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. 

Atelier des Ors: Riviera Series 2019




Hey there APJ Crew,

Megan from our Mood Scent 4 crew is working with Atelier des Ors. She has kindly sent me samples of the new Atelier des Ors Riviera Series to try and get a feel for. They are based on the classic cologne style but given a full rework with the best ingredients and fabulous longevity. Rather than showstoppingly huge they are more moderate projectors, you will be fragrant but not obnoxious. Perfect warm weather or reminders of warm weather. I can imagine them being a perfect winter pick me up. Also, those bottles are swoon worthy all by themselves.

Atelier des Ors: Riviera Series 2019

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Chœur des Anges by Atelier des Ors: Autumn Gold




Hey hey APJ!

Autumn, my favorite season of the year, has arrived in all of its glory. The days are getting noticeably shorter and yet the sun can be so warming on my face. As the leaves start to morph into their various shades of yellow, orange and crimson, the low lying sun kisses them with a warmth of gold making the sunny days an endless joy to be outside.

Atelier des Ors: Chœur des Anges by Marie Salamagne

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Musc Immortel by Atelier des Ors: Midsummer Nights




Hey there APJ! How are you doing?

Summer vacation has finally arrived in The Netherlands and this year we are blessed. The weather is so warm and sunny that we are in fact in a mini drought. Every day we are greeted in the mornings with the birds’ love songs and then we are rewarded with the musical chorus of crickets chirping in the evenings. This has been a truly stunning summer so far.

Atelier des Ors: Musc Immortel

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Het Crew,

You all are amazing. Thank you all so much for getting involved and being a part of the APJ family.

HUGE thanks also go to Megan In St Maxime who works for Atelier des Ors and gave me the set to give.
Portia xxx



Kate Apted

You have till Monday May 1st 2017 to get in touch [portia (underscore) turbo (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au] with your address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit

Atelier des Ors Sample Set




Hi there APJ,

On Friday a fortnight ago I wrote about the newest Atelier des Ors, Iris Fauve. The house is wonderful and Megan who is their PR woman gave me a full set of samples for one lucky APJ reader. So here’s a quick run down of each scent in the collection, then move on down to the GIVEAWAY section and have a go.

Good luck,
Portia xxx

Atelier des Ors Collection


Aube Rubis by Atelier des Ors 2015

Top: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Black currant
Heart: Sage, Violet, Iris
Base: Patchouli, Haitian vetiver, Praliné


Cuir Sacré by Atelier des Ors 2015

Top: Juniper berry, Cardamom, Cypress
Heart: Frankincense, Saffron, Cedar leaf
Base: Vetiver, Cypriol, Leather

Opens with sharp woodsy incense, like a cold incense stick. Interesting hints of an Indian meal too and slightly soapy. Gosh, they never do anything by the book at Atelier des Ors. The range is happily skew wiff, a sideways slant on each major note. Interesting how they do that without making weird stuff, all extremely wearable. When the leather arrives it is softly and bound by a salted vetiver, like a posh handbag in an Indian restaurant at a temple by the sea. Lastly it sits at plush suede.

Larmes du Désert by Atelier des Ors 2015

Top: Elemi resin, Frankincense, Cypress
Heart: Patchouli, Gaiac wood, Cedarwood
Base: Citric notes, Benzoin, Wolfwood

The resins open sweet and churchy. Woods back this up and keep the whole fragrance grounded. I love this and think Tears of the Desert a perfect name, like the resinous sap tears of those dry, twisted shrubs that produce such exquisite fragrance.

Lune Feline by Atelier des Ors 2015

Top: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Pink pepper
Heart: Cypriol, Cedarwood, Styrax, Cachalox, Wolfwood
Base: Tahitian vanilla absolute, Peru balsam, Musk

Cardamom, vanilla and a softly sizzling pink pepper open. It’s a luxurious beauty and smells like it cost money to create. A smooth milky opaqueness with little hints of booze and greenery. A light fizziness gives me memories of ice-cream spiders when I was a kid.

Rose Omeyyade by Atelier des Ors 2015

Top: Pink pepper, Rosebud, Raspberry
Heart: Patchouli, Gaiac wood, Brown sugar
Base: Sandalwood, Oud, Amber

A very interesting gourmand, fruity rose backed by a deep and mysterious oriental oud base. Clever and beautiful. The patchouli is that interesting clean plastic variety and it usually makes me squirm but here it is so perfectly and precariously balanced that I just want to sniff more and more and more. Excellent.

Go see the Atelier des Ors, Iris Fauve post if you want too.


Atelier des Ors Sample Set GIVEAWAY

CLOSED Thursday April 27 8am AEST

Scent Diary 17.4 – 23.4.17




Hey there Frag Crew,

This week I was hoping for a quiet, relaxing, get shit done and maybe even get ahead of the game but then …… life. So instead of calm & collected it ended up being crowded and cluttered. HA! Loads of fun though, filled with food, friends, a rally and I got some really yummy scents on my skin too.

Scent Diary 17.4 – 23.4.17

Monday 17:

Easter Monday morning and the weather is beautiful. Sunshine is out and we took the dogs for their morning walk. I thought 1889 Moulin Rouge by Histoires de Parfums would be a good choice. It was very nice wandering the quiet North Parramatta streets at 9am.  That sweet iris/rose lipstick pluminess was most noticeable this morning, really front & centre. On previous wears it has smelled less intense. I quite like the sweet musky dry down too. Pretty. Bought it from Sonya in one of her sales, thanks girl.

Jin’s been on the couch snoozing and watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls and I find myself strangely drawn to it in a way I never was when it was current. Fortunately he went back to work tonight. Structure will help him back on track.

My evening has been spent swathed in the magic that is Atelier des Ors Aube Rubis. OMG! Where has this sensational beauty been my whole life. Freaking gorgeous.

Monday is Trivia Q&A and Blog day/night.

Tuesday 18:

It’s around 1am. I’m halfway through my Trivia Q&A but I’ve been listening to music, hanging on FaceBook and generally dithering. I’m thinking of spritzing fragrance and my mind instantly went to Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur EdP. Fiendishly good, fruity roses, spice, greenery, incense and oud. Now I’m ready for questions. I’m a bit surprised at how much air is already in my latest bottle, I love it so much and usually overspritz like crazy, serves me right.

YAY! It’s 4am and my Trivia Q&A are done, dusted and sent to the crew. PHEW! More Mohur and a late night snack before bed.

This was the perfect autumn morning for walking the dogs. Sunny and warm, hardly anyone around at 9am. The dogs loved it and I found camellias in bloom. I wanted something barely there this morning so went with Parfumerie Generale 4.1 La Musc & La Peau. It’s pretty and fresh, softly soothing and perfect for sunshine.

For work tonight I’m wearing Burberry Brit Woman EdT & Extrait because I feel the need for sweet. I don’t know why I’m putting it back in its box. Seems to be my current craving.

Wednesday 19:

Another glorious Sydney Autumn day.  I’m wearing a couple of dabs of vintage Guerlain Shalimar extrait.

Jin has finally finished his retraining to be an electrician on the NSW Country Trains. It’s a promotion to full team member and a pay rise. He is trying to brush it off as inconsequential but this is a really big deal. It was supposed to take 6 months but due to unforeseen work circumstances the whole crew has been held back. One really good thing is that Jin will be getting the pay rise backdated from the start of the year. That means that quite a bit of the extra money spent to go back to Slovakia and all the things he paid for and facilitated while helping the family deal with our sister in laws suicide will be covered by that lucky windfall. He left the house today in a cloud of vintage CHANEL Antaeus, I think he’s going to be OK.

For work this evening I chose Amouage Opus X. The arctic rose and screechy hairspray fragrance full of woods, ylang and resins. Perfection.

Thursday 20:

Thursday morning and I’m up early in the cool of the half light. I’ve been trolling the net and found some wonderful bargains but held myself firm and only put my name down for a split of Amouage Bracken Woman. I got the dogs inside and they are both curled up on their beds in the living room while I tap away at the keyboard in my office. There’s a coffee in hand and the lingering taste of breakfast cereal in my mouth, wondering if I should also do toast but then think I’ll have that as a morning tea after my 9am dog walk.

The weather is cooling considerably and I’m wearing a decant sent to me by my mate, the gorgeous Robert Herrmann who is a moderator at FaceBook Fragrance Friends and now writes reviews at CFB, when he did a giveaway here on APJ no-one collected the prize so he sent it to me. It’s Tom Ford Vert Boheme, greenest of the green and curiously fitting for an autumn morning. As you can see there is quite a bit of air in the bottle. I like it a lot.

Had a scream tonight as the madcap hostess for a Guerrilla Anti-Fashion Parade as a protest against Levi Strauss using dock workers in Madagascar that are being paid $40/month. Levi’s has 7 factories on Madagascar. The company ICTSI that runs the docks gets $200/container moved, the Dock workers get 2 cents. Their safety gear costs 3 months pay so they never buy it and many of them have to live & sleep under a nearby bridge between shifts.

Levi Strauss is actually a great company with an excellent ecological and workplace agreement history. In 2016 they were ranked #1 in the world for their supply chain code of conduct. Unfortunately the dock workers don’t come under that umbrella and are being treated abominably. The few workers, 43 in all, who have been trying to get better conditions were all fired. It’s a shemozzle and we think that with a multinational like Levi Strauss on board they could help to push ICTSI and governments in the right direction.

Feel free to pop into your local Levis store and tell them how disappointed you are in their ethical double standards in Madagascar.

What fragrance was I swathed in for the evening? Reem Acra EdP. Big, radiant white floral with all the bells and whistles. Done with a very clear nod to vintage but in a super modern way. You can get it for a steal on the discounters now.

Friday 21:

Big day off today. Up, breakfast , fed & walked dogs, got ready, spritzed DIOR Mitzah, out the door by 8.30am to meet my mate Evie for a morning stroll through the Art Gallery of NSW and a guided tour of some of their permanent collection, then to the dentist, had a wander around the department stores (bought the Mon Guerlain Shower Gel and learned how to get my Diptyque Rose de Mai squirter to work, tried 32 Venenum by L`Artisan Perfumer) then hanging with Alice and having Peking Duck!! We are not quite sure what Alice had in mind with the chips but it looks like she is trying to make a chip moustache. We ate the WHOLE DUCK between us.

Amazing day but now I’m pooped. Walked nearly 14,000 steps today. That’s a lot for lazy old me.

Saturday 22:

SATURDAY! I promised myself to Jin this morning. He has been working nights since Monday and it’s his first day off. Today we are going to be able to celebrate his promotion. So I grabbed the makings of French Toast. It’s one of his all time favourite breakfasts and it’s so easy to make. Today I’m adding some off the bone ham, a big dollop of fresh made guacamole and a mushroom, onion, ham stir fry.

I’m just about to take the dogs for a walk. The day is cool and lovely, I’m multiple spritzing Lolita Lempicka EdP down my shirt before I go. On the walk I came across these amazing flowers on a large shrub fully in bloom, heavenly.

Jin’s best friend Matt called and is taking him out to the Rugby League this afternoon so I get to blog and nap. YAY!!! Aren’t they cute in their Parramatta supporters outfits? Such boys.

Then tonight I’m taking him out for Korean BarBQ. A real date night, first one since I went on the cruise in February. Poor Jin was so tired, he fell sound asleep in the car on the way home, snoring and all.

Sunday 23:

WOW! How is it Sunday already? This week has sped by.

This morning we organised to catch up with mates. Sydney really turned on the most spectacular autumn morning for us and I made Jin take a photo out the car window.

I wore my vintage Jean Patou 1000 EdT. Perfect accompaniment to a morning a fun.

We had Pedis & Yum Cha. Kath & I had our feet attended to, then Jin and Phil joined us for lunch in the food court.

Fell asleep and missed my make up cues. Went to work at Austral Bowling Club as a guy wearing Guerlain Moscow. It also has a bit of a Mon Guerlain vibe.

Hung out there with Anna-Maria and her husband Johnny. Anna-Maria was Jin and my 2016 travelling companion through Europe, you might remember that we all met up with Tara of A Bottled Rose?

So how was your week?
Try any new fragrance? Rediscovering old one?
Do something or go anywhere exciting? Watch any good TV or read a book?
Come on, share. I love to know what you all have been up to too.
Portia xxx


Iris Fauve by Marie Salamagne for Atelier des Ors 2017




Hey there Niche Nerds,

Atelier des Ors is one of Ainslie Walkers fave modern houses. While she was writing regularly for APJ I knew she would grab the newbies and give us a post about them. It meant there was a house I could totally ignore. So it was really fun at Esxence to meet New Zealand born blogger Megan from St Maxime, who also does PR for the company, so she could personally take me through the range. While I was there with Pia and Nick and I got Fume Royalty’s blow by blow account of why the scents are so good as well as the PR spin.

Iris Fauve by Atelier des Ors 2017

Iris Fauve by Marie Salamagne


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, cinnamon, iris
Heart: Patchouli, Haitian vetiver, cypriol oil or nagarmotha
Base: Myrrh, musk, labdanum, liatris

Iris! the opening of Iris Fauve is that cool, crisp, cardboard and autumn air cleanness that I associate with the best and most beautiful iris-centric scents. Slight citrus and patchouli background noise and a lightly salted grassy green vetiver but iris above all.

My mind is throwing me pictures of the layers of puff pastry, as if as I go down into the heart of the fragrance there are tiny, wafer thin layers of iris root with warm scented air rushing over them that create this comfortable, cosy iris scent. Light enough to capture the Asian market yet full enough to satisfy me Iris Fauve seems to have depth and breathtaking lift.

After the first 15 minutes Iris fauve seems to melt into my skin and become one with my fleshy humanity, a welcome whisper of beauty lying just above the skin. Here it seems to have a leatheriness too, hints of Cuir d’Ange and Cuir de Lancome, those softly and elegantly produced well loved gloves.

People that I respect are saying that this is an iris masterpiece, while I won’t go that far I think if you have previously found yourself iris-averse then maybe this treatment could change your mind. I get zero of the bread/carrot/earth on my skin that iris so often throws.


Further reading: Colognoisseur and Non Blonde
Peony Melbourne carries the range
Surrender To Chance has samples from $4.25/0.5ml

Do you know the Atelier des Ors fragrance house? What are your favourite Iris perfumes?
Portia xx