Categotry Archives: The scented life

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Labor Day, 2014

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Categories: Family, Holiday, Scent Diary, The scented life, Tags: , ,

Happy Labor Day to my fellow Americans!

I have, again, sorely neglected to keep my Scent Diary up to date, so you’re getting a summary.  That’s The Way It Is. (Heavy sigh.)

outlanderI’ve been watching “Outlander” on Starz.  I’ve loved the books ever since I picked up the first one in the series (which now stands at eight books, with at least one more in the works), in 1995. It was a good fat book, and it seemed to involve Scotland and a romance, so I figured it might be good reading material for what I was doing at the time. Namely, sitting on the couch and nursing my first baby. Bookworm did not have a good handle on this breastfeeding thing – and neither did I, to be honest. Besides that, she was a small six-pound baby and wanted to nurse every two hours around the clock.

Let me repeat that: around the clock. Every two hours. Without fail.   So I was spending something like 10 hours a day parked in one spot. I needed stuff to read.  And I was quickly engrossed in the story of Claire, a WWII nurse suddenly transported back 200 years in time, without a way to get home, forced to escape the perverted interest of an army captain by way of marrying a young Scotsman.

Ah, Jamie Fraser… if you can find me a woman who’s read the books and not fallen for Jamie Fraser, I’ll tell you that she is either a newlywed or has no heart.

Taz at Grand Tetons, a selfie using his dad's camera and tripod.

Taz at Grand Tetons, a selfie using his dad’s camera and tripod.

I’ve sampled a few new things, as well as a few fragrances new to me. More about that coming, but here’s the list: Carven Le Parfum, Robert Piguet Douglas Hannant, and Dame Perfumery Pear, Waterlily and Amber.  I have re-explored Monyette Paris (oil format) and Robert Piguet Fracas, plus Sonoma Scent Studio Yin & Ylang.

What I would love to know is, why can’t I find a manufacturer sample of the rereleased Carven Ma Griffe? I read somewhere that it was considered a “soft” launch, not much fanfare… but NO samples?  Perhaps this is a US problem only, and there are at least testers available in multiple places in Europe. I did once buy a mini of the vintage stuff on eBay, but it was truly spoilt so I still don’t know how it was meant to smell.  I’m very interested in smelling the new, anyway.

Bookworm with her sax.

Bookworm with her sax. Photo by YPMB Photogs.

Bookworm went back to school on the 23rd. She seems to have settled in just fine. She’s in a suite with four other girls – Kat, Maya, Sophia, and her roommate, Ring – and practices for the Yale Precision Marching Band have already started.  (Ring is Chinese, and that’s her English-language use-name because apparently her Chinese name is difficult for Americans to pronounce.)

Gaze is a sophomore in high school, and Taz is an eighth-grader.  They’re out of school today for the holiday, and so is Bookworm, for that matter, but Virginia Tech held classes today, so The CEO is teaching today.  We’re going to a potluck meal with my extended family for lunch today, and when we get home, I intend to rearrange my perfume cabinet. There are some bottles in there that I’m not wearing, and I want to organize them and prepare them for sale on eBay. Never done that before, so that will be a new experience.

(Perhaps I shall offer them for sale here first? Think I will. Don’t expect any hidden gems, though.  It’ll be mostly mainstream stuff – no 1930s Vol de Nuit or anything like that.  I probably will slough off my two purchases of 1980s Coty Chypre, however. That is tough to find. I just don’t love it, not the way I adore the really vintage stuff. In any case, I will take pictures and post things for sale here, and leave that post up for a week or ten days, after which everything goes straight to listing on eBay.  I’m sorry to say that I will only be shipping within the US; attempts to mail out of the country have gone very badly for me. Paypal only.)

Gaze with his trombone.

Gaze with his trombone. Photo by Stacey Utt.

The high school had their first football game Friday. We lost 28-8. Miserable.  The band did well, though.  Weather’s been odd for August – very wet, continuing the rain that marked the last half of July.  Just in the last week or so, it’s been hot and humid, which is more like our usual August. I hate August.  And last week, the cross-country team hosted a scrimmage against a school from a neighboring county. The course was laid out over land that we own or rent, and it’s an extremely tough one: hills and varying surfaces (paved road, gravel road, grass).  Finishing times were  slow, and although that must have been partly because the course was so new that no one had run it before (except Gaze, who’d run it once) and partly because the temperatures were brutally hot.  We did not exactly cover ourselves with glory, but we had all of our boys finish, including the two middle-school boys, Noah and Taz.

 

The dog is driving me crazy. It’s like living with a toddler.  Out! In! Out! In! Investigate the goats! Bark at nonexistent threats!  Attempt to steal food and eat inappropriate things like quarters and pieces of plastic! On the other hand, he’s sweet. And he hasn’t really destroyed anything… much.  Except three shoes, one of his leashes, several used tissues, a plastic bag, one of The CEO’s socks that he bit a hole in, one of Taz’ socks that he bit the heel completely out of, his plastic Frisbee, and half a pan of cinnamon rolls he snagged off the counter (I don’t want to know what acrobatic feats he accomplished to even reach the pan).  I can’t watch him every single second! Sometimes I have to go to the bathroom!

Hunter is spoiled rotten!

Hunter is spoiled rotten!

Fragrances I’ve been wearing recently: Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete, Mary Greenwell Plum, Penhaligon’s Eau Sans Pareil, LeLong pour Femme, Chanel 1932 edt, Guerlain Vega, Dame Perfumery Black Flower Mexican Vanilla, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire pour Femme, Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete, and Ralph Lauren Safari.  I even pulled out Amouage Memoir Woman for a bedtime spritz last night. (It was lovely.)  I’ve been trying to wear decants, and I’m going to try to continue that focus into the future.

I purchased two inexpensive blind buys off eBay recently: Lucienne von Doz Lucienne, and a nearly-anonymous vintage thing in a vaguely Avon bottle, called Chypre d’Amboise and labeled Paris. I haven’t worn it yet. I’ll report on Lucienne soon as well.

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Scent Diary, June 27-July 8, 2014, and a mini-review of Dior Cuir Cannage

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Categories: Scent Diary, The scented life, Tags: , ,

Friday, June 27 – Spent much of the day rushing around, trying to clean up/pack/get stuff done before the trip. Picked up Gaze from his last day of Camp Cougar (the month-long summer enrichment class which serves as a substitute for PE class), rushed him home to get the last bits of packing done, and headed out for a relative’s house that’s close to Reagan National Airport in DC. SOTD: Kelly Caleche EdP, the citrus helping to wake me up during the 4-hour drive.

Saturday, June 28 – Up at five, ate cereal, went to the airport. It was the first commercial flight ever for my two boys, and Taz in particular was thrilled with takeoff. Gaze had nothing good to say about the airport in Newark (our connecting flight to Bozeman left from there): it was dirty, it smelled, it was ugly, why in the world would anybody LIVE in Newark?? He is a confirmed country boy, I confess. SOTD: DelRae Wit, for its pretty, good-humored, mood-lifting qualities. Got into Bozeman around noon Mountain Time, had lunch at The CEO’s conference, and then spent the afternoon touring the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.

I love museums. This one, though probably meant for kids, was a good one! Most of the dinosaur specimens that have been discovered for study actually came from Montana, and the museum had a wealth of fascinating skeletons and artifacts. Loved it!

Yellowstone Lake, photo courtesy of The CEO.

Yellowstone Lake, photo courtesy of The CEO.

Sunday, June 29 – Yellowstone National Park! SOTD was two good spritzes of Dior Cuir Cannage, but it was very quiet and gone early. We drove east from Bozeman into Wyoming and entered the park at the north gate. First stop was Mammoth Hot Springs, which are pretty cool with built-up layers of minerals like stalactites and ledges. Then we ate a quick lunch and went south toward the center of the park. Took numerous short walks to see cool stuff that’s just off the road – waterfalls, geysers, more hot springs, and lots of wildlife. My favorite spot of the day was Gibbon Falls, but Yellowstone Lake is pretty too.

Saw a small herd of buffalo and one of elk, but they were far away. Then drove up through Dunnraven Pass, where there was plenty of snow on the mountains. Saw a black bear and her two cubs, and The CEO saw a grizzly bear.

Monday, June 30 – Weather has been cool and pleasant, but The CEO and I got sunburned a bit today. Or maybe windburned, because it was quite windy as well as being sunny. SOTD was Hilde Soliani Il Tuo Tulipano, which is a pleasant, creamy floral with a bit of fruit. Cheerful thing. We saw lots of cool stuff, from more geysers and mud geysers and more hot springs, to more waterfalls… and more wildlife! There was a solitary male bison, a big one, and then a small herd of elk with young males fighting – and then an enormous herd of buffalo, bulls and cows and yearlings and calves all together, maybe close to a thousand animals (as The CEO says, he knows how to count grazing animals). They were stretched across the road and along it, no fear of cars or people whatsoever.

Wow. Made my trip.

Tuesday, July 1 – Another gorgeous day, temperatures in the mid-70s and sunny. The CEO and Gaze have been taking pictures at every pull-off area; they’re fascinated with the Grand Teton Mountains. Remember when The CEO went to the Canadian Rockies a couple of years ago? Came home with like a bazillion pictures of mountains and lakes? That’s what he especially likes.  The mountains up close are really gorgeous. At the same time, people who live around here must long and long for summer. At home? I dread it. It’s like trying to breathe through wet wool (and it doesn’t even get REALLY humid in the mountains the way it does in Richmond, or worse, DC). The air is very, very dry here.

Grand Tetons with wildflowers. Photo courtesy The CEO.

Grand Tetons with wildflowers. Photo courtesy The CEO.

Here’s the Cuir Cannage (preliminary) mini-review, set off in another color in case that’s all you really wanted to read! The Cuir Cannage is pretty much gone after an hour, except for a very attractive drydown. I’m guessing it will wear better in humid Virginia – we’ll have to see. It does open up with a refreshing citrus note that smells a lot like a Chanel to me. (By “a Chanel,” I mean the classic Chanel cologne, or No. 5 Eau Premiere, or the opening of 31 Rue Cambon. Could refer to the delightful opening of 1932, too.) From there it becomes more floral, with jasmine and ylang apparent and also a small touch of rose. Quite powdery in a face-powder iris and makeup rose-violet sort of way. And then it goes very… hmm… pursey. Not exactly like Cuir de Lancome, which I adore, but the leather is quite apparent. It’s also very ladylike. I kept having to check – now this DOES say “Dior,” right? Yep. Regular readers will know that I absolutely hate and despise Chanel’s leather scent, the iconic Cuir de Russie. (To me, it’s a dead ringer for our cattle working pens, very dusty, with a medicinal and iodic sort of angle that does not cancel out the raw animal hide. Basically, it smells like fear. Bleah.) But this Dior smells all Chanely to me, more Chanely than the actual Chanel, isn’t that weird? The leather sticks around for about an hour, or at least it does here in Wyoming, all the time shrinking down closer and closer to the skin. After that, it slides into a very comfortable and attractive leather/benzoin skin scent, and that sticks around for a good twelve hours, even if I can only smell it if I huff hard. I love this drydown. In fact, I like the whole thing very much, and the only thing I’d wish for would be more sillage. It could use a bit of oomph.

What I do like about this area is the fascinating wildlife. We’ve seen elk and antelope here, and the remains of an early-1900s Amish farm settlement. I’ve noticed that the park service seems uninterested (unwilling?) to keep up old structures in these national parks, and so these historic buildings – labeled as points of interest BY the park service – are falling down. Which seems silly to me, but then I’m accustomed to the park service keeping up far older buildings as at Jamestown.

Wednesday, July 2 – Another pretty day. Still sunny, but less hot than yesterday. The CEO and I are rather burned (I sunscreened, he didn’t). I suppose the increased elevation is the difference. A driving day; we are headed north to Glacier. SOTD is Il Tuo Tulipano again. When we arrived in Kalispell, rather late for dinner, we saw on the Glacier park website that the Going-to-the-Sun Road is now open, as of 8:30 pm, for travel. Which is wonderful, because we were going to have to negotiate the park without it if they weren’t able to get it open.

Thursday, July 3 – Glacier National Park is without question the single most stunning scenic location I have ever seen. It beats out Hawaii and New Zealand and Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, and the also-stunning New River Gorge valley in West Virginia. Majestic! We hiked to see waterfalls; we saw glaciers and mountains and lakes and streams. We were a little surprised not to see any wildlife. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum. The major road through the park is called Going-to-the-Sun Road, and portions of it are actually closed due to snowfall a good portion of the year – but they officially opened it at 8:30 pm on July 2, so the first day it was completely open for through traffic was today.

Taz meets Deer, trail near Baring Falls, Glacier. Photo courtesy of The CEO.

Taz meets Deer, trail near Baring Falls, Glacier. Photo courtesy of The CEO.

Friday, July 4 – Independence Day in a National Park… with snowballs! Logan Pass at Glacier had plenty of snow, enough for Taz and Gaze to indulge in a little sibling rivalry. Went on a lovely walk to see Red Rock Falls, one of the many beautiful waterfalls caused by snowmelt here at Glacier. Then The CEO and the boys went on another walk around one of the lakes, and another hike up to see another waterfall, while I had a nap in the car. SOTD: Hilde Soliani Il Tuo Tulipano. We saw a grizzly bear in a meadow near the road, and then when we were eating lunch at a picnic area, a young male elk wandered through the campground, munching away on grass and vegetation.

On the way back to the hotel we went to the Fourth of July celebration in the next town over, where they were having fireworks on Whitefish Lake. It turned out to be one of the best fireworks displays I’ve ever seen, second only to fireworks in Washington, DC. For one thing, there’s no ban on fireworks here in Montana like there is in Virginia, so there were numerous individuals around the lake setting off their own large fireworks and the general effect was very full and fun. (I’m guessing it was actually sort of dangerous, but hey. You only live once, right?) The official Whitefish town fireworks were shot off from a barge out in the lake, which was really cool. About halfway through, a kid sitting behind us noted out loud, ‘Hey, the barge is on fire.” We dismissed that, because all the way through the fireworks the kid had been saying things like, “We’re under attack!” and “It’s like cannon fire!” But at some point we noticed that he was right: the barge was on fire. And by the time the fireworks were over, the barge was not just on fire, it was burning fiercely, putting out a ton of black smoke. It was sort of horribly beautiful, fire on the lake. They did get the fire put out, but that was an exciting evening.

Saturday, July 5 – We drove through Glacier again and took in another hike, this one to a lovely waterfall. Also surprised a young doe deer on the trail; Taz was able to walk within four feet of her. All the advice is to leave wild animals alone, but she seemed very calm, and eventually walked on to another grazing area. We came out the other side of Glacier and drove to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. It was an experience for the kids to enter another country. Thank goodness, US-born children under 16, traveling with both parents, are allowed to use certified birth certificates instead of applying for passports. The Canada portion of the trip was added on rather late in the trip planning, so there would not have been time for us to get Gaze and Taz passports and we would have to have skipped Waterton.

This was more Walking Around Lakes. I am getting sick of lakes, honestly. We did stop at one point where a small swift creek ran near a picnic area, and Taz and I stepped into the creek. Just so you know, creeks fed by glaciers are, you guessed it, frigid. Even with flip-flops on, our feet were freezing. However, when The CEO made noises about taking another hike to go see some more waterfalls, I convinced him to let me and Taz stay near a different creek and play in the water. Which we did, and which we both enjoyed very much. When we came out of the water, there was a small (not full-grown) black bear near the parking lot, flipping rocks over and munching grubs. There was a rather large extended-family group of Indian people there at the same time we were, and one of the older men kept getting closer and closer to the bear with his smart phone, taking video. He made me nervous, frankly. And about that time, The CEO and Gaze showed up with their telephoto lenses and took some good shots.

Later that evening we saw a male deer with a nice rack grazing. Drove through a small bison preserve and saw a small herd, 8-10 animals, and also two predator animals that might have been either gray wolves or coyotes. Exciting! The wildlife has been the best part of the trip, for me. SOTD: Kelly Caleche edp.

Sunday, July 6 – I am sick of Walking Around Lakes. I let the boys go off to Walk Around Lakes at Waterton while I stayed in the hotel to do laundry. That turned out well. I walked around a bit, and went to the grocery store to pick up a few more snacks, and wrote some. SOTD: DelRae Wit again. The CEO enjoyed the hotel hot tub. As it turned out, the highlight of the trip back to Waterton was seeing a small herd of mountain goats. As it turned out, we saw nearly all of the varieties of wildlife that live in these national parks: moose, bison, grizzly bear, black bear, elk, antelope, mountain goat, deer, and wolves. Didn’t see a beaver, or any bighorn sheep, but I’m not disappointed.

Bison bull in Yellowstone, photo courtesy of The CEO.

Bison bull in Yellowstone, photo courtesy of The CEO.

Monday, July 7 – Drove south into Montana again, back into the US of A. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum. Stopped in Helena to have a look at the capital building, which is attractive and neoclassical. The CEO really enjoyed seeing the farm scenery and driving the more open, uncrowded roads in this area. Saw an electric pole with an enormous bird’s nest atop it, complete with enormous bird; The CEO thought it was a bald eagle at first, but after seeing it through his telephoto lens he decided it was an osprey instead.  Mexican food for dinner and a swimming pool at the hotel near Bozeman.

Tuesday, July 8 – up at 4 am to make a 5:50 flight to Denver. Denver to Chicago O’Hare, Chicago to Reagan National, Reagan to the DC Metro, Metro train to Vienna, VA, where we met the cousin who was looking after our vehicle for us. THEN (soaking wet because we came out of the Metro into literal buckets of rain): we drove four and a half from Northern Virginia to Roanoke, to pick up The CEO (who had a different travel itinerary since he initially traveled for his NACTA conference in Bozeman) at the airport there. Then an hour drive home. Air travel is a wonderful thing, truly it is, but all the same we got home at 1:15 am Eastern time (two hours ahead of Mountain time), which means I had been up and moving for nearly 23 hours by then. AAARRGGGGHHH.

SOTD: started off with nothing because I didn’t have time, but at Chicago, I hit the Duty Free and sniffed things. I love doing that, but the only thing I really wanted to spritz there was Marc Jacobs Daisy. Say what you like, but you’re not going to talk me out of liking Daisy! O’Hare smells like nothing, basically, unless you are standing near a food establishment. Even the Duty Free smells antiseptic; probably they don’t get many people spraying perfume in there the way people spritz it in, say, Philly (the last American Duty Free I entered). However, the entire corridor outside the Wolfgang Puck restaurant smelled so deliciously of fresh basil that I took deep breaths of it every time I went past.

And then the rain-wet pavement outside the Metro was a pure delight: wet, green-silver, ultimate freshness. I hope it rains at home soon.

Be on the lookout for more photos from the Montana trip! Gaze and The CEO, between them, took close to 2500 shots. They’ve cut it down quite a bit since editing, but so many of them were wonderful and I’ll be sharing some of their work soon.

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Scent Diary Summary, Mar. 17-30, 2014

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Categories: Scent Diary, The scented life, Tags:

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.

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I hate purple

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Categories: That's Just My Opinion, The scented life, Tags: , ,

Um. So.  I hate purple.

WRONG. WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS.

WRONG. WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS.

Which is sort of sad, y’all. Hating a color? It’s weird, and frivolous, and has no earthly point to it.  All the same, I hate purple. Not all purples, mind you, though if you show me a purple garment I will probably duck and run rather than put it on my body. Probably.

lilacMind you, I like some purple flowers.  Lilacs, orchids, grape hyacinths, wisteria, crocuses, irises, pansies, tulips, violets: all good. (Lavender: not.)

grape juice_0   Ihave no objection to purple jam or juice or fruit.

cut youBut if you painted my bedroom purple, or replaced all my blue and green and cream and coral sweaters with purple ones, I would have to cut you. There’s just something about it that makes me feel, okay, depressed and angry and, I dunno, wrong.

As for purple perfumes… hmm. Well. You’ve got perfumes in purple bottles, and then perfumes that smell purple. What smells purple? Lilac. Lavender. Plum or berries. Violets. Heliotrope, maybe, though I tend to think of heliotrope as smelling cotton-candy pink. I have iconoclastic taste when it comes to purple perfume, too…

There aren’t that many that I’d choose to wear. Certain lilac ones, maybe – like DSH White Lilac, or Patou Vacances (though Vacances is at least as green as it is purple, or maybe even more so).  OH! Of course, Guerlain‘s lovely silvery-lilac Apres l’Ondee, I’d wear that.  Dior Poison, in that skeery deep purple bottle, though I admit it doesn’t smell as intensely purple as it used to. Lalique Amethyst wasn’t awful. I like Natori, in that purple bottle, and Thierry Mugler Alien, ditto, but neither one actually smells “purple” to me.  And violets, of course, of which there are a plethora of lovely violet scents: Penhaligon’s Violetta, for choice, but also Annick Goutal La Violette, and the apparently-disappeared Soivohle Violets & Rainwater (sad, it was lovely stuff). I rather like Lolita Lempicka.

But I hated Guerlain Insolence. Hated the stinky-jasmine purple juice of Serge Lutens Sarrasins.  Hated Marc Jacobs Lola. Was not impressed by SL Bois de Violette.

Okay, fine… I like THIS shade of purple:

THIS ONE, I like.

THIS ONE, I like.

How’s your relationship with purple, whether color or smell?

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Lately

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Categories: The scented life, Tags:

I’ve been slacking on Scent Diaries again.

snow homeThere are 14 inches of snow on the ground outside. We still have electricity, thank goodness – this was a fairly dry snow with small flakes, so it didn’t pile up on the utility lines. It’s good sledding snow, though; the boys spent several hours sledding on the hill behind the house yesterday.

Our usual MO for being snowed out of school is to sled some, and then come in for hot chocolate and a marathon viewing of The Lord of the Rings extended box set. However, with Bookworm away at college, nobody seems to want to watch that. Sigh.

(Funny, this guy doesn't look much like Bane, does he?)

(Funny, this guy doesn’t look much like Eames from “Inception,” does he? Still less does he look like Bane. So young. And so skinny.)

We did, however, watch Black Hawk Down (edited for TV) with the boys last night. I’d never seen that all the way through. Good movie. Very very intense.  It left me with several questions, such as 1) Um, why were we in Somalia anyway again? and boy, we got outta there in a hurry.  2) Whatever happened to Josh Hartnett? 3) And why are there so many international actors – including the gorgeous and talented Eric Bana (Aussie), Ioan Gruffudd (Welsh), Ewan MacGregory (Scottish) Orlando Bloom, Jason Isaacs, and my crush Tom Hardy (all British) – in a movie about US military forces? They all manage credible Yank accents, by the way (Bana’s character is perhaps supposed to be Southern, and he overdoes it a bit, but then most non-Southern actors do whether they’re British or not).

Stolen from the internetses, don't remember where.

Stolen from the internetses, don’t remember where.

Currently reading Barbara Herman’s Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume. I’ve been enjoying Barbara’s blog, Vintage Perfume, for some time and was really delighted to see a book focusing on significant and influential perfumes, particularly things that no longer exist.  Loving her mini-reviews of classic scents.

My desktop background has been rotating around several photos of tropical beaches and/or flowers, like this one. I don’t know why.

Sunset005I did my nails, a pretty sunsetty coral color. I have terrible soft, chipping fingernails (have always had them, and so does my mom… so does Bookworm), and they are a strange, almost-square shape. Also, my hands are not particularly attractive, so I usually don’t bother, but I wanted color. This is very lovely – but I did two coats and a top coat, and it’s already chipped.

Perfume? Either my big winter heavy-hitters like Alahine and Tabac Aurea, Parfum Sacre, Centennial, Vanille Tonka, and Dolce Vita (in parfum, mmm, delicious), or BWFs like Tatiana, DK Gold, Carnal Flower, and Memoir Woman.

Okay, it’s stretching the category to call Memoir Woman a Big White Floral, because it’s so freaky-deaky – herbs! aromatics! leather! moss! castoreum! But that’s what it is at heart, beautiful jasmine and tuberose bolstered by all that harem stuff.

Oh – and I’m working on the novel, too. 🙂

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Replacement Bed

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Categories: Family, The scented life, Tags:

So I’m replacing my bed.

Big whoop, you say.

BUT IT IS. It SO IIIIIIS. If you know me at all, you probably know that I have had this bed, this full size bed handmade in solid maple, since I was ten years old. It’s a weird bed – bedskirts don’t fit it because of the way it’s made, and it is so high that you really have to “climb” into bed. I used to keep a little stool in the bedroom so our toddler-age children could get up onto the bed with us.

This bed used to be my dad’s. Before it belonged to my dad, it belonged to some person or persons unknown whose ancestors probably made it out of necessity, and the ancestors did as good a job as they possibly could on it, smoothing the wood and making it pretty, and the inheritor(s) then looked at it, circa 1951, and said, “Good Lord, who on earth needs a freakin’ ROPE BED?? Better sell it to this nice lady with four kids.”

These are the pieces of my old bed. See the holes where the rope goes?

These are the pieces of my old bed. See the holes where the rope goes?

If you have never seen a rope bed, well, here ya go. The way these were supposed to work is that you attached a rope at the head or the foot, and then snaked it through all the little holes, like lacing up a shoe: head to foot to head to foot. Then you put your mattress tick on top of the ropes. But what do ropes do? Of course, they stretch. So if you had a rope bed, eventually you were going to wind up with your butt on the floor. This is why people started connecting headboards and footboards with siderails instead, and laying slats across so that the mattress wouldn’t fall through. Smart, see?

So my grandmother bought it, and had siderails made specially for it. Now, more than 60 years later, the metal pieces of the siderails have dug into the wood of the head- and footboard so that now they don’t fit squarely, and the bed creaks ominously, rocking back and forth, when you crawl into it, or, if you are The CEO, when you HEAVE YOUR BODY OVER IN A VICIOUS WHIRL, SEIZING ALL THE COVERS IN THE SAME MOTION.

It is scary.

Furthermore, we have been unable to find anybody skilled enough and/or willing to repair the bed.

So I looked at replacing it. But it took forevvver, because 1) nobody but nobody makes really nice bedroom furniture out of maple now. There’s boring plain “natural maple,” which looks like BREAD instead of wood, or if you go “vintage maple” you get this weird orange-tinged wood that looks like somebody baked orange Play-Doh, which was apparently common in the 1940s.  Nice Maple, the color you get when you take the time to hand-rub tung oil (no, not tongue oil, that’s gross) into maple wood, looks sunny and golden. Like honey, or light maple syrup for that matter. All my other bedroom furniture, except my bedside cabinet which is oak, is Nice Maple.  Matching it up was gonna be tough.

Reason 2) is that I told The CEO how much it was likely to cost to buy a new bed, and his head literally hit the ceiling.

Well, no, not literally literally.  But still. He was aghast.

So. After much searching, I found a sort-of-nice-looking bed for cheapish on the Internetses. Head-and-footboard, standard metal rails, adjustable from full to queen. (Which was good, because The CEO did not want to buy a new mattress as well, even though the mattress on our bed I BOUGHT MYSELF before we got married… 21 years ago… $600 well-spent, if you ask me. It’s still comfortable.)  Anyway, it was purportedly “solid hardwood,” but the company wouldn’t tell me what kind of hardwood, with a finish they called “Salem Maple.”

It is not quite the same honey color as my dresser and chest of drawers, but it is close to Nice Maple, perhaps a bit paler, with very little visible wood grain. I was distressed, however, to find a big ding on the footboard. I reported my complaint (the gouge was not noticeable until I tried to put the bed together, and then it was really noticeable!). The company has now shipped me an undamaged footboard in exchange for the old one, and for the first time in 35 years I have a new bed.

New bed. Not too different from the old bed.

New bed. Not too different from the old bed.

It looks pretty good. I bought risers for it, because it was 6-7 inches below where (at least in my mind) a bed should be, practically like sleeping on the floor. Now it’s maybe an inch or so lower than I’m used to, but it’s quite manageable. And yeah, the risers are 5″ tall ugly black plastic. But they work. I have only stumbled out of bed once, when my foot came to the floor quicker than I expected.

And we sleep okay in it. The mattress is still in good shape, and the bed frame does not move when we move.

Pray God it doesn’t fall apart.

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RANDOM: TRACK MEETS, MAYFLOWER SOCIETY LUNCHEON, RAIN, AND THE LOVE FANTA

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Categories: Family, The scented life, Tags: , ,

Gaze coming in 2nd in the 800m last week.  His hair even looks great when he runs, doesn't it?

Gaze coming in 2nd in the 800m last week. His hair even looks great when he runs, doesn’t it?

Gaze and Taz had two (middle-school) track meets last week, and then their season was over.  Gaze, an eighth-grader, has done well, finishing anywhere from 2nd to 6th in his 800m and 1600m races, depending on how many teams were participating in the meets. Now that the middle school season is done, he’s returned to practicing with the high school team after school, where he’s keeping up very nicely.  The high school coach says he’s a hard worker and is poised to turn in some good performances next year, particularly as he’s coached in race-running strategy (a thing the middle-school track coaches never seem to address).

Taz, armed and dangerous, May 2010

Taz… okay, let me tell you about Taz. Taz, in general, has two speeds: snail’s  pace, or the speed of light in a vacuum, depending on whether he wants to be doing whatever it is that he’s doing.  When he’s racing his brother, or to be more specific, when it’s his idea to be racing his brother, he’s pretty focused. He can actually beat Gaze, who’s two years older, at shorter distances.  However, when Taz is running in a meet, he’s not completely engaged. He goofs off, swings his head, looks around, yells back at his parents encouraging him to run faster. (“I AM RUNNING FASTER!”) And with all of this, he was still finishing smack in the middle of the pack,  not at the rear where you’d expect him to be considering his goof-off running style and his 6th-grader leg length. Thing is, The CEO (a standout distance runner himself in high school) thinks he might actually become a better runner than his brother at some point – if he decides he wants to be. Taz is one of those people who will be wildly successful once he finds something that really engages him.

Scents worn this week: Cuir de Lancome, several times (I’ve been spritzing more heavily than usual, and in the far drydown discovered a lovely cool benzoin, along with the iris and leather, hawthorn and creamy saffron, that I had not before noticed). Chanel 1932, the newest boutique fragrance, which is fleeting but just so so so pretty.  Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet, which just makes me happy! Le Temps d’une Fete, of course, and the first Ines de la Fressange, which is a beautiful peachy-rose aldehyde atop a real-sandalwood base. Shame that one’s discontinued.

Bookworm participated in a large meet on Saturday morning, where she turned in a personal-best time in her leg of the 4 x 800m, anchoring her team in qualifying for the regional meet even though the first two runners (one with a stomach bug and one still learning how to pace) finished with times almost ten seconds slower than their best.  Kudos to Erin, Emily, Anne Kelly and Bookworm! Interestingly enough, each member of that team belongs to a different graduating class: Bookworm’s a senior, Erin’s a junior, A-K’s a sophomore and Emily’s a freshman. That bodes well for the future, I think.

Then we packed up and drove 40 minutes up the interstate to a lunch meeting of the Virginia Mayflower Society, where Bookworm accepted a scholarship award for her essay. I may have mentioned this before, but we found out about the scholarship a few months ago when The CEO’s mother found some old documents belonging to her mother-in-law. The CEO’s grandmother, a descendant of John Alden, had applied for membership to the District of Columbia Society of Mayflower Descendants in 1923, which we thought was odd since she was a lifelong resident of Virginia. As we discovered with some internet research, the Virginia Society did not exist until 1950 – and also, they offer an annual essay scholarship.  (Applicants need not be members of the society, but they must be residents of Virginia.) We were very proud of her, particularly since we heard from one of the scholarship judges that the decision was unanimous, even before they knew that Bookworm can claim relationship to one of the Pilgrims.

Michael York as Tybalt, 1968

Michael York as Tybalt, 1968

Then we changed out of our dresses/suit-and-tie and returned to the meet so that she could run a 3200m race. Before she even started, she was feeling vaguely queasy, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when her coach pulled her out after the first mile for abdominal cramps. (Both The CEO and I shared the headache/stomach upset symptoms over Sunday, so she may have had some touch of a virus.) When we got home, she and I watched the gorgeous 1968 Zeffirelli production of “Romeo and Juliet” while she rewrote some Physics notes. (She likes Leonard Whiting’s Romeo; I’m partial to the mellow-voiced Michael York as Tybalt, myself.)

It started raining yesterday afternoon, so of course now my internet capability is slow. We have DSL, and normally it’s fairly fast, but rain seems to play havoc with our telephone service on a consistent basis (the trunk lines are old, and Verizon has said they have no intention to replace them). Everything is beautifully spring-green outside due to the rain, though.

As you might expect, Taz and Bookworm have frequent run-ins. Partly it’s the difference in their personalities: she’s disciplined, he’s not; she’s easily-annoyed by noises and he loves making them; she’s bossy and he’s stubborn. Part of it may be their age difference. I’m four and a half years older than my sister, and until we were adults we had our own difficulties. My sister’s five and a half years older than our brother (yes, that means I’m ten years older than my brother!), and they had their own difficulties too. Bookworm’s got five and a half years on Taz, and I’m convinced that’s just an awkward variance in terms of development.  Ah well.

Because Taz came home from the end-of-season track team party on Thursday with a special gift for his sister, who had the evening before been vocally annoyed with her father for having consumed the last of the root beer without leaving any for her.  Taz even put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold, with a note attached so that no one (ahem) would mistake his intent.

"Do not drink it Dad"

“Do not drink it Dad”

I have hope for their loving sibling relationship, yet.

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MOAR SPRING PLS

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Categories: Seasonal picks, The scented life

moar pls

Yes, I have descended into LOLspeak. Because Teh Spring, it is make me giddy. Birds sing. Enormous bumblebees float around like miniature helicopters while I hang out the clothes. Dandelions dot the yard. Wild cherry trees are festooned with white blossoms thick as Irish lace. Giddy, I tell you!

My neighbor’s forsythia is blooming. Her lilacs are budding out now. So is her wisteria. The few apple trees still standing out in the Pond Field are blooming, too, and the redbuds. It’s so beautiful outside right now.

april 2013 008(Okay, I’ll stop now.) LOOK! My apple and pear trees, planted less than a month ago as bare-root sticklike thingies, have leeeeaves on them! Looks like they’re going to live. I’m psyched.

Photo by D L Ennis; permission granted for nonprofit use with attribution. (That is, if you borrow this, please include a link and proper attribution.)

Photo by D L Ennis; permission granted for nonprofit use with attribution. (That is, if you borrow this, please include a link and proper attribution.)

That candle I got from Pier 1 a couple of weeks ago? Is still smelling awesome, thank you.  Aspen Flower, with prominent notes of peach, tuberose and jasmine, along with violet, lily and coconut. I think I may actually break down and burn the thing soon, as its unburned waft is fading just a little.

Mowed the yard for the first time last week, and had to haul off six wheelbarrow-loads of clippings. Spring is just like that – certain places in the yard grow grass SO THICK that you can barely get the lawnmower through it.  Even the mulching attachment doesn’t really help, so for the next few weeks I’ll be hauling some of the clippings away (I dump them in the 20-acre field, generally, where they can’t do any harm).

You remember how I was waffling on last week about how pretty Taz’ eyes are? well, here ya go:Taz eyes

He’s kind of squinting into the light, and I made him take off his glasses so his left eye is a little wonky due to his amblyopia. 

And these are Gaze’s:Gaze eyes

Sometime I’ll post one of Bookworm’s eyes, but we’ve had a week or so of focus on her, so I thought I’d put the spotlight on the boys instead. Taz got my eyes and Gaze got his grandfather Bill’s, and Bookworm’s eyes are just like The CEO’s, in shape and color, but she’s got her own long curly lashes. It’s a shame, really, that they’re so light because they don’t show up. Gaze has gorgeous lashes, doesn’t he? (Wish mine were that long.) Looking at those eyes without the rest of his face in focus, I see that Gaze really does look a LOT like his grandfather. And I love Taz’ eyebrows, such a lovely curve they have.

Oh, yes: perfume. Le Temps d’une Fete, essential to springtime. And a TON of L’Arte di Gucci, diva neon pink rose on a wrought-iron bench in the middle of a Gothic garden. And Amouage Memoir Woman body cream worn as scent, a little easier to decipher than the perfume. I should be testing things new to me, but I don’t feel like it this week – I want to luxuriate in scents I already love.

And here is the view from our back yard into the 20-Acre Field behind the house, including cows.  Oh, yes, the spring is definitely here; now I want more. Or MOAR, as the case may be.april 2013 009

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RANDOM: EISENHOWER FELLOW VISIT, MINI-REVIEWS, BUSY BUSY

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Categories: The scented life, Tags:

26RedbudsFromRearofTrainIt’s been busy around here lately! To recap: The CEO and Bookworm visited Yale for Bulldog Days (a get-to-know-us sort of event), Bookworm accepted Yale’s offer of a place in the Class of 2017, Gaze had four teeth out in preparation for getting braces, Gaze and Taz had a middle-school track meet, Bookworm had a high school track meet and went to prom with PETBoy, I had a community chorus concert featuring Broadway music, the redbuds are blooming, I wrote a lot, and we had another Eisenhower Fellow stay the weekend with us.

This is the… hmm… sixth? Seventh? Eisenhower Fellow we’ve had visit, and each one has been a delight. Olanike and her husband Biodun, a doctor and pharmaceutical-company owner, respectively, from Nigeria; Somkiat, a political think-tank member from Thailand; Erik, an energy-company executive from Brazil; Dong Xing, an educator from China; Dr. Men and “Bill,” who manage the Chinese government’s equivalent of Social Security investment funds; and Pascal, a science consultant and Thomas Jefferson aficionado from France. So, Pavel from Russia, who manages logistics for a multi-national train company, was actually the eighth EF to stay with us. It’s wonderful to talk to people about where they live and what they do, and it’s very broadening for our kids to meet people from around the world. The Eisenhower Foundation does fascinating work – go check out their website here, if you want to know more. The CEO was the US Agriculture Fellow in 2007, and traveled to Australia and New Zealand to do his research on international beef markets. He’d done his master’s degree in NZ via Fulbright scholarship in the very early 90s, and was thrilled to be able to show me NZ, which I loved.

Scents I wore this week (no, this is not Scent Diary. This is randomly recalled and probably full of holes, oh well, best I can do, brain is Swiss cheese):

Silences edp Sublime – reviewed, finally, here. In case you missed it, I’ll point out that there’s a sample drawing.

Chanel No. 19 Poudre – I’ve never reviewed this one either, except to say that as a lover of the original (particularly in vintage edt and modern edp) I was disappointed in it. I retested while comparing it to the Silences Sublime, and I’m still disappointed: No. 19’s inimitable vetiver backbone has collapsed into laundry musk, and the beautiful galbanum-jasmine-rose accord is hiding behind six layers of filmy cheesecloth. Mind you, it’s wearable. The powdery iris is particularly noticeable. But if I wanted this kind of thing, I’d rather have Prada Infusion d’Iris. There’s only enough green in here to make me annoyed that there isn’t more green.

Carnal Flower – reviewed here. Wanted to add that, contrary to the experience that many people have with it, it isn’t at ALL a big sillage bomb on me. It leaves a very quiet trail. I still adore the florist-case menthol freshness on top of the sweet juicy tuberose-jasmine, and I “see” Carnal Flower not as a sensual boudoir fragrance but as a joyous explosion of green and white. Something makes me think that Henry VIII, famous for his appreciation of feminine beauty, would have adored this fragrance done up in his “house colors.”

Mary Greenwell Plum – reviewed here in December of 2010; still a favorite, which is saying something given the current state of my collection. If you’re a fan of big bitter green chypres, do NOT bother. You will be ticked off that it calls itself a chypre, which it really sort of isn’t except in that modern soft-focus way. Yes, there is oakmoss in there, but the gentle modern-chypre base (woody notes, heart-note patchouli, bit of moss, bit of amber) is really just a nice thin biscuit layer for the fluffy apricot-topped cheesecake of fruity floral (peach, bergamot, aldehydes, jasmine, tuberose, rose).

I’m actually sort of worried about the continued existence of this one. Probably should buy a backup bottle before IFRA restrictions decapitate it too.

An actual Abrams tank in use by US troops in Iraq. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

An actual Abrams tank in use by US troops in Iraq. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Dior Poison (vintage) – never officially reviewed, but I really should do a formal take on it for the long-abandoned Tuberose Series. This thing should be approached with caution, but it is of course a humongous white floral, so it gets cozy on my skin and does not reach out poisonous tendrils of cough-syrup/suntan lotion/sex to choke passersby. I will leave you with Luca Turin’s hilarious comments about it from Perfumes: The Guide.

Reviewing Poison is a bit like road-testing an Abrams M1 tank in the evening rush hour. People just seem to get out of your way, and if they don’t, you just swivel that turret to remind them you’re not kidding.

Majda Bekkali Fusion Sacree pour elle – Mini-review for this one: nice. Woody floriental with interesting accents (coffee! pepper! fir!). Surprise, another Bertrand Duchaufour-composed fragrance I can actually wear. I can’t dismiss his stuff out of hand anymore, not since Nuit de Tubereuse and Seville a l’Aube for L’Artisan and Amaranthine for Penhaligon’s; Fusion Sacree also focuses on white florals. BD has a quirky touch with white florals which I appreciate, as opposed to his more masculine, austere, downright murky woody fragrances, which just smell like mildew to me. Notes for Fusion Sacree pour elle include bergamot, blackcurrant bud, clementine, coffee, gardenia, jasmine, orange blossom, fir, cedar, patchouli, vanilla, benzoin, musk. There’s no pepper listed in the notes, but I swear it’s really there. FSPE reminds me somewhat of Si Lolita, with its prominent pepper (black and pink), and then slides into a comfortable woody vanilla toward the end of the development.

Bonus: another gratuitous Tom Hardy photo for you. I won't lie, that tank inspired me to post this shot of TH in HBO's 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers.

Bonus: another gratuitous Tom Hardy photo for you. I won’t lie, that tank inspired me to post this shot of TH in HBO’s 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers.

Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl – revisiting what’s become an American classic, I’m reminded just how easy it is to wear. Looks like I never reviewed this one, either, which is a shame. I once owned a mini splash bottle of it and enjoyed wearing it in the summer – the iced tea with lemon, the flowers, the breeze that flows through it! The virtual front porch! – but when the mini spilled in my purse, I got very tired of the smell and never bought another one. Probably a mistake, because it is just so very pretty. I just picked up a half-ounce spray bottle at Wal-mart for $14, and it’s going to get worn, I know it is.

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More Bookworm: prom 2013

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Categories: Family, The scented life, Tags:

Yeah yeah yeah, it’s a Bookworm-fest over here this week.  A few pics for you, and a review of Jacomo Silences eau de parfum Sublime coming on Monday.

Bookworm and PETBoy.  It was windy yesterday, can you tell?

Bookworm and PETBoy. It was windy yesterday, can you tell?

SOTE: her favorite Bath & Body Works Dark Kiss.

THE HAIR. And a closer look at some of the lace and beading on the dress.  If any of you know Ruth K (Dear Daisy) - she made those earrings, and they were a perfect match!

THE HAIR. And a closer look at some of the lace and beading on the dress. If any of you know Ruth K (Dear Daisy, the Queen Enabler of Perfumedom) – she made those earrings, and they were a perfect match!

Bookworm ran a 4 x 800M relay race at a track meet in the morning (her team won – big) and then a 1600M in the early afternoon (she finished 6th, not a great race for her but respectable), and was home at 3:15pm. She was showered and dressed and made-up and bejeweled and shod and coiffed by 4:45pm, which was astounding if you ask me.

Pinning on boutonniere. Doesn't PETBoy look handsome?

Pinning on boutonniere. Doesn’t PETBoy look handsome?

Bookworm and PETBoy met up with some friends – several of the same ones they went to the Homecoming Dance with last fall – and had dinner before going on to the prom.

Another look at the dress, because she was just so pretty in it.  (Squee!)

Another look at the dress, because she was just so pretty in it. (Squee!)

And after prom, they went to a local community-sponsored after-prom party (games, snacks, movies – all supervised fun designed to prevent unhealthy post-prom choices).

PETBoy's grandfather's restored 1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner.  (I myself went to prom in 1986 in a 1967 1/2 Galaxie 500. Sigh.)

PETBoy’s grandfather’s restored 1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner. (I myself went to prom in 1986 in a 1967 1/2 Galaxie 500. Sigh.) Admit it, you want to ride in this thing, too…

Home at 5:11am this morning, tired but happy, which is the way you should feel after senior prom.

 

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RANDOM: Green as Ireland, Product of Israel, Lost, Did the earth move for you too?

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Categories: The scented life, Tags:

It’s been raining over the past two-three days, and suddenly everything is so wet and so green that it looks like Ireland all up in here. Beautiful. You see why Irish immigrants in the 18th century wound up here in the mountains – they looked around and said, “Hey, this reminds us of home.”  (I would share a picture, except that The CEO took the camera with him when he drove Bookworm up to Yale for an official campus visit on Sunday. They’re due back late tonight.)

I was noticing the other day that my box of tampons was made in Israel. Really. I’d never noticed that before, and of all consumer products, would never have guessed that what we’d be importing from Israel would be… personal ladyparts products. Go figure.

VT vigilToday, April 16, is the 6th anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech.  So much human capital, lost. So much grief.

Wearing Coty Chypre parfum, the old vintage stuff. So so so beautiful. Rocks my world.

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Okay, so I lied…

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Categories: The scented life

I’m sorry. Scent Diary has just been boring the darn pants off me lately so I don’t feel like writing it.  I do feel like writing angsty scenes lately. It’s just happening.  Also feeling like listening to sad Springsteen (and where that’s coming from, I don’t know).

As of today, all the apple and pear trees I bought from Stark Bros. back in November as my Christmas present are in the ground. YAAAYYY! And today feels like spring: unsettled, a windy blue-and-green swimmy uncertain thing.

The trees look like, well, this: bare root apple tree

Which does not exactly fill me with confidence, because I can’t remember what my dad’s trees looked like when he first planted them. But I’m going to have to have faith, I guess. And there is a lesson in that.

Along with the lesson on faith should go one on not keeping your heart (and your space) cluttered up with stuff. We have new carpet now, and we are slowly going through the boxes of sttuuuuuufff that we hastily packed up, just to get them off the floor. Turns out we don’t need about 70% of it. The trashcans are full already (again – last week was like this too), and it’s only Tuesday, and the county picked up trash yesterday.  GAH. I might have to take some of it to the town center to dump it, and I already have yet another box of things to take to the Goodwill donation place.

Scents I wore last week, just in case you care: The Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest (whoops, haven’t finished that review yet), Guerlain Vega, Teo Cabanel Alahine, which I should have already put away but it was COLD last week, and, just today, Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete, which I love beyond any singing of it.

Since watching the brutal-passion-and-sicko-revenge “classic” Wuthering Heights last week, I’ve been on the hunt for more Tom Hardy films. Have been watching clips on Youtube, and I am impressed.

Also: doing laundry. Trying to help Bookworm do a bit of research for a scholarship essay (NO, I’m not writing it! and anyways she doesn’t need me to!) for the Virginia Mayflower Society… we found out recently that The CEO’s grandmother was accepted as a member of the Maryland Mayflower Society in about 1929, as a descendant of John Alden. Interesting. Not that that makes The CEO special, or anything, but it’s interesting.

We heard yesterday that Gaze placed in the top 100 scorers on the written test for school winners of the Geographic Bee in Virginia, so he’ll head to the state competition early next month. Second year for him – we’re proud. I’m a little disappointed his cousin Curiosity won’t be going, but Curiosity (who’s also an 8th grader) lost a hard-fought contest for his school bee.

Yesterday’s mail also contained Bookworm’s acceptance letter from The College of William and Mary. I think she’s officially said no to Roanoke College at this time. Yale’s on the hook. Haven’t heard from Princeton or Wake Forest, but as far as I’m concerned, Yale and W&M are our two front-runners anyway.  (Yeah, yeah, Princeton’s good. But is it BETTER than Yale? The way I see it, she’s really got two choices: Ivy League, or in-state. And I just think Yale’s a better fit for her personality than Princeton.  I could be wrong, though, and William & Mary’s a very good school too.)

Taz, meanwhile, has advanced to 2nd place ranking in the school chess club.  Yay for him!  He and Gaze started track practice at the middle school yesterday as well.

More soon. I’m digging the Random Thoughts format, y’all.

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