My Blog’s First Anniversary

Most of you are probably familiar with, I’m positive a well-studied and explained, phenomenon of the time going faster as you get older. I wasn’t curious enough to look for those explanations so at some point I came up with the one that seemed logical and left it at that.

In our earlier years time is very discrete and structured: we always know which grade we are in, what semester (or quarter as it was in the country where I went to school) it is and when we’ll have the next break. Our years are distinctive in terms of classes, class-mates and teachers. And each year constitutes a significant part of our self-aware life.

As we get older, finish our education and start working full-time, our lives become more unified,  “continuous” and provide much less range poles for memory to measure against. Also a year becomes smaller and smaller relative to life lived. Small kids might improve that situation for their parents for a while but it’s still not the same and it goes away as they grow up.

First BlogoversaryI didn’t know that at the time, but starting my blog a year ago served as an antidote to that acceleration tendency (probably just a temporary one but still). My life became much more structured. I’m constantly aware of not only a month (“Is it time for a monthly stats post?”) but also dates and days of the week (“I haven’t posted since the last Tuesday” or “I’m reading a six-days-old post – Is it still Ok to comment?”).

This first year was veeery looong and really good for me. I published many more posts than I planned I would. I found many more blogo-friends than I hoped I would. And I discovered many more great perfumes than I thought I would.

I’m thankful to all my friends, supporters and enablers influencers.

Suzanne, lyu, Vanessa, Michael, Ines, Victoria, Ari, Diana, Joanne, Tara, Olga, Elisa, Thomas, Lavanya, Carol, Laurie, Meg, Krista, Asali and Christos – thank you. For reading, commenting, writing inspiring reviews and sharing perfumes. I appreciate every token of your support and value your friendship.

And now a special spotlight on my perfume godmothers:

Five Bottles

Natalie of Another Perfume Blog: as far as I know she was the first one to report on upcoming Chanel No 19 Poudre release. She kept publishing updates and impressions the topic and it resulted in My First Unsniffed Purchase. (UPD: APB is closed now)

Dee of beauty on the outside: after I won a drawing for a decant of Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess perfume on her blog, I liked it so much that I bought the last bottle at the store and then brought it with me on the trip to Hawaii – how often do you haul a FB to a vacation? (if you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the Bronze Goddess’ picture from that trip, I think she looked great).

Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels: she described Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche in such a way that I just had to try it! (well, Birgit does it a lot). I got a sample (thanks to Carrie), tried it and fell in love. So now finally I have a colored Annick Goutal’s bottle in my collection.

Tarleisio of The Alembicated Genie: her beautiful writing resulted in not one but two new bottles in my collection: Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan and DSH Vert pour Madame. If you haven’t read The Incomparable Khadine and Vertesimilituda yet I dare you to do so and see if you can resist the urge to try these perfumes if you haven’t tried them yet or re-try if you have.

Mals86 of The Muse in Wooden Shoes: here I told the story about my bottle of Puredistance Antonia and what role Mals played in it.

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What else did this year of blogging give me? A complete realization of how great the climate where I live is.

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Images: my own

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New Year Resolutions, Part I: 2011 Round Up

New Year resolutions… Crowds in gyms and dance classes usually subside by mid-February allowing regulars to go back to their normal routines. Healthier eating habits get buried under stress of a “holiday-less” life and kitchen catch-all drawers stay in their natural state that makes finding any useful thing we put in there at some point an adventure.

In the beginning of 2011 I decided to see at least one of my New Year resolutions through. The resolution was: I will wear one of my favorite perfumes at least two times a week. By that time I’d created already a database to hold information about perfumes in my collection. So all I needed to add was a diary part where I could record my perfumes usage.

I’m proud to report that in all twelve months of 2011 I followed my NY resolution and gave perfumes in my permanent collection the attention they deserve. In addition to that, my numbers collecting provided me with a lot of interesting though probably not that useful data points which I’d shared with my readers in the Quick stats section of my monthly reports.

I was very curious to see the numbers for the whole year. So, here they are.

Quick 2011 stats:

* Different perfumes worn/tested: 376 (303 tested for the first time and 73 previously tested – see the chart by month) from 110 brands;

2011 statistics: perfumes worn by month* Perfumes I wore just once: 191;

* My Top 10 Brands (perfume house I wore/tested most often): see the chart, click on it for a full size;

My Top 10 Brands in 2011

* My Top 10 Perfumes (those that I wore the most often):

Perfume

Times Worn

№19 EdT by Chanel

16

Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal

13

Tiare by Ormonde Jayne

12

№19 Poudre by Chanel

10

Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder

9

Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle

9

Une Rose Vermeille by Tauer Perfumes

9

Antonia by Puredistance

8

Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens

8

Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne

8

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Coming up in the next couple of days New Year Resolutions, Part II: Perfumed resolutions for 2012.

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Images: my own

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See also year end posts and Top N lists for 2011 from the friendly blogs:

Another Perfume Blog: Best Perfumes of 2011: A Joint Blogging Event

beauty on the outside: Highlights from 2011

EauMG: Best of 2011 – Perfume Blogging Event

eyeliner on a cat: Best Fragrances of 2011

From Top to Bottom: My 2011

Muse in Wooden Shoes: 2011: The Year’s Fragrance Releases in Review

Olfactoria’s Travels: The Best Of 2011 – My Favorite Perfumes Of The Year

Perfume in Progress: Some thoughts as the year ends

Persolaise – A Perfumer’s Blog: The Best Perfumes Of 2011 & Thoughts On Independence

Pieces of paper, squiggy lines: My Favorite Fragrant discoveries of 2011

Scent of the Day: My Favorites of 2011

Scents of Self: Forgotten Fragrances of 2011

The Alembicated Genie: Best of the Best 2011 – Perfumes and Perfumers and Best of the Best 2011 – Worn and Adored

The Candy Perfume Boy: The Candy Perfume Boy’s Best Picks of 2011

The Non-Blonde: 2011 In Perfume- Delights & Rants

My First Perfume Review: Puredistance Antonia

When it was the Second Night, said Dunyazad to her sister Shahrazad, “O my sister, finish for us that story of the Merchant and the Jinni;” and she answered “With joy and goodly gree, if the King permit me.” Then quoth the King, “Tell thy tale;” and Shahrazad began in these words: It hath reached me, O auspicious King…”
The Thousand and One Nights

Less than a month ago I saw a tweet from Puredistance with an invitation to participate in the Scented Stories competition. I followed the link to their Facebook page and read:

Tell us your own Puredistance story! We invite you to participate in our Scented Stories competition.

Write us about your stories and special moments while wearing Puredistance. Illustrate your feelings, thoughts and sensations blended with your favorite Puredistance scent. If you express better with a image, send us a photo-mood of you wearing Puredistance. […]

The author of the most beautiful story or photo will have the opportunity to choose its favorite Puredistance fragrance! 17.5ml of either Puredistance I, ANTONIA or M.

We will announce the lucky winner on Wednesday, the 2nd of November.

I submitted my story about Puredistance Antonia perfume. And I won. Yesterday I got my prize and decided to share my story.

Puredistance Antonia perfume

I’ve changed only formatting for publishing it here and inserted links but other than that I haven’t changed a word because it is a true story; I didn’t create it specifically for the draw.

A story of my first perfume review

I am a perfume blogger. When I thought about starting my blog I realized I wasn’t ready to do actual reviews: first of all, I didn’t have enough perfume knowledge (and I still don’t) and also because I live in an English-speaking country, most of my perfume-related communications with my Perfumeland’s friends are in English but English isn’t my native language. And I loved perfumes too much to try fitting them into the Procrustean bed of my language limitations. So my solution was to write not actual reviews but stories, memories, associations related to perfumes. The tagline for my blog reads “Perfumed Reflections of Life”.

I was writing my stories – several per month, just whenever I would remember something worth telling. I didn’t plan still to do any reviews. But then an owner of a friendly blog offered several of her samples for the draw  to those readers who would promise to write at least a three sentence review of the sample they would win. I entered the draw and won Puredistance Antonia.

I struggled with my review (it’s one thing to right to your baby-blog visited then, half a year ago, by a smallest group of fellow-bloggers and it’s much scarier to do something you’re not good at for a much wider audience, including the blog owner who happens to be a writer!). But I promised to write it so I did the best I could: luckily I liked the perfume (though sometimes it’s easier to write a snarky comment when you dislike something – but then I wouldn’t be able to submit the story for this draw).

Here’s my short review for Puredistance Antonia perfume:

When I smelled Puredistance Antonia on my wrist for the first time the adjective that flashed in my mind was “bewitching”. The scent was so unusual, so unexpected… It doesn’t remind me of any other scent I wore up till now. Now I got used to it, I anticipate our next encounter so I’m not shocked but still a little amazed. Every time.

It is very potent: several touches of the vial’s applicator give enough sillage and a staying power is just amazing. Not sure I could stand it sprayed: it might be too much. But from a dab vial it is just enough. A couple of times I felt almost tired of it but it never crossed this line. What is interesting about Antonia, on my skin for the first two hours it smells exactly the same, without changing or developing: sharp green scent with a hint of … rubber? Then it mellows down a little, becomes creamier and sweeter – and stays like that for hours. I tried Antonia four times on my wrist and once even wore it (meaning, I applied it as I would any other perfume if I was using it, not just testing). I couldn’t stop sniffing my wrist on all five occasions. I enjoy wearing this perfume and I will be wearing it again. A full bottle worth? I don’t know yet. It might be.

All of the stories on my blog are true stories – First Love: Perfume, My First Scrubber, My First Decant, etc. Probably one day this one will become a part of the story My First Perfume Review.

I’m wearing puredistance Antonia today, sprayed, and it feels great. At 25% concentration Antonia’s tenacity on my skin is just amazing so I don’t think I’ll use a nice handmade leather case that came with the perfume to carry it with me in my purse. But it should be great for traveling. And I think I’ll take it with me on my next trip to…

“And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say…”

Rusty & Puredistance AntoniaSince it was very hard for me to write that first review, back in May I intentionally stayed away from reading any reviews for Antonia. But now nothing keeps me from reading them and, just in case you missed them earlier, read this inspiring review by Birgit at Olfactoria’s Travels or click through Dee’s post on her Antonia’s winning to her wonderful description of this perfume which is used by Luckyscent on its website. Here’s one more link to the extremely interesting post by Vanessa at Bonkers about Perfumes about her visit to the Puredistance offices.

Images: my own