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Ljubljana, Laibach, Lubliana/Slovenia: during my recent, brief stay I simply had to walk over The Triple Bridge. It is a must see in Ljubljana, I just love the inner city! Advent decorations added a new dimension to the river Ljubljanica, people filling squares and cobble paved streets: what is different this year (they were proud to explain) is that culinary providers at the Advent fair are using environmentally friendly packaging instead of plastic!

 

Niche perfumes offer in Ljubljana practically didn’t exist for a quite long time. I guess nearby Austria or Italy covered the demand and some shops shyly introduced limited range of perfumes in the past years. My curious nose took me to Ikona, relatively new shopping destination:

Perfumery is located on the ground floor, exhibiting what Ikona has to offer:

Young lady that greeted me warmly was very helpful, although not quite into perfumes. As I noticed later on, this is not the only department she covered, so it seems that sales personnel is covering all the bases. The rest-and-enjoy corner is neat and comfy:

I didn’t find any novelties: the offer is basic, a very limited safe-play. You will find a selection of Amouage, Carthousia, Juliette Has a Gun (no Into The Void, though), Nasomatto basics and Comme des Garçons range (as photos show). Alas, they had just run out of Nasomatto completely, not a drop left in testers, not a single bottle available. No samples at all, nada, zip, zero. Ok, it was Sunday, just before closing time, maybe they had run out of everything. Maybe. I tried to contact them via mail prior to arrival but nobody bothered to answer.

Carthusia – I Profumi di Capri was nice to see, haven’t seen Carthusia since my visit to Italy. Classic: Numero Uno (for men) was released in 2007. and Via Camerelle (citrus centered, for women) in 2006. Carthusia is said to originate from a bouquet of wildflowers picked by a monk in 1380 on the Island of Capri. The current collection of Carthusia perfume is a revival of these ancient scents, rooted in the history of the island. With every stage carried out by hand, the limited production means being able to use the same methods as the Carthusian monks. A fine choice, without any doubt, but I personally consider these as more “summertime” perfumes.

Did some shopping and I must repeat that all the personnel is very nice&friendly, covering all three floors and different brands. We did receive a goodbye goodie: a bottle of Ikona water:

I really enjoy being in Ljubljana and will write an update next time I visit. I’ll be back! 😀

Update, September 2017: a very good range of niche, getting better and better! Wider choice, more newies, very good SA. When in Ljubljana, this is the place I will return to…

The Plum Girl

Photos: The Plum Girl

I am drawn to candlelight, candlelight during every season of the year. That flicker of the fire contained is fascinating (yes, there is a little pyromaniac in all of us), soothing, meditative and very emotional. I could just stare at candlelight for hours, thoughts swirling like candlelight on the wind, feeling…well, it certainly makes me feel safe somehow. Reflective. Attractive. An atavism, I know it is, dating back to times when controlled fire meant life. It made me think about occasions and emotions lightning some has stirred, just this month: I lighted birthday candles for dear people, to celebrate life. Commemorative candles, for ones who passed away. Candles symbolizing hope. Spiritual ones, like a prayer. Scented candles, at home, to calm and relax, tune senses, create a certain atmosphere…

Don’t you love candles? A soft, moving light to delight and captivate, excite…candles are a part of the illusion, the fantasy. Their light creates the magical glow so different from the aggressive illumination of the contemporary world we are exposed to. One single candle can transform a room into a mystique place, make it promising or its scent can take you on a journey, transport you to a different place or time, evoking memories. There is a nostalgia involved, as well as the promise of the future.
One sniff at a scented candle, and it’s like pixie magic! Yes, aromatherapy as well. But what really matters is the power of our olfactory memories. Some researches done say that each and every scent we encounter stays engraved in our memory for ten years. Ten years!

The scent is one of the strongest senses linked to our memories, feelings, things, and people you long for. A candle can represent the ambiance you wish to create or make people associate the scent with your presence. Your mood can change based on scent, too. Furthermore, choosing the right candle says a lot about who you are, and back to the above written, just how people will remember you for the next ten years. You or your home, the person you are or the atmosphere they will associate with you. I strongly believe that it is worth the effort!

So, how do you wish to be remembered? Many niche perfume brands make fine, scented candles as well. Depending on your perfume of choice, mood or atmosphere you wish to (re)create, it might be quite demanding to narrow your choice. One is just not enough!

This is my newest list of must-have’s:

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Aedes De Venustas: with deep, powerful green and dark notes imbued with incense and ganja. For me it is fresh and dark at the same time, green like spring grass and mystical as dark hidden places you are afraid to enter, yummy like rhubarb and fascinating like a fine incense. As I said, a strange fragrance…good kind of strange, sexy strange… I liked it. Definitely different. A bit crazy.

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Honour Woman, Amouage – my choice of the day, or better yet, of the night: a white floral fragrance inspired by the tragic predicament of Madame Butterfly. “The white floral is used to signify the discourse of Madame Butterfly’s love. Tuberose is used to represent danger. Jasmine means attachment. Gardenia is secret love. Lily of the Valley is the purity of the heart. White carnation is innocence and faithfulness. On another level, the white floral represents a tragic love in which honor, fidelity, and innocence have been betrayed. A resin base of frankincense, amber, and opoponax is used to represent the tragic end of Madame’s Butterfly “To Die With Honor”. Amouage has a fine offer of scented candles, it breaks my heart to have to choose just one for this blog.

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Extravagance Russe, Diana Vreeland: Now there’s a perfume with a great story and a candle to go along with it. Dedicated to Mrs. Diana Vreeland, who once said: “Fragrances fill the senses with the mysterious.” Maybe her name won’t ring a bell to you, but she ruled the fashion world for decades. She was the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, among other fashion-significant engagements that lasted for more than 20years. This is the official description: “Extravagance Russe by Clement Gavarry was created as an homage to Mrs. Vreeland’s love of Orientalism. Capturing the essence of amber’s sacred and mystical note in perfumery, the fragrance goes deep into the collective olfactory memory. It maintains the original codes of amber within a contemporary structure. The scent harmoniously wraps luxurious resins and balsams with precious vanilla bourbon and musk for an enhanced impression of skin like and captivating sensuality.“ Extravagant, luxurious and slightly mysterious – definitely to be remembered by. Planning a romantic dinner? Well, I would ignite this one. For just the two of us…imageLorenzo Villoresi: Available in 7 fragrances, to suit a variety of occasions and create different atmospheres: “Alamut: warm and sensual, a voyage in the Orient: the flowers of One Thousand and One Nights, the Amber, the Musk and the precious woods. Diamante: crisp and lively, with notes of Citrus, Tea, and Lavender. Enriched by green and spicy nuances. Iperborea: Sparkling green top note of fresh flowers, with citrus notes and light fruity hints, with a radiant heart of lily of the valley and magnolia, mimosa and cyclamen. Piper Nigrum: Oriental and North African markets. Aromatic and peppery. Spring Blossoms: Soft and gentle fragrance based on spring flowers. Teint de Neige: The gentle scent of talcum powders, a soft, embracing fragrance, yet intense and persistent. Yerbamate: A boundless green land touching the sky. The scent of grass, of the new-mown hay, of countless herbs and flowers scattered in the fields.“
Choosing just one? Awwww! Hard choice, yap, I know…that depends on the olfactory message you are about to send.

imageTeint de Neige is the one I find exquisite for this time of year, a perfect winter scent. It’s warm, cozy but fresh, a bit powdery: reminds me of laying in bed under a huge fluffy duvet, looking out of the window on heaps of fresh snow on a sunny Winter morning…very old school, classy and feminine. Definitely a“happy winter day“ scent.

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Eight&Bob – check out my story here. It’s more than a “business office“ candle, really: makes you feel…well, powerful is the first word that comes to my mind. In all the meanings that just crossed your mind. Ha. On the other hand, Egypt really takes me back to – Egypt, that’s it!

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Byredo – if you are a book lover, try Bibliotheque. For sheer happiness, ignite Carousel. Yummy figs and Mediterranean breeze lover? Take home your Figue Glacee. Love that fresh smell of clean laundry in your bedroom? That’s what Cotton Poplin provides. These and other fine Byredo candles are made for unisex olfactory pleasure.

There are so many more, a whole fascinating world of niche fragrance candles! If you wish to recreate a certain ambiance at your home or office, feel free to contact me for detailed recommendations.

You might say that candles I write about are “expensive“. Just calculate how much money you have spent in the last couple of years on various scented candles that made you wonder why anyone labeled them “scented“ in the first place? Were you amazed by those? Did they burn for at least 40 hours? Secondly, these fine candles provide up to 60 hours of burning time. Last but not least – they do emit fragrance, due to a higher percentage of perfume concentrate.  I’d rather spend some money on an excellent candle than on an unmemorable night out including mediocre dinner and drinks. It’s just like the wine: you get what you pay for…and in the term of scents, even more: a lasting memory. Ten years minimum, remember?

In my next blog I will focus on Advent and Xmas candles: stay tuned and scent-happy! :-*

The Plum Girl
Photos/candles: Parfumerija Lana, Parfumerija Top

Disclaimer


 

In the complex and fascinating world of artisan perfumery niche brands, shops are places of olfactory hedonism, a gateway to a different Universe. Just recently, on a rainy day, I found myself in one, soothed by soft lights, meticulously displayed perfume bottles and obligatory “rest and enjoy” corner.

Curious about new fragrances’ arrival, knowing I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy more than three perfumes at one visit – that’s where helpful personnel comes in, with samples to take home and enjoy. Here, in Lana, they are superb. Give yourself time to test something new, allowing the fragrances to develop, to breathe, to unfold on your skin. Think of it as an Oasis. A sanctuary. Liberate your mind. Explore the scents. There’s no rush here and I took my time to check out for you what’s new and interesting:

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Sheiduna by Puredistance – check out my recommendation here. If you have previous Puredistance favorites you can also choose between other master perfumes as Black, White, I, M…They launch a new perfume every one to two years, they are beloved by true perfume lovers and are available only as Pure Perfume Extrait in concentration between 25-32%. Names behind these wonders are Annie Buzantian, Antoine Lie, Roja Dove, and Cecile Zarokian. Remember this name. Sheiduna. It will become a classic.

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Il Profvmo perfumes – Caramella dAmore, Othello, Pioggia Salata. Othello was launched in 2016, for men, but it really worked just fine on my skin, came out as my favorite among these three. Il Profvmo, Italian art perfumes is Silvana Casoli’s universe of gifts created by her unique gift to respond to the socio-olfactory needs of her customers. She pays tribute to Nature. Another desert lover, just like me 🙂

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Amouage: Myths just came in, m/w, although, again, I regard them as unisex and liked M better…still thinking about that perfume, still waiting for impressions to settle down. It definitely deserves a more detailed review. Strange…different. Exquisite.Hat down, Your Highness Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud al bu Said! Love the great Arabian art of perfumery here and now.

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Aedes de Venustas – OMG! It still lingers in my nose. Brain deep. Memories are deep. This perfume is so different, so addictive, so…multifaceted…so intriguing. I kept the testing paper to remind me of my first encounter with it…Definitely my favorite.

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Majda Bekkal: Tendre est la nuit – Sculptures Olfactives. Just look at that bottle – here comes immortelle again, but yet a different one. It is not only the bottle that is a piece of art…what it contains is precious.

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Ormond Jayne – Four Corners of Earth Collection. What a story told by fragrances! Quality, luxury, the pursuit of beauty and elegance…I am deeply impressed. Linda’s life and success story are inspirational. Her perfumes are breathtaking. Give them time to develop fully, enjoy every olfactory shade these provide. You won’t regret it.

When you are in Zagreb, Croatia, be sure that it also offers a fine choice of niche perfumes. As for me, quite a few new recommendations/perfume stories/olfactory memories are coming up as well as my Xmas presents suggestions.
May your Nose be always curious!

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The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl
Disclaimer