Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's My Birthday.....Yaaaaaaaay!


**Happy birthday Dear No Disassemble Charlie No. 5, Happy birthday Dear No Disassemble Charlie No. 5, Happy birthday Dear No Disassemble Charlie No. 5, Happy birthday to you!**

Today my humble little blog turns one year old! Many thanks to all of you who have read and encouraged me along the way. I've learned way more about perfume and fragrance than I ever imagined in past year, plus I've made online friends with some really awesome people!

Due to work/life schedules my "real" Birthday post won't be up until tomorrow, but I did want to commemorate the day SOMEHOW....so you get a kitty! Also, if you haven't...read how it all started with No Disassemble Charlie No. 5's very first post!

**Photo credit: hswestmi.org

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

*Oh Advent Wreath / Oh Advent Wreath*

*Current Fragrance: Burning the Fireside Candle from Bath and Body Works
*Currently Listening: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow sung by Michael Buble


Part 1 of Scented Holiday Traditions Around The World



I went w/ ||: Oh Advent Wreath :|| rather than ||: Oh Christmas Tree :|| because...well...our Christmas tree is not scented in the least. We had (I think at my request) Advent Wreaths in the house for several years growing up. (If it had anything to do with ceremony and ritual, I was all for it!) As advent wreaths are more traditionally German/Lutheran, I wanted to do one for Al. His mother's maiden name was Hoffman, and he pulls PRETTY strongly from the part of the gene pool. My maternal grandmothers was born a Wiltz, but that part of me heritage doesn't pull that strong within me as some other portions of my DNA.

As you can see, this is Advent Wreath: Loosely Interrupted. There's supposed to be an evergreen wreath the symbolize Jesus' everlasting life and love for all of us. I'm sure you're thinking, "But Kathleen! There's no wreath OR evergreens. What gives!?!?!" I'm not smirking Jesus' love... Actually religious side bar: I think Jesus is WAY more of a shape shifter than we realize. I think He makes the Trinity look like child's play. Think much, MUCH more globally!! OK, end of my religious rant.

The ornaments are circles - so therefor un-ending. Also, the tray that everything is on was a wedding present from one of Al's college friends. HAHA! How's THAT for forever and ever and ever and  ever and oh you get my point. At first it held all my perfumes (didn't take long to outgrown that), then it's been on our entryway table holding keys and what not, now ADVENT WREATH! For the evergreen scent, I turned to the candles. All four white candles are Fresh Balsam from Bath and Body Works.

Speaking of the candles. There are supposed to be four candles...one for each Sunday of Advent and then the Christ Candle that is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I went with Bath and Body Work's Tis the Season for the Christ candle. (I really wanted something red!)

I was raised (I think the Catholic church started doing it this way) with the candles being purple, purple, pink, white. Why? I'm not entirely sure. I do however LOVE the symbolism of the candle each week.

Week 1: The Prophesy Candle or Candle of Hope

Week 2: The Bethlehem Candle or Candle of Preparation

Week 3: The Shepherd Candle or Candle of Joy

Week 4: The Angel Candle or Candle of Love

Christ Candle: Yay Baby Jesus!

Do you keep an advent wreath in your home during the holidays? Have any sniffarific holiday traditions? Let me know in the comments! AAAAAAAAND stay turned. No Disassemble Charlie No. 5 turns a year old in the next post!

*Currently Listening: Grown Up Christmas List sung by Michael Buble
**Photo Credit: My Own

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not So "Vanilla" Vanillas

*Current Fragrance - Vanille Insensee from Atelier Cologne
*Currently Listening - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year sung by Amy Grant

Photo Credit: slowcocktails.squarespace.com
I crave vanilla fragrances 1) when I'm depressed and 2) when it's cold and I want to feel safe and cozy. Well...I live in Boston & it's cold y'all! I did some research and ordered 5 samples that I thought I might dig. Here are my thoughts on those not so "vanilla" vanillas.

1) Serge Lutens' Un Bois Vanille: I had high hopes, but all I can say is, "meh." I smells too much like Sand and Sable for me to get all excited about it, and quite honestly. It just wasn't what I was looking for. It was the least "me" of all the vanillas that I tried. Anyone who really loves this one, please pipe up!

2) CB I Hate Perfume's 7 Billion Hearts (in the absolute): I wanted so desperately to love this one! I LOVED it when I first put it on, but sadly as I wore it my eyes water like MAD. This is not cool, since I have trouble keeping waterproof mascara on as is. Maybe I just need to try the water concentration. It is stunningly gorgeous! Sweet "vanilla extract-esque"plus the woody/incensey smell that reminds my of my Grandparents old Church. Damn! It's beautiful. Perhaps it needs another spin.

3) M. Micallef's Note Vanillee: You know what this reminds me of...? J'Adore minus any flowers. It does. Call me crazy. I thought that all vanilla's had some cuddle factor. Nope. Not this one. It's vanilla mixed with booze, plums and apricots. It really didn't read overtly cloying on my skin. I'd totally drink something that smells like this. I'd wear this perfume. Just not when I need some olfactory snuggles. This would be a great LBD perfume.

4) Le Labo's Vanille 44: This fragrance took my breath away at first sniff. It's beautiful in its simplicity. This is Zen Vanilla. I wore Vanille 44 the last time I got my hair cut, and no sooner had my lovely hair dressers hands hit my scalp..."what perfume are you wearing?" To my nose it's a slightly sweet vanilla with a touch of smoke. Just smoke though, there's no evidence of what's been burning. Perhaps it's the vanilla that's on fire. It's delicate, which makes it beautiful. Sadly though...it's delicate which makes it fleeting. Too fleeting. Had there been more staying power, it would have been at the top of my list.

5) Atelier Cologne's Vanille Insensee: There is just something so cuddly, snuggly and Holiday-esque about this one. I feel as though I should be wearing it with a really ugly Christmas sweater (in the best possible way)! The vanilla isn't sweet at all in here. Well, it's slightly sweet...perhaps sweetened w/ pine sap. The evergreen element must be what makes it so Christmasy. To expand upon Luckyscent's thoughts....I feel like Vanille Isscensee is a snow globe of a mountainside town with its evergreens, flowing sap, and amber glowing fireplaces. It's snowing in the snow globe, and its snowing vanilla scented snowflakes.

Have any thoughts on the five fragrances above? What are some of your favorite vanillas? Please let me know in the comments.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scenting Your Holiday Office Party

*Current Fragrance: Back to Black from By Kilian
*Currently Listening: White Christmas sung by Frank Sinatra
Oh the Office/Workplace Holiday Party... Yep, it's that time of year again! Forget visions of Sugar Plums dancing in your head (that's an UPCOMING blog post), and belly up to the possibilities of your boss with a lamp shade on his/her head, the know-it-all that got YOUR promotion losing her eggnog, or finding yourself under the mistletoe with that cute guy from several cubicles over.
I've been to my share of lame holiday work parties, but then again I've been to my share that are flat out fabulously fun. There's so much you CAN'T control, you should relish in what you CAN control: looking and smelling fab! I'm here to help you with the smelling part. :-) As for the looking, just click my heels and your mouse on over to my lovely collaborator on this project, The Boston Fashionista. (As I'm collaborating with another Boston Blogger, I've taken special care to list fragrances that Bostonians can walk into a store and sniff TODAY!)
Not all office parties are created equal (in mood level of awesome/lame), just as not all perfume wearers needs are created equal: so, I tried to pick three vibes that I think encapsulate how wearers would want to feel or portray themselves at these Holiday parties.
1) Get Rid of the Grinch - Perhaps your work environment is a bit on the aggressive side. No one wants to carry that into a party environment. If I were faced with a situation like that, I'd reach for a bottle of an emotional bolstering. I think something like By Kilian's Love would be perfect. Love is a cozy, sugar dipped orange blossom that doesn't go TOO zesty or TOO cloyingly sweet. Think of the imaginary olfactory nexus of where a pomander ball and Dewdrop's (from the Nutcracker) costume. This is working under the assumption that Dewdrop's costume is made entirely of sugar cubes and orange blossom flowers..... Love from By Kilian can be found at Saks 5th Avenue, and you can read my review here.
2) I'm Not Myself Tonight - It might be something as finding yourself under the mistletoe with that cute guy from several cubicles over, or as broad as just being "someone else" for the evening. One listen of the X-tina song by the same name...girl don't wait, take the mistletoe to HIM! Anyway...so you want to vamp it up a bit, please vamp it up to the amount that you'll still have a J-O-B come Monday morning. I suggest on enlisting a little help Material Mother Madge and spritz on some of her Truth or Dare. Truth or Dare is a vampy tuberose with a tender edge. (Remember - you want to KEEP your job, as well as Monday morning under-the-breath-jokes to a minimum!) Truth or Dare is JUST gourmand-y enough to encapsulate the holiday vibe, while still letting you be a little vampish. It struts the perfect line between naughty and nice! (Gotta have all those bases covered!) Madonna's Truth or Dare can be found at Macy's, and you can read my review here.
3) Pass The Stapler and The Sparkling Cider In The Plastic Flute Please - Sometimes it just happens (although it makes my supremely sad), your workplace chooses/has to celebrate IN the office...DURING the work day. I'm also going to guess that this is an office where scent isn't necessarily celebrated. Don't worry Cindy Loo! We won't let them stop your holiday office party sniffy merriment from coming, we just need to be more mindful! Enter Jo Malone's Blackberry and Bay. Jo Malone's fragrances are notoriously on the lighter-handed side, so they're PERFECT for this type of shindig. Blackberry and Bay take very ripe photorealistic blackberries and both tamps down any excessive sweetness and gives a slightly spicy twist with the bay. Perhaps not your everyday scent, but PERFECT to kick it up a notch for that 9-5 holiday party. Jo Malone's Blackberry and Bay can be found at Saks 5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus, and you can read my review here.
I hope you enjoyed this little Office/Work Holiday Party Fragrance guide and find it useful! What fragrances have you enjoyed or had success with at your holiday work parties? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!!! Now, click on over to The Boston Fashionista to read her post!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Mamma I'm Coming Home

*Current Fragrance: Lonestar Memories from Andy Tauer
*Currently Listening: Should've Been A Cowboy by Toby Keith

L: Country Mouse (My Sister) R: City Mouse (Me)
The longer I've lived in the city, the more I come to appreciate certain aspects of "country" living. I put country in quotation because I wasn't exactly raised in the sticks. I think it's safe to say that I was raised in a small town. Every so often I miss that slower pace I also miss food that is properly spiced. WHAT is wrong with people up here!?!? Perhaps it's just that my Cajun taste buds have mutated over time. I will pack clothes only suitable to hand around horses in (as well as other assorted barn yard lovelies). I will HOPEFULLY get to drive down to the beach and stare at the Gulf for the first time in ages, I will eat my fill of that Gulf seafood. I will get to spend time with my crazy family. I will get to eat my mother's cheese grits and whatever my dad's latest food obsession is; as well as play with my sister's new kitty. I will do all these things while smelling flippin' fabulous! You can take me out of the city; you can take my nice bags, shoes, and scarves; but you can pry my perfume from my cold dead hands! Hey....I'm only bringing four. Aren't you proud?



1) Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather: All your 'fume-heads are probably asking, "But why not Lonestar Memories!?!?!" That's just way too literally. Look...I live in Allston/Brighton, I've lived in this neighborhood for four years...some of the hipster irony was BOUND to rub off on me. Also, I find TL to be deliciously saucy. I definitely makes me feel my oats. In this case my honey bunches of whit filled oats... Which I need for sparring with my father.

2) By Kilian's Liaisons Dangereuses: This one is my beloved. How could I possibly leave it at home!?!? It's like my very own olfactory American Express. Besides, my parents house was where I feel head over heels in love with LD on New Years Day of this year!

3) Serge Lutens' Gris Clair: Good ol' Uncle Serge. He'll keep me from murdering anyone or stomping out of the house in a tizzy (I am nothing if not practical thinking things out ahead.) For me this is a calming lavender nectar of the gods. Also good if my stomach gets queasy from too much rich food that I KNOW I'm going to gorge myself on.

4) LUSH's Orange Blossom: This one just feels right. Plus, all the neroli in there will keep me in a good mood. It smells like a sunlit field of flowers. I hope my trip holds up to that beautiful and positive of a thought. Sunlight, happiness, things that are alive, thriving, and familiar.

Until next week.... :-)

*Currently Listening: Zydeco Et Pas Sale by Clifton Chenier
**Photo Credits: Both photos my own

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gypsy Cowboy: Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille

*Current Fragrance: Wait, Isn't That Completely Obvious?
*Currently Listening: Map Tap by The Devil Makes Three

Tom Ford's fragrances reveal themselves to me in a rather poetic and "imagintangable" ways. Remember the experienced and worldly woman that was Cafe Rose? Then there's Tuscan Leather: two silver screen characters rolled into one.

Tobacco Vanille doesn't stray far from my Tom Ford fold.



He's the sexiest man you'll ever meet. What makes him so sexy? Clearly you're dying to know.... There's a darkness and danger there with the tobacco, but it's sweet pipe tobacco to not too harsh. No one wants a complete neanderthal. Sweet to the (ALMOST) point of honey, but not quite. Its overripe quality is almost eyebrow raising. The almost sexual pungency is paired with the comforting sweetness of the vanilla, making it so welcoming and familiar than any trepidation that was felt by the prowess of the tobacco envelopes you in its comforting swath.

Yes. Tobacco Vanille is a Gypsy Cowboy. Here's where he exists, somewhere between Eastern Europe and the posh saloons of the Old West. Everything is in sepia and yellow, and our Gypsy Cowboy is dressed in delicious pinstripes and brocade. Wrapped in his embrace you are simultaneously aroused and mollified.  Oh the poetic duplicity!

Plus there's nutmeg and a scant of cardamom. I'm absolutely convinced!

How it wears reminds me of how food color behaves in a bowl of water. The water being the skin/air and the fragrance being a single color of food coloring. Once the fragrance hits the water, it doesn't completely disperse. It's very "there", concentrated in once spot. If the motion in the water = time on the skin, that's what takes it to where it's going to go. It actually takes it there pretty quickly. The food coloring permeates the water but doesn't delete until the water is dumped out.

So many delicious descriptors tonight. Must be in the snow.

*Currently Listening: Lover Of The Light by Mumford & Sons
**Photo Credit: fero-usa.com


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sweet Thoughts for Harley Kitty

*Current Fragrance: Tobacco Vanille from Tom Ford
*Current Candle: Leaves from Bath and Body Works
*Currently Listening: The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

Scent people, I have learned, are also cat people...so it won't come as much of a surprise when I explain that my absence in blogging has been due a to sick kitty. Luckily, my husband is better at this than I. He's chronicled Harley kitty's ups and downs on his blog; in addition to some top notch (IMHO) political analysis. I'll repost the Harley parts here....

"Sorry about the absence, blame the fact that since Sandy came through it's been both busy at work and then busy on the home front for completely unrelated reasons.  Mostly, it was our good friend who was in town for an extended stay, and then Thursday turned into a night spent over with Kat's Dear Friend.  So, all in all, up until Thursday at around 11, it was for great reasons that I didn't open up the laptop to post here.

Kat ended up spending the night over at KDF's house, mostly because she was already so tired I didn't want to have to try and get her up to the apartment, and she didn't face anything until a lesson at 4.  This turned out to be a good call.


Rewind a little to Tuesday, I had been relaxing in the apartment when Kat came home, and pointed out that there was a spot of blood next to where Harley had been resting his head.  I was a little concerned, but didn't see any open wounds, and thought maybe he had accidentally cut his mouth scratching.  I made a note to keep an eye on it.  On Wednesday, no other incidents.  In fact, he rested for the night on top of me, and nary a drop.


So, I get home Thursday and I see Harley is basically covered.  His fur is matted with it, and there were  a couple areas where you could tell blood had seeped out of his mouth.  He still seemed himself...still walking around, eating, following me, and when I gave him a bath to clean his fur he definitely showed a ridiculous amount of strength.  I still never saw any actual open sources of this, but at this point, I knew he needed a vet.  Because he had reacted with so much energy to fight me off for his bath, I knew he wasn't so bad that he needed an emergency room. so I cleaned up what I could, made a note to keep an eye on him, and wearily slept that night. 

On Friday, I woke up, saw that there was a little more, but not a lot of, blood that had seeped out.  I knew he would be OK for a little while longer, and...frankly, we were so short handed at work thanks to a bad combination of events, I knew "sick cat" wasn't a reason to miss the day.  After I got to work, I set about to try and set a late evening vet appointment, and took the chance to let Kat know what was going on.  It was a good thing she had stayed at KDF's house, and that I didn't tell her that night because Harley would probably have gone to the Emergency Room.

After poking and prodding, I found the  Brookline VCA Hospital, signed up on-line to try and get an appointment, but their website was screwing up, and before I could call, I was sidetracked due to work.  Luckily, right when I had a small break, they called me to see if I was interested in setting something up.  They told me they were open late on Fridays, and getting a 6 PM appointment was no problem (I love living in a big city).  Kat eventually came home and kept her eyes on him.  He was sluggish through the day, but still ate, and didn't really seep that much more blood, although there was some.

So, it was with trepidation I came home to put Harley in his case and took him to the vet.  I've alluded before to how Harley was abandoned by his first family.  Well, that history means that whenever we try to put him in his carrier, he cries something awful, because he always thinks he's about to be torn away from his family.  It's the main reason why we don't board him when we go somewhere, because frankly, no matter how nice the place, I really think he would feel like he's being surrendered again, and the older he gets, the more I don't think he'd be able to handle it.  Still, we had to get him to the vet somehow.

Our Doctor was great.  Very friendly, obviously very knowledgeable, and gave us a pretty strong interrogation about his habits, eating, stuff around the house...nothing was out of bounds.  A blood sample was taken, and the Doc pointed out that Harley had some pretty bad teeth.  While we may need to talk about getting that done, the problem was...he didn't see any bleeding coming specifically from the gums.  We set our expectations to come back on Saturday, and left...only to be called back because the preliminary test done on his red cell count showed it pretty dangerously low.

The fact that it was this low and he wasn't showing that many symptoms meant that this was something that had been occurring over time and he had adjusted.  The Doc decided to give Harley a Vitamin K shot to see if it would help (it won't hurt, so lets try it), and he said he'd call back on Saturday with the results.  We brought Harley back to the house, and what we noticed was a cat who very quickly started to have a bit of a bounce in his step.  He seemed a little more energetic.

I woke Saturday to, again, see no blood, and to a cat who was obviously feeling better.  He walked around with more energy, his eyes were always wide open, and he just seemed to be doing better.  We were hopeful that we had stumbled on good news.  The Doc called us back to tell us that, sadly, the blood work was really inconclusive of anything, and that he'd like to bring Harley back in for an X-Ray to see if there was any sort of mass visible.

If you read that post introducing you to the cats, you'd know this is the point where we lost Singer.  The X-ray revealed a huge mass, which before the vets could remove, Singer decided she was done and passed away.  Of course we were worried that we were about to have a replay of this, but we had to do it.  We had to know.

I took Harley back to the office, and while I was waiting for the results, Lee Ann Womack's "I hope you dance" came on the radio in the office.  Why do I point this out?  It was the song that I chose to dance with Mom at our wedding.  So...I'm sitting in the office, waiting for an X-Ray of this cat that has been with us for 10+ years, with a song that reminded me of a happy moment with Mom...yeah, kinda started to cry there in the office.  I did what I could to hide, wondering off, looking at the food they sold, and after a little bit I finally composed myself.  If anyone noticed, they didn't say anything.

Finally, the Doc was ready with the news.  No visible masses on the X-Ray, and that while the Vitamin K shouldn't have worked (it basically was only meant for a clotting disorder for when he ingested some poison), he agreed that in the less than 24 hours since he had last seen Harley, there was a marked improvement in his attitude, energy, and most importantly, no visible blood coming out of his mouth.  So, while he couldn't really explain it, he gave Harley a prescription for more Vitamin K, because "If it works, we might as well roll with it."

So, the plan for now is to have him take that Vitamin K for a few days, and on Wednesday we'll go back to have just the red count tested again.  If there is an improvement, we'll keep on this route, shrug our shoulders, and say that must have been it.  If not, then we have a decision to make on the next step, neither of which is particularly appealing.

Basically, we can either opt to take him for an endoscopy and an ultrasound to see if there is a mass that just isn't showing up on the X-Ray...which won't be cheap, to say the least.  In other words, we either will spend a lot of money to either show nothing or show something we wouldn't like, leading to spend more money to treat something.  All of this for a cat that is 11 and a half years old (or, according to a chart we found in the vet's office, a cat that is bordering on "geriatric").  Or, we could try a medicinal approach, trying a couple of medicines to see if his numbers improve, basically resigned to not knowing for sure what it is.

For what it's worth, today has been another good day.  Again, no blood after he slept on top of me overnight, has been wide-eyed while walking around, and, in general he seems to be getting better.  I honestly think that if this trajectory continues, the blood work on Wednesday will show a cat with a better red cell count, meaning for whatever reason he just had some sort of clotting disorder that got worse over time.  If this is the case, a month of Vitamin K should be all he needs to get over this, and go back to being the ball of cute he's always been.

So, if you all could, please keep a thought in your mind for Harley.  Tomorrow's post will be a little more about the election, but I figure I should put a better explanation out there for those of you wondering what was going on with the kid.

***11/5 update***
Since this writing, not much has changed...his energy seemed to go down a little bit overnight, and we did have an incident where we found some new blood at the end of the day yesterday.  However, he slept fine, and we didn't find any more overnight. 

The worrisome thing is that he didn't seem all that eager to eat today, turning down treats and not exactly lapping up his food.  Kat and I are just going to keep our eyes on him, and hopefully we will know some more Wednesday."

FORWARD TO TODAY

"I posted this on Facebook, but I figured I'd update what's going on since Sunday for those of you who are concerned about our little guy.
Taken a few months ago!  FEED ME!
So, since Sunday things have gotten better.  We had a minor setback where some blood was visible on Sunday night, it had us concerned, but we stayed the course and kept giving him vitamins.  The other thing was that he wasn't eating.  It's not that he didn't want to, he just didn't really take the effort to go.

On Monday night, after another bloodless night, I tried feeding him again, but he wouldn't have any of it.  I suspect that something in his mouth hurt and he just didn't want to each crunchy food.  So, I stopped by Stop and Shop after work and picked up a can of moist food.  I'm not a big fan of the stuff, but if it means he'd eat, I'd sure as Hell try it.

As soon as I got home, I pulled out the can, and Harley tears after me, wide-eyed, meowing like he hasn't before, and as soon as I put some out in a bowl, he sucked it down.  So...it would seem that we stumbled on something.

Yesterday was a great step forward with something that you would think would be bad news.  After "feeding" Harley his vitamin, he threw up.  Yes, this was bad news, but the good news was that it was all liquid, no food...and no blood.  So in about four days, he had made a huge turn around and was eating.  That made us actually look forward to the vet today.

The vet again remarked about the fact that he looked amazingly better, and that when he looked inside Harley's mouth, there was no blood coming out.  He stressed that this shouldn't really have worked, because the vitamins were supposed to help with a clotting disorder, usually only given in the case of ingesting rat poison, which I know we didn't put out.  Also, his red count hadn't really gone up since Friday night, so we are still facing questions.

Here's what we DO know, the fact that the bleeding has stopped and he has obviously improved, plus the fact that the X-Ray was clear has taken (most likely) cancer off the table.  Meaning, no tumors, no Ultrasound or endoscopy even needs to be considered.  There are still things that this could be, but they can be treated with medicine, and our doctor (whom I love because this is his approach) has decided to just keep going with this treatment.  Why add steroids or antibiotics if this is working?  So, the plan, as we see it, we will try the vitamins for the next two weeks, and have a follow up to see how the red cell count is doing.  If there is no real change, then we will start adding medicines.  If, however, things look better, we will be officially out of the woods...and maybe talk about doing something with his teeth.

So, thank you all for your thoughts for Harley.  That picture, while taken back in February, is pretty indicative of how he is doing now...and we couldn't be happier." 
Harley's continued to look and act great throughout the day today. So that makes me really happy! 
Not a whole lot has been going on fragrance wise with that. I've been avoiding putting real thought into fragrance. My thought being, if something bad happened...I didn't want to ruin a note or type of perfume for the future. This evening all I'm feeling is vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. I want that comforting that's embrace leaves you covered in its "coo-ing" fragrance. Yes. Vanilla coos. Didn't you know? More soon!
I also should explain all the Country Music. I'm making myself ready for my trip home to TX in less than a week! :)

*Currently Listening: Southern Comfort Zone by Brad Paisley

Monday, October 29, 2012

Orange Blossom Cuddles: By Kilian's Love

*Current Fragrance: Love from By Kilian
*Currently Listening: Ain't That A Kick In The Head by Dean Martin

To me By Kilian's Love is Orange Blossom that has been dipped in almond extract laced agave nectar, then sprinkled with sugar then wrapped in some sort of cream colored cashmere throw. Is that enough for a blog entry? Thought not.

NO WONDER I love it: Calice Becker (one of my all time favorites) is the perfumer!!! Naturally. I hadn't really given Love too many thoughts, as I thought that is was going to be too sweet for me. How it ended up, was deliciously snuggly. Here's how it happened....

From buying my Back to Black refills earlier in the week, I was given quite a few Kilian samples that spent the week handing out in my handbag. As I was getting ready for dinner last night, and as usual running behind but with no particular fragrance in mind...I reached into the little organza bag and pulled out Love. Done. I have a scent of the evening!

I spritzed it on, and really kind of liked it. As Al and I were waiting for the train, this conversations broke out:
Me, "Hey. I'm wearing a new perfume tonight. What do you think?"
Al, "Smells really nice. What is it called?"
Me, "Love."
Al, (in typical fashion) "OK then."

I continued to fall for it's non-cloying sweetness as were went to dinner with a friend visiting from "the home land" at La Dolce Vita. Perhaps it was solely the perfume, perhaps it was the wine, or perhaps it was my deep and longstanding love for pignoli cookies...Love really hit its' stride at Modern Pastry.
And an apple caramel macaroon for good measure as well!
It seamed to attach itself to every single almond scented molecule in the joint and just bloom smell wise. (OM, NOM, NOM!) I remembering thinking to myself, "My arm smells like something I should dip in espresso!" (Oh, the things I think but just don't say out loud!!!) I do, however, go back to my original statement: By Kilian's Love is Orange Blossom that has been dipped in almond extract laced agave nectar, then sprinkled with sugar then wrapped in some sort of cream colored cashmere throw.

It smells like cuddling and sweet (early) kisses. It's subtitle is Don't Be Shy, so it makes perfect sense. Didn't really expect to like this one, but boy oh boy sis I sure like it. It's perfectly for when you want to be swaddled, but not in a sweet floral way and not a vanilla-amber sort of way.

I'm cozied up in it again today as Al and I enjoy a little Sandy based stay-cation and we watch the winds whip by.

What was the last perfume that surprised you in this way? Thought you weren't going to like it, but you ended up having a bit of a love affair with it? Also, what are your cuddle and swaddle worthy scents? Share with me in the comments.

*Currently Listening: Beyond the Sea by Kevin Spacey
**Photo Credits: My own

Friday, October 26, 2012

Of Ben Folds Five, Burberry, and Feeling Free

*Current Fragrance: Boyfriend from Kate Walsh
*Currently Listening: One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces from Ben Folds Five

Ben Folds Five
A few weeks ago Al and I, along with Pretty Pretty Princess and Boyfriend of Pretty Pretty Princess, went to go see Ben Folds Five at the House of Blues. Al and I had gone to see Ben Folds with the Boston Pops a few years with Bartles and James and had an AMAZING time. We never thought we'd have the opportunity to see the original trio live, so when we did...we jumped at the opportunity!


Al went to college in Chapel Hill where the band got its start, so you can see why he likes them so much. (I get this nice nostalgic twinge ever time I hear a smidgen of the North Carolinian accent in Ben Folds' voice.) My emotional association with the group is a little more complex and convoluted. You see...I ran away from home, to start my new home and new life in North Carolina with Al. Not something I would recommend for everyone, but for me - it certainly worked. I've always associated Ben Folds Five with this time period, here's why.

Two or three days after moving to NC, which included moving in with Al and his two post college (sorta) fraternity brother roommates, I decided I was going to get in their good graces by making them a good and balanced home cooked meal. For me the contains marinated chicken breast, rice and green beans. Al must have gotten a ride to work that day, because I had his car at my disposal. I remember turning on the car and the Whatever and Ever Amen album was on. Either Battle of Who Could Care Less or One Angry Dwarf & 200 Solemn Faces was placing, both of those give me such freedom filled feelings. (Say THAT five times fast!) Once I got to the grocery store however, I wasn't sure I was going to STAY in North Carolina....$3 for a can of green beans!?!?!? I had mucked up Al's directions somehow, and ended up at the Whole Foods instead of Harris Teeter. Sadly, or perhaps not so sadly, I don't think I'd be that shocked by a $3 can of green beans here in Boston!

Ben Folds

Away from green beans and back to Ben Folds Five. I've always associated the music with my time in Chapel Hill and year and a half in North Carolina. I smile listening to Kate knowing that I've been at a particular intersection that he sings about in the city and feel a weird, WEIRD connection knowing that the Planned Parenthood where I got my birth control was most likely the place that they went to in the narrative of Brick, also...Ben Folds Five is nerd rock. I have decided that those are my people.

A few days before the concert I was straightening my hair, listening to my Ben Folds Five playlist on my iPhone, and the scent of Burberry for Women. OooooooKkkkkkk, my brain thought, and then it hit me....Burberry was what I was wearing perfume wise when I "ran away" to North Carolina. Thank you music and your highly associative properties plus the small degree of synesthesia I'm convinced I posses.

I haven't smelled Burberry in YEARS, but it's VERY distinctly in my "minds nose". There's an element of coziness and comfort to Burberry - a cedar drenched, musky vanilla. Plus there's blackcurrant and green apple: and if a fragrance has blackcurrant, given it's not straight up Raspberry Hoe Juice, I will like it! Burberry is like eating a delicious fruit pit on Christmas morning right after you've opened all your gifts and you've slipped that new snuggley sweater over your PJs. Oh yeah, the pie is left over from Christmas Eve dinner, the flavors have had plenty of time to meld. Damn....now I want a bottle! It's been...eh, a little over ten years. Well....Christmastime IS a-comin'!

I really feel lucky  to have fragrances and music to bring me back to places and instances. I really think it is so much more powerful than a photo or a spoken remembrance.

Care to share some of your transporters, be it auditory and olfactory? Share in the comments below.

*Currently Listening: Army from Ben Folds Five
**Photo Credits: All images my own

Monday, October 22, 2012

L'Eau Pour Le Cheveux Nouveaux

*Current Fragrance: The Smell of Freedom from Gorilla Perfume
*Currently Listening: Man In The Box by Alice in Chains.

I hope my bad French is correct-ish! Nonetheless, buh-bye red, and hello (what I am calling) mocha!

I went from caca rouge to caca noir yesterday! I wanted something dark and different for deep Fall/ Winter. Maybe taking a bit of off from the red will make me a little less fiery and temperamental and more sophisticated and mysterious. (Here's hoping.)



Hoping for a Patti Labelle-esque "New Attitude" - I think my new do requires some new fragrances to contemplate/highlight its hued qualities. Please offer up your suggestions and why in the comments. I might even have a little present for the one I end up liking the most!

I will say, this new do has had me feeling very Back to Black already, which I'm planning on picking up tomorrow. :)

*Currently Listening: Glycerine by Bush
**All photos my own

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Smells Like Immortality

Since so much of what I write about here on No Disassemble Charlie No. 5 is about connecting smell to loved ones (many of which are no longer with us), I thought this would fitting to post on here. No matter what your religious views are, I'm pretty sure my wise friend Keaton's thoughts about passing things down will ring true. I hope reading this gives you reason to pause and think and reflect, as well as share you as see fit. Also, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you, Keaton for writing this amazing, though-provoking piece: and I'm sorry it was brought about by sorrowful circumstances.

Death in 2,163 Words.

Yesterday, after having spent the vast majority of my time over the past two days sitting in the ICU waiting room, I had the exceedingly rare experience of saying what I thought would be my final goodbyes to my last remaining grandmother. I have not had the opportunity to speak with my other grandparents before they left because their various medical conditions rendered them unconscious. That situation sort of makes you a bystander, or just someone who is powerless to affect the environment around them, waiting for the end to come. And it does come- sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently, but always inevitably. My grandmother is fortunate because she is in the rare position of being cognizant of her surroundings, being in control of her situation, and being able to decide just how she wants to meet the end. What quiet, dignified strength she possesses! She was undoubtedly the least emotional person in our little universe of people waiting for the end to finally come.

As I stood at her bedside, holding her hand, mumbling and trying to find the right words, the only thing I could find to say were the words, “Thank you for being who you are and who you’ve been your whole life.” At the time, I couldn’t wrap my brain around why that statement would appear so clearly in an ocean of possible things to tell this great woman. Surely I should have said something like, “I love you so very much,” or, “You don’t worry about a thing. We’re all here, and we’ll take care of everything. We all love you,” or some other endless variation of that statement. So why, why did I feel the need to thank her? The real haymaker question is this: why did it feel so very RIGHT to thank her?

As I drove home, the answer to this question slammed into my brain, and thoughts stemming from that answer came in waves, crashing into me one by one by one…

I find that death is ultimately more about the people being left behind than the person who is leaving. Sure, a group of people, standing or sitting in a hospital waiting room, or standing around a bed in a private home, are there to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of someone who has touched their own lives. We love the people leaving us. But, invariably, we find ourselves thinking about our own, personal relationships with that person. We dwell on the emptiness and the loss that we will feel after our loved one is gone. We have dignified services with kind speakers and lots of flowers; some nice religious man or woman says words to comfort those affected by their loved ones’ departures. In the end though, the loved ones go into the ground, or into the fire, or into the tomb and everyone leaves. Those words and flowers and tears and condolence cards are NOT for the departed, but the living they left behind. What use does a dead person have for flowers? None, of course. No, ultimately all those things we do after someone leaves us are expressions of the living, for the benefit of the living.

Humans like the idea that this life, this everyday life we spend driving, sleeping, drinking, singing, etc… is just a transitory phase of existence. We like to think that we are all immortal. Some believe we have a soul that departs our worldly body, goes to a place with pearly gates and gilded streets, to spend the next eternity on our knees worshiping someone we’ve never met. And let’s not forget the alternative: being cast into a burning, sulfurous lake of fire, spending the next bit of eternity paying for these bad things we do in this transitory, “everyday driver” life of ours. There are other variations. Some believe that our soul departs the body and enters it’s next life, perhaps as an ant, or a tree, or a fruit fly, in an endless cycle of death and rebirth. Yesterday’s ants are today’s people, and today’s people are tomorrow’s great white sharks; that the amount of life in this world is FINITE. Fixed. There are no more souls in this world today than there was when it winked into existence long, long ago. Ancient cultures tended to believe that the departed could take whatever he/she wished to the afterlife with them. Elysium, Valhalla, Heaven, Hell, the River Styxx… all represent places that humans have believed the soul travels to after death. The only thing any of these ideas have in common is our preference to believe in the immortality of human beings- this life just can’t be all there is, there must be somewhere, some place we go from here. We believe this because the alternative is nothingness- oblivion; the total destruction of your life force. It is a very unpleasant idea.

What I came to see on my drive home is that I don’t really believe in any of that nonsense. Gilded streets, life as a great white shark, Elysium… pleasant thoughts all, but ultimately these ideas are just another way to get around dealing with a stark reality: we are all going to die, and that’s the only thing that is certain in this world.

You might, at this thought ask yourself, “What’s the point, then?” but the answer occurs to you almost immediately. You live your life so that those who come after you will have a better life. The thing that makes human beings the top of the food chain is not opposable thumbs, or bi-pedal walkability, but our ability to use our minds. Perhaps the lion could be the top of the food chain, the supreme animal on the planet, if only he could figure out how to build a gun, or plant a crop, or farm antelope. But he can’t; he doesn’t have the capacity. Only humans have that ability to use their brains to change their environment, and since our beginnings, humans have changed the world for one purpose: make the world better, easier for those that come after.

The first cavemen had it really bad: harsh, hostile environments, limited knowledge on how to get food or make shelter, no tools… It must have been a really low quality environment. But, slowly, that caveman uses his mind, creates ideas to change his situation. He goes from surviving to thriving. He changed his environment- but then something spectacular happened. He invents the paintbrush, uses his environment to make paint, and draws pictures on his cave wall to give instructions on how to hunt to his sons. He passes on his knowledge. Eventually, all this knowledge forms a system of values, based on what is “good.” Hunt this animal this way, so you don’t get killed. Build a fire like this, because if you don’t, your measly fire will go out and you’ll be cold and you and your family will die. There are probably thousands of examples. The enormity of this caveman’s actions cannot be overstated. Just imagine if he hadn’t taught his son all these things…

These days, we don’t struggle for things like food and shelter, for the most part. Our value systems have made procuring these necessities very efficient. Of course, we still value these things at our very core, but we don’t worry about it as much as that first caveman. Today we value other things, and these values have spawned radical changes in the environment. We value things like the ability to travel long distances more quickly, which has spawned the wheel, then the cart, then the carriage, then the bicycle, then the car, then the airplane, then the jet, then the space shuttle. Who knows what’s next in that chain of inventions? Another thing we value is communication. That led to the invention of speech, then writing, then scrolls, then books, then the mail system, then the telegraph, then the telephone, then the computer, then the internet, then the smart phone… It just goes on and on, in millions of little examples like these. And each of these examples comes from very simple values. Values- they make the world go around.

I’ve come to realize that who I am is entirely made up of the values of the people who have come before me, particularly the members of my family. Sure, we pick up other values from the environment and other people around us in a kind of “interpersonal value sharing” that allows new ideas to be injected (sometimes forcefully) into existing family value structures, but the VAST majority of anyone’s values comes from his/her family. That statement seems small, but is not. That statement is the sum total of every human being alive.

 I’ve received many values from my mother and father, most of which I accept, but some I reject. This rejection is what keeps me from being carbon copies of my siblings. I also receive values from the culture and environment in which I live, but these usually get accepted or rejected based on those values I’ve received from my family which act as a filter of sorts. For instance, my father values hard work, using reason to solve problems, politeness, responsibility, and many others. I value these things as well, in myself mostly, but in other people too. My acceptance or rejection of the cultural and environmental values is based on these core family values passed on to me by my mother and father, and their parents, and their parents’ parents, and their parents’ parent’s parents, and so forth. There are literally thousands of people who have contributed to the value system that is Keaton Watson. In fact, that line goes all the way back to that caveman inventing the paint brush and drawing pictures on the wall.

What I have in my mind now is a person running, bearing a torch. He runs and runs, and eventually closes in on the next runner in line, who is bearing an unlit torch himself. As our running men come together, they touch their torches together, igniting the second torch. The next runner then begins his own leg of the journey. Their torches are different, look different, feel different, but the fire is the same. Now imagine billions, trillions even, of these running men and women, each bearing their own torch, handing the flame to the next in line. That flame is what illuminates the entire world.

Now, I can go back to my grandmother in her hospital bed, and my final farewell to her. Her body is dying, failing her, after having been her faithful companion for 88 enormous years. In those 88 years she’s created life, shared love, compassion, and wit with the world around her. She has, just by being alive, improved the quality of our world. She has also experienced great loss and pain. Her husband, her best friend of more years than she can count, died 11 years ago.  She’s very tired. She is, at her core, lonely.  She wants to sleep. She’s refused the dialysis treatment that would prolong her life. She’s choosing her own end. “No more pain, no more fighting… Just sleep, rest,” she says. She’s content with this, comfortable with the idea of eternal sleep. She wants nothing more, needs nothing more, and can give nothing more to this world. She’s completed her leg of the journey and has already passed her flame to the next torch bearers. She feels complete.

While I don’t believe that my grandmother has an external soul, bound for some journey to a distant planet, or place with gilded streets, or needs any money for the boatman, I do see now that the value system that is my grandmother will live forever. She is immortal. She is immortal because her values are my values. She lives on through me. All of my grandparents do- and all their parents, and all their parents’ parents… Ideas, values… they can’t die with a body. You can’t shoot them with a gun, cut them with a knife, or run them over in a car. Values don’t get cancer. They will all live on through me, my kids, and my kids’ kids’, and my kids’ kids’ kids for infinity. My grandparents, whom I’ve known and loved all my life will live forever. And perhaps some of the values my grandparents held, that my parents hold, that I hold, will affect this world in some positive way. Maybe my descendants will be teachers, or inventors, or writers who are just changing their environment and improving the quality of their world. If the human race figures out how to travel to distant planets, and one of my descendants end up changing the environment on another world, well then me, my brothers and sister, my parents, my grandparents will be right there with them- our values giving little mental and emotional nudges towards a quality we all strive for.

We are every one of us, immortal.


*Reprinted with permission by the author.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Meeting Kilian

*Current Fragrance: Good Girl Gone Bad and burning my Back to Black candle both from By Kilian
*Currently Listening: T'inquiete! by MC Solaar

Kilian Hennessy and I.

It has been exactly eleven months and sixteen dasy since I fell head over heals for my beloved Liaisons Dangereuses, so you can imagine my delight when my favorite SAKS SA Ellen let me know that Kilian Hennessy would be visiting my local SAKS. SIGN ME UP!!!!! (I would actually go TOTAL FAN GIRL if I ever had to opportunity to meet its perfumer, Calice Becker...TOTAL FAN GIRL!)

As with any good thing in this world, there has to be considerable effort put into whatever "It" it is. In this case, it was the choice of outfit (I went with black jersey shirt-dress, avocado green scarf, aubergine lightweight cardigan, new Tory Burch black flats, Dior purse and a few spritzed of Liaisons Dangereuses), and the COMMUTE IN FROM HELL! This commute ended in my train breaking down four stops from my house and my having to hail a cab. I should mention that the cabbie asked me if the SAKS I was going to was uptown or downtown. EVERYTHING is downtown from where I live. *shakes head*

My appointment to meet Mr. Hennessy was the first of the day at 10am (I DID have to work at noon....). I actually really love department stores that early in the morning. The beauty of all the merchandise in a not-yet-touched by the masses setting. I find it oh-so-civilized!! Plus, I think it reminds me of shopping on Saturday morning with my Grandma Byrd and Aunt Lou.

In the Garden of Good and Evil: A modern metaphor of the myth of the original sin.
Kilian himself was delightful to chat with, not to mention VERY easy on the eyes! (I felt like a little school girl at times, but did my best to reign it it.) I could have let myself drown in his accent: French plus something else in there that I couldn't put my finger on, but it was definitely delectable. We chatted about all of the series (if you will) that he has done, spending the majority of the (no in Pre-Sale) In the Garden of Good and Evil.

I really enjoyed talking through all the details with him. Like it is the calligraphers symbol on the front of the box (I think it was the box) of both Water Calligraphy and Bamboo Harmony, to changing the color for In the Garden of Good and Evil from black to white to make things pure. The new etching on the side of the bottle is lovely. He explained in in detail the symbolism of each pre-sale, I wish I could remember everything; I should have recorded, but that seamed invasive. I DO remember that he got particularly animated about the top of the etching with the snakes in a heart around the apple.

I'm very excited about the scents!! I thought to myself going in, "If they're based off the Garden of Eden, there's an apple...and apple means fruit. Perhaps we're going to get more Byredo's Pulp-esque and less Raspberry Hoe Juice!" When Kilian started talking about the fruit accords and wanting them to come across as luxurious and well done, I wanted to throw my arms around him and give him a bit hug. Well, that and he smelled and sounded DELICIOUS (he was wearing In the City of Sin); however discretion was the better part of valor and I just wholeheartedly agreed. See...I DO have some shreds of self control, people! ;-)

I will pen a review of all three of the fragrances, which I like very much, but not today. I will say this: if Malle has his Carnal Flower - these will be Kilian's "Carnal Fruits". That, and some DELICIOUSLY effective use of honey - but it never goes in gourmand territory on me. I am also IN LOVE with added detail of the "box" for the perfume be a snake embellished clutch. I LOVE snake accessories! Also, if you know me, even just a little, you know that after perfume comes purses. I WILL be buying a bottle of either Good Girl Gone Bad or Forbidden Games!


Signing my candle. Perfection. Seriously, could anything ever go wrong at SAKS? Audrey can have her Tiffany's.
For my purchase for Kilian to sign, I chose a Back to Black candle. I figured its honeyed tobacco was something that Al and I could both enjoy as the weather turns more and more into the weather of the three C's: cuddle, candle, and cocoa! New England, you're the best!


Yesterday was not the best of days for me. My carpal tunnel (which hadn't bothered me in a year and a 1/2) decided to act up in my dominant hand and I worse my brace to work which made for a pretty interesting day. I got home and was greeted by with Al with, "you have a box from Texas and some mail from I think France."


It in fact WAS mail from France! You should go like the Kilian Facebook page. That way you'll get mail from France for the next release!

*Currently Listening: Kill Kill Kill by DJ Vadim
**All images my own

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Life Support





Dear Darling Readers,

 I think I need a bit of blog-o-therapy! I feel as though my blog is on life support. Life's been a bit busier than normal lately, and want WANT and focus to write has been a little sad. I need some support from you, lovely readers. Is what I write "worth it"? Do you enjoy reading my blog? Does it somehow make your day a little bit brighter? I started NDC#5 so I could have a creative outlet and write about something I adore: perfume. I just feel like I need to send my blogging-self to rehab. Any of you bloggers have advice? Have you been there before? Pep-talks and general loving praising is readily accepted!

Love,

Kathleen

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dear Charlie 2.0

Dear Charlie,

What's With the name of your blog?

This one is fun, and one part sentimental, one part silly; as I explained in NDC#5's inaugural post! But I've copy and pasted the good stuff for you to read here. ENJOY!

Love,

"Charlie"


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 insisted on a intermediary 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!

**Photo Credit: badhaven.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm Back! And Talkin' Snuggly Candles!

Not my cats, they'd never allow me to take a pic of them doing this! NEVER!!!!
I'm baaaaaaaaack!!!! No point in saying much about my absence other than work has been wicked busy! (WOW! Guess I really do live in Boston!!) Oh yeah, and if I owe your a sample-y thing from a giveaway, it's coming. Promise!!

One big thing that did happen, at least in New England, during my little blogging break was this: Indian Summer flipped away into Full Blown Fall! The colder weather is the weather for me! I actually tend to prefer winter, but that's not the point. As I was walking home from the train last night, I couldn't help but think, "This is all out cuddle weather!!"

Nothing says cuddle weather more to me than CANDLES! Actually it's equal with a cuddle partner and hot cocoa! (All three TOTALLY necessary!) For Fall/Winter scents - in general - if it smells like it comes piping hot in a glass, mug, or pipe (but NOT the swirly colored kind you find in a Head Shop)...I'm sold! Oh yeah...also if it smells like Old Stone Church! More of all of those for another time!

Currently in the burning rotation in my apartment are Apple Crumble from Bath and Body Works and Back to Black from By Kilian.

Did I mention mine was signed? Another blog entry about that to come. PROMISE!!!!
I find both of these candles to be extremely snuggly. Apple Crumble is that apple pie that's not over sweetened so you can, you know...ACTUALLY EAT IT! Back to black is a woman in super sexy lingerie (I'm thinking of my local Agent Provocateur window)...her womanly sweetness lingering with his super high quality tobacco that has he tamps it into his pipe.

What are your favorite candle scents to snuggle to? Also, I'm looking for some good incense/churchy scents for Fête des Lumières in early December. Ideas anyone? Share both in the comments!

**Photo Credits: 1) dragonflyheart.deviantart.com 2) My own

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Summer Lovin' / Kiss Today Goodbye

*Current Fragrance: Liaisons Dangereuses from By Kilian
*Currently Listening: New by No Doubt


Summer ended and Fall began this Saturday. Now, normally...I'm more than happy to kick the heat and humidity that Summer brings to the curb; but this was one of the best summers I had in recent memory. Celebrated my 10th Wedding Anniversary, got to meet my new niece, several friendships became infinitely stronger, I saw a sh&t ton of awesome concerts (Scissor Sisters was BY FAR the best), I got to kick my lame ass gallbladder to the curb, and overall continue to feel happy with myself in my own skin. (Oh, and I bought a pair a blue jeans. I'm not a pants/jeans kinda girl. So...first pair in 10 years...BIG F$CKING DEAL!)

I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the fragrances that really made my summer. Coincidentally, I decided to "kiss today goodbye" with my favorite violet kissed, flirty banana: Gorilla Perfume's Ladyboy. It was my scent of the day on Saturday and definitely as my review of it says...Strange Flirting indeed.

Counting Ladyboy as one, I wanted to go ahead and round out a top five of my summer. I think it's really good to look back and reflect on all facets of life, albeit just for a bit. Fragrance is so wrapped up in the emotional fabric of my life, it's a great way to take stock of where my soul has been.

2) Escada's Sexy Graffiti: The sheer, delightful raspberry can't help remind me of my wedding and was lovely to wear around my 10th wedding anniversary. It truly is happiness and light in a bottle for me!

3) Liaisons Dangereuses from By Kilian: Oh my beloved, beloved Liaisons Dangereuses! This will, without a doubt, be my fragrance of the year. I mean, I discovered it on New Years Day!!! It just feels so at home on my skin, but in the mega heat, it does something kinda amazing on my skin: it gets kinda skanky, but by no means in a "get thee to the free clinic" sort of way. It's the nice girl "gone rogue" (OH GOD I'M SO SORRY, NOW YOU'RE PROLLY THINKING OF SARAH PALIN! THAT WAS TOTALLY NOT MY INTENT, SORRY!!!!!) She's the woman that something about the summer heat switches her "on", and she has quite a bit more swagger than normal.

4) L'Ombre dans l'Eau from Diptque: My favorite berry with a backbone. Totally juicy, yet totally verdant! I had been nursing a small decant of this for the majority of the summer and Al decided to get my the big bottle as my anniversary gift.

5) Pentachord Verdant from Andy Tauer: This was my surprise "love at first sniff" of the summer! It's total Disney animated greenery and has some wicked staying power on me. Every time I stpritz it on though, I can't help but wonder, "What ever DID happen to Price Eric?"

So there my "top five" of the summer, for what it's worth. Did you spritz any of these this summer? What did you spritz on a regular basis this summer and where does the memory of that scent take you? Share in the comments.

 *Currently Listening: Sunday Morning by No Doubt
**Photo Credit: bloglovin.com

Monday, September 24, 2012

Emmy Fashion + A Little Perfume

*Currently Listening: Infinity Guitars by Sleigh Bells

Just a quick Emmy recap on my personal choices for best and worst!

For worst....January Jones in Zac Posen. The dress in and of itself wasn't horrid, but then the 80's blue eyeliner and the hair color and the bun color that were a few shades off just didn't made sense. She's a stunning woman. I just wish she's dress stunningly.


If I was going to fragrance this look, I'd go with my favorite "disturbed herbal", Oliver Durbano's Jade.

My best dressed graced to carpert pretty early on: itt's Ginnifer Goodwin in a very vintage-esque Monique Lhuillier.


If I were able to scent this one, I'd reward the vintage feel mixed with the sexiness that the nude traversed with the bright red-ish orange with my beloved Liaisons Dangereuses. Coming from me, this is HIGH PRAISE!

Wanna try a stab at scenting my pics? Agree or disagree? What were your best and worst? Share with me in the comments!

 *Currently Listening: Treats by Sleigh Bells
**Photo Credits: 1) popsugar.com & 2) justjared.com

Friday, September 21, 2012

Annnnd the Samples Go To......

*Current Fragrance: Ummm, I haven't officially moved from the couch yet...
*Currently Listening: Kiss Me, I'm Sh*tfaced by Dropkick Murphys (totally excited for this concert this evening, even thought I STILL don't know what I'm wearing!)

I like y'all. I really, REALLY like y'all!
Yes, stories and descriptions truly DO get you everywhere with me in my overtly verbal and descriptive existence!! I picked TWO winners: 1) Elisa for her Chanel No. 22/Hypnotic Poison and 2) Tenorsaxmaniac for his Tom Ford's Oud Wood! I think I know enough about both of your scent preferences to pick out sample to send! Elisa, can you please email me your mailing address to dscharlieno5@gmail.com? I already know where to find Tenorsaxmaniac.

Now for the random drawing.....*drum roll please*


Congrats Jennifer!!! You know about 542,322 different ways to get your across The Pond address to me! I also think I know you well enough to peg a good sample for you, and I'll try to find something strawberry scented for Zoe for Halloween!

Thanks for entering all! I think there might be Halloween (most like Rocky Horror) Themed "Scenting" Giveaway! Stay tuned!!!

*Currently Listening: Amazing Grace by Dropkick Murphys
**Photo Credits: 1) http://njjewishnews.com, 2) my own

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Me Thinks C3PO Has a Lady....

*Currently Listening: Make Her Say by Kid Cudi

...and she's got mad swagga! OK, that's what I thought when I saw the bottle for Nicki Minaj's upcoming perfume release: Pink Friday.


 Granted by this time, this bottle is a little old news for the "perfume set" - however, a good chunk of my readers (I'm sure) are going, "wa, wa, wait! Nicki Minaj's coming out with a fragrance!?!?!" Yes. It's happening, so Stupid Hoes step off!! After the insane disappointment that was Lady Gaga's Fame, I'm holding out for some good here. Notice I said "holding out" for some good, not "holding my breath." Why!?!? It's just SO DAMNED PINK! Pink bottle (to me) subliminally screams RASPBERRY HOE JUICE! Just say not to the RHJ!

Ms. Minaj has tweeter that her fragrance smells "like angels playing." That's pretty subjective.... Please take a stab in the comments as to what you think Pink Friday will smell like. My mind's a flooded with mental images of a Team America World Police style sex scene between C3PO and the Pink Friday bottle.....

Also, don't forget to enter the Fashion Dhaling! & Fumes!!!!! Giveaway. Just click the link and put your fragrance idea in the comments! You have until midnight on Thursday!

 *Currently Listening: Roman's Revenge by Nicki Minaj
**Photo Credit: popcrush.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Smells Like Bullshit: Amanda Palmer

NO!! NO AMANDA PALMER YOU CANNOT PAY YOUR MUSICIANS IN BOOZE, HUGS, GIGGLES AND GOOD VIBES!!!!! YOU SHOULD KNOW WAY BETTER AS A MUSICIAN!!!!!

Now that I have yelled my feelings....rather loudly, I can get back to actually blogging. I'm trying out a new series here on No Disassemble Charlie No. 5, "Smells Like Bullshit". My husband writes a lovely little blog where he talks about all sorts of things from cuisine, to Boston, to sports, to politics. This is much of what gets discussed in our home actually, and I would enjoy writing about some of those things more; ESPECIALLY the things that I feel need to get called on the carpet, like Amanda Palmer....

Last week I had a rather long work week. I had seen bits and pieces of this story on facebook and twitter. It wasn't until today that I had the time to sit down and read (I just had to correct that from "reed") the entire story. I wanted to throw shit. Seriously.

This is really hard for me two write without dropping a gazillion f-bombs and the words "stupid b$tch" time after time.

OK, in a nutshell: Amanda Palmer - this pseudo-feminist, cabaret-like singer just released a new album. People release albums all the time, what's the big deal? The big deal is that she raised a walloping $1.2 million on the "crowdfunding" site Kickstarter: meaning this project was funded by fans. Great, wonderful, awesome, stupendous!!! For what it's worth, I think Kickstarter is an amazing website and is and has funded several wonderful projects and programs that would not otherwise have seen the light of day.

Again, what's the problem? Now she's going on tour. She has three regular paid band members but wants 7-8 "professional-ish" musicians to full things out at every day. (For the record: I think the term "professional-ish" is just bleeping INSULTING!) The payment for these "ish" musicians? Hugs....hugs and booze. SMELLS. LIKE. BULLSHIT!

Palmer defends herself by saying how excited people are to sign up and play. I have to be a little bit of a snob here. Not only is what she's doing WRONG! (She stated that paying these extra musicians for the tour would be $35,000. Are you going to have that $$ once the tour's over Amanda? If so, PAY THE PEOPLE THAT ARE HELPING YOU MAKE MUSIC and then figure the rest out later. It's YOUR problem, not the musicians!) Back to the snob part: if "professional-ish" musicians are going to be THAT excited to play for free in your show, what kind of quality are you REALLY getting?

It's hard right now for everyone economically; particularly artists. They have bills too. I promise you. They're highly trained and are most likely paying back for an education that cost them a pretty penny in student loans. Next time you find yourself paying any type of artists for their services (I'm focused on musicians) 1) pay them a wage and 2) make sure it's a FAIR wage!
 
What irks me the most about what Amanda Palmer is doing.... Well, she should know WAY better! She's doing this to her own kind, her fellow musicians. What makes her so superior? Her way of spinning it honestly makes it sound as if she's saying that all musicians are daft with the exception of her. I find this to be deplorable and reeking with the stench of bullshit.
Even more simply put: If one can raise $1.2 million, SURELY there is a way to rustle up $35,000 more.