Okay, first we will get the latest of the building follies out of the way. This one isn’t even about the painters.
This past weekend was pretty glorious after may rainy ones so I took off for a drive. This time was down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, which just out between the south bay cities of Redondo and Manhattan Beach and sort of curls around to Los Angeles and the port of San Pedro to the east. It’s a spectacular piece of real estate, with hills gently rolling down to the sheer cliffs that line the beaches and views of Catalina Island in the distance. It’s also the home of some interesting architecture, including many works of Frank Lloyd Wright’s less famous son Lloyd. Most of them are residential and rarely open to public view, but the Wayfarers Chapel is a lovely public place, especially since the surrounding trees have grown in as the architect envisioned them. I also drove over Portuguese Bend, are area of RPV that has been slip-sliding for about the past 40 years. The road dips and twists like a bowl of fettuccine and the ground is so unstable that sewer lines have to be above ground.
So anyway, I came to my building to find the following pencilled in on the stairway wall: Tom (heart) penis. Now mind you, as far as I know I am the only Tom in the place and one of my neighbors took me aside to tell me how hurt and appalled she was for me that I had to face that. But you know? It didn’t matter to me in the least.
Well. A) I am a gay man. While it’s not completely accurate that I (heart) penis, they sort of come with the territory of being attracted to men. Kindness, humor, wit, intellect, strength and about a hundred other things come, for me before the old penis, but still, facts are facts so that could be construed as merely reportage. B) It likely says a hell a lot more about the writer, because although it may be self aggrandizing to think so I feel that there is an unspoken addendum to “Tom (heart) penis” that would read something like “except mine, which works my very last nerve enough to make me take a Faber No. 2 to the West stair hall and C) It isn’t really something that cuts me, were that the intention, nor is it something that embarrasses me. “Tom Parks in the Handicapped Spot” or “Tom Jumps the Line at the Onramp of the 405” or “Tom wears AXE” would really hurt.
As some of you may know I have had an enemy teensy baby bottle of Youth Dew bath old for so long that I no linger have any recollection of where it came from. I have been parcelling it our for years now and telling myself that I must, simply must pick up some of the newer stuff. Now apparently Estée Lauder is more than willing to sell it to you, but tend to hide it in their mall stores if they have it at all, perhaps because it’s considered to be kind of an “old lady” scent. I suppose that’s because the spicy/woody/powdery thing has been done to death in other scents so this is tarred from the same brush.
For the three of you who may not have heard, Youth Dew was not originally made as a scent Per Se. It was a bath oil, but ladies who used it loved it so much they started wearing it as a perfume. Ladies like Joan Crawford, who was said to have hooked her fourth husband while dancing with him wearing it. He was so intoxicated by her (and her perfume) he refused to let her dance with anyone else that evening and married her soon after (which may have more to do with Joan than the perfume, but hey.) Madonna is supposedly one of the more recent devotees. For a scent that is close to 65 years old it still packs an almost Lutensian punch to it that only gets better with the wearing.
I can’t really speak to the real differences between the two since my vintage sample is so very old and in a clear bottle. But the new one I purchased at Nordstrom’s while slightly sweeter and less threatening at the opening that the vintage still settles into the slightly heady and vaguely threatening vibe that I love.
It maybe an “old lady” scent, but that old lady rocks..
Your Dew is available at the usual suspects, I bought mine online from Nordstrom’s: 2 ounces for $42
Image: my iPad Weirdly on it’s side..