Antonia’s Flowers by Bernard Chant for Antonia`s Flowers 1985


Kate Apted


Hello and welcome APJers,

Today, I want to make a small confession. There is a certain Mecca store that has a pretty much empty tester bottle. And I am reasonably certain it was me who emptied it; over the course of a few months. So, I got a bottle for free, in a sense.
I did end up spending the paltry $80 for a bottle of my own. I felt absolutely shamed that I had really received two bottles for the price of one. As this was the very last bottle on the shelf, the tester with zilch but bubbles of air in the spritzer hose was then put away in the drawer. I almost asked if I could have it. But I kept my shame to myself.

Antonia’s Flowers by Antonia`s Flowers 1985

Antonia’s Flowers by Bernard Chant

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Freesia, jasmine, magnolia, lily, fruity notes

Antonia’s Flowers is the perfume that I am talking about. It is such an unassuming bottle and a very plain box, and for some reason, Mecca stores often keep this on the lowest shelf and in the corner. Mine had been sitting there for a very long time. The box lid is faded and there was a thick layer of dust on the top when I bought it. The first spray of the tester was over a year ago and I hastily put the tester down with a look of disgust on my face. The opening is harsh and hard hitting. It still is something I am not used to, but I now know to avoid my wrist for a few minutes.

I have to admit that this is straight up freesia. There are other notes listed, but I don’t get any of them until the last 20 minutes, and that is after freesia assault for an hour. By this stage, it is a very close skin scent anyway. It is evident that Antonia was a florist; the scent is uncannily haunting and indicative of a haute florist at the height of spring. I can imagine WASPy Hampton brides in the late 80s and early 90s using this as their signature wedding scent. While this is most certainly a white flower fragrance, it is not polite or gentle. It is unapologetically bold and haughty.

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers Freesia_flowers WikimediaWikiMedia

There are a few things that annoy me about Antonia’s Flowers. First, it really does only last an hour and a bit on me. Second, the lid does not fit on the sprayer. I had to unscrew the lid, to then screw on the sprayer, and the lid does not fit on the sprayer. Third, the long necked sprayer stops the bottle from having the lid of the box close. I like to keep my perfumes in their boxes, so this does irk me.

Then there is the BUT… I adore this scent. I truly do. It takes me back to the days I’d ramble down the alley ways of the rural town I lived in as a child. All sorts of wild flowers grew along people’s back fences and along the creek beds. Older women would spend hours in their cottage gardens and I’d take in all the smells on my walks.

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers Freesia_flowers field manfredrichter Pixabay.jpgPDI

Further reading: Liberty London Girl and Azar on Australian Perfume Junkies
Mecca has $80/50ml FREE Australian Shipping

What shameful perfume secrets do you have? You know you want to share…I dare you!
Be good. Kate xx

Vintage Cabochard Parfum by Bernard Chant for Gres 1959

Hey Vintage Fumies,

Recently I was lucky enough to find a 2/3 full bottle of the vintage Cabochard parfum in its gorgeous black & white pedestal box. It wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t outrageously expensive either and I had long wanted to own a bottle for myself, having sampled earlier in my fragrant life.

Vintage Cabochard Parfum by Bernard Chant for Gres 1959

Cabochard Gres FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, spices, tarragon, fruity notes, sage, lemon, asafoetida
Heart: Orris, jasmine, geranium, rose, ylang ylang
Base: Tobacco, vetiver, oakmoss, coconut, musk, patchouli, amber, sandalwood, leather

Bernard Chant: Cabochard 1959, Aramis 1966, Aromatics Elixir 1971. A trilogy or family of fragrance. His three masterpieces, all similar but riffing different elements. If you want to know what a car looked like then, below is a 1959 Cadillac.

Cabochard Parfum gres 1959-Cadillac WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Now my top notes are slightly rusty, not in a big way but they have changed from the sample I had worn. I will have to use this up in the next year or so and I don’t think that’s any great hardship. The fruity sparkle is herbaceous, aromatic and dense. Imagine being in the storeroom of an Indian bazaar, the spark and buzz of faulty electrics, fruit and veg in waxy cardboard boxes, sizzling spices, bitter herbs, and the scent of dozens of boxes of sandalwood soap. That’s as full on as you can imagine, heavy, hectic, psychedelic scent that manages to be all this and warm & classy too. That is quite a feat to keep something so big from flying out of control.

Cabochard Gres Mary_Tyler_Moore WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The flowers are a bouquet and I can’t pick any of them out, not really pick them out though I get flashes of ideas of flowers. It doesn’t matter anyway because already the base notes are coming through: sandalwood, tobacco, patchouli, leather and oakmoss are the ones I can detect but what I really smell is Cabochard. It’s the base of Cabochard that IS Cabochard to me. A gravel voiced granny with a fabulous high end leather handbag, a cigarette, hair done and nails painted and attitude. She’s lived and loved her life, and is reveling in her twilight years. A little bit creakier but mind as sharp as a tack and still ready for fun, a drink and a laugh.

Cabochard Gres granny YourStyleJourneyPhoto Stolen YourStyleJourney

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Shrine
My bottle from Ebay
FragranceNet has modern EdP $28/100ml before Coupon
Surrender To Chance has Vintage Parfum $6/.25ml

Do you have a vintage you love? Something that has changed in its newest form or is it gone altogether?
Portia xx

Antonia's Flowers by Bernard Chant + Norbert Bijaoui


Post by Azar


Hello APJ,

The sun is finally shining here in the Pacific North West (PNW) – at least for a few more days. March 2014 has been the wettest on record in Western Washington, USA. The rain totaled 9.44 inches, at least three times the normal rainfall for the month of March. With all that precipitation and a little sunshine the flowers are now popping open everywhere. At long last spring is really here and what better way to enhance this natural seasonal bouquet than with a scent from Antonia’s Flowers!

Antonia’s Flowers by Bernard Chant + Norbert Bijaoui

Antonia Bellanca began her circuitous route to perfumery as a visual artist, studying in Boston and later in France. Exposure to Flemish floral art turned her innate love of flowers into a new career. Upon returning to the US she began working as a florist in New York City. In the early 1980s Ms. Bellanca opened her own shop, Antonia’s Flowers in East Hampton, NY. Spending so much of everyday with beautiful natural scents inspired Antonia Bellanca to create her own perfume. She worked with perfumer Bernard Chant (the creator of Aramis, Aramis Devin and Estee Lauder Aromatics Elixir among others) to recreate the scent of freesia, one of her favorite flowers. Her first fragrance debuted in 1985 and was named after her florist shop. Antonia’s Flowers EDT was a great success and for many years a best seller at Barney’s in NYC where you can find her latest fragrance Rokka.

Antonia`s Flowers FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

The popularity of the original Antonia’s Flowers fragrance led to the creation of an EDP and also an Absolute version. In 1990 Ms. Bellanca closed the florist shop to devote her time to the perfumery. In 1995 Antonia’s Flowers introduced Floret EDT, a fragrance with top notes of the illusive sweet pea. Floret eventually appeared as an EDP. (I prefer the lighter quality of the original version.)

Tiempe Passate Antonia`s Flowers FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

In the late 90s Antonia Bellanca moved Antonia’s Flowers to the small seaside town of Osterville, MA. The next perfume to appear in the line, Tiempe Passate, was created in 1999 in collaboration with Norbert Bijaoui, the perfumer who developed Esteban Classic Chypre, Givenchy Organza Indecent and TL Pour Lui. Tiempe Passate was named after a love song written by Antonia’s grandfather, the title translating simply as “time passes” in Sicilian. On my skin Tiempe Passate is a light, clean and soapy classic with elements of mandarin and cedar wood.

Sogni del Mare Antonia`s Flowers FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

My favorite Antonia’s Flowers fragrance is Sogni del Mare (Dreams – or thoughts – of the Sea) launched in 2007. The AF website describes the fragrance as “a watery, fruity floral with notes of Italian bergamot, cassis buds, wild rhubarb, orange and lotus”. My first breath of Sogni del Mare is of salt, rhubarb and lotus, watery but not really oceanic. On my skin this fragrance is kin to OdlR’s Oriental Lace but without the overt gourmand notes of almond and honey. For me Sogni del Mare is an understated, salty floral with a hint of slightly tart rhubarb pie. This fragrance is intimate and ephemeral, lasting only an hour or two on my skin, the perfect scent for crowded places, spring mornings or hot summer days at the beach.

Rokka Antonia`s Flowers FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

The latest addition to the line is Rokka, a men’s cologne launched in 2013. This new fragrance was included in a sample pack I ordered in March from Antonia’s Flowers. Rokka opens with top notes of violet and citrus, develops a heart of cedar, moss, nutmeg and tonka bean and finishes with amber and patchouli. I find Rokka considerably lighter and greener than the listed notes imply. It reminds me a little of the Italian shaving products by Proraso but definitely unisex and very fresh. The name Rokka puzzles me. Perhaps it is a reference to the Rokka noYuusha series of novels about the Heroes (or Warriors) of the Six Flowers by Ishio Yamagata.

Antonia’s Flowers site has the complete range and very reasonable sample sets.

giveaway hemodernhomePhoto Stolen hemodernhome

Antonia’s Flowers GIVEAWAY


This week we will have ONE Winner who will get:
One complete sample set of Antonia’s Flowers fragrances including 1 ml of each of the following:
Antonia’s Flowers EDT
Antonia’s Flowers EDP
Floret EDT
Floret EDP
Tiempe Passate EDP
Sogni del Mare EDT
Rokka cologne
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


To be eligible for the draw please comment on any Antonia’s Flowers fragrance OR let us know what scent you will be wearing to the beach this summer!

Extra Chance?
Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Antonia’s Flowers Sample Set GIVEAWAY #Perfume #Giveaway


Entries Close Thursday 10th April 2014 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by or any other madcap but fair way Azar can choose
The winners will have till Monday 14th April 2014 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.

Azar xx

Aramis by Bernard Chant for Aramis 1966


Guest Post By Tim

Aramis by Aramis 1966

(current formulation)

In this day and age where fragrances are sold through the art of embellished story telling, celebrity endorsement and multi million dollar advertising campaigns, I look to the past to see how much times have changed! In an era where themes were simpler, all you had to work with was the truth. We were not so seduced by faux inspirations, someone else’s ideal of femininity and masculinity or that sudden moment you fall in love. There was a different notion of what smelt clean and fresh. Fragrances were made with a vast variety of non synthetic accords,  giving perfume outstanding character and brilliance. Although many fragrance category’s were still to be discovered it seems to me perfume had more to offer its wearer, a list of notes as long as your arm for example,  and the simple promise of what fragrance was designed to do, to make u smell good.

Advertising quote-
“Aramis was created to be the most elegant mens cologne in the world.
Somewhere along the way it became the most provocative.
Aramis, the impact never fades”

If you research Aramis you will see the opinions in black and white! Love and hate, the men who can take it and commonly, the women who can’t . What could be more provocative than this, and I’m sure you already know it’s the fragrances that polarise opinions that are usually the most interesting and the bottles you want in your collection.

1966, Estée Lauder and her cosmetic chemist uncle Joseph Lauder formed brother company ‘Aramis’. Named after the fictional character in Alexandre Dumas  vintage classic novel ‘The Three Musketeers’ they  presented the world with the first line of prestige mens grooming products. This included the company’s debut namesake Aramis by Aramis , a leather chypre created by long time collaborator Bernard Chant (Estee,  Azuree, Cinnabar) Aramis raised the bar higher and went on to become an instant best seller for the brand, and continues to be over 56 years later.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica lists notes –
TOP          Artemisia,  Aldehydes, Bergamot, Gardenia, Clover, Myrrh, Thyme
MIDDLE  Jasmine, Patchouli, Orris, Sage, Cardamom and Sandalwood (PerfumeShrine also adds Cumin and Castoreum)
BASE       Leather, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Coconut

Aramis opens as discreetly as a king hit in a bar room brawl. Do you know that moment when a tradie sparks a blow torch and it ignites into a searing flame, well such is the first hit of Aramis.  It’s challenging to describe perfectly the initial rush as it presents multi- dimensional and busy. My nose reads Body odour over antiseptic pine and parched grass enhanced by  recognisable Lauder style Aldehydes. Any florals have been dialed down to give full impact to the spicy cumin kick start that aims to crash tackle you in the opening. At first it’s rank, dirty and unclean but before u have time to pinpoint what exactly your smelling it blends into one of the most overtly masculine openings of any fragrance I have. The  Artemisia adds bite and bitterness which is wisely balanced out by the Alderhydes.  This creates a manly playoff between unwashed arm pits with subtle hints of soap. It’s animalic  and shockingly beautiful.

Photo Stolen crosswordcorner

You better be in it for the long hall as Aramis has stamina and longevity. The middle reads like a anthology dedicated to my favourite category…. leather!  Chapter one through ten, the heart notes come together to deliver. The credit belongs to the leather, castoreum and musk which seem to meld early on to deliver a ballsy leather accord. Cumin lingers to give it undeniable carnal funk.  A earthy patchouli manages to pull the bergamot a little further as I can detect citrus well into the first 2 hours wearing.  Still spicy and ripe well into half a  days wear Aramis is a obvious and unapologetic. I can only imagine the damage caused  if allowed to fall in the wrong hands. Proceed with caution reader.

FragranceX has Aramis EdT 15ml/$8.40 & 100ml/$51
MyPerfumeSamples starts at $2/ml

Till nest month,
Fragrant Regards,