Chanel No. 46


A deep green, woody chypre with a wild amount of warm leafy loveliness, Chanel No. 46 (Chanel 1946) is rich and potent. A prominent bergamot, heady jasmine, charmingly complex orris root and a very vintage rose (almost reminiscent of Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose) create a multilayered and truly bewitching scent. And, there’s a dash of cumin into the smoky, powdery and Chanelesque drydown. It’s an endearing fragrance with its robust and yet uniquely elegant earthiness, but it’s also quite haunting.

Top notes: bergamot, orange and neroli.   Middle notes: rose, lily-of-the-valley, ylang-ylang and jasmine.  Base notes:  vetiver, orris root, sandalwood, cumin, vanilla and musk


I was very excited to receive this rather rare bottle for my birthday…  It’s better than I even imagined.  🙂

A Chanel No. 22 Break


So yesterday I explained how I felt I had lost track of something...  And after writing it all I realized I left out two things.  First of all, I have been basically exhausted for many years…  I started developing a thyroid disorder when I was probably in high school (or who knows when exactly) and it wasn’t officially diagnosed until after I gave birth to my son a few years ago.  Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to have been negatively affected by my undiagnosed wackadoodle thyroid though…  And secondly, I forgot to fully explain that along with politics I also love to write but ironically not necessarily about politics.  Anyway…

My life has been a complicated but beautiful mess for many years.  I’d like for it to someday have a bit more…  boring?  A good boring…

Enter fragrance…  My first fragrance was Le Jardin by Max Factor when I was six.  And I had several scents I used after that for fun but the one that eventually grabbed me in my teens was Shalimar eau de cologne, by Guerlain.   And then a while ago I smelled a few drops from a very old bottle of Chanel No. 22 on my skin…  and I felt like my soul had found a reflection of itself.  And it was lovely

I’m a very loyal person.  I love the idea of being able to love people, things and places forever.   People say that everything changes.  I like change, but I love things that last forever…  And in my life there have been precious few “forevers.”  There’s my mother’s love and my love for her…  My brown eyes.  The mole above my lips…  My faith.   How much I love my son.  My love for classical music (and music in general).  And as trivial as it sounds, I highly suspect my love for Chanel No. 22 will also remain…   Almost everything else has always been a bit of a roller coaster, well, except for my emotions (thankfully) – as deep as they are, as much of a romantic as I am, and as chaotic as my life has sometimes been I am actually a pretty steady person (with the caveat that I have had depression/anxiety).

I’ve never even liked roller coasters…  Seriously.  Figuratively or otherwise…

So for the next week at least, I’m not wearing any scent but Chanel No. 22  in attempt to refocus myself on my own soul and heart and figure a few things out at least a little.   Or maybe I’ll wear it just to brace myself to deal with it all – the good, bad, hopes, extremely  faint flickers of possibility, fear, happiness, and the potential lack of hope…  All of it.  Can a fragrance really make that much of a difference?  Yes…  As a friend on Instagram, Frannie, often mentions: the limbic system is an amazing thing…

(p.s. I added part one of a short story to my post yesterday.)







Chanel No. 5 (current eau de parfum)



The current eau de parfum of Chanel No. 5 (Chanel 1921) is actually a bit different than the old edp (no surprise there I suppose). It’s lighter, sweeter and sadly maybe has a little less depth in my opinion. Frankly it reminds me more of the vintage eau de cologne than the vintage parfum. I also think there’s less of a shock of aldehydes than in any of the vintages… Yet, it’s still a masterpiece. There’s nothing quite like it (not even Liu).

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, neroli, and ylang ylang.  Middle notes:  jasmine, rose, lily-of-the-valley, and iris.  Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and patchouli.  

Bois Des Iles


Bois Des Iles is luscious (Chanel 1926).  It’s one of the most beautiful if not the most beautiful fragrances I’ve ever smelled.  Bois Des Iles is perfection with classic florals wrapped in a gorgeous aldehydic embrace.  It’s earthy yet totally elegant, and utterly alluring – as if wind and light are playing with sweetly scented flower petals.

Top notes:  aldehydes, bergamot, neroli and peach.  Middle notes: jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, woody iris and ylang-ylang. Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin and musk.


2015-12-03 23.38.32

Totally opulent, sweet and fruity floral notes make Coco (Chanel 1984) simply lovely.   Coco is spicy and warm with a lusciousness that’s noteworthy.  The peach and rose notes swirl in a dance with  civet and vanilla.  This fragrance is ladylike without being austere or removed.  It is quite distinct…

Top notes: coriander, mandarin orange, peach, jasmine and bulgarian rose.  Middle notes:  mimosa, cloves, orange blossom, clover and rose. Base notes: labdanum, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, opoponax, civet and vanilla.



2015-12-04 20.16.48 (2)

Soft and supple floral notes make the original Chanel Gardenia (Chanel 1925) a dreamy, romantic fragrance.  I believe I smell jasmine, violet, tuberose (?), and something incedibly creamy and a bit powdery.  I think there’s also a note of lily-of-the-valley.  I can see the similarity between the current Gardenia from the Les Exclusifs line at Chanel and this version, but this is wilder, heady and subversive while paradoxically remaining a little aloof and demure.   It reminds me a bit of vintage Joy by Jean Patou and a bit of a few current fragrances from the Hove Parfumeur of New Orleans, Louisiana.  The floral notes are green, and authentic but there’s also something very mysterious about them…   And again, this is a suberversive scent.  For some reason, the person who comes to mind most is Grace Kelly…  Now, this scent was released in 1925, but I can picture her wearing it very well…   It’s sad it’s no longer made in the exact same way. It’s remarkable.


MisiaMisia is violet (Chanel 2015).  I smell a bit of iris too, but mostly just violet…  At the opening, rich, semi-sweet aldehydes and violets are warm and delicious on the skin.  And with the note of Grasse rose and benzoin (among other notes) it reminds me a lot of my vintage fragrances.  In fact, if you combined vintage Chanel No. 22 with vintage Devon Violets it would be quite similar to Misia.  In the drydown the sweetness becomes almost like toasted sugar…  It’s a bit extraordinary in my opinion…

Top notes: litchi, and aldehydes.  Middle notes: peach, raspberry, Turkish rose, and Grasse rose.  Base notes: tonka bean, benzoin, iris, orris root, violet, vanilla, powdery notes, and vanilla.  

2015-06-15 12.08.09

Origins, Clear Improvement, Active Charcoal Mask is a pretty darn good mask…  It cleans out the pores and leaves the skin in a balanced, pleasant state.  It also seems to avoid irritating the skin.  Plus, it’s very quick to use…  I’ll likely be repurchasing this product at some point.

2015-06-15 12.08.16

Biore, Self Heating One Minute Mask is not quite as good as the one above, but it too is quick and effective.  It also has a wonderful heating sensation that is a bit relaxing.  I can’t say that I would buy this one…  But I can’t say that I wouldn’t either…


I honestly don’t think I can write anything personal without it being negative, melancholy, or complaining in some way right now…   Or just too damn personal.  So… I’m not going to say anything.  🙂

Until Wednesday…

Coco Noir

coco noir

Coco Noir (Chanel 2012) is somewhat of a paradox.  It’s rich and warm but has a calm, clean coolness too.   Coco Noir is elegant (of course), sharp and a little sweet.  There’s a certain fresh, watery lightness as well…  It’s a nice, pleasing Chanel – not particularly bold or shocking, but tasteful.

Top notes: grapefruit and Calabrian bergamot.  Middle notes: rose, narcissus, rose geranium leaf and jasmine. Base notes: tonka bean, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli and white musk frankincense.

Next Monday I promise I’ll have product reviews up.  Sigh…  I’m sorry again for the awkward lack of consistency on this blog these last few months…

So much is going on.  Both good and bad…   Exciting and mundane, of course.  I’m sorry if you’d like to know more than that…

I’m enjoying using this blog a as place to write more creatively though.  I know my writing needs a lot of work, but I enjoy it a great deal.  Thank you for reading!

Chanel No. 19

2015-03-21 14.49.08 (2)

Chanel No. 19 in the vintage eau de parfum form  (Chanel 1970) is pungent, chiseled, clear and green.  It’s supremely elegant, fresh and romantic.  Chanel No.19 is powerful but gentle.  It’s wild and free but delicate.

With my chemistry I detect particularly strong notes of neroli, greens, iris and vetiver.  Chanel No. 19 is a very likeable scent, but it needs to get acquainted with you first.  If you’ve never tried it, take a moment to let it interact with your chemistry.

Top notes: neroli, bergamot, and green notes.  Middle notes: narcissus, lily-of-the-valley, rose and iris.  Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, leather and oakmoss.


Someday I hope to look back at this time in our lives and believe that the bad things, at least a lot of them, were used for the good.  And I hope to find that the good things were truly appreciated as much as possible.

The pasta dish I made for my in-laws went over quite well, despite the ratio of the white clam sauce to the linguini being a little off…   My husband’s fresh baked bread was enjoyed for it’s soft, flavorful perfection.   And despite the fact that it could have been better, the blueberry pie was pretty darn good if I do say so myself…


There are many things that need to change in our lives and your lives too, I’m sure, but for some reason I’m feeling hopeful lately…    I hope your week is ending well dear reader.  🙂




2015-03-21 14.36.25 (2)

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.


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. 🙂