My Ukraine : On Storytelling and Family

In 2014 I returned to Ukraine, the country where I was born, to spend time with my grandmother Valentina and rediscover the place that shaped me. The result was several long trips that I made sometimes more than once a year. I have lived for most of my life outside of Ukraine, and reconnecting with it inspired me. I discovered its rich culture, beautiful nature, and delicious food. Its scents, sounds, and colors filled me. 
One of my most moving experiences was visiting the town of Reshetylivka and learning about the white-on-white embroideries, an intricate technique that looks like lace. Nadia Vakulenko, the master in charge of the embroidery program at the local college, taught me the basics and became a close friend. And I ended up absorbed by Ukraine completely.

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7 Effervescent Scents Against Summer Heat

These days I look at the weather forecast with a sense of dread as we are in the middle of another heatwave. I like the indolence of summer and the long sun-filled days, but I don’t enjoy the oppressive heat and humidity. My primary methods to make these days tolerable include copious amounts of mugicha, a traditional Japanese summer drink made of roasted barley, and a selection of light, effervescent perfumes.

The natural choice for summer is citrus, but your selection need not be limited to simple colognes. Modern floral and green notes offer a refreshing effect, without the sharpness of citrus. Look for compositions that are accented with woods, rather than vanilla or musk, as the sheer blond wood finish contrasts beautifully with the brightness of fresh notes.

How to amplify the freshness of a fragrance? Follow the good old advice of leaving your scent in the fridge but beware that drastic temperature changes can affect perfume negatively, and for this reason I recommend making a decant of your favorite summer fragrance. A spritz of cool liquid is the ultimate refreshment. If you would like an even more intense cooling experience, select a mint fragrance like Aqua Allegoria Menta Fresca or Herba Fresca. Menthol triggers cold-sensitive receptors and plays tricks on our brain. When the mercury levels are soaring, such an effect is welcome.

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Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2022

Our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread is open this week. You can use this space to find perfume recommendations, to share your discoveries and favorite scents, and to ask any questions about scents, aromas and flavors. Or you can just tell us what perfume you are wearing!

How does it work: 1. Please post your requests or questions as comments here. You can also use this space to ask any fragrance related questions. To receive recommendations that are better tailored to your tastes, you can include details on what you like and don’t like, your signature perfumes, and your budget. And please let us know what you end up sampling. 2. Then please check the thread to see if there are other requests you can answer. Your responses are really valuable for navigating the big and sometimes confusing world of perfume, so let’s help each other!

To make this thread easier to read, when you reply to someone, please click on the blue “reply” link under their comment.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Summer Reflections

It’s almost the middle of July, and the pace with which summer is unfolding leaves me overwhelmed. I want to stop the moment and enjoy the late spring reminders that still linger despite the relentless winding down towards fall. The lindens around my house have finished blooming, but they still smell of incense and wilted jasmine. Along the sidewalks, lavender is filling the area with the summertime scent of Provence. Elsewhere, I already see asters and chrysanthemums, the first harbingers of autumn. Sometimes I forget what season it is.

This summer has been about searching for an equilibrium and balance. Even as time is flying quicker than I want, I’m still managing to carve out moments of stillness. Here are a few tips for those who are likewise struggling to get their bearings this summer.

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Doctors Without Borders Fundraiser Result

I have been processing lots of grief lately as I try to understand what’s happening in Ukraine. I haven’t lived there for years, but it’s the place where I was born and that shaped me, and its pain is my pain. When one feels helpless, the best thing is to reach out to others and help someone else. So I decided to hold a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF.) It’s been a while since I’ve been thinking of this idea and looking for the best way to organize it. This year has been challenging for many people around the world, and I know that our community wanted to contribute. We’ve raised over $5000.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a reputable organization known for its projects all over the globe. They help with children care, offer help to impoverished communities and those experiencing military conflicts. Their structure is quite lean, so it means that the money, even if it’s a small amount, goes a long way.

The fundraiser ran till June 30, 2022, and the winner is Vincent. However, I will leave a link for those who would like to donate anyway.

How to Donate
Click on this link: Donate Now

The prize for this fundraiser was vintage Coty Chypre.

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