Monday, March 31, 2014

Perfume Rituals

Making up perfume rituals is one of my favorite things to do.  We've already established that I'm easy to entertain. 

Arabian oils seem like they were invented to create rituals.  Think about it: far away lands with unique foods and spices, plus a natural atmosphere that conjures up all sorts of images and hidden, guilty pleasures. Arabian oils are sweaty and delicious. One doesn't just wear them, or apply them mindlessly.  No, Arabian oils provide mental transport to another time and place with flying carpets and body jewelry.  If you can't create rituals around that, check your pulse.

Here's the great thing about being easy to entertain.  My oil doesn't even have to be Arabian, it just needs to say Arabian on the bottle.  See how that works?  Both Al Rehab and Kuumba oils are tweaking me right now, and I keep several at work to refresh what I'm wearing or to add new life to the totally unrelated perfume I put on after my shower that morning. 

My mid-afternoon-at-the-office ritual:

1) Apply hand lotion (I like the combo of B&BW Twilight Woods and Orange Sapphire )
2) Spritz my room fragrance, Citrus Cilantro, so it lands on my lamp bulbs to last longer
3) Apply Arabian oil to my wrists only and rub together

This ritual rests my mind and shifts my focus - for just a minute - so I can take a 2-3 minute walk and return to my work refreshed as if I had taken a 30-minute break.  Of course, I have to be careful because I work in a 'fragrance sensitive' environment. Maybe my colleagues are practicing Thumper's Rule (if you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all), but it seems to be working for all of us.

Arabian Rose by Kuumba is my current go-to oil.  It's a bright, green rose that blends magically with almost anything I'm already wearing from deep ouds to citrusy florals.  And it's strong, so just touching the roller on my wrists and rubbing them together is enough.  This ritual is for my own enjoyment, although many people comment positively on the way I smell afterward.  When asked what I'm wearing, I usually report my scent of the day, because it's just too geeky to list everything I've applied since then.  Besides, I prefer to keep the ritual to myself.

What are your perfume rituals?

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Perfume Rx for Cranky: Wear One and Call Me In the Morning

I'm restless and cranky today, even though the sun is shining and it's 60 degrees on our deck, which is where I am sitting right now.  I should be blissfully happy and relaxed, looking forward to cooking, conversation and Champagne with B-man later.  I should delight in the new buds on our trees and Paige lying on her back in the sun.  My peppy rating should be off the charts because spring was invented to make you peppy, right?  Renewal, redemption and resurrection...what could be wrong with that?  And I should take great care to chose the right perfume to match this storybook setting, one that perfectly captures my unbridled joy as I twirl in the sunshine. 

Yeah, sure, whatever.

Believe me, I tried to choose a perfume earlier, sniffing one bottle after the other, wondering why they all smell so harsh and nasty. Honestly, I don't know why I bought any of them.  Daphne, my nose, is super sensitive today, and a little bitchy if you want to know the truth.

Life transition?
Identity crisis?


Losing my last parent makes me feel ancient and more urgent than ever about moving my life forward in some meaningful way.  Actually, meaning is optional - I'd just settle for moving forward. Except I forgot what I'm moving toward and the pursuit of 'what's next' that has fueled my life for the last...pretty much always, is gone. Like what's next decided to stop playing and go in the house to watch TV.  Now I'm stuck living in the stupid moment.  Whoever started that concept can kiss my butt.  You live in the moment, dumbass, I want to know what's next.  You go meditate and do yoga and grab a therapeutic massage on your way home.  Namaste. 

Just lemme know what's next.

If I wanted to wear a perfume that smells as cranky as I feel, there are plenty to choose from.  Paloma Picasso, Amouage Lyric Woman, Bandit or Rumba jump to mind. They were made for one purpose and one purpose only: to piss people off.  Or Angel, which sparks low grade irritation at first, then builds over time, getting stronger and stronger with face-slapping patchouli until I have to bite my tongue so I don't blurt out, 'stop wearing that shit' in the middle of a meeting.

But wait, what if annoying perfumes can actually counteract crankiness the same way stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall treat hyperactive kids?  No one's proven it can't work as far as I know, and it's certainly worth a try.  Rumba, don't fail me now.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Bakhour by Al Rehab

For the life of me, I can't remember how I discovered Al Rehab perfume oils.  They must have popped up when I was researching something else on Fragrantica, my diversion-from-reality drug of choice.  However it happened, I'm glad I found them, and now I own six, which is all good because they are cheap.  Like, $3.95 cheap.  Inner Farm Girl hasn't even noticed.

Of course, cheap doesn't matter - even to me - unless the perfume smells good.  So far, several of the Al Rehab oils smell very good, but I seem to be stuck on one in particular: Bakhour.  Not exactly what I expected from an Arabian perfume oil, Bakhour is bright and floral-citrus, woody and vanilla-musky.  Some have compared it to Angel or Alien, but I don't get that.  Jasmine is definitely involved, but no more so than any other member of the ensemble.  What's most interesting about Bakhour is the drydown, which has the mustiness of a greenhouse.  Just the right touch to 'Arabize' the scent.

Bakhour lasts for 3-4 hours and has good sillage for a perfume oil. Al Rehab oils come in roll-on bottles, but they develop best when they are also rubbed into my skin rather than simply left alone to sit on the surface. Then I run my fingers through my hair to share the love a little more.  I'm wearing Bakhour today over Capri Seaside Citrus lotion by Bath and Body Works...the perfect combo on Spring's second day.

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