Val the Cookie Queen


I greet you APJ for the last time on this platform!

What follows is a bunch of photos taken during my time as Australian Perfume Junkies raving reporter.  They are in no particular order, and most of them you will have seen already.   APJ has been an incredibly huge part of my life.  I mean freaking enormous.


In Harrod’s with Portia.  


Innsbruck with Vero.


Esxence 2019 with Megan.  (Megan In Sainte Maxime) (Atelier des Ors)


Tara (A Bottled Rose) and I sniffing Sale Goss in London. 




With the fabulous JTD JTD in Los Angeles.   


Carnaby Street with A B.londeswunder and Tara.


Hannah/B.londeswunder in Bloom. 


With Freddie Albrighton, perfumista and tattoo artist.  Salzburg. 


Hannah had arrived around 23:00 in Vienna, having travelled from Salzburg, to see Portia.  She asked for donuts and Portia ran out for a box.  Why just one when ten would do?


Visiting the amazing  Aus Liebe Zum Duft.  Flat hair because German water made it too soft.  


Antonio and Vero.  Milan. 

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Thomas – The Perfume Candy Boy


Vero and me in Florence.  Sorting out samples for me to take to the States.  


The gorgeous Michael watching me sniff some Le Labo stuff.  Brick Lane, London.  


Anima Vinci.  Les Senteurs.

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Thomas and Tara.  How I love them both.  




Milan train station.  Portia, Vero, and Antonio.  

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Coffee and chilling with @scentosaurs in Edinburgh. 


Last but not least Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume) and me in Augsburg, Germany.  Meeting up for perfume, and a gig.  But that is a Strange Tale on its own. 

I have loads more photos but setting them into WordPress is about to give me a complete and utter meltdown.  So I am gonna stop.

Bussis to the moon and back.

Your CQ.


“Just what is it that you want to do?  We want get loaded and we wanna have a good time.”  PRIMAL SCREAM.    RIP Andrew Weatherall. 

Jezebel by Anka Kus Parfum




Hello friends,

Narth here with a Queen.

Jezebel by Anka Kus Parfum

Top: Pear, Chocolate.
Middle: Rose Damascena, Moroccan Jasmine, Vanilla, Tuber, Cashmere Musk.
Base: Osmanthus, West Australian Sandalwood, Amber, Madagascan Vanilla, Tonka Bean.

Jezebel. It’s fascinating how the name of a pagan queen of Israel from 3000 years ago has reflected our society’s changing views of women. For years Jezebel meant a bad girl, a wicked sexual female. This was despite the biblical stories being about religious hegemony and political machinations rather than sexual immorality. Feminism has reclaimed the name Jezebel as that of a strong woman not beholden to societal mores. Jezebel has been the name of rather a few perfumes and this Jezebel is particularly glorious! It’s a rich and beautiful scent befitting of all the imagery the name has conjured up down the ages.

Anka Kus Parfum’s Jezebel is a luxurious cherry chocolate rose. A perfect black forest cake without being sweet. The chocolate is very impressive in the top notes, if you’ve felt a bit meh about chocolate in perfume because it failed to deliver I think you’ll be very happy with this one. Anka Kus Parfum’s Jezebel has a liqueur quality, befitting her indulgent reputation. The rose in Jezebel reminds me of Lyric Woman though with none of the solemn qualities of the Amouage. This is more sensual than stately. I’m also rather fascinated by the way Anka Kus Parfum’s Jezebel manages to be both juicy and dry. Each time I wear it I find myself enjoying this interplay. I suspect Jezebel will be a compliment magnet as well as it’s so attractively delicious.

Anka Kus Parfum is an Australian niche brand started by Ali Erkekli (previously known as Al Manlé) that has some interesting offerings. I think Jezebel has been let down by the font used (yes I’m that person) which is a messy mix of gothic and graffiti that belies it’s quality as a perfume. Is it meant to be ironically hipster or more along BPAL lines witchy or..? I’m not really sure just as I’m not really sure what the black blotchy bird symbol is meant to be either. The other bottles also have kitschy fonts but it’s Jezebel’s messy one that bothers me the most. She deserves better!

Try it at the Anka Kus Parfum Etsy Store

What associations do you have with the name Jezebel?

Bye for now, Narth xx

“So long, farewell …… I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye … ” Rodgers and Hammerstein.


Val the Cookie Queen


Dearest APJ

Just over six years ago I met Portia in a café in Vienna.  He had posted on APJ that he would touring Europe and that if anyone wanted to meet up with him then cool.  As fate would have it, Vienna was a part of his trip.  Most of you readers know the story.

There is no doubt in my mind that we knew each other in a former life.   This did not feel like a first meeting.  During the course of our non-stop chatter I asked jokingly if he wanted me to write a post or two on APJ.  He said sure, twice a month, alternate Tuesdays.  Boom.  I became Cookie Queen on the spot, and we went and bought a bottle of Coromandel to cement the deal.



It would not be an exaggeration to say that blind date changed my life.  From meeting Vero to having my radio show, and so much in-between.  I have covered a lot of it in my years of blogging.  I am me, Portia is she, and we pretend nothing.  We are in real life as we are in our posts, except louder.   And that has been the key to the wonderful community that Portia founded here on APJ.   It brought out the real in everyone.

I could blab on forever, sobbing into my Shalimar but no!  A time to build up, a time to break down.   Shit happens and we need to make way for more.



I thank you all for the love shown to me, for helping me to become the person that I am now.  Perfume is the link, but never the whole story.   I am not sad that I won’t be writing about perfume so much, I lost a part of that joy when Vero died.  Not the pleasure of fragrance, but the desire to really write about it.  Moving onto working with Hiram Green will be next thing and that really excites me.  Once a junkie, always a junkie huh?

I am not gone.  I will still be writing my Strange Tales on A Bottled Rose, and staying  perfume themed on my Instagram @armadilloscookiequeen.    And if you have time you can tune into my live radio shows, first and third Fridays of the month.  The livestream link is always in my Instagram bio.

I thank my family for putting up with me.  For sniffing my wrists a million times, for patiently accepting the amount of time it actually took to prepare and write a post.  For  ignoring my tears and tantrums and screaming about deadlines.

Portia.  I love you.

Ciao APJ.

Goodbye Bussis.


I do have one more Tuesday in February and I have never missed a deadline and have no intention of doing so now.  I am gonna dig out a bunch of my favourite photos and just post them.  xxx 
















L’Homme Ideal Cologne by Guerlain




Hello friends, it’s Narth here reminiscing about a recent perfume frenzy in perfumeland. I was walking past a small perfume stand in a shopping centre, the sort with everything ON SPECIAL and where at times some real gems show up. Stuck in the middle of all the Joops and Rober Cavallis was a Guerlain I had never noticed before and it was only 20.00! After a bit of phone research I bought it, ripped it open and sprayed myself all over. This was fantastic! I posted about it in perfumeland and seemingly simultaneously did many other people. And that’s when the frenzy began as information flew about as to where to find more bottles, could you still buy it on the website? Was it really that wonderful? Were we all lemmings? It was fabulously fun and I bought five, three for myself and two for gifts.

Guerlain L’Homme Ideal Cologne 2015

The Frenzy and The King

Top: Orange, Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Grapefruit
Middle: Almond, Neroli
Base: White Musk, Vetiver

This scent, now sadly discontinued is a multifaceted freshie which truly has earned the moniker THE KING because it’s such a wonderfully affordable treasure. It’s bright and creamy, not in stages but all the way through. The almond is impressive. It’s not a marzipan but rather the white smooth interior of the nut. That and the white musk are always there, providing a beautiful backdrop to the citrus. It’s a fantastic hot weather scent and on cooler days it surprises with its depth.

Perfume frenzies are a lot of fun.. and a lot of pain, depending on your wallet and how likely you are to have regrets over being caught up in them. During my BPAL days I was on that frenzy train monthly. Yes there’s an addictive element, a definite high with the ordering, the searching, the speculating about notes. Nowadays these bursts of excitement mostly pass me by. I’ll look at my phone and whatever amazing thing appeared is already gone. And while I’m okay about that because I am now supposedly a responsible consumer of perfume I very much enjoyed my Guerlain L’Homme IDEAL frenzy and if I find another one I’ll be buying it!

Tell me your perfume frenzy stories, triumphs or tragic misses!

Bye for now,
Narth xx

Vetiver Cœur by April Aromatics




Happy New Year dear APJ! How did you celebrate the new year? Do any of you write new year resolutions?

We survived the holidays – barely. It was a host of things that just made it terribly stressful for us all. New Year’s Eve was a complete dud as I wrongly assumed that they would be doing loads of fireworks in our village. Not quite sure if it is just not tradition here to do as many fireworks as they do on the national holiday or if it was the thick fog that set in here in the hills. Anyway – we started celebrating on the 1st to make up for the previous night.

Happy New Year and Vetiver Cœur by April Aromatics

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Eau Mer by Pekji




Hello friends, Narth here diving into a fragrance type I’ve not been a fan of in the past. Today I write humbled by this beautiful creation.

Pekji Eau Mer 2015

Ömer Ipekçi

Ambergris, Anise, Bergamot, Haiti Vetiver, Herbs, Jasmine, Lavender, Lime, Mastic, Musk

I’ll just come out and say it. I’ve never been completely sure what an Aquatic is. I’ve assumed it was code for “I’ll wear this on a super hot day because it is briefly refreshing and won’t stick around long enough to annoy me”. I’m sure I’m not alone in losing interest when a scent is labelled Aquatic. What I would like the word Aquatic to mean and what mainstream scents have produced under this label are quite different.

Kramer spoke for us all when he had that brainfart that the perfect scent ever would smell like the BEACH but nothing really smells like that. For one thing beaches smell different everywhere. I love the ones with a lot of ocean rot and seaweed, the salty, kelpy goodness. I love the smell of my skin after the ocean salt dries on it. The saltiest fragrance I ever found was Jo Malone Blue Agave and Cacoa but this is not a review about holy grail salty fragrances, it’s a review about an Aquatic

Pekji Eaumer is not about the beach. It is Nautical! No drinks with umbrellas in sight, you’re on the OCEAN. It’s bracing, it’s invigorating, it’s salty and it’s fine. It all works together beautifully. With a nice dose of lime to stave off scurvy in the middle notes it dries down to a peppery vetiver and bergamot with a warm ambergris funk. I love it.

The lime keeps Pekji Eaumer fresh when there’s so much under the surface that hints of murky depths. It has great sillage and staying power and unlike many aquatics the best part is not over in the first 10 minutes. It retains it’s character for hours. This is not one of those crisp scents you have to keep huffing for the top notes, they are always with you. As with the other Pekjis I’ve tried the ingredients are a beautiful quality. What an interesting treat Pekji Eaumer is!

Tell me about Aquatics! What ones work for you, which ones do you love?

Bye for now, Narth xx

CQ’S New Year, New Direction. Copper by Comme de Garçons. 2019.


Val the Cookie Queen


Hey there APJ!

Welcome to 2020.  New year, new direction.  I am not doing written perfume reviews any more.  Well, that is not quite true.  Once in a while IF I find something that I think amazing, then I will.   What I am gonna do is pick perfumes and the review will be contained in  the two or three photos.  Add a line or two, job done.


CQ’S New Year, New Direction.          Copper by Comme de Garçons.  2019.

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