Scent Diary: 3.6 – 9.6.2019




Hey there APJ Crew,

WOW! Mongolia, South Korea and home. What a sensational wrap up to nearly six weeks of travel. Jin really outdid himself as Cruise Director, we saw more than I dreamed possible. The whole adventure was planned perfectly, we also had a few very lucky breaks and helpful friends along the way.

We were so busy and there was zero sit time so almost the whole week was blogged from the Asiana Lounge at Seoul Incheon Airport on Friday evening while waiting for my plane. VERY relaxing.

Scent Diary: 3.6 – 9.6.2019

Monday 3:

Up early and down to breakfast where we met up with our next door neighbours from the Trans Siberian. A group of four 60+ girls who are travelling the world. They are fit, fun and fabulous. We are so happy they stayed in this hotel so we got to spend a little more time basking in their sunshine.

It felt like a perfect Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations day. You can see that almost half my Take Two is gone from this adventure.

Our buddy and guide Tuvshin had recommended The Mongolian National Art Gallery as a place of interest. There was interesting changes as the regimes and rulers waxed and waned. My two favourite paintings are below.

Some governmental building with ENORMOUS statures of Chengiss Khaan.

We hit the State department store. I know you’ll think I’ve taken leave of my senses but these mirror, sideboard and chandelier combo in the gold with pink roses were the only things in the whole place that took my fancy. They are freaking epic. Remember I am a Drag Queen.

Jin had his heart set on Hot Pot. “BLEAUGH” said I but there was no getting around him. That’s what he wanted and that’s what we were having, or else. As it’s so rare for him to care that much about anything I let him have his way. #5 on Trip Advisor and well worth it. FREAKING DELICIOUS! We loved it so much.

My friend Karl Dunn put this up. It’s not new and hardly terrifically insightful but I do think it bears remembering.

Tuesday 4:

We are leaving Mongolia. It’s 5am and freezing. The taxi is late and Jin has the shits.

Just so you can see the difference in air quality. First pic is Mongolia as we leave, second pic is South Korea as we land. There’s some dust and smoke in the air that has basically blotted out visibility.

First thing we do on arrival in South Korea is go to Lotteria. South Korea’s version of McDonalds. It is bloody yummy and they have Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks that we both top WILD for. YUM!

Checking our baggage into the domestic flight to Jin’s hometown and he gets called back to the Border Security Room. A bloody battery, PHEW! No matter that Jin has never done drugs, owned a gun or made explosives it still gave us both a terrific shock. Look at the poor guys face, his heart is so obviously palpitating.

Realised I was fragrance less so grabbed out my GRAVEL and gave a few delightful spritzes. MMMMMM

Jin decided that we would get Home Delivered EVERYTHING for dinner. Mum was laughing so much. Delivery people arriving from all his favourite nearby restaurants. We ate well and there are leftovers for the next couple of days.

Mum is also really happy because Jin and I decided to stay in the spare room. It means we will see so much more of her and Dad.

Jin’s childhood photos came out. Isn’t he the cutest damn thing you ever saw? AWWWWWWWWWWW

Wednesday 5:

We woke up and Jin decided we were going to the local baths. It’s a huge thing in South Korea and after years of pestering I finally gave in. We had a haircut, shave and used the baths for less than AUD$20. It was fun. Four pools ranging from 2C to 50C, wet & dry saunas, showers and walls of mirrors to make yourself presentable.

After we had ablated it was time to visit Grandma who has advanced Alzheimers Disease. In the two years since we saw her last she has deteriorated a lot. Most of her teeth have been pulled and she has nearly zero recognition until reminded. Fortunately she remains friendly and sweet. Jin, Mum and Aunty were all a bit sad after we visited.

In the evening a crew of Jin’s friends and their families had organised a dinner. I knew they had loads of catching up to do, and that it would be infinitely more fun in Korean so I brought along a book and let them have at it. I had secretly decided to treat them all for the evening and made sure the booze flowed freely.

First photo is as the food arrived. Everyone is sweet and upright.

As they finish the meal. Everyone is a bit more flamboyant and rowdy.

After dinner we moved onto a drinking house. You can’t really tell but everyone is shitfaced. There were play fun bickering, shouting, slurred words and the whole gamut of fabulous boozy fun. By this time they had all got the catching up out of the wayu and I was thoroughly involved with their fun, even though I couldn’t understand a word. It was a fabulous night out and Jin was in his element.

Thursday 6:

HA! Let’s talk about Jin’s hangover remedy. Pork Bone Broth and assorted side dishes. He was so seedy I didn’t put him in the pic.

After breakfast we went back to the baths. The foggy goodness of Ashoka by Neela vermeire creations.

Our last mean in Yangsan with Umma & Appa. We went for Duck BarBQ. Another South Korean triumph. We rate SO MUCH. Jin and Appa cooked and Umma & I watched. After I’d finished and they were chewing the fat I went and started cutting up garlic for the woman in charge, she was laughing but admitted I was quick and good. YAY!

This is the Korean National Flower

Jin bought us Business Class tickets with opines for the return flight from Busan to Incheon. So wasteful but it was fun.

OK. There was only one thing on Jin’s Seoul Wishlist. The Meerkat Cafe. We went, we saw, they were gorgeous and we went away incredibly sad. The poor Meerkats live in their sterile pens 24/7. Nothing to burrow into, climb, chew or in any way act like Meerkats. When people come into the pens they are so excited to have something fun to do. They would grab our clothes, see if they could tunnel up our legs, chew our fingers and toes (in curiosity, not aggression) and wanted to look us straight in the eyes. It was magical, no doubt about it. They were bribed to run all over us with food, and obviously they loved that too. I’m 100% torn between telling you this is an experience not to be missed and being terribly sad about the lives they endure.

Friday 7:

This morning dawned cool and cloudy. Jin and I wandered the streets of Jongno around our Ibis ambassador hotel to find ourselves some breakfast. well, Jin had breakfast and I had a coffee.

Then we headed off in search of the brand new Hermès Cafe in the rich part of town. Interestingly there’s a Byredo store directly across the road.

We might have done a little Hermès shopping before we got to the cafe, nearly purchasing but decided against.

The cafe is beautiful and you have your tea and TO DIE FOR Chocolate Cate off Hermès china. It’s freaking glam and we had the Msarco polo Marriage Frerres tea. The whole experience was super apish and next time I’m in Seoul will go solo and do my blogging from there.

I might have given myself 10 enormous spritzes of Eau des Marveilles. YUMMY!

Jin is sad because I’m going home and he’s spending four more nights in Seoul to catch up with friends.

Got here well ahead of time and my flight is cancelled. No sweat, Jin to the rescue. He and the China Southern guy get me a slightly later, non stop flight with Asiana/QANTAS instead. YAY!

Sitting in the lounge. I’ve done this while week of blogging up to now here.

Saturday 8:

On the plane. Asiana airlines was good.

Sydney really put on a fog show for my return.

Bag unpacked, clothes and linens washing done and hung, started cleaning the house.

Went to the local supermarket and got the makings of Beef, Barley & Vegetable Soup. Spent nearly 5 hours getting it just right and then ate three huge bowls of it. It’s basically my Mum’s recipe but she never wrote it down so I have to tweak it every time to make it smell and taste just right.

Sunday 9:

Slept late. Cleaned the house properly. The sun is shining but there’s not enough heat to really dry the clothes yet this morning, hopefully before I go to work.

SOTDay: Mitzah by Dior. It feels so good to be utterly engulfed in fragrance again. To wear it in “around the house” levels. I smell amazing and now I really feel like I’m home.

Aaaah! I love this beautiful apartment that feels like it’s been built around both of us, so comfortable and functional yet fully a home.

Netflix has loaded the first season of Tales of the City. WOW! It’s good. Really good.

Missing Jin and bit today. Nearly six weeks together non stop and now he”s still there and I’m here. Just a little bit glum without him, no biggie, wanted to share.

Trivia was so much fun tonight. I have really missed the crew and we had a ball. At the end of the night Charlie, our dogs trainer and babysitter while we are away, brought the boys and they were met enthusiastically by the Austral trivia crew in the carpark.

HOME! Got my dogs and a cuppa.

SOTBed: Myrrhiad by Huitieme Art. It’s bloody lovely to have so much fragrant choice again.


It’s YOUR turn. What’s happening in your world?

Did you do anything Fragrant, Fun, Friends, Family or even had some less than Fabulous news you want to share? Now’s the time, in the comments below.
We love to read what’s happening to YOU.
Portia xx

47 thoughts on “Scent Diary: 3.6 – 9.6.2019

  1. WELCOME HOME!!!!!
    What an adventure you had!! Memories for a lifetime ❤️
    Wash rinse repeat week for me. I have thunked so much stuff via full vial dumps, testing and sending out packages this week. Maybe I will slow down a bit and enjoy my full bottles in the upcoming week.


  2. Wow, so much action! I love the gold rose chandelier and mirror set, it is so you. :-). Shame the meerkats don’t have a more stimulating natural habitat to spend the night in, when the cafe is closed. They are so cute!

    I’m always impressed at how thoughtful you and Jin are of each other and your friends & family. You are a great couple!


    • Hey TaraC,
      YAY! I’m glad you love the roses set. It’s fabulously ridiculous.
      Yeah, those poor little Meerkats.

      We look like we’re all that but we are also selfish, thoughtless little pricks at times too. You just get to see the good bits.
      Portia xx


  3. Welcome home Portia! I am so happy that you had safe travels and adventures of a lifetime. I enjoyed reading your weekly posts and appreciate the time you took to share with us. It’s wonderful the last leg of your journey was for Jin to be home with family and friends. You two are the sweetest together, enjoying each other’s company and being so kind and loving to each.
    I can share in your enjoyment of being home, with your fragrances and dogs. Home sweet home, right?
    My week was usual and uneventful. My Mom is arriving from Canada for a week visit. She’s not as energetic as she was, but I have restaurants and scenic mountain drives planned, and a shopping trip to her favorite clothing store.


  4. Thank you for sharing your honeymoon with us all. The pics are amazing. What wonderful memories for you and Jin to share.


  5. Welcome back, Portia! I enjoyed vicariously that trip through you. What a fantastic time you and Jin had! Thanks for sharing!

    I attended my nephew’s college graduation ceremony yesterday and then we all went for dinner at an Italian restaurant. We had a terrific time! Today, it is my brother’s-in law birthday and my sister is having a small family gathering at her place later this afternoon. He will be happily surprised by his brother, who arrived this morning from Italy. They have not seen each other for a while. Doing some cleaning at home now and getting ready to face another week at work.


  6. What a great journey you both had. Seems like lots of fun. I was regularly checking your instagram. Thanks for taking me on a virtual journey.


  7. Welcome home! I have enjoyed reading about your adventures every week. Apart from Jin being singled out for extra control at the airport, it looks like the last part of the journey was as fabulous as the start.

    My week has been mainly about getting a few steps closer to my normal life: Getting to the dentist, nearly a full day at work and some work from home, catching up with a friend who has also helped me getting hold of a few new books I want to read, of which one about the CRPD written by one of my co-workers. Still waiting for the perfume themed book by Neil Chapman, hopefully it will wait for me when I come home from rehab. I also finally had my Foscarini Le Soleil lamp installed over the dining table and there’s only a small mark in the ceiling from some paint flaking off when the cable was attached, so I’m happy! No mess left by the electrician either.

    Also, so happy a friend who usually won’t take any presents said she really wants a decant of Fève Délicieuse. I really have enough to share!


    • Thanks Ingeborg,
      It was an adventure and a half,
      Exciting that you are getting better and better.
      Isn’t it hard when friends don’t like gifts? I hope the Fève Délicieuse becomes her absolute fave.
      Portia xx


      • The few of my friends who are on permanent disability pension are the worst when it comes to a accepting gifts, even if they should know by now that I don’t give away more than I can afford! Trying to give at other times than Christmas, gives me more time to find something suitable and less pressure for them to find me a present.


    • @Ingeborg, isn’t it great when you can give something you know will be appreciated? Fève Délicieuse is a particularly…tasty gift to give.


      • My friend used to take part on a national perfume forum, and she likes a lot of oriental perfumes, so I hope Fève Délicieuse will be a hit.


  8. Thank you dear Portia for all the tales of your and Jin´s travels. What a treat. Please thank Jin too for being such a good sport and starring (!) in all pics you shared. I think everyone here enjoyed it mightily.
    Being supersuper busy at work, lots of stress and worries. Fortunatelly we’re going on holiday in about 3 weeks time, we really need it. We watched both seasons of the Sinner, I recommend it highly. We enjoyed Dead to Me, especially my husband really liked it, quite unusual for him to enjoy a comedy with mostly girls in the main part.
    Have been wearing lots of April Aromatics, I think because stress, and some 19, same. And Lustre, gorgeous.


  9. You are right about Meerkat cafe. I have long been conflicted about the concept of zoos. I know most people in the world are not rich to see animals in their natural surroundings so zoos are the only way they can see them. But it also makes me really sad how the animals are forced to spend their whole lives in cages. Animals are born to roam free and explore. It must be so depressing to be in that confined place for your entire life. For the same reason, I also feel quite conflicted about eating meat. I know meat has a place in our diet due to evolutionary reasons but it involves killing a life. I, for once, cannot wait for lab meat to get here so that animals do not have to be killed for my diet.


    • On the subject of zoos, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Deplorable. There are plenty of excellent documentaries on television showing animals in their natural
      habitats. Circuses are even worse. I wonder if animals are still used in circuses. I remember my mother taking me to a circus when I was a young child. I cried because I felt so sorry for the bears dressed in tutus having to perform tricks. Cried even harder when the elephants were brought out. My mother had to take me home. Oh! And I was afraid of the clowns to top it all off!


      • Yeah marcellavmiller, circuses and seaworlds are even worse. Portia, I know what you mean. Lab meat is in its early stages at the moment so it is not cost-efficient to be produced at a mass scale. I have not tasted it yet but I won’t be surprised if it does not taste good yet as you say because the technology is still in the experimental stages. However, when it has been perfected, it will be one of the best things since it will help us address climate change (beef production is one of the worst culprits of greenhouse gases) as well as allow us not to kill animals for our food.


    • Hi Fazal,
      There are zoos that are good and there are the animal circuses that do nothing but drain the worlds wildlife stock for entertainment. Many zoos do amazing captive breeding of endangered species.
      Yeah, we are also conflicted about eating meat. The hoofed animals are destroying Australia’s finely balanced ecology. Lab meat is already here in meat substitutes, sadly I don’t like them.
      Portia xx


  10. Welcome home!! I love getting back to my own bed after a long trip, and to my doggos!
    This week I have just been focussing on getting the students through the mid year exams, they are nervous but they look good!


  11. Welcome back! We kept the house in good order for you, as promised. Didn’t even have one wild party. I do hope you’re not getting post-holiday glums😕 Jin will be back before you know it. Thank you for your wonderful pics. Had a great trip vicariously through you both. What an adventure. Jin can be my cruise director any time. All I need is the fun-funds ha. You hit the ground running as soon as you got back, no time for mooning around, work and laundry straight away, and I bet your boys were crazy excited to see one of their dads. I was lmao at the light fitting and mirror, they’re hysterical. The 80s called and they want them back immediately! Is it for real?😂 Not dissing your personal taste but err, I won’t be arm-wrestling you for them, they’re all yours, my dear.
    I have started binning and burning, need to clear out this dump. Wish me luck. There’s years of stuff to disappear, and of course I won’t have a clue where it went if I’m asked. I’ll deny everything. I have to practise my liar’s face😉


  12. And I don’t know where my post has ended up? I’d damn this WordPress malarkey. I can’t write it all again😩 so let me just say welcome back, and thanks for your pics and updates. You two are just the biz 💋


  13. Welcome home, and thank you so much for taking us along on your incredible journey!

    I’ve not met any meerkats, but I had a surprise close encounter with a badger this week. I had *no* idea there were any in the city, so when I woke up in the night to snuffling and scratching sounds at the window I was kind of blown away to see a young badger hanging out on my (ground-level) windowsill snarfling up the peanuts I leave out for the squirrels. I am right next to an empty church surrounded by overgown greens, but looking I can’t see any sign of a sett there.

    In perfume news, still exploring and loving the new Jorum Studios range. Incredible work.


    • There’s badgers pretty near the centre of Oslo., we have seen them a couple of times late at night using pedestrian bridges to cross main roads. They do seem to find “green corridors”, like crossing over from suburban gardens into the old graveyards and then nearer to the densely populated areas. There’s always junk food to be found since bins overflow.


      • Oh, that makes sense.I;m glad to you get to see them too sometimes. I need to read up on on how big their territories are and how far they roam. I’m awfully curious as to where this chap lives. I’m close to a very big park, but there are so many dogs walked there I;d be surprised if any badgers are in residence.


    • You’re welcome Crikey,
      WOW! A real life, up close encounter with a BADGER! That is amazing.
      I grew up in an area with three or four of Australia’s most deadly wildlife in the backyard. Anything starts moving around and I jump sky high, even now.
      Portia xx


      • Aye you have frankly terrifying fauna. Our creatures are so benign. One mildly venomous snake, and that is more likely to hide than bite (I think the most recent death from an adder bite was last century!) otherwise, the worst you are facing is a cloud of hungry midges who might drive you a bit crazy.


  14. Welcome home, Portia! I’m so happy for you and Jin, everything turned out to be perfect. That’s surely a trip to remember.

    PS We’ve got plenty of Korean National Flowers growing in our yards!


  15. Welcome home, Portia! What a glorious trip! I am loving all photos you shared.
    (I’m glad to be back here, where I belong. Missed you all heaps.💕)


  16. Welcome home Portia! Missed you madly but absolutely adored your diary and photos and stories. Thanks so much for sharing, and to Jin. So many lovely memories you two have made xx


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