Journey’s End – A Goodbye To Perfumeland

My dear Readers,

this will be my last post for the forseeable future. I am putting Olfactoria’s Travels on hiatus, if it will be a permanent one, only time can tell.

Let me explain.

Five years ago, on October 30 2010, I posted for the first time. A lot has happened since then. It has become clear to many of you, that my heart is no longer in this endeavour and as sad as I find this, it is what it is and I have to go with it. After my summer travels, I found it hard to return to writing. Initially this was because of a vicious troll who found an apparently satisfying pastime in haunting me, critisizing me, my writing, my looks, even my children (isn’t that the pits, or what!?), so I felt the need to retreat from the online world as much as possible. I wanted to talk to nobody I couldn’t see with my own eyes and felt threatened by the entire virtual life. Then as time went on (and the troll went on trolling somewhere else), I found I felt relieved not having to post. The guilt and the relief fought for dominance in my mind and week after week, relief won and I kept my silence.

Perfume, which has taken such a dominant place in my life for a big part of these past five years, had also forcibly taken a backseat thanks to my asthma, so I felt at a loss what to write, how to connect with you. And when I look back, it has all been about connection. Perfume was the vehicle, but we bonded over the personal things. When I read a blog, I do so because of the person behind it, less important is the theme he or she writes about. I think that was the case here on OT for many of you as well. And despite the wonderful and much appreciated work of Tara and Portia, my congenial partners in crime, I know that OT is no longer the place it used to be. So there could be only one consequence…

I thought for the longest time that stopping the blog would be a huge declaration of failure. But then I had the idea that everything comes to an end, absolutely everything (not the most original of ideas, I know, I’m no philosopher! ;) ). And when it does, it doesn’t negate what has already been done. When a book is written, it is no failure to stop writing, when a mountain is climbed it is not a failure to go back down. There are over a thousand reviews on this blog and they won’t go away. I wrote them and while some are good, some are okay and some are abysmal, I still did them and that I can be proud of. This blog was a labour of love for a long time, now it makes no sense to keep it forcibly alive when the love has moved on.

Now for the truly sappy part – but it has to be said, because the truth is sometimes sappy: I couldn’t have done it without you. From the start, a tight band of perfume friends have formed and congregated in the comments every day, some moving on, others coming in to fill their places. I never felt alone, writing for a void, because there was no void, there was a lively place full of laughter and wit and deep thoughts and shallow cravings and intelligent conversations.

I want to thank a few people especially since they made an impact on OT and helped it launch and flourish. In the early days the fact that the admirable Victoria of Bois de Jasmin and Marina of Perfume Smellin’ Things took the time to read and comment almost every day was wonderful. They brought a lot of readers with them of course, but the most important thing for me was their validation of what I was doing, since I really didn’t know what it was I was doing in the beginning.

As OT grew, I saw that I needed more voices to take some pressure off me and to make things more interesting, to add new perspectives and other tastes into the mix. Some wrote regularly and often, others passed through. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart. It was an honour to have you, Sandra, Michael, Lady Jane Grey, Val The Cookie Queen, Alex, Jordan River and the absolutely wonderful, gifted Neil of The Black Narcissus. (I possibly may have overlooked someone, if so, I’m sorry, I’m a bit emotional right now and not to be relied on for accuracy…)

But of course my two main contributors and holders of the staff in the past months were Tara and Portia. I hope they know how important they are and how much I love them. Both also want to say goodbye today.

Let’s hear from Tara first:

It’s no over-exaggeration to say that landing here on OT for the first time, via Google one fortuitous day in early 2011 changed my life.
Birgit’s superlative writing instantly resonated with me. So much so that I immediately left a comment which was not something I was accustomed to doing at the time. B wrote eloquent, evocative reviews (in a language which is not her own) and they connected with people around the globe.

Birgit was also the first person from Perfumeland I met in “real life” and my previously hermit-like existence exploded outwards from there. She was the one who thought I could write about perfume when I genuinely didn’t think I could. She shared her blog with me and this year, her city, home and wonderful family too. I feel very lucky that our paths crossed.

Olfactoria’s Travels has been a very special place for me. Not just because of B and my fellow bloggers, but because of the many consistently engaging and well-informed readers. This is an amazing community and I know that the friendships we’ve made will continue to be active, even if the blog is not.

So instead of saying good-bye, I want to end by saying a heartfelt thank you to Birgit and everyone else who’s shared this journey for any part of these five fantastic years.

And some lovely words and music from Portia:

Hi Olfactoria’s Travelers,

You will be missed. How lucky I have been to get to write for the person who inspired me to start APJ? How much fun it’s been meeting and conversing with you all and so many friends I’ve made and met throughout the frag world because of Olfactoria’s Travels. What an amazing place Birgit created and I will miss our time together each fortnight, but also I will miss the coming and reading Tara, Sandra, Birgit and their unique and interesting takes on scent, and life perspectives. In honour of our parting I am wearing Guerlain’s Shalimar vintage parfum and modern EdP, nothing feels more ceremonial, tragic and beautiful than the love story of Shah Jahan for his shop girl turned queen and the farewell that nearly bankrupted his country.

Here is a song that says it better than I ever could.

Gladys Knight – So Sad The Song

Life is change, move with it.
Wishing you all a fragrant life filled with fun and laughter,
Portia xx

Thank you, Tara and Portia for your time, effort, these lovely words today and most of all your friendship, which will certainly survive the end of the blog.

So, my dear readers, here we are now. Before you leave, a few words on the past five years, since this is the blog’s birthday too after all. A few stats for the numerically inclined among you (Hey, Undina!): The blog has had 1 950 194 views, 50 730 comments and 1354 posts have been published. We had some very successful series of posts, like The Monday Question, People In Perfumeland, The Vanilla Series by Neil or Perfume Around The World. I will hopefully get it together in the next weeks to sort through the archives and organize everything a bit better, making things easier to find. Despite the hiatus, I hope OT will still be used by those who want to read up on a specific perfume.

Last but surely not least, The Husband says goodbye too. He wants you to know that he immensely enjoyed his status as The Husband and having his own little band of fans. Nowadays he is the one who won’t go away for a few days without his decants, how times have changed… :)

If you made it this far, in this long post, over the past five years, I am thankful and happy having been able to be your host here on OT. I will miss you all.

Somewhere the flower of farewell is blooming.
Endlessly it yields its pollen, which we breathe.
Even in the breeze of this beginning hour we breathe farewell.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Big hug,

B x



Posted in By Portia, By Tara, Ramblings | Tagged , , , , | 214 Comments

International Luxury Or My Mate In Jocks – Review: DSH Perfumes Ruba’iyat

Hey Hey Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse

Independent Perfumers rate high on my list. they are free to experiment, can get away with totally unregulated amounts of quality ingredients and don’t have to bow to a thousand rounds of public screening. It does make a lot of their work more polarising but that also is a plus, it means that some kind of interest will be generated during the wear, it may not suit everyone but when it does. MMMMMMM…

Originally today’s fragrance was created for IndieScents but I can’t find it on their site anymore. To be honest I also have no idea where this sample came from either, it may have been a GWP from Dawn or a fragrant pack from someone.

Ruba’iyat by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz for DSH Perfumes

Ruba’iyat DSH Perfumes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

DSH Perfumes gives these featured accords in one line:
Ambrette Seed, Australian Sandalwood, Centifolia Rose Absolute, Cumin, Davana, East Indian Patchouli, East Indian Sandalwood, Egyptian Rose Geranium, Frankincense co2 Absolute, Gaia Perfumes, Galbanum, Gallica Rose Otto, Incense, Labdanum, Myrrh Gum, Myrtle, Oude / Agarwood, Saffron Absolute, Spice Notes.

Spicy, sizzling spices yet warm and resinous, I can smell the patchouli oil and roses that seem to be drizzled in honey and amber. Thick and luscious to start the whole fragrance loosens up after about 15 minutes and there seems to be some air let in, some light and colour. Ruba’iyat is surprisingly comfortable, smoother and cushioned. It feels like I’m smelling a beautifully scented person just outside my personal space rather than the often heavy, dense scent of the middle east on my person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fragrant and I smell amazing but Ruba’iyat does not overtake the room and punch you in the nose till your olfactory bulbs give up in despair.

Ruba’iyat by DSH Perfumes India_Palace WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

What Ruba’iyat does smell of is quiet international luxury. If you’ve ever been through the top of Africa or the Indian subcontinent, bought stuff and had it shipped back then you’ll know what I mean. It’s the opening of those boxes, an indescribably haunting and enticing fragrance that you want to go on forever, a reminder of the magical holiday times and a whiff of the magical smells there.

Longevity is really good for a natural and I am still fragrant about 3 hours later, the fragrance has warmed through but still the lovely spices sizzle softly underneath. You could wear Ruba’iyat even to work if you are sparing but I prefer to wear it heavy and create a bit of a cloud. Gorgeous.

While I was wearing Ruba’iyat I kept thinking how super sexy it is, that I would seriously want to jump someone’s bones if they were veiled in its gorgeous mysteries. So sexy I want to spritz my mate Darren with it. Here’s Darren below, I KNOW RIGHT!!!! This was to celebrate his 100 days of clean living. Imagine what that smells like and you have some idea of what Ruba’iyat is like……. If you think Darren looks good then you definitely need to go check his Instagram, basically he spends the whole time posing and dancing in his jocks

Darren Killeen

From DSH Perfumes: Inspired by the Persian poetry form of the same name, and traditional oudh designs of the region. Created for, Ruba’iyat is a glorious all botanical middle eastern oudh, incense, saffron, and spice perfume. I don’t need to tell you that it’s as complex and intriguing as the patterns on the walls of a sacred mosque.

Further reading: Ca Fleure Bon
DSH Perfumes has samples from $5 and some lovely bath & body choices too.

Have you tried any of the DSH Perfumes range? Who is your favourite Independent Perfumer?
Portia xxx

Posted in By Portia, DSH, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Love Story – Review: 4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever (IMHO), Sleep Knot and Pillow Talk

By Tara

There is something pleasing about a trilogy; you get a beginning, a middle and an end. When taken together, this trio of Eau de Parfums by 4160 Tuesdays tells the story of a burgeoning relationship. As usual, indie perfumer Sarah McCartney has given these fragrances tempting and inventive names.

The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever (IMHO)

Notes: Bergamot, Woods, Vanilla, Musk, Ambergris

As you would expect, this is the heart-pounding, lust-filled early days of a new affair. It may not be a multi-layered perfume but then The Sexiest Scent did start out life as a base for a bespoke fragrance event in 2013. It got a very positive reaction, with one participant declaring that it was “the sexiest scent ever!”. The name is most definitely tongue in cheek.

The Sexiest Scent opens with sugared lemons but thereafter is all about sheer, slightly sweet, slightly fuzzy, woods. It’s a skin scent so sillage is limited – it’s supposed to be an intimate experience. Of course, what people find sexy will vary and Iso E Super is not everyone’s friend but if soft, silky woods are your thing, it could do it for you.

Sleep Knot

Notes: Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Sandalwood and Black Pepper

Sleep Knot is comforting and softly sexy with puffs of jasmine and the creaminess of ylang-ylang. The effect mirrors the dreamy feeling of connection experienced when the limbs of two lovers are entwined to create a “sleep knot”.

I struggle with jasmine perfumes and while it’s still rather sweet for me here, it does strike a nice balance in that It’s not super skanky or scrubbed clean. It lies somewhere near the centre of the indolic spectrum.

The notes seem to weave together in a knot-like fashion, with even the pepper’s added spice failing to disrupt the sense of satisfaction.

Originally created earlier this year for a hotel to spray on its pillows, Sleep Knot was refined for New York blogger Carlos Powell’s Peace, Love and Perfume Project.

Pillow Talk

Notes: Yuzu, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk, Black Pepper

Similar to Sleep Knot, Pillow Talk was created as a Valentine’s Day special for a London hotel. It also has a similar soft jasmine core to Sleep Knot but the beginning is more zingy thanks to the citrus of yuzu and the heart is made even more plush with orange blossom.

This is about the emotional intimacy stage of the romance. You lie face-to-face in bed making the kind of gooey eye contact that only comes with someone you’ve recently fallen for. Secrets are confided and hopes and dreams are shared. It’s my favourite of the three.


Do you have a favourite sexy or romantic scent?

Posted in By Tara, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Big And Bold – Review: Boucheron Pour Femme

Hi Hi Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse and today we are looking at one of my all time favourites. Recently I had spritzed myself lavishly not even half an hour ago when Jin came home early from work and wanted to go to the grocery store together. I felt like I was a blazing trail of scent and that everyone in a three kilometer radius was wondering where that enormous stench was coming from.

Boucheron (pour Femme) by Francis Deleamont + Jean-Pierre Bethouart for Boucheron 1988

Boucheron pour Femme Boucheron Fragrantica

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Galbanum, Mandarin, Apricot, Basil, Tagetes, Orange blossom
Heart: Tuberose, Narcissus, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Iris, Broom
Base: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Tonka bean, Amber, Benzoin, Civet, Frankincense, Musk

Sold as a symbol of ultra luxury back in 1989 Boucheron had us all at hello with this incredible fragrance. Big and bold and effortless, Boucheron will walk a few steps ahead of you and fill the room once you get there. Totally inspired by the jewellery of Parisian goldsmiths from Place Vendome, it sparkles and thrums while you wear it and it’s a compliment getter almost every time. Even the current reformulation is quite nice though thinner than the original and more modern: a little more hairspray at the top and a lot less animal in the dry down.

Spicy, metallic, sweet, weird and large are the first words that come into my head when I smell modern Boucheron. It’s like a huge Vincent Van Gogh painting of flowers and fruit has come alive with scent. Everything is slightly large, skewed and pulsing and all painted with what in modern terms would be neon bright coloured paintspray. Though the notes say it should smell like a fairly average retro fragrance there is nothing retro about Boucheron pour Femme except its size. If a niche perfumery brought out something as fabulously outlandish as this today people would be astounded.

Boucheron pour Femme cea Richard Baxter - Narcissus and Echo Flickr)Photo Stolen Flickr

The heart is built around narcissus, the slightly feral and ferocious fragrant sister of ylang. Ylangs creamy richness and tuberoses green bubble gum are completely overwhelmed by the narcissus bite. Closely resembling Christopher Brosius’ Narcissus, this narcissus note is indolic and fecal until the other flowers all rush in to subdue it, or maybe it’s the vanilla from trhe base that has reached up and calmed out ravening monster.

The flowers stay right through to the end like a bouquet from outer space that gets slowly warmer and less intimidating until many hours later you are left with a resinous woodsy wash. Finally, you can leave the house and go back among people.

Boucheron pour Femme Guillaume_Seignac Fragrant_Iris WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Further reading: Scentualist and Yesterday’s Perfume
FragranceNet has old bottle EdT $34/50ml before coupon
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $3/ml

Which oldie in your wardrobe is so outrageous that you have to be careful how much you spritz and where you wear it?
Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Floral, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Instant Gratification – Review: Parfumerie Generale Liqueur Charnelle

By Tara

There are a fair few louche, boozy scents out there but what sets apart Liqueur Charnelle is the clever frosted raspberries accord. Tart, icy and unexpected, it lifts this dissolute fragrance out of the ordinary and gives it a clever twist.

As you may be aware, Huitieme Art Parfums has been subsumed into the Parfumerie Generale line, but remains a distinct collection.

liqueur charnelle

Released in 2014, Liqueur Charnelle (“Carnal Liquor”) takes its inspiration from the bouquet of cognac. It includes notes of pink pepper, elemi, black pepper, cognac, linden blossom, blond tobacco, cedarwood, vetiver and raspberries.

The raspberries are present from the start, sprinkled with lots of pepper and a dash of lemon. They’re dipped in alcohol, which warms on the palate before radiating outwards.

The booze is exceptionally smooth with no after-burn. I expect this striking beginning to disappear but it persists.

Huitieme Art fragrances are known for shunning the traditional pyramid structure, therefore it’s no surprise that Liqueur Charnelle is largely a linear composition.

It just ebbs and flows a little over time. The lemon and pepper recede after a short while and a woody, smoked vanilla emerges in the far drydown. At this late stage it becomes just a little powdery. However the berry/cognac combination at its core remains constant until its final hours.

Liqueur Charnelle seems to be aimed more at men and although it leans towards the masculine, I don’t see any reason why the guys should have all the fun.

It has moderate projection and lasts into the night.

Although I am still to find a boozy fragrance which works for me, I do think Liqueur Charnelle is extremely well done. It’s head-turning and hedonistic without being weighty or high-pitched. The berries prevent it from being too intense or serious so it carries its licentiousness lightly.

Being as self-conscious as I am, I’ve often been rather envious of those who can knock back a few drinks and rapidly lose their inhibitions. The raspberry flavoured shot of Liqueur Charnelle gives me a hint of that giddy, reckless feeling.

It’s lighter and more contemporary than Guillaume’s other elegantly debauched fragrance, the baroque boozy amber of Daimiris for Laboratorio Olfactivo. In contrast, Liqueur Charnelle embodies the modern luxury aesthetic of clean lines, sleek design and muted colours.

Although I think it’s wearable for any occasion, there is a certain scenario it brings to mind…


Two people meet up for an illicit assignation under the cover of darkness. The location is a deluxe hotel room with amazing city views and minimalist décor with an anonymity about it that is very fitting. For most people it’s the early hours of the morning, but for them it’s very late at night and there’s not a moment to lose.

What do you think of the Huitieme Art line? Any favourites?

Posted in By Tara, Fragrance Reviews, Huitième Art, Parfumerie Generale | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Summer Memories – Review: Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess

Hello gorgeous Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse and today I thought we could chat about beachy scents, well one beachy scent. I know the northern hemisphere is getting colder and sometimes you need a sprayed reminder of the joys of summer. That lush and tropical zing that will put the spring back in your step and a swaggering swing in your hips.

Bronze Goddess by Estée Lauder

Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche 2010 Estee Lauder FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Sicilian bergamot, mandarin
Heart: Tiare milk, Tahitian gardenia, coconut oil, orange blossom, jasmine, magnolia petals, myrrh accord
Base: Amber, sandalwood, vetiver, caramel, coconut cream

Bronze Goddess always smells like having a great time with my friends, middle of summer call around lunch time to organise a meal and then hanging out. Nothing specific but a lazy afternoon or evening enjoying the fabulous outdoors and food in Sydney. I know the Europeans invented al fresco dining but we Aussies have made it our own. Somehow we make it simple yet always try also to make it feel like an occasion. You know that No-Worries scent that smells awesome and you never have to worry about it? Has some pretty changes to keep you interested but basically is such a good fit you can really relax into it, that’s Bronze Goddess.

No one needs to try to be be rich, smart, sexy or amusing in Bronze Goddess because you smell like a total cool kid all day anyway. You may even find its laid back bonhomie inspiring. Sometimes just relaxing into yourself can be the best way to spend an afternoon with friends, and if you are all that anyway then Bronze Goddess will amp it up.

bronze-goddess-by-estee-lauder BarBQ Skitterphoto PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

I have the 2010 version of Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche but the whole range are all a fun holiday tropical type spritz that is extremely pretty, has good sillage and projection and they last well too. Coconut and/or jasmine seem to be the standout notes in the whole set and it’s the kind of carefree summery scent that smells like you are out for fun and are an uncomplicated, happy, breezy person ready for what ever the world holds. Bronze Goddess is not a fragrance you wear to smell corporate and tough, this is your fun laid back self. The lovely creamy amber in the base is warm enough to keep the chill of night away too.

bronze-goddess-by-estee-lauder sunset autumn PexelsPhoto Stolen Pexels

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Bois de Jasmin
FragranceNet has $59/100ml before coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

What is your summer scent memory fragrance?
Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Estée Lauder, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

Luca Turin at The Perfume Society – Les Senteurs, London on Saturday 3rd October 2015

By Tara

Who doesn’t have a one copy of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide? I have two.

Jo Fairley, co-founder of The Perfume Society, has known Luca Turin since the early 90’s when she interviewed him about his vibrational theory of how we smell. So during a rare visit to London she organised a get-together for a small gathering of The Society’s VIP members.

Jo Fairley and Luca Turin

Jo Fairley and Luca Turin

Below is the gist of what was said.

Jo Fairley: Welcome, Luca. All these people have come to see you and we could have filled the number of spaces several times over.

Luca Turin: The internet has changed everything. 20 years we’d all be buying perfume affected by the same affliction. [Much laughter]
For some reason I am able to translate perfume into words. I don’t know why. To me, perfume is a message in a bottle. That is very important to me. Perfume is a poem to the person who smells it. So in my mind, perfume is very much a chemical poem written in molecules. It doesn’t matter whether they’re synthetic or not.
I define art as anything that is beautiful and difficult. Perfumery is both beautiful and difficult so to me it’s art.

JF: Francis Kurkdjian doesn’t think it’s art.

LT: He’s being coquettish.

JF: How did The Guide come about?

LT: I would bore my friends talking about perfume and one of them said “You should write a book about it”. My mother was alarmed. She said “Who the hell are you?”. I was this nerd writing fancy-arse stuff in French about perfume. If you want to get something out of your system, write a book about it.

JF: Are there too many critics out there now?

LT: The more the merrier. When it comes to opinion, I hope there’s ten times as many. For me, with the internet you get the whole range of opinions, which is very interesting. It doesn’t mean you have to read it all.

JF: Can they be right or wrong?

LT: Perfume is too insignificant for that to matter. The only bad thing about perfume is that it can ruin a dinner or a concert.

I did 11 years of newspapers columns which are about to be released on Kindle next week. They’re called The NZZ Columns.

I thought we would try a few perfumes rather than me just read from the book. You can read, right?

Sel Marin, Heeley 


LT: Heeley are a good firm doing stylish scents. It’s nice to have a complex light fragrance. There’s a salty, sea note that’s not calone-y. I like this. I’d put this on before going to bed. You need to have an undemanding fragrance. Heeley are consistently good.

Knize Ten

knize ten

LT: Knize are a tweedy gentlemens’ outfitters in Vienna. in many ways Knize Ten is the reference leather. it’s the great-grandfather of all leathers. There’s an important distinction for me in perfume between transparent and opaque. Knize Ten is intense but transparent. It has a cheap red fruit note. I like the combination of cheap and expensive – it’s almost the definition of chic.

L’air du Desert Marocain, Tauer Perfumes

tauer marocain

Leather fragrances are a search for bitterness. Bitterness is a very vastly underappreciated. This is a modern interpretation of a leather fragrance. It’s an amazing composition with radiance like crazy. I think of it as a classic on a par with Shalimar.

JF: What do you think about self-taught perfumers?

LT: I think it’s terrific. I hope lots of people try and do it. It’s a sign that the big companies have lost their way. It’s really a David and Goliath situation because the big companies have access to the novel aromachemicals. Mainstream perfumes are generally so crap so you can now be a contender. They’ve scandalously lost their way.

Oud Velvet Mood, Maison Francis Kurkdjian

oud velvet mood

LT: We can talk about oud now it’s over. For me, oud has the most complicated odour profile out there. The basement smell of oud and the Roman candle smell of rose is an irresistible combination.

I don’t think this a great fragrance but it exemplifies the contrast.

JF: What are you working on at the moment?

LT: I’m based in Ulm, southern Germany working on general anaesthesia. We don’t know how it works. The only thing we know is that consciousness is soluble in chloroform. This is what I’m doing for a living and we’re making some headway. It’s the scientific sword in the stone and I swear it moved.

Portrait of a Lady, Frederic Malle Editions de Parfum 

malle portrait

LT: This is by Dominique Ropion who is a genius in the manner of Ernest Daltroff (Caron). He does fragrances of power, clarity and structure and they’re always monumental. It’s a very classical fragrance. It’s good all the way down to the details. Ropion is a supreme technical perfumer.

Few people can make fragrances that are good all the way through, with reveals. Another example is Chamade (Guerlain). After one hour there’s this amazing 3D transformation. For years I thought I was smelling two different fragrances.

JF: What do you think of the Frederic Malle line?

LT: To be honest, I’m not impressed. They’re all good but they’re not art directed with adventurousness. They’re very thorough and good but there’s no masterpiece in the line. I’m a little disappointed considering the clout and money he has.

Salome, Papillon Artisan Perfumes 

salome bottle

LT: Wow. A totally demure little thing isn’t it? [Laughter] It’s everything that’s missing in Light Blue (Dolce & Gabbana) – an artistic counterweight. It’s actually well composed. After the civety-y opening it’s actually a big, hefty, beautiful, expensive floral oriental. There’s good jasmine and a big ass rose. I’m glad perfumes like this exist. It’s really quite disgusting!

Anubis, Papillon Artisan Perfumes 


LT: There is something medicinal about this which I like. It’s disinfectant for the soul. There’s also vanilla. It’s nice work. It makes me want to breathe it in. I like that there’s a fresh citrus which compensates for the medicinal note. It’s a really good piece of work.

Futur, Piguet 


LT: Germaine Cellier was insanely great. Futur has a monster top note of galbanum. it’s cut grass on steroids. Underneath is a huge floral. It’s a fabulous fragrance. She did Bandit which is outrageous. The Piguet reconstructions are pretty great.

Ubar, Amouage 


LT: Christopher Chong knows what he wants from the perfumer and he gets it from them. He’s exploring a different area – very complex orientals with unfamiliar materials. Ubar has a sweetness that is weird. I like that you don’t know what fruit you’re eating. He gives great art direction. Every author needs an editor and Christopher Chong is a fantastic editor.
Ubar is one of the great fragrances of the last 20 years. It’s humongous and never-ending. The two Lyrics are amazing – like entering a mansion. There’s a feeling of mystery. At no point do you know what’s going on there.

Luca then answered some questions from the floor and signed people’s books. He and Jo were hoping Tania Sanchez (his wife and co-author) would make it, but the timing coincided with their 2 year-old daughter’s nap time. He mentioned that while Tania wears a different fragrance everyday she has been turning to Cristalle a lot lately.

Luca Turin is a witty and unreserved speaker so it made for a very fun afternoon. It was interesting to get his take on a few newer releases too.

How do you feel about The Guide?

Posted in By Tara | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments

A Walk Through Sydney Smelling The Spring Flowers

Hi there Olfactoria’s Travellers,

Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse

Recently I was walking with my mate Scott, every Monday we try and get the office work done. Usually we are sidetracked at some point by fragrance, fun and food and some, if not all, of the office work gets shunted to next Monday. Not long ago we were walking back from fragrant drop offs at the Post Office and we could smell this amazing, weird, metallic, sensual, creamy, naughty and animal scent washing over us. Having just passed some blooming climbing jasmine in someone’s backyard this new scent hit us forcibly.

Sydney Spring Flowers 2015

As you can see it’s a long hedge that is 2-3 meters tall and maybe 30 or 40 meters long, so with it all in this outrageously over the top display of flowers we were absolutely scent engulfed by the time we got up close.

Does anyone know what this bush is? I’ve never seen it before but even without flowers it’s very nice. When it is in flower though the bees are loving it.

Parramatta Graveyard Spring 2015 #1

Parramatta Graveyard Spring 2015 #2

Parramatta Graveyard Spring 2015 #3

Parramatta Graveyard Spring 2015 #4

Parramatta Graveyard Spring 2015 #5

Parramatta Graveyard Spring 2015 #6

Parramatta Graveyard Spring 2015 #7

It reminded me a little of Niki de Saint Phalle but more animal and…. um….. OK, imagine a cross between Niki de Saint Phalle and vintage Magie Noire by Lancome? Are you feeling it? Though it smells nothing like them because it’s a real living and breathing bush in the world it has a similar feeling or emotive quality. I have since been out there a couple of times just to drink in the scent and admire the bees buzzing busily. So great that even in the deep heart of suburbia there is nature, however small the scale.

What’s flowering near you right now that makes your soul sing?
Portia xx

Posted in By Portia | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Rosy Skin: Review – Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit

By Tara

When my great pal, Val the Cookie Queen, generously gave me a decant from her bottle of Paris exclusive Rose de Nuit, I expected a rose with an animalic edge. On first wear, what I actually experienced was a sexy musk with rosy tones.

rose de nuit sl
Interestingly, this composition was not done by Christopher Sheldrake but by perfumer Gilles Romey. Launched in 1993, it contains notes of Turkish rose, yellow jasmine, apricot, amber, musk, sandalwood and beeswax.

The musk in Rose de Nuit is not screechy white or skanky beast, but the intoxicating scent of sensitive, ravished skin after an amorous encounter that began early in the evening and lasted through the night. Rose de Nuit captures the sinful bloom on the skin where the blood has risen to the surface.

Serge Lutens calls it a “velvety musk” and it really is.

The rose is slightly blackened, dry and weather-beaten. It has already given up the best of itself. Its petals are suspended in warm, musky unguent with slices of apricot flesh and a smear of honeyed beeswax to help make it wearable.

I wouldn’t say I exactly enjoyed it the first time around but I was intrigued by it. I wanted to experience it again without my expectation of it being more rose-heavy.

The second time around Rose de Nuit was a sultry rose; a mysterious harlot. Now I really started to revel in it. On subsequent wearings, I’ve noticed the rose – and enjoyed it – more and more.

One of the things I love about Rose de Nuit is that it’s not a heavy oriental in the more usual SL style. It’s an animalic rose chypre on a base of woody amber rather than the ubiquitous patchouli or oud.

Rose de Nuit has incredible tenacity and presence. It’s very rare that I am aware of a perfume the whole time but I was constantly conscious of its presence. It accompanied me throughout my day.

This is not to say it’s loud exactly. It just has enough effusiveness to reach and distract me while sitting at my office desk. It certainly makes work less mundane, though it would be more appropriate for a nocturnal adventure.

black %26 white woman pictures 001

Metaphysical poet John Donne’s work went from deeply erotic to deeply religious. In the time before he took holy orders, he wrote the Elegies which are particularly sensual. The beginning of Elegy VIII is a nice fit with Rose de Nuit :

“AS the sweet sweat of roses in a still,
As that which from chafed musk cat’s pores doth trill,
As the almighty balm of th’ early east,
Such are the sweat drops of my mistress’ breast;”

-Elegy VIII, The Comparison by John Donne

Have you experienced Rose de Nuit? Do you like your roses to be photorealistic or do you prefer them subdued?

Posted in By Tara, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Rose, Serge Lutens | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

A Celebuscent That Works – Review: Sarah Jessica Parker Twilight

Hello delicious Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse and I’ve been thinking about some of the fragrances in my collection that I got for a song that I think smell really lovely. Celebuscents can be pretty hit and miss but one of the people I always give a little skin time to is Sarah Jessica Parker. Not all of her fragrances have been winners for me. Lovely and Covet are both mainstays in my collection but everything else has been pretty yuck on me, until this one grabbed my fancy.

Twilight by Laurent Le Guernec and Clement Gavarry for Sarah Jessica Parker 2009

Twilight Sarah Jessica Parker FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum, mandarin, pink pepper
Heart: Peony, jasmine
Base: Amber, sandalwood, incense, musk

OK, so if you are looking for edgy, freaky or over the top then Twilight won’t be for you. There has been no boundary pushing going on in the creation of Twilight. If though, you are looking for a soft focus, lightly floral amber the you may have your dream. Also if you are looking to smell beautiful on a budget then Twilight is practically free.

Twilight has a fizzy opening of pink pepper and citrus paired with galbanum. A lovely light and breezy opening that remains cool and pretty into its heart of amorphous floral bouquet. It really is like being outside in spring as the warmth of day cools and the fresh breeze or lack of direct sun changes the mood. It’s the packing up of things and going home.

Twilight Sarah Jessica Parker Twilight_sky WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

As Sarah Jessica Parker’s Twilight moves through to dry down it remains remarkably cool on my skin for an amber and I think incense and peony keep it that way. I love the way the musks create a lived in, end of a beautiful day smell and after a couple of hours the amber/woods warm through slightly like an amber necklace warming up as it sits on your skin. This is as comfortable as your favourite T-Shirt, as wearable as slippers and as comforting as a hug.

Sillage and longevity are quite good, you’ll need a respritz at lunch if you’re wearing it for work but at these prices you can spritz every half hour. I love Twilight for mid seasons, it’s a perfect warm fragrance for cool mornings and evenings.

Twilight Sarah Jessica Parker sunset Aquilatin PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies
FragranceNet has $21/75ml before coupon

What is your fave cheapy? Is it celebuscent or other?
Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , | 23 Comments