Fendi by Fendi 1985 and Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches n Herb

Hiya Gang,

Once upon a time there were 2 baby drag queens. They were young, thin, glamorous, popular and ready to be superstars. Devoted fashionistas they were caught up in the 1980’s swirl of ENORMOUS fragrances and in the end they both chose their signature scent, the same scent. Roll on 1990 and their worlds collided in fast friendship, creativity and seismic tremors. Together in shows, at parties, in magazines and newspapers, even sharing the funeral scene in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: you could smell us coming for MILES. What were we wearing?


Photo stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives the featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, Brazillian rosewood, cardamom, coriander
Heart: Carnation, jasmine, cypress, rose, ylang ylang, lily of the valley, geranium
Base: Cedar, amber, vanilla, tonka bean, oakmoss, sandalwood, leather, musk, patchouli, spices

I have been looking for a Fendi that I could afford for ages and then one of my favourite eBay shops got a 4ml EdT and I was on it!! Boy oh boy! The memories come flooding back. WOW! It opens spicy citrus, all gloriously sparkling and effervescent and the cardamom makes it funky and slightly feral and happily blows your brains out with the back of your head. Trying to pull notes out of this magnificent cacophony is not really possible, there is a bouquet but it doesn’t smell like any flower on this earth yet manages to smell like ALL of them. The only thing shining above the bouquet is a sexy, breathy, bedheadish jasmine and ylang ylang but I’ve been wearing my little eBay 4ml of Fendi for over an hour before it properly started to show. I think I’m in for a seriously long ride. I’m still getting serious cardamom and coriander action too. I start to get some woods and amber at about the 2.5 hour mark but still the fragrance is dominated by this incredible breathy, salty, body scent. Is there unmentioned ambergris here?

It’s 2am here and the woods and amber have moved in. There is a murky depth that I think may be the oakmoss or patchouli and there are hints of old, well loved saddle leather, almost an oudh-ish backdrop all washed over with the lovely smell of humanity, slightly rank but real and beautiful. Nearly 4 hours into the life Fendi and still pumping out full throated power frag. I reckon there’ll be some left in the morning.

Photo Stolen Italymag

Speaking of Priscilla; Queen Of The Desert I have a special treat for you below. My gratitude to Stephan Elliott for involving me in that wonderful film can never be expessed often enough or fully. Way back in 1994-5 I was living in London and had just finished with the Priscilla making when I left Sydney, when the cast and crew were off to the Cannes Film Festival for the opening I was lucky enough to be invited along, more on that another time. Another incredible upshot from being in the film was that because I was easily available to the powers that be there, and Oscar winning Costume Designer Tim Chappell was staying with me at the time, I was asked to be the star of the next single from the soundtrack’s video because the group Peaches & Herb had no interest in doing it. Here are a bunch of the Drag queens who I was friends with and my 2 male dancers for pub and club shows I was doing across the UK and Europe all together having a HOOT! Do please enjoy.

BTW It’s my first Thursday at Perfume Posse and we have a LIVE Video Sniff going on over there featuring Frederic Malle fragrances. Please drop in and say HI.

Thanks for dropping by. Do you remember Fendi? Priscilla; Queen Of The Desert? What are your recollections? I love to read your thoughts and this should be a conversation so leave a comment in the box, even a hello would be wonderful. Till tomorrow,
Portia xx

50 thoughts on “Fendi by Fendi 1985 and Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches n Herb

  1. OMG, Portia, you were in “Priscilla”??? I love that movie! And I enjoyed the video, so much fun, it’s inspired me to see the movie again. Terence Stamp – Guy Pearce – Hugo Weaving – what a cast! Not only that, but your stunningly beautiful country is also a featured player (I will get there someday!).

    As for Fendi, I don’t remember smelling this fragrance (although it has every ingredient that I love), but I do remember smelling Asja and liking it very much. However, that was way before my perfumista days, and I just didn’t take perfume seriously. What was I thinking? It’s a shame that they discontinued so many of their fragrances. Theorema is another that perfume fans dream about and will pay big bucks for now.

    Although I never wore any Big Eighties Fragrances during the 80s, I have now discovered that I wear them well. Poison and Paris are two favorites (although I’d never wear them in a crowded theater!).


  2. Unbelievable !!! PqotD was such a special film for me Portia darling as I was on the verge of coming out at 15 years old When it released ! I believe this historic film gave me a easier ride as it exposed the “world” of Drag, homosexuals/transgender and out back Australia in a positive and entertaining way ! those were crazy times in Sydney and there u were in the thick of it . Well done ! And your make up is fabulous !!
    And as for Fendi , who could forget ! “POW” they don’t make em like that any more , and to the power of two !!! It would have been impenetrable .
    Rock the 80’s frags xxx


      • I will pack the Fendi Fur collection and we will cover them with it ! I was lucky enough to visit the Fendi store in hong king and I went into meltdown over the coats , I had my sneaky little hands all over them . I have never felt any thing like them . And thousands of dollars to boot .
        Thanks for the heads up below on spotting u ! I have a copy and I’m watching it tonight !
        Can u reveal the identity of the other drag performers in the clip ?! I secretly used to be obsessed with Drag names ! Shhhh , may have herd of em x


  3. Fan bloody tastic, loved the film, can’t belive that you were in it so will have to watch it again to see if I can spot you.
    You have so many talents that as they say in Essex, ‘I am well jel’ 🙂


    • HA HA HA!! You is JELLY? Of me? COOL!!
      If you watch very carefully when Hugo Weaving gets the phone call in the dressing room I’m in front of him doing me face and if you look in the Funeral scene I stand between Hugo and Guy.
      It was a very cool time in my life Andrea,
      Love to you,
      Portia xx


  4. Are you freaking KIDDING ME? Priscilla validated every Drama Queen impulse I have (and darling, I have Many. I’m more Drag than ‘regular chick’, when given the opportunity, possessing more standup collars than Cruella DeVil and…I used to wear ballgowns to my office!!!). My favorite visual of all time – in any movie, ever – is still the silver mylar cape atop the motorhome.

    You are so beautiful in this video…as you are beautiful, still (both in and out of drag, btw)



  5. And you know, I totally forgot the fabulous Hugo Weaving! It was hard to focus on anybody else, with the gorgeous Terence Stamp swanning about, in full Grace Kelly mode. Lord, has there ever been a more gorgeous man…who got even MORE gorgeous as he aged? I mean, even now, at 147 years old, he’s still….wow.


    • You know Terence was a real surprise. Such a complete gentleman. He was thrilled at the reception he got in Cannes. it had been a few years since such crazed displays from the press for him. He was also great fun to take out and get plastered with.
      They were all very cool.
      Portia xx


  6. OMGosh, I almost made myself late for work reading this and watching your video! I got so absorbed. I need to rewatch “Priscilla” now. So awesome that you were able to be in such a great movie.
    Don’t remember Fendi that much. I was living in NYC back then and I remember restaurants and theaters having signs on their doors that said, “No Giorgio!” And that they had the right to refuse seating to anyone, for any reason. It was also the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” era.
    Thanks for the flashback.


    • Sorry Tatiana for nearly making you miss work.
      We still have dress codes in many of our bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Fendi is only slightly less intrusive that Giorgio, it was never as ubiquitous though.
      HeHeHe love a flashback,
      Portia xx


      • No worries about work. I’m switching places next week and it’s been a bit awkward these past two weeks, so I haven’t been all that enthused to be going in. So the dawdling was entirely my fault.
        I miss dress codes. Living in California, I sometimes feel strange when I get all dressed up to have a nice dinner out with my family and many people in the restaurant are in tees and jeans.


        • It’s like we are still caught in reaction against the 1980’s high fashion stakes. I am waiting for this to pass and dressing up to come back. It’s about due.
          BTW Good Luck in your new position, I know you’re going to ROCK IT HARD!
          Portia xx


  7. Ah, Portia! Queen of surprise surprise! Priscilla is an amazing movie, and now when I know that you are starring in it it is even more amazing. Wohaa! Priscilla (saw it twice) made me happy, nah, joyful really, but a bit sad as well. It is not only a happy glamourama feelgood film, a bit edgy and the transgressions pictured are painful at times.

    And wohaa again – Terence Stamp is a true favourite – kind of hot (eh….trying to be cool about it, but really steamy uber sexy hot, IMO). Tss, I am jealous, Portia! You got plastered with Terence. Agh! This make me recall another musical oldie – “It should have been me”.


  8. You rock! I love that movie. I’m gonna have to look for you in it and you’ll have to sign my DVD case if we ever meet. That had to be so much fun working on that movie. The costumes were amazing. I used to work with some hair stylists who were also drag queens. They were so much fun. I did hate the way they looked better in a satin gown than I ever could. It was so unfair.
    I had some Fendi back in the day. I think my aunt gave it to me. It was a small bottle and I went through it rather quickly if I recall. Loved it. Thinking back I probably skunked a lot of rooms with my scent cloud.


  9. How awesome Portia!!

    I looovve Priscilla and you are fab the video! Must try Fendi though. My 80s fume was Anais Anais, so not a powerhouse.

    xxx M


      • Haha! Almost as bad as what Nickalicious calls Fracas …..
        Yep need my 80s skank!! One powerhouse I do looove occasionally now is Chloe – my first ‘vintage’ purchase. Btw Terence Stamps line about lighting the tampon has to be one of the best lines EVER!! xxx


  10. Portia, you already know that I rented PqotD when I read that you were a part of it, and I’m going to get it out again to look for you in those two scenes. Ahhhh, the costumes! And who knew General Zod could be so elegant? (oops, my geek roots are showing ;)) I don’t think I’ve smelled Fendi, but my mom wafted Giorgio in the day and smelled fabulous.


      • General Zod is one of Superman’s enemies; he had a cameo in Superman I and was the Big Bad of Superman II. He was gloriously evil and over-the-top, and played by the talented and obviously diverse Terence Stamp.


        • AHA! I really didn’t see many movies through the 90’s and naughties. I’m back at the cinema sometimes now but it’s not regular. sitting still is a problem for me.
          Thanks dionne for the explanation, I think I’ll see the Superman films. One was shot in Oz and we hung with the director and some cast for a while. They were cool,
          Portia xx


  11. OH MY GAWD!!!! Youre amazing!!!!!! Thanks sooo much for sharing!!!
    I know you were in it, but its been such a long time since I saw the movie, I shall have to rerent it, and sit down with a disgustingly large cocktail (or 4), some nibbly nibbles, and enjoy that fabulous movie all over again!
    And as for Fendi, …. again same thing…. I do remember a friend used to wear it all the time back in the 80’s, and I loved the smell….. but cant quite remember it!
    You always have this wonderful way of evoking and stirring those long lost memories.
    Love you Portia


  12. I do indeed remember seeing Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — glorious, gorgeous, giddy! I can say the same now for your video too. And I will have to see the film again to look specifically for your scenes and because this has reminded me just how good it was.

    Meanwhile, I’ll keep my eyes open for a mini of Fendi.


  13. Crap, now I need to go back and re-watch Priscilla too, one of my favorite movies ever. You know, I kept thinking you reminded me of someone, but i couldn’t place it. Well, now it makes sense.

    Oh, well, it’s a great excuse to go watch that wonderful movie again. Seems most of my favorite movies are Australian, like Strictly Ballroom. If you tell me you were in that too, I’ll just thump on the floor. 🙂 you look gorgeous then and now. Age is seasoning.


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  16. Am way behind on this post. I have only just discovered APJ. I began wearing Fendi in 1985 and continue to do so daily as it has become synonymous with “PJ”.

    I scoured the globe for bottles when it was discontinued, and at one point had nearly 2 litres stashed away. Sadly, I’m now down to my last 150ml.

    Is there anything that I should consider as direct substitute?


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