quick snap-shot of a few of my favourite tea fragrances.

5 Favourite Tea Perfumes

Fragrantica

BVLGARI – Eau Parfumée Collection

This collection of five fragrances is a touch-stone for anyone wanting to explore tea scents. Green, white, red, blue and black, they are all magnificent colognes. Au Thé Rouge, with pink pepper and roobios tea, is probably my favourite. It’s followed closely by Au Thé Bleu that replicates a sparkling blue summer sky in my mind, with oolong tea notes, lavender, iris, peppery shiso and has its longevity strengthened with the use of musks.

Fragrantica

Comme des Garçons – Series 1 Leaves: Tea

CdG Tea is to Bvlgari Eau Parfumèe what saddle leather is to suede. With notes of lapsang souchong and thick mate (pronounced maa-tey) it is dark, smoky and heady. More for the experienced ‘tea’ lover. I absolutely hated it the first time I smelt it, but was so intrigued that I kept going back it it, and ended up buying a bottle. (Welcome to my world….)

Fragrantica

Hermès Hermessence Collection – Osmanthe Yunnan

Well this could be considered a mix of two teas – herbal osmanthus flower, and black tea from the Yunnan Province, China. The osmanthus is the star of the show with its apricot floral notes softly supported by a gentle very slightly peppery black tea. It’s linear but beautiful. I wore this all the way through the Christmas/New Year period – light, elegant, easy in the summer heat and not overwhelming for social meet ups.

Fragrantica

Baruti – Chai

Chai is the perfect comforting tea scent, with its milky mix of warm spices and a touch of rose in the dry down. It’s being inside on a rainy day all snuggled up with a blanket, fluffy jumper & great chai tea. Yuuuummmmmm!!!

Fragrantica

Masque Milano – Russian Tea

This fragrance is a joy to wear, particularly because it has at least four distinct changes through the drydown – a treasured feature in my mind. I absolutely love the mint in the opening of this fragrance. It is black tea and spearmint, with hints of black leather closer to the skin. At 1 hour an incense comes through, and at two hours I find a wonderful dark honey note. Then at around four hours it goes funky & animalistic. Wow. Why do I not have a full bottle of this?

What are your favourite tea fragrances?

Have a great start to your week!

Tina G xx

How Do You Decide What Perfume To Wear?

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Portia

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Hey APJ,

Sometimes I look at my collection and the size is completely overwhelming, making it really hard to choose what fragrance to wear that day. Does this ever happen to you? Happens around here with monotonous regularity.

How Do You Decide What Perfume To Wear?

So, there are a few ways I use to combat the “Too Many Blues” like grabbing a random sample and spritzing away, using an old favourite like Guerlain Shalimar, Parfums DelRay Amoureuse or Cacharel Liberté. Other times I do what I did today, walked over to me desk and grabbed the fist thing my eyes rest on. It was

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2015

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li Hermes FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Kumquat, jasmine, mint

It’s high summer here and raining so a perfect fit. All that gorgeous oily citrus offset with refreshing mint. Wears so easily in the hot or cold and though I’m hardly a One Bottle Guy, Monsieur Li could very easily fit the bill if I had to become one. I wore it to dinner the other night with a bunch of mates and got two random compliments. Very happy with that. especially because I feel it is such an under the radar scent.

Below is the last of us on that night, there were 10 more but this pic are the ones who stayed and drank Turkish Coffee. OMG! That was definitely a new experience. From left: Me, Jin, Jocelyn Fullerton of Cult Of Scent, TinaG, Craig, Scott, Paul.

From Hermès:
“I remembered the smell of ponds, the smell of jasmine, the smell of wet stones, of plum trees, kumquats and giant bamboo. It was all there, and in the ponds there were even carp steadily working towards their hundredth birthday.” Jean-Claude Ellena
Le Jardin de Monsieur Li describes a Chinese garden somewhere between reality and imagination. A place for meditation where strolling is allied to thought, and every step sets the imagination free.

Back in 2015 when Monsieur Li was released I talked about it on Australian Perfume Junkies. You can get it at most department stores and even on the online discounters.

So what do you do when confronted by this conundrum?
How Do You Decide What Perfume To Wear?
Portia xx

Elixir des Merveilles by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2006

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Post by Claire Vukcevic

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Hello APJ!

Christmas time is a-coming! Time to talk about orange scents, in other words. First up – Elixir des Merveilles.

Elixir des Merveilles by Hermès 2006

Elixir des Merveilles by Jean-Claude Ellena

elixir-des-merveilles-hermes-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Peru balsam, vanilla sugar, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, patchouli, Siam resin, caramel, oak, incense, orange peel, cedar

God, Elixir des Merveilles is such a weird perfume. The first time I tried it, I remember thinking –this right here is why people hate perfume. It was overly rich, sweet, muddy, with all the elements jumbled together in that overdone blur that defines “Rich Bitch” perfumes to me. The second time I tried it, I thought “I should learn how to read labels better” because I’d been aiming for the Ambre bottle.

Third time round, something clicked for me and I began to like it. Now I have odd, sudden cravings for it. I think it’s because I was finally able to figure out its structure. There are two sides to Elixir des Merveilles – the syrupy orange peels dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt on one side, and on the other, a massively butch clutch of resins and moss. It’s basically a super-gourmand grafted onto a super hairy-balled aftershave.

elixir-des-merveilles-hermes-natalie-greco-clown-shoes-flickrFlickr

Both sides are as oversized as clown shoes. The oranges dipped in caramel and chocolate are sweet to the point of being grotesque. One minute you think it’s gorgeous, the next you think, Christ, this stuff is absolutely gross. The sprinkling of what feels like celery salt over the treacly mass is probably one step too far. I swing between feeling repulsed to wanting more. The countermanding element is rather chypre-like: a brusque, musky cedar, smoky balsams and resins, moss. It’s really quite dry, bitter, and smoky.

The exaggerated forms of the two parts give the perfume a cartoonish Jessica Rabbit shape. It’s like watching an overloaded plane trying to take off or Kim Kardashian walk across the road in a tight skirt. You half fear it’s going to topple over any minute. But somehow the whole thing seems to hang together and work quite well. It’s a great winter gourmand, and the oranges and resins make me think of Christmas and oddly, Theorema.

Just don’t put this on if you’re not in the right mood for it, because it sticks like glue and seems to grow grander by the minute. At times, I find it enveloping and rich – just right for a cold winter’s day. But at other times, it begins to wear me down. When my hand glides over the small bottle of it that I bought, I have to think twice before putting it on.

elixir-des-merveilles-hermes-winter-woman-loganart-pixabayPDI

 

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Non-Blonde
Hermes stores and department stores stock Elixir des Merveilles
FragranceX has it around the $100/50ml mark
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3/ml

What about you guys? Do you have any perfumes that you hesitate before putting on because they are either such a huge commitment? Or because sometimes you enjoy them and other times they make you want to hurl? M/Mink and Myrrhe Ardente are both a little like Elixir des Merveilles in that way for me.

Slán!

Claire

Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off<<JUMP