Diptyque Eau Duelle

Some time ago, I became interested in vanilla – shortly after hell froze over.  I still tend to like my vanilla with a twist, and one of these days I’m going to pull myself together and do a post on oddball vanillas.  In the meantime, I got busy and sampled Diptyque Eau Duelle, which has gotten raves both on the blogs and from a number of friends.

Diptyque was stocked at our niche frag boutique, Art With Flowers, when I was first getting into sniffage, and some of their scents are very strange (Vinaigre, anyone?  Eau d’Elide?)  I mourn the disappearance of the brand from shelves all over, chased off (like Rigaud) by cooler, niche-ier things.  Notes for Duelle are bergamot, cardamom, pink pepper, elemi, juniper, saffron, calamus, frankincense, cypriol, black tea, vanilla, musk and amber.

Eau Duelle opens with a hearty blast of bergamot and a bizarrely sweet note that lasts about ten seconds and reminded me of Daphne Bugey’s obscure 7:15AM in Bali by Kenzo, and I should point out right here that nobody else has mentioned finding it especially sweet, so YMMV.  It becomes more vanillic and smokier right away, and much more peppery after a few minutes, passing from Earl Grey tea to lapsang and then on to CdG’s coriander-rich 8 88.  There’s a hint of tobacco, the vanilla moderates, and it never becomes anything like a gourmand scent.

As Victoria notes (yes, she’s back to blogging regularly!  Hold onto your wallets!) Eau Duelle bears a bit of a resemblance to both L’Instant and Shalimar, the original oddball vanilla —  there’s that combination of citrus/bergamot, that smoky facet, and vanilla, after the spices have faded.

I admit to being very much on the fence about this, and I am having trouble deciding why.  It isn’t really vanillic enough to satisfy someone wanting a “vanilla” fragrance, in my opinion.  But it doesn’t seem enough of anything else, either.  Diptyques can resemble rough sketches, nice ideas that aren’t the most polished things out there, and that can be part of their quirky charm.  But Eau Duelle feels unfinished to me, like they came up with half a perfume and abandoned the project.  But, again, that’s just me.  It’s gotten lots of love, so if any of these notes sound appealing, go for it.

source: private sample

  • Geordan1244 says:

    I thought it was just me that didn’t care too much for it! Most of what I get from it is pepper… I normally like pepper, but when I’m wanting vanilla, I’m really not wanting a blast of pepper like this. Glad my wallet could avoid this one… (you notice I put the blame on the wallet, and not myself).

    • March says:

      Of course it’s your wallet’s fault! And it is pretty darn spicy.

      • karin says:

        I didn’t like it Duelle either!!! And I’m also NOT on the SDV or Havana Vanille train (those two smell exactly alike to me – vanilla extract). I do like Vanilia, though!

        • March says:

          Vanilia will definitely be on the oddball vanilla list. 🙂 SDV smells very tobacco-ish to me.

          • Ann N. says:

            Hi March, have to agree with you that SDV carries a lot of tobacco, but I still like it in small doses. The one that’s got way too much for me is Tom Ford’s. Vanilia’s cool, too. Not much vanilla I don’t like, except for PdN’s Vanille Tonka (the lime does me in), so guess I’m just a vanilla ‘ho! :d

          • March says:

            The Tom Ford is tooooooo sweeeeet. And SDV I don’t “object” to, I just don’t find it particularly vanilla-ish. I love the tobacco/honey of Kilian Back to Black.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    As a big, longtime, fan of Shalimar, all of this has made me curious to investigate both Duelle and Ode. I have to admits I had mentally written the Ode de Shalimar off, fearing a Belle d’Opium situation, but if it dries down to a smoky grey ( fab description and so, so helpful) I am on it. Duelle sounds like it might be a meh but for the citrus/vanilla combo I’ll give it a shot. Thanks, March!

    • March says:

      If you’re a big fan of Shalimar I’d say you should definitely consider sampling it, particularly if you like the smoky/vanilla angle. Definitely NOT a Belle situation. It’s recognizably Shalimar, to start with, and quite lovely, and very grown up.

  • Gail S says:

    Eau Duelle was horrific on me, so you can add me to your little minority. Sickeningly sweet and reeeeeeaallllly long-lasting. Definitely a no-go.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Like Fi above, I’m a life long Guerlain lover so of course I like vanilla. My first vanilla-centric scent was their SDV, which I love especially for the boozy/tobacco aspects. I also manage to get quite a bit of rose – not your favorite note, I know.

    Your comment on the musk base with a half life of uranium was enough to make me run away *fast* from this Duelle. I loathe the new musk bases and they last forever anyway on my scent glue skin.

    I was sorely disappointed in Ode – all lemon Pledge followed by vanilla. It smelled to me like one of those – “If you like Shalimar, you’ll love XXX” knock-off scents.

    • March says:

      Wow, not loving the Ode! I liked it better than Shalimar, but that’s not saying much. And did you try the Duelle on your skin? Just curious. It wasn’t offensive at all — not one of *those* musks. But I admit that, scent-glue that I am, something that lasts three days through multiple handwashings makes me a bit uncomfortable.

      • Rappleyea says:

        No, your comment about its longevity has made me decide to forego that pleasure. ;-)

        • Rappleyea says:

          Sorry… meant to comment on the musk. I have no problem at all with dirty scents, skank, and indoles. In fact, I love them. But the current prevalent musk bases dry down on my skin to something that reminds me of stale, cheap perfume. Not necessariy a *bad* smell, just one that I don’t like.

          • March says:

            One of those times I wish I had some aromachemical knowledge. It doesn’t have that generic smell I think of as Macy’s Musk — that hazy smell that isn’t that unpleasant until you’ve smelled 30 of them. But it is rather frighteningly persistent.

    • Winifreida says:

      OMG I was going to buy this unsniffed such is my devotion to vanilla and Guerlain!

      P.S. Apols to anyone who is getting viagra spam from me (luckily I can see from the bounces that most can see its viral) – my hotmail has been severely hacked and no-one can fix it…..I’m thinking its actually done more than just grab my contact list….woe

      Looking forward to the vanilla posts – in case there is a vanilla out there that I havn’t found!

      • March says:

        It shares some similarities but is not the same, and no viaga spam from you yet!

        I’ll get on the vanilla. There are gazillions.

    • Musette says:

      Musk is bad enough. Uranium Musk……..:o

      xo >-)

  • Victoria says:

    I love Diptyque in general, and I am really surprised by the direction they have taken lately. As much as I appreciated their older scents, they strike me as more atmospheric. Vetyverio and Eau Duelle are the ones I will wear with pleasure. Since I like vanilla only in small doses, Eau Duelle fits the bill perfectly.
    Have you tried Shalimar Ode de la Vanille? Several people on BdJ mentioned wanting it for their Christmas presents, so now I am curious about it.

    • March says:

      I have tried the Shalimar Ode, gifted with a nice decant after admiring it on a couple of friends. Unfortunately what I admire is the far drydown when it is mostly vanilla and smoke and if it were a color, it would be a deep, languorous grey. I am afraid I have still not developed the proper appreciation for Shalimar, although I admire it. Like the much-loved Guerlain SDV, I will not be needing a bottle.

      Have your ears been burning? Your name comes up more than any others when we’re casting blame for unsniffed purchases based on swoon-inducing reviews! (total compliment, in case it’s not clear.)

      • Victoria says:

        LOL! You are more than welcome to use me as a justification for any reckless activity (ok, perfume-related only!!) :):)

        I am with you on Guerlain SDV, which is certainly lovely, but one-dimensional. Vanilla is a great note to smooth out rough edges, to fill in the gaps, so to speak, but in large doses, it does not appeal to me. In food, on the other hand, it is a different story!

        • March says:

          I bake a lot — with vanilla. I’ve developed a crackpot theory that people who are exposed to it regularly in cooking (in all its glorious facets) are less likely to be enthralled with straight-vanilla scents, which always seem to be too insipid. However, I assume now I’ll get five comments telling me I’m wrong.

          Have you ever done a post on vanilla? I wish I understood its facets better, like the tobacco part. SDV on me is mostly tobacco, and I don’t know if that’s an added note or a side effect of the vanilla, if that makes sense.

          • Victoria says:

            I have one post in the works, probably will finish it in a couple of weeks. I agree with your theory, especially since we probably use real vanilla extract in our cooking, which has so many nuances. I love a big dose of vanilla in milk pudding (a blend of milk, vanilla, sugar and cornstarch cooked till thick, molded and then cooled.) Vanilla is a very complex material, but vanillin, which tends to be used predominantly in perfumery, is quite straightforward. Vanilla blends really well with most spices, woods and tobacco notes, so it is probably that it is used in SDV to blend and polish the woody-tobacco accord. I need to smell it again, it has been a long time since I’ve worn it.

          • March says:

            Thanks, V. I look forward to your post. (I also don’t understand why anyone cooks with vanillin. Real vanilla isn’t *that* expensive.) And you made my mouth water with your pudding. I love pudding — rice pudding, bread pudding, flan, creme brulee, and regular ol’ cornstarch pudding.

          • Musette says:

            March,

            Cooks Illustrated did a taste-test with vanilla v. imitation. The results might surprise you….:-?

            http://www.cooksillustrated.com/tastetests/overview.asp?docid=18889

            will somebody PLEASE show me how to do a tiny url?

            xo your Old School >-)

          • Shelley says:

            Go to bit dot ly

            No www needed before, no com org etc after. (Trying to avoid just typing it in so as not to be spam filtered…I know YOU can put ’em in, ’cause you’ve got the magic keys…)

          • Shelley says:

            You will need http:// before it, though. :)

          • March says:

            Ha, serves me right.

            Doll you just go to tinyurl, paste in the one you want to shrink, and it makes you one. Copy and paste the new one from the window and Bob’s your uncle. You can also customize it like “boneheadmarch” and see if that works. For example.

  • Cheryl says:

    I have sampled this and I LOVE it…but not as a vanilla fragrance per se. I am thrilled about all its other qualities…it dry swirl of cardamon and spice…it’s day time appropriate vibe..and it lasts. Please let’s hear about oddball vanillas! THOSE sound fascinating…

    • March says:

      Okay, we’ll do a vanilla oddball. Vanilla’s in all sorts of scents, obviously, including Shalimar. I’m sure folks could chime in with ones I don’t even think of.

  • Shelley says:

    I’ve only smelled this one once so far, but the “on the fence” / not quite vanilla part rings true with me. In fact, it is exactly what gives it the “try again” rating, because I tend to gak at scents that are too much vanilla. (Vintage Shalimar, while lovely in its way, screams VANILLA to me. It’s like I went out wearing an oriental and fell into a bucket full my double strength vanilla extract. But then, that happens with OMG GUERLAIN (Just realized!)–Mitsouko ends up hollering PEACH most times I wear it.

    And now that I’ve fully established grounds for dismissal of what I think…I think that it is the “not quite a vanilla” part of it that will send me in search of a small decant. I remember a kind of see-saw between tobacco and vanilla, and that was–interesting. Fun for at least a few more playdates. I am not sure if there will be the need for more beyond that…but the jury is out.

    • March says:

      LOL you should try the Shalimar Ode, you’ll feel like the vanilla truck ran you over. So this sounds like a worthy vanilla for you.

      I’m a big fan of Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise, which is almost universally loathed and which TS described as smelling like burnt hair, I believe. They’re wrong. It’s a massively unsweet vanilla-benzoin-gaiac, and it’s the raspiness that makes it lovely.

      • Shelley says:

        Oh ho ho! I’m going to put VE on my check-it-out list..your description makes it sound just about right.

        Burnt hair I get plenty of whenever I dare light a candle. Ridiculous cat is drawn to them like a moth to flame…and thus I can easily get TS’s “burnt hair.” (Yes, yes, I know that fur is not hair, allergy people…it smells dreadful all the same. ;) )

      • sweetlife says:

        I think I know what TS is talking about with VE (getting all this?) and I wish I didn’t. Goutal seems to use some kind of spiky wood material in the base of several of their scents–I smell it in Matin d’Orage and Ninfeo, too–and it overwhelms the rest of the composition and makes the whole unbearable for me. But that’s just me. Pretty sure I’m hypernosmic to whatever it is… (It spoils Amouage’s XXV for me, too.)

        • Shelley says:

          I get your meaning, even if I don’t get the specific spike that happens for you. Notice I am one of those who gets poked big time by the peach in Mitsouko…which probably points to Persicol as the perpetrator. (Ha! You start with the abbreviations, I parry with alliteration.) Since Matin d’Orage and Ninfeo Mio don’t zap me, I’m going to proceed with the assumption I’ll be safe with VE.

          But I am always ready for whatever may happen. :)

      • lisa says:

        I’m glad to find some other Vanille Exquise fans out there. This was my first “serious” vanilla purchase, and while I also love the booziness of UBV and Note Vanillee and the smokiness of SDV, there are times when only the more austere Vanille Exquise does it for me.

        I wish I could say that Eau Duelle worked for me – I desperately wanted it to – but it was an absolute disaster on my skin for the 6 hours I waited it out. Sadly, I have big problems with bergamot notes (which is bizarre, given the gallons of Earl Grey tea I consume each week), and Eau Duelle turned into the typical bergamot nightmare for me: a shrieking, sharp and bitter note that absolutely smothered every other note. That topnote stayed constant for the entire 6 hours; I never got even the tiniest whiff of smokey vanilla that everyone else describes. I made myself keep it on in the vain hope that it would get better; it never did. I finally threw in the towel when my BF begged me to remove it. This one is a true horror on my skin. I envy those of you for whom it works so well!

        • March says:

          Hehe the killer bergamot — it really can stifle everything else if that’s mostly what you’re getting, can’t it? And I was with another friend this weekend who sprayed it on and was undelighted. She found it oddly musky.

          Vanille Exquise makes me happy and does NOT smell like burned hair. I wish I was getting what you all are getting from SDV, though.

  • Francesca says:

    Yay, a post about something I actually own. I still feel like such a noob.

    I really like Eau Duelle a lot (and send some of that liking to Oyedo and Eau Trois, too!)

    I went to the launch at the Diptyque shop, where they had all the ingredients laid out on a table to be sniffed individually, which was interesting. I wonder if the Opoponax resin contributes to the scent’s longevity on skin? It also contains two synthetic vanillas (they had some vanilla beans to sniff, so maybe there’s some natural vanilla, but I didn’t ask) one was bourbon vanilla, a very vanilla-y boozy vanilla, and the other, I can’t remember the name, made, I believe, by Firmenich, was extremely subtle and smelled to me like truffle oil. Perhaps another contributor to longevity on skin. I can see myself wearing this a lot on cold winter days. It’s a good office scent.

    • March says:

      It’s definitely a good office scent, and thanks for the additional information. Scents tend to last awhile on me anyway, but for something that doesn’t start out huge, that was tenacious! I’m glad you’re enjoying your bottle and are not offended that it wasn’t luuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve for me. :)>- And who knows, maybe a year from now I’ll see the light.

  • bloody frida says:

    We both reviewed the same fragrance on the same day!

    One of my absolute favorites is Diptyque’s L’Ombre Dans L’eau; this one, not so much.

  • donanicola says:

    I like this alot and particularly in the solid version (but then I’m a sucker for Diptyque packaging). I get the Shalimar connection (though PG’s Felanilla is my go-to nearly Shalimar) but to me ED is very close to my HG vanilla, Le Labo Vanille 44. Smokey and non foody but still comforting. If I hadn’t taken advantage of Le Labo making all city exclusives available last year for a limited time I’d have bought this.

    • March says:

      I have a sample of that Vanille somewhere. I should scare it up, shouldn’t I? I’m never sure with Le Labo whether something labeled Vanille is going to smell like vanilla. :)>- Probably my favorite enhancement of vanilla is smoky. I wish I got that in SDV like everyone else. It’s too boozy/tobacco on me.

      If I could wave my wand — Poivre, for sure.

    • Ann N. says:

      Ooh, yes! That Le Labo vanilla is a fave of mine, too! That and the Tokyo exclusive (Gaiac 10, I think) are the ones I lust after (and wouldn’t you know they’d be the hardest to get). Maybe Fabrice & Co. will make the city exclusives more available again (fingers crossed).

      • Ann N. says:

        BTW, Donanicola and March, do you guys know if those Diptyque solids are refillable, by any chance? I’ve been thinking seriously about getting one (or asking Santa) in the Eau Duelle. Thanks!

        • donanicola says:

          Ann, I have no idea but I’m going to Libs tomorrow evening and they have a new cute little Diptyque boutique section so I’ll ask. The solid compacts are lovely aren’t they and not tooooo spendy! And yeah, March, check out the Le Labo – for once they weren’t joking!

  • Masha says:

    It’s snowy/icy/darned cold here, and I’m enjoying my sample of ED, which, by weird coincidence, arrived in my mailbox today! It reminds me very much of PG’s Cadjmere! I don’t even know if Cadjmere is made anymore, but they could be twins. Since I really liked Cadjmere, I like ED, also.

    • March says:

      Duelle seems like a perfect comfort scent for this time of year. I do wonder whether it would work especially well for people who kinda like the Shalimar citrus/vanilla construct but find Shalimar too overwhelming? It wasn’t until I read V’s comment about Shalimar that it clicked and I thought, oh, of course. That sweet/sharp dynamic.

      • Ann N. says:

        Hi March! You hit the nail on the head about Eau Duelle and Shalimar, which I want to love and should be able to love, on paper at least, but on my skin, it’s flat and icky-powdery. Do you think the Ode might be a bit better? Will have to get a sample and try it.
        As for Duelle, I’m loving my sample. It won’t knock your socks off, but is definitely an enjoyable, long-lived comfort scent. With that little citrus-y thing going on, it reminds me a bit of Creed’s uber-pricey Sublime Vanille. I tried a wrist-to-wrist comparison and on me, they weren’t that far apart. And the Diptyque blew the Creed out of the water as far as longevity. I also like Tam Dao and Oyedo, though I’ve only worn them once or twice. The line is hard to find now in my city; Neiman’s used to carry a lot of it, but it figures, now that I want to explore it, they’re down to stocking just five or six candles.

        • March says:

          Diptyque used to be all over the place and I took it for granted. Now that it’s nowhere, I miss it.

          Duelle clearly works on/for many people, and in that still-unwritten oddball vanilla post I’d add that people’s responses to Vanilla Fragrance X are all over the place. Check reviews on MakeupAlley and for every one complaining something’s too sweet and foody, there’s another saying it’s too bitter and inedible. This can happen with any note, obviously, but to me (I like to scan those reviews to see how something’s going over) there seems to be an especially wide range of perception of vanilla scents.

        • March says:

          Well, i disliked Ode less than regular Shalimar (heresy!) but it’s still darned citrusy. Definitely more vanillic, though, and smoky, which was my favorite part. I just can’t endure five hours to get there.

  • Melissa says:

    I tried Eau Duelle a month or so ago and found it to be an odd combination of slightly transparent (the citrus?) and extremely long-lasting. It’s very nicely executed, but for whatever reason, I wouldn’t buy a bottle. I have difficulty with vanilla fragrances. The note is great as a base note, but when it’s featured too prominently, I turn into a perfume Goldilocks. “This one’s too cupcakey, this one’s too thin, this one smells like cherry/vanilla pipe tobacco etc etc.”

    The only recent vanilla scent that jumped right off the shelves and into my collection was Shalimar Ode a la Vanille. But Shalimar Ode is like an easier to wear Shalimar (“the oddball vanilla”). Which, in its vintage versions, I have loved for years.

    • March says:

      That Ode is amazing, and I think the drydown’s gorgeous, but it’s still a hair too close to Shalimar for my total comfort. :d And I love your comment on vanillas. Duelle — so I’m not the only one, man, what is in that base? It was a solid 36 hours on the back of my hand, through (I swear) multiple handwashings. I wasn’t trying to rid myself of it, just stunned by its tenacity.

  • gator grad says:

    Okay, I must be dull, because I like it. Simple, not overly sweet, somewhat smoky and somewhat green. It’s a nice comforting scent. Perhaps not FBW, but certainly worth a decant. And it lasts forever on fabric.

    I haven’t smelled the new Shalimar Ode a la Vanilla. Is it anything like that?

    • March says:

      Ode is huge — very much like regular Shalimar with an intensely smoky/vanillic drydown. To be honest since I am not the queen of Shalimar (probably the one classic Guerlain I admire rather than love), it’s not my thing, but certainly any major fans of Shalimar might try it. It’s very rich.

    • March says:

      Ooops, hit “post” too soon. I’m in the minority on Duelle, I’ve mostly read and heard positive things about it. Take my opinion with a shaker of salt, please.

  • Robin says:

    Gotta add my grumble: some of their *old* scents were strange. Their new ones are mostly not enough of anything. And I grumble only because it was one of my favorite brands.

    • March says:

      Their old scents could be wonderfully oddball — such a bracingly weird intro to lavender, vinegar, etc. The newest ones do feel a bit tepid, although whatever’s at the base of Duelle would not come off my hand, some sort of musk?

      • Robin says:

        Probably. It always cracks me up when the one chemical that won’t wash off smells better than the finished product…

  • Sherri M. says:

    March, thank you for saving me from an impulse buy! I just opened the Luckyscent Diptyque promotion offer in the morning e-mail.

    I love vanilla, and was hoping this would be a rich vanilla with a touch of their “feu de bois” candle (I love that one!) mixed in, especially after hearing reviewers rave about its smoky, peppery quality.

    But alas, no smoke and only a touch of pepper on me. This baby’s a citrus-y vanilla. I get the Shalimar opening similarity, but this is much more like L’Instant in the drydown. I’m not saying that in a disparaging way; I actually like L’Instant as mainstream perfumes go. It’s just not what I expected from Diptyque (I loooooove their candles, esp. tubereuse and feu de bois). Thank you for reminding me again why I was also on the fence and I’m sure dh would chime in and thank you for saving his credit card! :-)

    • March says:

      It’s always nice to sample first — not just for what happened to you, but the way I tend to fall slowly in, our out, of love 🙂 You know, there’s nothing like building your own smoky vanilla, which I end up doing with Burning Leaves, Essence of John Galliano, etc. on a vanilla.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Hi March. I’m a fan of vanilla (as a lifelong Guerlain lover) so I don’t think this little Diptyque number does it at all.

    I spend far too much money on Diptyque candles (can’t walk past the shop without buying more) but the perfumes have never really attracted me – pleasant, but that’s all. Oh, and their graphics are terrific….

    • March says:

      Their graphics are gorgeous. Their scents … I love smelling them but only own a couple — L’Eau Trois, which is a freaking amazing incense/resin that I think they reissued? And Philosykos. I unfortunately missed out on Tam Dao when it smelled like sandalwood instead of wood-shop which is what it smells like now.

  • Mary says:

    Hmmmm– I found some more vintage Shalimar over the weekend, which is so potent, rich and heady, I am not.quite.sure.it is legal to possess without a Rx. I do not need any other vanill perfume in my life. But now, I want to try Eau Duelle. You are powerful!:)>-:)>-

    • March says:

      Your vintage Shalimar sounds grand. This is *much* lighter — more like the rough-hewn concept in the effect than the actual original.

  • Musette says:

    they are a strange company with their hits and misses. Oyedo works well for me, as does Tam Dao (though I always feel like I should be spraying Tam Dao in the sauna…if I had a sauna, that is. Man..I could use a sauna right now, it’s freeeezing….

    …pop! oh! sorry – where was I?

    but I never could quite get with the figgy goodness and Olene is Sweet Greeeeen. A little too sweet for me – but that one does feel finished.

    6am meeting. I’m out!

    xo >-)

  • Erin T says:

    I felt the same about it, really. Didn’t particularly float my boat, well-put-together, a little puzzling, but much less baffling than their last purported vetiver scent.

    Two un-related things, if you don’t mind: first, a question. You read the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, correct? Are they too violent and/or steamy to buy for someone who is interested in vampire fiction, but is relatively devout? I don’t know this person (it’s Christmas hamper time through our friend’s Catholic church), so I guess I’m trying to gauge how potentially offensive they might be.

    Second, I thought you might join me in mourning the fact that I got an email at 5:00 today telling me Patricia de Nicolai is in town and giving a free lecture (in French) at the Alliance Francaise a short distance away from me. Of course, I can’t go, because I can’t get the kids looked after with this notice. *sob* She is my fave….

    • Musette says:

      hey, sweetie!

      I am the Queen of Stackhouse! I read her before they made the TV show – WAY before. Here is my lapsed-Catholic take:

      If the ‘devout’ is Catholic you can gift them with impunity (I did – and she got a kick out of them) . If the person is more conservative Christian, I would abstain (haw! see what I did there? ok, I’m punchy – working since 7am)….I now live in an extremely conservative area and while romance/bodice rippers fly like flies off the shelves…sex with vampires is still just a bit 😮

      where you are, though, might skew that concept a bit. I live in the middle of a cornfield. You live in town. YMMV

      how are the babes?

      xoxoox >-)

      • Erin T says:

        Thanks, dear heart! That does help – I figured the books would be fine, I just wanted to make sure they was no garroting people with rosaries or anything (hey, you never know!) The babes are well: S is getting his teeth painfully early (just as M did), but he is otherwise as insanely cheerful and good-natured as usual and M is looking forward to her advent calendar starting tomorrow! How are things in the cornfield?

        • Musette says:

          Harvest is in, cows are lowing. I am freezing. It is snowing.

          Typical IL autumn-into-winter…..

          xoxoxo and muchos besos to those bebes!

          xoxo >-)

        • Shelley says:

          Garroting! I especially love it when that happens through the arras!!

          ;)

          Happy to hear the glad tidings, btw. Meanwhile, I’m wraggling my finger in your general direction on BNTBTBB, as I recently decided I dig BOG, but was able to ignore that thought because it was an Unobtainable. I think I shall distract myself with all the swapping prep and mailing I need to do.

    • Erin T says:

      Oh, and BTW, March – got some Gorilla Perfumes stuff in the mail today and wanted to tell you it’s worth avoiding the North American LUSH and just ordering from the UK. The BNTBTBB stuff is as good as before and the new The Smell of Weather Turning (which is UK exclusive right now, I think) is quite nice. The shipping was super-quick and reasonable. Weirdly – I mean really weirdly! – the order was cheaper when I checked out than when it was in my shopping cart, and not just because my address excluded me from the tax or whatever: the products themselves mysteriously got cheaper. It was a bargain, anyway.

    • March says:

      Ohnoes about PdN! There’s nobody you can draft into babysitting on an emergency basis? Cuz it’s an emergency.

      The Sookie Stackhouse books … hm. They’re not blasphemous per se. But they’re frankly sexual, and there’s this idea running through that vampires are fairly flexible in their sexuality, so the sex pops up in unexpected places, if you follow me. I can see someone finding that offensive. My magic 8-ball says no.

      • Masha says:

        I’ve read them and like some of them (but forget “True Blood”!), and I agree with March, and vote no….

    • Debbie R. says:

      Musette makes a good point re Christianity…unless you know the particular end of the continuum, it’s hard to say. However, if they are a devoutly fundamentalist Protestant, the answer is definitely “no”. Not only might the sex be offensive, but the whole thing involving Sookie being psychic will be viewed as demonic…..along with the vampires, etc. Do you know if they have read anything else involving the supernatural or monsters? They might have one view re anything in real life re the supernatural and another when it regards fiction.

    • Dante's Bra says:

      A NORAD Patricia de Nicolai tracker, like for Santa Claus– that’s what we need!