Ok, here´s what´s been going on since I last posted: I am working on a brand new HP Pavilion laptop (a MAC Book was a bit too pricey for me right now), with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2007. Little did I know that Word was going to flummox the crap out of me. If you can, stick with your version of Word even if it is the moldy oldy one from 2003; this one has me wanting to fling this very impressive piece of electronic machinery out a window. Fortunately, I am in the basement.
Yesterday, I took my uncle to a doctor´s appointment at one of the area hospitals, and while we sat alone in the waiting area, I miraculously spied the December 2009 issue of Flare, one of Canada´s fashion magazines. A current magazine in a physician´s waiting room? Why yes, it was nestled in amongst issues from 2007! Further perusal of the publication (the cover of which is graced by a rather frightening picture of Lady Gaga) yielded an article titled, “30 Years of Iconic Fragrances”. Just as I was about to tuck into this essay, the doctor poked her head into the room and invited us into her office. Without giving it a second thought, I rolled up the magazine and shoved it in my purse. Mind you, this copy does not have a mailing label affixed to it, so really, anyone could have left it there. I swiped it; just like I once swiped a sizeable cardboard Mike´s Hard Lemonade promotional sign from an East York Toronto casual dining establishment, and two rather impressive etched beer glasses from a Boston Pizza, the location of which I will not share. You know how when you´re in a place that is unfamiliar or possibly foreign to you, you sometimes take leave of your senses and do things you would never normally consider? Needless to say, I have to remember that I live here now!
The opening paragraph of the essay quotes Karl Lagerfeld: “The reflection of an era happens in a fragrance,” he once said. The more I think about this, the more I realize this statement is spot on. The essay cites Charlie as the late 70s feminist-career girl-independent-strong single woman scent, Yves Saint Laurent´s Opium as the Studio 54-sexy-party girl scent, Giorgio Beverly Hills as the inaugural big 80s, you want to kill the woman standing next to you in the elevator who poured a whole bottle of it over her head, scent. And then there´s Angel, which needs no editorializing whatsoever. From there it is CK One, which firmly cemented the fragrance barrier between my generation and the Gen X-ers. What era are we in presently? The celebu-scent one, of course. And for us “hardcore perfume connoisseurs” there are the “luxe scents getting luxer”, with their maddeningly limited distribution and wallet-busting price tags. I don´t think I need to explain that one, either. In the end, this article didn´t tell me anything that, as a perfumista, I didn´t already know. But, I hang my head somewhat sheepishly and give you my solemn promise that I will try my best to refrain from swiping any more magazines from waiting rooms.
On to the scent at hand: Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci. I´m not a big fan of the moniker, but here again we have a bottle that is just too damn cute and a scent that is, well…middling at best. What piqued my curiosity was the fact that rhubarb is one of the notes. There are just not enough rhubarb fragrances out there, and I say that in all seriousness. I love rhubarb. Put me in a room alone with a rhubarb pie and guess who will emerge victorious? Give me a fragrance with rhubarb in it and reduce me to tears. It just never seems to play well with others. Here´s a suggestion: make a scent that smells like a rhubarb pie: add strawberries, flakey pie crust, vanilla ice cream, a generous dollop of whipped cream, and bottle it. I´ll be first in line for a case.
Ricci Ricci is not a bad scent; it does, however, fall into the fruit and patchouli camp that a lot of scents seem to be in lately. That trend was born with Angel; it is still alive and well and gift-boxed for the holidays at your local department store. Along with rhubarb, Ricci Ricci lists bergamot, Belle de Nuit flower, Centifolia rose, tuberose, sandalwood and patchouli as its notes. The tang of the rhubarb cuts through the flowers, giving Ricci Ricci an appealing tartness, but the patchouli kind of kills it for me. If there was just a minuscule drop of vanilla or tonka bean in it, I´d have my rhubarb pie in a bottle. Without that sweetness, it´s just another doppelganger adrift in the fragrance zeitgeist.
If you happen to be a fan of fruit and patchouli, I have an adorable little Ricci Ricci mini to give away. The Bay seems to have a never-ending supply of minis in their fragrance department. The fact that I´ve sucked up to a couple of really sweet SAs has been lucrative so far. So, if you´re interested, Lily will do the honours once again. Her snacks of choice are now Lays Ketchup potato chips and Nativa Organics mini chocolate chip cookies from Shoppers Drug Mart.