Scent Diary, July 2-8, 2018

Not literally my class at the Y, but yeah, it pretty much looks like this with all the fabulous old ladies (including my wonderful MIL, who is about to be an octogenarian). Stolen from Faster In Water blog, click through for link.

Monday, July 2: Overcast today, but humid. I think it’s definitely going to rain. I made it to water aerobics with the fab old ladies; I’m still finding it very easy and trying to really work hard at it. Afterwards I like to swim for 15 minutes or so — I started with 200 meters, then went to 300 meters, and now I’m up to 400 but it makes me winded so I need to keep working and move up. I have no memory of how fast I used to swim a 400, back in the day, but I know for sure it was faster than this.

Post-shower, SOTD is Moschino Funny! It is so muggy, and the zippy grapefruit-rose-tea-cassis of Funny! is helping.

Tuesday, July 3: It never rained yesterday. Heard thunder, saw lightning, saw rain over toward Parrott and Fairlawn, but it never rained on us here at the farm. Today is just as muggy. Ugh. (To all those people who were posting pictures of the beach on Facebook in January, and talking about how much they missed summer: I kinda hate you a little bit right now.)

Stationary bike at the Y today, plus a short stint on the Nautilus machines that work arms. My high school friend George, who runs a gym, would sneer because there are only a few free weights, but hey. It’s what the Y has, so it’s what I have.

SOTD was Arquiste Flor y Canto, which is just the prettiest perfume name, “Flower and Song.” Gorgeous tuberose with a dash of marigold; a sunny, happy perfume.

The CEO water-sealed the deck, porch, steps, and porch swing, plus his mom’s brand-new birthday-present porch swing! By dinner my back was stiff. Clearly I need to be doing the weight machines more.

Wednesday, July 4: Happy Independence Day! We went to a nice cookout/potluck gathering with some friends from church. Wore Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie, because I’m still trying to love it, and I still don’t. I really enjoyed my sample of it, and I remember the gorgeous orange topnotes taking my breath away, but this bottle is mostly jasmine with a tiny edge of citrus — nice, but nothing compelling, or at least not to me. I wonder if this got seriously reformulated before they discontinued it; my bottle from Fragrancenet was deeply discounted. Shrug. Dunno.

The CEO got tickets to the local baseball team, so he took Bookworm and Gaze. I was completely exhausted for no good reason, so I stayed home with Taz and rested.

Thursday, July 5: Hot again. Muggy. Exercise bike at the Y again today. Did 40 minutes and 8 miles but no weights. My feet hurt. I am unaccountably tired. SOTD was Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Yuzu. Which is nice, yeah, but honestly? far too much in the line of a traditional eau de cologne like 4711 Kolnwasser for my taste. I mean, sure, it smells good, but I frankly find it pretty boring. Maybe this one needs to get pushed over to my eBay sale too. (Wonder if I still have the box…)

Friday, July 6: Muggy again. SOTD was Guerlain Floral Romantique (Bookworm said, “Ooh, you smell pretty.” That’s what I go for most days, I tell you: to smell pretty. I’m not judging those of you who want to smell like a smokehouse or vanilla cupcakes or a garden overlooking the Nile  😉 but I am nearly always a sucker for just smelling pretty.)

Grilled some chicken and veggies for dinner, while the air became increasingly humid. We had a free HBO weekend, so we sat down as a family to watch “Dunkirk” again. And then, finally, rain. Pouring rain. So glad!

Saturday, July 7: Still cloudy and humid, but I think we got all the rainfall we’re going to get. You value every drop you get in July! Hay is up in the Pond Field; it smells wonderful.

Testing Oscar Flor, which was one of the Calice Becker frags given a 4-star rating in the 2018 Perfumes: The Guide. My initial opinion was that it’s nice, and it smells a lot like Tommy Girl, when it’s not smelling like Moschino Funny! Not that that’s a bad thing at all, but why wouldn’t you just buy Tommy Girl or Funny! instead?

My revised opinion, two hours after the single spritz, as I left the produce stand with a Vidalia onion, two garden cukes, four Better Boy tomatoes, a pint of blueberries and an enormous canteloupe, is that the drydown is extremely attractive and quite fresh, in a real, just-picked, melon-and-cucumber sort of way. I was nearly home when it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t smelling the produce, but myself.

I didn’t get tired of that ubiquitous melon-cucumber thing in the 1990s, probably because our budget was limited and I wasn’t buying anything scented at all back in the day, though I expect people who were into it at the time are probably really tired of it now! IMO, Oscar Flor is excellent for summer, y’all. Also likely to be a cheap thrill like Tommy Girl and Funny!, so that’s a plus.

I am unaccountably tired again. Doctor visit on Monday, a follow-up about my feet (and also, probably, a mini-rant about the lack of referral to the endocrinologist).

Photo from JapanConsidered.com blog; click through for link.

Sunday, July 8: Cooler than it’s been lately, and that’s awfully nice. Week 2 of Worship at the Lake this month, which usually I suffer through because where we have set up in past years — near the gazebo — doesn’t have enough shade to suit me, though it’s pretty and you get a great view of the lake. However, this year we’ve been at two different shelters at the state park, both of which had more shade, so hallelujah! Paleskins like me rejoice. Besides, I could still see the lake. SOTD was DelRae Wit, another one of those just-pretty florals I can’t resist.

The boys tended to mowing and weed-whacking today; The CEO tended to laundry. I tended to some sewing. All in all, a nice relaxing day.

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Scent Diary, June 25-July 1, 2018

Capitol Hill; photo by JW Guthrie

Monday, June 25: A little cooler today, overcast, and it’s supposed to be cooler over the next few days too — which bodes well for the Washington DC trip. The CEO and other elected county boards of supervisors members in Virginia* have been invited to the White House for a tour and a conference, so we drove up (5 hours) to stay in the city this evening. Two other supervisors and the county administrator drove separately, so that the journey itself couldn’t be called an illegal private meeting. SOTD was sparkling, spicy DelRae Wit.

Had dinner at a restaurant owned by the brother of a guy who works in business development in one of the nearby towns — Brookland’s Finest was terrific. The guys all had T-bones, but I ate catfish with spicy greens and polenta. Yum.

Tuesday, June 26: After a delicious hotel buffet breakfast, The CEO and his compatriots headed off to meet with the National Association of Counties and then do their tour and conference, which was going to be followed by a private tour of the Capitol building led by our Congressman. * As it turns out, all county supervisors are being invited to the White House on a state-by-state basis; it just happened to be Virginia’s turn.

I, on the other hand, eschewed perfume for the time being and drove out of the city to meet a college friend I hadn’t seen for years. Our plan was to have lunch, talk, do a little shopping, talk, visit Arielle Shoshana in the Mosaic District, talk, and walk around Holly’s yard where she’s been trying to shift over to all native species plants. Oh, and talk, of course. We managed to fit in coffee/tea and excellent cupcakes, too.

I sniffed a lot of things at Ari’s shop (which is amazing, and you should go visit if you possibly can manage it). It was a thrill to meet her in person! I left with a sample of Vilhelm Parfumerie’s Poets of Berlin — not my usual sort of thing, but very nice stuff. Notes include blueberry, lemon, bamboo, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla; the overall effect is a powdery, fruity wood, not really edible. Holly was quite taken with Maison Francis Kurkdjian A La Rose, which I think is very pretty. (I’m already stocked up in the very-pretty rose department.)

Wednesday, June 27: Cloudy and rainy early in the day — especially leaving D.C. — but then the sky cleared up as we were approaching home. The Hunter-doggle was super-pleased to see us. The kids seemed happy to see us, too, or at least Bookworm and Taz were. Gaze was gone most of the day.

SOTD was Hermes Kelly Caleche edp, pleasant summery citrus-rose-leather. I like it.

Thursday, June 28: Hot. Humid. I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the weather in DC today, but still, summer in Virginia. Went to the Y for some quality time with the bike; it’s getting easier but today my feet are hurting. The fragrance I was testing today was House of Matriarch Two of Cups, an aldehydic floral with a jaw-droppingly animalic aspect. There’s jasmine in it, I’m guessing probably the French ho-panties kind, and cassie (acacia), which can sometimes smell, um, ripe and maybe a tad decayed. Then there’s honey, which can sometimes go really wrong on me as well. I don’t know that I’d ever be able to wear this in public, but it is lovely and the drydown is wonderful.

SOBedtime: Lubin Epidor. I don’t care if 2018 Perfumes: The Guide (Turin/Sanchez)* gave it two stars, called it “plum jasmine” and said, “I cannot bring myself to like this fragrance, which strikes me as an overly loud 1980s heavy, somewhere between Loulou (Cacharel, 1987) and Poison (Dior, 1985), but less confident than either.” LT
*
Yep, this dropped for Kindle today — and I bought it today. And read it today. Review of the book coming.
Also, Luca is wrong on a few counts: Epidor is more hay than jasmine on me, it is definitely not loud, and to me has little to do with the bombastic LOOK AT ME SMELL ME NOTICE ME attitude of Loulou (which I hate. which I always hated.) and Poison (which I worked around to enjoying but still didn’t want to own). Epidor doesn’t lack confidence; it just doesn’t scream or do cartwheels wearing sequins. It’s relaxed.

Friday, June 29: Even more hot and humid, and we’re supposed to have temps in the upper 90s over the weekend. YUCK.

I frequently see mentions, on blogs or Facebook groups, of oriental fragrances being at their best in the heat. I cannot imagine. Now, big white florals blooming in heat? Yup. They are at their most seductive, their most heady, their most attractive, when they bloom big on summer skin. Incense scents? Yeah, I can see those being great when it’s warm. But orientals? Heavy fur-rug and chenille-blanket things like, God forbid, Amouage Memoir Woman in the heat — I just shudder, imagining. And I LOVE Memoir, but not in 90F weather.

SOTD is Jacomo Silences parfum de toilette, eerie meditative cool green thing.

Saturday, June 30: HOTTT. Bleargh. All you people who were posting things like “I want summer” and “Life is best at the beach” back in the fall and winter? I’m kinda mad at you now. June just finished and I am officially DONE WITH SUMMER. I want nothing else to do with it.

Silences pdt again, because it’s like liquid A/C, and I need it.

Taz mowed, Bookworm vacuumed and cleaned bathrooms, Gaze ran the power washer and cleaned the deck. And in the afternoon, we went to see Incredibles 2. We liked the first one, and in some ways the update is even better. (Jack-Jack vs. the raccoon is worth the price of admission, IMO.) Also, this clip IS TOTALLY BOOKWORM AND TAZ. Literally, I have witnessed this exact conversation between the two of them more times than I could count.

After that, a rare meal out for the five of us, at Sal’s Italian restaurant. The boys ate pizza with pepperoni and Italian sausage; Bookworm and The CEO ate calzone. I ordered my favorite Sal’s dish: Godfather Ravioli. Three big round ravioli with crab filling, and three with spinach, and all topped with a creamy pink sauce containing tiny shrimp and baby scallops. It is THE BEST, y’all. It may not be authentic Italian — it probably isn’t — but I do not care. Delish.

Sunday, July 1: Church at the lake again. I think some people like this arrangement a lot more than I do. But under the shelter was nice, because we had shade.

Worship at the lake; photo by Dave Farris.

SOTD was Carven Le Parfum. Most of the time I think it’s very pretty, and then sometimes the patchouli in it bothers me, like today. Sigh. I went to a bridal shower after church and came home to a pressure-washed porch! Thanks, Taz and Bookworm. And then… I NAPPED. It was awesome.

 

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Scent Diary, June 18-24, 2018

Monday, June 18: A nice day, with temps in the mid-80s and not much humidity.  The CEO had expected to be in the hayfield (with the boys) today, but apparently it’s supposed to start raining on Wednesday and stay rainy for a few days after that, so they did some other stuff around the house/shop today. Poor Gaze, I think he would rather have been mowing.  SOTD was Silences pdt, which is pretty much liquid air-conditioning.

Tuesday, June 19: Warm. Not terribly humid. Really nice, for June.  Worked hard on the stationary bike at the Y today and went 7.2 miles in 35 minutes . . . then I noticed that my Fitbit was fussing at me for getting my heart rate up too high (and that’s a clear indication that my heart is not all that healthy).

SOTD was samples that I will speak more about later. There’s a company that’s planning to rerelease one of four classic scents that they’ve updated, and I got in just under the wire with ordering samples of the four. I’ll post my feelings about these sometime soon, probably before they announce which one of the four was chosen, based on the votes of those who have tried them.

Wednesday, June 20: Hotter and muggier than the last two days. I worked my tail off in Water Aerobics today and actually managed to sweat while standing in the water (okay, so the sun was shining through the big window onto me too). Gaze moved bales today and Taz cleaned out the farm shop; I did some laundry and worked on my eBay sales (which are going okay, thanks. Not ‘going gangbusters,’ as my dad would say, but I am selling some stuff I don’t want, and generally for a fair price. I’m really happy to be sending these unloved bottles to new homes).

My elbow is not hurting me anymore. Neither is my right foot. The left, though, is still quite painful, and not just during or after walking on it. Sometimes I get sharp shooting pains in the heel for no apparent reason. Gah.

It did not rain today. SOTD is once again Silences. #notsorry #greengorgeousness

Thursday, June 21: Good stationary bike workout today; I only went 6.4 miles in 30 minutes but I kept my heart rate in the “cardio zone.” Also went about 3 minutes on the elliptical, and now my foot is killllling me. Dangit. Really no more elliptical for me; I need to quit trying.

SOTD was Chanel No. 19, and a tiny bit of vintage Max Factor Epris, which wears like a classic chypre formula with an oriental growl in the base. I think the citrus notes up top are gone with this one (first released in 1981).

It only rained a little bit today, so The CEO was saying that he could have mowed hay on Monday after all. Oh well.

Friday, June 22: Summer solstice! It crept up on me! I usually do notice.  It was sunny, then overcast, then it rained hard, then it rained steadily, then the sun came out. Weird weather.  SOTM was sunny Chanel 1932, glorious citrus-jasmine-iris.

Went to the Y to try their Deep Water Aerobics at 2 pm, but lightning closed the pool so I went to the cardio room for more stationary bike. Went the same distance over the same time as Tuesday, but kept my heart rate mostly in the “cardio” range, with only a few forays into “peak.” Which is probably the zone I should be in, anyway. SOTD post-shower was vintage Fendi. (That’s tautological, isn’t it? All Fendi by Fendi is vintage because they haven’t made it since, gosh, the mid-1990s or so.)

First local minor league baseball game of the season! The CEO got four tickets from a friend, so he took Bookworm and Gaze and Gaze’s friend and fellow cadet LM who is spending the summer away from home, in Blacksburg, taking some courses. I think he’s an engineering major, and it usually takes those students 5 years to finish the degree. Taz and I stayed home.

Saturday, June 23: Got up early and did Father’s Day Version 2.0, because for various scheduling reasons, The CEO didn’t get the FD meal he’d requested last week. We had French toast with real thick-cut bacon and mixed berries. Yum.

I am for some unaccountable reason exhausted. Cleaned up some today, but I’m soooooo tiiiiired.  No SOTD.

Sunday, June 24: Church. (Blue maxi dress, white crochet shrug. Chacos. SOTD was the friendly Rome souvenir Ferre 20.) Baby shower for a church member in the afternoon.

Sooooo tiiiiired again. Need to go see my doctor again. I don’t think she wants to send me to the endocrinologist, but I also think I really need to.

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Mini-Review Roundup June 20, 2018

Here’s today’s collection of reviews of some new-ish mainstream fragrances. (I dunno, is Guerlain mainstream? The only Guerlain you can buy in a department store around here is Shalimar. On the other hand, none of the department stores in my area would carry Prada or Tiffany either.)

Mon Guerlain – This was a freebie tossed in by the eBay seller because she was out of one of the carded samples I had bid on. I wouldn’t have chosen it on my own (as you might remember, I am truly not much of a Guerlie-girl). In any case, without checking the notes, I threw the sample in my gym bag and spritzed a bit on after my shower. Within three minutes I was sporting a massive lavender hangover headache.

Which is pretty much a deal-killer for me. I shriek NO LAVENDER!!! the way Faye Dunaway shrieked NO WIRE HANGERS!!! as Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest.”

And I can barely tell you anything else in there except the flat powdery vanilla (also a note I dislike) and that weird powdery-chalky baby-aspirin orange thing (double-hate), because I scrubbed. Bleargh. I’m sure there are people who love this thing, but the only way I would have hated it more would be if they crammed it full of fig leaf, too.

Tiffany & Co. – I liked the first Tiffany fragrance. It was a 1987 release, and it smelled like an 80’s release: a jam-packed, rich floral, the opposite of “light.” This one was getting some decent reviews so I thought I’d give it a shot. The first sniff was not promising: some screechy Coco-Mademoiselle-type patchouli, a high-pitched citrus, plus the clean and quiet iris-musk familiar to us from Prada Infusion d’Iris, which should surprise no one because Daniela Andrier did the Prada as well. Within a few moments, though, it settled down into a very pleasant blackcurrant-peach-rose floral not all that far from my beloved Ines de la Fressange. Too bad the drydown isn’t nearly as good, but I swear I think there’s real sandalwood in the Fressange. This one eventually subsides into a lighter, sweeter Coco-Mademoiselle-ish drydown, which is still fairly pleasant. I give this one a B-minus because it could have been much worse, and because it is such a no-brainer pleasant thing. The drydown, which is my favorite part, lasts several hours on me and stays pleasant, reminding me just a tad — in feel, not smell — of another no-brainer just-pretty that I love, Carven Le Parfum. I won’t buy this, but I won’t mind smelling it on someone else.

Prada Infusion Amande –  This smells like they started with Infusion d’Iris and added a clean, sweet heliotrope. It’s soft, powdery, not quite sweet. Listed notes are almond, heliotrope, tonka bean, musk, and anise, and I smell all of those plus a dry satiny iris, and just mayyyybe a bit of orange blossom. It’s fairly linear in my experience. However, it’s very nice stuff, and for an almond/heliotrope scent, seems to avoid all Play-doh references, which is unusual and refreshing. I don’t need it, but I enjoyed it.

 

Have you smelled anything mainstream-ish lately that’s good? Tell us about it!

 

 

 

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Scent Diary, June 11-17, 2018

Monday, June 11: Cloudy and warm; muggy after yesterday’s late-afternoon thunderstorms. Water aerobics again, plus 12 laps of swimming. I smell like chlorine, but I’m happy. Grocery shopping. Post office. Bookworm’s new mattress was delivered. SOTD was the lovely and discontinued Leonard de Leonard, a green floral chypre from 1989 — about 15 years too late to be in fragrance fashion, actually! It is in the vein of Balmain Ivoire, actually. But where Ivoire is very soapy on me, L de L just smells great! The notes list doesn’t seem to include tagete (marigold), but I swear I think I smell it in there, along with the galbanum and moss and hyacinth and various other stuff. (Bonus: it also disguises the smell of chlorine to some extent.) Ivoire’s notes list does contain tagete, but I never smell it in Ivoire. I do in Leonard.

And Gaze sold his sheep today. He hasn’t had time, obviously, to monitor the flock while he’s been at college, so he felt it was time to find a new owner who would be better able to manage the sheep. I’m proud of him. He started with 5 ewes and a borrowed ram in 2014, and just sold a total of 25 animals, four years later.

Tuesday, June 12: Cool and cloudy again. I wore Chanel 31 Rue Cambon to the doctor’s office (a consultation for the colonoscopy my GP says I need, now that I’m 50). When I got back home, I found that I’d sold another couple of items on eBay: one perfume bottle and one other item. EBay is kind of a pain, but also kind of necessary at this point, if I want a little cash for things I need to discard. Facebook Marketplace is kind of scary (a friend selling her washing machine had a very sketchy guy come to her house) and Craigslist is kind of weird, so eBay is really the only option I am ready to pursue.

Voted in the Republican primary for Senator candidate. Very low turnout, and I’m sorry to report that Corey Stewart, whom I regard as a Certified Nutjob Racist, has won the right to run as a Republican against Democrat incumbent Tim Kaine. And look, as a conservative-leaning moderate, I’m not much of a Kaine supporter* — but if it’s him against the Nutjob Racist, I’ll give you one guess which way I’m voting in November.  I SWEAR, I am pretty much done with the Republican party. They keep showing me they’re done with me, by picking candidates whose values I don’t share.
*I have much less problem with Kaine’s fellow Virginia Democrat Senator, Mark Warner.

Local writer’s group meeting this evening; my 31 RC had worn off and I topped it with some 1932 edp, because I think they play nicely together. Same house, obvs, but I think they share several angles — the pretty jasmine, the bergamot, the elegant and un-rooty Chanel iris.

Wednesday, June 13: Beautiful day! Sunny, warm, low humidity. Water aerobics again plus some paddling around in the deep end; lanes were unavailable for lap swim. Then post office and recycling. Gaze is on a tractor moving freshly-made hay bales from one field to another; Taz is mowing and weedeating.

SOTD is some DSH Chypre, which is a bit heavier on the labdanum than the Real Deal Coty, plus a light overlay of California Reverie. Me likey.

Another good Bible study at the park. My feet are not bothering me much this week; in fact, my right foot doesn’t hurt at all.

Thursday, June 14: Warm, and the last day of low humidity for as far as the weather guys are willing to forecast. I went to the Y and used the stationary bike. Started slow, did 6 miles in 30 minutes, but I did sweat. (Thank goodness there’s a little fan thingie built right into the console! Literally, that’s cool.)

SOTD was Mary Greenwell Plum, a modern chypre that actually smells chypre-ish (i.e., it has moss and amber in it, not just patchouli) under the beautiful fruits and flowers. Worship team practice tonight.

Friday, June 15: Muggy again. Water aerobics again. I really went at it, and could feel the effort, but maybe that’s leftover from yesterday’s stationary bike? Not sure. I may go another week with it, because honestly, these old ladies are fun. I can always swim laps afterward if I want.

Gaze and Taz are moving bales again. I should be cleaning up, but I’m doing laundry instead.  SOTD is Pierre de Velay Extrait No. 11, which I love and would like to have a bottle of, BUT I would have to phone London to get it.

The CEO went to an outdoor concert with beach music, a fundraiser for the local Fine Arts Council. With my dislike of outdoor concerts I couldn’t face it, frankly, so Bookworm and I hung out and watched Jeopardy and then American Ninja Warrior. I’m not sure why ANW fascinates me, but it does.

The view from Angels Rest Mountain in Giles County, VA, with rain coming on. Pic by Cody Hopper at trover.com; click through for link.

Saturday, June 16: Hot and muggy. No SOTD. I managed to go to the post office and mail an eBay item, then Wal-mart for a last-minute Father’s Day gift (since the thing I ordered for The CEO won’t show up until Tuesday). Wal-mart was jam-packed. Ugh. I got tired and didn’t want to do anything all afternoon. None of us have done anything today, with the exception of Bookworm, who went hiking up nearby Angels Rest Mountain with a friend. (Short and very steep trail, she says, but lovely view from the top.)

Someday I’m going to work Angels Rest Mountain into a book. I love the name.

SOTE, post-bathroom cleaning, was Fendi. Gosh, Fendi is just so good.

Sunday, June 17: Warm and muggy. I was singing at church, and Bookworm and Taz were scheduled to help with children’s ministry, so we went early. SOTD was two spritzes of Byredo Flowerhead, which lasted most of the day. (At some point, Bookworm hugged me and said, “Ooh, you smell nice.”)

The CEO got his Father’s Day tribute at breakfast: some new running shorts, a Pocket Juice cell charger, and the Dire Straits double album Alchemy on CD that Bookworm had to order all the way from England, to replace his old vinyl recording. We went to an early dinner with my parents for Father’s Day, where my dad got his tribute: a DVD of “Dunkirk,” and a restaurant gift card. (He’s going to enjoy the movie, I’m pretty sure.)

Thinking of and missing my FIL Bill today too.

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Scent Diary, June 4-10, 2018

Pic from stayblueridge.com; click through for link

Monday, June 4: Warm, almost like spring. First day I used my new YMCA membership, starting out with a Shallow Water Aerobics class (full, as I guessed it would be, of spry old ladies and and another woman about my age who’s also battling foot problems). It was fun but fairly easy, even for someone who’s been out of the habit of exercise for a long time, so I may move into the Deep Water class in a few weeks.

SOTD is Silences pdt. Gaze was sniffing that bottle today and I asked him what he thought of it. He said it wasn’t very floral and there was something that was dominating the smell. Something woody, he thought, like when you’re cutting weeds. AHA. The boy can pinpoint galbanum. 🙂 Though I find Silences quite floral, myself: lots of rose.

I ordered some sport sandals from Amazon the other day, to try to find SOMETHING that wouldn’t hurt my feet. See, I have alll kindsa problems finding shoes that fit. My feet are wide (they were always kind of that way, but having babies squooshed them out farther, and gaining weight since then has made them wider) and I have high arches and insteps, annnnd, as if I needed more foot issues, really narrow heels. If I get something to fit across my instep correctly, it’s going to flap up and down on my heel and rub blisters, and it might also be rubbing my pinky toe into the bargain. It is difficult to find shoes anyway — I actually wore corrective shoes as a kid! — but with this plantar fasciitis giving me constant pain, I knew I was going to have to spend some serious bucks on this project.

So anyway, the Keen Newport H2s and Chaco Z2s I ordered showed up today. I put a Keen on one foot and a Chaco on the other, and sat at my desk doing some research. 20 minutes later the Keen foot was in serious pain, but the Chaco foot felt great. So I packed the Keens back into the box and put the other Chaco on while walking around the house. As of now, they’ve been on my feet for nearly five hours and they don’t hurt.

They don’t hurt! It’s a Christmas miracle!!

Tuesday, June 6: Another warm but not hot day (what is so rare as a day in June, one that feels like spring instead of the south side of the sun?) Took the boys with me to my parents’ house so we could weed the flower bed and trim the weeds with the whacker (Gaze kindly took that task over), and help her go through some old stuff in the basement. There’s still a long way to go with clearing out old things, but I keep hoping we’ll make a dent in it someday.

Took Taz to the eye doctor for his annual checkup today. He’s doing fine. However, they were running way behind at the office today, and we didn’t get called back to a patient room until 50 minutes past his appointment time. Which put us pretty late getting home. Grr.

SOTD was the sunny citrus-jasmine-iris-ambreine Chanel 1932. Oh, and I wore my Chacos all day and my feet still didn’t hurt.

Wednesday, June 7: Pretty outside again — mid-80sF and low humidity. Another session of water aerobics was the plan for today. As it happened, my MIL came to pick me up for the class, and then her car wouldn’t start once it was parked in our driveway. We took The CEO’s car, but when we got back he had determined that MIL’s car needed a starter.

So it had to be towed. Much grumbling about how this was NOT how he had planned to spend his day. I think, however, this might have been the Last Straw with regards to MIL getting a new car to replace this one, which is 21 years old and has needed some fairly substantial repairs over the past six months or so. She chose a late-model used Nissan Sentra that I think is a nice car. So, yeah, it was inconvenient timing, but if this gets her into a more reliable vehicle, I think it’s all good.

SOTD was Mary Greenwell Plum, which I still love but which seems to damp down to a whisper pretty soon (either that or I’ve developed a partial anosmia to it). Nice Bible study at the park picnic shelter this evening, what our church calls Big Small Group.

Thursday, June 7: Yet another moderate-heat/low-humidity day! I rejoice. SOTD is Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie, sunny orange-jasmine. Went to the Y to use the cardio room, since the pool is closed for cleaning today. I tried the elliptical, to try to keep weight off my painful heels, but after 15 minutes they were hurting and I figured it would be better to go slow at this stage of healing. Tomorrow I can swim again, and the waterproof sandals came in the mail today too.

Taz’s grades came in the mail from the high school and he had all A’s for the year. This is an improvement from the previous two years, and I am very proud of him.

This shot was taken and created by Dieter Spears for Inhaus Creative

We have young bunnies around the yard! Not sure where they’re sleeping, but I keep seeing them running down the road, up the road, from our yard to the neighbors’ yards… there are four of them and they are adorable and Hunter longs with all his being to go and play with them. Curse the electric fence! Curse the electric fence!

Friday, June 8: Still warm rather than hot, but the humidity is creeping up. Water aerobics again, and this time with the waterproof Tevas I found on clearance in my size. These not only protected my feet, but provided more resistance in the water, so that the session was a little more work than last time. That’s a good thing. I still think I need a bigger challenge, but my feet are killllling me today, so the bigger challenge cannot be the elliptical, not yet. Maybe swimming laps would do. Maybe I can use a stationary bike?

Took Taz to get his new glasses. His prescription changed a little bit, and in any case it had been three years since we bought his current pair, and he moves into adult pricing in October — so we bought two pairs. He looks distinguished in them. SOTD was DelRae Wit.

Saturday, June 9: Hotter today. The CEO took Taz with him to do some baling, while the rest of us cleaned house and did laundry. SOTM was California Reverie again. Taz mowed the grass yesterday so I could hang laundry on the line, and I was noticing that at least two of the apple trees have lots of small apples on them. (Wonder if I should remove some of them, to coach the ones remaining to get bigger?)

Then Bookworm and I went to buy her a mattress, her belated birthday present. Success! Watched the Belmont (yay for Justify!) and ate ham, mac & cheese, and green veggies for dinner. My feet still hurt, probably from Thursday’s elliptical escapade. 😥

Sunday, June 10: Feet still hurting. Boo. I’m using one of those round ball massagers, rolling my feet over it one at a time. It borderline hurts, but my feet do feel a little better after I’ve done it.

Warm and muggy; SOTD is beloved Iris Poudre.  Went to the Y to swim laps, but didn’t leave enough time before the pool closed to do much. I managed to get in twelve laps. (Really slow. I’m in such bad shape. But hey, it’s a starting point, and I love being in the water. I miss swim team. I miss being fit enough to do swim team, too!)

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Scent Diary, May 29-June 3, 2018

Tuesday, May 29: Overcast and muggy, which looks to be the forecast all week. Sigh. The weeds are getting away from me, but I just don’t feel like weeding them. I’m so tired. Went to a funeral today for the spouse of a good childhood friend. I wish I’d known him better, and my heart’s broken for the family. Chanel No. 19 was again my Invisible Armor today.

When Mom and I got back, a doe went streaking down the side yard and Mom speculated that her baby must be over in the neighboring lot, in the bushes. (This lot never passed the “perk test,” so was unsuitable for building a house on, and it’s grown up in black locusts and paradise trees and thornbushes and the like, ideal for wildlife.) Instead, though, we found the fawn lying on her back deck, and it stayed there long enough for Mom to go inside and get her camera, then get a couple of pictures, before it bounded off. So pretty!

Bookworm, 2 months old. That grin!

Wednesday, May 30: Bookworm’s birthday. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to be her mother. Such a blessing.

Had a checkup with the physician’s assistant at my doctor’s office, and I dumped out all the symptoms that my doctor has been ignoring for the past several years (plus a few other issues). I’m not sure that anything positive has happened yet, but at least the PA listened to me and was able to take my concerns seriously. I hope that something will change soon. SOTD was beautiful and grounding Chanel 31 Rue Cambon.

We ate calzones and salad and apple pie for the girl’s birthday. Delish.

Thursday, May 31: Took Bookworm’s car to the lube shop for an oil change, and worked on some mending. Ignored the weeds (again) because I just. don’t. feel. like weeding. I will probably be sorry about this someday soon, but right now I just can’t. I also haven’t filled my hanging baskets with any plants. I’m just… I don’t know. I don’t think I care. The front porch needs painting so badly.

At least I do smell good, in Crown Bouquet. Another greenie, but who’s surprised by that? Now Smell This’s community project this week is to wear a scent with a creamy or milky component, and I’ve been thinking about Hilde Soliani’s Il Tuo Tulipano, which smells not like tulips, but like those frozen creamy fruit salads people used to bring to church potlucks.

Friday, June 1: Hot and muggy weather. Errands. Paid the real estate taxes, mailed some stuff, hit the grocery store, went by the bank, and stopped at the YMCA at about 4:45 to get my first Y membership in… oh, 20 years? 24? it’s been a long time, obvs. I have GOT to get my feet recovered from this plantar fasciitis. No more walking until I do… so. Swimming. Maybe some water aerobics (with all the spry old ladies!) or stationary bike.

SOTD is Guerlain Charnel Elixir Floral Romantique. I wound up bagging the NST challenge and going with one from a Facebook group, to wear something “swoony.” Floral Romantique, despite its cheesy name and its pretentious packaging, makes me swoon. When it first came out, everybody who was reviewing it said something like, “This is boring, derivative, smells like the same-old department store juice they’ve been shilling since 2008. Also, WAY overpriced for what it is, another floral woody musk. Unworthy of Guerlain.”

For one thing, I don’t revere Guerlain. Generally speaking, my reaction is Meh. (Go ahead and toss the tomatoes, I know I’m in the minority.) I mean, I like Chamade. But I only LIKE it. I like L’Heure Bleue in parfum, sorta. I like Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, too. But I could live without them, if I had to. I nearly always prefer the Coty version of the classics, anyway: Emeraude over Shalimar, Chypre over Mitsouko. Nyah.

But this? I really like. Sure, it’s just another soft white floral (tiare, jasmine, ylang, lily) and it’s pretty sweet in that sense. But there’s a thread of something bitter and refreshing running through it, too, and it dries down just lovely on me. The notes list includes cedar, chestnut, maté, and smoked tea, so I have no idea what that bitter note is but I love it. Also, The CEO once told me, “This smells like your skin, only a little more perfumey.”

Saturday, June 2: Cooler and cloudy today. I managed to take a big box of stuff to Goodwill, and then zip over to Target to pick up some stuff, before grilling some burgers. Dinner table discussion concerned Stevie Ray Vaughan, Texas blues guitarist. I’m not a big blues person, unless it’s Chicago blues, which I sort of enjoy if I’m in the mood. But The CEO is a fan. (We once named a minivan Stevie Ray Van. Stevie Ray’s predecessor was Eddie Van, for Eddie Van Halen, so I guess you know what kind of guitarists I like…)

SOTD was the first niche thing I ever bought — Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. Supposed to be based on the smell of a yellow rose, and darn if it doesn’t smell like one to me! A little fruity, a little powdery, a light and uncomplicated rose. So pretty. I still love this one, and FYI, yellow roses are my favorite.

On the negative side, I just got the response to my  request for medical records in the mail — the ones having to do with my Essure implants, from my GYN who has since retired. And apparently, these medical records do not exist. Which seems super-fishy to me. Because, you know, I was there. It happened. I just don’t quite know where to go next.

Sunday, June 3: Warm early-June day. Outside, it smells like either manure or honeysuckle, depending on which way the wind is blowing! I will be VERY glad when The CEO’s cousin finally gets his dairy manure lagoon empty and stops spraying it on all the fields around.

SOTD was Teo Cabanel Early Roses. After church, the family went to see Solo: a Star Wars Story. It’s getting a lot of complaint (from my friends, at least) so we were a little apprehensive. Especially after The Last Jedi, which we all enjoyed in the theater and then immediately started finding things we thought were badly written in the car on the way home. (We liked Rogue One — a lot.)

We liked Solo, too. Not as much as Rogue One, which was an extremely tight plot, both simple and tremendously emotionally affecting — but we liked Solo. There were things we’d have done differently, and things that confused us, but generally speaking we thought it was a creditable effort. What didn’t we like? All the explosions and flying through the air on dodgy platforms: basically all the superhero movie crap that has been done to death. And the ending, that bothered us too. Possibly it’s setting up a Solo II sequel? I don’t know, but there were a LOT of loose ends there. Also, sticking some young actor in front of a camera and telling him, “Be Harrison Ford,” is a very tall order, because so far as I know, there’s only one Harrison Ford. All the same, I thought Ehrenreich did a decent job. Watching him fall in love with the Millennium Falcon was almost worth the price of admission in itself, and when you add on Donald Glover’s slick-as-snake-oil Lando Calrissian, that filled out the rest of the ticket value.

Anybody have a differing view of Solo?

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Scent Diary, May 21-27, 2018

Ah, lilacs. Too bad we’re not getting any sunny weather.

Monday, May 21-23: Um. I can’t remember. Too much stuff going on, and I got distracted and didn’t journal. I think I wore No. 19 one day, and Silences another, and Safari the third. I think. All greenies, of course. Rainy and muggy, bleagh.

Thursday, May 24: Warm, sunny, on the verge of “too hot.” Went to my old high school, which was hosting the regional track meet, to watch Taz run. Gaze went with us and wound up doing some assistant coach stuff, like calling splits. The CEO does that at every meet already.  Taz ran well but not enough to lower his PR time. Came in 10th in a very strong field of 24, and that despite running in the slower of the two heats (i.e., his time was better than some of the times run by guys in the fast heat).

And my parents got to drive the few miles over from their house to see him run, which was pretty awesome. I smelled good, in Tauer Carillon pour un Ange.

In other news, I am again making the unpleasant discovery of a truth I prefer to forget about summer: I must choose to either be sunburned or pimply. It is always one or t’other, y’all, always one or t’other.

Unless it’s both. The worst of both worlds!! Like if I put on sunscreen (pimples) but not enough of it (sunburn). Or if one day I remember the sunscreen (pimples) but the next day I forget it (sunburn). Or if I forget the sunscreen one day (sunburn) and remember it the next day (pimples AND stingy pain on the sunburn). Which is just unfair, world, and stoppppittttttt. You’re annoying me. Only the zinc-y stuff seems to not break my face out, but that’s in a little tub you have to smear on with all your fingers, and often that’s an inconvenient package. Whine.

Friday, May 25: It is cloudy, but cooler than yesterday, and I am wearing YSL Paris parfum today. (Because PARIS, that’s why.) I am resplendent in neon-pink roses.

Graduation at the high school this evening. The CEO attended, as a member of the Board of Supervisors, and Gaze went to see some friends graduate. Bookworm and Taz and I went to a showing of Jumanji — the new one, with Dwayne Johnson — at the local revival theater instead. We laughed our heads off.

Saturday, May 26: Hot and humid BUT also raining. Ugh. Wearing a tad of Delrae Wit today for the Cleaning of the House. The CEO, Bookworm, and Gaze decided to go visit nearby Dismal Falls (on Dismal Creek, apparently, and no one is certain why it’s called Dismal. We’re nowhere near the Dismal Swamp), and then it started pouring down the rain, while Taz and I went around frantically shutting windows.

Sunday, May 27: wearing the never-wrong Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere today, for church. The fans were going full-tilt in the YMCA gym where our church meets, so it was hard to hear the sermon until the sound guys turned everything up. Contrarily, the band was FREAKISHLY LOUDDDD this morning. Like, hurt-your-ears loud.

At least it’s not raining.

Photo by the Southwest Times.

Monday, May 28: Memorial Day. Gaze went to the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery to lay a wreath with a few other cadets from Virginia Tech; The CEO attended as local elected official.

Everyone else stayed home and got ready for hosting a birthday lunch for darling Bookworm, who is about to turn 23. Roast chicken, baked potatoes, fresh spinach, Nana’s scalloped apples, plus cake with strawberries and ice cream. Yummy. SOTD was a tad of Carillon pour un Ange again.

After lunch, my mom was asking about perfumes so I took her in my room and horrified her with some of them: Soivohle Centennial, Cuir de Lancome, MDCI Rose di Siwa. And as I could have postulated, she absolutely hated Carnal Flower. The beautiful floral-chypre Fendi was, in truth, just awful on her, but at that point I was wearing about four other things so I didn’t put it on for her to smell.

Heard some terrible news, that the husband of a childhood friend of mine has died. So very sad.

 

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Scent Diary, May 14-20, 2018

Pic by Photokip at Pexels (click through for link)

Monday, May 14: Sticky hot. Man, it’s like we totally skipped late spring. We got the “cold and wet” early part of spring, but not the “warm with soft, frequent rains” part. It’s dry. And HOT. Bleargh. SOTD was Ines de la Fressange again, because it is so pretty. Tested Jo Loves No. 42 The Flower Shop later in the day, and it’s lovely, but could have used some rose in my opinion. Flower shops smell of roses as well as freesias. (I note, however, that I really like Smell Bent Florist’s Fridge and have drained a 4ml already, working on a second one — and that was my minor complaint about Florist’s Fridge too, that the green notes and hyacinth/freesia were terrific but I didn’t smell any rose in it. Just a touch would have been perfect.) But good radiance and staying power on Flower Shop, though.

Tuesday, May 15: Muggy. Hot. I hope it rains. It’s been SO muggy, and we really need moisture. (Well, okay, not like Arizona needs moisture. It’s just dry for here, at this season; mid-May is typically our wettest time of year.) I started out in Un Air de Samsara, and then noticed that the black locust trees are blooming, so I had to bring out the Amoureuse. Gorgeous honeyed green floral Amoureuse!

And it started raining in the afternoon. Ahhh. You can feel the earth sigh in relief.

But when Taz tried to leave in the Ford Ranger this morning for school, it wouldn’t shift into reverse. The CEO went to check on it, and it wasn’t a lack of transmission fluid, so it has gone to the Good Local Garage for diagnosis and repair. It’s been a good little truck. We bought it used in 2003 when it was five years old, and it was a farm truck for long enough that the grille got banged loose (rogue cow) and the tailgate got dented (The CEO says a tree jumped out while he was backing up). Bookworm drove it to school, then Gaze did. Now it’s Taz’s turn, and despite his scraping it alongside the other farm truck last fall when he was in too big a hurry, he’s doing fine with it. I hope it’s not time for Walker (Texas Ranger, obvs) to go to the big junkyard in the sky, but it’s 19 years old. We’ll see.

Wednesday, May 16: Still cool and damp, intermittently pouring rain. (Is this our spring? I’ll take it.) SOTD: that “greenest of green florals,” Crown Bouquet. I was definitely in the mood to get smacked around by galbanum, marigold, and hyacinth.

Took Hunter-doggle to the vet for annual checkup and vaccinations today. He did well. Totally did not bite anyone (though I did hear him yelping when he had his glands expressed and his nails clipped, poor baby).

Taz time-qualified in the 1600 meters (the mile) for Regionals at his meet this evening! Very proud of him. Gaze went to the meet with a friend to cheer him on; both of them came home absolutely soaked. Because while Bookworm and I were working on sewing her apron and watching Survivor, Taz and Gaze were out in the rain with no shelter.

The CEO was in Philadelphia this evening to attend a dinner honoring the retiring president of Eisenhower Fellows, Gen. Colin Powell, whom The CEO particularly admires.

Thursday, May 17: More rain, interspersed with occasional glimpses of sunshine. Got in the car to take Taz to school and discovered a flat tire, like ALL THE WAY FLAT… so pumped it up fast, dropped him off, and went straight to the tire store. Waited 2.5 hours, but they were able to patch it. SOTD: DelRae Wit, glorious spicy spring floral. Beautiful.

The CEO got home late, exhausted from seeing water hit his windshield all day, driving home from Philly. Glad to have him back.

Friday, May 18: MORE RAIN MORE RAIN EVEN MOAR RANE. Okay, I know I said we needed rain, and we do need it . . . but that’s enough for now, thanks. I had to run errands today, and that was not fun in the deluge. Ever tried dropping off clothes on hangers at Goodwill¹ when it’s raining so hard you can barely see? Well, don’t.  SOTD was Lubin Epidor‘s golden plummy-wheat sweetness.

¹There are people who are disgusted by the fact that the CEO of Goodwill earns a giant salary, mostly because the entire inventory of Goodwill stores consists of donations. Is that fair? Probably not. If I had another option — say, the Salvation Army or Disabled American Veteran thrift stores — within 20 miles of my house, I’d take it. But I don’t. I can barely manage to gather things up, without also having to schedule a 45-minute drive to take them to a different donation location. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Saturday, May 19: Rain cleared up in the morning and only came back intermittently in the afternoon, after The CEO had hung several loads of laundry out to dry and brought them back in. SOTD was beautiful Fendi, from a vintage mini you might have to pry from my cold dead fingers. I had no idea I’d like it this much.

My peonies are about to pop open! I’m so excited! I love peonies. And I’m glad that we’ve (I hope) gotten the storms out of the way, because there have been too many years when the peonies bloomed all glorious for two days, and then had all the petals beat off them by driving rain.

Sunday, May 20: No rain today. SOTD was happy-making Ines de la Fressange. Twelve hours in, I can still pick up whiffs of peach and sandalwood from my wrists. Such elegance for a fruity floral.

After church and our member-meeting potluck, The CEO and the boys mowed and weed-whacked and straightened up the shop lot beside the house, and it looks great. Let’s hope for warm (not hot) temperatures and sunshine this coming week!

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Mini-review Roundup: Three from Ava Luxe

I tried a few Ava Luxe scents early on in my perfume journey, and then not again until recently. Ava Luxe is one of those indie perfumers whose work is the darling of the bloggers… until the next New Hotness comes along and everybody goes flittering off to admire the New Hotness and forgets what was hot yesterday. (Humans. We’re like tha — OH LOOK A SQUIRREL!) On top of that, I have some vague memory that the house went offline for a period of time, during which the line was revamped and many people, including me, forgot it existed.

Back in the day, it seems that I tried the following: Thé Noir (black tea with wood, amber, and spices, very nice, still in production), Oeillet Rouge and Oeillet Blanc (straight-up carnations, one pleasant and the other really really not, and since I can’t remember which was which, it’s probably a good thing that these have vanished), and Love’s True Bluish Light, a milky skin-musk/vanilla that many fumeheads were raving over but I found not to my personal taste. During my intensive Tuberose Exploration, I also tried Tuberose Diabolique (interesting and pretty up top, and savagely weird with an interesting bitter note in the drydown).

The Ava Luxe website is attractive, and while the interface is a tiny bit clunky (I did a fair bit of flipping pages back-and-forth to read scent descriptions and choose which samples I wanted), it’s no harder to use than the much-maligned DSH Perfumes’ site. (I will put up with that website because DSH fragrances are so good, and I feel the same about Ava Luxe.) Indies are awesome. There is a person behind the products, and if you have a question, it’s pretty easy to shoot an email to that person… and very often, unless the matter is proprietary, you get an answer!

This go-round, I chose the following to test: Amande, Crepe de Chine, and Vintage Apple Blossom, all in eau de parfum format (parfum and perfume oil are the other formats available) and a small spray bottle.

Amande: “The deliciousness of sugared almonds, with a base of creamy vanilla and sweet musk. Notes: bitter almond, apricot, almond milk, vanilla, cream, heliotrope, sandalwood. A gourmand.”

I do love almonds, would love to smell like marzipan, and consequently have tried a fair number of almond scents. The One Almond For Me seems to be Montale Amandes Orientales, so you have some idea of what I like. This one sounded like it would be up my alley. However, after a queasy moment where it reminded me of a lip gloss I owned ca. 1979, it settled into plain ol’ sweet musk without the almond or milky notes I was hoping for. It stayed sweet musk from minute T+22 to minute T+260 or thereabouts, whereupon it faded away.

Crepe de Chine: “A stunning feminine chypre fragrance with a full bodied green floral accord and creamy woody base notes. Notes: bergamot, basil, neroli, aldehydes, bourbon ylang-ylang, gardenia, rose, jasmine, oakmoss, patchouli, Mysore sandalwood, Indian musk, Vetiver Haiti, vanilla.”

I was excited about this one. I wasn’t exactly expecting the classic F. Millot Crepe de Chine (which I have tested from two sources, and which, seriously, tried to bite me both times), but given that it’s described as a floral chypre, I thought I would enjoy. Alas, no.

It sounds great, right? Given the notes, it sounds stunningly like Soivohle Centennial, or Pierre de Velay Extrait No. 11, both based on classic floral chypre formulae. But on me, Crepe de Chine smells like herbal soap. It smells like Dial, actually. It smells like my great-aunt Leacy’s bathroom. Which was pleasant, mind you, but (again with my whine) I don’t want to smell like soap. I got a headache wearing it, into the bargain. I had to scrub it off, with real soap, and immediately felt better.

Vintage Apple Blossom: “A lovely fresh aldehydic floral fragrance based on the vintage apple blossom perfumes of the 1940s. Notes: Aldehydes, Hawthorn blossom, Acacia Farnesiana, Aubepine aldehyde, Lilac, Lily, May Rose, Sampaquita blossom, Jasmine, Rainwater, Sandalwood.”

Apple Blossom is probably an homage to fragrances of the same name from, I think, the 1940s, when it was a popular motif. I do love apple blossoms and their pale, fleeting fragrance, but it can’t really be captured naturally. And I like aldehydic florals, too. However, this Apple Blossom is strongly lilac on me, and very powdery. I retested it at various times, trying to find the individual floral notes listed, but never caught anything except lilac and a hint of the rose. It was pleasant but not memorable, and for some reason I did not feel comfortable in it. I felt like a room freshener.

Sometimes there is a consensus that certain perfume houses seem to “work” for certain individuals, while others don’t see the appeal — or actively dislike that house’s offerings. For example, I myself tend to do well with the classic and boutique Chanels (leaving aside Chance, Allure, and Coco Mlle.), and even if a de Nicolaï scent is not to my taste, I tend to appreciate it. Guerlain is more misses than hits, and Caron, with a few exceptions, is a Don’t Bother house for me. So are Diptyque and L’Artisan.

I’ve only tried, at this point, fewer than ten of Ava Luxe’s 100+ fragrances. But the only one I liked was Thé Noir, and not enough to buy it. I did spend a good couple of hours reading fragrance descriptions when picking out my recent samples, in the attempt to choose scents that appealed to me. All were not just fails, but big fails, with two being scrubbers (Crepe de Chine and one of the Oeillet scents). I’m not going to say these are badly done, because I found them very nice on paper and would probably like them on someone other than myself. Maybe I’m being too picky — I’ve long looked for the perfect almond, and have found only a few I like — and maybe I’ve tested the wrong scents. However, I will say that based on my limited sampling, they do not suit me and I’m probably done with testing any more Ava Luxe fragrances. Your mileage may vary, obviously, and it might be a skin chemistry thing. I still believe that matters, at least in some cases. It seems to matter here.

Ava Luxe’s website is here. It was a pleasure to shop there, and I like to throw some business to independent perfumers from time to time (ahem, as well as buying unsniffed vintage minis, of which I have FAR TOO MANY). These weren’t for me, but they might be for you. You never know.

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