Two households, both alike in dignity

There’s nothing fair about house-hunting, and it does lead to civil strife. Our current home has just gone on the market; it seems we have a buyer. So far, so good. But the problem comes in finding a new place; here’s where the faultlines in love most fully emerge. We’re (dreadful neologism coming up) downsizing to afford a new way of life, and I think I’ve found a place to achieve that dream. I’m the type who falls in love hard and fast – no shilly-shallying about – I know, quite simply, when it’s the one. Matt, on the other hand, is all calm logic. Passion vs. detachment. Hot-headedness vs. methodical decision making. I know he’s right, but I can’t stop feeling I am. I was sulky and irascible by the end of the day yesterday, simply because I wasn’t getting my way. Matt accused me of bullying him into submission and I did my storm and stomp routine. Quite embarrassing really.

This house thing applies to perfume. We looked at a place on Saturday – it was beautifully finished, the location was exceptional and there was nothing to complain about, but it fired neither of us up. And that is essentially how I feel about the new Chanels. It’s a house I’ve always had a problem ‘getting’ – I don’t have an in-depth knowledge of perfume antecedents, especially in the female lineage – and Chanel’s refined, elegant sophistication seems to speak a language I can only just recognise. It took me a long time to learn to love Bois des Iles and her sibling à‰goà¯ste (more about the big head in our threesome next week), and perhaps this will happen with the six exclusives. My nose is probably being unfair to them. This is not to say I don’t like them: every last one has something in it that appeals, but doesn’t grab. Perhaps it’s the drydown – a Chanel accord that mystifies me in its softly spoken calmness. So, in mini-portrait mode:

Coromandel: hippy gets dressed up in twin set and realises she’s been a debutante all along.

18: Whilst powdering her baby’s bottom, Flora caught wind of the pickling factory leakage. Vinegar seeped into the dusty trails of her small lowland village. Something, somewhere, blossomed.

31: Ever been able to travel to a precise destination by an almost infinite variety of routes?

Bel Respiro: crushed leaves leave a sigh of themselves.

La Pausa: Don’t sneer at me, just because you’re unreachably beautiful.

Eau de Cologne: Have we met before?

In contrast to Chanel, I feel at home in Hermà¨s. To be honest, though I sniffed all of their male range a long time back, I didn’t really get into the house until Jean Claude Ellena started weaving his magic there. I tested out the Jardin series first and though I loved them, there was eventually something Not For Me about their limpid beauty. This wasn’t the case with Terre d’Hermà¨s, Poivre Samarcande, Ambre Narguilé or Vetiver Tonka though, all of which I love. More recently, I’ve been drawn to the pre-Ellena days and, probably unlike a lot of purists, love the way both à‰quipage and Bel Ami have been repackaged in the chunky square bottles of the Ellena scents. Whether they’ve tampered with the fragrances, I’ll leave for others to say.

à‰quipage is the Hermà¨s version of Chanel pour Monsieur (oh, a Chanel I did love straight off…) or Eau Sauvage and, whilst probably not quite as good as either of these two grade A classics, it’s a quietly remarkable barber shop number based around carnation. Soapy, old school, clean – it smells exactly like an elegant gent should. I’m not often elegant myself, but feel like I can aim to be when I wear this.

Bel Ami is in my knee trembler category – an orgasmic, dizzy with excitement number. The first few seconds are a bracing, almost sweet lemon, but then this astringency softens, rounds out, and the spices that you smell in the bottle begin to kick in. It needs time to develop into a superb leather scent with a twist – always retaining that spicy edge whilst the smoke becomes more prominent. And then there’s a beautiful sandalwood to round it all off in the basenotes. Lots of people class Bel Ami as an 80s powerhouse, like Chanel’s Antaeus. In my mind, it’s shoulder pad free. And it’s never less than wonderful no matter where you are on the journey.

Rocabar is the Hermà¨s 90s scent, and as such it has something of a confused identity. The advertising campaign with its Native American symbolising strength (or something) always puzzled me, and the bottle’s packaging is irritating – except for the little wool saddle blanket that comes with it, which is daft and cute. The scent doesn’t achieve the heights of Bel Ami, but is comfortably secure as a no-brainer rainy day in autumn standard. It starts off pretending it’s going to be a fougà¨re – all woody goodness and resins, with just a hint of the sweetness that will later dominate – and ends as an oriental in balsamic vanilla. It takes you from the great outdoors to snuggling under a comforter, and that to me is what autumn is all about.

If you’d like a sample of each of these Hermà¨s scents, let me know in the comments, and I’ll tell you the winners in two weeks’ time.

(first image is a 1907 photo of where I currently live, saved online by The second is a Christmas card by English Heritage, showing where I MUST LIVE NEXT. Follow the signpost to the right – my new house is 20 yards down on the left. Oh yes it is Matt!)

  • Lavanya says:

    lovely article..enjoyed your mini-potrait mode reviews…
    could i sneak into the drawing for the Hermes fragrances..

  • Anne says:

    3 days late. Oh well, hope I can still be entered in the drawing!

  • Dana says:

    Please include me in the drawing – I would love to try more Hermes fragrances.

    And good luck with the house search!

  • Lee says:


    Thanks for commenting – you’re definitely in the drawing! The Atlantic is no obstacle to perfume love. And warm fuzzies – you’re so right…:x

  • Lucy says:

    Hello Lee,
    Frequent visitor, infrequent commenter. This was a great post.
    The house sounds divine. Hold out for it. A suggestion to Matt: When the visceral response to a possible home is “aaahhh”, listen and listen well. Instant warm fuzzies are a good sign! (Granted, so is a favorable building inspection.) Lee is on to a good thing!

    Loved your reviews, especially the one liners. Read one way, they were like opening lines to noir-ish, hard-boiled murder mysteries; read from another perspective, an exquisite haiku (as noted in an earlier post). Embarrassed to say, I am not so familiar with the Chanels other than No 5 and Coco. After reading so many reviews, I vow to walk myself over to the Chanel boutique, or someplace, and do some serious sniffing. Hopefully educate my nose beyond No 5 and Coco. I would love the chance to expand my horizons with the Hermes fragrances, too. Please include me in the drawing (assuming it is extended to us here in the USA)!

    Sending good vibes to you and Matt for finding and purchasing a beautiful bit of heaven where your hearts can linger: the perfect home with a perfect garden, well located and available for purchase at the time, and for the price, that is right for you! Good luck!

  • Steve H says:

    Would love to “sample” the samples!
    Therefore, please enter me in the drawing as well.

  • Meg says:

    Hi, Lee –
    As others have noted, we’ll hope that *the* house finds you. (And hopefully it will have many lovely (and nicely placed) fragrance shelves.

    I’ll sheepishly admit that I’m a Hermes virgin who has been “curious” (albeit damned curious!) to learn something of the line for quite some time now. Alas and alack, my only experience of Hermes–speaking of student days–has been in studying hermeneutics. (We’ll save that etymological adventure for another time…) :-b

    But do sign me up for the drawing, please!

  • Amarie says:

    Hi Lee,
    My sympathies are totally with you. Some houses feel so right and others that have everything you have been looking for and seem so logical are only walls and a roof. House hunting is NOT logical . You want somewhere that you can make a home that you can imagine creating memories in. Good luck.
    O.K. now I can confess to being a Chanel addict. My Mum gave me a collection of Chanel parfums when I first started to seriously become interested in smelling intoxicating fumes. Every now and again I go back to them thinking they can’t be as good as I remember but when I wear them …they feel so right. I just received my wonderful package today from Patsy (thank-you :)of the exclusifs and I’ve tried 28 first -love those iris scents- mmmmmmmmmmm.I am a verrrry happy lady.
    I’ve tried Hermes Hiris and definately that has made want to investigate more of the line /:) please.

    • Lee says:


      You hit the nail on the head. It’s exactly that. If you can’t throw yourself into the future and see yourself as happy there, the house is not right…

      Glad you’re a Chanel lover. And you’re in the draw.

  • carmencanada says:

    No story about houses here… I can’t afford so much as a garage space in Paris. But about perfume houses… I am indeed one of the few Parisiennes who don’t wear Chanel but I’m just starting to “get” them — it’s the over-logoing of the brand that put me off it as a fashion house for a long time. Allure and Chance did nothing for me and the boutique actually intimidated me until the Exclusives came out and I dared to push the door. Now I find that living without Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie is increasingly difficult. I appreciate the understatement, indeed, even the vagueness of the new scents as a way to calm down from the richness of orientals and vintage perfumes. It’s Hermès that seems a little remote to me, though paradoxically I’ve never hesitated to go into the boutique. But it will come in time.
    Lee, I feel for you about the house and don’t think that my thoughts aren’t with you!

    • Lee says:

      Thank you. I think that Chanel branding is also part of my problem… But I’ve managed to increase my love for a couple of perfumes – you never know, I might get a tattoo of that monogram eventually……:d

  • Sariah says:

    Hi Lee – “two households, both alike in dignity” – where is that line from? Love your Chanel reviews, I think I’m more of an Hermes person than a Chanel person too.:) Please sign me up for the drawing.

    • Lee says:

      It’s the first line of Romeo and Juliet – the prologue – ‘fair’ and ‘civil strife’ also come from those 14 lines. You’re never far away from pretension with me…

      You’re in the draw.

  • AHtx says:

    Fantastic post! I’ve been reading for awhile but had to respond to both the story of the house and the mini-portraits, which I adored. They are like little haiku-reviews — “somewhere, something blossoms…” Conicision is not my strength so I admire it deeply in others.

    The house: my DH and I found our dream house–but in 3/4 scale model. A 20’s bungalow with everything in tip top shape–the porch, the roses, the beautiful old windows, wood floors. Heck even the attic was sparkling clean. But the square foot price was outrageous, and after we’d spend three nights in a row plotting where we could add storage we had to admit that it was just a dream, not a reality we could live in. I cried and cried. Now we’re in a much larger, less expensive place with lots of things to fix and I have learned to love mid-century modern…

    But I think you should hold out if you really want it!

    And please, do enter me in the drawing! I need an Hermes education.

  • Jacki says:

    I know it’s totally off subject but I am passionate about dogs and one of my very best friends works with Greyhound and Italian Greyhound rescue and we would just love to see some pics of your babies.

    (Sorry I put this in the wrong spot first…darn traveling and working out of my norm.)

  • Jacki says:

    I know it’s totally off subject but I am passionate about dogs and one of my very best friends works with Greyhound and Italian Greyhound rescue and we would just love to see some pics of your babies.

    • Maria B. says:

      Hello, Jacki. It’s nice to hear from another greyhound fan. Norbu is part IG and part something else. He doesn’t quite look completely like an IG. His ears stick out in a very humorous way. Our previous dog was a rescued greyhound, the wonderful, angelic Celeste. We’ll adopt another big greyhound by and by. My husband spotted Norbu at an SPCA event and fell in love. I don’t think as a responder I can put up a photo, but maybe sometime another dog lover might oblige. (Lee, I’m looking at you.) 🙂

  • BitterGrace says:

    I’m sure hubby is downstairs wondering why I’m up here laughing like a maniac–hilarious reviews! I admire Chanels generally, but they do just beg for a little deflating. Thank you.

    You’ll get the house that fits, one way or another. Just keep telling your beloved how right he is in everything he says. That’s the quickest way to disarm the logical type. (Not that you’d be so manipulative.)

    • chayaruchama says:

      Hey, gorgeous !
      Nice to see you here…
      We love our boy, don’t we ?
      He’s nearly worth his weight in canines, and DEFINITELY worth his weight in birds, and perfumes.

      I tend to agree w / you- if it’s meant to be- it will.
      Schmaicheling the Mattster mightn’t hurt, though.

      • BitterGrace says:

        We do indeed, Chaya. He’s a charmer. Now, if he would just tell me how to make the smiley work on my post …

    • Lee says:

      I don’t know why the smiley isn’t playing ball – you can normally just click em. Perhaps you’re using a Tennessee only browser….?

    • Lee says:

      Oh, and I’m going with the ‘you’re right’ approach. In fact, I started that last night after he told me that I was great except for when we were looking for houses and somehow that transformed me into an overly intense, obsessive monster….


  • Maria B. says:

    Lee, dear, you MUST have that house. And you MUST have a large garden. Do stand up to any effort to move you into a house in a location you don’t like and with dimensions that aren’t suitable. It’s not nursing home time yet. :(( If hypnotism worked, I’d say, use it.

    Fortunately, K and I fell in love with the same house, our current home. We knew it was the one. Because it’s a rental, we didn’t have to ponder issues like soundness of foundation. OTOH, Kurt’s official job offer had not yet come through. We put a deposit on the house anyway. The deadline came, and K begged for an extension. Much against their usual practice, the mgmt granted one for two weeks. The last day of those two weeks, the Friday before the Christmas weekend, the job offer still had not come through. K called the rental mgmt and told them the bad news. A few hours later he received a wonderful e-mail: he had the job! Immediately he called the mgmt. The day after Christmas we signed the lease. We were meant to have this house. It was without question The One.

    So, Lee, don’t give up. That house is within your reach. Don’t take no for an answer.

    Oh, yes, I should be writing about perfume. I wore Caleche to work a lot and felt elegant. You might give it a try as Chaya suggets. Please put me in the Hermes drawing. Thank you. 😡

    • Lee says:

      I need a way to recharm him. I’m afraid I’ve overdone it. I think I might get us to visit some real monstrosities and then, oh, suddenly find ourselves re-viewing dream home….

  • Morgan says:

    Hey Gals,
    Although I think of you more as broads, in the most fabulous possible way. I love Hermes and would love to learn more. Count me in on the sample draw.

  • tmp00 says:

    Lee- I totally understand. I did the same thing when I moved to California. Well, not quite the same, there is no way that I can afford an actual house in my neighborhood without serious lotto winnings. But I did deliberately choose the neighborhood, and I don’t want to leave it ever. On that note, sit Matt down in front of the monitor.

    Matt, bubbelah. You don’t care about the house. He does. This can go easy or it can go hard. Trust me on this one, I’ve seen it happen. Take the house. It’s easier in the long run.

    There now. Can I be entered in the drawing? Can I come visit? 🙂

  • Teri says:

    Stand your ground on that house, Lee! I, too, am a dreamer who was allied to a research scientist, and house-hunting was a nightmare for just the reasons you mentioned. I all impulse and love at first sight, my husband with calculator and code book in hand. Because he loved me, he eventually indulged my passion and we purchased a down-on-her-luck Victorian grande dame in which I saw infinite possibilities and my husband saw endless rewiring and extinct techniques like horsehair plastering. Yes, the effort to restore her to glory was long, expensive and stressful, but in the end even my oh-so-logical hubby acknowledged that we’d made the right choice.

    I’m glad to see another soul out there who admires the Chanel line but doesn’t find it right for them personally. In terms of art, I see Chanel as Cezanne, geometrically precise with masterful design and composition, whereas my tastes run more to Renoir or Cassatt – bold, colorful, capturing the essence of a subject at the expense of the details.

    I enjoy Cezanne at the galleries every bit as much as I do Renoir, but it would be the Renoir reproduction I would take home and make a part of my personal world.

    • Lee says:

      The bad news is, he’s enthusing about a cheaper property in a place where I don’t want to live, with a smaller garden than we currently have (and part of the premise of the move was smaller house, more land). Grrrr.

  • Lievje says:

    Lee, good luck with your house-hunting!

    I’ve been wanting to try Bel Ami for a long time now, so please count me in for the drawing. 🙂

  • Solander says:

    I’ve tried a few Hermès scents, but with the exception of the Nazgül and Rocabar they don’t do it for me.. Perhaps Hermès is to me what Chanel is to you? I find most of them too perfumey/soapy/clean/subtle/unengaging for my taste… I’d love to try Bel Ami though!

  • Kelly says:

    Wishing you the VERY best in your hunt for the perfect house. I had it, and moved… and still regret it.

    Loved your reviews of the Chanels. Coromandel wows me, the rest were nice but SO short lived. I got NO pickle at all.

    I’m crazy for Hermes Elixir Des Merveilles, so would love to be in the draw!

    • Lee says:

      Oh Kelly!:-< Horrible to feel like that. This is why the house we move to has to be great - we're giving up a real beauty for it, and it's only by looking forward to where we're heading that I can avoid the despond that comes with what we're leaving... I'm glad you're pickle free, and you're in the drawing.

  • donanicola says:

    Very interesting post Lee, thank you and written at a time of some stress too! Its hard enough finding a place that one person loves enough to buy let alone two people. I do believe there has to be a connection though , its not just about ticking boxes. I’m sure you’ll find a way to persuade Matt to your way of thinking…. Chanel had me in its thrall from teh second I smelled Cristalle back in late seventies/early eighties (?) Then 19 and Coco. recently I’ve fallen for Cuir de Ruisse and 31. It was last year that I first realised the beauty in Hermes – Caleche was first love in the way Cristalle was and a bottle of the Nazgul will be mine this year oh yes it will. And I ratyer like the Mediterranean garden one. I don’t know the men’s so would love to be in the drawing please.

    • Lee says:

      You’re in the drawing. I’m a great believer in gut feeling, even though I’m a calm rational materialist intellectually. Sod intellect though…:)

  • RHM says:

    Pickles! I love the pickle comment. The Cormondel comment is spot on. OMG…I’ve been unmasked!

    I’m only just learning about Hermes & their wonderful scents. Perhaps the samples are just what my uneducated nose needs.

    Hugs to you & yours & best luck on the house.


    • Lee says:


      Thanks for your lovely message and you’re also in with a chance for the samples.

  • pitbull friend says:

    Lee, please continue to write one-liner reviews of new scents. They’re great, especially 18! (Do you ever submit entries for the Bulwer-Lytton contest?) No idea, either, why Hermes’ understatement suits me perfectly but Chanel’s doesn’t. (Except for the aldehydes — those tell me straight out why classic Chanel doesn’t work for me.)

    My rocky relationship leads to doubts we’ll ever need to agree on a house. A shame — we both have linear engineer-type brains. However, he’s always kindly willing to wear any scent I ask him to. In gratitude, I bought him some Chanel No. 5 & asked him to wear it when he’s not around me. (He LOVES it & it never occurred to him he could just wear it himself — now he does!)

    On a completely off topic, looks like I’m heading to Miami & the Everglades in a couple of weeks. Bearing in mind that I’m vegan, Maria, is there something I shouldn’t miss? Also, are you working on hand signals with Norbu?

    • Lee says:

      I too want more Norbu news!

      I’ll give the brief reviews more showing I reckon – helps me avoid my more verbose tendencies… It’s funny that even the most calm and collected of couples (me, Matt) can head for explosions over house-buying. I’d hate to see what couples who are more fiery get up to…

      I’m seeing you from now on as my Hermès buddy…

    • Maria B. says:

      Ellen, this time it’s you who’ve summed up a lot for me in one sentence: “No idea, either, why Hermes’ understatement suits me perfectly but Chanel’s doesn’t.” Ellen and Lee, I’m right there with you. I’m trying to like Bois des Iles, and last night I caught something in it that I really liked, but I’m coming to the conclusion that Chanels Just Aren’t Me.

      Ellen, I don’t know what a vegan would do for food in Miami. The Miami food I know is the opposite of veganism. 😕 Miami and the Everglades are fun. I hope you enjoy them (while being on an enforced diet).

      I’ve been thinking of getting a book about hand signals for dogs, keeping in mind, however, that he is at least 13 years old. OTOH, he’s the liveliest geezer dog I’ve ever known, especially on sunny days. Italian greyhounds are sun worshipers. He also seems to have some terrier or dachshund in him. There are gophers under the ground and he’s trying to get the the suckers. There are amazing earthworks in our yard now. Norbu–the canine Robert Smithson?

      • pitbull friend says:

        Lying on the beach eating fruit would be good, too.

        Herders often use hand signals because the dogs get too far away to hear well. I’ll see whether my SO knows a resource. (He herded with border collies.)

        There was a wonderful story — in Bark magazine, I think — about a whippet who liked to dig. The writer got it to dig on command & had an amazing garden because of her helper. The whippet lived to be 16, which she attributed to sunshine & exercise! I see that you’re already making a pleasure out of a pain (enjoying the earthworks), but here’s another way to do it!

  • Gail S says:

    Wow, it must be so interesting to live somewhere that actually has drawings from 1907! Do you feel like you’re living in a Christmas card? My town sprang from the dry dust around 1950 🙁

    I love your descriptions of the Chanels. I’ve been wearing 31 Rue Cambon for the last three days and you are spot on about it! Just discovering the Hermes and in fact was just browsing the Hermes site to find the closest store for my trip to Dallas at the end of March. In case anyone wants to know, there are both a Chanel boutique and a Hermes boutique in Highland Park Village. Oh yeah, I’ll be there! But in the meantime, I would loooove to be entered into your drawing!

    • Lee says:

      I think when you live in the UK, you take old stuff for granted… I’m often amazed by modernity when I’m in the States…

      Thanks for the Dallas info, and you’re in the draw.

    • Jacki says:

      As a resident Dallas girl if you need a “navigator” to go on a smelling trip with I’d be happy to throw my name in the hat.

      You know what the right thing to do is…BUY THE HOUSE! I usually give it a few days and then my DH gives in on his own. No begging, no pleading, just quiet confidence 🙂

  • Lee says:

    Dang! I should have done the pretending thing. Rats!

    I don’t know what a well-done popped top is (sounds like sexy undergarments or breakfast toast) but I’m glad you go for quirky too.

    As for Bel Ami, I’m off to compose an ode….:-b

  • Patty says:

    I get along with the Chanels better than you do, but I can definitely see how they don’t give warm fuzzies right away. Bel Ami is perfection, completely. I even gave a bottle of this to my oldest son.

    When we bought our current house, I “pretended” to be really dispassionate about it, but I was just wild about it as soon as I walked in, it is perfectly us, an old 1918 Tudor with well-done popped top, and it was way beyond the budget we had set. Luckily we were desperate and sprang for it. It is the house of our dreams, old and solid, with parts that don’t seem to go together, but do. It perfectly suits us. 🙂

  • Flor says:

    Ha! Love your descriptions of the Chanels. To each his own.

    Good luck on the house. The moment I saw mine, I knew it was the one. With houses it has to be love at first sight. There is no such thing as a house “growing on you”. In fact, it’s usually the other way around. Anyway, I know you’ll find “the one”. 😉

    • Lee says:

      Flor – another brilliant brain comments!

      As for Chanel – I know they’re impeccably well done and beautiful and all, there’s just a ngginf indefinable something that forms a barrier between me and them.:-?

  • Judith says:

    I am with you on househunting and shopping decisions and, of course, my DH is like Matt. I bought my wedding dress in an afternoon. He spent days, nay, weeks, looking and looking again at different rentable morning coats while I kept saying, “but they’re all pretty much the SAME!!!” I also found our dream house immediately, and he made me pass it up because “it was too soon” to make a decision. Of course, he regretted it eventually (it was a really good deal)–and it took us 2 years to find another we liked as much (for considerably more money, unfortunately). So be stern with ol’ Matt! You do know best!

    I love the Chanel descriptions–even though I like 18 (despite the pickle), and really love 31. But what about Cuir de Russie? How do you do with that?

    • Lee says:

      Exactly my point J! Glad there are so many brilliant and right minds here.:d

      It’s the pickle in 18 that I *most* like.

      CdR – I’ve sprayed a bit to remind myself. It’s so soft you know, with something irredeemably odd in there too. Quite special but also very Chanel. See, ambivalence writ large.

      • Judith says:

        Hmmmmm. . . Wonder how you’d like the parfum. It’s quite different from the EdT (although I like that too)–smells like an expensive leather handbag to me (I don’t know whether that appeals to you). BUY THAT HOUSE!!!!

  • Marina says:

    Bestest of luck with house-hunting. I hope you get your way! They place where you MUST live looks like a place I’d love to live too…maybe in my next life.

  • sybil says:

    I laughed so hard at your Chanel descriptions…now i feel much less (self-imposed) pressure about trying them! Good luck w/ the house-hunting…your future next house is right next to mine. And, please sign me up for the Hermes drawing!

  • Gaia says:

    I hope you get your dream house. The images are charming (I wonder why there aren’t such lovely ones for where I live. Then I remember the Jerseyness).
    I don’t have a passion for Chanel. I enjoy some of them, and I wish my husband liked Egoiste, but they fail to merge with my skin or my personality (sadly, I’m more Jersey than Paris) and take me there, to that mental place where all perfume lovers want to be transported.
    I agree about Bel Ami. I don’t smell Blake Carrington. But, it’s been ages since I sniffed it. Time to experiment again. Please put my name in the draw.

    • Lee says:

      G – you’re in the draw. I wouldn’t blame Jerseyness for Chanel ambivalence: there must be a handful of Parisians who don’t wear them too….

  • Elle says:

    I so relate to you about the moving and your attitude towards finding a new house. I’m like you – I *know*. Instantly. A place talks to me. DH, on the other hand, has never been swayed by deep emotional attachment to place. I can’t tell you how I’ve agonized as he’s calmly gone through houses I’ve loved w/ idiot inspectors who coldly, heartlessly point out every little structural issue (well, they’d say flaws). My love for a house (and garden) tends to be unconditional once I’ve fallen for it. Its flaws just make it more lovable. DH’s love(?) for houses is *extremely* conditional. Hmph! Both of those places look amazing. I’m sure you’ll get the house you want.
    I fell for three of the Chanels instantly, but the other three left me in a sort of neutral zone initially. However, I’m not an edt person – much prefer parfum concentrations and w/ further testing I came around to really appreciating two of the three that I was originally neutral about. I’m convinced now that if they come out in parfum form (I’m trusting they will), I’ll seriously need five of them. Chanels took me a long time to love and, even now, I still only love the parfum forms of most of them – the exceptions being Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie which make me swoon in any way they show up at my doorstep. Loved your descriptions of the new ones!
    Hermes scents are very underappreciated. I’ve only recently have come to realize what I was missing w/ the classics from both the women’s and men’s lines. Thank God for FF, ebay and online discounters.

    • Lee says:

      Matt doesn’t feel love for houses – he’s a rational brain. I called him ice robot when we first met over 15 years ago. He’s melted since but the cool core is still there.

      Here’s to unconditional surrender!

  • March says:

    Giggling at the pickle factory! Also keeping my fingers crossed Matt comes to his senses. (FWIW, Mr. Sensible Big Cheese and I spent *two years* looking at houses; he was very particular. I can still drive around our area and see a house on almost every block that we looked at. I, of course, wanted every other one, more or less. I’m glad we waited.)

    I was pretty slow on the men’s scents… Rocabar I’m just wild for, probably for the reasons you mention, but Bel Ami and Equipage are great too. And I agree with Chaya about Caleche. And how do you feel about Merveilles anyway? It’s not sweet; I think it would smell sexy on a man, with that salty note.

    • Lee says:

      I’m planning on hypnotism if all else fails. I drove past THE HOUSE again earlier (not that you drive past it to anywhere – it’s on a lane that ends in a farm) and felt a mad wave of obsession hit me.

      I love Merveilles – can’t wait for heat to wear it properly.

  • Theresa says:

    Please sign me up for the Hermes samples! Thanks.

  • chayaruchama says:

    I love your photos. Evocative and lovely.
    And I love you [but you already know that, in spades].

    I’m sorry that Chanel hasn’t come up with anything accessible for you- although I think you’d smell divine in Bois des Iles, and I can see you in vintage #19.
    [Maybe, I’ll just send you some!]

    Bel Ami is such a favorite. And Caleche- you would smell delicious; not butch, but delicious…
    Also, Ava-Luxe Moss, for Spring for you.

    And I’m praying on that house…

    • Lee says:

      I do more than like Bois des Iles, but I’ve never sniffed 19 or Caleche (*sharp gasp*).

      I’m hoping your prayers work – it’s a beautiful house.

      And you know how I feel about you!:x:x