Coco by CHANEL: LIVE Video Sniff

Hello Avid YouTube Watchers and APJ Crew,

It’s been a long while since we had LIVE Video Sniffs. These were filmed ages ago but I have not got them up yet, MEA CULPA 100%. So far this year has been a fabulously hectic whirlwind of adventures, travel and new work. So finally it feels like we have time to do some catch up.

This LIVE Video Sniff is a solo one. I am all alone with a rather special fragrance. It’s filled with my usual screw ups and a bit of silliness, please take it in the fun vein it is intended. My potty mouth doesn’t get too out of control, well, maybe a bit… NSFW unless you have headphones

As always special thanks to my BFF Kath for shooting and editing and TSO Jin for making it ready to watch on YouTube.

See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

Coco by CHANEL: LIVE Video Sniff

Coco FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, pomegranate blossom, mandarin orange, peach, jasmine and Bulgarian rose
Heart: Mimose, cloves, orange blossom, clover and rose
Base: Labdanum, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, opoponax, civet and vanilla

Thank you, as always, for watching and being a part of the madness that is a LIVE Video Sniff.

Further reading: Coco (Modern) Australian Perfume Junkies and Bois de Jasmin

CHANEL…Iconic CHANEL…Sampler – Posh Peasant has the 5 x 2.5ml Spray $44

CHANEL Gateway Sampler – Surrender To Chance has 4 x 3ml Spray $28

Coco CHANEL Jerine Lay  FlickrPhoto Stolen Jerine Lay  Flickr

N°5 CULTURE CHANEL – Interview with Christopher Sheldrake, CHANEL Perfumer

Hi All,

After some missing of planes and arriving 12 hours late and a whole bunch of stuff I must apologise that this is very little and late. Still it is interesting to see Christopher Sheldrake talk about CHANEL No 5 Exhibition. He is quietly handsome and engaging. I hope you like it.

Portia xx

CHANEL SeedOfHappinessStolen from SeedOfHappiness

N°5 CULTURE CHANEL – Interview with Christopher Sheldrake, CHANEL Perfumer

Coco (Modern) by Jacques Polge for CHANEL 1984

Hello Fragrant Fumies,

This is one of my girlfriends, hello Alice I’m looking at you, favourite fragrances. While in LA last week my mate Thomas Pease from PerfumePosse and Perfume Smellin’ Things and I were trolling the malls of LA together. It was super fun and I was looking for a few things including the large 35ml spritz of CHANEL No 5 Parfum which I am finding impossible to get my hands on, anyone know where I can grab it? Anyway, during our travels we spritzed the modern incarnation of

Coco by CHANEL 1984

Coco FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, pomegranate blossom, mandarin orange, peach, jasmine and Bulgarian rose
Heart: Mimose, cloves, orange blossom, clover and rose
Base: Labdanum, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, opoponax, civet and vanilla

I am usually of the mind that all change is good, progressive, necessary unless it’s an obvious exception like finding ways to log virgin rainforest faster or better and quicker ways to torture people for information, now I’ve added a new one: REFORMULATION!! Yes, I understand that the fragrance community is self regulating and these changes are important but OMfreakingG! If this was not called Coco I would have thought it a summer flanker of Coco. This is what a softened, prettied, lighter and less ambitious Coco should feel like for summer wearings. If it was that I would say, “BRILLIANT! CHANEL have thought this out and done a superb job of bringing the fragrance up to date without losing its original idea completely, as a fun and frivolous, sunny reference point. A Coco water-colour if you like.” But to sell this non-Coco and claim it as the truth, NO! Like claiming the first and second paintings below are as filled with warmth, depth and colour, though both are beautiful they are not the same.

CHANEL Coco florinda watercolourPhoto Stolen FranzXaverWinterhalter

CHANEL Coco Lányok bál után HungArtHungaryPhoto Stolen HungArtHungary

Is there anything left to love about Coco Modern? Sure. If you had never worn it before and were just discovering perfume you would think it beyond beautiful. Still with that perfect CHANEL blending, still a Fl-Oriental and still quite a bit more exotic that most of the range. What it lacks is the dirty bitch grind and sexy, sensual, animalic undertones that were a warning as much as a signal for seduction. Coco Modern is almost office wearable and its predecessor is most definitely not in the current frag climate. They have castrated our Coco and I for one am sad.

Coco is available for FREE spritzing at most department stores.
EssentalMall starts at 50ml EdT/$109
SurrenderToChance starts at $3/ml

See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

CHANEL: 31 Rue Cambon + Little Black Jacket in Milan

Hello Fabulous Fumies,

Recently I was in Paris and was lucky enough to visit one of my fashion shrines. Coco Chanel was one of the people we studied at Fashion School and I was intrigued by her rags to riches story even before then. To finally stand at the gates of her atelier and shop was extraordinary for me. A wonderful moment I will never forget.

CHANEL: 31 Rue Cambon

31RueCambon FragranticaPhoto stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, green notes, black pepper
Heart: Ylang ylang, iris, rose
Base: Labdanum , patchouli

I love the opening of 31 Rue Cambon, it already smells like a CHANEL fragrance from the first whiff. A cool and classy, slightly flamboyant rush of everything in the notes, the labdanum from the base already in evidence giving a snuggly, fur like glamour under the bright sparkle of the citrus and pepper. For about 15-30 minutes I sit entranced and snuffling at myself, enjoying the magic that a CHANEL Exclusive can bring. The whole feeling of richness and lavish excess. GORGEOUS!!

Pretty soon the flowers drop in for a quick hello and they have a slight leather vibe before the patchouli and labdanum take centre stage, from then on in it’s all about the base with faint squeaks for attention from the other players till drydown.

Honestly, I think 31 Rue Cambon is just too sophisticated for me. It’s too refined, soft, gentle and elegant. This is my third proper wearing of it and I really want to try the parfum version. Maybe it has the oomph I need to get me going, I can tell it’s beautifully blended and structured and it’s my skin that’s eating the early parts and events. Don’t let my lack of success here put you off, on someone else I can tell it will be superb. I have about 3 more ml to use, maybe my nose will click as I get to know 31 Rue Cambon.

31RueCambon MarinaCarlsonPhoto Stolen MarinaCarlson

Further reading GrainDeMusc and MuseInWoodenShoes both take us on entertaining and interesting historical tours, worth a look.
You can buy a bottle in all CHANEL stand alone stores, they will also let you spritz for free and be extremely gracious about it.
SurrenderToChance starts at $3/ml

CHANEL: Little Black Jacket in Milan

Karl Lagerfeld got a fabulous group of people from fashion, art and big business to wear their Little Black CHANEL Jackets and he photographed them. This is a quick video of the opening night of the exhibition. FAB-U-LOUS!!

Till tomorrow, all the love in the world to and for you.
Portia xx

Perfume and Tea. Musings – Pairings #1 and GIVEAWAY


Guest Post by Brie


Springtime Perfume and Tea Musings

IMG_2379Photo Courtesy Brittany and Courtney

Two Classic Discontinued Perfumes Paired With Aromatic Teas

Classic perfumes have always been a ubiquitous part of my life. Growing up in the early 1970s high end niche and artisanal perfume houses were unknown to me. The perfumes that were so prevalent in my house were the classics of Chanel, Guerlain, Dior, Caron, etc. As I got older I sought out my own perfume landscape, venturing out into other territories, sampling innovative, popular fragrances being sold in the high end department stores in New York City. Unfortunately many of the “contemporary” fragrances I adored from back then have now been either reformulated or discontinued. Below are two of my favorite springtime “classic/discontinued” perfumes and aromatic teas.

IMG_2217Photo Courtesy Brittany and Courtney

CHANEL’s Cristalle EdT with Tazo’s Om Tea

Cristalle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Sicilian lemon,
Heart: Hyacinth, Brazilian rosewood
Base: Vetiver, oakmoss

Tazo’s OM tea is a wonderful amalgamation of black and green teas paired with notes of peach and cucumber. Drinking this tea puts me in a subdued, serene state of mind, making the name of the tea quite appropriate. I began drinking this tea several years ago in the month of March, when one begins to sense spring in the smell and feel of the air. I would awaken at five in the morning and stand on my outdoor deck with a hot cup of OM tea. Gazing at the black sky illuminated by the full moon and a vast array of stars, I was awed by the simplistic beauty presented to me. The coolness of the air, the stillness and quiet surrounding me was pure, powerful and meditative. With its ability to resonate pure tranquility, I pair OM tea with Chanel’s Cristalle.

From the time I was thirteen years old and wore Cristalle EDT, this has been the classic fragrance that comes to mind when the seasons segue from winter to spring. The grassy, woody quality created by the lemon, rosewood, oakmoss and vetiver always proves to be the perfect scent for ushering in the spring season. Cristalle exudes austerity: a simplistic, serene, yet powerful, beauty.  In the early morning hours of spring you will find me standing on my deck, wafting of Cristalle whilst drinking my Tazo tea and chanting “OMMMMM…..”

NOTES IN CRISTALLE EDT: Italian lemon, bergamot, basil, petitgrain, rosewood, galbanum, hyacinth, jasmine, oakmoss, vetiver

Escada’s Un Ete En Provence L.E. with Republic Of Tea’s Beginners Mind Green Tea Spring Cherry

UnEteEnProvencePhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Pineapple, apple, cherry, nectarine and pear
Heart: Jasmine, peony, lotus, cyclamen, lychee and watermelon
Base: Praline, amber, cedar and sandalwood

Republic of Tea’s Spring Cherry was the tea that originally propagated my tea and perfume musings several years ago. Spring Cherry tea is a delicate green tea enhanced with the almond-like floral essence of cherry blossoms. During my initial whiff and taste of this tea I had an epiphany and exclaimed to myself, “This is ‘Un Ete en Provence’ in drinkable form”!

Out of all the perfumes I brought back from my first trip to Paris, Escada’s 1994 limited edition EDT, Un Ete en Provence, proved to be the most magical. With its sweet, fruity, praline notes and cherry colored bottle of muted glass with a beveled gold cap it brings to mind nothing more spectacular than delicate, ethereal cherry blossoms. Every year in the late spring as I gaze out my bedroom window admiring my budding plum blossom trees, I am drinking Spring Cherry tea and wearing this fragrance. Pure bliss…..

IMG_2075Photo Courtesy Brittany and Courtney



We have a draw and win for one lucky commenter- a 1ml sample each of Vintage Cristalle, Un Ete En Provence and a sampler of spring inspired teas.


You have to leave a comment welcoming our newest Guest Post writer Brie. That’s IT!

For an Extra Chance you can Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Perfume and Tea GIVEAWAY


Entries Close Thursday April 4th 2013 10pm AusEDST and will be announced in a special post that day.
We are giving Jin a break from his draw choosing duties and Brie, with the aide of her daughters, is taking on the arduous task. The names will be placed on the same sized papers, folded similarly, placed in Brie’s ceramic owl, the contents stirred by Courtney and the name chosen by Brittany.

The winners will have till Sunday 7th April 2013 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or I will give the prize to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

IMG_2639Photo Courtesy Brittany and Courtney

Karl Lagerfeld Interview

Hey All,

One of the men I most revere in fashion for his work and what seems, in a world where it’s so rare to find it nowadays, to be a delightful reticence to bare all every day for publicity. He is always friendly and charming in his interviews but restrained and totally about his craft and art.

Here he introduces his Fall-Winter 2013/14 Ready-to-Wear CHANEL show

CHANEL SeedOfHappinessPhoto stolen SeedOfHappiness

I do hope you enjoy it, the glimpses of the line we see look beautiful, wearable and saleable. BRAVO!

See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

Coromandel by Jacques Polge + Christopher Sheldrake for CHANEL 2007

Hey Hey APJ!

I was recently lunching with Clayton from WhatMenShouldSmellLike and he brought me some amazing gifts from his OS travels. The loveliest of which, so far, is the 4ml gorgeously boxed CHANEL Les Exclusives Coromandel EdT that I am rocking today. It is my first wear of it and I’m dabbing, so do come on a journey with me.

Coromandel EdT by CHANEL 2007

Coromandel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, bitter orange, citruses
Heart: Rose, jasmine, patchouli, orris
Base: Tahitian vanilla, benzoin, white chocolate, incense, woodsy notes, musk, olibanum

Can I tell you before we start that this packaging has me excited already, the card, beautifully presented bottle and the whole feel is incredibly luxe for a 4ml tester. Also, different sites and reviewers attribute Coromandel to both of these magnificent perfumers Jacques Polge + Christopher Sheldrake but only BaseNotes , that I read, attributed it to both. Interesting huh?

Oh MY! The first rush I get is all the base notes springing up my nose and creating a warm, woodsy and sweet amber-ish waft that was so unexpected from the notes that I gasped audibly. They don’t really leave either as the citruses begin to show their bright and lovely acidic colours. They don’t stay long because patchouli has wandered in shrouded in a lovely powdery floral veil and it seems like I’m sitting in a cafe, there is a breezy cafe au lait waft that is surprising. Maybe it’s the chocolate and vanilla together with the patchouli, ahh, who knows or cares how they’ve created this wonder?The patchouli is like the undercurrent of Coromandel, it comes and goes over time again and again, but I never even get a hint of the flowers.

I am happily and dizzily transported somewhere other. Closing my eyes and breathing deeply it’s as if Coromandel is zen perfume I feel so relaxed and comfortable in it like this is the fragrance I’ve been waiting for. Do you ever feel like you’ve come home? Amazing!!

MilkCoffee wallPaperHerePhoto Stolen WallPaperHere

Coromandel is all about the base for me, and on my skin, it has sped there is under an hour and maintains itself there indefinitely with only a modicum of change as it progresses deeper into itself, warming and becoming more foodish as it fades till all I’m left with is a mildly resinous vanilla around 6 hours later that hums ever so softly above my skin for a while longer before disappearing. I am ordering a large decant to stop myself immediately buying an FB. I am moved.

Further reading NowSmellThis and BoisDeJasmin
I think Coromandel is only available at CHANEL Boutiques
SurrenderToChance starts at $3/ml

Have you fallen for something unattainable lately? Are you going the sample route or another way?

Wishing you all good luck in your searches,
Till tomorrow be well,
Portia xx

Coco Mademoiselle by Jacques Polge for CHANEL 2001: LIVE Video Sniff

Dear Glamour Girl Frag Hags,

Here we are as an APJ crew, back again, tormenting another poor fragrance with our complete lack of knowledge, or in fact good taste (yes Portia, looking at you!!) but doing it all with a big tongue in cheek and great good humour, to us anyway. The crew EmmaKate, Margeaux and Robert “Radium” Maxwell are here to help me have a look at one of the big best seller blockbusters of last year.

As always we need to remind you that we are merely enthusiasts and that our unplanned LIVE Video Sniffs often contain oodles of crap. Funny crap but nonetheless……
Please enjoy our little bit of NSFW madness!

Coco Mademoiselle by CHANEL 2001

CocoMademoisell FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, mandarin orange, orange blossom, bergamot
Heart: Mimose, jasmine, Turkish rose, ylang-ylang
Base: Tonka bean, patchouli, opoponax, vanilla, vetiver, white musk

Can I please say that I ADORE Coco by CHANEL and think Mademoiselle is nothing to do with it and should have been named CHANEL Mademoiselle instead of building up false hope and then dashing it, had I not expected AH MAY ZING beyond Coco Oriental bliss I would have been less let down and much less likely to sneer. On mature reflection it is a solid scent that crosses loads of boundaries, both sexes love it; albeit for different reasons. We laugh about it in the video but that 5ml decant went in under a week here at Chez Portia and I am still seriously thinking about a small bottle for myself for those girlish moments that come across us all, even the truck driving army dudes.

HotGirl leftosPhoto Stolen leftos

Further reading BoisDeJasmin and KatiePuckrik
TradeServices has 100ml EdP Aus$113
SurrenderToChance starts at $3/ml

Have you tried Coco Mademoiselle by CHANEL? Are you the demographic? Did or do you love or loathe it?

See you all happy and well tomorrow hopefully,
Portia xx