Antonia’s Flowers by Bernard Chant for Antonia`s Flowers 1985

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Kate Apted

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Hello and welcome APJers,

Today, I want to make a small confession. There is a certain Mecca store that has a pretty much empty tester bottle. And I am reasonably certain it was me who emptied it; over the course of a few months. So, I got a bottle for free, in a sense.
I did end up spending the paltry $80 for a bottle of my own. I felt absolutely shamed that I had really received two bottles for the price of one. As this was the very last bottle on the shelf, the tester with zilch but bubbles of air in the spritzer hose was then put away in the drawer. I almost asked if I could have it. But I kept my shame to myself.

Antonia’s Flowers by Antonia`s Flowers 1985

Antonia’s Flowers by Bernard Chant

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Freesia, jasmine, magnolia, lily, fruity notes

Antonia’s Flowers is the perfume that I am talking about. It is such an unassuming bottle and a very plain box, and for some reason, Mecca stores often keep this on the lowest shelf and in the corner. Mine had been sitting there for a very long time. The box lid is faded and there was a thick layer of dust on the top when I bought it. The first spray of the tester was over a year ago and I hastily put the tester down with a look of disgust on my face. The opening is harsh and hard hitting. It still is something I am not used to, but I now know to avoid my wrist for a few minutes.

I have to admit that this is straight up freesia. There are other notes listed, but I don’t get any of them until the last 20 minutes, and that is after freesia assault for an hour. By this stage, it is a very close skin scent anyway. It is evident that Antonia was a florist; the scent is uncannily haunting and indicative of a haute florist at the height of spring. I can imagine WASPy Hampton brides in the late 80s and early 90s using this as their signature wedding scent. While this is most certainly a white flower fragrance, it is not polite or gentle. It is unapologetically bold and haughty.

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers Freesia_flowers WikimediaWikiMedia

There are a few things that annoy me about Antonia’s Flowers. First, it really does only last an hour and a bit on me. Second, the lid does not fit on the sprayer. I had to unscrew the lid, to then screw on the sprayer, and the lid does not fit on the sprayer. Third, the long necked sprayer stops the bottle from having the lid of the box close. I like to keep my perfumes in their boxes, so this does irk me.

Then there is the BUT… I adore this scent. I truly do. It takes me back to the days I’d ramble down the alley ways of the rural town I lived in as a child. All sorts of wild flowers grew along people’s back fences and along the creek beds. Older women would spend hours in their cottage gardens and I’d take in all the smells on my walks.

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers Freesia_flowers field manfredrichter Pixabay.jpgPDI

Further reading: Liberty London Girl and Azar on Australian Perfume Junkies
Mecca has $80/50ml FREE Australian Shipping

What shameful perfume secrets do you have? You know you want to share…I dare you!
Be good. Kate xx

Feminite du Bois by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2009

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Portia

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Hello APJ,

Sorry but I forgot to post yesterday. With all that’s going on around here somehow it completely slipped  my notice that we had nothing going up.

Anyway, today we are talking about a scent that I didn’t really take much notice of when I smelled it. Perhaps it was nasal fatigue from smelling it in a bunch of others or maybe my taste has changed. A couple of years ago Jin and I went to the Palais Royale Serge Lutens store and had a fabulous morning going through the whole of the Lutens line. While we were there Elvire also showed us a historical lineage of Feminite du Bois since the original bottles and suddenly I understood.

Feminite du Bois by Serge Lutens 2009

Feminite du Bois by Christopher Sheldrake

Feminite du Bois Serge Lutens FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Beeswax, Clove, Honey, Cardamom, Musk, Orange blossom, Peach, Plum, Rose, Vanilla, Violet, Ylang-ylang, Cedar, Cinnamon

OK, so anyone who loved the original Shiseido version of this baby is never going to be satisfied with the newer version. That’s OK, plenty of other perfume out there for you to sniff and enjoy. Mourn it’s passing, you’ll have to move on.

Here is my bottle, bought recently from a friend on the FB pages. As you can see it’s the original Palais Royale export bottle stamp. So not the 100% modern version but ahead of the Shiseido curved mauve bottle that looks disturbingly like a human organ.

What I smell mainly is ginger. A spiced ginger smoothed over by beeswax and honey to create a plush and velvety opening. The stewed fruit comes in later, swirled in like mixing it through a cake batter. None of these opening heavy hitters really leave but as the fragrance dries down I am left with a sweet vanilla woodsiness and the cool crispness of green leaves. Fully fragrant longevity is not excellent, Feminite du Bois seems to soften off alarmingly after less than an hour and the dry down hums along very close to my skin for a couple of hours till I lose it completely.

Féminité du bois Serge Lutens fruit-cake-batter publicdomainpicturesPDI

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
FragranceNet has around $100/50ml before Coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/ml

Hope your life is doing all right,
What has surprised you after years of neglect?
Portia xx

34 Boulevard Saint Germain by Olivier Pescheux for Diptyque 2011

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Portia

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Hi there APJ,

Diptyque is a fragrant dinosaur from 1961. One of the Mass-Tige stalwarts I think they have done well to maintain their individuality through nearly 60 years of operation. Often bypassed by perfumistas because of their safe and pretty perfumes if you dig through their enormous range there are a lot of beautifully crafted, elegant perfumes. If the first reason for fragrance is to smell good then Diptyque should be regularly accoladed.

34 Boulevard Saint Germain by Diptyque 2011

34 Boulevard Saint Germain by Olivier Pescheux

34 boulevard Saint Germain Diptyque FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Blackcurrant, green leaves, fir leaf, citruses, pink pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon
Heart: Rose, geranium, tuberose, iris, violet
Base: Woods, resins, balsams, eucalyptus

2011 was the time that I discovered the online world of fragrance, started reading blogs and found sample sellers. Till then I had been avidly following the magazines and department store adventures of scent and was unprepared for the incredible largesse of niche, indie and artisan. Suddenly I was trying son many incredibly mind expending creations from around the world that almost anything available within easy reach had lost its lustre. So 34 Boulevard Saint Germain was released with barely a raised eyebrow in the scentbloggosphere and thus I remained unaware of how it actually smelled until much later.

Once I got 34 Boulevard Saint Germain on my skin I liked it very much, not a deep love yet, but I did take notice how ravishing it smelled. Then I went back and read a few lacklustre reviews and started doubting my own empirical evidence and with the constant rush of something new completely forgot about it. Until I tried it again a year or so ago and it went straight back on my wish list.

Then a mate was having a sell out and for a very reasonable price I was suddenly the owner ofd a 50ml bottle (Thanks Liam you sexy man). Then I wore it a few times and liked it very much. Till now and it’s been on my desk as a sneaky spritzer for months. It doesn’t even get put away in its box anymore but sits proudly on top, just in case I need a happy reminder how much I adore it.

PDI

How does 34 Boulevard Saint Germain smell? Well, it opens up big. It’s a luscious green melange that is smooth, bittersweet and slightly feral. It only lasts a few minutes but the opening fireworks are like every note in the list is trying to get your attention and by doing so they lose their individuality and become a larger than life fragrance that is zingy, creamy, green woods, bark and broken leaves drizzled over the squeaky sweetness of blackcurrant cordial.

The floral bouquet is unopened tuberose and a clover rose, but they are only bit players really because by the time you know it’s them they are already second fiddle to the resins and balsams. Which is what I am left with for the majority of the ride, a very lightly sweet resinous wood. very calm and eat wear but not simple enough to be a yawn.

PDI

Further reading: Now Smell This and FragranceDaily
Mecca has $123/50ml FREE Australian Shipping
Surrender To Chance has samples starting from $4/ml

Do you have a favourite Diptyque?
Portia xx

Saturday Question: What 4 Would You Rebuy First?

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

Once a week here on Australian Perfume Junkies we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is generally a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a $10 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Over 200 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Comment purposefully on yours or anothers comment & you’ll have a chance, random.org will draw on Friday.

Last Weeks Winner: Didn’t make 100

Saturday Question: What 4 Would You Rebuy First?

There’s been a terrible drama and your whole perfume collection has been lost. Thank goodness it was heavily insured and you will get your money back within the month to start rebuilding your collection. Nothing else was lost, hurt or broken and everyone is safe so you’re not mourning anything except your fabulous fragrance collection. You are given a certificate that allows you to rebuy any FOUR fragrances from your collection. There’s no price limit but you must have had a bottle of the fragrance in your current collection. They can come from different places and the magic of this certificate is that no matter where the fragrance is in the world it will be in your hands tomorrow morning, first thing. So you’ll not be without perfume for your daily rituals.

My Answer:

Mitsouko EdT by Guerlain:

I’m feeling guilty because I’ve picked Mitsouko over Shalimar but I think right now that Mitsouko would be the one I’d like to have on hand. That gorgeous fruity chypre, so sweet and so bitter. It could enfold me in its silky caress and keep me smelling beautiful.

Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations:

AHH the guilt is real. I feel like I’m cheating on Mohur but today I think the figgy woods of Ashoka are what I’d ask for. There’s something indomitable about this scent that I think could really help me through a crises. Let’s hope it’s never put to the test.

Eau Absolue by Mona di Orio:

The soft, sheer, glassy smoothness of Eau Absolue is magical. The resigns are perfectly balanced against the spicy fruit and flowers. I can never reconcile the note list and the scent here. What I smell is light warm rain, fresh thick cotton sateen sheets and endless snuggles.

Agent Provocateur Original:

Roses, saffron and woodsy amber. Agent Provocateur is a constant delight for me and punches well above its price range. Long lasting scented glamour that can be dressed up or down and seems to fit so many occasions. Let’s not forget too the sensual pleasure of the pink egg bottle, so cool.

 

My Question To You Is: What Would Be the First FOUR Fragrances You Would Rebuy?

Durga by David Moltlz for D.S. & Durga 2017

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Portia

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Hi there APJ,

I was wearing this beautiful scent with no idea how much it costs. It came in a bunch of new scents split by a mate of mine. Blissfully unaware I spritzed with abandon and really enjoyed the way it smells.

This morning it is cool and crisp and the weather feels like it’s perfectly attuned to todays fragrance.

Durga by D.S. & Durga 2017

Durga by David Moltlz

Durga D.S. & Durga fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica Gives these featured accords:
Top: Tuberose, melon, chrysanthemum
Heart: Ylang-ylang, orris, orange blossom
Base: Tuberose, jasmine sambas, musk

Creamy tuberose, made awkwardly and sweetly juicy by the juxtaposition of melon and mums. It is a catchy opening that sideswipes my expectations. Smelling smoothly resinous, clean tuberose and this freaky undertone that is skating around the drop to disgusting but manages to pull itself or keep itself nice. The opening is not traditionally beautiful and is chock full of florist floor realness. Stemmy offcuts, discarded flower petals, bucket water and road dirt. Durga smells like some of the best, most interesting and slightly challenging independent perfumery. It’s raw and not all the rough edges are smoothed to a glasslike finish.

The heart comes through and reads as a bouquet to me. All notes working in harmony to create something other, something different, yet still encompassing the notes list. If you know perfumes DelRae Amoureuse then you will recognise this tightrope walk between hideous and heavenly. Though not smelling the same the feeling is similar.

PDI

Then somehow at about the 15-20 minute mark Durga becomes all heavenly symphony. A sheer tuberose out front and everything backs and supports.

From LuckyScentWhat does floral nirvana feel like? We’re not talking about an overdose of girly, cookie cutter fruity-florals, or a powder-drenched grandma scent, but rather, in D.S. & Durga’s own words, “palatial doses of the finest floral absolutes, ” a no-costs-spared approach to creating the ultimate limited-edition fragrance. So what does it feel like? Rapturous.

WikiCommons

LuckyScent has $350/50ml and Samples

$350 is a lot of money for 50ml. Is that a deterrent to you?
Portia xx

Pelargonium by Nathalie Feisthauer for Aedes de Venustas 2017

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Portia

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Hey Crew,

Well clearly a new package of splits has arrived because this week we are talking NEW STUFF on APJ. It’s not regular here for us to get hyper excited about new releases but there seems to be a plethora of really good and interesting stuff for all taste ranges lately. I’m not saying that hard core perfumistas will like it all but there does seem to be something quite lively about the newest batch.

Pelargonium by Aedes de Venustas 2017

Pelargonium by Nathalie Feisthauer

Pelargonium Aedes de Venustas FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Bergamot, Mandarin, Clary sage, Black pepper, Sichuan pepper absolute, Cardamom, Egyptian geranium, Hedione, Iris, Carrot seed, Elemi resin, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Gaiac wood, Moss, Musk, Ambermax®

I have a little story for you. Maybe you remember that Jin and I bought some property in Tasmania? Well, we bought two houses for unbelievably low prices and they have been tenanted. One of the houses has just changed tenants but we were lucky enough to meet the last couple the weekend before they left. They had spent a year beautifying the gardens and had added about 15 pelargonium plants in pinks, purples and dark reds. When I mentioned how much I loved her pelargoniums we instantly bonded because she’d never met anyone who knew the difference. The whole house was at least in 20% better shape than we’d first rented it. Sadly I only got one photo of the magnificent flowers but you can see how dramatic and glamorous they are.

Pelargonium Aedes de Venustas  Tasmania June 2017

A sharp geranium smell, soapy, clean, strong and poised. Cool and dry, the peppers give a snap and sizzle to cardboard iris and lightly salted driftwood shavings. There is a lot of light and shade and the whole scent is so well blended that very few pieces stand out enough for met nose to capture them.

Very unexpected treatment of pelargoniums, as the heart develops I am smelling warmth. It’s like the sunrise warming the fragrance through that has been waiting in the cool dark for it. The whole personality of Pelargonium becomes that warm, woody, synth smell that I really like in so much niche but has little or nothing to do with the flowers as I know them. In fact the perfume is now a very masculine leaning thing.

Pelargonium Aedes de Venustas  Flowers Max PixelPDI

Hints of the opening float to the surface unexpectedly throughout the heart and dry down. It gives a lift and swish, keeping the wood and dry resins interesting.

Longevity is really good and I stay quite noticeably fragrant throughout.

Further reading: Now Smell This and I Scent You A Day
Peony Melbourne has the Aedes de Venustas range

Are you a fan of the Aedes de Venustas line? Is Pelargonium on your To-Try radar?
Portia xxx

Flamenco by Ramón Monegal 2017

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Sandra

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Hi there APJ! Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the month of August. We are eagerly anticipating our upcoming trip to southern Spain. I am in desperate need for sunshine and heat – both will hopefully be in abundance.

“The dance, of all the arts, is the one that most influences the soul. Dancing is divine in its nature and is the gift of the gods”. Plato.

Music and dance are indicative of a culture and its people. Joie de vivre, cultural history and even weather plays an important role in the musical roots of a country. Every country has its own rhythym, its own heartbeat. Having lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I cannot imagine that city without the rhythyms of tango and the evocative dance associated with it. The same holds true for the Waltz and Vienna, Austria – a lot of structure to the dance and the music. I have always believed that the warmer the climate in a country, the more passionate and captivating the music and dance will be. This is only my opinion as I have had the pleasure of living in many countries and experiencing the music and dance.

Enter in Spain and the Flamenco dance.

Flamenco by Ramón Monegal 2017

Flamenco Ramon Monegal fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, raspberry, violet, apple
Heart: Jasmine, rose, iris
Base: Cedar, amber, pine tree, cypress.

With all of that said and done, I am sure that you all know of Ramón Monegal perfumes from Barcelona, Spain. Ramón Monegal is one of the very few brands which excites me with their new creations and they have recently launched Flamenco. The Andalusian dance, the Flamenco, with its music (guitar, vocals, clapping and dancing) is seductive and sensual and was the inpiration for this new creation. When I watch a Flamenco performance I feel as if I am watching a deep magical dance from the soul of the people. It is a feast for my senses. I get lost in watching the rhythmic movements of the dancer’s arms and feet, the sway of her dress, the dust slightly coming off of the wooden floor, the musicians encouraging her and then the final culmination.

When I spray on Flamenco, it opens with a cloud of raspberries and orange blossom which is radiant and bursting with flavor and brings a smile from ear to ear on my face. A bowlful of berries, succulent with their juices, slightly sweet and yet marginally tart, is my secret haven for a warm summer evening. There is an underlying woody aspect to the opening which grounds it from turning into a fruit syrup. When the woods come into play they are warm and glowing which gives me a sense of comfort and well being. This perfume exudes passion, slowly working its way into my soul making me want to wear something red, dance the night away on a warm summer evening after enjoying a day of languishing in the sun.

The packaging for Flamenco is equisite; a book shaped box with a mirror on the inside of the lid holds the red bottle in a black and red cloth bag. There is so much attention to detail that surpasses anything that I have seen in a while. It is pure joy to use the perfume and adds to the sensorial experience.

Special thanks to Ramon Monegal for sending me this beautiful bottle

Perfumaria has €190/50ml
LuckyScent carries the Ramon Monegal line

Have you tried any perfumes from Ramón Monegal? Do you have a favorite? Or do you have a favorite dance?
Sandra x