Vintage Opium by YSL




Hi Crew,

My BFFs Mum only wears vintage Opium. It’s her fragrance and when they totally changed the juice she was devastated. So for the last few years my job has been to seek out vintage Opium and give her a bottle at any gift giving event that she has used up her previous bottle. She’s spritzing her way through about 150ml per annum currently. Obviously it’s no hardship for me to trawl the internet and various FaceBook page Sale Docs in search of her precious, actually it gives me focus some nights when I’m up late but too zonked out to do anything productive.

Yes, I have had a couple of fakes come through and one that had obviously been stored poorly because most of that fabulous top had been scorched away leaving only the base minus. I thought it was a fake but rarely do fakes have bases so fabulously perfect and long lasting.

Not long ago one of the Aussies on Aussie Fragrance Network and I did a frag swap. Can’t remember what I sent but in return I got the most pristine vintage Opium and I’m chuffed.

Vintage Opium by YSL 1977

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, plum, citruses, mandarin orange, pepper, jasmine, cloves, West Indian bay, bergamot
Heart: Carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, peach, lily-of-the-valley, rose
Base: Labdanum, tolu balsam, sandalwood, opoponax, musk, coconut, vanilla, benzoin, vetiver, incense, cedar, myrrh, castoreum, amber

There is quite a bit written about Opium and how freaking lavish it is. What it smells like to me now is Kath’s Mum. Here we are at Christmas after lunch. She is a rare and wonderful woman who took in a 30+ year old orphan and gave me a place and a family to call home on big events. When Jin came along she didn’t even bat a eyelid but welcomed him wholeheartedly too. Since then she has grown less able to provide the kind of enormous family event she is used to producing and we (Jin & I) have taken the Christmas reins and now they all come to us. Birthdays etc are now done at one of the local clubs or restaurants because it’s WAY easier.

So this is what Opium smells like to me. It smells like welcome and unconditional love.

Further reading: Yesterday’s Perfume and Kafkaesque
eBay sometimes has bargains, FB Sale docs are best


giveaway hemodernhome

Vintage Opium GIVEAWAY


This week there will be 2 winners who will receive:
1 x Vintage Opium by YSL Sample
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Tell us a vintage perfume on your sample wish list


Entries Close Thursday 19th January 2017 10pm Australian EdsT and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by
The winners will have till Sunday 22nd January 2017 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Diorissimo EdT vintage by Edmond Roudnitska for DIOR 1956


Post by Portia


Hello Vintage Lovers,

Recently a family that I know had a tough decision, their mother/grandmother finally went to a home. Alzheimers has ravaged her mind and sadly it was becoming impossible for the family to keep her with them. Interestingly, she has calmed down considerably, is much happier and more relaxed in the care of professionals. They keep her clean and understand much more how to deal with the moods, aggression, nudity and lack of memory that goes with this debilitating disease. I watched the decline till Nonna was too far gone to come to trivia. Heartbreaking. We used to have so much fun, even in the early stages of Alzheimers she was sharp as a tack and hilarious.

Anyway, the family just cleaned out Nonna’s fragrances and brought then to me. One of the bottles is 1/3+ full 100ml vintage bottle of Diorissimo. Flawlessly perfect with all notes intact. Thing is, I already have a bottle of each strength with more than I’ll ever use in my lifetime. So I thought I’d share the love.

Diorissimo EdT vintage by DIOR 1956

Diorissimo EdT vintage by Edmond Roudnitska


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Green leaves
Heart: Amaryllis, Boronia, Lilac, Jasmine, Lily, Lily-of-the-valley, Rosemary, Ylang-ylang
Base: Sandalwood, Civet

OK, I have to tell you this to effect full disclosure. My love for Diorissimo has been outshone by both Jessica Mauboy’s Be Beautiful and Muguet Porcelain by Hermès, their melon/LotV mix has me enraptured.

I thought I would add in a vintage parfum to sweeten the deal, just opened the cellophane and had a sniff to make sure that it’s real and fresh. It is. So perfect you will weep. It still has its plastic stopper in place!

Here are some pics of what you’ll win.
Portia xx






giveaway kbaird

Diorissimo GIVEAWAY


This week we will have 1 winner who will receive:
1 x 100ml bottle vintage Diorissima EdT (around 30-40% left)
1 x 7.5ml bottle vintage Diorissima parfum
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Please tell us why you’d like to try Diorissimo or if you have a Lily of the Valley favourite


Entries Close Wednesday 30th November 2016 10pm Australian EdsT and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by
The winners will have till Wednesday 7th December 2016 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit


Infini EdT by Gerard Lefortis for Caron 1970


Post by Portia


Hey Fumies,

Recently I found a bottle of Infini on someone’s Sale Doc in one of the FaceBook perfume forums. It was a good price and because I love the parfum so much I thought it a good time to grab the EdT as well. It arrived the other day. WOO HOO!

Infini EdT by Caron 1970

Infini EdT by Gerard Lefortis

Infini Caron FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Jasmine, narcissus, lily of the valley, aldehydes
Heart: Rose, tuberose, lilac, iris
Base: Vetiver, musk, sandalwood, tonka bean, amber

I keep returning to Caron Infini, it’s so easy to wear and though it’s a big sensational powerhouse I never feel like I’m skunking a room in it. The EdT has a bit more throw, a lot more sparkle and feels like a light hearted person of the parfum. Less burnished, less intense but with a more gregarious personality. If Infini Parfum is Helen Lawson from Valley Of The dolls then Infini EdT is Gidget.


Shrieking narcissus, sparkling and fizzy, tempered by cool lily of the valley. Then infinite becomes a bouquet that is impossible for me to pick out the floral notes. A sweet white floral with noodles of backing ingredients creating a lavish silk sari with beautiful mirror work that sparkles and gives lift.

The heart stays around for ages and its all gorgeous creamy flowers till you realise that underneath the bouquet the amber and sandalwood have been creeping in and unbeknownst to you the are taking over the whole fragrance as we head towards dry down. Much less animal than the Parfum Infini EdT is a friendly and engaging younger sister. I love to wear them together so the deep burnished depths float under the scintillating fun of EdT.


Further reading: Yesterday’s Perfume and The Non-Blonde
The Perfumed Court has EdP samples starting at $3.50/ml

Have you tried Infini?
Portia xx

First (Vintage Parfum) by Jean Claude Ellena for Van Cleef & Arpels 1976


Post by Portia


Hello Vintage Lovers,

Some days when the post arrives and a long awaited and expected package is finally in my hands I get a little tremor of uncertainty. Will this be the real deal? Will I have spent my hard earned (OK only mildly) cash on a winner or a bummer? The other day was just such a day, arriving opened and lightly used was a vintage extract that I had extremely high hopes for……

First (Vintage Parfum) by Van Cleef & Arpels 1976

First Vintage Parfum by Jean Claude Ellena

First Van Cleef & ArpelsVan Clef & Arpels

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Raspberry, Mandarin, Peach, Black currant
Heart: Carnation, Hyacinth, Orris root, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Narcissus, Orchid, Tuberose, Turkish rose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Amber, Oakmoss, Honey, Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Vetiver, Civet

When First was released I was 8. Being in Australia we may have got it around then but it wasn’t really on my radar. At that time I was completely unaware of anything except that my Mum was the most beautiful and smelled the best of all the Aunties and all the other Mums. The reason I bought this perfume bottle is that I have memories of First being around through my teen years in a general sort of way. I don’t think Mum had it but some of the ladies in my sphere did, there were definitely bottles of it in my vision.

I had a modern EdT that basically bludgeoned my nose to headache with its opening cacophony and I wondered if an older perfume would be less ferocious.

First Van Cleef & Arpels Gold silk PixabayPDI

How does it smell? Richer, less aldehydic at the opening though they are still a fizzy, slightly oily metallic patina over the fruits. First perfume is less about the opening though and more about the heart, as if it can’t wait to get to the white and yellow flowers. Once this jasmine-centric heart arrives it’s swoon time. So beautifully blended that my main reading is jasmine supported by other white flowers and creamy, slightly banana ylang. I’m sure better noses could parse it more succinctly. You have no idea how freaking gorgeous first perfume is. Unbelievable, eye-rolling, deep breath till I think my hand might get sucked up my nose fabulous.

The heart lasts for ages before I start to notice it becoming more honeyed and sweeter. I can’t decide if it’s sandalwood or a combination of other things. I do smell furry oakmoss and a lovely dose of animal, soft and plush. From just 3 dabs on my hand this baby lasts all night and I can still smell whispers of an animalic vanilla/amber in the morning.

First Van Cleef & Arpels 3rd Eye Photographer Field of gold FlickrFlickr

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Non Blonde
I found my bottle on eBay
Surrender To Chance has extrait samples from $19/0.5ml

Have you had the pleasure?
Portia xx

Amazone vintage by Maurice Maurin for Hermès 1974


Post by Portia


Hey there Vintage Frag Fiends,

There is something really exciting about getting a vintage in the mail. That very first spritz, will it: have propellant, be real, still smell good, work for me? Those days when the top notes are gone off or completely missing can be a bummer. Recently this old chestnut showed up, it’s about 80% full and looks fresh as the day it was made. The nozzle smells great, exactly like a mossy frag from the 1970s should smell like. Come have a first spritz experience with me.

Amazone by Hermès 1974

Amazone by Maurice Maurin

Amazone Hermes

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Cassia, Geranium, Hyacinth
Heart: Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose
Base: Amber, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedarwood

OK, so we have propellant and the opening notes have been totally eclipsed by their greasy cold metal otherness. It takes a couple of minutes for the headache inducing, stomach churning mess to sort itself out. Then this bottle of Amazone has a dry grass, light geranium/spicy fruit rose and furry jasmine/oakmoss scent that softens, plushes out and gets more comfortable and lived in over the next couple of hours. I can easily imagine this appealing to the horsey daughters and youngish wives of a certain social strata as so many reviews allocate its fan base. Being a chypre its slightly floral heart and bone dry dry-down seem a little mature to me, sophisticated and cooly aloof. You can easily imagine the wearer to be wearing Shetland wool and corduroy or denim instead of cashmere, linen and silks. Yet another part of me can see someone, man or woman, in a sharp business suit using Amazone as their tasteful undercurrent of a point of difference.

The far dry down of vetiver, moss and woods is perfectly balanced and shimmers softly over my skin for hours and hours, tomorrow morning I will still have a whisper of wonderful to wake up to.


From Hermès: Symbolic of a free, modern femininity, Amazone takes its inspiration from the mythical horsewomen who, according to legend, ruled over the shores of the Black Sea. A novel composed by Maurice Maurin in 1974 and orchestrated around blackcurrant buds, the fragrance is a green floral harmony in which daffodils, narcissi, galbanum, red fruits and vetiver take turns to shine.

Further reading: Yesterday’s Perfume and Non Blonde
Hermès have the modern variation and it still smells very nice but totally different.
Surrender To Chance has samples of the modern version from $3/ml

Which is your vintage or your Hermès?
Portia xx

Susan Irvine: Of Spies and Scatter Cushions


Post by Anne-Marie


There is so much online information about perfume these days that books, especially slightly older ones like these two by Susan Irvine, may seem redundant. But there is still much pleasure to be had from holding a well-produced book in your hands, and from being in the presence of a knowledgeable writer who can convey a love of her subject.

Susan Irvine: Book Reviews


Susan Irvine: Perfume: The Creation and Allure of Classic Fragrances

Susan Irvine is a journalist and writer who specialised in perfume and fashion for many years. Her book Perfume: The Creation and Allure of Classic Fragrances is a broad sweep across the history of perfume and its production, presentation and marketing. I confess I have only marginal interest in the chemistry of scent, and the production of raw materials. Irvine covers these subjects admirably, but her chapters on how perfume is promoted fascinated me the most.

‘Selling perfume’, she writes, ‘is about selling something indefinable, invisible and covetable: glamour.’ So the philosophy, the brief, the bottle design, the name, the advertising and the launch party are all about creating desire for a slice of this glamour.

Irvine herself is apparently a veteran of many a launch party. ‘Concorde is the journalists’ equivalent of a school bus for transatlantic events’, she writes, laconically. ‘If it’s Monday, it must be the Paris Opéra, filled with 8,000 Casablanca lilies for the re-launch of Yves Saint Laurent’s Y.’ On Thursday its Giorgio Armani’s Giò in Manhattan … and so on. For the haps and mishaps of the launch of Dior’s Dune in Biarritz, you will have to read the book!



Susan Irvine: The Perfume Guide

By contrast, The Perfume Guide is a guide to individual (mostly feminine) perfumes, arranged in families: floral, fruity, herbaceous, chypre, and oriental. It’s always fun to ‘look up’ one’s favourites (and ‘scrubbers’) in books like this to see what the author makes of them. Funny also to note discontinued gems, like All About Eve by Joop!, and obscurities like Smell This by James Berard (what? who?).

By 2000, when this book came out, niche perfume was starting to make a difference, so works by L’Artisan, Diptyque, Annick Goutal and Serge Lutens are mentioned. But of course the great classics are there too: Chanel No 5, Guerlain Shalimar, Lanvin Arpège, Patou Joy. ‘It’s impossible to imagine Chanel No 19 on a badly dressed woman’, Irvine proclaims, making me bite my lip and shuffle my feet in scuffed shoes.

If you have ever wondered where that great comment about Rive Gauche came from – ‘what KGB agents would have worn to seduce James Bond’ – it is Irvine’s. Dana Tabu is ‘for women who wear their knickers on their heads’. But my favourite is this remark on Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, one of the best-selling perfumes of all time:
‘For women who are not afraid of scatter cushions’.

Both books are out of print, but are still available from online second-hand book sellers.
Susan Irvine, Perfume: the creation and allure of classic fragrances (Haldane Mason Ltd, 1995).
Susan Irvine: The Perfume Guide (Haldane Mason, 2000).


White Lilac by Mary Chess 1932


Post by Anne-Marie


A while ago a generous perfume penpal sent me a sample of Mary Chess’s White Lilac. I liked it, but nothing about it struck me very forcibly. Maybe this was because the lilac in my own garden had just finished, and there were roses, jasmine and gardenia on the way. Wisteria was blossoming in public gardens near where I work. I was surrounded by natural floral scents and perhaps I didn’t need another at that moment.

With summer flowers now gone, I spritzed it again and was delighted at last by the fresh, spring-in-a-bottle aroma that leapt joyfully out of the sample vial.

White Lilac by Mary Chess 1932

White Lilac Mary Chess EbayeBay

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Lilac, wisteria, lily-of-the-valley and musk.

Information about Grace Mary Robinson, née Chess, is scanty and inconsistent, but she was an American woman who, after her marriage in 1907, moved with her husband between London and the US. She loved flowers and in what sounds like a hobby turned into a business, she sold flowers she made herself from metal, clay and parchment. She also created perfumes and White Lilac was the first of many mostly single-note perfumes released between 1932 (some sources say 1930) and the 1990s. She died in 1964.

Chess must have understood perfume as a lifestyle commodity. She sold scented sachets, smelling salts, and even a scented paste that could be painted on the inside of drawers and cupboards. She experimented with charming bottle designs, including a bottle for every chess piece, from a King to a pawn. A chess piece became the symbol of Mary’s flourishing business.

You might think that she was more interested in the decorative and lifestyle aspects of perfume than the actual scent, but White Lilac was popular for many years. Perfume historian Nigel Groom says it was once named as one of the eight great perfumes of the world.

White Lilac Mary Chess Lilacs strecosa PixabayPixabay

If so, perhaps it was because it offered an alternative to other best-sellers like Chanel No 5, Arpege and Evening in Paris. It is an innocent, rather dainty fragrance with little overt sexual allure, once sometimes marketed to brides. It works best in the opening hour or so, after which it becomes paler and less interesting. That probably just encouraged women to carry it about and spritz again, for the opening is indeed gloriously vivid. I smell mostly lilac and wisteria, green, but also slightly round and fruity.

There are some reviews on Fragrantica and Basenotes. One Fragrantician exclaims:
How can a 50 year old scent smell so fresh and alive? The lilacs are blooming right here in my bedroom.

White Lilac Mary Chess lil_white_goth_grl_mjranum_stock Deviant artDeviantArt

I don’t know when White Lilac was discontinued but you still see it on auction sites. Mary Chess has gone now, but undemanding floral fragrances never really go out of style. These days several of the niche houses charge dearly for them.

Is this your style of fragrance? Have you tried anything from Mary Chess?