Category Archives: Perfume thoughts

Decants – optimism and irony

I know I’ve been MIA for a really long time (I’d rather not think about how long) and I can’t say I’m back, even though I would love to, but I will certainly try to be back. 🙂

So, in my wish to get back to writing about perfumes and just generally enjoying them more, I did a switch the other day, finally bringing out my spring and summer bottles and decants – only to have weather suddenly change back to winter. It seems to be getting back into spring luckily though.

But that’s not the point of this post.

Going through my decants, I realized I have some unnamed ones. And I am the person who didn’t label them after decanting them. The optimistic past me thought my nose and brain were so good I would remember what I decanted. But the optimistic me forgot how bad I am at remembering names. And I suck at remembering names – ask anyone who knows me.

The irony of me thinking I would remember what I decanted years after the fact, knowing how unable I am to remember names wasn’t lost on me.

So, imagine my surprise when I smelled a decant and knew that I could remember this perfume because it was so very familiar to me. But the name just wouldn’t come no matter how much I smelled my arm. And it was a perfume I really loved at one point in my perfume story.

So I let myself not think about it anymore and went on with chores.

Honestly, I love lightbulb moments and I wish I’d have more of them. My nose and my braing finally made the connection half an hour later.

It was Chinatown by Bond No 9.

A brand and a perfume I totally forgot about. I don’t read blogs much anymore but it feels like no one ever talks about Bond No 9 anymore (and I know the brand is probably responsible for that).

The thing is, I don’t really care what kind of brand is behind that perfume because I realized I still love it and think it’s absolutely wonderful in all its sweet, gourmand glory. I guess it evokes the initial gidiness of learning about a new obsession of mine (perfume), at a time when my life was much more carefree and optimistic. And now I think about it, it was quite a long time ago. 🙂

I don’t want to lose my newly found perfume optimism, but I feel old when I think about stuff like my old carefree days. 🙂 Luckily, it just makes me laugh at myself. Besides, I am not that young anymore – and the irony is not lost on me here too, because I feel younger in my mind than I did in my 20s. Probably because I don’t take things so seriously anymore even though I feel more serious. glass

I realized I never actually reviewed Chinatown. It won’t happen today either but I would actually love to talk about it a bit more.

So here’s me hoping the perfume that originally got me into loving niche is the one that brings me back into enjoying perfumes and writing about them again.

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Long time, no sea

Sorry, couldn’t help myself. 🙂 It’s been a long time since I wrote anything, and well, this post will come with sea photos. 😉 

Yes, I’m on vacation. Finally.

I had (still have) time to think about what’s been going on in my life and pondering the reasons why I no longer have the time and/or energy to read and write. Honestly though, I haven’t come to any smart conclusions. Life takes you on a path and before you know it, all that once brought you pleasure as a hobby suddenly no longer fits into the hours in a day. I hate that.

So I spent my first week of vacation basically doing nothing. Just resting from the hectic pace my life is when I go to work. 

I sleep a lot, go for a swim, do some yoga and pilates and read. I’m just doing things I enjoy and that bring me relaxation and hopefully, one of these relaxed days I will have an epiphany and realize how to make time in my routine for things that make me happy and relaxed.
Because when I’m happy and relaxed, nice things happen to me. Like talking to a neighbor and discovering a new perfume gem I now covet. 

Cartier’s La Panthere. 

I was so surprised to find myself enjoying a perfume I thought was for older ladies. 😀 Oh, well, I’m the first to admit I’m prejudiced. 

Anyway, I hope to do a review sometime in the near future. So far, I can only say that after reading the notes, I am no longer surprised I fell for it. There is gardenia hidden in its heart. 🙂 

And to leave you now with typical Smokvica sights:

I won’t be powdering my nose – Narciso Poudree

I’ll be powdering everything else I can. 😉

It’s funny – one day you’re lamenting how you can no longer find a perfume that will make you fall in love and then, suddenly, from the most unexpected place, one appears.

I’m not complaining though. Ok, maybe a little as it’s not yet out so I can’t get a bottle of  my own but in the overall scope of things, I can live with that. I can even live with the fact that I’ll be encountering many other people smelling like me once it’s released.

I think Narciso himself introduced this perfume in the clearest of ways:NARCISO image9.indd

“With the original NARCISO fragrance, I wanted to create an extremely sexy fragrance. NARCISO eau de parfum Poudrée captures femininity at its core in an even more seductive way. It is both tender and powerful and immediately addictive.”

I cannot but agree with everything stated here. I liked the original Narciso perfume but it is this one that is at the same time sexy as hell and feminine and not overpowering. It speaks to me like in all the ways I didn’t think a perfume can. It reminds me of younger days when I thought Very Irresistible by Givenchy was all the rage. There is a character note they share (rose) and where Very Irresistible made the air in the room unbreathable with its overbearing silage, Narciso Poudree is the wisp of air that makes you turn your head in search of the sensuality you think you noticed and want to make sure you didn’t imagine, because it smells too good to be truly there.

Yes, it’s obvious I’m in love, isn’t it? 🙂

Notes from I gathered from the press release include: jasmine, Bulgarian rose, vetiver, black cedar, white cedar, powdery musc.

Before going on to what I smell, I want to say a big thank you to Raquel Zimmerman who made me re-think the fact that synthetic muscs will never work for me. It is obvious this was made expertly as this perfume never veers off into territory where muscs take over, even though the longevity is here – my blotter still smells amazingly strong after 3 days and it smells great.

I admit with shame now that when I first smelled this I have no  idea what it was I was smelling, I just loved it from the first spray. The best thing I can say for myself is I understood why they named it Poudree. 🙂 It took me a while to understand that rose was the one seducing me from the start, accompanied by her minions whom I ignored. It is only now that I smell the drydown again and again I can understand where vetiver comes into play (I would never have guessed it was there by myself) and I would swear there is some vanilla in the base as the warm, seductive sweetness it exudes cannot all be attributed to the mentioned notes.

I love the powdery feel of this perfume as it keeps the rose in check and I love that the creaminess you feel in this perfume is a sleight of hand done by jasmine. And even though I would say that vetiver adds its dryness and sweetness to the poudree part of the name and the perfume drydown, I still think a drop of vanilla helps. 😉

So, I hope now you are all as eager as I am to see Narciso Poudree released.

Please let me know what you think once you get the chance to smell it.

 

And I would like to say a big thank you to Ivo who shared this gem with me. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling in France – Paris

In December I finally had a chance to visit Paris again, even if it was only for two and a half days. It was a quick getaway that happened at exactly the right time to re-charge my batteries before work hit me hard for the rest of the month.

I arrived on the first Sunday of the month and the optimist in me thought to visit museums for free. 🙂 This is the closest I got to a museum – this is Rodin’s. Louvre and Musee d’Orsay were out of the question, the queues were unbelievable! Still, just walking in the gardens of Musee Rodin was a beautiful experience.

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So, since my free entrance to Louvre was out of the question, I decided to pay for it and used most of my Monday to stroll around it. I seem to have been fascinated with staircases this time around but I’ll post just one picture of them (ok, maybe two). 🙂

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There are so many beautiful things to see in Louvre. I’ve been there once already, my first time in Paris, but I really wanted to visit it again.

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The jewelry on display is “magnifique”!DSC_1394[1]

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This time I was actually able to snap a rather ok photo of Mona Lisa.

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It is not a worthy trip to Paris if you don’t visit a perfume shop and this time, my perfume wanderings took me to Jovoy (no pictures from there but a perfume did come back 😉 ) and to Caron which had an amazing Christmas display in their window. I didn’t buy anything there but the SA was amazingly nice and cooperative and explained everything. I went away with arms smelling of many perfumes and a sample of Poivre.

Honestly, I feel old French perfumery is calling me back to its folds. I seem to enjoy it more and more.

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Of course that no trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to Guerlain. This time a friend and I decided to visit the famous tea room (Le 68 Guy Martin) at Guerlain and it was the first time I discovered what the French insolence feels like. You see, you need a reservation for the place and we didn’t have one. But as it wasn’t really full we somehow managed to convince them to let us in for tea and cake.

That was misstep number 2. You see, you cannot come around 2 for tea and cake. 😀 Because that is lunch time. As we were very haughtily informed. Still, they obviously made an exception in our case.

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And since I didn’t know if taking a photo of my dessert would be misstep 3, I took it quickly so it’s not the best one.

That said, once we started eating our dessert and being so obviously appreciative of it, the chief waiter (one being frenchly mean to us) actually appeared with a smile on his lips. Honestly though, this was I believe the best dessert I ever had in my life. And I can’t even remember its name and can’t find it on the restaurant’s menu either (some kind of chocolate profiterole).

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My Guerlain visit ended with a purchase of Shalimar tea. Again the optimist in me thought I’d buy more than just Shalimar tea, but once I saw the prices, additional tins were out of the question. 🙂 Oh well, at least I tried one of them with my dessert. 😉

My New year’s resolutions

(not that they usually do me any good, I just basically follow my own way 😉 )

But, I woke up today with all the possibilities for this year clear in my head and with a strong urge to make them happen. Who knows, maybe now when I write them down, some of them actually happen. 🙂 I.E. I make them happen. 😉

1. Write more. Especially about perfume (there are many great perfumes I’ve tried lately that I want to write about).

2. Get organized – I have this feeling that if I get my different parts of my life better organized, it would make me faster when doing something and less stressed when I’m in a hurry

3. De-clutter all aspects of my life. I really feel I have too much stuff. Yes, I love shopping (I’m a true consumerist) but I would enjoy my stuff more if it didn’t get lost among all other stuff. 🙂

4. Figure out what is it that I want to do. Really want to do.

5. Do more yoga. Or pilates. It goes extremely well with running. And does wonders for my lower back.

6. Relax. I’m a really tense person who wants everything right now. I realized I have a problem enjoying the moment so I want to learn how to do that. Or just be more aware of it so I can enjoy life more. There’s no hurry. 😉

7. Keep on running. Ok, that’s nothing new but running helps me in so many ways that I just want to keep on doing it.

Profumo di Rovigno

I would have been a very bad perfumista if, when possible, I wouldn’t had visited the only different perfume shop in town where I was staying. In Rovinj, it was a little shop called Profumo di Rovigno where I spent more money than I expected, all thanks to the lovely owner and her products.

There are only two perfumes, the woman and man variant of Profumo di Rovigno and I admit that the woman version is a really nice floral. It contains the synthetic musks I have a problem with, but I still liked it a lot and thought is was extremely reasonably priced for the perfume you got (it’s been a while but I think it was around 30 Euros for 100ml).

The things I bought were a home perfume with the note of oud – La Notte di S. Lorenzo, a herbal/floral refreshing water Aqua di Rovigno and several soaps. There is something for everyone in that shop, I dare you go there and leave empty-handed. 😉

I thouroughly enjoyed my experience and almost succumbed to the amazingly beautifl silk scarves they have (that would be the only reason to advise anyone to not go there – they might succumb to silky temptation).

Still, if you’re ever in Rovinj, go visit the store, it’s definitely a place to see and smell and enjoy your senses, both scentual and sensual.

You can check more of what they have on offer on their site.

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Entrance

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Interior

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The owner

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Soaps! 🙂

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Frond body wrap by Burren Perfumery

Yes, yes, I’ve been remiss in writing anything but here I am with something I’d like to share with you. I’ve been a huge fan of Burren perfumery ever since starting my perfumista journey. I like their perfumes but it’s actually their body products that I adore.

The last one on that list being Frond body wrap (Frond comes as edp as well but that’s less important now).lotion-frond

The important thing is how I smell after I shower and put on the Frond body lotion. It’s one of the more amazing body products I’ve tried in quite some time. In this case both because of the texture and smell.

First time I tried it I thought the smell was a bit too much. I have no idea what I was thinking then. 😉 OK, the smell is actually very strong but in my case I like it as I shower before going to bed so this comes as  my night perfume.

Here is what the Burren site says about it:

“A sophisticated, feminine perfume possessing warmth, sensuality and an underlying complexity. The freshness of cut grasses sharpens the rich scents of Wild Rose, Violet and Ylang Ylang with the soft Sandalwood base notes bringing depth and finish.”

In all honesty, that’s not exactly what I smell, or more precisely what you imagine when you read this is not what you smell for one simple reason – it smells like an old French perfume with one difference, it somehow smells clean at the same time. I’d swear there is some lavender hidden in there as well but you smell a slightly bitter floral bouquet which I find perfect for these hot summer nights we are having at the moment. Just the smell of this body wrap makes me feel cooler.

And now just to make you want it more, it is actually a wonderful body wrap, it makes your skin soft and it gives it a lasting moisturizing feeling. You actually get the best of both worlds, the perfume and a great body lotion.

No wonder I am in love with that lovely perfumery. So, if you’re interested, go check their site and you can follow them on Facebook.

Quick perfume thoughts

After quite a long time, I finally got to see some of my perfume friends and we shared what we have acquired lately that each of us might like to try (I didn’t have much though).

So, here is what I remembered from the quick sniffs I took today:

Piguet Knightsbridge – a lovely, boozy, warm perfume for colder days, it really hit all my boozy-vanilla-amber buttons 😉

Amouage Opus IX – in the beginning it’s a monstrously dirty jasmine/something (and dirty coming from me is really something), 2 hours later it smells like a slightly bitter floral, rather nice

Mugler Cuir Impertinent – the surprise of the meeting (at least for me) – a really wearable light leathery smell with a rather green-herbal opening and undertones of Angel, I can see myself wearing it easily

Odori Iris – nice feminine iris with no big projection, actually a rather soft and elegant feel

MFK  Oud – well, it’s anything but oud if you ask me (at least what I’m used to when it comes to oud), and if you take it like that, a rather nice perfume that works as edc just fine

TDC I miss Violet – also a perfume without much projection but with a soft side and easy smile. I had a bit trouble smelling it in the beginning as it was so light but later I got the lovely violet tones (and I get light fruitiness in the drydown)

There were also the Zoologist perfumes: Beaver, Panda and Rhinoceros and I am honestly pleasantly surprised how much I liked them.

It’s that time of year (again)

When the linden trees are blooming in Zagreb. 🙂

I’ve been debating with myself if I should post about it (again) but walking the streets of Zgareb the last few days in the summer sun (it feels so warm) and smelling the lazy, sweet, seductive smell of the linden flowers, I just can’t help myself but share it. linden

It will last for a week, maybe two and the smell will be gone and I’ll forget again how many linden trees are in Zagreb and how wonderful it smells when they bloom.

Plus, they always make me think of my childhood. I just realized that they bloom close to the end of the school year. No wonder my memories of that smell are so positive. 😉

Aedes de Venustas – Palissandre d’Or

Like with all perfume releases, the story is full of dreamy and seductive phrases to make you fall in love with perfume even before you smell it.

Now that you know that, you don’t have to read it, smelling it will be enough for true love. 🙂

At least it was for me.palissandre-dor-web

It’s been so long since I smelled something new and fell in love with it instantly. So long that I started wondering if it was still possible. Turns out it is.

I won’t talk about the idea behind it or what it is supposed to evoke. I’ll just talk about what it evokes for me.

First of all – surprise.

It starts off with pink pepper, which I learned from the press materials I received, is the note introduced into perfumery by Alberto Morillas, the perfumer behind Palissandre d’Or (no wonder it works so great, he obviously knows how to use it).

So, how does it really smell? Hard to tell. 😉 The pink pepper dances around with the spices (cinnamon  and coriander) with kind of booze in their hands (nutmeg, ambroxan and copahu balm) while the warmth in the background smells of slightly burnt amber and smoke. All wearing classy clothes.

Notes: Ambrette, pink pepper, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, sandalwood, copahu balm, cedar trio (Chinese, Alaskan and Virginian), patchouli, ambroxan

If I were to sum it up in three words I’d say polished, elegant and seductive, especially if worn by a man. No wonder I like it so much, what with my leaning toward the masculine side (I so wish I could have said the “dark side” now). 😉

The longevity is great but the longer it works, the more masculine it smells. You lose the warmth and the light sweetness (not to mention the boozy side of it) and are left with an elegant trail of polished, slightly spicy creamy woodiness (mostly sandalwood).

 

 

P.S.  With this perfume I realized Aedes de Venustas is my new favorite house. I loved Iris Nazarena and I love this. I tried their Oillet Bengale the other day and I need to try it again as it showed promise.

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