Scent Diary: 18.9 – 24.9.2017




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.


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


29 thoughts on “Scent Diary: 18.9 – 24.9.2017

  1. Oh you poor thing, catching travel germs is the worst thing! Lucky you are at home though with Jin to take care of you!
    We had a perfumey catch up last weekend, you should have seen the paper strips all over the table!
    I had my first experience of Bal aVersailles and Rob made me a decant, it is beautiful, I will chase up a bottle!
    PS Jin must feel very secure in your relationship to let you go to India, he is a man in a million…


    • Heya JackieB,
      I’m so jealous you all had a sniffy. Lately they always seem to be far away or on dates I’m working. I think there should be one around here when I get better.
      Isn’t BaV heaven? What a scent.
      Jin knows he has nothing to worry about. The first month we were together I sat him down and explained that he would never need to feel jealous or worried as long as we are together. It’s been six years and he has had it proven and reproven so many times that his worry light is set to mute.
      Portia xx


  2. I agree with Kate, colorful phlegm needs medical attention. Your scent diaries are AMAZING and I enjoy the vicarious travel enormously, especially the food 🙂 hope you are feeling better soon, Portia.


    • Hey Rosarita313,
      I hear you girls loud & clear. Doctor ASAP.
      YAY!~ I’m so glad you love them. There’s more exciting travel at the end of this month too. Jin and I are doing the Ghan and Indian Pacific trains across Australia to celebrate our Anniversary this year. So excited.
      Portia xx


  3. You are such a gifted writer. I feel like I was right there with you. What a magical time. The vote–hope it was a sensical one! And get thee to a doctor pot favor. 💙


    • Hey ClaudiaS,
      That is a really lovely thing to write. thank you. Yes, it was magical.
      The doctor ASAP.
      Portia xx


  4. As always, I feel elated to read you Scent Diary. Honestly, you are a wonderful writer. So thank you for that. 🙂
    Do get better soon…!!


    • Thanks Fanny,
      You guys are super sweet today. It makes me really happy that you’re enjoying them.
      On the mend already.
      Portia xx


  5. Dear Portia, those airplane/travel bugs are the worst. I hope that the tea helps you soon. I made myself a spicy chicken rice soup the other day and although it did not cure the sinusitis it sure made me feel better. Love reading your scented diary and all about your adventures. Get better soon. Love, Sandra xoxo


  6. Portia, so sorry you are sick! At least you are home to recover and not sick while still on an airplane. That’s the worst! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. It’s great to be able to travel vicariously through your writing. Feel better soon!


    • Hey Kandice,
      Getting better.
      LOVE sharing my adventures and it makes me really happy that you all like reading about them.
      Portia xx


  7. Oh Portia! Add me to the list of ‘get to a dr!!’, please. It is the secondary infections I worry about. And going to work whilst ill… I won’t subject you to my view on that.

    I was DYING to know how you know Varun. You wrote of an ease between you that transcended acquaintances. It is absolutely beautiful that you are both so comfortable to be yourselves.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us. And yes, you ought to be proud for staying calm whilst asserting your right to leave that party. That’d be enough to send me into a vortex of delayed self punishment! You did well.

    Your upcoming trip sounds BRILLIANT!

    K xxx


    • Hey Kate,
      Yes, on my way to the Dr this afternoon.

      HA! Yeah, Varun lived in Australia and we were partners for a few years. He had to go home and run the family hotels and we tried unsuccessfully to keep it going transcontinentally. We still talk at least weekly, he’s an excellent BFF.

      You know I’m still proud of how well I coped with that party. Thanks for mentioning it. I’m rarely so cool.

      Portia x


  8. Great travel report and beautiful photos, Portia!
    Sorry, but I had to laugh at the “Hello, you got so bald”. I would have told the guy that I’m pleased he’s still the same, stupid as always. But you did better, keeping your calm and just walking away.

    Now I hope you will get over that infection toot-sweet and be your old self in no time. I’m glad you’re back!


    • Hey Ingrid,

      The weird thing about that guy is that I’ve basically shaved my head and have exactly the same amount of hair. He was clearly just looking for an opening of any kind to be awful. Not even a “Hello, it’s been three years. How are you?” So crazy,

      Yeah, on the mend already.
      Portia xx


  9. What an amazing trip you had! So sorry you are sick, but at least you are home safe with Jin and the puppies. Love those mo-mos, we call them potstickers in California.


  10. There is really something about home. It is a cliche but to me home is where the heart is, not where you are born. I was not born in the US but nothing feels like home to me like the U.S., more specifically, NY. I want to travel all over the world but in the end, I always want to call NY my home for life.


    • How lucky you are to be a NUYC transplant. Living there must be amazing every day Fazal.
      You’re right though, home is a feeling about a place not a place you’re born.
      Portia xx


  11. Agreeing with others, get thee to a doctor!

    P, your photos and writing are sublime….you need to write a book…seriously.

    and I am a homebody so after a challenging day at work there is no place I would rather be than the sanctuary of my tiny house 🙂

    PS Would you care to adopt me? LOL! I want to be part of all of that luscious food and perfume!


  12. Portia, it’s your birthday this week?!!! Have a wonderful time. Love you to the moon and back.

    Keeping everything crossed for a YES vote to make it even more special.


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