Summer Reading, Eris Belle de Jour and Parfums Mx

First- books. My summer reading partly was taken up by the slelection for this summers Beverly Hills Reads. “Lessons in Chemistry.” It’s a good book with some laugh-out-loud moments and some that will make you want to throw the book against the wall: not because it’s a bad book, but because it’s set in the 50’s and early 60’s and in no way sugarcoats the way that women, especially single women were treated. It reminded me of something that happened to my own mother: My father died in the mid-70’s when I was a kid and while the house and cars were thankfully in her name his credit was not. 

Author Q&A at City Hall

So his American Express card was immediately canceled, even though she was on the account, and the one who paid the bill. They “invited” her to apply as a new cardmember (after ten years of cashing her checks.) She politely invited them to do a few other things with their card after inquiring whether Mrs. Bloomingdale had to “apply” after Alfred died in his mistresses house. But that was my Mom. The crap Elizabeth Zott has to go through in the book is far more and far worse and the fact that it did happen (and still does, and if certain politicos had their way would come back in full force) There was a Q&A with the Author at City Hall that was really interesting, and the books is a great read.

OK book review/rant over.

Portia pretty much covered the backstory behind the perfumer so I will link to that here (go read, I’ll wait) rather than just rehashing. As for Belle de Jour I don’t get anything fruity in the opening like that which Portia refers to. As a matter of fact the opening is so smooth I really don’t discern individual notes, just a bright, refreshing, coolness that on a day like today when it’s 92 degrees Fahrenheit in the Hills of Beverly one wishes you could stock your lawn sprinklers with it and just stand in the spray. As if goes on the jasmine and orange flowers become a little more distinct but whatever that’s in there that keeps the temps down keeps the flowers feather-light and the spices from being too hot. As for the skank aspect, I didn’t get any, which would normally be a disappointment. But the clean skin afer an ocean dip (the seaweed? That sort of umami flavor with the “synthetic” musk?) is so perfect and so in keeping that the cool beauty of what came before that I am not only not disappointed, I’m buying.

Mx is named after the gender-neutral title that is apparently replacing Mr., Mrs., and Ms. I have never heard of this, but then again I am so hopelessly out of the loop I still use a rotary dial telephone. It does in a way remind me of l’antimatiere, the scent that ½ the people who tried it couldn’t smell. I thought it smelled like drinking good vodka curled up with your ex-boyfriend’s cashmere sweater: the expensive one that you filched because really, that color blue was much better on you than he. (don’t you enjoy these little glimpses into my mind? Aren’t you glad you live far, far away?) Anyway, it smells like l’antimatiere if it actually smelled of something. Added to the cashmere and skin scent is a light dusting of dark cocao, sandalwood and saffron (those are the ones that I smell the most) but once again here it’s all about the blending: everything is so smoothly done it’s like walking down a long corridor that’s painted cream which, by the end is dark purple, but the shading going between those colors is so seamless you don’t really register it until you really look and go, “wait a minute…”

I really like Mx, but if it were my $150 (or yours and you’re feeling generous) I would go for Belle de Jour. You can go to StC and get both to sample, as I did. Of you can get a Discovery Set from the perfumer of all 8 perfumes for $45, with a credit in the same amount towards a future purchase of a 50ml bottle. Which is a really good deal that I may need to indulge in.

Photos: my iPhone, Pexels, City of Beverly Hills.

  • Neva says:

    I absolutely love your meandering train of thought, as you call it “glimpses into your mind” AND your kind of humour. And I support your rant.
    Back to the topic – for years I consider buying a sample set of Eris Parfums for they seem to be different in a good sense, but they are hard to find in Europe. I looked it up now and there are maybe 5 stockists in whole Europe. Gotta check out if they have sample sets. Belle de Jour sounds enchanting!

    • Tom says:

      Thank you! I appreciate that!

      IDK- if the stocks are hard to find in your area it’s kind of a good news/bad news thing. If you love it in samps and you can’t get it it sucks, but then again you saved $150..

  • Musette says:

    Tom – I live that dream, daily. Especially down here, where 60 – 80% of the population still lives in the 1950s. It’s weird. And it’s why I keep my mouth shut when I talk to folks (wait. that sounded crazy – but you know what I mean 😉

  • Dina C. says:

    Tom, Thanks for another book review! I’ll have to add it to my mental list of books to read after I finish the actual books I’m working my way through. Another great review of Belle de Jour! Man! Sounds like I really need to sample this ASAP. Our weather is still hot. None of my boyfriends wore cashmere sweaters, mores the pity, not even my husband. No such luck!

    • Tom says:

      I liked the book. What was interesting is that we had a bunch of high schoolers at the author chat who read it. They asked very good questions. I think it’s really important that the younger generation realizes how good they have it, and how quickly it can be taken away.

      None of mine did either. I was the sweater person.

      • Dina C. says:

        Yes! Me too. I have a collection that covers a rainbow of colors.

        • Tom says:

          I’m not quite here, but I’ve never tried on periwinkle pussycat..

          • Dina C. says:

            Hysterical! The way he pulled his face! But by the way, the color periwinkle would look great on both of us with our silver hair! 🙂

          • Tom says:

            Periwinkle is a default color for me.

            “Lord Love a Duck” is (mostly) a hoot of a movie- one of the few 60’s mainstream ones that sort of got the weird, Dada-ist thing right.

            That sweater scene is just so bizarre- I am actually kind of shocked it got past the censors.

  • March says:

    Thanks for the giggles! I may have to read that book … same thing happened to me with credit just over a decade ago! The wretched ex kept the good credit (I’ll never understand how those algorithms work) and I had to build my own, what a bs system. Still worth it to get rid of him, though! Your mom sounds wonderful.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! My energy company is so backwards that…. what? nearly 4 years on, with me having paid the bill for 10 years… he’s still on the account – solely.
      Eh. As long as the heat and lights stay on…

      • Tom says:

        If he’s on it and you aren’t (his SS# and not yours) if you were feeling mean when and if you move you could turn the heat and the AC on for the last month and skip out on paying.

        But that would be wrong, Shockingly wrong.

        • Maya says:

          Not so shockingly or even so wrong. It’s how the company wants it. Yes? 😉

          • Tom says:

            Good reasoning!

          • Musette says:

            they make it astonishingly difficult to change the name/SS# on the account – and our split was so precipitous that it just made less stress for me to leave it. So I did. At some point (obviously in Summer, since I don’t trust that company to not turn the heat off in mid-February while they ‘adjust’ the account) I will change it over. He doesn’t care – and neither do it – but it should be done. Sigh.

          • Tom says:

            I have heard that they do that sometimes. I guess there must be some legal reason that I am unaware of, but really if you have someone standing there waving their arms going “no, let ME pay!” why not let them?

    • Tom says:

      The book is quite good. Panders a little and a little “feel good” at the end of it, but good.

      Ah, the wretched ex. My exes pale in comparison to some of my friends’ and for that I am grateful..

  • cinnamon says:

    The sh1t women went and go through. Your mum sounds full of oomph (love the letter story). Alas, I didn’t choose that Eris in my samples. I have Mx and will give it a go after the current one. I’m currently reading Guns, Germs and Steel, an alternative history of person kind. Not my usual relaxing stuff but really interesting nonetheless.

  • alityke says:

    I have a few samples of Eris as there is a UK stockist.
    I’ve had to put off actually wearing them due to life sh1t & avoiding creating memories.
    The recent reviews make me even more keen to get them on my skin

    • Tom says:

      I can understand not wanting to create memories- it’s funny how some things get inextricably linked to a certain time, or place, or person. I’ve had that happen and, when I thought it might be worth the effort, tried to break the association. About 60% success rate, there..

  • Portia says:

    So interesting how perfumes wear differently on us all and how our inbuilt reference systems give us different feedback Tom.
    Next time try the MXXX, it’s a slightly revamped, plumped up Mx.
    I’m seriously thinking to just buy the whole range next time I’m somewhere they are.
    Portia xx

    PS That book sounds like trauma.

    • Tom says:

      I never bought the idea that there’s no such thing as body chemistry affecting the way scent wears.

      The book is actually really good and apparently will be on Apple TV plus in October.

  • Maya says:

    I like the description of what Belle de Jour is like on you, while Mx is out – it has saffron. Earlier today I did a sample order that included Eris Delta of Venus.
    And a few days ago I got my older mini bottle of Sand and Sable from eBay. I love it! White flower, gardenia heaven. It’s somehow familiar to me. I assume I must have smelled it on people in the 80’s. I even get an occasional whiff of a carnal/skanky note which rarely happens on my skin. I’m looking, on eBay, for a full size bottle now.