Sunday, November 30, 2008

Scent in Books: I Capture the Castle

I have just finished Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, a book I have had on the "read it" list for a long, long time.  The main character, a seventeen-year-old girl living with her older sister, father, younger brother, step-mother, and not-hired young man in a *castle in England in the '30's, is an aspiring writer who attempts to "capture" in her journal a pivotal half year in her, and their, life.

(*I struggled for a minute their to assign an adjective to the castle..."aging" seems redundant; "crumbling" histrionic, if true; "borrowed" true but I dropped the attempt.)

Anyway, my point being that perfume directly enters the story two times.  Once, when the main character is visiting an estate house, she notices the scents different women are wearing at dinner.  Another time, while visiting a store in London, she encounters a scent which reminds her of bluebells and enchants her.  Later, she has the opportunity to wear the scent for a midsummer rite, but she chooses not to--she realizes the perfume a) does not really smell like the true flower, and b) the scent would overwhelm the aroma of the wildflowers she planned on wearing.

This became a bit of a zeitgeist moment for me, given yesterday's exploration of a natural perfume and my comment on what I now expect from a perfume.  Cassandra, the voice of the novel, comes to understand that what enchanted her about the perfume was the experience it suggested, not an actual re-capturing of the olfactory reference--no more than the Water Music she listens to another time is actually the sound of water.  The same idea of art form as representation is when she spends time thinking about poetry--how it seems the right vehicle for trying to capture the experience of certain emotions, rather than simply describing the emotions. Poetry, music, perfume:  all there to try to capture an essence, an experience, without actually being it.

Cassandra opts to not wear the perfume to the rites, but does apply it later as she goes out with a Person of Interest. Just as she finds certain paintings to not represent their subjects well, but that certain music has the power to move her.  Sometimes we go for real life; sometimes the abstraction, the attempt to capture it.  

I know I am going to continue to appreciate the smell of real flowers in my garden, the scent of crushed leaves and dirt and decaying matter and fresh shoots and rain and timbers in the sun.  I am also going to continue to explore what experiences lie in the potions those perfume genies have concocted inside my bottles.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Liz Zorn Grand Canyon

Yesterday was another travel day, hit the road home so would have time to attend to things back at the homestead before the workweek began again.

Had stashed a few samples in my bag, and decided I'd be okay with Liz Zorn Grand Canyon for the ride, even though I hadn't tried it before.  Mind you, this was a rather momentous decision, as scent AND car travel are potential headache triggers for me.  Guess I was both trusting and impetuous.  Who knows; maybe I was swayed by the idea of travel implied by the name.

Things worked out fine.  Grand Canyon wears close enough to the skin that I didn't impinge upon any other rider's experience, and wears pleasantly enough that it enhanced mine.  

Opens with a syrupy-resiny amber that made me have a natural perfume epiphany:  so many of the natural perfumer offerings I have tried hearken back to my days spent blending essential oils.  Potentially, a bad thing, because I realized that each time I smell a perfume that opens with that association, I cringe a little bit.  History with essential oil blending teaches me to be ready for a long ride on whatever note(s) hit me out of the bottle, because that note would be first, middle, and last on the skin.  Natural = WYSIWYG.  If you are already in doubt at the start, you are probably going to end up scrubbing.

Not so of Grand Canyon.  Thank goodness.  

Because, after all, what I search for now is a perfume experience, which should involve theatrical acts or musical movements, or at least a sense of shifting into position before settling in for the night.  Grand Canyon offers that, and it is where it finally settles that brings me pleasure in this one.  I can see why March over at Perfume Posse mentioned GC in a post about scents she wears to bed:  the sweet opening can focus you with a direct message about happy places, and then the more intriguing smoky spicy elements floating about the vaguely citrusy amber base when it settles down can help waft you away to sleepy land. 

I liked Grand Canyon just fine once it settled in.  I am still wrestling with its behavior, however; I guess it offers the best of both worlds when it comes to true natural perfumes vs. traditional perfumes.  I'll have to get over my own stereotypes when it comes to the opening, and embrace the fact that this makes a fine daytime scent.*  Anything that travels well for me & my surrounding company AND can still strike me as both settling and interesting...albeit quietly a good thing to have in the arsenal.

*or, obviously, night time for some  :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Memory, Place, and Perfume

It's Thanksgiving in the United States.  Time to travel home, or have folks travel to you.  

No, this is not going to be about the scent of pumpkin pie.

This year is a travel home one for me.  I spent a long time on the road yesterday--twice as long as it should have been, but musings on congestion, cars, and American habits I will save for another day.  By the time I started rolling through what qualifies as "home turf," Andrew Bird was singing about a tic on the left side of the head through the car speakers, and I found myself reflecting on the geography of home and the question of whether or not you can go home again started weaving through thoughts of perfume journeys.

Let's see if I can lead you through this.  It's about how we become who we are, and whether or not our descent into and through the realm of perfume follows a similar pattern.

I have long been fascinated by, and believed, the idea that geography helps shape character.  I also think that somehow, we can find pieces of our very essence in places we might not expect or have never been before.  In other words, home geography might help define us, but it doesn't have to BE part of us.  Hence, some people ride into the turf that was their childhood, and have a visceral sense of connection, place, nostalgia, longing, relief, desire.  For others, crossing through the turf of their childhood may evoke a "I'm so glad I got the hell out of Dodge" kind of response.  Some may not experience much of connection, no repulsion, just "meh." When I drive back to the terroir that incubated me, I have the first kind of response.   

Geographical nurturing  influences some of that response.  But our inner nature can be powerful, also, and I feel some of that comes into play for me.  For someone like my mother, nature trumps nurture; she finds her emotional connection in the desert southwest, even though she was born in the northern plains and raised in the northern woods.  When it comes to our geographic emotional connections, both elements are at play.

When I was making and teaching film, I discussed the idea of geography as part of a character, landscape as both mood and content cue, and indeed, geography as character itself.  Many writers and directors feel the land both defines us, and determines what choices we have for literal and figurative movement.  And land may indeed call to us.

Interesting, but where does the perfume come in to this?

Not as scent memory.   Rather, as metaphor for our olfactory journey.  The journey that is our exploration of perfume, our path through notes, combinations, and preferences.  Consider for a moment the blog writer or poster who discusses their path through perfume:  "When I started, I was into x kind of scents, but now find I am into strong x scents."  Add in a common aversion:  "that is a Grandma perfume," or "I kind of like it, but my mother wore it, so no way for me."  What prompts this movement along a scent path?  Is it entirely an evolving olfactory sophistication?  Or might some portion of the process be defined as a reaction...a movement away from the familiar, the territory of the known, of homeland, and toward exploring new lands?  Perhaps even a form of rebellion against the past, a strong statement of independence...a barbaric yawp of youth?

Will we go home again?  Can we?  Should we?  Must we?

I wonder if eventually, the curve of scent appreciation might lead some folks back home again.  In the same way that many adults who spent the first portion of their independent years forging their identities as far from their stomping grounds as possible, then find themselves back--whether for the emotional connection, or because it is the only place they can imagine their own children spending a youth, or because after exploring all the other places in the world, they find it is the one that suits them best after all.  

Some folks will never come back; the mountains were never right, and a life on or near the sea is what suits them best.

But might not some, who so strongly say "I'll never do that/go back," find that doing that/going back is exactly what they DO do?

I am spending the day in the geography of my youth.  I will not wear the scents of my grandmothers; I am still busy forging and proclaiming my own perfume identity.  But I am feeling quite connected to place.  Perhaps someday I will feel equally connected to a perfume.

I wonder... For those of us with more than a few bottles lying around, does desire to collect scent reflect a desire to chart a journey, record a path?  Is it more than simply wanting to own, but perhaps a need to keep sensory contact with memory?  Might the path of their olfactory exploration, and their choices along the way, somehow mirror their relation to their life path?  

Such were my thoughts in the dark on the two-lane.  Now, the sun is up, and it's time for me to join my family.  Elements of today will be familiar; others will be new.  One day, in a string of others before and more to come.  I plan on it all adding up to a pleasant whole.  

Have a fantastic day.   I'm off to make pumpkin pie.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Be always drunk...

...said Baudelaire, whether it be on wine, poetry, or virtue--as you wish.

Or perfume, perhaps? Either direct experience, or giddy exploration thereof?

I know I have enjoyed other intense dalliances, affairs, and marriages with music, and writing, and gardening, and collecting, and jewelry making, and .....

In related musings, the topic of perfume as art is on the front burner again. The Times Literary Supplement has an article which explores the question in the context of dicussing Turin/Sanchez Perfumes: A GuideNathan Branch recently opened by quoting that article, then bringing up comic artist Stan Lee's recently receiving a National Medal of Arts; Helg invokes the perfume as art question during recent posts exploring the economy of perfume and nostalgia at Perfume Shrine.

I may circumvent the whole question of Is Perfume Art/Can Perfume Be Art? by following Baudelaire's lead. Simply being drunk on it is okay by me for now.

I shall endeavor to not be wanton with it, or fresh water, of course.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vetiver! Round Two

Thanks to Helg over at Perfume Shrine, and a spot of random drawing luck, I have in my possession three new vetiver samples: Hermes Vetiver Tonka, Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire, and Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental.

Before I begin sharing impressions, allow me a moment to speak universally. (ahem....)


And oy. I had just achieved a certain Zen-like acceptance that I would never experience all the scents in the world, that I need not bemoan the influence of fiscal realities, because physical realities were such that I actually enjoy spending a lot of time with a single scent, discovering the various facets it may have to offer, and the varieties of reception I might bring depending on weather, mood, time of day, whatnot. (Not to mention evolving scent storage issues in my home.)

But when I applied a drop of the Hermes on my wrist, realized one more probably was needed for full frontal experience, applied another from the vial, I found myself simultaneously thinking: "Oh, this is going to be fun!" and "Cr#!, I'm probably going to like this." Which means there will always be a "want" list (not so good for letting go), and always a need for good notetaking (not so good for cyclical writers like me).

Such are the vagaries of my scented life.  On to the scents themselves...

Vetiver Tonka: First, let me admit why I tried this one first--the idea of vetiver and vanilla together seemed extreme, and held the potential for fun or a headache. Hence, my delicate start to its application. The good news is that it is a good match, with the players interacting well, both taking turns and mingling nicely. If the vetiver and tonka were a dance pair, they'd be that football dude who moves across the floor with the ballerina so well. I love the earthy green interlaced with vanilla caramel. They really do take turns showing off, with happy overlappings as they take their turns.

I dunno; maybe this interplay could be related to recent research saying nobody really multitasks, but actually processes & performs in sequence. Perhaps Vetiver Tonka helps pull back the curtain ever so slightly to reveal the sequential process of "multitasking," while also helping to maintain the illusion. All I know is, first run, and I like it.

Vetiver Extraordinaire: And the accidental brilliance of my sampling order emerges, for Vetiver Extraordinaire takes me fully out of the warm blanket/kitchen comforts of the Hermes and thrusts me out of doors for an all-out vetiver smack down. Fortunately, I am a mature person, and I am not disturbed to discover I enjoy this turn of events. Ha--I so enjoy being arch...the reality is probably more along the lines of "it's a good thing I've dated Vetiver a few times before having today's experience." I feel kinda like I'm inside a vetiver reed, taking in the rest of the composition from my grassy sheath. Not a problem; I've enjoyed laying down in grass and hay with other scents. But vetiver does not come from the terra firma of my youth or experience, so this is like some very calm & comfortable yet clearly exotic acquaintance who is about to become one of my best friends. My world is opening up just a little more for knowing it. 

Vetiver Oriental: Who knew? This sampling order was genius. Vetiver Oriental brings me back around the bend and straight to a "traditional perfume." Whereas the other two register as "scents" or "constructions," my personal history with perfume means that orientals are what comes to mind if I read or hear the word "perfume." Let me be clear; a scent is a perfume, and I know that. But there is a primal register from my youth and young adulthood, and it doesn't include vetiver or woods. It does, however, firmly and directly include orientals. And, my friends, this is an oriental. I've been waiting for the vetiver, which after my first run a month ago, and this run just know, I trust I am capable of recognizing. I'm liking this in the same way I like...hey, wait a minute, I get it...Le Baiser du Dragon. Okay, so vetiver is a note inside. But it is INSIDE, one note among many. I am enjoying this, but if I were clustering by category and not house/nose, this would go oriental. Which, I guess, is the English language way of interpreting the name--the adjective "vetiver" describes what kind of "oriental" is inside the bottle. Just don't expect it to be a bold adjective.

Drydown verdicts:
Vetiver Tonka, good for low-key nights with friends, days off with books or crafts.  Cool-cold weather. "You smell good."
Vetiver Extraordinaire, good for work days or studying, cause it'll smell good and keep me sharp.  "mmm, You smell interesting."
Vetiver Oriental, one of those night out scents, or maybe something for a bit more daring day at work, since it isn't a heavy or resiny oriental. "You're all dressed up, aren't you?"

Budget awareness:
Hermes Vetiver Tonka, $55 for a 15ml decant (from manufacturer) at The Perfumed Court.
Vetiver Extraordinaire, $210 for 100ml at Barney's.
Vetiver Oriental, $140 for 50ml at LuckyScent.
Le Baiser du Dragon @$48 for 1oz at FragranceX.
Winning a sample, swapping, or sharing samples with a fellow perfume explorer, priceless.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My gender, revealed

Over at GenderAnalyzer, you can have your blog prose analyzed for gender identification. I was afraid the word "perfume" might throw the balance, but:

We guess is written by a woman (51%), however it's quite gender neutral.

Hmm...or DID the word "perfume" throw off the balance?... tee-hee.

Thanks to BitterGrace Notes ("a man, 55% neutral") for bringing this to my attention.

Monday, November 17, 2008

PG Drama Nuui, Felanilla

First trip around the block, and you can ride shotgun.

Drama Nuui: It's's a clear note of floral...they say it's night blooming jasmine...I say this is probably as close as I'll get to "pretty floral" and still like it. Thank goodness for the sharp green note; the white floral, no matter how slender and sophisticated in its simplicity, would still be...well, a white floral. Here, it's got zing.

Felanilla definitely harkens back to L'Ombre Fauve in my nose. Not a complaint, mind you; if you've been reading for a while, you know I like L'OF. Felanilla has more of a sharp edge in there, but that creamy PG vanilla remains at the heart of it. Starts off with some hay, and I think the saffron is in the first act; things are moving toward smoky/woody vanilla for the second act; and by the third, we're back to smooth -n- creamy vanilla.

I'm a fan of the Parfumerie Generale scents I've been able to try. Bois Blond is among my happy trio of "This is it" scents that came out of my stage one rampage through scent. (L'Artisan Fleur de Narcisse is another.) Not sure what will happen with Felanilla--after all, there is L'Ombre Fauve to provide the "what it ends up being" part, which would be most of our day together, and Chergui covers some of the same general waterfront.

As for Drama Nuui...this first impression suggests it will lie somewhere between the Liz Zorn Jasomyn, and Gucci Envy. Nuui has the same emotional uplift effect on me that the Zorn does, and has a green ribbon through it like Envy does.

Will probably need to revisit. (Gosh, darn, that's just too bad....)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Morning Notes

Ah, the simple pleasures of waking up, preparing a cup of tea, and sitting down to read a few blogs, scan the news, check your e-mail.

Sometimes, I also use this time to run a passel of samples through their paces. To the right, you see notes from this morning's run. Because my synapses don't fire reliably on demand, it helps to keep track of what has been applied where. You can also see jottings of first impressions. Don't believe for a minute that I am always so organized, or that I always follow the same pattern.

A few years ago, a fair amount of my free time was given over to exploring the world of online auctions. What I learned from that experience means I am still comfortable nosing around for various somethings when appropriate, including fragrance. This second picture is of a collection of Estee Lauder fragrances through the years--all minis, all in perfume strength.
These things were ubiquitous at auction for a while; the trick was simply being patient and waiting for your maximum bid to be the winning bid.

A raft of minis like this gives me a chance to experience the manufacturer's range, and peek at historical developments. I can read reviews of Azuree, Youth Dew, Cinnabar, Private Collection, Knowing, White Linen, Aliage, etcetera, and have a schmear on my arm ready to sniff for fuller comprehension. Scent-O-Rama. Samples and minis have been potent enablers in my scent home schooling program. Kind of like those oenophile kits you can get--you know, a bunch of vials of "notes" from wine, to help train your nose and become a better appreciator of the art of the vintner?

I have bunches of sample vials now, thanks to online shops that offer samples (Luckyscent), decanters (The Perfumed Court, the closing but ever fabulous Fishbone), and swaps with friends and posters on MakeUp Alley. It's fun to spend intense phases in exploration mode, with four patches of samples going. Speed dating of a sort; getting to know a small crew all at once. A danger, of course, is over empasis on the top notes, unfortunate (and maybe even unknown) cross-effects, and lack of quality time.

A positive aspect of a sample slam is that you can absorb a lot of information in one go-around, especially if you take some notes and/or read up on what you are wearing while you are wearing it.

Having just spent most of a week enjoying some quality time with Bois des Isles, I was happy to go on a bit of a bender. The work week was distance running; Saturday was sprints. Or, if you will, I went to work listening to a symphony, and Saturday was a playlist of singles. If interval training works for getting your body into shape, maybe this approach will make buff my nose.

Coming up: the middle zone--spending some quality time with variations on a particular note.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Not that I'm one for traditional reviews, but we're definitely taking a different tack today. Allow me to share my first impressions of this scent, as shared in an e-mail to the avid perfumista who so kindly shared a sample of her edp with me. I was trying to write about another topic, but kept on interrupting myself with Jicky updates. I won't copy the e-mail, just the Jicky interludes.

First: (oops...pardon...was distracted for a moment...put on a smidge of Jicky...hey, that's really reminding me of something contemporary...ignoring that, it is wait, what the heck am I thinking of? pleasant associations...this is not what I thought this would smell like...I like it...drydown to come....)

then: ((just quick opened Kevin's review of Jicky on NST...oh, I remember this post...hey! it's a GUY I associate this with...thinking even harder))

and then: (((no, is it a guy? or of each gender, two different periods of my life? who in the world did I know who could afford Guerlain? is it the contemporary something I'm merging into the memory pot?)))

finally: ((((Good HEAVENS, who is it this Jicky makes me think of? Now I'm going to a contemporary of my grandparents....))))

I put some Jicky on the back of my hand as I was preparing this post, and--due to my wandering the internet in search of images, background, tangential information, and random exploring--I've made it to drydown. I find myself starting where I ended the last visit. Grandparents. Specifically, paternal grandmother. And the realization that this drydown has the kind of depth where you practically sink your nose through notes; depending how close you put your sniffer to your skin, different notes stand out. Very interesting. Odd. Sometimes old-fashioned. Consistently compelling.

I may return for a proper review at some point. Meanwhile, enjoy Kevin's in the link above, or Victoria's take on Jicky in her Bois de Jasmin blog. If you are able to apply some yourself, tell me if you, too, get the depth/layers effect. I'm going to return to moving in to and pulling back from the citrus layer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Toes, or all in?

For those of you who have only swum in oceans or swimming pools, a few notes on lake swimming:

"Inland" lakes (aren't they all? but no, trust me, there are the big lakes, the Great Lakes, which I have come to realize need emphasized are really, really big--those of you who think of the middle as "flyover" would do well to think about a body of water that takes much time to cross on a boat, and remember it takes even your jet some time to cross over) are smaller lakes of various sizes, which generally fall within state boundaries, and can be seen across and traversed easily by boat, sometimes even rowboat.

Point being, the swimming is different. Not only do you float differently, but there can be ginormous temperature differentials on the inland lakes: water temperature varies according to season, according to depth, and even sometimes according to weather conditions. On the big lakes, the water is, generally, cold. The question for any lake is: do you go carefully, trying to discover and/or acclimate yourself to the temperature, or do you just charge?

No matter what your approach, your experience in the same pocket of water may be different one day to the next, one visit to the next, one year to the next.

And so it is with Kingdom. What I am about to say is not "I was wrong." My experience has been, almost every time, panties. But today I was decanting a generous sample for a friend--a friend who has enjoyed this, and so I was happy to share--and a generous splot of McQueen's controversial juice ended up on my hand.

Surprise! Today the cumin was nearly woodsy, and clearly just a layer among the package. I was getting a quick impression of something that was interesting both as quoting some vintage references, and also quite of the times. Cumin, woody spice, something was all there, and it was interesting. Not "beautiful," as some receive it, but really, really interesting, in a pleasant way. Meanwhile, I had just decanted DK Gold (following a tasting principle of increasing intensities), and THAT was also different than any of my previous experiences. In this cool/cold weather, Gold edp was almost creamy, with jasmine clearly coming through as much as the lily, and much less sharp green. (That green is sharper, and more metallic, in the EDP.)

So, today, I liked Kingdom. No promises for tomorrow. And honestly, I'll probably be more likely to reach for the Gold on an overall percentage basis. But I had to come clean about the experience, considering how adamant I am about the nasty element I usually get.

BTW, you already not to trust when somebody says "come on in, the water's fine," right? One swimmer's tepid is another's chilled. In the lake, or out of the bottle, your mileage may vary.

UPDATE 11/23/08:  Kingdom is back in the chatterstream.  See the gents over at PeredePierre for their take on it, and hear Denyse at Grain de Musc place it according to her sensibilities within the comments section of her lovely review of Schiaparelli Shocking.  Yup, that's me, asking her opinion--I love to learn from better noses than mine.  But despite my bowing to Denyse's more experienced nose, I have to say that, for now, for me, Kingdom's "gousset" is still sewn into panties and not a blouse.  Never a better example of Your Mileage May Vary than an individual's experience of cumin in Kingdom.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gap Grass!

A brief alert: Gap Grass is back. It says "the original scent" on the in store posters, and by gum, I think they're right.

I've got an aluminum mini (15ml?), which I've hoarded from back in the day, so I've kept in touch with the original, and it seems right. And by back in the day, I mean when I wasn't into perfume. Which strictly means pre 2008, but that is misleading. I seriously wasn't into perfume, or body scent products. Two things caught my attention around this time: Gap Grass, and something called "Sage & Thyme Body Mist" by Bloom. (Do we see the groundwork being laid for my continuing adoration for grass and hay notes?) But I digress...the important news is...

Grass is back.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

L'air du Desert Morocain

Okay, on this one I have to skip the traditional approaches, either in my own or more traditional perfume writing.

I smell L'Air du Desert Morocain and I smell my grandfather's hands. I remember the look, smell, and atmosphere of the corner of their family room by the fireplace which had the door to the garage/basement stairs, and I smell his woodshop. I am in a whirl of memories, and yet laser focused all at once. This perfume doesn't smell like my grandfather, or remind me of him; this smell puts me back there, in that house, smelling those hands which smelled like the freshly cut wood from his band saw, like something from his basement was left inside the cedar chest he made me, like I am inside that house that he built and I've been left alone and I am having another one of those "I'll never forget this particular moment" experiences.

I know Andy Tauer imagined himself in a Moroccan desert. I'm in a house in the woods nearly on top of the 45th parallel; there was a fire in the fireplace last night, fresh wood on the hearth ready to burn, the knotty pine panelling on the walls is 1/2" thick, my grandfather's "coveralls" are hanging on a hook in the hallway waiting for spring and the garden, and I'm waiting for the grown-ups to call me to dinner.

It's not the trip Andy intended, but I'm incredibly grateful to be given it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A little terror from the terroir...

In another facet of scent & pleasure, the oenological realm is confirming a distinct note to be found in wine: baby poop. Distinct, because it is to be differentiated from barnyard poop.

Learn more in this brief article from Chow.

Methinks it's time to come up with another "pairings" item for this blog...

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The last time I discussed Caron, it was all things Homme. And I did enjoy my lavender excursions (Third Man, pour Homme, L'Anarchiste), but yesterday, for whatever reason, I turned to the Aimez-Moi.

I had been avoiding this one, thinking it would be too froufy, too sweet. Kind of ironic to then go for it *after* the manfumes, no?

I liked it. A lot.

It does open rather sweetly, but there's something--the anise?--which keeps it from being cloying. And oh, my, but the drydown is lovely and haunting. Perhaps it was the perfect way to start the day. You start with a delicious pastry, not too complicated, but well done, with a good balance of sweet to spice and the right amount of dough to anchor it all. You leave that behind, thinking you enjoyed your repast, and move on with your day. A couple of hours later, you discover yourself turning around to find out what smells so good. It's you, with a rich, Caron-ish drydown, a haunting of a cloud that has dropped the sweet confection and turned into a chiaroscuro brew that hovers close to your skin.

Don't worry...I'll get to straight talk. Soon. I'm going to try this one again.

afterglow update...

That was all written from recollection. The power of the drydown veil, perhaps? Not only that, but I think full disclosure demands that I reveal I have been on a bit of a L'Heure Bleu bender...started on Saturday, been groovin' it ever since. Until I switched to Aimez-Moi yesterday. Think that might have changed my pre-dis position toward the sweet at all?

I won't change my words, because that was how I felt at the conclusion of my first encounter with Aimez-Moi. But I feel compelled to tell might go on more like a liquified candy poured onto a thin tart base. Please, be patient. Give it a chance to morph. Try it when you are open to sweet reverie, or when it's chilly enough to hide some behind a sleeve. Remember, despite the power of the openingit's gonna play hide and seek a bit.

If you do try it, if you have tried it, tell me what you think.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

One person, one vote. Not always so. Hope you'll cast yours.

image from Time magazine

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Not the male model type, nor the 2x4's framing your house. But the model of a certain kind of male timber, Studs Terkel, who helped hundreds of people tell their stories, which in turn helped thousands of others understand theirs.

With all the prose that has launched or attached itself to perfumes, some purple, some perceptive, I am given to thinking about how one could approach Studs and/or his legacy. You could listen to his oral histories, or read his Conversations With America, and try to assign a fragrance to the subject, or simply think of a "tag cloud" of fragrance for the era. You could imagine what scent you would arm yourself with to be the kind of activist or artist for change that would have caught his attention and admiration.

Or you can take a moment and reflect...the man who said, "As the Titanic went down, I came up," who gathered recollections to assemble an impression of the Great Depression, who understood that all humans who participate in their lives have valuable thoughts to share...reflect, and pick a scent that would inspire you to see the potential in others as Studs did.

Take it easy, but take it.
- Studs Terkel sign-off for his radio show

I think I'll go sniff some rosemary for remembrance, but then arm myself with something like Daim Blond. (I wish I had a chance to sniff, and maybe use, Onda, which Vetrivesse described as a "take no prisoners" kind of scent. That's the kind of thing to wear when rousing the rabble.)