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Aug 302015
 August 30, 2015  Posted by on August 30, 2015 2 Responses »
Mod Noir

Mod Noir

Mod Noir

As I read the info about Marc Jacobs Mod Noir on the Sephora Web site (it’s an exclusive there) and other places, I wondered if this might be a bit of a flanker to Marc Jacobs’ original scent, the one in the square clear bottle with the slightly curved black spray top and tiny black bow. Which was pretty nice, if you ask me, and not a whole not that he’s put out since has knocked my socks off. (I still wish I had snapped up the solid perfume in the original, housed in a beautifully sleek silver case.)

So on a recent foray into the big city, I decided to check out the new kid on the Marc Jacobs block.

Notes per Fragrantica: clementine, yuzu, gardenia, tuberose, water lily, orange blossom, nectarine and musk.

Mod Noir opens with a wash of soft green, which takes a gently sweet ‘n’ citrus turn, thanks to the clementine and yuzu. It’s got a bit more zesty/fruity vibe than the original, and is perhaps a bit creamier as well. A hazy mix of white florals carries through to the drydown, a soft breeze of said florals tinged with fruit and orange blossom. In comparison, her more elegant big sister keeps her green, slightly watery persona to the finish.

Mod Noir 2

Original Marc Jacobs

And speaking of ending, Mod Noir certainly did — and quickly — on my skin. Let’s just say that Mod Noir easily could have made our post from a week or two ago on fleeting fragrances. Which makes me wonder about the name: There’s not even the teeniest, tiniest shadow of anything dark here, like woods or even moderate-weight musks that might have anchored this and made it last longer. But that’s not really surprising, I guess, as not all that many scents really live up to or reflect their names these days.

Having said that, Mod Noir is definitely office-friendly; a quite pretty but safe fragrance for someone who wants a scent beyond the sugary-sweet celebuscents, but shies away from fragrant heavy-hitters.

The packaging, in its perky black and white stripes, has a retro vibe and is cute as can be. I also spied the scent in one of those fun rollerballs and originally thought it might be a nice late summer addition for me. But after finding that a spritz barely lasted an hour, I decided to pass. So for now I’ll be content to use up my spray samples as summer wanes.

Have you tried Mod Noir? What’s your favorite Marc Jacobs scent? I confess that I only tried several after the original, and after that, the line mostly fell off my radar, although I remember liking one or two of the limited edition ones with “Splash” in the name.

Aug 282015
 August 28, 2015  Posted by on August 28, 2015 14 Responses »

bubbleOne of the unfortunate things about my last couple apartments is that they have wholly inadequate bathtubs- low and short, so that I can’t really soak in them: I look like Rock Hudson in “Pillow Talk”. Well, if only in size to tub ratio. My first apartment here in LA had a twenties tub that I could truly luxuriate in- long and deep and I could soak with only my head peeping out. As a matter of fact it was in this tub that I rode out a minor earthquake- I suppose that’s how devoted to soaking I was.

Not that I don’t still enjoy a good bath, even if I feel like I’m trying to soak in a chafing dish. I have had varying success with the bath goo- I had a delicious tub of bath salts I bought at Neiman Marcus that had a little shell to scoop it out and was written of to “release the goddess within.” It smelled divine, but they stopped carrying the line and I’ve never found it again. On the other hand a friend once gave me some “bath bombs” from Lush that were just awful: filled with color, bits of fluff guaranteed to clog the plumbing and g-d help me, glitter. I am not a Real Housewife, don’t have a cleaning person and frankly do not wish to pick glitter out of my netherlands, so I put them in the toilet bowl. They smelled nice, so there was that.

So, lets talk bath. What do you like to use in your tub? Let us know in the comments.

Aug 272015
 August 27, 2015  Posted by on August 27, 2015 14 Responses »
Seville a l'aube The Perfume Lover

Hey Perfume Posse. Seville a l’aube means Seville at dawn. When my mate Denyse from Grain de Musc brought out a book I was super thrilled and had it as soon as it could come to Australia. Then I bought a few and gave them to my mates for presents I enjoyed it so much. What a story, so full of fun and excitement, a real life lived well and the joy of being a fragrances muse. It doesn’t get much better than that. Then the fragrance came along a re-swept me off my feet.

Seville a l’aube by L`Artisan Parfumeur 2012

Seville a l’aube by Bertrand Duchaufour

sevillePhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Lavender, Petitgrain, Plant juice
Heart: Benzoin, Beeswax, Jasmine, Orange blossom, White blossoms
Base: Amber, Resin, Rose, Frankincense

I have a couple of bottles of Seville a l’aube, one of then is seriously depleted, and while cleaning up some stuff the other day I found an original 5ml decant that may have come from Denyse. It has gone the most starrrtling orange colour and when I spray it on it is mainly orange blossom, resins and honey. Extremely animalic and strong. It’s like I found a parfum version and maybe the alcohol has burned off and left mainly the juice.

Seville a l'aube Metropol_ParasolSeville WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Having nearly finished this decant and still craving Seville a l’aube I grabbed my bottle out today and gave myself a few spritzes. Now I sit in a for of sensual orange blossom and a less aggressive animalic back story leaving much more space for the flowers and herbal bouquet to really shine. Bright, sweet and very pretty Seville a l’aube has a very glamorous sillage and projection is excellent for the first hour or so when it calms dramatically to a softer, friendlier floral warmed by the various resins, incense and vanilla. It’s so lovely I feel cradled within a fragrant cocoon and close my eyes to drift off as I sit on my sun warmed verandah in Sydney’s winter. Life is pretty good.

Seville a l'aube The Perfume LoverPhoto Stolen Book Depository

I think I’ll start unpacking the books and re-read The Perfume Lover.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Candy Perfume Boy
Book: The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu
Parfum1 has $120/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4.50/ml

Denyse Portia Costes: IUNX 2014At IUNX Paris in 2014

Have you read The Perfume Lover? What about Seville a l’aube, did it lure you?

If you liked this then drop on over to Australian Perfume Junkies and continue the fragrant conversation there, we love visitors.
Portia xx

Aug 252015
 August 25, 2015  Posted by on August 25, 2015 29 Responses »

Before I forget, the winner of the Bits & Pieces draw is Anne Launius-Berbling!  gmail the evilauntieanita, remind me which giveaway, etc and I’ll get the smellies out to you.

And don’t faint:  I’m caught up on the Sends!  Yeth!  There are still some outstandings but that’s on y’all.  If you won something gmail me, lmk which post and I’ll get it out to you!


We’re having unseasonably cool weather here, great weather for sleeping..but it’s a bit too soon for my tastes.  I love the change of all Seasons, even Autumn into Winter..but there is a melancholy attached to Summer into Autumn.  Excessive heat keeps at least one aspect of Autumn at bay but no matter the temps, there is no denying the shift in light.  Now is the time for those bleakly brilliant blue skies that show just a tint of violet underneath.  And the sharp, sharp shadows, with everything thrown into high relief.   Sunday 4p was one of those days; I went out to harvest pole beans and the light bouncing off the leaves moved me to tears.  El O is ready to call the White Coat Guys.  But everybody feels it here, even folks who like the cooler temps  – the streets are quieter, as if the kids know the futility of trying to hang on to Summer.  We are closing the blinds much earlier, even before the dark sets in; that atavistic urge to burrow is setting in fast this year.  Sunday evening I watched the premier of Fear the Walking Dead – my chair is right next to the porch window.  Coincidence that I closed and locked that window and pulled the drapes shut?  I think not.  I probably wouldn’t have , had FtWD premiered on a hot July afternoon.  But a 58F night in August?  Shut the house UP!   Who saw that premier, btw?  What did you think?  I loved it!  It was reminiscent of Max Brooks’s book World War Z where it doesn’t go all ka-blooey all at once, instead trickling in little dribs and drabs.  Let’s face it, even us Zombie Pros?  Early on, a gal comes down the street sort of stumbly, maybe in her pajamas?  You are probably NOT going to shoot her in the head, first thing, right?  Right.  So right there…y’know?   It’s gonna take awhile before everybody gets with the program.  And in the  meantime the government is trying to keep it under wraps, folks are getting bitten ….but before that is the low-level anxiety and dread…people are so unused to listening to their gut and we rely on our fragile society…hey, I gotta tell you, I probably wouldn’t fare any better …and I know allll the zombie signs.  I’ll probably ignore the early signs so as not to murder somebody who might just have a hangover….

‘My’ hummingbirds have already started their Southern journey.  On the traplines now are the ones who are first to arrive here in Spring on their way North.  This is one of their annual stops to and fro – it’s a delight to see them in Spring and a bittersweet delight to see them, come August. They’re hitting the feeders and all the flowers in the gardens, prepping for the next leg of their journey.  This group isn’t used to me, as ‘my’ Summer tenants are, so I get a lot of side eye from the females, as they check to see if I’m a threat.  I had one come within 4 inches of my face, as if she wanted to demand my name, rank and serial number.  No matter she was in my garden, she wanted to be sure I was okay – once she settled down 2 others came and they all fell amongst the flowers.  I would’ve gotten my feelings hurt, having to sit still in my own garden…but the whole purpose of that garden is for those little heathens and their kith and kin.  So I shut up and sat still.  And they rewarded me with a phenomenal aerial display, especially among the globe thistles.  beeglobe

I’m starting to turn my perfume interests inward as well.  The frothy roses are giving way to the more complex chypres.  Lots and lots of Amouage Body Creme – not quite ready for Epic but I find myself reaching for Jubilation 25 a lot, especially after my evening shower. The juicy, fresh lemon scents are giving way to spicy orange like Noir Epices and vintage Coty l’Origan (people want to fight me on the orange in l’Origan, claiming I am making that up – but it’s one of the original Chypre-based perfumes, with bergamot, orange and peach prominent in the top notes).  l’Origan is too intense for a closed-up room, imo, but it’s perfect for now, when it’s in the high 50s at night and the windows are still open.


Hey, who wants to try some vintage l’Origan?  Tell me what’s going on in your neck of the woods – cooler?  blazing hot?  Did you see Fear the Walking Dead?  What did you think?  Tell me sumpin’ and I’ll have Chloe hit random (with one manicured pawnail, I might add – she just got her nails done and she was a Queen! about it).   I have a couple iterations of the vintage that are interesting to try.   Since I’m on a roll, you’ll probably get those samples before Halloween!


oh, wait!  Before I go?  Best thing about the pending shift to Autumn?  Idris Elba on the cover of Maxim.  Never mind that he’s wearing my tweed coat from freshman year in college.  He is…..omg.  He is just…… know, I prefer him clothed.  The more clothes, the better.  Because….removing…y’know? slooowwwwly.   What perfume would you scent him with?

Mr Fabulous

Mr Fabulous



September Perfume Sample Fairy Godmother

September Perfume Sample Fairy Godmother

Doing this a little early because of the holiday coming up next week and some other work things that really knotted up my free time today! Also, do you guys want me to change this up, do it less frequently, like every other month, or structure it in some other The rest, please…

Memory Lane Monday: Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg

Memory Lane Monday: Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg

Patty’s post last week about big white florals really got my gray matter working on the subject. And in an ever so timely manner, what should arrive in the mail the other day but a sample of vintage Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg. Now that was a BWF back in The rest, please…

Call to Prayer Perfume by JoAnne Bassett

Call to Prayer Perfume by JoAnne Bassett

California has always been a state with an embarrassment of riches, whether it be gold deposits, fruits and vegetables, cutting edge foods, or cutting edge perfumers. Dotting the state are many talents, each with their own personal style. JoAnne Bassett is one of those people. Committed to making the must The rest, please…

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