What I did in the summer – by Lee, aged 39 and 11 months (almost)

My summer isn’t yet over (all of August off work), so it’s fair to say I’m being a little previous (as my ma would say) with my title. Still, I’m reminded of those turgid and asinine assignments teachers would set in primary school to fill some time while they got their act together. In my convoluted and verbose responses, I’d run off on a flight of fantasy, often producing multiple pages of absurdity, with diagrams to clarify, as appropriate. The teacher would roll her eyes at the smart alec, and mumble something like ‘I’ve heard about you’, under her breath, probably remembering some story about how I was made to stand all afternoon in the hall, shoes off, for doing cartwheels across the road in front of the lorries (‘You could’ve killed yourself, you stupid boy. And more importantly, you may have hurt the driver.’) or refusing to eat the boiled peas in the lunch hall and attempting to organise a sit-in for better food. Or my irritating questioning technique that infuriated all the staff except for those I cared about anyway.

So, this is to say I’m back. I’m not sure how permanently, or how often, but the muse came round at last, sat down and had a cup of tea. I gave her a biscuit or two (lemon shortbread to begin with, followed by a Jaffa cake – it seems she probably wears hesperidic numbers, judging by her cookie choice). We chewed the cud, spat it out, cleansed our palates with the Assam loose leaf blend, and commented that grass would be much easier to digest if we had a bovine stomach arrangement. We moved back to the biscuits.

What I mean by all this procrastination is that I’ve had little interest in writing, and little interest in perfume. I commented to a lovely woman and fellow perfume aficionado that I’m an obsessive type, but I only have three or four obsession slots in my brain, like those expandable memory ones you used to get in computers. Maybe you still do. In the spring and summer, my fragrance fanaticism generally wanes. This year, it dwindled to a nothing. I would still sniff my collection of sample vials (over 400 I imagine) ritualistically at the end of the day, but there was no buzz. I’d still wear some perfume, but there have been many days where I simply forgot to put any on, and these often extended to a week. I wasn’t down, I wasn’t anosmic, I wasn’t (or so I thought) taking a break. I was happy (still am) and enjoying all the sensory delights late spring and summer can offer.

I haven’t bought anything since March. That’s half a year, godammit!

Now, I can feel a vague rekindling of perfume interest. I’ve been commenting here and there – that plethora of new blogs is a little overwhelming, though I share the enthusiasm for the erudition of carmencanada’s writing. I think what’s spurred me on more than anything are the releases that nod towards autumn. I’m a spring and summer person in spirit, but I love my winter ‘fumes. Perfume is an introspective experience for me, and doesn’t fit with my summer self, a person way too outdoorsy and outward looking to bother with spritzing and contemplating. I’ll save that for the cold, thank you very much. So, I’m looking forward to sniffing El Attarine, Serge Noire, Aziyadé. A previous self would’ve sniffed these out already; my current self – calm, zen-like, in control – is happy to wait.

Zen-like, my arse. I’m just excited elsewhere is all.

So what fills my three or four obsessive slots?

  1. The first is, and always will be I hope, Matt. I don’t want to go on about it too much, but all summer I’ve had these moments where I look at him and my body jolts, puppet strings pulled by some unseen hand. It’s a visceral and intellectual love, and I could never want for better, in spite of all his foils and weaknesses, and even more of mine.
  2. The second is gardening. The front garden is straightforward – a gravelled dry garden with textural shrubs – Euphorbia, Yucca, Cistus – herbaceous flowers and grasses. It’s the pots that line the path – second hand terracotta, beautiful looking – that take up time with their constant watering and their high-maintenance floriferous rarities, alongside standard summer classics. The back garden is larger and a little more demanding – terrace with another array of potted plants, imitation jungle that needs hacking back to maintain the path, and secret garden at the end with coloured beds in blues, then pinks, then reds and oranges. I should do photos. It does look magical, but will reach its peak in September, always the best time of year for me. I’ve also got the allotment, yards and yards of weeds among which I grow over 100 types of fruit and vegetables. We don’t buy any in the summer and give so much a way. But every year I consider giving it up if I leave it for a couple of days. Nature fights me, tooth and claw, for this scrap of leased land. Slowly, we find a compromise.
  3. The third, and so large it takes up two slots, is dogs. I wrote a post about dogs a while back – it all went badly wrong. The breeder saw the post, excoriated me for it (don’t ask) and our contact ended. Some things, no matter how they feel, aren’t meant to be. Still, Matt and I (he’d joined in by now) continued to look for the right woofer. We visited animal shelters, and persisted in pondering a new born. The shelters weren’t working out for first-time owners (not considering childhood pets) like us, with our under-5 year old neighbours. Finally, I got in touch with another breeder. She’s been wonderful and I’ve followed her dog’s pregnancy right from the start. We had the pick of the litter and finally settled on the girl whose image has been peppering this post. She’s called Gracie, partly because she appears to have an elegance above and beyond her siblings – they have squarer muzzles, eat as much with their feet and torsos as their jaws, whereas she has a refined snout and is a tidier eater than I am. Most importantly, her character is perfection. Playful, yes, but also happy to snuggle contentedly with both Matt and I. The Disney picture was completed by her following us as we left the breeder’s house, as though she knew. She comes home with us on Sunday. Howling aside, I can’t wait. That’s her up there at four weeks, five weeks and six weeks. See how obsessive I am. Look closely and you can see her wire hair just beginning. Well, I can in my enormous versions of those pics, anyway. Schnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……

So, I’ll probably be back in two weeks’ time. Watch out. And tell me your other summer obsessions please. You know you want to.

 

  • Patricia (Baltic Girl) says:

    Gracie is adorable…I keep going back to the pics of her. I have so missed your beautiful,elegant prose. Please don’t abandon us again!
    Summer obsession? I have been making soap…yup..with lye, and luscious oils and wonderful scents!

    • Lee says:

      Oh my – I bet that soap smells wondrous. What a great obsession.

      Gracie is becoming a bigger obsession as each day passes, daft little thing that she is. She’s getting seriously good at cuddles.

      Thank you for the kind words.

  • Arwen says:

    Welcome back Lee!
    Gracie is lovely. It is so exciting to bring a new member into your family.
    So glad you are sharing with us.
    I am also looking forward to Serge Noire
    As for summer obsessions…unfortuantely work has taken over. I hope it eases a bit for fall, since that is my favorite season.

    • Lee says:

      Thank you!

      I do feel like a dad with a new born in the house. A mobile new born. She’s totally adorable – except for that howl…

  • annie says:

    :x:x:x:x:xLee….Oh,what a WONDERFUL dog….enjoy her,have a bed next to you at night(the separation from all of the warm bodies in a litter,and of course,mom,tends to be a difficult transition for them)…and swooning over the ‘puppy breath’;bottle it,and make a fortune……oooooo heaven!

    • Lee says:

      I *did* have the bed next to me last night, hence the two hours sleep. I’m attempting to break her into crate-training gently, so left the door open. She woke me for the toilet three times (she’s close to being house-broken already – clever dogs) and then I just had to stare at her, a lot.
      Knackered now though, and it’s only 1pm…

      (she howled the house down earlier when I closed the crate door for the first time, in spite of treats and hot water bottle and snuggly lovely stuff. But now she’s finally fallen asleep…)

  • MarkDavid says:

    Lee! I’ll be in London from Dec. 20 – Jan. 4 – with a quick jaunt to Paris somewhere in between. Gracie can meet her uncle Mark David, at this time.

    Summer Obsessions – I dunno. I just opened a show on Thursday – did sets, costumes, and lighting design for it and Im in it as well. Its selling out every night and we’re very very proud of it. So the past 2 weeks have been intense for me, creatively. Making it all work. This is my first time designing lights and I now know more about wattage and voltage than any homosexual every should. It was the one thing left for me to do – sets and costumes Ive done over 30 shows, but never lights so this was very fun.

    CV should be getting on the bus now from NYC to my home to see the show tonight – I think this is the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other – 4 weeks.

    My stepfather finally caught the groundhog that has been torturing our garden for 5 years. This man had made the extermination of this animal his sole mission in life. Even while battling cancer last year, I know that all he wanted to do was to get up on the roof with the shotgun and lie in waiting. I would wake up every Saturday morning over the last few years and ask my mother “Where’s Bill?” to which she would reply “Up on the roof with the shotgun.” So last saturday, when I heard a loud gunshot, I knew the day had come. This animal had become as destructive and elusive as Jaws. We had more traps in our small garden than Lewis and Clark had on their entire expedition, I’m pretty sure.

    Its very good to see you back! I still owe you a box…

    -MD

    • Lee says:

      You’re in London – for Christmas and New Year? Fantastic. I’m sure, amongst all the family shenanigans, there’ll be room for you to visit here…

      Good news on the show. And on the light knowledge. I’ll ask your advice about gels sometime…

      Poor ole groundhog. We don’t have em. Only moles.

      Now worries on the box front…

      xxx

  • March says:

    Look at your fan club, dude!!

    I am obsessed with trying to keep the varmints out of my heirloom tomatoes, the raccoons keep defeating my increased levels of protection. I picture them out there at night, drinking their little raccoon beers and smoking their little raccoon cigarettes while they decide which of the tomatoes to take large bites out of … I hate them and am starting to feel like one of those slightly unhinged gardening people. Not that you would know anything about that.

    • Lee says:

      Bamboo canes and chicken wire, the latter tied to the canes and pegged to the ground with tent pegs (curl it inwards, not outwards, at the base)? Hell, I have rabbit issues. They like everything except tomatoes… And red leaved lettuces.

      Fan club, schman club. Them’s just nice peoples.

  • Tara says:

    Gracie is just adorable, congratulations! May you have many many happy years together! My two little Papillons are the light of my life, they bring me joy every day.

    As for perfume, I am sniffing longingly the nozzles of my fall perfumes and fingering my hooded sweatshirts – unfortunately we are just coming up on the hottest 3 months of the year here in Southern California, so it’s going to be a long wait. Fortunately my office is air conditioned to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, so I can sit inside and pretend it’s fall.

    As for obsessions, I am a serial obsessionist. Right now it’s reading, perfume and puppies. This fall I expect to get back into the stained glass obsession, which has been on hiatus for the past 2 years.

    • Lee says:

      Stained glass? Awesome. You should have a look round the church two minutes walk from my house… Spectacular.

      Thanks Tara…

  • Catherine says:

    Lee, your little one is *beautiful*! I heartily agree with someone above–the animal chooses us, not the other way around, and Gracie is such a darling. I’m so sorry that the breeder you wrote about months ago reacted as she did. I wondered if that was the case. But now Gracie is coming home with you! Divine! My furry little ones are my bundle of joy, and I adore how they still grow emotionally.

    Perfume has continued to be an obsession for me during the summer months. But the most pressing obsessions have been work (when work keep pouring in, even in these economic times, that’s fantastic) and following the developments with DH’s publisher and PR team about his upcoming book and how they plan to push-push-push it. It’s crazy, it’s fantastic, it’s unnerving. It’s the reigning topic of conversation in our home.

    • Lee says:

      I can’t wait Catherine. And thank you.

      Fingers crossed for DH’s book, and your work. And dammit, janet, I’m intrigued on both counts…:d

  • Lee says:

    I really enjoy it CC. A sharp and voracious mind at work, you manage to wear your learning lightly but also never patronise your readers – always a pleasure when you see that in action. And I love testing out my elementary French by flipping between English and French versions – especially where you were searching for the right word as a summation of El Attarine…

    Siamese are such interesting characters. I can imagine one getting her nose stuck into perfume. Gracie will no doubt prefer cowpats and parfum de l’écureuil mort…

    • carmencanada says:

      :”> Add some more intense blushing to that. I think my journalistic training helps a lot.
      I’ve been thinking the bilingual aspect of the blog is pretty good for readers brushing up on their French (or English) skills. It’s twice the work, almost, but at least I don’t lose touch with my Anglophone perfume friends, while making new Francophone ones!

  • Elle says:

    How wonderful to see you back! And Grace – dear God, how adorable and perfect she is! Canine children are simply pure joy. I’ve been too busy this summer traveling (not for pleasure, sadly) almost non-stop to nurture any of my usual summer obsessions or develop new ones (other than finding increasingly creative ways to silently curse the h*ll out of the airlines and airports). However, when I am home, my happy obsession is our canine child, Bubba (named him that to balance out the fact that he’s a 5 pound ball of white fluff – a Maltese – and needs some heft in his name at least). And our main concern is trying to get him to understand that the litter box (we’re going this route since it’s easier w/ traveling and in inclement weather) is a decidedly better place to poop than on one of our pillows. I’m also obsessed w/ long uber early morning walks (am out by around 4:30). The world is so unbelievably magical and peaceful at that time of day. And haven’t been able to do much gardening this year, but am madly, hopelessly in love w/ my morning glory and moon vines. I also found this Fiber Optic (isolepis cernua) grass that I fell so hard for, I ended up taking out 7 large pots I’d had stashed in the garage and filling them just so I could use this grass in different combinations (no flowers, just shades of green and varied textures and sizes). It’s simply got a fantastic whimsical, cheerful look to it.
    Hope you can post photos of your garden at some point – sounds absolutely stunning!

    • Lee says:

      I thought – in my brief visits to the online world – that you’d not been about much.

      Good luck with the housetraining, the little tike!

      And I’ll probably do a fair few 4.30 walks, bad sleeper that I am…
      Though Gracie will probably prefer a 4.30 run…

      Two of my grasses of the summer – Setaria palmifolia and Oryzopsis miliacea…

      Well, I’m not sure the garden is stunning exactly, but it’s pretty nice.

  • Devon says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts and am glad you are back. I love the doggie pics! How exciting to have such a sweetie joining you and Matt. Amazing, Grace.

    I too look forward to fall. My summer obsessions involve wearing a ton of Guerlain Vetiver, drinking Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and wearing rolled up pants. I think about my fall fumes, as you say, and can’t wait to start wearing them, along with hooded sweatshirts and sweaters.

    • Lee says:

      Thanks Devon, and there are pleeeeeeenty more photos.

      Sounds like a delightful way to wait for autumn.

  • carmencanada says:

    Lee, I’m joining the chorus in saying how lovely it is to have you back and how adorable Gracie looks — so happy that worked out… And thank you so much for the kind words about my blog. Which is my current obsession (writing and perfume, writing about perfume, smelling raw ingredients thanks to my neighbour Octavian of 1000fragrances, sniffing vintage scents with him, etc., etc.).
    My other obsession is my 6-month old appleahead Siamese girl Jicky, who is an adorable little monkey-lemur-kangaroo-meerkat, and quite the perfumista: she sniffs all my perfumes and scent strips with great interest. She loves osmanthus essence. Go figure.

  • Disteza says:

    Congratulations on the perfectly scrumptious puppy! Nothing quite completes a family like a dog, especially one as cute as Gracie.

    As for obsessions, I’ve finally danced myself stupid with professional-strength flamenco classes. I can pinpoint the exact moment when my brain went ‘POP’ and leaked out my ear from all of the footwork. And hatpins! Who knew they could be so expensive and fervently sought after?

    Fencing is always at the top of my list, right along with reading. I’ll have to add sewing in there, although that one is forced: I’ll never get my projects done if I don’t actually screw myself to the sewing machine.

    My summer sniffing has been, um, affected? I’ve noticed a change in how fragrances are wearing on me, and certain ones I really liked before now wrinkle my nose. Not sure if it’s a change in skin chemistry, the heat, or if I’m growing more (less?) discerning. 😕

    • Lee says:

      I’d love to see you in action. I’ve got an Andalucian, fiery tempered friend who flamencos and there’s nothing more eye-poppingly increible…

      Like you, some scents for me are falling by the wayside. I might write about that next…

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh my god, Lee, Gracie is adorable! I am so happy for you and Matt. I can’t wait to hear more, especially after she comes home with the two of you. Congratulations!

    My obsessions? Well, perfume, of course, although I agree with you that summer is not the best time for perfume fanatics. Like so many of us, I love the fragrances of Fall and Winter. In fact, I am more of a Fall person than a Summer person. I love the Fall!

    I obsess about “my people”–that is my husband, daughter and son, and worry about their well being every day.

    I obsess about yoga and staying as fit as I can, especially now that I have reached over half a century!

    And, I admit I obsess about our darling baby, our dog, Lily. She is the center of our domestic universe…and she knows it!

    So good to see you back with us, Lee!

    Hugs!

    • Lee says:

      She’s endlessly entertaining. Apparently, every time the breeder tries to take a photo of one of the pups, she finds a way in to the frame, or ends up at the front of the litter – so I have oodles of pics. She’s quite the prima donna. And a real people dog. She loves to come over, check you out, and decide if she will, this time, deign to make contact with you. A princess Grace, no less. (Fortunately, she seems to love us already).

      I love the Fall too. It used to make me sad. Perfume is one thing that helps me manage that sadness.

      Love to all your motley crew, you spring chicken!

  • tmp00 says:

    Great to see you back in print- one of these days when the dollar is worth more than twopence I am going to invade your guest room!

    I’ve been obsessing with not driving my car, mostly. Sort of a protest of the price of gas. I’ve found that even on the weekends I can get pretty much anywhere using LA’s bus system, which has an unaccountably bad rap.

    That and I am obsessed with seeing the original “Brideshead Revisisted” on DVD. Netflix has it on “very long wait” and there’s one library in the whole of LA that has a copy, but they won’t let you take it out via the online system.

    Sadly I am not obsessed with either dusting or sit-ups, which would do me the most good.

    Grace is gorgeous; she’s going to be pretty big isn’t she?:)

    • Divalano says:

      Don’t say dusting, please. I am obsessed with the fact that I need to dust. I think about it constantly. I just can’t manage to actually … you know. Dust.

    • Lee says:

      Invade away!

      Gas prices – pah! They’re still half the price Stateside to what we pay out over here, y’know. And domestic gas and electricity going through the roof, the economy teetering on the edge of the R-word… It’s all fun and frolics.

      Good luck getting the original BR – haven’t seen the remake, though Ben Whishaw was on an incredible tv show here, and he’s now on the stage in a play I’m planning to see. Phenomenal talent (if a little bony).

      Gracie’ll be around 2 foot at the shoulder, 3 at the head. Just the right size, I think. And as soft as a cashmere blanket – in personality, if not in coat.

    • kathleen says:

      tmp00, If you want to buy BR you can get it here:

      http://acornonline.com/product.asp?pn=13091

      It’s on backorder til 8/14, though

  • NancyN says:

    Of course a post about dogs is all it takes to get this first time poster to fess up her obsession. I still consider myself only HIGHLY INTERESTED in perfume. I used to worry about my one track mind in the animal direction. Then I saw an article about Oprah and her 12 or so dogs. We only had 2 dogs and a cat. I immediately decided there was nothing wrong with me.

    Gracie is beautiful. May you have many years of joy with her.

    A few years ago I read a book, Amazing Gracie, by the two fellows who started Three Dog Bakery. Gracie was a white, deaf Great Dane and the reason the bakery was started.

    Thanks for all the wonderful writing and enjoyable education on perfume.

    • Lee says:

      Nice to have you here Nancy! I think I’m with you in the obsession / high interest balance after all.

  • kathleen says:

    Walkies! Isn’t she lovely. What a pleasure to read you again, Lee. I’ve continued to indulge in my new found pleasure of ‘fumes thru the summer. I decided to take it into the garden and plant the flowers who’s notes I’ve been loving. We(read Don) put in tuberose, lily, violets, & heliotrope. We already had roses. I wanted to see how the fragrances with these notes, compared to their natural scent. Maybe next year we’ll plant tobacco so the govt will give us large subsidies not to plant it.

    • Lee says:

      What all great smells. I have different varieites of heliotrope along my front path this summer – the smell mingles with all the scented pelargoniums I grow, and all sorts of other perfumey plants (Nicotiana, Mirabilis, Cestrum nocturnum, Brugmansia)… WE need to talk plants some more!

  • Musette says:

    Lee,

    How delightful to have you back! Gracie is beyond adorable – get ready for a wild puppy-ride and remember: Every Time She Comes Out of the Crate (assuming you are crate-training her) She Goes Outside. Every Time. Cuts housebreaking time in half! Cuts mopping in half, too! El O just rescued a 12wk old boxer mix from the middle of a busy highway so now we have Bruno, who is figuring out where he fits in the father/son Rottweiler team who already own us. So far, so good. Training El O in the Ways of the Crate, as well. Rug shampooer on overdrive…

    Obsessions: Work. Isn’t that dull? But we are finally turning a financial corner and I am striking while the iron is HOT (one more cliche should tip us right over the edge, don’t you think?). It’s nice to finally be making money after such a hard struggle!$-)

    Chicocoa Scentsation: it’s been a long row to hoe but the Event is finally coming together. Interestingly, working on the Event almost killed my interest in perfume….then I got a box from a dark-haired genie with some magical things….and the interest came roaring back! So wish you could join us.

    Sleep. It’s the New S-x. Especially if you are not getting any (sleep, I mean:-)

    Lee, so happy to know you have Love. Sometimes it’s a jolt and sometimes it’s just a gentle glow….and it’s all good.

    @};-

    • Lee says:

      I bet the Boxer will get on famously with your Rotties. We are, of course, crate training. I’ve read, oh, ten or more books on dog training, puppies, the dog’s mind, dog psychology. You name it. I have a clicker. You’ll see me doggy dancing next, if my obsession doesn’t find its limit – or if Matt doesn’t yell at me to stop already, godammit. He’s so bored by my ‘shaping behaviours’ talk.

      Great news on the job front – huzzah! Keep those greenbacks rolling on in won’t you? And sorry I can’t be there for Chicocoa frolics. I have my own big weekend then too (the title says it all). But I’m sure it’ll be wonderful if you’ve sorted it!

      Man, I wish I could get more sleep – insomnia is a better friend to me, though I think sleep is more attractive in both appearance and character…

      Keep on keepin on with those cliches – I love em!

  • Kelly says:

    LEEEEEEE!!! YAY! I noticed that the puppy post was removed and then you stepped away and I was terrified that you and Matt had had a fight about the post. I’m so glad it was just a stupid self-obsessed dog breeder -and her loss is your and Gracie’s gain!

    I, too, have a gracie. A one year old blonde whippet. However, her Gracie came more from Gracie Allen … she’s a bit of a ditz, but darling.

    Congratulations on the new baby and much love to you!

    • Lee says:

      Oh no – he was sweet as anything, as always. Just knows my daft obsessive ways but knew the breeder link was a wrong one. The woman we’re getting our pup from on Sunday couldn’t be more lovely – and NORMAL…

      There’s a whippet called Jade who mooches up to me sometimes when I’m digging at the allotment. She likes to give me sideways looks, yawn (a little displacement never hurt anyone) and then sidle a touch closer. Then we cuddle.

      Whippets are lovely.

  • Divalano says:

    Lee! >:d< so glad to see you! And Gracie. My, she's adorable, even to this cat person. Sorry to hear about the breeder drama. Having spent some time around cat breeders & guessing dog breeders are similar, they can be well, peculiar. Go watch Best In Show & have a snuggle with Matt 😉 I've had a few "why bother" days about scent myself this summer. Not sure why. Maybe because so many of my favorites don't work in this, my favorite season. Maybe because in order to keep my 'fumes cool the box needs to be tucked away in a hard to get at spot. Dunno. There've been a few days when I didn't crave *gasp* any scent at all. I persevered & spritzed but there were definitely days when it just wasn't the same. Summer obsessions: Those little lychee & coconut jellies that you get from the Asian market in the plastic blister packs. Been buying them by the bag. Lusting after a new camera, a D300. Want. Want more than anything, even perfume. Getting to Castle Spa. And I'm finally going today! Got a gaggle of girls together & we're spending the day in water, water & more water. Ahhhhhhh!!! ( http://www.nyinspaworld.com )

    • Lee says:

      Love Best in Show. Those breeder types can be exceptionally peculiar.

      Oh my – have a fabulous time at the spa, and get that camera. I want some of that jelly too!

  • rosarita says:

    Lee, how lovely to see you and Grace. 😡 She is utterly adorable! You and Matt will be terrific owners/parents. I’ve spent the summer reading on my front porch and baking bread. As to perfumes, I’ve got a thing for musk at the moment and have been sampling as many versions as I can get my hands on, from sweet to skank and all points in between. Montale Musk to Musk is a current favorite. And my husband and I are adopting a dog in September. So much unemployment in our part of the US that many people are abandoning their pets when their homes are foreclosed on, so instead of a puppy, we’re looking at 2-3 yr. old rescues. Can’t wait! 🙂

    • Lee says:

      I’ve been baking bread too. Man, I’m a country cliche!

      Good luck with the dog – I’m sure you’ll find a darling!

  • Billy D says:

    So happy to read your post this morning after a lovely night spent fighting the significant other…he still is my No. 1 obsession as well, but sometimes I wish I could huff off into my own garden and take out some agression planting bulbs instead of being stuck inside a studio apartment made all the stuffier with a cat hemmoraging long black fur in the heat 🙂

    Perfume obsessions right now? Still fixated on getting to Paris to buy my bell jar of Iris Silver Mist. We’re thinking of looking in Jan/Feb to see if there are any deals to be had. I went through a very marked period where I couldn’t stand to think about, read of, or try on any fragrances due to a bad spot in the relationship, but I think I’m back in it now. I’ve gotten much less obsessive about trying everything that’s out there and just trying to sample what interests me when I can. Oh, and Bulgari Black finally worked on me! So that’s my next purchase.

    Other obsessions? This
    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j50/yayforhotguys/thomasj20.jpg

    This

    and This
    http://images.allmoviephoto.com/2008_The_Duchess/2008_the_duchess_001.jpg

    I guess I’m in a hunky British mood.

    Other recent obsessions: clams (can’t get enough), GraindeMusc (stop me!), and reading a long review of White Patchouli. When you come back, can I tempt you to try this? Or, at least, can Mr. Ford? http://images.askmen.com/galleries/men/tom-ford/pictures/tom-ford-picture-4.jpg

    • Lee says:

      Frisky any, Billy?

      Tom does little for me I’m afraid. Is White Patchouli any good? I remember having a bit of a thing for Black Orchid a while back, though it gives me a bit of a headache when I wear it – that syntheticcy calone-ish edge that’s quite well hidden the first few times you sniff…

      As the proud owner of an ISM bell jar, I know that one’s a excellent choice.

      Hope love soon becalms your relationship tempest!:x

  • Shelley says:

    Ah, summer obsessions. Let’s see:

    1) Asking the question, “Is it better to do nothing, or do a project?” Both so hard to do during the school year.

    2) Farmer’s markets.

    3) Gardening.

    4) Reading: Inside, or out?

    5) Sun-tea blend experiments.

    And, of course, this summer’s special addition: Wii Fit.

    So nice to see you writing again, btw…as a fairly new fan of the Posse, I learned of you through the archives. Glad to know that characterizing you as “history” is a little…”previous”? 🙂

    • Lee says:

      Thanks Shelley.

      I hope you have plenty of time left to do projects or nothing. Summer disappears so quickly…

  • MJ says:

    What a lovely post, and what a darling little girl. I send her an electronic nose-kissie.

    I too have been off of my obsession game for some months – I think this is simply a reorientation of the person towards new things. For me, into perfume and Buddhism and back into cooking. Out of worrying about my desire to write the Great American Whatever – if it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, I’ll be mindful and smell good (and still have a day job).

    • Lee says:

      Discerning minds need to know what exactly you’ve been cooking.

      I’m of a like mind on the writing front…

  • Melissa says:

    Oh what a gorgeous puppy face! Falls right in line with the obsession that we all hold in our family with dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, puppies, out of shape older dogs. Doesn’t matter as long as they aren’t trained by naughty humans to be viscious.

    Perfume? Yes, an obsession even in the summer, although my attempts to switch to “summer fragrances” are only semi-successful.

    Unfortunately, my obsession with gardening took a back seat to others over the last two years and my yard has turned into a (colorful) jungle. The DC area heat and my aching back chase me back into the house very quickly these days.

    Family? Friends? Always and never enough time for them!

  • sybil says:

    OOOH…what a cute baby! And so good you’re back, however occasionally you stop by, it’s always good to read you! I’m a firm believer that you get the dog that wants you. How great that the feeling is mutual! Summer obsessions: Etsy (waiting for my order from Superbad Soaps!), my children (ongoing) and Terre d’hermes, for some strange reason. I’ll be snuffing up the Serge when I get to it, but am in no particular hurry…

  • Debbie says:

    Gracie!!! Snuggles, scritches and kongs filled with treats to that beautiful little girl!!!

    Obsessions? I really only have room for one at a time. Still fragrance. :o)

    • Lee says:

      She’s already got more Kongs lined up than I can count on my hands…

      • Debbie says:

        That’s great, Lee! I wasn’t sure if they had them over there, but I guess that’s really kind of an antiquated thought now with the internet and shipping. I think it is so sweet that you followed her even from her being a very little puppy in her mommy’s belly. xxoo

      • Lee says:

        You know the level of synchronicity? I first spoke to the mum’s owner the day of the mating…

  • Patty says:

    Gracie is adorable!! She’s lucky to have you and Matt, you’ll spoil her rotten. 🙂

    Summer is tough for me with perfume. I enjoy it, but I just lose my mojo for it from about late May to September. Once late August hits, the obsession returns. i’m definitely a fall/winter perfume girl, that’s where all the interesting stuff is! There’s only so much you can say about the light, crisp stuff I wear in summer.

    Tickled to have you back. 😡

  • sariah says:

    Yay, welcome back to posting Lee. I have not been obsessed at all with perfume this summer – for me it’s also more of a winter/fall thing. This summer I have been obsessed with tennis, playing 3+ times a week. Doggy is adorable.

    • Lee says:

      Wow! I bet you have a real summer glow on you. Good stuff! Me – well I could grow potatoes under my nails…

  • chayaruchama says:

    AHHHH…GRACIE !
    She and Mattman- les raisons d’etre, darling.
    You don’t need to explain them to me !

    I will be all a-wag on Sunday, in complete anticipation…

    Summer’s been very hard here-
    That’s why I haven’t posted much.
    Many problems with my ‘birth’ family, of a serious nature, as you know, Monsieur.

    Perfume is a bit less of an obsession-
    but I’m still engaged.

    Latest obsession is fighting off Prednisone’s evil effects- and getting down to my fighting weight…
    I’m succeeding, and very glad of it.
    a LOT of work, like fighting the tide.

    Jindra pet- so good to see you !
    I’ve missed you, like cheese.

    Many kisses, my loves-:x:d:”>:”>:”>:d

    • Lee says:

      You know how much I’ve been thinking of you, don’t you?

      You off the steroids now? It’s amazing you kept losing weight while taking them. I’m very impressed, as always…@};-

  • Anne says:

    Lee. Welcome back. It has been a blah kinda summer, perfume wise for me. Found two that I love and they have been the rotation. AG’s Musc Nomade and Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan. Every time I go out of that little circle, I end up scrubbing. Go figure.

    Other obsessions? Well yes. Iphone, iphone, iphone! I love my iphone! Everyone needs one!

    And speaking of grace, as you were, my recently discovered new TV show – Saving Grace. Got last season on DVD and holed up a few weekends ago to watch it all. Holly Hunter is fantastic.

    Lee. Welcome back.

    • Lee says:

      Must watch Saving Grace. I’ve been ODing on the first four series of The Wire, and trying to slow down my watching.

      Must sniff Musc Nomade.

  • MattS says:

    Ahhh…Lee is here and all seems right with the world, the day full of promise. What a wonderful surprise this morning to see you and meet your Gracie, who seems like quite the charmer.

    I guess we’re all somewhat obsessive types; that’s what brings us online to talk about perfume. I’ve certainly had my shoe phase, went through a year long search for the perfect pair of blue jeans; perfume is, of course, ongoing. Warhol, Garbo, Morrissey, Siouxsie have all had/continue to have their moments. There were the Sweater Years of 2004-2006, which culminated in the Great Battle of Moths and Storage of ’07. This summer’s been pretty busy, stressful, and hectic, so the obsessions have leaned heavily towards Parliament Lights and Valium. Fall can’t come quickly enough.

    I’m glad Serge and his cronies have drawn you out of your summer idyll. Good to see you back.

    • Lee says:

      How did you defeat the moths? I thought I’d got rid of all of mine (we’d inherited oodles with the house, chewing through woollen carpet mostly), but I stumbled upon a concealed cluster just this week. The [email protected] Theyir nonchalant fluttering and ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-proboscis’ ways as they sit on the walls, brown flecks of misery, both drive me to distraction… :-w

  • dinazad says:

    Hi Lee, welcome back! It’s so nice to see you around again!

    I have several kinds of obsessions. The ones that have come, settled down and built their home: reading, cooking, belly-dancing, perfumes, travel, a general interest in crafts, weaving, balcony gardening. They’re like very good neighbours: sometimes we can’t get enough of each other, sometimes we give each other a bit more space and don’t talk for days, weeks or months. But they’re always there when you need them (perfume was a bit aloof this summer, she even let me go to Paris and NOT buy anything, just jot down a shopping list for the next trip).

    Then there are the crushes: they tend to take over my life for a spell, when I read every available book about them, can’t think of anything else – and then, after a few months or a year or so, they just sort of dwindle and pass out of my life, leaving nothing but a basic knowledge of the subject. And maybe a bonsai, a set of Bach flower remedies, and 45 varieties of tea.

    At the moment there are no crushes, and the staple obsessions are waving from afar – I moved in April and still spend my evenings lugging pictures and books from one corner to the other or trying to decide whether I need an additional shelf/wardrobe/chair. Or planning for next year, when hopefully the apartment will be done and it will be the balcony’s turn to get all my attention (all the shade-loving plants from my previous north-facing balcony aren’t really enjoying the sudden southern exposure they’re getting and need to be replaced or relocated).

    I’m always happy to see you around, so do come and see us every now and then!

    • Lee says:

      Delightfully expressed. My sister’s belly dancing obsession is forever increasing in size. Her belly is perfectly proportioned, however.:d

  • Louise says:

    What a delight to stumble across you and Gracie here in the midst of caffeine-induced insomnia; she completes your already beautiful family >:d< I share the seasonal perfume cycle in taste, though I have tried to experiment with all the "appropriate" warm weather greens, aldehydes, and florals in a decidely non-Zen manner this summer, with some mixed success. But rich autumnal perfumes, here I come :d/ ! Obsessions have been simple-time with my son, Yoga and Tai Chi, politics, and especially early morning walks in the woods. Please come back as and when-you are well-loved, as I hope you know @};-

  • Louise says:

    What a delight to stumble across you and Gracie here in the midst of caffeine-induced insomnia; she completes your already beautiful family >:d< I share the seasonal perfume cycle in taste, though I have tried to experiment with all the "appropriate" warm weather greens, aldehydes, and florals in a decidely non-Zen manner this summer, with some mixed success. But rich autumnal perfumes, here I come :d/ ! Obsessions have been simple-time with my son, Yoga and Tai Chi, politics, and especially early morning walks in the woods. Please come back as and when, as you are well-loved, as I hope you know @};-

    • Lee says:

      Time with your son and walks in the woods. Lovely. I hope you’re feeling at least some of the bliss you deserve.:x