Cookie Queen + Portia on Tour: London/Vienna 2016


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Greetings APJ Readers.

Each time I attend some perfume related gathering I intend to take lots of pictures.

Cookie Queen & Portia on Tour

London/Vienna 2016

Fact is I suck at it. I am overwhelmed by everything that is going on and never quite get it together as I planned. Still, the following pix will give you an idea of what went on. Tara has covered the event brilliantly on both A Bottled Rose and Australian Perfume Junkies.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Val Judith LondonDr Fox, partner-in-crime, therapist, and she’s driving me to Milan.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Val Portia Poppy'sPoppies Fish & Chips, Spitalfields.  Second visit together. ?

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia glassesSpitalfields Market.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia ready? PLL“How do I look Val?”

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Karen Andrew Val Bonkers Lady Jane Grey PLLBonkers, Lady Jane Gray and me way in the background.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Lila Val Grant Antonio PLLGrant (Basenotes).  Antonio Gardoni (Bogue). Lila (Perfume lovers London). Val & Portia. Chris the Cookie King taking photo.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia Kirk PLLMy dearest friend Kirk about to get a nipple twist.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia lady Jane Grey PLLLady Jane Gray.  Smitten.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Portia PLLMy favourite shot.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia Neela PicholaPurchasing a bottle of Neela Vermeire creations: Pichola at retail in Vienna.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia Vero KikiVero Profumo: Kiki.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Anna Maria, Sandra, Val Portia GREEKVal, Anna Maria, Sandra, Portia at a fabulous Greek restaurant

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Val, Anna Maria, Sandra, Portia trying Le GalionAfter dinner sniff of the newest Le Galion: Cologne Nocturne.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Val, Sandra, Anna Maria, Birgit, Portia Le Bol
Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Birgit Portia brunchVal, Sandra, Anna Maria, Birgit and Portia brunching at Le Bol.

Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna Portia tea
Val Cookie Queen 2016 Europe Vienna BlondesWunderBlondesWunder arrives in Vienna 22:00.  To a Portia welcome of donuts & tea.

Around the time that you are reading this I am either packing my bag or on the road to the Esxence in Milan. I have a theory. Three days in Milan, six decent pictures each day, eighteen pictures. That ought to do it. Plus some pictorial updates on social media. My hands are shaking already.



An Evening with Portia Turbo: Perfume Lovers London


Post by Tara


Hey APJ!
I’m guesting here today from A Bottled Rose to report on a very special occasion – Portia Turbo hosting Perfume Lovers London! The theme for the event was “Great Women” and the following should give you an idea of how it went. Just imagine Portia’s words with a good smattering of hilarious expletives.
So take your seats because here we go…

Portia Tara Perfume Lovers London Jan 2016 #2Perfume Lovers London

An Evening with Portia Turbo

28th January 2016

Portia: This the pinnacle of my fragrance experience, presenting in a chapel. I feel like “Santa Portia of the Fragrances”. The idea is to take 12 woman who were of import to the world and talk about the fragrances I’d put with them.

Portia then gave everyone a slip of coloured paper with one of the women’s names on it.

Queen-cleopatra WikiMediaWikiMedia

Cleopatra VII (69-31 BC)
Ubar by Amouage (1995)
Notes: Litsea cubeba, Mandarin, Orange, Violet leaf, Freesia, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Orange blossom, Rosewood, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang, Copaiva balsam, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Vetiver, Amber

Portia: Apparently Cleopatra had a face like a foot but a beautiful body and awesome personality.
Ubar has such power but is lilting underneath. Ubar is what I imagine they’d have embalmed her in. It’s a heavenly scent, a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Who else had Cleopatra and what perfume did you think of?

Audience member: I immediately thought of Poison.
Val the Cookie Queen: Onda Extrait (Vero Profumo)

Stilke_Hermann_Anton_-_Joan_of_Arc's_Death_at_the_Stake WikipediaWikipedia

Saint Joan of Arc (1412-30)
Celtic Fire by Union (2012)
Notes: Oak, Fir balsam, Pine needle, Marmite™ , Birch tar, Sweet gale

Portia: Just for fun I thought we’d pair Joan with Celtic Fire (much laughter). I don’t think it really smells of Marmite.
Lila (Event organiser): Can I just say…
Portia: When it’s your evening you can say what you like (Laughter)
Lila: I was just going to say the perfumer gave Grant from Basenotes a little of the Marmite accord because he belongs to this Marmite secret society.
Portia: {With comic sarcasm} That is a lovely story. Thank-you.

Empress_Catherine_The_Great_circa_1770_(D.G._Levitsky) WikiMediaWikimedia

Catherine the Great (1729-96)
Ambre Russe by Parfums d’Empire (2005)
Notes: Champagne, Vodka, Ambergris, Coriander, Cumin, Tea, Cinnamon, Leather, Vanilla, Frankincense

Portia: Catherine the Great was truly forward-thinking and progressive. Ambre Russe smells to me what I imagine a Russian sitting room would smell like. I think when you wear it you feel like aristocracy – well obviously I do.

Florence_Nightingale_CDV_by_H_Lenthall WikipediaWikipedia

Florence Nightingale (1820-1921)
Sharp by Andrea Maack (2010)
Notes: White musk, Orange blossom, Vanilla

Portia: Being in England I thought I’d pick someone particularly English. I’ve chosen Sharp. It starts medicinal but ends up an incredibly warm fragrance. What did anyone else pick?

Audience member: White Linen, Estee Lauder.

Empress_Dowager_Cixi_(c._1890) WikipediaWikipedia

Tz’u Hsi (1835-1908)
Opium by YSL (1977)
Notes: Bergamot, Clove, Jasmine, Coriander, Laurel, Mandarin, Pepper, Plum, Citruses, Orris root, Lily-of-the-valley, Carnation, Patchouli, Peach, Rose, Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Amber, Benzoin, Coconut, Musk, Myrrh, Opoponax, Sandalwood, Tolu balsam, Vanilla, Vetiver, Frankincense, Cedar, Cistus

Portia: I call her Suzy. I’ve chosen Opium by YSL and we have some of the Parfum from the last century. Back then it was a kitchen sink fragrance – they threw everything into it. It lasts eternally on a scarf.

Eleanor_Roosevelt_cph.3b16000 WikipediaWikipedia

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
Rose sur Reuse by SOIVOHLE (2012)
Notes: Tuberose, Red rose, Red berries, Parma violet, Jasmine, Lily, Lilac, Orchid, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Woods, Musk

Portia: Eleanor really helped to create America so I thought I’d pick an American perfumer, Liz Zom of SOIVOHLE. Rose sur Reuse is a rose and tuberose fragrance.

Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume: I thought of Private Collection, Estee Lauder.

Katharine Hepburn kate gabrielle FlickrFlickr

Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)
Gentlewoman by Juliette Has a Gun (2015)
Notes: Bergamot, Neroli, Almond, Woody musk, Orange blossom

Portia: When I was a kid the women ran everything so I dreamt that when I grew up I’d be like Katharine Hepburn. Clearly I have her poise. I’ve chosen Gentlewoman by Juliette Has A Gun. It smells like a men’s cologne on a beautiful woman. I know some perfumistas need to be challenged every time they breathe in, but this is just really good. Any other suggestions?

Audience members: “Jicky” “Eau Sauvage as it’s so fresh” “Chanel No.5”

Rosa Parks YouTubeYouTube

Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations (2013)
Notes: Fig leaf, Leather, Lotus, Mimosa, Fig milk, Osmanthus, Rose, Water hyacinth, Vetiver, Storax, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Myrrh, Tonka bean, Fir balsam

Portia: I’ve chosen Ashoka because although Rosa Parks was prominent in the civil rights movement, she looks like she had a softness about her. Ashoka starts strong and strident but ends up being a creamy figgy vanilla.

Elizabeth_Taylor_1 WikipediaWikipedia

Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)
Byzance by Rochas (1987)
Notes: Aldehydes, Basil, Carnation, Spices, Green notes, Cardamom, Mandarin, Lemon, Citruses, Aniseed, Orris root, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang, Amber, Heliotrope, Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Cedar

Portia: What a heartbreaker she was. I’ve chosen a discontinued gem – Byzance by Rochas. It smells so fabulous on skin that I’m putting some on and walking my fat arse up and down the aisle.
Portia proceeds to windmill her arms through the audience exclaiming “I AM sillage!”

Sylvia Earle WikipediaWikipedia

Sylvia Earle (1935- )
Beyond Paradise by Estee Lauder (2003)
Notes: Bergamot, Blue hyacinth, Jabuticaba, Orange blossom, Philodendron, Jasmine, Italian honeysuckle, Orchid, Mahonia , Ambrette seed, Broad-leaved paperbark, Natal plum blossom, Zebrano wood

Portia: I’ve chosen Beyond Paradise for oceanographer Sylvia Earle because it’s American, a beautiful fragrance and it used to come in a bottle the shades of the sea. They’ve taken some of the breathy jasmine out of the current version.

Audience member: I thought of Lauren or Aliage by Estee Lauder because they’re outdoorsy.

Portia: I also considered Womanity.

Oprah_Winfrey_2010 WikipediaWikipedia

Oprah Winfrey (1954-)
M7 by Yves Saint Laurent
Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Rosemary Heart: Oud, Vetiver, Mandragora, Amber, Musk

Portia: Oprah is a woman who has changed the face of the world. M7 was the first oud in mainstream perfumery and it has a real smoothness. The oud and vetiver gives it a kind of petrol-y greenness. It’s fabulous but weird. No wonder it never made any money. Can you still get it?

Nick Gilbert: It’s been relaunched as M7 Oud Absolu.

Portia: Any other suggestions for Oprah?

Audience member: Ambre Sultan (Serge Lutens).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel (1954-)
Black Saffron by Byredo (2012)
Notes: Honey pomelo, Saffron, Juniper berry, Leather, Rose, Black violet, Blond woods, Raspberry, Vetiver

Portia: Black Saffron is sheer and radiant but tough. It smells of petrichor – rain hitting hot tar. I think Angela is tough but has a sweetness.

Well, it’s been amazing to see you all and so many happy faces! (Huge applause)

Portia Lila Grant Val Perfume Lovers London Jan 2016 #1Val (Cookie Queen), Grant (Basenotes), Lila (Perfume Lovers London),
Antonio Gardoni (Bogue Profumo), Portia Turbo (APJ)

Hope you enjoyed this taster of the Portia Turbo experience. We were all still buzzing long after the event was over. It was such a thrill.
Let me know in the comments if you have any fragrant suggestions for these great women.
Tara xxx


(Ed: Go visit A Bottled Rose)

Cookie Queen on Portia, Perfume & Packing Less


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Happy Australia Day APJ!


My bag is packed and I´m ready to go. Lalalalalala.

Portia, Perfume & Packing Less

I am leaving on a small jet plane tomorrow for London, and I have packed very little. I am positive that any able-bodied adult going away for a few days can easily get all their stuff into a 10 kilo cabin bag. No? Try it. It is liberating. You are instantly more mobile, probably better off as it usually costs for checked baggage on the economy flights, and you reduce the risk to zero that your bag will end up in London, Texas. Straight through the gates and no eternal lining up with thousands of people to check your bag in, thus saving on meds.

Val and Portia Vienna Laughing 2013

I am so excited to see Portia and Jin. Have you ever had a Portia hug? I feel inextricably linked to him. It has been just over three years of a friendship that changed the direction of my life. As you may know from a previous APJ post Portia Turbo will be presenting a Perfume Lovers London event on the 28th of January. Whoo-bloody-hoo!! I shall have a couple of batches of fudgey white chocolate chunk brownies stuffed into my small case to celebrate. Easier to travel with than cookies.

Hannah Val Portia London 2014

I want something new to wear something for the event. A few drops from the lab testers of the up and coming Vero Profumo tobacco fragrances should suffice.

Vero Profumo Lab Testers

Val Portia Austria 2014

Not going to take any other perfumes with me. I have no doubt at all that my leather perfume pouch will fill up very quickly on its own.

Perfume stash bag from The Thinking Magpie.

James Portia Austria Chocolate Shop 2014

As you read this I am running around Salzburg like a chipmunk on crack, delivering cookies.

Val Portia Austria Home 2014

My husband is coming with me, without his bike.

Val Christian Portia Bike shop 2014

I am also taking my therapist with me. Not in my suitcase. She bought her own ticket.
All bases covered I believe.

Great British Bussis

Perfume Lovers London: An Evening with Portia Turbo


Post by Portia


Hi there APJ,

Yes, it’s really happening. Lila das Gupta who runs Perfume Lovers London has invited me, Portia Turbo, to come to England and give a talk, have a laugh and smell some fragrances.

Perfume Lovers London

An Evening with Portia Turbo

highres_29173032Lila das Gupta

Even now writing this post to tell you all has my stomach doing flip flops with excitement. You have no idea.

The theme of the night is Great Women and we have some fun interactive ideas and hope as many of you APJ Crew that are around London and available can come be a part of the fun. Perfume Lovers London has drinks and some food and I will be bringing some famous Australian delicacies for you to try also.

Portia Opera House PetezImages1

When: Thursday, January 28, 2016 7pm to 10pm (Doors open 6.30pm)
Where: October Gallery  24 Old Gloucester Street WC1N 3AL LONDON
Cost: GBP34.00

For those that have never been before you need to join Perfume Lovers London and then you can book your tickets. They are already selling like hot cakes so don’t delay.

Jin and I will both be there as well as Birgit and Tara from Olfactoria’s Travels, Val the Cookie Queen and Blondes Wunder from the APJ crew. Some of my mates from Australia and the USA happen to be in London at the time so you’ll get to meet and mingle with them too.

One of the things I’ve loved so much about starting APJ is the amount of incredible people we have met all around the world. We have made some super friends and would LOVE IT if we could add you to that amazing list. Don’t be shy, we are waiting to meet you.

Hopefully see you there,
Portia xx