Neroli Outrenoir by Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk for Guerlain 2016




Hi there APJ,

I tried Neroli Outrenoir when it was first released while Jin and I were in the Champs Elysees flagship store. I was totally overwhelmed by the venue and underwhelmed by the scent and really haven’t given it another thought. Recently though I bought a 10ml decant in a split. To be honest I don’t remember putting my name down for it. You know that late night cyber crawl after a couple of cuppas and Continue reading

Boxwalla October Beauty Box


Val the Cookie Queen


November Greetings APJ

From L.A. The Boxwalla October Beauty Box
From L.A. to New York, from New York to L.A.

I chatted a lot with the charming Lavanya as she was in the process of setting up Talking about it is one thing, and doing it quite another. Two years on Boxwalla continue to offer four different subscription boxes; the Beauty Box, Food Box, Film Box and Book Box. The boxes themselves are superb. Boxwalla have them made by a small company in India, who make the paper from cotton scraps. Tree-free handmade paper. I keep my decants in an empty box. They are very strong and tough.

Boxwalla October Beauty Box

The October Beauty Box is nothing short of divine. I am most impressed that products are either full sized at least a large travel size. I am not partial to tiny samples that you need to rip open with your teeth, squeezing out the three drops from within. Boxwalla´s Beauty Boxes treat you to amazing green beauty products. We have most certainly moved on from what my daughter and I refer to as “Müsli products” which we wouldn´t touch with a bargepole.

The October Beauty Box showcases products. The Rapha Harmonizing Cleanser feels stimulating on the face. I wear a lot of makeup, which I chose to remove in my normal way. I followed it up by massaging the cleanser into my face, soothing my skin and removing with a hot flannel. Skin is noticeably softer each time I use it.

The Propolis Regenerative Mask felt wonderful, I don´t know if anything has regenerated yet as I have only used it once! The Kinu, a decadent body balm is so good, leaving my skin hydrated and amazingly soft for hours. It smells divine, laced with essential oils of grapefruit, cedar wood, bergamot, rosemary, and vanilla.

Shipping within the US is free, and Boxwalla ship their boxes abroad too, with the exception of the food box. Fifty bucks every two months? Worth every cent and more.

Next time: We go to New York: Aroma M Geisha Marron Eau de Parfum

From sea to shining sea.
Roasted marron bussis

(ED: All Photos supplied by Val. XX)

Apollo Hyacinth by Alberto Morillas for Eric Buterbaugh Florals 2015




Hey fumes,

I wrote about Apollo Hyacinth back in 2015. It has remained in my head and on my To Buy List since, so recently I bought another 3ml decant to see if I’ll go through it. My major concern, and why I haven’t gone FB on this green beauty is the bottle. I really love how it looks and think it’s perfectly gorgeous but if I had to decant it out to wear I think it would just not ever get used. Yes, I know how petty that sounds but let’s be honest here. If I have 17 green fragrances to choose from and 3 of them need to be decanted out to be worn then you can be bloody certain that those three will end up being totally ignored while I spritz some CHANEL No 19, Giverny In Bloom, Silences or Niki de Saint Phalle.

Apollo Hyacinth by Eric Buterbaugh Florals 2015

Apollo Hyacinth by Alberto Morillas

Apollo Hyacinth Eric Buterbaugh Florals FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, pear, galbanum
Heart: Hyacinth, lily of the valley, angelica
Base: Haitian vetiver, oakmoss, cedar

Candied pear, or pear with sugar on top, galbanum and greenery. Imagine a stinking hot day and you’re walking through the shaded bushland eating a pear and drinking pear fizzy soda. That’s how Apollo Hyacinth opens for me. Elegant, spacious and yet friendly. This is no austere No 19 or arctic Giverny in Bloom, no, this is welcoming green. Even the angelica has a sweetness to it and I’m not sure how it has happened but it’s so different that I am surprised every wear. About an hour or so in I smell the soft, drippy, green stalk of cutting flowers from bulbs as plain as day. Also the LotV makes an appearance around this time but not as a lead player.

Because I’m wearing Apollo Hyacinth today in 35C heat my own sweat has added an extraordinary saltiness that I have never noticed before that skews the whole fragrance a little towards the salty white floral. Very interesting.

Apollo Hyacinth Eric Buterbaugh Florals

Lasting power is excellent, though after 4 hours you have to be very close to notice.

I’m thinking I will buy the Discovery Kit at $315 with 8 x 10ml of the whole range except the new one. They are all spritzers and come with a Travel Case.

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Australian Perfume Junkies
Eric Buterbaugh Florals has EdP $295/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples from $5/.5ml

Would you be bothered decanting?
Portia xx

Boy EdP by Olivier Polge for CHANEL 2016


Post by Robert Herrmann


Hi Fragrant Friends!

Heres I am writing from my small island home in the great Pacific Northwest….

Funny thing about this new Chanel…when I first wore it I was decidedly ambivalent about it. So I wore it the next day, just to be sure. And then the next day and and and… I am completely obsessed with it, and find myself reaching for it at some point almost every day!!!

Boy EdP by CHANEL 2016

Boy EdP by Olivier Polge

Boy Chanel Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Lavender, rose, lemon, grapefruit, rose geranium, orange blossom, sandalwood, heliotrope, vanilla, musk.
The CHANEL website also adds fern to the list.

Boy EdP is classified as an Aromatic Fougere. Now admittedly, the fougere family of scent is not one of my favorites, I find the notes to be scarce and repetitive, and they often go bitter/sour on my skin. However this new Chanel for the Les Exclusifs range is working out just fine and dandy, actually WAAAY beyond my expectations!

Boy capel ChanelCHANEL

Named after one of Coco Chanel’s early lovers, Arthur “Boy” Capel, was a famous sportsman and self-made millionaire who was tragically killed in an auto accident on his way to a rendezvous with Ms. Chanel at Christmas in 1919. Their tempestuous affair lasted for twelve years.

Boy opens with a blast of sweet lavender and heliotrope, but the sweetness quickly dissipates as the herbal qualities of the fougere step forward surrounded by musk, and what I think of as the classic Chanel (Chanelade?) notes found throughout the perfume range.

Solidly unisex, with a feeling of a vintage Chanel, but given a contemporary twist from grapefruit and lemon giving this an almost cologne-like vibe.

Yes there might be better scents in the Les Exclusifs range in my opinion, but I would (and have already) gladly add “Boy” to my full bottle collection! Sorry….gotta’ go re-apply!

Boy Capel CHANEL Polo WikipediaWikipedia

Further reading: BLeauG and The Whale & The Rose
CHANEL has €320/200ml
Recently CHANEL stopped all sample/decant stores from selling their products so you must go in store to try boy

Do you have a favorite from the Chanel Les Exclusifs range??

Muguet Porcelain by Hermès GIVEAWAY WINNER


Post by Portia


Woo Hoo APJ!

Thanks for joining in.

Let’s see who our lucky winner is.
Portia xx

Muguet Porcelain by Hermès GIVEAWAY WINNER

Muguet Porcelain Hermes FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Lily of the valley, green notes


The winner will receive:
1 x 4ml Muguet Porcelain by Hermès
P&H Anywhere in the world


Entries Closed Saturday 28th May 2016 10pm Australian EST
Winner chosen by

winner-is HighestSelf


The winners will have till Wednesday 1st June 2016 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Une Voix Noire by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2012

Hey there APJ,

This is what I wrote about Une Voix Noire in a mini review. With more wear my views have changed, not hugely but a bit.

Une Voix Noire by Serge Lutens: Gardenia done with a berry intro and a dark breathy dry down. A boozy gardenia that sits quietly on my skin, extremely beautiful, sensual, exotic and alluring but a close set beauty that has good sillage but not too strong projection. Excellent movie or theatre choice.

Une Voix Noire by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2012

Une Voix Noire Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica


The stars rise in chorus. The night sky is filled with the light of the moon.

Une voix noire : jazz, drinks and the night, and, beyond all that, a troubling line of white, gardenia-scented smoke.

GOSH! This is an extremely polarising fragrance. Made in honour of Billie Holiday, the sultry voiced chanteuse whose life was grim, grim and tortured. She was abused, a drug addict who came from very little and ended up with tragedy. Yes, her voice was velvet and she sang so heartbreakingly because her life was what it was and so she could sell her pain and angst in song. How does Une Voix Noire bring this life and voice alive?

Hairspray, booze and white flowers to open, that fabulous old fashioned hairspray that they called Lacquer. It is still used by Drag Queens to hold our wigs firm for months. The white flower is not at all Gardenia to me but a mix & match of all the white flowers and there’s a plastic/make up feel like the swipe of an expensive lipstick over a heavily powdered greasepaint and pan-stick. These smells are a Drag Queens stock in trade, so beautifully woven together in Une Voix Noire. I can imagine this being a part of how Billie Holiday would smell after a performance, there is something very lived in about Une Voix Noire.

Une Voix Noire Serge Lutens Billie_Holiday 1946 WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The heart feels sweaty and floral, white flowers and some wet-ish lily of the valley or peony perhaps. I’m getting a herbal back beat but no idea what it or they are, it’s sweet green and a little spicy and I think some buttery ylang goodness floating through too. Sweet white flowers, not sugared but like marzipan is both sweet and not sweet, actually there is a mintiness and the whole heart has a very interesting smell that reminds me of those fake teeth you used to get, remember? They were so fun to pretend you had these glamorous buck teeth in ultra white.

Sadly I miss out on most of the smokiness and Une Voix Noire stays pretty linear after the heart merely warming through with some sweet resinous vanilla/amber but still over the top is this white flower, not living Gardenia but kind of a drug store fragrance simile to it, and hairspray.

Une Voix Noire Serge Lutens Sydney Queens WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

From my description it reads like I don’t care for Une Voix Noire, you couldn’t be more wrong. I freaking LOVE it. The lasting power is not so great for me though so I rarely reach for it to leave the house for work or play. Maybe I’ve used four or five of my 10ml decant that I bought in a split from AndreaW ages ago. When I do wear it I love it sick though.

Further reading: Now Smell This and
Une Voix Noire is available in the Exclusives line from Paris, Barney’s New York (I think) and online at Serge Lutens
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/.5ml

How do you feel about Une Voix Noire? Is it one of your Serge Lutens favourites?
Portia xx

Valentine's Day 2015

Hi there APJ Crew,

Don’t forget it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

Valentine’s Day 2015

If you are your only Valentine then treat yourself nice. Bathe and moisturise with your favourite, most luxurious lotions and potions, wear something that you love and take yourself and your book or interactive device down to a coffee shop and spend some quality time with you, a cuppa, some good reading (what a great time to get you blog reading up to date) and the knowledge that it’s only YOU that you need to please.

valentine PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

For the rest of us, good luck picking something your partner likes, a place they feel special in for dinner and a card that doesn’t sound too cheesy. Valentine’s Day is so business oriented now that there is no way anyone will come out happy. I’m not a Scrooge but I like my special gestures to be spontaneous, not contrived and boxed.

Korea 2014 Jeju Love Seat Jin:Portia

What will Jin & I do? I don’t know. Jin is working all day and I’m looking at houses. When we get home I’ll probably order us some take away and we will watch a movie, maybe we’ll go out but the night of Valentine’s is HELL. Maybe I’ll give him an IOU? He knows I love him, that I’m proud to be his partner and that I genuinely enjoy his company 99% of the time. He gets (and gives) little mini gifts and dinners every week, we still hold hands in the movies and sometimes on the street. We love to plan stuff, do stuff, even arguing with him is fun, we laugh a lot. That’s enough for me.

What are you guys up to for Valentine’s Day 2015? Whatever you do, I hope it’s with a joyful heart.

Portia xx