Tag Archives: Scent Diary


Scent Diary, September 10-16, 2012


Categories: Family, Scent Diary, Tags: ,

This is Try #2 for Scent Diary this week; my laptop ate the first one and I accidentally emptied my “trash” folder before realizing what was in there. Grrrr. In any case, I’m recreating this from memory (and not doing so very well, either). Sorry. Afterburn Roll

Monday, Sept. 10 – Monday’s a blank at this point. Huh. Pretty sure I did grocery shopping, though. SOTD? Anybody’s guess at this point, because I can’t remember. Probably Le Temps d’une Fete because that’s what I wear when I don’t have a craving for something else. No, I was probably retesting Mitsouko parfum. Yeah, must have been Mitsy.

Tuesday, Sept. 11 – The boys helped me put the flag out before they left for school. SOTD? Again, no telling. Can’t remember stuff… OH YES. A sample of vintage Caron Bellodgia on one arm, and one more shot at L’Artisan Fleur de Narcisse (the limited edition thing that all my fumie friends who love hay just adore). Newsflash: the other sample of Bellodgia I tried must have been age-damaged, because it didn’t smell anything like this lovely carnation floral. And Fleur de Narcisse? I love narcissus. Love (real-life) hay. But this? It’s vague green and jasmine and maybe a little manure-ish. Does not smell like hay to me at all, but then most “hay” fragrances don’t smell like hay to me either. I’m done with this one.

Wednesday, Sept. 12 – Cool morning, hot afternoon again. It’s like Northern California all up in here lately. SOTD: Soivohle Green Oakmoss layered with Tauer Carillon pour un Ange, which works surprisingly well because of the earthiness in the base of CpuA. I think I’d rather have CpuA on its own, though. Not feeling so great, myself. Don’t know if this is a stomach bug or something I ate that disagreed with my digestive system, or what.

Thursday, Sept. 13 – Must have been some kind of bug. I feel better.

Gaze’s football team lost their first game of the season. The corresponding high school for the middle school they played is the same size as our county high school (and is a longtime traditional rival), but our county contains two middle schools where this locality has only one. Ergo, they have twice as a big a talent pool as each of our middle schools has. And they are insane about football. (Both my cousins went to this school, and I know. Things have been like that in this town since the 1960s.) It was ugly, 36-16. SOTAfternoon: Cristina Bertrand #3, nice white floral thingy.

Friday, Sept. 14 – Normal cleaning-up stuff that I usually do on Saturday, but we have plans for Saturday so I’m doing it today. SOTD: testing various sample thingies.

Went to the high school early to help work the home side concession stand for the band boosters. It was crazy-busy; I made something like thirty batches of popcorn in the popcorn machine. We sold out of nachos and Mountain Dew and roast beef sandwiches, and sold hot dogs half price in the fourth quarter. Burned my forearm on the heater box that keeps the hot dogs and roast beef sandwiches hot (ow ow ow!). But the football team won, 21-12, and the band performed their full show for the first time and it sounded great. And my percussion buddy TJ told me I smelled good (SOTE: Smell Bent One).

Saturday, Sept. 15 – We took a “Family Vacation Day” and went to Carowinds, an amusement park that’s not too far from home, for the day.  The weather was ridiculously hot and steamy for September, bleah.  I was really proud of Gaze and Taz, who have apparently graduated from kiddie roller coasters up to the more serious ones. They both have been nervous about coasters that take you upside down in a loop, but they rode Carolina Cyclone twice, and would have ridden it again if we hadn’t run out of time. Gaze even said it was his favorite ride at that park. They also rode my favorite coaster at Carowinds: Afterburn, which is a suspended coaster that does double loops and multiple barrel rolls, jetfighter style. I love this thing. Taz said it was “the coolest!” I’d been worried that he’d be scared, but I shouldn’t have been.

Nobody wanted to tackle the Intimidator. For someone who really loves coasters, I am a big monstrous chicken when it comes to heights, and also I really hate and despise (and sort of fear) the chain lift thingy that takes you up to the top of the first hill. I have to close my eyes and talk all the way up, just to take my mind off. Gaze doesn’t like big drops. I also get scared on big coasters that don’t have shoulder harnesses (no, I can handle old-style wooden coasters with just lap belts). The ones that only secure your thighs don’t make me feel safe. I figured that out on Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens, which nearly gave me a heart attack because I felt like I was going to fall out of it, and the Intimidator at Carowinds is similar in structure but even taller, so… just no.

Bookworm will ride just about any roller coaster you throw at her, but even she nixed Intimidator. Her favorite at Carowinds is Nighthawk, which is one of those weirdo rides that sends you up the chain lift strapped in and lying on your back, and then FLIPS YOU OVER and lets you feel like you’re flying. Which is actually sort of cool, but then it takes you backwards lying down at several places, and I Do Not Like That, so the coolness of the “flying” position is overruled by the ickiness of the “backwards lying down” position, in my opinion. I will only ride it so she doesn’t have to go by herself.

The CEO enjoyed one of those really tall “chair” rides. What it does is take you up in a seat with a lap restraint, very very high (it’s a little bit higher than Intimidator), and then spin you around in a circle, and then lowers the set of swinging chairs very slowly. I rode it because I was scared of it, and the general family rule on riding new things is that you really should try something once, unless you have tried something similar that already scared you. I knew I was securely buckled in and not likely to fall out, but I couldn’t convince myself of it and kept feeling like I was going to fall. HAAATED IT. Never doing it again. CEO called it “relaxing,” which he knew would get my goat.

(It’s not like I make fun of him for not riding roller coasters. He actually consented to ride Hurler, an old-style jerky wooden coaster, last time we went to Carowinds, and hated it, and also tackled Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens last time we went there, and hated that too. For the record, I first rode LNM – one of the first steel coasters ever built in the US, and one of the first loop coasters into the bargain – when I was eight, and absolutely loved it. I still think it’s a terrific ride, though I admit that coaster technology has really improved since it was built, and it feels a little jerky now.)

All in all, a fun day. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum, which was all I had in my purse because I’d forgotten to put in any other samples or decants. I smelled wonderful.

Sunday, Sept. 16 – Cooler. We were all tired so we went to the 11 am church service, which is jam-packed full of college students, none of whom I knew! We shift to three services next week, which is a nice problem to have, but yow. Three Sunday morning services. We’ve been going to the 9am. SOTD: Soivohle Centennial. I smell yummy. And it’s sweater weather, too.

Someone posted a video of the band’s Friday performance on youtube, and it looks great! The show looks wonderful! Bookworm still hasn’t perfected the trick she’s supposed to do with a saber, but PETBoy had his pirate flag… it’s cute. First competition next Saturday.

Again, so sorry this was late… Check back for an AldeHo Dishes post on Friday!



Scent Diary, September 3-9, 2012


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Dried leaves look like butterflies against September sky

Monday, Sept. 3 – Cool in the morning, muggy in the afternoon. I’ll be glad when we get real autumn weather… I miss the crispness. SOTD: Esteban Classic Chypre, from a sample. I’ve been trying one chypre after another, and finding most of them either too bitter or too oriental or just, I dunno, too weird. I don’t like this one after the opening.

SOTE: vintage Mitsouko parfum, from a sample. I thought I’d give it another shot! I typically have trouble with lesser concentrations of classic Guerlains (exception Apres l’Ondee, which I found ravishing in EdT, and Chamade, which is beautiful in all the concentrations I’ve tried), so this is the last-ditch effort. Although… at least two friends have recommended the (vintage) eau de cologne version to me, and I haven’t tried that one. If you’re wondering, I have tried vintage EdT, modern EdT, modern EdP, and vintage parfum. In any case, trying the parfum did not work. Musty peach, bleargh.

This does nothing to change my mind about fruity chypres, by the way. Most of the fruity chypres I’ve tried, from Mitsouko to Cartier So Pretty to Amouage Jubilation 25 (not XXV, the men’s one, which is incense instead) to Aqua di Parma Profumo to Badgley Mischka, have made me feel instantly and prolongedly nauseated. In fact, I went over to Fragrantica and looked up their “fruity chypre” list. Almost every one in that list that I have tried was horrid on me, just horrid – with the exceptions of Guet Apens/Attrape-Coeur and Mary Greenwell Plum, which I think are mislabeled. (I’d have called Attrape-Coeur a floriental and Plum a fruity floral.) By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses, Miss Dior Cherie, Guerlain Parure, DSH Mirabella, Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge, YSL Champagne/Yvresse, and the original Rochas Femme (I do okay with the reformulation, however odd that fact is), all completely dreadful on me.

Tuesday, Sept. 4 – Had to take Cameron (our Camry, which typically The CEO drives) to get a state inspection sticker today. Since it’s the first business day of the month, there were looooads of people waiting, and it took for-goodness-sake-EVER. SOTD: Tom Ford Jardin Noir Ombre de Hyacinth. Nice. Not something I would fall in love with, but very nice. I know they were going for a “dark garden” marketing angle with these four (Cafe Rose, Jonquille de Nuit, and Lys Fume as well as the Hyacinth), but it seems silly to me. Ombre de Hyacinth should have been called something like Silver Shadow, in my opinion.

As it wore on, I got bored and decided to spritz a wee bit of Jacomo Silences on top. They play nicely together, but Silences is wonderful all on its own. 

(Huh, what is UP with the font fail???)

Wednesday, Sept. 5SOTD: vtg Coty L’Aimant. Hot-peach-pie fragrance for a hot afternoon! I’m going to have to water my hanging baskets pretty seriously later. Bleargh. I keep trying to figure out a pattern to update my dilapidated clothespin bag (which I made with a kitchen towel and a metal clothes hanger about twelve years ago), but I can’t. They all look stupid. Grrr. SOTE: Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete.

Thursday, Sept. 6 – Same weather as yesterday.  SOTD: Dita von Teese.  Which is a nice floral mix leaps and bounds better than your average celebuscent. I still haven’t tried Quelques Fleurs, which DvT has said was her signature until she started dating a man whose mother also wore QF.

Gaze’s team won again. They won ugly, with plenty of penalties for false starts and offsides, but they won decisively, 38-16. Community Chorus again as well. SOTE: the nice, quiet hay-almond-musk DSH La Fete Nouvelle. Nobody at choir complained.

Friday, Sept. 7 – After a cool morning, it got hot. Jeff and Jason worked calves (flytags, vaccinations), and Hayley-dog went with them; she came back (as usual) dripping wet. She loves to go jump in the tractor-tire waterers. SOTD: Le Temps d’une Fete, the new lighter version. I could probably bathe in it and it wouldn’t overwhelm me. I like it – but it isn’t the old stuff at all, sadsadsad. Lucky me, though: a friend was selling her unloved old bottle (50ml partial), and I SNAPPED THAT SUCKER UP. The cap is a piece of plastic crap falling apart, but oh, what’s in that bottle… sighofpurehappiness.

Saturday, Sept. 8 – Normal Saturday morning for the boys and me – laundry, housecleaning. The CEO went to see Bookworm run in an invitational cross-country race. She did well, coming in 33rd in a field of 137. She didn’t lower her personal record time, but it was extremely hot and muggy in Roanoke. I’m proud of her.

In the afternoon, we had some friends from our church small group come over and watch the air show our small airport was hosting as part of their 50th anniversary. The airport is closed to commercial flights, and only freight or private planes may fly in and out. I’m getting used to this cool mornings-hot afternoons-cool evenings pattern. It’s nice. SOTD: Cuir de Lancome.

Our county Farm Bureau annual membership meeting was this evening. We ate barbecue and baked beans and some really nice cole slaw (I think there were dill seeds in it, yum), and then brownies. Bookworm went to the marching band’s “Senior Dinner” at Olive Garden, at which, I’m told, a good third of the group was texting each other as well as giggling across the tables. Bookworm had ravioli, and she reported that PETBoy chose “some sort of shrimp thing.” (Not helpful.) SOTE: Testing Parfums d’Empire Cuir Ottoman. Nice stuff, not the skeery bitter leather that disturbs me.

Sunday, Sept. 9 – Cooler. PETBoy joined us for church. SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. I’ve missed my white florals…

The afternoon was gorgeous, one of those blue-and-green autumn days so clear you could see a hawk two miles up in the sky. And the cows were happy. And Gaze and Taz went to Jeff’s little girl’s 7th birthday party. She asked them Saturday when they were all up on the hill in the Front Field watching airplanes; I think she’s got a little-girl crush on Gaze, because a) he’s nice to her, and b) who wouldn’t have a crush? He’s a cute older man! Last week she rode her bike up to our house and asked if Gaze was home. She seemed terribly disappointed to learn that he was at football practice and wouldn’t be home until after suppertime.

Makayla’s a budding perfumista; last time she played in my samples she really liked Lanvin Rumeur (yes, it’s the refo, which is a nice rosy fruitchouli along the lines of Coco Mademoiselle if you ask me). I sent her a few floral samples with her birthday card.



Scent Diary, August 27- September 2, 2012


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Monday, Aug. 27 – Comfortably cool, in the upper 70s F. SOTD: Soivohle Centennial. This one was originally called Historical Chypre, and it’s both floral and chypre-ish but not particularly green. There’s a cozy sort of fuzziness about it, and it must have some castoreum – the drydown reminds me of the drydown of L’Arte di Gucci.

Jacob the calf got out of his pen somehow while I was at the grocery store. He was hungry, because he followed me from the driveway into the laundry room where I made him up a bottle; I had to let him suck on my fingers to keep him from mouthing at my pants (yuck, calf spit is sticky). There were times I had to use both hands, though, and he slobbered all over me anyway.

Tuesday, Aug. 28 – Days are starting out cool and foggy, but end warm and humid. It wasn’t particularly hot today, but it was so muggy that being outside felt like wearing a wet wool blanket. Laundry hung out on the line simply did not dry. SOTD: Accord Parfait Chypre (Bergamot and Black Tea), from a sample. I really like the black tea note, but it doesn’t last as long as I’d like. And it isn’t very chyprish. Taz’s teacher called after school to tell us that he’s been doing well and is eager to learn, which is good to hear. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, August 20-26, 2012


Categories: Family, farm, marching band, Scent Diary, Tags:

Monday, Aug. 20 – Warm and lovely weather. SOTD: Moschino Funny! I’d better get a couple of wearings of this in before summer turns into fall. Pizza for dinner – Taz’s choice, because he starts school as a sixth grader tomorrow. 

Taz starts 6th grade.

Tuesday, Aug. 21 – School went well, apparently. Taz said he only had to try opening his locker six times before he managed it. Think of that, only six… (to be fair, I tried his locker myself, and it is a little cranky). In the evening, we went to the high school to eat hot dogs and watch the marching band perform their show for parents. They did a good job, especially for August! There are some rough spots, and those same three struggling newbie band members have yet to figure out which is their left foot, but overall it’s pretty good. The color guard is about 75% newbies, and most of them haven’t quite got this “marching thing” down yet either, but it’s coming along. SOTD: YSL Paris Pont des Amours. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, August 13-19, 2012


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(Pix added, Wednesday! Check ’em out.)

Monday, Aug. 13 – Warm and pleasant. (Okay, so maybe I don’t hate August right now.) SOTD: Nothing. I was busy, I forgot. SOTAfternoon: Muse de Coty. I’m quite sure at this point that my 1960s treasure (1.5 oz, parfum de toilette, boxed, barely used, $16 ebay) is somewhat age-damaged. Review will be posted this next week. I cooked frozen fries on the grill last night along with the hot dogs; the seasoned ones were wonderful and the waffle fries were burned in spots and much less successful. Oh well, it was worth a try. I just didn’t want to bother heating up the house along with the oven. SOTEvening: By Kilian Rose Oud, from a sample spray. I’m only likely ever to have samples of this one because it’s riDICulously expensive, but so nice. Rose and silky vanilla decorated with a smidge of band-aid.

Tuesday, Aug. 14 – It rained last night. I still find it odd that the rest of the country is in a drought situation, and we’re not. In fact, our grass is growing almost as fast as it was in the spring, and I’m having to mow about every five days. It’s a nice problem to have. SOTD: Muse de Coty. We have a new orphan calf in the “guest house.” His name’s Jacob. (I’ve noticed that most of the calves we wind up bottle-feeding are male. I don’t know why. We’ve had maybe a dozen stay in that little shed, and only two of them were heifer calves.) SOTA: Coty Les Muses. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, August 6-12, 2012


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La Rochelle Perfume Shop
Monday, Aug. 6 – Hot n’ muggy. I hate August. We did laundry and straightened up some. SOTD: more testing of various things, mostly Opus Oils. My laptop is being weird and not communicating with the internetses, so I couldn’t even post last week’s Scent Diary. More Olympics on TV.

Tuesday, Aug. 7 – Hot n’muggy. I hate August. Took Bookworm for her biannual eye exam, which she hates because the drops bother her so much. SOTD: vintage NinaRicci Nina. I snagged a sample from Surrender to Chance because my mini bottle from ebay smells like nothing so much as nice French-milled soap (usually that’s a function of orange blossom in the formula) – or possibly aldehydes gone slightly off, both of which are possibilities with this aldehydic floral. But guess what? StC’s bottle smells like, yes, nice French-milled soap. Sigh. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, July 30 – August 5, 2012


Categories: marching band, Scent Diary, The scented life, Uncategorized, Tags: ,

Sorry for delay!  Laptop was wonky.

Monday, July 30: Took the boys for their annual eye appointments. Gaze’s vision has changed only a little, but Taz’s has improved considerably. They both need new glasses, so we stopped by Wendy’s for fast food and then by Wal-Mart, which I’ve found to have a good/cheap eyeglass service (Consumer Reports agrees with me, by the way, if you want to look it up). Gaze ate a burger called Son of Baconator – I think it’s two patties, with bacon. No cheese, because he hates cheese – one of these days I’ll make sure to have his DNA checked, since both The CEO and I love cheese! – but extra bacon. Gaze loooooves bacon SOTD: Silences. Wonderful stuff. Gaze started Official Football Practices for the middle school team this evening… all 92 pounds of him, sigh. Because of the eye appointments, I missed helping with band camp today. Thunderstorms this evening.

Pirate deck at Club Earl

The marching band show this year is called “Mutiny!” and includes the Introit from Mozart’s Requiem, snippets of soundtrack from various “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, and other songs called “Swashbuckler” and “Water.”

Tuesday, July 24 – A little cooler today, which is good because we’ve got band camp the rest of the week. In the past, band camp has been “away,” either at a college campus or something like a church camp site, but for the past two years has been held at our high school, on the band practice field, for financial reasons. That is, we’re saving money for band trips rather than spending it on band camp housing and meals; the kids sleep at home, of course, and because of the lunch program through the school, lunch is provided. (When I was in marching band, eons ago, we always did band camp at our high school as well. However, instead of a nice grassy practice field, we marched ON THE ASPHALT PARKING LOT. In AUGUST. These kids don’t know how lucky they are – we only got onto actual grass for two hours on the very last day of band camp, after the football players went home.) Continue reading →



Scent Diary, July 23-29, 2012


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Sorry for the delay in posting. Monday I took the boys for eye appointments, and I’ve been helping with Band Camp at the high school.

2011 Wadsworth HS Band Camp - 19

Monday, July 23: Humid, hot, muggy. Bleah, it feels like August in Florida.

And, yeah, I know what August in Florida feels like. When I was growing up, my dad the CPA was entitled to three weeks’ vacation every year. Of which he only took one week, and always in August, because when my mom would start planning summer family trips he’d say, “Sure, third week of June is fine,” – and about the second week of June, he’d be saying, “No, I can’t do it next week. I’m too busy.” So she’d put off the trip a week, two weeks, a month… and he continued to be too busy. It would go like this all summer until my mother would say, “Ronald, if we don’t go anywhere by the third week of August, we won’t get to take a family vacation.” And she’d fix him with the Mom Stare of Comply-or-Die. He’d sigh and rearrange his work schedule. So we’d go on vacation the third week of August, in ungodly hot muggy weather – to Nags Head, NC, or Virginia Beach (which in the 70s was absolutely filthy with cigarette butts and horseshoe crab shells and beer pop-top tabs that could cut your foot, though it’s been cleaned up now), or to my aunt’s house in Knoxville, TN. Twice it was to Orlando, for Disney World and Sea World and the Weeki-wachi “mermaids” and the fort at St. Augustine. The second time we went to FL, I was fourteen, my sister was nine and my hyperactive little brother – who’s now 6′ 4” and about 260 pounds, with tattoos and pierced ears and a goatee – was four. We drove to Florida from Virginia in a four-door VW Rabbit diesel four-speed hatchback. Five people in that cracker box of a car, one of them prone to motion sickness, and one of them addicted to He-Man figurines and pow-pow noises, and on the way there the AC conked out. GAH.

SOTD: Neela Vermeire Trayee. Which I thought I wouldn’t like at all, because I usually don’t like these reserved, intellectual, incense-woody things. However, this one is actually sort of friendly. You know, like the tall geeky guy with weird glasses who likes Star Trek, but not enough to own every single action figure plus a Klingon dictionary, and who turns out to have a soft spot for Springsteen and for carrying heavy items up dorm stairs for lit-poet-choir girls, and when you look close you realize he has pretty eyes and a great crooked smile.

SOTE: Dior Poison esprit de parfum. This stuff is sort of growing on me.

Tuesday, July 24 – Another Hot & Muggy. SOTD: JPG Fragile edt. Nice. Not earth-shattering or anything, and not the all-tuberose thing I was expecting either. There’s a big hazy veil of hedione over the flowers. It’s pretty. I wonder if the edp is considerably different.

Gaze and I went over to the fairgrounds during the get-in-free hour, to see if we could just take a peek at the photography exhibits and the judging results, but for some bizarre reason, the gate people (local staffers, not the carny guys who own the rides and midway things) weren’t letting anybody in. They cited the fact that there was a thunderstorm warning over the area, but I’m pretty sure they screwed up and got it wrong. The quote was “The state says we can’t let anybody in when there’s a thunderstorm on the radar.” I can’t imagine that the Commonwealth of Virginia would keep them from opening the gate to the fair because of the threat of lightning… I mean, Busch Gardens doesn’t stop letting people in when it storms. They just tell people to take shelter, and they don’t run the rides. DUH. What the county fair staffers should have done was to NOT LET PEOPLE STAND OUTSIDE. They should have done one of the following: a) passed out free gate passes to everyone standing in line between 2 and 3 pm, and then insisted that everyone go back to their cars to wait out the rain, OR b) opened the darn gate and then insisted that everyone take shelter in the food court areas, or in one of the several large buildings, while the rides stood idle. Also, c) updated the darn website so that people know not to leave their houses when the gates aren’t even open.

GRRRR. We left.

This evening, The CEO just sold a big wad of bull semen (geddit, wad? HA), for way more than we paid for it, because the bull has died and his breeder is starting to run out of stored stock. Woohoo, an investment gamble has paid off. SOTE: Shalimar Light.

Wednesday, July 25 – The CEO left for his trip to Denver with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Advisory Board, taking the GPS with him. We’ve decided to call it Miss Direction (geddit, misdirection? HA). SOTD: Uhhh, nothin’. Forgot in the morning. Later, I had a pulled-muscley sort of thing in my upper back that I don’t know where it came from, but it sure ruined the rest of the day, and I didn’t even bother with smellies until late in the evening, when I was craving the wonderfulness of Le Temps d’une Fete.

Thursday, July 26 – Hot n’ muggy. I mowed. SOTD: testing various things. We did some laundry, and then I took Gaze to his middle school football parent conference thingy… Looks like the VHSL (the state body regulating school sports) is really hitting the Concussion Awareness issue pretty hard now, and who’s to say that they’re wrong? I was encouraged by the points the football coach was making, about football being a reward for off-field behavior, and the student-athletes should be a) obeying their parents, b) keeping their grades up, and c) making good effort at practice, not to mention d) behaving as role models and good examples of leadership, hard work, and excellent citizenship in all the arenas of their lives, whether that is school or the bus or having fun on their own time.

Friday, July 27 – Hot. Muggy. Yep, it’s the tail end of July. SOTD: Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. This thing is still very simple, a powdery-fruity rose floral that feels very cool and comfortable. It’s not distinctive in other seasons, but for summer it’s a favorite.

Thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Watched “Drumline” on the DVR with Bookworm and Gaze. I love percussion. Love it. Can’t wait to hear cadence… there are only a couple of seniors on the high school band’s drumline this year, and the section leader is a junior. It seems like a really small drumline to me, and the balance seems off to boot: two quad toms (or tenors, if you prefer that term), three snares, and four bass drums. I’d take somebody off a bass drum and toss them onto snare, if it were up to me, but then, I like a fat snappy snare sound. I’d also pull a couple of mallet players off the front ensemble (there are nine!) and march them with cymbals. Just my opinion, of course, and it ain’t my band. Mr. Butler does a terrific job of instilling responsibility and team spirit, which is to my mind more important than a nice fat snappy snare sound…

Saturday, July 28 – Hot. Muggy. Can’t believe we’re going to the fair today in all this hot mugginess. We cleaned up, and I put together some fruit salad. Then we had a gathering with some people from our small group at church. Ate hot dogs and hamburgers, and the kids played with Nerf guns. (Quote from Thomas F: “Where’s Jeremiah? When I see him I’m gonna SHOOT ‘IM.” Spoken like a four-year-old brother of an eight-year-old…) SOTD: DSH La Fete Nouvelle, nice hay-almond-musk summery thing.


The fair was hot, crowded, and full of people wearing clothes so skimpy and strange that I’d immediately collar any child of mine wearing them and yank them back into the house to change – i.e., normal for our county fair. I heard one Virginia Tech college student say to another one, “Hey, you oughta see the fair. That’s when all the freaks come out.” True. I saw more piercings and tattoos and belly buttons and cleavage-on-display and strange makeup on fairgoers than I ever see at any other time in this county! Not that dressing strangely makes you a “freak,” but it’s a style of dressing I don’t often run across in this conservative place. What bothers me more – a lot more – about the fair is the stunning number of people running around with toddlers and holding cigarettes in their hands, at about the level of the average two-year-old’s face. Grrrrr.


The kids rode rides until I made them go home at 10 pm. Taz pretty much brushed his teeth, pulled off his jean shorts, and collapsed into bed, but Bookworm had been riding rides with a band friend of hers (her old saxophone section leader, as a matter of fact) and the friend’s boyfriend (one of last year’s drum majors), and was all chatty. I had to make her go to bed.

Sunday, July 29 – A little cooler today than yesterday. SOTD: Cristina Bertrandt #3, nice white mixed-white-floral thing. Good sermon today, and Gaze said on the way home that he would like to be baptized soon – wonderful news! We cleaned up Nerf guns and bullets and paper plates from yesterday, and did some laundry, and then Bookworm went off for the first evening of band camp. We watched some Olympics – men’s beach volleyball, swimming, women’s gymnastics.

SOTE: Opus Oils Dirty Sexy Wilde. Innnnnteresting. Not very Me. The CEO will be home late tonight, and this smells like a “dude” smell, so I’d probably better wash it off before he gets any funny ideas about it.

Oh, and I have a new favorite swimmer: Nathan Adrian is hot. Also very tall (6’7″). Also-also, he’s half Chinese (genetically speaking), like my niece and nephew Primrose and Curiosity. Bookworm says Ryan Lochte is cuter, but I disagree; I’d rather pinch Ryan’s cheeks and pat him on the head than ogle his muscles. (OMG, I just realized – I’m talking like a cougar. That is cougar attitude. Holy moly… see what those cute swimmers have DONE TO MY HEAD?)



Scent Diary, July 16-22, 2012


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Feeding Time
Monday, July 16: HOT. Muggy. Bleargh. Cleaned up after the Bright Futures Atlanta kids’ visit (as always, a little lemonade gets spilled, and we have to put the chairs away and wash the blankets we keep on the hay wagon). Did the week’s grocery shopping and menu planning. SOTD: testing Neil Morris Seaflower on one wrist and Woodland Strawberries on the other. This may be a Neil Morris week – I have three more of his to test.

Dinner was Flounder with Crab Topping (the recipe was “Stuffed Flounder,” but did not involve any actual stuffing activity so I renamed it). Delicious, but the texture of the fish suffered – it got mushy and almost disintegrated. The recipe called for baking at 400F for 15 minutes, and that was probably too long, or at least too long for frozen fillets. (You really cannot get fresh fish this far inland unless you’re a fancy seafood restaurant and can afford to fly stuff in.) The flavors were excellent, though, and I’m probably going to try this again with a sturdier type of fish. Tilapia, maybe. Maybe cod, though the cod might overwhelm the crab flavor.

The kids watched “Night at the Museum 2” last night – the Smithsonian one, with Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart. I usually really really hate Ben Stiller, though I don’t know why. He seems like a perfectly nice guy in real life… he just sort of, well, ooks me out. Except in these Museum flicks, where he seems normal. I might have to blame his performance in “Reality Bites,” where he was super creepy. (Not that I’m an Ethan Hawke fan, either. But I do love Winona Ryder. Does that make me a Gen X cliché?) SOTE: JHaG Citizen Queen..

Tuesday, July 17 – Another hot day. My stargazer lilies have been almost completely subsumed by either the Black-Eyed Susans or the Shasta daisies. I should dig them up and replant elsewhere (and should thin out the daisies anyway). But the lilies smell wonderful anyway.

SOTD: Neil Morris Parfum d’Odette. Innnnnteresting stuff.

Wednesday, July 18 – It’s slightly cooler, slightly less humid, but not enough to make things comfortable outside. Wrote two blog posts and worked on a story in the morning, and then sewed a little bit on a cotton dress for Bookworm. SOTD: testing Neil Morris Le Parfum d’Ida on one wrist, Moulin Rouge on the other.

Thursday, July 19 – Errands. And the boys are arguing. And Bookworm is sick, so I took her to the doctor to see why this little cough she’s had since I picked her up at drum major camp last week has not abated. Turns out she’s got bronchitis, and because it’s getting worse instead of better, she’s on antibiotics. SOTD: Neela Vermeire Bombay Bling, which is niiiiice. Emphatically fruity, but in, yes, that exuberant, unapologetically fun Bollywood style.

Friday, July 20 – Rain off and on. We did some of the normal Saturday house-cleaning, so my nephew Doodlebug could stay the night. SOTD: NM Le Parfum d’Odette again. Nice. Reread Joshilyn Jackson’s Between, Georgia, which is very good but still my least favorite of her books. (Bookworm liked it far, far better than gods in Alabama, which does have some… difficult material in it. Like unpunished murder, for example.)

Slept in Tabac Aurea. Yum.

Saturday, July 21 – Hot muggy day. We did some laundry and more house-cleaning, and my sister arrived to spend the night with us. SOTD: By Kilian Sweet Redemption. PETBoy came over to work on plans for directing the marching show and stayed most of the day; then The CEO, Gaze, and Doodlebug went to a Salem Red Sox game while Taz read books. We tried the crab-topped fish again with tilapia, and the tilapia stayed relatively firm. Yum.

My sister A, Bookworm, and I watched “Much Ado About Nothing,” the Kenneth Branagh-directed version, on ancient videotape and then talked about literature studies in public schools in the 1970s and ’80s versus today. A and I read a whoooooole lot of depressing literature in English classes, and Bookworm was appalled. Seems there was a great deal of paranoid/ fatalistic/ doomsday material in vogue then. Anybody remember “To Serve Man”? Or “The Lottery”? Lord of the Flies, anybody? Then we appalled A by informing her that Bookworm’s 8th grade English class studied the fantastically-mind-numbing Twilight.

I KNOW. I KNOW. It’s admirable to try to bring literature alive to preteens and young teens by studying a pop culture phenomenon, but Twilight is like crack for the brain, except less enjoyable. What a good thing that now English teachers can focus on The Hunger Games instead. I shocked A by telling her that I think The Hunger Games series is at least on a par with the Harry Potter series, if not even more significant. She hasn’t read THG, and I think she’s been negatively influenced by the love-triangle aspect, which is not even the point of the thing… or maybe she’s only seen the movie ads. Well, she’s missing out. But then, she’s not an insane reader like I am, and I don’t know that she’s read a lot of literature new to her since she finished college, with the exception of the aforementioned Harry Potter novels.

(Or so I hear about the crack. I mean, I know nobody’s going to believe me, but I’ve never misused a pharmaceutical, legal or not. Not only have I never inhaled, I don’t even know what pot smells like.)

I stayed up too late talking. “Much Ado About Nothing” is still terrific. The acting in it, with the exception of Keanu Reeves – before A or I said anything, Bookworm volunteered that “you could hammer nails into him, he’s that wooden,” – is uniformly excellent. I’d forgotten how good Robert Sean Leonard is, because I didn’t like him in “Dead Poets Society,” much preferring Josh Charles. And Denzel Washington is wonderful.

Well, okay, maybe Kate Beckinsale is a little stiff. But she was all of maybe 18 when this was filmed. And she’s gorgeous in it, as dewy as fresh flowers. And some of the staging is dumb: at the wedding, Claudio knocks over a pole adorned with flowers, and without explanation all of the decorative poles go down? Please. But my favorite part is where, after exchanging heated witty insults through several scenes with Beatrice, Benedick says to her, “I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is that not strange?”

Sunday, July 22 – Another hot muggy day – but, as my sister points out, “It’s cooler than Texas.” It’s only in the upper 80s here. SOTD: Ines de la Fressange, the first one, from 1999. The fruity floral one. Yeah, yeah… before you sneer, I’ll point out that a fruity floral is as appropriate in summer as raspberry lemonade is. If it’s done well, it can be lighthearted and enjoyable and fun. This one is done well. (Hmm, I’ve never done a formal review of it. I should.)

I took Gaze to enter two of his photographs in the county fair. His “Dogwood Blossom” really stood out from where it was hanging on the wall, but of course officials hadn’t closed out entries when we submitted his. They’re judging today, so we should be able to find out the results tomorrow.



Scent Diary, July 9-15, 2012


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Monday, July 9: The CEO took off this morning on his trip around Virginia, checking in with his Ag Tech students that are doing internships for credit. He’ll be gone all week. Right after he left, having packed his things in the ancient green suitcase with failing zippers, his new suitcase arrived. (DANG the timing.) Along with the suitcase, the UPS guy delivered my copy of Alyssa Harad’s new book, Coming to my Senses: a Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride. I spent the morning reading it. It’s lovely. I’ll review soon. I was moved to go put on a bit of my vintage Balmain Jolie Madame extrait – I actually have four tiny bottles of this stuff, and each bottle smells different. This particular one has lost some of its green notes and is very leathery. As time goes on, you pick up a nice white floral note along with the leather.

It’s a little cooler than yesterday. I wrote most of the afternoon, and then had a busy evening: took Gaze to football practice, went to the band boosters meeting, skipped out of that to go to the visitation service for my mother’s cousin Wylie who died last Friday, picked up Gaze, and grabbed pizzas on the way home. SOTE: Cuir de Lancome, on top of the dregs of Jolie Madame. Excellent. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, July 2-8, 2012


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Monday, July 2: HOT. Huge huge thunderstorm last night, all crashy-boomy-windy, and a bunch of people lost power due to it. Between the people that lost power after Friday’s windstorm and the ones that lost it after the thunderstorm last night, there are about 23,000 homes without electricity in our county alone – and there were twelve surrounding counties involved in the power outage! I cannot imagine why we still have power, when we usually lose it after every storm that causes tree limbs to fall… but we still have it. We were very glad to be able to find a place for my MIL’s refrigerated and frozen items, and to host her during the day so she could keep cool as well.

SOTD: Chanel No. 19 modern edt. I have just about used up this small 4ml sample bottle I bought on ebay. (It was labeled “vintage,” and the color in the photo made it look like the old yellowish green stuff; I was surprised when the bottle showed up and the juice was bright green.) Thank goodness I still have a decent supply of really-vintage, but I have to say that even the new is good. Continue reading →



Scent Diary: week of The Big College Tour Trip, June 24 – July 1, 2012


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Long Diary entries this week, and I’ll warn you now that I’m overlapping here a little with last week’s Scent Diary. I didn’t talk much about the trip in the Diary last week, and this week is all about the trip, with a sprinkling of food descriptions too. If you’re just here for the perfume, I wore the following: Le Temps d’une Fete, Chanel No. 19, Kiss Me Tender, Diptyque Eau Rose, L’Eau de Chloe, Kiss Me Tender again, Chanel No. 19 again, Le Temps d’une Fete again, and Amoureuse. Pretty boring, but hey, this week was not all about the perfume. Feel free to skip if you don’t happen to care about our travels and trials along the Eastern seaboard college tour route (not everyone will care, and that’s fine, it’s no skin off my nose if you’d rather go watch YouTube). Continue reading →

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