Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Uncategorized

Hard Promises

i voted sticker lot

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In all the excitement of perfume sampling and such, I forgot that I’m running for President! (After all, I have to have a signature scent by Election Day.)

I guess by now it’s time for more specifics:

CAMPAIGN PROMISES

  1. I will not make any speeches while it’s snowing.
  2. I understand that insisting on my own way is not “negotiating.” However, I will probably insist on my own way anyway.
  3. Twitter is icky and I will not use it, nor read it if you do use it.
  4. I will not tell you Mexico is going to pay for something, then turn around and try to make you pay for it.
  5. I will not say “On Monday I’m going to announce I’m running for President.” That is an announcement. No one is fooled.
  6. When reporters ask me what I’m going to do about something, I will not say, “You’ll see,” or “You’ll find out on Wednesday.”
  7. In the course of debates, I will not use the “You’re another one!” tactic, also known as, “No puppet! You’re the puppet!”
  8. In fact, I will not appear in debates. I will submit a list of written answers. Hey, it seems to be working so far.
  9. I will not do anything to my hair to make myself more electable.
  10. I might buy clothes to make myself more electable, because I’m always looking for an excuse to buy more clothes.
  11. I will need “executive time” to listen to music. This will never be country music. “WE WANT THE WORLD AND WE WANT IT NOW!!” Now we’ve got it and we don’t know what to do with it.

 

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Blue Flame: Iris Poudre

beautiful bloom blooming blossom

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

…by Pierre Bourdon, creator of Davidoff Cool Water among other things

Top notes: aldehydes, rose, violet, ylang-ylang

Middle note: iris (orris)

Base notes: sandalwood, tonka bean, musk

This is the “bluest” scent I’ve ever smelled. It makes me think of the blue of a gas flame.

The scent of iris is actually derived from the roots (called orris), not the flower, and has a powdery, chalky, rooty quality. Iris Poudre means “Powdery Iris,” and this perfume emphasizes the more powdery, refined quality of iris, rather than its earthiness. (For emphasis on the earthy, vegetal quality, check out Iris Silver Mist, which I’ve reviewed previously, but I can’t get the link to work. For something less sinister than ISM, try Bois d’Iris by The Different Company.)

Iris Poudre is just beautiful. A bit powdery, but not smotheringly dusty, a bit floral, but not overwhelming, and blue, blue, blue. Quintessentially cool and sophisticated. The drydown warms up a bit as the wood and musk come out, but it never gets exactly cuddly.

Rating: 5 out of 5

So how does it stack up for me personally?

Personality–Well, non-cuddly is kind of a defining characteristic for me, so it works.

Comfort level–There’s a minor problem here. Iris Poudre is an aldehydic floral, like Chanel No. 5 or Chanel No. 22. Aldehydes are synthetics that give “lift” to a fragrance, rather like carbonation to a beverage. I’m not opposed to them on principle, but a little goes a long way. Iris Poudre has just a touch too much to suit me first thing in the morning.

Preferences: It is gorgeous in its blueness, but…

Final Verdict: I am not the rightful wearer of Iris Poudre.

By the way, Rom is watching “Forged in Fire” on TV, watching people make knives, while I review perfume. It’s a gender-role festival!

 

Restroom News

green leafed plants on toilet bowl

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I apologize to anyone who thought there’d be another semi-lyrical perfume review. Yeah, I should have two different blogs. Nah, I’m not going to do it.

DID YOU KNOW?

The restroom at Schnucks has a unique-as-far-as-I-can-tell dual-flush feature. “Pull UP for liquid waste, pull DOWN for solid waste.” But what if it’s both? Or what if you didn’t read the sign on the wall, which is, after all, behind you, and you already flushed and NOW IT’S TOO LATE?!

AND DID YOU KNOW?

I am old and wise enough to remember the history behind the Charmin Soft vs. Strong debate. Originally there was a super-soft toilet paper brand called White Cloud. The Charmin people bought them out, called it Charmin White Cloud for awhile, then changed the name to Charmin Ultra Soft. The original Charmin then became Charmin Ultra Strong. The other TP companies then had to be copycats and make their own two-different-formula claims, saddling us with a false dichotomy ever since. (Now I’m wishing I’d called the post Saddled with a False Dichotomy. But how could I have known I was going to write that phrase?) (No, I’m not going to go back up and change it. You’re lucky I even proofread these things.) 

IN NON-BATHROOM NEWS

There was a young couple at the bus stop, in black sweatshirts that said “The King” and “His Queen.” Her Majesty’s nobility was in question, however, for verily, she did spit upon the sidewalk in my presence. Whereupon His Highness peered into her face and inquired, “Is that piercing on your nose still open?”

 

Lilac Fanatic: En Passant

white petaled flowers

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…by Olivia Giacobetti

Notes: white lilac, orange tree leaf, cucumber, wheat, white musk, cedar

I am not a lilac fanatic (although I do enjoy them), but if you are, you need to try this. It’s another “rainy” scent, and it’s like spring fever in a bottle.

Olivia Giacobetti is known for hazy, delicate scents (she did  Hiris and Passage d’Enfer , which I’ve reviewed previously), and this is a classic example. But it has a clean, wet-pavement sort of feel that makes it more “modern” (I hesitate to use that word, because what seems modern one year seems quaint and dated the next) than the description “lilac perfume” would seem to indicate. It’s supposed to evoke a lilac bush next to a bakery (the name means “Passing By” or “In Passing”), and I find the wheat note very apparent. Of course, being married to a baker might help in that regard.

There isn’t much more to say about it, it would seem. It’s a simple scent, but is so much greater than the sum of its parts. It is SPRING, with all the hopeful yearning that evokes. It’s nostalgic, without being old-fashioned. It’s a great fragrance.

Rating: 5 out of 5

But as it relates to me personally…

Personality: It’s not really me. Too pastel. It’s like a watercolor I’d admire in a gallery, but would feel no desire to buy.

Comfort level: This is my major problem with it. Something about it makes me queasy, even though I love the scent. I often have that reaction with aquatic or grain notes, and both are present here. So I feel a bit smothered after awhile.

Preferences: Like I said, great smell. But something I’d only want to sniff occasionally, preferably on other people.

Verdict: I am not the rightful wearer of En Passant.

 

This Is Not a Story

buildings bus business car

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

OK, I did not see when I inserted this photo that it’s a trolley, not a bus, but it will have to do, because I don’t know how to dis-insert it.

Hey, I made up “dis-insert” and spellcheck didn’t correct me! It guess it’s thinking, She hyphenated it, so it must be legit. Or maybe spellcheck has just given up on me.

AT ANY RATE, Facebook has decided that my status updates are a “story,” prompting me with “Add to your story!” Um, I just wanted to mention that the cat threw up today. Yes, that is what my last post on Facebook was. This is why we have the Internet.

AT ANY RATE, my life is not a “story,” but a series of disjointed episodes. Here is one.

A PERFECT STORM ON THE BUS

My heart sank as I approached the bus stop today, because it was already occupied by the Family of Five. This is five people, a couple, two daughters and a son, who prefer to spend their money on smartphones for each person rather than on body wash and laundry detergent. I always let them get on the bus first, so I can sit as far away as possible.

The man of the house was wearing a t-shirt that said, “I Used To Be a People Person, Until People Changed That.” Funny, that’s the same thing I was thinking when I saw him!

When I came up, they were discussing swords, in particular those seen in video games. The talk then shifted, logically enough, to guns. The lady of the house asked, “What’s the largest caliber gun you’ve ever shot? Mine was a Browning machine gun. The guy who gave it to me told me not to ask how he got it. I used it to kill a chicken. That chicken didn’t even get the whole squawk out.” Her daughter then asked, sensibly enough, “Why did you use a machine gun to kill a chicken? You wouldn’t be able to eat it.” She said, “Well, they were diseased chickens! They couldn’t be sold!” Come to think of it, Killing Diseased Chickens With a Machine Gun would have been a good title for this post.

Our heroine then asked, rhetorically enough, “You wanna know what things I most missed when the house burned down? My three swords, and my Hellraiser action figures. It took me fifteen years and thousands of dollars to collect those.” Who knew?

Once on the bus, my heart sank further still when Dave got on at Walmart. You may remember Dave as the guy whose idea of a clever pickup line was, “You look like you’re goin’ for that wannabe-Goth look.” The bus was crowded, so Dave and his fifty Walmart bags had to be next to me. Dave then regaled us with a list of every celebrity he knows of who came from Tennessee. Followed by every corporation with headquarters in Tennessee. I don’t know what got him started on that state. Also, Dave has no indoor voice, so having him next to me made me want to crawl out of my skin. I’m just glad he wasn’t talking to me, because he can’t tell when you’re trying to ignore him, and kept saying to the bus driver, “You know who else came from Tennessee? Hey! You hear me?” Kind of like the camel in the Geico commercial. If he had tried conversing with me, he’d have been sorry. It’s like it was at work–“Well, I hate having someone sit with me, too, but what can you do? You have to make small talk.” Watch. Me.

Then the guy on the other side of me said, “I’m on my way to the cemetery, to check if a couple motherfackers are still in there.” Um, OK.

As if in recompense, the bus on the way home was absolutely empty, so I enjoyed my private charter service.

A TOPICAL NOTE

This is the first Super Bowl I’ve ever had an opinion about. My opinion is that neither team deserves to be there.

NEW FRONTIERS IN CORPORATE WEASELDOM

I denounce thee, CVS! You have stickers on all your perfumes, saying “Special Price.” And the special price is…the same price as usual, just in red and yellow lettering. Fie upon you! I don’t know what “fie” is, but obviously it’s something you don’t want to get on you.  For the record, I did not buy any perfume, but I did note approvingly that they stock Aramis, my favorite men’s scent, and possibly my favorite smell ever.

Drinking Gin in the Rain: Angeliques sous la Pluie

road landscape nature forest

Photo by veeterzy on Pexels.com

…by Jean-Claude Ellena

Top notes: angelica, bergamot, pink pepper, juniper

Base notes: cedar, musk

Jean-Claude Ellena specializes in scents that are simple and light, usually inspired by nature. When I first smelled this one, I thought, “Gin and tonic, followed by buttered toast.” But several years later, with my Mad Men-style upbringing fading in the rear-view mirror (especially since I’ve never actually had a gin and tonic–that was more my parents’ generation), this perfume is growing on me. I’ve never smelled angelica herb, but I’m familiar with juniper, and “Angelica in the Rain” is the smell of juniper in the rain, bottled. It’s amazing how this captures the smell of rain–it actually smells “wet,” fresh and cool, with a bit of wet pavement added. Like the juniper bushes in my yard, growing next to the street.

The drydown is warmer, less wet, but still green, and woody with cedar. However, the whole show is over very quickly. The scent is very light and does not last long, but is so evocative while it lasts. Only a faint trace of woodsiness remains, like a memory.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Now for our Three Criteria:

–Does this suit my personality? Very much. It’s a “blue-gray” sort of scent, and probably the most spare and austere I’ve ever smelled.

–Comfort level–This is too light to cause any sensory overload. I’d have no problem spraying it on first thing in the morning, in fact, it would probably improve my mood. OR WHEN I HAVE TO GO TO THE DENTIST TOMORROW AFTERNOON, IN THE FROZEN COLD, BECAUSE A CROWN FELL OFF MY TOOTH LAST NIGHT. For the record, that will bother me less than getting up early in the morning, for any reason, would.

–Does it suit my preferences? Well, it’s taught me to appreciate the smell of juniper, but honestly, I would prefer my rain to fall on roses. (Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens actually are a few of my favorite things.) So this one  might rate more as Something I Think I Should Wear.

FINAL VERDICT: I don’t think I’m the rightful wearer of Angeliques sous la Pluie, but, like I said, it is growing on me.

The Four Last Things

close up photography of black animal

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

This photo came up when I searched for “shoulders.” One would think I had searched for “rat’s ass.”

The Four Last Things are death, judgement, heaven, and hell. But instead of those, I offer:

MY TWO MOST NOTABLE SHOULDER EXERCISES

I visited a physical therapist for my frozen shoulder, at the ominously-named Comprehensive Pain Center.

Least-favorite exercise: You know when someone twists your arm up behind your back? Well, I have to do that to myself, with the aid of a towel. Who knew it was actually good for you? (Now Nick wants to know if he can be my personal trainer. Only if you pay me.)

Most-favorite: The one where I just lie down. Yes, I just have to lie down, and force myself to relax. Of course, it has to be in a specific position, again with the aid of a towel. And of course, I have to be forced  to relax.

AND TWO SIGNS OF THE END TIMES ON YOUTUBE

“It makes you feel five minutes closer to death” is a phrase I once read in a review, I don’t remember of what. It’s become Rom’s and my standard way of saying something is a complete waste of time. So, two things that will make you feel five (or however many) minutes closer to death:

  1. Videos of people unwrapping packages.
  2. Videos of people playing video games.

Jasmine, Plum and Dr. Pepper: Le Parfum de Therese

clear glass mason jar with red jelly

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was drawn to Frederic Malle’s line, Editions de Parfums, as soon as I heard of it. Of course, there’s the connection with literature–he calls the perfumers “authors,” and actually puts each one’s name on the bottle of the fragrance he or she created. I even love the black labels with red trim, inspired by the book bindings of a publishing house. Plus, Malle’s fragrances seem designed for a “signature scent” sensibility, rather than the “I need a tuberose to round out my collection” approach that seems to dominate today. I am a would-be scent monogamist, and when the Malle website says that a great fragrance has its “character, its colors, its rightful wearer,” it makes me want to discover which one I am the rightful wearer of. Kind of like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter. In fact, the Frederic Malle folks have their own service in which you answer a questionnaire and they recommend scents for you. I will tell you which they recommended for me when we get there.

Malle himself offered pointers in Elle magazine (May 2017), which I will use as a checklist here. The right fragrance should:

  1. Suit your personality. This is not as simple as it sounds, as I have loved some scents which were emphatically not “me,” and ended up feeling as if I were wearing someone else’s clothes.
  2. Feel comfortable to wear. Many scents give me sensory overload when they’ve been on my skin for awhile–even fragrances I love. I plan to adopt a zero-tolerance policy here–even a moment of slight discomfort will disqualify a fragrance. My criterion: If I had to get up early (something I have loathed all my life) and go somewhere, would I be reluctant to spray this perfume on in my frazzled and crabby condition?
  3. And, of course, smell good to you. Again, seems like a no-brainer, but I tend to overthink things and go for something that I think I should like. This is how I ended up wearing Poison for most of the 80’s.

Which brings us, by way of plums, to our first scent to consider, Le Parfum de Therese (perfumer: Edmond Roudnitska).

Top notes: melon, mandarin, cucumber

Middle notes: plum, rose, jasmine

Base notes: vetiver, patchouli

Edmond Roudnitska created this fragrance for his wife, Therese, in 1961. It was not released to the public at the time, because no one was really doing fruit notes back then.

I should love this stuff. I like the idea of a fruity scent that is nevertheless sophisticated, a “dark” fruity fragrance if you will, like my beloved Mitsouko. Unfortunately, the opening of Therese gets under my skin, as well as on it. I blame jasmine–never a favorite of mine, and plum, which is the main note (the perfume was actually called Prune as a working title). I have occasionally enjoyed some of the sweeter varieties of plum, but basically I find this fruit too spicy. The plum note also unfortunately reminds me of Dr. Pepper, which makes the drydown smell a bit silly to me–especially since I don’t really get rose or patchouli from this.

So, according to our three criteria, my final assessment is:

  1. Does this suit my personality? Well, it doesn’t not suit it. I’m going to be liberal  in my interpretations here, unlike when it comes to–
  2. Comfort: Zero tolerance, remember. I do find the opening a bit irritating. If I were to spray this on at 7 in the morning, I’d want to hold my breath for the first few minutes.
  3. Does this suit my scent preferences? After the first few minutes, I like it, but I don’t love it.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Final verdict: I am not the rightful wearer of Le Parfum de Therese.

 

 

Raw Material

cash dollars hands money

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I’ve been suffering from a dearth of material since I retired, but I realized I have, at the moment, two past events and two future events to recount, PLUS a segue between the two categories, so here goes–counterfeit money + a 90th birthday party + physical therapy + perfume review introduction (you thought I’d forgotten about those, didn’t you?).

ADVENTURES IN COUNTERFEITING

I found a $20 bill on the floor at the Dollar General. If I’d seen someone drop it, I’d have returned it to them, but no one was around, so I snagged it.

It was crumply and had weird markings on it, but no more so than some other bills I’ve had. But I presented it at McDonald’s, and they knew it was wrong right away. “We’ll have to keep this, if you don’t mind,” the employee told me, but of course they’d have kept it whether I minded or not. Easy come, easy go, I said, and explained how I’d gotten hold of it. I also explained this to the nice officer who came to pick it up.

I tell this story belatedly because Nick, who was the first person I told it to after Rom, felt compelled to post it on Facebook.

Perhaps this is what my fortune cookie meant when it said I’d inherit some money this year, but I didn’t exactly inherit it, unless someone had fallen down dead in the dollar store and dropped it. I am also picturing the conversation if I had seen it fall out of someone’s hand–“Excuse me, you dropped this,” “No, never mind, it’s fake anyway.”

SOCIAL PAGE

I attended my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday party yesterday. An impressive number of people braved the cold and snow to be there. (In the interests of accuracy, I must note that she will not actually turn 90 until Wednesday.) It is the job of Trexa and myself at these gatherings to sit in the corner and mutter about how loud everyone else is. I am betting this was the loudest 90th birthday party I’ll ever attend, and possibly the loudest anyone will ever attend. Unfortunately, the corner we were sitting in was right in front of the card/gift table, and people kept handing me things and asking me to put them on the table behind me. However, I’ve developed a condition called “frozen shoulder,” and I can’t really reach behind me. So I’d hand the items to Trexa, and she’d put them on the table. Yes, it takes two people to put a birthday card in a basket.

Now this is where the segue comes in. You might remember my dislocated finger 2 years ago, and the 5 months of therapy that followed. Well, I start physical therapy for this shoulder tomorrow, and it should be good for a few weeks of whining at least.

Also coming up at some point–reviews of the entire Frederic Malle perfume line. They will be widely interspersed, though, so you can gather your strength between reviews.

 

 

Vampire Cat

white and black cat lying on floor

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Disclaimer: Photograph is an approximation of the cat in question.

Sometimes living with small predators can make you think twice. Yesterday Rom cut his hand just-short-of-needing-stitches badly while woodcarving, and came in dripping blood on the floor. I started wiping it up, with Cat Esmerelda beside me, watching . Then Rom asked me to help him bandage it in the bathroom. When I came back to the kitchen, the remaining drops of blood were gone. So we have a vampire cat. It’s like a vampire bat, but without wings.

“Vampire Cat, Vampire Cat

Does whatever a vampire does

Can she fly through the air?

She cannot, she’s a cat.”

Or, “Vampire Cat, doo doo doo doo doo doo…” (And why has there been no word of a Baby Shark movie? Sure, there’s not much to work with, but that’s never stopped Hollywood before.)

The weird thing is, Ez seems like the least bloodthirsty cat we’ve had. She doesn’t bite or scratch, even in play. She’s just a little scavenger.

FURTHER THOUGHTS ON MY FORTHCOMING INHERITANCE

The fortune said an “unexpected” amount of money. Well, any amount would be unexpected at this point. Also, it would be hard to unexpectedly inherit money “in bed,” unless you’re Melania Trump. Speaking of which, Donald said he prefers to call it a “strike” rather than a “shutdown.” Well, I prefer to call it a tantrum. So there.

Nick is not doing well at sucking up, thinking that I am actually endeared by his insolence.

He was tickled to find out (hey, maybe he should be tickled! How much money would that be worth, hmm?) that my username in the International Perfume Community is CobraRose. Hey, the purpose of the Internet is to give yourself a cool nickname.

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