Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

A Poem Lovely As a Tree: Diptyque Tam Dao

brown close up hd wallpaper surface

Photo by FWStudio on Pexels.com

Choosing a photo for this review was easy for this perfume, which is all about wood. Choosing a title, however, was not, because, unlike several of the scents we dealt with previously, Tam Dao does not evoke a scene or mood for me. All it does is smell great.

We are now at the other end of the spectrum, as it were, of scents which were recommended to me as a result of Rom’s suggestion of something cool, misty, and dusky. We started with blue florals–violet and iris, went through more complex blends, such as the two Guerlains, and are now back at simpler scents, but focused on woods and resins this time.

Tam Dao, created in 2003, is basically about sandalwood. The opening is raw and rough, almost splintery–probably the cypress that’s listed as a note. There’s almost a rosy tinge to it, too. I don’t know how rosewood smells, but I can imagine it smelling like this. The fragrance quickly settles down to a beautiful creamy sandalwood, smooth and soothing. There isn’t much more I can say about it, but nothing more needs to be said.

YOU DON’T GET ALTERNATIVE-TO-PERFUME CONTENT TONIGHT BECAUSE I WANT TO GO WATCH THE SIMPSONS WHILE ROM MAKES DINNER. LIFE IS HARD.

Oh, and vote for me, even though I’m deserting you.

 

A Distant Ship: Jean Patou Normandie

woman in body of water

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

Normandie was created in 1935, and named after the luxury ocean liner. All first-class passengers on its maiden voyage received a sample of this perfume.

It was recommended to me as a powdery amber, and that, plus spicy carnation, is pretty much it to my nose. That plus–THE PAST. Like Le Dix, which I reviewed previously, Normandie smells dated to me. It’s a time machine in a bottle,  going back to a time before my own. Why this smells too old-fashioned to me, and L’Heure Bleue, which also has powder, spice, carnation, and a sweet drydown, does not, is a mystery.

Like Niki de Saint Phalle, Normandie is no longer in production, but can still be found on Ebay, in its art-deco-patterned box.

AND A P.S. TO THE PREVIOUS POST

Fiber-supplement experimentation–Congratulations, Metamucil! WAY to find an orange dye which withstands the digestive process!

The Hissing of Summer Lawns: Niki de Saint Phalle

nature animal green lizard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When Niki de Saint Phalle perfume was recommended to me as one of my dusky scents, I was eager to try it. How could I not be? The bottle is blue glass (favorite color!) with colorful snakes on it, and I have a cobra tattoo on my arm! Plus, it was released in 1987, the year Rom and I got married! How could I not love it? As it turns out, I didn’t, but it is an interesting scent, and definitely unique.

Niki de Saint Phalle was an artist and sculptor, and designed the snake-trimmed bottle for her fragrance. The scent is a combination of many unusual notes–pine, grapefruit, marigold, geranium–and thus smells hissingly green and spiky. It’s a bit too acerbic for my taste, even though I love green scents. But what fascinates me is the picture it evokes–that of a garden in late summer, when the only flowers still blooming in the blazing sun are, you guessed it, marigolds and geraniums. Dry, hot, and pungent. It would be the perfect scent if you love the scent of marigolds. But I don’t.

(Correction: It turns out that NdSP was created in 1982. 1987 is when I first heard of it.)

PART II, NO SEGUE ATTEMPTED

My current least-favorite commercials:

–“My hiney’s clean! I’m Charmin’ clean!” Yeah, it’s OK to show something’s butt if it’s a cartoon. If we learned nothing else from South Park…

–and the mouthwash commercial that shows a bunch of people’s gross mouths and the problems they have–Dry mouth! Garlic mouth! Cotton mouth! Stop showing me this! It’s not even a cartoon! Come to think of it, we did go from end to end here.

Speaking of which, now that “Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!” has been done in country and soul formats, we need a rock version.

‘WHOA, WE’RE HALFWAY THERE, WHOA-OH, GIBBON AND ECLAIR!’

Yes, the quotation marks above are incorrect. This will come out in hearings after I am President.

You know you’re sitting near a nerd when you hear the sentence, “They just rebooted their entire mythos.”

Speaking of nerds, a nerd on the bus solved a thorny theological problem–“God could have created evolution!” I’ve been saying this for years. Well, not on the bus.

Mmmm…Mitsouko by Guerlain

clouds countryside dawn dusk

Photo by Tim Savage on Pexels.com

Mitsouko haunts me. This is the only perfume that brought tears to my eyes the first time I smelled it, and the only one I wear in my dreams. (I dream about shopping for others, but if I apply perfume in a dream, it’s always Mitsouko.)

Part of its spell for me is obvious–its basic building blocks of peach, rose, and oakmoss are my favorite notes. But Mitsy is so much more than the sum of its parts, and in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s like faith–if you understand it, no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t, no explanation is possible. It was created in 1919, and thus qualifies as unfashionable now, yet it transcends fashion. It smells like peaches, roses, and forest floor, but liking all those smells doesn’t guarantee you’ll like it. It smells intensely autumnal, but is glorious on a summer day (especially in the dampness which is such a hallmark of the climate here). It’s an introverted scent with its dusky woodsiness, yet it’s dramatic. Maybe melodramatic. Introverted yet intense.

It’s not a crowd-pleaser in this “Eww, someone’s wearing perfume” era. But it’s a masterpiece nevertheless, and ever the more.

IN NON-OLFACTORY-WORK-OF-ART-RELATED NEWS…

On pumpkin-pie box at McDonald’s–“Packed with all the flavor it could possibly hold.” Well, isn’t that true of everything? Apparently not, since one of their meal combos was described as “Just the right amount of yum.” Because yum isn’t something you want too much of.

I am in postage-stamp heaven. Currently available are–not only rose stamps but DRAGON stamps! (“Who uses stamps anymore?” Nick yawns, but he is just out-of-sorts because his picture is not on any of them. Also because I haven’t made him my running mate yet.)

HOW TO PROTECT THEM FROM THEMSELVES?

Cat Esmerelda fell off the top of the door, leaving claw marks on the way down.

Cat Glamour will eat any bits of kitty litter scattered on the floor.

This seems to me emblematic of our current political situation.

VOTE FOR ME. I’M THE OUTSIDER AND I WILL MAKE ALL THESE POLITICAL ADS STOP.

Outside Looking In: Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

photography of turned on street lamps beside bay during night time

Photo by Reynaldo Brigantty on Pexels.com

You should know, I suppose, that I choose the illustrations for these posts very carefully–it sometimes takes me more time to do that than it does to write. When dealing with that most quintessential of dusky scents, L’Heure Bleue (“The Blue Hour”), it took the most time yet. I knew I wanted a sunset shot, but I wanted it to convey a very particular mood, which I was having trouble finding in the very many sunset photos available. I finally settled on this one for no other reason than its resemblance to downtown Riverside Drive in my own city. But once I enlarged and inserted it, I knew it was perfect. It expresses, in a way familiar to me, the feeling of a long road home.

L’Heure Bleue was created in 1912, so it has the built-in nostalgia factor of a bygone era, especially poignant for being before the World Wars. But its nostalgia value for me is more personal.

I wanted to try LHB, loving its name and image, but I was expecting to hate it. It features anise and carnation, two of my most-detested notes. And I did indeed loathe it the first time I tried it–visions of mothballs danced through my head. What changed? I don’t know. I’m not even sure why I bothered trying it again. But then…

…still anise, still carnation, but I found them unsettling in a weirdly pleasant way. This was alienation in a bottle. For some reason, it reminded me vividly of a field trip in the fourth grade. The only thing I remember about the trip was the bus ride home. It was winter, and the sun was almost down at 4:30. I was the new kid in school (my radio-announcer stepfather moved us to a new city almost yearly) and had no friends. I was lonely and misunderstood and self-pitying. It was, well, the kind of time you write about later.

LHB’s sharp powdery opening then swirls into flowers and powder and smoke, beautiful in a blue-gray sort of way, like the unhappy memory once you’ve had time to process and make sense of it (and perhaps recast it in a more appealing light).

And then…the happy ending. The scent changes to golden vanilla with an almondy cast, as if you end your journey in a brightly-lit kitchen, filled with the smells of your grandmother’s baking (rather than the smells of my mother’s wine-inflected sauces–appetizing, but not perfume material). Or, to change metaphors, the effect of the sun still glowing on the horizon, giving hope to mortals.

AWKWARD SEGUE

Well, it’s food-related, anyway.

–Manager at McDonald’s–“Where’s the sausage-and-egg biscuit?”

–Employee–“Right there, with the red side of the paper up.”

–Mgr.–“That’s not how you’re supposed to wrap them.”

–E.–“Well, how are you supposed to wrap them?”

Let me hazard a guess–WITH THE WORDS “SAUSAGE AND EGG BISCUIT” FACING UP?? Or, for the illiterate, the orange side of the paper up.

 

 

Art-Deco Garden at Dusk: Goutal Heure Exquise

close up of leaf

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When exploring dusky scents, how could one omit “Exquisite Hour”? Iris, rose, and sandalwood (the Goutal website used to call it a rose scent with iris, and now thinks it’s an iris scent with rose, I suspect to distinguish it from the many other rose perfumes they have) — I love these cool, powdery notes. This one is indeed super-powdery (but not baby-powdery) and super-sophisticated. The sandalwood adds an incensey quality, but no smokiness–it’s like an unburnt incense stick. If I had to sum this up in a few words, I’d say “floral incense powder.” Glorious. It does not smell like it was created in 1984, but I refuse to call any fragrance introduced during my lifetime “retro.” Just like a ’65 Mustang cannot be an “antique” car.

IN OTHER NEWS

The franchise owner at McDonald’s was there yesterday to see how his order kiosks were doing. This turned into Customers Explaining Why They Don’t Use the Kiosk. “I just think it’s a better customer experience with human contact,” one woman said. Another said, “I suppose it could speed up order time and cut down on the length of the line, but…” as she stood in said line. Score one for the human race in their Rage Against the Machine! ROBOTS WILL NOT REPLACE US. OK, ROBOTS WILL ONLY REPLACE US IF WE LET THEM. Many people don’t know that, as Trump likes to say.

RAGE AGAINST ANOTHER MACHINE

I was trying to get an insurance question answered (“Why did I have to pay $800 for something you told me beforehand was free?”), but I hadn’t been on the site in so long, I’d forgotten my password. Typed my information into the “Forgot Password?” fields, was told “Unable to retrieve password. Your information is not on file on this site.” OK, I thought, maybe I never set up an account here in the first place. But the “Register New Account” screen said, “Unable to create new account. Your information is already on file on this site.” Umm…

NOW A ROBOT IS STALKING ME

“This message is to confirm your upcoming appointment. In the interests of speaking to you personally, we will contact you again in several hours about this matter.” My phone rang several hours later, and I hastily answered it, since they wanted to speak to me personally. But it was the same machine as before! I should have known it was a trick–no actual person from a doctor’s office would be calling me on Sunday.

SPEAKING OF STALKERS

“But, but,” Nick is stammering, “I thought your next post was going to be about…you know…” The Fall Festival, right.

FESTIVAL FOLLIES

Walgreen’s still has their “RESTROOMS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.” signs up. But they can’t really  be sorry, since the Festival is over. I suspect they thought, “Hey, let’s leave it up, so we won’t have to keep unlocking the bathroom door for people.” I’m guessing the manager doesn’t come in until Monday. CVS, on the other hand, has removed the “NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS. PLEASE DON’T ASK.” sign.  (I find “Please Don’t Ask” almost endearing.) Of course, they don’t have to let people in to theirs.

 

 

 

 

Tragedy Averted

 

 

black and white short coated cat

Photo by Brit on Pexels.com

Note: the above photo is not Ez, but gives you an idea of what she looks like.

About 10 days ago, Cat Esmerelda (my dual-purpose spirit and service animal) started to jump onto my clothes cabinet via Rom’s chest of drawers (or, as we say in this part of the world, “chester drawers”). However, I’d left a pair of socks on the chester drawers, because I intended to wear that pair the following day. Ez freaked out upon seeing the unfamiliar object, aborted her leap, and fell across the arm of the bedroom chair. Since she got up and walked away, I thought nothing more of it. When she started huddling in the corner behind my laundry basket, and stopped grooming herself, we thought, Well, maybe she’s sore and bruised from the fall. It wasn’t until she started refusing all food but yogurt, and actually gagging when we offered her other food, that we thought, She’s getting worse, not better. Rom took her to the vet, who ordered blood work and diagnosed kidney damage. She was given subcutaneous fluids. Arrangements were made to admit her for intravenous fluids, but this proved not to be necessary.

I will never forget her jumping onto the bed (barely clearing it) to be with me, laying her head wearily in my hand, and looking at me with dull eyes, as if to say, “I want your face to be the last thing I see.” Rom offered an alternative translation of her look–“Fix it!” Of course, she probably meant both of those things. I’ll also never forget a few days later, when she joyfully bounded onto the bed, ramming her head against me repeatedly (with her icy and no-longer dehydrated nose), and looked at me with shining eyes–“You fixed it, just like I asked!” The credit actually goes to Rom for taking her to the vet, because I myself was sick that week. (Google “shigella,” and prepare to be grossed out.)

OTHER AND NON-TRAGIC NEWS

McDonald’s is finally through with the remodeling. Rom would approve of their removal of the multi-color wall panels, although they replaced it with the words “Two all-beef patties with a bunch of other crap and a sesame-seed bun” (I have never been a fan of the Big Mac and can’t remember its attributes) in multi-colors, which I can hardly regard as an improvement. They also are attempting to get people to use the self-service kiosks by greatly reducing the size of the counter where you order from an actual person, but I ain’t falling for it. “But, World Leader,” you ask, “being autistic, wouldn’t you welcome not having to deal with an actual person?” Yes, in theory, but in actuality, I oppose anything that might enable them to lay people off. INSERT MOMENT OF SILENCE HERE FOR THE TWO PEOPLE THE CITY WAS ABLE TO LAY OFF WHEN THEY AUTOMATED THE TIME CLOCK, WHOM I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN. One of the main reasons I retired as soon as I could was that they were out to automate as much as they could, and the job was being pared down to just answering phones, which was my least favorite part of it. Yes, it is all about me. But you knew that.

OVERDUE WALGREEN’S NEWS

Of course, they have their Halloween stuff out in abundance. I was looking over the makeup, trying to decide which would be the most flattering with my coloring. Then I remembered–it’s Halloween, it isn’t supposed to be flattering. I will probably just do what I always do, and wear stuff I already have, just more of it.

They also have the first Christmas stuff out, but I suspect it’s just stuff that didn’t sell last Christmas, so I will not blame them for it.

will, however, blame whatever company (and I don’t remember which one it was, SO THERE) said on TV that their product and/or service would enable the customer to “family greatly.” Hey, it’s all random anyway.

MCDONALD’S HAS PUMPKIN PIES, AND IT’S ALL PUMPKIN, NOT THAT PUMPKIN “CREME” STUFF THEY FOISTED ON US LAST YEAR!!

The Things That Happen Between Life Events

meal food dish mexican

Photo by Raduz on Pexels.com

The title is how one of my sisters-in-law (they are numerous and aggressive) defined this blog, which she seemed to have a high opinion of. YES, I KEEP ALL POSITIVE COMMENTS IN AN EMAIL FOLDER MARKED “STROKEFEST,” DOESN’T EVERYONE?

Interesting–spellcheck now thinks “email” is a word. It does not feel the same way about “StrokeFest,” however.

This post is brought to you in spite of a poisoned taco. My advice: if the center of your fast-food taco meat is cool, DO NOT KEEP EATING IT. As I did. I even thought at the time, “Well, if I get sick tomorrow, I’ll know what caused it.” So I did. Get sick, and know what caused it. One does not always have that assurance.

COSMO ASTROLOGY ’85

Interior decoration for Scorpio: “Who else but Scorpio would toss a paisley shawl over her TV? Or line bathroom walls with dozens of small framed mirrors? Or buy a funky old dinette set at a thrift shop and paint it lime green? Or make witty collages out of family memorabilia? Or…”

Let’s break these observations down one-by-one:

  1. I don’t think it takes Scorpio boldness to toss a paisley shawl over a TV. Of course, if I tossed one, it would probably slide off. Maybe that’s what they meant–that Scorpio strength of will would keep it from doing so.
  2. Why would you line a bathroom wall with dozens of mirrors, none of them big enough to see yourself in?
  3. I’m glad only a Scorpio would buy a funky old dinette set and paint it lime green. That means we have only a one-in-twelve chance of it happening.
  4. On the other hand, I think more than one-twelfth of the population has made witty collages out of family memorabilia. Even though you run the risk of your family not appreciating your wit. I once made a witty collage for my bedroom wall out of ads which expressed the image I had of myself. I was 14 at the time, and I also made a picture of a flying hippogriff (traced from an illustration in E.R. Eddison’s novel “The Worm Ouroborous,” in case you thought I could draw), with a psychedelic border design made with brightly-colored magic markers, captioned “Fly Trans-Love Airways” (from Donovan’s song “The Fat Angel”–Cupid, get it?), in Lord of the Rings Elvish script. And I wondered why I had no friends.

Speaking of the 80’s, Harper’s Bazaar now tells us that 80’s retro fashion is in (I think for the second time–we’re running out of decades to be ironic about), with “neon-bright colors and oversized silhouettes.” Sure, it’s a change from the undersized silhouettes I got sick of long ago, but why can’t we have clothes that just fit normally?

Vote for me, I’m the Outsider, etc.

Creepy and Eerie: Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist

black and white gray grey smooth

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Continuing our exploration of misty fragrances in general, and iris perfumes in particular, how could we omit one named Iris Silver Mist?

Serge Lutens may be the most esteemed genius perfumer currently working. His scents are considered works of art, but they are often compared to pictures you admire in a museum, but wouldn’t necessarily want hanging in your home. ISM is no exception.

Various reviewers have said that Iris Silver Mist should be worn by:

  1. Cathy’s ghost in Wuthering Heights
  2. a Star Wars stormtrooper
  3. a Terminator cyborg
  4. a character in Frank Herbert’s Dune
  5. the White Witch of Narnia
  6. various Harry Potter characters–a. Dumbledore, b. a Dementor, or c. Lord Voldemort himself (yes, Nick, I said his name)

So you can see that this perfume takes a lot of living up to.

Most reviewers say that it smells like roots and dirt in the opening. I don’t get that, probably because I’m not a gardener. What I get is a well-blended but spare mix of iris, incense, and sandalwood, cold and extremely austere. I love it, but the thing about it is, well, the strange effect it has on my emotions. An effect I find hard to explain.

OK, the analogy just occurred to me. It’s like Clive Barker’s writing. Barker is a horror writer beyond compare, and I own a lot of his stuff, but I don’t think I’ve read any of it more than once. It just creeps me out too much. The stuff in it is utterly implausible (and Barker himself doesn’t actually believe in any of that occult nonsense), but I feel like if I read it too much, I would believe in it. And then I’d go insane.

How could a perfume, as coldly beautiful as it is, have a similar effect? Who knows? I just know that Iris Silver Mist is the opposite of a comfort scent for me–a discomfort scent, if you will. It makes me nervous. It’s what my evil twin would wear. Fittingly, Rom hates it more than any other perfume I’ve tried. He literally ran out the door the first time he smelled it.

Let’s stop talking about it now, shall we?

STUFF OTHER THAN IRIS SILVER MIST

Taco John’s has finally removed their one wobbly table with the two (2) wobbly chairs. Yes, I know this because I without-fail always picked that one to sit at.

Ad at Taco John’s–“Potato Ole’s. Call them crispy, golden slices of heaven.” OK, if you insist.

Another ad (yes, Taco John’s is all I did today, other than buy some body wash, after a lengthy discussion of the coupon policies of CVS)–“Upgrade your drink to medium or large, scan the code on the cup, and enter to win food, Cabela’s gear, or a Yellowstone adventure trip!” Hint: if the Cabela’s gear I hope to win (not that I will, having no smartphone to scan with) is just clothes, I’m not the right candidate for a Yellowstone adventure trip. Or any other adventure trip, really. OK, or any adventure whatsoever.

EXCEPT, OF COURSE…

…the adventure that is the Presidency! Vote for me! I’m the Outsider! And yet a Radical Centrist, at the same time! How do I manage it?

 

 

 

The Ultimate Fashion Felony

The photo feature is not working, and I know not why. Of course, I’m not working either.

N-E-WAY….It was bound to happen eventually. You know how I feel about leggings as pants. Well, now there is something fashionable called “lampshading.” You avoid the whole leggings issue by, well, avoiding leggings. You just wear a long shirt over, I guess, nothing. Of course, you could have slipped some tiny shorts under there, but the point is to look like you’re wearing a shirt and no pants. Why you would want to look like that, I don’t know, but Jennifer Lopez and some other person whose famous name I can’t remember were photographed like that, which means you’re supposed to want to. WHY MUST EVERYONE DEFY ME?

My thanks to the person who discovered the blog through Perfume Posse. I intend to review ISM next, but I’m hoping the photo feature will work for me by then.

RADICAL CENTRISM IN ACTION

Remember to vote for me in 2020! I’m the Outsider! The all-purpose write-in candidate! Sure, I don’t know how to govern, but unlike the current incumbent, I’ll consult my advisers!

Take the immigration issue, for example. I don’t know how I’d reform the nation’s immigration laws (oh, wait, that’s Congress’ job–whew!), but I do know:

—These people are not “undocumented immigrants.” They are here ILLEGALLY. It’s not just a matter of they have the wrong piece of paper, or they left it at home.

–On the other hand, they are human beings, not defined solely by their immigration status, so they should not just be referred to as “illegals.”

See how easy that was?

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: