More Move On Monday Club


Post by Holly


Move On Monday Club Part 2

Hi guys! Yep, it’s that time again. After the success of my initial APJ Move On Monday post I certainly have LOTS of stuff that I intend to move on from, and some of it is perfume-related so let’s get moving! As before, I hope you will all share with me where you are in your perfume journey.

Thanks to everyone’s suggestions, I’m pretty clear on how to organize my samples and my thoughts about what I like and don’t like. I realized that this is REALLY important as I don’t want to re-order anything. Can you believe I actually thought that I’d remember if I didn’t like something? I also thought that I must have every ding-dong sample I was ever remotely interested in, and if I no longer had it that meant that I must not have liked it. I swear, sometimes what my brain does can not be called “thinking.” Sigh …

Move On Monday Club Part 2 Nicolas Huk FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

More Move On Monday Club

So moving on from the subject of sampling, I’m now focusing on what I want to acquire. I did not know what a pig I am. I freakin’ want a LOT of perfume, but I don’t want a lot of stuff! Does this make sense AT ALL? I already HAVE a lot of perfume. (Sorry about the shouty words – I’m yelling at myself like I’m a kid in a candy store. No! Put it down! Put it back!)

I recently read a reference somewhere about taking into consideration the actual volume in mls of perfume you have. Oh dear. That is one tidbit I think I’ll ignore. However, I have realized that while I love a pretty bottle and the weight and feel of it in my hands, I can probably be satisfied 95% of the time with decants.

Move On Monday Club Part 2  Herbert James Draper Pot_Pourri WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Now comes the hard part, for me at least. I want to rein myself in a bit and move on from being greedy, which is what this phase feels like for me. I have finally understood that I can’t have it all, and I don’t actually want to possess it all. All my ducks will never be in a row. The carrot is always a foot away from the donkey.

On to the questions….

How do you decide when a perfume is FBW? Do you make up your mind pretty quickly? Once you’ve decided you want to add a perfume to your collection, do you wait for a special occasion to treat yourself?

Have you made any decisions about certain notes, houses or formulations such as all-natural perfumes, or vintage frags that affect what you will sample or purchase?

Has your perfume journey been pretty consistent, or has it changed significantly over time? Are you feeling content where you are with it right now, or is there any aspect of it you would like to move on from?

I look forward to reading what everyone has to say! If you would like to move on from something else in your life – thoughts, feelings, attitudes, obsessions, situations or people – what have you – do share those as well.

Holly xo

Top Five Scents for Turbulent Times


Post by Gabriella


Hello fragrance peeps! It’s good to be back on APJ after some time away. And my, can I just say how crazy my life has been since my last post. It has been a rollercoaster ride indeed! In just over a month, I’ve turned 40 and had an amazing birthday, had a shocking time at work, had flu, had gastro on top of flu, experienced more craziness at work, fallen flat on my face and bruised myself from head to toe, been thrilled that Mr M was awarded a terrific new work contract in Melbourne, resigned from my job, made a joint decision with Mr M to move to Melbourne, given notice on our rental and booked the removalists. As I write, I am surrounded by boxes and packing tape and getting prepared for moving day at the end of the month…

Top Five Scents for Turbulent Times

In all this hubbub of activity I have found that my perfume choices have narrowed. When things are crazy, I don’t tend to try scents that overly challenge me or anything new. So today, I would like to share my top five scents that have got me though the turbulence of the past few weeks:

Champs Elysees Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

1. Champs Elysees by Jean-Paul Guerlain 1996

My “everything-feels-overwhelming-and-I-want-to-feel-supremely-happy-again” scent. I have the lovely Miss Portia to thank for this gorgeous recent addition to my collection. The radiant mix of mimosa, rose and peach is as sparkling and uplifting as the fizz of champagne and the sun’s golden rays. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face when wearing this and it’s a damn sight cheaper than therapy.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Blackcurrant, almond, anise, melon, peach, violet
Heart: Lilac, lily of the valley, hibiscus, almond flower, rose, mimosa, peony
Base: Almond tree, cedar, benzoin, vanilla, sandalwood

Further reading: Scents Of Self and EauMG
Beauty Encounter has $20/30ml EdT, $55/50ml EdP and $125/30ml Parfum
Surrender To Chance only have $5/.5ml Parfum

Datura Noir Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

2. Datura Noir by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2001

My “Oh-my-God-I feel-trapped-and-want-to-get-away” scent. Datura Noir’s sultry vibe means that there’s an island holiday at hand whenever it all gets just a little bit too much. However, Datura is so much more than your typical tropical suntan vibe scent: the almond and myrrh lend a mysterious edge to the steamy mix of tuberose and coconut.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Coconut, tuberose, tonka bean, almond, lemon blossom, mandarin orange, musk, chinese osmanthus, heliotrope, myrrh, vanilla and apricot.

Further reading:  The Scented Hound and SmellyThoughts
Luckyscent has $130/50ml and Mecca Cosmetica has $148/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $3.99/.5ml

Fleurissimo Fragrantica


Photo Stolen Fragrantica

3. Fleurissimo by James Henry Creed for Creed 1956

My “I-don’t-know-what-perfume-to-wear-today-and-I-don’t-want-to-have-to-think-about-it” scent. Creed Fleurissimo is my absolute scent of choice nowadays, so much so that I’ve almost finished a 75ml bottle in under six months. Supremely elegant and yet unbelievably airy and light; a soft wash of pastel tuberose underscored by whispers of rose and violet.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot
Heart: Tuberose, Bulgarian Rose, violet, Florentine iris
Base: Ambergris.

Luckyscent has $275/75ml and Libertine Parfumerie has $289/75ml
Surrender to Chance has $3/.5ml


Isabey Gardenia Panouge FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

4. Isabey Gardenia by Panouage 2006

My 40th birthday present and my “little-bit-of-luxury” scent. Despite being a gardenia fan, it took me a long time to go from like to love on this. It’s more of white floral medley than a gardenia soliflore per se, but it does what it does beautifully. A heady and warm mix of ylang ylang, gardenia and rose, Isabey Gardenia manages to be impeccably chic and comforting at the same time.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: african orange flower, ylang-ylang and tangerine
Heart: iris, jasmine, gardenia and rose
Base: musk, sandalwood and amber.

 Luckyscent has $165/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $3.99/.5ml
Le Parfum de Therese Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

5. Le Parfum de Therese by Edmond Roudnitska for Frederic Malle 2000

My scent of joy and rapture. Every time I wear this, I wonder why I don’t do so more often, such is its beauty. Others have done such a wonderful job of describing this luscious chypre that I don’t have much more to add to the conversation, except that I absolutely adore it.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fruity aquatic accords, tangerine, melon
Heart: Rose, plum
Base: Cedar, vetiver, leather

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $155/3 x 10ml
Surrender to Chance has $6.99/ml

So, what do you think of my top five? What are your choices when life gets a little crazy?

With much love till next time!
M xx

2014! Simple Change For A Better Life

Heya Lovelies,

This year I have not really made any resolutions as such, and it has taken me the better part of a month to formulate any kind of focus for change anyway. I came across a piece online last week that resonated and I sent it to a few of my buddies. None of the things I read were new to me, nor are they earth shatteringly lightbulb moments. These are the things that you forget in the daily grind of life. It’s also interesting how things evolve.

My BFF Kath was so taken with the subject headings of this piece that she grabbed a photo she had taken of me in China at the Summer Palace a few years ago and overlaid the titles. Yes that’s me on the point looking back at Kath and smiling, it was an incredible holiday, Kath’s first adult overseas experience and my first glimpse of China. I have been so blessed in a multitude of ways but my friends are number one. I think these few action sentencess give a great and thought provoking way to start 2014.

Resolutions? None really

Things I would like to improve? I’d like to live leaner without so much clutter around me, also to streamline the businesses so they are less tiresome, put aside definite time to spend with Jin as he seems to be the one I skimp most time from and he deserves better, remember to breathe slowly, walk purposefully and stand straight. I hope I can spend the year feeling as relaxed, happy, hopeful and centered as I look in this photo.

As always, everyone here at APJ wishes you a life chock full of the good things and the least possible of the other stuff.

Portia xx

2014 New Years Resolutions

Vulnerability: Brené Brown at TEDxHouston

Hello lovely fragrant people,

We are cleaning the Perfume Room and giving it a new paint job. It’s quite a BIG DEAL so over the next couple of days I am dropping in some Video stuff that I’ve found interesting, educational or took me outside my box. Some of it is ONE TOPIC but some will also be TOTALLY OFF TOPIC!

Vulnerability Brené Brown TEDxHouston FlickrPhoto Stiolen TEDxHouston

Vulnerability: Brené Brown at TEDxHouston

Today I am introducing you to someone who changed the way I think about how I live my life. You may know I have had some low level depression over the years, nothing dramatic, just a buzz of blue flying low for a while that would disappear as it had come. Part of what my problems were was exactly what Brené Brown talks about here. Opening myself up to being vulnerable. Now Brené Brown wasn’t the first person to give me this blueprint for a happier life, though she does put it better and more amusingly than others, but as I was already beginning the road to change when I heard her speak the resonance was incredible. Give this smart, funny, insightful person a few minutes of your time and she may help you change outmoded behaviour patterns that you are using, or maybe just because it’s a very entertaining watch.

From Wikipedia
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”.
TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event. The annual conference began in 1990, in Monterey, California. TED’s early emphasis was technology and design, consistent with its origins in the Silicon Valley.

TED Site <<<JUMP for anyone inspired, anywhere in the world, who would like to go and be a part of these amazing talks.

Please enjoy the amazing……..

Brené Brown at TEDxHouston

The destruction of Issaquah, WA, USA


Post by Azar


Hello APJ,
During the winter holidays we enjoy our cut Christmas trees and evergreen bows fashioned into wreaths and swags.  Evergreens  brighten up the dark winter days, scent the dry air and bring the beauty of the forest into our homes. The City of Issaquah, WA USA, my home for over 35 years, prides itself on its concern for the forests and proudly announces on its website the designation by the Arbor Day Foundation as a “Tree City USA”.
The Arbor Day Foundation awards the “Tree City” designation to communities who “meet their core standards of sound urban forestry management”. Sadly, preserving old, established urban forests does not seem to figure into The Arbor Day Foundation’s idea of urban forest management or into the City of Issaquah’s permitting plan that allows for what is simply “clear cutting” of established forests within the city limits.
Earlier this year the acre of forest upslope from our home was sold to a developer and permitted for one large spec house.  I had seen this man in action before as he clear cut another lot in the vicinity.  I was concerned about the forest, potential run off and the habitat that would be destroyed.  I approached the city several times with my concerns and was assured that they would be monitoring every step of the process  and would preserve as many of the large trees as possible.  HA!
As the old trees were felled and their roots were ripped out by backhoes I felt like I was experiencing a personal assault or a physical trauma. The smell of “tree blood” was almost overwhelming. Eventually two large logging trucks hauled away the remains of the huge cedars and firs. What I describe below in a letter to the city is not an isolated incident but has been going on in Issaquah for sometime now.  I knew that this “permitted” destruction of forests and habitats was nasty and wrong but I just didn’t know how horrible it was until it literally happened “in my own backyard”.
Azar xx


(ED: Dear Azar. This makes me sad. I think it should be shared so people can get angry enough to stop it one day. P xxx)

The destruction of Issaquah, WA, USA



Issaquah promotes itself as a “Tree City USA” and posts that information on its website. I would like to know what it means to be a “Tree City” and wonder how Issaquah can consider itself to be tree friendly.

Over the past three days the acre of old cedars and fir trees adjacent to our property was permitted by the city to be basically “logged off” by a developer. I’m sure a few of these felled trees were growing here well before our house was built in 1969. I spoke with the city several times before this happened hoping that, in line with the tree cutting permit process, some of these large, old trees could be preserved. All that the city was able to manage was the preservation of one large fir, several small acer macrophyllum and a small cedar.

Azar Before #2

Azar Before #1

Azar Before #3

Azar Before #4

Azar Before #5

Azar Before #6

Yesterday the air outside was thick with the odor of cedar and fir sap. Huge piles of logs and limbs were everywhere. A large female bobcat and two almost fully grown kits were running around our yard in fear and climbing our trees, while the backhoe on the adjacent lot ripped the cedar roots from the slope. The day before a large buck wandered through our property looking frightened and puzzled. The whole scene reminded me of the destruction depicted in Hayao Miyazaki’s animated movie Princess Mononoke. How can the city of Issaquah consider itself to be environmentally friendly when it allows this kind of habitat destruction?

Azar After #1

Azar After #2

Azar After #3

Azar After #4

Azar After #5

Azar Yard #2

Azar Yard #1

According to Issaquah’s website it looks like, with the loss of this acre of trees, we will now have 13 more tons of dust and gas in the atmosphere. I know it is too late, that the damage has been done and cannot be repaired, but I think someone on the city staff should come out here and take a look at this mess before the developer hauls it away! I would like someone on staff to see what the permitting process allows to happen in “Tree City USA”.


Quick Quotes for a Better Day!

Hello APJ,

Here’s the thing. The last few days have been a bit wonky. I have been irritable, grouchy, whiney and generally being a big hairy poo head. I have let myself get overwhelmed by external pressures, people’s failure to do it my right, business, late payers, bills, friends, general life really. I felt like I was sinking and it’s not a feeling I relish. So I went to one of those feel better FB pages and stole some short sayings that resonated. Often it’s easy to forget that there is a big picture, a goal or that moving forward can entail change and NO ONE likes change that doesn’t move at a comfortable pace. So it seems that changes are needed, some of them will be painful and some will be easy, and you don’t get to chose.

The other side though, that’s where the payoff is, pain now, gain later. Really pain? Hopefully not but certainly discomfort.

It was Thanksgiving this week in America. Where they thank the Indians for teaching them how to survive in the new country, sadly many of the Indians did not survive their encounter with white mans germs, it was reverse War of the Worlds, the aliens survived. What do I have to be thankful for? So much, I am lucky and blessed on so many levels. What do I need to change? Well change has already been put in motion, there will be more….

I hope you like this little montage for hope.
Portia xx

ChoicesChangeRegretTake the StepDo It Now7 Rules Of LifeYou Are BeautifulCiceroFree VERY Expensive CHANEL

Back to Vinyl – The Office Turntable 2013

Hey Hey APJ!

I think a fair few of us grew up in times where the Record Player was a major fixture of the house. Our original one had a TV Set, Record Player, Radio and huge Speakers. Dad’s Beethoven could be heard at the top of the street on a calm evening and Mum’s jazz would often be heard over the vacuum cleaner during the day. They were heady days of endless summers, swimming in the pool with my sister and our friends, Bar B Qs on the back verandah, oranges eaten warm off the tree, learning the alphabet and math times tables and music, music, music.

Record Player Cabinet Stephen Coles FlickrPhoto Stolen Stephen Coles Flickr

There were other record players, Dad had a HUGE stack of equipment in later years and everything was powered through the speakers, then I got a 3 in 1 for a birthday and my sister got a cassette player, then it became dueling music in the house. I remember Mum buying us both a CD player when they came out and us laughing at it saying that it would NEVER replace vinyl. My sister kept hers but I got Mum to take mine back, how could anyone take something so small seriously? I even kept my records till I was preparing to move a few years ago back to the family home, there was so much stuff and I needed to let a lot of it go. I’m both sad and glad that I did.

Well, here’s something to make your eyes POP!

 Back to Vinyl – The Office Turntable 2013