Maja by Myrurgia (Myrurgia 1921) is a powdery, rich oriental with a bit of spice at first and a lot spice in the drydown. The florals are bright, and although no leather notes are listed it’s hard not to describe this as a leathery scent.
The patchouli is muddy and the cloves and nutmeg are heated like a roaring 20’s jazz tune. And while the lavender, cool vetiver and citrus notes lend a certain respectability, this is not a scent for the faint of heart.
Notes: nutmeg, carnation, patchouli, cloves, vetiver, rose, geranium, citruses and lavender.
Summer Memories – Part I of IV
As famous poet James Rusell Lowell once wrote, “What is so rare as a day in June,” but I would add that a June night, or more accurately, a late June night is particularly captivating. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of evenings with my best freind Gracie Brewer. She’s 19 just like me and also still lives with her parents here in Caselton. Most girls my age here live with their family until they’re married or they move away.
Caselton is a harbor town nestled next to Lake Superior. Our town makes ships mostly. Although, some people in town have other occupations. There are two schools, a bank, and a library, a dentist, three churches, two pubs, a restaurant, a barber, a movie theater just opened, and there’s Lindburg’s Department Store on the north side of town. Oh, and there’s also a drugstore next to the doctor’s office. If you drive for about a mile just outside of town there are several farms and Gracie lives on one of those.
During the day I take care of my two yongest siblings, Emily who is ten and Frank who is eight. My other sister Louisa is fourteen and she’s studying during the day with a woman in town to become a seamstress. Louisa can sew better than our mother and our mother once won an award at the Minnesota State Fair for a dress she sewed for her wedding to our father.
When a movie theater first came to our town I was so excited. It caused such a commotion. My favorite movie starlet is Teresa Wright but I think Ingrid Bergman stunning too. Sometimes Louisa and I like to go to the theater on our own and sit and chew gum (the only place that’s proper to chew gum is in a dark movie theater) and talk about the sort of things sisters talk about. Louisa has become a good friend as she’s started growing into a lady.
Tonight though, tonight Gracie and I have decided to take a walk to the drugstore and buy two strawberry sodas and then walk down to the lake. It’s warm enough that we might even try wading in the water a little. Most times the water is too cold. It’s not like an ocean. It never warms up that much really. It’s too big to be warm like a normal size lake and too small to be like the sea. During the heat of the Summer that’s a delight though, because on most days the water cools things off considerably, especially when there’s a good breeze.
Tonight there are big blue clouds above, lit by a luminous moon and every once and a while the wind picks up and you can hear rustling tree limbs shaking about. It would be eery really, if it wasn’t for the moon and the warm summer air.
We decide to walk past the new Johnson mansion located on Pine Street near the Presbyterian church. It’s so glorious. Red brick triumphantly forms itself into peaks that are simply grand.
The sound of quick movement catches my attention and I look past Gracie and see Mrs. Archibald Johnson, Rosamund I think her first name is, running wildly across her lawn without any shoes on. Gracie notices now too.
Rosamund is a farily young woman, only twenty-one or twenty-two. She’s around our age almost I suppose. She was educated at a lady’s college near St. Louis where she’s from and her family is very wealthy with ties to old European aristocracy, or so I’ve been told. You can never sure about some things you hear because there’s more than one or two gossips in town who like to make stories more interesting than they are.
She’s a pretty girl, usually when you see her in town she looks immaculate. Her blond hair is in curls and she wears a lot of pink silk dresses. Most days she seems a bit aloof and detached from people. Tonight, as she’s racing about her lawn she seems like a different person. She’s wearing a bright red bathing suit and her hair is wildly strewn about, arms thrown above her head she screams loudly. It looks like she’s having a difficult time standing upright and she can’t seem to stand still.
Gracie and I pretend to be walking on the opposite side of the street just minding our business, not noticing a thing, but in reality we’re watching everything closely. Our heads are tilted with discretion and we walk, but slowly .
“Say, what’s her deal anyway?” Gracie quietly wonders out loud.
Rosamund suddenly trips, falls and stumbles back up again. She’s acting a bit odd, sort of like people do when they’re walking out of the bar on Third Street. I’m sure she’s drunk.
Then her husband comes into view. He’s the young, supposedly brilliant finacier, Archie Johnson, who works with Mr. Cook who owns the shipyard. Archie graduated from Dartmouth and was hired by Mr. Cook two years ago. According to most people in town, he’s not a very nice man most of the time, but he is good-looking. Matter of fact, I’m positive Gracie is sweet on him. She always points him out to me. Actually, I’m not entirely sure we aren’t walking past the Johnson mansion tonight just because she had hoped we would see him.
“Oh he’s a devil isn’t he?” Gracie whispers with restrained passion.
Archie is a tall, dark man and he does slightly resemble Rudolph Valentino, according to some people. Frankly, I don’t think he’s that great.
Archie throws Rosamund over his back and spins her around in a circle. She giggles and shrieks and then he follows this by placing her down firmly on her feet while simultaneously holding her up. He draws her close to him, enveloping her, and places a kiss on her mouth.
Then, Archie just walks off. Rosamund, with limbs limp follows Archie’s cool stroll back into the brightly lit mansion door with her longing eyes. He lights a cigarette as he enters, smoke trailing behind him until the door closes. Rosamund stands in the dimly lit space around her for a few seconds longer, staring blankly now and then walks, head down, slowly and with dull movement towards the same door Archie just entered only she stops a second and rests her bent head against the door before opening it. She kicks the door with her bare foot, and then grabs it seemingly out of pain. She seems to be crying a little before she finally opens the door and then Gracie and I are left outside on Pine Street alone.
“I think she was drunk,” I announce to Gracie to break the quiet, only slightly interrupted by the sound of crickets chirping.
“Well, she seemed like it. Didn’t she?”
“I suppose so. I’ve only seen a few drunk people in my life.”
“Well, I’ve seen them walking out of Simpson’s late at night when I’m walking back from the movie theater with Louisa and they look exactly like that.”
We walk a bit further, both thinking about what we had just seen. Neither Gracie nor I have ever had a serious beau and at 19 we feel a bit saddened by this. My mother says that I spend too much time at home and at the library. Seeing the dramatic display at the Johnson’s tonight was a bit thrilling and certainly fascinating to two young ladies such as us.
When we arrive at the drugstore I feel an odd mind tingling sensation, and as I open the red painted wood door that usually feels so heavy, I find that tonight it’s unusually light and swings back without much effort. The wind picks up and the door stays open for a moment. Our dresses puff up and away in the wind and our hair flies in our faces. I’m caught between pulling the hair from my mouth and eyes and trying to tame the skirt of my dress. It’s a scene.
As I manage to pull the hair from my eyes I see that there are two men, both tall and dressed in black suits, staring at Gracie and me. Jake Olinski, the druggist behind the counter, jokes with his booming voice, “Well, look what the wind blew in.” His smile is bright. “What can I find you two lovely gals this evening for refreshment?”
“Hello, Mr. Olinski,” I say meekly, still trying to rearrange my locks of light brown hair.
“We’ll have two strawberry sodas please,” says Gracie sweetly. Her blue eyes scan the men still watching us from the counter. One of the men turns around, faces the wall behind the counter and begins to eat something. The other man, with his eyes still on us starts to smile.
“Here you go, young ladies,” says Mr. Olinski, sitting two strawberry sodas on the counter near the cash register.
As Gracie and I walk closer to the register I see that the man is still smiling in our direction. He walks over to the us and says, “Can I buy you two ladies your sodas? After the trouble you went through getting in the door it only seems fitting.”
Gracie looks up quickly, eyes big and filled with surprise. “Oh. That would be nice,” she answers for us.
“Pat and I, we just arrived in town today from Minneapolis on the train. We haven’t met almost anyone yet.” He says this to everyone, including the druggist, but Mr. Olinski stays quiet for some reason.
“Well, I’m Gracie Brewer,” Gracie extends her fair freckled arm and smiles enchantingly. The man, with clear blue eyes and light auburn hair smiles too, but in a quiet, polite sort of way, revealing a seriousness. “And this is my friend Beth Andersen,” she concludes.
“I’m George Calder, and this is Mr. Pat Fitzgibbons. We’re both working for Mr. Cook. I’m an accountant and Mr Fitzgibbons works in sales.” The man named Pat nods his head at us silently.
“How truly fascinating,” Gracie’s eyes light up as she speaks. “Was your train ride pleasant I hope?” Gracie brightly engages the men with her genuine interest. But in response, Mr. Calder stops looking at Gracie and instead, gazing directly into my eyes says, “Pat you should tell Gracie here about your train ride.” Then George sits down and without lifting his gaze from mine says, “Tell me about yourself Beth. Please.”
“Oh, well, I’m Beth Andersen. I live with my parents here in town. I’m Methodist.” I feel like a fool. Then laughing, as if I was only joking with my awkward introduction, “I suppose that’s a basic description of me. What exactly would you like to hear?”
“Anything. Everything.” He smiles at me sweetly. I look over at Gracie who is leaning in close to Pat, who has started wildly gesticulating; telling her a story with his entire being. I wonder what he’s saying for a second and then return my eyes to George who is now taking out a cigarette.
“I don’t know. I’m more interested in you,” I say, trying to avoid being boring.
George smiles again then he stands up and asks Mr. Olinski, “Say, no offense to your fine establishment, but is there another place to buy a meal in this town?”
“No. We’re the only place still serving food at this hour. I’m sorry sir,” Mr. Olinski answers with wane expression as he wipes the counter lethargically.
Then turning to me George asks, “Were you ladies planning on drinking your sodas here in the store or were you going elsewhere?”
“We were taking them with us to the lake actually. We were going to walk next to the water.”
“At this hour?”
“Yes.” I didn’t like his skepticism. A lot of young people visited the lake late into the night during the summer. It was common. Walking next to the lake was the most enjoyable thing to do in town without getting in trouble.
“I see. What do you do next to the lake?” He looks sincerely intrigued.
“We just walk along the water, and sometimes if it’s not too cold I might stick my feet in. We talk too. It’s very peaceful at night.”
“We should go.” He stands up and walks over to Pat who is now resting his face on his hand, listening to Gracie. They exchange words and then Gracie turns around and looks at me grinning. I can tell she’s having a pleasant conversation, as she says, “You go on without me kid. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
This seems sudden. I wonder if we should part ways. “Are you sure Gracie?” I look at her with concern.
“Yes.” She’s emphatic.
“Alright then. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I don’t know what’s going on right now, but I have the sense that I’m leaving the store so I turn to Mr. Olinski, “Goodnight Mr. Olinski.”
Without looking up he says, “Goodnight Miss. Andersen.”
“Say, I’d still like to go with you to the lake if you like. That is if you like,” George says with enthusiasm.
“By ourselves at night? Without a chaperon?”
It’s very likely that we’ll be moving soon. As I’m writing this I’m exhausted, but I’m excited at the thought of a new adventure on the horizon… Sigh.
How has your week been so far? Good, I hope… 🙂