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. 

Cookie Princess Does London 2014! Photo Essay


Post by BlondesWunder


Hello Perfume Bitches!

It´s Cookie Queen´s daughter here, Cookie Princess, although I prefer BlondesWunder.

Finally catching up on our fab time in London. I have learned two things on this trip. First there are more amazing people on this planet than I had realised, and second, I am scarily, evolving into my mother.

Friday I spent three hours in Top Shop. This was traumatic for my mother. I ended up with a gray t-shirt. A freaking baggy, gray t-shirt, that looked nearly identical to the one which I was already wearing. What does that have to do with me turning into my mother? The glamorous CQ has been on the search for the perfect gray t-shirt for more than 35 years now. And now I am doing the same.

Hannah Grey TPhoto donated by Hannah

Let´s move to perfume now. Saturday morning awoke very early. After checking my Instagram for outfit inspo I ended up wearing my, uh, new gray t-shirt. Ms Cookie Queen, looking alike with our green parkas, jeans and combat boots, headed uptown for breakfast at the hotel with Portia and Michael.

Over breakfast we had a hilarious time. I have to admit I love to push my mother´s buttons and yes, I know how! Portia and Michael were laughing hard so I guess I am pretty funny. Thank you. (My boyfriend says I am not.) After a coffee, and a “what perfume are we gonna try today” kind of talk, we headed for Bloom Perfumery in the East End. But first us girls needed a loo. Well, we hadn´t peed for ten minutes.

Next stop Spitalfield Market. Portia and I headed into Benefit. Within 5 minutes he was firm friends with the SA and handing her the APJ business card. I don´t know how Portia does it, but as soon as she opens her mouth, strangers fall at her feet. So did I. I ended up with Portia and my mother with Flirty Michael.

Crappy Cartier FakePhoto donated by Hannah

As I wandered the market with Portia, I walked by a stand selling Cartier bracelets at only 20 quid. There was no way in hell that Portia would allow me to buy it. The fact that Portia spends a small fortune on not needed fragrance didn’t seem to count!! He lectured me at this point about how to spend my money, and what on! (I got it later with Michael anyway!!) And it looks fab.

Hannah high HairPhoto donated by Hannah

Eventually we met up again with Michael and my Mum and headed to All Saint´s, where Portia gave me big hair!!

Bloom LondonPhoto Stolen Bloom

Opposite the shop, was Bloom Perfumery. The SA´s saw use coming towards them and waved, knowing Mum from last year. I was dead, and after having sniffed one Phaedon, (smelled like the Hollister Women´s one to me), I spritzed it, loved it and sat down. Hardly keeping my eyes open, I only heard Portia and my Mum happily sniffing and huffing over over-priced perfume!!

Michael and I took a break at this point and went for yet another coffee.

BloomsPhoto donated by Hannah

By the time we came back, Tara, Freddie, Vanessa, Thomas and Nigel, Nick and Josh, were in full action. They were all awesome.

Lunch #1Photo donated by Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume)

At 3 we headed next door to Poppies for fish and chips. The Bloggers sniffing, spritzing and sharing perfume at the table. I thought it was not appropriate in a restaurant, after scaring all the other customers away, but hey, what do I know??

Lunch #2Photo donated by Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume)

The day ended at Selfridge´s and having to say goodbye after such a day, I was close to tears. So was my Mother, only she showed it. Of course I made fun of her.

I am moving to Sydney.

xoxo BlondesWunder

London Scent Shopping and Serial Killers 2013


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


London Scent Shopping and Serial Killers

CQ´s way to Bloom Perfumery

I headed to London a couple of weeks ago for a wedding and to purchase two Vero Profumo fragrances. There are times when ordering online is just perfect, and others where I chose to wait until I can purchase from a shop. I saw that Vero´s perfumes were available in Harrod´s and in Bloom Perfumery in Spitalfields. Concept Scents Store. In the East End of London. No question in my mind where I was heading.

23 Cranley Gardens

I stayed with at 23 Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill with a couple of girlfriends. They were kind enough to take a few days off work, so off we went first thing on Monday morning. I was über-excited. Finally I could stop stretching my samples of Rubj EdP and Mito. We jumped off the bus in Spitalfields, and walked through the beautiful covered market, although newly renovated, it has been there since about 1887.

Bloom London

So we arrived. 4 Hanbury Street, London. Walking into the shop, felt like landing at the bottom of the proverbial rabbit hole. It smelled absolutely divine. I have not been into that many perfume stores, but enough to know that this one was special. It gave me the same feeling I used to get when I would discover small indie/reggae record stores off the beaten track when I was much younger. That feeling of having discovered something totally unique, cool, and not for the masses.

Selling Vero's

Oxana, the delightful owner, came to greet us. Originally from Moscow, she has now lived in London for about seven years. After making sure that my two Vero fragrances were there, we started to talk. I wondered how she had ended up selling Vero Profumo.

Oxana: “Yes, I met Vero a couple of years before I decided to open the boutique. er passion and great craftsmanship at making her perfume creations has influenced me somewhat. I eventually thought that there should be a place (just normal, not elitist like the Harrod´s establishment) where people can buy the very best of modern perfume made with creativity and passion. It´s disappointing how much the generic mass market perfumes get promoted and how little people know about the finest niche brands- Hopefully I am making my small contribution to change that and that independent perfumers get more attention.”

Bloom cartoonFrom Bloom

Oxana also told me that a Russian lady will have about 7 fragrances in her collection. If not full bottles, then at least decants. I found that very interesting actually, because that is about the number I regularly wear over a year. No counting samples I try of course, but how many of them do I go onto purchase?

The shop is elegantly simple. Perfumes I knew of, and those I had never heard of. I intend to work my way through, sniffing all of them. There are hand written labels on the perfumes giving the list of top, middle and base notes. There are small black glass jars next to some of the perfumes, and these contain only the base notes. Brilliant. If you don´t care for the base notes then you know you can move onto something else. (A bit like allowing special customers to smell my vanillas!!)

Val's Fish & Chips

I left the shop elated, and fell exhausted into the iconic Poppie´s Fish and Chips restaurant, situated conveniently right next door. The best fish and chips in the world.

So APJ, this is CQ´s direction now. Scents from the here and now. For blogging at least. Because I do love other scents too!

Serial Killers? The first to recognize why this was a part of my fragrant trip, will receive a nice fat sample of Phaedon`s Rouge Avignon, my new love. Courtesy of Oxana.

If you’d like to shop at Bloom UK Website(<<<<JUMP)

Rock on and lock your doors at night.


CQ supplied all the photos from her iPhone