24 December 2012

Merry Christmas! :)

I haven't blogged in ages, as I've been super busy with three simultaneous projects.  Christmas Day will be my only day off, and then it is back to work again.  I'm not complaining though; I am working towards a goal that will give me plenty of free time. :)  I just popped in to wish you and yours well during the holiday season.

May your coming days be filled with love, light, and growth. We are in interesting times, and I am excited about the future. Tomorrow, make a slight extra effort to make someone happy. You'll be surprised how fast one's misery lifts when spreading cheer and love. I have always lived for the sole purpose of spreading love, light, and growth through inspiration - in any way I can. You don't have to be famous to do so - just love the people around you.

I will end my greeting to you all, with the words of Evo Morales. ♥

Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, called for a new age to begin December 21, 2012. Speaking at the United Nations in September, Morales said the date signals an end to individualism and capitalism and a turn toward the collective good. That's a common theme for Morales, who often speaks of 'vivir bien,' a phrase that can be translated as living well. 'Vivir bien' is often defined by the Andean nation's leaders as pursuing the collective good in balance with the Earth, and contrasted with 'living better,' which is seeking to amass wealth at the expense of the planet or other people.

“And I would like to say that according to the Mayan calendar the 21 of December is the end of the non-time and the beginning of time. It is the end of the Macha and the beginning of the Pacha, the end of selfishness and the beginning of brotherhood, it is the end of individualism and the beginning of collectivism – 21 of December this year. The scientists know very well that this marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a bio-centric life. It is the end of hatred and the beginning of love, the end of lies and beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness and the beginning of happiness, it is the end of division and the beginning of unity, and this is a theme to be developed. That is why we invite all of you, those of you who bet on mankind, we invite those who want to share their experiences for the benefit of mankind."

Transcript of Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, at the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 26, 2012.

25 October 2012

Question Time: What moment made you feel like a child again?

I was at my boyfriend's home, and we were trying (together with his 15 year old brother) to choose a movie to watch.  It was late at night, and the brother and I were doing our usual teasing and joking. 

I don't know how it started exactly, but the brother, Robin, and I started walking circles around the pool table in the same room as the DVDs.  I jokingly referred to the Mummy DVD we had looked at, and put my hands up like a mummy.  We continued walking around the pool table in circles as my boyfriend tried to concentrate on the DVD shelf nearby.  I grabbed a piece of chalk from the blackboard nearby, and started tallying each "round" I did.

To make a long story short, it ended up being a "game" whereby my boyfriend, I, and Robin were walking around the pool table in circles with chalk in our hands, contributing to the drawing on the blackboard with silly - and mostly very rude/dirty - additions, every time we passed it.  The "rule", we had come to figure out, was that you could not stay at the blackboard long enough for the person behind you to catch up with you.  What the consequences would be, I don't know, and so we broke our own rule quite often when trying to read the terrible handwriting of one of the contributors (not me, of course!)

After about 30 minutes, it ended with me going round the pool table on their sister's pink mini-scooter, and Robin and my boyfriend arguing on the blackboard over who is the biggest idiot (or who was more homo-sexual).  I don't think I have ever seen that many drawings of genitalia in one night.  I have to add that they all looked diseased, but that can be blamed on the "artists" skills. ;)

My point is, all of this was very childish.  But it was harmless fun, and we laughed all the way through at how silly we were.

When was the last time you got silly and let go of your pride?  What really is wrong with being a child once in a while, if we do not harm anyone?  Why do we feel embarrassed (this is a question I should really ask myself), when we portray ourselves as less mature to the world?

These aren't rhetorical questions, so go ahead: share your stories! :)

22 October 2012

On Make-Up

I haven't been blogging for a while due to lots of issues, but I just was about to start ranting away about yet another thought that I can't conclude on in a satisfactory manner, when it hit me that Twitter just isn't as awesome as Blogger when it comes to longer thoughts.  Plus, I get ignored by practically everyone on Twitter *cue violin music*

My issue today, is make-up 
(Oh, and all the images in this blog-post were photographed by yours truly. :D   )

I lie, though.  Because this issue is not just an issue today.  It's an issue every day, and it actually has boggled my mind for so long that I feel incomplete without having concluded what I actually think of the entire phenomenon.  My dilemma started many years ago, when I hadn't even hit my teens yet (though I did have an interest in boys, as that had started when I was two - don't ask!).

03 September 2012

Question Time: Does an association spoil things for you?

Hello All,

Rushing in to quickly post a question.  So much busier than I thought I'd be.  Hope you are all doing well :)

I'm currently having a salad with "garden herbs" (it's a ready-made salad with chicken and potatoes) and lavender is one of them.  Every time I bring my nose near to my salad, I am reminded of herbal perfumes (especially with the lavender!) and find myself losing my appetite.

24 August 2012

My new website and some more news

Hi all,

(I'm so giddy I can hardly contain myself haha!)

My official website just launched and I am SUPER excited.  I've been planning to use my brand of "shedoesitall" to lead people to all my different brands on one page.  I still need to change some of the photos (these aren't my best or newest), but other than that it is finally done.  Here are some screenshots, below the jump.

19 August 2012

Perfume Review: 1000 Flowers - Reglisse Noire (+ a giveaway!)

 Reglisse Noire is the first perfume from the house "1000 Flowers".  I had heard a lot about this fragrance due to my love for licorice, but ignored it due to EdT snobbery.  I felt that if it wasn't an EdP, it was not worth my time.  I eventually gave in to my curiosity and ordered a sample.

The description (stolen from Fragrantica) is as follows:

Réglisse Noire is the scent of black licorice candy, as its French name says itself. This is the first fragrance from the Canadian niche house 1000 Flowers founded by the perfumer Jessica Buchanan in order to explore the creation of perfume driven by the ideal of beauty in balance. The formula was created in Grasse France, where Jessica learned the art of perfumery working at Mane and Robertet.
Réglisse Noire opens with notes of white pepper, ozone, mint and shiso leaf. The heart is composed of black licorice and star anise and ginger and cocoa. The base consists of musk, patchouli, vanilla and vetiver.

18 August 2012

Perfume Review: L'Artisan Parfumeur Ambre Extrême

I just got this sample for free with my order from the lovely ladies at perfumeniche.com - they always treat me so well, and I would recommend them for an awesome read (I love their clever little blog), and hard-to-find perfume samples.

The official website describes this one as follows (pic stolen from Fragrantica):

Ambre Extrême is the more intense eau de parfum version of the original refined L’Eau d’Ambre. Much deeper and resonant, with spicy top notes and waves of golden amber and spices. If the original scent is red velvet, Ambre Extrême would be travelling in the 1930s, its Golden Age, wrapped in furs, exuding sensual elixirs while circumnavigating the globe .

Notes:  amber, vanilla, fresh spices

16 August 2012

254um and some photos

Hello All,

I'm going to be a bit quiet over the next few days on the blog.  I am focusing fully on a project I'm involved in, namely a new Kenyan forum (the only one!).

If you would like to have a look (and join), please do.  It is meant to connect Kenyans and anyone involved with Kenya, and I hope it accomplishes big things in the future.  Please do get involved. :)

The website is called 254um, and is a play on the country dialling code (254) and the word "forum".

Other than this, I'm stressed with my (lack of) progress in a distance learning course I started.  I have 12 days until my deadline and haven't even started! :(

14 August 2012

Perfume Review: Amouage Interlude (Man & Woman)

I'll make this a super-short intro, since I am putting two reviews in one post:

Amouage is awesome.  They make awesome perfumes.  They are expensive, but ALWAYS (and I have tried every single one of their main perfumes) worth the price.  Their art work (in my opinion) also ALWAYS matches the juice and its story whilst on skin.  They just launched Interlude Man and Interlude Woman, and one description (from hauteliving.com) is as follows:

In the House of Amouage’s latest introspective creations for man and woman, ‘Interlude’ evokes an air of disorder while maintaining a sense of balance and tranquility through the inventive use of Frankincense and Myrrh. An orchestrated blend of technical skill and creative integrity, the fragrances take one moment in time for self reflection and personal discovery to compose internal harmony from external chaos.
“I interpret what I see and feel into scents,” says Christopher Chong. “All the social and natural chaos and disorder surrounding us today can be translated to a much more intimate level. The interlude moment is a reflection of all the trials and tribulations one overcomes to attain personal satisfaction and achievement.”

Video: TAG: Get Your Freak On! 15 Weird Facts

Response to the Get your freak on Weird questions tag :) PLUS: CATS (2nd question)! Added a random chipmunk version of my song at the end, too.

Here's the blog-post I mention: http://www.sheblogsitall.com/2012/07/on-perfume-influencing-body-weight.html

Here are the questions:
#1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
#2. What's a weird habit of yours?
#3. Do you have any weird phobias?
#4. What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you're alone?
#5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
#6. What's one of your nervous habits?
#7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
#8. What was your first stuffed animal & its name?
#9. What's the drink you ALWAYS order at starbucks?
#10. What's the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice?
#11. Which way do you face in the shower?
#12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?
#13. What's your favorite 'comfort food'/food thats 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?
#14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?
#15. Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing?


10 August 2012

Perfume Review: Amouage Jubilation XXV

Yes, I'm reviewing another men's scent.  I was going to blog about Lush products, and my new decanting set, but this will do for today as I have a full day ahead - no time to take pictures of my packages!

Amouage is known for being a royal company in more ways than one.  They have a price tag suited for royalty, but also have a royal air about them (both the look and scent).  See here the description I stole from NST:
Amouage is a luxury perfume house established in Oman in 1983 by the Sultan of Oman, who hoped to revive and redefine the ancient Omani art of perfumery. Amouage (the name is a mash-up of “amour” + an Arabic word meaning “waves”) uses the traditional materials of Middle Eastern perfumery, such as frankincense and myrrh, but the perfumes are developed by perfumers from the major Fragrance & Flavor companies and are geared towards an international clientele.

Edit:  The creative director of Amouage contacted me to let me know this is wrong information.  The following info is correct, and taken directly from their website:

Founded over a quarter of a century ago, Amouage is a niche luxury fragrance house that draws inspiration from its birthplace of the Sultanate of Oman, infusing reference points from a rich and colorful heritage that fires the imagination of all who come into contact with its wonderful products.

Oman is a country that is proud of its heritage.
Its history goes back to the dawn of civilisation and permeates everything: the peaks where the frankincense trees grow and the sand dunes that cover the legendary cities of Sinbad the Sailor and the Arabian Nights. The coastal area fronting the Gulf of Oman is believed to have been known to the Sumerians as early as 3,000 B.C. and remains of settlements and distinctive beehive tombs are a legacy of this era.

A visit to the capital city of Muscat, will reveal a friendly and modern city full of culture, framed by the towering mountains of the Jebel Akhdar range. Travel further afield to experience the northern lagoons and south to the beautiful beaches of Salalah. The local people will always extend a warm welcome in keeping with their long tradition of hospitality.

It's interesting to note that the ad design always matches the fragrance in my opinion.  The fragrance does have a sparkle at the top that is light but always present.  It is not a dark scent (hence the moon shining), but it does have a depth to it that is cool and mysterious.  Anyway, enough about the ad.  Let me break down the scent for you. :)

08 August 2012

Perfume Review: Prada Candy

Yes, I'm dipping into mainstream territory, just for readers.  I realised I've been testing - and liking - a lot of niche brands, which aren't available for a lot of people (especially back home in Kenya).  So I decided to test a fragrance I liked that is widely available (and has won awards!).

Prada Candy had been EVERYWHERE when it launched, and its raunchy bottle which was obviously for the loud ones amongst us, just annoyed me.  "Pah!", I thought like the miser I am, "Another loud fruity floral!".  Then I started seeing good reviews, and when it ended up being compared to Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille (one of the loves of my life), I knew I had to dig up the sample I was given.

The notes given are musks, caramel, and benzoin.  Now, the Pradas I have tried are all soft and elegant, so this sounded like the typical move that perfume houses have been making recently: "Let's put some cheap smelling stuff in a bottle, market it as youthful, and watch it sell because of our brand name!"  I sprayed this one on with full snobbery glistening, waiting to write a bad review.  I got the shock of my life when I ended up loving it!

06 August 2012

Perfume Review: Parfum d'Empire Iskander

After seeing constant references from Lucasai of Chemist in the Bottle about this fragrance, and getting some requests to review more masculine fragrances, I decided to test this one.  I have samples of the whole Parfum d'Empire line, and it is the only house that I liked every scent from (after mass testing each one on every part of skin I could find!).  Side note: Please do check out Lucasai's blog - it offers a chemist's perspective on perfumes, and is very interesting!

Iskander, as all Parfum d'Empire scents, is named after yet another historical empire (I love that idea!).  I'm already a fan of this house because of its deep and characteristic fragrances, but the added story does nothing but excite imaginative people like myself.  See here the beautiful description:

The conquests of Eskander, as Alexander the Great was known in Persia, are told through the notes of Iskander. The freshness of Asian citron, mandarin and grapefruit is layered over an assertive heart of Mediterranean estragon and Indian coriander, delicately accented with the sweetness of orange blossoms. The velvety oakmoss embraces the richness of amber and musk. Full of unpredictable twists, Iskander contrasts the vivacious freshness of its top notes with luxurious warmth, resulting in a fragrance as unpredictable as the personality of Alexander the Great.

02 August 2012

Perfume Review: 06 Incense Rose by Tauer Perfumes

I am chuckling as I write this, because I was one of the biggest Tauter haters before I wrote this review.  I actually was considering putting "All of the Tauers I have tried" under the Scrubber section in my Perfume Portrait.  I only didn't because I respect Tauer as an indie house, and would feel embarrassed to write something so mean about a small company.  I also sensed that my tastes would change, and was willing to give it another try now that my nose has matured.

A month or 2 ago, my review would have been as follows:

Blegh! What is that spice? Cumin? Cardamom?  Who puts that in perfume?  Why would I want to smell of that? Gross!  I'm sorry, I cannot think of anything else to say.

Here are some excerpts of my test notes:

"Way too much spice [...] burns my nose [....] Waiting for less spice [....] spoils the entire experience for me [....] sit through this [....]"

Thanks to repeated mentions of Tauer perfumes, a mention of someone wearing it for their wedding, and talking to Undina, I have matured enough to try this again.  Last night I wore Le Maroc pour Elle.  It wasn't bad - just not me.  Today I decided to try Incense Rose, as I know I would love these notes - especially the incense, patchouli (love it if it's used to darken a scent), myrrh, and rose to sweeten things.  I sprayed my wrists and inner elbows (once each) with the generous sample I got from Tauer.

01 August 2012

Perfume Review: Olympic Orchids Golden Cattleya

I am cheating, by writing this review after I already bought a FB (full bottle, not Facebook!).  After loving a scent, one can be a little biased.  However, because my bottle is the size of some generous samples (25 ml), I'll pretend like I'm still sampling. Nobody has to know any different. ;)

Golden Cattleya is a fragrance that was made by Ellen Covey as part of the Orchid Scents series.  Ellen owns the Olympic Orchid orchid nursery in the Pacific Northwest (USA), and transferred her passion for the orchids she tends to, to this quality perfume house (can you tell I like this scent?).  Apparently, orchids cannot be, uhm, "put" in perfume (to put it in expert terms, of course), which makes her even more of a talented perfumer in my books.  I have read a few reviews on the different perfume community forums claiming that she captured the fragrance of a particular orchid perfectly.  This then means, that my babble about notes will be absolute rubbish, but never mind.  I have never smelled an orchid, so we'll have to do with with my limited knowledge for now.

I have never read her description of this scent until now, but I must say - that mention of sunshine is appropriate:

The scent of this orchid is pure gold - narcissus, daffodil, orange fruit, orange blossoms, honey, pollen, and cream soda combine with amber-tinged resins and musks to create a warm and long-lasting aura like late afternoon sunshine. This is not your usual sweet flowery orchid scent!

Perfume Review: La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens owns my heart.   I have two bottles from the export range, and one from the non-export range.  Most of the scents I have tried I love - sometimes for their actual scent, and other times for their gorgeous complexity.  I have absolutely hated a few, but good art always evokes extreme reactions, and perhaps - being an artist myself - this is why I am drawn to this house.

La Myrrhe is a pretty old scent, and was launched in 1995.  It is - judging from the name - supposed to be about myrrh, but I am not very familiar with the scent of this note, so shall judge with my limited perfume knowledge.  The notes named (but never judge a SL scent by its named notes!) are mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento.

 For this review, I dabbed a normal amount (so not too much) from my little sample vial on my wrists and inner elbows.  I recently tried to get a few of the non-export range in samples from the Perfumed Court so that I could at least enjoy these scents - even if I cannot own them.  

31 July 2012

On Perfume influencing Body Weight

Today the Daily Mail, that wonderful place we all turn to when we desire some real journalism *cough*, featured a new scent sold by the Fragrance Shop (UK).  This new fragrance, which sounds like a fruity floral for the masses, is said to have some interesting properties, indeed.

See here, the spiel:

"Designed to ‘slim with pleasure’ PRENDS-MOI (which meanst Take Me) is based on extensive aromatherapeutic and ‘neurocosmetic’ research and contains active ingredients including ‘Betaphroline’ which when it comes in to contact with keratinocytes (cells found in the outer layer of the skin) will induce the release of B-endorphins present in the skin. A ‘pleasure message’ is transmitted through the neurotransmitters (impulse from a nerve cell to another nerve, muscle, organ or other tissue) to the hippocampus (the ‘odour brain’) triggering an immediate sensation of well being, a reduction in stress and an increase in contentment reducing the need to overeat and the scents slimming action is activated.

Top notes, with lively accents of bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit, are placed in a deliciously fresh ambience. The middle notes are a flight of floral scents where jasmine responds to ylang-ylang and freshly picked lilac. The base notes combine musk and vanilla with patchouli and the woodsy intensity of sandalwood. With a low alcohol content, PRENDS-MOI is perfect for those who love summer all year long."

For the TLDR crowd, this fragrance apparently helps you lose weight.  Yes, you read that right.  A miracle perfume, right?  The awesome Birgit from Olfactoria's Travels doesn't seem to think so.  I believe her - this does sound, as many perfumistas called out, like snake oil.

But this got me thinking.

28 July 2012

Rambling Musing: Creativity

Today has been a bit of a meh day (perhaps that is an understatement), but I have been getting more creative.  I have been much more strict about writing my dreams down in a little notebook, and I just sketched out a rough tune for a song I might be doing with the awesome Drama B.

I enjoy receiving feedback on my work, and I just realised that I got very excited at the idea of being able to create something from nothing - and then getting feedback to help me grow.  I know that people love feedback on their work, but it was only now that I was very conscious/mindful of this.  When I am being extra conscious or mindful, I feel like I am watching myself from a wiser place, and at moments like this I feel the love of an ancient, and the amazement and wonder of a child.

21 July 2012

Perfume Review: Guerlain Idylle

 (This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Now let me start by saying that I adore Guerlain Insolence, and own Jicky as well as Gourmand Coquin.  I plan to get Shalimar one day, too.  Therefore, I expect well-crafted perfumes from this house (which was founded in 1828, and used to create perfumes for royalty).  I expect something unique, and perhaps groundbreaking.  Most importantly, I demand something special.

The bottle is interesting.  It's been compared to chocolates, a bike saddle, golden drops, and an upside-down shoe heel.  It is nice from far, but far from nice.  In images it looks chic, in real life the plastic chips away and you realise that your diamond was actually a piece of glitter reflecting the sun.  I am not shallow enough to judge a perfume by its bottle, but this little tidbit of information about the bottle runs parallel to my feelings on the juice itself. 

Perfume Review: Dior J'Adore L'Absolu

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

If you were alive in the 90s and early 2000s, and in/near a city where perfumes were sold a lot, you'll remember the large marketing campaign of J'Adore.  Or perhaps that beautiful image of a swan-like model in golden skin, hair, clothes, and water just stuck with me, and they didn't even market it that well (though I doubt it).  Either way, I knew what the bottle looked like before I even knew much about perfumes (the other perfume I "knew" before even being interested in perfumes is Cacharel's Noa - those ads were memorable too).

Perfume Review: Salvatore Ferragamo Attimo

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Another blind-buy.... Test-notes:

Fresh lemony burst, then pear sorbet - yum!  Then, after 5 minutes, it is just another fruity floral.  I would have loved it if it were a little more like Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, where that "soli-fruit" (lol) note stays on and on (and realistically too!).  Unfortunately, this one turns into another fruity floral with that cheap fruit-aldehyde note I seem to sense in every mainstream (not entirely well-crafted) department store frag.  It dries down to a yummy brown sugar, just like Acqua di Gioia, but lasts a little longer.  Gasp! Will this be my fruity floral keeper?  Only if it lasts longer than 2-3 hours.

Verdict: After the short yumminess, it dries down even further to a skin scent that smells of plastic.  I like some sillage, and would have preferred it if that pear stayed.  Bye-bye!

Perfume Review: Chloe by Chloe

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

I remember blind-buying this on the plane.  It said "fruity floral" and so I knew I'd love it *shudder*.  Here are my (short) test notes:

Juicy opening.  Switches to creamy flowers (but delicate, and still watery in that typical fruity floral fashion).  Smells like soap.  May have gone off, something in this makes me a bit queasy.  The bottle is in terrible condition, like it rusted somehow, which makes no sense as it has just been sitting on a shelf.  Maybe it did go off though... A bit of greenness in this one.  Scrubber.  Cannot place synthetic note.

Verdict:  I hope this was just off, and not how Chloe actually smells.  Happily donated on Basenotes to someone who was willing to test if it was off.

EDIT:  This did not go off.  It is just definitely not for me.  The Basenoter I sent it to was very happy with it, and his mum stole it from him as it reminded her of the Chloe she used to wear.  Yay happy endings!

Perfume Review: Vera Wang Signature

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Vera Wang is well known for her bridal designs.  If you have ever watched any show with a large emphasis on fashion/women (like Sex and the City), you know that a Vera Wang wedding dress is a dream come true for many women.  Here are some of her more "typical" designs:

Perfume Review: Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Let me start with two positives (uh-oh!).  Firstly, the print ad is gorgeous, and so is the commercial.  The model is already totally beautiful, but the make-up, photography and Photoshop used to "pop" her beauty has done her justice.  This is one of my favourite ads when it comes to how beautiful a model looks.  I also feel that the commercial matches the description.  Here's the commercial:

Perfume Review: Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One

(This review is part of the "30 Perfumes in 30 Days" series)

Watery sweet fruity floral at first spray.  Does not open very originally.  Rose comes through.  Very watery, and although I could see myself wearing this (at least if it stays like this), after having tried Les Parfums de Rosine's take on the rose, I feel I have grown out of synthetic florals like this.  It develops beautifully; some citrus and another soft white flower and juicy fruit stay in the background.  Very modern, a little cold - nice for a wedding or a spring occasion where you want to smell lovely and not overpowering.  This is just not for me; I suspect this will appeal to people new to perfume, or department store fruity floral perfume lovers.  The heart develops into purely soft white flowers, but nothing jarring - all very average. Bleh.  As some reviewers said, "Where is the rose?".

Verdict:  To Ebay this one goes!

30 perfumes in 30 days (or more)

Ever since the start of my perfume journey, I have been exploring more and more complex scents.  This has lead me to look at my old collection (started since I was a teen) with fear - would I still like my old "classics" now that my mind and eyes (or nose) had been opened?

I decided, with the help of the principles of one of my favourite books, to review my 33 or so perfumes in a month's time, and then decide once and for all whether they fit me now or not.  The ones I do not like, I will get rid of via Ebay or Basenotes, and the others I will keep.

I tested the following perfumes (linked in chronological order):

  1. Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One 
  2. Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia 
  3. Vera Wang Eau de Parfum 
  4. Chloe Eau de Parfum 
  5. Salavatore Ferragano Attimo 
  6. Dior J'Adore L'Absolu 
  7. Guerlain Idylle
  8. TBA
  9. TBA
  10. TBA
  11. TBA
  12. TBA
  13. TBA
  14. TBA

17 July 2012

Question Time: What is gender?

I have recently been seeing a lot of talk suggesting that gender is simply a concept that humans designed to categorise - and that we should not use genders to classify, in the same way we should not use race to judge people.

This got me thinking - we assume, whenever we find a new animal, that they can either be female, male, or asexual.  I do not think a lot of us ever stop to consider that the concept of female/male may be another limited idea that human beings have accepted as the only possibility.  What if there are more genders than male/female?  What if, somewhere out there, others procreate in other ways that we could not even begin to understand?  What if there are genders outside the spectrum we know?

What do you think of the concept of gender?
Is it necessary to give it importance, or has it become redundant in our modern society?
Do you have any "out-there" philosophical thoughts on this?

Please share.

Indie Love: Cat versus Human

Do you love cats as much as I do? I have 12 of them, so you probably don't, but I think that Yasmine from the blog "Cat versus Human" comes close. Her comics have touched the hearts of cat-lovers everywhere, and I hope that she will continue to do so for many more years.  If you have a cat, love a cat, or want a cat, these comics will appeal to you precisely because they are so full of truth!

Please go check her out: catversushuman.blogspot.com

Enjoy some more of her artwork below the jump.   If you decide to use any of her work online (profile picture, blog, etc), please make sure to credit her!  :)

16 July 2012

Art Love: Short Film "Method Actor"

For anyone who may have an interest in acting, or films - here is a chilling short clip that will haunt you forever (and potentially change the way you look at acting).

Method Actor from Justin Stokes on Vimeo.

Art Love: Cartier commercial

I really don't have words.  Just make sure you watch this in full-screen on HD.  That's all.

15 July 2012

Ancient Scripture (well, not so ancient, as it is written by me)

 I wrote this a few years ago, and just found it.  Thought I'd share as it made me grin.  Reading it now, I can see it might come across as slightly sexist.  Please rest assured I was and am not sexist, though I can see why certain parts may seem extreme.  Take it with a pinch of salt and a dash of humour.  :)

And when He had made Man, there was more to be done; He saw it. So He decided to make each Man individual; one million of the same Adam might end up being boring after all. Besides, the women had already started showing individual signs of unique personality. He decided to have a talk with all of the males of mankind.

"My dear Men, I have a Great Task for you. Today, you will each decide your destiny. As you may have noticed, the females of your Kind have started looking, sounding, and thinking differently from eachother. This is called individuality. I am giving you this Gift, now, but you must choose which direction it shall take."

"But how would we do that, Oh Great One?", called one Man at the front.

"My Child, it is very simple, if you follow my instructions. Follow your mind, talent, or whatever part of yourself that you believe in and know is true, and simply let it shape who you are. Whatever you choose to follow will shape your mind and personality too."

Days went by, and, the Men did as they were told.

Question Time: Have you ever made a time capsule?

I just watched the video below, and it reminded me of the letter I recently found in a bunch of papers, that I had written to myself when I was 7 years old.  It was an assignment we had had at school; I think we were meant to open it after 2000 as there were all those rumours going round about the world ending etc.  My letter was pretty boring, and went something like this:

Hi Melissa!

I am 7.  I live in Holland.  I like purple.  I like dogs.  I like etc etc etc.

On belonging, and the perfumista community

As you might know, I recently started to understand perfume as an art (you can read about the beginning of my perfume journey here).  To help me understand it better, I went to the best place I could to do research on this new-found love - the internet.

Now, I have been part of forums before.  Yes, you become a part of a community, have awesome conversations, and make good friends.  But I have found that there is an inherent human need to belong, and the most tight-knit forum communities (in my opinion) thrive solely due to this.  Never, however, have I experienced the feeling of truly belonging, as I have with the members of the online perfume community I have encountered.

First, let me give you a quick brief on my background, so you understand where I am coming from - I am the result of the perfect formula for an outcast (please note: I use that word with pride).

30 June 2012

Perfume Diary part 3

This was from my second time of testing at a department store, as well as my first at-home test with samples I ordered (the next day).  I found one of my true perfume loves in these notes.
Please note that my taste changes fast and that this may not reflect my current opinions on these fragrances.


Serge Lutens Santal Blanc
Do not like the opening.  Heart is foody but balanced.  Very comforting but light enough for cool summer day.  A bit like Jeux de Peau.  Reminds me of Chanel when it goes into heart/drydown - cool amber resin-like stuff. Grew on me eventually (loved it); someone else said it smelled like fermented eggplant!  Ends up smelling - hours later - like a really yummy wooden pencil.

Note:  I eventually bought a bottle of this, and love it so much that I sometimes spray my pillow with it to comfort me when I'm down.

Perfume Diary Part 2

14th April 2012 - My first testing mission at a department store - completely ignorant about "notes".  Please note that my taste changes fast and that this may not reflect my current opinions on these fragrances.

Bottega Veneta
Opened with a soft but (too) sweet note.  The lady said "it has real leather" as she sprayed the paper, and I commented on how it was too sweet.  She seemed shocked ( I now understand why).  I tested on skin.  The opening lasts a few mins, then goes to a horrid smell, then to a powdery cool sweetness after 20 mins that I like.  Very mild and soft.  Seems to end with obnoxious sweet alcohol-smell.

07 June 2012

Perfume Diary part 1

I have always loved perfume.  

However, recently an article about becoming a perfumista, which made me chuckle when I first saw it, prompted me into furthering my perfume knowledge.  I started reading more reviews on the site (Now Smell This), and just felt stunned.  Words were picked so carefully and each one was loaded with imagery.  I was impressed! Was this the undiscovered world of scent?

05 June 2012

On Perfume being Art

Perfume appeals to my nose the way music appeals to my ears, exquisite food to my taste buds, photography to my eyes, and great loving from my man to my sense of touch.

I can safely conclude, then, that PERFUME IS ART in its purest form.

As an artist, I therefore have a responsibility to buy as much perfume as I can. You know, to learn about art and all.

I once wrote this on a perfume forum, as a joke.

26 May 2012

Interview with After5 magazine (May issue)

This was an interview I had with After5 Magazine, a new online art magazine in Kenya.  I recommend you read the full issue (and their other ones) as it is truly enjoyable to look at, and a pretty new concept for Kenya.  (See the full issue (with pictures!) here)

On having or being Bipolar

"It has been said: The whole is more than the sum of its parts. It is more correct to say that the whole is something else than the sum of its parts, because summing up is a meaningless procedure, whereas the whole-part relationship is meaningful." ~ Kurt Koffka

I have all the symptoms of bipolar disorder.  I regularly display signs of someone the general public might call “manic”, and practically live most of my day down in the sticky clutches of depression.  I cannot remember my point while I’m making it - writing this is almost physically hurting – and the fog in my head surrounds my thoughts so much that it sometimes spills into my vision.

On my first blog post

It's interesting.  I've been wanting to blog for AGES now, but I only REALLY got the motivation to do it when I took down all my online presence.

(Grass is greener)

Anyway, so I finally went ahead and made this blog.  It's not that hard once you have done it.  A bunch of buttons et voila! You have ze blog.

Interestingly enough, I'm finding that everything "difficult" in life is like this.

So here goes! Welcome to my journey in music, photography, deep and weird thoughts, perfumery, food, travel, and much much more.