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.




Joe Garces #1



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

Azure Lime by Tom Ford 2010

Hey All!
Short and sweet today. You all know how I love Tom Ford and think he understands fashion and the craziness all that embodies better than anyone else I know of on the planet.

Azure Lime by Tom Ford 2010

AzureLime FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Woodsy notes, floral notes, citrus, musk

Light, sparkling, fizzy lime opens up and stays for ages, as it calms the woods and musk play salty beach samba rhythms till tomorrow lunchtime. Are there really flowers? I never smelled them but what I can smell is so gorgeous and fun, then so reminiscent of summer that it is beyond good. Definite date night with intentions to cook breakfast and roll around in bed till teatime. It will last and smell gorgeous till then. Promise.

Loads of reviewers are complaining that it smells like a cologne that you can get across the aisle for much less money. I agree that it smells a little like them, it’s fresh, aquatic in the best sense and summery, and yes, if you wore the cheaper versions you would smell nice too but Azure Lime has a swagger, a cock-sure-ness that they lack, and is blended so beautifully that I think it justifies the extra spend if you have that kind of money. Otherwise cross the aisle and get something withing your budget. The idea is to smell good, not beggar yourself. Maybe you could get a sample or decant of Azure Lime, or go in on a split?

Azure-Lime lifestyledPhoto Stolen lifestyled

Further reading EauMG and TheScentCritic
Amazon have 2 x 50ml left for $225 each
SurrenderToChance starts at $3/.5ml

Have you tried Azure Lime? What did you think?

Till tomorrow we wish you the good stuff you wish for yourselves.
Portia xx

Tom Ford Spring Summer 2013 Ad Campaign

As usual, Tom Ford photographed his namesake label’s campaign himself. This season, the 51 year old fashion designer and movie director photographed models Karlina Caune and Simon Van Meervenne, clad in the latest collection from Tom Ford naturally.

Images via TFS.

Black Orchid by Tom Ford 2006


Guest post by Madeleine
Hello fellow perfume heads!
Well, sometimes my perfume discoveries really make me feel like I have been living under a rock. This is slightly due to the fact that my sampling and testing methods are never methodical or take a logical course. I always just sniff what intrigues me at the time, rarely just concentrate on testing an entire line, and sometimes I’ll get round to testing a new release maybe months after it has been out. In the case of Black Orchid it’s been years. The oriental chypre was released way back in 2006 and when I finally got round to sniffing it, I was smacking my head with the combined annoyance and disbelief that I hadn’t stumbled on this magnificent beauty much, much sooner.
Black Orchid Tom Ford for women
Photo stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: French jasmine, black truffle, ylang-ylang, black currant, Amalfi lemon, mandarine, bergamot
Heart: Orchid, lotus, fruity notes, spices
Base: Patchouli, sandalwood, dark chocolate, incense, amber, vetiver, vanilla, balsam
According to the PR, with Black Orchid Ford wanted to create a perfume that was ‘old fashioned but in a new sense’ and in my opinion, he has succeeded. Love it or hate it, this is eons away from the masses of sweet, fruity patchoulis out there and brings classical retro glamour back on to the department store shelf front and centre. It’s safe to say it’s impossible not to have an immediate reaction to this scent. It is so huge, so va-va-voom, so sultry, it like a diva on steroids.
It opens with a dark earthy and woody truffle accord that is so lush and thick, it almost feels like a perfume in reverse, as if the basenotes have been swapped with the top but still have the latter’s volume. It is the smell of a rainforest in bloom, with boggy, peaty soil the colour of midnight ink, tinged with fruity spices. There is also something there, perhaps some of the white flowers and vanilla, that lends a burnt caramel quality to the earthiness of the mix. As the scent develops, the darkness of the opening persists and I get a flash of green grass which heightens the accord’s mineral quality. The composition becomes more tropical in effect and the truffle accord is enhanced by a strong melon note, mostly reminiscent of honeydew, with lush, dense creamy white florals darkened by a resinous mix of patchouli and amber.  Black Orchid is sumptuous, narcotic and wanton. It is the olfactory equivalent of a spiced dark chocolate pudding and a snifter of brandy.
BlackOrchid imagesdeparfums.frjpgPhoto Stolen ImagesDeParfums
I wasn’t surprised to find the ad for the scent was a very retro and glamorous looking shot of a red-lipped brunette because Black Orchid for me would suit the likes of femme fatales such as Gina Lollobrigida or Ava Gardner. A sexy, intelligent woman that is confident in her sexuality. She doesn’t wink and say ‘come hither’, but looks you straight in the eye and says ’take me on.’
When I smell it, I imagine the following scene: an actress is on a film set in a tropical forest locale. Having just filmed a scene at the local colonial manor, she’s hung her scarlet chiffon ballgown on the back of her hut door. Resting on the balcony, she’s changed into a silk slip but is still in full makeup and jewels: flicked inky eyeliner and red lips; ears and throat emblazoned with chunky diamonds. She’s drinking brandy out of a heavy crystal highball looking out into the starry night.

Photo Stolen ImagesDeParfums

If you’re someone that view today’s modern department store fragrances with a sense of disillusionment and haven’t tried Black Orchid yet, you must at least give it a try. It is just that different. Having said this, according to the sales assistant who sold me my bottle, Black Orchid is the line’s bestseller. If that’s the case, it makes me feel just that bit more confident about the future of mainstream scents.

Further reading NowSmellThis and PerfumePosse
TradeServices has 100ml EdP for $92
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

Have you tried Black Orchid? What is your darkest and sultriest scent?
Until next time!
M x

Lavender Palm by Yann Vasnier for Tom Ford 2011


Guest Post by EmmaKate

Hello hello Fumies,

It is Emma Kate here again with my monthly review. This month, with thanks to Portia Turbo, I will be reviewing Tom Ford’s Lavender Palm.

Lavender Palm by Tom Ford 2011

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

The notes as listed on Fragrantica
Top notes: lavender, lemon, bergamot and clary sage
Middle notes: lemon blossom, pink nerium oleander
Base notes: vetiver, oak moss and olibanum, also known as frankincense

Barack Obama Photo Stolen Squidoo

This fragrance opens with a soft lavender, and builds quickly to this romantic full bodied floral. There is a citrus burst that pops through and slowly melds with the lavender to make this Lavender Palm sing.
A warm silky, slightly smokey sense makes me think of a cashmere scarf, the perfect weight for that in-between weather.
This fragrance is listed as unisex and I would have to agree, if anything this is more of a masculine scent to me. It reminds me of a freshly shaven man, in his Hugo Boss suit, freshly pressed white cotton shirt and a purple tie about to walk out the door for, or into, a big meeting. He is on top of his game.

Photo Stolen from gardenofeaden

In terms of wearability this fragrance lasted very well on my skin, which says something as I am a scent drinker! Around the eight hour mark, though I have read reviews of others saying it has lasted in excess of 12 hours.

Portia got my sample at David Jones, Market St, Sydney from Joel the world’s most helpful and desirable Tom Ford SA, most of the Tom Ford SA’s will happily make you a 2ml sample vial
SurrenderToChance also has Lavender Palm $6/1ml

Overall this is a stunning fragrance, one that I would give to a man in my life who needed a power boost 🙂 Below is a very interesting look into Tom Ford the creative.
Happy Smelling!

Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford 2009

Hey Hey APJ Family,

Joel, the lovely SA at the Tom Ford counter in DJ’s Sydney City, was very generous last time I was in. The least I can do in return is wear the samples that I scored and it’s no hardship to do so. I have long admired Tom Ford and his amazing style and savvy, he makes it seem effortless butI’m under no illusions, the man is beautiful, clever, gifted, driven and lucky. I think he must have sold his soul, and that it was a particularly good one because the returns on his sale/investment are awesome.

Tom Ford Photo stolen acorn-mg

I had very specific expectations of Arabian Wood, I purposely didn’t read notes or other blogs till my second wear and I agree with Victoria of EauMG that Arabian Wood is a misleading name for this fragrance. This is an extremely good example of a modern chypre, a style mainly dead due to IFRA regulations about oak moss: the wailing and gnashing of teeth can still be heard around the world. Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford should be on your “Must Try List” because in this day & age I am surprised at how well he has sculpted a Next Generation Chypre, reminiscent of some of the greatest but so modern and wearable.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Lavender, bergamot, galbanum, Bulgarian rose, May rose, rose absolute, freesia, orange blossom, ylang ylang, jasmine, gardenia, honey, orris, patchouli, cedar, oak moss, sandalwood, tonka bean and amber.

I really enjoy the opening rush of Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford, I love its old school mans cologne action made exquisite. Lavender, rose and sexy jasmine/gardenia/orange blossom/ylang ylang bouquet fight through the masculinity and take us to a decidedly, historically feminine place that is dead sexy on a guy and epic on a woman. As the bouquet pumps its glorious sexy beat in flows the honey and roses to wind sinuously around and through giving a sparkle here and a golden glow there, the rose is spicy, almost tea-ish and there is greenery too, the bitter tang of a torn leaf. I am lost for minutes at a time just huffing away at myself, big long deep breath in and near moans of ecstasy out. This honeyed floral symphony lasts for ages and soon we see the woody resins, vanilla and amber make their way out from under the rest of the team and taking their turn to shine, they don’t completely take over for hours though, there is loads of interesting by play before the flowers give up their struggle for supremacy and softly slide into the background behind the smooth, warm and cuddly base that seems to be here to stay forever.

Photo Stolen cyprus-paradise

Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford is not exactly a powerhouse fragrance but it is way too strong for a close work office and I would think twice before wearing it to a dinner because, make no mistake, you will be fragrant. Excellent sillage and a decent scent bubble will turn heads.

NowSmellThis does a great review too.
ThePerfumedCourt has Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford samples 1ml/$7.24

My day has been pretty good, I hope yours has too, and that it is great till we see you tomorrow.
If you want more Portia today I am Guest Posting on Perfume Posse, do pop over and have a squiz, leave me a comment so I know you’ve been.
Thanks for being part of out APJ family, we are really grateful.
Portia xx

Here is a little video present. It’s a minute long, not music, religious or a joke. Something we should always keep top of mind though.

Neroli Portofino by Rodrigo Flores-Roux for Tom Ford 2011

Hi APJ Family,

Well I do love to eat and today I get to eat my words. I was on a blogging black ban of the Tom Ford fragrances because they cost more than my house and at David Jones, Sydney City they wouldn’t make or give me samples to test. I was like, “You want us to pay $600 for a bottle of your juice and I can’t even get a sample to try at my leisure? Are you FECKING BARKING MAD?” I was in there today though and policy has changed and they make you samples to take away and try, it’s very personal and Joel the SA at Tom Ford could not be lovelier or more helpful. I know he, and the juice, will charm me into penury, beautifully fragrant penury but penury nonetheless. The stench of poverty this season by Tom Ford.

I was out with my girlfriend Alice (Hi Girl!) and we were having a sample and spritz-fest and I told her about the last time I was at the Tom Ford counter and the ensuing debacle and she was all, “Let’s go see then, I’ll sort them out.” Well we get there, problem solve and Alice looks at the aqua bottle for Neroli Portofino and asks if she can have the bottle without the juice. Joel & I look at her as if she’s just laughed at an autistic child and then stolen her doll. “OOoh,” she says, “I love the aqua bottle but the juice just doesn’t do it for me.” Joel kindly made me a review set of the 6 fragrances available for sample at the time. I then used the pipette from Neroli Portofino to swipe my buddy Alice, 10 seconds later there was a soft MOAN from behind us and we turned to see RAPTURE…

ALL Photos Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords/notes:
Top: Bergamot and mandarin orange
Heart: African orange flower
Base: Amber.
MyPerfumeDiaries gives
Notes: bergamot, lemon, mandarin, lavender, myrtle, rosemary, orange bitter, Egyptian jasmine, neroli, orange blossom water, pittosporum, woody amber accord, ambrette seeds, angelica root.

The bottle is gorgeous, it’s true but the juice is even better. Tom Ford has not pushed any fragrant boundaries here. Neroli Portofino is a fine, fresh, spicy cologne style scent. All citrus and herbs mashed up into a very, VERY expensive smelling and quite fragrant whole. It is a really delicious sparkling version of an old favourite that I would happily part with my hard earned cash for because it lasts for AGES!! Finally a cologne-esque spicy, almost masculine white floral that I can wear and forget because I know that 6-8 hours later I will still smell glorious. What’s not to like here? And Tom Ford does an excellent skincare, bath and body set in the same fragrance meaning you can layer for even longer lasting, deeper and richer results.

I am now putting all sample/decant/online shopping on hold till I have the cash to get this wonderful fragrance. It’s an investment but I want Neroli Portofino to be my shared memory scent of Aussie Spring/Summer 2012 with Guerlain Lys Soleia. One salty, suntan, coconut-ish white flowers, the other green, herbal, amber white flowers. I feel an awesome summer ahead down here.

EayMG does a great review of the 2007 release of Neroli Portofino and MyPerfumeDiaries (which is Aussie BTW) has the new one.
Tom Ford counters everywhere have samples
SurrenderToChance does decants $6/ml

Isn’t it nice when the world changes to the way you want it? Has that happened for you in any way lately? Do tell, I love happy stories, I don’t think there are enough of them shared so here’s your chance in the comments below.

Thanks for dropping in,

Portia xx

PS My mate David C begged me to do some Tom Ford because he is LGBTI family and now I have, and will do so more because I am now able to sample the range.

Spring Fling with Clayton Ilolahia 2012

Guest Post by Clayton www.whatmenshouldsmelllike.com

Spring Fling

Hi AustralianPerfumeJunkies. Last month I met with your cherished author and we decided to do a blog swap for a post on spring fragrance. For me it is a season of renewal. I love watching the trees that line the city streets, which were stripped of their deciduous clothing by winter, regain their green foliage and celebrate the spring season with bursts of colourful blooms. With nature providing so much visual imagery and scent, it is easy to see why spring is such an exciting season in the perfume industry.

When Portia and I discussed this idea of hijacking each other’s blogs to give a round up of spring suggestions, I had this in mind; I wanted my list to be more than just flowers, I wanted the list to be about seasonal renewal. Each fragrance I have chosen breathes new life into a familiar theme.


Tom Ford Jonquille de Nuit

Are jonquils the new tuberose? There is always a market for white flowers and for this 2012 release; Tom Ford explores a waxy white floral with green undertones. Jonquille de Nuit is a refreshing addition to any white floral lover’s collection amongst the jasmines, tuberoses and gardenias.


Chanel Coco Noir

Every time Coco is looking a little tired, Chanel dusts her off with a flanker. Chanel is describing their new Coco Noir as a luminous oriental. The twist comes at the start with a fresh burst of bitter citrus. As the floral heart moves on, the original Coco peeks out at you wrapped in powdery tonka bean.


Guerlain Homme L’Eau Boisée

I was a fan of the original and this latest offering by Guerlain is, in my opinion, the most interesting Guerlain Homme flanker yet. They’ve stripped out some of the sugary mojito juice in favour of an aromatic accord laced with wood. It’s an easy fragrance to wear, a great option for the aussie bloke (does he still exist?)


Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Many perfume fans are lamenting the death of the Chypre style since IFRA regulated the use of oakmoss in perfume. Modern chypres lack the mossy base provided by their unregulated predecessors. For Chypre Palatin, perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour cleverly reworks the Chypre concept to overcome the obvious. It’s a paradox of classic and new ideas. While Chypre Palatin feels so familiar at the beginning, Duchaufour takes chypre to a whole new place as the fragrance evolves.


Christian Dior Eau Noire

While this is not a new fragrance it still continues to push the definition of a fougere. Described as an oriental fougere, Eau Noire was made for Dior by Francis Kurkdjian before he went off to do his own thing. It’s a kind of curried lavender, owing to the rich use of immortelle. I love to wear this in the warmer months.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all the very best for the spring season ahead. Let Portia and I know by commenting, if you have other suggestions for spring. Also, check out Portia’s list over at What Men Should Smell Like (www.whatmenshouldsmelllike.com)


PS Here is a jump to our APJ Interview with Clayton if you would like to read further about this interesting, urbane, clever and sexy man.
All perfume pics from Fragrantica. Clayton supplied his portrait.