Scent Diary, June 11-17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thinking of and missing my FIL Bill today too.

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Scent Diary, June 4-10, 2018

Pic from stayblueridge.com; click through for link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Scent Diary, May 29-June 3, 2018

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

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

Bookworm, 2 months old. That grin!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anybody have a differing view of Solo?

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Scent Diary, May 21-27, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At least it’s not raining.

Photo by the Southwest Times.

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

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

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

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

 

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Scent Diary, May 14-20, 2018

Pic by Photokip at Pexels (click through for link)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mini-review Roundup: Three from Ava Luxe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Scent Diary, May 7-13, 2018

Monday, May 7: Warm, sunny and breezy — in fact, very comfortable (although The CEO is not happy with breeze). Perfect weather for Le Temps d’une Fete.

Gaze moved his clobber back home last Friday evening and will be home most of the summer. He’s had a successful freshman year at Virginia Tech and seems to have settled in to the Corps of Cadets quite well. Nice to have him home! He mowed the yard for me today, right before it rained. (Unfortunately, all the stuff he brought home — WAY more than he took with him, since now he must have 20 sets of uniforms, a gigantic rucksack for ROTC, and a bunch of other official stuff — is now in my sewing room. I can barely get to the sewing machine, and I have projects started. Grr.)

Bookworm has asked to learn how to use the sewing machine, so we started with a simple project, an apron. We cut it out last night, and then this evening did a hands-on tutorial on sewing straight stitches (complete with installing thread and bobbin, threading the needle, finding correct tension, choosing stitch and stitch length, and turning a corner). She sewed all the straps. I’m proud of her.

Tuesday, May 8: Another day of pleasant temperatures; another day of Le Temps d’une Fete! Took Gaze to his annual vision check-up in the afternoon. It’s an hour’s drive there and an hour back, and I knew he’d have his pupils dilated so wouldn’t be capable to driving safely home. Last time I had an eye exam was five years ago (I know, I know, I need to do it again, but my eye doctor has retired so I need to find a new one), and skies were gloomy with rain, so I had no trouble seeing and drove the 6 minutes home without worry.

While tidying up my perfume collection I found a large-ish decant of vintage Guerlain Vega that I’d forgotten about. Gosh, this is lovely stuff. To be sure, it’s full of aldehydes, so if you hate No. 5 Vega will not change your mind, but Vega is gentler than No. 5 and, I think, easier to wear. I wore it to bed.

Wednesday, May 9: Happy anniversary to The CEO! 26 years and we haven’t killed each other yet. SOTM was a mishmash, miscellaneous sprays from various fragrances I’m selling, just to make sure that they haven’t gone off since the last time I smelled them. Amazone, 24, Faubourg, Chamade, Deneuve, Vanille Tonka, Ostara… I must say, I smell like the perfume section of a large department store.

Packaged up some minis and bottles from the blog sale to send out. Showered and put on some Guerlain Floral Romantique, because The CEO likes it. We went to dinner at Outback (because we had a gift certificate. because steak. Duh.), came home and watched Survivor. (You go, Donathan! And Laurel. Send Kellyn home.)

“La passione di Roma.” What a beautiful piece of advertising. (Also, her HAIR. That rope-twisted braid is lovely… not to mention the fur.)

Thursday, May 10: SOTM was original Fendi by Fendi, eau de toilette from a manufacturer sample vial, and eau de parfum from a mini bottle. Found both in a box of unloved decants (how’d they get there? I had never even tried them!). GOSH, this is gorgeous stuff. Gorgeous. Truly. Very 1980s, in that Fendi is a big floral bouquet atop a serious, weighty, beautiful base of oriental and chypre notes. According to Angela’s review of it at NST, “Fendi includes top notes of bergamot, aldehydes and rosewood; a heart of rose, lily of the valley, geranium, jasmine, tuberose, orris and carnation; and a base of cedarwood, patchouli, sandalwood, moss, musk, amber, vanilla and benzoin.” Fragrantica adds ylang-ylang and omits mention of several notes. What stands out to me is rose, geranium, muguet, patchouli, moss, sandalwood and benzoin, and the whole thing seems familiar without being recognizable.

It does strike me, somehow, as being very Italian. I can’t say why. Maybe it’s the ad? I do remember the ad, though I had never smelled Fendi before today. It reminds me of a whole slew of other scents: Magie Noire (though it lacks MN’s witchy, eerie herbal cast), La Perla’s original scent (though I think La Perla is somehow “dirtier,” with more of an intimate-skin angle), perhaps Ungaro Diva (though it doesn’t have Diva’s leather). It even reminds me a tad of the old Karl Lagerfeld Chloe, which you might remember I wore for thirteen or fourteen years, right through from middle school into the early years of my marriage. Chloe is more white-floral and much less chypre, but there is that sense of richness and detail, of tapestry, that it shares with Fendi.

(Gosh, Eighties perfumery was good. Wasn’t it?)

SOTA was two spritzes of Diorissimo, which I bought early on in my perfume journey (2009), and which I had always thought to be a tester from 2006. Today I discovered that it was actually bottled in 2001. It is beautiful, but somehow it never seems to hit the spot for me for very long, and it needs a new home.

And Gaze went back to campus tonight for a dinner honoring the sponsors of student scholarships. He cleans up good, doesn’t he? The HT under his ribbons stands for Highty Tighties, the regimental band, and the white shoulder braid (worn backwards, deliberately, due to some unexplained tradition) is also a band thing. The 1 on his right sleeve stands for the first-place score of his rifle drill company among other companies. I love it that he’s allowed to have hair now.

Friday, May 11: Uh-oh. I can feel the heat coming. Tomorrow is supposed to be at least 90F, and today will be muggy.  SOTD, for Now Smell This’s community project (“Wear a musk fragrance”), is Ferre 20. The CEO bought me this on our trip to Rome in 2010. This one never got much blog attention, and it’s aldehydes-heavy, so not to the taste of many people, but it’s good stuff: under the aldehydes are blackberry, rose, iris, vanilla and powdery wood (they say sandalwood, but it’s not the real thing), plus lots of fluffy, clean (but not laundry-ish) musk. Pretty, sweet, and smells like lipstick, kind of über-girly.

I managed to finish sewing a reusable shopping bag last night. I made it similar to this pattern, and it came out great! I think my MIL might get this one as Mother’s Day swag, but I have it in mind to make more.

The CEO and I went to a live-theater production, the first from a new local theater group. “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s” is a farce, which is never my favorite genre, but they did a good job with it. I wore some No. 19 edp, but it was somehow the wrong choice. It was dull.

Saturday, May 12: gorrrrrgeous weather. Warm and sunny, light breeze, and the only clouds are puffy ones high up. The CEO wound up coaching half the track team at their meet today; the elite ones are at a meet farther away, and Coach O is with them. (Girl on our team just ran the fastest 800 time in the state last night! 2:10.95, and her mom calls her “Amazing Grace.”)

Wearing beautiful Ines de la Fressange (Calice Becker version) today, because it is so nice outside — like summer without the brutal heat.

The CEO served as assistant track coach at a meet today, and since there is no shade whatsoever at this particular school, he came home miserably sunburned. Ouch.

Sunday, May 13: Mother’s Day was sunny and hot today. Wore Ines de la Fressange again, and was presented with French toast and sausage that I didn’t have to cook! Went to my parents’ and took my MIL along; a lovely meal and a Skype session with my sister’s family rounded out the day.

REMINDER: SALE OF MY PERSONAL COLLECTION IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW THROUGH THE END OF MAY!!  New items have been added and will continue to be added until sale ends.

 

 

 

 

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Full size bottles now for sale here at the blog through May 2018

My last post indicated that I had minis for sale, from my attempt to reduce the amount of my personal possessions.

Fragrances For Sale, May 2018

I’ve now added several full-size bottles from my personal collection that I think perfumistas might enjoy owning because they’re good juice. Anything labeled as vintage might have a few off notes up top, but they’re all what I would call excellent vintage condition, eminently wearable.

Please read the sale parameters carefully. I am so sorry that I’m unable to ship perfume internationally. I think the USPS is making a huge deal out of nothing (when was the last time a bottle of hair spray, liquor, or perfume on an international flight caught fire? I’ve never heard of it actually happening)… but. You know. I’d really prefer to avoid going to jail.

XO

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The Lure of Vintage Mini Perfumes

Selection from “Les Meilleurs Parfums de France,” The Best Perfumes of France. Apparently collections like this, of 5, 7, or 10 mini perfumes, were often sold on European air flights from the 1950’s through the 1980s. This one seems to be from the early 1970s, and is in super shape — except for Molyneux Vivre, which leaked itself empty. Sadface. Photo by me.

Aren’t these things cute? They’re adorable, aren’t they?

I first came to collecting vintage minis when I realized that many of the fragrances I wanted to try were discontinued, long-gone, and even unavailable in tiny amounts at the decant services. It’s the pull of trying something not otherwise available that I’ve never smelled — old, yet new to me. The possibility of smelling the party-in-Rio that is Balenciaga Rumba? Yes, please! The chance to try Jean Patou‘s lovely, tender Ma Collection version of Vacances? YES PLEASE. The opportunity to smell YSL Paris in its neon-pink, nuclear-strength, no-longer-made parfum? DOUBLE YES PLEASE!

Samsara mini parfum.

I’d go to eBay and search “vintage perfume mini”¹, and delight in what popped up: Here’s a tiny bottle of Ralph Lauren Safari parfum in lovely cut-glass; here’s a promotional mini bottle of No. 19 eau de cologne with spare, elegant Chanel lines. Here a micro-mini of Guerlain Samsara parfum; there a small bottle of Hermes Amazone. (Also, everywhere, figural Avon perfumes.) Etsy is another buying source, although I think that prices, particularly for vintage, are noticeably higher at Etsy. Or I’d play around in the sandbox at Miniature Perfume Shoppe and find that sometimes it was cheaper to buy a mini bottle than a sample at the decanters’, especially when I figured in the shipping.

I’m not saying anything that you haven’t heard before, but buying vintage is always a gamble. Not all of those minis contained wearable perfume, but more of them did than didn’t. In fact, there were only a handful I remember as being too age-damaged to wear at all: a tiny Emeraude parfum, one of Fath de Fath (1953 version, not 1993), a micro-mini of Carven Ma Griffe and one of Paco Rabanne Calandre. The rest? After a few moments of nail-polish remover or spoiled aldehydes, they smelled like perfume – probably not how they should’ve smelled when brand new, but recognizably like fragrance.

The classic Chanel parfum bottle — and look, it’s even retained its barbichage (the cord around the neck). So pretty. EXCEPT… that’s not perfume. This bottle is actually filled with colored water.

Mind you, not all of them were things I wanted to wear. For example, Lucien LeLong Indiscret turned out to be a heavy balsamic oriental, a genre I typically hate (and I passed it on to a friend who likes that kind of thing). Scherrer was, as a perfume friend of mine whose tastes I often share recommended, a green floral chypre, but far more “chypre” and less “floral” than I tend to like. The original Armani — for me, surprisingly, meh. Of the several versions of Shalimar I’ve tried over the years, the smoky chiaroscuro of that 1980s parfum de toilette mini came closest to being a version of Shalimar I might actually like, but I eventually decided it wasn’t for me. The adorable black-and-red bottle of Jean Patou Joy parfum was utter Ho Panties on my skin, though the friend I sent it to thought it was marvelous.

But sometimes there would be a sparkling gem in those small bottles. One tiny 1.5ml micro-mini bottle of Balmain Jolie Madame extrait, evaporated or used down to half, turned out to be difficult to hold. I spilled one fat amber drop on my favorite white shirt, and out billowed this nearly-perfect marriage of flowers and leather: a good purse, stuffed to the brim with fresh flowers, leaves and moss. It was so beautiful tears came to my eyes.

Not to mention that trying all those vintage fragrances gave me an appreciation and understanding of earlier styles that I couldn’t have gotten by wandering around the fragrance counter at Belk. Or, for that matter, even by exploring those niche and independent perfumers who specialize in producing retro-style perfumes.

BUT. (There’s always a but.)

I have too many. I have pretty much explored the vintage fragrances I want to explore. I’m keeping the ones I love: Jolie Madame, Karl Lagerfeld Chloe, original Victoria by Victoria’s Secret, Vacances, Dolce Vita parfum. Maybe that Paris parfum. Maybe the Samsara, I haven’t decided yet. Everything else? Outtahere. I’m paring down, and I’m hopeful that I can give others a chance to smell the past.

I have already listed a few things for sale on eBay. I will be posting the things I think might be of special interest to perfumistas here on the blog by Friday of this week.

Whatever does not sell here within ten days of posting, I’ll be selling on eBay, where there is a trove of mini treasures for your investigation well beyond my small collection! Also check out Miniature Perfume Shoppe, which has some really cool stuff (especially if you’re into the bottles) and good inventory right now.

¹ Try “Collectibles: commercial perfume miniatures” as well as “Health & beauty: Fragrances.”

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