Friday, July 29, 2011

And, I'm off!

Work is done and luckily I won't have to think about it for the next three weeks.

I mean, I am taking my laptop with me because it's no vacation if I can't enjoy my favourite blogs.

But mostly, it's going to be fun in the sun (well, more like reading in the shade) but you get the idea. :)

It's pretty much the highlight of my year, when I get to relax and unwind, not worry about my calorie intake, exercise regime, work, people relations etc.

I'm taking my Kindle with me, lots of stuff to smell and review (hopefully) and all of my bathing suits which have now reached a critical mass - so I was very economical this year and didn't buy a single one! And I found a beautiful one!

I do hope weather returns to the sunny heat it's supposed to be at this time of year, and no more of this autumn vibe.

Pic is mine. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Smitten by vetiver - Mona di Orio Vetyver

Basically, you all need to smell it and then go buy a bottle (or a decant, the bottle is quite expensive and I'm not one bit grateful to MdO for making me want to buy it). But boy, it surely smells great.

This is by far my favourite vetiver. I am completely smitten by it. I keep testing it in order to get better
ideas of how to describe it but nothing worthy comes to mind. I am simply in love. :)
Notes: Bourbon vetiver, blue ginger from Madagascar, Virginia cedar, violet, cistus labdanum, clary sage absolute, tonka bean, musk.

I don't think any of my readers have any doubt now that I am a huge Mona di Orio fan.  I love her creations but some, I love more than the others. Those are also the most difficult to describe. I spray my little vial of Vetyver and I think I'm going to concentrate now, and describe what I smell, only to be disarmed and seduced by it and then I come up with only rudimentary notes. But nevertheless, here they are. :)

It's a sunny, dry, hay-like vetiver but the hay is interspersed with flowers and therefore smells a bit sweeter than hay usually does. But at the same time, the vetiver is giving it a  masculine vibe underscored by cedar. I think the ginger again is more in line with the sweet and feminine side of this vetiver.  The fact that it is all there makes this a perfect unisex perfume for me. Not that I ever take those labels into account.
It's a warm, snuggly vetiver, one you smell and then do everything to come closer and keep smelling it. I never thought I would say this about vetiver, but this one seduces you by making you weak at the knees.
I keep sighing deeply trying to describe it. :)

Eventually, it does veer into a more masculine vetiver, losing some of that initial floweriness (which  I have no idea why I keep referring to as such, as notes don't really list any except violet).

This is not a refreshing vetiver, it is a vetiver in line with the summer. It does nothing to cool you but instead makes you feel warmed by the sun somewhere in the flowery summer fields.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lee Child: Die Trying

As I've been reading for 25 years now (since I learned to read, I never stopped, so you can pretty much calculate my age from that), I must say I haven't yet enountered such a character as Jack Reacher and this type of a crime/action story.

I find I have problems decribing what exactly do I mean by this. It's true that Jack Reacher has qualities that might be a bit stretched as to be ascribed to one human only, but that might only be my non-military perspective. I honestly don't know if military around the world employs such geniously varied and intelligent characters, but I keep thinking if they were so smart, they probably could choose better than military.
(am I prejudiced against military or what?) :)
The thing is, Jack Reacher did choose in the end against military and now drifts around USA and keeps getting into trouble completely accidentally. Which is how we get to read so many novels about him. :)

This one was really interesting as it got into the militia problems and the ways that might escalate into a national (and possibly then a world wide) issue.
The thing that I consider a testament of very good writing is the fact that when Reacher ends up killing some of the really bad characters, I felt vindicated. :) I couldn't stand those people still being alive and creating so much misery and doing torture. Does that make me a bad person? I mean, I know it's fiction but, god, they really deserved to die. And not so fast.

And this came on the heels of the tragedy in Norway. What's wrong with some people?! I just have no words to describe the depth of my disappointment in the mankind. And I can't learn to live with it. I cannot forget or bury the knowledge and go on like everything is fine with the world. It obviously isn't.
I mean, the novel I read is fiction, but what happened in Norway isn't, and what happens in the novel isn't really stretching the imagination far from some of the things that already happened.

I know we are never going to live in a Utopian world but I do wish we'd get at least a step closer to it and not always getting a step farther and farther away.

Friday, July 22, 2011

When perfume speaks, you can only listen - Pentachords by Andy Tauer

I am happy to be able to host a guest post by Asali who was recently a lucky recipient of some Pentachords samples and I feel lucky she wanted to share her experience with us by writing a post. :)

Three samples from Andy Tauer’s new line Pentachords arrived at my door some days ago. Two of them would not leave me alone, but kept telling me to write, so I did.

Andy Tauer did the perfumer’s answer to the painter’s restricted palette, and wanted to show how to create beautiful and innovative fragrances out of only five ingredients. 
Let me start with Verdant which is an edt with notes of (in his own words) dewy leaves, suave leather, brown tobacco, sweet earth, vibrant amber. This fragrance is quite unlike any green scent I ever smelled before. It is definitely earth and leaves, both moist and heavy with scent. It’s not aiming at transparency nor is it a stylized picture of nature forced into a little neat pastel. This smells like nature when you’re out walking in the rain drenched woods in your mac and wellingtons.  The leaves I find are more soaked than dewy and have, together with the rain-wet soil, the slight sense of bitter decay.
Doesn’t sound good? Well, it is. It’s rather marvelous. Because the tobacco sets in and gives the scent warmth underneath the dampness, and the leather makes you feel well equipped for this kind of walk in the forest. The slight bit of amber in the base feels like the anticipation of being home again. For me personally, this fragrance evokes memories of my childhood spent in a daytime forest kinder garden, with no playground and actual playthings, just the grounds and the forest at our disposal. This was in the late 70’s, and I suspect the memory connected with this smell of woods after the rain together with the scent of pipe tobacco which hung in the smoking caretaker’s clothes, to me breathes comfort and safety.

 White is an equally surprising white fragrance, which gives the extreme quality bourbon vanilla scent off, so that it almost has a whiff of sweet tobacco, it’s both a tiny bit fluffy and at the same time retains a low sense of gravity, and again the sensation almost of damp earthiness .  In contrast to Verdant, and although I think Andy Tauer was inspired by a winter morning run for this one, I feel very much like this fragrance is the one you put on as you’d wrap yourself in a comfy shawl, once you’ve returned home from your country walk. You hang up the damp clothes, make a cup of vanilla scented tea, and comfy yourself up in the sofa with a good book, ah, and then just enjoy.
The violets then kick in, but only after a substantial amount of time with the vanilla, so beautiful and a bit powdery and yet so earthy and rich, a real surprise after the bourbon vanilla. The dry down of ambergris and warm wood, is the lovely base on which the two main players are resting. I like the way as you read the notes, and kind of second guess the fragrance, only to be proven utterly wrong. White has notes of Bourbon vanilla, orris root, violet blossom, amber gris and warm wood, and it’s lovely.

May I suggest if the ‘wildlife’ of verdant is a bit too much for you, that you might try layering. Oh, yes, I know the whole idea was to restrict the perfume to 5, but they do go awfully nicely hand in hand. Both have 8+ hours at least.

The picture I get from both fragrances, the stories they tell, the time travelling is so vivid, so beautiful I can only encourage everyone who reads this:  Do go and try all of the Pentachords, I’m sure you’ll find they will tell you your own story, if you’ll let them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Toronto/GT​A Fragrance meetup

I'm sorry to say I can't participate and I do wish a similar thing happened here so while sharing thoughts with Daniel, who is responsible for me posting this, I came to realize if I ever wanted to participate in a meetup of fragrance afficionados, great chances are ,I would have to be the one to organize it. :)
Oh well.

For all of you who are close to Toronto, you already have an organized meetup so just go and enjoy yourself.

Here is the info:

Date: SUNDAY July 24th, 2011
Location: Noor Boutique, 176 Cumberland St (Yorkville), 416-928-0700 (]). Nahla and Fred are the friendly owners
Time: Around 12pm/Noon to about 3:30 or so, but drop by any time. We may move around the area to some other locations at some point. Let’s see how things go and decide at the time.
To Bring: yourself &significant others / friends, any industry books or magazines, business cards, samples/decants/bottles to share/trade, etc.

original thread here -!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The heat has hit - my cooling choices

We've been having a real heat wave the last few days (ok, today is an exception but it won't last).
So, I wanted to share the perfume that work for me when it's so hot outside I need a perfume to cool me off.

My latest cooling discovery is Jardin du Poete by Eau d'Italie and I decided not to fight it anymore. :) It should arrive at Flores by the end of the month so I'll be giving one bottle a loving home.  and if the heat persists quite a lot of sprays.

There's already been much talk of Guerlain's  Vetiver (the masculine one). My boyfriend hates it, but I love it.
Here is a review from Perfume Shrine where both masculine and feminine versions are discussed.

One of the things I keep forgetting I have and forgetting I like amid everything else is Eau de Cartier. It's a little sparkling gem that refreshes like the gin and tonic many compare it to.

Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune - Well, I have only a little bit left of this wonderful grapefruit scent and I really need a bottle of it but it doesn't seem to be available here (or maybe I'm not looking right).
This seems to be a hit and miss as grapefruit is such a note.

Charmes et Feuilles by The Different Company has become a staple for me from spring all through summer. What better to cool you off but some mint?

And the last one, Mona di Orio Lux, the one that feels best in the languid heat of the evening as it doesn't put a freshness into your step but instead make you enjoy yourself languidly in the evening.

Please, if you have some ideas of your own, I can always use more diversity and coolness in my perfume collection. :)

Pic is mine and that would work great in the way of cooling as well. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

As you all probably know by now, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan.
So, of course I had to watch the last movie as soon as it started playing here, which was yesterday.

Basically, I am content. :)

I've had serious misgivings about The Half-blood Prince movie, but both Deathly Hallows movies were great.
Now, I have no misgivings regarding the changes they made to the story as it works great in the film, every part of the book I consider important is in this movie and in the midst of all that destruction that is the end of the Voldemort-Potter story, the movie managed to put in some scenes that make you laugh.
In my case, there are also scenes that make you cry as well.  But it's never pathetic and the love causing them feels real.
And speaking of scenes, I don't know what rating this movie has, but I wouldn't recommend children watching it. It is rather brutal and dark.

I've had no problem following the story and understanding why things happen and who did what, but again, I can't help but wonder how do people who never read the books manage to follow the story and how much do they actually get out of it? I have to think not as much as the readers of the books.

I'm not going to give any spoilers as I don't want to ruin the experience of those who didn't watch.
I just can't help but feel a sense of closure I didn't really feel after reading the book.
I guess that's due to the fact that I wanted it to go on and in the mean time, I had enough time to come to terms that the story is finished and now that I saw it on the movie screen, it finally feels done.
And I mean that in the best possible way.

As I'm already planning when to go see it again. :)

P.S. I need to add one observation more. I think Daniel Radcliffe is an outstanding actor as there are parts in the movie when one might consider his acting stilted when actually he is portraying the HP character as he is supposed to. Harry doesn't feel comfortable in all the situations happening in the book/movie and that is portrayed by Daniel's acting.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Peach and Love - a guest post

Dear readers, I am very proud to present my first ever guest poster. :)

Asali is a friend I've been given by our lovely perfume community. I'm really happy she commented on my blog and from the on, we've been sharing thoughts on perfume and perfumes themselves, sending emails and packages galore. :)
And now I am happy to say she agreed to write a post for my blog.
(I do hope to get her to write some more as I love her thoughts on perfumes, maybe even get her to start a blog of her own, but I'll temper my exuberance for now). :)

So, here it is.

Peach and love,

I am really honored that the wonderful Ines, will share the space of her redheaded blog with me. Not that I am surprised that she wants to share, since she must be one of the most generous perfumistas in the blogosphere as I am sure that most of you will readily agree on. She taught me before anyone that perfume love goes around.

Talking of love, I have for some time now been smitten with peach. I feel that peach done well is a treat which tends to give an aura of luxury to the fragrance and its wearer. My peach love started with a decant of vintage Rochas Femme, and after that, peach has sought me out everywhere I went.

On my recent trip to Paris it came to me in the shape of Fath de Fath. Jacques Fath launched the original back in 1953, but it has since been updated twice, most recently in 2010 and turned into a sumptuous oriental by Mark Buxton.

So why would I want to write about an oriental in July? Well, first of all I can always wear/buy/write of/think of /sleep in/etc orientals, second, June has been terrible here, cold and rainy, so comfort scents have been called for. And third, if ever there was an oriental to go well on (cooler) summer days this one might be it, with the layers of ripe fruits, like those that surround us at this time of year.

The bergamot and a little green start out, but wink and you’ll miss it and a mixture of fruit notes bloom before settling with plum and peach. Those two are delicate and at this stage the perfume almost goes gourmand, although never so gourmand I want a bite of my arm. I feel that the tartness of the fruits really is singing a duet with the resins and the amber making me unable to detect where the fruit stops and the amber begins. Later in the heart of the scent, there is the orange flower which is perhaps the easiest detectable, but all the way down to the fragrance’s last ambery chords, you keep getting whiffs of flowers; heliotrope, and hmm, was that perhaps some jasmine? The dry-down is an oriental proper, amber and vanilla, and it lasts 6-8 comforting lovely hours. It’s a beautiful fragrance which takes you on a journey- and it also holds your hand all the way.

For this golden, lush oriental, really the price is a steel 58euros for 50ml, and should it become true love for you, you can get 100ml of extrait for 98euro! Get it amongst other places at

Top notes: Black Currant, Peach, Tangerine, Plum, Bergamot, Green Notes
Heart notes: Jasmin, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Heliotrope, Tuberose, Orange Blossom
Base notes: Patchouly, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Benzoin, Ambergris, Musk, Tonka Bean

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sabrina Jeffries: The Forbidden Lord

I have to say I am immensely happy that this whole genre exists (romance) because when my life gets too stressed, they are the ones I reach for.
Something easy to read and relax, without having to concentrate much on the intricacies of the story and possibly losing a crucial information along the way.

Ok, so, what I just wrote doesn't sound particularly positive but that's not how I meant it. :)

I've tried a lot of different romance authors but there are some I know I cannot go wrong with. And Sabrina Jefrries is one of them.
For some reason, I skipped the first novel in the Lords series as it sounded like there wasn't aristocracy involved but as that couple is referenced in subsequent novels, I can see I'll have to go back.
Not that that would be a hard thing to do. :)

So, the story is well, typical. :) Wherein lies the beauty.
Jordan doesn't believe in love, having bad experience of his parents marriage but meets a rector's daughter Emily by accident and is intrigued by her but as that was an accidental  meeting, there's not much chance of them meeting again.
That is, until she is forced into a scheme by a mean lord and has to play a part that goes against everything she believes in but has to do it to save her father.  Too complicated for me to explain but the story is easy and fun to read.

So much so in fact that I had tp start with the next one in the series, The Dangerous Lord even though I have exams to deal with.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Comforting thoughts

- In a week from now, my exam flurry will be over.

- Also, by that time, I will have watched the last Harry Potter movie (an extremely happy and comforting thought).

- Only three weeks are left until my 3-week long summer vacation.

- It's barbecue season.

- Tomatoes finally taste the way they are supposed to.

- Beer tastes better in the summer.

- I might finish my post-graduate studies by the end of the year (finally).

- Short-haired is how I feel best in the summer.

- And one that isn't comforting (but makes me feel lazily happy) - it's too hot to exercise and I just can't do it until temperatures fall back under 30 degrees Celsius.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Les Nombres d'Or: Tubereuse and Amber

It takes some time to get to know perfumes by Mona di Orio and even then, you cannot say for sure they aren't going to surprise you sometime in the near future.
I've been happily testing the Nombres d'Or line and I love them all. Some more, some just a little bit less, but if I had them all, I would happily wear them. As I don't see that happening any time in the near (or even distant) future, I'll give my samples all my love. (btw, I ordered mine from Aus Liebe zum Duft and they might seem expensive but they are also big). :)


Notes: pink pepper, bergamot from Calabria, green leaves, Indian tuberose absolute, Siamese benzoin, heliotrope, amber, coconut milk, musk

Honestly, I really shouldn't be reviewing any tuberose perfumes. So far, I haven't encountered a single one I didn't like. Tuberose is one note I cannot get enough of and I enjoy it immensely.
In this case, I'm happy to say, I found one that would work great in my collection, as it's a refreshing, green tuberose. In the beginning.
It's lightly sharp on the nose due to the pink pepper and citrus, and greenery is there too, hiding the tuberose  bathing in the coconut milk. At no point in development does tuberose take over and the greenery remains there, not perhaps as obvious as in the beginning but there to make this tuberose light for wearing and something tuberose haters might give a go.
Also, it made me realize how wonderfully (for me) tuberose works with coconut (this is not the first perfume where the pair is featured but perhaps the most obvious one). Which brought me to the idea that perhaps Love Coco and Vamp a NY might work well together...  Hmmm, I should give it a try...
(of course, if it doesn't work out great, I'll never mention it here and I'll just pretend I didn't try it) ;)


Notes: Cedarwood from Atlas, Ylang-ylang from Comores, Benzoin, Tolu, Absolu Vanilla Madagascar

As much as I could tell the notes in Tubereuse, I can't really say the same for Ambre.
It smells like the epitome amber. Lightly sweet, lightly burned, vanillic, somewhat musky and for a little while powdery. Ok, so that last part might not sound like amber, but it works for me (and I'm not a fan of powderiness).
Of all my ideas as to what might work to provide powderiness, none of them appear in the notes.
Anyway, my boyfriend assures me I'm wrong, but I smell similarities between Ambre and the drydown of Shalimar (which is a very good thing in my opinion).
This amber has me baffled. Each time I smell it, I smell something different and it's all good. :)
It's just a great, lightly burned and woody amber. There would definitely be a place for it in my collection.

Like Birgit says, there is always a place for another amber.

Notes and pics by: