Saturday Question: What Do You Wear To Travel?

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday 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 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:

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with the eMail you’d like me to send your Gift Card to.

Saturday Question:

What Do You Wear To Travel?

It’s an old conundrum for me. I’m never quite sure what is the best option and usually either madly overpack or go in the opposite direction and leave myself without any choice at all. There is the flying scent, daytime scent, evenings, dressed up, casual, something to impress and something for comfort. Really that is just scratching the surface too.

Here is my current Scent Box, ready for travel and adventures.

Recently I have twice packed my scent box that goes in my checked baggage and left it on my desk. This leaves me with only the couple I carry onboard and if I’m very lucky a couple I’ve stashed in my wetpack.

My Answer:

Flying: This is the hardest one for me. I have a few favourites for flying but the number one for ease and comfort is The Different Company Oriental Lounge. Unlike many oriental fragrances it is sheer and light but still manages to smell great and lasts for even the longest flight. Even though I’m a crumpled and rumpled mess I smell fresh and warm, totally huggable.

On my one and only ever First Class trip I was showering in the Bangkok Thai First Class Lounge but had left my glasses outside with Michael. I grabbed a decant at random and triple spritzed. It was Mugler A*Men. I was ridiculously fragrant through the whole journey. Thank goodness I was in first and not Economy, the close quarters could have killed someone.
On the way back I dropped my bottle of The Different Company Oriental Lounge in the same bathroom. HA! Very dramatic, but the place smelled fabulous.

Daytime: My favourite ever travelling fragrance for days is vintage Miss Dior parfum. It fits every situation and smells completely different to anything else I smell on people the world over. I know I bang on about it endlessly but it is seriously the best choice for me.

A very close second are Jacomo Silences PdT and Niki de Saint Phalle. These dry green chypres are also poles apart from what the world is wearing so without being freaky my scent stands heard and shoulders above the rest of humanity.

Nights: Amouage Ubar is the winner here. I don’t always take it with me but when I do it gets worn almost every evening. It is easily my favourite Amouage fragrance and it works in the heat or cool.

One that I try to take every time is Guerlain Mitsouko EdT. When I think comfort crossed with haughty grandeur Mitsouko wins hands down. I also have so much, bought every time I see a bargain, that I love the chance to get it out and use it up. No matter where I am or what is happening Mitsouko fits the bill and smells bloody terrific.

My Saturday Question to you is:

What Do You Wear To Travel?

 

 

Scent Diary: 18.9 – 24.9.2017

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Portia

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Hey Crew,

I’m home. Best place on earth.

What a holiday, heaps more India to share. More friends, fun, food and especially fragrance.

Scent Diary: 18.9 – 24.9.2017

Monday 18:

OK, it’s Monday morning and I’m in Alwar, Rajasthan, India. Can’t sleep because Australia is having a non-binding postal vote about Equality, Marriage Equality to be specific. The hate, lies and vitriol spewed by the NO camp has me nearly hyperventilating with rage and a resurgence of the sinking feeling that comes from external bullying (the internal can be pretty bad too) that I know so well from a basically sunlit youth full of sly, snide, confrontational, half-heard, whispered, shouted, aggressive, implied and ultimately violent homophobia.

If you are Australian and have not yet voted, PLEASE VOTE YES.

FAST DAY!! I know, bet you never thought you’d read me saying that? Well, Varun fasts twice a week, he’s allowed juice and fruit till sunset. We added masala chai to the list and some peanuts for me at around 6pm because I was about to eat the furniture.

Varun and I did some more shopping today. Some final gifts. We sat in the shade drinking soda and watched the world go by for a happy 20 minutes.

Wearing Oliver & Co Vaninger today. It’s a freaky, weird ginger masala chai scent and smells SO GOOD in the Indian heat.

Dinner was with Varun, Mummy and Pappa and Achal (their older son). The food was wonderful. They are a pretty quiet family when they’re together so conversation was happily sporadic.

Afterwards I was ambushed with an after dinner party. The LAST thing on my list of things to do. There’s a particular person at these events who tries to negatively engage people, you know opens with a derogatory comment. This years opening gambit was “Hello, you got so bald.” I shook his hand, thanked him, turned on my heel and walked out of the party. Varun didn’t even have to be asked, he just handed me the car keys and off I went. The bully came after me saying, “Aussies aren’t such wimps” and equally endearing things. Finally he came up behind me, grabbed my shoulders and said in my ear, “Surely I haven’t offended you.” My reply was to shrug him off, say, “Yes….. Don’t touch me” and get in the car, locking the door. The usual going and froing of host and bully entreating me to stay. Nope. I wasn’t angry, passionate or riled, “I am nearly 50 years old. I don’t need to be around and deal with assholes. Thank you for the invitation and hospitality but I’m not interested in joining you. Please take this time to teach your friend some manners. Thank you, goodbye.” Varun got in the car and we drove away.

I didn’t stand up to a bully but I did call his bad behaviour and refuse to engage without raising my voice or even blood pressure. It felt, and feels still, powerful in resistance. Right now I’m proud of how it went.

Now, I’m going to read for a bit and then hit the hay.

Tuesday 19:

It’s my last full day in India. Varun and I had breakfast together, he came to my room and we drank lashings of masala chai with jam toast and fruit. He has some catch up work to do so I’m taking my Kindle and going down to the garden to read in the sun.

When I got back to my room I really wanted some fragrance so chose Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur. The most precious beauty of her collection for me. A perfect fit coming in hot and sweaty, it gave the fragrance a whole new lived in feel.

Painted some signs for the hotel, there were about 7 in all but these two are the ones I really loved.

Varun and I went to a nearby hotel, one of the Neemrana group, for lunch. It was a buffet and the selection, quality, taste and presentation were super fabulous. There were enough waitstaff for one per person because the restaurant was pretty quiet. Can’t compliment the experience enough. Dessert was this incredible dish, like deep fried cookie dough, that you have with ice cream. Words fail me…..

At night we hung out at Varun’s hotel. Very chill last night. We ate, chattered and finished off the signs. The night was tinged with the sadness of me leaving tomorrow but still fun. We are so comfortable with each other nowadays that some thinking time between sentences is expected.

Wednesday 20:

Woke up, showered and drenched myself in vintage Miss Dior parfum.

Varun took me for my farewell and Birthday lunch. He’s so funny. PIZZA HUT! My first fast food since arriving in India. It was bloody delicious and he was so chuffed with himself for thinking of it. How could anyone fail to love someone so wonderful?

Then he took me shopping for my Birthday Present. I protested but to no avail. He was determined, and that happens so rarely that I let him have his moment. It was sweet and lovely. I will wear my gift and think of him every time.

On the road, four hours from Alwar to Delhi Airport. Varun and I said our goodbyes at the hotel and now I have a driver who will drop me. As the miles fly by I’m reflecting on what a perfect two weeks we have had. So lucky to have this guy still in my life after 17 years as a lover and BFF.

Woo Hoo! Even though I’m flying China Southern Economy because they are star Alliance and I am Morning Calm with Korean Air I get preferential treatment! That means Priority Boarding and access to the Delhi Airport Business Lounge. Meaning I get free food and drink, have a comfortable seat and super clean toilets while I wait.

I might have done some Duty Free Shopping. I clearly have a problem but I WANTED THEM ALL!!!

CHANEL Antaeus Deodorant Stick, CHANEL Coco Shower Gel & Soap, Gucci Absolue, Narciso Rodriguez EdT and the NEW Guerlain Les Absolus d’Orient 15ml Travel Set

The girl at the Check In desk could not have been sweeter or more helpful. She even gave me a window seat with extra leg room!!

Thursday 21:

Arriving in China next morning there was a girl waiting at the gate with my name on a board. You have to HURRY only 12 minutes till your plane goes. SHIT!!!! She grabbed me and ran, like a marathon running ex-paramilitary sergeant, to the Transfer Gate. Here she ran me past the lines to the Special Needs line, pushed past a group of wheelchairs, and got me to the front where they stamped my passport. Then she RAN me through security, screaming at everyone along the way, and along to our gate another 500m away. I was puffing and blowing like a steam train by now. We get to the gate and I’m like, “Do I have to run down the gangway?” She looks at me and says, “I’m so sorry. Wrong information. One hour twelve minutes. So sorry.” We look at each other and basically collapse laughing, I can’t even breathe at this point. Hilarious. So I take a seat and get my breath back before boarding at a much more dignified pace.

China Southern came through again with an exit row.

We get into Sydney about 30 minutes late at 8pm. Jin is already waiting at the exit gate for me. I get quickly through the electronic passport control and am only the second from our flight at the Baggage Carousel. So I wait, and wait, and wait. There are three bags left on the carousel, none mine. I go to the Baggage Desk and ask. “Oh yes, your luggage did not get on the plane. It will be coming tomorrow.” OK, no biggie. Poor Jin has been waiting at the gate for nearly two hours though so he is less than impressed.

That first hug, when you get to bury your face in their neck and smell home. NOTHING on earth is so good. It’s only been two weeks but I clearly missed this wonderful man.

Doing stuff around the house till nearly midnight and decided the thing I wanted most in the world was a Bubble Bath. Lalique Homage Shower Gel became my bubbling juice. It’s a wonderful masculine scent and it was the perfect balm to 24 hours of travel.

Friday 22:

YAY! I’m home. Jin has a couple of days off and we can hang out together. Slept in till 10am and woke up to a perfect spring sunshiny day. The smell of him cooking mo-mos was all it took to rouse me from my slumber. No one on earth makes them better. A quick swipe in soy sauce and I’m in heaven. Perfect welcome home meal.

I have caught a bit of a throat infection somewhere along the way and am coughing up some spectacular globs of green and yellow.

ALSO, I spend nearly 3 weeks in India eating street, home and restaurant food. My body loves it and is doing perfect poo. Come home for 24 hours and I’m shitting soup. What is wrong with me?

There was quite a bit of perfumed box mail on the table for me when I arrived home. Here’s a pic of the haul while I was gone. Guerlain Mitsouko EdT, Korres Japanese Rose Shower Gel x 2, Bal A Versailles parfums 30ml & 7ml, Tabac Original Shave Soap refill

Today has been a lazy day hanging around the house with Jin, catching up here on the blog and drinking litres of tea with honey & lemon, hoping to break this cough up.

Wearing the furry, sweet, skanky goodness of Bal a Versailles EdT & parfum. I smell so freaking gorgeous.

We went to Outback Steakhouse tonight for Blooming Onions and STEAK! It was bloody delicious. I’m so full that my tummy physically hurts. OwOwOOOOWWWWWWW but happy.

Tonight at 8.45pm the luggage arrives from the airport. Couriered to my home. Thank you China Southern Airways and Sydney Airport Baggage Department.

Saturday 23:

Good morning Saturday. I’m so excited. The dogs are coming home today! YAY! I love having Paris around to cuddle and walk. The house feels a little empty without them both.

The Pharrell Williams Girl bottle jumped out at me today screaming WEAR ME! I did. Longevity is only very short but it’s fun to respritz. Amusingly Jin asked me if I was wearing Joop!

YAY! They are back and cuddles were in order.

It’s 35C today! WOW! Bloody hot out there.

This afternoon Kath & I went for our first swim of the season. It was pretty cold but after a few seconds my body attuned and I was in for a short while, did a couple of laps and got out. As I was drying myself off we realised that my Tigers Eye bracelet had broken so in I went again and hunted beads, very hard when you’re as blind as I am.

Home to change and thought I’ll just lie down for a minute with Paris. OOOPSIE! Woke up hours later. Missed out on seeing Phil and it was already time for dinner. Jin and I had Chinese at a BarBQ place he’s wanted to eat at for ages. The place smells dirty and the food is presented in varying shades of brown, no colour or excitement. I will say that it tasted delicious, seriously great. He will have to go there alone next time or do take away.

I’ve got this weird phlegmy cough. Jin has made a Tupperware container of his fave Korean remedy. Sliced Lemon, Lime, Dates and Ginger. Steep in water with or without tea, add honey to taste.

Before bed I drank two jugs of the remedy, a bunch of water and spritzed Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele. Who doesn’t feel better when smelling of fruity osmanthus leather? Goodnight all.

Sunday 24:

GAWD! I’m so sick. Nose running uncontrollably. Coughing like a 70 year old chain smoker. Sweating.

BLEAUGH!!!

Tried to get a fill in for work tonight. The girls are busy. Going in feeling like shit.

Had a super hot bubble bath in LUSH Rose Jam, used Amouage Dia lotion and Parfum.

 

OK, enough about me. How was your week? Anything fun, fragrant, food or friend related happen?
Share, we love it.
Portia xx

 

Scent Diary: 4.9 – 10.9.2017

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Portia

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WHIRLWIND WEEK APJ,

Getting ready, getting out, getting here. It’s been so bloody hectic and 100% fun. Yes, there have been some surprises, not all of them ultimately happy ones, but that’s what holiday adventures are all about. This is hope I would love to live, travelling the world in search of experience. Meeting new people and having a momentary connection, or making new friends. Heaven.

Scent Diary: 4.9 – 10.9.2017

Monday 4:

Getting ready for going away

In the evening Alice, TinaG and Phil dropped around and it was great to see them even though I was preoccupied.

A Press Sample of Parfumerie Generale Suede Osmanthe 5.1 arrived in the mail. It is unutterably beautiful. Sweet, green, fruity, plush suede and very sexy. Imagine if Daim Blond was amped towards canned fruit in sugar syrup and greened out.

Fragrantica

Tuesday 5:

Running around and getting the final things done. Scott came over and helped, Jin was of work so we ran around together. It was fun. I love these guys.

Jacomo Silences PdT was my daytime accompaniment. Excellent mossy chypre. It was about AUD$11/30ml spray from FragranceNet and smells divine.

Worked, back in drag tonight after 2 weeks out with my ankle. All seems good now.

Neela Vermeire Creations Trayee was my choice for work tonight and I smelled utterly fabulous. There were moments when I drifted off into frag head land. BLISS!

Packed the bags tonight. Cleaned the fish tank. Emptied all the bins for bin night. Cleaned up our dining table and put all my fragrances into my perfume room. Folded the washing and put it away.

Just before bed I spritzed some vintage CHANEL No 5 EdP. Sleepy time.

Wednesday 6:

Took the dogs out to the kennels because Jin will be working weird hours and the boys really like their regimented life. They also love going back out to the trainers to brag about their forever home adventures. I wore vintage Caron Infini that comes in a pressurised spritz. The initial aldehydes have become shrill, oily and metallic but one minute in and HEAVEN! My mate margo reckons it’s early 1970s PdC from a gift set. Very cool.

Home for some lunch. The last of the Chinese reheats.

Here are my hairy Hobbit feet and lavish red nail polish. I’m ready for India now.

Keihl’s Original Musk lotion, Olympic Orchids Amber/Labdanum Bath Oil, Cuir Pleine Fleur James Heeley was my bathing ritual for the flight. Fragrant but hopefully not IN YOUR FACE.

Got my gear together and Jin took me to the airport. Happy to be going, sad to be leaving stuff. You get it, I know.

The American Express Lounge is not so much fun solo. I nearly drank them out of sparkling and still water. Hydration pre flight.

Historic entertainment units on China Southern. Actually it was nice not being bombarded with movies from less than a metre away and I got some solid reading done too. Finished Handmaid’s Tale and started on some new thing that was recommended but I’m not sure whether I even understand it yet.

The staff were so good, no problems, full of smiles. I enjoyed the flights immensely.

Thursday 7:

ARRIVED Delhi Airport.

We stayed in Gurgoan and had dinner there.

Showered quickly at night and doused myself in vintage Miss Dior parfum.

Friday 8:

Hotel breakfast, more vintage Miss Dior parfum then off for a flight to Assam. Arrived safely, though the kangaroo style landing left me in doubt of our ultimate survival for a few moments. Careening around like a drunken sailor with St Vitus Dance.

We ordered an Uber who drove us the four hours into the mountains of Meghalaya state, to the capital Shillong. We only stopped once but the scenery on the journey was absolutely breathtaking. The middle shot is a boarding school, the most spectacular grounds and scenery.

For some reason Varun was expecting a tiny town perched atop a mountain, much like McLeod Gang was back in 2001 when we visited. Sadly it is a HUGE city. Well, sadly for Varun, I’m very happy here. The hustle and bustle leaves NYC for dead.

At night we wandered the markets and had Mo-Mos. A selection of steamed chicken and fried pork.

Saturday 9:

We woke at around 5am and set out on an adventure walk around 5.30am. Varun had found a nearby lake park with a walking track around the gardens. Lodki Park was designed and built by the British while they were here and it seriously looks like time has stood still since then. We wandered around it for about an hour then came back to the hotel for breakfast.

Spectacular hedges of dahlia glowed in the cool morning mist, they lit up the walk and reminded me how precious the gift of adventure is. I’ve never seen such a display and these hedges dotted the walk all around the lake and through the parklands.

Breakfast! Yeah, I know it doesn’t look like much. That’s because it’s my third helping of dal, vegetables, yoghurt and paratha. Happy place reached.

Todays excursion was to the wettest places on earth, Mawsynram and Cherrapunji. What better time to see them than in monsoon. The heavens did not disappoint. We drove through clouds more than half the day with sporadic clearings. When it rained it bucketed down and the rest of the time it drizzled and spritzed. Not terribly cold until you got into the winds.

We hiked to some spectacular waterfalls, three sets in all but we only got real photographable vision of one set.

We had Masala Chai to celebrate. Hint for India travel: buy a large bottle of mineral water and get them to make your tea with this. Saves dirt in your coffee. This place was every sort of gorgeous and the kids who run it super sweet.

We also went into a cave complex. It wasn’t terribly long, about 150m, but there were some very low and tight squeezes. We also ended up knee deep in water a couple of times and the rest was climbing over rocks. All done in bare feet. Sadly it wasn’t really photographable but it was an amazing experience.

Varun had chicken Mo-Mos and chilli jam at a roadside stall. I was feeling a bit queazy from driving the winding mountain ranges so I just drank water.

We stopped at a town and looked around a bit. Some dog started barking at me. That never happens, they always love me. I was extremely downhearted by it.

As we drove home the clouds closed in around us. Visibility was about 10m at the most. It was beautiful and eerie, like floating. Amazing trip.

We wandered around to the City Family Dhaba, Shillong’s #1 recommended restaurant. Everybody we spoke to told us it was a must visit. It didn’t disappoint either.

We were so full at the end we couldn’t even finish the garlic Naan. Sacrilege!!

Varun: What do you want to listen to
Portia (being a smart arse) Karen Carpenter of the Carpenters
Music comes on: It’s Gonna Take Some Time by the Carpenters

Consider this smart arse put in his place. SNAP!

Then we hit the club on the roof of our hotel. Varun and I danced until my t-shirt was dripping wet. We sat for a while and then I needed a shower and then bed. Bloody hell. I’m DEAD!!

Sunday 10:

Couldn’t sleep last night. The dogs of Shillong must be having gang territory wars. It sounded vicious and intense and continued for hours. From the sounds there were dogs being torn apart. Terrifying. Every time I thought it had stopped and drifted towards the lands of nod another round would begin.

So I am sleepless and a trifle sweaty this morning.

Best fixer for that? Jacomo Silences. Freaking perfect.

SORRY I’m a bit late posting this addendum! Out all day. Had a wonderful time seeing more waterfalls and lakes.

This is our Shillong driver Yuvraj, his name means prince destined to be king. He has perfect English and is excellent company, we have asked him to drive us tomorrow and day after too.

Varun took this shot. I think it a very flattering likeness.

We had lunch at the poshest place in the whole area. Took our lovely driver there with us and we all sat and chatted companionably while stuffing our faces. I made the hotel staff pull a table and chairs out of the restaurant onto the verandah so our view and the breeze would be wonderful. It was a huge drama but once we were settled it was absolutely amazing.

 

Hey! So what have you been doing? Tell us all in the comments below please. Anything, fun, fragrant, friends, family or food related. ANYTHING! Tell us about your week.

Portia xx

Saturday Question: Holiday Lottery

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday 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 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: Old Herbaceous $10 Surrender To Chance Gift Card

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with the eMail you’d like me to send your Gift Card to.

Saturday Question: Holiday Lottery

This weeks idea is a little different to our regular fragrance question. Imagine there was a Holiday Lottery. You would buy a ticket and WIN, obviously, and the prize would be a 4 week, all expenses paid holiday for 4 people anywhere on earth. There’s a couple of catches though. If you have a partner, or BFF, then they can be one person if you’d like. The other people must be interesting people that most of us would have heard of: Politicians, Sports heroes, Designers, Journalists, Actors, Directors, Perfumers, Activists, Medical people, Authors etc.
You also have to choose where you go on your holiday. Make it somewhere that you will be forced to interact and talk.

 

My Answer:

OK, no surprise to you all that I choose to take Jin. He’s excellent company and good at thinking his way around situations. He also has a pretty easy going personality that is perfect for smoothing ruffled feathers (mine usually). Having been together for a few years we also are getting pretty good at reading each other, important.

Sandra Bullock. I know, she’s not who I’d have though I would want along either but she fascinates me. I’ve been watching her movies for decades, have laughed, cried, loved and everything else with her along the way. I completely lose myself in her films and she has a way of melting herself into a role that makes each one special. Somehow though I don’t feel as if I know her at all and I have a feeling she would be epically cool. She has played the Hollywood game so much better than almost everyone else and that takes brains as well as talent and luck. I bet she would be a really interesting travel companion.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brigitte_Macron_(2017).JPG

Brigitte Macron. The wife of the French President and his former High School Drama Teacher. This is a cool and classy woman, she is clearly adored by her husband and in my mind I think she would be an excellent conversationalist. She also looks like fun. I am hoping she would have some wonderful stories about her life, could help me understand French politics or politics in general a bit better and maybe also share some motivational tips. She is a woman who power seems to have settled on lightly and through all the odious stuff has sailed flawlessly above.

Where? Where could the four of us go that would allow us to see a part of the world I’d not imagined wanting to visit. Somewhere that would need us to be quite resourceful and work together as a team yet give us ample time to discuss lives, the meaning of the universe and to share ourselves.

My mate Janek and a small group walked the Italian Dolomites this month. It’s supposed to be an 11 day hike right over the top but they did it in 6. It looked so ridiculously amazing that I am inspired to do it myself. There are guest houses and cabins along the way, you can get a guide and it can all be done at a very reasonable pace. Obviously these guys are fit and were up for a challenge but I’ve been looking into it and there are treks so well paved that wheelchairs can do them. So what you do is get a guide who can help choose your level.

Edited from Janek: Feeling on top of the world, truly. Such a huge sense of accomplishment having just completed the 139km Alta Via 1 hike through the Dolomites in the Italian Alps. It took us six full days even though the recommendation is 11. It was the hardest, most challenging thing I’ve ever done. But ultimately so rewarding. Actually indescribable. And so many beautiful moments. At times I seriously doubted my abilities which was weird. Ascents seemed impossible to me. Totally not passable. But id just put one painful foot in front of the other and somehow made it to the end where we hugged it out. The bond we built with each other will be cherished always.

 

My Saturday Question to you is:

Who would be your three companions, where would you go and why?

Sandra’s London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay

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Sandra

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Hey there dear APJ! How is everyone doing? Hopefully comfortably settling in with summer or winter.

It has been a hectic couple of months here in Rotterdam. What with school keeping us busy, family & friends visiting, it was a blessing to be able to get away for my son’s birthday over a long weekend at the beginning of June. He turned 8 this year and one of his greatest wishes was to see London (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, London Eye, and of course toy stores were all on his wish list). Not only did we manage to see all the sights, but we also had a couple of perfume activities which I would like to share with you today.

London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay

I finally got to meet Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations! Wow! What an amazing woman – but I knew that already. It was absolutely fabulous sitting down with her in London and chatting for a while. Thankfully dear son and husband also enjoyed their visit. Thank you Neela!!!

Saturday was reserved for meeting up with Tara from A Bottled Rose. I last saw Tara in Vienna about two years ago and I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with her again. We started out by heading to the Natural History Museum. It was a bribe for my son so that we could go sniffing later! We headed off to Harrods afterwards and had lunch before heading to the toy kingdom which I must admit was exciting for us parents as well. The choice is staggering.

Now it was my turn – yay!! Tara took us upstairs to the beautiful area where many brands have their own small boutiques. I got to sniff perfumes from Xerjoff, Dior, Frederic Malle, Kilian, Ramon Monegal. The new Superstitious by Frederic Malle is gorgeous and powerful. Xerjoff is a brand that I like wearing and I was thrilled to see that the Casamoratti line is now offered in 30 ml bottles. I liked Monegal’s Flamenco quite a bit – the red bottle is eye catching and the perfume was a lot of fun starting off with a blast of raspberry and it stayed a happy joyful perfume.

This summer Dior will be shaking things up a bit. The SA was kind enough and said that I was permitted to write about it. I think that many of us will be super happy with the big news that they will be offering the Privée line in 40 ml bottles in addition to the current bottle line up. Dior will also be launching a new sub line to the Privée consisting of 10 new perfumes which are apparently easier to wear and more appealing to the mass market. I for one cannot wait to see what Dior comes up with and am so excited about the smaller bottles. My husband may have to hold onto my wallet!

When we meandered downstairs to the perfume hall I was taken aback at how bustling it was. One of the first perfumes I spritzed that day was Ormonde Jayne’s Ambre Royal. Truly a beautiful perfume with notes of osmanthus and iris and drying down to a wonderful unsweet amber. What a shame that I did not pick it up.

We then headed towards the Kilian stand where two handsome SAs Niko and Johan greeted us and walked me through the new releases. These two gentlemen were so patient and kind and both had a great sense of humor – here is a picture of us. I just love the box for Black Phantom and decided then and there to buy the perfume. Not necessarily smart to buy a perfume for the packaging – but had to do it this one time. The one perfume that I just adored was Single Malt. I walked around the city with my arm at my nose and had to go back in the evening to buy that one too. Reviews coming up of the two Kilians.

After all of that our noses were exhausted and we decided to head to Big Ben. We took some pictures with Tara and our full on day came to a close. A big shout out to dear Tara for taking time to spend with us. We loved seeing her.

I know that I could have seen and sniffed more, but we jammed as much as possible into the 4 day weekend. It just means that we will have to go back and SOON!

What about ya’ll? Any travels lately? Any fun sniffing lately? I would love to hear about it.

Sending you lots of sunny hugs,
Sandra xoxo

Cookie Queen & Blondeswunder in London 2017

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Blondeswunder
Val the Cookie queen
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Hey APJ Family, Happy Tuesday!

As soon as Mummy and I landed in Brexit we met up with the lovely and good friend Tara. She whisked us straight to Brick Lane
for some Indian food. I had aubergine drenched in some kind of spices sauce. It was sooooo good that I asked how they prepared
the aubergine. Turns out they freaking deep fried it twice. THAT´S WHY! Hahahaha.

Of course we were sniffing and sharing our thoughts over dinner because Indian cuisine isn´t fragrant enough alone. 🙂

Cookie Queen & Blondeswunder in London 2017

The next day, after two cups of English tea and countless visits to various loos along the way, we finally made it to the Frederic Malle store. I was very pleased to see a handsome, well put together young male SA, Pawel. Sadly for me he has an Italian boyfriend. Should have known! We got to smell and spritz perfume all over our bodies. I couldn´t chose so just went with Carnal Flower, Dries Van Noten, Eau de Magnolia, and Malle`s newest, Superstitious.

 

Of course when I had no more skin space I discovered Lipstick Rose. OH MY GOOOSH. So good. So soft. So me. Pawel was nice enough to give me a 3.5ml sample bottle to try it properly. Tara, Mummy and I were ready to kill with our sillage as we left for our pre-booked tour of Highgate Cemetery. We ended the day in Camden Market eating street food and chips.

The Thursday saw us meeting a close family friend of ours, Kirk, The Softboy Scentmaster. (My mum pulled him down the rabbit hole a couple of years ago.) Somehow our plans got changed and Mother dragged us back into the Malle store. I grabbed four spritzes of Dries Van Noten and covered my hair in the Carnal Flower hair mist. (Which I need in my life!) We then proceeded to the Gielgud Theatre just off Piccadilly, to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime. It was absolutely brilliant. (We kept smelling each others necks and arms, and getting looks from the people around us. I mean, haven´t they ever seen people smelling each other every two seconds in public?)

 

Early evening we got to meet up with The Candy Perfume Boy and his lovely husband, on the bank of the Thames outside the Tate Modern.

Even though I am 22 and my Mother occasionally drives me nuts (mostly because I seem to be turning into her) we had the best time in London. And I was so happy to see Tara again, she is one of the strongest women I know, and I so look up to her and what she has achieved. How great it is to find such friends and peace and joy in perfume.

What are your FM favourites? DO you like perfume to be private or do you like letting people know?

Hugs
Blondeswunder

PS. Mother here – What can I add? I bought 10mls each of Dries Van Noten and Une Rose. I came home with big decants
of La Pausa 28, OJ Champaca, and Goutal´s Songes EdT and a Papillon´s Dryad sample. A non-perfumista friend went crazy for Outrageous! I missed Vanessa from Bonkers being able to join us, but shit happens. I feel blessed to have a daughter that actually wants to go away with me for a few days, she lights up my life with her humour and sunny character. CQ xxx

 

(Ed: Thanks for the photos Val and Hannah. Love them all)

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Lorenzo Villoresi for Gucci 2013

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

Another place I had fun on our USA holiday was the Gucci outlet store in Desert Hills. They had the Diamond Editions of Gucci Guilty, along with some really fab travel sprays of Gucci by Gucci Sport and Guuci Made to Measure. These travel sprays felt light but robust and had a rubberised coating for a firm grip. Great for the gym, but unfortunately not refillable.

The perfume which caught my eye of course was on the top shelf out of reach so I had two assistants helping me with a ladder to get it down. This was “Forever Now” – Gucci Museo, released in 2013 as a tribute to the Gucci Museum in Florence. The museum itself seems to be temporarily closed so don’t get too excited if you’re in the area. I tried some on skin as I walked away from what could have been an expensive US$200 impulse buy.

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Gucci 2013

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Lorenzo Villoresi

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, mandarin, lavender, black pepper, orange blossom
Heart: Leather, florals, Florentine iris, Morroccan and Bulgarian rose, jasmine from Grasse, ylang-ylang, nutmeg
Base: Vetiver, patchouli, precious woods, amber, musk

Out in the foothills of the desert with a dry and dusty warm wind, Gucci Museo opened with a smooth black pepper and a clean leather, having touches of amber behind it. It didn’t strike me as overly masculine, it was soft and well balanced. A subtle ylang ylang came through on my sun-struck skin over the next half hour, and honestly that is about as far as I got with it as we got swept up with making the most of our shopping time. So, sorry, that’s it for my review but I liked what I got out of it in the first hour and it would have been a purchase I’d have been happy with – if my funds stretched that far at that time…..

Further reading: Sorcery of Scent
Feeling Sexy Australia has $229/100ml with FREE Australian Delivery

Which is your favourite Gucci scent?
TinaG

(Ed: TinaG photos unless otherwise noted. Thanks XXX)