I really did not think I would like Creed's Angelique Encens that much considering the first fragrance I ever tried of theirs was rather hellacious on me (Fleurs de Bulgare), but last night I received my swap sample of it and I was blown away. This is what I wanted Frederic Malle's L'eau d'Hiver to be, this is strangely beautiful comforting cool incense, it is white marble with blue veins come to life, in a way it reminds me of L'Heure Bleue, but this actually works on me. Really if I were to describe it, it is a combination of L'eau d'Hiver and L'Heure Bleue, but ironically timeline wise, L'Heure Bleue is the grandmother-Angelique Encens the mother-L'eau d'Hiver the grandchild, what is strange though is this scent seems to straddle luminously feminine and yet I can't help but want to say it is androgynous. What I adore is it keeps the beautiful delicate green note of angelica through out, surrounding it with wonderfullying dry incense and cashmere like heliotrope tinged vanilla. I suppose I expected the cold Commes des Garcon's Avignon, instead this is somehow this is unearthly and comforting. Thank you Marlene Dietrich.
Today I am wearing E. Coudray's Ambre et Vanille, the weather has cooled, and well after this week I am treating myself to an autumnal delight. It reminds me of Noire Vanille du Mexique by La Maison de la Vanille, but what really intrigues is the Ambre et Vanille's heart of ylang ylang, it seems so rare to encounter ylang ylang as a prominent note, but here it shows it's lovely beauty.
On to a different subject now:
I suspect I have always been fascinated by Italy, about 4 years ago I took a trip there and remember it fondly, and I would say my cooking repetoire features the most influence from Italian cuisine. Lately I have found myself reading about Italy in the most varied ways. Years before this I had read Susan Vreeland's The Passion of Artemisia and in my youth had an utter obsession with the Roman Empire. It began last year with A Venetian Affair by Andrea di Robilant, preceeded by Sarah Dunant's In the Company of the Courtesan (taking place in Venice also), followed up by Sarah Dunant's The Birth of Venus (taking place in Florence), a brief break and then I was back to Venice with John Berendt's The City of Falling Angels, and then last night in one sitting I read Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi's The Monster of Florence and well to put it this I don't know what frightened me more after reading this the Kafkaesque Italian legal system or the serial killer known as The Monster of Florence, I will say this now that true crime stories art not my usual forte but this was riveting. I suspected I read it because of the comparison to The City of Falling Angels. The irony is I was ready to fall in love with Florence when I went to Italy only to find myself kind've annoyed with it, instead I ironically ended up loving its renaissance rival Sienna.
image provided by artnet.com image: Il Doni della Terra by Luciano Ventrone 2008
Today the crappyness of yesterday continues to alleviate this I am going with a fragrance that reminds me of my boyfriend (the first one he ever bought me). I already want this day to be over and it is 8 in the morning. Glargh. image provided by artnet.com image: A Green Apple by Byung Rock Yoon
To say has been frustrating is an understatement! I will start though with that at least I had something nice to smell in the form of Osmanthus Interdite, but now on to the frustration.
A few weeks ago I took my truck in to have the breaks serviced quite a few things needed to be done, I knew that, so I was prepared for the large bill, overall it was the usual things that need to be done over time, that just hadn't been done because my truck just kept chugging along. But this week things started to go badly wrong the ABS light started appearing, then yesterday the brake signal appeared, which should not be appearing three weeks after getting the brakes serviced!!! Took it too a different mechanic (hoping it was something small, but of course it wasn't), so lo and behold all the things that were supposed to be fixed were falling apart. So in the next week I need to go argue a re-imbursement and well I am completely and utterly angry!
So the heat has returned and I am really wanting the cooler weather, I long to bring out my cool weather scents rich and heady ambers, vanilla, woods, and incenses. So what is an oriental lover to do? In my case I'm going with the soothingly cool Azuree Soleil, the beauty of this is the use of woods at the heart of creamy coconut and gardenia. Still I want my amber....
In a sort've completely natural way this weeks theme in images is still life, I can't even explain why I am fascinated with still lifes, when all I think is I should really be bored by this type of style of art, but I'm not. Today I am wearing the only Montale that has ever worked on me and it is completely for derivative reasons, Soleil de Capri, with is a niched up version of Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue. I have so far tried amongst Montale's offerings Mukhalet (kill me with plastic strawberries), White Aoud (I suspect aoud and I just don't get along), Fruits of Musk (Okay, this one worked, but really it is a blackberry musk fragrance), and Amandes Orientales (urinous almonds). Which leads me to worst of offender of copying scents: Ramon Molvizar, Luna=Omnia by Bvlgari and Smart Goldskin (also craptastic name)=a softened variation and I kid you not of BBW's Blackberry Amber, all of this can be had for withe wonderful price of $198.00, blech on you Ramon Molvizar.
And on to a completely random note: I fully suggest you take advantage of cantaloupe season and go get yourself some prosciutto and enjoy one of life's perfect combinations: the eating of cantaloupe and prosciutto together, salty sweet goodness. If possible get your hands on the tuscan variety of cantaloupe, which is often called the muskmelon, you are in for one of most incredibley fragrant fruits, I literally had a few slices in my bedroom, and my room smelled of the most potently incredible melon scent.
image provided by artnet.com image: Autumn crocuses in a wine bottle with a lemon by Mary Fedden 1990
Today is the first day of school, I was tempted to go with my now usual serene scents: Bois des Iles or Infusino d'Iris, but my yearning for Autumn and knowing the tempeture would be warm, I have instead chosen, the smoky gingery beauty of Serge Luten's Five O'Clock Au Gingembre, which is wonderful addition to the family of gourmands. I will say this now but I think this scent would be incredible as a candle. As for the actually scent, I am utterly intrigued by his use of smoky tea, I first I would say it was the Chinese Lapsang Souchong, but the smoke has a hint of electric quality to it that reminds me of the smoky blend Russian Caravan, mixed with the stem ginger opening, it provides a complete picture of a moment. I want to try this scent later on in the year with a plate of homemade pain d'epice, stem ginger preserves, possibly a chunk of good local dark chocolate, and a cup of smoky creamy Russian Caravan tea. All I need is for the weather to change and steal my dad's spice grinder.
I adore Sundays, I adore them for neither sleeping in nor going out early to Church, but rather I love them because when I get up early for a Sunday, the quiet of the morning keeps on going into the afternoon. There is a relaxed quality to chores, I drink my cup of tea relaxed with no worry of the rest of the day's chores needing to be done soon. I can putter around thinking of what delicious meal I want to make myself.
Today I am probably wearing the girliest floral I have ever liked: L'Artisan's Le Chasse Aux Papillions, I admit I feel dorky liking this one considering for many it is the easiest to like floral out there, but then again being not the greatest floral lover in the world, this is probably perfect for me.
Yesterday, was one of those days that make you grateful to live in the Bay Area, Francisco and I went to Lake Temescal in Oakland, the temperture was perfect a cool breeze coming off the lake, and lots of sunshine to make all the greenery sparkle. Below are few images I found, behind the Beach House is a gorgeous fountain area and garden. The second area shows where we picniced which was at the other end of the lake.
We end Friday with my favorite woman to appear on Mad Men, sadly we have not seen her on the second season of Mad Men, the astute Rachel Menken. Rachel is the woman Don Draper at one point said he was ready to leave his family for, but unlike other women Rachel is sharp enough to see reality of Don Draper, and know better than to go down that path. Rachel is probably the one woman Don truly respects, because she will call him out on all of reprehensible things he has said and done and she is also the one who understands him the most. Scenting Rachel was the hardest choice, at first I thought of Chanel's Bois des Iles, but the reality is that scent is too soft for her. But then I smelled Lancome's Magie a beautiful strange mixes of melancholy violets, potent jasmine, and gorgeous amber, and I thought that is Rachel. It is beautiful and wistful but utterly full of vitality, I thought it fit this unique and independent woman.
Peggy Olson was probably the hardest character to scent, I knew immediately her scent was going to be a drug store variety, so of course the first thing to come to mind was 4711, but well the reality is that just does not fit. Peggy may be one of the most fascinating characters, in ways she seems way to innocent in the world of Advertising Agency but at the same time we know that she is very driven and is smart and capable. I finally decided on the ubiqutous Jean Nate, although this scent is described as clean and refreshing, for me this one has one the dirty musk dry-downs ever. I think this really shows off the duality of Peggy's character.
How do you scent the woman who is the epitome of beauty for the 1950's? Who has the sort've Grace Kelley good looks that should make her husband utterly adoring of her, instead Betty is faced with a husband who continously has affairs with woman that quite frankly the opposite of her character and looks, ex. Midge, and is chomping at the bit of the role of mother and wife. She is living the 1950's dream life for a woman, but as you watch her realize how much that role did not give fruit to happiness or fulfillment. Watching Betty is watching a woman realize that all those expectations she has of herself and from everybody else does not fit. She is sexually unhappy in her marriage, not exactly the greatest mother, and is beginning to realize the only time she enjoyed herself to degree was working, as a model, but still work. At first I wanted to scent Betty in Chanel N. 5, but realized that scent is just way too soft for her, instead I looked towards another highly aldehydic scent but one that has an edge, Lanvin's Arpege, I think I rather enjoyed the irony of scent that is based on the love between a mother and a daughter. A role that Betty has great deal of problems being the daughter of a woman who only commented on Betty's looks and now the mother of a daughter, whom she is repeating the same behaviour with. But then again Arpege is not a very maternal scent, it is womanly with just a hint of sadness from the use of violets, and stronger than expected with the use of woods.
Although, she hasn't been featured in the second season of Mad Men, Midge most definately deserves a spot in this series. As usual, maybe my mind runs on repetitive, I thought of Shalimar when first scenting Midge, but then quickly realized that just really didn't fit this bohemian and independent woman that Don Draper was very much tantalized by but couldn't get around his head for quite awhile that she was miles away from him in culture. But then again it occured to me that Midge is Balmain's Jolie Madame beautiful, sexual, but very much at the same time earthy with is tobacco chypre notes and aloof with with it cool violets and gardenia.
By the way I just wanted to add I am only using scents that are available at this time period.
As I randomly grabbed fragrances on Sunday for my dogsitting days, I chose my decant of SMN's Zagara, and what a perfect choice after been woken up last night by one enthusiastically happy German Shepard, Rex, who decided at that moment he really needed to go chase the squirrels outside. The bright green clarity of it should hopefully keep me going until I can get my nap. For some reason I have this song stuck in my head, Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
I first began to think about this project during the first season of Mad Men when Roger Sterling comments to the epitome of curvacious, voluptous, and buxom Joan Holloway that she "...smells amazing." At first I thought Shalimar might be the scent to fit Joan, but I realized it didn't seem like the right fit, it then occured to me I wanted a scent that Joan could get for herself and that was new, it then occurred to me that the perfect fit was the spicy wonder of Estee Lauder's Youth Dew; striking, spicy, scintillating, and very womanly.
Yesterday I obtained a sample of Lancome's new Magnifique after I had spritzed it on. After smelling it from both dabbing and spritzing all I can say is get the spritzer and Lancome really does have a way with the rose. Also love the smoky vetiver and nagarmotha used in this; I know everyone is loving Sensous, but for me it has a hint of rotten citrus that just does not jive, where as Magnifique is well quite nice. Coming up after this post: I am scenting the women of Mad Men!
Long day today work, dogsitting, and somehow getting time in with my boyfriend. So I am beginning the day in something simple and well easy, Apothia's If. Will probably end the day in something more sultry and relaxing. This is the final image of my week of Leo and Diane Dillon. Hope you have enjoyed.
It's hot and all I want is luxurious warm amber orientals, I can't have the warm amber, but I can have the luxurious Chanel N.5 pure parfum. I think the image goes perfectly if you know the history of Chanel N.5 which was inspired by the artic in spring. Plus I have always thought that there is something playful in Chanel N.5.
I admit I usually only wear Narciso Rodriguez on nights out, but I wanted something luxurious today, and the body creme seemed like the perfect option. Today going with another striking Leo and Diane Dillon cover, this one always stops me during shelving and requires examination of just how lovely it is.
I seem to be having a Madonna moment, well from the last record of her's I really enjoyed and had some relavancy to me, and features hot cowboys:
This is probably the most famous of Leo and Diane Dillon's covers at the moment and as usual it is gorgeous and draws a wonderful strong portrait of women. Today I am going with the wonderfully smoky piney Kinmokusi by Ayala Moriel, this is actually in my opinion a perfect osmanthus for a man to wear, if you like the smoky opening of Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan you need to smell this.
Caught part of Wanda Sykes show last and well had to post one of my favorite acts of hers (NSFW) Detachable Vagina aka Sick and Tired:
Alright another perfect comment on being a woman, Madonna's What It Feels Like To Be A Girl:
This is the first image I ever really fell in love with of Leo and Diane Dillon's and belongs to one of my favorite books when I was younger (okay still a favorite), sadly I wasn't able to find the greatest image to illustrate the awesomeness of this cover. And if there was a scent to go with the character of Juniper well most definately her day scent is Infusion d'Iris (her night scent is most definately something incensey).
Today I am visiting my grandmother. For this I am choosing the ever lovely Bvlgari pour femme, this is a scent that always reminds me of yellow mimosas and sunlight, utterly feminine and completely in good taste. Which is one of the great attributes of Leo and Diane Dillon's illustrations, there women are strong and resourceful, and never in bad taste. Which reminds me of my grandmother.
Today I am finally trying a truly American fragrance and rendition of osmanthus or as it is known in the Southern United States, Tea Olive. The scent opens very white floral but as it calms down the scent begins to gain the lovely aspects of apricot/peachy and the white floral becomes creamy, the scent induces the idea of summer and cute white summer dresses.
I also on my wrist have the very intriguing Serge Luten's 5 O'Clock au Gingembre, which is amazing me with its smoky russian caravan tea base with a hint of gunpowder, while still keeping the stem ginger note, I don't think it's me, but damn if I don't enjoy smelling it. It really is the slice of a moment, it occurs to me that this would make an awesome candle scent.
Currently I am now obsessed with the new Coldplay album, I hated their last album, but the boys have created something awesome with this album, and a great deal of this thanks go to Brian Eno. Yes by Coldplay:
image provided by artnet.com image: Blue Sky by Henrik Simonsen 2008 video uploaded by Hunter 45367
Today I am wearing the much disputed Hermes Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, technically I should hate this, I mean is smells of melon, but here is the thing I don't. Chandler Burr hates but he may have answered why I do like it, it does not actually use the infamous calone for its melon note. This is a lovely watermelon with a hint of tartness and the earthy binding of vetiver. I could see this being a summer fragrance next year.
And thank you Mary for introducing me to this lovely song (It's been awhile since someone did a really good break-up song and sounded so lovely singing it) Warwick Avenue by Duffy:
Today I leave with what I think is the most provocative image by Flor Garduno, anyone who has had a passing interest in Greek mythology, should easily recognize that this image is firmly grounded in the Zeus and Leda myth. A myth that has always kind've freaked me out. Still what of love about Flor Garduno's interpretation is that in this image Leda is no victim, but rather she is the one in control. So ends my week of Flor Garduno.
Today I am going with simple and nurturing, the lovely Burt's Bees Baby Apricot body oil, the best apricot scent out there. Yesterday was well harsh, my truck I knew had some issues, what I didn't know was it had some issues totalling to around 1300 dollars. The good news was this was basically stuff that was long overdue. But, the truth is I am lucky to be able to pay for this and not to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere at night because of the issues.