I Hate That Perfume Because… Sydney Perfume Lovers

Hiya APJ,

A lot of what we as perfume, fragrance and scent lovers do is done solo. We read our computers, test, smell, enjoy and buy a lot of our fragrance alone. It’s one of the things I really love about the whole perfumista life. Never having to wait for anyone else to do what I love, smell scents. Sometimes though getting together and sharing the love is as much or, Gods forbid, more fun. Imagine a crew of about 12 frag hounds all sitting around eating, drinking, laughing and sniffing. That’s what happened today here at my house. I don’t know if you’ve seen online a thing called MeetUp? In our modern day, high pressure, quick moving, ever changing world sometimes we lose touch with those that are near and dear and find ourselves unable to create new ones, or maybe what you love is very niche and you’re looking for some mates to enjoy it with, whatever the reason a friend of mine Catherine de Peloux Menage (Writer, Fragrance Finder, Personal Scent Consultant and glamorous, great girl about town) decided she would start a crew of her own called Sydney Perfume Lovers – MeetUp. From the tiny germ of an idea there are now well over a hundred members, events scheduled regularly and we have created a Sunday Scent Salon in my home once a month where we come together about a fragrance related topic and have a wonderful morning tea, here’s how today’s went down.

Sunday Scent Salon: I Hate That Perfume Because

Sydney Perfume Lovers – MeetUp

So the topic this month was “I Hate That Perfume Because…” and we were challenged to find a fragrance that really irks us in some way, drives us batshit crazy when we smell it, gives us hives, creates confusion or any other reason that we hate it. There was a catch though, we weren’t there to be only negative, we had to provide an explanation that went further than “YUCK, Disgusting shit. Hate it.” We had to bring a reasonable argument and scent memory with us, and preferably the fragrance too so we could all tell what you were thinking when you gave your spiel.

WOW! We got some DOOZIES!!! People had really gone all out to obtain their anti-elixir and had their stories primed and ready.

I hate that perfume because#1

Some of the fragrances we hated included, L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain because it smells like urinal cakes. Fahrenheit because it smells like bug spray, Rexona Men’s Sport Deodorant because it’s cheap, nasty and ubiquitous, BVLGARI BLV Pour homme because it is a nasty mess and melange of everything unwanted in a fragrance, La Petit Robe Noire Parfum by Guerlain because it is nice for the first hour but then lasts eternally and becomes both sickly and boring at the end, Tweed by Lentheric due to family remembrances, Giorgio Beverly Hills because of its overuse in the 1980s but we all agreed that it smells rather lovely now having not smelled it for years, L’Eau d’Issey Femme because it is a solid wall of scent that lasts eternally and is a metallic, super sweet mess. There were others including an art book infused with the scent of fear obtained by putting swatches on the inside legs and armpits a men and making them do really scary stuff, then recreating those scents artificially for a book which was strange, subversive and extremely compelling.

I hate that perfume because#2

There was heaps of lighthearted banter and no one took offense, we all really had a great time and as always I feel like I’ve made some new friends. People who like something I am completely beserko about. Good people who I was lucky enough to spend some time getting to know today, a couple I’ve met before and some others who are already my friends. More than anything it reminds me how lucky we all are. Without the internet I would still be a completely solo fragrance lover, which can be nice but now I can share my love with people all over the world.

I hate that perfume because#3

Be it these lovely MeetUp Scent Salons we organise, on the Facebook pages, reading blogs and articles or here in this wondrous space (APJ) where I feel like there is a whole fragrance family where we can share our Cuckoo, fly our freak flag and generally unleash our love of fragrance.

I hate that perfume because#4

I hate that perfume because#5

I do apologise for my TERRIBLE photo taking, getting the lights in and rotten framing. We were having too much fun to be sensible and I am glad.

Today was great, you should think about starting a MeetUp where you are. Nobody has too many friends and you never know where your next BFF will come from. Should you wish to join us at a Sunday Scent Salon you must first join Sydney Perfume Lovers – MeetUp. We can’t wait to meet you and hear your stories over some great food, some champagne and tea.

Love and fragrant hugs from me,
Portia xx


Scents Of My Mother: Sydney Perfume Lovers Scent Salon


Post by Catherine du Peloux Menage


APJ and the Sydney Perfume Lovers have teamed up to run monthly Sunday Scent Salons. Perfume evokes memories and few memories are deeper than those associated with a mother, which is how thirteen men and women, some of them complete strangers met to talk about Scents Of My Mother, bearing photographs, perfumes and recollections. It was a moving, warm and sometimes funny event.

Scents Of My Mother

Sydney Perfume Lovers Scent Salon

Complex is the best word to describe the relationships we brought to the table.
We met many mothers. The one who smoked a joint with her son on his 18th birthday, the one who said ‘disgusting’ about a daughter’s folds of flesh, the one who criticised her naturally slender daughter for deliberately being too thin, the one who still tidies up when entering her daughter’s home, the insightful one who told her son that she thought he probably wouldn’t marry a girl…


There was a gentle woman whose softness didn’t prepare her daughter for the tough world which awaited, the timid one who couldn’t give her daughter the strong role model she craved, the one who came out as a lesbian and couldn’t forgive her daughter for leading a different life. The one who had a child at 15 and brought him up with her own mother.


Many were artists or studied art. Few fulfilled themselves in the workplace. Many were clean and tidy freaks who always look good. (No prizes for making a connection between the last two sentences.) Many were critical, many were loving and most were both at the same time. Many of us around the table described our feelings of love or pain or both for Glenda, Jane, Lauraine, Cheryl, Marie, Rosemary, Waina, Joan, Francoise, Teresa.


What were our scent memories? One of us recollected trying to please her mother by making perfume for her by soaking flowers in water. Another brought biscuits from her mother’s handwritten recipe book to evoke the smell of baking. There were memories of babysitters arriving and mothers leaving in clouds of Chanel N’5, Chant d’Aromes and L’Air du Temps. I would love to have met the mother who wore Shalimar parfum during the day. Her child was fated not to be timid!


Fresh green beans evoked one mother who survived breast cancer. Another always had acrid smelling salts in the bathroom cupboard in case they were needed and wore Arpege – a startling juxtaposition. Rive Gauche featured twice. It is still worn today by one daughter to differentiate herself as the opposite to her mother who like more run of the mill Avon fragrances, and was worn by another mother when it came out to stamp herself as modern. She also wore Tabu and Oleg Cassini. We encountered one generous perfume collector mother with over 300 bottles who loves giving her daughter bottles of Serge Lutens as well as one who never wears scent but does have scented handcream which smells like Fragonard’s Billet Doux. Cie Perfume (with Candace Bergen as its face) was an early favourite of a mother who also wore Tresor but now is faithful to Champs Elysees. La Cabrasella, a bergamot citrus scent from Calabria has always sat on the dressing table of one Italian mother.

We could have talked for many more hours and left feeling happy to have shared these perfumes and memories. I’m sure another Scent Salon will revisit this topic one day for another group.

CdPM xx

Sydney Botanic Gardens: Sydney Perfume Lovers Perfume Walk 2013

Hi there APJ Crew,

There is something very internal about being a perfumista, a collector of fragrance and bottles, stalking the internet and spritzing selfishly and often for you alone. The only way to make perfume more fun is to get involved with the rest of the perfumistas in your area, some deep dark perfumistas and some still skirting the edges of the woremhole. It’s amazing how much fun, laughter and interest there is in sharing the experiences of discovery and knowledge.

Portia xX

Catherine + Mary Perfume Walk

Sydney Perfume Lovers Perfume Walk 2013

Sydney Botanic Gardens: Saturday 12th October 10am-12.30pm

Perfume consultant Catherine du Peloux Menagé teams up with Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney volunteer guides Mary Threlfall, Jill Paterson and Rosemary Roberts for a talk and walk. Learn about the plants used to make perfumes and the process of extracting scent.

Catherine Perfume walk cistus and iris

Catherine will also explain the fragrance wheel and the role of synthetic scents. This is a perfect way to simply and easily expand your fragrant vocabulary and knowledge. It will give you a clearer picture of fragrance styles you may like and also open up new doors into personal scenting you may never have traveled through.

Catherine Fragrance Wheel

Then be guided through the Garden to explore fragrant plants. Below is a picture of Catherine with your three guides through the gardens, don’t they look sweet and fun?

Catherine + Guides Perfume Walk

Where, What and How Much?

Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Joseph Maiden Theatre, Sat 12 Oct, 10am–12.30pm

Members: $35, Non-Members: $40

All Sydney Perfume Lovers get the $35 Members price!
Yes you can join today for FREE JOIN SYDNEY PERFUME LOVERS<<<JUMP

 For Bookings Phone 02 9231 8182 or visit rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/foundationandfriends

A Scented Afternoon Tea – with Sydney Perfume Lovers Meet-Up


Post by Ainslie Walker


(Ed: Grab a cuppa or a drink, this is a fabulous LONG story of an amazing day the gang went for)

A Scented Afternoon Tea – with Perfume Lovers Meet up

Perfume afternoon Tea #1

Catherine du Peloux Menage, a true perfume passionista who writes for the Good Weekend magazine about fragrance, really was the hostess with the mostest on Saturday, at the Sydney Perfume Lovers’ annual Scented Afternoon Tea!

Catherine has a desire to share her lifelong love (and HUGE knowledge) of perfume with others and wants to provide courage for people around her to enjoy experimenting with scent and add new dimension to their lives…. she did just that on Saturday – their were giggles and shrieks, jaws dropping, gasps and a general buzz from the moment people began arriving until the very last person dashed off laden with perfume samples, prizes and edible goodies!!

Perfume afternoon Tea #5

The event took place in a private room at Baroque, a hidden gem of a venue at The Rocks. We were dazzled with a fabulous view of both the Harbor Bridge and Opera House out the window, and by the collection of Tom Dixon copper bauble lights dangling above the long set table for 30…

Catherine explained to us the afternoon was inspired by the French word gourmand which literally means a person who enjoys eating and often eats too much…they are also a connoisseur of good food…apparently the true French mean liking a little bit of something ’nice’. Either way the event was unfolding and we were about to become (high class) GLUTTONS for perfumed cocktails, scented teas and tasty tidbits!!

Le Menu!

1. “Little black dress” Cocktail- sour cherry liqueur, rose flower water, burnt tea and essence of French earl grey tea (bergamot)

– Cherry and Candy Floss – Angel by Thierry Mugler
We smelt a perfume ingredient called ethyl maltol and agreed it was somewhere between a crème Brule smell and a candy floss – this was an important note in the oriental vanilla perfume, Angel by Thierry Mugler, released in 1992, the first of its type, fusing sweet red fruits, rose, bergamot, candy, caramel and vanilla.

– Sour Cherry – La Petit Robe Noir – Guerlain
Elegant, La Petit Robe Noir represents the sleek effortless style of the infamous little black dress. The fragrance features top notes of black cherry, bergamot, red berries, Bulgarian and Turkish rose in the heart, smoked black tea, Tonka bean, vanilla in the base.

2. A Bay leaf infused Brioche, filled with a coriander, dill, and lemon crème fresh and topped with rock salt

– Coriander, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Black pepper – Ambre Sultan By Serge Lutens
An almost savory gust of Amber overtakes the air. Ambre Sultan is no ordinary Amber fragrance and features many food notes including coriander, bay, oregano, black pepper and vanilla, along with sandalwood, patchouli, angelica, myrrh and benzoin to ensure it does not smell like a kitchen, but more of a spicy sultry friend on a balmy day…many in the group refer back to this savory and grounding fragrance as the afternoon continues becoming sweeter and sweeter…

Perfume afternoon Tea #3

3. Oolong Tea – Served Black

– Oolong Tea, Leather and Bergamot – Oolang Infini – Atelier Cologne
This woody, leather fragrance exudes tea, tobacco flower, guaicwood, neroli and vetivert. There was debate as to whether the tea was really the strongest feature in the mix. The group had fun picking the citrus, woods and smoke.

4. Chocolate Macaroon filled with rosewater infused cream

– Cocoa, Rum, Black Pepper, Vanilla – Elixir Charnel Gourmand Coquin- Guerlain
Chocolate, rose, vanilla and spiced rum make this fragrance rich and decadent, with the same allure of fine silk lingerie – your lover will never resist a nuzzle in the cleavage of this sophisticated scent. The Cocoa in particular creates a cozy sultry note, that, with the spices is warm and inviting. Days later my paper strip is still exuding sweet, sexy chocolate.

5. Rose infused Macaroon filled with Rosewater and White Chocolate infused cream

– Rose, Vanilla – Rosewater and Vanilla Intense – Jo Malone
Smelling exactly like the sweetest of Turkish Delights, this rose fragrance evokes visions of the Middle East. Ingredients of rose, neroli, petitgrain, vanilla and syrup-candy belly dance their way towards our nostrils. We are now giddy with sweetness – this one is definitely for those with a sweet tooth! I overheard someone mention it was just too sticky and that they would need to shower!!

6. Orange and Paw Paw infused Rooibos Tea

– Orange Blossom – Orange Blossom By Jo Malone
This lighter orange blossom fragrance combines winter Lily and lily of the valley making it a dewy white floral. Quite linear, but pretty. A welcome break, and almost grounding after the sugar rush of the previous macaroon moments (…I must admit I actually ate 3!!) Uplifting with hints of clementine and some rounded lilac notes.

Perfume afternoon Tea #2

7. Citrus tarts drizzled in chocolate and sprinkled with Gold!!

– Lime, Basil and Mandarin– Jo Malone
Continuing with a strongly citrus theme, lime, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, orange and bergamot, but with the addition of some common culinary herbs such as basil and thyme. Summery, almost soapy on my skin, with patchouli really coming through, giving it an earthy edge

– Fig and Caviar – Womanity By Thierry Mugler
Yet another food filled, slightly savory fragrance, combining figs, fig wood and caviar this fragrance packs a punch and lasts for days. It was made for women, but can certainly be worn proudly by men

– Baking Biscuit– Lann-Ael By Lostmarch
Someone at the table exclaims “it’s just like the smell at cookie man!” And it’s true. The sweet wheat, dairy notes, slightly cinnamon is very reminiscent of baking cookies. The scent is light yet warm, sweet.

Goodie Bags!!

By now the group is inspired and filled to the brim with new knowledge of sweet vapors and sugary delights. Catherine announces we are all going home with
Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noir 1ml in a black leatherette zip up cosmetic case
Jo Malone Red Rose Cologne 9ml, Lime, Basil and Mandarin Body Cream 15ml
AND a pack of 5 macaroons!!
We were spoilt to say the least!!


Catherine then drew our names from a hat:
2 people went home with Le Petite Robe Noir
1 with Oolang Infini
1 with Jo Malone Orange Blossom

I won a Rose water and Vanilla, Jo Malone
Talk about AFTERNOON DELIGHT- they were all full sized bottles!!

Perfume afternoon Tea #4

I had invited a friend who is not really a perfumista, but loved high teas when we lived in London and she was absolutely blown away that the event was only $45 and included all the food, drink, endless information from Catherine AND so much to take away!

An event like this would also be perfect for a girlie bachelorette afternoon or baby shower…we just have to talk Catherine into doing it again for us real soon!!

Ainslie Walker x

(Ed: If you weant to join the Sydney Perfume Lovers just hit the word and it will jump you to their page)