Monday, Oct. 4: Another chilly day with 60F temps. I’m doing a double-header test: Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile edt on my right wrist, and Frederick Malle Iris Poudre on my left. For the first 15 minutes, Iris Nobile was winning hands nostrils down, with a delightful, summery citrus-anise-floral air that charmed me. Then the Dreaded Orange Blossom showed up and went soapy, which is the DOB’s standard practice on me, so IN is now off the list. Dang. I was so enjoying it. Eventually it settles into a beautiful, light woody skin scent.
Iris Poudre, on the other hand (literally), is not the powdery thing I was fearing it would be. It’s another one of those weirdies that smell very different, depending on whether you’re smelling near the skin or smelling the waft in the air. The sillage is gorgeous, smiling and beckoning in a flirty way. It’s a) aldehydic, b) floral-girly, c) wafty, and d) lush with vanilla and tonka and sandalwood, approaching the wonderful drydown of Mariella Burani, with perhaps less musk and more sandalwood. Of course, it’s right up my alley, and thanks very much to Elisa for passing on a sample she didn’t enjoy.
My bank account is currently screaming, “No, not another Malle! You have a decant of Carnal Flower! That’s all I can take!” The CEO gave me double thumbs up on Iris Poudre, but I’d bet that’s because a) he’s a sucker for “girly” scents on me, and b) he has no idea how much this thing costs.
Tuesday, Oct. 5: Happy birthday, Taz! After I tucked him in last night and went to kiss the other two, I heard him singing away to himself in his bedroom, “Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…” He slays me.
Chilly day today in the low 60s, with mixed clouds and sunshine. Another busy day at work – boss not there, but little notes all over the place asking for unusual things, like wrapping and delivering a birthday present to a special customer. SOTMorning: Smell Bent Prairie Nymph, which I thought was terrific for a good four hours, with a juicy orange top sliding into carnation and, possibly, rose, and then a nice not-too-clean musk. Eventually the musk starts wearing on me – it persisted at least 13 hours – but it’s really nice up until then.
Also, had to take Taz and Gaze to the eye doctor for appointments. On the way home, Gaze started running a fever and feeling bad. (Did I mention it’s an hour and ten minutes’ drive to the pediatric opthalmologist’s office and the same distance back? It is. And $35 co-pay each time we visit. That’s per kid, and all three of them have amblyopia… at least we’re out of the every-six-months-visit stage.) SOTA: Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, which actually played rather nicely with the dregs of Prairie Nymph’s super-tenacious musk.
Wednesday, Oct. 6: Took Gaze to doctor. Diagnosis: Strep throat. (Ack, hope the rest of us don’t get it…) SOTD: Iris Poudre again. Gaze’s take: “That’s nice. That’s like… furry bunnies. Furry bunnies and flowers. And vanilla cupcakes. In the kitchen, so you only smell them from far away.”
Furry bunnies and cupcakes. I think he’s onto something there.
Thursday, Oct. 7: Warm and sunny again, in the low 80s. I decided to try that tiny decant/largeish sample of L’Artisan Fleur de Narcisse (you know, the ‘spensive limited-edition one, the one that ScentScelf loves to little pieces, the one that’s supposed to smell like hay) that Dear Daisy sent me. I expected to love it. I didn’t. The last time I tried it, she’d suggested layering it with… gosh, what was it? Anyway, I did that a few weeks ago, and it was nice. On its own, though, I find a powdery-raspy, back-of-the-throat sting that I sometimes get from orange blossom. Urgh. Not loving it. I waited through half an hour before giving up and covering the spot with Le Temps d’une Fete, which is also narcissus but which never does that raspy thing. (Neither, for that matter, does my tiny sample of narcissus absolute – which smells amazingly like drying hay. I’d wear it on its own, but it only lasts a couple of hours.)
I love LTdF. I know, I know, my saying that is very like commenting that the sky is blue… everybody knows already, Mals, shaddup already, Mals! But seriously, my LTdF love is one of the very best things to come out of my perfume interest. I could wear this thing the rest of my life, and very likely I will.
Friday, Oct. 8: Another sunny warm day. Tried Fleur de Narcisse again, but the dusty-raspy stuff lasted for hourrrrrs. Gah. After the rasp wore off, at T+4 hours, it got nice. Haylike, golden, warm. (Still not a patch on LTdF, iffen you ask me.)
I have whined before about the powdery-raspy-mildewy thing in the heart of Bvlgari Pour Femme. First I thought it was violet – but it isn’t. Then I thought it was iris – but it doesn’t appear to be that, either. Now I’m wondering if it’s mimosa… there is mimosa in BPF. I thought I liked mimosa. I’ve got to go check notes again, but if there’s mimosa in Hiris and DSH Parfum de Grasse, I may have identified the culprit… I feel very Sherlock Holmes.
While I’m checking, I’ll mention the Smell Bent I tried today: Never Never Land. This is supposed to be rose, dry woods, incense, and possibly vetiver. I put it on right before going out to mow the yard, and it was wonderful for ten minutes. After I jumped on the lawnmower, I smelled something so totally incongruous that I had to first check if it was me (it was) and then whether I was really imagining it (nope): Play-Doh. NNL stayed Play-Doh for two hours. Man, I cannot imagine Smell Bent was going for Play-Doh with this scent… it must be my nose. All the same, it’s Play-Doh and I’m not wearing it again.
Back from note-checking. Parfum de Grasse lists mimosa. Hiris does not. Hmm. Inconclusive. Besides, other scents have mimosa – Grand Amour, Cacharel Eden, Caron Montaigne… wait, maybe I’m just reinforcing my point. I hated Eden. Montaigne did not impress me, and Grand Amour is so quiet I can barely smell it. Amarige has mimosa, but the synthetic tuberose in it is so loud that you can’t smell much else. Kenzo Summer, too, but I hated that because it smelled like rancid butter to me. On the other hand, Cerruti 1881 has mimosa, but I like it. Same deal with YSL Paris. And I love Vacances and Rose d’Ete, and they have mimosa. Huh. I dunno. Still inconclusive. I will have to test Kenzo Winter Flowers (thanks for the sample, Joe) and see if that changes anything.
And who knows? It’s so common for perfumers to not list every detail of the recipe that it could very well be some note that’s never occurred to me.
Saturday, Oct. 9: We’re hosting another international Eisenhower Fellow this weekend – after Olanike and her husband Biodun from Nigeria, Somkiat from Thailand, and Erik from Brazil, we’ve got Dong Qing from China. Nice lady. She has a 17-year-old son at home, but hardly looks old enough to have a kid that age!
SOTD: Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Energy Orange Ginger lotion and body mist. I was a bit rushed for time. The CEO and the boys took Dong Qing around the farm, and then she made us Chinese green tea. (Delicious.)
Sunday, Oct. 10: Beautiful weather, in the mid 80s and not a scrap of humidity. We drove to Charlottesville, ate Chinese food, and visited Monticello… we were crazy to do it, since the entire trip wound up taking 13 hours. Yikes.
SOTD: a light spritz of Mariella Burani. By the afternoon, it had worn off, which was probably good as we went up and down the recently-restored 100-yard-long vegetable garden, sniffing herbs: oregano, three varieties of lavender, comfrey, sage, clary sage (which I hated, by the way), artemisia, tansy, thyme, two varieties of rosemary, mint, fennel, and basil. The basil was in three different places in the garden, separated by several rows, but we could smell it before we could even see it. I’d actually never seen either lima beans (I like those), okra (hate it) or kohlrabi (have never eaten it – it’s a weird little space freak of a root vegetable, isn’t it?) growing before. And we walked back down the hill through the woods instead of waiting for the shuttle bus to the parking area, and that smelled wonderful as well: earthy, leafy, green and spicy.
Maybe I should try Chergui again…
Image is Perfume Bottles from carpe noctem, at Flickr. Photo of the vegetable garden at Monticello from the Monticello website. And, by the way, if you are within driving distance of Monticello, just go already! It had been a long time since I’d been there – 22 years, I think! – and there were some welcome alterations to the tours and and informational exhibits. I was particularly glad to see the emphasis placed on the people who did the actual work on the estate. That’s a relatively recent change, and long overdue. It’s still ironic to note that Thomas Jefferson, who placed great value on individual freedoms and the equality of persons, owned more than 150 slaves in his lifetime, and freed only seven of them. Yes, seven – and five of those in his will.