Sepal by Corey Newcombe for Criminal Elements 2015




Hey there Perfume Lovers,

Criminal Elements is an Independent Australian Niche House now run by Corey Newcombe, but originally a joint enterprise with Aelfric Spector who has changed continental addresses. The house is making wonderful Indie fragrances. They are not safe and comfortable but raw, interesting, filled with passion and adventure. If you have spent your life this far smelling department Store scents then these are going to blow your mind. They may take a little adjustment time but once you get them, fabulous. Continue reading

AROMANTIK: Natural Perfume Oil Sampler

Hey Hey APJ,

Here I have a sampler of an Australian Natural Perfumery AROMANTIK. It was sent to me by the company to try and if I liked the work then to talk about. Well, the jury is back and like? No way, I am loving AROMANTIK oils. They are earthy, deep, interesting and beautiful and I am incredibly impressed wit their smooth rounded fullness. After 5 minutes on your skin they could be from the very best niche house, here is an Australian small batch independent perfumer to be proud of.

AROMANTIK: Natural Perfume Oil Sampler

From the AROMANTIK site: AROMANTIK is a natural perfume studio started in 2010 by independent natural perfumer & designer Sally Woodward-Hawes. All of our products are hand-blended in small batches using only the finest natural essential oils, resins & absolutes sourced from all over the world. Sally is a professional perfumer with the Natural Perfumers Guild – the world’s largest trade association dedicated to natural fragrance.

There are 8 fragrances in the sampler and today I am testing two, one on each hand: The Blossom Thief and Love & Strife. You lucky ducks are getting a first hand run through of the thrill of wearing a fragrance for the first time. Come along, I hope you enjoy meandering through my fragrant thoughts.

AROMANTIK: The Blossom Thief

AROMANTIK gives these featured accords:
Jasmine Grandiflorum Absolute, Natural Gardenia Accord, Tuberose Absolute, Natural Musk Accord, Ambrette (musk) Seed, Amber

From the AROMANTIK site: NEW! An ethereal & sensual fragrance built around jasmine & musk, with hints of gardenia, tuberose & white creamy blossoms in full bloom. Auspiciously finished on 1/3/13 this lush & intoxicating fragrance exudes an undercurrent of carnal sensuality.

OK, so imagine it’s early summer. You walk into a florist, the air is cool compared to the outside and there is only the light from the front window. In the couple of moments that it takes for your eyes and head to adjust: this is the smell. The smell of the death of flowers, the last fragrant gasp they give screaming their murder to the world. Jasmine, green, sappy, breathy backed by a chorus of white flowers, interestingly there is no mention of lily because I get a lovely big whack of it. I also smell peony, but a bunch of them not a perfumers reminder. The Blossom Thief smells expensive, luxurious and elegant and though it opens quite like many natural fragrances, after 10 minutes you feel swept up in a beautiful high end niche fragrance that is more nuanced and interesting than more than half of the stuff released last year that I got to smell. WOW! I was completely unprepared for something so devastatingly beautiful.

AROMANTIK: Love & Strife

AROMANTIK gives these featured accords:
French pink grapefruit, Bulgarian rose absolute, night blooming jasmine sambac blossoms, certified organic Madagascan ylang ylang, amber, orris root, ambrette ‘musk’ seed

From the AROMANTIK site: Traditional rose, the flower of eternal love, VS. narcotic night blooming Jasmine, the flower of lust & desire… Inspires love & intimacy and if you’re lucky, a bit of strife!

Gosh! Straight out of the gate I get spicy clove and citrus, not definitely grapefruit but it does have a wonderful sweet/sour quality and then through it weaves a beautiful jasmine and ylang duet that is outrageously breathy and full of naughty and sexy mischief. I also get a whiff of sweet biscuit dough with grainy sugar. The rose on my skin is completely submerged in the other notes for nearly the first 20 minutes, everything else seems to need its moment before giving the rose centre stage. When the rose moves in she is a sweet, musky, vegetative creature that sweeps and glides around the white flowers, in and out of hiding, shy and yet commanding. Interestingly for a natural perfume oil nearly 11 hours on I am still fragrant with a very pretty wash of something indefinable that even in the cool stink of waking up manages to smell quite alluring, I thought it must have been Jin, but no it was the hand I was sleeping on. Excellent.

AROMANTIK has both these lovely natural perfume oils $50/5ml roller ball
AROMANTIK also has a Sample Pack $49/7 x 1ml samples

Please go and have a look at the AROMANTIK site, they are a very small business trying to make it in a tough world and would certainly appreciate your business.
Portia xx

Evelyn's Rose by Mark Evans for Evocative Perfumes


Post by Sister Mary Magdalen, Patron Saint of Perfumers


Today APJ I invite you all to remember and enjoy simple pleasures…

Although ordinarily living an entirely cloistered life, recently myself and another of the Sisters ventured to our nearby provincial Rose Garden for seasonal devotions. Marvelous sunshine and hundreds of rose varieties in full bloom saw hours pass in happy contemplation. Whilst some folk no doubt admire the colour or form of the bloom above all, for us the attraction was chiefly in the fragrance. This led us in short order to beds planted with David Austin roses. This English rose breeder introduces cultivars that are selected for their rich intense scent. With so many varieties of his roses blooming, it was not long before we were exclaiming over such notes as violet, hyacinth, musk, myrrh, honey, incense, quince and apple in the various flowers.

Evelyn's Rose Evocative Perfumes Rosa_Evelyn WikipediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

One of these David Austin roses, Evelyn Rose, had a delicious peachy note along with a superb Old English Rose heart. He named it for English toiletries company Crabtree and Evelyn who are said to use this rose variety in some of their products. I had not fallen for the C&E perfume on recent test, so it was a treat then to discover another Evelyn’s Rose by an Australian perfumer.

Evelyn’s Rose by Mark Evans for Evocative Perfumes

Evelyn's Rose Evocative PerfumesPhoto Stolen Evocative Perfumes

Evocative Perfumes gives these featured accords in one line”
Evelyn’s Rose, rose, clean musks

A burst of almost minty freshness heralds a delightful rose heart with a fresh peach character. Musky notes start unfurling early on, and despite my initial concern that the musks might stray too far in the direction of the laundry for my tastes, they are restrained and balanced with the fruit and floral facets in the composition.

The overall impression is of a naturalistic fresh rose with fruity and clean musky elements. As the scent wears, a wisp of incense smoke seems to weave its way through. Evelyn’s Rose is a sweet and simple rose scent. For me it is a lovely memento of a day out amongst the real roses. This is a perfume oil to be applied sparingly. A few dabs give around 6 hours of being the centre of a pleasant rosy cloud.

Evelyn's Rose Evocative Perfumes Heidi-Klum-Rose WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Often people seeking a rose perfume will declare they are looking for a “true” rose. Having sniffed scores of these luscious shapeshifters, I’m not sure such a thing exists!

Evocative Perfumes has $35/12ml Perfume Oil

Do you have a favourite rose soliflore scent or favourite variety of rose bloom? What other notes have you smelled in rose blooms?

Remember, take time to smell the roses,
Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers.