Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl for Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

I’m off travelling again soon! Yay for holidays!

Last year I reviewed Le Labo – City Exclusives Poivre 23 London just before I visited that majestic city. Just in case, you know, I fell in love and needed a bottle. These things can happen! So I thought I’d give the City Exclusives, Musc 25 Los Angeles a run through before my trip in April. Which, I’ve got to say, I’m really really looking forward to.

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Aldehydes, patchouli, musk, vetiver, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, rose and ambergris

The weirdest thing happened on first sniff. I instantly thought of Kingston, Ontario, Canada where my family spent a year. I don’t know what it was that triggered the reminder. Musc 25 opens with a heavy white musk, so maybe there was something environmental? A washing powder? House hold detergents? No idea. At any rate it was a one off, but interesting.

So, yes. Bam! White musk and quite a light, green-grey ozonic aldehyde which turns soapy in around 10 minutes. The white musk, to me, is cold and austere, a light grey colour. It’s one of my least favourite scents, I must admit. So soapy aldehydes and white musk aren’t really doing it for me however there are hints of concrete, plants and roses layered nearly imperceptably behind this, which makes me think it does needs a bit more skin time.

WikiMedia

At around 2 hours I’m still sniffing my arm closely trying to get more than white musk out of this as it’s swamping it for me. There’s a hint of funky animalic saltiness. I notice ambergris listed in the notes but it’s missing the waxiness that I associate with that smell. I’m seeing in my mind’s eye perhaps a reflection of my Airbnb searches – up above the city of Los Angeles, a residential area on the Hollywood Hills. Once formal gardens have been left to go wild so there’s a bit of shrubbery and strangely some pink azaleas. Huh. That is a weirdly specific image……

At about 4 hours as a skin scent the florals die back but the pinkness increases as I start to pick up another softer musk which has the effect of drawing your attention inwards rather than looking out over the horizon of the city. As I know I’m anosmic to a lot of musks it makes me wonder if there’s more in there I can’t smell.

WikiMedia

Further reading: Perfume Smelling Things and Perfume Posse
Le Labo in Venice (1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA) or a couple of other spots in LA
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/0,5ml

I’ve worn Los Angeles Musc 25 a few times now and I’m a bit conflicted. It’s really not my kind of thing but it’s still been interesting to wear, if that makes sense? It is really the heavy white musk which is my issue but otherwise the mix of concrete, ozone, saltiness, shrubbery, roses, and the softer musk in the dry down leaves me intrigued. Will I buy a bottle? Perhaps not but I’d like to wear the fragrance in the town it was created for to see whether there is an enhanced sense of place.

Do you have any memories of a place having a particular smell?

Till next time,
Tina G

Skin & Eyelashes: L’Oreal + Clinique

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AF Beauty

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Hello again APJ Beauty Addicts!

In a post from waaay back when, I wrote about finding Clinique’s Custom Serum – still one of my top beauty products. I am so enticed by the novelty of the new and the promise of each new product that I rarely rebuy something because either it didn’t deliver what it promised or something else promised more.

Skin & Eyelashes: L’Oreal + Clinique

In the few exceptions a headline act is Clinque’s Custom Serum. So, when Clinique released a new product I was a little bit excited and hoped to look 20 years younger. This new product was Turnaround Revitalising Oil.

Clinique

The oil is a very interesting texture – the thinness of water rather than a cooking oil, but still somewhat oily. I say somewhat because it is peculiar in that it absorbs very quickly on plain skin while also leaving a very slight oily feel. Weird. As with all Clinique products it has no added fragrance – I get it. But in my heart, I want things that smell nice – and this smells like a dirty oil extracted from an engine – which is not overly enjoyable for one’s face.

Added to the sadness of the smell is also the lack of information as to how you’re supposed to use the product. I had determined that I should use it in the same manner as Clarins’ oils – I’ve also tried adding a bit of the oil to my moisturiser – but truth be told neither method led to my immediate youthfulness but I am hoping it will provide that boost that skin needs through winter. Verdict – undecided.

Another feature from a previous post was my search for tubing mascara – if you recall, I had found Australia had a MAC one and I’d toddled off to purchase but was persuaded at the last minute to try another, the SA promising a smudge free wear. To be fair, she was entirely truthful in that it has never smudged despite numerous trips to the gym and sweating like I’d invented it. But it took a purchase (via ebay) of *actual* tubing mascara to truly understand and appreciate the tubing phenomenon.

Heinemann Duty Free

I bought L’Oreal’s Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara (sometimes Double Extension Beauty Tubes) – NOT to be confused with Double Extension Renewal Lash Serum. Yes, helpfully, they have several of very similarly named mascaras – but basically, you want the maroon coloured one actually called Beauty Tubes. You start with the white end which extends (clue in the name) then switch to the black which tubes around the lash. And it wears very well and also doesn’t smudge. I’ve really enjoyed using this, not least because it is as promised, very easy to remove with regular facial cleanser/warm water. The only slightly perturbing moments are the appearance of what looks like small spider legs on your flannel, but it’s a small hurdle for simple, painless, smudge free mascara removal. Keep an eye out for it in Duty Free/ebay/overseas. I’ve never found it in Australia, sadly.

Until next time; may your lashes be smudge free.
AF XXOX

Soulle Ambar by Shelagh Foyle for Floris 2013

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Portia

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Hey there crew,

Libertine Parfumerie sent me their Winter 2017 Season Update. I have a bunch of some of their new-to-Australia and brand spanking new stuff to look at. I think that they have newly brought Floris onboard in 2016 as one of their houses so that’s really exciting. Not having spent much time with the brand, except a quick sniff through in Fortnum & Mason last year, it will be good to get to know them better. I’m pretty sure that Floris are not marketing to me personally as a consumer, the brand seems a little safe and buttoned up British but I will be happily shown to be wrong.

Soulle Ambar by Floris 2013

Soulle Ambar by Shelagh Foyle

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum, pineapple, mastic/lentisque
Heart: Pink pepper, geranium, jasmine, mellow/sweet clover
Base: Amber, vanila, musk

Soul Ambar is a new one to Australia and as I love amber in fragrance I think Paige from Libertine thought it might be a good place for me to start. Let’s see….

Woo Hoo! Sweet citrus with a pineapple hit is a wonderful, fun, uplifting opening the segues beautifully into smooth, glossy green galbanum. The fruits don’t leave exactly but become something harmoniously part of the green.

A burst of pink pepper, a real, fun, pepper grind of it. While having that fun pink pepper fizz it comes along and dries Soulle Ambar out. The fruit punch is still extant but now playing chorus with the bouquet. Flowers come together in a softly cool florist melange that gives me thoughts of fresh cut peonies and greenery.All this action has taken place in under half an hour and I feel the real heart has arrived. Without being mean the heart reminds me of the opening of some of the Tocca perfumes. It has that similar wet non floral bouquet, but here it’s in the heart and lasts very effectively.

WikiCommons

Soulle Ambar is a floral green scent through the heart. Nothing groundbreaking or sensational but a comfortable, floral, green that feels beautifully crafted and with enough of a story to have some interesting light & shade.

At about the 40 minute mark the amber/vanilla comes through as a light undercurrent of warmth, it takes centre stage but Soulle Ambar maintains a fresh green hint till I lose the scent completely.

I don’t think this is made with die hard perfumistas in mind. It’s a fine fragrance, smells good and would be an excellent choice for a person whose main aim is to be prettily fragrant. I could imagine buying it as a gift for my non perfumista friends and them using it solely as a spritz & go all day scent till the bottle was empty and then buying it again.

Flickr

Libertine Parfumerie has $179/100ml and FREE Australian Delivery
First In Fragrance has €72/50ml + Samples

Have you spent any time with Floris fragrances? Any that you like, love, own?
Portia XX

Trolling The Internet?

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Portia

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Hi there Late Night Shoppers,

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I get the urge to surf the net at ridiculous hours looking for lost fragrant loves, super new stuff, blogs and bargains. Other times I may have read a particularly good blog post, used a decant/sample that I fell madly in love with, got a bee in my bonnet and it’s like a compulsion. I can get lost in these random loops and searches for HOURS!

Sometimes if I have a day off, nothing planned and Jin is at work I can spend 10-15 hours lost in the fragrant WWW.

I have a name for these explorations….

Trolling The Internet

Trolling The Internet doesn’t mean you go around being a troll. Nope. It’s like trawling but it sounds most like trolling. It comes from 1980s GaySpeak when we’d go trolling the bars. We’d be seeing our friends, having some drinks (and drugs back then), looking for love, dancing and sometimes even working. Yeah, being Sydney’s version of a club kid was really fun.

So now I’ve just changed venues and addictions I suppose. Now it’s cups of tea/coffee, seeing mates in blogs and searching for the next fragrant buy, swap or sale.

One of the great things about Trolling The Internet is that you can do it anytime, wearing a suit or pyjamas, get your fix and then hit the hay.

How many of you die similar or same? Do you ever worry about your internet time, spending, being inside? Do you ever need to break the cycle? What do you do to sl;ow or stop these behaviours or are you totally cool?
Portia xx

Halfeti by Christian Provenzano for Penhaligon`s 2015

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Portia

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Heya Niche Nerds,

I done’t remember this little beauty being released. Clearly I must have read about it somewhere but the name rings zero bells at all. Nick, my mate from Libertine Parfumerie sent me a sample to try and he usually knows what I’ll like so let’s give it a test run together.

Halfeti by Penhaligon`s 2015

Halfeti by Christian Provenzano

The Penhaligon’s story goes: All respectability forgotten, we have travelled far, as far as Turkey! And here in Halfeti, the red roses appear black so intense is their magic. Here, the British Levant Company traded in the opulent treasures of the Ottoman merchants to secure the pick of the crop.

Libertine gives these featured accords:
Top: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Green notes, Armoise, Cypress
Heart: Cumin, Nutmeg, Violet, Saffron, Rose, Jasmine, Muguet
Base: Leather, Oud, Amber, Resins, Tonka, Vanilla, Sandalwood

Dry leather, nutmeg, oud and some sweet resinous funk open Halfeti. I know that Val the Cookie Queen would not enjoy wearing it because the familiar oud/woods/leather trope is front and centre. Here it’s dark, sharp, smoky and animalic. A very masculine leaning woodsy concoction. So nothing incredibly groundbreaking but expansive and powerful for a Penhaligon’s scent, who are usually so quietly reticent.

Obviously I can imagine this on a man but in my head I wonder what sort of woman would wear Halfeti? She would have to be strong willed, happy to break the mold, probably unknowingly walking through life causing change and creating new roads for people to follow. Halfeti strikes me as a comfortable fit for a woman unafraid of being judged, happy in her choices and able to command. There you go, some scent inspired ramblings.

WikiCommons

Longevity is excellent and once the fireworks burn off a sweet, soft and comfortable woodsiness encapsulated within a soft focus vanilla/amber will hum above your skin for hours.

So, do I like it? Yes, I like it a lot but I have something quite similar and I can’t pinpoint what it is, or was. Don’t worry, it will come to me at 4am.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Fragrance Daily
Libertine has $329/100ml plus FREE Australian Delivery

What fragrances do you think of for people who break the traditions?
Portia xx

 

 

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all,
Since I heard that Annick Goutal is to be re-branded early next year, I’ve been carefully ticking off certain of its older offerings from my ‘to-try’ list. If, as has been reported, the line will be cut from around 45 fragrances to 25, at least some of the great classics are surely headed for the chop.

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

A wander through the Goutal catalogue

Fragrantica

I tried and loved Eau du Sud at the airport on my way home from holidays in January. Unfortunately my excitement did not outlast the post-holiday glow. I bought a decant so as to give Sud a thorough test but, lovely though it is, I’ve found it collapses on skin in hot weather. As it is a summer scent, that’s a disappointment. I still like it, but I’m not going for a full bottle when there are plenty of other Goutals jostling for the attentions of my credit card.

One of those jostlers is Sables (immortelle, cinnamon, pepper, tea, sandalwood, amber). Now this one really could be on the endangered list. Already it seems to be in limited distribution because it’s hard to find and never cheap. You have to have a deep and abiding commitment to the curry-and-burnt-sugar effect of immortelle (or helichrysum) to enjoy Sables. The other notes are bit players, although a lot of people smell cinnamon distinctly (I don’t). Sables is absolutely outstanding but it would take me at least 147 years to get through a FB. A single spritz lasts all day and can survive a shower the next morning. A large decant may be all I’ll ever need.

Then there is Passion (tuberose, tomato leaf, jasmine, ylang, vanilla, oakmoss, patchouli). This is one of the early releases (1983) and it does reference some of the great florals and chypres of yore. Tropical notes are balanced by the green twang of tomato leaf and a mossy base. Overall, Passion has (for me) a slightly tailored, formal feel to it. It’s perfect for professional settings, being neither too stuffy nor too cosy and casual. FB-worthy, yes, and much cheaper than Sables.

Fragrantica

Gardenia Passion (gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, vanilla). This should be named ‘tuberose passion’ really, but it is no less beautiful for that. The opening is so dramatic I gasped aloud. A white floral accord so buttery and so green it stole away the very breath I was trying to use to smell it. Then – it’s gone. Gardenia Passion leaves my skin, and the building, in under an hour. So, this one is off the list.

The last in my little clutch of Goutal samples is Grand Amour. . I think this may be a scrubber. The problem is the hyacinth, which normally I like but here it seems too cutting for my taste. But I’ve only tried Grand Armour on skin once, so who knows. It might improve.

Annick Goutal

So – over to you. Do you have great loves from the house of Goutal? Are you doing what I’m doing – snatching at them before they go?
Bye for now everyone!
Anne-Marie

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