Scent Diary, Nov. 7-13, 2011

Frost on Leaves, image from faculty.virginia.edu

Monday, Nov. 7: Sunny and chilly today; it feels like November. SOTMorning: started out by testing Prada No. 6 Tubereuse, from their discontinued soliflore parfum line. Didn’t like it. There’s a buncha orange blossom in there, and it’s very soapy on me, not to mention short-lived. I was still craving tuberose when it wore off after an hour (yes, only an hour), but the “amber spice” candle I had been burning while writing for NaNoWriMo had its effect on me, too, so guess what I went for? Vamp a NY. Yummy.

I’m having some cognitive dissonance, because my main character would never ever wear something like Vamp.

Daily NaNo total: 1772, for a cumulative total of 13,592. (ahead of schedule).

Tuesday, Nov. 8: Election Day. Since The CEO is running for School Board in our district, he and his mother and I split up the three precincts and each covered one, handing out postcard-size information sheets on his qualifications, in case he’d missed getting handbills to some voters. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum. As it turned out, he did win, with about 69% of the votes in each precinct. It was a loooooong day.

Nothing written for NaNoWriMo today, as expected. Total still at 13,592, not behind.

Wednesday, Nov. 9: Romped on the NaNo writing today! So busy that I barely even remembered to wear perfume at all, and then I tried the new tester version of “Classic” from Sonoma Scent Studio. The last time I wore it, it seemed more complex than it does now, but it also had an unpleasant celery-like material in it (which seems to be an item usually classified as “jasmine”). I like it much better now. It has a little hit of aldehydes, some rose and jasmine and mimosa, and a lovely sandalwood-vanilla base with a hint of myrrh. It is interestingly similar to Tableau de Parfums Miriam, but with noticeable differences.

Daily NaNo total: 3834, for a cumulative total of 17,426. Now a couple of thousand words ahead of schedule, yay!

Thursday, Nov. 10: Another heavy writing day. Stayed home all day, pretty much did nothing but write and fold a few loads of laundry. Then I had a little nap (yay, nap!). I didn’t even notice the weather. SOTD: Prada Infusion d’Iris.

Daily NaNo total: 2957, for a cumulative total of 20,383.

Friday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day: Went to a Veterans Day program at Gaze’s school, and it was very moving. The school’s former “resource officer” – a law enforcement officer that spends time at the school, building relationships with the kids and preventing problems as much as possible – has moved on to full time sheriff duty, but becaus he served in the US Navy in peacetime, spoke to the 8th graders about his experiences in the military. The industrial arts teacher, who’s been there a long time and even taught The CEO when he attended, spoke to the kids about his service in the infantry in Vietnam. He was fairly circumspect, but that was a horrific time, and I think the students ended up with a greater appreciation for the sacrifices of military veterans. The band played two pieces, very well, and the choir sang the national anthem and one other song, passably.

I expected to attend a NaNoWriMo write-in this morning, but either I mistook the date (possible) or it’s been moved to Monday. Then The CEO took me out to lunch as thanks for helping at the polls, and that was lovely. SOTD: Cuir de Lancome.

Had been planning to go to what is probably going to be the final football game of the season. I still can’t believe the high school team made the playoffs with a 1 win – 9 loss record (I can’t ‘splain it, it has something to do with a point scheme). But it’s cold and windy out, and I feel sure we’ll lose tonight, and the band is going to play in the stands but not wear uniforms and not present their halftime show, so I sent Bookworm off with hats and gloves and Hot Hands and sweatshirts, with extras to share, and a firm instruction to Stay As Warm As Possible, I Mean It, Don’t Get Sick, Your Mama Loves You.

Daily NaNo total: 483, for a cumulative total of 20,866. Still a little ahead, even though my characters shut up at the end of a scene and wouldn’t talk to me anymore.

Saturday, Nov. 12: Cleaned house. I think Bookworm is sick – she’s been coughing all day. After yesterday’s cold and windy weather, today is beautiful! In the low 60s, blue skies, a little bit of a breeze. Went to my late grandmother’s townhouse to look at some furniture my aunts wondered if I’d like to have, since the house has been sold and everything has to be removed very soon. As it turns out, I don’t have room for that enormous table, but I did take a space heater and a Pyrex dish in a size I use. The big roadblock with dispersing Nell’s things is the stacks and stacks of quilting materials. While I was there, Aunt Doris and Aunt Cindy suddenly discovered more boxes of the stuff that they hadn’t realized was there, and there was unison wailing from the spare bedroom. SOTD: Tableau de Parfums Miriam. I smelled wonderful.

Struggling with NaNoWriMo today: I don’t think my main characters liked the last scene I wrote, which took their relationship to a more involved level, perhaps too quickly. I’m not sure what to do – I don’t want to remove the whole scene, but I might have to stick another one in before it, just to bridge the emotional distance between this one and the previous romantic (sort of) scene. Meanwhile, I just let them have the day off while I ponder. I’m tired. Daily NaNo total: 0, for a cumulative total of 20,866. Still on track, if I write some Sunday.

Sunday, Nov. 13: Chilly and cloudy, in the high 50s. PETBoy went with us to church, and then afterward came back and watched The Princess Bride with us, since he’d never seen it. I’m not sure he enjoyed it as much as we do (Prince Humperdinck: “That may be the first time anyone has ever dared insult me.” Westley: “It won’t be the last, you warthog-faced buffoon.”), but we had a nice afternoon. SOTD: Caron Parfum Sacre, lovely stuff.

Heard Taz playing by himself upstairs, banging on the pot-lid Viking shield from his Halloween costume, and humming “Hail to the Chief.” I don’t know what one has to do with the other, but it was funny.

Daily NaNo total: 2129, for a cumulative total of 22,995. Still on pace.  My characters are talking to me again.  This is crucial.

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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.

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Excellent (double-excellent) news!

I love the sound of those words together: NaNoWriMo 2010 Winner… I think I’ll just repeat them quietly to myself for awhile…  winner… winner.  I like that.

I’m considering posting an excerpt or two here – as soon as I’ve edited them thoroughly, that is. 

This year’s novel has been fun. (Uh, mostly.)  I’ve lost some sleep, and the laundry has certainly suffered, but I’m getting better at plotting a story arc.  Now, to do more “showing” and less “telling.”  And to transition from scene to scene more smoothly.  All that will, or should, come with editing.  Finishing is good, building skills is better.

Thanks for being patient with me while I went off on my little side excursion.  Regular posting should pick up from here on out.

I think I’m going to go put on some Iris Poudre…

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Scent Diary and NaNoWriMo Report, Nov. 22-28, 2010

Monday, Nov. 22:  Warm, 70F. The CEO is home all this week, since the university is on Thanksgiving break.  He’s also got only five working (teaching) days from now until VT goes back into session in mid-January. 

Is it wrong of me to hate that?  He gets grouchy when he’s farming every day.  And is picky about the house.

SOTD: I’m testing the samples from Smell Bent, and I have Elf-Fulfilling Prophecies on one hand, and Dr Dreidel on the other.  I think these holiday editions need a separate post, so I won’t talk about them now.

NaNo Total Wordcount: 36,493.  Still behind.

Tuesday, Nov. 23: Cooler than yesterday. I was in a hurry this morning, so I was limited to whatever I had in my purse.  SOTD: Smell Bent One.

Went to the arts program at the high school: it’s a concert to benefit the local “Christmas Store” program, with the high school choirs and band, and presentations from the drama classes.  Taz hadn’t wanted to go; he laughed all the way through the drama skits, particularly “A Shrek-mas Carol,” and then immediately announced he was bored, so bored that he might diiiieeee.  (I foresee him getting interested in the drama classes himself.)  Wore the first thing I grabbed on the way out the door – it was Coco Mlle, from where I had it next to the laptop when trying to channel my novel’s main character.  I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really like CM on me.  I still don’t.  It’s just that tiny bit screechy, and if it didn’t have that patchouli-woody-musk stuff underneath, I’d be scrubbing it off.  As it is, it’s only mildly annoying (I may never know why it smells so wonderful on my sister.

NaNo Total Wordcount: 37, 992.  Wrote until after midnight, trying to catch up (almost!).  By then I was both tired and jumpy, knew I couldn’t sleep, so I took a bath to relax.  That worked.  I nearly fell asleep in the bathtub!  Spritzed a bit of Shalimar Light, and drifted off to sleep on a cloud.

Wednesday, Nov. 24:  Chilly. Kids home from school (wreaking havoc, although they did sweep the main floor for me).  Put on my apple-green sweater and found it redolent of Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita, so I wore that again today.  At this rate, I’ll have used up the mini in a month or two. 

Took Bookworm to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – we read all the books together, and have seen all the films together too.  My verdict?  It drags a little, which is perhaps to be expected, given the long buildup to the Final Confrontation that’s coming in Part 2.   It was nice to see more of a focus on Ron, who’s always been my favorite character anyway, and on Hermione.  

 The boys are totally uninterested, but I don’t know whether that’s because it’s “Bookworm’s thing,” whether it’s a backlash against the general popularity of the series, or whether they just don’t  like fantasy.  Might be a combination, although I know that Gaze doesn’t enjoy reading anything that’s unrealistic.  He’d rather read history than fiction.

NaNo Total Wordcount: 39, 206.  Still not caught up, but closer.

Thursday, Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Day.  The kids were out in the yard playing football with The CEO today – it’s warmer than your average late-November day around here (I distinctly remember a Thanksgiving when The CEO took Bookworm and Gaze ice skating on a pond).  I spent most of the morning and afternoon in the kitchen, busy with pumpkin pies, green beans, turkey breast and gravy, sweet potato casserole.  Hectic.

SOTD: Teo Cabanel Alahine.  I thought of SSS Sienna Musk or Champagne de Bois, or even Givenchy Organza Indecence, all spicefests, but Alahine was easier to grab while running behind.

NaNo Total Wordcount: 41, 192. Still not caught up.  I really hope I’ll have time over the last few days.  I remember last year, when I found that the NaNo official wordcounter is more strict than my wordprocessing program, and I had to write an extra scene… I’ll have to do that again.  I’d nearly forgotten.

Friday, Nov. 26:  There is No Freakin’ Way you will get me out shopping today.  I’d rather chew off my own arm.  Also, it’s chilly.  And bare, and windy.  Essentially, it is finally starting to look like late November outside.  SOTD: Chanel Bois des Iles.  Which is beautiful if I hoover my arm, but I can’t smell myself otherwise.  This makes me too frustrated, I ought to just swap it away.

SOTEvening: Mary Greenwell Plum.  Nice.  I hope to review it soon.

NaNo Total Wordcount: 43,342.  CAUGHT UP!!  Yippee!

Saturday, Nov. 27:  Busy busy busy.  Cleaned the house, fed everybody (three times, of course), cleaned myself.  Wrote on the novel.  Showed my sister-in-law how easy it is to set up a blog.  (The hard part? finding time to maintain it.)  Romped on the NaNo writing, because I know I won’t have much time on Sunday since The CEO and I will be traveling to the Virginia Farm Bureau Convention.  This year it’ll be at The Homestead, in Hot Springs – a much fancier hotel than they usually get, but I think this is The Homestead’s slow time, before they get busy again over Christmas, and they’re giving us a competitive deal.  I’ve been there before, and I think it’s beautiful.  My favorite part?  Afternoon tea in the great hall. 

SOTD: Natori edp.

NaNo Total Wordcount: 47,312.  I now think I might actually make it!  Will be hectic busy tomorrow, so I hope this’ll be enough.  I will have through Tuesday, and looks like I’ll need that time.

Sunday, Nov. 28: First Sunday of Advent; we lit the Hope candle.  Home from church, we all threw clothes in bags and got underway – the kids to The CEO’s parents house, The CEO and I to the convention.  SOTD: Dior Dolce Vita, a delicious confection of stewed fruit, spices, and woods.  The CEO sniffed my wrist in the car while we were stalled on I81 and said, “Mmm, spicy. You smell like dessert.”

NaNo Total Wordcount: 47, 560.  Lame effort today, but I expected that.

Image is of a perfume convention from parfumgott at Flickr.

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Scent Diary and NaNoWriMo Report, Nov. 15-21, 2010

Monday, Nov. 15:  Chilly.  The afternoon turned rainy.  I picked up Cuir de Lancome this morning, hoping that the too-smoky vibe I noticed last time was a fluke.  It was.  It’s now back to being a floral leather, quite powdery near the skin.  Lovely stuff. 

I have noticed, these days when my laptop is on for a long time, that in front of the keyboard on the left is a hot spot.  Which means that when I’m typing for periods of time, my left wrist gets really uncomfortable.  Weird.  I’ve even got one of those laptop fan-thingies to blow heat away…

NaNo Total word count: 25,065.

Tuesday, Nov. 16: Chilly rain.  Finally we’re getting some real fall weather.  SOTD: Lancome Climat.  I love this stuff.  It’s a little retro, and maybe that’s why I love it, but still.  Wow.  The galbanum+aldehydes top is a little fusty, but the heart and drydown are so warm and beautiful.

NaNo Total word count: 25,513.  Falling behind.

Wednesday, Nov. 17:  Chilly and partly cloudy, but no actual rain today.  SOTD: Lanvin Rumeur (reformulated) – a skinny, lame, anemic little “modern” thing, like a ghost of Coco Mademoiselle you sprayed on your hanky last week. 

I have been sick of my hair for some time now.  It’s getting longer, which makes it lank and limp, so it’s either cut it or do something else, and I’m really sick of shoulder-length bobs.  So I finally bit the bullet and got a perm (or, as my father-in-law calls it, a temporary).  I’m… really curly.  Scary curly, actually.

SOTE: Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete.  This is more like it: spicy-floral, with iris and… tonka? Really nice.  At the same time, it smells sort of – gosh, can I even say this about a Guerlain? – cheap

NaNo Total word count: 27,884.  More behind.  I’m tired, the house is a mess, there’s all kinds of things to do.  I hate it that NaNo is in November.

Thursday, Nov. 18:  Another rainy, chilly day.  SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur… with a side dab of Dior Poison as the day wore on.  Somehow, suddenly, my kids’ feelings about Poison have changed.  I dabbed a bit on before picking Bookworm up from indoor track practice, and she got into the van and said, “You smell nice.”  Nice?  Poison?  What’s the world coming to?

When we got home, I asked Gaze what he thought of it.  He shrugged.  “Is it… tuberose? I think it’s tuberose.  It’s kind of pretty.” Huh.  Now I’m officially puzzled.  (On the plus side, my 12-year-old son knows what tuberose smells like.  That calls for rejoicing.)

So then I called over my strictest critic, Taz, and asked him.  “That one’s okay,” he said, which is high praise from him.  “Can I smell again?”  I silently offered my arm.  “Yeah, it’s okay,” he repeated.  Dang.  There goes my Ultimate Threat.

NaNo Total word count: 28,372.  Farther behind.

Friday, Nov. 19: Chilly but sunny.  SOTD: Amouage Lyric Woman.  I had been saving this for special occasions, but I’m starting to feel that I should use up what I have and enjoy every minute.  (Go read Angela’s lovely post, “Perfume and the Lavish Hand,” at Now Smell This.)  Gosh, this is such a beautiful scent.  I only have a decant, but it’s so gorgeous.  I had a frustrating, annoying, icky day at work; being able to smell myself helped.

NaNoWriMo Total word count: 30,048.  Still behind.  (Finally actually watched ‘The Runaways,” after anticipating it for several weeks.  It was a good story, but I’ll admit to thinking that the film was really more like the Cliff Notes, sound bite, let-me-catch-you-up short version, and we only got about 20% of what really happened.)

Saturday, Nov. 20: Busy busy day.  Cleaned the house, cooked two massive side dishes.  Went to my parents’ house for Early Thanksgiving – this was the only time my brother and his wife could get two days off together (they work at the same TV station, but different shifts), and a trip home, with their one-year-old, is definitely a two-day minimum.  SOTD: Um… okay, I’ll admit it.  Nothing.  (And I don’t mean L’Air de Rien, either.) 

And I wrote absolutely nothing for NaNoWriMo today, either, so my count still stands at about 30K.  I have now reached the “Will I Get Finished,” scary-behind level.  Eek.

Sunday, Nov. 21:  My hair actually looks pretty good today, no Bozo-the-Clown look.  It’s manageable.  SOTD: Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita, which apparently has yet to reach retail outlets in the US but is all over eBay (I bought a mini unsniffed).  I was a little disappointed in the staying power – it’s a floral oriental eau de parfum, but wears more like a lighter eau de toilette.  I got two good hours and one faint-whiff one.  What Si Lolita reminds me of is Coco Mademoiselle – not so much that they smell alike, but they both share that woody masculine base under a light, girly floral top.  (Wonder if that Kate Walsh Boyfriend scent is constructed that way, too?)  Si Lolita smells less… okay, I’ll say it… synthetic in the floral part than CM, and it has some more emphatically oriental notes than CM, which is probably more woody.  Also, it lacks that elegant Chanel vibe.  Even though I don’t care much for CM, it still smells “Chanel-y” to me, where Chance and Allure don’t smell like Chanels at all.  Alternately, I could have said Si Lolita smells like Guerlain Idylle edp, with less patchouli-musk…

This comparison is fairly pointless.  I still don’t like Coco Mlle at all on me, and I would have liked Idylle much, much better if it had been less heavy on the patch.  I like Si Lolita better than both of those, but its problem is that it doesn’t have much presence.  If it lasted better and projected more, I’d probably want another mini.  As it is, I’ll just use this up in lavish spritzes and be content.

NaNoWriMo Total word count: 33,031.  I’m catching up, but just a little.  Still got about 2000 words, plus the normal daily totals, to make up.  It’s doable, but only if I really romp on it.  Thanksgiving always puts a dent in my writing routine (duh).

Image is “My Grandmother’s Perfume Collection” from SourCherries at Flickr.

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Scent Diary and NaNoWriMo Report, Nov. 8-14, 2010

Monday, Nov. 8:  First “free” day after the end of the Signature Scent Challenge week!  Went a little wild with excitement, and put on SL La Myrrhe.  Which I love, and which is easily the most expensive thing I own.  Luckily, a single spritz lasts a long time for me – about ten hours.  After that wore off, I went a little wilder and put on some Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire pour femme (one of your more unwieldy perfume names, I admit – nothing like the simplicity of Coty Emeraude!).  Which I also love.  Mmm.

Also, Bookworm was teasing me and I threatened her with Dior Poison, a.k.a. the Elixir of Death… I told her that if she ever did anything really mean to me, I was going to take that little bottle of parfum up to her room and drench her sports bras (she runs every day) in it as revenge.  So I got Poison on my fingers, too.  I was a strange-smelling cloud.

NaNo total word count: 13,420. 

Tuesday, Nov. 9:  Warmer today, should be back up into the low/mid-60s.  The dregs of MFK Lumiere Noire pf were still on my wrists when I got up, and even survived a shower, but it’s too raunchy (for me) to wear to work, so I spritzed something I thought would cover it: Natori EdP.  I love the aldehydes and plum in the top, I love the spicy-woody stuff, but there are a few balsamy moments that might possibly kill me if they got any more Opium-esque.  As it is, Natori skates juuuust barely on the positive side of “Will I be able to keep my lunch down?”  Also, it sticks around all day, so no other sampling.

NaNo total word count: 14,823.  Gosh, this is getting harder and harder – I’ve written most of the major scenes, and now am stuck with stitching them together… I have also added a mystery/crime plot twist and am hampered by not knowing what the actual police procedure would be.

Wednesday, Nov. 10: Warm and sunny again.  SOTD: Smell Bent One.  Which reminds me – my bottle hasn’t shown up yet – I’ll go email them and see what’s happened to it… okay, deal is they didn’t get info from PayPal, and it’s now on its way, along with a few samples as an apology.  Apology wasn’t necessary – mistakes happen! – but it was really sweet of Brent Leonesio to offer them.  I’ll probably do another Smell Bent roundup with these, but since four out of the five don’t sound very much like “me,” I may do a prize draw for the slightly-used samples.  It’s as good a way as any to pass on some scents that someone else might appreciate more than I do.

SB One stuck around most of the day, but before bedtime I spritzed some Alahine.  Mmm.   

NaNo Total word count: 15,853.  Still slogging through.

Thursday, Nov. 11: Another chilly morning and warm afternoon.  My fragrance choices are probably skewing more wintery than they would if I were taking more consideration of the weather, but it’s so dry and un-fall-like.  I haven’t wanted Magie Noire or Tabac Aurea at all this week, I’m going for the cuddlies.  I smelled so wonderful when I got up that I respritzed Alahine this morning.  I love Alahine.

NaNo Total word count: 16,777.

Friday, Nov. 12: Weather the same.  SOTD: Iris Poudre.  Now that I’ve finally given in to my acquisitive impulses and gotten in on a split, I feel free to spritz from the sample.

Went to a conference with Taz’s 4th grade  teacher this morning, on account of that Handwriting grade of “inconsistent,” with an “unsatisfactory effort” mark, on his report card, which was otherwise very good.  None of my children have excellent handwriting, and I don’t insist on that.  I’m going for legible here, and Taz definitely misses the mark.  Mr. Souder and I now have a plan for addressing the issue, and Taz will find himself either focusing on doing a good and careful  job, or pouting over the consequences, which include multiple rewrites,  lower test grades, loss of computer/TV time, extra chores at home, and loss of pickup football games during recess.  (The boy is capable of a mammoth pout.  He’s also capable of tremendous effort, when he chooses to exert himself.)  We’ll see if he decides to fulfill his capabilities.

The CEO took me out to dinner and then to a concert by the university orchestra (Dvorak’s New World Symphony), and I wore more Iris Poudre, which is wonderful stuff and certainly deserves more than the three stars it received in P:TG.  I think LT was annoyed that it wasn’t very iris-y – I notice that fragrances with “bait and switch” names tend to get short shrift from him.  We all have our little prejudices.

NaNo Total word count: 17,502.  Lame.

Saturday, Nov. 13: More gorgeous short-sleeves weather.  SOTD: Tauer Orange Star.  I sprayed about half a spritz on my thumb, and am enjoying it more this time than the last two, but closer to my nose, I think, would kill me.  Me n’ orange blossom iz Not Frends. 

Wrapped up three shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child – we usually do one from each of our kids, and they help shop for and wrap each one.  Passing a little bit of love around is a big thrill.

NaNo Total word count: 19,495.

Sunday, Nov. 14:  Frost on the windshield this morning again, with Taz running around outside in shorts this afternoon.  SOTD: Teo Cabanel Early Roses, from a sample sent to me by Dear Daisy, our Queen Enabler.  In the early stages, I was thinking, “Meh, simple rose soliflore,” but the drydown is lovely and woody-fresh in the best possible way.   It’s made in the same style as DelRae Coup de Foudre, a simulacrum of a living rose, but sticks around far longer than CdF.  Every Teo Cabanel fragrance I’ve tried – well, there are only five – has been well-made of good materials, nothing fakey or cliched, coherent from top to bottom, even if I didn’t fall hard for all of them.  Meloe is an un-ditzy, refreshing fruity floral done right.  Oha is a beautiful, elegant rose chypre.  Julia is a lovely, innocent mixed bouquet.  And you already know how much I love Alahine, when I hadn’t expected to enjoy it at all.

NaNo Total word count: 23,602.  I am a teeny-tiny bit ahead of the average pace – at the end of the day, on a 1667-words-a-day schedule, I should be at 23,358.  My advantage is not enough to be significant, but given my struggles during Week Two, I’m pleased.  My story has gotten tighter and more dramatic, less romance-focused, and I’m happy with that.

Image is Romantic Perfume from Ms. Tina at Flickr.

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Scent Diary and NaNoWriMo Report, Nov. 1-8, 2010

Monday, Nov. 1: Statement Day at work. First day of the Signature Scent Challenge; I chose Coty Emeraude (vintage parfum de toilette). Long, hectic and busy day… I didn’t put enough Emeraude on, and can barely smell it. This bottle is a splash type, and I dabbed. What I can smell is lovely, all warm and rich. Between wearings, it’s easy to forget just how good it is.

Took the boys trick-or-treating – we had fun. I did find myself wishing for something edgier, like Champagne de Bois, while we were walking down the leaf-covered streets. If trick-or-treating had been scheduled for last night, on actual Halloween the way normal people do it, The CEO could have taken them, but he has a late class on Monday afternoons and wouldn’t get home until 7pm.

NaNoWriMo daily word count: Big Fat Zero. Too busy.

Tuesday, Nov. 2: Chilly again. This time I grabbed my second bottle of vintage Emeraude pdt, the one I decanted into a spray bottle – and this one is way different: the topnotes have gone off a bit, and smell like gasoline, and the base smells both very powdery and very smoky, a lot more like Shalimar than it probably should. Interesting. The bottle this came from is izzackly like the one I wore yesterday, but it smells so different. Eight hours after spraying, though, it’s gorgeous, even deeper and richer than I’d remembered it being.

Voted this morning, right after I dropped off the kids and before going in to work. Turns out that 8:30-9:00 am is when the Old People vote. Not that I’m disparaging them – in general, they’re a civic-minded bunch, and I applaud that – but it was a little discouraging to be the youngest person in the building, when I’m in my 40s.

The CEO was very pleased – “his” candidate, the one he’s been supporting and putting up signs for and writing letters to the editor about, for the first time in his life, won, edging out a longterm incumbent. I’m pleased, too, since I haven’t liked the incumbent guy for a good couple of decades. I’ve been skeptical of his judgment ever since he took a luxurious, lobbyist-paid junket back in, oh, 1986 or so.

NaNoWriMo daily word count: 2152. Not enough to make up for yesterday, but a good start.

Wednesday, Nov. 3: I noticed that when the heat kicks on, Eddie Van smells like Champagne de Bois, from where I spritzed it on a few weeks ago. Yum. That is some seriously good stuff. Me and Emeraude, though, we’re still BFF. I had expected to get some new insights into wearing it so often, but that really has not happened. It smells like Emeraude, and it smells great, and it does its usual trick of melting into my skin and feeling like an exhalation of me.

NaNoWriMo daily word count: another big fat Zero. I’m exhausted.

Thursday, Nov. 4: The CEO left yesterday afternoon for a trip to Williamsburg, for the Virginia Farm Bureau Resolutions Meeting. A small number of delegates from the county bureaus are getting together to compose a slate of resolutions, on which the full delegation will vote at the annual convention later in the month. Honestly, I think he lives for these meeting things. I’m scheduled to go to the three-day convention – held at The Homestead, an old hotel and spa in Bath County, after Thanksgiving – as an alternate. With any luck, none of the voting delegates will get sick, and I can count on some good chunks of novel-writing time, in between excellent meals. Nobody begging for clean jeans, nobody asking when dinner’s going to be ready, nobody needing rides to school or home from band practice…

Anyway, I’m getting bored with Emeraude. The thrill is gone. To be frank about my feelings, ol’ Auntie Em still smells great, but I keep thinking, Hey, I’d love to smell some Iris Poudre, or Wouldn’t Le Temps d’une Fete be wonderful right now, or Somebody was talking about Lumiere Noire pour femme, now that’s a fabulous fragrance.

NaNoWriMo daily word count: 1703, just a little bit over the average recommended daily word count.

Friday, Nov. 5: Just above freezing today. I’m getting on fine with Emeraude today – it is quietly wonderful, and I’m reminded again that I shouldn’t be pining for good stuff I don’t have, when there’s so much good stuff I do have. All the same, I’m ready for the experiment to end.

The CEO and I took Gaze to the last high school football game of the season. I hadn’t been to even one this season, and I had really wanted to see the band – and Bookworm, of course. While sitting in the stands, I realized that this is only the second high school football game I’ve been to since I moved here… 18 years ago. Yes, really. (If I was still living in my hometown, close to my own high school, I’d probably have been to at least one game every year.) We nearly froze – temps were hovering right at 36F, and during the last quarter it started to rain. Brrrr! Surprisingly, our team won the game, beating our longtime rivals and thrilling the hardcore fans.

NaNoWriMo daily word count: 3588. Starting to catch up a bit.

Saturday, Nov. 6: Beautiful weather, in the high 50s. SICK OF EMERAUDE. Resenting having to wear it. Gritting teeth. Seriously considering ditching the experiment, because now I’ve found out what I wanted to know – can I wear only one scent this week or not? – and the answer is no.

Persevered. Wore it again. Found that my animosity is not due to the fragrance itself, but the idea that I couldn’t pick something else. This does not surprise me, really. The mantra “only two more days” worked fine. Especially since, having decided that my main novel character wears Coco Mademoiselle, I spritzed a bit of CM, from a spray sample I bought for my sister, onto a handkerchief and set it by my laptop so I could smell it frequently.

NaNoWriMo daily word count: 3757. Yay! I’m caught up. It was a good, productive writing day.

Sunday, Nov. 7: Hard frost when we got up. Brrr. Emeraude was friendly again, and warm and rich, and again I was thrilled by the waft of Champagne de Bois in my minivan when we got the heat pumping.

NaNoWriMo daily word count: 2206. Weekly word count: 13,406 – pretty good, compared to the standard 7-day benchmark of 11,669 (but still very far behind some other people, notably Chicken Freak of Chicken Freak’s Obsessions!).

Onward and upward. I certainly hope that the coming week will be more interestingly-scented.

Image is Parfumesse in Holland, by parfumgott, at Flickr.

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NaNoWriMo 2010

It’s that time again.

You know, that time when I neglect my family and home (and this blog) in order to frantically type dialogue and description and the like to meet my word count for the day, trying to finish a 50,000-word novel.

Here’s my post on it from last year, and if you click here you can follow how things went for me in 2009.

I’m going for it again this year.  Wish me luck.

Image is Keyboard-blur by striatic at Flickr.

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