Olympic Orchids – Patchouli Lovers 100% Natural Soap + Sonnet XVII + GIVEAWAY

Hiya all you lovers of fine indie artisan fragrance, We chat about Olympic Orchids a lot on AustralianPerfumeJunkies, I do especially, because there is always something wonderful and unusual to write about, also I love the aesthetic of the company: its founder and creative genius Ellen Covey is sweet and a powerhouse of so much in her life with so many facets that I find respect-able. Know what I mean? The Olympic Orchids product is also reasonable priced and they ship to the world.

OlympicOrchidsLogo Fragrantica

Olympic Orchids Patchouli Lovers 100% Natural Soap

Patchouli Lovers Soap no shadow-1Photo Supplied Ellen Covey at Olympic Orchids

I grabbed the 2012 Christmas Box from Olympic Orchids last year, one for me and one for a friend. It had sat looked at but unloved since Christmas and I remembered that it had a Bath Oil in it. Being a Bath Oil lover (currently making my way through a Vintage 500ml Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon’s) and having a bath daily I like to try different stuff so grabbed the Amber Labdanum Bath Oil, which is gorgeous BTW, but what I needed at the time seriously was to replace the nasty sliver of soap in my tray.

The Patchouli Lovers 100% Natural Bath Soap is a big clear square bar. It fits well in my hand, lathers beautifully and the smell is heaven! Patchouli, Patchouli, Patchouli like the one you get in Essential Oils: dry, raspy, green, earthy, bitter, smooth and sweet all at once. It also creates a soft afterglow of patchouli that is a wonderful base for more patchouli or, as I did today, a nice added luster to L’Huere Bleue by Guerlain. With the soap adding a Patchouli hint to the whole L’Heure Bleue powdery magic it was a modern and elegant duet and they played off one another beautifully.

Ellen doesn’t say on the site what her soaps are made of but Patchouli Lovers has left my skin feeling soft and comfortable, I used it on my face too with no tightness afterwards, just clean and shiny new.

Olympic Orchids Site has bars $7.50

Olympic Orchids Sonnet XVII

Photo Stolen OlympicOrchids

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citron, cubeb (pepper), white champa flower, mastic (resin)
Heart: Chilean mountain orchid, osmanthis
Base: Spikenard (Nard), oakmoss, Haitian vetiver, Bourbon vanilla, woods, musks, natural ambergris

You must wait till Olympic Orchids Sonnet XVII dries on your skin before you wave it in front of your nose, it will burn you out quickly otherwise. The first minutes smell almost exactly like the stables I used to muck out on the weekends and the paddocks we used to clear of horse apples. It is fecal and urinous, outrageous in its intensity and I feel ever so naughty even wearing it. He He He.

Sonnet XVII Compost WheatFields FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Deep, dark and damp freshly turned compost, healthy earth and pine needles. Sonnet XVII is awkward, vibrant, gorgeous and disgusting. I am drawn to it and love it yet in the opening am also overwhelmed. You know how you see those double images? Young girl/Crone? Flashing in and out till finally you pick and image, or it picks you, and then it takes heaps of concentration to see the other? Like that and ending on glorious. For the heavily fragrant body of Sonnet XVII I have difficulty taking my mind out of the stable. It’s like Ellen and Michelyn decided to create oudh without using the highly prized and currently ubiquitous scent. All the medicinal, fecal, barnyard properties are here in abundance. Through it’s whole scent life it is interesting, challenging and over the top. Sonnet XVII is one of the reasons we need Indie Perfumers.

After about 5 hours and the fragrance has dried right down Sonnet XVII becomes a very soft woodsy/earthy/vanillic wash. Pretty but still interesting and unusual.

SAMSUNGPhoto Stolen Flickr

From Olympic Orchids: Sonnet XVII is a collaborative effort between perfumer Ellen Covey and Michelyn Camen, Editor-in Chief of CaFleureBon, as described here. It is a fragrant tribute to the love poems of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973).

A few lines of Sonnet XVII express the feeling that this perfume creates:
“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms, but carries
In itself the light of hidden flowers.”

Olympic Orchids Site has $18/5ml Parfum and $65/30ml EdP

Giveaway myprettypaintsPhoto Stolen myprettypaints

Olympic Orchids GIVEAWAY


5ml Sonnet XVII
5ml California Chocolate (the newest Olympic Orchid release)
(I have sprayed these for purposes of review)
P&H Anywhere in the world


EASY!!! Leave a “Hello” in the comments


Entries Close Sunday August 11 2013 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post Monday 12th.
Winners will be chosen by putting names on same sized papers, folded similarly, put on a tray and Jin will pick a winner.
The winners will have till Thursday 15th August 2013 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

If you liked this then you’ll love AustralianPerfumeJunkies, drop in anytime: we’ll be talking perfume, fragrance and life.

Till next time seek some lovely light,
Portia xx

  • Dearest Portia
    How odd to see you over here!
    It must be the lure of your that patchouli that you hold so precious!
    So I will say hello, and remark on how well you travel and tip my hat to you.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  • Spiker says:

    If it’s not too late, please enter me in the draw. As a city girl, the Sonnet scared me a little, but honestly thy both sound intriguing. Love your writing! So much interesting imagery.

    Thank you

  • Irina says:

    Hello, Portia
    I would like, please, to try my luck

  • belljarblues says:

    This looks absolutely divine!

  • Tambri says:

    This house is new to me but I absolutely LOVE Neruda’s Sonnets. I’m intrigued by the review and would love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks so much!

  • Beth says:

    I love Ellen Covey. She has done a couple special scents for me and is always very generous with her samples. I have the Sonnet sample and tried the new chocolate ones and I really like them. The Sonnet is a bit different and I work with young children so it would never be an everyday scent for me!! I would love to win this draw and Portia I love reading everything you put out there! xo

  • Purlbaby says:

    Hello! The Patchlovers Lovers soap sounds divine!

  • Maureen says:

    Hello! I would love to try the Sonnet XVII…I have sampled the California Chocolate and I love it. Thanks for the draw.

  • Sujaan says:

    Ooooh that soap and the amber oil sound heavenly! I have never tried Olympic Orchids so I would love to win! Thank you for the draw.

  • Nemo says:

    Hello! Thank you for the giveaway 🙂 I am especially intrigued by the soap!

    • Portia says:

      Good answer Nemo, it is beautiful. We are not even a little way through ours but I have already ordered more.
      Portia xx

  • Stacey says:

    Fantastic reviews, Portia. I can’t believe I haven’t spent time with Sonnet XVII yet, especially based on your barnyard description. I must remedy that soon. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • mridula says:

    so glad you do international giveaways. please do enter me. I have read about Olympic Orchids, especially remember reading about and being drawn to California Chocolate.

  • Connie says:

    Helloooo! How fitting, a giveaway that includes a chocolate-y perfume right after a post about brownies. I’ve tried a few Olympic Orchids, but nowhere near enough. I remember I tried them while watching The Maltese Falcon- the one with Bogart. 🙂

  • Katrin says:

    Thanks for the draw! I hope I will win this time. I’ve been curious about this line for a while.

  • Civet says:

    Hello! Sounds amazing, and I would love to try it. This company has been on my list of things to try for a long time.

    • Portia says:

      Hi Civet,
      Nice to see you here, aren’t you IFRA banned? Am I allowed to even chat to you? Maybe you’re vintage?
      Good luck,
      Portia x

  • womo531 says:

    Sonnet XVII is amazing so would gladly receive a decant of that =) of course California Chocolate has also been on my to try list for a long time… thanks for the draw!

  • Tom says:

    Don’t enter me in the draw, but the soap sounds fabulous…

  • rosarita says:

    Hi, Portia – I am a fan of both Olympic Orchids and CaFleurebon, esp. Michelyn’s art direction, but I recently won a drawing over there so no need to enter me here, I just want to support the cause. The patchouli soap sounds great, I’m always looking for new soap. Thanks for your reviews!

    • Portia says:

      Hey there Rosarita,
      You sure you don’t want in? If the fates choose you?
      The patchouli soap is so good. When I get home at night after Trivia and I’ve taken my make up off and go to the bathroom to wash my face properly the Patchouli Soap smell makes me smile each night. It’s like Ellen Cover is waving hello.
      Portia xx

  • mim666 says:

    As a lover of unusual dirty earthy skanky scents, please count me in!
    Also, Chocolate. ‘Nuff said.
    Loved your review! Olympic Orchids has been on my ‘buy a sample set’ list for ages now…

    • Portia says:

      Hiya Mim666,
      It’s hard to get to all the Indie fragrance makers, there are so many. I try to get to as many as I can because that’s where the groundbreaking, fun and naughty stuff seems to be happening. I love me some mainstream but Indie is special,
      Portia xx

  • kate curry says:

    I am completely intrigued, please add my name to the drawing

  • Edward says:

    Hello I would love to enter, and the perfume sounds magnificent! Much love to you.

  • Lisa D says:

    Hello, Portia darling! I’ve sniffed the California Chocolate, and it’s DELISH.

  • Nadja says:

    I LOVE Olympic Orchids!! I have had awesome luck with Olympic Orchids giveaways before but I would absolutely not mind some more!! 😀

  • Martin says:

    Hello Portia and thanks for yet another draw. It sure would be wonderful to smell California Chocolate.

  • elvie says:

    Hey Portia dear!

    Thanks! They sound fun, especially Sonnet. I’d like to be entered in the giveaway!
    Btw, did You manage to solve Your Neroli problem finally?

    • Portia says:

      Hiya Elvie,
      I don’t remember my neroli problem. Could you please refresh me?
      Hugs right back,
      Portia xx

    • Portia says:

      Neroli Budapest? Yes. They can’t send Amouage to the world because of Licensing Laws. They are the best international shippers and their prices are always exceptionally reasonable. I love Aron and Orsolya, so dedicated to good service.
      Portia xx

  • ncmyers says:

    Love the skank!! And spikenard? Don’t see that very often. Please enter me in this amazing draw! Thanks!

  • leathermountain says:


  • Musette says:

    hey, babydoll! DNEM – just stopping by to ask what kind of tub you have? I LOVE baths – am a great fan of a shower, then long bath soak – but our current tub is shallow and icky. Am looking at soaking tubs for apres-renovation!


    • Portia says:

      Hey Musette,
      We have a regular tub, not that long it’s not an all in one. I can get up to my nipples in before I have to start bending. There are some amazing ones on the market currently.
      Portia xx

  • Beth says:

    Hi Portia! What an interesting review! I can’t quite imagine smelling like a barnyard, that cracks me up. I mucked stalls when I was younger too, and I know exactly what you mean. Was it something you felt like you had to be careful about where you wore it? Kind of makes me want to break out the MKK tho!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Beth,
      You know I only think like that (careful where you wear it) when thinking in review terms, you know, for readers. I am so lucky because most days I have the house to myself, there’s maybe an hour crossover where people are there and I’m getting ready for work, then I spray the shit out of myself with something fabulous and go waft around a Trivia event for a couple of hours, by the time I’m home and ready for bed it’s time for a bed scent or I am enjoying the dry down of something that’s been on for about 5 hours. Only date night do I have to worry.
      I love MKK too but it’s a teddybear compared to the magic of Sonnet XVII
      Portia xx

  • Janice says:

    Hello, Portia! Sonnet XVII sounds amazing, and I really need to try more things from Olympic Orchids. I feel a serious sample order coming on.

    • Portia says:

      They have an excellent sample page and there is currently a sell off of some 5ml samples at a very attractive discount.
      Portia xx

  • susan says:


    I seriously want to try this line. Still haven’t gotten around to it!

  • Joni Dischner says:

    Hello! I haven’t commented on anything in a while, but I am still reading all your posts. I live every one if them. My favorite excerpt from this one: “Flashing in and out till finally you pick and image, or it picks you.”


  • Jackie b says:

    Mmm, California Chocolate sounds delish. Have been eyeing off the Olympic Orchids website too.
    Horse apples, are they like barker’s eggs?

  • Erika says:

    Hello! Thanks for the drawing!

  • dgambas says:

    Hello, Portia! Nice article! Olympic Orchids products always get my attention. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  • Martha says:

    Hello Portia –

    I liked the imagery in the review. It makes me curious about Olympic Orchids, a house I’ve not tried YET. So, please enter me in the giveaway.

    • Portia says:

      You are totally entered Martha. Olympic Orchids has seriously rocked my nose since I fell deep down the wormhole.
      Portia x

  • Belle says:

    By golly, Portia! These giveaways keep coming! Thank you again!
    Not much of a reader of poetry, but that poem certainly sounds beautiful in a weird way for me. It’d be lovely to try a perfume that can give the same feeling! (:

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I’d love to try this. Thanks for the draw!

  • Bridget C says:

    I’d really like to get a whiff of the chocolate. Thanks for the draw!!!!!

  • patriciaC says:

    I like interesting and unusual-keeps life fun. Thanks for the drawing!

  • Alica says:

    Hi, would be nice to win it ;-), thx!!

  • Elia says:

    Hi there,

    I’d read something about California Chocolate,
    sounded interesting. Ellen had said that at a fragrance exhibition it was the one that kept bringing smiles to peoples faces when they sniffed it.

    • Portia says:

      You remember correctly, they couldn’t believe how much it smelled like Orange Chocolate, we call that Jaffa flavour here in Oz after a round marble sized orange coated chocolate that was often used to roll down theatre aisles by naughty kids.
      Portia xx