What Spring?

Spring in Colorado has seriously sucked so far.  Snow, sun, snow, sun.  Hey, God, isn’t it supposed to be April Showers bring May Flowers?  April Snow showers are skeeving me right out and destroying all my blooming rose bushes as well.

Well.  I feel better.  Moving on, let’s look at some cheaper thrills.  Probably like all of you, if a perfume is a mainstream release and has hit the discounters, I don’t hold it up to as high a standard as I do something I have to spring 150+ a bottle for.  So having said that, just understand my bar is relaxed on the two things I’m sniffing today.  The criteria is they must be very wearable, cheap, but don’t smell cheap, and make me want to wear them again and probably spring the $30-50 a bottle to get it at a discounter.  I also keep in mind the target market.

Ed Hardy Love & Luck by Christian Audigier has been out a while, released in 2008, so it’s definitely hit the discounters.  Fragrancenet has it for $53 for 50 mls.  Notes listed are red sake accord, bergamot, blood orange, nectarine, sandalwood, patchouli black currant, pink peppercorn, forbidden plum, jasmine, cedarwood, sensual musk.  So it’s running that fruity floral thing, but with a nice tea/musk twist.  The open is bright and bubbly, but it just a happy, joyous way, not wth that overly sweet little girl gone bad mojo, it goes through a fairly pretty fruity floral musky middle and dries down to a fairly regular perfume.  It’s not any masterpiece of  perfumery, but it certainly is wearable enough for what I would guess its target market is, and I suspect it sells well because of the open, which is pretty cute.  It’s not for me at all, but I don’t mind smelling it and think it would be a nice perfume for a young woman who digs the Ed Hardy tattoo thing, but doesn’t want the juice to be hardcore, just wants it to smell happy and pretty.  The packagaing is nicely done for its target market, but I do wish they would have added some more interesting notes in this, it had the capability to be a little more out of the box than they wound up with.

Givenchy’s Absolutely Irresistible is the other perfume I decided to spray on Hand No. 2 today.  Notes are listed as Rose,Mandarin Orange, Red Berries, Red Pepper, Egyptian Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Heliotrope, Cedar, Patchouli, Amber.  This is a big old fruity floral.  This one interested me a little more because it got nominated for either a CEW or Fifi, can’t remember which.  This is a BIG old fruity floral, and I would caution anyone that loves it to not wear it to the office because it is amped up rose/jasmine.    There’s some nice spicyness in it, but I’m not getting any heliotrope on me at all, which would have been nice.  it’s way too loud for me, but it is pretty and if you dig big old rose jasmine scents made for a night on the town, this one could be your scent.  I like it a lot more in the drydown than I do for the first 30 minutes.  It’s better than about 90% of the fruity florals that are released every year, but is it too much to ask Givenchy to dig in their old bag of tricks and do something a lot more interesting?

Have a question for hikers since I’m going to take some survival classes to make sure I don’t get eaten by bears or buried in an avalanche. What’s the best backpacking/hiking (mountains) tip you have, and what was the best hiking trail you’ve ever been on that just blew your socks off?

  • sylvia says:

    a little late on the uptake, but my favorite place i’ve backpacked is ansel adams wilderness near mammoth, CA. i would say make sure all your gear fits really well (boots, pack, and even shorts to prevent chafing). i want to know how this survival think turns out because i might be moving to boulder for grad school and i’d love to know of good hiking in the area.

  • Elle says:

    Putting in another vote for the Cinque Terre. Not difficult and just incredibly enjoyable on so many levels. I also really loved hiking in western Austria in Vorarlberg – gorgeous. My absolute dream is to go trekking in Tibet. Also would do anything to get to the Taklimakan in China, but I think that will remain pure fantasy. Oh, and I’m a huge fan of Spenco’s Second Skin Blister Pads. Have fun!

  • Musette says:

    One thing that you probably already know: break your boots in ahead of time.

    Just like high heels, only way more important as I doubt there will be a taxi on the hiking trail!


  • Somerville Metro Man says:

    Tip is an echo of a comment above, take care of your feet!!! A blister or a sore arch ruins a hike.
    To that end silk liners underneath wool socks have worked the best for keeping my feet dry.
    Carrying a package of moleskin with you and applying it as soon as you feel a hot spot forming. Don’t wait for it to go away take care of it as soon as it is practical for you to do so.
    I also like using a pole as others have mentioned but it can get in the way and become a hazard in some situations.
    Best Trail(tie): Was walking across the west to east trail in Yellowstone called the Mary Mountain Trail and looking down on the Bison herd and ending up at the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and watching two bald eagles flying into the sunset their crests lit up orange by the setting sun while I ate my dinner.
    Hiking the trail along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon called the Tonto Trail and ending up at Havasu Falls and walking down to the Colorado next to these aquamarine cascades. Oh yeah and diving off the canyon walls into a pool between the thrid and fourth set of falls.

    May your trips begin to make as many memories for you.

    • Somerville Metro Man says:

      Oh yeah no perfume wearing while hiking it can aggravate the wildlife.
      No joke.

      • Natalie says:

        Excellent point, particularly if there are bears around. A friend of mine works on pack trips through Yellowstone, and they use only unscented deodorant etc. on the trail (actually not many products at all — they smell pretty ripe when they come home!).

  • Disteza says:

    Hope you enjoy the hike! A few tips of my own: sunscreen is necessary, as is a hat, and water. In fact, leave an extra bottle of water and a granola bar or other munchies in the car as well. You may not need to go whole hog with the poles if a simple walking stick will suffice, BTW. For some serious hiking (i.e. where there will be line of sight issues and dangerous terrain) take a whistle, a good multi-tool, a map, and one of those nifty briaded nylon rope bracelets.

  • Olfacta says:

    REI has wool hiking socks and silk sock-liners (like lightweight silk socks.) They are exactly perfect. Feet are everything! Take some of that stick-on moleskin for blisters or sore spots. Other than the obvious (sunscreen, repellant, etc) a walking stick is really good, helps with balance. And those pants with lots of zippered pockets.

    I’m not a huge hiker but I guess the most spectacular one I’ve been on was in Alaska, in Wrangell/St. Elias National Park, from the old copper mine at Kennecott out to the Root Glacier. This was classified as “easy/moderate” which involved crossing a fast-moving cliffside stream on an 8″ footbridge. It seemed that everyone else we saw was European and had those ski pole things. I guess to them it was “easy/moderate.” Somehow I lived to tell this tale.

    p.s. If I remember this right, they told us not to wear perfume on the trail, something about bears.

    • Patty says:

      oh, perfect! I know I’ve got a mind-bending spending trip to REI in store. Need some hiking boots, pants with lots of pockets, the pole thing, and socks and such.

      That hike sounds really beautiful, if not in the easy/moderate theme of things.

  • Nava says:

    Ummm… Do the streets of San Francisco count? I mean, the actual streets, not Carl Malden and Michael Douglas in the old T.V. show. 😀

    • Musette says:

      Yes they do!LOL! I have hiked the Italian Alps and spent many a day hiking up California St from the Embarcadero to Grand (the summit, pretty much. I have one client at the bottom and one client at the top). I defy anybody’s knees and butt to discern the difference!!!:-D


      ps. speaking of Big White Florals I was so distressed by the Return of Winter that I took a hot shower, lathered myself with Fracas BODYLOTION/POWDER/PERFUME…and went to bed. That might explain El O’s tossing and turning!:-=)

    • Patty says:

      SF streets definitly count. I’ve hiked those too many times, they’re exhausting!

  • karin says:

    Never hike alone, especially if it’s a challenging hike.

  • HikerChick says:

    I second Nancy on poles; an absolute MUST for the descent. Your knees will love you… Best Hike? Well, love Mt. Washington because of the rock scramble towards the top. Can’t go wrong with the AT. Monadnock is amazing, fun, and child-friendly. And WANT to do the Milford Track in NZ! A trip there WILL be my graduation present to my boys, whether they like it or not!

    My latest cheap thrill was Belle en Rykiel from TJ Maxx for $10. 10 bucks! Not my usual thing, but I wore it quite often over the winter.

    • Patty says:

      totally on board with th epole thing. I have one knee that’s still a tidge injured, so I’m protective of not re-injuring it.

      New Zealand, now that’s a country i really, really want to go to one day and hike through.

  • March says:

    PS The Cheese did part of the Continental Divide, which is right in your back yard, and enjoyed it.

    My take-home from living in NM, which you already know since you also live at a higher elevation is: it always amazed me that people would hike to the top of the local mountain (10k feet) with a tee shirt and shorts, totally unprepared for bad, cold weather even in July. We always had layers, sunscreen, anoraks, hat, extra socks.

    • Patty says:

      I know! I’ts like “Gee, it gets cold at the top of a mountain, who knew?” We always get the afternoon showers for spring, most of summer, and too many people come down drenched because they start late and don’t prepare. Crazy people.

  • March says:

    It barely qualifies as a hike, since you stop in every town and eat and drink wine, but the Cinque Terre in Italy is stunning. There’s a trail that runs between the towns. I think I stayed in Vernazza. Some people do it like a timed speed hike (mostly the Germans, I think) but the rest of us just spend the day walking off the food. 🙂 I think you’d like it! I see the team is already directing you to Italy…

    • Patty says:

      Well, the stopping in every village/town to drink sounds like the best part of that hike! Italy, yes, it really was made for walking through it.

  • Louise says:

    Best hiking trail? So many….

    Locally near DC we have some lovely city trails (parts of Rock Creek), and the great scramble that is the Billy Goat-wonderful views of the powerful Potomac below.

    The Shenandoah is close by, and sections of the AT are within an hour and a half. The Catoctin mountains have some stunning vistas, and good elevation rises and drops.

    I am partial to ocean trails, and the ones above the Oregon coast are spectacular.

    A dream hike? The paths above the hill villages on the Amalfi coast 🙂

    • Natalie says:

      Oh, the trails around Ravello… now you’ve got me dreaming too! One of my favorite places ever. Although I don’t think I could even call it a hike — more like a stroll through paradise.

    • Patty says:

      My regret now is I didn’t do more hiking in Italy. I’ll remedy that next trip!

  • Nancy says:

    The best trek I ever did was the Milford track in New Zealand–absolutely stunning. They have a product in New Zealand (and I don’t know if there is anything similar in the US) called “Foot Fleece” which is sheep’s wool that has been washed only once and then lightly carded. This stuff is fantastic to use if there is any part of your boot that is rubbing your skin. It weaves itself into your sock and stays where it’s put, and it’s far superior to using bandaids. I don’t know how experienced you are, or how much you know about hiking, but be sure to take a hiking pole, if you haven’t planned to do so already. Where are you planning to hike?

    • Patty says:

      that sounds amazing! I’ll have to look up the foot fleece.

      I’ll be going into the Rocky Mountains, which is basically my backyard.

    • Shelley says:

      Sounds like it’s lanolin that does the trick (because it is lightly carded)?

      • mimmimmim says:

        It could be part of the natural fibre qualities of the wool too – it sounds as though it’s felting into the sock, essentially padding and filling the area that was loose and rubbing.

        (I knit my own socks, and some have felted themselves on the sole during wearing.)

    • Gretchen says:

      Ballet dancers use a similar wool product, I think. Try dancers’ supply shops if you can’t find it through camping outfitters.