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

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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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Perfume Sale to Raise Money for Medical Treatment

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I’m having a perfume sale on Ebay to raise money for my health appointments. I’m seeing a number of doctors and specialists at the moment and can’t work due to my eye condition. Costs are adding up, so I thought I’d sell some of my fragrances to help cover costs.

I’m selling some wonderful perfumes, including limited editions, rare fragrances, vintage and older formulas, both niche and designer. Prices are competitive with the current market. Please take a look and tell any perfume loving friends. I’d be really grateful for any purchases!

All fragrances have been well cared for and kept in steady temperature conditions. Australian buyers only, sorry, unless you purchase over 2kg worth of goods. Sadly Australia Post has only recently removed their surface mail option for parcels under 2kg, and it’s just too risky (and verboten) to post perfume overseas by airmail.

I’ll be adding more items soon..! Click on this link to get to my Ebay perfumes listings.

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

International Women’s Day 2016. Memories and Music In Celebration of my Grandmother

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My grandmother, c. late 1930s, Adelaide.

Above is a photo of my grandmother as a young woman, sometime in the late 1930s (or perhaps early 40s), captured by a roving street photographer in Adelaide. I love the slightly surprised, somewhat reproachful look on her face. I love her clothes, her shoes, her hat and gloves, that handbag and the way she carries it. I love that I do not know what she was like when this photo was taken and that she had a long history before I came along. I love that she was young, and beautiful, and stylish and sassy. I wish I knew what perfume she wore – Vol de Nuit, Shocking, Tabu, Joy? – but sadly I don’t.

Fast-forward forty years, more or less, and I enter the equation. My Granny, as I call her, lives in a little house with my Papa, in a tiny beachside town in South Australia. It’s a long drive to Granny’s house from where we live, and we’re always welcomed at the back door with hearty greetings and warm hugs. Granny is a wonderful cook and always makes lunch or afternoon tea when we visit. The house smells of pasties and biscuits, the occasional lamb roast, vegetable soup, cups of tea.

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Off Topic: Musings about Birthdays, the Cycle of Life and Loss

Dad & Me

Dad & Me

It’s my birthday tomorrow. But apart from it being my birthday month, July is also full of other anniversaries significant to me and my loved ones. These anniversaries and memories trigger complex and seemingly contradictory emotions: a coming together and co-existence of happiness, sadness, loss, pleasure and reflection. I’ve struggled with reconciling these feelings in recent years, but today, while mowing the lawn with our back-breaking push mower in the fresh cold winter air, I felt a shift within, a moment of calm and acceptance. As you get older, life becomes very different, experiences are repeated and layered, contradictions have to be able to co-exist in order to be integrated into ourselves, if we are to get on with life at all.

Today, the eve of my birthday, is also the sixth anniversary of my father-in-law’s death: an event that was unexpected, shocking and intensely sad. My partner’s sister’s birthday is July 27. Six years ago, her father was buried on that day. My own father, who died less than nine months after my father-in-law, is keenly missed on my birthday, as are my grandparents and my Nanna. I miss their cards, phone calls and presents, but not because I miss getting “stuff”. It’s because I miss them. Those things are absent because they are absent.

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My first birthday

And yet countering all this, new life emerges, as it always does. My partner has another sister, and she is pregnant with her second child. Her first child was born on July 17 two years ago; a few days ago we celebrated her birthday. Life persists, the cycle of life (and death) keeps repeating itself. July used to be significant for me in different ways: much simpler, happier ways. Birthdays meant parties, simple, child-like joy and receiving focused attention from parents and family. July was also the birth month of numerous cousins and school friends, many born the same month as me. It was a joyous time and I loved it.

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My first birthday

Birthdays are different for me now, and I’m OK with that. It’s part of getting older, it’s part of experiencing life and loss and integrating all of those complexities, about creating a new self that accommodates sadness and loss, as well as happiness and pleasure. Tomorrow I will experience another birthday, and I will focus on simple pleasures and appreciating life in the moment.