Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1996

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Hey APJ!

Cuir Mauresque is an odd creature. I have a bell jar of the stuff and have worn it a lot. Which should indicate that I like it.
Although it always smells the same when I sniff it in the bottle, it is an absolute risk putting it on as I have no idea as to whether
I am going to enjoy the experience or not. Hours of pleasure or hours of pain?

Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens 1996

Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Amber, incense, cinnamon, cedar, jasmine, civet, nutmeg, cumin, musk, mandarin peel, orange blossom, sweet spices

Like a number of Lutens, it is a casserole of components. Perhaps the order of these materials are forever swirling in the bottle?

Like most of us I have perfumes that I have to be in the mood for, and perfumes that only I might only want to wear once a year. That
would include Vero Profumo`s Onda EdP and a recently acquired vintage Mitsouko. But I enjoy both of them and know what I am going to get when I wear them.

Cuir Mauresque on a good day is sumptuous and warm. Spicy, golden, a supple leather. Stylish, rich and fragrant, comforting, balsamic, seductive, and classy. It opens with a floral burst of jasmine and orange blossom, resting on top of the darker and more spicy ingredients. I love this version all day and all night! It is agreeable and slouchy, relaxed and comfortable.

PDI

However Cuir Mauresque on a bad day is a whole different kettle of fish. We are talking an artificial fruity shoe polish opening, or perhaps furniture polish, powdery and cloying, old wet leather, and an underlying feeling that you´ve spilled a bottle of cough syrup over yourself. The kind that sticks to everything. Perhaps a dab of floor polish? It remains sickly sweet and very waxy. There is a a continuous leather note, running through the whole composition, but it´s the recently deceased cow vibe. Hmmmmm.

Nevertheless, I wouldn´t want to be without Cuir Mauresque. I love it.

Val XX

Further reading: WMSSL and Scented Hound
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3.50/0.5ml has

WTF? I wonder what causes this extreme difference in what I experience. Any of you know what I mean?

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Bountiful Bussis
CQ

Sunshine: Skin & Body Care

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AF Beauty

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Hey APJ Crew – how are you all?

It’s been a while I know, I took a little longer in the shower than I’d originally planned! #dallas #bobbyewing

Sunshine: Skin & Body Care

Actually, while I’ve been away, I’ve been in the bath more than the shower – I’ve been working out at the gym after work, so I drag my beaten self back home and throw myself in the bath. I have fallen in love with the bath again, it has been bliss – and something I’ve really missed when travelling and not having a bath available. But you know what I’ve noticed, Australia has a really pathetic range of cheap and cheerful bath products – either I have to use shower gel or radox crystals.

Amazing Oils

In fact, I am mostly using magnesium based crystals – not for beauty reasons, but for muscle recovery. I have been using an Australian brand of magnesium, similar, but not the same as Epsom Salts – this one is from a company called Amazing Oils and specifically for recovery. And though I say this isn’t a beauty product, magnesium REALLY helps me sleep, so if beauty sleep is a thing, then these crystals make me beautiful!

The other thing that’s happened while I’ve been away – SUMMER! Yessss! The sun has been shining, it’s been hot! The sun has been enjoyable but first things first – the sun does dry the face and you will get wrinkles – or at least, *I’m* getting wrinkles – if you don’t take care of your skin. Second things, wearing makeup all changes when your skin is a fraction darker than it was two months ago.

Garnier

Skincare first: The difference in skin is hard to pinpoint, it just seems less plump and drier – while greasier. As usual, if there are obnoxious skin combinations to be had, here they are. I have resorted to old favourites to continue to treat my skin and have bumped up the night-time treatment. I should have added a regular daytime SPF but I still search for the elusive sun protection that isn’t heavy, greasy, claggy, or just disruptive to usual make up. I’ve worn tinted moisturiser with SPF – it has been my saviour. Nothing fancy, I think I’ve written about it before – Garnier’s BB Cream in Anti-Ageing and medium. It’s been a summer saviour helping me resist marching into Myer and buying a new foundation. The good (or bad) thing about a tan is it’ll wash away quicker than it ever took to acquire.

I have tried Nivea Face Veil (OK, but a bit greasy), Jurlique SPF Lotion (really nice texture but caused my foundation to pill). And I’m sure I’ve got others, but I’ve also got a bit of a skincare addiction, so they’re probably underneath a load of other things, whoops! To add to that I noticed as I researched this that Jurlique has some new sun protection products that’ve caught my eye (See? Addicted!) so I’m going to see if they’ll give me some testers.
Until next time, I’m off to the bath…..

AF Beauty XXXX

Ultramarine Blue by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz for DSH Perfumes 2015

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Portia

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Hey All,

A while ago when I got the DSH Chroma Sample Set I grabbed every dabber out and had a quick sniff. It is fun finding the instant likes, loves and loathes. I will admit that Ultramarine Blue jumped into the WTF category. It was so interesting, unusual and confronting. No, I’m not sure why because it really smells like the beachside in summer but with an undercurrent of menace. Anyway I filed it away under Must Revisit and thought you might like to come along on the ride with me today to see if it lives up to its

Ultramarine Blue by DSH Perfumes 2015

Ultramarine Blue by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Chamomile, cassis, cumin, ozonic notes, musk, sea notes, orris root, petitgrain, sandalwood, violet woodsorrel

OK, so I decanted the whole vial into a spritz and did the whole 18 blasts on the back of my hand and forearm. WHOA!! No turning back now.

Salty citrus, briny seas, a herbal greenness that feels both freshly chopped and mulched. The cassis is green and biting, like pulling ivy off the wood fence and scrunching it up in the summer after swimming in the pool. There’s nothing easy about Ultramarine Blue. I find it disturbing and challenging. Imagine oversalting cucumber, add a little under the boardwalk bilge-e-ness, tear some rose leaves and dig in a super heated grass mulch pile. Then you can smell exactly what my nose is giving me from Ultramarine Blue.

PDI

Doesn’t sound appealing does it? Well, while it’s not exactly my fragrant cup of tea I do love the way it moves through the pieces of the story. Dawn has a deft way with ingredients that means even though it’s not a spritz & go frag it is compelling and keeps drawing my nose back to my hand.

After an hour or so Ultramarine Blue becomes driftwood. it’s absolutely beautiful. Calm, tranquil and an unruffled seaside escapade in the glorious sunshine.

DSH Perfumes has loads of sizes and variants of Ultramarine Blue starting at $6

Want something unusual, interesting, refreshing and ultimately peaceful? I think you might like to try Ultramarine Blue.
Is there an aquatic that you love?
Portia xx

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1972

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Portia

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Hey Hey Vintage Fragheads,

1000 was a fragrance I had basically ignored. Joy was my Patou fragrance and at some point I had a Sira des Indes too but though it was lovely it didn’t float my boat at the time and I sold it on. Back in 2014 my mate Michael & I went for a 2 hour private class at the Osmotheque in Versailles, Paris (the suburb, not the palace, walking distance though) and when we got there out tutor was none other than Jean Kerleo himself. It was the most fabulously surreal afternoon and I will never forget it. The photo below is taken when Patricia de Nicolai came in to thank us and very kindly tell us it was time to leave. We’d still be there had she not.

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Patou 1972

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Osmanthus, violet, apricot
Heart: Jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, geranium
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss

A floral chypre! Yep. My knowledge of chypre (sketchy at best even though I love them) is that they have no flowers because Cyprus (or Chypre as it’s also known) is all about citrus, foliage, conifers and herbs. Anyway, so many of my chypre loves have flowers who am I to bitch?

This bottle was a recent eBay purchase and I already have some pristine vintage parfum so I have a pretty good base line to mark it from.

The osmanthus, violet and apricot in the opening are there if I look for them, particularly the violet and I would have picked fruit but not that it was apricot and would add there also seems to be a low-key slug of citrus. Aldehydes too, giving a softly oily radiance to everything.

Wikipedia

The hearts bouquet is basically overrun by the base with only a passing reference to roses that I can pick and without notes I probably would have missed them too. Not incredibly creamy sandalwood and furry oakmoss seem the stars of the show for me and I am 100% OK with that. After reading NST review I realised that there are also animalics that I was totally nose deaf to, having smelled Jean Kerleo’s remaining musk tincture the memory jumped out at me again. Heavenly.

1000 is dressed up and ready to rumble, what I really want to do is triple spritz my chest and go grocery shopping or clean the car. The sheer weight of its glamour would be excellent as a backdrop to the turbines of tedium.

PDI

Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
The current 1000 is available in department stores and on the discount sites.
Surrender To Chance has EdP & Parfum samples starting at $6/ml

How about you? Ever wear the really flashy good frags to light up the everyday?
Portia xx

Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries

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Sandra

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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)

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

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TinaG

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Hi APJ, hope your week is travelling well so far.

It is a sultry rainy day in Sydney, and I’ve just turned the house upside down looking for my 1.5ml sample of ‘lightscape’ so I could wear it for the second time. I have a house full of bottles, decants and samples so 1) it was difficult to find and 2) it shows how determined I was. Standing with hands on hips, surveying the chaos, I glanced over to my side table – there it sat, almost looking at me with a faux-innocent “….What? I was here all along.” expression.

Right.

Grab. Spray spray spray.

Bliss.

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, violet leaf, lemon
Heart: Iris, rose, violet, cyclamen, cedar
Base: Ambergris, tonka bean, cashmere wood, musk, ambrette (musk mallow)

I’m surrounded by the most wonderful green galbanum and that strange violet leaf note which is both floral and verdant at the same time. There’s a background buzz of lemon floating in and out and a touch of sweet dry wood. An ever so soft powdery iris starts wafting through at around 10 minutes. Fab.

I had a pre-conceived anthropocentric impression of lightscape, for no good reason; a city at night, all those white & yellow sparkling lights and flowing red through the veins of its streets. Maybe because of the NY connection. Wrong. This is the dappling of light through a sparse forest & the smell of crushed plants as you walk on through.

Geograph

That effect lasts about an hour and from then the sillage settles slowly by degrees. I’m not quite sure when it morphs to the next dry down stage, it seems to sneak up on me – maybe 3 hours? It’s pretty – an elegant pink musk mallow being the star of the show, supported by tonka bean, more musks, and ambergris giving it a lived in skin effect. It’s alluring, confident and comforting.

I’m enthralled with this fragrance. It’s the type of perfume which has the potential to be part of life’s tapestry as it weaves its own stories into yours. I can’t wait to buy a full bottle, maybe during my visit to Los Angeles later in the year.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and EauMG
Ulrich Lang has $120/100ml has
First In Fragrance has €95/100ml + Samples

A big thank you to Portia for the sample of lightscape, along with nightscape, aperture, and anvers. Thoroughly enjoyed giving these a run through.

Have you ever worn a fragrance and immediately thought – yes, you will be mine…. ??

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Metal by Robert Gonnon for Paco Rabanne 1979

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Portia

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Hello vintage lovers,

Arriving in the post yesterday from eBay and on my skin ever since is a 30ml old, old bottle of Metal. As I opened it I thought I’d give myself a spritz and sadly the sprayer sends most of the juice down the bottle and what little comes out smells broken and nasty aldehyde turn, GRRRR. I’m going to give it a soak in white vinegar & disinfectant.

Metal by Paco Rabanne 1979

Metal by Robert Gonnon

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Basil, Green notes, Hyacinth, Lemon
Heart: Cyclamen, Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Ambergris, Oakmoss, Musk, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Chypre! Metal is a chypre. The opening is all about galbanum and some citrus fizzed up by aldehydes. I thought my bottle had turned but a few spritzes without the dodgy atomiser and the scent smells pure, clean and fresh, while also not smelling of any of that because chypre. I am thoroughly surprised at how gorgeously it’s kept.

After only a few moments I can already smell the oakmoss furriness that chypres give me. It’s a cool comfort and it makes me feel safe and invincible. If CHANEL No 19 gives you backbone then Metal will give you armour and weaponry.

Wikipedia

Funnily I don’t really smell metal, no, that’s not exactly true….. maybe the smell of sharpening a Wiltshire knife in it’s plastic casing. The floral bouquet is a beautiful whole and I can’t pick any of the notes because underpinning the heart is this luscious oakmoss with hints of oily vetiver and a touch of salty brine that I’m attributing to the ambergris and vetiver.

Longevity is good and the baseline lasts hours. It hums away quietly in the background but if I change rooms suddenly I can smell it all over again. Fabulous.

Further reading: I Smell Therefore I Am and Black Narcissus

Do you love the chypre genre?
Portia xx