Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And to think I saw it on my mulberry tree

Aren't they gorgeous?

In a slightly ramshackle, rough around the edges, are sure sure it's okay to eat this way?

Mulberries are too often maligned.  "They're messy," so many over the years have said.  "Birds eat them and, well, you know..." trail off others.  "They're not really that pretty."


In my former house, once my home, we shared mulberry trees along the property line.  TREES.  Not bushes.  Over 40 feet tall.  Probably over 50.  I know I don't exaggerate, because at the time we lived in an old three story house whose two main floors, above grade, had 10' ceilings, and the attic flew even higher in the center.  I estimate conservatively because people would visit, people who had even seen mulberry *trees,* and they would comment on the beautiful large trees and how special they were and what kind were they, anyway?  And it was often hard to convince them that they were mulberries.  Unless, of course, it was a certain time of year.

With a tree like that, one person's "messy" is another person's "thank goodness, because we would never reach those berries any other way."

In the current house, which is my home, the tree is not majestic.  Nor is it a shrub.  It is a something that probably was a shrubby tree a few years before we moved in, but now is a non-central trunk tree.  Young, but tree.  Some judicious pruning might make it more architecturally attractive, but it does not set roots from my property, so I cannot make that decision.  Besides, in its tenacious shrubby somebody forgot about it even through the construction of the house on the land that was once a farm behind us means that maybe it carries the mojo of survival.

I thank it for that.  For the shade it brings to that corner, for doing its part to break up a vista that would be, well...a nearly blank wall.  For feeding the birds.  Yes, the birds.  Birds love mulberries, it is true.  In fact, they are recommended as a companion crop for someone trying to raise fruit trees.  I think it works.

Check it.

Mulberries and cherries living together.
Hands reaching hands.

I tell you, we get plenty of cherries.

So, yeah, birds eat them.  Thank goodness.

Yes.  They are messy underfoot.  Yes, there is an odd fermenting smell for a couple of weeks while they macerate on your path or in your lawn.  Yes, that juice is INTENSE in color and will stain just about anything it touches.

(Those beautiful bearded iris, the purple grape smelling ones?  They stain, too.)

Life is an exchange.  I like this deal.

I've seen trees torn down because people didn't like the "mess"--cottonwood, mulberry, serviceberry, maple, what have you.  It doesn't really matter; a lot of trees are "messy" at some point in the year.  The ones that are bred not to be generally end up decidedly unhardy, and certainly not productive.

Okay, fine.  I'll rephrase the question.  Aren't these mulberries a gorgeous hot mess?

By the way, mulberries are the one natural food for a silkworm.

Let you think I am reaching too hard to make a silk purse out of a...well, a mulberry mess.

Random things mulberry:

I found a recipe for mulberry-rhubarb shortcake that I'd like to try.  Extended cool and rain (except when it has been extraordinarily muggy and hot) means I've still got harvestable rhubarb when the mulberries are ready.  Hunh.   

Project Mulberry is a book, for children, by Linda Sue Park.  Target audience is younger than her book My Name is Keoko.  In it, a mulberry tree ends up being the means to draw a diverse group of characters together.  Science fair, silkworms, stereotypes both external and internalized.  And the use of the term "snot brain," which disturbs some.  (See Amazon reader reviews.)  ((Thought I'd go for Theodor Geisel, didn't you?  Nah.  But you should.  ;) ))

Mulberry perfume?  Couldn't think of one off the top of my head.  Found a 2011 release of Lily by Koto Perfumes, but the "mulberry" in it is "mulberry leaf."  Going to go back out and investigate...and I'm back.  Leaf torn, crushed.  It's...well, leafy green, actually much like a lettuce.  But, unique?  Like, say, tomato leaf?  Not particularly.  Hmm.  

And then there is this.  Set your tea cup down.  Pon Farr.
Get your groove on with Uhura and Spock, and settle into base notes of sandalwood, peach and mulberry.  I should have known.  That's what I get for urging open-mindedness with trees.  Karma, returned in perfume form.

all images author's own, obtained without stainage...i think

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Peace, Love, and Patchouli; or, How I Came to Love the Patch Without Really Trying

Where were you in the Summer of Love?

Where ARE you in the Summer of Patchouli Love?


Learning how to read.  (My mother reports my first word was B-A-R.  Which says more about the nightly route we took to pick up my father from work than my adult habits.  I think.)

Right here being a Patch Test Bunny.

Let the wild association ride begin.

First of all, you will recall that I have evolved in my relationship with bunnies in a manner not hospitable to things furry and occasionally named Harvey.  (To wit, I "went McGregor," as detailed here.)  So as cute and cuddly as that long eared creature in the lower right hand corner of the lovely logo is, I am perhaps better represented as a bunny with quills.  Wait a minute...if *I* am the bunny...shoot! I need to go McGregor on myself!!

Which, as it so happens, is just the metaphor for what my greatest fear involving patchouli involves.  I would not, you see, describe myself as a patchouli fan.  It would be on my Do Not Go There list.  Of course, vetiver used to be on the same list.  Then I found two perfumes that opened the door for me (Vetiver Dance and Vetiver Racinettes), and once the door was ajar, other vetiver scents found a way to happily enter my awareness.

So, when I was invited to join the bunnies in the patch(ouli), I accepted.  Because I knew that evolution happens.  Plus, despite the still strong memory of my first introduction to patchouli (a friend's older sibling saying it smelled really cool, PLUS it had the benefit of covering over other, non-parent sanctioned smells), I had already pushed the patchouli door open a bit thanks to Chanel's Coromandel.  Difficult, prickly, fascinating, siren-calling, multiple-wearing inducing, full of facets, eventually and quite precipitously smooth as a multi-varnished and buffed piece of warm wood, Coromandel had already taught me I could enjoy patchouli, in the right setting.

Therefore, I said yes.  And waited for thirteen interpretations, thirteen settings, thirteen couchings, thirteen portraits of patchouli.

Thus began my personal patchouli dismantling.

Each of the lovely little roll on samples you see there came individually wrapped, labeled only by number.  (The numbers, btw, skipped #9, so as to avoid 6 / 9 confusion, which I loved.)  Rather than unwrapping them all, and then selecting by juice, I simply reached in blindly, and picked one at a time.  Unwrap, roll apply, sniff, note, huff, note, wait, huff, note, repeat.

Day One.  Numbers 2, 10, 5, 1, 6, and 11, in that order.  Rare is the day when I will sample so many scents at once.  But fate impelled me, and my sniffer cycle was on my side.  I knew I was in a good place for multiple huffings, and with another eight scents to go, the combination of bare arm weather + not headache triggerable + deadline pressure pushed me to go forward.  And so I did.

I returned to former standards and practices, cracking open a blank journal and using the primitive self-drawn diagram + notes method that made an appearance here --gadzooks! time flies-- almost three years ago.  Check it, dude.  Participating in a project that evoked impressions of the free flowing summer of love forced me to get my [one of George Carlin's seven words] together again.  Who knew?  Wild, man.

Thus I proceeded through Days Two and Three of Round One, with five new scents on the second day, two new on the third.  Plus, I re-applied #13 (from day two) and #11 (from day one) later on in day two, because of a sub-category thing I was developing which I shall speak more of later.

Such was methodology.  Now, some context.  

copyright Robert Altman (the photographer, not the director)

This here is the summer of love in my mind.

Well, that, and:  Let The Sunshine.  Detroit riots.  People joining hands and liking the world to sing.  Unbelievable pain.  Nearly unfathomable joy.  

The summer of love, 1967, is a soft-focus at the edges concept, a philosophy that carried through an era which most people suggest didn't stop until 1973.  Which is when I got a pair of red white and blue bell bottomed hip hugger jeans which were SO cool and made me feel just like the groovy teenage girls who lived down the block.  I wasn't, but it was how I felt.

As I have assembled that era and assimilated it into my life -- and I did, for though I wasn't fully cognizant when it happened, I was most essentially a child of it, in that I was raised in and through it.  I can't fathom an attitude other than equality, I smile when I see long hair, I know what a certain waft across a concert crowd or over my backyard fence is, I know the difference between the implications of that waft coming from the Vietnam vet living next door and the teenager at a Phish concert and the well coiffed older woman suddenly letting it all hang out at a Nora Jones performance.  

The Summer of Love can be forever immediate and young in my mind, and yet never attached to any particular something or someone, because it is not specifically attached to me, but it is in me.

So patchouli is/was the head shops, and kind of fun crazy but a little scary friends stopping by to chat with parents or friends of older siblings.  Patchouli is/was the smell of a beautiful older sister, who was so smart, and so cool, and who left and was never heard from again.  Patchouli is the smell of a nearly foul oil sold in the kiosk of a shopping mall on the decline.  Patchouli is a plant.  Patchouli is the smell inside two kinds of VW's, a wildly painted van and a love bug.  Patchouli is the smell of a smooth luxury perfume. 

Patchouli, you might think, is a hot mess in my mind.  But no; patchouli is a patchwork of impressions and styles and eras.  Which turns out is/was just the right background for approaching the thirteen liquids in the box, and being ready to meet their portraits of patch.

I opened my mind.  I tuned in, but I didn't drop out.  

I smellwatched patchouli that made an appearance after a sunny opening act.  I smellsaw unapologetic patchouli that greeted me from the first whiff and never left until the whole performance was over.  I smellglanced a dusty plant patchouli that was a somewhat rough but always interesting mistress.  I met patches of various stripes and hues and personalities.  I enjoyed making the acquaintance of every one.

If this were an unorchestrated summer of patchouli love, I'd hop on a bus with all of them, and document our travels along the way.  I wouldn't pick one or three of the pack; I'd just coexist, finding myself waking up with one or the other as whimsy and circumstance made appropriate.

But this is free love with a telos.  I need to push myself through with purpose.  

When I'm done, though, I might come back for a magical mystery tour.

When I next emerge from the patch, I will introduce you to the three scents I selected as finalists, with all of the hows/whys/gyrations involved.  You may find other bunnies as you travel the perfumed interwebz.  Many of them have already made their selections.  If you would like to keep track of the various nodes in the project -- "noses," celebrities, and perfumers -- Monica Miller is keeping it all straight for us over at the Perfume Pharmer.  See this post which lists the perfumers, the perfumes, the sniffers, and various posts about the project.

If you are just starting out, Donna's post on patchouli in perfume ("The Story of the Green Monster") is a handy review of the plant, the note, and perfumes that use it.

Summer of Love logo created by Elizabeth Whelan
photos of vials and journal, author's own
Robert Altman's photography on his Summer of Love webpage; see also his lovely books

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Solstice!

Up here, it's the longest day of the year.  Whether you are over or under, having your shortest or longest of days, here's to a happy and fragrant extreme.

the solstice explained by National Geographic
Elizabeth Flock on Takashi Murakami's summer solstice Google Doodle
things are flaring up again on our sun on this solstice (time to check for Northern lights?)
I'd happily zip along in a Solstice for the solstice

blame for the image rests solely upon the author's shoulders

Monday, June 20, 2011

Leafy Perception and Sorting out Detail

When I first started this blog, I alluded to, and then briefly wrote about my experience nearly losing my eyesight.

At the time, I was aswirl with fears and recalculations of life and trying to come to terms with it all.  As for many people, sight is my dominant sense.  I am a teacher, a reader, a writer; a filmmaker; and a musician whose greatest strength might be sight reading.

And I am a gardener.  Who studied it seriously enough to make it an avocation, and who chose not to make it a vocation, but relies upon it as a form of meditation.   So it was not the generic laments of "how will I read?" or "how can I create images on film?" or "will I be valuable, can I even function happily, as a musician who cannot read music?"  Each of those had their own levels of solvability.

It was when I looked across one of my garden beds out front, thinking I would scan for weeds, and realized I could not even differentiate the leaves of the wanted plants, that I was whalloped.

One of many amazing things about the human eye (and our brain) is how we can see this, this image as recorded by a camera, but then also instantly and seemingly simultaneously scan for up close detail.  Standing from this point, I can look into and across the top of the foliage and identify where errant grasses and weeds are.  Kind of hard here, even if you click on the picture and open it up bigger.

So I have to approximate what our eyes can do.  Kind of like I needed to that day I stood a few paces away from the bed out front, and had a rapid, blistering series of realizations.

Like our amazing eye/brain communication, I was simultaneously realizing "Hey, I can't see the weeds!"  and "Hey, I can't see...much of anything.  Green.  That's it."  All the while moving in closer and closer...

The killer was I got right in on top of the leaves.  Which, in that case, were siberian iris, ornamental grasses, and regular lawn grass grown tall enough to flower and go to seed.

Not that I'd know.

I was done for.


I take a lot of close up and macro images.  For all kinds of reasons:  they rarely fail to interest me, it's a shortcut to helping make a picture "work," it's the only way to be sure certain details my eye-brain is registering are being communicated to the viewer.

When I lost my eyesight--when it went fuzzy, when I watched it glaze over and out--I didn't just lose a type of input.  I lost an important physical metaphor for sorting and thinking.  Learning and practicing are complex things, and putting learned practiced knowledge and ability to work creating is yet another complex something.

When it comes to camera images, you can sort manually that which your brain does intuitively.  See that picture there, with the angelica and the purple iris in the foreground and the peach and purple iris in the left background?  Pull it up large.  Let your eye scan over it.  Decide what it in sharpest focus.  In photography parlance, you are identify just what plane in the depth of field was made to be the center of attention.

In overblown fiction parlance, a character hones their eagle eyed attention on the pointy sharp edges of a loosely fronded angelica stalk, and notes the sharp contrast between edge and the surrounding air.

Either way, you just sorted detail that was already sorted. Look again; that picture was not taken by having the camera a foot away from the angelica.  The camera is at a distance, and zoomed in on the angelica stalks.  The fence in the far background is over 10 feet away from the angelica, and not a soft wash of grey, but series of sharp edged planks with clearly visible graining and splinters.  WHEN one's attention is upon it.  This angle/lens choice removes the option of paying attention to that.

So, you sorted a further level of detail from a collection of input that had already been pared.  That's a lot of thinking.  That's a lot of deciding where and when to pay attention.  

All of the levels are important.  When you stand back from the garden, there is a flow, a rhythm, both in the moment and over time.  There are colors to mix/complement/contrast, smells to consider, heights to account for both in terms of visual pleasure and plant survival.  Whose pleasure and whose survival, of course, being another set of variables.


So when I think about the ability to scan a planted area and pick out the wanted from the not wanted, feel the rhythm the planting establishes and determine if there are any breaks or hiccups, imagine what the textural and color palette will present in the future and if amendments should be made accordingly, I occasionally think of what I imagine a perfumer does.  How they select their elements to play together in the moment and over time, in what proportion...and how they must reach in to "pluck" that which does not belong, whether instinctively (thanks to long experience) or by careful process of elimination.  Or guesswork, which will lead to learning.  In my imagination, it is instinctive--but as a gardener I know that sometimes it is long experience which leads to the non-thinking but correct gesture.

On the other hand, as a musician, I know that the "right" gesture can be the result of training, or instinct, or a combination of both.

I also know that my ability to garden was ominously threatened by the prospect of losing my sight.  Which at the time reminded me of the dreams I would sometimes have in my youth about losing or seriously injuring a finger, as my instrument requires the use of all fingers on both hands.  

Perfumers must hate having colds, right?  Or the threat of brain trauma leading to anosmia?  Or even the temporary anosmia that can result from certain illnesses or conditions?

all photographs author's own

Monday, June 6, 2011

In flagrante indelicato: Lilacs, a.k.a. the fallacy of sensitive tosh

Lilacs.  Some of you are already well past your season, others can still smell the peak in your nose, even if the actual peak was already days ago.

Here, we're a couple of weeks past the peak of the old-fashioneds, and while Miss Kim is still pumping out a honking snootful of scent today, I have a feeling that this is like when a singer pushes out the last air from the bottom of the diaphragm.  It's big, it's blowsy, but it is no longer fresh, and a little hollow at the heart.

Old fashioned lilac, pumping out the volume 2011
Since Miss Kim is pumping out her final glory, I found myself out gathering armfuls of blooms for the second time this season this morning.  This is a big milestone for me; in the first place, I am conservative when it comes to harvesting blooms.  Not just because I have a sensitive side that feels bad about cutting them, but because I love seeing them in their environment.  I plant with an eye toward how the "composition" looks in situ; in movie terms, it's a botanical mise en scene.  Heck, I'll even spend time deciding if I let a weed have a few days as part of the composition, if texture/color/height fill in the scene nicely and it won't go all Godzilla and take over the area.

But there is a saying about lilacs, which is true:  They like the lopping.  Which is to say, trimming encourages fresh wood (and therefore fresh blooms), keeps the plant looking fully and less "leggy," and also helps manage height/width if that at all matters.  It's not that "they're asking for it"--that saying has always bothered me for a number of reasons--but they do respond well to it.  And, in fact, they thrive as a result.

Furthermore, lilacs stems headed for the vase need a little, well, abuse.  Smashing.  A simple end cut will not allow the woody stems to take up adequate water, and they'll wilt within 24 hours.  Sometimes you can almost watch the depressing withering as if time lapse was accelerated in front of your real time eyes.  I conveniently forgot that with the first round of trimmings.  They were droopy by nightfall.  This time I did not make that error.

My tool of choice was a railroad stake.  Plenty of heft, and the head end provides a pseudo-cutting edge, so that in one fell strike you can smash-slash.  2-3" of gashes up from the bottom of each, and you are good to go.

It's not that they ask for it.  But if you are going to do the trimming, and want them to hang out for a while in the vase, you do need to alter them.  With violent measures.  Because you need to expose cells, and soften tenacious structured material.

This, my friends, is the "wan" lilac.

It is a deceptive shrub.  That fragrance that is so "pretty," that visits but once a year, can actually nearly strangle you.  Our Miss Kim, for example, is right outside a lower floor bathroom window.  Which in some ways was good planning by the previous owner.  Because it offers a lovely screen 3 out of 4 seasons of the year, and is often snow covered enough for privacy effect in the fourth.  Because it is visually attractive.  And because in other areas of the house, and on the back patio, catching a waft can be a pleasant thing.

But if you are in that front bathroom?  On a hot day?  This is a situation the word "cloying" serves well.  Some might even say "suffocating."

This is a clear example of when "fresh air" is not the same as "air heavy with the fragrance of {lilac/fill in your own big stonkin' flower}."


So when the topic of En Passant comes up, I am always careful to thank Olivia Giacobetti.  She knew that the best way to experience a lilac was in passing, not in situ.  Certainly not stuck in nostrilo.  And too much of a good thing is, well, too much, so there's that cucumber and that bread and that ghost of Apres L'Ondee.

It's perfect.  As if it were my neighbor growing the lilacs, baking the bread, me slicing the cucumber, me discovering I still had remnants of yesterday's Apres L'Ondee somewhere on me.  (Alas, that that could actually happen in real life...)

I can't wear En Passant when the lilacs are at peak, incidentally.  Too much input.  I am too busy processing and managing the heavy full-throated single relentless note of the lilacs.  Which must be some kind of siren song, come to think of it; all of this noise, and still I gather it into bundles and bring it into my house.

My favorite times to wear En Passant are early spring, when it seems (as it so often does) that it is having trouble revving up, and in the fall, for a kind of nostalgia.  Plus the occasional nostalgic occasion or mood throughout the year.

There are times when the hologram, the reproduction, is just the thing.

Hundreds of tiny trumpets on my countertops and carpeting my floor in the area I put the stems into a vase.  Because, yes, despite the volume on the olfactory noise, these flowers have peaked, and every handling shakes loose some of the florets.  But they needed to be gathered.

You smash them, they last longer.

They disintegrate, but shall return.

They aren't delicate.  And they aren't dead.

You conveniently tend to forget how they are capable of choking you.

As it turns out, it may be that longer term relationships with them are best conducted via stand-ins.

So pretty, they are.

image of old-fashioned lilac, author's own
V.S. Naipaul's opinions, his own
Olivia Giacobetti's genius, her own

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stonkin' Big Flowers

Oh, dear.

I approached writing this three times.  Rather, I started three different days since late April with the intention to write about Summersent perfume.

Three different openings, one beginning with a rumination on indigenous smells and subliminal comfort, one with an account of my time at the Chicago Botanic Garden with the person behind the perfume, and once with my big reveal announcing that I believed I had identified the "secret midwest flower" that was the inspiration for the scent.

All of those having not materialized, I determined that Today Was The Day.  I dabbed on some parfum.  I spritzed on eau de parfum.

And then I thought hey, maybe it would help to put on some Fracas.  You know, benchmark against another Great Big Flower that like Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction, will not be ignored.

And then I figured since the change in the weather meant I had more skin exposed, I'd put on some Carnal Flower.  And a hit of Lys Mediterranee.  Because, you know, I haz issues with these beasts.  So I could do some thoughtful ruminations on just why it was that my early-in-evolution nose had a strange attraction to Summersent, but Just Said No to the trio on my right limb.

Holy stonkin' flowers, Batman.  I am in a cloud of confusion.  It's like I have the vapors.  I am IN the vapors.  Dear heavens, as I type this, it occurs to me my desk space may be tainted for a week.  And I spritzed two floors away.

::catches balance::

I'm going to have to start in the middle, rather than the beginning, or working backward from the end.  Much like fighting my way out of this miasma.

Because, the first thing I have to admit, is that when I applied the Fracas to the crook of my elbow (dabbed from a mini, one of those cute little Piguet black-cube capped square numbers), I thought "Hey.  Nice.  Why am I not recoiling?"  And I smiled at was striking me as a blond zaftig beauty who I had been led to believe overapplied too loud makeup and actually, while made up, was quite presentable.

Which was probably what led me to dare to spritz Carnal Flower on my wrist.  Hey, Fracas used to make me run.  Carnal Flower slayed me.  Maybe this time I would just run.  But hey, ho...what is this?  Formerly dirty bits now just registering as a welcome (not dirty, just...rough) counterpoint to the stonk of the flower? C'mon, now.  I mean, Carnal Flower, applied as a check and balance, was suddenly yelling "buy me! you need me! what in the world have you been doing with those reserved Malles???"  Oy to the vey.  Nobody told me there was a rabbit hole inside a rabbit hole.

Sanity.  Reason.  I'd apply Lys Mediterranee, which had previously registered as an artistic attempt to be different.  By which I mean artfully rendered, but interesting to me only as an exercise.  Except no, now that sharp opening is the near side of bracing, and I am thinking "hey, ginger" instead of "whoa, ginger," and instead of it being one of those paintings I look at in the exhibit and register how talented the artist is, it becomes one of those paintings I simply enjoy looking at and falling into the contours of one line against the other, happily aware in the background of a pleasing harmony of arrangement but no longer intellectually processing it, but just being there with it, sort of in it.  Except this was a perfume, and I *was* in it.

Cr@p.  What about the Summersent?

Now that I've written all this, can I actually review that which sent me down the spiral in the spiral??

I guess I'd better try.

Since I started this inside out, how about I continue that way.  The publicity for Summersent leans heavily on the story of the creator walking in the garden and catching a whiff of a beautiful flower, a midwest flower which became the inspiration for the perfume.  When I met with Marjorie last fall, she told me the real story, which is essentially that story:  She was walking with a friend, smelled the flower, and it resonated deeply with her.  She was able to identify it, and bring it to a parfumer, who explained to her that that flower could not be distilled directly into an essence.  It would have to be re-created.

This was an opportunity for me to share with her the story of Edmond Roudnitska and lily of the valley and Diorissimo, and how it, too, is a flower that cannot be directly pressed/enfleuraged/distilled.  We talked and talked, about the process of working with a perfumer to create a fragrance, how Marjorie put her extensive PR background in fashion and beauty into play in creating a product that was perfume, what inspired her as she told the perfumer what she wanted, etcetera etcetera.

But never once did she reveal what the flower was.

A few weeks ago, the annual blooming of a certain bush outside my window.  And an A-ha! moment.

Do you know this flower?

Here, let me pull back a bit.

Viburnum carlesii, my gardener friends.  Commonly known as Korean spicebush or Korean spice.  Which would, in name, and in provenance, seem to put a bit of a twist on the midwestern angle.

Nonetheless, indeed, there it is.  Right under my nose.  I think my cultivar may not be the exact one that inspired the perfume.  On the other hand, the perfume is, by necessity, an "imagination" of the note.  And I doubt I'll get Marjorie to confirm one way or the other.  So...for now, we're going to play Clue.

I accuse Viburnum carlesii of inspiring Marjorie Midgarden in the midwest garden.

::gathers self::

Sorry, I need a moment.  I am still aswirl in a huffy puffy cloud of mega flowers.  An hour later, and I still do not have a headache, which would be a milestone with ANY of the three vamps on my right arm, let alone a gathering of them in one lineup.

That, plus the heady excitement of sleuthing my way to what I think is an unveiling...well....

::ready to proceed::

What do I think of Summersent?

I think it is one of those pretty perfumes.  I overheardread a conversation yesterday in which somebody referred to Apres L'Ondee as a perfume that merits the overused, generally underdescriptive term "pretty."  I agreed.  I think of it as a category, one which may be a subset of "girly."  Not sure.  Will tease that out in a bit.  Wait, yes, a subset...rather, a partially attached "subset."  Because "pretty" I can do, if not often.  "Girly"...well, girly tends to irk me in its worst versions, and simply amuse me without making me want some in its best versions.

So.  Summersent is "pretty," meaning it goes in that category.

It is also clearly a thickish without being too cloying (on me) or too brackish whiteish flower perfume.  It is, apparently, popular in Europe, where it makes a large share if its sales.  (Interesting, I think.  Midwest inspired.  American made.  Over the top packaging.  Big flower.  Hmmm.)  Make no mistake; this perfume wears not as part of your skin, or a melding even.  It is a layer applied.

But hey, so is most lipstick.  And certain styles of shoe.  And particular ways of arranging your hair.  Or a cravat.

::cloud vapors::

I think I should come back once more to Summersent, on its own, to suss it out for those who might be curious.  Meanwhile, it's June.  ("June June June...June is bustin' out all over...")  And some profound change in season has happened.

Not just summer.

But the season of my Big Floral Appreciation.

images author's own
spritzes and dabs obtained via author's own collection