Scent Diary: 17.2-23.2.2020




Hey there APJ Crew,

Woo Hoo! A week away in Singapore Changi Airport and Koh Samui Thailand with Jin. Every day an adventure. Full of the fun and romance of international travel with this funster. It’s been so low tech that it’s Friday before I pull out the computer to get some work and blogging done. NAUGHTY!

Scent Diary: 17.2-23.2.2020

Monday 17:

The early day was spent organising the house, cleaning, changing the bed and emptying the kitchen of things that could go nasty. It’s awful to come home to rotten, dirty or manky anything so I like to have it spick & span.

SOTAdventure: Lolita Lempicka EdP

BFF Kath bought me a new wet pack because my old one has died a sad death. She bought me that one nearly 20 years ago.

Bags packed and we wandered across the road to the bus about 11am. caught it and the train to Sydney airport where we did a little fragrance sniffing before hiding away in the newly refurbished AmEx Lounge. There we had breakfast and chilled far from the madding crowd and their screaming spawn. I’m so old now that I found myself toe tapping and singing along to the 80s soft rock.

We flew economy with QANTAS to Singapore’s Changi Airport. The cabin manager was an ex boyfriend of mine from 35 years ago! Steven looked almost exactly the same. It was so good to catch up. He brought us First Class booze, cheese and fruit and the pyjama and toiletry bags. SPOILED! With CoronaVirus the plane was almost empty. Jin had 4 seats and I had three, we slept most of the way.

Arriving in Changi Airport in the evening we wandered the three terminals. I think we hit four or five different business lounges to see which had the best food and most comfortable seating. It’s amazing the difference even across the same titles. Did a little spritzing, saw the butterfly farm, sunflower garden and caught the inter terminal trains. We also spent some time looking a Hermès latest cashmere scarves, the new stuff is utterly beautiful. If I was feeling more financial we would have left with at least one, instead I’m using the money to have a sensational holiday.

At around 2.30am we hit the transit hotel, showered and slept for 6 hours. Heaven.

Tuesday 18:

Up early, breakfasted in our favourite lounge, the Dnata next to QANTAS First.

Got some Tom Ford Rose prick on my skin. It’s like rose flavoured lollies. If it was half the price I’d own the bottle.

Met up with our tour group to see the fabulous Jewel shopping mall at Changi Airport. WOW! It is SO worth the effort to see and spend a few hours in. The waterfall, rope park, shopping, food and fun are all excellent. We walked and walked till my thighs were chaffed.

Flew Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui. Very comfortable, less than 2 hours.

Arrived at Samui Novotel. Unpacked.

SOTEvening: Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations. The milky fig and woods fit perfectly with a tropical retreat.

Wandered down to the shopping, food and party centre of our area. Wandered around, checked the local merchandise. Very relaxed.

We then had a leisurely wander back to the hotel and took a swim under the stars in the hotel pool. Beautiful.

Wednesday 19:

SOTDay: Santal Massoia by Hermès. Though rich and vibrant it sits quietly until I look for it. Softly peeping out when I whiff.

Breakfast buffet. I LOVE BUFFET! Rich and diverse offerings. Friendly staff. Only the bacon is shit. GAK! Like, not really awful but less than yummy. Cooked by someone who doesn’t love bacon.

There is choice of seating at Novotel. Indoor or outdoor overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. We picked the cool breezes and glorious view of the water, with the sounds of waves crashing less than a meter away. This became our table every morning for our stay.

We hired motor scooters. No safety precautions, didn’t even ask if we’d ridden one before. No wonder people get hurt. It turns out that a scooter is much less easily managed and manoeuvred than a motor bike. It took me a couple of hours to work it out. Once we got it together, had our little helmets on and went to se the island it was amazing fun.

First stop was the Big Buddha, huge and intimidating. I went around the compound and banged every bell with my knuckles. Each one had a slightly different tone. Suddenly when a bell was rung the whole place felt alive with the magic of religious fervour. We got blessed by a monk in front of the Reclining Buddha, Jin now sports a vibrant prayer bracelet (I declined). There was a sign asking us not to take photos, we didn’t.

Zipped off to the Fisherman’s Village. Loads of cool cafes and local merchandise stores. We ducked into a cafe, Cafe de Pier, and suddenly the heavens opened up. DELUGE! Watching it across the bay was transportive. So calming. Glad we weren’t caught in it on our bikes.

Lunch time to the W Samui. VERY freaking Ra-Sha-Sha. Food and service were excellent. Low key loveliness.

Off to the Mall. As soon as we parked the motor bikes the skies opened again. Thunder and lightening, huge gouts of cold water chucked down. Amazing.

Woo Hoo! They have Yves Rocher here! Shopped the shower gel sale. Tried this So Elixir by Yves richer. As always, their stuff packs excellent bang for it buck. I didn’t buy it though. Sweet and woody.

Jin discovered dried mango. Oh dear! NEW CRAZE!

Back to the Novotel. Swam. The restaurant was closed. I ate some nuts.


Slept like dead people.

Thursday 20:

Up early. Breakfasted. The bougainvillea here is so colourful and vibrant. Perfect wake up.

Went to the Samui Elephant Sanctuary. Rescued elephants, most of whom are disabled in body or mind are allowed to wander free on this eight acre reserve. The only time you are allowed to touch them is if you are feeding them. They have been used for logging and entertainment. Most are poorly cared for during their incarceration. Seeing these beautiful, ageing, behemoths able to wander, make choices and live an unfettered life is uplifting in so many ways. We were introduced to all six girls in the sanctuary. These are the ones that need more care than the elephants on the larger reserve. It’s captivity but in no way the hell they endured as working beasts. This was an adventure well worth the money. Our guide ChiChi was adorable too.

Jin bought some Samui Elephant Sanctuary merchandise. Every cent of profit goes to them.

We had a swim. Then we had massages. Jin had a full body, jasmine oil massage. I have a foot massage with pressure point work. An hour for about US$10. Amazing.

Off to the mall. My pedicure needed a redo. Jin joined. He’s so ticklish it was hilarious.

Went and got a couple of coffees. Same barista. Mine has the cutest bread face ever and Jin got an ugly onion. No reason, just happened. It’s so weird because usually Jin is the one who gets the extra special attentions. We laughed so hard.

We also grabbed some thongs and a bunch more dried mango.

SOTEvening: Niral by Neela Vermeire Creations. These Take Two travel sizes are the best. Niral is a lovely tropical wear, pretty and elegant. A perfect fir for dining under the stars with the one you love.

Dinner at Novotel, sitting on the deck with the sound of the sea and a cool breeze. So calm and romantic. We chattered and ate, laughed and talked till we were the last there. Jin had Banana Dacquiri. YUM!

After we wandered up the beach, past the other resorts and restaurants. The Novotel is by far the most comfortable and clean looking on our side of the island.


Friday 21:

Today is relax day. I put my foot down. One day this holiday would be stay in the hotel, swim, massage, eat, read and laze. I spent the morning updating the blog.

Had another reflexology foot massage. It’s brought back feeling in some of my toes that are starting to get nerve damage from the diabetes. AMAZING!

We had breakfast and lunch in the hotel.

Lazed by the pool and drank boozy cocktails. It was fricken wonderful.

Around 5pm we went out and grabbed a couple of much better motor scooters. We hit the shops looking for a very specific hat we’d seen on another tourist. Wandered for a couple of hours looking but no luck. Saw so many shops and bars and restaurants though. Koh Samui is alive and kicking even in the early evening.

Home by 7.30pm so we could swim.

SOTEvening: L’Insomnuit by Robert Piguet. Darkly woody with creamy white flowers floating above. So good. I’m using a decant but it looks like it might make FB pretty soon.

Walked across the road for dinner at a local restaurant. It was only OK.

Home. Slept.

Saturday 22:

Breakfast with Jin. I spent an hour dropping photos into the blog and he went to the room to shower. This view is definitely worth waking up for,

We grabbed a couple of motor scooters and headed out for the day. First stop a lookout. The air is so misty that visibility is not so good, looks kind of ghostly.

We found a back street market behind the petrol station where we filled up. Jin ate street food. It didn’t look quite right to me so I didn’t. Jin was a bit squirty from it later in the day. ONLY eat freshly cooked, hot street food crew.

Then we hiked to a small waterfall and pools. It was not so long but quite hilly. We were sweating and puffing by the time we got there, and then back. TBH the hike was lovelier than the destination.

I had two dramatic spills on the scooter. Fortunately I wasn’t hurt, the scooter had some scratches to a few panels. Less than AUD$120 to get it fixed. No worries.

Came back to the hotel. Swam. Had a massage on our backs after a day of scootering.

Dinner at the Novotel. This is exactly how beautiful it looked and felt. Food was delicious, we ate WAY too much. Staff is so friendly. PLUS that view. Heaven.

After dinner we took a little walk along the beach, dipped our toes in the Gulf of Thailand and had a laugh.

For some reason I woke at 1am. Wide awake and shivering. Instantly jumped into a very hot shower.

SOTBed: L’Insomnuit by Robert Piguet. Worn ironically, but it’s a really beautiful smoky amber with white florals. Gorgeous.

Back to bed. Slept like dead people.

Sunday 23:

Up at 7am. Seriously! What the hell is wrong with me?

We went and breakfasted. Leisurely, one hour of nibbling, chatting and organising. It’s overcast and cool. Perfect Jin and Portia weather.

The sun came out beautifully so we went for a swim, had a sun bake for about 40 minutes. I could feel my skin crisping.

Came back to the room and had a relax. We just happened to notice the furious bee activity in the water lily flowers. All different sizes and shapes of bee going crazy.

Clothes are now ironed and ready for the wedding. Bathed, shaved, clipped and pouffed. Maybe some lunch?

Here are the wedding pics. My cousin Mark and his beautiful dude David. The event took place at the W Hotel Koh Samui. It was jaw droopingly fabulous. From the wedding performed ove an infinity pool, the dinner under the stars down on the beach, drag shows, fire shows, fireworks, dancing, drinking etc etc. Everything was done so beautifully. It was spectacular, amazing and still full of love.




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

66 thoughts on “Scent Diary: 17.2-23.2.2020

  1. Hi Portia, I didn’t do anything much this week but have to say you look sooo relaxed and happy. I hope the wedding went well.


  2. Sounds like you found a little piece of heaven. You both look so relaxed and refreshed, not a care in the world. Plus you get to go yto a wedding, BioWare much better can it get. I didn’t do anything other than work. You really should have taken me with you 🤣. Love and sunshine ❤️


  3. I remember the scooters when I was in Koh Samui many years back! Terrifying but still nice to go around the island. The pictures look wonderful and I think ive now put everything single perfume you mentioned on my try/buy list!


  4. What an amazing time, P!!! Thank you for sharing these adventures! My sloth self is laying in bed with my furry granddaughter admiring your photos at the moment.
    Usual week. Had off on Monday so spent the morning putting together a fragrant package which was oodles of fun. Then received that beautiful PPP from you ♥️💜😻
    Wore the Gimme a lot and did some late night/ early morning insomnia speed
    testing. Today am enjoying Clinique Wrappings Body Smoother paired with Paprika Brasil….this combo really is great.

    I am heartbroken 💔 that this is the very last Scent Diary.

    Safe travels home!!!


    • Hey there Brigitte,
      YAY for having a slothful, mental and physical health morning in bed with the fur grande.
      I’m so glad you got your present. Did you wear the Guerlain yet?
      Sorry for your heart. One day we’ll meet and I’ll glue it back together with gold inlay, like the Japanese do.
      We are home safe & sound (ish)
      Portia xx


  5. I’ve had a lazy week. It’s been cold and lots of rain and I don’t “do” rain. I’ve only been out to buy essential food shopping. It was my Greatgrandson’s 9th birthday so I went over for birthday cake and to look at his cards and pressies.I’ve worn the new(ish) Avon Celebrate. I like it and it’s a pretty bottle.Thanks to the revie w from Samantha at I scent You a Day. Also worn Oscar de la Renta Midnight Amber and Lalique Satine.
    Thank you Portia for sharing your holiday and wonderful pics X


      • Samantha’s blog is fab.I’ve bought some really nice Avon perfumes from her recommendation.,especially the TTA by Oliver Cresp.Celebrate is lovely. I’ve managed to get 5 samples of the 3 new perfumes by Maurice Roucel…Emilie Copperman and Alexandra Carlin. When the perfumes she reviews are on special offer you can spray with mad abandon !!! Especially the Celebrate which was only £7. It’s a pity Avon don’t sell in Aus any more.


  6. Wonderful photos, such a beautiful place! I’ve done very little traveling in Asia but I hope to do more some day. I especially loved the photos and the story of the elephants’ sanctuary. Thank you for sharing your trip!


  7. Portia, I’ve enjoyed viewing your photos and hearing about your adventures and activities. I’m so happy to see you and Jin enjoying so many beautiful moments! Thank you for taking the time to share and give us a peek into your vacation. The elephants are so special, thank goodness for kind people that treat animals with respect and dignity and allow them to live the remainder of
    I hope you had a fabulous time at the wedding, and for the remainder of your vacation Portia. xx


    • Hey Kathleen,
      We were super impressed with the elephant sanctuary. Until now I had no idea that elephants are so badly mistreated in their work lives. They are beautiful and it was moving to me in such close proximity. It was the highlight of the holiday and will stay with me till we visit again .
      Portia xx


  8. Fantastic to see your photos! And what a relaxing time you’re having. Massage on your hols is special, it adds an extra layer of sloth. I was struck by something while reading: keeping the blog updated is such a labour, even if it’s a labour of love. You’re on holidays and yet still keeping notes and beavering away on your laptop. I know that I wouldn’t have that same dedication. Is this your last one? You’ll be able to breathe a big sigh of relief I think. I’ll miss my Sunday read something rotten, though☹️ I hope your wedding is fun for everybody and that you’ve had some more delicious cocktails. My own week was kind of strange. My first time on sick leave from work in 25 years. Supposed enforced inactivity. Hard for this giddy goat to do. My daughter and Smallies were here for a few days until Thursday. They had just gone when one of my friends arrived. We had arranged a last minute friends AGM as our friend was back from NY for a few days. So cocktails, dinner, wine, beer and major laughs and catchup. Friday and yesterday met up with other friends and family. I’ve been driven around all week like Miss Daisy. Back to normal tomorrow.


    • Hi there Cassieflower,
      Come hang with us in Koh Samui at Xmas. Run away from all the trials and tribulations of the regular stuff and come relax in a tropical paradise.
      Yeah, it takes time. Luckily I had so many amazing photos this week (yes it was the last one) that the writing only took a few hours all up. Perfect to top over a couple of leisurely breakfasts.
      Are you better? What was wrong? FIRST sick leave in 25 years! WOW!
      Love that you all are so social.
      Portia xx


  9. Such gorgeous photos! Looks like a wonderful vacation, serene and uncrowded. Hope it all goes beautifully at the wedding and you have a pleasant trip home. That Singapore airport is the fanciest one I’ve ever seen, nothing like the grim ones we have here in north america.

    It was another quiet week here, nothing exciting to tell, but you’ve inspired me to break out L’Insomnuit! I’m really going to miss the weekly scent diaries but I know it’s a lot of work for you. You’ve been so attentive to this blog and community over the years, thank you ever so much.


    • TaraC,
      Singapore Airport is worth a three day holiday all to itself. I REALLY want to do that one day. 4 days in Singapore city and 3 extra days in Changi Airport!
      Woo Hoo! L’Insomnuit is really good. I love Robert Piguet, he makes a bunch of my faves.
      Thank YOU. X
      Portia xx


  10. What a wonderfully entertaining read. A brilliant ending to the labour of love that is Scent Diary. Thank you so very much for all you have done over the years 🥰
    I’ve read about and seen pics of Changi Airport – it’s almost a destination in and of itself. The water installation is a marvel of engineering. Of course Thailand looks stunning; I’ve always wanted to travel there but Mr LH is not so keen. The cuisine is one of my top five. Love the food!
    The beach looked appropriately tropical. If I read correctly, you both swam in the pool (beats getting up at 6:00 am for a round of Aquarobics back home, I’ll bet) but did you and Jin not swim in the Gulf? Not allowed or other reasons?
    We had an e-scooter pilot program in Montreal last summer. A hop-on, hop-off deal powered by an app. A friend who works in one of our hospitals said people were flooding in, all banged up from e-scooter crashes. I never thought that they would be particularly troublesome to ride, but, your experience seems to confirm it.
    My week has been standard fair. I submitted a few quotations for new projects that I am waiting to hear on. I’ve been teaching two 50+ group fitness classes at the gym which has been a nice change from the grind of design work. The majority of the participants are mid-fifties to mid-sixties but my Monday class has a charming married couple, both in their early 80’s. I’m completely in love with Jacob and found out last week that he was also born in Amsterdam. So we have lots of fun babbling away in Dutch and sharing our love of traditional Dutch desserts.
    I’ve been a lousy perfumista, mostly preferring to stick to my own collection rather than sampling anything new. Although Brigitte talked me into ordering a decant of Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant. She’s a talented enabler, that one!
    Closing out this last Scent Diary in a massive cloud of Shalimar because we both love it xoxoxoxo 😘


    • You’re an excellent perfumista and an even better friend! I love that you’re teaching classes at the gym! It’s nice to do something different and also give back. If I were nearer I would be in your class. You would certainly whip my bony body into shape 💪🏋️🏃🤸


    • Hey Marcella,
      We will be in Koh Samui for Xmas. Flee the coop, come hang.
      CHANGI! Heaven.
      We didn’t swim in the gulf because I’m terrified of the sea. More, I’m terrified of sharks. When your body shape is that of a young walrus then you tend to look like a snack. No thanks. Those poor sharks are starving too because we are fishing all their food dry.
      LOVE that you are teaching a fitness class for the 50+. we are the ones who need to move and remind our bodies what they’re built to do. If you don’t use it, you lose it right?
      Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant is so fun. I love it. Hopefully you will too.
      SHALIMAR! You get me Marcella.
      Portia xx


  11. Lovely to hear about exotic trips, especially when it’s cool and rainy. Let’s see…bought some half-off bath stuff from Jo Malone and Aerin, oh and a Coach wallet, at an outlet mall. A fairly mild time to recount, but anyway, cheers to all in the future,


  12. I LOVE all these photos, I love that misty sky ❤

    Dried mango is SO addictive. If you can get any all natural unsweetened ones it's even better. I love it. Such a fantastic looking holiday and wedding!


    • Hey Narth,
      We found 1% added sugar died mango that was the most delicious for us. We tried from 0-8% and it was the yummiest, although Jin did buy himself a couple of bags of 8%.

      HEY! You won the Puredistance Gold. It came up #1. CONGRATULATIONS! I’ll send it down to you.
      Portia xx


  13. wow, what a dairy…that Singapore Airport is one-of-a-kind. Have read a lot about it, no wonder it is considered the best airport in the world by a mile. The pictures speak for themselves that you guys are having a fabulous time.


  14. Dear Portia,

    I loved reading about your week: it sounds like a perfect vacation. I’m glad you too got to enjoy it and relax. Now I want to book my own tropical vacation…

    Nothing too interesting last week for me, but on the weekend I did some perfume sniffing and got a bunch of samples. I liked Rose Prick, to my surprise, but it becomes a skin scent within a couple of hours and disappears completely in four. I still might get it eventually if it goes to discounters.

    Now, with this being the last Diary and all… Are you sure? Once a week, not inventing anything new – just telling your stories. Are you sure you won’t miss it as much as we will? Just asking.

    ❤ ❤ ❤


    • Undina,
      We are going back to Koh Samui for Xmas. Come hang with us. What better place to meet than in a tropical paradise?
      Yeah, Rose Prick is nice but it needs to hit the HEAVY discounters to become a value buy for me. Hopefully it will be hated by the masses and get reduced to US$100.

      HA! I’ll miss the interaction but enjoy the extra hours in my week. Let’s see what the future holds. Never say never.
      Portia xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Portia! What a fantastic holiday you’ve had! Loved the photos, the elephant sanctuary is beautiful, and the wedding reception looks so chic. Oh, and that coffee bear face!. Glad you both had fun.

    It’s been raining here, didn’t get out much, really. Met an old friend, though, yesterday, despite the weather: she rarely visits, so we had a lot of catching up to do.


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