Powder Flowers by Montale

Hey there FUMIES,

A few months ago I grabbed a bunch of the Montale fragrance samples, I tried a few of them but didn’t get to the rest, here’s one that I should have tried immediately. There are a few of the Montales that don’t seem to have come from the house, Sandflowers is one and this is another….

Powder Flowers by Montale

Powder Flowers Montale fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Rose, jasmine, osmanthus, cedar, tonka bean

Clear, sheer and fresh are three words I would never have linked in my mind to Montale who usually go for heavy hitters. Powder Flowers is so far from my knowledge of the brand that I had to check I hadn’t mislabeled the spritzer. Even Sandflowers is more Montale-isah than this. Lovely, pretty and dainty are not words I had previously used either but all of these adjectives are absolutely accurate when talking about my skins reaction to Powder Flowers. If you have a celebuscent crazed teen or a fruitchouli addicted friend then this could be the first step in their rehabilitation. While giving the sheer, barely there feel of many of the current offerings there is a story, a level of interest and change, and it is fragrant. The sillage is excellent, changing the air as you walk past and making it interesting, drawing your nose after it, it sits close though and after leaving my office to make coffee and returning there is no appreciable remains of it.

Powder flowers PowderTower WikiCommonsPowder Tower, Prague Photo Stolen WikiCommons

Like many of the Montale fragrances though the parts are so reduced from naturals that they are barely recognisable, there is something in jasmine that reads salty to my nose and I’m wondering if it was in the sunscreen that I grew up with here in Australia and that the memory of the beach is forever locked in stasis with it, I also notice it in other scents featuring this super clean jasmine. Rose passes me by completely in Powder Flowers and though I have often liked osmanthus fragrances it doesn’t seem present because I get no fruity/lactonic emphasis, the cedar and tonka are there all through but it takes a while to notice them.

Powder Flowers Osmanthus Tanaka Juuyoh FlickrPhoto Stolen Tanaka Juuyoh Flickr

It’s called Powder Flowers, it is not a typical powder but an abstract, “If I was the Queen of all powders this is how I’d smell.” I don’t think the notes list tells us much here, could we be missing musk, iris, heliotrope and others? Having now drained my second sample of Powder Flowers I am thinking a large decant to see if I go through it as quickly. The only reason I haven’t bought a bottle already is that I can’t believe that I am so in love with a fragrance so definitively UN-me.

Powder flowers Powder DuboseLawFirmPhoto Stolen DuboseLawFirm

Further reading: Scent For Thought and I could find anything else specific
Parfums Raffy have $105/50ml
Neroli Budapest has €56/50ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $4/ml

You may wonder why the Prague Powder Tower pic is above, well, Jin and I were in Prague earlier in the year and we kept walking around and through this gate so when I saw it while looking for Powder Pix I instantly wanted to share this reminiscence.

Have you tried this far from usual Montale?
See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

Sweet Oriental Dream by Montale

Hello Happy Huffers,

Today we are looking at a fragrance I procured in a split on Facebook, Fragrance Swap is the crew, and I can’t remember who was doing this split unfortunately. SORRY if you’re reading. I like to buy 10ml in a split, it gives me enough to wear for review purposes and if I drain 10ml then I seriously need to think FB. Usually though I drain 3-5ml during the testing process and it either gets put away or I pass it on to someone who I think will adore it.

Sweet Oriental Dream by Montale

SweetOrientalDream FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

LuckyScent gives these featured accords:
Moroccan rose, loukhoum (Turkish Delight-honey, rose water, sugar, fruit, jam, nuts), almonds, vanilla

The first whiff off my skin is pure nougat. Sweet and jaw breakingly delicious, filled with almonds and vanilla. WHOOOEEEEE! If you want to smell like a gourmand paradise then this is the way. GORGEOUS! There is something so dense and hefty about Sweet Oriental Dream by Montale, something very Indian and I’m trying so hard to put my finger on it but it eludes me, maybe the sweets. I have memories buried of someone or something that smelled just like Sweet Oriental Dream at one of the weddings I’ve been to there. It’s an over ripe and lush scent, sweet but not putrifying, deliriously beckoning but not headache-y.

LuckyScent says: Beautifully rich, sweetly lush and unrepentant in its blatant, edible sensuality, if you like sweet fragrances that pulsate with rare pleasures from the harems afar, you’ve just found your newest obsession.

SweetOrientalDream KeyWordPicturesPhoto Stolen KeyWordPictures

I think there may be a smidge of unnamed oudh flying in at a low hum and it’s giving a real Middle Eastern feel rather than an Oriental one. I’m getting a Swiss Arabian fragrance vibe from Sweet Oriental Dream while wearing it for review that I have never noticed during other wears.

TurkishDelight MaiLinTalksPhoto Stolen MaiLinTalks

Further reading ScentForThought and Opalescent
Neroli, Budapest has 50ml for around $65 and sends to the world for 10 euro
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

I love the Montale range. I find it fun and innovative, while still maintaining wearability. Many of you disagree and I love to hear both sides of the story, and the wonderful or ghastly experiences you’ve had so SHARE THEM please.

Love
Portia xx

Shopping in Budapest, Hungary and Venice, Italy

Hey Gang,
Running out the door today and fell asleep last night so didn’t get this photo post done. Apologies for its brevity

This is this weeks list, and yes I’m mildly disgusted at myself but I’m an ADDICT. They are all so worthy too.

L’Artisan Parfumeurie, Montale, Maria Candida Gentile, Pineider, Sigilli, Naomi Goodsir, The Different Company, Pont de Rialto, Chanel No 5 FAKE, Cartier Samples

Tomorrow we have a terrific photo essay. All the photos you are seeing are taken by Jin BTW. He is pretty damn great.

Loads of love,
Portia xx

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Holiday Photo Essay Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary

Hey Hey APJ Family and Friends,

As you saw from our shopping lists we have hit the frag shops hard this week with Birgit and Sandra in Vienna but we didn’t get many good shots from the day, sorry. I did pop into the Knize flagship store in Vienna to grab a bottle of the limited edition Knize Ten Gold. They were sold out so I had to content myself with a deodorant stick till I get to Paris. Annoying because I didn’t get it in Prague when I saw it hoping to buy at the original home, GRRR!
I’m not sure if I bragged about this but Neela Vermeire and her gorgeous husband Tony happened to be in Vienna and we all went for a super great dinner filled with loads of laughs and great food. They are such good people and Neela’s beauty is especially apparent in her fragrances. From the little I’ve seen she is as filled with magic as her frags. Great night!!

Budapest is awash with fabulous niche perfumeries. A city that fills during working hours to four million people has two incredible niche frag shops, Neroli and Parfums Croissette, that we’ve been to and Madisson that we hope to see tomorrow. I’ve also added some great shots that we’ve taken that are not frag related. All taken in lovely Budapest. The dinner shot is our new buddy Ibrahim who helped us at the post office and then became our leader and guide on our last night here. I’ve just taken the one of us in bed because we are off to sleepy byes, goodnight from us.

Off to Venice tomorrow afternoon.
Love and kisses,
Jin and Portia xx

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Sandflowers by Montale

Hey APJ Peeps,

This is a much awaited sample. I thought I had ordered it in the SurrenderToChance Montale carded samples sale but I must have forgotten to put it on the list and the only place I could find a sample was Posh Peasant. Thank goodness I did..

Sandflowers by Montale

Sandflowers FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Sea water, juniper, sandalwood, oakmoss

From ThePoshPeasant: Sandflowers is an unusual and stunning combination of sea notes from the ocean combined with the coolness of juniper berries on a base of sandalwood and oakmoss for a fragrance reminiscent of sunshine, sand, salt water and peace.

The juniper and salty sea shore, clean swept after a storm and early morning before the seaweed starts to fume ferociously. Sandflowers also gives me a sweetness, reminiscent of green cordial, and something a little sugary in contrast to its basic savoury nature. A bit like sweet Vietnamese rolls with salt crystals in the butter you’ve slathered on, causing your arteries to slam shut with a clang but your tastebuds to jump for joy. Not a BIG Montale extravaganza but a quiet, interesting verging on weird, fragrance that doesn’t necessarily evoke each note at any given time but a variety of combinations that work so harmoniously that individual notes are lost, except the salt which cuts across everything.

Sandflowers is such a departure from what I expect a Montale to smell like and I’m wondering if that is what makes it seem so special to me. I was predisposed to liking it from a couple of extremely positive reports I’d read but they didn’t explain the complete lack of any rose or oudh, Sandflowers is a sweet and sour scent. A gourmand in the broadest sense because though it’s not exactly an edible odour, it is definitely a smell that you may know from a morning at yum cha. Yes, I am crazy. No Sandflowers is not bad, it is wonderful. F.B. Wonderful!

I get moderate 4-7 hour wear from Sandflowers by Montale, longer if I wear it as a double coated spritz about an hour apart. Being such an unusual scent, not perfumey at all, I think it would fly under the radar at work, I want to smell this on a really athletic person after they’ve showered at the gym, I wonder if the extra salt and blood pumping would enhance the beachside effect positively. I know this is a totally weird thing to say but I feel like this is the fragrance that I can wear to be myself, there’s no perfume reference for Sandflowers and it’s beautiful on its own merits, no need for comparison or conjecture.

sand+flowersPhoto Stolen myworldthrumycameralen

Further reading ISmellThereforIAm and PerfumeSmellin’Things
ParfumsRaffy has 50ml/$75
ThePoshPeasant starts at $3.50/ml

Sandflowers IS an unusual beauty and one I recommend you try. Are you ever surprised by a fragrance houses releases? Does one from a house stand out to you as completely different? Tell me, I love to read about the unusual stuff, please.

Till tomorrow I wish you something lovely, go find it, smile when you do.

Portia xx

Aoud Lime by Montale

Hey All,

On Monday I had my first sniff into the big, bad, scary world of Montale (<<Jump to read). Guess what? It wasn’t any of that, um, no, I mean yes, it IS big! Montale has an enormous range and I have a sample group of 10+ and still I have only dipped my toe in their offerings. In the comments on Monday I was asked , challenged, dared even, to try Aoud Lime. People are saying it will take my chest (where I spray all first time frag sniffs), pick me up, shake me, throw me against a wall and leave me there groaning and too sore to cry. Well, never let it be said that Portia Turbo was one to walk away from a Cer Ay Zee Challenge.

Aoud Lime by Montale

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

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Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Pakistan oudh, Indian rose, Italian orris, sandalwood, patchouli, saffron, amber

11am: As my 2 samples of Aoud Lime go into a glass decant spray the juice is the same colour as one of my 1970s Shalimar parfums, rich amber coloured nectar and it smells like ambrosia. The initial rush is reminiscent of Bar B Q’d citrus or limes left in the sun after a cocktail has been drunk. An alcoholic, slightly dry, hot, citrus with a clean, synthetic oudh smell that could be medicinal but is mainly herbal to me so far and has no hint of the pooh smell.

Photo Stolen TheRawRecipe

1.30pm: I have now cleaned the bathrooms, dusted, vacuumed and steam mopped the house. Quite regularly throughout my cleaning frenzy I have been given little huffs that have stayed almost linear with just a push into rose territory, a spicy and honeyed rose. Aoud Lime has become a quiet scent by now, very pretty rather than the audacious, extreme, screamer I was expecting. I think after the first half hour that you could totally wear Aoud Lime to dinner, movies, theatre or not close proximity work environs. It has become a classy and cool fragrance on my skin that I would be proud to wear as a regular day scent or with an extra spritz or 2 for a big night on the town.

3pm: Finished the washing, swam, sunbaked for 45 minutes and still a lovely sweet oudh, citrus and wood, slightly powdery. Heading for skin scent but it really has been through the wringer today. I’m going to wear it again tonight to see if less strenuous activity gives it a different run.

Photo Stolen flickrhivemind

Go see the WhatMenShouldSmellLike review for further reading.
LuckyScent has 50ml/$110
FourSeasons has 100ml/$160
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

Photo Stolen foodmatters

Sorry everyone. I don’t understand what all the fuss was about. this is beautiful and wearable for me. I will seriously be contemplating a full bottle of Aoud Lime after I’ve tried the rest of the Montales.

We wish you painless, easy and harmless world domination in whatever is your chosen field, and at least one beautiful moment before we see you tomorrow.
Till then,
Portia xx

Aoud Shiny by Pierre Montale for Montale 2008

Hello fellow Fumies,

Have you ever read a bunch of reviews and they have frightened you off something? All I keep reading is about how harsh,  strong, powerful and long lasting the Montale fragrances are. That they are kick you in the head and then jump on your carcass as you lay there dead by asphyxiation. Recently on SurrenderToChance they had a DailyChanceSpecial on the Montale manufacturers samples where you could get them for only 99c each. Of course I grabbed a bunch and they have been sitting there unloved and unsniffed since because I had to wait for there to be nothing involving people to do and nobody awake to skunk. Tonight’s the night!!

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Bulgarian rose, violet leaf, oud, nagarmotha root (Cyperus scariosus), sandalwood, patchouli.

My skin completely explodes with crushed violet leaf, slightly earthy nagarmotha root and a soft, clean, oudh for the first 15-20 minutes. It is fresh and lively, green and summery, and not what I was expecting AT ALL. Ha ha ha! I often read about the moment when you start to think you know something about fragrance and you get all, “Oh, I know what this will be like because I’m a frag DIVA!” It’s at that exact time something will come along and surprise the shit out of you. Well, here it is! While being lush and wet, like walking through the immaculate gardens of a tropical resort after rain, this is not a big fragrance. Yes you are perfumed and fragrant, you have better than good sillage and sit still for a while and people will notice that you smell incredible but Aoud Shiny is not a skunker.

Photo Stolen novinite

Oh MY! This is the part where the Bulgarian roses come in and smack everything else down. I have been wearing Aoud Shiny by Montale for nearly 40 minutes and slowly the roses have been taking over, right now they are all there is. A lavish, slightly spicy, full blown rose: those big fat global roses that open up as big as a salad plate. CooEEEEEEE! This splendiferous rose remains front and centre for a good, long while, maybe 1.5-2 hours and then a spicy, minty, medical/chewing gum experience takes over (almost like the opening of Geranium Pour Monsieur but less intense). It’s not an oudh-ish medicine but a dentist surgery, get  it?

Photo Stolen inspiredbythis

One of the things I really enjoy about this fragrance is the amount of time you get with each stage of the fragrances development, now at around the 3-4 hour mark the sandalwood is making a big buttered wood statement that doesn’t run completely over the lingering violet leaf and rose, it’s a triumvirate with the sandalwood walking slightly ahead. at this point I start to feel like we are really about to arrive in a Middle Eastern fragrance. Here is where the real depths of the fragrance begin to shine. While still retaining its light and freshness Aoud Shiny gives up its hidden depths to us and will continue to do so for hours more yet. By the time I lose the fragrance I’ve stopped checking the time, so some time after the 7 hour mark but before 10 hours. EXCELLENT!

I couldn’t find a dedicated review of Aoud Shiny by any of my favoured bloggers but on Basenotes and Fragrantica there was a mixture of love and hate reviews.
ParfumsRaffy has a selection of Aoud Shiny $100/50ml & $165/100ml
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

There were quite a few complaints that Montale was doing another Rose/Oudh fragrance. I am new to the line so for me it had a fresh, lovely and unusual approach towards these 2 main accords, lighter than the heavy Indian and Middle Eastern oils that I’m familiar with and heavier than almost all of the Western fragrances. A fine, balanced perfume with a great, long story to tell. I can’t wait to try another Montale.

Have you tried any of the Montales? Do you have a favourite? Please tell me below in the comments,
We at APJ hope that you have enjoyed dropping in and we hope to see you back tomorrow. Till then, take care of yourselves,
Portia xx

Here is a gorgeous Belly Dancing Artist who gives the idea a great new modern spin. Do Enjoy!!

5 QUICK SNIFFS and JUDE LAW

Hey fellow FumeHeads,

Quick Sniffs! Reviews <5 sentences each.

One thing I would like to ask though is if you could all please get the word out about our blog. It’s one month and we’ve had over 2000 separate people visit us, which is beyond AH MAY ZING! To really help create the community we dream of though we would like to take that to the moon and back. So if you enjoy reading our blather, know someone who loves fragrance or have an enemy that you’d like to torture with us, please go ahead. Facebook, Twitter, Phone, Email, Letter, Sky-write, Radio or TV, please mention us at every stop. Some of the Independent/Natural/Niche Perfumers that we are reviewing, interviewing and writing about just need a nudge to make them global concerns. We’d like to be part of making that happen for them and you are the only people who can help. Thank you in advance and please enjoy today’s offering.

L’ANONYME OU OP-1475-A by A LAB ON FIRE

This is minimalist, like a clean scent but with a bit more balls. It starts quite citrusy and wears softly to a slight, lovely warmth.  My skin eats it pretty quickly, a whisper in 40 mins; gone in 2 hours. But it’s so affordable that you won’t feel guilty for respritzing.

Fragrantica has the notes, accords and reviews LuckyScent does an admirable pitch and you can buy.

AMBER OUD by BY KILLAIN

This is the most easily accessible Oud scent I’ve tried so far. It is warm vanilla, spicy bay and amber with a hint of Oud. Extremely expensive in feel, smell and fact.

Notes etc by Fragrantica while TheCandyPerfumeBoy and BoisDeJasmine do reviews from different perspectives

MUSCHIO NOBILE by NOBILE 1942

Looking on the first 3 pages of Google I could not find single English review for this lovely soft Italian fragrance that wasn’t a press release revisited. The notes tell me a story that my nose doesn’t smell though. I miss the musk and citrus completely after the initial rush and am left with a linear floral and woodsy fragrance quite unlike anything I’ve smelled before. I find this fresh, light and unusual fragrance quite cool but friendly. I will get a 5ml decant to really try it out.

Fragrantica has the skinny, LuckyScent has a blurb and shopping

AOUD CUIR D’ARABIE by MONTALE

WOOF! Want an Auod faceplant with a block of freshly hewn wood in a barn with livestock and a rock hard Romeo just off his horse and ready for action? YES YOU DO. Insanely FBW!

Fragrantica for notes and stuff Scentrist & NathanBranch have opposing views to each other.

SHE WOLF by SMELLBENT

This starts with the same candied fried citrus that we have seen in loads of stuff and took me completely off guard because I was expecting a skanky ho of a fragrance. The gang were saying what a sexy masculine fragrance this is but all I smelled throughout was spicy citrus. My nose is MENTAL! She Wolf, I think I love you!

Fragrantica has the stuff and CaFleurBon writes about the whole SmellBent North by Northwest range

Thanks for making it to the bottom of my sniffy thoughts for today.

Portia xx

All photos Stolen from Fragrantica today.

The delicious Jude Law, Enjoy!