Update and a Perfume Sale

Hi folks – it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted here. My health has been improving slightly in recent months, and I have new glasses that are helping me use a computer again. Hallelujah! However, my troubles are far from over, and in the long process of trying to work out a cause for my symptoms, sadly I discovered that I am allergic to many fragranced products. Oh the irony and the cruelty! The sad fact is, if I inhale certain fragrant substances, my sinuses and my eyes flare up.

For over two months now I’ve been fragrance free – that means no fragranced products around the house, no perfume, no burning of oils or candles, and using fragrance free body products, cleaners and washing powder. I have to avoid spending too long in public places where there are strong smells, such as cosmetics shops and perfume counters, and I can’t even inhale essential oils or fragrant flowers! Natural or not, strong smells can still cause me harm.

I do worry that years of super-intensive sniffing has actually been bad for my health and until a couple of months ago, I couldn’t bear the thought that my beloved perfume collection might actually be contributing to my flare ups, but I had to admit that it was. I am a sensitive flower (pardon the pun) and my body is simply reacting to too many things right now. My health must come first, which sadly means cutting out all fragrance for a while.

As a result, I can’t justify keeping all of my perfume collection. It’s huge and vast, and I’m only keeping my favourites, in the hope that one day I’ll be able to wear and enjoy perfume again without getting sick as a consequence.

Perfume Sale!

But it’s not all bad news, Dear Reader, as you get to benefit from my misfortune! I’m selling some rather lovely niche/designer/rare and discontinued fragrances on Ebay currently. For those of you who may have trouble accessing my Australian Ebay account, I will list the items below and their current starting prices. These are in AUD (Australian Dollars). Please get in touch if you wish to buy anything. I can issue invoices through Paypal if you wish to purchase privately.

Overseas sellers might have issues with shipping – surface mail with a minimum weight of 2kg is the only way to legally send perfume out of Australia. It’s slow and expensive, but if you want to give it a go, I’m up for it. Contact me for more info.

Melbourne and Victoria people – I may be able to meet up with you personally if you wish to buy anything, rather than send your precious cargo through the mail, though I do package things extremely well!

My Ebay shop is located here. If you’re overseas you might have to tick the worldwide button to see my items, or see the list below the images…

Sale List

NOTE: All prices indicate the START PRICE for auctions. Please also bear in mind that this is the only kind of paid work I can do right now, so I’m setting fair prices but not bargain basement clearout prices!

4160 Tuesdays – What Katie Did at Weekends – Discontinued RARE 30ml – USED (50% remaining) – NO BOX – $25
Guerlain – Samsara Shine – Limited Edition Flanker – 30ml EDT – Lightly Used RARE – With Box – $35
Histoires de Parfums – 1876 / Mata Hari EDP – Almost Full 120ml – With Box – $120 SOLD!
Hermes – Rouge – Pure Parfum 7.5ml 1/4 oz – Super RARE in box – Almost Full – $179  SOLD!
Annick Goutal – Myrrhe Ardente EDP – Old Formula 100ml – No Box – Almost Full – RARE – NO BOX – $159
Guerlain – Terracotta Voile d’Ete Vintage (1999) – Ltd Ed. EDT With Box – RARE 100ml – Lightly Used – $149
Hermes  – Hiris – 100ml EDT Old Formulation (blue bottle) – RARE  – Almost Full in Box – $149
Etat Libre d’Orange – Jasmin et Cigarette – 100ml Old Flat Bottle Design – Lightly Used (80-85% left) – No Box – $120
Hermes – Un Jardin Sur Le Toit – 30ml EDT – Almost Full in Box – $45
Hors La Monde – Shiloh – RARE – 50ml Approx. 50% Full – EDP – No Box – $45
Diptyque – L’Eau Des Hesperides Cologne – Old Formula/Bottle – Tester 200ml – Used (About 40% left) – No Box or Cap – $60
Ralph Lauren – Safari Women’s EDP – 75ml Almost Full in Box – $50
Badgley Mischka – Pure Parfum – 15ml Used Refill w/Satin Pouch – RARE – lightly used – no cap (80%+ left) – $35
Tocca – Florence – 50mL EDP – No Box – Used (approx. 50-65% left, hard to guess amount due to bottle shape) – $50

Perfume Polytechnic is Currently Closed for Reviews

by-wlodek-428549_640When I started this blog, I never intended for it to be a perfume review site. There are already so many bloggers regularly immersing themselves in the latest releases (commercial and niche), and who have a wealth of knowledge and experience reviewing perfume, that I simply thought there was no need for another. I don’t have this knowledge, nor do I have access to a vast amount of what is out there, so it felt a little presumptuous that anyone might truly care what a half-informed-geographically-isolated-perfumista-from-Australia might think about a particular perfume.

The reason I started Perfume Polytechnic was to learn about both perfume and olfaction, and to share what I learnt with you, my readers. My favourite pieces have been those that are not reviews: those in which I delve into other areas, such as the smell of everyday things, investigate an ingredient such as oud, and of course, my interviews with indie/niche perfumers from around the world. These sorts of posts are the very backbone, no, the very spirit of Perfume Polytechnic.

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Polly Technic is Taking Sick Leave…

It is with great sadness and much apprehension that I am making this announcement. Due to serious, chronic health problems, I must take a break from Perfume Polytechnic.

Last year I had a laser eye procedure to bring my ocular hypertension under control. Without this procedure I might have developed glaucoma, which runs in my family. It worked, but it brought with it a whole host of other problems: constant eye pain, dry eye syndrome, eye infections, and vision changes. The last five-six months in particular have been hell. The ocular hypertension is also returning. And, I already had a whole host of other chronic health problems to deal with that I won’t even mention here. Life isn’t fun. Autoimmune disease sucks and is very poorly understood and treated.

Using a computer to work is now very difficult and makes my dry eye problem worse. Smelling perfumes has also become a health hazard as I seem to have become sensitized to so much of what’s around me. I suspect I also have a chronic sinus infection that is adding further complications to the eye problems, and I don’t want to exacerbate it with potentially aggravating aroma chemicals. So, the smelling must go, for now.

I am investigating new modes of treatment, including new eye specialists and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I am on an anti-inflammatory diet, which is severely restricted, but I need to know I am trying all that can be done. I need to keep my stress levels under control and not feel pressured, hence the need to withdraw for now.

Apologies to all the perfumers who have sent me samples that I have not yet reviewed, and to others whom I promised book reviews, interviews, etc. I am never one to break promises, and I have had such a wonderful time here, that this is a very hard decision for me to make. But my body is clearly telling me to take time out. If and when my health allows it, I will return and publish all promised reviews. I am truly sorry. I will miss this creative outlet and your readership very much. Thanks for your support so far.

Polly X

Redolent Roundup: Perfumed Plume Awards, DSH Perfumes’ Rendezvous & La Belle Saison Reviews, Lancashire Ambergris Find, and More…

plumePerfumed Plume Awards™

The inaugural Perfumed Plume Awards were held last week in New York City. The awards were modelled after the Prix Jasmine and the UK Jasmine Awards and were set up to showcase and reward US fragrance journalists and their writing. There were six categories, including Scent Stories in mainstream media (newspapers and magazines), Scent Stories in digital media, Visualisation of Scent Stories, a Fragrance Book Award and Science of Scent Stories. Winners included Mark Behnke from Colognoisseur (Scent Stories, Digital), Mandy Aftel (Fragrance Book Award), Dana El Masri (Science of Scent Stories, for Michelyn Camen of CaFleureBon) and Jasia Julia Nielson (Visualisation of Scent Stories, for Michelyn Camen of CaFleureBon). Congratulations to all of the inaugural Perfumed Plume winners: what a fabulous bunch of writers!

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Truant’s Report: Rochas Femme, Sissel Tolaas, Milestones & Luca Turin’s New Perfume Blog


I’ve been unwell, dear readers, really not myself at all lately. I lost my mojo due to a flare up of chronic illness, and haven’t had much energy to write. But I’m getting back on the horse and I’m not going to fall off again. I’ve been a truant from Perfume Polytechnic but now I’m back and making up for missed lessons. Here is a little update on my recent smelly adventures and discoveries…

Rochas Femme Where Have You Been All My Life?

While I’m an eager beaver when it comes to perfume, and though I try to smell most of what I can lay my nose on — with the exception of many recent commercial releases, which I often find uninteresting — I still haven’t smelt every perfume out there, including some of the classics. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what I’ve smelt and how it smelt, unless I make notes about it. I might have smelt a fragrance once in a discount chemist somewhere, or at a friend’s house, and then swiftly forgotten what it was like. Unless one has a vast scent library, it can be hard to keep track of things.

I have only been on this olfactory adventure for a little over three years, and I live in Australia, a rather isolated island, where it seems impossible to find and sample certain perfumes. Here, you take what you can get, what you can find, and what friends can share with you. It can be a patchy self-education, but I try my best. My nose is maturing and developing with all of the wonderful indie perfumes I’ve been sent to review and I find I’m more open-minded (open-nosed?) than ever before. But it’s still only a fraction of what’s out there…

Despite these limitations, I estimate that I have nevertheless smelt at least a thousand perfumes by now. I haven’t kept track. Even though this is only a small percentage of what’s ever been produced, it’s getting to the point now where not much surprises my nose, and when it does, or when I instantly adore something, it’s a good and surprising thing. It reminds me of the early days, when I first decided to study perfume, and every single fragrance smelt new and exciting to me, because I had experienced so little at that stage.

Tastes change also, so what didn’t appeal a year or two ago might now be the instant love of my life. As is the case with my recent rediscovery of Rochas Femme, in one of those family-run chemists that stocks odd and interesting bottles of perfume, heavily discounted, in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. Rochas Femme was ubiquitous at various discount chemists a couple of years back, and I did try it then, but it didn’t grab me. Was it too vintage-smelling, too mature, too animalic? These are the reasons why I love it now, but a couple of years ago, I don’t think my nose was ready for those qualities.

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