Europe 2017: Jin & Portia’s Big Adventure




Hey there APJ,

Jin and I leave for our holidays on Tuesday, yes tomorrow. Bags are packed. Friends over for dinner tonight and Jin has done a huge plate of meat & veg that we all make our own Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls from. He is an artist at it and it’s one of my favourite things he does. So fresh, healthy and delicious.

europe_topography_map_en Europe 2017

Europe 2017: Jin & Portia’s Big Adventure

So where are we off to? Here’s a run down of our dates & cities. It’s mainly a driving holiday with a couple of short flights added in for ease and comfort. So the dates are the nights we spend in each city. All dates are in March. Everything in bold is a city we have never been to before, exciting.

8/9/10: Prague, Czech

11/12: Zilina, Slovakia

13/14: Berlin, Germany

15/16: Hamburg, Germany

17: Hanover, Germany

18: Rotterdam, Netherlands

19/20: Luxembourg

21/22/23: Paris

24/25/26: Milan, Italy

27/28/29: London, UK

So that’s where we’ll be. Should you be in any of this cities or nearby and like a catch up, food, sight seeing or a sniff then please tell us where you are in the comments below and we’ll try and organise something.

What frags am I taking? I’m not sure but I’m very tempted to take only Parfum d’Empire Equistrius and Patou 1000.

Here we come Europe, can’t wait to see you.
Portia xxx

Three Kings and Christmas Season Fragrances


Post by TinaG



Christmas is a week and a bit away yet, but somehow feels like it’s tomorrow. To help us get into the holiday season I thought I’d take a look at some traditional Christmassy scents. Hard to choose just one sometimes! But let’s take a look.

Three Kings Fragrances

Let’s take a look at what fragrances the three kings may have worn to match their scents.


Gold: Larmes Du Désert – Atelier des Ors
The beautiful sun-rayed bottles with flakes of real gold make wonderful perfumed snow-globes. Pick it up & give it a shake, preferably while standing in sunlight. What do they smell like? I can’t remember, I was too mesmerised by the sparkles.


Frankincense: Oliban – Keiko Mecheri
Frankincense is sometimes referred to as olibanum/oliban , and the perfume of that name by Keiko Mecheri has a fabulous, photo-realistic frankincense note which smelt like it had been grabbed straight from the burning censer. I’m gonna be bold and put it out there as a must-sniff for this incense note. Portia has done a lovely Oliban review


Myrrh: Parfum d’Empire – Wazamba
Wazamba opens resinous and sticky, almost a honeyed amber with an interesting apple note. This settles to a straight-up dry myrrh throughout the dry down. Myrrh is an interesting resin to burn, it has a cool greyness about it. Wazamba manages to capture this incense wonderfully.

Christmas Season Fragrances

Christmas in the southern hemisphere is VERY different to that up north so some thought needs to go into what to wear on the big day.


Winter: Guerlain – Aqua Allegoria, Winter Delice
Winter Delice is a walk through a European mountain forest, fir and pine. It it well balanced and eminently wearable. It is unfortunately discontinued but bottles do pop up from time to time.


Summer: CB I Hate Perfume – At The Beach 1966
This is a day at the beach, suntan lotion, salt spray and warmth. I’ve only sniffed this from a friend’s sample but it left such a strong impression of summer’s past – a great frag to try for a flashback.

What fragrances are you grabbing as we head directly into the holiday season?

Till next time!
Tina G xx

Eau de Gloire by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d’Empire 2003


Post by Portia


Hi there Fragrant Family,

When Michael Edwards of Fragrances Of The World fame had his cleanout this was one of the fragrances he gave me. I had liked it very much from my original Parfum d’Empire sample set (that I can’t find on the site anymore). So my review today is based on an older bottle like the top picture in the review. I have no idea if the fragrance has been reformulated for the new bottle but I’ve read nothing on the boards to indicate there has been a change.

Eau de Gloire by Parfum d’Empire 2003

Eau de Gloire by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Eau de Gloire Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, amalfi lemon, lavender, rosemary, neroli, tangerine, myrtle
Heart: Tea, star anise, licorice, immortelle
Base: Leather, tobacco, olibanum, french labdanum, oakmoss

The first fragrance that Parfum d’Empire brought to the world in 2003, modeled on Marc-Antoine Corticchiato’s scent memory of his boyhood home Corsica, Eau de Gloire is literally translated as Water of Glory and dedicated as an homage to all those who’ve left their homelands to go into the world and conquer. Especially to his own home island boy Napoleon Bonaparte.

Photo Stolen HistoryFiles

The first words that jump into my head when wearing Eau de Gloire are Bracing, Citrus, Salt, Squeaky, Floral, Masculine. Yes, I know we don’t deal in masculine/feminine archetypes here but Eau de Gloire definitely skews towards what my upbringing has defined as a masculine scent, which does not minimise how spectacularly it will perform on the girls so please don’t get up in arms.

Eau de Gloire opens with a powerhouse icy cold screech of bergamot, citrus twig and broken branch and briny sea air then the herbs and flowers come and take the edge off. As the rosemary, lavender and star anise waltz in they warm the scent slightly but still it stays cool and laid back. I don’t believe in fragrances for the sexes but I keep imagining Eau de Gloire on a very masculine man though I would love to see how it smells on a woman. There is a squeaky dissonance here, the trilling of the citrus which lasts well into the heart of the fragrance and the rumbling of the incense, anise, oakmoss and tobacco. Unfortunately my nose misses the tea and leather in the composition completely, maybe you will have more luck.

Eau de Gloire comes and goes from my ability to smell it, very interesting, but when i concentrate I can. It’s like it hides from me to make me seek out its loose billowy freshness. At about 3-4 hours I get more soft and flowery notes over the various resins, this fragrance grows more interesting and textured as it matures. At 7 hours it is soft as butterfly kisses and almost as ephemeral.

Eau de Gloire Parfum d`EmpirePhoto Stolen Parfum d’Empire

I hadn’t worn Eau de Gloire for a while but last night when I wore it to work there were three compliments on my fragrance throughout the night. One of whom I am making a small decant for because her eyes were shining with enthusiasm. I think we have a new perfumista in our midst.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Chemist In A Bottle
Parfum d’Empire has 120/100ml
Libertine Parfumerie has $199/100ml and FREE AUSTRALIAN SHIPPING!
Surrender To Chance has samples that start at $3.50/ml

What have you worn lately that people have noticed?

Please treat yourself well, it’s hard to be happy when there’s someone being mean to you the whole time.
Portia xx

Fougère Bengale by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2007


Post by Portia


Hi there Fragrance Fiends,

I have long lusted after the Parfum d’Empire perfumer. Marc-Antoine Corticchiato is a friggen hottie, so suave and handsome looking, so finished and grand. Here’s a photo to get you in the mood….

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato Parfum d'Empire

Fougère Bengale by Parfum d`Empire 2007

Fougère Bengale by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Fougère-Bengale Parfum d'EmpirePhoto Stolen Parfum d’Empire

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender, tea, ginger, mint
Heart: Hay, tobacco, pepper
Base: Oakmoss, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean

From Parfum d’Empire: Edwardian dandies scented themselves with fougère, a classic fragrance family based on lavender, tonka bean and oak moss. Fougère Bengale revisits the genre with a powerful, honeyed blond tobacco accord, and carries us off to India…

Smoky tea, spice and hay are what come through initially on my skin and honeyed sweet tobacco. I know there’s lavender here, my brain is saying lavender, lavender, lavender but my nose doesn’t smell it at all. The smoky tea goees pretty quickly and the spice changes, not so energetic and I really do feel like I’m about to light a cigarette in a hayloft.

Photo Stolen WikiCommons

Then the main notes take a balmy turn, everything smooths out and the honeyed sweetness that often catches in the back of my throat becomes a softer, suppler and more comfortable beast all together. All of a sudden I am in a cozy, warm fragrance that is still dappled with light but now it’s a less golden and more burnished copper. Calmer, sweeter, smoother and cuddlier. The tiger is now a kitten purring happily in your lap or cuddled in the crook of your arm.

Fougere Bengale Parfum d`Empire Tiger Moni Sertel FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I still get wafts of tobacco and hay through the heart and into the base but they are quickly quelled by the lovely resins. To be honest I get very little of India in Fougere Bengale at all. It’s too clean and too European elegant, once the fireworks die down I get much more Professor Higgins library than Shah Jahan’s tiger hunt. Yet I find it both appealing and wearable, it’s interesting enough to keep me sniffing and the longevity is excellent.

Further reading: Scented Hound and Non Blonde
Parfum d’Empire has 120/100ml
LuckyScent has $145/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3.50/ml

India! Have you been? Is it on your list?
Portia xx

Fragrances For What Ails You: The Hangover Part 1


Post by Ainslie Walker


Fragrances for what ails you: The Hangover Part 1

Today’s focus is HANGOVERS.

*Please note: we at APJ do not recommend drinking irresponsibly.

Average Hangover, described as ‘feeling dusty’ upon waking and makes the day a little harder, a lot longer and much slower.

General remedies:

Sympathy For The Sun Dear Rose FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Dear Rose – Sympathy For The Sun tops up much needed electrolytes with its salt note supported with sparkling water drenched citrus and rose. Just like an atomized aspirin.

Parfum d Empire – Corsica Furiosa is my go to fragrant Bloody Mary. Tomato leaf so green it makes me feel purified instantly, mixed with a pinch of pepper to increase circulation of important antioxidants. A touch of mint settles any nausea or bloating.

Coromandel Chanel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Chanel – Coromandel when you just need a cloudy hug and strength to carry on (dramatic I know) woods, benzoin and soft cotton ball clouds of vanilla-patchouli and iris “take me away” from the self afflicted symptoms. I feel wrapped in cotton wool and supported enough to get on with my day.

The OOPSIES are more serious…

Hangover of Dread: “What have I done?!” Paranoia. Self-loathing. Regret. Strength and bravado needed pronto. Something to stop all the wrongness from deep inside, seeping out. Surrounding oneself with By Kilian – Smoke for the Soul will neutralise all those nasty feelings inside. Soul cleansing with eucalyptus, grapefruit and cardamom is advantageous. Bolster with maté, full of antioxidants. Complete with kidney cleansing birch. The tobacco cashmirwood and cannabis at this stage can only be described as a ‘medicinal’ bonus. **

Granville Christian Dior FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Hangover with memory loss: You wake up and remember a limited amount of the night before. Perhaps it was those shots you were downing? The scent of Tequila seeps from your pores on waking. It is not wise to stand near a naked flame. A dose of memory recalling rosemary and fresh Normandy air will help. Dior’s Granville is exactly that -crisp and fresh with mandarin, lemon, thyme, rosemary, pine needles, black pepper, sandalwood and gorse.

Head in a bucket hangover: Sliding out of bed with a groan, you take the appropriate amount of steps to the bathroom whilst moaning. You sit on the cold tiles and wait. The nausea could last all day. Something simple and relatively linear is Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca. With its dewy grass and fresh cool mint notes it will also freshen the air for anyone game to come close.

Queen by Queen Latifah FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

“Still drunk” hangover: Jump out of bed feeling good after a big night. You feel superhuman. Happiness only lasts so long…by lunchtime you’re fading. Avoid the comedown by use of your booziest fragrances – doubling to cover the alcohol on your breath whist keeping you giddy and drunk. Examples include Queen by Queen Latifah with its cognac base, Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling with it’s botanical gin base or rum based Naomi Goodsir’s Or du Serail

Most of these fragrances can be  sampled at Surrender To Chance and My Perfume Samples

Stay tuned for “The Hangover Part 2”

Xx Your Fragrant Nurse, Ainslie ;D

**By Kilian: Exclusive to Harrolds Sydney and Libertine online

Eau Suave by Parfum d`Empire 2005 + Kate Bush

Hi there Music Lovers and Fumies,

Recently I posted a piece of music and told you how I love to put on the classical music and saif (spray a LOT) myself in a particularly big fragrance, close my eyes and just let myself float away on the music and fragrance together. Sometimes when the world gets too much, when I am bombarded by questions or negativity, when the next step seems unreachable or when I am completely overwhelmed by my to do list. Look at it this way: I could continue freaking out for 5 minutes or I can concentrate myself elsewhere, completely give myself to something else, and let my subconscious do its job. Quite often I find myself at the end of the piece of music 100% calmer, able to focus, aware of the next bite sized step or in touch with my gut feelings.

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire Josephine WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Last time it was Debussy: Rêverie but today I went looking for a childhood memory song. One that used to make me feel happy and sad, I used to play it repeatedly on my 3in1 and sing along in my thin childish tenor until one of the family would bang on the door and ask me to turn it down and stop that catterwauling.

Today it brings back happy memories and a smile as I completely let myself be taken away by the amazing voice of Kate Bush. What did I spritz today to listen to it?

Eau Suave by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2005

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, saffron, rose
Heart: Peach, raspberry, red berries, pepper, tea rose
Base: Vanilla, musk, oakmoss, patchouli

Spicy, sweet rose. I think the top notes of my bottle have been compromised slightly because the zingy coriander opening that I loved so well is muted nowadays. The rose is still lovely and sweet, not quite jammy but a fruity sweet and that wonderful hint of cracked pepper that some of the apricot rose flowers have when you grow them in the garden. A perfect soft focus fragrance to lose yourself in while listenbing to Kate Bush and beyond into the afternoon where it becomes a lovely soft rose and vanilla wash.

My review is for the vintage, I have not smelled the new in their very austere new bottles.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
LuckyScent have $145/100ml
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $4/ml

Whjat music or fragrance makes you float away?
Portia xx

Kate Bush – The Man with the Child in His Eyes – Official Music Video

Equistrius by Marc Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2007

Hello Fellow Fumies,

One of the sad things that happens in the perfumista world is that we often have only time to try the new and many of the veteran niche fragrances get left behind in the rush to smell the MILLIONS of latest and greatest. So I thought that I would dedicate as many Saturdays as possible to reviewing fragrances that are older than this current decade. Today we look at….

Equistrius by Parfum d`Empire 2007

Equistrius by Marc Antoine Corticchiato

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Iris, violet, green notes
Heart: Iris, chocolate, woody notes, powder, rice
Base: Amber, sandalwood, vetiver, suede, ambrette (musk mallow)

I thought I’d start with a fragrance that I tried once a while ago and always had on the retry list but it got pushed to the back of the cupboard. Last night for some reason I grabbed Equistrius and spritzed before I went to work. WOW! What most attracted me in the opening is a lovely smokiness, weird because its not talked about and then I wonder if my nose is playing silly buggers but I have just drained my sample for my third wearing and it is most decidedly smoky behind the earthy green opening.

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire Great Smoky Mountains WikpediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Then the scent kind of blurs and becomes a soft focus fragrance that never really settles on a note but waltzes through the heart as a sweet bouquet, this is quite long lasting and smells great but no notes jump out and accost me. Sadly the rice note doesn’t appear on my skin or to my nose. One of the yummiest and freakiest smells in our house is the rice cooking in the pressure cooker. It always smells so enticing and I wish someone would capture that exact scent and bottle it.

Dry down is soft and very close, a mere breath of fragrance shimmering softly above my skin. A sweet vegetal nothing that you have to be very close to notice, pretty and a lovely surprise for someone undressing you……..

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire Brumbies_Australia WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

How do I feel about Equistrius? While I enjoy it very much and love the ride I am not fully taken by Equistrius. Something in it doesn’t sing on my skin and after reading some other pieces on it I think the fault is me, not the frag. There are pieces missing from the puzzle and I wonder if its a sign that Equistrius and I are not buddies. There are so many others in the line that I adore so I can’t really complain. It’s a shame because the notes list and others reviews make me want to smell what they all smell, I think it would smell killer on the right person.

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire Icelandic Horse Brian Gatwicke FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and BOTO
Libertine has $150/50ml with FREE Australian P&H
LuckyScent has $145/100ml in the new bottles
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3.50/ml

Did you ever try this line? What about Equistrius? Did it ever spend skin time with you? What did you think?
Portia xx