Floral No 11 by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2009

Heya Bargain Hunters,

Do you ever spend an evening trolling the fragrance discounters? Sometimes, after a windfall or I’ve paid all my bills, I set myself a budget and go hunting. A few weeks ago I did just that. there were a couple of things on my list to definitely find a good priced version of but there was about $70 spare by my reckoning to take a chance with.

Floral No 11 by M. Micallef 2009

Floral No 11 M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum
Heart: Rose, jasmine, geranium
Base: White musk, woody notes

M.Micallef’s Floral No 11 is the most ridiculously bargain priced scent for a real hark back to perfumes of days gone by. When I first sprayed Floral No 11, from the very first spritz, I felt like I was visiting an old friend. The galbanum/bergamot opening sequence like a chilled out version of CHANEL No 19, imagine #19 the morning after a really fun party, she’s washed and dressed with her usual attention to detail but her hair is a loose ponytail instead of a French twist, to her sharp chocolate/grey suit and ice blue shirt she has added a fabulous over the top Pucci scarf and an inch of heel. She is still impeccable but free-er, warmer and more human.

Floral No 11 M. Micallef Jasmine Flower DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Then, instead of heading for the cool aloofness of iris and narcissus our girl has taken a right hand turn into geranium territory, a spicy, flirty and welcoming combo with jasmine and rose. Jasmine plays peek-a-boo through the heart, you smell it and adore its slightly indolic magic and then it’s gone, you forget it and some time later get a waft of its breathiness again. There seems to be a honeyed/animalic note almost from the beginning waft, could it be the way galbanum, jasmine and musk are playing or is there a groaning whisper of honey? Around the hour mark we are in hefty vintage-fragrance sensual mode, I’m probably way wrong but there seems to be some notes missing in the list and if you told me this naughty little baby was from 1960 I would believe you. I don’t understand why this is not talked about. How is it not thought of as a modern perfumista masterpiece?

After around 4-5 hours I am left with a pretty wash of flowers, musk and woods. Nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering but a good, solid, wearable close that makes up for its lack of outrageous by being comfortable and very easy. That sounds like a slur but it’s not, the fireworks have happened earlier, now we can all relax and hang out. Imagine being so comfortable in couture that you could have a ball, rather than being constrained by going to a ball. That’s how I think Floral No 11 feels.

Christian Dior: Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture S/S 2009Photo Stolen Luxussilk

FragranceNet has 100ml refills around $20 before discount coupons! (I paid just over $15 with the DCRT3 21% off coupon)

I hope you enjoyed my finding you a secret budget fragrant champion. Sometimes we are incredibly lucky.
See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

Oudh with Roja Dove: Mini Movie

Heya Oudh Heads,

Don’t forget to enter our GIVEAWAY for Rouge Avignon by Phaedon<<<JUMP

Here is a five minute journey into the history and uses of Oudh, Roja Dove takes us on an olfactory visit to the Middle east.

agarwoodoudhPhoto Stolen agarwoodoudh

Enjoy!!
Portia xx

Red Cattleyea by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2010

Don’t forget to enter our Rouge Avignon GIVEAWAY<<JUMP

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Post by Poodle

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When I was first married my in-laws told me I’d have a hard time cooking for my husband because he was so picky. I knew this but since I had persuaded him to try different foods while we were dating I knew I’d come up with a plan so I could cook what I wanted and not have him go hungry. I figured out that it was almost like cooking for a child (no offense, my love, if you’re reading this).

If he knew a dish had certain ingredients he wouldn’t try it. He was convinced he didn’t like certain things, even things I knew he’d eaten in the past and loved. The catch was that those times he hadn’t seen what was going into the pot. He came home and it was already prepared and waiting for him. I stopped telling him the ingredients or I told him what was in a dish after it was in his stomach. It worked, and cooking is much easier.

How does this relate to perfume? There are times when I think too much information is a bad thing. Sometimes I think knowing the notes before smelling can alter one’s opinion of it. If something smelled awful on me before or has a lot of notes I dislike I shouldn’t waste my time with it…or so I thought.

Red Cattleyea by Olympic Orchids 2010

Red Cattleya box smallPhoto Stolen Olympic Orchids

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Citrus, peach, apricot, melon, hyacinth, gardenia, violets, lilac, musk, woods, vanilla

I asked for the Olympic Orchids Just Orchids sampler set for Christmas. I didn’t see many reviews and I didn’t really study the note lists prior to trying the perfumes.

When I tried Red Cattleyea it was juicy and tropical and a great counterpoint to the chill in the air at the time. Since it is named after a flower I was expecting it to be a floral, but there was more, something sweet yet wonderful…then it hit me. Fruit! Yes, the dreaded fruity floral. This was nothing like the mainstream fruity scents, this was a fruity floral with personality. My first impression was favorable so I just kept enjoying my perfume, sniffing happily at my wrist now and then.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto Stolen MorgueFile

When I looked at the notes I was horrified. This has multiple notes that usually turn ugly on me. Citrus, peach, and melon can make me run from the fragrance counter. Had I read the notes first I may have never sprayed but Ellen Covey worked some magic here.

Red Cattleyea opens sweet and fruity, more candied citrus than kitchen cleaner. Then there’s peach, on my skin peach usually smells like, well, let’s just say it’s not how I want to smell. But not this time. The peach is blended with apricot and it’s more jammy and sun warmed than fresh. Alongside this is a bouquet of gardenia and lilac. Hints of wood and vanilla keep peeking through and there’s an undercurrent of spice to my nose. As the fruit subsides the gardenia becomes fleshy and rich before fading. I don’t find the musk very strong, rather it holds everything together and gives the perfume warmth as well. On my extreme scent eating skin I could smell it easily for hours and ended up with the most wonderfully warm vanilla base.

Red Cattleyea Peaches Flickr Brett SpanglerPhoto Stolen Flickr Brett Spangler

This isn’t a light skin scent, it’s got some kick to it, I’d say that if applied with a light touch it would be office friendly. I’ve worn Red Cattleyea to work and gotten compliments. If you work with fragrance-phobes, perhaps it might be a little too bold.

Further reading: The Alembicated Genie and Hortus Conclusus
Olympic Orchids has $40/30ml EdP, isn’t that the best deal EVER?
Olympic Orchids $15/5ml Parfum

So Red Cattleyea’s fruity and sweet and peachy. On paper I shouldn’t like it yet I absolutely love wearing Red Cattleyea and there aren’t many fruity florals I can say that about.
Have you tried it?

Poodle. x

Rouge Avignon by Pierre Guillaume for Phaedon 2013 + GIVEAWAY

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Post by Val the Cookie Queen

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Hi APJ,

I received a text from my daughter last week: “Stole two spritzes of your new perfume. I feel like I could conquer the world and just hop on a plane and go anywhere I want.” No fear of her turning into a perfumista then!

Rouge Avignon by Phaedon 2013

Rouge Avignon Phaedon FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Raspberry, ylang-ylang
Heart: Rose, cacao pod, hinoki wood, tuber
Base: Vetiver, sandalwood, musk, amber

Oxana at Bloom Perfumery, London tucked a big sample of this into my bag as I left her shop. I had never heard of Phaedon, although I know Pierre Guillaume of course.

From Phaedon: A Gothic composition, as opulent and dark as the shadow of the Papal Palace looming over nations and centuries… The carmine red of the papal stole is conjured with a fleshy, spicy rose facetted by ylang-ylang and raspberry. In the heart notes, waxed woods, cocoa bean, black truffle and earthy smoky vetiver lure us into the private apartments of the Supreme Pontiff. Gilt moldings and religious ornaments glint in the firelight while gray tendrils of smoke rise from a censer burning sandalwood chips mixed with musk and amber.

Rouge Avignon Phaedon Jacopo_Pesaro_presented_St._Peter_Pope_Alexander_VI_-_Tizian WikiMediaJPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

So you know what – it´s pushing 40°c here in Austria so let´s skip the usual banter.

Rouge Avignon shocked me with it´s splendour. It´s unusual and beautiful enough that someone may well ask what you are wearing, but you don´t need an instruction manual to understand it. It’s a gliding, seamless scent and it will be a stunning fall to winter fragrance, but it is beyond fine now too. I feel an addiction coming on.

Rouge Avignon Phaedon Roses Dayle Ann ClavinPhoto used with permission: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography

Rose. Red. Opulent. Velvety. Ylang ylang. Spicy rose. Earthy rose. Gorgeous, succulent, but never gourmand raspberry. It is so vibrant and cerise and strangely pretty. But don´t be fooled, it mingles with amber and vetiver and sandalwood and musk. To all that you may indeed add a little smokiness. Dark and sparkly. The fruity note is always there though, hiding in the shadows. I could see Ann Boleyn wearing this. Quite medieval.

Rouge Avignon Phaedon  Anneboleyn WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

So you wanna try it? Thanks once again to Oxana at Bloom perfumery in London Town, I can give away three samples of it. But hey – no – not for nothing.

Rouge Avignon GIVEAWAY

Giveaway myprettypaintsPhoto Stolen myprettypaints

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

There are 3 prizes this week. Each winner will receive:

1 x Rouge Avignon by Phaedon 2013  Sample
P&H Anywhere in the world

HOW DO YOU WIN?

Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

All you need to do is tell us how you follow and exactly why this juice might float your boat!

Extra Chance?
Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Rouge Avignon by Phaedon GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p2fQBU-1QS #Perfume #Review #Giveaway

HOUSEKEEPING

Entries Close Midnight Sunday 18th August 2013 in Austria and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by putting names on same sized papers, folded similarly, I will then put all the names into my long dead armadillo and three winners will be drawn. Alright?.
The winners will have till Wednesday 21st August 2013 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Bussis from a melting CQ

xxxxxxxxxx

Blackbird by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2013

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Post by Azar

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“BLACKBIRD” AT BLACKBIRD

Hello Perfume Junkies and Indie Lovers,

Today I have news about a wonderful new fragrance debut here in the Pacific Northwest.  On Saturday, July 13th, at the Blackbird Apothecary (in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle) Ellen Covey celebrated the third anniversary of Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes and introduced her latest fragrance “Blackbird”.

Outside of the Blackbird Apothecary the Ballard Seafood Fest was in full swing.  Inside, happy perfumistas enjoyed a cool and fragrant haven.  Ellen’s line of fragrances were tastefully displayed along the walls.  Blooming orchids decorated the tables set with cheeses, wines and champagne.

As soon as I walked through the doors I headed straight for the new “Blackbird” fragrance.  Ellen sprayed the perfume glass and I generously doused my upper arm with the cabernet colored 25% concentrated elixir.

Blackbird MorgueFilePhoto Stolen MorgueFile

The following notes are listed on Olympic Orchids website,
Himalayan blackberry fruit, dry grass and leaves, elemi, cedar wood and resin, amber, fir balsam absolute, musk.

The first notes on my skin were a combination of very ripe blackberries and sweet, dry grass.  Ellen used real Himalayan blackberries to create “Blackbird”.  These same Himalayan blackberries (Rubus armeniacus) are everywhere in the PNW and, despite their delicious fruit, are considered noxious weeds, perhaps because they have overtaken the even tastier native Pacific blackberries (Rubus ursinus). The blackberry and grass top notes combined with amber to create an almost gourmand and seasonal scent of place, summertime in Seattle.

BlackBerries MorgueFilePhoto Stolen MorgueFile

The blackberry, grass and a little amber stayed relatively close to my skin and were later joined by a refreshing combination of cedar and balsam fir.  “Blackbird” worked for me like a breeze through an orchard or vineyard.  The sillage, as I mentioned before, was quite intimate.  Regarding longevity:  I was enjoying “Blackbird” well into the evening.

Congratulations to Ellen Covey on her third anniversary and on this beautiful addition to her line. Olympic Orchids’ new “Blackbird” is at once dry and sweet, sensual and refreshing, an incense-jam of a fragrance, gorgeous, relaxing and intimate.

Blackbird bottle Olympic OrchidsPhoto Stolen Olympic Orchids

“Blackbird” is available for purchase on the Olympic Orchids website. A 30ml Parfum will only cost you $68. That is an amazing price.

Here are a couple of questions.  Do you have a favorite Olympic Orchids scent? And/or were you in Ballard for the Blackbird event?

Azar

Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2012

Hey there Crew,

Sometimes when I am in touch with Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels she might mention a bottle or two that I love and she is ready to let loose, just such a one as this. I can tell she loved it for a while because there is a fair amount missing, sometimes tastes change or something along a similar vein eclipses your current bottle, a million reasons. Maybe you need to sell off a few to buy a newby, always an excellent way of keeping stuff loved and in rotation.

Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete by Guerlain 2012

Songe d'un Bois d'Ete Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Cedar, jasmine, saffron, cardamom, laurel, oud, myrrh, patchouli, leather

BaseNotes gives theese featured accords:
Top: Laurel, Neroli
Heart: Jasmine, Patchouli, Saffron, Cedar
Base: Leather, Myrrh

Perfume Shrine tells me that Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete means Dreaming of a Summery Wood, cool summer evening maybe? Summer doesn’t really fit for me to be honest perhaps Autumn? Maybe that’s the dreaming bit? Dreaming in Autumn and Winter of the memories of a Summer wood but surrounded by the scents of winter. OK I’m on board with that. I love the beaded curtain on the bottle with tiny little Guerlain logos and bees, also the Arabic/French writing and the squarish, spare design that you can fit loads of on a shelf. Did I mention the box this comes in? It’s so ridiculously luxe all by itself.

Songe d'un Bois d'Ete Guerlain Turkish Delight WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Opening up I get honeyed sweets, like baklava or sugary real Turkish Delight (some days it’s more a candied citrus) with woods and fairly early on I also get a patchouli/oudh vibe that runs baseline. Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete is woodsy and sensual, spicy, and a little waxy. It washes over me in warm, elegant waves like toffee, making everything seem fluid and the air thick. Imagine looking into a brightly lit room through 1970s amber glass, a teinte, a glow, a wash of luminous whiskey coloured grandeur. Thierry Wasser has made something regal that throws such a luscious nod to the middle east but is ensconced firmly in the heart of Paris, the oudh/patchouli clean and dinner suited. How has he made these notes into a gourmand, I seriously want to eat myself up. There are some hints of smoke and the sweaty green of cardamom/cumin adding depth and variation through Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete life.

 Turkish deLIGHTPhoto Stolen LASZLO ILYES Flickr

Through my wear I am most conscious of how amazingly international I smell. It’s as if all the sweet, delicious and pretty pieces of the middle east have been distilled into a fragrance. No dust or desert, not super sweet rose or oily, cloying, heavy and dark fragrance, no camels, tents, sand or oasis. Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete is sheer but still super fragrant, it’s like Mr Wasser has added air and space to the denseness of what we expect from the middle east. So wearable and still unusual. Guerlain from top to bottom: but 21st century Guerlain.

The deep dry down is clean sweaty skin, softest, most loved, old suede and resinous myrrh but that is far, far, far into the future. Next morning there are still viable traces of Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete. What a fragrance. Wear it everywhere if you dare.

Songe d'un Bois d'Ete Guerlain Dancers BBC.UKPhoto Stolen BBC.UK

Further reading: The Non Blonde and Olfactoria’s Travels looks at the three Les Déserts d’Orient collection
PlaceVendome in Belguim has €190/75ml and also sends to the world (Birgit bought my bottle there)
Universal Perfumes has Les Déserts d’Orient collection $276/75ml and send to the world
Surrender To Chance has Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete from $4.60/.5ml or has Les Déserts d’Orient 3 x .5ml from $13

Have you tried any of the three Les Déserts d’Orient? What was your favourite? Would you like to?
Till tomorrow we at APJ wish you health, wealth and happiness, and the ability to see them all when they come.
Portia xx

L’Heure Bleue EdP by Raymond Guerlain 1912

Hey there Perfumed Peeps,

Tonight I’m giving my fresh bathed skin L’Heure Bleue,  the modern EdP from Madeleine’s reject pile. I am totally ignoring my many other new frags for Madeleine’s unloved babies, they are seeing more wear time than anything else right now, even though I’ve still not finished opening bottles from my various travels this year. I am officially a TRAGIC, GREEDY, FRAG HOARDER!!!

L’Heure Bleue EdP (2011) by Raymond Guerlain 1912

L'Heure Bleue Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, neroli, aniseed, bergamot, coriander
Heart: Bulgarian rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, cloves, ylang, orchid, heliotrope, neroli
Base: Vanilla, Tonka bean, iris, musk, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin

There has been much talk of reformulation, IFRA regs etc, especially around some of our long term favourite and historical hallmark perfumes. L’Heure Bleue is a case in point, especially because last year was its centenary and that century has seen so many changes in fashion, materials and consumers taste. My oldest L’Heure Bleue in the collection only goes back to the 1980s and is an EdT. What happens on my skin with the modern EdP?

There is no denying that even in the 30 years across my L’Heure Bleue collection that it is changed. The opening is still definitively Guerlain, all sugared citrus candy and adding in the very slight spicy/herbal tinge. In fact for me the openings are the most similar part of the fragrance life. I can’t parse all the flowers for you but the bouquet is still gorgeous and beyond. Lighter, floatier, fluffier: the powders are silken soft and they waft gently in spring breezes compared to the heft and depth of the vintage. More floral and its lasting power is considerable less. It still has something glorious and fun, like eating PEZ in a bakery’s back alley. MMMMMMM

PEZ WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

It has had some of it’s animalics and dirty back end amputated and towards the very dry down end in about 5-6 hours, depending, I get a very clean laundry musk that first wear surprised the freakin’ shit out of me. It is nice but not something I expect from a Guerlain, maybe a Body Shop. Really, it’s not offensive, just unexpected.

Wearing the current L’Heure Bleue is fear free. I find it polite and wearable in most situations and it has moderate to low sillage now, with good wear life. I will be interested to see how it changes over the next 30 years. If I am extremely lucky.If L’Heure Bleue was released today as it is currently I think we would love it and it would probably come out in the Guerlain exclusives line, especially with DIOR’s Milly-la-Foret and CHANEL’s 28 La Pausa being popular powdery releases by the big guns.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Olfactoria’s Travels
Fragrance Shop has $74/75ml EdP
Surrencer To Chance starts at $3/ml EdP

Have you smelled any of the L’Heure Bleue formulations or strengths? Which is your favourite?
Till tomorrow, waft fragrantly,
Portia xx

Black (Ananda) by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2011

Hello APJ Family and Friends,

Recently they had a 20% off sale at Parfum1 and I had been lemming this bottle for a while, so I naughtily purchased. Some people call this Black and some Black Ananda, maybe because the original white bottle was called Ananda.

Black by M. Micallef 2011

Black M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Amalfi lemon, bitter orange, plum
Heart: Jasmine, tuberose, neroli, ylang ylang
Base: Musk, powder, benzoin, vanilla

Before I write about the fragrance I have to tell you the packaging is seriously gorgeous and the bottle feels like a million dollars when you pick it up. The Drag Queen in me adores the cognac rhinestones on the matte black porcelain bottle and the lid is a harem girls dream. Seriously. I know how shallow that is but couldn’t give a rats, this bottle is beautiful.

Black opens prettily perfumey, it is softer and less intrusive than I expected from its packaging, the plum taking dominance over the citrus. There is so much space between the notes, so sheer, a pastel scarf of finest gauzy silk Georgette. My skin gives an interesting brown sugar waft as the opening slides into the heart. Here we have white flowers being slightly indolic, a little bit retro, and the fragrance gets a touch more oomph but is still extremely ambient, a feeling of space and lightness, introverted fragrance that generates the kind of heft that you expect from body products. It’s close and personal. I can tell Black by M. Micallef has used some good product in the juice, the composition is seamless (so sheer it is hard to tell imperfections really) and clean. What I am most reminded of is a less milky Burberry Brit (towards the end of BBs life), it has a similar spare musky/vanillic/floral wash. For most perfumistas I think Black by M. Micallef will be a big fat yawn.

Black Micallef Calvin Klein mysuperficialendeavorsPhoto Stolen MySuperficialEndeavours

Maybe as a gateway frag from some of the extremely barely there white musks of Bodyshop etc this would seem a logical step, good for a grown up scent for young girls who have only had those before. Also if you want to feel laundry fresh all day but without being definitively laundry, but close.

Surprisingly for the lack of fragrance Black by M. Micallef lasts well, this is the PERFECT scent if you really want to have perfume but work in a frag phobic environment. Also good for people who don’t really like scent but wear it because ,”It’s the thing you do”. The bottle alone is worth having as a piece of art and looks killer in the bathroom, recently on Perfume of Life there was a conversation about growing up surrounded by people who had The One And Only Perfect Bottle of scent that was displayed on dressers or in bathrooms. If you are that kind of person then Black by M. Micallef could be the bottle for you.

Black Micallef Art Nouveau bottle mararie FlickrPhoto Stolen mararie on Flickr (not the Black bottle)

My question to M. Micallef is how can Black be packaged in this outrageous black, gold and cognac diamond bottle? There is a TOTAL disconnect between the enclosure and the juice. It’s like putting Gendarme into the bottle above when you would expect an Amouage/Lutens/Vermeire/Tauer, weird! It reminds me of the Coco Noir conundrum.

Further reading: I could only find sellers who have written about Black. Sandra on Olfactoria’s Travels does a beautiful job with the original Ananda though
Parfum1 has $115/30ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $7/ml

Are you a Micallef fan? Are there any in their range that you adore? Maybe you’ve tried black? What are your thoughts?

Have a lovely fragrant day,
Portia xx

Liza NUMÉRO August 2013

Liza | NUMÉRO | August 2013

I found these extraordinary images on Natascha’s Blog MiSSeychelles and loved them so much that I couldn’t help but share them. These are only a couple from the shoot and you can find many more at MiSSeychelles, do go check them out.

And please also enjoy these gorgeous photos dedicated to Liza Minnelli in her Oscar winning turn as Sally Bowles.

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay.

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