Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best of 2010 Blogging Event

I find it very appropriate and positive to end the year with thinking about what was good about it. So, when Trish from the Scent Hive asked me if I wanted to participate in this blogging event, of course I said yes. :)

This has been a difficult year for me but at the same time, it came with some happy realizations.

One of them is that the perfume blogging world is full of wonderful, helpful people who are both generous of heart and mind. I am thankful for that to Carol and AbdesSalaamAttar and the event Carol organized where we could discuss perfume with AbdesSalaam. He said then something that stuck with me and I see as being true the more I smell and enter the world of smells:
"Love of perfumes comes from a quality of the soul, and being able to feel joy from scents instead of material things also. It is not given to all.
It seems to me that people who enjoy perfumes are also people who find joy in the most simple and little things in life and want to share it with others.

Since I started with AbdesSalaam, I should say that in my mind, this year had been quite oriented towards natural perfumes and they were discussed more than before (and I believe used as well, at least I know I did). The Mystery of Musk project and the Outlaw perfume project were incredible success and I think they promoted quite well they quality of perfumes containing natural ingredients and the fact that there is no need to forbid the use of some natural components in the creation of perfumes. I am still eagerly awaiting my outlaw sample pack that Carol organized and still has some if you are interested in acquiring one.
My perfume collection is getting bigger and bigger and this year I bought more natural perfumes than others which surprised me as well when I realized it. But then again, I'm after perfumes that make me smell more and create more vivid images in my mind and those are naturals it seems. :)

As you might have noticed so far, the end of the year brought many posts regarding what was best (and worst) this year and many of those included perfumes and ideas I found great as well.

So, I'll just give you a quick rundown through those that when I look back on the year, shine through the fogginess in my stressed mind (which is getting some deserved rest as we speak). :)

This year's discoveries started with Annick Goutal's Ninfeo Mio. I love it and just thinking about it brings gladness to my  mind, it reminds me of my grandmother's garden.

Then came the release of Honore des Pres' coffee cups collection. :) Here I need to thank once more to Denyse from Grain de Musc for the effort and help with procuring me with Vamp a NY and Love Coco. Again, natural perfumes I fell in love with, not so much the carrot one (which is very interesting but not wearable for me) but the other two are just plain great.

I'm still unfamiliar with the following but have high hopes in some more love going that way. The creations I'm most eager to try are L'Artisan's Traversee du Bosphore and the whole Pierre Guillaume's Huitieme Art collection.  I love both the work by Bertrand Duchafour and Pierre Guillaume so I'm postponing trying them in order to not spend too much money. ;)

My personal perfume discoveries for this year are the love of amber and the line of Laurie Ericksson - Sonoma Scent Studio.

These are my thoughts on what was best this year, please visit my fellow participants for their take on what made them happy this year:

The Non-Blonde

Smelly Blog

Roxana Illuminated Perfume

DSH Notebook

I Smell Therefore I Am


A Rose Beyond the Thames

Schreibman's Live

Portland Fragrance Examiner



Sorcery of Scent

Scent Hive

Thanks to Roxana for the picture.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reading challenge I had no problem finishing - Anita Blake

The end of the year is upon us and it's time to wrap up things that can be wrapped up. One of them is my participation in the Anita Blake reading challenge.
I am really glad I participated as I loved Anita since I read the first book about her and I don't think that will ever stop. She is such a particularly unique character in the world of books that everyone who reads Laurell Hamilton's books has strong feelings about her (either good or bad, but strong). Which in my opinion says a lot.

I expect I will re-visit the series again as I like the books a lot and feel like a glutton when reading through them (no stopping me). Since this was my second time around, and this time I didn't have to wait for books to come out but could read the whole series through, I feel I got a better idea of the complicated inner world in which Anita battles each day, as well as the world of politics and metaphysics where she is forever trying to find a stable position. Even though she is a strong character (and ruthless when called for), she has a sof spot in my heart (and I know she has one in her heart due to all the love and friendship she displays throughout the books).
I know she is an imaginary character, but still she managed to show me how to be strong and persistent in the face of adversity, how much value should be put into true friendships and that love is always generous.

Hope you get to enjoy the series if you still haven't and here is the list of books I read.

1. Guilty Pleasures

2. The Laughing corpse

3. Circus of the Damned

4. The Lunatic Cafe

5. Bloody Bones

6. The Killing Dance

7. Burnt Offerings

8. Blue Moon

9. Obsidian Butterfly

10. Narcissus in Chains

11. Cerulean Sins

12. Incubus Dreams

13. Micah

14. Danse Macabre

15. The Harlequin

16. Blood Noir

17. Skin Trade

18. Flirt

19. Bullet

P.S. I just didn't read that one novella that I still can't remember the name of and which isn't listed on L. Hamilton's site as a standalone work (all these are).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas presents!

So, the We Three Kings project passed and I have to say it was a lot of fun, so thank you once more Krista and Joanne for inviting me.

Christmas is over but there are still some gifts that need to be given and here is who is getting little presents from Croatia:

1. Ambre Gris, Melem and chocolates go to FragrantWitch9

2. Samples, small Melem and chocolates go to Anna in Edinburgh

3. And MyPerfumeLife gets chocolates (or perhaps your children do?) :)

Please contact me with your addresses so I can send them on their way.

Stephanie Laurens: The Brazen Bride (Black Cobra Quartet)

I'm almost at the end of the Black Cobra quartet, this was book 3 and I'm currently reading book 4. I must say I think the series is improving with each book (I was a bit sceptical with the first book).
Here we follow the story of  Logan who is shipwrecked on hir return journey from India and Linnet (who is a redhead which made me instantly like her) who nurses Logan to health.

Maybe this is a good time to say there are possible spoilers ahead. :)

Linnet is really for me even more an intriguing female character than what is usual in Mrs Laurens' novels. Of course they are all strong, intelligent and as successful as can be for that time period, and most of them discard intelligently the society's notions of what a proper lady should behave like.

And then we meet Linnet who is even more modern than what we encountered so far. She really is brazen for that age but at the same time she had a life full of interesting happenings and is ready to take on life fully which is manifested at the beginning of the book.

I really liked this book and the honesty with which both Logan and Linneth approach their emotions and their relationship.

Of course, by the end of the book, the plot thickens and I'm eagerly anticipating the end of the quartet as evidenced by the fact that I immediately started on book 4 after finishing this one.

On an end note, I'm comparing this one with the book 4 and I'm very happy to say that the love story unfolds mush slower (the sexual part) in book 4 than in The Brazen Bride where it starts right from the beginning (not that I minded it in the least, I love the steamy scenes Mrs Laurens writes). What makes me happy and devotee of SL novels for life is that the love stories never unfold similarly.

Pic by:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As my day was full of Christmas cheer, family and friend gatherings, food and drink and lovely presents, I'm a bit late wishing all of you a merry, joyful Christmas full of happy encounters, positive thoughts, some forgiveness and generally more optimism in regards what awaits us in the future.

So, merry Christmas everyone and hopefully all our optimistic thoughts and ideas come true as life can gift you most of all!

Here are are two pictures of what Christmas time looks like in Zagreb:

Pics by:,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We Three Kings: Frankincense

I left this one for the end as I still have unresolved issues with incense and it was too optimistic to think I'd be able to resolve it this week if I haven't been able to do so in years.

Way before I got interested in perfumes (and sucked into its world), I was a practising Catholic. I went to mass each Sunday, for all Catholic holidays and pretty much did what every practising Catholic does. I don't really remember what mass it was (and luckily for me it was only one) but incense was burned during it. That was the only smell so far that made me think I was going to get nauseous and faint. I almost did. A friend of mine can't stand it and reacts the same way so she thinks we were witches in a past life. ;)

Whenever I get my hands on a frankincense smell, I'm a bit wary. So far, they never made me feel nauseous or faint, but wariness remains. Especially if it smells more churchy than Cola-like. The thing is, here we have a cola type of drink called Cockta that obviously has some incense for smell in it because when I first tried Shaal Nur (my first incense perfume) I was very much taken aback that it smelled exactly like that soft drink.
So basically, incense perfumes fall into two categories for me, those that smell more church-like, more dry and austere and those that smell like Cockta, wet and sweet but both very obviously incensey.

Today, I'll talk about Parfum d'Empire's Wazamba. Which although seriously incensey doesn't fall into any of the two categories I have but has one of its own. A foresty incense.

Notes: Somalian incense, Kenyan myrrh, Ethiopian opoponax, Indian sandalwood, Moroccan cypress, labdanum, apple, fir balsam

I always get surprised by how much more I am able to smell once I read the notes. The whole apple (fruity) thing would completely escape me if I wasn't looking for it. It almost managed to escape me like that as well.
It really is a strange incense - like I said, it reminds me of forests, more probably of how I picture a rainforest (I was never even close to one, let alone in one) but that's what this reminds me of - except for the incense part, I'm sure you can't smell that there. But there is an underlying dark green, woody, slightly wet vibe to, and interspersed in all that, you get myrrh (I can't believe I actually can smell myrrh in my incense choice) and the barest fruit hints (I do have a  cold, so they might not be barest to other people). Anyway, as incense goes, this one makes me always think about what I'm smelling and doesn't fall into any of the mentioned categories.
Not that those categories are bad, they just have an existing association in my mind and that makes me not appreciate them appropriately.

So, once more, here is a list of participating blogs and I do hope you enjoyed our week of gifts of the three kings. :)

Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day



Bonkers about Perfume

My Perfume Life

The Perfume Chronicles

Chicken Freak's Obsession

Notes from Josephine

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Three Kings - Gold

The interesting thing about gold for this blog project was that I was completely sure out of the three gifts we were asked to find perfumes for, I would have most problems finding the one for gold. Turned out, it was the first I knew which one it would be and didn't change it in the process (I deliberated on the other two).

My choice is Montale's Pure Gold.  Even the name fits - the blog project, still not that sure about the juice though.

Notes: neroli, Egyptian jasmine, Italian tangerine, apricot, white musk, vanilla and patchouli.

I get the whole neroli-tangerine opening although not quite in those words. More in the line, oh, what a lovely light green, citrusy floral opening full of sunshine.The fruity juiciness coming from tangerine (even though I said citrusy, it's no lemon of any kind) and the rest coming from neroli which I noticed that whenever I come up with floral sunshine in my mind, it usually stands for neroli. Which is one way of learning how to distinguish notes.

As I'd like to think that my fruity-floral days are over, every once in a while, there comes one that changes that. I loved this one from the first sniff of my already half-empty sample.
While smelling this for reviewing purposes, I wrote down that it smelled happy and innocent. I'm still finding it happy, but I'm no longer sure about innocent. I know why I thought it, because it reminds me of spring meadows on sunny days and carefree times, but I no longer think it's innocent like that, it's more sexy-happy. You know, slightly intoxicating and happy, the best way to seduce someone. :) My thoughts on why, neroli+jasmine+white musk (in an amount that I find not only tolerable but enjoyable and that's rare).

My guess on why it was called Pure Gold (except for all the yellow, orange notes in it) is because as evocative as it is of happy, sunny spring, the gold in this is the sun for me.

I took a look around the forums while looking for the notes and noticed this didn't get much love, and at some point, I even wondered if there are two of these perfumes out there smelling differently as one reviewer described it as woody-floral and another likened it to Coromandel. For the life of me, I can't find any similarities with Coromandel, except the fact that both containing patchouli. I could have sworn though that in the drydown, someone put in just a drop of aoud to tease us but that could well be patchouli working another miracle (I find patchouli an extraordinary note in perfume - so many ways it can go and you never which way it took until you smell the perfume).

So, go take a look at my fellow bloggers and what Kings' gift they are discussing today:

Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day



Bonkers about Perfume

My Perfume Life

The Perfume Chronicles

Chicken Freak's Obsession

Notes from Josephine

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

P.S. Commenting on any of my posts for We Three Kings, gets you a possibility to win a little Croatian Christmas gift. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

We Three Kings - Myrrh

As announced last week, this week my fellow bloggers and I are going to talk about perfumes that are in some way connected with the gifts the three kings (magi, wise men, however you wish to call them) brought little baby Jesus. Here is where I'll confess - I was raised a Catholic and I knew all about the three kings and how they came and brought gifts but it was actually quite late that I learned what those gifts were. All I cared about is that the little guy got gifts and I thought how nice for him. And now we all get to exchange gifts on his birthday. :) I don't know when that particular tradition started but I really love it. :)

Anyway, on to the topic at hand. My choice for myrrh is Balmain's Ambre Gris. Btw, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a scent that contains myrrh that is actually smellable and not just lost amid all other resins and woods and trying to make an appearance? In this case, I'm not talking about all those that have myrrh in the name (I'm pretty sure there's no problem with smelling it in those).

So, Ambre Gris and I have a past. It's been more than 2 years now we hit it off in Paris'  Sephora and I took it home with me. And that was it. I never wore it. I have no idea why exactly, sometimes I smell it and think yes, I know why I bought you, and then I try it another time, and I wonder. It's funny how it is labeled as feminine while my first thought upon smelling it is how masculine it smells. It opens on a cool (as in very hip and good looking) ambrish note and I'm lost trying to figure out what exactly is that I'm smelling that makes it so masculinely cool.

Here are the notes: myrrh, cinnamon, pink pepper, benzoin, immortal flower, tuberose, ambre gris, white musk, guiac wood.

I know there is musk in there because sometimes it just overpowers everything else in this perfume and gets too shrill and unwearable for me. But most times, I'm wondering what is that coolness I'm smelling? I would love smelling this on a guy. After that initial sharpness, you can tease out some floral hints out of it, but if I didn't see tuberose listed, I would never be able to guess what flower was lending this floral sweetness and approachability. To say I smell myrrh, wouldn't be completely true, but I smell the woodiness and herbal sharpness in this and I can feel myrrh doing its thing from the depths of this. In time, I get more and more myrrh holding this wonder together but never forcefully, very gently.

Honestly, just by reading the notes, I would never have guessed it smelled like this. And I seem to be starting to develop a fondness for pink pepper which along with white musk helps the initial cool feel.

Btw, what in the world happened to cinnamon?! I adore it but couldn't discern it in there no matter how I tried.

So, this being the week before Christmas and the topic this week are the gifts of the wise men, I want to give you something as well. All you have to do is comment on any of the posts regarding the 3 gifts and you will be entered to win one of the 3 prizes (they aren't large but are from the heart):

- large decant of Ambre Gris, Melem (Croatia's remedy for chapped, dry skin) and some Croatian chocolate
- several samples of my choice, a smaller Melem and some Croatian chocolate
- while the third place only gets chocolate.

I want to thank once more Krista from Scent of the Day and Joanne from Redolent of Spices for inviting me and please visit other participating blogs for more interesting takes on the Kings' Three gifts.

Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day



Bonkers about Perfume

My Perfume Life

The Perfume Chronicles

Chicken Freak's Obsession

Notes from Josephine

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lacking words - Mona di Orio: Chamarre and Nuit Noire

I'm not even sure I should be writing about these two as I don't feel I can describe them appropriately but then again, I would like to put my thoughts into words.

The two perfumes I want to talk about today evoke feelings of strangeness and therefore I feel I lack words when I want to describe them.


Notes: Lavender, clary sage, aldehyde, Turkish rose absolute, iris from Florence, violet, opoponax, cashmeran, ambergris

To me, it starts as a leathery scent with some vioelt in the mix. That was the  best I could come up with after several tries. :)
You get some floral hints and some soapiness (my guess the aldehydes) and it gets more leathery by the minute with some smokiness peaking through. The best word for me is still strange. I'm not sure if I like it or not, I can certainly say at this moment I find it strange but I'm still not sure this strangeness is going to be something I'll like or not.
With time, it gets more floraly sweet and the leather feel subsides, until the perfume reveals its happy side and leaves you wondering if what you smelled in the beginning was real or not. That also seems to be a recurring theme for me with Mona di Orio's perfumes.
In the end, I'm left with the most things I can identify, the drydown smells of rose, musk, amber, something green as well and I'm completely at ease. And then I can't help myself and I start all over to check if the beginning was really as strange as I remember it. And yes, it was. :)

Nuit Noire

Notes: orange flower, cardamom, ginger, orange guinee, Olibanum, cinnamon, tuberose, sandalwood, clove, cedarwood, Amber, leather, musk, tonka

Luckyscent describes it as dirty, dark and delicious and I can't help but wonder if we are smelling the same thing. I can agree with delicious part after a while but dark and dirty escape me. Which also makes me wonder if I'm way down on the dirty road...
I find the opening strange again. And when I say strange, I actually mean strange enough that I cannot say exactly what I'm smelling - a leathery variant of some white flower? I'm not really sure, there are some similiraties with Chamarre but only so far as I think I smell leather. And then, there are some almondy aspects to it, which could be wrong, but was the best I could come up with. After a while it gets more florally sweet but I still cannot tease out cinnamon. And I usually get cinnamon as I love it very much and have no problem smelling it.
But in these two perfumes, the notes are so well blended that I would be lying when I said I smell this and that. The best I can do is say that after the initial strangeness, I get some piquancy (which I'm guessing is cardamom) and then it takes the road toward more of the white flowers and starts getting lusher (in a tropical way) and that is pretty much it for me.

With both of these, I'm not really sure in the beginning where the road will take me, but boy, do I get a reward for being bold and patient!

Notes and pic by:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's almost Christmas - surprises are coming...

I am happy (since I am very much looking forward to it) to announce a joint blogging project  named We Three Kings hosted by Krista from Scent of the Day and Joanne from Redolent of Spices that will take place in the week of 19-25 December.

My fellow bloggers and I will be reviewing scents reminiscent in some way of the gifts of the Magi - gold, frankincense and myrrh, so come back next week to see what are the perfumes being discussed.

Here is the list of participating blogs:

Scent of the Day

Redolent of Spices

My Perfume Life



ChickenFreak's Obessions

Notes from Josephine

The Perfume Chronicles

Bonkers about Perfume

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mona di Orio: Lux

I'm not writing down any comments regarding the name of this perfume. :)  Or whether the name is appropriate.
It does sound nice though.

What does it smell like?

Many things actually. It starts with a citrus burst, all lemony and sparkly, sometimes I seem to detect a slight waxy twist to it, most of the times I'm just preoccupied with the live lemon feel. Very cologne feeling.
And that's even before I detect barest whispers of bitter greens - I say barest because they are very light and besides the citrus doesn't back off that easily, it lasts for quite some time.
Today I got some peppery whiffs through the leaving lemons and dry woods. It's just, there are so many things happening, if your nose is not glued to your wrist, the chances are, you're going to miss some. It gets slightly smoky while the citrus is still waving which lead me to believe there was some patchouli in.
So, I wonder, how did I get from what I wrote up there to the beginnings of drydown which smelled lush and tropically warm with what I thought was ylang-ylang mixing in there? Yes, I got some sandalwood and cedar, especially late in the drydown, but ylang-ylang is not listed in the notes.

Notes: Sicilian lemon, Litsea Cubeba (whatever that is, I need to google it), petitgrain Bigarade South Africa, Haitian vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood, Mysore sandalwood, musk, amber, Siamese benzoin, bourbon vanilla, and cistus labdanum.

Basically, I love it. I love how it changes, I love its phases, I love the fact that each time I smell my wrist there is something slightly different happening there (even now, 8 hours after application), I love the fact it still manages to produce softness through all the aspects that might not be prone to that and I love the fact that it's available in Zagreb (ok, it used to be, I need to check if it still is).
I just don't love the fact that it's another Mona di Orio perfume I want and which is, well, not acquirable at the moment as if I decide to buy one, I will have to choose among many of her perfumes for the one I want the best.

Notes and pic by:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When things go awry

And that's the way they seem to be going the last few days for me.

First, I managed to completely miss the meaning of the name Carnation for Mona di Orio's perfume. Ok, that one is not that strange when I consider my state of mind (and concentration) these days but still makes me feel stupid. Not to mention all the typos I keep making.

Then, while I was checking some blog stats, at some point I seem to have reloaded the blog template which then promptly turned white. I have no idea why but trying to put it back, the only way I managed to return it to its former black status was by losing all the sidebar information and that wasn't an option.
Luckily, I didn't save that option but returned to white and then went on in search of something similar to what it used to look like. That's why you might have noticed something different in the look of my blog.
Now I just have to learn to live with it. I don't mind change, but I prefer it happen when I instigate it and not outside forces. I really liked my black look.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mona di Orio: Carnation

UPDATE: Well, it seems I need to pay more attention to all the texts concerning fragrances I try as I managed to completely miss what the name of this one means. :) As it's not in English but in French (which also means I've been pronouncing it wrong - at least that was only in my mind).
Thanks to Carol for pointing it out, Carnation in French actually means complexion. So, my whole carnation introduction is completely beside the point. :)

Carnations are forever in my mind asssociated with having no smell and being THE flower of Communist/socialist regimes. That would probably be because for the first 10 years of my life, I grew in one. Which from my perspective then had absolutely no impact on my life in any matter, except that we all became little pioneers in our first grade and got a red carnation as well. So having held it for several of those type of occasions, I must say I don't remember it having any smell.
And for some reason I keep thinnking that whenever I see carnation appearing in a name of perfume, it is not going to smell good to me (lately I wonder where do I get these associations?). I wasn't able to find a reference to its smell, but that doesn't mean there isn't a carnation out there without one.

Anyway, you can probably tell from the introduction that I didn't think it wasn't good upon smelling Mona di Orio's Carnation. :) And I didn't. I was actually very much surprised.

It doesn't come often that if you don't smell a perfume straight away, you miss the opening. Lucky for me, I tried Carnation several times before this review so I got it from my second try. There is this initial sparkly burst of slightly citrusy aldehydes and if you're not there the second it happens, a bit later it's gone. And then the ride starts.
Smelling it without notes I kept thinking (again) how jasmine and orange blossoms were there in the beginning, and I don't know which part of the whole picture made me think old-fashioned but not in a bad way, but as in, you don't come across things like this any more. Some greenery peeks in through musky florals and there is a slight soapy-cream quality to it but lucky for me, the soapiness is here and then it's gone. It smells quite summery actually, I guess it's all the white flowers, green and citrus. But there also comes a time when a light leathery aspect appears, smelling rooty and chewy (not in a bubble gum way).

I hate the fact that I simply lack words for appropriately describing this.

There is just a vintage feel to the way this smells. And I guess a look at the notes can be revealing: bergamot, clove bark, Bourbon geranium, ylang-ylang, violet, jasmine, woods, msuk, amber, styrax.

It settles down into a lovely soft floral and you wonder if all those intriguing whispers along the way actually happened...?

Pic by:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mona di Orio: Jabu and Amyitis

I still can't believe how quickly I dismissed Mona di Orio perfumes when I first tried them some year and a half ago. Although honestly, at that point, I don't think my nose was able to appreciate them.  I certainly notice changes in what I like in perfume and the fact that I smell more just makes me want to write about it less because it doesn't feel like I can give them the words they deserve. Which is stupid because writing about them actually helps me form more coherent thoughts on them and remeber them more vividly (those I write about).

Anyway, I'm taking my time this time around and I'm taking a leisurely walk through Mona di Orio samples. There and back again (I sound like I came from the Lord of the Rings). :)

First off, I have to say I smelled these without the notes and wrote down my thoughts. Then I went to check the notes and got completely discouraged by the list. 


Notes: Brazilian orange flower, South African petitgrain, Manoi oil, Rose damascena, Comores ylang-ylang, Santal amyris, Siamese Benzoin, plum, myrrh

The name is totally apt (basically meaning happy). If there is one thing this perfume manages to convey, it's definitely happiness.
For me it starts sweet and neroli/jasmine-like smelling. As you can see, I'm close. :) It's like you took L'Artisan's Vanilia and put some white flowers over it. Absolutely wonderful and slightly intoxicating in a way that makes you feel happy and smiling. I kept thinking that the sweet vanilla aspects smelled like they were mixed with some coconut, but then I saw manoi oil and benzoin, and there was my answer.
I don't really think you can describe this in words well enough to transfer the warm scent wafting from my wrist. It's warm flowers, warmed by the sun, amid coconut trees. God, I really need a bottle of this. It's instant smile on your face with a bit more serious drydown. It gets you from feeling happy and smiling, into more mature happiness, where you know you are not always going to feel like this but that's fine, otherwise you wouldn't be able to appreaciate the real deal when it happened.


Notes:caraway, savory, capsicum, green leaves, iris, violet, gaiac wood, cedar of Virginia, saffron, opoponax, moss, amber

That caraway thing keeps cropping up and I still have no idea what it smells like. Well, actually I think I do now that I smelled it in several places and couldn't place it.  If it doesn't work any other way, then the method of elimination is what I'm left with. The thing is it gets translated into Croatian as cumin which isn't it (and some googling ensured me it doesn't smell the same either).
Now that I got that cleared in my mind, Amyitis starts for me as smelling like leathery roots. Well, more like suede roots. You know, that iris-earthy combo that spells smelling of roots. And violet sometimes evokes suede for me (probably in combination with something else but I haven't taken it so far yet).

I read the Luckyscent description and got discouraged again. Cucumber and mint? Can't say I got that impression. Although I can smell some sweetness I associate with mint notes but very faintly. 
Honestly, I have no idea why I like this one so much. If I were to guess by the notes, I'd be very iffy regarding the possibility of me liking this. It's a bit strange, hard to pin down and describe, but so very intriguing. It has that green, rooty thing going on that I pretty much always like but it's not obvious and it's just one of the things going on, most easy for me to get so that's why I'm highlighting it.

So, now I have both good and bad news. Good news is that Mona di Orio perfumes are available in Zagreb. The bad news is, they are not very economically approachable - especially if you realize you like more than one. ;)

Notes and pics by:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The smell of snow

You know, the more I smell perfumes, the less I feel  I know. Each time I try and think of a perfume with a particular scent, I come blank. Like snow now.

Living in a city, this is not the best place to announce to everyone you love snow as people tend to get upset since snow makes everything more difficult (and the fact that it needs to be removed from pretty much everywhere in order to get anywhere makes people cranky). I, I adore snow. I adore the way air starts smelling of it even weeks before it falls, I love the quiet it brings when it's falling and once it's on the ground, I love walking in it, I love snow-fights and snowmen, there is pretty much nothing about snow that I don't love.

So, naturally, as we've had some for the last 10 days or so (not too much and it melts quickly), I started thinking about scents that manage, even for a few seconds, to conjure that smell of snow in the air.

You know, the one that smells cold and fresh, but almost electrically sweet. Snow for me never smells like it brings cold of both spirit and body, for me the cool smell of snow brings clarity of mind, freeing of the spirit  from all that weighs on it and childlike happiness. So, of course, a perfume that could evoke that would be much welcome.

As I've been thinking about this for some days now, I realized I have a wonderful collection of perfumes to wear when it's cold outside that make me feel warm but none that makes me feel like I'm enjoying a brisk walk in the snow. Or standing outside in the cold night air, breathing fully the snowy freshness and contemplating the stars in the sky...

The closest I got was Sushi Imperiale which for me evokes the happiness of a snowfight but it's a bit too childlike for me.

So, now I'm asking for some help - what are the perfumes that evoke the smell of snow for you?

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2011.

As I'm almost done with this one for the year 2010. I can say it shouldn't be a problem finishing it again next year (and the participation in this one also wins you a book).

In order to participate, you need to sign up over at Book Chick City.

The details are as follows:

* Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

* Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)

* You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

* You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

As with all other challenges so far, I cannot list my books in advance so I'll list them as I read them.

Happy reading!

1. Lee Child: The Killing Floor
2. Sean Slater: The Survivor
3. J.D. Robb: Treachery in Death
4. Lee Child: Die Trying
5. James Rollins: The Devil colony
6. Tess Gerritsen: The Silent Girl
7. James Rollins: The Skeleton Key
8. JD Robb: Indulgence in Death
9. Tom Knox: The Lost Goddess
10. MJ Rose: In Session

Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge 2011.

It seems it's that time of year again when reading challenges start appearing and I'm ready to sign-up again for some of them.
I still need to write my wrap-up posts regarding this year but there's time left. :)
Ok, so this year Speculative Fiction is hosted by Amanda at Floor to Ceiling Books.

Here are the rules:

* Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

* Rules: To read 12 Speculative Fiction novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum - you can read more if you wish!)

* You don't have to choose your books ahead of time, you can add them as you go. If you do list them upfront, you can change them. Books for this challenge can be used to fulfil other challenges.

* You can join anytime between now and the later part of next week.
Here is a link to the post where you can sign up.
Happy reading!

P.S. I'll be listing my books as I read them.

1. Steven Brust: Jhereg
2.Steven Brust: Yendi
3. Steven Brust: Teckla
4. Rachel Vincent: Stray
5. Linda Howard: Blood Bound
6. Steven Brust: Taltos
7. Steven Brust: Phoenix
8. Steven Brust: Athyra
9. Steven Brust: Orca
10. Kresley Cole: Dreams of a Dark Warrior
11. Rachel Hawkins: Hex Hall
12. Kristin Cashore: Graceling
13. Lois McMaster Bujold: Shards of Honour

14. Lois McMaster Bujold: Barrayar
15. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Warrior's Apprentice
16. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Mountains of Mourning
17. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Vor Game
18. Lois McMaster Bujold: Cetaganda
19. Lois McMaster Bujold: Labyrinth
20. Lois McMaster Bujold: The Borders of Infinity
21. Lois McMaster Bujold: Brothers in Arms
22. Lois McMaster Bujold: Mirror Dance
23. Lois McMaster Bujold: Memory
24. Rachel Hawkins: Demonglass
25. Lois McMaster Bujold: Komarr

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

James Rollins: Excavation

It's fun when you go back to the beginning of a writer you really like and you realize, he also learned to write better with time. :)
If this were my first James Rollins novel, I'm not really sure if I would have continued reading him. This way, I got introduced to him through the Sigma series (which I love) so I can look on Excavation as the trial and practice it took for him to get where he is now.

The story is set in the Andes where archeologists are looking for clues as to a previous race inhabiting the same place where Incas lived. Anyway, without getting too much into the story, all kind of discoveries are made and the beginning of incredible stories that will later appear in Rollins' novels are here but just not as well developed as in Sigma.

It took me a bit longer than  usual to get through it - it's not bad but it's just not very believable or very gripping. It's more like an action movie with bad actors trying to convince us that their cheesy dialogues are serious and the whole plot is terribly tense and serious and all you can think of is that's it is too funny how they try and fail miserably. It's still fun but because it's funny to watch the failure not because it's supposed to funny. This sounds complicated even to me and I know what I was trying to say. :) Did I lose you with this explanation?

The point is, if you are interested in James Rollins, start with Sigma and once you are done with that, consider if you really love Mr. Rollins enough to brave his earlier work. :)

And before you start thinking I think it's a really bad book, it isn't. It's just nowhere near to what he writes now.

Pic by:

Friday, November 26, 2010

A quick word

Prompted by new Luckyscent sample pack and Mona di Orio scents.

One of the most important things I learned about the world of perfume is that you cannot just jump in. You cannot go around gathering ideas from what bloggers are writing about, what smells good or is new and interesting at the moment, what the classics are, etc.

If you have no knowledge outside your perfume store and absolutely general and often bad releases we see (smell) each day, you cannot just start smelling stuff at random by reading about what people find great.
I mean, you could (as I did) but most of the time, I failed to come to the same conclusion.

Learning about perfumes (and their constituent parts, i.e. notes) is a long and pretty much never-ending process. And I know this for some time now, but it became very clear tonight after trying some Mona di Orio perfumes. I tried some of them a year and half ago and kept wondering what was in there that everyone liked so much?!
Well, now I understand, and I already have my favourite - Jabu.

But the point I'm trying to make is, you need to take baby steps. Learn a general road of notes, start with some easily likeable but different houses (my favourite for that is L'Artisan Parfumeur) and take it slowly then. Trust me when I say, it takes a while for Mona di Orio (and in my case chypres) to register on the right scale.

And the most important thing - the more you smell perfumes, the more you understand them. There is no other way.

Not a quick word after all. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gerard O'Donovan: The Priest

Since I am a serious book freak, it's not difficult to get me interested in a book.

So, when this title appeared on Algoritam site, I was hooked and went to buy it. I'm actually surprised by my reaction to it. I kept reading it although I kept thinking each time I put it down that I might not continue next time with it (as I'm always reading at least 3 books at the same time) but each time I found the time to read, it was always The Priest I kept reading until I finished.  I'm still not sure why that is.

It's not like it keeps you at the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. You get a pretty good idea very soon what is going to happen. and this being by my standards a crime thriller, you know what you can expect from it.

I hope no one gets upset with me writing this, but reading The Priest is like watching a British crime series. You know, since the author is Irish and the book is mostly set in Dublin.

I'm not going to get into details about the story, I'm sure you'll find them if you get interested but it is a bit gory type of violence. Not many dead but that doesn't take away from the tragic factor.

Anyway, what I loved about this book was the way the main character's thoughts were described. Inspector Mulcahy is a person like all of us. We get tired, we get upset, we cannot remember the key fact at a moment, it takes us a while to link some things into a picture. You get the idea.
We solve the case through his mind and we follow his steps until he reaches the right conclusion. But the important thing is, those steps are so real. Even though you know who is guilty, you still understand why Inspector Mulcahy cannot just jump to that conclusion without serious evidence. And that process is what I love about this book and what I think made me not want to stop reading it.
Of course, we follow the thought processes of some other characters, but I was mostly taken by Inspector Mulcahy's.

Pic by: Gerard O'Donovan site

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finally a HP movie worthy of the book

Honestly, after the disaster that was the HP 6 movie, I didn't expect the first part of the Deathly Hallows to be so much better. I don't know if it was directed by the same person (I never remember these things) but if it was, I think whoever it was listened to what people had to say after movie 6. As someone who is a huge fan, I watched all the movies again previously to Deathly Hallows coming out, except for movie 6 because I'm still boycotting it. It was just a huge disappointment for me.

So, I am extremely glad that this one was everything I expected after reading the series several times. It's dark, it sticks to the story so well that I, for a chnage, didn't have any complaints as to the changes that were made for the movie, which I think is a first for me, the story feels real and the acting is excellent. There really isn't anything that I have any complaints about - except the fact that I need to wait 8 months for the last installment. But I waited so long for the last book, I can survive these 8 months. I'm a bit scared of thinking how tragic that one is going to be, but well, the book wasn't very happy (or almost at all).

One thing I'm wondering though is how are people who haven't read the books enjoying these movies?! I just can't imagine not reading the books but going to watch the movies (and I know many who did exactly that). I keep thinking they must be missing so many things I take for granted as I read the books and they have no underlying knowledge why some things happen or what they represent. Not to mention the fact that they probably forgot the stories (and little important bits of information) from the previous movies.

Can you tell I'm a huge fan? :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

SSS: Tabac Aurea

Well, before you all get your hopes up, this is it for the time being, no more reviews of Sonoma Scents as I only ordered these two. But this is actually good, I don't wont to end up having Sonoma scents monopolizing my perfume wear time being in constant use. :)
I find it quite ironic that I would like so much a perfume that has such a prominent tobbacco leaf note as I hate cigarettes, smoking and have been against them my whole life (and expect to continue like it) and have also without success tried to convince my parents of the same.

Notes: cedar, sandalwood, tobbacco, leather, vetiver, patchouli, clove, labdanum, tonka bean, amber, vanilla, musk.

Lately I started wondering why I even bother with the notes as most of the time they just cannot even begin to describe the perfume journey you are going through while smelling something. And in this case, I really have to admit and say, most of them never popped out of this wonderfully different but totally cool perfume. At least it's different for me, I don't remember smelling such an amber tobbacco scent.

It opens with a sweet (shortly boozy) tobbacco smelling wonder. This is where I get the most of the vanilla. I don't know if I'm that sensitive to tobbacco (having to endure a smoking home most of my life) or it's really that prominent (I would need to hear about this from someone not as opposed to smoking) but the tobbacco is there for the whole ride. Not always as prominent, and almost invisible at some point, but there.
After a while, some smokiness starts appearing, but luckily for me, it's not the smell of cigarette smoke but more of a fire under a clear sky. And along for the ride came vetiver, hinting that the smoke cannot possibly be coming from an indoor fire.

One of the best thing about this is that each time you smell it as it progresses, some little thing has changed but so imperceptibly that you are not sure of you are imagining it or it's really happening. It's always the same perfume but it keeps winking at you. It makes me feel like I'm all mysterious when wearing, you can never be sure what I'm thinking and whether I'm approachable or not. ;)

Pic and notes by: Sonoma Scent Studio

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Angry scents

This morning I woke up seriously angry with the world (somewhat with myself) but mostly just angry. So, naturally, I wanted my perfume to reflect my state of mind and say to everyone who comes near me today to back away, because I'm angry and a mean - something (I won't write down what all went through my mind). The reasons behind my anger are not important now, but I'm sure we all have our angry moments.

Anyway, I stood in front of my perfume collection and had no idea what to put on that would reflect my angry state of mind.
So, I need some help now. Do you know of a scent that can make your anger waft around you?
In the end, I put on Serge Noire, but it's not meeting my angry expectations.

And as a side note, I contemplated putting on some Chanel 19 from a sample I unearthed some days ago and that caught me completely by surprise. I've tried 19 several times (because a character from Anne Rice novel wore it and I wanted to know what the fuss was about) and each time I tried it, there was nothing there for me to like.
Until I tried that sample. Oh my, I can now see why people who knew perfumes a decade ago are angry with the IFRA. I want a bottle of THAT Chanel 19 that came from my sample, not the one I've been smelling around here.
Btw, that's just one more thing to be angry about.

So, please, any angry scent recommendations would be welcome. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winter Woods

This appeared in my Holiday Gift Guide but I haven't given it a proper review yet, so the time has come to do just that.

You know how you smell a lot of perfumes and most of them (the unsignificant ones) are gone from your mind the next day? I mean, you know you smelled them but all you can remember about them is exactly that - you smelled them and no longer remember what they smelled like or just have a vague idea what they smelled like.
And then, there are the ones you smell and love them instantly and just know they are great, they are what perfumes should smell like.
That is what I think of Winter Woods (and Tabac Aurea but that is another review).

Notes: Guaiacwood, cedar, sandalwood, birch tar, cade, oakmoss absolute, castoreum, amber, labdanum absolute, vetiver, ambergris, musk.

Each time I wear this, it seems another facet pops out. First time I tried it, I thought it smelled sweet (vanillic), woody with hints of incense and slightly fruity. Then I thought I detected a vague metallic undertone which got lost as smokiness got a bit more prominent. And then I got a whiff of something that can only be described as pine resin. Quite lovely really, especially as I always associate pine woods with winter - fresh, woody and ambery.

So, I tried it again (well, wore it, then sprayed it on my arm to have it closer to my nose, wore it, sampled it), I keep coming back to it even though it's not nearly as cold here as I wish it when I wear Winter Woods.
Anyway, on other wearings I get a more ambery sweet opening (with slight booziness that comes and is fast gone) giving off richness and depth. I love it how incense here peeks through but never ever overwhelms the whole  (which can often happen, once you smell incense, everything else just fades into background). As the smokiness gets more into the wearing, the vanilla sweetness somewhat subsides but never disappears. And then at some point, I smell hints of tobacco which I would have probably missed if it weren't for Tabac Aurea getting some wearing these days as well.

The best thing about Winter Woods is that is very easy to wear (not like Tabac Aurea for which you really have to like the smell of tobacco leaves in order to wear it). It's just so likeable.

Notes and pic by: Sonoma Scent Studio

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shopping for high-end cosmetic products in Zagreb

Basically, if you really don't have to, don't do it.
I, on the other hand, don't have any choice because there is no trip abroad anywhere on the horizon for me so I did some shopping today. Well, I do it often enough to have gained some insights I'd like to share even though I don't suspect many of my readers might actually find themselves in this situation. :)

My first stop was Martimex, which used to be one of my favourite shops for high-end cosmetics and perfumes (while I still knew nothing about niche). This is not the first time I arrived and whatever I asked for particularly, they didn't have. So, I didn't find the face illuminator I wanted and ended with Touche Eclat by YSL again (it's not bad but I wanted something different). They didn't have any primers of any kind. And the eye cream I didn't ask for anything specific so I took Guerlain's home with me.  This is really starting to get on my nerves, each time I come, they don't have most of the products I'm looking for, even though they carry the lines. My purchase got me one Moschino perfume sample (one I got last time as well).
I have no idea what's happening with them, I mean, I have a pretty good guess but the way they are going, they are just losing customers. Yes, I know it's recession time and I guess they don't earn as much money as before but hey, this way they are not going to improve the situation.

Although, if they are losing customers, Iris perfumery is probably not going to be getting them. Each time I get there, all the SAs try and sell Sisley products to me. Always and all of them. Then, when I say that I have something else on my mind, we move on to that. So, today, after saying I'm not giving 200$ for a Sysleya primer (or however you spell that), I got the Sisley one. :) And lo and behold, they have a special offer - when you buy one Lancaster product, you get the other one for free. As I'm a proficient shoppingholic, I could not pass such an offer (and I'm almost done with those I have) so I got a day and night cream. All this amounted to almost the double what I paid in Martimex and earned me no samples. I guess that free cream counts as one big sample. I wouldn't even be mentioning this if it were the first time, which it isn't. And I'm certainly not going to ask for them.
You see, the thing here is, all the SAs working in stores like that don't need to buy any cosmetic products - they have all those free samples just lying there and why give them to customers when they can use them themselves.
Btw, here is where I should mention that I get more cosmetic samples from Bamapharm pharmacy where I don't buy the stuff.

And to end my rant today - I'll just mention Douglas which I didn't visit today but do it often enough. They usually have what you are looking for, if the SA can find it. Although, most of them need to be asked to just give you what it is you want because usually they cannot be trusted to suggest the right thing.
Plus, just a word of caution - which I learned the hard way, anything available to public with a lid on it (like a body butter or similar) needs to be opened prior to purchase in case someone decided before you to partly remove the foil and test the product.
But at least your bag will contain some samples.

Sorry, I had to get this off my chest - this is years of frustration pouring out. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide

I have to say I was thrilled when Trish of the Scent Hive invited me to participate in the Holiday Gift Guide blog event. I get to talk about shopping ideas? Wonderful! :) Especially since shopping brings me much joy.
The only holiday we are looking forward here is Christmas and I admit, I already have most of my shopping for that event planned out (and some actually done). Shoppingholic, what can I say.

So, let me guide you through my ideas. I'll start with the perfume ones.

My first choice and the latest discovery would be Winter Woods by Sonoma Scent Studio. As I live in a city, a perfume that can transport me for a walk in the fresh woods where you can even smell the resin from pines, well, is there a better way to refresh your Christmas day in the city? Or someone else's?
17 ml of this natural perfume will cost you 40$, and 34ml are 75$.

My next stop is the online boutique of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. She has several great holiday choices I wouldn't mind finding under my Christmas tree.
My recommendations for Christmas scents would be: Piment et Chocolat, Cimabue, Festive and Gingembre.

Piment et Chocolat can be found on Dawn's site under Perfection Connoisseur Fragrances and Les Rouges. This one comes as a perfume solid (among other variants) for this holiday season and is 45 $. 
The same goes for Cimabue which is a lovely clove fragrance and also comes as a perfume solid under the Limited Editions but if you enjoy the smell of cloves, you can add a perfumed body lotion into the mix - for 30$.
Gingembre will evoke a wonderful smell of orange and cake but one you will want to wear, as a purse spray for 35$ and shea body lotion for 27$.
Which brings me to Festive - if you want to smell sexy for a Christmas party, my suggestion is this. And, it's the most economically approachable, purse spray for 27$ and shea body lotion for 14$.
Dawn's site is not easy to navigate, so if you cannot find these perfumes, try the Search function.

My choices in  gifts usually reflect what I would like to own or receive as a gift. Lately, I've beein trying to coax people into drinking more tea, so one of my holiday gift choices are sets from Mariages Freres.
In Zagreb, their products can be found at Institut Parfumeur Flores but you can also order from their site.
The products I found would make for lovely gifts are Tea break Noël set which will set you back 46 Euros and a box of chocolates Chocolat des Mandarins - Esprit de Noël for 15 Euros.

On to some more easily acquirable/economic choices.
One of my first forays into niche perfumery was through the Irish wildness of Burren Perfumery. I still love the fact that their love of Irish nature and natural products is easily seen in what they do and how they approach life.  They have  a page for their Christmas specials, but what I enjoyed most giving my friend last Christmas were their soy candles (9,50 Euros).
If I cannot get myself over there to experience Irish nature in real life, at least I can get some of it over here and share it with my friends.
Also, if you subscribe to their newsletter, you get 10% off your first order.

And last but not least, my favourite due to the fact that it is easy to acquire and even though somewhat typical, I will be giving it this Christmas to some of my friends.
A bottle of quality red wine but since it is a Christmas gift, why not buy some cinammon and clove and put it in little bags in order to warm up and spice up the cold winter days with some mulled wine? You should probably aim for a wine with a more fruity taste and if you really want to add spice to it, add cardamom to cinammon and clove. :)

I hope your holiday season is filled with love and laughter because even though gifts will be exchanged, the most important gift we all will be getting this holiday season is the love of our family and friends.

Please visit other participating blogs for some other interesting ideas:

Thank you to Roxana for coming with the picture for the blog event.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Intrigued but not yet in love

Thankfully, there is still a lot left in my sample to fall in love with.

So, I finally got my hands on a sample of Boxeuses. For some reason, I though it was going to smell like a leathery version of Feminite du Bois. I was quickly proven wrong and then I started thinking how in the world did I get to thinking that? Perhaps somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered reading plum is a note listed and most of my SL experiences are oriental so the leap was made.

You can probably guess from my introduction that I don't think it smells like leathery Fem du Bois. :) Actually, in the beginning it smells more like you had an extremely juicy smelling lollipop clutched in your leather-clad hands. Probably sticky as well as it was handed to you by your kid standing by.
Here is where I have to say that someone forgot to mention a whole bunch of notes when deciding to make them public: woody notes, leather, licorice and plum.

Plum completely went by me. The initial fruit burst reminded me more of oranges and berries and there was something lightly floral in there, giving off some powderiness (so my mind went straight thinking there's some violet in it), but that didn't last too long. As the fruity aspect subsides, leather gets more and more prominent but it's the type of leather that's in Daim Blond which in my mind is well, too lady-like.
Given the name, I really thought this was going to be more dangerous and dark (maybe that's just me thinking box is a dangerous and aggresive sport, even if women participate). I find it serious but not really dangerous. 
Unfortunately for me, I don't know what licorice smells like. But I can tell you that I smelled light smokiness, like someone accidentally charred some of the wood in this, and it was the only thing giving a dark and bitter vibe. Maybe if I were to spray it on, this darkness would get more pronounced and therefore be truer to the name for me.

Since I have enough left in my sample, I'm looking forward to seeing if I can tease the darkness out. :)

Pic by:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Miller Harris: Piment des Baies

I seem to be on a Miller Harris kick. Well, not exactly because this is it but it is interesting how the first decant I picked this morning was another Miller Harris. One I forgot I even had and have to thank Carol for sending it. So, this morning, I opened the decant, figured it smelled ok for the warm weather we're having and sprayed it on.

You know how I said yesterday how when I smelled some of their scents, I couldn't find anything by Miller Harris to seriously like? I have to take that back. After Noix de Tubereuse which is a scent that makes me smile now (even though I'm not wearing it), I love Piment des Baies. I really do. And I actually think I can wear this all through the year.

And I'll tell you why - it's fresh but at the same time spicy and woody - it's just a perfect balance of the notes.

Notes: bergamot, orange, tarragon, red thyme, pepper, pimento berries, angelica seed, sandalwood, orris butter, Madagascan vanilla.

Ok, so I don't smell all the notes, but I do smell enough. Btw, google (or better wikipedia) really is your friend. I went to check what exactly pimento berries are and it turns out, another name for it is allspice because the English thought it combined the smell of cinammon, nutmeg and clove. No wonder I like this! :)

It opens on a sweet, slightly green citrus note (I found it a bit reminiscent of cologne, but only a bit). It's not too sweet, or too green, or too citrusy. It's just right to smell fresh but with a twist. I think the twist is probably given by both pepper and tarragon as it gives barest hints of nose pinching. But only barely.
I thought (before wikipedia) that pimento berries might smell like some kind of berries because there is a really nice juicy fruit note at the beginning of this, but I guess it's a combination of orange and spices and herbs.

What I like so much about this is that the slight juiciness combined with  pepperiness never really goes away. Sandalwood makes an appearance but never alone, the drydown is perfect, some sandalwood in a small green shrub sprinkled barely with fruit juice. And the lasting power is much better than I expected. Much better.

This one falls straight into the category of scents I never have to think about wearing. I will never mind putting it on. I don't know what to wear today? Oh, look, here is a decant of Piment des Baies. I'll put that on and won't have to wonder anymore. It just fits me.

Pic by:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Miller Harris: Noix de Tubereuse

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm late to the perfumeworld and everyone seems to have this basic knowledge of almost every line there is out there. Except me.
I did give Miller Harris a try some time ago, but none of the things I tried were great for me and I kept wondering if it's just me, or I sampled the wrong scents, or something  else, because almost every other blogger out there had a Miller Harris scent they loved. Well, now I have one too. :)

Notes: Tuberose leaves, tonka bean, orris amber, wild green clover, mimosa, violet, fig

Hmm, now I see the notes, I see there's some violet in there. I seem to be in for scents containing violet note lately and not even realizing I'm smelling it. That just makes me consider those scents very good since I'm not getting put off by its smell (it's not as overpowering as it can be for me).

And can I just say that the name of the perfume is misleading. I mean noix does mean a nut and I don't see one amid the notes. Oh well, not the first (or the last time).

What I really like about this perfume is the opening. It reminds me so much of the cough syrup  my mom used to make when I was little. It contained common mallow and smelled very sweet and syrupy. I actually loved both the taste and the smell of it.
Noix de Tubereuse has that kind of opening and after a little while, you spy tuberose peeking through it.  I think it's a very interesting take on the lush tuberose. And after a while, it gets a coconut/walnut vibe to it. I mean, if you can imagine what a nutty tuberose would smell like, you'd get this, it is very true to its name. Also, very sweet and floral, I couldn't name mimosa but I knew some other flower was hiding in there. As well as some amber giving this a sweet richness that lasts.

I am really happy I have a small decant of this because I realized that tuberouse is (as are all other white lush flowers) actually quite appropriate for autumn. At least for me, I really feel like wearing it.

Pic and notes by:

Monday, November 1, 2010

I don't like getting disappointed

And I really tried. More than once even though I knew it was no use. But my optimism never wanes so I gave it another try. And got disappointed again. I just don't know how in the world did they manage it.

The "it" I am talking about is makinga wonderfully lush tuberose/jasmine into a shrill artifical musky floral. I mean that must actually take some serious talent if you ask me. And btw, they cheated on the notes.

Notes: tuberose, jasmine, lilly, spices.

The scent I am talking about is Narcotic Venus by Nasomatto.
The name is so very true for the first hour and I absolutely love it. It is lush and narcotic and everything one might want from a tuberose perfume. It is wonderful. I even get some lilly peeking through, although I wouldn't recognize it by myself if I hadn't seen the notes. No spices though.
And there I was, every lush minute of this when strange things started happening. My lush tuberose started shape-shifting into this bland shrill floral that occupies so many shelves of perfume stores around the world. How?! Why?! I want my tuberose back!

But no. Once it disappears, it never comes back. And I'm left here disappointed and sad we got to hang out for an hour.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

JD Robb: Big Jack

I really, really wish I could keep track of all the things that interest me. But as I'm learning, that is just not possible. or just not possible for me. I happened to miss this when it came out (although I believe it came out in an anthology) so I read it now as a standalone novel.

Sometimes I get amazed at the synchronicity at play in my life. I already talked about how I'm not really my 100% self these days, and this last Saturday, I was actually so down that not even the thought of reading a book could pick me up (and that is the worst thing that can happen to me, not being able to read). And that's when I remembered I had a Eve and Rourke novel I haven't yet read. That book was a life-saver. Not because it was brilliantly better than all other In Death novels but because that series has the capability of making me pick up a book even when I don't feel like reading anything. I simply love the stories of Eve Dallas and Rourke. They are there for each other in the novels, and they are there for me when I need a pick-me-up.

The story revolves around a big diamond heist that happened sometime around now and in the book we are looking for a quarted of diamonds never found by going back and taking a look at what happened at the time of the robbery.

It's a typical Dallas story with a crime that needs solving and of course gets solved. It's really good how JD Robb (or Nora Roberts) gets these crimes to sometimes be terribly transparent who did them and sometimes completely non-transparent until Dallas lets us know who's guilty.  But that is true to that line of work - not all crimes are equally difficult to solve.

And this is all the details I'm going to give. If you're a fan of the series, it should be enough, if you never read a book from it, well, you really should and you better start at the beginning.