Leaving for India! What fragrances did I pack?

Hey Crew,

It’s time to pack bags and jet off again.I have written and sent all my Trivias to the girls. There are some REALLY curly Q&A this time ladies. The APJ family has worked overtime to make sure all their contributions are ready to launch while I’m gone, they’ve all been edited and pictures, notes and all the frills have been added and linked. THANK YOU GUYS!! My clothes are all washed, the beds are changed, food has been bought, prepared and frozen and I am almost ready to go. The plane leaves at 10.15 and I am writing to you from 2pm. How organised is that? Normally I’m throwing crap in my bags as we should be leaving.

incredible-india_1822 incredible-india-1 Taj Mahal

This trip I know there wont be much fragrance shopping like in Europe or LA sop I’ve decided to do a decant set for my travels 5ml & 8ml. It’s always so hard to choose and today is no exception. So what made the cut?

Ava Luxe Tuberose Diabolique Parfum
Caron Royal Bain de Caron
L’Artisan Parfumeur Cote d’Amour
Iunx Splash Forte Friction de Iunx
Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur de Male
Tauer L’Air Du Desert Marocain

I am also taking from Neela Vermeire Creations a bottle of Bombay Bling. How could I not? And a Vintage Chanel No 5 Parfum.


So I just watched this video below and I’m crying like a baby, its been nearly three years since I’ve been back to India am I’m so excited to get back and see my buddy and his family and the magic that is India. I can almost smell it it’s so real in this little Incredible India ad. I can’t believe I’m going back……

See you tomorrow!!
Portia xxx

All photos stolen from the Incredible India Campaigns

Indus (oil) by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz 2012

Hey Hey Stink Monkeys,

Every now and then I like to try a fragrance for a while before I read any notes. I enjoy the thrill of wearing the fragrance with no preconceived ideas of what it may smell like and the freefall of having it surprise you as it grows and develops. I have given this particular perfume 3 days wear at different times through those days and my mind kept telling me what a wonderful and spectacular iris perfume I was wearing, so powdery soft and fluffy with that woody, earthy base. Then when I decided to write this post I had to check the notes as I put together my story. OH WELL! Can’t be right all the time.

Indus by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz 2012

Indus FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves
Heart: Black tea, ginger, honey, beeswax and jasmine
Base: Amber, patchouli, musk, tolu balsam, vanilla and milk.

Now that I’ve read the notes list I find it hard to remember why I thought what I thought. There is a definite burst of spices and pepper (black not bell) though they all conspire together to be cool rather than warming, an aloof opening that slowly warms into the heart.  That powdery opening must have been the sparkle of bergamot over these cool spices. The heart is almost exactly like a spicy chai had on a train in India, the cool spices warm and ferment with the honey, ginger and milk. How could I have missed these things. HA HA HA! Just goes to show that the moment you start getting cocky about stuff the world comes along to remind you of reality and bring you back to earth. Hilarious.

My mind was getting comfort scent but couldn’t make the connections. I will tell you though that Indus is a crazy good perfume. A couple of the girls at trivia last night were raving about it and because it’s an oil you have to sit with people for a minute or two before they notice it, it slowly fills the space around you and leaves terrific sillage while not being overpowering or obnoxious.

ChaiWallah mitchellktravelphotoPhoto Stolen mitchellktravelphoto

Honestly, even after all that I still get beautiful moments of powdery, rootish iris and sandalwood and it transports me away to years gone far by and my Grandma, who was a rock for me, and her big cuddles and cooking.

The DSH site:
The great sub-continent, India;  a  land filled with treasures of spice and tea.  Chai tea brings these elements together in an elixir of true comfort, warmth, sensuality and vitality.  Perfect for Fall and it’s inevitable chill, Indus is soft enough to compliment other spice and amber perfumes and rich enough to be worn alone.  We love this for both men and women!

Further reading NowSmellthis welcomes Indus but doesn’t review and I couldn’t find another
DawnSpencerHurwitz has a super sample for $4 or I bought the 1 dram oil essence for $30

With loads of love and below I’ve added a video on how to make chai. I’m off to make some right now.

Portia xx

Tuberose Diabolique by Serena Ava Franco for Ava Luxe

Hello Perfume Peeps,

So nice to have you back with us, for first timers, WELCOME to the APJ Family. The name of this fragrance alone was enough to send me to the shopping basket.

Tuberose Diabolique Parfum by Ava Luxe

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Indian tuberose, wild gardenia, Egyptian tuberose, amber, spice, white carnation, bitter orange

This opens so lavish, lush and white floral, it is a tropical miasma so thick and treacle-ish that you feel like you must wade through the scent to get across the room. If Tuberose is your thing OMFG!!! Not as outrageously over the top as Madonna’s ToD, and I don’t get the same sweetness of Fracas. Here I find a greener, less sexual tuberose but beguiling none the less. Maybe that is the crispness of carnation and sharpness of bitter orange keeping that cloying OTT head ache away. I find it very hard to concentrate when I am wearing Tuberose Diabolique when I spritz my brain goes out the window and into la la land.

As the fragrance ages it becomes softer in scent bubble though please don’t take that to mean unnoticeable. Even 12 hours after application it is still more potent than most L’Artisans first spritz. Wearing this at dinner I found it interfered with my food flavours and I would never put a cinema, bus or work environment through it. You will feel fragrant but they will be skunked!! Very linear through its lifespan it does get warmer and woodsier/spicier towards the end at around the 16 hour mark.

Where would Tuberose Diabolique be wearable? Outdoor activities, shopping, cleaning, bed if you’re lucky enough to have one to yourself, washing day, al fresco dinning, the beach, anywhere that you are not enclosed.

Do I like Tuberose Diabolique? OMG YES!!! And, it’s so ridiculously well priced that I went and bought both Parfum and Oil last night in my second day of wearing the Parfum. The Ava Luxe site has 5ml Perfume Oil $25 & 5ml Parfum Extrait $27.

The Ava Luxe website has this to say:
A French legend of tuberose warns young girls not to breathe in its intoxicating fragrance after dark for fear that it would put them in an amorous mood. we, on the other hand, would encourage you to wear this tuberose fragrance after dark (or anytime) with wild abandon.

Photo Stolen AusGardener

I can’t believe no blogger on the first 3 pages of google has written about this. Make Up alley has a fair smattering of love and hate.

Have you ever scored an under the radar hit? What is your story? I love to hear about new and interesting unknowns. Leave us a message in the comments.

Till tomorrow we wish you enough wealth, good health and enough sense to be happy with those 2.
Portia xx

A beautiful piece of Indian guitar music in honour of the tuberose.

Un Jardin Apres La Mousson by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermes 2008

Hello Perfume Aficionados,

There are 2 things that I quite like as a rule. Hermes, I think they are uber-luxe, and Jean-Claude Ellena who is blazing his own trail and is doing it to capture his ideal of beauty. I like his style, the way he can communicate his reasons and some of his motivations through his books and interviews, his mystique and his fragrances. Not all of them are perfect fits for my skin or personal style but I really enjoy their stories and their sheer, light quality that means my own smell is not completely masked but expanded by beauty. By the way don’t confuse sheer with poor sillage or scent bubble, you are decidedly fragrant for the life of the perfumes.

Un Jardin Apres La Mousson by Hermes

Garden After Monsoon is the translation from French and we are to be swept up into a garden at the bottom tip of India in the state called Kerala where the monsoon first arrives in India. Legend has it that if you are standing there when the monsoon arrives your sight will be restored to its former glory and there seems to be some truth to the tale. I read it in Alexander Frater’s “Following the Monsoon”. Now I really want to go back and be there for the beginning of the monsoon, not least because my eyesight is beginning to deteriorate.

Photo Stolen Hermes

Fragrantica givees these featured accords:
Ginger, ginger flower, cardamom, coriander, pepper and vetiver

Un Jardin Apres La Mousson opens wet and crisp like you’ve just cut up a fresh, cool bell pepper and put it in the blender with a very small slice of ginger and some fruit, all done near a fresh garden salad, washed and prepared but still undressed. As the cardamom and coriander show their selves they are interesting and while still cool add a skinnish depth and a citrus pith feeling. When I huff a big breath out into my top it all warms up and becomes almost overpoweringly beautiful. The vetiver is earthy and rich playing background through the life of the fragrance till near the end it has a little limelight all to itself and then the fragrance, around 3 hours on me, is gone.

Photo Stolen ibnlive.in

Not necessarily in India, but there too, I love the bright green world when the storm is rolling in. There is a heightened expectation and an electric charge running through everything. It has never stopped being exciting for me. I also love the vegetative fragrance of wet grass and humus, the spicy twang of wet leaves and flowers. When in Rajasthan there is a grassed area out the front of my buddies hotel where the family often congregates for morning and afternoon tea, it is particularly lovely after rain. Though Un Jardin Apres La Mousson smells noting like any of this it does evoke a feeling exactly like it. I feel refreshed, energised and ready to accept a new, fresh, change. Jean-Claude Ellena has an unerring instinct for making his work capture my imagination and though I think the title of this fragrance has been a clunky wall in the way of it being loved, this is my favourite of the Un Jardin series.

Photo Stolen article.wn

BoisDeJasmine and OlfatroriasTravels both get very interesting differences in their reviews, great further reading.
FragranceShop has 50ml for $44 and 100ml for $66 after discount
PoshPeasant starts samples at $3.50/ml

Below I’ve added in a 6 minute doco. of one of the palaces I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time in in Deeg, Rajasthan, India. My last longtime partner and his family had a refrigeration plant there. During the torturous, baking, Summer madness the gardens still offer a cool spot to get away. Enjoy!
Heaps of love from us,
Portia xx

Samsara Parfum (Vintage) by Jean Paul Guerlain 1989

Hey you Stink Monkeys!

Back in the early 1990’s I bought my Mum a small Guerlain Samsara EdT or EdP for a birthday and it was her fragrance of choice for a while, finished and then was not bought again. Recently I found a 2ml Vintage Samsara Parfum on eBay for a great price, in its box and I snapped it up immediately. I’m amazed how scent can take me back? It was such a particular time in my life, just starting my professional performing career, leaving behind fashion, winning awards, getting amazing gigs and falling truly, madly, deeply in love with completely the wrong guy and then trying to make it work for a few years before running away to the UK to regroup. So you can imagine how many varied memories this scent, worn so particularly for a snapshot of time when everything was so amazing, would bring back. Tonight I decided that taking the lid off and sniffing the contents was not going to be enough, it is skin time.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, ylang-ylang, peach and green notes
Heart: Jasmine, iris, narcissus, violet, rose
Base: Sandalwood, vanilla, Tonka bean, amber, musk

Samsara means “Wheel Of Life” in Sanskrit according to Jean-Paul Guerlain the perfumes main creator. I love how in the opening I get the peachy sweetness but not much green and the Ylang keeps the citrus under control warming its effervescent sparkle, the initial burst is slightly different than I remember and that could be the way the extrait performs or ages. Maybe ten minutes in and already the flowers are crowding the opening notes, slinkily wafting out and around to flow over the top of the initial accords pushing them into a support role as they fade slowly.

Photo Stolen FernandoLetaJunior

If you are expecting a HUGE perfume then you will be sadly disappointed: Samsara will waft fragrantly behind you but unless you go crazy with it you will walk ahead of your fragrance. The non indolic jasmine and creamy sandalwood create a gorgeously intense structure that all else hangs off and play a fill out role until over an an hour into the life of the fragrance when that lovely intoxicating Guerlainade comes bubbling through and makes the whole fragrance sweeter and warmer, and you realise it’s been there all along, there but unnoticed because of the pyrotechnics being offered elsewhere. Vintage Samsara Parfum’s life on my scent hungry skin is less than desirable turning skin scent in under 3 hours but staying around in that softest of states for another hour or so. The modern EdP is much longer lasting on me but doesn’t tell such an interesting tale.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

NowSmellThis reviews with the love story and history behind Samsara and BoisDeJasmin compares vintage and modern Samsara.
FragranceShop has Samsara EdT 100ml/$60 & EdP 100ml/$71 and also stocks Un Air Samsara 50ml/$28

Have you tried Samsara? What strength was it? Do you have a SAmsara story to share with us? We love to read from you in the comments below. Please join the discussion.
I hope you enjoyed wandering among my fragrant thoughts. Below is an original Samsarta ad, hopefully see you tomorrow,
Portia xx

Neela Vermeire Creations LIVE Video Sniff

Hey Y’all,

Don’t forget to pop over and see my Guest Post on PerfumePosse today. It is linked with today’s special treat.

Well I have a little treat for you today. I hope it’s a treat. No, it WILL BE a treat! Got it? Last week we had a Neela Vermeire Creations spectacular here on APJ. If you missed it and would like to catch up we had an Interview with Neela Vermeire and reviewed Trayee from the line.

Photo Stolen wikiperdia

Robert “Radium” Maxwell and I took some time out after a gig recently to come to olfactory grips with the Incredible Neela Vermeire line of fragrances. We had had a couple of bevies, and frankly, we are enthusiasts not perfume professionals. So we sprayed and sniffed our first time sniffing impressions of the top notes of all 3 Neela Vermeire Creation: Bombay Bling, Mohur and Trayee. What you get is more entertainment than information because though we are lovely sometimes I am a bit dim and Radium is so smart that few have any common ground with him anyway. So do please press on and watch the madness that is an AustralianperfumeJunkies LIVE Video Sniff and enjoy it for what it is. A fluffy bit of Friday night fun.

I can only hope it brings you as much pleasure as we had making it, which was a shitload.

Please go and follow @neelavermeire on twitter and Neela Vermeire Creations, Parfums Paris FaceBook page. She is so friendly and I can promise you won’t want to miss the exciting updates in the near future.
NeelaVermeireCreations was where I bought my 10ml x 3 frags Discovery Set for only 90 euro delivered anywhere in the world or you can get 2ml x 3 frags Try My India Set only 22 euro delivered!
LuckyScent has 55ml bottles $250

Thank you to my BFF Kath for the filming and editing; thanks too to TSO Jin for making it loadable form.
Take care of yourselves till we see you tomorrow,
Portia xxx

Neela Vermeire Creations Winners Announced

Hey all,
The excellent week of Neela Vermeire Creations here on APJ has included an Interview with Neela Vermeire, Review of one of her fragrances Mohur and now a giveaway! I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Thank you to everyone who entered, clearly the Neela Vermeire Creations prize was a great draw card.

As you may know India is one of my great loves, I’ve traveled there 15 times since 2000 and am always surprised by the magic it weaves around and through me each visit, from Jammu/Kashmir down to Kerala and many amazing places in between. Right at the bottom today I have added a beautiful mini documentary about the Ganges at Benares/Varanasi where my BFF Kath and I spent an amazing couple of days. Even watching this mini doco sent shivers of remembrance and recognition through me,  just the way Neela Vermeire’s creations bring to life all the gorgeous smells of India through the ages.

Here’s what we are giving away today..

4 x 2ml Try Your India sets including 2ml of all 3 Fragrances in the line and shipping
Value = 22 euro each!!!
We have 2 sets for the world and 2 sets for Australia to give away, courtesy of the AH MAY ZING Neela Vermeire.
Firstly, you must be a follower of AustralianPerfumeJunkies and YES you can become a follower to enter. Then you must leave in the comments below the names of the 3 Neela Vermeire Creations fragrances.

As always I printed out your names, cut and folded them and put them on a tray for TSO Jin to choose…..

Photo Stolen propercourse

WORLD: Hylda, Dionne

AUSTRALIA: Sinnerman, KillerRabbit

Winners must PM/DM their details to Portia Turbo-Gear on FB or @OzPerfumeJunkie on Twitter before Wednesday 5.9.12 9pm Australian EST or I’ll give your prize to someone else.

Please go and follow @neelavermeire on twitter and Neela Vermeire Creations, Parfums Paris FaceBook page.
NeelaVermeireCreations was where I bought my 10ml x 3 frags discovery set for only 90 euro delivered anywhere in the world and you can get a 2ml x 3 frags Try My India set for only 22 euro delivered
LuckyScent has 55ml bottles $250

Back to regular programming tomorrow. I have really enjoyed spending a week in Neela Vermeire Creations, definitely not the last, I think it will be a regular and long lasting love affair..

As always wishing you all the good things you wish for yourself,

Portia xx

Mohur by Bertrand Duchaufour for Neela Vermeire Creations 2011

Welcome back Perfumistas,

Yesterday we had an interview with the amazing Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations. today we are going to look at one of her fragrances, Mohur, composed with Bertrand Duchaufour.

Photo Stolen guerlain.pl

From LuckyScent:
The name refers to the most valuable gold coin in India’s history, the last of which was minted in 1918. A way, perhaps, of underlining the value given to perfumery during the Mogul era, an art so highly considered that the most powerful empress of the Mughal dynasty, Noor Jahan, devoted herself to perfecting it.

Photo Stolen worldofcoins.eu

Fragrantica LuckyScent and Neela Vermeire Creations give these notes and accords, each site is slightly different so I have melded them all:
Top: Cardamom, coriander, ambrette (musk mallow), carrot seeds, black pepper, elemi oil
Heart: Turkish rose oil, Moroccan Rose Absolute (rose accords around 11%),  jasmine, iris/orris, aubepin (midland hawthorn), almond milk accord, leather, violet
Base: Sandalwood, amber, patchouli, oudh Palao from Laos, benzoin, vanilla, tonka bean

Photo Stolen Neela Vermeire Creations

What do I smell when I wear Mohur? The very first whiff is pepper and spices jumping off my skin but it doesn’t take long for the ambrette and elemi to add their musky/woody tones though there is still a strong spicy/herbal wash over all. This is no big blockbuster of a fragrance, it’s more refined than that; it does give great scent and more than moderate sillage but not in an overwhelming way so I think very wearable for dinner, cocktails or dates, but maybe a little too much for close quarters working
The green hawthorn is the next player to make itself known heralding the rise of the flowers, and boy are they something! Like the lithe and lovely Indian women in their bright colours walking to get water each morning and evening they sway into the picture and ROSES, roses, ROSES backed up by a bouquet that is way beyond my meager abilities to parse. This is exactly the scent I would love to wear to dinner at the Lake Palace in Udaipur (where you can watch the chefs make reincarnations of the feasts of Mughal and Raj days), or the Wildflower Hall in Shimla (where I was lucky enough to spend my birthday in 2010) or the Neemrana Palace outside Delhi (where we spent our 8th Anniversary) or even the hall of the Dalai Lama in McLeod Gang (though McLeod Gang is now so much a tourist Mecca that I hardly recognised it from 2000-2010). I feel like I am in the lap of India’s most jaw droppingly awesome and outrageous luxury, even almost smelling the dust that has to be hand collected in wet rags three times a day by the servants, and still the snap and sizzle of lunch frying, that was present in the opening, persists alongside the roses. What an adventure!

At around the 2-3 hour mark I still have a green pepper fragrance behind a slight sweetening of the bouquet of roses and other flowers, like an amber/vanilla mist that is laid over the top. Mohur smells really expensive on the body, lavish, opulent and glamorous are words that instantly jump to my mind. The whole fragrance is much softer now; the sillage is maintained at slightly lower levels.

By nearly 5 hours I have a sweet vanillic, milky, woody and ever so slightly soapy dry down that continues for somewhere over an hour when I lose all sense of wearing fragrance. WOW!! Every time I wear Mohur it’s a slightly different ride but it was really fun today to document my wearing of it for you.

Photo Stolen Neela Vermeire Creations

Looking for other reviews? NowSmellThis looks specifically at Mohur and CandyPerfumeBoy does all three NVC in the line.
NeelaVermeireCreations was where I bought my 10ml x 3 frags discovery set for only 90 euro delivered anywhere in the world
LuckyScent has 55ml bottles $250

These are a must try fragrance line because there is real love poured into their creation, they use the best ingredients available, smell incredible and God Damn It, you deserve the best. Come see us Thursday for a very special Neela Vermeire give away!

Have you tried this line? Do you have a favourite? Why?
As always love to you and yours,

Portia xx

PS: The opening photo stolen openlib

Neela Vermeire Talks To APJ

Hi Perfume Family,

You may have heard about Neela Vermeire Creations, if you have been anywhere on the scentbloggosphere then you’ve probably read about their line of fragrances too. If you are a perfumista then chances are you have smelled at least one of the magical fragrances, and maybe own a bottle, decant or sample set. I was lucky enough to win a sample set in a blog competition and have fallen deeply under the spell of these beautiful reminders of my times through India since 2000 with my last long term partner who is part of a hotel family over there. Loving the fragrances so much I wanted to understand the woman who has been the catalyst for their creation, the friendly, driven, intriguing and very pretty Neela Vermeire. Today she talks with us and I am thrilled that she has.

Photo Stolen guerlain.pl

Tell us about young Neela please, where you came from, family, siblings, poignant or helped create who you are moments?
Who am I? I guess I am a result of my life and travels. I am a global villager – restless, hopefully a mindful soul.
I was born in India and most of my family still live in India. I was educated in the eastern part of India in a city called Calcutta. I went to the US for my graduate studies. After completing my masters degree I moved to London, Aberdeen, Paris, London, Paris.
My earliest memories of perfumes were from the various ceremonies that took place in temples, my family who wore some form of perfumes – immediate and extended.  India is in general a phenomenal assault to ones senses – good and bad and ugly.
Family and school trips to various parts of India made me appreciate the vastness and variety of India and Indian culture. The smell of Indian flowers in markets, roadside food stalls – smell of Indian snacks like chaat, puris, parathas, wood stoves, roasted peanuts, tea stalls, fruit stalls – smell of mango ripe and unripe, guava, lychee, jack fruit (very strong smell), musty book stores, wet earth after monsoon, dry earth under the scorching sun, smell of freshly brewed Darjeeling tea, spices etc.

India (like most warm countries) can provide the most amazing natural smells and the most awful smells.

What were you doing before you became a perfumer?
I am a qualified solicitor in the UK, I started working on consulting projects, exhibiting emerging artists and creators in Paris and also doing Perfume Path Tours.

How did you become interested in fragrance?
Since my childhood days in India. Also each move to different countries made me deeply aware of cultural differences and preferences.

What qualifications do you have as a perfumer?
None because I am a creative director or a creator but not a “nose” or technical perfumer.A nose/perfumer must be a qualified and trained person. I worked with Bertrand Duchaufour who is a well known nose for the first India trio.

Photo Stolen theperfumemagazine.com

Who were and are your mentors and inspirations?
Too many to mention. Some other niche perfume creators were and are my mentors.
My inspirations are my life and travels.
Friends and loved ones who enabled me to express with the help of Bertrand the perfumes as a tribute to India.

Who is your favourite perfumer, other than yourself, and why?
As I mentioned before I am a “creator” and not a “nose” or technical perfumer. Many people call themselves “perfumers” when they have “noses” working for them.
Do you mean creators?
Frederic Malle (Creator)
Serge Lutens (Creator)
Guerlain (Perfumer and creator)
Annick Goutal (Perfumer and creator)
Patricia di Nicolai (Perfumer and creator)
IUNX by Olivia Giacobetti (Perfumer and creator)

You know many others who are true creators and not trained perfumers..etc….
There are many other independent niche perfumers .

Synthetic, natural or mixture, why?
Mixing is good. Mixture is great – one is able to create exceptional creations with mixology.
Naturals can be heavy and aroma chemicals add the playfulness.

What do you have in development that you’d like to share with perfumistas everywhere?
A couple of fragrances – work in progress.

Photo Stolen lfort

Isn’t it nice to get a little insight into the lovely Neela, I hope you have enjoyed it. Please come back tomorrow, we will be looking at one of the Neela Vermeire Creations fragrances in depth,

NeelaVermeireCreations was where I bought my 10ml x 3 frags Discovery Set for only 90 euro delivered anywhere in the world or you can get 2ml x 3 frags Try My India Set only 22 euro delivered!
LuckyScent has 55ml bottles $250

Love to you all and hope for your good health, wealth and happiness,

Portia xx