Thursday, June 30, 2011

Your Top Three Perfumes - Can You Choose?

Last night, B-man and I were hanging out on Big Red, drinking wine and chatting about ourselves and every random topic on earth.  

It's what we do.

I had just applied Fumerie Turque, which was perfect as we enjoyed an unexpected downpour on the deck.

As we talked, I had a dual conversation in my mind that went something like this:

I wonder if Fumerie Turque would make my top 20 perfumes list, or even my top 10.  And what would happen if I had to choose just three perfumes to live with forever?  Just three...what would they be?

Of course, this isn't a novel thought, or a game I've never played with myself.  I've chosen my top 20, top ten and my top five.  

But never my top three.

Hmmm, that could mean a green chypre, a dark incense perfume and a rose perfume that I could love forever.

Or, how about an oriental classic, a beautiful amber and one perfect fruity floral.

Must choices will be revealed on July 4th.

What about you?  If you could have only three perfumes for the rest of your life, what would they be?

image from

Monday, June 27, 2011

Three Day Cleanse - Kale From Hell

Tonight ends day two of a three day 'cleanse.'

You know that I've been a little...stuck in my fitness plan.  My magazine says this cleanse promises up to five pounds of weight loss in three days.  

Just a nice little nudge to my current plateau.

This is no bizarre, out there, wacko sort of cleanse.  It's not like I'm fasting, or doing some kind of sea salt flush - okay, I've done that - or an enema, for heaven's sake. 

Jeez, give me a little credit.

No, this cleanse is 1800 calories a day of godawful food.  Each day's menu is different, which means - so far - worse than the day before.

But, come on, it's only three days, right?  Now I know why.  Any more than that and B-man would have to coax me off the ledge of the deck.  

With, like, a Happy Snack.

I swear I'll jump. 

And can we talk about kale?  That is some nasty shit.  Brown rice with no salt and pumpkin seeds?  Eating that for lunch today, I almost start crying. 

But here's the kicker.  Many of these recipes are time intensive, so I spend an hour cleaning, chopping, cooking and pureeing only to discover the result is nearly inedible.  It takes work to make food taste this bad.

Tonight, after I dish up my slop kale on a plate, B-man says, with a straight face, 'that looks good.'

For a minute there, I think I have prepared something I can actually consume.  But after several excruciating bites, I put my fork down (seething inside), throw the rest in the garbage and decide that hunger is the best alternative.

If I were sane at all, I would stop this madness and go back to eating a regular, healthy diet.  But now, I'm just pissed enough to insist on finishing all three days.

I don't care about the five pounds anymore.

No freakin' cleanse is getting the best of me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ode to L'arte De Gucci by Gucci

Black Cherry Soda
 Baby Shampoo
Wicker Basket
Cayenne Pepper
Dark Chocolate
Wet Leather

Image from

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Random Thoughts On My Week

Taken right now from Big Red - I never tire of this view

*  Never have we had a more beautiful spring and summer.  Extreme rain followed by sunshine and warm temperatures creates a visual wonderland.

 *  Comparing Montale's White Aoud, Gres Cabaret and Estee Lauder's Knowing on my skin at the same time was an interesting experience.  Sharing sillage like this, they all suck.

*  After a brief investigation, I had to fire one of my key leaders Tuesday.  Later, my boss came to find me and said, 'I want you to clear the rest of your day and go home, relax, drink a glass of wine and come back tomorrow.'  So I did.  Three glasses, actually.  

'Watching you on Big Red could not be more boring.'

*  My dad's youthful spirit inspires me. 

'But wait, I hear someone in the kitchen!'

*  My body continues to get more fit, but Dear God In Heaven, it's taking a long time.  It's been four months since I began this journey.  I'm halfway to my goal.

*  Yellow mustard gives me a headache.

*  My work is a political hotbed right now.  In August, three people will have left my leadership team within a period of three months.  One retired, one resigned and one was fired.  Lots of people looking into my fishbowl.

*  Why do some handsome, well-dressed men neglect to wash their hair every day?  They might look clean from a distance, but up close, they smell...musty.  Buzz kill.

'This is absolutely the last shot - Dad might have chicken!'

*  Resilience is a conscious decision, which is why this week has been one of peppy perfume, a colorful wardrobe and arriving early at the office.  The show goes on.

*  It's hard to believe I'm almost fifty-two.  How will I feel in ten years?  Dad says he still feels like he's 40-something.  So do I.

*  Thank God for weekends.

All photos my own

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Perfume Promiscuity

That's it - I'm taking a break from buying perfume.  For the next few months, I refuse to be lured. 

And this time, I really mean it.

10% off?  Oh, hell no.

15%?  Doesn't matter.

20%?  Nope.

25%?  You bastards.

Nevertheless, I plan to be strong, to wear the perfume I already own and purchase samples and decants only if I absolutely have to. 

Guidelines around this are deliberately vague.

When I'm in hot pursuit of the latest 'must have' perfume(s), I immediately toss aside the previous batch that I just had to have.  Like the guy that loses interest as soon as he bangs the girl.

Perfume Promiscuity.

Let's face it: No perfume is as alluring as the one I don't have yet, the one on its way; the One True Perfume Love Of My Life.  

Our hot affair is short lived, and soon I am convinced that I should buy more, using the following justifications:

1)  To round out my collection
2)  To provide material for my blog
3)  So I can continue to share perfume with others
4)  Because the sale is just too good to resist

The question is, why can't I take some time and truly enjoy the perfumes I have?  At some point, they were all The One.  Now, they're just another notch in my perfume cabinet.

Note to self:  Slow down and love the ones you're with.

image from

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Things I Learned From Riding A Horse

Friday, I rode a horse for the first time ever.  Aside from being a lovely break from the hospital, I learned a few things on our one-hour journey through the beautiful mountains of Sundance.

*  Horses emit their own monster sillage.  It made me feel rough and rangy.  I like that.

*  Horses get cranky, too.  My horse, Chub, was not excited about going on this walk with yet another strange person on his back.  He snorted and groaned and kept looking at me like, 'if it wasn't for you, I could be napping at the ranch.'

*  I like being in control.  Yes, I learned how to use my spurs and reigns to guide Chub.  But a couple of times, he took off on a fast trot.  Just because he could.

*  Don't make the 'giddy up' clicking noise with your mouth unless you want the horse to run.

*  If your horse is cranky, let him stop and take a bite of grass occasionally.

*  Confident posture matters.  Sometimes, the first step to success is acting like you know what you're doing.

*  Make sure your hat has a stampede string, because it will blow off your head with the slightest breeze. 

*  There is comfort in riding single file with others. 

*  Listen to the 10-year-old ranch hand behind you - he'll offer the best riding tips you'll ever receive.

*  Realize that if a 10-year-old can do it, so can you.

*  Take ibuprofen before and after you ride.

*  Your ass may not be sore until the next day.

*  Crossing an item off my Bucket List is satisfying.

Image from

Happy Father's Day

Dad, Mom, Big Sis and Me - 1965

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Love My Work I Love My Work I Love My Work

Maybe if I say it over and over again, I'll stop fantasizing about a root canal so I could miss work tomorrow.

And if I were less crabby, I'd blog about it.

image from

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wine Tasting Food I Will Never Make At Home

Wild Mushroom Tower with Beet Chips
 Rosemary & Lemon Rabbit Lollipops, Risotto, Swiss Chard, Fresh Chive Flower
Raspberry Beer, Mascarpone & Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Creams

All photos taken today by B-man from his Droid

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pre-Wine Tasting Anxiety

Tomorrow, B-man and I are attending a wine tasting brunch that ends this year's season.  

You know, like football.

My first date with B-man was a wine tasting, and we have been part of this particular group for 25 years.  To be honest, it doesn't fit me as well as it once did.  B-man still enjoys these events, however, so we compromise and attend a few each year.

This time, for reasons I can't really explain, I feel a little anxious about going.

First of all, the whole thing is pretty La Tee Da, held at Deer Valley ski resort, way up in the mountains.  I have no idea what to wear (one must be ready for sunny, chilly, rainy or breezy weather).  Plus, I'm at this weird in-between size, which complicates things. 


When we arrive at the lodge, we will mingle for about an hour on the patio and try to avoid the pompous ass talking too loud about his most recent trip to the orient chit-chat with the others. 

Just give me the champagne and keep it coming. 

Once we get inside, the situation improves.  Tables of eight polka dot the room.  Food is delivered with great aplomb, always creative and elegant.  B-man and I exchange one-liners and laugh together.  

At the end, the chef and sommelier bow as we applaud them. We're all tipsy by then, so there's whistling, too.

Perhaps in my 20's, I was more enamored by what I viewed as the high life and more interested in belonging.  But now, most wine tastings feel like an exercise in pretension where appearances reign supreme and all conversations play out the same.

It makes me want to drop an f-bomb at brunch.

Muscs Koublai Khan comes to mind as a potential perfume choice.

Talk about subliminal messages.

image from

Perfume As A Subliminal Message

Each day, I choose my perfume based on multiple factors:

1)  What is my wardrobe?
2)  What is the weather?
3)  What are my day's activities?
4)  Will I be in close proximity with others?
5)  What is my mood?

Yesterday, I wore Fumerie Turque because I felt laid back and needed a perfume that would communicate 'smoke break comfort' throughout the afternoon.

That started me thinking about another factor that I also consider when choosing my scent of the day:

What exactly do I want my perfume to say?  

Since perfume speaks for us, whether we want it to or not, it's smart to pay attention to its subliminal messages.

For example, if I'm meeting with a group of people who are resistant to an idea, I wear a girly perfume like Poeme.  This cushions my assertiveness and provides an aromatic comfort zone, assuring them they have nothing to worry about. 

On the other hand, a cold, green chypre, like Chanel No. 19, communicates that I alone will be the one making the decision at the end of our discussion.  No.19 states my intentions clearly from the start, which actually allows me to be warmer when communicating face-to-face. 

Before now, I didn't realize how much I rely on perfume to set the stage, create a mood and emphasize all that remains unspoken.

What are your 'subliminal message' perfumes?

image from

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting Fit After Fifty

In February, I wrote a post about skinny women, and our fascination with being thin.  Instead of ranting, as I had planned, I decided - at that very moment - to get thinner and more fit myself.

Three plus months later, I'm realizing that reaching my goal will take a little longer than I expected.  Part of that is because I am not willing to live in total deprivation.

And I am no longer in my 30's or 40's. 

Two months passed (two!) before my body and my mind adjusted to exercising regularly.  During that time, I did it out of sheer will.

Then, something happened.  I started looking forward to my workouts; I became excited to push myself a little harder, and my strength and endurance increased seemingly overnight.

My body is responding nicely to more activity and healthier food.  I enjoy wearing different clothes and swinging my ass a little more when I walk.  

That will always be fun.

In hindsight, I'm not sure what sparked this quest, or why posting about skinny women had a different affect on me than I expected.

What I do know, at this point in my journey, is that my body's not the only thing coming back.  So is my optimism, my openness to life...and my joy.  

image from

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Score Of The Day: L'Occitane Notre Flore Iris

One of our local perfume houses - okay, the only local perfume house that carries non-Nordsrom/Sephora lines - is going out of business at the end of the week.

This sucks, but I can understand why. 

In our current economy (in any economy, really) one must try a bit harder when marketing niche perfumes.  Like a winery that offers tasting and education of its product, so must a perfume house. 

About a year ago, excited that this business had opened near my work, I made contact with the owner and proposed she host a perfume event.  I offered to help, Out Of The Goodness Of My Heart, just to spark more perfume awareness.

Well, she was very appreciative of my proposal, and would think about it and blah, blah frigging blah.

Now, they're going out of business.  Just sayin'.

Hoping to capitalize on at least a clearance sale, B-man and I stopped there today on our 'Goofy Saturday Shopping Trip.'  

Notre Flore Iris was on the 50% off table.

Upon application, Iris is very Mediterranean and the pink pepper and bergamot are pronounced, creating an almost 'figgy' essence.  As it dries down, the iris blossom is joined by violet, sweetening the base notes.

Purchased at half price, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.  Daphne thinks I should consider layering Iris with Sycomore.  


image from

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Racoons In The Chimney

We have some uninvited house chimney guests. 

I'm downstairs earlier, doing my own version of pilates (moves from high school gym class combined with a 90's video and instructions from a book I skimmed one day at the library) when I hear this chirping sound coming from the fireplace.

'Oh, how sweet, a bird must be sitting on the chimney,' I think.  But it's louder than a chirp, more like a squeal.


I get closer to the glass front of the fireplace and realize that raccoons are talking trash about me in the chimney, probably making fun of my moves. 

With great purpose, I bang on the metal border in a get-out-of-there-you-little-shits rhythm.  Something hisses at me.

That's it - time to get B-man.

'We have a big raccoon problem downstairs,' I say.

Ever the superhero, B-man says, 'I'll run smoke up the chimney 'cause we've got to get them out of there.'

And it has worked before.

But then I get all freaked out, envisioning the raccoons leaping through the glass cover onto B-man and wrestling him to the ground while Paige barks helplessly in the corner.

So, as he walks downstairs, I ask what I believe is a totally logical question. 

'Do you want the gun?'


'The gun - do you want it?'

He backs up the stairs and looks at me like I've had some kind of psychotic break.

'Did you say...the gun?'

'Well, yeah, now I'm all scared.'

He raises a quivering hand to his mouth in a mock gesture of fear.  I try to maintain Serious Face, but fail.

Thirty minutes later, B-man has started a full blown fire like we do on New Year's Eve.  Paige is upset because I'm making her stay upstairs with me.

So far, not a raccoon in sight.

image from

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What Sucks About Vacations? They End

Coming home from our road trip, passing downtown

My vacation ends today and it's making me sad.  Leading up to this week, I began counting the days, having waited too long for some time away from work. 

Burn-out was right around the corner.

Usually, I am chomping at the bit to get back to work, but today, not so much.  Total freedom has been delicious and I relished my time with B-man, spending a day with Dad, lunching with my brother and rediscovering My So-Called Life.

And I got my hair cut.  The growing phase is over.

It's nice to feel like myself again.  In fact, for the past week, I've felt just right.

Getting closer to home

Throughout my vacation, I wore perfumes that typically signify fall and winter.  Perhaps that's because the rain postponed my desire for aromatic peppiness.

On our road trip, I wore Sycomore.
With my Dad, I wore Fumerie Turque.
Today, I'm wearing Boyfriend.

They, too, were just right.

Almost there

This morning, I checked my work e-mail for the first time since last Wednesday.  I'm overwhelmed by the number of projects and concerns that I must step back into tomorrow.

Let's just say I've gotten used to a slower pace.

Of course, I told B-man there would be no Happy Hour this evening because I have to get up early and go to work. 

Home sweet home

Okay, I lied. 

What helps you re-enter the world after a vacation?

Photos my own


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