Winner from Last Week

JenniferR is the winner of last week’s drawing for the JAR sample set. Just hit the Contact Us Button over there on the left, and I’ll send you off your sample set!  You can hate me later if you wind up loving some of them.

I had high hopes for NEW Pucci Vivara, as did everyone who saw that adorable bottle, but, alas, the plain bottle of the vintage Vivara is what contains the treasure. New Vivara tries too hard, laughs too loud, and turns out to be just another brittle bottle blond, not as young as she first seemed under dark bar lighting — but not worth the energy to hate.  Vintage Vivara is a classic chypre with leather notes that doesn’t pretend to be anything else but what it is — no artifice here, just smoky laughter and a nose that’s a little too big, but somehow fits the face it lives on.  Why did they not truly just update the old one a little or just flat-out reissue it as is? I never get when they bring back a classic and then butcher it. Worse yet, put it in a cute, very desirable bottle that drives me mad with bottle lust, but I won’t buy it with that mess inside of it.

As I enter the Eve of My Empty Nest Years, watching both of my sons, who are so different and unique and clearly march to the beat of their own drummer… or guitar, I know I did what all good perfumers should do — send out into the world something worth knowing and remembering, even if it is hated by some… or most.  I despise Angel, but I admire the skill and originality that created it, so I will always prefer to have it in the world rather than 100 forgettable “New” Vivaras.

As a side note, did you know you are never too old to learn how to play Guitar Hero II?  That’s right.  Harry modded his last guitar that came with the game so only he knows how it works, and it fits him (this means he tore it apart and put in kill switches in weird places, and it’s just.. not comfy for anyone else but his Size Gigantor hands). So I finally got to play with the normal guitar, and I sucked so bad the first two songs, I was ready to throw in the towel. Then… finally, all my years of trumpet and piano kicked in, and I knew where my fingers were supposed to go and when.  I’m still on beginner, but I ordered a new game so I can have my own unmodded guitar to practice on.  You’ll hear me off in the distance wailing on “Free Bird.”  Come on, you know you want to!

  • Amarie says:

    Dear Patty,
    I love to hear about your boys and you are so right in what you say. My eldest daghter is 16 and in China at the moment. So old, so young, so detirmined to be her own strong individual self. We prepare them the best we can and then let them use their wings.
    I’d never heard of Guitar Hero but when I asked my two younger boys were quick to fill me in. Hmmm…you mean I can relive Floyd and Zepplin? What about Deep Purple?
    Thank-you for your Vivara review, it means another ‘fume i can avoid going anywhere near.:)

  • Nancy says:

    I cannot get the picture out of my head of you wailing away on the guitar. If I did that, I think my daughter would die of embarrassment. Kudos to your wonderful, handsome boys if they let mom have her thrills sans eye rolling.

    I smelled the new Vivara yesterday. You know a scent *really* stinks when the SA says to you, “I can’t recommend it.” The bottle is great, though. The SA gave me a little jar of the cream. I’ll flush the cream down the toilet and have a cute little jar with the Gucci print. 🙂

  • JenniferR says:

    That’ll larn me to get to my favorite blogs so late in the day! Not only did I win, but I get to read somebody else dealing in her own inimitable way with the Imminent Empty Nest.
    My youngest just turned 18. She’s still “living at home,” but all this really means is that I still pay for her housing. And some of her perfume :).
    Do you suppose that if I take up Guitar Hero too I’ll become as clever a nose and writer as you, Patty?

  • March says:

    I’m flicking my Bic for you on the solo, babe!! Rock ON!!! I don’t play the git-tar, but I bet I could sing along to 95% of the Skynyrd oeuvre. And writing “Skynyrd” and “oeuvre” next to each other is really, really fun.

    What fragrance goes with Skynyrd? Hmmmmm. Something with dope in it? Maybe a splash of Southern Comfort?<):) Your boys are beautiful young men, gigantor hands included. And I remember that Ann Landers poll, I thought it was so sad. PS The Vivara bottle is great-looking. But the juice is :-ss

  • violetnoir says:

    Well, P, the apple does not fall far from that ole proverbial tree. Your men are just as handsome as their mamma is beautiful!

    And I’m diggin’ you on that guitar! Get down, woman, with your bad self, and keep on strumming. 😡


    • Patty says:

      thanks, sweetie!

      Have you tried it? It’s so fun. If you have a musical background, I think it’s easier, but it certainly isn’t necessary, and it’s just a blast to pretend you’re Eric Clapton for a little bit.

      • Patty says:

        That took some mad lit skillz, I’m impressed. 🙂

        I think a nice Haitian vetiver goes with Skynrd, mos def.

        Agree on the juice, it’s just whack. I kept hoping it was just a funky open, but the thing just would never define and become something… anything!

  • Linda says:

    Guitar Hero! At 37 I am also loving the game– and it makes the best party game ever. Get a whole roomful of people who don’t know how to play it tipsy and go to town. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      I’m so glad to find my GHII co-horts! Who knew, on a perfume blog, that there would be so many Guitar Hero fans.

      I need to do that, get toasted, invite friends over — wait, maybe I should invite friends over and then we get toasted. Yeah. that will work.

  • Love the photos!

    So, confess: When you play “Free Bird,” do you make your
    DH stand and hold a lighter aloft and sway back and forth?
    Because I would soooooo make my DH do that. And maybe
    get the kids some little sparklers or something, lol!

    • Patty says:

      :d I wish!!! I totally get into it, rocking back and forth. I have to get Harry to give me the password, though, to his game so I can have the songs unlocked! I can do heart-shaped box pretty darn well on medium, and I”m working my way up to expert!

  • Lee says:

    I love you and your crew! Patty, you’re the best!:x

    • Dusan says:

      Totally off-topic, ole boy: have you seen Roisin Murphy’s (ex-Moloko) latest video “Overpowered”? God, I’m so! Sexy as hell and with a great sense of humour. You like?

    • Patty says:

      As are you, my friend!

  • Suzanne says:

    Got the giggles when I read your comparison of the new Pucci Vivara to Vintage Vivara. Those brittle bottle blondes are always decked out in some flashy bit of frockery, but when you move in close, you notice that the blouse is cheap rayon and the pants are plether. Something makes me suspect that the cute new Pucci Vivara bottle that looks so great in photos (I haven’t seen it in person) would actually turn out to be disappointing in the same way. (But vintage Pucci anything…oooh, to die for!)

    P.S. Your sons are handsome guys, and I love seeing and hearing about them. Sounds like they as whip-smart and funny as their proud mama!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, and it really is all that. I haven’t seen the bottle up close and personal, just got about 15 samples thrown at me in my last few packages from saks.

      Oh, thanks! They really are wonderful. They’re not movie star matinee idols, but they are truly entertaining, smart, engaging human beings.

  • Lauren says:

    “For I’m free as a bird now, and this bird you’ll never change!” Yeah!

    Thanks for sharing pictures of your sons – they’re wonderful.

    And is anyone else hearing music from the Posse?

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, that’s it! Carry on My Wayward Son is on there too, and I think they’re coming out with an ’80s Rock Legends add-on. We need more Zep, Floyd, Hendrix and Clapton, though they’re not all ’80s. Metallica too, more Metallica.

      No music on here? I swear!

  • Dusan says:

    P, I now can’t get the visual out of my head of you slamming at the bass guitar, you hair metal goddess, you! 😀 And you rock, hon!
    You must be real proud of your boys. Alex is *so* handsome! Does Harry have his music recorded, a demo or something?

    • Patty says:

      I *always* wanted to play guitar. I learned a little bit, but just don’t have the time to stick with it enough to be any good. So Guitar Hero II is just the ticket to live my dreams! 🙂

      Harry does a little bit of everything, composes and plays, and he works with other musicians and singers. I’ll ask him if he has anything and then figure out if I can upload the audio file or if he’ll put it on youtube. He’s really quite good.

  • Helen T says:

    Aw, Patty, bittersweet moment indeed. And sure its gone by in someways in a moment, but one thats induced lots of sleepless moments and the aforementioned grey hairs.

    Are they going out into the world having inherited fabulous taste in fragrance? Sure they must be. Instead of being packed off with food parcels, they can go off with scent parcels 🙂

    • Patty says:

      You know, so far, no real affinity to scent, though they find it interesting. Harry probably has the better nose of the two of them. But they do smell great!!!

      • Helen T says:

        Hopefully they are interested enough not to go out into the world reeking of Axe/Lynx. Which is a service by you to all of humanity :d

  • Marina says:

    What handsome young men!!

    You are 26. I am 29. Let’s at least try to remember the, um, truth.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Bittersweet, my friend.
    Night and day…but worth every grey hair.
    My only other desire [ as is yours] is to send them out there capable of loving well, with a solid sense of ethos…

    Love those photos.

    • Patty says:

      Very. Do you remember that Ann Landers column that stirred up such a controversy like 30 years or more ago? I remember my parents talking about it. She did an informal poll, and more than half of her readers said if they had it to do over again, they would NOT have kids. I was horrified, as were my parents.

      I mean, for all the pain and worry, it’s all of that pain and worry and sacrifice that made me a better person than the selfish, vain, pretentious idiot I was before I had kids. I am thankful every day of my life than they made me over.

  • tmp00 says:


    I (obviously) don’t have kids, but my godchild is 15 this year and I have no idea how that happened. There’s a small adult there!

    How did this happen!?! I’m still 29! Oh well, even if it’s cyber, we’ll all still have each other, right? :d

    • Dusan says:

      Tom, FWIW, your photo at PST shaves at least 10 off your real age, so that would make you, what, 16? 🙂

    • Patty says:

      You are a veritable child next to my advanced age of fo*mumble*

      It is so weird to see them grow up and out and be completely different than how you thought they’d be, but yet the same.