I met Val, today’s willing victim of the People In Perfumeland questionnaire, about a year ago when she visited Vienna. Val is an American who arrived in Austria over twenty years ago via England and Amsterdam. She came here for her husband and has since stayed in rural Austria (that is a feat not to be underestimated!!!) ever since.
Val is a force of nature. She is gregarious, fun, loud – very American, and she is sensitive, generous, sweet and extremely kind. I don’t think it is possible to be bored in her company. She bakes cookies for a living and Austria is so much richer for them, since they are heavenly indeed.
You all probably know Val from her posts on Australian Perfume Junkies and she also brought us her account from the launch of a new niche line in Zürich here on OT. Soon she will also be posting here about food-related topics once a month.
But first, let’s get to know her better…
A good day starts with… a decent hit of caffeine. Monster or Matcha Latte, depending how fast I need to get going. Matcha is a recently cultivated addiction.
I’d never leave the household without… a prayer of thankfulness. Or my iPhone.
I always feel good when… there is harmony in my home.
My favourite thing in the world is… the technology that allows me to share daily life with family and friends. And my cat. Not necessarily in that order.
The next thing I want to buy is… apart from stocking up on more chocolate for the shop, is a new face make up. Armani. Tomorrow.
The place I always come back to is… the beautiful city of Bath, in England.
My personal style is… jeans and a t-shirt. I have an OCD with my hair. It has to be perfect. As does my red lipstick.
My favourite perfume… Blimey. Hard question. If you tethered me tightly and demanded an answer I think I would have to go with Vero Profumo’s Mito. In all of its incarnations. (With a Chanel in reserve!)
When I travel I always… have everything I don’t want to lose in a bag around my waist. Unattractive but safe. Then if everything else gets lost I am fine.
To relax I need… to watch EastEnders. Na na na na na na Naaaaaa (hums tune in head) (British soap)
When I have a bad day… I know it will go away. We have bad moments, yes, but they don’t stay. How I feel at 10 am is not how I am going to feel at 1 pm. That is one thing I have learned.
I like to gift people with… cookies of course!!! And time, we never take enough time.
I find my inspiration… working out in the gym with my music. Gets my endorphines and creativity going. Can’t fail!
Something I would never want to miss is… my weekly walk with my husband’s grandmother. She is nearly 98. I have been doing it for 22 years.
But I know that I am walking on borrowed time.
My last mistake was… nagging my husband into lid-flipping insanity. Poor bloke.
In my fridge there is always… Ass Reaper. My very favourite hot sauce. And a chunk of Cheddar cheese.
On my nightstand I keep… an extra blanket and a book. Tucked away on the floor, between the wall and the back of my nightstand (which is actually a wooden trunk) hidden from everyone, is my Maltesers stash. My cat sometimes finds them and will play with a couple. The rest I eat, in bed with a book or magazine. Epic yum.
The perfect weekend starts with… what weekend???
My role model is… of late, Vero Kern. She had a dream, and went for it, regardless of age. She is inspirational.
Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is… Are you kidding???. Never dreamt I would be asked to take part in even one. If they get to be habitual I’ll get back to you!!
No weekends, the gym, caffeine blasts and that hot sauce! What comes across very clearly in this interview, I think, is Val’s never-flagging energy and drive. I could use a big chunk of that for myself. Maybe the secret is in the hot sauce…
What do you do to stay energized?