Adelaide, South Australia with TinaG + Photo Essay


Post by TinaG



I’ve been travelling a lot this year, and last week was for work in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. I thought I’d share my journey and fragrance choices for the trip, along with my travellers notes.



Adelaide, South Australia with TinaG + Photo Essay


Day 0 – For the flight down I wore Junky by Jardins d’Ecrivains. A friend gave me this sample a while ago but I hadn’t tried it before now. It’s supposed to have a cannabis note, maybe its fresh picked cannabis? It’s nothing I recognised. The fragrance felt a bit ordinary to me, a green based floral with iris & violet. Pretty, but I was expecting more. How we interpret the meaning in the name is probably the selling point, we’ve all got some level of addiction, don’t we?

tinag-adelaide-nov-2016-1Cocktail at 2KW


Dinner on the first night was at a trendy top floor bar and restaurant, 2KW. Scent for dinner was Daim Blond by Serge Lutens. I wanted to wear something with a backbone but not so much of a monster it affected other people or my enjoyment of the meal. This suede/peach frag was perfect for a casual but upmarket restaurant meal with colleagues (well, they are all friends, really).


Day 1 – I was a bit nervous going in to the work event so I chose Muschio, Santa Maria Novella, for its warmth and comfort. It was a great choice, gave me a bit of oomph to get through the day.

There was an dinner at Adelaide Town Hall that was semi-formal. I wore black on black with a brass coloured double chain long necklace and rock-star high heels from Nine West. It’s been ages since I dressed up and I felt totally uncomfortable. Haha! Swapped the heels for flats to walk there which was much better, and a respritz of Muschio helped. Fun night.


Day 2 – Adelaide was getting warmer as the week wore on, so Precision and Grace: The Beautiful Mind Series was my choice for today. It’s got a great fresh pear/jasmine/osmanthus thing going on, but I swear I get a blast of lemon in the opening as well. Perfect refresher. It has been the highest complement-receiver of any fragrance I own, and it did receive a comment on the day. Yay.

That afternoon a friend & I walked across town to the Haigh’s chocolate factory. The walk was 40mins each way (slightly longer with a few Pokémon critters to catch on the way back). I respritzed Precision and Grace as it was still 32 degrees centigrade out there…


Adelaide is know as ‘the city of churches’ and there is one in almost every corner in town. The city is very flat, and surrounded on each side by parkland, which made for a pleasant walk. Haigh’s was great, I got a bunch of their experimental chocs and factory seconds which they package up – only available at the factory, they don’t ship these out.



tinag-adelaide-nov-2016-8Chocolates at Haigh’s


Because of the Pokémon factor we only had 15 minutes to get changed before dinner, so in lieu of a shower I wore Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens. It smelt bloody brilliant on dusty sun-kissed skin over the top of the base Precision and Grace musks. Damn sexy if I do say so myself.

tinag-adelaide-nov-2016-4Inside Casablabla

Drinks and dinner were down Peel Street in the city, a must-visit if you’re in town. My friend & I shared an alcoholic lychee iced tea at Casablabla, a mixed cultural tapas bar. Dinner with the crew was at a restaurant called Peel Street (same as the street name). Fabulous meals, like my fave the banana flower blossom salad, and it had amazing options for those on special diets because everything was made fresh.


Day 3 – The last day I went for another osmanthus-based fragrance, Inlé by Memo. I really like this as a travel scent, I wore it almost exclusively when travelling in South Korea with Portia & the crew two years ago. It’s light enough to fit most circumstances, but has an inherent beauty. The work day finished about 3:30 for us as we caught a cab for a flight back to Sydney.

So grateful for the opportunity to have experienced our sector work event in a great city with amazing people. I learnt so much.

Do you have a favourite travel fragrance?

Till next time.

Tina G xx

(Ed: Photos donated by TinaG unless specified. Thanks TinaG, they’re fab)

Santa Maria Novella: Florence 2016: Photo Essay


Post by Portia


Hi there Fragrant Fumies,

Our recent trip was a bit light on the fragrance stops. We really wanted to see what each city is most famous for. While in Florence though Anna-Maria put her dainty foot down. We could look at art & churches all day & night but we had to go to the Santa Maria Novella Basilica which handily combines all three of our interests. It’s a church and cloisters, very old and it has one of the oldest still extant apothecaries/farmaceutica which is now centred around fragrance and tea.

Santa_Maria_Novella Basilica Florence WikipediaWikipedia

The church you can see today was begun in 1279 and was finished around the middle of the 14th century.
Inside it resembles Cistercian gothic churches, the nave separated from the aisles by wide bays and covered with gothic vaulting (Edited from There are some lovely frescoes inside too if you get a chance.

Florenz_Santa_Maria_Novella_Innenraum WikiMediaWikiMedia

Santa Maria Novella: Florence 2016

From the moment you enter Santa Maria Novella shop in Florence you are transported back in time. You are also reminded of the extraordinary amount of money the church has at its disposal. The place is exquisite and we were surprised at how busy, and how much money people were spending. It was like a fragrant feeding frenzy.

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Florence 2016 #20I have a set of these tablets keeping my wardrobe pest free and fragrant. They were a gift and my very first Santa Maria Novella. I love them and they are still extremely fragrant years on.

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Florence 2016 #18The homewares section is fabulous. It took ultimate restraint to keep my wallet in my pocket.

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Florence 2016 #25Anna-Maria and Jin being looked after by the extremely beautiful and helpful SA. I was not going to buy anything but then I spied some smaller bottles which turned out to be soliflore extrais. I tried and fell madly in love with the triple distilled jasmine extrait, the sample I tried which lasted 3 days on my skin through showers and general living. Sadly the product they sold me is gone in about 2 hours, it’s really gorgeous while it lasts though I am disappointed.

Florence 2016 #26Anna-Maria was so sweet and bought Jin & I a set of the soaps as a thank you for sharing our holiday! Woo Hoo! Can’t wait to use them.

Florence 2016 #17

Jasmine Santa Maria Novella 2016Here is the Triple Distilled Jasmine Extrait. I am sad now that I didn’t order tea. Next time.

Florence 2016: Photo Essay

Florence 2016 #1The Duomo is the heart of Florence. It’s free to enter and the floor and dome are gorgeous. You can walk to the cupola up the top but Anna-Maria had done the one in Vienna and that was enough.

interno-duomo Florence visitflorence.comVisitFlorence

duomo-facade Florence visitflorence.comVisitFlorence

Florence 2016 #2All through Europe we lit candles and asked God to bless our friends and family with bountiful lives, peaceful and funfilled.

Florence 2016 #3On the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge, no wonder Italian is a romance language) ignoring the jewellery shops but watching the people.

Florence 2016 #4View of the Ponte Vecchio from the next bridge, it was a lovely walk along the river.

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Florence 2016 #11Anna-Maria was overcome by David. She needed a few moments to stabilize.

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Florence 2016 #12We caught the local bus up to the Piazzale Michelangelo. A perfect winter day with dappled sunlight over the city. It was a beautiful afternoon and from the bus we saw some amazing parts of Florence that you would otherwise miss.

Florence 2016 #13Anna-Maria had a pre-mixed alcoholic beverage at the lookout. She was so happy.

Florence 2016 #10Our dinner in the hotel was a complete disaster so we decided to go around the corner to the international restaurant of choice for the hungry and weary traveller; McDonalds. YUMMY!

Florence 2016 #28Next night we had the best steak I’ve ever had in my life. The three of us shared 1.2kg of steak cooked to perfection. It came with salads and baked potatoes. OMG! So freaking delicious. If you are Florence you MUST go here and have the Special Florentine Steak.

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I hope you enjoyed a snapshot of our amazing journey through Florence. There is more holiday to come next week.

Have you been to Florence? What is your favourite part?
Portia xx

Last Minute Gift List 2015


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hello Australian Perfume Junkies!

How are you coping with the fast approaching “festive season?!” At this point most are either in their element or completely over it! Which are you? If you are like me you might still need to buy some gifts, so I thought I would make another little list of some favorite products I personally recommend…all scent-based of course!

PS Remember: you can just highlight the relevant items and hope Santa or someone finds it and takes the hint!

Last Minute Gift List 2015

Perfume Legends – French Feminine Fragrances Michael Edwards

Perfume Legends – French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards
I bought this special classic book from Amazon last year (approx. $195) and it’s worth its weight in gold. The ultimate gift for anyone with an interest in history and perfumery right through to design buffs, fashionistas, French obsessed and complete fragrance heads. The book is now out of print and is a collector’s item, yet second hand copies still do pop up on eBay/amazon. The ultimate cult coffee table book, who’s content continually expands my depth of knowledge on fragrance and the fragrance industry, as I flick through its beautiful pages. I would like to halt time so I can cozy up and read it from cover to cover a few more times.

L’Artisan L’Hiver reed diffuser LibertinePhoto Stolen Libertine Perfumery

L’Artisan L’Hiver reed diffuser
I have always resisted reed diffusers, however this one is truly delicious. I bought the same fragrance last year in candle form and enjoyed it, but here in diffuser form the fragrance is set off nicely with a great throw. The scent is not too “up the nose” and rather floats around in an atmospheric way. A possibly more appropriate method to create Christmas ambience during the complete fire ban across most of Australia at this time of year. Pine needles, smoky wood all riding on a sweet, dry vanillin/wood base. A personal favorite home scent available from Libertine Perfumery and online for $96.

Santa Maria Novella – Wax TabletsPhoto Stolen Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella – Wax Tablets
Beautiful and distinctive are Santa Maria’s scented beeswax tablets which for wardrobes or placed in draws to scent clothes and repel moths. Gorgeously packaged and old-worldly to look at, each tablet is decorated with flowers and dried fruits by hand. The scent is super strong so I am just using one at a time. If they were not so beautiful I would break one in half, as that would be plenty for each draw. Peony Melbourne and Franque Melbourne are the stockists in Australia I have seen them in. I have Relax Orange but there was a rose, pot pouri and lavender available too. $48

PrintPhoto Stolen The Beauty Apothecary

Edible Beauty – Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum
This Hyaluronic acid based natural serum gives skin additional hydration without adding more oil or grease. I have been adding it under my normal moisturizer and tinted sunscreen to help my skin hold onto more moisture on these hot days AND it’s weightless! Skin stays nice and plump and on top of that I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the smell. It makes me happy every time I slap it on! Available from Sephora and The Beauty Apothecary

Please let us hear about any yummy scent-based presents you are giving or wanting this Christmas??

Fragrances For What Ails You?


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hello fragrance fans, I’ve realised some members of my fragrance collection have become a fragrant first-aid kit for my more common ailments. Grabbing fragrances based on how I am feeling physically, loosely based on the aromatherapeutic properties of their notes, cheers me up no end.

*Please note all the below has only been tested on one human being, no animals and are not recommended without perhaps some other medications, where prescribed

Fragrances For What Ails You?

Tilda Swinton Like This Etat Libre d`Orange FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Nausea – Etat Libre d’Orange – Like This – full of carminative baked ginger cookie smell this warm combination can ease waves of nausea like no tomorrow. Dosage: spritz on stomach 2 x per day

Aqua Allegoria Lavande Velours by Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Insomnia – Crawling into bed and suddenly my eyes pop open and my brain comes alive with activity!! So I reach for Aqua Allegoria Lavande Velours by Guerlain, which stays, on my bedside table. Sprayed onto my pillow and sheets the powdery combination of lavender, iris and sandalwood takes me off to the land of nod in no time.

Chanel Sycomore Chanel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Muscular Aches, Pains and Tension – Sycomore by Chanel Les Exclusifs Earthy vetiver and grounding sandalwood I just love this fragrance sprayed just above a hot steamy bath, or when I’m feeling “extravagantly ache-y” a capful poured into the bath does wonders for ridding my body of all tension, aches and pains.

Potpourri Santa Maria Novella fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Run Down and Generally Germy – Potpourri by Santa Maria Novella’s mix of Italian herbs rosemary, thyme, patchouli and cloves make this an immune booster for those days when you know you’re coming down with something. Despite some prettier notes of carnation, bergamot, and peru balsam this fragrance smells deliciously medicinal and purifying.
(Side note, the Santa Maria Novella Collection will soon be available from Peony Melbourne)

Jeux de Peau Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Chills – Serge Lutens – Jeux de Peau warms me up and makes me feel cosy and comfy. Almost like having a cup of hot milky tea and a massage with the warmest of warm hands. Use this fragrance when you feel chilled to the bone. A few spritz 1-2 x per day, once sprayed it just keeps on getting better and better as osmanthus reveals itself amongst the warm baked bread and buttery toasted coconut notes. Divine!

Mitzah Christian Dior FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Sore Throat – everyone knows a teaspoon of honey with cinnamon and spices soothes a sore throat and Mitzah by DIOR is the queen bee that soothes mine. Dosage: Spritz throat/chest area and wrap neck, where possible, with a leopard print scarf to stay warm and glamorous.

Green Comme des Garcons FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Headache – nanah mint features in Comme Des Garcons’ Play Green and applied to my temples and back of neck it cools and refreshes when I have a headache. Supporting notes of Basil, lime and juniper mean even when I am brain fatigued and lacking concentration this fragrances helps put some life back into me.

I think you can find samples of all of these at Surrender To Chance<<JUMP

So my fine fragrant friends tell me if you too use fragrant for your ills and if so in what combinations?

Xx Your Fragrant Nurse, Ainslie ;D

Polvere Per Bianchire le Carni by Santa Maria Novella


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


The company, we´ll call it the SMN Pharmacy, was founded in 1612. I am sure most of you know of their stunning fragrances but maybe not the skin care and other things that they offer, including shampoos and deodorants for your pets! The SMN Pharmacy in Florence is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been into. You enter through a most unassuming door and it opens up into a multi-roomed Aladdin´s cave.


Santa Maria Novella Ceiling ValPhoto Donated Val CQ

They have candles, liqueurs, teas, supplements and even ceramics. I seriously wanted to buy everything!

The store is also a favourite of Neela Vermeire from Neela Vermiere Créations. I purchased the almond hand cream, highly praised by Birgit from Olfactoria´s Travels and the Polvere Per Bianchire le Carni recommended by the immaculate sales assistant. It is a natural facial scrub, or perhaps a delicate facial exfoliator is a better description. At 20 euros it was quite affordable.

Polvere Per Bianchire le Carni by Santa Maria Novella

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Firenze

Polvere per bianchire le carni Santa Maria Novella ValPhoto Donated Val CQ

That´s ground up orris root, a little rice powder, and a touch of fragrance to you and me, not to forget a little lupin if I read the box correctly. I am sure the Medicis themselves probably used it. It certainly can´t have changed much in the last 400 years. It is 105 grammes of legal white powder in an utterly gorgeous cardboard box. Enough for a lifetime!

It smells lovely but I cannot for the life of me describe the smell. It is so unique that I could pick the product out in a blind test. Very simple to use. You take yourself out about a teaspoonful, not heaped and mix it with a little water. Massage onto a damp face and rinse off. Take out more than a teaspoonful and mix it to a paste and use it as a mask. As simple as that. Your skin will be beautifully soft and ready for moisturizing. It leaves the skin quite luminous and with regular use would probably lighten the skin a little. Which is perfect
if you are looking for an alternative to arsenic.

As I understand it you cannot order online. They do however have shops on 5 continents, and many multibrand stores where their products are sold. Do take a look at their homepage to see if there is one near you. If you are ever in Florence it is an absolute must see.

Have a good week APJ Peeps.


Muschio by Santa Maria Novella + Korea Photo Essay


Post by TinaG



We’ve recently returned from an amazing trip to South Korea – Portia, Jin, Kath, Matt and I travelled around for about two weeks having an absolute ball in a wonderful & welcoming country. Before we left, I had a few chats and did some research on what fragrances I may have access to that I wouldn’t normally get my hands on in Australia. One of the names which came up was Santa Maria Novella, which I happily discovered has a flagship store in Seoul.

“Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella” is one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. Originally established in Florence, Italy in 1221 by Dominican Friars, who created herbal potions and remedies for use in their monastery, the pharmacy was opened up to the public in 1612. The original Florence pharmacy still stands, with all of their products continuing to be hand made at their Florence factory site utilising old recipes and classic artisanal methods.

The South Korean store in Seoul is located near pretty Dosan Park in an upmarket shopping district within Gangnam-Gu. We were greeted and kindly looked after by the shop hostesses. I made a beeline for the colognes whilst Portia explored all of the other wonderful goodies on display.

From Fragrantica: Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. It was opened in Florence, Italy in 1612, taking the formulas of Dominican friars that originate from 13th century.

Their products are all the types of things you may expect to find in an apothecary: high quality and beautifully presented soaps, fragrances, herbal extracts and essences, side by side with more modern home items such as wax candles and dog & cat grooming collection. I could so easily have stayed there for hours on end, but I did manage to get my nose to a fair few bottles including the recently released Alba de Seoul which had a refreshing pine needle note, a nod to the cultural importance of the South Korean pine trees. I wished I could have taken more home, but I decided to treat myself to a full bottle of ….

Muschio by Santa Maria Novella

Muschio (Musc) Santa Maria Novella FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Musk, powdery notes

Muschio is a really gorgeous comforting scent and has quickly become my go-to fragrance this winter. Although technically a cologne, Muschio isn’t one of those which can be splashed on liberally or needs refreshing every couple of hours – there is no need as it has very good longevity and silage. On opening there is a predominant puff of musk with slightly woody undertones, a touch of vanilla and a ghost of lemon hovering over the top. The musk is nothing animalic but it light and airy. The dry white wood in the background keeps it from being overly candy-shop sweet, giving it a lovely powdery feel. It doesn’t change appreciably in dry down, although the musk softens and the woods become more prominent. I also get a cinnamon-stick note, spicy wood without the peppery kick, adding to the warmth.

The visit to Santa Maria Novella was a fragrant highlight of a fantastic holiday. I’m so glad I purchased Muschio, it holds a dozen happy memories for me along with the continued enjoyment of a really fabulous cologne.

Do you have a fragrant holy-grail location that you’ve managed to visit, or wish to? Here are some pics of mine.


Santa Maria Novella Korea #1

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