Afternoon Tea Sniff with Sonya

Afternoon Tea Sniff with Sonya

Howdy ULG-ers. Last month I was thinking about a friend of mine quite a lot. We hadn’t seen each other in real life for well over a year. So, I do what we do when the call comes, I got in touch. We set a date to get together. Originally she was coming out to our place but then the worlds went sideways and I had a plethora of things fit very tight around our get together and all of it in town or on the North Shore. Fortunately we were able to meet at her near city pad in Bondi Junction. For most of you this is just gibberish, I know, hopefully some of you have been to Sydney and this paints a picture.

This meet up happened two days before I tested Covid positive but fortunately no one got it that I saw. PHEW!

Also, you may remember Sonya as Chairman Meow on APJ.

Afternoon Tea Sniff with Sonya

Catching up was wonderful. There was SO MUCH news and new information. We chattered non stop and each topic led to another. Sonya had bought some home made cannoli from a woman with a cart in a nearby mall. I’m sorry New York City but your perfect cannolis have been surpassed, by a country mile.

We also had some sniffing to do. Sonya’s cabinet had some unopened vintage beauties that she wanted to share the moment with. As well as some vintage pick ups that neither of us had smelled. First though she wanted to share first sniff moments on the Les Indemodables sample pack.

There are some nice things in Les Indemodables. They are perfectly fine. I’m not sure if I’m jaded or if this line is too introverted for my taste but even the very interesting couple were a bit shy. Maybe I’m not their target market.

These vintages were Brand New In Cellophane. Lancôme Magie, Dioressence and Balenciaga Quadrille. We also had opened vintage bottles of Faberge Babe and Pucci Vivara. Some less vintage L’Artisan Vanille Absolumont to test against the Les Indemodables Orient and Parle Moi de Parfum Milky Musk 39 for no reason but to try.

The modern perfumes were so nothing by comparison to the oldies. These perfumes have character, feel inspired and richer in texture. Why have we even bothered to make new perfumes?

Catch up, cannoli and vintage perfume opening ceremonies! What a perfect couple of hours. Sonya walked me to the station, big hugs, obligatory selfie and I was off towards my next adventure.

We have another date booked this weekend with a crew. Happy days.

Do you ever get together with perfume peeps?
Portia xx

 

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

Hey ULG Crew, Miller et Bertaux are a couple of art dudes who ventured into fragrance 2006 with a strange set of three scents. #1 (For You) Parfum Trouvé, #2 Spiritus / Land and #3 Green, Green, Green and… Green. Originally intended as a mix and match trio, same base with different top & heart to be worn separately or together. I’m not sure how prevalent layering was at the time because up to that point all my information about perfume was coming from magazines and SAs. The scentbloggosphere and the online life of perfumistas didn’t come till a couple of years after here.

Anyway, at some point I came across the brand and was instantly smitten. My first purchase was around 2012 A Quiet Morning (2008) and it still makes my heart beat faster. Now I think there are 10 or more of their fragrances in my collection but three get more wear than any others. They stay out on my wardrobe perfume grab tray perennially and often get the spritz. Having worn two of them this week I thought maybe we could chat about them.

Hopefully some of you know the brand and can tell me your faves, likes, hates in the comments. Chatting with you all makes me happy.

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

A Quiet Morning (2008)

Dry and scratchy spiced saffron and woods. It’s supposed to have rice in it too but I can’t smell it at all. This is about as zen as a fragrance can get while still being a rocking great beauty.

Indian Study/ Santal +++ (2017)

A dry sandalwood, bone dry. Yet it still manages to feel creamy. Yeah, I don’t know how they do it either. It also has some of the harshness on open that I attribute to the Australian Sandalwood.

Pimiento +++ (2020)

You’re dreaming. In that dream you are cutting chillies and bell peppers. The juice is all over your fingers. When you lift your hand to your face in your dream, this is the fantasy your mind smells.

 

So, do you have any, or have you smelled some, of the Miller et Bertaux line?

Portia xx

CHANEL Les Eaux De Chanel

CHANEL Les Eaux De Chanel

Hiya ULG crew, Time got away from me this week. I had even gone and purchased the newest Eaux, Paris – Paris, so we could chat about it. Yesterday got hijacked by Jin though and a whole bunch of stuff didn’t get done. This is not a complaint. Jin did overnight overtime both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. That’s two EXTRA 12 hour shifts for the week. Basically he worked 7 days straight. He got an ADO on Monday, yesterday. So though we had seen glimpses of each other over the weekend it wasn’t real time. Given yesterday we took it and did stuff together. We went to the Dr, had some bloodwork done, checked a problem and fixed it temporarily at the new investment apartment, did some shopping, cut up a slew of veggies and cooked pork and then sat companionably together producing and eating Vietnamese Rolls while watching TV. Then when he hit the hay I wrote my TRIVIA Q&A for the week and after finishing was completely bushed.

Though all this happened yesterday. It meant today I had to do the apartment cleaning and other stuff usually done on a Monday. Fortunately it’s raining so hard laundry is out of the question. Hopefully there will be some sunshine later in the week for that.

Here we are. I’m not going to lie. There’s a window of about 20 minutes before i have to start putting my make up on for work tonight. Instead of writing about Paris – Paris today I offer you this picture.

Are you wearing Les Eaux De Chanel if you are in the Northern Hemisphere? Did you even try them?

My take is that the bottles are gorgeous, the fragrances beautiful (if fleeting) and the whole concept is kept extremely affordable for a luxury/aspirational brand. It’s still not cheap but coming from CHANEL I was pleasantly surprised at the price point.

Have Les Eaux De Chanel made their way into your heart or collection?
Portia xx

Bouquet de Hongrie BDK Parfums

Bouquet de Hongrie BDK Parfums

Hey ULGers, BDK Parfums are a brand I look out for. They have quite a few lovely perfumes. They’re mostly safe, elegant remixes of things you’ve smelt before but with a little twist. Perfect if you like to be scented but for it to be something quiet and restrained. Their Creme de Cuir is one of my favourite under the radar leathers, there is something totally luxurious about wearing a fragrance that is just for you, and those you allow very close.

Bouquet de Hongrie by BDK Parfums

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Yop: Pear, Strawberry, Cassis
Heart: Turkish Rose, Jasmine Sambac, Lorenox
Base: Musk, Amber, Cedar

From the note list I had expectations. Which you’d think after smelling perfume for decades I’d have grown out of. In my head it was going to smell quite like a sister to SJP Stash Unspoken or Burberry Britt for her. It doesn’t.

What it does smell like to me is peony petals and cherry blossom. Real peony and the perfumers shorthand for cherry blossom. It’s ridiculously pretty and delightful. Imagine one of the L’Occitane shower gels done with refined ingredients and you’re pretty much there. Actually, having worn Bouquet de Hongrie for a week in Bali, and read your comments on Sakura two weeks ago, I now know exactly what it smells like. It smells like a posh version of those Victoria’s Secret body mists you can buy for a couple of $$.

Bouquet de Hongrie BDK Parfums

If you’re after something sophisticated then you’ll be bitterly disappointed.

Thing is, I like it. It’s so femme leaning and feels like I should be wearing a short, ruffled, lacy frock in a strong pastel colour somewhere between peach and strawberry. The incongruity of me, a 53 year old hefty chunk of silver daddy, wearing it makes me smile like I’m being deliberately subversive. Musette wrote a short while ago about this very thing on Perfume Posse and I’ve been embracing it. Sorry I can’t find the piece because her musings ramble about, throwing up oodles of bits and pieces.

Projection and longevity are moderate to low, it softens considerably after about 30 minutes to a quiet jammy peony/cherry wash. It could be your fabric softener if you spent some big $$$$ on it.

What I REALLY like is that BDK makes these strong, beautiful 10ml Travel Sprays. There are 2 three packs and some singles available here in OZ but I bet there’s oodles more choice elsewhere. You can see my Bouquet de Hongrie is already over 2/3 spritzed.

Does Bouquet de Hongrie sound like a scent you’d wear?
Portia xx

Sakura by DIOR

Sakura by DIOR

Hi there crew. we are having a moment of remarkably spring-like weather. When I say remarkable I mean EVERYONE is saying it feels like spring. In almost every conversation. As banal and boring as that sounds, it does. We have had such a weird, wet, cool summer that finding ourselves in autumn and having these glorious sunshiny days, not too hot, is blissful.

On top of that my courtesy aunt, Aunty Tracey, is in town for a week and we are out day & night on adventures. We’ve been shopping, visiting, visiting the graves of our dead, lunching and generally hanging out in the daytimes. Every trivia she has come and Jin has accompanied. It’s been wonderful. Writing this on Thursday and I’m BUSHED! We only have a few more days but both Jin & I are definitely going to need a rest.

Sakura by DIOR

Sakura by DIOR

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Green Notes
Heart: Japanese Cherry Blossom, Rose, Jasmine, Hedione
Base: Mimosa, Violet, White Musk

Sakura is astringently sweet and green on open, like cherry, alcohol, and citrus pith. Soon it gets a soft fluffy feeling like to cool, softness of rubbing cherry blossom petals against your cheek. It smells like that feeling. As if it was in the cool late winter morning sunshine.

The heart is mimosa, cherry(isa) and something I can not put a name to. Like what I think the fur of a bee might smell like. Animal, honey, floral and something else.

As we head to dry down clean musks lead the charge to fade.

Sakura is lovely and I really like to wear it. It doesn’t smell like an expensive perfume though. It smells like a cheapy. Maybe I’m missing something here. If you’re a big fan could you explain please?

Low key, pretty, smells nice, lasts OK. Perfect for the young, people who want a fragrance but need it to be under the radar. Also good for those that like functional fragrance but don’t like perfume perfume. A perfectly poised sweet nothing that whispers spring.

Are you doing soft fruity florals like Sakura this Spring?
Porttia xx

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Hey ULG Crew, We created a personal long weekend with our mates Anna Maria and Johnny. Friday 7.25am flight to Launceston and Monday arrive around midday back in Sydney. We bought the flights for almost nothing months ago. It was our first time travelling as a foursome and only I had travelled with everyone before. I picked an old favourite hotel, The Grand Chancellor. It’s one of those 1990s built hotels with spacious rooms and lobby. Each room has two Queen sized beds and each couple had a room. The breakfast buffet is good and generous, without being brilliant, and we all had an excellent feed to start our days. Originally I had booked a small SUV but they gave us an upgrade to an enormous Nissan Outlander, it was like travelling in a lounge room.

Anna Maria and Johnny’s daughter Domenica was on the Australian MAFS 2022 series. They were interviewed a few times on the show and have become quite famous in their own right. They were recognised and had their pictures taken

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Our days were designed by meals. We all got to pick different food adventures.
Day one for lunch Jin wanted pies, a local sent us to Banjo’s Bakery and we went pie crazy. Delicious! Tasmania is famous for its Scallop Pies and all three of the others had one. After that Johnny wanted to get a shave by a barber so the rest of us went and had cocktails. Then we wandered the shopping district for a couple of hours, the stars getting papped left right and centre. Our hotel had $6 spirits for Happy Hour so we spent a leisurely hour or so drinking companionably. I’ll admit to getting a little tipsy. That night Johnny picked Kebabs for dinner. He’d seen a shop called King of Kebabs during the day and it stuck with him. It was such a strange choice but we sat instore and had the most wonderful Middle Eastern meals. We came back to the hotel, had a drink and watched the Australian Election unfold. Anna Maria, Jin and my team got up and won but Johnny’s crew were ushered out the door. He was devastated, we were quietly jubilant. OK, not so quietly. Yes, we are fully aware all politicians are lying pigs but at least the foundation of this new crew is Women, Climate and a Political Watch with teeth. They’ve been left a dogs breakfast financially and things will get austere here for at least a decade.

Day two we dropped into the Farmers Market across the road from the hotel. Again they were recognised and asked for photos, very bloody cool. I really wanted us to go out to the Lake District in the heart of Tasmania. I’d found The Great Lake Hotel and it sounded wonderful. Set right on one of the great lakes (much smaller than the US versions). This meant we also got to spend 1.5 hours in the car seeing Tasmanian scenery from urban, to farming and the hills and plateau. It was good. We had a table in the middle of the room, views of the lake and felt like we were in the action. Service was so friendly but slow as a wet week. Food was some of the best pub food I’ve had. Fortunately we had so much conversation and fun that the wait to be served and then for food to come sped by. On our way back we took a two hour detour to get the Best Vanilla Slice in the world from the bakery in Ross. It was well worth the drive. That slice was earth shatteringly delicious. Anna Maria chose Indian food for dinner. Neither Johnny nor she had ever had it. There was a restaurant called Pickled Evenings, #3 on Launceston Trip Advisor. We also had a couple of mates join us, Morag and Ward, so that lent an extra festive air to the evening. I kept the food choices very simple. Opened with Onion Bhajis and Potato Samosas. Mains were Veg Biryani, Butter Chicken, Beef Vindaloo (mild) and Goat Curry. It was a fine entree for them and only a little too spicy.

Day three we were up bright and early, busy day ahead. Today we were going to head north along the Tamar River. First stop was the Beaconsfield Mine, site of the 2006 cave in disaster and rescue. The Museum there is a wonderful memorial and there are some very eerie and saddening parts. Straight from there we went to Australia’s only Seahorse breeding centre and then next door to the Platypus and Echidna rescue. Both had excellent tours and we learned a lot. Lunch in a real, old fashioned riverside Fish & Chip restaurant chosen by Jin. Another thing Anna Maria and Johnny had never done was a wine tasting, so we found a popular Cellar Door nearby and the three of them had a wonderful hour while I watched and enjoyed it immensely. They were bloody hilarious and the hostess managed them brilliantly. Both couples have a case winging their way towards us as we speak. Being a Sunday night most of the restaurants were closed. We were going to introduce Anna Maria and Johnny to Vietnamese but the best close choice open was a very ra sha sha Chinese. Service, food, atmosphere and design were bloody wonderful. They were woefully understaffed due to C19 but still managed us, our food and the whole evening perfectly. We drank a couple of bottles of wine from our Cabbage Tree wine tasting that Jin had bought to celebrate our adventure.

Day four we had a leisurely breakfast and bumped out. The flight home had the best turbulence I’ve experienced in decades. It was a wild ride into Sydney and I loved every second. Poor Jin was a bit green by the time we got off though. Grabbed our bags, hugged everyone and holiday done. Jin and I spent the whole afternoon and night discussing what a perfect getaway and how much fun we had.

My Pics

Anna Maria’s Pics

Perfume

Wore Hermès Eau des Merveilles for the flight down. It’s salty, warm, mineral waft was perfectly understated and lasted till my nighttime change.

In the end I took these perfumes.
Atelier des Ors Rouge Saray: Wore this every evening on the trip. It was a perfect accompaniment to the dry chill night air. Spicy woods with a soft fruity sweetness, all mellowed by a vanilla patchouli. Beautiful. I thunked the decant, now desperately want a bottle.
BDK Bouquet de Hongrie: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque Rose de Mai: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’eau: Was supposed to bring this, thought it was stolen first morning by the cleaners. Thank goodness I didn’t kick up a fuss. It was here on my desk the whole time, hiding behind the Marveilles. BUMMER!
Guerlain Mademoiselle: When I first got this decant I was all meh. It has bloomed into a ridiculously beautiful marshmallow iris, so powdery and warm. I also get some roses in the heart that aren’t mentioned in the notes. Sadly it becomes a very soft wash in an hour and I can hardly smell it. Wore it on the last day and on the plane ride home. I won’t be buying another but absolutely loved it for this holiday.
Le Labo Neroli 31: First two days I wore so much of this and FINALLY thunked the decant. It’s nice but there are a million citrus type scents that smell better on me for much less money. It just does not live on my skin and I won’t be rebuying.

How ever did we fit so much into so little time? It was a really relaxing few days despite being jam packed and now I’m refreshed and ready for action.

Are you looking forward to a break? Has this given you some ideas? Where would you spend a few days nearby?
Portia xx

Fan di Fendi pour Homme

Hi there Looking Glass Crew, Fendi was one of my favourite brands way back in the heady days of my fashion course and short stint in the industry. They were doing extraordinary things with fur and leather. It was also the days of the beginning of the anti fur brigade. It took me a long time to realise exactly what they were against and join their legion. I did have a vintage black rabbit coat (not Fendi) in the 1990s that was given to me as I left for the UK, a hand me down from my friend Chelsea’s Mum. It got worn till it fell apart in my hands as I was putting it on. That was a very sad night, and I FROZE without it. So while I was browsing FragranceNet a while back and I saw a 7ml spritz Fan di Fendi pour Homme I pounced. Fendi no longer makes perfumes, the SA in our Sydney flagship store told me! So it might be my last chance to smell it.

I was also really happy with the tie in to Undina’s recent Travel Size Scent Semantics post.

Fan di Fendi pour Homme 2012

Fan di Fendi pour Homme

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Leather, Woody Notes, Cardamom, Pink Pepper, Citruses, Basil

Traditional male fragrance. Opens green herbal and woody with a pleasant lick of sweetness. Fan di Fendi pour Homme smells like something from the 1980s. It’s brawny masculinity is comfortable and a little sexy.

This is pretty much what the train suits used to smell of when I was at school. It was a lovely, cozy scent to greet me each morning. Over the top of the regular train smells and the few women in the carriage this woodsy, pine-is herbaceousness sailed over all.

Hardly any movement in the scent. It’s fairly linear after the first five minutes.

Fan di Fendi pour Homme

This is a happy, very masculine leaning fragrance but I really think women would smell better wearing it today. On a guy it would be nice, on a woman it would be surprising.

It’s quite large on open but not obnoxious. Longevity is extremely good. I can still smell wispy woodsy remnants over 24 hours later. The bottle looks like it would have been bloody gorgeous! I do love an inbuilt spritzer within the lid or body.

Do I wish I had a bottle? No. This mini will do me. It would be fun to wear it for a whole holiday and make that scent my memory of somewhere.

Do you like a traditional masculine?
Portia xx

Musette made me Jean Nate

Hey Crew, Do you ever read a blog post and suddenly your are pressing PayPal on your favourite online perfume store or discounter? Right, well not long ago over at Perfume Posse Musette waxed lyrical about Jean Nate. It’s always been her go to summer spritz after bathing but it had never been talked about so fulfillingly. Suddenly I had to know. So I bought a cheap 8oz after bath splash mist bottle off FragranceNet, seriously it cost about the price of a McDonalds burger. More recently Tom had a swoon over it too.

Jean Nate (now by Revlon) 1935

Musette made me Jean Nate

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon Bergamot Lavender
Heart: Geranium Spicy Notes Rose Jasmine Lily-of-the-Valley
Base: Musk Sandalwood Tonka Bean Virginia Cedar

So, after all this lead up, what does Jean Nate smell like?

A softly refreshing cologne. The spices and lavender give citrus a frosting of elegance. It’s nothing amazing or extraordinary but it is a pleasant, very short lived scent. I’m lucky to be able to smell it an hour later.

I’m not sure what note or accord it is but I get a definite smell of base humanity as an undercurrent. As if after showering you need to get those lived in, slightly feral aspects back onto your body ASAP.

As the northern hemisphere warms up it might be a good additive if your perfume wardrobe is without a bright, sparkling cologne. Much less zingy than 4711. Jean Nate is more sophisticated and deeper.

Have you tried Jean Nate or do you have memories of a wearer?
Portia xx

 

 

Tzora by Anat Fritz

Hi there Crew, You might remember a couple of years ago NarthScent wrote a post about green perfumes called A Magical Greenery Tour. She had confessed to not being a green lover and I sent 11 samples of fabulous greens to change her stance. Mission accomplished. One of the fragrances I sent is a very under the radar perfume called Tzora by Anat Fritz.

Tzora by Anat Fritz

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Cedar, Pepper, Vetiver, Clary Sage, Patchouli, Bergamot, Moss, Black Currant, Osmanthus, Musk, Magnolia, Jasmine

Vetiver, oily, green, fresh, crisp and dark surrounded by a bunch of other stuff and I have always thought this had a big dollop of lavender in it too. I can’t even think what notes have blended to give such a striking scent reference to it but there it is. Even when I know it’s not a major player I still smell it.

If I were going for analogy (and clearly I am) I’d be telling you it smells like leaving a cool, after rain forest and heading into a garden. Herbs on one side, flowers on the other. Tsora starts out quite wild and slowly relaxes into a lightly shaded, comfortable garden seat. You might have even rubbed some leaves with your legs and fingers. The garden smells alive and fecund.

Completely unisex but leaning slightly towards traditional modern menswear. Not manly though. No chest beating neanderthal would want to smell like this. Urbane and clever women and men. They like to stand out for quality, not for weirdness.

Way back in 2013 Azar did such a fun review of Tzora on APJ. Definitely worth a reread.

Did you ever fall for one of the Anat Fritz fragrances?
Portia xx

 

Scotch Lavender by Oriza L. Legrand

Scotch Lavender by Oriza L. Legrand

Hi there crew, Back in 2019 I got a bunch of samples with a big order from FIF. I gave them all a cursory sniff and wrote about a few in passing but then put the bag away and completely forgot about them. This is a constant theme in my life. part of having too much of just about everything because I’m a spoiled brat. Anyway, I rediscovered this bag of goodies while searching out something else and noted an Oriza L Legrand sticker on a paper envelope. Colour me excited already. These guys make perfume that sings for me.

Scotch Lavender by Oriza L. Legrand

Scotch Lavender Oriza L. Legrand

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender, Thyme, Bergamot
Heart: Lavender, Geranium, Vetiver
Base: Tonka Bean, Benzoin, Amber

LAVENDER, cool, smooth, refreshing and calming, lightly sugared and set among some greenery. It’s simple, herbal and balm for my soul. Not 1000 miles from my all time favourite lavender, Caron Pour Un Homme. Less confectionary after the first minute and much more dark greenery. There is also that fabulous oily, inkiness, lightly salted that is what a lot of vetivers smell like to me. Matched perfectly with the spicy sharp rosiness of geranium.

The heart begins mildly medicinal. I’ve not smelled lavender treated quite like it. It’s a bit like lavender and an Asian apothecary shop had a baby. Beautiful and nose intriguing. Through the long lasting heart I’m compelled to come back and sniff myself, checking if it’s still so unusual. The base stays true to the heart but warms through with emery resins till fade.

Last week I went to the season launch of one of Australia’s biggest distributors. We sniffed dozens of things. My eyebrows tend to jump at the excitement of smelling something new or impressive. Sadly, though everything was lovely, I was among friends, was really ready to be excited and feeling happy within myself; almost nothing even registered an eyebrow lift. It was just more of the same boring lazy muck. It was a little soul destroying. Sure, I’m jaded, yes I’ve sniffed a LOT of perfume. Still, I’m usually enthused by about a quarter of the new offerings. Yesterday only Penhaligon’s: Constantinople and Maison Crivelli: Hibiscus Mahajád excited me. So, to find this beauty among an old baggie of samples has renewed my faith in modern perfumery.

Lavender seems to have made a renaissance in the last few years. I’m loving the different directions we are smelling come through. Scotch Lavender feels like an old theme reviewed and renewed for the 21st century.

Perfectly unisex and both sillage and longevity are moderate plus. The early hour is quite diffusive and its unusual timbre give it that, “um… what?” value too.

I’m pretty sure Oriza L. Legrand still sends to the world. If you’re shopping try their soaps as well. SO GOOD!

Do you have a lavender?
Portia x