Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Your nightmare fragrance? Inquiring minds want to know...

My collaborator Asali came with a very good question today, one I haven't yet seen posed anywhere and I like the challenge of answering it. :)

So, the question is, what would be the notes of your nightmare fragrance?

Here is Asali's nightmare fragrance:

Top: Aquatic/ ozone/ tequila (or the wodka note of Ambre Russe!)

Heart: lychee, watermelon, Lily (the indolic-cats-piss-one) and an overdosed Tuberose (like the IPdF)
Base: OUD, and the synthetic white musk. Somewhere in there you can throw some dill and star anise, and I'll be sure to get ill from sniffing it.

I'm almost with her on the notes of her nightmare fragrance, but I adore Ambre Russe (and have to re-smell it now because I've missed the wodka part). :)

Here is mine:

Top: aquatic note, synthetic fruit (berries and peaches usually),
Heart: watermelon, cheap almond note, milk
Base: Synthetic white musk

I shudder just thinking about it.

So, let's hear it - we look forward to the possibilities out there. :)

P.S. I reserve the right to add a note or two to my original thoughts.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tess Gerritsen: The Silent Girl

I thought it was only perfumes, but it seems to now apply to books I read as well. I want to talk about them and my mind is full of ideas, but when it comes to writing them down, nothing smart comes out.  Well, nothing even remotely close to what is in my head at least.

I really should learn how to turn my thoughts into better stories. I'm sure there are workshops that can teach you that (I mean, nowadays there are workshops for practically anything).

So, this is the latest in the Isles & Rizzoli series. Btw, both Rizzoli and Isles from the TV series weren't even close to what I imagined them in my mind, but I can work with Rizzoli actress. I like the way she looks and portraits Rizzoli. The Isles actress is not as strong and cool as the real Maura Isles from the books (at least from my perspective).

One thing I realized about Tess Gerritsen's writing when it comes to this series is, that lately (I don't remember that was happening in the beginning), there seem to be mythical/fantastic parts of the story creeping in but I know that in the end all that will have a realistic explanation. And it always does.
The best thing about it though, is that I can't guess the explanation. :) Or, who did it. Or, when it seems all clear, something new gets added. Absolutely thrilling!
And I do mean that. I've read enough crime stories and thrillers that when I watch TV,  I know who is the killer just watching the movie/series for 5 minutes.
So a book where I think I know, only to be proven wrong, and then I seem to be right but for all the wrong reasons, and I completely miss one of the biggest mysteries that gets explained in the end, well, I think those are the traits of a truly great storyteller. :)

And as you might have learned by now, I'm not going to go into describing the story. I'll just say that from my perspective, the Silent girl from the title, is the one I forgot about keeping track but who kept the story together and was silent for decades.

P.S. Please, don't start reading the series from this book, start at the beginning.

P.P.S I spend so much money on books, I do wish someone somewhere would feel sorry for me and send some over (of the kind I usually read). :)
Was that very selfish to wish for?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I smell nice

That's what I kept thinking yesterday evening while on a drive to our evening destination. :)

I was wearing Vamp a NY, which always works for me, and catching whiffs of it around me, kept bringing a smile to my face until I realized, I smell nice.

Ok, so that might sound redundant, I mean, I usually wear perfumes I like, so of course I'd smell nice to myself but it just never hit me that I enjoy the way I smell.

I enjoy catching whiffs of my perfume of the moment.

I smell nice to myself. :D

Friday, August 26, 2011

Olympic Orchids, part I

As I announced the other day, I want to finally put to words my thoughts on some of the less known perfumes out there made by people who obviously have a perfume vision unique to themselves.

One of those people is Ellen Covey aka Doc Elly of Olympic Orchids.

I'm ashamed to say that I've been sitting on the samples she sent for months now, not even getting around to smelling all of them, but now my vacation is over, and I feel I should be rested even though the heat here won't let me feel rested, I can finally start reviewing perfumes that I ought long time ago.

So, I'll go through them in batches, which means they'll be a bit shorter and here is the first. :)

Olympic Amber

Notes: labdanum, vanilla, benzoin, incense, resins, patchouli, and woods

Being a fan of labdanum, you'd think I'd recognize it when featured in a perfume. :)
For me, this is a raspy, lightly fruity, green-spicy amber. Not sweet and actually rather serious.
And in the beginning, amber is sort of hidden under that bold opening.

Which brings me, almost Ellen's perfumes seem bold to me. She has a signature of her own that you can recognize after smelling several of her creations and it's like nothing I ever smelled before. Can't say if it's in any way connected with orchids because the only ones here don't have any kind of smell.
Out of all the notes listes, the only one I can smell on its own is patchouli in these little, cute whiffs while the amber feel broadens.

Although as I said, this isn't a cuddly amber. Quite an achievement if you ask me.


Notes: longleaf pine, hay, tobacco, lavender, green grass, magnolia, kudzu flower, honeysuckle, star jasmine, and tonka

Sometimes I wonder why I even review perfumes when there seem to be a lot of notes in there that I have no idea what they smell like.
I think for me, one of the easiest ways to know if a perfume is great is when I can't tease out the notes. Which seems to happen a lot with Olympic Orchids.

The best I could come up with for Carolina is that it's a flowery sweet, sunny and refreshing as a spring day with barest fruity whisps in the air.

I don't appreciate sugary sweetness in perfumes, but when the sweetness in there is from blossoming flowers, well, I'm on my knees. It's one of the best smells in the world if you ask me. I honestly couldn't figure out the notes I was smelling - they were combined into a perfectly lovely experience.
And here is the description Ellen wrote which seems more appropriate than my words:

"A dreamy scent of the American South that takes you from a day spent among sun-warmed longleaf pines, grassy fields, magnolias, and kudzu flowers through a warm, humid night sweetened with the scent of honeysuckle and star jasmine, always with an undercurrent of tonka-rich tobacco curing in the wooden barns and historic red brick factories."


Notes: saffron, tulsi, lime, tagetes, jasmine, rose, cardamom, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, curry leaf, turmeric, mango, spikenard, olibanum, vetiver, patchouli, choya loban, black agar, and sandalwood

Gujarat is among my favorites from the line. But that one is not for the weak hearted (or cumin-phobic). Not that you get a lot of cumin, just the underlying musky warmth of it but I still need to warn people as I can tell it's cumin, so I'm sure other people would too.
I hate it that my starting line is about cumin because that's such a minor player in this. This is a spice fest of the most luscious kind.
As you can see from the list of notes, there is no lack of spices in there. Which again brings me to the fact that I have no idea how most of those spices smell like. I do know though that they combine into a powerfully attractive mix to me.

The perfume starts for me slightly menthol-like with warm spices (here is where I detect cumin underneath) and lightly fruity as well. It practically emits warmth from where you apply it.
Again, I can smell the floral sweetness and the idea of what I come to call Ellen's signature.

By the time I can detect mango and oudishness, I am thouroughly glued to my wrist.
Which brings me back to the fact that I saw black agar listed here and oud listed on one other of Olympic Orchids perfume together with black agar, and I somehow thought it was the same...? Obviously, I need to learn a lot more. :)

Olympic Rainforest

Notes:cedar leaves, green sword ferns, rhododendron, forest mushrooms, beebalm, myrtle, oakmoss, black spruce, balsam fir, and Port Orford Cedar wood

This is my last Olympic Orchid for today.
This is the one that smells of lavender, and pine needles, of woods and fern. The whole deal.
It starts refreshingly and invigoratingly, it makes you breathe in fully and then lets you enter the underbrush of the rainforest, as it smells grassy and ferny to me (again barest fruity whisps, I seem to amplify sweetness in these perfumes).

One of the best things about perfume is that you learn a lot. I kept smelling this menthol-like freshness (many things piney smell menthol-like to me) and it turns out cedar leaves come from an evergreen, coniferous tree. And as I've never seen a cedar tree in my life (there aren't any here), of course I didn't know that.
The perfume then goes on to smell like you've entered the rainforest, lightly sweet fungi smell, slight dampness and rottiness of leaves and underneath all that, the smell of fern.

It gets less and less sweet until you are left with flowery cedar woods (I really don't know where am I getting all this floweriness from).

Pics taken from http://www.fragrantica.com/

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feeling gluttonous and ready to write

Luckily for me, the gluttony is only perfume related. :)

I feel so very lucky because in the last month or so I received so many wonderful packages, some from swaps, some I ordered, and some just because perfume people are very generous.

I'm nowhere near to smelling them all and I feel it's going to take some time before I even smell them once, let alone write about them.

But, and I hope the feeling lasts, I feel eager and ready to write about many wonders I've been smelling recently so I hope to get on with it soon.
The only problem I have at the moment is the intense heat here so coming home and sitting behing a computer writing is not even remotely comfortable (no AC there).

Hopefully, the heat will dissipate somewhat (and soon!), although judging by forecast, not much but at least it won't be 37 degrees Celsius in the most humid town I've ever been to. I actually don't feel well most of the time.

Anyway, I want to get some reviews done about perfumes and people who deserve more recognition and about some perfumes that get recognition without any help. :) Many of which landed in my lap without much work from me.

Like I said, I feel very lucky. :)

Pic is mine.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vacation is over, work awaits...

And when I say work, I mean WORK. :)

I have many things I need to do this fall, and I'm glad to say I didn't start on any of them on my vacation. After all, vacation is vacation, and getting frustrated by the slowness with which I'd be getting anything done seemed to me the opposite of what vacation is about, so  the last 3 weeks was all about me doing things I like and that relax me and not thinking about anything remotely work/study-related.

I'm proud to say I'm very good at that. :D

I can't say I didn't get my rest and that my batteries aren't full and ready to tackle my workload, it's just that I don't really appreciate the fact that I can never really choose how to spend my days as I do need to work to be able to actually spend my day leisurely these 3 weeks that I can.
Sometimes I really, really wish I were rich.

Basically, I spent my days, reading, cooking, swimming, enjoying solitude, and for a while children's antics (my boyfriend's nieces were there for a few days, they are incredibly great and tiring at the same time, I should think like all children). :)

I only got to read 10 books (which is not as much as I usually can). But of those 10, 7 were the Harry Potter series so I consider myself lucky. Although a bit depressed as well. It's one of those stories that makes you lose yourself in it, and when it's over, you can't believe you have to go back to life where there is no more of that world.
Yes, I'm on of those people who can get lost in fantasy. And believe me, it doesn't make for easy living.

This is it for my get back post - here are some photos of my vacation.

Seagulls in Klenovica:

View through the trees from the terrace:

View from the little beach:

Rosemary in bloom:

Clear, blue sky:

P.S. I was going to post the photo of my favourite bathing suit but as it only displays my behind, I decided against it (taken by  my boyfriend of course). :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Musings on the subject of Harry Potter (again)

There is a good saying in Croatian that I cannot translate into English and retain the same idea. But the gist is that while everyone talks about different subjects, the person in question always returns to the same.
In my case, that would be Harry Potter.
Well, it is the season after all, what with the last movie playing. :)

Since I'm on vacation, and I obviously needed it (vacation that is), as the only thing I can read at the moment is HP. Not being interested in reading is in my case a serious sign that I am stressed out. So, I'm de-stressing through HP, as that one always works.
And here are my musings on the subject:

  • The HP series ALWAYS works when I need to relax and find peace and calm in my life.

  • I hate the fact that the movies made me forget so many details from the books (especially beginning, as I usually skip that and read the longer books).

  • I don't know how many times I re-read the series, but I seem to be getting all the hints as to what is to come, only now. I can see where certain points in the story are going to come back later on as important details as to what exactly is happening. And I think Rowling is a genius the way she incorporated those little hints all over the books.
  • Books are much better at getting Harry's tragic and black childhood understood. Movies cannot transfer that bleakness onto the screen. Nor everything going through Harry's mind. Which brings me back to the question how much can people actually get from the movies.

  • I need to learn to read more slowly. Because I think that is the reason why I missed many little gems and hints hidden in the stories.

  • I wasn't sure movies ought to have had so many fun moments (especially later on) but they are there in the books as well. And I laugh much more this time around reading. I'm frustrated much more too, though.

  • Bravery is something you are born with. So is the ability to be a true friend.

  • I wish there was more of the backstory what happened between Hermione and Krum.