Esxence 2019. Heading to Milan.


Val the Cookie Queen



I am heading to Milan for the Esxence – The Scent of Excellence 2019 international event, dedicated to artistic perfumery.  (artistic perfumery – covers a lot of stuff  – hahahahaha) Blondeswonder is coming with me as my professional carer, or manager, depending which way you want to look at it.   We are gonna get the night train down to Milan.  We are  way excited for this as we both love trains, but neither of us have ever had a sleeper cabin, or whatever they are called.  We leave Salzburg at 22.00 and get into Milan at 09.00.  The train station is across the road from the hotel, and the hotel to the show is about a ten minute walk.   What am I gonna be doing?

Esxence 2019.  Heading to Milan.

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Saturday Question: What Are You Reading?




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.

Saturday Question: What Are You Reading?

Maybe I’ve bragged about this before but I’ll do it again. When Jin bought me a kindle he also linked it to his credit card. Effectively he has bought me a never ending supply of reading material. It is an incredible gift.

Interestingly though, because I know Jin is paying I am far less likely to indiscriminately buy books than I would be if it were my own money. I know how hard he has to work for every single dollar earned and I feel very naughty when I’m profligate with his money.

My Answer:

Book Depository

The Kindle is currently on The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. Everyone is talking about the TV series and I wanted to read the book before I watched it. In my head I thought it would take me a couple of nights to read but I’m finding it a hard slog, extremely slow and it hasn’t yet resonated on any level with me. I find myself choosing other entertainments instead. So instead of a couple of nights we are now into week three.

Book Depository

Tara from A Bottled Rose sent me a paperback of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. It’s the next on my list to delve into. Looks fabulous.

My Saturday Question to you is:

What Are You Reading?



Guerlain: Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney: Photo Essay


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hello lovely Perfume Junkies!

How are you all coping in the slippery slope into the festive season? Have you sent your fragrant orders to Santa? Have you been naughty or nice?

I have a confession: I couldn’t wait! I just bought a bottle (with a free additional bottle) of Sylvaine Delacourte’s new Florentina from her new La Collection Muscs. (An independent side project, i.e. not Guerlain)If you’ve not tried them, go on her website and pay a tiny 4 euros and order the sampler – then it’s a one off buy one get one offer on a full bottle – irresistible!

Sylvaine Delacourte Adventures Down under!

We had the pleasure of greeting Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney in November – THE QUEEN BEE OF GUERLAIN. She really is personable, fun spirited and of course extremely talented and knowledgeable in person. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read my interview with her for APJ while I was in Paris in October, which fills you in on all things Sylvaine Delacourte.

Guerlain: Sylvaine Delacourte in Sydney

Photo Essay


Cosmax, the distributers for Guerlain in Australia hosted a lovely lunch in Paddington at the Four in Hand Hotel for press and important people like Michael Edwards from Fragrances of the World. Here we ate and drank amongst beautifully set tables full of flowers and bee bottle factice. Sylvaine talked about her more than 20-year history with Guerlain and she held the group captivated. It was also at this lunch the newest Guerlain Exclusif was launched, Neroli Outrenoir.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Table setting at the Neroli Outrenoir launch in Paddington

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Michael Edwards and Sylvaine Delacourte


Now available instore – David Jones – the exclusives collection is to die for and worth popping on your list to Santa. I bought myself Angelique Noire (the greenest one) when I was in Paris, however I have popped pretty much the rest of the collection onto my wish list. DEELICIOUS! The core theme is Sylvaine’s desire to showcase raw materials in unexpected spotlights so the gardenia is presented in a lacey way. In Cuir Beluga we have leather, however it is more of a light soft caress of suede rather than something tart from a tannery. Neroli Outre Noir’s magic lies in the top notes seeming to remain throughout nearly the whole dry down. Any perfumer will tell you this can almost only happen by pure MAGIC. Notes of combined citrus, orange blossom, smoky, earthy tea for me also makes it a win.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAngelique Noire I bought in Paris in Septermber!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bee bottle Factice from table setting to swoon at

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Lily of the Valley that was on my table setting at home in my Mud vase!


Sylvaine then spent a few days upstairs at David Jones level 7 where she did a question and answer style talk for VIP’s and the Sydney Perfume Lovers Meetup Group. In addition and a highlight for me were two workshops where participants created their own Guerlain-esque floral fragrance. After learingin all about the raw materials from Sylvaine herself! I spent the entire time with jaw on the floor, inspired and absorbing everything. How lucky we were to have her visit and share this wonderful insider knowledge and experience!

Have you experienced the Exclusifs range? What are your thoughts and favorites?

Xx until next time! XX Ainslie XX

SYDNEY Cosmax Sale 2016


Post by Portia


Heya Sydneysiders,

Every year COSMAX  has the most incredible sale. This year will be no different. I picked up a Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir extrait a couple of years ago for AUD$25 and every time I’m there I find gems that I thought were long discontinued.

This weekend!

Get to it,

Portia xxx


The Spirit of the CHANEL Fall-Winter 2016/17 Collection


Post by Portia


Hey there Fashion Lovers,

I love to watch the runway shows. This one is especially fun because CHANEL have recreated an Atelier for the parade. At the end Karl Lagerfeld even gathers four of the women that works for CHANEL and they take his walk of honour with him, very nice touch. Bravo KL.

I love the first video because it’s shot in the Palais Royale where Serge Lutens and Parfums de Rosine have their shops. Every time I see it I get a thrill of recognition. The second one shows quite a bit of how a garment is created on the model stand and then how all the work progresses painstakingly by hand. The third is the full runway show and quite a lot of it is hideous this season but the rare jewels are worth waiting for.

All the CHANEL perfume sales go towards keeping these ridiculously extravagant fashion shows alive. No wonder they keep upping the prices.

I hope you enjoy,
Portia xx

The Spirit of the CHANEL Fall-Winter 2016/17 Collection

Making-of the Fall-Winter 2016/17 Haute Couture CHANEL Collection

Fall-Winter 2016/17 Haute Couture CHANEL Show

USA: Save The Day: Enrol & Vote


Post by Portia


Dear USA Readers,

Please enrol to vote. Show up and vote. Please save the world from the ultimate dystopian reality, President Trump.

You get a chance on November 8 to make a historical move. You get to be a hero, you get to Save The Day.

Remember also, your vote for a minor party is one less vote Trump has to get to win power.

USA: Save The Day: Enrol & Vote


Enrol to vote now.

Vote on November 8.

The world is holding its breath, you can make a difference.

Save The Day
Portia xx


CHANEL N°5: The One That I Want – The Film


Post by Portia


Hi there APJ,

Gisele Bündchen has been the highest paid model in the world every year since 2004, and in 1999 was credited with bringing sexy back to the runway and killing the heroin chic look. She was born in 1980 making her 36 years old which is basically a model dinosaur. There is still something so fresh and endearing about her, still sexy, that killer body and a smile that men and women fall instantly in love with. Did you know she is 5’11”? So tall yet she always manages to look petite, and enormously strong. Wikipedia notes that: In 2014, she was listed as the 89th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes PLUS Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell have stated that Bündchen is the only remaining true supermodel.

Below we get to see Gisele in the 2014 CHANEL No 5 ad, this is the long play version. A seriously controversial piece of film. The song’s lyric change had feminists up in arms, the billion $ lifestyle and the 2 minute hug with her daughter before relegating the child to nanny care had mothers upset and running off before a job was finished had working women outraged, there were other complaints that have slipped my mind. Yet if you can overlook all that there has appeared a gorgeous and lush piece of escapism that you can get lost in for three minutes to unclog your brain.

I hope you enjoy,
Portia xxx


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, neroli, ylang-ylang
Heart: Jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, iris
Base: Vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, patchouli

CHANEL counters everywhere have testers, go give yourself a spritz.

CHANEL N°5: The One That I Want – The Film

CHANEL: The Self-Portrait of a Perfume


Post by Portia


Hey there APJ,

This video came out in May but it’s been so hectic here I haven’t gotten around to sharing it. One thing I have noticed over the last decade or so is CHANEL’s constant reinvention of ways to market themselves, and the way many other companies jump on board the idea. It’s not new to make videos upselling your product, what else are cinema and TV ads, but CHANEL seems to be in a class of its own.

Please take a moment out of your hectic day to be swept away by the modern dream of a vintage fragrance.
Do you love CHANEL No 5? How about the video?
Portia xx

CHANEL No 5 parfum

CHANEL The Self-Portrait of a Perfume YouTube

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, ylang-ylang, bergamot, amalfi lemon, aldehydes
Heart: Iris, jasmine, orris root, rose, lily-of-the-valley
Base: Vetiver, musk, sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss, amber, vanille, civet

CHANEL: The Self-Portrait of a Perfume

Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo October 23 2016


Post by Suzanne R Banks & Julie Nelson



We are botanical perfumers from the southern hemisphere passionate about educating the world on the beauty of natural Botanical perfumes. Be part of the revolution of natural fragrance, beauty, sensuality, health and wellbeing.

Our focus is Artisan Botanical Perfumery. We create beautiful and evocative scents made with Mother Natures gifts and love. Every perfume has a story and is as unique as you.

Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo

October 23 2016

Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo October 23 2016

Using natural ingredients, essential oils and botanical extracts, we strive to give you the best botanical perfumes in the world. Many of the essential oils and botanical extracts we use are from the world’s most remote places, grown and harvested under rigorous quality guidelines consistently preserving their finest essences. Let us not forget our distinctive Australian natives in some of the collections.

Our aim is to demonstrate that these gifts from Mother Nature are more than beautiful aromatic plants. They hold a life force of their own that when inhaled transport you to another place and time. This gives them healing properties, in addition to their captivating scents.

Join us at our event and experience the power of natural botanical fragrances for yourself!

Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo October 23 2016 1

The first 30 tickets sold will include a gorgeous gift bag with perfume samples and other lush goodies.
A door prize will be drawn for one attendee to the value of $500

Sunday, October 23, 2016
11:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre
16-18 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli, NSW 2061

We hope to see you all there,
Suzanne R Banks XXX

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