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.










Christmas in Vienna 2016: Photo Essay


Post by Sandra


Hiya APJ! I hope ya’ll are doing well and enjoying the holiday season.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a kid once a year when the holidays come around and that I love every moment. This year is a weird year as we are moving to the The Netherlands on 21 December and into the house on 23 December. Santa will definitely have to show up but how much decorating will get done depends largely on how many of the decorations I can find. My priority this year is to mark a box which will contain my son’s presents so that he at least can enjoy some of the magic.

Christmas in Vienna 2016





The holidays are an onslaught to my senses in Vienna and this year is no different. The streets are finally all decked out (they prepare for weeks) and lit, brightly lighting our way. It sure makes the darkness of winter seem more friendly and inviting. The Christmas markets are full of bright coloured ornaments, toys and knick knacks which bring grins to many children and panicked faces of their parents trying desperately to ensure that nothing breaks (picture my son reaching for one snowglobe in a stand with over 100 snowglobes). However pale I may be from fear of breaks, I still love seeing his face light up and his eyes twinkle with joy. There are stands selling hot mulled wine all over the city too. The kids can have warm spiced juice and enjoy the delicacies of roasted chestnuts and cookies. Magic is in the air but also the despair of so many who live on the streets. And with this despair I also see strangers performing random acts of kindness on an almost daily basis.






sandra-christmas-in-vienna-2016-10My son and his friend Maxi who were great sales assistants at the Christmas market today.

The holidays are a feast for my senses but especialy for my sense of smell. The caramelized almonds, roasted chestnuts, hot mulled wine, ornaments made with cloves, anise, cinnamon and dried fruits, incense in the cathedral and even the smell of pine needles all around are pure sensory overload. How do I find a perfume that wraps up all of these into a perfume that is even wearable? I have not found a perfume that suits the holidays yet, but I tend to reach for gourmands and vanilla or almond notes. So I tend to veer off on a tangent and think of what perfume would I like to receive for Christmas and I then go and have a sniff.

Chanel Misia Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Powdery notes, violet, iris, orris root, Turkish rose, Grasse rose, Laos benzoin, tonka bean

Well, needless to say I have found two that I would love to see under the tree – so let me dream please. How about Chanel Misia EdP and Chanel Beige EdP please – and if Santa is being more than generous I would love Chanel Boy too.

I did not read about the Chanel EdP releases because I wanted to form my own opinion and to be perfectly honest with you – I like several of them more in the EdP strength. Beige and Misia smelled pretty similar to the EdT but lasted quite a bit longer. 31 rue Cambon I am torn about – something is different but it does somehow resemble the EdT and yet it lasts. I wore both versions of Coromandel on the same day and even though the EdT has more incense I liked the EdP quite a bit.

What are your scents for the holidays – be it culinary, perfumed or floral? Do you have any perfumes on your wishlist?

Wishing you all a joyful, peaceful and safe holiday season.
Sandra xoxo

Guerlain: Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney: Photo Essay


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hello lovely Perfume Junkies!

How are you all coping in the slippery slope into the festive season? Have you sent your fragrant orders to Santa? Have you been naughty or nice?

I have a confession: I couldn’t wait! I just bought a bottle (with a free additional bottle) of Sylvaine Delacourte’s new Florentina from her new La Collection Muscs. (An independent side project, i.e. not Guerlain)If you’ve not tried them, go on her website and pay a tiny 4 euros and order the sampler – then it’s a one off buy one get one offer on a full bottle – irresistible!

Sylvaine Delacourte Adventures Down under!

We had the pleasure of greeting Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney in November – THE QUEEN BEE OF GUERLAIN. She really is personable, fun spirited and of course extremely talented and knowledgeable in person. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read my interview with her for APJ while I was in Paris in October, which fills you in on all things Sylvaine Delacourte.

Guerlain: Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney

Photo Essay


Cosmax, the distributers for Guerlain in Australia hosted a lovely lunch in Paddington at the Four in Hand Hotel for press and important people like Michael Edwards from Fragrances of the World. Here we ate and drank amongst beautifully set tables full of flowers and bee bottle factice. Sylvaine talked about her more than 20-year history with Guerlain and she held the group captivated. It was also at this lunch the newest Guerlain Exclusif was launched, Neroli Outrenoir.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Table setting at the Neroli Outrenoir launch in Paddington

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Michael Edwards and Sylvaine Delacourte


Now available instore – David Jones – the exclusives collection is to die for and worth popping on your list to Santa. I bought myself Angelique Noire (the greenest one) when I was in Paris, however I have popped pretty much the rest of the collection onto my wish list. DEELICIOUS! The core theme is Sylvaine’s desire to showcase raw materials in unexpected spotlights so the gardenia is presented in a lacey way. In Cuir Beluga we have leather, however it is more of a light soft caress of suede rather than something tart from a tannery. Neroli Outre Noir’s magic lies in the top notes seeming to remain throughout nearly the whole dry down. Any perfumer will tell you this can almost only happen by pure MAGIC. Notes of combined citrus, orange blossom, smoky, earthy tea for me also makes it a win.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAngelique Noire I bought in Paris in Septermber!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bee bottle Factice from table setting to swoon at

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Lily of the Valley that was on my table setting at home in my Mud vase!


Sylvaine then spent a few days upstairs at David Jones level 7 where she did a question and answer style talk for VIP’s and the Sydney Perfume Lovers Meetup Group. In addition and a highlight for me were two workshops where participants created their own Guerlain-esque floral fragrance. After learingin all about the raw materials from Sylvaine herself! I spent the entire time with jaw on the floor, inspired and absorbing everything. How lucky we were to have her visit and share this wonderful insider knowledge and experience!

Have you experienced the Exclusifs range? What are your thoughts and favorites?

Xx until next time! XX Ainslie XX

En Voyage & Facebook Fragrance Friends SNIFF! + Photo Essay


Post by Portia


Hey APJ Frag Darlings.

To help commemorate reaching 7000 members, 20 folks from Facebook Fragrance Friends met in Portland Oregon on Oct. 22nd 2016, for a (very) full day of perfume fun and happiness at an event hosted by Shelly Waddington, owner/perfumer of the fabulous En Voyage Perfumes.

En Voyage & Facebook Fragrance Friends SNIFF!

We started the day at Shelly’s apartment, pawing and sniffing our way through her fabulous range, pawing and sniffing our way through her amazing workshop and perfumer’s organ, before setting off to visit two perfume emporiums, the brand new niche-centric Fumerie Perfumerie, followed by a pilgrimage to the venerated Grand Dame of Perfume shops, The Perfume House.





















What a day it was! So much fun, total insanity, perfume, lots of “nasty women” talk, pizza, Hello K_tty, Shelley and Rich’s’ gorgeous new digs and Shelly’s new workshop, their amazing hospitality, new wonderful friends, and finally meeting people after 2.5 years on FB, Barbara Carters’ custom cocktail (with flankers..) Release The Kracken, an amazing finger-food supper and finally the ‘fume swap to end ALL swaps, and so very much more. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Kind of like the BEST grown-up slumber party/cocktail party EVER!! It was simply magnificent!!❤️❤️❤️❤️


With Guerlain’s Sylvaine Delacourte in Paris + Photo Essay


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hello Fragrance lovers – something very special for you today!

Sylvaine Delacourte’s story is of hard work and perseverance. Currently Guerlain’s Artistic Director of Fragrance, an inspiring pioneer, in an historically male dominated industry. She has instigated change and innovation within Guerlain’s traditional curtains.

I attended Atelier Il Était Une Fois prior to the meeting, smelling 25 original, discontinued Guerlain fragrances. A beginner when it came to Guerlain, my visit to Paris was certainly rectifying this. Basics covered and now who better to bring me up to speed than Sylvaine Delacourte!?


With Guerlain’s Sylvaine Delacourte in Paris

Australian visit announcement!

AW: From the beginning, tell me about your career?

SD: I was a makeup artist! Knowing nothing about perfume I joined Guerlain, became a trainer in makeup for France and internationally, then Product Manager.


AW: How did you progress into fragrance?

SD: I became curious. I worked for the most beautiful perfume brand in the world. There was no in-house training for perfume so I attended Cinquième Sens and it was a revolution! My teacher Monique Schlienger was inspiring. I fell in love with perfume. I started to buy books and bottles – my collection was enormous!

I asked, “If I can study perfume, after I will create training for Guerlain.” I was given 2 years, paid, to learn perfume.

I attended Isipca, Firmenich and many more! I spent one week with Jean Claude Ellena.

I kept my word and created perfume training for Guerlain. I was the first person to do sales training about perfume at that time.

AW: From trainer to perfumery?

SD: Jean Paul Guerlain invited me for lunch. Handing me 3 blotters, he said “I’m creating a fragrance” I replied, “I am a beginner, I know nothing!” He insisted, I made my choice and he said, “I feel exactly the same.” It was Heritage. He said “stop what you’re doing and come work with me.”
I became evaluator, technological coach and psychological coach. [Laughs]
We did many perfumes together; from after Samsara, to Champs Elysees – a turning point: I was quite alone in that project, working with Olivier Cresp from Firmenich, nobody knew -it was secret and it was chosen to launch!!

JPG was upset about Champs Elysees, “Sylvaine, go into marketing, it will be good for you.” He developed Coriolan and Mahora – good perfumes but commercial disasters.
Guerlain was not in good health, I was asked to come back, “we have to launch a perfume, it must be a success!”

I developed one with Maurice Roucel and won against JPG and other perfumers it was L’Instant de Guerlain I cosigned with Maurice. Next, I won Pour Homme and after I won a floral, Insolence.

Finally I was made Director of Creation.


AW: Your current role?

SD: I control all the tools and language about perfumes we transmit to beauty advisers, press and marketing. I know all the steps of the perfumer; I know what’s inside. I know how to talk about it, so I know perfectly the message we need to give.

AW: Bespoke Fragrances?

SD: Since 2006 I’ve made 35 bespoke fragrances. I have 6 to make now! I created a 2-hour consultation with psychoanalysis, olfactive tests – I make them anosmic, almost in an hypnotic state to find positive smells from their life.

AW: Working with Michael Edwards?

SD: He is very cute. He comes many times, yes, to see me – twice a year to talk new products and their pyramids. He asks, “Are you ok with this category,” first. He is very professional and serious, does not take risks. Very kind -a gentleman. He understands perfectly the fragrances.


AW: Two fragrances most special to you?

SD: They are all my babies, but 2 are very important:

L’Instant de Guerlain for Women as it was tough at that time. I cosigned with Maurice Roucel, I was in the spotlight and it meant a new life for me.

Cuir Beluga I made for myself, it is me! It is my perfume! Cuir Beluga is the most beautiful fragrance I have created. It is difficult to stay at that level. This will be by my gravestone!

AW: Working with Thierry Wasser?

SD: I worked with Thierry on 3 fragrances before he joined Guerlain, when he was still at Firmenich, Quand Vient La Pluie, Iris Ganache and Guerlain Homme.

La Petite Robe Noir, the original, was an exclusive. When Thierry joined Guerlain he said in an elegant way “I have kidnapped your formula to make it more international!” [Smiling]


AW: Difficulties as a woman?

Always fighting as a woman – I did not want to be in the spotlight but when you do something you are proud of, you want to be recognized. Now, everyone in the team is important.

AW: “Musk-inade,” working with musk -L’Instant Magic days!

I am very fond of musk! It is very comforting, elegant, refined, and warm. Some are difficult to catch. You must blend a bouquet musks for everyone to smell it. It’s not easy to work with musk, it hugs close to skin, and it’s hard to make it extraverted. Musk is tenacious but has no trail. We have to add trail to the musk.


AW: Raw materials you like / don’t like?

I love vanilla, mimosa, heliotrope, iris and violet. I love vetiver and patchouli. Vetervyl acetate, heliotropin and hedione.

I work on delicacy and subtlety. I like to work raw materials in contrasting ways e.g. Cruel Gardenia – I made Gardenia like lace, very delicate and subtle. I made vanilla fresh and green in Angelique Noire. Rose Barbare’s rose is not romantic or fresh but dark, musky, nutty.

I don’t like indole – too animalic for me!

Oud I find the hardest – I don’t like it. Thierry loves working with that kind of note. I am happy he takes care of this!


Sylvaine Delacourte Australian Visit:

Sylvaine visits Australia November 3rd – 5th, launching L’Art et la Matiere collection, David Jones, Sydney.

Sylvaine oozes such passion for the brand and fragrances; specifics roll off her tongue without hesitation. She will share her remarkable knowledge to attendees. In addition she will host workshops, where VIP’s will create their own floral fragrances.

– 3rd November 6:30pm / 5th November 4pm instore at DJ’s.
– Perfume Creation Workshop $65, 4th November 10am / 5th November 1pm

BOOK through Sydney Perfume Lovers Meetup Group online or David Jones.

Thankyou for reading! Hope to see you there!
Ainslie X

Cookie Queen’s Adventure Photo Essay


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Hello all you APJ Perfumistas and Bikers!

Each year my husband attends the Eurobike International Trade Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It´s freaking enormous, supposedly
the biggest bike show in the world. He needs two days to get around it. Journalists, superstars from the downhilling world to The Tour de France,
plus the industry visitors make up the some 45,000 in attendance on the trade days, along with an extra 20,000 bike fans on the public day.


Friedrichshafen is on Lake Constance, also known as the Bodensee. The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I decided
to grab a ride to Friedrichshafen with Chris then hop on a bus to Zürich, meet Vero for lunch, and hop on a bus back again. Why not? Life is too short
to sit still.

Cookie Queen’s Adventure

Bikes, Ferries and Caron Perfume
A lunch date at the Hammam in Zürich with Vero Kern
A Photo Essay

I got up at 03:15 and opened the fridge door for a drink. A large glass of what had been Oma`s frozen cream of pumpkin soup fell out of the door and
smashed on the kitchen floor. By 03.30 I was vacuuming up the last bits of glass and the cat thought I had lost my mind. We were out the door by
04.30 and on our 350 km way. I got out in Friedrichshafen and an hour later was on the bus. By 13:30 I was in Zürich with Vero and by 16:00 I was heading back to Friedrichshafen. Anyway – here´s some piccies.

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #2On the ferry crossing from Friedrichshafen to Konstanz. 15 minutes. Absolutely gorgeous.

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #1Frierichshafen. Home to the Zeppelin.

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #4

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #12

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #3Isi, Vero’s superstar dog meeting me at the central station in Zürich.


Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #7

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #5

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #6

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #8

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #9Lunch at the Hammam Basar. Fantastic salad followed by thick Turkish coffee fragrant with cardomom.

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #11Ferry back from Konstanz to Friedrichshafen. Stunning.

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #13Evening with Chris. (Ice cream makes nice pictures but I don’t like ice cream, I really don’t.)

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #14Next day. Heading to the bike show. Cookies for our dealers. SOTD was vintage Caron En Avion Extrait by Ernest Daltroff: featuring carnation, jasmine, neroli and opoponax. A gift from Vero. Thick dark deep orange, spicy, lush and leathery, What a joy.


Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #15

Bike Desires. Me looking at the new Rotwild Electric bike. €7000. Do not let anyone tell you electric bikes are for old people. And the below shot is a 12 speed SRAM Eagle cassette. ( for the biking perfumistas amongst us 😀)

Cookie Queen's Adventure Sept 2016 #16

Fragrant Biking Bussis

Scent of the Cookie Run. A Five Year Anniversary.


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Hey There Fabulously Fragrant Foodies and Funsters

Scent of the Cookie Run. A Five Year Anniversary.

A Perfume Geek Post.

Cookie Run 2016 #6



Five years ago I began supplying cookies to a Salzburg based firm, Indigo. As a number of you know I have a business together with my husband. Bikes and Cookies. He is a downhill bike specialist and runs the bike shop, and I make cookies by hand. From the milling of the grains, to the specialist vanilla, along with chopping all the chocolate by hand, I bake up small batches to fill the orders of the stores. I started with seven and as of September this year, with the opening of a new one in Linz, I will have eleven. My kitchen is located in the back of the shop, closed in of course, with a wall to wall window looking out into my husband´s workshop. There is a good chance that we are the only bike shop with a cookie kitchen in it.

Cookie Run 2016 #12Milling the spelt (Cookies are half each spelt & wheat)

Cookie Run 2016 #4

Cookie Run 2016 #5Husband Chris & BFF Kirk shopping

Cookie Run 2016 #14

Cookie Run 2016 #13

v5Daughter Hannah (Blondes Wunder) chopping



Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings are spent preparing and making the dough and turning it into weighed balls. It can be anything from three to five hundred cookies and I weigh each one separately. It all gets packed in-between sheets of waxed paper and kept in a very cold refrigerator. Top up dough is made on Monday as I can never quite guess all the orders correctly. Tuesdays I get up at the butt crack of dawn and bake. Once the oven is turned on it´s a race against the beeper! The cookies are baked and cooled, boxes are packed with the orders. (I can be flexible with the prepping times, but orders need
to be delivered Tuesday noon time.) I load the car and head to Salzburg, but not before changing my clothes and applying my perfume.

Cookie Run 2016 #9Dayle Ann Clavin

Cookie Run 2016 #8

Cookie Run 2016 #3

Cookie Run 2016 #11

Cookie Run 2016 #22Resting

Cookie Run 2016 #19Buckets ready for packing

SOTCR* (The Geeky Part)

Monday evening I decide which perfume I will wear on Tuesday. I very seldom, nearly never, wear anything that I don´t have a full bottle of. I choose a couple of photos or pictures that give the vibe of the perfume and subsequently post the information onto a couple of the private perfume groups on Facebook. SOTCR*. Hahahahahaha. I am laughing my arse off here as I type this. Only a perfume junkie would understand. Trying something new in the car is an absolute no, I have no desire to sit in a confined space with something nasty.

Cookie Run 2016 #1

Cookie Run 2016 #2

Cookie Run 2016 #17The Cookie Run favourites

Cookie Run 2016 #18

Cookie Run 2016 #20Indigo

Cookie Queen

The day I met Portia in Vienna, more than three and a half years ago was the day I became Cookie Queen. It has stuck now and I have my own logo which as well as being on my blogging and cookie cards, is also on our mountain biking downhill jerseys. I sponsor our small racing team with cookies, indeed I seem to sponsor half the bloody world!

Coromandel CHANEL Val and portia vienna 2013The day we met in Vienna Feb 2013

Cookie Run 2016 #7

Cookie Run 2016 #23Chris wearing the logo

Cookie Run 2016 #10

Cookie Run 2016 #21Dayle Ann Clavin

So come on and crack out your geeky perfume habits and spill the beans. Or perhaps you have a cookie addiction?

Armadillo bussis

*{Ed: SOTCR = Scent Of The Cookie Run (I know you didn’t need to look)}

Most photos were donated by Val the Cookie Queen
Some were from Dayle Ann Clavin (<<<Go check the site, GORGEOUS!)