Rive Gauche 

Woody, green florals open this exquisite beauty (Yves Saint Laurent 1971).  It’s sharp, a bit bold and yet incredibly complex. While there are certainly aldehydic florals and the pungent geranium and peachy rose in particular is noticeable (to my nose) they all blend together almost magically and there is a layering effect of various moods and ideas. It’d be easy to try to categorize it or compare it to any number of other famous and gorgeous French fragrances but it’s beyond that. Instead it hovers and shifts about and is remarkable for doing so… At once it’s airy, deep, heavy, elegant, demure, loud… and it’s just… well… exquisite. 

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, peach, green notes, and honeysuckle.  Middle notes: ylang ylang, geranium, jasmine, rose, gardenia, iris, magnolia, lily-of-the-valley.  Base notes: musk, Tahitian vetiver, oakmoss, amber, tonka bean, and sandalwood.  

Nose: Michel Hy

Black Opium


Black Opium (Yves Saint Laurent 2014) is incredibly sweet and beautifully sharp.  On my skin the notes of coffee, orange blossom, pink pepper and a very strong vanilla are easiest to decipher… It’s a very modern fragrance, and in my humble estimation (and I mean that sincerely) I can’t easily connect the olfactory DNA of this Yves Saint Laurent fragrance with their iconic Opium of decades past (it is supposed to be an interpretation of the original Opium)…  I’ll find my bottle of vintage Opium, do more sleuthing and provide an update later.

Yet, I hasten to add that the fact that I can’t easily see the relation to the old Opium doesn’t mean this isn’t a lovely fragrance.  This is the sort of sexy, bold and fun scent  that I think a lot of people might enjoy wearing on a date.  That is, if this suited one’s taste and skin chemistry of course…  It definitely isn’t a shy beauty.

Top notes: pink pepper, orange blossom, and pear.  Middle notes: coffee and jasmine.  Base notes: vanilla, patchouli and cedar

It’s been a long week.  For a good portion of it I haven’t been able to breathe out of my nose and obviously that’s not pleasant.

I drank a cup of hot water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and raw honey and that did wonders.  It was the first time I could truly breathe.

How was your week?  I honestly hope it was at least ok…

I wore leather pants, pearls and a men’s sweater yesterday.  It felt good to wear what I normally never would (leather pants) but secretly want to…  I’m going to keep doing it.

I hope your weekend goes well…  I’ll post a photo later of what I decided to wear today.


Hmm… Well, I don’t remember these sunglasses looking so large in person but…  Anyway.  And I clearly need to smile.

I’m truly not good at taking photos of myself.  I’m getting a little better with practice though…




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Opium, a wildy spicy scent of the late 1970’s (Yves Saint Laurent 1977)  is Bianca Jagger’s red lipped insouciance, plush leather and a hot disco beat in a bottle.   Oh and add something almost a little scary to that too.

With hauntingly dark balsamic notes and a rich base that holds the sensual notes in tandem Opium is an iconic scent. Opium is quite unique.

Top notes: coriander, plum, citruses, mandarin orange, pepper, jasmine, cloves, west indian bay and bergamot.   Middle notes: carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, peach, lily-of-the-valley and rose.  Base notes: labdanum, tolu balsam, sandalwood, opoponax, musk, coconut, vanilla, benzoin, vetiver, incense, cedar, myrrh, castoreum and amber.

L’Homme Sport

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Sweet, leather-like citrus notes comprise Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme (Yves Saint Laurent 2014).  This is a powerful, manly, sexy and clean scent.  It’s instensely fresh and more than a bit dapper.  L’Homme is meant for a man who isn’t afraid of making an impression – there’s a great deal of sillage and it lasts for a moderate to long amount of time.

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Top notes: verbena, bergamot and aldehydes. Middle notes: coriande, woody notes.  Base notes: cedar and amber.

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La Roche-Posay, Effaclar Duo is a delightful product for the occasional pimple or two…  If you’ve been stressed, etc.  and have a breakout applying this product overnight works wonders.  You don’t have to use much and it doesn’t dry out your skin.   If you’ve heard the hype about Effaclar Duo, as far as I see it’s all true.

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You may or may not have read my review of Avène Eau Thermale, and if you did you may recall how I raved about it.  Well, if you too are a fan of Avène Eau Thermale and live in the US and find it hard to keep up your stock since it’s not sold everywhere and often has to be purchased online, then perhaps La Roche-Posay Eau Thermale is a good bet.  It’s sold at Target and as far as I can tell works as well or at least nearly as well as Avène Eau Thermale.  It soothes the skin, and is also a bit hydrating just like Avène.  It’s also very refreshing to spray on the skin during the warmer months of the year or after exercise.


And here go some personal ramblings…

Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a Christian (for lots of reasons).  And one of the things I struggle with most is how judgemental people of my faith can sometimes actually be and other times just seem

What does it mean to be judgemental anyway?  Well, it’s tricky isn’t it?

Two stories from my personal life come to mind.  They both involve cheating – something most people consider wrong.

When I was in college I worked with a guy who was very artistic and intelligent.  We had lots of great conversations but he had a girlfriend and I knew that so I purposefully tried to just be his friend.  However, on one occasion he gave the impression that he wanted to be physically involved with me.  I had been cheated on by my first boyfriend around that time and I was not flattered.  I was livid actually, although I didn’t let the guy I worked with know it at the time.   Instead, I was really rude to him whenever I saw him and at one point even made him cry (I cringe at the thought I feel so bad).  Looking back at that I’m ashamed of myself.  I’m pretty sure you could consider my behavior towards him rather judgemental, although at the time all I could think about was his girlfriend and how hurt she would have been if something had happened between me and him (as I had been by my first boyfriend).  I made a ton of assumptions and even if some or all of them were correct it wasn’t my place to be the hand of justice…

Then once I was seeing a guy who couldn’t decide how he felt about being with me.  At first he said he loved me madly but eventually he didn’t seem as sure, and then he did and then he mostly didn’t but did sorta…  and on and on.    I never knew whether I was coming or going with him…  (I’ve told this story before.)  And then one day I saw something he likely didn’t intend for me to see that was hurtful and I felt betrayed.  While he was somewhat seemingly honest about almost everything at first, eventually he became much less transparent about many things and I began to suspect a deep lack of genuine romantic interest in me and a longing on his part to be with other sorts of people (or so it seemed – he was very confused at the time)…  So I lied, and pretended to have found another boyfriend out of a lot of frustration and hurt, he seemingly finally confessed his real feelings for me (or lack thereof) and that we had no real future together, and we stopped talking to each other shortly after that.  To this day I am quite sure he thinks I was and am an evil or at least weak, immoral woman for finding another guy while we were still involved (even though he didn’t want to actually be with me anyway)…  I’m almost positive he “judged” me.  I probably “judged” him and misunderstood him too though.   And, fyi, and note to self, revenge is rarely a good idea.

So, I guess, basically, to me, being “judgemental” means taking a grain of truth (or perceived truth) about a situation and then getting “carried away with it.”    I had good intentions in feeling bad for the girlfriend from the first story, and she may indeed have been very hurt had her boyfriend done anything with me.  Making the “judgement” that cheating is wrong was ok and necessary I believe, but when I became “judgemental” the way many people perceive Christians as being, was when I assumed I knew all of the facts and put myself a notch above that guy in my mind, or at least treated him like he was beneath me.  And, from that place of false superiority and ignorance, when I decided it was my personal business to correct his actions that also was being “judgemental”, of course.

It’s so hard to avoid being judgemental every once and a while though, I think, for most people, not just Christians who fall unwittingly into negative stereotypes.  If you are capable of being hurt I think you’re capable of being “judgemental”…  Sigh. But perhaps some people do tend towards it more than others for whatever reason…

And I shouldn’t judge that.