As you recall, I gave away some fragrances last month and invited the recipients to send me whatever they felt like in return. I got some wonderful gifts (as reported in Part 1). Here´s Part 2.
I gave Cathy/bluechile the bottle of reissued Straw Hat cologne, and I smiled when I got her return package, because even before I opened it I caught a whiff of Estee Lauder Youth Dew. Good ol´ Youth Dew; who thought it was called Youth Dude, or is that one of those urban fragrance myths? They don´t make them like that any more, I am sorry to say. Why on earth something that muscular and tenacious is called Youth Dew has always mystified me, but if I never got to smell it I would be sad. There was also an absolutely gorgeous small square flacon of vintage Lanvin Arpege. While I admire the reformulation very much, the original Arpege is a reminder of the days when women smelled like .. well, like Women. Grown up, curvaceous, devastatingly sexy. I didn´t have any vintage Arpege, and now I do, and I´m happy. She also included some Ava Luxe samps, including Wild Black Fig, that I am anxious to try.
I sent Rita the L´Artisan Fleur de Carotte. In return I got tins of yummy stuff like Burt´s Bees Hand Salve, beautiful minis of Hermes Caleche and 24, Faubourg, a ton of samples (Rita, looks like you´ve developed a serious habit over at Our Favorite Decant Store, do we need to stage an intervention?), and … this is so cool … her husband makes things out of glass! So I have a beautiful swirly glass pendant and a small glass vase for holding samples. Rita, tell your husband they are perfect and that was incredibly sweet of him, and (you asked what colors our tree decorations are) – you would laugh, I wish you were here to see our tree. My mom collected Christmas ornaments. In addition to the Santas, angels and snowflakes, we have harlequins, telephones, a deep sea diver, a saguaro cactus, parrots, teapots, cars, an octopus, three mermaids, a kangaroo, a hot air balloon … it´s endless. I have ornaments back to my great-grandparents´ trees. My mom has been gone for more than 20 years, and I still spot the occasional ornament and think, wow, she would really love that. My magpie love for flashy ornamentation has rubbed off on the kids, and I hope they each have as much fun in the future with their share as I´ve had with them. Anyway, to answer your question – I must have every color of the rainbow, and I like it that way.
I sent Kim the Floris Malmaison. In return … I got a teapot shaped like a Serge Lutens bell jar! It is cute as a bug´s ear, in this gorgeous box, and I really wish I could put a photo of it in here. It is the perfect size for tea for one, and I am very much enjoying it. Also included was a tin of Assam Breakfast tea, scrubs and soaps (Provence Sante Linden – yay!), a ton of samples, a little satin Chinese hat … oh, waitaminnit, that´s a tea cosy. There´s a bottle of Ambre Parfum Maison, which is just scrumptious. And (this is hilarious, I love perfume people) – her note says “maybe you can tell what the icky note is in the Dove” – the olfactory equivalent of, hey, does this milk taste sour to you? Well, Kim, I smelled it and you´re right – it smells like crap, but I´m not sure what that note is, precisely. Whoever came up with that needs a new job doing something else.
Finally, there was a book of poetry in Kim´s package. I love poetry. You guys know that, right? Every now and again I stick a poem up here. Anyway, this is Winter Morning Walks by Ted Kooser. They were composed on predawn winter walks and mailed on postcards to his friend Jim Harrison; the book contains 100 of them. Kim says they’re her favorite on a winter morning, and I can see why; they are both spare and beautiful.
The poems are dated, and here’s the one for December 13:
Just as a dancer, turning and turning,
may fill the dusty light with the soft swirl
of her flying skirts, our weeping willow—
now old and broken, creaking in the breezeâ€”
turns slowly, slowly in the winter sun,
sweeping the rusty roof of the barn
with the pale blue lacework of her shadow.
image: Scott Tracy, blogs.sun.com