Back To Black: Aphrodisiac by Calice Becker for by Kilian 2009

Hello All,
Here I am surrounded by the magical mystery of Back To Black, a Calice Becker produced powerhouse for by Kilian, Kilian Hennessy’s glamour fragrance company, from the discreet and wallflowerish-ly named L`Oiuvre Noire (Black Masterpieces). I have read so much about Back To Black that I feel like I’m living other peoples fragrant lives but I really want to write about this interesting fragrance today. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Aphrodisiac Box Photo Stolen cupslj

Back To Black was allegedly made in tune with the Amy Winehouse song in mind. I was introduced to that album, rather than just Rehab, in India by my then partner and played Back To Black incessantly thinking it would be a super great number to do. It is still the #1 most played song on my iTunes and that’s big numbers. In fact it was playing in the car tonight on my way home from a gig and that was when I decided that it was time to confront my self created demons (aren’t they all?). The video is at the bottom, I think it sums up the sweet darkness that is Back To Black by Kilian.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these official featured accords:
Bergamot, saffron, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, raspberry, chamomile, olibanum, honey, cedar, oak, tobacco, patchouli, almond, vanilla, labdanum

Back To Black opens like a lolly shop on my skin all sugary sweet fruits, dusty shelves and old people, then goes completely boozy like Grappa, the spices and honey come waltzing in through the booze, and we have a really lovely gourmand, the tobacco is sweet on my body early, not smoky until hours into the fragrance life where it turns pipe-crud-ish, and the woods clean and beeswax polished and the sweet amber-ish base notes are there too. It’s all here on my skin and I just have to look for a note and there it is. They are masterfully blended though so even when one is showing itself in new and beautiful array the others are still wafting around waiting for your attention. This is how I would like to smell, rich, multi-layered, deep, warm and dark. This is how mystery smells, enticing, beguiling, in my mind Rita Hayworth as Gilda singing Put The Blame On Mame smelled like this and so did Paul Newman in everything and nothing.

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to finally write about this magnificent fragrance. Yes, it is expensive but I think after I save up for Sweet Redemption that I might just do the same for a bottle of this afterwards; it’s wearable most seasons, interesting, luxurious, long lasting and ultimately suits my chemistry.

Photo Stolen wellbeing

TheNonBlonde, CandyPerfumeBoy and NowSmellThis for further reading.
I bought my Back To Black sample from SurrenderToChance from $7/ml

Here’s a present. Paul Newman. Hubba Hubba!

Paul Newman Photo Stolen Tumbler@2 years ago with 103 notes

What did you splurge on lately, or what’s on the list, that may take a while to recover from? Do any of the by Kilian line call your name? Please leave us a message below, they will all be answered and we LOVE visitors, and let’s face it: Your input is usually way more interesting than mine anyway.

Till we see you tomorrow we at APJ wish all of you only the good stuff you wish for yourselves.
Love, Love, Love,
Portia xx

Here is the wonderful Amy Winehouse. RIP Princess.

Sweet Redemption by Calice Becker for by Kilian 2011

Hiya Scented People,

Noticing a great deal on by Kilian at SurrenderToChance in a DailyChanceSpecial I snapped up a couple and the first I’ll be talking about is Sweet Redemption. I have not really delved into the world of by Kilian yet because I thought it was so expensive that an addiction could send me to the poor house, having done the math it is pricey but not extreme.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
African orange flower, opoponax, incense, benzoin, vanilla and myrrh

The grandson of the founder of the LVMH group, Kilian Hennessy grew up in the family’s wine cellars and has brought that boozy reminiscence of sensuality that cognac has to this fragrance. I am not saying it smells like cognac but the glorious rich intoxicating blending that makes you want to swirl and sniff your balloon works similarly here.

RedemptionPhoto Stolen TheWallpaperTree

I was wearing this for an hour or so today before I looked up the accords. Who knew an African orange flower smelled this good? You’ll have to look elsewhere for someone to parse the notes in Sweet Redemption, it’s too perfectly proportioned. Yes I smell lovely, sexy white flower and the vanilla/ambery background noise. I get a slightly smokey scent throughout and something sweet but licorice sweet not honey sweet, maybe sweet chilli sweet? I can’t tell you what these things are but I can tell you that I smell incredible. This is a magical, hefty, slightly dirty, good time cha cha cha of a fragrance. I want to pop on a flirty frock, some killer high heels, hair up, morals down and get my gorgeous smelling self out to see the world. Which is not to say that I smell cheap, NO WAY! I smell like a million dollars. Like cognac diamonds shimmer. Rich, sparkly, gregarious, Sweet Redemption wants to get out there and get herself noticed, not by shouting, obnoxious or bad behaviours but by being alluring, likeable, slightly sexy but not vampish, confident and ready for good things to happen, to make good things happen to everyone around and self. OH DEAR! I think I am seriously in love with this juice.

I wore Sweet redemption to work tonight. There is a guy there who is quite a perfumista and he didn’t even blink, usually he is the first to notice a fragrance, but I was stopped by 2 of the ladies that I would never expect to even think about fragrance asking what it was, who by, where to get it. Surreal. One other full table compliment from a bunch of girls that I adore!It has maintained its integrity but grown slightly deeper, warmer and softer; not much though.

Now I’ve done some cleaning up around the house, fed and watered the pets, chatted with TSO Jin, written some blog and it’s 6+ hours since my last spritz and I am still fragrant, warm, rich and delicious. I smell like a warm sweet milky coffee feels after a good day (I’ve just sat down at the computer with one and it is SOOOO good), when you’re tired but not buggered, happy with the days events. A comfortable spicy vanilla and myrrh, ready to hit the hay because early in the morning I’m off on a short plane flight for an overnight gig.

Redemption Photo Stolen Jingna Zhang

I love the reviews by Olfactoria’s Travels and GrainDeMusc if you are looking for extra insights.
The by Kilian eBoutique has 30ml travel sprays 95€
SurrenderToChance starts at $7/ml

I feel so lucky that you all come back and read regularly,
THANK YOU for becoming part of the APJ family.
Have you tried the by Kilian line, have a favourite? Do share it with us in the comments please.
Till tomorrow,
Portia xx

Bud Parfums “Gamekeeper” Review; Thursday GIVEAWAY COMPETITION

Hello everyone,

Evie C’s super interview with Howard Jarvis on Monday reminded me I haven’t reviewed any of the samples I ordered from Bud Parfums. What a ning-nong I am sometimes, so I thought as a part down-payment on my full Bud Parfums story I’d give you a sneaky peek at one of my favourite scents from the range.


“Then, one day, a lovely sunny day with tufts of primroses under the hazels, and many violets dotting the paths, she came in the afternoon to the coops and there was one tiny, tiny perky chicken tinily prancing round in front of a coop.
The keeper, squatting beside her, was also watching with an amused face the bold little bird in her hands. Suddenly he saw a tear fall on to her wrist.
And he stood up, and stood away, moving to the other coop. For suddenly he was aware of the old flame shooting and leaping up in his loins, that he had hoped was quiescent for ever. He laid his hand on her shoulder, and softly, gently, it began to travel down the curve of her back, blindly, with a blind stroking motion, to the curve of her crouching loins. “Shall you come to the hut?” he said, in a quiet, neutral voice.”
‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ by D.H.Lawrence

Richard Ansdell’s English Gamekeeper  via goldenagepaintings

This is how Gamekeeper is introduced on the Bud Parfums website and strangely it fits. There is the creak and crack of citrus branch, also the fruit, juice and leaf, humus rich oakmoss, warming resinous labdanum, the musk and clean bright patchouli round the whole lovely, sexy concert out. In truth I don’t know what palmarosa oils smell like so I can’t attest to their inclusion (apparently it smells like Geranium Leaf and is used instead of endangered Rosewood). The fragrances don’t really form a pyramid within Gamekeeper, they are more like tendrils of scent interwoven that spike up occasionally through the life of the scent story, you think they’ve gone but back they come changed, lightened or darkened, in different combinations. This is like a book where firstly you are introduced to all the characters, then throughout they are placed together in different groupings or sometimes nearly alone.

Although this is marketed as a masculine, and there are moments of truly manly cologne-ish glory, this seems to me like a fragrance that would work deliciously and decorously on women, there is a flapper feel to Gamekeeper. It’s very sexy, almost sexual, and has a light skank alert that I find riveting. As if the fragrance has gone inside the cottage with them to partake in the fun but not stayed till the end.

The website and Fragrantica give the same information.

If you go to the Bud Parfums website choose any size refill and it will take you to the fragrance lists. Also, bottle purchase is separate, such a wonderful idea, so you get to choose. AWESOME!

I’ll finish up this review with the first gamekeeper to steal my heart, Rupert Graves played D H Lawrence’s sublimely delicious gay gamekeeper in the movie Maurice. I spent years searching for just such a specimen, and while the search was rewarding in and of itself, the closest I have ever come is now a blogger himself, the one who inspired me to start writing this blog. I hope he’s reading.

Rupert Graves, Maurice 1987 Stolen from IMDb

Another excellent and enjoyable week here for me, I hope for you too, and we’ve looked at a lovely bunch of fragrances. Here’s you chance to win a small selection of them. In fact, this week there are 6 great reasons to enter our….


In honour of our Annick Goutal Review we are putting a 1.5ml spray decant of Annick Goutal’s Passion in
From Sunday Quicksniff Reviews 3ml spray decant of Fracas for Men by Robert Piguet
and 1.5ml spray decant of Eau Mega by Viktor & Rolf
Evie C did a lovely interview with Howard Jarvis from Bud Pafums so a 1.5ml spray decant of Bud Parfums Gamekeeper
and lastly, the remains of my by Kilian Water Calligraphy manufacturers sample
and Aedes de Venustas EdP sample from the Extraordinaries That Arrived By Post

Plus P&H anywhere in the world.

How do you win? Simply leave a short comment on your favourite gamekeeper, in life, film, novel or story, or if that’s too hard just leave a Hello in the comments. I do love to read your contributions though so do try.

If you win you must get in touch by Wednesday 23.5.12 or I’ll give your prize to someone else. As TARA didn’t get in touch last week her prize will go to Penny Cascio.

See you all tomorrow,

Portia xx

Extraordinaries That Arrived By Post #1

Hello all you lovely Fume Heads,

Photo Stolen from

I love to go to the post box and find something there that’s not a bill, don’t we all? Sometimes though the post box turns up unexpected, interesting, heartening or WOW! Forgot I won/bought/snaggled this. So I want to write about some of the ones that really took my breath away lately, for different reasons..


Photo Stolen from mimifroufrou

Today I went to the box and there was a mail bag from the USA. Tatiana had sent me a surprise sample of Frederic Malle’s Le Parfum De Therese, the fragrance Edmond Roudnitska created in the early 1950s for his wife Thérèse, and it was hers exclusively. In March I had confessed never smelling it on Patty from the Perfume Posse’s review, which was a fun read but definitely not a loving one. I am constantly amazed at the generosity shown in the worm hole de scent (why have I never heard of a fragrance called D Scent, that’s funny) by people who are continents away that I’ve never met. AH MAY ZING! From this fragrance I get roses, broken branch, fresh cut ripe melon and humus in the first rush. It doesn’t really change a lot after the first 15 minutes on my skin, it is mainly fruity floral but not sweet like many of today’s perfumes, ripe and fresh with an underlying strength like feminine women who have made a choice to be so while living, working, loving and generally getting on with the joys and heartaches of modern life.. As apposed to what I had read this smells to me of rise above, fly over, be magic. I know, I’m not making sense but I have been transported. Not for long though, 90 minutes gone. Respritz and begin again.


Photo Stolen from perfumepharmer

From my reading on other blogs I was expecting this to be an aquatic airy whisper, so spare that my nose was going to miss it completely. What a surprise; Aftelier’s newest scent Sepia is a bit of a blockbuster on my skin. It is warm and dusty, floral and powdery, woody, smoky, dry and sere and smells to me like rural Australia. I can close my eyes and smell the unbroken expanses of sun beaten, dessicated red-earth desert where the properties are 1000’s of square kilometers with sheep, wheat and cattle. Many of the smaller towns have been engulfed in the last 50 years and stand silent, crumbling, with only their stone chimneys left like a mouth full of broken teeth. Sepia is the outback. It is also lovely and surprisingly strong. Thank you Mandy Aftel, something I never would have thought to wear or want in my library. Still powering at 3 hours, now smelling like attics and bookstores. I purchased this sample from Aftelier when buying a FB of Parfum de Maroc, should have ordered FB of this too. On my must have list.


Photo Stolen From edgeboston

I won this from Grain de Musc, blog queen turned author Denyse Beaulieu who wrote The Perfume Lover. What a divisive fragrance Aedes de Venustas has turned out to be. People are loving and hating it all over the scentbloggosphere and there seems to be no Meh factor at all. Dividing them is price point (US$225 per 100ml) and rhubarb accord reality. Mum used to grow rhubarb and cook it with apple in a pie that Dad loved, I can’t remember the taste because it would have to be smothered with ice cream for my sister and I to eat it. So no preconceptions here. What I smell is sharp, tomato leaves/broken ivy/squashed ants but offset by an underlying smell of powdery warmth like tame domestic birds have, mixed with apple and something that could be the vetiver or cold incense, after it’s burnt. I find that I’m divided, it is interesting and I would love a bigger sample which I will now invest in. Good longevity even on my skin, 4 hours and still pumping bitter and sweet softly in equal measure.


Photo Stolen from aedes

I received this generous sample set from by Kilian in the best marketing ploy ever, join his facebook page and he will send you a sample of his new scents as and when they come out. Water Calligraphy by Kilian is like writing with water on a hot stone, like buttery tea, chewed grass, human boob milk and baby in the next room. It is nothing and everything. If you are rich and want the best of a slew of watery scents at about eight times the price, or maybe you just love Kilian, the ridiculously gorgeous bottle, the glamour or want to look like you are living the dream; then I say go for it. He has definitely shown everyone else that he can do the same better and it is more complex than any of the others. But we’re talking levels of air here. I get about 2.5 hours of smelling it before it’s lost to me but TSO Jin can smell a difference still.

There are more but I’ll save them for another day. If you have something you’d like me to sniff, consider me your Aussie nostril. Just ask and I’ll send you my address. Nothing makes me happier than going to the mailbox and finding a packet.

Photo Stolen from free-graphics

Should you want something in your mailbox, don’t forget tomorrow is THURSDAY GIVEAWAY COMPETITION. There’s some wonderful stuff in the pack tomorrow, so see you then,


Portia xxx

Scent Science and WINNER Announced

An introduction to the Science of Scent. This is an interesting short course in “how we smell” theories. Light and informative. Neil Morris and Luca Turin are both interviewed about their perfume practice and theories.

This weeks winner is receiving by mail.

1ml spray remains of manufacturers sample Eau de Maroc EDP by Aftelier Perfumes

1.5ml spray decant Mandgradore EDT by Annick Goutal

1.5ml spray decant Carriere EDP by Gendarme

1.5mml spray decant Muscho Nobile EDT by Nobile 1942

and a SURPRISE manufacturers spray decant of Bamboo Harmony by Kilian. Brand new and fresh off the press, sent directly from their HQ. This is part of by Kilian new Asian Tales fragrance range. I have kept the Water Calligraphy half of this amazing sample set for myself and had a small test spray of your Bamboo Harmony which seems to be a warm spicy aquatic to me on its only mini application.

The winner today is UNDINA from Undina’s Looking Glass.

I know you didn’t want to be entered Undina but I am also surpised and inspired by people who look like they have an amazing team working for and with them, especially when it is mainly their own hard work, perseverence and drive that has made their dream come true. If you really don’t want to win I will redraw but please do win.