Printemps Japonais de Galimard

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Printemps Japonais de Galimard (Galimard 1960) is super sweet, springlike, flowery and light.  It’s an elegant fragrance with an intense fruity notes.

Top notes are raspberry, plum, lemon and bergamot; middle note is rose; base notes are iris and vanilla.

All the notes above can be accounted for, and frankly that isn’t necessarily a good thing.  This isn’t the most complex fragrance, although it is pretty and perfect for a spring day.  Wearing it when it is warmer could be dangerous – it’s so intensely sweet that it could become a bit unpleasant.  So, perhaps, if you do come across this unusually sweet fragrance for a 1960’s vintage, wear it on cooler days in the early spring.

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This will be my last “book of the month” post.  I’ve decided to start posting a short story I’ve written instead.  I’m just ready to be a bit creative…  So, I’ll be posting a short story every month divided into four parts – each Wednesday another part will be published.

However, today I’ll conclude my discussion of Brideshead Revisted.  Sigh.  What to say…  Well, it was written extremely well, of course…   It was a bit depressing though this time, actually, but I appreciate what brilliant Waugh was trying to convey – his deep convictions.  The fact that many of the characters find faith is intriguing to me…  And I deeply respect that.  I may need to read this book again when I’m in a different state of mind.

This week I’ve been obsessed with running outside in the rain.  There’s something so cathartic about rain and running in it even more so.  I love how fresh, and cooling the rain is.

And this week, more than any time in the recent past, I’ve had a longing to move to London.  Or who knows…  We’ll see.

But at any rate, it hit me today that many of my readers are, of course (silly me) not experiencing spring at all.  No, many of you are experiencing fall actually, or at least not spring.  So, what are you looking forward to about this winter?

Anyway, I hope you’re all having at least a pleasant week.  🙂

Knowing

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Knowing by Estée Lauder (Estée Lauder 1988) is one of the most beautiful fragrances I’ve ever smelled.

Previously I’ve loved and been associated with Chanel No. 22.  I adore, adore that fragrance…  But Knowing is astounding.

It has depth, intensity and beauty.  It’s overwhelming and yet unbelievably light.  It’s a rainy day, a bouquet of flowers and romantic mystery all wrapped in one luscious scent.  It’s freeing and yet it holds you in a warm embrace of comforting beauty.  And it shockingly comes from the 1980’s?  Really?  I did not see that coming…

It’s shocking but still pretty.  It isn’t scared.  At all.

If perfumes were people this scent would be a saint resting in heaven.  In the general population people rarely wear Knowing for many reasons even though it’s fairly accessible.   It’s a piece of another time, still lingering, but not often fully realized.

My signature is still Chanel No. 22, but wow…  This will turn heads.  I hope to someday be a woman who can wear Knowing and carry it off entirely…

Top notes: mimosa, aldehydes, rose, coriander, plum, green notes, melon and tuberose.  Middle notes: patchouli, bay leaf,orris root, jasmine, orange blossom, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, and cardamom.  The base: musk, amber, sandalwood, spices, oakmoss and civet.

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I’m doing a Thursday post now!  It’s too hard to wait until Friday.  I think the more I write the more I want to write…

So, let’s start things off with a true confession: last night I was drunk.  I had a bit too much German wine (so so good) and it went straight to my head.  Also, German wine is sweet.  Perfectly sweet, so it’s hard to stop drinking it. I was feeling worried, grieved, sad and confused about something going on in our family and the people who have surrounded us closely and the wine was delicious.

According to my faith, and common-sense, one shouldn’t get drunk when you’re scared, sad or totally overwhelmed.  I know better, but let’s be real, sometimes it’s nice to be slightly tipsy.  I really do know better though…

I’ve never been an alcoholic, but I’ve known many and drug addicts too actually…  I’ve always sympathized with that plight. Life is hard.  So damn hard…   Honestly, I’ve never understood people who don’t understand.  At least a little…  Pain is a very real thing my dears.  Life is a very real thing.

And this is a perfect segway into the book of the month, ta da: Brideshead Revisted (I’m discussing it now instead of Friday), a book about human suffering, in my opinion.   Nothing in life is a simple business.  People are complex creatures and our ability to destroy each other from the inside out is fantastic, especially when love and lust are involved.  This book is epic. Truly epic. The human heart is just as treacherous and frought with dangerous cliffs, perilous mountains and gaping oceans as anything ever found in the world around us.

And don’t I know it?  Don’t we all know it?  Life would be great if we could all avoid hurting each other as much as we do…

My fault is that I find beauty in pain so I don’t do what most people do to avoid it.  I find beauty in darkness and in truth.  Because it’s there.  And it’s not that I embrace evil, I just see how lovable we are and how much there is to learn in this life…  humans, that is.  We are.  We are so lovable because we all mean well in some way, at least those of us who still have something left of our sanity (and those who don’t would if they could).

So, when I get hurt I never know whether to get mad or to just smile.  That might sound crazy.  But true confessions…  are true confessions.  I truly believe most people have some goodness in them and even when they’re hurtful, if you look close enough you’ll see their worth and beauty (and I’m talking about myself too).   I also believe that goodness doesn’t originate from humans (I’m a Christian, sorry.. haha).  But anyway…  Enough rambling.

I guess basically, thanks again for reading my blog about perfume and whatever the heck is on my mind at the moment.  If you read with any consistency God bless you.  You mean more to me than you know…

And a special thank you to my husband, who is my best friend in this life…  He sees my most unattractive pain up close and still tries to show that he sees my redeemable humanity.  And for that he deserves a lot of respect.

Love to you all.  Seriously.  Lots of love…

Until Friday.  🙂

And p.s. Last night my son fell asleep listening to “Fake Empire” by The National, when usually he insists on being nursed to sleep…   It was a small (not so small) miracle. (my husband and I LOVE that band too)

Here’s a song (old Passion Pit circa 2008) that is stuck in my head and (whatever the lyrics mean) it captures my current mood to perfection: Sleepyhead, Passion Pit

Croyance

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Croyance by Charles V, Paris (Charles V 1953) is a very green, crisp, airy floral chypre.  There are thick, rich aldehydes (a bit like Chanel No. 19) that add a true elegant depth, especially in the beginning stages.

During the drydown Croyance becomes an exquisite fragrance with strong notes of styrax, coumarin, sandalwood and creamy warm amber.  It’s a bit more floral in the drydown than it even is at first, which is unusual.  This is not a linear fragrance or one lacking in complexity at all.

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This last week I didn’t do so well with my reading.  Sorry.  😦  I’m not entirely sure where all the hours went, but they are gone…  and I didn’t get much further in the book…  I’ll break with my schedule and post more on the topic on Friday.

Anyway…

This has been another extraordinarily mixed week.  But for now, at least, I feel that I’m learning things (as always)…  And, to use a cliché, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Sigh.  🙂  I hope you all have a lovely day…

English Lavender

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Likely made for hot days, English Lavender by Potter & Moore (Potter and Moore 1930’s) is a very citrus scent, with special emphasis on the note of lime.  It’s crisp but also a bit sensual and intoxicating.  Like a gin drink made for warm summer days of the past, English Lavender is bitter yet refreshing.

I’m fascinated by the English company, Potter and Moore.  They make so many poignant scents…

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Suspiro de Granada

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Suspiro de Granada (Myrurgia 1922) by Myrurgia of Barcelona, Spain is the 1920’s the way I imagine a youth of that time would have lived it –  clear and in the moment with an amiable pizzazz.  It brings to mind moments of my own early adulthood, especially in college; moments when I felt incredibly alive and was so sure of my vitality that it felt free and piercing.  Of course, in my day (not that long ago) we watched “Garden State,” walked around campus barefoot and wore black hooded sweatshirts, but this has the same feeling of youth only in a beautiful Art Deco fashion.  It’s fresh, spicy like a sarsaparilla soda, gloriously warm, intense and exotic.  It’s romantic and yet uplifting.

Really, I just love it, although I think it’s not quite signature fragrance material, but more something to wear on a rainy spring day when time travel seems almost possible (this could change if I can find enough bottles – it’s so lovely).  I’m happy I found this oriental gem.

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Top notes: spices.  Middle notes: rose and carnation. Base notes: vanilla, benzoin, musk, sandalwood, and ambergris.

My book of the month is going splendidly.  So far, I’ve read about dear Sebastian (of course), and his teddy bear, Aloysius. I’ve also been engrossed in the quick moving, emotionally driving brilliance of Evelyn Waugh.  It’s been very pleasant.

Since the theme of this blog post today seems to be about youth, and lately I’ve been rummaging through my life examining things, I think it’s fitting to say that while there is always an emphasis on living a life void of regrets, I do have some.  And it’s not always things that I didn’t do, as the cliché goes.  It’s often things I did do actually.  I wish there were more people going around with that motto instead of the opposite…

So, note to self, and to others reading this, if something seems like a bad idea…  don’t do it, regardless of the many good things that could come from it or what an adventure it might be.   And while you’re at it drink more water.

Until Friday.

Cristalle

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Chanel Cristalle (Chanel 1974) is a super green, elegant, lemony fragrance.  And, it is, in fact, a lot like Chanel no. 19 – a another sharp, very 1970’s Chanel scent also by Henri Robert.

As a floral-chypre it’s strong.  It takes no prisoners but does so with an Earthy gracefulness.  On a warm summer day it’s perfect – reflective and wonderfully reserved.

Top notes: lemon, bergamot.  Middle notes: rosewood and hyacinth.  Base notes: vetiver and oakmoss.

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This month, while I don’t have a photo of the book yet, I will be reading, Brideshead Revisted.  Written by Evelyn Waugh and published in 1945 it’s often regarded as a classic and one of Waugh’s best works.  I’m sincerely looking forward to reading it.

And on a personal note, our son is growing up very fast, especially recently.  It reminds me of how important it is to savor every moment.  Time goes by way too fast.

Until Friday. 🙂

To A Wild Rose

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To A Wild Rose by Avon (Avon 1950) is a chypre floral in the same vein as the original Miss Dior (released just three years before To A Wild Rose), with super clear green notes.  I believe I detect galbanum, labdanum, oakmoss, citrus, cedar, civet, patchouli and rose although I’m sure there are many other notes too.

To A Wild Rose is paradoxically airy yet heavy with a very strong emphasis on the rose.  Actually, To A Wild Rose is a perfect name for this cologne.  It’s wild and Earthy but with a heart of beautiful roses.  According to one review on the perfume website Basenotes, Avon originally described To A Wild Rose as a “mossy rose” scent.  It is a lovely, mossy rose indeed.

And, frankly, I’m running out of things to say about my chosen book of the month…  A Pocket Book of Great Operas is in fact a pocket guide to many operas.  I wish I had something more insightful and clever to say about it but I don’t.  I do not. Sorry. I’m sure I should and could if I forced myself, but alas, I don’t want to.  Sigh.  I think I need another book?  I’ll work on that for next Wednesday.  And again, I’m sorry this part of my blog has fallen flat this time…

Sigh.  🙂

Anyway, have a pleasant rest of your week.

Si (Chloro – Cologne)

2015-03-09 12.32.03 (2)At first Si, by Schiaparelli (Schiaparelli 1957) is slightly smoky with vibrant springlike florals, clear and dainty green notes and aldehydes – Schiaparelli labels this a “Chloro-Cologne” meaning a green scent.  There’s also a special emphasis on rose, jasmine, tuberose and lily-of-the-valley.  In general, I’ve noticed that lily-of-the-valley is often a strong note in Schiapparelli fragrances.

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Si has a layered effect, like a pretty vintage tulle dress.  It’s powdery and feminine without being cloying or losing its crisp bite.  If a color could describe Si, it would be the iconic Schiaparelli hot pink – classic, dramatic and slightly edgy.  I really like this one with its fresh opening warming into a sandalwood and vanilla beauty in the late drydown.

So, last week I said that I had many questions about Carmen after reading A Pocket Book of Great Operas, and one of those questions was about the plot.  I felt that there was a striking similarity between Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and the plot of Carmen.  I thought that I might not be totally delusional in seeing the similarity but so far I can’t seem to find any other published piece that concurs with my observation.  So, either I really am off or…  I don’t know what.

I mean, the plot of Carmen, as I understand it, is basically that a man is drawn to a beautiful woman who never commits to or loves any of the many men with whom she has erotic interactions.   The man gives her his heart and she decides to throw it away for another man who can give her what she “really wants” and, in the end, she finds herself dead.   And then there’s The Sun Also Rises, where a very attractive woman who has sexual interactions with many men and is very popular with men, draws the heart of a man/men who lose her to a man/men/situation that offers her what she’s looking for, but in the end she finds herself not dead, but in a terrible state. They both involve Spanish bull-fighting scenes of great romantic/sexual/emotional importance too.  So…  am I being an nitwit or are these plots similar?  Was Hemingway inspired by Carmen? <cricket chirp>

Anyway.  Whatever the case may be, I love A Pocket Book of Great Operas.  It’s a charming little book that does indeed fit in pockets.  I’ll probably bring it with me to the opera in May (just as a quick, familiar reference that can fit in my pocket).  I’ll discuss the rest of this book in next week’s post.

Until Friday.  🙂

April Showers

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April Showers by Cheramy is a surprisingly luxurious geranium and lavender fougère (Cheramy 1921).  It reminds me of an old Chanel (specifically Chanel No. 22) with its thick aldehydes, florals, and clear headed green notes.  It’s cheerful and and attractive.  The retro notes are slightly herbal (like No. 4711) and a little sultry – it would make a tremendous aftershave.  In the drydown it seems particularly unisex (even a bit masculine) and quite warm and pleasant.

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In its time, Cheramy, April Showers was very popular.  Cheramy even made April Showers bath salts.  I might try to keep my eyes open for those other products.  I really like this scent…

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This month I’ll be writing about a vintage book entitled, A Pocket Book of Great Operas, by Henry W. Simon and Abraham Veinus.  My husband and I will be attending a performance of Bizet’s, Carmen in early May and I thought it would make sense to do a bit of research about Carmen.  And, I’ve always wanted to read this book so this seemed like a good moment to do so.

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So far, I’ve just read the chapter about Carmen and I found it helpful for a general overview (what this book is intended to be used as anyway).  However, I now have a ton of questions related to Carmen that I feel a need to answer.   Sadly my time is running short to write more in this post (as always) so I’ll explain more next week…

Until Friday.  🙂

Aqua Allegoria, Bouquet Numero 2

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Whenever I smell Guerlain, Aqua Allegoria, Bouquet Numero 2 (Guerlain 2011) I think of a vacation I took with my husband to Switzerland in the summer of 2011.  It was then that I first purchased a bottle of Bouquet Numero 2 and, of course, that was the year it debuted (2011).  It certainly did feel new and of the moment…

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Our visit to Switzerland was lovely and nowadays when I remember it, it feels like yesterday and a million years ago at the same time. The smell of dozens and dozens of impeccable roses, gorgeous, almost aquatic lychee and iris in Bouquet Numero 2 is my passport to those moments. When I smell Boquet No. 2 I get nostalgic for the remarkably fresh air and bright gentle sun of Switzerland. That country has a way of feeling charmingly remote and cosmopolitan at the same time, and I believe this scent captures that feeling quite well.

2015-03-03 09.55.36 (2)I suppose it’s not surprising that, given my immediate liking for this Guerlain fragrance and the positive associations I have with it, Aqua Allegoria Bouquet Numero 2 is one of my favorite perfumes.  Very favorite.  Longevity is moderate and sillage is strong to moderate.

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The classic kiss picture all couples eventually find themselves taking…

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This week is the last week I’ll be featuring the Norwegian language primer as my “Book of the Month” and that saddens me a bit.  Of course, I did realize that it was an old book and that if I really want to learn Norwegian with the way languages change over time I’ll have to look elsewhere.  But, I did learn some intriguing pieces of the Norwegian language to be stored away for potential use.

Anyway, until Friday…