Scent Diary: 3.6 – 9.6.2019

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Portia

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Hey there APJ Crew,

WOW! Mongolia, South Korea and home. What a sensational wrap up to nearly six weeks of travel. Jin really outdid himself as Cruise Director, we saw more than I dreamed possible. The whole adventure was planned perfectly, we also had a few very lucky breaks and helpful friends along the way.

We were so busy and there was zero sit time so almost the whole week was blogged from the Asiana Lounge at Seoul Incheon Airport on Friday evening while waiting for my plane. VERY relaxing.

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HOLIDAYS!! South Korea 2016: Photo Essay

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Post by Portia

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Hi there APJ,

It feels utterly sinful to be frolicking on holidays while the world implodes politically and in so many other ways. Still, here we are in South Korea with Jin’s family and friends.

Here are a few of the billions of photographs I’ve taken. Come see a slice of South Korea, its people and some fun things to do on a seven night getaway. Can I also tell you that South Korea is still incredibly affordable.

HOLIDAYS!! South Korea 2016: Photo Essay

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Pick up from Ulsan station. You can’t tell but Mummy & Pappa are thrilled to see us. It’s very late at night.

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Breakfast in Yangsan. You’ll notice the family has Pork Soup and I have a Croissant. I know, I’m a Philistine.

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Visiting Grandma who has Alzheimers. 4 generations of family, from two branches, sharing love and special moments. Grandma remembered Jin so he was over the moon. We had bought her a bunch of Japanese sweets and treats because she studied in Japan when she was a teenager (unheard of for a woman in that time).

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On our way to the mountains with Mummy & Pappa to see the autumn leaves. Sadly the leaves were not 100% co-operative because it’s been a really weird season. We did see some lovely colour and every new vista was so picturesque.

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We stayed in the faded grandeur of the Jirisan Spa Land. Though the decor was tired and the maintenance on the gardens and building had lapsed we could still see what it was designed to be. Beds and rooms were comfortable and spacious. The spa baths were clean and neat and the family loved their time in the waters which left our skin soft and lightly fragranced with minerals and salts.

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On our way home from BarBQ dinner in the village that night we saw some strange arguments and a boozy customer screaming. As we left the next morning the site was crawling with Police & CSI. Jin’s Dad got out and explained what we’d seen last night. We were all called into the Cop Shop for questioning and to give statements, also to identify the miscreant. It was super fun.

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While Mummy & Pappa were in with the cops Jin & I went exploring and found this wonderful shrine. The plaque below explains everything. Nice find in rural South Korea.

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The tip top of the highest mountain in South Korea you can drive to the top of. We wandered around, had some noodles and coffee. It was a great cheap family adventure. How handsome is Jin’s Dad?

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Back in Busan they are having a Chrysanthemum show. While all the usual types were there I had never seen them trained into the tortured Bonsai experience. They look freaking amazing and I am now inspired to try it at home.

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Jin thinks it looks like an ice-cream but I think it looks like a Butt Plug, making this photo extra creepy.

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Dinner with one of Jin’s childhood BFFs Kinam in the Westin Chosun, Busan. We have stayed in this hotel and I really love the way they keep the 5* dream alive. Dinner in the Camellia Restaurant is always gorgeous.

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Mummy & Pappa’s apartment block.

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While shopping we found these crazy ETRO paisley slippers. VERY Roja Dove!

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Hanging out playing Transformers with another of Jin’s BFFs, Jungyon, and her daughter. Loud screaming laughter ensued.

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So next day we are off to the famous Kijang Crab Market in Busan. Below is a Korean Crab that came as a GWP for the huge monster King Crab we bought for lunch.

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Yes, here it is. You can’t really see but the top of the shell was easily 3 of Jin’s hands. ENORMOUS! Mummy & Pappa had never had a King Crab before but their friends had talked of it for years after having the experience. I was completely unaware of this when I asked Jin to find out what the most delicious and meatiest crab they had. Not being a seafood eater my knowledge is pretty sparse.

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Here they both are cooked and cut, ready for eating. You have no idea how much meat there was. The three of them ate till they were absolutely disgustingly full, then they ate some more. There was still a third of the meat left which will make delicious seafood salad over the next two days. Mummy & Pappa now have bragging rights for the next decade.

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Then we went to the seaside Haedong Yonggungsa Buddhist temple. It’s about 100 steps down and on the way I managed to get a coin into the wishing pot, after many tries. We bought some candles to light and prayed for all of you, our friends, family and the world in general. I think in light of this weeks events that the world will need every ray of light.

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Tonight I put my foot down. Dinner at HOME with the family. So we trooped out to Mummy & Pappas little farm with Jin’s BFF Jungyon & daughter and we gorged on Korean BarBQ, drank Whiskey & Soju and generally had a fabulous time celebrating Mummy & Pappas 4oth Anniversary and our 5th Anniversary, which are spookily only 5 days apart. Jin & I had procured a bunch of Roman Candle fireworks and we had a fabulous display after dinner. The whole night was magical and fun.

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Back to Seoul tomorrow and then home.

Niki de Saint Phalle Niki de Saint Phalle FragranticaFragrantica

Been wearing Niki de Saint Phalle almost exclusively. It really seems to fit South Korea.

It’s been great. What’s your favourite family meal?
Portia xx

Holiday Perfume Packing Oct 2016

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Post by Portia

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Hello Fumies,

The eternal holiday question; What Perfumes Should I Take? Every year I try and get myself to pick the perfect scents. You know, weather appropriate, walking, shopping, dinner, drinks, casual, dressy, cool, hot. It’s a very fine line we perfumistas walk and to try and have the right frag for the right time is a really fun experiment in scent.

Obviously if you choose wrong it’s not going to negatively impact your holiday but the sweet feeling of scenting success can definitely add a pleasurable lustre to already fantastic adventures.

Holiday Perfume Packing

Japan & South Korea Oct 2016

So our destinations for this very special Jin & Portia 5 year anniversary jaunt are Tokyo 3 nights and South Korea for 5 nights (I think). We got an insanely good deal to fly with Korean Airlines that takes us to Japan via South Korea for less than it costs to go to South Korea directly. We decided to use the money we save on the fare to stay for a few nights in Tokyo where Jin has never been. AWESOME!

skyscrapers_of_shinjuku-mount-fuji-wikipediaWikipedia

Then we are off to South Korea to see Jin’s parents. His Dad has had some heart problems over the years so Jin likes to make sure everything is OK every year. Something that really impresses me about Jin is that he sends some money home to his parents every month, so does his brother from Slovakia where he works in the car manufacturing industry. It has completely changed their parents life from poor working class to comfortable land and home owners.

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We are also going to steal Mum & Dad away for a night in a fancy hotel somewhere. Last year we took them to a 5 star spa hotel for the first time in their lives and there was a wildflower garden and bonsai place that Mum had long wanted to visit nearby. They would only let us take them for one night but it was really fun to spend that time with them. It got to the point though that we had to take menus and stuff away from them because they were getting upset by how much everything cost. Even though they have almost no English and I zero Korean we manage to communicate and Jin does double time as interpreter as well.

Anyway, on to fragrant choices. Here are my list:

ambre-narguile-hermes-fragranticaFragrantica

Ambre Narguilé by Hermès 15ml Travel: Warm & crunchy amber.

eau-des-merveilles-hermes-fragranticaFragrantica

Eau des Merveilles by Hermès Rollerball Decant: An easy wear, softly salted, resinous wood.

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Niki de Saint Phalle 10ml Travel: Comfortable floral green chypre.

oe-bogue-parfumoParfumo

O/E by Bogue Profumo Decant: Freaky citrus and skank drilled over woods, resins and tobacco.

salome-papillon-artisan-perfumes-fragranticaFragrantica

Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes Decant: Naughty animalic leather chypre.

neela-vermeire-creations TrayeeFragrantica

Trayee by Neela Vermeire Creations 8ml Travel: I feel that this spicy floral incense will fit the bill this holiday

chanel-n22-chanel-fragranticaFragrantica

Vintage CHANEL No 22 EdT Decant: ALL the aldehydes and a bunch of creamy white flowers with a tropical lilt.

By the time you read this we are already in South Korea, probably getting ready to come home.

Are you going on holidays this year or next? Where to? What fragrances would you take?
Portia xxx

 

Home Made Kimchi: Jin’s Family Recipes

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Post by Portia

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Hey there crew,

As you know Jin is South Korean. One of the most important dishes in the South Korean cuisine is Kimchi. Since he moved to Australia he has been buying his Kimchi pre made in bulk. Recently though he decided he was homesick for his families recipe. So he rang his Mum & Dad and got the details and then our house smelled like a South Korean outdoor food market for an afternoon.

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So this photo happened on my FaceBook. A couple of my mates asked for the recipe. OK, but every family in South Korean family has their own recipes, often handed down over centuries. Sometimes melding different families recipes through marriage. So today Jin is going to give you two of his families recipes. They are really simple to make and not very expensive either.

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Here Jin has added both of today’s Home Made Kimch Recipes with roast pork and sliced garlic cloves, wrapped in a lettuce leaf and eaten in one mouthful.

Chinese Cabbage Kimchi

This is what most people think of when they think Kimchi, it’s the most readily available in the store pre-made.

1 Chinese cabbage
1 cup of Sea Salt
About 10 cups of Water
1 Onion (+/- up to you)
2 or 3 Shallot/Scallions (+/- up to you)

  1. Cut Chinese cabbage into quarters, remove core and then cut about 5cm strips
  2. Submerge in sea salt and cold water
  3. Leave it for 2-3 hours until it gets soggy
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce (it needs time for chili power to get wet and swell)
  5. Cut onion in 1cm strips and shallots 2-3cm
  6. Wash Chinese Cabbage with fresh water 3 or 4 times until all the salt is washed off
  7. Drain the water
  8. Mix the sauce, cabbage and onion together
  9. Add shallot and mix
  10. Leave for a minimum of 1 hour before eating but overnight in the fridge is better (gets more sour the longer it’s left)
  11. Done

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Radish Kimchi

Now, this Kimchi is traditionally made to go ONLY with boiled pork on celebration days but Jin loves it so much he’s eating it with everything.

1 Large Daikon Radish
3 tbsp of Sea Salt
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds (+/- up to you)
1/4 cup Sesame Oil

  1. Peel large Radish, cut into 1cm discs, then cut discs into 1cm straws (like McDonalds French Fries)
  2. Apply sea salt and mix together
  3. Leave it for 30min-1 hour until it gets soggy, you must be able to bend the Radish straw without it snapping.
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce (it needs time for chili power to get wet and swell)
  5. Wash Radish with fresh water 3 or 4 times until all the salt is washed off
  6. Drain the water
  7. Mix the sauce with Radish (by hand is easier)
  8. Add Sesame Seeds & Sesame Oil
  9. Leave for a minimum of 1 hour before eating but overnight in the fridge is better (gets more sour the longer it’s left)
  10. Done

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Kimchi Sauce

This sauce combines with the vegetables and starts a fermentation process. After a few days sitting in your fridge it make lots of lactobacillus with a sour taste. Very good for your digestive system health, much like yoghurt. It should last up to a year in the fridge, getting more sour as it ages. Originally Korean farmers would do this at harvest time so they could have vegetables through the winter, like Westerners pickle.

1 cup of chili powder
1/2 cup of fish sauce
2/3 cup of crushed garlic
3 tbs of sugar

  1. Put all ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Mix all the ingredients quickly
  3. When fully combined it will look like a thick paste
  4.  Set aside till needed
  5. It takes an hour or so for chili power get properly wet and swell
  6. Mix into ready vegetables
  7. Done

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With love from our family to yours,
Jin & Portia xxx

 

CHANEL Paris to Seoul, Cruise 2015/16 CHANEL

Hey Hey APJ,

You probably know that my partner Jin is from South Korea. It’s exciting for both of us when it becomes a destination for the world stage. Here is a particularly fun look at the CHANEL team taking their Cruise 2015/16 runway show on the road. Lovely sound bites from Gisele Bündchen and Kristen Stewart and at the end the incredible, eternal Karl Lagerfeld.

Enjoy this look behind the scenes,
Portia xx

chanel-cruise-2015-16-show-seoul-the-hanbokPhoto Stolen CHANEL

CHANEL Paris to Seoul, Cruise 2015/16 CHANEL

South Korea 2015 Photo Essay

Hi there Fragrant Friends,

On to the South Korea leg of our latest adventure. Jin planned this part of our holiday to the millisecond and we filled our days with so much it’s hard to keep it all in order.

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Jin had decided that this time we would do the history and art/museum tour of Seoul. I had said through the year that we seemed to do everything except see the cultural heritage of South Korea and he was determined to remedy this lack. We had three days in Seoul and two of them were given almost exclusively to the acquisition of aforesaid knowledge. As always Jin was an excellent guide and translator, thank goodness because some of the places we saw were so South Korean oriented that there we no translations for me to follow. The real deal.

Because we were so busy I took the camera out less while we were in the middle of stuff. There are quite a few shots of interesting or unusual architecture and light bi-plays, some of flowers because it was spring and the flowers were gorgeous and a few of us hanging out with Jin’s family because we took his Mum & Dad for their first holiday in decades. It was Jin’s Father’s birthday and we thought it would be a fun thing to celebrate. Older Koreans as a rule do not take holidays so it was especially fun to take them and it will give them a story to brag about for years among their contemporaries.

Wood Block Printing of Unified Silla: The Buddhists came to Korea from India in the 5th century AD and landed in Silla in southern Korea which was still a selection of kingdoms. The Silla people had united the lower third of what is now South Korea under their rule. The Buddhist priests learned how to carve wood blocks that would print on cloth and paper and used this technology to create more Buddhist Sutras, currently the oldest still extant piece of printed material in the world was created by these monks in the 7th century AD and it is the Buddhist Sutras. There was war and 80,000 of these hand carved wood blocks were moved hundreds of kilometers by the monks and the faithful to a mountainous region in the middle of South Korea. It is a place that Jin’s Mum had wanted to visit for a very long time and had a very nice hotel with mineral water baths so we decided we would go there. It was Jin’s parent first time staying in a hotel rather than the much cheaper pension style of guest house. They were thrilled and constantly trying to stop us spending money on them, having breakfast in the hotel restaurant an outrageous extravagance. A good time was had by all.

We also went through a lovely Korean Wildflower Park, a Bonsai Exhibition where the woman who owns and tends the bonsai took us through personally and explained some of the more interesting pieces, the Mineral Baths at the hotel and loads of local cuisine (some of which I could not bring myself to eat, yes I’m a food pussy). Jin’s mother wants us to have children, I told her to get stuffed.

South Korea 2015 Photo Essay

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Seoul Airport Train Station is a marvelous modern structure that lets light and space feel like its main focus. I love arriving and entering its cavernous platform, every hour has different reflections and shadows

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Straight to Lottie Burger for Jin’s Bulgogi Burger and my Cheesy Sticks. MMMMMM. Welcome to South Korea.

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Street Food BarBQ vendor, full of students and the working class we knew it would be delicious. So reasonably priced too, I think we paid $40 including Jin’s Soju and my soft drinks.

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My only fragrant shopping on the holiday, an Hermes 15ml set: Ambre Narguile, Cuir d’Ange, Poivre Samarcande, Vetiver Tonka

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One of the original gates into the capital city, this has stood for a very long time. Centuries.

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Changing Of The Guard at the Palace complex.

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All pieces by the same artist, Jung Takyoung, whose art reminds me of Liz Zorn’s work

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Seoul Art History Museum, we saw about 30 of their most beautiful and famous National Treasures. Our original guide was so shit we ran away from him and took ourselves around some of the exhibits. Finally we met a small group being shown the National Treasures by a very well informed and interesting young woman, she was so passionate that we were completely swept up in her stories. Fabulous.

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The lilacs were in bloom, what a beautiful scent they have.

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Jin being posh at a chi-chi 33rd floor restaurant & bar, we arrived just before closing thinking it had another hour to go.

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All part of another Palace Complex, that door was so fabulous I just had to get a pic.

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At the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art there was so much amazing stuff but these are the only two pictures I took. It’s a shame because the works were really great. Currently they have a multi-room exhibition all based around gardens and how they are so many things to the people that are lucky enough in 2015 to have one. So many South Koreans live in high rise apartments that may never know the joys of having their own garden to tend.

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This peony bush going gangbusters in the cold foggy early morning spring air across thew road from Jin’s parents house

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The modern South Korean garden and a couple of the hundreds of bonsai created by one woman with a great passion, these two were ones she showed particular regard and pride for. She was so shy to show her plant children but became very enthusiastic once she understood that I too loved to garden and that I had been brought up in a garden, tending it and creating it, with my Mum.

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We had a little snack on our first night in the hotel restaurant in the mountains. Jin’s Mummy & Papa kept being outraged at the prices and then savouring every morsel that we got for them. Those walls are all carved creamy stone (maybe marble?) attached so perfectly you could hardly see a join. So lovely.

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These three shots are of the monks mountain hideaway. It’s a wonderful parkland setting and you can take the whole day to walk from the base of the hill to the monastery, there are stations along the way where you can stop for refreshment and a rest, even some street food vendors. We were naughty and caught a cab up and back.

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Mummy & Papa saying goodbye at the Busan Train station. It was an excellent holiday and I really enjoyed my time with them.

South Korea 2015 #44Jin and I on the plane and ready to come home.

Travel Scent Choices: Singapore + South Korea Spring 2015

Hey Y’All,

As you may know Jin is changing jobs so to celebrate this sudden rise in fortunes we are bringing our 2015 holiday forward from November to now, we leave on Wednesday. OH YES WE DO!

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First stop is one of my long time buddies places in Singapore, hey Julie! I have never done a holiday in Singapore before; though my last partner Varun & I spent 36 hours in the airport because he didn’t have a visa while we were on our way to India. You would think we had a bad time, we did not. It was crazy fun, that Changi Airport is enormous.

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Then we go on to South Korea to visit Jin’s family. Cherry blossom time will just be finishing but I think they will still be slightly in flower. It’s Jin’s Dad’s birthday so we are taking them for their first holiday in years, two days on the west coast of South Korea. They think this is a ridiculous extravagance but Jin is hiring a car and we’ll drive 3 hours each way, fully across South Korea, and spend one night at a pension (not even a hotel because that would be too much). They are adamant that this kind of frivolity should be avoided and that we should be putting our money to better use. Fingers crossed they have a good time, Jin has really been working hard on TripAdvisor to get it just right for them.

Travel Scent Choices: Singapore + South Korea Spring 2015

So spring will be WARM in Singapore and mild in South Korea. I need a small range of fragrances to get me by till I can hit the stores and buy Misia by CHANEL. It’s the only fragrance on my To Buy List right now and I know they’ll have it in both Singapore and Seoul. So I’m thinking 5 frags, 2 bottles and three decants. It’s only 12 days.

Travel Scent Choices: Bottles

 

L'Heure Convoiteé II Cartier FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

L’Heure Convoiteé II Cartier: This arctic, powdery, furball of a carnation/iris is so fabulously elegant and lasts all day. I can spritz and go and know I’ll smell freaking killer until I shower. I also love that it has it’s own sturdy leather pouch which means I don’t have to worry about it in my checked luggage.

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La Chasse aux Papillons L`Artisan Parfumeur: 7.5ml Rollerball (not pictured). Nick from Libertine Parfumerie gave me this one to test because they are brand new in 2015 and I thought what better place to try it than on holiday. Space will be tight, I need something small and easily accessible and the bottle feels surprisingly hefty. I also find that rolling La Chasse aux Papillons makes it last longer on my skin.

Travel Scent Choices: Decants

Chanel Misia Chanel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Misia CHANEL: Yes, my decant is almost drained already. Makeup and leather together so beautifully, a delightfully powdery and lightly soapy wash of pure elegance. I can’t tell you what a zing this gives me whenever I spritz, it’s not just its own scent but the memories of all the other scents that it reminds me of through its life and you know what? I love it so much that I’m going to wear it on the plane.

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Manto di Rugiada i Profumi di Firenze: I keep forgetting to wear this lovely green, resinous amber. It’s light enough for spring and will smell gorgeous on the cooler evenings. Softly nuanced and beautifully blended I always enjoy my ride. There’s a couple of ml left in my decant, I might as well use them up.

07 Vetiver Dance Tauer Perfumes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

07 Vetiver Dance Tauer Perfumes: One of my mates Natalie from Another Perfume Blog (now defunct sadly) gave me a manufacturers sample of this one. I like vetiver very much and Vetiver dance has been sitting in my Must Try box for ages. I’m taking it with me so I can spend some time with one of the few Andy Tauer fragrances that I’ve not smelled.

What do you think of my choices? What would you pick if you had to take 5? It’s not forever, only a fortnight, so it’s not a really big decision. it is fun planning and choosing though.

Portia xx