The Renaissance city – Firenze

That’s how I know it now, as the Renaissance city.

And it makes sense, once you take the Renaissance tour and hear the amazing history of Firenze. When I say amazing, I don’t mean it was all nice but it was definitely colorful and had a profound impact on the world at large forever (Firenze was once the economic center of the world). And that history wouldn’t have happened without the influence of the Medici family. I knew about them but I really wasn’t aware of the enormity of their legacy.

I am not going to go into detail regarding that, if you’re ever in Florence, you can take the tour and learn for yourself (my guide was Silvie and as a side note, she sings amazingly).

That’s a bit of Silvie while taking a pic at Medice palace

I want to write so many things about my three days there and not make it too long but give you as many highlights as possible.

I’ll just do a quick run-through of what stands out the most in my mind.

Be ready for a horde of tourists. Going to all the famous Florentine places like the Academy, the Dome and the Pitti palace. The best thing you can do for those is book tickets online and be there when you’re supposed to be. I didn’t know my timetable so didn’t do that and only saw those places from the outside.

Which didn’t bother me that much because I saw many other places from the inside and looking back, you can’t choose wrong with so many interesting places to visit.

Speaking of those places, ticket to any of them is between 8-10 Euros.

My selection of churches were Basilica San Marco (and the accompanying museum), Santa Croce, and Santa Maria Novella. Of the three, San Marco is the least interesting and the smallest but has a certain coziness (it actually got me to stay and listen to Italian mass as the girl playing the organ did it so lovely, and then sang lovely as well).

San Marco
Library at San Marco

Santa Croce is where many famous people are buried (Galileo, Machiavelli, Dante…) but it’s the worth the visit for the beauty of the place itself. Like Santa Maria Novella as well.

Dante’s grave
Santa Maria Novella

Which brings me to Santa Maria Novella Profumo which definitely deserves a post of its own (and is getting one). I want to say go there if you’re in Florence but be warned, money just flies out of your hands there.

My last day in Florence was the best one even though I walked 21 km. I still feel that in my legs. 😀

Anyway, a little warning, even though the Gardens of Boboli are beautiful and worth the visit, nobody tells you they are on a hill. A steep hill. So, if you plan on walking through most of the garden, be aware it’s a serious exercise. Which is why I think everyone at Palazzo Pitti was probably fit.

View from the garden towards Palazzo Pitti
Go down the garden and then you have to come up – it’s steeper than it looks here

Which brings me to the next hilly destination – Piazzale Michelangelo. Amazing view, quite breathtaking to get there. 😉

View from Piazalle Michelangelo

The last two places of my last day just plain made me happy. Climbing the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio and visiting the museum there and then visiting this little wine shop/wine tasting place. The owner is very knowledgeable and will do her best to offer you wine to taste according to your preference. I was amazed by the wines she gave me to try. I definitely recommend visiting her place – Antica Bottega A.D. 1264.

View from the Tower
Antica Bottega A.D. 1264

It’s funny how the first two days I only walked through the flat part of the city and then left the last day for all the climbing. 🙂

Sometimes I don’t think things through. 😉 But at least I have fun. I loved my time in Florence. 🙂

Lindsey Pogue: The Darkest Winter

It’s been a while since I reviewed a book. 😀 A looong while.

I’ll skip the part where I consider the amount of fiction reading I do nowadays. Oh, how times change!

This is the first book in the new series called Savage North Chronicles that shares the universe of the series I followed and enjoyed very much (The Ending series), so I wanted to read it and now I want to talk about it.

The book actually hooked me from the start. You don’t have to wait long for the action to begin and then you realize that the story already got under your skin. Partly because you empathize with the tragedies that happen, and partly because you appreciate the fact that some people don’t lose their sense of humor in the most improbable of situations (like when 90% of Earth’s population is possibly dead).

As I already knew what the consequences for the survivors were from the previous books, I couldn’t wait to see what will be the abilities our little family of people (who we follow though the North) will develop. And I’m not happy that by the end of the book I’m only guessing what Jackson’s ability is. Probably wrongly at that. 😉

My favourite quote from the book is “A restless mind is a restless soul.” For someone whose mind is restless pretty much all the time, I can feel my restlessness transferring to different parts of me (although it’s great that yoga helps me with that).

The second thing that stuck to me is that “you  find people in your life when you need them”. Thinking about it I realized it was true for me as well.

I said that I got hooked into the book from the start so the end came too soon. 😀 I was enjoying myself as the story started developing in new directions, and suddenly, the end. I should have gotten used to books that are part of series ending like that, but it always catches me by surprise.

So now, I have to practice again something that doesn’t come easily to me – patience. 🙂

Thoughts on Eat, Pray, Love

I can’t believe it took me so long to finally see this movie. And then it happened by accident. I guess some things find you at the right time which is what I think happened here.

Like the movie that found me, the book hasn’t yet so I don’t know how much justice the movie does it, but in my case it doesn’t really matter. I connected with the story quite well.

Yes, I had some thoughts on the general possibility of just quitting your daily life and leaving for a year to learn about food and meditation for a normal person. Many of us cannot afford something like that even though I think we all would love to be able to do it.

But that in my opinion is not the point of the story. For me, the point is to be brave enough to follow your heart even though everyone else thinks you’re crazy. To put it mildly. 🙂 The problem, though, is that most of us can’t hear what our heart is actually saying.

Ok, I’ll re-phrase myself. Maybe the bravest thing is to be willing to hear what your heart is telling you because that might (actually should) lead you on your soul’s quest. And honestly, how many of us are brave enough to leave our comfort zones to follow the path that is uniquely ours? Even if that journey will bring new friends into our lives and experiences that will make us more complete? Because embarking on such a journey is always a risk and never comes without its own pitfalls to drag you back into your comfort zone.

I want to be brave like that.

How about you?

Is perfume world going bananas?

I had to put this title as it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the name of the new L’Artisan Parfumeur release – Bana Banana.

That said, I would actually love to smell it! 😀 I somehow believe it might be the type of perfume that makes you smile and just lets you enjoy yourself without any fuss while wearing it.

The site only has the page in French so far and this is what the description says: Une Banane Ambrée, composition baroque, rare et généreuse : le mariage d’une guirlande de jasmin et d’un bouquet de bananes confite.



Basically it’s an amber banana composition (a combination of jasmine garland and banana jam). Might sound strange but I believe it will work.  I have trust in Céline Elena’s work.

Quick translation of the notes mentioned  would include: jasmine flower, violet leaves, nutmeg flower, iris, and tonka bean.

So, what do you think? Do you want to try it?

Skiing – the best reset

From season to season I forget how great skiing is to reset you from your everyday life. I guess any physical vacation would do that but when you enjoy winter and snow as much as I do, skiing is the best.
I spent the week in Austria (part where the weather was absolutely amazing) with friends and their families. I had the most amazing time that passed so fast I had no time for reading or doing anything else I thought I would have time for (like perfume).

I don’t know what is it about snow and winter that speaks to me but spending my days in the snow and enjoying the snowflakes falling onto my face and being able to taste them while skiing was the most perfect vacation I could imagine. And then unexpectedly dancing the night away was the most satisfying experience of my week.

I knew that being physically active is the best way of staying happy but I kind of forgot during the days of my back pain.

I am so very happy to say that yoga helped and that I skied for a week without any pain.

Hopefully you all get to enjoy snow this winter and in the meantime I’ll leave you with some photos of last week.cofcofcofcofcofcofoznordavdavdavdav

Happy New Year!

I know I’ve been seriously MIA for quite a long time and I won’t say I plan on fixing it. I always plan and then my plans go down the drain (that’s a diplomatic way of saying what I’m actually thinking) so now no more planning but living life.

I actually miss the community that blogging has introduced me into and I miss the fulfillment that writing about perfumes and books had brought me. Hopefully, when a longing becomes strong enough, you do something about it.

That is why I want to wish you all a very happy New Year where you realize what your true longings are and go about fulfilling them. 🙂

If you know them already, all the better. 😉


I don’t like it at all

I just realized my love of perfumes is back but my writing skills aren’t.

I can write about things but I’m drawing blanks when it comes to perfume. I’m really not happy about that but I lost the practice and now it will take a while to get it back.

In this post I’ll try to explain why I love the perfumes I’m writing about.

I’ve been wearing April Aromatics’ Tempted Muse before my vacation and loved it so much that the decant is gone. Btw, thank you Asali for sending it – you really know my taste. 😀

Which brings me to Undina’s post and her explanation how perfumes are thunked.


Of all the muses out there, the one that speaks to me is Urania (surprise, suprise)

My decant is done but the perfume is definitely not thunked.

After a long time, I used up a decant and now I know I want a bottle of it. It’s kind of funny that when I look back at the bottles of perfumes I fell in love with, ones that I purchased in the last few years, they were all perfumes that I labeled completely wrong with my nose.

For example, the beginning of Tempted Muse reminds me a lot of Jicky and therefore I concluded the perfume must contain lavender. Turns out, that’s not one of the listed notes.

Notes: Frangipani, tuberose, jasmine, rose otto, tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, pink grapefruit, vanilla, anis fruit accord.

Which brings me to the seductive one.

On summer vacation evening I went out for a stroll along the seaside and as this was a quick weekend getaway I brought no perfumes and just fished out of my purse one of the samples I  always have there for backup. Turns out it was Andy Tauer’s Une Rose de Kandahar.

What an amazing perfume to wear on a hot summer night!

I would never have guessed it and feel a bit ashamed. I always felt ouds were too much for heat which is the opposite of where they originated. Luckily, I found out for myself how great they work in heat.  I could smell it wafting off of me all the time but in an easy wave that is enjoyable to smell. You’re not sure where it’s coming from but you like that it’s here and want it to remain in the air around you.

Notes: Apricot, cinnamon, almond, bergamot, Bulgarian rose absolute, rose from Kandahar, bourbon geranium, tobacco leaf, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean, musk and ambergris.

Being true to the introduction, I cannot describe it better than that it’s a rose oud but I’ll work on that. 🙂 I mean out of all these notes, in the drydown I get vetiver in addition to the beginning of rose and oud. Which also isn’t a note of this perfume (oud) but hell, obviously the base notes combine well to give that impression. And that makes it even more amazing.

Now that I wrote this, I realize that it’s the small niche brands I’ve been enjoying the most lately. Little gems of novelty brilliance in the sea of sameness.

The summer of 2018

It wouldn’t be nice of me to come from my summer vacation and leave you without any photo evidence of how beautiful Croatia is. 🙂

So, I’m not going to write much but leave you with the sea and sunsets from Smokvica and Vis.ozedfedf


One morning in Smokvica



Small beach on the island of Vis is somewhere in there with beautiful white rocks


Tourist love Croatia as well – found this on a beach on the island of Biševo


Blue cave is one of the attractions on the island of Vis, and this is the cove where you can take a swim while waiting for the boat to take you to the cave




Where we went swimming every day


View of Komiža from the top of the island of Vis



Wine tasting with finger food (Lipanović wine – really good) and it’s located in an old military bunker


Komiža during day



Beach sunset and wishing for the year to come (accompanied by alcohol) 😉


The sun had set in Komiža


Srebrna beach


Sunrise over Vis

Not to end without any pictures of me, my summer ended with a beautiful wedding I attended. My cousin got married and I had the best of evenings, one of the reasons being that she made me believe in love again.

So here is my selfie from that day:




The Jicky issue

If you remember, some time ago I asked for help with opening the golden Jicky casing. I finished my bottle and wanted to remove it from the gold in order to be able to get a new one.

Optimist that I am, I thought that would be easy.

A friend of mine went to Paris this week, and of course I asked her to check the Champs-Elysees Guerlain store in order to purchase a bottle of Jicky.

Turns out there is no Jicky to be had for my golden cage. 😔

I mean, I certainly hope that is what the sales assistant meant when she told my friend that the series is discontinued. Because the other possibility is unfathomable. Right?

So, does anyone know if it’s only the Jicky in gold casing that is being discontinued? I’m still being optimistic. 😉

And if so, where could I possibly find a bottle before they are all gone?

My secret Shalimar habit

It’s not a secret that  I am a huge Shalimar fan.

I still chuckle at the irony of that, each time I write it, due to shal2

the fact that I hated it the first time I tried it.

The bad thing is that experience has shown Shalimar not really being appropriate for work. And that is where I wear perfume the most.

So, in order not to take away from myself the pleasure of smelling Shalimar, I put it into my routine of changing bed sheets.

All I can say is, it’s a win-win situation.

I spray my matress with several spritzes of Shalimar each time I change the sheets


This is what Shalimar in bed feels like

and then I go to bed with a light misty feel of Shalimar in the air. And the best thing is it lasts for a few days!

The upside to this? Additional one I mean.

I change my sheets quite often nowadays.

Ok, that didn’t come out as it should have. 🙂 But you know what I meant.

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