Be That Aunt

Christmas is a-coming.  And if you’re like me, there are nieces and nephews that need presents…

A couple of years ago, I ran across this post at Perfume Posse that caught my imagination, where March was talking about Dior Poison, and various commenters mentioned that their aunts or other special people had gifted them with that fragrance, and the discussion moved through an exploration of how often aunts seem to be the ones who ignite our passion for good scents. The concept stayed with me, especially after EauMG started doing her delightful “Holiday Gift Guides for Nieces and Teens” series (check out the 2012 guide here).

I only have one niece.  Just one, so far.  I have three delightful nephews, currently ages 14, 8, and 3.  And there is a slight, slight possibility that someday I may have another niece (or nephew), via my baby brother and his sweet wife, but I’m not betting on it.  And while it is very satisfying to give a nephew a scented gift – I gave Curiosity a mini bottle of Chanel Egoiste for his birthday in June – it’s more a matter of Preventing Axe Abuse than anything else, when you give a teenage boy a fragrance.

In any case, right now, as regarding nieces, Primrose is it.  She just turned twelve, and of course I gave her perfume. In the past I’ve given her various smelly stuff, like cucumber shower gel and vanilla lotion and Bonne Bell Lipsmackers in Dr. Pepper, as well as a mini bottle of L’eau par Kenzo (a watery fruity-floral) and one of Cynthia Rowley Flower (a pretty, clean lily scent).  This year, she got a Grab Bag of Joy, comprised of a pink sparkly notebook, pretty gel pens, some raspberry shower gel, some Lip Smackers, some hair things, some horse stickers, and a mini bottle of Juicy Couture parfum.

I had mixed feelings about choosing that perfume. I don’t approve much of Juicy Couture the clothing line, what with their propensity for splashing “JUICY” across the hind ends of people who really should not be wearing sweatpants in public, not to mention their propensity for encouraging people to wear sweatpants in public in the first place.  I’ve seen more JUICY sweatpants in airports than I cared to, y’all.

But the perfume is pretty nice. I admit, I don’t care much for the EdP, which smells like Watermelon Bubblicious to me.  Gah. I loved  Bubblicious when I was Primrose’s age, but I’m no longer Primrose’s age.  Haven’t been for a loooooong time… but I digress.

Back to the Audacious Aunt concept, though: I love what Magpie says on that Perfume Posse Poison post about her “crazy/fabulous aunt” giving her Je Reviens and Niki de Saint Phalle, which she can’t imagine being appropriate for a nine-year-old.  Then this:

 March Reply:
December 22nd, 2008 at 4:49 pm Let’s all say a prayer of thanks for crazy aunts.

sweetlife Reply:
December 22nd, 2008 at 1:41 pm It’s always an aunt! I’ve been working on a little series of posts about Other People’s Perfumes — the one magic bottle that my non-perfumista friends often seem to have lurking around–and in 75% of the cases to date it has been the gift of a crazy, fabulous aunt.I am now aspiring to become that aunt.

March Reply:
December 22nd, 2008 at 4:45 pm BE THE AUNT. I get regular emails that start off, “I’d like to get some Perfume X for my niece and her mother says blah blah blah inappropriate blah blah.” And of course I always say BUY IT. What the he** are aunts for?!?!? My 7YO niece already has a sample collection.

I can’t remember who gave me that 30ml bottle of Karl Lagerfeld Chloe edt when I was twelve, but did I ever love that stuff!  It left the Avon Sweet Honesty (a gift from my grandmother Sarah Lou when I was eight) in the dust.  Was it my grandmother Nell who gave it to me, or one of my three lovely aunts? I have no idea.  Nell’s gone, and so is Sarah Lou, and none of my aunts remember… I wore Chloe for a decade, dabbing it on wrists and behind ears so that I could smell it, and anyone sitting next to me could smell it, but so that anyone outside my personal space couldn’t. That one little bottle lasted me until shortly before I got married, and I loved it.

But the reason that perfume was so magic wasn’t just the smell. It was the feeling of it: the luxury, the beauty, the promise of womanhood it held. Chloe is a bosomy, flirty fragrance, ripe with peach and tuberose and jasmine, undergirded with a mossy-woody base, and for decades it’s been my concept of a womanly perfume.  Although my ideas of what constitutes proper perfume have expanded exponentially, Chloe still sits in the pantheon, smiling benignly down at me and giving me permission to grow up, to be a woman.

My darling Primrose is a girly girl, extremely so. She loves pink and purple and horses, and unicorns and stars and flowers and rainbows, and nail polish and and jewelry and sequined shirts and headbands… And books, she loves books. I adore her. And I’m looking forward to giving her that tacit permission to explore womanhood as well as girlhood, as the time rolls around.  This year it’s the tangy fruit and white flowers tied with caramel ribbon of Juicy Couture. By the time she’s sixteen, it may be, say, the greenery and honey and ripe florals of Amoureuse – or the incense and spice and roasty wood of Aomassai.  Or the outright sensuality of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Lumiere Noire, with its rosy narcissussy patchouli. Or the reserved stern-librarian dry gorgeousness of Iris Silver Mist.  Whatever.

I’m going to Be That Aunt.

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We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Guerlain Mitsouko, a sort-of Perfume Review

Let’s get this straight, right up front: I have tried. I mean, she’s the Empress. Ruler of all she surveys, epitome of style and grace and the Art of Perfume, often-cited as “the best fragrance ever.” Oh, the shame I have felt at failing to adore her! It’s me, isn’t it? It must be my fault. I have given the Empress plenty of skin time, plenty of chances to make her case with me, multiple trials in varying weathers, various concentrations and ages. All in all, I have worn Mitsouko in five different versions now, probably up over twenty trials now…

And… FAIL. Failfailfail. Only one of these concentrations has worked for me, and even that one was not love, so I hereby put the Empress back on her pedestal, bow low, and step away. Y’all go ahead and worship, I’ll not stop you. I’ve seen the greatness now, but not the love.

I tried modern Eau de Toilette first, early in my Fumehead Forays, back in 2009. I liked the ambery basenotes, but that was all: Mitsouko was shrill and musty, dusty and unpleasant, good bone structure in a really ugly dress. I swapped my decant.

Then at some point I realized that I typically do very badly with classic Guerlains in EdT formulation. They often seem harsh, sharp, un-blended. Stabby, even. Shalimar EdT? Hideous lemon-patchouli-dirty ashtray-powder bomb. L’Heure Bleue EdT? Hell’s Medicine Cabinet. Yuck. I made peace with Shalimar in PdT, a beautiful lamplight glow in a rainy evening with woodsmoke in the air. L’Heure Bleue in parfum smelled full and complete in a way that the EdT does not, all deliciously-medicinal pastry.

(I did love my small decant of Apres L’Ondee from the minute I bought it, though. And Chamade, which I first tried in vintage parfum de toilette, has been lovely in every version I’ve tried. But those are strongly floral; make of that what you will.)

So then I sampled Mitsouko EdP, and it was, well, not as awful. Again, I really liked that nice ambery thing in the base, but the rest of it seemed so… just wrong. Just wrong. Ditto for the sample of vintage EdT a kind friend sent me. People wear this on purpose? Gah.

Mitsy parfum (from a sample labeled “vintage” at Surrender to Chance) was peach and mustiness. Musty musty musty. HORRible. Beyond horrible. I mentioned the fact that I was Officially Giving Up on Mitsouko on a Facebook perfume group, and a longtime fan of it suggested that the oakmoss has gone off in this parfum. Someone who’s only recently come around to liking Mitsy swears that a vintage Eau de Cologne version is the only one she can possibly do; “no screaming,” she said, and “the peach is in the background.” Someone else recommended the EdC too, but the only way I know of to get it is to buy a whooooole bottle of it on eBay, and I just don’t think it’s going to work for me, so there I’d be, with a whoooooole 100ml bottle of Mitsouko EdC that I’d have to get rid of somehow…

And then, I went trolling eBay, Just in Case, and bought this beyond-cute micro-mini parfum of Mitsouko in this very-cute li’l box, just to try. The famous Louise says it’s generally a good iteration, from the early-to-mid-1990s, and she owns two of them. (You don’t know Louise? She’s good friends with March of Perfume Posse, the instigator of a whole slew of PP posts labeled “Blame Louise,” and the wearer of all kinds of things that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot dabber vial top, like Angel, but also of Datura Noir, which I like, and she’s BFFs with Mitsy. Also, she teaches middle school, which just leaves me gasping in awe.)

I could wear this. There’s no Mean Girl in this bottle. Everything is there: the bergamot, the milky peach, the jasmine. The labdanum and iris. The oakmoss. Well, let’s be honest here: the oooooooakmosssssss. This thing is All About the Oakmoss. Which, okay, if you are an Oakmoss Ho, I can see how Mitsy would be the ne plus ultra of fragrances for you. And clearly it is for a lot of people.

Also, it is symphonic in a way that makes me finally get why people swoon over it. I geddit now, okay? I geddit. Everything works together and swirls in the same direction and has this distinctive personality, and yes, it is autumnal, and rich and nostalgic and tapestried and masterpiece-y.

Yet I remain a Mitsouko Philistine.

It still does not speak to me in the way that its predecessor Coty Chypre does.

I’m still not absolutely convinced that there isn’t some sort of mental placebo effect going on when I test old Cotys versus classic Guerlains (particularly the old Guerlains that seem based on their Coty counterparts – like Shalimar and Emeraude, L’Heure Bleue and L’Origan), because the Guerlains are very good. Is it that all the old amazing Cotys are gone, either discontinued or crippled through ever-cheapened reformulations, and I’m such a sucker for The Love That Can Never Be? Or is it that I’m annoyed with everybody’s saying that Jacques Guerlain improved all of Francois Coty’s ham-handed creations, that Coty was after the shopgirls’ trade while Guerlain, more artful, pursued the deeper purses and discerning noses of sophisticated women?

Could be any or all of those. Or, I think again as I resmell my sample of gen-u-wine vintage Coty Chypre parfum from the vial, it’s simpler and more personal: M. Coty knew what would clutch at my heart, and he bottled it.

I don’t think it’s going to happen, Mitsy and me. I just don’t. I’m just going to let her go. I just heard this song on the radio last night, Taylor Swift in a semi-humorous vein, singing, “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” and it seemed so appropriate I had to laugh. Mitsy and me? Never getting back together. I’m never trying her again.  I mean, like, EVER.

Because, finally, I appreciate her. But we don’t love each other. And I am, finally, okay with that.

(Meanwhile, Coty Chypre? All those tiny parfum bottles of you languishing in Great-Aunt Mary’s girdle drawer in the highboy or Cousin Mildred’s attic? I know you’re out there somewhere. Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad. I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe…)

NB: My gen-u-wine sample of vintage Coty Chypre parfum came from Surrender to Chance, where it is ridiculously expensive but still cheaper than airfare to Paris to visit the Osmotheque. Just so you know. And the stuff is pristine, too: the bergamot’s a little faded, but there isn’t any nailpolishy weird topnote as I’ve come to expect from really-vintage perfume. Review coming soon.

BTW, I have no idea why some text is dark here and some is lighter gray.  I wrote this all in one piece on my laptop.  I keep trying to fix it, but so far no dice.

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Valentine’s Day 2012: A Dozen Roses, Bottled

The classic – some would say cliché – gift to a woman on Valentine’s Day is, of course, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a dozen red roses, and jewelry. (My teenage daughter’s boyfriend brought her a card and six red roses yesterday; she gave him a handmade card and some candy. All together now: awwww, how sweet!) I don’t like chocolate in perfume, and the idea of jeweled perfumes will have to wait for another day, so here’s a look at some rose perfumes that I love. (Also, it’s an excuse to post beautiful pictures of roses.)

I do indeed love, love fragrances in which rose plays a major part, from light and girlish ones all the way through to dark Gothic ones. So many fragrances contain at least a little bit of rose – even if you can’t smell it on its own, it’s there, making everything smell round and full. I’ll admit up front that it is very, very difficult to find a rose fragrance that smells just like a freshly-cut dewy rose, because in order to obtain rose essence, the rose petals have to be treated in some way – from steam distillation to enfleurage (which involves pressing fresh petals in fat), to the modern scientific method called distillation moléculaire – and you always get “cooked” rose, not fresh. I figure if I want fresh roses, I’ll go to the florist.

For rose perfumes, I have a stash! Some of my favorites, starting from the light and girlish end:

Continue reading Valentine’s Day 2012: A Dozen Roses, Bottled

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Welcome to the new blog site!

Happy Birthday

In honor of the inaugural post on The Muse in Wooden Shoes, I give you this stunning and delicious-looking cake from Georgie Sharp on Flickr.  (Well, actually, it has to be virtual cake.  If I could pass out slices of what looks like a very rich chocolate torte with burnt-sugar caramel pieces, I would – after I got my slice, of course. WANT.)

And because I am a self-centered and tiny-minded human… and because the timing was reasonable… the new blog site opens on my birthday.  I’m giving myself some virtual gifts today, so you get to enjoy them vicariously with me.  Continue reading Welcome to the new blog site!

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The "Certificate of Perfumery" Scent Search

Remember when The CEO gave me carte blanche to pick out a new fragrance as an anniversary gift? (Wasn’t that sweet of him? Yeah, I think so too.) It’s been two months now – almost three – and several fragrances have been tested, and still no decision on anything from The CEO. I agreed to let him pick out something with me, and I wasn’t getting one “pick.”

I remember that sometime about… gosh, let me think… maybe 15 years ago, I asked him if there was a particular fragrance he liked, so that I might start wearing something he would enjoy. “Well, there was one that A– [an old girlfriend] used to wear, called [Karl Lagerfeld] Chloe. I liked that.”

I used to wear Chloe!” I exclaimed. “I liked it in high school, but I don’t think I could wear it now. Too bound up with high school memories.” Absolutely true. But also, A– was something of a snob. I knew her, of course, since we were all at Governor’s School together. I never liked her, and you could not pay me to wear a fragrance that might remind The CEO of her. “Anything else?”

He shrugged. “I don’t really know any other ones,” he said, apologetically. And we left it there. For an anniversary he bought me a bottle of Elizabeth Arden True Love, which I thought was a sweet gesture, even if I didn’t absolutely love the smell. It was pleasant, and I wore it for a few years, until the bottle was nearly empty and no longer smelled right. (I did not know then about the importance of keeping fragrance out of direct sunlight.) I didn’t buy another fragrance until a few years later, when I picked up the original version of Victoria’s Secret Pink – a fresh, green peony floral. I wore that for at least three years, until it too was gone and I started doing wacky things like googling for “perfume review.” Which led me to Now Smell This. The rest, as they say, is history.

Finally I started the active selection phase. “What do you think about this one?” I asked, of LeLong pour Femme – of which I already have a 15ml decant, but I figured if he really likes one I already have, there’s no need to get more.

It’s very nice,” he said.

Just nice?” I asked, double-checking. He nodded. “Well, which one do you like best?”

Well, I haven’t knocked anything off the list yet. You mean I’m supposed to rank them?”

Yes. Yes, exactly. Tell me which one you like best,” I said.

What, you can’t get all of them for $75?” he wanted to know, eyebrows together. I told him no. “Am I supposed to be telling you what I smell in there? What if I’m wrong? I know Gaze is getting good at this, but I’m not.”

Oh, no,” I assured him. “You don’t have to tell me what it smells like – just thumbs down or thumbs up.”

Well, that I can do happily,” he told me.

So I started the sniffage in earnest, testing new fragrances as well as scents of which I already own at least decants. As the days went past, I got the following comments and recommendations:

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse: “That’s definitely good. You can buy that.” Yeeeah. Like I’ve got $135 to throw around.

Guerlain Elixir Charnel Floral Romantique: “I like that. It’s flowery, but it’s also just – okay, it doesn’t smell exactly like flowers, it’s just that you smell good.” Yeeeeah. Like I’ve got $225 to throw around. Well, at least he’s got good taste.

DSH Chypre: “Ugh. No.” I actually love this stuff – for myself, not for him – so I managed to scrounge another couple of samples, of this and of its inspiration, Coty Chypre. It isn’t pretty by any means, but it’s compelling.

SSS Jour Ensoleille: “Pretty. Lots of flowers.” Me: Really? I smell hay in there. And honey. You smell the honey? The CEO: “Uh, no. Just flowers. Where do you come up with this stuff? Hay? No. I mean, it’s pretty. But it’s just flowery.” I am still thinking about this one because I love how rich and languorous it smells, but it’s not currently in the rotation at Sonoma Scent Studio. It can wait, and it’s rich so maybe a sample or two will do me anyway.

Lancome Tresor: “Eh. It’s okay, I guess.” That’s really a No, if you ask me.

Penhaligon’s Violetta: “Uh, not that. It’s weird. It smells like holistic medicine.” What a shame – I really like Violetta.

Tauer Perfumes Zeta: First, he stared at me nonplussed. “This?” Yep. “Well, it’s flowery,” he said doubtfully. “I don’t know. It smells okay, it’s just sort of – well, boring.” I concur. This is the rare Tauer that I don’t either really like or really hate. I can’t even muster an opinion about it.

Moschino Funny!: “Nice and light. Very clean.” That was a trick question – I bought a bottle last fall for $18.

Moschino L’Eau Cheap and Chic: “That smells like something you clean the floor with.”  Yes, it does.

Mary Greenwell Plum: “Very nice. Flowers and something else, kind of a throwback thing? It’s pretty. Very dressy.” I love this stuff, and my decants (thanks, Vanessa!) are rapidly disappearing. I would have asked for a bottle for Christmas, but the retail outlet that handles distribution in the UK – House of Fraser – does not ship to the US.

Nobile 1942 Chypre: “I guess it’s okay. Kind of boring, actually.” It bored me too.

Michael Storer Stephanie: “It’s… really sweet. I don’t know. No, I don’t like it all that much. It kind of bites my nose.” It’s the pepper. Some people don’t like that.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire pour femme: Full disclosure – this thing gets me all hot and bothered, which The CEO is fully in favor of. So despite the fact that he finds it just “okay,” in terms of actual smell, this one gets two snaps up and a circle. However I have a 10ml decant, and a full bottle’s out of my price range ($165 for 70ml, I think), and maybe this thing is a little dangerous so I don’t need a full bottle… incidentally, Elena at Perfume Shrine says that this fragrance was originally a bespoke perfume composed for Catherine Deneuve, who after it was completed agreed to let MFK market it. I have never smelled the floral-chypre-to-die-for, discontinued, Deneuve perfume, but if it smelled anything like Lumiere Noire, it must have been wonderful.

Penhaligon’s Amaranthine: “I like it. It’s sort of milky. Very calm.” (See, there is a reason I can wear it to church – it’s milky and calm. No sweaty thighs on me. I have a small decant, thanks to Joe A.)

Guerlain Idylle edt: “That’s pretty. Have I smelled that before?” Yes. I didn’t like the EdP original – I mean, I really hated the EdP.  However, the EdT I found in the Philadelphia Duty Free shop, on the way to Malta in the spring.  So I tested it, and it stayed nice for several hours. However, I already swapped for a decant of it (thanks, Karin!).

Vamp a NY: “I don’t like that. It’s really sweet. Sort of weird.” I have a decant – and I love the Vamp, so I’ll just have to wear it when he’s not around.

Guerlain Pamplelune: “That’s pretty. Smells like… lemons. And flowers. I like it.” I like it too, so I swapped for a mini bottle.

Guerlain Samsara EdT (modern): “That’s sort of nice. Is it cheap? It smells sort of cheap. But nice. Vanilla.”

Chanel No. 19 EdP: “That’s rather pretty, actually. Different.” I asked if he was sure, because he’d smelled my vintage EdT (bought on eBay for cheap!) and disliked it. The EdP is softer and rosier, but it’s recognizably No. 19. “I didn’t like it before? Hm. I don’t know why, because it’s pretty.”

Chloe Love, Chloe: “That is perfectly disgusting.” It’s probably my skin, but I concur. It was extremely unpleasant. Gaze actually recoiled from my arm in horror.

Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar: “That’s pleasant. But merely pleasant.” Yeah, that was my take too.

So it actually turns out that I had plenty of green lights and a few reds, but nothing that had lit up The CEO’s pinball machine, except Amoureuse (and Citizen Queen, but that’s another story). And then I managed to swap for a partial bottle of Amoureuse, so I have that now. And I made another last-ditch effort at determining his preferences.

I asked, “So do you have a favorite of all the fragrances I’ve been testing? Is there anything you really, really like?”

He considered. “Well, to be honest, I think I like the one you bought in Rome the best. I really like that one.” So he likes Ferre 20? I like that one, too. Guess I should wear it more often – I’ve been saving it for dates.

The upshot of all this testing was that I stopped waffling around and thinking up things for him to test. I bought a bottle of Mary Greenwell Plum, which I’ve been lusting for for more than six months, since the first time I smelled it. Plum has become something of a fallback fragrance for me, not exactly a signature because I wear so many different things, but the always-right, versatile, Feels Like Me fragrance. It is not yet available in the US, although the word was that it was supposed to hit US distribution by June of 2011. I bought it on eBay, from a seller in the UK.

Yes, I sniped. No, I’m not sorry. I looked at how much it costs to buy a bottle at the House of Fraser website (£60), checked with Yahoo! Finance as to how many dollars that is (way too many) and then bid a maximum of £60 with the snipe site. That was how much I was willing to put into it, and I bid that amount. It turned out that my bid was the highest, and the final sale was at about £41 ($63), so including the shipping, I paid about $78. I know it costs a lot to ship the bottle because of that darn heavy gold-plated cap, which I could not possibly care less about. I just wanted the magic juice.

And it came in the mail, about 10 days ago, and it is perfect. Cute pink box, pleasant-to-hold rectangular bottle, ridiculously heavy cap, wonderful smell: perfect.   Thanks very much, CEO.  Rotsa ruv, as Scooby Doo would say…

 

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Perfume Resolution

1990s wedding dress, similar to my own. No fair mocking it.

If you’ve visited here before, you probably know that we’ve had an eventful three weeks in my family.  Just before Easter, my father-in-law had a small stroke and went into the hospital, where it was determined that he had a severe urinary tract infection.  While his doctors were waiting for the reports to come back on the first stroke, he had a second stroke that incapacitated his ability to speak and swallow. 

Then there was Easter.

Bill seemed to be recovering, and was transferred to a rehabilitation center.  We talked about therapy and hospital beds at home, and the excellent rehab available for stroke victims at a center located about 45 minutes’ drive away.  Then the pneumonia that seemed to have been held at bay by antibiotics returned, and the UTI turned into a kidney infection.  Bill’s doctor found that he had an advanced cancer of the blood plasma.  We talked about hospice.  The feeding tube was removed, and the IVs.  The doctor said, “Two to five days.  Five, probably.”

It wasn’t even forty-eight hours before the call came, early Saturday morning.

The next day was Mother’s Day.  And The CEO and I reached our 19-year wedding anniversary on Monday, May 9.   We didn’t feel like celebrating, so we gave each other our cards, and held on to each other some.  I gave him a small bottle of Dior Homme Sport, which was one of the samples he’d liked when testing several.

The CEO gave me this:

Certificate of Perfumery

To All To Whom These Words Come, Greeting:

Whereas, [Mals Woodenshoes] has been a helpful, loyal and devoted  and loving wiff* for __19__ years and

Whereas, [Mals]  has shown patience, kindness, and love on a consistent and regular basis, often going above and beyond the call of wiffly duty and

Whereas, [Mals] has a fondness for and interest in perfumes and perfumery

Therefore, let it be known to all that

[Mals] is entitled to a portion of the Treasury of [The CEO}  

Not to exceed ___$75_____

For the purchase of perfumes, colognes, eau de toilettes, scents, fragrances, lotions, bath oils, and other items with pleasing aromas

Upon the condition that she wears said perfumes, scents, etc. and allows [The CEO] to give analysis and review of said perfumes, scents, etc. and subsequently place priority on choosing from those perfumes, scents, etc. the ones which [The CEO] finds most appealing .

Written by my hand and authorized by my signature this  _9th____ day of ___May_______ in the year of our Lord two-thousand and ___11______.

____________________________

The CEO Woodenshoes

This tells me three things, at least.  One, that The CEO loves me and appreciates me and wants to share in my interests.  Two, that he was too busy to go shopping… not that he doesn’t avoid shopping whenever he can.  And three, he’s been serving on too many boards of nonprofit entities lately.

I’m going to test his reaction to Parfums DelRae Amoureuse.  What else should I let him smell on me?

*”Wiff” is an old joke between us: I’m the “wiff” because he wants me to be “wiff” him.  All together now:  Awwwwwww.

Photo is from risingfeenix.com.  Sadly, none of my wedding photos are digital.  It was back in the Dark Ages, after all. 

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