Melbourne Launch of Penhaligon’s Portraits Collection


Post by Portia


Heya Melbourne crew,

Nick from Libertine Parfumerie asked me to pass along this invitation to you guys for Wednesday 30th November. It looks like it will be a fabulous evening and a great way to get your sniff on the newest range with the outrageous brass animal caps. You can see my reviews of the Penhaligon’s Portraits Collection. RSVP cost is $49/person redeemable against cost of any of the Galerie de Parfum range.

Portia xx

Melbourne Launch of Penhaligon’s Portraits Collection


Melbourne Penhaligon's Nov 2016

Borsch, Vodka and Tears: Melbourne


Post by Ainslie Walker


I had an extraordinary unplanned evening on Chapel Street, Melbourne. My favorite kind of experience, where I get to learn something fascinating, enjoy a new experience and have all my senses dazzled. I was drawn in to a doorway marked by an intriguing logo painted on a shop window: “Borsch, Vodka and Tears” a few steps and I was suddenly out of the cold and in cozy Eastern Europe!

Borsch, Vodka and Tears: Melbourne


A romantic bohemian style bar and restaurant, inspired by the cellar bars of Krakow. It represents a bygone world, specialising in Polish vodka, absinthe, Eastern European beers and Polish meals. It is a perfect place for a date.

I arrived late and eyed off the wall of vodkas on display. The owners have spent years sourcing the most unusual, historic and rare bottles exclusively importing from Poland. My interest was spiked on realizing the bottles were hand made and painted in Poland too -gorgeously bespoke…very much the same way our favourite niche fragrances reside. One bottle even had a bubble inside with a rose inside! Even the historical stories of the brands reminded me of some of the older niche fragrances houses. I had found a magical sparkling vodka apothecary!

I decided on a vodka tasting session. I was asked about my favorite drinks, smells and flavours and I handed myself over for 3 of the barman’s recommendations -very much like perfume shopping. At this point he put down on the bar, three of the cutest tiny hand cut crystal shot glasses. I will admit I wanted to steal them – of course I didn’t though!!

He then filled them with different coloured liquids – vodka! They could have been made from anything! From potato or grain, tinctures or infusions of fruit, herbs or spices and aged in woods like oak. The idea he had was to test me, as by now he knew I had an interest in guessing notes.

Here are the highlights:


1. Piasecki Miodówka Leśna – Forest like and herbal, juniper and pine needle notes. A touch of something a little more resinous and balsamic, maybe honey. If it were perfume think Dior La Collection Couturier Parfumeur – Granville with its pine, citrus, pepper and herbal gorse notes rounded by sandalwoods and even some elements of Gucci by Gucci Sport – cypress, juniper and a touch of musky ambrette seed

2. Ja-GoPrzepalanka – All natural organic artisanal vodka featuring burnt sweet caramel notes, like the top of a crème brulee but with the alcohol strength being enough to really warm the throat. Smooth and deliciously addictive!

3. Miodula Prezydencka Lezakowana was the highlight for me I tasted smoked beeswax predominantly, along with the taste of wild honey, smoked pine needles and oak wood. Only 4000 bottles are made a year, all filled by hand, with 500 reserved as diplomatic gifts for Poland’s president. Bottles are all hand numbered with batch information also handwritten. The recipe is from 1772. I need a full bottle of this exclusive juice!!!!

Next visit I want to try Soplica Staropolska the menu says: Honey, Walnut, Clove With Jasmine And Lilac Notes. Aged In Oak Then Bottled In Hand Painted Decanters.
How does that not sound like a must try perfume to you? How do you like your vodka?

Ainslie Walker x

Melbourne Getaway + Peony Melbourne Photo Essay

Jump across and enter our by Kilian GIVEAWAY<<<JUMP

Hey Hey APJ Family and Friends,
Last weekend BF Jin, BFF Kath and I took ourselves to Australia’s fashion and food capital Melbourne, though we bypassed the fashion food was definitely on the agenda. So was fragrance! More on that in a moment.

Melbourne Getaway

Kath had organised us a terrific 2 bed serviced apartment in Docklands in the 16th floor with views over Docklands, wheel and out to the sea. It was compact but super well laid out and the views, breeze and whole atmosphere felt wonderful. We hired a car and drove ourselves around and the weekend getaway has me both recharged and relaxed.
On Friday night we wandered around Docklands (a bit like Sydney’s Ultimo/Pyrmont area) and found Medici, an Italian eatery where we had Pizza and Antipasto with great service from friendly staff and it was surprisingly reasonable, then some more Docklands wandering before home to a long hot soak in the bath and bed.
Saturday morning we met a mate I lived with in London, an Aussie called Ben, and we reminisced for the crew. Breakfast at Time Out in Federation Square was fun and full of laughter, catching up after about 15 years it felt like Ben and I had never spent a day apart, it was really magic. Kath and Jin adored him and the breakfast was YUMMO! I had Eggs Benedict, my favourite breakfast ever, sorry I can’t remember what everyone else ate.

Peony Melbourne Photo Essay

 Peony 1 window Kath Waples

Taking our leave of Ben we trotted out to Peony Melbourne, Australia’s best known and loved Haute Perfumery. I had written to the proprietor Jill and warned her of our coming and Clayton from What Men Should Smell Like had warned me that she is a beautiful, fun, vibrant lady who knows EVERYONE in the perfume world and more about fine fragrance than he or I will ever know.

Peony Jill:Portia sniffing

Peony Jill:Portia Rude Joke

Peony Jill:Portia Laughing

Clayton was right on for the money. Jill welcomed us in and talked, coached, guided and wandered us through her vast and beautifully presented collection in the shop. Kath was trying fresh citric fragrances with amber nuances, Jin was hoping to find an oudh and I wanted EVERYTHING!!!

Peony 2 wall

Peony 3 wall

Peony Jin:Portia

What did we end up buying? Kath found a lovely square black bottle called Haram
Jin had tried Mona di Orio’s Oud in Budapest and wanted to see if it was the one and Jill also introduced him to Creed’s Royal oud, which is my favourite of their whole line. Both hit his skin and they were worn and sniffed all evening and still Sunday morning there were traces of Mona di Orio’s lavish and luscious Oud hanging around and stuck fast to his watch band. I wonder which he will chose?

Peony 5 J:P MdO Oud

Peony 7 Mona di Orio

I was ready to shop and picked up some soaps by a brand that Victoria from Bois de Jasmin had written about recently, incense and a bottle of Naomi Goodsir’s Bois Encens. So freaking good that I could not leave it to languish in the Peony shelves. Review coming.

Peony 6 Card

Special thanks to my BFF Kath for these fabulous photos, and to the lovely Jill at Peony Melbourne. They send all over Australia and have a super online range.

Biggest kisses from

Portia xx