Scent Diary, Nov. 19-25, 2012

Monday, Nov. 19 – A nice warm day, for mid-November. Testing Donna Karan Black Cashmere and Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain. LAdDM is very nice, but perhaps the Tauer base (characterized by labdanum and Ambroxan, I think) is too thick and sweet. I think it’s a little too assertive for what I was looking for. But Black Cashmere could very well be the eye-opening, “this-can’t-be-perfume!” smell that captivates my shy character in one of my novels, the thing I’ve been looking for.

Noticed today that one of the houses on Maple Street in town, close to where we lived before moving to the farm, is ALREADY decorated for Christmas. Already! It’s SIX WEEKS until Christmas! It looks nice, actually: two 7-foot artificial trees on either side of the front door, trees and front porch decorated with white lights and gold ribbon, eye-catching but not garish. All the same, I do not get it. The town put up Christmas decorations last Thursday, and I don’t get that either. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t enjoy Christmas decorations or Christmas music or Christmas anything until about the first weekend in December, and we don’t start decorating the house until about Dec. 10. We don’t get our tree before the 15th! I find that when I start seeing decorations this early, I’m extremely tired of them before Christmas even shows up, and what’s the point in that? I know people like to do it, and there’s nothing wrong with it exactly, I just don’t understand how they don’t get completely sick of trees and wreaths and garland and ribbons and what-not in about three weeks. Maybe I have low tolerance, I dunno.

Bookworm had a relaxing night, very little homework. So glad for her. She watched part of “Chicago” on TV with her dad and me (and was shocked by the women’s costumes, judging by her frown) before going off to bed at a decent hour.

Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Another warmer day, in the mid-50sF. Virginia Tech is on Thanksgiving break, so The CEO is home, doing laundry and entering grades online. I’m home, doing some straightening up/cleaning, some mending, some holiday planning, some online Christmas shopping, and a teensy bit of writing. SOTD: YSL Nu EdP, another floral incense. Nu is… well, weird. I like the cardamom-incense, but there’s a strange dry-sour uncomfortable thing in there that I don’t like. Could be vetiver, I’m not sure.

Nu, I have to say, makes me think of the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the part where Sir Arthur and Sir Bedivere run into the threatening Knights Who Say Ni! in the forest, and they ask for a shrubbery… Arthur and Bedivere torture an old lady in a nearby town for information about shrubberies, by saying, “Ni!” to her. That is, Arthur says ni to her, but Bedivere can’t quite get it right at first. He says “Nu!” and Arthur has to coach him. (Watch it at Youtube here, if you like – the part I mean runs from about 2:47 to 3:00.)

Picked up Gaze early from school to take him to an orthodontist for an initial consultation. He’s not happy about it, but he needs braces.  Poor baby.

Went to the concert at the high school set up to benefit the county “Christmas Store,” a charity designed to provide Christmas gifts to kids whose parents fall below a certain income level. (Last year, it served 1200 children. This is an economically depressed area.) The fine arts department at the high school does a terrific job with this benefit concert, and it’s always enjoyable. Art students display their works in the halls outside the auditorium. The band usually presents its marching show in a concert setting, and perhaps one or two other pieces; the choir sings three or four songs; the drama students put on their typically award-winning one-act play. This year the drama club finished second in the region in One-Act competition, but qualified for the state competition. The drama teacher didn’t seem disappointed at all – in fact, he mentioned that both times the group won at the state competition in the past twelve years, they had come in second in the regional.

In any case, it was a lovely evening. SOTE: Chanel 31 Rue Cambon. Bookworm was excited to see some friends who are now attending Virginia Tech; she and Charlie (one of the drum majors last year), Saera, Michael and PETBoy went out for a snack after the concert and apparently laughed themselves nearly sick. I’m glad to see my girl acting like a normal teenager from time to time!

Wednesday, Nov. 21 – No school until next Monday. I’m very much looking forward to seeing my sister and nephew, who drove two days from Texas to stay with my parents, and to seeing my brother and his wife and son, who will be moving to Florida in a few weeks so that my sister-in-law can take an excellent job opportunity. Also, The CEO’s sister E and her husband K, along with their kids Curiosity and Primrose, and his mother, will be going to Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house, so it will be really terrific to see my kids with all their first cousins in one place!

Made cranberry gelatin salad (raspberry Jell-O, whole berry cranberry sauce, mandarin oranges or crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and optional chopped celery, which I love in there but which my sister and father can’t eat so I left it out) while the kids watched “Up” and played football in the yard. SOTD: Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau. I’d been looking for my sample of ELd’O Like This, but couldn’t find it. The general family consensus on JdP was that it balances between edible and burned, and they didn’t like it. Well, Gaze said he liked it, but also that it made his head hurt. I think it smells interesting, but it makes me feel queasy. When the sample’s gone, I’m not replacing it.

Bought my niece Primrose’s birthday present: a Grab Bag of Joy containing some cool gel pens, a pink glitter notebook, raspberry shower gel, hair accessories, vanilla lotion, and a miniature Juicy Couture parfum. She turns twelve next week, and I have given her perfume in the past but didn’t want it to be The Thing My Aunt Always Gives Me. This way, it’s no pressure to like everything, and in any case, the Juicy Couture parfum is really pretty. I don’t like the EdP, it’s too much like Bubblicious Watermelon bubble gum, but the parfum is considerably less frooty.

Thursday, Nov. 22 – A chilly day. Made the boys take showers while I straightened up the house a little and cooked about two pounds of cut corn, but we let poor Bookworm sleep late.

When we got to Mom and Dad’s house, I was disappointed to find that my brother’s little boy (whose nom de blog is Choppers D, but don’t ask me to explain that, it’s too convoluted) had been vomiting in the middle of the night and was still running a fever, so the three of them would be staying home. Poor CD, and his poor parents, who would not after all be getting family time and a delicious Thanksgiving meal – and my poor sister A, who was if anything even more disappointed than I was.

But my nephew Doodlebug was there, and the six grandchildren had a lovely time playing with Nana’s old wooden brick set, the stacks of Hot Wheels cars that used to belong to me and my brother (my sister would have nothing to do with them), and Doodlebug’s iPad. And lunch was wonderful. The menu: turkey breast, spiral-sliced ham, popcorn shrimp, fresh yeast rolls, fresh steamed green beans, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, oven-baked dressing, pickles, buttered corn, scalloped apples, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and (especially for Taz) chocolate ice cream. YUM.

SOTD: Donna Karan Chaos, which nobody seemed to appreciate but me. Pout.

Friday, Nov. 23 – Did a bit of online shopping – there is no way I’m joining the Black Friday crowds! – and some hanging out with my kids. Tested several items in the Incense Exploration vein, wasn’t charmed by any of them.

Dinner was leftover spaghetti, with Italian sausage and broccoli.

Saturday, Nov. 24 – Chilly. Cleaned house in the morning, and then The CEO’s mom and brother-in-law K came over with K’s son Curiosity to watch the Virginia Tech – Virginia football game. (I stayed out of it. Over the last twelve years, UVa has won ONE TIME. I’m tired of getting ragged on, and in any case I can no longer stand to watch any sporting event that The CEO cares about in the same room with him. It’s just too nerve-wracking. Also, I wind up deafened. Soooo Not Worth It.) SOTD: Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory. Dumb name, really nice fragrance. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t payin’ Bond No. 9 prices for it, but it’s pretty good – cool incense, rooty iris, a quiet floral angle, some warm sweet woods, and a metallic thing that I find sort of fascinating.

The CEO built a beautiful fire, the first of the season, in the fireplace, and it was toasty all afternoon and into the evening. It took me forever to get warm up in our bedroom, though, having been spoiled by the heat in the family room.

Sunday, Nov. 25 – Brrrr!! It got down to 18F last night, and it took me a good half hour to get warm enough to go to sleep. SOTD: vintage Coty Emeraude pdt, about five dabs, which saw me handily through church and well into the afternoon. The staying power of those Coty pdt’s is pretty good, except for my bottle of Muse de Coty; I get eight hours out of the Emeraude and L’Aimant lasts a similarly long time.

In the afternoon, Bookworm took off with PETBoy for movie-and-dinner (poor PETBoy, he’s still suffering from Severe Lack of Bookworm Face Time, even though marching season is over now). The CEO went to fix a leak in a cattle waterer in a rented field – the cows probably should have come home before we got freezing weather, because this waterer is a chronic problem. It runs off an exposed hose instead of a buried pipe, and the hose keeps getting disconnected/damaged. Taz and Gaze and I built a lovely fire in the fireplace and got the Monopoly board ready. SOTE: Amouage Lyric Woman, which really is gorgeous. I will be sorry when this decant is gone.

By the second go around the Monopoly board, I realized that all that viewing of “The Men Who Built America” on the History Channel had gone to the boys’ heads: all three of them were plotting mergers and deals and planning to pool their resources to buy and improve property. I am simply not equipped to deal with the rule variations and wheeler-dealerdom that go along with the way they have started to play Monopoly, so I bailed and went to make dinner. Gaze had asked for fish, so we had some Baked Parmesan Tilapia. Yum. By 8 pm, the fire was GORRRRGEOUS, all glowing coals and hypnotic flames, and it stayed that way until we shut the glass doors and went to bed.

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10 Responses to Scent Diary, Nov. 19-25, 2012

  1. So is this incense exploration you’re doing more for you personally, or more for your novel’s character?

    I’m a lover of incense – I can’t quite explain why. I know a lot of people who adore incense had a reference point for it, maybe from church or something. I grew up Methodist and had like zero exposure to incense, but a good incense just makes me swoon. Preferably a floral incense. Something about those perfumes really speaks to me. I love No. 22 and Andy’s Incense Rose. And I recently tried that incensey new Guerlain – the Arabian one. Encens Mythique d’Orient I believe. I was quite taken with the dabber sample I got and I’m contemplating getting a decant. I think it’s kind of expensive though. =/

    • mals86 says:

      Ummm… both. In that the character got me started, and then I figured that I had been underexposed to incense frags. So, a twofer. :)

      Incense has often been really iffy for me – very often it seems sour and unpleasant, like the way cold ashes smell when they get wet. (I just hate that. Worst thing about having a fireplace.) But I’ve also noticed that it seems to be a nexus of cedar, rose, and frankincense that causes this effect, so if I stay away from stuff like CdG White and Paestum Rose, things tend to go okay. However, I really really hated Incense Rose, and this week I found out that I really really hate Wazamba. Bleargh. Heeeeeedious.

      And I don’t like No. 22, either, though I really ought to revisit it. I think my sample was the older version, before they refo’ed for Les Exclusifs, and it didn’t have any noticeable incense. That particular Guerlain, though, has been intriguing me. I’m only held back by the $$$$.

      • I’m really curious about how you like Les Exclusifs No. 22… I prefer it to No. 5, which I guess is heresy (I like No. 5, just not as much as other things). Although I haven’t tried No. 6 parfum. I’ve been really tempted to try vintage No. 22, or even the parfum, which they started selling on the US Chanel website fairly recently.

        My impressions of that Guerlain are still fairly tentative, and it’s sometimes hard for me to feel like I’m really experiencing a scent when I’m dabbing from a tiny vial. But it was very, very lovely: rose, saffron, incense, very slightly dirty. I really want a little decant to play with. One of my favorite Guerlain things I’ve tried – I’ve struck out with nearly everything else I fear.

        • Er, that should be No. 5 parfum. Not No. 6. Obviously, I guess. ;)

          • mals86 says:

            No, I gotcha. But you do really need to try the parfum, it will make you see No. 5 in a different light. I still need to send you that Chamade, so I’ll pop in a bit of vintage No. 5 parfum too!

          • Mals, do you need a sample of the Les Exclusifs No. 22? I have a almost full (maybe even never used – I can’t remember) manufacturer’s sample that you’re welcome to if you want it.

          • mals86 says:

            Well, I have one. I think Ruth the Queen Enabler sent it to me, but I had recently-enough been ooked out by the pre-LE version and I set it aside. But I (and I can’t emphasize enough how nifty THIS is) know where it is!

            If I fall hard for it, I’ll come twist your arm for yours.

    • mals86 says:

      I forgot to say: no religious exposure to incense in my background, either. Used to date a Catholic guy, but the college chapel was very modern, with no incense. WEird funky wooden statue of St. Thomas Aquinas out front, too.

      • It’s funny: My husband was raised Catholic, and when we visit his family, we will sometimes attend mass with them. They do cense at their church (love that verb… I can use it that way, right?) and because I’ve been exposed to incense via perfume, it totally has different connotations for me. Like, instead of feeling like I’m in the presence of the Holy, my eyes are rolling back in my head with pleasure… because INCENSE. Oh dear.

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