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Patty White launched Perfume Posse in 2005, and we've been yapping on and on about perfume endlessly since.

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Aug 012014
 August 1, 2014  Posted by on August 1, 2014 4 Responses »
L’Homme Ideal Guerlain Fragrantica

Woo Hoo Perfume Posse! Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies filling in for Tom this week who has been laid low by the dreaded “I can’t smell a damn thing virus”. In honour of Tom’s inability to smell I wanted to bring to your attention a thing that I have not yet smelled but I am seeing all sorts of excellent reviews on the scentbloggosphere for it. Calling  the latest release from Guerlain a breakthrough in gourmand menswear, a sexy unisex frag and many other wondrous things. I also dropped in the videos and ad movie for you.

 Guerlain: L’Homme Idéal by Thierry Wasser 2014

L’Homme Ideal Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citruses, rosemary, orange blossom
Heart: Almond, tonka bean
Base: Leather, cedar, vetiver

Victoria from Bois de Jasmin opens with: The first time I smelled Guerlain’s L’Homme Idéal, I chuckled, because clearly, their ideal man is wearing a little black dress. Yes, L’Homme Idéal is a masculine twist on La Petite Robe Noire. But this kind of borrowing, right down to the toasted almond and praline details, is clever rather than boring. This is not just another bland and safe sports cologne, that’s for sure.

Kevin on Now Smell This writes: I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. I’m unmoved. Either in actuality, or in their treatment or combination, L’Homme Idéal’s materials smell very synthetic to me. Has Wasser, tired from around-the-clock reformulations thanks to IFRA regulations, simply chosen ingredients that are not on IFRA’s radar…forestalling a re-mix?

L’Homme Ideal Guerlain  Sorcery of ScentPhoto Stolen Sorcery of Scent

Dimitri at Sorcery of Scent says:  To my delight, Guerlain have delivered a product that is new and interesting and remains faithful to the brand. Perfumer Thierry Wasser has manifested a fragrance which feels contemporary, but without losing sight of the masculine ancestors that came before it.

Monsieur Guerlain writes: L’Homme Idéal may not get rave reviews by perfume aficionados, but the sales figures prove that it does what it’s meant to do: to be a hit. At the moment, L’Homme Idéal is the #1 best-selling men’s scent at Sephora in France.

L’Homme Ideal Guerlain Gingerbread_man moah909 DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Have you tried L’Homme Idéal yet? Is it one Guerlain you would like to try? Would you wear a mens fragrance?
Please enjoy the videos and hopefully Tom will be back with his lovely schnoz in tact next week.

Portia xx

L’Homme Idéal by Thierry Wasser – GUERLAIN

L’Homme Idéal est un mythe. Son parfum, une réalité – Film TV GUERLAIN

Jul 312014
 July 31, 2014  Posted by on July 31, 2014 19 Responses »
Vanilla & Anise Jo Malone Fragrantica

Hey, Hi there Perfume Posse, Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies talking today about Jo Malone. So a load of my friends are Jo Malone converts. They love to layer and find the whole idea super fun. I often thought that if I was paying that kind of money for fragrance that I would want the perfumer doing his job and giving me a finished product. So then I was taken to the Jo Malone counter in our biggest department store in Sydney and told to try at least one, just to see how it went. I had clean skin so I put a spritz of a different one on each arm and then we walked around the beauty hall. By the time we got back to Jo Malone the scents had disappeared completely. Even the SA, who was extremely friendly and helpful, couldn’t pretend there was something because all that was left was me. Gone. POOF! The only Jo Malone I have tried since is Red Roses (a gift) which is so lovely and lasts really well on me, gorgeous. Then I was given a couple of bottles the other day by Michael Edwards, the fragrance guru, and thought I better give them a re-spin to see if I can in fact wear Jo Malone.

Jo Malone: Vanilla & Anise by Celine Barel 2009

Vanilla & Anise Jo Malone FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Sicilian bergamot accords, Tunisian neroli, wild fennel, star anise
Heart: Tuberose, violet vanilla orchid, jasmine, frangipani, cloves
Base: Amber, vetiver, Bourbon vanilla absolute, tonka

Sweet citrus and herbal spice Vanilla & Anise opens quite big and has a lovely balminess about it, extremely smooth and elegant flying low under the fizzy citrus. BOY, this is lovely. Like a Guerlain Aqua Allegoria fragrance, simple, sheer, wearable fragrance that is not strong but is potent. Quite good sillage for something that seems to have so much air between each note, and initially projection is very good too. Oooh I like this VERY much. The flowers are a bouquet for me, yes there are some amorphous white flowers and what could be a violet vanilla orchid but really I would be lying if I told you that I could definitively pinpoint particular pieces of the puzzle. Booziness curls through the whole open and heart but it takes me a while to realise that that’s what it is, a caramelled liqeuer with creamy overtones.

Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise Star_Anise DanielGnomes DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Then Vanilla & Anise sort of collapses on my skin and becomes a muddy, generic sweetish wood base that is very nice, no one will be offended, unless they were particularly looking to be WOWed. It is not bad, it is not good, Vanilla & Anise becomes a wash of nice. There is certainly a place for nice in a wardrobe of fragrance.

So my skin gives me about 1-2 hours of fragrance before it becomes a soft cloud of almost there for a while and I have become completely anosmic at around 3 hours. So 2 hours is quite good for a Jo Malone on my skin. A respritz at the 1 hour point more than doubles the lifespan and if I underlay with Halle body lotion they work beautifully together for about 5-7 hours.

As you can see I have been trying loads of ways to maintain Vanilla & Anise  on my body because I REALLY like the first hour, a lot. Maybe I can do Jo Malone after all…..

Though the Taj Mahal at sunset has nothing to do with Vanilla & Anise by Jo Malone the colours in the photo below are evocative of the fragrance feeling as a whole. Beautiful.

Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise Taj Sunset Evan_Guerra TempleTouristPhoto Stolen TempleTourist

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Perfume Posse
You can find Jo Malone in most larger department stores. Go have a spritz.
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

If you enjoyed this do please trot over to Australian Perfume Junkies and say G’Day too.

Which Jo Malone has captured your heart? Did it last? Did you try Vanilla & Anise?
Portia xx

Jul 292014
 July 29, 2014  Posted by on July 29, 2014 27 Responses »

When I first stumbled upon the Posse….oh, honeys….I thought I knew soooo much.  Ha!!…and I didn’t know a THING!  I knew a lot of perfumes but not a lot about those perfumes.  Notes?  Fuggedaboutit.  But constant exposure to Patty & March and all of you expanded my horizons – and continues to do so.  There are so many notes I’ve learned of, both in perfume and in the natural world – linden is one of them.


Linden came about via my friend Howard, aka LindenloverSnugglebunny.  We’ve been friends for over 30 yrs and I’ve always admired his enthusiasm for the sensual aspects of Life.  He’s always had a ‘thing’ for linden and used to go on and on about the smell of linden trees in bloom…blahblahblah…because I had NO idea what he was talking about (I knew One Smell-good tree:  Russian Olive.  He, a former forester, knew A Whole Lot More).  So…blahblahblah…until I actually smelled a linden tree in blossom.  Wow.  A combination of oily lime rind, sunshine and cake batter, linden is one of the essences of Spring.  According to Lindenlover there, it’s a tough scent to translate into perfume.  I wonder what he’ll make of April Aromatics’s  Unter den Linden?  For my part, I think it’s perfection.   Unter den Linden is an homage to the famous Berlin boulevard with which it shares its name – I can imagine that walking along that boulevard, when the trees are in full bloom, is a heady experience, indeed.  The gorgeous Tanja Bochnig,  perfumer/owner at cult House April Aromatics, has perfectly captured the idea of that boulevard (as well as so many of the gorgeous boulevards laid out in Belle Epoque Europe) – when I sniff Unter den Linden, I am transported back to the 19th Century, a fabulous time for arts and culture and civilized behavior – in my fantasy transportation, it all looks like the MGM film version of ‘Gigi’ (yes, I know that’s Paris but in this fantasy every major European city in the 1900s looks like an MGM set)…… gorgeously-clad women in barouches, men in morning coats or lounge suits (and the fabulous boater!  Oh, why don’t men wear boaters anymore? )…..pleached lime trees above pristine pea-gravel walkways, the whole surrounded by Belle Epoque buildings…this scent, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, scentwise, from Une Fleur de Cassie , Les Heures Brillante & Amouage Beloved, has a very important thing in common with those perfumes:  it is a decidedly urban scent.  Paris, Berlin, New York.  Not the countryside.  You all know I have a ‘thing’ about certain perfumes, requiring myself to be done completely the hell up in order to do them justice.  They don’t have to be particularly complex perfumes – there’s just a certain ‘something’ about certain ones  that require my unruly hair be ‘did’ and me being in something crisp and sophisticated.  Dropping a dress size would help, too – but let’s not get carried away here.  Unlike the perfumes I just mentioned, though, which I consider to be completely urban, Unter den Linden shares some of the style of  Patou’s Vacances, in that you can do the Cannes thing, with the crisp white slacks and an elegant flat – as you can see I am loving the juxtaposition of crisp fabric and soft perfume (and Cannes, like Monte Carlo, feels urban, all those boats notwithstanding.  The whole ‘sleepy fishing village’ is LONG gone).   I see myself in a crisp shirtwaist dress or pencil skirt with a polished cotton blouse, meeting the beautiful Tanja at an outdoor cafe in Berlin, exchanging air-kisses so as not to muss our flawless makeup (oh, shut up!  Like I’m the only one to ever have this fantasy!)…we’re both awash in Unter den Linden and every other patron at the cafe is quietly marveling at our fabulosity.  In reality, I would be mistaken for Tanja’s aged nanny and my hips would be hurting from walking on the pea gravel in mah Manolos…but we’re ignoring reality right now, okay?  Back to the fantasy!

I really like this perfume!  It’s bright, soft (with a hint of bergamot bitterness to ground it and save it from being ‘twee’) -  a throwback to a feeling of sunnier, simpler times, when women wore gloves and hats and the world didn’t intrude quite so immediately into everyday life.  Whether or not those days ever really existed is irrelevant: it is a lovely vision and this is a perfect perfume to fit that vision.



Until recently it was rather taxing to get April Aromatics in the US – now Luckyscent has made the cult House easier to explore.  Thanks, Franco!   If you are unfamiliar with the line, I suggest you try them all – Luckyscent carries an elegant sample set. containing 9 of her gorgeous scents (including Unter den Linden) $130 for 2.5ml per.  apraromsamples

Notes for Unter den Linden:  Linden blossom, honey, mimosa, bergamot, magnolia.


Jul 282014
 July 28, 2014  Posted by on July 28, 2014 45 Responses »
Serge Lutens L'Orpheline

Serge Lutens L'Orpheline

Serge Lutens L’Orpheline released in Europe this month (July 2014).  It will be available around September 1 in the United States.  I wasn’t really sure from the early promotional material whether it was a perfume, poetry, an art installation?  It’s the usual hard to understand Serge avoidance of notes.  So let’s look –

“Fragile but whole. Its name hints at a break but before the fissures show, its first two syllable conjure Orpheus, a poet who could charm even stones.”

That clears it all up, right?  I did find notes listed at Perfume Shrine – aldehydes, woods, fougere, coumarin, clouds of ambergris, patchouli, incense and Cashmeran.

What Serge Lutens L’Orpheline does beautifully is takes the tension between things, the place where it joins (yeah, I’m trying to take my inspiration from the poetical snippet) and lets it exist. The two things that sit with each other in L’Orpheline are fougere notes and incense.  There’s a bright green lushness that opens L’Orpheline, and then it quickly is surrounded by melancholy incense, woods and ambergris – mostly woody incense, though I get quirky and interesting ambergris as well.  As it dries down, there is some merging of the notes, but their fragile truce where one does not overwhelm the other is pretty heartbreaking.  I’m not much of a fougere girl, but this fragrance is an amazingly beautiful thing, holding that fragility and earthy charm perfectly.

The concept of this being like an orphan intrigues me.  Does it feel a little bit like this is something that isn’t sure what it is, but has the imprint of parents it never met and encapsulates all of the charm without understanding exactly why or how it came to be?  You know, I don’t know, but I love the imagery the name evokes.  With or without all the poetry of the name, it is full of mystery and imagination and depth.  Wearing Serge Lutens L’Orpheline keeps me entranced and thrilled.

In my perfume ennui, I have found something to keep me really happy.  Sooooooooooo let me ask.  When one of these Lutens creations comes out with not notes listing, some obscure description, do you just cringe or really get into it?  I’ll do a random drawing for four samples of Serge Lutens L’Orpheline from commenters today.


Still Out

Still Out

Sorry to be a bore, but my cold lingered long enough that I couldn’t have enough time to actually smell anything in depth enough to actually write something coherent about it. So next week I’ll be back with a review. In the mean time, can I just sing the praises The rest, please…

Idylle Eau Sublime by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Idylle Eau Sublime by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Hi there Perfume Posse, Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies with my favourite fragrance house of them all. For some reason I have long felt that Guerlain is my house, that they are creating their fragrant fantasies just for me. Whether it’s my greatest love Shalimar, all the Aqua Allegorias (nearly The rest, please…