Bonjour Project – Day 24 & 25

My dear friends,

I had the pleasure of spending two amazing days in Riga, the beautiful capital of Latvia. πŸ™‚ It is all so wonderfully lit up for this festive season… I felt like walking in a dream, or in a fairy tale… it felt so magical being there πŸ™‚

1. #SOTDΒ  Dzintars – Opera Classic

Dzintars - Opera Classic | photo by BonjourPerfume

Dzintars is a Latvian perfume and cosmetics brand, operating since 1849. Since I was a kid, I remember women praising Dzintars for their product quality, especially for the perfume, as during the Soviet occupation times there was nothing else available in the Baltic states. Dzintars have very many stores across Latvia, and they still sell their old original perfumes.

As a treat for myself, I tried their new creation – Opera Classic – and loved it from the first sniff… it felt so light and flowery, little bit sweet and creamy… It is a very gentle skin scent but seems to last all day on me.. I love it and can’t get enough of it πŸ™‚ It’s the third day I am wearing it πŸ˜€

2. Little discoveries of the day

Whenever you decide to come visit Riga, and I really hope you do!, please make sure you add these few places in your itinerary πŸ™‚

KΕ«kotava – a place of heavenly cakes and coffee. They also do light lunches but I only got to try the dessert – the magnificent honey cake. Traditionally in Lithuania we would make this cake quite often, but this was the best honey cake that I have ever had…. it was so light and feathery… melt in your mouth joy… and then the honey kicks in at the back of your tongue and then again you’re experiencing different sensations… oh my… I can still feel it in my mouth πŸ™‚ ❀

Modes Muzejs – a fashion museum in Riga. At the moment they have an exhibition devoted to the fashion house Dior, it is available until the end of April, 2018. It was interesting to see how the face of fashion changes over time and how different countries and traditions inspire the great designers.

Eglu Festivals – or Christmas Tree festival! πŸ™‚ Did you know that according to the legend, the very first Christmas tree was decorated in Riga? πŸ˜‰ Come visit Riga till 14th January, 2018, and find all the Christmas trees hidden in the open, with the help of a map πŸ™‚ or take a stroll around this beautiful city and try to find them all … Whichever is your favourite, Riga has some 40 different trees to show you this year – and what a lovely way to strengthen this legend πŸ™‚

There are a good few Christmas markets set up around the city, too. They are mainly in the squares in the old town, with hot food and drinks available also. And if you’re there, do try Rigas Balsams – the smooth, velvety, exceptional elixir – it is a real treat on a cold day, or any day πŸ˜‰

Latvian National Opera – a great evening would not be complete without a visit to the opera πŸ™‚ I had a wonderful time watching Swan Lake. The music and the dance…this art is alive!…

3. Something to be thankful for

Staying in Riga has brought me the wonderful memories from my trip to Vienna few years ago…. The architecture, people, and of course – cakes! πŸ™‚ But the altogether feeling when staying in Riga was as if I’ve been there before… as if I have had a beautiful dream and was reliving it again…. I am quite surprised myself that after living the majority of my life in Lithuania, I have never visited this city properly… I must have been waiting for this magic to happen, so that I could appreciate it even more… Riga, thank you, from the bottom of my heart… ❀

J.

xxx

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Bonjour Project – Day 24 & 25

Bonjour Project – Day 23

Hi there! πŸ™‚

1. #SOTD Versace – Crystal Noir (edt)

Versace - Crystal Noir | photo by BonjourPerfume

A little yum yum, or obtrusive at all… just a gentle fruity, flowery touch to my skin… very versatile and wearable at all occasions πŸ™‚ lasted on me all day, which I’m also very pleased about… πŸ™‚

Versace - Crystal Noir | photo by BonjourPerfume

2. Little discoveries of the day

A very much by accident I dropped into a chocolate factory RΕ«ta in Siauliai.. πŸ™‚ well, it’s museum, to be exact πŸ™‚ I’d say it is the most fragrant museum I’ve ever been to so far πŸ˜€ milk chocolate and cream follows you everywhere … πŸ™‚ ❀ learnt some nice facts about chocolate and the museum itself. For example, I didn’t know it is the oldest chocolate factory in Lithuania πŸ™‚ they also had a little display of the candy wrappers, which brought some sweet memories from my childhood πŸ™‚ loved the visit, highly recommended! πŸ™‚

Another little trip was to the concert hall SaulΔ—, which years ago used to be the largest cinema in the city. Today I watched the Improvisation Theatre – Kitas Kampas (‘Another Angle’). I had a blast! They are a fantastic team, great actors, and really worked well with the audience πŸ™‚ No wonder why their tickets sell out so quickly πŸ™‚

3. Something to be thankful for

Today the politicians finally decided to up the payments for every child in a Lithuanian family… and that’s 30-50 euros per month… And I still cannot figure out how people survive on the average wage of 5-600 e per month… A lot of them emigrate, some of them however comeback.. In the theatre, art and photography exhibitions, during culture programs and discussions on tv, I noticed the change… As this moving affects the country from the cultural aspect as well… The ones that do comeback, they seem to bring a load of new ideas, experiences, they gladly share them… I see the difference in plays, people’s attitude on streets, even shop assistants… It took me a very long time to finally understand that the Lithuanians are actually nice and caring people… they might not smile as much but there’s so much goodness in each one of them… even the grumpiest lady at the ticket office will smile back at you if you talk to her like to a friend… The situation in Vilnius is so much different from let’s say Siauliai, as the capital is full of tourists, more often you can hear talking English, German, Spanish… And the women are more fashionably dressed.. obviously, there is more money in the city, the average wage there reaches 7-800 e per month… whereas in Siauliai the situation is a little bit different…

I am thankful for the people of Lithuania.. the ones that stayed, and the ones that left the country… that transition was inevitable but also very necessary…

Or maybe the only thing that changed was my attitude towards them?…

Love, J.

Xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 23

Bonjour Project – Day 20

My dear beautiful people,

Today I would like to tell you a little bit about my new discovery – the perfume brand Dorin. This is a very historical perfume house, creating also powders and creams for Versailles since 1780…

I have discovered it very much by accident at one of Kristiana stores, while sniffing never before seen perfumes.. Their bottles are very attractive and quite different from others.. so are their scents.. πŸ™‚

So that day I sniffed the very first one that attracted my eye, Un Air d’Amour Pour Madame. And I could not describe it to you, unfortunately, as I could only carry with me the feeling it had raised inside… This perfume for me associates with a very pleasant lady from my early childhood.. maybe an aunt, or mum’s friend.. I just remember the cozy feeling, the warmth, and that balsamic spicy sweetness… it is amazing how powerful the window of memory is, with the help of a scent transporting you to the worlds long long forgotten…

Another day I went into the Kristiana store in Gediminas avenue, just to give Pour Madame another go.. unfortunately they didn’t have this particular scent in store, but I got to try Dorina… πŸ™‚ now a feeling was completely different – I have never got that much powder in my nose in one go ever before πŸ™‚ oh my!! Pure iris…an amazing quality purple powder!! I was instantly transported to a theatre, behind the stage, into powder rooms, where curtains are heavy and velvety, dark…and I could nearly see it all with my eyes closed, all I needed was to keep sniffing Dorina

I was a little bit more clever that day, and got to spray some of this beauty on my wrist, as well as on a blotter… πŸ˜‰

And when I was about to say goodbye to the store assistant, she casually pointed at another perfume made by Dorin… it was standing on its own beside a very fancy golden case, covered in a huge glass box… Enter Izolda…

Izolda at Kristiana | photo by BonjourPerfume

Have you heard of Izolda?… She is the wife of the owner of Kristiana; a very well-off gentleman from Lithuania, who gave his wife this incredible gift of creating the perfume she loved; all for their 20th anniversary… and Maison Dorin helped this fragrance come to life…

It is a beautiful, well balanced, sweet and gentle scent, with woody notes.. If you would like to know in person what Izolda smells like, do visit Kristiana on Gediminas avenue. This exclusive perfume is available in this store only… πŸ™‚ and talk about exclusive – with only 200 copies of this gem, it should definitely intrigue you… πŸ˜‰

There’s an interview with Mrs.Izolda in last year’s February issue of Moteris magazine.

Moteris magazine | photo by BonjourPerfume

And tomorrow I might as well look for another Kristiana store, just in case I discover something new again…

Goodnight.

J.

Xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 20

Bonjour Project – Day 12

It comes to a full circle.. No.twelve today πŸ™‚

1. #SOTD – I didn’t go far… went straight to the little goodie box and picked out Jubiliation 25 by Amouage.

Amouage collection | photo by BonjourPerfume

Whoever is the nose behind this masterpiece, I thank you.. πŸ™‚ ❀ this amber smokiness is quite gentle with a bouquet of flowers surrounding it… I’m literally short for words how nice this perfume is… it feels classy, very lady like, a must for women 25+… πŸ˜‰

2. and 3. Little discoveries of the day / Something to be thankful for

It was a fun enough day at work today.. πŸ™‚ I had a little exam – I was left on my own to manage 200 people in half an hour without a supervisor πŸ˜€ …I think I did pretty well – no one got killed πŸ™‚

..But the most interesting part was the feeling. I was able to compare myself from today with the one I used to be some 10 or even 15 years ago… And I cannot express how much more peace there is inside me now… A similar situation years ago would get me into panic attacks, anger, aggressive disappointment with a situation, people, the World, and especially myself.. Oh dear, I used to be so bitter… And today I was smiling, looking people in the eyes, and even cracked up a joke or two… πŸ™‚

I remember a quote from a very good book.. Only we decide who we want to be – miserable or happy. It takes years of practice, but the effort we put in is the same… So why waste time and energy? …. I am thankful to the Higher Powers for this chance to change, and especially to the people that came along all this way… I have a very long road ahead, but without them I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today…

Have a pleasant weekend, dear friends! πŸ™‚

J. Xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 12

Bonjour Project – Day 10

Good evening, my darlings..

The day flew by so quickly and I barely noticed what time it was.. It gets dark outside very early, and sometimes it feels like the Sun doesn’t even rise…

1. #SOTD Amouage – Reflection.

 

A lovely, perfectly balanced fragrance – fresh, light, flowery, with a gentle base of cedar, amber and sandalwood. It lasts moderately long enough as a day-time perfume, and after 5-6 hours I can still feel a very gentle whiff of it on my wrist. Highly recommended on a warmer day.. πŸ™‚

Amouage collection | photo by BonjourPerfume

2. Little discoveries of the day

I had a wonderful opportunity to take a sneak peek at a play in the theatre today, in between my shifts. The play ‘Bedalis ir Labdarys’ (The Underdog and the Benefactor) is about a modern day Lithuanians in London, searching for a better life away from their loved ones, families, and friends. And how they all get filtered through a group of social workers – benefactors. It is a collection of different mini stories, some funny, some not so much… And I felt rather weird, as some of those stories felt so real to me.. so personal..

Strangely enough, I chose to wear Reflection on the way to work,Β unbeknownst to me of what the play was about….

3. Something to be thankful for

This day ended up to be a one big reflection of who am and where I am going…. and how thankful I am to my family and the very close circle of friends, for without their help, support and understanding, I wouldn’t be here and now…..

Goodnight,

J. xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 10

Bonjour Project – Day 7

It is really hard to believe that it is actually the seventh post… Looks like a great opportunity to celebrate πŸ™‚ who’s with me? I’m inviting everyone to meet up at the Cathedral square in Vilnius city centre at 7pm on Sunday, that is 19th of November… I will probably be a loner, standing with a camera on my right shoulder… just come and say hi! πŸ˜€

1. #SOTD – eventually – Miss Dior Le Parfum by Christian Dior. It is perfection. A purely divine fragrance.

2. Little discoveries of the day

Kristiana shop has a new magazine out for Christmas 2017 / New Year season.

Kristiana 2017 Christmas catalogue | photo by BonjourPerfume

It is nicely printed, with lovely pictures and really handy selections for all the different tastes and preferences, from make up, skincare, to designer and exclusive, niche fragrances. All prices displayed, too, so you could take your pick in your own time, in the comfort of your own home.

Kristiana Christmas catalogue, 2017 | photo by BonjourPerfume

I had a quick run around the store today as well and spritzed some Kenzo – Jungle L’Elephant. I always wanted to try what it’s like… I couldn’t say I loved it at a first sniff but it wasn’t unpleasant… just.. something I’ve heard somewhere before, and couldn’t pin it where.

Later on I bought a 2kg bag of Lithuanian apples… πŸ™‚

Lithuanian apples | photo by BonjourPerfume

If you could believe – for 60c… they’re not waxed, their skin is soft, and inside they’re juicy, sweet, crisp and a touch tangy… but the FRAGRANCE! It is just unbelievable!!! I’m sticking my nose into the bowl and who needs perfume? πŸ™‚ …You see, apples in Ireland do not smell… they barely have any taste… and look too perfect to be real…

3. Something to be thankful for

And finally, today I started volunteering at one of the theaters in Vilnius πŸ™‚ just something to help guys with crowds…and also let me get the language skills back… πŸ™‚ I’ve always liked theater anyway… its velvet curtains, powder rooms, mirrors and lights… and people – on and off stage… and especially how a play on paper turns into magic on stage over time, through hard work and very very many emotions.. πŸ™‚ so, I’m excited beyond belief and thankful for this chance to be able to come a little closer to this magic yet again… πŸ™‚

P.s. when coming back home a good few hours later, I was quite shocked that a blotter with Jungle from this morning was still emitting a super strong scent from two meters away.. that was just one spritz! I can still feel it now, I don’t need to come near it… so be very cautious and do try before you buy. This warm spicy juice might not be for everyone…… but on the other hand, when you think of it more like an investment, and especially if you love it, this bomb will last for years and years for a fraction of a price! πŸ™‚

Goodnight..

J. Xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 7

Bonjour Project – Day 3

…When was the last time you walked for the sake of walking and felt elated?..

1. #SOTD Nohiba (2016) – E.Coudray

E.Coudray - Nohiba | photo by BonjourPerfume

A fragrance that lasts all day, is warming and empowering, something quite similar to the likes of Opium by YSL, or maybe Coco by Chanel…. A ‘truly exclusive experience’ according to Escentual.Com, and they could not be more correct… I love the bottle, the smell, the fact that it is limited edition… Whenever you see E.Coudray out for sale, do not hesitate –Β this brand is so worth having and enjoying πŸ™‚ ❀

2. Little discoveries of the day

So I walked and walked and walked today… Could not feel my feet at the end but was too afraid to sit down, as I knew I won’t be able to get up anymore, haha πŸ˜€ Anyway, I discovered a very important store for all the Lithuanians – BitinΔ—lis, the biggest and most central shop for bee keepers and honey lovers, and we sure can be proud of that! They stock a huge amount of bee / honey / propolis produce, wax candles included πŸ™‚ So I got myself a little tub of Lithuanian honey picked a month ago, and am enjoying a cup of herbal tea with it – ever so delicious! (…and not forgetting the smell, it is oh so summery πŸ™‚ Sorry, Manuka +15, not sorry! πŸ™‚ )

On another note, early this morning I was looking online for a yoga center here in Vilnius, and was …weirdly… surprised to find one… which very openly stated that they DO NOT do classes for beginners… Fair enough… But the weird part of this statement was the reason. This yoga center is refusing new comers because the people had too many ‘bad habits’ from other yoga centers…. The people said they had already tried one or the other move before and couldn’t see the benefit… You see, they were too opinionated! …I cracked up laughing when the yoga center actually blamed the customer – ‘as if you’ve trained in India’ … πŸ™‚ and I am still laughing.. So many times I’ve read about people travelling around the globe on business trips, and even without knowing the language, they still pop into a yoga center for that hour and a half of peace and tranquility and freedom, so they could recharge themselves… But then comes this center with a little bit different attitude.. I always thought, as a business, you can only survive thanks to the people πŸ™‚ …and what concerns yoga itself, I now know where not to go, andΒ I’d rather do it at home on my own… πŸ™‚

3. Something to be thankful for

This evening I’ve decided to go see a play – ‘Dvasiniai Reikalai’ (‘A Matter of the Soul’) / Ingmar Bergman.

Photo of a booklet from a play

It was a one-woman monologue, a story about Victoria..Β beautifully played by a talented GintarΔ— LatvΔ—naitΔ—. This play was a very clear reflection of very many of us, as Victoria seemed to change a thousand moods in few seconds, loud and openly – the only difference was that we do it more inside our own heads, chattering to ourselves, and have more control over it… Yet in the play the society turned against Victoria – the only way to silence her was with drugs in a hospital… And at the end it felt like there was hope as she looked like she became peaceful, distant, hardly noticing the difference of present or past, memories, or dreams.. However, this play opened up something very deep inside me, as I can never agree to this kind of ‘treatment’.. There must be another way, there must be!…

Thank you, Vilniaus MaΕΎasis Teatras (State Small Theatre of Vilnius), director Kirilas GluΕ‘ajevas, and the one and only GintarΔ— LatvΔ—naitΔ—, for you have reminded me how f*cked up the society can be…

Cherish every single day and minute…as there is no more time left…

J. xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 3