The Season of Light

saksHow does that go? “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…” I slipped on the black ice this morning on the way to work. Then I left the office early, having waited as long as I could before I began to wonder if I could make it all the way home without puking on the train. I live in fear of that.

I am a migraineur, which I try not to complain about, because 1) I come by it honestly and 2) I suffer so much less than some of my friends because 3) in general my routine of migraine med escalation works, etc. But not today. So I’m home and and I just changed out of my work clothes and took a gander at the leg I fell on – the deep, black gash on the shin, the ugly red bruise on the arch. No wonder I’m feeling a bit fragile.

022516-mcqueen-fragrance-leadI was working on a review of Alexander McQueen, partly because I loved Kingdom and partly because this bottle is fantastic. It’s heavy as a grenade. It’s a handful of granite and a heart full of lust. But if every other thought is, well, here’s all the other white flower frags I’d rather have, I guess it’s a disappointment on some level.

I met Melissa (left) and Louise (right) at Saks. We smelled so many things. I want to smell like 31 Rue Cambon and snow on asphalt. Since this isn’t going to be a proper perfume review, please humor me: is there something that surprised you recently?



  • Nemo says:

    I am sorry to hear about your fall, I hope you feel better soon!!

    Today I was surprised to find myself enjoying Tauer Lonesome Rider. It seemed liked everyone else on the blogosphere was in love with it a few months ago, but when I first tried it I was quite disappointed. Not at all like LADDM or Lonestar Memories, both favorites of mine. I put it on again today because I left the house in a rush in the morning, and now that my expectations are different I find myself enjoying it very much!! Which my wallet is sad and surprised about…

  • malsnano86 says:

    Waving madly to the three of you! I was happy to see your smiling faces.
    I thought the same on that Alexander McQueen: really, really nice, yet I keep thinking it’s not very distinguishable from the four other BWFs that I already own.
    About ten years ago, I started having low-estrogen headaches that wouldn’t go away with ibuprofen at PMS-time, and that was new. I was shocked to find out those were common; I’d never had them before.
    Right now, I am surprised at how stinkin’ big the Opryland Hotel is. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is having its convention here this week, and since this is teh hubs’ last year on an advisory board, I decided to join him. (NCBA is paying for his stay, no extra charge for me, and almost-free vacations are not to be refused.) The view from our room balcony encompasses a really gorgeous indoor plant conservatory plus (fake but pretty) waterfall, plus gigantic lighted musical symbols dangling from the ceiling, plus a 12-foot-long blue guitar decoration. It’s garishly attractive, and I’ve surprised myself by enjoying it.

  • Sylvia says:

    Ugg on migraines! Glad you’re finding answers!
    Surprises: I like the idea of incense, cedar, and frankincense- but I don’t want to smell like it.
    I am a floral wearer.
    I like Cartier Le Panthere – and so did my husband-a lot! …And, it reminds me of something from the late 70s- early 80s. Wonder what?

  • kayliz says:

    Sympathies on the McQueen (lovely opening! but for me it rapidly descended into sugary pink nothingness) and very much so on the migraine front.
    I believed I suffered from migraines for years, until a dentist I went to with what I thought was tooth pain advised me to get my sinuses checked. It turned out chronic sinusitis was mimicking the symptoms of migraine, right down to severe light sensitivity, nausea and the need to find a bolt hole fast. So I was lucky: these days I only have real problems if I get lazy about inhaling regularly.

    My recent surprise: finding out, on signing a certain petition as a British citizen, that it was being billed as a measure to protect the Queen. I know she is advanced in years, but I’m fully confident that the Queen is more than able to protect herself:)

  • Tara C says:

    So sorry about your fall, I have been there and it really hurts. Thankfully I don’t have migraines but I do get low estrogen headaches during my cycle that require aspirin with codeine. Fortunately the gyn upped my hormones so it’s not happening much any more.

    Haven’t had any great perfume surprises. I liked the new McQueen, it was very pretty and smooth, but I have so many pretty scents I didn’t buy it.

    Every time I sleep through the night, which is rare, it is a happy surprise. Insomnia is a drag.

  • HeidiC says:

    Blerg to both the migraines and slipping on ice. I bought it 4 times on my driveway while shoveling last Tuesday, and my wonky ankle is acting so angry. I haven’t had any bad migraines in a while, but they’re always worse in the summer for me — sumatriptan stopped working for me, but rizatriptan seems to do it most of the time. Except when it doesn’t.

    Surprises — I can only think of two. Bogue’s Maai is fairly new, but it smells so OLD. I don’t mean old-fashioned, I mean vintage, like a genuine old-school chypre. I was amazed! But it’s pretty pricey, so I’d probably just buy some vintage Mitsouko. The second was NV’s Pichola — everyone was raving about it, and I thought it was very pretty, but it just disappeared on my skin, and I don’t usually have scent-eating skin. Sigh.

    Be well!

  • Patty says:

    Take care of that leg!

  • Doreen says:

    Hello – I am new to your blog! Just wanted to introduce myself. So sorry about your migraines. I am not a migraineur (new expression to me) however as I write this I have a headache. Which I realize is nothing like a migraine. But it is a surprising connection! Hope you feel better soon!

  • maggiecat says:

    Ouch! Hope you’re feeling better soon! In terms of good surprises, I discovered Body Time, a family owned company out in California with lovely scents and amazing body products (try the moisturizing shampoo, which you can have scented. To.Die.For. My dry winter hair loves it.) The reasonable prices are also a pleasant surprise!

    • rosarita313 says:

      Body Time is great, I love the liquid powder. China Rain still smells the same after all these years.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Haven’t had any perfume surprises come recently. Take that back, wore Memoir a few days ago and everyone loved it at work and was asking what I was wearing. Jaws dropped when they heard the price tag.

  • cinnamon says:

    Look after yourself. That sounds like a nasty fall. I used to get migraines. But they stopped after pregnancy. Go figure. Surprises … well, perfume-wise, my small bottle of Solar 1 by Jazmin Sarai smells nothing like my sample. First time that’s every happened. I still like it, but not as much as I liked the sample. Other than that, cauliflower with cumin and pepper is wonderful.

  • rosarita313 says:

    My daughter is a migraineur (a word I haven’t heard until now) since she was a teen and I’m sorry you are a sufferer, March, not to mention your nasty fall. Things that surprise me lately? Perfume wise, I’ve fallen hard for gourmands since last fall which I definitely didn’t anticipate. En Voyage perfumes Souvenir de Chocolate trio is so good, layered together or separately and honestly, I never thought I would like a chocolate perfume but Cafe Cacao is sophisticated and delicious. And I bought a small bottle of Angel Muse…Angel, really?? But it’s got this creamy, nutty drydown that is soothing and comfortable. How nice to have perfumey friends in real life 🙂

  • Musette says:

    Every day I wake up and realize we’re not vaporized into ash is a pleasant surprise.
    That I still care about germinating seeds for the coming Spring is also a pleasant surprise.
    That I’mo buy that danged Armani mascara is a stupefying surprise.
    That I’m able to sleep most nights without the aid of narcotics is a gratifying surprise.

    Take care of that busted leg!!!


  • Melissa says:

    Every time I smell Rue Cambon and I few of the other Chanel Les Exclusifs, I am happily surprised. I’m not crazy about every one of them and I think that a couple of them suffered mightily from the reformulation to edp (Bois de Iles and La Pausa, I’m glaring at you). But in general, they delight me with their quality. That’s not something that I can say about many lines, some of which cost a lot more. Rue Cambon smelled wonderful on you. I kept getting little wafts of it as we were walking back to our cars, even in the cold air!

  • Tiara says:

    Surprised recently? Yes, by the fact you didn’t break a hip, leg, or ankle by the slip. If you meant surprised by perfume, no. I’m trying to use up the bazillion 1ml vials I have to make room for some new ones. Haven’t found any new loves among the samples.

  • Portia says:

    Hey, Did you ever smell Black Saffron by Byredo? It might be your lady in an asphalt snowfield.
    Portia xx

  • solanace says:

    I was surprised to win a wonderful perfume in a nst draw, Régime des Fleurs Falling Trees. I was afraid it would be still another Farenheit wannabe, full of those boring synthetic woods like so many out there, but nope. It’s a brilliant incense frag, very refined and natural smelling, and longevity is Amouage-like. So it’s a double happy surprise. Feels like winning the lottery. (There have been a few shocks as well, but let’s forget about them for a while…)

  • RoseMacaroon says:

    Just yesterday I walked into a Penhaligon’s (the existence of which, in that location, was more shock than surprise) and decided to knock myself out. Could not believe how much I enjoyed both Gardenia and Orange Blossom. They were both for gorgeous at every stage. And on the other side, I acquired a sample of Bombay Bling, was all ready to declare it a legitimate cure for winter blaaahs, and — discovered that I fall into the grouping on whom it rather rapidly decomposes into a fetid heap of rotten all-things-tropical.
    Still got the glorious mango opening!

    • Melissa says:

      Rosemacaroon, the Gardenia and Orange Blossom are both beautiful. I bought them when they first came out. I tend not to wear soliflores, so I split them and finally finished the remains of both bottles. But I enjoyed them immensely.

    • malsnano86 says:

      I was very surprised that Bombay Bling did not go rotting on me. (Still haven’t bought any. Probably won’t.

  • Ellen M says:

    i also suffer from bad and frequent migraines, so I’m full of sympathy. I’m not sure if anything surprises me these days or maybe its everything which continually surprises me.
    If you have a regime of meds, would you mind passing that on? All I have now is one pain medication, because none of the other stuff works and I cannot take anything like Advil or Ibuprofen anymore. Always looking for suggestions to bring to the doctor.
    As to fragrance, I’ve been surprised by one which everyone thought was great and I though it smelled pretty synthetic, and not in a good way. Thank goodness for samples and decants. I hope you’re feeling better.

    • March says:

      OK but you have to promise not to laugh. Or, whatever, go ahead and laugh. If I feel the faint vibrations/my vision starts to go, it’s ibuprofen and a walk around the block in my sunglasses. Because at that point it could be allergies. A cold blast of wind is good. I take a Sudafed. Then if needed I add coffee. A cup of coffee, or a shot of espresso from Sbux, will shift things. Then I add ice — to the eyes and the temples. Also we have a place to lie down in my office, so I go there. (Fun fact — split equally between the migraineurs and nursing moms.) Then comes the sumatriptin — one of the original migraine meds. I try half a tab, then the other half. But it makes me feel odd. Then I skitter home. Last resort only because it requires privacy — the TENS unit. Have you ever tried? Life changing.

      • Ellen M says:

        Don’t laugh! Where are you placing your TENS unit? Thanks for all the suggestions. I tend to use heat rather than ice, but I’m always willing to try something new. Your meds, unfortunately won’t help.

        • Barbara B says:

          One of my coworkers suffers from migraines. Her doctor recommended this as “non-medicinal agents for reducing migraine headaches”- 1) Magnesium 250 to 500 mg daily 2) Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 100mg two to three times daily
          and 3) Melatonin 3mg at bedtime.

          The best remedy I ever heard was my former next-door neighbor (closest thing to a grandmother I ever had) tried to tell me without actually coming right out and saying it (she was 86 at the time) that my getting married would lessen my headaches because of regular sex lol. I laughed at the time but they were hormone-related for me . My migraines lessened after pregnancy and are totally
          gone since menopause, which I went through with no medication whatsoever.

          • Ellen M says:

            Thank you for your suggestions. Some of them I do already. Menopause did nothing to lessen the headaches, but they were never hormonal in nature.

        • julia123456kj says:

          That you get relief from heat is telling; likely your blood vessels are constricting, so you’d (presumably) want to avoid vasoconstrictors, which would likely increase your pain. (I am NOT a physician or any other kind of medical personnel, just a fellow migraine sufferer..migraineur is so much more elegant sounding!)

          Feverfew ( the herb) helps many people whose migraine pain is relieved by heat rather than cold. I think the studies show roughly 50% of people who tried it got relief. (Mine are relived by cold, so I have not tried this, but my grandmother, who got relief from heat, found it effective)

  • Spring-pansy says:

    How funny. I put on a spritz of 31 Rue de Cambon (which I rarely wear as it’s just not my usual style) the second before I read your post.

    I’m surprised that I like the original Chanel No. 5 edt much better than Chanel 5 L’Eau.

    I’m surprised that I want to resample POTL. From back in my first days of falling down the rabbit hole.

    I’m surprised that I love Tom Ford Noir de Noir (I’m [usually] the queen of subtle/ethereal fragrances or at least fragrances that I wear lightly…)

    I’m surprised that I didn’t like Byredo Unnamed.

    I’m surprised that I don’t enjoy winter as much anymore and I’m looking forward to spring.

    Looks like fun with Melissa and Louise. I’d love to have a perfume friend to go sniffing with. Feel better soon!

  • GrandmaGaga/Teresa says:

    As a matter of fact, yes; something did surprise me…I recently have had the opportunity to sample a few Amouage for the first time and fell hard for Gold, a gorgeous aldehydic beauty. The more I sniffed, the more I was sure Gold would be my first Amouage bottle. However, it smelled very much like something I’ve smelled before…sniff, sniff, sniff…I followed the trail right back my very own, beloved signature scent Rive Gauche; Surprise! Considering the number of back-ups I have of RG, I suppose I will have to keep on sampling.

    • Neva says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed the similarity between Gold and Rive Gauche. I always make notes of perfumes I try and that’s the one thing I wrote about Gold. It’s lovely nevertheless.

    • mikasminion says:

      Is THAT what it is?! I’ve been trying to put my finger on what it reminded me of. I haven’t ever worn Rive Gauche, but I know I’ve smelled something very like Gold on women who probably wouldn’t have heard of Amouage.

    • Sylvia says:

      I wore and loved Rive Gauche in college. Where do you find vintage- or can you? I tried the current version and it was pretty awful. I don’t want to try and then fall in love with an Amouage!

    • zelda1947 says:

      I had the same experience, only when I kept sniffing to figure out what I was being reminded of, it finally came to me — Ma Griffe! The vintage Ma Griffe, that is. Amouage Gold is lovely, but there are others in that line that I like better, especially Lyric.