Bruma + Mortel by Maison Trudon 2017




Hello dear APJ readers. How are you all doing?

Life is quiet here at the moment. Loving the routine and no added stress this week. As I sit and write this post, the sun is shining and the sky is a brilliant blue. The trees and bushes are starting to bud and as I walk around doing all of my errands each day, I stop and smell flowers along the way. Not much is out yet, but give it a couple of weeks and it will be gorgeous. Continue reading

Winter 2018 Agence de Parfum Launch




Hi there Fumies,

Wednesday saw the Libertine crew and Agency de Parfum hosting their annual Winter shindig to launch the newest scented stuff to be available at Australian retailers. I chose the morning session because my day was cook a block with catch ups and meetings. Luckily Ainslie Walker was also there and we got to chatter and sniff together for an hour. Some interesting new launches to get up to speed with.

Continue reading

Ambient Scent Wishlist for Santa




Hello dear APJ! How are you all doing?

The holidays are a around the corner and thankfully I am done with the shopping and just have to finish wrapping everything. We are having my parents over for Christmas this year and it will be special as my eight year old has not spent Christmas with his grandparents since he was six months old.

While I was telling my husband what I had bought for our son, he exclaimed that I am the most difficult person to buy a gift for! Seriously???!!! Me -difficult to shop for??!!! If he would listen to what I have been whispering to him (not so much whispering as it is me telling him what I wish for)… He was in Tokyo for a week and went looking but came back empty handed because he could not find it despite the fact that he had Japanese colleagues helping. He is off to Rome this week so fingers crossed… In all honesty I would love a new set of sheets and new bath towels but he says that he refuses to buy household items for Christmas – I understand his problem. So if I am honest with myself, perhaps I am a tad challenging to shop for.

The one luxury item that I am loving this year is ambient scents. So, while I am not holding my breath on receiving something scented for Christmas, I would love to share with you what has had me intrigued over the past six months.

Ambient Scent Wishlist for Santa

While buying the roses for the perfume talk at the school, I spotted a brand which was completely new to me. L’Objet. The florist carries the bath salts, bars of soap and room sprays. I started out smelling all of the bath salts and loved each one of them and would have bought one on the spot if I had not seen the room sprays.

Rose Noire Room Spray L'ObjetL’Objet

The black bottle is heavy and has a white label with the name of the scent and two reliefs on either side of the name. Very modern and elegant. The one that came home with me is called Rose Noire which is all about the exquisite rose and tea with some added spices for good measure. I spray the room, the upholstery and sit back and dream of walking through a garden of rare fragrant roses. Divine. I will certainly be trying out the two other room sprays in the collection.

Flora Di Fornasetti Room Spray MeccaMecca

Another brand that I have always loved is Fornasetti. Their incense sticks are subtle and leave the room scented for hours. This summer I splurged on the Fornasetti room spray Flora which leaves a scented trail of a white floral bouquet which I find stunning on a warm day. It of course helps that it comes in a gorgeous ceramic holder with a lid and looks like a piece of art.

Cire Trudon Becker MintyBecker Minty

Cire Trudon is another brand that I started exploring this summer. I am eyeing one of their Christmas candles with the festive scents and colours of the ceramic holders.

There is a whole new world out there with home fragrances that I have yet to tap into. If I cannot have flowers every week, why not a room spray or a candle that brings a smile to my face.

Do you like to scent your home? Do you use candles, incense or room sprays? Any suggestions for me? I would love to hear what you have to say.

Be safe over the holidays.
Oodles of fragrant kisses, Sandra

Scent Diary: 25.9 – 1.10.2017




Hi there APJ Crew,

It has been a week of complete opposites. The pro and con advocates for Equality are getting meaner and the whole event has turned into a slow bone crushing depression releaser. Currently I’m appalled at a large section of both sides of the argument and I hold our elected government officials personally responsible for the whole rotten mess. To be constantly equated with predators, rapists, pedophiles and beastialitists by the church, Radio & TV chat guests, politicians and people in the street is becoming unbearable. That’s the worst of it but seriously, to have a nation debate whether Jin and my 6 year relationship is as valid as theirs is galling, to say the very least.

Why aren’t I equal?

On the flip side there has been loads of fun, friendship, fragrance and food. Jin has been the Rock of Gibraltar, standing strong, cool and silent against the onslaught and a perfect companion through birthday and illness.

Scent Diary: 25.9 – 1.10.2017

Monday 25:

SICK!! I am hideous. Coughing, runny nose, sweating, AWFUL. Cancelled my Birthday Party. Too sick.

Did get some beautiful postcards though.

Bath in Guerlain Shalimar and wore DSH Perfumes Ma Folie de Noel

Jin and I had dinner and opened some presents. It was quiet, chill and sweet.

Wrote Trivia Q&A

Tuesday 26:

Woke up and walked the dogs with Jin.

Met Scott at the coffee shop and then we office worked.

Wore OODLES of Penhaligon’s Savoy Steam. It is the weirdest smelling stuff but utterly addictive.

I thought it was going to be a triumphant return to work in drag but I’m still coughing and sneezing too much. Two Cold & Flu tablets and I’ll be able to go host as a guy. I’m a bit sad because there are new coats to wear.

It was a really fun night. I love my Tuesday crew.

Tonight someone I’ve loved for years reached out. We have been friends and he stayed with me for a while, then we lost touch except for sporadic cyber communication. It was really nice to have a messenger conversation.

Wednesday 27:

It’s early morning and I can’t sleep. Just watched the Kathleen Hanna story on TV. WOW! She is amazing. So many levels, what a brain. Totally inspiring human being.

Woke up and walked the dogs in a lovely cloudy morning. The air was crisp and smelled like greenery, almost no traffic on the roads and so peaceful.

Spent a second day in Penhaligon’s Savoy Steam. 

Today was a total write off. I dozed and dallied. Tried to focus on work but was crap at everything so I threw in the towel until about 10pm when my cold and mind started to unthaw.

I did see this picture on my friend Haans V Siver FaceBook page. I love the soft, pastel beauty of the sky, skyscrapers and sea juxtaposed with the hard lines and darkness of the Steve Irwin and other watercraft. For me it looks like some of those huge surreal prints that used to be in living rooms.

Steve Irwin by Haans V Siver Sept 2017

Thursday 28:

Morning. My head is fuzzy.

The walk was really good with the dogs. It cleared my head a bit walking through the cool, breezy, cloudy morning with the boys. Birds are chirping everywhere and as you walk through the suburb all the smells of spring flowers catch me by surprise. Beautiful.

Jin is working nights this week so I get to spend some day time with him, which is really nice.

Trouble by Boucheron bubble bath and fragrance. YUM!

At the end of Turbo trivia tonight I got a selfie with my fave barman Aaron. What a honey.

Friday 29:

Jin has today off so we visited the banks. Just making bookings for next week to refinance his mortgage. I quite like visiting them now that I know a little bit about how they work.

Afternoon met Rasei Fort of Fort & Manly at Becker Minty in Kings X. Have you ever been there? What a collection of fabulous homewares and fragrance. I may have had a sneaky spritz of the new Trudon scent by Cire Trudon. WHOA! Super green. YUM!

Then we trotted across to Redfern and met the ever glam Kerri who is on her first day of holidays. We sniffed some stuff and chattered while I had lunch and they had coffees. It was really nice.

Jin came and met us as lunch was breaking up and we went and got him a beer at the local pub. Then we went to the cinemas to see Kinsmen II (Freaking hilarious, laughed all the way through) and afterwards dinner.

Saturday 30:

At around 3am the dogs were alarmed by a possum and caused a huge ruckus. That was the end of sleep for me. I jumped up, grabbed a drink and hit the computer. Feeling like I can get a couple hours more sleep now at 6am I’m off to bed till dog feeding time at 9am.

Vintage Guerlain Mitsouko EdT & Parfum today.

Lunch at our fave Korean BarBQ with Alice, Kath & Tina. It was really fun and good to be hanging out together. Food was excellent, as always, though they were out of their sensational mash potato.

I put both photos in because TinaG looks so cute in the first and Alice & Kath look really lovely in the second. Not one shot had all of them looking so good.

Jin and I visited one of his exes who has become my buddy too. Paul lives around the corner and we popped in for tea and cake quite late this afternoon. He has been struck down with a similar cold to mine except it had him down for the count for three weeks, he’s still coughing 100 times worse than I am.

Tonight we popped down to the local supermarket and I grabbed some ham and cheese and then we came home and I made waffle sandwiches. YUMMO!

For bed I spritzed Hermès Muguet Porcelaine. Lily of the Valley seemed to be what I craved and the Hermès was a perfect, slightly melonish choice. Pretty.

Sunday 1:

Woke up this morning feeling like a bus hit me so I went back to bed and slept till 11am. Now I feel so much better.

Hung around the house. Wearing Miller et Bertaux A Quiet Morning.

For work I wanted something bright and summery with a deeper base than most of those frags. I choose Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele. Citrus & osmathus up top, leather down the back and much much more.


So, how about your week? What happened to you or your crew? Tell us stories, we love to read them.
Portia xx

Cire Trudon Candles!!! For you, for giving, for Christmas!

Guest Post by Jordan River.

On ya APJ,

Scented Candles; let’s talk about them.

Cire Trudon Candles

They do two things. The warmth of a room will release scent from the wax without lighting the candle. This is a beautiful item to have near an armchair. Some people cover their candles with a bell-jar (aka glass cloche / dome) as you often see in retail establishments. This holds all the released scent inside the glass. When you pick up the bell-jar a scent cloud is delivered into your room. I prefer no bell-jar as then the scent has a way of surprising you throughout the day and night.


Lighting the candle will scent a whole room and even a home.

A scented candle must be burnt until the whole surface is liquid to ensure that tunneling does not occur. This can take up to 2 hours before you have a scented room.

Trim that wick before reigniting. This step is important to ensure a clean burn. A long wick will spit soot into your expensive wax and add a slight charred smell. A long wick will also make black smoke appear which is not good for your ceiling. A specially designed wick cutter rather than scissors is your friend here. They cost around $12 to $25. There is no need to leave the candle burning when visitors arrive, unless you want to of course.

You may have noticed that every woman and her cat has a scented candle for sale at various price points and often with disappointing results. The top of the range is Cire Trudon who have been candle-making since the days of le Roi Soleil back in 1643 when Claude Trudon arrived in Paris and became the owner of a store in Rue Saint-Honoré.

Louis XIV, Le Roi Soleil

Louis XIV, Le Roi Soleil
Versace / Rosenthal
Private Collection: Jordan River

His son Jacques entered the court of Versailles in 1687, as apothecary distiller to Marie-Thérèse, wife of the King.

Image via Cire Trudon

Candle making image via Cire Trudon

By the 18th century, in 1737, the next Trudon descendant Hierosme had purchased the most famous wax factories of the era from the official wax provider to King Louis XV. Trudon grew and began supplying the French court and the most important churches. The Trudon company supplied Versailles until the very end of the monarchy.


The standard Cire Trudon candle size of 270 grams is around $US95 ~ $US120.

While the price point is high, the scented value is completely worth it as long as you are spending within your ability to maintain solvency or even better within your ability to have savings. I like Portia’s advice for Perfumistasset a monthly budget and stick to it.

The trick is to burn these in two-hourly lots to achieve around 55 to 65 hours of scent. The variance between 55 to 65 hours is wind speed; a breeze in your room will make the candle burn faster. Cire Trudon candles are all made in France and reside in hand blown glass vessels. The wax is 100% vegetable-based, the wick is pure cotton; both are biodegradable, allergen free and contain no pesticides.

Let’s have a look at some of the range. Not all of these are necessarily traditional Christmas scents as I know some people have their own holiday and / or family celebrations.



Bethléem, pictured above with the theme and notes, is the latest seasonal candle from Cire Trudon. You may need to zoom in to read the calligraphy.


Photo: Jordan River

My favourite is still Nazareth which despite repeated rumors of discontinuation is now is it’s fifth year.

This is a scent I discovered in 2011 at a perfume masterclass in December. It stayed on my mind. Not realizing it was a seasonal release I couldn’t buy it in March 2012 when it was still blowing through the scentmills of my mind.

In November 2012 I was an hour early for a meeting and wandered into World when they were unpacking their annual supply of this scent. Not one to think twice about analyzing serendipity I knew I was in the right place at the right time.


This Christmas candle, Nazareth, wafts a whisper of frankincense and billows of cinnamon, orange, and clove from a ruby red holder. Bees and other pollinators receive protection from this candle as a percentage of sales goes to Terre d’Abeilles.

Of course there is a lot of fun to be had by going to a shop and experiencing the range of scented candles for yourself.

Down Under Stockists
Melbourne – Peony Haute Parfumerie
107 Auburn Road
+61 (0)3 9882 0662

Sydney – Becker Minty
Shop 7, Ikon Building
Potts Point
+61 (0)2 8356 9999

Mérida $AUD115
Bartolomé $AUD105
Bethléem $AUD125
Nazareth $AUD115
Melchior $AUD125

New ZealandWord Beauty
World Store Locator – Auckland Wellington Christchurch
Mérida $NZ139
Bartolomé $NZ139
Bethléem $NZ159
Nazareth $NZ159
Melchior $NZ159

Cire Trudon
Tips for burning scented candles

Further Reading
Notable Scents – Nazareth
Bois de Jasmin – Mérida
Arquiste – Auckland Action – photo story