Thursday, August 11, 2016

Jimmy Choo: I Can't Fight It Anymore

Every time I take a 'what's your signature scent' quiz online, it points to Jimmy Choo eau de parfum. This started to annoy me because it's not that I hadn't ever tried Jimmy Choo, it's that I didn't get the appeal.  At first, it seemed like just another fruitchouli, all mainstream and ordinary.  


The thing is, I couldn't get it out of my mind and thoughts of Jimmy Choo stalked me relentlessly until one day earlier this summer when I visited a nearby Ulta to decide - once and for all - if Jimmy Choo was for me.  Every Ulta in the valley recognizes me because I can't seem to pass one without going in.  'Oh hi - we haven't seen you for a while.'  Or, 'Oh, hi - you're back again so soon.' Introverts never want to be called out this way.  You may greet me casually but don't comment on the frequency of my visits or ask if I need help. Just go about your business and never let on that you know I'm the crazy perfume lady that sprays paper strips and leaves them sitting by the appropriate perfume while wandering back and forth to smell each one at various stages of drydown.  Just look away.

What's worse is I never actually buy perfume at Ulta, but instead turn to discount outlets online.  Inner Farm Girl is nodding her approval.  However, I do buy make-up, hair stuff and nondescript clearance items that I neither want or need, which end up in our hall closet on the shelf above the towels and underneath the toilet paper.  Inner Farm Girl just shot me a dirty look.  Point is, I buy enough stuff at Ulta that I felt comfortable that day as I sprayed Jimmy Choo liberally on both arms before walking out of the store with no purchase at all. My car was parked a short jaunt away and I braced myself for what I was sure would be sillage to match Paige's dog farts (thick, oily and cloying) once inside the car. Whatever happened, this issue would be resolved.  The stalking had to end.

First thing that hit me was the barely chewed Wrigley's spearmint gum. Then the toffee, smooth and deep and then, finally, the patchouli.  Spoiler alert: it's not a bomb at all.  In fact, I wish it had a little more blast to it, if you want to know the truth. Something about it reminded me of the smell of, after a long walk in the cool, early morning air.  That, or I am in complete denial about the allure of my body odor and morning breath. Jimmy Choo feels familiar.

No one can smell it on me which, as a compliment whore, is a crushing blow.  B-man did smell it once after I doused myself with it and sat right next to him on the deck. 'Mmm, what smells good, did you just put something on?' Part of me wanted to say, 'Ya think? I've been wearing this every frigging day for weeks.'   But I was so giddy with excitement that he noticed, I couldn't help batting my eyes, leaning toward him and saying, 'Really?  Do you like it? Really?'

Jimmy Choo owns me.  My first bottle is nearly gone, and I still can't leave it alone.  

Picture from Fragrantica

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Wallflowers: Scented Anxiety

Bath and Body Works is having its semi-annual sale again.  These events make me crazy because 1) I can't stay away even though I swear I will, and 2) I end up buying stuff that I don't want, making at least one return trip necessary.  So far, I have visited four stores.  You have to shop around because they all have their own cool stuff.  Everybody knows that.

This year, just to shake things up, I have ventured into a new area: wallflowers.  Until now, they seemed too scary to assemble, but I figure what the hell, I'm a big girl - I can handle this.  The scent holders themselves are puzzling...I can't imagine under what circumstance I would want a 5-inch anchor jutting out of my wall, or a seashell.  Or a turtle.  And what scents are best?  By my count, there's five thousand and forty options.  Baffled, I stare at them for a long time and wonder how I want our rooms to smell.  Like fruit?  Flowers? Cinnamon rolls? They have 'em all.

After sniffing the matching candles, I settle on three scents: Vanilla Beach Flower, Georgia Peach and Frosted Cupcake.  When I get home, just for fun, I read the reviews of these room scents and promptly decide that they all suck.  By relying only on my stellar instincts alone, I have chosen three of the lowest rated scents on the website. 

According to reviews of long time wallflower warriors, Heirloom Pumpkin is a stunning scent with 'throw' and longevity.  B-man likes the smell of pumpkin, which emboldens my decision making. Certain I have avoided a what stinks debacle, I trade the three losers in for three of the pumpkin saviors and hurry home to plug in my very own wallflower, waiting to swoon in delight.  

I hate Heirloom effing Pumpkin.

More smells might be tested, but the process already has me stressed out and gearing up for an Oscar worthy anxiety attack. There's a reason I stayed away from wallflowers all these years.

photo from

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ode to the Flu...My Week in Review

Stale breath
Unwashed hair
Stinky armpits
Chicken soup
Sweaty sheets

Picture from

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Perfume That Made Me Eat Crow: Heiress by Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton's Heiress has popped up several times on this blog.  I thought if I mentioned it in passing, like 'I wear it, but only at night,' or 'I bought the body spray because I was bored and it was there,' no one would judge me or confiscate my ID card to the Perfumista Club.  Probation is a constant threat, but I still use words like 'flanker' and 'sillage.'  That's got to count for something.

To demonstrate my loyalty to said club, I scoffed at Paris Hilton perfumes for years so that everyone would know I had higher standards than they did and was therefore superior.  And I scoffed out loud, not in my head like usual.  I'm talking audible pshhh-ing plus an eye roll with my nose in the air. Chortling may have been involved.

Then came Heiress, which produced an almost obscene OMG moment.  Maybe it was the skittles-wrapped-in-dryer-sheets vibe or maybe the feeling that I was walking past a lilac tree while peeling an orange and chewing bubble gum.  Either way, Heiress is a girl crush in a bottle. 

Bad news is the journey from scoffing to swooning requires eating a few helpings of crow, which sucks because I almost had the chortling thing down.  And crow tastes nasty.  But I must be getting used to it because I just bought two more Paris Hilton perfumes unsniffed: Passport Tokyo and Passport Paris. The most embarrassing part, other than standing in the checkout line forever so everyone knows I'm buying Paris Hilton perfumes? I actually like them.

What the hell...I faked the ID, anyway.

Picture from

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sweet Dreams: My Bedtime Scent Routine

Good dreams depend on good smells at bedtime.  Otherwise, one risks anything from evening ponies (dreams that trouble or mildly annoy) to full-blown nightmares.

Night mares...Evening ponies.  Work with me.

Thank God for Bath and Body Works.  As Inner Farm Girl would have it, all of their beauty products are reasonably priced and easy to access.  Plus, they layer well with each other (and lots of other stuff) to create a comforting, smushed up sort of smell.  This is perfect at night when my brain is fuzzy and I speak with a lisp even though I'm not trying to be funny.

In order to pile on as many products as possible, and justify the run amok purchase of non-essential stuff, I try to make my routine look as strategic as possible.  It goes something like this:

1. Remove make-up and then shower at night - always.

2. Some type of face serum (Clinique, Ellen Tracy, Oil of Olay) followed by St. Ives moisture rich face lotion, which is creamy and lightly scented. Inexpensive and not the least bit posh.

2. Bath and Body Works Moonlight Path lotion mixed 50/50 with Dial 7-Day Moisture Rich lotion (my favorite to soften a stronger lotion without changing its scent...great texture, too).

3. Body spray - White by Kenneth Cole, Heiress by Paris Hilton or Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte by B&BW (now discontinued...argh). All work beautifully with the slightly diffused Moonlight Path.

4. Vaseline mixed with whatever body butter is in my nightstand for my feet (currently Wild Madagascar Vanilla), then socks, which get thrown off in the middle of the night.

5. Cherry Chapstick on my lips.

6. A final layer of Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter on my hands and forearms.

Once I am sufficiently greased up and smell something like musky vanilla cake batter, I read or channel surf until I can no longer make sense of whatever episode of Alias I happen to be watching.  

Lights out.

What's your bedtime smell routine?

Photo from

Saturday, May 21, 2016

They Called Her Glo

Yesterday, I went to a funeral in my hometown for the mother of one of my childhood friends.  Her name was Gloria, or 'Glo' to those who knew and loved her.  She was legendary for her generosity, her off-color humor, her too-loud laughter and above all, her kindness.  My mother, introvert that she was, didn't fully understand Glo's charm, and it irritated her to no end that Glo could be seen by all mowing her lawn on Sunday morning when everyone else was driving to church.  Glo did whatever the hell she wanted.  And she was happy.

Glo operated a beauty salon in her home in a community so small it doesn't show up on a map. Women from surrounding non-map-showing areas came to get their hair done, listen to Glo's free flowing advice and sample treats of brownies or chocolate popcorn.  Bonfire parties in her back yard were famous, including people the family didn't even know simply because Glo had met them somewhere earlier the same day.  She knew how to draw people in and treat them like family.

The last two times I attended funerals in my hometown, I was there to accompany Dad; once when Mom was too sick and again after she died.  Now, as I made my way to the church entrance alone, an elderly woman I didn't know walked slowly toward me from the opposite direction. We greeted each other and made small talk about our lateness, as time for the viewing was coming to an end. Together by circumstance, we stood in the receiving line and chatted about where we had grown up and any relatives we might have in common.  Her name was Sharon, and as it turned out, she went to school with one of my dad's cousins. 'What's he doing now?' she asked. It pained me a little to tell her he had died several years ago. 'Oh, yes,' she said, as if just realizing her own age. 

To move the reception process along, Glo's daughters left their post by the casket and began working backward through the line, greeting and hugging each person. They talked about their mother in a warm, but real way...the difficulty of her Alzheimer's and the awfulness of her final weeks. No pretending, no 'she's in a better place now,' or 'it was her time,' or 'it was God's will.'  Just the raw truth of loving and then losing their mother.  

Sharon and I found a good spot in the chapel for the 15-minute wait until the family entered and the funeral could begin. She told me about her son who was killed in a snowmobile accident 25 years ago during a family reunion.  She told me about visiting another son on Thursday in the hospital and her frightening drive home late at night in the rain. Sharon told me about her husband who died five years ago. She said there were many times when another breath from him seemed impossible, but he kept living for months after his terminal cancer diagnosis. Then one day - a good day for him - Sharon was holding him in her arms while her daughter re-arranged the pillows on the bed when he simply died. 'I could tell he was gone because he was suddenly lighter,' Sharon said. 'I didn't know until then that a person's spirit has weight.'  We looked at each other and leaned in, touching foreheads as she wiped a small tear with her slightly crooked finger.

After a brief and poignant service, Sharon and I hugged, thanked each other for the companionship and said our goodbyes. I found my friend - Glo's daughter - one last time to express my love for her and my appreciation for her mother's life.  She said, 'I have to tell you, for whatever reason my dad has been talking about memories of your dad all week...I can't really figure out why, but his name has come up several times.'

It would be just like my dad to comfort a friend with memories as he faced the hardest time of his life. Or to send Sharon to keep me company, knowing I would be lonely there without him.  I miss you, Dad.  Say hello to Glo.

photo from

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Magic of Rain

Rain on the deck last night

For the past week, it has been raining at least part of every day. There is no amount of rain that would be too much for me, and it poured again last night after a deceptively sunny morning.  In my ideal world, each week would include five days of rain and two days of partly sunny skies. Maybe one day of full-on sun, but certainly no more than that.

Rain mirrors that cozy feeling in the middle of the night when it's chilly and I have snuggled into a warm blanket.  And rain is reflective - the introverted partner of the sun's growing power, a vacation from the predictability of the sun's rise and set.  Dark rainy days blur the lines between day and night, teasing my senses and adding the drama of midnight into the day's earliest hours. Rain interrupts the predictable and makes me believe anything is possible. 

Then there's the smell...wet rocks and evergreen, sweet dirt and cedar.  When it rains, I crave perfumes with patchouli and oakmoss, licorice and mint.  All of my senses are heightened and more alive on dark, wet days.  Rain brings with it a break in life's pace, a slowing of my heartbeat and a nostalgia that never fails to calm me and bring me joy.

Pluviophile - A lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

Photo my own


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