my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Annick Goutal Sables

One of the most generous perfume persons I know is Trina ... and this post is dedicated to her.

Her gift of Annick Goutal Sables more than a year ago stood me in good stead today.

I applied it early this morning and all day kept catching wafts of sweet cherry tobacco ... the best I could have chosen for this hectic Thursday. (The scent was much better than my mood.)

So katymae16 -- Trina -- the woman who loves animals beyond reason, and scent close behind them, thank you.

Today's sweet, smoky, perfect winter fragrance ... reminded me of you all day.

Just in case you think your generosity is never thought about, or is taken for granted, I hope you read this.

Thank you for the best part of my rugged day.


Ormonde Jayne Woman

Every time I publish a few emotionally fraught posts, I think I need to step it up with the fragrance reviews ...

So. Today is Ormonde Woman, one of the beautiful Linda Pilkington creations for her Ormonde Jayne atelier.

Herby, herbaceous ... I think that's the redolence of Black Hemlock I'm smelling.

Ah, but no. The notes, per Ms. Pilkington, are: cardamom, coriander and grass oil, black hemlock, violet and jasmine absolute, vetivert, cedar wood, amber and sandalwood.

The initial impression of herb and spices must be due to the cardamom, coriander, grass components ... a dark, dark green scent that slowly gives way to floral-tinged woods.

It is a womanly scent. Not an iota of fruit (fruit! ick!) in the whole thing. Just subtle smoothness, slightly sweet, darkly green, wafting in your wake.

The perfect scent for sitting here, listening to the first Christmas music of the season.


Holiday Inevitability

I spoke to my 82 year old grandfather today ... and am amazed, again, at how time constricts, the older you become.

This is the man who took me for doughnuts when I was four years old, for lime sherbert when I was eight. The last remaining relative who actually knew my father, and defends him still.

This is the man who was more than ten years younger than my grandmother, the love of his life, who was her fifth husband and -- although now married to a very nice, age-appropriate woman -- still talks of Edythe Eloise with a catch in his voice.

This is a man now who seems so close to my age, but with the addition of wisdom.

We spoke of family discord and alienation, the typical topics surrounding holidays if you're at all honest, and I was grateful for his reminders of what's important ("Call your brother. It doesn't matter if you think he doesn't want to talk to you. Call your
brother. At least then you can say you tried.")

And now a couple of hours later, when I found myself back in the inexplicably gray mood I've been in for a couple of days, I realized, "Of course. That's it. Family, discussions of family, memories of family. That's what it is."

But, yes, I'm going to call my brother. At least then I can say I tried.


On Gratitude

Gratitude is a tough one for me ... for some reason, I am afraid that if I express -- or even think about -- how fortunate I am, it will somehow jinx it. That acknowledging good fortune somehow puts it in jeopardy.

Neuroses? You be the judge.

All I know is that I am one fortunate cookie.

I love and am loved.

I have a big, furry dog.

A decent representative of the turkey species (admittedly headless) is in the refrigerator waiting my attention in the morning.

I have an *ahem* challenging job that seems to be expanding my interest in it, rather than my prior experience of a job diminishing in interest the longer I'm at it.

I have a proverbial boatload of perfume.

I have good friends and decent coworkers.

My body works.

My mind works.

My life works.

There, God, I've said it all. And thank You.


Go Ask Alice

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came! One, two!
One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

--Lewis Carroll


These Shoes Scream MICKI

I Love Them.

(Marc Jacobs, on French e-bay; I wear size 6, Santa)


On Humility

I have recently had a shortage of words to say, mostly because I've gone inside myself in the little free time I now have ...

I've been thinking more than saying, contemplating more than writing.

What I've been thinking about is the nature of humility.

Taking this week's election as an example, it seems that humility is often a lesson earned through some sort of pride-intense behavior. Hubris, the Greek word for tragic pride, usually affords a stinging rebuke in humility.

Not to be confused with shame, there is nothing wrong with being humble. Acknowledging the world acts upon its own agenda, not one's own. That existence does not revolve around you, and your own aims and ego.

And assisting, supporting can be a valid, substantive effort. For a former prima donna, that's been a tough one.

Another thing I'm learning, however, is in how little regard prima donnas are held.

You may believe you are a great artiste, God's gift to commerce, a veritable genius ... but, often, eyes roll behind your back and there's a certain dread associated with your appearance and demands.

See, as a former prima donna, I never knew that people really don't like it when one person sucks up all the oxygen in the room.

I know that now.


I liked Ed Bradley

June 22, 1941November 9, 2006


Enough Politics. Back to Perfume.

I always feel a little bit grimy after an election. Know what I mean? What I need is a big dose of Vol de Nuit. Got any?

Democrats: Get Us Out Of Iraq.


Plus Ça Change, Plus C’est La Meme Chose

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong

Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

lyrics from Buffalo Springfield, circa 1969, when I was young, and long-haired, and torn-jeansed and carried a sign in the streets, and believed in The Revolution.

Now I wonder, what perfume would you wear to The Revolution?


The Importance of One Vote

I don't have a stump speech, although anyone who has read this blog knows which side of the stump I'd come out on ... but I did want to encourage all Americans of every stripe to vote.

Strike a blow against nihilism and have faith that the machines aren't rigged/hacked/ otherwise molested: Vote.

Remember how many people have bled and are bleeding to guarantee your right to: Vote.

Know that two years is a long time, there is a great deal of repair to be done and the only way to get started is to: Vote.

Understand that you'll have no right to complain (and what an infinitely empty blogosphere it would be without complaining) if you fail to: Vote.

Please. Vote.


Today Is This Person's Birthday

Isn't he a sweetie? I can tell you that he IS.

He grew up into a reserved, patient, gentle, stubborn, prescient, steady Scorpio whose thought processes are byzantine and mystical. Don't cross him, because he'll get you eventually. But he's merciful, too.

A very happy birthday to Jim, my partner in life.


But I was, I tell you! I was!

I know the whole past lives thing doesn't have the best rep in terms of other people believing you when you tell them you once were Anne Boleyn.

But I was.

Either that, or Genevieve Bujold.

And what fragrance did Anne wear when her neck was still attached to her head?

Sa Majeste la Rose.


Rabbit, Rabbit!

To me, that's a rabbit in Anne Smith's Midsummer Night's Dream. Right?

Rabbit, Rabbit!