Scent Diary, Nov. 19-25, 2012

Monday, Nov. 19 – A nice warm day, for mid-November. Testing Donna Karan Black Cashmere and Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain. LAdDM is very nice, but perhaps the Tauer base (characterized by labdanum and Ambroxan, I think) is too thick and sweet. I think it’s a little too assertive for what I was looking for. But Black Cashmere could very well be the eye-opening, “this-can’t-be-perfume!” smell that captivates my shy character in one of my novels, the thing I’ve been looking for.

Noticed today that one of the houses on Maple Street in town, close to where we lived before moving to the farm, is ALREADY decorated for Christmas. Already! It’s SIX WEEKS until Christmas! It looks nice, actually: two 7-foot artificial trees on either side of the front door, trees and front porch decorated with white lights and gold ribbon, eye-catching but not garish. All the same, I do not get it. The town put up Christmas decorations last Thursday, and I don’t get that either. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t enjoy Christmas decorations or Christmas music or Christmas anything until about the first weekend in December, and we don’t start decorating the house until about Dec. 10. We don’t get our tree before the 15th! I find that when I start seeing decorations this early, I’m extremely tired of them before Christmas even shows up, and what’s the point in that? I know people like to do it, and there’s nothing wrong with it exactly, I just don’t understand how they don’t get completely sick of trees and wreaths and garland and ribbons and what-not in about three weeks. Maybe I have low tolerance, I dunno.

Bookworm had a relaxing night, very little homework. So glad for her. She watched part of “Chicago” on TV with her dad and me (and was shocked by the women’s costumes, judging by her frown) before going off to bed at a decent hour.

Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Another warmer day, in the mid-50sF. Virginia Tech is on Thanksgiving break, so The CEO is home, doing laundry and entering grades online. I’m home, doing some straightening up/cleaning, some mending, some holiday planning, some online Christmas shopping, and a teensy bit of writing. SOTD: YSL Nu EdP, another floral incense. Nu is… well, weird. I like the cardamom-incense, but there’s a strange dry-sour uncomfortable thing in there that I don’t like. Could be vetiver, I’m not sure.

Nu, I have to say, makes me think of the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the part where Sir Arthur and Sir Bedivere run into the threatening Knights Who Say Ni! in the forest, and they ask for a shrubbery… Arthur and Bedivere torture an old lady in a nearby town for information about shrubberies, by saying, “Ni!” to her. That is, Arthur says ni to her, but Bedivere can’t quite get it right at first. He says “Nu!” and Arthur has to coach him. (Watch it at Youtube here, if you like – the part I mean runs from about 2:47 to 3:00.) Continue reading Scent Diary, Nov. 19-25, 2012

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Fragrances for Thanksgiving

A very happy Thanksgiving celebration to my fellow Americans! Readers from elsewhere, I hope there’s a celebration of the wonderful things you have, at some point in the year – even if it’s only, say, a Tuesday afternoon when you look out the window or around the table at the faces of your family, and you feel grateful for life and everything in it.

But down to business: you’re probably going to do the Thanksgiving celebration thing today, and you need a smell for it, right? You’re probably going to be cooking and/or eating turkey and trimmings, or some other meal that means festivity to you, you’re probably going to be cleaning up after the meal, and you might possibly watch a little American-style football into the bargain (because nothing else says “America” like violence and committee meetings).

To jump right into the discussion, choosing a fragrance for Thanksgiving can be difficult. You Oriental fans are probably over there laughing right now, because oriental perfumes lend themselves very easily to being backdrop for food. (Unless you overapply. I read a comment recently by someone whose sister had just begun wearing 1980s-style lashings of Calvin Klein Obsession before Thanksgiving, and the poor woman said that Obsession-flavored cranberry sauce is horrible. I’m shuddering right now, just imagining it.)

But us floral gals? Outta luck. Don’t believe me? Okay, imagine this: the savory smells of sage-and-onion dressing, lemon-herb turkey breast with gravy, fresh rolls, the multiple dishes of pickles that my grandmother insisted were de rigueur for a formal meal, the broccoli with cheese sauce… with the floating overlay of a green floral like Silences, or a rose scent like By Kilian Rose Oud, or a beautiful, cool tuberose like Carnal Flower. Or even Chanel No. 19.

I just threw up in my mouth a little. (And I love Carnal Flower.) See? Florals Just. Don’t. Work. So what’s a Thanksgiving-loving fumehead to do? Continue reading Fragrances for Thanksgiving

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Scent Diary, Nov. 21-27, 2011

"A Warm Glowing Red" from freewallpapers4desktop.com. The last of our leaves have finally gone brown and left the trees this week.

Monday,  Nov. 21:  Warm today, into the upper 60s, but cloudy, with rain off and on. Got my turkey breast out of the freezer and into the fridge to thaw for cooking on Thursday morning.  SOTD: Bath & Body Works Velvet Tuberose hand cream, with a weensy spritz of DelRae Amoureuse on top.

SOTEvening: Mary Greenwell Plum.  Off to the high school for the end-of-marching-band-season potluck dinner, followed by the Parents’ Meeting for Winter Sports.  I cannot imagine what the coaches have to tell us this time that’s different from what they had to tell us at the Parents’ Meeting for Fall Sports two and a half months ago.   I can’t believe I’m missing the video from the Wake Forest band competition, which I couldn’t go to, for this stupid sports meeting.  Usually The CEO does the track stuff and I do the band stuff, but he’s off at the School Board meeting.

(Answer to “what’s new?”: nuthin’ much, except for the disturbing fact that the Indoor Track team will not be allowed to run inside the school on wet or cold days because the maintenance guys are supposed to be cleaning the new tile floor.  Yeah.  That’s a good reason to kick 38 kids out into the snow, right?  They can’t use the gym because the basketball teams are practicing in it, and the football field house is primarily a weight room and not suited to running.  The industrial arts building is better physically suited to a practice facility, particularly for sprinters.  However, it houses a daycare that lets out at 5:30 pm, and school officials don’t want 180-pound sprinters barrelling down halls that could contain toddlers… they’ll have to find a solution, and soon.)

Daily NaNoWriMo word count is 2528, with a cumulative total of 41,178.  Scent of Bedtime is Alahine again.

Tuesday, Nov. 22:    Warm but rainy again.  Poor Gaze got sick last night; looks like he’s got the 24-hour crud that hit Taz and Bookworm last week.  SOTD: Parfumerie Generale Praline de Santal.  (Nice.  I like.)

The CEO and I went to the benefit program at the high school, in which the choir sang, the drama department presented a one-act play, and the band played.  It was nice.  SOTE: Amouage Lyric Woman.  It rained ugly all night.

Daily NaNo wordcount 2879, for a cumulative total of 44,057. 

Wednesday, Nov. 23:  Kids out of school.  Rain cleared off during the morning.  Windy and chilly but not miserable.  I hope the track team had a place to practice! SOTD: Smell Bent One, which I still like very much and should wear more frequently. 

Gaze helped me make scalloped apples, a Thanksgiving tradition for us.  Yeah, yeah, we made them early, but the bags of apples on the counter were getting in the way.  I’ll try to post a recipe later – it’s kind of a pain, because my recipe came from my mom, and goes something like, “use all the apples you have, add as much sugar and cornstarch and lemon juice as you think it needs, cook until it looks right.”  So there’s actually nothing written down, and I’ll have to write it down myself and check it for accuracy.

Daily NaNo wordcount 1749, for a cumulative total of 45,806.

Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving:  Clear, lovely day with sunshine.  The CEO went out early this morning to move a bull back out of a field full of cows where he ought not to be, and found a cow dead for no apparent reason.  She wasn’t old, she hadn’t recently had a calf, she hadn’t been obviously sick, she wasn’t dehydrated, she hadn’t gotten her feet up the hill. (Weird, huh? If a cow lies down on a hill the wrong way, having feet up at a higher level than her head, it messes up her digestion so that  she begins to bloat, and then she can’t breathe.  That happens occasionally.)  We’re postulating a pregnancy that went wrong, but without an autopsy there’s no way to know.  SOTMorning:  Si Lolita, for no other reason than it’s pretty and the mini was close at hand.

Made spiced cider and cooked a turkey breast.  Added a snap to Bookworm’s new purple blouse (for modesty, her idea) and ironed it; then she went off with PETBoy to his grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving lunch.  Made gravy.  Heated up the scalloped apples that Gaze helped me make yesterday.  The rest of us went over to The CEO’s mother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  His sister E, brother-in-law K, sister J, and E & K’s kids – Curiosity and Primrose – were there, and Bookworm and PETBoy came and joined us for their Thanksgiving: The Sequel.

SOTD: Organza Indecence.  I considered Jeux de Peau, Champagne de Bois, and Alahine, but decided OI would be just right.  Also thought of that sample of Ambre Sultan, but I was leery of trying something so new before going to spend time with people who are not perfumistas.

Daily NaNo wordcount 2802, for a cumulative total of 48,608.  (However, the OpenOffice wordcount tends to be pretty inflated.  I’ll bet that NaNoWriMo says it’s only about 47K.) 

Friday, Nov. 25:  Went to validate my wordcount at NaNo, and I (oopsie!) included the whole document, not just the stuff written in November.  The official total wordcount is 57,209 per NaNo (58,569 by OpenOffice’s overly generous count).  I won’t consider myself a “winner” unless I can get 60,000 before the end of the month, because I wrote 9920 words in July.   I certainly think it’s doable.

Clear and cold today.  My nephew Curiosity spent the night, and all three boys have been building forts and shooting each other with Nerf guns all morning.  Primrose wanted to come over and play, but Bookworm is out with her dad and Jeff, moving a group of cattle from the Morgan place back home for the winter, and Primrose doesn’t want to be here until there’s more estrogen in the house.  Not that she put it that way… but she’s a very girly little girl, completely uninterested in Nerf guns or forts.  (As an eleven-year-old, I’d probably have picked up a Nerf gun myself.  Sadly, I was six years older than the oldest of my cousins, and always a bit left out of cousin play.)

SOTD:  testing Rose Kashmirie again.  Still a no, I think, or at least a not for me.   Daily NaNo wordcount 41, for a cumulative total of 48,649.

Saturday, Nov. 26:  Lovely weather!  Cousins over for a visit in the morning, then a bit of housecleaning and off to my parents for Late Thanksgiving and my dad’s birthday.    SOTD: Tableau de Parfums Miriam.   (Poor PETBoy.  He went with us, largely because Bookworm asked him to, and I think he was bored out of his skull.)  It was lovely to see my brother and his wife, and their darling little boy Chopper D, who is – gasp! – no longer a baby.  He’s two and talking and completely fascinated with blue cars and watches.  He, um, “borrowed” Bookworm’s watch and wore it all afternoon.  No, it did not fall off: he’s big for his age, and she’s small.

Daily NaNo wordcount 0, for a cumulative total of 48,649.   (Except that when I verified my wordcount at NaNoWriMo, the stuff I’ve written this month has been folded into the 9920 words that I wrote in July, so it thinks I’ve “won.”  I WILL get to 50K written this month.  It’s coming up fast.)

Sunday, Nov. 27:  Cloudy and windy again.  The CEO preached at a small Presbyterian church (once pastored by his dad’s first cousin, now down to about 22 members, mostly elderly) today.  Bookworm went to chuch with PETBoy, and the boys and I went to the later (11 am) service at our church today.  Advent started this Sunday, which was a surprise to me.  I’d stopped being in the habit of Advent, once we left our previous church for our current one, but looks like it’s back.  Which is sort of nice.  An advent wreath is a nice tradition – but I admit that I got sick of only singing Advent hymns for a month, because there are only about six of them, and there are alllll these dozens and dozens of lovely Christmas hymns that weren’t getting sung at all, except on Christmas Eve, and then only the first verse.  There are whole generations of young Presbyterians growing up without learning the beautiful second and third verses of Joy to the World, for example.

Also, I am SO, SO not ready for the Christmas stuff.  Not yet. My Christmas things will start getting hauled out gradually, beginning with the nutcracker collection the first weekend in December, the Nativity set, electric candles and a door wreath the second weekend, followed by a tree on the third weekend.  And it will all come down on New Year’s Day, because that’s the way I roll. I know that the town administrations in the area have had decorations up for two weeks, and I know the official “Christmas season” has already begun, but I don’t like this whole let’s-celebrate-for-six-weeks-and-buy-lots-of-stuff thing.  I just don’t like it.  Now get off my lawn!

I realize that my “let’s sing Christmas carols now” and “let’s not decorate yet” preferences may seem idealistically opposed, but they make sense to me.   Okay.  OVER it.  Shutting up now. 

SOTD: Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Chypree.  I don’t know whether my sample has gone off, or what: there seems mostly the ambergris-heavy Tauerade in this, where once I remember lots of dark rose and spices.  I mean, it still smells good.  It just smells different than I remember.  SOTEvening: Caron Parfum Sacre.

Daily NaNo wordcount 1248, for a cumulative total of 49,897Almost there…  if I’d been able to stay awake last night, I’d be there already.

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