Incense Rose by Andy Tauer for Tauer Perfumes 2008




Hiya Fragrance Lovers,

Andy Tauer was my first niche perfume buy. He holds a special place in my heart because he was a pioneer. He let us see into his process of creating fragrance via his blog and opened a whole new world of ideas. What he was creating was revolutionary. That was the early days of niche and indie perfumes. We are so spoiled by a unbelievable onslaught of newness that I think it’s important to remind you all of some historically great perfumes that may become swamped and overlooked. Incense rose is one such, I’ve had this bottle ever since Andy first brought out the 3 x 15ml Explorer Set. Not sure why I never reviewed it. Remiss.

Incense Rose by Tauer Perfumes 2008

Incense Rose by Andy Tauer


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Clementine, Cardamom, Wild rose
Heart: Castoreum, Orris root, Frankincense
Base: Myrrh, Patchouli, Vetiver, Texas cedar

Sweet roses and jams, a zingy, bright and slightly green opening. All the citrus cut through pretty quickly by incense and iris but that just serves two highlight the fizzy drink nature of the top notes and ground them. For something that smells so strong initially Incense rose is remarkably diffuse smelling too. It’s huge but not overpowering or ferocious, more like a big friendly but well behaved dog.

06 Incense Rose Tauer Perfumes Incense_coils WikiMediaPDI


As the wood slides in under the rosy animalic incense, it seems to dry Incense Rose out. This is my favourite part of the fragrance. Still lightly sweet florals with a hint of urinous but now it’s contained in a box. I get mental images of wooden walled saunas.

Longevity is excellent and for the first hour or so the scent is quite large, then it dips back to a soft focus blur of scent. Still sweet rosy but now much attenuated and it’s incense with the upper hand and grassy woods.

06 Incense Rose Tauer Perfumes Incense_coils WikiMediaWikiMedia

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and I Smell Therefore I Am
Men’s Biz has $209/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples from $4/0.5ml

What is your Tauer of preference?
Portia xx

Sepia by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Perfumes 2012




Hey Hey Indie Lovers,

You probably already know the name Mandy Aftel. She writes books, creates perfumes, teaches natural perfumery, has a museum of perfume and is a general, all round great gal. The thing is, after the initial fanfare of a fragrance launch things go a bit quiet on the blog front for Indie perfumers. They don’t have enormous budgets and marketing teams, mostly they do it themselves with a couple of key helpers. Since I am wearing Sepia today I thought it might be a good time to remind you all about its beauty.

Sepia by Aftelier Perfumes 2012

Sepia by Mandy Aftel


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Blood cedarwood, Yellow mandarin, Pink grapefruit
Heart: Pink lotus, Strawberry, Jasminum grandiflorum, Cocoa, Coffee
Base: Tobacco blossom, Oud, Indole, Ambergris, Cepes (mushroom), Labdanum

Today’s review is from a bottle I paid retail for after falling madly in love with a sample Mandy sent me.

Sepia is a bit of a blockbuster on my skin. It is a warm and dusty, floral and powdery, woody, smoky, dry and sere fragrance. So much light and shade. It smells to me like rural Australia. I can close my eyes and smell the unbroken expanses of sun beaten, dessicated red-earth desert where the properties are 1000’s of square kilometers with sheep, wheat and cattle. Stark sun and shade, the dappling of eucalyptus beside a dam or creek.

Sepia by Aftelier Perfumes outback cattle farm PixabayPDI

Many of the smaller towns have been deserted in the last 50 years and stand silent, crumbling, with only their stone chimneys left like a mouth full of broken teeth. Our croplands have been bought by the big farming companies, overseas investors and the mining groups. Mum and Dad farms are becoming the rarity. Sepia is our Australian outback. A dream of how the perfect Australian outback was.

It is also lovely, wearable and surprisingly strong for a scent sold as a watercolour wash. After 3 hours it starts to smelling like attics and bookstores Sepia then warms and dirties towards dry down and remains as a skin scent remnant for hours.

Sepia by Aftelier Perfumes outback hills PixabayPDI

From Aftelier Perfumes website;
Dry woods: Sepia is a tint, a watercolor wash, an atmosphere, a memory

Further reading PerfumeShrine and TheAlembicatedGenie
Aftelier Perfumes has samples from $7

Are you a Mandy fan like me?
Portia xx

Cotton Musk by Ramon Monegal 2011




Hi there Fellow Fumies,

Ramon Monegal has been in his own business in Spain for 10 years, before that he worked for and then was in charge Myurgia and later Puig. He seemed to make a huge splash in the world frag markets in 2012 and for the next couple of years but lately I hear less and less about his house. It’s a shame because I really love his scents, the bottles and his whole aesthetic. Even todays offering of Cotton Musk, while being almost polar opposite to the fragrances I crave most, still wows me with its ethereal beauty.

Cotton Musk by Ramon Monegal 2011


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Ward rose, Gardenia, Frankincense, Vetiver, Madagascan vanilla, White musk

I bought my decant that I’m reviewing from on Surrender To Chance recently and it arrived yesterday. I cap sniffed about five scents and though not my personal style there was something interesting about Cotton Musk so that’s the one I spritzed.

Musk, vetiver and rose open the show, they smell sharp and chemical originally, like when you accidentally get a heavily scented shower gel in your mouth while bathing. It only lasts a few seconds before everything gets fluffy, soft and downy. Suddenly I am floating in a cartoon cloud all warm and cozy. The smell of fresh bedlinen in the morning after your first sleep in the cool of autumn, it still smells freshly washed and your body is warm and you have that safe feeling of home.

Cotton Musk Ramon Monegal jingdianjiaju2 minimalist bedroom-7 FlickrFlickr

Cotton Musk is all this but surprisingly it doesn’t feel friendly. There is a cool austerity that reigns through the heart and I think it’s the vetiver and incense providing a grounding point to stop the whole fragrance floating off into space. Plush but sober, it’s an interesting dichotomy but Ramon Monegal does it with such finesse. Really amazing is such a sheer fragrance.

The bouquet seems fairly space age and even as the vanilla moves through to a more prominent position it doesn’t warm or humanise Cotton Musk. As the fragrance sinks into your skin though it does grow from being a walk into a recently used laundry back to being the morning of an autumn sleep in clean sheets. With different pieces of the puzzle sitting forward it is quite a feat to get me thinking the same cozy thoughts I had in the opening. Bravo Mr Monegal.

Cotton Musk Ramon Monegal Crumpled-Bed-Linen-Sheets-Bedsheets maxPixel

Further reading: EauMG and Olfactoria’s Travels
LuckyScent has $185/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples from $5/ml

Do you like white musks in full laundry mode? Could this be your gateway?
Portia xx



Aria in F# Parfum by Christi Meshell for House of Matriarch 2017


Erica Golding


Hello to everyone out there in the world of fragrance!

Recently, I was thrilled to witness the live creation of a 99% natural perfume, note by note, learning excitedly from every detail shared. The experience was about an hour and it just flew by, absolutely enthralling – I was hypnotized and filled with awe! Christi Meshell graced the famous group Facebook Fragrance Friends with the honor of this masterfully blended treasure, with members voting on their favorite materials that were then blended right before our eyes:

Aria in F# Parfum by House of Matriarch 2017

Aria in F# Parfum by Christi Meshell


My notes below may not be perfectly accurate, but from what I recorded during the live event, Aria in F# is composed of:

Sandalwood Mysore (vintage and modern)
Amber accord
Whiskey accord
Rooibos Tea
Jasmine sambac
Cinnamon (a non-skin-irritating variety)
Ambergris tincture
Balsam fir
Leather accord
Orange blossom
Mandarin orange
Ambrette seed
Gaiac wood
Black currant
Tonka bean
Tuberose absolute
Pink pepper
Ylang ylang

The composition was built on a generous aliquot of vintage Mysore sandalwood as well as an equal volume of modern sandalwood. This genuine aroma is not super recognizable if you haven’t experienced it before. It has a powdery delicacy that sets it apart from the creamy, round sandalwood notes common in modern perfumery. After that, the materials that followed just had my heart leaping and aching with anticipation. The notes that I have listed at the end of this review speak to Christi’s dreamscape of materials and her gift of turning fantasy into reality.


As for my personal impressions of this parfum, Aria in F# is very complex, but fascinatingly, resonates within a tight wavelength. For me, if Aria in F# was music, it would be a heartachingly harmonious strings orchestra. When my fragrance synesthesia associates a perfume with violins and cellos, it’s always a good omen! At the opening, I sense peaceful precious woods with a flashing, ethereal morning dew of rose, jasmine, and orange blossom. There is only one drop of carnation absolute in this parfum, but other notes lift and enhance and intensify this aroma such that I would go so far as to say that carnation features dominantly in this fragrance. Resins, amber, and incense are important to the blend, but they are uncharacteristically effervescent.

Overall, the parfum is deceivingly subtle on my skin, revealing hidden new facets with every anointment, and it lasts far longer than expected – especially for an almost purely natural work of art. I love this more every time I wear it, it’s fascinatingly passionate and tender.



I love how perfumers have been connecting with their fans to create semi-bespoke scents like this. Have you tried Aria in F#, or perhaps The Longing, or Destrier, or any of the other House of Matriarch fan collaborations? Which perfumer do you wish would create a fantasy perfume just for you?

House of Matriarch samples start at $22

Until next time, stay fragrant!
Love and light,

Majaïna Sin by Emilie (Bevierre) Coppermann for The Different Company 2017




Hello New Addicted,

You may have noticed that I’m addicted to Travel Packs and Travel Size. There are a few reasons for this. The major one is that 10-30ml is all I’ll ever need of most fragrances, it is in fact a lifetime supply. Otherwise I like to be able to carry most of my frags on holidays in my carry on luggage*. There is a pleasure too in using up bottles, even a travel feels like an achievement.

Why am I telling you this? Just arrived in the mail this week are a brand new, paid retail because I freaking love it, sent from France The Different Company Travel Set and a bunch of 10ml refills for it. VERY exciting stuff.

The Different Company

Majaïna Sin by The Different Company 2017

Majaïna Sin by Emilie (Bevierre) Coppermann


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Candied Orange Bigarade, Bergamot, Neroli, Orange Blossom, Madagascar Ginger
Heart: Heliotrope, Orchid, Chestnut Cream, Madagascar Cinnamon, Maple Syrup
Base: Guatemala Tonka Bean, Amber, Sandal Album, Musk, Madagascar Vanilla Gold Extract

Majaïna Sin is part of the l’Esprit Cologne range from The Different Company. I also have the luscious Tokyo Bloom from that series and love it through the mid seasons and warmer months.

Ginger marmalade already backed by a soft focus vanilla is how Majaïna Sin opens for me with cinnamon. Warm and cosy yet not incredibly hefty, as counterpoint we are given an unexpected lightness and lift. Definite nods to bakery but somehow Emilie Coppermann has made it about something more interesting: creamy, spicy, smoky, resinous amber.


Charming is not a word I use often about fragrance but it keeps popping into my mind. We are not present with a groundbreaking, challenging fragrance in Majaïna Sin. It is different to what I have smelled before but not outrageously so. Here I feel like I’ve met an elegant friend that doesn’t overpower while still maintaining their place and adding to the conversation. I can easily imagine someone hugging you while you wear this and thinking, “MMMMMMM.”

The base is dryer and woodier but not by much and the fragrance fades into my skin with average longevity, way better than I expected from the l’Esprit range.


The Different Company has €18/10ml and €120/100ml

What is your favourite travel Set or single?
Portia xx


*I carry a just in case Wet Pack in my carry on with toothbrush, floss & paste, deodorant, stolen hotel shower gel and lotion, band-aids, sleeping pills, headache tablets, ear buds and a wash cloth. There are always at least 5 travel frags in there too. Also in cary on are spare undies, socks and polo shirt, Kindle, a bunch of cords, spare glasses, house keys and snacks. It usually clocks around 5kg. Even if my luggage doesn’t arrive I’m good.

Botticelli by Teone Reinthal for Teone Reinthal Natural Perfume 2015


Kate Apted


Hi APJ family!

One year, my poor mother gave up on her garden and in frustration, she threw all her seeds all over the remains of her failed attempt. She left nature to do its thing, unimpeded. She happens to like manicured English cottage gardens, where each plant is put in a spot for a purpose. She takes delight in tending to them and nurturing them with supports and regular feeding of nutrients. I, on the other hand, have an incredible attachment to wild cottage gardens that are overgrown and have eclectic flora. I relish with absolute delight in the surprise of finding new things and exploring the life within the seeming chaos. The scents are unpredictable and haphazard.

The garden worked. By next spring, nature had created a veritable oasis of flourishing peace. My mother was a little jealous that she had never quite executed a garden with the expertise nature had shown. The colours were exquisite, everything was healthy and there was space for so much to grow in complete harmony. The insect life that year was rich and abundant.


I found a natural perfume a few months ago that replicates such a garden. It is called Botticelli and is made by a talented and highly creative woman named Teone Reinthal.

Botticelli by Teone Reinthal Natural Perfume 2015

Botticelli by Teone Reinthal


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, petitgrain
Heart: Jasmine sambac, damask rose, juniper berries
Base: Patchouli, ambrette (musk mallow), oakmoss, labdanum, vetiver

It opens with a creamy warmth that comes from a musk and oakmoss heat, while radiating a citrus heart that stays around for hours. Much like a breeze brings gentle scents in waves from a rich garden, Botticelli does the same. It weaves around with facets of citrus and rose and jasmine, with a lightness of a butterfly. Just when I think I’ve understood Botticelli, there is a shift and the musk reigns for a moment. While each of the notes are lovely, it is the waft of the whole composition that makes Botticelli incredible.


I have a set of rules I use with this scent. I cannot wear this outside my home. I must apply it with a cotton ball that then gets stuffed inside my bra. I cannot wear it in the morning. I do not reapply it. It is almost as if Botticelli has its own nature that I cannot control and master. I cannot possibly know better! I suspect I get a little ‘away with the fairies’ whilst wearing Botticelli, so I think my rules are to protect me from dwelling in my inner universe when it isn’t appropriate. It meshes with my inner world in a way no other scent does, so when I need to be completely self composed I avoid Botticelli.
There is a wild woman, tribal elder quality to Botticelli that makes it sensuous, feminine and celebrates fertility in all its forms. At the same time, it has a barely constrained politeness to it that will not offend those in your presence. Mildly zesty and tart, yet mellow and creamy.

Teone Reinthal has Botticelli from $10/2ml Sample

Do you have scents that transport you to a place of personal happiness, where no one else can reach you? Or do you have quirky rules regarding a particular fragrance?

Until next time… Kate xx

Gekkou Hanami VdP by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz for DSH Perfumes 2017





Cherry blossoms are a common sight in Sydney during spring. They are planted along nature strips and road verges, for reasons I don’t know. There is also a Cherry Blossom Festival at Auburn Botanical Gardens which is hugely popular and a great ‘selfie’ opportunity for both old and young. I don’t know how this compares to the famous Cherry Blossom viewings in Japan, but I found Auburn very relaxing and fun.

My enjoyment of blossom season was enhanced by re-discovering their smell. Many spring florals, like cherry, intensify at night. You can stand under a cherry tree and find yourself surrounded by scent as it ‘falls’ down from the branches. I enjoyed the season so much that I started drafting an article on cherry and cherry blossom fragrances.


But then: I was side-tracked from writing by a visit to Portia for tea one day – he’d just received a bunch of adorable little roller ball samples from DSH Perfumes. He picked one out for me to try, and guess what? It was a cherry blossom fragrance!! The one he chose was Gekkou Hanami. Don’t you love a bit of synchronicity??

Gekkou Hanami VdP by DSH Perfumes 2017

Gekkou Hanami VdP by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Gekkou Hanami (Sakura gazing in the Moonlight)

DSH Perfumes

DSH Perfumes give these featured accords:
Acacia Honey Absolute, Green Rose Leaves, Osmanthus, Rice absolute, Sake (accord), Sakura Blossom (accord), Ambrette Seed, Frankincense co2 Absolute, Hinoki, Virginia Cedar, Bulgarian Rose Otto, Osmanthus Absolute, Rosewater, Waterlily, Tunisian Neroli, Yuzu

Gekkou Hanami opens clean and slightly metallic with a burst of green cut flower stems supporting a delicate floral note. The cut flower effect slowly fades over 10 minutes to reveal the subdued lemony-style citrus of yuzu. Over time a combination of woody notes comes through, I get a cedar but there’s something in there which has a subtle dry grey smokiness.

Reapplying the fragrance a few times over the course of a day strengthens the notes in different ways – sometimes I get more florals, other times it takes on a sheer shimmering quality. I’m fascinated by the combined strength & gentleness of this fragrance. It is a breath of spring air that brings you to your senses, uplifting and grounding at the same time. I really enjoy it and wish that it had been in my life during the season just past. I’d love to try this as a spray and see how it opens up the fragrance. As it is, the little roller ball has lasted me ages – I’ve worn and re-worn this over a two week period and only used half of the sample.

Further reading: The Fragrant Journey and Redolent Mermaid
DSH Perfumes have Gekkou Hanami from $6 sample vials

Thank you Portia for the chance to try this beautiful gem!

Do you own or have you tried any DSH Perfumes?

Till next time,
Tina G