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scented sunday: pulling myself out of a funk

Perfume has helped this past week; with all the horrible events happening in the world, and the disgusting viewpoints of some fellow citizens and politicians and media and what about some of those running for President?!?! ..... I have been in a sad dark place.

So here is what I wore this week:

Agent Provocateur Strip, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, The Body Shop Moroccan Rose, Chanel Coco, Raphael Replique and Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie. (I have linked to posts from my perfume journal for reviews.)

This photo makes me happy - Laura, who visited us in the summer from Denmark. We gleefully found out that we are both perfume fans when I was giving her a tour of our yard/garden.  So wonderful to share perfume with her. Thanks, Laura!

scented sunday: pulling myself out of a funk

In other news, I am having trouble with some celadon glazes - a few of them are crazing and it is driving me a bit crazy. I need to test different clay bodies and figure out this pottery issue.

I guess that is about it for now - hopefully by my next blog post I won't be such a downer.

scented sunday

A few weeks ago, I started testing two by Parfumerie Generale, and got so bored that I never wrote anything up about them then. So here it goes:  Ilang Ivohibe (2006) was like wearing floral dish detergent. Tonkamonde (2011) was, sigh - milky baby oil. I reviewed Cadjmere in January and also wasn't impressed.

I had to check my old blog to see if there is any PG fragrances I liked, because I know I also didn't like Cuir d'Iris. Okay I checked.... L'Ombre Fauve and Papyrus de Ciane weren't bad. Guess this house, in generale (sorry!) is not my cup of tea.

I also tested the most fabulous Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier George Sand (2005). It was a limited edition and very very hard to find - of course!  If Youth Dew, Tabu and Opium were cousins, George Sand would be their very cool, forward-thinking, and stylish great aunt. I am going to have to take good care of my small sample.

scented sunday
George Sand 1864


scented sunday: featuring sonoma scent studio

I have been slow with the sample test posts recently. But I'm still determined! This post is not at all detailed and not truly reviews of the scents, and I apologize for that. I have a lot to get done these days (today I am starting the process of testing underglazes on my pottery), but I hope that my perfume-interested readers will click on the other perfume bloggers' review links that I have highlighted.

These past weeks, I have tested three from Sonoma Scent Studio.  As I have written before, can Laurie Erickson do no wrong?   And as you know, I  love my bottle of Incense Pure and it is one of my top favorite incense perfumes of all time

The three perfumes I have been testing are Fig Tree, Winter Woods, and Wood Violet.

Fig Tree (2011) Notes of green fig, vanilla, cedar, patchouli, tonka, and musk.  This is hands down the best fig perfume I have tried.  From the SSS website I quote "I envisioned a perfume that would evoke the various aspects of a fig tree in summer, with green, fruity, creamy, and woodsy notes." Yes, exactly! It has a touch of weird (a good weird) in its gorgeousness, and I'm looking forward to trying this in the heat of summer. During the cold of this winter, it brings me much happiness.

Elena from Perfume Shrine wrote a fabulous review of this scent - check it out !

Winter Woods (2008):  Notes of gaiacwood, cedar, sandalwood, birch tar, cade, oakmoss absolute, castoreum, amber, labdanum absolute, vetiver, ambergris, and musk.  Warm and enveloping and crisp - a perfect scent for these sub-zero temperature recently. This makes me smile and remember what I like about winter!

Check out Dave/Aromi's review here.  And Ines' review here.

Wood Violet (2008):  Notes of violet, plum, cedar, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, violet leaf, and musk. Seriously folks, this one is beautiful and brings another smile to my face.  I cannot wait until early spring because this will be perfect for that time of year. 

Wood Violet is reviewed in Undina's post "In Search of the Perfect Violet"

For anyone out there reading this and hasn't yet tried any of Sonoma Scent Studio's incredible perfumes, please try them!  You can purchase samples from her directly.  

If push came to shove and I was forced to pick one of these three as my favorite, I would have to say Fig Tree.  Another thing I love about SSS is that she offers a variety of sizes.  For instance, for a 5 ml travel spay of Fig Tree, it is only $16.00.  I have a feeling that this will be my first purchase once I have completed reviewing all my samples!


scented sunday: featuring sonoma scent studio
"The Fig Tree" Spencer Gore 1912
I have also worn Agent Provocateur Strip, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, Hermes Un Jardin apres la Mousson, and Coty L'Aimant recently.  (The Coty because I was filling up my travel spray after I read Vanessa's latest post on Bonkers about Perfume, and spilled it all over me!)

scented super bowl sunday

Two weeks ago, while reviewing De Charmes et Feuillers, I had recommended other The Different Company perfumes, and then realized that I never did a proper review of Oriental Lounge.

TDC Oriental Lounge (2009).  Gah, after doing some research about this fragrance, the perfume world seemed a bit chatty about this when it came out, a lot of discussion about the use of synthetics and IFRA (International Fragrance Association) regulations.  Here's my short and sweet take - it's a soft oriental for those not sure about orientals and who want to dip their toes into that genre.  For those of you who love loud orientals (i.e., Shalimar) you'll probably be disappointed.  I adore Shalimar, but I do like this one. See  I Smell Therefore I Am review to get a sense of the uproar.

I also tested Tauer Le Maroc pour Elle (2005) over a couple of days. This is stunning! Moroccan bitter orange and rose and jasmine and cedarwood, French lavender, mandarin, sandalwood and patchouli.  I am a huge fan of Andy Tauer, so I say go and try this immediately!  He mentioned recently on his blog about prices going up due to exchange rates - read it here.

Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane (2009). For a little wispy thing, this sure does have staying power. Notes from Luckyscent:  green note, fruity note, jasmine, osmanthus, carnation, lily, muscs, almond, wood, honey. Here's a review from  Elena at Perfume Shrine. 

I had a hankering for Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose, so I wore it often when I wasn't doing any sample testing. I also wore Malle Le Parfum de Therese (2000) a lot over these past two weeks, too. LPdT is a deep rich velvety dirty fruity rose - sublime!

scented super bowl sunday
I was able to split some from this bottle w/my pal F a few years ago,
and bonus that I received the actual bottle
Super Bowl Sunday today - I'll be rooting for the Seattle Seahawks over the New England Patriots. There is just something about New England/East Coast sports teams that get under my skin, and the Patriots in particular. Oh, and I'm wearing Guerlain Shalimar today.

scented sunday: flowers and herbs

This week went well - adjusting to my new work schedule of being in the non-profit office twice a week, and pottery classes on Wednesday.  I was at the Market on Saturday - it was a bit slow, but I was glad I was there because as I have mentioned before I really like chatting with the vendors and customers.
scented sunday: flowers and herbs
Cicely Mary Barker
Here's the Scented Sunday portion of my post:
Monday:  I have a lot of samples from Annick Goutal.  I love three of hers - Encens Flamboyant [incense], Petite Cherie (edp version - thanks to Undina for steering me to this version) [pear], and Mandragore [woody aromatic, inspired by mandrake root]. This is a fragrance house that I think gets overlooked recently - not sure why - perhaps just because there are so many new fragrances and lines coming out all the time.  Annick Goutal is quite affordable, too.  Take that, you over-priced perfume houses out there.

Annick Goutal Rose Absolue (1984).   A variety of roses and one of the most beautiful rose soliflores I have ever tried. It's enchanting!  Though there is a downside to this perfume - it doesn't last very long on my skin and while drying down, stays very close.  You may experience the dry down differently, so I do encourage those of you who like rose to try this one!

Tuesday: Annick Goutal Un Matin D'Orage (2009).  There is something in the top notes that put me off.  I haven't figured this one out yet.  I should have tested this over the course of a few days, but I didn't. In the meantime, take a look at Victoria's review at Bois de Jasmin.

Wednesday:  Too busy (my pottery classes started!) to do a serious sampling, so threw on Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Kashmirie (2007).  I cannot thank Vanessa from Bonkers about Perfume enough for my decant as this gets a lot of love from me - rose, saffron, myrrh, to name a few notes - a warm powdery rose with a hint of spice.

Thursday: The Different Company De Charmes et Feuillers (2006).  I have sampled many from this line over the years including Rose Poivree, Oriental Lounge,  Sel de Vetiver, Bois d'Iris (one of my favorite iris perfumes),and D'Ailleurs et Fleur,  all of which I recommend.

DCeF [herbal aromatic] has notes of marjoram, peppermint, sage, jasmine sambac, grapefruit, clementine and patchouli.   Fragrantica calls is a 'fairy garden fragrance'.  It is exquisitely beautiful and delicate, and the notes tend to play peek-a-boo, flitting around and under and over - so it is truly a fairy garden fragrance.

Note:  I also read on Fragrantica that DCeF has been reformulated since I received my sample so I don't know how the new version compares to my sample.

Friday: I tested TDC De Charmes et Feuillers against Cartier L'Heure Vertueuse III  (notes: absinthe, rosemary, thyme, verbena, lavender). They both have that cool vintage Herbal Essence vibe, though DCeF is more demure, dries down warmer and cozier, and is about $100 less. The Cartier is brasher and more aromatic and lasts a lot longer.

scented sunday: sampling stash samples

Not quite a New Year's resolution, but I am going to try to do more Scented Sunday posts. Time to tackle the samples I currently have because there are a few new ones I want to try - I still read perfume blogs and the end of year lists had me interested in some new-ish releases.  But I must be disciplined and get through my huge stash of un-tested samples first!

I'll try to note the release date of the fragrances I'm testing.  Also, most of my samples are a few years old or older - not sure how well they'll all stand up as although I keep my perfume out of bright sunlight, I don't keep them temperature or humidity regulated.

scented sunday: sampling stash samples
Where most of my perfume sample collection is stored;
I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I HAVE reviewed/written about
more of them than I thought!
Monday:  I Profumi di Firenzi Mirra (released in 2006).  I was hesitant to even start sampling from my stash, but I was pleasantly surprised and pleased by Mirra.   A powdery, sweet but not cloying vanilla oriental.  I don't get a lot of myrrh from it, and I wish it lasted longer. But it was quite nice for this very cold January day.

Here's some reviews: Kevin at Now Smell This.  Marina at Perfume Smellin' Things.

Tuesday: Profumum Oxiana and Olibanum.  I have a love for Ninfea which is kind of shocking given that my 'normal' scent preference is for heavy orientals.  Ninfea is a flowery nostalgic pretty thing (see my short review here on my old perfume blog) .  There are a few of those flowery nostalgic fragrances that do tug at my heart strings, most notably the gorgeous La Chasse aux Papillons.

Oxiana (2009) is too generic men's shaving cream for me and starts off a bit harsh. I should be all over this one, with notes of patchouli, myrrh, opoponax and musk. I see on Lucky Scent that some people say this reminds them of my well-loved L'air de Rien - it sure doesn't smell anything like that to me!  Here's Trebor's review (Scent for Thought) which pretty much sums up what I think of it, too.

Olibanum (2006) : Incense, myrrh, orange blossom and sandalwood. There is a bit of blast of green? citrus? at first, but it settles down nicely to a warm roast-y incense with some nice undertones.  Another good one to add warmth to the day; it's not something I would buy because I already have a few incense perfumes I like better, but that added citrus zing is interesting. And the staying power is incredible - I could still detect it the next day.

Wednesday: Bois 1920 Classic 1920 (2005).  Some of the notes that I found listed are bergamot, lemon, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, and it is listed on Fragrantica as an Oriental Spicy.  Spicy?! Where? This didn't do anything for me.  A clean aftershave for the first hour or so, then it dries down to a bland oriental.  Meh.

Thursday:  Parfumerie Generale Cadjmere (2007).  Another time this week that I am wondering if my samples are just too old or abused.  After reading a bunch of reviews of this, and most being very positive, I'm a bit confused.  But now that I'm thinking about it, I probably did a quick sniff of this when I first got the sample, and didn't review it at the time because I wasn't all that impressed.  Birgit at Olfactoria Travels felt it full bottle worthy.

Friday:  Tokyo Milk Bittersweet (2011). I am a big fan of this house (esp. the Dark line). Though not of this perfume only because I don't like the chocolate in this scent (and in general I'm not fond of chocolate, honey or mint in perfume). Anyone out there looking into a line that is solid, sometimes weird, and quite affordable, do check out Tokyo Milk.

I enjoyed this - and hope that I can keep it up until all my un-talked-about samples get an airing.

scented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post about

Yesterday, I took my son and daughter-in-law shopping. I put on some Malle Le Perfume de Therese which fit the mood in a weird way.  I have yet to do a decent review of this but here's a good one from Bois de Jasmin.

We ended up at a mall.  I hadn't been in a mall for a long long time, so it was fun stopping in all the stores and seeing all the merchandise.  The mall we went to is quite sad - a lot of empty shops and not many shoppers.  I was searching for some thick leggings, and found some on sale (I'll post about my cool leggings on another day). One of the shops I popped into was an Anthropologie store. I sniffed a few of the bottles of their scents - I didn't pay much attention to them and none stood out, but they didn't seem horrible.

But what I have been wanting to talk about is that when Robert was in Denmark, I had a perfumista-meet-up-by-proxy!  He had dinner with the most generous and lovely Marie!  She gave him something for me, so when he got home, I greedily opened the package.  It was a full bottle of Agent Provocateur Strip.  Marie had sent a bunch of decants of APs Eau Emotionelle and Strip awhile back, and she knows how much I love that line. Thank you again, Marie!  Click here to read my review of Strip when Marie first send me those goodies.

scented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post about
Quite a bad photo but it's late at night and the lighting is poor
This past summer, I didn't wear a lot of perfume.  But when I did think of perfume, I would often wear Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple.  By the end of the summer, my bottle was getting empty.  But guess what!?!  When  my friends Joan and Isabel were in town, Joan brought me a bottle of it!  She didn't know that I already had some and that I was savoring the last few drops.  She just figured I would like the scent.  How cool is that?   Joan was the first person I met that wore Opium (this was back in 1980), and because I loved it on her, I bought my first bottle.  Even if we wore it at the same time, we would talk about the fact that it smelled different on both of us.

And Isabel had brought me perfume, too.  She had stumbled across a bottle of Parfums Weil Zibeline and since she knew I liked perfume, asked me if I wanted it.  Of course I did!  Not only did she bring me the perfume, but also some Shalimar body lotion!  Now, I haven't researched Zibeline yet, nor have I given it a good test.  But I hope to soon.  In the meantime, click here for a review of it on Perfume Shrine.

I'm glad the weather is getting cooler - I'll be wearing scent a lot more often now.

deep thoughts: why do I blog here?

Why do I blog here?

I don't post a lot of personal or emotional things on this blog.  I started this particular blog a few years ago, when I was doing an ICAD (Index Card a Day) challenge.  At the time, I also had my perfume blog (bloody frida) going (which I archived earlier this year), and I have been privately journaling/blogging at LiveJournal for years and years.

My LiveJournal is where I go to get all down and dirty; it is a place to release in type and it is a huge whine-fest most of the time. I used to keep a written diary; but it is quicker to type!  And if you ever read my diary over the years, boy oh boy is it depressing as hell.  I rarely wrote about happy stuff because I used that diary as a release, much how I have been using LJ for the past couple of years.  My closest real life friends and none of my family members have access to it.  Not even my husband. I started on LJ because I had met a bunch of people through trading ATCs (Artist Trading Cards); many of that original group have left LJ for other places, and I keep in touch with them in other ways - through emails or Facebook or their other (usually art) blogs.

This Blogger blog is mostly about what I fill my time with - garden, work, knitting, preserving food, things like that. A "so what have you been doing recently?" kind of  blog.  My closest friends and closest family members (including Robert) read this blog.  They already know about most of my trying/emotional things I am going through, and I really want my blog to be more about positive stuff.  I have a history of depression, so part of this blog is to keep looking at the sunny side of life; it helps me in that way.

So yeah, you're not getting 100% me if you read this blog - though sometimes I leave little hints about what is troubling me (for instance, the four months without a car because we couldn't afford the repairs; the fact that I have not been able to find another job; etc).

I just wanted to say all this this morning. Thanks for bearing with me. Maybe I shouldn't be so compartmentalized (which was the main reason I merged my two Blogger blogs into one).  I shall have a good think about that.

In the meantime, here are some photos I took yesterday at the nursery:
deep thoughts: why do I blog here?
Behind the nursery - the owner's father's land
deep thoughts: why do I blog here?
The asparagus patch, covered with dew in the morning; it looks like frost

scented sunday

scented sunday

Kiss My Face Peaceful Patchouli is one of my favorite bath products.  I recently found Renpure's Argan Oil shampoo and not only does it work great, I have to say "Gee, my hair smells terrific!" As it reminds me of Pacifica's Tibetan Mountain Temple, I have been wearing that scent a lot recently.  And today, I put on some YSL Opium Fleur Imperiale.

Tonight, it's USA v Portugal! 

scented sunday - aldehydes - the wall of nose noise

scented sunday - aldehydes - the wall of nose noise
The Wall

I have talked about how I struggle with aldehydes in perfume over at my (archived) perfume blog, but for those of you who are new followers, this is what I can tell you about this 'note' in perfume:

1) Read this article by the inimitable Elena over at Perfume Shrine

2) If that is too much information, this is my take on it:  you know when you smell a perfume and you think "old lady perfume"?  For some people, that 'old lady perfume' smell can come from other notes, but for me, it's from aldehydes.

3) Perfumes that non-perfume addicts may know that have that aldehydic vibe going on - Chanel No. 5, YSL Rive Gauche, Estee Lauder's White Linen and Beautiful, to name just a few perfumes that I don't get along with.

Now there are all sorts of aldehydes and I do not know how they all are different or what they smell like specifically because I was and am a really crappy perfume blogger.  So I'm referring you again to 1) up above.

But there are some perfumes that have this blasted note in them that I do like - for instance, Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, Guerlain's Mitsouko and Apres L'Ondee, and Coty's L'Aimant (yes I have come around to enjoy this one very much) and Chypre.  I do still get 'old lady perfume' from these (except for La Myrrhe), but they are oh so very cool, and they don't make me flinch and shudder and get scared.

So maybe I just have this wall in my head. And maybe it is a specific type or types of aldehyde that drives me nuts.  I have been known to be extremely stubborn, and perhaps if I just relax and not think about it too much, I'll enjoy more scents. 

In the meantime, I'm going to drench myself in Coty Chypre.
scented sunday: pulling myself out of a funkscented sundayscented sunday: featuring sonoma scent studioscented super bowl sundayscented sunday: flowers and herbsscented sunday: sampling stash samplesscented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post aboutdeep thoughts: why do I blog here?scented sundayscented sunday - aldehydes - the wall of nose noise

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