Wednesday, June 29, 2011

L'Artisan: Dzongkha - Review

"Dzongkha is a rapturous fragrance, inspired by the remote Buddhist mountain kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalayas. Rich with aromatic influences, Dzongkha tells a special story on every skin: that of Dzongkha itself, the spiritual language of Bhutan"
vetiver, iris, incense
Dzongkha, what a mouthful! It is the second L'Artisan I am trying after Bois Farine. I got this carded sample a year ago from The Perfumed Court in a sample grab bag. Finally, I am testing it today. I have no idea why I waited this long to try this beauty.
Dzongkha is centered around calm and peace.
Imagine sitting in the Himalayas. The cool and dry breeze hitting your face. You look up and feel inconspicuous compared to the vastness of the mountains. Everything is so still that you want to be one with the stillness.....
This is what Dzongkha smells like.

Dzongkha is all about vetiver and incense. Vetiver is magical in giving coolness, earthiness and fleeting feeling. Incense makes it serene and pure. I love this combination. Hint of smoke is subtle but fascinating! There is cardamom which makes it lighter and cooler. I really can't detect any flowers or the leather but this is already complete by itself. It smells masculine (must be the vetiver note, like in Encre Noire)  but the energy about it matches my skin well.

This is an EDT formulation and behaves like one. It is not really dense which may be the character of the fragrance but not that long lasting either. I have dabbed myself with half a vial today and I don't see it lasting till this evening.
I really love Dzongkha. It puts my mind to calm instantly. I would love to experience Dzongkha on a hot summer's day. I bet it would be as cooling as the Himalayan breeze!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

JPG Le Male: Undress the sailor hunk with your eyes!

A fun little perfume sample card I found! It is a holographic/stereoscopic card that changes the image with the angle. You can literally undress this muscular sailor hunk with your eyes!

Sample towelette on the other side
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male: Le Male projects a macho image. Even the bottle, shaped like a decapitated, phocomelic torso is evidently "masculine"!

Fragrance itself is nice: bright, fresh, masculine. At first, artemesia strikes my nose, herbal and green, love it! Lavender also adds to the greenness. Then it spices up and smells like a citrusy, minty cologne with a creamy drydown. 

I rubbed the towelette all over my husband. He did not turn into the sailor hunk in the card. My man is much charming and attractive! He smelt good though. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

BPAL: O, Love In Idleness, The Ghost

Some BPAL perfume oils that I have been trying: thoughts and short reviews.
Ars Amatoria
Love potions
Genaral Catalogue
The scent of sexual obsession, slavery to sensual pleasure, and the undercurrent of innocence defiled utterly. Amber and honey with a touch of vanilla
Every time I smell O, it is a "Dear Perfume Diary" moment! I have been busting to try O since forever and it was a dream come true when dear Dee sent me an imp. O is all that I expected it to be and more! Amber, honey and vanilla.... ah! Very sexy! The utterly gorgeous honey makes me even more of a slave to sensory pleasures!
It dries to tone itself down, kind of merges with my skin and stays on like musky amber. It smells a lot like Womb Furie only lighter. 
I love it, it is amazing. Goes straight to my full bottle list. O is the closest you can get to Womb FurieIf anyone craves for Womb Furie when it is not Lupercalia, O is the best bet in the General Catalogue!

Love In Idleness
Rappaccini's Garden
General Catalogue
The broken imp
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before, milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.

Being challenged in English lit, I googled to find out that these are the words of Shakespeare, describing a Pansy. Like pansies, this perfume oil is beautiful and pretty! It is a full on floral that goes soft and sweet on the skin. What is it? Sugared violets? Or maybe lilacs? I can't quite put my finger on it but it is a sweet, light and powdery floral. Very pretty, very feminine, very delicate.

Sadly, my imp just hit the floor and broke. I salvaged as much as I could and covered myself in this scent today! I like it in spite of the overdose!

The Ghost
Ars Morlendi
General Catalogue
A thin, sinuous, creeping chill, the scent of glee-filled undeath: white iris, osmanthus, Calla lily, tomb-crawling ivy and a coffin spray of gladiolus, lisianthus and delphinium.

At first it smells like concrete, very cold and lifeless. It takes a while for the florals to emerge, but when they do, it is just beautiful. The flowers are clean, almost sterile. I really like the transformation from the coldness to bright florals. But the dry down reminds me of so many other BPAL perfume oils. It has the floralness of Ile De La Tortue without the tropicalness and maybe it smells like High Strung Daisies without the sweetness.

Sunshine Award 2011

Woohoo! Dear Vintage from Vintage Makeup nominated me for Sunshine Award 2011! Thank you, Vintage for the award and all your lovely comments!

Vintage does great EOTDs, has amazing eyeliner skills and great product reviews. She is an artist, loves photography and blogs about her art in her personal blog, Vintage's Other Blog. If haven't already checked out Vintage Makeup and her art blog, please do!

I will be nominating 10 blogs for the award soon! Watch out!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Inside New Directions

New Directions is a reliable source of essential oils, natural extracts, absolutes and everything you need for DIY perfume making, skincare, makeup, including packaging material! The quality of the oils is really good. The prices are reasonable too. I have bought from the online store previously, was generally happy with the goods but paid a lot in postage charges. New Directions has a showroom in Sydney that is open for public where you can browse and buy all the goods. Visiting the showroom to see all the beautiful oils for myself and saving on shipping costs has been on my mind even since I moved to Sydney. Finally, last week I visited New Directions Showroom. 

New Directions Showroom is an industrial area. What's outside is so deceptive of what's inside! As soon as I entered, it was like I died and went to perfume oil heaven! It is in an art deco setting with wooden floors and a thatched roof with wooden beams. It feels like a spa. The walls are decorated with shopping bags from various brands (which were also for sale!) 

The service is phenomenal! I went there with my Baby Elephant who was in the pram. There was no disability access or lifts. The staff were so helpful that they gave a hand with the pram to carry it up and down. 

Once you are inside, you are free to browse through everything. There are some really nice couches to sit on and sniff, try all the skin care! I did not buy much, I just got empty bottles. But I will be going back for more!

I just clicked some pictures from my iPhone. I wish I had a better camera. Excuse the blurry images!

New Directions Australia Showroom
47 Carrington Road
Marrickville, Sydney
NSW 2204

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First request for my perfume creations!

My DIY perfume adventures have taken new wings! My dear friend Michelle aka Scentsation, has requested some of my perfume oils. I am soon sending off the very first order of my perfume creations! Thanks you Michelle, for all the support and inspiring me to do something I love! I am so excited and really happy that you like what I make!
Lytic Cocktails
L-R Cherry Sorbet, Pina Colada, Naked, Toothache, Gingerbread, Topless
Prototype of a coffee scent I am making, it has coffee, hazelnut and honey!
The name I have given to my perfume oils is "Lytic Cocktails". In Pharmacology, a Lytic Cocktail is a combination of drugs that is used to produce certain effects. When I was in med school, Lytic Cocktail of Laborit stroke a chord in me. I love pharmacology and fascinated by how drugs worked together. I am taking the inspiration and applying it to smells! And the name Lytic Cocktails sounds cool!

If I further my line of perfume oils, they will be based on pharmacology/drugs. For example, I may call a perfume oil "antidepressant" which would be a happy combination or "psychedelic" which may take you on a 'trip'!

Without dreaming away and building castles in the air, making perfume oils on a regular basis is an ambitious project for me. Selling them takes lots of time and effort. The whole project needs commitment and hard work. I am not sure if I am ready for it, even though I have tremendous passion for it!

As of now, I am happy to take requests from friends. If you want to try any of my perfume oils or want me to make anything specially for you, just email me

OMG, this is so exciting!!!

Prices in AUD: $7 for 5 mls
                    $2 for 1 ml
                    + postage

Friday, June 17, 2011

Aftelier: Amber EDP review

Labdanum is one of those wonderful notes that wraps your body like cashmere, both soothing and sensual. Labdanum is like being a man's arms on a cold night in front of the fireplace, the warm cuddles that is just turning into something more!

Labdanum is a resin that is extracted from a Mediterranean flowering shrub, a species of Rockrose. Labdanum is rich, soft, vanilliac, warm and very much like Amber, only smoky, bittersweet and slightly mentholated. The more I familiarise myself with Labdanum, the more I fall in love with it. I guess my nose must be getting better because I can spot labdanum easily.
Featured Notes
Top: mandarin.
Heart: lavender absolute.
Base: labdanum
Aftelier's Amber is very interesting. What blows me away is the skill with which a note is crafted using some beautiful components and turning it into a gorgeous perfume. To get the Amber accord in the base, Labdanum is used masterfully used. This is art. This is what makes Afterlier the best of natural perfumery.

Aftelier's Amber is stunning! It has the fresh citrusy feeling accompanied by soft pink pepper. The lavender in it is nice. Lavender is not one of my favourite notes but I like it in this perfume. It is fresh yet not overpowering, which blends away into a the amber base. Warm, comfortable yet so elegant and refined. Charming!

Amber Eau De Parfum costs $90 for 50mls. I bought a sampler set a while ago and I chose Amber EDP spray 3 mls ($4) There are samples for every product that can be purchased through the Samples Page. The service is prompt and quick. Mandy Aftel's Book on natural perfumery "Essence and Alchemy" is on my wishlist. Aftelier is a great natural perfumery with some fantastic perfumes like Tango. Must try!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Violette Market Reviews: Diablo Canyon Cemetery and The Sea Dragon

Violette Market is a perfume oil company that has some great hand blended perfume oils inspired by whimsical things like fairy tales, mythology, literature. Violette Market has captured the imagination and translated it into perfumes beautifully. I sometimes don't get the story behind the perfume oils but these are spot on! DC Cemetery is so creepy and The Sea Draon made me thirsty!
These two bottles are from my eBay purchase which came in a perfume oil lot.
Diablo Canyon Cemetary
Sun-bleached bone, white sandalwood, golden amber, autumnal spices, coriander, wind-worn wooden coffins, sandy desert grave loam, and dried yellow leaves.
Limited Edition for Wild West themed Halloween '08 

In the bottle, it smells boozy, spicy and sweet. On the skin it changes a lot. Boozyiness disappears, it becomes woody. The coriander shines through the spices. At this stage, it reminds me of Coriander perfume oil from Keihl's, only woodier. There is a creepiness about it that emerges late but stays on.  It turns into a very dry scent. It is like dry sand, dry wooden boxes, dry leaves, and dust. Does it bring a Cemetery to mind? Yes! Very spooky! 

The Sea Dragon: Aged black vanilla, brine-coated wood, dragon’s blood resin, salty sea spray, otherworldly spiced incense, and ocean waves crashing upon the deck from the slash of the beast’s wooden tail.
General Catalogue: Lost at the Sea, Chapter I 

OMG, this is so salty! Salty scent in the truest sense. It is not a beachy kind of perfume. It reminds me of high tides, the ocean, the ship in the middle of a rough sea sailing away into an imminent storm! It has that Pirates of Caribbean vibe to it. Given that it is inspired by the story of a prince who is kidnapped by a pirate ship, it sounds like a great interpretation. 
The saltiness sits on the skin so beautifully! After sometime it becomes a 'salty incense', something I have never experienced before! The incense and dragon's blood make it a little masculine. But it wears well on me. 
I think it is the saltiness, I am getting a bit thirsty now!

Serendipity 3: Serendipitous

I am smelling YUMMM today! Thanks to dear Dee for sending me this lovely thing called Serendipitous! Also thanks for sending a pic to ingrain the image in my brain! It is inspired by Chocolate Ice Cream! Need I say more? 
Frrrozen Hot Chocolate
Image source 

Serendipity 3 is a New York restaurant that is famous for its trademark dessert  Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. The scent inspired by this is just heavenly! It is chocolatey, light and sweet, with hints of orange. Perfect for a cold day. I am sniffing myself like crazy! Downside, I want that sundae, NOW!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shop Assistants at perfume counters: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

In the retail world, we all interact with shop assistants (the SAs), to buy the products, to try something new or ask questions. Some SAs are good, some are bad and some are just rude! As with any other beauty product, you have to try a perfume before deciding to buy, especially at the prices of Australian department stores.

Good communication is a two way street. I am always courteous. I show genuine interest in the products. I never ask for free samples. I know how to say 'No' firmly but politely. In spite of all that, I have had some great, good, not-so-good and really bad experiences: The Ugly, The Bad and The Good!
The bad experiences are the times I wish English was my first language, so that I could react with something witty.

Keihls counter at David Jones, Sydney
After hearing all the hooha about the price drop, I thought I'd check out some Keihl's products. I was hoping that the perfume oils were reduced as well (it turned out, they are not!) The SA, a young man, saw me coming into the counter and did not bother to attend to me. He was sitting in front of a mirror, picking at his pimples! It was really gross, not the pimples but picking at them in public and the possibility of him touching the testers of skin care products... EWWWW.... For some reason, I was dreading that he would grab me for a handshake to welcome me which never happened, not even the welcome!

Guerlain counter at Myer, Sydney:
I had just tested La Petite Robe Noir 1 and 2, one on each wrist. I went back for a second whiff after about an hour or so, as I wanted to make sure which was which.
SA: Oh look, it is you, AGAIN!

Jo Molone counter at David Jones, Sydney
The SA always hovers around me like he is supervising what I am smelling! He stands there and says nothing. I ask something about some perfume just to break the awkwardness. He mutters something and waits for me to go away! Happens every time!

Mecca Cosmetica on George Street, Sydney
I was asking the SA about Escentric Molecules. Only thing she said was "It costs 300 odd dollars"
Like I had to pay that amount to test it!

Estee Lauder counter at Myer, Sydney:
An example of being manipulative and pushy.

SA: Can I help you?
me: I am just trying Sensuous Noir
SA: Just so you know, we have some perfume sets for Mother's Day in Sensuous
me: Sensous is not my thing, but I really like Sensuous Noir
SA: (pointing to the gift set) Oh no no, try layering Sensuous with Body Lotion, it is wonderful!
me (politely): No I like Sensuous Noir much better
SA immediately got a new bottle of Sensuous Noir, ready to bill!
me: I don't intend to buy, I was just trying...
SA (in a disappointed tone) oh, ok then!
....and I apologised to her like a fool for all the trouble she took!

Chanel counter at David Jones, Adelaide (when Chanel Nº5 Eau Premiere was just out)
I wanted to see how different the Eau Premiere was from the original and asked the SA show me.
SA: Nº5 is dense. Eau Premiere is lighter.....followed by a stern look, meaning end of discussion!
She did not spray either of them, not even on a paper strip!

Dior counter at Myer, Sydney
I went in to ask for a particular perfume. The SA instead of telling me if they had it or not, complimented my pretty eyes and tried to sell some makeup. Ok, I was flattered but I did not get what I came for!

La Priairie counters, everywhere
They look and talk like they have caught me in the act when I am stealing their perfumes!!!

Donna Karen display at David Jones, Sydney:
I had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful SA, who came up to me and talked me through the entire line of Donna Karen Essences. The lady spoke with such passion about the Donna Karen perfumes. She was friendly, gave me all the attention and answered my questions. I loved chatting with her!

Mecca Cosmetica, Myer, Sydney
The girls are always friendly, they know I go there to try perfumes. They take all the interest to find me the perfume that suits me, with the same interest every time!

Tom Ford counters, everywhere
The SAs are always helpful, tell me what I ask for and even offer samples without even asking for them.

David Jones, Brisbane
I went there looking for Encre Noir. The man at the perfume counter said that they don't carry the brand anymore. He looked up the perfume, took me through every perfume that he thought was similar, made me smell the testers, explained every note and was friendly, nice and not pushy throughout! He even gave me the address of a store that carried it so that I could test it!

David Jones, Adelaide
I used to love going there when I lived in Adelaide. One lady had become friends with my Baby Elephant and was always nice to me. She gave me heads up on up coming promotions. She used to give me samples when I bought a perfume, sometimes even when I did not! Once she had saved a last bottle of perfume for me because she thought I'd like it! I have bought at least 4 perfumes from her.
The guy at the Guerlain counter was this enthusiastic guy who took his time to attend to me and give information about whatever I asked for. He taught me the right way to say "L'Heure Bleue"!

Overall, from my experience, I have learnt that the behaviour of SAs doesn't depend on the brand or the store. It solely depends on the kind of person that the SA is. The attitude may be influenced by many things, the manager, sales, age, experience, personal crisis, weather, current affairs, alien invasion.....
It all comes down to being courteous and building a relationship. How and why will anybody buy anything when the SAs are either rude or pushy or unenthusiastic or just want you to go away or think the customer is a waste of time? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tabu by Dana: Review

When I first smelt Tabu, I almost choked to death. I am still here to tell the story, but I was too scarred to even try it again. It was vile, brash and complex. A hard core perfume, not for faint hearted, definitely not easy to wear! Never to be tried in an enclosed space, a well ventilated room is a prerequisite! I rediscovered Tabu recently and I am surprised at myself because I survived wearing it and quite liked it too!

Dana Website says "Tabu, the forbidden scent, provokes intrigue at every step. For the woman with an exotic, secret passion for life. Was it your fault he got so close? Blame it on Tabu.
Tabu is the legendary Oriental blend--rich with fragrant essences including: Bulgarian rose, orange flower and jasmine warmed with patchouli, amber and musk notes."

The story behind Tabu is that it was Dana's first fragrance (1932) and Jean Charles was asked to make a perfume for prostitutes. Tabu perfectly translates perfumer's vision into a smell. A smell that is sexy, dense and heady, which quickly drifts away to become vulgar, gaudy and loud! 

I don't mind the reputation of the perfume. But scarred by my first experience, I have always chickened out of trying it. There is also an unshakable association in my mind that it can mask anything, anything! I really had to get over it, so I decided to try Tabu with an open mind. I usually never buy anything for the sake of writing a review on the blog but I broke my rule and bought a little bottle of Tabu Skin Cologne (5% concentration) from Priceline for a few coins.

Tabu is a spicy, warm, powdery, animalic fragrance. There is patchouli in there somewhere. I think it is the civet that makes the whole fragrance kind of crass. It has a great projection and for good or bad, easily identifiable too! It has tremendous staying power, especially in EDT form. 

Tabu is in fact a nice perfume. Tabu is well aged. It seems like it is stuck in time but it is not outdated. It is heavy and cheap but well made. It is the vulgarest of the vulgar and I say it as a compliment! 

I don't LOVE it (yet!) but surely at the cologne concentration, I can stand it! I wore it for one whole day and quite liked it.

Tabu reminds me of many other fragrances. Calvin Klein's Obsession is more floral and less animalic but has the same vibe of Tabu but I like Obsession way better and is more 80's. Revlon's Intimate has the same strength and complexity. Elizabeth Taylor's Passion is similar too. But there is nothing like Tabu! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Estee Lauder Staff Shop Experience

Edited To Add (3/1/2012) EL staff store (Sydney) will be moved to 165-175, Mitchell Road, Erskineville, NSW 2043 from 9 Jan 2012

Last saturday, I had an incredible opportunity to visit the Estee Lauder Staff Shop, thanks to Little Jo for the pass! A few girls from Beauty Heaven: Michelle, Magda, Alice, Christine, Jas and myself decided to catch up for a little beauty therapy! It is so great to be among people with the same interest. It was priceless meeting them!

Estee Lauder Staff Shop is a discount outlet for all brands owned by Estee Lauder. You have to have a pass to get into the store. I was lucky enough to score one. The pass just gains you entry into the store, you have to pay for the goods! There is a cap of $500 to spend, which is very easy! 

Staff Shop is in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. I went to Sydney store in Rosebery.

Estee Lauder is a big fish which owns a lot of brands. The products in the shop are the ones that are over stocked, discontinued stock, limited editions along with regular products at the major departmental stores. What you find depends on the store and what they have at that particular time. It keep changing depending on the turnover. The major brands under EL are:

Discount: 40% off the Australian RRP. Which is great, but sometimes you can get them cheaper online. But there are some specials, which are way cheaper than even online stores! 

What I was most excited to check out was the prices of the perfumes and what brands they carried. Some interesting finds at 40% off were:
Tom Ford Private Blend: Champaca Absolute, Bois Rouge, Neroli Portofino: $174 each
Donna Karen Essence Lavender: $90 
DNKY perfumes, a lot! 
Jo Malone: lots of bath oils and perfumes, including Dark Amber and Ginger Lily cologne 
Missoni and Missoni Aqua 
MAC Naked Honey 
Lots of Estee Lauder perfumes, except Sensuous Noir that I was determined to buy! 
Aramis, Sean John and many male fragrances

On sale was: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess $30 for 100mls
Aveda Love Pure-Fume essence $10

My haul from the EL store
EL Stay In Place eyeshadow x2 with a mirror and comb: $20
EL Equalizer Smart makeup: $20

MAC Pigment in Grape, Marbelised gloss in Crazy Haute, Lipstick in Pink Burst: $15
MAC mystique Palette in Cool: $25
MAC Zoom Lash in New Hue, a purple shade: $5
Aveda Love Pure-fume oil: $10
All up $95

Aveda Love Pure-fume Essence was on sale in the shop. I bought it at $10! The label underneath read $60. I am not sure of its real price, but $10 is a great bargain!
Aveda Love Pure-fume essence
After leaving the store, we hit another one called La Boutique, a discount cosmetics and perfumes outlet. I did not have time to look at the perfumes properly but there were some nice brands. I managed to score a 15ml bottle of Annick Goutal Songes for $15
Hermes Rouge 5ml miniature for $5

Cherry on top, I received Yaby Pearl Paints that I ordered from Makeup and Glow! Just loving the texture of these shadows, they feel like silk and blend beautifully! I wanted to show off the pretty colours but yesterday's swatches were crappy and my arms were hairy. Anyway, loving these tiny little pans!

So, this is what I have been up to! I have a lot to play with, both makeup and perfumes. Always happy to score a bargain!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Drugstore Perfumes: So...? Sinful

So...? is a United Kingdom fashion house that also has some perfumes and body sprays to its credit. So...? is quite ubiquitous in Australian pharmacies. They don't cost much and available in so many different fragrances. They are very appealing to teenagers, the demographic the collection aims at.

I love body sprays. I have always been an Impulse girl and love to explore more and more varieties of body sprays. Body sprays are way past my age group, but what can I say, I just love to sniff and there is no age limit for sniffing! So...? fragrances have always intrigued me and I am not disappointed to have tried So...? Sinful
Strawberry, Pineapple, Bergamot,  Mint
Mimosa, Violet, Water Lily, Jasmine
Cedar, Vanilla, Chocolate Praline, Musk
So...? Sinful is an amazing chocolate based fragrance. It is chocolate-y and sexy, that is So Sinful! Sinful begins with a succulent fruits with hints of freshness from mint. The floral notes soon follow the fruity ones and the flowers are just beautiful, feminine and powdery. The drydown is a musky, woody, chocolate-y vanilla that is so soft and creamy! It is girly, fun and sexy. It is not a grown up fragrance yet effortlessly refined. Isn't that how a young girl should smell?!

The perfume gives so many other expensive perfumes run for their money. The body spray costs $4.95. The combination of a 15ml edt and a body spray costs under $7 at Priceline! Now that is a steal!

I have two of these body sprays. One is for me and the other to freshen up the car, to get rid of the odours of all mess that my Baby Elephant makes! It does deodorise the baby smell of all kinds!!! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: Tom Ford Private Blend: Neroli Portofino

I recently came across the beautiful turquoise coloured bottles of Neroli Portofino at Tom Ford counter and wondered if it was a new fragrance. Neroli Portofino has been around since 2007 as a part of Private Blend Collection. A new body and bath line has been launched in the same scent in 2011. The ad campaign with a naked young man and woman bathing each other in the juice is enough of a clue to the new range of bath and body products in the unisex fragrance. As risque as the ad seems, the naked people look like they are having fun pouring perfume from huge bottles on each other!

The beautifully constructed glass bottle of the EDP is now in a stunning turquoise colour, which really stands out. There are many other bath and body accessories with the same elegant theme of turquoise and gold colours, they all look very beautiful! I came home to dig out my 4ml manufacturer's bottle that I had got from TPC to sniff and review.
Bath and Body Products
in Neroli Portofino
image from Nordstrom
New bottle in a stunning turquoise colour
image from Nordstrom
4ml manufacturer's bottle from TPC $12.99
Notes: bergamot, lemon, mandarin, lavender, myrtle, rosemary, orange bitter, Egyptian jasmine, neroli, orange blossom water, pittosporum, woody amber accord, ambrette seeds, angelica root.

Neroli Portofino is a very crisp and uplifting fragrance. It is inspired by Portofino, a beautiful village Liguria's Italian Riviera. Imagine sun drenched marinas, blue seascapes, lush Mediterranean greenery and fresh spring air, "Fine Gateway" indeed! 

Neroli Portofino begins with an animated citrus, which is bitter, zesty and energetic. Soon after, the beautiful Neroli, the orange blossom, comes through. The orange blossom is soft and bright, very natural smelling, kind of like the essential oil. At this stage, the fragrance is a little herbal-green, but mellow. The freshness is present throughout. The dry down is soapy and clean (ambrrete?). By soapy I don't mean laundry detergent soapy but the kind of expensive hand soap that goes well only with hand woven silky, egyptian cotton towels with fancy, lace-rimmed hems. 

The fragrance has a soothing, relaxing Neroli at the centre stage. The whole fragrance is light and cheerful, to aptly give a holiday vibe with clean spring air and the sea breeze of the Mediterranean. It is a perfect holiday perfume.

The prices are same as for Private Blend perfumes (in AUD) 50ml - $290.00; 100ml - $395.00; 250ml - $750.00
Or head to The Perfumed Court for some decants at great prices, like I got my 4ml manufacturer's bottle at a price of $12.99
The other products in the range come at quite a heavy price tag. Body Moisturiser 150ml - $100.00; Shower Gel 150ml - $100.00; Body Oil 100ml - $100.00; Bath Soap - $50.00 (AUD)