Holiday Perfumes; and Jumper Love?


Val the Cookie Queen.


Well hello APJ

I am roaming around Scotland as you read this, although I am sat here writing it a good week beforehand.  It is gonna be the shortest post ever as I am up to my eyeballs in cookie dough, packing, decanting, and attempting an online checkin.  altho I lived in England for some years I never made it up to Scotland.  I have always wanted to go and we finally booked a week there.  A couple of days in Edinburgh and the we will head up to Fort William and see that happens along the way.  What scents am I taking?

Holiday Perfumes; and Jumper Love? Continue reading

Tara Smith of Olfactoria´s Travels visits Vienna + Photo Essay


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Hey APJ,

Couldn´t go without taking some Mozart Balls, known as Mozartkugeln here, originally known as Mozart Bonbon. They were first created by a Paul Fürst in 1890 and named after Wolfgang Amadeus himself. Since then there have been others made by other manufacturers, with similar recipes. I only buy the handmade originals and made a trip to downtown Salzburg to get them. They are elegant and utterly delicious.


Tara Smith of Olfactoria´s Travels visits Vienna

So the day finally arrived. I had been excited for weeks. Old jeans, full make-up, minus the red lipstick. Didn´t wanna look like I was heading home after a night´s work as I needed to be on the train by 06.30. Hahaha. I would apply that when I reached my destination. Kiki Voile d’Extrait and Kiki Extrait being the SOTD, bucket of cookies in hand – I headed off to the Bahnhof.

I sat down and made myself comfortable, as did the guy opposite me.


We met in our regular French café in Vienna’s first district just before ten. I arrived shortly after the girls, Birgit, Tara and Sandra, all well known to you as Olfactoria and her team (Olfactoria’s Travels).



When I first met these great ladies, perfume was our common interest. Indeed we spent hours talking new releases, samples, decants, swops and so on. Now as we have got to know each others families, challenges, other loves and hobbies, the friendships are changing and becoming a more fully rounded part of our lives. We breakfasted on teas, cappuccinos, smoked salmon croissants and roasted goat cheese. Birgit took off afterwards to take care of some chores and us three headed off to visit a couple of perfume stores and walk round the city.



Perfume? It´s not quite what it used to be. When you have been a perfume junkie for as long as we have, few things remain really interesting.
We all live in or near big European cities and therefore have had ample opportunity to try so many things. The stores we visited in Vienna though are very lovely, architecturally too, and Sandra (and of course Birgit) are well known to all of them. They made us very welcome. We did have one serious goal, and that was to try Misia, the new Chanel Exclusif. Sadly, but not surprisingly it hadn´t arrived yet. Tara will try it in London next week and let us know if we need it. There was a brief moment in our travels where I totally lost my mind and sprayed Nicolai Cuir Cuba Intense straight onto my skin. Uhm – no. Not now, not ever.




Sandra´s son joined us along the way, having finished kindergarten for the day, We lunched together. French fries. Nothing better than lunch with a kid. We met back up with Birgit late afternoon and Tara was whisked off in preparation for the two of them to leave for London early the next morning. Could a day have been more perfect?



I had an uneventful trip back home on the train, and spend a good deal of it chatting with Vanessa from Bonkers About Perfume. I will be meeting up with her in Germany next month so stay tuned APJ.

Viennese Bussis

Smell Bent Holiday Limited Editions 2013/4

Hey Niche Nerds and Indie Lovers,

Every year Brent Leonesio from Smell Bent and his crew create a madcap/wonderful range of seasonal scent specialties, this year has been no different and I ordered myself a set of the 4ml EdTs this year to see what the buzz would be about. I have reviewed my favourite 3 from the 5 piece set today, they are the most Pop-Out-And-Surprise for me. They are available for purchase till February 2014 but don’t wait, they are awesome…

Smell Bent Holiday Limited Editions 2013/4

Gimme A Break Smell Bent

Gimme A Break

Smell Bent gives these featured accords:
Silky patchouli, smokey wood, sheer jasmine and sultry musk drenched in sticky honeycomb

My skin amps the musks in Gimme A Break and it smells like a hookers Christmas panties, tenacity is extreme. I spritzed it last night at around 10pm and have had 2 swims since then yet still I can smell dirty patchouli, jasmine and musks. I think it doesn’t smell as intended on me, but maybe it does. Naughty!! It is excellent under other fragrances too to reinvigorate a thinner reformulation, my Mitsouko modern smells positively vintage with it.

pere noel coward Smell Bent

Pere Noël Coward

Smell Bent gives these featured accords:
Sweet immortelle, atlas cedar, jasmine, fir balsam and pinon sap

Dry, dusty, woodpile with the teeniest hint of syrup and a nod to the sauna. Pere Noël Coward is intensely woody and I feel like a lumberjack when I wear it. Oddly disconcerting but fun, wearing this is like playing dress ups. Brent has a way of making the most deliciously nuanced and interesting fragrant rides. I am not a person for whom the season normally matters for frag wearing but I am going to save my Pere Noël Coward for Europe in Jan/Feb where I think it will be perfection, right now it’s opening is almost a caricature. I get around the 5-7 hour mark in summer here.

snow birds 3 flakes Smell Bent


Smell Bent gives these featured accords:
Orange flower, aged amber, candied resins and dark patchouli spiced with cardamom and golden ginger

Snobirds is my favourite of the 2013/4 Holiday set. Gourmand, spicy, amber with cake-ish depths and glace fruit heights. You want to smell delicious, edible and sexy? This is your friend. Bakery with a sensual backbeat, I received my set about 3 weeks ago and Snobirds has seen more wear than the others put together. YUMMY McYUMMY!

Smell Bent has the 5 in a 4ml each Travel Set for only $28,
add their current Frankinsmellie as an extra and it only comes to $33 (that is what I grabbed)

Wishing you a wonderful, joyful, peaceful and profitable 2014, filled with good health, great friends and some of whatever it is that you like.
Portia xx

Holiday Photo Essay Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary

Hey Hey APJ Family and Friends,

As you saw from our shopping lists we have hit the frag shops hard this week with Birgit and Sandra in Vienna but we didn’t get many good shots from the day, sorry. I did pop into the Knize flagship store in Vienna to grab a bottle of the limited edition Knize Ten Gold. They were sold out so I had to content myself with a deodorant stick till I get to Paris. Annoying because I didn’t get it in Prague when I saw it hoping to buy at the original home, GRRR!
I’m not sure if I bragged about this but Neela Vermeire and her gorgeous husband Tony happened to be in Vienna and we all went for a super great dinner filled with loads of laughs and great food. They are such good people and Neela’s beauty is especially apparent in her fragrances. From the little I’ve seen she is as filled with magic as her frags. Great night!!

Budapest is awash with fabulous niche perfumeries. A city that fills during working hours to four million people has two incredible niche frag shops, Neroli and Parfums Croissette, that we’ve been to and Madisson that we hope to see tomorrow. I’ve also added some great shots that we’ve taken that are not frag related. All taken in lovely Budapest. The dinner shot is our new buddy Ibrahim who helped us at the post office and then became our leader and guide on our last night here. I’ve just taken the one of us in bed because we are off to sleepy byes, goodnight from us.

Off to Venice tomorrow afternoon.
Love and kisses,
Jin and Portia xx