Two years ago to the day, I published my first post on this blog.
I cringe a bit when I look back over my early efforts, but I don’t change them, because they show the progress I’ve made over time. Progress in assessing perfumes and progress in writing about it.
770 posts, 24 000 comments, 595 000 visitors and two years later, I find myself slightly bewildered and wondering where the time has gone. I look at my children and see how it rushes by, they were babies just the other day and so was my blog.
Olfactoria’s Travels is starting the terrible twos now, I hope it won’t be as harrowing as what my sons put me through, but now and again these days, I feel a strain I was blissfully unaware of in the early days, when it was all eager exploration and passionate excitement.
But let’s look back at the past two years, which have been a great ride, here are some of my personal highlights.
My First Commenter: was none other than the lovely Katie Puckrik. My heart literally stopped for a few beats when I saw her comment. It was on a review of Serge Lutens Miel de Bois (Which I totally trashed, lol).
My First Reader: The first person to read my blog was Dr O., my long-suffering husband. I made him read my first post without telling him that I wrote it. He pronounced it okay, which brings us here. Had he said it was laughable, the blog would probably have died then and there.
My First Guest Poster: Tara, my dear friend from London, started reading and commenting on OT a good while ago and we quickly clicked. Several emails later, I asked her whether she wanted to write about one of her favorite perfumes for OT and that was surely one of my best decisions. She does exactly what I would do, but still has her distinct and wonderful voice. I’m very glad to share OT with her.
Here is what she has to say about her experience over the past two years:
By Tara: It is a testament to my immediate connection with Olfactoria’s Travels that I uncharacteristically left a comment on the very same happy day I stumbled across it via Google. It was great to find a perfume blog where I felt totally at home and admired the writing and opinions of the author so much. After I had been commenting for some time, Birgit kindly (and bravely!) asked me to write a review. The experience was an exciting creative challenge and gave me even greater respect for the way she manages to produce incredibly high quality, insightful posts on such a regular basis. Guest hosting the Monday Question has been particularly fun. Chatting with so many lovely people about my favourite subject is an absolute pleasure. Travelling with Olfactoria over the last two years has been life-enhancing for me in so many ways.
Since then Sandra, Lady Jane Grey and Alexandra have also contributed. Many thanks!
The First Post Ever: Frederic Malle En Passant was my first niche perfume purchase and also my first review. We are no longer best of friends, but I really enjoyed this first love while it lasted, then I moved on…
Top Post Of All Time: Illuminum White Gardenia Petals was the perfume the Duchess of Cambridge allegedly wore on her wedding day. Thousands of people want to know about it, even if or maybe because the fragrance is surrounded by some intrigue…
Post With The Least Hits: Apparently over-the top luxury is not what OT readers are after – Xerjoff Irisss, Homme, Elle and XXY has the least clicks of all individual posts over the last two years.
Most Controversial Post Of All Time: Lubin Black Jade – my nightmare. I truly thought my blogging days were over. Up to this point it has been all happiness and good smells, then all of a sudden a harsh wind blew in my face. Well, I guess one has to lose one’s innocence eventually. This is what I learned from the experience.
The Funniest Post: Trust my husband with a toddler and an expensive vial of perfume and you are doomed. I learned that the hard way. The good thing is that I had enough leverage on him to make him write a post and buy me more perfume. There is a silver lining to everything… Alternative Uses of Perfume – The Husband Reports
Most Emotional Post: I had written the review of Mona di Orio Oiro months before her untimely and tragic death in December of 2011. For some reason I let it sit unpublished. It turned out to be eerily fitting in hindsight and I’m glad I could give voice to my feelings and those of many others when I finally published it in her memory. She will be with us forever.
My Personal Favorite: Aftelier Cepes&Tuberose is a perfume that touched a nerve with me. It was a revelation, not only for olfactory reasons and it perfectly showcases the almost magical abilities of Mandy Aftel.
Thanks to the contributors, fellow bloggers, commenters, readers, and my family for supporting me and sticking with me! You are the best!
Hugs, B x
Happy birthday you BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL PERSON! And your crew at OT> I love it and het a thrill every time it drops into my inbox.
THANK YOU BIRGIT!
Thank you for reading and commenting (and linking!) so loyally Portia! Hugs!
Happy birthday dear B! May the coming years bring you as much joy in writing as it does for us readers. I have enjoyed your blog tremendously and eagerly await each post.
Thank you Sandra! I can’t wait for your next guest post! 🙂
Congratulations, Birgit!!! And thank you for sharing with us your thoughts, ideas and opinions while walking this unpredictible but oh, so wonderful path into the fragrance world – we’re very grateful to accompany you 🙂
I’m grateful that you are coming with me, Ellia! Thank you!
Congrats, dearest B. ! Looking forward to the next 1.000 posts !
Congrats!! And happy birthday to Olfactoria’s Travels! 😀
Thanks, Catherine! 🙂
A very happy blogoversary, wonderful Birgit. It has been a beautiful ride with Olfactoria’s travels so far, I hope for many many MANY more journeys to faraway or close perfumed lands. Prost!
Thank you, Asali! You’ve been a wonderful travel companion! Prost! 🙂
Congrats B ! I have enjoyed many of your reviews along the ride.
Thank you, Esperanza, I appreciate it!
What a wonderfully put together anniversary post, B. You’ve included so many different types of firsts and posts, highs as well as (rare) lows. All your hard work and natural talent has made a much deserved success of OT. Many congratulations!
I had no idea you got your husband to read your first post without telling him who it was by!
Thank you for getting on board with me Tara, it takes much pressure off me. xoxo
Congrats honey! Many ,many more years of fragrant blogging and best smelling returns to you!!!
Thank you, Lukas! 🙂
Happy birthday to the blog! Congrats to you! That first comment really is exciting isn’t it? I need to check out the posts you’ve mentioned here. Thanks for doing what you do.
Thanks for reading, poodle! Getting the first comment was amazing, and it being from Katie Puckrick of all people!!! 😉
Good Morning and Congratulations (today is my birthday, too)
I’ve come to visit your blog often after reading your Mona di Orio post and your reviews on Vero Profumo. I was very touched by these particular posts and had a better understanding of what you and blog represent. Your voice, insight, and writing style make me a frequent reader.
Hello Jam, thanks for commenting and a very happy birthday to you!
Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate them!
Dear Birgit, a very happy blog birthday to you! 🙂
It’s been great meeting you through your blog (and Tara too) and I only hope we get to meet in person one day.
Until then, many happy blogging returns!
I’m sure we will meet in person one day. (although I almost feel like I have already, strange, I know…)
Thanks for all your support!
He,he, I feel the same. 🙂
We seem to share more than just perfumes in our blogging community so frequent communication and reading make us all feel we know each other for real (as in we met IRL). We do know each other rather well already I feel. 🙂
We do, and it is great! Big hug!
Congratulations on your blog’s anniversary!
Thank you, Philipp! Liebe Grüße nach Südtirol!
Huge congratulations and a very happy blog-iversary! Finding your blog and joining you on your travels has been an absolute pleasure, here’s to the next 2 years (at the very least!) xx
I’m very glad you found me, Alex! xo
Happy Blogoversary, Birgit! And thank you so very much for being one of my primary guides through perfumeland. The experience would have been much less rich without the accompaniment of your thoughtful and personal reviews, so gorgeously written.
Aww, thank you for these kind words. *blushes*
Birgit, you can’t imagine how happy I was to discover you and your blog. I really think you and your welcoming and charming ways have made the perfume blogosphere a better place. I hope someday to meet you and Tara in person. Love you both!! xxoo
It makes me incredibly happy to read that, Suzanne! I hope to meet you one day too. Love you right back! 🙂
I really hope to meet you too Suzanne, one of these days!
Congratulations, Birgit, on your blog’s anniversary! I do not often comment, but I find it always worthwhile to come by and read. I especially like Monday Questions, your reviews, and the many different directions we can take with Olfactoria’s Travels–in short, everything. Warm regards, Elizabeth
Thank you very much for your kind wishes and reading regularly, Elizabeth!
Happy blogoversary! I’m off to read your take on the Xerjoffs…! 🙂
Ha, that post can use some hits! 😉
Happy blog birthday, Birgit. After I found your blog, my reading got to be more elegant. ONE blog is enough, a place where everything is pleasant, kind, and clever. Thank you for such a lovely place to go and enjoy all the posts. Best, AnitaATM
That is sure to be the most amazing compliment ever. Thank you very much, Anita! I’m deeply touched.
Happy Blog Birthday!! I love your blog! I have to agree with Anita, after I found your blog, my reading really did become more elegant. After you posted photos of your perfume closet, I tried hard to make my perfume choices more discriminating and to not purchase anything that even remotely touched my fancy. I enjoy your writing immensely and am quite often struck by the visual and sensory images you conjure up for me just through your words. Here’s wishing you many more entries and years of blog posting. All the best. Hugs to you.
Hugs back, dear Tatiana! Thank you for your kind words, I’m very glad you enjoy my blog!
Happy birthday blog!
What happened with En Passant? I am still at the love stadium. And besides comments and judgements, it totally caught me in a way that no other perfumes have done, it reached some unknown memories and the result was a huge smile and a sense of inexplicable happiness. I got out of the store and kept smelling it, smiling and almost laughing. I wish I could find other such mind taking perfumes! And even if it is feminine, I wear it with joy.
I am supercurious about Cepes & Tuberose. Mushrooms picking have always been a constant in my family and I can’t wait to have a sniff of it!
The last word is not spoken on En Passant, but for now it doesn’t sit too well with me. But that can be a phase. If I’ve learned anything, it is that taste is not set in stone and my interest in certain perfumes waxes and wanes like the moon. 😉
Oh, this was a fun read. (How did I miss that post on the Alternative Uses of perfume? That was hilarious!) Congratulations, Birgit. 🙂
Thank you, Dionne! The Husband sure is a funny guy… 🙂
Congratulations Birgit! Your blog is one of my favourite reads. I discovered it upon searching reviews on amber based perfumes 😀
Thank you, Melis.
BTW, did you receive the amber samples?
Birgit, I never did receive them. : ( I feel absolutely remiss in not having mentioned it sooner. When things get hectic around here my mind is like sieve. I truly appreciate the effort you went to in sending them and would like to make amends to you for the expense.
Aww, that’s too bad. The d**m postal service!!! Maybe it’ll still turn up! Don’t even think about it, that is nothing any of us can influence…
LOVE your blog, a must read for me. I have learned so much and because of you and your poetic writing have a wonderful list of lusts! Happy Birthday today, and wishing you many, many more to come!
Thank you so much, Judith! 🙂
Congratulation on reaching the 2’s. It was a grand day when Perfume Shrine lead me your way. Your writings are always read with a smile. To as many more as you desire……
Thank you! That is lovely to hear. 🙂
Just adding my congratulations, I enjoy your well-paced and thoughtful musings! Just a small wish: more frequent reports about your family’s (ahem, your husband’s) unconventional use of perfumes.
I will let him know about your wish, Bee, but I will also make sure he has no access to my more expensive fumes. 😉
I don’t think there is much I can say that hasn’t been already said
to you, but I look forward to “being with you” every day!
I have learned so much here, and have sampled many new
scents based on your reviews that I may not have thought to
try. Happy Birthday and thanks!
Hearing that makes me really happy, influencing someone to try a perfume they end up loving, is very satisfying.
Thanks for reading!
Congratulations, Birgit! I am so happy I found your blog (shortly after you started, I believe). You have helped open my eyes to many fragrances I might not have read about if not for your reviews. It was fun remembering the posts you mention here (except for the Lubin fiasco). Thank you for your friendship and love live Olfactoria’s Travels!
Thank you for your continuing support, James! It really means a lot!
Your warmth and excellent writing keeps me coming back. I have been more of a regular reader lately. I intend to return to being a regular commenter.Keep up the good work, my friend!
I will try my best! Thank you, J! xo
Oops. I meant to say “long live Olfactoria’s Travels” 🙂
Congratulations! I really enjoy reading your uncomplicated reviews and the words you chose to describe all your feelings about it are just right. This is the blog I read with fun, regulary and post here regulary. Thank you.
Thank you for those regular comments, Civava! The community is what makes this blog feel so much like home.
Happy birthday, Olfactoria’s Travels! I hope you won’t loose your enthusiasm for perfume blogging for many years to come!
Thank you, Ana!
I owe you an email. I promise I try to get to it as soon as possible, between London and having a cold, I didn’t have much chance to smell your goodies, sorry!
Don’t worry, just get healthy!Whenever you feel up to it I will be happy to read your thoughts!
Happy Blog Birthday! I can reveal that one of your recent posts lead to an impulsive blind buy-Shalimar Ode a la Vanille. I just knew from your description that it would be the Shalimar fo me!
May the blogging continue to give you joy for many years to come!
Yay, I’m glad you are enjoying Ode! Thanks for the vote of confidence, Eva! 🙂
Happy blog birthday! I love your blog. Your reviews are always so well written, evocative and a joy to read! Hopefully, there will be many more!
Many thanks, Claudia!
Birgit, your blog is one of my most favorite blogs of all times. I can’t say for a fact but I think your blog was #3 I’d built up a courage to comment on (NST was the first one and then either Dee’s blog or yours – it’s all a blur for me now).
Happy Blogoversary! I hope to read your kind and beautiful take on different perfumes for many years to come.
Thank you for your loyal reading and commenting, Undina. I love your precision and trustworthiness. I really cherish your presence on my blog! xo
Birgit, I join others in congratulating you on your 2nd Anniversary. Your kids are so cute! I will also go check out your Xerjoff post…I just stumbled upon my sample of Elle which I haven’t sampled yet and will do so AFTER reading your review.
Let me know what you think of Elle! And thanks for the compliment for the kids, I do find them rather cute myself (they are devils in disguise though!!!). 🙂
Congratulations! Thank you very much for your blog and sharing your life with us. Good luck!
Thank you, behemot, that is very kind of you!
Congrats! I love enjoy reading your posts so much. They often leave me thinking about so many things apart from perfume.
Wow, that is an amazing compliment, thank you, Jenson! I’m glad you enjoy reading my blog.
Happy blog birthday! I don’t comment that often on your blog because I find it a bit hard to express myself in english, but I read everything you write! I have bought so many perfume samples because I have been inspired buy your writing, you should get a commission from Lucky Cents, Perfumed Court, and others for increasing the samle sales to Sweden! Thank you Birgit.
Thank you, Birgit, my name sister! 🙂
I’m glad you find my blog helpful, thank you for reading. Also, your English seems great, so no worries!
Heartfelt congratulations, Birgit! Here’s to many more years of successful sniffing and blogging 🙂
Many thanks, P!
Congratulations on 2 years with the blog! What an amazing accomplishment! I remember that my mom had me read the post about the alternative uses for perfume back before I fell down the rabbit hole and was a regular reader. It really did make me laugh! Thanks for your dedication to the whole community!
Congratulations, Birgit! I love OT. So pleased I stumbled on it a year ago. Your wit, humor, and sensitivity keeping me coming back to read more. Cheers to you!
Congrats on 2 years! 🙂
Happy (belated) 2nd Blogoversary B! I absolutely adore Olfactoria and her travels, long may she reign!
Thank you, dear T, my favorite Candyperfumeboy! xo
Happy Anniversary, Birgit! It has been such a pleasure to meet you via your blog and to get to know you through your wonderful writing. Here’s a fine glass of Champagne raised to you! To many more blog posts!
I’m glad having met you as well! You gave my husband back his faith in bacon! 😉
I am glad to pass on my unwavering faith in pork products 🙂
Bacon solidarity now!
Congratulations! I am relatively new to the blog and look forward to reading more. 🙂 Your kids are adorable by the way.
Thank you, Lean, that is very kind of you!
Well done, B, what a fantastic track record and all achieved in between the demands of bringing up two little boys. I enjoyed reading your “top” this and that approach – I do love me a good list… : – ) Congrats to Tara too, for playing an important supporting role, and it is nice to see some of your other readers turn posters! I am sure OT will be around for a long time to come and I look forward to reading you in future.
Thank you very much, V!
OT will change a bit in the future, I don’t want to burn out, and I have the feeling I would, if I keep going at this rate. But at a slower pace, with a slightly different angle, I hope OT will still be fun for readers and myself.