If you are a girl, and you are not on top of your game just now – if you have, in fact, misplaced some of the game pieces, and the rules, and maybe even the damn box everything came in – if your game is off, then maybe what you need are some naughty boots. (If you are a boy — no offense is intended with this post, please forgive me. Of course, maybe you need some naughty boots too?)
If your game is off and you need some naughty boots, what you need is a friend – not just any standard-issue friend, but a friend like Louise. (Perhaps we need a tag on the Posse called It’s Louise’s Fault.) Your friend will suggest meeting you for coffee at the local mall, and, oh, btw, doll – Nordstrom is having their sale! Let’s go look at shoes and purses just for fun. And you will see those naughty boots there on the sale rack, you will hear their siren call, you will resist being elbowed aside by these sale-crazed women who come up to your shoulder, even though you are not especially tall yourself – and you will ask the salesperson standing there to fetch you the other boot.
Which you are just doing for fun. Are you going to buy these boots? Oh, no! No, you are not. These boots, they do not fit into your protective suburban camouflage. These boots are made for walking, but not walking the dog in the woods, or the kids to soccer. These boots, which are in black patent leather, are fierce. They have a round toe and a curved heel and come up above the ankle and they are not conventionally sexy (no point, no stiletto heel) and yet, the hotness, it is totally there. But no. They are too much money, even on sale. They are … impractical. Also, they will undoubtedly be uncomfortable, that is higher than your usual heel. Let’s just vamp in front of the mirror.
Oh! Hey, there! Hello! Bonjour, you sexy thing! Those naughty boots, they are surprisingly comfortable! This man here, he is explaining that this designer makes a comfortable shoe, and that the reason you are able to stand upright and not hobble is that there is an internal platform. And it’s true – you are not hobbling. You are maybe even strutting your stuff a little with your jeans rolled up. And not only do these naughty boots look fine with the rolled-up jeans, but they are crying out for dark tights and a black pencil skirt and some sort of severe, starched white shirt – a sexy-librarian thing. Also maybe a riding crop. You realize that the man over there (whom you assume is with that woman, his wife?) is watching you intently as you work those boots while she tries on those dull tweed mid-heels. He is not half bad looking; that is a very nice suit. You wonder how he’d feel about the sexy-librarian look. And possibly the riding crop. He’d definitely be into it. You smile to yourself. Maybe you need to get out more.
And so you buy those boots. You plunk down that MasterCard and you buy them. Those boots are too hot. You have a party coming up, a staid social affair full of conservative women wearing enough holiday sequin-ry to supply Dancing With The Stars for the next decade. They all look like oversized Christopher Radko Christmas ornaments. You are thinking, mmmm, sexy librarian, with the naughty boots and the pencil skirt and your late mother-in-law’s pearls, and (maybe) some red lipstick. Yes? You will be there with your own husband, and yet one or two of those other men, older and slightly intoxicated, will follow you like dogs. Well-dressed, polite alpha dogs. Your own husband is sensible (or maybe kinky) enough to find this enjoyable.
And what fragrance will you wear to the party, my love, what will you wear? Perhaps it will be the Thirteenth Hour all night long.
I have tried Cartier’s new scent, XIII – La Treizià¨me Heure, and while words like masterpiece sound stupid coming out of my mouth, because I am an amateur perfume-lovin’ nobody, I am sorely tempted. La Treizià¨me Heure (notes of leather, maté, birch, narcissus, bergamot, patchouli and vanilla) has given me something I don’t have and always want – a new way to look at leather. This is not the birch-tar smoky, heavy, dark leather. This is not the soft, sweet glove-leather either. This is not the inside of a purse, with a dash of face-powder. The list of notes doesn’t even seem like it would work for me – too cold, too bitter, too austere. But there is nothing austere about it. If it had a color, it would be a dark, caressing brown, not black. It doesn’t play the Jolie-Madame game of a floral in flagrante delicto with the leather. The flower here is narcissus, leathery and hay-like green and gold. I keep reapplying, over and over, trying to decide which part is better – the odd, smoky-lapsang top that is not too smoky or butch or strange, not campfire or church (although I love those as well.) Or is that drydown the part I love, that oily/buttery narcissus that reminds me a bit of the L’Artisan Fleur d’Narcisse that I was too cheap to buy? The vanilla is a mere whisper; I couldn’t even have identified it as such without the cheat sheet. Maybe that barnyard drydown is the part I love most. Even without the naughty boots it would give me a hell of a lift.
Here’s a link to Grain de Musc’s informative post on this scent, with commentary by Mathilde Laurent.
photo: top and left, my new Chie Mihara boots, although the photo doesn’t do them justice. Here’s an online photo so you can see the height and the shape of the heel, although mine are all black.