Lunarii: New Australian Natural Perfume

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Post by Anne-Marie

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Lunarii is an Australian company which creates all-natural fragrances. The company sent APJ some fragrances for consideration, and I’m reviewing two for today’s post.

Lunarii Natural Fragrances

Lunarii: New Australian Natural Perfume

queen of hearts Lunarii Natural FragrancesLunarii

Queen of Hearts by Lunarii

Lunarii gives these featured accords:
Rose Otto, Rose Damascena, Rose Maroc, violet leaf, spikenard, clary sage, musk.

Described as a ‘Euphoric unfurling of a rose-laden carpet into the sky’. The fragrance opens with a sudden whoosh, an ‘unfurling’, of very vivid rose notes. There is not a lot of sweetness; rather, the effect is peppery and a little raspy. If it is a little harsh at this point, it softens as it develops. Incense is not given as a note; on my first wearing of Queen of Hearts I smelled it distinctly, but in subsequent wearings not so much. Never mind. For me, Queen of Hearts resolves into a clean, serene rose incense (-like) fragrance. It is aimed at a ‘woman of any age’, but to me it is quite unisex.

summer Lunarii Natural FragrancesLunarii

Summer

Lunarii gives these featured accords:
Frangipani, Tolu balsam, vanilla, lemon-butter

Summer caught my eye because I love the idea of gardens bright with sunshine and flowers, shaded with trees and murmuring fountains. The fragrance is described as ‘A warm summer’s breeze. Youthful and delicate’. The opening gives me a strange, earthy, almost muddy effect for a minute or so, as if I’m getting earth and roots before leaves and sunshine. As time passes, bright florals and a feeling of freshness and ease emerge. I really can see myself reclining under a shady tree sipping a glass of lemonade, and with nothing to do but read or snooze or watch the pattern of leaves against the sky. However, to my nose the muddiness of the opening leaves a trace throughout that makes the fragrance not as enjoyable as I had hoped.

Queen of Hearts and Summer are quite different, but I’ve enjoyed reviewing them together. Pursuing an Alice and Wonderland theme, Queen of Hearts is like the dim, cool hall in which Alice finds herself after she has fallen down the rabbit hole, and Summer is the garden she sees through the little door, and which she eventually finds.

Sillage and longevity are moderate in both fragrances.

Lunarii’s perfumer is Jason, a Sydney-based healer, artist and scientist with an interest in alchemy. His disillusionment with big-brand fragrances led to the launch of Lunarii, late in 2015. There are seven fragrances in the line-up so far, and there is a range of sample and gift sets available.

Have you tried any Lunarii fragrances? Do you have any favourite natural brands?

Pink Marshmallows in the Morning by Banks Botanicals 2014

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Post by Portia

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Hey there crew,

More than anything I get asked about the Hand Wash in my bathroom. Every time we have visitors at least one of them question the provenance of what I consoder to be the best smelling and most effective Hand Wash in the history of the universe. I love it so much that this December I bought ten of them, two for my home and eight to give as gifts over the festive season.

Pink Marshmallows in the Morning by Banks Botanicals 2014

Pink Marshmallows in the Morning by Suzanne R Banks

Pink Marshmallows in the Morning by Banks Botanicals bathroom

Based on coconut oil and glycerine, 100% natural and as eco-friendly as possible to find, Suzanne adds a dazzling fragrance that is marshmallows and Australian bushlands all rolled into one. The bite & twang of boronia and eucalyptus set in a sweet base that is so unusual that I find it doesn’t really compare with anything concrete but may bear some links with pink marshmallows. Naah, it doesn’t really but when you smell it you’ll understand why it is so named.

One of things I really like about Pink Marshmallows in the Morning is the enormous burst of fragrance as you wash your hands that goes a long way towards masking any unsavoury human de-catering smells. Yet once you leave the bathroom it disappears in a couple of minutes, meaning you won’t compromise your fragrance choice for the day.

Pink Marshmallows in the Morning by Banks Botanicals hand wash

Something else I love is the simple, no nonsense packaging. No boxes, just the recyclable plastic bottle and a pump that screws up. Plastic is so much better in the bathroom where I am often barefoot and the tiles are unforgiving of dropped glass. Also, ALL the ingredients are listed on the side of the container and Suzanne makes sure everything she puts into her products are the most harm free she can find and fair trade.

The price is particularly reasonable too. Normally $25, I got a great discount because I bought 10 bottles at only $20/bottle and I went and picked them up. Because Pink Marshmallows in the Morning is a Hand Wash and not alcohol based fragrance Suzanne can send to the world, but postage from Australia is a bit pricey.

Pink Marshmallows in the Morning from Suzanne R Banks FaceBook. Send Suzanne a message if you’d like to purchase. You won’t regret it.

What is your favourite handwash? Would you try a 100% natural and as eco-friendly as possible hand wash if it smelled amazing and cleaned your hands?
Portia xxx

Impromptu by Roxana Villa for Roxana Illuminated Perfume 2012

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Post by Portia

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Hi there,

Natural perfume is a term often reviled by perfumistas. It’s an interesting conundrum because people say they are looking for something different and unusual, a fragrance to blow away the cobwebs of humdrum yet when offered something completely outside their sphere of reference it seems that they only want something different that’s pretty much the same. Is it the human condition in a nutshell? Roxana makes fragrances that are completely and utterly different, they are attached to no familiar trope, speak of the earth and plants that they are produced from and have a connection to the powers of the plants themselves. When I wear a fragrance by Roxana it’s as if I’m an active participant of the world’s natural green spaces.

Impromptu by Roxana Illuminated Perfume 2012

Impromptu by Roxana Villa

Impromptu Roxana Illuminated Perfume bottlePhoto Stolen Roxana Illuminated Perfume

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Woody notes, herbal notes, camphor, geranium, leather, tarragon, basil, clary sage, mimosa

Impromptu, even dabbed, opens larger than life. That it is so real, earthy and alive is so totally unexpected after wearing designer and niche mainly. You have to let your nose recalibrate a bit. Deep earthy green, like a sexy swamp lady, I smell moss, river water and weed, herbs, torn fig leaves, mown lawn and compost, and some spices. You’ll not find anything this wild, untamed and confronting at your local fragrance counter. Impromptu is the good stuff.

Impromptu opens angular, green and spiky. Challenging and unashamed it wraps tender green shoots around your heart and sets root in your soul. Spicy woods and still a herbal tint fill the fragrance heart and much of the ferocity has left. Imagine hiding in the wood shed next to the kitchen and someone is cooking curry, there is also a smoky fire somewhere nearby maybe it’s a wood stove.

Impromptu Roxana Illuminated Perfume PicturePhoto Stolen Roxana Illuminated Perfume

A couple of hours later and still my skin is thrumming with a woodsy green but now the spiciness is cut through with leather, old shoe leather, some well loved and oiled boots. Further in my skin throws a beautiful amber that takes Impromptu into a warmer, friendlier environment. Not sweet but resinous and shiny, woods that have been waxed shiny in a room lit by the warmth of a fire.

Further reading: EauMG and Australian Perfume Junkies
Roxana Illuminated Perfume has $12/1grm EdP

Do you know Rovane Illuminated Perfume? Have you ever tried naturals?
Portia xx

Vanilla Smoke by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Perfumes 2015

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Post by Portia

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Hello Fragrant Friends,

Mandy Aftel is one of the best known & most loved Indie perfumers on the planet. Not only for her stellar fragrances but also for her books on fragrance (Essence & Alchemy and Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent) and her natural perfumery school. My every dealing with her has been so lovely, she is one of the greats and has the most beautiful presentation in her packaging. The whole Aftelier product is so luxurious and getting an order is exquisite fun opening it all up. My favourite way to buy Aftelier is the A Trio of Miniatures in a Silk Pouch that is also in a tin. I use these miniatures as gifts when I’m travelling, giving one to people who I particularly love or who have gone out of their way, and they are always accepted with real pleasure.

Aftelier A Trio of Miniatures in a Silk PouchPhoto Stolen Aftelier

Vanilla Smoke by Aftelier Perfumes 2015

Vanilla Smoke by Mandy Aftel

Vanilla Smoke Aftelier FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Yellow mandarin, Siam wood, saffron absolute, vanilla absolute, lapsang souchong tea essence (tea leaves smoked over pinewood), coumarin, ambergris

After reading her review I was chatting briefly with Victoria over on EauMG and … Portia: .. the EdP felt like a magical Shalimar restructuring. It’s my favourite so it was really nice to smell the Ultimate Smoke Shalimar with extra twists and nuance. Victoria: .. a big yes to Ultimate Smoke Shalimar because that’s accurate! The EDP reminds me very much of like modern, smoky Shalimar, like Shalimar roasting marshmallows over a campfire.

Vanilla Smoke Aftelier Fire Sky Rachel Kramer FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Vanilla, warm, comforting, sensual and alluring. The simplest of scents yet also incredibly complex. In Vanilla Smoke Mandy Aftel has added spice and heavy resins that are cut through with the strong smoky tea note of lapsang souchong, When I read the note list before trying Vanilla Smoke, and before reading any other reviews, I thought it was going to be a very dense, hefty, thick scent. One perfectly chosen to warm and sweeten winter nights but too gluggy and oppressive for the warmer months. No Way! Somehow Mandy has managed to lift it and gift it air, while being fully and gloriously fragrant and the opening is mildly ferocious in a VERY good way, there is a floaty sheer-ness that makes it feel free. I don’t know if you remember those 1980s video clips where it was dusk or dark and smoke billowing around some half naked male dancers and a fabulously made up songstress in an over the top gown belting out a power ballad with a dance backbeat? Vanilla Smoke has all the glamour, fun and over the top outrage but softened for a modern market.

Vanilla Smoke Aftelier guitar smoke jonathansautter PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Vanilla Smoke is dry and desiccated, elegant and totally immersive up close. From further away, or on someone else, it wears less dry and you get to smell that lovely vanilla shining through the smoke. Another reviewer wrote sumptuous and I concur, perfect word for Vanilla Smoke.

Further reading: EauMG and ScentHive
Aftelier has $180/30ml EdP
Aftelier has $180/7.5ml Parfum

Do you have a Mandy Aftel fragrance that you adore? If you haven’t tried her yet, go visit the site Aftelier<<JUMP. It’s full of beautifully fragrant things that aren’t only perfume…
Portia xx


JoAnne Bassett: Erica Golding's Four Faves 2015

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Post by Erica Golding

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Hello, my beautifully fragranced favorite people!

I’ve enjoyed exploring indie natural perfumery so very much the last few years, and I have recently been graced with the opportunity to experience the transcendent art of JoAnne Bassett. Today, I am focusing on my favorites from my lovely samples.

JoAnne Bassett: Erica Golding’s Four Faves 2015

Marie Antoinette JoAnne Bassett FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Marie Antoinette by JoAnne Bassett

First up is Marie Antionette, a brightly refreshing perfume that opens on my skin with the freshly peeled orange rind from a delightfully fine neroli essential oil. The majestic floral heart hovers roundly beneath the shimmering neroli/lavender, a bouquet composed of sweet jasmine sambac, soft white rose otto, creamy tuberose, and candied ylang ylang. The overall fragrance maintains a glittering herbal tone while the uniquely green basil note gently sings. A light resinous base of frankincense and labdanum tenderly holds down the fort without weighing down the soaring, luminous composition. The fragrance spirals back to the opening as it fades, with a quietly diffuse citrus breath.

JoAnne Bassett Bottle JoAnne BassettPhoto Stolen JoAnne Bassett

Malmaison by JoAnne Bassett

Next, I am loving Malmaison, described as an aphrodisiac by the artist. The heartbreakingly gorgeous jasmine sambac stands out on me the most, lifted by a sweetly radiant citrus that actually reads more like a sparkling ice wine. The supporting notes swirl respectfully in the background, a complex aroma that exhibits a balance of white floral, aromatherapeutic rose and lavender, and freshly soft orange blossom. As the fragrance dissipates, it can oscillate smoothly between its meditative and revitalizing qualities depending on the focus of the wearer.

Malmaison JoAnne Bassett FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Magie d’ Or by JoAnne Bassett

Magie D’ Or, or Gold Magic, is a joyride of a morpher during the drydown. The opening blast of pink pepper is so unbelievably enthusiastic, it’s like a thrilling cliff dive. Then, a hint of cinnamon romances along with the sweetness of juicy clementine, all orbiting around a beautiful herbal-floral nexus featuring rose, lavender, and jasmine. It all dries down to a smooth, divine base of resonant patchouli, deliciously thick benzoin, and golden frankincense. Magie D’ Or is satisfying, and hums with peaceful positivity. I am especially enthralled with the deep, viscous end stage.

JoAnne Bassett Bottles JoAnne BassettPhoto Stolen JoAnne Bassett

Sensual Embrace by JoAnne Bassett

Lastly, let’s just obliterate all self-control and serenity, and tap into our deepest, sexiest desires with Sensual Embrace perfume. The flower petals strewn about exude a tender heartthrob of jasmine, rose, and a hint of other white flowers. The blossoms are more of an accent than a focus, because the center of this fragrance is a woody masterpiece that is so masterfully composed, it begs to be simply enjoyed rather than analyzed. I am swooning over what must be vintage aged oakmoss, highlighted and balanced by smooth musky sandalwood, dry crackling cedar, dark chewy tobacco, and warm familiar amber. Not a beginner’s fragrance, but fantastically alluring to me, and most definitely unisex.

Have a look at JoAnne Bassett’s website, there are many precious essences to lust after. And those artisan-made glass bottles are just to die for – I’ve got it bad. 😉

Well, that’s it for now! I hope you are enjoying a lovely day wherever you are, and that your perfume brings you great happiness.

-Erica

Providence Perfume Co.

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Post by Erica Golding

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Fragrant greetings to all of you beautiful souls!

I am passionate about fragrance to the point of insanity. I love it all – mass market, niche, oils, cheap thrills, luxurious extravagances, synthetics, naturals, whatever! If it smells beautiful to me, I love it, and it’s a simple as that. From Bath and Body Works to Amouage.

I became intrigued by natural perfumery several years ago, when my scented journey touched upon Ayala Moriel, Aftelier Perfumes, Ajne, and April Aromatics. I became enchanted by the intense emotional responses I experienced with these all-natural masterpieces. The fragrance art was just so vivid, it was like standing in a breathtaking landscape rather than looking at a photograph.

One day, I came across a perfumery called Providence Perfume Company. They had just opened a brick-and-mortar shop and it was within my realm of feasibility to visit in person. I jumped in my car on a day off…. little did I know, my existence would be profoundly impacted by Charna Ethier’s little oasis of pure euphoria.

Providence Perfume Co.

Beauty Elixir Oil Gift Set Providence Perfume CoPhoto Stolen Providence Perfume Co

The first Providence Perfume Co. fragrance that made my heart explode with delight: Beauty Elixir Oil.

Beauty Elixir oil is genuinely the scent of my spirit – an exquisite orange blossom aroma blessed with honeyed apricot and tender jasmine. The orange blossom olessance featured in this potion is absolute perfection – Charna spared no expense choosing the finest material possible. It is zesty without being sharp, fresh without being soapy, and sweet without being cloying. The aroma opens up to reveal newly blossomed jasmine flowers, and sun-ripened apricots heavy with succulent ecstasy. A barely-there green accent from the neem oil grounds the fragrance, a golden thread keeping me from floating straight up into the clouds and off for good.

Providence Perfume Company Hindu HoneysucklePhoto Stolen Providence Perfume Company

That same day, I sniffed the gorgeous Providence Perfume Co. perfumes lined up for display. I left with a bottle of: Hindu Honeysuckle eau de parfum.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Bergamot, jasmine, rose, coriander, vetiver, ambrette (musk mallow)

Hindu Honeysuckle moves me to tears with joy, a perfume that showcases the most summery, pure, sweet jasmine sambac absolute I have ever had the pleasure of sniffing. The luscious white flower is juxtaposed with an unexpectedly exquisite vetiver, whose smokiness is tempered and brightened by a sparkling bergamot. The overall fragrance is exhilarating to me, and possesses two distinct phases. First, the perfume opens with the unabashedly floral honeysuckle accord, as bewitching as the true nectar. As the top notes fade, the vetiver becomes more noticeable, a dark hay-like essence that harmonizes exceptionally well as it anchors the top notes. I adore each and every second of this carefully balanced work of art.

I have since learned many precious lessons about perfumery from Charna, and I was even fortunate enough to attend her weekend perfumery course last year. My appreciation and understanding has exponentially skyrocketed thanks to her patient, altruistic knowledge sharing. If you are curious about natural perfumery and don’t know where to start, I highly recommend her amicable new line of perfume oils, as well as beloved favorites Rose Bohème, Branch and Vine, and Tabac Citron.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Colognoisseur
Providence Perfume Co. can be bought from their Providence Perfume Co. site or Parfum1

Have you explored the world of natural perfume? Do you have a favorite?

Have a gorgeously scented day,

~Erica