Monthly Archives: January 2016

Portia & Pals at Perfume Lovers London! – Photo Essay

Having so many dear friends in the perfume community living far away from my home is tough,¬†but tonight most of them were in the same room as me and I couldn’t have been happier if I tried.

Portia of Australian Perfume Junkies was in town to host Perfume Lovers London and so many friends from far and wide turned out to celebrate the fact. It was quite the party ūüôā

I’m writing the whole event up for APJ and will let you know when it’s posted, but in the meantime I wanted to share some photos from the evening. Even if you couldn’t be there, I hope you agree it’s nice to see people having fun and communing over a shared love of fragrance.

Oh and of course, Portia was a roaring success!



The start of a stellar evening hosted by Portia Turbo!


Portia, Val the Cookie Queen and Me having way too much fun.


Organiser Lila with Portia in full swing.


Portia and the wonderful Lady Jane Grey.



My great mates, Sabine of Iridescents and Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume.


The fabulous Nick “Spunk” Gilbert with Portia.¬†



Antonio Gardoni of Bogue, Me and Portia.


The beautiful Pia of Volatile Fiction with Portia.



Val and Portia’s super cute partner, Jin.



Val’s version of the trademark Portia Turbo pose!



Filed under Perfume Events

ÔĽŅCuir Velours by¬†Naomi Goodsir ¬†

Peach skin suede…

Naomi Goodsir is an Australian designer whose hats look as cool and striking and as her fragrances smell.


Cuir Velours (Velvet Leather) was released in 2012 and includes notes of leather, tobacco, rum, cistus labdanum, incense and immortelle.

Despite the “Cuir” in the name, I get a refined suede rather than tough leather. There is nothing that reminds me of tanning fumes or birch tar and I don‚Äôt get any smoke. For the most part, both the aroma and texture is akin to velvety peach skin.


On opening, the muted suede is drenched in fruity, boozy, syrup. At this stage it lies somewhere between Boxeuses and Bottega Venetta. I presume it’s the immortelle and rum that’s creating this effect, but it isn’t¬†too spicy or harshly alcoholic.

It’s all a bit too sweet and boozy for my taste, but the whole feel is very smooth and luxe. It doesn’t shout and there are no rough edges.

If you love gourmand-inflected suede scents then I can imagine it verging on the addictive. It’s easier to wear than other fragrances in this category because while it is sweet, it’s not¬†domineering.

It may also appeal if you have a fondness for cosmetic perfumes. As it settles, Cuir Velours throws off a beauty balm like quality which now reminds me of Ramon Monegal’s Cuirelle but without the honey. It’s that face-powder-mixed-with-cold-cream-on-suede effect which adds softness and an increased level of comfort.

I start to enjoy it a few hours in, when the booze has completely evaporated and the sweet syrup has dialled down a few notches. Now it really feels velvety soft and creamy with that “Your Skin But Better” vibe. I get some labdanum in the far drydown which only adds to that feeling.

For a fragrance layered with so many traditionally bold accords, Cuir Velours winds up being surprisingly low on projection.¬† I have to get¬† close to detect it, but when I do it’s inviting and rather sensual.


Woman in cape and leather boots

In style alone, it’s reminiscent perfumer Julien Rasquinet’s other creation for Naomi Goodsir, Bois d’Ascese and his Russian Tea for Masque Milano. They all have a striking yet subdued profile and seem to cling to the skin.¬† However, I would say that Cuir Velours leans more feminine than either of those two. Longevity is very good as it quietly lingers¬†for hours.

It’s a low-key, sweetened suede with a cosmetic twist which would be equally appropriate at the office as on a date. Perfect to wrap yourself in on cold days when the chill wind threatens to get into your bones.

Cuir Velours is a fragrance to live in and make your own, like a second skin.


Have you tired Cuir Velours? Would you recommend I try Naomi Goodsir’s Or du Serail?


Filed under Perfume Reviews

A Favourite Bottled Rose – Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens

Rose petals on hot skin…

Notes of Turkish rose, yellow jasmine, apricot, amber, musk, sandalwood and beeswax

If I was forced by The Perfume Police to wear one kind of fragrance for the rest of my life, it would probably be rose. Rose perfumes make me feel feminine, beautiful and loved, which all happen to be affects attributed to rose oil in aromatherapy.

Last week my gift to myself arrived from Paris: a glorious bell jar of Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens.

Rose de Nuit bell jar

It was my treat for a year of pushing myself to do things I was afraid of and succeeding beyond all expectations. I’ve learnt that it’s not just important to do these things but to reward yourself when you do them. It marks the occasion and cements that feeling of accomplishment while encouraging you to keep going.

I’ve never drained a decant as quickly as the one of Rose de Nuit¬†sent to me by my pal Val the Cookie Queen from her own bottle. Most decants end up languishing around the house, only partially used. This one I emptied in record time and mourned the going of. Proof if it were needed that I’d fallen for this perfume in a big way and it should be placed directly onto my Full Bottle List (which was completely empty).

I think of Rose de Nuit as a fur-trimmed rose the colour of dried blood. Dabbed onto my skin, it is as much about lightly fruity musk as it is about rose.  I find its character to be knowing and seductive.

Accompanying the dark rose and velvety musk are sticky beeswax, sultry jasmine and apricot flesh on an amber/woody base.

A wild, dirt-smeared bloom which has been weathered by the elements; this animalic rose chypre is most definitely a creature of the night, embodying the heady feeling of release after tortuous temptation.

Like a few of my favourite fragrances, it took time for me to fully appreciate its beauty. Sometimes you know it’s real love because you’ve taken the time to get the know the object of your affection, rather than fallen blindly for their superficial charms.

That’s how I knew Rose de Nuit¬†was a keeper.


My full review on Olfactoria’s Travels can be read¬†here.

If you could only wear one type of perfume for he rest of your life, what would it be? 





Filed under Perfume Reviews

Boxeuses by Serge Lutens

Up for the fight…

When I was on a personal development retreat recently, one of my many¬†favourite things was the boxing moves we did to extremely loud rap music. There was something hugely powerful and energising about it and it’s made me want to find a Boxercise class. In the meantime I listen to the tracks and do the moves in the privacy of my own home.

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

I greatly admire the 2010 exclusive Lutens release Boxeuses (female boxer) although I’m yet to fall in love with it. I keep coming back to it because I find it sophisticated and mysterious, empowering and sensual.

As usual the perfumer is Christopher Sheldrake, also as usual, there is no official notes list. However, the consensus seems to be that it contains violet, plum, anise, leather, labdanum and woods.

Boxeuses is a fragrance¬†full of violet, plummy goodness with a hint of licorice, underscored by leather. On the face of it, it’s in the vein of Bois de Violette and Faminite de Bois but I don’t find it as intense as either of those other two Lutens creations.

In the early stages you’re hit by smoky fumes emanating from underneath the purple fruit and flowers. This is leather that’s been processed to a smooth finish. More chemical than animal. you could mistake it for plastic or vinyl.

Violet and plum stop it from becoming that typical dry, masculine style of leather: There’s a reason Boxeuses is written in the feminine form.

This is a dark, seductive little number. The fruit is not too stewed, the spice is not too strong and I enjoy the contrast with the smoky leather.

However, as it develops it becomes rather too gourmand for my taste. It’s now more about plummy, spiced caramel over woods than it is about leather. The gooey syrup laced with curry spice makes me think of immortelle, which is a tricky note for me.

The base is pure labdanum on me; fuzzy, ambery and resinous.

Usually Lutens orientals are thick and opaque, but¬†Boxeuses feels surprisingly sheer and intangible. It bobs and weaves, staying light on its feet. It’s everywhere and nowhere.

The same way boxers sometimes hold onto one another as if in a awkward embrace when tired, Boxeuses holds on close to the wearer. At the same time it keeps its cool and remains detached, never cosy.

Woman boxing in dress

Boxeuses is a lesson in how simplicity done well can create the illusion of complexity. You can pick out the components but they combine in a way that is intriguing.

I’d like to feel at home in it because the Boxeuses woman is prepared to fight her corner.

It’s the perfect perfume to wear when you feel like you’re heading into the ring, whether it’s a workplace confrontation (see Undina’s memorable post Round One – I won) or a more personal conflict.

Boxeuses will have your back.




Filed under Perfume Reviews

In Gratitude For Perfume People

For about a month now, I have been practising gratitude. Previously the idea of having a gratitude journal seemed rather, well, soppy. However, after learning that the benefits have been proven and trying it out for myself, I am a convert.




The gratitude ritual gradually trains your mind to focus on the positive things that happen each day, rather than the negative. If, like me, you’re not naturally a glass half full kind of person, it’s easy to let these occurrences – be they large or small – slip by unacknowledged. Over time you should become more optimistic as well as more content.

Waking up and running through what you’re thankful for or noting down each evening what you’re grateful for happening during the day, can easily become part of your daily routine.

I now actually look forward to writing in my journal at the end of the day. I note down three things I was grateful for that day, in addition to two things I did well (which can be tiny) and my priorities for the next day. This combines gratitude with a sense of accomplishment and progress, which also bolster our sense of well-being.

“Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the
attitude of gratitude is the most important,
and by far the most life-changing‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Zig Ziglar

What has been featuring prominently in my gratitude list lately is the number of fellow bloggers who have helped me get A Bottled Rose off the ground.

Birgit of Olfactoria’s Tr avels suggested I try writing about perfume in the first place and gave me the opportunity to experience the sense of connectedness you get from blogging.

Vanesssa of Bonkers About Perfume and Val who contributes to Australian Perfume Junkies both encouraged me to start a blog of my own and supported me when I doubted myself.

Portia Рwriter and owner of Australian Perfume Junkies Рcleverly reworked the original blog name and came up with the far superior A Bottled Rose during our Skype chat.

The supremely talented Asali of The Sounds of Scents created the stunning header image which is more perfect than I could have ever hoped for. With the vaguest of briefs, she quickly came up with several options which were so striking in different ways, I had a hard time choosing between them.

Undina of ¬†Undina’s Looking Glass has been utterly invaluable in the technical administration¬†of the site. ¬†I’ve been so clueless she even had to re-instate my Home page when I managed to lose it.

I’ve always been much more comfortable in the role of giving help rather than receiving it, so I am grateful to my friends for teaching me that it’s okay to let others lend you a hand when you need it.

Finally, thank you to the wider fragrance community and beyond for the warm, encouraging reception. It means more than you know.




Filed under Thoughts

Onda Voile d’Extrait by Vero Profumo¬†¬†



Push me, pull me.

Onda means “wave” and we are talking tidal. On first spray, the scent rushes over my skin and fills my senses, obliterating all else.

It is a multi-sensory, immersive experience. I inhale its aroma and I see an inky ocean set aflame, I feel warm tar sticking to my skin and I hear a low, wanton growl. Its depths seem phathomless, its heart impenetrable.


Listing notes seems rather inconsequential because Onda is so much more than its perfectly constructed parts, but for the record it has the following structure:

Top notes: Bergamot, lemon, tangerine, ginger, coriander, basil

Heart notes: Iris, ylang-ylang, honey

Base notes: Vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, ambergris

Forget any misgivings you may have about it being described in various quarters as a veitver-loaded fragrance. The composition transcends that material and any other categorisation for that matter.

While¬†Onda¬†is an extreme and uncompromising creation it’s also incredibly intoxicating. I’m gasping for air while at the same time, wishing to be submerged once more.¬† I breath it in deeply, feeling the need¬†to possess the fearless qualities imbued within it. Anything seems possible, all bets are off and every risk is worth taking.

Onda has no limits and encourages me to push against mine.

Spice crackles, birch tar burns and vetiver smokes.  A trickle of honey and a handful of petals are included to placate the Spirits.  A spell of protection is cooked up on your skin which will ensure you only let the right one in.

Like all of Vero Kern’s extraordinary fragrances, Onda has a strong personality and a complex one at that. Her power is potent; a vibrating intensity that coruscates across the night sky, captivating all those in her wake.

Talk of power and strength might make you think this is merely a macho show of force; more about business than pleasure. Not so. Onda has a fluid sexuality that is raw, unrestrained and head-spinning. All this without being skank-filled.

It’s a perfume to anoint yourself with, like some ancient rite. Primal and instinctual, but never base or beastly. I find it as decadent as I find it daring. It is a breathtaking fragrance and fantastically chic. Wear it to set the right conditions for drama and get ready for the consequences.


It fascinates me how occasionally a fragrance will suddenly click with you at a particular time in your life. I am finally ready to inhabit Onda and have Onda inhabit me.

2015 was a year of unprecedented personal growth for me. I have challenged myself in ways I would never have done previously.¬†Now I have Onda on my skin, there’s no telling how or where this journey will take me next, but I can’t wait to find out.


Do you have a fragrance that inspires a sense adventure or feels like a protective cocoon?






Filed under Perfume Reviews