Saturday Question: What Do You Love To Smell On Your Closest Peeps?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is 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 and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a $10 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Over 200 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Comment purposefully on yours or anothers comment & you’ll have a chance, will draw on Friday.

Last Weeks Winner: We didn’t reach 100

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with the eMail you’d like me to send your Gift Card to.

Saturday Question:

What Do You Love To Smell On Your Closest Peeps?

I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately. My friends aren’t as into fragrance as I am. There are some notable exceptions though that are. It’s always interesting to me what they choose to spritz themselves with. There are some things that I love to smell on them and they instantly create a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart when I give them a hug and their wearing my faves for them.

So today I want us to talk about all our closest peeps, family, friends, significant others or even a mate at the office who sometimes smells particularly awesome.

My Answer:

Obviously Jin is the person I get to smell close up the most often. He is my partner, we live together, eat, socialise, shop and travel together regularly. Most days will have me in his orbit and close enough to grab a whiff. I get super happy when he wears Bottega Veneta original EdP. When I fell madly in love with it and was going to buy it for myself he decided he should get it so I could smell it on him. GREAT idea, it smells absolutely amazing on him and I always get a rush of pleasure when he is wafting it.

He also smells unbelievably gorgeous in Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling. This is a double win for me because I get to sniff Jin smelling wonderful and it also reminds me of our beautiful friend Neela.


My BFF Kath wears a few scents but two of them stand out for me particularly. Brecourt Haram (now called Farah) was something she fell in love with while we were on a trip down top Melbourne and had dropped into Peony Melbourne. She bought a bottle then and I was lucky enough to grab a couple on sale so keep her supplied. There is something glorious about Kath in honeyed spices drizzled over amber and patchouli. It smells fabulous. She also wears Givenchy Play but it never really registers on me, I know she smells good but it’s a background good.


Another BFF is Alice, she has two scents that I instantly recognise as her when I go in for a hug. CHANEL Coco is one. The spicy oriental whoosh of it upon her lady like person is quite the oxymoron. Then she speaks and suddenly it all makes sense. Her other perfect scent is Emporia Armani She, this sweet citrus floriental actually is the smell of Alice. Somehow they managed to grab exactly what she should smell like and then make sure she got it. LOADS of it, she has truckloads of it just in case.

My Saturday Question to you is:

What Do You Love To Smell On Your Closest Peeps?



Golden Oldies: Worn For Life


Post by Anne-Marie


Hi all

What is the perfume you have worn the longest in your life?

Golden Oldies: Worn For Life

Chanel No 19 Eau de Parfum Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, bergamot, green notes
Heart: Iris, narcissus, rose, lily of the valley
Base: Sandalwood, leather, vetiver, oakmoss

I’ve worn Chanel No 19 on and off for … ahem … something like thirty years. I don’t know how I could afford it but I bought my first 50ml bottle of the EDT in the mid-80s when I was a student. Between then and 1991 (still a student) I went through that bottle and bought two more. I still have them all; the first completely drained, the latter two are nearly used and rather on the turn now. (Why did I buy a third before the second was drained? I can’t remember.)

In later years I added more bottles of the EDT and EDP to my collection. I still wear it No 19. It’s the perfume I’ve worn the longest, more than half my life.

In those early years I also bought Estée Lauder White Linen, Lancome Magie Noire, Laura Ashley No. 1, and Eau Sauvage (two bottles). Later, after I moved cities, I remember buying Paloma Picasso, Patou Joy, Estee Lauder Pleasures, and Eau de Givenchy. The last was a souvenir of a trip to the UK and Europe in 1996. I bought it in Paris. Squeee!


This was all before I had started having children in 1998, and ceased spending money on perfume for several years.

I don’t wear any of those regularly any more. I’ve moved on from the Lauders, as you do. Paloma Picasso has some sad memories. Magie Noire I wear occasionally still. Joy I never really liked and still don’t. I bought it to celebrate the fact that I could actually afford a perfume once touted as ‘the most costly perfume in the world’. By 1993 it wasn’t, but I loved the idea of it. Eau de Givenchy has to compete every summer with a clutch of other eaux, though it is still the best of the bunch probably.


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, mint, red fruit
Heart: Ylang-ylang, honeysuckle, pure jasmine, narcissus, tuberose, lily-of-the-valley, rose, cyclamen, orris root
Base: Sandalwood, musk, cedar, oakmoss

Anyway – I’m wondering what is the perfume you have worn the longest, and which you still wear? What is the perfume to which you keep returning, no matter how many other perfumed paths you have explored?

Does this long-standing choice suggest something fundamental and abiding about your taste? Note, for instance, that my early perfume collection contained no gourmands, and no orientals except Magie Noire which is part-chypre anyway. Note also that I skipped the marine/ozonic perfumes of the 90s altogether. Thank God. I’d rather squirt L’Eau d’Issey in my eye than wear it on skin.
Or, have you completely left behind all your early perfume explorations and discarded those early, embarrassing bottles?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Until next time, keep spritzing everyone!

L`Interdit Givenchy: LIVE Video Sniff


Post by Portia


Hey Happy Huffers,

This is one of Scott’s favourite fragrances. To be honest I’d never knowingly sniffed it. He loves it, and has loved it for years. It was really lovely of him to bring his amazing parfum find for us to do an opening video of, it’s nice to share the moment.

L`Interdit by Francis Fabron for Givenchy 1957

LIVE Video Sniff

L`Interdit Givenchy FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, spices, mandarin orange, peach, bergamot, strawberry
Heart: Iris, violet, narcissus, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, rose
Base: Sandalwood, amber, musk, benzoin, vetiver, tonka bean

If you have never smelled vintage L’Interdit parfum do yourself a favour and stay far away from its loveliness. Who needs an expensive, discontinued, nightmare to find obsession?

Amarige by Dominique Ropion for Givenchy 1991


Post by Anne-Marie


A little while ago I did a round-up of print and online reviews of one of the most reviled perfumes on the counter: Givenchy’s Amarige. Now I’d like to share my own views. An astute reader will probably have decided that I would not be going to this much trouble if I hated Amarige, and you are right. I do love it. So THERE!

 Amarige by Givenchy 1991

 Amarige by Dominique Ropion


Amarige Givenchy FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, Neroli, Peach, Plum, Rosewood, Violet Heart
Heart: Gardenia, Carnation, Jasmine, Cassia, Mimosa, Orchid, Black locust, Rose, Red berries, Black currant, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Amber, Woody notes, Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Cedar

Firstly, the notes (deep breath):
Top: orange blossom, plum, mandarin, violet, peach, neroli, Brazilian rosewood.
Heart: red berries, mimosa, carnation, black locust, tuberose, blackcurrant, gardenia, casie, orchids, jasmine, ylang ylang, rose.
Base: sandalwood, tonka, amber, musk, vanilla, woody notes, cedar

How does it smell to me? I don’t much bother trying to separate the notes. To me Amarige smells of peaches, white flowers, and sunshine. Yellow is a dominant colour in the marketing and while I don’t dress in yellow, I get my ‘yellow’ from Amarige. It’s a colour – and a scent – of confidence, happiness and optimism.

Amarige’s bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand and inspired by a blouse Hubert de Givenchy had designed in 1952 for his model, muse and some time press agent, Bettina Graziani. High-collared and narrow at the waist, the sleeves of the ‘Bettina blouse’ were deeply ruffled with broderie anglaise, and those ruffles are referenced in the cap on the bottle.

Amarige Givenchy Bettina Blouse PinterestPhoto Stolen Pinterest

Tuberose? I compared Amarige with other ‘scoundrels’ (Luca Turin’s word) of the era: Giorgio of Beverly Hills and Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door. The tuberose in those is indeed very and harsh and synthetic, to my nose, whereas in Amarige the tuberose is balanced and blended with other notes, especially that joyful peach.

Too strong? Oh for goodness sake! Just wear less. Nobody is forcing you to spritz Amarige 16 times, are they? What? Your Auntie Sharon did actually spritz it 16 times, back in the 90s? Well good on her. She smelled better than if she had been wearing any amount of Issey Miyake. Yes she did.

Speaking of Issey Miyake, some perfume critics write of the 90s as a time of freshness and restraint in perfume. In the 80s, perfumes were too strong and we all wore too much. In the 90s we detoxed, apparently, on fragrances like Calvin Klein’s CK One and Clinique’s Happy. But no, that’s not quite true. The divas kept coming. Not just Amarige, but Lancome’s Trésor and Poème, Liz Taylor’s White Diamonds, Gucci’s L’Arte di Gucci and Rush, Thierry Mugler’s Angel, YSL’s Yvresse, Hermès’ 24 Faubourg, Dior’s Docle Vita and J’Adore, and Chanel’s Allure.

And yet the clean watery fragrances did sell like crazy, so perhaps the only explanation is that they were bought by people who would otherwise not wear fragrance at all – memories of Auntie Sharon – meaning that the fragrance market overall must have expanded in the 1990s.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

FragranceNet has $28/30ml
My Perfume Samples starts at $2/ml

I started out with Amarige and have ended up with 90s fruity florals in general.
What do you think? A good era for perfume, the 90s? Or … not?

Amarige by Dominic Ropion for Givenchy 1991


Post by Anne-Marie


For some time I have wanted to tackle a review of Givenchy’s 1991 powerhouse fragrance Amarige but in thinking about Amarige, one of the most divisive fragrances on the counter today, I began browsing not just the online reviews, but some perfume books in my collection. I don’t have an extensive library on perfume but I have a few works, and very interesting they can be, especially the older ones.

So today I thought I would bring you a taste of these diverse published opinions on a fragrance upon which no-one seems to be neutral. Everyone has an opinion on Amarige!

Amarige by Dominic Ropion for Givenchy 1991

A review of reviews

Amarige Givenchy FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, Neroli, Peach, Plum, Rosewood, Violet Heart
Heart: Gardenia, Carnation, Jasmine, Cassia, Mimosa, Orchid, Black locust, Rose, Red berries, Black currant, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Amber, Woody notes, Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Cedar

Released in 1991, Amarige is a colossal white floral which somehow missed the memo that the 90s would be the era of clean, simple fragrances.

Jan Moran:
Amarige is a romantic floral creation, youthful and fresh, lightened by sparkling notes of mandarin and neroli, followed by rich white flowers embedded in a sensual musk, wood and vanilla base. A delicately feminine fragrance.
Jan Moran, Fabulous Fragrances: how to select your perfume wardrobe (Crescent House Publishing, 1994)
Fresh? Delicate? Ye Gods and Little Fishes Jan! I know your book came out in 1994 and that the 1980sa were not far behind you, but really! Even then you must have known that Amarige is about as delicate as the water tumbling over the Hoover Dam. Sheesh!

John Oakes:
Sultry is probably the word to describe this strong, elaborate and passionate perfume … Its unconventionality and breeding place it well above the usual shriek and clamour of reckless ‘moderns’. A woman will either fall immediately in love with it or avoid its uncompromising demands. It is a lusciously exotic perfume – mesmerising and sophisticated. It is Givenchy’s most daring adventure.
John Oakes, The New Book of Perfumes (Prion Books, 2000)
Considering that Oakes’ declared favourite perfume is Balmain’s Vent Vert (‘green wind’), which is stratospherically different from Amarige, his review is a masterpiece of diplomacy. I wonder what were the ‘reckless “moderns” ‘ he was thinking of in 2000?

Luca Turin:
This is the review that put Amarige on the map for innocents like me who had until encountering his book had never tried it. Many of us probably recite this one by heart, can’t we? Here we go:
We nearly gave it four stars: the soapy-green tobacco tuberose accord Dominique Ropion designed for Amarige is unmissable, unmistakable, and unforgettable. However, it is also truly loathsome, perceptible even at parts-per-billion levels, and at all times incompatible with others’ enjoyment of food, music, sex and travel. If you are reading this because it’s your darling fragrance, please wear it at home exclusively, and tape the windows shut. LT
Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, Perfumes: the guide (Penguin, 2008)
Equal parts amusing and insulting, like so many Turin-Sanchez reviews. Only one star was actually awarded, meaning I suppose that while he and TS find Amarige technically accomplished, LT personally loathes it. Fair enough.

Barbara Herman:
With a jumble of synthetic-smelling fruit notes that smell as jarring as spandex shorts with headbands and fanny packs now look, Amarige’s predictable progression in a tuberose-sweet floral heart and vanilla/amber woody base makes it hard to separate from its sisters (Cabotine, Giorgio, Animale, etc). … Amarige’s sandalwood and cedar base at least helps redeem it by providing depth and texture to the chemical stew that bubbles at its heart. … It’s hard to imagine this style of sweetness will ever come back into perfume, even ironically.
Barbara Herman, Scent & Subversion: decoding a century of provocative perfume (Lyon Press, 2013)

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

FragranceNet has $28/30ml
My Perfume Samples starts at $2/ml

So, what in 1994 was ‘fresh’ and ‘delicate’ is now a ‘chemical stew’ which should only be worn in privacy among consenting adults. What a difference 20 years makes!

Have you worn Amarige?


Givenchy: Dahlia Divin Fragrance 2014 Ad Campaign

Hello Frag & Music Lovers,

Here is a pretty sensational pairing. Givenchy, once the home base of Audrey Hepburn, has taken a new and modern beauty as its face. Although I have loved Alicia Keys voice since “Fallin'” when she was a meer slip of a girl now having seen some recent interviews I am completely smitten. Alicia offers smart, sassy, soulful and a whole truckload of other positive things. I think her a role model for generations to come. Fingers crossed.

Portia xx

Givenchy Dahlia Divin Fragrance 2014 Ad Campaign

Grammy-winning singer Alicia Keys is sitting pretty is a Riccardo Tisci-designed embellished champagne-hued gown for the new fragrance campaign of Givenchy Dahlia Divin. The prices range from $65 to $110 a bottle, with a Skin Dew option for $53. (source)