Thursday, August 31, 2006 new favorite cocktail!

I'm not notorious for being an extreme cocktail maker but this is officially my new favorite thing (I also love Lemon Drops and Margeritas) and it is absolutely is called Kir. Kir is a French cocktail (most often an served as an apertif), that uses a dry white wine and a creme de cassis liqueur. Depending on how sweet you like it use a teaspoon of cassis or more. I'm going to admit now though I didn't have any creme de cassis liqueur but instead used my framboise liqueur, did some research and this isn't that uncommon either, the drink was delicious. From what I can tell the usual measurements for this are 1/5 creme de cassis to 4/5 dry white wine. I used up my bottle of Pinto Grigio but the most often recommended wine for this Sauvingnon Blanc, but it must be a dry white wine. Many variations were made with other fruit liqueurs. When you use champagne it is called a Kir Royale.

In a luminous grey haze..scent of the day

I'm wearing Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely today, it is hard to rhaps poetic about a celebrity perfume without delving into sounding fangirlish or sounding like you bought it only because they put their name on it, and too often the scent is mediocre or worse. But with Lovely it is another story this is a scent that immediately evokes a color to me and a texture, it is misty grey silk with just a hint of velvet at the edges. It starts often with a clean medicinal note that immediately awakens the nose with quality a winter breeze has on a sunny day, yet as the fragrance begins to change it takes on the character of grey haze that you often see before sunset in fall around the mountains. It is a clean hazy scent that is both enveloping crisp.
The notes are: patchouli, paper whites, orchid, cedar, musk, woods, manderin, bergamot, rosewood, lavender, apple martini

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sira des Indes by Jean Patou

My scent for today is Sira des Indes by Jean Patou, which may be one of the skankiest animalic fruity florals out there and I love it. One of the only fruity florals I will wear. The notes to it are:
Top: Bergamot, Banana, Pink Berries, Pear, Cardamom
Middle: Red Champaca, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Milk, Orange Flower
Bottom: Santal, Amber, Vanilla, Musk
The scent is based on an Indian dessert.

Madini Santal Blanc

Going with Madini Santal Blanc as my fragrance for today. A wonderfully grounding scent that can be worn by a man or a woman, woods with a hint of herbalness on me, unfortunately this does not become a divine creamy sandalwood on me that so many others espouse of it becoming on them. This is purely gentle dry woods on me so clean it invokes the whiteness of a crescent moon.

Lead me by your scent...Saffron

Saffron and I have had a bizarre relationship my first taste of saffron was not one that wanted me to go back for more, in fact the dish I ordered with saffron was not eaten, and I had a kind enough waitress who did not charge me for it (I really only took one bite and realized that it was not for me). Yet, what lead me back to saffron was a fragrance, that fragrance was Agent Provocateur, from there on that fragrance has spurred a search for the perfect saffron fragrance so far I haven't found it. Although one of my fragrances has a nice accent of it, which is Omnia. Otherwise I keep searching for the perfect Saffron scent. After Agent Provocateur I was willing to give Saffron another chance in the culinary field.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ange ou Demon by Givenchy

I stopped at Nordstroms about a week ago where a SA was handing out samples of Givenchy's new release Ange ou Demon. The notes for thes new fragrance are: white thyme, mandirine from Calabria, saffron, ylang-ylang, Maxilliaria orchid, lily, rosewood, tonka bean, vanilla, oak wood absolute. The beginning of this fragrance is gorgeous for a fleeting tantalizing moment it is citrus touched cream then comes in the soft herbiness of the white thyme, followed by a mild and very gentle note of saffron easily giving off the image of the softly touched cream unfortunately this stage does not last very long. It then enters the lily middle stage, which I swear has a touch of civet, the ylang-ylang adds a touch of headiness, strangely as the bottom notes begin to come in the scent moves between smelling like vanilla touched clean creamy lily soap and a rather bizarre honeyed root beer scent, the scent settles on a very soft powdery lily, vanilla, and amber base. Over all this scent is incredibly soft, the beginning is wonderful and I wish remained longer and strong through out the fragrance. A definite snuggling scent although the touch of civet I am getting from it definately gives it a little edge. I can see this one selling well this winter.

Madonna Lily by Ava Luxe

Notes: Madonna Lily, green leaves, light musk.

There might be something said for starting a fragrance at the bottom note and keeping it there. Yet, first lets get to the reason for why I ordered a sample of Ava Luxe's Madonna Lily, it begins with Sonoma Scent Studio's Incense Lily which spurred me into finding a lily fragrance without vanilla or incense, I loved the lily note in Incense Lily. So here I am at Ava Luxe's Madonna Lily, which is exactly that a lily fragrance and nothing else, yet for lovers of Kai, this may be a nice cheapie for those that love the drydown of Kai but do not love the somewhat harsh green notes Kai has at the beginning. This fragrance remains the same from bottom to top, yet sometimes it is nice to just get to the bottom of fragrance and not have to endure the sometimes annoying babble it takes to get there. This is a "no great feat of perfumery" fragrance but it offers exactly what it is and sometimes that is exactly all that is needed. And yes it does get creamy but remains clean. Still I remain on my search for the perfect lily fragrance.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pain d'Epice

If Helen of Troy was Pain d'Epice I could clearly understand the launching of a thousand ships in her name by Greece, unfortunately what we do know of Helen of Troy was she was very beautiful woman, who was not a heavenly spice bread. I am right now eating the second of my two toasted slices of pain d'epice that came from a loaf that I made last night, it has butter and Vanilla Pear jelly on it, it literally feels like I am eating autumn in toast form. The mere act of toasting it this morning brought out its heavenly spicy scent that I would pay great deal of money for if I found it in a bottled fragrance form (Now imagine how gorgeous the house smelled yesterday when I baked this and brought it out of the oven). So how did I come about making French spice bread aka pain d'epice in the middle of August, well when I was around 12 I went to visit my mother's family in France and was treated to my grandmother getting my brother and I, "gingerbread". I remember at first I did not like it because it was nothing like molasses gingerbread of the US that I was use to, and for the particular fact that it used anise seed which I did not realize until now is one of th main flavoring components to pain d'epice, yet suddenly in this last week I had an incredible craving (of course it is around August that I always have a craving for autumn and winter foods). So I did some research...and found that in fact that it was very makeable and I wanted to make some now. This is the first Recipe so far that I have used but I am now finding that there quite a few that invovle rye flour and after buying a bag of rye flour for the disastrous Nigella Lawson Rarebit muffins I really want to use my flour and this looks like the perfect way. Even if you don't like anise seed you might like this because the anise plays a role but with the blending of spices it reaches a whole new role that is rarely seen in American cookery.

By the way I have always held that if heaven exists and it has a scent, it would smell like Frangelico Liquour, well I'm adding Pain d'Epice as another scent for heaven.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A truly bizarre combination...or is it?

Something happened on my brother's birthday trip to Las Vegas that truly awakened my tastebuds to an incredibly great combination, this little detour was into Vosges Haute Chocolatier, and the flavor combo was: chocolate and curry. It came in the form of the Naga Truffle and it was divine and also on the expensive side. So imagine to my surprise the other day when traveling down to San Francisco's Fisherman's wharf and found 3400 Phinney Coconut Curry chocolate bar and there other chocolate bars which came with these gorgeous labels

I only bought one which I am now fully kicking myself for, because the chocolate bar was excellent and they had so many other unique flavors. And very much lower in price than Vosges Naga truffle or Bar (Still I can't help but want to compare the Naga Bar with 3400 Phinney Coconut Curry Bar)

Now on to why I don't think this is such a bizarre combination, the reason being the, the lovely Mexican dish known as Mole which quite often employs the use of chocolate to make the sauce. Also in my years of food history love it has been theorized that mole sauces originated from Spain which then originated with the Moors who then got the sauce from India who of course had the sauce in the form of a curry. So I think this chocolate combinations is the meeting of long lost cousins in a way.

And now for some useful links:
Vosges Chocolate
Theo Chocolate The makers of the 3400 Phinney Coconut Curry Chocolate Bar. Quick note on Theo chocolates they are the only organic and fair trade certified chocolate makers in the US.
Chocosphere The place you can actually get Theo Chocolates and the 3400 Phinney series at.
Kitten Chops providing the wonderful illustrations for the delicious Theo Chocolates.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And now for a little style....

Alright so all the new fall collections are coming out and the Couture stuff is what I always love so here are a few favorites all supplied by
From Armani Prive (apparently the prive fragrances are excellent and I have to say the couture collection is gorgeous also):

I really want the use of fans to come back into style because of this:

I want to get married and live in this dress:

Now on to Christian Dior
I love this one because it reminds me of beautiful Byzantium Mosaics and a warrior queen all rolled into one:

Valkryie in Space:

And the Chanel Collection sucked and will not be seen here

And now on to Christian LaCroix

Jane Austen for the Modern Age

My Red Lentil Quest....

I am on a quest for a perfect red lentil far this quest has been interesting but none have lead me to going that must be apart of my recipe collection, and here is the rundown of what I have gone through:
-Red Lentil and Squash Soup recipe can be found here Recipe
I imagine this recipe would be richer with the adding of Vegetable or Chicken broth but I have a feeling this defeats the purpose. Over all not bad but it just doesn't wow, still the use of spices was excellent, but definately needs more lemon. I found myself having to add hot sauce and a runny fried egg was excellent on top (which once again defeats the purpose). Overall it reminds of the wonders a little fat can do to a recipe which this recipe didn't have and I ended up adding in the form of an egg fried in olive oil. Still this recipe seems ripe for playing with and making something amazing with it. This also needs lots of salt.
-Next up Curiousity Killed The Cooks Lebanese Mdardara I finally got this one to kind've work but I have come to a conclusion that elevation must play a huge role in the porpotioning of water to lentils and rice, also it began to burn on the way and I had to switch pans, luckly saved mixture, the fried onions were excellent on top, but the amount of times this comes to near burning rice hell makes it a definate not remake. Plus I added way more cumin. Plus a little hot sauce on top of this is excellent (I'm seeing a hot sauce trend here and I firmly blame my boyfriend).
-And lastly my Jubilance Soup sure it has red lentils but I do not feel this show cases red lentils so it really doesn't belong.
The quest continues...........

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Anne Pliska: A Scent For A Golden Eyed Woman

Well this will be my first perfume review in a long time, but it is a scent that I am finding very striking right now:
Anne Pliska
The Notes:
Top-Manderine, Bergamot
Middle-Geranium, Jasmine
Bottom-Amber, Vanilla, Patchouli, Musk
There is a constant descripton of Anne Pliska being hot/cold. I believe it has finally occurred to me why this scent has such a smooth intense introduction. The scent begins with the aroma of the rind of citrus fruit that has no tang of the flesh beneath the rind being included in the beginnig, but rather the intense bitter sweetness of the rind that has been further enhanced by the touch of aldehydes, this is not the sparkling diamond aldehydes of Chanel 5 or the citrus clean aldehydes of Dolce and Gabbana Sicily, but rather these are dark pungent aldehydes that creates a scent that glimmers between black and gold, bringing out the scent of the broken peel of an orange that is about to turn. This strange almost gothic effect is enhanced by the scent of intensely sweet almost animalic jasmine that almost hits the cusp of becoming indolic except that the great balancer of geranium has been added which gives the jasmine a strange coca-cola spice scent. This is all layered over a base of deeply smooth amber which has been enhanced with a vanilla that is seems very similar to my nose of Mexican Vanilla with its wonderful spicy quality, a bit of wood from the patchouli. Over all the scent of of Anne Pliska is that of contrasts, it takes the concept of citrus and instead of playing on the concept of something that is fresh and zesty it insteads brings out the the beautiful rind and makes it seem intense sweet and dark. Further enhancing this sweet darkness is the scent of night touched heady jasmine. And topping it all off is the very prominent and gorgeous amber that does not play on the concept of it being a warm bakery like note that it is so oftened used in perfume for, but rather it plays on the history of amber as something that would travel far from cold regions in the ancient world to the ancient opulent warmth of the Roman empire where it was a prized jewel. The image that comes to my mind of Anne Pliska is of a large polished piece of golden polished piece of amber on a the most dark and velvety of furs by firelight, a trade between a sophisticated and chic merchant of Rome and a wild Northerner. The ultimate irony that the wild Northerner has something of great luxury and finesse that could only come from a place far from the sophistication of the Roman Empire.