Fig Extasy by Mancera 2021

Fig Extasy by Mancera 2021

Hi Crew, Not sure if you know but over on Perfume posse I’m doing this challenge called New Idea 2023. It’s a challenge to use up some of the squllion perfume samples and decants lying in waste around this apartment. I’m finding things in boxes and bags that were bought, given as Press Samples, given as GWP or even given from other perfumistas. I thought there was a lot BEFORE I started opening up everything. Now it’s just stupid and overwhelming. I can feel the weight of these unloved and unused beauties bearing down upon me like….. well I have no analogy but it’s hefty. I’m also really sad at how many of them are now a smudge of oil in the bottom of a vial. So wasteful. Today I’m using up a carded sample of Fig Extasy by Mancera. I know why this remains unused, because their spelling of EXTASY is so annoying to me. Well, I know it sounds stupid but when you are looking at 20 samples then anything to help you decide what to put on your skin real estate is helpful. Yeah I know. Problems of someone with WAY TOO MUCH.

This carded manufacturers sample came from a Libertine purchase GWP bag.

Fig Extasy by Mancera 2021

Fig Extasy by Mancera

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fig Nectar, Incense, Ginger, Black Pepper
Heart: Fig Leaf, Leather, Sandalwood, Cedar, Thyme, Lavender
Base: Siam Benzoin, Vanilla Pod, Styrax, Tonka Bean

Yes, I know loads of you Poo Poo Mancera. That’s fine but after you take away all the nearly exactly the same oudhs there are still some other gems to be found amongst the line. BTW I do love some of those oudhs too and their The Aoud is one of my favourites of the genre.

Anyway, how does Fig Extasy smell? Delightfully figgy. HA! Well it does but it also has some excellent bells and whistles. That opening raspy black pepper and fizzy ginger are a lovely counterpoint. The heart is more about amber/woods with sweet and green fig-ness. Jin, whose nose is so much more acute than mine yelled CRAYONS!! I don’t personally get that but it’s his take. Most of the mentioned notes don’t make themselves clear to me. From the notes I expected the dry down to be much more amber/vanilla and sweet but it remains unsweet and becomes quite dry. Even the fig that continues into dry down is desiccated  but still maintains interest over the top of this resinous woodiness.

Fig Extasy by Mancera

The vial lasted two really full wears. I’m madly in love with this perfumes progression and story. Though it’s not a brand new idea it works for me in ways that make it very different from my other big fig loves Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka and L’Artisan Premier Figuier. 

Unisex, longevity is excellent , projection moderate after the initial fireworks. This has gone onto the list of wants, jumped in quite close to the top. SO GOOD!

Would you Fig Extacy? Even with the spelling?
Portia xx

 

 

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Sand + Sable by Coty

Sand + Sable by Coty

Hi crew. Sand & Sable is a bargain Coty fragrance you can get at drug stores and online for a song. I can’t remember who first put me on to it but I’d like to thank them. It was a few years back. I was ferociously reading blogs, hitting links, searching for bargains night after night after night. On top of work, domestic duties, friends, travel and blogging daily for APJ (OK I had contributor’s doing a few days a week) and weekly for Perfume Posse. There were also guest spots on Olfactoria’s Travels and others. No, I can’t tell you how I did it all. When did I sleep?

Anyway, I had a bottle for years and a friend loved it so I gave it to them. Really, I never missed it because there’s so much other stuff here. Then it came up somewhere, maybe Perfume Posse? or NST? Suddenly I wanted it B A D! So in my next FragranceNet order I grabbed the small bottle.

Sand & Sable by Coty 1981

Sand + Sable by Coty

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Gardenia, Tuberose, Jasmine, Peach, Green Notes, Rose

Rich buttery white floral goodness. It’s so pretty and a little over the top on application. Sand & Sable is peachy, peachy and luxuriously breathy. An early adopter of the 1980s BWF that can hold it’s own against the heaviest hitters. It isn’t sophisticated but it does smell kind of arch and ageing starlet-ish. It could easily be the fictitious Summer Rain in 1939 film The Women.

Fruity white florals have long been part of the perfume oeuvre. After about an hour Sand & Sable is not terribly far from Madonna Truth or Dare and Piguet Fracas at the same point. It has decent longevity and continues on its buttery, fruity white floral way until it disappears.

Should you have it in your collection? Sure. If you love a white floral, like to have an easy spritz and go, want to smell quite different to the usual niche offering or even if you are on a budget and still want a spritz of joy. Sand & Sable is a pretty good pick me up for next to nothing.

Have you tried it?
Portia xx

Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

Hey crew, Back in 1985/6 I studied Fashion. Not the big, flash Fashion Design course at East Sydney TAFE or an Arts Fashion Degree. Nope. I went to a North Shore TAFE (Technical and Further Education) in Hornsby to do a Fashion Technology\y Certificate. We were taught the production of fashion with a very small design element. So the aim was to create someone with the ability to take a garment from drawing to product. Someone with the knowledge of procedure, pattern making, grading, fabric, fastenings, creation, sewing and the ability to interpret pictures. The fashion designers are notoriously inept at this. They have visions, we make them reality. We were perfectly trained to go into business, become a 2IC, sample machinist, pattern maker/grader, cutter or any number of jobs in the industry “FASHION” or even costume creation in the arts. At the time, with an extra short course a few of our crew went on to become important in the new computer world of laser cutting and design, just becoming reality. I was lucky enough to work as a Costume Designer for Children’s Theatre, Pattern Maker/Grader/Cutter for a menswear company and then a Machinist for a small, high end fashion and bridal store in Sydney’s uber trendy Paddington for a while. It was at this point that I realised I was generally too lazy and imperfect to ever want to make my own fashion house a reality and that working for other people was never going to make me happy or rich. Bye fashion. Hello DRAG! Still never made me as rich as I’d dreamed but the fun it has brought, the chances, friends, opportunities, unbelievable life has more than made up for it. It also presented an opportunity to make fabulous clothes without the need for perfectly straight hemstitching, the hand sewn finest zippers or any restrictions on reality. So that was an incredibly long preamble into Vivienne Westwood and Boudoir.

Yes, Vivienne Westwood died last week, most of you will already know. In the mid 1980s she was any fashion student’s obsession. We were taught that Vivienne Westwood always did it first, but she always did it worst. Her ideas would make big splashy headlines for their brilliant reconstruction of shape, size, fit, pattern and wit. Then that idea would filter to the luxurious fashion houses and be done perfectly. The 1970s Punk, chains, safety pins, hobble skirts, slashed and sloganed T Shirts. 1980s New Romantic, super platform, mini crini, tartan, and who can forget her Buffalo Girls look and McLaren’s song? By the time I got to London in 1994/5 Westwood was old guard fashion and the still functioning World’s End store on Kings Road had basically become a merch store with some fashion.

Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood 1998

Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Marigold, Hyacinth, Orange Blossom, Bergamot
Heart: Carnation, Rose, Cardamom, Coriander, Narcissus, Orris Root, Jasmine
Base: Vanilla, Tobacco Leaf, Cinnamon, Sandalwood, Patchouli

This then brings us to 1998. The name Vivienne Westwood had been in newspapers and on TV for 28 years. It was part of our psyche and much of the outrageous and rebellious past had been wallpapered over with glamour. The remnants of naughtiness even gave it a cachet for the cashed up rebels without a cause and trustafarians. What better way to celebrate her elevation into mainstream that create a perfume? One that has most of the hallmarks of a modern aldehydic floral and some funk underneath. Boudoir was not outrageous or even over the top, A gentle, sweet, hark back to the perfumery of bygone eras but cleaned up for modern sensibilities and much more importantly; SALEABLE! Boudoir became de rigueur among the fashionista party set for a while. It was so popular that many Mugler Angel aficionados made the change, or added this to their spritz list.

I only have the extrait and it still smells unbelievably good.

Boudoir Vivienne Westwood

My bottle is old. Over time Boudoir has stopped being notes to my nose. It is itself and no other. A sparkling, soapy, white/yellow floral with some sweaty greenery underpinned by a warm, rich breathy base, lightly spiced all the way through. Just a swipe with the glass stopper and the room fills with Boudoir in seconds. Happy memories. Longevity is right up there with Vivienne Westwood herself. Unless I swim or bathe this single swipe will continue through till tomorrow morning.

 Vivienne Westwood

“The only way to halt Climate Change is to work with governments but that is impossible because governments are the problem” Vivienne Westwood

In honour of someone who has been instrumental in my life through music, design, fashion, and myriad other ways. Goodbye Vivienne Westwood and thank you.

Do any of you have a Westwood story you’d like to share?
Portia xx

Limbo Week

Limbo Week

Hey all, I’m kind of burnt out. The Christmas celebration was 4 days and nights of stuff. It was fun but it was also a lot. We did it putposefully chill but still, so much in such a short time. It’s about 36C/97F and quite humid. Beautiful weather for short walks in the daytime and longer ones after dark with Paris.

Jin is, as always, the highlight of all adventures. I can’t even tell you how freaking adorable he is. So good with people, funny, charming and only very rarely a brat. We spent quite a bit of couch time watching The Hunger Games and other assorted movies. After he went to bed I watched the three seasons of Jack Ryan, excellent fun. Also, his Roast Pork Belly and Crackling this year were so freaking good.

Limbo Week

Now we are in that super weird Limbo Week between Xmas and NYE. Today we basically did nothing. Ate, watched TV, I have been catching up on some blogging that needs completing (like this).

My most worn fragrance over the Christmas period was Rahele by Neela Vermeire Creations. It is so beautiful. Osmanthus and leather with some bells and whistles. Bloody good shit. If you liked it, loved it but didn’t purchase, or if you have only a few ml in your current bottle I have it on very good authority that it’s on the chopping block. Yes, I bought backups.

Rahele Neela Vermeire Creations

So that’s it. Got nothing else. Enjoy the last few days of 2022. I hope your 2023 is full of the good stufff and very little of the other.

Tell me your plans, resolutions, hopes and dreams.
I love to chat with you all so much. It’s you lot that keep me blogging far past my use by date.

Hugs,
Portia xx

Christmas 2022: It’s Not All Cake and Eggnog

Christmas 2022: It’s Not All Cake and Eggnog

Hi All, firstly, I know Christmas is full of grief and woe for many people. (Here’s a page with many worldwide HELPLINES. Please call them, they’re waiting for you.) Also, I know that many of our readers have another religion or zero religious affiliation. If you find the Christian religions to be hypocritical multinational business empire behemoths, intent only on raping the world and its people then you’re not alone. My beautiful Jin is an evangelical atheist. He sneezes, I say “God Bless You” he says, “There is no god”!

Christmas 2022 It's Not All Cake and Eggnog 1

Where I’m At

I was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. Church as an infant/toddler, Nuns in Junior School, Jesuits in Senior School. The Jesus story has been inculcated into my bones and though I know it was written long after his death, changed on multiple occasions by a committee (often of unscrupulous, evil tyrants) and used as a herding tool rather than a teaching one for the greater good, it is so deep in my marrow. Jesus himself sounds like a pretty good guy, except he forgot to address some key issues in the Old Testament, slavery, sexual equality, homosexuality and a few others I can’t think of right now. Thing is, I love the idea of there being a God. That if I’m a good person then I can have eternal salvation. Just the idea mind you, in reality I think living one life and death being a full stop is good. Then there are the questions. Why would an ever loving God give children cancer, create pedophiles, rapists and murderers (many within the canon of his churches), let global atrocities continue (starting with the Crusades and working forwards) and let us so recklessly ruin the beautiful world we have been given.
I’m not looking for answers or even help here. Just trying to explain my dilemma in the face of mounting lack of evidence. Sorry to lay this on anyone who feels attacked or undermined by my thought processes. I’m just laying bare my struggle. Hopefully some of you will find resonance.

Anyway, I still love Christmas. That we come together and mourn death, then celebrate the renewal of life. We do it by gathering people we love, family, friends, even some people we dislike. Sometimes people we hardly know in an Orphans Christmas situation. We come together and replenish our bonds and links of humanity through shared food, stories, memories and proximity. Even the drama creates new stories to be told throughout the next year and beyond. Before it was Christmas it had already been ritual for millennia, we just added glitter, reindeer and song.

If You’re Struggling

For those who feel completely alone, cut off and adrift from the rest of humanity. I’m hugging you right now. Please take time now to organise SOMETHING for this holiday. It’s relentless and can push us over the edge.
Have something nice or special to eat, doesn’t need to be expensive, something you like.
Maybe, if you have the funds or want to be involved, go have a meal out. Yes, you’ll be solo but you’ll be enveloped.

If solitude is your favourite thing then maybe a ramble around your neighbourhood? I find walking a really good way to beat off the blues, doesn’t have to be far to change my perspective and mood. The weather, the nature, the blood pounding and rhythm of my steps all combine to elevate my mood. Nearby we have a few parks, there’s nearly always some kind of life going on. People watching is nice too if you’re comfortable and sip a cuppa.

Have a plan. The best way to cope with anything is to have a plan. Make sure there are a couple of plans in case one gets derailed. Best to keep plans small and achievable, seriously, have a few.

The crushing overload of forced intimacy and aspirational Christmas spirit is a lot to handle, even for the strongest of us.

Also, say NO. If seeing your family, friends, anything is not what you want to do. Say NO. You don’t need to explain, just say no. Write an email if they are bullying you. “I will not be coming for Christmas. Hope it’s everything you want it to be. See you in the new year.”

Again: Here’s a page with many worldwide HELPLINES. Please call them, they’re waiting for you.

Christmas 2022 It's Not All Cake and Eggnog 1

Our Christmas 2022

This year is the most low key we’ve done Christmas for years.

On Christmas Eve we are having a small group for dinner. There will be Jin’s Roast Pork & Crackling, roast veggies, cold chicken, salads and some breads. I’ve bought a supermarket Christmas Pudding and some Custard for dessert but I think Kath will do a Pavlova too. A few drinks, some cognac and teas to finish. Hopefully done by 10pm, clean up and off to bed.

Christmas Day just Kath and us. Leftovers, chill, TV.
Last year on Christmas night we put up on faceBook that we were heading to Club Parramatta for dinner. We ended up with a table of about 20 friends and acquaintances. It was lovely. There was no cooking or cleaning, a few bevies and we all just hung out together chatting and laughing.

Boxing Day is traditionally held at my BFF Kath’s family home. We eat cold cuts, make some fresh salads and put it all on buns. We swim the afternoon away and then we all go home and crash.

Christmas Perfumes

Even though Christmas in Sydney is hot I’m hoping to get a few spritzes of firm favourites Caron Nuit de Noel, Liquides Imaginaires Sancti, Maria Candida Gentile Exultat, CdG Avignon andL’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Intense. Mostly these will be cool of evening wears. I’m thinking to wear some Annick Goutals like Songes, Eau de Sud, Mandragore and Nuit Etoilee. That Lolita Lempicka Eau L’Aime, maybe L’Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse and Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele and Pichola. 

Christmas 2022 It's Not All Cake and Eggnog 11

These are the dream wears anyway. Honestly, I’ll probably get super busy doing stuff and wear easy reaches like Shalimar and Eau des Merveilles Bleue. Let’s see how it all comes out in the wash.

 

For those that celebrate. Merry Christmas.
Portia x

 

Yuzu Solinotes

Yuzu Solinotes

Hi there crew. You may know that Undina has been searching for the ultimate Yuzu. In a recent order from Surrender To Chance I happened upon one I’d not seen before. Yuzu by Solinotes. Now that I look it up I have seen this brand in the drug stores. Very inexpensive. Honestly, I passed them by thinking they’d be dross.

Yuzu by Solinotes

Yuzu Solinotes

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, Bergamot
Heart: Yuzu, Tangerine, White Flowers
Base: Oakmoss, Patchouli

Full disclosure, I can’t remember ever having Yuzu. Wikipedia tells me it’s “A naturally occurring hybrid between an Ichang papeda (hardiest citrus, bitter juice) and a Mandarin orange.”

Citrus! Yes, of course citrus but the opening burst is juicy and tart. It has just the right amount of pith to make it seem like you’ve cut open a fresh something off the tree. It’s a soft focus, bittersweet amalgam of the citrus I know. Just shy of ripeness. The opening lasts unusually long and citrus still remains the main player through the heart. That musky pith comes up to meet it as the fragrance softens in strength.

Yuzu Solinotes

About 20 minutes in all fireworks are over and a smooth, quite clean feeling, faint wash of fragrance remains. A little citrus, pith and better-than-me skin scent remain. It quietly pumps for a while and I’m not sure if the fragrance disappears or I become blind to it.

Super easy wear scent for both sexes. Perfect for anyone who loves perfume but works where it is eschewed. By the time you arrive it will be so soft it could be your face or body lotion.

I’m pretty sure you don’t need this in your Yuzu army Undina but it is nice enough and definitely punching above its price range.

We are heading into summer here in Oz. I’m going to pop this decant into the fridge and spritz with abandon a couple of times to use it up.

Do you like a cheapie? Is Yuzu a thing for you?
Portia xx

Je Veux Mon Livre by The Strange South

Je Veux Mon Livre by The Strange South

Hi Crew, Je Veux Mon Livre by The Strange South is a fragrance from 2017. Here we have yet another perfume house I’d never heard of but bought a decant blind from Surrender To Chance because the notes sounded good and the names were very alluring. I think it might have come up as a suggestion and I jumped on it.

Both the following copy and picture are from their site:

Je Veux Mon Livre by The Strange South

The Strange South Je Veux Mon Livre features notes of tea leaves, sage pressed between the ancient pages of a leather-bound grimoire. It is an eau de parfum, edp.
The Strange South’s perfumes are blended by hand and bottled in small batches. They are alcohol, paraben, phthalate, and cruelty-free; the only testing being on willing human subjects.

Je Veux Mon Livre by The Strange South 2017

Parfumo gives threse featured accords:
Tea, Sage, Leather, Aged paper

Sometimes the world works serendipitously. I’ve read a couple of threads lately about the smell of old bookstores. That combination of disintegrating paper and leather, dust, sometimes hints of mould, very old floorboards and shelves. Often accompanied by the scent of the flatulent, not quite clean owners and if you’re incredibly lucky their cat. I love the smell of old bookstores. Each different but all following a common theme. We also have a couple of very ra sha sha bookstores in Sydney that do interesting first editions, have a cafe and are not of the oeuvre. They smell like MONEY. We aren’t talking about them here. Well, I’m not. I like the ones with piles of books, some order but also bedlam. The ones you can scurry around in for half a day. HEAVEN! Haven’t done it for years.

Sorry, Back to perfume.

How does Je Veux Mon Livre smell? The opening is greener and fresher than expected. I think we might be in one of this quite expensive first edition type bookstores. Maybe the greenness is trying to capture the slightly mouldy bread smell but it’s too sunny and springlike to do that properly. More hotel lobby than grimoire. Very pretty though, just my expectations being trampled underfoot.

As we enter the heart it’s tea and sage in the forefront. Green tea and chamomile seem to be the major protagonists. Yet again. A lovely fresh, bright scent that in no way reflects my dreams of old bookstore or even a grimoire.

I am surprised that something so very perfumes is alcohol, paraben, phthalate, and cruelty-free. My mind keeps saying this would be so beautiful in a very upmarket hotel lobby. It would be refreshing and surprising.

Maybe I’m not getting what the perfumer intended on my skin or with my nose. Still, very nice, low projection and longevity but much better than expected. Unisex. I think I’d be more inclined to glowing revue if it was called Garden Tea.

Dry down becomes the softest waft of scent. It’s still green but the leather and slight vanilla of disintegration books is there at last. Sadly, by the time it gets to this point I can hardly smell it. BUMMER!

Did you love the smell of books and old bookstores?
Portia xx

Beekeeper’s Daughter by Sucreabeille

Beekeeper’s Daughter by Sucreabeille

Hi Crew, This is another blind buy decant from Surrender To Chance. Suceabeille seems new to the STC site but Beekeeper’s Daughter was released in 2019. On looking up Parfumo there seem to be dozens of perfumes by Sucreabeille and this fragrance is so affordable, especially for its being vegan and cruelty free. Extra plus is that it’s woman owned, Andrea. Based in Washington state USA. Also it comes in oil or EdP. Sucreabeille site sends to most of the world except the EU

Beekeeper’s Daughter by Sucreabeille

The Beekeeper's daughter by Sucreabeille

Sucreabeille gives these featured accords:
Pure honeycomb, freshly harvested from the hive; a blooming herb garden full of clary sage, fennel, and thyme; peach blossoms and a touch of medicinal camphor.

O M G! Rich honey, funky and herbal. We get our honey from friends who get it directly from their hives. It is so tapestried and flavoursome that it doesn’t even compare to the stuff in the shops. Every batch is slightly different. Sometimes it has a green tinge, exactly like this. Honey from the shops is much cleaner, sweeter and far less animal.

I can smell the garden through the heart but it’s still honey in the forefront. There is also a reference to the smell of dogs paws, well my beautiful dog’s paws smell like it. Also, the super sweet smell of men’s urinals from outside the block. Not that disgusting foulness from inside, up close. It’s one of my favourite animalics and honey quite often reflects it.

Beekeeper's Daughter by Sucreabeille

This is not for the faint of heart. Absolutely unisex and delightfully feral. From wrist length it smells much less confrontational but bring it up to my nose and it’s all the growly honey. Amazing. I seriously can’t recommend this highly enough if off the charts honey is your jam.

Does vegan and cruelty free make you more interested?
Portia xx

Divine Vanille by Essential Parfums

Divine Vanille by Essential Parfums

Hey crew, In my last order from Fragrance and Art there arrived a bunch of manufacturers samples to try. I also just noticed an Essential Parfums 8x2ml set for under US$20!. Not affiliated in any way but it’s good to know. They have an excellent radar for things I’ll like and this time there were a preponderance of vanilla rich fragrances. Maybe because the north is heading cool but also maybe because I bloody LOVE vanilla. It has so many facets and depths, and rarely disappoints. Divine Vanille by Essential Parfums immediately had me excited by the name alone.

Perfumer Olivier Pescheux is one whose work you definitely know; One Million, Herod, 34 boulevard Saint Germain, and Yohji Homme are just some highlights of his current 123 perfumes in Fragrantica.

Divine Vanille by Essential Parfums

Divine Vanille by Essential Parfums

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Black Pepper
Heart: Incense, Osmanthus, Pomarose
Base: Madagascar Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Siam Benzoin, Texas Cedar, Musk, Patchouli

Sometimes I write part of a post and then lose the sample. It stays here, in limbo, till I give up and delete the post or till I find the sample! Well, here we are moths later and I have refound it. I’m so dumb, could easily have come checked this post and found that it ws a grey carded manufacturers sample, not a red box. Who knows what I’ve mixed it up with? So we are here today to FINALLY write about Divine Vanille.

The opening is vanilla rich amber with some bells and whistles. Lightly spiced and a faint scratchy whiff of black pepper keep us firmly in the kitchen but savoury rather than super sweet. We have some South Korean cracker biscuits that are a little like this. A line drawn between the two poles.

As the heart makes itself known I get the rustic greenery of clary sage and subtle hints of osmanthus, that leathery white floral. Still reigning supreme though is the amber. It has started to gain a little smooth earthy patchouli that gives it some grunt, it also takes it into L’Artisan Havana Vanille territory. Add to it some lightweight animalic references and the fragrance remains interesting.

 

Divine Vanille by Essential Parfums

Heading towards dry down and Divine Vanille starts to get sweeter and more cookie in the oven-ish. Held grounded, and even a skew towards masculine, by the various resins. That smokiness giving the cookies a baking feel probably comes from somewhere there too. The patchouli takes itself in and out over time. I find that keeps my nose interested and the fragrance doesn’t send me nose blind.

I REALLY like Divine Vanille. It’s not incredibly ground breaking but it smells so good. Unisex, good longevity and moderate projection. It’s also very well priced, even bargain.

The question is, “Do I have enough vanilla perfumes?” Do you?
Portia x

Cowra Weekend, 50th Birthday Gig, NRL Grand Final

Cowra Weekend, 50th Birthday Gig, NRL Grand Final

Heya Crew, BIG weekend. Huge. Did some stuff, wore some perfume, had a ball.

Cowra Weekend, 50th Birthday Gig, NRL Grand Final

Jin and I went on a mini adventure about 4 hours west of Sydney. We drove out on Friday in a leisurely way. Left at 9.30am, stopped for lunch at a lovely cafe where they home made their pies and a couple of other places, then got out to Cowra at about 3pm. Checked into the motel the guys had booked for us and waited for them to get back from picking arrivals up from the airport. Some of the guests were arriving by their private planes, including an ex fighter jet, and they were giving joy flights. Heaven. Yes, it was that kind of party. Heads of industry, politicians, LGBTQI+, family and locals all meshed together for a weekend of celebrating my warm acquaintance’s 50th birthday. I was the MC and entertainment, with the publican’s children (OMG! They were amazing and sang Journey We Built This City like angels). If you put everyone in country casual, add copious amounts of Moet and an open bar, a buffet dinner and one of Sydney’s most sought after DJs (Victoria Anthony), you start to get a picture of the happy bedlam.

Here I am in full flight, miming like crazy. No idea who took the photo.

Having slept soundly and with Saturday to ourselves before the party we decided to explore. Cowra was unexpectedly lovely and full of history. They had a POW camp in WWII. Italians and Japanese were the bulk of the internees. While the Italians were very happy in the compound it was overcrowded. The Japanese staged a huge breakout and many were killed. It’s an eerie set of ruins now but in the most gorgeous scenery of softly rolling hills and agriculture. Cowra has planted a Japanese Garden in the dead POW soldiers honour and every one of them has a blossom tree with plaque. Luckily we were there just as the blossoms were still hanging on, a week later and they’d be done.

There is also a perfectly maintained non working train station and some very famous old houses.

Again I’ve dropped the ball on photos (SORRY Undina) but here are a few.

Weirdest thing. The ducklings were obsessed with Jin and came up to him everywhere. They even followed him across the pond. I saw no one else have this unbelievable connection with them. I get it, he’s freaking adorable but it was spooky.

What perfumes did I take?

Divine EdP because it’s so rich and glamorous. The end game of aldehydic florals. CHANEL No 5 started the ball rolling and I think this is the best of breed. It’s also an excellent power perfume that works as armour and centre. If you haven’t tried it and aldehydic florals are your jam go do.

Cacharel Amor Amor is a lovely sweet fruity floral that has a soft amber base. The original that spawned a slew of flankers. The top notes list reads nothing like what I smell which is berry lollies. Add some light white flowers and a laundry musk vanilla. It’s simple but so jaunty and wearable. Perfect spring fare that works all year. My original bottle was a gift from one of our besties Anna Maria. Every time I wear it it’s as if she were with me.

Jin brought his vintage CHANEL Antaeus and smelled divine.

Sunday morning after the party we jumped in the car about midnight. Jin had to be back in Sydney by 9.30am to meet his BFF Matt. They’d won the NRL (Nat. Rugby League) Grand Final Experience. This included walking the ground, the dressing rooms and bleachers. They were able to meet and talk to two ex players who’d played in Championship Winning Teams! Back home for a couple of hours sleep and then off to the Grand Final in Row 9 tickets. It was their dreams come true and when they got the news they’d won there were a few happy tears shed.

Sadly both the women and men teams they barrack for were defeated but they had been there.

It was a BIG weekend. We took all of our public holiday Monday off to recuperate.

Did you do anything, wear anything, spritz anything you’d like to share? Please chat with me in the comments (and each other). It’s the connection I crave with you all. That’s what makes blogging so special.
Portia xx