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)

Xerjoff Xerjoff Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

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Sandra

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Hi APJ! Hope everyone is having a lovely smelling spring or autumn. I am currently surrounded by beautiful spring flowers and blooming trees and all of my senses are in overdrive. Here are a few pictures of the mesmerizing spring in the Netherlands. Every turn I take and every day brings a new colourful image to lock away in my memory chest. What is your favorite part of spring or autumn?

Rotterdam Photos by Sandra

Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

I am sure you are all well ahead of me when it comes to Xerjoff. It is an overwhelming brand for me and I have only really sniffed and enjoyed the Casamorati line and a couple from the Join the Club line. As a Vienna farewell gift I received three minis from the Shooting Stars collection. (Thank you so much – you know who you are.)

So, here I am freezing my butt off in chilly and beautiful Rotterdam and eagerly sniffing these little gems from Xerjoff. They are harbingers of early summer days. Here are my thoughts.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Shingl

Notes are: bergamot, basil, anise and artemisia, iris, rum, patchouli and vetiver, vanilla, amber and musk.
Shingl opens up quite sharp and spicey making my nose cringe. The sharp opening is herbal as well and it was confusing until the rum settled in. I always thought that rum or alcohol notes are not appealing, but the note here is subtle. It smooths out the opening together with the introduction of iris. What I find not only interesting but also addictive about Shingl is that it moves into a powdery, woody scent and is an intoxicatingly easy to wear good mood scent.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Lua

Notes are: bergamot, orange, lemon, melon, rose, iris, pink pepper, lily, cedar, vanilla and musk.
Lua opens up fresh, floral and full of spring promises. I love the touch of melon here as it cuts into the citrus nicely. This is a perfume for spring days where the vast changing skies provide a dramatic backdrop to the new young green leaves and grass cropping up everywhere. I cannot help but smile when I smell Lua. It is a beautiful perfume full of hope for the next six months of gorgeous long days. I will be wearing this through the warmer months here.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Dhajala

Notes are: african orange flower, galbanum, bergamot and orange, pink pepper, jasmine and rose, resin, amber, vanilla and musk.
To be perfectly honest with you, when I first spritzed Dhajala I recoiled. Something was not working for me. Perhaps it was the orange flower or the citrus vibe (which I normally have issues with), I do not know exactly. I promptly forgot about it being on my wrist and I put it in the pass pile. Well, after another hour or two I was taken aback of how good my wrist smelled. It was well rounded and very pretty but also easily unisex. I would love to smell this on a man.

I have been pleasantly surprised by these perfumes and would love to take the time to try others.

LuckyScent has the Xerjoff line
Surrender To Chance has a selection of Xerjoff samples

Do you know Xerjoff? Do you have any recommendations or favourites?
Sandra

 

Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

During my trip to Southern California in April 2017, we had an opportunity to check out two Premium Outlet Centres, one in Camarillo on the way to Santa Barbara, and Desert Hills which is just outside of Palm Springs. If you’re ever heading to one of these massive shopping areas, my top tips are:

* Take water, snacks and lunch. Yes there’s food there but you’ll need actual sustenance to get through the shopping day.
* Time evaporates there. If you think you’ll be 2 hours, basically just double it. We had multiple text messages between us saying “1/2 hour more? 1 hour more?”.
* Do you research before-hand of what is top of your hit list, and roughly the RRP. Then grab a centre map and plan your shop visits. This will save you heaps of time and possibly money. Don’t forget that tax is variable and added on at the register.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017

Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

Of course I went straight to the fragrance stores. As these are outlets / seconds, the content of the shops varied from place to place. I found the shops such as Perfumania and the Fragrance Outlet very similar to Chemist Warehouse back in Aus. The prices weren’t what I would call a bargain – for example I found Bvlgari Black at $34US, before tax and conversion this is not cheaper than what I can pick it up for at home. One shop (I think Perfumania in Desert Hills) had a whole section dedicated to Paris Hilton fragrances, and a similar display for Britney Spears.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 a

I did get to try Ivanka Trump’s fragrance which was OK, actually. It was a fruity floral, of course, but it had a coolness about it which I think was brought on by a decent apple accord, keeping the sweetness in check. After I picked this up the sales assistant kept coming over with some horrendous options for me to “try as you might like this”. After the third sniff to be ‘polite’ I had to say no – just – No, you need to stop doing that please! My nose was full of pink gunk smells by that stage and I had to literally run out, much to the SA’s surprise.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 b

After trying the dedicated fragrance stores I looked at branded stores for fragrances & interest. Barneys and Etro were clothes-only. Aww. I came across a Porche Design store in Desert Hills, which I’d never heard of before. WOW!!!! They’ve got some great gear, the mens shoes were amazing and the handbags sleek and functional. I had a lot of fun chatting with the sales assistant who was beyond helpful, was a great experience and I’m glad I dropped in.

My visit to SoCal did have fragrant leanings but would you believe all I brought home with me were three small samples from Lucky Scent in LA. I think that’s a first. I did get some jeans, jacket, shoes and an iron. But that’s another story.

What about you – do you hit up the fragrance stores hard when you travel, or is it more of a reconnaissance like my US trip?

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Scent Diary: 27.3 – 2.4.17

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Portia

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Scent Diary: 27.3 – 2.4.17

Monday 27:

Breakfast! Jin is sound asleep. Last night he was feeling a bit poorly so I filled him with a bottle of wine and gave him a sleeping tablet. Breakfast became a chatter with a couple of Scottish girls who work at the Royal Botanic Gardens there, on the way to a convention. Then one of the couple asked if we were perfume…..  YIPPEEEE!

Instantly we started talking about frags and I had bought a bottle of their Lily of the Valley fragrance. The group is called Detaille and they have a new bunch of frags out this season, Louis and his wife Christine. He was so sweet and passionate about their fragrances. Even made one of the newest range especially for Christine, with her involvement. She was wearing it to breakfast so proudly.

So, obviously I wore Detaille Bois d’Oud. It’s a nice, wearable, synth oud. Not too swanky, won’t scare the Grandmas or the teens away, and has a very comfortable wear. No boundary pusher but done nicely. Review to come.

Jin & I then flew to London and met up with Tara from A Bottled rose and my Aussie mate Andrew and his partner Renato. We all went and had a fantastic Italian dinner and spent the evening laughing, reminiscing and trying to talk Jin into seeing Dreamgirls the musical. sadly it’s booked out the time we had free.

Tuesday 28:

OMG! Today was huge. Last night Jin decided that our bed was unsleepable, it had prolapsed in the middle and he was having none of it. Realising that my sleep depended on his I went down to do battle. We were upgraded to a suite for our stay! So late night move. Woo Hoo! Don’t stay here though, it’s shit.

Early we were up to have the crap breakfast included. Seriously! No fucking milk?

Spritzed liberally in Rose Oud by Yves Rocher.

Off to get a rental car. Jin just smiles at people and they fall under his spell so instead of a FIAT 500 (which I adore) we end up in a brand new JEEP Cherokee (Tank). Super comfortable though and it was heaven on our adventures.

We set off for Windsor Castle in the dreamy spring sunshine and really enjoyed our castle tour with Audio Guides. We saw the Dolls house, the Royal Apartments and some of the outside. It was really lovely, interesting, historic and a few of the rooms were so ornate they could have been French or Austro-Hungarian.

Then we drove up to Bath. I don’t know why I’ve never been before. It was the site of so many historic societal comedy/drama novels that I read. Anyway, we got there and it’s as gorgeous as they say. PERFECT! Saw the watergate, cathedral and Roman baths. It was an excellent stop and I would love to spend a few days there one day.

Lastly we drove over to Stonehenge. All the advice we’d researched was that it closed at 5pm. That much is true BUT the entrance is closed at 3pm. So at 4pm when we arrived we were unable to enter. Both Jin and I were gutted. It was to be the highlight of a long fabulous day and ……..

The second shot is a weird one, no filters or anything. It was taken a second after the first with the same camera and this is the shot. No alteration of the image has taken place at all. Spooky, huh?

So, off to a Paddington Fish & Chip store we went for delicious dinner and a wander around till we got home. Bed. Bliss.

Had a late shower and wore a big fat spritz of Miss Dior vintage parfum.

Wednesday 29:

So Jin and I both woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and we had a contretemps. This was not helped one bit by the fact that our shit hotel had no hot water for showers in the morning and we both showered cold. What a fucking shit hole.  All was fortunately resolved as we left for breakfast though.

My morning spritz was Bois d’Oud by Detaille again. It’s really nice.

First stop was the National Portrait Gallery near Trafalgar Square where we shared a croissant and pot of tea for 4 quid. I loved wandering around but Jin was bored to death. He sat down and played with his phone while I wandered the halls.

Then off to Liberty London.I had to meet Lila’s son for a fragrant pick up. OMG! He’s so bloody gorgeous that I couldn’t focus on the job at hand and stumbled over my words. Adorable. No I didn’t take a photo.

Jin went to the basement for a haircut and beard trim while an old mate of mine, rock photographer, James Sharrock and his beautiful daughter Eva joined us for lunch at the LibertyCafe on the 2nd floor. Jin came, said his hellos and then went off for an adventure while James and I wandered Liberty for an hour or so before Eva made it clear she was over it.

When I got home I spritzed Palissandre d`Or by Aedes de Venustas. Oh the heavenly woodsy woods.

In the evening we met up with Tara again and her delightful sister Lisa. OMG! We had a ball. Italian food, loads of laughs and then a wander around Paddington. Perfect last night in London.

Shower and a hefty spritz of Mitzah by DIOR before bed.

Thursday 30:

Final morning together in Europe on our 2017 adventure. Jin and I love each other but being in each others company non-stop for a month was starting to wear thin. We had a really nice wander through Hyde Park, grabbed a typical UK pub breakfast, wandered up to Selfridge & Co and Primark and then grabbed an Uber to Heathrow. It was a perfect, low key, holding hands kinda ending to a spectacular holiday.

At the Korean Air Check In Desk we scored the beautiful, smiley and super helpful Kristine. We kept coming back to her because of silly dramas and she never once rolled her eyes or gave a hint that we were the asshole passengers we knew ourselves to be.

Upshot of all that was EMERGENCY ROW! Yay! More room but near the babies, comfortable but loud. Still it was a win.

Friday 31:

Arriving in Incheon Airport was bittersweet. On the Upside it’s my favourite airport and there’s so much to see & do. On the Downside Jin went off to catch a train to see his Mum & Dad for a few days. To make myself feel better I spritzed heavily with Parfum d’Empire Equistrius.

Fragrantica

I grabbed 2 hours real sleep in the By The Hour hotel, only $21/hour. Clean, comfortable and you can see me in my undies in the mirror, sorry about that.

Korean Air is excellent and cheap. The bathrooms onboard are kept spotless, food is good and even in the economy rows it’s quite roomy.

Saturday 1:

HOME! In the arrivals hall I triple spritzed myself with the new Guerlain Shalimar EdP which is very nice. Exactly the right amount of growl and purr for a returning traveller.

Sydney put on a beautiful blue morning, my BFF Kath picked me up at the airport and drove me home where Scott, who had been house minding, waited. Perfect lazy day lying on the couch reading, doing laundry and then paying some bills and blogging. Sweet.

Sunday 2:

There’s too much fragrant choice here. HA HA HA! After living with a mini collection for a month it’s all a bit overwhelming to come back to this room bursting at the seams with scent so for something easy, smooth and comfy it was CHANEL Boy. Perfect cool autumn wear. Then one of my BFFs Alice dropped over and we spritzed a bunch of stuff.

I grabbed an old favourite for work today too, 1000 EdT by Jean Patou. Not a new pic but this bottle.

Now you’ve read through my adventures, how was your week? Do anything interesting or wear something fragrant? Share please. I love to read your stories too.
Portia xxx