Sunday, February 6, 2011

There ain't no grave gonna hold my body down...

Monday, 1/31/11, through Friday, 2/4/11

First off: TaffynFontana, please send me an email at to claim your prize! 

Weird week that started out with me deathly ill at the beginning and ended with what I would describe as an "atmospherically appropriate" trip to the coast on a day so grey and misty you couldn't actually see much; a nameless bar for cocktails, tomato soup, grilled cheese and fondue; a French patisserie  where I had a truly delightful and aromatic cup of rosemary mocha; and a trip to see the largest glockenspiel in the U.S.

Why did I go see said glockenspiel?  Because I could, of course!

Monday: Teo Cabanel Oha - I was so sick, kids. So very sick. Like had the serious flu and slept 30 of 36 hours. Of the six hours I was awake, I spent one of them in the shower. When I was out, clean and free of fever sweat, I still couldn't smell anything. I put on Oha on so I felt like I smelled nice, even if I couldn't tell myself. I also changed my sheets and sprayed some on my pillow case, which I liked but my kitten really did not, which she showed me by refusing to get back in the bed with me. Full review here.

Tuesday: Bond No. 9 New Haarlem - Can't smell a damn thing. On those days, you go for comforting. It's there for those small moments you get a whiff of anything while you're blowing your brains out through your nose. Full review here, though I wrote it so early in my perfumista days that it's the equivalent of a "stub" article on wikipedia.

Wednesday: Cristiano Fissore Rapsodia in Blu - Lemon, bergamot, rosemary, petitgrain, mugweed, jasmine, lily of the valley, cedarwood, white musk

Back at work, and I can even smell again...kinda. Hello white flowers, it's been a while. This is one of those scents that feels like a mishmash of similar things all smashed together to create a nice, clean, unoffensive scent. In other words, kinda boring. It's nice, but not particularly distinctive in any way. If you imagine someone filling water balloons with oil paint and then throwing them at a canvas covered in spikes to break them on impact, then replace the oil paint with scent, you get the general idea. Also, rimagine they only used pastel colored paints, and therefore pastel scent notes, and you'll get what I mean. It reminds me of Kai, but less interesting and also a lot less strong, so if you find Kai overwhelming in its giant white floral soapiness, then you might like this better. It's not a scrubber, but it just doesn't have a lot to recommend it. Which is too bad because it has a pretty kick-ass name. 2 of 5 nods.

Thursday: Comme des Garcons x Artek - Finnish Labrador Tea, Twinflower (Linnea Borealis), fennel, ginger, lemon, musk, saffron, cedarwood

The open is lemon and cedar, giving it a flickering flame and glowing soft white wax feel. Over time, it moves toward incense and wood and away from lemon. This incense reminds me of Mass (not unlike CB I Hate Perfume Fire from Heaven) but is less acrid fire and more melting candlewax and incense. I actually think it is more wearable in an okay-for-normal-every-day wear, as opposed to Fire from Heaven that feels like a Holy Day Mass, as opposed to any given Sunday during Ordinary time. FN1 I never really get any ginger and very little musk, if any. The end result is a strangely intimate kind of experience. I think this one is a better masculine than feminine, but it could go either way. 3 of 5.

Friday: CB I Hate Perfume Patchouli Empire
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

I went to a hippy college, where the "sweet scent of patchouli perfuming the air" was an ongoing joke due to the general lack of showering. So honestly I put off sampling this for a very long time because I figured I'd hate it, at minimum in principle if not in fact. Boy, was I wrong.

When I hear that trumpet sound
I’m gonna get up out of the ground
It's weird and wonderful. It's my favorite Whitman Poem. It is dreaming of transcendentalism under a tree by Walden Pond, or marching through Southern thickets in search of long lost gravemarkers for attenuated southern ancestors. If I was going to a graveside this is what I'd want to wear if I wanted to blend in with the scenary. It's not funerary; it's all earth and peat and oak moss. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I probably make it sound creepy, but it's not. It's the cycle of life...and death. And life again. Round and round. Like the end of Steel Magnolias. "That's the way it should be. Life goes on."

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

4.5 of 5 nods, and only because I am in love with Black March and Wild Hunt, but this is greener than either of those if you'd like all that dirt without the sweet rain of the former or the slightly floral bent of the latter.

Winner of the week:  Patchouli Empire, obviously. :)
FN1 This analogy probably only means something to my random Catholic readers. For the rest of you unwashed heathens (*wink*) think the difference between going to Easter church with your in-laws verses getting up and going to church regularly.


JoanElaine said...

Great post!

I hope you are feeling much better now. I enjoyed reading about your trip. Is the world's largest glockenspiel playable?

CB Fire from Heaven I don't get any fire from. It's all earth to me, and I love it. It's like a walk in a wet forest.

I only have one fragrance that reminds me of Mass, and that is Encens Mystic, a solid perfume by Crazy Libulelle (or whatever in heck they are called). I liked it at first, but now I find I can't bear to wear anything with a strong frankincense note. Reminds me of Good Friday Mass, and that choking censer.

I'm coming to appreciate patchouli more and more these days. I find it varies so much. Patchouli Empire sounds like a patchouli I would like, earthy! I wore Givenchy Gentleman the other night and that has a powerfully earthy and dry patchouli, so you might want to give that try sometime.

ScentScelf said...

Hunh. That Artek has all the right notes in theory, but your description of the assemblage doesn't make it call out to me.

Glad to see the footnotes return... :)

Diana said...

JoanElaine --

Sadly I did not discover it's playability, as I appeared for one of its regular daily performances. It's in a tiny town known for hosting beautiful evening vespers in the Abbey that anchors it, and for being Oregon's resident "we like to pretend we are rich in German heritage" town. Mt. Angel. It's a charming town where I have enjoyed many a bratwurst.

I'm totally going to try Encens Mystic. As choking as that censer is, I also find it so comforting. Thanks for the recommendation!

Diana said...

ScentScelf --

Love me, love my footnotes. Or, to put it another way: the academic is graduated, long study the academic. =)

Yeah, the Artek is, I dunno. wouldn't call it a cuddly incense. It's not a soft sweater. It's like a really well-made wool scarf. It might be beautiful, and it keeps you warm in theory, but when you try to cozy down in it, scratchy. Know what I mean? I liked it, but not in the same way I like Black Cashmere, for example. More like a Tauer, but less artful?

I don't know if I'm making things clearer or muddier.