Life, Near-Death and Chanel No 18

Oh, Posse….

It has been such a rollercoaster ride these past few weeks; I think (pray) we’re coming out of it but it has exhausted me to the point where I had to take a couple of days and just Sleep, lest I drop stone-dead.  Barbarians at the Gate, folks buying canoes while the floor is on fire, holes opening up in the ground beneath my feet (literally.  we have a small sinkhole in the side garden that is just freaky – apparently a lot of the old homesteads around here have former cistern runs and, 50 yrs later, those runs are collapsing and lawns, shrubs, bulbs disappear into these holes, like that hysterical scene in 2012 (which hysterical scene?  they were ALL hysterical)……you know, the one where all of Santa Monica is heaving up and out into the ocean, with planes slamming into newly-formed mountains and billions of tons of fiery earth slithers into the Pacific…yet the sky maintains its serene, hazy, Southern California blue……… it’s just weird like that.

Life is Uncertain.  El O.   He’s fine.  But talk about …well, talk about serendipity. And the Universe cutting us a break.  When it comes to helmets I’m a Snell Head.  99.9%, El O so isn’t  into helmets and when he does, he usually wears some stupid novelty helmet that will probably cause more harm than good.  Late for a 7hr ride to some stupid rally, he couldn’t find his stupid helmet so he grabbed MY helmet.  My. Snell-approved. Helmet.  When he went down, at 50mph, he was wearing that helmet.  He is fine.  He owes me a helmet.  May I just say how freaking grateful I am that I’m not getting reimbursed via his life insurance policy?   I now get why people say ‘if you died I would be so mad I would KILL you!’.  LOL!  He’s fine.  And so am I. But it was a scary reminder to live every moment.

So it’s been weird.  So I’ll bet you think I’m going to beg off with some lame-o excuse about NO PERFUME REVIEW.  And you just might be right…except…I’ve been experimenting in the Chanel Box.  And I have fallen in love with  Chanel Les Exclusifs No. 18.   I confess to not having known a thing about this one – I got a decant as a gift and I actually thought it was mislabeled (18, 19 – easy enough to do).  Finally got around to trying it and..well, yes.  I fooled around and fell in love.  Evanescent as the rest of the Exclusifs line, nonetheless it has this oddly haunting, vaguely fatty green quality to it that stays in my olfactory senses long after the actual scent is gone.  ‘Fatty Green’ sounds pretty gross but…it’s like the cucumber oil that so slightly emanates from the best, crispest pickles.  And speaking of pickles…it’s got that very faint pickle-y tinge to the rosy, floral heart that keeps it interesting.   For a minute I thought it resembled my other favorite, 1932 – then I realized I was mis-smelling: it’s way less cologne-y than ’32 – No 18  is a distant, nodding cousin to Chanel No 5 perfume (for the oil) that’s been spilled on a wooden picnic table where someone made a halfhearted attempt to wipe up spilled pickle juice.  Sounds insane.  Sounds awful.  I assure you, it’s not.  I thought this would be one of those ‘try it so you can talk about it’ – and instead, it’s turned into a scent I’ve reached for every night for the past week.    I can’t afford the luxury of an evanescent scent but if I were a rich man (deedledeedledum)  I would buy this just to scent my sheets and curtains…and me!  

Oooh!  What I Just Read and LOVED:  “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple.   She wrote for ‘Ellen’ and ‘Arrested Development’.  I thought it was going to be hipster-ironic and silly.  Heh.  Read it.

And go try some No 18.   It’s really lovely!

43 Comments
shaney June 21, 2013

I am so happy to hear he is okay!!! xoxoxoxoxo

maggiecat June 21, 2013

My husband and I also ride...he used to skip his helmet at times, but I convinced him that while I look very good in black, that we had just found each other rather late in life and it would be a shame to mess it up. He's very good about it now... Take care and enjoy your Chanel!

Brittney June 20, 2013

I'm so happy to hear he is okay. Thank goodness. God Bless all of you! I love the way you write. You do a fantastic job at describing Chanel No 18. I love the way you used the words "fatty green". You are too much. Great post, like always.

hongkongmom June 20, 2013

Glad to hear your man is ok. It kind of freaks me out to hear this story. Once we saw an eighteen year old guy, fly quite a distance from his motorbike which somebody had knocked into. His body was un marked, but he died instantly. could never ever go on a motorcycle ever again after that. Life has dealt a lot of things over here too...but G-d only gives us the packages we can deal with...and in the end, we get stronger and closer. Sometimes a 3 day sleep is much needed.... 18 is amazing...has a different feel than all the others..fresh, green, bright, youthful, longlasting and there is nothing else like it. My CEO bought it for our 18th wedding anni:) Have been wearing jo malone red roses bath oil with the pomegranite noir through some sweltering days in HK...perfect balance of ..the majesty and freshness of the rose, the coolness of the incense and the slightly sour, fruity pomegranite smell....Wishing you only good from now on

Tom June 20, 2013

I'm glad to read that El O is undamaged! My brother rode motorcycles and would not do so without wearing full leathers and a helmet. He was an EMT and saw what could happen to people who didn't. Personally, the only bike I get on is stationary and in an air conditioned gym. I will only do four wheels, thanks.

ewewhojane June 20, 2013

Clearly we have a connection... I love 1932, every time I smell it on my shirts I smile and think how uplifting it is. I just finished Where'd you go Bernadette? and while I laughed my way through it I also keep bringing it up in conversation and I think it raises so many important questions about our lives today. I am relying on 1932 to get me through a little perfume buying hiatus while I save money to travel to my daughter's music auditions all next winter!

Lisa D June 20, 2013

Anita, so glad El O is unharmed! I'd say he owes you a helmet, AND some No. 18..... :-)

poodle June 19, 2013

I'm very happy to hear he's okay. Don't take this the wrong way but I really hope you have an incredibly boring summer. You've had more than enough excitement lately. I also hope that if things do continue to be exciting for you I hope they are in a good way and there are no mechanical malfunctions or sinkholes involved.

rosiegreen June 19, 2013

So glad El O is undamaged, I hope you will now have some peaceful time to enjoy together. I like your description of #18, will put it on my list to try sometime.

Dina C. June 19, 2013

Yikes! So sorry to hear about El O's accident, but very glad to know he's okay. Super scary stuff. And the sink hole thing is just so weird and bizarre, like out of science fiction. I'm sending you long-distance hugs and hope that everything turns around from here on out for you all. Whoever said, "Summertime, and the livin' is easy?" Chanel is my all-time favorite house, but I haven't tried No. 18 yet. I love green scents, and even the "pickle juice" description doesn't put me off, so maybe I need to make this a priority and check this out when I can smell again. Meanwhile, I'm nursing a cold and reading more Georgette Heyer this week. :-)

Beth June 19, 2013

Wow, sounds like a lot of stress at your place. Hope it all calms down soon. So glad El O is ok, what a scare! Perfume really does take us out of that a bit. I know for me, wearing Guerlain's SDV today was a hug I needed during a stressful week. But I am growing to love love love the Chanels. I haven't tried 18 or 19, so those are both firmly on my test list along with Beige, 28 la Pausa and a few of the others. I have a decant of 31 Rue Cambon, Bois de Iles and Coromandel which I am draining quickly. There's something about those Chanels that seem to work with my business suit and make me feel up to meetings with upset customers. Best of luck in getting some downtime!

Jennifer Counts June 19, 2013

Holy crap, that's scary! I'm glad El O is ok. Good thing he was wearing your helmet! I've only tried a couple of the Exclusifs, and I haven't tried No. 18. Next time I'm by the Chanel boutique I'll have to pop in and give it a sniff.

rosarita June 19, 2013

Oh, darlin'. Hugs, hugs, hugs. I'm so glad you are both alright. I have a sample of 18 who knows where; have to try it & see if I get pickles.

eldarwen22 June 19, 2013

It always amazes me on how people drive. Nobody can get off those stupid cell phones, use turn signals and go the speed limit. Always seems to be that the speed limit is just a suggestion. Every time there is some sort of crisis, it's Chanel no. 22 or Epic for my security blanket. I guess that I will have to add no. 18 to my cart then.

Tiara June 19, 2013

18 with a tang/twang, pickle juice vibe doesn't sound so great but I do love ambrette for the most part. However, since I am not a rich person I'm not sure I even want to try it, fall in love, and then have regrets. I'm wondering...did this episode change El O's view on helmets? Will he always wear one from now on?

Sherri June 19, 2013

Anita, I am so, so glad El O is alright! What a harrowing week! You sure do need and deserve a few days solid sleep to reboot , physically and esp. emotionally. Hugs to you! xoxo P.S. I can't wear the Chanels, but agree No. 18 is one of the prettiest!

karin June 19, 2013

Oh Anita!!! So happy to hear El O is OK! Hoping he ditches that excuse for a helmet and gets a decent one now. Guess God wants him around a bit longer, eh? Yay. :-) Also hoping you get some boring days, weeks when nothing much happens and you have a chance to breathe! Last fall I wanted to stop the world and get off! Felt like there was a boot fixed firmly in my back, pushing, pushing, pushing. All I can do is fall on my knees and say, HELP!!! Things did get better, but geez. I don't want to go through that type of stress again. And sink hole??? Whaaaaaa??? That's just crazy! I saw a story a few months ago where a guy was swallowed up when a whole room of his house went under. As you say, WEIRD! Scent twins yesterday!!!! That No 18 is definitely an odd one. I love it, though! Similar to the way I love Dzing! It makes me go "hmmmm...," in a good way. ;-)

jilliecat June 19, 2013

Just wanted to wish you well after this "interesting" time that you have been experiencing. It's strange how the magic of perfume can sometimes make everything feel so much better. There's no doubt that your guardian angels were looking after you that day. And maybe El O will get himself a good helmet at the same time he replaces yours! When I was very young and naïve, I used to wonder what happened to numbers 1 to 4 at Chanel, and now I'm thinking about the same for 6 to 17! I know ... I'm daft. I would love to smell that 18; sounds perfect for the summer.

Portia June 19, 2013

LOVE to you and the crew. Thank GODS for Stack Hats. Portia xx

AestheticAlterations (@AestheticAlt) June 19, 2013

Chanel No. 18 is one of my favorite, favorite fragrances. I recently did a massive purge (I'm about to move and didn't want the fragrances sitting in storage over summer), but No. 18 was one of four scents that remain. It never fails to make me feel bubbly and happy, as if I were a Fitzgerald character being pampered with pearls, rice powder, and silk. I'm so glad to hear it getting some attention. I hope it puts a spring in your step during what seems a challenging time. xoCatherine

Ann June 19, 2013

Oh, dear! Bless both of your hearts! So happy that he is all right. I think him grabbing your helmet definitely qualifies as a hand of God moment. Hope things will continue to look up for you. You've had so much on you that things should be making a complete 180 by now, as the universe rights itself. BTW, it's so funny that you've written about No. 18. I recently revisited it myself. Don't get pickle juice but it is lovely with an unusual twang/tang to it, so to speak. Hang in there! Big hugs to you ...

Liz K June 19, 2013

Goodness! Glad he is ok. A helmet saved my mother's life when some jerk towing a trailer tried to scare her off the road on her bicycle and didn't correct properly to keep the trailer on the road. I wouldn't have had the last 15 years with her if she hadn't been wearing it. Helmets are important folks. You never know when there is gravel ahead, a squirrel ready to run into your spokes, or some dick with a chip on his shoulder driving a big truck ready to take you out. Being a careful rider doesn't always cut it. I will now step down from my soapbox. Sorry. On a happier and less preachy note, the No. 18 sounds quite nice. Fatty green with pickle sounds perfectly reasonable to me.