Thursday, April 7, 2016

What I Wore: To A Bali Yoga Retreat

Last weekend I attended the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, my absolutely favorite place in Bali, and maybe the world! There were several stages with various programs going on at once; yoga, dance, meditation, lectures, and musical programs that continued into the night. I was mainly there for the yoga, and also for people watching. As you might imagine, there were some colorful and interesting folks in attendance. Ubud is a center of restaurants with healthy organic foods and the choices were amazing. There was a hippie vibe and unwashed bodies so naturally I needed perfume!

My perfumes had to be either small sample sprayers or tiny bottles as I always attempt to travel light, so this automatically restricted my choices. However I was able to come up with a good selection to get me through the weekend. 

When I purchased a full bottle of Mexican Vanilla from Dame Perfumery, Jeffrey Dame generously loaded my package with samples and one of the sprays was Lime, Gardenia, and Benzoin. This is a deceptively simple thing. The first spray is of wet gardenia. After a few moments the lime appears but it is not tart, it just serves to blend with the floral note of the gardenia and accentuate the freshness. This is a light rendition of the gardenia flower and it was perfect for a hot, sweaty day of yoga, to waft a little bit more lovely. This is the perfect gardenia perfume for those who don't want to overpower those around them but love the gardenia scent.

My next choice was a tiny bottle (I own a full bottle) of Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia. Tuberose, called sedap malam in Indonesia,  are the ubiquitous flower of the island. There was a stalk in a vase by my bathroom sink and most hotel lobbies have a massive vase filled with the flowers. They are demure during the day but when they open in the evening the scent is sensuous and euphoric. Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia is not this smell. It is a lovely white floral, containing everything on the white flower bucket list: gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, neroli, orange flower and lily. But on me the gardenia is more present than the tuberose. I love tuberose and prefer my tuberose perfumes to be a straight up and strong rendition of the flower. But if you think of EL Tuberose Gardenia as more of a gardenia or white flower perfume, it is a lovely floral and I especially enjoy it on warm days in the tropics.

At night I wore Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black. I picture the perfume house creators, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, in some of their bohemian garb; they would have felt right at home at this Balinese festival. This was my choice for night wear and I really enjoyed it. The perfume starts on me with tendrils of incense. As there is no incense note listed I will assume that is an effect from the sandalwood. The violet-tinged vanilla is as soft as a cashmere shawl draped across your shoulders. The sandalwood melds with the violet and vanilla to give a woody, spicy vibe to the perfume. The wood and violet keep the vanilla from going too foody and sweet. The violet is very light on me, which is perfect since I like violet in small doses. I was surprised how much I enjoyed wearing this. It is extremely unisex.

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