Monday, June 30, 2008

Sensing Darkness

Habanita parfum by Molinard, Angelique Noire and Rose Barbare by Guerlain. These definitely have a sultry side, but they're more complex than that. They also have a happiness note. Dark doesn't have to be scary and/or depressing to be dark. Evening is an enjoyable time for plenty of people.
What's your favorite dark sexy scent?

Our newest family member, Edward, is dreaming of the day he can get work as a perfume spokesmodel. He's already passed the sniff test ~ he really enjoys French fragrances.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Bouquets

Oooh! A fresh bouquet!

It's not what you think --I'm not a plant eater at all, I just like to smell the flowers and greenery.

For summer fragrances, the Aqua Allegoria line from Guerlain is an easy way to go. I keep a couple in the 'fridge for extra hot days, but I also am loving Miss Dior Cherie for the second summer in a row. (I also like Coco Mademoiselle.) It's all about freshness and these scents are very cheery too. Who wants to smell matronly on a summer day? I say put on a cotton sun dress and some very light youthful scent. I tried Pure White Linen by Estee Lauder and was surprised how much it reminded me of Muquet des Bois by Coty. But I think I'd opt for Estee's newer fresher version.
This one is a huge favorite with my homies.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

I could probably maintain a blog of just photos of clouds. I've been a keen cloud watcher ever since I can remember, and have no problem watching the sky for an hour or two at one sitting.

Dalistyle Perfume (2002) This one is roses by the seashore with a touch of modernity. I'm not big on the watery seaside note in perfumes, but this one is light and fresh. While it'll never make my top 30 list, the playful Dali group of perfumes is worth checking out. There are dozens, and I've only tried two of them so far.

The bottle was inspired by a character in a painting, the woman with roses on her head or something like that.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today We're Transporting ...

The green bus transported a half dozen men from the low security wing of our county's correctional facility. The men set to work scraping, cleaning and painting the facade of the old government building. Meanwhile, a mailman was sad because his truck (filled with mail for people just like you and me) broke down, and had to be towed away for repair. (A prison bus, a mail truck, a tow truck!) This block was just like a page out of Busy Town!

And then a typical farm pick-up truck drove past.

I was going to do a post on fuel (trains, planes, and automobiles) but then I saw this group of inmates and was able to talk with them and their nice guard. These inmates are just beginning a building maintenance class that includes instruction on plumbing, electrical work and carpentry. Everyone works at their own pace. The inmates are so happy to be in these classes, learning something beyond the usual janitorial work that almost 80% of them do. This is Transportation theme day, but I'm also thinking about programs for Transformation.

Here are some bonus pictures:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where the Woodbine Twines

Last weekend every book I picked up mentioned Honeysuckle. In one novel I finished, a main character was always vaguely scented with a sweet honeysuckle perfume. So I pulled out the florilegeum and took a picture of this page.

Then I flipped through this children's book called Flowers and Their Friends written in 1897.

Le Chevrefeuille perfume by Annick Goutal is a soli-floral honeysuckle scent. I wish I could say I've tried it, but I haven't yet.
I know a lot of perfumes must have a nice honeysuckle note, but I'm drawing a complete blank. All I know is the vine is blooming like crazy in some places now, and it's very enjoyable while it lasts.

I first discovered Woodbine in a Robert Burns poem when I was a kid and looked it up, only to find it was another name for honeysuckle (or sometimes, the Virginia Creeper vine.)

...Oft did I rove by Bonnie Doon
To see the rose and woodbine twine
And every bird sang of its love
As fondly once I sang of mine...
~Robbie Burns

"Well my heart's in the Highlands gentle and fair
Honeysuckle blooming in the wildwood air
Bluebelles blazing, where the Aberdeen waters flow
Well my heart's in the Highlands,
I'm gonna go there when I feel good enough to go..."
~Bob Dylan

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Marc Jacobs Shoot

Dennis shows Chedwick how he wants him to pose for the Marc Jacob's perfume shoot. "Like this, breathe, and then say: ahhh... nice and light for summer! A breezy fresh gardenia! got it?"

Ched is upset: "I was told Ben Affleck was going to direct me - not you!" Chedwick scampers off the set.

Dennis thinks for a minute.

"I'm the director here, and if you don't like it, I'll just get an Olsen twin!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Curious Chedwick

I've been thinking about my Carbon Pawprint. I have a friend who doesn't own a car, so I get asked to drive her here and there quite a bit, which I don't mind until she starts bragging how her carbon pawprint is Lighter than mine since she doesn't own a car. And I'm thinking of all the places I would never have driven to except that she needed to go there, and the bus was an option, but getting a ride is better. Does this mean she is increasing my pawprint? I think she is!

And speaking of cars... what happens when the driver of this car finishes reading his Flannery O'Connor? Does he start over again?

And another thing I'm curious about is my new blog assistant, Ricky. I hired Ricky last week and since he's shy I didn't ask him what kind of animal he is.

(Maybe that's a politically incorrect question nowadays ?)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Big Pig Mystery Ends

The frowny pig toy in the jumble of orange things post was the famous Pig Won't. When you flip the pig over, he becomes Pig Will.

Kids love this book even though it's a basic etiquette book. They chuckle at the rudeness of Pig Won't at first, but soon kids see he would be a complete drag to go anyplace with because he's so obnoxious-- bad behavior ends up being tiring for everyone and ruins many an outing. Very controversial now, because Pig Won't does get a spanking from his mommy -- the book will probably be altered at some point because of this act of violence, but the pig parents are loving and simply refuse to allow Pig Won't to act like a complete A-Hole. In the end, he becomes a better and happier pig and wants his nickname changed from Pig Won't to something more positive.

And speaking of name changes, Lowly worm was a nice character who came under scrutiny for having a name that might cause him to have low self esteem.

So far, Lowly has resisted having a name change forced on him by concerned parents. When I asked him about it he explained: "I may be just a working class worm, but I have pride in the family name. The Lowly family has got nothing to be ashamed of!"

Some of Richard Scarry's books have been simplified since kids can't always understand the wording. (he sometimes used British or old fashioned expressions, and these were modified or deleted for American readers.) I miss the bits that were removed, and in some cases a lot of charm was removed with the bits.

In Other news...
This car almost ran me down on Thursday. (what would happen to my blog if I was completely flattened?) I was walking along, (having just taken the pics of lowly worm in his apple car) when this Honda Accord driven by an elderly man lurched up onto the sidewalk. I had to leap out of the way (insert small heart attack here.) He showed absolutely no remorse (he didn't even seem to see me at all.) I waited until he was parking and went over to take a quick snap. (Just watching this zombie try to park his car was totally worth the wait.) So if you see this car, you've been warned.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Perfume Notes: Vanilla

Since six of my readers tell me they don't care for vanilla in perfume, I thought I'd explain why vanilla is in most perfumes.

The vanilla note is a must for all love potions, as it's long been considered an aphrodiasiac scent molecule. Not only does it smell good on its own, but it enhances the fragrance of other notes, especially woods, spices, peppery notes and florals. If you want your sandalwood to smell stronger or richer, paring it with vanilla can do the trick. A rose is rosier when the right amount of vanilla is added. Vanilla can take the sharp edge off peppery or ginger notes while keeping them true.

Vanilla is also a natural fixative for perfumes. (Not all natural fixatives are safe to use, so vanilla is a good choice.)

I love the way Guerlain and Goutal use vanilla in their fragrance bases. It's always there, but so well done, so well blended, that it doesn't stand out, except in the creations they want it to stand out in (for Annick Goutal that would be the almondy soft Vanilla Exquise and for Guerlain the delicious smoky Spiritueuse Double Vanille.)

Vanilla planifolia is just like every other note in perfumery, you'll love the way it's handled in one scent, and dislike it in another. ( I used to say I couldn't wear any perfumes with a cinnamon note in them--until I found I'd been happily wearing a few for several years.) It's impossible for me to list every single note when describing a perfume, so mostly I list a small percentage, to give a general idea of what the perfume might be like. However, the only way to tell is to smell.

Chances are though, if you don't like pure vanilla when baking or eating desserts, you're not going to enjoy a gourmand perfume like Hanae Mori's Butterfly or other perfumes that may use a larger amount of vanilla. Each perfumer or fragrance company has their own way of blending vanilla, and the quality varies.

Visual: Vintage perfume poster / Asia.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Chedwick Loves Trouble

Chedwick wants Trouble.

Maybe next Christmas he'll get a bottle.

Trouble by Boucheron (Gold Bottle) 2004 Perfumer: Jacques Cavallier
This is a blend of roses, including black rose, orange blossom, bitter almond, vanilla, amber, and sandalwood. It's been compared to Dior's Hypnotic Poison (which its head notes do resemble) Dior's Addict (shares a sexy warm heart note) and Tocade by Rochas (it does have a Tocade-like note that lasts quite awhile, which must be the black rose extract--very nice.) I'd rather have Trouble than the two Dior scents it resembles though, because like Tocade, it is something very wearable and sexy. Nothing iffy about it. It takes about 15 or 20 minutes before it blossoms into a really fabulous fragrance. Don't judge it by its headnotes, but by its heart & soul.

Jacques Cavallier is also the nose behind other scents that I like: Stella, Hot Couture by Givenchy, and Tom Ford's Noir de Noir

Trouble Eau Legere (Bottle in foreground on its side) 2006 Perfumer: ?

A lighter version of Trouble, but really very light. I don't see any need for a lighter version.

(Revlon had a perfume called Trouble circa 1989, and it was nothing like the scents shown in the photo here. I never see the Revlon scent anymore, which is fine with me.)

"Some people develop eye strain looking for trouble." ~ Old Saying

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do We Amuse You?

The most amusing thing about these boys (who I saw quite by accident two days ago) was the fact that they had no idea they were posing under a sign that made them appear to be on sale. They'd just climbed onto the display case in the middle of playing some game and it turned into sitting nicely and posing when I took my camera out -- one of them saw me and alerted the others to the Photo Op.

I was out looking for something amusing in my neighborhood, and finding nothing much, I headed for the pet shop (which turned out to be depressing.) Next door to the pet shop was a strange amusement place for kids I'd never noticed before. It was dark and weird inside, and this odd Cosmetology Fun Zone caught my eye. The mom and boy reflected in the mirror were attached to one of the many machines that gave the place a casino for kids vibe. There were workers standing around having personal conversations who could not care less that I had climbed over a barrier, entered without paying, without a kid, to climb on stuff and take pictures of the creepy world they were slacking off in. Once I left I wasn't even sure the place actually existed. I decided not to look back.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Trips

I amused myself while standing in line by doodling a smiley face on the back of my hand with a sample Nanette pen at Sephora last month. Roses + Peach = a winning combination. I returned yesterday to purchase one. Roller balls are hardly new, I've seen some ancient ones from the 1960s, but who knows when they were invented? Anyway, thanks to Airline travel restrictions, roller balls are making a big comeback.

Nanette Lepore (Fashion designer b. 1972, Youngstown Ohio.) I like this rosy scent because it's a fresh floral with peach, lime, and light cherry blossom & vanilla notes in a light sandalwood - amber base. There's nothing 'sporty' about it, it's simply feminine and very light.

You can buy tiny roller ball bottles online and fill them with your favorite scents. Perfect for a summer of traveling.

Lavanila sells an elegant roller ball bottle of their scents. I think I got this one (at left) for about $14.

Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit (this isn't a bitter grapefruit, but a sweet zesty one.) The creamy vanilla is the real star here though, with just a dash of lime and bergamot-- another fresh sweet feminine summer scent.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Perfume Episodes TV Quiz

Mayfield VS. Mayberry

Wally and Beaver, citizens of Mayfield, decide to sell perfume!

Q: What is the name of the perfume?
a. Flower of the Orient
b. Ever So Charming
c. Evening in Mayfield
d. Emeraude

Q: What prize would they win if they sold enough bottles?
a. a trip to Bermuda
b. free donuts for one year
c. a movie projector
d. a time machine

Q: What was one of the fragrant notes in the perfume?
a. Mayfield mimosa
b. Long Island driftwood
c. baseball mitt
d. skunky something

Meanwhile, over yonder in Mayberry, Opie takes a job at the drugstore & breaks a bottle of perfume! He now has to spend all of his savings to pay for it.

Q:What was Opie originally saving his earnings to buy?
a. a banjo for his girlfriend
b. an electric guitar
c. a set of drums with cool cymbals
d. a time machine

Q:What was the name of the perfume Opie broke?
a. Cannabis Santal
b. Blue Moonlight
c. Evening Splendor
d. Romantic Rebel

Q:What does Opie's boss do at the end of the episode?
a. breaks a bottle of liniment.
b. breaks open a bottle of Jack Daniels
c. breaks a bottle of medicine
d. break dances ( after using a time machine)

Photos by Ched: Green Apple Japanese Room Scent, Old Domino of St. Louis Cologne bottle.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Dreamer

"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours."

- Bob Dylan

The Dreamer (Launched about a year before Gianni Versace was killed.)
Imagined by Gianni Versace, inspired by barrooms, gin & tonics, meadows and John Lennon's song 'Imagine'
and I'd love to know who the perfumer is.
(UPDATE: the perfumer is Jean Pierre Bethouart, who also created Parfum Sacre for Caron
and Co-Nosed Givenchy's Ange Ou Demon with Olivier Cresp.)
Head Notes: Juniper, Wild Flowers. Linden
Heart Notes: Lily, Iris,Tarragon, Artemesia,
Vanilla, Amber, Tobacco, Spices, Woods

sensual intense fresh spicy sexy
manly, yet unisex... The Dreamer is everything, it seems.
works well when the woman is wearing L'Heure Bleue or Insolence
as it has the same fresh transparent yet spicy, romantic, haunting feel.

Serge Lutens et Chedwick

In 2007 the French Government gave Chedwick and Serge Lutens both the title of "Commandeur" in the Order of Arts and Letters. Serge and Ched have been close pals ever since.

"We just hit it off." ~ Chedwick

"Chedwick est un chat ├ępatant!" ~Serge Lutens

Ched enjoys many of the Lutens fragrances.

"I've learned that ginger and pepper can be quite refreshing in hot weather." ~ Chedwick on Five O'Clock Au Gingembre.

Ched is not the only famous perfumed cat. His distant cousin, Jean Paul, not only appeared in a Nahema advertisement, but was the pet of the famous Guerlain family.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Empty perfume bottles make nice little vases. Play with the photograph in iPhoto for a minute, and it looks like a painting.

This post is for my father who loved flowers and the scent of Shalimar.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hibbing Trek

Blogger Kim and I are planning a winter trek to Hibbing, Minnesota. First we'll wait at this friendly looking Greyhound bus station for our bus to Hibbing.

Once in Hibbing, we'll go to The Chamber of Commerce to get a Bob Dylan Walking Tour folder that includes this map. We'll have lunch at The China Buffet which used to be a clothing store where Bob's uncle's best friend's cousin once worked, and see Bob's childhood home as well as the schools he attended and places where he may have once smoked a cigarette.

We'll want to get warm after walking around the winter wonderland that is Hibbing, so we'll duck into a nearby museum to see a diorama of the very first diorama being built.

Finally, the Greyhound Bus also has its roots in Hibbing, so we'll go to the Greyhound bus museum and take pictures of each other waving out the windows of very old Greyhound buses, before going back home on a modern Greyhound bus.

We haven't set a date for the trek yet, but as soon as really cold weather sets in, we'll be on our way to that bus station. If anyone wants to join in the fun, let us know!

Photo Credits: Vplus (Bus Station), Hibbing COC (walking tour map)
Hibbing Museums (Diorama, Bus Poster)

Chant D'Aromes

Chant D'Aromes (1962) perfumer: Jean Paul Guerlain
head notes: mandarin, bergamot, honeysuckle
heart notes : gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang
soul notes : woods, earthy forest note, vanilla

An extremely light elegant floral with a nice base. The name says it all, a scent that sings. It starts off soft and powdery, and the first time I tried it I spritzed on too much and couldn't appreciate it. But I've been wearing it during this heat wave and find it to be a quiet honeysuckle gardenia blend with a note that reminds me of a high end cocoa butter (probably the earthy forest note blending with the famous Guerlain vanilla.) I think this one would be either too old fashioned or too demure for most people~ a good summer scent though. I have to give it two paws up.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jeff Bridges in Granny Panties

Chedwick thought the Jeff Bridges doll that Dennis ordered was creepy. The Bridges doll's body is muslin and his granny panties are 100% cotton. Made in USA.