En Avion (Repost)

This sample of the vintage 1933 Caron En Avion wonderfully displays this grand old dame’s sassy and spicy floral heart, with particular emphasis on carnation (I also detect a very subtle lilac). Actually, I could easily see 1930’s or 40’s Katherine Hepburn in perfectly tailored pants wearing this one… En Avion has a lot of personality. And, the way the notes combine to create something similar to the smell of old school cigarette smoke lingering among well-coiffed florals tells a story in one whiff.

The drydown is exquisite and very typically vintage Caron too. …If you like 1980’s floral powerhouses and want to explore florals from before most people’s living memory then this one is surely worth seeking out for at least a sample.

Top notes: orange, carnation, rose, and neroli. Middle notes: jasmine, orange blossom and lilac. Base notes: opoponax, sandalwood and amber

Nose: Ernest Daltroff

Jersey (Repost)


Lavender, musky, sweet lavender comes through with the smell of an herbal, lovely grass note (Chanel 2011). Then more herbal beauty floats about the skin laced with that burning, glowing, musky warmth. But it’s the very vintage-like florals that perfectly flank the lavender. It’s as if lavender threw a party for her closest friends and they ate a big, fluffy cake. It’s a tremendously lovely… I adore Jersey. 

Notes: lavender, vanille, musk, wildflowers, grass, tonka bean, jasmine and rose. 

Nose: Jacques Polge 

Bel Respiro (Repost)

Easily one of my top three favorites from the Les Exclusifs de Chanel line, Bel Respiro (Chanel 2007) is a bright, glorious beauty. The note of grass perfectly flanks what seem to be a mix of watery flowers and a lily tinged, buttery-soft rose. It’s as if Bois Des Îles is playing in sunshine with vintage Ivoire de Balmain. Absolutely, astonishingly pretty.

And then, into the drydown, you smell a violet-like leather. Or is it hyacinth and leather? I don’t know… But it’s light, airy and yet has Chanel DNA and lots of depth. I love Bel Respiro!

Notes: grass, green notes, flowers and leather.

Nose: Jacques Polge

Secret of Venus (Repost)


Peach and cassis dominate lemon with other citrus notes and lavender lingering in the mild distance (Weil 1933).  Then zany florals (freesia and jasmine in particular on my skin) lilt in with a spicy, saucy abandon. And yet the warm, grounded base of patchouli, a lovely sandalwood and a vanilla (with a bit of an attitude) create a sort of smoothness and harmony.

All together it’s beyond gorgeous…

Secret of Venus has the sarsaparilla sweetness and fizz of many old beauties but there’s an added verve, possibly aided by the florals, that becomes more and more vintage and nostalgic as the drydown continues. 

Top notes: Amalfi lemon, cassis, peach, grapefruit, bergamot and lavender.  Middle notes: freesia, gardenia and jasmine.  Base notes: patchouli, sandalwood, cedar and vanilla.  

Orange Blossom (Repost)

Warm, endearing neroli is flanked by jasmine, peach blossom, tuberose and musk. Pink pepper and cedar round this sweet beauty out… It’s a classic orange blossom (Penhaligon’s 2010), it’s not particularly fussy and for some it might even seem too simple. But I love it.

Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom is the sort of scent that won’t distract you but may occasionally infuse your day with a little comfort. Lovely!

This is a 3.4 fl. oz. original formulation Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom eau de toilette.

Top notes: neroli, bergamot, amalfi lemon, pink pepper, violet leaf and cardamon. Middle notes: jasmine, tuberose, rose, orchid, peach blossom and orange. Base notes: musk, sandalwood, virginia cedar and vanille.

Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour

Birthday

This year I’ll buy one more orchid or two with gifted birthday money from my aunt and then for my actual birthday I’ll be either finishing painting our kitchen walls, watching my kids while my husband rakes the (endless) leaves in our backyard or…I don’t know. Those are the top options as of today. *laughing*

I love my family more than life itself but…birthdays are a time to specifically and intentionally celebrate that you’re still alive.

Basically, other than one aunt who is like a saint when it comes to remembering people’s special occasions and a cousin who I’m guessing will also send a card…my birthday has been mostly lost this year.

Sterling silver teapot aside.

Actually, that teapot is extraordinary and I love it, but that was the peak of it all and I found it and bought it for myself even though it was a gift from my husband. But yeah, other than the two people who have or most likely will send a card it’s…a ghost of itself this year.

My own mother made a scheduling error and I’ll be lucky if we talk on the phone for my birthday even though she lives nearby. My husband is exhausted and stressed out (he’s doing well at work though) and I know he cares but I don’t think he has anything in particular planned. And my friends unfortunately forgot.

At dinner the other night with my father, a dinner we planned to celebrate my birthday actually, he didn’t even remember to wish me happy birthday… *laughing* Although, we really did have a lovely dinner and he sent a card in the mail with a gift... My father has aged well as a person and time has only improved him as a father too. I hope if he read this that he’d know that it’s a very sincere compliment.

Oddly though, it’s all exactly what I expected to have happen this year. I don’t know why I knew it would be like this, but I felt it ahead of time. Thank goodness for that.

I had considered buying myself a bottle of nice Champagne and, of course, drinking a glass or two… There’s something a little wild and scandalous about only having a glass or two from a whole lovely bottle. Ha! But, I probably won’t.

The thought of drinking Champagne alone in quiet while you wish you were elsewhere celebrating more heartily reminds me of other similar occasions, namely New Years Eve 2000. I was 17 that year.

The century was changing. And I felt the significance of it all deeply within myself. It grieved me even, a little bit. But, for whatever reason, I wanted to be somewhere truly beautiful. And I wanted to really celebrate.

I was so young.

My father had told so many stories about the Minikhada Club while I was growing up (the place in the photos). And, on that big night in history that was where I wanted to be; sitting at a table in a dim but cozily lit corner watching the stars. Or, maybe standing in a stairwell falling in love with some rare young man I was lucky enough to meet. I was 17.

But also, on a deeper and more intuitive level I knew there would be people there who…were in their last years. People who may not even be with us still because that was almost 19 years ago. Sure there would have been young people there but…there would have been others too who have left us now.

Those were very different, and frankly more elegant times. Even though they were just a bit less than 20 years ago there’s a marked change, unfortunately.

I wanted to sip Champagne and feel the warmth of humanity as we said goodbye to the Twentieth Century. But, I did not.

Instead, I drank non-alcoholic sparkling cider with my mom…and I think she talked with me for a couple of hours before she went to bed. Bless her for trying to stay awake that night until the start of 2001. We used to be very close.

Then, after she was asleep, I sat in the dark of our living room alone and felt the weight of my youth and the tragedy of it all. The waste. I knew I wouldn’t be young forever. I knew that moment or those like it were important and shouldn’t be lost, but I couldn’t do much about it.

Sometime I’d like to go to the Minikhada Club with my husband at a time when barely anyone is there. I did that in a hotel in Dublin, Ireland and we found the room Grace Kelly had stayed in while she visited Dublin. The room was off in the back of the hotel and it felt like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock film. As in it was somehow still existing in a different time. No remodeling. Very 20th Century.

Then we had tea in the bright and cozy tea room.

…I’m not having a mid-life crisis. I’m only turning 36. And I doubt I’ll have a mid-life crisis eventually anyway. But I am taking stock of my health, my memories, and my life in general.

Miss Dior edp 2017 (Repost)

I’m generally not one to like modern interpretations of anything but for some unknown reason I like this one (Dior 2017). Of course, it’s only very vaguely reminiscent of the original Miss Dior but I do see a slight similarity and I’m not sure I like this one less. Yes, it’s very much a fragrance of its time. It’s almost identical in some regards to Dolce, Candy, Black Opium and other super-sugar-coated, rich, opulent 2000’s/2010’s scents. It even reminds me a tiny bit of Gabrielle, to be honest. But there’s something about it (similar to Gabrielle) that intrigues me and arrests my attention.

Perhaps it’s the sweet citrus notes mixed with the moody pink pepper that makes me want to wear it? Or it could be the woody darkness lingering in the background? The sexy patchouli? I don’t know, but it works with my skin chemistry and I like it.

Safe

My life has actually been a chaotic mess since the moment I came into this world either at conception or birth. You pick. Ha. …I’ve always done my best to cope with it. And, I find it particularly satisfying to give myself the gift at this moment of just saying that truth.

This is my blog. This is my space. I try to filter my intensity and be what others find palatable in almost every other second of my life. This is my place to be safe. And going forward that’ll be my objective.

There are very few people who know me at all in this world or want to truly know me as most people like the surface (despite what I think some might claim otherwise). And I keep them there too because people aren’t often kind.

A few people have told me they “don’t go that deep” either literally or through their actions and I respect them for being honest, although it’s my nature to be a bit different than that at my core. And, I’m learning to keep that more (safely) hidden as I get older and not the opposite.

The Baby Boomer’s love counselors and love love. And they love to espouse how weak it is not to let yourself cry and show your emotions openly. It’s bad not to be vulnerable. I think that’s mostly delusional (Ha!) and if it works for them they’re probably (although not necessarily) a little narcissistic or they’re an unusually (but genuinely) charming person. Very few counselors and very few people truly give a shit and most people are trying their hardest to be just nice when they talk to others. We aren’t that loving of a species yet. It’s not actually safe to wear your damn heart on your sleeve. People should care and sometimes do, but one can never count on it. Ever.

The lies they told us though… Oh dear. Dear little lost kids in the woods… Dear little swimmers drowning in a panic. Dear little ones who tried so damn hard to do the right thing?

But unfortunately it’s been humiliating to those who aren’t like them or don’t play by their rules. It’s been destructive. And unless they’re totally…lost…I would think they should be feeling a bit convicted these days? They were given a lot, weren’t they. Maybe we’ll follow in their footsteps and hate, disrespect and ultimately humiliate the legacy’s of our parents too. (Note a nuanced sort of sarcasm in case you’re worried.)

What the hell happened to them anyway? I mean I’ve heard the historical narrative but…what really happened?

Is it wise to totally leave home? Is it wise? (Poetically speaking) Can you even?

That being said, you won’t figure me out by reading my blog. In case you’re hoping for that… *laughing* I’ll be sharing my more raw thoughts here (than I even already was) but you’ll not “see me” here unless you can already “see me” otherwise. And as far as I can tell that’s actually a very quiet audience of what? Three or four, at most, people reading this (less than 10% of my readers) who have a fucking clue what I’m really like or who I really am or what I mean half the time either…and that’s at least all partially my fault as a writer, I’m aware… Please don’t take that personally. I’ve just learned not to trust that people will “get” you or “hear” you through your words. If you disagree with me then hopefully I’m wrong and more people understand my heart and actual intentions.

But anyway, I just often find that no matter how open you are out of good intentions or otherwise you can’t make people “see you”. Meaning, people either can “see you” through some ability of their soul (and obviously the thought and care you use as a writer) or they’ll always struggle if they even try (and no matter how hard you try too). It’s actually a very big world and a huge universe. We can make it feel smaller and cozier but it’s…still…enormous. Most of us are so wildly different than each other that it’s impossible to “speak with our hearts” in a world that’s become more genuinely illiterate, numb, disordered and crass. There’s not enough discipline, structure, civility or honesty and there’s too much…pollution, unkindness and noise. Too much smog. Not enough clean, frighteningly clear…air.

Love is real. It makes sense to love it I guess or try to love it. But…it’s something so grand and so beautiful that we can only grasp tiny pieces of it slowly. Sounds corny but it’s true. It’s also very easy to forget it exists. Count yourself lucky if you remember it or if someone actually reminds you. If someone actually, truly, genuinely, honestly, sincerely, really…reminds you.

Don’t give everyone the same amount of respect that you give everyone else. Don’t trust that people have good intentions blindly. Find ways to show love to those less fortunate safely. Ignore the people who are malignantly insecure or just when they’re insecure ignore them. And truly ignore them. Not to get them to go away or to be manipulative or show dominance but to remind them that nobody can unfortunately (almost nobody ?) hear them (their souls) or understand what they’re really saying and that maybe they can’t even hear themselves. They’re clanging cymbals. They don’t deserve respect for being evil. Again, they don’t deserve respect for their evil. Weakness is weakness. They need real love. They need a real God. But they shouldn’t be encouraged in their self-loathing or hatred for others.

Don’t be afraid to be corny. Truly corny. Being an adult is a good thing. We all get old and we all eventually die. Nobody actually stays young forever. Some of us live longer than others but…we all die. It’s good to fight for your life but you have to do so wildly, bravely and well. And part of that is letting yourself get old…to a point.

Part of that is embracing the uncomfortably good things required from a true adult. It’s also about being willing to be awkward.

Finally, it’s almost impossible to be perfect, but we actually should try. And commend ourselves for trying. There’s nothing wrong with giving a real damn.

Rausch (Repost)

image

If it could be described as a somewhat heavy fragrance, and it could (especially at first) Rausch (J. F. Schwarzlose Berlin 2012) transforms with time to become a little bit softer, sweeter and airier.  Complex, rich and sexy, this beautiful oud with warm sandalwood, sophisticated patchouli and a present but unobtrusive vanilla is quite perfectly intense at moments.  It has an Old World seriousness combined with a contemporary edginess.  And, I think Rausch could easily be worn by anyone, regardless of gender.

Notes: cypriol oil or nagarmotha, patchouli, agarwood (oud), amber, sandalwood and vanilla

It has been another long week.  Our son got a flu virus and while there were moments of fun it was a tiring week.  I’m sorry this post was messed up earlier and that my the first part of my short story for this month wasn’t posted on Thursday.

More later. 🙂

Hearing It All

I had a learning experience this week but it only became one after having dinner this evening with my father for my birthday. I realized something very ugly and uncomfortable as we were sitting there in the restaurant and as my husband and I were talking about the evening in the car afterwards.

It was a lovely time at dinner as usual. Don’t get me wrong. My father was perfect company. The dinner was fun.

See, it’s just that a lady I know who (seemingly sincerely) said that she doesn’t like blogs and never reads them when I told her I write one so…hopefully isn’t reading this… *fingers crossed* was overheard saying that I’m rejecting her because she’s not as “rich” as I am. (I heard it before tonight but it was on my mind during dinner.) In reality I just didn’t get along with her for reasons of personality differences and hence my blog post this week as it was inspired by my internal musings on the issue. But, I think she assumed it was about class because that’s what she’s most insecure about.

This same basic thing keeps happening in my life (has been for years now) in practically a million different iterations and I think I’m starting to finally realize part of the reason why…

What I realized tonight was that despite the life my parents chose for us when I was young it isn’t where we are now (or where we really were then entirely either) and that I need to stop laughing it off, mocking my reality and just genuinely accept that reality (might surprise you to read that)…as actual reality.

Being humble and compassionate is good but it’s foolish to think that as much as people are equal in the eyes of God in regard to their inherent value that…the class distinctions I discuss openly and honestly…and subtly poke at and use out of irritation are real. I need to stop expecting people to just “snap out of it” and not be insecure about it all. Again, even if I think underneath class distinctions we’re all valuable and fascinating I need to stop being so careless, belligerent and flippant about it. Sure, it’s obnoxious to feel wrath, cattiness, and rejection from people for having “too little” for some and then “too much” for others (which I have) but…that’s life. I need to let go of it in a way and yet be more serious about it at the same time. It just is what it is. I can’t fix it and I can’t secretly ignore my reality while openly being silly about it. Ha!

And lest you think I don’t care about people who aren’t as blessed, it’s quite the opposite. I do care with my heart and my wallet. And that’s part of my belligerence and lack of empathy for those struggling with insecurities in that area. I feel like people ask for way too much from each other (ie for others to be just like them) below and above on the social scale. But that’s just the way it is for now I guess, isn’t it…