Holiday Scents: Anne-Marie




Hi all
Last month my kids and I spent a couple of weeks in my home city of Hobart, visiting family and just generally relaxing. We go nearly every year and never feel especially energetic during our holidays. We have our routines; stuff we like to do and things we like to see.

Here’s a few of the ways I scented my down-time this year.

Holiday Scents: Anne-Marie



Guy Laroche: Fidji

I bought a bottle of this at St Cloud Perfumery in Hobart, where I have been an irregular customer for more years than I’m willing to admit. It’s a friendly place where I can try some old classics I never see at home. I might have bought Worth Je Reviens but they only had a tester, no stock for sale. I settled on Fidji, but was disappointed. I find it a merely pleasant moist green floral with a twist of citrus. Lamentably short-lived. Wish I’d smelled it in its heyday. Read Azar’s glorious Fidji review.

The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream

One year I wandered into The Body Shop in Hobart looking to treat myself with something nice, and came away with a small bottle of this. I’ve never taken to the other products in the Shea range, just the shower cream. Now we take a bottle every time and holidays would not be complete without it. This time I sensed a new accord: a little twist of citrus in the opening moment. Or am I imagining that? Delicious! Check out the Body Shop Range.


Annick Goutal: Songes EDT

This is a current obsession of mine. Jasmine, tiaré flower, ylang-ylang, frangipani and vanilla. Nothing more or less is needed for pure, sensual scented pleasure. Songes is not my normal style of fragrance, but contrarily, I adore it. Maybe it works for me at some un-analysable, aroma-therapeutic level because I find it very comforting. For two weeks I wore this more than any other perfume in my little holiday kit. Songs Review.


Christian Dior: Diorella

This one is going through a revival in my perfume rotation this summer. I’ve had a bottle for some years but felt perpetually disappointed in its longevity. But I thought I’d give it a new chance and oddly enough, I find I can smell it on skin for longer than I remember from the past. Diorella is, of course, a masterpiece of modern perfumery which transcends the sum of its parts (citrus, ripe fruit, flowers and moss). I know some people prefer vintage Diorella but I happily wear the current (well, 2009) version. Diorella review.

Lush Happy Hippy shower gel

HH was waiting for me in my bathroom for my first shower after coming home. It’s scented with juicy grapefruit, not at all weird or sharp, just zesty and refreshing. Welcome home!

Are you dreaming of a summer escape? Or are you on one right now? What fragrances are special for you on holidays?
Happy spritzing until next time everyone!


Lunch + Sniff: Great Afternoon Fun


Post by Portia


One of the things that we really like to do here in Sydney is organise to meet up with mates and share some happy sniffing times. Over lunch, a cuppa or even an alcoholic beverage should the atmosphere be conducive we sniff and chatter, gossip and parse. No one else ever quite gets the excitement of a vintage find or an extravagant splurge. It’s really nice to be able to use the vocabulary of scent with people who speak it.

Lunch + Sniff: Great Afternoon Fun

Something else super fun about having a lunch + Sniff is that you get to try things previously off your radar, out of your price range or so far out of your personal comfort zone and all at no cost other than a spot of lunch. There’s also the fun of meeting someone else who adores that thing your other friends would prefer you not wear, a scent twin, a J.F. Schwarzlose Berlin, Knize, DIOR, Humiecki & Graef or vintage Rochas Femme aficionado. The thrill of hanging out with someone else who even knows what you mean when you say these things is undeniable. Lately I have been quite lucky and over the holiday period have had two chances to Sniff + Lunch.

Both days were spent in the Art Gallery of NSW Members Lounge. I love it there, food is cheap, comfortable seating and they let us spray (Except one day when we fumigated the place with vintage Ungaro Diva) to our hearts content. Currently the walls are hung with about 12 Lloyd Rees paintings that would usually be kept in the vaults, they change the Members Lounge exhibition regularly and it’s always interesting pieces unseen in the main gallery areas.

Sonya Scott Portia Art Gellery NSW Dec 2015
Scott, Sonya and I are catching up pre-Christmas and smelling vintage CHANEL, Nina Ricci, Guy Laroche and a few others. Sonya & I are so busy it’s rare that we get a chance to chat properly and it was terrific fun. We all discussed fragrance and our addiction to both the scents and the shopping for them, kids, jobs, family, home and the upcoming Christmas festivities. Besides the catch up stuff it was also really good to listen to Scott & Sonya chat fragrance, their noses and ability to parse are well above mine and it’s always instructional to listen to them when they strike fragrant gold.

Tim Portia Art Gellery NSW Dec 2015
Here Tim and I smelling the newest Dawn Spencer Hurwitz fragrances, vintage DIOR & CHANEL and some of the early Oliver & Co fragrances. Tim is an avid enthusiast and his fragrance sniffing history is more the menswear reals so I like to bring him some unusual, interesting and vintage stuff. We spend most of the time laughing. It was really fun getting our first sniff of the new DSH lines together, his assistance invaluable in helping me understand the different levels of fragrance held within their gorgeous folds. Yes, there will be a couple of reviews in the near future.

Do you ever get to spend Sniff + Lunch time? It’s so worth it and you learn a LOT more in company.
Can’t find any perfumistas in your area? Try the facebook fragrance boards, here are three of my favourites: Australian Fragrance Network, Facebook Fragrance Friends or Peace, Love & Perfume. You could also start a Meet-Up group in your area, you’ll be surprised how many people nearby are into fragrance.

Who has too many friends? Nobody. Imagine spending some time once a month, or every couple of months, with people who get you…… Be the change you want to see in the new year. Make 2016 the year you connect with some fumies in real life.
Portia xx


Fidji by Guy Laroche


Post by Azar



Sometimes it is difficult for me to keep an open mind about a new fragrance. I become so attached to my familiar favorites that I tend to create a set of almost moral value judgments regarding what is “good” or “bad” about a perfume. As a result I don’t step out of my fragrance comfort zone long enough to expand my horizons. Whenever this starts to happen I remind myself of the day I discovered Fidji.

Fidji by Josephine Catapano for Guy Laroche 1966

Fidji Guy Laroche FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Iris, galbanum, hyacinth, lemon, bergamot, tuberose
Heart: Carnation, rose, jasmine, violet, ylang-ylang, cloves, aldehydes, spices, orris
Base: Musk, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, vetiver, oakmoss, resins

In 1975 (or so) my ex and I arranged a ski vacation for the two of us and several friends to Cervinia, the resort on the Italian side of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino). Our “crowd”, a group of skiers from Tehran, was used to the high and powdery slopes of Dezin (3,600 m) and to the steep, icy, difficult runs of nearby Shemshak. Cervinia, with its long, easy and open pistes at altitudes of up to 3,833 m, seemed like great fun and the perfect ski destination. Counter to expectations, we arrived to an unseasonably warm January in Italy. While the snow was abundant, if a bit soggy on the upper slopes, we had to negotiate rocks and even patches of grass as we approached the base. But all was not lost! We headed for the restaurants, discos and shops. It was there in the mountains, in a small boutique on a snow-covered corner of Cervinia that I met and fell madly for the perfume love of my life, Guy Laroche Fidji.

Fidji Guy Laroche Cervina Italy Fidji Guy Laroche Cervina Italy Leosetä FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

My first impression of Fidji was shocking and green. I had been brought up on various Lanvin, as well as on Shalimar and Jungle Gardenia. My Persian perfume oils were all roses, jasmine and musks from the bazaars of Tehran and Mashhad.

Fidji‘s top notes of galbanum and hyacinth, while totally Persian in character and production, combined with what I later learned was bergamot and lemon to create a scent so fresh and sharp that it was almost painful and nearly took my breath away. I was stunned and didn’t like it at all. I purchased a brown cashmere sweater and a ski “suit” and left the shop, compulsively sniffing my wrist.

As the perfume dried down in the cold mountain air I was warmed and seduced by jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and a spicy carnation. Later that afternoon I returned to the shop and purchased my first of many 14 ml Fidji parfums. As we danced the night away at the local clubs I could still detect the initial touch of my new fragrance lingering as musk and oakmoss.

Fidji Guy Laroche French Parfum Ad FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Yesterdays Perfume
FragranceNet has EdT $40/50ml before coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

My initial reaction to and enjoyment of this scent has never faded. This morning when I opened my parfum, I was once again magically transported to Cervinia in the 1970’s. My romance with Fidji is created entirely from my own experience.

Which vintage fragrance has a story you remember every time you smell it?

Azar X

This is a revised, shorter version of a Fidji review Azar wrote for The Fragrant Man