Scent Diary, April 21-25, 2010

Slightly new plan for the Scent Diary: I’ll be posting the weekly Scent Diary on Monday morning.  This week’s is a little shorter than usual, and then next Monday’s post will be back to normal. 

Wednesday, Apr. 21: In the 60’s.  SOTMorning: MH Fleur de Matin. I always forget about this thing (I have a decant), and then if I happen across it and put it on, I always like it. I’m a little embarrassed that I’m not much of a cologne fan, but this might serve as a cologne-like scent, along with Le Prince Jardinier Labyrinthe Libertin. Weather’s pretty chilly – sunny, but nippy with the wind. I’m not enjoying sitting on aluminum bleachers at the local park, watching my boys’ baseball practice. Particularly because I’m testing Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie and not enjoying it, either. (Funny, I could have sworn that I ordered Fleur de The’ Rose Bulgare from TPC instead, but it could have been my mistake. Also, it’s quite possible that this was a swap extra, and I didn’t order it at all. I checked on it, and no, it’s not a swap sample, and yes, I did order the The’ Rose, not FdBulgarie.  Of the dozens of samples I’ve ordered from TPC, this is the only one they’ve flubbed, which is a pretty good track record.) However, my mom might quite like this – it’s definitely floral soap, as odonata9 suggested in comments on the Soap & Flowers post. Fine fine fine, I’m going to wash this off and put on some Alien. That ought to cover a multitude of sins.

Thursday, Apr. 22: Weather a little chillier than usual for April, in the 60’s again.  SOTD: Frederic Malle En Passant, a sample I’ve been holding with great anticipation for months, while waiting for the weather to be right. It’s absolutely beautiful, and like most beautiful things, fleeting. I probably won’t be buying any, not even a decant – I just can’t get past its ephemeral character. But it’s gorgeous, and nostalgic and wistful and hopeful all at once. SOTE: Crown Bouquet, which is turning into another of those prized “it just makes me happy” fragrances.

Friday, Apr. 23: Warm day in the mid-70’s and sunshine!  Lovely.  SOTMorning: Ineke After My Own Heart. Supposed to be berries, green leaves, lilac, and sandalwood, but what I got was air-freshener lilac and laundry musk. Disappointed! Sigh. SOTE: Silences. Nice to relax into; it’s funny how I thought it was “screechy” the first time I smelled it, and now I find it soft and easygoing.

Andy, the new calf, is still skinny enough that you can see his ribs and hipbones, but he’s eating enthusiastically now.

Saturday, Apr. 24: Very windy today, upper 60’s, scattered clouds.  SOTMorning, or maybe SOTTwenty Minutes I Could Smell It: Lalique Flora Bella, which gets 4 stars in P:TG and a description of “silver, chilled cream, and a far-reaching glow.” Lalique calls it a “sunny floral,” and as far as I can tell, both descriptions are way off base from what I’m getting here. I’d say, Tiny little piece of the bottom of Tocade or Organza Indecence, the powdery vanilla-patchouli bit. That’s all I smell, and only intermittently. I assume there’s something in there that’s blocking most of the scent.

Bookworm’s 4 x 800meter relay team came in second at their meet today, and she came in fourth in the 3200m (2 mile), chipping 32 seconds off her previous time! I’m proud of her.

SOTE: DSH Perfumes Purple Lilac (Essence Oils). I ordered a sample of this and one of White Lilac, expecting to prefer the purple version because it’s supposed to be spicier. The Purple Lilac is indeed very pretty, a sweet lilac soliflore with a tiny hint of spice, and lasts a good six hours. But having sniffed White Lilac from the vial, I’m thinking it will be the winner when I get around to testing all these lilac things.

Fun “Hollywood Nite” dinner honoring volunteers at our church. Bookworm, The CEO, and I all help out with children’s ministries once a month, so we went and ate Chik-Fil-A and salad and cake, and watched some funny home-made spoof videos that featured our pastor and minister of music as a) Spock and Nacho Libre, b) puttering around town on a moped, a la Tom Cruise on his hog in Top Gun, and c) as extras in Braveheart, Pastor Jeff in a Russian fur hat and long black Rasputin beard, and Cody as a Viking. (Yeah, I know, goofy and overacted, but fun! How often do you see your minister wearing Spock ears?)

 Sunday, Apr.25: Rained last night; I’m so glad the rain we were supposed to get this morning came earlier and cleared out the clouds.  SOTMorning: Mariella Burani and jeans for church. We had service outside and seven people were baptized in a big cattle trough. We usually meet in the auditorium of the middle school (the church is five years old and doesn’t have a building yet), but today we were on the bleachers of the football field. I love it when church is fun, which is pretty much all the time since we transferred from The CEO’s home church three years ago. I miss some of the people at our old church, and to be perfectly honest, sometimes I miss the church I grew up in, which I haven’t attended for twenty years – but most of that is nostalgia. I wouldn’t choose to be a member at either place now.

SOTAfternoon: AG Petite Cherie. This works a lot like a cologne for me, in that it’s refreshing, quiet, and happy, and then it just goes gently away. I only get about two, two and a half hours out of PC, but that never bothers me. My little bottle, which I keep in the fridge due to the frequently-reported instability of the pear topnote, was very cheap, so I can afford to spritz frequently.

Image is miniparfums from parfumgott at


Scent Diary, April 14 -20, 2010

(Oops, this posted a little early.  Oh well.  It’s accurate.)

Wednesday, Apr. 14: Sunny, breezy, warm. SOTMorning: Bel Respiro again, to try to figure it out. Dumped the entire sample vial on myself this time, and the scent did actually last a little bit longer than in the last attempt, but it was basically the same deal: Lovely fresh green attitude for an hour, then a very polite, very quiet floral blah for two hours, and then nothing – not even a pale musky woody drydown, I mean nothing. There’s no “there” there to review, so I hereby scratch the proposed Bel Respiro review.  SOTD: Crown Bouquet.

New calf in the shop lot!  No name yet, we’re not sure he’s going to make it.  We think he’s an abandoned twin, because there’s no mama cow going crazy looking for her baby.  Sure hope he starts thriving soon; he wasn’t interested in a bottle of milk.

Thursday, Apr.15: Same weather as yesterday. SOTD: Miller Harris Jasmin Vert, a lovely swap sample that I was looking forward to because according to P:TG it has a) green notes b) grassy, green jasmine, and c) narcissus. Well, it is lovely – but there’s not a lot of narcissus in there to my nose. Slightly disappointing. Maybe my hopes were too high, though – it really is very nice. Now I need to retest Septimanie Pavillon des Fleurs, another green jasmine scent. I thought, “Oh, I’ll never buy a 50ml bottle for $110… I’ll trade this sample away.” Bad move for me – okay, I still haven’t paid more than $85 for a bottle (Alahine), but I really think I might want some PdF… Where’s that Aedes gift card, I’m muttering as I toss things that are Not It over my shoulder…

The CEO took me to the Mexican restaurant for lunch, to celebrate getting the taxes filed. I know most people file them early in order to get their refund, but we hardly ever have a refund coming, since the farm income goes into our return too. We paid a bunch this year, most of it self-employment tax.

Friday, Apr.16: 80 F, and just beautiful out. SOTD: Silences, which felt right given the sad anniversary.

Saturday, Apr. 17: Chilly and windy again, 60 F. (Those of you who are still wondering at my fixation on the weather – well, I’m betting yours doesn’t change as radically as ours does!) SOTD: nothing. Too busy. Major house-cleaning, and The CEO is off on a field trip with some students, so he wasn’t available to change my flat tire.

Luckily, I can change a tire, despite my dad never having taught me. I had to learn – when Taz was a baby, I had a newspaper route that ran 48 miles long and took three hours to complete. The first time I had a flat tire, I called The CEO at 5:30am to come help. He teased me, and to be honest I figured it was something I really ought to do myself. So the second time I had a flat, I hauled out the car manual and did it myself. Have done it probably ten times since then. And you can bet I’m gonna teach both Bookworm and the boys how to do it.

Sunday, Apr.18: Sunny again but windier, 56 F. SOTD: AG Grand Amour. I got a longer ride with it this time because I “sprayed myself wet” on each wrist and on my collarbones. It’s really nice – it’s no Chamade, or even No. 19, but it’s quite attractive.

The calf seems to be getting better.  He took two full bottles today.

Monday, Apr. 19: Sunny, breezy, warmer, 67 F. SOTD: J’Adore L’Absolu sample, from a kind swapper. I don’t care for the original J’Adore, but this is quite lovely.

Calf took three full bottles today!

Tuesday, Apr. 20: Sunny, low 70’s today, with rain coming this evening. SOTD: Testing Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Homme. Too much patch and tolu balsam for me, but nice all the same if you don’t have problems with those. Reminds me somewhat of Czech & Speake No. 88, and Shaal Nur, and as more time goes on, of Coco and Sikkim.

Today is the start of rec league baseball season, which means I’ll be running Mom’s Taxi Service for the next, oh, six to eight weeks. Unfortunately, Gaze and Taz are two years apart in age, and they’re never on the same team. Bookworm has track practice. And band. And church softball – along with The CEO, mind you.

I’ll swim, or walk. And I like to watch bat-and-ball sports, but no way are you getting ME to stand up there and let people whang balls at my head. Nuh-uh. I’ll let the rest of my crazy family do that.

Image is Eau de Collection from Mr. A.D. uae at



Scent Diary: Mar. 31 – Apr. 6, 2010

Wednesday, Mar. 31: Warm and windy.  It really is spring – the daffodils are fully bloomed, and even my hyacinths are popping up.  SOTD: testing Sinfonia di Note Toujours Verte.  It’s not exactly “Always Green” – what it smells like, after the soft green notes of the opening,  is rice-steam/ suede/ soft musk/ maybe some iris??  sort of like Prada Infusion d’Iris and KenzoAmour made a baby.  If it were a color, it would be a sort of pale, restful purple-gray. Interesting.  I don’t think it’s something I’ll crave wearing, though.  SOTE: Ines de la Fressange, the early Calice Becker one in the hexagonal-sided bottle.  If this one were a color, it would be a beautiful deep salmon-pink – a little peachier than the color I typed it in, but about that saturated.  It’s a happy sort of smell, but turns out March is too early to get Ines out of the cabinet.  I think it’s strictly a summer fragrance for me. 

Thursday, April 1: Weather is hot, sunny, and beautiful.  What a change from only a few weeks ago (and I’d better be careful, lest I jinx it)!  SOTD: testing Le Prince Jardinier Labyrinthe Libertin – a unisex aromatic green scent composed by Pierre Bourdon.  Really, really nice light stuff.  Sometimes a green scent can be more floral than I want – I desperately wished for the juicy, sharp crushed-leaves opening of Crown Bouquet to go on and on, although I do love the gentle white florals that follow – and frequently, the aromatic greens can be considerably more citrusy than I want (Miller et Bertaux’ Green, green, green & green springs to mind here).  But this is just a pleasant green smell.  This is a version of cologne that I could wear.

Friday, April 2: Another warm one, 82 F.  SOTD: testing LesNez The Unicorn Spell.  Wow, this is really pretty – less green and more violetty than I had thought, and as far as violets go, on a par with Penhaligon’s Violetta, perfectly balanced between purple and green.  Only lasts about two hours, but I think that might be par for the course for mostly-violet scents.  They seem to burn off quickly.  SOTE: Caron Aimez-Moi, another violet.  This one lasts a good bit longer, because of the vanilla and heliotrope in the base.  A cheerful scent.

Saturday, April 3:  Still warm!  Some time soon, the novelty is going to wear off… but it hasn’t yet.  And I’m a bit annoyed at the dog:  late last summer we took a two-day vacation to attend a Red  Sox game in Baltimore, so we left Hayley the beagle-lab mix outside, thinking she’d be happier there than cooped up in the laundry room.  My MIL came over to feed, water, and pet Hayley twice a day.  But Hayley, at some point, raked open the screens with her claws, obviously hoping to get in via window.

So the screens are completely ruined (or as they say around here, plum rurnt), gashed from stem to stern, totally unusable.  The CEO took them down after the destruction, cursing under his breath – Hayley is his dog, and he’s her Favorite Person – and the screens have been sitting in the farm shop all winter, unrepaired because we’d just had them fixed earlier in the summer, and he was annoyed about doing it again.  We sweltered last night, even though the screens on the back of the house are fine and I had those windows open.  I’m going to take them down to the hardware store myself, if I have to.  If we’re going to have a dog (and to be honest she’s mostly terrific), we just have to deal with the occasional destructive Act of Dog by repairing the damage and then training her a little better.

SOTD: testing another oldie-I’ve-never-smelled, Paco Rabanne Calandre.  This is a vintage micro-mini, and I think it’s damaged, because it’s just naaaasty.  It’s all soap – you know, like the soap you find in the absolutely-filthy, only-because-I’m-desperate gas station bathroom.  So this tiny bottle must be in bad shape, because no review I can find mentions gas station bathroom soap.  I’m disappointed.  Had to spritz some Balmain Ivoire to cover up what (real) soap wouldn’t remove.

Sunday, Apr. 4, Easter (and Baseball Opening Day, too):  It’s been a looooong day, with church and family stuff.  I won’t bore you with the details, except to mention the absolutely fabulous lamb leg steaks.  Delicious.  SOTD: Frederic Malle Lys Mediterranee, from a sample.  Realistic lily for sure, which was especially nice given that our church isn’t much interested in flowers and traditional churchy decor, and there were only three small Easter lilies on display today.  Usually I like it that this church is much more focused on essentials than on appearances, but occasionally I get nostalgic for the church trappings of my childhood, like masses of lilies, and people dressed in their best out of respect.  Ah well… that was then, and this is nowNow is, by and large, better.

The Red Sox beat the Yankees, 9-7.  The CEO rejoiced.  The kids had had to go to bed in the fifth inning, when it looked dire, so they were really glad to hear the news.  (I managed not to roll my eyes while they were looking at me.)

Monday, Apr. 5:  Taz broke his glasses.  Again.  SOTD: Crown Bouquet,which helped some when I had to buy new frames.  Again.  Then I took Bookworm shopping for running clothes and shirts for school, after which she wanted to redeem her Christmas gift cards to Barnes & Noble.  She bought a new Bible to replace her little-kid version, and a Far Side Gallery.  (None of this was my idea, I swear…)

Tuesday, Apr. 6:  A hot one today, 90 F!!   Wasn’t it about a month ago that we had snow?  Feels like we’ve raced through spring in a quarter of the usual time, and I’m a bit disappointed.  I like it when spring unfolds gradually.  I mean, if this is all the spring weather I’m going to get, I’ll take it and be grateful, but this one is probably way down on the list of Beautiful Springs of My Lifetime.   SOTMorning: Christian Celle Calypso Chevrefeuille, which did not work out like I’d hoped.  It’s cloying, and I got what my mother used to call “a sick headache.”  I had to wash this off.  SOTRest of the Day: Ivoire de Balmain parfum, which is softer and less biting than the edt, although I find the edt lovely now that I get along with moss.  

I mowed the grass for the first time this season.  Wonder why it is that the smell of fresh-cut grass is almost universally loved?  You could typically find just as many people who love, say, the smell of lilies as who just hate the smell.  But grass? Everybody loves cut grass.  And baking bread, and line-dried sheets…

Oh, and the Dreaded Yanks won the game, 6-4.  (The CEO’s prediction is that the Red Sox will get their lunch eaten by Yankees allll season.  He’d love to be wrong.) 

Image is Perfumes – green line from Erica 633 at


Scent Diary: March 24-30, 2010

Quickie Scent Diary post today, but probably no other new posts until next Monday.  I wish all who celebrate it a joyous, meaningful Easter!

Wednesday, Mar. 24:  Benjamin the ailing calf did not make it.  We still don’t know why.

Chilly this morning, warmed up later.  Tested Panthere de Cartier from a swap.  Rather nice for some time, a complex tuberose concoction that reminds me a bit of Ysatis in the early stages, but eventually develops the dreaded tolu balsam.   Had to put on a bit of something really tuberose-y to kill the tolu (Beyond Love).

Thursday, Mar. 25:  Ever have one of those days where everything went right?  No fireworks or ticker-tape parades, but no snags, either major or minor?  I call that a Pretty Good Day, and I should appreciate them more.  SOTD: Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet.  Which I bought unsniffed, and which I absolutely adore.

Friday, Mar. 26:  More green stuff today – tested Gucci Envy and CdG Series 1 Leaves: Lily.  I’m disappointed in both of them: cold, metallic florals with all the sensual allure of an embittered spinster librarian.  I think it’s too much of the wrong kind of muguet.  I love me some Diorissimo, but more and more I realize that Diorissimo is not your average lily of the valley scent. 

Saturday, Mar. 27:  I feel terrible – spring allergies, I guess.  It’s chilly out, but sunny, and The CEO hung a couple of loads of clothes out on the line.  Bookworm left the house at 7am for the first outdoor track meet of the season (indoor track finished up about three weeks ago), spent all day in the sun, ran one 800-meter race as part of a relay and one on her own.  Despite applying sunscreen at least twice, she came home sunburned at 6pm.  Sunshine is tough on strawberry blondes…

SOTD: tested a sample of AG Eau de Camille.  Very nice, but cologne-ish, which is just not my thing, so I don’t need any.  Went to bed early in Shalimar Light, for comfort.

Sunday, Mar. 28: My mother’s birthday.  I thought briefly of wearing No. 5 parfum in her honor, but wound up in a huuuuge hurry to leave the house with birthday cake and presents and cards – we were going straight to my parents’ from church, and realized just in time that the schedule of services would be different for both Palm Sunday and Easter so we’d have to leave an hour earlier than usual.  Eek.  So the SOTD was TFBO Voile de Fleur, which was easily grabbable and worked fine.  It’s the friendliest white floral I own. 

Monday, Mar. 29: My nephew’s birthday, which we celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese’s after Mom’s party yesterday.  I got to work this morning and realized I had no scent on (like the rest of the Western world, I hate Mondays and usually hit the snooze button at least once), so went digging around in my purse to see what samples were in there. 

I was slightly shocked to find that I have the following on hand: a 10ml decant of vtg Chamade pdt and a sample of vtg edt, my treasured 8ml decant of Apres l’Ondee, a sample of vtg Prince Matchabelli Wind Song, that frighteningly robust, glitter-nailed, Wonderbra-wearing sample of Bond #9 Broadway Nite, which I should get out of my good leather purse before it contaminates the interior for the next 60 years, and samples of Chant d’Aromes, Reverie au Jardin, Ferre by Gianfranco Ferre, AG Matin d’Orage, Il Profumo Gardenia Royal, Gres Folie Douce, JHaG Midnight Oud, Clarins Par Amour, and two tester-version samples from SSS: Bouquet Blanche and the new version of Encens Tranquille, which has been reworked and released (TODAY!) as Incense Pure.  (IP is really nice stuff, if not really my style – if you like incense + woods + labdanum, you should smell it.  Laurie sells samples at a very reasonable rate at the SSS website.)

Picked Par Amour, a nice quiet woody rose – a sort of budget version of Amouage Lyric – for no better reasons than it’s chilly today and I’m wearing my tomato-red sweater.  And my little bit o’ Parfum Sacre extrait from a split showed up today, after Par Amour wore off, so I had to put some of that on… Mmm.  Very, very lovely.  A bit more pepper and incense than the edp.  How good is it, though, when you put on a scent and say to yourself, “Boy, I just love this stuff!”?

Tuesday, Mar. 30: This has been a pleasant week in terms of wearing What I Like… It’s supposed to get up to 60 F today.  I’m skeptical, but the sun just peeked through the clouds so maybe it will happen after all.  SOTD: PdN Le Temps d’une Fete.  I love this smell, but the simpering name was a terrible idea, and all the de Nicolai big bottles look so dumb, I just want to go beg Patricia de Nicolai to let me work for her, just so I can work on her packaging and marketing.   Beg her, I tell you!  I do like the small, squarish 1-oz bottles – they feel satisfyingly heavy in the hand; they have slightly sloping tops so that they’re not entirely rectilinear.  But the big bottles: ugh.  Here’s a link to Dane’s review of LTdF at Pere de Pierre, so you can see the bottle, and read his take on one of my very, very favorite Happiness in a (really ugly) Bottle scents.

I’m currently working up a Fragrance Throwdown post on Le Temps vs. Chamade, so look for that one in the coming week.

The photo is of part of my collection.  From L to R, Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete, Guerlain Shalimar Light, Mariella Burani, Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete, YSL Paris Pont des Amours, Balmain Jolie Madame edt, and Bath and Body Works Velvet Tuberose.


Dear Scent Diary, Mar. 17 – 23, 2010

Wednesday, Mar. 17, Saint Patrick’s Day:  A little chilly today, with serious frost on the windshield when we left the house at 8am, but spring is definitely, finally, on the way.  SOTD: Chamade, of course.  I briefly considered Silences and Climat, but the green-and-gold won out.  Lovely, lovely stuff, and just that little bit old-fashioned.  SOTE:  Le Temps d’une Fete, because I couldn’t bear not to wear it today.  From other people’s descriptions, I had at one time thought these two scents were similar.  They’re really not.  Fragrance Throwdown coming on this comparison, because it’s interesting.

Happy birthday to Kevin!   And good luck to Virginia Tech in the NIT, since those jerks at the NCAA Tournament picked Wake Forest and Clemson instead (both of whom Tech beat in regular season games – don’t get me started, The CEO was absolutely livid and Gaze in tears of frustration).  Update: VT won. 

Thursday, Mar. 18:  Yep, spring is definitely coming.  My daffodil foliage is starting to poke up through the grass now.  And it’s 65 F outside, with actual sunshine!   SOTD:  Ferre by Gianfranco Ferre, a Pierre Bourdon composition.   A nice little thing that several people compare to Malle’s Iris Poudre, Ferre is nonetheless quite sweet on me.  I blame the violets in this case, although this scent has a distinctly fruity cast (melon and pineapple, of all things).  Where were the aldehydes?  I was promised aldehydes…  SOTA:  I chose to go ahead with my long-planned test of Patou Vacances.  I’m not sure what to say about this one yet.  More tests due.

Friday, Mar. 19: Lovely, lovely weather: warm and sunny.  SOTD: Apres l’Ondee.  I think it was a mistake for today – you know, pretty, but doesn’t fit my mood.  It should be raining, or at least cloudy, when I wear Al’O.  SOTA: Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel.  Well, this is more suitable to my frame of mind today.  It’s not fantastically green, but does have some green notes as well as violet and mimosa.  Very, very pretty.  Wonder if I’ll use up my mini this summer?  I think I’ll wear this in the heat.  It smells… pale blue.  Like sheets dried on the line, in the sunshine.

Saw a turkey today!  He was just doing his goose-step (turkey-step?) through the middle of a field by the road as I came home after work.  He must feel pretty safe, wandering around by himself.  He didn’t have his tail fanned out, and I had to look twice to make sure it was a tom.  The neck color’s pretty distinctive.  When males show off, they really show off, don’t they?

 Saturday, Mar. 20:  Spring has sprung, the grass has riz.  Wonder where the birdies is?  (Stupid rhyme – the birds were back before the grass.)  Beautiful weather today.  SOTD:  Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere.  SOTE: AG Grand Amour, which starts out smelling like Chamade and then goes very quiet.

Sunday, Mar. 21:  Cloudy today, going to rain tonight.  We’ve got another sick calf in the shop lot; we think he had a mineral deficiency.  I hope we caught it in time.  Named him Benjamin… Davy, Beth and Sara are out in the big field with the other calves now.  They’re doing great.  SOTD: Silences

Monday, Mar. 22: Benjamin is still with us, but not doing well.  He’s getting electrolytes and calf formula, so I hope he’ll recover soon.  SOTD: AG Matin d’Orage.  This is so beautiful, and then it disappears so fast.  Sad.  After it wore off (three hours), I wore I Profumo di Firenze Gardenia Royale.  That one stayed on for five hours.  It’s a little sweet, but very pleasant. 

Virginia Tech won their second NIT game,  squeaking by UConn.  The CEO, Gaze, and Taz were in attendance, and apparently cheered their lungs out, to judge by how hoarse The CEO was when they came home. Go Hokies!  (Bookworm would have been there, but she had track practice and then an academic competition… which they lost.)

Tuesday, Mar. 23:  Benjamin’s still not doing well, and I’m afraid he won’t be with us long.  We shouldn’t have named him yet, I guess.  Weather is rainy and chilly again, in the mid 40’s.  I’m testing two versions of Sonoma Scent Studio’s upcoming Bouquet Blanche.  It’s beautiful, although it has maybe just a hair more orange blossom and jasmine than I’d choose myself.   I probably shouldn’t say anything more about it until it launches, but you can bet I’ll have a review up the very day it’s available on the SSS website!  Here’s Laurie Erickson’s description of this scent-in-progress:

Bouquet Blanche combines a creamy gardenia note with lush jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, neroli, and ylang over a soft base of woods, light amber, and musk. The elegant base notes complement and extend the beautiful white florals without upstaging them.

It’s so cold this evening that we built a fire.  Brrrrr…  My sample of the Bouquet Blanche test version had worn off, so I grabbed a spritz of Alahine.  I love Alahine, it makes me happy.

Top image: “Where there are green bottles and butterflies” from oNe.SwEeT.wOrLd at



Dear Scent Diary, Mar. 10-16, 2010

Wednesday, Mar. 10: Warm temperature, soft air. I want green scents right now, particularly after the success of Silences yesterday. Testing Miller et Bertaux #3 Green, green, green and green on one wrist, and Parfums DelRae Amoureuse on the other. These are successes as well, although Green has probably got a tiny bit too much citrus in it for me to really love. It reminds me a little bit of Mandragore, minus the peppery parts – which I liked well enough but didn’t find compelling. Not my personal style, I guess.

Thursday, Mar. 11: Rain today, but the temps got up to 59 F. Niiiice. It smells good outside – like the earth is taking a deep breath. I retested Amoureuse to see if it was as lovely today as it was yesterday (it was), and also tested one of my DSH samples that’s been lounging unappreciated in the sample box. It’s called Wedding Bouquet, and it was the list of notes that drew me: Bergamot/ stephanotis, gardenia, lily, and baby white rosebuds/ musk, orris, sandalwood. It’s very beautiful – a well-blended, serene white floral as smooth as satin, very calming and peaceful.

My own wedding bouquet was all white as well: white rosebuds, lilies, carnations, stephanotis, and lily of the valley. You don’t see stephanotis very often, but I think it’s lovely.

Friday, Mar. 12: Tested two: Cacharel Eden and Penhaligon’s Night-scented Stock. Eden was a FAIL, and the Stock one merely pleasant. Shame… I thought I’d like them both. Just goes to show that you can’t tell by the notes whether it’s going to be for you or not. (Although I have occasionally tested scents based on notes and had them turn out excellent. My two home runs? PdN Vanille Tonka and MFK Lumiere Noire pf.) SOTAfternoon: Mariella Burani, my go-to fragrance when I don’t have any particular mood in mind and I just want to smell nice.

The CEO took the 4230 tractor down to the John Deere dealership to have some hydraulic seals, or some other esoteric piece of machinery, repaired. Should be fixed by Monday. And he managed to repair the wheel hub on the 4240, so that tractor is operational. Only the 4040 is left in the middle of a field, inoperable due to the fire. It happens to be stuck on one of the fields farthest away from a road – or even flat ground. It will have to be towed to the road. I hope the 4440 is up to it – it’s in good shape and probably the most powerful tractor we’ve got, but it’s not 4WD.

In case you’re wondering, our newest model tractor is that JD 4440. How old is it? Well, let’s just say that it came with an optional 8-track player. I’m totally serious here: 1977.

Saturday, Mar. 13: Cleaned the house with the kids and The CEO, then posted the incredibly humongous “Bouquet of Roses” reference post. Went back to add to it four times. How is it possible that there are approximately 175 rose-focused scents currently in production? Sure, there are scents on the list that are vintage/discontinued, but not more than a handful, and I didn’t bother to list all the YSL flankers for Paris, Baby Doll Paris and Elle – not to mention all the Stella flankers.

SOTD: vintage Lauren by Ralph Lauren, the one that is a rose scent, as opposed to the current version, which isn’t. It smells quite a bit like a good floral soap – green notes, rose, and violet, with a light woody background. Pretty stuff. Maybe I ought to introduce my mother to it – she’s such a sucker for anything that smells like she’s just washed with one of those French fine-milled soaps scented with flowers. Bookworm liked it and asked what it was – maybe she’ll borrow it sometime. It does strike me as a very Proper Young Lady fragrance. The only other scent she really likes is Donna Karan Gold.

Taz, who is addicted to Animal Planet, came downstairs this evening to where I was working on the computer, wearing his Batman towel robe and making high-pitched squeaking noises. “What are you doing?” I asked him. “I’m finding my way by echolocation,” he enunciated carefully. “Like bats.” Batty kid… I don’t know where he gets it, but he is fun.

Sunday, Mar. 14: SOTM: Clarins Par Amour, a nice gentle woody rose. Lyric it ain’t, but then what else is? Nothing, that’s what. SOTA: JHaG Citizen Queen.

Monday, March 15: SOTD: Bond #9 Broadway NiteTocade on steroids. With a Baywatch-worthy boob job and glitter fingernails. Eek. I thought Tocade was on the verge of too much, but not compared to Broadway Nite. SOTE: Jacomo Silences. How is it that this was so wrong in the fall, but so lovely now? Weather?

The boys had to help me put a calf back into a field this evening – there was a hole in a fence just big enough for a few-days-old calf to get through, so there he was on the farm road, with his mama bellowing her head off on the other side of the fence, and the poor calf with no idea in the world how to get back through. We walked him down the road and in through the gate, and boy, were those two glad to see each other. (Baby calves, let me tell you, are completely adorable.  Also, rather stupid.)

Tuesday, March 16: Chillier today, in the mid-40’s with wind and “scattered showers,” as the weather dudes say. Tabac Aurea today. Mmm. Except that I think I sprayed a bit too much, and toward the drydown I’m getting asphyxiated by patchouli. Dang. It. I should have asked for a bottle of “one-third the usual patchouli formula” from Laurie at SSS, rather than “one-half”… Does my skin amp patchouli, or is it my nose?? Or both? I didn’t notice it until I’d had the scent on for a good four hours. Update: eight hours after application, the patch has calmed down again. Whew. I would hate to start hating this scent, since I love it so much. I suppose I’ll have to apply more lightly.

I am Kind of Bummed. Looks like The CEO is not going to get that job in the office of the state Commissioner of Agriculture. He’s bummed, I’m bummed… the guy that did get the job is a friend, and very well suited for it, in experience, temperament, and skills. He’s gonna be great. (Go Matt!) I can’t even complain that politics or nepotism played a role in Matt’s appointment – he’s a forthrightly excellent choice.

We just… didn’t know he was up for it. We’d heard that he wasn’t interested, and would like to keep his current job. (The agricultural community in this state is a fairly small pond: everybody knows everybody else, and a shocking amount of everybody else’s business.) So when The CEO got an email from the Sec of Ag announcing the appointment, we didn’t know whether to be happy for Matt or disappointed for The CEO. I suppose we’re both. And I suppose I think less of myself for being so disappointed. I was kind of looking forward to moving out of Redneckville and living in a place with an art gallery, for a few years at least, so now I’m both disappointed and unappreciative of the good things we do have, and feeling guilty about not being satisfied with this perfectly nice life that some people would trade their right arms for…

Top photo: Vintage perfume bottles by kayla coo.  Middle photo: Stephanotis (Madagascar jasmine) by tammybeck.  Lower photo: Flying Bat by Chi Lui.  All photos from


Dear Scent Diary, Mar. 4-10, 2010

Wednesday, Mar. 4: School two hours late again, due to light snow. At least we cleaned up the kitchen before we left… SOTD: TFBO Voile de Fleur. I made some samples later in the afternoon (I’m so far behind on swaps it’s not even funny) and got some SSS Tabac Aurea on my hand, so wore that all evening. TA is some really gorgeous stuff. It makes my toes curl.

Thursday, Mar. 5: The CEO got home tonight from his conference. We’ve all missed him, but probably the dog has missed him most. Nothing looks sadder than a dog missing her Chief Person, and ours has certainly been droopy. She wiggled her little doggy butt all over the house when he came in the door. (This would be why her middle name is Wigglebutt. In the interest of full disclosure, her complete name is Hayley Elizabeth Wigglebutt Dog Hoover Ourlastname. Hayley was the name she had when we adopted her from a dog rescue society, Elizabeth was her Foster Dog Mom, Wigglebutt Dog is self-explanatory, and Hoover would refer to her kitchen floor behavior. She’s half beagle, half lab, all appetite, and mostly wonderful.)

SOTD: Climat. Which is both aldehydic sparkle and smooth, luxurious white florals. It’s so pretty, and yet has that slightly-naughty, warm-skin undertone. I’m starting to want green scents, but they’re still not working for me in this wintry weather. I suppose I simply want to want green scents. The latest greeny lemmings: PG Papyrus de Ciane, thanks to Kevin’s terrific review at NST, and Goutal Eau du Ciel, thanks to Abigail’s review at ISTIA. Curse their hides. (Also cannot wait for the weather to be right to test Patou Vacances. Ooooooh.)

Friday, Mar. 6:  A little warmer today. SOTD: LeLong Pour Femme. Wow, this thing’s gorgeous, and not entirely work-appropriate: a mauve satin prom dress. It’s got a halter neck, a narrow waist, and a full skirt with included crinoline – trés, trés femme. I would not use the word “ladylike” to describe this scent – she’s lighthearted and joyous and careless of her dignity (though not careless of her strapless bra). She would slip her satin dyed-to-match heels off and dance in the wet grass at 2 a.m.; she would pick a spray of lilac to tuck behind her ear. Neither ladylike nor overtly sexy, but very conscious of her gender. If you’re wondering just how girly my taste is, I’ll mention that I’d wear this very happily. Just not to work.

Saturday, Mar. 7: SUNSHINE! We hit 48° F today! Wore L’Air du Temps, wrote a preliminary review of it, cleaned the house, cooked some fish for dinner. Took a shower, then put Le Jardin Retrouvé Rose Thé on one wrist (bad-tempered vinegary rose, as it turns out, fortunately not long-lasting) and my vintage Victoria’s Secret Victoria on the other wrist (damaged, maple-syrupy topnotes, followed by what’s usually a lovely floral chypre, but today seems less pleasant). What succeeded that was a little spritz from a vintage sample of Caron Pois des Senteur parfum. Nassssssty stuff, powdery ick. Worse, it seems to have rubbed itself onto my ‘puter wrist pad, so that I keep smelling it. Man, nothing smells right today. What is up with that?

Sunday, Mar. 8: More sunshine! SOTD: Cuir de Lancome. Checked out the Oscars via Yahoo – the only movie up for awards this year that I have personally seen was “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, which was ridiculously fun. Wouldn’t say it was great, even for a kids’ film, but fun.

Trivia: Fantastic Mr. Fox is my sister’s favorite Roald Dahl book. Mine is Danny, The Champion of the World. Bookworm is fond of The BFG. Taz enjoys James and the Giant Peach. Gaze, like his father, is impatient with fiction and prefers history.

My favorite of the dresses at the Oscars: the lovely red velvet bodice/ pale pink skirt on on Lenny Kravitz’ daughter, Zoe. Gorgeous. Of course, it doesn’t suit my body type, and I never could have worn that even when I was younger and slimmer. If I could have picked one for my personal wardrobe, I’d have snatched up Kristen Stewart’s midnight-blue strapless dress with the ruched skirt. However, for sheer class, Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep kicked starlet butt. They looked beautiful.

Monday, March 9: More sunshine!!!! Snow melting! Boys playing football in the front yard (and promptly getting into a screaming match, because Taz is really Napoleon in disguise).

Tested some new, lighter things today: Guerlain Philtre d’Amour and Hampton Sun Privet Bloom. Both were utter FAILS – the Guerlain because after a delicious citrusy top it turned into Generic Guy Cologne, and the Privet Bloom because it was less green and more muguet than I wanted. Mind you, I really like muguet. I love Diorissimo, and the first Kenzo Parfum d’Ete (in the frosted, upright leaf bottle) is also lovely. But it can go very toilet-cleaner if not treated with extreme care, and Privet Bloom went like this: green notes, toilet cleaner, nothin’.  

So I got out my Parfum d’Ete. Yep, it felt right. It must be spring, when the lily of the valley scents feel apropos.

Tuesday, March 10: Chilly this morning, with frost on the windshield, but mid-50’s this afternoon.  Trying Jacomo Silences again, just to see if my tastes have changed.  It appears that they have – the last time I tested this, I did not like it at all; it seemed sour.  Today, however, the green is appealing.  Perhaps I’ve made my peace with oakmoss.  Silences reminds me a little of No. 19, but more of AG Heure Exquise – similar galbanum-rose-iris notes, but more Green, less Iris, which is probably why I like it better than HE.  It’s far softer than No. 19.  I didn’t feel the need to have HE and No. 19, but I could possibly make a case for having No. 19 and Silences, especially since Silences is so gosh-darn cheap.  (How are they managing to produce it so cheaply? Is it all old stock at the discounters? I don’t know.)

Top image: My Perfume Bottles Collection from Little_Karen at flickr.  Lower image is of Zoe Kravitz at the 2010 Oscars, from


Dear Scent Diary, Feb. 24 – Mar. 2, 2010

Wednesday, Feb. 24: SOTD: Round #3 of Heure Exquise vs. No. 19, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything the first two times. I still like No. 19 best, but I’d call it “iris-vetiver” and HE would be “rose-iris-sandalwood.” So if you want rose-iris-sandalwood, there’s your best option. HE is really pretty.

Thursday, Feb. 25: SOTD: a light spray of Miller Harris Rose en Noir. Thankfully, it wore off early – I have Taz’ stomach virus. Wasn’t sure what to make of this – it doesn’t seem much like a “rose in black” to me, but more a “rose in pale green and russet.” Elements of galbanum, spice, and something… coconutty? in the base. No notes were released for this one. I can’t decide whether I actually like it or not. Layers interestingly with Heure Exquise, believe it or not. I don’t set out to perform experiments in layering, by the way – they’re all happy accidents (or sometimes not-so-happy ones).

Friday, Feb. 26: SOTD: Tauer Une Rose Chypree. I have a dabber sample vial, and I think it will last me some time. One dab goes a long way with this stuff, and it’s got the heavy, velvety drape of something like Mitsouko. In fact, URC is probably what I’d call “wearable Mitsouko.” It was freezing cold and very windy today, and I didn’t feel overperfumed. Every time I wear URC, I think, “Boy, this is a good perfume.” But I never, ever feel that I need any more. I don’t love it. And who can explain love, or the lack of love? Wise men never try…

Saturday, Feb. 27: Three-way Fragrance Throwdown today: Givenchy Ysatis, from a partially-used vintage mini bottle bought for $3 on ebay; Divine by Divine, from a TPC sample, and Amouage Ubar (the new floriental version, not the old woody-floral one), from a private sample. (Blame Daisy. I was steadfastly ignoring Amouage; I didn’t need another Amouage after Lyric Woman; she sent me a sample anyway, and it is fantastic stuff.) I was prompted by Abigail’s review of Ysatis at I Smell Therefore I Am, where she was comparing it to Divine. I hadn’t smelled Divine – my sniff from the bottle of Ysatis had reminded me of Ubar, so I had to test all three. I’ll do a short review of the Throwdown soon.

Interestingly, I asked Gaze (my Noticer) for his thoughts on the three, without telling him what they were. He sniffed each spot carefully and pronounced that he liked all of them, and that they smelled somewhat similar to him. When pressed to name the one he liked best, he pointed to the Divine test area. Then I asked him which was was the most expensive. “That one,” he said, definitely, and pointed to Ubar. “No question about it. I mean, the other ones are nice too, I like them all, but that’s the most expensive one, and that’s the least expensive one” – pointing to Ysatis.

Well, haul my jaw off the floor. I’m raising a perfumista. One out of three, anyway. (Actually, I don’t know if Divine is more expensive than Ysatis. I’m just guessing it is because you can’t walk into Belk’s and snap up Divine, or order it from an online discounter.)

Sunday, Feb 28: Still freezing cold and windy. I’ve been missing my Dark Roses, so it was Amouage Lyric Woman today. Later, as it began to dry down, I respritzed on one wrist, and then spritzed a bit of MFK Lumiere Noire pour femme on the back of the other wrist. (These comparisons are getting out of hand, don’t you think?) I love both of these. They’re not as similar as I had thought… must review each one separately, I think.

Monday, March 1: Statement Day again at work. I hate it when Statement Day falls on a Monday. I hate dirty snow and frigid wind. SOTD: Shalimar Light.

Tuesday, March 2: Freezing and snowing again. SOTD: Carnal Flower – so beautiful.

Image is Savoir faire from JiBryant at flickr.


Dear Scent Diary, Feb. 10 – 16, 2010

Wednesday, Feb. 17: I’m finally starting to relax a little, with the kids back in school. And I’m totally digging the Winter Olympics. Go Shaun White! Il Tomate Volante is in amazing form, by the way, head and shoulders above the rest. (Yes, I know he’s announced that he’s tired of being The Flying Tomato. I don’t care. That is the coolest nickname evah.)

SOTD: Parfums de Rosine Poussiere de Rose. Tania Sanchez says this is like Feminite du Bois with “more rose, less wonder.” Well, whoop-de-doo. She doesn’t like rose all that much. If you are anosmic to Iso E Super, as I appear to be, FdB does the disappearing-reappearing trick on you, so it’s not all that wondrous. I’ll be honest (and repetitive): I’d still rather have Dior’s Dolce Vita, preferably in parfum. But Poussiere de Rose is lovely as well, and in my opinion, it actually kicks the butts of all the Lutens Bois series scents I’ve tried (FdB reissue, Bois de Violette, Un Bois Vanille). I admit I haven’t tried Bois et Fruits, which might be great.

I got really brave this afternoon, too, and put on a half-pinky-tip’s worth of Poison. For heaven’s sake… did they mess with this? Have they toned it down?? I hated Poison back in the day – you know, when everybody was wearing about three spritzes too many. I remember it as being several times more offensive than this sample I snagged for cheap off the ‘bay. Even so, it’s still utterly frightening. I chased the kids around the house for a couple of hours – “Come smell me!” “I can smell you from over here, Mom, go away!” Review of this one coming up for the tuberose series.

Thursday, Feb. 18: SOTD: Cuir de Lancome again. It’s too warm this week to wear Alahine.

Friday, Feb. 19: SOTD: Carnal Flower. I still don’t understand why P:TG says this is a “serious, luxurious, all-day fragrance,” – okay, I do understand Serious and Luxurious, but it’s definitely not All-Day on my skin. I’m getting 3.5 to 4 hours tops. Also not getting the Chandler Burr “tuberose with a baseball bat” reference. This is so fresh-green and attractive, and quiet. Huh. Does my skin eat tuberose? Or is it just that I’m dabbing rather than spraying?

Taz came home from school and said his stomach hurt because he was hungry – he hadn’t packed enough food in his lunchbox. (It had applesauce and a peanut butter sandwich; yeah, less than his usual lunch.) So I made him a quesadilla, and he had no more eaten a quarter of it than he threw up all over the place. Kids. Sometimes you just gotta roll your eyes at them and forget the bad stuff.

Saturday, Feb. 20: SOTE: Climat in vintage parfum, but not until after Taz went to sleep. I didn’t want to wreck his recovery with smells he doesn’t like.

Sunday, Feb 21: SOTD: Guerlain Mahora. I’m not getting the hate, honestly. Who thinks this is terrible, and why? SOTE: Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete, such a pretty, almost Old Spice-like thing.

The CEO took Bookworm and Gaze to a women’s college basketball game this afternoon. Scott Brown – you know, the Republican who was recently elected to the seat left open by Ted Kennedy’s death – has a daughter who was playing for Va. Tech’s opponent, Boston College, and Sen. Brown and his wife drove down from DC to watch the game. By chance they happened to sit next to Gaze (srsly! they just happened to have tickets for the next seats down), and The CEO got to talk to him. It was a big thrill for The CEO, I’m tellin’ you. He looked a little bit like Alex P. Keaton meeting Ronald Reagan, while recounting the story to me, stunned at his good luck. It didn’t approach the thrill factor for him of meeting Gen. Colin Powell last year, and having lunch with him, and having his picture taken with him… that was such a huge thrill that in the photo of the two of them together, The CEO’s teeth are practically meeting in the back of his head, he’s grinning so widely. I tease him about being a fanboy, but Colin Powell is such a genuinely admirable guy.

After supper (why couldn’t it have been before, just to lessen the impact?), The CEO developed Taz’s stomach bug. Wonderful. Well, at least he had a nice afternoon…

And now, I must say, I am getting the hate for Mahora. The drydown is a nasty, nasty thing. Cloying, fake-smelling, just… gosh, just wrong.

Monday, Feb. 22: The snow has melted enough that I drove through slush this morning, taking kids to school and myself to work*, whee! SOTD: Caron Poivre (extrait) from TPC. Gorgeous stuff. Now I want to compare it to DSH’s carnation scents, Oeillets Rouges and La Fleuriste, and to FM Noir Epices. Oops, that means getting hold of some Noir Epices… where’s that chin-rubbing emoticon when you need him?

*Please note, I wouldn’t drive the kids to school if a) the bus didn’t come at 7am and b) I wasn’t already going to work. It’s 10 minutes to the high school, 6 more to the elementary school, and then 3 minutes to work; if I were going straight to work from home, it’d take me about 8 minutes. I just have to remember how easy traffic is in a small town, the next time I get jealous of people who live near Nordstrom’s and downtown markets and art galleries and live theater… easy traffic, no noise, easy traffic, starry skies, easy traffic, nice neighbors, easy traffic… I’m not looking forward to next year, though, with one kid at each school (high, middle, elementary) and the oldest not old enough to drive herself.

Tuesday, Feb. 23: SOTMorning: Paestum Rose. Odd that I hadn’t gotten around to this one when I was doing all that frantic rose testing last year. It’s very nice, in that pleasant “cloud of scent” sort of way. Reminds me a little bit of Gres Cabaret. At the same time, the rose is merely one note in PR, instead of the focus. I like myrrh a lot, but I think I prefer La Myrrhe (the only Serge that I really love). I think that possibly this fragrance would have been improved by either a greater focus on the rose, or a greater focus on the myrrh. It seems lukewarm to me, neither hot nor cold. SOTAfternoon: Chanel No. 19, because when I was editing my Throwdown post I got to craving it.

I think I’m coming down with Taz’s tummy bug. Ick.

Image is My perfumes by ellevegas at flickr.


Dear Scent Diary, Feb. 10 – 16, 2010




Perfume Bottles from National Museums Scotland


Wednesday, Feb. 10: Actual blizzard  conditions outside (50-mph winds, snow, and temperatures in the low 20’s that with the wind chill feel like minus-zero), and yet I made it to work for a few hours before taking Taz to the doctor to see about those chronically-swollen tonsils of his. No verdict yet. The lab nurse took three full vials of blood for allergy screening tests and whatever alchemy they do there, and Taz was a complete trooper. The neighbors’ teenage son nearly drove into us on the way home – he drives far too fast anyway (so does his mother), but it was completely ridiculous with the amount of snow on the road. Thank God for antilock brakes, or Thomas, Taz, and I would be crow fodder. I need to post a picture of our road – it’s narrow, twisty, graveled, and closely bordered by both wire fences and trees. NOT a place one ought to speed, regardless of the speed limit. It’s a private road, and so does not actually have a speed limit, but if I were assigning it one, I’d say 15 mph. Yeah, it’s that bad a road. And Thomas is such a nice kid, but the speeding is seriously out of control… 

SOTD: Havana Vanille, which I am beginning to enjoy – and yet not on the scale that I enjoy either Shalimar Light or PdN Vanille Tonka. HV has this beautiful, transparent drydown that smells like woods and the best vanilla extract and lasts forever. It gets a grudging, “It’s okay, I guess” from Taz. His usual opinion on my scents is expressed with the disgusted visage of someone facing a large pile of filthy dishes to wash, so I took “It’s okay, I guess” to mean that he actually sort of likes this one.  

Thursday, Feb. 11: COLD. WINDY. SNOWY. Has SW Virginia suddenly been transported, landscape entire, to somewhere north of Lake Michigan? You know, everything looks right but feels wrong…   

(Wasn’t there some Ray Bradbury story about a little kid with telekinetic powers, who in a fit of childish pique wished his entire town up into the air – and his wish came true? Leaving all the frightened townspeople resigned to death by slow starvation? Maybe it was a Stephen King story instead… I’m sure I remember the basic plotline, and that it was a short story. Great – if I really want to find it, I’ll be forced into reading through endless anthologies of stories written by two of the most prolific sci-fi/fiction writers in the history of the genre. It’ll take me forever. This past summer I stayed haunted by “All Summer in a Day,” which I’d read in middle school and which I knew was a Bradbury story – and even though I knew the title and author and format, it still took me a couple of weeks to find it at the library.)   

SOTD: I need me some warmth, people – some happiness in the whiteout. It’s Alahine again.  

Friday, Feb. 12: SOTD: Voile de Fleur, such a pretty thing.  

Saturday, Feb. 13: I MOVED THE VAN! SOTD: Lancome Mille et une Roses. Eh. I mean, pretty, but eh. SOTE: Shalimar Light, mmmm.  

Sunday, Feb 14: SOTD: my Valentine’s Day gift from The CEO, Lancome Cuir. Sweet of him, this is really beautiful stuff. Sueded florals. The smell of Proper Ladies (leather handbag, scented handkerchief, talcum powder, lipstick…) Seriously, the floral mix in this is just beautiful – sweet and fresh without being brainless. And the smoky woods are really lovely. Wow.   

Monday, Feb. 15: Yippeee, more snow. I’m thrilled. SOTD: Cuir de Lancome again. Bedtime scent: Balenciaga Rumba, which is almost too much in the beginning – but I really love that hot dust and beeswax thing that it will be later.  

Tuesday, Feb. 16: SCHOOL IS BACK IN! WHOOPEE! Break out the champagne! SOTD: Houbigant Demi-Jour, a vintage sample courtesy of Donna (Flora at PST). Lovely floral chypre, which is really the only way I wear chypres. It reminds me a bit of Ivoire de Balmain.  


Dear Scent Diary, Feb. 2 – 9, 2010

Wednesday, Feb. 3: SOTD: Donna Karan Gold. Spicy lily among the snow, which is now turning to slush. (Yet I cannot move the van either into or completely out of the driveway.) The third day of no school this week. Went to sleep wearing the ultracomforting Mariella Burani.

Thursday, Feb. 4: Fourth day of no school this week. Sixth weekend in a row we’ve got snow coming our way. I’m remembering the winter we postponed my 11th birthday party four times…

Celebrity Death Match: Chanel No. 19 edt (modern) vs. Annick Goutal Heure Exquise edt. I thought it might not be quite fair to pit the vintage No. 19 edt (originally released in ’71) against the more modern HE (released in ’86). They are strikingly similar, and I’m really enjoying the matchup.

Digression, because this amuses the pants off me: ever run across the word “slugfest,” in terms of a boxing match or other sporting competition, in which both opponents are strongly on the offensive, “slugging” away at each other? In my sports-minded household (I blame The CEO), I hear it a lot. What it makes me think of is a Far Side cartoon panel that, as far as I know, was never drawn. Picture it – thousands of slugs in a field a la Woodstock, portable toilets and tents off to the side and a slug band on the stage at one end of the field, a large banner over the stage proclaiming, “SlugFest 1994”!

Friday, Feb. 5: No school again. Where can I buy some child-size muzzles? SOTD: grudge match between Heure Exquise and No. 19, vintage edt this time. SOTE: one drop of vintage No. 19 parfum.

Saturday, Feb. 6: SOTD: PG Tuberose Couture. After some hours, I added a drop of Moroccan rose attar to my wrist near the TC, and it was lovely. Unutterably femme, as well.

Sunday, Feb 7: Got into a mini-Sniffathon with Bookworm – we must have opened two dozen minis and sample vials over the course of about an hour. The last handful started smelling all the same, but that may have been because they were Byzance, Ysatis, Amarige, Tatiana, and Sand & Sable.

SOTD: As an antidote to my sports-mad family, who were snarfing up cocktail sausages and buffalo wings with homemade bleu cheese dip, I wore Sand & Sable. (Evil laughter in the background.)

Monday, Feb. 8: You know, I’m starting to miss my Dark Roses… if I don’t get to wear Lumiere Noire pour femme or Citizen Queen or Lyric Woman sometime soon, I’m gonna start twitching… Too bad none of them is suitable for work: the LN and CQ are Hot Date Material, and Lyric is too transcendent to waste on a stupid Monday. So the SOTD is La Perla, the original, from a swap. This is a very inexpensive and yet lovely rose chypre. (It predates Agent Provocateur, and blows it right out of the water, IMO – at least until the drydown, when La Perla reveals Opium-like balsamic basenotes. Ugh, not my thing.) SOTE: Alahine.

Incidentally, I’m starting to need another Matthew MacFadyen fix. Come back to the big screen, MM, and space out those BBC miniseries appearances, wouldja? I mean, I would love to see Little Dorrit, but does Netflix have it? Can I watch it on youtube? Nooooo. The Pillars of the Earth is in post-production for BBC, and we probably won’t get it in the US for another year or maybe two. If I had the patience, I could spend several hours with the early seasons of MI-5 (Spooks) on youtube, ten minutes’ worth of episode at a time*. Or I could yank out my DVD of Pride and Prejudice again, but to be honest, Mr. Darcy ticks me off and I just want to give him a swift kick in the sitter. I’d watch it with the sound off, but then I’d miss that melted-butter voice of his, and that would defeat the whole purpose of the exercise.  (MM reads The Bard, here, about a minute and a half long.)

And let us not even discuss the juxtaposition of naughty fishnet-stockings scents like Lumiere Noire alongside dear Matthew, shall we?

Tuesday, Feb. 9: Vintage Arpege extrait. Just because I can, and because the drydown is a stunning, stunning thing. Real sandalwood, and lots of it… And if it makes people think I smell like an old lady, I don’t care. I’ll just poke them with my umbrella and barrel on through.

* Actually, I couldn’t watch it anymore, it’s been taken down.  But News Flash!  MM plays the Sheriff of Nottingham in that new Russell Crowe Robin Hood movie.  Like all Crowe flicks, it looks super-violent, and not something I’d enjoy, but if MM’s on the big screen, I might have to rent it at least…

Top image: Perfume 3 by maquillage at flickr.  Lower image: still photo from Spooks (MI-5), BBC Productions.


Dear Scent Diary, Jan. 27 – Feb. 2



Wednesday, Jan. 27: SOTD: Beyond Love again.  SOTE: Shalimar Light. Again, I think I’m really onto something here with the tuberose-vanilla layering. BL was completely fab with Havane Vanille.

Thursday, Jan. 28: SOTD: Havana Vanilla again, because I’m still trying to make up my mind about it. The drydown is like concentrated vanilla liqueur, and yet creamy. It is decadently sweet. I approve the decadence, but it’s the sweetness I can’t decide about. Is it Too Much? It smells a bit like Vanilia, actually, so I see where it’s coming from. SOTE: L’Arte di Gucci, sort of accidentally. I was making a decant for a friend, and overspray got on my sweater sleeves. Gosh, I love L’Arte – beyond all reason, because it’s still not my style. You know how Ghostbusters has that Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man about 600 times life size? L’Arte is a screaming pink rose with thorns, correspondingly large. (Now how is it that I think Une Rose is “scary,” but find L’Arte beautiful? It’s the same idea, really, a big, threatening rose. I dunno. Is it that L’Arte always seems like a hot pink rose – it’s probably the effect of that cassis bud – but Une Rose is more of a blood red with Goth eye makeup? I don’t get me, honestly.)

 Friday, Jan. 29: Cold today, with snow coming. SOTD: Givenchy Organza Indecence. Orange, spice, and vanilla, with a dusty-warm patchouli keeping it from smelling fruitcake-y. Not quite edible, and somehow very sexy. (Seems like the only ways I get along with patchouli is when it’s a) combined with a smoky vanilla, or b) it’s the smooth aged herbal-smelling stuff, in conjunction with other green smells. Either way, it still tends to hijack my nose.)

Saturday, Jan. 30: SOTA: La Myrrhe. This smelled great in combination with the snow-laden air outside and the wood fire inside. Bookworm actually put on perfume today too – Hanae Mori, which smells fabulous on her, and then later, after her shower, Donna Karan Gold, which on her skin has a green, waxy freshness, like petals, that it doesn’t seem to have on mine. It’s more spicy and heady on me. In any case, it’s beautiful.

Sunday, Jan. 31: SOTD: Fracas, because I hadn’t worn it in some months, and look here, you can’t do a tuberose series and NOT review The Mother of all Tuberose Perfumes.

Monday, Feb. 1: Nothing. I didn’t mean to go commando – I meant to do the Celebrity Death Match between Fracas and Beyond Love – but it was one thing after another, with the snow and the kids home from school, and I just never put any fragrance on. And yet… if I huff my left wrist, the Ghost of Fracas lingers, even though I took a hot bath to soothe a sore muscle Sunday night, and then had a normal shower Monday morning.

Tuesday, Feb. 2: I had to power through Statement Day, since I stayed home with the kids yesterday. I couldn’t get the van out of the driveway. No, seriously! The CEO took the 4WD pickup to Blacksburg after his Camry got stuck in the drive. You try shoveling ten inches of snow down to the gravel sometime, before you sneer! The kids and I shoveled out around the van some this afternoon, and I got out okay, to go to the grocery store, but I could not get back into the driveway on the return trip.

I should probably explain that our private (i.e., not maintained by the state) road is half a mile long, from the main road up to our driveway. It is gravel, and it slopes and curves upward from the main road. One of our neighbors bladed the road Sunday afternoon, but it was still messy enough near the house to make it really tough to get out. This stinks. Oh, and we’re supposed to get “wintry mix” today, too. Whoopee. 

Aaaanyway, you don’t care what a pain it is to get out of my driveway, you want to know what I wore. Okay, I gave Annick Goutal’s Heure Exquise (edt) another shot today. Because I love the steely backbone of No. 19, I’ve tried HE twice before now on the recommendation of friends who like both HE and No. 19. Both times it’s been a fail: too dry and powdery. Today, however, HE has been very pleasant. I’m getting more rose out of it than I had before, and no powderbomb.  I sense a Celebrity Death Match review coming on…

Note: I’m still trying to get the hang of WordPress, so there may be some funny-lookin’ posts for awhile.   Can I put things in color? Can I add video? Links to my own posts?  I’m sure that I’ll find the answers somewhere… Meanwhile, bear with me, please.    Image above is Perfume Convention in Netherlands by parfumgott at flickr.