Scent Diary: 8.1 – 14.1.2018

.

Portia

.

Heya APJ Crew,

Whirlwind week. Perfume and peeps, art and travel to Adelaide with Jin, Eve and Lola. There’s been loads of great food and adventuring. Life has been very good to us, now I need a bloody rest.

Scent Diary

Scent Diary: 8.1 – 14.1.2018

Continue reading

Top 5 2017 Perfumes: Gabriella

.

Gabriella

.

Hiya Perfume Junkies!
A happy and fragrant New Year to you all.

Today I’m talking about my top five fragrances for 2017. These were not all new releases for the year – just the top perfumes that I discovered over the past twelve months. Last year was a bit of a watershed fragrance-wise: I visited Paris for the first time since falling down the perfumista rabbit hole and I also explored a bit more outside my white floral comfort zone. So what scents made the cut for me?

Top 5 2017 Perfumes: Gabriella

Melodie de L'Amour Parfums Dusita FragranticaFragrantica

Melodie de L’Amour by Pissara Umavijani for Dusita 2015

The heartstopper. I’d given up on finding another lush gardenia-centered fragrance when Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia was discontinued some years ago, but when Melodie de L’Amour hit my skin, it was utter devotion at first sniff. A buttery gardenia at the height of its bloom paired with sultry tuberose, jasmine and a hint of honey. This exquisite white floral was made all the more special due to the fact that I acquired my bottle in the city of lights.

First in Fragrance has €295/50ml

1996 Inez & Vinoodh Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

1996 by Ben Gorham for Byredo 2013

The vintage starlet. I didn’t expect to fall in love with 1996’s soft hush of iris and violet that’s powdery, delicate and slightly sweet. Just when you think the floral notes are the only things going on, an ambery leather lends a touch of old school decadence. It’s the scent of vintage luggage, fur stoles and black mesh pillbox hats paired with a slick of red lipstick.

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $187/50ml

Stilettos on Lex Jul et Mad Paris FragranticaFragrantica

Stilettos on Lex by Dorothee Piot for Jules et Mad 2012

The Parisian chic. I found Stilettos thanks to the lovely staff at Jovoy in Paris who included it with an enormous bunch of samples when I purchased my bottle of Melodie de L’Amour. Stilettos is a grown up fruity floral with a touch of 1980’s powerhouse about it. A bright plum transcends into a rich melange of violet, rose and lily of the valley tempered by aldehydes.

Jules et Mad starts at EUR22.50/5ml

Velvet Haze Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

Velvet Haze by Ben Gorham for Byredo 2017

The hippie luxe. I usually only like patchouli with rose, but this proved to me that coconut and patchouli is a pretty awesome combination. Here the patchouli is gauze-like, it usual pungent head-shop vibe has been stripped back and white washed, all pale and ethereal. The coconut is slightly salty in tone, giving the scent a tropical but edible quality.

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $160/50ml

Vetiver 46 Le Labo FragranticaFragrantica

Vetiver 46 by Mark Buxton for Le Labo 2006

The unexpected choice. Vetiver is about as far away from a big white floral as you can get, but this still enraptured me from the get go. A strikingly green bergamot gives way to piney incense, cloves and a touch of vetiver. A brooding scent that’s strangely comforting.

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $264/50ml

So, what were your top perfume picks for 2017?
With much love till next time!
G x

Baie Rose 26 by Frank Voelkl for Le Labo 2010

.

Portia

.

Hi there Niche Nerds,

Todays fragrance was released as the Le Labo Chicago city exclusive. You may remember that I find the Le Labo adventure somewhat wankerish. The whole, we’ll mix it for you in store so it’s fresh shit doesn’t wash for me. Just because the ingredients haven’t been blended yet doesn’t make them any fresher, AND it takes months for the damn fragrances to settle properly after you buy them. It’s all a big fat GRRR for me.

Nevertheless when Le Labo get it right they do make some fairly spectacular frags.

One of my mates was doing a decant cleanout and I was lucky enough to buy this baby from them. There’s only about 2-3ml left in a 15ml so it has been well loved.

Baie Rose 26 by Le Labo 2010

Baie Rose 26 by Frank Voelkl

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Rose absolute, Pink pepper, Musk, Cedar, Aldehydes, Ambrox, Clove, Pepper

Victoria from Bois de Jasmin taught me something in my reading today, “baie rose means pink pepper in French”. AHA! So not only is Le Labo doing its usual name it something and have it smell like something else trick but there is also a pun in action. Clever. Funnily, both the pepper and rose are front & centre for most of the scent.

So here we smell the interesting by-play between rose and pink pepper.

The opening is all rose and metallic sparkling aldehydes shimmering over the pink pepper. It’s a meaty, thick and dense scent that also manages to feel lightweight and airy. Haughty and powerful are the two words that keep coming to my mind while wearing Baie Rose 26, also masculine (which is weird because I try not to subscribe to frag gender unless it punches me in the face wit it).

PDI

Baie Rose 26 is cool, in both the frosty and fun refinement explanations. It has a space age feel about it and a metallic twang, the best way to present roses in my mind.

I get fleeting correlations to other roses CK Contradiction Woman, Amouage Opus X and Oriza L. Legrand Royal Fillet. Not same obviously but there are resemblances.

The musk, ambrox, wood dry down is far less exciting that the first hours of Baie Rose 26 life. It doesn’t implode into banal but it isn’t a showstopper. A comfortable, safe scent that lasts and lasts with a hint of rose.

PDI

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Non Blonde

Did you ever get to try this beauty?
Portia xx

Summer Scentsations: Heat Busters

.

TinaG

.

Hi gang!

Last year I struggled to find fragrances which I could wear on a daily basis, which cut through the ridiculous heat of summer. I gravitated towards modern watery aquatics and fruits. My mainstays were Hermès – Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, and L’Artisan Parfumeur – Mandarine, and the occasional blast of Serge Lutens – Borneo 1834 for sultry evenings.

I was discussing summer fragrances with friends recently – Here’s a list of a few that we talked about for our wish lists:

Summer Scentsations: Heat Busters

Fragrantica

Heeley – Sel Marin

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, green notes
Heart: Salt, sea water, sea grass, moss
Base: Musk, cedar, leather.

I’ve been craving more of this fragrance – I had a quick sniff last year when I was in the UK. There was something intimately sexy about it – underlying clean funkiness, like a salty sun-kissed person’s chest at the end of a very active day. A far cry from your regular ‘marine’ fragrance.

Fragrantica

Estée Lauder – Bronze Goddess

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, ginger, mandarin
Heart: Indian samba jasmine, coconut, jasmine
Base: vanilla, cashmere wood, musk, amber.

I know that this is a general favourite for summer, but both my friend and I weren’t all that familiar with it. We will get together and split a bottle when the next round hits the shelves. I think this would definitely cover off the tropical beach coconut vibe for a summer’s day.

FrFragrantica

CB I Hate Perfume – At The Beach 1966

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Coppertone, North Atlantic, wet sand, seashell, driftwood, boardwalk.

This transports me back to the days of kicking around the beach as a kid. I remember using Coppertone, usually SPF 2 of 4….. I don’t know how we didn’t get absolutely toasted. This perfume smells like a day at the beach. Totally. It’s brilliant.

Fragrantica

BeauFort London – Fathom V

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Juniper berries, tangerine, black currant, green notes, soil tincture
Heart: Thyme, lily, jasmine, ylang ylang, ginger, cumin, black pepper, mimosa
Base: Patchouli, vetiver, oak moss, salt, incense, atlas cedar, amber

My friend Kerri recently purchased the BeauFort London – Come Hell or High Water discovery set, which in itself is magnificent. It is a leather roll with generous 7.5ml travel sprays of each of their fragrances. I had been lusting after this for a while so I was both dead jealous and super excited to have a look at them. The green hit in the opening of Fathom V is a mix of bright freshly cut flowers and deeper greens, which we likened to walking into a cool florist shop. I need to spend more time with all of this range, they are both amazing fragrances and an intriguing aesthetic.

Fragrantica

Le Labo – Lys 41

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Jasmine, tuberose, lily, woody notes, vanilla, musk

Lys 41 is a beautiful cool white floral. The lily is subtly sweet and there’s nothing I find overpowering. There’s a time in the morning just before the sun rises where a blue-grey haze lights up the frosted panelling of my bedroom door. I’ve been finding myself spritzing Lys 41 at this time as part of a gentle fragrant wake up, and then re-spritzing throughout the day while the sun moves through its daily arc casting different shadows and colours through the house. I really enjoy it and I will definitely be bringing this routine over into the summer months.

You can get samples of most of the at Surrender To Chance

So how about you, APJ? What have your worn this summer, or are planning to?

Till next time,
Tina G

Scent Diary: 22.5 – 28.5.2017

.

Portia

.

Scent Diary: 22.5 – 28.5.2017

Monday 22:

Hey all. Today was spent at the computer (amazing how much time you can waste doing basically nothing online) and getting my fragrant send outs done. Some of them are a week overdue.

watching some Netflix. Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code (2011) which blew my mind. Scary real idea.

Also watched the animated Sahara (2017) which was sweet and amusing but not nearly as good as Source Code.

Being Monday I have to write Trivia Q&A tonight.

Did not spritz or dab even a drop of fragrance today. For no reason at all my body wanted a complete rest from it. It did make me notice even more the fragile scent of lavender left on my sheets after changing the bed today. I always spritz it with L’Occitane Lavender Eau de Cologne on change day. It’s scent remains all week and is a perfect relaxant for Jin. He works shift work and needs to be able to fall asleep at any time in moments.

Tuesday 23:

BUSY, wearing Madame Rochas EdC and parfum.

This morning I had a few things on the agenda, firstly tyres. My car desperately needed 4 new tyres and I had known it was coming for 12 months. Went to a tyre place I’ve used before expecting around $1000. The guy that served me was super sweet. He told me that they were importing a new brand and because this company is trying to get a toehold in Australia they are still quite cheap. So, four new tyres and a wheel alignment cost a little under $600 and I can’t believe the difference. The car is more responsive, feels like it is cornering better and the steering is lighter than it’s ever been. WIN ALLL ROUND!

It was Mother’s Day recently and I still hadn’t been to visit my Mum. The guilt was lying heavily on me and so straight after tyres I went down and saw her. Burned some Chinese Incense and Hell Bank Dollars for her and when I’m there alone I talk out loud to her as if we are sitting in the kitchen over a coffee. Anyway, I’d been rambling on about all sorts and wandering around the grave picking leaves etc off it when I noticed two groundsmen watching me and smiling. AWKWARD! They just smiled, said hello and wandered on.

Mum Waples is still in the Rehab and I went to visit her too. We had some laughs and Kath showed up to make it really cozy.

Jin has been aching to make us Peking Duck. We went and got all the stuff today, he made the pancakes himself from scratch. A couple of false starts, some not quite rightness and though it was amazing we decided to leave it and chop it all up for Sang Choy Bow tomorrow. Who cares that it wasn’t perfect, I just love the hanging out with him.

Work. Having to go to work tonight it was beard dying, a bubble bath and shave. Then some quiet nap time and ready to face the world. I spritzed Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe lavishly and went out reeking of it. Interestingly no one commented on it, maybe they’re scared. I kept smelling old pipe tobacco all night, yummiest frag.

Fragrantica

After work Jin and I sat up watching Frankie & Johnny Season 3, first 3 eps. Such good writing and the actors are a unit, a cohesive, perfect unit. We see ourselves and friends in different moments and characters. What a show.

Wednesday 24:

A day blogging so loads of fragrance. I don’t want to ruin all the surprise though so I’ll keep a little hush.

Perfectly wonderful day. Jin and I lazed around the house and I blogged away happily. We had lunch together, a cuddle on the couch, watched some Korean TV with him translating. I grabbed Paris and had a little nap with him in the early evening before work.

Tonight for work I wore Carner Barcelona Rima XI. Sweet amber delight. YUM!

Thursday 25:

Today started cool and crisp, there were little breath clouds as I walk the dogs. By the time we got home though it was starting to warm up nicely. I was too., a half hour wander is beautiful with these pooches for company.

Jin cooked San Choy Bow with the leftover duck today for lunch. The sad failure of our Peking Duck was well overshadowed by the great San Choy Bow triumph of May 2017! He took some artistic license with the basic recipe, adding extraordinary amounts of garlic, some extra vegetables and a nice soft kick of chilli. He should open a restaurant. Seriously. It was so bloody delicious.

We went shopping for food. Tomorrow night we are having a small dinner party. We wanted to have everything ready to go.

Collected the incoming mail. VERY nice haul today. Vintage Madame Rochas EdC and Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois and Ambre Sultan in the Vaporisators with 2 x 30ml. Same price at Mecca as the 50ml export bottle and hella cuter.

Tonight I jumped in a glorious bubble bath of Hermès Eau de Mandarine Ambrée which then led me to night at work in Guerlain Shalimar, vintage parfum and modern EdP. I sent two of the women hurtling down memory lane to their youths. One was so enraptured she said she had fully fallen back in love. I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns up next week in full Shalimar.

My rose that I was given on Mother’s day is still blooming strong and lightly fragrant.

Friday 26:

Suddenly it’s cool enough for a beanie. I particularly love this one I bought from Vanessa Musson from Bonkers About Perfume.

WHAT A DAY! I didn’t think my list was so long but it didn’t go as planned. It was meet Anna-Maria, go to David Jones and sniff, shopping for other people at DIOR, Estee Lauder Staff Store, hang with Bronwyn of Gascoigne & King Candles, Showface Theatre Makeup Store, Home for dinner party with a crew. It didn’t quite go to plan.

Went to town and met Anna-Maria for coffee and cupcakes.

Then we went to check David Jones DIOR to see if they had the 125ml Feve Delicious in case the Flagship store was out.

This fabulous woman at YSL Beauty grabbed Anna-Maria and did her lips. I nearly had to punch her in the face to use a slightly orange red on Anna-Maria but my will prevailed and I think you’ll agree it was the right choice.

Went to visit one of my favourite man SAs at MECCA in Myer where Anna-Maria got the Le Labo Santal 33 oil.

Then we trotted up to DIOR Flagship store and met Jolanta who was devastated to tell us she only had one 125ml DIOR Feve Delicious left. We had a very nice visit though. They are so friendly and helpful.

Latai met us there and we had to go back to David Jones to grab the other Feve and have lunch with Anna-Maria’s son Rocco. Then we realised we were out of time. Rushed home to join where we met up with other friends and all had Japanese/Korean fusion Self Made Nori Rolls. We had so much fun, chatter and laughter that the rest of the night passed in such a blur I completely forgot to take photos, SORRY!

After dinner I brought out a box of random niche bottles and we sniffed them and chatted, leading me to go get other bottles to illustrate, compare, contrast. By 10pm Jin was in bed and I was pooped so everyone herded out and I cleaned up. Bit of blogging and bed.

Saturday 27:

Spent today lazing around the house doing very close to nothing. I did notice that the Zygocactus are flowering though. these are all from my Mum’s windowsill. I’m pretty chuffed that though she died in 2001 her cactus are still prospering beautifully in the baskets and pots I put them in in 2003.

In honour of having the house to myself and wanting to swan around fully fragrant I gave myself 6 huge spritzes of Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur EdP. It’s so easy to get lost in its intricate folds that I lay down and let my mind wander for half an hour. So relaxing.

When Jin got home we had his Katsu Curry: Korean style. Bloody hell. My guy is such a good cook. Delicious. We watched some Gilmore Girls, season one. Jin had been rematching them and I got addicted a couple of seasons in. I’m doing catch up. LOVE this show.

Before bed I spritzed the white floral and green herbs and spices of Antonia by Puredistance. How luxe it smells.

Sunday 28:

Woke up & spritzed Niki de Saint Phalle for this perfect end of autumn sunny day. It was lovely as I wandered the dogs around our suburb.

Went and visited Kath’s Mum who is back at home now. We sat around with Dad & Kath laughing and chattering. It was a casual family morning, exactly what my should needed. Sorry but I forgot to take a snap.

Hung around the house and then got ready for work.

This week has been calm and peaceful. It’s been great to take stock and get some rest.

How about you? What did you do this week?
Did anything fragrant or fun happen?
Let us all know in the comments, hearing about your lives makes me so happy. I feel involved in the world outside my bubble.
Portia xx

 

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl for Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008

.

TinaG

.

Hi APJ!

I’m off travelling again soon! Yay for holidays!

Last year I reviewed Le Labo – City Exclusives Poivre 23 London just before I visited that majestic city. Just in case, you know, I fell in love and needed a bottle. These things can happen! So I thought I’d give the City Exclusives, Musc 25 Los Angeles a run through before my trip in April. Which, I’ve got to say, I’m really really looking forward to.

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Aldehydes, patchouli, musk, vetiver, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, rose and ambergris

The weirdest thing happened on first sniff. I instantly thought of Kingston, Ontario, Canada where my family spent a year. I don’t know what it was that triggered the reminder. Musc 25 opens with a heavy white musk, so maybe there was something environmental? A washing powder? House hold detergents? No idea. At any rate it was a one off, but interesting.

So, yes. Bam! White musk and quite a light, green-grey ozonic aldehyde which turns soapy in around 10 minutes. The white musk, to me, is cold and austere, a light grey colour. It’s one of my least favourite scents, I must admit. So soapy aldehydes and white musk aren’t really doing it for me however there are hints of concrete, plants and roses layered nearly imperceptably behind this, which makes me think it does needs a bit more skin time.

WikiMedia

At around 2 hours I’m still sniffing my arm closely trying to get more than white musk out of this as it’s swamping it for me. There’s a hint of funky animalic saltiness. I notice ambergris listed in the notes but it’s missing the waxiness that I associate with that smell. I’m seeing in my mind’s eye perhaps a reflection of my Airbnb searches – up above the city of Los Angeles, a residential area on the Hollywood Hills. Once formal gardens have been left to go wild so there’s a bit of shrubbery and strangely some pink azaleas. Huh. That is a weirdly specific image……

At about 4 hours as a skin scent the florals die back but the pinkness increases as I start to pick up another softer musk which has the effect of drawing your attention inwards rather than looking out over the horizon of the city. As I know I’m anosmic to a lot of musks it makes me wonder if there’s more in there I can’t smell.

WikiMedia

Further reading: Perfume Smelling Things and Perfume Posse
Le Labo in Venice (1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA) or a couple of other spots in LA
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/0,5ml

I’ve worn Los Angeles Musc 25 a few times now and I’m a bit conflicted. It’s really not my kind of thing but it’s still been interesting to wear, if that makes sense? It is really the heavy white musk which is my issue but otherwise the mix of concrete, ozone, saltiness, shrubbery, roses, and the softer musk in the dry down leaves me intrigued. Will I buy a bottle? Perhaps not but I’d like to wear the fragrance in the town it was created for to see whether there is an enhanced sense of place.

Do you have any memories of a place having a particular smell?

Till next time,
Tina G

Poivre 23 (London) by Nathalie Lorson for Le Labo 2008

.

Post by TinaG

.

Hi APJ,

Each of Le Labo’s City Exclusives line is sold in a single dedicated city, although they do seem to have become more accessible over time. I have a decant of Poivre 23 which is the London City Exclusive. I thought I’d give it a run through before I headed overseas, just in case I fell in love and desperately needed a full bottle.

Poivre 23 London Le Labo London Tube Publ;ic domain

Poivre 23 (London) by Le Labo 2008

Poivre 23 (London) by Nathalie Lorson

Poivre 23 London Le Labo FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Labdanum, sandalwood, patchouli, pepper, vanilla, guaiac wood, styrax, incense

Le Labo’s fragrance name is the note which is in the highest concentration in the fragrance, and the number the count of ingredients it contains. In this case, we have Poivre (pepper) and 23 notes.

One of the challenges I find with Poivre 23 is that it gives me olfactory fatigue very easily. The effect of this is that it appears to chop and change on each wearing, sometimes non-existent, other times nuanced and gorgeous, and occasionally the base of incense and amber is all I can smell. So it makes it difficult to write up but I’ll focus on one of the days where I didn’t get fatigue so badly and picked up some of the more fun aspects of the fragrance.

On opening, there’s a burst of pepper – I’m sure that I can smell both black pepper and a softer more fragrant version such as Szechuan or pink pepper. After the first pepper zing I get a chocolate note which may be patchouli-related as it does settle into a green headspace. There is a bitter dry white wood and an oddly buttery sweetness over the top. It is strange to smell something which is both dry and oily at the same time, like deadwood which has been seasoned & polished with fatty animal oils.

Poivre 23 London Le Labo pepper WikipediaWikipedia

At three hours on my skin the dry woodiness has taken on a subtle rubbery note which I suspect is imparted from guaiac wood, with a resinous birch underneath it. The whole thing has a sticky slippery leathery feel about it which I really enjoy.

At 5 hours this settles in to one of those skin scents which is like “my skin, but enhanced”. It is dry, woody, musky and subtle – very cuddly and comforting. There is light grey incense in the background and the styrax is a warm welcoming resinous amber with a touch of well blended vanilla in the package. This combination lasts well past the 8 hour mark.

Poivre 23 London Le Labo Loz Pycock Follow Driftwood Pavilion Bedford Square FlickrFlickr

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Perfume Posse
Le Labo has 3 venues in London. Two stand alone stores and a Harrods desk.
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/0.5ml

This fragrance is definitely not safe for enclosed spaces. My co-workers can smell it at least 5 metres away commented on the fragrance (complimented each time, thankfully). Will I pick up a full bottle when I’m in London? I don’t think so. I enjoy wearing it very much but it’s hard on my sense of smell – a wearing once every so often will be enough.

Have you tried Poivre 23, or any of the Le Labo City Exclusives?

Till next time,
Tina G