Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique - My Guilty Pleasure

I love this perfume, even though I'm a little embarrassed to say so. 

How to describe JPG Classique?  It's floral, musky, synthetic and sweet. 

Imagine Poeme's slutty little sister.  

Clearly, this is outside of my 'type,' but I just can't help myself.  Wearing this perfume, I want to swing my ass walking, show more cleavage, wear red lipstick and cross my legs in a short skirt.

JPG Classique asks everyone within range, 'you want some of this?'

After multiple samplings, I run across JPG in Costco last weekend as part of the new holiday perfume display. 

I get that 'twirly' feeling in my stomach.

But before I can build up any circular momentum, Inner Critic steps in to say, 'what the hell are you thinking?'  'You just ordered four perfumes and bought the vintage perfumes within the same month.'  

'Put it down and walk away.'

So I put it down, then pick it up, then put it down and pick it up again.  B-man is watching.

Finally, I put it down for good and walk over to the cart.  B-man says, 'is that a perfume you want?'  

I say, 'yeah, but I'm going to wait - if it's here next time we come, I'll buy it then.'  

He looks me in the eye and says, 'if this is a perfume you like, and you don't buy it now because you're cheaping out, that's really going to piss me off.'

Ooh...the thought of pissing off B-man is kind of a turn on, but I buy the perfume instead, vowing to twirl properly as soon as we get home.

The tin can and the bottle itself is divinely kitsch. 

You just know those boobs are implants.

What is your guilty pleasure perfume?

Picture from

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween and Aliens

Over the years, I have developed a method of measuring life's absurdities by asking a simple question: 

What would aliens think? 

Many activities have been put through this test, including amusement parks, Olympic curling and Halloween.

Perhaps UFO encounters are less about an invasion and more about aliens bringing their friends to watch and ask each other, WTF?

Regarding Halloween, I am clearly in the Alien Camp.

Even if they do have big heads.

As far as I can tell, this holiday is the culmination of ancient Celtic beliefs and practices that just got weirder over time.

And trick-or-treating?  That should be outlawed, not only because it's dangerous, but because it's so annoying. 

B-man - affable dude that he is - actually kind of enjoys trick-or-treaters.  Once, several years ago, a crowd of kids gathered on the porch, ready to ring the doorbell.  B-man was ready for them and opened the door quickly as a way of being fun-scary, which terrified a four-year-old, who ran back toward the sidewalk. 

'Yo scared me when yo did that!' she yelled back at him.

This will make you feel like an asshole quicker than just about anything.

At work, one of my departments is dressing up like cereal boxes and another like Cat In The Hat characters. 

A pre-emptive root canal comes to mind as an alternative. 

I don't dress up for Halloween - it makes me feel stupid.  It made me feel stupid as a kid.  If not for my big sister, I may have skipped the trick-or-treating ordeal altogether.  Thanks to her, at least I got the candy. 

Do you love Halloween?  A lot of people do.  I totally get it.

That's a lie.

Okay, I understand it.

Wow, not true either.

How about, I tolerate Halloween the best I can and spend the day - and night - wondering, WTF?

Yup, that's it.

And my head's not even that big.

 Picture from

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ode to Aoud Queen Rose by Montale

Ace Bandage with Bug Spray
Spilled Ink on a Desk Pad
Rubber Sole Shoe
New House Construction
Pressed Rose
Fresh White Paint
 photo from

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Apocalypse Now

Recently, a fellow perfume blogger, Rose, questioned whether we might begin to see more cocktails that are modeled on perfumes.

Actually, I want a perfume that smells like this cocktail:  

The Apocalypse

If you have not yet had the pleasure of drinking one - or you have never heard of it - wait for a day that something special has happened.  

Then treat yourself to this delightful after dinner drink:

1 ounce peppermint schnapps
3/4 ounce Kahlua
1/2 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce vodka

Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice.  Shake well.  Strain into a cocktail glass.

Now, tell me you don't want that in an eau de parfum.  

Picture from

Monday, October 25, 2010

Found By Vintage

Vintage perfume has always freaked me out.

What if I can't find it?
What if I find it, but the juice has turned?
What if I find it, and love it, but can never find it again?

Well, remember my day at the farm with Dad?  After gathering all sorts of smellie treasures there, we went to an antique store in town that carries a specialty line of soap made from goat's milk and shea butter.  

Dad knew that I would appreciate the variety of aromas in the form of bar soap, lotions, shower gel and balms.

While I was lost in soap sniffing, Dad was doing his own wandering through this maze of a store, and we met periodically to assure each other that we were about ready to go.  Still, we kept meandering.

Then, it found me.

Vintage Wardrobe de Corday Collection
 Bourjois Evening in Paris cologne stick, perfume and cologne

After a quick sniff, it was clear that the Corday perfumes were in great shape.  Evening in Paris had never been opened, so I bought it unsniffed and sealed, fascinated by the packaging and the cologne stick inside.

Playing it all cool - like it didn't matter to me one way or the other - I negotiated a great price for buying both.

It was all I could do to keep from twirling.

We're looking forward to going again.

Me and Dad sharing a chat Saturday night on the deck

Picture at top from
Other photos my own

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Perfumista Crisis

Do you ever doubt your legitimacy as a perfumista?

Sometimes, I begin cruising through the many blogs I follow and think, 'oh, my god, if I have to read one more perfume review, I will scream!'

Inner Critic shakes his head in disappointment.

Between mainstream and niche offerings, how is anyone supposed to take it all in without feeling completely overwhelmed?  And what if, in filtering my choices, I miss the One Perfume that could change my life?

Because we all know that the right perfume can change your life.

The truth is, I don't explore anything with the detail that some analyze perfume.  Being a Big Picture kind of girl, I prefer to think about ideas and connections as they relate to systems and people.  

Do I notice minute details?  Hardly ever.  Physical surroundings?  Not so much.

I can prove it.

Our hospital remodeled the lobby last year and made the information desk look like a ship to match the water themed mural.  

Everything was re-arranged and the huge, new desk was custom built to fit a huge, new space.  Bear in mind that I walk through the lobby every time I enter and exit 
the hospital.

One day, a colleague asked what I thought of the new information desk and I lied and said it looked great because I was too embarrassed to say I Hadn't 
Noticed It.

Upon hearing this story, B-man simply said, 'wow.'

So how the hell am I supposed to take in dozens of detailed reviews about new perfumes every day?  And if I don't - or don't want to - am I still a perfumista?

It's making me a little crazy.

Picture from

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Big Red Delivered!

Our New Baby, Delivered Early This Morning
Paige Snuggling with her Big Red Brother

We love our new sofa even more than we imagined!  

Paige is also in love, and keeps wanting to know, 'where do sofas come from?'

That conversation will have to wait.  B-man hasn't even told her she's a dog yet. 

Photos my own

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mom, Was That You?

This morning, it dawned on me that my encounter with the eagle may have been a sign that my mother was close by.

Looking toward October 20th, I thought a lot about the irony of my husband's birthday falling on the 8-month anniversary of Mom's death.  After considering how the day might unfold, I chose to focus on B-man and to celebrate his - and our - aliveness. 

I believe Mom would want that. 

Since her death, I have looked for my mother everywhere.  For example, each time I see a mourning dove, I think she is near. 

Mourning doves were her favorite birds and I read somewhere that the deceased often communicate their presence through birds.

So why not an eagle?

Why didn't that dawn on me at the time?

Perhaps my letting go of needing to find her, for just 
one day, allowed her the freedom to make a splash and say hello.  

But, by then, I had become so immersed in the day that I missed it.  Until now.

The mysteries of life and death go on.  

Photo from

The Geese Police

Geese Keeping an Eye On Things outside our cabin
Photo my own

Perfume in Jackson/The Adventure Of the Day

Jackson Lake
One of my favorite things about being in Jackson is that I don't worry about wearing make-up or running into our hospital's medical director on a Saturday at Macy's (this actually happened).  

That day, I breathed a sigh of relief that I had taken the time to look 'weekend cute.'  

Yes, I really am that shallow. 

Me at Jenny Lake, all natural and shiny-faced
Here, who cares?  

It feels good to de-glam, even though - looking at this picture - I do notice a strange similarity between me and the chipmunks by the lake.

But do I smell good?  Oh, hell yeah.  So does B-man.

I brought a collection of decants on this trip.  They include:

1)  Montale Black Aoud
2)  Montale White Aoud
3)  Montale Aoud Queen Rose
4)  Chanel Sycomore
5)  DSH Patchouly

After we walk early yesterday ( in 25 degree weather!), I decide that Aoud Queen Rose is the Scent of the Day.  It works well aside B-man's Bvlgari BLV Notte Pour Homme.  

Both have great sillage and lasting power, and a complimentary woody/charcoal drydown (AQR adds a mashed up dried rose to the mix).  Together, they reflect the best of the outdoors.

And now: 

Wednesday's Adventure of the Day

We take a drive out of town to Jenny Lake, one of my favorite spots on earth.  Posted everywhere are 'Be Bear Aware' signs that don't freak me out until we are walking around the lake and see exactly one other person (this is the off-season for hikers).  

It feels eerie.

So I'm standing on the path, waiting for B-man while he is taking pictures down by the lake.  I hear a sound behind me like a dog running fast and panting hard.  

For a second, I think, 'I didn't know you can bring dogs here.'  Then, suddenly, I realize it's no dog.  Panicked, I spin around to see a bald eagle flying about 15 feet off the ground, right in front of me.  The noise I hear is the sound of its wings, flapping through the air.  

Until now, I have only observed eagles from a distance.  They soar high above the ground and hardly move, gliding silently on the air thermals.  

But here, in the woods, I am frozen with surprise and awe. This eagle owns the environment, announcing its arrival majestically through sheer power.  I will never forget it.  

Aoud Queen Rose is perfect for this moment.

More adventures to come.

Photos my own.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday To My B-man

B-man  with Paige
Today is B-man's birthday.  We are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to celebrate, relax and enjoy each other's company.  It's amazing here.

The view from our cabin porch
On this special day, thinking about our life together, here are ten of my favorite things about my husband:

1)  His Big Laugh - this happens spontaneously and with sheer joy.  Just thinking about it brightens my day. 

2)  His Irreverence - nothing is off limits in his sphere of humor, and he's not afraid to cross the line.  I find this incredibly sexy.

3)  His Eye for Detail.  Whether it's decorating or quality clothing, B-man has a way of noticing and remembering important details, great and small.

4)  His Confidence.  B-man is more comfortable in his own skin than anyone I know.  This allows everyone in his presence to be more comfortable with themselves.

5)  His Natural Skill as a Father.  JD thinks the sun rises and sets in the B-man.

6)  His Love for All Living Things.  He catches spiders and carries them outside so they can go about their business.  Sometimes, he names them first.

7)  His Brains.  He's subtly brilliant and this always emerges at exactly the right moment.

8)  His Love of Good Food.  He cooks it, eats it and considers it hugely important in life.

9)  His Unfailing Optimism and Belief in Life's Goodness.

10)  His Freakish Ability to know what will make me happy - and provide it - before I know it myself.
To the Love of My Life, Happy Birthday!

Photos my own

Monday, October 18, 2010

Perfume Ads - Seen Any Women Over 40?

When was the last time you saw a perfume ad featuring a woman over 40?  How about over 50?

Thinking about this pisses me off, so I try not to do it very often.  

Still, if I see one more perfume ad featuring a maybe-21-year-old as the targeted audience (even Shalimar, for chrissake!), I may have a hot flash or something.  

Equally annoying is the army of perfume houses that proudly advertise their new gentle floral perfume with light woods and precious musk.  

To target the 21-year-old audience.

This makes me laugh.  Maniacally. 

Really?  A gentle floral blend?  Wow, who would ever have thought of that?  I mean, just because there are hundreds of banal new perfume releases with the same description?  How fucking original!

See?  This is why I try not to think about it.

Okay, let's get practical. 

Women in their 40's and 50's, and beyond, wield power in the world.  We are leaders in organizations, we are politically astute and some of us have raised children, which teaches you a helluva lot about life.

Plus - um, duh - we have more purchasing power.

So how about a little balance?

Go ahead and keep churning out the gentle floral with the musky drydown for the young, female audience.

Knock yourself out. 

But, while you're at it, consider the seasoned audience that might actually appreciate the perfume brief that you're afraid won't sell because it's 'out of step' with 
the market.  

After all, many of us have lived, and thrived, well beyond our twenties.  We aren't afraid to say the wrong thing, eat great cheese, upset the status quo or wear interesting perfume.

Or laugh maniacally.

Feature those women in your ads.  We're out here waiting for the good stuff.

Photos from and

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Magical Memory of Smell

Aromatic treasures gathered on the farm

'I remember plowing the fields and how, within one pass, I could smell the soil changing from swampy to clay to the dark loem.'

Dad and I are sitting up late Friday evening, drinking wine and talking about everything under the sun.  Somehow, we start reminiscing about the smells of the farm, and we stay on that topic for a long time.  

I ask him to describe the smell of his plowing experience in more detail, like an Ode (he follows my blog and immediately gets the concept).

'Well, the swampy area smells of dandelions, weeds, grass and thistles, but also floral and like...lettuce.'

He furrows his brow, thinking.  'Have you ever smelled rhubarb?' he asks.

'Yeah, sure,' I reply.

'Definitely rhubarb, too.'

'Plowing up the field,' he continues, 'I smell barley stubble with dew, which is a nutty, wet straw smell.  And clay, like a bag of cement before the gravel and water is added.'

I keep listening, quietly.

'The top of the field is the driest and it smells like a sandbox and pollen, but also licorice and molasses because of the dark soil.  Almost moldy.'

'But the best part,' Dad says, his face lighting up, 'is when the engine of the tractor heats to a certain temperature and the fuel exhaust changes to a smell that is sweet and leaded.  It only lasts a few minutes, but, blended with the freshly turned dirt, it's the best smell on earth.'

Wow.  Nice Ode.

Saturday morning, we head out to the farm to see my brother and his family, eat breakfast outside and take the 4-wheeler down into the field.

What a sight we must be.  

Riding through the farm, we stop often to test the smell of different plants.  Anything that is alive is of interest, as well as dried out cattails and flowers that once bloomed, but now crumble like dust when touched.  

We smell them all.

Dad gives me the plastic bag that holds his electrical tape and I begin collecting different items; barley stubble, sage, wild flowers and fuzzy weeds.  

I'm ten years old again.

We pull the stubble out of the ground at different points to smell the earth, noting its metallic, herbal and floral scent.  Dad can identify elements of the soil that escape me at first sniff.  

My nose is pretty damn good.  His is better.

Hanging out with another perfumista?  Great fun.

Spending time with my dad and honoring our history - and memory - through smell?

Simply magical.

Photo my own.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ode to Shalimar by Guerlain

Orange Extract
Big Pink Eraser
Loose Face Powder
Musty Attic
New Brown Carpet
Cardboard Box
Worn Oxford Shoes

Photo from

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Big Red One

Good news on the home furnishing front!

B-man on the Big Red One, smiling on the inside
After looking high and low, B-man and I have fallen in love with a red leather sectional for our living room.  

We're not sure it will work.  It's probably too big for the space and it'  Still, we love it, and the absurdity of it all has us both a bit squealy (that's the furniture equivalent of twirly, if you were wondering).

But I guess a leather couch means I am no longer a vegan like I was back in the day. 

That one day.  

Well, most of one day.

We considered the same sectional in black (actually, it's called tobacco), thinking it would be a bit safer.  But that just seems so heavy, so predictable and manly-man.  Like the first step toward antlers on the wall and a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace. 

With its head still attached.

Hell to the No.

Before Inner Critic gets all, 'where's my high horse,'  let me just describe for you, in detail, the furniture we've been living with for almost 20 years. 

It's beige.

B-man and I made a secret pact (with one of our typically uncoordinated high fives) to De-Beige, Break Out Of Our Rut, Think Outside The Box and Shake Things Up.

To help with this process, B-man created a mini living room - to scale - with mini paper furniture (also to scale).  That way, we can see if the sectional fits and also play with our paper tables, lamps and other stuff to find the right configuration.

It's fun living with a creative math geek.

We really hope it works.  If a big-ass, raspberry red leather curved sectional doesn't make us fugitives from Beige Lock-down, what on earth will?

Picture taken by Furniture Guy with B-man's new Droid

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In Perfume and In Life: Hold Out for the Masterpiece

Lately, I've been feeling overwhelmed by the massive volume of perfume releases, sometimes from the same perfume house.  All are made common when clumped together with others undistinguished.

Should a masterpiece occur among them, it appears almost accidental, and its impact is greatly diminished through a thoughtless introduction.

Of course, perfume and life often mirror each other, so I've been pondering quality over quantity as it relates to other parts of life.

In my work, for example, I take great pains to hire the smartest, most passionate and driven people I can find.  Almost without exception, these personalities need coaching around creating a thoughtful pace, because they want to change the world overnight and truly believe this is possible.

Which is precisely why I hired them in the first place.

Nevertheless, I encourage them to take time - build time into their daily calendars - simply to think.  Just because they have the ability to multi-task and complete a number of projects quickly, is all that activity really making the impact they want? 

Rather than simply Doing A Lot, I ask them to pay close attention to their human surroundings, then fully assess their department, the organization, the national climate and their own world view.  Only then are they ready to thoughtfully accomplish something extraordinary. Something that has never been done before. 

Something that could change the world.

To all perfume houses, I offer the same advice.  
Instead of overwhelming your audience with release after release, simply because you can, take a deep breath.  Reign in the marketing impulse and focus on quality over quantity. 

Hold out for the masterpiece.

Picture from

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cherry Bomb Killer Perfume

Two new perfumes were sent my way, courtesy of Maria McElroy and Alexis Karl.  I have sampled them both and offer my thoughts and impressions.  

You should know by now that I am incapable of serious perfume reviews.

Truth or Dare:  My first thought, upon application, was that one could dissolve a cherry lifesaver in water, add a bit of baby powder, rub the concoction on one's skin and create the same aroma. 

Fortunately, as it develops, Truth or Dare gains a bit of floral freshness, still retaining it's sweet, cherry beginning.  In the end, however,  the freshness subsides and I am left with the life saver/baby powder drydown.

Rebel Angel:  This one is somewhat more complex.  A geranium vibe intervenes from the beginning, adding an earthiness to the top notes.  

As RA develops, it becomes more gourmand and takes on a 'cakey' quality.  After an hour, I find myself wondering what's making me crave Belgian waffles. 

Ah, it's Rebel Angel.

Both Truth or Dare and Rebel Angel are obviously created for a very young audience.  They have moderate sillage and staying power (Rebel Angel lasts longer than Truth or Dare on my skin).  

With their naughty names, I expected a bit more edginess.  In reality, both are virginal and ladylike.  Almost old fashioned.

Perhaps even in perfume, history repeats itself.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Perfume + Carpet = Twirling

Paige on the new carpet by the fireplace
Our carpet was finally installed this morning!  It's amazing how much difference this makes in the look and feel of the room.  

Honestly, I'm kind of 'twirly' about it.

Now, we need to re-furnish the rooms, but I want to Scarlett O'Hara that one.  It's too much to take in all at once.

The real problem is that I can be incredibly cheap. 

My cheapness plays out in avoiding, ignoring and denying the need until something absolutely must be replaced (especially clothing, but almost anything).  

This drives B-man nuts, and he shakes his head in disbelief when I shop for an entire day, bring home nothing (because I 'cheap out') then spend the evening telling him about what I should have bought.

He says, 'Why didn't you buy it and try it on at home?'  'You can always take it back if you don't want it.' 

Like that ever crossed my mind.

On the other hand, I think nothing of dropping $150 on a perfume that I Absolutely Must Have.  This doesn't phase me at all. 

Because perfume is a staple.

Which brings me to my next point:  I placed another order. 

In my defense, after receiving multiple offers of 10% off Already Discounted Prices, I received a coupon for 15% off from Parfum 1.

Wear me down...jeez.

So I ordered the following:

Habanita (Molinard)
Ombre Rose (Jean Charles Brosseau)
Le Parfum (Sonia Rykiel)
Dirt (Demeter)

And yes, I'm already tracking the shipping.  Delivery is scheduled for the 13th.  Six days of anticipation, reading reviews and envisioning the rapture upon receiving the package. 

I guess you could call it 'virtual twirling'.

Picture my own.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feminist Vegan Wannabe Sunday

Yesterday was spent in multi-media trolling.

Like, the whole day.

First, perfume blogs, then raw food/vegan blogs.  Inner Critic scoffs because I'm not into raw foods and I'm no vegan. Thinking he can just bite me, I spend time making a grocery list of things like flax seed, almond milk and tofu.  

I scroll down one particular site that promises photographs of the delicious vegan meals of the blogger.  Apparently, she has never watched Rachael Ray and learned that You Eat With Your Eyes First. 

Every plate looks like dog shit over greens.  

I kid you not. 

Feeling squeamish, I move on to feminist blogs and take a trip down memory lane to my first year of graduate school when I quit shaving - everything - as a silent protest against the feminine ideal.  

B-man never said anything at the time, and I thought I was the Hot Hairy One.  But one night, years later, as I was thinking back and regaling him with my feminist chutzpah, he interrupted me with, 'um...could you not do that again?'

Suddenly bored with blog trolling, I decide to watch The Hurt Locker.  This movie suits my dark and rogue-ish mood perfectly.  It is followed by four back-to-back episodes of In Treatment.

That has to mean something.

As a  psychotherapist (I almost said 'former,' but the urge to diagnose and analyze never goes away), I love this show and watch it with alternate cringing (a real therapist would never say that!) and envy (damn, I wish I would have said that!).

All this time, B-man is downstairs busting his hump, preparing our rooms for new carpet.  The carpet that was ordered two f-ing weeks ago.  He's painting, moving furniture and re-assembling our weight equipment.

Occasionally, I mosey downstairs, stand with a swayback, scratch my stomach and say, in my best redneck voice, 'wot yi doin' now?'  Actually, I'm not all that interested in what he's doing, I just need a break from eating potato chips, gruyere and ginger snaps.

Hmm.  If not for the gruyere, yesterday could have been my first day as a vegan.

Picture from

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Seeking Advice

Today is a Thinking Day and I'm coming to you, my readers, for advice.

Last weekend, as I published the 100th post of this blog, I also decided to make some adjustments to my profile and my blog title.  

These changes are the direct result of asking myself this central question:

How do I expand my blog into non-perfume areas, and continue to attract new readers, without alienating my core audience?

My life - like everyone's - is full of interesting, frustrating, life-changing moments, and I want to write about those, too.  

Maintaining more than one blog is not an option.  Plus, I like the idea of everything coming together under one umbrella.

My lust for smelling life (and perfume) will continue for as long as I breathe.  At the same time, I'm interested in broadening the dialogue among us and allowing this blog, and its content, to expand.

Most of you have been blogging much longer than I, so perhaps you have asked yourself this question at one time or another and come to conclusions of your own.

Therefore, I invite you to openly share your thoughts, opinions and advice.

Picture from


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