Tiffany 

This fragrance is another exercise in whether or not vintage fragrance actually can hold up over time.  I remember Tiffany well.  Got some reason I wore it in the fifth grade…

I’m taught the same bitteersweet lessons: some bottles last better than others and in the bottles that don’t hold up well the notes become tangled.  I smell the black currant, violet leaf, orange flower and ylang ylang I recall.  And the sweetened sandalwood mixes with the opulent rose.  But I remember it being more supple and fluid.  The juicy notes flowed in a perfect swirl of floral charm.  I’ll have to find a better vintage bottle…  


Top notes: black currant and mandarin orange.   Middle notes: ylang ylang, violet leaf, lily-of-the-valley, taif rose, African orange flower, iris, and jasmine.  Base notes: vanille, amber, sandalwood, and vetiver.  
Nose: Francois Demachy 

Diva 

Although Knowing is heralded for its sharp, but engaging beauty and Magie Noire for the figure eight created by the notes, Diva (Emanuel Ungaro 1983) instantly reminds me of these classics. I detect honey (a base note) and breathtaking rose right from the start. The green, ebullient spices then mix with citrus brightened civet and amber but always they return to the start: earthy, bold florals and aldehydes centered around rose. Of course, orris, narcissus and tuberose are also present but they don’t overpower the other notes for even a moment. Diva is a true gem.  
Top notes: mandarin orange, aldehydes, Indian tuberose, coriander, and bergamot.  Middle notes: carnation, orris root, Turkish rose, Moroccan rose, ylang ylang, Egyptian jasmine and narcissus.  Base notes: honey, iris, amber, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss, vanilla, civet and musk.  

Nose: Jacques Polge 

Indiscret 


A very vintage mandarin orange is flanked by a spicy, tea-like bergamot (Lucien Lelong 1936).   Green, slightly bitter galbanum meets a subtle tuberose, woody (and slightly funky) herbal jasmine, sugary ylang ylang, and rounded rose.  Indiscret is aptly named.  It’d be smoky but it’s too floral…  It is, however, fairly animalic and spicy.  It’s not an easy “day fragrance” although it is somewhat ladylike and soft.  

Top notes: mandarin orange, galbanum and bergamot.  Middle notes: tuberose, iris, african orange flower, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose and geranium.  Base note: woodsy notes.

Nose: Jean Carles

Venting 

Friends are important…   I love friends.  

The other day, let’s just say for the sake of privacy (I’m allowed to share this if I don’t use her name), that I had a conversation with a friend from childhood (leaves some anonymity) and we talked a bit about the troubles of defining social status after age 30.   She grew up in a middle class family in Wisconsin and has since become a very different sort of person than most people in her family.   

She’s had a hard time adjusting.  Being flung from a secure, slightly sheltered upbringing in a Wisconsin suburb to a life in urban Boston has been a shift.  She’s doing well she says, but she’s often felt a sort of identity crisis.  All those ideas about herself in relation to others that she painstakingly formed in childhood and adolescence (as we all do) are being challeged.   Constantly.   And is this a good thing or not?  It’s baffling.  

I can relate to her crisis, but in a very different way…  Frankly, in the last year I’ve realized how silly my view of myself has been my whole life…  I’m quite open about things on this blog and my confusion has emerged here and there in the angsty or thoughtful post, but I didn’t start nailing down my thoughts in my own mind until the last year. 

My parents are…  incredibly humble and demure about matters of class when it comes to themselves (as most people in their families are) but… for whatever reason they (bless their hearts) failed to fully divulge a clear understanding of our place socially speaking.  They meant well and they and many others like them in our family might not even know any better.  

Yes.  I’m going there on this blog.  No.  I don’t care who this leaves aghast or offended…   Because if you’re close to me you likely won’t find this horribly offensive anyway.  And if you do please discuss it with me in person.  

We were not the salt-of-the-earth, simplistically “Little House on the Prairie  family” I thought.  And while I heard things here and there, overall, my parent’s life choices to be hippies/semi hippies in some form totally obscured my understanding.  

My father did use to say, “oh those little girls were just being mean because they thought you were rich.”  And I never knew what he was talking about.  My parents weren’t “rich”.  We didn’t have the right clothes, etc.  I thought.

I used to argue with him out of confusion and a desire for accuracy and he’d say, “Well, sometimes when little girls are pretty some people just assume they’re well off.”  Of course, that’s not…  exactly correct…   to say the least.   But, as a child I took the compliment and let it go.  

It’s too complicated and frankly explosive to discuss on a forum even as public as this (not terribly public in all actuality).   But suffice it to say, I wish I had had a different  explanation (read correct) given to me about almost everyone and everything and who or what they are and were.  It would have explained so many petty jealousies and the occasional nonsense I’ve encountered in regard to others over the years and social norms and expectations, both inside our family and out, that I’ve internalized.  When you’re told you’re a duck your whole life but are actually a dove it can obviously be tremendously awkward.  You feel vague and confusing anger at people for interactions that are baffling for unknown reasons…  

I hate social climbers.  So does my father.  I hate pretension…   He did too.   Instead I value privacy intensely.  And at times I get confused about people’s true motivations.  

And all those friends who grew up like me, in my parent’s circles, with fathers who actually were professors (there were a few) and with travel in their blood who felt a similar confusion about their place…  they too deserved more self understanding.  A better explanation.   Actually, that’s not entirely true though.  A person like them, who I befriended in college (her father was a professor though too intriguingly) clued me in…  

“People always assume we’re poor” she said.  Supposedly it was because they lived in a small house in a nice neighborhood and it irritated her…   But in reality her extended family was quite established with a place on Lake Michigan for summer holidays and several of her relatives were doctors at Mayo Clinic (among other similar or more “alluring” and “prestigious” things).  “I don’t like telling people anything like that though.” she said in a sincere and vulnerable hushed voice.  “I don’t want people to think I’m a…  Well, yiu know: a rich bitch.”  She uncomfortably laughed and lowered her voice even further with the last word.  She wanted people to be at ease…   because she was empathetic.  

She wasn’t interested in living a false life…  Yet she was confused about many things and burdened by a conflict between what others perceived and what was reality.  

But what do you do with all the feelings of anxiety?  The silliness of class pretension from people determined to “make it” or “fit in?”   Not that I don’t sympathize but good grief!  If you keep your mouth shut around those sort of folks or never “explain anything” they assume you’re beneath them for anything they can perceive (and this has been my experience most of my life).  But if you start laying out your “true status” for some reason they feel the need to compete mindlessly to no avail and/or assume you’re the devil for being born who you are.  The worst of the two is the first because what do you do with pushy people with wildly determined egos?  

Yes this is offensive.  (If you’re one of those people) 🤓😏

It’s not a truly shameful thing to be born poor but of course it’s also not a crime to be born “rich” or “wealthy” (one way or another) either…  

*sigh* I need to figure so many things out. 

How does this post strike you?  Does it make you angry?  Why?  Or is it something better you’re feeling?  I wonder…  

Silliness 

I can’t figure some people out.  Go figure.  It’s not like people are all very complicated and unique or something.  (Note sarcasm) 

Anyway, I’m tired of being misunderstood too.  Very misunderstood…   And, of course, it’s not like this is an original feeling either.  *sigh*

I’m pragmatic and analytical with a lot of feelings I keep very much in the back room of my soul.   And I’m oddly not particularly typically “American” for some reason (even though I was raised here).  And that combination, with a strong natural reserve and a dry sense of humor (also slightly slapstick) added…  confuses people, I think.

And I’m good, I suppose.  I’m a Christian.  I’m moral…  But I do do occasionally shocking things according to some folks, I guess.   And I’m usually almost too honest.   I offend people’s egos almost daily.  I’m bad at faking reality. 

And then…  there’s…  Prince Charming.  That’s what I’m going to call him.  And I’m sure if he reads this (he might) that he could find that name totally…  annoying.  And maybe that’s why I just picked it.  I kind of want to annoy him because he seems just a bit too oblivious to how much and how deeply he affects me…  And I know that name will affect him (not entirely positively).  

He seems to think I’m not “smitten enough” with him or that my feelings aren’t authentic.  For added difficulty, some people close to him seem to have encouraged this view.  

But I do care about him as much as is sane, which is basically a whole hell of a lot.   I’m just not obvious, crass or pushy about it.  I don’t openly swoon and draw cute little hearts on the letter i or smile with my teeth and giggle.  

When I’ve tried to do the “sexy girl who likes you act” in the past to make my feelings clearer to past romantic interests no one ever seems to think I actually mean it anyway.  So what’s the point?  Furthermore, I hate myself much too much afterward to continue with that fake parade of silliness.   But apparently if I don’t act cutesy and over-the-top in a saccharine girly way I’m not feminine enough somehow?  Or I’m cold?  Too…  complicated? 

What-the-hell-ever.

So…  my “Tom” or a.k.a Prince Charming…  The man who currently entertains my affections…  doesn’t stand much of a chance for too much longer.  That is, he doesn’t unless if he becomes beautifully stubborn and sincere in his feelings and intentions toward me.  He needs to outsmart it all…  Oherwise the prognosis for our romance isn’t good. 

And really, I think this is the most odd time of my life.  Truly.  

For one thing, the ethics of it all is mind twisting.  I have a husband (Mark) in an eerie, techinical and yet strangely genuine way who understands our separation but insists on not calling it that necessarily until its finalized and frankly he’ll have hope until I remarry.   He did the opposite, of course, when we were first dating (refusing to call us a couple for a very long time).  Ha! 

I think, really, Mark’s astronomically stubborn.  And frankly…  it’s no coincidence in any way that I married him years ago despite it all.  He’s so subtle and subversive at times it’s amazing…   He often claims that he didn’t know what real romantic love was (or love in general) as a particular label until we dated.  I believe him.  

I still maintain that he could find someone to love more than me eventually and…  that I’ll love him forever regardless because I adore his soul.  We will.  We’re good for each other in some way, even if it’s as friends.  We give each other a sort of safe place emotionally…  We’re allies. 

And you can’t redo people.  Again, we’re all profoundly original.  There’s only one soul that is my Mark.  There’s only one me.   Some people might be similar but nobody is ever anyone but themselves.  Ever.  And why is that a bad thing?  Of course, it never is. 

I just wish Prince Charming would see that I don’t want anything but beauty.   And his teeth…  His chin.  His…  voice.  They’re the only things about him as a sort of…  persona…  that aren’t basically perfect.  Truly.  

He seems in need of a sort of…  perfection.  At least in my eyes.  And I, on the other hand, passionately want beauty.  

My first serious boyfriend had large front teeth and a rather cocky sense of humor.  He fashioned himself after that character on “How I Met Your Mother” who told everyone to, “suit up!”   Now he, with his  front teeth (he referenced them more than once), was definitely not a good match for me.   I loved him slightly but definitely not enough…  and he didn’t love me at all (he literally told me he was simply incapable of it).   His “flaws” were truly…  awkward.  Because the beauty we had or were able to have between us wasn’t present almost at all.   

Sorry if this is becoming cheesy… 

Prince Charming, however, is very manly.  He’s not a little boy who needs to play dress-up with his dad’s suits.   He’s brilliant…  Eloquent.  Quick minded and clever.  Fervent and aware.  Extremely handsome.  Dashing really…   

But I don’t mend fences that refuse to be fences.  If the wind blows too hard I just plant trees and let the roots sink in.   And furthermore I don’t let people give me hell that I don’t deserve.  So…  basically I refuse to break his heart because either a. I’ll just break my own more severely for no good end or b. he’ll never understand how I see him so what’s the use in trying particularly hard?   This paragraph might only make sense to me…   Possibly.  

He’s truly gorgeous.  Truly…   I don’t know what else to say about it.  

Irritation 

So my romance with the older gentleman is basically finished.  He was and is a very charming man but we don’t have any business being together really it seems.  There are occasionally some personality traits and differences in upbringing that can’t be overcome.  I guess.  And anyway, I’m a young looking 33 and I think he felt…  too old.  

There is someone else.  He’s a gorgeous man.  Very intelligent.  Eloquent.  And I could fall flat on my face, madly, passionately in love in less than a microscopic moment.  BUT he might be a bit of a Tom Buchanan type.  

Tom Buchanan…  You know the kind of man I mean.   Husband of Daisy…    The well educated, well connected, well-bred monster who rode beautifully and had sexy broad shoulders?  That one.  

I’m not sure.  He could also be a charming throwback to a better time when I was in love with a truly attractive and daring soul who was genuinely amazing…  A long time ago.  

He could be a combination of both men.  Matter-of-fact, that’d make sense.  

I just don’t particularly want to bother with a “Tom” sort.   They’re soo boring.  Soo predicatable.  Once you’ve met one you’ve met them all.   Even if they’re sometimes lovely fathers and can humor you wonderfully when you most need and want it, it’s not worth it.   I’d rather be “lonely” or at least searching.  

He’s so handsome though.  And we have excellent chemistry (or so it seems).  And, it’s not like I haven’t “broken in” a Tom before.  Men like that break easily in regard to me for some reason.  The problem is, of course, that I want to be the “broken” one this time.  

No crying…  No horrible suffering.  Just…  warmly, and sweetly broken.  I want and simply have to have the sort of thing that happens when you find someone who reads your heart and honestly loves you regardless.  

I’m really just tired of being bored.  Yes.  BORED.  I’ve realized that a lot of my romantic pain stems from a sort of strained, ugly boredom.  

You see, I’m a writer, maybe and that’s a definite personality type (in my opinion).   We tend to see people for who they actually are.  And in that mess there’s not a lot that surprises us.  We hope for a real shock.  A good one.  But often, it’s just the pits.  A letdown.  And it’s tragic, and draining and… infinitely tedious

You come back from the sadness and malaise.  But you’re less tolerant.  Less patient…  Or at least I am.  So far.  

You give less of yourself the next time because there’s less hope.  You feel less pain but you also miss what you once had long ago or you dream about something better that you know very easily might never be.  At least in this life.  

It gets redundant.  Horribly redundant…  

You just keep wondering why the “boys” (of all ages) don’t get it.  They’re not that special with they’re tired lines and crass sentiments.  Why should you swoon for them?  You could fake it, but why bother?   That’s actually quite mean anyway. 

If he’s sincere about a word he’s saying you hope he also has enough maturity, wisdom and thought to actually lift a trembling pinky to pursue you like a man.   You hope he realizes that he needs to have courage because otherwise…  what’s the damn point?!   

I’m not a “contemporary woman” I guess.  I don’t want to be bullied and refuse it.  Vehemently.  Yet, I like a man who remembers what it’s like to have both emotions and manliness.  Remember?  The sort of feeling men had before they were told that not crying meant that they were repressed and outdated.  I’ve known a lot of men who didn’t cry easily and often they were deeper and more emotionally available than today’s weeping willows or the business minded “tough guy” who masquerades as the old sort.  

No.  I don’t hate men.  I just feel disillusioned.  A least for now…  At least here in the US.  

More later. 

Men

So, it seems that my romance with the man I called Handsome and then eventually Mr. Blue has ended…  Seemingly.

I’m happily at peace right now for two reasons.  First, I firmly believe that no man should be cried over for too long.  Period.  You see, if something doesn’t work out it’s either for something better to come along or it isn’t the end (as corny as that sounds) and eventually there will be an answer.  Of course, there might be some tragedy involved but I’ve come to believe that nothing rests and festers for eternity.   There is always some sort of resolution.    God is too just for that.  I have faith that God is too majestic and knowing to be so disillusioned with us…

My other reason involves well…  other men – men from my distant past and men I currently favor.   One man in particular, who is very manly in particular, is quite a lovely distraction.  However, I like to think I’m still fairly chaste and careful (more on that in a second).  My divorce is far from final and Mark still would like things to work out between us, although I don’t see that being likely, sadly.

I do wonder sometimes though why no one tries harder to demand my full attention.   Perhaps they’re unsure about their feelings?    I don’t know…    But at any rate, the one man I have the deepest feelings for right now gave the impression tonight that he was experiencing a bit of jealousy.

To be honest, I adored the jealousy.  The way he handled it was hurtful.  But the fact that he felt it was tantalizing and gorgeous.  Yes.  Tantalizing and gorgeous.

Jealousy is a lovely emotion coming from a man who wants you and can be faithful.   Well, as long as it is expressed as passion and intensity and not…  cruelty.   Or, at least, as long as they eventually fess up and express their wild desire it’s delectable.

I did feel horrible for him though.  I really did.  But little does he know how wonderfully confusing and hidden away I am?  

I give very, indeed precious little, of myself away.  It takes years to find your way inside my heart.   I’m truly a very careful person by nature.  I’m very…  hidden.  It’s complicated.  Yet if I love someone, no matter how difficult the situation, it lasts…  

And on that note, only recently I’ve come to truly suspect that reincarnation is extremely likely.  I am a devout Christian, but I don’t know that we aren’t reincarnated at least…  sometimes.   And I suspect I may have been.  Yes, that might sound a bit flaky to my more conservative followers but for many years I’ve had memories and known things that it didn’t make sense to know or have.  And I’ve come to realize that I’ve even written stories based on the life I may have lived.  It’s a rather odd way that I figured it out, but I believe I may know who I was.   All that to say that I am indeed hidden…  Very lost to time.   Matter of fact, the lovers I had long ago still haunt my heart it sometimes seems…    

I suspect I know the sort of man I fell for passionately long ago and it makes sense why I have never found anyone like him since then.   (And no – for my more astute followers – I don’t suspect I’m Zelda Fitzgerald although given my adoration for F. Scott Fitzgerald and other Lost Generation authors I could see thinking that instantly upon reading my last sentence.).  And, intriguingly to me at least, the gentleman I have the strongest feelings for right now may have “a very old history” with me too.   

Reincarnation is fascinating.   Truly.   However, for me, it’s very new to potentially think of it as a practical concept and consideration in everyday life.  I’m still working out how it all fits… 

I suspect I was in England in my last life (if they exist).  Surprise, surprise…  I know.  It’s so obvious it hurts…  I’m still passionately in love with England.

And the gentleman I prefer as of late –  I’ll call him Mr. Bright because he needs a name (as cheesy as that is) – Mr. Bright might have been in England too.   As I said, I think we at least fancied each other a lot…   But we didn’t become a serious item I don’t suspect.  I question why.

Anyway, it’s entirely possible none of these gentleman will seriously pursue.  More than possible I suppose…  Matter of fact, I expect it.   And for the very nosy reader, I haven’t actually even kissed any of them yet.  We’ve offered our feelings to each other on things, but that’s different than spending good time with someone and making it “real.”   

As much as people don’t seem to value reality these days, I’m afraid I still do.   I love it.  I love reality.   I love the way things used to be so solid and tangible and meaningful as they still could and should be.  It’s the way we were created to live:  deeply, beautifully connected.

However, I do have something to consider finally with some seriousness.  Do I date older men?  I suspect my rule will shift about based on the individual because it really does seem to matter based on the person…

Mr. Bright is older.  But I adore him for it.  The creases in his face are incredibly attractive…  and I can’t say that about every man who has…  creases.  I think it’s likely just him and his personality.  Those wrinkles merely reflect who he is or…  might be.  They’re like beams of light that accentuate the facets of his personality come into vision on his rather perfect face.   

Mr Bright is a very good looking man and age has done him favors and in no small part because he gives the impression that he’s unaware of that fact.  Entirely.  Matter of fact, his beautiful lack of conceit leaves me questioning often if he’ll decide to never pursue me because he’s worried some might think I’m a bit young for him or if he’ll avoid making himself clear in his feelings because he’s worried he’s just an old wrinkled man…  And, of course, he is wrinkled, but…  I think his wrinkles are like freckles.  On the right face they can be utterly charming…   Again, he has a wonderful face.

But I suppose I’m too daring about such things.  If something isn’t immoral I tend to leap…   I am a person who likes to take well calculated risks.   They engage my interest because in order to move forward you sometimes have push beyond and break something.  The trick seems to be finding the right sort of thing to break…

I just hope some man realizes someday how much I care and how warm I actually am beyond just being polite (and possibly chatty) despite what they often seem to suspect.  Or, I hope I realize how little men care even though they pretend to be vulnerable (in respect to me) to manipulate me?   One or the other seems to be the case.

Either way, I’m falling for a man…   Not a boy.  Or a guy…   I hope.   And in the best case, that’s the trouble.   Am I a 33 year old who is enough of a grown lady for a true man?  Again, I hope… 

 

 

Rachel 

I still think about Mad Men occasionally.  The other morning I was half dreaming and half awake, processing through something rather painful and I thought about a character I haven’t considered in some time: Rachel Menken.  She was never one of my favorite characters, although out of all Don Draper’s many flings and flirtations she was one of the women I liked the most.   I thought she symbolized something and apparently was I mumbling about it so to speak.   They thought I was talking about Rachel Maddow and were worried I was having some sort of nightmare based on the current state of everything going on in the world.  But no…  I was thinking about love.

And frankly I was thinking mostly about Don Draper’s ignorance.  He was such a tragic figure, especially in regard to Rachel.   He was the sort of person who didn’t know how to recognize love…   So when he fell it didn’t register in his mind as anything he knew how to handle well.  He shuffled Rachel off once he completely lost himself in the sea of feelings he had for her.  Instead of building a ship and floating to safety he sank…  Instead of swimming he tried to breathe under water.  He was a love heretic.  

It made her life less…  potentially?  But it certainly seemed to affect him more profoundly than he even started to recognize by the end of the series.  The whole thing intrigues me…   How did this truly affect everyone?  

At any rate, he’s a road map of exactly what not do to do…  But what is she?  Too bad we don’t entirely know.  Or do we?  I should watch the episode again… 

Prada Candy L’Eau 


Prada Candy L’Eau (Prada 2013) opens with sugary, ephemeral citrus beauty lacing a delicate but definite sweet pea. The base is plush and vanillic with gourmand, musky notes. But, to be certain, this is the sharpest and perhaps even most melancholy of these bubbly and bright fragrances. 

Prada Candy Kiss 


A study in elegant, sweet musk, Prada Candy Kiss (Prada 2016) is remiscent of a gourmet confection but it’s also fresh and surprisingly delicate. And the orange flower and vanilla are anything but generic. I don’t usually favor new fragrances as much as old but this may be one of a few exceptions.