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


Sunflowers by David Apel for Elizabeth Arden 1993

Hello Happy Huffers,

Sometimes the cheapest fragrances smell amazing, who knows why. I wore Sunflowers for a time when trying to convince myself all I needed in my life was one fragrance that smelled fresh and light and to prove that I didn’t need to spend a fortune. Do you ever go through self denial periods where you want to streamline your existence? Well, Sunflowers was part of my streamlining life till a friend took me aside and had a word. Not just about my tacky choice of fragrance but also about its cheap bottle and what was I thinking wearing such awful dross when there was so much better available.  My pathetic, “I like it” fell on deaf ears and in the end I binned my bottle. Peer pressure!

Imagine my surprise then when I am working with a girlfriend of mine not so long ago and when asked what her fabulous fragrance that is all sexy white flowers and spice, that smells like a very expensive niche offering on her turns out to be

Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden 1993

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, rosewood, orange blossom, mandarin, bergamot, melon, peach
Heart: Cyclamen, rose, jasmine, osmanthus, iris root
Base: Musk, cedar, amber, moss, sandalwood

I love the fruity fresh opening that already has the waxy cyclamen floating through it. It’s bright and easy and relaxed in a comfortable and desirable way. Even though I know she wouldn’t wear it I think of my buddy and original APJ partner EvieC when I smell it. She is so devastatingly beautiful even after university, modelling, traveling the world, working for big TV conglomerates, marriage, children, happiness, loss, the works, and still gives the impression of beautiful and unruffled calm. That effortless beauty and poise that many ex models have.

Photo Stolen brisbanephotos

On my skin the flowers meld seamlessly through Sunflowers heart, not the spicy white flower extravaganza that my GF pumped, still it is lovely and wearable. I’m not sure what it is but there is a fatness, like butter, that underlies the whole fragrance giving it heft. The iris root keeps everything cool and the bouquet is quite green, only warming slightly towards dry down with the amber and woods, though on me these are not heavy hitters just a pretty wafting softness that stays around until the 8+ hour mark, barely there but noticeable if I really sniff myself.

Photo Stolen scent-sation

Way too perfumed for officewear but in most other endeavours Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden should be a perfect fit. Not sexy or alluring in an obvious way but the scent is pretty and inviting, more of a Mary-Ann than a Ginger from Gilligan’s Island.

ISimplyLOveMakeUp and LouLouDiaries are the only 2 non sales motivated reviews I could find on Google for further reading.

CheapSmells has 100ml/$19
MyPerfumeSamples starts at $2/ml or I bought 5ml for $6

Just a reminder that it doesn’t have to cost $400 to be a wonderful, fun and memorable fragrance. Sometimes it really does pay to stop and smell the Sunflowers.
Till tomorrow we at APJ wish you only the good stuff you wish yourselves.
Portia xxx