Two favourite scented finds of 2018


Kate Apted


Heidi Ho APJ folk!

This is my last post for this year and it finds me a little emotional. It has been a hard year in many ways and I am at the very tail end of my 4 year apprenticeship. That time will never repeat itself and things cannot be undone. Nevertheless, I have almost achieved something I never dreamed possible – becoming a qualified diesel mechanic.

On my tool box, I have a few photos of my boys, a few postcards of John Biebel’s artworks, a couple of of other motivational objects. But what might be of more interest to you is what I keep inside one of my drawers of said tool box.

I have to wear gloves at work. Those nasty black latex type gloves. It is not mandatory for me to do so, but I have an intense physical reaction to fine particles coming in contact with my feet or hands. Things like earth (dirt), flour, talcum powder, ground up alkalines etc make me retch and almost lose my mind if I touch them. I have no idea where this comes from, but good guess is it is autism related.

Two favourite scented finds of 2018

So, my hands get sweaty and quite dry as a result of wearing the gloves for long periods of time. I found a most brilliant hand cream. I cannot stand the feeling of creams laying on my skin, so any hand cream I use MUST absorb completely. And I found just the one! Took me by surprise, it did. It is L’Eau No. 5 hand cream by Chanel.

End 2018

My tool box at work. I know how filthy it is. Pointless exercise to clean it.

This nifty smelling cream comes in the most novel container. It is a flattened egg shape and has a little cap that clips off and the cream is squeezed out the end via a one way valve type hole. Apparently, NASA had some hand in designing the container. It would not surprise me. The guys at work take a second look when I remove this from my tool box. They are not quite sure what the object is…

The cream is exactly what it says it is. It smells like L’Eau. No 5, absorbs exceptionally well, a little goes a very long way and it is the perfect hand bag size. I admit it cost more than I would like to spend on a hand cream, but I have used it pretty much daily since May and it shows no sign of giving up. I do not have to squeeze the container any more than I did back in May to expel the cream. The scent does not last more than 10 minutes, but by that stage, I have applied a perfume.

Which leads me to the other scented item I keep in my tool box. I came across a gorgeous musty musky scent via another purchase. It came as a free gift with another perfume I bought. I had only vaguely heard of the manufacturer, but I am very keen to learn more about their other products now. It is a cute rollerball of oil by Aromantik, called Cabinet of Curiosities.

I have no idea of what notes this contains, but I can tell you it has the most unique musk and citrus. It is very dusty, making me think it has a vintage kind of lean to it. Given the viscosity of the oil and the sheen it leaves on my skin, it must contain a high degree of essential oils. There is nothing aldehydic or alcohol like in the make up or smell. Given the oil is housed in a dark opaque 10 ml glass container, it confirms my feelings.

Just a light roll over my wrists leaves me with an aura that I do not find cloying or claustrophobic. It lingers for hours with a feminine lilt and engages my mind with curiosity  as to what is actually in it. I quite like the guessing game! The scent also acts like a smelling salts for when I have to work in cigarette smelling cabs. Some trucks have some incredibly challenging smells to them, as many cabs have sleepers in the rear of them. This little Aromantik’s scent cuts through it all and allows my mind to focus on the musk instead.

These are two products I really would never have found on my own. They just happened to find me and challenged me to try them, much to my delight, I might add.

Please do not go to the Aromantik’s website and tell me what is in Curiosities! No bursting my bubble, I beg of you. Let me keep the magic of the unknown.

Now, I want to know what scented delights 2018 has sent your way. And what do you keep in your work drawers or lockers. Sneak peek please!

Season’s greetings to you and your family. Be safe and enjoy yourself. See you in 2019!

Kate xx

27 thoughts on “Two favourite scented finds of 2018

  1. Ah, 2018. Glad to see the back of it really. But I did discover Areej le Dore and bought a travel size (love them) of Russian Musk and the discovery set (love them even more) of the new works. They are intriguing. Too expensive though.


  2. The only thing I want to say is that I am in awe of your accomplishments. While I don’t have autism I do have sensory integration dysfunction that goes beyond the tactile realm so I empathize. I always have some sort of smelliest in my work draw. For now it’s Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter with frankincense and myrrh hand cream, a sample of Aftelier Cuir Gardenia which has been with me for five years because I think one day it WON’T smell like rotting flowers on my skin and my newly acquired sample of Casablanca. New discoveries for me were some oldies- Paprika Brasil, eau de Lierre and Jungle Elephant. I refell in love with Gap Heaven and Reglisse Noire because APJers made me buy new bottles. And I discovered a new love Solstice Scents Estate Vetiver which is a 2018 release.


  3. Kate, I tip all of my hats to you, – a diesel mechanic! That’s a beautiful achievement.

    It hasn’t been an easy year but it brought me important knowledge, – that’s why my desk drawers are filled with notebooks and post-its, – new friendships and a bunch of great new scents. Speaking of which, I might have to single out The Different Company. I’ve bought four of their scents this year. Also, there are my Throwback scents – Givenchy Irresistible for men and YSL In Love Again. Portia inspired me to get Cuir Amethyste, and this was a right thing to do: I wore it through the autumn.

    Wishing you and your family happy holidays!


      • Thank you, Kate. I hope to stay part of the APJ family, I love it here 🙂

        I agree, TDC doesn’t get enough buzz on social media. My guess is, they don’t use the same approach as many other upcoming niche brands who are willing to interact with perfumistas. I have yet to try the rest of their works but here’s the ones I got: Bois d’Iris, Rose Poivree, Sublime Balkiss and De Bachmakov. Also, I’ve been eyeing Sel de Vetiver, it’s one of the best vetivers I’ve ever tried. It’s pricey, and that’s the only reason I haven’t bought it yet.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Nice haul! How annoying is it that some gems fly completely under the radar?! In a way it is good, for not everyone will wear your scent, yet it is glorious to have others enjoy the ones that bring you joy.

          What do you think of the jasmine?


  4. Congratulations Kate on achieving the completion of your diesel mechanic apprenticeship and qualification! I can’t even imagine how complicated that must be! I am interested now in trying the L’eau hand cream, I was fascinated when I saw the ads for the bottle. And I’m glad you have a special smelling salt fragrance!
    I keep many samples in my work desk, always evolving and changing. I sit for long hours working and find that is a very good time to explore new samples. My one calming work fragrance sample has been Dior Hypnotic Poison, for years. I have extremely dry hands, especially in the CO winter and therefore, always keep a super moisturizing hand cream in my work drawer. An unscented and very abaorbant cream I’m using now is by Skin Clinical.
    Seasons greetings and happy holidays to all!


  5. Congratulations on overcoming so many challenges and achieving something so amazing! I am in awe and admiration. And I’m just tickled pink thinking of you in your Chanel hand cream working on diesel trucks. I bet the folks at Chanel would be dumbstruck at the idea. :-). And I love your smelling salts perfume – I can easily imagine the nauseabond odors you must deal with in the cabs of those trucks. (shudder). You are a brave and strong person. Wishing you all the best for 2019!

    Oh, and my best discoveries of 2018 were Cedre Sambac and Slowdive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tara! I tried Cedre Sambac. I love it! Thanks to you and Val, I have now got a yearning to grab a bottle. You are both right. It is divine. Nagel did well.

      May 2019 bring you more of the joys in life. K xx


  6. Kate! Holy Merde, girl! I am in AWE of your Diesel Mechanicism!!! That is just beyond cool, bravo and congrats! For 2018, it was all about JCE’s new interpretation of his own 1973 re-creation of Essence Rare for Houbigant, and Aroma M’s glorious new Botan. May 2019 see all your dreams come true!
    xoxo – Robert H.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert, you and Ida have kept this year intellectually stimulating for me. Though I may turn filters and lift heavy clutches, my poor brain still needs intellectual nourishment. And you two provide that. So thank YOU for giving me an unseen helping hand to be where I am.

      Erm, you also found that SUBLIME No 5 body oil. I probably would never have bothered, thinking I truly own enough No 5 items as it is.

      *scribbles more items for the to-try list*

      K xx


  7. Massive congratulations on reaching the last days of your apprenticeship. Fantastic to think that you will be the best smelling fully-qualified diesel mechanic on the planet!

    I’m quite partial to Lush’s Dream Cream for my paws though it’s not the fastest to absorb. (I am a bit weird about hand cream: I can only deal with it on the back of my hands… I hate being all lotiony on my palms. Ugh!) I used to keep at least one *strong* perfume in my bag when I was commuting… so I could put the tiniest dab right under my nose if unable to escape an absolute stinker on the train or bus. At a push, Olbas Oil does the trick, but I’d rather be smelling something like PoaL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A mechanic? Fantastic! I love all jobs where you actually see the result of your work after the day is over. Congrats Kate! I’d happily give my beloved diesel Alfa Romeo to you for inspection.
    I bet you’re the sunshine among your colleagues 🙂
    This year I’ve discovered the Zoologist line and ordered a few travel sprays (Camel, Civet and Panda) and on the other side a great mascara that truly makes my invisible eyelashes look much better – MAC Upward Lash.
    May the New Year be good and gentle to you Kate ❤


    • Thanks, Neva. I think the guys at work see me more as grouchy middle aged woman.

      I am always on the look out for a better mascara. I’ll need to check this one out.

      And may 2019 bring you the grace to keep you moving forward.
      K xx


  9. Congratulations on approaching the finish line of your goal! I also work in an industry that results in much handwashing to remove fossil fuels from the skin. I can’t wear synthetic gloves, it seems my skin revolts against every and all varieties and I end up with unbearably red and itchy skin. I use Dionis hand cream daily and it helps keep the dermis happy. I keep this and several cheapie rollerballs of various Pacifica fragrances in my backpack. Their Tuscan Blood Orange in particular helps cut through the work aromas. Best Wishes for a happy and successful 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brilliant! A fellow in the industry! Not wearing gloves is preferable because the feel through gloves differs. At least you attend to your hands. None of the guys at work bother.

      Citrus is excellent for masking odours. And rollerballs are handy. Portable, discreet, less messy and controlable.

      Wishing you all the very best, VerbenaLuvvr. X


  10. Good on you Kate! Perseverance and commitment are great qualities.
    I too like hand creams – my favourite find this year is Wilde, an Aussie company. I really only bought their pack because it said it was Oud fragranced. While not super strong on scent the hand cream and body balm are lovely products. I keep little samples of perfume in my glasses case and there’s usually one in my purse so there’s always something should I need. And until I ran out I had a rollerball of Dame Black Flower in my handbag which was good for afternoon top ups.
    Cheers to a winderful new year xx

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