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?
Val! I love it, and you of course. Inspired, Birgit, to get Val. Loved the answers and I can hear them in your voice, Val. LOVED IT!
So you loved it? 😉
Thanks, P! xoxo
Ha ha ha! Naughty Birgit. Yes, I loved it. Ha ha ha hA!
Through you Birgit I met Val! You have both enriched my life. Val is wonderful.
She is! You are too kind! xx
Anyone with a chunk of cheese in the fridge is a kindred spirit! It’s nice to know more about you, Cookie! I loved the photo too!
I loved the photo as well, it does her justice.
What a wonderful interview! It was nice to “meet” Val.
I want to know more about the technology and its connection to the cat! 😉
I could imagine the electronic dissemination of cat photos to relatives would tick both boxes… 🙂
Yaay! It’s great to learn more about Val. I only recently got to know her virtually (her energy comes across that space without problems). 🙂
😀 I couldn’t help but laugh at hair OCD (I think I might have the same affliction). I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact it’s short? If you don’t take care to trim it regularly, it goes out of shape in an instant.
Hmm, maybe I should use more hot sauces in my life… I could use more energy. Plus, I love the taste. 🙂
P.S. Her cookies are wonderful!
Short hair needs so much attention, I couldn’t cope…
Maybe Val should consider “energy-cookies” laced with hot sauce! 😉
How great to see Cookie Queen and fellow Maltesers fiend featured here! I realise my own stash isn’t anywhere near as conveniently located. Then I was one of the gang in London who recently got to meet Val, and it wasn’t long enough. Her incredible energy has inspired me to go for a couple of rambles lately…this is quite a feat. ;). And how touching that she goes for a walk every week with her grandmother-in-law ‘on borrowed time’.
Ass Reaper – not the actual name of the sauce, I take it? Doesn’t sound very ‘rural Austrian’, hehe. Oh, and may I just say that Val was born (briefly) in the town where I got my first job after graduating, 30 years ago. In that town is a crude imitation of Sydney Opera House. Prophetic, looking back…
The sauce is actually named like that although I have to say it is definitely not an Austrian brand. 😉
Glad Val inspired you too, V. She has a definite talent…
Well, I feel energized every time I encounter this Cookie Queen. I have never seen Superwoman and her in the same room which has got me thinking…
Contagious energy, indeed! Thanks for the motivation, Val! Thanks for the interview, Birgit! Somehow my indecisiveness lowered right after the final words! 🙂
How lovely! Have a fabulous day, Lyubov!
I cannot believe I have only known Val for less than a month. It feels like I’ve known her forever. She is so inspiring and encouraging, I’m very lucky she’s my friend.
Her answers were just as fun and heartfelt as I would have expected. Oh and I keep my Malteser stash in a drawer at work 🙂
Okay, now that we are all confessing left and right – MY Maltesers stash is in a secret drawer in the living room, as yet undiscovered by the men in my life. 😉
So happy Val and you hit it off.
Ha ha ha! Love it. Let’s hope it stays undiscovered 🙂
Hmmmm, cookies and Ass Reaper hot sauce. My kind of woman! Fun interview to say the least!
Thank you! 🙂
Cookies, cheddar, AND hot sauce. What’s not to love? Where does she find the energy? I use a lot of hot sauce and I’m not that perky so it must be her magical cookies that are the secret.
It’s not the cookies either, I’ve had plenty. It must be the combination… 😉
Being several cumin seeds short of a korma is the secret to life and don´t let anyone tell you any different. Thanks B. xxx
Thank you, dear Val!
Val sounds like a firecracker – she must be so much fun to spend time with. And gorgeous, too! I am (sadly) not well traveled but can say with confidence that Americans love hot sauce of all kinds. I have been in several stores around the country that feature shelves and shelves of the stuff and some of the names are incredible 🙂
Firecracker is a great characterisation for her indeed. 🙂
Thank you for letting us take a closer peek at what makes Val tick. I have always enjoyed her enthusiastic and energetic presence in posts and second hand in pictures of gatherings with other bloggers. I adore the perfect platinum hair and red lipstick! It exemplifies the boldness and exuberance of her character. What a fun and generous person!
I agree, the read lips especially signify her spirit!
Maltesers…stash? When I buy a bag, it rarely survives the day…I usually blame PMT, though my husband finds that hard to believe…especially 3 times a month…AND a person who loves cheese and eats something called Ass Reaper just HAS to be amazing. Really enjoyed reading about Val.
Thank you, fruwinther, I’m glad you enjoyed this interview.
One more in the Maltesers club! 😉
Oh, to have lips like that! If I did, I’d have as many red lipsticks as perfumes.
Great to read Val’s answers to your interview and to hear that she will soon be contributing a monthly recipe post here. And now I’m curious, Birgit … what is your favorite cookie of hers?
My favorite cookie? It’s a tie between her shortbread and the peanut butter cookie. Don’t make me choose!!!!
I want to hang out with you CQ!
When I read about all of you perfume writers getting together in far flung places it sounds like so much fun. Thanks for letting me live, and smell, vicariously!
I’ve been so lucky meeting so many great people through blogging. It is amazing, really.
Val, I want your hair. Seriously. My hairdresser tells me that mine will probably be totally white within about 8 years, and I plan on rockin’ it like you are.
And you will rock white hair, Dionne! I can just see it!
Val is a true gem: warm, fun, smart and stylish. I’m glad to see her featured here, dear Birgit.
xoxo for both of you
Hugs back at you, dear Caro!
Ass Reaper! Hilarious. I’m surprised to hear that Val is an American – there were so many English-isms in her interview that I felt sure she was a Brit. I must be missing something.
And Maltesers – if there’s one thing I’ve missed in the 28 years since I came across the pond, its those red bags and boxes (well, and Branston pickle and chocolate digestives and smoky bacon crisps and…) When I go back, I literally line my suitcase with boxes of Ms and my family sends me them for Christmas. (I haven’t yet told them that there’s a British food store here where I get an occasional fix albeit for a rip-off price).
Great interview and if I had hair like that, I’d be OCD about it too – beautiful…
Scuse me butting in B ….. I have dual citizenship Sally! UK/US I am a Brit with an American accent …….. bloody hell. xxx
Oh that’s very cool – I’ve been thinking about doing that too. It’s funny but when I talk here in the US people always comment on my “lovely accent” but when I go back “home”to the UK, people say I have an American accent. I suppose I’ve mutated 😉
There are no Maltesers in the US? That is tragic!!!
I have occasionally come across US Maltesers – possibly under a slightly different name, can’t recall that part – but the taste was different. Appreciably more malty / bicarb of soda-y? Prefer the UK originals.
Ah, just seen Darilyn’s comment. If those are direct British imports, that’s great!
Yes they’re called malted milk balls and they’re bloody horrible – a travesty I tell you! We do have a British food store fairly near us called Lady Di’s but its ridiculously expensive. I’ve also discovered an online outline called Jolly Grub – they do all sorts of Brit food for a really good price.
I love Val’s hair too!
I did not know what Maltesers were, so after reading this, I googled it, and found out
that they are sold in the US in a store called World Market. Red bag… made in the UK.
Lucky me…my husband works there part- time. I’ll be enjoying Maltesers tomorrow!
OOOOOHHH – you have a direct line in!!!
Good for you! Enjoy them! 🙂
I’ve read Val’s reviews over on APJ. It was so nice to get to know her better through your interview. Wish I had her energy, though. If she could bottle or sell that she’d make a fortune!
So true, Kandice! I’d buy that right away.
Ah Val is so blooming wonderful! She also makes the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever tasted and I don’t even like peanut butter!
Val’s Peanut butter cookies are awesome and terribly addictive.
And even better without the peanut butter………………………
Yes, brother dearest.
Madly googled “Ass Reaper.” Happy to report that hot sauce was the what came up 😉
Great answers to the questionnaire! Val sounds like a lot of fun to be around and I bet those cookies are divine!
They are! And you sure are a brave googler, I gather you were not at work? 😉
I was actually 🙂 No censorship at universities 😉
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