If you own two auto parts stores, and you hire someone to do your accounts collections for you, and you have a credit policy but make exceptions for nearly half your three hundred regular customers, and when your bookkeeper, following the credit policy, stamps the message “Account is on COD until past due balance is paid” on a customer’s statement, the customer is annoyed at the reminder of having not paid his bill and calls you to complain, you discuss the matter with your bookkeeper and ask her not to “do that again”… well. Why have a credit policy at all? Why not just let people pay you when they feel like it?
Oh, yeah… because that’s only valid for certain customers – the ones we mustn’t annoy, apparently. Certain other customers, having gotten behind in the past when my boss has instructed me to “give them a break,” are now past due enough that I’m supposed to be harassing them for money. Efficient? NO.
I cannot seem to explain sufficiently to my very bright, but confrontation-avoiding, adult-ADHD, boss, that not sticking to the credit policy for ALL customers, even the guy who’s active in the local Commerce Association, backfires every time. Every single time! Not to mention that ditching your *%#$ credit policy on an inconsistent basis makes your bookkeeper hate you.
SOTD: the original Victoria’s Secret scent, Victoria – a lovely, ladylike floral chypre with rose and lily of the valley. The top notes are totally crap: maple syrup and nail polish remover, which is probably the primary reason why this scent was yanked from the VS lineup. It’s not that old. I’ve got bottles of other scents, thirty years older than the two bottles of Victoria I own, that are in much, much more wearable shape. Yet Victoria’s top notes have decayed dreadfully. The rest of the fragrance is terrific.
I’ve mentioned it before, but since I’m already cranky, I’m going to do it again. Some of you are thinking, Victoria’s Secret? That stuff’s all teen-mall-princess juice. (You know who you are.) But the original scent is both elegant and warm-hearted, both restrained and shyly open. Basically, it is Princess Diana’s beloved public image, ca. 1984, in a bottle. This scent was released when VS was selling lovely ivory silk charmeuse camisole-and-tap-pants sets. And knee-length teal chemises in heavy satin with godets and four-inch-deep cream lace. And white cotton ankle-length nightgowns with pintucks and eyelet lace and mother-of-pearl buttons. And pale peach lace balconette bras, very French, sexy but demure, with darker coral hand embroidery and high-leg briefs to match.
Those were the days, lemme tell you… not a hot pink nylon thong in sight.
Tuesday, Aug. 10: Things were better at work today. SOTD: DSH Perfumes Parfum de Grasse, what Dawn Spencer Hurwitz calls “a hymn” to the city of perfumes. I know a lot of people find this one lovely. I don’t. The dreaded powdery-mildew note from Bvlgari Pour Femme and Hiris showed up early and never left. I could discern the rose and carnation, and the beeswax is really lovely, but the powdery stuff killllllls me.
SOTE: DSH Perfumes Special Formula X-treme (oil). This is the extra-strength version of the “diagnostic tool” that Dawn uses in her shop to classify customer’s skins with regard to smell. I don’t know all that much about it, although reviews on Basenotes and Makeup Alley compare it to various kinds of Egyptian musks, and also to Creative Scentualization Perfect Veil, SSS Opal, and some other skin-scent thing from Ava Luxe. March at Perfume Posse comments that it smells really musky and almost body-odor-like, and based on that info, Dawn told her that she must be a “skank magnifier.” (I think March said something like, “Well, duh.” I love her. We rarely like the same things, but I love her writing.) Special Formula doesn’t smell like musk to me. It smells like very subdued flowers and clean linens, and if that were truly my kind of fragrance, I would love this. Jennifer Aniston’s non-perfumey perfume should have been this. Now I’m off to send an email to Dawn asking what it means if Special Formula smells like flowers and laundry on me. My guess is that she’ll say something like, “White florals and florals in general love your skin.” Anybody want to bet me?
Wednesday, Aug. 11: I mentioned this before, in my “Busy” post, but the software change that we’ve all been dreading for two years finally happened. Despite the Tech Support guys’ reassurances that everything would work the way we expected, it was just in a different format… well, you know. NOT! I’ll get used to it, though.
Dropped the boys off with my parents, meandered back through the mall, sniffed stuff. By the time I got there, my SOTD, DSH Perfumes’ Secrets of Egypt: Susinon (1000 Lilies), the perfume version, had faded to a very-discreet skin scent. Nearly everything on the shelves at Macy’s suffered when compared directly to it, except Shalimar and the drydown of No. 5 edt. Actually, No. 5 parfum could give the Susinon a run for its money in terms of smelling natural and composed, but there’s no tester for the parfum at Macy’s. I don’t really like Shalimar edt, but it still smells so real and rounded next to, say, the Jessica Simpson vanilla things, or MJ Lola or Coach or Chance.
Thursday, Aug. 12: It’s been hot and humid all week. I hate August. SOTD: Septimanie Pavillon des Fleurs, nice little green-fresh jasmine thing. Can I be honest here? I really prefer Hanae Mori Haute Couture, which is available at a quarter of the price. I love it when my taste agrees with my wallet. The CEO and I went out to dinner, which is a rare-enough occurrence. With no kids in the house, we took the opportunity for Date Night. Whee! SOTE: LeLong Pour Femme, such a pretty satiny thing.
Friday, Aug. 13: SOTMorning: none, really. Except I had bought a $2 trial-size lotion of B&BW Dark Kiss on Wednesday, and put a bit on my scratchy elbows before leaving the house. Dark Kiss is “Angel Minus the Patchouli, Add Extra Berries Instead.” Which should be a description of the original Hanae Mori, and yet Dark Kiss does not smell like Hanae Mori. It smells like Angel Berry. It’s not hideous. It’s just… I dunno… very high school. SOTRest of my Life, apparently: the Designer Impressions version of Angel from the tester at Walgreen’s. I’d smelled this way back in winter, when the teeny spritz of it on my fabric glove smelled really lovely, and I dared to put it on skin today.
Mistake. One spritz to the elbow is still going strong 9 hours later. The bit I put on my scarf smells nice – a bit candy-shop, but nice. A lot of people who wear Angel actually smell like this to me, all sugar-berry-vanilla. But on me, Fake Angel smells like Drakkar Noir drank way too much cherry Nyquil and passed out into a vat of cotton candy. On fabric, I don’t get so much patchouli, but on skin it’s really dreadful. I haven’t washed because I wanted to see how long it would go. Nine hours… nine. I have scent-eating skin, people, and am almost guaranteed of getting less wear than the average with any given scent. It boggles the mind. Bookworm, who just got home from band camp, told me to get away from her while wearing it: “It’s just… well, it’s disgusting, Mom.” She put on a bit of the Dark Kiss lotion, though, and proclaimed it “nice.”
Saturday, Aug. 14: Standard Saturday chores: Cleaned bathrooms. Vacuumed. Mopped floors. Straightened my room, which desperately needed it (especially the Putting Fragrance Samples Away part). SOTD: Marc Jacobs Daisy, which still proves to be one of my favorite Wallpaper Scents – pretty yet unobtrusive. Drove to my parents’ house for my sister’s birthday dinner – Mom’s homemade lasagna and salad, followed by white cake and peaches. Delicious.
We brought the boys home with us. Taz barely made it up the stairs to change into pajamas and brush his teeth, he was so sleepy… and then for some unexplained reason, while The CEO and I were in the basement family room trying to fix the satellite dish, he came back downstairs with his pillow and collapsed on the couch. He looked like a… a steamed dumpling, lying there – all curled at the edges, plump and shiny of cheek. Utterly adorable.
Sunday, Aug. 15: We took about twenty pounds of ripe tomatoes to church with us, to give away. There’s still plenty in the garden, and I canned another seven quarts this evening (running count, 41 quarts). Plus I have three quarts of Salsa Cruda and six quarts of fresh peaches in the freezer. I’ve been a very busy girl.
SOTD: Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, that pretty, outrageously overpriced floral-soap scent. Reminds me of Coty L’Effleur, which my mother used to wear, and which she liked because it smelled both flowery and clean. I could probably buy 20 bottles of L’Effleur, even though it’s discontinued, on eBay for the cost of a bottle of CG. I’m starting to get annoyed at Guerlain. They discontinue Shalimar Eau Legere, they discontinue Attrape-Coeur, they mess with formulae and fail to reissue Ode as promised… worse, they put out stuff like Insolence and Aqua Allegoria Tutti Kiwi and La Petite Robe Noire – and they charge the same amount for Cruel Gardenia as they do for a genuine gem like Vega. I’m sick of this. It’s no wonder I’d rather shop with Sonoma Scent Studio or DSH Perfumes.
Image is Vintage Jewelry Bits Perfume Bottle from glassbeadtreasures at Flickr.