What always strikes me about Bois des Iles is how utterly unique it is and yet how it is completely familiar to me, for Chanel it completely blows off of the idea that all Chanels are some strange alien cool creatures that just reek of cool chicness (which is what you want a lot of the times anyways). For me it is what a fairytale would look like in the hands of Coco Chanel. As for the familiarity of the scent, I can't explain it, it smells of home too me, it smells like it should be every where, but it isn't. It is the scent that makes you question why on earth are there not more scents in its category of aldehydic woods. It glows, it evolves, it is woods, perfect glow of an orange in Autumn twilight, gingerbread in shadows waiting to be eaten.
image provided by artnet.com
image: Lot 153: Illustration of a Fox Hunting Party Traveling Through the Woods by Henry James Soulen
Sometimes all you want is something sweet and embracing but then you have that one other need that is so opposite of the other two, sophisticated, that you are left with a conundrum of what to do, and to top it all off you want it easy. I had seen the recipe for Brown Butter Blondies a few weeks ago and had been agonizing about wanting to make them but could not with a right mind turn the oven on in 100 degree weather to bake a dessert that screamed Autumn to me, so I waited the weather out.
The idea of brown butter in desserts has always intrigued me, the added nuttiness and depth to already delicious butter made brown butter something to fantasize about, so finally the weather changed, and I tried the recipe. The recipe could not be simpler or easier and the results were phenomenal, while sweet the blondies were not overly sweet, the vanilla melded with the molasses of the dark brown sugar to create a heady fragrance, the pecans added there own sweet nuttiness, while the blondies themselves a beautiful caramel color. While children would eat these with joy, I could not help but realize that these are probably far more delightful for adults. As I sat there eating a blondie I realized that it reminded me of a fragrance, Guerlain's Cuir Beluga, while Guerlain may hype up the scent as the most elegant of things, and it is elegant what they fail to add is that Cuir Beluga is also very much a dessert scent, vanilla and amber with just the tiniest touch of leather to keep it from becoming vanilla pudding. The Leather and Brown Butter act out the very same role in these creations they make them adult desserts.
The recipe for Brown Butter Blondies can be found here:
So today is finally feeling like Autumn. I've already made Carrot Ginger soup in celebration of it and later on some Brown Butter Blondies. My scent today is Serge Luten's Daim Blond that doesn't seem to get much love yet in this lovely Autumnal weather is perfect. This lightly spiced suede melts into the skin beautifully and brings a chicness that is unexpected.
image provided by artnet.com
image: Golden Cottonwoods by Christopher Burkett 1993
Sometimes you just have to go girly pretty but why should that disparaged, in age when girly and womanly seem to be oversexed to attract a man's view, it is nice to put on a scent that feels like the purely feminine, celebratory of the feminine aspect at its most girly. In a way it reminds me of the Lolita Gothic trend:
The fragrance while feminine has its own bits of dark angles that makes it such a unique fragrance.
Just wanted to offer two really good articles about the Gothic Lolita trend:
I think I am one of the few that likes this scent/or has positive results from it. For the few first hours it is smoky goodness and then becomes a sweet tart rose. In the other news today is the first day of Autumn and it is supposed to get to 103 here, Magnifique was the only scent that reminded me of of Autumn and I could wear in the heat today. Not much else to say when you are pining away for your Autumn weather.
image provided by artnet.com
image: Still Life with Poppies and Morning Glories by James Aponovich 2007
When I was a kid my Dad smoked cigarettes; to this day the scent of cigarette smoke makes me nauseous. So imagine my surprise when I found out I have a rather growing love for the scent of tobacco. The love for it began with Fifi Chachnil (this still has one of the more delightful unique uses for tobacco out there), I then went on to try and smell it in Chergui (for some reason this smells mainly of sweet honey on me), followed by Fumerie Turque which has a wonderful smokiness going on a hint of tobacco and eventual dry down creamy leather on me. Finally what I consider almost a soliflore for tobacco, Hilde Soliani's Bell'Antonia, tobacco and coffee deliciously blended into something utterly nuzzle worthy. I then received a decant of Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille, which starts out with a pungent wet tobacco note laden with cloves and drys down to a delicious honey vanilla cream on me. Yet, it turns out my love for the scent of tobacco really didn't just begin last year, I like to think it might actually be something I have been growing with for a very long time. The beginner scent being Lolita Lempicka, yes thats right there is a tobacco note in there, so lovely and delicate in its use you might pass it by but it is there, then there was the scent that made me cross the gender aisles of perfumery, Guerlain's Vetiver, the tobacco pronounced beautifully in the dry down. Finally about three years ago my love for Must de Cartier which I swear has a tobacco note.
Another realization, I like my tobacco notes combined with sweeter things. My birthday is coming up and I have decided to kill two birds with one stone this year for my birthday fragrance, I want to find a good tobacco scent with vanilla. So I have gathered a list for things I wish to sample:
Sometimes you just forget that Annick Goutal is not all romance and that the house is very much willing to take creative leaps. I always think that a perfume is showing its art when you smell it and image immediately springs to your mind, Musc Nomade did just that. While Musc Nomade's inspiration lies in the Middle East, when I smelled it something very American popped in my head: The South Western Painted Horse. Yet this is not completely anachronistic, in the US the painted horse is a symbol of nomad-ism at its most wild and beautiful. When smelling Musc Nomade, I immediately smelled hay, warm horse breath that had just eaten oats rolled in molasses, the colors of Navajo white and rich chocolate brown.
image provided by artnet.com
image: Horse and Stone Walls by Patricia Turner 2008
I think I may be going backwards with my fragrance love when I was young I adored Paloma Picasso (I suspect because of my association with my mother), I understood chypres to an extent, but then I moved on to sweet gourmands, after that it was orientals and woods but always with a sweet edge, for the most part this year I have been enamoured with the note of tobacco, and now as Autumn arrives I suddenly have my eyes looking towards florals. It has begun with an awakened love for lily which began with Donna Karan's Gold and now with the blazing Serge Luten's Un Lys, sharped edged in exactness of opulent lily. But to be more truthful this new love towards lady-like florals most likely began with Prada's Infusion d'Iris, which I have worn the last two years with a great deal of love, the bottle more than half way gone, which is almost unheard of for a fragrance lover. But lately that iris just hasn't been up to what I have been wanting on a whim I swapped for Ferre by Ferre, another iris of good repute. This is an iris for Autumn (okay the whole year) where as Infusion d'Iris can feel too cool and delicate in cold weather unless you are need a spring pick me up, this one warm and powdery starting with a lovely bright pineapple note and then heads into lovely iris softness.
Well it suddenly feels like Autumn has arrived for the last two days we have had thunder and lightening followed by gentle rain, a crispness in the air has suddenly arrived. I admit I am bit shocked considering on Thursday we were in 100s and now this loveliness, although looking at the weather forecast it is supposed to be short lived and by Thursday we will be back in the 90s. Taking advantage of this lovely little bit of weather before Indian summer comes back with Lolita Lempicka today and a pair of boots. There is something so perfect about this scent in Autumnal weather, the sweetness perfectly accented by violets, anise, vetiver, vanilla, and a dash of tobacco. It is a scent meant for playful enchantment.
image provided by artmagick.com
image: The Queen of Hearts by Emma Florence Harrison 1910
My relationship with jasmine has always been on the tenous side, some how I bring out the indoles in even the least indolic of jasmine fragrances, but something strange has happened. A few years ago I tried Marc Jacob's Blush and well I detested it, I mean seriously did not LIKE it, it bloomed on my skin in the most perverse way, others spoke of how easy and lovely it was, and me, well Pooptown, USA would have been a good description. And then the other day through a swap I received a sample of it and because I constant curiousity decided for the hell of it to retry Blush. What hit my nose was not indolic at all but rather something very similar to L'Artisan's Le Chasse aux Papillons but hints of wonderful delightful peach. As I said inwardly to myself "Holy Skin Chemistry Change Batman!"
Montale's Musk To Musk is unlike any musk I have ever tried. It is beautifully airy and spiritual, putting is like having mist over a desert effect, strangely dry and yet at the same time moist. It is one of the few scents with aoud I can wear. For a musk it is delightfully aromatic and full of strong imagery. This can be worn by men or women easily; cool, clean, aromatic, woodsy, with a lovely nutmeg and rose note.
I'll say it now I don't really like this musk, but I received it as a gift which was a coffret set of Gap oils. I'm not quite sure why I don't like it because the reality is I should like it; it is very much in the family of Sonoma Scent Studio's Opal but that is the thing musk lovers know when a musk is not working for them. I think I find it too powdery and sweet and the slight tang it has just adds to cloyingness of it. I'm going to layer Madini's Azahar over it and see what happens.
L'Artisan's Mure et Musc is an originator scent, if you love Trish McEvoy's No. 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk or Philosophy's Falling In Love you better give this fragrance some thanks, well at least the original version. I few years ago I received a decant of Mure et Musc and truthfully I am not all that impressed and from what I understand there is good reason: L'Artisan at some point reformulated it. What I smell now is a somewhat dirty citrus musk, clean and not clean at the same time, the barest hint of blackberry, and overall it has a masculine edge. Another musk to take into consideration from the berry musk category is Montale's Fruits of The Musk, pumped full of berries and roses this musk is absolutely luscious. While I love that L'Artisan helped to create the category of blackberry musks I'm just not in love with this originator.
I lied. There is another type of musk that can get you instant compliments: the vanilla musk. This scent is ubiquitous but with good reason, it smells just really good, but as musks go there are many varieties of it, the high end expensive kind ex. Lea St. Barth and Sage Machado's Pearl. These two both play on the vanilla musk category in different ways Lea heightens its formulation with a distinct almond note and Pearl goes woody with addition of a prominent sandalwood note. The funny thing about Kuumba Made's Vanilla Musk is that it is dirt cheap and easily holds it own with the above mentioned expensive vanilla musks. In someways it might actually be a better perfume for perfume lovers who want a vanilla musk that is edgier, the beginning of Vanilla Musk is almond, a really good almond I should add, followed by a heart of soft amber (through out the whole thing is vanilla), below that is clean musk that actually has an edge of civety skank. What is interesting about this vanilla musk is it has major sillage. It also in my case has been a man magnate. Wear it when you seem to be forgetting how good simple can be.
A few years ago this scent caused quite the uproar, it proclaimed itself to be the "World's Best" Egyptian musk for the most part it was quite the let down. In the frenzy of the arguments over the scent a very kind POLer sent me a sample. This is not an Egyptian musk scent, but neither is it horrible, it is a rather intriguing use of fruity red currant mixed with a sweet clean musk there is also a definite hint of lemon rind in there and just maybe a dash of Egyptian musk. I could lovers of Montale's Fruits of the Musk or L'Artisan's Mure et Musc finding it enjoyable.
***Update: This is actually a true Egyptian Musk it just takes awhile to get there but once it does oh my is it lovely. Very akin to NR edt in the drydown.
image provided by artnet.com
image: Butterfly Series: Redcurrants with Two Butterflies by Joanna Hill
This is a strange little beauty. I don't have much experience with natural perfumes so excuse if I make a few mistakes. The opening of it is strikingly green for a moment I afraid this scent is going to be just very green, while I admire green scents, they don't usually sit well on my skin. This softens though and sweetens becoming a candied Egyptian Geranium, this musk follows in the steps of Perfect Veil, Sonoma Scent Studio's Opal, and Ava Luxe's Nude Musk. Sweet musks laced with tangy soft notes in Perfect Veil, Opal, and Nude Musk it is citrus, but in Musc Botanique it is geranium, a wonderful come smell me closeness that just makes you want to breath in the scent of necks as you hug. Wear this type of musk if you want compliments, trust me they always work.
Notes: botanical musk, Egyptian Geranium, white amber.
Its that time of year when I look at my fragrance choices for the season and I sigh. August is that month where I can smell the change of seasons in the air but the heat of summer remains, I want to wear opulent orientals but know it will have disastrous results in being over powering. So its around this time I start reaching for musks. Musks have that beauty of not being too heavy but providing a soothing sensuality that melds with your skin.
To be truly honest with myself musks are also a scent I consistently get compliments on, I also get compliments on rose based scents, and vetiver scents; this makes me wonder if compliments are based also on how people view the person who is wearing the scent and whether they think that scent goes with their character.
Yesterday I put Narciso Rodriguez eau de toilette, sometimes I forget how beautiful the bottom is to the fragrance with the combination of vetiver, egyptian musk, and patchouli. Its honeyed earthiness just makes you want to delight in your own skin.
Today the craving continued at first I spritzed on a sample of Reminiscence's Musc, a powdery mild musk with almond and with a drydown that hints at animalic naughtiness. If you like Madini's White Musk, Musk Pierre, Sage Machado's Pearl, or Lea St. Barth you will enjoy this. I am curious as to why almond is so often paired with musk.
But then I realized I wanted more musk so I dabbed on Auric Blend's Egyptian Goddess, which maybe one the worlds greatest cheap buys ever as far as fragrance is concerned. With the application of heat on the skin this one blooms, and hilariously enough is probably the fragrance that has given me the most compliments in my collection. If you like Narciso Rodriguez eau de toilette try this.
Forever how long it takes the next couple of days will be dedicated to the explorations of musk in my collection.
Well I didn't fall off the face of the earth or go into the jungle and get lost or visit the moon and meet an alien who took me to the center, rather I did what so many do after a break-up and a ton of work, I went into hiding, and had a few meditative thoughts. But after a month of doing that...well...one can only handle so much of it. So I decided to share somethings I enjoyed this month:
I took my Dad to go see the new Harry Potter movie, which I thought was really cute, and it just made me really happy to see my Dad happy.
The Chicken Piccata I made my Dad for his birthday. The excellent recipe was provided by Giada de Laurentiis.
The making of apricot preserves. My favorite recipe can be found here.
Making my favorite homemade lemon liquor, which can be found here.
The perfection that is Blueberry Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes, I've never been fond of regular pancakes, but these are divine, and the recipe is here.
I come from a family that is bacon connoseurs, so I rather love bacon, but quite frankly I suck at cooking it stove top, but then I found out you can do it in the oven, and my bacon world has been saved, also this is perfect if your having a crowd over for breakfast, instructions here.
Watching the Wallender series starring Kenneth Branagh, just wow, the photography in this was exceptional, and I really just loved seeing Sweden as I have never really seen it before.
Which brings me to Emily Barker, the intro to Wallender has one of the most haunting songs I have heard in a long time, and I was utterly taken by it. The voice of Emily Barker is haunting and the song that captured me, Nostalgia:
As for fragrance, I am rather haunted by the beauty of Ormonde Jayne's woman, the scent of sap from childhood.
I think at one point or another we have all met this girl, she is ethereal and delicate, with a little bit of a feyish quality to her, she consistently gets stares. The truth is you should be jealous of her but the thing is she is ridiculously sweet not naive about her effect on others, but she just chooses to ignore it. The one thing though that pains you everytime is she wears a good dousing of perfume and she smells wonderful! It's a cheap little thing from the drugstore and yet some how on her it is a showstopper that consistently elicits comments of admiration. This is Nanadeberry Pink, the cheap scent that some girls transform into utter perfection, the kind that just smolders off the skin into the perfect haze of clean and sensual.
Summer heat has arrived and I am reaching for something utterly soothing: Les Nuits d'Hadrian. The scent is cool herbs, citrus rind, and incense; what suprises me the most is that this doesn't get more love, I find it utterly beautiful.
image provided by artnet.com
image: In the Navel of the Moon by Mary Mattingly 2008
So I decided to follow my almond craving and had heard some good things about L'Artisan's Jour de Fete and some not so good things, in general the house of L'Artisan and I have had a no go relationship, except for making me love a floral, Le Chasse Aux Papillons. The notes for Jour de Fete are the stuff for making lovely scents: almond, pink laurel, wheat, orris, bourbon vanilla, cedarwood. In truth this is almond water, you can barely smell it, this smells like the memory of a babies head from 10 years ago. I smell this and I wish they had pumped up everything just a bit more.
I sit here eating summer in my palm, a stone fruit, a green plum, achingly sweet at one moment, and wonderfully tart the next moment. Yesterday was the first day of summer, I celebrated it in a soft vanillic musk, making dinner for Father's Day, all the windows open, with a soft breeze going throughout the apartment. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy summer too often I just remember the blazing heat. I spritzed on Osmanthus Interdite and once again realized the only it really should be worn is in the summer, in other seasons it can rasp and seem high pitched, but in summer it blooms, melds with your skin, and just makes you feel like you glow. As the seasons change I change my fragrance wardrobe, some of them hold over from spring, and some through out the year. So here is what I should be wearing throughout summer.
*4711: The ultimate cooler in summer heat.
*Azuree Soleil: A summer vacation in the tropics but done in the most tasteful way.
*Bois des Iles: What I use when I need woods in the summer.
*Coco Madamoiselle: Jasmine and vetiver with a ton of class.
*Datura Noir: So cool and creamy; adult ice cream.
*Baghari: I lovely this orange creamy soft scent in the summer with the hints of earthy vetiver.
*Bvlgari pour femme: I love the mimosa halo this creates.
*Fleurs d'Osmanthus: Tropical osmanthus with notes of green sap.
*Infusion d'Iris: A soothing tonic in the summer heat.
*Kimono Rose: Citrus and black currents entwined with creamy jasmine.
*Le Chasse aux Papillons: Perfect fresh cool flowers just being put out in the sun.
Once again I am giving my full attention to a sample this week, this time Hermes' s Vanille Galante. What has struck me everytime I have tested it out is the saltiness of the scent. I have this image in my head of lilies by the ocean being misted over with salt water while an vanilla orchid blooms in the background. In my head it is tropical flowers growing on the coastline of Oregon.
So I can't stop my Guerlain madness at the moment because waftbycarol made remember that I have a sample of Sous le Vent which I will be putting on later after I take my shower. Today is one of those days where I have a ton of housework and errands. What I do remember of Sous Le Vent is the opening with lavender and enjoying it, but I remember not being to happy with the drydown, we'll see if this has changed.
Right now on my hand though I have Rochas Femme from a sample of mine and I forgot how wonderfully spicy and gorgeous this is, it always reminds me of spice dusted skin, I really should get a decant of this. This is also the scent I would scent Nigella Lawson with (I hear though she enjoys Coco by Chanel, which is appropiate!).
On to a little mini-sniffathon I had yesterday at the mall when I went to go get tea:
Tea Bergamot by L'Occitane: The opening of this is amazing, perfect juicy citrus, you just want to bite into, unfortunately the drydown did not live up to the opening. Still I will give L'Occitane this: They know how to do their citrus and tea scents.
Lace Orange Blossom by Victoria's Secret: I mainly tried this to see if the osmanthus showed through (it didn't), but I this really is a nice little orange blossom scent if you are looking for one.
Cashmere Vanilla Jasmine by Victoria's Secret: For lovers of BBW's Breathe Romance Sensous Amber & Myrrh go get Cashmere Vanilla Jasmine, very very similar but a little bit richer with just a hint of Sage Machado's Pearl.
La Lune by Dolce & Gabbana: This was really boring I was initially interested in this because of the use of leather and tuberose together, there is no leather, just a very boring floral in my opinion.
The weather is incredibly strange this June right now it is cool and overcast, usually at this point in the year the heat and I are battling it out, but not right now. I was going to wear Nuit de Cellophane today, but couldn't find my sample, so I reached for the ever beautiful Chanel N. 22. So yesterday evening after Apres L'Ondee wore off I put on a couple of dabs of Cuir Beluga and came to two conclusions 1) excellent strength and sillage and 2) It smells very similar to Ambra del Nepal (which does not have a $200+ price tag).
image provided by artnet.com
image: Enticing Innocence by Patrick de Warren 2000
It's official I have found a new favorite photographer: Iris Brosch. So once again I try to delve into Guerlain and I think quite frankly it may be time I gave it up. Last week I ordered three samples: Cuir Beluga, Spiriteuse Double Vanille (may be one of the worst fragrance names ever), and Apres L'Ondee. So far I have tested Apres L'Ondee a few times and it has not meshed, but today I am giving it my full attention. SDV turned into a very regular vanilla on me. While I have enjoyed Cuir Beluga the price tag on it is well not going to make me buy it, I liked it but it was not love. The thing is I really do want a Guerlain to rhapsodize about...but none of the women's fragrances ever really mesh for me and while I love Guerlain's Vetiver it is not a scent that creates a dramatic response in me, it is a great cologne, sigh. Guerlain where did you and I go wrong? Okay we were never right in the first place.
Lately I have been having one of those note obsession moments, the one where you are looking for a new note to fall in love with, or in this case looking for a new variation on a note you love, in this case vanilla. For the heck of it I ordered a sample of Vanille by Calypso St. Celle, intrigued by the use of orange blossom. Well this isn't exactly what I was looking for while many have described this as non-foodie, but to me this smells like dulce de leche with a dash of sea salt and airy notes of orange blossom, pretty but not what I am wanting.
image provided by artnet.com
image: At the Seashore by Richard Blossom Farley 1921
Sometimes a floral surprise comes along that you completely and utterly did not expect to like. I love big blooming magnolias and here in Northern California they are everywhere but too often when fragrances are supposed to be based on magnolia they smell like gardenia. The case of Kenzo's Eau Fleur de Magnolia is a true magnolia scent and one that is interesting entwined in this beauty is smoky lemony pine quality and a creaminess that never veers into sweet. Now I am going into blasphemy with a comparison but this sort've reminds me of Herme's Osmanthe Yunnan. This really is a treat I did not expect.
I had a long weekend on Saturday I met up with my boyfriend's friends and on Sunday I had dinner with my boyfriend's mother and stepfather, and I am having one of those Monday's where I want a weekend for my weekend. So I am going to spend the day in Annick Goutal's somewhat subdued amber, Ambre Fetiche, strangely esoteric and yet also very animalic.
On the bright note I made a delicious raspberry nectarine crisp yesterday for dinner and it went over very well. I used Mark Bittman's crisp recipe and made a few adjustments added more sugar because the nectarines were on th tart side and salt to the crisp topping (why do so many recipes for crisps forget this vital ingredient? Salt is what brings out that delicious golden buttery crispy goodness.).
Perfectly beautiful spring day means super pretty fragrance, what do I reach for L'Artisan's Le Chasse aux Papillons, something unusual is happening today with it though, instead of lemon tinted tuberose and jasmine I usually get from it, I am instead getting warm linden blossom. Linden blossom is another scent I associate with my early teen years, along with loving the scent of muguet, I had a big love for linden blossom, and remember my bottle of fragrance spray of linden blossom by Pre de Provence.
On other news: I am really pretty disappointed in Luten's Nuit de Cellophane, just not my cup of tea, but then again money saved.
image provided by artmagick.com
image: Girl in a Cornish Garden by Thomas Cooper Gotch 1889
So I finally did it, I got a bottle of Baghari, a perfect little 30 ml bottle (why can't more companies make this size?). For years I have desired to have a Robert Piguet fragrance to call my own, but found neither Fracas nor Bandit to my liking, and then Baghari was released. I like to think of Baghari as the perfect aldehyde for beginners there is no sharpness to it, but at the same time there is no mistake that aldehydes are used in it. While I agree with Luca Turin on the wonderfulness of Baghari, especially the description of it being like "panetonne", I have to wonder where on earth he gets the idea that it's a chypre? There is nothing chypre about it. This always dries down on me to a warm ambered vanilla.
Today is going to be hot, I already have the air conditioning set, on days like this you reach for scents that bloom in the heat yet are not overwhelming, so I chose Un Matin d'Orage. What amazes me about this scent is its starkness, in a way it is almost bone-bare, and what makes that even more amazing is that this is a gardenia scent. Gardenia scents are are often the epitome of voluptious fleshiness but this is the opposite, Annick Goutal seemed to make the point of not adding a single ounce of extra oomph in this, it was only meant to express one moment and nothing else.
I am always rather amazed by the vintage flirty quality of Fifi Chachnil, it smells like it is from a bygone era, but it only came out a few years ago. It is playful but full of womenliness the powder, tobacco, and amber are alluring yet the top notes of coriander, rose, and bergamot always keep the wittiness of the fragrance going. I would say it is the fully throaty giggle/laugh of having a glass of champagne and then hearing a really good joke. I'm going with the edt today because the rose and coriander are more pronounced making it far more appropiate for spring and daytime.
image provided by artnet.com
image: La Coquette by Howard Chandler Christy 1920
I was tempted to go with Fifi Chachnil today but the truth I am in no mood for the flirtyness of it, what I instead wanted was the perfect contemplative quality of Creed's Angelique Encens. For me this is the perfect embrace of hazy lily tinged vanilla, sweet green angelic, and dry luminous incense. And it is at this point I curse the price point of this fragrance because it is utterly perfect; when looking for solace I reach for Angelique Encens.
The last two weeks have a gone by in a blur my finals week was spent in the throws of an awful cold and pain of trying to focus on getting my finals done, finally though some calm has come. The weather is perfect, I'm sitting outside right now enjoying the shadows of leaves that sway in the mildest of breezes. I think I may have finally gone past my black plague thumb of gardening, my basil and oregano seem to be thriving and the other plants as well. I can reach down and touch the basil and at the meerest touch my fingers have the scent of it; the scent of fresh basil may be on of the most aphrodesiac scents in the world with its hint of spice.
Put on Osmanthe Yunnan today and think I might go for something creamier in a bit. Just enjoying life for the moment.
Sometime early this morning I woke up to the scent of Songes in my nose, I'm taking this as a sign. I admit this is a sort of emotionally hard weekend for me, Mother's Day always is, my mother has now been gone for over 21 years, for most of my life, add in the fact I am on my menstraul cycle and you have the perfect combo for a little crying. What also makes this stupid is that I wore Agent Provocateur something about that scent always puts me on edge and yesterday once again it worked its magic. So today I will spend the day in the sweet dreamy embrace of Songes.
I suddenly had a deep dark mossy craving the kind tinged with darkness and cool because it doesn't see the light of day very often, the answer the original Agent Provocateur. I'm not much of a chypre girl, I admire the genre, and I admire those that can pool it off, but in general they are not something that settle well on my skin. Agent Provocateur is a scent I have long admired and because of this I keep around a large sample, some how it is working today, but who knows how that will turn out, we have an uneasy relationship.
image provided artnet.com
image: Untitled; Priscilla in moss by Yigal Ozeri 2007
1. You have to pass it (the award) on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post. 2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post. 3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post. (easy Below) Instructions: On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then “add image” it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the “picture” widget. Also, don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.
Giving out awards, love doing this:
1. For lovely reviews on organic or natural perfumes and products I love Scenthive
2. Because the ever lovely Divina always provides thoughtful reviews and a generosity that is a above and beyond and we both share the pain of student deadlines Fragrance Bouquet
5. And what would this be without mentioning the ultimate perfume knowledge junky out there, Helg from Perfume Shrine
And now for five f&%*ing fabulous addictions:
1. Perfume! Really this deserves no explanation.
2. Tea, yes my cupboards suffer the disease of too much damn tea.
3. Jezebel, because it keeps me sane when the world seems to be determined to be insane.
4. Cookbooks. I often like to spend my nights browsing through them dreaming up delicious things to eat.
5. My cat. I'm pretty positive I am hitting the crazy cat lady stage but she is so damn cute I don't really care. How could you not love a little plump squishy faced cleptomaniac kitty? It's impossible, besides she makes these hilarious bird noises.
So the new Chanel No. 5 advertisement movie with Audrey Tautou has finally premiered and it is lovely. What strikes me the most about is the sense of intimacy you get from it nnlike the Nicole Kidman one (alright I didn't like that one). This advertisement really resonates with the scent because of one of the many stories to go with the legendary scent was that Coco wanted a scent that smelled like a woman, which i have always thought Chanel No. 5 does, it reminds me always of skin freshly powdered right after a bath.
Today is May 1st, so you know what that means, bring out the lily of the valley scents aka muguet. I keep around a sample of Dior's Diorissimo just for this occasion, because as I mentioned it before I not a big lily of the valley wearer because it is a scent of my tween years. On a plus side the boyfriend really liked it; he is a very floral guy.
On to deliciousness, last night we made steak Diane with garlic mash potatoes and a simple green salad, and this is where you will laugh, topped off with the kitschy of desserts, rice crispie treats. But I didn't feel too guilty considering steak Diane was created in the 1950's. It was all delicious. The recipes I used can be found here:
So lately I have been craving vanillas and ambers, but here is the conundrum, I don't want my winter/autumn ambers and vanillas, they are too heavy and spicy. So while looking through my samples yesterday I ended up finding Estee Lauder's Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang, and this really seems to be hitting the spot. It is light, airy, enveloping, and gentle, makes you just want to relax in its glow. Lovely stuff. On other notes, cats can be exceptional wackjobs sometimes, like now.
After a complaint of the weather being in the 90's we are suddenly in the 50's talk about a mood swing. Yesterday I spent my day in my sample of Chergui and came to the utter conclusion that it does not do diddly on me, rather it becomes a nice musk, and all those other wonderful notes seem to be sucked out by my skin, I am sad because this one always seems to inspire poetry in others. Still a nice thing for the wallet. I was then tempted to go with Bois des Iles today but I just wasn't feeling the sandalwood and my other spring stuff was feeling to shrieky, until I remembered by hoarded sample of Lieu de Reves, has just the right amount of warmth, tranquilty, and sometimes I get a little tobacco in the drydown (I suspect from the vetiver).
Can't believe I have not posted about this amazing beauty, Annick Goutal once again makes me love a floral I don't usually love, this time gardenia. I can't too see how this does in balmy humid weather, I have a feeling like Osmanthus Interdite it will bloom.
Oh how nicely it has cooled off. It feels like spring again and not summer; which by the way I don't want for awhile. My one complaint is that is overcast. Update on Sienna Musk: that was definately not for me, my skin had a reactioning of just amplifing it way to much, so much so that I got a bit of a headache from it. So I am going with the super pretty and light Le Chasse aux Papillons today.
image provided by artnet.com
image: Morning Glories on Sunflower by Tony Mendoza 2004
Many have described this as a gourmand, but I fairly positive that I know why Sonoma Scent Studio's Sienna Musk is not gourmand on me, Laurie's sandalwood, which always becomes smoky on me, in a good way, but most definately smoky. The spices leave quickly on me and what is left is a smoky woodsy creamsy musk, I think this would smell exquisite on a man. Doesn't really evoke Sienna to me but rather the southwest with its dryness.
We are suddenly having 90 degree weather here (started on Sunday but should be done today) and suddenly most of my spring stuff is seeming to heavy, so reaching for the creamy coolness of Datura Noir. So strange how the weather works.
So this week I took a little mini sniffa-thon at the mall and here is what I tried and thought:
-Butterfly Flower by Bath and Body Works Fragrance Top Notes: Black Tea, Mouthwatering Tangerine, Cyclamen, Banana Leaf Fragrance Mid Notes: Maxillaria Tenufolia Orchid, Asian Syringa Flower, French Mimosa Fragrance Base Notes: Creamy Coconut Milk, Musk This is girlish, very pretty, sweet spring floral. What those notes do not mention: Lilac! This has a lot of lilac and I have to say this is one of the better pure florals I have smelled in awhile. -Escale a Portifino by Dior notes: A glorious experience of fresh top notes of bergamot and citron, tempting middle notes of almond and orange blossom, and base notes of cool cypress essence. Want a perfect cologne tonic for summer, this is it between this and the John Varvatos Artisan, and waiting to sniff Infusion Fleur d'Oranger, I suspect one of these will be my summer fragrance. -Miss Dior Cherie L'eau by Dior notes: strawberry leaves, pink jasmine, caramelized popcorn, strawberry sorbet, patchouli . I got a lot of rhubarb from this on the paper and makes me think I need to test it out because it was pretty but in a very chic way. -Be Delicious Fresh Blossom by Donna Karan notes: Grapefruit, Cassis, Apricot, Muguet, Rose, Jasmine, Apple, Blond Woods, Smooth Skin Accord. I really didn't get much from this on paper, but I feel now looking at the notes I should try because of the apricot. -Flora by Gucci Top notes: citrus accords, peony. Heart: rose, osmanthus flower. Base: pink pepper, sandalwood. So this is supposed to be centered around osmanthus and for a moment it is, but then it is taken over by a super sweet caramel bottom with a dash of pink pepper. Pretty bottle though. -Lotus Garden by Pacifica notes: lotus blossom, cassis, green violet leaf, and pink pepper. Lots of tart mango. -Malibu Lemon Blossom by Pacifica notes: Litsea Cubeba, flowering Angel's Trumpet, and fresh herbs Very herbal reminding me of lemon grass, verbena, and citronella, a nice change from the usual. -Bali Lime Papaya notes: slightly musky papaya, bright Kaffir lime, and sweet lime blossom. In lotion form this mainly smelled like pear, a nice pear, but pear none the less.
And because this so right on the money about the obnoxiousness of Carl's Jr's advertisements
And my new favorite song to rock out too, Franz Ferdinand's "Your What She Came For"
image provided by artnet.com image: Spring by Juan Erlich 2007 video provided by current.com video uploaded by CRO875
The weather has cooled down a little bit but the sun keeps on shining beautifully. I took a sniffage trip to the mall earlier this week and will have a report up tomorrow. Otherwise I have been enjoying the beauty of this perfect gorgeous spring weather, I think spring in California may be the shortest season, summer comes so fast. I right now have a vase of daffodils on my dresser and they really are my favorite spring flower, they are perfect in all of their sunny trumpeting glory. Also I just a read a wonderful book called His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik, for lovers of regency fun and dragons, this is wonderful, besides the main character reminds me a bit of Austen's wonderful Colonel Brandon.