Today, I had the honour of being nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by the exquisite, stylish, always fashionable and eternally lovely Jackie of Style My Dreams. I stumbled upon her blog when I was just starting out, and I was captivated from the very moment I saw the stylish black layout and runway photos. It’s a site where I’ve spent far, far too much time perusing New York Fashion Week runway photos, the latest in handbags, or even red carpet looks like the crazy ones at the recent Met event.
I was very touched when Jackie nominated me. (But, even more so, that I’ve tempted her into numerous perfume sample purchases.). The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are about paying it forward: it is passed on from one blogger to another to help spread the word about the wonderful community of blogs. Specifically, you have to:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you;
- Select 15 blogs that you’ve discovered and follow; and
- Share 7 things about yourself.
Well, first, a huge thank you to Style My Dreams for choosing me, especially when her focus is not on perfume, but on fashion and style. I’m truly touched.
Next, I have to select 15 blogs I’ve recently discovered and follow. Since I’ve only been blogging for 5 months, almost everything is a relatively “recent” discovery but you may be surprised to know that not all of them are about perfume. And, for that reason, I’ll go beyond and add to the rules by telling you what I love about some of them. So, in no particular order:
15 BLOGS I LOVE TO READ:
1- My go-to source for anything (and everything) that is beauty or make-up related is probably not a secret to many women given that it is the largest and best blog around, but I have to choose Temptalia, a source of endless addiction. The range of reviews, the comparisons, the incredible swatches and accuracy…. Honestly, there is nothing else like it on the internet. She’s far too much of an established force to really engage in this game, but I wanted to give some of you a heads-up about Temptalia if you haven’t already heard of it.
2- A perfumed salon and a home away from home: The Fragrant Man, run by Jordan River, and with Brie and Amer as guest-bloggers. It’s a place where the perfume discussions are often emotional, intellectual or literary, and it is always makes me smile.
3- Lucas’ The Chemist in The Bottle is another blog that feels like home. Though our perfume tastes are often at polar opposite ends, it is actually one of the things I appreciate the most about his reviews. He opens me up to a wider range of things than what I may otherwise know.
4- Baconbiscuit of CoolCookStyle has perhaps the best sense of humour that I’ve come across in a while, and she’s also a fantastic, superb cook. I love food even more than perfume, so a blog that covers both? You truly have to check out her blog. And you may want to start with her hilarious post on Pasta e Fagioli, with a recipe from the renowned NYC chef, Jonathan Benno. The real gem in that post is the discussion of Nigella Lawson’s use of nylon stockings (pantyhose) to make the broth. But my favorite may be about her mother, Sichuanese Pork Wontons in Chili-Soy Sauce, and someone called Fuschia Dunlop.
5- I love checking in on Sigrun in Riktig Parfyms, a perfume blog but also a Swedish mini-boutique. Whether discussing Serge Lutens or Guerlain, her reviews are both detailed and very sensory. Plus, she’s funny as hell! And who else is masochistic enough to try to go through the Pantone colour palette range to try to find perfumes to match?! I certainly couldn’t do it, and thought so far before she got to the “Tender Shoots 14-0446” colour or the even more difficult “Monaco Blue 19-3964” one. (And no, L’Heure Bleue doesn’t fit!) Please, check out some of those posts. You’ll be amazed.
6- Mr. Hound…. a man who has that skill which I so envy: succinctness. At The Scented Hound, he captures the essence of a perfume in a few small paragraphs, often with a very dry, witty sense of humour and always with great warmth when he talks to you. A man who coins the word “bathtastic” to describe the super-hot, new Chanel should be read!
7- A completely hidden gem is té de violetas, a Spanish-English blog run by the warm, gracious, lovely Caro and by Victoria (whom, alas, I do not know as well). Caro has exquisite taste but she also covers a huge range of stuff from Amouage Guerlain, Puredistance and Vero Profumo, to Bvlgari, Thierry Mugler, Ramon Monegal and many brands that I’d never heard of prior to reading her joint blog. Each post starts in Spanish, before the full English translation is given. And Caro writes with great beauty. Take for example, “Venus Victorious” — her review of Puredistance Opardu. At the same time, however, she writes with a profound knowledge of perfumes as a whole, as shown by her review for Hermes’ Iris and the comparison to other iris scents. I truly hope you will check her out.
8- Neil of The Black Narcissus also covers a huge range of perfumes, including many vintage fragrances, but he does so in a completely sensory, visual, emotional, and intellectual manner. He’s a beautiful writer. And, he’s another one who is funny as hell. If you don’t believe me, check out his review of two Byredo fragrances, including the brand new Inflorescence. After the many gorgeous photos, his assessment, including this paragraph that had me almost choking on my coffee in laughter: “
An almost hysterically hygienic floral, it is the apex of the trend that began with Lancôme’s repugnant Miracle (the only perfume I know that made two female friends physically retch when they smelled it); its imprisoning of woman in extraordinarily artificial, spotless, ‘sanctified’ flowers: stripped of sex, grown in test tubes by fascists in white coats, grinning as they crush the heart’s desires and replace them with gender edicts.”
9- Undina of Undina’s Looking Glass has a hugely creative, original approach to discussing perfumes, as well as issues in the perfume world. Whether it’s art, flowers, or shoes, perfume is connected in the most original of ways. Undina is also perhaps the ultimate “pay it forward” blogger as she always supports others, posting about things she loved in other blogs and that you should check out. I’m glad to be able, for once, to reciprocate.
10- Lanier of Scents Memory always writes the most beautiful stories for perfumes. And his tales of magic are also often interwoven with things about Old Hollywood. His originality and storytelling abilities are only surpassed by his enormously sensitive, poetic soul.
11. I’m pretty much a fish out of water in my current location and I deeply miss my old home, Europe, so I always enjoy being transported to the Netherlands via A Flamingo in Utrecht. From rambling walks focusing on the ancient architecture of Utrecht, to a post about its history, to simply a “Wordless Post” with a gorgeous photo, Alison brings the city to life. And she’s a fabulous photographer too!
12. As a foodie, I love The Writing Cook, a great blog by a baker and cook who is also a very talented writer. The recipes are easy and beautifully photographed! I just wish it didn’t always make me so damn hungry!
13. I also enjoy A Perfume Blog by Blacknell Allen. She doesn’t review perfumes, per se, but does something more interesting: she focuses on themes that encompass a wide range of perfumes. Whether address the issue of skin chemistry, the Maserati-like power of an Amouage, or writing a hilarious spoof of Downton Abbey that is focused on the classic vintage legends, her blog is always a fascinating read.
14. A really well-written, extremely personal and emotional approach to perfume reviewing comes from Nancy at Make Perfume, Not War. This is a brand-new blog by another person with an extensive writing background, and it shows in some of the eloquent, often hilariously funny reviews.
15. Lastly, as someone deeply obsessed with dogs, I constantly read Pawcurious, a blog run by a Vet. It never gives medical advice but shares personal moments in the life of the vet, her family, and, naturally, her pets. The blog is part of a huge, award-winning site (by the same name), and I certainly don’t expect her to follow the Versatile Blogger Award, but I did want to bring the site to your attention. I know a number of you are dog lovers. Plus, I got a huge chuckle out of her recent post where she writes about the “arachnobellum,” the deepest recesses of our brain where we blame all maladies on spider bites. (If you’re a dog lover, you’d have arachnophobia too.)
PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That took forever!
SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME:
Okay, the last part, seven things about me:
- I’m terrified of cockroaches. Specifically, the giant Palmetto bugs that are about 3-4 inches long before you count the addition 3 inches from their antennae. Here, in Texas, they aren’t the small, tiny things you’d see in places like Paris or New York. No, these are prehistoric beasts who fly, who hiss at you, and, even worse, BITE. I have been known to curl up in a foetal position, shrieking at the sight of one. I even once called my father, begging “Daddy,” for him to come over to kill it. And, if you saw them, you’d call for your father too!
- My guilty music loves: Rammstein, Hans Zimmer, French/Italian Euro-Pop, Donna Summer, & ABBA. I actually find Rammstein soothes me….
- I’ve had insomnia and a sleep disorder since I was 6 years old, which probably explains the weird timing of some of my posts.
- I often eat Peanut M&Ms in bed before I go to sleep. Or, rather, try to go to sleep.
- I may need to take a break from blogging quite so constantly over the summer. My baby boy, The Hairy German, is going to need a 6-hour surgery for a hip implant and total hip replacement. The operation will hopefully go ahead sometime this summer, but we’ve had 6 failed attempts with the surgeons cancelling at the last-minute while he was under anaesthesia and on the operating table, due to a pesky skin condition. Assuming that one year’s worth of vet visits (my child has 2 different vets and 2 surgeons) has finally fixed the issue, then I hope to get a surgical date for June. If so, the blog will take a back seat. He will need around-the-clock care once he gets home from the hospital, and then 3 months of crate-enforced recovery which will probably drive him completely crazy. And, by extension, me. I’ll keep you updated.
- I love to scuba dive, and have gone diving in numerous places where sharks were nearby. My favorite places to dive: the Maldives, then Turquoise.
- Something I hate to do: unpacking/emptying things. Suitcases, in particular, but also moving boxes, dishwashers, dryers, the trunk of the car. I have a suitcase from 2 years ago that is still not fully emptied….
If you’ve read this far, thank you. And, again, a thank you to Jackie for choosing me. I hope you find some interesting new blogs to read.