Today I am delighted to showcase the first blogger in the People In Perfumeland series.
Victoria’s blog, Bois de Jasmin, was among the first to emerge out of MakeUp Alley’s fragrance boards and she blazed a trail for all of us.
Victoria has a way of writing about scent that is not only highly knowledgeable, but also beautifully lyrical. She has led me into temptation more often than I’d like to admit, and it is her reviews I turn to most often when I want to know more about a perfume.
Her encouragement meant a lot to me when I started blogging and I treasure her friendship.
Thank you, Victoria, for agreeing to fill in my questionnaire.
A good day starts with… a cup of tea, preferably drunk leisurely out of my favorite red cup.
I’d never leave the house without… an umbrella. In Brussels, it would be a mistake to forget it.
I always feel good when… I receive an email or a letter from a friend. For my wedding gift, my best friend gave me copies of all the letters I wrote her since we were children. In turn, for her wedding, I made a book of her letters and my responses, arranged chronologically.
My favorite thing in the world is… it would be a tie between my camera and laptop. The latter because it’s my implement for writing, for connecting with friends and family. And my camera–because it gives me such a new perspective on the world around me that I gladly lug the heavy bag almost every day (good for arm toning too!)
The next thing I want to buy is… a pair of comfortable but stylish shoes. Does such a thing even exist?!
The place I always come back to is… Ukraine. I can sometimes stay away for years, but there is such a strong pull that I can never stay away for long.
My personal style is… simple and low-maintenance.
My favorite perfume… is the one that makes me feel butterflies in my stomach and gives me an immediate boost.
When I travel, I… write. I keep a pen and a notebook in my purse all the time. Airports make me wistful, probably because of the mixture of anxious anticipation and the general sense of transience. I love reading the flights off the departure boards and imagining what it would be like to visit places I haven’t been to or even heard of. I also love people watching and noticing what perfumes they buy at the duty-free stores.
To relax I need… to have zero internet access.
I like to gift people with… homemade jams. I love making preserves, jellies, marmalade, etc., and in the summer on most weekends I’m in the kitchen stirring sugar into fruit and sterilizing jars.
When I have a bad day, I… hug my husband or call my mom or watch Bollywood movies. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when the lovers are separated by evil villains, strict parents, society rules and even the gods themselves; when everyone, including the dashing hero, cries a river; when beautiful women jump from behind the trees and break out into a song on the spur of a moment; when the colors are so vivid that you feel dazzled. The best escapist fun!
I find my inspiration… everywhere. It sounds facile, but even the most inauspicious circumstances can give me a jolt to be creative. Traveling, reading, meeting new people (via blogs or in real life) are all at the top of the list.
Something I would never want to miss… is my train. And yet I don’t have such a good track record!
My last mistake was… not buying a replacement for my almost depleted bottle of Cacharel Noa while Planet Parfum had a terrific 20 euro deal. Nothing major, but I’m sure I can think of other real blunders.
In my fridge there is always… fruit. I could live on fruit and cheese. But as my husband would point out, there is always something in our fridge he can’t identify. Men!
On my nightstand I keep… a jar of hand cream, a volume of Nikolai Gogol’s stories and a glass of water.
The perfect weekend starts with… no sound from my alarm clock. I love waking up early on my own and enjoying the sunrise as I sip my tea. This happens rarely, since I usually work late and stay up well past midnight.
My role model is… my grandmother. She is the one who instilled in me the love for reading, jam making and the ability to find beauty in the simplest things.
Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is… what book are you currently reading? (I love talking books! I’m currently reading The Little Man from Archangel by Georges Simenon, a terrific suspense story from the Belgian master of the detective genre. Highly recommended!)
Bollywood films as effective anti-depressants, that fantastic gift of letters, exotic cheeses in the fridge and endlessly talking about books – I would love to spend some time with Victoria.
All of us who read her blog, know what a delightful and multi-talented woman Victoria is, so I fear the fact that this interview is lovely, is not particularly surprising.