Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

I wish everyone all the best in the year to come, that the challenges that are to come are the ones we can face, that the happiness we feel is the one we can share, that there is money we cannot spend and the health is something we don't have to worry about!

Pictures by:

Best of the Best 2009.

It was a nice surprise to be included in the group of bloggers who are participating in a joint blog project envisioned by Elena from Perfume Shrine - Best of the Best 2009. :)
I find it appropriate to end the year (and a decade) on a positive note since it seems to me we are all missing some positivism in our lives, especially at the end of this decade.

Underneath you will find links to other participating blogs to check what are their thoughts on what was best this year.

Hm, I don't know where to start from. :)

*2009 niche perfume releases I bought or plan on buying

Serge Lutens: Fille en Aiguilles
L'Artisan Parfumeur: Al Oudh
Parfum d'Empire: Wazamba

*Mainstream releases I liked enough to own
Lolita Lempicka: Si Lolita
Givenchy Harvest collection 2008: Organza Fleur d'Oranger

*Releases I didn't try but consider mention-worthy

Cartier "Les Heures de Parfum" collection
Van Cleef & Arpels "Collection Extraordinaire"

*Perfumes that knocked me off my feet

Donna Karan : Labdanum
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz: much of her work is incredible, but to limit myself to one, it would be Sandalo Inspiritu
Parfums DelRae: Amoureuse
Juliet Stewart: Juliet
Ava Luxe: Madame X
Amouage: Lyric for Woman

*Discovery of perfumers whose work speaks of their incredible talent and individuality

*Best vintage discovery

Balmain: Vent Vert - I still have no words to describe it

*The notes I fell in love this year

Labdanum, orange blossom and sandalwood

*House whose work I appreciate but cannot wear

*Author discovery

James Rollins and his Sigma series

*Authors re-discovered by each book of theirs I read

*The movie of the year

Ok, I haven't watched Avatar yet so this might actually turn into movies, but I did watch Sherlock Holmes and enjoyed it immensely. :)

*And in the end, the realization of the year

This is my first year as a blogger (still not a full year) and I would never have guessed how much joy and friendship this would bring. This is not a hobby, it is a way of life which promotes knowledge, positive thinking, intelligent conversation and the thing I appreciate most of all - friendship and camaraderie across the borders and around the world.

Other wonderful bloggers participating, so please check them out as well:

Picture by: Perfume Shrine

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've been thinking...

At the moment I have no perfume to review and no books/authors to write about. Soon, but not today.

I don't know if this happens to anyone else but I find it annoying and strange. Over these Christmas days I didn't have neither the time nor the will to concentrate on smelling something new and interesting (or just new, or just interesting) so I didn't. Then as the new week started yesterday, I wanted to go on with all those wonders of samples I have everywhere, so I did. And what happens?! A complete fiasco. My nose and my brain seem to have lost the connection. It is like I'm a beginner once more (ok, so I'm not really far down the road, but I'm not at the beginning either). This has already happened before - right after I came from summer vacation. There seems to be a break where once was a way. It will probably take 2 or 3 days for me to get back on track, but what I find annoying is that it happens. Does this happen to anyone else?

So, yesterday I wanted to begin smelling the color series by DSH and I start with Quinacridone Violet and I got everything mixed (the fruit in the opening) and then I see the list of notes, and I realize there is so much happening in what I'm smelling and I can smell it happening, I just can't seem to verbalize it. In any manner. :(

Then I went on with Estee Lauder's Jasmine White Moss. I already smelled it before when I got the sample but since it was lying near and I saw it mentioned on MUA, I went to check it again. And this time I smelled much more than the initial time, but all I could say is after is that it would be nice to own a decant of this. Depressing really what time away from concentrated sniffing can do to me...

Well, that too shall pass.

I don't know what you are going to be doing this New Year's Eve but I'm really only up to enjoying champagne in front of the TV. And it seems that is what I'll be doing together with my boyfriend. Everyone I talk to these days is pretty much thinking the same. What about you?

This has been a difficult year, to finish off a difficult decade and I hope what awaits us in the years to come brings more light and joy to the world. The world deserves it.

Picture is mine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

I wish everyone a merry Christmas to be spent in joy and laughter with your family and loved ones!

Here are some photos from Zagreb (taken by me) while there was still snow. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WoW: J.D. Robb, in Death series

Finally, it is J.D. Robb's turn. Btw, that's Nora Roberts' pseudonym for the ... in Death series which deviate slightly from her love stories located in actual time (or maybe past). This series is located in NY at around 2060. :) And I absolutely love it!

Just to let you know, if you haven't read the first book, some spoilers ahead.

Yesterday I finished Kindred in Death and got my dose of Darling Eve and Roarke (only Roarke calls her darling as she is the love of his life and wife - everyone else is pretty much either in awe or scared of her). :)

I must admit I hate her. ;)

What woman wouldn't? The brains, the looks, lives off chocolate and coffee, has the body of a super model, athletic with a disgustingly rich, beautiful and charming husband who adores her (and vice versa).

The only problem with that picture is that she is haunted by her past which I won't describe here, as that would be too big a spoiler and I'll leave it to you to discover the depth of human depravity. Anyway, she fought her way from the most horrible situation you can imagine and made her life in police force where, during a case, she meets her future husband (Roarke - and that's all name you ever know about him) who is at the same time a suspect. I read the first book several times, where they meet and fall in love, and I just realized I will be doing it again shortly because I totally love it.

The series has progressed to over 20 books (as you can imagine by now, I have all of them). :) I wish I didn't become so hooked because they are now first published as hard covers and I can't wait for paperback when Lieutenant Dallas is concerned. In each she solves a different case and each time her husband, the e-magician helps. Of course. :)

What I realized in the latest book is, that either I wasn't paying much attention before or there are some minor changes in this one. The thing is, I realized the police procedures during a case (how they start, what exactly do they do and how, what they do for the public image of their investigation, etc.) is much more clear and transparent in Kindred in Death. It's like a step by step explanation of an investigation and what goes on in minds of cops. It probably sounds terribly boring but it's never that. :) Quite the opposite.

P.S. I checked - this is book 30.

Friday, December 18, 2009

DSH round-up (so far)

I've been wanting to write this for days but it's pre-Christmas time and free time usually dwindles to non-existant in that period (at least for me). :)

When I ordered last from DSH site, I didn't realize I actually ordered so many samples. I was a bit surprised when I started unpacking them but I'm not complaining - there will be things to try and try and try... :)

So, let's start:

Silver Fir

I actually had a couple of samples that I almost thought had mixed labels. :) This was one of them. It is the season so I smelled several fir scents lately when this one came along and in the opening instead of fir, I got citrusy fresh opening. :) I was wondering what was happening and then I took a look at the notes and realized I could smell the spearmint and grapefruit/bergamot. :) Then this went through a phase that was a strange sweet vanilla? which I didn't like and subsided into a lovely drydown.


Top notes: Spice Notes

Middle notes: Fir Needle, Spruce

This was the other scent I had on my other wrist and the one that made me think someone mixed the labels because I got a strong fir note from this. I thought I was smelling lavender and rosemary at the beginning but then realized it was probably me mixing it with fir scent. :) I mix notes a lot in my head.

I really liked this one because once the fir subsides what you are left with is the atmosphere of the name. Very appropriate - like having a party around a Christmas tree, one where you smell sexy. Incredible really how she managed that.

Winter White

Top notes: Raspberry

I wasn't exactly thrilled with opening of this one - reminded me of marzipan and flowers. I guess that can be attributed to the white chocolate (which I'm not a fan of in real life) and raspberry combo. Later, the chocolate was nice but the whole idea is too powdery for me and I'm not really into that. It's not too much though and I will wear my sample because the chocolate ends up smelling great. And calory-free. ;)


Cookies, cookies, cookies. Here in Croatia (and around) we have soft cakes that are made of some kind of thin sponge cake, with orange jelly covered in chocolate (jaffa cakes). I don't think there is any ginger in those but the opening of this reminded me strongly of that. No wonder, mandarin, ambrette and cocoa. It starts a bit alcoholic and herbal sweer and then I get my jaffa cake association. This one is as edible as they get and totally yummy. I would never have guessed I would contemplate wearing something that reminds me of food so strongly and smelling like cookies, but you never know what awaits you around the corner. :) Anyway, I will smell like Gingembre this Christmas but not of cookies all the time, some clove, and labdanum and sandal as well.

Piment and Chocolat

This is definitely my favorite of today's round-up. I cannot describe it in words that will bring this forth as it deserves. I already mentioned it the other day and I need to repeat that. This is thick, dark, hot chocolate mixed with chili to better warm you up when you drink it, only this one will be drunk through the nose and enjoyed guilt-free. If nothing else of the ones I mentioned today - try this one.


I will have to give more nose-time to this one. I got the bergamot and cinammon but I kind of spaced out on the rest and just the list of notes makes me wonder how in the world did I manage to skip through the rest. So, no actual thoughts on this one yet, sorry.

On to the last two I thought got mixed up as well.

Three Kings

There is no listing for this on the DSH site. So, no notes for this. I thought it was going to smell like myrhh and incense (in the very hard to breathe church way) but I was completely wrong.

It smells more green and sharp - ish, I thought I got some smoke/incense but couldn't be sure (it was wafting barely through). My thought on notes ran like this: vetiver and benzoin?, perhaps labdanum, galbanum and oakmoss maybe, I think something smells celery like. :)

We'll see eventually how wrong I was. :)

Twelfth Night

Middle notes: Laurel Leaf, Patchouli

As you can see by the notes, this one has the notes I thought Three Kings should have. :) I thought I smelled vetiver but realized that could be the patchouli + laurel combination. And I could smell myrhh and incense. It's not a happy and festive scent like those mentioned before but it is interesting.

It's incredible how DSH can evoke specific feelings/atmosphere and still manage to make one long to wear such a scent.

Some I love completely, some I like in the beginning and some I like in the drydown more. But there is something to like in all of them. I just have to say I think that is some great talent Ms Hurwitz has.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

WoW: Shana Galen

I'm a bit late with this, I actually skipped last week (that's because I didn't want to talk about Kresley Cole again so soon). So, I finished When Dashing met Danger yesterday and it was good. It wasn't bad and I can't say it was terribly fascinating but there might be 2 reasons to that:

1) It's that time of the month when nothing is good enough (except DSH's Piment and Chocolat I tried today and it smells absolutely wonderful, like thick, dark, hot chocolate spiced with chili)

2) The heroine is only 20 and therefore from my perspective somewhat (ok, more than somewhat) naive and full of herself in a way I cannot understand, which does not make it bad, just not something I can relate with and hence, lost on me.

The story actually gets better the more it progresses towards the end, when I actually stopped being annoyed with the relationship between the male character and female. For a novel that didn't really make it into a "read again" category, I seem to be thinking a lot about it. I'm actually wondering at the characterization of the two main characters. Since I cannot relate to her behaviour, I cannot actually tell if it is good or bad (in character with the heroine). I find that strange and any help on understanding it better will be appreciated. :)

I know I already talked about how I sometime skip books because I don't like the blurbs and I need to point that out once more. I had my copy of this book for quite some time now (measurable in years) and I only started on it the other day because it was the only romance novel I had at hand. Sometimes I think that people who write that, write it for romance beginners and not for us who have been reading this for years and years.
Anyway, I wasn't thrilled but I will definitely give Shana Galen another try, I think there might be some goodness in it for me in the future.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My favourite Serge Lutens perfume

I found my favourite SL fragrance. Not that I don't like the rest - I actually haven't smelled any of them (except Chergui) that I didn't like and wouldn't mind wearing. It is really strange after you read this that the only SL bell jar I have is actually Chergui. :) I blame it on the SL and the SA working in the Paris boutique. And if you are ever there, don't smell the strips, they are not helpful at all. I smelled all the Bois and didn't particulary like any. Now when I keep getting samples of them, I wonder how come they didn't smell this nice when I was there...

Anyway my favourite is Fille en Aiguilles and I better find a large decant soon (I'm spending much on Christmas presents so I'm not buying myself a bottle - yet).

Notes: vetiver, incense, fruits, pine needles, spices and luminous woody-oriental base.

Ok, so it's not possible to really describe any fragrance - one can get the idea out of the description but until you actually smell it, it is a vague idea you have in your head. After reading the reviews of this I understood there would be pine in it but I didn't think it would smell nice. I thought it might be too strong. I really should know better than to doubt Mr Lutens creations. :)

There is a signature in some of SL creations, especially of the woody line. This one has it as well but that pine needle note and the fruit make it perfect in my opinion (ok, vetiver and incense help as well).

It starts off like boozy pine smell with lightly burnt wood from the fireplace (only wood you would find there, not the smoke). And I couldn't believe it when I got the incense (I'm really proud at being able to discern it), especially because I was never a fan (to put it mildly). I love it here - but it is not too strong so I guess that's why I like it.

I kept wondering about the fruit in this - first I thought it might be more of the candied sort (in the beginning) but then I got this tangy-juicy vibe so I thought maybe some tangerine and pomegranate? I don't really know, I wish someone would tell me if I'm right or wrong.

Anyway, why I love this is because it is like a breath of winter fresh air over the woody-oriental loveliness of SL creations.

Picture by:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kreativ blogger goes to...

I finally got to the part that I like almost the most as being nominated - I get to nominate blogs I've enjoyed reading very much (in no particular order):

Carol's unique way of presenting fragrance never misses - I can always imagine what she is smelling and I wish I was smelling it with her (when she is smelling something nice which is most of the time).

I think lightning would strike me if I didn't nominate Divina and her blog. :) Divina's poetic writing on perfume never fails to inspire.

I keep wondering how Diana comes up with post names. :) They are always interesting - ok, my guess is that they come from songs (great idea btw to incorporate that into posts) but unfortunately for me, I'm not that familiar with all of them. That doesn't stop me to enjoy them though.

I didn't know what the blog was about but I got fascinated by the name (which I can somewhat relate to, everyone who knows me keeps making chicken when I come). It turns out there's a wealth of fragrance, books, movies and gardening thoughts to be found there.

This list wouldn't ve complete without Simone's blog (once more thank you for nominating me). She writes about romance, history and writing all in one and transports you to a salon from a 19th century when you visit her blog - which I do regurarly because if I can't visit such a salon in real life (I as an Aquarius live in the wrong time but they get it wrong when they say it only concerns future, it does not), I can do it over at Simone's. :)

Rita from the Left Coast never fails to impress with her thoughts on perfume which are at the same time provoking and hilariously funny. I love people whose minds are free.

Last but not least, a blog that promotes positive thinking. Each time I try to give my thoughts on the idea of the week, my mind ends up somewhere unexpected. What better way to get to know oneself?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kreativ blogger award

First of all, I have to say this has come as a surprise and a lovely early Christmas gift. I recieved a blog award - that was totally unexpected and from a blogger whose writing is something I cannot put into words - she transports you to another time and place.
So, this is what I have to do:

1)Copy and paste the award and post a link to the blog that nominated me.

Thank you Simone for nominating me. :) It means a lot coming from you!

2) Tell seven things about myself (those you will find below).

3) Nominate seven other bloggers and pass the award along, (I'll do that soon).

Okay, so 7 things about myself:

1) I realized I have a problem talking about myself when asked to do it (not helpful at job interviews).

2) I really love pilates and I plan on doing it as long as I can (hopefully till the day I die).

3) I'm obsessed with my hair.

4) I read horoscope regularly but if it's bad I say to myself it's only horoscope and shouldn't be taken seriously.

5) I spend way too much money on perfume and books. Not that I really feel so but when compared with other people, there is really no way to excuse that amount. :)

6) I never thought blogging would turn out to be such a great, addicting, friendly obsession that brings so much joy to life.

7) One thing I like about me which my mother tells me I should curb a little - generosity. I like to give and I do like to receive (hence my wish to give - I know how much joy receiving is). :

Underneath you can find a list of my fellow nominees by Simone and I'll be posting my list this week.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


If anyone is wondering why I haven't been writing much about scents lately that's because I was reminiscing about the days when I used to be healthy and didn't have a runny nose. :) As you can guess, I have a cold (again!) and my sense of smell isn't really as good as usual. Which is not stopping me anymore. I decided to just apply larger sample quantities so they can force their way through my congested nose. It's working so I won't be reminiscing on my missing health but talk about 2 Reminiscence scents I got.

My best friend was in London last week so I decided to use the opportunity to get a charm from Reminiscence and with it I got samples of Patchouli and Etoile de Rem. I've been smelling some Bonds recently and was left disappointed so I wasn't expecting that I'd like both Reminiscences.

Notes for Patchouli: cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean, labdanum.

As you might remember, I'm trying to figure notes before actually reading and this time I was very happy once I read the list of notes. All those I was able to register on my own were there (along with some others I should have recognized, but, hey, small steps). :)

Anyway, it started boozy sweet which pointed me straight at vanilla and labdanum. You know it smelled like rum patchouli. I wish it remained so but the rest wasn't bad either. At some point I realized that sweetness went away and what I was getting was a rougher version of this scent, no longer rum playful but more serious and I realized that green hinting wood note was vetiver. Then it was time for the notes and when I read cedar I realized I was smelling it all along but didn't realize it. Well, like I said, small steps. :)

The second one was Etoile de Rem (which I thought spelled Rien and kept wondering how come google can't find it). :) Then I went to Reminiscence site and realized my mistake.

This is one of their summer scents and it is described as a marine scent. That didn't sound promising. Marine sounds too much like aquatic and I run in the other direction when I smell that. The strange thing is this one wafts around and you think you get an aquatic accord in the air but when I smell my wrist, I don't get it. That's really good.

So, I tried figuring out notes before reading them for this as well. No luck. The best I could come up with was airy and nice, not aquatic. And then (this is turning into a problem for me), I thought I was getting hints of tuberose. So, I checked the notes: citruses, bergamot, orange blossom, coconut, ylang-ylang, jasmine, sea water, coumarin, musk, vanilla.

I completely missed the citruses. I mean it did smell airy and light but I can't believe that citrus didn't occur to me. Anyway, I read all those white flowers and the list as you can see doesn't contain tuberose. The only thing I can say is that perhaps the combination of ylang-ylang and jasmine reminds me of tuberose? Or I just can't distinguish between jasmine and tuberose.

My collection does not contain a cool, fresh, non-aquatic summer fragrance. I think this might be it - it smells like tuberose/jasmine wafting on a sea breeze. Lovely really.

Pictures taken from: