Sunday, October 28, 2012


After a long deliberation, I finally decided to move my blog to wordpress and get a proper domain for it.
Not that I am perfectly happy with Wordpress either after finally setting everything up, but I see it as a more useful tool than blogger (and one you can actually use without it stopping).
Hopefully I won't feel the need to switch back after a few months on Wordpress. ;)

So, please visit me at my new place and we can set on some more fragrant adventures together! :)

I can only wish I was moving to a place like this one...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Temple Mathews: The New Kid

Honestly, this is getting worrying - I don't seem to read anything much aside from YA. I just wish I would read a blurb that sounded interesting and it didn't belong to a YA novel.
I wonder what does that say about me?

And is it only me who thinks blurbs are a very good way to make you not want to read a certain book?

Ok, on to the novel in question. It is the first in series and I plan on reading on. And I read it without interrupting it with something else. :)

I wasn't terribly pleased with being immersed into Will's life without any background, just having to take it all for granted but it all got explained during the story.
These days I'm reading some strange, new stories in the YA world. Not that I mind, that is probably why I can finish them without interruption.
Anyway, Will fights demons and discovers too late why that wasn't such a great thing to do. The interesting thing though is at one point you are not sure who is doing what for what purpose and I mean that in a good way - there is just no guessing the reasoning behind some of the actions and who might turn out to be a good guy. Or who is truly evil.

So, the whole story is very action-packed, which is also why I wanted some background on the 16-year old who can do all that. And Will is a strange kind of a super-hero and a genius to boot. ;)

One thing I noticed lately, coming up often in the novels I read, is the abrupt change of voices who are telling the story, so you need to pay attention when it switches without any previous warning.

What I was left wondering after reading this book is how come the author made the people of that little town almost all lean to the evil side and choose evil? Does it really seem like such an easy choice to most people?

My ebook came courtesy of Netgalley.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn sale!

I decided it's about time I cleared my perfume collection by letting go of some of the perfumes I keep for sentimental purposes and never wear and also the time to decrease the contents of some of my bottles as by the rate I'm going, I will never use them up and the most probable thing that would happen to those perfumes is they will become unwearable.

So here is the list:

Nikki de Saint-Phalle, edt, 50/59ml - 25$

4711 Tosca, 190/200ml, splash bottle - 60$

Guerlain Mitsouko, 70/75ml, edp, - 50$

Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera, 40/50ml - 20$

Thierry Mugler Angel Liqueur de Parfum, 34/35 ml, - 50$

Christian Dior Dolce Vita Deodorant Parfume, 60/100ml - 25$

Clarins Eau Dynamisante 90/100ml, without box,  45$

Dior Diorella  35/50ml, edt, without box - 30$
Bulgari Omnia, 50/65ml, - 40$

MAC, MV1, 17/20ml - 40$

Estee Lauder, Bronze Goddess, edt, 15ml - 10$

Parfum d'Empire, Wazamba, 10/50ml - 10$

Set of 4  decants of 4,5 ml : Santa Maria Novella Melograno, Maria Candida Gentile Exultat Sideris, Cinabre, - 30$

Malak, Rose, edt, 4ml decant, 5$

L'Artisan Parfumeur, Navegar, 10ml decant - 20$

Serge Lutens, Rousse, 10ml decant - 30$

Nez a Nez, Bal Musque, 10ml decant - 20$

Balmain, La Mome, 10 ml decant - 10$

L'Artisan Parfumeur, Cote d'Amour, 10ml decant - 10$

L'Artisan Parfumeur, Piment Brulant, 10ml decant - 20$

The shipping will depend on the size of the package, between 3-15$ for bigger bottles.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A place where summer still lives...

This weekend I went to Split to attend a friend's wedding.

As I went there with my girlfriends, of course I had the best of times. I was also lucky enough to enjoy a couple of days of summer as Split is located on the Adriatic coast, south enough to still enjoy warm days when the temperatures are over 20 degrees Celsius and the sea is as well (around 22).

Of course I took a swim while I was there - I can't believe I could actually enjoy a swim in the middle of October and that the sea and air were warm enough for it to be an enjoyable experience. :) (actually, it was rather hot in the sun)

Here are some of the photos I took:

Split Riva

View from Kaštel Stari

View from Kaštel Stari

From the beach

I'm back in Zagreb and even if I wasn't aware the summer is long gone here (the cold is a good sign), my morning choices of what perfume to apply would be a good indication - vanillas are somehow on the top of the pile. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kresley Cole: Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles,1)

As you could have noticed by now, I'm a huge Kresley Cole fan and I read most of the Immortals After Dark books more than once. :)
I also enjoy YA novels so after reading the excerpt from the Poison Princess some months ago, I was very much looking forward to the book.

Now, even though I enjoy YA genre, I often find those books a bit lacking.  Not that they are bad and I stop reading them, it's just they aren't as good as they could be - the characters and the story don't always come together seamlessly.

So, I started reading the Poison Princess and getting into the story and characters and I thought I detected some flaws in the storyline which could be explained in only one way. I knew what explanation that would be for me but I admit (and I apologize to Ms. Cole now) I had my doubts whether the story will oan out as I thought it should following the line.
I should have known better than to doubt Kresley Cole's style of writing and forming a story. :) It did end the only way I imagined it could.
OK, now I sound like I predicted the story's end which I didn't. I just thought that most of the story couldn't be explained well enough unless there was a reason for that type of story-telling. And I was right.

I don't want to into details of the story, anyone enjoying Ms. Cole's books won't thank me for it.
I did have some issues with Evie's naivete and ensuing stubborness but she worked through it so I was satisified in the end.
I should add that anyone who liked Hunger Games might like this one as well as there are some touching points to the story.

But basically, it's one of the better YA novels I read in a while (I'm not counting HP here) and Kresley Cole didn't disappoint by trying her hand in this genre.
Luckily, there are more books in the Arcana Chronicles to come. Unluckily, not soon enough.

P.S. I have to add, my boyfriend would agree with everything said about Ducatis in the novel. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I didn't disappear, I'm here and I smell great

(at least I believe I do). ;)

It's been a hectic few weeks and there are still some things I need to finish before I can say I finally closed several of my projects (some extremely long-term).
But the greater part of work is done and the things I have left to do are those that will bring me a feeling of strength, inner peace and fulfillment.

Before the race
Most if it will become apparent if I'm successful at it, after the next weekend when for the first time in my life I plan to run the half-marathon in Zagreb.
What worries me about that is that the last two weeks, due to many obligations I had (from the beginning sentence) stopped me from attending the trainings regularly. Out trainer told me that I shouldn't worry, we did run 20km once already, just to take it slowly - I mean, I will not be racing anyone, I'm a complete beginner and for me the biggest success is actually finishing. But, still, I worry.

Well, you'll know soon enough how well I did as I plan letting everyone know about the enthusiasm I will feel after running for so long (here we're talking about more than 2 hours as I'm a really slow runner). :)
And I know there will be enthusiasm as that is exactly what I felt after running 20km for the first time and how I felt after finishing my first ever race of 12,4 km - the photos are from that day.

To get back to smelling great. :)
I attended an ISO education this whole week and as I was around new people in a relatively small room, I took more care than usual to what I was going to apply.

Just before the finish line
I can say that Cruel Gardenia always works for me as a great choice when around people in a work setting. It has a mellowness to it that makes anyone who comes close to you consider you less serious than you might appear.
As I was told by one of the attendees on the last day, I completely changed everyone's initial thoughts about me being very strict and serious and looking like I'm going to only work and not have any fun at it.
So, in cases like that, a mellow perfume that is so easily liked seems like a good strategy.
The other perfume of my strategy was Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma. Similar in the effect as Cruel Gardenia, only iris based.
I'm still wondering how different people perceive me from how I think of myself.

And as the nights are getting colder and colder, I'm finally again wearing Shalimar to bed. :)

P.S. I firmly believe the camere used for taking some of these photos adds weight. ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thriving niche sub-culture in Zagreb

And I wasn't even aware of it until now! :)

I mean, I knew there must be people in Croatia who loved niche perfume as there are 3 perfumeries in Zagreb carrying niche perfumes but I never met those people who shop there and love those perfumes.
Until now.

As I'm not really a strong character, saving money is not something I am good at. Or at all. So, after spending way too much money on perfume in the last 3 months (I can't even bear to count how many bottles I acquired during that time), I figured it was time to get some of it back.

Therefore, I decided to sell off some decants from my bottles as there is no way I can possibly use up all of them, and I listed them on a Croatian forum.

What can I say?! I learned there are people here who can't wait to get their hands on some of the things I have. :) Which is a sentiment I can relate to.

Not to mention that they have some things I'd love to have so I predict some swapping in the cards as well.

Perfumes forever!

P.S. We really should come up with a good catch-phrase or a slogan for our fragrant community. ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Winners of Santal Majuscule samples...

Are Joan and Irina! :)

Please contact me with your addresses and I'll get these off to you as soon as possible.

Thanks everyone for playing!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Santal Majuscule (and a minuscule draw)

There is a reason why I don't review Serge Lutens perfumes often even though I wear many and like many of them (wouldn't mind owning practically the whole line).
I just never seem to be able to find the words to describe exactly what I smell - that happens with other perfumes as well, but nowhere am I so strongly aware of it as with SL perfumes.

So, I'll try and do my best ut in the end, as is always the case with Uncle Serge perfumes, the reviews won't really prepare you for what you smell in the end. :) (I find that a great thing myself)

Notes: sandalwood, cocoa, Arabian attar rose, honey, spices

I've sampled and worn Santal Majuscule many times over the weeks I have it and still, each time I smell it, I find another facet of it to be revealed. I went through so many ideas of what this perfume smells like and each time I smell it again, half of the stuff I thought it smelled like aren't there but there are new things I smell.

Until I saw the notes, cocoa and rose never entered my mind  but once I saw them, I knew they were in there, I even remembered exactly at what point the cocoa comes to play.

Before I start describing what it smells like to  me, I should say that the most obvious thing I get from it is that it is a combination of perfumes that already exist in the line. I don't mean to say by that that I think it's not good or smelling differently, it's just that there are familiar accords jumping out at you at different times.

Sometimes it's the idea of sweet, sticky, spiced (and even boozy) fruit of what I'd like to think as Arabian market variety the first thing you smell, soon to be followed by the teasing wafts of how Jeux de Peau starts, following with opening of Santal Blanc until sometimes you come across barest hints of Ambre Sultan hidden in the murky depths of this perfume.
Because there ARE depths to it, you can smell them from the start. But try as you might, sniffing at close proximity won't get you anywhere near those depths.

So, what I smell in the beginning is described in the previous paragraph, warm, spicy, boozy fruit with the general feeling of seriousness and darkness (there's not frivolity to this fruit as the feeling is dry and not sparkling and happy) with cocoa underscoring the darkness and warmth and sandalwood making you swoon.
Now I know it's there, I can smell the rose appear and the fruitiness slowly disappear. At this point is where I feel a smile blossoming on my face. It is also where I feel the resemblance to Santal Blanc is most prominent.

Being true to my smelling practices, after enjoying this phase for quite a while, all I can say about the drydown, is, it continues to dry in the vein it smells.

Honestly, I don't know if you noticed, but I'm really not a drydown person.  My attention dissipates by that time.

So, for the minuscule draw I have two samples from my bottle, tell me why you think you might like/love this or why not? Both will work. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I breathe in.... and relax

I've probably said this many times in my posts but I can't help being surprised again and again when it happens.

The feeling comes upon you at the strangest times, you breathe, you realize there is a smell in the air you would like to smell better, you breathe it in more fully and then you feel your body relax. The stress sort of siphons out of your body and you smile without meaning to.

It can happen anywhere and with any kind of smell (well, a pleasant one).
Breathing in the smell of freshly baked bread, sensing the seasons in the air, a new perfume discovery that not only makes you let go of all your stress but also sends pleasant shivers down your spine, the lingering perfume of a passerby, the freshly cut fruit and vegetables (especially at this time of year) and grass any time of year, in my case also snow, the freshly washed smell of shampoo in the hair....

The list goes on and on, but the important thing for me is that there is no other sense that I can use which will enable me to relax in the space of one breath.

I just wish I could utilize this consciously. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Promoting Croatia (and my blog)

All of you who read my blog regularly are probably aware that I try and promote my country as much as I can while writing my blog (I try to be incospicuous about it but I'm not really sure I am).

Anyway, I am happy to say that a Croatian tourist/promotion portal Like Croatia posted some of my summer photos on their site recently! :)

You've seen the photos here already, but if you are thinking about visiting Croatia, checking out their site Like Croatia is probably a good thing to do. :)

I'm leaving you with a few more of my summer photos:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Heat

I've been meaning to write about several perfumes I tried and really liked recently but it will have to wait another day or two for the heat wave we've been having to pass.
I just can't function when it's hot, not only because my body doesn't deal well with it, it makes me feel terribly upset as I can't ease my suffering. The best I can do is be still and let the fan do its thing (luckily we have A/C at work but unfortunately not at home).
In case you're wondering about the temperatures, for the fourth day in the row we're hitting 38 degrees Celsius (we got to 39 yesterday).

I just need to be still a little longer and I'll be fine by tomorrow.

P.S. If you're wondering why am I using a computer when it's so hot, I'm not, I'm testing blogger for Android phones. :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Alyssa Harad: Coming to my Senses

I must say, I really appreciate the names given to perfume  books I've been reading this year. I'm pretty sure you all realize the loaded meanings they carry but I still have to point out I appreciate it. :)

The second thing I really enjoyed about both The Perfume Lover and this book, is the fact they took me by surprise, once I started reading, I had to go on. And this coming from someone who never reads non-fiction unless forced by outside circumstance (which didn't apply here).

So, what can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? Probably not much - but it's not like I would know, I didn't read any of the reviews beforehand (I did glimpse some though).

Basically, what can I say - I relate to pretty much everything Alyssa had to say on the subject of perfume (and exercising) - the wedding thing is something I have no experience in.

There are so many points in the book where I was nodding my head in agreement:
  • For a long time I didn't say to anyone how much I was in love with perfume
  • Once that phase passed, I didn't mention to anyone I wrote  a blog
  • Her NY experience, the scary part and then falling in love - exactly what happened to me in Paris
  • Realizing there are smells all around me I never paid attention to and then did smelled which ever I could? - check
  • Falling in love with JAR Bolt of Lightning because it smells exactly like the electric, post-thunderstorm air? - check
  • Smelling coconut traces in fig? - check (but only after being pointed to it in the book - lucky for me I was on vacation and fig trees grow there)
And the list goes on and on. :)

Btw, one interesting tidbit I got from the book is Alyssa's realization that many of the perfume bloggers (female) tend to be petite women. I agree. :) After meeting Suzanne, and hearing about some of the others, I do see a connection there (and I know all about feeling big in their presence).

The great thing about this book is that if you are a perfume lover, it will make you smile and nod your head in agreement when you recognize the same steps you took in your perfume journey. It will also make you wonder what perfumes is Alyssa referencing by describing the way they smell.
It will also give useful advice on what to do and not to do if you are organizing your wedding.

But basically, it will confirm that enjoying your path in life with the people you love is the only way to live your life. Be it by smelling perfume and sharing it, or doing something else you enjoy.

I received my copy of the book for free from the book's PR team.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Croatian summer 2012. II

So, here are some photos I took in the last week:

My beach in Smokvica (well, not mine, the one I go to every day):

View from our terrace early in the morning:

The path I take when I go running (not that I managed a lot of that):

View from that path - the island of Krk on the other side:

One more from the running path:

Slightly better (closer) view from the path from Smokvica to Klenovica:

One more from the view from the path from Smokvica to Klenovica:

Love from Croatia! :)

Croatian summer 2012

Some of the photos I took on my vacation:

Seline, taken at 5 PM but the lighting is all strange when there is so much sun:

Seline, a view from the boat:

One more from the boat:

Beach in Seline:

One more of the beach across from Seline:

Love from Croatia! :)