Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jour d'Hermes: Home On The Range

I sniffed Jour d'Hermes at the duty free shop in DFW airport.  There's no delicate way to put this - it smells like a barnyard.  And not in a nostalgic, 'I was raised on a farm and it reminds me of where I grew up' sort of way. 

More like, 'wow, this smells just like hay and cow manure.'

Jean Claude, you're killing me.

Image from parfumo.com

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hopes Pinned on Hot Toddy to Restore Health, Taste and Smell

Since Thursday, I have not gotten better, but worse.  My sinuses hurt, I have a deep, disturbing cough and I'm not able to do anything but sit on the deck and hope that sunshine and fresh air will magically heal me.  This illness is not taking a typical pattern, and it's freaking me out a little.

Plus, all sense of taste and smell has disappeared.

Enter hot toddy.

I found this recipe online, a doctor's recipe that was prescribed to a family - with great success - for many years.  It looks like this:

2 oz. whiskey
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
4 oz water

Blend and heat thorougly, but do not boil.

I have finished the drink, but must admit that I don't feel any better yet.  I still have aches, I am still compelled to cough and my sense of taste and smell have not returned at all.

Smelling alone would make me feel better because so many other things in my life are healed through that sense. Without it, I feel alone and a little desperate, with nothing solid to cling to.  Except for B-man and his warm touch to stroke my head and my back and whisper in my ear to reassure me of his love and of healing right around the corner.

Not sure how things will look in the morning, but I have to think I can only get better.  If so, hot toddys will be added to my recipe for recovery next time the flu comes to town.

Image from drinks.seriouseats.com

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blogging About Vlogging: It's Harder Than It Looks

Vlogging is kind of fun.  And very different than writing.  My work requires I'm on video a lot, so I thought video blogging would be a snap once I figured out the logistics.  For example, how do I film from an angle that doesn't make me look like a Gelfling?  And I hope to complete the whole editing/downloading process just once without wailing to B-man, 'I'm too stupid to do it.' 

But honestly, the hardest thing has been figuring out how to be myself on camera.  Playing a professional role and delivering information on film is a snap.  Video blogging is much more  personal, so anything less than a personal approach to you, my readers, just won't work.  My goal is for the person you see on video to match up with the person who writes the blog, as we are, after all, one in the same. 

A few of you have been video blogging for quite some time.  Any words of wisdom for this vlogging newbie?

Image from moolahblogger.com

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Airplane Farting Follow-up: What Are People Supposed to Do?

I'm home sick today with a fever, cough and assorted flu-like stuff.  This means I had to cancel lunch with my son, JD, which sucks because we look forward to getting together, laughing and talking about everything under the sun.  We talk on the phone instead, and after a good 45 minutes of covering the basics, he mentions my rant about farting on the plane. 

Our conversation looks like this:

JD:  Hey, I liked your rant.  Honestly, I feel sorry for you for getting farted on, but for people that really need to fart, what are they supposed to do?

Me:  Mouth breathing while rolling a tissue between my fingers.

JD:  I mean, I can totally see myself farting on a plane, especially if I just ate something that didn't agree with me.

Me:  Well, exhibit A for people not stuffing down food before they get on a plane.

JD:  That doesn't make you fart.

Me:  Yes it does because if food is eaten too fast, it creates air bubbles in your intestines that have to be farted out.

JD:  You know this for a scientific fact.

Me:  It's a sound theory and I'm going with it.

JD:  So people are never supposed to eat before getting on a plane?

Me: They can eat, but maybe the big breakfast burrito with whole jalapenos is a bad choice.

JD:  Okay, but what if they just have a plain old burger and it doesn't sit well with them?

Me:  Then they should try to use the bathroom on the plane so they don't have to fart all the way home.

JD:  Maybe they go take a crap but still have to fart.  Then what are they supposed to do?

Me:  They're supposed to smash their butt cheeks together and hold it until we land.

JD:  Really...hold it for three hours?

Me:  Okay, I can tolerate one fart - ONE - but only if they will pass out otherwise.

JD:  If I have to fart and I'm in a crowded place, I just do it.

Me:  Oh god, don't tell me that.

JD:  Well, it's true.

We go round and round, chiding each other and throwing out bogus theories until we exhaust the subject and I am forced to admit he has a point that I cannot solidly beat down.  Now I'm thinking perhaps passengers could be screened for farting and farting tolerance when booking a flight.

They can sit in Zone 4.

Image from catholicmannight.com

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rant: No Farting On Airplanes, Please

Flying etiquette has gone right down the toilet.  Yesterday, as I'm sitting in the gate area, waiting to board the plane, people are stuffing down food like it might run away if they don't eat fast enough.  Then, they burp loudly to announce to the world that they consumed a sandwich bigger than their head in less than two minutes.  I have to wonder if they chew at all.

But farting is saved for the plane.

We all know fart sillage.  Is it food?  Is it poop?  Nope, it's a fart.  All the way home (an almost three hour flight), every fifteen or twenty minutes, the silent green killer hits me in the face.  Since we're squished on the flight like sardines, it's hard to know who's responsible for this despicable act. Not that I would expect a confession.  Random farters are likely random liars.  'Nuh-uh, I didn't do it - I would never do something like that!'

After a few assaults, I get so annoyed that I become Ace Ventura, Fart Detective.  The guy in front of me keeps fidgeting around in his seat, which makes him my first suspect.  After every flare up, it's all I can do to keep from hitting the back of his chair with my palm and saying, 'hey, Baseball Cap, go take a dump or put a cork up your butt, just stop farting!'  But wait - what if Baseball Cap is an innocent victim, thinking the same thing as me, and it's actually Business Suit that's slipping out the silent stinkers?  No one's going to suspect him.  Or maybe it's Meaningless Comments guy sitting right next to me, who says things before takeoff like, 'boy, ya don't see mountains here, do ya?' and 'warmer here than California.'  He fits the profile.

I finally realize I'm wasting my time and I'll have to just deal with it. The flight is jammed, so there's nowhere else to go.  However, I do consider using the call light to request the flight attendant trade me places and catch the fart perp while I work the drink tray and spend 30 minutes saying, 'peanuts, pretzels or cookies?'  How hard can it be?

And why have I so benevolently decided not to wear perfume on airplanes? At least I could bury my nose in my elbow when someone decides to casually unleash farts throughout a flight.  Come to think of it, why can't I claim severe allergies to bad body odor, hair that hasn't been washed for weeks and, of course, farting.  None of them belong on an airplane, and let's face it, they make breathing difficult. 

Hmmm...I could end up working that cart, after all.

Image from gizmodo.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Perfume in Dallas: Good News and Bad News

Dallas...hmmm. It's flat and kind of murky and, well, it's Dallas.  No offense to anyone who lives here or loves it, but it's not one of those cities that make me say, 'let's go back!'

But, BUT, my hotel room is stocked with toiletries from Le Labo in the scent of...you guessed it...Rose 31.  Shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soap.  Heaven!  Of course, I tossed all the good Rose 31 stuff in my make-up bag to bring home and I will use my B&BW stuff while I'm here.

That's the good news.  The high point of perfume.

During a break in the conference this afternoon, feeling cooped up and stir crazy, I walk five city blocks to Nieman Marcus for a little sniffing. Is it just me, or is this store globally annoying?  Last time I visited a NM, I was in downtown Minneapolis, and I swear they molecular transported the same employees with their same attitudes to Dallas, just for me.

Her (looking me up and down suspiciously): Can I help you?

Me:  Actually, I'm just checking to see what lines you carry here.

Her:  What kind of perfume are you looking for?

Me:  If you don't mind, I'd like to browse on my own for a bit and I'll let you know if I have any questions.

Her: Yeah, sure.

Me: Could I get some paper strips?

Her:  Uh-huh (she gave me ONE).

Me (in my head):  This is deja vu.

Her:  You smell the new Angel?  We just got it in and when it's gone, we won't get more.

Me (in my head):  Freaking Angel is all you have to offer?

Me (out loud):  Yes, I've tried the Aqua Chic.

Them:  The new Alien, too?

Me (in my head):  Good Lord.

Me (out loud):  Yup, tried 'em both.

Them:  What kind of perfume do you like?

Me (in my head):  Kill. Me. Now.

Me (out loud): Thanks for your help.

By the time I get back to the hotel in my strappy sandals, the bottom of my feet are burning and Inner Critic is worn out from giving me the 'what did you think was gonna happen' speech.

Never mind, I got my Rose 31.

Image from carvazine.com

Monday, April 15, 2013

Have Perfume, Will Travel

Tomorrow, I begin a week's travel for work.  I'm almost ready to go and I enjoy traveling alone.  Plus, I'm going somewhere warm (we woke up to snow today).   My plan is to take the following perfume samples, decants or roll-ons:

Versace Crystal Noir
Jimmy Choo Flash
Angel Aqua Chic
JLo Miami Glow
JLo Glow
Montale Roses Musk
Karma solid perfume by Lush
10-15 other samples I'm too lazy to name

These will all fit easily into a small baggie and into my make-up bag.  Of course, I'll be trolling for new, undiscovered perfume this week, too.  But it's a start. 

Any tips on great perfume shopping in Dallas?

Image from bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coconut: My Latest Perfume Obsession

Until now, I've never liked coconut in perfume - it just seemed too tanning lotion pedestrian.  For the last month, however, I have been jonesing for coconut perfumes and all things coconut.  In the process, I have discovered that many perfumes from Amouage to Jovan White Musk have a coconut vibe even if they don't contain the ingredient.  Here's a few mid-range to inexpensive perfumes I found along the way:

Estee Lauder Azuree Soliel
JLo Miami Glow
Queen by Queen Latifa
Laguna by Salvidor Dali
Crystal Noir by Versace

Yesterday, I decide what I really want is a coconut lotion that would let me turn up the volume in any perfume that might contain a hint of that note.  So B-man and I go on a search for the perfect coconut lotion.  This is the type of meaningful pursuit that fills our Saturday afternoons.

We go everywhere from TJ Maxx to Bath & Body Works to Ulta to Kohl's to find a lotion that is just right.  I think surely Bath & Body Works will have the perfect coconut lotion, but Aruba Coconut is too fruity and the stores no longer carry Exotic Coconut.  Just as well since I discover later that some reviewers say it burns your skin.  What the F? (I told Elisa, from the French Exit, that I was going to steal that phrase and use it myself.) 

B-man, ever the good-natured partner, is engaged in the whole experience, even when I get cranky because we are driving all over the valley and I forgot to bring a happy snack from home.

Me: Oh my God, are we ever going to get to the freeway?

B-man:  Yes, it's just a few more blocks, Miss Cranky.

Me:  And look at the mountains; it's raining like crazy where we live and I'm missing the whole black, awesome storm.  What's with the sunshine here?  I've had it with all the damn sunshine.

B-man:  We can just go home so you can watch the storm if you want.

Me:  No, I'm on a mission.  Can we go to Bath & Body Works?

B-man:  We were just there.

Me:  I mean the other one - they might have different stuff.

B-man:  Sure, let's go. Why don't you go in and I'll wait in the car.  Take your time.

While I wander around in BBW, I access Fragrantica on my iphone just to see what ingredients are in the lotions I am testing.  One of my favorites for bedtime is Warm Vanilla Sugar, and Fragrantica reminds me that the heart note just happens to be...coconut.  Since I'm down to my last one at home, I buy six more on the 'buy 3 get 3 free' sale.  Content with my happy snack equivalent, I get in the car, beaming.

B-man:  What did you end up with?

Me: I ended up with Warm Vanilla Sugar - I have that at home.

B-man:  Wait, after all this, you have that one at home?

Me:  Yup.

B-man:  Wow.  I think I'm ready for a pina colada.

This evening, I'm wearing Warm Vanilla Sugar with Jovan White Musk, but I'm about ready to pump up the coconut even higher with a little Crystal Noir. 

What's your latest perfume note obsession?

Image from mindbodygreen.com

Friday, April 5, 2013

Angel: Perfume Poltergeist

Angel by Thierry Mugler is an audacious perfume that makes no apology for burning your nose, ruining your meal or occupying all invisible space.  I love it, or at least the idea of it.  I was visiting baby sis in Milwaukee when I first saw Angel back in 1993.  We noticed it at the same time and I wanted it then mostly because she wanted it first.  Growing up is on my bucket list.

Angel is beautiful on baby sis, although she hasn't worn it since that first purchase almost 20 years ago. On my skin, it's just monstrous, like the chocolate, vanilla and patchouli are all fighting for the top spot, amping up the volume until I become virtually flammable. 

Very few people can wear Angel and wear it well, because it ranges from sweetly gourmand to bitterly patchouli, depending on one's chemistry.  On many people, the patchouli smells kind of...wet and sour.  Patchouli should never be wet.  In fact, Daphne believes the best patchouli is dry and smokey, like summer dirt.  She says if patchouli is the right dryness, you should cough when you smell it.  Sometimes I do that just to make her happy. 

Honestly, I'm not even sure Angel was meant to be a signature scent. Yes, it's beautiful in a 'love me or I'll kill you' sort of way, but wearing it every single day would be exhausting.  It's hard to keep up with that kind of intensity, the kind that lingers for hours after the person wearing the perfume is gone, like cigarette smoke or the aroma of last night's roast beef.  Almost like a ghost. 

They don't call it Angel for nothing.

image from sassisamblog.com


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