Eau de Velours by Michel Almairac, Mylène Alran for Bottega Veneta 2017




Happy New Year dear APJ!

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and safe 2018. 2017 was a turbulent year for many and I hope that the new year will show us a kinder side.

We spent the holidays with my folks in town. It has been wonderful having them here and my son has enjoyed the extra attention. We have been blessed with an extraordinary mild winter so far and I can only hope that continues.

I gifted my mum the new Bottega Veneta Eau de Velours and I find myself sneaking a spritz or two here and there. It is such a surprise for me that I love this one so much. The original Bottega Veneta was not a huge love – it was far too creamy for me.

Eau de Velours by Bottega Veneta 2017

Eau de Velours by Michel Almairac, Mylène Alran

Eau de Velours Bottega Veneta FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accord:
Top: Bergamot, pink pepper
Heart: Rose, jasmine, plum, spices
Base: Patchouli, leather

The first impression of the deep burgundy (leaning towards purple) bottle tied with a velvet ribbon makes me think that a luxurious perfume awaits me.

First sprayed, it starts out with a fresh blast of bergamot. It is quite refreshing but moves along quickly turning a bit spicy, rosey and plummy, with just a hint of leather in the background. I personally love the plum and spices because it reminds me of certain aspects of vintage Shiseido Feminite du Bois with its rich and deep plum note. Most fresh plums I have eaten have been rather tart in taste with only a hint of sweetness that could have been had it been left on the tree to ripen. The plum note in Eau de Velours is not juicy, nor is it sweet – it is slightly tart at the beginning. Then the plum is mixed with the intense rose and floral notes. Speaking of floral notes, the Bottega Veneta website says that Eau de Velours includes iris butter. Personally, I do not detect any iris butter, but hopefully others will experience the iris.

Eau de Velours Bottega Veneta edro_de_Camprobín_Still_Life_of_Iris,_Lilies,_Roses_and_Carnations_In_Elaborate_Urn WikiMediaWikiMedia

The rose accompanies me from first spray all the way to the late dry down. It is a lovely deep and velvety dark rose with the natural scent of actual rose. I bury my nose into my wrist and inhale deeply feeling the opulence surround me. Throughout the development, Eau de Velours has a sophisticated smooth leather note reminiscent of new kid leather gloves. Patchouli is added and it is quite prominent at first but dries down differently than what I normally expect from patchouli. It is faintly beautiful leaving me feeling elegant and dressed up. Now it is time for the red lipstick to come out!

Eau de Velours Bottega Veneta still life PXHerePDI

Further reading: Colognoisseur
David Jones has $170/50ml

Do you like dark, gothic rose perfumes? What did you do for New Year’s? What did you wear on New Year’s Eve?

Oodles of fragrant kisses,

Cuir Amethyste by Michel Almairac for Armani Privé 2005


Post by Portia


Heya Fragrant Fumies,

I came late to the Armani Privé line, it wasn’t until 2011 that I first got my sniff on them. Jin and I had been doing some shopping and one of the nearby malls had the first Armani Privé line in it’s own area that I’d seen. To be honest, I had worn  Armani Pour Homme and Emporio Armani Lui in the 1980s & 90s but nothing from the line had spoken to me for years and I figured that the quality of the fragrances had nose dived considerably like so many other brands. It was the bottles that caught our attention with the lovely simple black squares, the smooth cool rocks on top and gold plaques very much like the front door of an expensive restaurant or doctors/lawyers/dentists. We spent a lazy half hour sniffing them all and I had two favourites, Cuir Amethyste and Bois Encens.

By the time I realised that Cuir Amethyste was my favourite Michel Almairac had reworked the idea in a sweeter, suppler version for Bottega Veneta and I was so lost in its spell, especially when it became Jin’s signature, that Cuir Amethyst was forgotten. Step in Aelfrik, I bought a decant from him recently and my love is rekindled sevenfold……

Cuir Amethyste by Armani Privé 2005

Cuir Amethyste by Michel Almairac

Cuir Amethyste Giorgio Armani Prive FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, coriander, rose
Heart: Birch, patchouli, violet
Base: Benzoin, incense, Bourbon vanilla

How could I forget this glorious and majestic beauty, it’s so damn good I just want to lick myself all over and then cuddle up in a ball and suck in the divine scent of myself until I am breathed away on a whisper of wind. I SMELL SO GOOD!

My nose gets sweet citrus, leather and patchouli straight away, the mix is a little bit oud-y and Cuir Amethyste shows me little of anything else up front. Slowly I get a cool, bitter hint of burnt incense and then after about 5-15 minutes depending on the day I get a friendly little violet tap on the shoulder and suddenly Cuir Amethyste is an old, much loved leather bag with some powder and lipstick traces. Cool and friendly, like when we were sent looking in Mum’s bag for coins to buy ice-cream as kids, it’s a real memory scent for me. Maybe that’s why I love it so much.

cuir-amethyst-armani-prive handbag kropekk_plPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Later, much later the vanilla/amber combines with the leather to create the perfect skin scent, the scent you wish your skin had. A fleshy, endearing, healthy breath that warms and sweetens my own body fragrance to something compelling and luscious.In the morning there is still a whisper of leather handbag and makeup, I love Cuir Amethyste so much.

When I finish this 10ml there is a bottle in my future.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Cuir Amethyste
Cuir Amethyste by Armani Privé is available in large department stores

Did you fall for any of the Armani Privé line? Which and why?
Portia x

Essence Aromatique by Michel Almairac for Bottega Veneta 2014


Post by ElizaD



On a beautiful spring morning, I sit on a park bench, sipping my coffee and watching people as they stroll by. Suddenly I am drawn to one couple, both of them sharply dressed, tall and lithe, arms touching as they walk. Her fragrance intrigues me. It is a bit of Chanel, a bit of Bulgari, some tea, citrus, flowers and patchouli, soft and powdery. I rise to follow them, determined to find out what it is. I have never been so bold, but I have to know.

Bottega Veneta Essence Aromatique Couple hands WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

I approach them. “You smell so lovely” I say to the woman, “what is that fragrance you are wearing?” She responds “I am not wearing fragrance today.”

Now I am confused. Clearly this wonderful soft aroma emanates from this couple. “But my husband is,” she finishes, “it is called Essence Aromatique.” I walk away delighted.

Essence Aromatique by Michel Almairac for Bottega Veneta 2014

Bottega Veneta Essence Aromatique Bottega Veneta FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot and coriander
Heart: White rose, tonka and vanilla
Base: Patchouli and sandalwood

Essence Aromatique eau de cologne is advertised on the Bottega Veneta website as a women’s fragrance, along with their other three feminine perfumes: Bottega Veneta, their signature scent; Bottega Veneta Eau Legere; and Bottega Veneta in Murano Glass Parfum. But Fragrantica readers consider it to be unisex. The leather notes, which lurk at the bottom, offer a balance to the floral heart notes, while the bergamot adds that splash of aftershave freshness. The coriander, tonka bean and vanilla become the suggestion of warm skin. In the right place–probably not Eugene, Oregon, where I live–I can envision my well-dressed and self-assured gentleman wearing this. His fragrance need not make any more of a statement than his other carefully selected accessories.

Bottega Veneta Paris WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

I was not disappointed by the fragrance of Essence Aromatique. On me, it’s perfect: a light woody floral that is professional and age-appropriate but not dowdy. I feel grown up in this perfume. And Essence Aromatique could have become a new addition to my collection, save for one drawback. Sillage is nonexistent. An hour after first applying this, I was wishing I had brought my tiny sample with me to the office so I could respritz. It’s an eau de cologne with an eau de parfum pricetag.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and Now Smell This
StrawberryNET has $86/50ml and body products
My Perfume Samples starts at $3/ml

Ah well, perhaps I will try the shower gel, or wait until it hits the discounters. Too bad.

How do you feel about unisex fragrances…where do you draw the line?


Mercedes Benz Perfume by Michel Almairac for Mercedes Benz 2013: 2014 Ads

Hey all,

Well I’m back home and have nothing scheduled for tonight. AAAARRGGGHHH!!! I have found the ad campaign for the new Mercedes Benz Perfume though on art8amby.

Do I think the fragrance will be as good as the ads? My fingers are crossed.

Mercedes Benz Perfume by Michel Almairac for Mercedes Benz 2013

Mercedes Benz for Her Mercedes-Benz FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Peach, bergamot
Heart: Rose, lily-of-the-valley, mimose, violet
Base: Patchouli, white musk, vanilla

Mercedes Benz Perfume #1

Mercedes Benz Perfume #2

Mercedes Benz Perfume #3

Burberry Body (Rose Gold) by Michel Almairac 2012

Hello Perfume Junkies,

Over the last couple of days the conversation on FFF (Facebook Fragrance friends) has been quite spirited, I asked if anyone has any mainstream designer fragrances in their closets. Considering the FFF crew are about as hard core a bunch of perfumistas as you’ll find anywhere in the world I was expecting to be chided mildly, ignored or snidely dissed. What I did not expect was an overflowing of love for the designer genre and mainstream in general. Fullsome praise for the YSL, DIOR, CHANEL, Mugler, many of the make up companies like Estee Lauder and even some of the celebuscents. It was a general and obviously cathartic experience and heaps of people let their dirty little fragrant secrets out as if holding them in was hurting.

Burberry Body (Rose Gold) 2012

Burberry Body Rose Gold FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Wormwood, peach, freesia
Heart: Iris, rose absolute, sandalwood
Base: Cashmere wood, vanilla, amber, musk

In my reading I have discovered that this is the original Burberry Body in a new bottle, the notes are exactly the same. The first rush is all synthetic peach, a bright, sharp and plastic peach with freesia adding a swoony accompaniment and some green that could be wormwood but just as easily could be something coniferous. One the whooosh of the opening everything settles down to play nice and the whole composition seems to fade to a fancy, wet, shimmering, hum of fruity floral. To be honest I would love Burberry Body Rose Gold in a soap or laundry softener, it has that clean, fresh, breezy attitude and I can imagine it being an excellent workhorse of a fragrance, a spritz and forget, long lasting, fragrant nothing in a fun bottle, though I bet it’s really annoying to try and keep upright.

Burberry Body Rose Gold Freesia Rain WikimediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

As we wend our way into the heart I can smell the extra rose facets, pretty, murmuring rose-ish, fruity and spicy like a garden rose, I get the correlation though Burberry Body Rose Gold is a nod to it not a realistic replication and behind the rose is a hint of metal, as if you’ve just put a cold spoon in your mouth. The iris and sandalwood are playing way down low, I can’t pick them. The dry down is a soft focus sweet, but not cloying, still fruity wood with a bunch of clean musk, the vanilla only a hint. Through the heart I do get hints of peony though, that sweet, watery, green floralcy that they get as you cut them and put them in a vase, there are moments of real prettiness in Burberry Body Rose Gold that are better than you expect.

Burberry Body Rose Gold Sword Rose Akban Martial arts academy  FlickrPhoto Stolen Akban Martial arts academy Flickr

It reads like I don’t like Burberry Body Rose Gold, which is a false impression because I do like it. I don’t love it, probably will not buy a bottle when my decant is finished and think that Burberry can afford to do better, BUT there is definitely a place for Burberry Body Rose Gold. It’s ageless, easy wear fragrance that will not be too strong even if you are a wicked oversprayer. You can spritz it in the morning and know that you’ll still be softly fragrant for drinks after work. Spritzed into your moisturiser or body lotion/oil it will give you a clean fresh feeling all day, there are way worse offerings that cost a lot more.

Burberry Body Rose Gold Burberry Pink Hankerchief Rie Shimizu FlickrPhoto Stolen Rie Shimizu Flickr

Further reading: Now Smell This and Beauty Basics
FragranceNet has $45/60ml in the Limited Edition EdP
My Perfume Samples starts at $2/ml but I got the $7/5ml

Have you or do you wear Burberry Body Rose Gold? Have you tried it?
See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

Voleur de Roses by Michel Almairac for L`Artisan Parfumeur 1993

Hello Happy Huffers,

Just yesterday my mate Michael was at a perfume sale in Sydney and I got the call, “they have some L’Artisan on sale mate. Not a lot left and some is sprayed is there anything you want?” What a question! So there are a couple of L’Artisans that often go in the shopping basket but get ousted for other beauties at checkout time. Does anyone else do that? Fill your basket and then go back through deleting till it’s how much you want to spend? This L’Artisan has been on my want list for a long time, I love how it smells but even the name is lovely and sinuous like a line in a poem,

Voleur de Roses by L`Artisan Parfumeur 1993

Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured notes in one line:
Patchouli, rose, plum

Perfume is a funny thing, everyone gets a different piece of the fragrance pie and what can smell naughty and indecent to one can ofdten smell pastel and washed out to another. Recently I put on the Facebook board FFF that I was wearing Voleur de Roses, “Currently wafting the gentle wash of Voleur de Roses by L`Artisan Parfumeur. It’s so tasteful and nice, I feel like a very good boy.” This sums up my experience with the fragrance perfectly. I get the softest, prettiest aqua tint style wash of fragrance. It is a lovely plummy rose as if you were standing inside the house with roses scent being blown in by the breeze, yes that soft. There is so much air between the notes and it sits so close to my body after an hour that it can surprise me when it huffs up my shirt later in the day because I forget I’m wearing it.

When I first spritz Voleur de Roses it smells like it might be going down the SJP Lovely road but it quickly diverts to this soft fruity rose with a super clean patchouli and a very laundry musky cuddliness. I wonder if we use something different in our laundry that other countries don’t because what I’m getting is clean, the idea of clean and airy space. Pretty linear after the initial rush it does stay around for about 4-5 hours but not in a big way.

Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur Plum Roses Tracie Hall FlickrPhoto Stolen Tracie Hall Flickr

Thinking about who or where I could imagine Voleur de Roses being worn? Totally unisex and it smells amazing on my BFF Kath, though both my Aunties turned their noses well up at it on them while liking it very much on me, and soft enough but unusual enough to help you stand out quietly (funny but Now Smell This has the same idea but better expressed) and it could be a terrific date night fragrance, I’ll let you know on that score. Definitely sheer enough to be office friendly, even in the most frag phobic work spaces but it will give the message that you are quietly, and wonderfully, different from the many department store fragrance wearers.

Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur Plum Roses T Kiya FlickrPhoto Stolen T.Kiya Flickr

Further reading: Bois de Jasmine and Now Smell This
Parfum1 has $145/100ml
Beauty Encounter has $145/100ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $4/ml

How does Voleur de Roses smell on you?
See you tomorrow,
Portia x

Casmir by Chopard Review

Hey everyone,

While most blogs are talking about Spring arriving and getting out your citrus and softly, airy florals; here in Australia we are just starting to hit Autumn. The leaves on the Liquidamber in the front yard are starting to turn, the Camellias are flowering, the gardener will be coming every 3 weeks instead of fortnightly and the nights are turning chilly. Instead of wearing my summer round the house uniform of boxer shorts and singlets it is track suit, hoodie and sloppy Joe weather. YUMMY! Soon it will be pumpkin soup, roast beef, baked pasta with vegetables and savoury mince time. I love the cooler months because it’s easier to get warm that it is to get cool, without resorting to A/C, just add socks and a jumper. We also have really mild winters in Sydney so it’s not a hardship, it’s lovely.

CASMIR EDP by Chopard

The nose that created Casmir in 1992, Michel Almairac, had already made Joop! Homme, Escada Margaretha Ley and Paloma Picasso Minotaure and has gone on to create such lavish olfactory adventures as L’Eau de Chloe, Shiseido’s Zen Women, Bottega Veneta, Gucci Rush, Cabaret by Gres, and a bunch of the Bond No 9’s. So this is an early work, a peek into the history of, and helps build context for, an already extraordinary career.

Casmir is given 4 stars by Luca Turin. He calls it a Strange Oriental and talks about the discordance and “contrasts between the peach, lactonic top notes, the slightly flat, mimosa floral heart and the woody-animalic drydown…as daring as Rabanne’s La Nuit was in its day.”

Photo Stolen from PinkManhattan

The notes that Luca Turin speaks of and on Fragrantica do not serve as a guide for me, at all. Yes, my nose is sometimes crazy but in this I feel justified. Maybe I need to go eat a peach. I smell not the big gutsy hit of fruits but it feels like a sweet vanilla,  jasmine and orange blossom to me, with maybe a whisper of spices and cinnamon (TSO Jin smells watermelon)? Then it’s all about the base. Vanilla, Benzoin (?), Opoponax (brown sugary, honeyed resin) and Tonka Bean (spicy resinous vanilla) walk in and play sexy bitches for hours and hours. In the morning I’ll wake up with the sweet, dirty, disco smell of girl gone bad. This is a fragrance to send boys home crying and have men panting for more and trying to hump your leg. So reasonably priced on the discount store sites and packs a knockout punch. Certainly not for the faint-hearted, this will bring out the sexy siren in you. Don’t sniff or tsk at me, you know you love it and you also want this in your arsenal.

Photo Stolen from shopping.com

We haven’t yet spoken about the bottle. I love the bottle even though it is ridiculously awkward to spray from, takes up the same area as 4 other regular bottles and is outrageously the wrong side of kitsch. To me all this belies the gloriously sensual juice in the bottle. Like it’s a challenge to wear; pass the test of ignoring these problems to get the fragrant reward. Its worth it.

Brian on I Smell Therefore I Am does a wonderful review, light and shade, all angles covered and Pink Manhattan where I stole the print ad from loves Chopard’s Casmir.

Thank you so much for reading. What are your cool weather warmers? If you’re up in the Northern Hemisphere which of your favourites are being bundled away in anticipation of summer? Leave us a message and tell us. It will thrill us and make us feel like real bloggers.

Portia xx

The only ad I could find on YouTube was in German but you get the idea. The arch they go through reminds me of a couple of the wonderful places I’ve been in India.