HAPPY MARDI GRAS 2017

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Portia

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Hiya APJ,

Tonight is Sydney’s Mardi Gras. I’ll be hosting the Sideshow Glam Stands again with my mate Andrew Mercado. We basically do a running commentary for the event to about 2000 people who have bought seats in grandstands lining the route. they get food, toilets and commentators and all the money goes towards producing Mardi Gras. Most people know the parade but Sydney has a 2 week LGBTQI festival that includes theatre, events, art, picnics, tourist welcome parties, a parade and a parade after party. It is wonderful and I extend the welcome to you all next year for the 2018 40th Anniversary. It is going to be the biggest, brightest and best yet.

HAPPY MARDI GRAS 2017

Here I am arriving last year on the back of a Dyke’s On Bikes motor bike. One of my life highlights.

I know, you only care what fragrance I’ll be wearing tonight. I need it to last 10+ hours, smell great from beginning to end and be a comfortable ride. Though I may change my mind I’m thinking a bit fat overspritz of Jessica Simpson’s Fancy Nights.

So wherever you are, whatever sex you feel happiest with or being I want to wish you all a Happy Mardi Gras 2017.
Portia

Libertine Parfumerie Sydney Warehouse POP-UP Sale

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Post by Portia

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Hello Sydney Perfumistas,

Few events in the fragrant calendar are talked about with such reverence as the Libertine Parfumerie POP-UP Sale. The most incredible bargains abound and it’s all done in the gorgeous but tiny Surry Hills store. Get yourself down for some serious BARGAIN HUNTING!

See you there,
Portia xx

Libertine Parfumerie Sydney Warehouse POP-UP Sale

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Libertine Parfumerie is hosting their SYDNEY Warehouse Pop-Up SALE!
Save up to 75% on selected fragrances, testers, candles and body products.
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Friday 16th December 8.30am – 5.00pm
Saturday 17th December 9.00am – 1.00pm
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WHERE?
Libertine Sydney Warehouse
1-3 Taylor Street Darlinghurst SYDNEY

Libertine Parfumerie SYDNEY Warehouse Pop-Up Sale

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Post by Portia

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Woo Hoo APJ Crew,

If you are in Sydney next week then one thing you MUST do is get your sexy ass down to the Libertine Parfumerie SALE! The bargains are real and you will save a bundle. It’s a great time to get your Xmas shopping started, and of course to splurge on yourself.

Every day has different stock on sale so you might want to pop in multiple times.

See you there,

Portia xxx

Libertine Parfumerie SYDNEY Warehouse Pop-Up Sale

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Our Libertine Parfumerie SYDNEY Warehouse Pop-Up Sale starts Thursday July 14th at 4pm.
For 3 days only, save up to 75% on selected fragrances, testers, candles, and body products.

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Thursday 14th July 4pm – 7pm
Friday 15th July 8.30am – 5pm
Saturday 16th July 9am – 1pm
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Pop is located at 1-3 Taylor Street, Darlinghurst
For enquiries phone 02 80024488 or nick@agencedeparfum.com.au

WWW.LIBERTINEPARFUMERIE.COM.AU

Creed Aqua Originale Collection: Sydney Launch

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Post by Ainslie Walker

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My last “perfume mission” for 2014 was when I met with Erwin Creed who was in Sydney in December launching Creed’s Aqua Originale Collection at QT. Erwin is the 7th generation Creed to work in the Creed family business, established in 1760, he will eventually take over from his father and perfumer, Olivier Creed. The packaging states, “From father to son since 1760” which is very touching and amazing because it’s true.

Creed Aqua Originale Collection Launch 2015 2Photo Donated Ainslie Walker

Creed Aqua Originale Collection Launch

Erwin Creed in Sydney at QT

Creed Aqua Originale Collection FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

There are 5 in the new collection that Erwin guided me through, and here’s my evaluation:

Iris Tubereuse I instantly loved, with its top notes of galbanum, orange and violet leaf; middle notes of tuberose, lily-of-the-valley and lily; base notes of musk, orange blossom and vanilla. I found it a deep and fresh green tuberose (as if tuberose and lily of the valley have just been cut) and only in the drydown did the iris come through for me amongst the reasonably prominent orange blossom. It is strong, but dewy and water drenched. I feel very beautiful wearing this.

Vetiver Geranium has top notes of granny smith apple, bergamot and lemon; middle notes of geranium, cinnamon and rose; base notes of patchouli, cedar, musk and amber. It is marketed towards men, however I have worn this frequently during the hot Australian summer. Best jaunt was an afternoon garden party because on my skin, it starts so fresh -perfect for a hot day. Geranium stays in the forefront, the apple and rose come to play with hinting at amber and cinnamon and the vetiver and patchouli just hang back, which is perfect partying on into the evening.

Aberdeen Lavander with it’s strange spelling mistake and top notes of bergamot, rosemary, lemon and artemisia; middle notes of lavender, lily, tuberose and rose; base notes of patchouli, leather and vetiver, is unusual yet beautiful, perhaps the most interesting of the collection. Rounded notes of tuberose. Sweet gourmand coumarin make the sweetest rosemary notes I have ever smelt, and these all peak through gentle citrus wafts. A distinct nod to the classic Guerlain Jicky here- I would love to compare them. The leather and shy lavender fascinates and is kind of soapy…my father used to use Imperial Leather’s soap in the 80s – perhaps that’s why. Dry down is gorgeous.

Cedre Blanc is more robust citrus woods and herbs, and to me, more traditionally masculine than feminine. It has top notes of bergamot, cardamom, galbanum and bay leaf; middle notes of geranium, lily and jasmine; base notes of cedar, vetiver and sandalwood. I immediately experience the galbanum and citrus sewn together with bay, but something, almost oakmoss is lurking…I am guessing a big dash of Calone. The geranium is crisp and natural but I am not getting the normally dry scent of cedar. Overall I expect it to become super strong, but it would actually be a good office scent, with all the nuances of the fragrances men often cannot wear in offices without overwhelming their colleagues – and definitely more natural smelling. I would love to smell this on a man.

Asian Green Tea Erwin says, was released for the Asian market being light, fresh and sweet citrus with top notes of bergamot, mandarin orange, lemon and neroli; middle notes of violet, green tea, heliotrope, rose and black currant; base notes of sandalwood, musk and amber. It has the freshness of citrus without the bitterness, perhaps from mandarin. I pick up a rock melon scent and with the heliotrope/vanilla it’s like tropical icecream in parts. My skin then pumps out the tarty blackcurrant atop of an amber and heliotrope cocktail. The drydown brings more green notes; I think it’s the neroli and finally the green tea rearing its head. Fresh and gourmand, no woods and definitely not linear – do try!

Creed Aqua Originale Collection Launch 2015 1Photo Donated Ainslie Walker

Surrender To Chance has the Creed Aqua Originale sample set $24/5 x .5ml

Overall I find the collection to be uncomplicated with ingredients being of high quality. Scents feel very natural, asides from the tubereuse and Aberdeen lavender, which are more surreal and hypernatural. What’s your favorite?

Ainslie Walker x

A Whale of A Week!

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Post by Ainslie Walker

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It’s whale-watching season here in Sydney. As they migrate past the Harbour, people line the shore to catch a glimpse. I visited the cliffs at the entrance to Sydney Harbour last week and saw some. Amazing creatures, and a very Sydney experience.

Whale_watching Australia WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

A Whale of A Week!

Also last week, I was lucky enough to smell a lump of ambergris. Ambergris is fecal matter (TURD) from sperm whales. It takes many years to form, lining the intestinal wall of the whale to protect it from the beaks of the squid it dines on. Debate surrounds how it is released from the whale -some say it’s vomit, some say it comes out the other end. Scientists say whale fecal matter is only fluids, so now it is believed the ambergris is only released when the animal dies, breaks down, or even explodes!! Lumps have been found from 15g to 420kg. The price for naturally found ambergris is extremely high, the odds of finding it, extremely small. Many countries ban the trade of ambergris as part of the ban on the hunting of whales- Australia of course is very strict-none is coming in and none is getting out!

Amber/Ambergris is a somewhat mysterious perfume ingredient. Is it a resin from a tree or is it really whale’s vomit/poop that’s been washed ashore? Is it a man made accord? I am curiously confused, and have had to investigate.

Ambergris ainslie

The word ‘amber’ was adopted into the English language in the 14th Century and referred to ‘grey amber’, now known as ‘ambergris’ (ambre gris). ‘Amber’ (Baltic/white/yellow amber) is fossilised tree resin, considered a gemstone, and appreciated for its colour and beauty since the stone ages. The term ‘amber’ was used to describe this substance in the early 15th century and was used more and more as ambergris use declined. Yellow amber and ambergris are both found washed up on beaches – ambergris floats, however, amber is too dense to float.

Ambergris is waxy, solid and flammable, and usually grey or black. When fresh it has a strong fecal odour. As it ages and oxidises, floating out to sea. I experienced a salty-fresh, dry marine blast, like sea rockpools, with animalic and fecal notes, something also very deep and earthy from the “lumps”. I then smelt from a bottle of ambergris tincture. It instantly reminded me of “Isocol” –isopropanol/rubbing alcohol, benzoin- but much deeper, earthy, smooth, cool and kind of ear-waxy,… still marine, dry, animalic and slightly fecal.

Isocol ainslie

Ambergris’ main use in perfumery is as a ‘fixative’ – allowing the elusive perfume notes, and especially quick evaporating top notes, to linger longer.
Nowadays, it is uncommon for large product houses to use real ambergris in perfumes. (Hermes and Creed claim they still do). Synthetics became available in the 20th century that are cheaper and easier to acquire. Perfumers now make “amber accords” from combinations of vanillin (synthetic vanilla), labdanum, benzoin and styrax (liquid-amber tree resin).
In perfumery, ‘amber’ describes a warm, powdery, sweet and mysterious base note. Classed as ‘oriental perfumes’ in English, and in French, “parfums ambres”. Shalimar is the best example of this sweetened genre, a more bold take is Serge Luten’s Ambre Sultan with its bay leaf twist.

Ainslie Walker x

 

Further reading and exhibitions:
Book: Christopher Kemp’s Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris

Here’s a link to a (life size) whale photography exhibition currently on in Sydney. The exhibition is breathtaking, and really captures these incredible and rare creatures.

Side note: Dioressence was famous for using real ambergris in the past. Apparantly Hermes, Merveilles still contains it! Go have a smell!

Perfume Shopping Surprise: SWS Spring

Heya APJ

Last weekend Jin and I were out doing some fixing for the kids at the apartment, afterwards as a Thank You for helping I took Jin to Sydney’s Chinatown because they are open late and the food is yummy. As we were walking towards the restaurant I spotted a shop that I have never noticed on my previous Chinatown forays. Bright pink facade and looking full to the brim of frou frou I couldn’t resist a peek inside and was astounded to see walls lined with fragrance both personal and ambient! It is like an Ali Baba cave.

SWS Spring: Chinatown Sydney

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SWS Spring#2Our hosts were two charming and handsome gentlemen. Moody K is the proprietor and his partner (whose name has slipped my mind and I lost the card, maybe Tam?) both showed us around their lovely store. Here is Jin with them both, isn’t he a damn cutey!

SWS Spring#6I got a pic with the boys too and you can see in the pics how crowded with goodies the store is. Every time you turn your head there is another fabulous thing or brand that you were not expecting. Business was brisk even at 9pm on a Friday and we had about 8 other people shopping while we were.

SWS Spring#7Sorry about this shot, I was so freaking excited to see a table and stand filled with Penhaligon’s, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Rance and other companies that have left my memory. Quite a detailed inventory from all these houses and some great Christmas ideas.

SWS Spring#8This side is more about ambient scenting and there were loads of candle, diffuser and oil choices. If you look in the left hand corner you can almost see a few frag bottles hiding away there and some Penhaligon’s above them.

SWS Spring#9A L’Occitane wall, yes a whole wall. I got to try some of the fragrances that I was unfamiliar with and it’s nice to see that they had a good stock of the Christmas L’Occitane boxes (We’ll be giving away three of those next week here on APJ). Here we are in front of the L’Occitane, Jin looking handsome and suave, me looking like myself happy and a bit vacant.

What did we leave with? 3 x Voluspa candles, some Tokyo Milk Shea Butter lotions and a Tokyo Milk fragrance. Only the fragrance is for us the rest are Christmas presents.

SWS Spring#4Where Do You Find SWS Spring?

SWS Spring Site<<<JUMP

Address:
SWS SPRING
48 Dixon St,
Haymarket Chinatown
Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone:
+61 2 9212 7356

What Are Some Of Their Brands?

Annick Goutal
Fragonard
L’Artisan Parfumeur
L’Occitane
Rance
Tokyo Milk
Tesori d’Orient
Voluspa
and many more…

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Grandiflora by Sandrine Videault for Magnolia 2013: New Perfume

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Post by Jordan River
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Magnolia for Everyone

Grandiflora

Sydney floral artisan Saskia Havekes and perfumer Sandrine Videault are preparing Grandiflora’s first perfume which will be a magnolia scent. The juice is macerating as we write. In the meantime you can enjoy Saskia’s aesthetic on the cover of Michael Edwards’s Fragrances of The World 2013.

Fragrances of the world 2013

Photo: Gary Heery
Flowers: Saskia Hevekes for Michael Edwards

When I lived in Sydney I would often walk past Grandiflora in Potts Point just to breathe the fragrant air. The sign of a superlative Sydney restaurant was and still is flower arrangements by Saskia whose signature flower is magnolia. Magnolia is also known as Grandiflora, and is therefore the name of her floral atelier and her upcoming scent. Branches, leaves and flowers are hallmarks of Saskia’s style.

Magnolia is the new white.

Jordan River xx

This is a simultaneous post with The Fragrant Man: New Zealand’s best loved fragrance blog and it’s blogger, APJ contributor and my buddy Jordan River