Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rachel Hawkins: Demonglass

I'm very thrilled and extremely upset at the same time.

This is the second installment of the Hex Hall series and although I was very happy after finishing the first book, Hex Hall, and realizing the second one had just been published, I can't say I'm happy about it anymore.
I mean, it's completely unfair to readers finishing a great book with a cliff-hanger and making them wait for god knows how long for the next one (the only info I could find said 2012 - aaarrgghh!). And the more times this happens, the more I get upset. Especially when the book was great.

I enjoyed Hex Hall immensely. I like reading YA novels and I find them good, rarely do I find them great and usually the further they go, the less the appeal of the story.
This one is just at its beginnings but I hope it's not going to become a never-ending series always ending nowhere and making you frustrated you need to wait for the next one a whole year (do people even realize that readers forget parts of the story referenced in the future books as we tend to read a lot?).
Anyway, the only reason I'm ranting now is because I want to read the sequel so badly. :)

I don't want to get into many details now, this book is about Sophie spending the summer with her father in England where she goes because she wants her powers removed and everyone else wants her not to. And as soon as she arrives, intrigant things start happening and well, it just keeps getting more and more complicated after that.

I love the fact she is snarky because she does it very well, and even though I'm no longer a teenager, she seems like a real portrait of one (and for a change, a rather smart one).
I also love the references throughout the book to different books and movies and just associations they have which seem very normal and expected in casual, snarky teenage conversations. I particularly loved one about Mr. Darcy (he, of course, has a special place in my heart). :)

So basically, it's one of the best examples of YA novels out there and if you're interested in reading it, I'm warning you in advance, you won't be happy once you finish Demonglass.
As Hex Hall 3 is long way from being published...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How to define extreme? Incense Extreme

I'm one of those people who cannot remember definitions of anything or quote examples at the right moment or even remember what exactly happened when I got the idea in my mind. I just remember I got the idea, my beliefs are composed of all the things I heard and learned in life but I cannot exactly say what was the initial fact that got it in my head.

I don't deal in facts and definitions - I deal in ideas and thoughts. Does that make sense?

So, I can't give you a definition what anything extreme in perfume should be like. Because I just don't know it.
But I got a general idea of what it means to me when applied to Incense Extreme by Andy Tauer.

The extremeness of this perfume for me lies in the fact that I never thought incense could smell refreshing.
Most of the time, incense is not a note I can wear. Yes, I can enjoy it in small quantities, especially if it's not reminiscent of churches. But, I generally don't have an urge to wear it except for special, thoughtfully relaxing situations.

And then, there is Incense Extreme. An incense I breathe in as fully as I can that refreshes me the instant it hits my smell receptors. How Andy did it, I don't know but it's great. :)

Notes: coriander, petit grain, incense, orris wood, dry woods, ambergris

I'm not going to talk about how it smells much. It starts off sharpishly refreshing, lightly tinged with green and I thought I caught barest powdery wisps in there.
A bit later, I get something smoky and to me, something that smelled a bit like smoked meat. :) Anyway, the drydown is the most masculine of the perfume but that is no deterrent in my case.
I do believe this is  my favourite of the line, even though it's hard to choose among several Tauers I love.

Notes and pic by:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm a coward

And I only realized it today. :)

The thing is, I love my perfume collection and I love smelling strange perfumes and wearing them. But it seems I only wear those strange/loud/interesting/scary/extremely loveable things when in a private setting.
I never wear them to work.

This realization hit me when smelling Incense Extreme by Andy Tauer and thinking how this morning I wanted to put it on and wear it to work, only to stop myself considering the fact that there will be people around me who might not appreciate my new-found love of incense. Btw, I do plan on following this with a review.

So, even though I'm highly tolerant of dirty, lush, loud, strange (you get the idea) perfumes, my bottle collection seems to be mostly made of perfumes that are safe to wear to work. The rest are usually decants (ok, yes, occasional interesting bottle makes it into my collection but they are a small minority).

Now tell me, is there anyone else out there who is a bit of a coward or is it just me?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zeta - experiencing more than can be described

I do wish that I wouldn't so very often start reviews by saying I can't really describe a perfume I'm reviewing as I lack words. :) I mean, that kind of defeats the purpose of reviews.

But still, I want to give you my thoughts even if they cannot prepare you for the experience.
That is one thing I can say about Tauer perfumes, no matter how many reviews you read and you think you have an idea, usually it's not even close. And I mean that in the best possible way.

I grew up with a linden tree in my yard, and I still adore that smell. But so far, all the linden perfumes I smelled just didn't work for me. Yes, the linden note was unmistakeable but it came across as shrill and just not what I could wear.

Luckily, this is not the case with Zeta. But then again, Zeta isn't really a linden soliflore perfume. It's more the softest whiff of linden you would catch on a coldish spring morning before the blooms reach their full scenting power with the sun beating down on them. Which is the part where I get confused because upon first sniff, I am reminded of summery freshness in the guise of sparkling lemonade and barest whiff of sun creams on a breeze ( can't help it if ylang always conjures that for me). Absolutely smile-inducing. :) And then there is the thought of linden trees in the early morning.

But at least the scenery passing by my nose is wonderful. I'm also not the only one thinking along the lines of two seasons as you can see from Tarleisio's review.

There is just one little thing I need to add. I get a little dirtiness from Zeta and I see Tarleisio is talking about honey but I don't see it listed as a note (except as part of a rose). But it would definitely fit that little teaser in there.

Notes: bright chord of lemon and bergamot with a sweet orange note, ylang, orange blossom absolute and steam distilled neroli, Linden blossom, honey yellow rose, orris root, Mysore sandalwood, vanilla.

Bottom line is - you have to experience it and see for yourself where it takes you. I, go along for a ride through scent memories that hold no everyday stress and make me smile and relax.

Notes by:
Pic by:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Kindle experience

Well, it's been 3 months I have it and keep trying to use it more, but I just happen to have a pile of previously acquired physical books that I want to read too, so I keep switching from them to Kindle.

But my thoughts on Kindle 3 are not going to change so now I can write down what I love about it:

- it is so light (much lighter than I originally thought), you only need one hand to hold it, and if you like reading curled up on a couch, you don't even need hands, you can just leave it on your legs (I usually need both hands for reading books, as paperbacks can't be widened enough, if you're holding them one-handedly, and  hardcovers are just not meant to be held in one hand)

- it comes equipped with a user-guide (of course) but also British and American dictionaries - that made me very happy, especially when I realized you don't have to leave the book you're reading in order to look for a word, but you only need to position the cursor at it and the meaning is displayed either on top of the page or down

- if you never before saw how electronic ink looks like, you'll be surprised how different it is from our usual screen experience

- I find that Kindle's features are very user-friendly and user guide will not be a frequently read item

- whispernet works perfect and even now, I've bought books from Amazon and they were downloaded to my Kindle for free, I still come across people who are trying to convince me you pay for the download - no, you don't, if you ordered the Kindle with free 3G network (and it does enable surfing the net but the whole experience is not very good-looking as e-ink is not really appropriate for sites)

- the battery lasts the month they promised it would, only if you're wireless it turned off, otherwise, I'd say around a week or 10 days

- as international customers only get Kindles with USB cable, and not a charger you can plug into a socket, my Sony Xperia charger is what I use, so any charger with a USB port will work (no need to buy additional one)

- I haven't yet tried the text-to-speech feature because I read much faster than what it would take for someone else to pronounce the words, but I've heard it's good and you get to choose a male or female voice

- the device functions fast and I really have no objections whatsoever regarding that (consider the fact I test my company's software)

- I should probably arrange my books better, as at the moment they are listed haphazardly (I'm guessing as you can connect it to a computer and just copy onto it any PDF or other format that is supported, there is a way to sort them in folders as well, which is what I should do)

- I don't know how many people know this, but everything published before 1920 has no copyright, so all those books can be downloaded for free from various sites

- consider the fact that it imitates real paper, so you cannot read this in the dark (you need to have a light on)

- the only thing that seriously irks me, is that only UK residents and US residents can download some titles for free (from and respectively), the rest of the world has to pay 2$ for those same titles they are getting for free (ok, so 2$ isn't a lot but I still don't think it's fair, I won't say what my thoughts are on that because they aren't really nice)

- the same goes for the publishers who don't allow for some books to be available world-wide but have a limited availability, so I still need to order them in physical format (and wait for them)

The last two points are not really relevant to what I think of my Kindle but they frustrate me a lot.
Basically, I love my Kindle and I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to fill it with books (Amazon boasts 3500 books can be put on it) or will I eventually buy an improved version, long before I reach the limit of this one.

If I missed something you want to know, I'd be happy to answer any questions. :)

Pic by:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coty Fatale - a gem lost in the past

I don't know how long past that would be as the information I found says it came out in 1988. So some years after that - I'm pretty sure it was around for a while.

As I'm on a floral search, I decided to give better attention to some of the (vintage) bottles I acquired past year (most through Posse swapmania so you can imagine I'm looking forward to the next one).

One of the things that I got is a bottle of Coty Fatale, a perfume you would be hard-pressed to find much information on (not the case as it seems with other Coty perfumes).
That is something I find very strange because this one is so wonderful. It's exactly the type of floral I was looking for. It makes me smile broadly just writing this. :D It also makes me wonder if at the time of its release, it was so similar to other florals out there that it went completely unnoticed...

Notes: top green notes, jasmine, honeysuckle, gardenia, tuberose, rose, carnation, narcissus, sandalwood, musk, amber, oakmoss

Even the notes convey what I wanted in my floral. Though, honestly, I can't really talk about the notes I smelled. It's a floral bouquet in the manner of what I keep thinking as lost perfumes. They just don't make them as such anymore.

I do want to to give you an idea what it smells like so I'm going to try my best.

For me it opens with a perfume variant of a floral bouquet, that is at the same time lightly sweet and sharp - like you're getting a bit too much flowers at the first sniff but just bordering on too much. My guess is the sharpness is due to the green notes as in a while it subsides to general floralness in which I would lie when I said I smell particular flowers but I can trace the fact that they are there.
You see, there is some of the rose sharpness you can find in Paestum Rose, there is also underlying intoxation provided by the lush white florals and the rest are reminiscent of the most fragrant seaside floral bushes.
It's an incredible floral feast for the senses.
And the best thing? It stays close to the skin and remains there for half a day at least. I didn't try it, but I want to spray it lavishly all over me just so my skin would retain that smell all day long.

The drydown is of course the least floral of the whole perfume but trying to describe it wouldn't give you an accurate idea. I can see where sandalwood and amber come as the drydown notes  (not really musk and oakmoss) but the best I can some up with is creamy, lightly-floral sandalwood finish.

The whole perfume is just so exquisitely blended for me, it cannot but continue into the drydown.

One of the conclusions I got from this is that even when I'm not enthusiastic about some perfumes the moment I test them, I know I should keep them because I can recognize that there might come a time when they will fit me as a glove (or a type of garment I might wear more).
This one is one of those and I cannot say how happy it makes me feel to smell it.

So, as I have a bottle of this and I believe other people should get to know it and possibly love it, the first two people who state their interest in the comments for this vintage floral will get a little decant.

I sincerely hope you'll enjoy it. :)

Pic by:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A serious flaw in my perfume collection

It only hit me yesterday.

I have no florals in my collection!

What I mean is, the only florals I have are of the white and lush kind and I'm sure there are others out there that don't fall into this category.

Is it possible that so far I haven't come across one I liked?!  The only thing I could come up with that is floral and I have it, is Paestum Rose (but this also falls into category "there must be other flowers out there besides roses").

I've been going in my mind through my bottle and decant collection and just can't come up with anything that could be termed a floral (without being a tuberose/gardenia/jasmine or rose). I mean, there are other florals out there, right?

And the only floral perfume I know I like and think of as the best representative of the genre is Juliet by Juliet Stewart. Which of course, I don't own. :)

So please, suggestions would be most welcome of where to start my floral journey.

P.S. I seem to have journeyed through every other perfume genre out there but this one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tebe hair products

Most of my friends know how much I love cosmetic products and trying new things. That is how I came by Tebe shampoo and conditioner.

I don't talk much about cosmetic products on my blog, but sometimes, discovering something that really exceeds my expectations, I need to spread the word. :)

I'm not really sure about the availability of Tebe products, it's a New Zealand based company and they seem to me like a well kept secret.
They also have a special line of products based on olive oil, and this is their description of Tebe line.

"Tebe’s products are made from a carefully selected blend of natural and organic plant extracts and oils, balanced to enhance and protect all skin types. The olive leave extract found in Tebe products is a powerful anti-oxidant. Tebe will nurture and protect your skin, leaving it feeling smooth and conditioned."

I absolutely love the hair products, they don't dry out my hair (it's dry enough due to coloring), instead, I can feel under my fingers that it's hydrated at the time of washing and once it dries off, it isn't as dry as usual and has this amazing shine.

I should also state now that I use Moroccan oil regularly but I did that with my last hair products and the result wasn't as healthy and shiny as with these.
I definitely plan on buying these for myself once I finish my fast depleting duo.

Here is a link to Simunovich Olive Estate site where all their products are listed.

P.S. I also have to add that the family is originally from Croatia (the island of Brac). :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Choices, choices...

Sometimes the fact that I smell so many perfumes and have ideas of them in my head is very frustrating

Tomorrow I'm going to a friend's wedding and for the past week I've been thinking about what perfume to wear.
I finally decided to go with lush white flowers and thought I might choose Carnal Flower and wanted to try it on before deciding, only to find out after a 2 day search that:
1) I either misplaced it so thouroughly that I won't be able to find it until tomorrow
2) or I remembered wrongly and don't have it at all and the image in my mind is of sth else.

Both options are equally possible I'm afraid. :)

So, now I'm back to deciding what to wear.

I was thinking possibly FdO by SL but that might prove too much for people around me. I'm guessing it will be a tuberose but that still doesn't narrow it down. My first choice though is Vamp a NY because it's flirty and happy and I believe enjoyable all around.

But I'm also considering Cruel Gardenia, any of the Histoires de Parfums Tuberose trio, A la Nuit, Tubereuse Criminelle and I'm open to all suggestions.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Perfume trivia

Did you know jasmine belonged to the olive family? And that there were some 200 species of jasmine out there?
I didn't. Well, at least not when leaving this weekend for a few days off at the seaside.

Where the most interesting thing happened.

So, there's my boyfriend, putting everything to rights around the house, while I'm doing the same inside and at one moment he comes up to me and say: "How nice this shrub smells!" (he was cutting off the branches that were in the way).
I smell it and... It's jasmine!

OK, so I felt like the most stupid person on Earth (or very close), at that moment. See, I've been with my boyfriend for ages and to his house at the coast numerous times, and it only dawned on me when he pushed the branch under my nose that we had jasmine growing in the garden. :)

In my defense, we're never actually there when it's blooming so I guess that is an easy way to overlook it, especially if you have no idea what the tree (shrub) is supposed to look like. And I've been wondering for years what are these shrubs growing all over that little village (not just in our garden).

Here are some photos (and if my nose is playing tricks on me and it's not jasmine, please let me know):

The shrubs:

The flowers:

Pics are mine.