Louis Vuitton: “Up On High Heels” Mini movie

Hello Hot Steppers,

I don’t know about you but shoes are something I adore. I have a 10 pair of male and 10 pair of female shoes rule because my collection was excessive and I had to downsize it, do you see a theme running through my life? Anyway, now it’s one in and one out, unless I have a breakage or disaster. So this fun mini movie with shoes, design, art and dance was right up my alley.

So I hope this entertains you while we wait and wait and wait for the Louis Vuitton fragrance…………. STILL WAITING…………

louis-vuitton-fall shoes-2013-stylefrizzPhoto Stolen StyleFrizz

LV Spiel: Louis Vuitton invites you to dance and take a leap in time, moving from more recent collections of shoes to past designs that have marked the House’s fashion history. See the story at http://vuitton.lv/Kn9Xiz

Portia xxx

Louis Vuitton presents Up High On Heels

Dry Wood by Ramon Monegal 2012

Hello Frag Hags and Friends,

When Ramon Monegal released their fragrances I thought they made a decided tactical blunder: 14 new fragrances all at once was overwhelming and the few reviews they got either had all 14 mashed together with a paragraph each or they zoomed in on the 4 most interesting/outrageous/perfumista-ish of them. I wish, for them and me, that they had released three a year over five years. That way I definitely would have tried more than one of their fragrances already. What has inspired me today? Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels added a large sample in her perfume gift pack and after reading her absolute dismissal of the fragrance I am intrigued.

Dry Wood by Ramon Monegal

Dry Woods Ramon Monegal fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Citron, bay leaf, pepper, moss, sandalwood, cedar, cashmeran, amber, woody notes and satureja

Firstly, I think Dry Wood is a rotten misnomer. Dry Wood is neither specifically Dry or Woodsy, at least not till the very end. Maybe this is why Birgit was so dismissive. Dry Wood opens with a very old fashioned masculine citrus and herbs, the kind of scent reminiscent of something that you can buy very inexpensively at the drug store but smoother, the herbs are green and interesting and there is a very human breath-ish something in there too. The pepper is wet and spicy and I think there is a watery (not water but wetness) feel too, which is why I don’t get the name. Here we have a beautiful spring meadow after rain and we’re driving through it in a new convertible so we also get the torn grass, wildflowers and earth. The sun is shining coolly and as we drive up to the house there is a woodpile all freshly chopped and ready for the fire. As Dry Wood dries down there is a warming by the amber and slight drying towards woodiness but I would have called this Spring Fling or Country Cottage.

Dry Wood Ramon Monegal 1ms.netPhoto Stolen 1ms.net

Personally, I have enjoyed this ride immensely and will use up my sample in a jiffy. It is a reinvention of barbershop fragrance, classy, interesting and absolutely wearable. I could imagine this going on after sport or gym and going back to work having people ask what smells so damn good. Great date frag too. Ladies, don’t be shy here, you will find this beautiful too.

I thought these two short reviews so fabulously different that I wanted to include them both:
BoisDeJasmine: Dry Wood contains a sharp and bracing white sandalwood note beneath a flurry of pine/turpentine “aftershave” notes. This is the most masculine and the least softly focused of the line.  It’s a bit sharp at the edges, but this is a quality I find stimulating.  I easily used up the sample; while I might not wear this with a gown, I found its stereotypical “male” aesthetic pleasing (I like sharp sandalwood).
Olfactoria’sTravels: Dry Wood: This is the only one of the fourteen I absolutely hate. It is a harsh, overly manly, wooden “screecher” of a scent. It smells artificial and frankly, cheap. Well, every line has to have a bummer and for me, this is it. But one out of fourteen is not a bad cut.

slice of dry wood timber natural backgroundPhoto Stolen colourbox

LuckyScent has $185/50ml and samples
Ramon Monegal has 107,44€/50ml (not available to Australia sadly)

Which of the line did you try? I really want one of their gorgeous bottles in my collection so I’m going to have to try them all.

Portia xx

Grigioperla Essence by Pierre Bourdon for La Perla 2009


Post by Margeaux


Hi all you lovely smelling people. This is my 5th review for APJ and I hope you’re enjoying reading them as much as I am enjoying writing them. I seem to have had no real structure or direction when purchasing scents until Portia started sharing his love of perfumes and I realised there was so much more to learn and get excited by. Today’s frag is one that I discovered quite by accident but I have fallen mightily in love with.

Grigioperla Essence by La Perla 2009

Grigioperla Essence La Perla FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Cypress, Pink Pepper, Bergamot
Heart: Magnolia, Lavender, Jasmine
Base: Pine tree, Thuja, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedar

Grigioperla Essence for Men was created in 2009 by master perfumer Pierre Bourdon. Now that little titbit had completely passed me by til just now, as I started to research for my review. He was the nose behind more than 40 fragrances but probably best known for the commercial smashes of YSL’s Kouros (1981) and Davidoff’s Cool Water (1988). Amazing, right?

Woody, much? I do love my woody scents, and this was precisely why I bought this one completely on spec (unsmelled).

I’ve just blasted three big juicy sprays onto my forearm to get a good whiff of it going and I just love that super cypress and pepper opening. Wow. Wow. It wakes me up and makes me feel so good. Like the day ahead is one that I can do anything with. Grigioperla Essence settles quickly into the lavender and jasmine – they gently play together while running down the side of a fresh meadow.

Lavender Jasmine FrenchRevolutionFoodPhoto Stolen FrenchRevolutionFood

The magnolia takes a little longer to get there but when it does, it joins the flowers to add a sense of masculinity that it would otherwise lack. I think the combination is delicious.

The final phase brings together the last of the woody notes, and for me, it’s where this fragrance really shines. There’s not one ingredient that takes centre stage here, but they all work together to create a harmonious forest of smell that I find incredibly sensuous. They aren’t heavy but exude a freshness and crispness, much like a cool autumn morning on a wooded track. I just love it.

Grigioperla Essence La Perla Chopped Wood wikimediaPhoto Stolen wikimedia

A lot of other reviewers have mentioned the poor sillage, and I have to agree. It does fade quite quickly and is basically non-existent around 4-5 hours. I like to think that my skin loves it as much as my nose and just gobbles it right up, hungry for more. My poor little 50ml bottle is already nearly empty but a replacement is so reasonable. It seems its not stocked widely these days, which is a shame, because this is very wearable and enjoyable.

EssentialMall starts at $23/50ml

See you soon, M x



Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Good day all of you APJs!

ZARA – A Spanish success story. A clothing and accessories store. Louis Vuitton fashion director Daniel Piette described Zara as “Possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world.” Possibly. Although I have my doubts.

ZARA SPORT 421 by – who knows?

(So far out of my comfort zone I need oxygen ……. )

ZARA SPORT 421 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica call it an aromatic spicy fragrance for men. Featuring musk, mandarin orange, thyme and pepper.

A story in three parts.


My son invited me to go shopping with him, about a month ago. Never one to turn down a date with him, off I went. All I had to do was buy him lunch. (A Chanel bag would have been cheaper!) Just before heading home he asked me to nip into Zara and grab him a bottle of Zara Sport 421. “You want me to do whaaaat??? Over my dead and mangled body!! I will not. If you want it you will have to get it yourself.” So he did. With much muttering as to what a snob I was ……

PART 2 (next day)

“Mmmmmm, that smells nice son.” Mucho laughter from him. “It´s Zara, Mum.”
“Aaaaaargh!!” I cried in agony. “Maybe you would like to write about it!” he chuckled.

Sweet smelling son.

PART 3 (A few weeks and several random compliments later)

Here I sit. Zara 421 is really quite nice Nice is not a word I like to use, but it is perfect for Zara 421. Soft, musky, slightly orangey and spicy. Warm. I cannot pretend to pick any notes out, because I can´t. Maybe there aren´t any that are readily identifiable. But I like it. It´s staying power is about three hours. Would I recommend it? Well, if it was a choice of Axe, Lynx or Zara? Then yes, definitely the Zara 421. There are three in the Sport Range. Zara Sport 421, Zara Sport 675, and Zara Sport 615. Am I going to try the other two? Am I hell. My son says the 421 is the only good one. That is enough for me.

ZARA SPORT 421 dorechina2009Photo Stolen dorechina2009

It is only available in certain Zara stores, and it is NOT available online. I guess that makes it pretty exclusive huh? ;))) The fragrances run at about 12 to 20 Euros. Totally affordable.

See James? You owe me lunch.
Bussis until the next time.

Bang! by Ann Gottleib for Marc Jacobs 2010

Post by EmmaKate

Bang! by Marc Jacobs 2010

Bang Marc Jacobs FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Black, white and pink pepper
Heart: Woody notes
Base: Elemi resin, aromatic benzoin, vetiver, white moss and patchouli

I am a massive fan of wearing men’s cologne, this is a different smell than I would normally wear but I really enjoyed wearing this.

It opens with an almost sparkling green note which is the vetiver already going strong. There is this warming sensation where the black, white and pink pepper comes through, the spice from the pepper combined with benzoin and vetiver makes this fragrance effervescent yet warm.

Bang marc jacobs Perez hiltonPhoto stolen PerezHilton

I am a very visual person and when I smell this I see a young well dressed guy. He has a good job, very caring and sweet, pretending to be a player. This is a sexy though somewhat comforting fragrance. Very easy to wear, über masculine to boot. Bang guys are date-able, maybe even marriage material.

Further reading NowSmellThis
FragranceNet has $37/50ml before discount
MyPerfumeSamples starts at $2/ml

See you next month
EK xx

Marc Jacobs Bang! Interview

Bang! Ad.

Eric Bana for Bulgari Man Extreme Fragrance 2013 Ad Campaign

Bulgari Man Extreme Fragrance 2013 Ad Campaign

Hey all you lovely fashion forward fragrance hounds,

I love it when new and gorgeous celebs get picked for fragrance commercials.

BvlgariManExtreme FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Pink grapefruit, Calabrian bergamot, cactus zest
Heart: White freesia, Guatemalan cardamom, amber
Base: Haiti vetiver, Laoese benzoin and Balsa wood.
The not extreme version os this fragrance was the first perfume I bought for TSO Jin. He still wears it regularly and when we found the Frag, Deodorant, Wet Pack Set on a ridiculous special he bought some and now all his friends wear it too. So I know what the extreme must smell like because when they all get together it is a fabulous scent cloud to be in the midst of. We saw this recently and Jin tried it but the notes list doesn’t do the product justice, there is no mention of the wetness or space between the notes, the soft but insistent weaving of this fragrance through your own body smell so that though all Jin’s mates smell similar they all also make Bulgari Man smell quite different with one note or another taking prominence on their skins.
The Extreme is fuller, heftier and has the half life of plutonium.
MyPerfumeSamples has the original Bvlgari Man from $2/ml to $7/5ml
Don’t you LOVE Eric Bana. OMG!! I have had a serious crush on him for years.
See you tomorroew.
Portia x.

Peter Lindbergh photographed actor Eric Bana for the latest campaign image of Bulgari Man Extreme fragrance.

Image via Models.com

Stolen from one of my Fashion Go To Blogs art8amby

An Interview with Eric Bana

Here is the ad

Portia’s Christmas For The Boys Shopping Guide

Hello Fraught Funies,

OMG!! How is it Christmas again? I used to be a done all my Christmas Shopping by the end of the July Sales kinda person but the last few years I have put it off and put it off and then end up in a mad December scramble. I am composing a list of the things I’d like to grab for my partner Jin this year and letting you look over my shoulder as I do it. He will probably only get one from this list as I have a couple of other things in mind to add in.

Portia’s Christmas For The Boys Shopping Guide

CasswellMasseySandalwoodSoap GraysOnlinePhoto Stolen GraysOnline

Caswell – Massey Sandalwood Soap 3 x 5.8oz: This is a well packaged and deliciously scented set of Sandalwood smelling soaps. They act as a great base for loads of mens fragrances and give back a little of the rich buttery sandalwood missing from so many modern incarnations. There is also a 243ml body lotion pump pack. They both come in boxes for ease of wrapping. At FragranceNet I found the pair of them after discount for under $35

Yatagan eBay

Caron, Yatagan EdT: Named after the curve bladed Turkish sabre Yatagan is a green, woodsy, leather, spice and sweat mixture that is surprising, interesting, masculine and dead sexy. Released back in 1976 Yatragan is a manly masterpiece for a super great price. FragranceNet has 125ml Edt spray for under $40

LorenzoVilloresiSampleSet FirstInFragragrance

Lorenzo Villoresi – Fragrance Collection – Sample Set: I found this stunning set and have been panting after it for myself. 16 x 1.5ml sprays showing a fabulous selection of the range for only €30 on FirstInFragrance and a little hint, if you are shopping Internationally you pay no tax so spending around 100 and the shipping will be the same as the saved tax. Woo Hoo!

L_Artisan_Batucada_Eau_de_Toilette_100mlPhoto Stolen L’Artisan

L’Artisan Parfumeur, Batucada EdT: Spicy, salty citrus tempered by flowers, flesh and sea in a lovely nod to cocktails and samba in Brazil on Ipanema Beach. Bright, bold, fresh and daring while being a completely modern masculine, and those engraved hexagonal bottles look so rich and have great heft in your hands. Parfum1 has 50ml for $100

JuniperSling lovelypackagePhoto Stolen lovelypackage

Penhaligon’s, Juniper Sling: Recently I was lucky enough to win a bottle of Juniper Sling from TheCandyPerfumeBoy and I can’t stop spritzing. It is a fabulously boozy cool climate forest walk that gives you a sharp slap in the face to wake you up and then warms on skin into a deliciously warm masculine clean body smell. OMG! Seriously gorgeous stuff and EssentialMall has 50ml for as little as $101. BTW The box is even more lavish looking in real life

Maître ParfumeuretGantierDiscovery FirstInFragrance

Maître Parfumeur et Gantier – Les Masculins – Discovery Set: Discover the universe of Maître Parfumeur et Gantier. A choice of 15 fragrances presented in 13 ml refillable atomizers, personally I think this is ridiculously good value and look at the presentation. FirstInFragrance has this gorgeous set for €119


Slumberhouse, Pear + Olive: If you want something so completely different to anything else available, you are buying for a perfumista, want to look like you are all over the best new stuff by the coolest crews and are way ahead of the game then this is the best buy you could wish for. The juice is a surprising almost clash of sweet and savoury, is dense and light simultaneously, warm, ferocious, cool and charming and comes in a killer engraved bottle with plenty of heft that will look totally now and retro on every vanity. Get onto the Slumberhouse site where 50ml will cost $150 + $12 International Postage. this is the good shit!

inekeeveningedgedingold LibertinePhoto Stolen Libertine

INeKE, Evening Edged In Gold: I know that you wouldn’t normally pick this as a masculine fragrance but it smells terrific on my partner Jin, a spicy, floral woodsy fragrance that sizzles on him in the most alluring way and makes me want to get really close. The bottle is a beautiful work of art too. Libertine in Australia has 75ml $160 including postage

Picture 3357Photo stolen LucyScent

Amouage EdP Miniatures Men’s Gift Set: Really want to spend some money on a lavish gift? Try the six best selling Amouage Men’s Fragrances in miniatures. Each 7.5ml bottle is a perfect mini replica of the real thing. Included are: Lyric, Jubilation XXV, Reflection, Gold, Dia & Silver. Many of the world’s stores are sold out but Libertine still has some in stock for $280 including Postage

Did that help at all? It has certainly sorted some stuff out in my head. What fragrant gifts are you thinking for the men in your life?
See you tomorrow,

Portia xx

Aramis by Bernard Chant for Aramis 1966


Guest Post By Tim

Aramis by Aramis 1966

(current formulation)

In this day and age where fragrances are sold through the art of embellished story telling, celebrity endorsement and multi million dollar advertising campaigns, I look to the past to see how much times have changed! In an era where themes were simpler, all you had to work with was the truth. We were not so seduced by faux inspirations, someone else’s ideal of femininity and masculinity or that sudden moment you fall in love. There was a different notion of what smelt clean and fresh. Fragrances were made with a vast variety of non synthetic accords,  giving perfume outstanding character and brilliance. Although many fragrance category’s were still to be discovered it seems to me perfume had more to offer its wearer, a list of notes as long as your arm for example,  and the simple promise of what fragrance was designed to do, to make u smell good.

Advertising quote-
“Aramis was created to be the most elegant mens cologne in the world.
Somewhere along the way it became the most provocative.
Aramis, the impact never fades”

If you research Aramis you will see the opinions in black and white! Love and hate, the men who can take it and commonly, the women who can’t . What could be more provocative than this, and I’m sure you already know it’s the fragrances that polarise opinions that are usually the most interesting and the bottles you want in your collection.

1966, Estée Lauder and her cosmetic chemist uncle Joseph Lauder formed brother company ‘Aramis’. Named after the fictional character in Alexandre Dumas  vintage classic novel ‘The Three Musketeers’ they  presented the world with the first line of prestige mens grooming products. This included the company’s debut namesake Aramis by Aramis , a leather chypre created by long time collaborator Bernard Chant (Estee,  Azuree, Cinnabar) Aramis raised the bar higher and went on to become an instant best seller for the brand, and continues to be over 56 years later.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica lists notes –
TOP          Artemisia,  Aldehydes, Bergamot, Gardenia, Clover, Myrrh, Thyme
MIDDLE  Jasmine, Patchouli, Orris, Sage, Cardamom and Sandalwood (PerfumeShrine also adds Cumin and Castoreum)
BASE       Leather, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Coconut

Aramis opens as discreetly as a king hit in a bar room brawl. Do you know that moment when a tradie sparks a blow torch and it ignites into a searing flame, well such is the first hit of Aramis.  It’s challenging to describe perfectly the initial rush as it presents multi- dimensional and busy. My nose reads Body odour over antiseptic pine and parched grass enhanced by  recognisable Lauder style Aldehydes. Any florals have been dialed down to give full impact to the spicy cumin kick start that aims to crash tackle you in the opening. At first it’s rank, dirty and unclean but before u have time to pinpoint what exactly your smelling it blends into one of the most overtly masculine openings of any fragrance I have. The  Artemisia adds bite and bitterness which is wisely balanced out by the Alderhydes.  This creates a manly playoff between unwashed arm pits with subtle hints of soap. It’s animalic  and shockingly beautiful.

Photo Stolen crosswordcorner

You better be in it for the long hall as Aramis has stamina and longevity. The middle reads like a anthology dedicated to my favourite category…. leather!  Chapter one through ten, the heart notes come together to deliver. The credit belongs to the leather, castoreum and musk which seem to meld early on to deliver a ballsy leather accord. Cumin lingers to give it undeniable carnal funk.  A earthy patchouli manages to pull the bergamot a little further as I can detect citrus well into the first 2 hours wearing.  Still spicy and ripe well into half a  days wear Aramis is a obvious and unapologetic. I can only imagine the damage caused  if allowed to fall in the wrong hands. Proceed with caution reader.

FragranceX has Aramis EdT 15ml/$8.40 & 100ml/$51
MyPerfumeSamples starts at $2/ml

Till nest month,
Fragrant Regards,

Cedar St. Tavern by Prospector Co. 2012

Hello Perfumista Bargain Hunters,

I often find hidden gems on my list of non fragrance blog reading. I think this particular beauty came from DesignSponge, a daily design, DIY and decorating blog that has its finger on the world’s good stuff pulse. From my office chair I can see the best design on as many as 4 continents a day. It is rare for them to delve into fragrance and beauty so when the Prospector Co. products were being held up to scrutiny and given honors I was intrigued, especially since 2.7 fl oz costs about the same as a 3ml decant of some of the pricier niche offerings. What is the worst that can happen I thought, it will be average and I will give it as a Christmas present to a family member that will be thrilled. I am now thinking of giving it as presents but not because I think it’s average. Cedar St. Tavern by Prospector Co. is anything but average but it does feel historic. Though I don’t believe in gender lines there is a set of accords that makes up my memories of what the men smelled like as I was growing up, this is it plus a bit.

Photo Stolen ProspectorCo

From ProspectorCo website
Beginning in 1866 in New York’s financial district, the Cedar St. Tavern saw several locations until settling into the 40s bohemian neighborhood of Greenwich Village. It was during this time that many of America’s most prolific painters, writers and musicians congregated over drink and intellectual banter. The 50s brought in the New York School with Pollack, de Kooning, Rothko, Kline, and writers like Ginsberg, Kerouac and Corso. This location signifies an inspiring moment in history, with its stories and creative caché that will most likely never happen again. This scent takes its name from this place in time and an aroma of worked-in attire, old-fashioned 50s cologne, and a carefree regime best describe it. The notes that carry it and the unsubtle attitude of the person wearing it make it happen.

Cedar St Tavern Photo stolen theplathdiaries

Created from an age old perfumer’s technique with the modern man in mind, this light scent is best used as a refreshing wake-up for the face and garb. Midday meetings and post-work occasions call for this scented spray and its rich rustic notes and cooling aftereffect. The formula is safe for clothing and all skin-types and will bring back your pre-day freshness, even at midnight.

ProspectorCo gives this amorphous featured noted list: Patchouli, Oak Moss, Tonka Bean, Lavender and other pure essential oils.

I get a really wonderful warm lavender opening, I know that doesn’t sound right but the lavender has been softened and I think it’s the tonka giving it a slightly sweet bent. Warm, sweet and still herbal with darker depths Cedar St. Tavern is a modern retro-feel fougere style fragrance that will knock your socks off. It has great sillage but its scent bubble is not extreme.  Simultaneously smelling like a modern masterpiece and Grandpa there is a short but interesting story lived withing the notes confines: powdery, lavender fresh, herbal but slightly sweet I can imagine grabbing the sensational bottle after the gym or swimming. It’s not a skunker so most work situations would be good unless you are in a severe no fragrance workplace or you are in very close contact. Have I mentioned how comfortable and retro-glam the bottle is, so cool and understated, and it has a gym beg no spray plastic dooby-whacker that will keep your juice in the can till you want to use it.

Cedar St. Tavern lasts quite well at about 4-5 hours until it dries down to a skin scent that reminds me of something but I can’t quite put my memory to it sadly, that soft powder and woods skin scent lasts till morning.
Cedar St. Tavern Prospector Co. 2.7 oz $32.00

Need a stocking filler? Don’t know what to get your Secret Santa? This is something interesting, wearable and very reasonably priced that will look good on any bathroom vanity and not be an embarrassment in a locker room.

Till tomorrow be well and try and take 5 minutes just for you somewhere along the way.
Portia xx

Here is the 2nd Brad Pitt CHANEL No 5 Movie