Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Anniversary trip to Voss

We've just had out 5th anniversary as a couple, and thought it was worth celebrating. I've also been really starved for travel lately, so we decided to spend a night at a hotel. I found a romantic package deal at Fleischer's Hotel at Voss, a two hour drive away. So we went for it! Here is what waited for us when we arrived.

Can't believe they did this, what is this, Disney?! LOL

We were actually put in the best room they had, the king suite - where the king has actually stayed! Past royalty has also stayed here. It's a beautiful hotel built in the 1800s, so I instantly fell in love with it. Just look at the exterior, it's amazing!

Voss(evangen) is a small village that is very popular for skiing and other sports. It's about an hour by train from Bergen, and the train station is actually behind the hotel! There is even a part of the hotel that is connected to the station, which is newer. The hotel also has a motel that are more apartment style on the other side.

Across the road from the hotel

Voss church, or Vangskyrkja, from the 1200s

Some of you might be familiar with Voss water.
It's actually not from there! But the water there still tastes good, haha.

Pumpkin soup and the best focaccia I've ever had

Tenderloin with potatoes au gratin and pepper sauce

Chocolate fondant, ice cream and strawberries

The three-course meal shown above was included in our package, and we got to sit in the beautiful dining room all alone - only one more couple came later. There were very few guests, and that evening there was only one staff member that we could see, doing the reception, serving and bartending. He provided amazing service, and even put on rock music for us! Never thought I'd hear Metallica among other things in a fancy dining room like that, haha.

King Haakon VII and Queen Maud

Found a chair in my size!

Our room had a jacuzzi! So of course we had to test it out.

Lovely big windows in the breakfast dining room. Sadly there was fog!
I was surprised that hot dishes were cooked to order! But it makes sense.
The photo on the wall is of Magdalene Fleischer, wife of the founder.
She is said to haunt the hotel, specifically room 407.

Can I just say that I love the women's outfits in that photo?

Found a big graveyard!

Some beautiful artisanal chocolates I had to try at a local café!

It was really nice for both of us to get away, even just for a day two hours away. We got to spend quality one-on-one time together, and it brought us closer together. It's so easy to fall into that.. everyday domestic life, you just do what you do, and not so much special. Even though we've spent a year inside all the time, we haven't really had special date night evenings, at least not like this! We're just used to being comfortable with each other, and not having to spend every moment together at home (we're both introverts, after all). I still think it's important to date each other when you're in a longtime relationship, so I wanna try to continue to do it! I also definitely want to go back to Fleischer's sometime.

Oh, I almost forgot. I got my friend who does goth caricatures under Gotikatur to draw one of my favorite wedding photos as a surprise for Simen! Look how cool!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Alkemia Haul & Review The Third

Yup, another one. It hasn't even been a year since my first order, and about 6 months since my second. You can totally say I'm addicted. I've loved doing reviews on these, so I learn more about scents and also have a written record of my thoughts of each one. I have so many samples now! I got a full size of Caveau Des Innocents since that was my favorite out of the last sample pack I got, and also an ultime version of Silken Tent, a sample they gave me last time based on my first favorite Come To Me. I can try to do a comparison of the regular extrait and ultime versions. Then I put together a sample pack, and as usual got two free samples. Since I ordered for more than $50, I also got a free full size of their February Love & Luck Alchemy. Now let's get smelling!

In 1891, after a wintery Paris evening discussing the legend of Salome, Oscar Wilde locked himself in his room with a blank notebook and began writing his legendary play Salomé. A few hours later, with much of the text already written, he went out to a nearby café and, needing inspiration, asked the leader of the orchestra to play some music which might evoke "a woman dancing in her bare feet in the blood of a man she has craved for and slain."

If the notes of this lost melody were perfume... A seductively inspiring arrangement to pique the lustful imagination. An overture of not so innocent magnolia underscored with a sly caress of Queen of the Night, a fulsomeness of nubile black grapes and plums, skin musk bathed in spilled cognac, and ruthless twist of bitter orange, blended with an ancient Arabian love philtre of crushed vanilla and tonka bean, mysore sandalwood, vetiver, cedar, and red oud.

Contains a proprietary elixir of botanical pheromones designed to enhance female sex appeal.

Art: Dance of the Seven Veils by Gaston Bussière, 1925

Before I even open the bottle I get a hint of the exotic East - when I open it, it just explodes with scent! It's very clean and citrusy, I definitely get the magnolia and orange right away, maybe some of the mysore sandalwood and vetiver.
Once I put it on me it mellows down. It's still got that very clean smell, like you've just laid down on fresh sheets after a shower on a hot summer's day (and the window is open, so you can smell the foliage). I am wondering if there's a laundry detergent in The Philippines that smells kind of like this, cause I feel like I'm taken there when I smell this. I should get my mother and sister to smell this!
After about 10 minutes it gets smokier (like incense) and more citrusy. After that it dances around, giving off different waves of scents. I keep obsessively smelling my wrists! It lasts for hours too. Unfortunately I don't think it suits me. Like Arcanum I love the smell, just not on my body. I would rather smell this around me, if that makes sense.

An elusive, smokey blend of burning wood, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tonka. We find this one to be elementally simple, but unusually mercurial and highly responsive to different skin chemistries… the vanilla and the smoke dance with each other almost continuously… sometimes the foreground is smoky, then sweet, then returns with sweetly smoky, then smoky.

Smoke & Mirrors makes a fabulous layering scent that adds intriguing and mysterious elements to other perfumes... works particularly well for toning down any perfumes that are too sweet, deepening and gloriously complicating resin and incense based scents, and softening chypres and any 'sharp' woody scents.

Art: Fumée d’Ambre Gris by John Singer Sargent, 1880

Okay, it starts off smoky before I open the bottle - when I do, vanilla jumps out at me! Once applied on my skin it goes smoky again - I can definitely smell the burning wood at once (and that's not because I'm sitting in front of a fireplace!). It really does kinda alternate between the smells. THIS IS SORCERY. It does fade, but still lasts for hours. Don't think the smoky woody smell is for me, but Simen liked it! But he wasn't a fan of the ''candy'' smell, haha.

Skin-glow. A 'your skin but better' enchantment to create a sensual olfactory radiance. Softly alluring as candlelight. Luminae works in unique alchemy with feminine skin chemistry to create a fragrance that glows with creamy luminescence.

"It is not so much light that falls over the world.... as brightness, pouring itself out of you, as if you were burning inside. Under your skin the moon is alive." - Pablo Neruda

Art: Spirit by George Roux, 1885

Very mysterious. It's warm, I want to say buttery, there is some sweetness lurking behind it too (amber? vanilla?). It's really difficult to pick up anything specific! I think it blends with my skin very well. This is a good one if you don't want a strong smelling perfume, that blends more with your natural scent. The strength is like when you've worn a perfume for hours already, so it's faint, but still noticeable when you put your nose into it. Shame I'm alone right now as I'm testing it, I'm curious if it's more noticeable by others, since they can smell your natural scent.

An energetic brightness of mandarin orange, tangelo citrus, tart key limes, calamondin, pommello, bergamot, and fig tea infused in sparking lemongrass musk.

"You have breathed new life into me I have become your sunshine and also your shadow." -- Rumi

Art: After the Deluge (The Forty-First Day) by George Frederick Watts, c.1885–92

Oh my god, citrus explosion! It really smells like your typical cleaning product, hand soap or whatever that has a strong citrus scent. Which isn't a bad thing, I love citrus. But I can definitely see that this could be too strong for someone else. So if you love the smell after you've cleaned the floor or whatever, this is for you! I think this would be a good smell for being outdoors in summer or warm spring.

A libidinous yet delicate vintage style musk blend for all genders. Suggestively alluring with a flirtatious wink of naughty.

"Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning of a certain end.
The other, the end of a sure beginning."
- Charles Baudelaire

Art: Anticipation by Hans Zatzka, c. early 20th century

I was really intrigued by this, so had to try it out! It doesn't smell that much when I open the bottle. On me it smells very clean, kinda soapy or powdery. It actually smells kinda vintage? Like a scent your grandparents might have worn (but not in a bad way!), whether it's a perfume, powder, soap.. I put it on Simen, and on him it smells.. darker? Does that even make sense? But still very similar, and he agrees that it smells vintage. I don't think it's ''NSFW'' or sexy or anything. Maybe on Simen, but I'm kinda biased there, haha! It smells nice and isn't very strong, so there's no reason to be afraid of wearing it. Also, this lasted at least 12 hours on me, so it's very long lasting! Not even Sadzi came close to lasting that long.

Roadtrip around the U.S. in a bottle. A botanical peregrination of Saw Palmetto Palm leaves and Southern cypress from the Southeast bayous; New mown hay, Lemon basil, Wild bergamot tea from the Great Plains; Linden blossom and Acadian pine from the Northeast; Night flowering desert flowers from the Southwest; and Spicebush and Incense cedar from the West and Northwest coast.

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” - Anaïs Nin

Art: Gas by Edward Hopper, 1940

This is one of the free samples I got. When I open the bottle I smell ALL THE GREENS, but it's not the greens I'm used to here in Norway. I think I can smell cypress and bergamot first. On myself, it smells very warm, but the plants give it a freshness. Since I'm not so familiar with these plants, it's hard to pick out the different ones. But it smells really natural! The concept of this perfume is really cool, and it really fits - I can totally picture being somewhere more remote in the US.

I'd say this perfume leans more towards the masculine, or just to whoever likes to smell like greens. I don't, and usually Simen does, but even though he said it was nice in the bottle and on me, he wouldn't wear it. He prefers more of a forest smell, he thought this smelled floral. So I guess it really depends on what your smell perception is like!

A hedonistic adventure of late night coffee liqueur, white rum, and a splash of creme de bergamot; Black Forest raspberries dipped in salted caramel; and Arabian rosewater infused with vetiver root tumbling wantonly together into a seductive bed of vanilla musk and golden amber.

"Be wild and crazy and drunk with Love, if you are too careful, LOVE will not find you." - Rumi

This was the other free sample I got, and I've been really excited to try it, cause it sounds wonderful! I definitely am attracted to ''darker'' scents. The closed bottle smells like caramel and coffee - I guess kinda like a sweet coffee cocktail. The coffee is much stronger when I open it, and I get more vanilla and caramel. On my skin I get a mellower coffee scent, and it smells warmer. The coffee scent stays, and I don't really get the other scents that I smelled earlier - there's barely a sweetness to it. I wanna say it reminds me of As Dark Things Are Meant To Be Loved a little bit, though that one is more.. smoky, this is sweeter. I am also reminded of Caveau Des Innocents, but that one is MUCH sweeter than this, which is why I love it. If the sweeter notes of this showed up on me, I would have loved this, but alas! Pretty disappointed in that. Damn you, skin!

February Love & Luck Alchemy

February Love and Luck Alchemy: An auspicious Lunar New Year alchemy of candied lotus root, sweet ginger, dried apricots, jackfruit, Madagascar vanilla beans, sugarcane, jasmine tea, and fortune cookies. 

Once I open this, I kind of recoil a little, hahah. It's very strong, and I think it's the ginger and maybe the jackfruit that is very sharp, kinda ''ripping / tearing through the nose'' as we say in Norwegian. I can smell all the sweeter scents too. It reminds me of Asia.
On the skin it's luckily weaker despite the too generous application because of no dropper. Simen could still smell it across our long living room though! We're both not quite sure what we think, but we're leaning towards not liking it. I guess it's like walking through a market in Asia, and the different smells kinda overwhelm you. It does get sweeter though, after a while I think I'm getting apricot, vanilla and jasmine. So I like it better once those top notes go away, but I still don't love it. It fades surprisingly quickly too, after a few hours, it was pretty much gone. Revisiting this hours later again, and there is something faint still there, could that be the fortune cookies? Cause I don't think they smell that much, and this is so faint, but still different than my skin, so maybe? I need to see what my mom and sister thinks of this, and hope they like it!

So, a quick note on the Silken Tent Extrait VS Ultime. I didn't think there would be much of a difference, when I opened the Ultime bottle it smelled like I remembered the Extrait sample did, but when I had a friend over and opened both, we smelled the Ultime first and then the Extrait, the difference was actually quite striking! The Ultime is obviously more intense, but it also smelled better overall. I love it so much! I don't remember how long the Extrait lasts, but this lasted maybe around 8 hours until I could barely smell it anymore. I should have done a side by side skin test, but I gave the sample to my friend, to see if she still ends up liking it. She did! Recommending her to get the Ultime if she wants a full size - and we can order together anyway. I realized after I got this order that I forgot to buy dropper tops! They make it SO much easier to apply, since you only need a teensy amount.

That's it for this time! I didn't find a scent I loved so much that I wanted a full size, but that's okay. I've expanded my horizons and learned more! It's gentler on my wallet too, haha. I am still considering getting a full size of Madam X though, which I got in my first order, cause I keep going back to it. By the way, since last they've added reviews to their website, so I've copied all my previous ones onto each corresponding product page on their site, and will be doing the same for these, so you'll find my reviews on there too. Hope you've enjoyed my ramblings, maybe you've found a perfume to try? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...