Most Precious

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Evyan Most Precious  (Evyan 1958) is a truly pretty fragrance.  It starts a bit reminiscent of vintage Evyan White Shoulders with jasmine and lily-of-the-valley, but it’s more airy, intensely ethereal, and melancholy, with strong notes of heliotrope, gardenia and rose.  It actually reminds me a bit of Hové Heliotrope with just how deep and sincere the heliotrop note is…

This is probably one of the prettiest scents I’ve ever smelled, and yes, I know I gush about more than a few fragrances here and there…  But seriously, Most Precious really is a bit magical, especially with that lyrical base note of coumarin tethering the floating florals above.  It’s the olfactory equivalent of the perfect, mint condition vintage day dress from the 1950’s that fits like an elegant glove. You could never find anything exactly like this nowadays and that’s a shame.

Notes of: tarragon, heliotrope, anise oil, lemon, lily-of-the-valley, ylang ylang, jasmine, orange flower, gardenia, rose, tonka, and coumarin.

Part II: My Reunion is in June

I’m heading back to Indianapolis this weekend by car.  I was going to fly there, but I thought it could be fun to drive.  The scenery between Des Moines and Indianapolis can be pretty in a sort of Midwestern, sunlight and farms sort of way.

I’ve already packed almost everything in my car that I need, including several mix cds.  Do people still make those?  I do.

Tonight I’ve decided to have coffee with my best friend Andrea.  We always meet at the Grounds Beneath Us Coffee Shop on Excalibur Blvd. near the big shopping center.  It’s very Hipster chic. Most of the time we manage to find a nice quiet table though, and they have great cheap coffee.

As Andrea walks in the door I’m just sitting down at a table and starting to take a few sips of my steaming hot coffee (no sugar lots of cream).  She sees me, waves silently and I wave back.  Thankfully the line is short and we quickly say hello as she sits down with her usual decaf espresso.

“So, how has your week been?” She starts. I notice randomly that she’s wearing a really cute silver ring that looks like a goldfish.  Andrea has such a fashion forward but quirky sensibility.

“Ok.  I’m extremely nervous about this weekend, but I’m ok.”  I rub my hands into my temples and feel my stomach twirl in butterflies as I speak.  “How has your week been?”

“Really great actually.”  She sounds like she means this, but her tone is off.  It almost sounds sarcastic. I wonder why.

“Really?  How so?”

“I just feel like I’ve been unusually productive.  I don’t know what’s going on.”  She looks confused.

“Hmm…”  I say empathetically.

“I mean, Spencer has been gone the entire week, and I wonder if that’s part of it.”  She’s shaking her entire body with the movement of her one leg now, as it’s crossed over the other.  She looks off into the distance with an expression of annoyance – lips pressed sharply together.

“Hmm…”  I add an upward twist at the end of my hmm this time to show that I’m intrigued.

“Yeah.  I mean, he’s constantly trying to talk with me and sometimes I just want him to go away.  Like the other day he was telling me about this barbecue he had over the weekend.  He literally went on for two hours about how much the meat cost, how heavy it was to carry it all into his car and how much he had to buy to make sure he didn’t run out.” We start laughing together at this.  “It was so annoying.”  I smile.  “I mean, I was like, dude I really don’t want to hear your stupid story about meat.” 

“He’s so into you,”  I say.

“Yeah…”  Her voice trails off.  She doesn’t look pleased.

I wonder if she has any idea what it feels like to be Spencer.  I know him.  He’s actually a nice guy. He’s a bit awkward maybe, but I know he means well.  And I know how much he cares about her.  He’s told me many times.  I even know where he would take her on a first date.  He has dreams of being with Andrea.  I honestly think he’s falling in love with her.

The thing is, Andrea is a very charming person, and she’s gorgeous and she’s brilliant.  She is my best friend. And, I understand how difficult it could be to know what to do with a guy like Spencer, because I don’t think she wants to hurt him.  That’s not like Andrea…  Nonetheless, I wish for just a few minutes I could be in her shoes and have to tell a decent guy like Spencer no, or maybe I wouldn’t even say no.   Spencer has delightful eyes. I’ve noticed.

So, you’re going to go see Ryan.” Andrea says the name Ryan very slowly with comical emphasis.  It makes me blush and smile.

“Well, hopefully,” I bashfully try to downplay it.  “He probably won’t even remember me.”  I stare down at the table.

Andrea grins and looks genuinely excited for me.

“I bet you’ll have a great time.  You just need to wear something scandalous.”  She winks at me teasingly and chuckles.

“Yeah.  Right,” I say sarcastically with a grin, but in truth I had considered it.  “Honestly, I’m really just hoping he’ll be there and we can talk for a few minutes and see where it goes.  I mean, I felt like there could have – and it’s probably crazy to even think this – been something kind of special between us.  He was really popular but he was really sweet too.  And smart.  Although, he didn’t know it back then…”

Andrea smiles, places her chin on her hand, sighs deeply and looks a little misty.  “I know what you mean. I’ve met a few of those too.”

And that was the moment, for whatever reason, when I began to wonder if I was headed for disaster, although I didn’t want to admit it to myself…

___

Yesterday I was in the sun for the first time in a long while.  It was nice.  Vitamin D3 is so good.

How has your week been shaping up so far?  🙂

White Shoulders

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Vintage White Shoulders by Evyan (Evyan 1945) is an intensely powdery, fruity, sweet floral.  It’s fresh, and in the vintage form is so much better than the current formulation.  It’s lovely.  The vintage version starts off with a blast of jasmine that’s fruity – reminiscent of bananas. Then comes the lush notes of lilac and lily-of-the-valley.  Eventually, it’s a shimmery green floral (although it’s considered a white floral actually) until the drydown when tuberose emerges with a gentle charm.

So, with excellent longevity, sillage and strong notes of aldehydes, peach, tuberose, lily, musk, oakmoss and lilac I would recommend purchasing vintage White Shoulders if you ever are so lucky as to find it.  You’ll be very pleased.

Top notes:  Green notes, aldehydes, bergamot, African Orange Flower, and peach.  Middle notes: gardenia, iris, jasmine, tuberose, lily-of-the-valley, lily, spices, and lilac.  Base notes: benzoin, amber, sandalwood, oakmoss, civetta and musk. 

Short story of the month:  My Reunion is in June

Part One:

Ten years ago I graduated from high school.  Those years have gone by extremely quickly.
After graduation I spent five years on my undergraduate degree.  And, of course, with a degree in social work, after graduation I pretty much had to finish my masters degree to find a good job, so I did.

I worked as a social worker for about three years in Indianapolis (where I’m from) before moving to Des Moines, Iowa where I live now.  When I first moved to Des Moines I was so lonely, but thankfully I met my best friend Andrea at my office. She’s awesome.

I feel like a person’s 20’s are the most anxious and yet thrilling years of your life.   Well, that is, speaking from the vantage point of 28 year old (so what do I know) and based on what people who are older tell me.

Anyhow, this year is my ten year high school reunion.  It’s in June.  And, I’ve decided to go because I feel like if I don’t I’ll be letting myself down.  I never went to my high school prom, or really any of the school dances and I regret it.  At the time I thought I was being a non-conformist, but looking back at it, I realize that I was just avoiding the fact that no one would have asked me, I didn’t know who to ask and I didn’t want to go alone.

I’m also sort of hoping to run into a guy I knew in high school named Ryan.  I had such a crush on him.  He was totally out of my league then, or so I thought.  I remember one time he asked me to help him with his chemistry homework (I was a total nerd) and I thought I might have a chance.  I was, of course, wrong.  It became very clear within the first half an hour that he saw me as a brain only, which was sort of heartbreaking actually, but I had fully anticipated it and didn’t take it the wrong way.

He called Christine Rosenthal up to him at one point and they made eyes at each other, kissed, poked each other and she giggled for a few minutes until she decided to leave.  Apparently they thought I had special “nerd vision” and was therefore blind to what they were doing…

Anyway, right after graduation Ryan ran into me by the big stairwell near the gymnasium and said, “Hey, Katie,” (short for Katherine) “…I just wanted to say thank you for helping me again.”  He seemed a bit bashful, looked down at the ground for a second with his stunning soft brown eyes and then said sweetly, “I really wish we had gotten to know each other better. You always seemed like a cool girl secretly.”  I was speechless.

“Yeah.  Me too.  That would have been great.”  I tried to sound nonchalant and relaxed.

He half smiled and half shrugged.  Our eyes met for a second – a second too long.  And then he smiled smoothly and with more finese than a teenage guy should ever have, said, “Have a great summer chica!”  He walked off calm and collected, leaving me standing wondering what to do with my arms.  How the heck did they suddenly become so weird feeling?

That was the last time that I saw Ryan.  And despite other boyfriends I’ve had (not that many), I’ve never forgotten that moment years and years ago now, when for a second I had the full attention of the one guy I had been gazing soulfully at for almost four years.  And, he seemed like he might even be a little, maybe a little, into me too.

So, three weeks from now, when I go back to Indiana and attend my high school ten year reunion, I’m sort of cautiously excited to see what might happen.  I’m feeling really anxious actually. I started about six months ago with trying to watch everything that I eat so I’ll look good.  I have a personal trainer who forces me to push my limits.  And, I’ve honestly never looked better in my life.  Seriously.  I was a late bloomer.  And yet strangely, all my preparation has only made me feel more nervous.  I barely recognize myself even though I’ve been working out and eating well for years now.  But I want to be ready…

_End of Part I_

And on a non-fictional, personal, real note…

I’m realizing this week that I need to learn to “listen to myself more.”  I am an optimist by nature and it’s hard for me give up on things.  I always see how they could work out.  And, sometimes this tendency comes in handy.  Matter of fact, it’s helped me through some extremely difficult times in life, but other times it’s created them.  So, the next time, no matter what, when I feel a gut sense that something is a bad idea and will only end badly I hope I’ll have the sense to stop and take a second. As unpopular as it is to be negative, sometimes what seems “negative” can actually just be being realistic. That’s not to say that I’m going to give up hope on things that I care about or dream of.  No.  However, I’m going to be smarter next time. Lesson learned.

I hope you’re having at least an ok week my dears.  🙂

White Shoulders

After feeling hurt last week I made a decision to further embrace my individuality.  I figured that if people were going to reject me for unknown reasons I might as well make sure I was happy with who they were rejecting.  So, I started analyzing myself to look for areas where I was compromising my true self in an attempt to appease others, and within the bounds of reason and decency, to adjust things a bit to be more honest.

One thought that came to me was in regard to my style of dress.  I do try to dress for myself, but perhaps not enough, and after some contemplation I realized that if I were to dress the way I really wanted that it would be a little bit different.  I would wear solid color cashmere and cotton (alternating for the season) ensembles with Hermès scarves or colorful jewelry.  That just sounds nice to me…

After reading a great post on fashionablylight.com with a link to an article in Elite Daily entitled, “The Science of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear the Same Thing Everyday” I was encouraged to go with my idea and be a bit minimalist in my approach to style.  So, yesterday I bought what will hopefully be some of the last clothes I will need to buy for years – Hermès scarves, other colorful accessories and simple one colored pieces…  Of course, I’ll probably keep wearing what I already own as well unless I decide to find my stuff another home.  I’m excited to see how it goes.

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I’ve been wearing White Shoulders this weekend.  It’s the drugstore contemporary version by Dana, not the original one by Evyan (Evyan 1943), but it’s still quite pretty.

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White Shoulders is a soapy, white floral with strong notes of both musk and lily-of-the-valley.  It reminds me a bit of Ambush, by Dana from the 1950’s. It has that upbeat, clean, but sensual floral bouquet.  It’s soft but not too soft.  It’s clean but not too clean.  It’s just really nice.   And, considering how relatively inexpensive it is today, it’s a treasure.

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Top notes are listed as: bergamot, aldehydes, green notes, African orange flower, and apricot.  Middles notes are: lily-of-the-valley, tuberose, spices, gardenia, lilac, jasmine, iris, and lily.  Base notes are: sandalwood, civet, musk, amber, oakmoss, and benzoin.