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Ah, the Millennials! Gen Y, born between early ‘80ies to early ’00s!

Who are they, this cohort of young people, generally marked by increased use and easy-going familiarity with digital technology, media, and communications? Are they App-friendly dreamers? Achievers? Peter Pans? Well, it’s a Millennial World we are living in now, take a better look around. They’re not kids anymore, and they’ve turned out just fine!

Gold and scented pixie dust!

Just a week ago we were impatiently heading towards the Esxence fair in Milan, in anticipation of all it has to offer…ah! Sweet and fragrant memories!

I would like to share with you my impression and personal experience of visiting the 10th Esxence – The Scent of Excellence Fair in Milan 2018- for the first time.

The Plum Girl blog started just around a year and a half ago, so this was a kind of debut for me. First impressions about the fair itself? Here it goes, I give you a survival guide for Esxence:

Intro

A fair? I would rather call it an exclusive exhibition of the finest niche perfumes. The 10th edition of Esxence – The Scent of Excellence in Milan made sure that you feel like you are entering a sacred place when walking inside The Mall building. The Mall is located on Lina Bo Bardi square. She was an Italian born, Brasilian modernist architect, famed also for her furniture and jewelry design.

The contrast of a bright sunlit April day and the entrance hall dressed in black, featuring Esxence 10 years sign (gold!) accentuated the perfect Insta photo hot spot:

This black and gold combination, together with spaghetti curtains did its job. Like in all temples, you must walk through a niche or grotto before you enter the shrine itself.

Plot

I went down the hole. Ops! there goes my meticulously drafted plan of the first-day visit- poof! in air. Scented air. A lot of scents filling the air. I lost it, right then and there. A slight panic attack. I had just stepped out of my car after seven hours of driving, parked and plunged straight into heaven!

My thoughts: ok. I can do this. Just start slowly, from the left side and take it from there…you’ve got time before scheduled meetings…yap.

Feeling like Alice in Wonderland. Crazy Ice Age squirrel in a barrel of nuts!

Such an abundance! Any niche perfumes geek’s dream come true…

This is a world where most of the business cards are scented, “juice” doesn’t refer to a diet drink, sniffing is not an illegal activity and spriz…well, it’s not Aperol Spritz. Not here.

The first day was meant to give me an insight and full coverage of terrain, on the second and third day I executed previously planned visits and meetings and Sunday was just a quick recap. I did make a mistake: being too overwhelmed, I mostly forgot to take photos. Which is fine, really, because I focused on meeting people, sniffing, sampling, networking and having very interesting conversations. Next time I’ll fail better…

Special thanks to Meganmeganinsaintmaxime and JakubPersefume! They are ever so kind, helpful and sharing. As Megan said when I thanked her: “Someone helped me on my first visit to Esxence. I am helping you. You will help someone as well. Isn’t that wonderful?”

Bonus

You have a chance of meeting and talking to some of the most renowned people behind the perfumes you love! Art Directors, Noses, Creative Directors or Perfumers.

It gets even better when you don’t connect names and faces (I am a lousy perfumer/Nose groupie), this happened to me twice in Milan. Yep, I am learning from my mistakes. Even so, that turned out to be really cool because I was really relaxed while having a conversation with those two VIP’s (half an hour later, when I connected the dots, I was like: okeeey. Aha.)

This wonderful man I did recognize at once. I am a big fan of Aedes de Venustas and their new perfume is one that I fell in love with immediately!

Ralf Schwieger::: Perfumer (he doesn’t really like to be called a Nose…) and Musc Encense! for Aedes de Venustas. The list of perfumes he signs is quite impressive. I enjoyed our little chit-chat ❤️

Luca Maffei – sparkling personality, patience in presenting and renowned creativity, at Olibere Parfumes press launch:

If you are following my FB account, you can find more photos (the ones I managed to take – prepare yourself for the next Esxence) 🙂

Knot

The first day I wore heels for an hour. Spare flats were a relief. On the second day, flats were fully in action. Third and fourth day? Business Casual with -sneakers (I seldom wear sneakers if not practicing adequate sports activities…). Be gentle to your feet: you have 200+ stands to cover, starting at 10 AM until 5 PM …and all the fun doesn’t stop there.

Suggestions?

Smile, sincerely. You are in heaven, after all.

Wait patiently for your turn at stands to talk to brand representatives. Schedule your meetings.

Network proactively.

We are all here because of perfumes, right? Enjoy them!

Use wardrobe services. I dislike walking around with a bunch of bags in my hands. It’s not practical and I don’t think it’s polite to drag heaps of promo materials from one stand to another.

Reversal

Note to Organiser: Chapeau! You did a wonderful job!

Thank you, Agnese from the Press Office for having patience with me: hug!

Note to Exhibitors:

Feedback: (as one of my friends, a public speaking coach, likes to say: feedback is feedback. There’s no feedback to feedback. The purpose of feedback is to improve things!)

First, allow me to say that in my corporate days I did create, organize and manage quite a few stands on international fairs and trade shows. On the other side of the stand, as an Exhibitor, so I pretty much know what I am talking about.

I met truly amazing, wonderful and helpful people who treated my Press accreditation with respect and did a great job in representing brands. Thank you!

On the other hand, a few brand representatives’ behaviors can only be described as simply rude, uninterested, arrogant and haughty.

As a coach, I see possibilities for your improvement, guys. Do prepare yourself for fairs and trade shows.Train/coach your brand representatives or hosts/hostesses. It pays back. Yes, things get busy, yes, it is tiresome to take care of a stand all day long, day in, day out and talk to hundreds of people asking thousand of questions, but – hey! This is brand building at it’s most direct form. Besides being press people, we are – customers as well, right?

First impressions are made in 7 seconds and last for a very, very long time. Do mind that bloggers and press people exchange their impressions and that a repeated faux pas might really affect your brand reputation. Do you boast about your brand’s core values? Live them. It’s called authenticity.

Recognition

Esxence makes this world a better place.

It is truly an amazing, international display of fine perfumery at it’s best! Such a whirlwind of amazing fragrances. I highly recommended it! If I might help you next time I’m there – just let me know!

I am thankful for meeting so many simply wonderful people! That is the greatest benefit. Secondly, I did take home some new perfumes to review, for you! Some more should arrive by post, so this will provide material for more reviews for you to read!

Just follow #theadventuresofacuriousnose!

P.S. On one of the stands, their brand representative told me that I am a Meryl Streep look-alike. Maybe I am, but apart from looks I also share this statement:

“I no longer have the patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship, I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience”. -Meryl Streep

See, I didn’t write about perfumes at all 🙂

Will do, will do, soon…

See you next year in Milan!

The Plum Girl

Photos: ThePlumGirl, Olibere Parfums (Luca Maffei)

 

(I used storytelling drama structure principle, based on Aristotle’s “Poetics”)

„Born from a passion for French Haute Parfumerie, Atelier des Ors presents a capsule collection of exquisite fragrances. Dedicated to using only the most precious essences and exclusive raw materials, each eau de parfum presented by this unique boutique brand is an imaginative interpretation of traditional perfumery. Inspired also by the art of gold gilding, each bottle features a breathtaking design glittering with a burst of gold.“

Atelier des Ors is a French niche house, present since 2015. with a debut of five eau de parfums, adding later on two more, six of which I proudly present to you.

Atelier des Ors founder is Jean-Philippe Clermont who is also the artistic director for the brand. The „Nose“ behind the perfumes is Marie Salamagne. These fine perfumes come in glass bottles cut in an Art Deco design and filled with 24k gold flakes.

Ladies and gentlemen, here they are, as presented on my Instagram account, short, emotional reviews as follows:


Day 1: Rose Omeyyade

Just as a lush rose in full bloom needs to breathe in the fresh air, this rose needs your skin. As I sprayed it on a paper strip, pink pepper was present at first whiff, smudged over raspberry in traces. Then rose arose and swooned me away!

Immediately, impatiently, I offered it my skin. On a cold winter day, it made me daydream about a very specific place I’ve traveled to, feeling the soft blow of the Levant wind in my hair and golden rays of sunshine touching my face. (the Levant is specific for the Mediterranean, once you’ve felt it blow, you will know exactly what I’m talking about…

Usually gentle and damp, the Levant frequently brings clouds and rain, you can literally smell the rain coming). Destination: Port of Haifa, Israel…

Gold and a desert rose (I managed to find the one I dug up in desert), this is my visual presentation of Rose Omeyyade!

This rose is plump, ripe, ambered, dusky and sprinkled with caramel thick brown sugar. I would say quite unisex too, it has that darkish woody-oudy touch, sensual sugar&spice/I smell so nice vibe in the drydown.

I definitely suggest that you try it on your skin and let it play its music, please don’t rush this perfume!

Day 2: Iris Fauve

Not the iris you might expect, Aphrodite-like, sensual soft and curvy Iris…
This fine perfume opens with fluffy flowers with a gentle touch of warm spices. I feel Iris but it stirs and sways and mingles ever so gently. It is also much darker, muskier and more complex then I expected it to be. There’s plenty of woodiness and it’s just resinous enough as not to become overly sweet. Like I’m floating on a soft cloud, puffy cotton cloud!

If you are not usually iris-attracted, I suggest you try the Iris Fauve by Atelier des Ors. On your skin, of course. This is not an overly complicated perfume but it is finely blended and quite elegant. And yes, it is definitely unisex!

Did you know that Iris is the national flower of Croatia? On the island of Brac I enjoy watching the wild Irises bloom in May…

Day 3: Cuir Sacre

Destination: Andalusia. I managed to find my souvenir from Sevilla: castanets, palillos, preparing to give my full attention to this perfume.

I tested it on my skin. Green at the first whiff, resembling oleander leaves, dry and sharp, very herbal. I let it breathe for fifteen minutes and soon enough warmth moves in, a creamy vetiver takes over. This is not a Russian leather perfume by no means if we are talking leather – this is suede, well dried and carefully crafted, like a pair of soft cream-colored, goatskin suede gloves I had. It shifts subtly, moves in shadows. Half an hour later, I feel vetiver being touched by smoke, like incense burning somewhere far away from me and the wind carried the traces of incense smoke closer to me. It feels even quite woody, not forest-like, but rather like pieces of shaved wood scattered over the floor you are walking on. Other spices emerge too, not overly prominent, appearing and disappearing into this soft suede envelope. The vetiver I feel is warm, like sunshine on my skin on a late May afternoon… Did I just feel cardamom dance in? Or is it tonka? Or both? Hmmm…Interesting.

This is a close to skin perfume, elegant and not flashy – regarding the projection. Unisex, definitely, I will wear it for a business meeting tomorrow.

I think I will enjoy it most sometime later in May, after sundown, sitting somewhere outside… I don’t know why but I just thought that I’d probably be drinking a glass of dry white wine to go along with it.

Day 4: Lune Feline

Moon inspired, they say…If so, this Moon is completely illuminated by Sun, taking on different shades of red, orange or gold, like the Moon we see during a total lunar eclipse: it opens with a great wave of spices, then splashes of vanilla, cinnamon and cardamon sail in.

Dark, dry woods are in the background of this spicy gourmand fragrance. I don’t know why, but the painting “Red Vineyard at Arles” by Van Gogh is what I visualized. Destination: Amsterdam!

Its breath is warm and furry, like the breath of a large cat resting at sundown…I feel vanilla and amber from start to finish and yes! Just a hint of smoke is present…Three sprays and it remained very close to my skin for hours, tempting me to bury my nose in my wrist every now and then, just to feel that hugging, the golden aura of seductive warmth. Something to wear during Winter definitely!

Day 5: Aube Rubis

Like the dawn of a new summer day, it opens with rays of the light green, fizzy smell of grapefruit, cool and fresh. Then pink and orange colors paint the sky as it gets warmer and I feel smooth patchouli rising, iris and violets adding a refined, luxurious touch.

Light of a new day spreads across horizon, calmly bringing a very gentle touch of saffron. There’s just enough woodiness present to remind you of this note in all Atelier des Ors perfumes. An intriguing dance of sage and vetiver is what catches my attention, sage and vetiver and sporadic puffs of patchouli!

The dry down is a bit quieter, softer although what surprises me is that even after a couple of hours occasional whiffs of grapefruit emerged again, unexpected but very welcome in their outfit made of fruit and berries. An intriguing fragrance, writing its own story on your skin…It reminded me of September mornings in California…

Day 6: Larmes du Desert

Intentionally left to be the last to sample, postponed for days. Expectations were high, I admit. If you know me by now, you also know that I am a desert lover, traveled to many and plan to visit many more. This is why I was looking forward to it. I was a bit selfish, I admit. One day was not enough: I enjoyed it for a couple of days before sharing this.

Larmes du Desert. Tears of the desert…is this what it sounds like when myrrh trees cry? If a desert, then this desert is not scorching, hostile and dusty environment we usually associate with deserts. When I took in deeper breaths, it felt so familiar, like a deja vue. As I recalled all the deserts I’ve been to, a memory surfaced. The perfume took me back down the memory lane, images resurfacing, vivid and colorful. Gold, myrrh and frankincense! Gifts of the Three Kings.

The exact spot? After taking a quite long bus ride on a dusty desert road inside Sinai, a fortification appears upon the hill: the Saint Catharine’s Monastery, Mount of Sinai looking at adjacent Jebal Musa (Mount Moses). I remember it well. I feel resinous notes, a touch of olibanum, dark and seductive amber shot with a whiff of cinnamon. In the Monestery’s shades, a mix of dark sweetness, dry but layered upon forest woods, cedar toned. Sparkles of greenery, a trace of smoke: I remember looking at the „burning bush“ – a bramble (Rubus Sanctus), covering one wall with its lush greenery. The bush that was on fire but not consumed by flames…Rare and scattered Joshua trees can be seen in the distance.

Embracing softness of frankincense rises, dragging me deeper down into clouds of earthy balsamic and spicy tones, soothing as I take off my flip-flops and walk upon this ground with bare feet (anyone entering the chapel is required to remove their shoes…), feeling a warm breeze coming from the mountain and scattered rays of sunshine touching the skin on my arms and feet, adding it a very subtle golden glow…my skin breathes patchouly.

This is why it took me days to get over it, I cherished this memory. There are perfumes that make me cry, and Larmes du Desert is one of them.

As for this photo, I found my silver Hamsa hand pendant: it can be traced back to the people of Phoenicia, some say that it was present even before, in ancient Egypt. An ancient symbol of protection, bringing happiness…so I share it with you, together with my impression of this wonderful perfume!

Thank you, Atelier des Ors!

P.S. See you in Milan next month – Esxence is a place to be! Please email me for appointments as my schedule is quite busy there 🌹

The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl Archives, Atelier des Ors
Disclaimer

Love.

No matter the date, day of a year or season, love is omnipresent.

One word: LOVE. So many meanings, shapes, and manifestations!

Some love to love, some love only those who are in love with them, some love often, some once in a lifetime.

Love can be strong and devouring or sweet and gentle, differ in intensity, be divine or torturous.

It has many shapes: love for one’s family is different from the love of being in love or love for money. Not to forget, self-love matters as well. A great deal too, because how can you give love if you feel no love for yourself?

Love. One word.

Greek language, however, used three different words: Eros, Phileo, and Agape. These describe different kinds of love.

Eros is sensual love, erotic, hunger-satisfying, pleasure-driven.

Phileo is above carnal yearning. It describes a feeling of a friendly kind of love, aimed toward everything that attracts or pleases us, emotional and unpredictive, but kind and gentle.

Agape is unconditional love, self-giving and uttermost happiness that results in it. An active kind of love, moving, making us do things for others with expecting nothing in return. It is constant and stable, able to love even when no love is returned, freely given. Respect, tolerance and kindness mark it, and yes, it gives a feeling of complete fulfillment.

Olfaction, the oldest sensory systems, but probably the least understood and taken into consideration, has an important role in our feelings. Various researches have proven that the sense of smell affects partnerships and social behavior. Feeling of love as well…How does love smell?

Nose IS a sexually interactive organ. Nostrils flare, breath deepens or gets shorter and quicker drawn. The French, of course, take this matter very seriously: they have a word for the scent of a woman when her perfume mingles with her body oil: „cassolette“ (from the diminutive form of the French word „cassole“, a small container).

The scent of a Woman…
What about Scent of a Man? It made me wonder and think about it.
If cassolette, is it then cassole? Which perfumes would match my feelings?

I am not talking about perfumes he wears, I am talking about the scent you feel surrounding him like an aura, a body scent of your beloved imprinted in your mind. I see him in scents and colors, eyes wide shut.

Did you ever wear your partner’s clothing to bed? I do. He is away, I miss him, so what do I do? The same thing as one study confirmed: 13% of men and 52% of women have slept dressed in the clothing of the significant other, because of the smell! I sleep in his T-shirt…do you?

What does my love smell like, I asked myself? I thought that will be a difficult question, but it wasn’t.

Early in the morning, just after the morning shower, my love smells just like Acqua Celestial by Maison Francis Kurkdijan.

Color of light blue, fresh and sharp morning sky with a touch of Spring approaching, just like now in February when the season of Mimosa has begun. With a touch of lime freshness and a bit of musk hidden beneath. Phileo.

As the day goes by, the notes of his skin turn into L’Air du Hiver, by Jean Claude Ellena for Frederic Malle: a smooth operator, he is. Gentle Iris and Heliotrope, powdery yet fresh and as it dries down sweet honey moves gently forward. Like his hug, enveloping, gentle yet strong. A soft kiss. Agape.

And his T-shirt, the one I sometimes sleep in? Pure Nassomato Duro. It gives me goosebumps. Eros at it’s best.

The scent of that special place under his collar-bone, his elbow pits, skin, feeling dark, fiery and animalistic, very masculine (although I love wearing Nassomato Duro as well, it is unisex…or do I wear it because it reminds me of Him?).

Description of the perfume says oud, leather, wood, and spices but for me…it smells very sexy. Reliable. Desirable. Strong and impressive. Wild. Now I’m blushing. But that’s just me. And his T-shirt…

When we talk about romantic love, one perfume couldn’t possibly capture all phases we go through.

Love inspired many perfumes, and perhaps the most famous story is the one about Christian Dior who commissioned perfumer Paul Vacher to create a modern fragrance, and giving him this brief: “Make me a fragrance that smells like love.”

Miss Dior, an elegant green chypre that became legendary. Millions of consumers all over the world fell in love – with this perfume, and many interpretations followed.

Francois Demachy, the Nose at Parfums Christian Dior, explains: “Making a fragrance that smells like love is a renewed challenge. The composition has to be exciting and stirring, somewhat wild, and yet accessible. To that end I sculpted its florals facet, emphasizing the power of its Roses in order to make it sensual and suggestive. I also doted it with extremely lively and exuberant notes, so that it would be instantly expressive and attractive. Lastly, I eliminated any dark, earthy notes. It had to burst forth like love at first sight.”

Love at first sight. This is what it’s all about. Is that all? No. There are many phases of love. Different authors seem to disagree on a number of stages, these tend to range from three to twelve stages of love!
Let’s just take a closer look (or sniff?) at the ones I singled out:

Phase – one: falling in love is characterized by physical symptoms like flushing and trembling, excitement, obsession, and fantasy. Obsession. Flushing. Lust. I immediately think about rose-themed perfumes, even some rose-oud combinations. Well, this is the Eros phase, so feel free to find the perfume that represents it in the best possible way, or puts you in the right mood. If you are looking for a rich, well balanced and blended Ta’if Rose Perfume, just enough fresh, spicy and dark at the same time, Ormonde Jayne‘s Rose Gold might be what you are looking for. Do an experiment, sniff something new, niche, artisan or indie: your perfect phase-one perfume will find you!

Building trust and becoming a couple is the next phase: it’s all about communication, empathy and listening. Can you think of perfumes that make you feel trustworthy, self-confident, and positive? You might even consider wearing these as typical “office fragrances”, or maybe incense based ones will do the trick for you?

A most recent perfume that gave me this feeling is “Volume 1 – Intelligence & Fantasy” – The Beautiful Mind Series, created by Geza Schoen in collaboration with Christiane Stenger, Memory Athlete, featuring a fresh invigorating opening followed by exotic tiare, a gardenia native to Tahiti – and very rare.

The drydown is calming, cashmere/cedar and musks – reliably soothing. ISO E Superpowers it up, so it does resemble in some way Molecule No. 02, but this perfume is more masculine peppery. It is also very unoffensive, unisex, and quite complex.

Phase 3 of love is about building true commitment and loyalty. Attachment. Feeling connected. A soothing feeling, making you feel secure and cared for. The most gentle hug, refreshing and uplifting smile, woody, earthy or mossy notes – seek the perfume that makes you feel like this.

For me, this is all about fougere-group perfumes with green notes, or one of the fragrant pearls coming from Parfums Dusita: Erawan. This is a beautiful fragrance, exhibiting the exceptional talent of Pissara Umavijani. Lush hay note is blended softly with perfect vanilla.

It moves and shifts into woody notes, but you can also feel flowers protruding gently, quite addictive. This is a very natural and unisex fragrance, very multifunctional.

Scents of love! There are so many…

I hope you will find perfumes that reflect your feelings perfectly! Perfumes you’ll fall in love with.

Elena Cvjetkovic/The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl Archives, Ormonde Jayne, Dior Official, Parfums Dusita, The Beautiful Mind Series – official photos.
Disclaimer

I outed myself. I am a perfume addict.

To be precise, I am a niche perfume addict. Not a hoarder of bottles, mind you. I collect olfactory experiences…

As far as I can remember, I noticed scents around me. I have vivid olfactory memories. Even as a little kid, I smelled intensely the world around me. I remember the scent of my first big plastic doll. The olfactory Madeleine’s of my grandmother baking Christmas cookies. The scent of a field of wildflowers and high grass near a cold creek on a hot summer day in June. Sea and sunshine on my hair and skin during the summer holidays. The scent of snow in the air, before it starts to fall. Wet autumn multicolored leaves on pavements. Little, daily entries in the “scent library“ section of my brain.

Then came perfumes, my mother’s, aunt’s, grandmother’s, grandfather’s, friends, people known and unknown. I explored classics, for many years: Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Este Lauder, Guerlain, all that I could get my hands on. Nose on, to be exact. First thing I do when meeting someone? I sniff them. I remember people and places by scent.

Niche perfumes? I can even pinpoint when it all started. The one that got me down that rabbit hole is famous Comme Des Garcones and it happened in London, 1995. I will never forget that moment when I held that little vial tightly in my hand after being exposed to it (I had no money to buy that specific bottle of perfume. I never did buy it.). That’s yet another story, kind of happy and sad and I will write about that episode as well, as soon as I gather some courage to do so because it is a very personal story. I realized that nothing ever will be the same again. My hunger for strange and unusual perfumes grew, it became more and more sophisticated and demanding.

I have nurtured my addiction carefully, fed it, yearned for some specific perfumes, cried over the impossibility of online ordering, spent money on it. I have grown comfortable with my addiction over the years, learning how to control the impulse of hoarding, insisting on quality over quantity. Taking it slow, constantly trying to train my nose to do better, to explore ideas and stories behind the product, styles, and handwriting of various perfumers, all that jazz. Art. It is art, you must be aware that it is! Like all art, it elicits emotion, thought, and reaction. And face it: your scents memory IS so much stronger than sight or hearing, for instance! I could ramble on and on about artistry of perfumes, but for now, let’s just come to an agreement that there are masterpieces of art in perfumery. For instance, anyone can learn how to play a musical instrument. You produce notes, right? But to compose music? To perform beyond mastery of reproducing notes? Now, that is what for me niche perfumes are. Art. Furthermore, I do cry over great pieces of art. I cried over some ballet pieces, I cried at the piano and classical music concerts, I shed tears at Ermitage, Louvre, Prado…just to name a few. I stood for half an hour in front of Tutankhamun’s Mask in The Egyptian Museum of Cairo, crying, sobbing – amazed by its beauty. I cry over some perfumes as well…the ones that touch my soul. Ok, so I am an art addict. That sounds better.

Many people consider smell as the lowest sense of them all, a mere animalistic drive. Some even think that perfumes are either a trivial luxury or an utterly unimportant part of their lives. If you ask around which sense people would give up first, it is mostly – the smell. Well, precisely that is one of my greatest phobias: to become anosmic!

The issue with this addiction is that you don’t easily find “soulies”. You shy away from Muggles, appreciate groups and people with whom you can easily share, discuss, debate, argue, learn, grow. I found a group of perfume enthusiasts, on Facebook. It is called Eau My Soul, it is international and a safe place for many of us. There is even a perfume named after this group! Group hug scent, how amazing!

Just recently I asked members of this wonderful and supportive group of people from all around the world what are their greatest phobias. Fifty members wrote about their greatest fears, commented and shared.

These are our 15 most common perfume addict phobias, more or less in order of importance!
FEAR OF:
1. Discontinuation. (Perfumes disappearing into the „dead perfume black hole“!)
2. Reformulating.
3. Missing out. (Not buying, holding yourself back and then the fragrance gets discontinued! Fear of not being at home when a package with samples arrives…and many more that fall under the same umbrella…)
4. Perfumes and decants evaporating (and that you are not wearing them…)
5. An empty bottle. (50% is a warning sign!)
6. Not being able to afford a beloved fragrance. („My fear is always having champagne tastes on a beer budget!“)
7. Not being able to use all of your perfumes before retiring to another world/Universe/parallel reality.
8. A husband/wife finding out that you just bought another one!
9. Never finding the energy or mindset to sell the ones you need to sell, having more perfume than you could ever possibly use in a lifetime.
10. Forgetting your juice at home/office, going „naked“.
11. Becoming allergic to any perfume. Ending wearing nothing but aroma-free shampoo.
12. Inferior reformulations and price hikes.
13. Children/natural disasters/accidents destroying your collection.
14. Hyposmia. (a reduced ability to smell and to detect odors. A related condition is an anosmia, in which no odors can be detected at all.)
15. Reading this while ordering online: „Dear Customers, unfortunately, we are only allowed to deliver this fragrance to the European countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. If your shipping address lies in another country we will have to cancel this item from your order and refund you.” (It made me cry, I swear.)

And that’s not all: we all do have common idiosyncrasies too.

If you recognize any or all of your own phobias while reading this, bear in mind: You are not alone. You are never alone with your perfume.

Just be aware that addiction is an addiction, no matter how much you deny it. Loving perfumes is beautiful and has nothing to do with compulsive-obsessive hoarding of bottles…

Love you all.

The Plum Girl
Photos: Dreamstime, Fragnatica

„Dance is poetry made visible, the fragrance is a dance of molecules invisible.“

My story about dancing dates back to early childhood. One day, a seven-year-old, freckle-faced, green-eyed girl with thick and long braids asked her mom to take her to ballet lessons. It was something other girls talked about, elegantly raising their arms, swirling around, pretending to be ballerinas performing on stage.

So she did, my mother took me to a ballet school and signed me up for an admission, done by means of a training period at the end of which pupils take an entrance examination to the ballet school. I was so proud and happy, bright-eyed and could hardly wait for a class to start. Unfortunately, it seemed that I was the one who did everything – wrong. Splits? My hips weren’t that flexible. Routine? I seemed to be always the one who couldn’t repeat it without adding something of my own. Surely enough, one day after rehearsal my ballet teacher called me aside and said: „In my opinion, you’d make a perfect handball team player. Go and play handball! Ballet is not for you.“ My mother did not take me to ballet classes anymore after that day. I did start playing handball, never enjoyed it much (it is a quite rough sport) and quit playing in the 8th grade.

I grew up thinking that I cannot dance. Of course, hopping up and down and some feet shuffling was involved in rock concerts, in a disco or any other social event where people danced, but dancing? Like amateur dancing? No, that was just something I thought I had absolutely no talent for.

I admired every dancer, knowing it is such hard work. I loved to watch people dance, just any dancing, classical dances, hip hop, anything really. Especially ballet. To have all the strength of a beast and the fragility of a butterfly? I knew there is a dark side to professional dancing: it is mostly composed of blood, sweat, and tears. Literally.
The agony and ecstasy.

Years passed and I continued to avoid any thought of active dancing training. Work, family, friends, life happened. Until one day, when a young woman I met invited me to come and see what training looked like in her studio. It is a pole fitness studio, and all the insecurities emerged: I am not fit, I am not flexible, I cannot dance. Never could. So many self-limiting thoughts, too many not to be dealt with. I decided to go and give it a chance. The rest is history, really. I am now almost six years in active training and dancing routine, and yes! I have experienced the famous „zone“ quite often when dancing freely! I can dance! And how! Not in the way I thought about dancing as a little girl, not being a classical ballerina, but hey! I dance.

During hard, core muscles and flexibility training, I also learned that pain is a part of the process. That accepting pain is necessary, as is listening to your body. And that the body remembers, oh, it does! Pain is a fact, but suffering because of that pain is subjective. Along with anatomical control, every dancer, in my opinion, develops an expectation of a certain amount of pain or soreness. Maybe this acceptance is best learned at an early age, I like to think that an adult person can embrace it as well.

Yet, I am a recreational dancer. I can only imagine what professional dancers go through…What I have learned is that the body has laws of its own to be respected, though tamed. The satisfaction comes from the complete fusion of body and mind, letting go of all the rational thinking, having confidence in your body and being in the dance flow. The flow is what gives you the most pleasurable moments on the dance floor, or anywhere. Flow is a relationship between the level of challenge and skills: when both skills and challenges are abundant, you can reach the flow!

Precision is a prerequisite of grace.
As with perfumes, as with perfumes!

Those were my thoughts after my first encounter with „Precision and Grace“ perfume. I really admire Geza Schoen, and I was very curious about this perfume (for those who are unfamiliar with names of „Noses“, Geza created Eccentric Molecules, described as anti-fragrance, breaking the rules of fragrance composition). Even more curious when I read that his creative partner was Polina Semionova, an internationally famous ballet dancer. Let me quote her: „The precision only comes with hours of work in the studio. Then, when I go on stage, I don’t think anymore. I release myself to the music. I fly.“

„The Beautiful Mind Series celebrates women – not in the conventional way of the fragrance industry, as objects of desire – but for their intelligence and creativity. The imagery for the series, by design house Me Company, depicts the beauty of the brain in action. Instead of the faces of Stenger and Semionova, the packaging features neural pathways. These are imaginative representations of synapses connecting during memory retrieval, and of the kinesthetic intelligence of the dancer. Here, the non-conformism is all in the concept of the anti-celebrity fragrance, and the tribute to the dazzling female brain.
The dots and triangles are a series of placements, they represent the precise steps she must take,” explains Paul White of Me Company. The color flows reflect a different way of mapping a balletic gesture. “Dance is precise, but it’s also semi-airborne. The pulses of color reflect the flux of the dance, almost like motion capture trails. They represent the dancer’s freedom, her joy.”- The Beautiful Mind Series


I find the fragrance very feminine, but not in an overly powdery, sweet or sultry way, oh no. The opening is crisp and fresh, like when you sit in the wardrobe, preparing to dance. You can feel the adrenaline kicking in, but it makes you feel light and energized. The top note of Williams Pear is so delicious!

When you start to dance, making your first moves, still listening to the music, still rationally thinking, you feel the floral notes, jasmine mostly, mixed with a sweet and ripe plum. As you lose yourself to the music, florals of mimosa and osmanthus give in to warm and velvety tones. Everything surrounding you disappears. You are flying, emotions are your wings. Eyes closed, your body has a life of its own, its warmth and movement generate musky, sandalwood tones which breathe with your body, gently enveloping it, making you feel safe and secure. With a warm drydown of pure happiness, soul-deep joy! And it lasts and lasts…

In my opinion, this perfume gives the flow you experience in dancing an olfactory description. Enjoy it. Dance. Wherever and whenever you can. Yes, you can!

„The sexiest thing about a woman is her mind.” – Geza Schoen

The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl private collection
Perfume Sample Provided By: TOP