Dear Scent Diary, Jan. 20 – 26

I should have posted this yesterday, but I was sad.

Wednesday, Jan. 20: SOTD: Havana Vanille. SOTE: By Kilian Beyond Love. (How come nobody’s made a tuberose-vanilla? Two great smells that smell great together… I can see the ad campaign now: one woman carrying some really potent vanilla extract on a tray and coming around one corner, another woman carrying a bouquet of tuberoses coming around the same corner and crashing into the first woman… Wait, I guess that’s been done. Reviews pending for both of these.)

Thursday, Jan. 21: SOTD: Amouage Ubar, early version on left wrist and rerelease on right wrist. The early version is more woody floral, the newer more oriental floral. Robin at NST prefers the original, and she’s welcome to – it’s really pleasant – but I have a definite preference for the floriental. One dab from my sample vial of Ubar has lasted for hours.

Friday, Jan. 22: SOTD: PdN Vanille Tonka. Happy happy joy joy happy happy joy joy!!

Saturday, Jan. 23: SOTD: Lancome Climat, La Collection. Gorrrrgeous. Gorgeous all day, as a matter of fact. (Review of this one coming soon.)

Sunday, Jan. 24: SOTD: Parfum Sacre, because I needed something comforting today.

Monday, Jan. 25: SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. SOTE: Thierry Mugler Alien edp. I know everyone else in the Western Hemisphere has smelled this, but I hadn’t yet. I’m surprised at how much I actually like it, jasmine not generally being a favorite of mine… of course, it’s jasmine sambac, not jasmine grandiflorum, so it’s tropical rather than French-y Lingerie de Putain. I can’t decide if it’s too sweet or not – I’ll think, Yeah, too sweet, and stop paying attention, and then the next thing I smell is woody, and it swings back and forth.

Tuesday, Jan. 26: When I woke up, the end bits of Alien were still on my wrists, and they smelled woodily great. SOTMorning: Caron Aimez-Moi. Violet-anise-vanilla, wonderful. (Every so often it smells like old books, yay!) SOTAfternoon: vintage Piguet Baghari edc. Starts with aldehydes – and say what you like, I’m old-fashioned and I think aldehydes smell like real perfume, so there! – and then goes all spicy and dry… and after that, it gets pretty skanky for awhile. I think I scared the grocery clerk, despite adhering to my 3-foot sillage rule. It settles out of the skank after half an hour or so, but I finally washed it off so I could do some more testing. SOTE: L’Artisan Tubereuse.

(Four perfumes in a day… I feel a little, um, promiscuous. I had a college friend who seemed to change girlfriends as often as he changed his socks. His sock-changing routine was fairly normal, but the girlfriend-changing one was a bit extreme. I thought of him today. – Hi, Diz, and thanks for the laughs!)

Image is Perfume Bottles by Cassie’s at flickr.


Dear Scent Diary, Jan. 13 – Jan. 19

Wednesday, Jan. 13:  Weather chilly and overcast. SOTD: Velvet Tuberose (reviewed Jan. 18). SOTE: Tubereuse Criminelle.

Thursday, Jan. 14: The CEO came home this morning from Seattle, and promptly left for the Agribusiness Association dinner in Richmond. Wonder what kind of mileage he put on his chassis this past week? Weather chilly (low 40’s) but clear.  SOTD: Balenciaga Michelle (revised review pending). Bookworm, combating exam stress, snagged a spritz of Mariella Burani after considering and rejecting vintage Lauren as being “soapy and green” and therefore not the comforting thing she was looking for. SOTE: Voile de Fleur. Boy, that’s nice stuff.

Friday, Jan. 15: Still chilly.  SOTD: Velvet Tuberose. SOTE: Kai eau de parfum.

Saturday, Jan. 16: Scentless morning, busy day. Opened a few late Christmas presents – I finally have my wished-for copy of Diana Gabaldon’s An Echo in the Bone, thanks to my favorite brother. SOTE: Tubereuse Criminelle.

Sunday, Jan. 17: Weather chilly and damp. SOTD: Mariella Burani.

Monday, Jan. 18: Weather warmer, in the low 50’s today, and clear. SOTD: Amouage Ubar. SOTE: Diorissimo. It slightly made up for the very crappy day we had (see RIP John Deere 4040).

Tuesday, Jan. 19:  Weather relatively warm (upper 40’s and overcast).  SOTD: DSH Perfumes Essense Oil Mysore Sandalwood, followed by another wearing of Tubereuse Criminelle. I don’t get this stuff yet. I will have to postpone my review again.

Photo is “My winter favorites” by F_A at


Dear Scent Diary, Jan. 6 – Jan. 12

Wednesday, Jan. 6: Cheered by the success of having decanted my mini dabber bottle of Bvlgari Black into a spray atomizer, I did the same for Fendi Theorema. I hoped spraying would reveal facets of delight heretofore not realized by me. Sadly, it did not. Theorema is wonderful until the drydown, and then it just sits on my skin and bores me. I’m discovering a kinship between Theorema’s drydown and the experience of Barbara Bui Le Parfum; that would explain why March at Perfume Posse loves them both. I found BB dull, and I only like part of Theorema. That does it, I’m done with Theorema. There’s way too much other stuff out there for me to keep trying scents that don’t move me. I spent the evening in vintage No. 5 parfum.

Thursday, Jan. 7: Whee, a scrubber! Sample swap freebie that sounded nice – Comptoir Sud Pacifique Hemisphere Sud pour femme. Orange, pepper, pink pepper, peony, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vanilla, sandalwood, musk; your average modern floriental. It was really lovely for about twenty minutes, and then disgustingly chemical. I got a headache. So I made it go away… and moved straight on to the Tuberose selection of the day: vintage Chloe edt. (reviewed Jan. 8)

Friday, Jan. 8: Chloe again, parfum this time. It’s not fun wearing this, I feel like an eighth grader. This was a pretty mature choice for a middle-schooler, but I didn’t pick it out for myself. I don’t remember being unhappy with it, though.

Saturday, Jan. 9: It’s freeeeeezing. Yet another day of 15-degree-weather. The CEO left on his trip to Seattle, but not before depositing a calf that was either sick or weakened by the continuing cold on a tarp in the laundry room and instructing me in how to take care of it. If you are thinking, “Aw, a calf, how cute, how much trouble could that be?” I’ll explain that said calf is about three months old and weighs a good two-three hundred pounds, if not more. (Actually, she is cute: brown face, black body, white diamond on her forehead, and the most ridiculously long eyelashes. But she’s trouble. You ever have calf poop on your laundry room floor?) And then I was ludicrously optimistic (stupid) and put on some Giorgio (reviewed, sort of, Jan.10). Dear God.

Sunday, Jan. 10: I have a mild stomach bug. The weather’s still freezing, CEO’s still gone, Sara the calf is still poopin’ on the laundry room floor. Poor thing either can’t or won’t stand up. Vet says, “Give her 1 cc of MuSe and 2 cc’s of Vitamin AD&E, and if she’s not up by tomorrow I’ll come by.” I call the CEO to find out where these supplies are, yada yada… turns out I can give the MuSe (Selenium, a mineral supplement) subcutaneously, but the AD&E has to go into the hip muscle. I’ve never given an injection before. Eek. I have to enlist Bookworm to hold the medicine bottles while I pull out the correct amount into the syringes, but the injections themselves go smoothly. Whew. Testing DSH Tubereuse (reviewed Jan. 12) for the fourth time since last spring.

Monday, Jan. 11: My birthday. Sara’s better – she’s standing up, which means it’s time for her to go out to the little barn lot with the shed in it, with Davy the orphan calf and Beth the abandoned twin calf, whom (whom? Can you use “whom” with animals?) the kids have been bottle feeding since the fall. Wearing Attrapé-Coeur, lovely floral-amber thing.

Tuesday, Jan. 12: Good luck to my brother-in-law Bob, who’s heading off to Basic training for re-enlisters. SOTD: Bath & Body Works Velvet Tuberose (review pending). SOTE: DSH Tubereuse again.


Dear Scent Diary, Dec. 30 – Jan. 5

Wednesday, Dec. 30: Bvlgari Black. Weather hand-chappingly cold. Black is nice. I’d never call this a Holy Grail, it probably wouldn’t make my faves list, but it’s very nice. I do love that dusty new-rubber smell. I finally got the bright idea of decanting my mini into a 5ml spray bottle, and now I’m not having any trouble with staying power. Duh.

Thursday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. Weather icky: 2 inches of snow, followed by drizzly rain. For something I sneer at frequently, for its awkward name, and for its unwillingness to simply be “pretty white flowers,” I sure wear VdF a lot, and stay happy wearing it. (Reviewed Jan. 4.)

Friday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day 2010: Jolie Madame in vintage parfum. I am embarrassed, or maybe not so, to admit that I have three tiny (3ml) bottles of vintage JM parfum, all slightly different with varying amounts of leather and florals, but all distinctively Jolie Madame. The weather is clear but bitterly cold; we’re cocooning today and watching bowl games in front of the fire. I have set some goals for myself, and Jolie Madame seemed perfect for that, to remind myself that I am both strong and beautiful.  Tested ELPC Tuberose Gardenia in the evening.

Saturday, Jan. 2: For various reasons, my proposed test of Tubereuse Criminelle did not take place. It was extra-bitterly cold today, zero degrees with the wind chill; in the afternoon I put on a drop of Rumba. I like the hot dust note that attempts to convince me I’m not cold. When I was tucking him in, Gaze the Noticer asked what perfume I was wearing. “I like that one,” he said. “It smells warm.”

Sunday, Jan. 3: Bitterly cold, sunny, windy. ELPC Tuberose Gardenia. Pretty and unpretentious; one spritz will do when you plan to be in a gathering of people. This is one of the very, very few Lauders whose base doesn’t nauseate me. (Reviewed Jan. 5.)

Monday, Jan. 4: Bitter-as-a-rejected-first-wife-cold. This is the first weekday of the month after New Year’s Day, ergo, it’s Statement Day. I spend the first weekday of every month printing, folding, and stuffing three hundred statements of account. It’s not a fun day. Testing anything with an eye to writing a review is simply not possible. I wore Alahine.

Tuesday, Jan. 5: Cold, but less so than the previous few days. Tested Carnal Flower again. I wish I’d sprung for the spray sample, but it’s good. Review pending.

Image is parfums by Gruut at flickr.


Dear Scent Diary, December 23-29

Wednesday, Dec. 23: Chanel Bois des Iles, Les Exclusifs edt decant.  Family party (well, minus my brother and his wife and the New Universe) at my parents’ house. Dinner was ham and turkey with all the usual side dishes; it was delicious.  Nobody cooks classic food better than my mom.  It turned out to be Chanel Day, with Mom in her new (vintage via eBay) No. 5 parfum, my sister in her Coco Mlle., and me in BdI.  Sadly, I was the only person who thought I smelled great, but I did smell great.

Thursday, Dec. 24: Guerlain L’Heure Bleue parfum.  I like L’HB in parfum, though definitely not in edt, where it resembles the medicine cabinet of some evil apothecary.  All the same, I continue to wonder why Perfumes: The Guide includes it in the Top Ten list.  It smells good, and it reminds me of… of… of precisely nothing.  It does not clutch at the heartstrings.  It never brings vivid pictures to my mind.  I mean, honestly, I don’t even like Mitsouko, and even I think it’s a better perfume than L’Heure Bleue.  Wearing it, I smell sort of like almond pastries, but not really. Why do I own it? It Was Ridiculously Cheap – a slightly-used bottle, missing its front label and being sold by a rejected wife facing divorce, whose husband had given it to her.  (I did get a sample of the real deal from TPC, just to check.  It’s legit.)  Why did I put this on again? Oh yeah – Christmas, almond bear claws… I think I actually like this better in the summer: more anise, less pastry.

Friday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day: my new, lovely bottle of Teo Cabanel Alahine, which I reviewed a few weeks ago as I was falling in love with my sample.  The parfum is beautiful, but extremely spendy, and I actually prefer the sparkle of the edp (lucky me!).  I kid you not, this is what joy smells like.

Saturday, Dec. 26:  Morning test scent was Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, a sample I’ve been saving up for some time.  It was still cold today but not frigid; the snow that’s been clogging our streets for a week did melt somewhat. The crystal-clear air made me think of the air inside a refrigerator, and that made me think of a description of Carnal Flower I read somewhere (Donna’s, at Perfume-Smellin’ Things? I think so), so I dabbed some on.  Review of this one coming soon, probably next week or the week after.  Baked a pumpkin pie, thirty yeast rolls, and that sweet potato souffle’ casserole that went over so well at Thanksgiving.  Also made a bunch of country green beans (actually that should be, “I cooked up a mess o’ country green beans”) and a tossed salad – twelve people for dinner at my in-laws’ house.  In the afternoon, I put on some more Alahine.  Someday I may get to the point where I don’t feel unreasonably, outrageously, happy when I wear Alahine.  But I devoutly hope not.

Sunday, Dec. 27: Took the extremely crunchy cedar tree down this morning, as it was becoming quite the fire hazard.  We typically cut a cedar around the 15th of December, and then take it down New Year’s Day, but I could tell this one wasn’t going to make it another day.  We probably swept up a couple of gallons’ worth of dead needles – still green, but totally dead.  Eeek.  It’s a good thing we weren’t all charred to cinders in our beds. In any case, I wanted something very floral, so tried a new layering combo with some samples: DSH Perfumes’ La Fleuriste (her version of JAR Golconda – very florist-case carnation) and Parfum d’Empire 3 Fleurs (rose, tuberose, and jasmine).  It’s pretty.  It’s not sending me into ecstasy, but it’s pretty.  After that wore off, I was still feelin’ some tuberose, so I grabbed a quick spritz of Bath & Body Works Velvet Tuberose.  Yeah, you can be snobby and turn it down, but I like it.  It’s no Fracas, it’s no Carnal Flower, it’s no DSH Tubereuse, but it’s a nice (cheap) warm tuberose with a woody drydown.

Monday, Dec. 28: Back to work. Very cold, sunny but windy.  Tested sample of SSS Winter Woods.  This feels like somebody took a chunk out of Tabac Aurea and bottled it… pleasant but boring, I say.  Read March’s partial review of her Lancome La Collection set, and now I’m lemming Climat like you wouldn’t believe.   Oh, heck, I have given up on liking this Winter Woods thing… I’m going to go spritz some vintage Emeraude pdt on top.  That’s more like it.

Tuesday, Dec. 29:  The dishwasher has chosen this week to start not cleaning dishes, and with five people in the house all day (three children home from school, The CEO home from Virginia Tech until the second week of Jan.), we’re piling up a lot of dishes.  Repair guy scheduled for January 14; will I make it to then?  Tested SSS Femme Jolie this morning, which I’ve heard described as a version of Feminite du Bois, and… no.  Just no.  Remember my shaving cream rant? ‘Nuff said.  SOTE: Bulgari Black.  I don’t wear this often enough, but it is some Seriously Good Stuff.

Image is L’air du temps RICCI RICCI CHANEL Delice de Cartier FACTICE by parfumgott at flickr.


Dear Scent Diary, December 15-22

Tuesday, Dec. 15: Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka. I adore this scent – it makes me so happy. Instant good mood. I had nearly forgotten about it, actually, and then I put on my green sweater, the one that’s the color of apple leaves in summer, a little too blue to be spring green. I’d worn VT the last time I wore this sweater, and the turtleneck smelled faintly of it. It made me smile, so I reached for the decant bottle. I was cheerful all day.

Wednesday, Dec. 16: Caron Parfum Sacré. Weather chilly. Every time I wear PS, I think – gosh, why don’t I just live in this stuff? It’s a cashmere sweater. It’s gorgeous. (And cheap, wink wink.)

Thursday, Dec. 17: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. (I hate typing that out. It’s such a stupid name.) Weather chilly; VdF is plum and edgy white flowers – beautiful, but they’re wearing Goth eye makeup or something – and then a milky-woody drydown that makes up for keeping me wondering when those white flowers were going to plunge in their stiletto. Wait. That sounds as if I don’t really like this stuff; I do. It’s just, well, edgy.

Friday, Dec. 18: Dior Dolce Vita in parfum. Weather cold and sort of itchy, pre-snow. It began to snow about 3pm and didn’t stop all night. The weather guys were saying 18 inches, but we only got about 9 or 10. DV was gorgeous, all fruit liqueur and creamy ylang and woods.

Saturday, Dec. 19: an unplanned perfume-less day. I slept late (snow will do that to you), got up and cleaned house. By the time I had my shower in the afternoon, I didn’t feel like wearing any scent.

Sunday, Dec. 20: Ormonde Jayne Ta’if and Caron Parfum Sacré, for comparison testing. Also for pleasure, as I love both. Weather still cold, with snow on the ground, but we had a beautiful fire in the fireplace. No church due to snow; we stayed home and I wrapped presents.

Monday, Dec. 21: Shalimar Lite (Blue Juice), with a dab of vintage Shalimar pdt. I find that this combo approximates the effect of the original Shalimar Eau Legere, except that it lacks the lovely, lovely jasmine of said original SEL. (And I’m not even a jasmine fan!) I’m actually not in the mood for this often – Shalimar can get a little TarNilla Godzilla on me – but it’s terrific when there’s woodsmoke in the air, as there was that cold morning.

Tuesday, Dec. 22: Mauboussin. Still quite cold, though warmer than any day since last Thursday. I think Mauboussin is upscale fruitcake, with really good dense cream cheese icing, in a bottle. It smells great. I only have a mini, and I keep dithering on whether I need some. I probably don’t, with all the similar things I own.

I didn’t test anything new this week, which I blame on my general pre-Christmas busy-ness.  I’ll be getting back to testing samples in January.  The scent I did wear this week were good choices for the weather, no kudos to me – cold weather and orientals/florientals just go together. Duh. But I’m really, really looking forward to Friday, when I can OPEN MY ALAHINE!!!

Image is Perfume Bottles by WoOd5tOck at flickr.  Somebody sure likes their Intuition…


Dear Scent Diary, December 13-14

I’m planning on making this a recurring feature, in which I document the fragrances I wore and/or tested during the week, including the circumstances and whether they were right for the occasion or not.  To be blunt, my Excel file is getting really bloated, and I’m not keeping track of samples very well at the moment. 
Then, too, I figure this ought to be an easy way to oversee which bottles are getting used, and which aren’t. 
I’ll start back a week ago, because I had an epiphany, and didn’t blog about it because I didn’t think it was worth a whole post.  Turns out I changed my mind.  Last Sunday and Monday, the 13th and 14th, my community chorus held its winter concerts.  They went well, no major screwups.  (Hey, you can’t count on that.  Last concert, two separate soloists went totally off the rails: one skipped a portion of her solo, which you might not have noticed unless you were familiar with it – the accompanist picked up where she was, and there was no big hole; the other got completely lost and there were several measures of either silence or wrong notes.  Weird, the stuff that happens to amateur vocalists.  Both of those ladies had been just fine in rehearsal.)  I was fortunate this year to be picked for a solo, and for those (few) of you who wanted to know how it went – it was fine, and Monday I’d say was even pretty, although I don’t think I ever did it justice.  I was afraid of screwing it up and never really relaxed, which is sort of a metaphor for life, right?  You can overthink things.  Anyway, I think Mozart’s music is like whipped cream: perfect to start with, sheer heaven if you do it right, but even bad whipped cream is better than no whipped cream.
Here is the lovely voice of Lucia Popp with the Ambrosian Singers Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Laudate Dominum.  Please click on it to enjoy it – c’mon, it’s Mozart.  It’s beautiful.  You should never turn down beauty, unless you’re in a hurry because somebody is bleeding.  (Oh, and I could only dream of sounding like Lucia Popp.  Sigh.)
My epiphany: I’ve been singing with choral groups since I was five.  (My mother made me.  That’s definitely a story for another post.)  One of the cardinal rules for choral singing, along with Always Have a Pencil and Never Chew Gum During Rehearsal, is Please Don’t Wear Perfume to the Concert.  Last week, I Broke The Rule.  (Gasp!) There are people who break rules all the time – a few months ago, The CEO decided to turn left at a red light, because, as he said, “We’re late for church, and nobody’s coming toward us for half a mile, you can see that far,” – but I’m not one of them.  Breaking rules for no good reason gives me hives.  (I gave The CEO down the road for that one, especially since the kids were in the car – let’s all chastise him together now: bad, bad CEO.  Bad Example.)
But I was really stressed.  I’ve had this cold for seven weeks now, off and on, and while it’s not really hindering my daily life – it’s winter, nobody’s freaking out over my tissue use – I haven’t been what I’d call In Good Voice since about September.  And I was dreading the possibility of screwing up Mozart, which is a crime against humanity, or at least a crime against the ears of humanity.  So, I confess, I broke the rule, and snuck a spritz of Mariella Burani.  Just one, in the cleavage, so I could lower my chin and catch a tiny breeze of it if I needed it.  MB is a comfort scent for me – it’s vaguely reminiscent of Chanel No. 5, which is what my mother wore when I was a child, although it’s far quieter and less immediately recognizable to the noses of many.  The low sillage and the metaphysical hand of Mom on my shoulder made it just right.
You know what?  Nobody noticed.  And later, it occurred to me that the whole perfume ban probably came about primarily because of those killah sillage monsters of the 80’s.  Which I wouldn’t wear to a concert, so I think I’m safe.  And I had a great time singing and smelling Mariella.
Image is Some Perfume Bottles by parfumgott at flickr.  I don’t know whose collection it is, but I’m envious.  Check out the vintage Dior in houndstooth, and those Goutals in the gorgeous butterfly boules.  There’s also J’Adore and Ungaro Diva, both in pretty bottles, and I recognize at the right front a vintage bottle of Nina Ricci, probably L’Air du Temps.