Last Thursday was Take Your Child to Work Day. I let Diva and Enigma skip school and experience the joy that is my typical work day. We started the morning off with garden cleanup, filling four of those huge leaf bags. The weather was perfect, cool and overcast, and I will treasure forever the memories of their facial expressions as they discovered that gardening involves dirt, thorns and the occasional giant orange-colored slug. During the middle of all that I was seized with an insane longing for Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge. No, I have no idea why. I literally dropped my shovel, kicked off my muck boots and ran inside to spray some on. Has that ever happened to you? You are out doing something and you know, suddenly and definitively, that you must go and put on a particular fragrance? It´s a much more desirable feeling than its dreaded (and common) counterpart of staring at endless samples and bottles in your collection and finding nothing that appeals. Then we did several loads of laundry, cleaned up the basement, and went to Trader Joe´s. For dinner I served veggie burgers, after which they stopped speaking to me entirely. They couldn´t get out the door fast enough on Friday.
This Thursday I will be leaving the Big Cheese and the children behind for a trip to the U.K. Twenty bucks says they don´t eat a single meal together while I´m gone. (Twenty bucks is also what I´ll be paying for a sandwich at the current exchange rate.) I fly first to Edinburgh, where I plan on visiting the Roja Dove boutique at Jenners. I´ll wander from Scotland back and forth across England (the Lake District, York, the Cotswolds, Bath) and into Wales a little, before winding up in London, where I will have the pleasure of Lee´s company. He’s been teaching me English (“Oi, wanker!”) We´re planning on going to the other Roja Dove boutique in Harrods, along with Les Senteurs and Patricia de Nicolai. I´ll be back on the blog (assuming they let me) on Thursday the 24th. If anyone has any particular suggestions about perfume destinations that should not be missed, I´d love to hear about them!
Finally, an alarming report on the state of mass-market perfumery, based on my visit to Sephora: they now have an entire Wall of Vanilla. In addition to the Comptoir Sud Pacifique, which is mostly (but not all) vanilla, they have the Laurence Dumont line (11 scents), La Maison de La Vanille (5 scents), and La Vanilia Labs (4, with antioxidants!) If there is a trend I might develop more of a hatred for than the whole fruity-floral thing, vanilla-driven scents would be it. They also had a section of gourmand things (Eau de Vie) like Whipped Cream and Chocolate Mint that were so horrifying I´ve deleted any further information from my mind. Armani has two frags called City Glam (men and woman), both forgettable. The new Bvlgari Omnia Amethyste smells powdery, which is not the direction I´d have liked them to take it. Sean Jean´s new Unforgivable Multi-Platinum was all citrus on me (grapefruit and mandarin?) and I liked it, although I was expecting Diddy to last a little longer. The Baldessarini Ambre was the one pleasant surprise; it´s supposedly got a little whisky and leather in the base, but I´d actually label it a seemingly oxymoronic “summer amber” – light, creamy, comforting and not sweet (it´s in the men´s aisle). Also, if you or someone you love is a fan of DKNY Be Delicious, Flower by Kenzo, or the Ferragamo Incantos (hey, who am I to judge you?) they have mini bottle sets (a 4-pack of tiny apples, a 4-pack of flowers, and 3 wee Incantos) that are, frankly, adorable and would make a sweet gift.
Hi March, have a blast in the UK! And do tell me if there’s any fragrant shopping to speak of in York (not that I won’t have time to find out in a year…)
I just wanted to let you know that Jules arrived safe & sound. Thank you so much for the L’Artisan sample and the wonderfully pine resiny mystery vial! >:d< What is it? Apart from pine resin I get maybe peppery spicy incense. I've gone through my collection and ruled out Yatagan, Antaeus, Bois d'Encens, Sequoia, the CdG Incenses, Rocabar... Apparantly, it's nothing I own already. Must... get... more... If not for me, for my civil engineer who is very pretty in pine. So what is it, what? 😕
I emailed you!
hey! i’m going to London next weekend! too bad we won’t be there at the same time…
Dang! How hilarious would that have been?!? Have fun.:)>-
Have fun in London! Di Nicolai is one of my favourites, small but charming! Santa Maria Novella is close by as well, on Walton Street…Enjoy your trip!
Oh, I bet the SMN is really pretty!
LOL — how did I let take your child to work day pass me by??? What a great idea. The veggie burgers were a perfect touch.
Have a GREAT time in the UK! Can’t wait to hear what you sniff out.
Actually, I thought they were scamming me; I called a friend to double-check. But they won’t make that mistake again. Most of their friends spent the day: a) at the mall, or b) xeroxing their butts in some parental office. Another bright spot in American education.
There had better be photos forthcoming! :-w
*gets ready with the paper bags*
Lee, don’t worry. I’m not bringing a camera. No, seriously. My travel pictures stink. I’m a postcard-buyer.
So unless you’re going to send something in via your cel phone camera, we’re SOL.
oh phine! (pout) :((
Actually I completely understand. I belong to an entire coterie that thiks that pictures are for drivers licenses, passports and mug shots. :d
I made the mistake of trying one of the new vanilla ones at Sephora, the almond one, was hideious turned into this really bizarre very weird synthetic white flower vanilla gourmand scent. shivering at the thought of it again.
Hee hee! I didn’t actually smell any of them, for all I know they’re brilliant. But I doubt it.
I bet if you layered it with Pink Sugar your arm would just drop right off.
Please have a delightful trip and be safe. (That’s the Irish-Catholic in me). Tear up the UK and go on with your bad self. (That’s everything else in me).
Roja Dove is fabulous in Harrods, though we’ve seen most of it by now. I was swooning over their Nina Ricci collection. I want Fille d’Eve and am kicking myself for passing. In other words, buy buy buy. :d
Thanks! I’ll be doing my best to support the economy.\:d/
I know what you mean. You think, oh, I can just get that later … but you can’t (at least not as easily.)
Bon Voyage March! Sounds as if you have the perfect trip planned, especially the London sniffathon with Lee. I’m not a Harrods fan but I AM a Roja Dove fan. His boutique is like Aladin’s Cave what with the mirrors, chandeliers etc all glinting off the Caron urns and other too numerous to mention treasures (though not Dior parfums if I remember correctly). If he’s there see if he’ll show you his 3 scents. I was so lucky – I think I caught him at a quiet time (he was rearranging the urns) and as soon as he realised I was a scent nut he was generous with info and suggestions to sniff and sprays. I second the suggestion of Fortnums for their perfume dept – and Liberty has a nice one though small but a very good range of Diptyque candles and the scents. Tea in Libs is lovely too and probably not as expensive as Fortnums. I had a “must spray” moment on saturday – was in my back yard faffing about watering and digging and stuff and HAD to put on Diorella. It was lovely in the sun. The Big Cheese and your wonderful sounding children will so appreciate you upon your return!
I am deeply excited about the Roja Dove boutique. Of course, that’ll be toward the end of my trip, and I’ll probably look like hell at that point. But oh well. Hey, my American $ is as good as their money!!! Well, half as good, at least.:”>
Do you think Liberty sells Liberty prints? Is that a stupid question? I love liberty prints. I have a small, carefully edited collection of Liberty shirts, and the Cheese has a pink Liberty tie I like to bully him into wearing.
Also, can I use “faffing”? How great is that? Is that English slang? And I love how it was Diorella you needed!! Makes about as much sense as CR.
Yes, Liberty sells Liberty prints – I think they are wonderful too! In fact, Liberty is my all time favourite department store what with all the Arts and Crafts movement associations as well. I know you will be pressed for time but if you think you’ve got an hour please look in and let me know what you think.
And you’re very welcome re “faffing”. One of my favourite words though I don’t know its origins!
March – if we’ve time, we can hot-tail it into town to go to Liberty – one of my favourite stores. We can faff about all you like (also one of my favourite word, d. You have good taste in perfume and language, may I say).
Oh, I want to faff!!! Lee, if you’re still speaking to me by then, we should go to Liberty. Although … we should either go to Liberty OR Fortnum, right? You can pick the one that makes more sense, and I’ll hit the other on my own.
Amd for all you word nerds:
‘Faff’ has been used to mean fuss or dither since the mid-19th century. It is based on the 16th century word, ‘faffle’, meaning to blow in gusts, to saunter, to stutter/stammer and – of a sail – to flap idly in the wind. All of these suggest hesitancy or ineffectuality…as does ‘faff’.
Thanks be to google. (checked the OED too – it concurs).
Is it related to “kerfuffle” (def: a big confusing fuss over not very much)? They sound like cousins…
And yes! I frequently get struck with the, “I MUST put on somewhatever,” then I have to figure out if I already have something on, do I need to shower, can i put it somewhere else. It really can make for a difficult few minutes juggling the skin logistics.
P, it’s so WEIRD, though. Like food cravings during pregnancy. The other bizarre thing that happens is I can sort of remember the scent, but not entirely, and then I drive myself nuts for two hours trying to remember WHICH scent I’m trying to conjure up.
Well, that’s old age, you know.:((
Hey, since two of the Fragrant Four are actually going to meet in person, can you do a column where you smell the same stuff on each other? It’s always so fascinating to analyze the differences between the different ways our noses smell things AND the different ways the same thing smells on different people.
I did some vanilla for a while — Sephora’s tiare glycerin soap was a gateway drug for me — led me to Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s tiare, then on to other CSPs. Alas, CSP uses the same fakey vanilla note in everything now. But please don’t lump them with the Dumonts! The Dumonts are much more real & their vanilla blueberry is one of my fave comfort scents.
I had a rough weekend, so it’s time to drop everything & spritz myself with Spiritus/Land. Um, yeah, and get back to work maybe. Have a beautiful time, March, and Lee, and Louise! –Ellen
Okay, I admit that wasn’t entirely fair about the Dumonts. In fact, I think I stuck one of them (creme brulee?) in the Candy last fall because I actually really liked it. But I smelled a couple of their newer ones (new to Sephora anyway) and was underwhelmed. The CSPs are mostly just bad on me.
Spiritus/Land is definite comfort.
Oh, dear March-have a huge blast, and don’t think of the Cheese and Cheese-ettes (whizzes?)at all! My dear boy and I are following in your petite steps in July for a graduation (yes, his) tour of England, Scotland, and France. I hope to thoroughly pump you for scent-info on your return (buy you a latte?). Lee has been kind enough to invite us by as well-we are thrilled! (Lee-I should have my itinerary this week-will email soon).
As for your mad rush to perfume, this strikes me weekly. And your choice-I beleive we are amongst very few who love CRouge…and I do. As for Sephora-blech, I can find nothing there now…oh, except a tiny roll-on of Fracas-just perfect for the several times a year I crave it.
You’ll be missed!
The Whizzes! That’s perfect. Yes, we will have to get together. Sephora is a complete waste of time now, let’s do the Wheaton joint. And I’ll be happy to share all I know! Gosh, you and J will have a wonderful time, what a special thing to do together.
I forgot! You’re the OTHER person who likes CR.:d
Or perhaps Cheese and the Its?
Oh lucky you!! I want to come tooooo! I miss the UK so much. Oy!
Have a great time, March!!!!
M — thanks! Please keep an eye on the foolishness going on over here while I’m gone…. what if they don’t let me back on when I return?:(
Oh, March, what a fantastic journey you have ahead!
I am so envious — how I long to leave the small ones with my own “Big Cheese” and run away to Scotland and England!! Actually, scratch that: I’d like to leave them with someone else and take DH along with me — I’d have MUCH more fun with him than without him! Sad that when I was last in London I did not “know” Lee, and hoping that some day I may make it back so that I, too, may plan a sniffing excursion with him. What fun that would be!!
Please pass along gigantic, fragrant hugs to Lee from me!!!!!
And have FUN!!
I have never been anywhere on that continent, and I have wanted to go since I was a teenager, which is … well … awhile ago. It’s so nice to have someone to show me around! I’m very excited. I hope Lee’s prepared for how silly I am.
We can be two silly billys together. I’ve apparently got two settings – intense and daft. Take your pick.
Why do I have to choose? Can’t I have both?[-(
That sounds like such a wonderful trip! I’d recommend a trip to Aroma Sciences in Scotland, but it’s much farther north than where you’ll be. However, George Dodd is the *nicest* man in the universe and I would love to meet him in person. I’ll give you a link to the website – he may have some sort of branch in Edinburgh. He also works w/ Hiram Green at Scent Systems in London (which I believe has reopened) and that would be a cool place to visit. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit I don’t love George’s scents because, other than the SIPs, all natural is not my style, but I plan on retrying them at some point and making myself adore them due to my love for him. He does perfume workshops (extremely knowledgeable) and I really want to go to one. Am hoping to get to the UK myself in the late fall and that is something I’ll be looking into.
Are you not going to Ormonde Jayne? I look forward to a very detailed description of your visit to Roja Dove’s. Deep sigh. Tell the Diors there that I’m thinking of them and miss them.
*ears perk up* Diors… in parfum?[-o<
P, you know I’ll be emailing you if I hit the mother lode.:x
Sadly, not Diorama or Diorling in parfum form, but at least they are there in edt form and the Diorama at least is still incredibly gorgeous as an edt and in this new formulation…well, to my nose it is. 🙂
Elle — thanks for the suggestions! I’m not sure about the OJs. I hear the boutique is *lovely.* However, there’s only a limited amount of time, and (so far as I know) I have smelled all the OJs. I am going to focus my primary efforts on places that have things I’ve not sniffed.
Oh I am so jealous–jealous of the whole trip, but especially of your going to the Roja Dove boutiques, and meeting the lovely Lee! I trust you will tell all. Have a wonderful time!
J — I’ve had the excitement level set on “low” because, honestly, none of it seemed real to me. And I’ve been swamped with work things. And as I said, I’ve never been before, so I don’t have clear expectations/memories to focus on. But it’s a place I have always wanted to go, and the Cheese, who has been several times, said he’s not going back so I might as well go. It is awfully sweet of him to let me escape. He’s already re-thinking that, actually./:)
Jealous!!! I want to go to England, too! Ah well…
Have a blast Marchie, and please take plenty of photos while gallivanting around parasol-in-hand a la E.M. Forster’s “A Room with a View” (ok, so it’s not Florence, but still…)
Chergui is my have-to-spritz-it-or-I’ll-die scent, puts a smile back on my face – always…
Chergui!!! That’s very funny, that happened to me as well. Last fall, raking leaves. Some days are just Chergui days.
I do NOT forgive you for being with LEE.
All and sundry know that I am not a petty or covetous being [except for perfume coveting !], but DAMN.
I want to perform sacred and profane acts with / upon his person / soul…
If I were a sulker, I’d be buried in it, right now.
On second thought, I’ll forgive you, but I’m really grieving.
I think I’ll wear black until you come back.
Enjoy your trip , honey.
Be safe, and frolic for me…
“When will we meet…
When will we spend precious moments ?!”}
Well, dang, woman! Get on a plane and go see him already? Whatcha waitin’ for?!?:x
Only for you to shell out for Harvard tuition, baby, and Ivy League for Jacob , when Isaac finishes…
[Other than THAT…
Absolutely NADA !!!]
I wanted to wish you a great trip, March!
Loved how you described your sudden urge to wear a specific perfume, and to answer your question, yes, it happens to me too.. If I get extremely stressed I have to run and spritz Rose Cardin on my wrists..I’ll then proceed to walk around with them glued to my nose. It is my anti-stress potion. For a while I had to do without it and tried to use Zen as a substitute but even though I love it, it never did what it was supposed to. I thankfully now never have to go without Rose Cardin ever again.
Glad to hear this happens to someone other than me!
Zen I really like but it doesn’t seem that …. zen, you know?/:) I have other incense-y things that are more zen.
You once mentioned wanting to try the M.Micallef full line and not knowing where to find it. Fortnum & Mason’s carry it, as well as a lot of other nice stuff. From there you are also very close to Ormonde Jayne.
Have a great time !!!!
Oh, thank you so much! I’ll try to work in a visit. I wonder if they serve actual tea there in the afternoon… of course it’ll cost $90.:)
F&M will not disappoint your travel companion, it’s a little old fashioned gem on all accounts; most visitors stop at the ground floor (tea & food stuff) but there is a lot more upstairs.
To get into the English mood, then get a copy of “Gone With the Windsors” by Laurie Graham, makes perfect light fun reading for the plane.
Excellent! I was looking for some plane material! Of course I always have copies of crappy fashion mags… and this time the country I’m visiting will have them in my language! Well, sort of.
Oh, and one more thing – you probably won’t need the umbrella. We’ve had no rain for a month. Temperatures most days in the mid to high 60s. Spring got skipped and we’ve moved directly into early summer. Bring your Virgin Island Water…
Lee — help, I’m trying to pack! Since you speak Fahrenheit (did I spell that right?): weather.com says low 40s/mid 50s (Edinburgh) to upper 40s/low 60s (London) so I’ve been packing warmer. I take it that’s wrong? Should I pack some lighter clothes? (Have no fear, I won’t wear shorts, for God’s sake.) Put it this way: what is the WARMEST it is likely to be mid-day in London, your best guess and global warming aside?
Also, based on Silvia’s comment (and cuz I want to sample the goods!) can we go to Fortnum’s? Is that on our itinerary? If not I can probably bully my traveling companion, isn’t that the food emporium, tea, etc.? I just won’t mention the perfume, I’ll act all surprised…:-“
Phew on the shorts.
Pack layers I guess. The weather has thrown me off. I’ve got a tan, for chrissakes. In April. It could stay warm (it’s going to, at least in the south, for the rest of the week at least), but this is a very changeable time of year. Hell, every time of the year in the UK is changeable… Edinburgh always feels cold. It’s the wind. London – well, expect anywhere between low 50s to high 60s at midday.
We can end up in Fortnum’s for tea, if we hop on a bus.
Of course, you know, March, that if you don’t pack an umbrella, it will rain. >:)
Which is why I’m packing one, hon!;)
Vanilla schmanilla. We’re avoiding that note in London, my lovely.
And debonair… well, you might be in for a disappointment Maria when you get to meet me!
Off to build up energy reserves…
Yeah, well, here’s a news flash for you: I don’t look that much like my avatar, honey. Lower the bar a bit.
Lee, I could not possibly be disappointed by the real you. I knew “debonair” would get you. :d I meant it in a spiritual, wonderful-smelling way. I’m jealous of March.
:d Have a wonderful trip to the UK March, and enjoy your time gallavanting with Lee!
P.S. I am with you on the vanilla hatred. It is in EVERYTHING. If it’s not a fruity floral, it’s guaranteed to have vanilla – even if it’s just fabric softener. How depressing.
I didn’t think there was anything that could seem more disgusting than the fruity/florals. I was WRONG. Honestly, the Incantos were a welcome relief, and how grim is that?
I asked the SA and she said: Women buy it because their boyfriends/husbands loooooove the smell of vanilla!!!
To which I say: well, they love the smell of charred steak, cigars and gasoline — why not dab that on?
Yes, it *was* wonderful to meet Andy and Maria…both lovely lovely people…
There were two other ladies when I finally reached the scent bar and one of them was writing on a ‘Let us Spray’ notepad so I knew that *had* to be Maria ( I knew she woud be coming-from her comments on PST)-wish we could have chatted a bit more about our perfume loves,Maria! I got to chat a bit with your husband, who seemed surprisingly tuned into the whole smell scene.
My DH isn’t that into perfume (to put it mildly-I can still not get over the fact that he drove all the way with me), but even he enjoyed the whole event and happily smelled everything..(yay!)
I wish we could’ve have met Tom too, but I think he was there the previous evening instead…
oohh..this is the longest comment i have ever posted..:)
Oh and yes, March- have a wonderful, safe and fragrant trip!
Hi, Lavanya! I was going to say, you’re not a total lurker, I’ve seen you comment before! That is hilarious about the notepads. Diva’s using one and I have a couple more spread around. I sure hope to get to one of these events sometime. And no, I cannot *believe* you got DH to come with you.:x
Hello, Lavanya! I too wish I had had the chance to talk more with you! I wish I’d had the presence of mind to give you my e-mail address. I was in a kind of Andy-induced daze. K enjoyed talking with you very much. He likes fragrances and has a discriminating nose, even if I do send his head spinning sometimes with French names. :d I would never have known your DH was alien to the perfume world; he pitched right in and participated.
March, have a wonderful time on your trip! I hope I’ll get to meet the debonair Lee someday.
I had a great adventure meeting someone on Friday. K (my DH) and I met Andy Tauer at the Scent Bar in L.A.! What a wonderful experience it was! Andy seemed amazed that someone would drive six hours to meet him. We’d do it again! Andy is a wonderful person, so funny and easy to talk to, and so interesting. He beams human kindness. He’s a perfumer who is a real person too. His talk was fascinating. He brought along ten components that went into his beautiful new Reverie au Jardin: lavender esential oil, linalylacetate, galbanum essential oil, fir balsam absolute, oakmoss absolute, ambrette CO2 extract, frankincense CO2 extract, methylcyclomyrceton (I can’t vouch for the spelling of this one), vetiverol, and tonka bean resinoid. He spoke about how he got into perfumery and shared with us insights he has gleaned.
K and I would have stayed for the second presentation if we had not had to go tend to the needs of Norbu the Wonderhound, who was in the hotel. But maybe that would have been too much. As it was, I had to take TWO sleeping pills (within prescribed limit) in order to calm down enough to sleep. Victoria of Victoria’s Own wrote about having the same sleep problem the night before.
I got to meet Lavanya, who, I believe, lurks. 🙂 She asked me, “Are you Maria?” because I was taking notes on a Parfume Posse notepad. She is a very interesting and attractive young woman, by the way. I gave Andy what remained of my Perfume Posse notepad so he’d have something of the Posse to take with him. I was disappointed that Tom of PST did not come; I was looking forward to meeting him.
I know what you’re all wondering: Yes, I did hug Andy–more than once! He also volunteered to sign my bottles of Reverie au Jardin and Le Maroc pour Elle; if he hadn’t volunteered, I would have asked him. Gone was my usual shyness. He’s that kind of person. K took photos. The lighting wasn’t great, but someday we’ll have Photoshop Elements and they’ll look fine.
It was very nice of Scent Bar to host the event. It was a very cozy gathering.
I think I’ll stop jabbering now. I’m getting excited all over again, and sleep time approaches. 😮
Oh, I’m so jealous!!! I have never been to a sniffa, or to L.A. I think they sound like tons of fun, and I would love to meet Andy. I think at some point on the blog (after Orris?) I offered to have his babies, but I don’t seem to have scared him off permanently, since he’s commenting up there.
I did go, but on Thursday. Andy is wonderful, I enjoyed the presentation a lot. :d
Tom, I’m glad you got to see Andy, even if I didn’t get to see you. :((
Hi – I was there too! Andy’s wonderful, I really enjoyed the presentation, very impressed with him. And Maria, I’m so glad you hugged Andy, that’s adorable.
Enjoy your trip. It sounds marvelous and say hello to Lee and give him hugs from me, too.
If you are in the region, you might want to get together with Heather from Eieflud, too. You must try her Countryman scent, all natural and truly wonderful….
Have a safe trip and don’t worry about your kids, they will be just fine on their McDo diet…..
Where IS she? I’ll go check her website… it’s all a mental blur of thatched roofs and people dressed in frock coats (alongside the tourists, of course).
I’m picturing lots and lots of pizza being served. Also, the Big Cheese *literally* does not know where the primary grocery store is. Should I draw him a map?
She is in Upingham, that’s somewhere in the middle, somewhat close to Cambridge. There is a train going up there…pizza is fine for kids! They love it and get red cheeks from the tomatoes 😉