Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Odds & Ends

Last night I happened upon a random episode of "The Sopranos"
It was a lame episode in which Lauren Bacall gets punched in the face.(and I think she yelled out the "F" word, too.)
anyway, I watched Tony Soprano fondling a bottle of perfume for quite a while before I realized it was a Guerlain Bee Bottle.
The episode still sucked, even though it had Guerlain in it.

Almost all the votes are in for the little contest. The Winner will be announced soon.

During King George III's reign, a man could divorce his wife if he felt she had used her seductive perfume to 'drug' him into marriage.

Astronauts found that a smell-free environment was so confusing and disturbing that they carried vials of scent into space with them. To counteract the negative effects of no-odor boredom, Nasa now pumps various scents into the air conditioning systems.

Italian footballer Fabio Cannavaro loves perfume and keeps bottles stashed everywhere. Armani's Emporio and Mania are among his favorite colognes.

Some hypnotists find that using scent works very well at bringing out old memories. (they will have their subjects smell various scents: sawdust, roses, baby powder, hay, tar, and so forth)

Quote of the Day:
"In writing songs I’ve learned as much from Cézanne as I have from Woody Guthrie." -- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In a Heartbeat

What is love at first sight? I would say it happens when two people meet and instantly feel a powerful, strange, confusing attraction. In the Martin Scorsese film, 'Falling in Love', Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep play characters who don't want to fall in love, but ever since their first chance meeting, at Rizzoli's Bookstore in Manhattan, they are stuck inside one another's heads. L'Instant by Guerlain is named for that attraction, the instant the connection is made. There is no turning back for some people, and they accept their fate. L'Instant has a certain strangeness to it. When I first tried it, it reminded me of something, and I had to stop and think back many years to what it was. And it made me smile. L'Instant has a warm magnolia note in both head and heart. But it is just impossible to describe, a luminous fragrance.

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark,
She looked at him
and he felt a spark tingle to his bones.
'Twas then he felt alone
and wished that he'd gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate.
-- Bob Dylan

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Perfect Storm

I usually only leave my fortress under the protection of darkness, but I wanted to make a Bob Dylan snowman, and take a picture of it for my blog. The Bob idea fell apart when I couldn't find the right hat or fashion a harmonica holder out of a wire hanger. I decided to just work with what I had.

The nice little snowstorm we had was just perfect. Six or eight more of these little storms, and I'll be satisfied and ready to move on to the next season. Watching the swirling snowflakes, I started thinking about the upside of chaos, and how maddening control can be. life would be so dull without a bruhaha or hullabaloo.
Physicists say that chaos is the norm in the universe, so we may as well go with the flow.
Doctors say to sharpen your brain, you should create some chaos in there, by learning a new language, reading the newspaper out loud as if it were poetry, or walking around your town backwards.
Carl Jung said "In all chaos, there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order." This quote comes in handy for days when you don't want to clean your house.

People who constantly strive for order and perfection are fighting a losing battle anyway, and stressing out all the while. Up or down, it seems that chaos is always there, like when you fall in love and you feel like you're on a roller coaster, or when you have some challenge to meet, and you step forward, thinking, 'Here I go, I'm a schmuck on wheels to even get involved in this!' But you do anyway, because it is part of your job to keep adding to the chaos.

"Chaos is a friend of mine."
--Bob Dylan

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Small Blue Thing

A small blue earring, I lost the other one. I bought them in Paris, on the street, in the pouring rain. A small blue policeman that has somehow stayed with me since I was small. Blue marbles, blue beads, a velvety blue violet. My favorite CD is the color blue. Today I heard the Suzanne Vega song, Small Blue Thing and it transported me back to another time and place. It was Vega's voice that I listened to as I stood on deck, sailing from Oslo to Copenhagen, on a stormy blue sea, in a constant downpour. I can still feel the silver and the blue when I listen to her, the rain was cold and alive and full of energy.

Small Blue Thing

Today I am

A small blue thing

Like a marble

Or an eye

With my knees against my mouth

I am perfectly round

I am watching you

I am cold against your skin

You are perfectly reflected

I am lost inside your pocket

I am lost against your fingers

I am falling down the stairs

I am skipping on the sidewalk

I am thrown against the sky

I am raining down in pieces

I am scattering like light

Scattering like light

Today I am

A small blue thing

Made of china

Made of glass

I am cool and smooth and curious

I never blink

I am turning in your hand

Turning in your hand

Small blue thing

--Suzanne Vega

Quote of the Day:
"Some people feel the rain, others just get wet"
--Bob Dylan

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bob Dylan is My Life Coach

My friend has hired a "Life Coach" to help her through a rough patch (divorce, single parenthood) I ran into my friend and her life coach at a local coffee shop, and the life coach tried to talk me into hiring her to improve my life. She was sneaky about it, but I knew that's what she was up to. She asked all these obvious questions. I started asking her questions -- she wouldn't answer at first, so I had to keep asking the same questions until she cracked. Turns out this beautiful and outgoing life coach has little life experience. "I have learned about parenting from my wonderful parents!" She told me her only struggle has been trying to lose some of the 50 extra lbs she has gained, that liposuction didn't work for her, and she doesn't "do" exercise. But she was confident that she would get to a healthy weight, as she has willpower. "Never underestimate the power of willpower!" We had to go outside so she could chain-smoke while we talked. Once she started telling me about herself, she could not stop. I had to quickly interject questions. She is living with her parents, as she is an only child. She never has to deal with "mundane things" and her parents just gave her a new car. "I'm blessed!" She has never had time for an actual 'boyfriend' but dates a lot and hopes to marry and have the whole package. "My biological clock is ticking...LOUD!" She has a great laugh. "I am VERY fussy!"

Nothing excites her more than life coaching. "I have found answers and want to guide others!" She has a 600 page manual that she had to practically memorize to become a life coach. She was so confident and had perfect hair. I liked her, and she had me pretty confused. I wanted to have her life for a week. It would be a nice vacation from reality. She was confused too, as she thought I was going to hire her."As your life coach I will be much more hands-on than any therapist--I would empower you, um discover your true self."

I'm sorry, I never lead her on. Isn't life meant to be a little messy & a lot challenging? Maybe you don't need survival skills to be a life coach, but I'd want a coach who'd been around the block a few times (Maybe I don't understand the concept of being life-coached.)

I have a hunch that my "true self" is even more screwed up than the self I am dealing with daily.

Walking home, I realized that I do have a sort of life coach. Sometimes he had serious troubles of his own, and showed me what NOT to do, (become a drunk, talk to the press while drunk, become born again, wear an oversized hoodie sweatshirt, write songs while drunk) He has re-created himself a few times, is a grandfather, a world traveler, not prissy or fussy, a hard working person, sober, exercises regularly, is into art, music, books, and theology... He is still dreaming, still seeking enlightenment.

So cranky looking old Bob has become my life coach. A life coach who isn't afraid to wear a cowboy hat and a polka dot shirt with a really nice suit. A life coach who tells you straight up, that he doesn't have any answers at all, really.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Smelling is Free

"Smelling" ( sung to the tune of "Dreaming")

(see link: top right for actual song)


When I met you at the fragrance bar
You could tell I was wearing Shalimar
You asked me what's my pleasure
A bottle or a measure
I'll have a cup of tea and tell you of my smelling, smelling is free
I don't want to live on Chantilly
Poison, Ralph, or Fantasy-
L'Heure Bleue is living rarity
People stop and smell me
We just walk on by--we just keep on smelling , smelling is free

Feet! feet! walk me to La Maison
Meet! meet! meet me to breathe Guerlain
Once I smelled it, I'll never forget it
Dream, dream, even for a little vial
Dab, dab, filling up an idle hour
Dream away, radiate
Close my eyes and smell the river flow
I sit by and smell the traffic go
Imagine a scent of your very own
Something you can sniff at home
I'll make a bed of roses
Just to have some smelling
Smelling is free
Smelling is free

Notes on D. Harry:
From a 2004 interview:
VH1: Where do you see yourself as coming from?
Debbie Harry: I don't flatter myself that I'm anywhere near as good as Bob Dylan, but I consider myself
like a singer/songwriter. That's really my thrust. I feel like I have to have a voice.
VH1: How's your acting career going?
Debbie Harry: It ain't going nowhere!

Debbie Harry is acting in two movies in 2007. One is "Anamorph" starring Willem Dafoe, a psychological thriller based on the concept of anamorphosis, a painting technique that manipulates the laws of perspective to create two competing images on a single canvas.
She also has a role in the coming of age film, "House of Boys"
Deborah Harry turned 61 last year and she still looks great.

Monday, February 19, 2007

You Will Buy This!

The nuttiest and most frustrated saleswoman on earth works at a Macy's fragrance counter. (I check in with her once in a while because she is such a total freak ) She refuses to give samples unless there is a purchase. I noticed that she makes a huge deal out of giving customers one chocolate coin if they buy some of the expensive trendy crap she is pushing. I watch her drive possible customers away with her abrasive attitude and wonder what her home life is like. I like to go and ask her inane questions, spray trendy stuff into the air, and not buy anything. I like to push all of her buttons.
I once almost purchased a bottle of Bulgari's Blu Notte from her, but she twitched and snapped "Ack, THAT!" she made a snorty sound. "That is not popular, that is going to be discontinued!"
I smiled. "OK then." at that moment I decided I would never buy anything from her.

She pointed to a bottle of Brittney Spears Fantasy, "Now THIS is what you should buy." Her eyes glowed red for a few seconds.

Anyway, she told me that all of the men who stop by her counter purchase stuff that smells like apple tart, vanilla cake or eggnog for their ladies. And she smugly lectured me on the value of knowing what men want to smell on a woman. (food and more food apparently ) She must have thought from my blank stare that I was ready to absorb more of her wisdom and so tried to fast talk me into buying an 'apple pie' scent. "Guaranteed to have your man salivating!" She went on and on until a friend that I had planned to meet up with at the fragrance counter interrupted us.
My friend, who has only a passing interest in scent, strode up, ignored the saleswoman completely, began talking to me about our lunch plans, and reaching way behind the counter grabbed a fistful of the chocolate coins from a dish. The saleswoman gasped but my friend and I were already walking off, and I could picture the tiny angry woman behind us, fuming among her perfumes. 

The Brittney Spears scents boast notes like Cupcake Accord, Black Vanilla and Creme Brulee. I just picture the chemist in his lab, working on the sweetest possible version of a cupcake with thick frosting note. I find that I fully enjoy the amusing 'dark side' of my little perfume world.

If you want to sample some truly fun & thought provoking scents, I would look to those who really know the business,
Christopher Gable & Christopher Brosius.
*DEMETER Fragrances (Christopher Gable) has moderately priced perfumes called Sugar Cookie, Waffles, and Vanilla Cake Batter which I must admit smell very good. And they are reasonably light so after awhile the only person who knows you smell like a sugar cookie is the person nuzzling your neck. Demeter also has scents called Thunderstorm, Laundromat, Play-Doh, and Dirt. It is fascinating to sample all of their scents, just for the smell of it. (a fun idea for party favors.)
*CB I Hate Perfume is a perfume shop run by Christopher Brosius. Besides creating personal scents for customers he meets, Brosius makes fragrances called In the Library, Gathering Apples, Just Breathe, Burning leaves, and many more.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Vintage Soul

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill." - Muhammad Ali

Curve Vintage Soul for Women would be suitable for small enigmatic Bobs or big enigmatic heavyweights like Ali to wear. It certainly isn't just for females. I am very miffed that scents are assigned genders so thoughtlessly in the perfume world.
It is a good winter fragrance, and not to sound like a broken record, it is too potent to casually spray all over yourself. It will knock you out if you do that. Seriously, TKO.

It floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.

Head notes: Apple, Bergamot, and Cranberry. A spicy floral heart with Linden, Jasmine, and Magnolia.
A base of Musk, Patchouli and Vanilla. Supposedly inspired by classics no longer made. (!?) This is the only fragrance in the Curve lineup that I enjoy. There seems to be some peppery gingerbread and woodsy evergreen notes hidden within.

Friday, February 16, 2007

d.chedwick's 115th dream

d.chedwick takes his job very seriously, but he is in heaven when surrounded by his collection. Now he is pondering: which fragrance to review next.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Greetings! Greetings, Fellow Stargazers! I am in a grumpy mood, trying to snap out of it. But first I wanted you to look at this nifty home-made Valentine's card I received yesterday in the mail... yes someone actually mailed it to me rather than just e carding. I was impressed by the talent and thought this person should create a line of greeting cards. Don't you think the design is nice?

OK, back to my grumpiness. Usually complaining about something helps me to work my way out of it. OK what is with women who refuse to tell you what perfume they are wearing like it is some big secret? You smell nice, you don't want anyone to know why. What is with guys who have no idea what scent their wife wears even though they have lived with her for 20 years? They should also know what perfume their mom wears. I will bet these women know everything about the guy. They know all his secrets, flaws, etc... that he assumes no one knows. They know everything. They never forget anything. Ever. I am sorry to be so grumpy. Really.

What is with someone telling me they have never heard a Bob Dylan song ? I heard a Bob Dylan song coming from the TV set twice this morning -- it was advertising something, maybe Bob is going to be on 60 minutes again, who knows. But I'm in another room and heard it. (It was "Like a Rolling stone") I was sitting in Starbucks a few days ago and heard "Subterranean Homesick Blues" being played. In an elevator last week I heard the muzak version of " I Want You". Unless you have lived in soundproof booth all your life, you have probably heard one of Bob's songs.

Some dude in my neighborhood was telling me how he hated everything about Bob Dylan. I asked him what kind of music he liked. He said country. I asked if he liked Garth Brooks, and he began to gush. Turns out he loves Garth Brooks and I asked if he knew the song "To Make You Feel my Love" and he said "Know it? I love that song! I am going to have that song playing at my wedding!" hmmm -- set up nicely done -- and I said "Gee, that means you'll have a song that Bob Dylan wrote playing at your wedding," Of course he didn't believe me and even had a tiny fit before he stormed off.

Chanel No. 5 Part 3

Chanel No. 5 Elixir Sensuel is a fluid gel that is the centerpiece of Chanel's Seduction Collection of bath and body products. A softer warmer version of the original No.5, it is calmer and more linear and I am able to smell the rose note more deeply.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Put Some Clothes On, Dumbass!

Just look at Bob Weir ( top, left ) dancing around in cutoffs. Meanwhile, the relatively normal people in the photo are wearing flannel or layers, and they are wearing grownup 'long' pants. Weir obviously thinks he's a trendsetter, but I just don't get it. Wavy Gravy dresses better. OK, here's the deal. You are not at the beach. You are on stage and people paid good money to enjoy some music, not look at your hairy legs and armpits while you try to dance like Mick Jagger. If you want to dress like Richard Simmons, go to a gym.

What do you think of people who wear scent at the gym? Adidas makes scents specifically for the gym, and a weight lifter I know enjoys wearing a little Body Kouros when he works out. He says his gym always has a few human stinkbombs lumbering around and smelling up the place, and he likes to get a little whiff of something nice, so he dabs Body Kouros on his wrists.

Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent (2000)
Virile and energetic, a refreshing woodsy oriental with notes of incense, woods, mint, eucalyptus leaves, ironbark, and spices.
Created by perfumer Annick Menardo ( who is also the nose behind Bulgari Black, Bois D'Armenie by Guerlain, Hypnotic Poison by Dior, Lolita Lempicka, and Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin )

Photos: Weir onstage with Dylan and Garcia. Richard Simmons exercise video cover.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash get Jicky

Oddly enough, Johnny is not the man in black in this picture.

"I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times."
--- Man in Black by Johnny Cash

Jicky by Guerlain 1889.
The Classic Fougere Perfume.
Head notes : lavender, rosemary, bergamot
Heart notes : rose, fern harmony, tonka bean
Base notes : woody notes, vanilla, opoponax
Fougere is the French word for fern. Fougere fragrances use ferny, woodsy notes combined with herbal notes.
Although Jicky was created as a woman's scent it is very popular with men.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Something Old

Almost everyone has some old thing that they love, meaningful to them, but junk to someone else. Almost everyone has a place they long for that may or may not still exist. The little town you knew before the super highway, mega mall, and housing estates were built. A childhood memory of a summer picnic or a particular schoolroom. And everything has a smell or smells attached to it, good, bad or unusual. As a child, I was given a toy that made gummy candies shaped like monsters and insects. You poured goop into metal molds and baked them in a tiny oven. Besides remembering the painful burns I got from playing with this toy, I also vividly remember the metallic smell of the molds and the slight hint of 'burnt motor oil' flavor the candy always had.
Many people enjoy going to flea markets and yard sales. Often times, some object can bring up a powerful memory that floods the senses. A seemingly empty bottle that still holds the scent of the perfume that was once inside.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Something New

Bois d'Armenie: The newest essence in Guerlain's L'Art et La Matiere Collection. It is a smoky, spicy fragrance with wonderful sillage and a real presence on the skin.
Head notes include iris and incense with a heart of coriander, saintwood and benzoin in a warm musky patchouli base.
I will be wearing this one often. I want to say it feels like a gypsy scent, but it is so elegant as well. Another mysterious and provocative fragrance from Guerlain. The Perfumer is Annick Menardo who also conjured up Hypnotic Poison for Dior.

Something Borrowed

I have noticed that when you own three dozen bottles of perfume people say you have an obsession.

obsession |əbˈse sh ən| |əbˌsɛʃən| |ɑbˌsɛʃən| |əbˌsɛʃ(ə)n|
noun the state of being obsessed with someone or something : She enjoyed Guerlain perfumes with a devotion bordering on obsession.• an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind : she was in the grip of an obsession she was powerless to resist.
ORIGIN early 16th cent.(in the sense [siege] ): from Latin obsessio(n-), from the verb obsidere (see obsess)
obsession noun: That new line of fragrances, L'Art et La Matiere has become her obsession. fixation, ruling/consuming passion, passion, mania, idée fixe, compulsion, preoccupation, infatuation, addiction, fetish, craze, hobbyhorse; phobia, complex, neurosis; informal a bee in one's bonnet, hang-up, thing.

But Aunt Martha has 5,000 pig collectibles in her house & garden and she simply "collects pigs" Aunt Martha is a collector.

collector |kəˈlektər| |kəˌlɛktər| |kəˌlɛktə|
nouna person or thing that collects something, in particular
• a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby : book collectors.
Yeah, it is simply her hobby, collecting pigs.

"Oh, there's a cute piggy bank! Let's buy it for Aunt Martha, she'll be all excited!"
now she has 5,001 pigs. But it is not a fetish or an obsession, it is a collection.

OK, yeah, sure. Whatever.

( The photos on this post are borrowed from )

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

La Maison Guerlain

Today I went to Bergdorfs, bought some perfume, drank champagne, ate fine chocolate and got free gifts! Today was a fabulous day. I didn't even feel the cold as I left Bergdorf's with my goodies. La Maison Guerlain at Bergdorf Goodman is celebrating all this week, showcasing some historic fragrances that are currently available as numbered and limited editions. Fragrance Specialist Marie Line Patry, visiting from France, was able to just look at me, touch my arm, and tell me what scents I would find perfect chemistry with. Since I had tried many Guerlains over the years I was impressed that she sensed exactly what my experiences had been with each scent, and was able to choose a new perfume for me that may well become my new signature scent. Marie Line taught me a lot about perfumery in a short time. I will share some of her tips in a future post. Jason Beers is La Maison Guerlain's very knowledgable Beauty Advisor. You can always find him on the BL: The beauty level at Bergdorf Goodman. It isn't too late for you to visit the boutique and sample scents, chocolates, & champagne. The event goes on through February 10th.

Photo: Marie Line Patry and Jason Beers ( with a 'golden bee' bottle of Shalimar.)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Chanel No. 5 Part 2

I was thinking of a series of dreams
Where nothing comes up to the top
Everything stays down where it's wounded
And comes to a permanent stop
Wasn't thinking of anything specific
Like in a dream, when someone wakes up and screams
Nothing too very scientific
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Thinking of a series of dreams
Where the time and the tempo fly
And there's no exit in any direction
'Cept the one that you can't see with your eyes
Wasn't making any great connection
Wasn't falling for any intricate scheme
Nothing that would pass inspection
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Dreams where the umbrella is folded
Into the path you are hurled
And the cards are no good that you're holding
Unless they're from another world

In one, numbers were burning
In another, I witnessed a crime
In one, I was running, and in another
All I seemed to be doing was climb
Wasn't looking for any special assistance
Not going to any great extremes
I'd already gone the distance
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Series of Dreams by Bob Dylan 1991

Chanel No. 5 Part 1

In the 1962 film "Two for the Seesaw" Robert Mitchum plays Jerry Ryan, a man who has walked away from a loveless marriage. His life was cushy, as he was a nobody who had married an heiress. He never had to exert himself much, and after a dozen years of marriage, he was in a very posh but unbearable rut. Shirley MacLaine plays Gittel Moskowitz, a bohemian New Yorker who is struggling as a dancer. Jerry begins an affair with Gittel and she clearly adores him. He is what some people would call an indecisive jerk. His wife sues him for divorce. There is a scene where Jerry gives Gittel a present. She opens it, and is surprised that it is a bar of soap. He explains it is Chanel No. 5 soap, very expensive, ("Five dollars!" he says, remember it is 1962--the same bar would cost approx. twenty dollars today.) Gittel is impressed. But the whole scene says one thing to me: He misses his wife and the scent of Chanel No 5 is symbolic of being near her, with her, enjoying that easy life. His wife took care of everything for him, but Gittel expects him to be a grown up man. An instant later, Jerry is hugging Gittel and says she smells even better than Chanel No. 5. But who is he kidding? Gittel has a collection of perfumes on a dresser in her apartment, so we know she uses scent. The moment Jerry purchases the Chanel No. 5 soap, we know he is not accepting Gittel as she is, and he never will. We also know that Gittel is better off without Jerry. This is an interesting pyschological drama.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Donald Trump: Scary

I had no idea that The Donald had a cologne when I poked fun at him yesterday. This Fragrance got very few serious reviews from perfume experts, but my favorite was entitled: "A Fragrance for the Self Loathing Man" and stated that fully 90% of men who received this Cologne as a gift were either disgusted or embarrassed. The "CORE" notes are a secret, but I know some of you out there are thinking ... Hairspray?
Actual notes that we are 'allowed to know about' include: Cucumber, Rhubarb, Black Basil,( with Herbaceous and Woody undertones.) Here are some quick reviews from men who, THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN actually have a bottle of Donald Trump:The Fragrance.

Chris: "I received this (Donald Trump Cologne) for Christmas. I wish I received a lump of coal instead."

Donnie G: "I don't like it, I find the garbage disposal unit gives off better scents."

Gerald: "This is horrible."

I was only able to get one positive review of the scent, and that was from a 90 year old man who wasn't really sure what we were discussing.

Donald Trump: The Fragrance can be purchased at:
Jalar The Everything Store, in Rego Park, Queens
The 99 Cents Stores throughout the South, and on e Bay. Also at some Rockbottom and Dollar Tree Stores.