Scent Diary: 19.2 – 25.2.2018




Hey there APJ Crew,

Mardi Gras season is in full swing this week. I only attended a couple of events but my FaceBook feed is chock full of exciting moments happening across Sydney. There were also a bunch of fragrant adventures and LOADS of perfume was sniffed, spritzed, sampled and savoured. Friends old and new dropped in, Art happened, Roller Derby and a slew of other fun stuff.


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What Is Making My Bath Bubble In August 2017?




Hi there Fumies,

As many of you already know I am a mad keen BATH person. I love the whole experience. Before I draw my bath I fully clean it, then as the water fills I make myself a cuppa to have while in there and make sure I have my Bath Glasses there for the phone games I love to play while soaking. I can happily spend an hour submerged and often do. It’s the best de-stress on earth.

What Is Making My Bath Bubble In August 2017?

Here is my current set of bath products to create the glamorous bubble baths I love so much.

Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Shower Gel: Haven’t opened it yet but love the scent. A big pump pack for under $20!

Maurer & Wirtz Tabac Original Cologne: This is a cologne I put in the bath regularly if I have a late night bath. The smell is so lovely and leaves me softly scented for sleeping. It was my father’s scent and one of the things I loved about him most.

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet Bath Oil: Soft, lightly scented skin that feels smooth as silk on your wish list? Penhaligon’s do it right. Very low on bubble but when you feel and smell this good, who cares. This is a very old bottle that I keep refilling.

Robert Piguet Bandit Shower Cream: Found this recently on some USA site for a very reasonable price so bought a few. Lovely leather bubbles with a spicy wood whiff. YUM

Olympic Orchids Amber & Labdanum Bath Oil: The most lavish bath oil on the planet. Perfect as a base to any fragrance with amber or resins and the scent is almost enough on its own to get you through the day.

Roger & Gallet Cedrat: Zingy fresh citrus that bubbles like crazy, you hardly need any to fill your tub and the fragrance lasts under an hour on your skin afterwards.

Guerlain Shalimar: The one and only. I am pretty sure you guys don’t need to be told how luxurious a Shalimar Bubble Bath is?

L’Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons: The prettiest white flowers lightly sweetened that really does smell like flittering butterflies in spring.

So what do you use to bathe? Do you have a special shower gel, soap, bubble bath? Shares please in the comments.
Portia xx

Sunflowers by David Apel for Elizabeth Arden 1993

Hello Happy Huffers,

Sometimes the cheapest fragrances smell amazing, who knows why. I wore Sunflowers for a time when trying to convince myself all I needed in my life was one fragrance that smelled fresh and light and to prove that I didn’t need to spend a fortune. Do you ever go through self denial periods where you want to streamline your existence? Well, Sunflowers was part of my streamlining life till a friend took me aside and had a word. Not just about my tacky choice of fragrance but also about its cheap bottle and what was I thinking wearing such awful dross when there was so much better available.  My pathetic, “I like it” fell on deaf ears and in the end I binned my bottle. Peer pressure!

Imagine my surprise then when I am working with a girlfriend of mine not so long ago and when asked what her fabulous fragrance that is all sexy white flowers and spice, that smells like a very expensive niche offering on her turns out to be

Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden 1993

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, rosewood, orange blossom, mandarin, bergamot, melon, peach
Heart: Cyclamen, rose, jasmine, osmanthus, iris root
Base: Musk, cedar, amber, moss, sandalwood

I love the fruity fresh opening that already has the waxy cyclamen floating through it. It’s bright and easy and relaxed in a comfortable and desirable way. Even though I know she wouldn’t wear it I think of my buddy and original APJ partner EvieC when I smell it. She is so devastatingly beautiful even after university, modelling, traveling the world, working for big TV conglomerates, marriage, children, happiness, loss, the works, and still gives the impression of beautiful and unruffled calm. That effortless beauty and poise that many ex models have.

Photo Stolen brisbanephotos

On my skin the flowers meld seamlessly through Sunflowers heart, not the spicy white flower extravaganza that my GF pumped, still it is lovely and wearable. I’m not sure what it is but there is a fatness, like butter, that underlies the whole fragrance giving it heft. The iris root keeps everything cool and the bouquet is quite green, only warming slightly towards dry down with the amber and woods, though on me these are not heavy hitters just a pretty wafting softness that stays around until the 8+ hour mark, barely there but noticeable if I really sniff myself.

Photo Stolen scent-sation

Way too perfumed for officewear but in most other endeavours Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden should be a perfect fit. Not sexy or alluring in an obvious way but the scent is pretty and inviting, more of a Mary-Ann than a Ginger from Gilligan’s Island.

ISimplyLOveMakeUp and LouLouDiaries are the only 2 non sales motivated reviews I could find on Google for further reading.

CheapSmells has 100ml/$19
MyPerfumeSamples starts at $2/ml or I bought 5ml for $6

Just a reminder that it doesn’t have to cost $400 to be a wonderful, fun and memorable fragrance. Sometimes it really does pay to stop and smell the Sunflowers.
Till tomorrow we at APJ wish you only the good stuff you wish yourselves.
Portia xxx


Hey Hey Scent Hogs,

These are quick looks at a few of the fragrances I wore this week for my own fragrance pleasure. The Sunday QuickSniff Review page is opened on Monday morning and every time I spritz and am near the computer I’ll give a 3 sentence review with a rating out of 5 each for, well, see the key after the reviews. Often these are samples I’ve bought or had sent to me by friends, or a FB that I may fully review later, or have done before and want to remind you of its existence.

BELOVED by AMOUAGE 2012. This opens sensationally on me. A big fat old fashioned sparkling spicy floral with depth and character, you can smell the deep drumming of the animalic, vanilla and amberish undercurrents. It’s so sexy as it starts pounding out its syncopated ululation, flowers, animals, herbs, wood, flowers, balsam, spices, cat. Unfortunately after less than an hour it becomes the merest whisper of a skin scent on me (this is my 4th spritz in a day) but everyone else that I’ve read reviews from gets hours and hours, GRRRRR.  S=***** L=** D=****

KENZO FLOWER EdT by KENZO 2000. I received this bottle from Annie, THANKS!! Usually fresh, aqueous fragrances aren’t my thing, but maybe my nose is evolving because this is dynamite!! On my skin the hawthorn is cool GREEN and the resin, vanilla and musk ironically completely overtake any flowers that might have been there making me think of torn leaves and broken branches. A thoroughly delicious, light, bright, sparkling fragrance that has deceptive sillage and longevity too. FragranceShop has 50ml Tester for $38 S=**** L=**** D=****

BADGLEY MISCHKA Parfum 2006. OMFG!! On my skin this opens so SWEET, AARRGH. The peach and red berries are gut wrenchingly, tooth achingly, pant for oxygen sweet and almost had me running to the shower but I pushed through and WOW am I glad I did. This is a serenade, a love song and a poem; it calms down after 5 minutes into an amazing warm and delicious, slightly foody floral chypre that dies down to hours and hours of almost masculine, sexy woods, resins and musky caramel YUM. FragranceNet has 15ml for under $20 S=**** L=***** D=****

SUNFLOWERS by ELIZABETH ARDEN 1993. Years ago I used to wear this all the time, I was going through a phase where I decided one perfume in my cupboard was enough. I loved it so much and thought I smelled delicious until someone had a word, I was devastated and stopped wearing it, throwing the bottle in the bin. Tonight I was working with a girlfriend and the most glorious fruit juicy white floral and warm spicy perfume was wafting around, it was so divine I thought it must be an expensive niche tuberose but it was Sunflowers and she smelled awesome. FragranceX has 100ml under $20  S=***** L=**** D=*****

Photo Stolen from shirtsays

Scent, Obviously the number 1 priority here is how does it smell. My reviews are completely subjective and will differ widely from your own experience with the scent but it’s a good starting point. As yet I am not a trained perfumer so any and all descriptions are merely that, descriptions. There are plenty of blogs that offer technical details and chemistry, in 3 sentences I’ll pass.
Longevity, This is a biggie for me because like enfleurage where flower petals are left in fats to steal the scent, my fatty body works the same and eats it up, yum. So for a scent to last well on me, it will probably last a whole day on you and need a radioactive decontamination shower to defuse it from your skin.
Desirabilty, Wrapped up in this is scent, price, house, history, longevity, packaging, availability and a billion other things.

Photo Stolen from bittbox

* in any of these being the, “You couldn’t pay enough to spray this God awful stink on me again, it smells like public toilets in India, long time fridge malfunction while on Summer holiday and the vile stench of poverty all rolled into one.” You are putting innocent people in danger if you wear this.
** means it’s a nothing, wearable, boring, maybe the price is prohibitive for what you get or it’s ubiquitous. You should definitely get a sample of this to stop a buying boo boo.
*** is a perfectly good product that smells good and lasts a while at a decent price. You should definitely think about trying a sample or squirt but should you miss out your life will continue. Sample size worthy.
**** is the one you try, want a lot but can wait for a birthday/Christmas. It’s better than most of the stuff you’ve sniffed and may fill a void in your library. This is also an excellent decant product 5ml will get you through the season and maybe buy it next year.
***** meaning, stop reading this, grab your cash, credit card (or partners), roll the elderly or rob a petrol station and purchase this product. NOW! If you don’t have this fragrance you could die.

Hopefully this has given you a little inside track on fragrances to might buy, want, avoid, sample. What delicious bits and pieces did you try this week?

Portia xx

What do GRUMPY people smell like?

Hey all,

So ever had a day that from the moment you were awakened it all seemed like shit on toast? Not even!! No one took the time to do toast, it was shit sandwich.

Well, I am being over dramatic, of course, but I did have a major case of the grumps yesterday which meant people who are my nearest and dearest were finding other rooms (read suburbs) to be in. I kept having to say to TSO Jin, “I’m not really angry about this. Please excuse me,” after flying off the handle at tiny little things that irk me usually but today generated seismic tremors. I felt like Ouisa Boudreaux (Shirley MacLean) from Steel Magnolias, and usually I’m Claree Belcher (Olympia Dukakis).

What do grumpy people wear?

L’Eau D’Ambre
In the morning L’Artisam Parfumeur’s 1978 release L’Eau D’Ambre got a run. I’ve talked about this scent recently so won’t bore you all but L’Eau D’Ambre is a pants fragrance that stiffens by back and fills up my cajones when I have to get business accomplished.

Photo Stolen from L’Artisan Parfumeur

Green Tea
Home in the afternoon and wanting something fresh and lively to lift my spirits and give a breath of fresh air I chose Elizabeth Arden’s 1999 offering, Green Tea. How do they get all those delicious notes in this perfume to smell exactly like a fresh cuppa? It’s a budget scent but Francis Kurkdjian, Green Tea’s nose, has done extraordinary work on some of your favourites: JPGaultier Le Male; Ellie Saab Le Parfum, Narciso Rodriguez For Her, and his own Maison Francis Kurkdjian line. This is quality breeding folks. It is a short, sharp shot of lovely and lively that helps me to center. PS Yesterday we featured a  Francis Kurkdjian interview.

Photo Stolen from Fragrantica

No 5
Late afternoon and still grumpy so I thought the splendid and extravagant thrill of Chanel’s 1921 visionary/copycat (depending on who you believe) No 5 might lift and separate the gloom. That effervescent flash of citrus & aldehydes, followed by ylang-ylang,  jasmine, rose, iris & more, warmed by vanilla, musk, woods and patchouli. So; sharp, bouquet, deep clay earth is how it runs in my mind as the notes (that I mostly can’t follow definitively anyway) float over and around me. It is sexy, stately and gorgeous, and for a while, so am I. Lost in the absolute bliss, and Mum memories, of a masterpiece.

Photo Stolen from

Evening saw me restless and wanting more glamour; so off for a HOT Radox bath with some lightly scented body wash for bubbles and moisturising non-soap. MMMMM My most delicious and sensual waste of time, usually with a book. (Currently The Widow Clicqout by Tilar J. Mazzeo, the Chanel No 5 biographer. Good stuff.)

Parfum de Maroc
Warm, clean and fresh it was time for something more niche and exclusive. A sample of Parfum de Maroc by Aftelier Perfumes that swept me away when I first tried it was put aside when i fell heavily for Crepes & Tuberose and invested in a bottle. I forgot what a delicious journey Parfum de Maroc (perfume of Morocco) takes you on. Harvested directly from Aftelier Perfumes website; they say…

Photo Stolen from Aftelier

Scent Family: Spicy Floral
Inspired by an ancient Moroccan spice recipe Ras el Hanout or “top of the shop” – a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer….
Top: saffron, galangal.
Heart: Turkish rose, nutmeg.
Base: cardamom, myrrh.

Thanks for reading. What do you wear when GRUMPY?

Portia xx