Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 2011 drawing!

It's that time of the month -- samples and mixed CD drawing time.  The winner will receive the very mix above, held by yours truly.

To enter, post here by Sunday May 5, 11:59 PM PST. Tell me what you're what kind of weather you're having and the scent you chose to go with it.  We're having lots of weird fluxing weather here, which makes me want to change scents every fifteen minutes.

Any and all welcome to enter!

UPDATE: Congrats to Elisa!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thanks to the men and women who serve.

My little brother, who at thirty-one years old will always be my 'little' brother, is currently deployed in Iraq.  He joined up for a lot of reasons, but at the end of the day, it had to do with a fundamental sense of duty.  He felt called to serve and protect.  

I am extremely grateful to him and to all those who serve and have served our nation.  I'd also like to take this opportunity to recommend to my readers a little documentary called "The Way We Get By" available to watch free on Hulu when last I checked, which I found extraordinarily moving. 

As a country, we owe more to our vets than they get from us.  Please consider that the next time you are thinking about who to vote for in an election.  Really ask yourself -- which of these candidates supports veterans programs, like affordable housing, job reintegration, mental health care and counsel, medical care, and education benefits? Then ask yourself if you could see leaving everything you have and all the people you love for years at a time to risk your life in service for any cause.  Then vote accordingly. 

Thank you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't let me be alone. It's tearing apart my blue, blue heart.

The Prom @ Seaside, OR
Perfume Challenge Week 19: Monday, 5/23/11, to Friday, 5/27/11

Happy Memorial weekend, all! I don't know about you, but I'm at the beach for the weekend. If it's pretty, I'm walking along the water’s edge, and if not, and currently they are predicting not, I'm holed up in my room drinking coffee and watching the water from my window. Either way, epic winning! I'd prefer to have company, but sometimes a little alone time is good, too.  Also, if it's raining, I'm probably watching Dr. Who and eating ice cream in bed.  I don't know, at the moment I'm writing this, if I'm actually doing that while you're reading, but I like the idea of it enough that we'll go ahead and say that's what I'm doing right now, shall we?

This week I bring you six fabulous scents from slumberhouse, which I am proud to say is located here at home in Portland, Oregon.

Monday: slumberhouse Kote - The juice of clementines, dried with tobacco leaves and left in the sun to dry. Oh, oh, oh. I love this! The opening is highly acidic citrus orange that slides into warm tobacco. It's a little sweet and a lot of heat, but I wouldn't call it stereotypically 'masculine.' I even get a bit of hot rubber or maybe newly tarred road in the middle. Later it becomes a light green tobacco, almost like a field of fresh leaf. It grows less tart and more sweet as the drydown continues. Less sweet than CB I Hate Perfume Smokey Tobacco Accord, and more interesting and singular than Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarettes, both of which I really enjoy. Excellent. 5 of 5 nods.

Tuesday: slumberhouse Mur - Purist and rural elements - cassis, mate, bees wax and honey hay on a rich base of vetiver grass. Hay there! You know what this reminds me of? Livestock shows. Barns. Carnivals at fair grounds. Wild game cook-offs. And maybe that doesn't sound wonderful to you, but to me? Describes the adventures of my childhood. I went to at least one hay floored wonderland every year growing up in Texas, and this reminds me of those days. Clean, dry, sweet hay and cut grasses for feed. As a scent, I love it. I want it. If only I could figure out when or where I'd wear it. Ah, well. I've come to that point in perfumistahood where I buy the perfume and make the opportunity to wear it, not the other way around. 5 of 5 nods.

Wednesday: slumberhouse Verg - A heart chord of neroli that is animated with the brightness of ginger paints the unmistakable image of spring, while oakmoss and tobacco absolute adds a subdued grittiness in the base. A fragrance that feels like an invisible appendage outdoors, crowned in a headspace dusted with raspberry ketone. I don't get a lot of neroli or ginger; I do get grittiness. I never knew you could capture the sensation of making a cheese and mayo sandwich on white bread at the beach and, biting into it, feeling the unexpected crunch of sand between your teeth. It's so hard to describe! I don't get ginger in the open, but yes, definitely some raspberry. The grit kicks in about two minutes later, and to me it smells like hot concrete. Houston in July, but almost peppery. slumberhouse says this is supposed to be springy, but I don’t get springy. I just get weird. Not bad weird, but not I want to own it weird, either. I wish the raspberry notes hung around more. I think I might love it then.  (Though how the raspberry manages to stay there along the edge, like something you see out of the corner of your eye that disappears the moment you turn your head, I find fascinating.) Definitely worth trying, though. 4 of 5 nods.

Thursday: slumberhouse Eki - Saccharine jasmine and magnolia. Sweet and quite ethereal. What a light white flower scent! From the description I was expecting something moderately aggressive, ‘ethereal’-ness notwithstanding. It actually is ethereal, though. Very gentle and sweet, riding so close to the skin you have to get very close to smell it. If you were looking for a white flower scent to get snuggly in, this is a great one. It transitions into a sweet little scent that reminds me a bit of natural toothpaste, but not in a bad way. It blooms beautifully around the hour mark, like the swell of a chorus, before the final gentle fall. Very nice. 3 of 5 nods.

Friday: slumberhouse Kere - Milky apricot, white chocolate and spiced plum-meat accords add texture and color to syrupy orange honeysuckle absolute and licorice within a halo of vaporous aldehydes reminiscent of champagne fizz. A circus of bizarre pairings harmonized in a blurring fashion that slowly devolves into spicy sugared hay & caramel. Definitely white chocolate and licorice in the open, dark and deep black licorice-y, but also creamy and white, which makes for a unique combination. Later, it becomes more like powdered chocolate; it’s so dry. One of the most wonderful chocolate scents I have ever smelled. It’s practically edible. I find myself wanting to lick my own hand. I definitely prefer Kere to Il Profumo Chocolat EDP, which is not nearly as realistic as this is. 5 of 5 nods

Friday: slumberhouse Flou - The translucent sunbaked meat of crushed concord grapes through fractals of summer elements. My first thought? Momma-said-knock-you-out strength irises drenched in Welch's grape juice. It's so grape, it's graptastic!  You would think that would make it a youthful scent, but it doesn't feel youthful to me.  It smells sexy and a little aggressive, like a very well-made heel with a good pair of dark jeans. Sexy in the way that makes you want to wander through the grape fields and feel the rich dirt in your hands.  I am so stunned by how lovely it is, when I would have told you almost anything made of grapes would feel fake and childish, like candy.  I tend to like grape leaf scents, but not grape or wine scents. This one of the most wonderful scents I’ve tried in quite a long time. So good I practically need to create a six to quantify its AWESOMENESS. I wandered about all day, being hit by it and thinking, that’s Fantastic! What is that fantasticness? Oh, it’s me! Not enough exclamation points! I think this is what I expected CB I Hate Perfume Under the Arbor to smell like, but now I think that is the grape arbor, and this here is the grapes. My only regret?  It's available only in very small quantity, whilst I want to take a bath in it.  Very little appears to be available, too (perhaps it's a LE?), so I bought mine before telling you about it. Sorry about that. It's a reflex. You know what they say -- all's fair in love, war, and perfume. Absolutely 5 of 5 nods.

Winner of the Week Too much awesomeness to choose -- I tried six scents and two thirds of them were fives. Definitely try everything coming out of this house. It’s clearly genius. *Snoopy-style happy dance*

"I'd have sworn that with time 
thoughts of you would leave my head. 
I was wrong. 
Now I find just one thing makes me forget..." 
~ "Red, Red Wine," Bob Marley

Images from Visit Seaside Oregon, xsphotos, and agnesswart.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Perfume Marketing and Feminist Aesthetics: ‘Alternative’ Styles in Advertising and the Male Gaze, Pt. 4

“Hey babe, let’s go out tonight”: Rebel Ads, a Few General Thoughts

Just to be clear, I’m not opposed to alterna-girl in general.  Hell, I still am one.  To prove I'm not always a hater, here are some ads that do a marginally better job of attempting to tap into rebellion without being embarrassingly sexist.

While I may loathe some of Marc Jacobs advertising with the heat of a thousand suns (cough!Daisy!cough!), I actually think the ad for Marc Jacobs Lola taps into the rebellious advertising methology without being offensive. Pouty lips and vacant stare aside, our model seems to be fully clothes, and is actively holding something she looks like she might be about to shove down your throat. I’d give this a B- as ads go, which is a high grade for a mainstream product.

Likewise I don’t find the Anna Sui Rock Me! Ad offensive. A complete rip off of Billy Idol’s style? Absolutely. Interestingly androgynous? Yep? Open mouth, vacant stare, white like every other model? Check, check, check. But active, sort of. I mean she’s holding a guitar. She might play it…you know. Someday. Fully dressed? Yes! And the fashion is an interesting mix of leather and butterflies, metal studs and pink buttons, which I enjoy. FN1.

At the end of the day, though, edgy has become just another commodity. This urban decay cosmetics ad says it all. Click on the image to read the ad copy -- it's a trip.  This company uses rebellion as an way to attract those who might eschew cosmetics by demonstrating they can be used as tools to express external difference.  Because no one, no matter how alternative, should be allowed to escape the long arm of negative body image and gender conformity. You can color yourself in Acid Rain, Roach, and Smog, but it’s just another way of doing what your mom did with her Maybelline. Lip gunk by any other name is still the tool of beauty industry and its efforts to sell you everything you need to conform. FN2. Perhaps the really rebellious thing would be to refuse to wear make-up at all.

This wraps up our foray into feminist critique of perfume advertising that uses alterna-girl.  Have no fear, though.  There are more insidious advertising techniques to mock, and your intrepid feminist sniffa is here to bring them to you.  If you want more, stay tuned...

If you missed the previous portion a of the series, following the "Perfume and Feminist Aesthetics" tab above.  You can also find other feminist aesthetics pieces cataloged on the same tab.
FN1. Don’t get me started on the Anna Sui Rock Me! Summer of Love ad, though. It’s the china doll childishness of it, the big eyes and weird doll pose, and childlike accessories that kill me.  The whole image screams object-for-prurient-interest-in-young-girls that makes me throw up in my mouth.

FN2. In the interest of full disclosure-- I own and wear make-up. Lots of it. My current nail polish is a shiny royal blue, and my toes are a shiny aqua. My last manicure was two weeks ago. I color my hair because I do not enjoy my natural blondness. I’m a non/conformist like the lot of these ad girls, and I’m still shopping the "rebel, rebel" lines. Sometimes, though, I wish I could wake up and feel pretty enough to just go out in the world and think I was beautiful as I was, without the idea that if I failed to “take proper care” of myself, I was failing as a woman, and less pretty because of it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfume Marketing and Feminist Aesthetics: ‘Alternative’ Styles in Advertising and the Male Gaze, Pt. 3

“Hey babe, your hair’s alright”: Rhianna Reb’l Fleur and Victoria Secret Love Rocks!

Before I even get to the ads, let’s look at Rhianna’s commentary on her scent, Reb'l Fleur:
The fragrance’s name, which is also a tattoo on Rihanna’s neck, originates from a name her grandmother called her. “My grandmother in Barbados used to call me her Rebel Flower,” Rihanna told People.

The scent is being described “like heels with a short, flirty dress” and comes in a high heel shaped bottle. The scent combines the impressions of delicious fruits and sumptuous florals, as well as a musky blend of vanilla, patchouli and amber.

“I believe a woman should dare to be different — willing to live her life for herself and not for other people,” Rihanna said in a press release. “This fragrance is about my passion for individuality — being expressive and empowering, yes, but also emotional and intriguing. I promise you Reb’l Fleur will not be easily forgotten.”

The 22-year-old singer tells People, “Over the years, I layered many different scents to get something that was truly my own. But I wanted…something that said ‘Rihanna was here.’ Something delicious and special, a fragrance with subtle hints that linger and leave a sexy memory.”
Rhianna, you are a huge disappointment, and not only because you’re following the ex-boyfriend who beat the crap out of you on twitter. FN1. No, it’s because you decided that “a woman should dare to be different — willing to live her life for herself and not for other people” was best expressed by a scent that is “heels with a short, flirty dress” and you dressed in nothing but bling, a sheet, and heels, stretched out like a human smorgasbord while you make eye-love to the camera. Is this what your grandma wanted? You topless under your blazer, sniffing at a flower as you gaze vacantly into the distance?

 I think you look way fiercer here in this photo of you performing. Why wasn’t this active image of you doing the thing you love, where you have talent and passion, a good enough image to sell your scent? And that’s why Reb’l fleur, for all its rebellious pomp and circumstance, utterly fails at being truly rebellious; it fails to actually challenge gender stereotypes, to march to a path not already beaten and worn by the cowed women before you.

 You want to be unique? You want to be a rebel? Next time try hawking your scent in the same clothes you’d wear to run to the grocery store or go to the gym.

. . . . . .

And while I’m picking on celebrities and their scents, let's talk about Taylor Momsen. Oh, little J. You were Dan's little sister, and the best thing about you was that you were cute and talented and into fashion and you looked like you could be anyone's little sister in America, or their next door neighbor? Where did that girl go?

Reader, do you remember Momsen when she was cute and healthy? Remember when she looked like a pretty girl you’d run into in a bookstore or high school car wash fundraiser? I miss that girl. I liked her. She was talented, adorable, and had a healthy BMI.

Now look at her. She’s out pimping for Victoria Secret Love Rocks and she looks like a zombified shadow of her former self. She is scary thin, and all that black crap around her eyes is not hiding their sunken look.FN2. I look at photos of her now, and I become terrified she will be like so many other young girls, dying of organ failure because they are riding the A-train straight into a living hell. Anorexia kills – literally. FN3.

Having personally seen more than one vibrant young woman slowly dying to be beautiful during the course of my long stay here in higher education, it is a horrific and torturous protracted event that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

 I don’t see how starving yourself is rebellious. In my mind, it’s a level of internalized objectification to the point of self-hatred. The world sees you as an object, use once and destroy. You are thing, a decoration, to be pretty and ignored. And please, take up as little room as possible while you’re at it – these big men need room to move!

And I promise you, no matter how many rosaries you sport as necklaces or slip dresses you wear, death by starvation is not rebellious. It does not, in fact, “rock.” I guess I shouldn’t expect better in a rep from Victoria Secret, but I hope Momsen will realize she doesn’t need to trade eating for a career.

Tune in tomorrow for more ranting in my current series “‘Alternative’ Styles in Advertising and the Male Gaze,” also known as “Rebel without a Clue.”  If you missed yesterday's portion of the series, following the "Perfume and Feminist Aesthetics" tab above.
FN1. And before any of you get up in my grill, I am aware of how difficult it is to leave an abuser; there are a lot of barriers. I am educated on the cycle of violence. I know very well that attempts to leave are fraught with increased violence and leaving is often the most dangerous time.  But Rhianna left her abusers and has the  financial, social, legal, and emotional resources to stay free. I find her electing to have contact with him disappointing, just like I find Oksana Grigorieva dropping her suit against Mel Gibson disappointing. I don’t require these women to be better role models for other women. I just wish they wanted to be, and wanted better for themselves.

FN2. For the record, Momsen claims she does not have an eating disorder and has “always been naturally thin.” (A) I think the photos above demonstrate that she is NOT as naturally thin as she appears right now and reports indicate she dropped 20 lbs to a 108lb size zero at age fifteen in 2008 for Gossip Girl. (B) Even if she is naturally thin, the fact that she is a "thinspiration” terrifies me at a level I can’t really comprehend.

FN3. A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover. The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old. (South Carolina Department of Mental Health, http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm [Viewed May 22, 2011].)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Perfume Marketing and Feminist Aesthetics: ‘Alternative’ Styles in Advertising and the Male Gaze, Pt. 2

“Rebel, rebel, your face is a mess”: Vera Wang Princess & Vera Wang Glam Princess

If the Juicy Couture ads I talked about yesterday were aimed at sixteen year-olds, then Vera Wang Princess, like Seventeen Magazine, may say they want teens to buy their goods, but are actually aiming to catch those tweens before they begin their dating duties. Therefore we get our pretty princess to our left, staring seductively at your as she pulls up her skirts, daring you to come get her. Yes, the look on her face a little sullen, like the way you practice in the mirror, and the pirate hat is clearly edgy, but underneath that ‘rebel’ exterior, she’s still waiting to be consumed by the viewer, like every other objectified girl before her.  and that big purple heart riding at the edge of her skirt?  Yeah, that's exactly what's she's daring you to come get -- her heart.

Don’t believe me? Here's our little rebel again, actually laid out for you.  I don't know which part kills me more: her exploding cleavage, the rumpled sheets, the tousled sex hair with crown barely hanging on, or that she's looks like she's pulling her own hair! (Her right hand in particular.) Now if you're into hair pulling, good for you.  What I hate here is the happy girl, laid out on a platter for the viewer, subtly suggesting violence will be a-okay with her.  If the ads were more adult, I might be less bothered by this aspect, but the model is so young and the "princess" themes infantilize her further.  As an advocate for victims of sexual assault, many of whom have been young women on the cusp of exploring their sexuality in a world that does not like women to be in control of their sexuality, I find these ads truly scary because of this part of it. I am also not at all jazzed but the rope encircling that heart shaped bottle and spelling out "princess."  What about being a princess involves rope?  Nothing, unless you're into kinky kidnapping fantasies.  And again, if that is what you and your adult partner engage in with mutual full consent and safe words in place, awesome.  Somehow,  I don't think our little princess has consented, and I think this ad tries to make it okay for you to engage in  a dominance fantasy, and her consent isn't required or even a consideration.

As for our princess, you can have her alone in her bed, or if that doesn’t quite work for you, there’s a shirtless boy to cue you in about what’s about to happen to our little princess. Apparently “born to rule” means marrying a denim clad prince.  And you know how best to bed them – by wearing Vera Wang Princess. Isn’t that how we all hope to ascend to power? By sleeping our way to the top, willingly or not? The cat, by the way, killing me.  I cannot decide if it makes the image more innocent and therefore better, or heightens the weirdness of the lolita-esque sexual messages, making it worse.  The only thing I can come up with is that cats, like women, are animals to be taken care however you deem fit.  They are to be pampered, but are not active people with equal right to reason, autonomy, or rule. If you've got thoughts about the cat please share them because I am so puzzled.

Okay, one more.  Vera Wang Glam Princess puts the modern spin on it, by making ‘princess’ the equivalent of modern celebrity. What I find aaaaa-mazballs about the male gaze in this ad is how completely overt it is. A crowd of photographers in the background, meant to indicate all the focus of the world’s attention is on our little glamorous royal. The three photographer faces you can see? All dudes. Because, let’s remember girls, the only attention that matters in the world is male attention.

Hand drawn pirate tattoo or not, our Vera Wang Princess/Glam Princess is hardly a rebel. Assuming of course we mean actually rejecting traditional modes of femininity as defined and limited by patriarchy and for male consumption, and not just trying to pick up slightly alternative fashioned boys by dressing similarly.

And the saddest part? I found these photos of a woman trying to make her daughter into this ad. How's that for women policing themselves?

Tune in tomorrow for continued ranting in my current series “‘Alternative’ Advertising and the Male Gaze in Perfume Advertising,” also known as “Rebel without a Clue.” &If you missed yesterday's portion of the series, following the "Perfume and Feminist Aesthetics" tab above.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Perfume Marketing and Feminist Aesthetics: ‘Alternative’ Styles in Advertising and the Male Gaze, Pt. 1

Wow. It’s been a long time since I talked about the various categories of mainstream perfume advertising and how they reflect different methods of objectification and policing sex and gender. For those of you just joining us, it might be useful to refer to the previous posts, which you can find on the tab “Perfume and Feminist Aesthetics” above.

As you may recall, dear reader, a while back I began a series discussing the male gaze and its presence in perfume advertising. For ease of discussion, I broke the ads down into various groups. FN1. The first, general erotica, focused on ads appealing purely to sex, and which tend to quantify women as objects to be used for male pleasure. Make no mistake, we will be doing another round of these; in the year since I started this series, there have been more terrible ads that treat women as props and objects, rather than people. But there are other approaches to objectification, and these approaches frequently not only objectify women as objects, but implicate other women in the policing of their own gender or other forms of privilege by focusing on difference.

Previously we discussed the use of the “exotic” as a form of othering. Another form of othering is the idea of selling “the other” as an alternative form of appeal. Call it what you wants: alternative, DIY, hipster, bohemian. Eventually capitalism finds a way co-opt successful critique by commodifying it for mainstream consumption. FN2. I find this aspect incredibly troubling in part because, when I was a young, naïve little thing, this is the flavor of insidious advertising most likely to move my hand to my wallet. That’s right. I was a teenage rebel, and if you tried to convince me your product would make me different (like everybody else), I was right there with you.

Not terribly unlike a lot of teen girls nowadays, actually.

Thus I bring you the ‘rebel’ ad series, in all its disappointing glory.

“Rebel, rebel, you’ve torn your dress”: Juicy Couture

Let’s start with one of the most shallow examples of the “rebel but not really” ads. Oh, Juicy Couture. Our heroine, with her semi-mohawk pompadour and her haute couture dress seem edgy. And look, she’s blowing off that guy with a handful of glitter. She’s totally a strong, independent woman. Except…

She’s not. You see that, right? Yeah younger-self, I’m looking at you. She’s this incredibly, stereotypically thin girl wearing a skirt so short there’s nothing but tulle there. And even if we give her that the skinniness is genetic and not from upchucking her lunch every day in a sacrifice to the porcelain gods of thinness, and even if we declare her barely there skirt as an act of self-empowerment, we still have to deal with the guy.

That’s right. There’s a guy. And I don’t mean the glit and glam boy with the too long hair she’s literally blowing off. I mean the one she’s staring off the page at. Because if you’re younger-me, you might think she’s looking at you, daring you, young pretty alterna-girl, to “Do the Dont’s,” to be the person everyone tells you not to be.

She’s not looking at you. She’s daring Mr. Male Gaze to have sex with her, two-dimensional alterna-girl. Sure, she wears weird clothes, styles her hair like a 50’s greaser, and probably doesn’t shave as regularly as your last girlfriend, but isn’t it nice to get a little strange every once in a while? She’s not looking for a weirdo guy like glitter guy; she wants you.

Combine it with the other two Juicy Couture ads, and it confirms all subtle cuing in the first ad. This girl has a giant bow on her head – how alternative! The fact that she’s topless and has the same vacant come hither gaze as all the other ad girls? It means she’s out to capture the same insipid dude’s attention as all the others.

And here we have bow-head again (she has a top on, hallelujah!), with her alterna-male friend who appears to also be into you, Mr. Male Gaze, in case you swing that way. We here at Alterna-Sex-R-Us aim to please.

And let me clear -- I have no problem with nudity or sexuality in images or film or art or reality.  I do object, however, to using a woman's nude body to sell a product, as though her sexuality is something to be commodified right along with the bottle of perfume she's hawking.  I have a problem with the idea that we use women's bodies, and men's bodies for that matter, as things rather than seeing them as people.  If bowhead and her alterna-man friend there want to go at it, because they freely choose to, more power to them.

I just want the advertising industry to recognize that when it decouples the person from the body, you allow the distance that makes it easier for hatred against that body, for violence against that body, to be committed and ignored and excused by a world that has historically seen women as chattel, not as people.  A world that in many places still does.

And in case your alterna-fantasies of "taking" a woman run toward the pseudo-hippy type, we have a natural blonde here covered in flowers, butterflies, and feathers, just waiting to share her peace, love, and Juicy Couture with you. That vacant stare, those slightly open lips, her complete inability to act, because she’s so blissed out, so all she can do is lay there passively? All for you.

 Excuse me, younger self, I think I have to vom for a bit.

Tune in tomorrow for more continuing ranting in my current series “‘Alternative’ Styles in Advertising and the Male Gaze,” also known as “Rebel without a Clue.”
FN1. This series sprung from a presentation I did with Angela from Now Smell This!

FN2. I sometimes wonder if this process is what makes us reach farther and farther into the extreme to establish ourselves as outside the mainstream. Sure, some of it a desperate need to feel original and unique in a world where you can be connected to literally millions of other people with a click of a button. But some of it, I think, is also a legitimate effort to reject aspects of a culture we find uncomfortable. When those efforts become a new trend, it pushes those who feel at odds to further extremes. I can’t decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, more behavior becomes permissible, which means more freedom to express one’s identity without rejection. On the other hand, as the middle gets bigger, the left and right gets pushed out to further extremes, which results in the kind of political rhetoric that leads nowhere. On the gripping hand, true rejection of culture is so extreme very few ever engage in it; what we do is more upcycle or downcycle parts of a culture, because no one really wants revolution most of the time. Most of the time we just want more bread and circuses, even if we can’t admit that to ourselves. But I digress…

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I wonder if this method of courtship has ever been effective...

Dear Readers—

"I have wasted years of my life agonizing about the fires
It started when I thought that to be strong
you must be flame retardant..."

Remember how about this time last year Angela from Now Smell This! And I did a presentation on Gender and Perfume and Perfume Advertising? And I came back to you all excited, and I started this fun series on perfume and gender stereotypes. And I was like – “THERE ARE (generally speaking) FIVE CATEGORIES!” I proceeded to write about two of them.

Then I took some sort of mental nap, and when I woke up, I looked at you in confusion. “What was I saying?” I muttered as I wiped at my eyes. I groped around, then shrugged, gave you a wan smile, and said, “Well, if it was important I’m sure I’ll remember it.”

Well March is a special feminist renewal time of year here in Puddletown, and by golly, I remembered. That said, there is so much to say sometimes it takes a bit for me to organize my thoughts. I’m ready now. So for those of you just jumping in, here are the previous pieces in the series:

~ Gender, Language, and Scent

~ Perfume Marketing and Feminist Aesthetics, Pt. 1: Perfume, Advertising, And the Male Gaze

~ Perfume Marketing and Feminist Aesthetics, Pt. 2: Sex/Erotica and the Male Gaze in Perfume Advertising

~ Perfume Marketing and Feminist Aesthetics, Pt. 3: The Exotic and how it relates to the Male Gaze and Majority View in Perfume Advertising

Thanks to all of you, my lovelies, for putting up with my scattered brain conversation style. I’m back on the thread. Expect four days of posts this week!

Oh, and this week's posts are dedicated to the University of Michigan's spring 2011 WSS 3004: Contemporary Feminist Debates students and their awesomesauce professor, Sara Puotinen.  Thanks for finding me, and keep on rockin'!

"But I'm not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand.
And even if I went with you, I'm not the girl you think I am.
And I'm not gonna match you, 'cause I'll lose my voice completely.
No, I'm just gonna watch you, 'cause I'm not the one that's crazy."

~ "Ampersand," Amanda Palmer

Saturday, May 21, 2011

We're drinking and we're dancing and the band is really happening and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high...

Perfume Challenge Week 18: Monday, 5/16/11, to Friday, 5/20/11

"Ah, we're lonely, we're romantic
and the cider's laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit's crying, 

'Where's the beef?' 
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief."

This week in Oregon, we had two consecutive completely sunny days with temperatures in the 70s. This is the first time this has happened since October 19th and 20th, 2010. That's right -- seven months. If that isn't a sign of end times, I don't know what is. At this moment, the day is overcast, but that doesn't change the fact that when the weather is lovely, and it's been a long time since it's been lovely, we Oregonians get really excited. Me? I went for several long, barefoot walks. It was nice.

You know, when I wrote about the rapture last week, I didn't even know it was going to be a big deal this week. If we've got to go, at least the weather was nice this week. In all seriousness, though, I feel unspeakably sad for those who have nothing to live for but their faith in a better life after this one. Because this one? It can be pretty powerfully awesome when you really stop to appreciate it. And part of what makes it awesome is all this wonderful perfume.

Monday: Jo Malone Grapefruit - Notes: grapefruit, tangerine, vetiver, rosemary. A bitter sharp take on the fruit, with none of the sweetness you expect.  It reminds me of the first sharp tang of a large gulp of grapefruit juice, like fruit rind and pulp instead of the fruit itself, and also a little bit like dried and cracked leather and pencil shavings.  Not bad, but not what I'd like out of a grapefruit.  If you like less sweet fruits, though, definitely give it a try.  3 of 5 nods.

Tuesday: Miller Harris Figue Amere - Notes: figs, green violet, amber and cedar. Holy moly, bitter fig is right! Oh god, the applicaton is almost a scrubber for me. It's true that it never hits the super sweet you expect from a fig, but I kind of wish it did. The dry down is a light amber and cedar blend, which is nice enough actually, but not particularly figgy. And the figgy part is just....wow, does not work for me.  I just have such a difficulty with the bitterness.  It's like an aspirin dissolving on the tongue.  2 of 5 nods.

Wednesday: DSH Perfumes Butterfly - Notes: Blood Orange (Israel), Lime Peel, Mango, Melon, Ocean, Egyptian Blue Lotus, Gardenia, Green Tea, Honey, Jasmine, Purple Lilac, Tiger Lily, Amber, Brazilian Vetiver, Chai Tea, Musk, Sandalwood, True Arabian Myrrh. What a sparkly lovely spring scent. I typically do not love any scent with the word "ocean" in the notes, but this works for me. Maybe because there is so much going on I can't quite determine what I'm getting other than zesty, bright, sparkling, light, and effervescent. The immediate opening is orange-y, but soon I get a burst of lime peel and green tea, myrrh. I like it so much -- and that's rare or me for such a bright floral. I bought an ounce after a quick sniff from a wand sampler, and I don't regret it at all. 4 of 5 nods.

Thursday: Ava Luxe Opoponax Intense - Notes: opoponax, amber, vanilla, Himalayan cedar, Mysore sandalwood, iris,black rose, jasmine, orris.. Reminds me of Calvin Klein Obsession, except way nicer. Its sweeter and less synthetic, and where Obsession is peppery, sharp and green Opoponax Intense is gentle, sweet, and lulling. It's like the difference between 80s florescent and a naturally bright color. It's beautiful if you like that super-duper sweetness of the big 80's O variety, definitely give this one a whirl. 4 of 5 nods

Friday: Jo Wood Organics Amka - Notes: Iranian rose otto, Egyptian jasmine, neroli, bergamot, green mandarin, sweet orange, cedarwood. Bergmot, neroli, and orange dominate the top creating a crisp, light scent. I love how green and limey it is. This is a perfect scent for warm weather. It reminds me of laying in the shade under a tree in a citrus grove, the grass awaying gently around me. My only complaint is the it doesn't have greaat lasting power, but in Amka's defense, I did not have a sample I could spray myself wet with, which may be the way to make the loveliness last. This is everything I wanted Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin to be. 3.5 of 5 nods.

Winner of the Week: This is so tough. I think I'm giving the tie to Ava Luxe Opoponax Intense and Jo Wood Organics Amka, though I love Butterfly and own it, so there you go. For those of you who love Figue Amere, I'm sorry. I just can't get into it and I tried three times. When I want strong fig leaf, I go to Olympic Orchid's Midsummer Day's Dream.

For those of you who don't get raptured today, I'll still be here next week, heathen that I am, to bring you more post-apocalyptic, perfumey thoughts. If you're looking for safe haven and can make it to Lewis amp; Clark, we will be more than happy to take you into our community. And for the record, the same holds true for a Zombie apocalypse.

"So we struggle and we stagger 
down the snakes and up the ladder
to the tower where the blessed hours chime
and I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss,
the Gates of Love they budged an inch.
I can't say much has happened since
but closing time.
~ "Closing Time," Leonard Cohen

Photos by Diana Wiener Rosengard, 2011. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

April Drawing Winner -- Undina!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Undina, congrats on winning April's drawing!  You will get a mixed CD with well-meaning but poorly executed hand drawn art made by yours truly 1995 style, and five samples.  In an effort to aid your exploration, let's chat via email about what I've got that you would like to try.  I'm happy to provide a list I'd be willing to part with/decant from so you can ensure you'll get brand new things to try for your blog, which I am enjoying, admittedly lurker-style.

Email me: feminine.things @ gmail.com.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I was told I was beautiful but what does that mean to you?

Perfume Challenge Week 17: Monday, 5/9/11, to Friday, 5/13/11

As I driving home yesterday afternoon along a long ribboning road with an obscured view of snow capped mountains way off in the distance, a fire truck rolled out, light and sirens blaring. It was followed soon thereafter by an ambulance. In both cases, all traffic on both sides of this six lane, two-way highway stopped. Those traveling in the opposite direction pulled to the right to allow the vehicles to pass, but even traffic in my direction stopped, just froze right where it was, in case the emergency vehicles needed to cut over to our side and weave between us to get where they needed to be. In that frozen moment I had a few thoughts:

1. I love that I live in a place, and that it still exists on earth, where even a million people crowded together and in the middle of the busy commute home on a Friday afternoon, will all simply stop in unison, even when not all of us needed to, so that someone in need can be reached by those trying to help them. I like to believe it's asign of compassion seeping through cracks in our hard and cyncial shells.

2. If the rapture actually does come, it will look just like this -- the world frozen in place, cars stopped dead in the middle of the road, people just taken bodily from wherever they are. For some reason, it reminds me of the Ray Bradbury story "There Will come Soft Rains", where the family simply isn't there anymore but the technology lives on in fits and starts for a while. It's strange to think we have the capacity to do that, simply vaporize other people en masse, that we ever wanted it. Just because you can do a thing doesn't always mean you should. Humanity isn't always so good at grasping that concept.

Well, that's enough deep thoughts for the day, I'd wager.

Monday: Sage Onyx - Notes: Black Coconut, Tobacco, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Amber, Musk. Very coconut and vanilla up top, for a super sweet scent that reminds me of eating a white chocolate dipped macaroon. It's even a little mildly salty on me, though I don't get any tobacco (a shame -- I like tobacco). Onyx is a snuggly, warm sweet tropical scent thanks to the oakmoss and musk. It is a night time of tropical fun, as though created from the smell floating through a window into a hotel room after quite a bit of noctural fun has been had. A little bit naughty, a lot nice on its own merits, but when I've already got bottles of Coty Sand and Sable, CB I Hate Perfume At the Beach 1966, Creed Virgin Island Water, and Annick Goutal Songes, it's safe to say that my tropical/beachy dance card is quite full. 3 of 5 nods.

Tuesday: By Kilian A Taste of Heaven EdP - Notes: Calabria bergamot oil, geranium bourbon oil, orange flower absolute, Turkish rose absolute, green absinthe oil, lavender barreme oil, lavandin abrialis oil, lavandin green absolute, lavandin green, concrete, Indonesian patchouli oil, oak moss extract, costus oil, ambrarome absolute, vanilla bean absolute, tonka beans. Described as an "absinthe verte," menthol goes honey sweet with a bit of cinnamon and coppery penny scent. Thirty minutes in I get with a wallop of patchoui that takes the sweetness down a step in a way a really enjoy. Nice, and definitely on the drier side of sweet for me, this might make an excellent gourmand light for those who cannot stand the super saccharine affairs that dominate the field. 4 of 5 nods.

Wednesday: Les Nereides Musc de Java - Notes: light musk, berries, blackcurrant, violet leaves, sage, fresh cut hay. Violets and too new green berries become sage become hay with just a hint of blackcurrant. If you like L'Artisan Mure et Musc, or even if you hate it, give this a try. It's greener and less sweet than the aforementioned L'Artisan offering, which I prefer. The berries became stronger on me for the two to six hour period but the green is still there. Nice longevity, it's making the "when I get around to it I'd like to have this" list. 3.5 of 5 nods.

Thursday: L'Atelier Boheme Immortelle EdP - Notes: Brazilian tangerine, Italian bergamot, light florals, pomegranate, amber, immortelle.

Holy mother of baby powder! If you want to be slapped in the face with a fierce amount of amber and immortelle, this is a great scent for you. I'm gonna be straight with you, it's hard for me to get anything else right now other than dry, hay-like, carmeled powdery sweetness. It's really remarkable in the sense that the opening is like someone taking Loves Baby Soft (but way, way better) and powered it up by a factor of a thousand.

Two years ago, I would have flung the vial as far from me as possible because I didn't like it. Now, I'm not sure if I like it, but I think it's an incredible feat someone managed to make a scent this strongly aspected. I'm trying really hard to imagine a circumstance where I'd want to smell like someone just hit me in the face with a comet-sized powder puff, but all I can think is pink, pink, pink! I think I'd need to be in the mood to do it up Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette style, and I have never once sported a bouffant hair so I can't imagine wearing it. FN1.

And yet, I weirdly want it, just like I want this crazy Marie Antoniette Barbie. Yes, it's absurd and limiting and whatever, but damn -- it's so pretty. And sometimes a body wants pretty. FN2. FN3. Really wanting to try Annick Goutal Sables now, so I can have some other immortelle to compare to. 4 of 5 nods.

Friday: Bond No. 9 Scent of Peace - Notes: Grapefruit, black currant, lily of the valley, musk. Scent of Peace was created by Bond as "our post-9/11 conviction that peace is a beautiful, beautiful thing." The opening of the scent itself is a light, soapy and clean floral with gentle fruity highlights. This part is well-made, but not particularly unique. On me it starts out green, and I get a moderate serving on lily of the valley, but pretty soon it becomes the strangest scent on me. It smells like the taste of really cold, clean water, or maybe the taste of snowflakes on the tongue. I don't know if I find that peaceful; maybe I do. I certainly find it remarkable. One of my favorite things about perfume is that I never stop being surprised. Even when I think I know what will happen next when I put it on, I don't always. I love that. 5 of 5 nods.

Winner of the Week: Wow, really hard to choose this week. I think I'm giving it to Bond No. 9 Scent of Peace, for its unique, quiet, and wow, yeah, actually peaceful qualities. Rarely is it an obliquely named bottle contains what it advertises.  PDXers, I recently found out that Bond No. 9 is coming to the downtown Nordstrom, so keep that in mind when you're planning your summer scent purchases!

"You can buy your hair if it won't grow.
You can fix your nose if he says so.
You can buy all the make up
that M.A.C. can make,
but if you can't look inside you
find out who am I too
be in the position to make me feel so damned unpretty..."

~ "Unpretty," TLC


FN1. Okay, not on purpose. I am a native Texan after all. Big hair just comes as a genetic gift. Just this morning I was blowing out my hair and found myself pleased because I had managed to make my already thick head of hair look fuller rather than sleeker. I actually had to stop myself, and ask the mirror "Where the hell did that come from?" I'm going to blame the resurgence of 80's styled cuts, which currently has me sporting a longer version of Joan Jett's hair circa 1985, but with swoopy side bangs and red instead of black, of course.

F2. I have a sick fascination with Barbies. I look at them, and I see the distorted body image and the perfect, smooth, plastic skin and realize it's part of what makes me hate my own body, and yet I cannot stop loving her. Sometimes I think that's the most amazingly insidious aspect of mysogany -- I love and admire the thing I will never be, and therefore hate and admire her in equal measure. And we wonder why women stuggle to have relationships with one another...

FN3. Speaking of which -- did everyone see the Glee "If Feel Pretty/Unpretty" mash-up from a couple of weeks ago? Sometimes the show does a number that really hits on something really. It gives me hope Glee! gets back to the original awesomeness it had. If any of the writers are reading this, I have suggestions.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Never turn your back on Mother Earth.

I just want to take a moment to say: to all the mothers and all the not-mothers, all the mothers-to-be and never-want-to-be-mothers and never-gonna-get-to-be mothers, all the adopted mothers and stand-in mothers and grandmothers and single dads and gay dads and foster parents, to all those who love peace and want a better world for the people they love and the people who come after us all, Happy International Mother's Day. This day began as a day meant to galvanize women, to help them find their political and personal power, in order to feed the hungry, heal the sick, mend the fences, and make the world a better place. In short, Mother's Day is meant to be an homage to mothers everywhere and the work they do to save us from ourselves, including Mother Earth.

And in that spirit, Congrats to the Lewis & Clark College Graduating Class of 2011. I wish you all the luck and hope and heart in the world. Good luck and god's speed in your next adventures.

Go pios -- now get out there and fix shit up! Up here on the hill, we can't wait to see what you do next.

I admit I was unfaithful.
Next time I will be more faithful.
Never turn your back on Mother Earth."

~ The Sparks

The Monthly Spin: The xx - The xx

The Monthly Spin is a newly recurring feature on Feminine Things wherein I talked about an album I'm loving and the perfumes I think go with it.

If you have not yet discovered this amazing duo, your life is about to get way better. I found them when they did a random interview on a local radio station here in Portlandia. This album was released in August 2009, but I don't run into it alot here in the states, despite it making it to 9th on Rolling Stone's list of Best Albums of 2009. Where I do hear this album, though, is all over young adult-oriented TV and movies -- tracks have been featured on Vampire Diaries and 90210, as well as in the film I Am Number Four, so for those of you YA-oriented types here in the states, you may feel like you recognize them.

The album has been described as having a "sleek, whispery" quality due to being recorded in a small garage that was part of the XL studios, often at night, and I'd say that is accurate. It's great bare bones, slow groove romantic material, the kind of music you can imagine dancing close in dim lighting to. The fact that there are male and female vocals telling what feel like two sides of the same story makes it a particularly romantic album.

Him: Please don't say we're done. I'm not finished. I could give you so more. Make you feel like never before. Welcome, they said, welcome to the floor.
Her: It's been a while and you've found someone better but I've been waiting too long to give this up. The more I see, I understand. But sometimes, I still need you.
Her: Sometimes I still need you.
Him: Somtimes I still need you.
Her: Sometimes I still need you.
Him: Somtimes I still need you.
~ "Heart Skips A Beat"

I have some friends who used to date, both cool applied-art types who live the kind of purpose-driven/wandering lives that make the rest of jealous, and sadly don't anymore. FN1. If I were going to pick an album that sounded to me like the quality of their story, sweet and a little sad and not yet finished, this would be it.

The new album has been such a hit tracks have been covered by everyone from the Gorillaz to The Antlers. So don't take my word for it; it's great stuff, so go get it.

Recommended if you like: Lykke Li, Portishead, CoCoRosie, The Cure, The Smiths

While spinning, wear: S-Perfumes 100% Love, Bond no. 9 West Side, DSH Perfumes Tea Rose

FN1. Though I still hold out hope they'll get a rom-com ending together instead of an awful, indie-style "of course they're not together, this is the real world" ending that seems so depressingly true-to-life.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Recommended Viewing: Put a Bird On It (All the Seagull Ladies)

Dear Reader:  I give you "Put a Bird On It (All the Seagull Ladies), WHICH IS SO AMAZING I CAN ONLY WRITE IN ALL CAPS ZOMG!

Greatest "Single Ladies" Parody EVER!

Don't say I'm like everybody else.
I'm strictly do it yourself...

Saddest part? Was unironically considering bird-related tattoos recently. FN1. It predates putting a bird on it, but now that it will be A THING, might have to wait on that one for another five to ten years.

Thanks to readers Kate & Jill for the link!


FN1 It would be tattoo #2 after I get the one I've wanted since I was 17ish, but that is waiting for a particular accomplishment to be achieved. You'll know when. #2 is, yes, related to the Beatles song "Blackbird," which I personally associate with escaping domestic violence, and which is why I want the tattoo.

I've been lying too long; I was right when you were wrong.

Spring Time Reflections, Some Perfumey and Some Not

View from the Oregon City elevator
In an  "everybody else is doing it so why can't we?" mindframe, I’m was going to do my top ten scents for Spring 2011, for my own since of personal scent development archiving and because I can. But I already did a pretty hefty Spring scent list over here already. So instead, I’m just gonna record, for your entertainment and mine, some random thoughts for Spring, perfumey and not.  Also, some random pictures from a recent adventure I took following brown signs to historical sites around Oregon City, Oregon.

Bands/Artists I can't get enough of: The Watson Twins, Neko Case, Rilo Kiley, The Decemberists, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fleetwood Mac, Muddy Waters.

Surprise go to Scent this Spring: DSH Perfumes Lush Honey, bought unsniffed and so loving that I will buy another bottle while I still can, before it is discontinued.

Houses I need to try more of: Dior, Hermes, Annick Goutal

Best scents I bought for under $15: A tie between Coty Stetson and Worth Je Reviens EdT.

On the "soon to be purchased" short listMiller et Bertaux no. 3: Green, green, green and green (finally), Tauer  L'Air du Desert Marocain (also finally),  vintage Evening in Paris (go, go ebay bidding skillz), CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966.

If I had a million dollars: A huge bottle of Roxana Illuminated Perfume GreenWitch, which is so amazing I can barely stand it.  At $175 for only 7.5ml, is just sadly well beyond my price range, as my ideal would be to have twice that much at least. Carefully hugs her tiny 1gram $30 sample vial. Truly one of the most beautiful green scents I've ever smelled, and deserving of a lengthy review as soon as I can get to it.

End of the Oregon Trail
Interpretive Center closed in 2010.
Happiest stumbled upon scent love of Spring: Hermes Un Jardin En Mediterranee. Who knew I liked figs? I certainly didn’t. Want to try more figs now.

Best newly discovered indie perfumer: I am so glad I found Ellen at Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes. Not only is she a really nice person, she makes great perfume and is doing us PNW perfumistas proud

Notes I’m weirdly over right now: vanilla, sweet florals, roses. I think I burned myself out.

Notes I can’t get enough of: weird fruits, anything green or herbal, moss, civet, cedar. If you’ve got recommendations in this area, please provide them.

Spring, in general and as part of college life: My least favorite season. Maybe it’s a time of adventure and renewal for everyone else, but for those of us who live on a college campus, it’s an ending time. This year is particularly difficult because, thanks to an early retirement program, forty-five life-long members of my beloved campus community are retiring. Yes, you read that right. Forty-five. So much for institutional memory. It really reinforces my feeling of not belonging here anymore; it’s strange to feel like a relic of someone else’s adventure in your own life.

Among those retiring is one of my favorite people in the entire universe, Stephen Dow Beckham. If there is a person in the world who inspires me to never give up or think something is out of my reach, to push myself harder and always believe I can do anything, it is this man who has done everything and still keeps on trucking. He is the first person in my collegiate career who ever implied my work was valuable, that my ideas were worthwhile and my voice, worth hearing. I had a lovely advisor before Dr. Beckham, who was a great and special man who believed in me, but Dr. Beckham is the one who took everything I did in stride as a matter of course and demanded more because he knew I was capable.

I’ll never forget the day after I did my radio interview as spokeswoman for a statewide campaign against parental notification for abortion. FN1. I ran into Dr. Beckham on my law school campus; he was there to interview dean candidates for the law school. He stopped me, and I felt this terror swirl though my stomach. Here was this educated, established, well-off white man who I loved and admired and wanted to think well of me, but whose politics I had never been all that sure of. “I heard you on the radio,” he said. I nodded, and said something perfunctory about the interviewer having ties to my alma mater. “ I heard your voice, and I thought, ‘I know who that is’” he replied, his eyes twinkling. He didn’t come out and say he was proud of me, but I could tell he was. Dr. Beckham knew one of the things I was most ashamed of in my life, and he was proud of me for standing up for what I believed in. That was the moment I knew doing the campaign was the right thing, and I felt, for the first time, we might win.

It was a huge moment for me personally, and I think it says evverything about how much a teacher can shape your life, helping you long after you've left them to know you're on the right path.  I pity all the students who won’t get to have him as their teacher. He’s the kind that can change your life.

What about you, dear reader. How is your Spring going?

"I can't hear this anymore.
It's time to leave.

I've closed the door.
Did you ever believe in me?
In you and me?"
"U-N-Me," The Watson Twins
FN1. Yes, I had an abortion. No, I don’t regret it. No, I don’t feel the need to justify that to you. Yes, I did radio(NPR)/television (all three networks; yes, even Fox)/newspaper interviews where I talked about my experience, which included a photo of me on the front page of the widest circulating paper in the state. Yes, people said things to me, good and bad. Ultimately, we won, thus keeping Oregon the state with the least regulation on choice. I know anecdotally that at least some votes were changed because of my story. I’m glad I did the campaign and would do it again.

Let me also say, that as a woman who had an abortion in Texas, I am appalled by the recent news that the Texas Legislature has passed a bill requiring a sonogram before an abortion can be preformed.  This will not stop a woman who wants to have an abortion; it just adds unnecessary time and expense.  Society spends a large part of its energy policing women's behavior through shaming, particularly around issues of sex.  Well, guess what?  You've already made your feelings clear about our choices.  But they are our choices.  And you won't stop us.  You never have.

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

When I got up this morning, it seems like such a good idea. Now my apartment looks like the equivalent of this scene from High Fidelity.

I'm actually waiting for one of you to bust through my door to tell me I shouldn't store my samples like that, they'll get really pressured and leak.

I owe you my weekly update,  I know.  What can I say? *looks around her.*  I'm distracted.  Tomorrow or Monday okay?  I did try four new scents this week (took one pass day), but need to translate my incohernt notes into a post.

In the mean time,  it's time for the April drawing, which I also somehow blanked on.  Mix CD and 3-5 samples from this horde I'm organizing.  To enter, post here and tell me your favorite scent for Spring and/or favorite CD right now.

Drawing closes 5/13 at 12:01 A.M. Open to anyone, anywhere.  On the moon?  I'll try to get it to you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm so tired but I can't sleep.

2011 Perfume Challenge Week 17: Monday, 5/2/11, to Saturday, 5/6/11

Pass week! Yeah I know, I'm super weaksauce. This week I wore S-Perfume 100% Love, L'Artisan Vanilia, CB I Hate Black March, Jo Malone Red Roses, and  Juliette Has a Gun Citizen Queen.

What can I say? My only excuse is that it was a sad week, and I needed the comfort.

But hey -- I've got business cards now!

"Standin' on the edge of something much too deep.
It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard..."

"I Will Remember You," Sarah McLachlan