Bonjour Project – Day 27 & 28

My dear friends,

Today I am very happy to share with you another new discovery from Latvia – cosmetics brand Stenders. I stumbled across their store when just casually walking around a shopping center Galerija Centrs, located just at the heart of the old town of Riga.

Stenders store in Riga | photo by BonjourPerfume

Stenders has started their business in 2001 creating exclusive soaps, inspired by Northern nature. And I love their idea and philosophy as Gardeners of Feelings.

Stenders have a lot of stores around the World, but do come check out their e-shop, too, as they also deliver their products globally.

And another discovery of the day – The Hill of Crosses. This place is one of a kind in Lithuania, and there are only a few of them around the World. It is a site for Christian Pilgrims, mainly. But also a place where people (from different backgrounds and cultures and countries) come to celebrate their wedding day, they bring a cross and ask God for health and protection for their family; it is a place where people come to pray for themselves and for the betterment of humanity. This hill is standing in the middle of nowhere, and you would think it is on the edge of the world, but having spent there an hour, I was amazed by the amount of cars and buses of tourists pulling up at the car park… Saint Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses just after the Lithuanian Independence in 1993. I remember watching it on TV, with crowds of people gathered up for this exceptional event… I think his visit has brought hope to the Lithuanians as, after the Russian oppression, the first 5-10 years of Independence were the toughest…

I would like to share with you a collection of photos I took in Riga, and also a few from my visit to the Hill of Crosses.

P.S. After a very very breezy and freezing visit to the Hill of Crosses, I can definitely say I appreciated a simple cappuccino from a coffee dispenser machine even more… as at that moment, it honestly was the most amazing coffee I have ever had… πŸ™‚ ❀

J.

xxx

 

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Bonjour Project – Day 27 & 28

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

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 22

Oh my word… have you seen this baby? Have you tried this beauty? Have you allowed it to touch your skin yet?… because if you didn’t… you’re literally missing out!… oh wow… now this is the most pleasant surprise of the day..

1. & 2. #SOTD & Little discoveries of the day

Bottega Veneta – Eau de Velours

Bottega Veneta - Eau de Velours | photo by BonjourPerfume

Soft leather… few hours later gets me wondering…as it reminds me of something… but then it hits me… πŸ™‚ this intriguing perfume smells on my skin like leathery Lyric from Amouage… πŸ™‚ love it!

3. Something to be thankful for

Snow. As it freezes the ground and re-sets it all for the new beginning in spring time… for the new re-birth… but how to convince the mind that these changes are necessary?… how to prove that in order to start fresh, the old must die?…

J.

Xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 22

Bonjour Project – Day 21

Good evening my dear friends,

It is really hard to believe it’s my 21st post.. time flies! πŸ™‚ and I still haven’t tried all the different foods here πŸ™‚ and don’t get me started on perfume! πŸ™‚

1. #SOTD E.Coudray – Nohiba. Love it’s smokiness.. it felt like smoke on my skin today… cleared the head and helped me feel more assertive.. what a great and versatile fragrance!

2. Little discoveries of the day

Lithuania is ready with upcoming Christmas! Look what I’ve found at the post office! πŸ™‚ and what’s even more exciting, they smell of gingerbread when you rub them ! πŸ˜€ fantastic idea, and something even more to look forward to πŸ™‚

Fragrant stamps from Lithuania | photo by BonjourPerfume

Also, I had a quick sniff in Kristiana in Siauliai (it is located at a huge shopping center Akropolis in the south part of the Sun City). Three picks of the day, and don’t ask me why… because I wouldn’t know.. πŸ˜€

Xerjoff in Kristiana magazine | photo by BonjourPerfume

* Xerjoff – Lira

Beautiful. Soft. Cake. Vanilla cake.

* Xerjoff – Kind of Blue

Fresh. Attractive. Loneliness. A mix of men-women-bar-club-music-dance-party-.. it did not remind me of a happy jazz.. it’s more something..kind of..blue…

* Guerlain – Shalimar (edp)

I dig it – ‘let me leave this world of sentient beings’.. This is something from out there. This is something like… ‘I’ve been there. And then I’ve seen it all. And when I returned to this world, there is nothing that could entice me anymore’… This is absolute.

3. Something to be thankful for

On a journey of self discovery there is no exams. There is no good or bad.. And they don’t teach this subject at school.. There are only two things – hard work and discipline. That is being honest with yourself and taking responsibility for your own actions. Every step of the way πŸ™‚ It took me a very long time to realize that the work is continuous! There are no magic pills, no quick fixes, no one-day meditation sessions.. there is only honest hard work, dedication, consistency… And only then stars align and magic happens πŸ™‚ ❀

Sleep tight, dear friends..

J.

Xxx

Bonjour Project – Day 21

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