Post by Portia


Heya LATE people,

There’s 7 days till Christmas and you are FREAKING OUT? Don’t. I’ve got you covered. Here is a selection of beautiful things that are guaranteed to keep your friends, family and loved ones smiling long after the big day. They are a look into what I have paid full retail for to gift my mates with this year.

Now these are mainly for Australia. Down the bottom I’ve put a few perfume ideas that you can buy at most Chemists (Drug Stores) or Department Stores for everyone around the world.

Late Quick Christmas Gifts



Cult Of Scent<< has just released the most fabulously glamorous candle ever. Jocelyn Fullerton is the creator and le Rêveur (the Dreamer) is inspired by a magical book by Erin Morgenstern and the dream of waking in a rose garden. Fabulous red glass lidded bottle of 500g (approx 15.5oz), hand made with vegetal wax and burntime least 80 hrs for AUD$65 before tax & shipping. Perfect for your glam, luxe and OTT buddies.
DISCOUNT CODE: APJ10 (Only 100 of these discounts available)
Last shopping day till 12pm (midday) Sydney time on Wednesday 21st December


Gascoigne & King Candles<< are created and produced by my mate Bronwyn Gascoigne who hand makes everything in her Surry Hills studio. My current favourite is Paddington with its notes of rose, marigold, fern. tulips & lily. It manages to fill the room with fresh clean air and the hint of a floral bouquet. These are the perfect gift for your super cool minimalist friends. At $55 for 400ml with around 75 hours of burntime, beautifully boxed and FREE SHIPPING in Australia.
Final Christmas orders by 4pm Tuesday 20th December Sydney time


Coast Candles Sydney<< who we recently showcased for their new fragrance range is an Aussie candle company. I bought a bunch of these because firstly they smell fabulous. For my preference Coast Candles are a little strong for the living room but perfect in the bathroom when you have guests to keep everything smelling fresh and new. We have Tahiti at AUD$38 for 440g with approximately 80 hours of burntime in the bathroom right now with its notes of vanilla, coconut and gardenia.
Women for Women International supports female survivors of war with tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self sufficiency. Two dollars from the sale of each candle will benefit Women for Women International.
Last orders by 4pm Tuesday 20th December Sydney time for Christmas delivery


MudAustralia Candles<< were created in conjunction with APJs very own Ainslie Walker. There are two choices and my favourite is the tuberose, green ginger, tolu resin and spice stunner Mud01. The hand made porcelain vessels by MudAustralia are each individual pieces, shiny reflective on the inside and porous matte on the outside, with hand filled soy candles. 340g candle with refillable vessel and 80 hour burn time for only $85.
Final Christmas orders by 4pm Tuesday 20th December Sydney time


Peony Melbourne<< has a fabulous array of hair care, beauty, candles and soaps. There is the Santa Maria Novella beauty range from Florence Italy and the David Mallett Haircare from Paris. Cire Trudon candles and Royal Fern skincare. Anything in Jill’s shop that does not contain alcohol can be ordered by close of business 5pm Tuesday 20th December Sydney time for Christmas delivery



Libertine Parfumerie<< has all the fragrance in the world but it also has a spectacular selection of gentleman oriented gifts like the Penhaligon’s Shave Bowls & Soap, Creed Shower Gels and Deodorants. They even have Laduree Candles, you know the French brand that basically brought the Macaroon and Croissant back from the forgotten lands of yesterday?
Final Christmas orders by 4pm Tuesday 20th December Sydney time

Perfumes that have wide audiences: Le Parfum by Elie Saab for white floral. Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker is the newest good thing on a budget both dry and woodsy, CHANEL No 19 for the elegant, cool and aloof. Eau Parfumee au The Rouge by Bulgari for a zingy fruit tea. Super sweet almonds and cherries La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain. For the ironic fashion follower any of the Elizabeth and James line by the Olsen twins, great packaging and excellent frags.
Manly men? Antaeus by CHANEL. Musc Nomade by Annick Goutal. Bentley for Men Intense by Bentley is hitting well above its price range. Dior Homme by Christian Dior is still among my perfect fragrances for the boys.

I hope these help for the last minute late buyers among you. Good Luck!!
Merry Christmas (or whatever you may be celebrating)
Portia xx

MudAustralia Candles: Re-Priced in time for Christmas 2015!!


Post by Ainslie Walker


As some of you know I’m involved in a scented candle collaboration with Mud Australia, who are an all Australian designer porcelain company based in Sydney. Recent expansions see Mud Australia stand alone stores in New York, London, Melbourne and a new Double Bay location in Sydney opening next week.

MudAustralia Candles

Re-Priced in time for Christmas 2015!!

I am happy to announce today that we have been able to reduce the price of the candles in time for your Christmas shopping

From $100 to $85!! at Ainslie Walker<<JUMP

Here is some further information from Portia’s APJ introduction & APJ Christmas Guide 2014

MudAustralia Candle Ainslie Walker #5

All their gorgeous porcelain designs (plates, bowls, mugs pendant lights, fruit bowls, vases etc.) are handmade in small batches in their Marrickville workshop, including the vessels for the candles. The hues and textures are gorgeous and the reason why they are in demand worldwide.

The candles burn for more than 80 hours. The vessels are reusable either by refilling with a candle refill (also available $40) or through use as a vase, drinking vessel, toothbrush/pen holder etc.

MudAustralia Candle Ainslie Walker #1

Mud01 – slate, milk or red

The collaboration Mud01 fragrance explores and draws from the soft hues and smooth textures of mud Australia’s porcelain. Ainslie uses a combination of white florals -tuberose, jasmine and orange blossom to create a smooth, creamy note, tolu Resin to add an earthy element, whilst green ginger and spices are used to add depth and warmth. The fragrance is feminine, yet strong, and reminiscent of Shelley Simpson, Mud Australia’s founder.

MudAustralia Candle Ainslie Walker #3

Mud02 – plum, dust or bottle

Features a fragrance with cedar, leather, amber and musks forming the base with neroli, orange, fresh cut herbs and sun dried hay floating above. The whole combines to give the effect of warm amber and deep woods throughout your home

Available now from Ainslie Walker<<JUMP and Mud Australia stores and stockists worldwide.

Portia's Christmas Giving Guide 2014

Hey there gang,

Yes, 2 weeks till Christmas! Crazy how it comes up so quickly. I have been thinking long and hard about things I would like to gift my friends and family with, some are fragrant, some not.

Portia’s Christmas Giving Guide 2014


What candles do I burn in my house? These are the ones I burn and the ones I gift. A candle is an excellent gift because it lasts for ages, they are lovely and for people who already have everything they need a candle is something they may not think to buy themselves. I like to have my bath with candlelight whenever possible, so glamorous.

MudAustralia Candle Ainslie Walker #3

MudAustralia Candle #1: Ainslie Walker: Our very own Ainslie Walker designed and produced these gorgeous candles for MudAustralia. They have a beautiful scent with a white floral/woody tone that clears out all the bad juju in my house/apartment in about 30 minutes. The porcelain container can be re-purposed as a vase or glass and you can buy candle refills too. This lush and creamy candle fragrance gives me a rich satisfying fragrance in the whole apartment and comes in a super great range of colours too. Everyone that I have gifted one of these to has fallen instantly in love with it.


Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Candle: Mecca Australia: When I need something calming and soothing in the air that won’t overwhelm but will allow me to really centre myself then I choose the 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Candle by Diptyque. This is what I used to scent my house while it was for sale and one of the things that ALL the prospective buyers said was that the house smelled beautiful. I have had this candle for over a year and use it often, there is still about a quarter left, that is serious lasting power.

34 Blvd St. Germain celebrates the brands 50th anniversary since their original boutique opened in Paris. Green notes, moss, blackcurrant, fig leaves, exotic spices, fresh flowers, woods


Yes, most of you know I have a ridiculous collection of soaps too. Here are two that I use regularly and a new brand I discovered in the USA recently at Twisted Lily.


Rancé Acqua di Colonia Soap: Rancé Soaps: Billed as Made Originally for Catherine di Medici, that may even be true. What really matters though is how freaking LAVISH you will feel when you use Rancé Acqua di Colonia Soap. Super creamy and scented with mainly citruses, white flowers and spices. If ever you need to feel like the king or queen of your world then this is the soap that will send you on your way.

Tabac Original Soap by Maurer & Wirtz

Tabac Original Soap by Maurer & Wirtz: All Beauty: Yes, I bang on about this one quite a bit. I love it. Gorgeous scent, lathers beautifully, leaves my skin feeling soft and clean. Anyone who has touched my skin can tell you that soap has not ruined it over the years (nor has all the other stuff I’ve done to my poor self), it’s as soft and supple as it was in my teens, just stretched a bit tighter. Did I mention Cheap As Chips? Unbelievably good value.

Sandalo-SoapNEW!!! Sandalo Soap by Ortigia: Twisted Lily: I have not used this yet but the packaging is exquisite, so glamorous with its heavy silver card and picture of a Rajasthani elephant. The whole presentation is luxurious and the Italian form Ortigia is also very reasonably priced. 4 x 100g bars of glycerine soap that smell heavenly.

From Twisted Lily: The essential oil of this exotic tree with narcissus, cedar, teak, vetiver, rose and jasmine. Rich, complex and sophisticated. Bars of pure vegetable glycerine; wonderfully translucent, naturally coloured, and generously fragranced with the cool and spicy Sandalo perfume


The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu is one of my all time favourite fragrance books. Filled with fragrance, romance, insider perfumer information and a wonderful stary of a woman finding herself, and some company along the way. Great read. I have read it twice now.

The Perfume Lover Denyse Beaulieu BookDepositoryBuy The Perfume Lover from Book Depository in paperback for around AUD$16 delivered to your door.

The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr is the story of two fragrances from opposite ends of the spectrum. Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely and Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil come to life as you read the book. It’s an eye opening insiders fast track and a really great read. I started rereading this on my holiday but there was no time, I will complete it this week.

The Perfect Scent Chandler Burr BookDepository
Buy The Perfect Scent from Book Depository in paperback for around AUD$20 delivered to your door.

Revelation!: Reveal Your Destiny With Essential Oils by Suzanne R Banks is a really interesting look at creating a new life for yourself with Essential Oils. Aroma-Life-Therapy that gets you to become more mindful and present in your own space through scent, personal and ambient. It’s all about the naturals and very natural specific, shunning chemicals and synthetics, to use the energy of the plants and nature to help propel you to a higher level. Our very own APJ contributor Suzanne R Banks is a published author!! COOL!

Revelation Reveal Your Destiny With Essential Oils Suzanne R Banks Amazon
Buy Revelation! Reveal Your Destiny With Essential Oils from Amazon for $3.30 on Kindle, also available as a book $11

Oh, My God, Am I Alright? by Michael El-Bacha is the ‘coming out’ story of a young confused man growing up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney to strict Lebanese Christian parents. From the outside looking in, Michael El-Bacha seemed like any other Lebanese boy from a large family with strong values and an appetite for football, fast cars and chicky babes. But after his parents notice that Michael is not like other ‘typical’ Lebanese boys, he is whisked off to Lebanon to marry his first cousin. Young Michael struggles to deny his true sexuality and leaves his young bride and infant child to find his identity. He embarks on a downward spiral until losing a lover leads him back home. Sex, drugs, homosexuality and love potions are what make this tale of self-discovery so tantalising. Michael’s story will make you laugh, cringe and cry.

Oh, My God, Am I Alright? by Michael El-Bacha Bookshop Darlinghurst

Do you know any kids/adults on the cusp? Maybe they need a story like this to ease the heartache of coming out? Extra plus? I have a whole chapter! Michael was my friend when much of this was happening for him.

Buy Oh, My God, Am I Alright? from The Bookshop Darlinghurst AUD$20

Hopefully this has helped you in your Christmas Shopping in 2014.
Portia xx

PS> Just so you know, I love these products because they are really good. Yes, I am affiliated with some of the people who have produced these lovely gifts. They are my friends and I am justifiably proud of their efforts, no one is paying me to write about them. Fingers crossed they are thrilled I wrote about them and that some of you go buy their shit.