First- books. My summer reading partly was taken up by the slelection for this summers Beverly Hills Reads. “Lessons in Chemistry.” It’s a good book with some laugh-out-loud moments and some that will make you want to throw the book against the wall: not because it’s a bad book, but because it’s set in the 50’s and early 60’s and in no way sugarcoats the way that women, especially single women were treated. It reminded me of something that happened to my own mother: My father died in the mid-70’s when I was a kid and while the house and cars were thankfully in her name his credit was not.
So his American Express card was immediately canceled, even though she was on the account, and the one who paid the bill. They “invited” her to apply as a new cardmember (after ten years of cashing her checks.) She politely invited them to do a few other things with their card after inquiring whether Mrs. Bloomingdale had to “apply” after Alfred died in his mistresses house. But that was my Mom. The crap Elizabeth Zott has to go through in the book is far more and far worse and the fact that it did happen (and still does, and if certain politicos had their way would come back in full force) There was a Q&A with the Author at City Hall that was really interesting, and the books is a great read.
OK book review/rant over.
Portia pretty much covered the backstory behind the perfumer so I will link to that here (go read, I’ll wait) rather than just rehashing. As for Belle de Jour I don’t get anything fruity in the opening like that which Portia refers to. As a matter of fact the opening is so smooth I really don’t discern individual notes, just a bright, refreshing, coolness that on a day like today when it’s 92 degrees Fahrenheit in the Hills of Beverly one wishes you could stock your lawn sprinklers with it and just stand in the spray. As if goes on the jasmine and orange flowers become a little more distinct but whatever that’s in there that keeps the temps down keeps the flowers feather-light and the spices from being too hot. As for the skank aspect, I didn’t get any, which would normally be a disappointment. But the clean skin afer an ocean dip (the seaweed? That sort of umami flavor with the “synthetic” musk?) is so perfect and so in keeping that the cool beauty of what came before that I am not only not disappointed, I’m buying.
Mx is named after the gender-neutral title that is apparently replacing Mr., Mrs., and Ms. I have never heard of this, but then again I am so hopelessly out of the loop I still use a rotary dial telephone. It does in a way remind me of l’antimatiere, the scent that ½ the people who tried it couldn’t smell. I thought it smelled like drinking good vodka curled up with your ex-boyfriend’s cashmere sweater: the expensive one that you filched because really, that color blue was much better on you than he. (don’t you enjoy these little glimpses into my mind? Aren’t you glad you live far, far away?) Anyway, it smells like l’antimatiere if it actually smelled of something. Added to the cashmere and skin scent is a light dusting of dark cocao, sandalwood and saffron (those are the ones that I smell the most) but once again here it’s all about the blending: everything is so smoothly done it’s like walking down a long corridor that’s painted cream which, by the end is dark purple, but the shading going between those colors is so seamless you don’t really register it until you really look and go, “wait a minute…”
I really like Mx, but if it were my $150 (or yours and you’re feeling generous) I would go for Belle de Jour. You can go to StC and get both to sample, as I did. Of you can get a Discovery Set from the perfumer of all 8 perfumes for $45, with a credit in the same amount towards a future purchase of a 50ml bottle. Which is a really good deal that I may need to indulge in.
Photos: my iPhone, Pexels, City of Beverly Hills.