Sharing Perfumes With …




Hi dear APJ! How are you?

I am feeling blessed at the moment. My mom and dad flew in from the US a month ago and have been exploring Switzerland with us. My mom left this past weekend and my dad will stay on for another three weeks while she tours around Europe. Towards the end of September they will fly back home together.

They are both fit for their age and have quite a bit of energy to run around. It never ceases to amaze me of how much they can actually do. If memory serves me right they are walking over 10,000 steps on an almost daily basis.

Sharing Perfumes with Family

Normally I am quite shy about my love of perfume and I tend to keep this aspect close to my chest. Perfume is such a personal experience, and I get uncomfortable when someone asks me what I am wearing. Will they love it or loathe it? Also, I enjoy being uniquely fragrant! Shallow? Yes, perhaps.

But when my mom comes into town, it is another story all together. She arrives practically empty handed and looks forward to rummaging through my perfumes to find out what she is going to wear on any given day. I enjoy watching her face light up with happiness and joy when she finds something to wear.

Many times, mom will choose a perfume that I never would have pegged her for. For instance, on this trip, she chose Kilian Rose Oud and Kilian Incense Oud on a regular basis. If I am completely honest with you, they both smell fantastic on her (much better than on me) and gifted her my bottles. Incense Oud tends to be quite masculine on my skin and surprisingly the rose really shines on mom’s skin chemistry and leans more feminine. Same thing with Rose Oud.

Now, over the years, I have always thought of my mom as person who cannot stand sweetness in perfumes. Imagine my surprise when I brought out a box of perfumes for her to sniff and she kept going back to the Guerlains and Diors. I only had a couple of empty bottles and was able to decant Cuir Beluga, Myrrhe & Délires, Ambra Aurea, New Look 1947, Bois des Iles and Tokyo for her. Now she can continue on her European vacation smelling like a million bucks!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be able to share my love of perfume with my mom.

Do you open up about your perfumed life? Does your family know about it? Do you like to share your perfumes with loved ones?

Until next time.

Oodles of fragrant kisses.

Sandra xo

Vintage Perfumes: Should I Dive In?




Heya APJ! How are you doing?

It has been too darned hot to wear and smell perfume. Temperatures have soared to the near 40 degree mark and that is when my skin just says – water please, otherwise we will melt away. We live next to a pool and I am so shocked of how cold the water still is. Besides you can’t actually swim any laps as people are just standing in the water to cool off. It really isn’t my cup of tea, but I need to go for my son. So, please forgive me but I have nothing about perfumes I am currently wearing. I smell like suntan lotion and perspiration. Yuck.

Vintage Perfumes: Should I Dive In?

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Neela Vermeire Creations: Summer Vacation Memories + GIVEAWAY




Hey there APJ! How have you all been doing?

Summer has gone by in a flash here. The schools only have six weeks of vacation which in my mind is too short. That aside, it was a fantastic summer here in the Netherlands with high temperatures and no rain. You see, I love the heat and sunshine.

Neela Vermeire Creations

So, in order to get my yearly fix of heat and sunshine I flew with my son to Atlanta to visit my parents and see family and friends. I decided to travel with a couple of Neela Vermeire Creations perfumes.

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How I Met Portia. My Five Year APJ Contributor Anniversary. And a Lemming.


Val the Cookie Queen



I think it was around the end of 2012 that I read the APJ post where Portia announced that he was coming to Europe; along with the cities and dates that he would be around. So happy to see Vienna on the list, and not only that, I was actually gonna be in Vienna the day he was there. I emailed him asking if he’d like to meet up and I would bring cookies. We arranged to meet at the Café Mozart. I asked my daughter (the future BlondesWunder) to come along with me, as I was a bit out of practice at meeting random Aussie drag queens.

How I Met Portia.


Some of you know this story, you can skip the next bit. We had absolutely no clue as to what Portia looked like, nor if he would turn up in drag. It was a biting cold day as we stood outside the Café Mozart. As each person approached BlondesWunder and I would be staring like crazy women, wondering if it might be Portia. To no avail. We walked Into the Café to take look, but no one stood out as Portia Turbo Gear. Nope. Back outside we went. And then my phone rang, with and Australian calling code, Portia
telling us he was in the Café, over to the left of the entrance, and could be found wearing a M&S style vaguely Christmasy woolly. Which is of course exactly what I was expecting. I still laugh.

I know this picture has been used any times, we have no other one really from when I met Portia, but let’s look a little closer. Between Portia and my head, in the mirror is Hannah BlondesWunder taking the pic. To the right of Portia`s head, also reflected in the mirror, is Jin busy taking a few shots too. Behind the sugar shaker is the Chanel bag I had bought 31 Rue Cambon in a few months early. You might notice the bag is pimped with an armadillo sticker, and it was packed with cookies. And if you look really closely you can see that my ear is red. When I get nervous, or over excited, it does that. So annoying and a dead giveaway to those who know me. 🙂

My Five Year APJ Contributor Anniversary.

“Its been five years, my brain hurts a lot …..“ Bowie

APJ had not even had its first birthday when we met. As we drank tea and talked I said to Portia, hey, I could write something for APJ huh? I thought maybe once or twice. He´s like yeah, totally. And now it has been five years to the very day. Tuesday 13 March 2013 – Tuesday 13 March 2018. Five bloody years of running around like the proverbial chipmunk on crack, wondering what to write, and if I can meet my deadline. It was on this day in Vienna that I became Cookie Queen. It truly changed my life, and opened so many doors for me, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Portia, please may I say another five?

And a Lemming.


Christian Dior Oud Ispahan – A Lemming

Before Christmas I met up with APJ`s Sandra and the lovely Lady Jane Grey. LJG gave me decant of seven or eight mls of Dior´s Oud Ispahan, and I have used the lot. I have wanted to get into this oud thing but never liked it. I find the stuff very interesting and was privileged to to try a number of pure ouds when I visited Ellen Covey in Seattle a few years ago. But never say never, and I have totally fallen for this Dior. I don’t care if it is real oud or not real oud, the perfume is gorgeous. And I want it. Do I want a whole bottle? You can bet your ass I do. But as I have grown older I have gained a little wisdom so here’s what I am gonna do. LJG has offered to refill my bottle. (It is now empty). If I continue to wear it the way I have been, then yeah, I will buy a bottle. Portia said they do 40ml bottles in Paris, anyone know if they do that I all the CD boutiques?

Thanks to every single reader and commenter over the years. I love the APJ Family.

Celebratory Bussis

Saturday Question: What Do You Wear To Travel?




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:

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 Wear To Travel?

It’s an old conundrum for me. I’m never quite sure what is the best option and usually either madly overpack or go in the opposite direction and leave myself without any choice at all. There is the flying scent, daytime scent, evenings, dressed up, casual, something to impress and something for comfort. Really that is just scratching the surface too.

Here is my current Scent Box, ready for travel and adventures.

Recently I have twice packed my scent box that goes in my checked baggage and left it on my desk. This leaves me with only the couple I carry onboard and if I’m very lucky a couple I’ve stashed in my wetpack.

My Answer:

Flying: This is the hardest one for me. I have a few favourites for flying but the number one for ease and comfort is The Different Company Oriental Lounge. Unlike many oriental fragrances it is sheer and light but still manages to smell great and lasts for even the longest flight. Even though I’m a crumpled and rumpled mess I smell fresh and warm, totally huggable.

On my one and only ever First Class trip I was showering in the Bangkok Thai First Class Lounge but had left my glasses outside with Michael. I grabbed a decant at random and triple spritzed. It was Mugler A*Men. I was ridiculously fragrant through the whole journey. Thank goodness I was in first and not Economy, the close quarters could have killed someone.
On the way back I dropped my bottle of The Different Company Oriental Lounge in the same bathroom. HA! Very dramatic, but the place smelled fabulous.

Daytime: My favourite ever travelling fragrance for days is vintage Miss Dior parfum. It fits every situation and smells completely different to anything else I smell on people the world over. I know I bang on about it endlessly but it is seriously the best choice for me.

A very close second are Jacomo Silences PdT and Niki de Saint Phalle. These dry green chypres are also poles apart from what the world is wearing so without being freaky my scent stands heard and shoulders above the rest of humanity.

Nights: Amouage Ubar is the winner here. I don’t always take it with me but when I do it gets worn almost every evening. It is easily my favourite Amouage fragrance and it works in the heat or cool.

One that I try to take every time is Guerlain Mitsouko EdT. When I think comfort crossed with haughty grandeur Mitsouko wins hands down. I also have so much, bought every time I see a bargain, that I love the chance to get it out and use it up. No matter where I am or what is happening Mitsouko fits the bill and smells bloody terrific.

My Saturday Question to you is:

What Do You Wear To Travel?