This is a perfume blog, right? So today´s post is about how I worked my fanny off smelling I don´t know how many things over the last week and I cannot find any fricking thing to blog on. (I actually went through and deleted five frustration-related obscenities in this part of the post; feel free to plug them in mentally.) I´m working on a post on the Yoshes, but it´s not ready yet. I´m working on some candy. I smell vial after vial and – nothing much happens. I can´t make something happen, even if it´s a great scent – I can´t rip the rose into bloom, you know? I think part of it is this weird 40-degree daily weather swing that makes everything seem wrong. Finally yesterday afternoon in a fit of desperation I grabbed something that´s been sitting there and said the hell with it, I´ll just blog on that. Only I can´t – because I hated it. I mean, it nauseated me, even the smell in the room made me sick. I had to go change my clothes because I´d gotten a little scent on it. But someone else blogged on it recently, and others really like it, and I feel uncomfortable blogging like that about something sent to me – a gift, in fact – that I hate, because I don´t want to hurt feelings, and who´ll ever send me anything again? What do you think about that? Should I just let it pass? If you sent me a sample of Parfumerie Generale Le Derriere du Pigeon, because you know I like skank, and I totally rag it, would you ever speak to me again?
Here, let´s test my theory. Elle generously sent me a sample of CdG Jaisalmer, along with some other goodies. I tried it on right away, looking forward to the riot of cinnamon and incense, and it went like this: YEEEESSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssscrruuubbbbber!! YECH. How can I do that to a fragrance? It´s criminal. It´s exactly that 0.00245 amount of Precisely The Wrong Cedar that turns Jaisalmer into the men´s locker room, smellwise, without the pleasant view. So, Elle … do I have to send the Yoshes back now? Are you going to send me a vial of Human Existence in an atomizer and thoughtfully label it “Spring Air EDC – apply generously”? Or can you make peace with the basic fact that I´m a cheerful idiot and we can still be fragrant friends?
I haven´t been totally worthless. I pinned on my badge, strapped on my sidearms, and found hausvonstone´s particular bottle of Bal a Versailles on eBay (she described it longingly and detail in her comment on a post awhile back) and sent her a sample. It turns out to be exactly the smell she remembered. In the meantime she´d bought a newer bottle, which, as she says, “smells like ASSSSSSS. I mean it is the skankiest thing I have ever allowed in my house. I had to wash it off my hand within 20 minutes today as I was trying to quickly compare them. Maybe it turned? Maybe they reformatted it??? I was thinking of sending it to you at some point since it’s the kind of thing I can’t allow in my house. And, remember, Musc Ravageur smells like creamsicle on me. And CB Musk is also quite pleasant. Weirdness abounds.” Guess what? We´re going to swap bottles.
I´ve been wallowing for three days in Christian Dior Jules. When my atomizer´s empty I´m going to cry, because I want some more of exactly the same juice Lee sent me. That´s the heartbreak of trying to recapture a smell you´ve fallen in love with, as hausvonstone´s experience demonstrates. I don´t want a different bottle; what if the scent is different, too? Has that ever happened to you when you´re hunting something down? Anyway, I did buy a bottle online from Retailer X (with a not-so-good rep on MUA). If I ever get the bottle, I´ll let you know.
Finally, I´d like to say thanks for the many, many book recommendations you all made last week. I was stunned. Seriously, who knew we had all these smart readers? I should have guessed; I think there´s a lot of overlap between perfume addiction and reading (no, don´t ask me why. I don´t know why.) Anyway, my plan is to type up that list in some sort of alphabetical order and post it, preferably as a permanent link on the left. I´ll let you know. In the meantime, I´m very much enjoying Temple Grandin´s Animals in Translation. She talks from the point of view of a high-functioning autistic person about all sorts of animal behaviors (particularly dogs and farm animals), and it´s a fascinating read. My perfume quests merged with the booklist and I have two gems to add in the Kicking and Screaming category: two books I was forced to read, at gunpoint, for a book club, knowing I´d hate them. I objected strenuously and lost. Turns out I was wrong. Here they are:
Jon Krakauer´s Into The Wild, a true-life tale of one callow, dreamy, unhappy youth who left behind his life of privilege and went to find himself in the Alaskan woods, discarding his map along the way so he could get back to the real gritty solitude he was searching for (SPOILER ALERT!) and ended up starving to death in his camp in the wilderness. My one-word summation going in: dummass. Reading the book, however, I found myself completely drawn into the story, and wound up being deeply moved and empathetic in spite of myself.
Dave Eggers´ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Come on – doesn´t that title make you a little queasy? But no. A beautifully written story of Eggers´ decision (with his brother and sister) to raise their much-younger brother after their parents´ untimely death. The writing style that seemed much too clever and self-aware going in, with all sorts of gimmicky devices, just tore me up. His newest book, What Is the What, the semi-biographical as-told-to story of one of Sudan´s lost boys, is even more powerful. This guy can write.
So: any stories you´d like to share of The Fragrance You Loved And Lost (and maybe re-found?) Or books you started against your better judgment that turned out to be excellent?
PS An early report in on car scenting suggests that the Soap Solution (leaving a bar of scented soap in your car) works great, according to commenter tmp00 who just tried it with a soap freebie he had lying around. I´m planning on swinging by our local soap store today or tomorrow for some of my favorite Pacifica soaps to give it a whirl.
PPS Straight from the horse’s mouth: that hot bod on the Tauer Reverie bottle? Is Andy. Heh heh. Andy … hon, thanks for the reverie.