Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries




Hey there APJ! Hope everyone is doing well and I am sure smelling fabulous.

To be perfectly honest with you I am completely out of ideas here. It has been a week of living in a daze. The house is set up but we still have boxes to unpack in the basement and to be frank, in order to make it livable we just threw items into cupboards and closets with the intention that things will be organized in the near future. (I still have not found my favorite erasers for sketching or my favorite kitchen scissors.) Hence, the foggy brain .

Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries

I have quite a bit less closet space here and what used to be a perfume cupboard has now become one for clothes. In order to save valuable space, I took all the perfume bottles out of their boxes (into the basement they went) and randomly set the bottles into the cupboard, an old CD rack and into two boxes. Now, I need to organize them. So, here is a peak into the mess that awaits behind doors and under lids. Any suggestions?

Sanity may be fleeting at the moment, but here are my three go-to perfumes of the week to help clear the mind: Dior Bois d’Argent, Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille and Chanel Misia EdP.

Until next time.
Sandra xo

(Ed: All photos donated by Sandra. VERY nice collection love. XXX)

Moving: Vienna To Rotterdam 2016




Happy New Year APJ! May 2017 bring peace, love and joy to our lives.

Let me just come right out and say it. Moving is terrible. Leaving the comfort of my flat and all the luxuries of the known has been the most challenging aspect. Please do not take this post as a complaint, rather as a funny side to the moving experience.

Moving: Vienna To Rotterdam 2016

The bandaid has been ripped off and we landed safely in Rotterdam. The movers got us into the house and then promptly abandoned us at 2 pm stating that they did not want to unpack all the boxes because there was not enough flat surface to place the items on! WTF?! Seriously – we have four floors!!! Too emotionally spent to argue with them, we let them go home. Now, imagine us climbing, sometimes on all fours, the three crazy steep stairs with boxes – no stairmaster is needed. We have it in the house and no health club membership will be necessary.

One major challenge with which we are faced is figuring out what foods are safe for my allergic son. To give you an example – the first night in Rotterdam we mistakenly thought that a sushi restaurant would be safe. The waitress tried telling us to leave because she could not handle my request. All I wanted to know is why there was egg in an avocado maki! The manager came and told me it was because all the sushi has mayonnaise. Really?! I kindly requested that he makes the maki without the mayo and voila we have safe food! So, it will take us several weeks to get our bearings and figure out which grocery stores have the right foods for us and which restaurants we can visit.


On another note, I know that I am short – but I feel positively elflike here. Both men and women tower over me! We needed to buy a step stool to actually climb into the bath tub – my legs are just not that long. My husband placed one step stool on every floor as there are even light switches I cannot reach on tippytoe. Don’t even get me started on the cupboard space in the kitchen – I don’t remember what I placed up top and cannot even see all the way up there from the ground.

With all the stress and now culture shock setting in, I have two favourite perfumes giving me the much needed comfort and hugs.

Knowing how stressful this would be, I decided several weeks before the move that for the five or six days that it would take to pack, move, stay in a hotel and then move into the house I would be fragrance free.


Once unpacked, I spritzed Shalimar EdP lavishly and was in scented heaven. It has grounded me when I found myself wanting to whimper in a corner.


At night I require an extra dose of sugar and reach for Spiriteuse Double Vanille which sends me off to dreamland with its wonderful boozy vanilla cloud.

All in all, I am excited about the adventure and am looking forward to discovering new places and meeting new people. The Dutch are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. People smile and are willing to help us and most go out of their way when we explain that we are newly implanted foreigners in their country.

Here are a few pictures of the last night in Vienna and then my first impressions living in this vibrant city. If you are interested, you can follow my Instagram (vienna_living) to catch a glimpse of my latest discoveries.










Top Five Scents for Turbulent Times


Post by Gabriella


Hello fragrance peeps! It’s good to be back on APJ after some time away. And my, can I just say how crazy my life has been since my last post. It has been a rollercoaster ride indeed! In just over a month, I’ve turned 40 and had an amazing birthday, had a shocking time at work, had flu, had gastro on top of flu, experienced more craziness at work, fallen flat on my face and bruised myself from head to toe, been thrilled that Mr M was awarded a terrific new work contract in Melbourne, resigned from my job, made a joint decision with Mr M to move to Melbourne, given notice on our rental and booked the removalists. As I write, I am surrounded by boxes and packing tape and getting prepared for moving day at the end of the month…

Top Five Scents for Turbulent Times

In all this hubbub of activity I have found that my perfume choices have narrowed. When things are crazy, I don’t tend to try scents that overly challenge me or anything new. So today, I would like to share my top five scents that have got me though the turbulence of the past few weeks:

Champs Elysees Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

1. Champs Elysees by Jean-Paul Guerlain 1996

My “everything-feels-overwhelming-and-I-want-to-feel-supremely-happy-again” scent. I have the lovely Miss Portia to thank for this gorgeous recent addition to my collection. The radiant mix of mimosa, rose and peach is as sparkling and uplifting as the fizz of champagne and the sun’s golden rays. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face when wearing this and it’s a damn sight cheaper than therapy.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Blackcurrant, almond, anise, melon, peach, violet
Heart: Lilac, lily of the valley, hibiscus, almond flower, rose, mimosa, peony
Base: Almond tree, cedar, benzoin, vanilla, sandalwood

Further reading: Scents Of Self and EauMG
Beauty Encounter has $20/30ml EdT, $55/50ml EdP and $125/30ml Parfum
Surrender To Chance only have $5/.5ml Parfum

Datura Noir Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

2. Datura Noir by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2001

My “Oh-my-God-I feel-trapped-and-want-to-get-away” scent. Datura Noir’s sultry vibe means that there’s an island holiday at hand whenever it all gets just a little bit too much. However, Datura is so much more than your typical tropical suntan vibe scent: the almond and myrrh lend a mysterious edge to the steamy mix of tuberose and coconut.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Coconut, tuberose, tonka bean, almond, lemon blossom, mandarin orange, musk, chinese osmanthus, heliotrope, myrrh, vanilla and apricot.

Further reading:  The Scented Hound and SmellyThoughts
Luckyscent has $130/50ml and Mecca Cosmetica has $148/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $3.99/.5ml

Fleurissimo Fragrantica


Photo Stolen Fragrantica

3. Fleurissimo by James Henry Creed for Creed 1956

My “I-don’t-know-what-perfume-to-wear-today-and-I-don’t-want-to-have-to-think-about-it” scent. Creed Fleurissimo is my absolute scent of choice nowadays, so much so that I’ve almost finished a 75ml bottle in under six months. Supremely elegant and yet unbelievably airy and light; a soft wash of pastel tuberose underscored by whispers of rose and violet.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot
Heart: Tuberose, Bulgarian Rose, violet, Florentine iris
Base: Ambergris.

Luckyscent has $275/75ml and Libertine Parfumerie has $289/75ml
Surrender to Chance has $3/.5ml


Isabey Gardenia Panouge FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

4. Isabey Gardenia by Panouage 2006

My 40th birthday present and my “little-bit-of-luxury” scent. Despite being a gardenia fan, it took me a long time to go from like to love on this. It’s more of white floral medley than a gardenia soliflore per se, but it does what it does beautifully. A heady and warm mix of ylang ylang, gardenia and rose, Isabey Gardenia manages to be impeccably chic and comforting at the same time.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: african orange flower, ylang-ylang and tangerine
Heart: iris, jasmine, gardenia and rose
Base: musk, sandalwood and amber.

 Luckyscent has $165/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $3.99/.5ml
Le Parfum de Therese Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

5. Le Parfum de Therese by Edmond Roudnitska for Frederic Malle 2000

My scent of joy and rapture. Every time I wear this, I wonder why I don’t do so more often, such is its beauty. Others have done such a wonderful job of describing this luscious chypre that I don’t have much more to add to the conversation, except that I absolutely adore it.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fruity aquatic accords, tangerine, melon
Heart: Rose, plum
Base: Cedar, vetiver, leather

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $155/3 x 10ml
Surrender to Chance has $6.99/ml

So, what do you think of my top five? What are your choices when life gets a little crazy?

With much love till next time!
M xx