When I first tried Abano (Prince Matchabelli 1931) I wasn’t expecting something so perfect for today. Today is a cool day in early October. But you see, Abano has a mix of lavender, oak moss and patchouli. The lavender is calming. The oak moss is uplifting. The patchouli feels oh so appropriate for an autumn day. It’s lovely! Actually, it reminds me a little of the smell of wool…and I think that is in part due to a warm floral/herbal accord. Again, it’s lovely. …And into the drydown it becomes a smoky and supple.

Notes: orange, lavender, patchouli, herbs, grasses and oak moss.


With an opening that’s intensely spicy, warm and sweet, Potpourri (Prince Matchabelli 1940) is beautifully vintage. To my nose this is mostly a polite but not at all boring violet, ylang ylang, hyacinth, cloves and rich musk scent… Although a woody benzoin is one of those sort of notes that is dominant, but so very quietly in the background that it’s easy to underestimate its significance. At least it’s easy to miss the benzoin at the start. Into the drydown it emerges in a way reminiscent of someone smoking a pipe with the vanillic tobacco of a bygone era. This is one of those fragrances that informs us of the era it came from.

Top notes: lemon, citruses, hyacinth.  Middle notes: ylang ylang, lilac, rose, violet, cloves and spicy notes.  Base notes: musk, benzoin, vanilla, and woody notes. 


A spicy orris mixes with florals and oakmoss right at the outset of Stradivari (Prince Matchabelli 1950)… This bold, sensual and intoxicating scent is both demure and alluring all at once. Perfect for day and yet so frothy and rich that it hints constantly at dim warm lights and mysterious shadows. It’s a great example of a smoky, leathery and yet prim green, woody floral that kept all hidden and lovely… However, the caveat should be noted that only in spring, very early summer, fall or winter weather could this contradiction happen… I imagine in hot weather Stradivari could only really fit the moment at night. At any rate, it’s a bit sublime. 


2015-03-21 14.40.00 (2)Aviance by Prince Matchabelli (Prince Matchabelli 1975) is an aldehydic floral with, as Yesterday’s Perfume put it, a “disturbingly rich base”.   Disturbingly rich base is right…

But Aviance starts with a powerful, biting and green edge.  It’s crisp and rowdy in a refined, very 1970’s way.  However, as it progresses it transforms into something out of a Martin Scorcese film, likely worn by a poignant beautiful female.  It’s bold, lush and stunning but dated in the best possible meaning of that word.

I smell anise whether it’s there or not, and a warm but feisty musk.  This is a tough perfume, but with sparkling sincerity… It’s unique, animalic and definitely sexy.

I don’t know what to write about in this section right now…  It’s been a long week.

Umm…  hmm.


Thanks for reading.  🙂


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Cachet by Prince Matchabelli is a very 1970’s does 1920’s fragrance (Prince Matchabelli 1970), especially at first.  It’s unisex, woody, aromatic and a bit heavy.  It begins with a thick, heady burst of strong aldehydes, a bit reminiscent of Chanel No. 5.  And then, as it continues into the drydown it becomes a perfect 70’s, polyester wearing, patchouli, amber, vetiver and musk radiant olfactory disco dance.  In the late drydown it’s a sweet, powdery musk.  Very nice.

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Top notes: aldehydes, green grass, spices and galbanum.  Middle notes: patchouli, orris root, jasmine, vetiver and rose. Base notes: are leather, amber, musk, civet and oakmoss.


I’ve started running again.  Last year I was running with the intention of participating in a marathon, but then my heart started beating irregularly.  It was beating irregularly this winter too…  It’s only started being “normal” in the last couple of months.  I’ve been getting more sleep, and while it’s been a crazy spring, I’ve actually been less anxious than this past winter, so my heart is doing well again.  And, thankfully, the irregular beats I do have are benign anyway according to my cardiologist (they’re just scary).

But anyway, I’m feeling comfortable enough to run again.  And this weekend it was glorious to finally be able to do it…

My goal is to lose ten pounds.  That would put me back where I was, roughly, when I was at my healthiest, before I got pregnant, a few years back.  Funny thing, due to the stress of the last month or so I’ve actually lost a good 5-10 lbs. that were stubbornly clinging on already, so I’m feeling optimistic…


I hope you’ve had a pleasant weekend.  🙂

Spring Fancy

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Spring Fancy, by Prince Matchabelli is a clean floral (iris, hyacinth?, lily-of-the-valley, rose?) with a certain ozonic, green quality that was actually ahead of its time, in my estimation.  A lot of fragrances introduced within the last ten to twenty years have oceanic, watery, or ozone notes but back in 1955 when Spring Fancy debuted, I don’t believe anything of that sort was around.  Of course, Spring Fancy is not exactly like Davidoff Cool Water by any means, but there is a wet, dew drenched hint that is both unique for 1955 and quite pretty.

In the drydown a certain masculine edge developes.  In the late drydown, however, it is just a big fluffy, powdery, gentle, warm hug – slightly sweet and floral. I find it fascinating how much this scent changes over time…

Here's where we found it - on a crowded antique store shelf...

Here’s where we found it – on a crowded antique store shelf…

I hope you’re enjoying the end of your weekend, or if your weekend is done, are you ready for Monday?  🙂  Sigh.


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Debuting in 1980, Chimere by Prince Matchabelli (Prince Matchabelli 1980) is a warm, voluptuous chypre.  It reminds me slightly of Tabu in its intense spicy sweetness.  During the drydown there are noticeable patchouli and floral notes that feel very “1980’s” in a somewhat heavy, romantic way.  It’s an elegant, poignant fragrance.  It wouldn’t be appropriate for every occasion, but I can’t think of a better scent to wear on a moonlit walk or to a concert featuring piano pieces by Mendelssohn.

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I’ve decided to start a new way of doing my “book of the week” to make it more functional.  I’m going to turn it into a “book of the month.”  So, for the rest of this month the book will be, First Year Norse, by Maren Michelet.  It was published in 1936 by The Lutheran Free Church Pub. Co and we found it at an antique store years ago.

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Since we’re trying to learn languages other than English as a family (or become more fluent in non-English languages we have some knowledge of currently) I might make flashcards of Norwegian words and distribute them throughout our home. We’ll see.  Either way, it would be fun to learn a bit of Norwegian (I have a lot of Norwegian ancestors) and maybe we’ll even be able to use it someday on a vacation to Norway or in conversing with Norwegian speakers. 🙂

Tusen Takk.

Wind Song

Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli (Prince Matchabelli 1953) was one of my aunt’s favorite fragrances. This weekend her and my uncle (they both are my mother’s siblings) were staying here to help with my mother after her surgery.  It was a busy weekend, but we were all extremely relieved when my mother came through the surgery well and then proceeded into the recovery phase without any problems.  And, last night after eating a celebratory dinner my aunt and uncle treated us to, I brought out a bottle of Wind Song.

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It was lovely to see my aunt sigh with fondness over the scent wafting from her wrist.  One could tell that she had positive associations with the fragrance as she said with a smile, “…I haven’t smelled Wind Song in years…”

It really is a pretty gem of a fragrance.  It’s powdery, but very 1950’s – floral, clean (nearly soapy), with citrus top notes and a delightfully free-wheeling, intelligent mix of tarragon, cloves, and coriander.  I imagine Audrey Hepburn riding around Rome with Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday or my aunt in the 1960’s traveling around the world (she was in the Peace Corps when it was just starting) with an optimistic, gregarious, joie de vivre.  There’s depth, warmth and life in Wind Song.  It’s enveloping and endearing with its sandalwood, spicy comfort but it won’t fence you in – vive la liberté.

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After they left and after our son went to sleep, I had a nice glass of red wine.  It was the perfect way to end a Saturday.

Today, I’m looking forward to watching Downton Abbey, of course, and I’ll be excited to see my mother progress towards feeling even better.  Big sigh of relief.