2013. The year that was

I have no better words to describe it. It was, it’s over now.

I look back on it and all I can think is, thankfully, it’s over. Nothing bad happened to me but it still felt like a bad year, full of bad news (both domestic and international), lethargy, indifference, deaths – generally, a year that didn’t display human kind at its best (an understatement) and did display it at some of its worst.

I always feel guilty for thinking like this, I feel I am being ungrateful. Compared to most of the world, I lead a life of plenty. And realistically speaking, it’s true. I lack for nothing, quite the contrary, I have a great family, a nice job, a good education, great circle of friends. I live in a beautiful country. I travel. I can buy perfumes and books. I am also healthy and hopefully will remain so.

So why feel like my year was one I just went through? Because it was. It mostly feels like a year where I went through all the motions of my everyday life when actually it felt more like hibernation with some small sparks of life.

But I want to focus on all the positive things this year brought me (because it feels like the hibernation period might be over) and one should always bring in the new year on a positive note. 🙂



This year has brought me some true treasures. 🙂black smoke

I discovered Cuirelle by a lucky chance and fell in love completely.

Suzanne opened my eyes to what incredibly happy perfume 24, Faubourg is.

I listened to Maurice Roucel give a talk on perfumes and met some new perfume friends.

And then the new Puredistance Black came out. And speaking of black, it really has become my favorite color to wear.




I discovered I am hooked to post-apocalyptic novels of any and every caliber – YA, horror, zombie, romance – you name it, I’ll probably enjoy it. I do wonder about what that says about me because I’m scared of the actual possibility (some of them sound too realistic). Am I preparing for the possibility?!passage

I haven’t read World War Z but I did see the movie and loved it. I’m guessing the book is better. When someone asks me what I want for birthday, that will be on my list (although I can already see the eye-rolling accompanying my wish for more books). 😀

I also think I will never reach my annual goal of 100 books. Last year I came closest, but this year, I think it’s the worst so far. Maybe I should sign up for the 50 books a year challenge, I would be able to finish that one. 😉



The highlights of my year have been the trips to Vienna and Rome. In Vienna I finally got to meet the lovely Birgit and her boys, with an additional surprise of meeting Sandra and her son as well.

Rome was a trip we planned while in Paris in 2012. I cannot say how happy I am that I got to meet with Suzanne, Mark and Asali in Rome again. I thought there wasn’t a city in the world that could remove Paris from the top of my list of places I would love to live, but there’s Rome. I love that city and I hope to visit it again soon.

View from the park above Spanish steps

View from the park above Spanish steps

It might seem like I had a very active year, what with finishing 4 half-marathons in 3 different countries, but that was an uphill fight all the time, as all I wanted to do was stay home and read, and not go out and run. Still, you can’t tell that from the races, so at least it looked good on the outside. 😉


See how tired I was?!

But I took time off for the last two months as I needed to replenish my physical and psychological energy levels. I actually feel better now.

So, without further ado,

Wishing you all a successful, fulfilling New Year full of happiness, laughter and joy!

*off to toast to that with a glass of champagne*


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24 thoughts on “2013. The year that was

  1. lucasai December 31, 2013 at 13:29 Reply

    wishing you all the best, happy New Year’s Eve and see you in 2014.


    • Ines December 31, 2013 at 14:38 Reply

      Thank you Lucas! See you in 2014.! 🙂


  2. dgambas December 31, 2013 at 15:28 Reply

    Happy New Year, Ines! Great end of the fragrant year with yeserday’s article about PHI.


    • Ines December 31, 2013 at 20:20 Reply

      Thank you very much Damir! 🙂
      All the best to you and your family.


  3. lynnsbooks December 31, 2013 at 16:07 Reply

    Hope your 2014 feels less like hibernation for you. Cheers.
    Lynn 😀


    • Ines December 31, 2013 at 20:21 Reply

      Thanks Lynn!
      And hopefully many great read-alongs next year! 🙂


  4. Olfactoria December 31, 2013 at 16:22 Reply

    I wish you a much, much better 2014, dear Ines. Lots of sparks of life, less periods of hibernation (and I wish for the same for me). 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your favorites and highlights. (BTW, I went through the three HG books in two weeks but forgot to tell you, please email me, you said you wanted to ask me something).
    Many hugs.


    • Ines December 31, 2013 at 20:23 Reply

      Dear Birgit, hopefully your life sparks to unseen heights next year! 🙂

      Will write that email soon, plus I want to know more what you thought of the books. By the looks of the time it took (what with your boys), I’m guessing it was good. 😉


  5. Suzanne December 31, 2013 at 16:48 Reply

    Dear Ines, here is hoping that 2014 brings you a wonderful sense of rejuvenation. I hope it does for me, as well, as I certainly let my own train get terribly off the track at the end of 2013. But you’re right in that we have much to be grateful for, and the highlights were certainly beyond wonderful (and by that I mean our trip to Rome … seeing the Colosseum with you on the first day of our vacation together was an auspicious start to what turned out to be a wonderful time with you and Asali).

    So glad I could turn you onto Hermes 24 Faubourg. I’ve been wearing the Elixir des Merveilles you sent me; it doesn’t smell as gorgeous on my skin as it does on yours, but I love it all the same, and if I can think of a way to write about it, I will. 🙂 Thank you, and Happy New Year to you!


    • Ines December 31, 2013 at 20:26 Reply

      Dear Suzanne, I hope you get back on the track you choose for yourself. I finally learned not to feel guilty for not doing everything I for some reason thought I ought to be doing. If I want to be lazy, I’ll be lazy! 😉
      The trip to Rome is something I will never forget – and when I remember how I thought 4 days would be quite a lot, turned out they flew by so quickly.

      A very happy, relaxed New Year to you and Mark with lots of love from Zagreb!


  6. Natalie December 31, 2013 at 19:29 Reply

    Happy new year, Ines! One of the highlights of my year was meeting you and traveling in your beautiful country. I’m already looking forward to visiting again, hopefully soon. I’m wishing you less hibernation in 2014, and every other good thing.


    • Ines December 31, 2013 at 20:28 Reply

      Thank you very much dear Natalie! Meeting you was unexpected joy, especially as you came to Croatia. 🙂
      I do hope to see you again here (not that I would mind meeting you anyplace).

      Wishing you all the best in the New Year!


  7. Undina January 1, 2014 at 01:44 Reply

    Happy New Year, Ines!

    I hope 2014 will be better for you. And for all of us.


    • Ines January 1, 2014 at 14:36 Reply

      Happy New Year dear Undina!

      Let your words turn into gold (that is unfortunately a direct translation from Croatian but I feel it’s apt). 😉


  8. Kafkaesque January 1, 2014 at 17:03 Reply

    Happy 2014, Ines! I hope the new year is a better one for you. 24 Faubourg was a favorite of mine for years, almost like a signature scent, so it made me smile to see another admirer. As for the 4 half-marathons, I’m hugely impressed. I find exercising to be utter torture, and yet, I’d so love to do it — in theory. As a result, I always admire those who are fit and capable of doing any sort of feat of exertion, let alone a half-marathon!

    I look forward to getting to know you even better in 2014. 🙂


    • Ines January 1, 2014 at 21:47 Reply

      Thank you Kafka! Happy New Year to you too! 🙂

      You know, I always feel slightly guilty when people consider me fit, I am not even close to running fitness of my fellow club members (I’m among the slowest) and it’s always a fight with myself to go do something as I am lazy that way – I would rather be at home with a good book and a glass of wine.
      I compromise a lot when it comes to my schedule and the things I’d like to do. 😉

      I look forward to getting to know you better as well – who knows, your road might lead you to Croatia… 😉


  9. Anna in Edinburgh January 2, 2014 at 01:19 Reply

    Wishing you a happy New Year!

    I hope you don’t fret about not reading a set number of books for any given period of time; ticking books off to reach a certain number won’t make those books enjoyable, really, so “read what you like when you like” is my motto. (I still wince at how we had to career through so many books too hastily during my degree course.)

    Actually, looking at your summary of 2013, you achieved a lot, so here’s to 2014!

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh


    • Ines January 2, 2014 at 13:05 Reply

      Thank you Anna! A very happy New Year to you as well. 🙂

      I do read what I enjoy but when I think about how much time I spend reading and how much I enjoy it, I get optimistic about hitting the 100 mark. Too optimistic it seems. 😉

      Well, I’ll certainly keep trying. Thank you for the support.


  10. parfumistasdiary January 3, 2014 at 14:41 Reply

    Wishing you a happy New Year! And if it is any confort for you, I’ve read less than 10 books, but I’m very happy I had managed to do at least these.


    • Ines January 8, 2014 at 11:51 Reply

      Thank you – and I hope this year sees you writing more often. 😉


  11. flittersniffer January 4, 2014 at 16:50 Reply

    Happy New Year, Ines! With all your runs in 2013, it feels counterintuitive to think of you as remotely in hibernation, compared to my own sedentary and sluggish self! And I am happy you enjoyed those great perfumista meet ups – they are always good for the soul. I am also envious of how much you read. I think the time I might have devoted to reading has been taken up with emailing friends and – dare I say it? – the often fun, but ultimately timewasting vortex that is Facebook.


    • Ines January 8, 2014 at 11:53 Reply

      Thanks flittersniffer, but really, it took quite a lot out of me to get myself to run.

      Well, we all devote our free time to an activity we like, you do more of an interactive reading while I do a passive one. 😉


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