Tarragon and Bitter Orange Finishing Salts by Aftelier Perfumes

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Portia

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Hey APJ Peeps,

It’s no secret how much I love baths. I find a 15-20 minute soak in the tub more relaxing that almost anything else you can mention. It’s a short sharp shot of bliss that can be done whenever a window appears. Quite often I will do all my chores at the end of a night because the days are hectic. It may be 2 or 3am after a busy day, working at night, getting the blog stuff done and then doing a few loads of washing or cleaning the kitchen. A great way for me to go from supersonic to sleepy tired is to have a bath with a warm drink, dry, moisturise, scent and bed. My head hits the pillow and lights out till the alarm goes off in the morning for the dogs feeding and walking.

Why have I rambled on yet again about baths? Well, Mandy Aftel has made some incredibly luxurious eating salts that I naughtily used a capful of in my bath and O M G it was a transcendent experience. Talk about sending me into the stratosphere; amazing! You need hardly any to scent the whole bathroom very softly and it is calming and head clearing. Do it as you get in the bath. Beautiful. SHHHH! Don’t tell Mandy I did it though.

Tarragon and Bitter Orange Finishing Salts by Aftelier Perfumes

So, how are we supposed to use Tarragon and Bitter Orange Finishing Salts? Follow this recipe and your family will think you are the best cook in the history of all cooks. I use one fillet each but your crew may like more.

4 large Snapper Fillets
1 x lemon cut into very thin slices
2 TBsp butter
2 x parsley fronds chopped finely
1 x crushed large garlic clove
Pinch white pepper
Tarragon and Bitter Orange Finishing Salts

Baking Tray
Aluminium Foil

Pre heat oven to 180C
Mix butter, parsley, garlic and pepper together to make a paste
Tear 2 sheets of foil big enough to wrap 2 fillets each
Spread 1/4 of butter mix all over each fillet
Place fillets on shiny foil side
Put lemon slices top of fillets and close up the foil.
Pop onto bake tray and into the oven for 15-20 minutes (you know if your oven is a little slow or fast)

Make whatever salad or vegetable sides you like while fish is cooking

When the fillets come out of the oven they will be meltingly soft so be careful as you transfer to the plate
Add a sprinkling of Tarragon and Bitter Orange Finishing Salts
Add your sides

Serve and watch your family go crazy with excitement

I didn’t know this was going to be a post so no pictures were taken. SORRY!

Obviously your mileage may vary but this was a complete winner around here. Hopefully your crew loves it too.

From Aftelier only $15Our sel gris is stone-ground by hand until it reaches a fine consistency; it melts into other flavors seamlessly, imparting a briny mineral richness. Sel gris French gray sea salt is hand-harvested from the clay-lined salt ponds in the Guérande region of France, giving it a soft grey color and mineral-rich moisture. These salts are not to be used during the cooking process, but rather to add a pop of flavor to everything from meat to salads to vegetables just before serving. These salts will lift the other flavors of a dish, making it special and delicious.

What a freaking great Christmas Gift for the friends and family that cook, and so affordable.
Portia xx

 

 

 

Sepia by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Perfumes 2012

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Portia

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Hey Hey Indie Lovers,

You probably already know the name Mandy Aftel. She writes books, creates perfumes, teaches natural perfumery, has a museum of perfume and is a general, all round great gal. The thing is, after the initial fanfare of a fragrance launch things go a bit quiet on the blog front for Indie perfumers. They don’t have enormous budgets and marketing teams, mostly they do it themselves with a couple of key helpers. Since I am wearing Sepia today I thought it might be a good time to remind you all about its beauty.

Sepia by Aftelier Perfumes 2012

Sepia by Mandy Aftel

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Blood cedarwood, Yellow mandarin, Pink grapefruit
Heart: Pink lotus, Strawberry, Jasminum grandiflorum, Cocoa, Coffee
Base: Tobacco blossom, Oud, Indole, Ambergris, Cepes (mushroom), Labdanum

Today’s review is from a bottle I paid retail for after falling madly in love with a sample Mandy sent me.

Sepia is a bit of a blockbuster on my skin. It is a warm and dusty, floral and powdery, woody, smoky, dry and sere fragrance. So much light and shade. It smells to me like rural Australia. I can close my eyes and smell the unbroken expanses of sun beaten, dessicated red-earth desert where the properties are 1000’s of square kilometers with sheep, wheat and cattle. Stark sun and shade, the dappling of eucalyptus beside a dam or creek.

Sepia by Aftelier Perfumes outback cattle farm PixabayPDI

Many of the smaller towns have been deserted in the last 50 years and stand silent, crumbling, with only their stone chimneys left like a mouth full of broken teeth. Our croplands have been bought by the big farming companies, overseas investors and the mining groups. Mum and Dad farms are becoming the rarity. Sepia is our Australian outback. A dream of how the perfect Australian outback was.

It is also lovely, wearable and surprisingly strong for a scent sold as a watercolour wash. After 3 hours it starts to smelling like attics and bookstores Sepia then warms and dirties towards dry down and remains as a skin scent remnant for hours.

Sepia by Aftelier Perfumes outback hills PixabayPDI

From Aftelier Perfumes website;
Dry woods: Sepia is a tint, a watercolor wash, an atmosphere, a memory

Further reading PerfumeShrine and TheAlembicatedGenie
Aftelier Perfumes has samples from $7

Are you a Mandy fan like me?
Portia xx

Scent Diary: 2.10 – 8.10.2017

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Portia

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Hey Hey APJ Crew,

I don’t know why but this week has felt freaking hectic. There aren’t even that many things involved but I always seemed to be playing catch up. Hopefully things settle down a little this week (HA! As If)

Scent Diary: 2.10 – 8.10.2017

Monday 2:

Jin just left for work. 3.15am. I’m still up fart arse-ing around at the computer. Going to bed.

PUBLIC HOLIDAY TODAY!! Sydney is closed. Everyone is having BarBQs and doing warm weather stuff.

Spritzed Amouage Dia Extrait to walk the dogs in the morning and was happily engulfed in fragrance till I bathed late at night.

I had organised about 4 things to do. Friends, friends families, lunch, dinner, swimming. It all came to nought when I realised that Jin had taken the car AND my motorbike key. With public transport on Sunday/Public Holiday times I wasn’t going out at all.

Jin and I went for dinner when he got home from work. This picture seemed to capture spring dusk in the city perfectly for me.

Wrote my Trivia Q&A in record time

Tuesday 3:

Scott and I made up a Sale Doc for the Aussie FB page. Once it went live there was a feeding frenzy.

We also got the office work done for this week. Very productive day.

While we were going through the things to cull we rediscovered a bottle of Chloe Narcisse. It was going into the sale pile till we spritzed it. NOPE! Keeping it. So then I wore it to work but I forgot how big it is and overspritzed. Let’s just say I was in the middle of a fragrant cloud and felt like my scent was dry cleaning everyones clothes. HUGE!!!

Wednesday 4:

Today jumped out of bed bright and early, walked and fed the dogs.

Spring is here so I grabbed my Penhaligon’s Ostara and spritzed with abandon. The perfect spring scent.

Then Jin drove me to the station where I jumped a train for the city. Destination Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens with my childhood buddy Eve and her beautiful daughter Lola.

We caught the Choo Choo Express around the gardens, had a delicious picnic on the grass and we wandered over to the new pavilion The Calyx where they have a Pollination exhibition on currently. Then we sat outside in the shade and had a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. It was a beautiful day, perfect.

Wednesday night I jumped on my motorbike and went to see a frag buddy. bought 10ml of Creed Vanisia off him.

Thursday 5:

Lazy morning.

Lunch was two buns. One had ham & salad, the other chicken mayonnaise salad. They were bloody delicious.

Wore my new Creed Vanisia day and night to work. I love it so much and it was also a big compliment getter.

Below is my friend Warren who comes and plays trivia irregularly. He and I went to the same school.

Friday 6:

The day was spent packing and posting my frag sales.

Also Jin is looking to refinance his mortgage. We ran from pillar to post through Parramatta meeting with banks and mortgage brokers. We think we know which way he’s going but they really make it hard. The bank we are currently with and turned up for a booking we had had organised a week ago flat out said we’d have to wait till he’d done something else, could we come back in an hour or two. Jin immediately struck them off the list. This guy was so arrogant about the whole thing too, unbelievable.

As you can see below Paris was looking at me with pleading eyes for a cuddle, so of course he got loads of smooching.

Bubble bath today in LUSH Rose Jam and then wore Aftelier Parfum de Maroc out for dinner with Alice, Kath and Jin to the Original Balkan Restaurant on Crown St. We ate so much I couldn’t even fit ice-cream in but the other guys indulged. Here they are suffering a sugar high.

Saturday 7:

Today was rush, rush, rush.

Jin needed to get something at the shops, a few shops. I thought we’d be out for 40 minutes but then we kept adding stuff. I also managed to end up buying all my absolute essential needs and a couple of extras at the 70% off GAP sale.

Came home, quickly bathed and then TinaG came over for a cuppa and a chat, sniff and laughs. It was great to see her but my mind was half on tonights gig and I couldn’t really concentrate.

My fragrance for tonight was the original Agent Provocateur EdP. Bloody lovely roses and stuff.

BIG gig tonight. Fundraiser with 240 people. It was a huge event, so much fun and a great crowd. Here are some of the group at half time. I think we raised LOADS of money.

For bed I spritzed some Annick Goutal Grand Amour. Floating away on creamy clouds of floral vanilla. MMMMMMM

 Sunday 8:

I stayed up late and rewatched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. What a fun movie. Colin Farrell is so good as the evil guy and Eddie Redmayne plays the doesn’t-quite-fit-in geek to perfection. Really enjoyed it the second time around.

It’s cloudy, dry, warm and lovely today. Perfect weather for everything. Wandering the dogs this morning it was nice to see so many other people with the same idea. We bumped into loads of happy Sunday strollers with their dogs and some with kids. Everyone chatty and smiling.

My morning scent was the one and only vintage Miss Dior parfum. Fits every situation perfectly.

Pedi day with Rose. So nice to catch up with her and spend some quality time.

After pedis Phil joined us for lunch but we were so busy chatting and laughing that I forgot to take a happy snap.

 

What happened in your week? Please share a story, encounter, fragrance or fun time you had.

Portia xx

 

Scent Diary: 21.8 – 27.8.2017

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Portia

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Hey Ho APJ,

The kids are gone home and while I did not cope with having them here I do miss having them around. As always the week is full of friends and fragrance. It has felt pretty low key really but as always a million and one things to do.

Scent Diary: 21.8 – 27.8.2017

Monday 21:

Cooked home made hamburgers for all of us as brunch. Jin and the kids slept in till 10am so I got a few precious hours of peace.

We took Sindy to the doctor and the good news is that she is good to travel, ears healed perfectly.

Wearing some Agent Provocateur EdP. Those dirty roses make me smile.

Then we took the kids to Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Parramatta where they were DISGUSTED at how we serve and eat pies. Potato yes but mushy peas and gravy, BLEAUGH! I’m with them. Give me pie, potato and sauce please.

Went for farewell Korean BarBQ with the kids, Jin, Kath, Alice and Rose. Perfect farewell except after we ate I was being a dickhead and skipping with Daniel when my foot landed on some broken pavement and went over badly. GAK! It’s all wrapped in bandage and Dencorub (heat balm) right now.

Tuesday 22:

2.30am and all the trivia Q&A is done and sent. I didn’t think I was going to get it done before falling asleep. This is a big win for tonight.

Spritzing old export bottle of Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois. So much more ginger than the modern one, and a little darker.

Today I basically slept and recuperated before work.

Wore more Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois to work but no one noticed.

Wednesday 23:

My foot hurts. Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain today. It’s sunshiny but cool weather and I think 34 BSG a perfect counterpoint.

Wore more of it to have dinner with Wendy and play some Turbo Trivia with April Fools up at Greystanes Hotel.

Thursday 24:

My foot still hurts but I was able to walk the dogs 4 blocks up and back down the street. It was slow but it felt a lot easier than yesterday. The dogs couldn’t believe how much time they got to sniff everything and were extremely grateful, looking to see if I was OK with them smelling a lamp post for 20 seconds. Though the walk was less km long they both came home completely bushed and went straight to sleep.

Funeral today for the Dad of one of my school years girlfriends. We were partnered for two or three of the middle teen years and I was constantly at their house. It was a Mecca for a small crew of us and I think we will all be there today. So glad to see them but sad for the occasion. I thought Jacomo Silences would be the perfect funeral scent.
Beautiful church service, the readings were particularly well done. Sat in the pew with the crew and got to see most of the family and friends. It was as good as a funeral gets.

Evan came over to sniff fragrances after that. My initial idea was to take him though the DIOR back catalogue. We did those and moved onto other stuff. It was totally fun. He’s good company.

Work was BUSY! So rowdy. We had a ball. Now I’m shattered.

Double spritz of Guerlain Mitsouko EdT and bed. night.

Friday 25:

It was supposed to be a day of lunching and sniffing with Tim, Kerri and Michael then off to see the Archibald with Mark but I wasn’t sure my ankle would make it through the day and I don’t want to hurt it again with only a week and a bit till India. So I stayed home and blogged the whole day away. Got 5 posts done! AMAZING!

Jin came home and we went out for Syrian dinner. Kebabs, hummus, garlic sauce, chips and tabouli. It was really yummy and Jin paid, which is always nice. I took him for Messina Ice Cream to say thanks. Poor bastard was up at 3.15am this morning so he hit the hay at 8.30pm.

Walking the dogs was a step;car pleasure tonight. We had to go slowly because of my foot but it mean we could really drink in the scents of night blooming jasmine. The area is swarming with vines over front and side fences and every time I walked past a gust of indolic jasmine would roll over us. Heavenly.

Doused in a sample of Fig Tree by Sonoma Scent Studio tonight. EXCELLENT Fig.

Yin And Ylang Sonoma Scent Studio Fragrantica

Saturday 26:

My ankle is starting to feel better. The swelling has decreased quite a bit and I’m walking without strapping. I think another few days and I’ll be happily back in heels and running around like a mad woman again. PHEW!

It’s BFF Kath & my BIL Mark’s birthday so we are going around to Mum & Dads for afternoon tea. I grabbed a Wild Berry Baked Cheesecake to take around and it was a hit. We all had great fun but I forgot to take a photo, SORRY! Loads of laughs and fun.

Wore Eau d’Italie Morn to Dusk and it’s crunchy vanilla caramel was a perfect mixer.

Our long time buddy Glen is going home to Canada to help care for his Mum who is in early stages of Alzheimers. We will miss him terribly. Tonight we all went for a farewell dinner because we can’t make it to his grand farewell party. It was a lovely, bittersweet evening. Kath, Jin and I went along with Glen to the Balkan and the food was fantastic, as always.

Sunday 27:

Woke up and spritzed Atelier Cologne Tobacco Nuit. Perfect lazy Sunday fragrance, even though my day will not be lazy.

Brunch with some of the girls I grew up with. Bec was my girlfriend for a couple of years, Catriona and her younger sibling were constant mates and we’d all wag school together, Eve you see here regularly. It was Din Tai Fung and catch ups. Conversations across a plethora of topics and a bunch of laughs. How lucky I am. Life would be so much less rich without all these beautiful friends. Really diverse lives lived across the globe so thoughtfully and interestingly yet we come back together and chatter like magpies. It’s as if no time has passed.

Work tonight. Hopefully my leg will be well enough next Tuesday to get back in my high heels, I miss dressing up.

Tonight I wore Aftelier Parfum de Maroc. Spicy swirls around saffron and rose over quite an animalic base. It smells like the dreams of souks.

 

What about you? How was your week? Do anything interesting, fun or fragrant? Tell us in the comments. We love to read your stuff too.

Portia x

Rose + Don`t Get Me Wrong Baby by ELdO

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Portia

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Sorry APJ,

I was supposed to come home and finish a post but my mate Rose came to trivia tonight. Afterwards we came home and were eating the delicious biscuits made by my mate Nikki at the Post Office and left in my PO Box. We also had some Aftelier Rose & Ginger Oolong Tea. If you haven’t tried Mandy’s teas then you NEED TO, immediately.

Anyway we basically chattered away three hours and I was an excellent catch up.

We also sniffed some fragrance. Rose fell in love with Don`t Get Me Wrong Baby by ELdO. I have the new and old bottles so I gifted her the original.

Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby by Etat Libre d’Orange

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Orange blossom, lily-of-the-valley, patchouli, jasmine, aldehydes, amber, cacao pod, marshmallow, musk

It smelled wonderful on her, what else could I do?

Then we wandered up to the station and now she’s gone.

So I really don’t have a post for you and I’m sorry for that. Sometimes you have to live a little and let everything else go hang.
Portia xx