Fish and Heaven

Once upon a time, my youngest son was 4 years old, and his preschool had one of those yearly fairs to raise money. If you’re a parent, you know the ones I’m talking about. You also know that every fair has a game where the little tots win goldfish. They put the goldfish in the plastic bag, full of water, on a nice hot day, and send you home with it. They hate parents, obviously.

Alex won two fish that year. He was so pleased, and we took the fish home, got a fishbowl, and he stared and stared and stared at them and shooed the cats away. Reluctantly he toddled off to bed (meaning, we drug his crying butt to bed and made him stay put), still delighting in his new fishy friends. Up early the next morning, all the fishy friends were swimming very strangely and… well, not really moving when they swam, with their little bellies pointed to the sky. We quickly disposed of said dead fish via the automatic water to sewer contraption (flushed the suckers). Alex woke up that morning, after the flushial, and was just inconsolable. His dad, trickster lawyer that he is, proceeded to lie to the child about where the fish went while I went into the other room and sighed and rolled my eyes because I knew this was going to be trouble (this is also why we are divorced). He told him the fish died and that they went to heaven. Alex was very, very interested in how they got there, did they walk, fly, swim, what, and this conversation went back and forth with the 4-year-old drilling the grown-up attorney while I was busy stifling my laughter in the kitchen.

Finally, his dad committed to the “fact” that the fish “flew up to heaven,” and Alex then turned, knitted his teeny brows together and said, “Well, if they flew up to heaven, how did they get through the front door?”

Best . Moment . of . My . Marriage

When I first put on Parfum des Merveilles, I was struck by how different it was from Eau des Merveilles. I was expecting something the same, but the parfum is full-on salty ambergris, hot, earthy. Eau des Merveilles wafts and trills, and Parfum des Merveilles whacks you over the head with how beautiful it is. Notes of elemi, bitter orange, Italian lemon, Indonesian pepper, pink pepper, ambergris accord, oakwood, cedarwood, vetiver, balsam of Peru, benzoin. It brings up beaches and snorkeling and sun and sand and salt and and a too-short vacation to the Turks and Caicos.

It is fish and heaven.

Giveaway this week! A sample of Yosh’s Whiteflowers and Parfum des Merveilles. Just drop a note in the comments that you’d like to be in the drawing, and you shall be!

  • ok–ok–want to be in the drawing

    on the death of a pet cat–my 6-year old budding theologian gandson informed me there was no “cat heaven”–just one heaven for us all….


  • Skye H. says:

    Please add me to the drawing.


  • Alica says:

    I would like to be in the drawing, thanks.

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Patty,
    Please enter me in the drawing.

    I loved the trickster lawyer part of your write up! You crack me up.

  • Jacki says:

    I love they way you write…one of my favorite blogs. Please enter me in the draw.

  • Steve H says:

    Please enter me in the drawing – evokes such sad memories of our entire tank that my mom “poached” one cold winter East Coast night (cranked up the water heater because it was too cold).

  • BBliss says:

    Love your post! V. funny fish story – you just can’t make up what kids say in real life. Lawyers can’t argue with children – because their reasoning is creative and far beyond adult logic. I see this daily with hubby and kiddos. We had many church bazaar goldfish, and also an aquarium that sprang a leak on the day of a great-aunt’s funeral. We came home to an empty tank and fish flopping on the wood floor. They lived in an Igloo cooler with a pump for a couple of months – my dad’s genius solution. That Igloo was done for after that.

    I adore the Eau and the Parfum – it is definitely apart from almost everything else I’ve smelled. Very rich and full without suffocating – please include me in the draw! Thank you!

  • Elle says:

    Love that story! DH and DF were both lawyers. DH had the good sense to give it up and switch professions and DF hated it w/ a passion, but stuck w/ it till early retirement. DF never bothered w/ stories like that since his mother had told him his father, who died of alcoholism when he was 10, actually died due to eating too much burnt toast. He grew up w/ quite a burnt toast phobia. 🙂 Decided never to bs w/ his daughter when she asked questions.
    MUST try the parfum version.

  • Anne says:

    Patty, love to be entered in the draw if it’s not too late, love the story about your son and love your blog! Yes, I’m feelin’ the Friday!

  • Louise says:

    After coming home from a very hot day at the school fair with 3, count’em, 3 bagged live fish my ex told our son that they needed to cool off in the freezer awhile…yep, goldfish euthanasia.

    Our son recovered, my respect for his dad, not so much…

    Please enter me-thanks!

  • M.C. says:

    Please enter me too. Loved the story. As a lawyer, I can relate. Kids are the toughest cross-examiners.

  • patchamour says:

    Hey Patty,

    Happy New Year! I love the fish story — especially the part about the code and “Can you handle the truth?” You’re a great mom. It’s probably too late to get into the drawing, but if not, pitch me in there.

  • Patty says:

    Got all of you put in the drawing! Thank you!!!

  • Clarissa says:

    Oh, yes, enter me in the drawing. Love the scent and collect the scarves of Hermes. Had a great day yesterday; broke the seal on the 14-item F. Malle sampler set that I bought at Barneys last fall and tried Carnal Flower. Can’t wait to get to the rest; the SA had me with the lipstick rose scent that brought back the days of smelling REAL lipstick.

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Hi March! Happy New Year!

    Your description of the “new” Merveilles sounds lovely. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the original, since it featured no florals. Somehow it magically smelled fresh and lovely.

    Please enter me in the draw! :d

  • CindyN says:

    Great story. No trickster lawyer is ever up to the challenge of the logic of a 3-5 yr. old. Hmm, maybe lawyers should be 3-5 yrs. old. That’d solve a lot of problems, eh? Please enter me into the “vunderful, vunderful” drawing. Happy belated New Year.

  • Lauren says:

    We have a fish in heaven, too.

    Please enter me in your drawing.


  • Dana says:

    Cute story!

    Please enter me in the drawing.


  • Vetiveronica says:

    If there is an Animal Heaven, is there is an Animal Hell? Euthanize Fluffy Shafransky!

    Please enter me in the Parfum des Merveilles drawing. Thank you.

  • IrisLA says:

    Parenthood is filled with cute stories like yours!

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

  • carole says:

    Glad I could make you smile, after you shared the highlight of your marriage-had to share!

  • Patty says:

    mharvey — will do!

    Maria — my husband used to have a fish tank too, and he loved it, and tended it. It was his baby. And I dont’ know what happened, but one morning we got up and all the water had drained out, and every fish was dead. It was heartbreaking. Must have had a seam that leaked. He took the tank, the fish, all of his books, chemicals, the stand, everything out to the alley and left it. Of course all the trash-divers came through and walked off with every last bit of it withint four hours.

    he won’t get another one yet.

  • Patty says:

    Morgan, glad you commented! My kids are really funny. I have another story that I’ll save for next week about the younger one and a noose. Now I just have to figure out how to connect it to a perfume!

  • Patty says:

    R — um, yeah! I don’t know how else to explain it. EdM really does waft and create tons of lovely sillage. PdM knocks you flat… in a good way!

  • Patty says:

    Carole, shy fish? That’s a classic! =))

  • Maria B. says:

    Patty, I was ROFLing over your story. Early on in our relationship my husband and I tried to keep a tank of tropical fish. Everything was fine the first week. After that, whoever got up first got to awaken the other with the Dead Fish Report.

    I love salty sea smell! I smell salt in the drydown of Un Jardin en Mediterranee. I keep my nose on my arm, I like the salt so much. I may have missed a review somewhere, but I haven’t run across any other mention of salt in Mediterranee, so I don’t know if it’s just my body chemistry playing up the salt. If that’s the case, let it play!

    Please include me in the drawing–and thank you!

  • mharvey816 says:

    Great story! Please put me in the drawing — thanks!

  • Morgan says:

    I love the blog and read it every morning. First time I’ve dropped a comment. That story was so funny I had to drop one though. And the parfum des merveilles sounds amazing. Love to have a sniff.

  • violetnoir says:

    Saltier…warmer…more peppery, P?

    Now I’m intrigued. 😮


  • carole says:

    My much younger brother had a similar experience-he thought perhaps the fish was not eating because he was shy!

    May I be entered in the draw as well, oh Great One?

  • Patty says:

    Tom — will do!

    Twibbet — only in perfume world can dead fish wind up being a perfume review. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Mwah, R! Happy New Year to you too, and Happy Anniversay, too, unless my memory is failing, and it probably is.

    Parfum and Elixir are really different. Parfum is much saltier and warmer and peppery, and the ambergris is right out all over it, which I adore. I’m trying to triangulate what I know of the things to you love to see if you’ll love the parfum, and I’m just not sure.

  • Patty says:

    Thank you, Madelyn! I’ve loved all three variations of the Merveilles too. Not everyone loved the Elixir, but I just adore that chocolate that is front and center — one of the few gourmands that do it for me.

    It was brilliance, and one of the few perfumes that I’d like to see them ake a couple of other versions of.

  • Patty says:

    Dinazad and Susan, put you in the drawing!

  • Patty says:

    Gaia — I tried to tell him he was going about it the wrong way. Alex has always been super-smart, and it was an utter failure to know who his kid was that led to that mess. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Marina, love you back! ^:)^

  • Patty says:

    Jamie and Christine, put you in the drawing!

  • Patty says:

    Kathy — fish and salt in a great way! Like the best of it, without any of the oogie smell.

    A friend of mind had her son convinced of Santa until he was 12, I think and he was so pissed when he found out the truth. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Emily, I find the Parfum saltier and peppery-ier. If your skin eats salt, you may not get that, but it’s more likely to be smelt in this than the eau.

  • Patty says:

    Of course, Chaya!

    I liked the contrast too, it suited my contrary nature. @-)

  • Patty says:

    March — isn’t it just amazing? I love Eau too, so I didn’t think the Parfum could be any better. Genius.

  • Twibbet says:

    Any perfume that makes you think of dead fish has gotta be a winner. 😉 Please put me in the drawing!

  • tmp00 says:


    Funny story-

    count me in!

  • violetnoir says:

    Hello, my love. Happy New Year! I hope you are well and not snowed in. 😡

    I have not tested Parfum des Merveilles, but I love Elixir des Merveilles. Do you know how they compare?

    Hugs and love!

  • Patty says:

    Jo and Eliza, put you in the drawing!

  • Patty says:

    L — you’re feisty when you’re sick as a dog. Nope, no cute letter thingie on that house, just a plain flat front door. He had to go into the long explanation about how the whole fish didn’t fly up, just their little fishy souls. He extricated himself pretty un and disgracefully.

    This led to years of Alex and I having “the code” when he wanted the stone-cold truth about Santa and The Easter Bunny and S-e-x. I would ask him, “You want the truth, can you handle the truth?” And he would grin and say yes, and then I’d tell him the truth.

    And I’m a big believer and fan of heaven, so that part of it didn’t bother me a bit… just that the whole fish disappeared up into heaven was so not right. Criminy, I’m still trying to undo that gaffe, and Alex is 20 years old!!

  • Madelyn E says:

    Hello ! Beautiful photos ! I would love to be in our drawing. It is only a matter of time before I succumb to the Eau de Merveilles. Elixir. Parfum …whatever ! I really love it .. but once I take the plunge .I’m in . I prefer the Eau to the Elixir and the Parfum above all ! Hermes hit the jackpot with this stunning scent .
    As for the fish theme .. I can relate to the sight of another dearly departed goldfish ..floating on top of the bowl.. Sad. Love the comforing thoughts !

  • hausvonstone says:

    great story. and i love the color connection with PdesM. please enter me in the drawing. i’ll try to sniff this today somewhere…

  • dinazad says:

    Me too, please! Both in my appreciation of the story (cute!) and my wish to be included in the drawing (please!). Thanks!

  • I can’t stop giggling. I wonder what the lawyer’s explanation would have been had the fishies made their way to heaven via the cat’s digestive system…
    I have yet to smel PdM. Please add me to drawing.

  • Christine says:

    Very cute story. Ahh, the trickster lawyer got stuck a bit, eh? All the better.

    Also, please enter me in the drawing, thank you!

  • Marina says:

    Love the story! Love Parfum des Merveilles! Love Perfume Posse 😡

  • Jamie says:

    Please put me in the drawing. Thanx!

  • Kathy says:

    Hmmm…I’m a little afraid of all of this fish and salt talk, but I’d love to be entered into the drawing.

    Thank goodness they don’t give away fish at the school fairs here! I love the story though. It reminds that children always find the holes in the explanations. I have a trickster lawyer of my very own (but he’s not so awfully tricksy), but he doesn’t even attempt to explain the mysteries of life because he is much too logical for that stuff. I’ve done an almost too good of a job, and my children may go to college believing in Santa and the tooth fairy!

  • Emily says:

    I loved the story about your son!!!

    How salty is the parfum compared with Eau Des Merveilles? Is the salt note different? The salt note in the original EDT pretty much eludes me; salt is one of my favorite notes and I detect more pepper than salt in this scent, which is probably just how it is on my skin.

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Eliza J says:

    That is a cute story! What a smart little kiddo.

    I would love to be included in the drawing.

  • chayaruchama says:

    I love that story.
    The real world, Patty- OUR real world.
    I agree heartily on the parfum.
    I just loves me ambergris !

    I’m kinda tickled that you mention Yosh in the same sentence…
    Ferociously fishy-sweet with undiluted floral romance-hmmmm.

    May I be added, just for kicks ?
    Thanks, babe.

  • March says:

    Well, it just happens that I have a sample of this sitting right here which I tried yesterday \:d/ and I have to say — I was SURE I’d be disappointed, given my love for the original Eau. But you’re right — the proportions seem the same to me, only very amped-up. That fishy ambergris smell … swoon. Now here is an excellent example of a fragrance that pretty much does NOT smell like anything else I can think of.

  • Jo says:

    Ha – very cute story. Would have loved to see ex-d/h’s face!! Hey, please include me in the drawing this week.
    Thanks so much

  • Leopoldo says:

    Trickster lawyers – who needs ’em? I’m happy to underperform myself. Cute story and your boy showed brilliance from an early age. Did ex- go for a letter box slot explanation (one of the fish held it open with a dorsdal fin whilst the other floated on through)? – or maybe you don’t have those cuz of your outdoor mailbox type scenario American thingamijig… [and… cut!]

    Anyway – perfume. I sniffed this in my nearest local high end store a week or so back. You’re right. It’s damn beautiful.

    Throw me in your drawers now!