Tag Archives: Vienna

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*


Vienna calling!

I was in Vienna this past weekend and had a wonderful time. 🙂

As you could have read on Olfactoria’s Travels, Birgit’s recap of our meeting, let me tell you what it looked like from my perspective.

Firstly, the reason I decided to run the Vienna City race is because it would enable me to finally meet Birgit in real life. As reasons to choose a race to run go, I think mine was rather good. 😉


I was actually almost late registering for it, I was on the waiting list as I wasn’t aware of the fact that so many people want to run it and you shouldn’t leave your registration to 3 months prior to the race.

The first thing to do on my arrival to Vienna was to pick-up my starting number so I could proceed to meet Birgit and Sandra without any worries.

One thing I learned so far is that when you meet with perfumistas, no time in the world is enough to talk about everything that’s on your mind. Which is exactly what happened. And I always get sidetracked by many things and forget to say half of the stuff I wanted to.

So, after sitting down for drinks, the girls took me to the most lovely little perfume shop you could imagine – Le Dix-Neuf. Which I would also recommend if you are a guy and want to take a look at beautiful Austrian women. 😉 The SA there was everything you could imagine, and quite pretty I should add.

She took me through one Viennese line of perfumes and one from Berlin, but unfortunately, I don’t know the names of the lines (Birgit might though).

In the end, I tried on my arms the Opus VI which I found would fit me great in winter and Byredo’s Inflorescence which smells absolutely lovely and springlike but only in theory. I wouldn’t want to smell like that personally.

Spring garden

Spring garden

Here is also where I parted ways with Birgit and Sandra, after getting extremely good instructions on how to get to Pure Day Spa in order to try the new Malle (people are rarely this good in giving instructions on how to get someplace in my experience).

I limited my curiosity to just the Malle line (forgoing all the beckoning cosmetics on display) and realized I really like the French lover too.

But my main reason for going there was to try Dries Van Noten. Even before trying it, I was pretty sure the chances were high of me taking it home with me. It seems I was correct. 🙂

I just can’t tell you what exactly it smells like. I was sure it smelled floral when trying it in Planet Spa, then when I came home and applied it for work, I smelled the sandalwood that’s in there but I still have no idea in my mind of what exactly am I smelling, I just know it is incredibly lovely and likeable.

Start of the race

Start of the race

On Sunday, I ran in the VCM, my half of the marathon. The weather was gorgeous and the race was an incredible experience. Running with so many people, always in a crowd, I never experienced anything similar. And the atmosphere was so enthusiastic and supportive.

Which is why my heart broke yesterday when I learned of the bombing in Boston. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.

Runners are like perfumistas in so many ways but the most important being – they radiate positive energy. We shouldn’t have that forcefully taken from us (the humankind).

Photos taken from: http://cuabroad.cua.edu/programs/austria/vienna-european.cfm and http://www.vienna-marathon.com

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