Monday, April 30, 2012

Perfuming the Posy: Lincolnshire That Is (Mvt 1 - Lisbon)

*Current Fragrance: Jade by Olivier Durbano
*Currently Listening: Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys

Happy Musical Monday, all! Just for a little scorecard keeping on "Perfuming the Posy: Lincolnshire That Is", we've now scented movement 4, The Brisk Young Sailor and movement 3, Rufford Park Poachers. Today we're going to broach the first movement of the work: Lisbon. Take a listen...


Lisbon has often been described as a sailor's song with plenty of "lilt". I guess I've been in an aquatic-mood as of late, so this one has been fun! Lisbon isn't just some straight forward sea-chantey. It's got plenty of spunk and character and takes advantage of a rather large spectrum of "color" that is available to wind bands. I wanted to find a fragrance with a large aquatic punch, that had some...well...cheekier aspects to it; I found it, with Bond No. 9's Coney Island.

The Bond No. 9's website copy for Coney Island lists notes of Margarita mix, melon guava, cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, musk, vanilla, cedarwood, sandalwood. I have to say that I was incredibly curious to try Coney Island, as I was afraid it was going to be a hot mess...which is what also put me off from it for quite sometime.

Upon sniffing it, it opens will a BIG dose of OCEAN, almost bordering on POOL. After the initial super-aquatic hit dies down you get the margarita mix and guava. I thought it was going to be a good deal more saccharin than it was...you know with the margarita mix, chocolate and caramel.... The cinnamon and the musk (clean and white) does a really good job of tamping that down. The cinnamon tickles my nose a little. I like cedarwood, it's sea-spray soaked...like a boardwalk. The sandalwood is deep, yet unobtrusive.

I imagine our sailor as the protagonist in Lisbon. He's got some time of from the navy and he's strolling down a rather colorful waterfront boardwalk whistling to himself. I don't think it is the all-out carnival land of Coney Island, but it surely has its share of "flavorful" delights (be it sight, smell or sonic). I can hear it in the abrupt and unexpected (since it is at the VERY beginning of the work) changes in voicing and timbre hearken, in my mind, for a fragrance that is more than just sea and shore. I think Coney Island totally fits the agenda.

*Currently Listening: Set Fire To The Rain by Adele
**Photo Credits: bondno9.com

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mabye It's Time We Got Back To The Basics of Love: Tauer's Lonestar Memories

*Current Fragrance: Lonestar Memories by Andy Tauer
*Currently Listening: Whiskey River by Willie Nelson

Things that even make this Texas Ex-Pat turn her head and go, "DAMN!" (Thanks Mr. Tauer)
I must say, I am quickly on my way to becoming a total Andy Tauer fan-girl! Anything of his that I've spent significant time sniffing, I've formed a very strong emotional connection....this can be seen in my review of Une Rose Vermeille, and it proving to be very true with Lonestar Memories. Before we dive right into the memory/perfume speak, I need to set the stage musically with some mandatory listening. That means you must do it...really, or you won't be in the right head space!

First: Old School....


And Now: New School...


There is simply something about this time of year where I miss my home-state, quite a bit. (It even happened to me when I was living in North Carolina.) I really think it's the change in the seasons. In my little corner of TX, it's not OPPRESSIVELY hot quite yet, crawfish boils and BBQs are starting to be much more plentiful, people are spending more time out on the bayou, and all the snow cone stands are opening. I feel the next to remind you again though, I grew up in what I like to call Texianna (where Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico meet). Lonestar Memories isn't really about where I grew up, there would need to be added notes of mud and spice! Lonestar Memories makes me think of family vacations growing up and my Dad.

I was pleased to learn that Andy Tauer actually lived in Texas for awhile. Granted it was in College Station doing some post doc work, but it's firsthand knowledge. This I can get behind.

Lonestar Memories isn't super literal, which makes the name absolutely perfect. It's not like you just got smacked in the face by a saddle and cowboy boots. It's very nostalgic, but not in a hokey way. I'm getting ahead of myself, back to MY lonestar memories.

Family vacations growing up. They were road trips. If we left the confines of the TX border, it was a BIG DEAL! There are four main points about my childhood vacation that you need to know.

1) If there was more concrete than soil at a particular destination, we weren't stopping.
2) A few spoonfuls of peanut butter from the jar my mother kept in the glove compartment made for a totally acceptable dinner because we HAD to make it to where ever.
3) If it was Cowboy or Indian related, it was on the itinerary!
4) Allowable music: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Alabama and the Kingston Trio.

My Dad says that all he's ever want to be is a Boy Scout. I call bull-shit! All that man has ever wanted to be of a Cowboy! His heroes are Roy Rogers and Teddy Roosevelt. His man cave (aka den) looks like a log cabin and is an ode to anything "Western". My personal favorite: a framed picture of his first black labrador Christi, and below that...a framed picture of Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger.

In retirement, my Dad has finally gotten his wish and has two horses to tend to. Ashley and Tonto. So I guess my Dad is sorta getting to be a cowboy after all!

Left - Tonto ridden by my sister / Right - Ashley ridden by my Mom
Let's see how my lonestar memories link up with those of Mr. Tauer....
From the fragrances website:

"An ode on birchtar: True and unique, rich and lasting
The scent of a lonesome rider, wearing old jeans and leather jacket, after a long day on the horse in the dry woods, preparing his coffee on the open, smoky fire."

Before first smelling it, I didn't re-read the notes list, as I just wanted to experience it on my own, without any preconceived notions. I wanted leather, but not TOO MUCH. I want to smells the leather of the cowboy boots as I pulled them on, not to be slapped in the face with them.
First dabbing on Lonestar Memories, I immediately smelled two things: a predominance of sage with leather in the background. *The sage in bloom is like perfume...clap, clap, clap, clap...deep in the heart of Texas* Clever Tauer...Clever! 

I enjoy the jasmine and tonka that are woven into the the heart and body notes. It keeps the fragrance from turning into testosterone-pallooza. Almost as if those notes are actually the smell of the cowboy's lady lingering on him a bit...?

To me Lonestar Memories smells like a General Store in small town Central or West Texas. There's a dryness in the air, so all the notes are quite discernible, but some are muted since they've been there for awhile. Coffee on the shelf, perhaps a pot in the back that has been forgotten, leather goods, saddle soap, hints of the perfume that the lady running the register is wearing (her hair and makeup are about 10-15 years behind the times), and the smoke coming from the BBQ pit at the back of the store. They sell BBQ, at my ficticional Tauer-smelling store, it's really good. Make sure you pay the lady at the register, and then there's the tables out back by the pit. I'd go with the brisket if I were you!

Places like this DO really exist! I promise, I've been there.... 

Andy Tauer manages to capture what smells good and nostalgic about a place that I couldn't wait to get away from, but now can revisit the parts I like....on my own terms. True Lonestar Memories.

One more video. Watch it! (Please)


Is it wrong that I want to sit on my porch drinking beer and listening to country music all afternoon? Can't...have to teach...maybe after....wait...do I have beer?

*Currently Listening: Heart Like Mine by Miranda Lambert
**Photo Credits: 1) tauerperfumes.com, 2) permanently borrowed from my sister's facebook

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fragrance For My Next Life As A Manta Ray

*Current Fragrance: Hamptons by Bond No. 9
*Currently Listening: Help Me Rhonda by The Beach Boys

For as much as I love all things water related, you'd think I'd been born under a water sign. Perhaps I need to do my full astrological chart to find out something more about this. (As I said yesterday I'm a Virgo/Leo cusp - technically I'm a Virgo, had I been born on time I would have been a Leo: but that's a differently perfuming issue.)

Yes...I LOVE the water! As a young girl, my Mom couldn't get me out of the tub or pool (dependent upon the season). You know that moment when your ears go from "normal world" to "water world": that moment where all the noise of the world is replaced by that super peaceful water swirling sound? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

When I am stressed or unsettled for whatever reason, I tend to seek out documentaries about oceanic life. I always find out something super cool. Most recent cool discovery, the Blanket Octopus.

Craving this kind of serenity for my next life, I've decided that I'm going to come back as a Manta Ray. They're the gorgeous kind of birds of the sea - in my mind - and I don't think anyone really f-s with them all that much.

Something Tells Me We Are Gonna Be Friends


Now, to prepare for my next life (which I DON'T anticipate starting any time soon, so all my friends that are getting paranoid can calm down) as well as more into lighter scents for summer. I need to start exploring more Aquatic/Marine/Oceanic scents. Does anyone have any favorites? I'm a big fan of Bobbi Brown Beach (which I love, it's ALMOST too "sandy", as well as I wish I had more staying power), and I'm really enjoying Bond No. 9's Hamptons reading the note list, I'm not really understanding what I'm picking up as being especially "aquatic", but I like it a lot.

I'm all set on what I like to call "Sun & Fun" scents, as coconut truly makes me heart sing and I can't WAIT to pick up my much needed bottle of Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess! By the way, if you're looking for "Bikini Perfume" you should read today's Scents of Self!

So, dear fragra-maniacs, I am taking suggestions as this is a portion of the fume world I'm a quite unfamiliar with, but looking forward to exploring. What are some of your favorite Aquatic/Marine/Oceanic scents and/or which ones do you think I may especially find attractive? Any help is THOROUGHLY appreciated.

While you think...contemplate how AWESOME my next life is going to be as you watch this video....


Now, time for me to hit up Netflix for more Oceanic Documentaries....

*Currently Listening: Expression by Salt-N-Pepper
**Photo Credits: 1) waterworxbali.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Torn

*Current Fragrance: 25:43 by Gorilla Perfumes
*Currently Listening: I'm Not Gonna Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You by Black Kids


 Today is the first official full day Al's "TX CAT Tour" (that's what I'm calling it). I've decided that this time is going to be MUCH easier than when he had to go to Iowa for 3 week last August/September. Why? Three major reasons:

1) I have a job this time, and am no longer wallowing in my carpal tunnel post Conservatory Graduation misery.

2) There is not an "hurricane" headed straight to Boston. Notice I put "hurricane" in quotations as all that REALLY happened was some wind and rain and two trees from my yard that managed to lean on the apartment building next door. Thanks to buried power lines, we didn't even loose power. However, I grew up on the gulf coast where hurricanes can and WILL totally suck. Going home for my second Christmas after I had moved to Boston and spending it with my family in a FEMA trailer. Not exactly festive.

3) My birthday will not happen like it did last time. I'm a sucker for birthdays. Mine or my loved ones. Yes, I'm a total Leo/Virgo cusp baby. I totally fit that mold.

So, why am I torn? I'm torn about which way my perfume wearing habits are going to go while Al's away. Again, I can see three ways...actually four:

1) I'll wear lots of things that remind me of him, such as Sexy Graffiti or things resembling his signature scent which is Eau Duelle.

2) I'll enjoy wearing scents that he doesn't particularly care for. Olivier Durbano's Jade comes to mind.

3) I could be a strong, independent woman and wear what I like, just because I like it. Which means lots of jammy roses like Liaisons Dangereuses and Une Rose Vermeille.

4) OR...and my money's on this one, I could do a combination of the three, because I'm crazy like that!

*Currently Listening: (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To by Weezer
**Photo credit: musicvideolyrics.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Scenting Glee: Part 2

*Current Perfume: Yvresse by Yves Saint Laurent (Thanks Ari!)
*Currently Listening: Smile (Glee Cast Version)


I'm back! I'm back because the beloved husband has now left for the Big-D (And I DO mean Dallas!) for work for three weeks. Save travels Al! (This also gives me an excuse to post the AWESOMENESS which is the opening credits of Dallas.)


Anyway...onto a completely different TV show: Glee! Two weeks ago, No Disassemble Charlie No. 5 kicked off Scenting Glee: Part 1 by finding scents for Mr. Schuester, Miss Pillsbury, Rachel Berry, Finn Hudson and Sue Sylvester. Today we'll scent five more. Let's begin!

Kurt Hummel
I have the feeling that young Mr. Hummel has a fragrance WARDROBE, but I'm just going to highlight two here. In an earlier post, I mentioned that I thought Gorilla Perfume's Ladyboy. I mean the top note is BANANAS! (Like of the Gwen Stefani variety!) And then there's seaweed, violet, chamomile, labdanum and oakmoss oak moss too. Any guy that can pull off this brooch:

Which I now now is Marc by Marc Jacobs...
...can TOTALLY pull off bananas as a top note!

I also think that Kurt needs a Tom Ford scent. 1) Because he's dating Mr. Tom For Jr. - AKA Blaine, & 2) BECAUSE. KURT. JUST. DOES! I see Kurt being a Black Violet lad. It's floral without going into garden-bomb territory. Jammy, pulpy fruit to sweeten it up, some citrus for sparkle and light and wood and oakmoss for depth. Clearly I must equate violets with Kurt!


Blaine Anderson
I have a soft spot for Blaine's character, as he reminds me SO MUCH of a dear friend I had in High School, so he's going to get special fragranced treatment. While I don't think Blaine has AS MANY fragrances as Kurt...but a lad that dapper, who owns THAT MANY BOW-TIES owns more than one fragrance. Also...I'm pretty sure he has pretty good credit card access, because he did not FIND all those bow-ties in Lima, OH! That would be like some one finding that many bow-ties in MY home town!

 With the number of showers a day Blaine MUST take (along with OODLES of hair product) to get that slick-backed of hair, I imagine that he smells EXCEEDINGLY clean and fresh, but I didn't want to give him something soapy-clean; instead my much beloved Jade by Olivier Durbano. It's clean and fresh with a spine. It smells a little barber shop-y to me. (An exceedingly posh and expensive barber shop.) I PROMISE to do a full review on it soon, as I find it to be positively glorious. Many thanks to EauMG for steering me in Durbano's direction! (BTW - He's a jeweler too, how cool it THAT!?!)


Enough about me...back to Blaine. He's going to get a Tom Ford as well! I was going to go with Tobacco Vanille, but I decided not to: 1) giving any HS kid a fragrance with Tobacco in the name seamed way too irresponsible and 2) I thought it might read just a little two dark for Blaine. Maybe in 10 or 15 years. Instead, I decided to go with Tuscan Leather; leather, raspberry & saffron...YUM! It just seams to fit. Oh! The $$$ thing! Yeah, I know these are pretty price-y scents, but I have the feeling that Blaine's family is rather well off. I've concocted this story where Blaine's father is a lawyer and his mother is a either a journalist or teaches something like English at a nearby college. After all, they COULD afford Dalton for him for quite some time.

Quinn Fabray
I know I wanted to go with something mainstream for Quinn. I feel that while she's have the resources and wherewithal to go niche, he desperate need to be "normal" and part of "the group" be it the Glee Club or the Cheerios, would keep her in the mainstream. I almost went with Daisy, but it seamed to be just a little too "wild-flowers" in the field for Quinn. Instead, I wanted to capture a tad of the "pink-colored-juice" that all the other Cheerios would be wearing. (Yes, I know she's in a wheelchair right now, but remember...she's going to be out of it and dancing on the stage at Nationals....) For Ms. Fabray it's Dior's Miss Dior Cherie. It's fruity and playful (Caramelized Popcorn & Strawberry Sherbet!) but it's not a total Hawaiian-Punch-Fest.



Mercedes Jones
Mercedes is a true D-I-T (Diva In Training)! Thing is...she's actually likable. (Sorry Rachel Berry...maybe you'll grow out of your self-centeredness eventually...so says that woman who blogs about perfume as it generally relates to her life.)

If you'll remember, Trouty Mouth commented on how good Mercedes smelled in an episode not too long ago. It is my belief that Mercedes is a Mugler gal! I was GOING to give her Womanity, but it seamed a LITTLE too mature for her (maybe in 5 years), plus it didn't seam to be the type of thing that would make Sam Evans go weak in the knees. I decided for day-time Mercedes it would have to be Mugler's Innoocent. "Effervescent berries, black current jam, pralines, sugared almonds" just seam to scream Mercedes!

However, when the stage lights are blaring and it's full-on Whitney-Aretha-Diana-Mercedes-Diva up their belting her heart out; it's Angel all the way!

Noah "Puck" Puckerman
I have this odd feeling that at their 10 (OK maybe 20) year HS reunion, Puck will be the most financially successful of them all, and have some sort of pseudo-lame title like "The Pool Cleaning King of Southern California" - but in the meanwhile Puck (who deep down I really think is a good guy) really loves the Real Housewives of Lima. (And the Real Housewives of Lima love Puckerman!) I'm SURE that Puck would wear Givenchy's Pi.... and that was a both thank you "hush" gift from one of the ladies he does...I mean on of the ladies whose POOL he does. Maybe it's the one that mows her lawn in the tube top! I really don't think Puck would put a good deal of thought into his fragrance, but he'll wear this one like a trophy. I can see him spritzing it on himself post workout in the locker-room around all the other Glee Club guys, and then about two sentences into the story breaking out into a rendition of Motherlover.


Well...the more I think about it, the lyrics really don't fit & I DOUBT the creators of the show would let it fly, but it would be HELLA funny!

*Currently Listening: Push It (Glee Cast Version)
**Photo Credits: 1) list-of-glee-episodes.blogspot.com
2) clubgleerosario.blogspot.com
3) gleestyle.livejournal.com
4) lush.co.uk
5) polyvore.com
6) glee.wikia.com
7) haveabiscuit-potter.tumblr.com
8) luckyscent.com
9) luckymag.com
10) glee.wikia.com
11) sephora.com
12) screened.com
13) fragrantic.com
14) theperfumeshop.com
15) glee.wikia.com
16)basenotes.net

Friday, April 20, 2012

And Sometimes Life Takes Over

*Current Fragrance: Une Rose Vermeille by Andy Tauer
*Currently Listening: The Today Show


I feel as though I need to apologize. I've been a little MIA, especially because I was FINALLY in the middle of Calice Becker Week. I've noticed that I get a little wonky with by posting ESPECIALLY when I announce some sort of special project. I have a good reason though....I promise...

My husband is being sent to Dallas on business (darned natural disasters!) for three weeks starting Tuesday, so we're trying to get things together and spend as much time together as possible before he leaves.


Clearly this has caused me to cut down on my blogging and perfume sniffing related activities, but c'est la vie! I'll try to get Day 4 of Calice Becker week up some time today and then do Day 5 some time next week. :-)

To you perfume bloggers who manage to post every week day and always seam to have thoughtful and well written content: 1) how do you do it? 2) I salute you!

**Photo Credit: 1) kittyblogshop.blogspot.com 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Turn the Sweetness Up To Eleven (Calice Becker Week: Day 3)

*Current Fragrance: Lychee Mousse for Payard
*Currently Listening: Heart Like Mine by Miranda Lambert (This song reminds me of my sister SO MUCH!)

French Pâtissier Francois Payard took a foray into the perfume word in 2009 with Inspirations by Payard, all created by Calice Becker. There were three creations: Bergamot Truffle (Dark Chocolate), Pistachio Ganache (Milk Chocolate) and Lychee Mousse (White Chocolate).


With a note list reading: white chocolate, lychee meringue, raspberry, and Turkish rosewater...I didn't really know who it all was going to translate. My thought process was, "This can go SEVERAL different ways." 

The initial smells reminded me of Tommy Girl + lychee (and maybe some other orange-y fruits...perhaps tangerine) + a good sprinkling of sugar...turned to 11, a la Spinal Tap.


Smelling it right away I could tell, even though I knew, that it was a Calice Becker perfume. I suppose that I'm not nuanced enough in speaking about perfume yet to articulate how I know, I can just...tell. Hey fellow perfume bloggers: do any of you have a better way of articulating this? The best way I can do is equate it to art music. Beethoven SOUNDS like Beethoven, Bartok SOUNDS like Bartok, Grainger SOUNDS like Grainger, Stockhausen SOUNDS like Stockhausen, The Snozzberries TASTE like Snozzberries, the Becker SMELLS like Becker...you get my point... 


Once the original lychee/sugar hits calms down, the white chocolate starts to peek through, along with kisses of raspberries. I don't really get anything resembling any type of rose-whatever until the very end of the "sniff" as it hit the very back of your nose. It's exceedingly faint. 

What Lychee Mousse does make me want to do, is go to my neighborhood frozen yogurt shop, Chill.
It smells EXACTLY like walking in there. The swirl of the cream base of frozen yogurt or ice cream, tons of sugary sweet and chocolaty toppings as well as a smattering of fresh fruits options. I think I must go get some frozen yogurt with lychees, raspberries and white chocolate bits very soon!

*Currently Listening: She's Country by Jason Aldean
**Photo Credits: 1) thaifood.about.com 2) imgfave.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dior's J'Adore: The Top 20 Women's Fragrances of 2011 - A Scents of Self Production (Calice Becker Week - Day 2)

*Current Fragrance: A spritz of J'Adore for reference.
*Currently Listening: The Today Show on TV.


Happy Tuesday, all y'all! (No Scenting Glee: Part 2 today, you'll have to wait a week to find out what fragrances I think Kurt, Blaine, Quinn, Puck and Mercedes would sport.) Today's the day where Calice Becker Week and The Top 20 Project collide (but in a totally awesome way)! Let's jump right in.

1) Prior Experience: I've definitely blogged about J'Adore before! (From December 2011)

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

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

So, now in my minds-nose (I've decided that's a term) I equate J'Adore w/ a lady-like version of being "balls'y", I tend to wear red with it a good majority of the time. (So fair warning, if you happen to smell me wearing J'Adore, I have a clear purpose in mind...which given the day...could vary, but will be carried out with steeled determination.) I don't think that it's the fragrance that I'd just pick up now in the store if I were going to buy something, but I still love it and it has special place in my heat, and there will always be bottle on my vanity.

Sorry, I couldn't get that to format into "centered" for some reason, so it looks a little strange.

2) Thoughts Now: Reading lots of perfume discussion, I now know what there have been several reformulations of J'Adore. Spritzing  my bottle on now - that I bought at Filene's Basement about two years ago, it smelled decidedly more puny than my 1999 bottle. Perhaps I should explore J'Adore L'Or or J'Adore L'Absolu, or maybe hunt down some "vintage juice" through one of the decanting websites. Anyone have any success with any of these ideas?

3) Could I see myself wearing this perfume? If so, for what occasion: Yes! Without a doubt! I've work J'Adore for every solo recital I've played, and I'm not going to rule out that my recital playing days are over. It's my ladylike/ballsy/gettingshitdonebutstillbeingaladyatthesametime perfume. I use it sparingly, but when I do year it. I find it to be very affective on my state of mind.  


4) So Kathleen...would you actually buy a bottle: I have one that's 3/4 of the way empty, and I'll always have a bottle of J'Adore in my fragrance wardrobe. It just smells like a very specific part of my life as well as serving a very specific purpose. But as I explained in "#3", I'll be a bit more particular with what type of formulation I buy next.

5) What did Al think: He's always enjoyed J'Adore on me.

6) What about the smelling strip: DAMN IT! I keep forgetting to do that!

*Currently Listening: Still the Today Show
**Photo Credits: 1) thescentsofself.com and 2) wallpaper-s.org

Monday, April 16, 2012

Musical Monday: It's All Coming Back to Me Now (Calice Becker Week - Day 1)

*Current Fragrance: Tommy Girl
*Currently Listening: It's All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion






Up until about 30 minutes ago, I hadn't smelled Tommy Girl in about 14 years. I've had a little bottle of it that I bought at my neighborhood CVS that I had been waiting to open until today. Once on my skin, I was INSTANTLY transported to my Senior year of High School (I was going into my Sr. Year the year it was released). My brain went, "it smells like wanting to get OUT!"

I'm getting ahead of myself! Hold on, I can explain...

It's Calice Becker week here on No Disassemble Charlie No. 5! It's safe to say that she is my favorite perfumer. Every day this week, we'll be looking at a different once of her fragrance. There are three of her fragrances that I have a very strong emotional attachment to, and I'll be detailing those stories throughout the week; as well as entrees about two of her other fragrances. Tommy Girl is one of the three with strong emotional attachment. Yes... I've already cried once....

 Now let's explore...

Calice Becker
What does Tommy Girl smell like? You can click on the link for the notes list, but that's not what this entry is about. Plus, I'm going to be selfish and put my foot down. I really don't want to over think things now that I've had this VERY STRONG emotional reaction to it.

 It smells like Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Jewel and Joan Osborne sound. It smells like walking down the halls of BCHS. It smells like being PISSED at my parents that I was going to have to stay in SETX for college and desperately trying to hatch a plan to transfer after 2 years. (Granted, I waited a little longer than two years, and when I did...I didn't really "transfer" I jumped ship in SPECTACULAR fashion!) It smells like crying over the boy that I liked who didn't like me back. It smells like maybe...just maybe we were all starting to grow up a little and the cliques were starting to dissolve. It smells like cutting articles for my Extemporaneous Speaking box in Mrs. Miller's classroom. It smells like eating Burger King tater-tots dipped in BBQ sauce on the way into school with the neighborhood kids I car-pooled to school with. It smells like Casa Ole. It smells like my first "job-job" teaching twirling at a local dance studio. It smells like running through the Dillard's at Central Mall with my best friend, thirty minutes before close because we couldn't get there any sooner because of marching band practice, and trying to find a dress for some event.

But still...it smells like wanting to get OUT!

DAMN IT! NOW I'M CRYING.....AGAIN!!!!

I wish I could take a survey of all the ladies in the USA that graduated from High School in 1997 and ask them how many owned a bottle of Tommy Girl, because quite honestly the five scents I remember from that time are as follows: 1) Tommy Girl, 2) Bath and Body Works Sun Ripened Raspberry, 3) Bath and Body works Cucumber Melon, 4) sun-screen and 5) hair spray.

I honestly was not expecting this strong of a reaction when smelling Tommy Girl again. That's one of the things I love the most about fragrance though, it's ability to so quickly transport you to a place you thought you had forgotten.

*Currently Listening: Killing Me Softly With His Song by The Fugees
**Photo Credits: 1) fragrantica.com & 2) fless.ru

Friday, April 13, 2012

Honeysuckle For The Country Mouse

*Current Fragrance: Eau Fling by Harvey Prince
*Currently Listening: Hey Tonight by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Country Mouse & City Mouse
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Country Mouse; otherwise known as my sister Allison...

Allison and Tonto
The top picture we took on New Years Day when I was visiting SETX and giggled that it pretty much summed us up: Allison (Country Mouse) with her cowboy boots & blue jeans and myself (City Mouse) ballet flats, leggings & scarf. Allison lives in SETX (this picture of her and the horse is very recent).

For two people that share so much DNA we are INSANELY different. Here's our similarities: we have very similar tastes in popular music, love tacos and salsa, have a soft spot for animals, are very protective of those we care for, and tend to have fuses on the shorter side, OH YEAH...we both really enjoy the sounds of our own voices! :-) Past that, total opposites: she's lighter beer...I go darker, she's crawfish...I'm boiled shrimp, she's hazelnut creamer...I like plain or vanilla, she's grass...I'm concrete, she drives a blazer...I take public transit, her degree is in Social Work...mine are in Music Performance. (By the way, I happen to think my sister would make an EXCELLENT Juvenile Probation Officer.)

Allison's favorite smell - which I knew, but she reminded in her comment for Perfumes to Help Calm the F#$K Down! - is honeysuckle. Aside from everything Honeysuckle that Bath and Body Works makes, she really doesn't have any perfume with Honeysuckle in the notes. Her two favorite perfumes are: Trish McEvoy's No. 6 Mandarin & Ginger Lily (I gave all of my bridesmaids different Trish McEvoy scents to match their personalities as gifts for being in my wedding) and Jo Malone's Orange Blossom.

Since going on this perfume blogging journey, I've found the perfect scent for a few of my loved ones: my husband is in love with his Eau Duelle and my friend...code name James...loves her Pamplemousse Rose and has dubbed me her "olfactory Svengali."


I'm on the hunt for a few honeysuckle scents to get samples for my sister try. I don't want anything with too much "heft." I can see her wearing something light, clean, semi-transparent but not "honeysuckle wearing a frock and a bonnet." Here's what I'm considering and would LOVE your feedback, perfume-land:

- Burberry London

- De Lune by Cartier

- Eau de Camille by Annick Goutal

- Hindu Honeysuckle by Providence Perfume Co.

- Honey Blossom by Aftelier Perfumes

- Orange Star by Tauer (It's not honeysuckle, but it sounds like it'd be right up her alley.)

- Summer Escape by Clean

I'd absolutely love some feedback if you know these 'fumes or suggestions that seam to fit the bill.

Thanks y'all! :o)


*Currently Listening: Susie Q by Creedence Clearwater Revival
**Photo Credits: 1&2) My own, 3) duke.edu

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Madonna's Truth or Dare: The Perfume Not The Documentary (What Would Have Been Musical Monday)

*Current Fragrance: Womanity by Thierry Mugler
*Currently Listening: The Today Show


Oh Madonna! How I love thee! I remember being a very young girl singing along to "Like A Virgin", and my mother telling me I could sing along (NOT in front of my Dad) until I knew what "virgin" meant. (In my mind, this was brilliant parenting; as it drove me NUTS not to know what a word meant.)

Given my longstanding love affair with The Material Girl, I was ECSTATIC to find out that Madonna was going to do her own scent. (I resist to call it a "celebu-scent", because she's more than a celebrity...she's freaking Madonna!) I hoped against hope for it to not to be a tutti-fruit-pink-fest; I just could not have been able to deal that that! I would have cried for days and removed all Madonna music from my iPhone. (Yes, I realize this is behavior more befitting of someone in their early 'teens, not their early 30's, but whatever...it's Madonna!)

It's been widely reported that Madge loves to wear Robert Piguet's va-va-voom tuberose Fracas. (I may or may not have gone and brought bottle of the tuber-juice solely based on this information...) I got to thinking and hoping, "maybe just maybe Madonna's fragrance will be a tuberose!"  Then Women's Wear Daily issued this interview with Madonna:

“I have always been obsessed by fragrance and for years wanted to create something personal that was an expression of me, but that other people could relate to as well. Something classical and timeless and yet modern. My oldest memory of my mother is her perfume. I carry it with me everywhere. She always smelled like gardenias and tuberose, an intoxicating mixture [that was] feminine and mysterious. I wanted to re-create this scent, but with something fresh and new about it as well. Something honest and yet daring — hence the name Truth or Dare”

Truth or Dare is a goumandy-Tuberose-Gardenia. It's very evocative of Fracas, but not in a copy-cat sort of way. The vanilla, amber and benzoin gives it a more broad appeal. Here's a little perfume math for me to explain the scent: Fracas + Aloha Tiare - the coconut = Truth or Dare. (Aloha Tiare is an old love of mine, for the record!)

I'd like the think that the Tuberose/Gardenia is the glamorous Madonna and the daughter paying homage to her mother, with the more gourmand notes being Madonna at home, sans makeup, in the kitchen with her children.

Is it going to change perfumery? No. Is it SO MUCH BETTER than 99.999999999999999% of "Celeb-u-scent"? YES! Will I buying a small bottle and be wearing some when I go see Madonna in concert at the T.D. North Garden the day before my Birthday this September? ABSO-F@#KING-LUTLEY!

And now...I leave you with some music from her latest album, MDNA...a little "Love Spent."

 
*Currently Listening: I'm A Sinner by Madonna
**Photo Credit: 1) allaboutmadonna.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fan Di Fendi: The Top 20 Women's Fragrances of 2011 - A Scents of Self Production

*Current Fragrance: I'm post shower, so all I can smell is my leave in conditioner and Peace massage bar.
*Currently Listening: After Tonight by Justin Nozuka






I can't believe that it's been over a month since I've done any posting about the Top 20 Project, but I PROMISE I have a legitimate reason. I've been posting about the Top 20 in alphabetical order, but saving the number one seller (Chanel Coco Mademoiselle) for last. My last entry was about Chanel Chance and its two flankers that made it into the Top 20, so the next one alphabetically would be Chanel No. 5, and there lies the problem.

Back to No Disassemble Charlie No. 5's first post we go:

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. . . .

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 an intermediary step of me swiping them back and forth a few times of my corduroy 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 whom 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 she 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....

I've managed to get Chanel perfume on my skin, but Chanel No. 5 - I just can't do it, and I WON'T do it! Perhaps it seams a little silly, but I have this feeling if I did put some Chanel No. 5 on my skin I would feel a very non-positive shift in "The Force", so I'm just letting it go. 

The perfume blogosphere is continue to do its thing without a review of Chanel No. 5 done by little ol' me and I refuse to do a write up of something so iconic without having skin time with it. (Rest assured, the SECOND I turn 50, I'll be picking up a bottle; but that will be difficult given I was born at 5:40AM CST.)

That now brings us to Fan di Fendi. Let's go ahead and jump right in....

1) Prior Experience: I've blogged about Fan di Fendi before as part of the Perfumed Primary Project, but before that, really nothing.

2) Thoughts Now: I'm actually going to go with what my observations were in late January. I don't think all that much would have changed, and I remember giving it considerable thought before writing about it...

Fan di Fendi touts itself as "a fresh floral on a leather base". Here's how the notes break down (as according to Fan di Fendi's website) -

Top Notes: flickers of green with green tea, Calabrian tangerine, and petit grain from the Sicilian lemon tree, a vibrant zest of light


Middle Notes: ...flowers of the sun. Italian Broom absolute replaces the Damascus rose with the same femininity. The note is more solar like the Yellow jasmine accord.


Base Notes: Patchouli and the leather suede accord recalls the Cuoio Romano of Fendi creations, a supple leather with a very soft and velvety trail...


My thoughts: Here's what I jotted down...exactly -


11 am: Light yellow white spice


11:15 am: Generic but non offensive - but not really interesting...oh yeah, generic.


1:15pm: Sweet leather ---> close, CLOSE to skin; DEEEEEP sniffs.


I found Fan di Fendi to be pretty mainstream (i.e. generic). It didn't offend me in any way. To me the best part of the fragrance was the sweet leather base note that it left on my skin a little after two hours from initially spraying it. Very close and personal; and honestly after initially spraying it on me, completely unexpected!


I definitely remember Fan di Fendi being not that special until the dry-down, and really being fond of it, BUT I've got to find the entire fragrance captivating to really get unto it.

3) Could I see myself wearing this perfume? If so, for what occasion: No, no. See previous statement.

4) So Kathleen...would you actually buy a bottle?: No. The only reason I think it made it to the Top 20 List was because it was new, and S.A.'s we pushing it. I'd be surprised to see it on the 2012 list. 

5) What did Al think?: I remember letting him smell it in January, his response, "Meh."

6) What about the smelling strip?: Eek! The blotter I did for Fan di Fendi is LONG gone.

*Currently Listening: Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode
**Photo credits: 1) thescentsofself.com 2) sephora.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Scenting Glee: Part 1

*Current Perfume: None, all scrubbed and clean for the the evening.
*Currently Listening: When I Get You Alone - Glee Cast Version


Confession time: I LOVE GLEE! There, I said it - I'm a big ol' Gleek! It makes me smile. Yes, I understand that this is a TV show for children. I also understand that it get a lot of flack for "bad covers" or the way it deals with social issues; the show is "too this" or "too that".... Here's my thing: to me Glee is like an after-school special for current times but with a lot more music! (I'm a fan of the after school special...) PLUS, if the show brings more kids to music (or any of the arts) or helps ANYONE deal with any type of social issue, then the world is a better place.
Besides...Glee, like perfume, is about JOY - so let the joy commence! :-D

In this No Disassemble Charlie No. 5,  I'll be scenting five Glee characters. I'm trying to keep in mind that they live in Lima, Ohio, which in my mind has about as many perfume shopping sources as my home town. So, who's going to drive to the local mall to get they're 'fumes and who really goes out of the way for their signature scent.

Why now though Kathleen? Well, Glee returns from what I'm calling it's "Spring Break" tonight. So I'm doing something very similar to what I did with Scenting Mad Men (for the much awaited Season 5 premier) and later the much needed  RE-SCENTING Mad Men's Megan Calvet Draper.

Let's begin!

Will Schuester
 I think what makes Mr. Schue appealing on several levels is his "every-man-ness." (Now, if every man could dance like him the world would be a better place....) Seriously though, he has problems with his love life and he drove shit-tastic car.I could never see him wearing some niche type of fragrance; plus I don't see him wearing anything overtly dark or woody or really outside the "box"; just something that is fresh and clean while remaining "masculine." So for Will, I'm going with Giorgio Armani's largely popular Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme.


Emma Pillsbury
 With as much....let's call it CARE....that Emma puts into...well....EVERYTHING, I'm pretty sure she'd put a good deal of care into picking a signature scent. I've actually always felt like Jo Malone's Orange Blossom would be a PERFECT fit for Ms. P.! Quite and refined; not too citrus, not too floral, a good mix, but not too strong. Only those who she chooses to really let in would be able to smell it. Plus there's something about the orange, and the orange blossom that just GOES with her Ginger locks.

Rachel Berry
Rachel-Diva-In-Training-Barbara-Streisand-2.0-Wanna-Be, really....it's a no brain-er: Bond No. 9's Broadway Nite all the way! Rachel's two Dads would TOTALLY order this for her. I think it's a little strong for a young woman her age, but....so is Rachel Berry! Also, the name....yeah, hello!?!?!? Plus, she'd HAVE to have a perfume from a line with fragrances ABOUT NYC...she is a lady obsessed! I can see her going ||: on and on and on and on and on :|| about it in the choir room and Kurt and Santana (particularly) rolling their eyes!

The only thing that could make Broadway Nite better, is if it had the stars on the bottle like Nuits de NoHo does. We all know how much RB loves her stars!



Finn Hudson

Oh Frankenteen, what to do with you? Pre-RB (Rachel Berry...hello!?!) Finn would have doused himself in AXE Body Spray.I'm SURE of it! (Or perhaps a left behind bottle of his father's Old Spice - because that's just sweet.) However, now that he and Rachel are together (again), she's in the drivers seat fragrance wise. I mean...she's been wearing Broadway Nite for YEARS now, but the last time she ordered a new bottle, she got Finn a bottle of Bond No. 9's I LOVE NEW YORK for Him. He doesn't object, he goes along with what Rachel has gotten him. Not that he's THAT much of a pushover, but with Rachel Berry - you have to pick your "battles".

Sue Sylvester
Every time Sue "C's" it fit  to go on a rant, I can't help but think of Mommie Dearest; please Sue, for the love of all that is HOLY, just once will you yell, "NO WIRE HANGERS EVER!!!!"? Given that going on in my mind, it stands to reason that Sue would wear Estee Lauder's Youth Dew (the perfume that Joan Crawford wore.) Perhaps this seams a little "big-boned" for Sue to sport as her signature fragrance, but give me my three selling points here:
1) It's spicy and not a shrinking violet hiding in the corner; this is evocative of Sue.
2) It's time tested, it's not a flash in the pan; it's been there forever (OK since 1953), and it's planning on hanging around for a while. (Just like Sue.)
3) We've seen glimpses of Sue the "Lady" here and there, but it's covered; much like some of the spicier and heavier notes cover the more lady-like florals in Youth Dew until they are ready to be revealed.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday's installment of "Scenting Glee", where we find 'fumes for Kurt, Blaine, Quinn, Puck and Mercedes.


*Currently Listening: Forget You - Glee Cast Version
**Photo Credits: 1) list-of-glee-episodes.blogspot.com 2&8) fanpop.com 3) sephora.com 
4) humarashid.com 5&7) frangrantica 6) tvfanatic.com 9) bondno9.com 10) xfinity.comcast.net 
11) esteelauder.com


Monday, April 9, 2012

*Cough, Cough, Sniffle, Sniffle*


After an Easter weekend filled with work and an extra busy (yet insanely fun) social calendar; mixed with crazy temperatures both inside and out (The MBTA Green Line had the AC on, transfer to the Red Line where the heater is blasting...), I have a cold.

I'm going to take a blogging break for today, and most likely add an entry on Saturday, but one question before I go: What types of scents do you reach for when you're feeling under the weather? I tend to go for comforting vanilla-y hugs. Kate Walsh's Boyfriend and LUSH'S Vanillary are sounding appealing right now. (I already have a vanilla candle burning.) What about you?


**Photo Credit: hubpages.com

Friday, April 6, 2012

Perfumes to Help Calm the F#$K Down!

*Current Perfume: Jade by Olivier Durbano
*Currently Listening: Friend Like Me from the Aladdin Soundtrack



I used to be a highly stressed individual, but not SO much anymore. (Please do not confuse stress with snark. You can pry the snark from my cold, dead hands.) I've turned into the person that tells others to "calm the f#(K down." Well, until today...when I was one the phone with CVS Caremark trying to get some things settled with some of my prescriptions. 

There are a few things you should know: 1) This was the THIRD phone call about this, and the first one I made...because 2) I'm not allowed to general make phone calls about this. These are simple problems that can be fixed easily, and my patience diminishes very quickly I, and generally end up yelling at some unsuspecting soul. (Yes. I realize this is horrible behavior.)

Today I did not yet, but this little gem came out of my mouth, "I mean, I don't HAVE a thyroid. So this medicine is you know, keeping me ALIVE.... And I don't see myself spontaneously growing a thyroid or magically become un-allergic to generic Synthroid...well...EVER. Is a yearly note saying this really necessary?"

Hopefully they get the message. We've tried nice. We've tried stern. We've tried wonky humor.

Handing up I thought, I need a to spritz one something to CALM THE F DOWN! I generally go for two notes when I'm stressed: mint and tea. They're soothing and remind me of zero stress times from my childhood. Normally it would be Bath and Body Works White Tea and Ginger Body Splash. It's my favorite B&BW scent...EVER. Since Moving to Boston, I can remember going through at least 5 bottles of the spray. Once always lives in the refrigerator, but today I went for Olivier Durbano's Jade; one of my current "must get a full bottle obsessions."

I plan on doing a full review of Jade next week, but for now - I'll just let you salivate over the note list via luckyscent.com: green tea, star anise, mint, cardamom, iris, jasmine, Chinese cinnamon, amber, patchouli, vetiver, moss, musk, immortale, mathĂ©. 

It's doing it's job, because I'm back to my wonderfully snarky self! 

So I ask you, dear readers: What notes or particular 'fumes help you "calm the f#(k down"?

*Currently Listening: The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens
**Photo Credits: englishwithjo.com