Heating Up

I love August in Washington, D.C. Anyone with a shred of self-respect has left town. August is the month when D.C. morphs from the city JFK aptly described as having “southern efficiency and northern charm” to having southern efficiency and southern charm. It´s slooooooooow. Also, it was 102 degrees yesterday — too hot to do much besides watch the asphalt melt and eat popsicles on the porch. There are homegrown tomatoes and excellent white peaches. And there are karmic payoffs – like the doofus driving behind me in the Mercedes yesterday, honking at me all the way down the damn road because I was – get this – doing the speed limit. So when s/he blew through the stop sign right after me in a fit of irritation, s/he was greeted by the cop who sits there just writing tickets. It´s like shooting fish in a barrel. I´m all for it. That´s the intersection in front of our village store, where the kids cross, and people who are too busy to stop at that sign can bite my biscuit.

August is the month when I can write words like “bite my biscuit” on the blog, because many of you fine readers are on vacation too! I could write about anything. I could probably stick up recipes for chocolate pudding. I could put up some more photos of me on vacation.

Although now I´m worried, now that you know I´m “twinkly.” Now that you know I´m less august7.jpg and more

When I get older will I look like …

or august2.jpgor ?

When my hair´s short, people tell me I look like , which I take as a compliment even if I don´t quite see it.

If I could choose, I´d want to look like She´s still modeling and she´s still hotter than the sun.

Okay, enough of that. My nose has recovered sufficiently to delve into the wonders of Dusan´s gift packet, which I noticed right off the bat contained a vial labeled “SKANK” in all caps, which I´m thinking is that manky gross-out WET scent, and some M7. Which unfortunately was not accompanied by M7 guy, the martial-artist. Although a girl can dream…. hey! let’s go google that ad, shall we?!?? WARNING: SCROLLDOWN ALERT. STOP NOW IF YOU’RE AT WORK!

YSL M7. Are you wild for that photo? Why can´t we have ads like this in the U.S.? Think what it would do for magazine readership! Everybody loves M7. (notes: bergamot, mandarin, rosemary, vetiver, agarwood, amber, musk, mandrake root.) It’s a crime you can’t find this everywhere, just YSL Homme or whatever. In fact, maybe it´s discontinued. Anyway, I was looking forward to discovering whether M7 can rise to its reputation – whether it can go the distance, whether it measures up. Weird. It goes on all fabulous, more vetiver than citrus on me. There’s the handful of crushed herbs, then the characteristic sharp smokiness of agarwood … then poof. I can´t smell it. Clearly an anosmia issue, because if I give it 30 minutes and whiff again, there it is. It´s lovely; it’s extremely masculine, one of the few fragrances I can say I probably would feel funny wearing out of the house. It lasted all day, another plus. But to be honest, it didn´t stand a chance against the charms of…

WET. Cribbing directly from Nobi at Made by Blog: “In 2003, Terry Richardson and Dominique Ropion collaborated on a scent called ‘WET’ for Visionaire. The image which inspired the perfumer was Richardson´s photo of a woman´s breasts covered with sperm.” Well … that’s disgusting, isn’t it? But WET´s not the retch-fest that Secretions Horrifique is. It doesn´t smell like any secretions. It smells like a cross between L´Artisan Dzing! and a nice snog on an expensive leather couch. I have always been sad that I’m one of the folks Dzing! doesn’t work well on — I get more of the murky elephant-dung smell, not the delicious hay/leather other people get — but I keep trying, hoping it’ll all work out someday. (Actually, I guess I should buy my bottle now, because I believe it’s being discontinued.) WET combines a musky, sensual smell, reminiscent of Malle Musc Ravageur, with a note I’m having difficulty latching onto — it’s a lightness to the fragrance, a freshness, like rain, but not the dreaded fresh accord, adding an almost delicate aspect to a fragrance that is fairly intense. I found the scent strangely … beautiful. During the test-drive Hecate said, “Mom, can I have some of that fume? It smells really good.” Proving that: a) it´s not nauseating and b) maybe Hecate´s a freak just like mommy. Oh, I forgot – I just went back and reread Dusan´s email and WET´s not actually approved for application to skin. Bummer. I guess we´ll see whether my arm falls off. In the meantime, I decided to tart it up a bit. So I tried layering it with:

CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention – you knew that´s where this was going, right? Excellent combination – the sweetness of Musk really offsets the leather in WET nicely. So then I tried…

the vintage bottle of Bal a Versailles that Hausvonstone sent me because she thinks it smells like @ss. Wow, Hausvonstone, you are not kidding! It’s only an EdC, I wonder if somebody’s hand slipped when they were adding the dirty bits to that batch?! Layered with WET, well, that’s not something you smell every day. It was a pretty epic battle — Bal started off strong, then WET came back, then they started doing the Humpty dance. The resulting combination of incense, leather, sweat and civet was extraordinary, worth taking out in the heat for a spin to get the maximum effect.  Here’s hoping all the neighborhood dogs don’t come hang around the front door.

  • minette says:

    hi. yes, i’ve tried l’air du rien – and it is the most amazing recreation of a barnyard, stable and pasture i’ve ever smelled on skin – at least for the first few minutes. totally shocking. and yet, once this thing dries down, it is the most gorgeous skin scent ever. of course, i like it. but i’ll have to give it another test run before commiting. on the plus side, miller harris terre de bois (i think that’s the one) has the same delicious drydown without the barnyard up front.

  • hausvonstone says:

    hey March – Just to clarify – the Bal is “new” – I got it for a friend online at Xmas time. I ordered 2. She sent me one. Mine (yours now, hehehe) was skankified, hers was somewhat ‘normal.’ See you in the heat and humidity…

    • March says:

      Wow, I am even more shocked to discover it’s new! I assumed it was some sort of skank fermentation process to blame.

      You’d think the new ones would smell like a fruity-floral.[-(

  • Tigs says:

    You are going to really make me suffer for my “twinkly” comment. I had the best of intentions. I have been described as “perky” before, and many times as “bubbly”, which is almost as bad, so I guess I understand. My friends were playing a game where they were assigning an animal to various people (I was not in the room at the time) and when I came up, four people (3 guys, 1 gal) said simultaneously and firmly: “Hamster.” When I heard this, I was quite wounded, and I don’t know why.

    On WET we will have to agree to disagree. It is the only fragrance that has ever made me feel nauseous, so it gets points just for that. The inspiration makes me more nauseous still. Fascinating, but really unbearable for me. A fragrance that makes me feel dirty, sweaty, fine… a fragrance that makes me feel *sticky*? No, thanks. The vanilla and powder on top makes it all the worse…

    • March says:

      Hamster? HAMSTER?!?! My god, woman. I am laughing and crying at the same time. I shudder to think what my assigned animal would be. I’ll say “minx.” The reality is probably closer to “chipmunk.”

      Your reaction to WET was great to read. I completely obliterate the vanilla/powder bits — there for 2 seconds then gone (thankfully, that would have been offputting.) It’s such a smooth, non-sticky thing on me. Ugh. Sticky is not a description I want for any fragrance I’m going to like.

  • minette says:

    WET sounds perfect. They need to make it available for skin. And just plain available. And, I love M7 – it’s one of my favorite cool-weather scents. I don’t feel the least bit self-conscious wearing it – in fact, it somehow makes me feel even more feminine. But then, I’m one of those who dig Dzing! and think that L’Artisan lost its mind discontinuing it.

    • March says:

      It’s fun reading everyone’s different reactions to scents — one of my favorite parts of blogging (see Tigs’ comment below!) I think that, in general, I magnify dirty/masculine aspects of fragrances. Not that I’m complaining./:) But even I can feel like I’ve crossed the line at some point. If you wear M7 and Dzing! well, then you’re a lucky lady. Have you ever tried the Rien one? L’Air du Rien or whatever it’s called? Absolutely unwearable on me, and I don’t say that too often. Filthy thing. I wonder if you’d like it…:-“

  • annie says:

    :dOK!!!!!…..you have made my day with the wonderful M7 ad,oh my yes!/:)

  • tmp00 says:

    You look like Ms. Bening’s kid. At the very least kid sister.

    People who run stop signs should have their licenses revoked, their cars given to charity and be forced to commute to and fro in really uncomfortable shoes.

  • SuzanneK says:

    After a year of reading the Posse and other fave perfume blogs, I’ve finally decided to jump in and comment. You’re gorgeous, March! You have the kind of delicate beauty that makes a person want to lean in closer to take a longer look. And your writing — so smart, funny, poignant…I love reading your posts. (Not to mention, you’ve got great taste in men!)

    • March says:

      Wow, thanks! And thanks for diving in and commenting. I know it’s hard to delurk — I went months before commenting on any blogs.

      Now, well, you can’t shut me up. It could happen to you…:-“

  • Tina says:

    this ad is probably the only thing in the whole world that unites all women together in one single long sigh “aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh”. see, no perfume is capable of doing that because some of us prefer flowers and others sandalwood or vanilla. but that guy, he’s just *perfect* in every aspect and suddenly, our tastes are not all that different after all ;).
    I would *love* to see some of your vacation photos, or you in vintage, for example. just make sure you don’t post them next week when I finally part for my vacation at the sea.
    love your posts, always @};- :d !

    • March says:

      That image — wow, something for everyone, eh? Interesting aside: googling that image let me to various hunk blogs of a homoerotic sort. Now all the dudes are shaved — completely depilated torsos. I guess I’m old enough to have missed that trend. They seem … well, of course they’re beautiful boys, but oddly naked. Like plucked chickens. A little hair to run your nose through is a good thing.

      Have a lovely vacation!

      • Lee says:

        *proudly asserts his love of body hair*. That doesn’t mean I like orangutans, though. Well, I do, a lot, but not in *that* way. Oh, I’ll just clear off again…

      • Tina says:

        I’m probably of the younger sort, but I’m with you on men body hair all the way . 😉

        • March says:

          Lee and Tina — Body hair — what a funny thing. No, I don’t like uber-hairy guys so much either — I don’t want some huge thatch, like a gorilla. M7 Man has the ideal amount of body hair, IMHO.

          Lee, I am relieved to hear you don’t like orangutans in that way.


  • Divalano says:

    Woof, thanks for the ad! Not sure I want to sniff (bergamot & I = not friends) but it’s nice to see appreciation of the human form is still alive & well someplace on the plant, lol.

    But … I don’t understand about WET. I can’t pull up the Made by Blog entry so I Googled … why wasn’t WET made for skin application? And … I see it was for a specific event … was it ever sold on the market? I’d love to sniff.

    • March says:

      Hey, you’re the smutty art collector — sorry, erotic art:)>-

      I’m totally unfamiliar with Terry Richardson’s work (although I find him repulsive), have you seen the image referred to?

      No, WET wasn’t made for public consumption, I don’t think. And I believe Nobi had asked the perfumers to recreate the scent for him to send out as samples, rather than getting ahold of the original. Someone who got a sample peeled off a taste for me, knowing my fondness for skank.

  • Patty says:

    You and your musk. 🙂

    Love ya, miss ya! Wish I weren’t in the heat, gag!

    • March the Musky says:

      Uh … you know, I meant to email you prior, to make sure the M7 dude didn’t offend your sensibilities.

      Then I remembered your comment on the blog awhile back re: Colin Firth and decided I didn’t need to worry.

  • Flor says:

    After you applied the killer combo, did you take it out for a spin? I think that would be interesting, seeing people’s reaction as you pass them by – casually reach over them in the market to grab a can on the highest shelf. I imagine it wouldn’t go unnoticed. 😉

    • March says:

      You betcha!!! Went to the gym. I’ll wear almost anything to the gym that isn’t overtly floral — I figure all my ripe smells are blending in with the general smell of gym-sweat. Then I went to the co-op afterwards for groceries (another place sweaty smells are acceptable). I didn’t notice anyone stepping away from me, a reaction I have triggered before in other venues (elevators, Saks.):-“

      • Louise says:

        Hey March-what happened to your search of several months ago for an “appropriate”, non-obtrusive scent for the gym…clearly a hunt abandoned!

        • March says:

          No, no — I’ve got a pile of gym-friendly scents, lighter things like the Bvlgari teas, Clinique Simply and Jill Sander Sensations. But honestly, particularly if I’m out in the regular stinky gym rather than in a class, I can get away with rank scents. I don’t wear florals to the gym because they nauseate ME, in addition to everyone around me.

  • Melissa says:

    Might I suggest that all of you start dabbling in painting and/or sculpting and then you can have “reference” books of beautiful naked people lying around and no one will bat an eye? :d

    For my birthday, a dear friend bought me a coffee-table book called “Locker Room Nudes DIEVX DV STADE”. It’s full of lovely black and white nude photos of the “Rugby Players of Stade Francias Paris and their Guests.” Mmmmm Mmmm :d

    On me, Dzing is all gasoline with a little elephant poo and sawdust sprinkled on top. So sad because I really WANT to like it. Several of the powerful leather fragrances (Like Cuir Ottoman) also trigger the “gasoline” section of my nose/brain–so strange!

    • March says:

      Mercy me. I will have to look into getting a copy of that book.#-o I love athletes in the buff…

      I almost never get gasoline, which is good because I loathe the smell of gasoline. I get “cat pee” all the time, though.:-&

      • Lee says:

        It’s certainly full of beauties. Not that I have a copy, you must understand. Just did some web-searching. Ahem.:”>

        • March says:

          Hey, Lee — I tried to post a link but it was deemed too smutty and went right in the filth filter. I’ll email it to you…:-“

          • Louise says:

            Damn! I cant even see the original hot pic (I cant imagine that the French would censor it…) and y’all are trading naughty photos…

          • March says:

            Louise, honey — just google “Yves M7” images and Bob’s your … uh, funny uncle.

            Lee and I are exchanging some fairly smokin’ emails regarding similar materials.

          • Louise says:

            OK, got it…I gotta go for a walk now…

    • Divalano says:

      Ha ha … yes, re: the art books. My ex-bf & I both shoot lots of arty erotic nude & fetishy type of stuff & we loved it that we could toddle off to Tower Books & buy all kinds of achingly delicious printed matter & self-righteously call it “research”, lol. And yes, no one, not even one’s parents can argue w your collection of art nudes & vintage pin up books if it’s work related 😉

      signed … Dzing & Cuir Ottoman devotee

  • Elle says:

    Deep sigh. You expect me to be in a verbal mode and comment after Mr. M7? I definitely like the scent (although, more as a layering scent), but I prefer the man.
    Was out of town when you posted your picture. You’re gorgeous! Warren would drop Annette in a second for you if only you were single.
    And D.C. heat? Good God, it’s a killer. Way worse than anything I’ve experienced in South or Central America. The air just doesn’t *move*. Right now in NC it’s just about as bad as D.C., though. I actually love summer and the heat, but I like dry heat. I don’t want to feel like I need my scuba gear when I step outside. However, I’ve discovered that Tubereuse Criminelle is amazingly delicious during this heat wave.

    • March says:

      He’s an eyeful, isn’t he?

      Vindication!!! You, Fragrance Twin, declare it “more of a layering scent.” If you stop back by, what do you layer it with?

      Thanks for the compliments.:”> I’m not sure I have the patience for Warren.

      My lawn is crunchy underfoot. I’m concentrating on saving the shrubs, particularly my beloved hydrangeas and roses. But there is something about this heat that really makes fragrances bloom.

  • Marina says:

    March, you behave! tsk tsk tsk Others may have left, but I am here and I am keeping an eye on you.
    Welcome back, missed you!

    • March says:

      Marina — I know, I know. But he is so lovely to look at, isn’t he? Although he isn’t doing anything to lower my body temperature.;) The first time I saw that ad I was stunned, and the thrill ain’t gone yet.

  • Judith says:

    I can see AB, too–but I think (with others here) that your face shines with a soul that is missing from the professional beauties you picture. I mean, you ARE beautiful–but you are also clearly interesting (I am not at sure that that is true of Linda).

    M7 is also interesting–the perfume as well as the ad–but I do perceive it as a bit too masculine for me (not a usual perception on my part). Maybe I should mix with Tubereuse Criminelle; when I layered that with Montale Cuir d’Arabie (as per Karl of Aedes’ suggestion) it handily took care of a similar problem. :d

    • March says:

      Judith — you are, as always, very sweet. (I’m not sure Linda’s very interesting, but I think she’s interesting-looking.)

      Aha!!! Great confirmation of my feeling that M7 is too manly for me. There are so very few fragrances I feel that way about. I think I’ll skip the TC:-ss, but I am sure I could find another substitute! M7 would make a great base for a number of things, I think.

  • Louise says:

    I can totally see the Annette Benning thing-only you’re hotter!

    Sweet Marchess-I miss you but not the DC heat. Betwee a few raindrops the weather is soooo comfortable here in Orleans-and life is great. Dear friends, amazing food, a few new ‘fumes (Femme EDP really cheap at the drugstore, Belle de Rykiel-not bad at all-plenty of patch to keep me happy).

    I love M7 and the CB; I may love BdV when I grow up a bit. Ill glqdly try WET anytime! Must chase you round starbucks with my Perfect Night and new Montales soon 🙂

    • March says:

      Oh, I miss you too!! It sounds like you are having a delightful time. I’m glad you’re missing the wretched weather. Continue to have a great time, and we’ll get together soon. I’ll bring my WET. I bet you turn it into Pink Sugar.:-“

  • Cheezwiz says:

    March I so wanted to read your perfume review more carefully…but
    I am a bit distracted by the ad. Why can’t we have ads like this in North America indeed! (Thanks for posting it) :d

    • March says:

      That ad is mesmerizing. What a beautiful, beautiful man. The cleaned-up version (tighter crop) is gorgeous too, because you can see his face and upper body more closely. Although they’ve done something interesting with the light — in other photos I’ve seen his face is less handsome, nose is kind of spuddy. But still. I love him — he’s a MAN — in all his hairy wonderfulness. He hasn’t waxed it all off, or whatever it is they do to turn themselves back into prepubescent boys…

  • Gina says:

    I don’t miss humidity. I’m originally from Georgia, have lived in Los Angeles (the capital of REALLY bad drivers) since 1988, back when my hair was B.I.G. Hair can get really big out here, no humidity to drag in down. Ha. Now my hair’s not big, which I think is a good thing. I once worked with a girl from Texas who said “The bigger your hair, the closer to God” and another gem “The bigger your hair, the smaller your butt looks”.

    Oh, March, you’re great-looking. Linda’s hot and all, but you have SOUL that shines from your photo. That’s far more interesting to me. I am a make-up artist. I work with these crazy beautiful, strangely inhuman 14-20 year olds a lot. I prefer the real, the beauty that’s complicated and interesting, approachable, full of soul and good stories.

    Ok, I’m in LOVE with that M7 ad. Truly. This country is screwed in the way that violence is acceptable, not a problem to show someone’s head getting blown off, BUT, if you show a penis, God forbid! It drives me a crazy that sex and nudity are so VERBOTEN here. I wish there were ads like that in the US too. It’s a shame.

    Bought me a big-ass bottle of Dzing! cuz it’s pure heaven on me. Got it all hidden away in the dark, can’t understand why they’d discontinue that. Wet sounds interesting, M7 too. Thanks for another great review.

    • March says:

      Gina — I think I should do a post where everyone sends in one hilarious photo from their past. I’m willing to bet x percentage of the blog readers have some killah shots from the 80s featuring giant hair and huuuuge shoulder pads.

      Dzing! pure heaven on you!?!? Soooo very jealous.=:) The SA in the store that sells it here wears it really well, he always obliges me by putting some on so I can sniff him.

      Don’t even get me started on the sex/nudity thing. A movie like “Saw” is an R, and a movie with some guy’s glory is an X (or whatever the kiss-of-death rating is these days)? We glorify violence and abhor the body in so many twisted ways.

      • Gina says:

        HA! I would love to see some good 80’s photos, the big hair and shoulder pads in all their glory. I was a groupie in the 80’s. Not the kind of “have sex with the bands” groupie, but I’d follow bands around, flirt, play a little, really was lots of fun. So, you can imagine the photos from that time are really hilarious.

        Glad you agree on the whole issue of the US being totally ass-backwards when it comes to violence, sex, and nudity.

        On an aside, another perfume that smells great on me is Let me Play the Lion. I mention this because I wore it yesterday and when I woke up this morning it was still lingering, I love it when that happens.

        • March says:

          Hey, I need to go dig that up! That’s on my re-try list. I have all of those here somewhere, and I never quite fell for that one the way I thought I would. I want to try it in this absurd heat.

  • Lee says:

    Betty Rubble was hot, but you’re way better than her. Plus, you’re a cool dresser even when you claim that you’re down to the last scrpas of your suitcase. You’ll always be a Linda Evangelista to me…

    And bad drivers – I’m totally with you on that one. I live on a 30mph speed limit road, but it looks like the country – I saunter across and often come close to death – the wnakers!:-w

    • Louise says:

      Hey Lee! My email ate your address last night as I tried to respond-do you mind resending? Ta!

    • March says:

      Oh, I love you! You can have anything you want… 😉 the thing I like(d) about Linda is, I think she actually has a very interesting face. Her nose is sort of wrong, if you look at it closely. Her features fight with eachother. And yet she’s so very lovely. She was a supermodel; she had her own distinct look, unlike so many of the current girls who I can barely tell apart.

  • luv_bug says:

    Everyone knows that Betty Rubble was the hottest little number in Bedrock, anyway.

    • March says:

      It’s true, Betty was hot. But you always want what you don’t have, no? My best friend in high school was 6 feet tall and curvaceous, and I was tiny. I think we’d have swapped bodies in a heartbeat. Shopping together was hilarious — we both had a hard time finding clothes that fit our outside-the-box shapes. That’s when I really got into vintage. I find it funny that, in vintage, I’m a size 12 or thereabouts.

      • luv_bug says:

        People used to be so tiny. I live in LA, and everytime I visit Mann’s Chinese Theater, I marvel at how small the women’s hand and footprints are. Some of them look like children. My feet are literally twice the size of some of them.

        I know what you mean about wanting to be what you’re not. Now that I’m an adult, I love my coffee-and-cream skin and dark, thick hair, but I grew up in a very small, very white town. I used to gaze at my palms–which are much lighter than the rest of me–and try to *will* their whiteness onto the rest of my body.

        • March the Pale says:

          Oh, to have coffee and cream skin! I used to look at my darker-skinned friends and try to will THEIR color onto me.

          I have a small collection of vintage Red Cross shoes — those black lace-up granny shoes — which I actually wear. I notice that this fall there are all sorts of riffs on that theme in the fashion mags. Anyway, one of the hardest bits of winning them on eBay is that most of them are TINY — size 5 or so. When you get into size 7 or larger there’s a lot of competition.

  • Maria says:

    I want you to know this isn’t the usual Maria B. Nope, it’s some other Maria–one whose husband wouldn’t shout “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT!” if he were to step out of the shower and the screen hadn’t been modestly scrolled all the way down to the comments block. :”>

    March, the heat in DC sounds disgusting. Fortunately, my DH’s boss is attending a conference there right now but there wasn’t enough money to send my DH. >:)

    I don’t even want to think about the combination you put on. Let me just comment that Dzing! doesn’t work for me either. It’s perky–just perky. I don’t do perky. And you don’t look like Betty Rubble.

    • March says:

      Hahahahha!!! I keep scrolling past it rapidly. I hope this is one of the days the Cheese is too busy to read the blog (he’s been keeping an eye on me.)

      Perky!!! Now there’s a word you could apply to me that would really hurt my feelings (no, I know you didn’t.)

      Your husband is a lucky man. We’re having power brownouts now.:-ss I hope they continue to confine them to 2a.m.