Monday, June 29, 2009

Week off is over

So. I'm back from my week off. And no, didn't get either much sun, or much sea. I actually got into the sea once. Yesterday. And that's it. Now I have to wait another 5 weeks to go for a real holiday. But, since there's so much work to be done in the meantime, I guess the time will fly. The eternal optimist, me. :)

The important point is that I rested, slept enough and read. Not that I read as much as I usually would, sometimes I relax by doing a lot of house work. And my boyfriend's house is well, big enough to provide one with days of house work. So, for two days I relaxed by cleaning. Unfortunately though, this is not something I have any influence on. Most of the time, I don't feel that cleaning the house is going to relax me, quite the contrary. :)

Anyway, I got enough rest to survive the next 5 weeks and when I returned there was a nice package waiting for me on my desk. My MUA fix.

I got 3 decants, Missoni EdP, CSP Eau de Biarritz and Hermes Elixir de Merveilles. If I knew how much I was going to like Elixir, I would have sprayed it on my arm to see what it smells like on me, this way I'm smelling the strip and hoping it will be as wonderful on me tomorrow when I try it on. All that talk of orange-chocolate opening (which I read after smelling it) would have one thinking it is something too sweet but on the strip, it really smells citrusy enough not to be sweet and reminds me of cologne. Since it seems I lean toward 'masculine' smells, the cologne idea appeals to me. And I know I shouldn't be writing about it smelling it only for half an hour, but I had to share my discovery.

I did try the other 2 today (I'm smelling my wrists for quite longer than Elixir strip) and neither of them made me smile. I mean, I like them well enough, Missoni reminds me of summer at a seaside town with this bitter-harsh note which my guess is a combination of bergamot, dewy rose and bitter orange and I love the part where chocolate wafts in (after Chocolate amber by Bath & Body works, I'm all for dark chocolate notes).

Eau de Biarritz smells like a white summer day (white sunlight if you understand what I'm trying to say) in a Biarritz type of town, very chic and expensive but summery fresh with some aquatic hints but nothing I'd find disturbing (I usually can't stand those).

Notes for Elixir by Perfumed court: orange peel, vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood, incense and ambergris. This is a more gourmand version that is heavy on the chocolate and orange.

Missoni EdP: Italian bergamot, nespolo, magnolia petals, peonies, dewy rose, bitter orange, kaki, gianduia chocolate, amber

Getting notes for Eau de Biarritz proved difficult, all I found was features notes of magnolia, ylang-ylang and Indian sandalwood.

Picture by :

Friday, June 19, 2009

Murphy in action

I have no idea how Murphy's law came into being, but my life certainly shows aspects are being run by it. :) In a couple of hours, I'll be off to the seaside for a week off and guess what - it's going to rain half of the time! Of course, this week has been very hot both here and at the coast, and from tomorrow on, we can expect a significant drop in temperature and rain. Well, I have a close relationship with Murphy, so I tend to forgive most of the laws in action. Including this one - I'll have my books and I'll be able to sleep as much as I'd like, besides, after Wednesday, the weather should improve, so I figure I'll get my place in the sun.

The good side of this is that I'll be able to utilize my arms for testing all those samples that just keep piling up on my desk, in my drawer and all other places where I put them imagining that I'll remember where they are a week later. :) The other day I found a box of samples I completely forgot I had. Anyway, if my arms are not going to smell like sunscreen, I'll sniff as much as I'm able.

The other problem that appeared lately is the fact there are so many samples I tried and loved, and I don't have any of them in a significant amount and I'm not planning on buying any perfumes any time soon (that's what I tell myself) - and all those summer fragrances I have are just not cutting it this year. I mean I like them still very much, but I had enough of them for now and I want something more now. Okaaay, this doesn't sound good for my wallet (credit card account). It's really good that MUA exists. At least swapping helps a bit, although not completely.

I figured, if I start wearing one sample each day, I might try them and write short reviews while wearing them, but that's a double edged sword. First, it's summer so I might randomly select something not compatible with the heat, and secondly, if I don't know what it smells like and I put it on, what if it's something absolutely awful that needs to be scrubbed off? But if I was brave enough to tell a hairdresser I visited for the first time to do whatever he felt was right (and he did, and it was absolutely wonderful and bravely short), I can do this as well. :) I'll go first with those I have an idea what they might smell like. That should satisfy my need for smelling new things and not make me forced to choose from my stack of summer scents.

I hope everyone has a fun week and that there are several packages I expect waiting for me when I come back. :)

The picture is what I hope my days are going to be like the following week. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Being strangely busy

I don't know if that ever happens to other people, but before I went away for the long weekend, there wasn't that much work to be done. OK, I had my standard stuff to do, but not too much. Suddenly, since my return, it seems I don't know what to start first and more things just keep piling up and need to be done before Friday because next week is the week when there are 2 state holidays, so everyone will be off someplace where there's fun in the sun (including me). :)

I'll be at the seaside again for a week to enjoy myself and in the meantime I'll post some of the photos from the lovely weekend I had.
I managed to go through the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse books I had (there's only no. 9 left but I don't have it yet) and I wasn't terribly happy with the end of book 8, I turned the page and was surprised to see there's no more. Although, after a while I thought there was no better way to end it. It definitely calls for a next one to be read. Soon I hope. :)
I'm already assembling books for the next week - I'll of course take more than I can actually read - so I'd have a choice, but I think I might read some 5-7, so of course, I'll have at least 10 with me. *grin*
I did take some samples with me to try but in the end, I enjoyed the smell of early summer - the rosemary, sunscreen, sea and fig trees. The place I go to is called Smokvica (which is diminutive of fig) so there are fig trees everywhere and they already have fruit (as in ripe enough to be eaten) - too bad I don't like figs.
And to my suprise, the scent I used when I wanted to wear something was Bath & Body works Chocolate amber which doesn't smell much like chocolate to me (just a little bit a not for long - more like dark chocolate truffles), but smells nice and warm in a sunny way and now that I checked the notes, it is a bit clearer to me why I like it so much. :)
Notes: pineapple, red berries, lemon, honey blossom, rose, jasmine, dark chocolate, honey wood, patchouli, vanilla orchid and musk.

Now some photos:
How it looks when I go in:

The view of a garden nearby:

More sea view:
My beach accesories (the bag contains the book and sunscreen):

The white oleandar in our garden (there's a pink one as well):

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quickly before I leave

Finally the long weekend I've been waiting for has arrived. Tomorrow is Corpus Christi day and Croatia being a Catholic country, it is a state holiday. Anyway, nobody is going to work on Friday and it's going to be a mass exodus today. :) The forecast is perfect, the sea temperature has gone over 20 degrees Celsius, so I expect 4 days of reading, swimming and a bit of sunbathing (not much for me I'm afraid).

Before I go, I wanted to write about re-discovering my old time favourite, Eau de Cartier. I had a little bit left in my bottle and every time I smelled it to see if I was going to apply it or not, I stopped after smelling the bitter green opening. I always thought the opening smelled like a parsley-celery-earthy-slightly lemon peel bitter thingy. I've read that some think it opens like a gin and tonic smell which is somewhat true if you consider that tonic has all this herbaceous notes. Anyway, it gives freshness and cool to my summer days. And I bought a new bottle yesterday since Martimex has 30% discount on their fragrances. Just lovely. :)

While I was there, I tried the new Versace - Versense. Terribly funny! It makes sense only if you want to smell like your laundry while you're ironing it and can smell the softener and humidity all rolled into one. I couldn't believe, but that's what it smells like. And you get some fruit in the opening. :)

Notes Eau de Cartier: yuzu, bergamot, leaves, flowers, musc, lavender, amber, patchouli, cedarwood.

Notes Versense:
Top Notes: bergamot and green mandarin, with fresh and luminous accords with fig zests, citruses with fruity aromas.
Heart Notes: sea lily, with jasmine petals, cardamom.
Base Notes: woody accords of sandalwood, cedar, olive wood and musk.
Picture: the view from the terrace. :)

Anyway, I hope everyone will enjoy their weekend whether it's a long one or not and I'm back on Monday.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Etat libre getting under my skin

I find the beginning of the name quite appropriate (don't know what I think about the orange part). :) Being free of constraints people and society put on you is quite liberating (if you can achieve that state that is). Lately, I would like to feel liberated from pretty much most of the things in my life that are not of my choosing. Yes, I did choose my job but only because I have to earn my living, can't go through it without money unfortunately. And therefore, I'm also obliged to follow so many rules that come with having to go to work every day. By that I mean, not being able to vacation as much as I'd like (and I believe I need). But this has gone in a completely wrong direction than I wanted.

Today I wanted to say that Etat Libre d'Orange made me happy again. I can't help it, I just find their whole concept fun and honestly enjoy sniffing their scents. It is definitely a fun, happy experience when you combine it with their ad copies.

Anyway, I tried today Vierge et Toreros and Divin enfant . Of the two, I prefer Virgin and torero, but can't say the other one is bad.

Vierge et toreros notes: bergamot, poivre, cardamom, muscade, tubereuse, ylang-ylang, cuir, base animalis, costus, patchouli, vetiver.

I believe I'll definitely get a bottle of this. I love the opening, with bergamote, pepper and cardamom (what an interesting combination) and it just gets better. I finally got those animal notes at the end and they are perfect. I think I feel that way because they remind me of how my father sometimes smells after a long day (the tabac is what achieves that, my parents are both smokers and I can't do anything about it).

VetT goes pretty much through all the notes listed (well, I'm not sure about costus, don't know what that smells like, but if it smells gingery , then it's there). For some reason, before the drydown was complete, the animal notes/tubereuse combination did bring blood into my mind, but it wasn't the smell of blood so I'm wondering at the idea a little. Interesting nevertheless.

Divin enfant definitely took me back to my childhood. It smelled at the beginning like the rubbers (erasers) we used to have in school (they always had the same sweet smell) and after going through the notes, it seems that it is the marshmallow accord (that is my guess at the guimauve accord).

Notes: fleur d'oranger, accord guimauve, rose, accord moka, cuir, ambre, musc, note tabac froid.

The ad copy mentioned marshmallow and my guess was it was the note I couldn't find the meaning of. It seems almost all Etat libre perfumes end in some way sweetly, as is true of this one as well. I like the fact that I could detect some tabac and after that cuir and coffee and that it took me back to my childhood. I even enjoy the ambery sweet drydown. I didn't get the rose, though...

There are still some samples left for me to try and I do look forward to them. I know they will at least make me smile. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stress, books and Etat libre

This has not been a good period for me. I'm not going to go into details, I don't want to bother you with the bad news I keep getting and the stress I've managed to accumulate, but instead I'll talk a bit about what I do to relieve it.

I already thanked my colleague profusely for giving me the Sookie Stackhouse series to read. I'm already on book 3 and I'm enjoying it terribly much. :) It's a somewhat lighter and more humoruous version of Anita Blake and something that came at the right moment. Anita Blake is a bit hard to go through because she's always doubting herself, people around her (mostly boyfriends), her choices, her religion... And meanwhile, she just has a lot of sex. Sookie on the other hand takes what life throws at her with, well, what I suppose is a Southern view of the world. Tries to look at the bright side of life most of the time, when necessary gives in to grief and just enjoys life as much as she can and deals with trouble with a big smile. It's easy and fun to read and you go through the books quite fast.

Reading is what de-stresses me most. :)

Being so deconcentrated these days and very much tired, I don't feel my nose and brain are up to the task of sniffing efficiently. So, I'm slowly going through my Etat Libre d'Orange samples and finding them nice, fun to read the stories and mostly easy on the nose, although I managed to take out several with the strawberry note and generally of sweet disposition.

Today I tried Jasmine and cigarette and I got a lot of jasmine and it smelled to me like it was mixed with lilly of the valey but that note doesn't appear on the list (jasmine absolute, tobacco, hay, apricot, tonka bean, curcuma, cedre, ambre, musc). I didn't get any tobacco or the smell of cigarette and after a while some hay. It smells nice though, I like it - I'll try and swap for this.

I also tried Delicious closet queen and not reading the story first thought it was feminine so I got a bit surprised with the opening that smelled totally masculine. Well, it all got clear after I read the story for this one. The notes are: violet leaf, iris butter brut, atlas cedre, patchouli, vetiver,, dynamone, rose absolut, irisy strawberry (that's my translation of original), santal, cuir, tonka bean, opoponax. I don't know what violet leaf smells like (probably not like violets since I didn't find any) and I'm not sure what of the listed notes might smell citrusy but I got something of the sort at the beginning and thought there might be some lavender in it but I was wrong. I liked the opening more than the drydown, although it isn't bad. It's just, well, sweetish. I don't know how many of their perfumes feature a strawberry note but to me that smells more like strawberry candy than a real strawberry.

I managed to go through Nombril Intense which starts as a salty-sweaty oriental but quickly loses the belly button opening note. It strikes me as having an old perfume feel to it.

Notes are: patchouli, Peru balm, vetiver, poivre noir absolu, opoponax, bergamote, carrot seed, ambrette grain absolut.

The Vrai blonde made me wonder what exactly do they mean by fine de champagne because I didn't get anything champagny from it - it smelled sort of florally sweet, slightly powdery and creamy. Nothing spectacular.

Notes: aldehydes, fine de champagne, rose, peach, poivre blanc, myrhhe, patchouli, suede.

Rossy de palma was ok, I thought I didn't like roses in my perfumes but that is slowly changing. This was a nice green, fresh version of the rose (in my opinion) with a smoky undertone later and some patchouli. It's actually a wearable rose for me.

Notes: benzoin, patchouli, encens, cacao, rose de Bulgaria.

And the last one for today, Encens and bubblegum is totally true to its name. Although I got less bubblegum than in Charogne (can't say that's bad). I'd say it's a fruity bubblegum.

Notes: peach, strawberry, vanilla, lilly of the valey, fleur d'oranger, musc, essence and resinoide d'encens. It's totally girlish, as in 12 year old girlish. Fun though. :)

So you see, not much from my nose and brain. I do hope that will change soon. Until then, back to Sookie. :)