Well, fall has fallen at the parts of the Posse in the Northern Hemisphere and Los Angeles is no different. Well, who am I kidding, of course it’s different. We aren’t going to get snow. Although we have within my memory had it- albeit briefly, in the hills above UCLA and not actual snow- something they call “scrapple” or something. (edit- I just looked it up and it’s called “graupel.” Whatevs.) And while the mornings have been a bit overcast the days this week are borderline hot, with temps on this side of the hill into the 80’s (F) and up to 100 in Palm Springs. What we are getting is markedly shorter days with the sun going over the yardarm by 5:30 and dark an hour later. Come November 5th when the parts of the US that observe it will be off Daylight Savings Time it will be dark at 4:30. (Yes, there have been several attempts to make DST permanent and it was even voter approved but has not happened yet. Don’t know why.) I think it’s the darkness early and all day that kind of gets my “fly South for the Winter” thing going. Trouble is, I am not a sparrow and have to maintain (I.E. pay for) my nest here and therefore have to work. So here I stay. And whine.
Of course, as one of my old friends said about living in LA “Where do you go when you live at the end of the rainbow?”
I do miss fall back East. I miss the foliage (although we do get a mini version- see pix) when the hills in my hometown are incarnadined with blazing colors or being in the city, walking in the brisk air, wearing tweeds and scarves and feeling like a New Yorker as you darted about on your errands. Even the winter snows have a sepia-tone to them when viewed in memory- you remember how magical it is to have a city stopped by a snowstorm, sledding on the hill by Paradise Pond as college students on dinner trays “borrowed” from the kitchens of Franklin King House, or of the snow falling in Milwaukee while in my little duplex we had a fire in the fireplace. Of couse these pleasant memories are offset by the one of trying to get home to my East Village hovel during that crippling blizzard, being told that morning, as one of the people who lived in Manhattan, I needed to report to work at Dean and Deluca (heaven forfend the denizens of SoHo go without overpriced designer coffee beans for 24 hours!) ASAP. Or waiting for a bus on Lake Drive in Milwaukee after the restaurant I worked at closed it’s dinner shift, wearing 16 layers of clothing and knowing with absolute certainty that if that damned bus didn’t show up in the next 5 minutes I would die of hypothermia. Or the ice storm that kept the heating oil guy from being able to get the truck up the steep hill to deliver the stuff needed to heat your house.
So I will be happy that Santa still waves at us over the intersection of Beverly and Wilshire, the few trees turning on the side streets in BH, and the fact I don’t have to shovel snow. I will miss the DWP light show they used to put on in Griffith Park, but I guess that was a bit of showing off that got annoying to people when their light bills kept going up..
And on to the scents (You never thought I’d get here did you?) Zoologist is an interesting house and one that I’d been meaning to explore for a while, if only because some of the scents they do seem to have the effect on some reviewers as garlic does to Vampires. Of course that makes me want to try those first. Of course having the attention span of a fruit fly and never writing anything down I can’t remember which of them were the “worst” offenders. So I chose at random.
Hyrax was the out-of-the-box favorite, starting out with peppery, spicy heat. There’s something called “African Stone” which is basically desiccated Hyrax poop. (oh don’t get all upset- it’s supposed to be sterile, And it’s packed in alcohol.) the whole thing is wonderfully warm- I’ve never been to Africa but I have been to the desert and this does feel like laying on the sun-warmed stone before the heat of the day forces you to seek shade. Now I know that my tolerance for the more earthy aspects of scent are a bit higher than most, but honestly this one is a case of the warm fuzzies: this little beastie has almost a Disney-fied purr.
Moth is something different. Looking at the top notes (from the website) Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Lemon, Nutmeg, Saffron you would think that this would open as the flame the moth was drawn to. Instead I get the heart notes of mimosa, heliotrope and rose first, as cool as fluttering moth’s wings. I get whiffs of smoke and and wood and resin, but it never gets too close to the flame, which I really like.
Sloth starts with calm chamomile, jasmine and lavender with a hint of cumin to remind you that this is after all the wild, and ends up as comb honey and I swear immortelle. It has just a touch of he buzzy-tinfoil aspect that’s all over our beloved (and by some feared) Miel de Bois. I can see doing an all-over spritz in the evening just so that I could have the warm fuzzy-buzzy embrace for my sleep. I might need to try that out tonight.
Honestly, between the three of them I would be hard-pressed to call a favorite. There’s a lot going on here and if you’re coming from a place where the latest Blah de Cannel or Miss Sauvage Petit Four is a walk on the wild side, then yeah, you’re going to run for the hills. Just don’t trip on the African Stone or the Snowy Owl might get you..
Samples of these and the other scents in the line are available from the perfumer at their website for $8. Which is where I purchased mine for this review. Photos are mine and Pexels.