Sandra’s London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay




Hey there dear APJ! How is everyone doing? Hopefully comfortably settling in with summer or winter.

It has been a hectic couple of months here in Rotterdam. What with school keeping us busy, family & friends visiting, it was a blessing to be able to get away for my son’s birthday over a long weekend at the beginning of June. He turned 8 this year and one of his greatest wishes was to see London (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, London Eye, and of course toy stores were all on his wish list). Not only did we manage to see all the sights, but we also had a couple of perfume activities which I would like to share with you today.

London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay

I finally got to meet Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations! Wow! What an amazing woman – but I knew that already. It was absolutely fabulous sitting down with her in London and chatting for a while. Thankfully dear son and husband also enjoyed their visit. Thank you Neela!!!

Saturday was reserved for meeting up with Tara from A Bottled Rose. I last saw Tara in Vienna about two years ago and I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with her again. We started out by heading to the Natural History Museum. It was a bribe for my son so that we could go sniffing later! We headed off to Harrods afterwards and had lunch before heading to the toy kingdom which I must admit was exciting for us parents as well. The choice is staggering.

Now it was my turn – yay!! Tara took us upstairs to the beautiful area where many brands have their own small boutiques. I got to sniff perfumes from Xerjoff, Dior, Frederic Malle, Kilian, Ramon Monegal. The new Superstitious by Frederic Malle is gorgeous and powerful. Xerjoff is a brand that I like wearing and I was thrilled to see that the Casamoratti line is now offered in 30 ml bottles. I liked Monegal’s Flamenco quite a bit – the red bottle is eye catching and the perfume was a lot of fun starting off with a blast of raspberry and it stayed a happy joyful perfume.

This summer Dior will be shaking things up a bit. The SA was kind enough and said that I was permitted to write about it. I think that many of us will be super happy with the big news that they will be offering the Privée line in 40 ml bottles in addition to the current bottle line up. Dior will also be launching a new sub line to the Privée consisting of 10 new perfumes which are apparently easier to wear and more appealing to the mass market. I for one cannot wait to see what Dior comes up with and am so excited about the smaller bottles. My husband may have to hold onto my wallet!

When we meandered downstairs to the perfume hall I was taken aback at how bustling it was. One of the first perfumes I spritzed that day was Ormonde Jayne’s Ambre Royal. Truly a beautiful perfume with notes of osmanthus and iris and drying down to a wonderful unsweet amber. What a shame that I did not pick it up.

We then headed towards the Kilian stand where two handsome SAs Niko and Johan greeted us and walked me through the new releases. These two gentlemen were so patient and kind and both had a great sense of humor – here is a picture of us. I just love the box for Black Phantom and decided then and there to buy the perfume. Not necessarily smart to buy a perfume for the packaging – but had to do it this one time. The one perfume that I just adored was Single Malt. I walked around the city with my arm at my nose and had to go back in the evening to buy that one too. Reviews coming up of the two Kilians.

After all of that our noses were exhausted and we decided to head to Big Ben. We took some pictures with Tara and our full on day came to a close. A big shout out to dear Tara for taking time to spend with us. We loved seeing her.

I know that I could have seen and sniffed more, but we jammed as much as possible into the 4 day weekend. It just means that we will have to go back and SOON!

What about ya’ll? Any travels lately? Any fun sniffing lately? I would love to hear about it.

Sending you lots of sunny hugs,
Sandra xoxo

Perfumer H – Lyn Harris: TinaG In Europe Photo Essay


Post by TinaG



I was treated to a fabulous day out in London during my travels, hosted by Tara from A Bottled Rose. Tara has written up our adventures in more detail on her blog. One of the exciting discoveries of the day was a visit to the Perfumer H lab & shop in Crawford Street, London.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #2

Perfumer H – Lyn Harris

‘Making Air Visible’

Perfumer H was started by Liz Harris (of Miller Harris) roughly 8 months ago. The shop contains an extensive lab out the back which is both Lyn Harris’s workshop, and a ingredient display. We were greeted by Caroline who kindly ran us through the concepts of the fragrance company.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #6

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #7

Perfumer H releases new fragrances seasonally – their first being Winter 2015 and the current range for Summer 2016. Past seasonal fragrances are ‘archived’ but not discontinued, which means they continue to be accessible. Two of the Winter 2015 releases were rolled-over to Summer 2016 – Leather and Cologne, which join Atlas, Musk and Rain Cloud for this season’s suite of five. I wish that I wrote down the archived Winter fragrances – I do know one was Velvet. There were three that had been shelved.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #3

There are a selection of five home fragrances which are available as candles – Orange Blossom, Dandelion, Leaf, Ivy and Smoke. The perfume bottles and candle holders are each hand-made, heavy and lush. You can choose to purchase the fragrances in 100ml functional screw-cap bottles, which I did for ease of travelling.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #4

Perfumer H has a range of ‘laboratory editions’ which are a fun way to purchase some of Liz Harris’s creative work. Names like Ink, Vetiver, Rose & Smoke line the shelves. Each fragrance in the whole range is also given a unique identifier, and if you wish, you can purchase that perfume outright – including choosing it’s name, having it registered in Grasse, and it is then taken out of general circulation – so it is yours and yours alone. You can buy single bottles without claiming rights though – just careful if you fall in love, it may just disappear one day!

I tried four fragrances on skin – Velvet, Musk, Atlas and Leather as I was keen to pick up a bottle, but wow…. What a difficult decision! I would have been happy to walk away with any of them, but I decided on Musk.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #1

Musk – no. g116 3995
Notes: Bergamot (Italy), Mandarin, Petitgrain (Paraguay), Iris absolute (China), Heliotrope, Cedarwood (Virginia), Benjoin (Siam), Vanilla absolute, White Musk.

On opening I get a floral Iris and fluffy musk along with a subtle plant-stem note in the background. After an hour this changes to an iris/cedar combination. It is sexy, gentle and very wearable. Sticky vanilla notes waft in and out. I find the citruses after 8 hours in a sheer veneer of smoke & juice that makes me wish I sprayed more skin. Interestingly the iris has a great staying power and it remains throughout (+12 hours). It is a gorgeous fragrance and I’m extremely glad I picked it up. I’m half tempted to go back & get the Leather as well, time & funds permitting.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #5

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #8

Perfumer H is a great concept which has been actualised with wonderful fragrances and beautiful glass bottles. They do ship to Australia but you will be paying a premium for hazardous goods ~£70.

What do you think, APJ? Sound like a fun venture to you?

Tina G xx

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


Post by TinaG



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

Cookie Queen + Portia on Tour: London/Vienna 2016


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Greetings APJ Readers.

Each time I attend some perfume related gathering I intend to take lots of pictures.

Cookie Queen & Portia on Tour

London/Vienna 2016

Fact is I suck at it. I am overwhelmed by everything that is going on and never quite get it together as I planned. Still, the following pix will give you an idea of what went on. Tara has covered the event brilliantly on both A Bottled Rose and Australian Perfume Junkies.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Val Judith LondonDr Fox, partner-in-crime, therapist, and she’s driving me to Milan.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Val Portia Poppy'sPoppies Fish & Chips, Spitalfields.  Second visit together. ?

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia glassesSpitalfields Market.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia ready? PLL“How do I look Val?”

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Karen Andrew Val Bonkers Lady Jane Grey PLLBonkers, Lady Jane Gray and me way in the background.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Lila Val Grant Antonio PLLGrant (Basenotes).  Antonio Gardoni (Bogue). Lila (Perfume lovers London). Val & Portia. Chris the Cookie King taking photo.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Kirk PLLMy dearest friend Kirk about to get a nipple twist.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia lady Jane Grey PLLLady Jane Gray.  Smitten.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia PLLMy favourite shot.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia Neela PicholaPurchasing a bottle of Neela Vermeire creations: Pichola at retail in Vienna.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia Vero KikiVero Profumo: Kiki.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Anna Maria, Sandra, Val Portia GREEKVal, Anna Maria, Sandra, Portia at a fabulous Greek restaurant

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Val, Anna Maria, Sandra, Portia trying Le GalionAfter dinner sniff of the newest Le Galion: Cologne Nocturne.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Val, Sandra, Anna Maria, Birgit, Portia Le Bol
Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Birgit Portia brunchVal, Sandra, Anna Maria, Birgit and Portia brunching at Le Bol.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia tea
Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna BlondesWunderBlondesWunder arrives in Vienna 22:00.  To a Portia welcome of donuts & tea.

Around the time that you are reading this I am either packing my bag or on the road to the Esxence in Milan. I have a theory. Three days in Milan, six decent pictures each day, eighteen pictures. That ought to do it. Plus some pictorial updates on social media. My hands are shaking already.



Cookie Queen on Portia, Perfume & Packing Less


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Happy Australia Day APJ!


My bag is packed and I´m ready to go. Lalalalalala.

Portia, Perfume & Packing Less

I am leaving on a small jet plane tomorrow for London, and I have packed very little. I am positive that any able-bodied adult going away for a few days can easily get all their stuff into a 10 kilo cabin bag. No? Try it. It is liberating. You are instantly more mobile, probably better off as it usually costs for checked baggage on the economy flights, and you reduce the risk to zero that your bag will end up in London, Texas. Straight through the gates and no eternal lining up with thousands of people to check your bag in, thus saving on meds.

Val and Portia Vienna Laughing 2013

I am so excited to see Portia and Jin. Have you ever had a Portia hug? I feel inextricably linked to him. It has been just over three years of a friendship that changed the direction of my life. As you may know from a previous APJ post Portia Turbo will be presenting a Perfume Lovers London event on the 28th of January. Whoo-bloody-hoo!! I shall have a couple of batches of fudgey white chocolate chunk brownies stuffed into my small case to celebrate. Easier to travel with than cookies.

Hannah Val Portia London 2014

I want something new to wear something for the event. A few drops from the lab testers of the up and coming Vero Profumo tobacco fragrances should suffice.

Vero Profumo Lab Testers

Val Portia Austria 2014

Not going to take any other perfumes with me. I have no doubt at all that my leather perfume pouch will fill up very quickly on its own.

Perfume stash bag from The Thinking Magpie.

James Portia Austria Chocolate Shop 2014

As you read this I am running around Salzburg like a chipmunk on crack, delivering cookies.

Val Portia Austria Home 2014

My husband is coming with me, without his bike.

Val Christian Portia Bike shop 2014

I am also taking my therapist with me. Not in my suitcase. She bought her own ticket.
All bases covered I believe.

Great British Bussis

Perfume Lovers London: An Evening with Portia Turbo


Post by Portia


Hi there APJ,

Yes, it’s really happening. Lila das Gupta who runs Perfume Lovers London has invited me, Portia Turbo, to come to England and give a talk, have a laugh and smell some fragrances.

Perfume Lovers London

An Evening with Portia Turbo

highres_29173032Lila das Gupta

Even now writing this post to tell you all has my stomach doing flip flops with excitement. You have no idea.

The theme of the night is Great Women and we have some fun interactive ideas and hope as many of you APJ Crew that are around London and available can come be a part of the fun. Perfume Lovers London has drinks and some food and I will be bringing some famous Australian delicacies for you to try also.

Portia Opera House PetezImages1

When: Thursday, January 28, 2016 7pm to 10pm (Doors open 6.30pm)
Where: October Gallery  24 Old Gloucester Street WC1N 3AL LONDON
Cost: GBP34.00

For those that have never been before you need to join Perfume Lovers London and then you can book your tickets. They are already selling like hot cakes so don’t delay.

Jin and I will both be there as well as Birgit and Tara from Olfactoria’s Travels, Val the Cookie Queen and Blondes Wunder from the APJ crew. Some of my mates from Australia and the USA happen to be in London at the time so you’ll get to meet and mingle with them too.

One of the things I’ve loved so much about starting APJ is the amount of incredible people we have met all around the world. We have made some super friends and would LOVE IT if we could add you to that amazing list. Don’t be shy, we are waiting to meet you.

Hopefully see you there,
Portia xx

Beards, Bloggers, Bloom and Vero + Photo Essay


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Salzberg to London to Innsbuck. A crazy perfumed week. In pictures.

It really is too warm here in the middle of Europe to write much. Looking at pictures is less strenuous. And by warm, I mean hot. Yesterday was 40 degrees in Vienna and my flip-flops stuck to the hot pavements.

Beards, Bloggers, Bloom and Vero + Photo Essay

I went to London with Hannah, sometimes known as The BlondesWunder. The trip was documented by Tara on our favourite Olfactoria´s Travels, and by Pia on the wonderful Volatile Fiction. After returning from England, I drove to Innsbruck with my trusty therapist Dr. Fox for a lunch date with Vero Kern. I will share a few of our photos.

Sazburg Airport.  Heading to LondonSazburg Airport.  Heading to London.

Met straight off the train by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue. Whisked off for lunchMet straight off the train by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue. Whisked off for lunch.

Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.

Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.2Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.

Antonio explaining the secrets of MAAI at Bloom Perfumery in Covent Garden.Antonio explaining the secrets of MAAI at Bloom Perfumery in Covent Garden.

Val London July 2015 #1Ummm, NO

Bloom.  Spitalfields.  I was there with Portia and Michael.Bloom.  Spitalfields.  I was there with Portia and Michael.

Pia´s perfume guestsPia´s perfume guests!

The whole bunch of perfumista nerds in Fortnum and MasonThe whole bunch of perfumista nerds in Fortnum and Mason

Perfume Candy Boy, Tara and mePerfume Candy Boy, Tara and me.

Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi. 2

Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi. 3Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi.

I am grateful for the perfumed friendships I have formed. They enrich my life and add a vibrancy that would otherwise be missing.

Where do you dream to travel to meet perfumistas or do you already have stories? PLease share in the comments.

Thankful Bussis