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Scent Diary Summary, Mar. 17-30, 2014


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I didn’t keep up with Scent Diary on a regular basis, so I’m just going to summarize what’s been going on.

Weather: from beautiful to icky and back.  Over the past two weeks, we’ve had sun, rain, SNOW, sleet, wind, cloud, more sun, warm balmy spring weather and nasty-end-of-winter-weather.  Bleargh.

Farm: The CEO did the taxes. Bleargh. But we have lots of new baby calves running around in the Pond Field and the Twenty-Acre Field.  In other news, when Hayley-dog went running with Gaze yesterday, she killed a groundhog. By herself.

groundhog holeYou have to understand the farmer mentality concerning groundhogs: they are destructive to just about all our farm endeavors. They are literal pests. They dig holes which then become very hazardous to cattle – and trucks and tractors.  If a cow steps into a groundhog hole, she’s likely to break her leg, and since there is no good way to put a cast on a cow, she will then have to be slaughtered. (That’s if you can even salvage her, given the newish restrictions on cattle going to slaughter requiring that all cattle be ambulatory. This rule was meant to prevent animals with Mad Cow Disease from entering the food pipeline, which nobody wants, but since it also prevents animals with broken limbs or physical breakdown from being legally slaughtered, that means anywhere from $800 to $1500 wasted when you have to shoot the cow and send her to the landfill.) And twice now The CEO has run the front tires of the John Deere 3020, the “tricycle” tractor, into a groundhog hole and snapped the front axle. THAT’S expensive too. So – groundhogs are definitely Animalia Non Grata around here. The CEO will do his best to try to run over every single one he sees, and if anybody calls and asks if they can shoot groundhogs on the farm, he’s all, “Sure, come over, we’ll make you brownies! Just let us know when and where you’ll be shooting.” Sure, Punxsutawney Phil is cute, but he’s in a cage.

Fragrance: Still testing multiple things, from Scent on Canvas, Oriza L. LeGrand, and EstherP, as well as a few other random sample vials.  However, my usual Spring Suspects, the greenies, are out in full force too: Chamade, Le Temps d’une Fete, Chanel No. 19, Amoureuse. Other things I’ve been wearing include white florals like Tatiana, Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, and Carnal Flower; I even put on three sprays of Poison last night before bed. (No, I did not asphyxiate anyone. Honestly, I keep saying this, but white florals sink in on me and don’t reach out to choke people the way they often can. I haaaaated Poison back in the day when everyone was wearing tons of it, but there’s something about the orange blossom in it that makes it soft on me. It’s actually pretty.) Weil de Weil is another green/floral chypre I’ve been wearing, and of course Mary Greenwell Plum has been getting some wear.

I recently bought a small vintage bottle of Prince Matchabelli Cachet for the nostalgia value, since it was one of the few I owned as a teenager. That one my mother picked out for me, and upon resmelling it, I understand why she did. It is an astoundingly prim thing, and sits somewhere on the green-iris-rose-aldehydes-vetiver-musk continuum that stretches from Silences to No. 19 to Madame Rochas. I dislike Madame Rochas – it’s too vetivery and dry for me, not floral enough – and now I remember why I nearly always preferred my Karl Lagerfeld Chloe: Cachet, though it has aldehydes and florals and moss, is predominantly vetiver and musk. It’s a rather grown-up fragrance at this point. Still pretty, but too restrained for me. I like my flowers.

Music: I may be forced to enter the 21st century with regard to music technology.  See, what with all the mix tapes The CEO and I still have leftover from college (so SUE US, it was the ‘80s) and all the CDs we started buying when we got OUT of college… we haven’t yet moved on to mP3 players. Bookworm has a 2006 iPod she won in a drawing, and Gaze has an El Cheapo thing similar to an iPod Shuffle, but we still have the stereo system The CEO bought from his sister’s boyfriend in 1991. Except that we had to replace the 5-CD changer when we had an electrical power surge five or so years ago. Even then, it was a pain to even find such a thing, and Best Buy only had two or three of them.

Well, on her way out the door with some CDs to listen to in her dad’s car on the way to Union Station in DC, where Bookworm was going to take the train back to Yale, she bumped the CD player. It hit the wall. That seems to have damaged something inside the thing – it turns on, but it won’t turn off, and none of the buttons work now. You can’t open it, you can’t skip disc, you can’t do ANYTHING. So. The CEO wants to get a new one, but I’m thinking that at this point it might simply be easier to move on to an iPod or equivalent with a speaker deck. I can transfer all the CDs to the iPod, can’t I?

Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith

Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith

You know how in Men in Black, Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones, I love me some TLJ) says to the new recruit, Agent Jay (Will Smith), while holding some tiny little gadget on his palm, says, “This is gonna replace CD’s soon; guess I’ll have to buy the White Album again…”? Well. I’m in that position, I think.

Also, I recently discovered Pandora. It’s much better than radio. MUCH.

Books: Have been rereading Colleen McCullough’s novels on the Roman Republic, starting with The First Man in Rome.

Projects: Finally put away most of the winter décor and candles and wreaths, and got out the Eastery things. Also, I hemmed three pairs of pants for Bookworm (I buy her petites, but her jeans are always two inches too long!) and mended a pair of pants for myself. Now I just need to replace the foam pad on the seat of a wooden desk chair. (If I think long enough I’ll come up with more projects. Some of them should include decluttering.)

Look for some reviews to come this week. I know, I promised them last week, but… um… I lied. Sorry.



Scent Diary, Mar. 10-17, 2014


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Early spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains. (This, technically, is North Carolina, but of course the mountain range stretches up through Virginia into West Virginia, like a long backbone.)

Early spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains. (This, technically, is North Carolina, but of course the mountain range stretches up through Virginia into West Virginia, like a long backbone.)

Monday, Mar. 10 – After a spate of nasty weather, outside has turned the corner for spring. Seems to have, anyway. Temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s since Saturday, and my spring bulbs have started to push up leaves.  SOTD: Guerlain Chamade, vintage EdT. The topnotes are a bit off on this one and the aldehydes are nailpolishy, but then they burn off to reveal galbanum and then jasmine-narcissus-rose, followed by that powdery mimosa and vanilla. I’ve always thought it a very romantic fragrance, in that it turns from crisp and green to flowers and then to that melting, creamy drydown, the epitome of gradual surrender.

SOTE: Ferre 20, which I bought in Rome four years ago, when we went to Malta and then spent a few days in the Eternal City before coming home. It was glorious. I still like this scent, though I don’t know that I would buy it now – I might rather save up for my very own bottle of Iris Poudre which I adore.  On the other hand, wearing it reminds me of the trip, which I enjoyed very much. This scent is in a similar vein to Iris Poudre, though it’s fruitier and perhaps muskier; it doesn’t have that fluffy benzoin thing I love so much in IP. I think the musk used is the one that has the blackberry overtones, as in L’Artisan Mure et Musc, because the fruitiness persists into the drydown.

We’ve had the current track coach staying with us until he finds an apartment in the area. Sirak (“Coach O”) has a long unpronounceable surname and parents who came to the US from Eritrea before he was born.  He was assistant until last fall, when the former head coach moved on to a job at a larger high school near his hometown. He served as co-head coach for cross-country, and then was not selected to coach indoor track, so he moved to NC for a different non-coaching job. I won’t go into it, but the indoor track season was Not A Success (!), and Sirek was invited back to coach outdoor track. He agreed, but since he didn’t have a car or a local apartment, he’s staying with us in the meantime. I really like him.

Tuesday, Feb. 11 – Another lovely day, temperatures in the 70s. Retesting Arquiste Flor Y Canto and Amouage Beloved Woman. Planning for some roses for the yard… sigh. I want some David Austin ones. Good Bible study this evening; I was almost late because I had to go pick up first Taz from chess club after school, and Gaze from track, where they had a “mini-meet,” an in-team competition for racing spots. He only ran the mile and was disappointed in his time, 5:50; in the fall he ran the FIRST mile of a cross-country meet (usually it’s approximately a 5K, approximately 3.1 miles) in 5:23.  But he placed behind the three guys he was expecting to follow, so he just needs to pick it up a little.

SOTE: Ferre 20 again, such a pretty soft thing.

Wednesday, Feb. 12 – Temperatures high in the 60s again today, but cloudy. Wearing Aspen for Women. Up close it’s actually sort of horrible, and I can tell it’s deteriorating badly, but the waft two inches above my wrist is still very nice, a fresh-breezy, piney woody floral. 

Testing Houbigant Oranger en Fleurs – on first sniff, it’s reminding me of something I wore when I was younger. Like, MUCH younger.  Don’t know what.

Thursday, Feb. 13 – SNOW this morning. No school. By 11:30 everything was completely clear, so I don’t know what the closing was for… anyway, we built a nice fire. SOTD: Caron Or et Noir. I was leery, because, you know, Caron.  Eep. On the other hand, I love Parfum Sacre, acknowledged to have been inspired by Or et Noir. The similarity between the two is only noticeable to me well into the drydown. The topnotes are rather… um. Shrieky? This is a horridly sour rose for the first ten minutes, and then it calms down, and by half an hour in, it’s wearable. Lovely incense/benzoin stuff.  I just don’t think I can handle the topnotes.

HEY I figured out what Oranger en Fleurs is reminding me of: Diane von Furstenberg Tatiana, the vintage parfum.  That’s spicier, less soft, more lily and less orange blossom, but similar. (Funny, a LOT of things seem to remind me of Tatiana – probably because it’s a reference “mixed white floral” scent for me personally, and that’s certainly a well-represented genre. But possibly also because while it might not have been wildly innovative, it certainly smelled lovely. I think it’s still in production but smells nothing like its original self.)

Friday, Feb. 14 – Bookworm came home! She’s been at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament on the Georgia coast this week, and some friends drove her here on their way to Washington, DC. I fed them dinner and hugged my girl a lot. So happy to see her.  SOTD: Parfums d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite. So pretty; apricotty osmanthus and lots of rose.

Saturday, Feb. 15 – Absolutely gorgeous weather today. GORGEOUS. Upper 60s, breezy.  SOTD:  The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter. The CEO and Bookworm went to the high school to help administer the Western Division MACC tournament today. Gaze is on the Social Studies team, the Western Division regular-season champs.  (Bookworm was captain of the Science team two years running. She misses it.) As it turned out, the Social Studies team did not win the tournament but will advance to the Super MACC tournament against the Eastern Division regular-season and tournament champions next weekend.

Afterwards, Grey – a friend of both Gaze’s and Bookworm’s from Cross-Country/Track/Band/MACC – came over and brought his AirSoft rifles. He and Gaze wore camo and went skulking around in the woods shooting at each other, and Bookworm observed, in bright orange tee-shirt. The CEO and Sirak went out on the farm and plotted out a possible cross-country course for the coming fall. Gaze and Grey went out and ran the thing. Their verdict was: tough course. Can’t do it if it rains, it’s way too muddy. Lots of steep uphills, and the downhills are more gentle, the way it’s laid out.  By their approximation, however, there are two other courses on their regular meet rotation that are more of a pain to run, so they approve.

SOTE: Cuir de Lancome.  Grey stayed for dinner and told terrible, really funny science jokes. He’ll be attending Virginia Tech in the fall, in their well-regarded College of Engineering, but would like to do Air Force ROTC as he’s particularly interested in military applications… he has yet to talk his parents into allowing that.  I myself would not worry overmuch about the safety of my child as an Air Force engineer, as those people rarely spend time at the front, even on deployment.  They are (and this is rather horrible to say, but it happens to be true) too valuable to be wasted there.  I would worry about a kid in the Marines, or even in the Army, far more than one in the AF.

Watched a rented copy of “The Great Gatsby.” Interesting film version… like everybody else my age, I studied the book in 11th grade English class, and although I absolutely despise every character in it (yes, even Nick), the writing is just so lovely. Certain phrasings stick in the mind forever.  “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” I’m not sure it’s true, but it is beautiful. And depressing. And I hate that I love the sound of that sentence.

Sunday, Feb. 16 – Church today; SOTD was Amouage Lyric Woman. I go through spells of craving Lyric – its sweet translucent rose, its vanilla- and benzoin-infused incense, its dry woods. There is that strange almost mango-y thing in the topnotes, but I like that part too.  Lyric always strikes me as being very meditative, quiet and calm without being too austere.

Bookworm has a friend who lives in her dorm at Yale who, although he lives in Wisconsin, has been visiting his sister at Virginia Tech this week. They’d planned to go hiking at The Cascades (a nice wooded hiking trail up a mountain to a waterfall/small lake), but the weather turned nasty again today with rain and sleet, so instead he came over and played Trivial Pursuit with us all afternoon and then had dinner.

So nice to hear Taz playing his trumpet this evening too. He’s really making progress.  SOTE: Cuir de Lancome.  Such pretty stuff.

And Monday is St. Patrick’s Day.  Let the green smells abound.



Scent Diary, Feb. 10-16, 2014


Categories: Family, Scent Diary, Tags: , ,

ice_heart_1__by_mikrox-d5l0kduMonday, Feb. 10 – Chilly, but not so bad as it has been. I got a perm (which my dear FIL used to call “a temporary”), and now I’m curly again. No SOTD in the morning – there was no point – but later in the day, I went with Memoir Woman, the only frag I’m reliably craving lately.

Tuesday, Feb. 11 – Not horribly cold. Taz started Chess Club at the middle school this week (they will meet every other Tuesday), and we had a good Bible study this evening. SOTD is DvF Tatiana, vintage parfum, deliciously spicy white flowers.  SOTE, after my Tatiana left, was Vamp a NY.  I am attempting to organize and track my perfume collection (again).

Yay, look, you get gratuitous Tom Hardy (as Raumont in "Marie Antoinette")! Twice in a week!

Yay, look, you get gratuitous Tom Hardy (as Raumont in “Marie Antoinette”)! Twice in a week!

Wednesday, Feb. 12 – Cold. No school today as it is supposed to begin snowing by 1pm; Gaze went out to do his running before the snow started, as the district indoor track meet is scheduled for Saturday. I went to the grocery store just after lunch, and sure enough – by 1:15 it was coming down heavily. SOTD: PdN Vanille Tonka, which by the way is lovely with snow coming down outside and a fire in the fireplace… and “Marie Antoinette” on TV.  Had a discussion with Gaze about how much better Marie Antoinette’s life might have been had anyone bothered to teach her (or her husband, who honestly seems to have been something of a dolt on his own) about budgeting.

Took The CEO 90 minutes to make the 35-minute drive home, because he didn’t leave Virginia Tech at 1pm as he’d planned to do. He left at 2:15, and by then the snow was really piling up. We watched some Olympics, and I made a prediction that Shaun White, one of my favorites, would not medal this go-round. I hadn’t seen any of his practice runs, I hadn’t seen anything of him at all except a three-second clip of him watching Russian Iouri Podladtchikov (who eventually won the gold for halfpipe), but in those three seconds I realized that White was looking far too intense. Intensity does not seem to pay off for snowboarders or freestyle skiers; they seem to perform much better when they can have fun.  SOTE: L’Arte di Gucci.

Thursday, Feb. 13 – More snow. And more Olympics. SOTD: Soivohle Centennial, which I adore. So cozy.  I wrote, we maintained the fireplace, we ate chili. The boys sledded and drank hot chocolate; The CEO bladed part of the road.  We watched an edited-for-TV version of Black Hawk Down (ooh yay more Tom Hardy!).

valentineFriday, Feb. 14 – The snowfall has stopped, but nobody can get out.  The CEO made me a valentine; I got him a six-pack of Reese’s Cups. More Olympics, more fire, more writing. The neighbor kid came over and sledded with the boys all day; they made a giant snowball and snow chairs. SOTD: Coty Aspen for Women, a fragrance I adored circa 1990… unlike the men’s version, this one’s been discontinued for years and I can’t find any notes for it. I bought “new old stock” on ebay and I still think it’s rather good.  SOTD: L’Arte di Gucci. Man, this is great stuff.

It’s my brother’s birthday.

Saturday, Feb. 15 – Warm, all the way up to 50F! Snow is melting. However, since it’s still difficult to get around, the district indoor track meet has been postponed until tomorrow. We cleaned up the house, and I managed to get out and buy some groceries (as usual, we had exhausted two gallons of milk in three days).  SOTD: Parfum Sacre. Yum.

This would have been The CEO’s father’s 89th birthday.

Sunday, Feb. 16 – Warmish, in the upper 40sF. SOTD: Serge Lutens La Myrrhe. I really should be wearing more aldehydes; this is so lovely.  I dropped Gaze off at the high school and went on to church, where we did a baby dedication for the 16-month-old daughter of our minister and his wife.  Wrote some more in the afternoon, while The CEO went to Tech and graded papers. Then we decided to go out for dinner for Valentine’s Day, to the Chinese buffet in Radford that we like. My La Myrrhe was gone, so I nabbed a spritz of Enchanted Forest – because blackcurrant goes pretty well with Chinese.

Gaze, being helped with his bow tie at District Band concert a few weeks ago. So handsome.

Gaze, being helped with his bow tie at District Band concert a few weeks ago. So handsome.

While we were out, Gaze texted me that he would be returning to the high school in 15 minutes (why, oh why does the child never let me know when he LEAVES someplace? I’ll say, ‘hey, let me know when you might be back,’ and ‘please let me know how the event went’ and things of that nature, but he never does), and then was surprised when he had to wait for us to get there. The CEO had estimated by the number of schools participating and the number of events to be run, it would take them until at least 8pm to return.

We were wrong. And thennnnnn… then, we found out that not only did Gaze not run any events, it was because his coach did not enter him in any events.


IT’S DISTRICTS. How do you not enter your athletes? He wasn’t the only one, either. We have an excellent hurdler on the girls’ team, someone with a legitimate shot at placing at the state level… and she didn’t run. Because she wasn’t entered.

I am upset. I don’t know how a coach can do that to her kids, I just don’t get it at all. I know this teacher is new to coaching, but she did fine as a co-coach of the cross-country team in the fall along with the previous year’s assistant (the head track/XC coach left for a job with a larger program near his hometown last summer). It is just unbelievable to me.

This is my sister-in-law’s birthday. (The one that’s married to my brother. Yes, their birthdays are two days apart. Which is kind of cool.)



Scent Diary, Jan. 20-26, 2014


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Monday, Jan. 20 – Cold. SOTD is Pierre de Velay Extrait No. 11, which I really must review. It is a classic chypre formula with plenty of florals in it, and it reminds me most of Roja Dove Diaghilev, as well as a less-fuzzy version of Soivohle Centennial. Gorgeous stuff. Quite addictive, but since it’s produced by the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie, it’s ridiculously spendy.

This is turning out, unexpectedly, to be Chypre Week. Weird.

Tuesday, Jan. 21 – SOTD is Leonard de Leonard, which Fragrantica calls a green floral but which I would call a floral chypre. I mean, okay, yeah, it’s green. And it doesn’t have that citrus/moss/labdanum triangle that Chypre Fascists insist upon. What it does have is the mossy-patchouli-amber stuff that creates the tanginess and bite that spells “chypre” for me. Such nice stuff. The CEO says of it that it’s very pleasant, very nice.  I told him it was “very 80s,” and he said, “That might be why I like it.”  It’s not the screaming loudness of it that suggests 80s perfumery, it’s the complexity and the utter lack of candy sweetness.

Gaze had a MACC (academic challenge team) meet today. He’s on the Social Studies team, and is apparently the only freshman, but didn’t get subbed out to “sit the bench,” so I’m proud of him. PCHS won the Social Studies, Science, and All-Around portions, lost the English, and they hadn’t done Math when he left so I don’t know about that one.  Bookworm did MACC too, though she was on the Science team – you can only be on two if one of them is the All-Around – and I got used to the English team being less than successful. What I don’t know is why.

Wednesday, Jan. 22 – Chilly. SOTD is the gorgeous/weird Memoir Woman, via the body lotion I got for Christmas.  The lotion has less, well, everything: less aromatic stuff up top, less leather/skank underneath, and the white florals in the middle are very smoothed out. It is altogether softer, but still that bizarrely gorgeous beast that the EdP is. (I admit to lusting after the extrait, too, which is more animalic and less floral. Wowsers.)

Thursday, Jan. 23 – C-c-c-c-c-COLD.  Only 18F, which we’ve certainly seen worse than around here, but it’s windy, cloudy and miserable.  School is going two hours late today because of the wind chill (there are kids in this county who have to wait at bus stops half a mile from their houses, at 7 am); my boys are happy about sleeping a little later in this cold.  SOTD is Pierre de Velay Extrait No. 11 again. So nice.

Friday, Jan. 24 – The thermometer said 6F when we got up today around 7:30, and when I was taking the boys to school at 10 am, Eddie Van’s thermometer said 3. But it’s sunny with no wind, and it doesn’t feel anywhere near as miserable as yesterday. I went ahead and took the two big laundry totes I use for recycling to the county receiving area – there are three bins there, for cardboard, mixed paper and mixed recyclables, and separated my waste out, and by the time I was done dumping it all, my hands hurt. Even through gloves. (They were just puny little knit gloves, though. I was stupid and didn’t take the suede ones.)  You people who can recycle by just setting your box out with your trash, you better be taking advantage of that service. Shame on you if you don’t – your locality is paying somebody to just pick up your stuff, so make it worth their while.  It’s a great benefit to not have to separate

SOTD: Vintage Lancome Magie Noir from a sample sent to me by someone who loves the stuff. I had been thinking that the mini edt I bought on ebay (1/4 ounce, about $13) had aged awkwardly because of this strangely sour/rotten note in it – something herbal and pickled, something eerie. However, the sample smells exactly like the stuff in my mini. I don’t wear it often because unlike other chypre type things, there is something about it that keeps screaming “NOT ME NOT ME.” It’s a little bit like wearing a Louise Brooks wig. I suspect that there is something like coriander in it, and I know for sure there is a lot of vetiver and patchouli; vetiver often smells sour on my skin. At the same time, it is bizarrely addictive, and I am able to pick up on the florals in it at this stage – rose and gardenia? Definitely a white floral.

Rented “Captain Phillips” at Redbox and watched it at home. Very tense. Interesting, how at the beginning you are all for the Americans, how dare those pirates just decide stuff is theirs for the taking? And why don’t the shipping companies hire security with machine guns for those cargo ships traveling in waters near Somalia? But then you begin to really notice how skinny those guys are. Their clothes are ragged, they have sandals or no shoes at all, and very little choice in how they earn their money.  Sad. I do not understand this “warlord” system. That’s the luxury of living in the First World, I guess.

SOTE: Caron Parfum Sacre, which is just so comfortable and pretty, and warm.

Saturday, Jan. 25 – Warmer than yesterday, but windy. So windy the porch swing is banging against the house and the dog quails at the front door, even though she needs to go out.  Blustery – like Hundred-Acre-Wood blustery, even.  Brr.  Another fire in the fireplace. House cleaning today, and no SOTD. I usually like to wait until I’ve finished my bathroom-cleaning and my sweeping and mopping, then shower, but since I got distracted with one thing and another during the day, I sorta forgot. I have a sampler set from Scent On Canvas, a Spanish company, to try, but I’m not sure I’m in the mood for any of them. Orientals and leather, mostly, though there are two which are supposed feminine florals. I just couldn’t work up the enthusiasm.

After dinner, I found my decant of Iris Poudre and put some on.  Yum.

Sunday, Jan. 26 – Warmer today. More Iris Poudre today for church, but it had largely wafted away by the time I got home, so I went back to my decant of Leonard de Leonard.  Which also wafted away by dinner time, so I went to bed in the deliciously warm Vamp a NY.  The Vamp has been described elsewhere (go see Musette’s review at Perfume Posse, it’s hilarious) as bubble-gummy, but what I get out of it is Tuberose/Root Beer Float. For what it’s worth, March at PP got root beer candy as well. Depending on your reaction to that description, you may either like it or shun it like the plague. I love it in summer, but it also has enough heft to hold up for cold weather.  However, I’ve found that it seems wrong in fall; it seems quite trashy at that stage, and I think it’s a function of weather.

Incidentally, we had to shut our water softener off because a fitting on the line leading from water inlet to tank is stripped. The CEO has not yet gotten it fixed, and so the dishwasher is not doing a great job, and my skin is very very dry and itchy despite my taking short cool showers.  Our levels of dissolved lime (calcium carbonate) were off the charts when the Culligan guy came to test it several years ago, and I want my softened water back.



Scent Diary, Jan. 13-19, 2014

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Monday, Jan. 13 – Chilly outside. SOTD is Chanel No. 19 edp again, my birthday present.  So beautiful. The rose is particularly noticeable in the edp, and it smells wonderful with a rose lotion like The Body Shop Moroccan Rose.

I'm craving roses. You?

I’m craving roses. You?

The hot local issue is whether or not the County Board of Supervisors will support the School Board’s proposal to build a new middle school, thus consolidating the two existing, 60-year-old middle schools which used to be high schools before the “new” high school was built, 40 years ago. There is a considerable amount of opposition, particularly in the town which is the county seat. This town used to be the center of population and of industry/business in the county, but as time has passed and development has moved elsewhere in the county – closer to where the Interstate runs through it – the county seat town has lost a lot of these businesses. There are a lot of reasons for this (the furniture and textile industries in particular, which used to make up a good deal of the business, have nearly all moved out of the US to other countries), but those who live in the county seat are concerned that the loss of the school within town limits will lead to further deterioration.  There’s also worry that raising our property tax (which is one of the lowest in the state) will cause our many older residents financial hardship.

I am all for a consolidated middle school. I understand that there are concerns that must be addressed: 1) finding the money locally since Virginia has gradually supported less and less of the financial burden of education, 2) the aging population, 3) the disposition of unused and aging school buildings, 4) keeping Pulaski residents happy, should the new middle school be in the center of the county as the high school is and not in the county seat.  Still. Neither of the middle schools have been maintained properly, and their roofs leak, their paint is peeling, they have structural integrity issues. There is an enormous push to renovate the existing buildings rather than build new, and if those schools were in good shape I’d agree. They are not, however, easily renovated. Pulaski Middle, which my parents attended when it was a high school, has 23 different floor levels. 23! And since any renovation must bring the school into compliance with ADA, those 23 levels must be reduced to two or three (with elevator) or one level without. In addition, the Pulaski site does not have room for athletic facilities, and the Dublin one does not have adequate space for parking. Neither building, of course, is compliant with current safety standards.

GAH. The citizens’ hearing meeting this evening was not pleasant.  There was a whole lot of “don’t raise my taxes!” and “don’t take our school away!” going on, but there was in general a consensus that something has to be done about the schools. (Dublin Elementary, built in 1968 on the cheap, must also be renovated, and nobody seems to be disputing that in the least. It was designed by an architect who typically designed strip malls rather than schools, and it is as uncomfortable a building as I have ever been in: there is no air conditioning, of course, but in contrast to the un-air-conditioned schools that I attended in my youth, the rooms are constructed so that windows are minimal and cross-ventilation nonexistent.  The heat index reached over 100F in August last year and the year before, and there were at least a handful of days that all county schools were closed because of the heat index at DES. It’s a mess.)

Tuesday, Jan. 14 – Warmer today. SOTD is Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest. Sadly, I have discovered that my 10ml decant has EVAPORATED!! Down to 4ml!! I am aghast. The top was loose… don’t know if I did that or it came that way, who knows.  Anyway, this one is centered around cassis bud/blackcurrant, and it is incredibly tangy, with some pine and quiet florals and a lovely skin-scent drydown.

Wednesday, Jan. 15 – Day started out not terribly cold, but we got some blowing snow later in the day. No accumulation. Cold, though – The CEO built a nice fire.  I finished cleaning up allll the Christmas decorations, including my nutcracker collection which we left on display until my birthday.  SOTD: Soivohle Centennial. I don’t know WHAT is in there that makes it feel fuzzy, but it is. It reminds me of a fuzzy sweater in a deep orangey-salmon color that I used to wear in college.  Is it a patchouli-amber-civet angle? I’m not sure. It is noticeably floral and very chypre, but warm rather than chilly as some chypres can be. Also, it lasts for hooooooours on me, which is unusual.

The high school band was invited to nearby Radford University to play at a basketball game. Their own students are not back yet as they haven’t started their spring semester, so it was nice for RU to invite an area high school to play. I’m sure everyone at the game enjoyed it, too.  Gaze said it was fun, even though RU lost to Virginia Military Institute.  VMI is a much smaller school and somewhat limited in its capabilities to recruit for athletics, given that the cadets must meet certain physical standards so that the cadets can serve in the US Army after completing their degrees. It’s one of two colleges in the US that run a mandatory ROTC program concurrently with their academic one. It is a given – if you attend VMI or The Citadel in South Carolina, you WILL be a member of the corps of cadets, and you WILL be subject to the normal requirements of an ROTC program anywhere else.  (To clarify, VMI is strictly Army ROTC.) It’s a tough life. 

terry plunk vmi cadetI will say, though, that the cadet uniform is one of the most attractive military uniforms I’ve ever seen – similar in design to that of West Point, but it’s a slightly darker, bluer gray. To the left here is a picture of my friend Terry Plunk in his VMI uniform. 1st Lt. Plunk was killed in the Gulf War while clearing land mines.

Thursday, Jan. 16 – Addicted to Centennial again. I go through stages of not being able to get enough of it… which is bad, because I bought this 11ml for a ridiculously low price when Liz Zorn put several items on clearance. However, a number of people bought it because of the sale (myself included), it became better-known, and now I doubt it will ever go on sale again. Sadface.  This means that I shouldn’t be profligate with it.  Finding that balance between careful use of resources and enjoyment of them is so, so tough…

After showering in the afternoon, I put on L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore (I think I read somewhere that this has been discontinued recently), as it is a soft and cuddly sort of scent, all rosewater Turkish Delight and soft buttery suede.  I always have to be very cautious in wearing fragrance to community chorus practice, as there is (at least) one soprano who feels that perfume closes up her throat.  She may be right, I can see that possibility, and it only may be certain ingredients that bother her, because I notice that orientals and high-pitched fresh florals seem to get the most comment.  Shampoo scents don’t seem to trigger her Perfume Alert mechanism.

Went to bed in Parfum Sacre, which is so lovely and comforting.

Friday, Jan. 17 – The boys are out of school for teacher workdays at the end of the 9-weeks grading period, and we’re trying to think of something fun to do.  In the meantime, there are errands and housecleaning, and SOTD is Olympic Orchids Ballets Rouges.  Went to the grocery store and somehow managed to buy everything EXCEPT the laundry detergent we were out of… gah.

Saturday, Jan. 18 – We had a women’s brunch at a church member’s house this morning, just the ladies of the church (we range in age from late 50s down to early 20s, and I think that’s pretty cool. We do have one older woman, but she’s having knee trouble and didn’t feel like getting out this morning, so I hope we’ll see Miss Nancy tomorrow.  SOTD was Carnal Flower, which is just so fresh and beautiful.  Gorgeous.  It’s odd, you know, I keep seeing people talk about Carnal Flower having big sillage, but it does not on me. You have to be within about two feet of me to smell it… perhaps if I spritzed six times it would be big.

The boys went with the youth group to eat pizza and then go play laser tag, so The CEO and I went out to dinner and then came home to watch Bull Durham. Fun.

Sunday, Jan. 19 – Good church service today.  SOTD: Pierre de Velay Extrait No. 11, which I probably should review in full at some point. If you like Roja Dove Diaghilev, Mitsouko, Centennial, and Ballets Rouges, you would probably get on fine with No. 11, which is a chypre with floral leanings, and it’s lovely.  I don’t like Mitsouko, and Diaghilev was a touch outside my comfort zone, a little too chypree, but I do really like this.

Invited my MIL over for dinner and had a wonderful time.



Scent Diary, Jan. 6-12, 2014


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Monday, Jan. 6 – The boys went back to school.  Rachel, the orphan calf we’ve been feeding for several months, went out into the field to join the other calves her age, since she is now well capable of foraging for herself on grass. (I’m glad. She was very aggressive about going after her food, whether it was a bottle or a bucket of grain. Whew.) The freezing weather we had last week seems to be in abeyance for the moment.  SOTD: Alahine. I love Alahine. Did I say that before?

Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Bookworm and I hung out some today, which was lovely.  SOTD: L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore. I like this… don’t love it, but it’s nice. Oh well. It would be hard to love everything.

Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Bookworm went out with Jeff (our farm guy) to help him haul calves to the livestock market. While they were there, the truck (the dually, the 2005 Silverado that we bought last year to pull the cattle trailer? Long John? Him) wouldn’t start, and they had to first try to jump his battery off another truck, which didn’t work, and then start him on a hill, which did. They still came home decorated with mud and manure; Bookworm didn’t seem to mind terribly.

The CEO left for a National Cattlemen’s Beef Board meeting in Denver very early. It was cold but bearable. SOTD was Memoir Woman.

Thursday, Jan. 9 – Temperatures in the upper 30s today, not bad at all. However, I had to drive Bookworm to the airport in Roanoke so she could catch her 9am flight back to school. There was a delay at her layover stop in Philadelphia, so she didn’t get back to her dorm room until nearly 5pm, about an hour and a half later than scheduled. Went sniffing at the mall after dropping her off, and tested several things, including Marc Jacobs Daisy edp, which I have always liked, and Estee Lauder Modern Muse since I liked it so much on a paper strip.

First community chorus practice of the semester. It went okay, I think – we’re going to be performing several spirituals and a short cantata called “The Seven Last Words of Christ,” which we’ve sung before. It’s old, written in the 1830s, but quite accessible to the modern ear without being too “classical.”

Friday, Jan. 10 – School was out! We had ice in the morning, and school was first delayed two hours and then canceled at the last minute, about 7:00 (schools start between 8:20 and 8:33). It wasn’t nearly as bad for us as it might have been for other people who live in less-accessible places in the county, but it was still nasty. We had a lovely fire. The high school band left as planned at 3pm anyway, since it’s tough to back out of a parade.  SOTD: Soivohle Centennial, which is a warm cozy blanket of a scent; I swear it feels fuzzy.

Saturday, Jan. 11 – My birthday! We did get to see Gaze’s band march in the inaugural parade for Virginia’s newly-elected governor, Terry McAuliffe.  As usual, however, the videocameras showed the front of the band with the banner, the flags, the drum majors, flutes, clarinets, and then cut to a different angle to show the saxophones, trumpets and percussion going past, then cut to the rear view to show the tubas – completely missing the low brass and trombones.  (BOO HISS. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS SKIP THE TROMBONES???) SOTM: The Body Shop Moroccan Rose body cream.

In raincoats because it was pouring!  Photo courtesy Isaac Sarver.

In raincoats because it was pouring! Photo courtesy Isaac Sarver.

Pulaski Co. (VA) HS Golden Cougar Marching Band Inaugural Parade 2014

Bookworm is in NYC with the Yale pep band for the Harvard-Yale hockey game at Madison Square Garden. I wonder what she’s making of the City? She’s SO not a city girl.  Anyway, she texted us from time to time during the game (we couldn’t get it on our TV) and told us she thinks the band really messed with the Harvard goalie’s mind during the second period, the only one where Harvard’s goal was at the end of the ice near the band.  Yale won 5-1.

Dinner was at our local pizza place (run by a Mexican family); I had calzone. Birthday cake was white with raspberry filling, yum. Also, I got to open the Chanel No. 19 edp that Bookworm bought for me at the Rome airport duty free shop on her Europe trip last summer, so that was the scent of the evening.  It’s lovely, it really is.

Sunday, Jan. 12 – Church was nice; we had soup for lunch. SOTD: Chanel No. 19 edp again, of course.



Scent Diary, Nov. 25- Dec. 1, 2013


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Monday, Nov. 25 – Chilly. Brrr. Virginia Tech is on Thanksgiving break too, so The CEO is home this week. He did a TON of laundry. I did the usual Monday grocery shopping, and also had to drive to Blacksburg to buy Gaze a tuxedo shirt. The high school band provides concert dresses for the girls and tuxedos for the boys, but you have to provide your own shirt. The smallest size Belk had was a Medium (15-15 ½ neck), and I knew it would be too big, but there you go. Tucked in, it won’t be so bad.

While I was out, I did some sniffery at Belk. The older lady who has run their perfume department for aaaaaages was actually quite nice to me today, even though I told her I wasn’t interested in buying anything, just wanted to smell anything new to me. She actually offered me some samples! I picked up one of Coco Mademoiselle EdP for my sister, and one of J’Adore Voile de Parfum, which is lighter and “fresher” than the current J’Adore, but somehow less chemical and annoying. I also smelled Estee Lauder Modern Muse on a card and liked it very much (for a department-store fragrance), but I didn’t bother to put it on skin because that’s always a gamble for me. I smelled Oscar de la Renta Something Blue, which is really watery, and Marc Jacobs Honey, which smells like the statistical average of everything on the trendy side of the aisle, all sweet+fruit+vague floral. The SA told me that everything Chanel sells well, and the trendy stuff (Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, etc.) sells to grandmothers who are buying Christmas presents for their teenage granddaughters. I always smell Clinique Aromatics Elixir when I go in there, too, just to check. Yep: still stale pee in a rose hedge. (After three hours, AE smells amaaaazing. Up top, though, on my skin? Horrifying.) Esprit d’Oscar still might be my favorite relatively-new department store release.

I also snagged two samples via ebay, things that you can’t sample around here: Caron Accord 119 and Hermes Kelly Caleche EdP. I didn’t like the Kelly Caleche EdT at ALL – too cologney. Too citrusy. Too vegetal. Too vetivery. Vetiver (and some jasmine partials) can sometimes go celery-like on me, and I DO NOT LIKE THAT. Bleargh. However, I read somewhere that the EdP was quite different, and it is – the leather is quite soft and there is much more of a floral aspect to the EdP, with rose and mimosa forward in it, as well as a wisp of vanilla in the base. (Or is it the combination of iris and benzoin? It’s not terribly sweet, but it does have just a tiny touch of That Fluffy/Powdery Thing I Like So Much in Iris Poudre and Mariella Burani.)

Tuesday, Nov. 26 – UGH, we have freezing rain. Nasty nasty outside. Testing that Caron Accord 119 today, and I don’t like it much: dark unsweet berry, patchouli, amber. It has a rich dark texture and “color” to it, a deep plum brown velvet. I see why some people really love this. I don’t. I need some lightness to most of my perfumes – aldehydes and florals, mostly. If I had only this to wear, I suspect I would become deeply depressed.

After a few hours this starts to smell a little like B&BW Dark Kiss to me. Not that that is a bad thing – we really like DK around here! Bookworm wears it probably more than anything else. 119 smells richer and less floral, much darker, definitely more expensive. But I need those florals, myself.

The high school was planning to put on their benefit concert this evening – it’s an evening when the fine arts department puts on an event that benefits the local “Christmas store” charity, which provides Christmas gifts at a very low cost to families in need. The choir sings, the band plays, the drama club puts on a short one-act play. The visual arts department decorates the theater/auditorium area with the best of the fall assignments. We’ve got a really good fine arts program, and it’s delightful to go to this concert. However, because of the icky freezing rain, it’s been postponed until next week. (Bookworm is bummed; she wanted to go.)

We are curled up in front of the fireplace, toasty warm.

Wednesday, Nov. 27 – Woke up to a light snow, just a dusting. Cleaned house, because we didn’t do it last weekend and tomorrow’s Thanksgiving – which I will not be cooking at all this year. I’m only doing fruit salad and rolls for the meal at The CEO’s mom’s house, and cranberry gelatin salad for the family get-together at my mom’s house, a Thanksgiving/Dad’s birthday thing.

SOTD: Kelly Caleche edp again. I love this. Took the kids to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Verdict: better than the first movie. Better, possibly, than the book (but not better than The Hunger Games, the book). Exciting.

Bookworm has been delighted by what she calls “a sky of the proper color” – black, spangled with stars. We have very little light pollution out here, which is lovely.

Thursday, Nov.28 – Thanksgiving, of course. Because of various family arrangements, I’m not cooking today. Dinner at my mother-in-law’s, and I’m only taking hot mulled cider, fruit salad, and the Sister Schubert’s rolls my brother-in-law requested. Dinner was good… but odd, because no pie. And why no pie? We celebrated my sister-in-law Jean’s birthday with her usual angel food cake topped with whipped cream and cherry pie filling, and my niece MK’s birthday with a Pepperidge Farm fudge stripe cake. No pie. It was weird. The menu included turkey breast, dressing, broccoli casserole, corn pudding (a specialty of my brother-in-law’s), the aforementioned fruit salad and rolls, and sweet potato casserole. Oh, and whole-berry cranberry sauce. We ate well.

SOTD: Mauboussin. Seems quite a bit more powdery than I remember, but I don’t know whether it’s my decant or what. Bookworm wrinkled her nose. I tested her by suggesting she smell my vintage Emeraude, and she said the Emeraude was ‘way better.’

Friday, Nov. 29 – Basketball game at Virginia Tech (the students are on break, so the university gave out tickets to the game to faculty & staff. The CEO had four, so he took the kids while I did a bit of shopping. Just a bit, though – I do not DO that Black Friday craziness, although I visited TJ Maxx and Barnes & Noble, as well as Target, picking up a few gifts but mostly some necessities.

Then, on to my dad’s birthday dinner. Menu was strikingly similar to Thanksgiving, but that was okay. Yum. For my dad there was a sugar-free spice/fudge marble cake, and there was a ton of leftover Thanksgiving pies from my aunts – pumpkin, sweet potato, caramel apple, and pecan. Plus ice cream. Never let it be said that my mom skimps on a holiday dinner: ham, turkey breast, dressing, green beans, corn, salad, rolls, shrimp poppers, scalloped apples, grape tomatoes and pickles. SOTD was Parfum Sacre.

Saturday, Nov. 30 – The CEO got up very early (4:45am) with Bookworm so he could take her to the airport in Roanoke to make her 7 am flight. She made it back to New Haven without incident, by 1 pm. I got up to make sure they had some breakfast, and then made sure that Gaze was awake so he could go hunting with our neighbor Jeff. (They had no luck; didn’t see any deer.) Then I went back to bed! We had brunch very late. Virginia Tech – UVa game this afternoon, and I pulled down some of the Christmas decorations. We never put up the tree until Dec 10 at the earliest, so I just set out my Nativity scene – oddly, the donkey is missing. I don’t know why. I can’t remember him being out of place when I packed things up last January.

SOTD: Amouage Lyric Woman. Very lovely. Got a compliment from my sister-in-law on it.

Sunday, Dec. 1 – Warmer than last week, up almost to 50F. Our church has started its usual “December Nights” meeting schedule, which involves our borrowing another church’s sanctuary for a 5pm service. (We normally meet in a school, and set up/take down everything we need, and the early evening service gives volunteers a break.) SOTD: Memoir Woman.



Scent Diary, Sept. 9-15, 2013


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 Looks like fall. No leaf colors changing yet, but the light has that autumn angle.

Looks like fall. No leaf colors changing yet, but the light has that autumn angle.

Monday, Sept. 9 – Looks like nice weather all week.  SOTD: my lovey, Le Temps d’une Fete. Ah, LTdF, I can’t quit you. Took the trashcans to the road… listen, those of you who merrily roll your full trashcans down to the end of the paved driveway, you have no idea. We HAVE rolly trashcans, but when your garbage pickup occurs half a mile away and you have to move your trashcans over a gravel road, that means you drive them there. You open the back of your minivan, pick up the trashcans, heave them one by one into the van. Then you close, with difficulty, the back hatch. Then, you pray that nothing falls over on the way to the road.

Or, if you like, you can drive the farm pickup. You still have to pray that the cans don’t fall over. Then, you go back to the road, pick up your trashcans, heave them back into the van or the back of the pickup, and bring them back to the end of the porch. Sigh.

Tuesday, Sept. 10 – Fed Rachel the calf. SOTD: Escada Margaretha Ley, which I really really should review. Big fat tuberose-ylangy thing that reminds me a little bit of Fracas and a little bit of the drydown of Chamade… interesting. Also, long gone. What is my fascination with the disappeared?

Wednesday, Sept. 11 – Fed Rachel again. She’s loving the bottle, after taking more time than orphan calves usually take to accustom themselves to it. SOTD: Dior Poison. Yeah, I went there. But can I just say? Now that Poison isn’t bludgeoning people all over the place, I sort of like it these days. Also, there’s so much orange blossom in there, it goes sort of Dove-soapy on me.

Thursday, Sept. 12 – I guess I can stop writing “fed Rachel.” I’m going to be feeding her for the next six weeks at least. Mowed the grass. Did some laundry. SOTD: Deneuve. Gosh, Deneuve is gorgeous… lasts forever, too. I put ONE SPRITZ, ONE of edt – yes, eau de toilette – on my wrist at 9:30 am. Could still smell it at dinner. People complain about the 80s… which, okay, was far from perfect… but still. Deneuve. Good community chorus rehearsal, too. Had to wait on Gaze to finish helping load pit instruments (marimbas and the like) before I could get him from band practice.

Friday, Sept. 13 – Supposed to get chilly tomorrow, with lows into the low 40s F. YAY! About time for some autumn weather. Helped run the band boosters pizza sales at the football game this evening (we lost, 21-14), wearing Ines de la Fressange… which I could barely smell. Sigh.

Saturday, Sept. 14 – Cleaned up again, of course. Praise band practice at noon; the guys of the house watched sports most of the afternoon. SOTD: DK Gold edp, to echo the beautiful Oriental lilies that began to pop open last night. Gorgeous. And a picture of Gaze in band uniform, playing his trombone during the PCHS show, was in the newspaper today. It is not, however, chilly outside. It’s lovely.

Sunday, Sept. 15 – Chilly morning, but somehow it was hot in church. Bleargh. SOTD: DK Gold edp again, because it is just so beautiful. Napped for about two and a half hours this afternoon, while The CEO took Gaze to buy cross-country racing shoes and get a haircut. Went to bed wearing most of my sample of SL Un Bois Vanille – nice cozy stuff.



Scent Diary, Sept. 1-7, 2013


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early autumn pippin hill farmSo I’m hoping to return to regular Scent Diary postings… seems that I’ve missed writing them. Which is the way it ought to be.

Sunday, Sept. 1 – Sick. Sick sick sick. Probably a summer cold, but I feel just awful. Missing a really good church service, too. The CEO is sick as well, so we’re no comfort to each other, and both of us are grouchy. SOTD: L’Arte di Gucci edp. Gosh, this is good stuff. A very classic rose chypre.

However, if you are currently eyeing that $400 bottle of it I’ve heard that Amazon has for sale, forget it. At that price, you should go buy either F. Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, or Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Lumiere Noire pour femme. No, they’re not exactly the same, but quite similar to my nose. PoaL lacks the cat-pee blackcurrant and the aldehydes up top in L’Arte, and it carries a wallop of Youth Dew balsams in the base along with its green patchouli. Also, it is way radiant and lasts for weeks; I am Not Kidding. I put a dab from a sample vial on my wrist, and my black wool winter coat ten minutes later – and my coat still smelled of PoaL three weeks afterward, to the degree that the clerk at the pharmacy commented on how wonderful I smelled. Lumiere Noire also lacks the high-pitched opening of L’Arte, and it like PoaL uses a deeper rose (the rose in L’Arte seems bright neon pink to me) plus some narcissus and a tiny hit of cumin, the effect of which is to dirty up that rose to boudoir behavior. If you’re pining for L’Arte, try those two and see if either one does the trick for you. (Report back, I’d love to know what you think if you’ve tried any of those three.)


Empereur du Maroc rose

Empereur du Maroc rose

OOH! Forgot a couple more: Olympic Orchids Ballets Rouges. It’s not Kathleen-Battle-diva pink like L’Arte, but it’s less dark than PoaL and rosier than Lumiere Noire. Really lovely. Also, Ungaro Diva (preferably the edp) is a lovely rose chypre. It reads a little more old-fashioned to modern noses, since it has that 1980s kitchen-sink notes list, including aldehydes, leather and civet, but it is well-done. It can still be found on eBay and discount retailer sites for under $40 for a 100ml bottle, too.

Monday, Sept. 2, Labor Day – Still sick. Grouchy. More L’Arte di Gucci today. The CEO managed to drag himself to Va Tech this afternoon to hold office hours and teach a class, but he wasn’t enjoying it. Sadly, we did nothing fun. The boys just hung out at the house, watching TV and riding bikes.

Tuesday, Sept. 3 – Fed the orphan calf, Rachel, her bottle. Napped a lot. When I got up, I felt considerably better (but then was late making dinner, and had to settle for quickie microwave meatloaf). Missed small group Bible study because of the band booster meeting being put off a day due to the Labor Day holiday. We’ve got a great band booster organization, very devoted parents – but of course you get thirty people in one room and at least one of them is going to be annoying. In this case, it’s that one parent whose two older children went through the band program and now this is her youngest, and everything out of her mouth was, “We used to do THIS,” or “When [Daughter] was in the band nine years ago, we did it this way,” frequent and extremely detailed and on-and-on… grrr. I might as well get used to it, though, she’ll probably be involved with boosters as long as I will be, assuming Gaze sticks with it. SOTE: Mary Greenwell Plum. Mmm. Still love the Plum, though I wish it were a bit stronger on me.

Wednesday, Sept. 4 – Fed Rachel her bottle. Picked some sweet corn – the only thing the garden has produced this wet summer. Did some laundry and mowed the grass. Borrrrrring. SOTD: Jolie Madame parfum. Gosh, that stuff is da bomb.

Thursday, Sept. 5 – More laundry. Lovely weather over the past few days, and looks like it will continue for the next few – perfect early fall! Foggy and cool in the mornings, sunny and warm but not hot in the days, cooling off by early evening. SOTD: Silences eau Sublime.

My favorite trombonist (photo courtesy Susan Slade).

My favorite trombonist (photo courtesy Susan Slade).

Friday, Sept. 6 – Another gorgeous day! This evening we all went to the high school football game, this one hosted by the nearest rival school. There’s a bridge across the river between the two schools, so the ongoing series is called the Battle For The Bridge. Despite our team not being particularly good this year, we did win – but take that for what it is. Our high school is considerably larger than the rival one, and although their team played very well, they weren’t able to substitute in players, and they were tired by the end of the game. Our band looked great, by the way! All four pieces have been blocked out in practice, and the band performed their full show. First Friday in September, and the entire show is ON THE FIELD?? Fabulous progress. And they sound good, too. The rival high school performed two pieces on the field, which they did well, but I know that can’t be their entire show. SOTD: Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, yum. That one’s delicious in crisp weather.

Saturday, Sept. 7 – Cleaned up. Did laundry. Fed the calf. Took the recycling to the town center. The CEO took Gaze to his cross-country meet, where he ran on the JV team and did well, lowering his PR to 21:00 (the best JV time was 18:22 minutes). SOTD: Escada Margaretha Ley. This one’s discontinued and hard to find, but a very nice white floral that I ought to review soon. Grilled barbecue pork ribs for the first time ever. The CEO loves them, but I’ve never been much partial to them, I think they’re too much work for the amount of meat you get, and I am somewhat creeped out by the concept of gnawing stuff off a bone… they tasted good, though. I used Jamie Deen’s recipe from the Food Network – the sauce is tomato-based but strongly vinegary, kind of a Memphis-style sauce. If you’re used to Heinz and KC Masterpiece, you’re going to find it too acidic, but this is my favorite kind of BBQ sauce. I like the North Carolina vinegar-based sauce too, but prefer it with a little tomato.

Sunday, Sept. 8 – Good church service today; SOTM was the light and pretty PdR Rose d’Ete. That is probably its last gasp of the season – it is really too light for autumn, and so I have put it away, with a few other summer-only fragrances. Have gotten a few autumn ones out, though I haven’t done the full seasonal rotation yet.

What I put away:

Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete (summery, light, apple/yellow rose scent with some cool powder in the base)

Cristina Bertrand #3 (white-floral blend heavy on the jasmine)

Moschino Funny! (grapefruit/tea/rose, very energetic)

Hanae Mori Haute Couture (aldehydes, fruit, and jasmine)

Kenzo Parfum d’Ete (greenish lily-of-the-valley floral)

Somehow I never got out my mini (10ml) of Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel – which smells very much like sheets dried outside in the sunshine – this summer, so it may sit in the cabinet for another nine months, awaiting its turn. Or perhaps I’ll find it a new home since I haven’t been missing it.

I loved wearing another Goutal, Petite Cherie, this week. My mini bottle (15ml) of this lives in the fridge due to its notorious instability, and despite being more than four years old still smells lovely. I’d forgotten how nice the light, rosy musk drydown is.

So now what’s in the hatbox on the dresser is this:

Jacomo Silences parfum de toilette

Jacomo Silences eau de parfum Sublime

Escada Margaretha Ley

Dior Poison

L’Arte di Gucci edp

Ines de la Fressange (the first one, aldehydes and peach over rose and sandalwood)

Terre d’Hermes mini

Ineke for Anthropologie Sweet William

DSH Perfumes La Fete Nouvelle

Penhaligon’s Violetta

Donna Karan Gold edp

Smell Bent One

Balmain Jolie Madame parfum

Coty Chypre vintage parfum

Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete

Coty Emeraude vintage parfum de toilette

Mary Greenwell Plum

The last four in particular never leave the hatbox, they’re too important to me to accept a place in the cabinet.



Three days’ worth of Daily Scent Diary (Fri-Sun, Mar. 1-3, 2013)


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Sun Reflections
After this I’ll be returning to the regularly scheduled programming of a weekly Scent Diary.

Friday, Mar. 1, 2013 – brrrrrrr! cold.  Our laundry room is unheated, so that was not a pleasant task today. (Yeah, I know, dumb idea not to at least insulate that part of the basement.)  SOTD: Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest.  Yay, blackcurrant! Still working on this review.

Also working on a review of the new Micallef men’s fragrance, Royal Vintage. It’s not going well, because I have been reluctant to spend skin time with a scent that is so clearly meant to signal “GUY HERE! DUDE COMIN’ THROUGH!” It’s me, I know – other fumeheads seem perfectly able to carry off opposite-gender fragrances, but I’m very uncomfortable in anything even vaguely fougere-ish.  I’m perfectly fine with other people switching it up (and I love florals on guys, to be frank), but I just. can’t. do it. The funny thing is, there are any number of men’s woody-spicy fragrances that I would wear (Egoiste, Spicebomb, Midnight in Paris), and Royal Vintage is supposed to be a woody-spicy-leather – but I find the sporty/fougere elements in it overwhelming.

Saturday, Mar. 2, 2013 – chilly. Normal house-cleaning detail today. For dinner, though, we went to a fundraiser dinner at the high school that was meant to benefit the HS marching band’s trip to DC this summer. The jazz band played while we ate spaghetti and salad (PETBoy plays in the jazz band, and he does such a good job), and then the local community band called the Old Pros played some Big Band/swing stuff.  I enjoyed it very much.  SOTD: Parfums DelRae Amoureuse.  Swoony.

Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 – another cold one. I let Gaze pick my SOTD today, and he chose Ferre 20, nice aldehyde-floral-musk thing with a fruity cast. I know there are those of you who just shuddered, but I like this one. Bought it in Rome, so of course it makes me think of that enjoyable trip.

I think Bookworm’s fighting off some kind of bug – she took a long nap this afternoon and has complained of chills. The CEO built a lovely fire, and we had ham for dinner, and then we watched part of Amadeus as a family. Gaze wanted to know why it wasn’t titled “Wolfgang,” while allowing that calling it “Mozart” would make it sound too much like a documentary (he and Taz looove documentaries), so then I had to explain that “Amadeus,” meaning “beloved of God,” was sort of a plot point and that he’d just have to watch the movie to find out how the title figured in.  SOTE: Coty Chypre parfum.  Wowzers.  I love Mozart, myself.



Daily Scent Diary: Monday, Feb. 25, 2013


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Day's last rays -   view larger size: please press "L"
Relatively nice weather today, in the mid-40s F. SOTMorning: Roger et Gallet Blue Carnation, from a sample sent by a kind friend.  It’s more clovey than I’d remembered it (this one I do remember smelling as a child), but when I mentioned that to the friend, she commented that her other bottle was more floral, and the cloves seem more prominent in the bottle from which she took my sample. More about this when I finally finish up Part III of the carnation extravaganza.

Post-shower, I tried the new Chanel Les Exclusifs 1932 again. It’s lovely.  Shall review.

Then later in the afternoon, when Gaze called me to come get him from track practice, I picked up the mail and found a package from everybody’s favorite Queen Enabler, Dear Daisy. It contained my split of The Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest (squee!), so of course I had to put a weensy spritz on my thumb.  More on this one soon, too, but I will caution you right now: if you do not care for blackcurrant, do not bother with it. Do not be taken in by the “enchanted forest” of the name, because there isn’t much of one. There is an overgrown garden alive with blackcurrant bushes among the roses and other flowers, and maybe it backs up to a hedgerow of evergreens, but they ain’t no forest in here.  I do not mind, “foresty” not generally being my kind of fragrance and “blackcurrant” being a favorite note. Just be aware that the entire brief was predicated on cassis.

Still waiting to hear whether Gaze will be among the top 100-scoring kids selected to go on to the Virginia National Geographic Bee.  Looks like his cousin Curiosity will not be going, after losing his school bee in a tightly-contested match, but I’d love to see Gaze go again this year.



Scent Diary, Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 2012


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french_perfume_label_carnationsWMMonday, Jan. 28 – Sunny. We’d gotten some sleet in the night – I heard it clicking against the windows about 4:30 when the cat woke me up begging for food – but it was all gone by 9 am. This week is going to be Carnation Week, which I should have done earlier in the month because, hey, January is carnations, but I forGOT. I know January is carnations because it’s my birth month, so carnations are my birth flower, and I love them.

SOTD was going to be DSH Oeillet Rouges, but I couldn’t find my little dram bottle, so it wound up being Guerlain Metallica instead. This one’s really hard to find now, because the band of the same name sued, so Guerlain tweaked and rereleased the scent as Metalys – but I have a decant, ha! It’s lovely: a creamy soft carnation rather than a spicy, fiery one. Lots of ylang and vanilla and, I think, orris.

Bookworm’s prom dress came! It’s lovely and seems well-made. A beautiful color on her, too.

Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Warm again. Man, this weather is bizarre – NOAA says we’ll be getting cold temperatures and precipitation later in the week. SOTD: Etro Dianthus. This is one of the gentler carnation scents I have smelled, soft with vanilla and woods.

Wednesday, Jan. 30 – Day started out warm, but in the afternoon torrential rains began. We had thunderstorms and about 2 inches of rain in three hours, causing floods in the area. There is a dam on the New River (FYI, believed to be one of the four oldest rivers in the world based on geological surveys and the fact that it flows north) that creates our local lake, and the power company sometimes has to release water through the dam to prevent flooding damage. There was some anyway, but no fatalities because there was plenty of warning.

SOTD: Caron Bellodgia, vintage parfum de cologne. Eventually the cold cream aura starts to bug me, but this is such a pretty-pretty floral scent.

The high school canceled all after-school activities this afternoon, and although Bookworm made sure to text Gaze telling him NOT to come to the HS on the bus for track practice, he’d left his cell phone at home and didn’t get the message. So then he was stuck at the HS in the pouring rain, and had to borrow a cell phone to call me to come get him, poor baby. Bookworm had come home on the bus, because our earlier plan was for me to come pick her up after track practice and take her to her academic competition meet (students are not allowed to drive themselves to official school activities, but a parent may transport them). As it happened, both track and MACC were canceled, so she and I worked on her board presentation for her science fair project, due Thursday. She did all the brain stuff, and I just did the grunt work like cutting out graphs and graph legends and explanations, gluing them to cardstock, and then placing them on her board. She’d planned to finish Thursday morning, but we got it done tonight!

SOTE: Molinard Oeillet, a spray sample from TPC. I like this so much I went straight back to TPC to see if I could get more, but it’s gone, and now I remember that I ordered it because it was in the “clearance bin” area of the site. DANG. Apparently this one is old, cologne strength, and hard to find, and yet it is very nearly a fresh carnation scent. It totally kicks Bellodgia out of bed, in my opinion.

Thursday, Jan. 31 – Cold and windy. No school. There is flooding on several roads in parts of the county, and some people have lost electricity. Due to evacuation of flooded areas, the high school is being used as emergency shelter. The kids are thrilled to be home. Governor’s School has determined that the science fair judging will take place as planned this afternoon, with an extension given to anyone petitioning for it due to the flooding or loss of electricity. Seems fair to me. They’re supposed to start their second semester next Monday. SOTD: Smell Bent Prairie Nymph.

Friday, Feb. 1 – No school again; the HS is still serving as emergency shelter. SOTD: Oeillets Rouges. Gosh, I love OR. I treasure my little dram bottle. Went to the track meet to watch Bookworm run her 4 x 800m relay – the girls ran fairly well, but due to an official mixup, several teams in her heat were disqualified because the second leg runners ran only 3 laps, while the third leg runners ran five each, as they were directed to do by race officials. OOPS. Even with all of that, our team cut 15 seconds off their best time so far this year, and I’d expect them to drop at least another 10 seconds on Monday at the district meet. Afterwards, The CEO and I took Bookworm out to dinner as a treat. She’s such a sweetheart.

Saturday, Feb. 2 – Windy and cold. SOTD: PdN Vanille Tonka. Man, I love this thing. Worked on the Ginormous Carnations post much of the day. It started to snow in the late afternoon, after PETBoy had picked Bookworm up and taken her to dinner at his dad’s girlfriend’s house. They got home just fine, because he’s got four-wheel drive on his truck, but it’s getting slippery out there. We wound up with about an inch and a half of snow – not much, but the roads are not in good shape. More Vanille Tonka after shower. Mmm, cosy.  At last, it feels like winter around here!

Sunday, Feb. 3 – We skipped early church because of the icy roads, but made it to the 10am service. SOTM: Malmaison, with a dab of Oeillets Rouges, on top of the dregs of my Vanille Tonka from last night. Mmmm.

The CEO, Gaze, and Bookworm went to help with a local youth group that was holding a Super Bowl party for their regular kids. Apparently they had a blast – several Virginia Tech football players came before the game started and spoke to the kids about their faith. Nice of the guys, wasn’t it? Taz and I played a game, ate snacky food, and made football cookies, while watching the football game from time to time. Fun.

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