A Shot Across the Bow

By March

I swear, I was over there just to grab some MAC wipes, my hand to God.  Because I’ve tried other things, including straight jojoba oil, and MAC wipes are the only things that can remove my dermatologist’s zinc-‘n-silicone sunscreen crap from my face.  I park under Bloomingdale’s, and they made me drink a triple-quadruped espresso on the way in, so this post might be over-caffeinated.  I’m setting it up in Drafts, and let’s see if Patty and Anita post it, or whether they delete it.

I asked the nice fragrance SA if I could smell anything “new,” new to me being anything in the last six months, so I’m way behind y’all.  I miss that part of my life so much, you don’t even know.  Anyhow, she trotted out Marc Jacobs’ Dot, which she described as “fresh” and “clean,” two friendly words that basically signal the kiss of death for me.

This photo does not do the bottle justice at all; it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  It also reinforces the belief that 90% of the cost of every new department store fragrance is in the marketing/bottle, and 10% in the juice itself, as an afterthought.  Only in this case I’d say 98% went to the marketing/bottle.  I’m not going to dignify this mess by looking up the notes.  I wouldn’t give this to my 10-year-old niece, she’s too sophisticated for it.  Marc Jacobs, your stuff used to be cool, your skeevy-ugly Juergen Teller photos aside.  Dude, you didn’t even phone this in — your phone was disconnected.

We moved on to the Ferragamo with the pink satin bow on it, which she wouldn’t spray for me.  So that must be pretty pathetic. I said, how about anything else?  She trotted out Valentina by Valentino, which Robin reviewed on Feb. 23, giving you an idea of how out-of-date I am.  I liked it far better than Robin did, mostly because for the first half hour on my skin it smells like a combination of crushed Necco wafers and the Gold Bond foot powder I use inside my dress pumps, and I mean that as a total compliment.  It’s not edgy enough for spokesmodel Freja Beha, for sure — google some images, but not from your cubicle, because Freja’s photos are NSFW.

Was there anything interesting to be found?  Sure — at Anthropologie.  I’m not buying their adorable vegan (pleather?) off-white cutout handbag for $200, fingers crossed it goes on sale.  The local store seems to have jettisoned most of its fragrance portfolio, leaving behind Ineke, Tocca, and a couple other stand-by’s like L’Aromarine.  I picked up Barr Company’s candle at random, and thought it was fun in a mildly cocoa-nutty way.  Then I tried the lotion, because the listed notes were “milk, oatmeal, vanilla, and vetiver.”  You know who you are, you milky-scent freaks.  It’s so great.  No Play-Doh, not too sweet, smells like … well, what it says.  Five hours later, I can’t stop sniffing the lotion on the back of my hand.  I think my moaning in the elevator scared the nice gentleman trapped in there with me.  I wish they’d stocked the perfume.

Also:  Anita, Patty and I and some other special Posse friends are planning on going to the fall Sniffa in NYC, just … because.  October 13-14, hope to see you there.  Drop a note in comments if you’re thinking about coming.

PS I bought another MAC lippie, which I need like a third eye.  My instructions to the SA: I have tons of bright MAC colors like Gaga and Russian Red, which require prep, powder, pencil, and precision; true nude makes me look like a corpse; I want a “natural” lipstick that covers my naturally purplish lips but applies like Chap-Stick, so I can put it on using the office elevator door for my mirror.  The SA, Joe, was totally unfazed, I can’t be any weirder than the rest of his clients.  I left with Modesty in a Cremesheen, and it’s exactly what I asked for.


  • Tara C says:

    I am sure it will be nuclear fruit salad bit I simply must have a bottle of that MJ Dot, since my beloved puppy girl’s name is Dot and the bottle is so cute. Heaven help me!

  • violetnoir says:

    So happy to see your post, babe.

    You know I loves ya!

    Big hugs to you, March!

  • Judith says:

    LOVED these reviews – what an awesome review of Valentina, and now I want to smell that Barr’s and see if it is, as you promise, no Play-Doh.

    Will certainly be at the fall Sniffa and hope to see you all there (admiring you from afar or anear, as we used to say.)

    Post more while caffeinated, I loved this!

  • nozknoz says:

    I might be able to go to New York – not at all sure. I would definitely attend a DC sniffa!

  • Missie Sue says:

    Oh, thank God I’m not alone. I always thought the Juergen Teller campaigns for Marc Jacobs were so drab, grungy and, yes, totally skeevy, but Jacobs is so ridiculously popular that I thought maybe I was just not sophisticated enough to properly appreciate his aesthetic.

  • Aparatchick says:

    Very, very tempted by Sniffa. I love NY that time of year, and hey, why not?

  • FearsMice says:

    March, it’s good to see a post from you again!  I’d sooo love to meet you all at the NYC Sniffa, but I’ve already got house guests scheduled for that weekend.  It’d be great, if not as spectacular, to have a DC Sniffa sometime — I’d break all engagements to do that!

    • March says:

      Many many requests for DC sniffa…. putting this on my to-do list. The most logical place to meet is actually at Tysons Galleria, they have more frags there than anywhere else, actually.

  • Tom says:

    How much would I love to be there for the sniffa with you all. But unless something changes I can’t. Need to get a job..

    • March says:

      That durned job thing. I hear you. I miss you. I hope to get back out there sometime, it was lovely hanging out with you.


  • HemlockSillage says:

    Yay, March!  Great to see a post from you, even if you did have to brave bad perfume in a cute bottle.  I love your lipstick notes.  You’re the woman who hooked me on red lipstick, made me want to go brazen it out. I still love it. 

    I would love to meet you all in NY at a Sniffa. I have no idea about how to sign up or details on where people stay.  A long time ago I visited a blog that I thought was home to the Sniffas, but I think it has moved/is out of comission. Sure sounds like great fun.  

    Hope your new work is going well, and that you are enjoying it.  You are certainly missed here, but I completely understand that life takes precedence over ‘fumes. I surely enjoy the time I steal to pursue this fragrant obsession. This blog is pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile or an all out laugh daily. Be well.  

    • March says:

      Go red lipstick! That makes me smile. I’m glad you are enjoying it.

      For Sniffa:


      On the upper righthand corner of their website is the Fall announcement, and you can enter in your email address to receive updates, registration, etc. Look into it.

      I know, I miss the blog too. I’ll be on here when I can.

  • minette says:

    you need your third eye, so CLEARLY you need that lipstick.

    for an easy-to-apply-without-a-mirror-but-with-enough-color-to-make-me-look-alive lipstick, i use rimmel cherrylicious (seriously great color) and maybelline plumshine. i have more expensive lippies, but somehow these wind up getting used while the chanel and lipstick queen stay at home. go figure.

    • March says:

      My third eye needs some lipstick!

      Love the drugstore recommendations. I almost never wind up with drugstore product because I can’t try it beforehand, and I know there are some great options out there.

  • rosiegreen says:

    *March , great to have you back. You caused me to bust out laughing with the aside to Marc Jacobs ‘ your phone was disconnected.’ Thanks for the lotion recommend, I may have to try it.

    • March says:

      I wish the lotion were cheaper. It is really nice, though. Funny where we draw the line; I will pay anything for perfume, but expensive lotion seems silly.

  • Austenfan says:

    Lovely to see you here again. You are missed. But it’s good to hear that you are doing well.

    I hope you all have great fun at the Sniffa. (A bit too far for me though.)

  • DinaC says:

    *March! It’s great to hear from you! I would love it if we could schedule a DC sniffa sometime this fall. It’s been too long since we all got together. 🙂 I am taking note of the MAC Modesty Creamsheen, because you’ve steered me well in the past (NARS Hot wired lip lacquer and Chelsea Girls lip lacquer). The tote bag is adorable, but like most Anthro merch, way overpriced. I’m casually stalking a dress there that was so pretty on me. Wish I could head to NYC with you gals in October, but probably not. 🙂

    • March says:

      Hey there, sorry, couldn’t get this to work on my Mac! Another vote for DC sniffa…. we should all definitely get together. I’m wearing Chelsea this morning. And yeah, I like to browse Anthropologie, but I think their prices are absurd.

  • maggiecat says:

    *March is back!  Good to read you again!  Except now I have to go to Anthropologie and check out this Barr stuff since I (hangs head) love milk scents.  Best comfort scents in the world and perfect for cozy evenings.  I would love to come to Sniffa in October, but it’s a long shot financially.  But I’ll keep my fingers crossed.  I’m dying to attend one and since reading Alyssa’s book, I feel much better about my obsession…er, hobby.

    • March says:

      Milky scents rule, but they are an acquired taste, for sure.  No shame about your hobby!  Don’t let anyone scent-shame you!!   They really are fun.  Crazy, but fun.  If you can scrape up the dough, it’s worth doing, even if only once.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, sweet March! So wonderful to read you again! Enjoyed your sniffing session through the mall — thanks. Wish I could go to Sniffa, too, but DH may be out of a job in late September, so all non-essential expenditures are off, boo-hoo! Hope you and the kids are doing well and having a good summer so far. Need any tea? Give me a holler.  Hugs …

    • March says:

      Oh no, sorry about DH!  We are doing well, thanks, and I hope you are too!

      I will be bugging you for tea when it gets coooooold.  🙂

  • Meredith says:

    And again!

    Anyway, its great to read you again, March! I love Modesty and also See Sheer (Lustre) from MAC. So easy and go with everything. Sounds like I should steer clear of ‘Dot’, which isnt really a hardship as I have never cared for anything from the line.

    The Barr Company scent however has now piqued my interest  Is it anything like LannA’el?

    I would love to go to a NY Sniffa but as I am UK bound for a while we NEED to arrange a London Sniffa! Jillie, Abyss, LadyMurasaki? what say you??

    • March says:

      LannA’el is a LOT stronger/more tenacious on me, more like cereal/immortelle with a hint of applejack?  I like it, but I have to be in the right mood.  The Barr Co. thingy is a more straight up milky/oatmeal smell, without getting bready as they sometimes do.  It’s not a genious scent, just very comforting.  I definitely need the lotion, and remember this comment is based on that, they did not have the fragrance in stock.     Wouldn’t a London Sniffa be a riot?  Y’all should get together and report back!

  • Alyssa says:

    Well hello there Miz March! Nice to hear your voice again. And goodness they’ve set the dates for Sniffa early this year. *flips through calendar*

    • March says:

      Come!  Come come come!!!!   You will be our celebrity!  We will go eat amazing food!!

      I know, I thought it was the next weekend.

  • Meredith says:

    Hmm, I had to come in via the Dashboard in order to comment as the comment box is incomplete for me in both Safari, Mozilla, and Firefox! Argh – is it just me?

    • March says:

      So…. it’s not just me?  The comments box is both incomplete and disabled on this PC in Firefox.  But I have never had that problem on my Mac.  Also, I can see the emoticons but not choose one. Sadface.  Let’s see what happens when I type its name in, shall we?  Ready, set….


  • kathleen says:

    I won’t be going to Sniffa but may be in town that weekend.   If so, I’ll send Anita a note and maybe we can run into each other.

  • Francesca B. says:

    Ah, so we have dates for Sniffa now—well, I can’t very well give up the chance to see March and Patty again and to MEET ANITA! So I’m in.

  • Sherri says:

    Wow March!!  So glad to hear from you!  Like Jillie, I am jealous of you and wish I could do Sniffa, but (sniff, sniff…okay that was admittedly a little lame 🙂 ) not possible due to family commitments (everything happens in October!).  

    Well, remember anytime you miss that ocd fragrant part of your life,  we’re here for you!!  Love ya!

    • March says:

      Well, it’s great to be back on here.  Who knows, maybe I will actually scrape together a legit review of something new!  I mean, it could happen.  Sorry you’re busy in October!  It’s a lovely time in NYC…. well, except for the year it wasn’t.  Pouring rain and gale-force winds.  Ya never know.

  • Musette says:

    *That bag is GREAT!  For somewhere between $49-$70.  I just did a Wal-Mart (when did it change to “Walmart”?) Sniffa.  Let’s just say it’s way lower-brow (toebrow?) from yours.  Stay tuned.

    I miss you on here.  Soooo glad you stopped by!!!


    • March says:

      The WAL*MART sniffa — you are waaaaay braver than I am.  I tried that at Target and decided not even I could put up with that abuse.

      I thought everyone was on vacation, so I am happy to see comments.  Also, lol Internet Explorer, you and your doddery, clunky platform and your error messages.  But it least it let me on here, errors and all.  Firefox loads the page quickly and elegantly…. except for the comment box.

  • cerise says:

    March — it’s been way too long since your last posts — it’s so refreshing to hear your “voice” again!  I would LOVE to go to the New York Sniffa, funds permitting!  I’d also love to see another DC Sniffa; it’s been like maybe five years since the last one and there’s plenty of sniffing to be had!  I remember you were loving my Chanel No. 22 that day — I’m down to the last 6 drops of it and then — well, who knows?  I’m certainly not going to go to the Chanel boutique to get it. If they’ve reformulated it like everything else, that would be a tragedy and I’d probably hate it anyway (yeah right, how could they mess it up THAT badly?).  However, I’m somewhat comforted by the fact that Coco Noir is on the horizon and I have a feeling this one’s gonna have my name on it.  If I’m not mistaken (and someone correct me if I am), it will be available at places other than the Chanel stores.  Hope all’s well, keep on writin’!!

    • March says:

      I have missed you all so much.  My work hours are ….. problematic, and I’m trying to get the kids to remember who I am when I am at home.  So.  Coco Noir.  Know nothing about it, and already I want it, if it’s a spin on Coco.  Will have to google it forthwith, hope it doesn’t smell like Coco Mad. Or laundry soap or bubblegum or apples.

      Anita’s never been to Sniffa and my last year was the annus horriblis (did I spell that right?) and Patty’s been working way too hard, so, we’re going.  You should too.

  • Style Spy says:

    Mac Lipglass in Lovechild is also an excellent my-lips-but-better color.  I’ve gone through umpteen tubes of it.

    • March says:

      Really?  Not too sticky?  I love the concept of lipgloss, but end up wiping it off my lips because it goops up into little blobs…. tmi?

  • Jillie says:

    So lovely to see you again, March!  I haven’t got anything interesting to say except that I am jealous of all you meeting up together.  Wish I could fly over and join you.  I will expect details of the fun time you had afterwards.  And then I will be even more jealous.

    • March says:

      Oh, I expect we’ll do our usual highly reverential and respectful blogging from the scene of the perfume crimes.  Also we are already planning our meals.  Adults who go to NYC and eat at McDonald’s baffle me.

  • rosarita says:

    *Hi, March! Cremesheen Modesty is a staple for me, love the color & formula. I have no patience for dept. stores, let alone their scents, and I have to drive an hour just to get to a particularly mediocre Macy’s, so… I did get a kick out of NST Angela’s week of drugstore perfume reviews; check them out if you haven’t had a chance. Hope things are going well for you and you’re having a nice summer  🙂

    • March says:

      AHA!!!!  HERE I AM.   I was having trouble logging in on this PC rather than my usual Mac, I had to give up on Firefox and unearth IE, for pete’s sake.  I’ll have to go see Angie’s drugstore reviews on NST!  Things are going fine and I am having a nice summer, thank you.  I hope you are as well.