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

Figment Woman by Dorothée Piot, Karine Vinchon-Spehner for Amouage 2017

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Erica Golding

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Hi everyone! I hope you are having the most gorgeous day.

As for myself, I’m enjoying yet another knock-me-over-with-a-feather moment thanks to an aromatic marvel. However, the magic of this perfume is not from drama and fireworks and bombastic notes; rather, its spell is cast by subtly enhancing a popular floral absolute just enough to launch it into the night sky.

Tuberose.

Now, I know you may be thinking that this beloved blossom has graced an infinite range of fragrances, and who needs yet another Tuberose when you’ve got Fracas and Carnal Flower and La Chasse Aux Papillons?

Trust me, you’re going to want to get your nose on the just-released:

Figment Woman by Amouage 2017

Figment Woman by Dorothée Piot and Karine Vinchon-Spehner

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Sichuan pepper, saffron, gardenia
Heart: Tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, lily, ylang-ylang, cassia bourbon
Base: Orris, papyrus, incense, patchouli

I was skeptical when I lifted the cap from my decant and inhaled a first impression. Instantaneously, all that registered with me was a pleasant tuberose note that, although pretty, was not piquing my interest. I placed the little glass vial on my nightstand and almost forgot about it, except for the fact that the warm spring breeze drifting through my window began to carry wafts of an enchanting scent, beckoning for my attention. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this beauty deserved skin time, immediately!

Figment Woman Amouage old-window-distressed PublicDomainPicturesPDI

How does it smell?
Wet on the skin, jasmine slinks seductively, sexy and sultry. Orange blossom kisses the top of the fragrance with an effortless freshness, softly cheerful. The tuberose in the heart is of exceptional quality. This is genuine high grade absolute, delicate yet intense, a sweetness that flirts with the edge of imbalance but never tips the scales.
At the base of the fragrance, I sense a whisper of oakmoss amongst the rich yet very quiet and subtle resins. The bottom of this composition is understated. I don’t explicitly pick up on patchouli or incense as components of Figment Woman, they accent the aroma with exquisite grace and moderation.

Amouage Figment Woman is a lovely, attractive perfume that is perfectly pleasant for office/daytime wear, while also exhibiting magnetic properties making it a lovely choice for a hot summer night. I would wear it whenever, wherever, truly! It probably sings a little better in warmer weather but honestly it’s just so damn pretty that I can’t imagine it matters very much.

Figment Woman Amouage doll Ventus17 PixabayPDI

Further reading: Perfume Posse

Does it read like something you’d wear?

With love and light,
Erica

Argan Oil Haircare

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AF Beauty

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Hey hey,

Hair oils you’ll love and maybe one you won’t!

As I’ve talked about before, I hit the gym fairly often and as a result, I need to wash my hair A LOT. It is annoying for me, and I’m fairly sure my hairdresser would happily stab me to prevent me cracking out the shampoo on a sometimes twice daily basis.
All things considered my hair isn’t in too bad condition, probably because I rarely use straighteners or a hairdryer. But truth is, it could be in better condition – and as you’ll have seen in the shops, the latest thing for perfect hair is Argan Oil.

Argan Oil Haircare

Applied to the hair, generally after washing, it’s meant to help heal the hair, act as a conditioner and defrizz. Read the promotional info here.

I think my first foray into Argan Oil was a freebie thanks to a David Jones promotion. I got a mini bottle of Agadir Argan Oil. This is a relatively thick oil similar in consistency to olive oil with a pleasant mild fragrance. I like this oil, it does make my hair feel nice – but whether because I don’t use a hairdyer, or just the weight of my hair type (relatively fine), it does make my hair feel dirty relatively quickly (ie greasy).

When my little sample ran out, I decided to look for a replacement. The Agadir oil is relatively pricy for it’s small size AU$24 for a standard size bottle – that’s only 66ml). I decided to try the L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil Mist, I think it was on special one day. I was drawn to this because of the mist spray application thinking it would ‘feel’ less oily if it wasn’t applying with my hands.

OK, so this I really don’t like. And really it’s my own fault. It makes my hair feel dry and straw-like. I should have checked the ingredients before buying (caveat emptor right here) because first of all, there is no Argan Oil in it, and secondly the second ingredient listed is alcohol. Why would spraying alcohol on your hair EVER be a good thing? They package this up in a posh orange glass fully imitating the argan oil brands – it’s misleading, so be warned. Stay away.

So after the horror of the L’Oreal product, by chance I picked up the OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle in-shower oil. . I’ve never actually used this in the shower, mainly because my shower is over-bath and I would rather not slip and break my neck while naked having applied an oil to my hair or body. I apply this as a post conditioner treatment before wrapping my wet hair up in a towel, this way the excess stays in the towel. This I LOVE! The texture is a lot lighter than the first oil, it applies well and my hair doesn’t look immediately greasy. All in all, a winner. It says also for skin use, but thus far, I’ve not tried it, maybe next week! 🙂

Have you found an oil treatment you love? Tell me about it!
AF Beauty

Saturday Question: Sample Size & Format

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Portia

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Heya APJ,

Taking an idea from Olfactoria’s Travels. Once a week there used to be a Question. Everyone would chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it would be a generally fun event each week. Taking sides never meant taking offence and everyone kept it respectful and light.

Saturday Question: Sample Size & Format

Today we are joined by Lillibet who has a Saturday Question

Portia can we have one about the ideal sample size and format (i.e. spray or dab)? I’d be really interested to know what everyone thinks.
Lil Xx

My Answer:

Hey Lillibet,

I like to get 3+ good wears out of a sample. Two or three wears of four spritzes on the back of my hand usually and one full body wear with the remainder. So when I’m buying samples I usually go for the 2ml Spray option, and my go-To for that is Surrender To Chance. If I’m lucky enough to see someone splitting a thing I’m interested in or if it sounds fun I’ll buy a decant of 5ml-10ml.

When I get a smaller dab vial it will be transferred into a disposable plastic spritz bottle and I’ll get a couple of wears out of that. It never seems enough to get a real knowledge of how a fragrance performs and I often wish for more..

So, my question to you is:

What Sample Size & Format Do You Prefer?

Maison Mona di Orio: New Launches 2017

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Good Afternoon from my computer, Wimbledon playing in the background!

It astonishes me that within the realms of a heavily saturated niche perfume market, that there is still the desire to create more. These two new MdO´s are niche as it should be, edgy and enthralling, but wearable. Accessible to anyone wishing to branch off from the more mainstream perfumes, yet still graceful and alluring. Those who want to smell of dead animals and bodily fluids are surprisingly enough, in the minority. Both Suède de Suède and Dõjima will charm the perfumistas whilst opening up a world to those just discovering niche fragrances.

Frederik Dalman is the Swedish in-house perfumer for Maison Mona di Orio.

Maison Mona di Orio: New Launches 2017

First Impressions

 

Dõjima by Frederik Dalman for Mona di Orio 2017

Rice accord,nutmeg absolute, ambrette, jasmin, orris, clary sage absolute, labdanum CO2, sandalwood, musks

Inspired by rice, and named for the Dõjima Rice Exchange founded by Samurai in 1697 in Osaka, Japan. Dõjima opens with a vivid green, slightly astringent, warmly spiced top layer; a nutty rice note hovers. There remains a greenness throughout, wrapped in a creamy sandalwood, a possible dash of vetiver, who knows? There is some jasmin and orris but I don´t wanna sniff myself into a coma trying to locate them, it takes away the pleasure. An aromatic delight.

Suède de Suède by Frederik Dalman for Mona di Orio 2017

Cloudberry, Sichuan pepper, suède accord, cedar wood, osmanthus, strawberry leaf, castoreum, patchouli, musks

A soft buttery suede/leather wrapped in a sharp berry shell. Frederik Dalman uses cloudberry, they have a distinctive tart taste, and feature in a number of Swedish culinary delights. The zesty berry opening melts into the supple suede, ripples
itself throughout, and remains until the end, preventing the suede from dominating. Osmanthus and strawberry leaf keeping
the cloudberry alive, castoreum, patchouli and musks giving the base. This is a year round leather and one to invite your civilian friends to try. Sensual.

Please take a look at Mona di Orio for the full scoop. Thanks a million to Jeroen, Frederik and Vera for sending me the beautiful box with enough perfume to wear it properly.

Launch in September. 180€ for 75mls

I have a number of MdO miniatures, and an original bottle of her Vanille. I would love a bottle of Mona´s Musc.
Any MdO lovers out there?

Bussis my dears.
CQ xxxx

Saturday Question: The Case Against Fragrance by Kate Grenville

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Greg Young from AusScents.

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(Ed: Taking an idea from Olfactoria’s Travels. Once a week there used to be a Question. Everyone would chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it would be a generally fun events each week. Taking sides never meant taking offence and everyone kept it respectful and light.
Today we are joined by my mate Greg who has a book review attached to the Saturday Question)

Hi APJ,

As something of a perfume collector, I thought I owed it to myself to read this book and find out more about what is in those fragrances in the cupboard.

Kate Grenville has long known that she has an intolerance for fragrances that give her headaches. When it reached a point where she was almost totally incapacitated during a book tour, she decided to research the matter and wrote this book.

(E)-I-(2,6,6-Trimethyl-I-cyclohexa-I,3-dienyl)but-2-en-I-one
(The Name of the Rose)

Book Review: The Case Against Fragrance, by Kate Grenville

 

Book Depository

 

Grenville points out that, in modern society, fragrance is almost inescapable. It’s not just the perfumes that we wear. It’s also added to every imaginable household product from toilet paper to laundry liquid. Stores, restaurants and hotels spray fragrance in the air. It’s ubiquitous, and that’s a problem for people that are affected by it, like Grenville.

Any attempt to identify what is causing these problems founders on a few issues. First, trade secrets legislation means that the contents of “fragrance” ingredients don’t have to be revealed. Second, there are thousands of ingredients commonly used in fragrance, and only a subset of these have ever been tested for safety. Finally, nearly all the testing and certification is done by the fragrance industry itself, so conflict of interest issues apply. It’s not hard to see why a manufacturer might prefer to declare that a rose fragrance contains “parfum” rather than the chemical formula above.

Even what we do know is somewhat alarming. Grenville provides an extensive list of compounds known or suspected to be carcinogenic that are either used in fragrances or can form when fragrance ingredients interact with the air (as they unavoidably will). Chief among these is formaldehyde, although there are others.

Another concern is the prevalence of synthetic musk compounds that have proven to be almost indestructible. These compounds bioaccumulate so that they become more prevalent the higher up the food chain you go. That means that the very highest levels are seen in the most vulnerable: breastfeeding babies and foetuses in utero. These musk compounds can mimic the action of hormones such as oestrogen, creating over-supply which can lead to birth defects, genetic abnormalities and cancer.

Grenville is quick to point out that it is impossible to pin this on fragrance specifically, because there are so many other potential triggers for such conditions to emerge over a lifetime. Indeed “the case against fragrance” is largely a circumstantial one. Grenville shows that there are potentially harmful chemicals in fragrances, they have reached a point of ubiquity in the environment, and people are having adverse reactions. But there is no smoking gun; it is impossible to say for sure that there is causality here, and no scientific study would draw the kinds of conclusions that Grenville invites us to make here.

So what to do? The author’s solution is a bit simplistic. For one, she advocates embracing fragrance-free versions of products. That’s fine, except she does not apply anything like the same scrutiny to those alternatives. Just as decaffeinated coffee is not necessarily better for you due to the added chemicals, how does one know whether a fragrance-free detergent contains no harmful chemicals either?

More interesting is Grenville’s suggestion that fragrance-free workplaces may become the norm. ¬If a scientific institute such as the US Centres for Disease Control can adopt a policy that says “Fragrance is not appropriate for a professional work environment”, then it’s possible to imagine that this may one day become more widespread particularly if, as in the US, there are OH&S lawsuits decided in favour of people with fragrance intolerances.

Decades ago the idea of passive smoking was seen as cranky, now it is enshrined in law. We do not have the right to deprive others of a healthy and safe work environment; that is a very clear legal precedent. So maybe one day people who wear perfume will be like the smokers of today, skulking out the back giving themselves a shot of Shalimar before washing it off and heading back inside.

Food for thought? What do you think?
Greg x

Ombre de Hyacinth by Calice Becker for Tom Ford 2012

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Portia

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Hiya Designer lovers,

Today we are looking at one of the Private Blend Jardin Noir series. The only one of the group still on the Tom Ford website is Cafe Rose but the others are still available at the discounters including this one.

I don’t tend to try all the Tom Ford fragrances because I think his pricing policy is taking the piss. Yes, they are lovely, some could even be classed as modern masterpieces but the consistent price jumps, bringing out a bunch at a time, the lack of consistent availability due to discontinuations and that it’s really just a jumped up Estee Lauder brand all make me a bit grumpy with them.

Anyway, all that aside, when I was in the USA in 2013 these were relatively new. Tom and I spent a moment sniffing them and I liked a couple but couldn’t remember which. So I bought a set of decants. I don’t know why but the set got put aside unopened and they have just resurfaced.

Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford 2012

Ombre de Hyacinth by Calice Becker

Ombre de Hyacinth Tom Ford fragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, Magnolia, Violet leaf, Frankincense
Heart: Hyacinth, Jasmine, Pink pepper
Base: Benzoin, Galbanum, Musk

My Google translate says Ombre de Hyacinth means Shadow of Hyacinth.

Bitter, smooth green with a very slight taint of sweetness. Galbanum gives a dark furriness here and is offset by the lightness and crisp snap of violet leaf. Quickly coming in is the hyacinth but to me it’s like running your thumb down the stalk of the flower and smelling the wet sappiness. The frankincense is resinous rather than could stick, woods or smoke and helps the galbanum feel ultra glassy.

Ombre de Hyacinth hyacinth pezibear pixabayPDI

My skin throws only the merest soapiness until well into the heart and the vegetational greenness stays, overriding it and giving the impression of drinking clean, fresh water from a snow melt stream. Yes, Ombre de Hyacinth stays dark for me. The fluting notes of violet & hyacinth are overshadowed by the bitter shade of galbanum. This makes them both more interesting because you have to follow your nose to find them. Also, I’ve never noticed them dealt with in this way before.

Soapy? Not really what I think of as soapy but the scent in deep dry down does seem to lose focus and becomes an amorphous, slightly pea scented wash. Not bad, but not nearly as amazing as the first 3-4 hours. What though do I expect? That’s a pretty good run before boredom sets in. Maybe it’s me and not the scent that has become less excited?

Ombre de Hyacinth lasts exceedingly well. Once the fragrance has died down it stays at that level, fragrant within a 30-ish cm radius and a whisper outside that, for hours and hours.

WikiCommons

Further reading: Non Blonde and Perfume Posse 
Feeling Sexy Australia has AUD$325/50ml FREE Australian delivery
Surrender to Chance has samples starting from $4/0.5ml

What do you think of the Tom Ford Private Blend range? Do you own any? Which is fave?
Portia xx