The past couple of weeks have been an all-out stressfest for many of us; even though I no longer live in the DC area, I feel for everyone dealing with the aftermath of “snowpocalypse” and all the resulting annoyances that much snow is capable of producing. When my dad passed away in January 1996, his funeral took place a few days after a major storm hit the New York area. If memory serves, there was more than 2 feet of snow on the ground, and getting around was an absolute nightmare.
In the Jewish faith, we sit shiva for the loss of an immediate family member, and quite often, family members will stay together at the home of the deceased during that time. I resolutely decided not to stay at my parents´ house during the shiva. Instead, I drove back and forth from Long Island to Brooklyn every day for a week to be with my mother and brother. The driving was part and parcel of my grieving process; I actually found the time I spent in the car to be quite cathartic, despite the horrendous weather conditions.
Unfortunately, not every drive in inclement weather carries with it a form of catharsis. I had to go to Buffalo the other day, and almost immediately after I crossed the border, I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was about 6:45 am, and there were many trucks on the road. Before I was even sure what was happening, I witnessed a piece of ice roughly the size of a king size mattress fly off the top of a tractor trailer. I saw it break apart in mid-air, and watched, seemingly in slow motion, while a large fragment of it hurtled straight at me. I can´t tell you what I was thinking, or how I was feeling, but when that fragment landed on the road, instead of on my windshield, I was so relieved that I didn´t realize I had driven over a big chunk of it. It didn´t register until I pulled up to the toll booth on the New York State Thruway, and the person inside asked me, “How big was the deer you just hit?” I immediately jumped out of the car (while still in the toll booth) and found the driver´s side portion of my front bumper almost completely demolished. It could have been worse – it could have been me.
After obtaining a $1,200.00 estimate from the auto body shop, and reluctantly filing a claim with my insurance company, I sit here typing this tale wearing Serge Lutens´ Encens et Lavande. What better time is there to “look to the cookie” than right after you manage to escape unscathed from a life or death scenario? I haven´t worn anything from my Serge collection in a really long time, except for Five O’ Clock Au Gingembre. But something made me reach for Encens et Lavande as blindly as I´ve been reaching for Chaos over the past year and a half. What is it about the combination of incense and lavender that soothes me so? I´ve practically been bathing in it to the point where I´ve relocated the bottle to my dresser so I can reach for it periodically to re-apply. Of course, the bottle remains in the box, and the box is still in its original cellophane. I absolutely cannot get enough of it.
Encens et Lavande is one of the less controversial Serge scents. In fact, it might as well be non-existent when compared to the monsters in his collection (no need for specifics; we know who they are), and most of the reviews I found online were not generally positive. What I read ran the gamut from “uninteresting” to “too masculine”, along with the inevitable comparisons to Gris Clair. I´ve never been one to care one way or another about what anyone else thinks of the fragrances I wear. If it does it for me, I wear it. And lately, the comfort and joy I´ve been getting from my existing collection has been seeing me through some major insanity. So, what could be better than that?
Mineral Madness: Thanks to everyone who responded to my mineral makeup query in my last post. Ironically, in the midst of an insomnia attack that Friday night, I tuned in to The Shopping Channel and there for my bug-eyed viewing pleasure was Pà¼r Minerals, offering their product line along with a very tempting “Today´s Showstopper”. I resisted the urge to order, but I did punch up the website, www.purminerals.com, only to find that the line is also available at select Shoppers Drug Mart stores. Suffice it to say, I proceeded to dash around to all the Shoppers Drug Marts in the area looking for Pà¼r Minerals, but had no luck finding any. Finally, out of utter frustration, I asked one of the SAs in the Beauty Boutique at one of the stores if she knew of any specific locations that carried the line. She did, and the rest is history.
I´ve always refrained from using the term “holy grail” when talking about fragrances, makeup and skin care products, but I will say that Pà¼r Minerals has hooked me completely. The foundation is the antithesis of Bare Minerals because it is pressed, but the ease of application, the coverage, and the way it feels on my skin is a vast improvement from the heavy cream cheese frosting feeling I got with BE. I love that I don´t need to futz with any Mineral Veil or other finishing powder; I just brush it on and I´m done. Speaking of cream cheese, Pà¼r Minerals is not without its own hokey application slogan: “Dip, Draw, Dust”, as opposed to BE´s “Swirl, Tap, Buff”. Whatever. As long as it looks good…and it does.
Disclosure: The bottle of Serge Lutens Encens et Lavande is from my own collection. I purchased a Pà¼r Minerals “Start Now Essentials Collection” at Shoppers Drug Mart.