Category Archives: Joint blog project

Brave New Scents: Avalon by Ambrosia Jones (Perfume by Nature)

Avalon is one of those imaginary places I wish existed and I could visit it. Possibly with all the legendary characters being there at the time. πŸ™‚

In place of that, smelling it suits me just fine.

Here is Ambrosia’s description of Avalon:

“A Magical Perfume full of sweet apples, waiting for harvest in the sacred groves of Avalon… the soft earthiness of hay drying in the fields on a soft late Summer’s eve… and as the sun goes down, the scent of incense arises and you can almost hear chanting as the Magic begins to grow around you…”

And here are the notes:
Top notes: apple CO2 and distillate, neroli

Midnotes: rose du mai, green mandarin, apple blossom accord
Base notes: labdanum, hay, fir balsam, amber acco

This is a magical perfume.

I get surprised by the opening each time I spray it. The hay in there is full of blooming flowers making the air around it fragrantly spicy. Apple orchard is close by but not much as the fragrant air bears only hints of it. And someone must have bit into an apple as it’s flavour is wafting in the air. I believe that someone prefers the apple with some nuts?
It’s already early afternoon as the sun has beat heavily on the hay to make the air so fragrant.
The late summer languidness is in the air and anything is possible.

Is magic in the air?
Or are we only imagining the possibilites, drowsing in the sun?

Possibly falling asleep and dreaming of the ambery sweetness in fragrant lands.

If only the dream would last…

And now for the best part. Ambrosia is offering a 5ml perfume oil to one lucky commenter! πŸ™‚

Please check out the other participating blogs (and more chances to win some natural bravery):

 Feminine Things
Perfume Shrine
The Perfume Critic
Ca Fleure Bon
The Examiner

And Perfumers:

Lord’s Jester
Perfume by Nature
Anya’s Garden Perfumes
Providence Perfume Co.
House of Matriarch
Belly Flowers
a wing and a prayer perfumes
JoAnne Bassett
One Seed Perfume
Ascent Natural Perfumes

P.S. Did you know that Avalon probably comes from Welsh afal meaning apple?

Brave New Scents: Carmine by Christi Meshell (House of Matriarch)

I’m happy to be participating in the Brave New Scents project as it enabled me to learn more about the ingredients used in perfumery regardless of whether they were new – which is what this project is all about. The perfume notes that became available to perfumers after the year 2000.
They were all allowed one “wild card” note – a note that was in wide circulation before the turn of 21st century.

I have to say they all made very good use of both the brave new ingredients and their “wild cards”.
Let me tell you about it. πŸ™‚


Notes: Hiba, Kewra, Tagetes, black pepper, Michelia alba, Michelia champaca, Davana, patchouli, vetiver, tonka, oakmoss; white copal tincture, bruizinho tincture, tobacco tincture, Chai massala tincture, Africa stone tincture, celestial amber tincture, sandalwood

Where to start?
Here is what Christi has to say about Carmine:
“A brave new perfume created in an ancient tradition, Carmine returns the wearer to a basic truth:
Nature is the Ultimate Luxury.
A formula of natural ingredients too obscure and costly for use in mass produced perfumes, Carmine offers something strange and unique to the perfume connoiseur.”

And I concurr. I’ve had such lovely time getting to know this perfume.
But now that the time has come to talk about it, the first thing to come to my mind is that I’m seduced by it. It taught me about the natural ingredients I didn’t know the smell of, we were together on a path of learning and now I’m at its mercy.

Carmine reeled me in with its easy to love fruity jungle opening. The fruitiness is hidden among the vintagey oakmoss and the green vine vibe, so that the fruity sweetness can only be glimpsed amidst all this.
There is no point in describing the notes because they all come together to transport you to a place you’ve never been before.

Although learning what hiba, kewdra and davana smell like certainly helped in making this strange place become more comforting to me.

And then you go deeper in, where the light is no longer as penetrating as it was in the beginning and the patchouli/oakmoss/sandalwood bed beckons you to rest in it. Seduction was never easier because once you hear the call, you will lie down, smile and let yourself enjoy the seduction Carmine wrought on you.
You also won’t be getting up any time soon. πŸ˜‰

If you want to enjoy the strange seduction Carmine will make you experience, please comment as Christi was very generous and is offering a full 4 oz collectable crystal bottle with ground glass stopper and silver flip top (extremely expensive!).

Please visit other participating blogs for other brave scents and a chance to try them:

Perfume Shrine

Ca Fleure Bon

Feminine Things

Perfume Critic

The Examiner

And here is the list of participating perfumers:

Lord’s Jester

Perfume by Nature
Anya’s Garden Perfumes
Providence Perfume Co.
House of Matriarch
Belly Flowers
a wing & a prayer perfumes
JoAnne Bassett
One Seed Perfume
Ascent Natural Perfumes

P.S. Pictures by and Anya McCoy (the logo for the project).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Blog event

It finally arrived!
The next 10 days (but I guess it won’t take us all so long as the perfumes are very interesting) several bloggers will talk about different perfumes that were sent to us as creations based on Shakespeare’s play.

Here is where you can see who already talked about which perfume.

This is where I’ll add I am very happy I’m participating as I got to smell perfumes from perfumers whose work I never tried before and I finally read the play (watching movies and plays doesn’t count if you don’t read the original).

Here is the list of participating blogs:

Bloody Frida



Perfume Smellin’ Things

Feminine Things

Perfume Pharmer

Le Parfumeur Rebelle

Scent Hive

The Windesphere Witch

Fragrance Belles-Lettres: The Magazine

And here is the list of participating perfumers:

Charna Ethier ~ Providence Perfumes

Lisa Fong ~ Artemisia Perfumes
Yuko Fukami ~ Parfum Phyto

Shelley Waddington ~ Envoyage Perfumes

JoAnne Bassett ~ JoAnne Bassett Perfumes

Ambrosia Jones of Perfumes by Nature

Libby Patterson of Libby Patterson Organics

Ane Walsh ~ ArtesΓ£ Perfumista

Justine Crane ~ The Scented Djinn

Lisa Abdul-Quddus ~ Blossoming Tree
Ayala Moriel ~ Ayala Moriel Parfums

Ankica Milic ~ Be-Bellatrix

Tanja Bochnig ~ April Aromatics
Alfredo Dupetit ~ BioScent

Jane Cate ~ A Wing & A Prayer Perfumes

Amanda Feeley ~ Esscentual Alchemy

I’m looking forward to reviewing mine very soon!

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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). πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜‰

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.

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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 Β©2010 Megan Ruisch

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. πŸ™‚ I don’t know when that particular tradition started but I really love it. πŸ™‚

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 Β©2010 Megan Ruisch

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 Β©2010 Megan Ruisch

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! πŸ™‚ 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 NoΓ«l set which will set you back 46 Euros and a box of chocolates Chocolat des Mandarins – Esprit de NoΓ«l 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. πŸ™‚
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.

Scents of the Mediterranean the World Over

First off, I have to say that I love the idea for this blogfest – my love of the Mediterranean and my love of scents all in one. I feel lucky to live in Croatia where each time I go for a vacation, of course I go to the Adriatic coast and enjoy my little part of the Mediterranean. It is also why my idea of the Med is associated with the sunny summer days at the beach even though I know that any season at the Med can bring it’s own scentful rewards.

But this also posed a problem. How to describe that fragrant Mediterranean air in terms of perfumes I know?
Well, nothing worth doing is ever easy in the beginning but I will do my best to highlight some of the scents that make my heart do a happy, dancing beat.

So, I decided to start with the figs. As those of you who read my blog know, I love the smell of figs but for today’s purpose, I decided to choose just one. The one that evokes the best my summer time in a little village at the Adriatic coast named aptly Smokvica (which means “little fig”). It was a hard battle between L’Artisan’s Premier Figuier and Molinard’s Fleur de Figuier.

And Molinard won. This is the one that most closely resembles the cool shade and smell of the fig tree from which we gather figs in our summers there. The one that transports me straight to the summer even if I’m smelling it in the middle of winter.

When thinking about this topic, I came up with the fig straight away but then I got a bit stymied. There are so many scents out there that smell like tropical summer but that is not what my Mediterranean summers smell like. They smell more of the salty, herbal breeze that gives off coolness for the nose (not really to the body during the summer). The smell of heat rising from the dry soil amid firs and some sunscreen wafting on the air.

This made me realize I smelled something this year that instantly brought to my mind the image of a Croatian beach – Heeley’s Oranges and Lemons Say The Bells of St. Clemens. It smelled like my idea of summer, being on a sunny beach in the shade of firs and junipers and the smell of Coppertone wafting in the air.

And I saved my last Mediterranean discovery for last. Actually, I can’t say I discovered it, more like Carol made me discover it when she included me in her blog project of Unlocking an Unknown.
It’s Mr. Webber’s 6T.

This one doesn’t smell exactly like my idea northern idea of the Mediterranean – this one smells like my southern idea of the Med. Where heat comes off in waves from everywhere – from the sun up in the sky and from the soil where you’re standing and from the rocks scattered around and the salty breeze from the sea makes you feel coated in the smell of sun, sea and aromatic air surrounding you.

Honestly, I wish I had more scents in my mind that evoke the Mediterranean, but that’s why I’m hoping that all other blogs participating in this blogfest will come up with new scents for me (and you) to try so please go visit what they all had to say on the topic. πŸ™‚

I would just like to say thank you to Elena of the Perfume Shrine for joining me in organizing this and to everyone participating, thank you for joining us in this quest after the scents of the Mediterranean.

Bonkers about Perfume

I Smell Therefore I am

Notes from the Ledge

Perfume Journal
The Non Blonde

Waft by Carol
Hortus Conclusus

A Rose Beyond the Thames

Smelly Blog

Katie Puckrik Smells
Perfume in Progress

Roxana Illuminated Perfume

Scent Hive

Perfume Shrine

Under the Cupola

Unlocking an Unknown

I was very happy when Carol invited me to join her blog project which came about when she discovered the Weber collection and a little stash of bottles containing perfume she named Mystery 6T.
I’ve been spending a lot of time with it this last week and I still feel a bit lost when the drydown comes and all the flowers envelop me. The flowers are like my little lost friends that I know but cannot name. And I’m going about this all wrong. πŸ™‚
Let me start at the beginning.
Mystery 6T will remain  mysterious for me because I will never know for sure what are the notes. But I will forgive my little mischievous marvel because I don’t mind letting it keep some mystery for itself when I get so much joy when it envelops me.
It’s been on my mind for some time now, the smells of the seaside, especially down at the middle and southern Adriatic coast. The ambiental smellls there are different than on the northern part. The soil smells different, the plants are different, the air is more saturated with heat, it just smells different than the north where I spend my summers these days.
And that is where Mystery transported me – to the south of Adriatic, to a beach where air is saturated with heat and the smell of Coppertone, while there is a salty sea breeze carrying whiffs of spruces and firs under which people take cover from the sun.
I suppose this is quite a strong hint that I like my little Mystery? πŸ™‚

And while it lets me have some fun in the sun, after some 45 minutes, it’s time to get out of that sun and lay in the garden. The salty breeze can be found amid the flowers but it’s the sweetness of flowers that brings joy now.  Who are my flowery friends? I seem to know you but I’m guessing at your names? Rose? Iris? Jasmine? I don’t really care as long as you stick around on this sweet cloud you have me trapped on.

I don’t think I’m transporting anyone near me though. Not that I mind, I like some solace when enjoying the company of such a mysterious friend.

If you want to hear what other people have to say, please visit the participating blogs:


Abigail at I Smell Therefore I Am


Grain de Musc

Perfume Journal

Bloody Frida

sponsored by WaftbyCarol
And, if you are interested in having a little Mystery bottle yourself (and believe me, you are interested) post a comment on any of the participating blogs as to why you should have a bottle of this rare , unreleased parfum and we will choose the most creative reply as the winner of a 15 ml , full bottle of Mr Webber’s parfum 6T , one of the 22 bottles in existence !!
P.S. I just have to say this – this is where I found in existence what an aquatic note should smell in my opinion. Not that ozony, terrible thingie (I apologize to all those who enjoy Cool Water and the likes) but this salty summer breeze.

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