To everything, there’s a season: autumn suits patchouli and spices well, and Patchouli & Pepper is a lovely perfume that I wore and tested since spring but enjoyed the most this November – it definitely shines, blossoms, and expresses its personality fully in colder weather! Created by Ruth Mastenbroek, and praised as the Bath House bestseller, it definitely breathes in synergy with autumn. And there’s an almost empty bottle to prove it.
If your visit to Belgrade starts at the main bus station as I did, just remember that it’s not a great place to start your olfactory journey…it is rarely anywhere, so just endure.
The whole city is a busy construction site. We could hardly find a taxi driver willing to wrestle cracked and demolished Slavija Square on the way to our apartment but that’s where famous Serbian hospitality kicks in. We could have walked but my high heels said no, no…
Belgrade On the Water, on the banks of river Sava, a bit farther away, is a huge project as well and it seemed to me that the scent of dust and fresh asphalt lingers in the air above the city.
Once finished, I bet Slavija will be a point of pride. Fountains and lights and all that jazz.
The new Museum of Contemporary Art just had its grand opening night when I arrived and it is very impressive.
One construction site less, yey!
Yes, the city is worn and rugged with history but it is certainly getting a facelift. Note: just be patient. Eventually, everything will work out, no need to get all worked up and again: yes, the people here are very helpful.
As you walk down the main street and shopping strip – Knjaza Milosa in the center, many bistros will catch your eye. Nose as well. Various barbecue scents vibrate as you stroll along this wide street. I was really impressed with some chosen restaurants we visited. The prices are affordable, the food is great and the waiters were really nice.
Belgrade is very walkable and very close to Kalemegdan is the King Peter’s Street, very fashionable with a brand-new shopping center not far away from its crossing with Knjaza Milosa. A few steps further was my point of interest: the first niche perfumery in Belgrade – Metropoliten. I walked in thirsty for fine scents. Enter a curious nose!
Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 also has its special place.
Carner Barcelona is available as well as Roja, Eight and Bob, Kilian, Penthaglion’s, Byredo, Nasomatto, Zenology, Profumum Roma, L’Artisan Perfumeur, Clive Trudon candles, and fine cosmetics…
When in Belgrade, you need not look any further. The prices are also very reasonable so it just might be worth your while to shop here. Very mainstream niche, I hope they will tend to surprise a little bit in the future.
After a long day, we planned a dinner at the famous restaurant “Reka” (make your reservation on time, it’s quite crowded on Saturday evenings) and headed towards the riverbank in Zemun.
There, at the banks of Danube, are the best place to party in Belgrade. You will see many floating clubs (barges) and Belgrade is a quite famous party town, I guess it ranks just as Ibiza! Also, what happens in “Kafana” stays there: it is a stress-free, relax zone and you can dance (and eat, over and over and again!) until the morning.
I was wearing Ramon Montale Black Musk that night and it lasted throughout the night…in the city that never sleeps.
The Plum Girl
Photos by The Plum Girl
It kind of surprised me, again. I do live in a moderate continental climate, four seasons and all, but still! Dusky, chilly mornings when you draw in a breath of the crispy smell of Autumn, the olfactory vision of wet ground, cinemonn colored leaves, rays of sunshine weaving through the clouds, earthy and woody scents soothing your nose: just recently I was reminiscent of Summer, clinging to fresh notes, desperately in need of “Vitamin Sea”. And here comes the rain again, falling on my head like memory, falling on my head like a new emotion…
Autumn poured over me, seducing me with its abundance of colors, harvested crops and fruits, spices and that damp smell of rain in the air just before it starts falling. It is rich, mysterious and textured, like a curve of a woman’s hip, soothing like that spot in the triangle shoulder-neck-collarbone of your lover.
If you are a signature perfume ’round the year type, good for you, but look around you: as the Nature changes it tones and hues, so do the scents change. The fragrant whiffs of flowers blooming, freshly cut grass, salty sea air or freshly cut slice of watermelon are now replaced by notes of wet leaves on the ground, earth smells like mushrooms, first smoke coming from chimneys, apples and pumpkins, grapes, woolen sweaters and leather booths: you might want to replace those light’n’breezy, fresh perfume notes with more cosy, earthy or, as Danish would say, hygge scents. Hygge, roughly translated as cosy, means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. Hygge for me is my Autumn perfume, my warm white blanket on the sofa, a book and a cup of Yellow tea.
I tend to associate spicy fragrances with Autumn, brunette vs. blonde, outdoors, but warm on the inside. Depending on your olfactory impression of this season and how it makes you feel, you might want to try out one of these:
– Grain de Soleil by Fragonard: an Oriental fragrance, features iris, orange blossom, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, cinnamon, vanilla, jasmine, incense, heliotrope and rose. I do have a love and hate relation with jasmine, but this one is very comfortable yet sexy, relaxed sexy kind of a way. Later on it turns powdery vanilla, cuddly baby-like. I’d say a fine one for not a killer price.
– M. Micallef Automne is a blend of red fruits, rare spices and woody notes. It opens with bergamot and red berries, cumin heart warmly beats with saffron and the base is patchouli, vanilla and sandalwood. The nose behind this fragrance is Jean-Claude Astier. Oldie but goodie, part of their 4Seasons series. It does start fruity and sweet, but then it transforms into almost Goth-like dark, sensual and fatal feminine. Smells like a close and a tight hug, when you feel your own body warmth, your partners body, and there’s no hurry, just simple pleasure of belonging.
– CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves Absolute Perfume The name says it all. I rest my case. You can purchase trial vials at CB, which I strongly recommend. “Not everyone has your passion for dead leaves”, as Jane Austen wrote in Sense&Sensibility. The nose behind this fragrance is Christopher Brosius. I’d say it is controversial, you’ll eather love it or hate it, but it is certainly different.
Mainstream suggestions: Lancôme Poeme, CK Secret Obsession, YSL Cinema, Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka , Bois Des Iles by Chanel.
So dig in your scents&emotions impression of October and pamper yourself with the matching perfume. Feel hygge and enjoy!
The Plum Girl
Photo: © Scvoart, Dreamstime