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

L’Heure Folle X by Cartier. Full 180 Degree Turn

Hi there Crew, L’Heure Folle X by Cartier was originally a hard no for me. There was something in its make up that used to give me the heebee geebees. It may even have been March’s Perfume Posse review that sent me down the dark path of dislike. Anyway, her canned fruit analogy had me smelling ptomaine poisoning when I tried it too. Let’s skitch forward to the relatively near now. I was in at Cartier buying a bottle of another one of the L’Heure series and the lovely gent serving me said his favourite was X. Not remembering my previous distaste for it I gave myself a couple of decent blasts and walked out the door. Thinking what an absolute doll he’d been and loving this weird assed fragrance, which I now indelibly think of as his scent. So while doing some shopping a few months ago on FragranceNet I saw a tester bottle for under 1/3 of what a full presentation costs me here in Oz I jumped on it SO FAST! I just looked and they still have a few. SHH!

L’Heure Folle X by Cartier 2009

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Blueberry, Grenadine, Ivy, Red Currant, Black Currant, Boxwood, Violet, Pink Pepper

While this will not resonate with our Northern Hemisphere readers it’s currently 37C (98.6F) and incredibly humid here in Sydney. We’ve had a gloriously rainy summer so far and the sunshine is sucking the water out of the ground and it’s like walking through a fish tank.

That has me reaching for the cooling, sweet beauty of L’Heure Folle X. It’s funny, now that I love it my nose can’t even remember how much I hated it.

The opening is a chill fruity gelato. So sweet it’s sharp. Vibrant and fun but so beautifully blended. I can’t really taste the exact fruits but L’Heure Folle X has that crystalline effect of really good gelato. Cleansing and refreshing.

Through the heart the fruits are joined by greenery. It’s a broken twig and leaf scent. Very green. Do you ever trim your hedge with electric clippers? That scent, even with the very faint zing of metal. The fragrance maintains this stasis for the rest of it’s life till fade.

Unisex but leaning traditional modern femme. I think the ivy keeps the whole fragrance smack bang on for both sexes. Average longevity and not very large projection but it is noticeable.

Sound like something you’d wear?
Portia xx

 

 

 

Sambaka by Pierre Guillaume Paris

Sambaka by Pierre Guillaume Paris

Hi Crew, I have been pretty much out of work since Christmas due to C19 club staffing issues and the general low level of customers. One gig is still going each week, which is just enough to keep me afloat, plus Jin is still working and very generous. This is not to complain about my lot, which is so much better than many of my entertainment buddies. Just that there’s only a trickle of income. Back in November and December though it was going gangbusters. Thinking I could blow a couple of months income because we were definitely coming back first week of January was really bad planning. It did throw up some excellent buys, for really good prices on the FB Sale Docs here in Oz. One such item I blind bought (I know…. but PG and I seem to have very similar taste in fragrance) was Sambaka. The price was so good I’d PMd and bought it before real thoughts happened. I’m sure you know the deal. We’ve all done it.

Sambaka by Pierre Guillaume Paris 2020

Sambaka by Pierre Guillaume Paris

Fragrantica gives these featured notes:
Roasted Coffee Beans, Cardamom, Ginger, Coffee Tree, Brazilian Orange

Ooooh! The familiar super sweet zing of ethyl maltol from Angel by Mugler. This time the offset is coffee instead of patchouli, but I’m surprised patchouli isn’t one of the notes because I feel like I’m smelling it too. Imagine a coffee flavoured A*Men.

Have you ever eaten those candies? They’re chocolate on the inside and caramel on the outside but they always leave a slightly bitter, very more-ish coffee like aftertaste in my mouth. BAM! That’s what I’m smelling here. They’re Jin’s Mum’s favourite candy and he buys a HUGE box of them to send to South Korea every year. Basically costs more than the GDP of a small country but apparently they are SO MUCH yummier than the ones she can get there. HA! They both get huge amounts of bragging pleasure out of the transaction. Well worth it.

So, Sambaka is a child of the Mugler fragrance renaissance. Beautifully worked. Simple. Super sweet but slightly bitter. I’m sitting in ultra humid warm night air and something as full on as Angel/A*Men would probably give me nausea. This doesn’t. A smoother ride, less of an attack, as comfortable as such a fragrance can be.

Can we also please walkabout the beautiful colour of the bottle? WOW!

Sambaka by Pierre Guillaume Paris Jan 2022

Obviously, anyone can wear Sambaka. It’s got strong longevity and moderate projection. There is some story but it’s not profound. You’ll spritz and what you smell like 15 minutes later is it till fade.

I’ll be interested to see how much wear this gets.

Sound like you might like Sambaka?
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

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Gosh ULG Crew! That weekend went by in a flurry. It seemed I was running from Friday to Monday inclusive. It was Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

For the first time in my memory I didn’t take part. There were two rival Oz niche distributors doing 20% off and free shipping. There were SO MANY candle crews giving enormous discounts. Indie niche houses, department stores, multinational beauty/fragrance houses like L’Occitane, Kiehl’s, B&BW and many others. My email, socials and even my letterbox were overflowing with discounts, GWPs, add ons, extras and anything they could do to get me to shop. It was thoroughly overwhelming.

So I did what I do best when overloaded, ignored the problem and shut down to it completely.

Don’t get me wrong. There were PLENTY of things on my wish list and want lists. Some of them 20% off or even more with extra cashbacks etc. I even had some money (read credit card space) set aside for it. PLUS I’m working again and money is finally back in the accounts.

But no. 2021 Black Friday and Cyber Monday passed me by and I’m OK with that.

How about you all? Did you score? Make me seethe with FOMO. Did you ignore?

Fingers crossed you all grabbed something you wanted, needed, got at such a discount it became the perfect thing.
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