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!


Continue reading

Khanbaliq by Enrico Buccella for Sigilli 2013




Hello lovers of Underrated Fragrances,

Somehow Sigilli has slipped through the cracks. The fragrances mainly come from the early 2000s but Khanbaliq was released in 2013, it’s the most modern offering from the house and not all of the fragrances are available on the Sigilli website anymore.

Jin and I discovered the brand in Venice on our first big holiday together. There is a maze of shops behind the Piazza San Marco and somewhere in there is an extremely well stocked little perfumery, run by two sisters. I purchased Pyrgos at that time but since have wished that I grabbed a couple of others.

Khanbaliq by Sigilli 2013

Khanbaliq by Enrico Buccella


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bitter orange, ginger, cinnamon, coriander
Heart: Cloves, plum, fir, pine tree, peony
Base: Peony, violet, ambergris

Spicy oranges and a slightly bitter chocolate smell. Pine and my nose is telling me patchouli, a breathy and earthy smelting that could be the ambergris. A weird dissonant herbaceous green and mentholated woodiness wars with the citrus and fruits. It’s an interesting fragrant contrapuntal effect. Unusual without being challenging, straight through the heart.



My surprise in Khanbaliq is that while projection is not enormous it is still very good at changing the smell around me. It also fills the room when I leave and return. Insidious, it seems to march off my skin and try to fragrantly populate whatever area i’m in.

A really good nod to some older fragrances. Breathy indole, some animals and a beautiful bouquet tempered by greenery. I am surprised there are no white flowers mentioned because Khanbaliq gives the feeling they are in there somewhere.  Though the nod is to vintage I feel that it may be the clarion call of a style we are about to see i the fragrant world. A return to having some ass in our fragrances.


According to Wikipedia: Khanbaliq (or Dadu) was the capital of the Yuan dynasty, the main center of the Mongol Empire founded by Kublai Khan in what is now Beijing.

First In Fragrance has €95/100ml
Surrender To Chance have samples from $3.50/ml

Athunis by Enrico Buccella for Sigilli 2010

Hey Hey Happy Huffers,

Earlier this year Jin and I travelled through Europe meeting some fabulous perfumistas along the way. One of those was Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels who loaded me down with a multitude of samples. This is one from that extremely daunting because it’s so enormously FULL box. I decanted the 2ml manufacturers dab vial into a spritzer for more realistic testing. I have a FB of another of the Sigilli line, Pyrgos, which is made around the scented remnants in vessels recently unearthed at an archaeological site, very interesting and we’ll be reviewing it here soon.

Athunis by Sigilli 2010

Athunis is said to be named after the Etruscan god of beauty.

Athunis Sigilli FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Cedar
Heart: Java vetiver, cedar
Base: Java vetiver, musk.

If you like your fragrance woody and smoky, herbal, slightly bitter and earthy then this could be the one for you. The woody opening is like being at a lumber yard after everyone has gone home, you can smell the fresh sawdust, the timbers both green and fully dried, the machinery cooling and the very last whiff of humanity as the sun goes down cooling everything. When the initial blast of wood dies down I find myself in earthy country, humus rich compost and garden soil, still woody but more interesting. The smokiness comes and goes, sometimes it’s an incense style smoke other times it’s a wood fire crackling warmly, not intrusive but pleasantly washing a patina over the woods themselves. Lastly, many hours later, as a change from the earthy, resinous, woodsiness there is a soft musk that is quite human, clean but not freshly washed, that works beautifully alongside whats left of the woods and then gone.

Athunis lumber yard TapHardWoodsPhoto Stolen TapHardWoods

This is called a masculine and it skews that way decidedly but I think that any woman who likes a woody fragrance would smell incredible if she gave Athunis a shot. I find it much like Tam Dao but more powerful, less intricate and with excellent lifespan, I would not have picked this for myself based on the notes but have really enjoyed wearing Athunis and will definitely use up this decant. Will I spring for FB? There is an opening for something so outrageously woody in my collection and I would probably wear it, TSO Jin would be ALL OVER THIS though and I may just grab him a bottle.

Athunis stick-incense DivineAncestryPhoto Stolen DivineAncestry

Further reading: Scent For Thought
I could find other Sigilli samples but not this one
First In Fragrance has 100ml €90

Do you have a woody favourite perfume? Have you tried the Sigilli line?
Portia xx

Shopping in Budapest, Hungary and Venice, Italy

Hey Gang,
Running out the door today and fell asleep last night so didn’t get this photo post done. Apologies for its brevity

This is this weeks list, and yes I’m mildly disgusted at myself but I’m an ADDICT. They are all so worthy too.

L’Artisan Parfumeurie, Montale, Maria Candida Gentile, Pineider, Sigilli, Naomi Goodsir, The Different Company, Pont de Rialto, Chanel No 5 FAKE, Cartier Samples

Tomorrow we have a terrific photo essay. All the photos you are seeing are taken by Jin BTW. He is pretty damn great.

Loads of love,
Portia xx