Friday, August 31, 2012

Turn, Turn, Turn

*Current Fragrance: Nothing yet. Thinking Gorilla Perfume's Ladyboy for later today
*Currently Listening: I Am The Best by 2ne1 (did I just openly admit that!?! Yep, totally listening to K-Pop Pandora to wake me up!)

I really want to write about two things: 1) how it makes my blood boils that any man has that audacity to tell me what I can and cannot do with my uterus and how much I want them to LEAVE PLANNED PARENTHOOD the F alone!!!! They don't just perform abortions you twits!! and 2) the AMAZING nude patent leather Jimmy Choo pumps I found at Second Time Around yesterday. Don't worry, I'll post pics....of the pumps - not my uterus - at the end of the post. Instead, let's talk about fall fragrance cravings.

September 1st signals moving day in Boston. The city, particularly the student neighborhoods (which I live SORT of in one), turn all kinds of crazy! I don't think anyone in my house is moving, I haven't heard the tell-tale thump, thump, thumps of packing. While I hate the craziness that moving day brings, I can't help but think about FALL! I love FALL!!! Something about the cool, crisp air makes me feel particularly alive and my self esteem tends to be just a little bit better!

I'm doing to SERIOUS craving for two of the Tom Ford Private Blends: Tobacco Vanille and Tuscan Leather. To me Tobacco Vanille smells like the bedazzled cigar bar of my dreams where everyone looks like Don Draper and Joan Holloway. I've already written about my thoughts of Tuscan Leather on the blog: leather and raspberries....mmmmm sexy!

Speaking of raspberries, I really feel that I need to put Byredo's Pulp in there. Not that berries are particularly fallish, but there's a dark quality to Pulp that I think lends itself to the cooler temperatures, especially for daytime wear. Well, I've also been readings the Hunger Games books as if my life depended on it. That may have something to do with the berries.

What are you craving for the fall fragrance-wise? Share with us in the comments and have a fantastic smelling and safe Labor Day weekend!

Oh yeah...THE SHOES!!!!!

*Currently Listening: It's You by Super Junior

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tiny Bubbles: Kurkdjian's Les Bulles d'Agathe

*Current Fragrance: Vestiges of L'Artisan's Dzing! left over from last night
*Currently Listening: Muhammad My Friend by Tori Amos

Blowing bubbles in the Public Garden
I vow in a lot of ways to not grow up. It's not really fear of aging (OK, I'm about to turn 30 for the "5th time" - that's  maybe a little silly), it's fear of loosing that sense of whimsy and wonder. If blowing $20 mint scented bubbles in the Public Garden keeps me from being jaded...well here's my credit card!

I mean, who doesn't love bubbles!?!?!? But I'm getting ahead of myself... For a great low-down on the Maison Francis Kurkdijan Paris fumeosphere, you should check out The Candy Perfume Boy's new review of Kurkdjian's Aquas Universals.

The Kurkdjian bubbles come in four scents: mint, fresh cut herbs, violet, and pear. Given this was my Mom's treat to me post surgery, she had a lot of input in the scent. We got it down to choosing between mint and pear. Mint won out given it had seamed much more "sunny", I think I'll buy the pear variety for the fall.

We ordered them online from Bergdorf Goodman. They were shipped from one of Bergdorf's warehouses in Texas. I was reminded that BG is a subsidiary of Neiman Marcus, which is headquarter in Dallas, TX. (Cue the "The More You Know" jingle.) Well...illusion of couture clad warehouse workers, packing up my bubbles that were stores on a velvet down-filled pillow, and then sipping champagne from crystal flutes...that's totally shattered.

When the bubbles arrived, I may or may not have blown one or two orbs in the apartment because curiosity was getting the better of me (some days I fear for my kitties given my level of curiosity); for the most part I saved them until a post hair cut trip to the Public Garden. I was excited to sit under "my" willow tree with my Mom, eat a cupcake, watch the duckies, blow bubbles and show off my second favorite place in the city.

Mom & I
They're BUBBLES, so please don't expect a great manifesto on what they smell like. They smell like high quality fresh mint. They are scented with a strong hand, not a heavy one. You clearly notice it, but are not overwhelmed by it.

The liquid itself is rather thick, so you get a good bit of bubbles per "wand dip" (There's no way for me to NOT have that sound dirty.) The bubbles come in a clear tube shaped container with gold lettering. The color of the mint bubbles is this beautiful green, completely translucent. Somewhere between emerald and jade. My favorite part of the presentation is the iridescence at the top of the cap.  So chic!

There's only one drawback: given the minimal tube design of the bottle, if it gets turned upside down in your bag or anything, the first time you unscrew the cap there is a risk of a little bubble spillage. BUT THEY'RE BUBBLES! Easily cleaned up. City tip: always, ALWAYS carry bottled water in your bag. Useful for so much more than just drinking!

Yes. $20 for bubbles. It can be a bit crazy, as they are BUBBLES. They're a fun little indulgence, and I'd GLADLY pay that money to feel some pure whimsy in my life. I got to thinking about it, that's a cocktail plus tip at a lot of places in Boston. Just...don't drink the bubbles!

I have a follow up with my surgeons today. I'm thinking of bringing the bubbles with me and heading off to the Long Wharf (my favorite place in the city). It's a gorgeous day out!

*Currently Listening: Teardrop by Massive Attack
**Photo credits: All photos are my own

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bad Romance: Lady Gaga's "Fame"

*Current Fragrance: Ta'if from Oramnde Jayne
*Currently Listening: Hey Baby by Bruce Channel

I'm back from the blogging dead and fully recovered from my surgery lovely readers! It's a good thing too, because I've GOT TO GET SOMETHING OFF MY CHEST. Lady Gaga's Fame = BAD! BAD ROMANCE! I do not want you loving or your revenge right now Lady Gaga.  It's not that Fame itself is a bad perfume, it's the cloud of promise it got itself shrouded in is what makes me find it "bad".

When the initial rumblings of Gaga's perfume started to makes their way into my interwebs, I got really excited. I LOVE me some Gaga! She's like the three way love child of David Bowie, Elton John and Boy George...but you know...with boobs! Rumblings were that it was going to smell like blood and semen. Pretty cool, right!? in a conceptual way. I want around smelling like blood and semen. (MOM! I'M KIDDING, PROMISE!) For it to really smell like Gaga I think it should have smelled like blood, semen, glitter, and hair bleach...but what do I know?

Then the notes were released, and it was more traditional, but still pretty dark and very Gaga-esque. It was paired with a super dark/super chic ad campaign. Think McQueen meets Gautier. Speaking of McQueen: I need this purse....NEED! MANTA!!!!!!

Bottle was released, more hype... I was getting excited. Could I love two celebrity fragrances in one year? I was already REALLY impressed with Madonna's tuberose-y Truth or Dare. Could Gaga really make lightening strike twice?

No! No...she can't. Major bummer too.

To me Fame smells like syrupy apricot preserves wrapped in an old pair of ripped black fishnets that got rolled around in dirt and crushed potpourri. Granted...this sounds a little novel. Nope. Something happened and it's done with a very generic / to steal a term from Susan of FineFragrants "Raspberry Hoe Juice" hand. This makes me = Oh so not interested! BAD ROMANCE!

Frankly, I'm a little upset. RHJ is the olfactory signature of choice for so many "celebrity perfumes", that quite honestly it's a joke and a badge of being flat out generic. Love her, hate her, or completely ambivalent....I'm pretty sure most people can agree that Gaga is FAR from generic.  So what went wrong with her fragrance?

You know what's NOT generic? On The Rocks from University of Oregon singing Bad Romance A Capella. The Sing Off...I'm going to miss you!

*Currently Listening:Beautiful Dirty Rich by Lady Gaga
**Photo credit:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mon Mere et Moi

Sorry y'all. I totally intended on posting more this week, but I've been a little busy. Recovery is hard/fun work; especially when your Mom is in town! I'll try my best to be back Monday with my "regularly scheduled programming".

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Musical Monday: Edelweiss / Pentachord White

*Currently Listening: Cry to Me by Solomon Burke
*Currently Fragrance: Bronze Goddess from Estee Lauder (my Mom has taken quite the liking to this one)

A little over a month ago I put out a request for what music people would like to have "perfumed" on No Disassemble Charlie No. 5's Musical Mondays. Many thanks to Anat13 for this request!

I really think having my Mom here as I recover from having my gallbladder removed has really motivated me in writing about this particular Musical Monday request. You see...Edelweiss was my lullaby.

I just asked my Mom, "Why was Edelweiss my lullaby?" Her answer, "Well, you loved The Sound of Music, and I thought it was a sweet song and I wanted my little girl to 'bloom and grow', plus you LOVED flowers even as a very little girl, so it was perfect."

According to the Tauer website, Pentachord White's notes are dried iris root, violet, rosewood, amber gris and bourbon vanilla. My olfactory take on it is much insanely person and quite a bit different.

Once Pentachord White has settled into my skin, I smell baby doll. Plastic, out of the box....the sort that should be drug around by the ankle, swaddled when the girl is felling "particularly" maternal, and gets swung in the red tire swing  in the forest (aka the clump of trees behind the mobile home that the little girl lives in). Wait....thhhhhhaaaat was my childhood.

Anyhow...Pentachord white smells like vanilla and baby doll - but the baby doll has been sprayed with some of mother's perfume (something of mostly delicate white flowers).

So, maybe it's not exactly what everyone wants to smell like. I get it. Those fake eyelashes on dolls can be pretty damned creepy!

To me, however, there is something VERY calming and soothing about this combination. I have very distinct memories of swiping my Mom's almost depleted bottle of Charlie and spritzing it in my Barbie's hair. (Sorry Mom!)

I have nothing but very positive, nurturing, and secure memories of my mother and Edelweiss growing up. So to me, the strangely beautiful combination of vanilla, plastic baby doll, and faint white flowers make me feel safe and secure in the manner only a mother's lullaby can.

*Currently Listening: Mean by Taylor Swift
**Photo credits: 1), 2)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ready? 1, 2, 3...BREAK!

*Current Fragrance: Liaisons Dangereuses from By Kilian
*Currently Listening: Home by Phillip Phillips

Tomorrow is my gallbladder surgery. It's at 11:45 EST for all of those that might be interesting in sending a positive shout-out/through/prayer/healing dance in the the universe!!!  I know I won't be blogging tomorrow, or how long I'll go without blogging while I convalesce. What I DO know, it I plan on wearing Serge Lutens Gris Clair as my SOTD tomorrow!

I do have one small request for tomorrow morning. CAT PICTURES! Nothing makes me quite as happy as cat pictures (and ray pictures if you have them)!!!! Please send me cat pictures!!! They can be so my twitter, facebook, email, or if you have my cellphone number....DO THAT! KITTY!!!!!!

*Currently Listening: Spoon Full of Sugar from Mary Poppins
**Photo Credit:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Disney Forest - Andy Tauer's Pentachord Verdant

*Current Fragrance: Pentachord Verdant by Andy Tauer
*Currently Listening: Edelweiss from The Sound of Music

My fragrance "imagery" and/or reviews have been of a rather cinematic slant recently, so here we go: Andy Tauer's Pentachord Verdant smells like that scene/song in Disney's "Alice In Wonderland" - you know, In The Golden Afternoon (Yes, you WANT to, you NEED to follow that link!) - but it's BETTER! Why is it better you ask? Prince Eric from "The Little Mermaid" is there! I'll answer your, "Ummm....Kathleen...WHAT THE HECK?" questions after watching the In the Golden Afternoon video:

Pentachord Verdant is the most real "green" synthetic fragrance I've ever had the pleasure of smelling! I think that's where the bulk of its' charm is. I picked the "Alice in Wonderland" scene because of how deep and well....VERDANT all the lush forest background is! FORGET THE FLOWERS! They don't smell like flowers any way! You see...magical singing flowers loose their smell. They're actually cursed. The more they sing, they loose their smell, and given by how in tune and in balance the buds are, not smelling like anything. They sing, they dance, the give Alice a strange time, but THEY DON'T SMELL LIKE A THING! It's the damp, dense, chlorophyll filled background that is the olfactory star of this music video!

And then there's Prince Eric.... "Why Prince Eric?", you ask... BECAUSE I THINK HE'S THE MOST HANDSOME OF ALL THE DISNEY PRINCES & THIS IS MY BLOG, THAT'S WHY!!! Besides, Price E has such astonishing oral hygiene that me just MUST smell like mint, and I had to get the mint in there somehow. (There's mint in this fragrance...MINT I SAY!) Plus, I'm sure that there is some a bit off the smell of tobacco on him from his "old money" upbringing!

Pentachord Verdant is the most real yet still synthetic green fragrance that I've ever had the pleasure of smelling. And THAT, dear readers, is where the magic of the scent happens for me! It's just like the magic of animation, we marvel in the "unreal realness" of what the animators can create. It's like visual and olfactory twilight. That glorious space between sleeping and waking. Otherworldly, yet rooted in some bit or reality. Yup, I just said an animated crab was otherworldly: DEAL WITH IT!

In all honestly, Pentachord Verdant was one of those "love at first sniff" fragrances for me. When that happens, it's very hard for me to "accurately" describe it, so I have to describe it....umm...."poetically".

*Currently Listening: A Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins
**Photo Credits: 1) & 2)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dear Charlie 1.0

*Current Fragrance: Pentachord Verdant by Andy Tauer
*Currently Listening: Lorelai by Fleet Foxes

Dear Charlie,

So my beau and I have very different preferences in scents and I'd love to surprise him with a compromise. I'd happily wear cologne as I really dislike the flowery sweetness of women's perfumes but he doesn't like how even the softest men's cologne smells on me. The "clean" labelled scents at the local Sephora are not what I had in mind, either. I'm looking for something subtle, different, maybe citrusy (I love the smell when my lemon tree blossoms), but definitely made for women. He suggested something like how freshly-washed hair smells (i.e., some conditioners), and that is another scent I'm OK with. Is there anything out there that might bring our noses together?



Hey there Trouble!

Thanks so much for your question and pretty much STARTING No Disassemble Charlie No. 5's "Ask Charlie" column! I have to say, you have very similar fragrance likes to that of James (of Bartles and James fame). My biggest pieces of advice: throw gender out of the picture. If it smells good on you... and you and your beau both dig it...WEAR IT!

Since I've met you, IRL, it gives me a bit more to go on - we go Trouble...

1) Agua de Colonia Concentrada by Alvarez Gomez: Lemony fresh and light, with just enough spice to make it interesting

2) Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermes: Citrus (mostly grapefruit) kissed by a rose (AHHH! Can't get Seal out of my brain now!)

3) Citron de Vigne from Fresh: Clean and sophisticated without any spice. Doesn't try too hard.

4) Green Tea from Elizabeth Adren: This one has recently come back into my life and I'm quite glad. There's something insanely familiar and comforting to it. It's a cool cotton dress and some iced tea on a porch with the breeze blowing past you. (But NOT Southern Sweet Tea!) CAN NOT beat the price point!

5) L'Eau Froide from Serge Lutens: This isn't EXACTLY what you were asking for, but I think you'll like it! The iciness of it gives you something fun to wrap your head around & I think you'd enjoy that. Cold, wet, herbal....refreshing.

That's what I think you might like - all filtered through my fragrance "eye". Hope it helps!!! Maybe my Dear Readers can give you some more suggestions in the comments. What say you, Dear Readers?!?!?!

Happy Sniffing,


Do you have a "Dear Charlie" fragrance related question? Put it in the comments or email us at - I'll be answering one a week, as well as a new "Charlie" pic per "Dear Charlie" post! Charlie Bucket perhaps....

*Currently Listening: Rollin Back by My Morning Jacket
**Photo Credits:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Personal Style (Fashion & 'Fumes)

*Current Fragrance: Flora EDP from Gucci + Wiccy Magic Muscles from LUSH
*Currently Listening: Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears

I like to think that I'm all Ani DiFranco 32 Flavors and whatnot, but when it comes to one thing, I'm a bit formulaic and that's my wardrobe.

If I had to describe my personal style at the moment, it would be Audrey Hepburn meets Stevie Nicks. Flowy day dresses that are normally empire in cut, a bottom covering cardigan (which is 85% of the time black), tights or leggings if the weather requires, ballet flats, a light scarf draped around my neck. Everything USED to be black, black, black and more black - but that's slowly but surely changing. (I really have a penchant for coral dresses at the moment.)

I enjoy the ease in my style right now, but it's still put together so I look like I've somewhat progressed style wise since my early 20's. Audrey meets Stevie can also be read as "eclectic chic".

I'm also LOVING me some bracelets right now. The more noise they make the better!!! I think that's because that would NEVER have flown in my clarinet playing days. Right now I'm TOTALLY in love with the Alex and Ani bracelets. You should totally check them out!

Thinking about my personal style got me thinking about my personal FRAGRANCE style and how what I'm wearing on any given day may influence my personal choices.

Very rarely do I wear "perfume for perfumes sake", unless I'm just testing something out at home for the blog. If I'm at home all day, there's a pretty good chance that I'm in my PJs as long as I'm in my apartment. (Sorry for any glamorous illusions I may be shattering!)

Given that my fragrances are all over the map, perhaps I can find some answers in how I wear fragrance and thus my fragrance "Personal Style". I'm prone to pick my fragrances the following ways:

1) I wake up and think, "It's an <insert whatever kind of fragrance here> day."

2) Someone or something or some place is on my mind, and I wear a particular fragrance to remind me of them/it.

3) I'm in mood x and need to be in mood z - spritz on emotion z evoking fragrance

4) Fragrance to go with a particular occasion. Don't think I'm going to wear Lonestar Memories to a wedding...

5) Match my fragrance to a particular color, texture or pattern in my outfit. Yes...I tend to wear more floral printed perfumes when I'm wearing a floral printed frock.

So...I guess I'm a lot less formulaic in my fragrance choices than my fashion choices. Less formulaic and FAR more thoughtful! Fragrance, to me, has much more suggestive and transformative powers than fashion does.

What are your thoughts dear readers? Is there a connection between your personal fashion style and your personal 'fume style? Does your clothing for the day play a role in what 'fume you'll be wearing?  How do you pick your fragrance for any particular day? Share with me in the comments.

*Currently Listening: Show Me Love by Robyn
**Photo credit:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What I Smelled Like On My Summer Vacation

*Current Fragrance: Hamptons by Bond No. 9
*Currently Listening (OK Watching): Men's 3m Springboard Semi Finals

I tried to do a smell-o-diary of my 10th Anniversary/Vacation (did I mention this was my first paid vacation of my adult life) not to really chronicle what I smelled, but HOW I smelled. Each day or scent in that day has a photo that I picked to go with it that somehow personifies that scent or the way it "played" with the day.

**For a MUCH more detailed account of the trip, you can read what Al has to say about it on his blog.

Day 1: Travel

This day was literally a planes, trains and automobiles sorta day! Actually it was walking, train, train, bus, plane, bus, plane, bus, car. WHEW!!!! I decided to wear Diptyque's L'Ombre dans l'Eau. (You'll see just what a prophetic choice this was later in the blog....) My choice for this one was multifaceted: 1) I thought it was a great transition from city to country with it's chic green-ness mixed with rose, 2) It has INSANE staying power on me, and 3) I recently purchased a decant of it with a roller-ball, which means I can re-apply any time with out getting angry stares.

Day 2: Full Day in the Cabin

This was a three scent day.... I started off the day with Gorilla Perfume's The Smell of Weather Turning. I mean...come on, I woke up to this:

Smokey, a far away sweetness me it smells like mint, smoke, trees, and bees wax! A little dark and heady once the "smoke" of the Great Smokey Mountains burned off and it looked like this:

Plus...after a dip in the hot tub and the requisite shower after, it's TIME to change fragrances. I wanted something sunny, green, and light since I'd be spending the rest of the day on the deck reading and testing out the 8 different places to sit on the deck...I went with Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea. This one is an old favorite. There's something very comforting about it, and I'm so glad I have a bottle in my collection again!

The cabin we stayed in was simply glorious! I was rather inspired by the ceilings. Something about them reminded me of being in a really be walk in humidor.

After the sun had gone down and Al and I had enjoyed a delicious meal or chicken (for me), steak (for Al) and corned on the cob cooked on the grill (washed down with some local wine) it was time for me SOTE ("scent of the evening" for those non-perfume-dork speaking readers)....inspired by the ceilings I went with Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille. Al's a BIG fan of this one on me. I shouldn't be too surprised...the man DOES wear Eau Duelle.

Day 3: Travel to the Heart of NC

This day was all about leaving our little cabin in the mountains, traveling part of the Blue Ridge Park Way, down into the heart of North Carolina, past Chapel Hill and to Al's hometown to see his brother, sister-in-law, Grandmama, niece Katelyn, and new niece Lily. It was a very Carolina kind of day and I couldn't help but think of James Taylor and the fact that I wore Gorilla Perfume's The Smell of Freedom to his concert earlier in the summer. (BTW - Al's Grandmama complimented me on it several times!)

Taken JUST before we left our cabin.
Day 4: Actual Anniversary

There was NO question in my mind what my SOTD would be! It HAD to be Sexy Graffiti! Now, I said that wearing L'Ombre dans l'Eau on the first day of our trip was prophetic...look what my anniversary gift from Al was!

I think if we had to have a "Family Fragrance House" it would be Diptyque. Al gave me the LDLE for this Anniversary, I gave him his beloved Eau Duelle and we chatted and remembered that for the first birthday were were married, he gave me my first bottle of niche perfume: Diptyque's Oyedo from Aedes de Venustas.

How did we spend our 10th Wedding Anniversary, you ask? In High Southern Style at the Carolina Inn on UNC's campus, just blocks from where Al proposed at The Old Well. We had a sweet suite and an AMAZING dinner at the hotel's restaurant. I have four words for you: sweet. tea. brined. chicken!!!!

Our oh so Southern Sweet Suite
Heading to dinner at Carolina Crossroads
Day 5: The Long Road Home

As much as I love getting away and traveling, I also love getting back to my adopted home of Boston where I really feel at "home".  I like my cramped shitty little apartment, I actually like the noise, I love my kitties, and I love public transit and bitching about it! Since we were heading home, I thought I'd put on my favorite scent that I've discovered since living in Boston and dare I say my "signature scent" (but I'm really too much of a perfume tramp to have one): Kilian's Liaisons Dangereuses. To me and my skin it is just perfect, perfect, perfect!

On the road again
Al and I THOUGHT we were going to have a full day to rest and relax and snuggle with the kitties before going to work...HA we were wrong! A brisk walk through two terminals to catch a new flight, crammed on the middle seat of a plane, flying to Rhode Island (wait, I don't live here!), luggage getting lost, realizing that your husband's best friend graduation robe makes a HORRIBLE night gown, and a rush back to Boston to get your luggage that didn't end up getting delivered until 5 hours before our alarms started going off to go back to work....we were HOME! Thank goodness for my travel spray of Liaisons Dangereuses and this.....

Thanks U.S. Airways!
*Currently Listening: Olympic Volleyball - women's - U.S. vs. Dominican Republic
***Photo Credits: All photos mine