Monday, July 25, 2011

Summertime, and the living is easy…

Summer Thoughts, Perfumey and Not

So it’s summer, actual summer, here in Portland. I can tell because I keep seeing the sun. So since I love seasons and enjoy celebrating them, I was thinking it was time I talk to you about the scents I’m loving for the two months a year the temperature rises above 69 degrees here in Puddletown. So here it is, perfumey thoughts and not, for your warmer weather living.

Bands/Artists I can't get enough of: Still stuck on Neko Case, Florence and the Machine, and Fitz and the Tantrums. Also The xx, Claudine Longet, Julee Cruise, Feist, Midtown Dickens, Mountain Goats “All Eternals Deck,” Lady GaGa,  Alison Krauss and Union Station "Paper Airplane."

Surprise Go To Scent this Summer: By Kilian Love. So super sweet you’d think the hot weather would make me run the other direction, but I keep putting it on.

Houses I need to try more of: Hermes (still), Annick Goutal (still), Sonoma Scent Studio, Aftelier Perfumes.

Scent I wanted for a long time and finally purchased: Tauer Perfumes L'Air du Desert Marocain.

On the "soon to be purchased" short list: Miller et Bertaux no. 3: Green, green, green and green (still); L'Artisan L’Eau de Jatamansi (it’s been discontinued, and I need to grab it before it’s gone); Honore des Pres I Love Les Carottes (thanks Sam!), Washington Tremlett Royal Heroes 1805 (in time for fall!), slumberhouse Mur (so great!).

If I had a million dollars: I’d just buy every one of the Tauer Perfumes scents. Every. Single. One.

Happiest stumbled upon scent love of Summer: Three way tie: slumberhouse Mur, Olympic Orchids Carolina, DSH Spring Moss. I keep going back to all three.

Best newly discovered indie perfumer: Loving slumberhouse, aroma M, and JoAnne Bassett Perfumes.

Notes I’m weirdly over right now: fruits and leathers. Just not feeling summer to me.

Notes I can’t get enough of: patchouli (I bought the patch bunny set – wow!), vegetables, SUPER gourmands, anything earthy. If you’ve got recommendations in this area, please provide them.

Summer, in general and my life in specific: All winter I kept longing for the lengthy days of summer. Now that they are here, my self-discipline has gone to absolute crap. I’m trying really hard to keep going but all I seem to want to do is sleep. I think because I live on campus, I can’t get out of the mode that “summer” is the time to goof off, while Fall and Spring are for buckling down and actually working.

Also, I’ve been recently stymied by the announcement that Borders is going out of business. I write and edit in a lot of places, but Borders has been my go to off and on for years. In fact, I frequented my local Borders so often all the employees knew me by name. I was wandering through the Young Adult section the other day, and I met a girl there. She was probably no more than fourteen, and still stuck in that place where her body is straddling childhood and adulthood. With tears in her eyes, she turned to me and said, “I can’t believe they’re closing. Where am I going to go now?” She hugged her book to her chest and looked so lost.

Alas, poor Borders,
I knew them well...
Bookstores are not dying, necessarily, but their number is greatly reducing, to everyone’s detriment. The last bookstore in Laredo, Texas, a town with over a half million residents, closed over a year ago. Borders closing means another 400 bookstores will leave the world.

In 1989, Ray Oldenburg coined the concept of the “third place” in his book The Great Good Place. The idea is that a person’s home is their first place, their work/school location their second place, and that the “third place” is a physical space that helps define individual identity with the a community and communal identity as a whole. Oldenburg outlined the following criteria:
  • free or inexpensive
  • food and drink, while not essential, are important
  • highly accessible/proximate for many (walking/short driving distance)
  • involve regulars – those who habitually congregate there
  • welcoming and comfortable
  • both new and old friends should be found there
Community centers, coffee shops, and local bars can function as third places. But for youth, who frequently do not have the organizational structures to reserve community center space and who cannot get into bars. We all know that real community centers, where they existed at all, are barely hanging on in the face of massive cuts to social programs due to economic downturn. The same goes for libraries. Schools frequently try to fill this space after normal school hours, but often does not truly meet community needs, especially for young people for whom it functions more as a work environment.

Malls and bookstores have become centers for young people to congregate, eat, hang out, and socialize, often without the threats of violence or criminal activity or the barriers that tend to outline space as being only for adults. I feel like every time a large bookstore goes under – one that provides hang space, cheap food, meet study groups, free wireless, and opportunities for meeting up in safe, clean spaces – it makes me sad, particularly for geeky kids who may find their solace in books and among other bookish kids. As one of those kids who lived in books, the girl in the bookstore got to me, because I couldn’t think of where to tell her to go. Truthfully, I spend a lot of time in bookstores still.

So I guess I feel sad, too.

"Your daddy's rich and your mamma's good lookin'.
So, hush little baby don't you cry."
~ Ira and George Gershwin from Porgy and Bess, but my favorite version is Ella Fitzgerald's, seen below:


anotherperfumeblog said...

I'm finding my motivation is down this summer too, which is unfortunate because I actually should be getting a lot of things done. On the upside, it gives me a chance to read fun posts like this!

P.S. I'm bummed about Borders! :(

Elisa said...

For green/vegetal notes, I recommend Demeter Tomato and Diptyque L'Ombre dans L'Eau, which has a super-green, almost tomato-stem-like opening. For patchouli/gourmands, I recommend L de Lolita Lempicka and A*Men Pure Malt.

Undina said...

I'm sad about Borders as well. As to the summer... When I read Olfactoria's Travels' post about favorite things this summer I was crushed by the realization I cannot name a thing in that category for me this summer.

hotlanta linda said...

Borders is soooooo sad!! Need a mug w/ their name for a keepsake! Good music is OK to have on repeat in your memory!! Stick to it on you Tauer dreamlist AND you scent house trials. Have you been to :-)

Joan said...

By Kilian Love is the best! Well, tied with Liaisons Dangereuses imo.

You're right about Borders. I was talking to someone about whether Barnes and Noble is going to close now. He said yes, because of Kindle; I said no because it's such a hangout. People like to go there. But a lot of the time, all they're buying is coffee. I wonder if Starbucks has enough money to keep them in business.

And yeah, kids have nowhere to hang out. This is a serious problem. They are kicking teenage loiterers out of my local mall (in Western Maryland), if they don't buy anything. Well, it's an economically depressed area, so there's no money to buy things from the (crappy) stores. But seriously, where else would they go?