Mexico was great, for those of you that knew where I was going last week. Every person is entitled to once a year go sit on a beach anywhere in the world by themselves and not have to worry about anything more strenuous than why the seaweed washes up the way it does some days and doesn’t other days or whether you can make that great avocado salad the same way they do when you get back. It was so far beyond relaxing, I was almost comatose. My feet went naked for seven days, I never combed my hair, just showered in my open air shower looking at the ocean, then sat out in the sun and let the ocean breezes blow it dry. Why is it that sun blowing your hair dry looks so much better than what I can do with a blow dryer? The sad part to that is I had to leave 90 degrees every day without fail to 22. So do yourself a favor and book a few days on a beach by yourself. 4-5 will do.
Juliette Has a Gun has been a brand that I think it just darn cute and can’t help but like and root for. I like the packaging and the name, and most of the scents have been good or better than good. When I saw they’d stumbled into oud with their new Midnight Oud, I sorta shuddered after the recent great entries from Kilian and Soivohle.
Moroccan rose, geranium, saffron, oud note, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, and animalic musks are the notes in Midnight Oud. It goes on pungent and Oud-Fierce, reminding me more of the Montales than anything else at the start, with a nice strong rose background. Sorta Lady Vengeance in 6-inch smokin’ (literally) stilettos. There’s a nice leathery, smoky sensibility around this, with some additional interesting aspects from geranium and saffron, a bitter and a smoothness. As it dries down, it loses the most pungent aspects of the oud, which is good, smoothing out into a more smoldering rose, dark with smoke rolling off of it. I like this a lot, not quite as much as the Kilian Pure Oud or the Soivohle Oudh Lacquer, but this is nicely done and a good departure from the Montale ouds that I just can’t do – wearable in public without choking your neighbors, reallly beautiful, but with distinct dark notes that will appeal to you that like your roses closer to black than red. I know the Montales have a lot of fans, but for those of us that like our oud to stop burning at some point and making us choke, these new entries are a welcome relief, but let us still enjoy all that oud has to offer. Available at Luckyscent for $135 for 100 mls.
I hadn’t intended to include Liz Zorn’s Bottleneck Blues in this post, but I can’t help myself. Notes of grasses, animalic musk, damp earth, tonka beans, lilac, rose, tuberose, jasmine, woods, moss, ambergris, and castoreum. The Delta Blues are then inspiration for this scent. It starts out watching the clouds laying in the grass and earth on a fall day, until you feel a little dirty and a little cold, but the sun comes out with a floral bouquet that adds sweetness to your day and your life, so you linger a while, enjoying the contrast between earthy and soft. Then that dark, dangerous boy from the farm next door happens by without a shirt on, and all you can hear is Nina Simone growling out:
I want a little sugar
in my bowl
I want a little sweetness
down in my soul
I could stand some lovin’
Oh so bad
I feel so funny and I feel so sad
I want a little steam
on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up
so they’ll go
Whatsa matter Daddy
Come on, save my soul
I need some sugar in my bowl
I ain’t foolin’
I want some sugar in my bowl
Yeah, like that. If you like skank with lots of class and soul, you will adore Bottleneck Blues. $35 for 5 ml of parfum and $90 for 1/2 ounce of parfum. In this day and age, that’s a bargain, and you know it. I would have never worn this on my running away from home vacation or I would have jumped one of those cute Polizia that went up and down the beach on their four-wheelers.
Out of curiousity, and having to do with nothing but my continuing interest in finding the next great beach to gaze at my navel on, what was your favorite place you’ve ever been for relaxation?
(Painting is Delta Blues by John Carroll Doyle ï¿½ 1996)