Chanel No. 22

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As I’ve mentioned before, Chanel No. 22 is my signature scent.  I find that it’s the closest any scent comes to being filled with my heart and soul.  It feels like an olfactory best friend when I wear it – the sort of friend who understands you and illuminates the better parts of your nature.

Vintage Chanel No. 22 Eau De Cologne is not unlike vintage Chanel No. 22 Eau De Parfum, but there’s a lightness, a melancholy sweetness and an ephemeral aldehydic glow that is much more pronounced in the cologne.  I perfer the parfum, but the cologne still is glorious.

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, neroli and peach.   Middle notes: jasmine, orange blossom, rose, and lilac.  Base notes: tonka, benzoin and opoponax. 

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And while I’m writing about my favorite perfume today, I am also reminded of a quotation by one of my favorite authors, Ernest Hemingway, who said, “The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice.  Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”  I’m comforting myself with this thought this week.

I think, regardless of our greatness as people, we all have areas where we are wounded…  For some it’s a death in the family, or their own physical ailments. For others it’s about giving up on something they’ve always wanted simply because it became too utterly painful to keep hoping.  I see this all the time.  Some people love another excruciatingly deeply, and when met with cold ambivalence take a risk on their future happiness only to find themselves trapped in a nightmare marriage.   They give up on ever feeling loved or cherished.  Others are tremendously talented at something, be it painting, or singing or playing the piano but life sends them too many obstacles and they become disconnected from their gift.  They abandon their talents and let them die, and find themselves feeling empty.  I remember a science teacher from my high school who had been a professional football player for the Washington Redskins in his early youth but blew out both of his knees and had to give that up.  I never got the sense that he was a very happy person.

And, this week I was hurtfully reminded of the bloody part of my soul by a person who may or may not have had any clue what they were doing.  I’m one of those people who gave up on something too, despite how optimistic I may seem and however I present myself.  A part of my dreams was dangled cruely in front of me and I found myself faced with the ugliness of my sorry state.  It’s possible that this person is one of those who have a tendency towards being ignorant to the pain of others or perhaps they just lack a general feeling for the seriousness of life.  I don’t know.   But really, it’s much more likely that they were clueless, at least in part because I’m a very private person and I rarely let people see inside my life unless you’re my closest friend. And, I’m sure if I were to sit down and tell you my deepest woes you would be clueless too dear reader…

My life is not always as it seems on this blog.  It’s easy to assume that people know that about the internet – that nothing is ever as it seems. But, I would like to affirm that truth for you because as a private person who felt deep pain this week I feel the need to acknowledge that I occasionally take internet gloss to a new level. Sure, I share how busy we are and some socially acceptable pains, such as the health issues, but there’s so much more to everything that I don’t say because I don’t want my vulnerabilities used against me or paraded around for those with malicious intent.  So, if you’re kindly perusing my blog and my life ever seems perfect or better than your’s, please step back and don’t assume.  Please know that I’m right there in the trenches with you.  Only, I occasionally have the good fortune to be able to stop and smell perfume…

Until Sunday.

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