Sandra’s London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay




Hey there dear APJ! How is everyone doing? Hopefully comfortably settling in with summer or winter.

It has been a hectic couple of months here in Rotterdam. What with school keeping us busy, family & friends visiting, it was a blessing to be able to get away for my son’s birthday over a long weekend at the beginning of June. He turned 8 this year and one of his greatest wishes was to see London (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, London Eye, and of course toy stores were all on his wish list). Not only did we manage to see all the sights, but we also had a couple of perfume activities which I would like to share with you today.

London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay

I finally got to meet Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations! Wow! What an amazing woman – but I knew that already. It was absolutely fabulous sitting down with her in London and chatting for a while. Thankfully dear son and husband also enjoyed their visit. Thank you Neela!!!

Saturday was reserved for meeting up with Tara from A Bottled Rose. I last saw Tara in Vienna about two years ago and I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with her again. We started out by heading to the Natural History Museum. It was a bribe for my son so that we could go sniffing later! We headed off to Harrods afterwards and had lunch before heading to the toy kingdom which I must admit was exciting for us parents as well. The choice is staggering.

Now it was my turn – yay!! Tara took us upstairs to the beautiful area where many brands have their own small boutiques. I got to sniff perfumes from Xerjoff, Dior, Frederic Malle, Kilian, Ramon Monegal. The new Superstitious by Frederic Malle is gorgeous and powerful. Xerjoff is a brand that I like wearing and I was thrilled to see that the Casamoratti line is now offered in 30 ml bottles. I liked Monegal’s Flamenco quite a bit – the red bottle is eye catching and the perfume was a lot of fun starting off with a blast of raspberry and it stayed a happy joyful perfume.

This summer Dior will be shaking things up a bit. The SA was kind enough and said that I was permitted to write about it. I think that many of us will be super happy with the big news that they will be offering the Privée line in 40 ml bottles in addition to the current bottle line up. Dior will also be launching a new sub line to the Privée consisting of 10 new perfumes which are apparently easier to wear and more appealing to the mass market. I for one cannot wait to see what Dior comes up with and am so excited about the smaller bottles. My husband may have to hold onto my wallet!

When we meandered downstairs to the perfume hall I was taken aback at how bustling it was. One of the first perfumes I spritzed that day was Ormonde Jayne’s Ambre Royal. Truly a beautiful perfume with notes of osmanthus and iris and drying down to a wonderful unsweet amber. What a shame that I did not pick it up.

We then headed towards the Kilian stand where two handsome SAs Niko and Johan greeted us and walked me through the new releases. These two gentlemen were so patient and kind and both had a great sense of humor – here is a picture of us. I just love the box for Black Phantom and decided then and there to buy the perfume. Not necessarily smart to buy a perfume for the packaging – but had to do it this one time. The one perfume that I just adored was Single Malt. I walked around the city with my arm at my nose and had to go back in the evening to buy that one too. Reviews coming up of the two Kilians.

After all of that our noses were exhausted and we decided to head to Big Ben. We took some pictures with Tara and our full on day came to a close. A big shout out to dear Tara for taking time to spend with us. We loved seeing her.

I know that I could have seen and sniffed more, but we jammed as much as possible into the 4 day weekend. It just means that we will have to go back and SOON!

What about ya’ll? Any travels lately? Any fun sniffing lately? I would love to hear about it.

Sending you lots of sunny hugs,
Sandra xoxo

Perfumer H – Lyn Harris: TinaG In Europe Photo Essay


Post by TinaG



I was treated to a fabulous day out in London during my travels, hosted by Tara from A Bottled Rose. Tara has written up our adventures in more detail on her blog. One of the exciting discoveries of the day was a visit to the Perfumer H lab & shop in Crawford Street, London.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #2

Perfumer H – Lyn Harris

‘Making Air Visible’

Perfumer H was started by Liz Harris (of Miller Harris) roughly 8 months ago. The shop contains an extensive lab out the back which is both Lyn Harris’s workshop, and a ingredient display. We were greeted by Caroline who kindly ran us through the concepts of the fragrance company.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #6

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #7

Perfumer H releases new fragrances seasonally – their first being Winter 2015 and the current range for Summer 2016. Past seasonal fragrances are ‘archived’ but not discontinued, which means they continue to be accessible. Two of the Winter 2015 releases were rolled-over to Summer 2016 – Leather and Cologne, which join Atlas, Musk and Rain Cloud for this season’s suite of five. I wish that I wrote down the archived Winter fragrances – I do know one was Velvet. There were three that had been shelved.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #3

There are a selection of five home fragrances which are available as candles – Orange Blossom, Dandelion, Leaf, Ivy and Smoke. The perfume bottles and candle holders are each hand-made, heavy and lush. You can choose to purchase the fragrances in 100ml functional screw-cap bottles, which I did for ease of travelling.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #4

Perfumer H has a range of ‘laboratory editions’ which are a fun way to purchase some of Liz Harris’s creative work. Names like Ink, Vetiver, Rose & Smoke line the shelves. Each fragrance in the whole range is also given a unique identifier, and if you wish, you can purchase that perfume outright – including choosing it’s name, having it registered in Grasse, and it is then taken out of general circulation – so it is yours and yours alone. You can buy single bottles without claiming rights though – just careful if you fall in love, it may just disappear one day!

I tried four fragrances on skin – Velvet, Musk, Atlas and Leather as I was keen to pick up a bottle, but wow…. What a difficult decision! I would have been happy to walk away with any of them, but I decided on Musk.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #1

Musk – no. g116 3995
Notes: Bergamot (Italy), Mandarin, Petitgrain (Paraguay), Iris absolute (China), Heliotrope, Cedarwood (Virginia), Benjoin (Siam), Vanilla absolute, White Musk.

On opening I get a floral Iris and fluffy musk along with a subtle plant-stem note in the background. After an hour this changes to an iris/cedar combination. It is sexy, gentle and very wearable. Sticky vanilla notes waft in and out. I find the citruses after 8 hours in a sheer veneer of smoke & juice that makes me wish I sprayed more skin. Interestingly the iris has a great staying power and it remains throughout (+12 hours). It is a gorgeous fragrance and I’m extremely glad I picked it up. I’m half tempted to go back & get the Leather as well, time & funds permitting.

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #5

Perfumer H Liz Harris Tina 2016 #8

Perfumer H is a great concept which has been actualised with wonderful fragrances and beautiful glass bottles. They do ship to Australia but you will be paying a premium for hazardous goods ~£70.

What do you think, APJ? Sound like a fun venture to you?

Tina G xx

Poivre 23 (London) by Nathalie Lorson for Le Labo 2008


Post by TinaG



Each of Le Labo’s City Exclusives line is sold in a single dedicated city, although they do seem to have become more accessible over time. I have a decant of Poivre 23 which is the London City Exclusive. I thought I’d give it a run through before I headed overseas, just in case I fell in love and desperately needed a full bottle.

Poivre 23 London Le Labo London Tube Publ;ic domain

Poivre 23 (London) by Le Labo 2008

Poivre 23 (London) by Nathalie Lorson

Poivre 23 London Le Labo FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Labdanum, sandalwood, patchouli, pepper, vanilla, guaiac wood, styrax, incense

Le Labo’s fragrance name is the note which is in the highest concentration in the fragrance, and the number the count of ingredients it contains. In this case, we have Poivre (pepper) and 23 notes.

One of the challenges I find with Poivre 23 is that it gives me olfactory fatigue very easily. The effect of this is that it appears to chop and change on each wearing, sometimes non-existent, other times nuanced and gorgeous, and occasionally the base of incense and amber is all I can smell. So it makes it difficult to write up but I’ll focus on one of the days where I didn’t get fatigue so badly and picked up some of the more fun aspects of the fragrance.

On opening, there’s a burst of pepper – I’m sure that I can smell both black pepper and a softer more fragrant version such as Szechuan or pink pepper. After the first pepper zing I get a chocolate note which may be patchouli-related as it does settle into a green headspace. There is a bitter dry white wood and an oddly buttery sweetness over the top. It is strange to smell something which is both dry and oily at the same time, like deadwood which has been seasoned & polished with fatty animal oils.

Poivre 23 London Le Labo pepper WikipediaWikipedia

At three hours on my skin the dry woodiness has taken on a subtle rubbery note which I suspect is imparted from guaiac wood, with a resinous birch underneath it. The whole thing has a sticky slippery leathery feel about it which I really enjoy.

At 5 hours this settles in to one of those skin scents which is like “my skin, but enhanced”. It is dry, woody, musky and subtle – very cuddly and comforting. There is light grey incense in the background and the styrax is a warm welcoming resinous amber with a touch of well blended vanilla in the package. This combination lasts well past the 8 hour mark.

Poivre 23 London Le Labo Loz Pycock Follow Driftwood Pavilion Bedford Square FlickrFlickr

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Perfume Posse
Le Labo has 3 venues in London. Two stand alone stores and a Harrods desk.
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/0.5ml

This fragrance is definitely not safe for enclosed spaces. My co-workers can smell it at least 5 metres away commented on the fragrance (complimented each time, thankfully). Will I pick up a full bottle when I’m in London? I don’t think so. I enjoy wearing it very much but it’s hard on my sense of smell – a wearing once every so often will be enough.

Have you tried Poivre 23, or any of the Le Labo City Exclusives?

Till next time,
Tina G

Cookie Queen + Portia on Tour: London/Vienna 2016


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Greetings APJ Readers.

Each time I attend some perfume related gathering I intend to take lots of pictures.

Cookie Queen & Portia on Tour

London/Vienna 2016

Fact is I suck at it. I am overwhelmed by everything that is going on and never quite get it together as I planned. Still, the following pix will give you an idea of what went on. Tara has covered the event brilliantly on both A Bottled Rose and Australian Perfume Junkies.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Val Judith LondonDr Fox, partner-in-crime, therapist, and she’s driving me to Milan.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Val Portia Poppy'sPoppies Fish & Chips, Spitalfields.  Second visit together. ?

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia glassesSpitalfields Market.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia ready? PLL“How do I look Val?”

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Karen Andrew Val Bonkers Lady Jane Grey PLLBonkers, Lady Jane Gray and me way in the background.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Lila Val Grant Antonio PLLGrant (Basenotes).  Antonio Gardoni (Bogue). Lila (Perfume lovers London). Val & Portia. Chris the Cookie King taking photo.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Kirk PLLMy dearest friend Kirk about to get a nipple twist.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia lady Jane Grey PLLLady Jane Gray.  Smitten.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia PLLMy favourite shot.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia Neela PicholaPurchasing a bottle of Neela Vermeire creations: Pichola at retail in Vienna.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia Vero KikiVero Profumo: Kiki.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Anna Maria, Sandra, Val Portia GREEKVal, Anna Maria, Sandra, Portia at a fabulous Greek restaurant

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Val, Anna Maria, Sandra, Portia trying Le GalionAfter dinner sniff of the newest Le Galion: Cologne Nocturne.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Val, Sandra, Anna Maria, Birgit, Portia Le Bol
Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Birgit Portia brunchVal, Sandra, Anna Maria, Birgit and Portia brunching at Le Bol.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia tea
Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna BlondesWunderBlondesWunder arrives in Vienna 22:00.  To a Portia welcome of donuts & tea.

Around the time that you are reading this I am either packing my bag or on the road to the Esxence in Milan. I have a theory. Three days in Milan, six decent pictures each day, eighteen pictures. That ought to do it. Plus some pictorial updates on social media. My hands are shaking already.



Cookie Queen on Portia, Perfume & Packing Less


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Happy Australia Day APJ!


My bag is packed and I´m ready to go. Lalalalalala.

Portia, Perfume & Packing Less

I am leaving on a small jet plane tomorrow for London, and I have packed very little. I am positive that any able-bodied adult going away for a few days can easily get all their stuff into a 10 kilo cabin bag. No? Try it. It is liberating. You are instantly more mobile, probably better off as it usually costs for checked baggage on the economy flights, and you reduce the risk to zero that your bag will end up in London, Texas. Straight through the gates and no eternal lining up with thousands of people to check your bag in, thus saving on meds.

Val and Portia Vienna Laughing 2013

I am so excited to see Portia and Jin. Have you ever had a Portia hug? I feel inextricably linked to him. It has been just over three years of a friendship that changed the direction of my life. As you may know from a previous APJ post Portia Turbo will be presenting a Perfume Lovers London event on the 28th of January. Whoo-bloody-hoo!! I shall have a couple of batches of fudgey white chocolate chunk brownies stuffed into my small case to celebrate. Easier to travel with than cookies.

Hannah Val Portia London 2014

I want something new to wear something for the event. A few drops from the lab testers of the up and coming Vero Profumo tobacco fragrances should suffice.

Vero Profumo Lab Testers

Val Portia Austria 2014

Not going to take any other perfumes with me. I have no doubt at all that my leather perfume pouch will fill up very quickly on its own.

Perfume stash bag from The Thinking Magpie.

James Portia Austria Chocolate Shop 2014

As you read this I am running around Salzburg like a chipmunk on crack, delivering cookies.

Val Portia Austria Home 2014

My husband is coming with me, without his bike.

Val Christian Portia Bike shop 2014

I am also taking my therapist with me. Not in my suitcase. She bought her own ticket.
All bases covered I believe.

Great British Bussis

Perfume Lovers London: An Evening with Portia Turbo


Post by Portia


Hi there APJ,

Yes, it’s really happening. Lila das Gupta who runs Perfume Lovers London has invited me, Portia Turbo, to come to England and give a talk, have a laugh and smell some fragrances.

Perfume Lovers London

An Evening with Portia Turbo

highres_29173032Lila das Gupta

Even now writing this post to tell you all has my stomach doing flip flops with excitement. You have no idea.

The theme of the night is Great Women and we have some fun interactive ideas and hope as many of you APJ Crew that are around London and available can come be a part of the fun. Perfume Lovers London has drinks and some food and I will be bringing some famous Australian delicacies for you to try also.

Portia Opera House PetezImages1

When: Thursday, January 28, 2016 7pm to 10pm (Doors open 6.30pm)
Where: October Gallery  24 Old Gloucester Street WC1N 3AL LONDON
Cost: GBP34.00

For those that have never been before you need to join Perfume Lovers London and then you can book your tickets. They are already selling like hot cakes so don’t delay.

Jin and I will both be there as well as Birgit and Tara from Olfactoria’s Travels, Val the Cookie Queen and Blondes Wunder from the APJ crew. Some of my mates from Australia and the USA happen to be in London at the time so you’ll get to meet and mingle with them too.

One of the things I’ve loved so much about starting APJ is the amount of incredible people we have met all around the world. We have made some super friends and would LOVE IT if we could add you to that amazing list. Don’t be shy, we are waiting to meet you.

Hopefully see you there,
Portia xx

Beards, Bloggers, Bloom and Vero + Photo Essay


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Salzberg to London to Innsbuck. A crazy perfumed week. In pictures.

It really is too warm here in the middle of Europe to write much. Looking at pictures is less strenuous. And by warm, I mean hot. Yesterday was 40 degrees in Vienna and my flip-flops stuck to the hot pavements.

Beards, Bloggers, Bloom and Vero + Photo Essay

I went to London with Hannah, sometimes known as The BlondesWunder. The trip was documented by Tara on our favourite Olfactoria´s Travels, and by Pia on the wonderful Volatile Fiction. After returning from England, I drove to Innsbruck with my trusty therapist Dr. Fox for a lunch date with Vero Kern. I will share a few of our photos.

Sazburg Airport.  Heading to LondonSazburg Airport.  Heading to London.

Met straight off the train by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue. Whisked off for lunchMet straight off the train by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue. Whisked off for lunch.

Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.

Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.2Talking with Oxsana of Bloom Perfumery.

Antonio explaining the secrets of MAAI at Bloom Perfumery in Covent Garden.Antonio explaining the secrets of MAAI at Bloom Perfumery in Covent Garden.

Val London July 2015 #1Ummm, NO

Bloom.  Spitalfields.  I was there with Portia and Michael.Bloom.  Spitalfields.  I was there with Portia and Michael.

Pia´s perfume guestsPia´s perfume guests!

The whole bunch of perfumista nerds in Fortnum and MasonThe whole bunch of perfumista nerds in Fortnum and Mason

Perfume Candy Boy, Tara and mePerfume Candy Boy, Tara and me.

Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi. 2

Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi. 3Innsbruck. Lunch with Vero and Isi.

I am grateful for the perfumed friendships I have formed. They enrich my life and add a vibrancy that would otherwise be missing.

Where do you dream to travel to meet perfumistas or do you already have stories? PLease share in the comments.

Thankful Bussis

Jaunty Capers, Cemeteries and The Rose That Got Away: London July 2014


Post by Val the Cookie Queen



I couldn´t have been more excited as I got up on Wednesday. Finally the dreamed of, talked about, preplanned days were here.

Unlike Vanessa from the fabulous Bonkers About Perfume, I have no clothing crises. For I have none. Not to speak of anyway. Long jeans in winter. Cut-off jeans in summer. I prefer to spend my money on red lipstick, and the odd bag of groceries for the family. When my shoes hurt I go barefoot.

Jaunty Capers, Cemeteries and The Rose That Got Away

Random ramblings from a week in London

I left for Les Senteurs from Muswell Hill, the infamous address, early enough to not be late for my date with the gorgeous Tara from Olfactoria`s Travels. We both arrived early and waited for Callum the Dashing to arrive and let us in. Perfumistas waiting on the doorstep.

Les senteurs Val 2014 #2

Les senteurs Val 2014 #3

Les senteurs Val 2014 #4

Les senteurs Val 2014 #1



We hit the sofa talking. After a while Flamingo Nick, Penhaligon´s Fragrant Ambassador arrived, bringing a burst of sunshine into the room with him.I already knew I was going to buy Malle`s Eau de Magnolia and asked Callum to put a large bottle on the side. The small ones were sold out and there was no tester to triple reconfirm that I wanted it. I would pick it up the next day when Vanessa was with us too. So onto the much praised Papillons. I was so excited to try these and planned to purchase one. I sprayed with gay abandon and waited …….

Flowers Val 2014 #1

Gorilla Val 2014 #1

Nick, Tara and I headed to the Gorilla Perfume Gallery for the presentation of the new 12 fragrances. Entitled: Death, Decay and Renewal. A pop-up in the basement of Phonica Records on Poland Street. (See Nick Gilbert<< JuMP) This was quite the display. Mushrooms, sandalwood smuggling, stroboscopic dream machines designed by William Burroughs ……… Clearly NOT Guerlain.

Starting to fall in love with Papillon’s Tobacco Rose, we headed on for tea and sandwiches and a quick Liberty´s heist. Nick scored himself a bottle of Superoud from Comme de Garçons and headed off into the sunset. Fear not, we would meet again.

Selfridge´s and iced matcha, including a wicked brain freeze, saw Tara and I heading home.

That evening after spraying again I decided I would buy the Tobacco Rose. Because it is beguiling.

Tara and Vanessa pretty much covered this second day of fragrant flitterings. (Bonkers About Perfume and Olfactoria´s Travels) What can I add? The Guerlain Royal Extract at 280 quid for 125 mls – 900 bottles limited edition, exclusive to Harrod`s? A pretty pale, kind of watered down Fairy Liquid colour? I think not. Based on the exquisite Attrape Coeur, but missed the mark. (All opinions totally my own!)

Now I was not exactly kicking and screaming when I went up to Roja Dove´s Barbie Palace, but it was close. Bright and shiny and no room to swing a cat. The visit was saved by Benjamin, the on hand sales assistant. He was so nice, totally knowledgable, and actually seemed to think he could turn around my preconceived ideas of RD and the other fragrances for the “Bros”. He could not. It would be remiss of me not to say that I did allow him to give me a pretty decent spray of the “semi-bespoke” (can you hear me laughing????) RD Private Collection No 9. Limited to 50 bottles. It was actually pretty nice for the first 20 minutes. Unlike Benjamin who was nice for the whole time.

Tara and I went to the Amouage stand alone store, hoping to try the Amouage Attars. Sadly because of people buying them, diluting them with alcohol and then selling them on EBay by the millilitre they have been removed. How annoying is that? Very.

“I`d ski naked down Mount Everest” to meet Vanessa, but luckily we only had to go to Covent Garden Tube station. Long lunch, including a number of jaunty capers, and a good chinwag and off to Penhaligon´s to meet up, once again with our very favourite Fragrant Ambassador. I was wonderfully surprised by the sensual beauty of Tralala and can see myself having a bottle one day. The Chucky Child´s Play bottle decoration was a little haunting, but I think I could get over it. Nick sent me off with a good stash of Penhaligon´s samples and I look forward to getting to know them.

Off we went to Les Senteurs. My heart beating a little faster as I prepared to make my purchases. We flopped once again on the sofa, kicked off shoes, fixed blisters and I bought Eau de Magnolia. Straight out of the fridge. I then asked for my Tobacco Rose. SOLD OUT.

Les senteurs Val 2014 #5

Les senteurs Val 2014 #6

WHAT??? You have got to be bloody kidding me Callum. But it´s intoxicating, boozy, and kind of jammy. There are two different roses, Bulgarian and Rose Centifolia. Oakmoss lurks, a great favourite of mine. It is smoky and beeswaxy. Thick without being sweet. It lasts for hours and never stays the same. I don´t have a rose. And I want this. For the moment though it´s the rose that got away. I should have ordered it the day before but I was trying to be sensible. Sigh. I compensate by spraying a ton of Magnolia and pass out with the beauty. I´ll live.

We spent the next three hours, or was it more, having tea and eating Indian food. Talking and sharing more about ourselves. Building friendships.

And so it ended. All leaving from the same station, Tara to the left and Vanessa and me to the right. The trains came in so fast we had no time to say goodbye. But it´s only Adieu.

Cemetery Val 2014 #2

Cemetery Val 2014 #3

Cemetery Val 2014 #4

Cemetery Val 2014 #5

The following day I went to Highgate Cemetery. This trip was on my Bucket List. The place absolutely blew my mind. The guide was straight out of an Agatha Christie and the lady that was constantly by me in the group was wearing Mitsouko. It was an extremely heavy and lovely version, so I am guessing it might have been an earlier incarnation, because it sure doesn´t smell like that now. What a perfect ending to my aromatic and perfumed adventures.

Cemetery Val 2014 #6

Cemetery Val 2014 #1

Cemetery Val 2014 #7

But it wasn´t quite the end was it? Antonio Gardoni from Bogue Perfumes met up and shared a coconut water with me, including copious sprays of MAAI. Comrades! – MAAI is not for the faint-hearted. More later ……..

I am now back to making cookie dough.


CQ xxx

All photos donated by Val the Cookie Queen

Zelda by Shelley Waddington for En Voyage Perfumes 2013


Post by Val the Cookie Queen



Zelda: NOT the Legend of Zelda

Zelda En Voyage Perfumes legend_of_zelda DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

When this fragrance was brought to my attention, I already decided that it wasn´t for me. After years of computer gaming in my home I fall into the traumatized mother category. I could´t imagine anyone naming a perfume after a computer game, unless perhaps they were traumatized too? Despite hearing good things, it was not on my hit list.

Fast forward a few months to the legendary Blogger´s Meet in London. In the middle of eating a very nice plate of fish and chips I was handed a bottle of Zelda from the extremely charming Vanessa, her of Bonkers About Perfume fame. I gave myself a hefty spritz, which I promptly ignored. Nevertheless she packed me up a little sample to take home with me.

APJ Bloom 2014 #1

APJ Bloom 2013 #2

APJ Bloom 2013 #3

APJ Fish & Chips 2013 #1Photos supplied by Michael

I now have my own bottle.

A Perfume Trip

I spent several summers in the seventies and early eighties at Stonehenge and Glastonbury, in the days when they were free festivals. I remember very clearly (which is surprising) a particular psychedelic experience. We were sat on the stones of Stonhenge and as my friends and I spoke to each other the words came out of our mouths in sheets of colours. Each more vibrant than the other.

Each time I wear Zelda I have a comparable experience. I exhale, put my nose to my skin, and then inhale deeply. The notes unfold in layers like magic. First the spicy top layer, and then the thick magnolia and flowery layer, and then hidden under that you hit a smoky, musky, vanilla, sandalwoody and who knows what else accord. It stays layered on the skin. Absolute genius, and it doesn´t stop. It is deep and complex, and I wonder how Shelley Waddington came up with this. Be careful though it´s a twelve hour trip! Still there in the morning.

Zelda En Voyage Perfumes Zelda Janie Coffey FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Zelda Fitzgerald (1900 – 1948) “I don’t want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally.” – Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald, quintessential flapper and inspiration for her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald. She lived her life to the full, but hovered on the edge of madness. She was a writer in her own right. Gone are my thoughts of computer games.

Zelda by Shelley Waddington for En Voyage Perfumes 2013

Zelda En Voyage Perfumes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Italian Bergamot, Spices, Iranian Galbanum
Heart: Magnolia Blossom, Garden Florals
Base: Amber, Musks, Vanilla, Peru Balsam, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Oakmoss (Mousse de Chêne)

You can order from En Voyage Perfumes and they do samples too. I look forward to exploring more of the line.

Further reading: Jordan River at Australian Perfume Junkies and Smelly Thoughts

“Nobody has measured, not even poets, how much the human heart can hold.” Zelda Fitzgerald


Cookie Princess Does London 2014! Photo Essay


Post by BlondesWunder


Hello Perfume Bitches!

It´s Cookie Queen´s daughter here, Cookie Princess, although I prefer BlondesWunder.

Finally catching up on our fab time in London. I have learned two things on this trip. First there are more amazing people on this planet than I had realised, and second, I am scarily, evolving into my mother.

Friday I spent three hours in Top Shop. This was traumatic for my mother. I ended up with a gray t-shirt. A freaking baggy, gray t-shirt, that looked nearly identical to the one which I was already wearing. What does that have to do with me turning into my mother? The glamorous CQ has been on the search for the perfect gray t-shirt for more than 35 years now. And now I am doing the same.

Hannah Grey TPhoto donated by Hannah

Let´s move to perfume now. Saturday morning awoke very early. After checking my Instagram for outfit inspo I ended up wearing my, uh, new gray t-shirt. Ms Cookie Queen, looking alike with our green parkas, jeans and combat boots, headed uptown for breakfast at the hotel with Portia and Michael.

Over breakfast we had a hilarious time. I have to admit I love to push my mother´s buttons and yes, I know how! Portia and Michael were laughing hard so I guess I am pretty funny. Thank you. (My boyfriend says I am not.) After a coffee, and a “what perfume are we gonna try today” kind of talk, we headed for Bloom Perfumery in the East End. But first us girls needed a loo. Well, we hadn´t peed for ten minutes.

Next stop Spitalfield Market. Portia and I headed into Benefit. Within 5 minutes he was firm friends with the SA and handing her the APJ business card. I don´t know how Portia does it, but as soon as she opens her mouth, strangers fall at her feet. So did I. I ended up with Portia and my mother with Flirty Michael.

Crappy Cartier FakePhoto donated by Hannah

As I wandered the market with Portia, I walked by a stand selling Cartier bracelets at only 20 quid. There was no way in hell that Portia would allow me to buy it. The fact that Portia spends a small fortune on not needed fragrance didn’t seem to count!! He lectured me at this point about how to spend my money, and what on! (I got it later with Michael anyway!!) And it looks fab.

Hannah high HairPhoto donated by Hannah

Eventually we met up again with Michael and my Mum and headed to All Saint´s, where Portia gave me big hair!!

Bloom LondonPhoto Stolen Bloom

Opposite the shop, was Bloom Perfumery. The SA´s saw use coming towards them and waved, knowing Mum from last year. I was dead, and after having sniffed one Phaedon, (smelled like the Hollister Women´s one to me), I spritzed it, loved it and sat down. Hardly keeping my eyes open, I only heard Portia and my Mum happily sniffing and huffing over over-priced perfume!!

Michael and I took a break at this point and went for yet another coffee.

BloomsPhoto donated by Hannah

By the time we came back, Tara, Freddie, Vanessa, Thomas and Nigel, Nick and Josh, were in full action. They were all awesome.

Lunch #1Photo donated by Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume)

At 3 we headed next door to Poppies for fish and chips. The Bloggers sniffing, spritzing and sharing perfume at the table. I thought it was not appropriate in a restaurant, after scaring all the other customers away, but hey, what do I know??

Lunch #2Photo donated by Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume)

The day ended at Selfridge´s and having to say goodbye after such a day, I was close to tears. So was my Mother, only she showed it. Of course I made fun of her.

I am moving to Sydney.

xoxo BlondesWunder