The sunny side of life – Monegal’s Kiss My Name

I apologize for the disappearance. Life gets rather busy sometimes. And interesting. :)

That said, the weather here’s been interesting as well. After a summer that resembled more of an autumn, we were in for some warm sunny weather. So this time around I turned to some white flowers by Mr Monegal. Ever after hearing him speak several weeks ago, I’m more and more leaning toward acquiring several more of his perfumes (Cuirelle is always a huge hit whenever I wear it).
So, I’ve been wearing Kiss My Name rather often. It  makes me think of the sunshine and happiness all in one (hence the title). The brightness of neroli just adds to the experience of the sunshine. And then tempered with tuberose and jasmine… What’s not to give you an instant smile? :-)
I’d say Mr Monegal has mastered the art of seduction through perfumes.
I am certainly succumbing to more and more of his wonderful creations.kiss my name

So now that it was sunny and warm, I was wearing Kiss My Name a lot, a Monegal version of white flowers..

Notes: tuberose, iris, egyptian jasmine, tunisian neroli and tolu balsam.

A very refreshing start with neroli, based on jasmine and tuberose and I’d swear some kind of fruit. My guess would be peach. and then tuberose slowly leaves its nice position to let neroli and jasmine take center stage, all the while lurking in the background.

I admit the iris is playing hide and seek with me (rather well as I haven’t found it yet) but the tolu balsam is what I’d say gives the wonderful longevity to this perfume and the warmth to the notes that can sometimes be shrill.

And that’s basically it. An overwhelming feeling of happiness and warmth due to white flowers.

It seems though the enjoyment of the warm and sunny is finished for this year. Tomorrow the cold weather begins…

 

P.S: I can’t help it, that makes me instantly think of “Winter is coming…” (Game of Thrones)  ;)

Lindsey Pogue & Lindsey Farleigh: Out of the Ashes (The Ending series)

Talk about wishful thinking. :) I was so sure it was the last book in the series that I didn’t even notice I was approaching the end and that there were too many things left unresolved until I actually hit the end. And realized there is one more book to come.

Oh well, at least I’ll get to enjoy the adventure one more time. :)

I don’t know if you know but this is one my favorite dystopian series in the last few years. I really enjoyed book one and then book 2 went in a completely different direction but gave us the background. Now, Out of the Ashes feels a bit like the calm before the storm hits.out of ashes

Hope brought them together, but it’s now fear that drives them…

…and threatens to tear them apart.

Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.

As Dani and Zoe make the perilous trek home to Bodega Bay, they learn that danger can take many forms–other survivors, their friends, even themselves–and that things are rarely what they seem. Zoe is desperate to become the woman she sees in others’ memories, while Dani struggles to conceal damaging secrets, risking losing herself–her humanity–completely. Together, they must rediscover the true meaning of friendship, love, and trust, and learn just how hard they’re willing to fight for what remains of their shattered world.

As relationships are put to the test, second chances are given, and new life emerges, death lurks in the most unlikely of places. To survive, Dani and Zoe must accept that sometimes hope alone isn’t enough.

I must say I appreciated the little reminders who had what kind of an ability as at the moment the cast of characters has grown quite well.

The thing I enjoyed the most in this book is the different types of emotional experiences that I couldn’t get into but could understand them. I’m not really a very emotional person so it’s sometimes difficult for me understanding women in books, especially when they get all these illogical ideas, but here, even though I thought they were being like that (illogical), I could understand where it was coming from. Almost. :)

That said, I loved how the couples have to deal with issues and resolve some difficult stuff between them if they want their relationships to continue and prosper. Because it makes them seem so real.

The only problem I had with the book is that it seemed we were supposed to imagine stuff happening as we would suddenly skip to someplace in the story and I was left wondering if I missed something or it just wasn’t there, only to realize the story is continuing like it’s all been done.

That and the fact it’s always the guys who seem far more reasonable than the girls. They are just too emotional to be logical it seems.

OK, now that it seems I didn’t enjoy it, let me dissuade you, I loved it. :) I do enjoy the story-telling and the characters and the whole plot.

Now only to stay patient until the last book comes out…

 

Kresley Cole: Dark Skye

I’m late. :)

I already forgot what I read as I read it straight away when the book came out (August 5) and well, life took its course so I’m writing about it now. Although, really, what more can be said about Kresley Cole’s IAD series that hasn’t already been said? Start reading if you haven’t already.

ETERNAL OBSESSIONdark-skye1

As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

ENDLESS YEARNING

Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

CAN THE HEAT OF DESIRE BURN BRIGHTER THAN VENGEANCE?

With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

Well, the best parts for me were the fact that Ms Cole quite successfully managed to insert pointers on what slut shaming is and how to deal with it. (yeah, wouldn’t expect that in a novel of this type, huh?)

And that we learn what awaits Nix in the future. :) I can’t wait to learn who her partner will be… Maybe some people guessed it but I have no idea. Basically, I can’t wait for her book.

Which has nothing to do with this one. ;)

But as you could guess, Lanthe and Thronos work everything out in the end, through some amazingly hot scenes (not that much actual sex ;) – amazing actually) and very difficult personal experiences (ha, that came at an opportune moment for me). I practically inhaled it, like every other Kresley Cole book out there…

Smokvica

The last installment of my vacation series.

You might wonder how I ended up there having said what I did before going on my vacation. But I was there with my ex’s sister (who is a really good friend of mine) and her two girls (and he’s not officially my ex either – what a strange life I lead…).

After the walking I did in Copenhagen and the partying I did on Vis, spending some calm time (as calm as it can be with two young girls) was just the thing.

Smokvica is actually the perfect place if you’re looking for a peaceful, family time without many amenities or tourists.

I guess the photos are always the same from there. ;) (except for the alcohol part)

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First part of a new Kir Royal recipe (rose liqueur)

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The finished Kir Royal (a tried recipe, Asali and I discovered in Copenhagen)

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View from the beach

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Other side view

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Sunset

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Walk along the shore

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God I wish I was there now!

Ramon Monegal in Zagreb

Oh yes, that did just happen! :)

Organized again by Juraj of Bl’eauOG, we were in for a great talk made by Mr Monegal. In French! I really was very happy with the fact that I spent so many years learning it because I could follow what he was saying without any problems. And he had LOTS to say.

I’ll try and give you the highlights. One thing that I’m upset about though, when I had the chance to ask him questions, I couldn’t come up with a single thing. Now that I’m home writing this, I have a full head of questions I would really like to hear his answers to. Oh well…

Basically, what I believe is the most important thing he said and one that resonates through his perfumery and his approach to clients is that we all don’t know how to use our nose for anything that is not stomach related – e.g. food. And it’s a learned thing, conditioned by our culture as babies can smell their mothers but then, at some point, we all forget to use our nose for enjoyment and identification of the world around us (like animals do).

 

He said that one of the main reasons for using perfumes is communication and nowadaysdsc_1153b people don’t have an olfactory image (like we do with the clothes we wear). They are not even aware that something like that exists. Well, we obviously are, but there were many people present today for who I could tell he was saying new things. And for him, that is the main reason perfumers came out of their labs – to educate the public of the importance of knowing the terms and recognizing the olfactory image.

Mr Monegal also explained his idea of why a perfume is like a book – with the introduction, the main part and the end. And how different notes communicate different things. I really enjoyed the idea that he so obviously espouses about it all being about communication.

I learned a lot about some notes which I’m not going to repeat here. Just that I wasn’t aware it was so difficult working with iris as it doesn’t have much longevity (and what with how expensive it is, it’s good we even have iris perfumes). ;)

I’ll leave you with one gem I really liked. There is no good/bad perfume in his mind, it’s all about the olfactory image again and the fact that perfumes can be either well worn or not well worn (depending on what you want to express with them and how they fit you). I actually like that idea as I definitely know that I cannot wear some of the perfumes I own at any time I like (Serge Lutens’ I’m looking at you).

I got to try Dubai Next To Me and I like it a lot and I basically fell in love with Impossible Iris. :) The name is a reference to how difficult it is to work with iris (the longevity issue again).

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A mini bottle waiting for each of us

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Vis

As I already mentioned, I absolutely loved my summer vacation. I was lucky that after Vis I got to spend some time in Smokvica again, so I could recuperate from Vis.

You will not be able to tell that from the pictures here, but I spent most of my nights awake having fun with a little group I met my first evening there and with friends who were there already. We basically drank and danced the nights away and I ended up getting home later and later as the nights progressed.

So I spent my nights out having fun and days sunbathing on the beach and enjoying the company of my friends. :) Which is how I ended up seeing several sunsets and sunrises (actually it was the sunrises that I was most surprised to experience – I’m usually never awake at that time). ;)

 

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On the ferry

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View of Kut (other side of the Vis village)

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Walk to a special beach

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Still walking to the beach

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Not there yet (it was a bit far)

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Close… ;)

The beach

The beach

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Small harbor

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Komiža (another town on the island of Vis)

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The special sunset when you need to wish for what you want in the next year (and be very careful as those wishes tend to come true)

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Leaving Vis at 5:30 in the morning

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Sunrise from the ferry

 

P.S. I  got warned on facebook that Komiža is not a village, so I fixed that now. :)

Copenhagen

As you probably know, I spent 8 days this summer with Asali in Copenhagen. Even though I did my best to see as much as I could each day, there are still many things I didn’t have time to see but I just hope that means I’ll be back. ;)

If I were to judge the Danes by people I met in Copenhagen, I would say they are a nice, smiling people who are always there to help you in English whenever you need something. And they also have a tendency to compliment you out of the blue (happened twice to me).

Asali was a wonderful host and an amazing cook (I never met anyone who can whip up a proper dinner in 20 minutes – and it tastes great).

So, here are the pictures of some of the things I visited. I actually managed one run while there. Luckily I did two days in because afterwards, there was no way my legs would have made it. I am still recuperating from the whole vacation experience…

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Marble church

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Cafe in a shopping centre

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View from one of the bridges

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View from a bridge

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Old Danish hot dog (and as it’s an old recipe, strange stuff can be tasted in it)

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A great place for running (old military base)

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One side of the picture (Rosenborg castle)

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Other side of the picture (Rosenborg castle)

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Botanical garden

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The beach :)

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Old stock exchange

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Windmill at Kastellet

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The Little Mermaid

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Cruise around the channels

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Cruise around the channels

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In the Zoo

 

 

 

 

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Crowns at Rosenborg castle

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Rosenborg castle

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Rosenborg castle

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Orsted park

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Orsted park

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Cruise around the channels

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Cruise around the channels

 

At dinner with Asali

At dinner with Asali

P.S. I’ll hide this here. It’s also a great city for shopping, I came back with a full bag of clothes. :D

I’m back

From my vacation and basically all I can say is – it’s been amazing! :)

I’ve had the best vacation ever (at least that I can remember at the moment).

Copenhagen was amazing, the Danes are really such nice, warm, smiling people even though their country is very expensive. But I loved every second of it, especially the time I got to spend with wonderfully nice Asali (chatting about life, perfumes and everything we could think of).

The island of Vis is really the place where unexpected happens in the best of ways. I’ll be seeing that island again.

Also, very little sleep happens there. ;)

And last but not least, the place where you go to rest, Smokvica with friends one considers family.

My mind is relaxed, I am happy and life has been good to me.

To be continued with a short travelogue of all these places…

 

I’m not gone just a bit MIA

Dear readers, I feel like last couple of years all I do is plan on writing more and it always seems like I write less. :)

I don’t really have a good explanation why that happens as I have many perfumes in my queue I would love to write about, it just seems that life has some other plans that unfortunately intervene in the meantime. Life is usually unpredictable like that. ;)nev1

The last few months have been rather tumultuous when it comes to my life, what with the quantity of work I had to do, what with separation from my long-term boyfriend, and then finally with enrolling to get my driver’s licence. And that is just the three largest things that come to mind.

As none of that is finished yet, I am sincerely hoping I organize my time and mind in a manner that allows me to write (and smell) more.

That said, I will be finally getting some well deserved peace of mind and rest when my vacation starts on the 30th (of July). Luckily, that is not far away.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some general perfume thoughts I’ve been having lately:

  • I’m not really happy with the new L’Artisans even though they are Duchafour’s work
  • I am rather happy though with Cologne du Maghreb and finally understand Andy’s idea of spraying your body with a lot of cologne, works like magic! :)
  • The Scented Hound sent some amazing perfumes for me to try (and I did), now all I need is to give them more time and write about them
  • The longer I’m in this perfume world, the more I am starting to lean towards old style perfumery – French classics are taking over my heart
  • Helped by the new Coco Chanel biography I’m reading (well, I just started) – I have a feeling it will be a good one
  • Also, I really, really want to find an old version of Chanel 5 (see previous bullet) :)
  • And Paris has been on my mind lately for several reasons, perfumes, Coco Chanel and I’m re-reading Angelique, La Marquise des Anges after I saw the new movie (beats me why it got such bad reviews…)

 

P.S. The picture is of the weather we have once a week here (give or take a few days). It’s also a bit what my life has been like lately. Which is why I loved this Portia’s post where she hid a little gem of a sentence in about loving yourself.

Life is about to get better and more fragrant!

My summer perfume staples

During the last few years, several perfumes have come into my summer rotation and stayed there. :) Of course, I don’t use only these, but these are the ones I use the most.

For the beach

Bronze Goddess - ever since it came out, it’s been in my rotation, along with the body oil that comes with it.

 

For work (when it’s not too hot)

Vamp a NY –  I find it a perfect combination of flirty but nice and very likeable (many people have commented on it smelling great)

For hot days when almost nothing works 

Eau de Cartier – which as probably everyone knows is the perfume equivalent of Gin and tonic (with lots of ice if you ask me)

and Pamplelune – with its zesty refreshing feel

For balmy evenings

Guerlain Mahora - well, I’ve been applying this for those evenings when I’m going out. Seductive and velvety. Perfect!

(I linked to Kafka’s review of it – I really enjoyed it and have no review of my own – shame on me)

So tell me what are your summer staples? I am always open to adding to my list, especially if you have more cooling choices.

By what I smelled lately (or read about), Nuit Andalouse, Cologne du Maghreb and Terracotta le Parfum might be joining the list…