Organza

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Organza (Givenchy 1996) starts with a powdery creaminess that’s rich and complex becoming increasingly sweet as it continues.  Organza is a fluid fragrance.  It’s syrupy and smooth like velvet.  Among the wild florals the tuberose is particularly velvety.  Organza is a bit like sticking your nose in a bouquet of fresh flowers.  It’s lovely.

Top notes: gardenia, African orange flower, nutmeg, green notes, and bergamot.  Middle notes: walnut, iris, jasmine, tuberose, honeysuckle, and peony.  Base notes: guaiac wood, woodsy notes, amber, Virginia cedar, and vanilla.  

Well, today, as last Wednesday, I don’t have a story of the month to present.  I will next week though…

It was a pleasant day.  It was rainy and mild today when I went for a walk to get some espresso…  I’m enjoying the weather out here in Seattle. It’s a bit dreamy.

More tomorrow…  🙂

Amarige

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Sweet, juicy and opulent fruit notes laced with florals open Anarige (Givenchy 1991).  It’s rich, complex, feminine and light.  And somehow in the mix of proud fruity florals with the cedar, musk, sandalwood and vanilla a bit of an olfactory paradox emerges – bold yet gentle and quiet but outspoken.  This is a particularly becoming fragrance.

Top notes: peach, plum, orange, mandarin, rosewood and neroli.  Middle notes: mimosa, neroli, tuberose, gardenia, acacia and black currant.   Base notes: musk, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, Tonka bean and cedar.

Summer Breezes: Part IV of IV

The next day at work starts off decently enough.  I receive a text message from Sarah early in the morning saying that she’s decided to take the rest of the summer off and go into treatment.  I’m extremely relieved.

Meghan shows up for work without a trace of anything showing from the night before, matter of fact she’s there before I am.  I consider asking her about what happened but she seems to be avoiding me.

Aside from the fact that our supervisor is missing, everything is going as usual.  We’re all painting one rather large room with the windows open. The sun shines in gloriously and everything is bright and yet mellow.  I miss Sarah.

“I miss Sarah,”  says Justin.  I turn around and say that I do too.

“Yeah.  She’s cool.  Where is she anyway?”  Trevor asks genuinely.

I don’t say a word.  I just keep painting.

“Hey, did you get that text message I sent you last night about my fantasy football league for this fall?”  Justin asks Trevor.

“Yeah, I was just busy last night.”  Trevor stands up and stretches.  “My girlfriend and I went out to the free concert over at Brooks College in Wilton.”

“Oh yeah?  How was that?”

“It was pretty good…”  I hear the two guys exchange snickers and I turn around to see them smiling at each other like they have a secret joke.

“Nice man.  Nice.”  Justin is smiling slyly.

“Well, what can I say?  I’m irresistible.” Trevor jokes with a sly smile in response.

I look over at Meghan and she looks awkwardly away.  Then I stare at the wall covered in wet paint in front of me.  The paint drips and smears.  It smells bad.  I place my roller down and walk into the rooms down the hall with the windows open.  I lay on the hardwood floor in the quiet and stare up at the ceiling.  I breath deeply.  In and out.  In and out.

“Hey.  Why are you in here alone?”  Trevor walks in the room and sits down next to me.  I have no idea what to say to him, but I try to be polite and not assume anything.

“I’m just thinking.”  I sit up and smile.

He lays back on the ground and says, “Hey, don’t let me get you up.”  Then he stretches out and sighs rather dramatically.

I remain sitting.  Silence.  Then I stand up and am walking out the door when Justin walks in instead and I’m trapped.

“Hey guys.  Whatcha doing in here?” Justin asks playfully.

“Well I was laying down.”  Trevor answers.  “I guess Ingrid was getting up to leave.”  He looks at me and says, “Ingrid, you should stay.”

I stand still for a second in response.  I don’t know what to do.

“Ok.  Whatevs…  I’m so bored today.”  Justin announces pleasantly before leaving the room.

“You seem serious more than even you usually are today, Ingrid,”  Trevor says sitting up.  Then he looks at me for another second before saying, “You know your face looks really pretty without makeup.”  He gets up, walks over and stands in front of me for a second and then touches my cheek with his fingers.  “I was right, you really aren’t wearing any makeup are you?”  He grabs my chin and pinching it slightly while staring at my lips.  “Do you ever wear lipstick?  I feel like it would look really nice on your lips.”  Then he looks up and into my eyes, still holding my chin with his fingers and staring for a long moment.  For a few seconds I’m passionately taken up with the way he looks at me, the way he touches my face, but then I feel something close to hatred instead.   He could hurt so many people and he doesn’t seem to care.  But I do.  Damn but I do.  He seems stupid, selfish and foolish all at once.  How dare he fill me with such passion when it seems it can only lead to even more pain than I already feel.  And, more pain for him too, but I am, sadly, more focused on my own suffering.  I’m enraged, but I stand still and breathe quietly, look down at the ground and away from him. Then I walk away.

“Thank you.  I’ll consider your suggestion,”  I say somewhat coldly as I walk out the door.

At noon we are all excused on a lunch break.  Meghan seems to disappear somewhere.  I haven’t talked to her all morning. I take my lunch and walk in the backyard near the tree.  Sitting down I take out my sandwich and take a bite. Thankfully, today I brought a book with me.  I enjoy the solitude of the moment before getting up to go inside again. Justin walks out just as I’m heading in and is sipping a can of soda.  We exchange pleasantries.

I walk in the house we’re painting and find Trevor laying on the floor reading a book as well.  I notice that he’s very engrossed in his book too.  He seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself.  I walk over to the door near him quietly.  He hasn’t seen me and then with all the strength I can muster I slam the door as hard as possible.  I smile.

Later that day we’re all in separate rooms and I sneak up behind Trevor and find his cell phone resting with his sweatshirt. I take the phone and without him noticing walk into the kitchen holding it.  When I get in the kitchen I open the refrigerator and find a bag of cheese curds.   Smiling to myself, I place the phone in with the cheese curds.  I put the cheese curds back in the refrigerator.  And, it suddenly occurs to me that I just ruined someone’s bag of cheese curds.  I feel bad, but I’m still laughing quietly with a frightening amount of glee.

I walk over to the wall by the entryway and start sanding.  For about a half an hour it’s pretty peaceful around the house. We all are in separate places, sanding, painting, spackling.  Brian, our supervisor has shown up and is apparently on his way over to the site.  Apparently he had been sick and he wants to come in today to try to make up for lost time, even if it’s just for an hour or two.  Mike called Justin to tell everyone.  We’re all expecting him to show up any minute.

At about three in the afternoon, the door opens and in walks Brian.  He seems a bit out of breath and after closing the door behind himself he greets me and starts friendly conversation.

“Hey, Ingrid.  Wasn’t it Ingrid?”  He looks disheveled but sincere, and he finally seems to have caught his breath.

“Yes, it’s Ingrid.”  I smile in his general direction.  He begins walking around the house with his clipboard and a pen.  And then we all stop and hear the rather loud sound of a frog, “Ribbet. ribbet.”

Meghan walks in the room just as the sound comes again, “ribbet, ribbet.”   We all look at each other with confused expressions on our faces.  Brian looks particularly confused and actually somewhat alarmed.  He raises his hands and says with some intensity, “Ok.  Everyone, be quiet.”

“Ribbet, ribbet.”    The rather loud frog sound seems to be coming from the refrigerator.  All of our heads turn towards the refrigerator at an oddly synchronized time, and just as Justin walks in the room Meghan squeals and yells with a jump back, “There’s a frog in the refrigerator!”   We all look at each other again and I walk over to the fridge, suddenly becoming aware of what could be happening and that there is in fact, not an actual frog in the refrigerator, but a phone.  A phone making frog sounds from a bag of soft, squishy, cheese.

“Wait, if there’s a frog in there, I should be the one to get it out,”  Justin says firmly.   He walks over to me and grabs the door of the refrigerator before I can, but not before Brian screams, “Stop!  Freeze!”

We all look startled in Brian’s direction.  His eyes are ablaze as he stares at the refrigerator with intense anxiety and some sort of rage.  “I know what this is.  Oh I know what this is.”  He walks over the refrigerator and stands in front of the refrigerator silently.  “My wife put that frog in the fridge.  She hates me.”  He looks almost frozen in fear.

“Isn’t his wife dead,”  Justin whispers to Meghan who answers, “I think so?”

Trevor walks in just as another, “ribbet, ribbet”  emerges from the fridge.  “What’s going on guys?!”  Trevor asks before walking over the fridge as a final, “ribbet, ribbet”  is heard.   “What the hell?!  That’s my phone.”

“No, it’s a frog.  A frog my wife put in the fridge to torture me.  She hates me.”  Brian, now shaking, turns, and runs out the door, slamming it behind him.

“What?!  What the hell?”  Trevor looks stunned before declaring, “Somebody call my phone!”

Justin calls Trevor’s phone.  We all stand there waiting to hear the frog.  “Ribbet , ribbet.”

Trevor raises his hand and points to the fridge, then opens the door.  “Ribbet, ribbet.”  We all stare in the fridge. “Ribbet, ribbet.”  Trevor reaches in, and grabs the cheese curds, staring at them with a look of horror, intrigue and anger.  He rips open the bag and pulls out his phone.  He wrinkles his face and as he exclaims, “What the…”  I look over at Justin and Meghan who both seem to be more intrigued than anything else.

“Who did this to my phone?  Why is my phone in a bag of cheese?”  He suddenly seems totally confused more than anything else.

I feel guilty.  “Does it still work?”  I ask.

He examines it and then with a look of knowing glances up at me.  He looks sad suddenly and then places his phone on the counter before silently walking off.  I walk over to his phone and pick it up.  I examine it to see if it works. Everyone else is talking in the background, but I can’t hear what they’re saying.  I look at the screen shot on the phone.  It’s a photo of a kitten.  I look over at him now and see that he still seems sad.  And, despite still feeling justified, I also feel terrible.

On the way out the door that day we get a call from Mike.  Apparently we’ll be assigned a new supervisor because Brian officially quit working.  I feel unbelievably bad.

Meghan and Justin leave together.  She needs a ride to her car.  I wonder how she explained it to him…   Trevor walks silently next to me for almost a block before he says with a lot of emotion, “Why are you so mean to me?”  I look over at him finally. His eyes are filled with tears.  They seem quite real.

“I’m sorry.”  I don’t know what else to say right away.  “I tend to be judgemental.  And I make an ass of myself sometimes I suppose.  I’m sorry.”

He stops walking and stares at me for a second, trying to register my words.  “I think I know what you’re really trying to say, Ingrid.  I really do.”    He breathes deeply then looks off to the side.

“You know, you’re probably right about things a lot of the time when it comes to people.  But you shouldn’t assume that you’re always right.”

“I don’t.  Not really.  But…  I…”

“Well, it might be advisable for you to be more careful how you dole out your brand of justice.”

“I know.  I’m not God.  I’m sorry…   I’m sorry about your phone.  Is it ok?”  He nods silently, staring at the ground in response.  Then he shrugs, looks up and smiles and without a trace of judgement says.  “I hope Brian is ok.  You should really be more concerned about him.”

“I know.  I am actually.”

Trevor reaches out, gives me a friendly hug and then says, “See you tomorrow.  Stay away from my phone.”

“I won’t go near it.”  Feeling a bit dissatisfied, but better regardless, I nod and walk off.

That night I order pizza and eat it by myself when I get a call from Sarah.  We trade stories.  “What?  You put that cute guy’s phone in a bag of cheese curds?!”  She’s laughing.  “That’s awesome!  If I ever make you that mad please don’t tell me.  That’s just awesome.”

—–

Well…  last night we slept in our new apartment.  I’m satisfied with it and as I say that I feel a bit guilty because it’s a nice place and I realize how fortunate I am to have a home at all.  So many people in this world do not…  I’m just still missing our place back in St. Paul.  I’m sorry if you’re tired of reading that. 🙂

The city of Seattle and the Puget Sound are, as I said, really truly lovely…  The new shining glass buildings, the energy of the people, the steep hills and the dramatic sky are all captivating.  But it’s not St. Paul…  🙂  Beautiful city though..

Le De

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Le De is fresh, elegant and strong but unassuming (Givenchy 1957).  The ethereal beauty of an assertive tarragon, a slightly quieter but still present coriander, mandarin orange, brazilian rosewood and orris root feels formal but down to earth.  Floral notes lace about and bring a clear beauty, while warm base notes keep the scent mellow and gentle.  This is one of those rare fragrances that I think most people would agree is appropriate for almost any occasion.  And the drydown is surprisingly complex and poignant.  Le De is an unusual beauty…

Top notes: coriander, mandarin orange, tarragon, bergamot and brazilian rosewood.  Middle notes: carnation, lilac, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose.  Base notes: sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss and guaiac wood.
Summer Breezes: Part II of IV

Sarah and I walk around the neighborhood at lunch.  We talk about what she is going to do.

“You need to tell your parents.”

“I’m scared to.”

I knew that Sarah had experienced serious, life-threatening medical problems due to her drug use, even at 19…  I didn’t want her to die.  And, she had confided in me.

“If you don’t tell your parents I will,” I announced matter of factly.

She burst out laughing.  At first I thought she was angry, but then I realized that she was genuinely amused.

“I’m sorry, but I will.  I really think they should know.” I tried to remain calm, but resolute.

She drew her face back into a sort of genuine seriousness.  “I will.  I’m just scared. But,” and her gaze drifted off into some far off place where she kept her heart, “I’m just amazed that someone would care enough to threaten to tell them.”  Then she refocused back into the present and looked a slight bit agitated as she said, “I’m also a bit scared of you now.”  She laughed and then settled into a smile.

I didn’t drop the conversation until Sarah promised she would tell her parents.  I hoped she actually would.  I didn’t really know them.

The afternoon is slow.  Our new supervisor is mostly keeping to himself after his rather dramatic introduction earlier that day.  Sarah and Meghan are painting in a bedroom listening to a music station on Pandora.  Justin is by himself in the living room painting. Trevor is in the hallway sanding and I’m in a bathroom spackling.

The door to the bathroom opens.  I look in the mirror to see who it is and discover that it’s Trevor.  His frame fills the half-open door.

“Hey, Trevor.”  I try to sound friendly.

“Hey.”  He walks through the door and closes it behind him.  Then he sits down on the bathroom floor, stretches out his legs, rests his head against the wall, shuts his eyes and breathes deeply.  “How’s it going in here?’

“Ok.”  Again, I try to sound friendly.  “I’m almost finished spackling this entire bathroom.”

He opens his eyes and looks around. “Yeah, this looks pretty good.  You missed one hole above the sink though.”  He raises his hand and points toward the hole.  I move toward the sink with my bucket of spackle.  He rises and stands quite close to me, resting against a wall next to the sink.

“So, do you have a boyfriend?”

“No. You have a girlfriend.  Right?”

“Yes.  I do.”  His posture shifts and he stares blankly in the direction of the shower.  “Emily.”

“How is that going?”

“Good. Good…”  He sounds quite disingenuously nonchalant.  He moves over to the wall on the other side of the bathroom, near the window.  “We met at a party.  I walked up to her and told her that she looked like she was full of light but that she was hiding inside of herself.”

“What a beautiful thing to say.”

He looks pensive for moment before responding.  “I don’t know though.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, to me, life is all about knowing other people as much as you can.  And that’s the problem.  When you’re with someone you can’t really get to know other people.”  His voice trails off as he finds my eyes with his and proceeds to give me a smouldering glare.

I find his rich, sensuous eyes rather penetrating, but I am also repulsed by it.  How dare he flirt with me when he has a girlfriend.  If she only knew.  I find myself experiencing an odd combination of longing and righteous anger.  I turn away from him entirely, and quite coldly.

“That must be really difficult for you.  You poor thing,” I say in a mocking tone.

I can feel his eyes as they stare at me and I’m quite sure he senses my anger.  I suspect he knows from where it derives.

“Well, it is, but at the same time,”  he closes in on me, standing behind me as he continues, “I feel like kind of a slut sometimes.”

“Oh really?  How so?”  Taken aback by his candor, I turn to face him briefly, looking up at his face as I wait for a response.

“Well, when you’ve been with as many people as I have you sort of start to feel like a slut.”  He looks me in the eyes confrontationally with a mixture of self-loathing and genuine angst.  Then, he looks down and it seems as though he might start to cry.  I’m a bit shocked. I falter for a moment.

“But isn’t it different for a guy?  Don’t you feel cool or something?” I try to find words to make him feel better.  I wasn’t trying to make him cry.

Trevor’s body seems to go into a half collapse as he rests languidly against the door frame, “No, it’s actually not…  Not for me anyway.   I know people say that it’s good for a man to be experienced, but really, you just feel kind of…  cheap and dirty.”  His beautifully self-aware eyes are covered with an ironic sadness.

“I’m sorry Trevor.”  He looks down at his feet for almost a minute silently.

“Yeah,” he suddenly says, never looking up, and with a sigh as he opens the door to leave.  “I’m going to go check on Justin.”

Later that day I walk down the street toward home after the day is over when Trevor starts trailing behind me.  He comes up next to me and as we’re walking together he peels off his paint covered shirt.  I wonder if it’s just me or if he’s trying to start something again.  I’m confused.

We talk casually and walk for about five minutes before Meghan runs up behind us and joins our conversation.  It’s decided that Meghan and I are going to go out for drinks at a local bar that evening.   Both of us have never tried vodka and we decide to go have cocktails and discuss our lives in imitation of the popular show at the time, “Sex and The City.”

“Just be careful,” says Trevor.

“What do you mean?”

“If a guy tries to give you a drink don’t accept it and think that he won’t expect something.”  He looks at me and with a look that seems to resemble lust and takes in my entire face, before adding, “Have fun, but just be careful.”

“Good advice,”  I say as dryly as possible, refusing to finally meet his glances.

Trevor walks away from us in the direction of his house two blocks away and Meghan and I head toward my house where we’ll get dressed for our night out.  “You know, our new boss Brian did the weirdest thing today.”  Meghan sounds a little disturbed.

“What happened?”

“He told me that his ex-wife, who hates him apparently, haunts him in his sleep.”

“What?”

“Yeah, he said that she’ll sometimes wake up the dog in the middle of the night and he barks for hours.  And then sometimes she tickles his face until he wakes up too.”

“Wait.  She’s dead?”

“Well, I think so.”

“So is she dead or not?”

“Yes. She’s dead…”  Meghan is filled with a sort of compassion.

“And he was being serious?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Huh.  That’s…  interesting.”

“Yes.”

“I hope he’s ok.”

“I hope so too.”

“Hey, not to change the subject, but should we order a pizza before we go out?”

“That sounds like a marvelous idea.”

Ysatis

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Sweet aldehydes and powdery floral create a scent almost reminiscent of root beer in Ysatis (Givenchy 1984).  Notes of coconut, rosewood and tuberose are sensual and prominent among a strong galbanum, vetiver, sandalwood and civet. It was created by Domonique Ropion in 1984.

Top notes: citrus, ylang-ylang, galbanum, coconut, rose wood, and aldehydes.  Middle notes: jasmine, rose, iris, tuberose and narcissus. Base notes: musk, amber, vanilla, vetiver, patchouli, sandal wood and civet.

Eau De Givenchy

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Eau De Givenchy (Givenchy 1980) is a green, slightly ascerbic floral fragrance.  It’s very elegant with clear yet gentle edges.  One can almost smell something that’s reminiscent of damp buildings on a rainy day.  Eau De Givenchy is soft and particularly airy in the drydown.

The top notes are listed as: grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, mint and red fruit.  The middle notes are ylang-ylang, honeysuckle, jasmine, narcissus, tuberose, lily-of-the-valley, rose, cyclamen and orris root.  Base notes are sandalwood, musk, cedar and oakmoss.

And, my book of the month is dead for the rest of April.  It’s been a particularly stresseful last few weeks (as I’ve said before) and I thank God, kombucha and hot lemon water that I didn’t become as sick as I could have been.  So, I’ll revive that next month…

I’m sorry (this is also an usually short post and I’m sorry for that too).  🙂

I sincerely hope that your week has been pleasant so far…

L’Interdit

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L’Interdit was created for Audrey Hepburn by Francis Fabron for Givenchy (Givenchy 1957). It has sharp aldehydes, and it reminds me ever so slightly of Chamade, which I find interesting since I believe Hepburn also favored Chamade (some compare it to Chanel No. 5 too).

It opens very powdery, tany with citron aldehydes.  L’Interdit sparkles with lovely femininity and grace warming into an elegant glow until it closes with a soft vetiver drydown.  The aldehydes remain front and center the entire time, although I also smell strong notes of sandalwood, amber, vetiver, tonka bean and benzoin.  It’s a gorgeous scent.   Longetivity and sillage are moderate (on me at least).

Top notes are aldehydes, spices, mandarin orange, peach, bergamot and wild strawberry; middle notes are iris, violet, narcissus, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose; base notes are sandalwood, amber, musk, benzoin, vetiver and tonka bean.

Since next Saturday is Valentine’s Day I’ll be featuring romance-related scents all week.  Or at least fragrances I associate with love and romance…

Until tomorrow. 🙂

Dahlia Noir

Dahlia Noir (Givenchy 2011) is a clean surface of sweet florals that descends into a powdery, “dark” heart.  It’s a pretty scent.  It’s very modern and very pleasing.

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According to Frangrantica it is touted as a “dangerous” fragrance – a, “…’Fatal Flower’ of unreal and imaginative composition for mysterious and fascinating women.”  But, I’m not sure that it lives up to that amount of intrigue, and actually the thing is, it’s not edgy at all.  The “mystery” of the scent, or the “darkness,” seems more like dramatic pretense, to be honest, than something romantic and menacing.  🙂  It’s an olfactory act, and years from now it will smell like that (it already does)- the same way that certain manners of speech from the past seem comical and fake now but in the past seemed cool, tough or attractive.

None-the-less, it is pretty… And I would wear it again.

Before wearing a sample of Dahlia Noir, I used a sample of Dr. Hauschka’s Regenerative Body Cream.  It was more than ok, but not fantastic.

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Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Serum, Regenerating Day Cream, and a sample of Regenerating Body Moisturizer

It was very quickly absorbed, and left my skin quite soft and supple for a long time.  It also had a creamy, but not heavy richness. It was nice. The only word of caution I would offer is that it had a slightly waxy, lemony scent, which doesn’t particularly linger on the skin for long, but is initially noticeable.  I would use this product again, but I might be careful not to use it with other scents that could be affected by the waxy lemon quality.

On a related note, I really appreciate Dr. Hauschka as a brand, because I feel that many of their products  really work and are healthy to use on a regular basis.  Dr. Hauschka also helped clear up my skin.

I always had trouble with acne, but then I discovered the Clarifying Day Oil (formally Normalizing Day Oil), and the Hauschka method of only using moisturizers during the day.  My skin was changed.  Then, I tried just washing my face with water and exfoliating it periodically with baking soda, and in combination with the Dr. Hauschka products and regimen my skin is now almost constantly clear (with the exception of a few blackheads that require a steaming and a mask) and only rarely do I have any sort of break-out (when I do it’s generally related to extreme stress or illness and it’s a limited breakout).

Anyway, now I use the regenerative serum and day cream instead of the clarifying oil, but my skin is still as clear as before. I really do recommend Dr. Hauschka products (No one is paying me to say that).

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The start of Christmas deocrations… grey knit shirt by Mossimo, olive green leather belt by Ellen Tracy, vintage orange skirt, Banana Republic brown tights, dark brown Delman leather boots, vintage cobalt blue glass bead pendant

We put up our Christmas Tree this weekend. 🙂  I know it’s early, but it’s nice to have cheeful lights on dark winter evenings.  🙂

Until Wednesday.  🙂