Lent Me (Patty)

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and the official beginning of Lent.  For me, Lent is like New Year’s, but better!  The beginning of a period of mourning and preparation for something new.  I’m always thinking cocoon, then butterfly.  Like that Camilla Franks caftan Oprah bought (?) and sported – and that I have on as I’m writing this.  I feel very puparial when I wear it.  I think that’s not exactly the word.  One of my officemates came up with the word (which I can’t remember exactly) when I was in the office wearing this. It is the essence of spring, and it makes me deliriously happy, even though it is not a very practical garment to wear – the front is long, it gets into everything, I can’t figure out exactly what to wear under it. But I don’t really care at all, happy is the best reason in the world to wear what you want.

And I think, yes, spring IS coming!  Still too far away, and we have more snow coming tomorrow, but I can feel it. Well, it could be that I just think my house is summer-like when another hot flash hits, which is a new development I don’t think I like, though it is cutting down my heat bill.

But Lent!  I give up my winter laziness every Lent. Today started with 30 minutes on the treadmill run/walk (hey, it’s been a really cold, lazy winter, I need a slow start), 15 minutes of yoga, there will be evening light yoga and meditation/wine.  I fell off of my yoga habit in November, getting back from traveling, then being sick and holidays, and months passed.  My body screamed in ecstasy when I hit that down dog.  Oh, have you missed that?  Well, yes, yes, you have, poor baby. Sorry, I won’t be such a mean little bitch in the future and will give you what you crave, promise!  And this should continue from now until Easter or until I forget.  Forget always comes first every year,but this year I am determined to ditch my lazy.

And what are we wearing?  Well, I have the samples from Neela Vermeire that she sent. I smelled these back in November when I was in Paris, courtesy of the lovely Denyse, but didn’t have any samples to take with me to be able to talk about.  All three of her perfumes were created by Bertrand Duchafour.  When I grow up, I want Bertrand to make a perfume for me!!!!  How do I make that happen?

Bombay Bling has notes of Mango, lychee, blackcurrant, cardamom, cumin, cistus, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac, ylang-ylang, tuberose, plumeria, gardenia, patchouli, tobacco, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla.  This screams spring/summer/tropics, lazy days with rum drinks.  I keep thinking I don’t like it that much as a perfume, but I do.  It’s got a little Worth Courtesan vibe going on, some skank under that sweet exterior.  It’s growing on me a lot, though that could be my longing for a beach in the Osa Peninsula that is calling my name louder every damn day. Maybe a beach in Goa in November would substitute?

Trayee  means Triad, referring to the three Vedas.  It has notes of blue ginger, elemi, cinnamon, ganja accord, blackcurrant absolute, basil, jasmine sambac, Egyptian jasmine, cardamom absolute, clove, saffron, Javanese and Haitian vetiver, incense, Mysore sandalwood oil, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla, cedar, amber notes, oud palao from Laos, oak moss.  The notes are smells from Indian religious rituals and Ayurvedic medicine. Yeah, that smells about right.  Heavy on the Myrrh, but not a heavy perfume. this really needs to come in a candle or incense stick too!  I really love the notes and the way it’s put together, but I’m not entirely certain I want to wear it.  Oh, wait, yeah, I do too.  Give it some time, some of the feisty pieces lose their sharpness, and this turns into a really gorgeous contemplative scent, the cardamom, sandalwood, vanilla and myrrh blend beautifully. I still want it in a candle and incense stick for my meditation area.  I don’t get the ganga accord at all.  What I got when I first sniffed it in Paris and now is just a teeny bit of Guerlain Guet Apens/Attrape Coeur.  It’s not like it, but there is a combination of notes that feels very Guerlainy in a wispy way.

Mohur has notes of Cardamom, coriander, ambrette, carrot, black pepper, elemi, Turkish rose oil, jasmine, orris, hawthorn, almond milk accord, leather, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, oudh Palao from Laos, benzoin, vanilla, tonka bean.  Mohur is a reference to the most valuable gold coin in India.  This starts out pretty much rose/oud on the open, but it has a sweetness and depth that’s so charming.  Hawthorn is one of my favorite notes because it saves almost anything from being “normal” and gives it a twist that you aren’t quite sure of – is that roadkill? The almond milk and spices provides a silky overlay to roseoudroadkillleather.  You know what?  I really love this one.  It’s got so much freak going on under the deceptively normal. I had to spray it after the dabbing because it can make such a huge difference in how you perceive a scent. And the Freak Factor is even better!  Air amps up the hawthorn.  Okay, Trayee is the meditative scent, but this is the one I’ll take with me into meditation tonight.  In the time of Mourning, Lent, getting vague whiffs of decaying corpse under really spectacularly beautiful other notes is completely appropriate.

Why, yes, Neela sent big samples!  I don’t have much Mohur left because, well, I’ve been spraying it a lot.  I can probably eek out a little sample, but if anyone has tried it and is thinking they want some, but don’t want a full bottle, let me know, I’d really be happy to split this two or three ways with someone.  So two sample sets for a giveaway to two lucky commenters.  I’m not doing winners for last week because I don’t actually have the fragrance yet to know how many samples I can give away, but I’ll announce those as soon as I do.

To be entered in the draw, just drop a comment.  If you are a Lenten practitioner, tell me what you gave up for Lent and why.  If you don’t do Lent, you can just tell me anything! Which of these three sound the best to you?  Have you smelled them yet?

BTW, I loved the descriptions so many of you gave last week about a perfume that was your life.  I often can’t find any time in my work day to comment, but I do read them all.  Mine would be hay, vetiver and earth, then cumin, frankincense and myrrh, followed by tuberose, jasmine and gardenia.  I don’t know that any of those things would go together in a perfume, but those are the notes of my life.

  • mim says:

    Don’t know when this closes/d so I’m commenting anyways…
    Not a Lenten practicioner, wrong religion, and a good thing too because I have no self-control. I know someone who gave up chocolate. Chocolate! I guess it’s to balance out those advent calendars or something, but still….Giving up winter laziness sounds more positive and productive, and something that even non-Lent-ers could aspire to do. I’m trying to get back into doing PT and exercises.

    Out of the three lovely scents, Trayee sounds the most ‘me.’ But they all sound lovely! I really wish I could sniff this line in person. Have been getting into Indian music, dance, and cinema lately…I love eating mango, don’t really know if I’d enjoy wearing it, but would like to try! Please count me in.

  • Janet says:

    Trayee sounds amazing!!! Oh, and I saw a sign of spring today…a red winged blackbird here in MA!

  • ElizabethC says:

    No Lent sacrifices (unless you count cleaning out our storage and closet areas upstairs). I would love to try the Vermeire scents. I am a huge fan of Indian food and art (miniature mughal paintings are amazing!) and it would be great to see how Duchafour translated this culture into scent.

  • Aparatchick says:

    All three of these sound interesting (and I can’t remember the last time I said something like that).

    Lent? One of the few things I retain from my Catholic childhood. This year, I decided to give of, rather than give up, so I doubled my volunteer hours commitment.

  • Lindaloo says:

    I’m an atheist, but I totally appreciate “giving up winter laziness for Lent” as that is that is the course of action (no pun intended) that I’m currently embarking on. To be honest it’s more like giving up all-season laziness and actually setting daily and weekly goals and exercising regularly and even contemplating formal classes with a friend. So not me, but it needs to be as age creeps up and the body cries help.

    I haven’t yet sampled any of the Neela Vermeire scents (and would be a delighted draw winner), but from everything I’ve read she certainly got it right in starting her perfume company — trying to capture something that mattered to her, great perfumer, only three good scents not 10 hit and miss ones.

    Have to say, that’s a gorgeous caftan, such a taste of spring (and cooling for hot flashes?).

  • LindaB says:

    I don’t practice Lent so I have nothing to add to that discussion but these three scents sound amazing – I’m lovin the “Freak Factor” lately. The notes in Mohur are very intriguing.

    Please enter me in the draw…thank you and TGIF!!

  • Perfumista8 says:

    This Lent I’ll be giving up all sweets. It sounds cliche but I really, really love sweets so this will be difficult. Anytime I’m struggling with it, I’ll be reminded of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

  • Lavanya says:

    I’ve been wanting to smell the Neela Vermeire perfumes…Mohur and Trayee are the ones I most want to try- but Bombay bling, though not me, sounds really fun and interesting..And I remember saying once that i’d love to smell green mango in a perfume (Eating sliced raw mangoes laced with chilli powder and salt is one of my ‘most missed’ Indian experience..:))..Do you get the green mango in this?

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Patty! Those scents sound great, but no draw for me. I don’t practice Lent officially, but as others have said, this is a good time of year to be more thoughtful and prayerful. And in my new job, I’m getting a lot more Bible- and devotional-type reading in.

  • ClaudiaRae says:

    I don’t do anything for Lent and I have pretty much given up on religion. I just live by 2 rules:
    1)Do the best you can.
    2)Try to be kind.
    It gets me through a lot of crap.
    I would love to be in the draw!

  • Lisa D says:

    Ooh, I saw the Neela perfumes at Luckscent, looked at the lists of notes, and swooned. Got up off of the floor, looked at the price. Swooned again. Please enter me in the draw, so I can win ’em, sample ’em and go three out of three. :d

    • Lisa D says:

      Sorry, that would be LuckYscent.

    • Lala says:

      Lucky Scent is selling the 50 ml bottles, but if you check out Neela Vermeire’s website, she’s offering a discovery set which includes 10 ml of each scent at a more affordable price. It would be even better if it were possible to buy 10 ml of each scent separately. Maybe someone influential (Hi Patty!) could suggest it.

  • maggiecat says:

    Still making sure no ash left on my forehead today, but Lent for me is adding something rather than giving up something (more prayer and study time for me). The scents sound lovely and I’m glad you’ve found a way to jump-start Spring!

  • grizzlesnort says:

    I am observing Lent–but from a distance this year so I may or may not ‘give up’ anything; haven’t decided yet. I gave up caffeine last year but the year before that I decided to give up trying–so it’s alawys mixed bag. I do love Lent and Holy Week (up to Easter when, like Xmas, you suddenly can’t get into church. Ugh!). But no cards to buy, no decorations to put up, no maniacal music or forced cheer is great. Lent–yeah, baby, bring it on.

  • OperaFan says:

    Oh I’d love to be in the draw!
    I’ve never given up anything for Lent, just like I don’t make NY-Resolutions. I could never be true to my resolutions, so why bother? Some women at my previous church came up with a good one – to give up gossiping. My stepdaughter gives up chocolates every year and she sticks to it. Now that she’s such an old hand, I think she should try something else. :-)

  • Maureen says:

    This is going to be really hard but I am giving up bread for Lent. It is the something that I truly love to eat, and probably eat too much of. Extra $$ going into Easter basket at Church. Hopefully will help my boyfriend, who has just had a checkup and found to have high blood sugar. I am persuading him gently to bypass bread basket at dinners out, but the pasta thing is hard…he loves his pasta!

    These fragrances all sound wonderful…please enter me in draw.

    • Joanna says:

      Bread is a hard one, I considered it too. I had to give it up when I had gestational diabetes.
      Sneak cinnamon into more dishes or talk him into taking cinnamon supplements. It’s a natural way to keep blood sugars lower.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    My mom and grandmother grew up Catholic and don’t practice Lent. I didn’t grow up Catholic and I don’t practice Lent. I know a lot of people who practice Lent and they give up bread, coffee, soda, and sweets. One of my friends grew up Catholic and practices Lent. I’ll never forget the first time we got together on a Friday during Lent and he saw me eating a cheese burger. He told me that I was gonna go to hell for not following Lent. I told him that I didn’t grow up Catholic, don’t follow Lent and not everyone lives and thinks the way he does. He figured out that I don’t care for this going to hell kind of stuff. If I want to give something up, it’s going to be for good.

  • Sujaan says:

    Any draw for a Neela scent is a fabulous draw!! I don’t celebrate Lent but i do think it’s a great thing to do, anything that gets us to start a new positive regime for ourselves and/or others is wonderful. Maybe I could do my own version like yoga Lent, or no sugar Lent. I don’t think I could do no perfume Lent, that is beyond my level of spirituality.

  • AnnieA says:

    No wine for me either….

  • pam says:

    Yes, I observe Lent to the best of my ability. This week I was too sick (some bronchial thing) to go for ashes, which is a wonderful service. But I usually don’t give up something, but rather try to do more of certain things. I meditate more, read more inspirational stuff, try to be more patient and kind and helpful, complain less, and so on. Which can be tough. And I have to bring that to my consciousness daily, and hope that some of it lasts longer than Lent.

    Your reviews were appealing to say the least. Please enter me in the draw.

  • bookhouseshell says:

    I haven’t done lent for many years, but I am with you on how bad it can get when you get disrupted from taking care of your body.

    My partner is going through a major medical ordeal, surgeries, hospital, out-of-town relatives disregarding his wishes and descending and at this point, there is no end in sight. Let’s just say I’m sniffing my wrists at an alarming rate! Haven’t been to the gym in weeks and I’m thinking that should be a number one priority, especially since the diet has gone to hell to.

    Please enter me in the draw. Thanks!

  • karin says:

    That caftan is gorgeous! I don’t give up anything for Lent, though probably should. ;-) As to the Neela scents, I’ve heard so much about them…would love to try them. Thanks for the draw!

  • Masha says:

    I had avoided trying these, because of the notorious “pot” note in Trayee- didn’t want to be pulled in for a drug test at work! But fortunately, you say it’s not there. OK! Enter me in the draw. As far as Mohur goes, sounds a little disturbing, maybe it should be called “Ganges Burial” instead?? You’re brave to wear it, do you have pets, and if so, what do they think of it? I tried “Sharif” the other day, which has some real civet, and it totally freaked out my house rabbits, had to pass the sample to a friend!

  • Cheryl says:

    I’m still not quite decided on what to do for Lent, but as yet I’m not giving up anything for Lent. Instead, I going to: a) be nicer to people (not a cop-out under the circumstances, trust me); b) not walk past beggars / people asking for charity without giving something; and c) read a bit of the bible everyday.

    • Musette says:

      Cheryl, I so ‘get it’! 😉 My Lenten-going forward pledge is not to be such a flaming shrike!

      Who KNEW it would be such hard-assed WORK!, not slapping the living daylights out of everybody! :-w

      but I struggle on…

      xo >-)

  • Zazie says:

    I don’t do nothing in particular for lent, but I used to have much fun at carnival when I was younger!!!
    I’d love to know which kind of yoga you practice – it sounds like you find a lot of comfort in practicing.
    I started Iyengar yoga last year – I love doing it, and makes my back and shoulders feel great, but it has no real meditative connotation to it.

    • Patty says:

      Carnival, I want to go to one one day!

      My yoga is an amalgamation, but it’s pretty much your standard yoga flow. I’m not that crazy about the “do this pose, hold.” Then move into this pose, hold. I can do that once I’ve worked off some energy by flowing in the first 10-15 minutes.

      so basically I like to do a nice stretchy warm-up – this is when I’m doing my own practice at home – then flow through some sun a/b, get a more complicated/challenging sequenced flow after that, then move into some balance, back-bendy poses, then I’ll just sit on my mat and think about what I want to do. Sometimes that’s headstand, sometimes that’s some more stretching or hanuman (splits) or just working on crow or other hand balance things. Sometimes I just sit there and wiggle my toes. Then drop to savasana. I love long ones of those. I can lay there for like 20 minutes if nobody bothers me.

      • Lavanya says:

        I love savasana too- I used to incorporate savasana into my gym routines too- it makes any kind of exercise complete because it is the best kind of ‘cool down’ and sooo refreshing!!

  • Irina says:

    I think I’ll give up buying perfume for lent ( and this is difficult these fummy craze days)
    still, I would like, if considered proper, to be entered the draw-Trayee sound very, very interesting
    thank you

  • Ninara Poll says:

    I’m still trying to decide what to give up for Lent. All the things I can think of would be too easy, and I’m not ambitious enough to try anything ridiculously austere or severe. It brings back memories of the first Lent that happened after my SO and I started dating; I asked him a few days before what I should give up, and the blank look on his face coupled with the “What’s Lent?” was priceless. His family (but not him or his trainwreck of a sister) follows an *extremely* conservative Pentecostal denomination that, imho, is basically what you would get if extreme conservative Southern Baptists decided the Gifts of the Spirit were all still available in today’s world (speaking in tongues, et al). I wound up having to explain Lent to him, which I did by telling him something along the lines of it being a period of reflection, sacrifice, and generally a spiritual (and sometimes physical) preparation for the joy of Easter and not just preparation for, but an observance/memorial of Good Friday; Christ sacrificed Himself for us, so certainly we can give up some sort of vice or enjoyment on His behalf for 40 days? It makes us better and honors His sacrifice. Then I explain meatless Fridays, at which point I think I completely turned diehard carnivore him off from the idea of Lenten sacrifice, as ever since he’s tried to talk me out of observing Lent. Ah, the joys of being married to a cynical agnostic… In the past decade I’ve also tried to add doing something positive to my Lenten routine, but I usually get so caught up in it that I forget about the sacrificial bits.
    (NOTE: I’m not trying to proselytize, just sharing how I explained the concept of Lent to my husband.)


    • Patty says:

      Exactly! I’ve had to explain the whole thing to much more fundamental religious view people, and it’s easier than going through the whole Mary thing. 🙂 Which isn’t saying much.

      I like the sacrificial aspects, but every year, everything I think to give up sounds so trite, so that’s why I give up the thing I have the hardest time giving up, that takes effort.

  • bloody frida says:

    Wonderful reviews! I love Trayee, Mohur being a close second and Bling being third – but the price!? *shakes head*

    Oh for Lent, I’ll be working on getting things done in the morning – if I don’t, nothing gets done all day long!

    (oh please don’t enter me in the draw, as I already have samples)

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, the price. Ouch. But they are made with beautiful materials, and they aren’t cheap. I find that out as I start scavenging around for materials to play with. The crap stuff is dirt cheap. The good stuff is hard to find and costs major bucks.

      I think small perfume companies doing great materials have a tough time. They don’t have any economy of scale, and once you get above a certain price point they will move slower, so you have inventory. I’ve never done that route, but as a businessperson, I just think about inventory and expenses and think — yeah, $250 for 50 mls is probably reasonable, except if you are paying it. 🙂

      I”m with you on the morning. If I haven’t done something really productive by noon, the day is a waste.

  • sunnlitt says:

    I would love to be entered in the drawing–these scents sound SO fun! and interesting! Different than the usual.

    I am a very lapsed Catholic. I haven’t given up something for Lent for many years. I like that idea of adding positive practices in place of ‘giving up’ something.

    Thanks for bringing this up–it is a season for reflection and action. I, too, miss Downward-facing Dog, when I’ve gone too long without it!!

    • Patty says:

      That is their appeal. They are lovely and beautiful, but they have a great skew to keep it interesting. Those are my favorites, it just gives you a new way to look at some notes you thought you knew how they go together.

      I sorta figure even if you aren’t actively practicing any religion, Lent has a lot to offer for anyone – to just take time and reflect on life and loss, the cocoon before the spring. I’m a big butterfly fan, too.

  • Ruanne13 says:

    I’m not giving up anything, but taking up some things. My Lenten disciplines are going to be a fasting day each week, and a committment to reading one of the many daily devotionals I’ve started and abandoned. I wanted to make daily yoga practice one of my disciplines, but I like it so much, I didn’t think it seemed “fair.”

    All of these sound wonderful & intriguing, but the last one is the one I’m most curious about.

    • Patty says:

      I like that. But I’m just more fond of doing something than giving up. The giving up seems so passive. Even though life is about that as well. The combination seems really the best.

      I love yoga, but I can get out of the habit in like two months, then it takes a steady going to get me back into it. Once I’m in for two weeks, the love of how it makes me feel gets me back.

  • jen says:

    Lent doesnt exist for me anymore. I live for the smell of mango tho!

    • Patty says:

      I live for mangoes, period. 🙂 The most heart-wrenching thing about costa Rica was seeing all those mangoes that drop off the trees, and the bugs get in them almost immediately, and you can’t eat them. If I lived there and they were my trees, I’d just cut off the bug parts and eat them anyway, or set a bugline up around the tree to zap them before they could touch my mangoes. I couldn’t ever get one of my sons to shimmy up in the tree and grab one or nine for me.

  • Joanna says:

    I’m giving up wine for Lent. This is the time of night, when the kids are in bed and the house is in order, that I usually indulge and I do miss it. I didn’t realize how much I was spending on wine until I got to thinking about Lent and something meaningful I could give up. I am planning to donate the money I would have spent on wine each week to the local food bank. Wine is a physical reminder of Christ with the Eucharist and the story of turning water into wine. Anyway…I put a lot of thought into it.

    This trinity *wink wink* of scents sound amazing. Trayee appeals to me most in theory…love my gingers. But they all sound so much like scents I would gravitate towards. Really looking forward to sampling them.

    • Patty says:

      Wine?!?!? Oh, that’s hard. I’ve done it before, but I gave up wine in January to do a 3-week cleanse. I haven’t picked the habit back up, so it was a good thing? I just forget to pour a glass, but I’ve been hooked on teas instead this winter. I like your donation to the food bank. I’ve done that before, put all my spare change/dollars in a jar and donated it at the end of lent.

      Trinity, exactly1 I noticed when I was writing this post that I always list things in threes in my writing. Watch, you’ll notice it now. I noticed it about a year ago, and I can’t do anything but that. I write trinitically, if that’s a word. Two is too few, four is too many. Three in a list is perfect.

      • Joanna says:

        Just thought I’d clarify that I’m not waiting to put the kids to bed to drink myself into a stupor! But 2 or 3 good bottles of wine a week adds up over time.
        I think it’s interesting that you write trinitically. 3 seems to be a reoccuring factor in my life.

  • I don’t do anything for Lent, but I think out of all of these I would most like to try Bombay Bling… thanks for the draw!! :)

  • Lala says:

    I sampled Trayee recently and loved it so much that I promptly ordered samples of the other two, which haven’t arrived yet. Please don’t enter me in the draw! I just wanted to thank you for the review. I’m sort of hoping that I’ll hate Mohur and Bombay Bling because this line is so pricey, but I doubt it. Trayee was awesome and B. Duchaufour rocks my perfume world.

    • Patty says:

      You are welcome! I really like all three of them, Trayee is just best suited to me, but I think bombay bling would have a lot of appeal during the warmer months, it grew on me so much.

      Agree on B. I really want to meet him one day. I need to figure out how to make that happen.

  • Alnysie says:

    Aw I’ve read so much praise about Neela Vermeire’s scents, I’d love to have a chance to smell them! Thanks for the draw!

    I used to practice (do? make? respect? how do you say that in English?) Lent sometimes when I was a kid, and I remember one year when I realized giving up candy (as was the custom) would be too easy for me, since I never really had a sweet tooth. So I gave up my beloved Archie Comics that I’d read from morning to evening. :)

    • Patty says:

      they are really beautiful. Neela has great taste, and Bertrand is a brilliant perfumer, so it really had to be good, and they are, no disapointments at all. I like the India theme, though for me an India perfume would also include all those smells you don’t really want on your body. 🙂

      Archie Comics, wow!!! I loved those. I couldn’t afford many of them, but I’d read them over and over and over again! That and Brenda Starr. Whatever happened to Brenda? she was my comic book hero, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter because of her, until I found out it doesn’t pay.