In the summer of 1999 I took a vacation with my parents as we always did every summer to visit family out west. We’d spend at least a week on family property and back then it was safe enough to explore without adult supervision if you were an adolescent. I have many good memories from that time.

On our way there I’d often read magazines. My favorite to read back then was Town & Country. That year in June they had the most eye-catching, memorable display of aquamarines I’d ever seen. It was…otherworldly.

I recall reading that issue, seeing two dead but well-preserved Monarch butterflies laying peacefully on the ground on a walk and then hearing the news (while on vacation) about the death of JFK Jr., his iconic wife Carolyn and her lovely sister. I will forever associate aquamarines and monarch butterflies with those beautiful young people and their tragic deaths. Symbols of unmistakable, ethereal beauty passing out of the world of the living.

While I’ve been wearing a ring that resembles an engagement ring with my wedding band in public I think I’ll try to buy an aquamarine ring to wear instead. And, I’ll likely try to wear that ring on one hand or the other for the rest of my life… I’m not sure why that feels right exactly but it does. Maybe because I’m almost 40 and have two young kids and it’s unlikely I’ll ever find the love I had hoped for until I die, and even if I do my youth is almost spent without finding it regardless. And no, I’m not being melodramatic. I don’t think it’s impossible, but more or less just unlikely. And no, I’m not looking for some perfect love. Just the sort of love where you hold the other person’s hand because it’s completely natural to… Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic to think death will be that amorously blessed. Many Christians don’t think romantic love continues or can be found after death at all but I don’t see it as scripturally in error and yes I’ve researched it. Actually I think it makes an incredible amount of sense as a Christian, given what I’ve researched, to believe that it’s quite possibly a part of Heaven.

Regardless, isn’t that an amazing photo by Anita Calero of an amazing aquamarine display?


I’m already thinking about the fragrance I’d like to focus on wearing for Fall 2021 and this year I think I’ll focus on oud. …Although so far it’s not looking promising…

My search for the perfect oud has already started. I’ve ruled out oud by MFK as that MFK note is terrible on my skin. It very unfortunately smells like a portable toilet at a 4th of July festival. …And actually if not for my Dior sample of Oud Ispahan I would not even be considering an oud at all.

I really like Oud Ispahan. It’s certainly a possible fall fragrance buy and, as I just said, it’s what inspired me to reconsider wearing oud in the first place. But just to be sure I also ordered a sample of the most promising oud by Krigler: Sumptuous Oud and I went to Luckyscent online and ordered samples of Mutheer Attar, Parisian Oud, Siberian Rose, Fall Into Stars, and Hedonist Rose Absolute.

Along with Sumptuous Oud I tried Palm Dream from Krigler. I love the opening of both and trying these two Kriglers reminds me to sample more from this house but I can’t say either are a win. To my nose Sumptuous Oud smells a lot like a mixture of vintage Helena Rubinstein Heaven Scent, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist and Hermès leather. I mean those comparisons quite literally too… The oud note is present but not prominent. Palm Dream is fascinating but my ex-husband says it reminds him of the smell of a dive bar: stale cigarettes mixed with cheap perfume. …Sumptuous Oud is powdery and absolutely gorgeous but not for me. It’s so beautifully retro though and for whatever reason to me it just seems to beg for Elizabeth Taylor to wear it, especially in her 1960’s roles. But again, while I appreciate this Krigler gem it’s not really my olfactory style. …Just because a fragrance is retro or vintage doesn’t mean it’s automatically my style of course (too bad Liz Taylor is no longer with us).

…I’ll be waiting for my Luckscent samples…

…What if I just don’t like oud except for the rare exception of Dior? Ha! I want to like oud. I really do. It’s a stunning and culturally and historically important note. But perhaps it’s one of those notes my skin chemistry doesn’t work well with. Ozonic notes rarely work well with my skin either. In the 2000’s and 2010’s that was especially frustrating. I’d feel almost ill if I wore really ozonic fragrances…

Oh well.