Saturday Question: What Is Your Latest Full Bottle Purchase?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back regularly and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them. The aim is to generate real conversation and connection even though we are scattered around the globe.


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New Sniffs + Thunked: 14.2.2019




Hey Hey Perfume Junkies,

OK I’m adding a THUNKED section here too. It’s becoming an APJ obsession and I love the idea of us using our fragrances and hoiking the vial, decant or bottle. Thunk is the sound of an empty hitting the bin so you must empty it for the thunk to count.

Anything worthy of comment, either good or bad, that’s passed under my nose through the week will get a short write up. If I think something is terrible, shamefully lazy, greedy or stupid and you should know about it, it will be said. As always YMMV.

I’d love it if you get involved: agree, respectfully disagree, have any thought-out opinion and want to share, do so in the comments below. The point is starting a conversation.

New Sniffs + Thunked: 14.2.2019

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Maravilla by Daniela (Roche) Andrier for Bulgari 2014




Hey Hey APJ,

I remember being in Paris the week these were released and they had a big stand in Galleries Lafayette and about six spritzers placed strategically. It was all very enticing and I did like a couple of the fragrances. Had they been around the €180 mark or less I would have bought at least one bottle but they were well over that and I’d already spent quite a lot of my ready cash. Since then though I have wished that I’d bought one of those space age bottles, just to have it in my collection.

Maravilla by Bulgari 2014

Maravilla by Daniela (Roche) Andrier

Maravilla Bvlgari FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Peach, jasmine, patchouli, Italian lemon, orange blossom

To start with I don’t think perfumistas are this ranges market. Certainly not this scent in the range anyway. I know there are a  wide audience for this kind of scent and it’s pretty much what I smell 30 something shopgirls on their lunch break wafting. Fruity and sweetened with sugar crystals.

Fresh Fruit Splash Falling Water OrangePDI

What we have here is a fresh, fruity, lightly aquatic melange that is perky and quite frisky. It’s airy and a little dewy. The citrus is very soft focus and the very faint peach smells a little canned. There’s an amorphous white flower, completely cleaned of all indole and depth and the patchouli does not even register for me.

Maravilla would not be out of place in the Tocca range. They have a fairly similar line at about one fifth the cost or less. I think what you might be paying for here is a smoother blend and the fabulous bottle. A low key pretty perfume that is totally inoffensive to start and falls away to a soft focus white musk laundry scent to finish. Longevity is pretty good, you’ll continue to pump soft gouts of clean citrus clothes till work is finished.

Maravilla Bvlgari Elizabeth_Sparhawk-Jones,_Shop_Girls WikiMediaWikiMedia

Harrods has £215/100ml (UK Delivery Only)
Some discounters now have it too.

What is one of your didn’t buy regrets?
Portia xx

Scent Diary: 29.5 – 4.6.2017





Food and fragrance are the orders of the week. A few catch ups but mainly quiet as Jin recovers from tonsillitis. Loads of fun frags though.

Scent Diary: 29.5 – 4.6.2017

Monday 29:

Early this morning when I went to bed I lavishly spritzed Cacharel Liberté. I love it zingy sizzling citrus and it wears beautifully in the hot or cold. I’ll never understand why it wasn’t a bigger hit. The bottle is fabulous, it smells amazing and Gisele Bündchen was the spokesmodel? Even the name is good. As you can see I go through quite a lot of it, bottle number 3.

Jin was complaining of getting sick last night and then through the night kept waking up, unable to breathe. This morning he went to the doctor and his tonsils are so swollen they are blocking his airways. Antibiotics for a week. I hope they put him in hospital and rip them out. Poor boy has suffered at least once a year since we got together but never this bad. If not in Australia I’ll fly him home where they are not so stupidly precious about the procedure.

For the dog walk I thought I needed something a bit rosy so the first rose frag that I noticed was Agent Provocateur EdP. I grabbed it and spritzed with abandon. It was a stellar accompaniment to the crisp morning air, sunlit and sparkling.

Sick Jin & I went for sandwiches and hot chips to the local cafe. They girls there are so friendly. It was yum.

This afternoon I suddenly got the urge to douse myself in Bulgari Eau Parfumee au The Noir. It’s tea but with a woody leather and rose tint. I like it a lot, especially in the heat but very nice at 18C too.

Kept spritzing more and more Bulgari tonight while writing Q&A.

Tuesday 30:

Finally, it’s 3.30am and I’m finished the Q&A and sent them all out. All I can think of us how much I want an incense fragrance to ramp up the leavings of the bulgar. So Maria Candida Gentile Exultat was the obvious, and best, choice for my mood. You’ll excuse me while I drift away please?

Saw this yesterday and can’t stop laughing about it. So funny.

Jin is officially off work for a couple of days. Unlike his usual illnesses he is not a whining baby. He must be really sick. Bloody doctors in Australia won’t remove them anymore unless it’s life or death. ASSHOLES!

No scent because it will fight with the lavender & eucalyptus in the burner.

DRAMA! While going in to the bathroom to get ready for work the bath mat slid from under me and I landed on the tile on my knee. It was so fast. Suddenly I’m lying on the ground moaning and in real pain. It was yuck. Anyway, poor old Jin was in a sound drugged sleep and I woke him with my yammering. This wheezy, disembodied voice comes to me from the living room, “You alright?” Even though I was most definitely NOT alright it was amusing enough to get me off the floor to reassure him that I’d live.

Tonight for work I wore Cartier L`Heure Brilliant VI and enjoyed its glittering zing.

I know it will be battling the houses current ambience but I’m going all out with Miss Dior vintage parfum and EdT for bed tonight. I’m worth it.

Wednesday 31:

Last night before bed I ate a couple of donuts. Woke up this morning with a sugar hangover, and a sore knee.

Basically today was a write off. With Jin sick and me having a day off we slowed around the house all day watching TV and relaxing.

Dinner was Chinese Take Away and it was freaking gorgeous.

Thursday 1:

Today was HUGE! Jumped out of bed and doused myself in about 8 spritzes of Oriza L. Legrand Oeillet Louis XV from a sample in the pack you can buy from them and they ship to the world.

Walked the dogs then ran back inside, jumped in the car and fled. Saw this beautiful creamy coloured bottlebrush flowering in our winter.

First stop was Showcase in Sydney’s historic Rocks area. That’s where I buy my Drag make up. It was an expensive but necessary morning shop.

Next up I visited Bronwyn of Gascoine & King candles who is also the importer of Etat Libre d’Orange here in Australia. We went for coffees and some cake at the Bourke St Bakery and talked about our friends, lovers, businesses and new products. It is always fabulous with Bronwyn and we have some super luxe giveaways coming up from her. WOO HOO!

BFF Kath is home sick so I dropped in there  to see her on my way to the next adventure. Short but sweet chats and cuddles with Ruski, her Groodle.

My last partner Varun and I lived with a really amazing girl, Rose. At that time she was a chef at the College St Marriot Hotel where Varun went from restaurant bus boy to night manager in the two years we were together. It was a meteoric rise and we were all proud of him. After the Marriot Rose moved to the Millennium Hotel, then onto a catering company where she got them a shitload of awards and where she really got her name in the minds of movers & shakers. She moved to Singapore and did some stuff there until she was poached by Nobu in Europe where she was overseeing chef for a few years. The Dictator of Azerbaijan stole her to be the top dog in his restaurants, hotels and family kitchen and after 4+ years working for him she decided it wasxc time to come back to Sydney.

Rose is now the top chef in the Lotus group of restaurants here in Sydney and she invited TinaG & I for lunch today so she could gauge the way the restaurant runs with real patrons. We ate SO MUCH! Tried all the delicacies and were given top flight service by our waiter Ben. It was really interesting to hear the stories of the dishes and why this was so good or why that one was sent back and the chef told to take it off the menu for today because the meat wasn’t as good as it should be. These guys take good food really seriously. I only put in pictures of the most spectacular, there was at least 3 x this much food.

Then I went to Libertine Parfumerie for their SALE! I was a glutton but Nick gave me something incredibly special to give away on APJ. VERY excited about that.

At this point I was running HOURS late and got home in time to quickly wash my face, hug Jin and ran out to work as a man. Work was heaving tonight, 50+ patrons at Kings Park tavern and there was loads of bantering and fun. It wa a stellar evening. I wore Exultat by Maria Candida Gentile and it was the perfect woody/incense combo for the evening.

Home, walked the dogs, having a cup of coffee and about to have a very hot bath to soak all todays grime off. I’m bushed.

Friday 2:

A few things arrived in the post today but nothing so exciting as this vintage Rochas Femme parfum. It is a propellant bottle so the first 20 seconds are a mess but then……. bloom. Absolutely gobsmackingly gorgeous.

Jin and I spent the day around the house. We only left it to take him for Vietnamese Pho Soup. I walked the dogs though, he stayed sick on the couch. Can’t wait for him to fully recover

Saturday 3:

Good day today. Jin went back to work and I got to organise the weeks blog posts.

I’m also trying to create some order out of my chaotic office. I’m nearly shoulder deep in fragrance here. CROWDED.

I did take a Gilmore Girls break though because there is so much of the early episodes I missed. Having come in halfway like I did the whole back story is made apparent. My enjoyment levels are going through the roof.

While watching mind numbing TV I also ate Chinese reheats for lunch. BEST thing about getting chinese is having reheat lunch for the next two or three days. I added a can of corn kernels while they were in the frying pan. YUMMY!

This afternoon I wanted a cool amber fragrance. Van Cleef & Arpels Ambre Imperial was the perfect choice. It’s sparse, airy and unlike any other amber in  my collection. It never gets bakery, gluggy or creamy but does warm through slightly as it dries down to resinous woodsiness. It’s the ultimate hot weather amber but is also very nice in the crisp, cool of evening. It was never a hit, I read zero rave reviews and it isn’t amber in the traditional sense but if you see it, put some on your skin.

Then I had a bath. It was deliciously hot and frothy with LUSH Rose Jam bubbles. Nearly finished this years stockpile. The wait for Christmas releases starts soon.

For bedtime I have gone absolutely crazy with vintage Guerlain Shalimar extrait, decanted from my bottle and spritzed. I am leaving a coruscating trail of fragrance every time I move. It’s ENORMOUS!

Sunday 4:

Walking the dogs this morning and I came across this beautiful rose. The light was hitting it in such a way that it had become ultra violet. As it caught my eye it was trying to burn my retinas out. It even had some spice tea and rose scent. There is no filter on the pic, you can kind of see what I mean but it was so much more freaky in life.

It’s cool but sunny today. I’m wearing Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin. It’s perfect. Longevity is appalling so I keep resproitzing every 40 minutes or so. Very satisfying. I love the anise/wet violet combo.

Yet again in LUSH Rose Jam bubble bath. Over the faint remnant I multi spritzed from a split decant of MFK Amyris (pretty sure it’s Femme). Did you know that the Amyris tree is also called Torchwood because it is super inflammable AND the resin it produces is Elemi. HA! I looked it up on Fragrantica. No wonder it smells familiar.


Now it’s your turn. How was your week? Do anything fragrant or interesting?
Tell us all about it, we love to read what you’re doing too.
Portia xx

Perfume Discontinuations: Grab them before they are gone




Hi all,

It’s a common thing in perfumista land that you only really start paying attention to a perfume when you hear rumours of discontinuation. You ignore it happily until suddenly you realise it could be too late. Then FOMO sets in – Fear of Missing Out. Oh no!

I got thinking about this recently when, after YEARS of dithering, I finally bought a bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker Covet. This one may have been discontinued some time ago and I’d decided not to bother until a chain of discount chemists in Australia suddenly started stocking it. Cheap – $20. I bought one, and no regrets. Lavender and chocolate; it should not work but it does.

Perfume Discontinuations

Grab them before they are gone

What else have I made a wild grab for, and what have I let go?

Covet FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mint, geranium leaves, Sicilian lemon, lavender, chocolate notes
Heart: Honeysuckle, magnolia, lily of the valley
Base: Cashmere wood, musk, vetiver, teak wood, amber

Perfume Discontinuations: The Ones I Grabbed

Sarah Jessica Parker Covet, as mentioned.

Bvlgari Black. Vanilla and fresh tyre rubber! I bought a back-up for my son to own and me to borrow.

Lancome Cuir de Lancome. . A cult leather. I bought mine while it still going for about $50.

Rochas Tocade. A laughing vanilla fragrance, this one is not discontinued as far as I know, just re-packaged. Re-packaging always makes the perfume enthusiast nervous, and I grabbed a bottle.

Yves Saint Laurent Y.  Same as for Tocade. It’s always worth grabbing a chypre if you think it’s under threat. It probably is.


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Casablanca lily, Black locust, White carnation
Heart: Golden pollen, Gold dust, Violet leaf
Base: Amber, Indian patchouli, Resins

Perfume Discontinuations: The Ones I Let Go

If there’s a bottle out there with my name on it, someone else can have it.

Donna Karan Gold. This has been cheap at the discounters for years and you can still get it. I have tested it thoroughly and decided it’s not for me, but it is wonderful stuff. I’d rather leave a bottle available for someone who loves monster lily perfumes. I don’t, it seems.

Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete. I should love this green wonder but somehow it has never moved me. Anyway, I have YSL Y, as noted, so I’m happy.

Fendi Theorema. I have a decant but I just can’t get on board with Theorema. It’s too much of a gourmand for me. It can still be had I think, not sure of the prices.

Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse. Again, a re-packaging. I could have bought a 75 ml bottle this classic fruity chypre for $60 in the old packaging but I just don’t love it. My only regret is that prices on Yvresse are now so high I could easily have got my money back three times over if I had bought that bottle.


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Gardenia, Neroli, Tuberose
Heart: Benzoin, Jasmine, Lily
Base: Amber, Musk, Vanilla

Perfume Discontinuations: The One I Missed

Oh darn!

Madonna Truth or Dare. I tried TD Naked but didn’t like it much. The original was apparently not widely distributed in Australia and I decided not to bother. It was a wonderful white floral, I gather. I should have bought it when it was going cheap on but I didn’t. Now it’s gone. I’m stupid.

What about you? What are the ones that got away from you? Any regrets?
Keep spritzing everyone!

5 Favourite Tea Perfumes





It’s tea-time. I thought I’d share with you a quick snap-shot of a few of my favourite tea fragrances.

5 Favourite Tea Perfumes


BVLGARI – Eau Parfumée Collection

This collection of five fragrances is a touch-stone for anyone wanting to explore tea scents. Green, white, red, blue and black, they are all magnificent colognes. Au Thé Rouge, with pink pepper and roobios tea, is probably my favourite. It’s followed closely by Au Thé Bleu that replicates a sparkling blue summer sky in my mind, with oolong tea notes, lavender, iris, peppery shiso and has its longevity strengthened with the use of musks.


Comme des Garçons – Series 1 Leaves: Tea

CdG Tea is to Bvlgari Eau Parfumèe what saddle leather is to suede. With notes of lapsang souchong and thick mate (pronounced maa-tey) it is dark, smoky and heady. More for the experienced ‘tea’ lover. I absolutely hated it the first time I smelt it, but was so intrigued that I kept going back it it, and ended up buying a bottle. (Welcome to my world….)


Hermès Hermessence Collection – Osmanthe Yunnan

Well this could be considered a mix of two teas – herbal osmanthus flower, and black tea from the Yunnan Province, China. The osmanthus is the star of the show with its apricot floral notes softly supported by a gentle very slightly peppery black tea. It’s linear but beautiful. I wore this all the way through the Christmas/New Year period – light, elegant, easy in the summer heat and not overwhelming for social meet ups.


Baruti – Chai

Chai is the perfect comforting tea scent, with its milky mix of warm spices and a touch of rose in the dry down. It’s being inside on a rainy day all snuggled up with a blanket, fluffy jumper & great chai tea. Yuuuummmmmm!!!


Masque Milano – Russian Tea

This fragrance is a joy to wear, particularly because it has at least four distinct changes through the drydown – a treasured feature in my mind. I absolutely love the mint in the opening of this fragrance. It is black tea and spearmint, with hints of black leather closer to the skin. At 1 hour an incense comes through, and at two hours I find a wonderful dark honey note. Then at around four hours it goes funky & animalistic. Wow. Why do I not have a full bottle of this?

What are your favourite tea fragrances?

Have a great start to your week!

Tina G xx

Our Two Greyhounds Arrived


Post by Portia


Hi crew,

Yesterday we took ownership of two perfectly beautiful greyhound dogs. Both male, not quite two years old and neither had made it to the track yet or even been named. They were the slow pokes of their families and were heading for the rainbow bridge. I took Jin out to meet them and it was instant love.

Our Two Greyhounds Arrived


I know this is a crap picture but this was the first one taken in their new home on our balcony.

The Black one on the left is mine and he is called Paris. On the right the Grey/Blue one is Jin’s and his name is Jinx. We did have other names picked but the dogs really didn’t seem to fit them so we went through our list of names till they perked up at one.

I have been wearing Madagascar Jasmine by Naomi Goodsir because the jasmine is in bloom in Sydney and I wanted in on that loveliness and Bulgari Man In Black because foggy woods are freaking YUMMY!

Sorry, I have to get back to cuddling my puppy.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

Portia xx

Bulgari Jasmin Noir by Carlos Benaim and Sophie Labbe for BVLGARI 2008


Post by Portia


Heya APJ Family,

Since 2008 I have longed to wear this fragrance. Every now and then I give myself a spritz in the mall but it’s too busy there to contemplate fragrance and Jasmin Noir doesn’t seem to be big enough to maintain my attention when otherwise occupied. So I bought a decant, now I get to spend some time in peaceful surroundings and really test drive it. Don’t worry, my expectations are very low but sometimes you just have to scratch the itch.

Bulgari Jasmin Noir by BVLGARI 2008

Bulgari Jasmin Noir by Carlos Benaim and Sophie Labbe

Jasmin Noir Bvlgari FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Gardenia, Green plant juice
Heart: Jasmine sambac absolute, Almond
Base: Precious woods, Glycyrrhiza, Tonka bean absolute

Sheer radiant sappy floral, pretty and slightly plastic smelling that is airy and sparse. This fresh greenness never really points to one flower but smells to me like an amorphous white floral bouquet and when the jasmine arrives it feels fizzy and metallic, are there some aldehydes hidden in the mix? As far as flowers go my skin is throwing floral holograms rather than the flowers themselves, space flowers, crystal floral replicas. I am just not getting the notes I’m supposed to be smelling, except the green plant juice. Green plant juice and woods as if what I’m smelling is in a dream about standing next to a council shredder and they are putting through leafy branches of soft stemmed plants like hydrangea, tied old air conditioning and maybe some arum lilies, there is a petroleum/exhaust hint too that I would normally love. They must have used the cleanest isolates of flowers or chemical representations of them.

Jasmin Noir Bvlgari Fragrantica adPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

I wanted to like this, was ready to love it and buy one of those gorgeous bottles, but sadly on me Jasmin Noir smells bad. My skin throws some awful thing up at me that is not the way I would like to be, or imagine myself, smelling. Sorry if it’s your favourite, more power to you if it smells better on you than me.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Perfume Shrine
FragranceNet has $50/50ml before Coupon
My Perfume Samples has $7/5ml

Do you ever crave to try something even though you’re 98% sure that it’s going to be a complete failure? Does Jasmin Noir work on you? I’d love to read reports of it being fabulous.
Portia xx

N.B. If you hit the My Perfume Samples link and shop I get a kickback.

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge by Olivier Polge for Bvlgari 2006


Post by TinaG



So many people have been making the effort to travel during this holiday period. For those of us in Australia with overseas relatives and friends, it can mean extended flight and transit times. In what is essentially an enclosed public space (ie: open to anyone with a valid passport and money) consideration of others, whilst trying to make yourself comfortable enough to endure what can be a challenging trip, is an interesting balance. For those of us who have a regular wrist-to-nose sniffing habit, should we really be going fragrance free? What, if any, fragrances could actually be suitable for these close-quarter random encounters?

I had this question partially answered by one of my brothers, as he was was upgraded to Emirates Business Class on his return trip to Australia in December.

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge by Olivier Polge for Bvlgari 2006

Eau Parfumee au The Rouge Bvlgari FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, pink pepper, bergamot
Heart: Tea, fig
Base: Musk, walnut, resin

Emirates have chosen Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge by Bvlgari for their Business Class amenities pack. A 5ml eau de cologne, 40ml body lotion and 40ml after shave emulsion are beautifully presented in a pretty little red branded box. The “Au Thé” series from Bvlgari have been formulated to incorporate notes of various tea varieties, specifically green, white and red tea. Au Thé Vert was launched in 1992, Au Thé Blanc followed in 2003 with Au Thé Rouge released in 2006.

Eau Parfumee au The Rouge Bulgari Tina

Fragrantica advises that Au Thé Rouge is created using two red tea extracts, a Roiboos from South Africa, and a Yunnan which is of Chinese origin. The first splash of the cologne brought on a whoosh of fresh alcohol which disappeared after 20 seconds. I could imagine how invigorating that would be in a stale aircraft cabin, it certainly worked wonders on a steamy summer afternoon. This was followed by what I interpreted as tea – I’m afraid my nose is just not that sensitive to be able to distinguish subtleties of tea types in fragrance, but practice makes perfect. I wafted my wrist under my brother’s nose and he immediately likened the scent to Thé Blanc (White Tea) by L’Occitane. 20minutes later, pepper elbows its way in to the fray along with orange and bergamot that creates a warm, uplifting vibe. Tea, pepper and citrus are an invigorating combination which I really enjoy. After two hours there are wood and resin notes which bring a comforting sophistication to the blend. I can’t seem to find the walnut or musk in the drydown but that is probably just me.

Eau Parfumee au The Rouge Bvlgari Sydney Evening AdventureJay2Photo Stolen AdventureJay

The silage of Au Thé Rouge is very much on an up close and personal basis. I’ve worn this scent now in multiple social situations and not had one person comment on it, even after extremely generous re-applications. Longevity is good albeit subtle. It would be an appropriate choice for travel or the office, but it has also been a lovely experience to wear in an evening winding down as the day cools and settles into dusk.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Bois de Jasmin
Fragrance Shop has $27/50ml before coupon
My Perfume Samples starts at $2/ml

I’m interested to hear of any other scent-related travel experiences, good or bad! What has been your travel scent of choice?

xx Tina