Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tag: Outside My Window

I stole this tag from the lovely lady at Pandora's Box. The tag is about showing the world what's outside your window. 
I'd love to see what is outside your window too, fellow bloggers! If you like the tag, make sure you post the pics on your blog. Would be very interesting!

So, this is what I wake up to! A typical city apartment with buildings everywhere, just the way I love it!

If you look up, straining your neck a bit, squinting your eyes, seeing through the trees, there is the view of Sydney CBD right from my balcony, on the 2nd floor! Room with a view? I betcha! 

The skyscrapers light up at night! When there is a fireworks display in Darling Harbour, you can see it, almost! Well, only a part of the fireworks for which you may need a stool (or stilts) to stand up on! But you can most definitely hear it.
Central Park, a huge development is coming up which will be the hot spot in Sydney. It may take more than a year to be completed. We will have a full view of it! Hope to still live here by then.  Or who knows, we may be living in Central Park! Dreams...
I just love that we live so close to the city center, which is a 5 minute drive. I can walk to Pitt Street Mall in about 30 mins! I will be walking to IMATS this year :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer

I will start with a confession. I don't enjoy reading fiction. I'd rather watch fiction than read it. I only enjoy reading as long as it is not too much work! For me fiction is too much work for nothing. I like books where the effort of reading changes me in some way. I am next going to pick up one of the books on Paul Dirac, The Strangest Man after I put down my Oxford Handbook Of Clinical Medicine. Looks like my month is made!

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer
Patrick Suskind

I read the book and watched the movie. It is a fantastic read, very gripping, elaborate and keeps you going till the end. The movie is well made, the visuals are stunning and it is well narrated.

Being a person who has faith in humanity and the goodness in the world, there are so many things in the book that make me wonder. It takes us through a person's obsession with smell, leads us to believe that the world around him is full of hate. The world made him into what he is and because the world is 'bad', anything he does is okay. If the writer's intent is to make us feel that way, finally question it and conclude for ourselves that it is wrong, then mission accomplished! But romanticising a serial killer is very wrong.

I love a good mystery thriller, even featuring the ugliest minds. But what I look for is a closure which I never got at the end of the story. At least not the way I want it.

So, I choose to see it in a psychological perspective, because that is the only way I can feel sane. I think most of it happens inside this person's mind. I see it as story of someone who had a dysfunctional childhood and is socially maladjusted. He is misanthropic with little emotions. He has a skewed outlook as he sees the world in absolutes and has a distorted sense of reality. He senses a void in his life, what he perceives as the lack of his own scent and it triggers off his sociopathic tendencies. He commits well planned, cold blooded murders, trying to fill that void. He lacks insight and remorse for his actions. I see the bizarre ending as his delusion of grandeur as he thinks he possesses the power to influence the world which ends in a nihilistic delusion. I can only hope that he wakes up to reality in a psychiatric institution.

I am not one of those gifted people who see 'art' in everything. I choose to acknowledge sanity over empathising with a serial killer however acute his sense of smell is or how much ever talented he is as a perfumer. There is nothing fascinating about taking life.

However you see it, it is an interesting read. If you have not read it or seen it, please do. If you have, I would love to know your thoughts.

I have an unglamourous Penguin Books copy of the book that I finished reading to giveaway. Not technically a giveaway, just want to pass on the book and put it into use. If anyone wants to read it leave a comment below expressing interest and leave your email. The winner will be drawn at random. Closes August 1st.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hold your noses.... it stinks!

I am not in the best of my mood today. The depressing weather, deadlines to be met, incessant cough, everything is making me more irritable than usual. The last thing I need at this dire time is a perfume that adds another symptom, nausea to the syndrome. Yes, I am wearing a so-called perfume today, that is making everything worse. Just a word of warning, whatever I say should be taken in the context of febrile hallucinations and Seasonal Affective Disorder. I may be hallucinating but I am definitely not cacosmic. This smells really bad.

I wish I hadn't opened this vial today. 5 seconds too late, the stuff was all over both my wrists. Gosh, this stinks. It is supposed to smell like strawberries, almonds and vanilla. All great notes that I'd love, what's not to like? The combination reeks on my skin. The strawberries are so ripe that it is about to rot. To mask the rottenness, a gallon of sugar syrup has been added as a presrvative. Almonds are lost somewhere between the overripe strawberries and a sharp Jasmine note. Jasmine is not mentioned but I can sense its monsterous presence.

Overall effect: somewhere between cheap incense sticks and horrible scented erasers. It brings to mind one of those sugary, sweet, artificially flavoured drinks that gives cavities to little kids. I am choking on it and my stomach is churning. It is something that would make those celebrity sweet perfumes smell like masterpieces in comparison. I don't care if my nose is not cultured enough to appreciate this expensive, supposedly well made perfume. This smells so wrong on me. This vile stuff is called Montale Mukhallat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BPAL: Zorya

Discontinued 18/7/11
The Midnight Star
Spices of the Orient mingle with crystalline musk, midnight flowers and cereus, jasmine, primrose and vesper iris.

This is an impromptu review as I found out from BPAL Gazette that it has just been discontinued. I had to dig the imp out and sniff! I am pretty sure Dee sent this imp to me, thanks (but I may be wrong, my brain is failing me now a days). Lucky because Zorya and other perfume oils from the collection are discontinued as of yesterday.

Interesting story according to Slavic Mythology "The Zorya: Also called the Auroras. The Slavic Triple Goddesses of the Dawn, Sky and Light, who govern the paths of the day. They guard the constellation Ursa Minor from the chained Hound of Doomsday; should they ever fail in their duty, and the chain breaks, the universe will end."

Boring stuff: As a sky watcher, I look at the story in an astronomical perspective. In the Northern hemisphere, (from where the Russians saw it) the modern day Ursa Minor (Little Dipper or Little Bear) is very close to Draco, a constellation that winds round the Pole Star. I think Draco looks like what the Slavics perceived as Simargl, the doomsday dog. It does look like Draco is chained around the Pole Star about to swallow the Little Bear. Very fascinating about how Greeks, Slavics and all the ancient civilisations saw the stars and attributed interesting stories to them. Just look up and it is all there, staring at you for centuries!
Ursa Minor and Draco in constellation chart
Simargl, the Hound of
Ursa Minor in Urania's Mirror constellation cards

Back to BPAL Zorya perfume oil. Zorya is a heady floral, dense and in your face. It is a cold floral with a midnight chill to it. Jasmine is lush and intoxicating. I don't get any spices, very mild, even if present. Musk is so cold. Cereus is a kind of night blooming cactus which I am not familiar with, so I don't know and can't point it out. But there is a limestone like feeling to it, strange. 

After sometime, the heady floral blends away into soft powder. It is pleasant, close to the skin and pretty. The harshness is not there anymore.

Overall, Zorya is beautiful, womanly and strong, reminiscent of the midnight, cool air and watching the stars. I am happy that I have an imp to sniff and try, but no regrets for not getting a full bottle as it is discontinued, from yesterday.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Haul! and a few words from Bebe Glazer

A collective haul from last week.
Sweet Anthem perfume oils. Loving each one of the perfumes. 
Meredith, you have a new fan!

Arabian perfume oils: Al Haramain and Ajmal from Paradise perfumes on eBay

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (squeeee!!! amazing stuff, this is my 3rd or 4th decant)
Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Perfume and Body Oil
from eBay
Thanks to lovely Jac of Chloe Blue Likes to Sparkle for sending some pretties my way!

Magazine freebie: Designer Brands 48 eyeshadow palette with Dolly. Not bad for $7.95. I thought I had picked up matte but these shades are shimmery, which I don't mind. The shadows are well pigmented, a bit powdery and one of the pans has lifted off from the palette already. Then again, not too bad for $7.95. Nice to play with some bright pinks and blues.

Finally, a prize I won! A bottle of Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh 
from Beauty Heaven Thanks Liv!

I don't condone smoking. It is a nasty and dangerous habit. Please DON'T SMOKE.
Opening a new bottle of perfume reminded me of a particular episode of Frasier. The words of Bebe Glazer is exactly how addictive I feel about perfumes. So, what is so wonderful about perfumes? Everything! I love the way a fresh firm pack feels in my hand. Peeling the cellophane and watching it twinkle in the light. I love to coax the sweet little bottle from its hiding places and removing the cap and bringing it to my nose. The first touch of the perfume on the skin, the first sniff, inhaling deeply, till the scent fills my lungs, caressing my senses, penetrating deeper and deeper, till I think I going to burst! Then poooof, exhaling and feeling exhilarated... no two perfumes smell quite the same!

I guess addiction of all kinds feels the same. It is all in the brain after all. But there are good addictions like perfumes and bad ones like smoking!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aveda™ love™ Pure-Fume™ Absolute™ - bath oil

Aveda™ love™ Pure-Fume™ Absolute ™ Bath/massage Oil. Aveda has successfully trademarked 'love' and everything in name of Aveda. Should I now be scared to the word 'love' in public?!

Aveda, what an exotic name! Sounds something like Ayurveda but it really isn't. It is neither therapeutic nor does the name make sense. When I first heard Aveda, back in 2004, I burst out laughing. I could not understand (and still can't) why anyone would name anything good, Aveda! 'Veda' in Sanskrit means Knowledge. When you prefix 'A', it becomes the antonym. So Aveda means 'not Veda', that is 'not knowledge'. Does Aveda mean Ignorance?! Even though the website says Aveda means "knowledge of nature", I don't get it. I have studied Sanskrit for 5 years.

Well, the name and trademarking apart, I think Aveda products are quite good and many of them do live up to the promises.

I got my hands on Aveda love bath oil from Estee Lauder Staff Shop for a meagre $10. I don't know what price it retails at, but the label read $60 after 40% discount. So I am guessing it is quite a bargain.
Bergamot, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood
essential oils, certified organic
Right up front, the oil has an aroma therapeutic smell. Non-synthetic, screaming natural and medicinal. Somewhat like the smell you get when you enter an alternative remedial shop. I quite like it. It is floral, ylang ylang jumps right up and takes the centre stage. It is earthy, calming and quite romantic. I also get jasmine and what the whole oil leaves behind a gentle sandalwood aroma.

This is a bath oil. I am not a bath person. I am more of a shower-and-go person mostly because I am strapped for time and to be honest, I don't enjoy a bath. The last two days have been what I can nicely describe as emotionally draining. I just needed to be with myself and thought I'd put the bath oil to good use. I put my Baby Elephant to his afternoon nap and ran the bath water. The water was so hot that the entire bathroom was converted to a steam room. I added about 10 drops of oil into the hot water and slid myself into the bath. The bath oil was working. It came up as whiffs with the clouds of steam. It was relaxing. Everything went silent. The sound of annoyingly leaky shower suddenly vanished. All I could hear was my heart beat echoing from within the water (so clear that I can now say that the systolic murmur I had during my pregnancy has disappeared), my heavy breathing, all I could smell was the Love oil. After a while, the water equalled my body temperature before it cooled off. When I got out of my 'sensory deprivation tank', I had palpitations, I was dyspoenic, I felt syncopic, diaphoretic and thirsty. It was like a work out!

My skin loved it too. I usually need a generous coating of body lotion after a bath or shower but the Love oil coated my skin lightly, not slicky just a thin film of goodness! My skin is now left smelling of sandalwood and the bathroom smells lovely!

Even though aroma therapy does not strike a chord with me, I credit my post bath euphoria to the hot water and give some credit to the fabulously wonderful aroma of Aveda™ love™ Pure-Fume™ Essence™ bath oil!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Sparrows - BPAL: The Little Sparrow and Cobalt Blends: Palaver

Inspiration for a perfume can be anywhere. But it is quite unusual for a perfume to be inspired by sparrows! I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but two sparrow perfumes in my collection! In my mind, a sparrow perfume would smell of feathers, dryness, dirt, twigs, grains, wind, nest, bird bath! These two perfumes are different from each other but I can see the playfulness, the flight and everything to bring the cute little creatures to mind.

The Little Sparrow
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL) 
Marchen: The Sparrow With the Split Tongue 
Discontinued as of 18/1/2011 

Seeds, sedge, brown amber, and sandalwood.

There is a nice little story behind this perfume oil called The Sparrow and The Slit Tongue 

So, the moral of the story is..... It smells good!
Sniffing directly from the imp, I get a warm, delightful amber. On my skin, it is a whole different story. At first, it is very soapy. It takes a long time to get over that phase. After 5 to 10 mins, I smell what I think is seeds because it has a dryness to it, somewhat like husk. I don't smell any sedge or greenery, neither can I completely get rid of the soapiness. Hours later, I like what I smell. There is amber and vague woods, not particularly sandalwood. 

Overall, it is a soapy amber. I may be taking it too far, but it reminds me of a bird droppings. It has the same soapy, harsh, ammonical feel to it! Not unpleasant, just strange.

Cobalt Blends
spizella arborea, tree sparrows, flock closely to prepare for winter's foraging. Warble and flutter, scatter and return. Feathers of rust, gray, and brown, against the white sky. 
Sandalwood, vanilla, cedar, light winter spices.

Smells spicy in the bottle. Dry, inconspicuous, mild, barely-there spices that I can't name. It kind of smells like a dusty old wooden spice box that used to house a load of spices. On the skin it remains spicy for a while before becoming drier and woodier. The cedar wood is prominent. After about half an hour, it smooths down to a soft vanilla lightly laced with sandalwood. Really lovely!

I think it is a great interpretation of a sparrow. It is brown, dusty, old but very wearable. It is masculine to begin with but feminine side emerges with the creamy vanilla. I really like it.

Thinking about sparrows, another perfume comes to mind. Tokyo Milk: Sparrow No 18. I don't own this one but from memory, it smells fresh and green, somewhat like a park in the early morning with chirping birds around! 
Three different perfumes, different interpretations centred around an unusual concept, equally fascinating. It is the height of creativity, when you can smell the muse in perfumes!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm reaching out for.... featuring violet/purple hair!

The sunny days of Sydney's winter are the best! Today, it is 15ÂșC on Sunday afternoon, bright and sunny! Right now, I am sitting on a chair, out in the balcony, warming up in the sun, cool breeze blowing, with the white noise of very little traffic, watching the people going in and out of the cafe across the street, feeling lazy and just about to doze off..... Life is good!

The nights are cold enough to comfortably snuggle on the couch drinking "Irish" Hot Chocolate, (my new obsession!) nibbling on liquorice twists and watching Frasier marathon.
Hot Chocolate spiked with Bailey's

Winter is the best time to wear perfumes I love to my heart's content! All the intense, heavy, incense-y, gourmand scents, ooh! I am reaching out for all my favourites this winter.

Shalimar + Snake Oil = awesomeness!

Guerlain's Shalimar is the ultimate. Shalimar is more than perfume for me. It is an experience that I want to live again and again, each day and everyday of my life. I love Shamilar and Shalimar definitely loves me back! Shalimar is incomplete without me. When it touches my skin, becomes complete. It is my smell!  

I have declared my love for BPAL Snake Oil many times. I adore Snake Oil. It is so warm, sexy and everything I crave for in perfumes.

Now put them both together! Shalimar + Snake Oil is breathtakingly beautiful! A match made in heaven! Both perfumes are vanilla based which makes a good basis for a successful marriage. But both are different and compliment each other perfectly. Snake Oil tames the intensity of Shalimar and makes it sweeter. Shalimar in turn makes Snake Oil powdery, taking a new turn to sexy-ville!

I have been layering both these gorgeous scents for winter nights. I love it, everybody around me loves it. I want to smell like this for the rest of my life!

Haus Of Gloi: Troika 
The website says: "A trinity of soft milks, almond, oat and coconut, lashed with sweet agave nectar and the ethereal scent of clean white."

Oh My! it is really stunning! So feminine, so sexy, so warm and so yummy! It is a soft, white scent with creamy, milky undertones. I want to wrap myself in it. I actually I am wrapping myself in Troika pumpkin butter with the perfume oil. Swoon!

Flourish: Almond Milk perfume oil:
The website says: Soft, sensual, intoxicating: almond, vanilla, musk, a wisp of white chocolate. This fragrance manages to be both a soothing comfort scent and incredibly sexy at the same time (try it- you'll see what I mean). Sugary perfume haters need not apply, but lovers of all things sweet and gourmand- I think you'll enjoy this one quite a bit.

 It is such an amazing fragrance. Almond and milk, so simple and comforting. I am slathering myself with it. Not hard to believe, it is my second bottle!
Tom Ford White Musk Collection:
I bought the samples a year ago and reviewed them here. The vial of the Pure Musk broke and my husband enjoyed wearing White Suede. This winter I am wearing Jasmine Musk and Urban Musk. Very sexy and just right for day time. I am almost done with both of them. I really want a decant of Jasmine Musk, it is too gorgeous!

Finally, showing off my new hair colour! A funky shade of purple, that has a violet glow in the sunlight and reddish black in incandescent light! This is only a semi permanent colour that I did at home. I want to go one shade on the brighter side of purple next. Who knew I could pull off purple hair and make a funky shade look so pretty!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oud, Arabian Oils, Attars, Mukhallats....Oh My!

I am total noob when it comes to Oud and Arabian perfumes. I know little about what the Arabian perfumes are but some pleasant things do to mind with the mention of Arabian perfumes, a fantasy land with genies coming out of the bottle and magic carpet rides!

I am taking baby steps into the world of Oud and I am not sure if I like what I smell. I am trying to understand Oud and trying to familiarise myself with it. The more I read about Oud, the more my head starts spinning. It turns out, even sniffing oud has the same effect on me! The genie didn't come out of the decant bottles and I am not quite liking where the magic carpet is taking me!

Oud or Agarwood is precious and rare. Agarwood results when a certain kind of fungus infests a rare and endangered species of tree making the wood in the centre of trunk smell good. You can never know if there is agarwood in inner part of the tree, unless you chop it. Out of 100 chopped tress, one may have the agarwood! The agarwood chips are processed, distilled and the oil extracted is the Oud Oil. The Oud oil is also called liquid gold becuase it is rare, but sometimes more expensive than gold.. Pure Oud oil can cost up to $1000's per ounce!

Arabian Oils:
Mostly they are based on oud. Oud is in varying proportion with other ingredients like amber, musk, sandalwood. Obviously, more the oud, more expensive they are. They are usually in oil form.

Mukhallat is a perfumed mixture or an infusion of ingredients like amber, musk, sandalwood which may or may not have oud.

Attars: Petal of rose, jasmine etc are distilled to get the essential oil and mixed with rare ingredients like sandalwood, musk and oud. Apparently, it takes 1000's of flowers to get a ml of this stuff. Yes, it is also expensive! 

Do I like Oud? Do I not?
I don't know yet! Oud has me stupefied. It has been a roller coaster ride. Technically oud is something I would love. It is woody, intense and unique. But on my skin it is monstrous! Trying to figure out why, I sniffed, tried, bought, a bunch of Oud based perfumes. My general experience is:
1. Oud turns plasticky on me.
2. Headache!
3. Most Oud perfumes have rose. I can't handle rose.

I wish I could afford the real stuff to sniff but unfortunately, I have eat/feed and pay the rent. So, satisfying myself with samples, decants of some Oud based perfumes. Here are some I have tried and my initial impressions.
Tom Ford Oud Wood
LOVE! Blown away! The real reason why I started exploring Oud.
Le Labo Oud 27
Nice, spicy and intense
Juliet Has A Gun - Midnight Oud: 
watered down and plasticky
Montale - Black Agar/Oud Ambre/Golden Oud/Attar
potent stuff, hard to handle
Byredo - Immortel Oud/Accord Oud
Nice and fruity
Jo Malone - Bergamot and Oud from Intense collection
Nice and fresh
Oud from Perfumer's Apprentice
It looks dark and smells dark. It is a synthetic note that is supposedly very close to the real oud. It is viscous but easy to work with. It blends well with other notes.  I kind of like it. I came up with a blend of my own called Barren using it. It is dry but nice.

A further look into Oud, I was directed to some exclusive Arabian perfumes that specialise in Oud. Abdulsamad Al Quraishi, Ajmal, Al Haramain, Al Rehab, Rasasi, Swiss Arabian etc. 
I took the plunge and ordered a bunch of Arabian Oils from eBay. Though these are Mukhallats, I hope to get an idea and the feel of Arabian perfumes. Here is what I got. (Needless to say, lot of reviews coming up!)

Liquid Gold by Ajmal
Red Velvet by Ajmal
Musk Amber by Al Haramain

Sultan by Al Haramain
Mukhallat Burj by Al Haramain

I feel a crazy obsession with Oud because I don't understand it completely and I want to really like it! I hope it is worth the torture. It is definitely better than spending a fortune on something I don't know and wouldn't like!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blogoversary ramblings

It was nearly a year ago, I started writing My Perfume Diaries! One year, one great year! I am happy beyond description and kind of deluded by grandeur! After one year of writing this blog, here is a blogoversary message from me: My perspective on blogging.

A 'Perfume Diary' of a non professional nose
I called my blog 'diary' because it is just that, a place to write down my perfume thoughts. It is a personal diary with a commitment to myself to put my thoughts out there for the whole wide world to read. My posts aren't earth shattering or life changing. I don't sound professional because I am not. I just write about smell from my perspective. But I am a person who is easily influenced by pleasures and I smell with a passion. This has been my inspiration to start a blog and a year later, I think I have lived up to the real reason why I blog, my love for SMELL!

The narcissist* in an introvert's body
The real me is a shy person, who wouldn't write a blog. But, the narcissist in me enjoys all the attention. I like that my blog is centered around me. I love to write. I love what I write. I really love that people read what I write. My heart jumps at every hit and delighted when my stats surge. When people are looking for something and find my blog, I feel useful. Every comment makes my day!  I am very grateful to all my followers for the support. Thanks everyone!

My fellow bloggers
A big thank you all the bloggers who not only support me but are constant source of inspiration to me. I am lucky to know and interact with you all through blogs. The best part of blogging and internet in general is all the wonderful people I have met, both virtually and really. Thank you all, I don't know what I'd do without you.

Blogging under pressure or blogging for pleasure?
In the blogging world, I have sensed a pressure to impress, but I don't understand whom to impress and why. Who should I measure up to? Is blogging a popularity contest? Should there be pressure to do something I do for pleasure? Should it be so complicated to write about things I love?

My expectations from this blog are very low. I feel happy every time I hit 'publish'. I smile when I flick through my blog posts, hoping that it makes someone else interested and smile too. I am happy that I have survived a year, writing about what really ticks me. Is that success? Hell yeah!

Any regrets?
I only wish I could write better. I wish I knew many, many words and how to use them to make my posts interesting. I wish I was fancy. But alas, I am stuck with 'me' and 'me' is what you get here on my blog. Regrets? No!

Where from here?
More sniffing, sharpening my nose, more writing!

*Proof of narcissism: I've used the word 'I' 39 times, including the one in this sentence!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Award time!!! I have been honoured with some awards recently. Vintage from Vintage Makeup nominated me for Sunshine Award 2011. Jac from Chloe Blue Likes to Sparkle nominated me for The Stylish Blogger Award and The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you both. You have no idea, what it means to me!

Spreading the love and passing on the awards, I nominate the following blogs for all three awards, combined.
You know the drill:
link the person who nominated you,
say 10 things about you
pass on the fabulous awards to 10 other bloggers

Monsoonal Musings: Sharryn is a brand new perfume blogger from Australia.
Pandora's Box: A box full of perfume reviews.
Lotus Skin Spa: I love Clare's Sunscreen posts and beauty reviews.
Chloe Blue Likes to Sparkle: I live my nail polish dreams through Jac's fabulous blog!
Eat Paint Sniff Glue: Michelle is a beauty blogger whose witty personality shines through her blog.
Vintage's Other Blog: Vintage shows off her creativity through her photos and art.
Ki and Makeup: Ki's beauty/perfume talk is fascinating.
Miss Prissypants: Dee is a constant source of inspiration for me.
Jade Musing: Jade, bubbly beauty blogger.
The Science of Beauty: Sarah, the scientist blogs about beauty.

10 things about me that you probably did not know:

1. I had imaginary friends called "Gwandies" when I was 4 to 6 years of age. They were 2 or 3 little monkey-humans, female, spoke little and were very friendly! They commuted by jumping from one coconut tree to the other. They followed me wherever I went. I remember telling them to eat whatever was given to them without making a fuss.
I wonder where they are now!

2. I always walk anticlockwise, for example while entering and existing.

3. I used to think I am very careful. I always do things like palpating my pockets to check if the phone hasn't fallen off, checking to see if my wallet is still in my handbag, holding on to the keys carefully so that I don't lock myself out.
But these are the signs that I am careless. I am just careful enough to realise I am careless.

4. I HATE cockroaches.

5. I have a very weird looking 5th toe. It is bilateral

6. I can't walk in heels more than 2 inches.

7. Nobody in my family except for my husband and sister-in-law knows that I blog. I like to keep it that way. It is something like a secret identity/super power!

8. I can play the piano. The songs I know are Oh Suzanna and Doe-a-dear, I play with one finger!

9. I hate cooking. Not even hunger motivates me to cook. I can survive on Subway sandwiches for weeks.

Source: Woodlandusa.com
10. I would love my last supper to be Idly Vada Sambhar

Heartsy: If you ♥ Etsy!

I recently found Heartsy, thanks to Scentasion for introducing and tempting me into it!

Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade items at members-only prices.

Heartsy is a website that features exclusive deals to Etsy stores which includes bath and body, jewellery, clothes, art, etc. The deals are updated everyday, with at least 60% off the store prices. A free sign up gives an access to the deals. Once you buy the deal, it gives you store credit which you can use within a few months time. You can be a VIP by paying $7.99 US for a month, cancel anytime.

Personal experience: Good!
Initially, I signed up for free. I got a $5 voucher for being referred by a friend. Then, I came across a VIP offer for one of the perfume oil stores, Sweet Anthem. The deal was to get a $30 store credit for $12. I signed up to be VIP and got a $10 voucher.

All up, I got $30 store credit from Sweet Anthem for $7.99 (incl. VIP membership) and left with $3 in the account for future use with any store!

Now I have a bunch of samples from Sweet Anthem on my way. Can't wait! I will be checking out VIP offers for this month but not sure if I will continue with VIP membership, although it is very tempting to.

Heartsy is a great way to score a bargain on some pretty little things on Etsy. Only thing is that just one Etsy store in each category is featured at a time and it may not be your favourite store. You gotto keep an eye on the offers, spot the one you like and act fast. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Guerlain Exclusives VIP Workshop

About a month ago, when I was at  Guerlain counter in Myer, Sydney, I was told about an upcoming perfume workshop. I put my name down even before I took the next breath and impatiently waited for the day! Yesterday I went to the Guerlain workshop and really enjoyed it. Sharing my experience here with a pic-heavy and a long post!

Guerlain The Exclusives, VIP Workshop:
The invitation
The workshop was an introduction to The Exclusives range of Guerlain fragrances. The Exclusives is a part of Guerlain that has 'modern' perfumes with the concept and exquisiteness of the classic brand. It was a promotional event, read: see, sniff, buy (I hate disclaimers but got to say, I have nothing to do with Guerlain or Myer) It was quite informative and nice experience. The best part was the ingredients and the inspiration. I loved that we could touch and sniff the raw materials that are the key notes in the fragrances.

We were welcomed with drinks and macaroons (really delish macaroons) and got ready to start sniffing and taking notes!
Getting started
Ready to sniff!
Frances O'Connor, who presented the event, started off with the rich history of Guerlain fragrances and took us through the journey from the first perfume "Eau De Cologne Imperiale" created in 1853 for the wife of Napolean III, to the first commercial perfume, Jicky in 1889 to the many masterpieces to date.

She gave us an insight into "La Maison Guerlain" at 68, Champs-Elysees in Paris, the translation and rebirth of custom perfumery through The Exclusives range. The Exclusives range is the new creation retaining the art and the love of raw materials and the vision of the house of Guerlain.

We were presented with each fragrance of the Exclusive range, told about the muse, inspiration and the notes. Each fragrance, along with the visuals, was "fanned" to us to sniff! I just love the way they sprayed the paper fans and aired us with the perfume! It made me appreciate the notes better!
Fanning of the fragrances, to get a whiff of it!
The perfumes discussed and the prices
The fortune cookie and the key charm
for keepsakes!
My Fortune: This evening trust in Chypre Fatal
and become a femme fatale for
the love of your life!

The best part:
To me, the highlight of the entire workshop was the raw materials. We could sniff the ingredient and compare with the fragrance inspired by it. L' art et la Matiere is a collection in The Exclusives range that is the love affair between the "Art and the Materials" (a French pun for 'Art and Manners'!)
Raw materials: Leather, Angelica, Rose, Gardenia, Tonka, Benzoin, Iris
Seeing, touching, sniffing and trying these on the skin was a really great experience. 
Tonka Absolute is just beautiful! Sniffing the Tonka Absolute and Tonka Imperiale side by side made me swoon! 
Benzoin absolute is another ingredient that I fell in love with! I have sniffed Benzoin before but this stuff is wonderful!
It was fascinating to smell Iris Butter/Orris Root accord! It is the one responsible for the 'makeup-like, powdery' smell and used in Iris Ganache. It smells so different than what I had in my mind. It smells earthy, green and somewhat like paper! 
I had never smelt Angelica essential oil before. It is green and sweet, can really feel it in Angelique Noir (which is inspired by a cake made with angelica seeds by the perfumer, Daniela Roche-Andrier)
The limited edition: No, it is Ultra Limited Edition!
The Muguet: Lily of the valley 

It was released and sold on 1 May 2011, just for one day. Lily being the symbol of summer, the fragrance is released for May Day, the first day of summer (as for northern hemisphere) You can pre-order it in Australia and will be available after a few months costing about $600.

The juice is same as that of Muguet which was released in 1905 and released as a ultra limited edition. It is housed in a bottle with a lily painted on it. This special bottle is made by angels, aka, the artists at Guerlain, who hand weave the silk threads and seal them with something precious, the art that is passed on through generations.

We got to sniff it, straight up Lily of the valley, delicate and luxurious!

Finally, a fragrance consultation which spans around 4 hours, basically involves your taste in clothes, colours, mood etc. which I did not go through as I already found the ones I love!
Fragrance consultation kit
I enjoyed the presentation and all the sniffing. I think for someone knowledgeable in perfumes, it would feel novice, but being a little more than lay person, I did enjoy all the talk and stories. I did not buy anything, which made me ineligible for the goodie bag. But I fell head over heals with two new loves Bois d'Armenie, Boise Torride and resurrected my love for Tonka Imperiale! TPC, here I come! 

Bois d'Armenie
Boise Torride
Tonka Imperiale