Kolonya by Rasei Fort




Hi there Perfume Lovers,

Rasei Fort is the talented perfumer behind the Fort and Manlé brand. Kolonya is his first fragrance created under his own name, the start of something quite broad hopefully. The story he told me about the creation of Kolonya is so good I wanted to share it with you. Rasei has a demijohn in his studio that he’s been adding bits and pieces to for years. It is a combination and the culmination of very unscientific production. Whenever it’s macerated for a while he has a sniff and thinks about what it needs, then adds that and leaves it to brew. Finally in late 2018 he decided it was done.

He gave some ideas to his mate who works with wood for the packaging The finished rosewood product is beautiful to hold, every one hand created.

Because there’s no recipe, this is all there will ever be of Kolonya. Rasei thinks there will be about 300 bottles but isn’t sure if there’ll even be that many. About one fifth are already sold.

Kolonya by Rasei Fort

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Merry Christmas 2017





To all who are celebrating, and those who are not, APJ wishes you a safe and peaceful holiday season. Here are some healthy young lads to help you celebrate. If they’re not your cup of tea for sexy time elf play then they double as handymen and will get all the stuff that needs doing around your house done. Now isn’t THAT the best Christmas Wish anyone ever gave you?

Merry Christmas Australian Perfume Junkies

We are having a lovely warm day here in Sydney. Lunch with Kath’s sister & family and then a sneaky swim at her parents place. Jin worked Christmas Eve overnight so he is sound asleep till at least midday.

Fragrance wise I wanted something cool and calming, also something I had a small travel size to take with me for respritzes throughout the day. What better a choice than my lovely old standby Niki de Saint Phalle.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Artemisia, mint, green notes, peach, bergamot
Middle: Carnation, patchouli, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cedar, rose
Base: Leather, sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss

FragranceNet has $22/14ml before coupon

So what did you wear for the festivities?
Portia x

Taif Roses by Montale 2007




Hi there Rose Lovers,

I have had a 5ml decant here for ages of Taif Roses. It’s about half empty now and I worried that it would never get a showing on the blog. So many people deride Montale as a house for their unlimited releases of virtually the same faux oud scents again and again. It’s a fair criticism but if you ever take the time to look into a few of their non-oud releases you may be pleasantly surprised. Some of them are really lovely, and I like that Montale has kept their product affordable in this age of aspirational pricing.

I think it was someone on FaceBook’s Aussie Fragrance Network that reminded me recently of Taif Roses. Thanks to that person I grabbed it out again today.

Taif Roses by Montale 2007

Taif Roses Montale FragranticaFragrantica

While looking for a note list everywhere I looked gave only rose. The Taif rose is special, while looking for information I found a link on BaseNotes that took me to this.

From Armco: No one is certain how the 30-petal damask rose first came to Taif. The impulse for its cultivation, however, assuredly lay in Taif’s proximity to Makkah (Ed: Mecca). That the rose of Taif is virtually identical to the famous Bulgarian “kazanlik” strain suggeststhat Taif’s roses may have been transplanted from the Balkans by the Ottoman Turks, who occupied that area from the mid-14th century and the Hijaz from the 16th century. However, the kazanlik rose—its Turkish name means “suitable for the [distiller’s] kettle”—has its own roots in the Persian rose plantations around Shiraz and Kashan, which in turn supplied fields in Syria. A legend among the growers of al-Hada says that the flower originally came from India.

Taif Roses is a woody, green leaves and snap of fresh cut stems rose. Floral petals of rose, intoxicatingly intense are surrounded by the bushes themselves and the dry, cool air of the early morning picking in the spring sunlight. often compared in my reading to Sa Majesty la Rose by Serge Lutens but without the honey to sweeten it, and far less of the spicy clove.

Taif Roses Montale


Longevity is exceptional, in the Montale way and sillage is very good too. A little goes a long way but I like to really douse myself and sit among the rosey fog.

Further reading: Scent for Thought and BOTO
Feeling Sexy Australia has $145/100ml

How do you like your roses? Green, jammy, spicy or otherwise?
Portia xx

Halfeti by Christian Provenzano for Penhaligon`s 2015




Heya Niche Nerds,

I done’t remember this little beauty being released. Clearly I must have read about it somewhere but the name rings zero bells at all. Nick, my mate from Libertine Parfumerie sent me a sample to try and he usually knows what I’ll like so let’s give it a test run together.

Halfeti by Penhaligon`s 2015

Halfeti by Christian Provenzano

The Penhaligon’s story goes: All respectability forgotten, we have travelled far, as far as Turkey! And here in Halfeti, the red roses appear black so intense is their magic. Here, the British Levant Company traded in the opulent treasures of the Ottoman merchants to secure the pick of the crop.

Libertine gives these featured accords:
Top: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Green notes, Armoise, Cypress
Heart: Cumin, Nutmeg, Violet, Saffron, Rose, Jasmine, Muguet
Base: Leather, Oud, Amber, Resins, Tonka, Vanilla, Sandalwood

Dry leather, nutmeg, oud and some sweet resinous funk open Halfeti. I know that Val the Cookie Queen would not enjoy wearing it because the familiar oud/woods/leather trope is front and centre. Here it’s dark, sharp, smoky and animalic. A very masculine leaning woodsy concoction. So nothing incredibly groundbreaking but expansive and powerful for a Penhaligon’s scent, who are usually so quietly reticent.

Obviously I can imagine this on a man but in my head I wonder what sort of woman would wear Halfeti? She would have to be strong willed, happy to break the mold, probably unknowingly walking through life causing change and creating new roads for people to follow. Halfeti strikes me as a comfortable fit for a woman unafraid of being judged, happy in her choices and able to command. There you go, some scent inspired ramblings.


Longevity is excellent and once the fireworks burn off a sweet, soft and comfortable woodsiness encapsulated within a soft focus vanilla/amber will hum above your skin for hours.

So, do I like it? Yes, I like it a lot but I have something quite similar and I can’t pinpoint what it is, or was. Don’t worry, it will come to me at 4am.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Fragrance Daily
Libertine has $329/100ml plus FREE Australian Delivery

What fragrances do you think of for people who break the traditions?
Portia xx



Egoiste by Jacques Pole + François Demachy for Chanel 1990


Post by Claire Vukcevic


Hello APJ peeps!

My husband came to me the other day and told me that he’d seen Burberry Touch for Men for €20 at a local pharmacy and was thinking of getting it. I held my hand up in the universal sign language of “Lemme Stop You There”, remembering the last time he bought perfume on his own (Dior Sauvage, oh the horror, the HORROR), and glumly handed him over a big bottle of Egoiste. “You wear men’s perfumes?” he asked me, confused.

Egoiste by Chanel 1990

Egoiste by Jacques Pole + François Demachy


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, Mahogany, Mandarin, Rosewood
Heart: Carnation, Rose, Cinnamon
Base: Amber, Leather, Sandalwood, Tobacco, Vanilla

Yes, husband. Yes, I do. When perfumes are as good as Egoiste, women will purloin them and claim them as their own. He doesn’t even know about my Dior Homme Intense habit yet.

Anyway, the great thing about my act of supreme generosity is that Egoiste now lives in our downstairs loo, where it gets splashed on with gay abandon onto the husband, me (whenever I go in there), and my two children upon whom I use it as a body spray. The very act of bringing it out into the light has meant that we are all currently luxuriating in the fabulousity of Egoiste.


Egoiste opens with a tight little nubbin of spice, its mandarin orange oil, cinnamon, rose, and lemon notes swirling together to form an effervescent coca-cola accord that never fails to lift the spirits. Sometimes the rose becomes very big, sometimes I barely notice it, as I think it knits itself into the smooth rosewood and tobacco very cleverly.

The new version is definitely weaker and thinner than how I remember it smelling in the late 1990’s, when I recall it being a big hit with several boyfriends. To my nose, the tobacco has been amped up, and it is the crumbling, dusty sort that can smell a little like earth and dried leaves – similar to the tobacco note in Journey Man.

Thank God, though, that the sandalwood in the drydown is still the rich, sweet, spicy gingerbread sandalwood that I love so much in Bois des Iles and Mona di Orio Vanille. Before I moved from Montenegro to Ireland last summer, I sent all my perfumes on ahead of me (strapped to donkeys, over the Alps), and I found I missed my sandalwoods the most. My Egoiste is therefore a bottle I bought in Montenegro a week before I left, procured solely to give me comfort during that tumultuous time of my life, and I clung to it despite the sweltering 40 degree heat. Of course, reunited with my perfumes back in Ireland, I kind of forgot about Egoiste. Until now.

Longevity is ok – about 4 hours and definitely not as strong or as rich as the older versions. It’s perfect for men AND WOMEN who love big, spicy woods perfumes with a coca cola twang and a creamy drydown. For me, it’s pure cold weather comfort in a bottle.


Further reading: What Men Should Smell Like and Bois de Jasmin
CHANEL counters everywhere have Egoiste, go grab a free spritz

What about you guys? Do you wear and love any perfumes from the other side of the gender aisle?




Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off

Abdul Karim Al Faransi Oils


Post by Robert Herrmann


Hi frag Friends! Robert H. here….

I am beyond thrilled to have discovered Abdul Karim Al Faransi (Abbdul Karim the Frenchman) Perfume Oils from Birmingham in the UK! I have always loved the idea of Middle Eastern perfume oils, but often the execution fails to deliver. I have tried a multitude of lines, offered on Amazon, Ebay and Esy, and available at stores like Whole Foods. None have come thru for me and I am more often than not disappointed.

Until now.

Abdul Karim Al Faransi Oils

Finding Abdul Karim Al Faransi Oils is like coming upon a beautiful cool oasis, in a wasteland desert. See, the other brands I’ve tried in the past have all had something in them that skews petrochemical on my skin, usually manifesting as a back note that’s bitter, metallic, headache-inducing, and well…just fake.

Right from the onset you can detect French influence in these AF oils, also their logo is comprised of traditional Arabian swords that form an “A” and an “F”, while also forming the shape of the Eiffel Tower.

Self-described autodidact, owner Anthony Abdul Karim Marmin a young perfumer in his 30’s, is the sole owner and nose. In business since 2013 (1434 on the Islamic calendar), Anthony is mostly self-taught who has “Learned and continues to learn from various books, experiences and meeting with other people involved with perfumery.”

Imperial Desire Abdul Karim Al Faransi OilsAbdul Karim Al Faransi Oils

Abdul Karim Al Faransi Oils: Imperial Desire

The first oil I’m trying is called “Imperial Desire” and it’s a terrific floral described as:

“….a thick white musk with an innovative style. This creamy and powdery fragrance is an empire of sweetness full of beautiful notes . This soft perfume is suitable for men and women..”

Top: Taif rose, Comoros Ylang, Light fruity notes.
Heart: Violet, Orris, Lily of the valley, Powdery notes.
Base: Musk, Vanilla, Cedar, Amber.

Imperial Desire is creamy in color and swabs on like a viscous thick syrup, leaving a slick on my arm that is gorgeous with a deep scent similar to a vintage french extrait. I don’t get the fruit notes as much as the beautiful rose and ylang. As the oil heats up, the powdery and rooty orris sneaks in, supported by the violet, all resting on a soft musk base shot thru with vanilla and amber.

This scent feels very personal to me, not something to wear if you’re looking for sillage, but profoundly intimate to be enjoyed by you alone and maybe with someone special. It is a lush, sexy bouquet, deep and chewy, not unlike being anointed in a joyous ritual, the evocative scent slowly working deep into your emotions and psyche.

musk-tahara-monoi Abdul Karim Al Faransi OilsAbdul Karim Al Faransi Oils

Abdul Karim Al Faransi Oils: Musk Tahara Monoi

The second oil I tried is the lovely beach-y scent “Musk Tahara Monoi”, a true “Floramand” (floral gourmand.)

The notes are: Tahitian Monoi, Polynesian Flowers, Tahitian Vanilla, White Lotus, White Musk.

Opening like Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil mixed with a deep caramel sauce, Monoï (Tahitian gardenia or Tiaré steeped in coconut oil) is a beautiful, buttery, and lush smelling oil, and mixed here with vanilla and musk, smells like a floral infused coconut cake. With the same color and viscosity as “Imperial Desire” this oil slathers on like liquid butter and takes you right to a tropical beach, moist and fecund and scented with Polynesian flora. Beautiful stuff!

Abdul Karim Al Faransi Oils are available on their website
The prices are amazingly reasonable (€10.00 for a 6ml. dab bottle and a flat international shipping rate of €2.50!) and that 6ml. bottle will last quite some time!

Have you tried Faransi oils? What are some Middle Eastern oils you’d recommend?

Shagya by Sidonie Lancesseur for Parfums de Marly 2013


Post by Portia


Hi there Frag Heads,

When the niche bomb exploded one of the houses that became an instant line in loads of high end scent stores was perfumes de Marly. Pegasus in 2011, 5 more in 2012, 7 in 2013, 4 in 2014, 3 in 2015 and 3 more in 2016. That’s 23 fragrances in 5 years, almost Montale-ish. Strangely we haven’t yet written about any of their scents here on APJ, I have had some samples but they got ignored so I moved them on. I have just found the amusingly titled Shagya in a carded manufacturers sample and the green caught my eye. Come and have a first impression ride with me.

Shagya by Parfums de Marly 2013

Shagya by Sidonie Lancesseur

Shagya Parfums de Marly FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Lime, Pink pepper
Heart: Geranium, Oud, Cedarwood
Base: Gaiac wood, Musk, Papyrus, Vetiver

Lime and pepper fizz merrily on open and I can already smell the woods/oud giving a dry, dusty, summer in a country woodmill feeling. Hot and muddy like after a summer storm. Having a cold lemonade in the sunshine after the storm. A grown up cologne for wealthy business people with just enough gravitas to feel like old farm money comes to town.

This is not a whole new scent, it’s an old trope that seems smooth and debonairly executed up top with a very nice, crisp woodsy dry down. The scent becomes less and less juicy as the heart progresses and finishes as brittle dried grasses and well polished woods.

I bet this is one of Marly’s best sellers. While not rocking my socks off it is different enough to add that extra edge to the business of making people smell good. In the modern tradition of mens fragrance but I think a woman would smell divine in it, that would be so unexpected.


From Parfums de MarlyThe Shagya Arabian horse was developed in Austro Hungaria and is known for its inborn friendliness towards humans. Named after the majestic Arabian breed of horses, Shagya is the most exclusive of the Royal Essence collection. The top notes of the fragrance tingle with the Citric freshness of Limette, Bergamot and Pink Berries and gently give way to a heart of Geranium, Cedar wood and Oud. The fragrance settles with woody scents of Vetyver, wood of Guaiac, Papyrus and musk.

First in Fragrance has €150/125ml (Spend €300 FREE World Shipping!)
(Even FragranceNet is more expensive at €229.60)

Have you tried any of the Parfums de Marly?
Portia xx

Equipage Géranium by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2015


Post by Robert Herrmann


Hey there Frag Friends,

Robert H. here writing from my small island home in the Pacific Northwest. Lately I’ve been wearing the beautiful Equipage Géranium by JCE…..

Equipage Géranium by Hermès 2015

Equipage Géranium by Jean-Claude Ellena

Equipage Geranium Hermes FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Spices, geranium, rose, mint, sandalwood

Imagine a summer’s day, warm and dry and perhaps you’ve been invited to a friends house in the countryside. Your first day there, you decide to go horseback riding, so you throw on a pair of jeans and a well-worn pair of boots. You cross the drive to the stables and immediately the smell of damp hay hits your nose.

You notice a wine barrel planter next to the stables, with bright red and spicy geraniums growing next to some errant mint plants. The geranium has that dusty/floral/spicy aroma, almost rose-like, as you lean in to sniff. You take a mint leaf and crush it between your fingers, the aromas mingling and melding to create an almost floral vibe but cooled and tempered by the mint.

From inside the stable you catch a whiff of freshly groomed horse and the leather tack hanging on the wall.

This is Equipage Géranium.

The first flanker to the now iconic Equipage, this gorgeous scent goes one better to me, the addition of the geranium spiciness and mint sitting on a base of creamy sandalwood amps it up to a new level. Yes it is masculine, but with a classic Jean-Claude Ellena soft-focus edge.

Jean-Claude Ellena has created a scent that is assertive, bold, and nothing like his lighter, spare scents of the past.

«I tried to capture the smell a thousand times, a thousand times it escaped me. Drawn by its complexity, its sumptuousness, I took this perfume with me when I travelled, to discover it.» Jean-Claude Ellena


Further reading: Black Narcissus and Colognoisseur
Hermès Australia has Au$145/100ml

And although marketed as a men’s cologne, I can see a woman easily wearing this, commanding attention and exuding confidence, like Joan Crawford’s first meeting with the board of directors of Pepsico… “Don’t F#*k with me boys, this ISN’T my first time at the rodeo!”


Have you tried this Geranium? Which Jean-Claude Ellena creations do you love?

C Ya Sweet Smellers

L’Occitane Cedrat


Post by Portia


Hello APJ Fragrant Family,

This week I am dedicating APJ to a GIVEAWAY WEEK! Yes, every day for six out of seven days there will be a 24 hour GIVEAWAY. That’s right, you’ll have 24 hours to get your comment in and then it will be drawn. Enter every day if you like but only one comment per day. Got it?

Cedrat by L`Occitane en Provence 2015

Cedrat L`Occitane FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citrus notess, cedrat bark, bergamot
Heart: Nutmeg, blue ginger
Base: Cedar, cashmere wood

You may know I’m partial to a bath. Cedrat Shower Gel is one of my go-to bath time bubble and cleansing gels. I was sent one bottle when it was released, bought and used a second and now am going to grab myself a third bottle (only $29/250ml at L’Occitane Australia). The scent is beautiful, it foams excellently, leaves my skin soft and with the merest hint of fresh citrus zing. Perfect as a base because so many fragrances contain a citrus element. I have also used one of the soaps and loved it too.

L'Occitane Cedrat Shower Gel

Cedrat gives me a very fresh burst of citrus and a little of the cedar from my bathing. The EdT is a lot more nuanced and has a lovely spicy woods kick that smells very cologne-ish but lasts longer. A lovely vibrant, energised fragrance that I could imagine becoming a go-to daily scent for work and play. After a couple of hours the citrus has burned off leaving a crisp smoky wood that is a bit like pencil shavings but a little creamier.

L’Occitane Australia has all these beauties

A special thanks to Lesley at L’Occitane Australia for her generosity. XXXXX


L’Occitane Cedrat GIVEAWAY

L'Occitane Cedrat edt L'Occitane Cedrat shave L'Occitane Cedrat soap


This week we will have 1 winner who will receive over $100 of product:
1 x 100ml Eau de Cedrat EdT (missing a few ml from testing)
1 x 150ml Cedrat Shave Foam

1 x 100g Cedrat soap
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Tell us a fragrance that energises you….


Entries Close TOMORROW Sunday 5th June 2016 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by random.org
The winners will have till Wednesday 8th June 2016 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Pour Homme by Louis Monnet for Van Clef & Arpels 1978


Post by Portia


Hello Fragrance Fans,

Now don’t be put off by the Pour Homme because this is a very sexy unisex only seems masculine on the men. It’s bracing herbal opening hides a chypre base with oriental overlay. Don’t believe me, come for a sniff.

Pour Homme by Van Clef & Arpels 1978

Pour Homme by Louis Monnet

Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme Van Cleef & Arpels FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Basil, bergamot, green notes, juniper berries, marjoram, thyme, lavender, sage, caraway, citrus notes
Heart: Guaiac, patchouli, vetiver, jasmine, orris, rose, carnation, spices, artemisia, cloves
Base: Amber, castoreum, incense, leather, oak moss, musk, labdanum, coconut

One of my first ever fragrant memories is of my Mum giving me a 5ml mini of Pour Homme by Van Clef & Arpels for my birthday. That 5ml lasted me till Christmas of that year when I was given my first ever full bottle, also from Mum, of Aramis. I have a pretty modern bottle and though it’s not exactly the same as my memory the basic scent structure is still there. I can remember the thrill of this completely adult concept, men’s scent. My Dad always smelled good because he wore Tabac Original by Maurer & Wirst so being a fragrant man was not an alien idea.

So how does Pour Homme by Van Clef & Arpels smell to me in 2016? Firstly I get a wonderful herbal opening that sparkles enough to give me a little aldehydes question. It’s rich, green, herbal and bracing but soft (in a touch rather than size sense) and smooth enough that anyone who loves a good green will really enjoy it. This is something that I could easily imagine a Katharine Hepburn or Julia Roberts sporting, a casual, dignified, elegant fragrance that speaks of country estates and effortless grace. A fragrance of time gone by.

Pour Homme Van Cleef & Arpels kate gabrielle Katharine Hepburn FlickrFlickr

The heart is a woodsy and rich adventure with still plenty of green and a quiet floral bouquet shimmering above. A dry tea rose and the snap and crackle of carnation, both perfectly surrounded with spices and herbs. The base with its warmth of amber cut through by the smoke and leather, my recollection is that the base was much furrier and more animalic originally but the current creamy amber woods is very nice too. Lasting power is excellent and Pour Homme by Van Clef & Arpels has a wonderful sillage, not overwhelming but noticeable. The perfect scent for a workplace that wants their staff to smell nice without punching people in the nose or making huge grand statements. Towards dry down I get a lovely clean mens soapy feel that lasts until next day. Excellent value and I think you could buy it as a gift for a non-perfumista guy and be guaranteed that he will rock it.

Pour Homme Van Cleef & Arpels Kaleem-1989 PixabayPixabay

Further reading: From Pyrgos
FragranceNet has $30/50ml before Coupon

Do you have any infallible mens scent alternatives that you like to wear or smell on the guys around you?
Portia xx