Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Year, old perfume, musings on (all kinds of!) ageing, and other random retrospective stuff

Source: bookmanlibrary.com
New Year's Day - a time for Solpadeine and regret, and if and when the hangover eases, quiet introspection. Maybe a spot of knitting. Maybe more Solpadeine. I blame my friend Gillie, who egged me on to have a second glass of Malbec, on top of the first one - and the glass of Sauvignon Blanc I had earlier. She got as far as a fourth glass, though in fairness some of glass No 2 went over my dress during an exuberant pointing episode - but I think I managed to pass it off as another red accessory (see below).

New Year is also when you finally start to have tantalising glimpses of the back of the fridge. And when you fashion oddball fusion dishes from faintly fermenting leftovers, because you would rather play Russian roulette with salmonella and listeria than accept that you went a bit mad with the big Christmas shop.

That said, I did get into the habit lately of sniffing my food before consumption, as well as scrutinising it for obvious signs of mould - and thus it was that some fizzy and oddly sweet-smelling parsnips with mushy middles got the chop smartish. As in didn't get the chop and go in the soup I was making!

"Sprouts are not just for Christmas."

Then New Year makes you realise your friends' eyesight is ageing at the same rapid pace as yours, as their festive messages - while warm and uplifting - are full of typos and predictive text gibberish.

It is also a time for writing appointments in new diaries in exceptionally neat handwriting, while knowing full well that your painstaking script will turn to complete rats**t as the year progresses.

New Year's Resolutions

And let's not forget those New Year's resolutions. This was a popular topic of conversation at the party I attended last night, and it amused me that in answer to the question: "What do you wish for in 2017?" one friend said "World peace" while I said "Teeming neurons", an oblique reference to the beneficial effect of aerobic exercise on hippocampus tissue. I did at least go for a long hike the other day with two friends, each of whom had two dogs. On the way round we met so many other people out with their dogs that it got mighty confusing, and in the ensuing furry melees I felt sure that people must just have been glad to go home with the same number of dogs that they set out with.


The lady in red is wearing a cashmere scarf I knitted!

I do have other resolutions, mind - all equally selfish it must be said: to read more books, and knit more, and sell a load of old clothes on eBay. And ideally eat less sugar, having recently scared myself witless about the deleterious effects of refined carbohydrates with this Long Read. It really is long, I must warn you. As I said on Facebook, where I posted the link, I think I could romp through 'Girl on a Train' quicker. It even made me eye up my four pack of Double Deckers with a newfound suspicion. That particular New Year's resolution isn't going at all well, however, as the very first thing I ate today as I walked home from the party was half a cranberry muffin, distributed free to departing revellers by our host. It was quite delicious, and on balance I think I will carry on eating my favourite confectionery and biscuits, and the devil and the dentist and the doctor take the hindmost.

Patchouli paws

Because it was the holidays, I relaxed my usual rules and allowed Truffle to sleep on the bed with me - but only in the mornings, if I was having a lie in. I associate this time with the rich scent of patchouli, for often her paws would have traces of earth on them from night manoeuvres on the allotments.




Diptyque Eau Duelle: the boomerang bottle with a duo of botched sales

So yes, now  that I am in my late 50s and things are starting to fail on multiple fronts, health issues are very much on my mind. Not helped by the slew of celebrity deaths this year, some of them younger than me. Though one or two had rather caned it in their time, one way and another. But maybe that is ultimately okay, for it is not about how long you live, but how fully, and how alive you felt while you were at it. (See muffin mention above.) I sense a discussion on the pros and cons of living in the fast lane / a rock 'n' roll lifestyle - or even one with occasional treats, haha - could warrant a whole other post sometime, albeit not about perfume, I know.

But on to the health of my fragrance collection, and specifically the unfortunate effects of ageing on my 70% full 100ml bottle of Diptyque Eau Duelle. I have owned it since 2009 or 2010 at a guess?, so quite a few years it must be said, and recently tried selling it on that UK Fragrance Sale/Swap/Split site. I put it up for a reduced price of £25, which was intended to reflect the bottle's age in a non-specific way. The first person to buy it messaged me shortly afterwards to say that she had compared my Eau Duelle with a recently acquired sample and found my bottle to be all about the vanilla, and missing "some of the more smoky woodsy notes".




I wrote back, most apologetic, and explaining that I had sort of "grown old" with my bottle, as it were, and had not noticed how it might have morphed over that time. However, I quite understood that she was in a position to check on the difference that ageing had brought about, and promptly refunded her money.

A little while later, another would-be purchaser came through, offering to buy my 'boomerang bottle' of Eau Duelle - so I had now received dual offers, you could say! I told him what had happened with the previous buyer, and this chap replied that he only wanted to use the scent as a room atomiser, and wasn't too worried about all the nuances of the notes being detectable. So the bottle was duly despatched before Christmas, with an even more reduced price of £19. Though this time I suggested to the buyer that he only pay me if he was happy with the perfume. And now it is sadly on its way back again... ;) In a message I learnt the reason for his not wishing to keep the bottle:

"Although I like the smell I think it has lost a lot of its strength. I tried it on the aroma diffuser but it was very weak and I could not really smell it."

I have to say that Eau Duelle is quite strong when applied as a perfume, even in its EDT concentration, but for his particular purpose it was clearly not fit, so no money changed hands and it seems this bottle is destined to stay put!




These incidents have brought it home to me that it is very difficult to sell a bottle of perfume you have had knocking around for a while, because the buyer expects it to be just as it was when it was new. And this got me thinking about the notion of ageing in broad terms, and how women too are expected to look as they did when they were young, or at least to give the arresting of the effects of ageing their very best shot! And that is a shame - the fact that something or someone is only acceptable if they are as they once were, even though the changes may not necessarily be all bad - just different. My Eau Duelle doesn't smell off; it still smells as pleasantly vanilla-y as many a vanilla-forward scent such as Annick Goutal's Vanille Exquise, or L'Artisan's Vanilia. But like me, I accept that it is missing some of its faculties - I mean facets!

Miscellaneous retrospective stuff

On the world stage, it goes without saying that 2016 was a pretty diabolical year, with spiralling levels of conflict and political turmoil. Frankly I am not too hopeful that 2017 is going to be much of an improvement. Or rather that things may get worse before they get better...

In a much more minor way, 2016 was a bit of a bummer for me personally in that I developed eyelid eczema in the spring, which still flares up from time to time, though I am more aware of the triggers now. I plan to do a separate post on how I have got on with various skincare products, now that I have been using them all for a while - some of them recommended by readers!

Highlights of the year on the social front included the great gathering of the clans in January for Portia's PLL talk, and subsequently knitting beanies for her ;) - I will get onto the next commission in good time for your winter! - along with Pia and Nick's highly enjoyable Smelly Cakey Perfume Meet Up in October. Then in May I spent a birthday to remember when I visited Liz Moores again, this time with Tara. My trip to France in August to visit my friend L was also one of my happiest times this year - a life changing one, no less, in that it planted the seed that I might one day retire over there, while the recent band tour in Germany was the usual rumbustious and 'sleep when I'm dead' fun.


Portia, me and Angela


Favourite perfumes of 2016

Of all the years I have been blogging, this is going to be my sketchiest selection, as I have tried so few of the new releases! With that caveat here is my little list - I have fellow bloggers to thanks for introducing me to quite a few of these - Val is responsible for three,and Undina two! As Undina found in her own recent round up of the best of 2016, my list quite fortuitously runs to ten...;)

Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom


Aroma M Vanilla Hinoki

Aroma M Geisha Noire (my new favourite furry animalic amber)

By Kilian Amber Oud (as above, but sweeter, and less hoochy)

Ruth Mastenbroek Oxford

Puredistance SHEIDUNA

Chanel No 5 L'Eau (briefly tried on skin in store, but I liked what I remember)

Hermès Doblis (I have no words! The ne plus ultra ambrosia of leather scents. Okay, I had a few.)

Le Jardin Retrouvé Citrus Boboli (review to follow)


Source: aroma M perfumes


What I would really like to try!

Aftelier Perfumes Vanilla Smoke
Afterlier Perfumes Amber Tapestry
Hiram Green Arbolé Arbolé
Galop d'Hermès
Sarah Jessica Parker Stash

Fellow bloggers have massively piqued my curiosity about these.

Losing the plot?

On a housekeeping note, I noticed that in 2016 my page views went up quite markedly to nearly 40,000 a month, while the comments on my blog fell. I am not sure what is behind that dual(!) phenomenon, though if I had to guess I'd say that some of the new traffic is probably a fluke-y spike. As for the reduction in comments, it may be that I am now too much on the margins of the perfume scene to be regarded as a bona fide - or even a particularly enthusiastic! - voice on developments within it, compounded by my possibly annoying propensity to go off with alarming regularity on tangents (travel posts, skincare posts, and manifestations of off-topic silliness of every stripe). But I may never know the reason, as those readers may now have stopped reading as well as commenting! And it may not be that the lack of interaction by readers is a protest vote at all, but is due to something else entirely. I have no way of knowing though - that is the conundrum - so as a blogger it is natural to question the merits of what you are doing first. (Especially when you factor in middle-aged paranoia, haha.) But seriously, I would be glad to know what people think of the topic mix, and whether I should stick to perfume on here, and create a separate blog for the other topics. Or even drop the perfume side and just focus on travel periodically - I don't know. I do wonder whether Bonkers might have become a bit of an unholy mishmash now, and people are just too polite to say so. ;)

I can assure you though that I will be reviewing some more perfumes soon. Also, the bathroom renovation really does deserve a post of its own - for the comedy value of the whole sorry palaver alone! - though I realise that would be another digression. For yes, as you may have noticed, I am rather Bonkers about Bathrooms - and sanitary- and brassware in particular. Yet in this picture I took last night (several sheets to the wind it must be said) I completely failed to get the all-important taps in!




And finally, I would like to wish everyone out there - regular readers, occasional readers, or those who have landed here by mistake! - a very Happy New Year, or as happy a one as we can collectively contrive in this mad, mad world...

Ooh look, I have managed to get back to Sunday posting after a bit of a 'temporal drift' of late.







40 comments:

  1. I didn't have even one portion of fruit or veg today due to not having done a shop for ages. I do feel guilty about it but am telling myself it's what I do day to day that matters and it is the holidays. Of course it's a good idea to reduce sugar but you are certainly far from obese and that's what counts.

    I'm also curious about the Hiram Green scent and may look into the travel spray. The Love to Smell Xmas episode also piqued my interest in Stash.

    How annoying about the boomerang bottle. Next year you'll have to bring it along to our PLL swapmeet. No returns! People do seem to have unreasonably high expectations for opened bottles it seems.

    Looking forward to your skincare/eczema update post. Two days ago the flaky, itchy skin around my eyes finally abated. I hope it stays that way.

    I most definitely do love your mix of topics and really don't think you need start another blog for. People know you will come back to perfume and this style has long been established. Commenters may have just had problems with signing in as I had a month or so ago and not persisted.

    Bonkers is as brilliant as ever!

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    1. Hi Tara,

      You have got me thinking about my fruit and veg portions too now! I had a very small apple and a few sprouts and some sweetcorn. Spuds don't count, do they? Maybe there's another resolution I should be making!

      Val was very keen on that Hiram Green scent, which always makes me sit up and take notice, as not much gets past her radar - though in fairness, somewhat more is doing these days! I am so interested in Stash that I wandered into Stafford's branch of The Fragrance Shop, but couldn't see it anywhere.

      The Eau Duelle episode has made me a bit wary of trying to shift it again, never mind my other bottles. I totally understand the position of the would-be buyers, but the problem comes because you don't want to put your bottle up for sale usually until you have owned and enjoyed it for a while. Unless it was a mistake from the off, of course.

      I didn't realise you had eczema near your eyes - I thought it was more your legs etc. I have got it under mine today and in the corner of my mouth and forehead, but it doesn't freak me out the way it used to at least, as I have sort of got my head around how it comes and goes.

      Thanks for all your support through the year, and for your thoughts on the subject matter I cover and people's possible difficulty commenting. Blogger is a bit of a b**ger that way, though you would think after all these years they would have ironed out the glitches.

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    2. No doubt the five portions is arbitrary but I juice greens with fruit now to get my daily intake up. It's annoying potatoes don't count, but sweet potatoes do.

      Yes, the eczema was most severe on my legs and I thought the eye area was just dry skin but it was itchy and I think the two were related. Going to try the Clarins Hydraquench mask I got for Xmas today as still have patches (like you) on my cheek and neck.

      It's good that you are less stressed by your skin these days. It can really be upsetting.

      Blogger seems to have a mind of its own!

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    3. Oh, that is good about sweet potatoes - I love them! I haven't got into juicing, I must say - in fact I am not sure where I have gone and put my smoothie maker!

      Good luck chasing away the remains of your eczema - it is a blow to have it in different places but it seems you are on top the pesky condition. ;)

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  2. Happy new year to you. It is charming as always to read your thoughts, perfumed and otherwise, and to see a photo of Truffle.

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    1. Hi Tiffanie,

      Why, thank you - it is helpful to get your take on the topic mix. I hope anyone who does think it is a jumble will speak up too.

      I nearly posted a photo of Truffle impudently standing on the dining room table, still bedecked in a festive gold cloth, with a challenging look on her face as if to say: 'You said not on the work surfaces. This is an 'eating off' surface.'

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  3. Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful 2017. I rather enjoy all your musings whether they are about perfume or other topics. Curious to see photos and a post on the bathroom renovation. I've have found myself taking phone photos of tiles and other details of bathrooms and other rooms, as my house is starting to feel like it needs some work and some updating.
    Always wonderful to see photos of you and Truffle, too.
    I have a proper stash of bottles I'd like to sell, but have been hesitant to list them for sale because once they're out of this house, I don't really want them back again.

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    1. Hi Tatiana,

      Lovely to hear from you and thanks for your feedback. That is a good idea to take pictures of tiles and other room features as inspiration, if I have understood you rightly. You could equally be taking photos of flaws that need to be addressed - I can see a role for the camera in both instances.

      In my own case, I compiled a massive online folder of images from all over - though a lot from Pinterest - a sort of moodboard if you will of overall schemes and specific detail on bathroom fixtures. A lot of ideas came from US sites, where people seem to do loving refurbishments of the tiniest bathrooms, but then I found I couldn't replicate things over here, as many of the things I liked the look of simply aren't available.

      I would hope your experience of selling some of your stash wouldn't involve the boomerang bottle phenomenon, but I understand your reluctance all the same!

      I may do a separate post shortly of 'Truffle's winter antics' - goodness knows I have the photos. ;)

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  4. Don't change a thing! Except maybe for posting more photos of Truffle (I would love to see the one of her on the dining room table). I love your mix of subjects, all of which are so interesting - not least because you have a great gift of writing so eruditely and amusingly. In fact I enjoy your posts so much that I forward them to my husband so that he can read them too.

    Yes, I first started to read you because I am interested in perfume and wanted to see your reviews, but all the topics you write about are fascinating to me and I can't wait to find out what you find useful for your eyes!

    I think that there is a general tailing-off of readership in the perfume blogosphere - or maybe not so much readers but commenters; it's hard to know why. Perhaps life/events take over, and certainly the world has become overwhelmingly "interesting" lately and this might silence people a little. In my own case I stopped commenting on a lot of sites after a bereavement and although I still visit them, I now only "talk" on my favourites (of which you are one!).

    By the way - what an excellent, understanding seller you are. I have bought a few bottles on eBay that were meant to be in good condition but were so turned that they were fit only for dumping. I am sure those two buyers must appreciate your excellent service and realise they are so lucky to have dealt wit you.

    Happy 2017!

    Jillie

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    1. Hi Jillie,

      Thanks for your long and most interesting comment - and firstly may I offer belated condolences on your bereavement.

      You made me realise that what really counts to give me the motivation to continue blogging are periodic indications that people are reading by choice rather than by accident. It doesn't even have to be a lot of people, a handful is fine! Nor does it need to be very frequent indications. Probably once a year as a minimum, say. For in the absence of comments I have no way of telling what people think of any aspect of the blog and may jump to all sorts of erroneous and alarming conclusions. Especially when I see other blogs attracting many more comments - it is human nature to wonder what I am doing wrong. And maybe I still am in some respects I have yet to fathom.

      Overall though, I think you are right that the absolute numbers of comments are falling, very likely for the reasons you suppose. There is an awful lot going on in the world - and on Facebook that reflects it - and it is a lot to process.

      I love the fact that your husband reads Bonkers - in my experience, menfolk are usually most recalcitrant in this regard, so it is the ultimate seal of approval in my eyes!

      I don't feel so bad about the botched sales now for knowing that my customer service was top notch at least. ;)

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    2. PS See comment to Tatiana above about an imminent Truffle photofest!

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  5. First of all, let me join others in saying that you definitely do not need another blog: why bother? It's not like you sell subscriptions and somebody might want their money back if you do not provide enough perfume-related content (though after reading your stories about the boomerang bottle, I wouldn't be surprised if you tried to accommodate such a request ;) ).

    Next, I second the notion of more pictures of Truffle: it's unfair to those of us who doesn't frequent FB! ;)

    From your list I tried 6 perfumes! (one of them thanks to you) And you can stop looking for Stash - one sample goes your way mid-January.

    Happy New Year, Vanessa! (and let's hope for the best - though I don't have high hopes for the World)

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    1. Hi Undina,

      It is always good to get your sensible, level headed take on things, and thanks for being a regular reader and commenter here. I had to laugh at the notion of me being the sort to give people their money back for not providing enough perfume-related content! ;)

      Oh, thank you too for thinking of sending me the Stash sample. I was going to come back to you to ask you to custom buy a bottle of the Cerave PM moisturiser after all. I have found myself using it more and more. Will PM you about that.

      I know, re the way the world is going the words 'handcart' and 'hell' spring to mind.

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  6. Happy New year dear Vanessa! :)

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    1. Back atcha, Ines! I still haven't made it back to Croatia since I stopped travelling that far for work, but the will is most certainly there.

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  7. Oh I think your blog is lovely as it is. I also have to second other commenters on the wish for more Truffle photos. She is a very adorable cat.

    On the Eau Duelle sale, don't the vanillin/vanilla scents tend to age in a note skewing way? I've had old vanilla frag bottles which went very vanilla with time, and others which seemed to eat the vanilla note and become very woody also formulations change. (grump!)

    If you would like to try Afteliers I will be happy to send some, have both on your list, let me know. Most of all Happy New Year Vanessa!

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    1. Hi Blacknall,

      Truffle is definitely going to get more exposure on here as a result of popular demand, hehe.

      Very interesting to get your view on how vanilla fragrances 'mature'. This one has definitely gone 'very vanilla' I would say.

      Thanks for your kind offer to send me those Afteliers. As luck would have it, Mandy herself read my post and has emailed along similar lines, so I shan't have to trouble you. But I do appreciate the thought!

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  8. Oh please do continue this glorious melange of subject matter and material. It's not a mishmash, but a miscellany. Why change something wonderful? (except, perhaps, to season with more pictures of Truffle.)

    happiest of new years to you!

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    1. Hi Crikey,

      I love the term 'miscellany'! I also like 'melange'- both sound so much more legit than 'mishmash'. At a stroke you have given me licence to carry on with this eclectic topic mix, so thank you. ;)

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  9. YAY!! I made a PHOTO! Thanks Vanessa for including that.
    Please keep going with BAP exactly as you are, I love it.
    Portia xx

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    1. Hi Portia,

      You were a hoot of a highlight in 2016, no question!

      I love how you call Bonkers 'BAP' for reasons that may not be immediately apparent. ;)

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  10. I so enjoy your blog. I don't subscribe, but I do stop by most weeks.
    You are a very entertaining writer and I think that's a great thing to be. I will read whatever you write about.
    Thanks for all your humor and insight.

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    1. Hi sunnlitt,

      Thanks for coming through, and for your kind comment. I truly did expect more people to say 'Stick to the perfume' - and certainly not to say 'Stick to the knitting', haha, not that I have blogged about that so far in earnest, so the feedback so far is reassuring. I just hope any dissenters would feel bold enough to comment too.

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  11. Oh, and when I sell on EBay, it is stated: No Returns.
    They are buying a used bottle. There are no guarantees. I am honest and informative in my description, and will answer any questions. But, once I sell it, it's gone for good.

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    1. Now that is interesting. Maybe I have been too soft - I was wondering about the same conundrum for when I start to sell clothes on eBay. There is such a high likelihood of something not fitting, yet it is a pain to keep getting stuff back again!

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  12. First, let me say how fetching you are three or more sheets to the wind.
    I think crikey describes best what I think, and Jillie's blog-reading bloke clearly appreciates miscellany.

    More pictures of Truffle are a must, if only to compete with Rusty. There is after all a large segment of perfume lovers who is also devoted to cats and bloggers too. You have a great blog roll -- you could categorize them as perfume blogs with cats and blogs without. :-)

    And, finally, I always read even if I don't always comment. Indeed I smile each time I see the email link.

    Long live BAP!

    -- Lindaloo

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    1. Hi Lindaloo,

      How much did I love your comment! You really should be blogging yourself, truly. And if you are already, and your blog has passed me by all these years, please do post a link!

      Now I have set myself strict guidelines for how I deploy pictures of Truffle, as I promise I don't want her to compete with Rusty in that specific niche that Rusty has so ably pioneered of 'cat interacting with perfume bottles/vials'. I do feel, however, that Truffle just being herself around ordinary household objects is still neutral territory for any cat and their blog owner to annexe. ;)

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  13. Hi Vanessa, I commented yesterday but it got lost on the way! I almost always read Bonkers, but don't always comment. As a non native speaker I sometimes do miss some of the finesses of Bonkers blogging but not always, and more often than not I have to grin at your self deprecating humour (ha! now that is a wonderful English word). There can't ever be enough Truffle, of your travels and knitting projects, all good. My eye eczema cleared marvellously usind the NIOD products, they are really good if not a bit nerdy, and they are expensive, but the best skin care I have used since using.
    If you can't get hold of Arbolé let me know, I am happy to send a sample but it may take a while, left over flue and busy new year have me lacking in the energy department. It is one of my favourites of last year.
    And... I discovered I don't follow your blog, what an oversight because I often look if there is a new Bonkers post!
    All the best for you and Truffle in the new year,

    Hamamelis

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    1. Hi Hamamelis,

      So sorry your comment got lost! This may well be one of the reasons readers are wary of Blogspot blogs!

      I am glad to hear you don't mind the 'miscellany' aspect of my topics, and there will be a ramping up of Truffle with immediate effect, hehe.

      Thanks for the NIOD tip off - I will look into it more closely. A cursory inspection made me wonder if they are the Heston Blumenthal of the skincare world, with his scientific approach to cooking!

      Thanks for the Arbole offer - very kind - will let you know. But meanwhile I do hope you recover fully from your flu soon.

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  14. Happy new year Vanessa and Truffle ��
    I enjoy reading all topics not just perfume, I'm nosey about beauty roUtines, cats, books, travel and all sorts! I read a few blogs and don't comment very often - it's a combo of shyness and not feeling knowledgeable.
    Anyway here's hoping 2017 is a better year, all the best Hayley

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    1. Hi Hayley,

      Aw, thanks for explaining the reasons why you don't tend to comment often on blogs. I appreciate your coming through. All this feedback has definitely fired me up to carry on, and it has taught me that direct contact with readers is a must, at least from time to time. And trust me when I say that I am not at all knowledgeable either. ;)

      Yes, it wouldn't be hard for 2017 to be a bit better...or would it?

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  15. Morning, Vanessa. Don't change, please.

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    1. Morning, Sabine. Your clear point is noted, thanks!

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  16. Dearest Frau Bonkers. Obviously you won´t change a bloody thing otherwise it wouldn´t be Bonkers. You know why I seldom comment, because it takes more than 15 seconds and having lost all my attention span over the last year or two I don´t sit down and take the time. You know I read them. I would love to comment as cookie queen along with my armadillo avatar. And although it seems fairly clear in all my other comments and registering them, that I DO know my WordPress Password and Username, it will not accept it on Bonkers. A small thing, but lästig trotzdem. Meanwhile I will make an effort and stay anonymous. :) Bussis. xxxxx

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    1. Dearest Frau Cookie Queen,

      Haha - Bonkerness must be preserved in any thematic rejig, I agree, and it seems it isn't going to be needed after all.

      I think it would be glorious to see your armadillo avatar popping up, but I quite understand that Wordpress and Blogger blogs are incompatible, like Android and Iphones, or MACs and PCs. I myself tried to comment from scratch on a Wordpress blog the other day and couldn't remember my user name or password so that was shortlived. Happy to see you here anonymously, but I know you are reading because you kindly share my posts apart from anything! xxx

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  17. Happy new year Vanessa! Please don't make too many changes to the blog, I really like it as it is. I don't always comment, just because it takes some time to write a near correct sentence in English. I have, however, never had serious problems getting my comments accepted here, so I do wonder why other comments just don't go through.

    I wonder if you are not too soft on those buyers of your used bottles. If you describe content, from about when the bottle dates and so on, they shouldn't expect to receive something exactly like a brand new bottle. At least top notes tend to fade!

    Still waiting for a post about your bathroom, hope you get it more or less like you planned it!

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    1. Hi Ingeborg,

      Thanks for commenting on this one, and please never worry about writing perfect sentences. I have always been most impressed with your English, but maybe that is because you put in so much time - anyway, I do appreciate it.

      I think in hindsight I should have just put the age of the bottles and let the buyers infer the rest?

      Oh yes, there will be a bathroom post soon! Just waiting for the electrician and then can put some shelves etc up. Not long now hopefully...;)

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  18. Happy New Year! I don't comment on your blog very often, but I wanted to say thank you for blogging because it's always fun to read your thoughts on anything and everything. I also wanted to say I love the red belt+dark dress combo, super fun! :)

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  19. Dear Vanessa - i'm trying to catch up on my mail (had my bro and his wife visit from Boston), so i'm all behind. But family are important, and perfume, and cats and bands and travel and eye cream and lots of stuff. Thats why i love your blog - so keep it just as it is missus! Portia's BAP comment made me laugh - I'd love a big crusty belfast bap right now! Happy New Year Vanessa - may it be happy and healthy for everyone. x

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