Scent Diary, Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2010

Originally uploaded by bill littell

Monday, Nov. 29: Happy Birthday, Dad! Lots of love to you.

Just heard from my mother last night that my grandmother, Mawmaw Nell (my dad’s mother), is in the hospital and not doing well. Her doctor says that she could very well recover from a kidney infection. Or, she might not. No news yet.

The CEO and I are at The Homestead for the annual Virginia Farm Bureau convention. The CEO gets to go to all the meetings, and I get to eat wonderful food and see some old friends, and in between work on the novel. It’s going surprisingly well, and I may actually finish today.

SOTD: Chanel 31 Rue Cambon. Gorgeous thing… I’m not alone in wishing for a parfum version of this, the classy floral modern chypre that comes in that Les Exclusifs vat. You need the vat, by the way, if you’re going to wear it frequently. It needs a little bit of oomph, and perhaps a bit more sillage, to be perfect, but it’s so close.

The CEO’s news: he ran for election to the FB state board of directors, and lost to the incumbent. The current director is a lovely lady, and no one had any complaints whatsoever about the job she’s doing, but she had said in her last election that she’d serve two terms and step down, and it was only after The CEO declared his intention to run that she decided she’d like to serve another term. I think that although he did lose, at least he’s got his hat in the ring for the next election in three years. I don’t think Evelyn will attempt reelection again, as she will be in her late 70s at that point.

Retesting Smell Bent Reindeer Games on the back of one hand.

My news: I WON NANOWRIMO!! Went typing away and suddenly found that I was near the end, and that I actually had about 51K. Wow! Last year, I was writing up until about 10pm on November 30. Was going to spritz Iris Poudre in celebration, but didn’t think it could compete with the 31 RC on my sweater.

Tuesday, Nov. 30: Chilly rain. Fires in the fireplaces at The Homestead. They’ve decorated for Christmas already, which I generally hate-I-mean-hate, but which here looks right. It’s a large building, so everything is on the grand scale: huuuuge 15-foot-tall Christmas trees in the Great Hall and in the ballrooms (there are… three here, I think) and in the large conference room. Christmas lights on the lawn in front of the hotel, which we can see very well from our room because of the way the wings are angled. Big wreaths, big red bows, enormous ornaments and 6-inch-wide ribbons on the trees; a train set in the atrium, moving among gingerbread houses… I’m certainly not going to be decorating at home until about halfway through December, but I’m enjoying it here.

SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, lovely creamy white-floral thing. Friendly yet quirky, with black pepper and plum under the tuberose.

Dinner is usually preceded on the second day of the convention by a reception hosted by the Eastern Shore county office, with crab legs, Virginia peanuts, and those delicious crunchy hand-cooked potato chips, and mixed drinks. Dinner is a little more elaborate than the other meals, and people tend to dress up. I wore my black jersey wrap dress, with pearls and my russet paisley scarf… and Iris Poudre. Ooooh.

Wednesday, Dec. 1: Drove home from The Homestead, 2.5 hours. I left right after breakfast, since I needed to be at work to send out account statements, but The CEO rode back with one of the other voting delegates from our county. The dog was glad to see me. The cat was nowhere to be found at first, although she decided to come out and yodel at me, probably expressing her annoyance that I wasn’t there to cater to her every whim.

SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum, which I’m enjoying so much that I am a) writing a review, b) planning on wearing it again as soon as possible, and c) scheming to get my hands on more. 5 ml is just not gonna cut it – this decant is going to disappear fast. I sprayed it again in the middle of the day, just to get another hit. (Uh-oh, looks like I’m hooked. Iris Poudre did that to me, too.)

Glad to see my sweet babies. I missed them.

Thursday, Dec. 2: Trying to catch up at work. Retesting Smell Bent Dr. Dreidel and Bi-Polar Express. It’s cold out but not miserable.

The CEO called me at work this afternoon to tell me that “They” (I will eventually identify the mysterious “they.” Wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture. Heh.) had asked him to come and interview for a job Friday afternoon, and he’d have to skip his last lab class to do it, but the department TA would step in for him.

Bookworm had a Christmas parade this evening, which I couldn’t go to because I had community chorus practice. Practice went well, which would worry me if it was the last practice before performance – if that happens, watch out, you’ll screw up something very basic. However, we have one more before we present Vivaldi Gloria and some other pieces. The Gloria is a lot of fun to sing; this is my… fourth? Yes, fourth performance of it. Good stuff, very listenable.

Mawmaw Nell will be going home from the hospital tomorrow, unless something unexpected and drastic happens.

Friday, Dec. 3: Taz has some sort of stomach virus, poor baby. Retesting Smell Bent Sexy Turtleneck and Elf-Fulfilling Prophecy. Still trying to catch up at work.

Called The CEO to wish him luck with the job interview. He said, “This may not pan out, and I don’t even know what exactly they are interviewing me for, unless it’s simple gratitude and they don’t have anything to offer me anyway. We’ll see.” He called me back right afterward and told me that he was considering taking this particular job, and wanted to know what I thought about the situation. Wow. That was fast… I’ll share details as soon as I am allowed to do so, probably by the end of the upcoming week.

Put on Organza Indecence at home and made some Chinese food (yum to both).

Saturday, Dec. 4: Cleaned house. Went to the second local Christmas parade to feature Bookworm’s band. Boy, parades are sure not as exciting as they used to be when I was a kid! This was was pret-ty darn boring. One marching band, some old cars, a few horses, a couple of Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, the mayor and town council, only two floats (4H and a local church), some cool tricked-out trucks, and every single fire truck the town owns. That was it.

SOTD: Alahine. I love Alahine. And it’s snowing! It started with little flurries during the parade, and by the time I’d picked up Bookworm at the high school and we’d gone by the grocery store to pick up apple juice and eggs, big fat flakes were spinning down to land on my face. Made me think of Julie Andrews singing “My Favorite Things,” with the “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes.”

The CEO built a fire, I made hot wassail, and then we got a call from our farm guy about a cow in the barn lot that had done something incredibly stupid. She was in the barn, and instead of walking through some mud to get out the open door, she tried to go under the wall. Got stuck. Spent the night there, apparently. By the time Jeff and The CEO found her, she was cold and exhausted, and we don’t think she’s going to make it.

Sometimes farming really stinks. I mean, this was a cow nearly old enough to vote, and she was probably going to go to the cull cow sale (i.e., she was ambulatory hamburger) at the end of the month, and you have to expect that you’re going to lose one now and then, but it’s bad all the way around when you lose one to stupidity.

By bedtime, we had curled up in front of the fire with cider and watched the Hokies of VT romp all over the Seminoles of FSU to win the ACC football championship (there was much rejoicing), while the snow piled up to three inches’ worth. This is unusual for the time of year – we usually don’t get much snow before Christmas – but nice. Snow is great if you don’t have to go anywhere in it.

Sunday, Dec. 5: The snow has melted somewhat, but it’s still flurrying. The little sugar pumpkin that volunteered itself in the garden, which has been in the house since late September, has outlived its usefulness, so it’s now in the oven baking so I can make pumpkin puree out of it. SOTD: the long-awaited decant of F. Malle Portrait of a Lady. Denyse’s review at Grain de Musc says that while wearing it, she didn’t need any jewelry to be dressed up. When I see someone’s description of a particular scent as “frocky,” or “for dressing up and going out,” I’m usually amused, because the scent will typically strike me as something I feel comfortable and very “myself” in, though I rarely wear anything more formal than the aforementioned jersey wrap dress: Iris Poudre and Mary Greenwell Plum come to mind here. But with PoaL, I may have run across the rare scent too dressy, too evening-gowny, too femme and stately, for my personal everyday wear. It does have a resemblance to Malle’s own Une Rose, which I find frighteningly Gothic, and to Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Lumiere Noire pour femme, which I find drop-dead sexy, but there are differences. I’m not even sure I like it. Will review soon.

Church this morning was out of the question, with the snow… when you live half a mile up a steep, curvy gravel road, getting out is a problem. We might be able to make it this evening, but that’s iffy. School will probably go two hours late on Monday.

I’m not ready to do much in the way of Christmas decorating, but I did take down my fall wreath and the autumn dried arrangement in the old pickle crock, and put out my Nutcracker collection. I think in general we start too early and build Christmas up too much, so that it’s not the special day it ought to be. We’ll go get a tree about the 15th, and it will come down New Year’s Day. And I may go ahead and put up my Nativity scene – Reason for the Season, and all that.

Image is Littell – The Homestead decorated for Christmas, from Flickr.


14 thoughts on “Scent Diary, Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2010”

  1. Now, I really want to try Une Rose! I smelled it in Seattle a couple of years ago, but didn’t pay enough attention – hadn’t entered my ‘dark rose’ phase yet.

    Congrats on NaNoWriMo

    1. A lot of people love Une Rose, and I think you might get on well with it, J. It is a beautiful, silky rose with something else that I cannot really smell, but which saws at my last nerve (probably that woody-amber, though I’m not particularly sensitive to it). Every time I’ve tried it, I’ve found myself walking really fast, trying to get away from the Thing I can’t see that’s stalking me from behind. It’s like the olfactory equivalent of a scary movie.

      I hate scary movies.

  2. Hi Mals, I was really intrigued with your comments about Portrait, because I feel exactly that way about 31 RC. I think it about the most beautiful fragrance I own (maybe even more than vintage No 5), but in reality I hardly ever wear it. Perhaps not evening gowny, it is to me a crisp day frocky perfume, complete with corsage, peep-toe shoes, sheer stoclings and matching hand-bag. Possibly even gloves. I constantly resolve to wear my decant more often, for what is the point of owning such a lovely thing if I don’t wear it? And I did wear it to a casual dinner a few weeks ago. But it was an Asian restaurant, and that was not a good match.

    What on earth would I make of Portrait of a Lady? I think I will have to give it a try. Wonderful name, too.

    Thanks for your post.

    1. Anne, I can certainly see 31RC feeling very dressy; I don’t waste that decant on jeans and sneakers, either. But I think it’s very wearable for many situations, and that’s a joy.

      I tend to save my La Myrrhe or Lyric Woman for special occasions.

  3. Congrats on NaNoWriMo! 🙂

    31 Rue Cambon is totally gorgeous. I find it elegant and easy to wear. Would love to try a parfum version, but I’m willing to settle with a bottle of EdT. Especially now that they come in smaller sizes.

    And I need to get my hands on Portrait of a Lady and Mary Greenwell Plum. Looking forward to your reviews! Maybe a Happy new year-gift for my self from TPC… 🙂

    1. Thanks, Marte!

      I wish they’d MAKE a parfum for 31RC. In fact, I wish that the Chanels I like (31RC, Bois des Iles) had more staying power on me. The vintage No. 5 parfum stays with me for a good five-six hours.

      Plum is gorgeous. I’m starting to think PoaL isn’t my thing, but I really need to give it a little more skin time.

      1. I’m so happy that I don’t have that problem with staying power! Bois des Iles lasts for at least 14 hours on me, and 31 Rue Cambon lasts an entire work day. 6 hours would be poor staying power for me, most scents lasts longer than that on my skin.

        I love most of the exlusive Chanel collection, and right now a bottle of No. 18 is on top of my list. Such a weird beauty! Have you tried that?

        Btw, I tried Malle Une Rose yesterday. It is kinda scary. Quite sour on my skin, and there’s something in it that makes my nose hurt a little if I smell it up close. Very intense and big.

      2. Oh, lucky you on the staying power. I just don’t have that. With anything. Except, perhaps, vanilla and tuberose – those stick around on me.

        I have not tried No. 18; to be honest, I’ve read so many comments that it’s fleeting that I just know it would be only half an hour of gorgeous, and I don’t need that. Pout.

        About Une Rose – scary is exactly it. I really felt like there was an axe murderer on the other side of every door in my house when I was wearing it. I even tried three times. Eek!

  4. We, too, had snow this weekend and the first thing I thought of was Alahine weather! However, by the time I finished getting dressed and handling a few mini problems, I forgot about perfume. So I’m wearing it today since it’s cold, gloomy with few flurries about. Yum!

    1. Alahiiiiiiiine! How I love it… and I think even more so because I didn’t expect to love it, if you know what I mean.

      We’ve got flurries again today, but nothing significant.

  5. I’m with you on Plum. My 5ml split just isn’t enough.

    And dang, it’s cold down here in Florida! No snow, but it will be freezing tonight. I think I’ll spritz on a nice, warm amber before I go to sleep tonight.

    1. Plum, oh, Plum. The name just doesn’t do it justice, I think. I need more.

      We’re in the upper teens tonight, with flurries and lots of WIND. Just got back from two different dinners this evening (our county Farm Bureau, and the high school marching band dinner), and saw some friends of Bookworm’s changing a tire on their van, out in the cold! Poor guys. I offered to help, but they had it under control.

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