Que Sera

This vintage chypre is very earthy, green and musky (Studio Girl Hollywood 50’s or 60’s?). To be honest, it’s one of those sort of vintage fragrances you don’t necessarily wear but it’s fun to have. There’s something a little funky about it and while I think it could be layered it’d be hard for even me (who loves vintage fragrance) to truly use it. Or maybe if just the right person found it they’d enjoy it? At any rate it’s still novel. 

Gin Fizz 

Gin Fizz (Lubin 1955 & 2009) opens with one of the most lovely citrus openings I’ve ever encountered. The Sicilian Lemon mixes wonderfully with fresh juniper berry. It’s bright, fresh and yet perfectly sweet… And while rose and jasmine are present iris takes a very elegant and central place in this fragrance. Gin Fizz is green in a way slightly reminiscent of vintage Estée Lauder Private Collection – a fragrance supposedly worn by Grace Kelly, who inspired this Lubin gem. It’s rare that I buy current formulations, but this is one I’ll have to someday acquire! 
Top notes: bergamot, Sicilian lemon, juniper berry, and Messina mandarin.  Middle notes: iris, galbanum, orange blossom, rose absolute, and Turkish jasmine.  Base notes: Florentine iris, vetiver, white musk, oak moss, swamp lily and benzoin.  

Nose: Henri Giboulet 


A spicy orris mixes with florals and oakmoss right at the outset of Stradivari (Prince Matchabelli 1950)… This bold, sensual and intoxicating scent is both demure and alluring all at once. Perfect for day and yet so frothy and rich that it hints constantly at dim warm lights and mysterious shadows. It’s a great example of a smoky, leathery and yet prim green, woody floral that kept all hidden and lovely… However, the caveat should be noted that only in spring, very early summer, fall or winter weather could this contradiction happen… I imagine in hot weather Stradivari could only really fit the moment at night. At any rate, it’s a bit sublime. 

Lovely Patchouli 55


Although Krigler is a very luxurious, and respectable house I’m afraid Lovely Patchouli 55 (Krigler 1955) is not exactly…  what I expected.   It’s very sweet, and there’s something almost abrasive about the way it plays with my chemistry.   It’s also tart.  The notes mix together into a loud patchouli and then collectively punch one in the nose.  I would not say it is pretty…  or handsome.  And, while the drydown improves it, it doesn’t alter it entirely.

Notes: bergamot, leather, amber and patchouli.




Vintage Diorissimo (Dior 1956) is lily-of-the-valley done to perfection. It’s strong, very elegant and combined with a fresh, authentic lilac that blossoms as the scent progresses, it’s also wildly romantic. Diorissimo is an exquisite floral fragrance that is infinitely springlike, with a chilled glamour. Even for someone who may never particularly like muguet it’s hard to truly deny the genuine loveliness of Diorissimo…

Top notes: bergamot and green leaves. Middle notes: boronia, jasmine, lilac, lily, Rosemary, Amaryllis, ylang-ylang, and lily-of-the-valley. Base notes: civet and sandalwood.

Winks No. 96

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Beautiful, airy, floral and sweet Winks No. 96 by Winkelman’s is a friendly and yet refined fragrance.  It’s very ladylike with likely notes of carnation, rose, jasmine, and benzoin.  No. 96 is light.  A lily of the valley note and perhaps iris, musk and vetiver create an optimistic very 1950’s scent, most likely best worn with pastel fabric and pearls.  No. 96 is also a little powdery in the dry down…

*Winkelman’s was a store in Detroit, Michigan that started in the 1920’s and seems to have ceased to exist in the 90’s…


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According to a review on Parfumo.net, Dreamy by Luzier of Kansas City had white floral top notes and the reviewer believes they can detect, patchouli, cedarwood, benzoin and perhaps amber from the juice of their vintage bottle.   I can also smell benzoin, patchouli and cedarwood but there’s also the presense of aldehydes, and perhaps styrax.  And, I can also detect those faint, soapy white floral top notes along with a definite honeylike sweetness, particularly into the drydown.  Dreamy actually reminds me a great bit of vintage Arpege by Lanvin and a little of Bourjois Mais Oui.  Dreamy is a warm, sweet, pretty scent…


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A warm, very bright tarragon and other spices (?), makes Vivace (Revillon) almost pungent in its floral charm.  This is not a fragrance for the faint of heart.  This is a very green chypre; quite earthy, almost bitter with an animalic pop of scent perfect for a cool day.

I can’t find an exact date of release for Vivace (or much information at all) but I would place it in the 1960’s if I were to hazard a guess…   Purely for its uniqueness I may look for more.  I imagine it would pair well with a lot of fragrances and add a ton of interest and zeal.


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Baghari (Robert Piguet 1950) is bold, sensuous neroli, iris, bergamot and aldehydes in the opening. Baghari is embracing and sultry.  And, in the drydown musk and eventually a clear vintage vetiver is found. It’s a very memorable fragrance….

Top notes are aldehydes, bergamot and neroli; middle notes are bulgarian rose, jasmine, iris and violet; base notes are amber, vanilla, musk and vetiver.

It was a particularly busy day yesterday…   We’re getting ready to leave on Sunday and there’s been a few errands to run, things to organize, clean etc. before we go.  I feel a mixture of both calmness and exhilaration admist the sadness I’ve already mentioned (hopefully not too often).  And, meanwhile, our son is growing by leaps and bounds everyday…  Tonight will hopefully be a time to wander around St. Paul a bit before we go.

Until later…  🙂

Le De


Le De is fresh, elegant and strong but unassuming (Givenchy 1957).  The ethereal beauty of an assertive tarragon, a slightly quieter but still present coriander, mandarin orange, brazilian rosewood and orris root feels formal but down to earth.  Floral notes lace about and bring a clear beauty, while warm base notes keep the scent mellow and gentle.  This is one of those rare fragrances that I think most people would agree is appropriate for almost any occasion.  And the drydown is surprisingly complex and poignant.  Le De is an unusual beauty…

Top notes: coriander, mandarin orange, tarragon, bergamot and brazilian rosewood.  Middle notes: carnation, lilac, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose.  Base notes: sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss and guaiac wood.
Summer Breezes: Part II of IV

Sarah and I walk around the neighborhood at lunch.  We talk about what she is going to do.

“You need to tell your parents.”

“I’m scared to.”

I knew that Sarah had experienced serious, life-threatening medical problems due to her drug use, even at 19…  I didn’t want her to die.  And, she had confided in me.

“If you don’t tell your parents I will,” I announced matter of factly.

She burst out laughing.  At first I thought she was angry, but then I realized that she was genuinely amused.

“I’m sorry, but I will.  I really think they should know.” I tried to remain calm, but resolute.

She drew her face back into a sort of genuine seriousness.  “I will.  I’m just scared. But,” and her gaze drifted off into some far off place where she kept her heart, “I’m just amazed that someone would care enough to threaten to tell them.”  Then she refocused back into the present and looked a slight bit agitated as she said, “I’m also a bit scared of you now.”  She laughed and then settled into a smile.

I didn’t drop the conversation until Sarah promised she would tell her parents.  I hoped she actually would.  I didn’t really know them.

The afternoon is slow.  Our new supervisor is mostly keeping to himself after his rather dramatic introduction earlier that day.  Sarah and Meghan are painting in a bedroom listening to a music station on Pandora.  Justin is by himself in the living room painting. Trevor is in the hallway sanding and I’m in a bathroom spackling.

The door to the bathroom opens.  I look in the mirror to see who it is and discover that it’s Trevor.  His frame fills the half-open door.

“Hey, Trevor.”  I try to sound friendly.

“Hey.”  He walks through the door and closes it behind him.  Then he sits down on the bathroom floor, stretches out his legs, rests his head against the wall, shuts his eyes and breathes deeply.  “How’s it going in here?’

“Ok.”  Again, I try to sound friendly.  “I’m almost finished spackling this entire bathroom.”

He opens his eyes and looks around. “Yeah, this looks pretty good.  You missed one hole above the sink though.”  He raises his hand and points toward the hole.  I move toward the sink with my bucket of spackle.  He rises and stands quite close to me, resting against a wall next to the sink.

“So, do you have a boyfriend?”

“No. You have a girlfriend.  Right?”

“Yes.  I do.”  His posture shifts and he stares blankly in the direction of the shower.  “Emily.”

“How is that going?”

“Good. Good…”  He sounds quite disingenuously nonchalant.  He moves over to the wall on the other side of the bathroom, near the window.  “We met at a party.  I walked up to her and told her that she looked like she was full of light but that she was hiding inside of herself.”

“What a beautiful thing to say.”

He looks pensive for moment before responding.  “I don’t know though.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, to me, life is all about knowing other people as much as you can.  And that’s the problem.  When you’re with someone you can’t really get to know other people.”  His voice trails off as he finds my eyes with his and proceeds to give me a smouldering glare.

I find his rich, sensuous eyes rather penetrating, but I am also repulsed by it.  How dare he flirt with me when he has a girlfriend.  If she only knew.  I find myself experiencing an odd combination of longing and righteous anger.  I turn away from him entirely, and quite coldly.

“That must be really difficult for you.  You poor thing,” I say in a mocking tone.

I can feel his eyes as they stare at me and I’m quite sure he senses my anger.  I suspect he knows from where it derives.

“Well, it is, but at the same time,”  he closes in on me, standing behind me as he continues, “I feel like kind of a slut sometimes.”

“Oh really?  How so?”  Taken aback by his candor, I turn to face him briefly, looking up at his face as I wait for a response.

“Well, when you’ve been with as many people as I have you sort of start to feel like a slut.”  He looks me in the eyes confrontationally with a mixture of self-loathing and genuine angst.  Then, he looks down and it seems as though he might start to cry.  I’m a bit shocked. I falter for a moment.

“But isn’t it different for a guy?  Don’t you feel cool or something?” I try to find words to make him feel better.  I wasn’t trying to make him cry.

Trevor’s body seems to go into a half collapse as he rests languidly against the door frame, “No, it’s actually not…  Not for me anyway.   I know people say that it’s good for a man to be experienced, but really, you just feel kind of…  cheap and dirty.”  His beautifully self-aware eyes are covered with an ironic sadness.

“I’m sorry Trevor.”  He looks down at his feet for almost a minute silently.

“Yeah,” he suddenly says, never looking up, and with a sigh as he opens the door to leave.  “I’m going to go check on Justin.”

Later that day I walk down the street toward home after the day is over when Trevor starts trailing behind me.  He comes up next to me and as we’re walking together he peels off his paint covered shirt.  I wonder if it’s just me or if he’s trying to start something again.  I’m confused.

We talk casually and walk for about five minutes before Meghan runs up behind us and joins our conversation.  It’s decided that Meghan and I are going to go out for drinks at a local bar that evening.   Both of us have never tried vodka and we decide to go have cocktails and discuss our lives in imitation of the popular show at the time, “Sex and The City.”

“Just be careful,” says Trevor.

“What do you mean?”

“If a guy tries to give you a drink don’t accept it and think that he won’t expect something.”  He looks at me and with a look that seems to resemble lust and takes in my entire face, before adding, “Have fun, but just be careful.”

“Good advice,”  I say as dryly as possible, refusing to finally meet his glances.

Trevor walks away from us in the direction of his house two blocks away and Meghan and I head toward my house where we’ll get dressed for our night out.  “You know, our new boss Brian did the weirdest thing today.”  Meghan sounds a little disturbed.

“What happened?”

“He told me that his ex-wife, who hates him apparently, haunts him in his sleep.”


“Yeah, he said that she’ll sometimes wake up the dog in the middle of the night and he barks for hours.  And then sometimes she tickles his face until he wakes up too.”

“Wait.  She’s dead?”

“Well, I think so.”

“So is she dead or not?”

“Yes. She’s dead…”  Meghan is filled with a sort of compassion.

“And he was being serious?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Huh.  That’s…  interesting.”


“I hope he’s ok.”

“I hope so too.”

“Hey, not to change the subject, but should we order a pizza before we go out?”

“That sounds like a marvelous idea.”