Scent Diary, July 2-8, 2018

Not literally my class at the Y, but yeah, it pretty much looks like this with all the fabulous old ladies (including my wonderful MIL, who is about to be an octogenarian). Stolen from Faster In Water blog, click through for link.

Monday, July 2: Overcast today, but humid. I think it’s definitely going to rain. I made it to water aerobics with the fab old ladies; I’m still finding it very easy and trying to really work hard at it. Afterwards I like to swim for 15 minutes or so — I started with 200 meters, then went to 300 meters, and now I’m up to 400 but it makes me winded so I need to keep working and move up. I have no memory of how fast I used to swim a 400, back in the day, but I know for sure it was faster than this.

Post-shower, SOTD is Moschino Funny! It is so muggy, and the zippy grapefruit-rose-tea-cassis of Funny! is helping.

Tuesday, July 3: It never rained yesterday. Heard thunder, saw lightning, saw rain over toward Parrott and Fairlawn, but it never rained on us here at the farm. Today is just as muggy. Ugh. (To all those people who were posting pictures of the beach on Facebook in January, and talking about how much they missed summer: I kinda hate you a little bit right now.)

Stationary bike at the Y today, plus a short stint on the Nautilus machines that work arms. My high school friend George, who runs a gym, would sneer because there are only a few free weights, but hey. It’s what the Y has, so it’s what I have.

SOTD was Arquiste Flor y Canto, which is just the prettiest perfume name, “Flower and Song.” Gorgeous tuberose with a dash of marigold; a sunny, happy perfume.

The CEO water-sealed the deck, porch, steps, and porch swing, plus his mom’s brand-new birthday-present porch swing! By dinner my back was stiff. Clearly I need to be doing the weight machines more.

Wednesday, July 4: Happy Independence Day! We went to a nice cookout/potluck gathering with some friends from church. Wore Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie, because I’m still trying to love it, and I still don’t. I really enjoyed my sample of it, and I remember the gorgeous orange topnotes taking my breath away, but this bottle is mostly jasmine with a tiny edge of citrus — nice, but nothing compelling, or at least not to me. I wonder if this got seriously reformulated before they discontinued it; my bottle from Fragrancenet was deeply discounted. Shrug. Dunno.

The CEO got tickets to the local baseball team, so he took Bookworm and Gaze. I was completely exhausted for no good reason, so I stayed home with Taz and rested.

Thursday, July 5: Hot again. Muggy. Exercise bike at the Y again today. Did 40 minutes and 8 miles but no weights. My feet hurt. I am unaccountably tired. SOTD was Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Yuzu. Which is nice, yeah, but honestly? far too much in the line of a traditional eau de cologne like 4711 Kolnwasser for my taste. I mean, sure, it smells good, but I frankly find it pretty boring. Maybe this one needs to get pushed over to my eBay sale too. (Wonder if I still have the box…)

Friday, July 6: Muggy again. SOTD was Guerlain Floral Romantique (Bookworm said, “Ooh, you smell pretty.” That’s what I go for most days, I tell you: to smell pretty. I’m not judging those of you who want to smell like a smokehouse or vanilla cupcakes or a garden overlooking the Nile  😉 but I am nearly always a sucker for just smelling pretty.)

Grilled some chicken and veggies for dinner, while the air became increasingly humid. We had a free HBO weekend, so we sat down as a family to watch “Dunkirk” again. And then, finally, rain. Pouring rain. So glad!

Saturday, July 7: Still cloudy and humid, but I think we got all the rainfall we’re going to get. You value every drop you get in July! Hay is up in the Pond Field; it smells wonderful.

Testing Oscar Flor, which was one of the Calice Becker frags given a 4-star rating in the 2018 Perfumes: The Guide. My initial opinion was that it’s nice, and it smells a lot like Tommy Girl, when it’s not smelling like Moschino Funny! Not that that’s a bad thing at all, but why wouldn’t you just buy Tommy Girl or Funny! instead?

My revised opinion, two hours after the single spritz, as I left the produce stand with a Vidalia onion, two garden cukes, four Better Boy tomatoes, a pint of blueberries and an enormous canteloupe, is that the drydown is extremely attractive and quite fresh, in a real, just-picked, melon-and-cucumber sort of way. I was nearly home when it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t smelling the produce, but myself.

I didn’t get tired of that ubiquitous melon-cucumber thing in the 1990s, probably because our budget was limited and I wasn’t buying anything scented at all back in the day, though I expect people who were into it at the time are probably really tired of it now! IMO, Oscar Flor is excellent for summer, y’all. Also likely to be a cheap thrill like Tommy Girl and Funny!, so that’s a plus.

I am unaccountably tired again. Doctor visit on Monday, a follow-up about my feet (and also, probably, a mini-rant about the lack of referral to the endocrinologist).

Photo from JapanConsidered.com blog; click through for link.

Sunday, July 8: Cooler than it’s been lately, and that’s awfully nice. Week 2 of Worship at the Lake this month, which usually I suffer through because where we have set up in past years — near the gazebo — doesn’t have enough shade to suit me, though it’s pretty and you get a great view of the lake. However, this year we’ve been at two different shelters at the state park, both of which had more shade, so hallelujah! Paleskins like me rejoice. Besides, I could still see the lake. SOTD was DelRae Wit, another one of those just-pretty florals I can’t resist.

The boys tended to mowing and weed-whacking today; The CEO tended to laundry. I tended to some sewing. All in all, a nice relaxing day.

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Scent Diary, June 25-July 1, 2018

Capitol Hill; photo by JW Guthrie

Monday, June 25: A little cooler today, overcast, and it’s supposed to be cooler over the next few days too — which bodes well for the Washington DC trip. The CEO and other elected county boards of supervisors members in Virginia* have been invited to the White House for a tour and a conference, so we drove up (5 hours) to stay in the city this evening. Two other supervisors and the county administrator drove separately, so that the journey itself couldn’t be called an illegal private meeting. SOTD was sparkling, spicy DelRae Wit.

Had dinner at a restaurant owned by the brother of a guy who works in business development in one of the nearby towns — Brookland’s Finest was terrific. The guys all had T-bones, but I ate catfish with spicy greens and polenta. Yum.

Tuesday, June 26: After a delicious hotel buffet breakfast, The CEO and his compatriots headed off to meet with the National Association of Counties and then do their tour and conference, which was going to be followed by a private tour of the Capitol building led by our Congressman. * As it turns out, all county supervisors are being invited to the White House on a state-by-state basis; it just happened to be Virginia’s turn.

I, on the other hand, eschewed perfume for the time being and drove out of the city to meet a college friend I hadn’t seen for years. Our plan was to have lunch, talk, do a little shopping, talk, visit Arielle Shoshana in the Mosaic District, talk, and walk around Holly’s yard where she’s been trying to shift over to all native species plants. Oh, and talk, of course. We managed to fit in coffee/tea and excellent cupcakes, too.

I sniffed a lot of things at Ari’s shop (which is amazing, and you should go visit if you possibly can manage it). It was a thrill to meet her in person! I left with a sample of Vilhelm Parfumerie’s Poets of Berlin — not my usual sort of thing, but very nice stuff. Notes include blueberry, lemon, bamboo, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla; the overall effect is a powdery, fruity wood, not really edible. Holly was quite taken with Maison Francis Kurkdjian A La Rose, which I think is very pretty. (I’m already stocked up in the very-pretty rose department.)

Wednesday, June 27: Cloudy and rainy early in the day — especially leaving D.C. — but then the sky cleared up as we were approaching home. The Hunter-doggle was super-pleased to see us. The kids seemed happy to see us, too, or at least Bookworm and Taz were. Gaze was gone most of the day.

SOTD was Hermes Kelly Caleche edp, pleasant summery citrus-rose-leather. I like it.

Thursday, June 28: Hot. Humid. I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the weather in DC today, but still, summer in Virginia. Went to the Y for some quality time with the bike; it’s getting easier but today my feet are hurting. The fragrance I was testing today was House of Matriarch Two of Cups, an aldehydic floral with a jaw-droppingly animalic aspect. There’s jasmine in it, I’m guessing probably the French ho-panties kind, and cassie (acacia), which can sometimes smell, um, ripe and maybe a tad decayed. Then there’s honey, which can sometimes go really wrong on me as well. I don’t know that I’d ever be able to wear this in public, but it is lovely and the drydown is wonderful.

SOBedtime: Lubin Epidor. I don’t care if 2018 Perfumes: The Guide (Turin/Sanchez)* gave it two stars, called it “plum jasmine” and said, “I cannot bring myself to like this fragrance, which strikes me as an overly loud 1980s heavy, somewhere between Loulou (Cacharel, 1987) and Poison (Dior, 1985), but less confident than either.” LT
*
Yep, this dropped for Kindle today — and I bought it today. And read it today. Review of the book coming.
Also, Luca is wrong on a few counts: Epidor is more hay than jasmine on me, it is definitely not loud, and to me has little to do with the bombastic LOOK AT ME SMELL ME NOTICE ME attitude of Loulou (which I hate. which I always hated.) and Poison (which I worked around to enjoying but still didn’t want to own). Epidor doesn’t lack confidence; it just doesn’t scream or do cartwheels wearing sequins. It’s relaxed.

Friday, June 29: Even more hot and humid, and we’re supposed to have temps in the upper 90s over the weekend. YUCK.

I frequently see mentions, on blogs or Facebook groups, of oriental fragrances being at their best in the heat. I cannot imagine. Now, big white florals blooming in heat? Yup. They are at their most seductive, their most heady, their most attractive, when they bloom big on summer skin. Incense scents? Yeah, I can see those being great when it’s warm. But orientals? Heavy fur-rug and chenille-blanket things like, God forbid, Amouage Memoir Woman in the heat — I just shudder, imagining. And I LOVE Memoir, but not in 90F weather.

SOTD is Jacomo Silences parfum de toilette, eerie meditative cool green thing.

Saturday, June 30: HOTTT. Bleargh. All you people who were posting things like “I want summer” and “Life is best at the beach” back in the fall and winter? I’m kinda mad at you now. June just finished and I am officially DONE WITH SUMMER. I want nothing else to do with it.

Silences pdt again, because it’s like liquid A/C, and I need it.

Taz mowed, Bookworm vacuumed and cleaned bathrooms, Gaze ran the power washer and cleaned the deck. And in the afternoon, we went to see Incredibles 2. We liked the first one, and in some ways the update is even better. (Jack-Jack vs. the raccoon is worth the price of admission, IMO.) Also, this clip IS TOTALLY BOOKWORM AND TAZ. Literally, I have witnessed this exact conversation between the two of them more times than I could count.

After that, a rare meal out for the five of us, at Sal’s Italian restaurant. The boys ate pizza with pepperoni and Italian sausage; Bookworm and The CEO ate calzone. I ordered my favorite Sal’s dish: Godfather Ravioli. Three big round ravioli with crab filling, and three with spinach, and all topped with a creamy pink sauce containing tiny shrimp and baby scallops. It is THE BEST, y’all. It may not be authentic Italian — it probably isn’t — but I do not care. Delish.

Sunday, July 1: Church at the lake again. I think some people like this arrangement a lot more than I do. But under the shelter was nice, because we had shade.

Worship at the lake; photo by Dave Farris.

SOTD was Carven Le Parfum. Most of the time I think it’s very pretty, and then sometimes the patchouli in it bothers me, like today. Sigh. I went to a bridal shower after church and came home to a pressure-washed porch! Thanks, Taz and Bookworm. And then… I NAPPED. It was awesome.

 

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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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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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Scent Diary, Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2018

Monday, Jan. 29: Warm for January, in the upper 40s. I did errands and made lasagna for supper. The CEO went to Taz’s academic challenge team match (which they lost, by one question, because Taz didn’t buzz in with the answer quickly enough).

I’ve been in communications with my webhost tech support about disallowing comments. They keep thinking they’ve gotten it fixed, but since I haven’t had comments for several weeks, I don’t think so.

SOTD was Mary Greenwell Plum, which was nice for about two hours but then shrank down too close to the skin. (Maybe the house is too dry? my skin is too dry?) I put on some Tabac Aurea before bed, when the wind picked up and temperatures began to drop outside. We got a robocall from the school system alerting us to a two-hour delay for Tuesday, due to expected high winds, low temperatures and snow.

The project for the week is Finding My Vanilla Scent. More info to come, but it’s not exactly going well.

Tuesday, Jan. 30: School was canceled early this morning, though why I don’t know. We only got a dusting of snow! And the temps aren’t that bad, either: 10F with the wind chill. (I’m feeling smug and puzzled because I had a 1970s childhood and would wait for the bus outside in this kind of weather on a regular basis in the winter. What, they don’t make coats and gloves and hats anymore?? The buses can’t run if there’s a quarter of an inch of snow??) The high for tomorrow is supposed to be in the 40s again.  Taz, of course, was jubilant at getting a day off until The CEO ordered him to do some housework.

SOTD is Ralph Lauren Safari. Good stuff, so good. I notice the ambery drydown more in cold weather, but this is a year-round favorite.

Wednesday, Jan. 31: Testing Guerlain Cuir Beluga today. Not impressed. Powdery vanilla suede, sorta kinda. Meh.

Thursday, Feb. 1: Warmer, with rain on the way. I’ve been testing Tom Ford Vanille Fatale today. I’m on the fence about it. It starts odd, with a twangy herbal thing, then slides into pretty-much-straight-up-vanilla extract. After that, it goes through a couple of weird stages that I don’t much like, with odd effects including smoke, slightly-rancid butter, and wet dog. But the drydown is gorgeous and reminds me quite a bit of PdN Vanille Tonka: a root-beery vanilla leather smell. Which is quite nice. On the other hand, if you were wishing (as I was) for the long, long delicious drydown part of TF Tobacco Vanille, that gorgeous clear nonpowdery vanilla-liqueur portion of it, you are out of luck.

Also, Vanille Fatale runs $230/50ml and Vanille Tonka, even with its originally wonderful lime topnote reformulated out, runs $155 for 100ml. I think the choice is clear, friends.

I think I might be coming down with something. Hope it’s not the flu, but I’m achy and my head hurts.

Friday, Feb. 2:  Groundhog Day, and a happy birthday to my cousin Holly! We were awakened at 6 a.m. with a robocall from the school system again: 2-hour delay. Then at 6:50, another call: school closed. It has been blowing snow all morning and the accumulation is about half an inch, if that. Temperature is 23F at 10 a.m., and with the wind chill it feels like 13F. So. Yeah, cold, but I can remember waiting for the bus in below-zero temps (and hey, metric system peeps, I mean below-zero Fahrenheit, so -18C). WIMPS.

SOTD is Amouage Memoir Woman. I love Memoir, but it is an all-day commitment, and sometimes it can get A Bit Much. Today I just don’t care. I’m luxuriating in cozy weirdness. And I feel better.

Saturday, Feb. 3: Cold again. The CEO built a lovely fire and then took some wood to a friend; the rest of us cleaned up the house and drank hot chocolate. SOTD was delicious Prada Candy, and we went to see the high school’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” (Which I admit I’ve never thought much of. It’s like somebody’s senior high school music-writing project — great for an early effort, not great as a product of a mature composer.)

Sunday, Feb. 4: Woke to a light snow turning to sleet. It’s getting icy out there. No church today. Bleagh. Worked on structure for the new novel — I know where it starts and where it needs to go, but the middle part is nebulous. SOTD began with some vintage Arpege extrait, but I suspect this one has gone off. It’s not pleasant. I scrubbed and put on Organza Indecence for the rest of the day.

We ate snacky food (boneless buffalo wings with celery and bleu cheese dip, mozzarella sticks and marinara, spinach dip with pita chips) for dinner and watched the Super Bowl. GO EAGLES!

Well, okay, I’m not a big Eagles fan, but I hate the Patriots. Hate ’em. They’re a trashy organization from the administration down and I’m glad to see them lose. (Feel free to lob rotten tomatoes if you like.)

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Scent Diary, Jan. 22-28, 2018

Pulled by light on a winter’s day by Simon Matzinger, via Pexels

Monday, Jan. 22: Wow, three weeks into January already. The CEO just commented that January lasts forever, but I think it’s been zipping by. I’ve been working on the new novel, but after the weekend’s conference I have an idea how to deal with the structure problem that’s been making the old one tough to revise, so I’m rewriting some scenes for it. SOTD is Mariella Burani.

Tuesday, Jan. 23: More writing, and some cleaning up. Bleah. SOTD was Parfum Sacre, after testing Abdes Salaam Attar Benzoin

Wednesday, Jan. 24: Taz has a MACC (academic challenge team) match this evening — hope they win. Tested Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille in the morning. SOTA was Hermes 24, Faubourg, which is still just a tad too orange-blossomy-soap to be a love for me, but which reminds me in a pleasant way of the  Karl Lagerfeld Chloe I wore as a teenager. I miss Chloe and it was a genius scent, but I really cannot wear it now. I’ve tried.

Thursday, Jan. 25: Chillier in the morning, but warmed up by the afternoon. Decent choir practice this evening, and I like most of the music selections for this semester. SOTM was a sample of Seveline Vanille de Madagascar (as part of my unofficial Vanilla Exploration Project); SOTE was Parfum Sacre.

Friday, Jan. 26: Weather is still warmish for January, which I don’t like. SOTD was Parfum d’Hermes. I continue to try with this one, but I just don’t love it. It reminds me a little of Chamade, and a little of Deneuve, but I can’t put my finger on why it fails to hit a sweet spot for me.

SOTE was a goodly spritz of Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea, which has hit that sweet spot for me since first sniff in fall 2009. I’m sad that SSS perfumer Laurie Erickson is ceasing production, but I wish her well in her new endeavors (I think she may be pursuing photography) and I do hope she is able to sell SSS to someone who will be able to keep the company going and producing Laurie’s wonderful fragrances.

Sharry Baby orchid image via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, Jan. 27: Taz had an outdoor indoor track meet today. (Ha. I mean Indoor Track, the sport, held a “polar bear” meet outside today. Temps were middle 50sF, so not all that cold . . . but still not great running weather. He PRed in the 1000M, but didn’t run his 2000M well.) The CEO went with him. Bookworm and I went shopping for a baby shower gift, and did some house cleaning. SOTD was LeLong Pour Femme, which is a pretty, smooth floral-oriental — it’s mostly orchids and sandalwood, and pink in a very grown-up way.

The CEO and Bookworm and I went to see a Tom Petty tribute band at the local theater tonight. It was fun, Free Fallin’ was good, I love TP music, so an enjoyable evening. More LeLong pour femme.

Sunday, Jan. 28: SOTD was a half-spritz of Memoir Woman. Which is big. And rich. And weird. And probably too intense for temps in the upper 40s, but I don’t think I gassed anybody out at church. The drydown was amaaaazing. Sometime around 5 pm I was sniffing my arm with delight. So I respritzed after my evening bath. 😀

Beautiful service at church today.

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Scent Diary, Jan. 15-21, 2018

Not my house. I WISH we were getting snow.

Monday, Jan. 15: Chilly but not ridiculous-cold. Wearing Annick Goutal Nuit et Confidences again from a sample and thinking, “Ehh. Meh.” It’s not bad, mind you, it’s just not exciting.  It’s sad, because the bottle’s gorgeous. It’s Vanilla Week at Now Smell This, so I’m gonna try.

Tuesday, Jan. 16: So The CEO forgot that he was going to take Taz to school, and I wound up taking him (without getting my own breakfast. or wearing makeup. or, heaven forbid, making coffee). And just as I got home, I found The CEO waiting for me in the driveway — really late — saying that Cameron (his Camry) was making the weird noise it makes when it’s low on oil, and that he would need to take Thorin (the Sorento, which is ostensibly mine to drive) and I would need to take Cameron to the lube place to get an oil change and, oh yeah, get it inspected because the sticker runs out at the end of the month. And he gets into Thorin and zooms off.

Slightly taken aback, I shook my head to clear it and went in to eat my now-cold scrambled eggs and put on a scosh of makeup and brush my hair. Then I mentally shrugged at Vanilla Week, stuck a Safari parfum mini in my pocket and zipped out the door to the lube shop where we get oil changes, because the Serious Repair Shop is short-handed these days and it’s tough to get common jobs scheduled there.

So the Safari was delicious, as usual — every time I wear it, I wonder briefly to myself why I ever wear anything else — but that was the only good thing because a) I had no coffee
b) the oil change guy said that Cameron needed an alternator
c) Cameron failed inspection due to two nearly-bald tires on the back.

So I called The CEO and he wanted me to go get his buddy at the serious-repair shop to look over the car and give his opinion on whether it really needed an alternator, and if the tires were really bad or if the lube shop was just trying to make bank out of a clueless female. However, the serious-repair shop was covered up with customers, so I made an appointment for Wednesday.

Wednesday, Jan. 17: Woke to an official robocall saying that the school system’s status had changed from “two hours late” to “closed.” Taz was joyous that he’d get to stay home. Bookworm and The CEO had to go to work anyway, and of course none of Gaze’s activities were suspended. I’m sure he was out with the Army ROTC for PT at 5 am as usual. (Brrrr!)

There wasn’t much snow, only about an inch, but it was slick. Conditions worsened as the day went on, because traffic melted what was on the road, and then it would freeze as ice. School will be closed tomorrow as well, not because we have a lot of snow, but because the roads are icy. Sure, you Northeasterners are laughing — but I guarantee you that you don’t know what it’s like to try to drive a school bus down some of the narrow twisty roads in the Hiwassee area. Add ice to those roads, and you got Accident Waiting To Happen.

SOTD was a spray sample of Natori, which nobody talks about anymore. I guess because it’s discontinued? Shame. It’s a velvety, plummy oriental that I can wear for a lonnnnng time — like 7-8 hours — before it starts pulling up that dreaded Youth Dew Accord and I have to wash it off. It reminds me, actually, of the also-late-and-lamented, by me, Tom Ford Private Blend Black Violet, of which I only have about 3 mls left in a mini. (PSA: if you didn’t manage to grab a bottle of Natori back in the day due to cost, check FragranceNet, where a 50ml is running about $17 and the 100ml $20. I actually considered the shower gel momentarily before deciding it would probably go very Youth Dew on me, and we can’t have that.)

My actual face.

I took Cameron to the Serious Repair Shop run by a school friend of the CEO’s for the new alternator, since Terry commented the old one was spitting sparks all over the place.  😯 Then, as I promised The CEO, I asked Terry if the tire tread would pass inspection.

He laughed. Hard. And then he said, “There isn’t enough tread on these for me to even measure. They’re toast.” So we ordered tires, too, which they’ll put on tomorrow afternoon. This whole little “Hey, take my car to get an oil change and an inspection,” suggestion of The CEO’s has turned into $600+ of necessary repairs, not to mention several hours. Of my time. (Which, I assure you, I would have been much happier to donate if I’d KNOWN this would take hours. Or if the Ranger hadn’t also been in the shop, so that I could have dropped the car off and left it there to be dealt with instead of sitting in the waiting room.)

Or if I’d gotten more than an offhand, “By the way, thanks.”

I’m thinking I deserve something good in return. Like maybe a bottle of Lubin Epidor? Or maybe just a hefty decant, so I can see how it wears when I spritz it out of a normal spray mechanism, as opposed to the plastic spray sample. Oddly, none of the usual decant services have Epidor in stock. Well, okay, Lucky Scent does, but they only either sell you a full bottle or a .7ml dabber vial, and I’m well past what a dabber vial will do for me. #firstworldproblems #i’llshutupnow

Hey, in any case now I have proof that the lube shop is not only competent to diagnose things like bald tires and alternators spitting sparks, they’re comparable to the serious-repair shop in terms of pricing.

Thursday, Jan. 18: Chilly weather. Spent a long time at the garage, waiting for the tires and shivering every time somebody opened the door (brrrr!). I’d made an appointment, but apparently it takes 2.5 hours to rotate and align tires. Shrug. The Ranger is still waiting for parts to be shipped, so it’s not ready yet. SOTD was Hermes 24, Faubourg.

Good community chorus rehearsal this evening — first one of the semester. The CEO eventually thanked me for going above and beyond in getting Cameron serviced.

Friday, Jan. 19: More chilly weather. SOTD was a half-spritz of Shalimar Light (lemon-vanilla powder, nice) for housework and writing, so I could actually wear something vanilla for the last day of this week’s NST challenge.

SOTE was Chanel 31 Rue Cambon (the edp, from my newish decant); I went to a writers’ conference in the evening. I had been to the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference several years ago, not long after I started blogging — either 2009 or 2010, I think, and hadn’t been since. I’m not sure why not. Sharyn McCrumb spoke at that earlier conference; she was really funny. I like her books, don’t love them, but she’s amazing. Tonight was good.

Saturday, Jan. 20: Temps in the mid-50sF today, which was certainly a switchup. Conference all day, wearing more 31 Rue Cambon. Incidentally, I’m not getting a big difference between the edp and the old, original edt (if indeed you can call something released in 2006 “old”). The edt might have been a bit more irisy in the drydown, maybe. And tighter restrictions on citrus and jasmine since 2006 have definitely taken some of the sparkle out of 31 RC, but it still smells like itself: classic, retro rather than vintage, and tastefully rich.

Conference was very good. I got something out of almost every seminar, and I’d even say that I got more out of the seminars today than I did from the very large Writer’s Digest conference I attended in Nashville last summer.

Then I had dinner with a college friend who lives in Roanoke and who I never manage to go see, because if we’re going to Roanoke, it’s pretty much to see my parents. That was lovely, and it was fun to meet her son, who reminds me a good bit of Taz.

This bottle. My mini came from eBay with no box, but it has that gold embossed cap so I know it’s the “fleur de parfum” version.

Sunday, Jan. 21: Still warm. Which is nice, but worrisome. I don’t like this big weather swing in January, I think it’s going to make us all sick. SOTD was a dab of vintage YSL Paris parfum, and y’all, that stuff is literally BIG PINK NEON ON SKIN. But gorgeous — it’s a huge exuberant flowery hug.

Member lunch and meeting after church. Then we had Breakfast for Dinner later on, and it was yummy but I am missing Gaze.

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Scent Diary, Jan. 1-7, 2018

(It always feels different writing the new year for the first time, doesn’t it?)

Monday, Jan. 1: Still cold. High today of 18F. SOTD was Memoir Woman, because it is both delicious and really freaky. We took down some of the Christmas decorations; I think The CEO might be kinda ticked at me for asking him to go out into the cold and remove the wreath from the big second-story window as well as the garland and lights from the porch.

Tuesday, Jan. 2: So I’ve started a trial membership at Ancestry.com. This came about for two reasons: A) my sister is very interested in tracking our family but hasn’t been able to join the site, and B) on Saturday during our trip to the Virginia State Capitol, we were talking about famous Virginians. That discussion included Sam Houston and another Virginian who went to Texas and became prominent — Stephen Austin (namesake of the city of Austin, TX). Who I am related to, distantly, through my paternal grandmother. The CEO was not aware of this, and somehow neither were my kids, so I thought it would be good to fill out my side of the family tree for them. Some relatives of The CEO’s have done a thorough tree several generations back, so the kids have access to that, but the other side is fairly mysterious to them.

SOTD is Shalimar Light with a scosh of Organza Indecence on top. It’s still quite cold.

Wednesday, Jan. 3: Still cold. I noticed last night that the tree was getting a bit crunchy despite our plan to leave it up until Epiphany (Jan. 6), so we undecorated it. The Nativity and snow village and nutcrackers are still on display, at least until Saturday. SOTD was just a bit of Tauer Rose Delight body oil.

Just heard today that our former band director (Gaze’s, not Bookworm’s) had died as a result of injuries from a car accident. I’m stunned. You never expect things like that.

And our neighbor (the one with the goats) was on his cattle farm in a nearby county trying to coax a bull back through the fence the bull had broken through, and the bull took offense and knocked him down. Neighbor is in the ICU in Roanoke (50 miles away) with ten broken ribs and at least one cracked vertebra. If you feel like throwing up a prayer for Tommy and his family, please do.

Thursday, Jan. 4: Drove to Roanoke with Gaze to help my parents put away their Christmas decor. Mom’s just not up to moving boxes around, and it tires my dad out.  SOTD was DK Black Cashmere (yum) with a dab of Vero Perfumery Rozy edp on one wrist and Shanghai Tang Rose Silk on the other. Frankly, the Shanghai Tang is to me far preferable to the Vero; Rozy has that oddly flat fuzzy vanilla-dusty patchouli angle that makes me dislike it.

At 7 pm it was 8 degrees Fahrenheit, by the thermometer. With wind chill? -5. NEGATIVE. FIVE. (Bizarrely, the dog keeps wanting to go outside, five minutes at a time, three times an hour.)

Friday, Jan. 5: COLD AGAIN. 8F. Brrrrr. Nice to stay inside. I need to take the recycling to the town center because it’s starting to pile up, but it’s COLD, Y’ALL. It can wait. SOTD is vintage Coty Emeraude parfum de toilette, ca. 1973, rich and plush and a gentler take on Shalimar, for me. I mean, if you love Shalimar, more power to ya, I don’t mind smelling it — I just don’t want to wear it.

Also retested the Vero Rozy edp and instead of just disliking it, I hated it. Total scrubber. It wasn’t the dusty patch-nilla this time, it was a disturbing unwashed-body smell. (There’s honey in it. Maybe that.)

I had a free Redbox coupon code, and we’d been wanting to see “Dunkirk,” so I rented that. We Yanks don’t generally know a lot about what happened at Dunkirk, unless we’re WWII history buffs. I’ve read my share of British novels set during WWII, some of which mention this amazing rescue of the British army from the coast of France in 1940, but I really did not know many details. (And probably still don’t, since films based on historic events typically gloss over or omit, or even mischaracterize, significant details in favor of compelling storytelling. Which doesn’t bother me that much, to be honest, because I’d rather watch a compelling story and look up the reality later.)

It’s a very good movie. Part of that is that the real-life event is such an amazing story in itself — the removal of 338,000+ British and French soldiers from the coast of France where they’d been soundly routed by the Germans, to England, by some 700 civilian-owned seacraft and the British navy. True patriotism, true sacrifice, true heroism. Part of the movie’s excellence is the direction of Christopher Nolan, who makes such good use of his actors and his score and his visual approach. Dialogue is limited, and the trick of dumping viewers right in on top of characters we don’t know and letting us find our place as things progress is successful. Then, too, Nolan has a gift for using very talented actors and keeping them restrained.

If you remember, I was complaining recently about Kenneth Branagh’s self-indulgent turn as Poirot in the visually-lavish “Murder on the Orient Express”. Well, Ken was directing himself in that. Nolan keeps him on a tighter leash, and Branagh’s reserved and heartfelt performance as the British naval officer in charge of the evacuation is a reminder of how good an actor he really is when he’s not chomping scenery. Tom Hardy’s sub-5-minute screen time as a Spitfire pilot with a low fuel supply is a highlight. (Having only seen the poster showing a sea of tin hats and one tommy looking up, I didn’t even know TH was in it until that distinctive mug briefly popped out from behind his oxygen mask, and then I was all ooh look my boyfriend’s in this one! bet he dies tho. So of course when I went to Youtube to look for a trailer to embed here, he’s front-and-center in it! I don’t know how I missed it this past summer.) The rest of the cast, including several big-name British movie actors as well as theater stalwarts and some new faces, is uniformly excellent as well. Highly recommended.

Saturday, Jan. 6: Indoor track meet for Taz; The CEO went as well. It went badly. For one thing, it’s been far too cold for the distance runners on the team to adequately train. For another, the meet organizers somehow decided to combine two sections of the boys’ 3200 — and wound up with 38 runners in the race. That’s terribly crowded, and crowding has the effect of making the runners go out too fast in an effort to spread themselves apart, so the first half of the race was ridiculously fast and then the second half was ridiculously slow. Bad idea.

RIDICULOUSLY cute packaging. This vibrant color combination just makes me so happy.

SOTD was, first, Twilly d’Hermes from a spray sample. From reading (generally positive) reviews, I had expected something pretty, lightweight yet substantial, a sheer tuberose with ginger. What I got: that raspy, chalky orange-baby-aspirin/Tang dust effect, plus that synthetic spiky jasminoid thing that takes a Skilsaw to my nerves. Only after that stuff wore off, about an hour in, did it turn sheer tuberose. I never got much ginger, unfortunately; I think it was underneath the baby aspirin. The ad campaign’s bright colors (I love the color scheme!) fit the fragrance, and if you’re not sensitive to those two particular aromachems, you’ll likely find Twilly really attractive. I’m sad that I am sensitive to them.

In the evening, I sprayed some new/vintage Parfum d’Hermes. (Vintage bottle in box, batch code dating to 1990, but new to me.) I’m uncertain about it. It does remind me a bit of vintage Guerlain Chamade, but just a bit, and only the higher concentrations of it. And the thing  is, really, I don’t love Chamade. I only like Chamade. Further, if Kafkaesque is calling this thing (in vintage form) a powerhouse, then it ought to BE a dang powerhouse. And it’s not.

Maybe this bottle has aged badly. (Unusual for something still in a box.) Maybe this particular batch was improperly mixed or macerated. Maybe I’m anosmic or hyposmic to something in it, so that I’m not smelling it properly. (This is possible; when The CEO got home last night, he was most appreciative of my fragrance. “This room smells good. Hey, you smell good. You smell really good.” And I’m sitting there thinking, Wow, you can smell it? I can barely smell it.) Maybe the very low humidity in the house is affecting my nose. I don’t know.

Sunday, Jan. 7: Birthday lunch with my parents, a little early but Mom wanted to have a family get-together while Gaze was still on break. He has to be back at Virginia Tech on the 12th. As it turned out, the memorial service for Mr. Shrewsbury was at the high school this afternoon, and he had to leave early.

SOTD was more of the unsniffed-blind-buy Parfum d’Hermes. I like it, but to be honest, I don’t love it, and I only like it a little more than I like Chamade. And the more I wear it, the more I start thinking, the heck with this, I feel like wearing Safari instead.

We should be getting a break from the cold pretty soon, though. That’d be nice.

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