Friday, December 30, 2011

My Year End "Not Really a List" List / The Top Three New To Me

*Currently listening: "Rolling In The Deep" by Adele
*Current fragrance: Chemical Bonding by Ineke (part of my gift set from "DF" & I'm quite loving it!)

With my cornbread stuffing continuing to do it's alchemical dance of flavor melding in the crock pot and the Scarborough Fair Turkey communing with Paul & Art; I sat down to read some of the "year in perfume" entries of the perfume blogs I enjoy reading. (Oh, I should mention that cooking a turkey and stuffing on a random Friday isn't exactly a normal thing. With the Grand Southern Tour the husband and I traditionally do during the holiday season, we're having "Christmas Dinner" with my family today.)

I feel the need to blog-ily serenede the turkey, and a legitimate excuse to serenade the bird....

Now, back to perfume...

I sat down to read some of the "End of the Year / Best of the Year" perfume blogs, and got sorta of sad that I didn't have enough under my belt to do a "real list"; but at the same time really excited about this time next year, having a full year of NDC#5 under my fingers, I'll be able to make a full "Best of / End of" listing. However, I must really be in the mood to write, so I'm going to do a quick "The Top Three New To Me" non-list list. None of these were released this year, but it's the first time I've smelled  each of these. No big long explanation, just going to say "I like them, here they are, hope you get inspired!"

1) Lipstick Rose from Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle - Upon first hearing about this scent I desperately wanted to love it! Retro and roses? SIGN ME UP! I think I was at Barney's two days later sampling it! This is evenly tied w/ the next fragrance I'll be buying a big bottle of. I just need to have both on my skin before I make a decision which will happen. (or which will happen...first)

2) Liaisons Dangereuses by By Kilian - Reading the perfumers formula, it's pretty much a no brain-er why I love this one. It appeals to the coconut and blankcurrant lover in me. I've got a tiny sample vial in toiletry bag, as I've already decided that this is my fragrance New Years Eve! You think this and feather eye-lashes are too much for NYE in SETX?

Also, every time I think of the fragrance, I think of this song from the Great Expectations soundtrack (You know, the late '90's version with Gwyneth Paltrow.):

3) Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermes - I don't think this is something I would every wear. I ran across it as I was looking for something daytime for the husband & he rejected it as being "too girly". I regifted it to another displaced southerner, APP to much delight. I like the fragrance, I just find it a bit too light and airy for me. Yet - nonetheless, it makes me smile!

I hope you enjoyed my end of year non-list list! I'm looking forward to 2012 & the first full year of No Disassemble Charlie No. 5. I have LOTS of ideas!

Also, please don't forget to enter the year end giveaway! You have up until Jan. 2nd. to somehow let me know you want to be put in the draw for a samples of the following four fragrances: Frankincense Myrrh Rose Maroc (Regina Harris), Myrrhe Ardente (Annick Goutal), Passage d'Enfer (L'Artisan) & Piment Brulant (L'Artisan).

**Disclosure: The samples were all purchased by me from Lucky Scent.

*Currently listening: "Hurricane Jane" by Black Kids

Monday, December 26, 2011

NDC#5 Holiday Sample Giveaway!

* Currently listening: To my 8 years old neice talk about an iPod touch * Current perfume: Nothing...but I CAN smell chocolate frosting and coffee Happy Post Holiday Haze Dear NDC#5 readers! I was going to do a lengthy blog yesterday about scents with Frankincense and Myrrh, but the holiday excitment of being in NC with Al's family took over! (That and I fell asleep at 9:30pm!) This will be the last blog of 2011! I know most perfume blogs are doing their "Best Of" lists right about now, but it seams that would be a bit silly to do as As Disassemble Charlie No. 5 has been going for all of, oooohhh less than a month; but next year WATCH OUT! :o) So, I'd like to celebrate this holiday season with NDC#5's very first giveaway drawing. Up for grab's are sample vials of Frankincense Myrrh Rose Maroc (Regina Harris), Myrrhe Ardente (Annick Goutal), Passage d'Enfer (L'Artisan); these were all the perfumes I WAS going to write about yesterday, PLUS a sample of Piment Brulant (L'Artisan). This will be the subject of the first blog from 2012; live from deep in the heart (or something) of Texas. To enter, comment below or on the facebook link or on my twitter and I'll sign you up! The entry period will close at the end of the day on Jan. 3! Some of the samples are back in Boston, so I'll have to wait until the 5th to ship. Please use this giveway as a chance to tell your friends, "hey - this blog is wicked awesome; AND she likes to give away stuff!" Again, Happy Holidays & have a champagne filled New Year! * Currently listening: More of the same

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When Stevie Wonder Smiles

*Currently Listening: "Rockin' Robin" by Michael Jackson
*Current Fragrance: Frederic Malle's Geranium Pour Monsieur, but this morning it was Chinatown by Bond No. 9. (THANKS ARIELLE!)

I oscilate between two extremes (in both my life and my writing): drippingly sardonic and well, the emotional equvilent of a cup of hot coco, but if the hot coco had JUST a little bit of sparkle to it. (Chicly shimmering - not Disco Queen Dazzle!).

Most of my posts of late have been of the drippingly sardonic vibe, but today...I'm going to need to get my favorite hot coco mug out:

It's been pretty busy at LUSH since I started; you know - Yuletide and all, and I have been loving every second of it. Especially when I get a customer who is MOSTLY concerned with smell. That's when I light up and really connect. (Although I get tickled by instances such as when a gentleman somewhere between say 45 & 60 on his way out of the store asked discretely where he could find super nice lingerie for his wife, I sent to Agent Provocateur.) Back to my point...

Two days ago, about an hour and a 1/2 from the end of my shift, a young gentleman came in with his seeing eye dog and his friend. I just happened to be walking by the door when they walked in, and they turned into my customers. I feel that I should also point out that I was immediately turned to mush by his adorable seeing eye dog that was a black lab. I had black labs while I was growing up and turn all nostaglic and fuzzy when I see one.

How could this NOT make your heard melt!?

The customer asked to see our Christmas shower jelly, and as I was walking him back to the shower jellies (which I'm obsessed with...who doesn't want to bath with soap that is just like Jello!?!), I thought to myself, "I've never actively watched a blind person react to smells, and they must play a pretty big part in his life if he's choosing to come in our store. This is going to be FUN!" I let him smell our holiday shower jelly which smells of figs and subtle herbs. His face LIT UP with joy!!!! It was one of the most heart-warming things I've ever seen in my life, and I'm pretty sure I lit at up HIS lighting up! It made me think of the way that Stevie Wonder smiles when he's making music....

We looked at some other things around the store, and ended up at the small perfume counter, as he was looking for a fragrance for a female friend. He said he wanted to get her a floral fragrance, but wanted to smell everything JUST to make sure. Again, watching him smell, I mean REALLY taking in the scent from the glasses was fascinating; and in all honestly pretty inspiring. You could see him really taking pleasure in the journey a scent could take a soul. I really enjoyed telling him the stories behind the inspirations each particular fragrance and both of us discussing what it evoked with-in our minds-nose. (Is that a term!?! Well, it is now!) The two he was most drawn towards were Orange Blossom and Breath of God. (He ended up with Orange Blossom.) I must admit, I really love every orange blossom fragrance I've sought out...but the first and dearest will always be Jo Malone's Orange Blossom. It reminds both myself and my sister of mornings at my paternal grandparents farm in SETX when they temperature hadn't gotten opressively hot, but things were just starting to warm a bit and the morning dew mixed with the scent of flowers were there most fragrant. It's delicate, childlike, yet sophiticated & a childhood memory I'm more than happy to carry through my life in scent.

So, clearly this was a fantasticly fun customer to work with! All in all we spent somewhere from 45 minutes to an hour together. It was just so fantastic. I left work positively giddy that evening. I'd had about 3 customers in the past two days come in and want to work on just lavendar cominations for the bath, and that was nice. I'm willing the universe to send me someone that loves blackcurrent and rose just as much as I you hear me universe?? Tomorrow's my last day to work before Christmas and it was be a great gift from the cosmos if you did so!

Just think and's sublimely lovely! (If I EVER start to blend my first first one will contain roses, black currents and or blackberries.)
Walking in from work yesterday, I was greeted by 1) Al being very excited about his Bacon of the Month Club gift (combined Christmas gift to him from myself, my parents and my sister!) and 2) a sample of Bond No. 9's Chinatown, courtesty of Arielle from Scents of Self. It also came w/ a DARLING little card! I'd show the picture, but blogger is having an attitude with some of the photos I want to upload. (Does anyone else ever have this problem?) I really like Chinatown on my skin. Normally tuberose settles too powdery on my skin for my taste. I think the cardamom in there makes it just lovely. I can see myself wearing Chinatown in the spring to a nice, but not STUFFY-nice dinner in the early Spring - OR in the dead of winter when I've had it up to the proverbial "here"with the cold and the grey. Next Bond No. 9 fragrance I want to sus-out a sample of is Coney Island!

I think I should leave you all with some Stevie Wonder....just to make you smile (and groove a little too)!

* Currently Listening: "Dancing In The Streets" by Martha & The Vandellas
*Currently Sniffing: From my bottle of cardamom pods I grabbed out of the cabinet. :o)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Electric/Eclectic Truly Outrageous Youth

*Currently Listening: "Shake Your Love"
*Current Perfume: Nothing yet, but my hair smells of Lush, cloves & dripping sarcasm left over from yesterday.

Not gonna lie, big part of this blog was to have a solid excuse to post both of those videos. Plus I've been on a retro-tastic kick as of late. PLUS how fun would it be for me to remember the Ghosts of Perfume Christmas Gifts Past!?!?!

I'm pretty sure Jem and her truly outrageous self was around sister was born then. I was OBSESSED - with both my sister and Jem & the Holograms. I think it was that Christmas that I got MY first bottle of perfume gifted to me (which I'm sure was the same perfume as millions of young girls around the world) Love's Baby Soft. WOW! The marketing slogan when it was first released in 1974 was "Because innocent is sexier than you think!" (It's like the battle cry for child molesters!!!...anyhow...) Just so I'm keeping track of a "note-count", for Baby Soft we have geranium, jasmine, rose, lavender, patchouli, vanilla, musk & others. Yuck! Photos don't want to upload, so I'll just link to this "gift set" - I'm pretty sure this is EXACTLY what I got!

I was right, Electric Youth WAS 1989! I mean, what 11 year old WOULDN'T want this!?!?! Again, pretty positive it was that gift set that I was gifted...along w/ a Barbie Ice Cream Shop toy-set-thingie... I can't for the life of me remember what Electric Youth smelled like other than pink.... Makes me think of this, Rachel Berry revelation on Glee.....

So, for the version of little p "pink" (Electric Youth) is "[T]he perfume of the young generation of the early 90s. Its composition features the notes of fruits, flowers, sweets, woods and amber." Thanks!

Somewhere around what I want to say.....mmmmm...Jr. High for me was Colors Perfume by Benetton. (Evidently it was released in either I'm off on my timing, or I was just late to the Colors party).

HOLD THE PHONE! This just came on my Pandora.....

Which in turn, requires me to play this:

Aaaannnnd back to Colors: (thanks again to Fragrantica for the note breadown) Top notes are egyptian sage, neroli, french hyacinth and israeli basil; middle notes are passionfruit, tuberose, pineapple, peach, jasmine and bulgarian rose; base notes are civet, opoponax, cinese patchouli, cedar, madagascar vanilla and oakmoss.

 And finally...and it makes me cringe....just a little...that I quite clearly remember ASKING my mother for this...let's fast forward to sometime during my undergrad (when mind you, MUCH of my decision making was suspect)....Britney Spears Curious.  According to the site, Curious is "An exhilarating white floral wrapped in the sensuality of of vanilla infused musk." Contemplation, Thrill & Satisfaction...hmmmm....

Ok...I LOVED the bottle...and I really DID like the way it spelled...and I've gotta to admit, I love me some Britney! (Wait a was released in 2004....I was married....I can't blame suspect decision making...) But you know what......

I wonder what smell-good-goodies will be under the tree for me this Christmas Season!?!? Oh the anticipation!!! :o)

*Currently listening: "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Monday, December 19, 2011

[S]he is Not Yet Dead!

*Currently Listening: "Your Love" by the Outfield
*Current Perfume: Ummmm....I've been awake for all of 15 minutes, so nooo... ;-)

Please don't worry! (Because I KNOW you were!) I didn't slip in a post holiday party "cool-aid" stoop-er, knock over one of my perfume bottles and the shards cutting me in the jugular, causing me to bleed out.... No, just the Holiday-tide retail rush, coupled with a weekend of Holiday Merriment, I've been a bit behind the 8-ball when it comes the posting something worthwhile on NDC#5. I don't work until 3, so I promise something good and retro (read mostly 80's) tinged then. Until that about a little Monty Python for your early Monday? Here you go:

*Currently Listening: "Popmuzik" by M

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Walk Like A Man, Talk Like A Man, Smell Like a Man (?)

*Currently listening - "Centrifuge" by Pomplamoose
* Current perfume - Gucci Flora

For as much as I like "perfume" - ok..."womans fragrance", I (in general) have a big problem w/ 90% of the "mens fragrances" I have sniffed. I feel that they all smell of newly varnished wood, mosquito spray and testosterone. Not the good sort of attraction inducing pheromone/testosterone, mind you. NO - what in my mind THESE guys smell like.....

CLEARLY my mind/scent connections were formed in the early '80's!

Now, I'm married to a pretty unfussy dude, who's pheromones smell JUST FINE to me, seeing as that he didn't own a bottle of cologne until we'd been married for two or three years. Let me rewind, "pretty unfussy" is actually underselling Al's chill factor; until Carolina basketball is on or Mike Krzyzewski's mug is anywhere within his line of sight.

Smells of hamsters and elderberries!         

Al owns one fragrance: Hanae Mori, which he actually picked out for himself, after my DRAGGING him to the Sephora at the Galleria in Houston.  THANKFULLY Al shares my weariness of most "male marketed" fragrance. His chosen scent has notes of jasmine, lemon, lavender, vanilla and chocolate. I LOOOOVE jasmine. (Yeah, and screw you are MANLY! Plus...there's probably some florals hiding in YOUR man's fragrance too! ;-) )  Al only wears his cologne on special occasion and I don't push it. (I never, never, EVER push any issue for that matter....) Really though, this isn't one that I push. I like that I can smell it lingering about the day after a special night out, on a scarf that he only tends to wear with his "nice coat", or that I can smell little tinges after he has his "Pink shirt" (brand, not color - my idea...not his) dry cleaned. If I find myself really missing him during the day and I'm home, I find myself going to the medicine cabinet and taking a whiff from the bottle. To me Hanae Mori smells like a good hug, single malt scotch and a sarcastic smile!

Earlier this week I was out on a fragrance sample finding expedition, that was mixed in with a pink Christmas tree ornament procuring trek. The ornament procuring trek was a success, the fragrance sample finding (which are for two upcoming posts) was a bust. Clearly no one in Boston wants to smell (EVEN JUST A LITTLE) of frankensense, myhrre or red peppers. Thankfully I was able to order small samples of what I was hunting for from Lucky Scent. With the sample finding in the stores a bust, and had already sniffed the three fragrances I wanted to seek out for my own personal use, I needed a new project; "Oh! I can find Al a daytime scent!" (My husband is quite hard for me to shop for, compounded by the fact that he's a December baby. I'm always tempted to gift him with about 20 books...but who has THAT kind of time for reading? So I must seek alternatives.)

After sniffing and sniffing and sniffing lots of things that smelled of newly varnished wood, mosquito spray and testosterone; some hamster and elberberry, and a couple of eau-d'euro-giggilo's  (you know, I'm letting my overactive imagination to the explaining here...), I came across two scents that I could imagine Al wearing: Eau d'Orange Verte and Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, both by Hermès, both marketed as Unisex. Interesingly enough, that morning I had read an "Elle" article discussed on Now Smell This discussing how more and more mens' frangrances have a "unisex" appeal. (Click here to read the article.) To me, the perfect unisex scent would evoke the scent representation of Ziggy Stardust...WHICH. WOULD. BE. AWESOME! Wait...does "unisex" = "androgyny"? (Maybe there's too much glitter! There's never too much glitter. Which is besides to point, because once glitter is introduced, you're stuck with it. Glitter is like...well...never mind...)

For the record, the Pamplemousse Rose was quickly rejected by Al. (I'll be gifting the sample to another displaced Southerner for whom I think it would be PERFECT!) I was all set to make a purchase of the d'Orange Verte...but I stopped...must test more things on Al - which have been procured over the past several days. I'd love to say what they are, but I can't. That would spoil the surprise! I WILL, however, share the results...and maybe where he ranked them. I'm sure Al really appreciates this. This should be simple...devoid of something say....lollygagging. You all American male. Lot's of varnished wood. "You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. GOT IT!?!"

Pink Ornament PERFECTION!
 Currently listening: "Same Old Scene" by Roxy Music 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh Pomander Ball, Oh Pomander Ball!

* Currently listening: Run Rudolph Run by Reverend Horton Heat
*Currently wearing: Brown Sugar and Fig by Bath and Body Work

My husband's birthday was this weekend, and out of respect to him (and I little of his request), I wait to jump into full blown Christmastime mode until his birthday has past! it's on!

I was intending to write something completely different today, but then this popped into my head: I should stash some pomander balls around the apartment for Christmas scenting. Let me rewind a tad. We're trimming the tree tomorrow, and when I say tree...I mean a 2 foot pre-lit, retro-tastic silver tree that will go on top of our coffee table next to the couch. I'll decorate it when pink ornaments only (a la my Grandma Byrd's tree from the early 80's), using some pink tulle for the "tree skirt", and something equally as clever for the tree topper. While we decorate (I'm thinking this is going to take all of 15 minutes, but still), I'm trying to institute some little Christmas traditions for myself, Al, Harley and Ezra. (Who am I much do cats care about Christmas!?! Asides from Ezra who tried to eat the tree when I was testing out the lights.)  We're never actually at home for Christmas, we're always in the South, making the grand tour of North Carolina to visit both of our families. Mom and Allison came to Boston the first Christmas we lived here....but, I feel that's mainly because they wanted our of the FEMA-trailer-hell-on-wheels (LITERALLY) existance they had been living in since Hurricane Ike hit in early September of that year.

Being that Al & I have a small nuclear family of two, we can have fun designing out own little traditions. So, I had the thought of decorating as we enjoy fresh home made gingerbread and some piping hot Gluhwein. Gingerbread because I ADORE gingerbread, and Gluwein to embrace the German part of both of our heritages (Hoffman for him & Wiltz for me. The French homage shall come on the 18th, it was supposed to be on the 8th...oops!) If the gingerbread that I try turns out well, I'll share that recipe; but I'll go ahead and share the Gluhwein recipe - as I'm sure, if nothing else, it will scent your space for the season wonderfully!
Gluhwein (courtesy of
A 750ml bottle of inexpensive dry red wine (no need to splash out on something expensive, but it should be drinkable. I usually just use whatever red wine is on sale at the supermarket.)

2/3 cup of raw cane sugar or white sugar, or non-artificial sweetener of your choice

juice and peel of one small lemon

2 cardamon pods

4 whole cloves

2 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks

Put everything in a heavy bottomed pan. Stir to melt the sugar. Heat the mixture over low heat, and leave of for about an hour - it should never boil, just sort of seethe. Serve in small mugs (straining out the peel and spices, with optional shot of brandy, kirsch or other liquer.

I had Al pick up the cardamon, cloves and cinnamon sticks on the way home so I can have the Gluhwein simmering when he gets home from work tomorrow; scenting the air with boozy, tannin, spicy, holiday goodness! I got very excited opening and sniffing the spices as I always do (especially the cardamon - we've never needed to purchase cardamon PODS before), and I thought to myself, "What in the world are we going to do with a FULL SIZED bottle of whole cloves? OOOHHH!!! Pomander Balls!" I had been toying around with the idea of buying some Christmas scented candles soon, why not just make the real thing!?!? Orange, cloves put on in a pretty (or if you don't care not so pretty) pattern, hung somewhere with a decorative ribbon. (I'm thinking pink of silver to go with my tree!) Plus, when it dries up you just make another - it's not like oranges are a break the bank item. The candles that I would gravitate towards, however...WOULD BE!

Looking further into the history of the pomander, I came across this fantastic article on School of the Seasons' site. Not only does it talk about the pomander, it also outlines many food/scent related holiday notions & their histories! (Now I have 1/2 a mind to buy some walnuts, spray paint them pink, coat them with glitter and tie them to my tree instead of tracking down teeny-tiny pink ornaments....and my husband's going to read this and shake his head and roll his eyes...) 

I promise once I have both my pomander ball done and hanging I will post a picture, as well as the tree (no matter what ornaments I decide to use!).
Modern Christmas Pomander Ball (

Queen Elizabeth I holding an exceptionally gilded pomander attached to her waist. (

Friday, December 9, 2011

J'adore J'adore! J'adore Dior! J'adore mon grand-mère!

*Currently listening: C'etait Une Histoire D'amour by Edith Piaf
*Currently wearing: Orange Blossom (The LUSH one, not the Joe Malone one - though I do love that one as well.) Guess I should be wearing J'adore due to the nature of the post, but I did work tonight, and that just seamed weird....

"Perfume is the finishing touch of a dress." - Christian Dior

"Flowers are Dior and Dior is flowers." - Francois Demachy (Perfumer for Dior) 

Monsieur Dior w/ Model donning one of his "New Look" designs
If you know me well enough to have some knowledge of my seemingly shallow obsession with many things "pretty" and "labels", you'll also know that I have a thing for Dior. I feel as though I need to be specific; OLD SCHOOL DIOR. As in the New Look. New Look? In 1947 Monsieur Dior, claiming that women were fed-up with the uniforms and unadorned clothing of WWII; Vogue described The New Look as being "from the era of Madame Bovary…wasp-waisted Gibson Girl shirtwaists, pleated or tucked…slow-sloped, easy shoulders…wrapped and bound middles--barrel (almost hobble) skirts--longer, deeply shaped shadow-box décolleté-padded hip. . . ."

You must be asking, (unless I've you've sat through one of my gooey waxings of "Here's why I j'adore Dior!") "Kathleen, what's the big deal about Dior anyway? Plus, what the hell does it have to do with perfume!? I mean I thought this was a perfume blog anyway?" Let me explain. Enter my maternal Grandmother, Grace Wiltz Byrd.

mon grand-mère et mon grand-père

mon grand-mère et moi

If there is anyone on this planet that I have idolized, it's my Grandma Byrd. She was an INCREDIBLE woman! I could go on and on about her, but that's not the point for this completely, and I'd end up crying and inevitably listening to Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder. OK, I'll throw in some Jessye Norman here just because it's f'gorgeous! My grandmother is the only other professionally trained musician in either side of my family, she was a fantastic seamstress, and while still being a lady...didn't take any crap from anyone...oh yeah, and the biggest thing, she LOVED...UNCONDITIONALLY! But back to the point.... The Grandma Dior link.

Some of my most special memories w/ her were of lazy Saturday afternoons in her sewing room sitting on her floor digging through her fabric cabinet as she sewed. At the back of her fabric cabinet were old issues of Vogue. Somehow flipping through those old issues...part of me think they went back all the way TO 1947, it was pretty evident that I liked the Dior and the New Look aesthetic. (I feel I should point out, for the dichotomy's sake, that when I visited my Granny LeBlanc, I was flipping through her copies of National Geographic. Come to think of it, I put subscriptions to those two magazines on my Christmas list.) My Grandma explained it to me and how it was how Dior invissioned women would want to dress after the unadorned and mostly unfeminine looks of the WWII era. I was hoooked! I thought the New Look and Christian Dior was the MOST GLAMOROUS THING EVER! I'm sure I made a vow quite like this to my six-year-old self, "When I'm a grown up lady, I'M going to own DIOR!"

Growing up and living my early adulthood in SETX (South East Texas - I won't type it again), it's not like I could just waltz into a Dior boutique. BUT....I could buy perfume at Dillard's...ooooohhhhh...faaaaancy! I can say with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that I bought my first bottle of J'adore in 2000, the year after it was introduced. I remember this because it was during my run for Student Government President during my Junior year of undergrad. I didn't run because I had any lofty political aspiratoins or anything. The guy was going to run unapposed, and well, that's just CRAP! So in one of my moments of "mighty proclamations" I went and filled out my application to run, so that was that. Oh...make no mistake about it, I lost...MISERABLALY, which deep down inside I knew I was going to...but that wasn't the point. The point was to run.

Anyhow - I'm sure I bought the J'adore because it was Dior, and it smelled very "adult" to me. At the time I was on a strict rotation of Bath and Body Works "Sun Ripened Raspberry" and Victoria's Secret "Strawberries and Champagne." Looking back now at the notes - I'm pretty sure the rose and the blackberry musk did it for me, as well as the clever clever advertising of something like, "J'adore is a fragrance that celebrates the renaissance of extreme femininity and the power of spontaneous emotion...." Yeah, that would have pretty much done it for me at the time.

So, now in my minds-nose (I've decided that's a term) I equate J'adore w/ a lady-like version of being "balls'y", I tend to wear red with it a good majority of the time. (So fair warning, if you happen to smell me wearing J'adore, I have a clear purpose in mind...which given the day...could vary, but will be carried out with steeled determination.) I don't think that it's the fragrance that I'd just pick up now in the store if I were going to buy something, but I still love it and it has special place in my hear, and there will always be bottle on my vanity. more thing - the bottle, I just did some reading about it on the Dior website, saying it was supposed to evoke the Haute-Couture silhouette - which I can see. To me, I can't help but think of the Padaung women of Burma; another cultural expression of what is beautiful.


Follow this link for a visually stunning video that the youtube posted describers as, "This movie clip is actually two promotional videos combined together. The first part is a commercial about the House of Dior and J'Adore, and the second part is about the "kitchen" of the mentioned fragrance. The second part starts with Christian Dior's residence at Granville/France, continues with flower fields of Grasse and essential oils , the lab, the production phase and finally the making of the bottle for the special edition of J'Adore."

Side note: The perfume was my gateway drug to Dior. Nine years and 1,800 miles later was the purchase of a Dior bag. Buying it gave me actual heart palpitations where "Dear Friend" (DF in the first post) can attest to! I had planned for YEARS to buy that bag, it's a total classic, and will have it into my handbag rotation until the day my shoulders can no longer support the weight a hand bag. It will be willed to someone because as I've said many times, "I'd cremate it with me, but it's WAY too beautiful to be burned!"

Hipstamatic "Portrait" of the Dior BagChild


 *Currently listening: Sous Le Ciel De Paris by Duo Gadjo

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Things...Errrr...Smells

*Currently listening: Play Me by Neil Diamond
*Current perfume: None, but my apartment smells of cheesy grits and mistletoe....

This is definately NOT the post I wanted to write today - Which would have had to do w/ my maternal Grandmother, Dior & Kayan people of Burma. Just not feeling it today, most likely because I'm not in the mood to put on Strauss or Edith Piaf while listening to it and sobbing away. So I'll save it for tomorrow, and we'll go w/ this....

Thinking of my Christmas list and obsessively thinking of the PERFECT thing to buy to my mother, I send her a text:

Me "Question - what kind of smells do you REALLY like?"

Mom "Butterscotch  apple pie  fruits"

Me "There are a lot of fruits in the world!"

Mom " Lol good point lemon strawberry raspberry"

Me "Ok! :-)"

Mom "Love u thanks for asking"

This morning I woke up wondering...why these smells...hmmm...? I have the butterscotch pegged, the loves it for the same reason I love the smell of figs. They remind us of her dad / my Grandpa.

Here's my list of favorite smells, I can directly peg two of them: fig (Grandpa Byrd), blackberry, coconut, rose (Grandma Bryd & roses we grew outside when I was little), jasmine, lemongrass & campfire smoke.

Question to you dear readers. What are your favorite smells?  Do you have any connection in your memory where/why they became your favorite?

Now I'm thinking of this (as well as changing the name of the post):

Going to Rhode Island tonight to watch a dear friend conduct his HS Bands' Holiday Concert, but before catching the Commuter Rail at Back Bay, I think I need to stroll through Saks and Neiman's and try to score some samples. I've got my nose out for a few particulars from Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, By Kilian & L'Artisan Parfumeur. Come to think of it...what perfume says, "Going to a HS Holiday Concert in Rhode Island?"

Again readers..don't forget; please share your favorite smells!

*Currently listening: The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More than Sweet Tarts!?! (And oh yeah, Mom - I used to steal your almost empty perfume bottles!)

*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 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 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 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 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