Calyx begins with a sparkling fruit and citrus blend (Clinique 2013).  The honeyed mango, guava and papaya are fresh and succulent.  A bright, ebullient freesia is enshrined in a bouquet of other classic floral notes that are delicate without every being prim or cloying.  A warm but pleasingly sharp base adds depth and character to this watery, elegant remake of the 1987 Calyx by Prescriptives.

Top notes: grapefruit, mandarin, passion fruit, mango, guava, green leaves and papaya.   Middle notes: lily of the valley, freesia, neroli, lily, rose, marigold and jasmine.  Base notes: oak moss, sandalwood, orris and vetiver.

Nose: Sophia Grojsman



Green, natural and fetching lily-of-the-valley and jasmine start Jasminora (Guerlain 2011).  Clean bergamot and freesia quietly, and gracefully appear moments after.  And then the jasmine truly asserts itself, overtaking all other notes.  It shines.  Beautifully.

Top notes: cyclamen, galbanum, and bergamot.  Middle notes: jasmine, freesia, and lily-of-the-valley.   Base notes: amber and musk.


Midnight Romance


Midnight Romance (Ralph Lauren 2014) is perfectly named.  The opening of a cool but tremulous litchi and bergamot flanked by a sweet and sentimental raspberry is indeed romantic.  Wet and embracing peony and freesia hold confident presence next to a sensual jasmine.  Into the drydown an elegant iris and pretty vanilla soften the florals into a delicate hum.

Top notes: litchi, bergamot, and raspberry.  Middle notes: peony, freesia and jasmine sambac.  Base notes:  ambroxan, iris, and vanilla.  

My mother and father had a very close friend (not a relative) when I was growing up that I called my “aunt.”  She remained a close family friend until about five or six years ago.  I have often suspected that she just eventually couldn’t quite cope with the fact that my parents separated, but then again…

She always claimed to adore me as a niece, and I think in some ways she did really care, but at times she could be cruel in her assumptions  (at least from my perspective).  In college when I told her my woes in regard to guys she told me that I was trying too hard.  I still don’t even know exactly what she meant by that…  It had something to do with trying to look pretty though because she referenced that.   Apparently, I was supposed to completely give up on looking nice or something and then it would all work out?

I’m not sure…

She also thought I had never really been in love or liked anyone I said I liked.  She thought I was just in love with the idea of love…  She thought I just, “wanted to be loved.”   But then, when I met Mark and later married him she was furious because she thought I had neglected her.  She thought he had “replaced her” and I didn’t “need her” anymore.  And, that was when it hit me that there might be a problem.   How was her relationship with me at all threatened by a serious romantic relationship?   That was also around the time she decided to end her relationship with our whole family…

So…   I’m not sure what her “deal” was (truly).  But I know when I heard that she thought I was just in love with the “idea of love” it definitely made me think.

However, thankfully, I don’t believe she was right…  I know my own heart and mind quite well (thankfully).

Love is so complicated (duh, right?!).  For one thing, I think there are different levels of love…   And I think love can grow or die.  I don’t believe it’s just an emotion.   I think that love is almost more like a separate entity (but not really).  It also exists in a context…  So, for example, there were guys I knew who were likely “really good for me” but the initial love (and no I don’t mean just lust) wasn’t there for us.  However, had there been that first spark of love I think that that love between us would have grown with time…  And then, there’s Mark.  And sadly, with him, as I’ve said before (many times now), the love was there at first (for me) but died over time.  (And it truly died...  I mean, it was a brutal experience to fully accept slowly and painfully over months, and years how impossible things have been between us.)

I think one ideal is to find someone who you fall passionately in love with at first, and then grow into a deep, quiet, sincere and abiding romantic love with over time (and if the passion remains then that’s fantastic)…   I think that, albeit a very rough sketch, is the combination that comprises true love.

I know it’s possible.  I’ve seen it.  Ironically, my “aunt’s” parents had that kind of relationship.  They  both loved each other in a real and very deep way and it kept growing and changing with time…

No, I’m not just in love with true love but, at the same time, why the hell wouldn’t I want that?!  Anyway…


Finally, if you read this Handsome, well…  I *blow a kiss* your way (hopefully that’s not too awful).   I hope your week is ending well.

And, I hope everyone’s week is ending well…







Sophia and Floral Drops


It starts with a fresh, airy and sweet neroli and water lily.  But as it continues, Dolce Floral Drops (Dolce and Gabbana 2014) flourishes an effusive narcissus.  Warm base notes are present but not predominant.

Top notes: fresh neroli leaf, and papaya flower.  Middle notes: amaryllis, daffodils and water lily.  Base notes: cashmere, musk and sandalwood.

Juicy blackberry, sweet plum and cassis open Sophia Vergara (Sophia Vergara 2014).  Delicate but sensuous florals are elegant, witty and entertaining while a rich vanillic base of woody decadence creates a well-blended, beautiful fragrance.

Top notes: blackberry, cassis buds and plum.  Middle notes: violet, rose and orchid. Base notes: sandalwood, vanilla and woody notes.

I’ve decided to write a journal post everyday for a while, starting tomorrow…  It’s been very helpful to process things in writing.

Thanks for reading!! 🙂

Replica: Flower Market


Surprisingly green, Flower Market (Maison Margiela 2012) is a treat as it wafts gently about.  Fresh Freesia and a pleasing tuberose and rose bloom from start to finish.  And with oakmoss at the base Flower Market has quite a vintage feeling in presentation.  I imagine this is the sort of scent that could be worn in the colder months to bring cheer or the warmer months for its green crisp beauty…

Noses: Jacques Cavallier and Marie Salamagne.

Top notes: green leaves and freesia.  Middle notes: Rose de Mai, tuberose, Egyptian jasmine, and jasmine sambac.  Base notes: oakmoss, cedar and peach.

(I was a bit distracted last night watching the DNC Convention so this entry will be updated and edited Friday afternoon.   Sorry!)

First, a bit of self-reflection:

Possibility has always beguiled me…  I’m the sort of person who sees the beauty of something, in someone or sometimes I’ve seen a truly beautiful man and been swept away in a passionate frenzy of excitement.  But, many who know me would never guess at this part of my soul because my passions always become very tempered and restrained by my logic and a general, vague sense of reserve that shades everything I do.   And, furthermore and most importantly I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like to hurt people or cause too many problems so the daring, sensitive wildness that resides in me bubbles beneath.

On the surface I am dominated by worry for others, “what’s best” for everyone and a sincere reverence for goodness rooted in my faith – often letting my own desires or dreams intentionally wither if I think they would cause too much harm or be too much of a risk.   I want first and foremost to be a good, strong, brave, and loving person.  And, as I write that I can hear anyone reading this who came from my the theological upbringing of my childhood saying, “ahh but to be good isn’t enough.”  Yes…  I know what you mean, but…  but why not aim to be good?!   Anyway…

Possibility…  *sigh*

Every once and a while the waters in my soul, despite all my surface concerns, which are just as much a part of me as anything, are stirred.  And I feel overwhelmed and I love every minute of it…

Sometimes this has happened when, as I said, I’ve become a bit smitten by a particular man…  Is he the one?   The one man who I’ve wanted to meet since I knew romance existed?   Actually it happens most often, and in its most poignant form on those occasions…  It’s the possibility of something gorgeous being real – in the flesh.   Just a glint of brilliant light at first…

But I have felt it too, to a slightly lesser degree, when I’ve sat down to work on the novel I’m trying to finish, or since I was a little girl when I’ve watched or been involved in politics.  These last two weeks, this week in particular, have been a reminder of my core.  In many ways…

I find myself thinking through all of my life decisions and wondering…   I keep contemplating mistakes, pains and the things I’ve lost over the years since my childhood.   I miss those days when I used to sit in front of the television for hours waiting for voting returns with baited breath.  Or, I recall the times I would tell people my future plans to be “in politics.”  Between the first election I remember analyzing at age four to the moment I almost had a good many opportunities to really “get somewhere” and lost them…  I wonder.  What happened? Did I give up?  I think I did…  I think I did…  But why?!

Cynicism.  I know that’s what did me in in one way or another…

So yes, of course, my virtues are not the enemy of the fire in my heart.  Instead, those principles guide me and send me right into the arms of real beauty, but cynicism…  rooted in pain…  rooted in loss…and in reality, that’s my biggest foe.

I hope in my assessments of the past, present and future I am able to see God, real goodness and wild, stunning zeal guide me.  And I sincerely hope I am able to avoid the deathly grips of cynicism that I’m sure are just waiting for any sort of darkness or reminder of past pains to make their pull…

I can’t remake the past, but I can still hope for a more beautiful future…  And I can still try to be myself as much as possible.   Until I’m dead there’s always a possibility


Black Rain and Crystal Rain

13706783_278833589146690_1314885866_nCrystal Rain:

Like masterful strokes of a brush on canvas in the hands of a gifted artist, each note is cleverly placed with a delicate, nuanced beauty in Crystal Rain (Renier Perfumes 2016).  All at once a list of lovely notes can be accounted for; connected to form a fresh, airy, elegant and yet entirely easy-going fragrance.  Among the stunning array are a particularly detectable orange blossom, bergamot, thyme, apple, cypress, cedar, amber and ambergris.

Black Rain:

Powdery, perfect rose flanked by a romantic and sublime chamomile opens Black Rain (Renier Perfumes 2016).  And, at the start, this exceptionally lovely fragrance is quite reminiscent of vintage Guerlain Liu, but without the aldehydes and with an endearingly nostalgic violet and leather added.  Then there is a quiet jasmine among the florals…  And the musky, floral, patchouli tinted, beautifully sensuous and animalic drydown begins