Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

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.

 

 

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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

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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?

 

 

 

Evansville Is Invaded

adult arrival beard boss

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I have it on good authority that 911 dispatch received a “strict dress code” on 2nd shift yesterday for Donald Trump’s visit. Did they really think he’d stop by? I was itching to ask my source (well, they weren’t just “my” source) exactly what the dress code was, but “Send it to me so I can make fun of it” didn’t seem like a tactful request. (But if you do, I will.)

I did, however, run into the Assistant Director of Dispatch at Walgreen’s (a reader since this miserable thing first started as e-mail in 1990!), and she informed me that there were two (2) designated dispatchers, one for the motorcade and one for the venue itself. This is overtime I’d have snapped up, in my best chinos and polo shirt (my “uniform” whenever I was Representing the Department). It would be interesting to find out how much of the job I’ve retained, but not interesting enough to risk people’s lives for it.

Instead of exciting 911 stuff, I will now regale you with…

MY DEALINGS WITH MY CELL PROVIDER

  1. Log onto their website to find out why I can’t post pictures to Facebook.
  2. See an ad for upgrading my phone for $20 off. I was planning to do so anyway, so I agreed.
  3.  (the computer or WordPress or somebody is automatically numbering and indenting these things; how cool is that?) New phone arrives.
  4. Call to get service “swapped,” as they call it, to new device. Am told this will take anywhere from half an hour to 3 days.
  5. It doesn’t happen, but, instead, says “Error 02.”
  6. Call back, get a different person, who says the original person (who acted like it was, not her first day on the job, but maybe her first week) hadn’t really made this happen.
  7. Put process in motion. All goes well, until it says “Error 09.”
  8. Still another person tells me “Error 09” means no one actually knows what the problem is, and I should turn it off, then turn it back on. (I should have guessed this, from my very first experience with computers, with Fire Department training in the late 80’s.)
  9. New phone is fine, until I call my voicemail, and am told “We are unable to authenticate your voicemail.” Give up out of weariness.
  10. Call voicemail again later in the day, and it works fine and pretends nothing has happened.
  11. Check the mail today, and they have sent me yet another phone which I didn’t ask for.
  12.  Call and speak to a 4th person, who says they will send me a mailing label to send the superfluous phone back.
  13. How do I get it to stop numbering stuff now?
  14. I will tell you how the whole return-label thing goes. (“Oh, please do,” Nick says, making me itch to slap him.)

OK, apparently you just need to hit the return key twice. Would you rather hear about how my latest doctor’s visit went?

SPEAKING OF DRESS CODES…

BUT ACTUALLY, I’M SNEAKING IN MY DOCTOR’S VISIT ANYWAY!

As Trexa and I were waiting for the elevator, the guy who was waiting for it with us was wearing a t-shirt that said, “I Like My Butt Rubbed and My Pork Pulled,” and justified this with a picture of barbecue.

My doctor’s visit involved discussing an embarrassing solution for my embarrassing problem–but at least there IS a solution! Let’s see if I can refrain from telling you about it.

Trexa and I saw a woman who’d pulled off at Claremont & Dreier (where other drivers can’t see you until you’re almost on them) so she could squeeze a zit on her chin.

 

 

Nothing But Blue Skies: Hermes Hiris

nature sky clouds blue

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Continuing our exploration of dusky, bluish scents–Iris was recommended to me, as well as violet. These two are what are referred to as “blue florals.” I love these cool, powdery notes–iris more than violet, since it isn’t as sweet. My favorite color of iris is the lavender-blue type, but Hiris is like a sky-blue iris (if such a thing exists) set off by fluffy white clouds.

As a child, I asked, as all kids do, “Why is the sky blue?,” but the answer never satisfied me. Sure, the light in the visible spectrum reflects mainly the blue wavelength (or something like that, and frankly, I’ve had too much apple ale to look it up), but why?  Hiris doesn’t provide an answer, but perhaps its beauty is answer enough.

Hiris (the in the name harks back to Hermes, known mostly for purses and scarves, but also a damn fine fragrance house) was created by Olivia Giacobetti in 1999. I first tried it in 2004, and disliked it heartily. It reminded me of mashed turnips. The scent of iris is created by the roots (known as orris) rather than the flowers, so I suppose that’s appropriate, but I don’t like turnips. It took many years for me to appreciate this fragrance, but now I love it. No turnips, just an airy, casual-but-sophisticated scent, so elegant, but not fussy. It’s very “blue” in feel, and blue is my favorite color.

BUT MEANWHILE…

Vote for me! I’m the Outsider! (Yes, now I capitalized it!) If elected, I promise to nominate Supreme Court justices for their ability, not for how they’ll vote on a given political question. Won’t that be fun?

Yes, I’m making a mockery of the democratic process. Thanks for asking.

Also…people who came on board recently have been puzzled by the tone of this blog. Just assume that nothing is serious, except for the perfume reviews.

AND ALSO…

…Halloween merchandise was spotted in the stores, like, 2 weeks ago, but I was too deathly weary to report it.

My Resolve To Remain Unpopular

blur breakfast close up dairy product

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I have been reading a site called The Art of Blogging They said that bloggers who want many readers should remember that strangers don’t care about what you had for lunch or how you tripped over a paving stone yesterday, and that even those who know you only pretend to care out of politeness. Now, I am not taking issue with this advice–it makes perfect sense. I only ask that you keep on pretending to care, because I warned you what to expect at the outset. And how did they know I tripped over a paving stone, hmm?

Rather than tell you what I had for lunch today, let me tell you about–

THE INTERESTING LITTER I SAW

–Next to me in the window well of the bus–2 Q-Tips. WITH EARWAX ON THEM. “This bus ride is boring. Think I’ll clean my ears.” Suppose the bus went into a pothole and you ended up puncturing your eardrum? You’d probably try suing the city. BECAUSE YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY NOT THE SORT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS, OR  YOU’D HAVE THROWN AWAY YOUR GROSS Q-TIPS. (Disclaimer: I have no way of knowing if the cotton swabs in question were actually Q-Tips. Perhaps they were some generic brand.)

–On a bus stop bench on the way (not mine, because EW EW EW)–a to-go plate of pancakes, partially eaten. IN THE RAIN. Just wring those out, they’ll be fine. They did inspire me to have pancakes at McDonald’s. (See, I worked my lunch menu in there after all.)

–In the gutter on N. St Joe Ave.–a stick of deodorant, with the cap off. “Oh no, I forgot deodorant, better put some on in the car and throw it out the window!” It was Suave Powder Fresh, so at least the offender was powder-fresh. Maybe the police could identify the culprit by scent.

And remember–VOTE FOR ME FOR PRESIDENT, I’M THE OUTSIDER! (I’m getting a head start on making you sick of me.)

 

 

Me in 2020!

white house

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I am announcing my candidacy for President in 2020. Why? Well, why not?! The bar has never been lower! Sure, I have no experience or aptitude, but that means I’m not a Washington insider! In fact, I’m not any kind of insider. If elected, I’ll revoke security clearances right and left! I’ll give people security clearances just so I can revoke them! But I promise to retain the red button on the desk in the Oval Office that summons Diet Coke. I will also install a perfume fountain in the Rose Garden. Roses Rom won’t have to take care of!

There will be no White House dog, but only White House cats. (Esmerelda has already told me no photographers will be allowed, and she will lurk under the desk in the Oval Office.) (I’ll probably be doing a lot of that myself.)

2020 is still a long way away, so I won’t be campaigning on here very often, although I’ll ramp up the intensity as the day approaches, until you are as sick of me as you are of all the others. This will give me the time I need to decide on a running mate, for instance. I already know inauguration music will be provided by the Sour Neon Crawlers. Sure, that means I’ll be doing the singing, but I can do it all! All or nothing! That’s why you elected me! Or the Electoral College did. That’s almost as good.

So keep me in mind, and VOTE FOR ME IN 2020! I’M THE OUTSIDER!

My apologies to anyone who came here looking for perfume reviews and found themselves in an alternate reality.

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