*Currently listening: Frosty the Snowman by Cocteau Twins
* Current perfume: Tuca Tuca
I had been thinking about writing about this blog for a little while, and then this exchange happened between Al & I. (Now, I'm going to go ahead and guess that if you're reading this blog now, you've got some working knowledge of my life, so...I'll bypass the mindnumbing biographical details.) Last night Al and I were sitting on the bed, playing with our children (and by children, I mean our two crazy-ass cats!), waiting for the news to start and trying to decide what to Foodler for dinner, & this conversation takes place:
Me - "I love you. A lot."
Al - "Is that so?"
Me - "Yup! More than my parents, as much as purses and sweet tarts, and maybe a little less than perfume."
Al - "WOW!"
** For the record, my husband...not an asshole! He just has a really dead-pan-dry sense of humor. Which is a great foil to my more...ummm...how shall I put it....overtly displayed countenances.
Now, there a good deal of jest in this conversation, plus it kinda makes me sound like a shallow witch! Yet, there is some truth there. I happen to be a little on the scent obsessed side. I would LIKE to think that with all my musical training....music would trigger the strongest scensory/nostaligic/whateverscientificpeoplewaywaysmarterthanIamcallit reaction, but nope - it's smell! SO, that being said I really think the genesis of this blog is 3-fold:
1) I recently started a job a LUSH on Newbury St. (after MONTHS of Al going "you should....just get a job at LUSH, I'm pretty sure you'll love it and would be AWESOME!) I really do love it! I come home smelling AWESOME. Plus, whenever I'm in the room w/ the perfumes and someone asks me a question about them...I get WAY TOO excited.
2) Not too long ago, I get a text from one of my dearest friend...who I shall call "DF"; the conversation went something like this:
DF - "I'm thinking of writing a food blog, what do you think?"
Me - "DO IT!"
DF - "Should I really? I'm always eating out, I'd have a lot to say."
Me - "DO IT!"
DF - "I just might!"
A day of so later
Me - "I just combined Vanillary & Orange Blossom and it smelled AWESOME!"
The next day
DF - "I just read your message, that sounds great!"
Me - "I'm thinking of writing a perfume blog. Is that stupid?"
DF - "No! DO IT!"
3) I really do love to write, and have been looking for a outlet. (Plus, some of the things I'd really like to write - no matter how funny they would be - would leave me w/ few family or friends. Wait...that sounds bad. I'm not a REALLY mean person, I'm actually quite nice; but -like in EVERYONE'S life-, there are some real crazies there, so I'll refrain. I remember as a little girl, my Mom and I would "write" books: meaning, I'd tell Mom farfetched stories about space traveling Princesses, she'd write them down on several pieces of paper, I'd "illustrate" them (notice the quotations...I can draw a flower, a stick figure, and a HORRIBLY disproportionate clarinet & that's about it!), we'd "bind" it with staples...and I'd have a book! In 11th grade English, after Mrs. Hollier slaughtered by first draft of my research paper over "The Glass Menagerie", I became obsessed with word choice and blue roses. Thanks Mrs. Hollier! I enjoyed writing papers in music history a little too much in Music History, and was most likely the only person who HAPPY the tests we mainly essay. Then game my masters degree, and writing program notes for all the band concert. This is probably the writing I've enjoyed the most. The perfect combination both technical writing and preparing the reader for what they were about to experience. So, maybe Al & our flat-mate didn't enjoy my 3am throwing of a tennis ball at the wall to help me think of the right word choice (I switched to ping pong balls eventually), and the two hours straight of UGLY crying when I REALLY thought about the meaning of "Come Sweet Death", well...pretty much sucked - but all in all, an extrememly fulfilling experiene.
So here we are. Back to perfume.... I'm going to write about perfume. Perfume through my Joseph's-coat-of-many-colors-type-glasses. I have some very strong AND hysterical memories tied to scent and perfume, so I think it's going to be interesting to someone other than myself.
So the title. "No Disassemble Charlie No. 5"!?!?! Kathleen...what the hell is going on with that? Let me explain...it has to do with two of my earliest perfume associated memories.
As a girl, my mom wore Charlie as her perfume, and if you're somewhere between the ages of 30 & 35 (like I am - I seriously forget how old I am, and this is by design, so I don't obsess over it. That makes me sound daft, perhaps I should have just disclosed that...), I'm sure your Mom did too. As a little girl, I would sit indian-style on the floor outside of the bathroom (most likely singing something at the TOP of my lungs) in our mobile home (yep, mobile home) and adoringly watch her put on her makeup, fix her hair, and then spritz Charlie at the very end. I would smile in delight as the tiniest geranium, jasmine, rose, mossy woods, sandalwood, oakmoss, and musk scented droplets hit my skin. I didn't smell like a little girl anymore, I smelled like a GROWN UP LADY! I smelled like my Mom....and THAT was awesome! I also had this little habit (Mom, in case you're wondering what was really happening) of stealing my Mom's perfume bottles. Not full bottles, like...when they had a millimeter of two of liquid left in them...I'd tuck them away in my room where my Mom wouldn't find them (I remember a favorite hiding place of bottle was under the pillow in the crib for my baby dolls), but only after I sprayed all of my Barbie's hair w/ Charlie. (Wow! I was SUCH a girl!)
The other one takes me out to the country. My paternal grandparents lived Magnolia Spring, TX on a farm...I use the term farm loosely. We refereed to it as The Farm. They had a garden...(which I would directly pull the carrots from the ground and try to eat them, dirt and all. My mother insited on a intermidiary step, of me swiping them back and forth a few times of my courdery pants - complete w/ rainbow patches sewn on the back -before eating them. Yes, I had an orange nose from time to time as a child.)....and when I was quite young, horses. But I digress. I have a very strong memory of my Granny LeBlanc (for who her standing Christmas gift from me was a spray bottle of Designer Imposter's "Primo")....I was in the bathroom where she kept her perfumes, and I ran across a bottle of Chanel No. 5. I think I was about 6 or 7. I remember I was smelling it, thinking "Hmmmm...Granny doesn't really smell like this..." About that time she walking in and I was caught! She smiled, took the bottle from me, clicked the black cap monogrammed w/ the interlocking white "c's" back on the bottle, and as she placed the bottle back on the shelf said, "Kathleen, ladies don't wear Chanel until they're at least 50, remember that." Looking back, I'm going to guess she meant Chanel No. 5, but still...I still haven't managed to buy myself any Chanel perfume, thinking it would be a gate-way drug of sorts. This has also fueled my odd reverence towards Chanel. As many strolls as I've made past the one in Boston, I've only been one Chanel boutique, and it was in NYC, to buy nail polish - which is also linked to my Granny (but that's another story). This Chanel boutique was directly adjacent to a Dior boutique...my head almost exploded. Again...another story, for another time....
So, there we go. WAIT! "No Disassemble" ask you? I grew up in the 80's Remember "Short Circuit", right? "No Disassemble Johnny No. 5!" right? (I'd post a youtube clip, but the site isn't working. Youtube is down!?! The world may be ending. I'm glad I have canned food and bottled water left over from "Hurricane" Irene!
Until next time....
* Now listening to: Baby It's Cold Outside by Willie Nelson & Nora Jones