Something Different Today

kindle.jpgOver the past many years, we’ve all shared a lot of things on this blog – cooking, reading, hobbies.  I will get to a perfume review today, but first I wanted to talk about my new favorite toy, the thing I swore I would never, ever get.  Yes, it’s the Amazon Kindle 2, the improved version of their original Kindle.

Even though I spend most of the day reading my computer screen, I’ve never really liked reading that way.  I wish I could put all my computer things on paper.  But as I was surveying my house a couple of weeks ago, trying to figure out where I could put more bookcases, I thought about the Kindle and how nice it would be to put all my books on one little device I could carry around with me everywhere.  Then I would never again lug a suitcase to Europe full of six books because I can’t make up my mind on what books to take with or I overestimate the time I’ll have to read, only to find I didn’t even get through one of them, plus picked up two more books in the airport – each way.

Kindle 2 is amazingly perfect,  in size, in usability and in readability. About the size of a paperback, as thin as my iPhone (iPhone just came out with its Kindle 2 app!), the screen itself is a sort of gray with black type, which is surprisingly easy to read, at least as a book and far easier than a computer screen.  It’s not backlit, but it also has no glare, so you can read it outside, in the car, anywhere, though you do need a lamp or booklight to read it in the dark.  It saves your page wherever you exit, the battery lasts for days.  On each side is a next page button, so it’s easy to thumb through your book. You can also make notes or place bookmarks in any book that you can pull up later.  Amazon also lets you try out the first few pages of a book for free by downloading it, and if you think it blows, just delete it. If you want to read the rest of it, just click and it shall be yours.

You can also get newspapers, some magazines and blog subscriptions (they don’t have Perfume Posse!) delivered to your Kindle 2.  How does it get there?  Free wireless provided by Amazon called Whispernet. If you run out of something to read while you’re waiting on line or the book you currently have loaded is just a snooze, you can go cruising through the Amazon Kindle store right on your Kindle 2 and be reading your new book in a couple of minutes.  Talk about your instant gratification!

My favorite feature?  Adjustable type.  I can now get my type big enough that I don’t need my glasses to read.  Do I love my Kindle 2?  Oh, yes, indeedy.  Now, it’s pricey – $359 – but when I consider that I just saved the price of a bookcase or two, plus the Kindle books are usually a few bucks or a lot of bucks cheaper, I figure I’ll make up the price of it in a year, easy, not even counting the saved cost of new bookcases. 

Will I still read regular books? Of course. I love the feel of a book in my hand, and not all books are on Kindle yet, though I keep clicking on the Request button to get a lot of my favorites moved to it.  If you love to read, but get tired of not having the right book with you when you’re stuck somewhere, the Kindle 2 will make you a very happy boy or girl, so don’t hestitate, thinking you could never get used to reading on a machine. You sure can, and you’ll love it.

So what perfume is in the sample drawer today?  M. Micallef’s new one, Aoud Gourmet, now available at Luckyscent – $212 for 100 mls.  Notes of Sugar, marzipan, honey, spice, patchouli, cedar, cypriol, amber, sandalwood, cashmeran, musks.  This is very much a bitterish oud scent, but richly spiced with a not too enormous sweet aspect.  I find the honey to be the loudest of the sweet notes, so it’s not sticky bun sweet, just pungently oud rich with a little layer of sweetness to take the worst of the sting out.  There’s an interesting balance between the two, a little offputting on the bitter, but the sweet draws you in.  I’m never sure why the Micallefs don’t get more attention.  Everything they have done, I’ve found to be interesting and wearable, and I much prefer their oud to Montales (hey, don’t shoot me!).

So would you ever consider reading a book on a device?  is it just too weird?  BTW, for those who asked on days when I just can’t them time to get to comments, my fugue has lifted completely, and I’m restored to my very happy self again.

  • Esri Rose says:

    I think of bitter exclusively as a taste — can’t imagine it as a smell. Acrid, sharp, yes. I think I need my nostrils educated — would love to be in the draw.

    Kindle would be a welcome present, but it irks me that the device is so spendy and the book prices usually more expensive than paperbacks. Production costs are soooo much lower! Kind of like how CDs were more expensive than cassette tapes, even though they were cheaper to produce. And now we’re stuck with spendy CDs, because people got used to it. I’m balkin’.

  • mijita says:

    I would, and have. It’s great for travel, and great for newspapers. I still much prefer a book. Please enter me in the drawing. MJ

  • carter says:

    I am a member of Audible and listen to a lot of books on my iPhone. I really like the audible format because I can listen to books while working out, grocery shopping, and just walking around the city (I’m in NYC). On the subway, listing to a book is great because it blocks out all of the other noise and puts you in a nice little personal isolation booth, which I particularly appreciate after a long day spent in the company of roughly 8-million others.

    I’m thinking about Kindle because the selection is a bit larger and the download process is so instantaneous — with Audible, books must first be downloaded to your computer and then to your mp3 player — but I do think that the price is too high and I’m afraid I’d find myself reaching for the iPhone earplugs too often instead.

  • I’ve drooled at a Kindle since I first saw them. Not to replace my books, and I’d always buy those big books on how to make. . .books. Yep, I not only read ’em, I make ’em! But to read on trips and in bed, and because you don’t have to carry another book when you are almost finished with the one you are reading. Just can’t afford it right now.
    And the ouds? This one sounds heavenly. Maybe if I quit buying perfumes for a year I could. . . nahhhh.

  • Aparatchick says:

    Yay for Kindle! I ordered mine earlier this week and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. Like so many other posters, I have waaaaay too many books in my house. One entire wall in the living room is filled with floor to ceiling bookcases double-shelved with books. Then there’s the closet filled with books and the stacks of books on the floor of the bedroom. 😮 My husband has started giving me the evil eye every time a new book appears and told me to get a Kindle already. Will Kindle stop me from loving paper books? No, but it might save my marriage. :d

  • violetnoir says:

    Hey sweet thang! So happy to hear that the funk is lifting. 😡

    Kindle sounds great, but for the technically challenged…like moi…I must admit that there is nothing like the smell and feel of a book.

    Hugs and love!

  • Disteza says:

    My reading tastes are so far outside the norm that I doubt a Kindle would ever work for me. Amazon may be the ‘long-tail’ mecca, but I sincerely doubt that they’ll be offering e-books in areas other than the basic fiction/non-fiction categories–it would probably hurt their bottom line too much to do so. I’m of the opinion that this is just one more way of promoting the cult of ‘NOW’: I want it now, I only need it now, now that I’ve experienced it I want something else. To me, media is the tangible trail of human experience. What will future generations think of us when they can find no letters, journals, books, music or movies that show us as we were, because all those files were deleted to make room for more ‘NOW’?

  • Tara says:

    I love love love my Kindle. I’ve had the original Kindle for about 6 months and it is great! It is not perfect, but then again what is. I commute almost two hours from Westchester to NYC everyday and the Kindle makes it so enjoyable. I can read mags (The New Yorker, my favorite), newspapers, and books. Buying books is easy, almost like magic (if you know what I mean), and it’s addicting. Right now I probably have 4 books I bought and are in the queue to read. I find that there are two downsides. The first is that without going to a bookstore and looking at a book I bought for the Kindle it is very difficult to determine how long the book is. Also, if the book contains a glossary (which Sea Of Poppies has ..great book!!) it is almost impossible to flip back and forth from your page to the glossary. If the book has a map or graphic that cross two pages, you cannot see the entire graphic. But other than those small issues, it is wonderful, pricey yes, but wonderful. On the commuter train and the subway I get some many questions. Most people I know who own a Kindle really enjoy them. I hope you enjoy yours…

    Interestingly, I am reading a book now (Blood Sisters) that I could not get for the Kindle and it’s such a pain to lug that 500 page book around. I am so used to having many books on such a small light device.

    Have a great day..I would love to be in today’s drawing…

  • Amanda says:

    I almost got a Kindle, but decided to hold off. I love books, picking them out, reading their covers, holding them. I think if I gota Kindle, I would still have to make some book purchases as well. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks!

  • sweetlife says:

    I am very ambivalent about Kindle. My parents bought us one for Christmas, and my sweetie has been using it a lot. It was particularly great for traveling–nothing to lug around, easy to replenish. In theory, I am in favor of anything that gets more people reading more books. BUT. I will have to admit that my heart just sank when I first laid eyes on it. My visceral reaction really surprised me. I didn’t know how attached I was to the idea of a physical book until I thought they might not be around anymore.

    And–Francesca–I have a good friend who is a fantastic book designer, so I feel your pain there, too. I’ve been teasing her about how once all the books have been digitized she can finally start her illuminated manuscript business, because books will revert back to being expensive, precious objects. It’s only partially a joke. We’ve actually discussed the idea of “bespoke books” with some seriousness.

    My other reason for ambivalence is something I’m still finding out about–the distribution channels implied by Amazon owning the Kindle technology. I’ve never been fully swayed by arguments about Amazon being able to shut out distribution of smaller presses and so on. I know too many folks for whom Amazon and Barnes and Noble were great blessings in their tiny, rural towns. But if Kindle really is the next wave, and I believe it is, then it is a little terrifying to think about the seller dictating what is available to such a large degree.

    • Vasily says:

      Anyone can self-publish their Kindle books on Amazon … and Amazon supports self-publishing on Amazon in general through I therefore see Amazon supporting “bespoke books” and the small publisher rather than suppressing them.

      • sweetlife says:

        Well that’s good to know. As I said, I’m still gathering information on the topic.

  • aelily says:

    I think the concept of the Kindle is great, but I’m not sure the technology is equal to my needs yet. I almost always buy books online because I read a great deal of obscure books (or I’m searching for the 4th book in a 7 book series), and I figure that if I can’t find the books I want to read in a bookstore, it is unlikely that they will have it available for Kindle (if you follow my logic 🙂 Though I’m sure I’ll give in eventually, just like I did with my iPod.
    I did go over to Amazon to look at the features, and I think it is great that the Kindle will read to you. I get migraines, and find myself listening to podcasts to distract me from the pain. To be able to have the Kindle read to me from the book I’m already in the middle of reading would be wonderful.
    The Micallef sound interesting…please drop my name in!

  • Eileen says:

    I’m a techie at heart but have resisted the idea of a reader device on aesthetic principles. It’s time will come though, for exactly the reasons given — ease of travel, fewer bookcases. I already read some e-books on my computer..

    The big drawback for me is the formats. The Sony reader will handle more e-book formats than the Kindle but doesn’t have the “instant download” appeal. Like all standards wars, I’m waiting this one out and will probably get the winner when it is cheaper.

  • Nava says:

    I’ve just about gotten used to having an iPod; I don’t know how long it will take me to embrace a Kindle. Sure, it’s a space-saver, but knowing I have a book with me at all times is a comfort, and gazing at my bookshelves it something I love to do.

    When I go to someone’s house for the first time, I love to pore over their bookshelves to see what they like to read. It’s kind of like snooping in someone’s medicine cabinet; I used to love that until one time years ago, I got busted! :d

  • Jarvis says:

    Hi, Patty! Thanks for the Kindle. Funny, I’ve been thinking about the Kindle (and other portable reader thingies) all week. For me, what would be great is if it would allow me to load up my own pdfs on to the reader. *goes off to investigate this*

    • Vasily says:

      You can indeed convert your own PDFs (and I think other documents) to Kindle format and have them emailed to your Kindle.

  • Musette says:

    So glad you’re feeling more the thing!< :-p I'm like a lot of others here - loads of bookcases, tons of art books and weird titles..but for travel, where luggage/weight might be an issue I might (MIGHT!) consider a Kindle. Might. But not just yet. Oddly enough I'm moving BACKWARDS from technology - not email or the Internet, of course (I couldn't do my job well or converse with you all without them) but in regular correspondence and acquiring some news I'm finding I prefer the luxury of handwriting and printed matter. Who'd have thought writing a note would fall under the heading of 'luxury'! xo>-)

    • Vidalicious says:

      Isn’t it really the TIME it takes to handwrite a note that makes it such a luxury?

      • Musette says:

        Oh, so definitely! Time (with enough simoleans to make it comfortable, of course) – the ultimate luxury. Next to Time Alone, I mean


  • Sara says:

    thanks for the Kindle review–I would love to own one especially for travel but not at the current price! I would also love to try a Micallef (never have!) so please enter me into the draw. Thanks!

  • Maura says:

    Thanks for the Kindle review! It does sound very convenient for traveling! Is holding the device awkward? I think I’d miss the *scent* and texture of the pages though. I think there is an app for EVERYthing on iPhone!

    I love Micallef and was wondering about this one and the new masculine one Le Seducteur. Micallef Patchouli and Note Vanille are two of my favorites! Love the bottles too!

  • Olfacta says:

    I’ve been intrigued by the Kindle, but I’m cheap. And as time goes by, all of these gadgets get less and less expensive. Remember when a GPS unit cost big bucks plus installation? Now you can get them for below $200, or so I’ve heard, they’re about the size of a paperback, and you can carry the thing around in your handbag and plug it into what used to be the cigarette lighter in the car. So, I’ll wait, but will probably get one eventually, compulsive reader that I am.

    I may never get over the experience with the (Montale) Black Aoud. But one of these days I guess I’ll be willing to try again.

  • Melissa says:

    I will jump right in and admit to loving the idea of the Kindle right from the start. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong. I love books. The feel of them, the smell of them and the curled-up-with-a-cup-of-tea-and-a-novel appeal of them. I particularly love the way that a set of aged hardcovers look on bookshelves in a tradiional library. Which, of course, we do not have, in our small, somewhat minimalist house anyway.

    The reality is that we wind up with bookcases full of a jumble of paperbacks, awkwardly sized hardcovers, professional journals and magazines that I “need” to keep for one wonderful article or another. The resulting clutter results in a constant urge to purge the bookshelves of anything that doesn’t belong. The problem is, I can never quite find the definition of belong. So, periodically, I impulsively give a large pile of books away out of sheer frustration, hoping that I won’t regret my choices.

    So yes, I think that the Kindle would allow me to avoid this unfortunate situation. I could read books without the clutter and the guilt of giving my babies away. And if I love a book, I could still choose to buy it. In the hardcover edition! A true collection, just the way I like it!

    As for the Micallefs, I love them. All of them are wearable, and maybe a bit easier than the Montales, which I also adore. My only gripe is that most of them don’t last very long on me, which is a little surprising for scents that contain oud.

  • Wordbird says:

    I’ve got to join the parade of people saying ‘I prefer books, but…’ I guess one day I might get a Kindle/reader device of some kind. I travel fairly often, read vast amounts and live in Europe, so it might actually be cheaper in the long run to buy my Agatha Christies and Patricia Cornwells in digital format. But I’ll forever be a sucker for books and bookshops, especially those rambling, convoluted second-hand bookshops in Hay on Wye. They smell so good. 🙂

  • Francesca says:

    I’ve been resisting Kindle for various reasons, mainly, I work as a book designer in a publishing company (help Francesca keep her job!), and if was going to spend that much money on something I didn’t actually need? I’d catch up on perfume-buying. It might take a while for the thing to pay for itself, since I have access to many free or heavily discounted books at my office. And you can’t put the big lush coffee-table books my husband and I salivate over on a Kindle.

    As others have said, I, too, love the whole “book experience.” *But* I can see kindle making a lot of sense for the read-once-only cop novels I enjoy, such as the Alex Cross novels of James Patterson or the Alexandra Cooper stories of Linda Fairstein. (Plus Patterson’s books contain huge amounts of white space, so I’d be saving a lot of trees).

    I agree, too, that Kindle or other reader is brilliant for taking on a trip. I can’t read in a car without getting carsick, but I wonder if that would be different with a Kindle?

    I guess if the price came down I would get one (I think this will happen as other companies develop user-friendly readers), but I don’t mind waiting at this point.

    Jumping to fragrance, the only Micallef I know is their Vanilla Aoud, and I love that with FB intensity. I’d rather buy that than a Kindle.

    Oh, and Patty–glad you are out of your doldrums!

    • March says:

      I end up feeling like we start off with good intentions and find out later we’re doing the wrong thing. For instance: I buy the vast majority of my books on ABE. It’s great, right? We’re recycling. Less resources wasted. Books rescued from the shredder blah blah blah. Then I find out that folks like me are driving a stake through the heart of bricks and mortar book stores. How sad is that? I felt terrible for days. Also, if I buy a used book, I’m not helping support the author or the publisher either. Now I go to our local store and buy books there every month but honestly I have no idea how they stay in business.

      • francesca says:

        But you can buy out-of-print books from ABE guilt free! And all the sellers I’ve bought from there actually have (or had, at least, I haven’t used it for a while) real bookstores as well. So don’t beat yourself up, dearie.;)

      • Existentialist says:

        I was worrying about that, too, but Francesca is right. The other guilt-inducing thing was, I buy most of my books through, and I was worrying I was cheating authors out of their royalties. My current plan is to only buy used books by deceased authors. Living authors, new books only.
        Weighing in on Kindle, I can’t see it for me. I love physical books too much, despite having stacks of unread ones all over the place right now. I don’t need fewer books, I need a larger apartment.

  • Lys says:

    I can’t resist regular books, the feeling of the book in your hands, the smell, small stains, etc. I love everything about a book! However I do like the idea of Kindle, it’s smart and probably cheaper in the end, depending on how much you spend on books… 🙂 And you have a point about the travel-issue!

    The Micallef sounds lovely, and it sounds more like my type of oud than the Montales. Please enter me in the drawing too-.

    Also, thank you very much for the sample of Peche Cardinal you sent me some time ago 🙂 It was even better than I expected!

  • Frenchie says:

    The idea of having a Kindle is intriguing. I don’t like the idea of replacing books but it would definitely come in handy on a nice beach holiday when I take several books with me. The problem is I am not a big fan of techy things. (I have only recently started using a digital camera :”> So I don’t know, I might invest in it in the future if I become convinced.

  • Lee says:

    I *will* continue to resist Kindle. I will. I’m too much of a book fetishist.

    The Micallef sounds kinda scary when you read the note list, but like you, I’m likely to prefer it to those harsh Montales.

  • Nancy says:

    You described me exactly when I travel–I always load up on books to read. I tend to choose hefty tomes, thinking I will have an enormous amount of reading time. I can’t leave these behemoths behind, too much of an investment, so like you I haul them back home again. I would lurve to have a Kindle, for the very reasons you list, but it’s not yet available in the backwaters of Australia, which is very frustrating.

    Please include me in the draw, I have yet to sniff an aoud….

  • Flora says:

    Ooh – the Micallef Aouds are as good as or better than Montale?! Must get some samples!

    The only Micallefs I have ever tried are the “first wave” scents that are now discontinued. They were very good.

    As far as Kindle, I would get one but not at that price – if I lost it I would cry! I do need to have fewer books though, they have taken over my house.

  • tmp00 says:

    I don’t think I’d get the Kindle itself for a few reasons:

    A) I can’t even read a book on the bus, much less a Kindle. My eyes would cross.
    B) If I am not on the bus I’m driving.
    C) there’s a free reader app on the iPhone
    D) Kindle app on the iPhone
    E) $350 is a bit steep

    Sadly, Amazon so far is refusing to admit that I have my iPhone registered (I thought I’d start with a magazine to see if I can read it) so I don’t know if I’m going to keep up with it.. :((

  • Elle says:

    I will never give up my beloved regular books and there was a time when my lip raised in an automatic snarl each time I saw mention of Kindles, but…I’m an obsessive reader and, like you, have issues w/ where to put more bookshelves in our house. We have almost no walls to hang art on because most are covered up by floor to ceiling bookshelves. Anyway, I actually don’t think the Kindle is that expensive, considering all you get and I’m guessing that before long I’ll be happily traveling w/ one in my bag. I also figure that there’s just no avoiding the inevitable future and I figure my luddite soul might as well get used to it and find a way to be happy w/ it sooner rather than later.
    Oh, that new Micallef sounds wonderful! There are quite a few Micallefs I love and their Automne is one of my favorite scents of all time – cumin heaven.