Incredible Things


Incredible Things (Taylor Swift for EA 2014) is fruity, luscious, velvety and bright, with juicy tropical florals and modern, pert notes of grapefruit and pink pepper. Into the drydown a gentle but crisp Haitian vetiver and rich, warm Madagascar vanilla grow in intensity. It’s really a nice fragrance despite being an oft maligned “celebrity scent.”

Top notes: pink pepper and grapefruit.  Middle notes: suede flower, vanilla orchid and wild passing flower.  Base notes: Madagascar vanilla, Haitian vetiver, white musk, and amber. 

Red Door


Red Door by Elizabeth Arden (1989)
is warm and sophisticated.  The jasmine is gummy, with a banana-like sweetness while ylang-ylang adds a light, almost whimsical twist.  Orange blossom and vetiver are sharp.  It’s a very early 1990’s/late 80’s scent – fruity florals that are round, bright and a bit loud.

Top notes: ylang-ylang and red rose.  Middle notes: orchid, jasmine, lily-of-the valley, orange blossom, wild violet and freesia.  Base notes: honey, sandalwood and vetiver.


Today, the man I’ve been married to is driving across the country with our car.  He thought driving our car himself would save us a lot of money…  I commend him, even though I haven’t been entirely sure it is/was a good idea.

Anyway, leaving me with our son alone until Wednesday has left me asking myself some tough questions.  Because of how draining our marriage has been I often feel a bit distant and that has sadly affected how close I am to our son…  It’s an awful feeling.  And he’s an amazing kid…  Thankfully he’s not very old…

See, I’m not one of those women who are just naturally into babies and children.  I value kids immensely but…  I didn’t like being a kid and  after having to be a little adult a lot as a child, I just…  it’s not some yippy skippy dippy thing to me (God bless those of you who are like that – you guys are awesome).   I know I’m unbelievably blessed to have my son and I cannot express how much I love him but I just feel so tired.  And part of that is actually physically being tired (I have hypothyroidism) but a lot of it is in my head I think…  A person can emotionally push themselves only so far before they start to rebel in one way or another.   I hope I can figure out how to bring myself to be more emotionally present with my son.  He’s such a great little person…

Ah life…  🙂

Giorgio Beverly Hills

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The original Giorgio Beverly Hills is suprisingly chypre like (Giorgio Beverly Hills 1981) with a deep, green freshness at first.  It’s luxurious, floral, a bit overwhelming and heavy and sadly doesn’t work the best with my chemistry at first.  However, as it progresses and becomes slightly powdery it changes and turns into a very lovely fragrance with tons of sillage.  It’s sexy in a very 1980’s way but still demure.  It brings images of shoulder pads, heavy make-up and pastel colors to mind.

By the drydown it mellows a bit and becomes shimmery, creamy but still a little Earthy with a green vibe that feels straight from the 1970’s (1981, when it debuted, is still the early 80’s of course).   It’s even slightly spicy in the drydown.  The original Giorgio Beverly Hills is a very multi dimensional beautiful fragrance (if you can find it).

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However, of course, the original is no longer being made as Avon, for about $165 million dollars in 1987, purchased it from Giorgio Beverly Hills and eventually the rights to the fragrance were transfered to Elizabeth Arden. The Elizabeth Arden version, the current formulation, and the original are almost two different scents.  In my humble opinion the older is better for most of the duration but they become the most similar in the late drydown and that’s when the newer version is the best. The newer version gains a bit of depth and a softness in the late drydown and by then the older is more of a genial floral chypre (as described above).

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For the majority of the time on the skin the newer version has more emphasis on tuberose and carnation.  It’s sweeter, shrill, sharp, and while my chemistry tolerates it better at first than the original it’s a rather unpleasant foamy carnation. The original eventually turns into something grand while the newer version just fusses around in mediocrity on the skin (I still like it though) until the very end.  However, again, in the late drydown it does become very light and almost clean and crystalline.  It’s pretty but not beautiful as it lacks the amount of depth, and punch of the original along with the ability to bloom on the skin into a well balanced (albeit heavy) bouquet.


Last night I watched two movies.  I watched “The Notebook” and “Roman Holiday.”   And I was reminded why I adore “Roman Holiday,” and why I both loathe and admire “The Notebook.”   But, the thing is, aside from being cloying and cheesy (please don’t hate me) I actually appreciate the message “The Notebook” sends about love more than “Roman Holiday.”  As annoying as the Nicholas Sparks movie is, it has more hope and I think that that’s both truly scary and important.

There are actual couples in this world who are as fortunate and happy as stars of the Sparks film, and I think that it’s easy to assume otherwise.  I think it’s really rare and so many things have to align for it to happen that it’s hard to believe it exists…  But it exists.  And that’s scary, because if a person believes that people can actually be that happy with each other life becomes both infinitely better and worse.  You might reach the moon, but most will never leave the trees… sadly.

And yet, I think that when you stop to ponder how impossible everything is and how “lucky” people often are in so many countless ways, it sort of points to the existence of God.  And it illuminates how many of us have our own miracles to be grateful for…

For example, when we communicate with people (in any way) we take so many chances.  Don’t we?  And I don’t mean the chance of ultimately getting hurt ourselves, I mean we take chances of hurting other people in small or possibly profound ways.  And yet, so often people actually have meaningful, life-long friendships.  It’s amazing…  And even when people do get hurt, there’s often a chance that, if we’re “lucky” we can fix it…

And, as a rather light aside, I hope that someday I’ll be lucky enough to find a haircut that flatters my face even half as much as Audrey Hepburn’s did in “Roman Holiday…”


Until tomorrow…


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Sunflowers (even though actual sunflowers don’t have a smell) by Elizabeth Arden (Elizabeth Arden 1993) is an ozonic floral fragrance with a demure breezy sensibility. There’s a dominant note of melon that is inviting and fresh throughout and a warm, but still upbeat base of cedar, amber, musk and sandalwood.  It’s one of my favorite scents, if only because it is so perfectly floral and bright with a light fruity sweetness.

Top notes: bergamot, lemon, rosewood, orange blossom, melon and peach.  Middle Notes: osmanthus, cyclamen, orris root jasmine and rose.  Base notes: sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss, cedar.

I’m feeling a little quiet today, so I’ll leave you with these recent photos.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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My son and me! 🙂

Until tomorrow. 🙂


“I stay up too late
Got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say
That’s what people say

I go on too many dates
But I can’t make them stay
At least that’s what people say
That’s what people say

But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music
In my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright

Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off

Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, Shake it off…”

-From Taylor Swift, Shake it Off

I love this song.  Seriously.  I do.

At first I hated it, and then yesterday I was watching CNN and they did a story about how Taylor Swift has sold an enormous amount of records and is actually a very savvy businesswoman. During this segment they were showing Shake it Off in the background.  I think it was at 0:46 in the song when a dancer twists and kicks in the air with gloriously poignant elegance and emotion that it struck me that I really, truly, deeply like this song (with the exception of the twerky dancing in a few shots*).  A lot (with a few exceptions*).  Ok, I actually love it*

It’s odd, because I sincerely thought this song was unoriginal, juvenile and reminiscent of a Gap commercial from the late 1990’s when I first saw it.  But then, somewhere between then and yesterday I have come to think that Taylor is a genius and that this song is fantastic* (this coming from someone who’s favorite composer is Ralph Vaughan Williams).  How did that happen?  Are there subliminal messages in this song?   Or, is it actually brilliant in it’s own way?  Does it take time to “get?”  Is that possible?  Perhaps it is…

Just think about the lyrics. They’re actually quite deep in their own right.  And, her attitude in the song is so confident and self-accepting that it’s a bit inspiring.  It’s like she’s sending a message to us: “I’m me.  Take or leave it, but I’m actually pretty fabulous and you actually are too.  So, just shake it off and be your amazing self…”   All that with a very catchy, upbeat tune, and Taylor’s blithe frame moving with a sharp grace and wit to emphasize her meaning.

Anyway, a while ago my husband and I bought a bottle of Taylor Swift’s fragrance, Wonderstruck (Elizabeth Arden 2011) at Target.  It was on clearance and we bought it as a joke. I thought it would be a funny thing to put on this blog.  Well, Ms. Swift had the last laugh again because I like Wonderstruck…

Wonderstruck, eau de parfum spray

Wonderstruck, eau de parfum spray


Ok.  So it’s a little cheap smelling, to be perfectly honest, but it’s also quite pleasant with it’s fruity, floral, vanilla sweetness.  Sure it’s a mainstream gourmand perfume, but it’s so warm, cheerful and honestly pretty that I would be lying for the sake of pretension if I didn’t admit that I enjoy wearing it (and other gourmands).

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I wore Wonderstruck today and listened to “Shake it Off” over and over again, and I’m left wondering why we have to hate Taylor.  Honestly, I would love to meet her in person someday to see if she’s actually as intelligent and nice as her image.  I would find it unsurprising if she’s actually a jerk, sadly, but it would be awesome if she’s not totally fake.  It would mean that she might be singing more than just words, which would make her much cooler and this song a lot more valuable and lovely….