In everyone’s circle of friends, there is supposedly at least one person you could ring up in the middle of the night if you had to, say if you were having a personal crisis of some kind. I believe I have at least a couple of friends like that, but I trust I will never be in such dire straits as to feel the need to take them up on their kind offer. If I were them, I wouldn’t particularly relish being roused at bleary o’clock to lend a listening ear or some more practical form of help.
And then there are the friends you can disturb during the day – by just turning up unannounced, pretty much – and know (or be confident at least) that they will be pleased to see you at virtually no notice.
MyBeautyBlog is such a friend. She is both perfumista and make up blogger, The Non-Blonde of the German-speaking world, if you will - or “DACH-Gebiet”, as it is known in business circles (the acronym DACH being composed of the country abbreviations for Germany, Austria and Switzerland respectively). There may well be others, but I have only come across one other perfume blogger writing in her native German, namely Lena Brombacher of Olfactorialist – well, in both English and German in fact, for there are two versions of her blog. For of course the other well known blogger from that neck of the woods, Olfactoria of Olfactorias Travels, has opted to write in English, giving her blog international reach far beyond her home turf of Central Europe.
But for perfume lovers in the DACH-Gebiet who prefer to interact in their mother tongue, myBeautyBlog (real name Andreea) fills an important role, and her proudly advert-free blog is still going strong after six years. Andreea is in her early thirties but looks as young as Ari of Scents of Self actually is, though she doesn’t look her age either…! : - )
MyBeautyBlog and I “met” on Now Smell This, the mother ship of blogs where a number of my early fumehead friendships were forged. We first met in person in spring 2009 on a blind sniffing date in Hamburg, and then again in April of this year. We took a sightseeing tour of Andreea's home town of Lüneburg and enjoyed a memorable al fresco meal by the river in the company of her fiancé and his best man-to-be. And then in August it was thanks to a timely text exchange with Andreea that I discovered the Königsparfümerie in Dresden.
And so to the latest bonkers trip… After my first appointment near Hamburg at the start of my itinerary, I called Andreea on my mobile and asked her to guess where I was. “Er, round the corner?” she replied, sussing my game immediately. “Nearly – I am about 16km away. I know it is cheeky to call you out of the blue like this, but would you have time for a cup of tea?”
And so it was that some 40 minutes later, myBeautyBlog met me outside the university where she works. After a quick peep in her office, we adjourned to the canteen for that much needed cup of tea (on my side), and had a good old catch up on news, notably how the plans were going for her imminent winter wedding (now just over a week away!) To preempt reader inquiries the groom is predicted to wear Guerlain Cologne No 68, and the bride is hoping to be surprised with a wedding scent gift on the day. Well, I use the word “surprised” advisedly – I think the groom has been given some fairly heavy – and named – hints, including Parfum d'Empire Eau Suave and Kelly Calèche Extrait if my memory serves me.
At some point obviously we needed to sniff one another’s scent of the day: Andreea had applied hers to the nape of her neck, which made for some comical and ostentatious craning on my part, but if they did happen to notice, no one in the canteen appeared to be remotely fazed by this strange friendship ritual. I correctly guessed that Andreea was wearing a cunning mélange of Jardin sur le Nil and Jardin sur le Toit, while my own SOTD of Dior New Look 1947 had her foxed, but that was fair enough given that she had never smelt it.
After a pleasant hour or so of shooting the breeze, we said goodbye back at my car, but not before I had extracted my vial of Hermès Santal Massoia for Andreea (a big Hermès fan, as you may have gathered) to try right there on the spot, for those 4ml tubes do not lend themselves to being shared. We stood in the dark and cold for a couple of minutes as Andreea huffed her wrists – she liked what she smelt, but in no time at all the scent seemed to disappear, a phenomenon which she lamented as happening to her more and more often lately.
And I thought how curious we might appear to anyone passing by, two women standing by an open car boot, barely acquaintances really - from different countries and different generations - both intently sniffing the same pair of wrists, united by our passionate shared interest.
And then it was my turn to disappear, off to my next port of call…
Have a wonderful wedding next week, myBeautyBlog! And if and when you have a moment, do let us know what you wore on the day!
UPDATE: MyBeautyBlog's wedding report is now up on her blog here. It is in German, admittedly, but even for non-German speakers it is well worth checking out this and an earlier post for the lovely photos of Andreea's dress, makeup and bouquet.
Photo of Lüneburg from bach-cantatas.com, photo of myBeautyBlog from her website, photo of Leuphana university from ffb.uni-leuneburg.de, photo of Hermès Santal Massoia from stylelist.com