DIOR: Secret Garden 2 – Versailles

Hello APJ Family,

You may remember last year Christan Dior brought out a sensational mini movie shot in Versailles, the Louis XIII through XVI hunting lodge turned palace. I was lucky enough to be in Versailles in February and it snowed during our visit. Outrageously, perfectly, incredible. I would very much like to go back and spend three days looking because there was way too much to take in in one viewing. Here then is this years installment in what looks like it may become a tradition.

DIOR Versailles Hall Of Mirrors Atanar.comPhoto Stolen Atanar.com

I hope you enjoy it and the making of.
Portia xx

‘Secret Garden 2 – Versailles’ | Film

‘Secret Garden 2 – Versailles’ | Behind the scenes

Escale à Portofino by Francois Demachy for DIOR 2008

Hello Happy Huffers,

In todays post we look at a fragrance that I’ve always thought of as a mid summer spritz to cool, calm and collect myself. I have rarely worn it in the cooler months and then only for memories of summer. It has always felt beautifully blended but today for the first time I am wearing it for review purposes.

Escale à Portofino for DIOR 2008

Escale & Portafino FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, petitgrain and lemon
Heart: Almond, orange blossom and juniper berries
Base: Cedar, cypress, galbanum, caraway and musk

BANG! WHOOSH! Citrus opens bright, effervescent and audacious. A sparkling and fun fizz that says summer is around the corner, we are gripped by spring, life is good and wonders will never cease. For a fun pick me up to any blue day then Escale à Portofino is the antidote. A big cheesy smile in every spritz. We maintain a green freshness as the juniper berries sweep in but my skin and nose doesn’t register the orange blossom except as background voices to the lovely green snap of those berries, and the citrus stays around for a very decent length of time into fragrance life.

Lemonade WallpapersCraftPhoto Stolen WallpapersCraft

When the almonds come through its a sweet milky surprise, woodsy too, adding a lovely depth to what is essentially a very cologne-esque adventure. I am surprised that Escale à Portofino hasn’t been marketed more directly to the men, it would be a perfect masculine as well as being a lovely feminine. The dry down never registered with me before today, it maintains its green heart but warming and unsweetening slightly and becoming a bit more herbal. Very interesting. A very Green Tea scent to close, gorgeous whispers and wafts before finally, gone.

My main qualm with Escale à Portofino is that usually when I wear it the lasting power is terrible, around 3 hours maximum. Today though when worn with the express purpose of reviewing it I got over 6 hours of fragrant life, interesting. This may be better in mid seasons rather that the heat or cold? Today is a lovely 20 degrees celcius with the sun shining and I feel like I have made a new fragrant friend, the whole life of Escale à Portofino got more interesting and longer.

GreenTea Fragrance-OilPhoto Stolen Fragrance-Oil

Further reading BoisDeJasmin and Olfactoria’sTravels
FragranceNet has $55/75ml
SurrenderToChance starts at $3/ml

Don’t you love it when an old favourite that you’ve worn for ages at a certain time changes its face for you? What frags have done this for you?
Portia xx

DIOR: Miss Dior 2012 Perfume Review + 2013 Ad. and Making of with Natalie Portman

Hello Lovelies,

With all the kerfuffle and change happening around Miss Dior I thought we should take a new look at the frag and we also get to have a sneak peek at the ads. Enjoy

DIOR: Miss Dior 2012 by Francois Demachy

MissDior2012 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Italian mandarin
Heart: Egyptian jasmine absolute and rose
Base: patchouli and musk

Sorry but this is about as far away from how I want to smell as you can get. Not a bad fragrance, just so completely not my cup of tea. I know there are many fans of 2012 Miss Dior and I wish you well wearing it. The ads on the other hand are FABULOUS!!!

DIOR: Miss Dior 2013 Ad. and Making of with Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman is Jin’s favourite actress, mainly for her perfect beauty, and via osmosis one of mine. I love the 2013 mini movie and here we also get to glimpse a moment behind the scenes. This movie was shot by Sofia Coppola and has a transcendent, ethereal quality that feels very big screen and Natalie Portman is exsquisite. I love to feel a little like I’ve been there, don’t you?

Portia xx

The Making Of…

The Final Mini Movie

DIOR – New Flagship Store in Sydney!

Hey Hey All You Fashion & Fragrance Lovers,

We have a wonderful new DIOR flagship store in Sydney. That means that the exclusive collection perfumes are now here for me to sample at my leisure. WOO HOOO! Not quite as lavish as the Harrods productions but Andy has twice taken friends and I through the store, been incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, and shown us absolute courtesy. If you happen to be in Sydney, ask for Andy, he is the best SA DIOR in Sydney has.

Here are a couple of shots of a day recently when two girlfriends of mine Domenica (from VogueVandal fashion blog) and her Mum Anna and I went for a grand tour of the establishment. At the top you’ll see them with Andy, then on the menswear level catwalk, the stairs to the underground and Domenica holding one of the fabulous new peachy orange coloured bags. Super fun day. Thanks DIOR.





DIORLadyNoir wicked-haloPhoto Stolen wicked-halo

From March 14th to April 16th, the department store Harrods in London, UK celebrates the House of Dior, hosting a pop-up store with exclusive items as well as a unique ‘So Dior’ exhibition and a Dior Café.

Most of us can only dream of being there. But dream we must.

Portia xx

Here are the Harrod’s DIOR movies.

Dior Homme Shadow Movie by Willy Vanderperre

Here’s one for the boys and the ladies, and men, who love them. This was originally one of my favourite masculine fragrances, the 2011 reformulation has changed it and at least DIOR was kind enough to give us a complete heads up about it all. It is different, and that is sad but still a worthy fragrance to hold the masculine mainstream at DIOR.

DIOR Homme by Francois Demarchy 2011

DiorHomme2011 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender, sage, bergamot
Heart: Iris, amber, cacao
Base: Vetiver, patchouli, leather.

I hope you love the movie, like I do,
Portia xx

Dior Homme Shadow Movie by Willy Vanderperre released 13/9/12

Bringing Grandma Up To Date At Christmas: A Gift Guide


Guest Post by Tim


With the Christmas gift shopping window of opportunity slowly getting smaller in the lead up to Christmas do you get stuck on what to buy? Perhaps you do a Chris Cringle like my family. Sometimes I am wandering aimlessly around under pressure, amongst holiday crowds scratching my head thinking of what they would like.Out of all the people in my family I buy for it’s my Grandma that I find I am at my most inspired when things need to be wrapped and under the tree by the 25th. Bless her heart, she excitedly accepted my presents given over the years. Sometimes fragrant, sometimes not. This year I’m

Bringing Grandma Up To Date

Photo Stolen TheBookwood

I’ve been referencing the past to find new interpretations and variations on the popular and classic fragrances that were trending at a time when our grandmas were becoming women. I have included some new flankers of vintage classics from iconic houses and beautiful compositions she will relate to and make a new connection with. These are a festive selection of fragrances suitable for a woman.

EauPremier stylefrizzPhoto Stolen Stylefrizz

Chanel,  No 5 Eau Premiere 2008 by Jaques Polge. An inspired choice for a Classic Alderhydeic floral. Fresher and lighter on the  Alderhydes,  it strips away time and date,  softening the edges and modernising the famous formulation. Eau premier presents a little rosier than iconic No 5. Grasse grown jasmine,  neroli and ylang ylang from the Comoro Islands keep it luxe. Generous in 125 ml bottle .

Photo Stolen dezire

Chanel, Crystal eau Vert 2009 by Jaques Polge. Introducing an ozonic citrus white floral. Retaining the original ‘honeysuckle’ accord and adding magnolia with abstract white flowers, 1974 classic Crystal has been given a breath of fresh air, greener and cleaner. Sicilian lemon noticeably flaring on opening, quickly settling into a powdery green heart that wears fresh and cool, this to me feels perfect for summer.

Photo Stolen ThePerfumeShop

Christian Dior, Les Creations de Monsieur Dior, Dioressence 2009 original by Guy Robeert. Everything old is new again  is the theme song of this classic chypre. Representing a review on a vintage edition, Dioressence presents a timeless opus of Dior which resists time and trends. An olde worlde opening of alderhydes under tart citrus which fades to a bouquet of violet, tuberose, jasmine, carnation, Lily of the valley , ylang and iris root. I’m hoping for a bottle too. Hint hint.

Photo Stolen TheMakeUpDivas

Estée Lauder Private Collection, Jasmine White Moss  2009 by Aerin Lauder , nose Jean Mark Chaillan. Hardly stock standard or obvious, this release is packing earth moss and wet woods. Rumour has it this is an unfinished fragrance from 1980, there are subtle hints of jasmine floating through this superb mossy green floral. New notes added by Aerin are mandarin and black current absolute, this is a fragrance created to honour heritage and family tradition.

Photo Stolen CHANEL

Chanel, No 19 Poudre 2011 by Jaques Polge. A new directions for this classic green alderhydeic floral. Sheer powder, more balmy and musky. Iris  is the angle on the tree in this rendition of my personal favorite No 19. Poudre is adorned with jasmine, galbanum, vetiver and hyacinth which subtly floats into a soft focus musk with sweet tonka bean. My favourite Chanel flacon.

Photo Stolen Escentual

Guerlian,  Shalimar  Parfum Initial 2011 by Thierry Wasser.  Entirely representing the outer trappings of the original and giving it rose coloured glasses. It’s vaguely related to the famous Shalimar, but think of it as the basics rethought,  while still being able to tie it back to the original. No dirty bits to be found anywhere with white musk , Wasser uses  popular iris paired with nutty almond nuances, over time drying down to  woods and amber; less smokey and vanillic than the original.

Photo Stolen Clemence-cahu

Yves Saint Laurent, Opium Vapeurs de Parfum 2012. The tender salmon pink bottle that was once home to super elixir Opium. Pink pepper in the opening gives it initial sparkle, orange blossom and mandarin take it up a notch as the oriental citrus incense becomes gentle and caressing. The Vapeurs edition has  less spice than the original and is thankfully low on the sugary calories.

Lancôme,  La Vie est Belle 2012 by Oliver Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Phillip. The latest mainstream release representing the gourmand sweet fruitchouli  category. With three noted noses behind its release, 5000 claimed variations  and given a three year probation you would hope ‘life is beautiful’ with this latest from Lancôme.  Well I can say it is,  grown up and  elegant. Feeling over all polished in it’s composition, reflected through the pretty glass bottle design. Heart notes praline and patchouli mix festively with vanilla and the almond-like accords in the base pushing it well into a gourmand territory.

See you in a fortnight,

Tim XX

Ambre Nuit by Francois Demachy for DIOR 2009 and new Raf Simmons Interview

Hiya Frag Hags,

Don’t forget to go enter our APJ 50k Draw. DO IT NOW!!!

I found this wonderful interview with the new DIOR designer Raf Simmons, he talks very well about some of the places he sees DIOR venturing and how he has brought Christian Dior’s vision to the catwalk in 21st century styling. He also engages me when he smiles about how short his lead in time was, extraordinary that the work is as good as it is. I will be very interested to see how he takes the reins and how he manages to reinvent DIOR’s couture after the ghastly bigoted debacle that was. As this is a fragrance blog I needed a tie in so I went looking through the DIOR Couturier Collection (now known as the Dior La Collection Privée) samples I bought from SurrenderToChance to find a scent that I hadn’t yet reviewed that I felt fitted with the Spring/Summer 2013 DIOR Pret-A-Porter.

Ambre Nuit by DIOR 2009

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Grapefruit, bergamot, Turkish rose, pink pepper, amber (spices, Turkish rose, ambergris, gaiac wood, cedar wood and patchouli: extras from Olfactoria’sTravels)

Ambre Nuit opens on  my skin with a burning amber and sharp, sweet, peppered citrus. It’s all spicy confusion for a moment and then quickly as it started the madness calms and lightest woods come through with a salty, oily, wet ambergris and everything goes soft focus for a while. I am fragrant but my nose picks out nothing more than that, TSO Jin says it is still very fragrant and that he can smell me still from the other end of the couch, but Ambre Nuit is quite lost to me unless I move around and it huffs from my top and then I am surprised by its delightful intensity.

It’s nearly an hour before I smell the rose but when it comes through the whole fragrance changes and goes almost tea-ish, definitely a spicy, gourmand, tea rose. A full bodied stunner of a rose fragrance, though not loud at all, Ambre Nuit is a whisper fragrance that has good sillage but its scent bubble is slight, noticeable if you are looking for it but otherwise ambient. a perfect work scent for him or her. Almost a clean scent but with none of the laundry style clean connotations. Clean skin, freshly washed and presented for edification. Ambre Nuit smells to me like you are wearing an incredibly lavish and luxe body lotion, that’s how quiet and clean it feels. Not even the most fragrance phobic work spaces could complain of this subtle and delicious beauty.

For something so soft it is surprisingly tenacious and Jin can smell it next morning on me still, though I am completely anosmic to it.

Photo Stolen plus.google

For further reading OlfactoriasTravels and CandyPerfumeBoy both have fallen for Ambre Nuit’s charms, albeit in different ways.
SurrenderToChance starts at $3/ml
Bottles are available at VERY select Department Stores and DIOR boutiques

This is a perfect mid season fragrance to me, are there a couple you like to grab when it’s neither hot nor cold? The in betweenies that you pull out in anticipation of the extreme seasons but could not wear during the super hot or cold? Please share them in the comments. we love the conversation.

Also PerfumePosse Guest Post this week is about the new CHANEL No 5 marketing magic with a mini movie that tells a rose coloured version of the CHANEL No 5 story, take it with a grain of salt but it is GORGEOUS!!

Whatever you have to do today, make sure there is a window left for you. It can only take 5 minutes of “you” time to get through another 24 hours, clear your head, revitalise you.
Till tomorrow,wishing you a day with at least a moment of happiness, hopefully more.
Portia xx

Interview Raf Simons – After DIOR Spring/Summer 2013 Ready-To-Wear Show

Bois D’Argent EdC by Annick Menardo for DIOR 2004

Hey Hey Perfumista Buddies,
I hope today has been awesome for you all! Of course, if it’s been shite then things will no doubt get better sometime in the near future. Peaks and troughs, or as I say PIGS and TROUGHS. It will get better, the sun will shine again. Promise. Whenever I feel the black dog at my back I try a new fragrance sample and really move into the fragrance and do my best to understand the story and twists & turns of its life cycle. though not currently in a bad patch it’s good to remember them when life is going well and prepare, as much as anyone can, for the next time. So there are a GAZILLION untried samples in this house. When I found these 2 lovely mini movies from DIOR I wanted a fragrance from the house as an excuse to give you these as a present. I have the complete La Collection Privee from SurrenderToChance a while back and today Bois Argent EdC by Annick Menardo took my fancy.

Bois D’Argent EdC by Annick Menardo for DIOR 2004

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Juniper berries, cypress, iris
Heart: Incense, Somalia myrrh, patchouli, wine, woods
Base: Vanilla, musk, amber, woody notes, honey and leather

I love the fresh, juniper and cypress opening on my skin, it is a very citrus blast that is quickly cooled by the iris and the cypress soon gets quite woody. A surprising reminder of the fragrant Hindu rites in Varanasi as the patchouli and incense/myrrh take their allotted places there is already a quiet waft of vanilla and a honeyed sweetening coming up behind and sitting just under the full radar but hinting at great things to come. It doesn’t say it in the notes but there seems to be a whisper of oudh here also: earth, livestock and dander. I don’t get wine at all, and the musk is well hidden, both must be bit players used to fill the fragrance out or maybe my skin/nose overlooks them. I love that the powdery goodness stays quite a way into the fragrance life and that the leather isn’t even noticeable until a couple of hours in, and then it’s like a change in the wind and back to sweet honeyed amber and then it pops its lovely soft leather head out again to remind you to notice it for a while and then flits away. Though not a big sillage fragrance it is tenacious, pumping out its lovely story for hours and hours, ever more quietly till it is a whisper more than you. I like that this EdC lasts so well and tells a beautiful story while it lives. Wearable even in the most zero fragrance tolerant workplaces, you could get away with saying Bois D’Argent is a scented body lotion because it is quietly gorgeous and rich. A completely selfish guilty pleasure. 12 hours later I am still skin scented and TSO Jin can definitely still smell a difference.

Dashaswamedh Ghat, Varanasi Photo Stolen en.wikipedia

I wish this was easy to get hold of here in Australia but it is not stocked. I will continue with samples till I see a split on one of the Facebook pages, or till I get to the Northern Hemisphere.

Olfactoria’sTravels does a wonderful review and so does TheNonBlonde
SurrenderToChance sells Bois D’Argent EdC from 1ml/$3 or you can buy from VERY select retailers and DIOR shops

Which of this range has taken your fancy? I’ve reviewed a few now and have yet to dislike one though they aren’t all skin compatible for me.

Below are a couple of lovely newish DIOR videos, please take a moment from your life to enjoy them.
Until we see you tomorrow, be well.
Portia xx

Lady Dior Teaser

Lady Dior Web-Umentary