Scent Diary: 26.2 – 4.3.2018




Hey there APJ Crew,

It’s Mardi Gras Parade week here in Sydney. Though I’ve kept a pretty low profile Sydney has been bursting at the seams with International Visitors here to enjoy the last week of our Mardi Gras Season. The weather has been perfect for everything and I’m hearing reports of a super year. Saturday nights parade was my Big Event this year, hosting the Sideshow Glam Stands. An excellent week, now I’m bushed!


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Metal by Robert Gonnon for Paco Rabanne 1979




Hello vintage lovers,

Arriving in the post yesterday from eBay and on my skin ever since is a 30ml old, old bottle of Metal. As I opened it I thought I’d give myself a spritz and sadly the sprayer sends most of the juice down the bottle and what little comes out smells broken and nasty aldehyde turn, GRRRR. I’m going to give it a soak in white vinegar & disinfectant.

Metal by Paco Rabanne 1979

Metal by Robert Gonnon


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Basil, Green notes, Hyacinth, Lemon
Heart: Cyclamen, Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Ambergris, Oakmoss, Musk, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Chypre! Metal is a chypre. The opening is all about galbanum and some citrus fizzed up by aldehydes. I thought my bottle had turned but a few spritzes without the dodgy atomiser and the scent smells pure, clean and fresh, while also not smelling of any of that because chypre. I am thoroughly surprised at how gorgeously it’s kept.

After only a few moments I can already smell the oakmoss furriness that chypres give me. It’s a cool comfort and it makes me feel safe and invincible. If CHANEL No 19 gives you backbone then Metal will give you armour and weaponry.


Funnily I don’t really smell metal, no, that’s not exactly true….. maybe the smell of sharpening a Wiltshire knife in it’s plastic casing. The floral bouquet is a beautiful whole and I can’t pick any of the notes because underpinning the heart is this luscious oakmoss with hints of oily vetiver and a touch of salty brine that I’m attributing to the ambergris and vetiver.

Longevity is good and the baseline lasts hours. It hums away quietly in the background but if I change rooms suddenly I can smell it all over again. Fabulous.

Further reading: I Smell Therefore I Am and Black Narcissus

Do you love the chypre genre?
Portia xx


Extreme Perfumes


Post by Anne-Marie


Hi all
I’m interested to know what are extreme perfumes for you? How far can a perfume push a genre for you before it’s too much?

Extreme Perfumes?

What Pushes You Over The Edge?

First Van Cleef & ArpelsVan Clef & Arpels

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Raspberry, Mandarin, Peach, Black currant
Heart: Carnation, Hyacinth, Orris root, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Narcissus, Orchid, Tuberose, Turkish rose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Amber, Oakmoss, Honey, Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Vetiver, Civet

I got thinking about this when I read Portia’s Van Cleef & Arpels’ First post which, as I said in a comment, is too rich and opulent for me. No matter how I wear it or try to dress it down, it seems to demand silks and satins, furs and pearls. I might aspire to that sort of glamour occasionally, but it’s like getting mum’s old patent leather stilettoes out of the dress-up basket and stumping around the lounge room in them. Fun, but I’m not going to step out the front door. Indeed I think that on release in 1976 First took us to the zenith of the aldehydic floral genre, beyond which no fragrance has ever gone since.


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Basil, bergamot, amalfi lemon, tangerine, artemisia
Heart: Jasmine, rose, peach, pepper, white honey
Base: Oak moss, woodsy notes, patchouli, leather, Virginia cedar, civetta

The civet and oakmoss in Paco Rabanne’s La Nuit make it unwearable for me – me! A chypre lover! But La Nuit out-chypres all chypres and I’m really not surprised that it was discontinued ages ago. Were it released today on the niche market, La Nuit would be a darling of the cognoscenti.

Fracas Robert Piguet FragranticaFragrantica

BaseNotes gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Mandarin, Hyacinth, Green notes
Heart: Tuberose, Jasmine, Orange Flower, Lily of the valley, White iris, Violet, Jonquil, Carnation, Coriander, Peach, Osmanthus, Pink geranium
Base: Musk, Cedar, Moss, Sandalwood, Orris, Vetiver, Tolu balsam

Piguet’s Bandit and Fracas, now: they both take us to the edge – over the edge – in the leather chypre and white floral families, respectively. I can’t wear either of them. Bandit is too bitter and Fracas just too freakin’ weird for me. I’ve tried them, though. You need to test the boundaries, or you won’t know where your boundaries actually are.

I don’t wear orientals much, or certainly not extreme spicy or skanky ones, but I know that they are out there. Do share your experience with these. Love them or hate them?

And what about extreme powder in fragrances? Where does that take us?

Eau Sauvage Christian Dior FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, basil, bergamot, cumin, lavender, fruit
Heart: Jasmine, rose, carnation, iris root, coriander, patchouli, sandalwood
Base: Oakmoss, vetiver, musk, amber

Ultimately I think I must believe in that old maxim: restraint in all things. It’s not just a style choice, it’s a fundamental personality trait. I rarely go to extremes in anything. I can stop at two chocolate biscuits, two glasses of wine, and one (okay two) pairs of red shoes. Cheese is harder, admittedly.
Here’s a parting thought. Are there extremes in the citrus cologne genre, or are they inherently minimalist? Dior’s Eau Sauvage (or 4711, or insert your favourite here) may be the very best citrus cologne ever, but no-one is going to back away and call the scent police on you, are they?

Most of these fragrances are available at Surrender To Chance to sample

Bye for now everyone, but do drop in a comment and share your thoughts!
Anne-Marie xx

Calandre by Paco Rabanne: LIVE Video Sniff


Post by Portia


Well Hello Vintage Vamps,

Today Scott and I finally open a fragrance that has been in my collection for years. It has winked at me from the recesses of the perfume cupboard and sometimes i grabbed it out only to put it back away. I know, I’m a crazy frag hoarder.

Calandre by Paco Rabanne 1969

Calandre by Michel Hy


Calandre Paco Rabanne FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Leaf green, Aldehydes, Bergamot
Heart: Rose, Lily-of-the-valley, Geranium, Jasmine, Iris
Base: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Musk, Ambergris

Gabriella’s 2015 Top Five Traditional Masculine Scents


Post by Gabriella


Hello perfume peeps,

As time has gone by, I have become less shy talking about my blogging and sharing my love of scent with the wider public. When I do mention my passion to colleagues and friends, I often get questions such as: “I need a new perfume. I love Coco Mademoiselle, what do you recommend?” or “What is the perfume you like the most?” Pleasingly, men are as curious as women, with most asking whether I review men’s colognes or aftershaves?

2015 Masculine Fragrances hairy_macho_man boggienightboy DeviantArtPhoto stolen DeviantArt

Gabriella’s 2015 Top Five Traditional Masculine Scents

This always brings a wry smile to my face as most of us here in perfume land have long ignored the gender divide enforced by the “men’s” and “women’s” sections of department stores. However, it did get me thinking as most of what I wear and write about are the Big White Florals and uber-feminine scents. Apart from the experiment when Mr M let me douse him in Fracas, how many non-perfumista menfolk would wear something like Carnal Flower or Fleurissimo?
So, as an attempt to address the issue, I present my top five traditional masculine scents:

Antaeus Chanel Fragrantica

1. Antaeus by Jacques Polge for Chanel 1981

The strong virile hero scent. Antaeus is a machismo concoction of bold proportions that still feels seamless thanks to Mr Polge’s genius. A powerful blend of verdant bergamot and clary sage amplified with rich spices and smooth leather. If you want a scent to put hair on your chest, this is the one.

Fragrantica  lists the following accords:
Top: Lemon, lime, coriander, myrtle, clary sage, and bergamot
Heart: Thyme, basil, rose and jasmine
Base: Patchouli, castoreum, labdanum and oak moss

StrawberryNet has $106.50/50ml
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $3/ml
Eau Sauvage Christian Dior Fragrantica

2. Eau Sauvage by Edmond Roudnitska for Christian Dior 1966

The epitome of effortless elegance. Eau Sauvage is the Adam of the men’s fragrance world that spawned the Eve of Diorella. To me, the luminosity of the citrus, verdant herbs and something a little sinister and sexy underneath it all means the scent trumps more modern citrus and cologne compositions despite the current watered-down reformulation.

Fragrantica lists the following accords:
Top: Lemon, basil, bergamot, cumin, lavender and fruit
Heart: Jasmine, rose, carnation, iris root, coriander, patchouli and sandalwood
Base: Oak moss, vetiver, musk and amber

Further reading:  Bois de Jasmin
Parfum1 has $122/6.6oz
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $3/ml
New York Nicolai Parfumeur Fragrantica

3. New York by Patricia de Nicolai for Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 1989

It is just that good. Say lavender and bergamot and I usually run a mile, hence why you’ll never find me raving about Jicky or Bois du Portugal. New York, however, took me from hate to love when we were searching for a new scent for Mr M as I think it is the smoothest, most well- rounded of the combinations on the market. Plus there’s a candied, powdery vibe to the lavender, which makes manages to be both sexy and snuggly.

Fragrantica lists the following accords:
Top: Bergamot, amalfi lemon, cloves, lavender and green notes
Heart: Thyme, cinnamon, pepper, paprika, patchouli and cedar
Base: Amber, vanilla and leather

Further reading:  Olfactoria’s Travels
Luckyscent has $45/30ml
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne Fragrantica

4. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Jean Martel for Paco Rabanne 1973

Debonair in a bottle. A quintessential fougere with piquant notes of rosemary and clary sage, what strikes me most about Pour Homme is the quality and depth of the musk in the drydown. It’s earthy, animalic and seductive, like snuggling into your man’s chest after a heated, passionate night.

Fragrantica lists the following accords:
Top: Rosemary, clary sage and brazilian rosewood
Heart: Tonka bean, lavender and geranium
Base: Honey, amber, musk and oakmoss

Further reading: From Pyrgos
FragranceNet has $44.99/100ml before coupon
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Polo Ralph Lauren Fragrantica

5. Polo Ralph Lauren for Men by Carlos Benaim for Ralph Lauren 1978

The scent of boyfriends past. Probably a bit OTT now, but god, how I loved this back in the day. Even though it was pretty much ubiquitous in the early 1990s, Polo stood out for being a brooding Heathcliff of a scent amid the onslaught of flimsy aquatics and calones. Deep greens, herbs, spiky woods and a powerful wallop of pine makes this not for the fainthearted.

Fragrantica lists the following accords:
Top: Artemisia, basil and thyme, with spicy notes of cumin, coriander and cloves
Heart: Conifer woods, decorated with notes of patchouli, oakmoss and vetiver
Base: Leather, tobacco and thyme

FragranceNet has $53.99/2oz before coupon
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $2.99/ml

So what are your top ‘traditional’ masculine scents? Ladies, do you wear any of these? What was the scent that broke the gender divide perfume wise for you once you got past department store classifications?

With much love till next time!
M x


All photos stolen Fragrantica unless specified

RHYMING REVIEWS: Greg Young turns APJ Poet Laureate


Post by Greg Young


A while ago I entered a competition on a fragrance forum to write a limerick about perfume. Sadly I didn’t win, but I enjoyed the challenge. I’ve since written a few more, which I thought I’d share with you. I find it quite challenging to both come up with a suitable limerick and try to encapsulate the essence of my opinion about a scent within it. Hopefully I’ve managed it in a fashion that you’ll enjoy.

Don’t forget to jump back and enter our Tauer Perfumes GIVEAWAY!!


Tobacco Vanille Tom Ford FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Dear Desires: Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

The exclusive house of Tom Ford

Sells scents no-one can afford.

Still they’ll skip half their meals

To buy Tobacco Vanilles

Leaving his accountants suitably awed.

Aventus Creed FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Hip or Hype? Aventus by Creed

On Basenotes there’s general consensus

On the greatness of Creed’s scent Aventus.

But now a pizza chef type

Told me “Ignore all the hype”.

It smells just like the Hawaiian he’s sent us.

Peety O`Driu FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Visceral Aversion: Peety by O’Driu

The frustrated nose at O’Driu

Was almost about to say “See you”.

Then he said “Why don’t we see

If they’ll add their own pee?”

To which the market mostly said “Eeyew”.

1 Million Paco Rabanne FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

The Popular Choice: 1 Million by Paco Rabanne

Now that every outlet is stocking it

There are plenty of people knocking it.

But the real crying shame

Is that it’s not only it’s name

But the number of guys who are rocking it.

Silver Musk Nasomatto FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Linear Longevity: Silver Mist by Nasomatto

They say scents by Nasomatto

Are as strong and as rich as a gateau.

Starting out light, Silver Musk

Lasts from dawn until dusk

But it never surpasses that plateau.

Mark Birley Mark Birley FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

The Job Interview Scent: Mark Birley for Men

I was wondering what to wear to an interview.

A mate said the result will be sure if you

Wear Mark Birley Cologne

But I had none of my own

So he kindly offered to sell me two.

M7 Yves Saint Laurent fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

The Scent of the Solstice: M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

When the depths of winter coment

I think that citrusy scents are notent.

What best suits my moudh

Is the rich and warm oudh

Of M7, by Yves St Laurent.