Sunday, November 30, 2008

SOTD: Infusion d'Iris

There is not much to be said at the moment, other than I am working through this moment, and as usual in times of distress I reach for Infusion d'Iris, this is the scent that never begs for drama but rather has the effect of a soothing cup of green tea.

Music: Sour Girl by Stone Temple Pilots

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image: St. Cecily by Edward Reginald Frampton 1904
video uploaded by AtlanticVideos (by the way thank you Atlantic for actually allowing me to embed the video)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

SOTD: Bois des Iles

I suppose if there is any good news to getting over this relationship I once had is that my days so far have been full. I am determined though in this process to find beauty even it should be on the melancholy side. Bois des Iles I have always said is on the theraputic side with its heavy dose of sandalwood, so today I wear it with needed clarity. I leave you also with the heartbreakingly beautiful musician Jeff Buckley.
Tea: PG Tips special blend
Music: The Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley

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image: Italian Lakes by Baron Arild Rosenkrantz
video uploaded by andreslavegarden

Friday, November 28, 2008

SOTD: Angelique Encens

I am going to be honest because the truth is I simply cannot cover up the grief I am feeling right now, yesterday I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years. To simply put it he no longer had time for me in his life.

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image: Incense by Graham Durward

Thursday, November 27, 2008

SOTD: Allure Sensual pure parfum and giving thanks

Today is a feast day and on those days of harvest we must give thanks, so here are few things I am thankful for:

All the wonderful bloggers I now correspond with
The privilage of being able to brew a cup of tea
That I have family and friends to lean on in hard times and good times
That the weather is perfectly cold for today
That there lovely wonderful animals in the world
Lazy Sunday mornings
The joy I take in reading
The simple joys of a midnight feast (like the one I had last night of eggs fried in butter; I got home very late and had not had dinner)
Perfect red lipsticks
My sense of smell
And the beauty of perfumes.

Tea: No. 25

And now for a song that has always made happy, Just Like Heaven by The Cure, this variation from when MTV was actually good, and the very fun showcase called Unplugged:

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image: The Family Feast by Alfred Barber
video uploaded by curdisszero

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SOTD: Amour le parfum

I have a long day ahead of me with grocery shopping, filling out and turning in an application for a new apartment, and some how in between seeing my boyfriend. I also did another drastic thing yesterday, I cut my hair very very short considering it was to my my waist, to give you an idea of what it looks like:

First time I have ever had bangs so I am having to train them. So strange right now to have such short hair when for years I have sporting ridiculousy long hair.
Tea: Prince Vladimir by Kusmi
And now for some music, Strange Little Girl by Tori Amos, the video is the perfect interpretation of the creepiness of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, weird part the little girl looks insanely like my mother when she was a little girl:

image: Sinbad the Sailor by Dulac
video uploaded by grannyjanni

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SOTD: Chanel No. 5 pure parfum

After the heavy orientals of the last few days I am suddenly wanting something a little bit more luminous so I am going with Chanel No. 5 pure parfum. Whenever I wear it I always have a few ideas and images pop into my head: opals, the aurora borealis, champagne, perfectly powdered skin after an evening bath, and the intriguing combination of black and a salmon pink. I also find it interesting that many people considering this such a cold scent when to my nose it has such a sparkling powdery quality.

On another scented note: If you are lover of the Elton John special edition scent, Fireside, which came out a few years ago and is a gorgeous smoky vanilla, it's back in candle form as Bendel's Vanilla Woods. I'm write now scenting my home with gorgeous home fragrance oil, that I basically hoard until cold weather comes.

Tea: PG Tip's special blend

I recently saw Yo-Yo Ma on The Colbert Report, play this Panxolina, and I was floored by his enthusiasm and warmth:

This is from his new album Songs of Joy and Peace which appears to be a new holiday album, either way you can't argue that this song is isn't joyous.
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Image: Twelve Dancing Princesses by Kay Nielsen
video uploaded by Zeikart

Monday, November 24, 2008

SOTD: Ambre Russe

Ever had one of those days where you just wanted to smell dramatic? Well today I do but actually this desire started yesterday when I found the image above done by one of favorite illustrators, George Barbier, which heavily evoked Ambre Russe to me this feeling then continued as I looked for pieces by Ravel and found Tzigane which continued the insistence that I wear Ambre Russe. I had been tempted to wear Ambre Russe on Thanksgiving but that just doesn't seem appropiate; I will most likely choose Burberry Brit Red.

Tea for today: Peet's Russian Caravan

Ravel's Tzigane performed by Sarah Chang with the Berlin Philharmonica Orchestra:

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image: La paresse by George Barbier 1925
video uploaded by leomanjuice

Sunday, November 23, 2008

SOTD: Amour le parfum

I have been for awhile looking for a nice rice scented fragrance, I love the scent of rice cooking, and when Kenzo's Amour came out two years ago I thought I would finally have my answer, but it turned out to be to light and little too bland, forward to now and Kenzo has answered my needs with the parfum variation of Amour. This stuff is divinely comforting, creamy, but with incense interlaced, and a must say the opening reminds me of POTL, this is a most elegant and decadent comfort scent.

And because suddenly I am wanting a little Chopin:

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image: A Pavane by Edwin Austin
video uploaded by 139steven

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lipstick Epiphany: MAC Hot Tahiti

I have always wanted to have a red lipstick but have found I have the sort of coloring that looks like it would be perfect with red but I have found I few subtle issues that makes finding a red lipstick hard 1) Although my hair is dark it is not a full dark hair but is in fact heavily accented with red, in sunlight it is, as my friend said the perfect chestnut and 2) my skin tone although I am very pale I seem to have inherited the bizarro mix of pale European with hints of my great grandmother's asian skin tone basically I look pink but I have a lot of warm gold to go with it. Most red lipsticks often veer into too pink/cold or too much orange/warm, but today I have found the one MAC's Hot Tahiti, it doesn't look like much on the stick, but once it is on it creates the perfect subtle sensual red. What I found really funny was looking at makeupalley's reviews for the color it seems that those that loved it the most are those that have a great deal of red in their hair and hazel eyes (which I also have).
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image: Jewel in Red Lipstick by Rolf Armstrong 1935

November in a bottle

Last night my friend and I got together and went to our favorite brewery, Buffalo Bill's located in Hayward, CA (okay it is basically the only thing in Hayward you would want to go to). I should probably say this before I got any further I am not a beer expert and I am more of a wine drinker. We had a wonderful time chatting and relaxing after a long week and both of us ordered the pumpkin ale which I had never had before. For many years I have meant to try pumpkin ale but have never gotten around to it, well it proved to be a delightful surprise last night, and the first think I said after taking a sip of cinnamon laced pumpkin ale, was that it was November in a bottle. While the cinnamon is prominent in scent the flavor is mild in the ale and just adds tha perfect feeling of warmth and crispness. Very enjoyable.

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Image: Thoreau's Pumpkin by Jeanie Tomanek 2007

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SOTD: Mille et Une Roses

I have been craving a rose scent ever since I read Divina's review of Citizen Queen, I've been wanting to wear one of those dirty spiced up rich roses, unfortunately those roses really are not work place appropiate, so instead I am going with Mille et Une Roses, the most likable rose out there.

And because this damn song is stuck in my head and I am going to share it:

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image: Hours by Siobhan McClure and Greg Rose 2008
video uploaded by babyslyakanicole

Monday, November 17, 2008

SOTD: Vanille Fleurie de Tahiti

So we are unseasonbly warm weather, starting on Friday the tempertures have been in the upper 80's and today is likely to be no different, although I do look forward to Wednesday when the temperture is supposed to drop. This weather has of course left me wanting my spring and summer scents, so today I am going Vanille Fleurie de Tahiti, which I always seem to forget is a delicious vanilla.

As you can see in my goodreads widget I am currently reading The Complete Poems of Christina Rossetti, for the most part I must say the poems are very Victorian, but a few days ago I read a poem that is utterly ageless in its sentiment:

"No, thank you, John."

I never said I loved you, John:
Why will you teaze me day by day,
And wax a weariness to think upon
With always "do" and "pray"?

You know I never loved you, John;
No fault of mine made me your toast:
Why will you haunt me with a face as wan
As shows an hour-old ghost?

I dare say Meg or Moll would take
Pity upon you, if you'd ask:
And pray don't remain sing for my sake
Who can't perform that task.

I have no heart?-Perhaps I have not;
But then you're mad to take offence
That I don't give you what I have not got:
Use your own common sense.

Let bygones be bygones:
Don't call me false, who owed not to be true:
I'd rather answer "No" to fifty Johns
Than answer "Yes" to you.

Let's mar our pleasant days no more,
Song-birds of passage, days of youth:
Catch at today, forget the days before:
I'll wink at your untruth.

Let us strike hands as hearty friends;
No more, no less; and friendship's good:
Only don't keep in view ulterior ends,
And points not understood

In open treaty. Rise above
Quibbles and shuffling off and on:
Here's friendship for you if you like; but love,-
No, thank you, John.

And now for something completely hedonistic:
Time to Pretend by MGMT

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image: Dragon YONG, TOKI, Pink Bunnies, and Yellow Flower Ring
video uploaded by AleChievoAle

Friday, November 14, 2008

SOTD: Sensual Amber body cream with a spritz of Osmanthus Interdite

I admit the for the last week I have been loving BBW's Sensual Amber body cream with its juicy chewy apricot opening and lovely use of smooth amber, the weather has warmed up so I have once again been reaching for lighter fragrances yesterday I wore Le Chasse aux Papillons and today I am reaching for my beloved osmanthus love Osmanthus Interdite. A strange tidbit fact although I consider osmanthus to be a summer scent it is fact an autumn blooming flower and in China they hold a festival centered around this autumnal flower. Of late I have found myself reaching back for 1990's female singer/song writers, its sad looking at the music scene right now and not seeing anyone really following in their steps well not entirely true I have found myself in love with beautifully dusky voiced young women coming out of Britain: Adele, Corinne Bailey Ray, Amy Winehouse (although the girl needs some serious help), and Duffy. Still I am sad with the American scene of music. So in continued celebration of 90's songstresses the ever beautifully voiced Sarah McLachlan:
Possession the one that put her on the map

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image by Sharon Core
video uploaded by mattonbass

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's been on my mind the last few days....

Okay so my current obsession with puppies continues (Daily you are so lucky! Your Gatsby is absolutely adorable) this time I am utterly enamoured with the puppycam, which is a live stream of shiba inu puppies, seriously I had never heard of this breed before, but now I find myself adoring them for their shear roly-poly furriness, they are so ridonkulosly cute!

And now to more intellectual matters, I am finally reading Italo Calvino, specifically Invisible Cities, for years I have told myself to pick up one of his books, and I even own a copy of The Baron in the Trees but was never able to get into it. Invisible Cities so far is proving to be very interesting although catagorized as a novel it really is a meditation/poetry on the idea of what a city is. The language is beautiful and just draws you in and beautifully allows you to see all of Calvino's many imaginary cities. On a funny scented note everytime I read the Kublai Khan picking up his amber pipe, I think of the scent of Hermes' Ambre Narguile.
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image: Face Repugnance by Cristina Vergano

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

SOTD: BBW Blackberry Amber lotion, Molinard Mure, L'Occitane Vanille

One of the perks of working for the public is that I get the holidays off such has today. So to fully enjoy this day I am going to be a sillage monster in my home with a layering of potent BBW Blackberry Amber lotion, the sweet and tart Molinard Mure, and the lovely creme brulee vanilla of L'Occitane Vanille parfum de extract. I know it sounds nuts, but I think many fragrance lovers can understand that sometimes you want to be surrounded by a cloud of scent.

The last day or so I have had Tori Amos' A Sorta Fairytale stuck in my head, so I figured I would share the very strange music video Tori made for it:

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image: Grow to a Close by Timothy Berry 1997
video uploaded by campiiion

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ambering It Up

I suppose I sometimes think of amber as my scent, I feel a certain territorial quality for the note, I suspect it is because it is a note that from a young age has been a part of my life, a note that is always in the background. A note that I know blends well with my skin which is why it was so sad for me a few years ago to realize that chemistry of skin with amber had changed making my ambered fragrances take on overly sweet tarry note, but with time I have found some new loves in the amber category. So out of curiosity I decided to see all the amber fragrances I have and how I would categorize them and came to the conclusion that I am total amber nut:

Ambre Narguile by Hermessence- The ultimate amber pastry, completely defines the idea of amber being a pastry note.
Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire- A spicy narcotic decadent amber with a little bit of growling fur going through it.
Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens- An herbal narcotic amber, very cool and hot at the same time.
Baltic Amber candle by Voluspa- I beautiful smoky creamy amber with hints of pine and vanilla, one of the few candles I have repeatedly bought.
Blackberry Amber by Bath and Body Works- A juicy blackberrry amber patchouli combo, very intense.
Must de Cartier- What I like to call gingerbread amber with smoke and beautiful green notes.
Sensual Amber by Bath and Body Works- A chewy dried apricot amber that has a nice resinous vanilla drydown.
With Love by Hilary Duff- a coffeed piney creamy amber. Bizarrely good.

As you can see I am no perfume snob, I can appreciate high and low end.

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image: Venice Amber Vine Trio by Julie Lazarus

Sunday, November 09, 2008

SOTD: L'Instant pour homme

I would like to say I have spent my sunday morning being productive and intellectual, the truth is though I have spent my morning getting cute therapy by looking at while sipping my PG Tips special blend and eating homemade toasted pain d'epice. I then contemplated what I wanted to wear fragrance wise and have decided to go with L'Instant pour homme which then makes me wonder why on earth I have more success with Guerlain's masculines than feminines? I also noted that L'Instant pour homme and Ambre Narguile both share the same toasted sesame note.
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image: Spanish dancers at the 'Moulin Rouge' by Giovanni Boldini

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A little fragrance experiment

Earlier this year I wrote about my experience with Serge Luten's Five O'Clock au Gingembre and how I wanted to wear it while eating pain d'epice, dark chocolate, stem ginger preserves, and a cup of Russian Caraven. Well I did it today without the chocolate and ginger preserves, the effect was intensely spicy and wonderfull soothing, the pain d'epice went perfectly with smoky Russian Caravan, the Five O'Clock au Gingembre adding beautiful tangy piquant fresh ginger note. I suspect part of this experiment owes credit to Chandler Burr who over the years has hosted dinners centered around the concept of pairing fragrances with dishes (one of my wishes is to go to one of these) and his statement a little while ago while doing a review of Ambre Narguile that he enjoys it most by wearing it during meals finding that it enhances the gustatory experience. I think he is on to something with this last part considering I find wearing Ambre Narguile puts me in the mood to cook; last nights pain d'epice and the caramelized apples a little while ago.

Which brings me to an experiment I have had in mind for quite awhile but have yet to get around to doing, a dish inspired by Dolce and Gabbana's Light Blue. My idea starts with a buttermilk panna cotta that is infused with the flavors of green apple and lemon and tiniest drop of rosewater going in the back.
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image: Tea by Mary Cassatt 1890

Friday, November 07, 2008

SOTD: Ambre Narguile

It occurs to me I have been in exoticism the last week with my fragrance choices Parfum Sacre, Musk to Musk, and now the delicious Ambre Narguile, funny how you begin to notice a theme.
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image: The Enchantress by Luis Ricardo Falero 1878

Thursday, November 06, 2008

SOTD: Montale's Musk to Musk

The divine Miss Divina sent me a sample of this beauty and I must Divina mission accomplished! I finally found a Montale I truly enjoy and one that features aoud. I must say this really is a gorgeous musk that reminds me of perfect cool water and yet it has not ozone notes, just beautiful, there is something very sylph-like to it.
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image: Night by Edward Robert Hughes

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

SOTD: Ambre Russe a celebration with a touch of bitterness

Overall I will say that last night our country won back its soul and did it with the sort of aplomb that we should be proud of, but I am most definately disappointed in California but sadly not fully shocked. I am a California native, my father is gay and a California native too, and in the US, California is viewed as the "liberal" state. Being the California native I am though I know that this is a large and diverse state is much more conservative than others would think, we have small noticiable enclaves of our "liberalism" , but I am afraid for the most part that title is undeserved. I will not give up though, we have seen the fruitition of a African American president, and we will see Gays attain the right to marry those that they love. Let us not forget Bayard Rustin.

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image: Abundant Change by Barbara Rogers
video uploaded by bavc

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

SOTD: Angelique Encens

Today is the sort've day I never realized would happen during my lifetime. I am nursing wisdom teeth removed, a case of labyrinthitis, and lack of sleep but I feel right now utterly elated, scared, and amazed. I hope we are on the precipice of great voting history, that we are about to see a landslide for change. I don't usually speak about politics but I will say this if you live in California vote no on Prop 8! For the day I chose the calmness of Angelique Encens.
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image: Vote by Steve Schapiro 1965

Monday, November 03, 2008

SOTD: Parfum Sacre

There are so many variations of the rose fragrance, some go for the perfect soliflore, some are a perfect Morgane Le Fay fragrance such as Stella Rose Absolute, some are the perfect idea of angelic Mille et Une Roses, others are the abundent opulence of Marie Antoinette such as Lipstick Rose or Paris, but today was the need for the mysterious spiritual rose. Parfum Sacre is perfect idea of the sacred rose it is dry incense laden satin rose, it is dusky sunset just as the sky turns to the dark blue of night. It is perfectly mysterious and wish Caron would pay attention to its beauty because this scent is what so many of rose fragrances are trying to be.
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image: The Masque of the Four Seasons by Walter Crane 1903-09

Sunday, November 02, 2008

SOTD: Burberry Brit Red

I can no longer take any more cocooning so I have put on the very cheery Burberry Brit Red and later on I am meeting my boyfriend for hot chocolate and a movie. In the evening I will be making an incredibley aromatic soup: Pork Noodle Soup with Cinnamon and Anise , incredibly easy and perfect for the weather. The rain is here and it poured last night and I love it. Have a lovely Sunday everyone.
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image: Portrait of Katie Lewis by Sir Edward Burnes-Jones 1882

Saturday, November 01, 2008

SOTD: Vanille Cannelle by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

Right now I am nursing one soar mouth, yesterday I had two of my wisdom teeth taken out (the bottom ones). Most of yesterday I spent in a haze of vicadine but today well I really don't need the vicadine because it doesn't hurt that much so on to good old ibuprofen for me. The real kicker though is that I can't eat spicy food for a month (this is going to be really hard). To go with the first rainy days of Autumn and my soar mouth I am going with the ultimate in gourmand/comfort scents: Comptoir sud Pacifique's Vanille Canelle.
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image: Biscuits Lefevre-Utile (Gaufrette Vanille) 1900 by Alphonse Mucha

Most Worn In October: L'Occitane Vanille extrait de parfum

October was the need for comfort wo I relied on L'Occitane's Vanille; what is more comforting than vanilla? Possibly hot chocolate, but I didn't want to smell like hot chocolate.
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image: When October ends by James Shay 2007