Scent Diary: 20.1-26.1.2020




Hey there APJ Crew,

This week was a Sample Only Week. Using up a bunch of the samples lying around here unloved. The idea has been to put the whole .7ml (or whatever is left of a decant) on at once and wear it. I drop the lot in my hand, rub it together after shave wise and then pat it on my chest and arms. Effective. These samples have been purchased from First In FragranceSurrender To Chance or LuckyScent and a couple were frag friend gifted.

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Scent Diary: 6.8 – 12.8.2018




Hey there APJ Crew,

Jin and I are back living together. We had the kids by themselves, they left yesterday, and I know it’s hard to believe but I have NO COMPLAINTS! They were not perfect, who is?, but they were respectful, tidy and very low maintenance. I also like the people they are turning into. Now that their English is conversational life is much easier. My Korean is still about 20 words, so obviously I’m not helping matters.

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Indian Study / Santal +++ by Miller et Bertaux 2017




Hi there Scent Hounds,

It seems Sandalwood is the new fragrant Pink Pepper and Oud rolled into one. Now that the Australian Mysore and Australian Santalum spicatum are doing big business the base note favourite is back in vogue and there are some excellent new fragrances using them as the core story. Miller et Bertaux have jumped on board early, releasing their newest baby Indian Study / Santal +++ in 2017. Libertine Parfumerie is bringing it into Australia and I got a sneaky sniff at their Winter 2018 Showcase. Continue reading

Laudano Nero by Paolo Terenzio for Tiziana Terenzi 2014




Hey there APJ,

Yesterday Evan came over for a sniff. Well he really came over to give me a sniff of his newest fragrant beauties. What a fabulous bunch he has purchased lately. There were Nishane, Creed, Tom Ford, Villoresi and a bunch of others. So much fun sniffing together on cardboard and after initial sniffings I decided to put two on my skin, Tom Ford Lavender Palm and Laudano Nero.

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Khanbaliq by Enrico Buccella for Sigilli 2013




Hello lovers of Underrated Fragrances,

Somehow Sigilli has slipped through the cracks. The fragrances mainly come from the early 2000s but Khanbaliq was released in 2013, it’s the most modern offering from the house and not all of the fragrances are available on the Sigilli website anymore.

Jin and I discovered the brand in Venice on our first big holiday together. There is a maze of shops behind the Piazza San Marco and somewhere in there is an extremely well stocked little perfumery, run by two sisters. I purchased Pyrgos at that time but since have wished that I grabbed a couple of others.

Khanbaliq by Sigilli 2013

Khanbaliq by Enrico Buccella


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bitter orange, ginger, cinnamon, coriander
Heart: Cloves, plum, fir, pine tree, peony
Base: Peony, violet, ambergris

Spicy oranges and a slightly bitter chocolate smell. Pine and my nose is telling me patchouli, a breathy and earthy smelting that could be the ambergris. A weird dissonant herbaceous green and mentholated woodiness wars with the citrus and fruits. It’s an interesting fragrant contrapuntal effect. Unusual without being challenging, straight through the heart.



My surprise in Khanbaliq is that while projection is not enormous it is still very good at changing the smell around me. It also fills the room when I leave and return. Insidious, it seems to march off my skin and try to fragrantly populate whatever area i’m in.

A really good nod to some older fragrances. Breathy indole, some animals and a beautiful bouquet tempered by greenery. I am surprised there are no white flowers mentioned because Khanbaliq gives the feeling they are in there somewhere.  Though the nod is to vintage I feel that it may be the clarion call of a style we are about to see i the fragrant world. A return to having some ass in our fragrances.


According to Wikipedia: Khanbaliq (or Dadu) was the capital of the Yuan dynasty, the main center of the Mongol Empire founded by Kublai Khan in what is now Beijing.

First In Fragrance has €95/100ml
Surrender To Chance have samples from $3.50/ml

First In Fragrance: Visiting Aus Liebe Zum Duft, Bruchsal, Germany


Val the Cookie Queen


Hey all you APJ Friends!

As you may or may not have gathered from my last post, I took off to Bruchsal, Germany with my husband (Chris) last week. I have wanted to visit ALZD/First in Fragrance (FiF) for years. So Chris and I made a deal. We would drive up there for three days, delivering my cookies in Salzburg on the way. One day perfume, one day downhill biking and hiking, one day Munich.

First In Fragrance

Visiting Aus Liebe Zum Duft, Bruchsal, Germany

ALZD/FiF was founded by Georg R Wuchsa in the year 2000. Hop over to the website First In Fragrance and you can read the history behind it all. I would be willing to bet that many of us have ordered, and still order fragrance samples from here. There is no better way to be able to try all of the hundreds of perfumes.

Filling Samples – How Does It Work?

There are four lovely ladies filling samples non-stop. All the samples are decanted from the original bottles. The sample is exactly what comes in the bottle. (I dunno if I am the only one to have noticed that sometimes carded samples do not smell the same as the perfume in the bottles.)

Of course many of the perfume houses are so small that they don´t do official samples anyway. There are around 2000, yep, two thousand, bottles to chose from. As the ladies look at the orders, they grab the bottles from the shelves and put them on a tray. Then back to the desk to fill the requested samples.
After completing several orders at once they return the bottles to their places, or at least that is the idea!! The orders are then beautifully packaged along with maybe some sweets, or little toys, perfumed feathers, and other little goodies. Making it a joy for anyone to receive, whether a small order or a big one. The girls fill at least 3000 samples a week.

ALZD/FiF now has a a beautiful range of cosmetics, and the Frederic Malle and Serge Lutens lines have recently been introduced. ALZD is now the online partner of the Austrian company .

What did I buy? Travel sizes of Malle´s Iris Powder for me (I wish I had bought a big bottle, it´s divine), Dries Van Noten for the Blondeswunder, Monsieur for my personal trainer (He´s moving on from his 6 euro cologne ….!) and a BIG bottle of Portrait of a Lady for me. Finally. Chris came home with a bottle of Nasomatto´s Black Afgano. After getting over the initial disappointment of not being able to smoke it, he was quite happy. He never wears scent, but a few drops of this suits him really well. I have forbidden him to use more than half a spray at any one time. Two beautiful Diptyque candles joined the bag of goodies too.

It was an absolutely fabulous day. They have two canine noses, but only one was in the house. Beate Humbert, Georg´s right hand woman, has been with the company since day one. She took us through everything, from the offices, to the workplace and into the warehouse. Brilliant. Her son works there too, and it was their dog, Gatsby that was there. Chris split with him and took him for a walk, or perhaps the dog took him!

A million thanks to the whole ALZD crew it was such a brilliant day.

Following are pics, in no particular order. Chris took his camera and snapped lots of stuff. Had it been left to me you´d have had nothing. I suck at pics when I have to take them. Ask Portia.

Hallowe’en Bussis

First In Fragrance + Bruchsal, Germany Photo Essay

Hello Lovely APJers,

During Michael & my recent travels we made a special detour to go meet the crew at First In Fragrance in Germany. Beate and the crew (Shane, Sabine, Margit, Katharina) were so friendly and helpful. Wec learned so much about fragrances, the broad ranges that are now available and I personally got to make up some samples to be sent out to the world with orders! It was totally fun.

First In Fragrance

Also, did you know that a First In Fragrance sample is around 3-4ml and comes in a spray atomiser? They are very reasonable priced and send to the world.
Aus Liebe zum Duft
Bahnhofstrasse 10
D-76646 Bruchsal

Later today you can come back and join in our spectacular GIVEAWAY! First In Fragrance has given APJ a bottle of Acqua de Parma Oud for a very special giveaway. See you later.

Bruchsal, Germany Photo Essay

Here is a small selection of photos of our time in Bruchsal with the First In Fragrance crew and some of it’s highlights and heritage.

First In Fragrance 2014 #4Arriving in Bruchsal by train

First In Fragrance 2014 #14Meeting one of my Childhood friends Stefanie for dinner
First In Fragrance 2014 #1ONE of First In Fragrance’s sample walls

First In Fragrance 2014 #2Portia annoying the girls with questions

First In Fragrance 2014 #3Michael overwhelmed by choice

First In Fragrance 2014 #5Evening falls and Michael still sniffing

First In Fragrance 2014 #6The girls put me to work, I filled about 9 orders

First In Fragrance 2014 #7Day 2 and our lovely hostess Lisa

First In Fragrance 2014 #8Beate, what a lovely lady. Took such time for us. SO knowledgeable.

First In Fragrance 2014 #9Bruchsal Palace (Schloss Bruchsal)

First In Fragrance 2014 #10

First In Fragrance 2014 #11

Bruchsal Palace (Schloss Bruchsal) is the only Prince-Bishop’s residence on the Upper Rhine. It is famous for its opulent staircase constructed by Balthasar Neumann – known as the “crown jewel of all Baroque staircases”. It was constructed in 1720 as a residence for the Prince-Bishops of Speyer. The then Prince-Bishop, Damian Hugo von Schönborn, an avid art collector, played an important role in planning the complex. The three-wing palace is built of sandstone. The collection of exquisitely matched buildings, along with the carefully laid out garden, make up an extraordinarily beautiful ensemble. DON’T arrive till 10am because the gorgon won’t let you in, even if it’s 9.45 and you can’t stay. GRRRRR Bruchsal Palace Online

First In Fragrance 2014 #12The Church of St. Peter is especially important to the people of Bruchsal. Not only is it the work of the famous Baroque architect, Balthasar Neumann, but it was also the only church in Bruchsal to survive the Allied bombing of the town in March 1945 unscathed. The Church of St. Peter online

First In Fragrance 2014 #1359 Things To Do In Bruchsal site

 We had an incredible two day stopover in Bruchsal. I wish we’d had another two so we could really get to see the city. Bruchsal, you are on my list for next time.

Loads of love to you all and special thanks to (First In Fragrance).

Portia xx