Scent Diary: 18.9 – 24.9.2017

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Portia

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Hey Crew,

I’m home. Best place on earth.

What a holiday, heaps more India to share. More friends, fun, food and especially fragrance.

Scent Diary: 18.9 – 24.9.2017

Monday 18:

OK, it’s Monday morning and I’m in Alwar, Rajasthan, India. Can’t sleep because Australia is having a non-binding postal vote about Equality, Marriage Equality to be specific. The hate, lies and vitriol spewed by the NO camp has me nearly hyperventilating with rage and a resurgence of the sinking feeling that comes from external bullying (the internal can be pretty bad too) that I know so well from a basically sunlit youth full of sly, snide, confrontational, half-heard, whispered, shouted, aggressive, implied and ultimately violent homophobia.

If you are Australian and have not yet voted, PLEASE VOTE YES.

FAST DAY!! I know, bet you never thought you’d read me saying that? Well, Varun fasts twice a week, he’s allowed juice and fruit till sunset. We added masala chai to the list and some peanuts for me at around 6pm because I was about to eat the furniture.

Varun and I did some more shopping today. Some final gifts. We sat in the shade drinking soda and watched the world go by for a happy 20 minutes.

Wearing Oliver & Co Vaninger today. It’s a freaky, weird ginger masala chai scent and smells SO GOOD in the Indian heat.

Dinner was with Varun, Mummy and Pappa and Achal (their older son). The food was wonderful. They are a pretty quiet family when they’re together so conversation was happily sporadic.

Afterwards I was ambushed with an after dinner party. The LAST thing on my list of things to do. There’s a particular person at these events who tries to negatively engage people, you know opens with a derogatory comment. This years opening gambit was “Hello, you got so bald.” I shook his hand, thanked him, turned on my heel and walked out of the party. Varun didn’t even have to be asked, he just handed me the car keys and off I went. The bully came after me saying, “Aussies aren’t such wimps” and equally endearing things. Finally he came up behind me, grabbed my shoulders and said in my ear, “Surely I haven’t offended you.” My reply was to shrug him off, say, “Yes….. Don’t touch me” and get in the car, locking the door. The usual going and froing of host and bully entreating me to stay. Nope. I wasn’t angry, passionate or riled, “I am nearly 50 years old. I don’t need to be around and deal with assholes. Thank you for the invitation and hospitality but I’m not interested in joining you. Please take this time to teach your friend some manners. Thank you, goodbye.” Varun got in the car and we drove away.

I didn’t stand up to a bully but I did call his bad behaviour and refuse to engage without raising my voice or even blood pressure. It felt, and feels still, powerful in resistance. Right now I’m proud of how it went.

Now, I’m going to read for a bit and then hit the hay.

Tuesday 19:

It’s my last full day in India. Varun and I had breakfast together, he came to my room and we drank lashings of masala chai with jam toast and fruit. He has some catch up work to do so I’m taking my Kindle and going down to the garden to read in the sun.

When I got back to my room I really wanted some fragrance so chose Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur. The most precious beauty of her collection for me. A perfect fit coming in hot and sweaty, it gave the fragrance a whole new lived in feel.

Painted some signs for the hotel, there were about 7 in all but these two are the ones I really loved.

Varun and I went to a nearby hotel, one of the Neemrana group, for lunch. It was a buffet and the selection, quality, taste and presentation were super fabulous. There were enough waitstaff for one per person because the restaurant was pretty quiet. Can’t compliment the experience enough. Dessert was this incredible dish, like deep fried cookie dough, that you have with ice cream. Words fail me…..

At night we hung out at Varun’s hotel. Very chill last night. We ate, chattered and finished off the signs. The night was tinged with the sadness of me leaving tomorrow but still fun. We are so comfortable with each other nowadays that some thinking time between sentences is expected.

Wednesday 20:

Woke up, showered and drenched myself in vintage Miss Dior parfum.

Varun took me for my farewell and Birthday lunch. He’s so funny. PIZZA HUT! My first fast food since arriving in India. It was bloody delicious and he was so chuffed with himself for thinking of it. How could anyone fail to love someone so wonderful?

Then he took me shopping for my Birthday Present. I protested but to no avail. He was determined, and that happens so rarely that I let him have his moment. It was sweet and lovely. I will wear my gift and think of him every time.

On the road, four hours from Alwar to Delhi Airport. Varun and I said our goodbyes at the hotel and now I have a driver who will drop me. As the miles fly by I’m reflecting on what a perfect two weeks we have had. So lucky to have this guy still in my life after 17 years as a lover and BFF.

Woo Hoo! Even though I’m flying China Southern Economy because they are star Alliance and I am Morning Calm with Korean Air I get preferential treatment! That means Priority Boarding and access to the Delhi Airport Business Lounge. Meaning I get free food and drink, have a comfortable seat and super clean toilets while I wait.

I might have done some Duty Free Shopping. I clearly have a problem but I WANTED THEM ALL!!!

CHANEL Antaeus Deodorant Stick, CHANEL Coco Shower Gel & Soap, Gucci Absolue, Narciso Rodriguez EdT and the NEW Guerlain Les Absolus d’Orient 15ml Travel Set

The girl at the Check In desk could not have been sweeter or more helpful. She even gave me a window seat with extra leg room!!

Thursday 21:

Arriving in China next morning there was a girl waiting at the gate with my name on a board. You have to HURRY only 12 minutes till your plane goes. SHIT!!!! She grabbed me and ran, like a marathon running ex-paramilitary sergeant, to the Transfer Gate. Here she ran me past the lines to the Special Needs line, pushed past a group of wheelchairs, and got me to the front where they stamped my passport. Then she RAN me through security, screaming at everyone along the way, and along to our gate another 500m away. I was puffing and blowing like a steam train by now. We get to the gate and I’m like, “Do I have to run down the gangway?” She looks at me and says, “I’m so sorry. Wrong information. One hour twelve minutes. So sorry.” We look at each other and basically collapse laughing, I can’t even breathe at this point. Hilarious. So I take a seat and get my breath back before boarding at a much more dignified pace.

China Southern came through again with an exit row.

We get into Sydney about 30 minutes late at 8pm. Jin is already waiting at the exit gate for me. I get quickly through the electronic passport control and am only the second from our flight at the Baggage Carousel. So I wait, and wait, and wait. There are three bags left on the carousel, none mine. I go to the Baggage Desk and ask. “Oh yes, your luggage did not get on the plane. It will be coming tomorrow.” OK, no biggie. Poor Jin has been waiting at the gate for nearly two hours though so he is less than impressed.

That first hug, when you get to bury your face in their neck and smell home. NOTHING on earth is so good. It’s only been two weeks but I clearly missed this wonderful man.

Doing stuff around the house till nearly midnight and decided the thing I wanted most in the world was a Bubble Bath. Lalique Homage Shower Gel became my bubbling juice. It’s a wonderful masculine scent and it was the perfect balm to 24 hours of travel.

Friday 22:

YAY! I’m home. Jin has a couple of days off and we can hang out together. Slept in till 10am and woke up to a perfect spring sunshiny day. The smell of him cooking mo-mos was all it took to rouse me from my slumber. No one on earth makes them better. A quick swipe in soy sauce and I’m in heaven. Perfect welcome home meal.

I have caught a bit of a throat infection somewhere along the way and am coughing up some spectacular globs of green and yellow.

ALSO, I spend nearly 3 weeks in India eating street, home and restaurant food. My body loves it and is doing perfect poo. Come home for 24 hours and I’m shitting soup. What is wrong with me?

There was quite a bit of perfumed box mail on the table for me when I arrived home. Here’s a pic of the haul while I was gone. Guerlain Mitsouko EdT, Korres Japanese Rose Shower Gel x 2, Bal A Versailles parfums 30ml & 7ml, Tabac Original Shave Soap refill

Today has been a lazy day hanging around the house with Jin, catching up here on the blog and drinking litres of tea with honey & lemon, hoping to break this cough up.

Wearing the furry, sweet, skanky goodness of Bal a Versailles EdT & parfum. I smell so freaking gorgeous.

We went to Outback Steakhouse tonight for Blooming Onions and STEAK! It was bloody delicious. I’m so full that my tummy physically hurts. OwOwOOOOWWWWWWW but happy.

Tonight at 8.45pm the luggage arrives from the airport. Couriered to my home. Thank you China Southern Airways and Sydney Airport Baggage Department.

Saturday 23:

Good morning Saturday. I’m so excited. The dogs are coming home today! YAY! I love having Paris around to cuddle and walk. The house feels a little empty without them both.

The Pharrell Williams Girl bottle jumped out at me today screaming WEAR ME! I did. Longevity is only very short but it’s fun to respritz. Amusingly Jin asked me if I was wearing Joop!

YAY! They are back and cuddles were in order.

It’s 35C today! WOW! Bloody hot out there.

This afternoon Kath & I went for our first swim of the season. It was pretty cold but after a few seconds my body attuned and I was in for a short while, did a couple of laps and got out. As I was drying myself off we realised that my Tigers Eye bracelet had broken so in I went again and hunted beads, very hard when you’re as blind as I am.

Home to change and thought I’ll just lie down for a minute with Paris. OOOPSIE! Woke up hours later. Missed out on seeing Phil and it was already time for dinner. Jin and I had Chinese at a BarBQ place he’s wanted to eat at for ages. The place smells dirty and the food is presented in varying shades of brown, no colour or excitement. I will say that it tasted delicious, seriously great. He will have to go there alone next time or do take away.

I’ve got this weird phlegmy cough. Jin has made a Tupperware container of his fave Korean remedy. Sliced Lemon, Lime, Dates and Ginger. Steep in water with or without tea, add honey to taste.

Before bed I drank two jugs of the remedy, a bunch of water and spritzed Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele. Who doesn’t feel better when smelling of fruity osmanthus leather? Goodnight all.

Sunday 24:

GAWD! I’m so sick. Nose running uncontrollably. Coughing like a 70 year old chain smoker. Sweating.

BLEAUGH!!!

Tried to get a fill in for work tonight. The girls are busy. Going in feeling like shit.

Had a super hot bubble bath in LUSH Rose Jam, used Amouage Dia lotion and Parfum.

 

OK, enough about me. How was your week? Anything fun, fragrant, food or friend related happen?
Share, we love it.
Portia xx

 

“Kaleidoscopic India” au 68 – Guerlain mini movie

Hey Hey APJ,

I wish I could have been in Paris to see this exhibition. Guerlain and India, two of my most treasured passions.

Did any of you get to see the exhibition? I’d love to read your impressions.

Portia xx

guerlain Kaleidoscopic India exhibition TwitterPhoto Stolen Guerlain Twitter

“Kaleidoscopic India” au 68 – GUERLAIN

Vernissage de l’exposition proposée au 68, Champs-Elysées dans le cadre du parcours privé de la FIAC, du 17 octobre au 14 novembre 2014. (Second video is in untranslated French, it’s pretty though I can’t understand it)

“Kaleidoscopic India” au 68 – GUERLAIN

Beyond Paradise by Calice Becker for Estée Lauder 2003

Hello Hello Hello,

While moving I have rediscovered an old favourite bottle.

Way back in the early years of this century I had a beautiful partner called Varun, we traveled often to his homeland India. On our first journey to India I was taken by the lovely smell of jasmine and marigold that women would wear in ropes in their hair, a thick, rich and intoxicating smell that could become completely overpowering in a small shop with two or three women thus adorned.

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder  taj-mahalPhoto Stolen Pixabay

So 2000, 2001 and 2002 visits were filled with this glorious and enchanting waft at unexpected times, not every woman would wear the garlands and I never found out what prompted it though at weddings they were everywhere. Sadly the practice is seen less and less in modern Incredible India.

Beyond Paradise by Calice Becker for Estée Lauder 2003

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, blue hyacinth, Jaboticaba berry, lemon, bergamot, grapefruit
Heart: Laelia orchid, pink honeysuckle, Japanese mahonia, jasmine, gardenia
Base: Natal plum blossom, golden melaleuca, zebrano wood, ambrette seed, amber

Fast forward now to 2003, and I am traveling alone to meet Varun who has had to go home to run the family business. As I’m walking though the Duty Free an Estee Lauder rep hands me a miniature bottle shaped like a teardrop with my gifting purchases. The bottle itself was so beautiful, exquisite, a rainbow teardrop and inside was a fragrance filled with bittersweet heartache. The smell of glamotous Indian women wearing their jasmine and marigold hair garlands, the hot wet heat of southern India’s spring and the cooling breeze blowing over lotus ponds into Kerala wooden pole houses. On my first sniff I was overcome with nostalgia and nervous tummy butterflies of anticipation.

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder Flower_garland WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Ha ha ha! Of course, I arrive in India and Varun is like, “What for are you wearing that nasty cheap roadside stall jasmine oil?” Ha Ha ha! So away my little bottle went for that holiday but on my return Beyond Paradise became the scent of India for me. Even though I have been to the oldest and most reputable scent wallahs in Old and New Delhi, Jaipur and Kerala it is Beyond Paradise that takes me to the first few visits to India every time.

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder  Varun PortiaVarun & Portia 2004

Basically Beyond Paradise opens like a vase of flowers, all wet, green leaves, a little crackle of bitterness, crisp white flowers and softly sweet fruits, it goes more white flowers through the heart and then dries down to dry white flowers, a very little bit fleshy and ripe, then fades to nothing musky woods. The story isn’t big and the shifts aren’t monumental, Beyond Paradise is fresh and light but gives you really good sillage and projection for most of the day.

The Little Book of Perfumes LuckyScentPhoto Stolen LuckyScent ($18 at LuckyScent)

Fast forward again to 2011 and I am given a book called The Little Book Of Perfumes by Luca Turin & Tanya Sanchez. Though I had been a mad collector of frags on and off through my life never had I been given such purpose in my collecting as that book gave me. Instantly I wanted to try ALL 100 fragrances in that book, but to find something I have loved so well for so long in that book was a complete surprise.

Further reading: Sweet Diva and Scentualist
Beauty Encounter has $55/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Are you a Beyond Paradise fan? What was one of your excited fragrance epiphanies?
Portia xx

Fragrances Inspired by the Sub-Continent

Hiya All,

You may know that I am a complete India-phile. The whole area including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka call to me and though I have only visited India I wish to travel all six countries before I die.

Fragrances Sub Continent WikipediaPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Today I thought we could look at a few scents with names that link them to my fave journey destination…

Fragrances Inspired by the Sub-Continent

Souffle des Indes Comptoir Sud Pacifique FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Souffle des Indies by Comptour Sud Pacifique: Imagine if you took all the lovely, sweet smells and tastes of India and added them to a creamy milk/yoghurt drink. It’s called a Lassi and I adore them. Souffle des Indies by Comptour Sud Pacifique then is the smell of a Lassi with fruit. MMMMMMM. Sweet, creamy, slightly spicy and lovely pureed or finely chopped fruit mixed in, really it’s worth the ticket to India to taste the real thing.

Ambra del Nepal Il Profumi di Firenze FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Ambra del Nepal by Il Profumi di Firenze: A beautiful opener with that medicine cabinet, herbal and caramelised sugar hiding a Crème brûlée sweetness that washes out from under the bold opening and gives the most divine caramel coffee, vanilla cream, bitter chocolate, Ambra Del Nepal is a sweet and spicy Oriental Gourmand frag hit. Ambra Del Nepal is more gourmand that the usual amber that I’m attracted to but I love it.

Nepal Aoud Montale FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Nepal Aoud by Montale: OK so this has the tell tale Montale signature all over it. Their own blend that is their oud, some leathery smell and the plasticky saffron note that I like so much. I don’t see the Nepal correlation but Nepal Aoud is a nice soft, not too in your face, synthetic oud fragrance that melts into your skin and becomes a lovely rough amber then vanilla till drydown.

Mohur Extrait Neela Vermeire Creations FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Mohur Extrait by Neela Vermeire Creations: As if Mohur was not big, beautiful and outrageous enough. Neela and Bertrand got together, tweaked the ingredients a touch and amplified the whole fragrance by doing an extrait. OMG! It is seriously heart stoppingly beautiful. Everything you adored about Mohur but more intense and it lasts for days, on fabric for weeks. If there is a fragrance that has blown out the back of my head by sheer enormity and still retains its rose scented languid beauty, it’s Mohue Extrait.

 

Tibetan Mountain Temple Pacifica FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Tibetan Mountain Temple by Pacifica: Sweet and spicy citrus woods open up Tibetan Mountain Temple and a fun GingerbreadMan accord. There is a cool resinous feeling of incense that evolves through the wear and a delicious creaminess that collides perfectly with the clean patchouli. This is a warming fragrance that smells a LOT more expensive than it is.

 

The Taj Mahal’s Eternal Love Romea D`Ameor FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

The Taj Mahal’s Eternal Love by Romea D`Ameor: Here we have a wet, fruity opening that hints at the very early morning, sunrise at the Taj Mahal. I love this time of day there. If you ever get to Agra make sure your guide gets you to the Taj Mahal about 40 minutes before it opens. If you are the first i line you will see the Taj as few others have ever seen it, empty of humanity. An aquatic floral that ends in woods, very wearable.

So we have had a look at some fragrances inspired by the subcontinent, did I miss something you know or love? Tell me in the comments please.

Portia xx

 

 

 

RAPE! It’s Your Fault.

Hello Australian Perfume Junkies no matter where you are,

Indian actresses talk about rape. This is a clever, shocking and confronting piece that you need to watch. I am astounded that the west hasn’t done something like this already.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto Stolen Samantha Marx Flickr

Please share this video everywhere you can. If even one person is not raped because of it then it is a success.

Rape is NOT your fault.

Portia xx

LA LÉGENDE DE SHALIMAR Mini Movie

Hello Gorgeously Gorgeous and Fragrant Fumies,

My favourite fragrance of all is Guerlain’s Shalimar. Inspired by the legendary love story between Mughal Indian Emperor Shah Jahan and his lowly born wife Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel of the Palace). You can read more in Portia’s Shalimar EdC Review.

LA LÉGENDE DE SHALIMAR

You may have seen this already but I couldn’t let it pass those of you it missed by. My only complaint is that they didn’t use Bollywood stars. Why would you use Europeans when there is a veritable plethora of the real deal? Just sayin

Portia xx

Leaving for India! What fragrances did I pack?

Hey Crew,

It’s time to pack bags and jet off again.I have written and sent all my Trivias to the girls. There are some REALLY curly Q&A this time ladies. The APJ family has worked overtime to make sure all their contributions are ready to launch while I’m gone, they’ve all been edited and pictures, notes and all the frills have been added and linked. THANK YOU GUYS!! My clothes are all washed, the beds are changed, food has been bought, prepared and frozen and I am almost ready to go. The plane leaves at 10.15 and I am writing to you from 2pm. How organised is that? Normally I’m throwing crap in my bags as we should be leaving.

incredible-india_1822 incredible-india-1 Taj Mahal

This trip I know there wont be much fragrance shopping like in Europe or LA sop I’ve decided to do a decant set for my travels 5ml & 8ml. It’s always so hard to choose and today is no exception. So what made the cut?

Ava Luxe Tuberose Diabolique Parfum
Caron Royal Bain de Caron
L’Artisan Parfumeur Cote d’Amour
Iunx Splash Forte Friction de Iunx
Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur de Male
Tauer L’Air Du Desert Marocain

I am also taking from Neela Vermeire Creations a bottle of Bombay Bling. How could I not? And a Vintage Chanel No 5 Parfum.

'Incredible_India'

So I just watched this video below and I’m crying like a baby, its been nearly three years since I’ve been back to India am I’m so excited to get back and see my buddy and his family and the magic that is India. I can almost smell it it’s so real in this little Incredible India ad. I can’t believe I’m going back……

See you tomorrow!!
Portia xxx

All photos stolen from the Incredible India Campaigns