I hope my TPG newsletter No.3  finds you well and safe at home! My home router is showing signs of life again, so here I am with more thoughts&musings, useful information, and brand recommendations! Shaken, not stirred…and going on! Because…I need beauty in life now. I do, perfumes bring me joy and I love to share it!

Things got a bit contradictory here: I wish that all the Riders of Apocalypse could agree on the course of action. Namely, my hometown Zagreb was hit by a severe earthquake yesterday morning. “Stay at home” principle during Covid-19 lock-down suddenly became “run away from your home as far as you can”.  At 6.40 AM on 22.03.2020 we were wide awake after hearing rumbling and shaking – an alarm clock of 5.4 Richter scale earthquake, being the worst one here ever, since 1880.
We had a series of 40 smaller earthquakes yesterday and a couple of biggies today, one at 3 AM and another one just moments ago.

Earthquake in Zagreb March 2020

Many buildings in the Old Town were seriously damaged, and many people left unable to return to their homes. Not good, not good at all. Double trouble, indeed. This hurt.

Like Corona wasn’t enough? What’s next? Aliens? Ha. My lizard brain right after “flight” is now in “fight” mode, adrenaline level high, and I wouldn’t recommend any alien to come after me or my family at this moment. Enough is enough.

Many of you contacted me, and I’m eternally grateful to all of my caring, wonderful frag-friends! We’re alive, and switching to survival mode. This basically felt like a flashback to 1991: sleeping fully dressed, having a small “survival-pack” rucksack near the doorway, unlocked and left ajar in case we need to run out in a matter of seconds.

Survival mode, okaaay, been there, done that.  It made me laugh while sitting in our car and waiting to be allowed to go back home when I remembered all those posts you can see in various FB groups: “If you had to grab only one fragrance and run for your life, which one would it be?”  Ha. I had 15 seconds to run out of my home with my family yesterday. And no time to take any of the bottles from my collection, all I had were the samples and one bottle of perfume that I already had in my purse. Grabbing a bottle of water was far more important. Priorities…

I wore no perfume yesterday. No SOTD. Not only because I had to rush out so early in the morning, but also because I didn’t want to associate later any perfume with this particular situation. The scent of fear was quite sufficient, thank you.

Even while we were sitting in our car outside (and it started to snow!), we saw a stream of photos of buildings destroyed, cars crushed by fallen bricks, newborn babies with mothers rushed out of the hospital, incubators moved out, sick patients dragged in hospital beds out in the snow… I didn’t cry. Not even today, when I heard that a 15-year-old girl, fighting for her life since yesterday, died today. That hurt.

Once everything calmed down a bit and we were able to return home, the first thing we did was to check out installations and assess the damage, clean up the mess, and pack bare necessities in case of a new earthquake.

And the first thing I noticed is that my home smelled damn good. Luckily, the damage wasn’t as big as we thought it would be: a few cracked walls, broken vases…and one bottle of perfume.

Lost in Heaven

And my home smelled damn good. One single bottle of perfume managed to dance away from the shelf where I keep my collection, one that I pulled out just yesterday, the comforting one, one that took me so long to review. Lost in Heaven by Francesca Bianchi.

“Francesca Bianchi, therefore, weaves further a fragrant story of innocence lost, of how are all sometimes Lost in Heaven – sometimes we forget true values under the burden of everyday, material world. She also inserts elements and shadows of Original sin transferring itself in temptations that all the mankind faces, by adding some indolic dirtiness in florals and lighter than ever animalic notes to all those ambrosial-nectary notes – to show that we are simply not perfect beings.”

My home still smells damn good (longevity, Francesca, OMG the longevity!). And no, I’m never going to associate that fragrance with an earthquake! It shall comfort me again, once I order myself a new bottle! Ha.

In these times a lot of other perfume-wearing bon-ton and what is “correct” or not changed as well. One of them is a blessing in disguise: you can finally wear any of your perfumes that you didn’t dare to wear in public or at work before, anytime you want to! Social-distancing perfumes are now welcome. Overspray in progress. You can finally forget about do’s and don’t of wearing perfume, “crowd-pleasers” or avoiding ones that have sent people fleeing away from you. Well, now it’s really about YOU and your perfume! Yay. Enjoy your perfumes!

I already wrote about many niche, indie, and artisan perfumers producing hand-sanitizers in my Newsletter No.1 and No.2 – there are more and more doing the same. Mostly not shipping outside their country, limited editions (for as much ethanol they can), and these I can recommend:

NOT Perfumes – Sweden

Not Perfumes Sweden

“I took inspiration from the old Four Thieves Vinegar of the plague days but omitted the garlic and the rue…

A blend of Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Wormwood, Cloves and Camphor was added at a total of 3%.”

Talking about “plague days”…right? Right. Johanna brews again, and fine things are always coming out of her artisan perfume pot! She is not selling, only sharing the recipe! Contact her if you need help to make your own hand sanitizer!

Perfume Sucks – Switzerland

Perfume Sucks Switzerland

Andreas Wilhelm, a Swiss perfumer is making hand-sanitizers adding D-Panthenol as well, to keep your skin soft and smooth.  Or, as he wrote in Zuri dialect:

“mal öppis nur fürd Schwiz…
Isch halt es glasfläschli und chlini uflag, drum chli tür aber isch nöd bös gmeint! Verpackig und Fläschli sind eich dänkt gsii für es anders projekt aber mittlerwile isch alles gstoppt und ich han dänkt ich chönnt ja au mal was vernünftigs mache.”

For more information and orders (52 ml/85% alcohol, natural oils), check out the Perfume Sucks website here. Mal oeppis!

Blackbird – USA

Blackbird USA

Check out their Covid 19 Mission Impossible! Hand sanitizers,  organic surface sanitizers + bonus: KN 95 Mask Donation: 

“We have an opportunity as a community to purchase KN95 masks to donate to medical workers and facilities. We have confirmed with many medical professionals that these masks are acceptable and meet current safety needs. 

This is a limited opportunity. We will be confirming the final quantity of masks to order within 48 hours of this product going live. We may be able to purchase more asks, but we should take this mission one step at a time.

Our goal: 1000 masks (as of 8:01 am PST Monday 800 masks have been paid for)” 

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Perfume – USA

Dawn Spenzer Hurwitz

Be Well + Live Well hand sanitizer spray:

“Antibacterial / Antifungal essential oils of thyme, tea tree, lemon, and lavender mixed in 70% alcohol and distilled water.”

While you’re at it, do try some Lavender Croatia by DSH, an all botanical fragrance with a specific lavender nuance so characteristic for beautiful lavender coming from my country.

There are also new, fine smelling, indie soaps around as well:

January Scent Project – USA

January Scent Project

JSP Soaps: two new soap bars, as a new perfume, soap as a “new medium”!

“Instead of reconfiguring one of the JSP fragrances into a “soap blend”, these soaps were imagined as new perfumes, as a new medium: the “functional fragrance” that can also be used to wash. To that end, a number of soap bases were tested, different additives joined, until a great quality, the beautifully-scented product was achieved.”

Celebrations&Good News

Fragrance Day 2020

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Yes, we’ve marked the International Fragrance Day on March 21st by posting smelfies! I didn’t post a smelfie on that day, I was too busy Calling All Angels from April Aromatics! Next year…I promise.

CaFleureBon 10th Anniversary!


Let’s congratulate Michelyn and celebrate the first CaFleureBon 10 together! I’m a proud member of the writing team of CaFleureBon (you can find my reviews here), and do read more about exclusive four fragrances that have been composed to mark the decennial: Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Profumo – OOOH, Antonio Alessandria Parfums – Rusty Vibes, Neil Morris Fragrances – I will bring you flowers, and 4160 Tuesdays with the third Queen in the series, Dark Queen! The beautiful illustration is a work of art s by darling, darling Massimo Alfaioli.

Small Perfume Brands Recommendation

Shop small and help your favorite brands stay in business: now, more than ever! Today we’ll visit the UK and here are my 2 recommendations:

4160 Tuesdays  – Sarah McCartney

Sarah McCartney

Sarah decided to #stayathome: the studio is closed  (no workshops for obvious reasons), but you can place your orders in various online shops (check out the link above) or support Sarah via her Patreon page – Scenthusiasm and/or support the crowdfunding projects on Indiegogo.com – 4160 Tuesdays.

Gallivant Perfumes

Gallivant Perfumes

Perfume takes us places…even when we don’t travel. Well, now that we can’t – choose to travel with Nick (founder and creative director), gallivanting around the globe! Amsterdam, Berlin, Brooklyn, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv or Tokyo – pick your fragrance and fly away: no one can take your imagination away from you…Test before you buy, there’s a lovely 8 perfume Nomad Sample Set.  (my reviews linked to city names) or order now and get free shipping.

This is all from me for now, hope you’ve enjoyed your read! Thanks for all your calls, messages, kisses, hugs, and prayers: right back at you, take care and #sprayathome! 

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic 

Photos: Elena Cvjetkovic, brands/pages/blogs featured


I do not warrant, endorse, guarantee, or assume responsibility for the accuracy or reliability of any information offered by third-party websites linked through the brands’ press releases. I will not be a party to or in any way be responsible for monitoring any transaction between you and third-party providers of products. The service of publishing PR materials provided by niche/indie/artisan brands on my website during the Covid19 pandemic is free of charge and/or any strings attached.

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  1. Elena – Thanks very much for mentioning the new soaps I’ve made at January Scent Project – it’s been a project I was working on for a while, and it very strangely coincided with the events of now and our current health scare. More importantly, I’m deeply sorry to hear about the earthquake in Zagreb… I can’t imagine the difficulty of being told to stay home, and then to leave your home – what do you do? I’m glad that you and the family are safe, but I understand that the aftershocks can be substantial, too. Please take care, and I hope to see you in Milano in 2021 🙂 Blessings to you.

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