Cookies, Perfumes, Shoes, and a Mountain

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Hi APJ from Austria in a heatwave

Last year I wrote a post for APJ – Scent of the Cookie Run. A Five Year Anniversary. This month will be my sixth year and last night I attended the opening of a new store in Innsbruck, the third in the city.

 

Cookies, Perfumes, Shoes, and a Mountain

I wore Vero Profumo´s Rozy Extrait for the event. As I recently mentioned to Tara of A Bottled Rose, I don´t wear spray perfume when I am in a close crowd, and especially not in an eating place. I think that´s damn rude. Extraits are perfect. So for the who went for the three kisses on the cheek route, mwah, mwah, mwah, Rozy said enough. Laughing as I write this, idiosyncratic perfumista behaviour at it´s most extreme. Talking of Vero Profumo, my bottle of the ten year jubilee scent, NAJA, arrived this week. Quite the highlight I must say. I have had various versions of it since 2015, and it has been a long and emotional journey, so to hold a bottle in my grubby hand was way cool.

I bought an amazing pair of shoes recently. Flat AND sexy. I live in Crocs for work, Timberland for winter, and Havaianas for summer. It has been years since I bought any shoes verging on beautiful. I mean have you tried buying a genuinely stunning pair of flat, comfortable, gorgeous shoes? When I saw a picture of these I followed the link and ordered them on-the-spot. The company www.inch2.com were beyond good. They kept in touch via email, Facebook Chat, WhatsApp and there was a telephone number. Of course it is a bit risky ordering online when it comes to sizing, and the 39s I ordered were too big. Returning was as simple as can be and the replaced my order within three weeks. The shoes are hand finished, according to the orders they receive, and thus take a little longer than some other online companies. Winter boots here I come.

I am going with the BlondesWunder, Mirjam her childhood friend, and Dr Fox, my partner-in-crime, to Italy next week for five days. Caorle, about forty-five minutes northish of Venice on the Adriatic Coast. We have been together many times before, always staying in the same hotel on the beach, and we love it. There is something supremely comfortable about being hidden on the beach, sardined in amongst thousands of other holidaymakers. Anonymity pure. It´s a ladies only holiday. Which brings me to the perfumes BlondesWunder and I are gonna take. We have limited ourselves to three each, with the option of sharing! We are driving down there so it´s no problem taking bottles. (We only wear perfume at night, after dinner, when we go into the town 🙂 )

BlondeWunder has picked Guerlain´s Terracotta, Luten`s La Fille de Berlin and Malle´s Eau de Magnolia.
I’m taking Malle´s Une Rose, Mona di Orio´s Musc, and Vero´s Rubj EdP.

So there you go. Meanwhile Portia said I should throw in some pics of our “house mountain” the Traunstein. We are überlucky to be
able to see it from our balcony and it gives me great joy.

So whether you are summering or wintering, stay cool.

Perfumed Bussis
CQ

Sandra’s London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay

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Sandra

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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

Xerjoff Xerjoff Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

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Sandra

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Hi APJ! Hope everyone is having a lovely smelling spring or autumn. I am currently surrounded by beautiful spring flowers and blooming trees and all of my senses are in overdrive. Here are a few pictures of the mesmerizing spring in the Netherlands. Every turn I take and every day brings a new colourful image to lock away in my memory chest. What is your favorite part of spring or autumn?

Rotterdam Photos by Sandra

Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

I am sure you are all well ahead of me when it comes to Xerjoff. It is an overwhelming brand for me and I have only really sniffed and enjoyed the Casamorati line and a couple from the Join the Club line. As a Vienna farewell gift I received three minis from the Shooting Stars collection. (Thank you so much – you know who you are.)

So, here I am freezing my butt off in chilly and beautiful Rotterdam and eagerly sniffing these little gems from Xerjoff. They are harbingers of early summer days. Here are my thoughts.

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Xerjoff: Shingl

Notes are: bergamot, basil, anise and artemisia, iris, rum, patchouli and vetiver, vanilla, amber and musk.
Shingl opens up quite sharp and spicey making my nose cringe. The sharp opening is herbal as well and it was confusing until the rum settled in. I always thought that rum or alcohol notes are not appealing, but the note here is subtle. It smooths out the opening together with the introduction of iris. What I find not only interesting but also addictive about Shingl is that it moves into a powdery, woody scent and is an intoxicatingly easy to wear good mood scent.

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Xerjoff: Lua

Notes are: bergamot, orange, lemon, melon, rose, iris, pink pepper, lily, cedar, vanilla and musk.
Lua opens up fresh, floral and full of spring promises. I love the touch of melon here as it cuts into the citrus nicely. This is a perfume for spring days where the vast changing skies provide a dramatic backdrop to the new young green leaves and grass cropping up everywhere. I cannot help but smile when I smell Lua. It is a beautiful perfume full of hope for the next six months of gorgeous long days. I will be wearing this through the warmer months here.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Dhajala

Notes are: african orange flower, galbanum, bergamot and orange, pink pepper, jasmine and rose, resin, amber, vanilla and musk.
To be perfectly honest with you, when I first spritzed Dhajala I recoiled. Something was not working for me. Perhaps it was the orange flower or the citrus vibe (which I normally have issues with), I do not know exactly. I promptly forgot about it being on my wrist and I put it in the pass pile. Well, after another hour or two I was taken aback of how good my wrist smelled. It was well rounded and very pretty but also easily unisex. I would love to smell this on a man.

I have been pleasantly surprised by these perfumes and would love to take the time to try others.

LuckyScent has the Xerjoff line
Surrender To Chance has a selection of Xerjoff samples

Do you know Xerjoff? Do you have any recommendations or favourites?
Sandra

 

Moving: Vienna To Rotterdam 2016

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Sandra

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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Christmas in Vienna 2016: Photo Essay

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Post by Sandra

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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

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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.

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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

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Post by Ainslie Walker

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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.

 

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Michael Edwards and Sylvaine Delacourte

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGuerlain Bottle Porn

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.

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAngelique Noire I bought in Paris in Septermber!

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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!

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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

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Post by Portia

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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.

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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!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

RHX