Frangipani (Ormonde Jayne 2003) opens with a sugary, opulent note of lime. But it’s a lime of many layers. And it’s flanked by a flourish of sweet lily, orchid and lush plum. Rose and frangipani emerges carrying along amber with them.  Yet still, the lime remains with its crisp, structured and light beauty, even into the sweet, spicy, vanillic cedar laden drydown. Really though, this scent is unique in that a 3D effect is created because it seems that it changes, giving emphasis to different notes, with each movement you make. It projects in a very fascinating way. 

Top notes: lime blossom, lime and magnolia.  Middle notes: plum, water lily, tuberose, rose, frangipani and water lily. Base notes: amber, vanilla, cedar, and musk.  

Nose: Geza Schoen 

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 

Incense Rose 

Vintage make-up chic rose mixes with myrrh, castoreum and resins to elevate sharp, punchy, balsamic citrus (Andy Tauer 2008). It’s airy but incredibly straightforward. And under the aromatic beauty lies an amber warmth. Woody rose… This Tauer is lovely.
Top notes: cardamom, clementine, bergamot and Bulgarian rose.  Middle notes: castoreum and orris root.  Base notes: myrrh, resins, incense, Texas cedar, labdanum, patchouli, and vetiver. 

Nose: Andy Tauer 


Spicy lily-of-the-valley and carnation are flanked by bright citrus notes (Alfred Sung 1986).  Into the drydown a musky, amber vanillic warmth becomes ever more opulent. Other florals are green, dense and yet watery… It’s a very 80’s scent, and a pretty one. 

My Grandma Adeline had a box of this and Giorgio Beverly Hills on her dresser in my early childhood. I remember always being curious and smelling it occasionally…

Top notes: lemon, bergamot, ylang ylang, hiacynth, galbanum, mandarin orange, and orange.  Middle notes: carnation, iris, rose, orchid, lily-of-the-valley, rose, and osmanthus.  Base notes: vanilla, amber, vetiver, oakmoss, musk, orange blossom and sandalwood.  

3 L’Impératrice Pour Femme 

3 L’Impératrice Pour Femme (D&G 2009) is pink and very fruity and sweet.  It’s a pretty scent.  The watermelon note is fun and bright, and the pink pepper saves the kiwi from becoming nauseating…  Jasmine is also lovely in this one.  And it’s a nice fragrance I’d enjoy wearing sparingly along with something more serious and powdery.  
Top notes: rhubarb, pink pepper and kiwi.  Middle notes:cyclamen, watermelon and  jasmine.  Base notes: lemon tree, musk and sandalwood.  



A sweet, crisp apple and gentle water lily (Vera Wang 2006) flank dark chocolate and elegant tiare flower at the opening.   Then the tuberose, guava with vanilla create a dense, sugary scent on the skin.  As it wears on it becomes piercing, almost loud but fluid and poignant, befitting the popular 2000’s fragrance it was.

Top notes: apple, water lily, orange, and apricot.  Middle notes: tiare flower, tuberose, dark chocolate and guava.  Base notes:  vanilla, amber and woodsy notes.

Polo Black


Spicy, elegant mango and citrus warmth opens Polo Black (Ralph Lauren 2005).  In classic Ralph Lauren form there’s a woody (sandalwood), pine-like masculinity.  Ultimately it’s a somewhat generic men’s fragrance, but it is nice – noting too surprising (or exciting), but certainly clean, classic and  appealing.

Nose: Pierre Negrin

Notes: sandalwood, tonka bean, patchouli, mango, sage, tangerine, lemon and wormwood.

Ambre Gris


At first it seems Ambre Gris is a heady, if exceptionally well blended scent (Pierre Balmain 2008) but it stealthily and quietly demures into a self-possessed serenity…  The pink pepper is grand and flanked by benzoin, myrrh, luscious florals, and a brilliantly certain but subtle guaiac wood…  It’s sweet, warm, almost salty, earthy and yet very refined.  Ambre Gris is really quite stunning…

Nose: Guillaume Flavigny.

Top notes: pink pepper, benzoin, myrrh, and cinnamon.  Middle notes: tuberose and immortelle.  Base notes: ambergris, white musk, guaiac wood, and benzoin.



Spicy, clean and woody notes, with a very bold pine note in particular, start Vintage (John Varvatos 2006) in a sexy, elegant and very masculine direction.  A powdery lavender adds a demure calm to the well blended, passionate notes.  In fact, the drydown is so sensual this may be one of most provocative fragrances for men I’ve ever encountered…  It’s also a bit sweet…

Top notes: wormwood, basil, rhubarb, quince, fennel and pepper.  Middle notes:  juniper berries, lavender, cinnamon, jasmine, orris root and green leaves.  Base notes: tonka bean, tobacco, suede, patchouli, oakmoss, balsam fir and woody notes.

So, in case you hadn’t noticed (and I assume you did) I haven’t been posting a monthly story…  I will resume that at some point in the near future.  I frankly just haven’t had the time to sit down and really write out the story…  I’m trying to currently do quite a few different things…

For one thing, I’m reading a book a week…  And for another thing, I’m working on my novel.  I’ve also been sick periodically and…  anyway.

So, yes…

But anyway.  Quick update:  we are now in a place where in a relatively short amount of time we could decide to live in the UK if we wanted.  However, the keyword is want. I know this blog is about my desire to move to the UK and be an expat but…  after moving to Seattle and absolutely loathing most aspects of the experience (aside from my lovely family – they are just lovely)  I can’t say that I’m all to keen to move anywhere but back home…  So…  yeah.


I loved living on the East Coast…  I really did.  I didn’t mind living in North Dakota when I lived there for a year either…   And I haven’t been exactly crazy about Minnesota in general for most of my life (although I eventually loved St. Paul passionately).  But moving to and living in this city has been so bad that is has me feeling very gun shy about any moving adventures involving the unknown right now and, again, I just want to move back home.  Sorry Seattle…   I may change my mind.  I don’t know…


But, I figured out which designer handbag I’m buying.  I’m buying a new Louis Vuitton Noé in monogram canvas (I might buy a used Speedy 25 or 30 in either damier ebene, damier azur or monogram and/or an Alma PM too at some point) for my birthday and then eventually I’ll buy an Hermès Kelly Sellier 32 in a neutral color.  And after that, I don’t plan on buying many other bags for the rest of my life…  Combined with my small Longchamp Le Pliage (I may buy another larger one), my vintage black velvet clutch, vintage leather Coach and black Kate Spade diaper bag I don’t think I’ll need to (other than a straw and eventually crocodile bag for fun perhaps?)…  Of course, it’s not that I don’t appreciate nice bags and respect those who love them passionately…  It’s just a personal decision.

Furthermore, I’ve decided on a few other particulars about my wardrobe.  I have an actual “road map” of sorts…  It involves cashmere sweaters and silk scarves like I once opined upon but I’ve expanded on that idea a lot…  My aim is to combine classic, quality pieces (that will only occasionally need to be replaced throughout the years) with classic but less expensive items that can take a lot of wear and will obviously need to be replaced more frequently.

Here’s my basic wish list/plan of things to purchase (houses, brands and etc are subject to alteration):

1 pair of LK Bennett flats

1 pair of cheap but classic canvas sneakers and decent insoles

Louis Vuitton monogram Noé

Hermès Kelly Sellier 32

LL Bean military jacket

3 pairs of J Brand jeans

2 pairs of wool pants

lots of pairs of simple t-shirts and sweatshirts

Cotton Jackie shells and cardigan sweaters from J. Crew

2 silk blouses (one for warmer weather and one for cooler weather)

2 neutral sheath dresses (one for cooler weather and one for warmer weather)

(I have and plan to keep: classic shorts, a few pairs of jeans, a few dresses, leather pants, cashmere sweaters, a few other random clothing items like blouses, polos, a Norwegian sweater, a few coats, shoes, etc.)

I have lots of classic pieces of jewelry and plan to expand on that and add a simple white gold heart locket necklace and replace the diamond studs I keep losing…

We’ll see how well this goes…