My Meandering Journey

The picture above is from our too short time in the Sahara.  I’d like to say I’m a good photographer, but there’s no way the sun rising over golden sand dunes can produce anything but a beautiful picture.

Okay, wow, deep breath.  First, let’s get the winner for last week’s post announced.  That person is – Tina Renee Barker.  You’ll get samples of the new Caron 119, the Carners, new Annick Goutal,  the Tammy Frazer Chapter 2 and some other stuff I’m not remembering right now!  Just click on the contact us over on the left, e-mail me your address, remind me which drawing you won. Once I hear from you, you’ll get a quick reply so you know the message didn’t get lost, and then I’ll get them shipped out.

After my three-week traveling, then another week of being sick, topped off by traveling for Thanksgiving to my mom’s,  finally three days of just recovering, I feel I’m sorta human again and not totally stressed out.

All my treasures from Morocco and Spain finally got home – the things we shipped in Barcelona because we were grossly over on baggage kilos on the plane.  We had weighed the bags the night before, carefully calculated, adjusted, moved things to our carry-on, paid the advance fee for the extra 8 kilos, then showed up at the airport only to be told we couldn’t have our purse and carry-on luggage, just one or the other. Huh????? My head hit the desk with a thunk, I almost cried, I think Lisa did cry. She weighed our carry-on bags, informed us it would be another 350 euros to check those. I told her I’d check my purse instead, I had a kilo left, it would cost less and she finally caved and threw the bags on the plane.

I’ve decided it would be cheaper for me to take my two sons with me in the future. They carry on like 2 shirts, a pair of pants, deodorant, toothbrush and underwear in a duffel, no checked bags.  Then I can have their 21 kilos apiece for the stuff I buy. That’s 63 kilos total, I would be golden!

Perfumes on the trip. That Caron L’Accord 119 has me completely smitten, as does the new Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cherie.  They were a surprise and revelation and not what I expected at all.  The Caron is still only available in Paris.  NYC has told me it will be released in the U.S. in 2012, but they may get some for pre-sell, but don’t know when or how much or if at all.

It is everything a fruity floral should be. Fruit, check – tart, little sweet, full, lush.  Floral, check – it’s in there hiding under the fruit, softening it up on the open.  Then there’s billowing smoke coming out from under the fruity floral hood that just cracks me up. It’s like the fruity floral car broke down on the scented highway after blowing a tire, landed in a  farmer’s haystack in a field after a tumultuous few minutes of skidding all over the highway, and there is rubber and smoke and hay and ass everywhere.  That is what I call a perfume!!!  Okay, no rubber (seriously, I smell just a little, and it makes me delirously happy), but it is dark, dry velvet,  contrasted with that amazing blackberry/peach/pineapplely open.


The Annick Goutal I’ll cover later.  Also the Mandy Aftel The Secret Garden, which I’m also swooning over. Do you note a steady stream of swoonage on perfumes? It has been a great fall for scent!!

Tammy Frazer, a natural perfumer out of Cape Town, South Africa, had her Chapter scents at Colette in Paris. I smelled some of them and fell in love with the feral Chapter 1 at Roja Dove’s in London a couple of years ago.  I believe Chapter 2 is new, or at least new to me.  Ylang and narcisse.  Opens skanky – reeeeeally skanky – and just rolls indoles around into the air. Just when you think something is decaying on your wrist, the ylang softens, veers off from that amazing indolic open and turns into this beautiful, soft, mildly skanky (in the background – don’t worry, you can still smell it, you kinks, but you won’t have people checking for decomposing corpses when you wear it) mixed with pepper, lime, orange, woods and vetiver rounding the edges on the composition so it doesn’t run off the edge of your nose into something unpleasant, and it completely enchants me.  I get 15 minutes into this and just stick my nose there and keep it, sniffing all the smell out of it.

Yes, this line is expensive. She does sell from her website, if you contact her.  I think it’s 260 or 290 euros for 22 mls, but it comes in a bottle that is a work of art. The good news, once you buy a bottle, you can get refills for that gorgeous bottle for less.  She is a lovely person to chat with, her perfumes are all natural, organic, no animal testing, and I like what she does – it is an original take on scent.

I feel lucky I have this one. My cold was horrible in Paris, and I couldn’t smell at all for a couple of days and couldn’t smell anything at Colette, including any of the Frazers. The last day I was there, I had to run down to Michel Cluziel for ginger/lemon macaroons – oh, hey, BTW, that is the most amazing flavor for a macaroon in existence. Light as a feather, tangy, spicy. Who knew? I wish I had picked up a truck full and shipped them home.  If you’re in Paris, jump on down there, see if they are stocking it regularly and grab an even dozen just for yourself. You’ll see.

Oh, back to the Tammy Frazer. I couldn’t smell it the first day we were at Colette, but made it back my last day in Paris, and I swooned, even with my nose malfunctioning a little.

That same day, I met up with the lovely Ms. Grain de Musc at our usual spot, chatted, caught up. She’s got so much going on – book out in the UK in March, and then – well, stuff I can’t talk about, but I smelled — well, I just can’t talk about it, damnit, but I wish I could.

So what shall we do today?  Let’s talk about which interest you most – the new Caron 119 or the new Annick Goutal? I think I can eek out a sample or two more from the Caron 119, and I have a sample or two of that new rose thing they have to do a giveaway on. So I’ll pick two winners from comments.

  • Holly F. says:

    What an amazing photo! Absolutely breathtaking. Caron 119 sounds pretty amazing too, with the fruit and the smoke and the hay and… other stuff you mentioned. Would love to try it.

  • hongkongmom says:

    thank you for sharing such a gorgeous photo….i can only
    imagine the beauty of the real landscape

  • Maureen C says:

    The airlines are pulling this kind of thing more and more, always assume that their scales will miraculously weigh at least a couple of kilos more than any scale you may have tried before check in. The AG is freely available here in the UK and very lovely though a little dull on me which took me by surprise as I’m ususally an AG girl. So would love to try the Caron please

  • OhLily says:

    I’m more curious about the Caron L’Accord 119, probably because I like more of Goutal’s current offerings than Caron’s.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  • mary says:

    Sorry for the typos. Durned little droid. . .

  • mary says:

    Welcome back Patty! I am so excited about the new Carons I can hardly wait to try them. I love my little Caron collection, both vintage and new, and am so happy to hear you love their newest work. My personal take is that there has been a little bandwagon jumping when it comes to negativity about some of their fumes. I had a theory, which I checked out with Octavian over at 1000 fragrances, that some of the Carons, like Tabac Blond for example, actually age well, so that the older perfumes develop deeper hearts which the new product lacks– because it is new. So, 3 year old Tabac Blond will always be more veautiful, because the new stuff lacks the enhanced qualites of aging. O C. said there was some scientific support dir my very subjective opinion. So, I am a loyal fan of all things Caron. Am about to drain my third bottle if En Avion extrait dry.

  • Cheryl says:

    Wow what a beautiful photo. You ask the perfume fanatics which one they want to talk about? System.Cannot.Compute. Does. Not. Compute.
    Both of course!


  • nozknoz says:

    So glad you had a cool trip and are back in the saddle!

    I just got samples of Mon Parfum Cheri par Camille (via ebay). I don’t really smell patchouli as a separate note in this. Actually it reminds me of the Legendary Fragrances Iris Gris recreation (iris and peach), but more mineral and sort of glimmering. I find it VERY interesting and attractive (and plan to order it as soon as I can find a US source of the EdP). I’m looking forward to your take on it.

    I’d really love to win a Caron sample! “billowing smoke coming out from under the fruity floral hood” totally cracks me up.

  • Kismet says:

    Jealous–party of one!

    Your trip sounds terrific; thanks for sharing some of your adventures. The Caron sounds very intriguing! Please enter me in the drawing.

  • tammy says:

    I re-read that bit about the luggage several times, and every time it still read that they wanted to charge you 350 euro for you luggage. Astonishing. Your idea about bringing the lads along next time is brilliant! The added bonus of them lugging it around is also good.

    La Belle Caron is screaming my name again, thanks for a chance to win a sample!

  • Tina Renee Barker says:

    Yay! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it & I “contacted” you!

  • ggperfume says:

    Ginger and lemon are a delicious combination in anything. We’re entering gingerbread season now – try a dollop of lemon curd with a slice of gingerbread.

    The Caron sounds like a challenge. I hope I’ll be up for it if you draw my name!

  • Killer rabbit says:

    I am surprised by the crazy cost of your excess carryon baggage. If she could just throw it on it shows that it is really all about the money. How travel has changed. Your trip sounds fab but having your nose out of action would have been terrible, at least you had macaroons to ease the pain.

    I would be keen to try the AG I have been underwhelmed by the line so far, but do quite like Sud. Actually may go and put it on right now…

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Patty. Thanks for this great post and so glad you are back home safely and feeling better. Bummer on the luggage business — that sounds nearly criminal! No draw for me, but I do have the Caron sample coming and hope to try the AG one day. Those lemon-ginger macarons sound heavenly; that’s a wonderful pairing and I love it in tea as well. BTW, did you have time to get by Mariage Freres? If I ever get to Paris again, I’m hightailing it over to MF first thing and buying a truckload of their butterscotch tea …

  • AnnieA says:

    I vote for the Caron – AG scents tend to make me sneeze, so I’ve rather given up on them…

  • Meg says:

    So envious of your trip! I am most interested in the Goutal. Thanks for the draw!

  • london says:

    The Caron, I think. The reported patch in the AG scares me.

  • Musette says:

    No draw for meeee! But I do want to weigh in here and say:

    1. You live life HAWRD! And it’s a fabulous thing! ^:)^

    2. I’m wearing the 119 today because of this post. It started out reaaaally boring…but 3 hours into it, it’s very compelling! Got some nice heft and depth without being all in your face, if that makes sense? Sniffed my wrist through the insane conversations with the Dept of Defense contracting division – thank Floyd this was an interesting, compelling scent, is all I gotta say! [-( :)>-

    xo >-)

  • LaLa says:

    I feel for you, Patti. I get a head cold every time I fly. I think the recirculated air in the cabin is poison for me. Anyway, glad you’re on the mend. Being a patchouli whore, I’d like to be entered for the Goutal. Thanks!

  • Isa says:

    Both perfumes sound great, but I’m more interested in trying the new Annick Goutal.

    Your trip must have been wonderful. It’s a shame that luggage issue at the end. I think I would have cried too.

    Greetings from Spain! :)

  • Janice says:

    I hope sometime you’ll post more of your photos from the trip!

    I would love to try the new Caron, even more now after reading your description.

  • Joanna says:

    I read this last night before going to bed. I was too tired to comment then but it did inspire so really nice dreams, thank you! I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit the macaroons played a bigger part in my vicarious dreams than the perfume did but please do enter me in the draw!

  • dleep says:

    I love Caron and am so anxious to try this. Please enter me. Loved all of the descriptions in your post. Glad you are feeling better.

  • Maureen says:

    Beautiful picture….lucky you. I would love to try the Caron or the AG. Please enter me in draw…thanks.

  • karin says:

    Welcome back, Patty! Sorry you were sick on the trip. Such a drag when that happens. Guess you’ll have to go back really soon. :-)

    My jaw dropped when you mentioned the cost of extra luggage. Are you kidding me? That’s highway robbery. Especially when you’re standing there, not wanting to miss your plane. Talk about taking advantage. Unbelievable that they’re allowed to do this. I can understand a fee, but 350 Euros???? Seriously???

    Would love to be included in the draw. Would love to try the Caron. I don’t have much experience with Caron, and have avoided reformulations cause they all sound so inferior to their former selves.

  • KirstenMarie says:

    Well done on the picture! I feel your pain – traveled like crazy for Thanksgiving (surprised my parents in GA!) after working some 14+ hour days. Got back to Colorado, and can attest that Hell is at least a Cold. I have one – can barely smell the Sienne d’Hiver (sP?) I liberally sprizted on this morning to go with our snowy morning – and am sucking down tea like there’s a shortage coming.

    Please put me in for the Caron 119 drawing. Even being stuffy, my nose was trying very hard to smell it through your hilariously creative description!

  • Elizabeth W says:

    I’m very curious about the AG; still haven’t clicked with Caron, but always hoping to…Sounds like you had a nice trip. I’m trying to get over a cold right now–very distressing not to be able to smell properly!

  • Marte says:

    Sounds like a fantastic trip, love that picture! And I’m really intrigued by your description of Chapter 2.

    I’ve tried the AG, and the patchouli goes really weird and sour on me sometimes. Maybe it’ll grow on me. I’m more interested in the Caron, it sounds lovely.

  • Patty says:

    Caron is one of my favorite houses. After the bad press it has gotten from many perfumistas/os on its reformulations, it’s good to know the new scents are something to be happy about! I’d love to try them, thanks for entering me in the drawing.

  • Fernando says:

    A good new perfume from Caron has got to be very good news, given their substandard performance recently.

  • KathyT says:

    The new Caron sounds really lovely. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

  • dremybluz says:

    Great to have you safely back. The new Caron sounds great. Glad that you are feeling better. Hope you share more of your great pictures.

  • DinaC says:

    What a trip of a lifetime! I’m just sorry that you got sick. As you re-adjust to normal life, I look forward to hearing more about your new discoveries. The Caron sounds great — it’s neat to hear an experienced perfumista like you really rave about something. I just know it must be special! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  • AubreyZ says:

    Whenever you post about your travels, I’m reminded of how little extravagance I allow. It reminds me that I’m always saving away for tomorrow, rather than exploring/living today. Thanks for that– it’s a good reminder. Life is happening now!

    The new AG sounds fantastic from all the descriptions. Dying to try that one!

  • pam says:

    Great post and photo! It’s too bad you were sick for part of the trip, but that sounds familiar. Traveling does that to me.

    I’m more interested in the Caron, since that is a house I am very drawn to.

  • Marsi says:

    Wonderful photo. Very jealous of all your travels. It is horrible to be sick when you’re not home though. Please enter me in the Caron draw.

  • Ann C. says:

    I got my hands on a sample of Mon Parfum Cheri and loved it so much that I ordered a bottle immediately even though it isn’t yet available in the US. That prompted a phone call from my credit card company because it was an international purchase. It all worked out and I got the package surprisingly fast, and I love it.

    I’m also interested in the new Caron. I haven’t sampled much from Caron–I’ve read so many laments about its former greatness (in comparison to its current awfulness) but I’m intrigued even about L’Accord 119 to order a sample today.

  • bookhouseshell says:

    Even though I’m a huge fan of anything AG, am dying to try the Caron.

  • Civava says:

    Good to have you back from the “wild”:) And I’m more interesting in Caron than in Goutal.

  • Zazie says:

    The picture is amazing!

    …and those ginger/lemon macarons sound divine: my favorite laduree offering is the lemon macaron and I totally see how ginger could spice the lemon up to perfection!

    BTW, the Caron gets my vote: I’m very very intrigued – besides the AG seems to patchouliesque for my tastes (though I love plum).

  • cheesegan says:

    Congratulations on surviving your trip. I think the new Caron L’Accord 119 sounds very intriguing. Please count me in fo the draw.

  • TaffyJ says:

    I have a decant of the AG Mon Parfum Cherie and like it a lot. I find it very glam. It hasn’t quite gotten to know me yet, as I don’t get much of the patchouli. The top notes are full-figured gals.

    Caron L’Accord 119 sounds spectacular.

  • Natalie says:

    Wow! Sounds like an amazing trip, and a fruitful one. Will you be sharing more photos, by chance? I love vicarious travel only slightly less than in-person travel.

    As far as the perfumes, I do like Mon Parfum Cherie, but I’m not totally blown away by it, so count me as one for the higher interest in the Caron.