Sunday, October 24, 2010

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Coeur de Vetiver Sacre

The top notes are a bit dicey - at once warm, mulled spicy, and sour, like oversteeped tea, President's Choice Memories of Asja, and unripe persimmon pucker. Smells like something chewed over. The slender stick-like figure of vetiver emerges cautiously - but it is enmeshed in fruit skin and tea steam. Transparent, wavering. Christmas tea, monk's blend. The drydown is pretty, vanilla tea.
It smells exactly like the notes say. There are no surprises. If you read closely and calibrate your assumptions accordingly, you will be pleased.

current obsessions

* bread spread thickly with creamy-sweet Isigny butter, so much that I can't see the bread! I am eating it nonstop, breakfast, dinner . . . in the morning, when asked what I wanted for supper, I answered "I have all I need here," gesturing to my plate stacked with bread and butter. I probably put two or three tablespoons on each slice.
* carob seed honey, the most delectable one I have ever tried. I'm a honey freak, with almond-, lavender-, and orange-blossom coming in near the top, but now carob seed is the reigning queen. It has the darkest flavour, nearly fermented and alcoholic, like port or rum, with hints of coffee, dark treacle, and chocolate. It tastes celebratory! When paired with the aforementioned Isigny butter on bread, my mouth approaches a sort of delirium I don't know how to deal with. I offered some to my husband and he declined, saying he would try later on. Adding, canvassing my beastly devouring ways, halfway through a log of butter purchased last night, " . . . if there's any left."
* Leone Miste Digestive pastilles. I probably should not be eating these like normal candy, seeing as the words "lozenges," "herbal," and "digestive" appear on the label. These are amazing, so bitter they send you into a fugue state for a few moments, and taste like every single antiquated Italian liqueur in Gabriele d'Annunzio's cupboard. The flavours read like a poem: Fernet, peppermint Fernet, gentian, peppermint gentian, cloves, myrrh mint, "ugly but good," camomile, citron mint, citron sage, rhubarb, arquebuse (???), and alpine herbs.
* This song, in memory of Ari Up:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hilde Soliani - Freschiiissimo

Lime-ginger brown sugar cookie.
My husband (the gourmand addict) liked it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Balenciaga - Cialenga (vintage)

Intimidating seven-foot tall she-wolf chypre. But threatening not for the usual chypre reasons - this is not necessarily angular, sharply-cheekboned, crystalline, or frigid. On the other hand it is moss (Gustave Adolphe Mossa more like it) and softness run amok. Smother Love. Nutmeg and clove overrun a fragile lily heart, like spiders wrapping their still-kicking prey in silk. Some perfumes are opulent and majestic yet transparent, like Guerlain's Parure - Cialenga is opulent but bludgeoningly heavy. If it were a mode of murder it would be rolling someone up in a gigantic Persian rug and leaving them there until their ribs cracked under the weight. It is the smell of a philanderer plying you with alcohol. In fact, I can think of no occasion to wear this save for seduction and swindling. If this is your signature scent, I am afraid and hope never to meet you. If you know someone who loves this, one day you will wake up pantsless and with no valuables in a semi-congealed pool of Astroglide.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hermes - Eau de Gentiane Blanche (eau de cologne)

Cubanelles - lime-and-sandstone - bleached white bones in the desert - scrubby, stunted leaves struggling to grow out of chalk - the gnawing feeling when your bottle of water is empty - so thirsty your gums are sticking together - lunar paleness -

Monday, October 4, 2010


Here is a footnote to the last entry.

Christian Dior - Miss Dior (vintage eau de cologne)

I'm kind of nodding my head in a trance. One of the most radiant perfumes in existence, that brings to mind star-names and constellations (Cassiopeia). Do other life-forms exist? I just stared at the little houndstooth bottle today in rapt, silent meditation, feeling simultaneously humbled and exalted, sniffing my wrist, overcome. "It is a leather chypre with a dusty, earthy, herbal tone, cumin and ground seeds, nightblooms, indolic jasmine." But those words don't tell you that Miss Dior goes on and on and on, it is the colour green ricocheting off all ends of the universe, that it is its own invented spectrum of green, it is if all movement was refracted in olivine hues, that it is a John Whitney film, visual music, an Auroratone of oscillating scent, and that it is COSMIC in its reach, beyond arrondissements/cities/suburbs/pastures/caves into comets and cloudbursts.