This day two years ago I dared to publish my first story on this blog – a story of my first and still lasting perfume love. Actually, it was my first story written in English ever. Those who had a similar experience with giving a public speech or writing in a foreign language know exactly how nerve-wrecking it felt (and those who hadn’t can imagine). Has it got much easier now? Ask me again in two years.
Since the beginning I published 164 posts – more than I thought I would. My most read post is Coco Noir… Light by Chanel (I won’t even link to it!) written just a half-year ago. This is both very symptomatic and sad. Is there a post I wished had more readers? I would probably want those of the readers who are my friends to read some of the more personal posts I wrote, but I do not want to list them today. As to the outside world that comes to my blog from search engines (most popular search was “las vegas strip map” but it fades if you add numbers for all variations of “coco”, “chanel” and “noir” that brough people to my blog), I’d want them to read the post that started Perfume Shopping around the World page (it has been recently updated here and on all participating sites) and to use information from those posts on different blogs.
Why Undina? Why Looking Glass?
I’ve been asked that question more than once. So here’s how it went.
Are you familiar with FidoNet and BBSs? … Kidding, I’m not that old experienced. But long before forums, blogs and social networks, chat rooms were my online habitat. For the first chat room I frequented I chose a gender-neutral nickname and used to communicate in such a way that it was hard to tell if I was a man or a woman (which wasn’t easy with my native language specifics).
When one of my friends invited me to visit a new role-playing chat room that he found and liked, I got stuck on the registration page: I had no idea who I wanted to be. I was ready for a more feminine character but that was it. Ундина (transliterated into Roman alphabet Undina, in English – Undine) was my spur-of-the-moment choice. I don’t know why I decided to be a water nymph but it seemed a fitting choice for a community inhabited by vagabond knights, friendly ghosts and talking animals. The host of the chat was an incorporeal being Nechto (something/somebody unknown), so the chat room was called У Нечта (At Nechto’s).
I stayed in that chat room and became a regular. My character transformed into rather a mermaid than a nymph. If you’ve never belonged to a half-closed moderated chat room it’s hard to explain what people were doing there… We joked; we discussed books and philosophical dilemmas; we even staged improvised theatrical performances. We’d created our own mythology and even furnished the room. Of course everything was imaginary, so it lived in memory of participants and was re-iterated for newcomers gaining more details and becoming a little more real with every next tale.
One of the elements of the room was a magical looking glass on the wall. I (Undina) would swim into the room from it and dive into it to leave. I would conjure necessary things from there – a tea set or a box of chocolates for the imaginary tea party; I would threaten to get a paddle out of there and beat up whoever was misbehaving. It was a useful piece of the interior.
I enjoyed years spent in that community, and I have the fondest memories of that time. So when a decade later I was choosing an online identity for the Perfumeland I decided to go with Undina (though I had to add BA – stands for SF Bay Area where I live – since the exact one had been taken). And I resurrected my looking glass when I started this blog.
For my birthday many years ago a friend gave me my own domain. It currently redirects traffic to this blog but since it’s done not through WordPress it’s done half-way. In a couple of days I plan to switch my blog from https://undinaba.wordpress.com/ to www.undina.com officially. It shouldn’t affect e-mail subscriptions or an RSS feed but if you do not hear from me in a week come back and check.
What stays the same?
Everything stated on my About page will stay true for Undina’s Looking Glass. Let’s keep building the better perfume community together.
And of course there still will be pictures of Rusty.