Aquarius (Max Factor 1970) begins with a shout of green notes, and leads into a dirty, indolic jasmine. Eventually it’s warm (sandalwood, vanilla and patchouli), embracing and yet quite sharp. It seems to be the epitome of most 1970’s green scents in fact…
Top notes: bergamot. Middle notes: floral notes. Base notes: amber, sandalwood, vanilla, labdanum, patchouli, and vetiver.
Lil’ and Lex: Part I of IV
When my Grandma Dorothy was seventeen years old she won a beauty contest in Sydney, California. A man at the contest walked up to her afterwards and said in southern sugary, smooth, long drawn-out sort of way, “My but my. You sure do have the prettiest smile I evah have seen.” Then he showed a toothy grin and threw his toothpick in all directions among his front teeth. With a pat on the top of his hat he turned sharply and then added, “You are going to marry a prince someday young lady. And by gum, I wish that pince was me.”
Ulysees Maxwell Jackson III, called Lex by his friends, was a sort of prince I suppose. His father was an extremely wealthy man and nobody messed with the Jacksons. Nobody in those days at least. They were the sort of family that had both an exorbitant amount of money to spend and enormous collective intelligence, charm, and influence to spend their money well. Lex, the oldest son, was his father’s favorite.
Lex had handsome hazel eyes and a ruddy complexion that brightened a structured, manly visage. He wasn’t the sort of man to wear his heart on his sleeve, despite his often optimistic and almost bubbly demeanor, but he was a gentleman. My Grandma told me that he that he once invited her to the Founder’s Day Dance and when she was too sick to attend with him he went and sat at her bedside the entire night and read her David Copperfield. Of course, if he had gone he surely would have been the most popular boy at the dance according to Grandma. He swept her off her feet, I guess.
He was sturdy too. As, Grandma said, “…he didn’t have to raise his voice. All you had to do was look into his eyes and it was enough to stop you in your tracks a mile away.”
For Grandma Dorothy, with her pretty blond hair, blue eyes and freckles lacing the space between her button nose and her pretty pink pout, he was the sun, moon and stars all rolled into one gorgeous creature. And, of course, she was his darling. Dory, as she was called, was an incredibly cheerful, light-hearted young woman back then. Her only vice was smoking. Otherwise, just like her hair, she was seemingly golden perfection.
Dory was smart. Her entire family was. Her older brother, my Great Uncle Clarence, became a prominent surgeon in California in the 1950’s and 60’s. And she was sweet, and sincere, if a bit too daring at times.
No, they were a great match. Everyone said so.
Dear Diary, June 24, 1938
Today was so nice. Lex drove us down to the coast in his new convertible. We drove with the top down the whole way there – the wind blowing in our hair. By the time we reached the beach we looked less than our ideal selves. Ha!
It was nobody but us the entire day and I’ve never felt so grand in my life. Lex asked me to marry him when he returns from Standford next spring. I said yes, of course.
I cannot imagine waiting an entire year to marry the man of my dreams… I think I’m going to have to distract myself, which shouldn’t be too difficult. Once mother finds out about our engagement I’m sure she’ll have ten million things for us to do.
Oh I hope Lex doesn’t mind marrying into such a silly family… They’re intensely lovable, but oh so fantastic sometimes.
–Lil’ ol’ me
June 26th, 1938
…”…and you, the fairest of them all, will be my queen, concubine and closest counsel…” Oh I love how he talks to me. He often tells me of the great things he plans to do with his life, and yet sometimes when he’s really quiet he worries about the future. In those moments I look into his eyes and see why I love him so. I love him from the bottom to the top and back again. I love him from every piece of me.
He tells me, “Promise me that you won’t ever let anyone love you the way I do.” Of course, I reassure him that I never will, but he always seems so scared by something and I asked him why once. He told me that when he was eleven he was at a county fair with his younger brother and they visited the fortune-teller’s booth and she read their fortunes. She said that one of them would be famous before he turned 30 and the other would be dead. Lex said that he has always had the sense that she was only telling the truth no matter what anyone told him. There’s not much I can say that will change his mind. “Just promise me that you’ll never belong to anyone else. Promise me that I’m the only one who will ever truly know you.” Of course I agree, but sometimes I can’t help but feel spooked out by the whole thing…