Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best of 2010 Blogging Event

I find it very appropriate and positive to end the year with thinking about what was good about it. So, when Trish from the Scent Hive asked me if I wanted to participate in this blogging event, of course I said yes. :)

This has been a difficult year for me but at the same time, it came with some happy realizations.

One of them is that the perfume blogging world is full of wonderful, helpful people who are both generous of heart and mind. I am thankful for that to Carol and AbdesSalaamAttar and the event Carol organized where we could discuss perfume with AbdesSalaam. He said then something that stuck with me and I see as being true the more I smell and enter the world of smells:
"Love of perfumes comes from a quality of the soul, and being able to feel joy from scents instead of material things also. It is not given to all.
It seems to me that people who enjoy perfumes are also people who find joy in the most simple and little things in life and want to share it with others.

Since I started with AbdesSalaam, I should say that in my mind, this year had been quite oriented towards natural perfumes and they were discussed more than before (and I believe used as well, at least I know I did). The Mystery of Musk project and the Outlaw perfume project were incredible success and I think they promoted quite well they quality of perfumes containing natural ingredients and the fact that there is no need to forbid the use of some natural components in the creation of perfumes. I am still eagerly awaiting my outlaw sample pack that Carol organized and still has some if you are interested in acquiring one.
My perfume collection is getting bigger and bigger and this year I bought more natural perfumes than others which surprised me as well when I realized it. But then again, I'm after perfumes that make me smell more and create more vivid images in my mind and those are naturals it seems. :)

As you might have noticed so far, the end of the year brought many posts regarding what was best (and worst) this year and many of those included perfumes and ideas I found great as well.

So, I'll just give you a quick rundown through those that when I look back on the year, shine through the fogginess in my stressed mind (which is getting some deserved rest as we speak). :)

This year's discoveries started with Annick Goutal's Ninfeo Mio. I love it and just thinking about it brings gladness to my  mind, it reminds me of my grandmother's garden.

Then came the release of Honore des Pres' coffee cups collection. :) Here I need to thank once more to Denyse from Grain de Musc for the effort and help with procuring me with Vamp a NY and Love Coco. Again, natural perfumes I fell in love with, not so much the carrot one (which is very interesting but not wearable for me) but the other two are just plain great.

I'm still unfamiliar with the following but have high hopes in some more love going that way. The creations I'm most eager to try are L'Artisan's Traversee du Bosphore and the whole Pierre Guillaume's Huitieme Art collection.  I love both the work by Bertrand Duchafour and Pierre Guillaume so I'm postponing trying them in order to not spend too much money. ;)

My personal perfume discoveries for this year are the love of amber and the line of Laurie Ericksson - Sonoma Scent Studio.

These are my thoughts on what was best this year, please visit my fellow participants for their take on what made them happy this year:

The Non-Blonde

Smelly Blog

Roxana Illuminated Perfume

DSH Notebook

I Smell Therefore I Am


A Rose Beyond the Thames

Schreibman's Live

Portland Fragrance Examiner



Sorcery of Scent

Scent Hive

Thanks to Roxana for the picture.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reading challenge I had no problem finishing - Anita Blake

The end of the year is upon us and it's time to wrap up things that can be wrapped up. One of them is my participation in the Anita Blake reading challenge.
I am really glad I participated as I loved Anita since I read the first book about her and I don't think that will ever stop. She is such a particularly unique character in the world of books that everyone who reads Laurell Hamilton's books has strong feelings about her (either good or bad, but strong). Which in my opinion says a lot.

I expect I will re-visit the series again as I like the books a lot and feel like a glutton when reading through them (no stopping me). Since this was my second time around, and this time I didn't have to wait for books to come out but could read the whole series through, I feel I got a better idea of the complicated inner world in which Anita battles each day, as well as the world of politics and metaphysics where she is forever trying to find a stable position. Even though she is a strong character (and ruthless when called for), she has a sof spot in my heart (and I know she has one in her heart due to all the love and friendship she displays throughout the books).
I know she is an imaginary character, but still she managed to show me how to be strong and persistent in the face of adversity, how much value should be put into true friendships and that love is always generous.

Hope you get to enjoy the series if you still haven't and here is the list of books I read.

1. Guilty Pleasures

2. The Laughing corpse

3. Circus of the Damned

4. The Lunatic Cafe

5. Bloody Bones

6. The Killing Dance

7. Burnt Offerings

8. Blue Moon

9. Obsidian Butterfly

10. Narcissus in Chains

11. Cerulean Sins

12. Incubus Dreams

13. Micah

14. Danse Macabre

15. The Harlequin

16. Blood Noir

17. Skin Trade

18. Flirt

19. Bullet

P.S. I just didn't read that one novella that I still can't remember the name of and which isn't listed on L. Hamilton's site as a standalone work (all these are).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas presents!

So, the We Three Kings project passed and I have to say it was a lot of fun, so thank you once more Krista and Joanne for inviting me.

Christmas is over but there are still some gifts that need to be given and here is who is getting little presents from Croatia:

1. Ambre Gris, Melem and chocolates go to FragrantWitch9

2. Samples, small Melem and chocolates go to Anna in Edinburgh

3. And MyPerfumeLife gets chocolates (or perhaps your children do?) :)

Please contact me with your addresses so I can send them on their way.

Stephanie Laurens: The Brazen Bride (Black Cobra Quartet)

I'm almost at the end of the Black Cobra quartet, this was book 3 and I'm currently reading book 4. I must say I think the series is improving with each book (I was a bit sceptical with the first book).
Here we follow the story of  Logan who is shipwrecked on hir return journey from India and Linnet (who is a redhead which made me instantly like her) who nurses Logan to health.

Maybe this is a good time to say there are possible spoilers ahead. :)

Linnet is really for me even more an intriguing female character than what is usual in Mrs Laurens' novels. Of course they are all strong, intelligent and as successful as can be for that time period, and most of them discard intelligently the society's notions of what a proper lady should behave like.

And then we meet Linnet who is even more modern than what we encountered so far. She really is brazen for that age but at the same time she had a life full of interesting happenings and is ready to take on life fully which is manifested at the beginning of the book.

I really liked this book and the honesty with which both Logan and Linneth approach their emotions and their relationship.

Of course, by the end of the book, the plot thickens and I'm eagerly anticipating the end of the quartet as evidenced by the fact that I immediately started on book 4 after finishing this one.

On an end note, I'm comparing this one with the book 4 and I'm very happy to say that the love story unfolds mush slower (the sexual part) in book 4 than in The Brazen Bride where it starts right from the beginning (not that I minded it in the least, I love the steamy scenes Mrs Laurens writes). What makes me happy and devotee of SL novels for life is that the love stories never unfold similarly.

Pic by:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As my day was full of Christmas cheer, family and friend gatherings, food and drink and lovely presents, I'm a bit late wishing all of you a merry, joyful Christmas full of happy encounters, positive thoughts, some forgiveness and generally more optimism in regards what awaits us in the future.

So, merry Christmas everyone and hopefully all our optimistic thoughts and ideas come true as life can gift you most of all!

Here are are two pictures of what Christmas time looks like in Zagreb:

Pics by:,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We Three Kings: Frankincense

I left this one for the end as I still have unresolved issues with incense and it was too optimistic to think I'd be able to resolve it this week if I haven't been able to do so in years.

Way before I got interested in perfumes (and sucked into its world), I was a practising Catholic. I went to mass each Sunday, for all Catholic holidays and pretty much did what every practising Catholic does. I don't really remember what mass it was (and luckily for me it was only one) but incense was burned during it. That was the only smell so far that made me think I was going to get nauseous and faint. I almost did. A friend of mine can't stand it and reacts the same way so she thinks we were witches in a past life. ;)

Whenever I get my hands on a frankincense smell, I'm a bit wary. So far, they never made me feel nauseous or faint, but wariness remains. Especially if it smells more churchy than Cola-like. The thing is, here we have a cola type of drink called Cockta that obviously has some incense for smell in it because when I first tried Shaal Nur (my first incense perfume) I was very much taken aback that it smelled exactly like that soft drink.
So basically, incense perfumes fall into two categories for me, those that smell more church-like, more dry and austere and those that smell like Cockta, wet and sweet but both very obviously incensey.

Today, I'll talk about Parfum d'Empire's Wazamba. Which although seriously incensey doesn't fall into any of the two categories I have but has one of its own. A foresty incense.

Notes: Somalian incense, Kenyan myrrh, Ethiopian opoponax, Indian sandalwood, Moroccan cypress, labdanum, apple, fir balsam

I always get surprised by how much more I am able to smell once I read the notes. The whole apple (fruity) thing would completely escape me if I wasn't looking for it. It almost managed to escape me like that as well.
It really is a strange incense - like I said, it reminds me of forests, more probably of how I picture a rainforest (I was never even close to one, let alone in one) but that's what this reminds me of - except for the incense part, I'm sure you can't smell that there. But there is an underlying dark green, woody, slightly wet vibe to, and interspersed in all that, you get myrrh (I can't believe I actually can smell myrrh in my incense choice) and the barest fruit hints (I do have a  cold, so they might not be barest to other people). Anyway, as incense goes, this one makes me always think about what I'm smelling and doesn't fall into any of the mentioned categories.
Not that those categories are bad, they just have an existing association in my mind and that makes me not appreciate them appropriately.

So, once more, here is a list of participating blogs and I do hope you enjoyed our week of gifts of the three kings. :)

Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day



Bonkers about Perfume

My Perfume Life

The Perfume Chronicles

Chicken Freak's Obsession

Notes from Josephine

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Three Kings - Gold

The interesting thing about gold for this blog project was that I was completely sure out of the three gifts we were asked to find perfumes for, I would have most problems finding the one for gold. Turned out, it was the first I knew which one it would be and didn't change it in the process (I deliberated on the other two).

My choice is Montale's Pure Gold.  Even the name fits - the blog project, still not that sure about the juice though.

Notes: neroli, Egyptian jasmine, Italian tangerine, apricot, white musk, vanilla and patchouli.

I get the whole neroli-tangerine opening although not quite in those words. More in the line, oh, what a lovely light green, citrusy floral opening full of sunshine.The fruity juiciness coming from tangerine (even though I said citrusy, it's no lemon of any kind) and the rest coming from neroli which I noticed that whenever I come up with floral sunshine in my mind, it usually stands for neroli. Which is one way of learning how to distinguish notes.

As I'd like to think that my fruity-floral days are over, every once in a while, there comes one that changes that. I loved this one from the first sniff of my already half-empty sample.
While smelling this for reviewing purposes, I wrote down that it smelled happy and innocent. I'm still finding it happy, but I'm no longer sure about innocent. I know why I thought it, because it reminds me of spring meadows on sunny days and carefree times, but I no longer think it's innocent like that, it's more sexy-happy. You know, slightly intoxicating and happy, the best way to seduce someone. :) My thoughts on why, neroli+jasmine+white musk (in an amount that I find not only tolerable but enjoyable and that's rare).

My guess on why it was called Pure Gold (except for all the yellow, orange notes in it) is because as evocative as it is of happy, sunny spring, the gold in this is the sun for me.

I took a look around the forums while looking for the notes and noticed this didn't get much love, and at some point, I even wondered if there are two of these perfumes out there smelling differently as one reviewer described it as woody-floral and another likened it to Coromandel. For the life of me, I can't find any similarities with Coromandel, except the fact that both containing patchouli. I could have sworn though that in the drydown, someone put in just a drop of aoud to tease us but that could well be patchouli working another miracle (I find patchouli an extraordinary note in perfume - so many ways it can go and you never which way it took until you smell the perfume).

So, go take a look at my fellow bloggers and what Kings' gift they are discussing today:

Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day



Bonkers about Perfume

My Perfume Life

The Perfume Chronicles

Chicken Freak's Obsession

Notes from Josephine

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

P.S. Commenting on any of my posts for We Three Kings, gets you a possibility to win a little Croatian Christmas gift. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

We Three Kings - Myrrh

As announced last week, this week my fellow bloggers and I are going to talk about perfumes that are in some way connected with the gifts the three kings (magi, wise men, however you wish to call them) brought little baby Jesus. Here is where I'll confess - I was raised a Catholic and I knew all about the three kings and how they came and brought gifts but it was actually quite late that I learned what those gifts were. All I cared about is that the little guy got gifts and I thought how nice for him. And now we all get to exchange gifts on his birthday. :) I don't know when that particular tradition started but I really love it. :)

Anyway, on to the topic at hand. My choice for myrrh is Balmain's Ambre Gris. Btw, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a scent that contains myrrh that is actually smellable and not just lost amid all other resins and woods and trying to make an appearance? In this case, I'm not talking about all those that have myrrh in the name (I'm pretty sure there's no problem with smelling it in those).

So, Ambre Gris and I have a past. It's been more than 2 years now we hit it off in Paris'  Sephora and I took it home with me. And that was it. I never wore it. I have no idea why exactly, sometimes I smell it and think yes, I know why I bought you, and then I try it another time, and I wonder. It's funny how it is labeled as feminine while my first thought upon smelling it is how masculine it smells. It opens on a cool (as in very hip and good looking) ambrish note and I'm lost trying to figure out what exactly is that I'm smelling that makes it so masculinely cool.

Here are the notes: myrrh, cinnamon, pink pepper, benzoin, immortal flower, tuberose, ambre gris, white musk, guiac wood.

I know there is musk in there because sometimes it just overpowers everything else in this perfume and gets too shrill and unwearable for me. But most times, I'm wondering what is that coolness I'm smelling? I would love smelling this on a guy. After that initial sharpness, you can tease out some floral hints out of it, but if I didn't see tuberose listed, I would never be able to guess what flower was lending this floral sweetness and approachability. To say I smell myrrh, wouldn't be completely true, but I smell the woodiness and herbal sharpness in this and I can feel myrrh doing its thing from the depths of this. In time, I get more and more myrrh holding this wonder together but never forcefully, very gently.

Honestly, just by reading the notes, I would never have guessed it smelled like this. And I seem to be starting to develop a fondness for pink pepper which along with white musk helps the initial cool feel.

Btw, what in the world happened to cinnamon?! I adore it but couldn't discern it in there no matter how I tried.

So, this being the week before Christmas and the topic this week are the gifts of the wise men, I want to give you something as well. All you have to do is comment on any of the posts regarding the 3 gifts and you will be entered to win one of the 3 prizes (they aren't large but are from the heart):

- large decant of Ambre Gris, Melem (Croatia's remedy for chapped, dry skin) and some Croatian chocolate
- several samples of my choice, a smaller Melem and some Croatian chocolate
- while the third place only gets chocolate.

I want to thank once more Krista from Scent of the Day and Joanne from Redolent of Spices for inviting me and please visit other participating blogs for more interesting takes on the Kings' Three gifts.

Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day



Bonkers about Perfume

My Perfume Life

The Perfume Chronicles

Chicken Freak's Obsession

Notes from Josephine

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lacking words - Mona di Orio: Chamarre and Nuit Noire

I'm not even sure I should be writing about these two as I don't feel I can describe them appropriately but then again, I would like to put my thoughts into words.

The two perfumes I want to talk about today evoke feelings of strangeness and therefore I feel I lack words when I want to describe them.


Notes: Lavender, clary sage, aldehyde, Turkish rose absolute, iris from Florence, violet, opoponax, cashmeran, ambergris

To me, it starts as a leathery scent with some vioelt in the mix. That was the  best I could come up with after several tries. :)
You get some floral hints and some soapiness (my guess the aldehydes) and it gets more leathery by the minute with some smokiness peaking through. The best word for me is still strange. I'm not sure if I like it or not, I can certainly say at this moment I find it strange but I'm still not sure this strangeness is going to be something I'll like or not.
With time, it gets more floraly sweet and the leather feel subsides, until the perfume reveals its happy side and leaves you wondering if what you smelled in the beginning was real or not. That also seems to be a recurring theme for me with Mona di Orio's perfumes.
In the end, I'm left with the most things I can identify, the drydown smells of rose, musk, amber, something green as well and I'm completely at ease. And then I can't help myself and I start all over to check if the beginning was really as strange as I remember it. And yes, it was. :)

Nuit Noire

Notes: orange flower, cardamom, ginger, orange guinee, Olibanum, cinnamon, tuberose, sandalwood, clove, cedarwood, Amber, leather, musk, tonka

Luckyscent describes it as dirty, dark and delicious and I can't help but wonder if we are smelling the same thing. I can agree with delicious part after a while but dark and dirty escape me. Which also makes me wonder if I'm way down on the dirty road...
I find the opening strange again. And when I say strange, I actually mean strange enough that I cannot say exactly what I'm smelling - a leathery variant of some white flower? I'm not really sure, there are some similiraties with Chamarre but only so far as I think I smell leather. And then, there are some almondy aspects to it, which could be wrong, but was the best I could come up with. After a while it gets more florally sweet but I still cannot tease out cinnamon. And I usually get cinnamon as I love it very much and have no problem smelling it.
But in these two perfumes, the notes are so well blended that I would be lying when I said I smell this and that. The best I can do is say that after the initial strangeness, I get some piquancy (which I'm guessing is cardamom) and then it takes the road toward more of the white flowers and starts getting lusher (in a tropical way) and that is pretty much it for me.

With both of these, I'm not really sure in the beginning where the road will take me, but boy, do I get a reward for being bold and patient!

Notes and pic by:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's almost Christmas - surprises are coming...

I am happy (since I am very much looking forward to it) to announce a joint blogging project  named We Three Kings hosted by Krista from Scent of the Day and Joanne from Redolent of Spices that will take place in the week of 19-25 December.

My fellow bloggers and I will be reviewing scents reminiscent in some way of the gifts of the Magi - gold, frankincense and myrrh, so come back next week to see what are the perfumes being discussed.

Here is the list of participating blogs:

Scent of the Day

Redolent of Spices

My Perfume Life



ChickenFreak's Obessions

Notes from Josephine

The Perfume Chronicles

Bonkers about Perfume

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mona di Orio: Lux

I'm not writing down any comments regarding the name of this perfume. :)  Or whether the name is appropriate.
It does sound nice though.

What does it smell like?

Many things actually. It starts with a citrus burst, all lemony and sparkly, sometimes I seem to detect a slight waxy twist to it, most of the times I'm just preoccupied with the live lemon feel. Very cologne feeling.
And that's even before I detect barest whispers of bitter greens - I say barest because they are very light and besides the citrus doesn't back off that easily, it lasts for quite some time.
Today I got some peppery whiffs through the leaving lemons and dry woods. It's just, there are so many things happening, if your nose is not glued to your wrist, the chances are, you're going to miss some. It gets slightly smoky while the citrus is still waving which lead me to believe there was some patchouli in.
So, I wonder, how did I get from what I wrote up there to the beginnings of drydown which smelled lush and tropically warm with what I thought was ylang-ylang mixing in there? Yes, I got some sandalwood and cedar, especially late in the drydown, but ylang-ylang is not listed in the notes.

Notes: Sicilian lemon, Litsea Cubeba (whatever that is, I need to google it), petitgrain Bigarade South Africa, Haitian vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood, Mysore sandalwood, musk, amber, Siamese benzoin, bourbon vanilla, and cistus labdanum.

Basically, I love it. I love how it changes, I love its phases, I love the fact that each time I smell my wrist there is something slightly different happening there (even now, 8 hours after application), I love the fact it still manages to produce softness through all the aspects that might not be prone to that and I love the fact that it's available in Zagreb (ok, it used to be, I need to check if it still is).
I just don't love the fact that it's another Mona di Orio perfume I want and which is, well, not acquirable at the moment as if I decide to buy one, I will have to choose among many of her perfumes for the one I want the best.

Notes and pic by:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When things go awry

And that's the way they seem to be going the last few days for me.

First, I managed to completely miss the meaning of the name Carnation for Mona di Orio's perfume. Ok, that one is not that strange when I consider my state of mind (and concentration) these days but still makes me feel stupid. Not to mention all the typos I keep making.

Then, while I was checking some blog stats, at some point I seem to have reloaded the blog template which then promptly turned white. I have no idea why but trying to put it back, the only way I managed to return it to its former black status was by losing all the sidebar information and that wasn't an option.
Luckily, I didn't save that option but returned to white and then went on in search of something similar to what it used to look like. That's why you might have noticed something different in the look of my blog.
Now I just have to learn to live with it. I don't mind change, but I prefer it happen when I instigate it and not outside forces. I really liked my black look.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mona di Orio: Carnation

UPDATE: Well, it seems I need to pay more attention to all the texts concerning fragrances I try as I managed to completely miss what the name of this one means. :) As it's not in English but in French (which also means I've been pronouncing it wrong - at least that was only in my mind).
Thanks to Carol for pointing it out, Carnation in French actually means complexion. So, my whole carnation introduction is completely beside the point. :)

Carnations are forever in my mind asssociated with having no smell and being THE flower of Communist/socialist regimes. That would probably be because for the first 10 years of my life, I grew in one. Which from my perspective then had absolutely no impact on my life in any matter, except that we all became little pioneers in our first grade and got a red carnation as well. So having held it for several of those type of occasions, I must say I don't remember it having any smell.
And for some reason I keep thinnking that whenever I see carnation appearing in a name of perfume, it is not going to smell good to me (lately I wonder where do I get these associations?). I wasn't able to find a reference to its smell, but that doesn't mean there isn't a carnation out there without one.

Anyway, you can probably tell from the introduction that I didn't think it wasn't good upon smelling Mona di Orio's Carnation. :) And I didn't. I was actually very much surprised.

It doesn't come often that if you don't smell a perfume straight away, you miss the opening. Lucky for me, I tried Carnation several times before this review so I got it from my second try. There is this initial sparkly burst of slightly citrusy aldehydes and if you're not there the second it happens, a bit later it's gone. And then the ride starts.
Smelling it without notes I kept thinking (again) how jasmine and orange blossoms were there in the beginning, and I don't know which part of the whole picture made me think old-fashioned but not in a bad way, but as in, you don't come across things like this any more. Some greenery peeks in through musky florals and there is a slight soapy-cream quality to it but lucky for me, the soapiness is here and then it's gone. It smells quite summery actually, I guess it's all the white flowers, green and citrus. But there also comes a time when a light leathery aspect appears, smelling rooty and chewy (not in a bubble gum way).

I hate the fact that I simply lack words for appropriately describing this.

There is just a vintage feel to the way this smells. And I guess a look at the notes can be revealing: bergamot, clove bark, Bourbon geranium, ylang-ylang, violet, jasmine, woods, msuk, amber, styrax.

It settles down into a lovely soft floral and you wonder if all those intriguing whispers along the way actually happened...?

Pic by:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mona di Orio: Jabu and Amyitis

I still can't believe how quickly I dismissed Mona di Orio perfumes when I first tried them some year and a half ago. Although honestly, at that point, I don't think my nose was able to appreciate them.  I certainly notice changes in what I like in perfume and the fact that I smell more just makes me want to write about it less because it doesn't feel like I can give them the words they deserve. Which is stupid because writing about them actually helps me form more coherent thoughts on them and remeber them more vividly (those I write about).

Anyway, I'm taking my time this time around and I'm taking a leisurely walk through Mona di Orio samples. There and back again (I sound like I came from the Lord of the Rings). :)

First off, I have to say I smelled these without the notes and wrote down my thoughts. Then I went to check the notes and got completely discouraged by the list. 


Notes: Brazilian orange flower, South African petitgrain, Manoi oil, Rose damascena, Comores ylang-ylang, Santal amyris, Siamese Benzoin, plum, myrrh

The name is totally apt (basically meaning happy). If there is one thing this perfume manages to convey, it's definitely happiness.
For me it starts sweet and neroli/jasmine-like smelling. As you can see, I'm close. :) It's like you took L'Artisan's Vanilia and put some white flowers over it. Absolutely wonderful and slightly intoxicating in a way that makes you feel happy and smiling. I kept thinking that the sweet vanilla aspects smelled like they were mixed with some coconut, but then I saw manoi oil and benzoin, and there was my answer.
I don't really think you can describe this in words well enough to transfer the warm scent wafting from my wrist. It's warm flowers, warmed by the sun, amid coconut trees. God, I really need a bottle of this. It's instant smile on your face with a bit more serious drydown. It gets you from feeling happy and smiling, into more mature happiness, where you know you are not always going to feel like this but that's fine, otherwise you wouldn't be able to appreaciate the real deal when it happened.


Notes:caraway, savory, capsicum, green leaves, iris, violet, gaiac wood, cedar of Virginia, saffron, opoponax, moss, amber

That caraway thing keeps cropping up and I still have no idea what it smells like. Well, actually I think I do now that I smelled it in several places and couldn't place it.  If it doesn't work any other way, then the method of elimination is what I'm left with. The thing is it gets translated into Croatian as cumin which isn't it (and some googling ensured me it doesn't smell the same either).
Now that I got that cleared in my mind, Amyitis starts for me as smelling like leathery roots. Well, more like suede roots. You know, that iris-earthy combo that spells smelling of roots. And violet sometimes evokes suede for me (probably in combination with something else but I haven't taken it so far yet).

I read the Luckyscent description and got discouraged again. Cucumber and mint? Can't say I got that impression. Although I can smell some sweetness I associate with mint notes but very faintly. 
Honestly, I have no idea why I like this one so much. If I were to guess by the notes, I'd be very iffy regarding the possibility of me liking this. It's a bit strange, hard to pin down and describe, but so very intriguing. It has that green, rooty thing going on that I pretty much always like but it's not obvious and it's just one of the things going on, most easy for me to get so that's why I'm highlighting it.

So, now I have both good and bad news. Good news is that Mona di Orio perfumes are available in Zagreb. The bad news is, they are not very economically approachable - especially if you realize you like more than one. ;)

Notes and pics by:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The smell of snow

You know, the more I smell perfumes, the less I feel  I know. Each time I try and think of a perfume with a particular scent, I come blank. Like snow now.

Living in a city, this is not the best place to announce to everyone you love snow as people tend to get upset since snow makes everything more difficult (and the fact that it needs to be removed from pretty much everywhere in order to get anywhere makes people cranky). I, I adore snow. I adore the way air starts smelling of it even weeks before it falls, I love the quiet it brings when it's falling and once it's on the ground, I love walking in it, I love snow-fights and snowmen, there is pretty much nothing about snow that I don't love.

So, naturally, as we've had some for the last 10 days or so (not too much and it melts quickly), I started thinking about scents that manage, even for a few seconds, to conjure that smell of snow in the air.

You know, the one that smells cold and fresh, but almost electrically sweet. Snow for me never smells like it brings cold of both spirit and body, for me the cool smell of snow brings clarity of mind, freeing of the spirit  from all that weighs on it and childlike happiness. So, of course, a perfume that could evoke that would be much welcome.

As I've been thinking about this for some days now, I realized I have a wonderful collection of perfumes to wear when it's cold outside that make me feel warm but none that makes me feel like I'm enjoying a brisk walk in the snow. Or standing outside in the cold night air, breathing fully the snowy freshness and contemplating the stars in the sky...

The closest I got was Sushi Imperiale which for me evokes the happiness of a snowfight but it's a bit too childlike for me.

So, now I'm asking for some help - what are the perfumes that evoke the smell of snow for you?

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2011.

As I'm almost done with this one for the year 2010. I can say it shouldn't be a problem finishing it again next year (and the participation in this one also wins you a book).

In order to participate, you need to sign up over at Book Chick City.

The details are as follows:

* Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

* Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)

* You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

* You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

As with all other challenges so far, I cannot list my books in advance so I'll list them as I read them.

Happy reading!

1. Lee Child: The Killing Floor
2. Sean Slater: The Survivor
3. J.D. Robb: Treachery in Death
4. Lee Child: Die Trying
5. James Rollins: The Devil colony
6. Tess Gerritsen: The Silent Girl
7. James Rollins: The Skeleton Key
8. JD Robb: Indulgence in Death
9. Tom Knox: The Lost Goddess
10. MJ Rose: In Session

Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge 2011.

It seems it's that time of year again when reading challenges start appearing and I'm ready to sign-up again for some of them.
I still need to write my wrap-up posts regarding this year but there's time left. :)
Ok, so this year Speculative Fiction is hosted by Amanda at Floor to Ceiling Books.

Here are the rules:

* Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

* Rules: To read 12 Speculative Fiction novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum - you can read more if you wish!)

* You don't have to choose your books ahead of time, you can add them as you go. If you do list them upfront, you can change them. Books for this challenge can be used to fulfil other challenges.

* You can join anytime between now and the later part of next week.
Here is a link to the post where you can sign up.
Happy reading!

P.S. I'll be listing my books as I read them.

1. Steven Brust: Jhereg
2.Steven Brust: Yendi
3. Steven Brust: Teckla
4. Rachel Vincent: Stray
5. Linda Howard: Blood Bound
6. Steven Brust: Taltos
7. Steven Brust: Phoenix
8. Steven Brust: Athyra
9. Steven Brust: Orca
10. Kresley Cole: Dreams of a Dark Warrior
11. Rachel Hawkins: Hex Hall
12. Kristin Cashore: Graceling
13. Lois McMaster Bujold: Shards of Honour

14. Lois McMaster Bujold: Barrayar
15. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Warrior's Apprentice
16. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Mountains of Mourning
17. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Vor Game
18. Lois McMaster Bujold: Cetaganda
19. Lois McMaster Bujold: Labyrinth
20. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Borders of Infinity
21. Lois McMaster Bujold: Brothers in Arms
22. Lois McMaster Bujold: Mirror Dance
23. Lois McMaster Bujold: Memory
24. Rachel Hawkins: Demonglass
25. Lois McMaster Bujold: Komarr

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

James Rollins: Excavation

It's fun when you go back to the beginning of a writer you really like and you realize, he also learned to write better with time. :)
If this were my first James Rollins novel, I'm not really sure if I would have continued reading him. This way, I got introduced to him through the Sigma series (which I love) so I can look on Excavation as the trial and practice it took for him to get where he is now.

The story is set in the Andes where archeologists are looking for clues as to a previous race inhabiting the same place where Incas lived. Anyway, without getting too much into the story, all kind of discoveries are made and the beginning of incredible stories that will later appear in Rollins' novels are here but just not as well developed as in Sigma.

It took me a bit longer than  usual to get through it - it's not bad but it's just not very believable or very gripping. It's more like an action movie with bad actors trying to convince us that their cheesy dialogues are serious and the whole plot is terribly tense and serious and all you can think of is that's it is too funny how they try and fail miserably. It's still fun but because it's funny to watch the failure not because it's supposed to funny. This sounds complicated even to me and I know what I was trying to say. :) Did I lose you with this explanation?

The point is, if you are interested in James Rollins, start with Sigma and once you are done with that, consider if you really love Mr. Rollins enough to brave his earlier work. :)

And before you start thinking I think it's a really bad book, it isn't. It's just nowhere near to what he writes now.

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