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.










SPRING! in Sydney + Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo


Post by Suzanne R Banks



Spring has arrived in Sydney. Here are a couple of the flowers in my area.

Suzanne R Banks Spring 16 #3Oh yeah my first spring flower woo hoo! Jasmine on the front verandah.

Suzanne R Banks Spring 16 #1Lovely wattle in Sydney

Suzanne R Banks Spring 16 #2Gorgeous wild freesias


Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo

October 23rd ~ Sydney

Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo October 23 2016


We are getting really excited about the inaugural Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo ~ October 23rd ~ Sydney. We are botanical perfumers from the southern hemisphere passionate about the beauty of natural, BOTANICAL perfumes. Be part of the revolution of natural fragrance, beauty, sensuality, health and wellbeing.

WHEN        Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM (AEDT)
WHERE      Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre – 16-18 Fitzroy Street
                   Kirribilli, NSW, 2061
** close the to Kirribilli train station with lovely cafes in the village.
A variety of teas to enjoy
Award winning dark chocolate mousse by Yalla (Gluten and preservative free)
fruit and more.
Gifts given out during the day by Lord Foppington
A door prize will be drawn at 2pm for one attendee to the value of $500 (Winner must be on site to receive the gift)


Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.
Suzanne XXXX

Suzanne R Banks Blog
Suzanne R Banks Aromatherapy
Suzanne R Banks FaceBook

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Cookie Queen in Vienna: December 2015: Photo Essay


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


I have just returned from three days in one of my favourite cities. Time spent with my daughter and friends. Sniffing, shopping, eating delicious food.

Cookie Queen in Vienna: Photo Essay

December 2015

Vienna is a beautiful city, now uneasy and troubled. There is no way of ignoring the refugee crisis. Make no mistake, it is very uncomfortable.
Guerlain exchanged my broken bottle of Shalimar Extrait and I gave a man and his dog who found themselves having to beg, a little money. Perplexing.

Start with the Vienna Christmas Lights

Val Christmas lights #1

Val Christmas lights #2

Val Christmas lights #3

Val Christmas lights #4

Val Christmas lights #5

Val Christmas lights #6

Val Christmas lights #7

The Flower Shop in Stephanplatz

Flower shop Stephansplatz #1

Flower shop Stephansplatz #2

Flower shop Stephansplatz #3

Hannah: Blondes Wunder

Val  Hannah cunningly disguised as a student


Kiki: Vero ProfumoVal Kiki Vero Profumo


Neela Vermeire CreationsVal Neela Vermeire creations


DIOR HandbagVal DIOR HandbagInto the Vienna cobbled alleys

Val Vienna Alley


and churchVal Christmas Vienna


and refugeeVal Vienna Refudees

Good will to all

Botanical Postcards from Sydney: Mini Photo Essay


Post by Suzanne R Banks


Sometimes photographing the small beauties around me reminds me to be grateful and helps me enjoy my day. Here are some shots taken as I wandered or around my home.

Botanical Postcards from Sydney

If a picture paints a thousand words ……… I can’t wait til we have smellevsion and scentagram!

chamomile-Suzanne R BanksI’ve got these gorgeous chamomile flowers in a teapot next to my bed – sweet dreams!


Keywords: “cool down: less tension more inspiration, de-stress“

back-lane-roses-Suzanne R BanksLittle roses from my back lane


Keywords: “divine love; self love; self nurturing”

lavender-Suzanne R BanksCaught on camera somewhere in Sydney


Keywords: “solidarity; solid foundations; acceptance; regeneration”

jasmine-Suzanne R BanksDivine jasmine!


Keyword: “sensuality”

basil-Suzanne R Banks.Home grown


Keywords: “clarity; open your mind”

What can you be thankful for? Look around, probably more than you think
Suzanne R Banks


Like our Facebook page to stay tuned for more info on the inaugural

Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo in Sydney, 24th April 2016


Check out my YouTube Channel too, thanks.
Suzanne R Banks xx

Suzanne R Banks Blog
Suzanne R Banks Aromatherapy
Suzanne R Banks FaceBook

copyright suzanne


Revelation! My new book out now

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK

Beards, Bloggers, Bloom and Vero + Photo Essay


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Salzberg to London to Innsbuck. A crazy perfumed week. In pictures.

It really is too warm here in the middle of Europe to write much. Looking at pictures is less strenuous. And by warm, I mean hot. Yesterday was 40 degrees in Vienna and my flip-flops stuck to the hot pavements.

Beards, Bloggers, Bloom and Vero + Photo Essay

I went to London with Hannah, sometimes known as The BlondesWunder. The trip was documented by Tara on our favourite Olfactoria´s Travels, and by Pia on the wonderful Volatile Fiction. After returning from England, I drove to Innsbruck with my trusty therapist Dr. Fox for a lunch date with Vero Kern. I will share a few of our photos.

Sazburg Airport.  Heading to LondonSazburg Airport.  Heading to London.

Met straight off the train by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue. Whisked off for lunchMet straight off the train by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue. Whisked off for lunch.

Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.

Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.2Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.

Antonio explaining the secrets of MAAI at Bloom Perfumery in Covent Garden.Antonio explaining the secrets of MAAI at Bloom Perfumery in Covent Garden.

Val London July 2015 #1Ummm, NO

Bloom.  Spitalfields.  I was there with Portia and Michael.Bloom.  Spitalfields.  I was there with Portia and Michael.

Pia´s perfume guestsPia´s perfume guests!

The whole bunch of perfumista nerds in Fortnum and MasonThe whole bunch of perfumista nerds in Fortnum and Mason

Perfume Candy Boy, Tara and mePerfume Candy Boy, Tara and me.

Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi. 2

Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi. 3Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi.

I am grateful for the perfumed friendships I have formed. They enrich my life and add a vibrancy that would otherwise be missing.

Where do you dream to travel to meet perfumistas or do you already have stories? PLease share in the comments.

Thankful Bussis

vero.profumo. Aficionados


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


vero.profumo. aficionados. Shared thoughts.

“Vero Kern is one the real gems of the perfume world. She is an amazingly talented and inspiring woman who proves that you can make your dreams a reality at any age. Her perfume line, Vero Profumo, is a master-class in excellence and demonstrates the way perfumes used to be made, but rarely are now.”

TARA SMITH. Olfactoria´s Travels

vero.profumo. Aficionados #1

“Vero’s fragrances honour the classics while having a strong identity of their own.”

“My first encounter with Vero’s fragrances was a couple years ago in Milan, around the time she introduced Mito at Pitti Fragranze (in Florence). I had been wanting to try Rubj for quite a long time (I had even pondered -insane me- to purchase it unsniffed), so I headed straight to a small but smartly stocked perfume shop which I knew carried the line. I was a bit puzzled by Rubj because it was not what I had been expecting (a few days later I realized we had mistakenly sampled Onda for Rubj!) but was amazed at its complexity. There was something extremely compelling in that dirty almost fetid aroma that kept my wrist glued to my nose, it felt almost perverse.
Some days later, at Pitti, I was finally able to meet the creator herself and sample the whole of her line and, after a few wearings of each sample, Kiki chose me. I didn’t want to love it. A lavender? Something so lacking in drama? Something my father wore? But Kiki grabbed me and refused to let me go and I became fascinated by it. I had never before found a fragrance I felt so represented by if it makes any sense. I felt like someone had distilled me 🙂

I affectionately use the word “chanchito” when referring to Vero’s fragrances (chancho = pig). That naughty dirtiness that is both repelling and compelling.
Though I am not too often complimented on my Veros, when I am, I find the compliments come from people with an artistical background who notice and appreciate them: the opera lovers, the ballerinas, the actors, the film directors.
These are perfumey perfumes but they meld with the skin in a special way, becoming something infinitely more powerful than either the perfume itself or my skin.. When worn, they seem to radiate from within, like an aura. I love the fact that they smell rich and substantial, yet not “in your face” or agressive.
There are a few -VERY few- other lines I feel a special affection for but this was as if I had discovered a whole new dimension.
They have soul and body (and most definitely sex), they are perfumes for those who aren’t afraid of their own bodies.”

CARO. Té de Violetas May 2015

vero.profumo. Aficionados #2

vero.profumo. Aficionados #3

“I will swear on a pile of ripening passion fruit, ravaged roses and caramel-drenched lavender that Vero Kern is an addictively fabulous olfactive pornographer. In Spring 2013, I was asked by the Scottish Poetry Society to curate nine poems to nine fragrances. One of these just had to be Vero’s extraordinary Onda, still my fetish VP scent. I married it to one of the most poignant poems of the 20th century, ‘For My Lover Returning To His Wife’ by the doomed and torn Anne Sexton, a woman driven by desire and the rollercoaster shocks of life and love. Of the nine scents, there was only ever one I was going to wear. I wore Onda on the night, my skin drunk on sex in the truly beautiful setting of the Victorian Palm House of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. When Vero knew I would be wearing Onda and writing on her perfume, she very kindly sent me a bottle of her divine Onda Extrait as a gift to wish me luck. It was a heartstopping gesture. I wore the two strengths together. On the night, people inhaled me greedily, dirtily. It was glorious.”

THE SILVER FOX. 12 May 2015

vero.profumo. Aficionados #4

vero.profumo. Aficionados #5

FREDDY ALBRIGHTON. May 2015. Tattoo Artist. No words needed.

“I’ve tried to write about Vero’s work for the past few years but I feel like I haven’t quite gotten it right. Reviewing the individual perfumes is a start, but there’s a bigger picture when I look at her entire body of work. I recognize how beautiful her perfumes are, but it’s more than beauty. How is it that all of her perfumes have such a strong effect on me? And why can’t I put my finger on why her work is so significant to me?

The real question is why on earth I would fret over these details. The fact is that I’ve found the perfumer whose work speaks to me like no other. I might not be able to put words to it, but I’ve found the artist whose work strikes something deep in me and inspires my spirit. The artist and the audience seek each other out, but it’s rare to find such a good fit. I’ve learned to stop worrying and love Vero.”

JTD JTD. Scenthurdle May 2015

vero.profumo. Aficionados #6

“New Year´s Eve 2012. I had a small vial of Rubj EdP. I had been saving it since the autumn. The rest is history. The sociality I share with the above people
has come to be through our mutual love of .vero.profumo.. Perfume is the common interest – Vero Kern´s perfumes the connection. Vero creates with heart, honey
and passion. A piece of her soul in every creation. To some it speaks. The collection from Vero Kern is an olfactory piece of art, each fragrance representing a different part
of the picture. My painting is nearly finished. I am often asked if I have a favourite. Today it is the Mito Extrait. Tomorrow?”

CQ APJ contributor May 2015

vero.profumo. Aficionados #7

First In Fragrance has the vero.profumo range
LuckyScent does too
Surrender To Chance has samples of quite a lot of the range

Rubj Tuesday Bussis

South Korea 2015 Photo Essay

Hi there Fragrant Friends,

On to the South Korea leg of our latest adventure. Jin planned this part of our holiday to the millisecond and we filled our days with so much it’s hard to keep it all in order.

South Korea 2015

Jin had decided that this time we would do the history and art/museum tour of Seoul. I had said through the year that we seemed to do everything except see the cultural heritage of South Korea and he was determined to remedy this lack. We had three days in Seoul and two of them were given almost exclusively to the acquisition of aforesaid knowledge. As always Jin was an excellent guide and translator, thank goodness because some of the places we saw were so South Korean oriented that there we no translations for me to follow. The real deal.

Because we were so busy I took the camera out less while we were in the middle of stuff. There are quite a few shots of interesting or unusual architecture and light bi-plays, some of flowers because it was spring and the flowers were gorgeous and a few of us hanging out with Jin’s family because we took his Mum & Dad for their first holiday in decades. It was Jin’s Father’s birthday and we thought it would be a fun thing to celebrate. Older Koreans as a rule do not take holidays so it was especially fun to take them and it will give them a story to brag about for years among their contemporaries.

Wood Block Printing of Unified Silla: The Buddhists came to Korea from India in the 5th century AD and landed in Silla in southern Korea which was still a selection of kingdoms. The Silla people had united the lower third of what is now South Korea under their rule. The Buddhist priests learned how to carve wood blocks that would print on cloth and paper and used this technology to create more Buddhist Sutras, currently the oldest still extant piece of printed material in the world was created by these monks in the 7th century AD and it is the Buddhist Sutras. There was war and 80,000 of these hand carved wood blocks were moved hundreds of kilometers by the monks and the faithful to a mountainous region in the middle of South Korea. It is a place that Jin’s Mum had wanted to visit for a very long time and had a very nice hotel with mineral water baths so we decided we would go there. It was Jin’s parent first time staying in a hotel rather than the much cheaper pension style of guest house. They were thrilled and constantly trying to stop us spending money on them, having breakfast in the hotel restaurant an outrageous extravagance. A good time was had by all.

We also went through a lovely Korean Wildflower Park, a Bonsai Exhibition where the woman who owns and tends the bonsai took us through personally and explained some of the more interesting pieces, the Mineral Baths at the hotel and loads of local cuisine (some of which I could not bring myself to eat, yes I’m a food pussy). Jin’s mother wants us to have children, I told her to get stuffed.

South Korea 2015 Photo Essay

South Korea 2015 #1

South Korea 2015 #2

South Korea 2015 #3

Seoul Airport Train Station is a marvelous modern structure that lets light and space feel like its main focus. I love arriving and entering its cavernous platform, every hour has different reflections and shadows

South Korea 2015 #4

Straight to Lottie Burger for Jin’s Bulgogi Burger and my Cheesy Sticks. MMMMMM. Welcome to South Korea.

South Korea 2015 #6

Street Food BarBQ vendor, full of students and the working class we knew it would be delicious. So reasonably priced too, I think we paid $40 including Jin’s Soju and my soft drinks.

South Korea 2015 #18a

My only fragrant shopping on the holiday, an Hermes 15ml set: Ambre Narguile, Cuir d’Ange, Poivre Samarcande, Vetiver Tonka

South Korea 2015 #7

One of the original gates into the capital city, this has stood for a very long time. Centuries.

South Korea 2015 #9

Changing Of The Guard at the Palace complex.

South Korea 2015 #10

South Korea 2015 #13

South Korea 2015 #14

South Korea 2015 #15

All pieces by the same artist, Jung Takyoung, whose art reminds me of Liz Zorn’s work

South Korea 2015 #17

South Korea 2015 #19

Seoul Art History Museum, we saw about 30 of their most beautiful and famous National Treasures. Our original guide was so shit we ran away from him and took ourselves around some of the exhibits. Finally we met a small group being shown the National Treasures by a very well informed and interesting young woman, she was so passionate that we were completely swept up in her stories. Fabulous.

South Korea 2015 #20

The lilacs were in bloom, what a beautiful scent they have.

South Korea 2015 #21

Jin being posh at a chi-chi 33rd floor restaurant & bar, we arrived just before closing thinking it had another hour to go.

South Korea 2015 #22

South Korea 2015 #23

South Korea 2015 #25

All part of another Palace Complex, that door was so fabulous I just had to get a pic.

South Korea 2015 #26

South Korea 2015 #28

South Korea 2015 #29

At the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art there was so much amazing stuff but these are the only two pictures I took. It’s a shame because the works were really great. Currently they have a multi-room exhibition all based around gardens and how they are so many things to the people that are lucky enough in 2015 to have one. So many South Koreans live in high rise apartments that may never know the joys of having their own garden to tend.

South Korea 2015 #31

This peony bush going gangbusters in the cold foggy early morning spring air across thew road from Jin’s parents house

South Korea 2015 #33

South Korea 2015 #34

South Korea 2015 #36

The modern South Korean garden and a couple of the hundreds of bonsai created by one woman with a great passion, these two were ones she showed particular regard and pride for. She was so shy to show her plant children but became very enthusiastic once she understood that I too loved to garden and that I had been brought up in a garden, tending it and creating it, with my Mum.

South Korea 2015 #37

We had a little snack on our first night in the hotel restaurant in the mountains. Jin’s Mummy & Papa kept being outraged at the prices and then savouring every morsel that we got for them. Those walls are all carved creamy stone (maybe marble?) attached so perfectly you could hardly see a join. So lovely.

South Korea 2015 #39

South Korea 2015 #40

South Korea 2015 #41

These three shots are of the monks mountain hideaway. It’s a wonderful parkland setting and you can take the whole day to walk from the base of the hill to the monastery, there are stations along the way where you can stop for refreshment and a rest, even some street food vendors. We were naughty and caught a cab up and back.

South Korea 2015 #43

Mummy & Papa saying goodbye at the Busan Train station. It was an excellent holiday and I really enjoyed my time with them.

South Korea 2015 #44Jin and I on the plane and ready to come home.