Baiser Volé EdP by Cartier

Baiser Volé EdP by Cartier

Hey there Crew. I’m so sorry this post is late and I have no excuse at all except my organisational skills have taken a beating over the summer break here in Sydney. It’s finally got really hot here and we are also getting some very humid days. Sticky heat is nice but I’m glad it’s not always like this.

Jin and I are back at the gym and swimming and doing aquarobics. It’s so nice to have the venues back open again and both of us have some weighty covid kilos that need to get gone ASAP. In the heat of summer being immersed in water is my ultimate relaxation, even when logging the laps or panting my way through an aquarobics class.

JEFFREY SMART book

This week a couple of mates and I went down to the Nations Capital, Canberra, to see the Jeffrey Smart exhibition at our National Gallery. We arrived 30 minutes early and a snaffled one of the volunteer guides and she took us on a whirlwind of some important pieces in the galleries main collection. It was a very interesting capsule look at their important works. Then for the Jeffrey Smart I asked if there were Guided Tours and the boy on the door said, “Look for the badge that says “Ask Me About Jeffrey Smart.” OK, so I saw a couple of those badges on women chatting to each other and asked if they could take us around and explain. WOW! One woman, Jenny, was so excited. We went right to the beginning of the exhibition and for the next hour she transfixed us. So much information, we really got a deep dive into Jeffrey Smart, his use of colour, space, lack of story. We watched as his paintings evolved and progressed through the years. From his first watercolour self portrait at 19 to his very last oil painting, just before he died. I loved him before but now I’m in awe. (Above picture is the book of the exhibition.)

Baiser Volé EdP by Cartier 2011

Baiser Volé

The last few days I’ve been wearing Baiser Volé because it’s soft, dewy lily on open is refreshing and bright. I love the way it warms on my skin over the next 30 minutes and becomes a warmer, resinous lily. It starts to smell like a Georgia O’Keefe painting. Interesting, abstract, light and dark pushing against each other. It’s a quiet explosion of the dream of lily. Perfect for summer but also surprisingly good in the cooler months. Mathilde Laurent has such a way with fragrance, Cartier is lucky and clever to have her.

See you next fortnight.

 

Do you wear a lily soliflor, or any fragrance with lily as a note?
Portia xx

I by Costume National

I by Costume National

Hi All, I by Costume National is not one of my new perfumes. It was given to me by the Australian Libertine Parfumerie crew as a Press Bottle a couple of years ago. Right now I’m thinking it’s particularly good for you Northern Hemisphere crew because it’s the type of cozy that will be perfect for your winter. TBH our summer has been so wet and cold this year I’m still wearing it. I know it’s the least important thing about a perfume but every time I wear this someone says I smell amazing or asks what it is. 

I by Costume National

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Saffron Thyme Bergamot
Heart: Labdanum Lavender Geranium
Base: Leather Ambroxan Cedar

Most amber rich fragrances are pretty interchangeable, especially if you aren’t a full on, head in a box of perfume constituents type.  Ambroxan is so ubiquitous these days too. So when I first heard Costume National had released another amber it didn’t tweak my interest at all. I even may have rolled my eyes in the seasonal masterclass with my mate Ainslie. Then the host spritzed some mouillettes and the world tipped slightly sideways. WOW!

A very different herbal opening, not particularly textured or tapestried but very different. i catches me off guard every time. Even though I’m expecting it. Also, the fragrance is quite animalic but not in a feral way. A clean, cared for pet kinda way. There’s a smoky, mass market corn chips accord and all these side hustles float over and through a rich vein of amber.

I doesn’t stay still but is in constant fragrant motion for the first hour out so till it calms. Then it’s ambrosian/labdanum/smoky woods till dry down fade. It”s not a BIG perfume but has excellent sillage and projection, right till the very end. Perfectly unisex and smells so good to me and many of the people around me.

Are you an amber lover? Favourites?
Portia xx

 

Cheap Shit Portia Loved 2021

Cheap Shit Portia Loved 2021

Hey Crew. This year I used a few new bargain basement things from the fragrance arena. There were some heavily discounted or generally bargain basement shower gels, perfumes and soaps. There’s something incredibly satisfying for me when I find a super good deal, or a product that performs far past its price category. Hopefully this list will give you some inspiration too. We all love to feel and smell luxurious for less (as well as for shitloads more).

Most of my “Cheap Shit” frags are coming from FragranceNet. No, I’m not affiliated but the prices are excellent and they send to the world.

Cheap Shit Portia Loved 2021

Perfumes

Cabochard EdT by Parfums Gres

Recently revamped and getting loads of wear here lately. This modern take on the leather chypre is so wearable and the new bottle is definitely dresser worthy.

Diamonds & Emeralds by Elizabeth Taylor

How did it take me so long to find this crazy fruity big white floral with a little skank hiding in the background. It’s so wearable and fun.

Issey Miyake pour homme Intense

I know many of you don’t like the aquatic fragrances but I love a salty aquatic so much. Here it has a slightly amber base but what I really love is that shimmering citrus heavy salty water.

Lalique EdT for her

I wore thois beauty for a whole week this year as a test. Though I thought I’d never want to see it again it has become a mainstay in the collection. A very classy spiced fruity floral with vanilla down the back.

Stash Unspoken by Sarah Jessica Parker

I thought this beauty had been DCd but lately it has started popping up again in our chain chemist stores for very little money. zingy fruity up top and some lovely warm tonka and woods later. It isn’t groundbreaking or eye rollingly gorgeous but it does smell good and is definitely in the cheap shit pile.

Wish by Chopard

One of my besties Scotty gave me my bottle of Wish and I thought it was going to be hate at first sniff. NOPE! Unbelievably more-ish. Sweet, honeyed caramel drizzled lavishly over some fruit and vanilla heavy amber. The bottle makes it even more fun.

Soap & Body Wash

Can Can by Paris Hilton

Yes, shoot me now. I ordered my bottle of Can Can to add to a teens birthday present but the label on the bottle was askew and pulled off a bit. So I kept it and started using it daily to get it out of my sight. Sure, it’s not the most gorgeous scent on earth and no one will mistake its for a luxury item but it cleans my body and makes sensation bubbles in the bath. Sweet fruity floral nothings.

Florentino Soap Lilly Of The Valley

Another gift from Scott, this came in a three pack but two of the bars are currently in use in the house. If you like Muguet and are after a set that looks like it cost malt bank yet goes for well under $10 then this is the pack for you. I love this soap so much that I was looking to get myself more and could not believe the price. Even the packaging seems expensive.

LUSH Rose Jam

Yes, EVERY year I add this to the list. It’s not SUPER cheap but it’s affordable and comes in multiple sizes. I’ve never smelled such an intoxicating jammy rose in a shower gel/bubble bath. Every time I swoon. So perfect, iit lathers beautifully and leaves my skim softly fragrant for hours. A perfect underlay for any rose scent.

Mysore Sandal, Jasmine and Rose Bath Soaps

OK, full disclosure. I adore the original Sandal Soap. This year for the first time I saw this set and bought a few to gift. EVERTY person that has received them is astounded by their beauty. Even some real dyed in the wool perfumistas. Next time I’m in the Indian Grocery I’m going to order 20 packs. Not super Cooper cheap but for the incredible feedback I’m getting it’s bargain for buck.

Reem Acra Shower Gel

You probably know the fragrance is DCd. So I’m buying these beautiful white floral shower gel & lotion in 75ml for well under $5 each. A perfect little extra for any gift pack and they are the best for travelling. The scent is magic in the bathroom but unless you lotion yourself the shower gel is only the faintest after leaving the bathroom. 20 minutes later it’s gone. Ready for whatever perfume you choose for the day.

Winnie The Pooh Shower Gel

HONEY! A shower gel with honey. Yes, I know it’s designed for kids but it’s bloody fabulous. I bought a truckload of these for nearly nothing and they are going like hotcakes to friends. HONEY! They come in the shape of a honey pot and are so bloody cute. Sure, the kids will love them but YOU will too. Promise.

 

Not a complete list but there are some bargains beauties from the cheap shit piles that I’ve worn, used and bubbled away in in 2021. Do you have some good ones to add to the list?
Portia xx

 

Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors

Hi there Crew. Way back in 2012 Imaginary Authors brought out an original offering of 7 perfumes. It was overwhelming at the time and I kind of ignored them until a friend was wearing Bull’s Blood one day and I became instantly enamoured of the sillage, asking what that deliciously toxic monstrosity was. It was spellbinding. This was January 2013, I instantly bought a sample set from the Imaginary Authors site (GOSH! The set was only US$38 delivered to Australia). I remember sniffing them and writing about a few. Azar, Poodle and Ainslie seemed to write about them the most on APJ in the next few years with a lot of love so I left the brand pretty much to them.

 

I have written about Cape Heartache before but recently I was sent a GWP sample in an order from one of Australia’s big niche retailers LKNU. When I tried it on it sparked such a good feeling for me that I thought I might give it another outing in print.

Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors 2013

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Fir, Big Strawberry, Pine Tree, Woody Notes, Vanilla, Hemlock

Strawberry ice cream topping and a woody back beat. the two are so decidedly incongruous that it makes me smell and smell my wrist. It’s like one of those lenticular pictures that flash between two images depending on the light. Here I have sharp, dark woodland this unbelievably luscious lolly version of strawberries vying for my brain space. It’s enthralling. Hovering on the brink of falling into a huge vat of both but choosing neither.

That hemlock adds a green bitterness through the heart, it comes and goes. Like biting a tree branch after pulling off the bark, that vegetal bitterness.

I’m thinking the vanilla is what gives the strawberry its cartoonishly confectionary flavour, interesting how well that accord stays present during the life of Cape Heartache.

You know, I’ve had trouble trying to think of a person who would wear this as their stable go to fragrance. It’s a very weird gourmand, definitely jumping out of the box. A interesting ride, when I smell it it makes me so happy perfumers are selling such boundary pushing perfume. I feel like it should be ion a Must Try List of weird assed perfume that will blow your olfactory mind.

Portia x

 

 

 

Tabu Bath and Shower Gel

Hey Crew, yes, we are going to talk about one of my all time favourite cheap thrills. I bloody love it and when FragranceNet has it for under US$4 with coupon and I’m already buying something fro them. You can bet your ass that I’m getting a few of these beauties too. You’ll all remember Tabu the perfume? Right. Almost all of us had a teacher, neighbour, Aunt, Mum or someone one close that would smother you in Tabu hugs whenever they saw you. Well, I had a few. It was the scent of soft flesh, strong arms and loving kisses for me. I had no idea it was cheap and it always smelled fabulously textural to me. Now one of my regular Trivia players for over a decade who has now become a friend wears it so beautifully. I go in and snuggle her till she squeaks. Breathing in great gouts of gorgeous Tabu.

Tabu Bath & Shower Gel

Originally from 1932 Tabu is a great example of the perfumed kitchen sinker. It still is but quite a lot of the original notes have been eschewed in modern times or are simply not available anymore. So we have what’s left, buoyed with created molecules to give a modern smell of a fabulous antique. It’s not exactly the same but it’s still extremely good value if you love a spicy amber floral (Yep, I sure do). Sadly, on me the modern perfume is quite overwhelming and after about an hour or seven I just want to smell like something else.

Enter the Tabu Bath & Shower Gel. Really just the main notes: spices, cloves, amber, and hints of others. It’s a perfect base layer for anything vanilla, amber, spicy, resinous or even incense. It bubbles so richly and fragrantly in the bath and leaves my skin with the softest breath of Tabu dry down. The perfect amount of Tabu for me. Also, it’s basically FREE so I don’t sweat using it.

Tabu Bath & Shower Gel is also the best stocking filler. It’s the perfect value add to the main present and I guarantee that they’ll love the fragrance. I’ve been known to take it as my travelling shower gel also. It smells 100x more luxurious than its cost would imply.

You’re welcome,
Portia xx

 

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Subscription Service

Hi there crew. Many of you are already familiar with Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and her DSH Perfumes. Did you know though that she now has the coolest HEIRLOOM ELIXIR Limited Editions :: Subscription Service? Yep. It’s fabulous. You can order 1, 3 or 6 sets that come with 3ml of the bi-monthly heirloom release and samples of other interesting DSH smellables. I want to tell you about my personal favourite from my subscription. Don’t get excited it’s now discontinued. There will be more fabulously amazing things coming in the future though, never fear.

Giardini Segreti arrived last year, I sniffed it, loved it and put it into the To Be Reviewed Immediately box. Where it sat for a year or more! DAMN IT!

Giardini Segreti, Heirloom Elixir Limited Edition by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

WHOA! Straight out of the gate a thick, rich, buried my head in a fully flowering bush of gardenia standing right next to a hedge of flowering jasmine and under a blooming tree of Murraya paniculata at about 9pm. Intoxicating and rich but not an overpowering circus show. Here we have all the fragrance but after the first minute it’s muted and floats effortlessly alongside and around you like a sheer white floral nimbus. As we hit the heart I’m tantalised by a thick, creamy butter and a very slightly feral honeyed sweetness. This stuff is seriously gorgeous.

Even two to three hours later I’m still getting lovely wafts of sensual white flowers and I think it might be sandalwood. So good.

Giardini Segreti or Secret Garden is devoted to those spring bursts of flowering and scented miracles abuzz with bees.

I particularly love that this OTT scent is not a room stinker. I am beautifully fragrant but it stays close. Giardini Segreti is just for me, and those I allow close.

I’m thinking this might be a terrific gift for any perfumista in your life. $27 for a set is very reasonable. What a fun surprise they’d get.

Portia xx

 

 

Paco Rabanne Vintage

Paco Rabanne Vintage

Hey there Crew! It’s 3am Monday morning and I just realised that tomorrow I need to have a post done for Undina’s Looking Glass. Normally I’m incredibly organised and have something, or somethings, written in advance. In a good month I can have EVERYTHING written for the month before the month starts, across all three blogs. The problem is that usually I’m really busy doing shows, running businesses, keeping house and seeing friends. This C19 lockdown has me unable to function on even the lowest level. All previous timetabling has blown out the door and I’m left disoriented and incredibly unmotivated to get ANYTHING much done except to fill my face and watch ALL THE TELEVISION.

What has happened though in the last couple of weeks is that I’ve started going through my perfume cupboards. Yes, I have, and I’ve been selling off some of the vintage impossible to find stuff that I hoarded. The Aussie perfumistas have been scoring some amazing pieces and I’ve been selling them at what I paid, or less if I’ve used them a bit. A couple of them I bought in auction frenzy and paid far too much for, these I sold at a loss. No, I’m not boo hooing about it. I’m selling the excess. A few things I wore once when they arrived and never looked at again because there are already HEAPS of that exact thing here to get through. Or selling things I bought and just will not ever wear because it’s far too precious to me. Sending it to the next home, one that will hopefully use it till it’s dry, is about sharing the perfume wealth.

Tonight I picked out another 11 to go on the chopping block tomorrow morning. There are four I’ll be selling as a set that I think are interesting for themselves so let’s have a squiz, eh? No, don’t get excited. We can ONLY send perfume to Australia and they are destroying international stuff now, not even sending it back. Also, by now they’re hopefully sold.

Paco Rabanne Vintage

This little collection of Paco Rabanne came from a few places. eBay in Hong Kong and USA, FaceBook from USA and one from an Aussie perfumista mate. I’ve had them for years and have worn them a very little bit. They need to go somewhere, be appreciated and used. I will be sad to seee them go but happy that they’ve gone. Know what I mean?

First we have Calandra EdT, which smells lovely but I think those top notes might have taken a bit of a beating.  Next to it is Calandra parfum! 15ml that came to me in its cellophane. It is unutterably divine. What a perfume. Crazy stuff. Aldehydic floral chypre taken space age. Funnily, I often take the box out, open it up, pull out the little plastic cork and just sniff the cork. It’s too special to wear but having a sniff is jaw dropping. I’m not sure about age but there’s no barcode so pre 1980.

Next up is Paco Rabanne Pour Homme. This 1973 fougere fragrance became the smell of middle class working men in Australia for a while. Sometimes I think I smell it on an older gent walking past me still. A manly chypre to me. That lovely mossy base. I think it still smells similar, if not the same as this exactly.

Last is Metal. An aldehydic floral chypre that reminds me of one of the Nina Ricci perfumes, can’t remember off hand. If I were asked to produce a fragrance today, this is exactly what I would ask my perfumer to recreate in modern terms. Galbanum, flowers and oakmoss done dry and quite sheer for the era. A young, jet set fragrance. So cool.

UPDATE: I didn’t make this sale doc yet. Realised I probably can’t part with them. They smell too good. I can’t replace them. They’re a set. GAH! I’m pathetic.

Did you wear any of these beauties?
Portia xx

Portia’s Favourite Notes

Portia’s Favourite Notes

Hi there crew, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what notes draw me to fragrance. The ones that seem to give me a particularly swoony head rush as well as nostrilgasms. Though there is very little in the perfumed world that I actively dislike there are some favourites. Especially when they are done well or treated in a new way that piques may interest. Some of them I keep buying even though there are already three, four or ten in the collection almost exactly the same. Yes, I know, TRAGIC! I can’t help it though. If I get a super swoony rush the chances are my credit card is out and burned before I can even get my thoughts together enough to say, “Sorry, I already have five almost exactly the same.” Please tell me some of you are just as impulsive and ridiculous..

Portia’s Favourite Notes (Today!)

Amber

I think amber is the best represented not in my collection. On it’s own I already find it sensational, don’t need to add a thing. The accord is so varied and almost every iteration of it has caught me in its snare. Give it a few extra bells & whistles and take my money. So much so that I’m having to get really tough with myself. Nowadays when I smell a new amber it has to be something extremely unusual or perfectly produced for me to go bananas. NO, that was a lie. I still go for it but then I have to rein myself in.
Favourites include L’Eau d’Ambre by L’Artisan, Ambre Ceruleen by Huitieme Art, Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire, Ambre 114 by Histories de Parfum, Mitzah by DIOR, Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens, Tiger’s Nest Memo Paris, Oriental Lounge by The Different Company, 24-09-11 by Hilde Soliani, Rima XI by Carner Barcelona, and Ambre Narguile by Hermès. I know I’m going to be pissed at how many I left off this list but seriously, it’s ridiculous how many bottles are here that are amber rich.

Narcissus

Narcissus crept up on me. While always loving it in the garden I didn’t really think about narcissus, or its place in perfumery, till I got hold of a decant of CB I Hate Perfume’s Narcissus Absolute. Suddenly I could tell when fragrances has a bit, or a lot. most of them keep it fairly well hidden as a back up singer, hiding among the bouquet. That’s a shame because the few that go all out are freaking stunning.
A couple I love are Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain (wearing it to write this!), Ostara by Penhaligon’s, Le Temps d’une Fête by Parfums de Nicolai, Infini by Caron, Narcisse by Chloé, and Volupté by Oscar de la Renta. There are so many others but these are the only bottles in my collection that I can think of.

Salt

Salt is a new love but one that I’m embracing. Actually, I think that’s not exactly true. I’ve long loved salt in fragrance but didn’t really know it until lately. It adds so much, like it does in food. Salt can be seaside, sweat, food, blood, driftwood, tears, skin, and so much more.
Gucci Bloom Acqua di Fiori, Couleur Vanille (large decant) and Batucada by L’Artisan, Eden-Roc by DIOR (large decant), Greg Lauren Barneys New York (still desperately searching for a bottle of this), Vanille Marine by M. Micallef, and though they never call themselves salted I always associate the L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme fragrances with sea water.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood seems to be ubiquitous. Indian Mysore, Australian, the replicants and something else grown I can’t remember. Having been introduced to it in Samsara while squirt bitching for Guerlain in the late 1980s, that hugely dramatic diva stole my heart and I bought it for Mum who wore it so well. Then in the early 2000s in India I was taken to a famous perfume wallah in Janpath Market in New Delhi. The sandalwood in the oils blew my mind. 
My most used. Samsara, Santal Royal and Mahora by Guerlain, Santal+++ by Miller et Bertaux, Santal Majuscule and Santal Blanc by Serge Lutens, Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creation (Yes, I know sandalwood is secondary but it’s definitely part of why it’s so beautiful), Santal Noir by Dior, Adam Levine for Women, Dama Koupa by Baruti, Babylon by Penhaligon’s (sample, WANT a bottle so badly!) and Santal Massoïa by Hermès.

Tropical Floral

OK, so I know this is a style. Yes, it’s not a note. There is something so alluring about this genre though and if it’s done even half way good I’m a sucker for it. As kids our family spent a lot of summer time on beach or island vacations, plus we had a pool.  So those creamy floral, vanilla, coconut, ozonics make my heart skip a beat and quite often my eyes roll back in my head.
Songes and Un Matin d’Orage by Annick Goutal, Un Jour d’Ete by Keiko Mecheri, Lys Soleia by Guerlain, Rahel by Neela Vermeire Creations, Dune and Grand Bal by Dior, l’esprit libre by Divine, Saskia and Queen of the Night by Grandiflora, Elle L’aime by Lolita Lempicka, Sun by Jin Sander and even on the borderline, Ysatis by Givenchy.

 

So there you have it. I have surprised myself. These were not the 5 notes I was expecting to write about when I first sat down. This article has been banging around me head for a long while. If I’d gone Top Ten then I think lavender, incense, vanilla, rose and aquatic would have been the next 5. GAH! Then I’ve left out things like cedar, patchouli, oud, jasmine, cardamom, basil, galbanum, oakmoss, aldehydes, geranium, leather, osmanthus, violet, pepper or tea.

So how about you tell me your 5 faves. Don’t worry, it’s only for today.
The ones that make you swoon and reach for the credit card every time.

Portia xx

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

Hiya ULG, L’Artisan are one of those houses that many perfumistas had as a gateway to the rest of the world of perfumery. L’Artisan Parfumeur was established in 1976 by Jean Laporte making luxurious ambergris scented balls. He stayed till 1982. Interestingly, two of the first years perfume releases (1978) are still available; L’Eau d’Ambre and Mure et Musc. Over the years they have been incredibly groundbreaking. The first blackberry, fig, mimosa and others. Several have gone on into fabled history like Iris Pallida, La Haie Fleurie du Hameau, L’Eau du Navigateur and who can forget the fragrance made for a NYC store that started its own brand; Aedes de Venustas. Through the 21st centuries early naughties and teens they were available at almost every large department store. They have the added bonus of being slightly weird but extremely wearable, perfect for the newly minted perfumista. I have a whole box dedicated to them in my collection but only a few get year round, reach for a lot, wear. I thought it might be nice if we had a look at these easy go-to scents from a brand that I hope will see a new lease of life under their current owners since 2015, Puig.

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

Honestly, I was quite surprised at which bottles were most empty. A couple that I really adore seem to hardly have been used at all. So I picked the bottles with the most air in them, that seemed fairest. One day I’ll do a favourites from the line post and the outcome will only have a couple of crossover perfumes.

lartisan-parfumeur-portias-most-worn

Al Oudh

You know when the L’Artisan hands touch anything it’s going to be a smooth and classy version of whatever it is. Add in that this is a Bertrand Duchaufour fragrance. Al Oudh was a 2009 entrant into the oudh race. Just before I found you all on the scentbloggosphere. So when I hit the blogs it was a big, talked up fragrance along with Vanille Absolument (a rerelease of Havana Vanille) and Côte d’Amour (their first stab at all natural). A sweet and spicy look at the oudh/saffron/rose/patchouli combo that stays sheer and elegant, even though it has a lovely dirty/medicinal hit of oudh.

Bois Farine

Jean Claude Ellena created this 2003 beauty. I bought my bottle second hand and already there was juice missing to the top of the title. Powder, woods, iris and I don’t know how there are not sugar and almonds in the mix. In deepest dry down ALL I can smell is those sweet, puffy, almond horseshoe biscuits. It’s uncanny. Clearly my nose smells stuff ay out of whack sometimes but I really don’t care. Part of what I love about this beauty is it’s gourmand hints as it dries down.

Caligna

This is my favourite fig from the L’Artisan line up, created by Dora Baghriche. I love its more aromatic and herbal take on fig. Still creamy but with so many more interesting bells and whistles. Sage, citrus leaves, pine and ambroxan make for a very modern look and yet they also make it seem thoroughly reminiscent of the mid 20th century mens cologne fragrances. It’s an interesting mix that really captures my nose but could fit any time or place and any gender. That’s probably why I wear it so much. Also, it’s less OTT than Premier Figuier.

L’Eau du Navigateur

This was released back in 1979 and had gone through some heavy reformulations before I bought my bottle mid 2010s. At the time I’d only read about it in reverent tones and never seen a bottle. One day at a sale I saw one bottle left, didn’t even ask if they had a tester, I just bought it then and there. So happy I did. A Jean Claude Ellena from his earlier, heavier, more note filled days. Here we have a wooden spice boat on the seas, filled with cargo, deck hands, briny winds and the million other smells of sailing. Just close your eyes and live in this cleaned up fantasy of travel in the spice trade.

Poivre Piquant

This foody trilogy was released in 2002. Piment Brûlant, Poivre Piquant and Saffron Troublant are odes to Bell peppers (chilli), Peppercorns and Saffron. Almost photo realistic recreations of the named foodstuff that open each perfume. Poivre Piquant is pepper but wears like a zingy mix of black and pink peppers, drizzled with honey and sweetened to a liquorice deliciousness by dry down. Pepper lollies! Can you even imagine? It sounds as weird and out there as a fragrance could be but mercifully it’s all done in the cool, smooth, low key Duchaufour/L’Artisan style.

Seville a l’Aube

This is my second bottle of Seville a l’Aube. The Perfume Lover book by my buddy Denyse Beaulieu changed the way I viewed perfume creation and I fell in love with her wild and wicked ways. Though the fragrance itself is not sensual I always feel infused with her free spirit and zest for adventure when I wear it. Oranges, smoky incense, white flowers and honey mix together in an overwhelmingly ripe fragrance that tells the story of a romantic adventure remembered and brought to life by Bertrand Duchaufour. What’s not to love?

Tea for Two

When Tea for Two was first DCd in 2013 the Perfume Posse crew organised a Bus Tour through LA to some of the major fragrance venues. I was SO BUMMED about missing out on a bottle and begged the crew at Beauty Habit to give me their tester. As we were leaving they ran after the bus, stopped it and gave me the tester. This unbelievable fragrance. Smoky, incense laden, rich milky chai tea. Olivia Giacobetti masterfully arranges a fragrance rest stop in an Indian backstreet where the chai wallah has your tea at the ready. It’s sweet, milky, spicy and has the slight smell of frizzing electrical junctions, incense smoke, dusty streets and humanity.

I have at least a dozen more bottles of L’Artisan in the cupboard. Some of them I love infinitely more than these few yet these are the ones I reach for most.

What are your Most Worn L’Artisans?
Portia xx

Amyris Femme and Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Amyris Femme and Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Hey there ULG, Here’s a bit of a story. Back in 2015 the gorgeous Tara from A Bottled Rose sent me a package. It must have arrived with a few other packages. Maybe I was about to go off on a holiday, moving house or extremely busy but these packages all got put in a box. On top of the packages were a few small sniffed sample packs and some papers. Over the six years the box has been in various places in my office and I never went through it, thinking they were only already sniffed sample sets. Slowly, through the last year I’ve been going through my boxes and finding lost treasures. This box is one of the last to be explored and what treasure! Tara sent me a big decant of Tart’s Knicker Drawer by 4160 Tuesdays and a pair of Amyris 5ml(?) manufacturers samples! WOW! So let’s meet this 2012 duo together, eh?

Amyris Femme and Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Amyris Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, Lemon blossom
Heart: Amyris, Iris
Base: Ambergris, Vetiver

I had a decant of this way back when. Gosh! Now I know why I loved it so much. Like a cologne style but with a lighter, more relaxed approach. The opening is like a breath of fresh air. Softly citrus white floral with green accents. So elegant and utterly unisex. Amyris Femme is a full blown version of those perfectly soft whisperings of the magnolia inspired perfumes. This smells like a perfume for someone who is unafraid to change the air around them and get attention.
Not a blockbuster by any stretch of the imagination, no reflection of those 1980/90s superscents, here we have a fully fragrant expression of refined and luxurious life. I know MFK is quite an expensive brand but Amyris femme smells expensive, thoughtfully produced and beautiful to me.

Amyris Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Virginia cedar, Brazilian tonka bean absolute, Saffron, Caribbean amyris, Florentine iris, Sicilian mandarin orange, Moroccan rosemary

So interesting! The opening for me is greenery and citrus with a resinous background. Very pretty, slightly sweet. I would never have picked it as being made for a masculine market. The underlay seems to be one of this ubiquitous modern woodsy bases but tricked up a little to give it more depth and breadth. There also seems to be a lightly salty aquatic note through the heart that is very interesting and really helps to make the fragrance shine. I am finding the whole fragrance a completely unexpected journey. The tonka keeps it sweet but not sugary or ice creamy. Considering this was created 10 years ago I’m surprised it smells so avant-garde.
Amyris Homme smells like a sweet woody L’Eau d’Issey flanker with luxe ingredients. I really like it.

Did you ever wear these Amyris perfumes?
Portia xx