Just Generally

Hi All,

Today I am going to quickly run down my weekends fragrance wear. It’s been pretty hectic around here, loads of work, home shenanigans, friend drama, shopping, living, loving and finally TSO Jin and I have booked a holiday. We will be jetting off to far flung destinations in January. Leaving our glorious summer for your Northern winter. I am so excited, 2010 was my last holiday and I’ve not yet traveled with Jin so that is always a relationship settler or a disaster zone. Can’t WAIT!!!

We spend 3 weeks in Europe so I hope to see all my Euro blogging buddies and then a week in rural, seaside Korea to meet Jin’s parents. OMG! That should be interesting. Oh well. Secure in the knowledge that I’m the most frightening thing in the universe I think I’ll cope, but will he? Will they? HE HE Poor feckers won’t know what hit them,

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Guerlain- Aqua Allegoria- Lys Soleia- I wear this newby to my collection and feel like an Empress. It is gorgeous on me, to me and I am gagging for the bee bottle. Flowers, sunshine, fruit (and to me salt & coconut though they’re not listed) Full review coming.

Olympic Orchids- Golden Cattleya- A guaranteed compliment grabber, unusual, sensuous, a little bit dirty but all lovely night blooming orchid. So good it feels a little bit evil. At 30ml EdP $40 you can’t go wrong!! Sample program excellent.

SIOVOHLE- Wild Ginger Chai- I thought I’d packed Leather Krem but it was Wild Ginger Chai and I had 3 random, unsolicited compliments. one person coming in close and saying, “Wow! You smell so amazing!” and then doing that disgusting hum/moan/purr thing we all do when fragrance transports us. It was spooky but great. At 15ml EdT $30 a very affordable frag and they have a super sample program.

Un named sample- Clayton at WhatMenShouldSmellLike gave me this to try and I think it’s a lavender masculine but it is tenacious and strident and dries down like a year later and generally reminds me of a Tabac type offering. I enjoyed it immensely.

Photo Stolen Parfum d’Empire

Parfum d’Empire- Ambre Russe- What a powerhouse of fabulous this is. Smoky, Russian teas, floral, pipe tobacco, booze, incense, burning, magical and musky firebrand of a fragrance. Why don’t I wear this every day? Ah May ZIng! These guys also have an extraordinary sample program and 100ml is only 90 Euro.

SurrenderToChance 40% off SALE!!!
is currently happening too. I have gone with $100 to spend and scored myself some incredible bargains. Yes, I write for Perfume Posse but I get no kickbacks for doing so. I just LOVE THEIR SHIT!!! For $100 I can get 30ml of 10 or 15 fragrances. Such a great way to get to know a bunch of different fumes.

Photo of Korean Temple Stolen elwood5566

Photo Korean Bridge Stolen 123rf

Thanks for dropping by, please go check out the links and have a little look. Below I have dropped in my new favourite song and video; Battle Scars by Guy Sebastian feat. Lupe Fiasco
In life I want you to want the best for yourself and go out and get it.
It is waiting for you. Believe it.
Love always,
Portia xx

Ambre Russe by Parfums d’Empire 2003 and New Music

Hey you Mad Perfume Crazed Freakazoids,

It’s Friday. YAY!! Which means I’ll be up on Perfume Posse with a super awesome guest post and giveaway there too. Also don’t forget to enter our Thursday GIVEAWAY (<<<JUMP)


We have done a Parfum d’Empire expose back in May, we talked about Marc-Antoine Corticchiato the face and creative director and we also did some mini reviews of some of the line. I wanted to keep Ambre Russe in reserve though for its own feature because it is so special.

Catherine Palace in Pushkin Photo Stolen RussianAmber

Ambre Russe is a legendary rock star of a fragrance. Big, rich, boozy, tenacious and completely spellbinding. Marc-Antoine Corticchiato of wonderful Parfum d’Empire (<<JUMP) has made a masterpiece. The day that the samples arrived last year this was the first fragrance I tried. That night I was online ordering a 50ml (only 100ml online now) and it has been awaiting its opening ceremony till this week. How could I have let this amazing fragrance sit in its box?

Interestingly, I feel very few of the written notes here. I get booze but to my nose the champagne and vodka feel like brandy, the tea and spices feel like a rose accord, with the crispness of some stem and leaf which must be the birch and juniper, Russian Leather? I get pipe tobacco, not in the bag but in the pipe after tamping as the flame first touches with its rim of pre-smoked ash, redolent of huffy clubs and high end tailoring but completely unisex. The dry down, which is still powering away 3pm next day from a 6pm double spritz, finally gives me what I would expect from these written notes; amber, musk and deep religious incense. I have had 2 people say that it reminds them of musk sticks at this late stage, sweet musk and vanilla tempered by the coolness of the incense.

This little bit of magic is a real head turner, sillage is excellent. You are guaranteed comments and compliments. I wore this to work 3 nights this week and had two plus compliments and more questions each night. Not a sexually alluring fragrance, this one is bare faced cheek and haughty grandeur in equal measure. Don’t wear it to dinner without a 2 hour preamble or you won’t taste your food properly.

Photo Stolen Parfum d’Empire

Fragrantica gives these notes, (the Parfum d’Empire site adds ambergris)
Top: Champagne and vodka
Middle: Tea, cinnamon, coriander, birch, juniper and russian leather
Base: Incense, musk and amber.

Parfum d’Empire has an awesome sample program 13 2ml samples including postage only 22€ to the world! The 100ml bottles are all extremely well priced for a niche company of this quality too.


Two Door Cinema Club are back with brand new single, Sleep Alone. It is the debut single off the bands second album ‘Beacon’ due for release this September. I stole this from the amazing KeelanFoley new music site.

I loved this cruisey music and video so much I stole it from nambiblog

Do you have a Parfum d’Empire favourite? What is it and why?

I hope you all have a safe and fun weekend.
Portia xx

Giselle talks Liberte by Cacharel, WEEKLY WINNER ANNOUNCED

Hi Gang,

We had a wonderful set of COMPETITION GIVEAWAY responses this week and I enjoyed reading them all. Some great and personal stories you shared. In the prize pack;

Opus Oils Jitterbug Perfume Parlour Venus perfume oil sample

1.5ml decant spray of Miss Boucheron EdP

1.5ml decant spray of Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete EdT

Part manufacturers samples of Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman EdP and Ambre Russe EdP

plus postage and packing to anywhere in the world


Photo Stolen from sistersavealot.com

is Penny Cascio

Congratulations Penny! Please get in touch by Wednesday May 9 or I’ll give your prize to someone else.

In the video offering tonight Giselle Bundchen talks about life, love and Liberte by Cacharel (orange, patchouli, white flowers, vetiver, bergamot). A surprisingly effortless conversation with depth and understanding, Giselle shows she is more than the images we get of her in the press. I enjoyed watching it and I LOVE Liberte (Portia’s APJ Review), which is sadly discontinued but available at many of the online fragrance sale stores (FragranceNet 2.5oz under $40)

Have a great Saturday, see you tomorrow,
Portia xx

PS> I am not affiliated with any of the companies I extoll.


Hey all,

What a week we’ve had here at AustralianPerfumeJunkies. As the weather cools here we are probably doing temperature crossovers with the Northern Hemisphere.

When I was a teenager still in Fashion School but working weekends I bought myself a bottle of JAZZ by YSL. Although I’d had different fragrances before from family and friends this was the first time I felt like I had a scent of my own. I still keep a bottle but much of the oomph seems to have left it over time and reformulation sadly. There is still a lingering thrill though when I put it on, a frission of excitement when that spicy, sparkly, herbal squeak as you spray that is both warm and cool hits your nostrils, its steady progression through musky, resinous florals to its leather, earth and woods base. More people should wear this lovely 1986 Woody Aromatic by Jean-Francois Latty for Yves Saint Laurent, a lovely fit for discerning men and women everywhere, not to mention dirt cheap online. And being so yesterday hardly anyone will recognise it, it will be your own scent as it has been mine on and off for over 25 years (OMFG! How did that happen?). When I wear JAZZ, then as now, you can bounce rocks off my self confidence. JAZZ is the scent of centre, the cool calm feeling of being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right thing to say. Although there were plenty of other times I wore JAZZ when things went regularly, or horribly wrong, more often than not it was JAZZ that was there during my early wins.

Photo Stolen from shoppingheavendotnet

This week we’ve done some interesting stuff and we’d like to share some of our discoveries with you in our Thursday GIVEAWAY COMPETITION!

How to enter?

Please give us a short perfume memory in the comments about your first scent that you really feel you owned, that you felt supremely comfortable in.

As we met the Opus Oils Jitterbug Perfume Parlour and their all natural Divine Collection I thought I’d give the rest of my Venus perfume oil sample for you to try.

Then we talked about Miss Boucheron EdP, how about a 1.5ml decant spray so you can have a go at that

Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete was our next target so a 1.5ml decant spray of that also

And then we had our huge 2 day special on Parfum d’Empire so you can have what’s left of my Cuir Ottoman and Ambre Russe manufacturers samples, which were generous to begin with (I have Full Bottles, I’m not depriving myself)

plus postage and packing to anywhere in the world

We want to thank you all for returning each day. Today after you’ve entered the draw please enjoy the 1992 ad for JAZZ by YSL.

Much love and hope for your well being,

Portia xx

Parfum d’Empire, Fragrance Reviews

Hi Stinkophiles,

Today we are looking at 4 of the Parfum d’Empire range of fragrances. I’m glad I’ve had a couple of days to do this because they have been so delicious, interesting and fun to wear, not to mention totally enjoyable to look up on different sites all the reviews, chatter, science and mystery surrounding them. Considering how little we know about the perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato there is a wealth of information about his fragrances, which has made my job easier and harder in equal measure. What to put in, what to leave out, what is true, fantasy, science, madness or necessary to give a complete picture? The samples were bought from the Parfum d’Empire website, all of them were purchased late 2011 and I had tried only a couple and from that have 2 unopened bottles awaiting a suitable opening ceremony.  I hope you enjoy this short journey through about a third of the range. This is not a favourite list it is merely a random snapshot of the magicians art of fragrance in one house. I will give you my first impressions in words then work through the fragrance as my often wonky nose takes me through each perfume. Come.

Eau de Gloire EdT

The first fragrance that Parfum d’Empire brought to the world in 2005, modeled on Marc-Antoine Corticchiato’s scent memory of his boyhood home Corsica, literally translated as Water of Glory and dedicated as an homage to all those who’ve left their homelands to go into the world and conquer. Especially to his own home island boy Napoleon Bonaparte.

Photo Stolen from telegraph.co.uk

Bracing, Citrus, Salt, Squeaky, Floral, Masculine

WOW! This opens with a powerhouse icy cold screech of bergamot, citrus twig and broken branch and briny sea air then the herbs and flowers come and take the edge off. As the rosemary, lavender and star anise waltz in they warm the scent slightly but still it stays cool and laid back. I don’t believe in fragrances for the sexes but I keep imagining Eau de Gloire on a very masculine man though I would love to see how it smells on a woman. There is a squeaky dissonance here, the trilling of the citrus which lasts well into the heart of the fragrance and the rumbling of the incense, anise, oakmoss and tobacco. Unfortunately my nose misses the tea and leather in the composition completely, maybe you will have more luck. At about 3-4 hours I get more soft and flowery notes over the various resins, this fragrance grows more interesting and textured as it matures. At 7 hours it is soft as butterfly kisses and almost as ephemeral.

Fragrantica gives you the low down but Olfactoria’s Travels really does this lovely fragrance justice.

Osmanthus Interdite EdP

The French missionary and plant hunter, Jean Marie Delavay in the mid 19th century “discovered” Osmanthus (O. fragrans), a native of the GuiLin area of China (GuiLin means “Forest of Osmanthus” in Chinese). Osmanthus is a fast growing “bushy” tree that can grow 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide with glossy leaves and clusters of small, highly fragrant, yellow tubular flowers. Traditionally a symbol of love and romance and one of the 10 famous flowers in China and Taiwan.

Photo Stolen from trax2

Green, Crisp, Fresh, Light, Cold tea, High florals.

Osmanthus Interdite, which means Forbidden Osmanthus, is like arriving late for the presentation of tea during the cooler days of  jasmine and rose blooming. Honestly, I don’t smell jasmine and rose as I know them in life, this is an aloof, cool and soft scent on my skin, not a clean scent but reminiscent of cleanliness. Discernible and noticeable without a fanfare or scream, this is no bombastic floral. It is an old perfumed leather pair of driving gloves kept in perfect condition but worn, used and loved. The leather notes are far gone but you still can almost smell them, do I make sense? Almost as if they have become soaked with the wearers tea scented perfume and bodily fragrance over time, on top of a soft floral fragrance impregnated into the leather pre-purchase. They work side by side to create an intriguing unisex dichotomy through the heart. At the 8 hour point and there is still a whiff of something lovelier than me, faint and clean.

Here is Fragrantica and Abigail at I Smell Therefore I Am gives a 5 star rating to this luscious juice. WOW!

Wazamba EdP

Wassamba or Wassahoumba is a percussion instrument or disc rattle played rhythmically in loud, penetrating pulses by dancers during ceremonies in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Made of gourd and white wood the Wassamba usually weights about half a kilo.

Photo Stolen from ancestralmemory.com

Char, Sparkle/fizz , Olive green, Incense, Bark, Intense

Once the initial screaming, burning rush of Wazamba cools it becomes another perfume, churchy and sepulchral. It reminds me of years spent in Roman Catholic churches and the theatre and drama of religion. I think it’s interesting that many ceremonies of religious and tribal spiritual cleansing over the world smell similar. Having never been to West Africa personally, a neighbour once bought back a good luck talisman in the form of a fragrant pillow of woven grasses with smokey herbs, spices and incense inside, this has almost the same smell. What a powerhouse of memory and reflection Wazamba has been for me. A fragrance that wanders through a thousand shades of itself, more a journey than a scent. You must try this. Wazamba gave its all for about 5 hours and then became a skin scent, discernible to my partner as something other but lost to me.

Fragrantica for the notes and accords, but you must take time to read the Perfume Shrine‘s review, it covers everything and more, that I wish I could have said. Snaps!

Cuir Ottoman EdP

Photo Stolen from settemuse.it

Heat, Medicine, Booze, Fire, Hot new patent leather, Rubber, Road tar

OMG!! This opens like a Banshee wailing on my skin. It’s infernal and smells like I imagine being in Paul Chenavard’s (1807-1895), Inferno di Dante would smell like if they were burning tyres and a road in the background while drinking Kentucky bourbon in a hospital. I can’t believe I am smelling these things and wish I had a fragrant Godmother here so I could talk it through. WOW! Awesome MC AWESOME! After about 15 minutes Cuir Ottoman starts to breathe a bit, there’s air between the notes and I have a moment to think, leather, sweet leather and the flowers have arrived. There is a softening and prettying of the abrasive opening, we are covered in luscious leather and blossom and root. By the one hour mark we have arrived at the seraglio, beautiful full lipped sweating women, incense, hookah, floral unguents, leather and horses. There is still a beautiful ride and drydown to dark vanilla and spice but that is hours and hours away.

Photo Stolen from believerwoman

The Scented Hound has done a lovely review of Iskander by Parfum d’Empire today also, go check him out,

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our mini trek through the Parfum d’Empire range. I think I’ll do another set of four next month for you all,

Happy, fragrant and loving hopes for your day,
Portia xx

Parfum d’Empire: Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Hi Everyone,

A fragrance house and its makers story have inspired me again this week. Hopefully this tiny snapshot of the scientist, perfumer and artist Marc-Antoine Corticchiato whets your appetite for tomorrows fragrance reviews from the house, Parfum d’Empire.

Photo Stolen from parfumdempire

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato is the handsome, urbane looking man in the photograph we all find on the front page of the Parfum d’Empire site. Considering his good looks and ability, his obvious charm (from the French videos I watched, but didn’t understand) and that his fragrance house is a continuing financial and critical success I am surprised there isn’t more information about him flying around the scentbloggosphere. I have stolen wholesale and remixed outrageously from the 2 best sources I could find; an interesting and informative interview on CafeFleurBon that you will be well rewarded should you take the 5 minutes to read it and the media fantasy that may be reality on the Parfum d’Empire site.

Born in Morocco, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato’s family hails from Corsica and he grew up in the village of Cuttoli Corticchiato, deep in the Corsican maquis (as Corsicans refer to the local bushland) and in Morocco at the family citrus groves. A competition horse rider, at an early age he considered becoming a professional equestrian. It was not to be; thank all the Gods and goodness itself.

“As a child, I was not especially attracted by perfumes but rather by plant scents, because I was curious about the different smells of a plant (through) the day or at various time of the year, even of the season. I was also curious about the great variety of plant smells…. ” Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

This drive to understand mysteries of scent production in, and why this fragrance varies through the life of, aromatic plants led Marc-Antoine to study chemistry. He developed a new technique to analyse extracts of aromatic plants through carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR: an important tool in the chemical structure elucidation of organic chemistry; wikipedia) for his Ph.D., then training at the renowned École Internationale de Parfumerie de Versailles (ISIPCA).

Going on to work in a research laboratory focused on the analysis of aromatic plants and extraction methods, for years he “dissected” natural raw materials and acquired in-depth knowledge of them, their characteristics and various uses. His work has been publishing in international scientific reviews.

Photo Stolen from cafleurebon.com

His first blends were aromatherapy, teaching him to work towards therapeutic and olfactory goals simultaneously. He joined a Parisian perfume laboratory after carrying out this research for several years, where he found the opportunity to express his creativity more fully.

“Finally, I decided to create my own fragrances and I founded PARFUM D’EMPIRE in 2003 because I wanted to express my own vision of perfume…. I was inspired by all these Corsican people who have left their country to get a better life in different parts of the world…… The most well-known of  them is of course Napoleon… (who said) “Eyes closed, in the darkest night, if by some miracle I were transported to Corsica. I would recognise it immediately by its smell. “….. So do I.…. For all these people, the scent of the Corsican scrubland is still their favorite perfume.” Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Through perfume Marc-Antoine expresses the emotion conjured by blends of the most beautiful raw materials, coveted for centuries for their refinement, aphrodisiac properties and use in sacred rituals. Even going so far as to set up a production unit for essential oils in Madagascar. It is the link between perfume, eroticism and spirituality that he has revived with his fragrance house Parfum d’Empire.

Founding my own brand PARFUM D’EMPIRE was a real challenge!  I did it to be free to create with the noblest raw materials.…My perfumes are an invitation to explore the most complex and mysterious of empires: the realm of the senses.” Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Photo Stolen from bilan.ch

Marc-Antoine also teaches at ISIPCA (Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l’aromatique alimentaire).

I wish I could find more but I think much of his interesting story must be hidden in French text, beyond my reach. Tomorrow though we will let the perfumes speak for themselves.

Thanks for reading, now it’s time for you to share. Do you have a Marc-Antoine or Parfum d’Empire story to share with us? We’d love to read it. Leave a message in the comments,

Portia xx


Hey everyone,

We’ve had a great week at AustralianPerfumeJunkies so our giveaway will reflect that with some super fun stuff for you to sniff in not one but TWO COMPETITION GIVEAWAYS!!! How to enter?

Please give us a short perfume memory in the comments about you, a friend, colleague or relative’s favourite old school perfume (pre 2000).

The old school perfume we covered this week was Casmir by Chopard, a 1.5ml decant spray.

In honour of Evie C’s first major interview this Monday gone with Liz Cook from Australian Natural Niche Perfume crew, ONE SEED. We are adding most of a generous manufacturers sample of my personal favourite One Seed fragrance so far, COURAGE. This scent is so extraordinary that I went FB and have used maybe 4 spritzes from the sample, there’s still at least 4ml left.

After our Posh Peasant; FIG! Olfactory Journey to Greece special we are putting in 1.5ml Posh Peasant decant sprays of Parfumerie Generale; Jardin de Kerylos and Diptyque; Philosykos

Photo stolen from shopping-premiereavenue.com

To top it all off we are adding in a 1ml Posh Peasant decant of Parfum d”Empire; Ambre Russe (I ordered this sample forgetting I’d ordered a FB that turned up almost next day. I know, right)

plus postage and packing to anywhere in the world

In March we had a Celebuscent Competition that Maureen won but has not been in touch to receive her winnings. The go was that she had till that next Wednesday to get in touch but did not. While hoping that Maureen is happy and well, her loss is your gain folks. As a second COMPETITION GIVEAWAY this week you must only tell your fave CELEBUSCENT, easy!

My Photo

Aftelier Perfumes; 1.5ml manufacturers sample spray Haute Claire + Apricot and Lemon Candle in a Tin (one of my Smell Good Do Good buys that Mandy Aftel kindly gave to the cause)

Gucci; 2ml decanted sample spray Gucci by Gucci pour homme

Estee Lauder; 2ml decanted sample spray Brasil Dreams

Jessica Simpson; 2ml decanted sample spray Fancy Nights

LUSH Cosmetics; 1.5ml decanted sample spray Orange Blossom

plus postage and packing to anywhere in the world.

All measurements are approximate and the winners will be judged around 10pm Australian EST this Saturday 28.4.12 and you will have till Wednesday 2.5.12 to get in touch. GO TO IT Y’ALL.

Much love, and gratitude for your coming and reading.
We feel blessed that so many of you bother.

Portia xx