Lunarii: New Australian Natural Perfume


Post by Anne-Marie


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


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


Post by Portia


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


Post by Portia


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

Terpsichore by ime Natural Perfumes Australia


Post by Portia


Hey lovers of Natural Fragrance,

ime Natural Perfume are run by a girlfriend of mine here in Australia, Tonya Walker is her name. Tonya wanted to offer a set of naturals that were usable alone or in conjunction with the rest of the line, a bit like the Jo Malone idea. The difference here being that Tonya wanted to capture the healing benefits of the ingredients and use these fragrances as mood enhancers or diverters. I have long used fragrance to circumvent downward emotional spirals and Tonya has created the whole ime Natural Perfume series to help you do just that.

Terpsichore by ime Natural Perfumes

Terpsichore (Expressive)

IME_Terpsichore_Expressive1Photo Stolen ime Natural Perfumes

ime Natural Perfumes gives these featured accords:
Orange, Lime, Chamomile, Lavender, Ylang Ylang

Terpsichore is the muse of dance and I think she was the one that Olivia Newton John played in the 1980 film Xanadu. Still one of my favourite shit movies of all time and I still find myself singing the songs while cleaning or sewing 35 years later.

Xanadu MusesProblem with image? Please tell us

Lime & lavender open in a sharp, effervescent, ultra high pitched zing on my skin. An awkward pairing that seems to vibrate. It is like plunging into a cool pool on a boiling hot day. Initially your body can’t believe it but withing a minute you’re absolutely comfortable. While Terpsichore remains effervescent through its whole life the pitch softens and becomes far less outrageous. Refreshing? Yes, every time I spritz I find it a perfect work and focus scent as well as giving my energy levels a boost. Like a metaphorical and fragrant cup of coffee.

Basically the two lead notes stay the focus for the whole ride and everything else bolsters their supremacy. Quite linear and fresh all the way through. Even after sleeping there is a whisper of citrus overlaying my bodies scent, that is so unusual for a natural fragrance and a citrus. I have to get my nose right onto my skin to smell it but it’s there faintly.

From ime Natural Perfumes: Free, Spirited, Expressive: The muse of Dance is a free spirit. She will inspire you to find delight in dancing to your own rhythmic beat, lost in the moment. Be a Natural and express yourself.

IME_Terpsichore_Expressive Jônatas Cunha FOLHA FRESCA (Fresh leaf) FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

ime Natural Perfumes has $60/30ml and Samples

There are eight more ime Natural Perfumes that you can try too, and they have a sensational sample pack so you can try them all.

Do you ever wear natural fragrances?
Portia xx

Hiram Green Voyage by Hiram Green 2015


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was my favourite TV series as a kid. Admiral Nelson and his crew. The flying sub which could leave the ocean and function as an airplane being the coolest thing ever.

Hiram Green Voyage by Hiram Green 2015

 Voyage Hiram Green  FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citruses
Heart: Amber, suede
Base: Vanilla

Hiram Green’s Voyage – An ode to the exotic mysteries of India.

I chatted with Hiram briefly the other day. He mentioned that he would find it difficult to write two sentences about his own creations, and was interested that some bloggers could write thick novels. I found that highly amusing.

Hiram Green VoyagePhoto Donated Val CQ

When I started writing for APJ it was really just a bit of fun. I was extremely surprised when I found that people were asking if they could send me perfumes to
try. I was so excited but that soon died down when I saw that most of them didn’t work on me. I believe that is the politically correct way of putting it? I
only get some sort of inspiration when I like something. Which kind of limits me. Perhaps I should write about what sucks, but I am sure Portia would fire me. I digress. Hiram Green sent me a sample of Voyage and I have used it all. It is quite bodacious.

Hiram green in India aged 14Photo Donated Hiram Green

Voyage is opulent and sumptuous, two words that do not tend to get used with an all natural perfume. It is the drydown of many more modern perfumes where it falls short of expectation. Top loaded to blow your mind and then after 20 minutes the common base. Voyage could not be further away from this perfume concept. The perfume is built on a base of superb vanilla and a heart of amber. The fragrance opens with a lively citrus feel before slipping into the spicy, warm, lush heart. Hiram doesn´t mention spice in his list of notes, but hey, who cares about the notes anyway? There is a soft suede halo wrapped around the whole composition, which draws it altogether. It is tweaked to perfection and lasts for hours. It blows apart all preconceived ideas (mine) of natural perfumery apart.

Attention to detail is exquisite, from the wax seal to the website. The bottles are stunning. They are every bit as gorgeous in real life as they are on the pictures. All three of his scents are outstanding. He clearly does not bend to the industry, nor to the trend of churning out a new fragrance every few months.
Modern classic beauty.

Voyage Hiram Green The_Voyage_of_Life_Old_Age WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Voyage, as well as Moon Bloom and Shangri La can be purchased in 5 ml sprays at Hiram Green. All three highly recommended. Note that Voyage is limited to 250 bottles.

“Ah, you’ve come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain´t it?”
The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”. C.S. Lewis

Valiant Bussis

Jasmine Sambac by Christopher Brosius for CB I Hate Perfume 2013

Hi there Crew,

Writing to you from the past but thinking about how lovely it will be to be hitting Singapore and South Korea in spring and recently I got a Surrender To Chance decant from one of my favourite independent perfumers; Christopher Brosius. It’s about as springlike  as you could ever imagine.

Jasmine Sambac by CB I Hate Perfume 2013

Jasmine Sambac by Christopher Brosius

Jasmine Sambac CB I Hate Perfume FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

It’s nearly night time, you are enjoying the newfound warmth of spring evenings and you’ve decided to take an evening stroll with your true loved one, your dog. In my city Sydney, where I live currently in Redfern just off the center of the central business and shopping district, maybe 3 kilometers easy walk from the Sydney GPO the early spring evenings are chock full of after work drinkers, diners, people coming home and people going out. The cafes and supermarkets are full and loads of cars with their headlights on low are taking their precious cargoes to the next big, last big, will it ever get big thing. The streets, cafes and the parks are also full of other people walking their dogs. Below is a picture in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, less than an hours stroll from my home.

Jasmine Sambac CB I Hate Perfume Sydney Botanic_Gardens WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

What you can also feel on these evenings is the promise. Spring in Redfern is FULL of the scent of promise. Promise of warmer days, t-shirts, beaches, flirtations, picnics and sunshiny days. There are plenty of jasmine vines climbing up fronts of terrace houses and in pocket handkerchief sized back gardens, even some of the pubs have an old ropey vine that bursts into leaf and flower at the first hint of spring.

If you want to smell something that gives you the same flutterings in your heart, the same joyful spring in your step, the same inner whisper of promise then Jasmine Sambac is something I think you should try.

How does it smell? Stronger than jasmine in most fragrance, healthier. At the start very indolic but within half an hour Jasmine Sambac becomes fresh, lilting and friendly. A zephyr on a late spring afternoon bringing you the fragrance of a fence full of jasmine down the road. Glorious.

Jasmine Sambac CB I Hate Perfume walking-dog Travnell PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

From Christopher Brosius: I find Jasmine Sambac to be the richest and most pervasive of all the Jasmine Absolutes available today. While obviously a Jasmine scent, its perfume contains levels of depth and complexity that other Jasmines cannot match, its scent is serene, euphoric and hypnotic. Jasmine Absolute contains many chemicals that have a powerful effect on the central nervous system. Jasmine is possibly, next to Rose, the most synthesized flower in modern perfume. While there are many exceptionally fine synthetic versions of that flower available, should you ever compare the two – Real and Imagined – side by side, you will see there is absolutely no comparison at all. Real Jasmine is much richer, far more complex and infinitely more beautiful.

 Jasmine Sambac CB I Hate Perfume Jasminum_sambac WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Colognoisseur
CB I Hate Perfume has $325/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $5/.5ml

What scents make you think of spring?
Portia xx

Shangri La by Hiram Green 2014


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


I run a mile when I hear the word “naturals”. Not only with fragrances, but skin care, shower gels, foodstuffs – you know? Not because I am anti-natural (whatever that means) but because it generally sucks. Just read the backs of anything that claims to be all natural to see what I mean. However there are exceptions to every rule. After the explosive beauty of Hiram Green´s Moon Bloom I was thrilled to get the opportunity to try Shangri La. I do not know the first thing about natural perfumery. Hiram Green obviously does.

Shangri La by Hiram Green 2014

Shangri La, Pinks + Preconceived Ideas

From Hiram Green site: “Hiram Green creates handcrafted fragrances made exclusively from natural materials.
After founding Scent Systems, a perfumery located in central London, Hiram learnt that most perfumes, even the best quality ones,
are manufactured using synthetic materials. Wanting to offer a natural alternative to his customers, he was hard-pressed
to find anything suitable.
After relocating to the Netherlands, Hiram spent several years researching and experimenting with natural fragrant materials. in his
studio in Gouda he develops and produces his natural fragrances in small batches.”

Hiram Green Shangri La jacek-yerka-bible-dam FreshWetPaintPhoto Stolen FreshWetPaint

Shangri La is named after the mythical city in the Kunlan Mountains, from the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Random info –
US President Franklin D Roosevelt named the presidential hideaway in Maryland Shangri La. It has since been renamed Camp David.
(Camp David conjures up an interesting picture as a fragrance name huh?) )

Coty´s Chypre played a role in Hiram Green´s inspiration. I have yet to smell it. One day when Portia takes me to Paris perhaps I will have the chance. Hiram Green is extremely talented. In my limited knowledge I do know the classic chypre, with the countless regulations in force, is an endangered species. Somehow with new technology, knowledge and talent, Hiram Green has found a way to keep it alive.

Shangri La reminds me of Mitsouko.

Hiram Green writes: “Shangri La opens with a sharp burst of citrus, followed by a rich bouquet of peach, jasmine, rose, iris and spices,
all anchored by an early base of vetiver and oakmoss.” And you know what? It really does.

Shangri La is fruity and spicy, and melds perfectly with the body. It doesn’t hover over you announcing its presence. I like that in perfumery. It is a vintage-y perfume but of the moment too. Softer than normal carnation, it smells of old fashioned “pinks”. The gardens of yesteryear. They fill the summer air with the scent of cloves. Soft, natural beauty. In medieval times, pinks were added to wine to give the flavor and smell of cloves. Spices would have been very expensive and this plant was a very good substitute and
would give the impression of mulled wine. Hiram Green has a nose and an eye for beauty, not to mention a nostalgic streak.

Hiram Green Shangri La Skyline_sunset WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Shangri La is gorgeous. The reputation that naturals have of being short lived is not the case here. Shangri La lasts around ten hours.
Musky, peachy, slightly leathery, right up until the end. Office or opera.

And the icing on the cake? Hiram Green do 5ml bottles. No excuse not to try either Moon Bloom or Shangri La.
The 50 ml bottles are stunning and I would love to have one. I think it´s time for another trip to Holland.

Further reading: Scented Hound and Chemist In A Bottle
LuckyScent has $165/50ml
Hiram Green has €25/5ml

All natural bussis.