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


17 thoughts on “Dear Scent Diary, Mar. 10-16, 2010”

  1. Aww… I don’t think that you should feel guilty at all. I think that it’s perfectly natural to have conflicting feelings about the matter. Heck, I recently felt like a complete jerk for partly hoping that my sister’s hubby didn’t get a job that he’s interviewing for so that he’d maybe look for a job here and they’d move back. Obviously, I want them to get what makes them happy and secure, but I’d really rather that they do that here. I think that it’s just part of being human.

    Taz sounds hilarious.

    1. You’re right. I should let myself be disappointed and then go back to thinking of all the good things about living here. Sigh. (I was excited about living near my brother in Richmond, too.)

      Taz is a TRIP. Of course, he can drive me up the wall at times, being basically a nine-years-old Napoleon, but he is really funny, and has a core of sweetness as well.

  2. I agree with Cynthia, sometimes I think it’s in our nature to feel conflicted. 🙂 BUt I honestly believe that things happen for a reason and maybe a better opportunity will pop up soon.
    I keep reading so many great things about SSS but haven’t gotten around yet to trying any. Soon – they all sound very interesting.

    1. Ines, I’m sure you’re right about things happening for a reason. And I really don’t have anything to complain about financially – the house is paid for, we have plenty to live on (and buy perfume with!), we even have a growing college fund for the kids. The issue with having a farm, though, is that you can’t pick it up and move it if you get tired of living in a boring no-culture town… Waaaaah. But enough whining.

      SSS does put out some really wonderful scents. My favorites would be Tabac Aurea (of course), Velvet Rose, and Champagne du Bois, which is very similar to Chanel Bois des Iles. I don’t run across a lot of “scrubbers” – as in, “I must scrub this fragrance off my body before I vomit,” but Vintage Rose did that to me. It must just be ME, because that one has a large number of fans. I’m looking forward to the new scent that may be released this spring, called Bouquet Blanche, a white floral. Hope it’s out soon and I can sample it.

      I think that SSS ships samples internationally, but I don’t know what the cost is on that.

  3. You know, it’s weird…my brain is stuck in this “Tabac Aurea: challenging but I like it” rut, when it really should be classified as “nice, gently complex comfort.” It’s not challenging, it simply has enough depth to keep you interested. Time after time. Note to self: remember already, would you? 🙂

    As for Silences, well, first of all, that’s a love for me. As I’ve made clear on more than one occasion. But it’s got a couple of things that challenge certain gatekeepers — the galbanum, and the total lack of warmth when it goes on. I think of it as the soil ABOUT to be warmed by an early spring day, which DOES develop into something more hospitable as the day goes on. I’m not surprised it took a few passes; a couple of other friends have had the same experience. (One of whom, a Perfume Person with an established relationship, gave me a look that said “are you joking? have you become traitorous? have you lost your nose?? But, of course, now she loves it.)

    I meant no harm. I just didn’t have to go through introductions. Like I did with, say, Chanel No. 19, which I now love in all iterations.

    Ooooh, you mentioned DK Gold. Underappreciated, that, I think.

    1. BTW, if you want to hear something other than bats, you can tell Taz that dolphins echolocate, too. Wait, that sometimes ending up sounding awfully high pitched …there’s always whales. I agree, though; it’s all fun, and pretty cool. 🙂

    2. So Silences was love at first sniff? Funny, No. 19 was that for me… I do really think testing Silences in the fall was a mistake. It is so very, very chilly a green. It has felt like a scent I can relax into, recently, and that’s a marvel.

      DK Gold is really lovely… bought my two 1 oz bottles of edp on the ‘bay for under $10 each, which is great value for a scent that rings like a bell.

  4. Ahahahaha! Broadway Nite DEFINITELY has a boob job, she probably got it when she was 16.
    And I’m sorry about the appointment! My ex of a number of years lived in Charlottesville, VA, so I know a little bit about hicksville (his next door neighbor had a donkey in the back yard). I could not imagine living there, you are much braver than me.

    1. Ari, Charlottesville is NOT hick-y. I mean, sure, no Neiman-Marcus, but a) Art galleries b) decent live music opportunities c) men in ties. Better, young men in white shirts and ties and khaki pants. Trust me on this one, I went to college there…

      Not young men in flannel shirts and ripped jeans and cowboy belt buckles big as your head, the way they dress at my daughter’s high school. These are REAL HICKS. Gah.

      Man, Broadway Nite is practically a Vegas Show in a Bottle, isn’t it?

      1. Oh, did you go to UVA, Mals? I applied there but didn’t get in 🙁 And Broadway Nite is definitely more Vegas than Broadway, come to think of it. It probably attracts a very different type than That Slut Tocade 🙂

      2. I did two years in the slam- uh, The University. Didn’t get into the business school, and my dad told me he wouldn’t pay for college unless I did “something I could make a living at” – i.e., no English Lit degree – so I transferred somewhere else and got a degree in Bus Admin, with a minor in acctg. Boring. But it made my dad happy.

  5. I have to laugh reading about your farming stories because somewhere in the back of my head is this romantic, bucolic view of being a farmer in Virginia and then I read your posts about the tractor being stuck out in a field and rescuing calves and such and I remember why I’m most-decidedly not a farmer.

    If I were a farmer, I’d have to be the girl-equivalent of a gentleman farmer – I’d live in the farmhouse and traipse about my land, but someone else would have to do the farming.

    1. Well, living in the farmhouse and letting someone else do the farming is pretty much my style, C. Actually, now that
      The CEO is teaching in the university ag dept, he only farms on weekends and college breaks, and in the summers. We have a guy working for us who feeds cows in the winter, which is a part-time job these days.

      We did some paring down when The CEO went to work at Va Tech – no more feeding stocker calves, no more feedlot, sold about half the herd… we’ve got about 240 cows now, and of course they each raise a calf every year. He doesn’t even raise any corn anymore since we’ve stopped using the feedlot for yearling calves – just hay. Lots and lots of big bales of hay. You’ve seen those big cylindrical bales of hay, right? Ours are 6.5 feet by 6 feet. Huge things. It’s a little scary to stand next to one.

      The CEO hates me telling people how many cows we’ve got, because he thinks that means everybody knows what they’re worth. I think he’s nuts; nobody knows that sort of info unless they’re in the business. I mean, if you told me you owned a car dealership with 400 cars on the lot, I’d have no idea how much they’re worth…

      All *I* do is the books. 🙂

      1. lol – that’s true, I have no idea how much cows are worth, but 240 sounds like a lot. I mean, I know that they probably have thousands some place like the King Ranch, but 240 sounds like quite a few. But semi-manageable.

        If I ever did end up on a farm, I’m sure that I would end up looking like one of those clueless wonders on the reality shows who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. It all seems lovely from a distance though.

  6. I would feel very much the same as you Re: the job.

    And I envy you the farm – I cannot even keep five chickens healthy. Sigh!

    Oh I meant to write something about perfume…oh yeah,
    WHERE did you get VINTAGE Lauren? It was one that I loved and I was only able to find a sample of the new crappy one.

    1. Where did I get vintage Lauren? (I need the whistling guy icon…) Ebay, of course! Actually, it’s a fairly large bottle so I could certainly spare you a decant – email me privately, k?

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