New Sniffs: 22.11.2018




Hey Hey Perfume Junkies,

The idea is that anything worthy of comment, either good or bad, that’s passed under my nose through the week will get a short write up. Up till now I have kept APJ positive comments only, those days are gone. If I think something is terrible, shamefully lazy, greedy or stupid and you should know about it, it will be said. Not everything works for everyone and it would be pretty boring if it did >>> YMMV. I’d love it if you all agree, respectfully disagree, have any thought-out opinion and want to share, do so in the comments below. The point is starting a conversation.

New Sniffs Aug 2018 Continue reading

Ainslie’s Pitti 2016 Photo Essay


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hi Fragrant Friends,

I popped over to Florence, Italy (Firenze as the locals call it) for Pitti Fragranze in September. The fair showcases the best in Niche perfumery, a whopping 270 brands exhibited this year! If you times that by how many fragrances in each collection, you’ll start to understand how much brain/nose cramming was done over the 3 days – I hope to share some of the magic so you feel you were there too!








Ainslie’s Pitti 2016 Photo Essay

I saw a big sign in front of an almost rundown building, Stazione Leopalda announcing the event. The entrance served as an area where people could relax, interview and of course, being Italy, smoke! The interior was rustic and industrial but with loads and loads of shiny new stalls set up and numbers and flowers hanging from the ceiling. My Pitti app let me know the theme was Numbers and Flowers – an art show running simultaneously expressing connections of numbers and flowers – the right numerical proportions can create palpable sensory experiences.










I’d never been to Pitti before, so, full of excitement I began my first day’s journey and spotted Andy Tauer straight away. He was launching his new fragrance Tuberose Flash so I had a chat, sniff and also of newbie, At Coeur Desert…oh and of course had a quick selfie with him.



Turning, I saw the new Atelier des Ors – Iris Fauve and sprayed it, knowing I was more than likely spending $400 if I fell in love – it’s divine: smooth, sensual – I need to wear it some more but the iris was almost caramelised and velvet during the dry down.


Then my phone rang and it was Mark Buxton (OMG!!) – he was running a tad late to meet me – I resniffed his fragrances and neighbouring Eccentric Molecules while I waited for our scheduled interview…which of course you’ll be reading here in the upcoming weeks. HILARIOUSUS chap!



One stall along further, I ran into Nicolas Chabot who not only had his beautifully reinvigorated Le Galion collection, of which I got to smell a few, new to my nose and his novelty for Pitti, Sang Bleu. I had been anticipating experiencing his new brand, Aether for some time as it rolled out on instagram so he took me through the collection – all based on molecules and there were some really interesting scents I need to try on skin STAT. Overall I love the packaging and vibe which is quite dark and apothecary-like.



Montale had The New Rose on sparking and catchy metallic display – they handed me a small sample, so a review will follow (eventually).


Carner Barcelona was showing newbie, Costarela.



Lovely warm, Neela Vermeire and I had a half hour chat through the range and she doused me in her newest fragrance Raheme, ready for my evening, a lovely osmanthus based floral number made by perfumer Bertrand Douchfour. I left from day 1 in a cloud of exotic goodness!



More Pitti to follow in my next post(s)! Have you ever been?

Ainslie XX

Devil In Disguise by Mark Buxton Perfumes 2012


Post by Portia


Hi there Niche Nerds,

Yes, I know I’m late to the party. These samples were given to me at least a year ago and they have sat winking at me, reminding me not to forget them, wishing I would just damn well spritz. I did smell them on cards originally and thought they were interesting and fun. Mark Buxton has created many financial and critical hits and done a few things I really love: Salvador dali Laguna, a couple of biehl parfumkunstwerke, Le Labo Vetiver 46, loads of cool Comme des Garcons and the list goes on. He has also put his name to stuff I don’t love too. That’s cool, I like to be surprised. When the news came through that he was doing a self named line there was much excitement and fluttering of touchés (He He he who knows if that’s correct?). So finally I have grabbed them out from the draw and am giving them skin time. Here’s the one I really liked a lot…

Devil In Disguise by Mark Buxton Perfumes 2012

Devil In Disguise by Mark Buxton

Devil In Disguise Mark Buxton FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rhubarb leaf, ginger
Heart: Magnoli, neroli
Base: Patchouli, vetiver, musk

Everyone else gets sweet but I get a softly sweet green, a very olde worlde reminder of my Mum making rhubarb for the family and me thinking it tasted like shit. Everyone else loved it and asked for more. Here the rhubarb is a sweet starting point but not like the celebuscent spun sugar jelly crystals type sweet, more like a healthy sweet. Yeah, I’m making this clear as mud, I know.

Devil In Disguise Mark Buxton Rhubarb WikiMediaWikiMedia

Devil In Disguise opens beautifully, it’s lightly sweetened and edible but not cake or particularly gourmand. I taste no vanilla or biscuit or candy. It’s warm and vegetal, softly zingy. Though I cringe at using gender definers it smells like a sexy masculine that could easily be worn by either sex. While not being strange it is compelling and it lures my nose in to sniff it again and again. Never really offering me anything concrete to write down for you because it’s not the same as anything I’ve smelled or easily correctable to ideas. Bittersweet. That’s the best analogy I have. It’s like the bittersweet feeling of losing your love, slowly and knowingly watching them shut down and yet loving them too much to let go. The heartache mixed with joyful memories. That’s what Devil In Disguise smells like to me.

My nose misses the heart completely and sniff directly to the base, particularly the vetiver and shaded by the patchouli. Vetiver becomes king though and the opening sweet green is repeated over the vetiver to warm its rough rasp and soften and smooth. Draped elegantly in clean musks the whole fragrance fades slowly and a whisper remains for morning, amorphous and pretty.

Devil In Disguise Mark Buxton brett jordan Follow Dark Green Damask FlickrFlickr

Further reading: Non Blonde and Black Narcissus
Mark Buxton has €140/100ml

Did you spend any time with the Mark Buxton range? What did you think?
Portia xx


Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton for Mark Buxton 2015


Post by Gabriella


Hello perfumed peeps!

Living in Melbourne at this time of year, I cannot help but be reminded of the advent of summer in London. There, as soon as the grey dark skies of winter dissipate and the sun’s rays make a welcome return, the whole mood of the city lifts and people scramble to sunbake in parks at lunchtime.

Much like London, we’ve endured a hard cold winter here and spring has given us precious, joyous glimpses of the warmth that is to come. The whole psyche of the city and inhabitants changes at these times – one cannot help but feel elated to shed a winter coat and have a stroll after work amid a gentle warm breeze under a sky the colour of ice cream as the sun sets. There is a perfume that perfectly encapsulates these moments for me and that is ……

Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton 2015

Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton

Message in a Bottle Mark Buxton FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Ylang-ylang, magnolia, neroli, jasmine sambac, ambergris, sandalwood, labdanum, civet.

Message in a Bottle opens up with a dazzling burst of neroli, awakening one from winter’s hibernation with its efferversence and joyousness. The effect to me here is exactly like the hot towels you get on a long haul aeroplane flight. Waking groggy from a restless sleep, one cannot help but feel refreshed as the warmth and glowing citrus of the hot cotton on your face envelops your senses.

Message in a Bottle Mark Buxton Hot_towels WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

It’s about 10 minutes in when it would be permissible to dismiss Message in a Bottle as another neroli-based cologne. While the lightness of the composition certainly does feel cologne like in structure, the depth of the jasmine and the ylang ylang anchors and deepens the neroli, taking the composition humid white floral territory with an almost tropical feel. As the scent fades away, the ambergris comes to the fore with its salty woodedness, giving a nice segue from steamy floral into skin scent.

Message in a Bottle is a bit of a changeling. Much like Melbourne’s weather that can veer from tropical to freezing in an instant, the perfume itself metamorphoses depending on the weather conditions. In cooler weather, it is very much a selfish scent – your little private view of summer when it is still time to wrap a cardigan round your shoulders. When the temperatures are high, Message in a Bottle truly sings – warm humid skin is what really sets this perfume alight, bringing the tropical effect of the neroil, jasmine ylang ylang to the fore. I like wearing it both ways – for my secret snatch of summer promise as well as a full-on holiday scent when the mercury is climbing.

Message in a Bottle Mark Buxton summer Stevebidmead PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Ainslie’s review here on APJ and Colognoisseur
Libertine Parfumerie has $199/100ml

What scents spell the promise of summer for you?
With much love until next time

M xxxx

Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton 2015 + Floriography


Post by Ainslie Walker


Picture yourself walking along a beach and discovering a bottle of (undamaged) perfume. What would you do? What might be inside? Where could it have come from? And who might have sent or lost it? Mark Buxton’s soon to be released “Message in a Bottle” conjures up many a romantic scene and barrage of questions for me, both from the name, as well as from the fragrance itself.

Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton 2015

Message in a Bottle New release for 2015!!

It is beautiful, uplifting, fresh and easy to wear. I had no information or clues about its contents and thus in an attempt to decode its message I turned to researching Floriography. The “language of flowers” was most commonly used in Victorian times and allowed people to send messages through giving and wearing of flowers or a scented handkerchief. Each flower had significance and provided a symbolic message. Sometimes a handkerchief was scented instead.

Message_in_a_bottle Mark Buxton WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Message in a Bottle Floriography

Here’s what I discovered about what Buxton’s “Message in a Bottle” may be all about:
Magnolia – freedom, grand splendour, nobility, perseverance, old-fashioned romance and enduring true love – love that lasts throughout time and space.
Neroli – spiritual cleansing and is thought to aid a return to innocence, thus often used at weddings. It symbolises new love blossoming into eternal love and fulfilment.
Ylang-ylang – is strongly aphrodisiac in its properties. A man with one of these in his lapel would certainly mean business!
Petitgrain (Orange leaf) is sweet, slightly sour and citrus in fragrance and is immediately uplifting, promoting a sense of wellbeing and cleanliness. Its freshness would have stood out during Victorian times, where it was uncommon to bathe regularly.
Jasmine – symbolises demure beauty, elegance and comfort for the soul. Indian jasmine references attachment, whilst other jasmines can represent sensuality, modesty and grace.
Rose – multiple layers of scented petals represent everlasting beauty and love. Every colour rose has its own meaning. Usually in perfumery we use damask, which denotes love or pink Bulgarian roses, which mean happiness. Red roses scream of love and passion and are traditionally the most popular way, even today, to say “I love you”, white are for purity, yellow for infidelity, tea rose for never forgetting and receiving a bunch of thornless roses means love at first sight.
Ambergris – aphrodisiac and a fixative from way back, its marine notes further enhance the mystery surrounding a bottle washing ashore. Traditionally ambergris is found just like a Message in a Bottle, washed up on the seashore. It’s marine, faecal and musky odour screams of “sex.”
Cistus – belongs to the rockrose family and it’s the resin from the leaves (labdanum) that is generally used in perfumery. In the past goats and sheep were herded through the bushes and the hair on their underbellies collected the sticky resin, which was then combed or cut out. Balsamic and resinous in aromatherapy it is thought of as a calming aphrodisiac, which also enhances intuition, elevates emotions and keeps one grounded.
Civet – to stabilise a fragrance and the civets of the world use their secretions to attract a mate during mating season. In this bottle it’s more than likely synthetic, however, the message of attraction is clear.
Sandalwood – invokes deep states of relaxation, meditation and to cleanse negativity.

Message Bottle Mark Buxton Victorian Fashion 1866 Charmaine Zoes Marvelous Melange FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Strength and longevity is great. It’s a beautiful bouquet of creamy wood, floral and amber that feels fresh yet beautiful, both for day and evening wear.
Soon available at Libertine

Have you tried Mark Buxton’s fragrances yet?
Ainslie Walker x

Vetyver 46 by Mark Buxton for Le Labo 2006


Post by Michael


A couple of years ago a decided to try the Le Labo line. None really jumped out and grabbed me and I decided the Le Labo vibe just wasn’t for me. Then, only a few months ago, I found myself craving….

Vetyver 46 by Le Labo 2006

Vetyver 46 Le Labo FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Tahitian vetiver, labdanum, pepper, guaiac wood, cedar, olibanum, amber, bergamot, vanilla and cloves.

The reason I enjoy this fragrance so much is that it’s beautifully balanced. Cedar is a note that I often have trouble with. It can be too “scratchy”, too harsh, too much like pencil shavings. And then, adding pepper to the mix!? Yet these notes are treated with a deft touch and balanced perfectly with the vetiver, labdanum and olibanum. These are what I get though most of the life of Vetyver 46 by Le Labo. They weave together with not one part or nor another standing out too much – always moderately woody, moderately smoky….always in moderation. The fragrance feels full and alive.

Vetiver vetiver.orgPhoto Stolen

The vanilla is always there too, hiding in the base, and becomes more apparent as the fragrance dries down and makes the drydown wonderfully cosy. I remember the first time I wore this fragrance. I was away for work and after a long day I finally made it back to the hotel room. As I climbed into bed and tucked my arm under the pillow to fall asleep I noticed the wonderfully mellow and calming drydown of Vetiver 46. I suppose I should have known back then, that this was going to be a keeper.

Vetiver 46’s sillage is moderate and its longevity strong.

Vetyver 46 Le Labo CedarHillLongHouseArt Thompson Photo Stolen CedarHillLongHouse

Further reading: PerfumeSmellin’Things and TheNonBlonde
Le Labo has an eStore landing page (that delivers to most of the world) starting at 45€/15ml
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

Have there been fragrances that you’ve dismissed only to crave a long time later?
Arabie is another of mine, but I’d love to hear about yours.

Until next time