Portia’s 2020 Noted Things

Hey Crew, 2020 has been so unexpected. Here in Australia it started with bushfires, then we got floods. The world got C19 and we watched the USA plunge into anarchy. Brexit has been exactly the shit show that any person with an ounce of rationale could see coming. While all this was going on my business collapsed completely, leaving myself and the five drag queens who work for Turbo Trivia jobless for months. Many people whose lives were previously affluent, the world over, find themselves in dire straits and it’s terrifying to watch and live.

I’m one of the seriously lucky few. Jin continued working through the whole crisis, though only about 2/3 of his regular income. He has been incredibly generous with his money, gave me a weekly stipend and paid for all our groceries. The Australian government gave me a Job Keeper handout that kept me paying my half of the major bills. Quite a turnaround from being the major breadwinner in the house and my ego took a small battering.

For any of you doing it really hard in these times my heart goes out to you and wish you a speedy financial recovery in 2021.

Portia’s 2020 Noted Things

There were the usual squizillion launches this year and I was fortunate enough to get to smell quite a few of them. Libertine Parfumerie in Sydney is Australia’s largest niche distributor and they have kept me in the loop. PHEW! Here are a few fragrant things that I really loved.

Amouage Meander comes in a celadon green bottle and had me sold before I even smelled it. Thankfully it is as beautiful as it looks. Dark, resinous iris with interesting floral highlights. I’ll grab a bottle when I’m more flush.

Amouage Interlude Black Iris is mainly powdery iris and amber with a very generous nod to the original but nowhere near as iconic, large or as resinous. I was given a Press Bottle and am loving it.

Etat Libre d’Orange Spice Must Flow is a take on the rose/oud/incense trope. HUGE! For most perfumistas it will be an unnecessary addition to their wardrobe because it’s not a very new story. I really like it though and it smells different in village than up close. Worth a sniff.

Le Lion de CHANEL was the biggest hype train here in Sydney of the year. A Shalimar style offering with extra labdanum rich amber in the whole fragrance. Many people find it leather or incense heavy too. A different ride for every wearer. To make it less of an investment I hosted a split.

Maison Crivelli Fleur Diamantine from 2018 made it’s way to my nose. WOW! One of the most beautiful fragrances I’ve ever smelled. Sparkling white floral with rich warmth and surprising minty undertones. It’s a freaking knockout and very high son my full bottle wish list.

Miller et Bertaux Pimiento is the first cut of a capsicum/bell pepper on a summer day. This oddball design duo always manages to create beautiful, weird surprises. The base is a little generic but the opening and heart are fabulous. Libertine gave me a Press Bottle of this beauty too.

Trussardi Behind The Curtain Piazza Alla Scala is a powdery leather. Beautiful but not stunningly original. The racing green bottle with the greyhound cap had me at hello. Thankfully it smells amazing and I found it on an Australian discounters for an amazing price.

So what were the things that grabbed your attention in 2020?
Portia xx


24 thoughts on “Portia’s 2020 Noted Things

  1. Hey Portia
    Very little perfume-wise caught my attention this year but the Le Lion release was fun.
    I haven’t been wearing perfume while working from home but
    Amouage Meander sounds intriguing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a sample of Meander. Had not even crossed my mind to try it. Hahahahahahaha. Yeah. Le Lion was a blast – probably fuelled by both needing excitement stuck in the Covid drama, and the childish need to be first. It delivered.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Being on a no buy followed by lockdowns meant I smelled almost nothing new. But I did get a small decant of Le Lion from the ever generous hajusuuri when I won her IG giveaway for a sample of puredistance Rubikona. Enjoyed both of them! I also won a Halloween IG giveaway from Parfums Quartana for a sample of Bloodflower (not new) – but that one was a little too weird for me. Hoping for things to look up at some point in 2021 for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So sorry to hear that this year was so bad for you jobwise. I’m self employed and I felt it too but my optimism is going strong as usual. The only thing I’ve spent money on this year were perfumes since traveling wasn’t possible.
    From your list I really like Fleur Diamantine. It’s a “feel good perfume” and I carry the sample in my bag.
    My greatest surprise this year was Serge Lutens Bapteme du Feu. It’s such a beautiful rich spicy warm perfume which I didn’t notice until this year.
    Beside that, I’ve come to know the perfumes of Francesca Bianchi. Very special perfumes, indeed – heavy, oily, dark…it took some time to get used to them but the reward is great.
    I also fell in love with Bruno Fazzolari’s Unsettled, a lovely creamy pineapple with sandalwood and Nishane’s Wulong Cha which reminds me of old Lancome’s Aromatonic.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve used the last half of this plague year, in severe lockdown for most of it, to revisit what I have which is abundant enough. I really do enjoy my Le Lion decant though I was interested to learn the Lion part of the name is about the crest symbol, not the actual animal. I like it more than Coromandel and I may even buy a bottle at some point. The only other one in your list I’ve tried is the EDLO which, as you say, is noting new. A good dose of cumin or thyme (!!! what a great thing that would be !!) would have made it interesting but I have Luxor Oud which is a better frag. Bottle is wonderful though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, 2020 has been a very tough year. I’m so sorry to hear of the problems you have had with your business. So many people in entertainment- bars, restaurants,theaters, actors, musicians, have had a very rough time this year. I’m very lucky to be ok financially, but the chaos in the US has been very disturbing, to say the least.

    I have sniffed some good perfumes this year, Centenario from Bois 1920, a spicy iris centered fragrance and Christian Provenzano’s Iris d’Orient, a really beautiful oriental iris scent, were the standouts for me. I also sniffed Meander and found it to be very lovely. January Scent Projects Horla was another good one, but other than those, nothing really noteworthy. I really want to smell the new Dusita fragrances but have not had a chance to do so.


  7. I just got a decant of Spice Must Flow, and had a sample of Le Lion I sniffed and passed on. Neither one of those was FBW for me. The most fun release of the year for me was Francesca Bianchi’s Sticky Fingers, and I’m currently waiting on a sample of her new Tyger Tyger.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi everyone! I’ve been wearing a lot of Parfums Dusita this year, even ordered le Sillage Blanc two weeks ago, but it’s still sitting in France. Haven’t had the chance to sniff many new releases this year (we all know why), but it’s okay: I’ve already got enough.


      • Hi Portia! No pressure, but I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts about which ones you’d like if any. My money’s on le Sillage and at least one of the extraits. Hopefully, we’ll have a better year (in general and perfume-wise)


        • I have been thinking about you recently and hope you are well! Today after spending the morning in 1957 I switched over to Sillage Blanc. I have three Dusita travel sprays and I always think of you when I wear them. Kisses to you!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hi-i-i-i, Brigitte! Thank you, it’s all well! Hope the Marzipan family are doing okay? It’s too early, but I want to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Air hugs xx

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Ooh, Fleur Diamantine sounds lovely, and thanks to you and Val I got to try the splendid Le Lion this year. Yeah, 2020 has plumbed new depths of global gloom and grimness. Being in a couple does mean you have two bites at the ‘remaining in work despite the pandemic’ cherry, and I am glad it worked out for you. Here’s to a better 2021 – surely it can’t be worse?! ;)


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