APJ Day Out #1: Hermes, Robert Piguet, Tom Ford, DIOR: Photo Essay

Hey there APJ!

Last Wednesday we had our first APJ Day Out. There were 13 of us, normally an unlucky number, but it turned out to be super lucky. We were treated extremely well by all the stores we went to, were given two amazing Masterclasses and loads of samples. It was great to meet some of you for the first time and an excellent opportunity for those of us who are already buddies to catch up, talk fragrance, shop, laugh and generally enjoy each others company. FABULOUS!

As we arrived a little early for our masterclass with Joe Garces, the CEO of Robert Piguet, I thought it would be a great time to pop across to Hermes, where the wonderful Jean was our hostess. She happily took us through some of my favourite scents in the Jean Claude Ellena Hermessence range and also some more of the Hermes fragrance catalogue including the Jardin range and then introduced me to one of their scents that I had never spent any time with, Rouge. WOW!! I can definitely see a full bottle in my very near future. Thank you Jean. XXX

Off to Libertine Parfumerie stand in David Jones Sydney City Store basement to meet Nick, the sexy proprietor, Gary and Dan, the regular SAs and a new boy whose name escapes me, sorry. There too was Joe Garces, and Joe took us through quite a lot of the range. It wasn’t much about notes etc, we were taken through the creation stories of each fragrance, the troubles, the inspiration and the triumphs. It was an illuminating class and I came away better informed about the way perfumes are created in a mass market niche company. Joe has effectively turned a dying dinosaur of a business back into a going concern with his and his teams plans. He is justifiably proud of the company’s achievements and really loves the perfumes he produces and sells, enthusiasm shining from and infectious. I tried a slew of the range that I had thought definitely NOT my style and walked away with a couple of new loves, a bottle of Bois Noir and a special gift roll on of VISA. YAY!! Review coming soon. Everyone was allowed to choose a Piguet fragrance to sample and were given very generous spray samples.

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Joe Garces #1

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Then I took the crew up to the Tom Ford section at DJs. The SA there was so pretty, knowledgeable and helpful showing us some of the range and introducing many of us to Sahara Noir. I had tried it before in LA but it was a completely different experience in the cool of Sydney, I LOVED it here. At the end she finished by offering everyone a sample of their choice!

It was time for a sit and a cuppa, I had a sneaky Banana Bread too. During our time at the cafe Ainslie, who is a perfumer, brought out some of her current mods for us to share, smell, critique and enjoy. It was wonderful talking to someone on the cusp of a business and finding out how her perfumes are created. Fascinating. Soon I will have a story on Ainslie because she is thinking of setting up a trial where you can buy a small set of her mods to try and critique for yourself, providing useful perfumista feedback and giving us a chance to try new stuff very reasonably. HEAVEN.

Through Westfield

Past Gucci

Then it was onwards and upwards to DIOR’s outrageously gorgeousbnew flagship store in Sydney, the first in Australia. We were greeted warmly by the staff and Clayton the Oceania head of PR was there to whisk us upstairs to the shoe parlour where we were treated to a stroll through the 10 available Couturier/Privee fragrances exclesively available in Australia through that store. There was also a beautiful DIOR lady there whose name has slipped from my mind, she was helpful and informative and I apologise for my bad brain. It was a delightful ending to an amazing day. I was happy to add bottles of Oud Ispahan and Oud Leather to my perfume library. At the end we were all given DIOR swag bags with a couple of the fabulous 7.5ml FB replicas each and some beautifully presented literature. Just walking down the street with a DIOR bag is thrilling enough but when you’ve been feted by some of the best luxe companies in the world we were all walking on air. Thank you Clayton and DIOR.

As you can see we had lost some of our people along the way, the last photo are the DIOR Late Stayers. Thanks to everyone who came and who helped us have such an amazingly wonderful and special day.

DIOR Shoes

The DIOR late stayers

I am currently thinking of other great APJ Day Out ideas. There will definitely be another day soon,

Portia xx

Petit Fracas 2012 by Aurelien Guichard for Robert Piguet

Hello Fragrance Family,

Don’t forget to enter our Vintage Eau de Arpege Mist GIVEAWAY (<<<JUMP)

For many years tuberose lovers, white flower lovers, would talk lovingly of Fracas: that saucy, sensual, bubblegum fragrance that lured many a perfumista through the doorway and down the wormhole. Even the Fracas haters would compliment its artistry, its sweet green sappiness that could read as erotic or toxic, depending on your viewpoint and skin chemistry. I have a very old spray set of Fracas parfum that has weathered time quite well and a bottle of the modern EdP.

As you may know we had Joe Garces from Robert Piguet in Sydney this week and he kindly offered us a special APJ Piguet Masterclass. You’ll find some of the snaps here at APJ on Wednesday if you’re interested in the fun day we had. It was EXCELLENT!

Petit Fracas 2012 by Robert Piguet

Petit Fracas FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, mandarin, pear
Heart: Tuberose, jasmine, gardenia
Base: Cocoa, musk, sandalwood

Recently I got a bottle of Petit Fracas from Libertine Perfumerie and can’t believe how similar and different the Petit Fracas and original Fracas are. Joe Garces tells us that when he went to be CEO for Robert Piguet the house was in deep shit. It needed to be turned around somehow so they decided to add some new fragrances and revitalise some of the old ones with reconstructions that are as close a nod to their same name predecessors as can be produced in modern perfumerie. As they still had a bestseller called Fracas why would they tamper?

Well the story goes that Joe’s daughter hates Fracas, detests it. Which is highly believable in the current age of fragrance tastes. So Joe had the idea to bring something completely new and modern to Fracas to make it more youth oriented, a better version of the fragrances that what many younger fragrance wearers are spritzing now: with its basic body coming from the Fracas mold. I can’t remember who had the idea but someone said gourmand was in and they should add chocolate. ADD CHOCOLATE? To FRACAS?!? So someone DID add chocolate to Fracas, lightened it up, gave it a fruity punch at the beginning and a more interesting and traveling story than original Fracas.

Fracas Sexy Ladies Telegraph.UKPhoto Stolen TelegraphUK

How does it smell on me? Well the fruit leads the way and it’s a milky fruit, like pear and citrus zest whipped cream with a dash of vanilla ( but that could be early chocolate signs). The white flowers are already a part of the equation but they don’t fully take centre stage because there is no room for them until about 20-40 minutes in. It’s fruit, fruit, fruit but not in the ubiquitous modern designer fragrance way, this is hefty fragrance and you feel fully perfumed though in a modern way. There is still some air between the notes, like a glossy, bright and very slightly fizzy aura. The bubble gum, sticky, sappy green candy swoosh heralds the moment of white flower take over. It is regal and alluring, a powerful intoxicant that is less herbaceous than Fracas original and a little bit more fun.  Maybe I’m imagining it but Petit fracas is not Petit, it is younger but not smaller and I think it would be an excellent choice for brides and girls on a night out.

The chocolate is not as pronounced as I expected it to be and reads more vanilla in my nose, and milky, and there is something dark that may be a nod to chocolate, but it seems like dark, bitter chocolate, and only a hint.

Wear time is better than average wit whispers left after 7 hours and I think it way too fragrant for most offices but try it, see if they let you. It’s worth it.

Joe Garces #01Joe Garces: Robert Piguet CEO

Joe was honest about the need to continually tweak to maintain currency and to stay within the IFRA guidelines, also the need to keep the juice consistent because some years the naturals that are used come in extremely different to previous years, or way more expensive or less product because of drought etc so every batch is tweaked to make it as much the same smell as every other bottle you’ve purchased as possible. Interesting.

Further reading: The Candy Perfume Boy and Ca Fleure Bon
Libertine Perfumerie has $198/100ml
I could not find a sample of Petit fracas on any of the major sites. SO ANNOYING!! You’ll have to go to your nearest department store that stocks Robert Piguet.

See you tomorrow. I hope your weekend was good.
Portia xx

Baghari by Aurelien Guichard for Robert Piguet (1950)2006

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Guest post by Madeleine

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Hello fragrance friends!

My recent posts have featured a classic Robert Piguet fragrance, Fracas, and a perfume that makes me feel like the idealised version of myself, Guerlain’s Chamade.

Today I want to talk about a perfume that encapsulates both of these elements: the sumptuously elegant….

Baghari 2006 Robert Piguet for women

Baghari Robert Piguet FragranticaPhoto stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, bergamot, neroli
Heart: Bulgarian rose, jasmine, iris, violet
Base: Amber, vanilla, musk, vetiver

Baghari is a rich aldehyde perfume and whilst I have many aldehyde fragrances I adore (Chanel No 22, Divine’s L’Ame Soeur, Lubin’s Nuit de Lonchamp), Baghari is the one that really truly embodies and encapsulates retro glamour to me. It is a perfume that speaks of pearls, ruby red lips, darted stockings, silk peignoirs and nipped in waists. Glamour, elegance, dry martinis and cat’s eyes sunglasses.

Bagari was originally launched in 1950 and developed by perfumeur Fabrice Fabron. It the final fragrance introduced into the Piguet range during the designer’s lifetime. It was then reformulated and re-introduced in 2006 by Aurelien Guichard and it is this version I am reviewing today.

The perfume opens with the sparkle of aldehydes shot through with the crisp green citrus of bergamot. The aldehydes here are soft and twinkling as opposed to the sharper champagne fizz of Chanel No 5 and 22 or Le Labo’s Aldehyde 44.

Baghari Snow Lamp WeHeartItPhoto Stolen WeHeartIt

The effect is one of soft yellow streetlamps on powdery snow; the glimmer of candelight on a crystal glass. The bergamot tempers the sparkle and gives the opening a crisp green quality. Baghari then softens quite considerably with the neroli and the rose lending a rich floral vibe and making the composition smooth, graceful and feline. Baghari here is richer and creamier, and it almost feels edible, like sucking on an orange cream ice cream or a biting into a tangerine fondant chocolate. If the perfume were a fabric, it would be of apricot silk, fluid and comfortable against the skin.

Into the drydown, amber joins the fray, anchoring the powderiness of the aldehydes and the citrus tones of the bergamot and neroli. The silk has been spun into the plushest velvet, cocooning the skin with its soft warmth.

Baghari Cat Cocoon InthralledPhoto Stolen Inthralld

Baghari has the magical quality of completely transforming its wearer. Spritzed on the weekend when feeling ordinary in jeans, I become all cheekbones and grace donning the very best couture silk.

And yet, despite being enamoured for years by Baghari’s charms, I have never actually purchased a bottle, instead surviving on decants and samples. It’s one that I just seem to forget to buy and I’m now vowing to change that.

Baghari elegant Lady WorldBabyContestPhoto Stolen WorldBabyContest

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Smellin Things.
Libertine Parfumerie has $150/50ml (with FREE Australian delivery and they guarantee their stock is real and fresh)
FragranceNet has $75/50ml
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $3/ml.

Have you ever tried Baghari? What is your favourite aldehyde fragrance? Is there any perfume you adore and have not got around to purchasing a bottle.

With much love until next time!

M x

WEDNESDAY!! MASTERCLASS with Robert Piguet CEO Joe Garces

Hi there Perfumistas,

It’s getting so close to our APJ EVENT brought to us by Libertine Parfumerie (who are always so supportive and generous with APJ), David Jones and Robert Piguet. I hope you are all as excited as I am.

For those that missed the last post, we have had a person drop out and there is a space. I would be so sad to not fill the event completely.

Fracas Robert Piguet Ad vk.comPhoto Stolen vk.com

What is happening? The CEO of Robert Piguet fragrances, Joe Garces, is in Sydney, Australia in June to celebrate the 65 years of Fracas by hosting four one hour Masterclasses that will take us through some of the Piguet fragrance line notes, creation and intent with a Q&A section afterwards. The seats are limited to only 14 per class and Libertine Parfumerie has offered the 2.30pm class on Wednesday June 26 to AustralianPerfumeJunkies!

What: FREE Fragrance Masterclass hosted by Joe Garces
When: 2.30pm Wednesday June 26 2013
Where: Meet 2pm David Jones Sydney City Store cnr Elizabeth & Market St Sydney

Should you purchase any Robert Piguet Fragrance Product on the day there will be a VERY special gift to take home.

Should you like I thought we could sniff through the halls of David Jones, have a spot of afternoon tea and then trot down to Christian Dior’s flagship store and smell the Couturier range.

Would you like to come and talk perfume with people who are TOTALLY interested and won’t think your habit absurd or you mental? Maybe you can’t wait to pick the brains of someone who makes the perfume world run? It could be that you have never yet smelled Fracas, or any of the other wonderful Robert Piguet line and you’d like to remedy that. Personally, I hope we get a run through of one of the newer fragrances, Bois Noir, which I love and am already considering a purchase of.

RP_Masterclass_Email

Please add your interest in the comments below.

I AM SO FRICKEN EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!

Portia x

Robert Piguet Masterclass with Joe Garces

Hi there Perfumistas,

Today I have the most incredible exciting offer from Libertine Parfumerie (who are always so supportive and generous with APJ), David Jones and Robert Piguet. I hope you are all as excited as I am.

Fracas Robert Piguet Ad vk.comPhoto Stolen vk.com

What is happening? The CEO of Robert Piguet fragrances, Joe Garces, is in Sydney, Australia in June to celebrate the 65 years of Fracas by hosting four one hour Masterclasses that will take us through some of the Piguet fragrance line notes, creation and intent with a Q&A section afterwards. The seats are limited to only 14 per class and Libertine Parfumerie has offered the 2.30pm class on Wednesday June 26 to AustralianPerfumeJunkies! Already from the APJ Contributors we have Madeleine, Margeaux, Michael and Portia coming, from Aussie Fragrance Network Sonya Yu, Jack Seven and Scott Steward and one other person. That leaves SIX places for our lucky readership!!

What: FREE Fragrance Masterclass hosted by Joe Garces
When: 2.30pm Wednesday June 26 2013
Where: Meet 2pm David Jones Sydney City Store cnr Elizabeth & Market St Sydney

Should you purchase any Robert Piguet Fragrance Product on the day there will be a VERY special gift to take home.

If you are taking time off work then you should be back there by 4pm or if you take the afternoon off I thought we could sniff through the halls of David Jones, have a spot of afternoon tea and then trot down to Christian Dior’s flagship store and smell the Couturier range.

Would you like to come and talk perfume with people who are TOTALLY interested and won’t think your habit absurd or you mental? Maybe you can’t wait to pick the brains of someone who makes the perfume world run? It could be that you have never yet smelled Fracas, or any of the other wonderful Robert Piguet line and you’d like to remedy that. Personally, I hope we get a run through of one of the newer fragrances, Bois Noir, which I love and am already considering a purchase of.

RP_Masterclass_Email

Please add your interest in the comments below. Don’t worry if there are already six names, we may be able to siphon you into the other three classes if there are any spaces. Also, it would be terrible if we held a space for you and you did a no show, genuine interested parties only please.

I AM SO FRICKEN EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!

Portia x

Fracas by Germaine Cellier for Robert Piguet 1948

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Post by Madeleine

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My Fracas Story – Fracas by Robert Piguet 1948

Fracas FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

In my ever changing and expanding fragrance collection, there’s one particular perfume that deserves pride of place. Other scents have come and gone, but Fracas by Germaine Cellier for Robert Piguet has been a mainstay for me for 15 years. It hasn’t been a smooth ride, but my altercations with this perfume have been mostly due to circumstance and other people rather than my own feelings of the scent.

I acquired my first Fracas bottle not long after the scent was reintroduced in 1998, before online shopping and the first fragrance blog. Until then, I’d worn popular scents available in department stores and Fracas’ exclusivity enthralled and enchanted me. It was expensive, only available in one boutique here in Sydney, had a cult following and was one of my idols favourites – British model Sophie Dahl. And it looked so chic in the shiny black bottle.

Fracas Robert Piguet Ad vk.comPhoto stolen vk.com

I returned to the Sydney boutique time and time again to catch beautiful whiffs while I saved my hard earned pennies to buy a full bottle. Fracas was going to be my fragrance, something that I loved rather than a perfume that all my girlfriends wore or something to impress a boyfriend. I still remember the thrill when that bottle was finally wrapped lovingly in tissue paper. I was all woman now, and nothing was going to stop me. I proudly put some on before going down to dinner that night. I was still living with my parents at that stage and thought I’d wow them with my new acquisition.

Not so. “Oh my god, what is that AWFUL perfume you have on?” was my mother’s reaction. Dad and my brother also looked suitably unimpressed. I told them in vain of the story of Fracas and how it had been inspired by Rita Hayworth but they just didn’t budge. Such was the level of dislike for my scent that my brother actually renamed it with an expletive (I’ll allow you to use your imagination here): “Oh no, you’ve got that awful *&^% #$$ perfume on again.”

Thus, Fracas and I became clandestine. She now accompanied my on my morning gym visits where I could spray with abandon without my family’s misgivings. However, one day, I managed to smash an almost full bottle on the changing room floor. I was mortified and more disturbed still when I saw dozens of girls recoil in horror at the pungency and loudness of the tuberose. That changing room had my scent on it for months.

Fracas Robert Piguet Elegant Stripper photo-cursPhoto Stolen photo-curs

Fast forward some time and suddenly it seemed like every woman was in on my secret. Fracas became ubiquitous and our relationship went more underground. I refused to wear it out now, only sneaking a precious few drops when I could enjoy it at home alone. It would be my guilty pleasure after coming home from work; my comfort scent that I would put on to wear to bed.

Just as my relationship with Fracas has changed, so too has the scent on my skin. All those years ago it was a bold, brash diva: tuberose with a capital T, a scent that was incredibly beautiful but that took no prisoners. Now Fracas is sotto voce on my skin, it opens up with the bright orange blossom and tuberose before the buttery goodness melds with my skin and becomes one with it. It sings so softly now that I can pretty much wear it without provoking comment.

So it was much to my surprise when I did get one sometime last year. I’d spritzed some on before hopping into a taxi to meet my fiancé. The driver turned to me and said: “What are you wearing? You smell lovely, like a lady.” I told him it was Fracas and she was very much a lady indeed.

Further reading The Candy Perfume Boy and Bois de Jasmin

Fracas is now not so exclusive and available readily online at outlets such as FragranceNet, $68.19/50ml.

Have you tried Fracas? Which one of your fragrances takes pride of place in your collection?

With much love till next time!
M x

Bud Parfums “Gamekeeper” Review; Thursday GIVEAWAY COMPETITION

Hello everyone,

Evie C’s super interview with Howard Jarvis on Monday reminded me I haven’t reviewed any of the samples I ordered from Bud Parfums. What a ning-nong I am sometimes, so I thought as a part down-payment on my full Bud Parfums story I’d give you a sneaky peek at one of my favourite scents from the range.

GAMEKEEPER

“Then, one day, a lovely sunny day with tufts of primroses under the hazels, and many violets dotting the paths, she came in the afternoon to the coops and there was one tiny, tiny perky chicken tinily prancing round in front of a coop.
The keeper, squatting beside her, was also watching with an amused face the bold little bird in her hands. Suddenly he saw a tear fall on to her wrist.
And he stood up, and stood away, moving to the other coop. For suddenly he was aware of the old flame shooting and leaping up in his loins, that he had hoped was quiescent for ever. He laid his hand on her shoulder, and softly, gently, it began to travel down the curve of her back, blindly, with a blind stroking motion, to the curve of her crouching loins. “Shall you come to the hut?” he said, in a quiet, neutral voice.”
‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ by D.H.Lawrence


Richard Ansdell’s English Gamekeeper  via goldenagepaintings

This is how Gamekeeper is introduced on the Bud Parfums website and strangely it fits. There is the creak and crack of citrus branch, also the fruit, juice and leaf, humus rich oakmoss, warming resinous labdanum, the musk and clean bright patchouli round the whole lovely, sexy concert out. In truth I don’t know what palmarosa oils smell like so I can’t attest to their inclusion (apparently it smells like Geranium Leaf and is used instead of endangered Rosewood). The fragrances don’t really form a pyramid within Gamekeeper, they are more like tendrils of scent interwoven that spike up occasionally through the life of the scent story, you think they’ve gone but back they come changed, lightened or darkened, in different combinations. This is like a book where firstly you are introduced to all the characters, then throughout they are placed together in different groupings or sometimes nearly alone.

Although this is marketed as a masculine, and there are moments of truly manly cologne-ish glory, this seems to me like a fragrance that would work deliciously and decorously on women, there is a flapper feel to Gamekeeper. It’s very sexy, almost sexual, and has a light skank alert that I find riveting. As if the fragrance has gone inside the cottage with them to partake in the fun but not stayed till the end.

The website and Fragrantica give the same information.

If you go to the Bud Parfums website choose any size refill and it will take you to the fragrance lists. Also, bottle purchase is separate, such a wonderful idea, so you get to choose. AWESOME!

I’ll finish up this review with the first gamekeeper to steal my heart, Rupert Graves played D H Lawrence’s sublimely delicious gay gamekeeper in the movie Maurice. I spent years searching for just such a specimen, and while the search was rewarding in and of itself, the closest I have ever come is now a blogger himself, the one who inspired me to start writing this blog. I hope he’s reading.

Rupert Graves, Maurice 1987 Stolen from IMDb

Another excellent and enjoyable week here for me, I hope for you too, and we’ve looked at a lovely bunch of fragrances. Here’s you chance to win a small selection of them. In fact, this week there are 6 great reasons to enter our….

THURSDAY GIVEAWAY COMPETITION!

In honour of our Annick Goutal Review we are putting a 1.5ml spray decant of Annick Goutal’s Passion in
From Sunday Quicksniff Reviews 3ml spray decant of Fracas for Men by Robert Piguet
and 1.5ml spray decant of Eau Mega by Viktor & Rolf
Evie C did a lovely interview with Howard Jarvis from Bud Pafums so a 1.5ml spray decant of Bud Parfums Gamekeeper
and lastly, the remains of my by Kilian Water Calligraphy manufacturers sample
and Aedes de Venustas EdP sample from the Extraordinaries That Arrived By Post

Plus P&H anywhere in the world.

How do you win? Simply leave a short comment on your favourite gamekeeper, in life, film, novel or story, or if that’s too hard just leave a Hello in the comments. I do love to read your contributions though so do try.

If you win you must get in touch by Wednesday 23.5.12 or I’ll give your prize to someone else. As TARA didn’t get in touch last week her prize will go to Penny Cascio.

See you all tomorrow,

Portia xx