Aussie Niche Perfumers Christmas Gifting Guide

Hey Hey All You Fabulous Fumies,

We at APJ have always wanted to showcase new and old Aussie talent in the fragrance world. Here are a few of the wonderful crews that we have looked at this year that you can still order some excellent Christmas goodies and stocking stuffers from. As it is the time for giving, families and all that there are many of us who for a billion reasons are without family at a time of year where it seems fundamental. If you are someone in that boat, buy yourself a Christmas present from the list, even if you are not a devotee of the Christian creed. A new fragrance wrapped and carded to yourself on Christmas Day morning will give you a smile, maybe even a laugh. I have bought myself a couple this year, naughty I know.

Aussie Niche Perfumers Christmas Gifting Guide

homeshotPhoto Stolen EVP

Emerald Vintners Perfumes

These 2 boys Brendan and Samuel have stolen my heart with their new line. 3 masterfully created perfumes and I think there’ll be plenty more coming. EVP Australia sells itself as Small Batch Artisan Scents inspired by the Adelaide Hills and Wine Regions around the World. Baume, the powerhouse honeysuckle and blossom, is my favourite but I like them all and have finished my sample set and am contemplating a FB. The EVP site has an Inception Range 3 x 2ml Sample Set $20

AppleTea15mlEDT-320x320Photo Stolen EvocativePerfumes

Evocative Perfumes

Another Adelaide set up Mark has done some lovely work with unusual mixtures and breathtaking, magical fragrances. They are etherial, earthy and interesting. My picks for FB worthy are Apple tea, Imogen and Vanilla Tonique. I like the sizes too; 10ml Roll On, 15ml And 50ml Atomisers. A wonderful Sample Program means that you can try all 10 fragrances for $24

300Photo Stolen InnerEarth

Inner Earth: Luxury Handmade Soaps & Skincare

Photographed you’ll see my pick of the Inner Earth gear. Lemon Cheesecake Hand & Body Cream; Lemon combined with creamy vanilla and a hint of white musk. A smooth, creamy formula enriched with sweet almond oil and cocoa butter, to leave your skin feeling new again. 250ml only $19.50 but be quick the virtual shop closes 17-30 December, you have till MONDAY! They also do a spectacular range of oil based fragrances and handmade soaps.

OneSeed 5x5mlSampleSetPhoto Stolen OneSeed

One Seed

Liz Cook from One Seed (who have a no hurt the planet, 100% botanical, nothing synthetic credo) has created some sublime fragrances that you should try. Courage and Sweet Water are my two favourites but Frangipani, Hope and Slow Fire are excellent too. One Seed Site has this wonderful 5 x 5ml Sample Set for $70

fig & olive display 1Photo Stolen P&SCo

Perfume and Skincare Company

Sheila Massetti trained with the oldest fragrance house in France and has also worked with perfumers from Chanel, Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier. The houses signature fragrance is Fig & Olive but I find Ginger Milk, Gardenia and Pink Peony much more to my liking. One of the wonderful thiongs about the Perfume And Skincare Company’s fragrances is their higher than extrait ingredient inclusion, meaning way more strength, and their extremely reasonable pricing. The Deux Perfume sets with 10ml of Fig & Olive and another fragrance from the range for only $25 is my pick.

I know it’s hard to find something different, interesting, good value and surprising for the ones you love. It makes it especially hard when most people go and buy what they want when they want it. I hope these give you a selection of things that you may otherwise not have noticed. I love them all and have tried, tested, purchased and repurchased from each of these Aussie stores so you are safe.

Good luck with the rest of your shopping, even if it’s just for you.

Portia xx


Australian Perfumers Pack GIVEAWAY WINNER

Hey Everyone,

We had a lovely, if small, group of responses to this weeks challenge. All the people that did enter into the spirit of the competition did it with enthusiasm and a great sense of fun. I Thank You All. Some made me laugh hot soup into my nose. So what did you have to do and what could you win?

Your mission, had you chosen to accept it, was to give the OK GO guys in the Here It Goes Again video fragrances that you think would suit them.

Painted Desert Photo Stolen AustralianTraveller

THE PRIZE: A 15ml mixed set of Australian Artisan Perfumers, uber niche stuff from down under. Do yourselves a favour and go check their sites by clicking on their names below.

Bud Parfums– 2ml Jezabel and 2ml Gamekeeper (Read APJ Gamekeeper Review and APJ Jezebel Review)
Emerald Vintners Parfums (EVP)– 2ml Baume (Read APJ Baume Review)
One Seed– 4ml Sweet Water (Read PerfumePosse Sweet Water Review)
Perfume & Skincare Company– 5ml Fig & Olive (Read APJ Fig & Olive Review)
P&H Anywhere In The World

Alice Springs Photo Stolen NothingLikeAustralia

THE RULES: Open to anyone from anywhere in the world but you must be a follower of AustralianPerfumeJunkies and yes you could start following to be included. Tweeting earned you an extra point (@OaPerfumeJunkie are having a SUPER SIZED GIVEAWAY!!) Entries closed Saturday night 17 November 2012 at 10pm EADST. All names that fulfilled requirements were put on papers, folded and TSO Jin chose one. The winner has till Wednesday 21 November 9pm AEDST to get in touch with details or I will give the prize to someone else. All measurements are approximate.

And the

Photo Stolen sistersavealot


YAY! Congratulations! Email, DM Tweet or Message on Facebook your address details please buddy and I’ll send it off this week.

See you later today for our regular post.
Loads of love,
Portia xx

Here is an ad for Australia’s most famous rum. It’s fun.

Perfuming A Video and GIVEAWAY

Hey Hey Stink Junkies,

I have this great blog girlfriend in the USA who writes a blog called Sweet Mother about her amusing and often amazing life as a lesbian comedienne in love. She offers a raw and funny, sometimes inspirational and usually thought provoking blog almost every day. The other day she added this video that you may have seen; OK Go- Here It Goes Again. A rocking little tune that will definitely make your feet tap, head nod etc but the guys in the video and the video itself are hilarious and I thought we could fragrance them for fun.

Photo Stolen visualise

Pink Pants Guy: To my mind this guy is fearless and unrestrained (come on, Pink Skinny Jeans) and I think he’s probably pretty boundary pushing so I am giving him a choice between Annick Goutal Sables and Opium by YSL, both loud and fearless, and LOUD.
Purple Vest Guy: Looks a little more restrained and maybe even a bit old fashioned so I am giving him Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage but he’s a musician so the Fraicher Cuir flanker that I think is endearing because it is a soft, leathery and sexy masculine frag but so old fashioned.
Black Blazer Guy: This guy is the most regularly dressed, like he put his foot down saying, “No stupid, weirdo, freaky crap clothes for me thanks.” I’m thinking conservative but a rare memory find like Caron’s Royal Bain de Caron.
Pink Shirt, Check Vest Guy: This guy is a sex mad lothario, I don’t know why I think it but there you have it. He is probably sporting Kouros by YSL or Givenchy Gentlemen or maybe Rocobar by Hermes. Maybe this is the perfumista of the crew and he is wearing an Olympic Orchid or Aftelier?

Photo stolen LucyDavey

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give these guys fragrances that you think would suit them. Do so in the comments below. If one of you tickles me enough I may just have to send you a present. What about a 15ml mixed set of Australian artisan perfumers, uber niche stuff from down under. Do yourselves a favour and go check their sites by clicking on their names below.

Bud Parfums– 2ml Jezabel and 2ml Gamekeeper (Read APJ Gamekeeper Review and APJ Jezebel Review)
Emerald Vintners Parfums (EVP)– 2ml Baume (Read APJ Baume Review)
One Seed– 4ml Sweet Water (Read PerfumePosse Sweet Water Review)
Perfume & Skincare Company– 5ml Fig & Olive (Read APJ Fig & Olive Review)
P&H Anywhere In The World

THE RULES: Open to anyone from anywhere in the world but you must be a follower of AustralianPerfumeJunkies and yes you can start following to be included, please tell me how you follow so I can check eMail, RSS, WordPress etc. Tweeting will earn you an extra point (@OaPerfumeJunkie are having a SUPER SIZED GIVEAWAY!!) Entries close Saturday night 17 November 2012 at 10pm EADST. All names that fulfill requirements will be put on papers, folded and TSO Jin will choose one. The winner will be announced Sunday in a special post and will have till Wednesday 21 November 9pm AEDST to get in touch with details or I will give the prize to someone else. All measurements are approximate.

BTW Margeaux and I are LIVE Video Sniffing at the Perfume Posse today so go see the MADNESS!

So GO TO IT. Enjoy the video too.
Till tomorrow we wish you Health, Wealth and Happiness. If things are crazy or crap remember that we’ll all be dead in 100 years and most of this won’t matter,
Portia xxx

Baumé by Emerald Vintners Perfumes (EVP) Adelaide, Australia 2012

Hello all you Niche Nerds!

Today’s post goes especially to the people who love to find something new and exciting, are all about helping budding perfumers get started and also the people who want the so hot it’s sizzling but no one else has it, hard to find, niche-est, “OMG! Haven’t you heard?” snob value fragrances that also are FA>BU>LOUS! I have found a new crew hiding in the Adelaide Hills. They have sensibly begun their journey with only 3 fragrances and I would like to introduce you to my first.

Baumé by Emerald Vintners Perfumes

Edited from their site:
Brendan Carter and Samuel Eads met at University in 2010, studying a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology (Winemaking) courseat the University of Adelaide. Sitting in a classroom, receiving a lecture entitled ‘Sensory Studies of Wine’, it suddenly occurred to them that there may be another use for their growing knowledge. Learning more about the mechanisms of smell, how and why it works, they developed an idea. To release a line of fragrances, inspired by their experiences with wine and their true passion, the Adelaide Hills.
EVP hope to challenge an import dominated market by combating a severe lack of Australian brands. They want to tell their story, an Australian story. By espousing the belief of Emerald Vintners Parfums: ‘Crafted by Passion, Liquid Luxury’.

Photo Stolen EVP

Described by EVP as: A brisk morning stroll through the Adelaide Hills cherry farms as the low mist diffuses between the bare trunks. The sweet scent of honeysuckle in the air, an all-encompassing incense of innocence.

OMG! The opening 2 second blast is toilet spray.  Be warned! Give it 20 seconds before you huff. HaHaHa

What I notice here after the initial blast is a crisp honeysuckle, very green and fresh, there are some white flowers behind it giving an oomph but no skank at first. Without being a clean scent I am getting a lovely freshness, not as sharp as Chanel 19 but giving a nod to that restrained green femininity. This is a wilder, more extrovert fragrance and once the white flowers move into the spotlight they are vegetatively sensual, so green yet extremely alluring. You can tell these boys have been working with wines, there is a brisk sweetness that hints at a lovely dry white wine as it starts to warm in the glass at a BarBQ. I also detect a spicy rose note and a boronia hint coming through at the one hour mark over the top of the still very accessible honeysuckle? I don’t think I get any cherry but I will need to go eat some to remind myself of their fragrance.

Photo from the EVP Crew

Baumé by Emerald Vintners Perfumes is interesting and complex. It has a wonderful story, excellent sillage and for the first 3 hours projects very nicely before it softens down to a slightly warmer, soapy green fragrance that only your nearest and dearest will really smell. A little too fragrant for work but in all other situations Baumé would be acceptable. I think congratulations are in order for these 2 fearless and talented young men who are helping put Australia on the world perfume map.

Photo Stolen bridalguide

LaDonnaDelVino looks at the whole range if you’d like to read further

Baumé is available at the EmeraldVintnersPerfumes site $85 for 45ml
They also have an excellent Sample Program $20 for 2ml of all 3 EVP fragrances
From the boys: Currently we have a really good special already! If you purchase the samples set (19.99 + postage), you receive a code to reclaim the 19.99 back (excluding postage) off the price of a full bottle! If one decides to purchase a full bottle, the sample set comes free!

For those living outside Australia EVP has not yet properly organised their international export section yet. Hopefully it will be running before Christmas with enough time to order and receive.

I love finding new and interesting perfumers to bring to you. What is your favourite green fragrance?

These 2 lovely young guys are proving that you can do almost anything you set your mind to, that makes me happy.
Till tomorrow, loads of love,
Portia xx

Cuir Velours by Julien Rasquinet for Naomi Goodsir 2012

Hi Ho All,

Today I am beyond thrilled to be bringing you an Aussie, Naomi Goodsir, who till this point has been known as a milliner and handbagger who does the most extraordinary, hand worked Haute leather that is inventive, interesting, forward fashion. Left almost completely in the dark about this release because it happened at Fragranze 10, in Florence, Italy and I was here in Sydney, I saw a photo of the lovely and amusing deer art on their stand and had read a mini blurb on Basenotes and that was about it. My head said, “Another frag. company, I need to get through some of my samples before I order more.”

Then, something happened. Patty White from the Perfume Posse wrote asking if I’d heard of Naomi Goodsir. Nope! Not even a flicker of recognition in my frag addled brain. Apparently I had overlooked the Hot Ticket Launch of Fragranze, and she is an Aussie made good in the world to boot! Oh The SHAME!! Patty then charged me to find out more, get us some samples and let us experience the new crew everyone is raving about.

Cuir Velours by Julien Rasquinet for Naomi Goodsir

Fragrantica gives these featured accords all in one line:
Suede, tobacco, rum, labdanum, incense, immortelle

OH MY FECKING GODS!!! This smells and makes me feel like I have a billion dollars. As you may know I do love me a leather fragrance and Cuir Velour is so perfectly named, that is exactly what I’m experiencing. The soft luxurious smell of a favourite leather handbag, well worn and loved, and that plush soft gloriously lavish feeling of running your hands over German cotton velour. It is whisper soft, like maribou, and sits so close to the skin that it could be you, the only note that really makes its presence known on my skin as a stand out separate entity, other that the soft plush suede-ish leather, is the immortelle which makes me smell like my skin is this amazing, sexy and sensual fragrance already and I’m wearing a very soft immortelle fragrance. An unusual and interesting idea that I will definitely be telling my friends to wear for initial OMG we are going to have sex dates. This is a scent that would keep me coming back just to smell it again and again and again, to work out if they really smelled this incredible.

Cuir Velours Naomi Goodsir for women and men Photo Stolen Fragrantica

This is a skin scent, it is so soft that you could wear it in any situation even the closest and most fragrance phobic work environments. The people that you let within your most intimate radius will be the only ones to know you smell this divine, everyone else will be oblivious but will all want to get super close because even though they don’t consciously notice your scent you will smell so Ah May Zing and they will all think it’s just you. Another great thing about Cuir Velour is that it seems to work with your scent, enhancing the good stuff, and smells quite different on TSO Jin and I.

This was Naomi Goodsir’s slightly edited response to my email telling her how much I loved Cuir Velours and asking where interested parties can purchase, I am so chuffed she took the time to write back:
Dear Portia,
Great to hear that you like Cuir Velours. It’s a soft suederal oriental leather, that I find a little ‘gourmand’ …. I really enjoy the fleur d’immortelle (absolu) dry down.
The perfume should be available at PEONY MELBOURNE  hopefully by the end of next week. For now that is the only boutique we have in Australia. We are currently working on a website where you can buy on-line and the perfume will be available soon in the USA (on-line as well).
Kindest regards,

I just love it when an Aussie takes it to the world. Hopefully Patty will be able to get Cuir Velours at SurrenderToChance too, then we’ll all be able to get a nice big decant.

Thanks for dropping by, we are so grateful that you do. Is there anything brand spanking new that we should try here at APJ? Leave us a note in the comments and we’ll hunt it down.
Till tomorrow be good to you and those in your orbit.
Portia xx

All Photos Stolen Naomi Goodsir’s Blog unless otherwise marked

Slow Fire EdP by Liz Cook for One Seed 2012

Hi All You Niche Nerds,

Here is an Australian crew that we have talked about before when we Reviewed Hope EdP and EvieC interviewed perfumer Liz Cook (<<Jumps) and I loved their Courage so much that I have a FB nearing completion. So it was with a great thrill that I read Liz’s email recently telling me there was a new One Seed fragrance coming. WOO HOO! Sweet Fire is One Seed’s latest offering and is aptly named, or really Sweet Woods and Smoke would be even better but clunky. I’ll get to how it smells momentarily but first I’d like to share with you the One Seed philosophy:

Photo Stolen catopartners

we believe

We don’t want to be just another perfume company.
We want to be a seed for change.
We believe that the perfect beauty of nature need not be corrupted by synthetic interference.
And that beauty is defined by knowing who you are, and being able to see beauty around you.
So care more deeply. Share more of yourself. Live inspired. Make a difference.

we create
Our fragrances are always

  • 100% botanical, nothing synthetic
  • Organic-focused and GMO-free
  • Using recyclable and sustainable packaging
  • Superior quality eu de parfum
  • Handcrafted in small, artisan batches
  • Against animal cruelty
  • Australian-made

Whether or not you are interested in such things it’s awesome that a company has taken such a stand and some of the things they are doing like their lovely, simple, recyclable and sustainable packaging, their small artisan batches and being against animal cruelty speak to my own philosophy. The products are beautiful and extremely different to any fragrances you’ll buy in a Department Store, being deeper, broader, more luscious and intriguing. I find myself entranced when I wear them because the ride is so filled with turns and surprises, different every wear yet still wearable in company as a background to your own personality. I would be careful wearing it to Zero Perfume Tolerance workspaces though because you are definitively fragrant when wearing a One Seed masterpiece. I also like that they are not aiming to be anyone but who they are, forging their own path and asking you to believe that you can do the same.

Photo Stolen OneSeed

Notes from One Seed:
Top: Mandarin, Basil, Blood orange
Heart: Black pepper, Ronemary flower, Fenugreek, Cardamom
Base: Cedarwood, Australian sandalwood, Peru balsam, Vanilla

What do I smell when I wear Slow Fire by One Seed on my skin? I love the opening that is a warm citrus fruit freshly torn open with the smell of peel, pith, fruit, zest and I think the vanilla is already lurking around the edges along with the basil. Then it goes herbal but the woods and vanilla are so present it’s not a green but a warm and smoky heart. I expect this to be much more something that it is not and then can’t remember what I expected. With the fenugreek and cardamom I am ready for something a little twisted, shocking or dangerous but Slow Fire is none of these things. It is beautiful and lyrical and ever so slightly human; like a healthy body smells after a day at the beach. There is wood and smoke but not burning or smokey or in any way acrid maybe more like the fire in full blaze. I am wandering lost trying to explain something that is way too lovely to be defined by my puny vocabulary and universe knowledge. This is lovely and out of the ordinary, you will be thrilled you tried it and Slow fire is well within splurge budget.

Photo Stolen Etsy

One Seed site has a sterling sample program 5 x 5ml EdP $70 Slow Fire will be available there soon
Slow Fire EdP by One Seed available at their Etsy Store 50ml/$85
with other frags, candles and samples (8 x 1ml Etsy Sample Set $30 delivered to the WORLD!!)

Thanks for coming and meeting a new Aussie icon. I think One Seed is going to go the distance with their excellent fragrances and their philosophy. Proving to me that the mold is made to be broken, and sometimes should be to surge forward from stagnation. Congratulations Liz Cook, I sincerely love your work,
Have you tried One seed? Do you have a favourite Uber Niche Fragrance Company that I should try? Please share your thoughts in the comments. We love visitors.
See you tomorrow,
Portia xxx

Passerelle by Tommi Sooni 2012

Hey Hey All,

Today I am lucky enough to be bringing you Australian crew, Tommi Sooni, creatively directed by Steven Broadhurst. I follow their blog and when it dropped hints that Passerelle was available I nipped across to their site and ordered a couple of samples. I will be dipping into them to do the review and then they are going in this Thursdays draw! I am able to do this because Steven has offered a couple more samples at a later date as a Thank You for buying mine today. Isn’t that cool?

I have edited from the Tommi Sooni site here:
Passerelle is a distinctive perfume with links to classic French perfumery, an Australian perfume that reflects the unique floral notes of our native flora….Australian Spring floral bouquet of delicate native jasmine, tea tree, honeyed myrtle, boronia buds and the flowers of silver wattle (adopted by the French and known to the world as mimosa). From overseas; yellow rose, honeysuckle, wintersweet and golden trumpet, plus petigrain for the green stems.
The word Passerelle is French for bridge or catwalk, a name befitting a perfume that is both fashionable and a fragrant link between two cultures.

The fragrance goes on fresh and bright green with the Aussie flowers and petigrain contrasting and combining beautifully. Passerelle feels like real old school perfumery to me, the stuff you find in perfectly preserved vintage purchases. There is a definite womanly, human background and Steven informs me there is a civet accord hiding here. The tea tree is also adding a soft base note below and through the orgy of flowers and glorious, almost alpine flight of fantasy over the top. This is a wholly wearable scent; sexy and alluring but cool and serene. There are definitely facets to this perfume that will take time and wear to discover.

I can’t tell you exactly what’s happening here, these notes are not in my repertoire yet but I can tell you how deeply impressed I am. This is world class perfumery and could proudly sit beside Serge Lutens, Tauer or Parfums de Nicolai in your cupboard or on your dresser. Different, vital and Aussie. Congratulations Tommi Sooni, this one feels like a winner. It was still humming along nicely when I left for work this evening, 6 hours after dabber application. A whisper of itself still remained, the light and deep notes still vaguely discernible. Then I sprayed lavishly with something else for work.

Passerelle is available from Tommi Sooni $180/50ml or $10/2ml, Sündhaft Hoyer & Kast OHG Geschäftsführer, LuckyScent

Australian Perfumers: Howard Jarvis of Bud Parfums

By Evie C.

Portia recently discovered the wonderful Bud Parfums, based in the Australian state of Victoria.  Howard Jarvis, Bud Parfums’ founder, was kind enough to let us add him to our series on Australian perfumers.  Enjoy!

Howard Jarvis developed his love of fragrance early – at the age of three he was found eating jasmine flowers in his grandmother’s garden.  Despite his early interest, however, he lived several different lives before finally deciding to seriously pursue his love of perfume.  He was variously a bricklayer, builder, photographer, naturopath, homeopath and herbalist.   He even consulted to the Sultan Brunei on medicinal uses for Brunei’s rainforest plants.  By the time he decided to focus on fragrance, he had 15 years experience as a naturopath and a long-held fascination with the oils of Australian native plants on which to base his company, Bud Parfums.

Jarvis says he is self-taught as a perfumer but names Jonathan Midgley of Brisbane-based fragrance laboratory Damask Perfumes as an important mentor.  “My mentors and inspiration come from the genius of Jonathon Midgley and avant-garde perfumers who buck the trends like Jean-Claude Ellena and Christopher Brosius. These three are changing perfumery as we know it into something finer.”  Jarvis also cites independent perfumers Andy Tauer and Neil Morris as favourites.  “I do admire the boldness and the perfumes of Tauer and Morris. They’re both introducing people to new experiences.”

Jarvis is not a huge fan of mainstream perfumes. “Mass market perfumes seem to be a little boring at present. I see the same things rehashed with a new ad campaign. I was impressed by the difference of Angel when it first arrived.”  His personal signature scents are constantly changing, he says, “I have a brief ‘fling’ with each new perfume I create. I’ve had a long ‘affair’ with Shalimar ever since I was knee-high. Our perfume Sophia is a tribute to the beauty of Shalimar.”

As to the business of making it as a perfumer in Australia, Jarvis says, “Australian perfumers can make a living, however it takes years to build a reputation or become known by the rest of the world. Blog sites are fast changing this situation – the world is now as small as the click of a mouse.”  Bud Parfums is presently primarily an online business.  Jarvis says he will continue to run online for another two years until his customer base is large enough to support opening a shop.  “My plan is to have a 19thcentury apothecary where tourists can come to Warburton and watch me making perfumes.”

Bud Parfums’ devotees include all types and range in age from 8 to 90 years old.  “We sell slightly more perfumes internationally than in Australia,” says Jarvis. “The Europeans love rich, deep, dark perfumes, while Brazilians love fruits. Our Asian customers enjoy light, airy, soft scents. I think climate and cultures influence perfume buyers.”

Jarvis has a line of perfumes for men and women with names ranging from the strident – ‘Ugly Bastard’ – to the delicate – ‘Elysium’.  His latest scents, ‘Scarlet’ and ‘El Diablo’ were the result of a long Warburton winter.  “Each day here it either rained or snowed. I was craving spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove etc. Scarlet is a gypsy dancer and El Diablo is her torrid partner. It took a long time to fine-tune both and I only just managed to have them ready for the cold European Christmas. Our German friends at loved them both.”

Jarvis says he can still be found nibbling on jasmine flowers from time to time and no doubt they’ll continue to aid his inspiration as he brings more Australian scents to life.

Howard Jarvis of Bud Parfums


Australian Perfumers: Steven Broadhurst of Tommi Sooni

By Evie C.

Regular readers of this blog may remember reading Portia’s March review of EdTS II from Australian perfume house Tommi Sooni.  Portia was so impressed that we sought out the creator of the Tommi Sooni brand – Steven Broadhurst.  Steven is another one of Australia’s ‘perfumers-to-watch’ and he was kind enough to share his thoughts with us about his perfume journey.

Could you tell us a little about the catalyst for your creation of a perfume brand in Australia? What were you doing at the time you decided to launch Tommi Sooni and how long did it take you to get Tommi Sooni off the ground?

I was in Paris in 2004 and experiencing the wonderful perfumes of this great city. It struck me that Australia did not have a perfume of the same artistry and quality. I then became determined to fill the Australian perfume void. At the time I was working as a photographer but looking for a new career direction.  Our first perfume, Tarantella took 4 years of banging my head against the wall, plus a few breaks until it was released in 2008.

Could you tell me a little more about your life before perfume and why you decided to pursue a different path?

As a photographer I had worked in New York as an assistant on Vogue shoots and then for Andy Warhol’s ‘Interview’ magazine. In Australia some of my clients included: Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, Penguin Books and various fashion labels. I still do the images for Tommi Sooni and love creative the freedom I have. Why the career change? The perfume bug bit hard!

Did you have a formal education in perfume or are you self-taught?

Completely self-taught. Basically I pushed my way in but I was passionate (and I think I have a natural talent for inspiring talent in others) so doors opened for me.

Could you tell us a little about the process by which you work with Brett Schlitter to create Tommi Sooni fragrances?

A perfume brief takes at least a year for me to create. I spend serious research time developing the character of the perfume I can smell in my head but then I need to inspire others to formulate the perfume.

The brief is then presented to Brett and his team and we discuss possible directions for Brett to take. Available ingredients, budget and a time line all come into the discussions. A creative director needs to allow for change and flexibility while focusing on the end product. A lot of juggling goes on over the months and it is my responsibility to manage the direction of the fragrance.

Why did you decide to launch a perfume brand in Australia where the culture of ‘perfume’ is somewhat limited?

‘Why not!’ is the simple answer. As I live in Australia I wanted to have a perfume brand with ‘made in Australia’ on the bottle, something we could all be proud of.

How do you think the culture of perfume in Australia has changed since you launched your brand in 2004?

Certainly niche perfume has come into focus since 2004 but there are still very few retailers who are willing to take on brands that are not household names. The lack of visionary retailers here has forced us to focus on the overseas market. We would love to have a higher profile here at home but without the support of journalists and retailers the choice of Australian perfumes will remain limited.

Do you have any mentors/inspirations in the perfume world?

Certainly I admire Joe Garces of Robert Piguet. He brought the brand back from the dead and remained honest to the brilliant work of Germaine Cellier. His new perfumes are also to be admired.

Do you have a favourite mass-market perfume?

Joy – its brilliance is beyond its imitators.

Do you have a favourite independent perfumer?

Andy Tauer is a non-stop rocket of energy and he is a lovely guy to boot. He has done a lot to bring attention to indie perfumers. He has broken into the mainstream through a combination of talent, luck and intelligence – a pioneer.

Do you have a signature scent?

My signature scent is the scent I am working on. I wear it to bed, the office, dinner parties and the gym. Today I am wearing Eau de Tommi Sooni 111

What is your philosophy regarding the use of natural ingredients as opposed to synthetics?

For me the ideal perfume is a combination of both. Naturals alone can often seem a little flat and I’ve yet to smell a totally synthetic perfume I’ve liked. I have no problem with including synthetics in Tommi Sooni fragrances. We only use safe ingredients in our perfumes. We also use a very high percentage of naturals. Our perfumes are very expensive to produce because of our insistence in using only top quality ingredients.

What do you see as the most important trend in perfume currently?

A trend towards vintage. Better quality perfumes with quality ingredients. I’m not talking about smelling like our grandparents but echoing the qualities of the great perfumes and giving them a contemporary twist.

Do you think it’s financially viable to be a perfumer in Australia?

Yes, but do your homework and don’t just concentrate on the domestic market.

Could you describe a typical Tommi Sooni customer?

Generally female, someone who insists on quality and artistry in perfume and is not afraid to stand out from the crowd. Our male customers also have strong characters and are happy to wear a fragrance that reflects their individual personality.

How significant is the international side of your business?

It is very important to us and we are concentrating on markets that appreciate an Australian perfume brand that is every bit as good as those from Europe or the USA.

How significant is the online side of your business and do you think it is viable to run a perfume business entirely online?

Online is both good for sales and for presenting the personality of your brand. I would recommend a combination of retail and online for selling perfume.

Could you tell us a little about your upcoming release Passarelle?

This Australian-inspired eau de parfum was a tough project but the results are very beautiful and I am extremely proud we were able to reflect an aspect of Australia without having to fall back on the clichés we all know. Passerelle is a bouquet of Australian native florals and woods surrounded by a scattering of exotic golden flora.

When you wear Passerelle close your eyes. An elegant armful of beautiful flowers with freshly cut green stems will engulf you. Passerelle is a very feminine perfume with a distinctive Australian character. Inspired by the French explorers who came to Australia in the early 19th century who took back native flora and fauna to France, Passerelle translated means bridge or catwalk and is the fragrant bridge between the cultures of Australia and France.

Are you able to tell us anything about your tentative 2013 release?

All I can say is the eau de parfum you refer to is our longest project to date and is inspired by an Armenian artist. The results so far are outstanding and I can’t wait to try Brett’s next submission.

Steven’s fragrances are available online at