Thursday, April 30, 2009

A bit of everything before I leave

First of all, I am happy to say I'll be sending The Six scents decants to Divina. :) I hope you find them as interesting as I do.

Tomorrow is Labour day and that being holiday, I'm supposed to leave today for a long weekend at the sea side but the problem is, it is raining terribly now in Zagreb and the same is true for the rest of Croatia. :( The only good thing is it is supposed to get better tomorrow and even sunnier and warmer for the weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

While there, I'll have my hands busy with trying my new set of ordered samples from Aus Liebe zum Duft and I don't whether to hope or not, finding some new loves. Lately it seems I have days when whatever I smell, I simply love. I should have some set of standards, don't you think? For example, yesterday I had 5 minutes before meeting a friend and I went to Mueller to see if they have anything new, and they did. They have Givenchy 2008 harvest. I hope this means that the flowers were harvested in 2008, not that it was the year when the line launched (beacuse that would mean we are more than a little late over here - which actually wouldn't surprise me all that much). Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I sniffed all 4 of them but only Amarige Ylang-Ylang from Madagascar and Organza Orange blossom from Morocco smelled interesting enough to spritz them on my arm. Honestly, I'm not sure I'm happy with myself for doing that, beacuse I like them both very much. I didn't have much time yesterday to sniff them properly, but they definitely deserve another trip to the store to make sure they are as good as I found them yesterday. At some point I thought I detected a hint of banana in Ylang-Ylang but I think that might not be right. Hmmm, I just read the notes and it seems there is the green banana note there. :) Since I am a beginner here, discovering a note makes me very happy.

What doesn't make me happy is the fact that 50ml EdP costs 90E and I like both of them. I'll re-try and see if I can make one of them smell less nice. :)

That's all from me before I leave for the weekend to enjoy some sea breeze and sun (I'm quite optimistic the weather will turn in the right direction). Hopefully, I'll have some pictures when I return.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Christian Lacroix Absynthe Avon

It seems I've been buying more bottles as the recession keeps getting stronger. :) I have a strange way of reacting to it. Gaia, the non-blonde had a nice post on the subject of lipstick effect of recession.

Anyway, to get to my review of the day, one of those bottles was Absynthe. This is not the first Avon perfume I bought, but of the last 5 purchases of Avon perfumes, this is the one I'll keep (I gave the others away).

Official notes are: top-anise, absynthe extract, freesia, middle - orchid, floral notes, narcissus absolut, saffron, base - woodsy notes, myrhh, musk, amber, antique wood and ebony wood.

I have never tried or smelled absynthe but from what I read about it, I can definitely say that you can imagine its smell from the first sniff of the Absynthe. It seems people describe the smell of absynthe as anisic, herbal/medicinal with a slight lemon balm hint. Well, the initial blast of Absynthe brings you anise and the sweet, slightly herbal whiff of it combined with a liquorish scent of what would be absynthe extract and all of it balanced with freesia. The smell feels full without actually being heavy on the senses. It is defined as aromatic, but I can't honestly say that I would term it so because it balances somewhere between sweet, aromatic and floral. :) That is really not a helpful statement. The thing is I really don't like sweet scents and although there is sweetness here it is not too much for me because it is underscored with herbal tones.

The package and the bottle are green and aptly so, seeing the smell feels green as well. I can't tell that the middle tones take the front at some point in time, the initial blast of sweet, herbal anise and absynte extract is somewhat dissipated but it remains there until the drydow. I was wondering actually what does orchid smell like in perfume? Because the orchids I tried smelling here do not give off any kind of smell. Anyway, to get back to Absynthe, getting to drydown, first I get a slight resinous smell which is then combined with all those woody notes. I love the drydown, it smells a lot like Feminite du Bois by Shiseido, sensuous resinuous-woody smell I like very much.

I am happy now that I bought this one even after all those unsuccessful tries before. There was a note in all of them that was so shrill to my nose that I just lost everything else that was in their perfumes and the note stayed in my nose for too long. I have the same problem with some of Estee Lauder's scents but I haven't figured out what exactly it is yet.

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Notes by:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Two of the Six scents and a draw

I decided to review two of the Six scents I own and don't wear. :) It feels wrong wearing something that was only made in sets of 2000 bottles and won't be around when I finish my bottles. But, I'll be definitely wearing Urban Tropicalia (no 1) when the summer comes. So, I'll start with that one.

That one starts with a right fruit blast. I mean that in a good way because, first I love all kinds of fruit but one of my favorites is definitely green apple, so you can imagine I adore the first sniff of this one that smells like green apple and the cassis is a nice balancing touch. It makes me positively salivate and feel hungry when I smell it. It just feels happy and sunny and in my opinion is going to be great for summer because it has this sour, citrusy hint that makes it in my opinion bring freshness and breeziness to a summer day. This fruity smell lasts quite long and in the drydown it lessens somewhat (although hints of apple can still be traced) and smells soft, white and floral.

Official notes: Erogenous Cedar wood – Amber Fond, Lemon, Cassis De Bourgeons, Lime, Green, Apple, Apricot, Jasmine, Tagete, Freesia, Cinnamon, Musk

The other one I have is No. 4 - Diagonal. Well, that one is certainly difficult to decipher. It feels like quicksilver, you just start to form an opinion and it changes. My thoughts about it change as well, but honestly even if I'm not sure I will be able to wear it, it is so strange that I can't help but be fascinated by it. I love the fact that I smell pepper in this grey combination (that's how it feels in my head) and you can feel hints of pepper for quite long. Smelling pepper and black tea, I start thinking it might get heavy on the senses but it successfully skirts that and never gets there. I start liking what I smell because underneath that pepper something airy surfaces and then a minute later I'm no longer sure because suddenly it disturbs my stomach. :) Strange, interesting scent. I'll be sniffing it more in days to come to see if I can decipher more of it. The drydown is not difficult on the stomach anymore and since I don't know how either amyris or palissander smell like, all I can say is there is a hint of some floral sweetness but really, just a hint. I would definitely recommend this one just sniffing for impressions.

Notes listed: Dill, Black Pepper, Nutmeg, Palissander, Black Tea, Amyris, White Amber, Musk

Since I own bottles of both and to celebrate the fact that I have already written my third real review and passed the number of 10 posts, I'm giving 5 ml decants of the two and if you would like to participate, just leave a comment. The winner will be announced on April 30.

Notes by:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reading in the rain

It seems I won't be smelling much these days, after all the sunny, wonderful days of last week, this week is cold, rainy and on top of it all I have a cold.

All I managed to sniff of the Le Labo samples are Vetiver 46, Ambrette 9 and Iris 39. First two didn't impress, they are ok. I mean they smell nice and forgettabel. Iris 39 is definitely not something I would wear but I honestly sniffed it a lot because I found it interesting. It smelled green and bitter and strict and I imagined it would be a perfect smell for a strict, middle-aged professor. :) Hence, not for me.

What I did manage to do last few days is read two of Mary Balogh's romance novels - at the moment, she's the author whose novels I'm going through (after having those phases with Stephanie Laurens, Nora Roberts, Keri Arthur, etc.). When I come across an author I like, I just start reading everything I can get my hands on from that author. What I like about Balogh's novels is the fact that from all the romance novels I've read so far (and believe me, the number is quite high), her characters and plot seem most real. Not in the sense that those are likely realistic stories but in a way that romance and love and passion can be found in everyday relationships. I have no idea why is that the idea I got from her stories because all those 'historical' romance novels are, well, pretty much similar. :) But I guess every author I keep reading puts her stamp on those stories to make them jump out of the crowd for me. So, Mary Balogh just joined my list. And reading is what gets me through these rainy days and how I fight my cold.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Better than this? - Not likely

To start with the spring again, it's still warm and hopefully it will stay around this temperature a while yet. I like it when it's not too warm and not too cold, I want to enjoy spring this year. Last few years what was happening was that we went directly from winter to summer, without those lovely green, fresh, sunny spring days. Well, this year it has lasted 10 days for now, and we keep counting. :)

That was just the beginning, what is actually making these days so perfect is the fact that there is Douglas store freshly opened in the center of Zagreb! That is good news on so many levels. First, they carry several perfume brands that were previously unavailabale in Croatia, like Prada, Acqua di parma, Viktor & Rolf, Ed Hardy, and those are just the ones off the top of my head. They also carry Orlane which wasn't available either and it's just well, unbelievable. :)

One of the reasons this is making me so happy, is because now there are several such stores in Zagreb, and most of them concentrated in the centre of the city so my hope is that now they are all having such heavy competition, getting samples and all sorts of gifts with particular purchases are going to increase. I don't know if that's typical only of Croatia but since I've been getting much more samples for much lesser purchase everywhere else, I'd say it's typical for us, anyway sale assistants seem to be very stingy with samples, and I'm not going to talk about what I think of that, but you can guess.

So, it seems Zagreb is slowly becoming somewhat of a heaven for a budding perfumista. :) Sure, we don't have so many brands, but we have Institut Parfumeur Flores and some similar stores (smaller and with much less of a choice, but still niche brands) and all this generic brands in quite a lot of different stores. And on top of that, I got my Lucky scent Le Labo sample pack, so I'll be enjoying that this week as well. Ahh, spring is just perfect this year! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring restlessness

I know all my posts are named spring something lately but I can't help it, I am way happy that it's finally warm and sunny (though it's a bit too warm too last).
What I wanted to say today is that I woke this morning restless and edgy because still half asleep I concluded I have no spring scent at my boyfriend's place to put this morning. And that was followed by another irritating realization, my make-up collection is not spring ready.
Spring this year has come late and a bit unexpectedly for me so I am not prepared (my wardrobe isn't either). Now, I already have a list of things to look up at home and bring over to my boyfriend's so I wouldn't wake too early restless beacuse I'm not going to enjoy something green and budding like the scenery around me these days. Ideas what I might try anyone?
I also found a perfect eye shadow palette from Estee Lauder that unfortunately I'm not going to own, since first, it's sold out on their site, and secondly, the Bronze goddess collection hasn't made an appearance in CRoatia so far. There are some nice palettes from Bourjois and YSL but none as perfect as this one. Well, you can't have everything. And after reading Divina's post on lipgloss, I realized I don't have any in a spring tone. I guess a bit more shopping is in store for me. ;)
Let you know how my shopping went.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekend reading

Yesterday I was celebrating the start of spring with some perfumes. Today I'll talk about the books I've read over the weekend. I finished the White witch, Black curse by Kim Harrison and read also the Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward.
The way Kim's White witch ended, I'd say we are going to be seeing more of Rachel in the future. :) Good to know. It was good as usual, but it got me thinking. I cannot get into characters' heads and I can't predict what they are going to say or how they are going to act or why they do what they do. By that I don't mean to imply that Harrison is doing it badly, but quite contrary. Those are witches, vampires and pixies and the bottom line is that they are different from humans. So, I actually think she did a good job making it hard for me as a human to get their motivations completely. Well, that is my explanation anyway. :)
REgarding, JR Ward, her Black Dagger brotherhood has already reached its 7. installment (to come out later this month) and it is in my opinion in the same category as Keri Arthur, L. Hamilton and Kresley Cole but in a way darker. More violence, more deaths and more tragedy. Although I read only to relax (that is my anti-stress therapy) I like her books because they feel more real in a way (OK, I know we're talking about vampires, but still). The thing is, real life is unfortunately full of tragedy and she somehow makes it more real than the rest. For her books, I have to be in a right state of mind while for the others, I simply take them and read them. Both scenarios are fine with me. :)
And to end this with a sketch from my morning life which proves I do not function in the morning. One of my favorite shops Martimex, has a special Easter promotion, you buy 2 perfumes and you get them 50% off (of course, this is only valid for a part of their offer, but that didn't stop me from finding something). :) anyway, they gave me samples, and instead of using one of those I bought, I decided to spritz on the sample of Guerlain Insolence, thinking I might not have been right when I remembered it as definitely not for me amd reading the notes on the card. Which just proves that I cannot think early in the morning. I was right that first time and I'm never repeating this experience with any new sample I get even if it seems fine after reading thenotes. One good thing though, I was instantly awake. :) Beats me, but I have no idea where those read berries are in this because all I get is some powdery awful thing that I detest (guess it could be iris)...

Photo: spring across the street (mine)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Monday

Finally I can say it arrived. :) Last week was horrible, the weather was awful, everyone was depressed (including me) and now it's over. I mean even if the cold returns for a while, at least we got a preview of spring. And that is enough for now.
Now that spring has arrived, I thought I might give a short overview of some of the samples that came from Lucky scent's Early spring sample pack. I love the fact that they create these sample packs and send them all over the world. Thanks!
I'll focus on the four Teo Cabanel samples I got. I must admit, until the pack arrived, I never even heard of Teo Cabanel, but now, I have to say, it was nice getting to know the line. It contains 4 fragrances, Julia, Oha, Alahine and Meloe.

Julia: Mandarin, rhubarb leaves, black currant, jasmine, violet, hyacinth, sandalwood, incense, citruses, raspberry and musk.
This one surprised me because I'm not into floral feminine scents and I liked it from the go. It starts very fresh and floral and it lightens the mood instantly, giving the feeling of summer and light. The floral note is almost too much for me and I keep waiting for it to start irritating my nose, but it is perfectly balanced with a fresh current which my guess are those citruses in the notes. It reminds me of romance setting from the 19th century - walking with a parasol, in a white dress during a beautiful warm and sunny spring day with a romantic partner. I think that the barest trace of jasmine I get is waht gives it such a romantic connotation in my mind.

Oha: Bergamot, Tea accord, Bulgarian and Damascus rose, jasmine, cardamom, tonka bean, vanilla, white musk, Exotic woods
This one was terribly frustrating because I cannot recognize a single note. It smells classic and bitter green at the beginning (guess that's the tea accord) and after the initial 15 minutes, what I get is an idea of a garden/home of an English spinster - I suppose the rose/tea combination is what brings that about. I think it is well done, although not something I would wear.

Alahine: Bergamot, ylang-ylang, jasmine, Moroccan rose, iris, cistus, patchouli, benjoin, vanilla, sandalwood, musk
Well, you can't miss this one being an oriental. :) It starts with a sweet oriental blast with hints of smoke and patchouli. Initially it is a bit too sweet for my taste, but it gets better (not so sweet). What it reminded me of is a warm oriental room full of rugs with loukhum and pipe on a low table. Lucky scent mentioned honey rose, I guess that's the loukhum for me (the one I tried had the taste of rose). The drydown though is complete vanilla on me.

Meloe: Calabrian Bergamot, Mandarin and Lemon from Sicily, Lavander, Basil, Neroli from Tunisia, Orange blossom, Jasmine, Nutmeg, Crystal Moss, Musk, Amber
This one is an eau legere, and smells, well, like one. :) That is fresh and citrusy and great. I absolutely love it. I kept smelling my wrist waiting for this perfect citrusy/green freshness to dissapear and leave me dissapointed, but I wasn't. It smells of a Mediterranean summer the way I imagine it, sunny, citrusy and of beach. This is what I hoped Eau Turquiose of Parfums de Nicolai was going to smell like (that one was a definite disappointment for me).
My favorites are Julia and Meloe and I'm happy to say, the line can be bought in Zagreb at Institut Parfumeur Flores.
This was my welcome spring post. Hopefully now that the weather is turning warm, I'll write more often.

Notes by Lucky scent.