Seasonal Rotation and Update, Summer 2019

The summer solstice has rolled around again, and it’s already hot. And will get hotter. Summer is my least favorite season.

I did enjoy summer when I was a kid — back when “summer” meant “school’s out, a week’s vacation away from home, swim meets, playing/hanging out with friends, spending time at my grandparents’ house, and Deb’s frozen lemonade.” These days it just means that the weather is miserable (thank God for A/C) and The CEO is home and cranky about farm stuff. So, yay.

On the other hand, The CEO and Taz just built us a lovely brick walkway from the front porch to the shop lot next door. I’m pleased about that.

Also, Bookworm has bought a car to replace the 2005 Sebring my dad gave us when he bought his Jeep SUV a few years ago. Sabrina has been a good car, but she’s had close to a thousand dollars’ worth of repairs in the last year, and we’ve gotten to the point where maintaining her in drivable condition is going to get expensive. Right now, she’s making a truly ominous creaking noise, as if she’s got a broken motor mount. Yikes. So Bookworm has purchased a 2016 Honda-certified Civic, as yet unnamed, that we hope will serve her well.

Gaze is spending a month in the Philippines, courtesy of an Army ROTC program called CULP (Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program) that is, more or less, a foreign exchange program with U.S. military allies. We had expected he’d be spending the time sleeping in rustic barracks in Manila and doing a field exercise in the jungle, and we loaded him up on sunscreen and bug spray. As it turned out, the currently-favorable monetary exchange rate meant that this crop of ROTC kids from across the country is staying in a 5-star hotel with a breakfast buffet Gaze described to us in a text as “insane.” They will still be spending a week in the jungle, but at least they’ll be comfortable before they go.

We took Taz to Emory & Henry this past Saturday to get him signed up for classes, and came home with swag: a Wasps Cross Country t-shirt and an E&H polo for The CEO, an Emory & Henry Mom t-shirt for me, and car stickers to go along with our Yale and Virginia Tech ones. Taz has already started his conditioning program for the upcoming XC season.

The Army has assigned my brother-in-law from Fort Hood in upstate NY to Fort Lee in Virginia, less than an hour’s drive from his hometown and about three hours from my parents’ house. They’ll be moving there next month, and everybody is thrilled.

On the fragrance front, I have changed the spring perfumes for the summer ones; I love making the seasonal switch as the weather changes!
Rotating IN:
Ines de la Fressange (the 1998 Calice Becker)
Hanae Mori Haute Couture
Arquiste Flor y Canto
Arielle Shoshana Saturday
Donna Karan Gold edp
Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete
YSL Paris Pont des Amours
Carven Le Parfum
Moschino Funny!
Hermes Kelly Caleche edt
Chanel No. 19 edp
Maison Lancome Jasmins Marzipane

REMAINING:
Guerlain Elixir Charnel Floral Romantique
Jacomo Silences edp Sublime (the 2012 version, not the 1978 galbanum bomb — which I also love)
Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere
Mary Greenwell Plum

Rotating OUT:
Shiseido Inoui
Penhaligon’s Violetta
Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet
Chanel No. 19 edt, vintage
Ralph Lauren Safari
Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete
Cuir de Lancome
Parfums DelRae Amoureuse
Parfums DelRae Wit

Wit could probably have remained, but it’s getting crowded in the Hatbox of Current Rotation. Le Temps d’une Fete has been a year-round choice for me in the past, but sometimes it’s too much in the heat (and if I want it, I’ll just haul it out of the bedside cabinet). I swapped the rosier, friendlier No. 19 edp for the bitey, leathery vintage edt. I did not pull out the Teo Cabanel Early Roses, because the more I wear it, the less I like it. I finally dragged out my manufacturer sample, which made me want to buy some, and tested it against  my small bottle. The liquid in the bottle is altogether harsher with a ton of Iso E Super, and I suspect that some kind of reformulation took place between the production of the sample and this bottle. That definitely happened with my beloved Alahine, so I am nearly certain a change occurred with Early Roses as well. (Boo on you, Teo Cabanel. Guess all those natural florals got too expensive, but MAN, did they smell great. RIP, Alahine.)

Three months of summer. Sigh.

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Green and Gold

mountainsIt’s September. It’s the Autumnal Equinox, and I’ve been watching the color of the sunlight shift ever so slightly away from hot summer glare, almost metallic, to the gentle warmth of Autumn afternoons.

The whole world is green and gold, rimmed in deep blue enamel. I love this time of year. Soon enough the mountains will go all russet tweed, but not yet.  For now I am wearing green and gold perfumes and glorying in this all-too-brief weather. It’s perfect.

Horse chestnut tree in autumn
Horse chestnut tree in autumn

Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete is still beautiful, even in its current eau de toilette state. The old stuff was labeled EdT, but it wore more like an EdP – deep, rich, floral but glowing woody underneath. Almost too wistfully gorgeous to bear. Smells like sunshine through leaves.

Ralph Lauren Safari is another green-and-gold I am learning to love, after finding the parfum version too sweet. Safari smells like cut grass drying into hay, plus freshly waxed wood furniture and a hint of vanilla. Its green shades straw-colored, and its gold is the warm gold of polished maple.

Guerlain Chamade is a round ball of bitter-green that gradually melts into the creamy pale gold of good custard, from cold shoulder to surrender.

Cstormy fieldoty Chypre (the really old stuff, not the 1980s Chateau Collection rerelease) is an elemental green, and there is a power and strength to it that smells like being outside with a storm approaching… eerie billowing shadows of clear olive green and dark gold.

There are other green fragrances, certainly, and I’ve made no bones about how much I love greenies in general, but these four capture my heart in early fall. Soon enough I’ll want leathers and spices and dried fruits, Smell Bent One and Givenchy Organza Indecence and Jolie Madame and Amouage Memoir Woman… but for now, I luxuriate in mellow, vibrant green and gold.

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Scent Diary Summary, most of May 2014

Scent Diary, Summarized, May 7 through June 3, 2014

I have not been keeping a good diary recently. It has been pretty busy here, with attending end-of-school activities and planning for some summer ones, so I’ve only got some “here’s what’s going on around the place these days” notes.
HOME:
As for the house and yard, they look pretty good. We’ve been getting some good rain interspersed with sunny days, so the grass is thick and green and the trees are beautifully full of leaves. The fruit trees are leafed out well, and there are even baby apples on one of the trees – I think it’s the Gala. I got the annuals (pink zinnias and those tall Mexican orange marigolds) planted in the front bed, and the hanging baskets (pink and red geraniums and hot pink vinca) up on the porch, too.

The peony bush we planted near sweet Hayley-dog’s grave seems to be thriving. We all miss our doggie. It’s the little things, you know? Like I’ll be getting home in the evening and thinking, “Look at the time, it’s Food the Dog O’Clock – oh, wait. No, it’s not. Sigh.” Or we miss the thumping tail on the landing in the morning, or we don’t hear barking when someone pulls up in the driveway… We miss the canine affection, too.

We do want another dog, but not yet. Probably by the end of the summer we’ll start looking; I’ve already been looking online at the animal shelters to see what’s available right now. There are a few dogs close by but nothing that automatically jumps out to me to say, “I’m your new dog!” We have set some criteria: House-trained (that one’s non-negotiable). Not a puppy, and not a senior dog (I don’t think we could stand to lose another one within a couple of years). Medium size, between 25 and 45 pounds – Hayley was on the upper end of that range. Not a yapper. MAN, I hate a yappy dog. Barking is one thing, but a high-pitched constant yap? NO. Absolutely not. We’re flexible on breed; we’d probably rather not have a purebred dog, but we wouldn’t turn a shelter or rescue dog down if we had a connection to one that happened to be a purebred.

We decided last year when Silvia died that we would not get another cat; Taz is allergic to them. While we wouldn’t get rid of a cat (particularly an elderly one) for that reason, it’s enough of one that we felt we wouldn’t add a cat back to the household.

We do need to pull out that dogwood tree in the front yard that struggled for a few years and then finally gave up the ghost last summer. It’s the middle one in a row of five, so I think it would look odd to put in something else there, but that means getting as much of the old root system out as we can since the dogwoods are at least eight years old. I also lost one of my Knockout roses over the winter. One of them was pretty stressed by Japanese beetle attack, and didn’t survive the cold. The other one? Looks great. Go figure. I did buy another Knockout – the standard color one, instead of the pink it will replace, but I think they’ll look nice together.

SCHOOL:
It ended yesterday. Graduation for the high school was actually last Friday, because that date was set early. However, due to some late bad weather, the superintendent was forced to add a couple of days of school for everyone not graduating. I notice that the high school parking lot was pretty empty Monday and Tuesday, though, so I bet a lot of kids just skipped those last few days.

Gaze had a good year both academically and with regard to extracurriculars. He was selected as trombone section leader for next season’s marching band, and was also voted “Outstanding Trombone Player” and “Outstanding Rookie” by his peers. I was very proud. He’s only a rising sophomore, but the band had a run of several years with no trombone section marching – I think because Mr. Butler, our previous director, didn’t want to have only a few trombone players. He opted to have those few switch to baritone horn, which has a similar range, instead. There was no trombone section all the years Bookworm was in band. But now there is – and that means that Gaze is one of the oldest players in that section. I think he’ll do fine as he’s very responsible. In any case, his FFA team was successful, his academic challenge team (social studies) was the champion, and he was a member of successful cross-country and track teams as well. Also, this year he’s grown several inches.

I must say, it’s awfully nice to look at the mantel shelf and see Gaze’s Outstanding Rookie trophy right next to Bookworm’s.  We never expected that, and there for awhile Gaze was pretty insistent that he wasn’t going to march, that was Bookworm’s thing, he didn’t want to put that much work into it… Well. He thinks he made the right choice now.

Taz struggled to some degree academically this year. Partly that was due to his lack of interest in organization, and partly that might have been due to his having to face some challenges that neither his brother or sister faced. It’s a good thing that his school now offers Algebra I for those 7th graders who might benefit (that was not available for Bookworm in middle school) and an online language course (not available for either Bookworm or Gaze), but it’s the first time he’s ever had to really put some effort into school, and, well, in a lot of cases he just didn’t. He pulled several B’s this year. However, he ran track, and came in second to a very accomplished player in the school’s chess club tournament. He’s grown too – Bookworm might have half an inch, or maybe even less, on him now.  The CEO and I were (pleasantly) surprised to find, at Taz’ 7th grade award ceremony, that he’d been voted “Most Attentive Boy” by his peers.  All I can say is, they sure don’t live here.  Good to know that he pays attention in class, though!

Bookworm herself had a good year as well. She would tell you that she wasn’t happy with her grades, but The CEO and I were fine with them. I think her current GPA is approximately 3.65, somewhere around there. She seems to have decided that she will be majoring in chemistry, and I think she’s on the right track. When your college freshman kid complains about Spanish and Calculus, but says that Chemistry is “easy” and “fun” – and comes home talking excitedly about all the “cool things” they did in class and lab? Well, that’s a good indicator that she may have found her niche. She got plugged in with Yale Students for Christ, which is the campus branch of Cru (which used to be known as Campus Crusade) and a church she likes in New Haven. She loved playing with Yale Precision Marching Band for football, basketball and hockey, and she had a total blast with her buddies on the ultimate Frisbee team.

Bookworm, we just heard yesterday, will be doing a summer internship in Louisiana, for a paper mill there. She’ll be assisting one (maybe more) of the chemical engineers at the plant in conducting efficiency testing on some of the equipment used, and hopefully will be able to either assist in a research paper or present her own. I’m a little bit nervous about her being 14 hours away for eight weeks, but I think it’s a terrific opportunity. She’s really excited about the possibilities. She leaves on Sunday.

FARM:
It’s hay season. Ergo, it’s busy. Not just with racing the weather, either – The CEO has spent a lot of time fixing tractors that got through the winter fine. Haymaking seems to put more demand on them, and since almost all of our tractors are approximately my age, they need a lot of maintenance. Bookworm and Gaze have been helping Jeff work some cattle (treating them with dewormer, giving them their shots and ear tags and the like).

The cows look good. There’s lots of grass.

SUMMER PLANS:
Gaze will be attending Camp Cougar this summer, which is an intensive four-week physical education course that can take the place of PE during the school year. Drivers’ Education class time is included, as well as a ropes course at the nearby Boy Scout camp, white-water rafting, caving, and some other fun activities. However, if you miss any part of any day – you can’t receive academic credit for the course, so he’ll be BUSY.

Then, of course, there will be summer band practices which he will need to attend. And pre-camp (for section leaders and rookie marchers). And band camp itself. ACK.

The CEO has to go to Denver for another National Cattlemen’s Association meeting, so this summer we will be joining him there in Montana to do a little exploring at Yellowstone and Glacier. That ought to be fun. We made plans before we knew about Bookworm’s internship, but we might be able to change her flight ticket and allow her to join us for at least part of the trip, assuming that she could get a few days off around July 4th.

I’ll be keeping Taz as busy as possible.

PERFUME:
I have been wearing my spring scents and testing some new things, but just yesterday I got out some of my summer-only fragrances. Things that went INTO the bedside cabinet: DelRae Amoureuse, Chanel No. 19 EdP, Jacomo Silences PdT, Deneuve, Guerlain Chamade, Penhaligon’s Violetta, Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet, DSH White Lilac, L’Arte di Gucci EdP, vintage Jolie Madame parfum, Amouage Memoir Woman, Ralph Lauren Safari, and my vintage Emeraude PdT. I’ve been rather addicted to Safari recently, by the way – it is a warm green as opposed to a cool green like No. 19 or Silences.

Things that came OUT of the cabinet and into the hatbox on the dresser: Ines de la Fressange (the first one), Hermes Kelly Caleche EdP, YSL Paris Pont des Amours, Donna Karan Gold EdP, Hanae Mori Haute Couture, Cristina Bertrand #3, Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl, Moschino Funny!, Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, and DSH La Fete Nouvelle. The current rotation also includes Le Temps d’une Fete, Ferre 20, and Mary Greenwell Plum, as well as my vintage Chanel No. 19 EdT, because those only go into the cabinet in the winter. I’ve also got decants of DelRae Wit, Chanel 1932, and Hilde Soliani Il Tuo Tulipo for summer use.

I have a whole set of 7 Oriza L. LeGrand fragrances still to review as well.

And, oh yeah, I still hate purple.

What’s in your seasonal rotation, if you have one? I know you blokes and sheilas Down Under are heading into winter…

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The Summer Switch, 2013

spring into summerOkay, it’s time.

Despite the fact that four out of seven days last week were below 70F temperatures, I was so humid-sticky-miserable in the house last night, with the A/C off and windows mostly closed against the rain, that I went ahead and put my SPRING perfume wardrobe back in the cabinet and brought my SUMMER one out.

I mean, it was humid and 78F in the house last night, and good luck trying to sleep. (Actually, I slept anyway. I was tired.) Bleargh.

But the truth is that of the fragrances I usually think of as spring-only (Crown Bouquet, DSH White Lilac) , or at-their-best-in-spring (the old Kenzo Parfum d’Ete, DK Gold, Chamade, Chanel No. 19, Amoureuse, Penhaligon’s Violetta*), didn’t really get worn a lot this spring. It was either too cold, or too muggy-hot for them. So I have put most of them, excepting No. 19, away for more appropriate weather.

*Violetta I like in spring or fall, but having discovered recently that Bookworm likes it, I left it available too. Maybe it will move in to her room while she’s here this summer.

So the fragrances I only wear in summer are now in the hatbox on my dresser. Moschino Funny!, Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete, Hanae Mori Haute Couture, Cristina Bertrandt #3, DSH La Fete Nouvelle (my hay scent), all ready for summer. Also, I’ve put Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, currently residing in my fridge due to its notorious instability, back into rotation.

What else is in there, available for summer wear? Well, the aforementioned Chanel No. 19, DK Gold, original Silences, the new Silences eau de parfum Sublime, Tommy Girl (shaddup, I like it), the first, bellini-like, Ines de la Fressange, the old very-floral Kenzo Parfum d’Ete, Mary Greenwell Plum, vintage Emeraude, and L’Arte di Gucci (because sometimes you need a Killer Diva rose chypre no matter the weather). Plum I wear all year round, and the Ines is so lovely in warm weather but better in summer than in spring.  Seems like the only time I really like jasmine is in summer, and mixed with other things, but it’s prominent in the Cristina Bertrandt and the HM Haute Couture. Lots of rose in Ines, Rose d’Ete (duh), and Petite Cherie. Oh! And I should get out my multiple samples of DSH Rose Vert, that is gorgeous in summer. Someday I’ll have a bottle, but for now I’m making do with the little bits I have.

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