Abano (Repost)

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 smoky and supple.

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

Demi-Jour (Repost)

This is a honey-laced floral (Houbigant 1987).

Vintage Demi-Jour has all the sparkle and structure of an aldehyde too, of course, but it’s incredibly warm. Actually, it reminds me of the graham crackers and apple cider my preschool used to serve this time of the year. Ha!

It also reminds me of kindergarten. I think the kindergarten teacher at the private school I attended that year wore this. And so it reminds me of that school too…

And while all the florals are noticeable – their very petals seem so vivid that they nearly materialize and jump off your skin – none of them stand out more than the others, to my nose. And the sandalwood, cedar and musk are just warmth, as is the romantic oakmoss. Really, all the honey-hued notes blend together so well.

See below for a list notes:

Top notes: aldehydes, violet and bergamot. Middle notes: orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose. Base notes: sandalwood, musk, oakmoss and cedar.

Gimlet (Repost)

(One of my first posts from 2014.)

In the time I’ve taken to write a new post, a lot of drama has happened in my life. But, today was a nice, semi-relaxing, fun day of family shopping.

My husband holding our newly restored lamp My husband holding our newly restored lamp

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Picking up the lamp also included antiquing. My husband is a gem when it comes to taking care of our son during our antiquing excursions, so mom had plenty of “me time” to peruse the stacked aisles. At one of the antique stores we found this vintage military coat.  Lately I’ve been doing some shopping for fall clothes and in the process of that my husband looked through the latest  J. Crew catalogue.  Honestly, I’m kind of hating their most recent styles.  The cut of most of the clothes just looks so boxy and, more importantly, dreary, in my humble opinion.  My husband agreed, and today, when he saw the coat pictured below, his first response was that it reminded him of something from the latest J. Crew women’s section.  Totally agree, my dear…  Ugh.

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During our outings today I wore a simple pair of jeans, and a top from Target, a black Reiss coat for warmth, and pink L.K. Bennett ballet flats. I also wore an antique art deco, blue glass, silver ring my grandmother purchased as a young woman in either the late 1920’s or early 30’s.  It’s such a lovely ring, and I’ve even considered having it replicated with more durable materials.

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I also enjoyed wearing a light, vintage splash of Jean Nate today.  Since Jean Nate was reformulated, it smells best, according to many, in vintage.  I found my bottle on Etsy.  I’m assuming it’s probably from the 1950’s or 60’s based on the markings and general appearance of the box.
Jean Nate, in vintage, has this lovely, lasting, lemony, slightly sweet, powdery smell.  Some find it cloying, but I find it delicious.  It reminds of me of the perfect lemon bar with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, and I can easily imagine Betty Draper, from Mad Men, wearing it during her marriage to Don Draper.  Perhaps she would wear it to the grocery store or just around the house to feel fresh and pretty.
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Now, all I should have, is a gimlet.

Gabrielle (Repost)

Writing about this one is scary. It reminds me of a class I took in my junior year of college. I went to a private religiously affiliated college and for one required Biblical Studies class I had a professor who insisted that by the end of his class we would be amazed by an interpretation he had of a particular book in the Bible. Our final grade would be based largely on this intrepretation and a presentation involving it, but the catch was that we had to guess what his interpretation was based on what we had learned throughout the course. As luck would have it and in my innocence and trust I believed him and began to look for something astounding. In my assigned group for the presentation everyone else found and tended to believe the most obvious answer, but I kept looking for that (as he literally put it) “life changing” nugget of wisdom.   

At the time of our presentation I decided to take a risk and differ from everyone else in the group. Of course, they were right. And I got harshly yelled at in front of everyone in my group… I was hurt, confused and shocked. Apparently my “crazy” answer was sacrilegious and deeply offensive. But again… (and I say this very seriously) I was looking for something you could think was “life changing” and, of course, that I hadn’t seen in the passages before.

Anyway, one thing I learned from that rather traumatic experience was that what one person sees as “amazing” to someone else can be… painfully, pathetically obvious. You truly have to interpret many opinions of others in life with a humility and confidence rooted in the knowledge that all of our experiences are wildly different. There are facts but how things affect you as an individual is, obviously, so incredibly personal.  

I love Gabrielle (Chanel 2017).  To me, on my skin, this Olivier Polge beauty is magnificent. 

Gabrielle is utterly melancholy, almost sad. Actually, if a perfume could cry I think this one might. But it’s ethereal, moving and subtle. And sure it’s glamorous, but in a quiet, polite citrus, jasmine and orange blossom way. The warm base notes are present but airy and reserved. And there is that Chanel tuberose (also found in Chanel No. 22) that on my skin is different than any other tuberose – very demure and nearly a different note.  

This is also a very vintage-like scent. If there’s any awkwardness I read it’s because it feels like Chloé Love Story gave one of my very old floral aldehydes a modern makeover and she’s stunning but maybe she didn’t need it… Still the heart of Gabrielle shines brightly through and feels marvelously alive.  

Top notes: lemon, black currant and mandarin orange.  Middle notes: jasmine, ylang ylang, orange blossom and tuberose.  Base notes: musk and sandalwood. 

Nose: Olivier Polge 

Baptême du Feu (Repost)

This reminds me a little of Papillon Artisan Salome, and actually the other Papillon Artisan perfumes I’ve also tried.

The gingerbread and castoreum notes work together to create a feeling of a sort of…well…erotic bakery in the winter?  Haha.  And, that’s not a bad smell at all.  The opposite.

…And, no, I don’t know for certain whether or not erotic bakeries actually exist.  Maybe?

Anyway, Baptême du Feu (Serge Lutens 2016) is a very charming fragrance.  It’s heady but not heavy, in my opinion, and certainly would be lovely to smell wafting from a man or a woman.  It’s spicy but not too serious and woody in a cerebral, engaging way without being pushy or crass.  I like it.

Notes: gingerbread, powdery notes, tangerine, castoreum, osmanthus and woody notes.  

Nose: Christopher Sheldrake

Chanel no. 22 (Repost from 2014)

It’s been a long week so far and it’s only Wednesday.  A very long week…   Has it been that way for you too?  I hope not.

My son has croup.  Yes, the stuff from the L.M. Montgomery novel, Anne of Green Gables.  And no, we did not use ipecac.  Sadly, croup is a lot more common than I realized, but thankfully they have steroids that really help children and infants breath…

I’m ready for a nap after staying awake at the emergency room until after 3:00am with my son, but thank the Lord for modern medicine.  Seriously.  It never hits you how vulnerable we are, as human beings, until you have kids.  I’ve been quite sick, and I’ve had sick parents, but having a sick kid is very different.  It can be a deeply traumatizing, definitely sobering, experience.

Anyway, my son is feeling better today.  Thank goodness.

Again, thank God for the er.  And, thank God for a car to drive there…

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For a bit of relaxation and enjoyment I’ve been wearing Chanel 22 on my wrists and behind my ears everyday since my last post.

 

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I find that dabbing on a few drops of a pleasant scent really cheers me up, and, of course, when there’s lots of stress in your life, anything positive is welcome.  Perhaps Chanel no. 22, has gone beyond just a generally happy scent though.  I am becoming more than a bit fascinated by it, and I think it might be my new signature scent.  Actually, it seems, from my observation, that one Chanel fragrance or another often has that a certain beguiling effect on people though…

Truly, I’m a Shalimar fan.  A huge vintage Shalimar fan.  It’s the scent that started my fascination with vintage fragrances, actually.  But, Chanel 22 is fabulous.  I mean, really…  The first time I smelled it I was surprised and a bit confused, and that’s part of its charm.  For a 1920’s fragrance it reminded me of something from the 1970’s.  (I’m still trying to learn more about fragrance to figure out why I had that first impression.)  I wasn’t even sure I liked it, but then as it wore on and I smelled my wrists over and over, in an attempt to figure out its mysteries, I started to deeply appreciate all that it had to offer.  And now I love it.  I simply love, love it.  I know what I’ll be asking for as gifts for Christmas and birthdays for a while…

It’s a little bit mysterious.  Yet, mysterious in this romantic, bright lights, dark shadows sort of way…  Like a wildly romantic film noir…  While Shalimar is passion, strength, and beauty with a dash of wild adventure in roaring 20’s form, and Chanel No. 5 is  a sparkling and sensual aria, Chanel 22 is more ethereal.  Imagine a very old, supremely lovely, moonlit garden on a country estate in July.   You find yourself lost somewhere among the roses but realize that you don’t mind one bit.  It’s a warm summer night, and the moon feels close, safe and just as luminous as a city skyline, only warmer and quite enchanting.  Yum.

I tried to capture a little vintage charm yesterday, earlier in the day, in my attire.  I wore a vintage brown plaid skirt from the 1960’s with an unknown label, a brown cotton gap cardigan, and a lace trimmed cotton shell underneath from Aerie.  My shoes were a comfortable pair of old chocolate brown Sperry Topsiders.  I barely wore any jewelry – a simple pair of diamond studs and my rings.

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I’m hoping and praying that my son gets better fast, and that I find time for a nap.   Until Friday, have a nice rest of your week. 

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Lilly

I truly love Lilly Pulitzer. I didn’t try on one thing I didn’t adore.

So, I’ll be adding more than a few Lilly Pulitzer pieces since I don’t have enough, and it really is my style (I recently started doing an overhaul of my closet). But at least I have a classic Lilly shift dress now (that can be tailored down once I loose all my pregnancy weight).

I also bought these rather bold earrings. They are yummy.

Floridita!

And…until I’m back to my regular size 4 or 6 I won’t be buying a skort (or anything else from Lilly). The skorts really are cute but it’s not worth it until I’m totally back to my normal size. Perhaps I should have just bought a 4 or 6 size skort (I recently bought two blouses in smaller sizes at J. Crew ) but…*sigh* my best weight might not happen by the end of this summer (or it might, ideally) so I’ll just have to wait until next summer’s clothes arrive. *thumbs up*

Jersey Parfum

I love Chanel Jersey!!!! And tonight I finally opened my bottle of it.

…That being said I still prefer the eau de toilette (from the original formulation). This parfum is lovely (as is the new eau de parfum) but it’s more of an elegant skin-scent on me than the gently enveloping first form. I do love how the pipe tobacco-lavender note is more noticeable though. It actually even reminds me of a modern, more lady-like version of the vintage version (from the 1930’s) of Caron Les Plus Belles Lavandes, which is very old, smoky, vanillic lavender.

*sigh* Wonderful!

1957

My long awaited bottle of Chanel 1957 (Chanel 2019) from Les Exclusifs de Chanel did not disappoint. No, indeed. It’s quickly becoming one of my top ten favorite Chanels.

1957 is slightly reminiscent a few other Chanels from Les Exclusifs de Chanel especially at the start. Jersey, the Eau de Cologne, Gardenia, No. 18 and No. 22 come quickly to mind. However, 1957 shines beautifully as its own gem.

Really, I’ve never smelled a musk so sublime or tasteful. And of course, this is a musk perfume if there ever was one. It does remind me of a few of my 1940’s and 50’s vintages too, so it is in perfect and authentic keeping with the theme and aesthetic intended. But, it’s also very “posh” in a contemporary (and slightly vintage 90’s) Chanelesque way, which is so Jacques Polge. True genius.

Longevity and sillage are very good. And, 1957 is an all occasion scent. All together, I highly recommend it.

Top notes: White musk, aldehydes, bergamot, and pink pepper. Middle notes: Jasmine, orange blossom and white musk. Base notes: Cashmeran, white musk, cedar, orris, honey and vanilla.

Une Fleur De Chanel

I had seen Une Fleur De Chanel only a handful of times over the years on Instagram. It’s a fairly unusual Chanel, all things considered. So, imagine my glee when I was given this bottle by my husband. He had purchased it with one other Chanel (a vintage Antaeus Pour Homme) to either keep or resell. The Antaeus will likely be resold but I’m keeping this. It’s lovely!

At first sniff it’s a somewhat green, fruity/warm but refreshing scent with all the optimistic warmth of some of the early 1990’s scents like Trésor combined with the elegance of a late 1990’s Aqua Allegoria. It’s nostalgic and pretty. But in the drydown you might find yourself taking a second take when you smell the lingering beauty wafting from your skin as it’s very reminiscent of a more recent Chanel: Misia! …Yes, this smells like Misia on my skin. And that’s intriguing considering it’s missing a violet note. But the similarity is striking… I don’t usually comment much on the nose of a fragrance but this has Jacques Polge’s genius stamped all over it.

Anyway, it quite like this one and if I see another bottle I’m scooping it up. I’d recommend you consider it too…

Top notes: Green notes and citruses. Middle notes: Camellia and jasmine. Base notes: Sandalwood.

Nose: Jacques Polge