Monday, December 22, 2008

This Week's Random Thoughts

Tonight, I'm wearing: on one arm, Neil Morris Spectral Violet. On the other, Neil Morris Gotham and Fetish. Spectral Violet lists galbanum alongside violet, which is fine by me. I like it a lot. Fetish is nice. Gotham is interesting. I have a bag full of Morris samples. Today I organized all my testers, my odds and ends and decants. By organized I mean I took them out of the drawer they were kept in and put them in a plastic, sealable tub. I spent some time with all the Neils again, having only really smelled them once, and quickly. Previously they were pleasant enough, but something about the freezing cold brought them to life. They're unusual and compelling and I intend to wear some tomorrow. I need a full day to judge.

Also revisited: Michael Storer's Monk (which I love), and the Ava Luxe samples I own (Midnight Violet, Cafe Noir, Madame X, Milk, Oiellet Blanc, out of which I least like Milk and most like, as in can't get enough of, Cafe Noir). Earlier today I'd ordered some Ava Luxe for myself. Film Noir, Midnight Violet, Biba, Queen Bess. What is it about these small perfumers that seems even more fascinating than the Big Guys (and Girls)? Somehow, it seems even more incomprehensibly heroic, these lone men and women making perfume, without the backing of big companies or teams of decision makers. What they do seems so quiet and hopeful, shows such perseverance. The fact they have fans seems astonishing, given the noise made by bigger machinery.

Everyone's getting perfume this year. My mom, my dad, my friends, my enemies. I gave my dad Aramis. He wore it when I was growing up. He also wore Aramis 900. I think my own first fragrance was JHL. One of the firstm anyway. I hadn't smelled it since then, until a few months ago when, in a small town between here and my mother I stopped at a department store which stocked some. Verdict: It smells almost exactly like Youth Dew, and if it moves away from Youth Dew it's only to address Versailles.

My partner's co-worker is getting Lolita Lempicka. My friends are getting: Prada, Nu, Jaisalmer, and I can't say what else, in case they peruse this. Abigail's getting a whole box of perfume. I do know what I'm getting. Patou 1000 edp, Ormonde Woman, and Breath of God by B Never Too Bust To Be Beautiful. I'm thinking about nothing else the last few days. I plan to be in a mild narcotic coma induced by fragrance two days from now.

I'm finding it more of a struggle to maintain interest in people who are ambivalent about perfume. I have zero patience for those who are hostile toward it.

Why did I tell someone from out of the country I would ship things to her if she had them sent to me direct from the manufacturer? Someone please tell the person known as me I have plenty to do as it is.

Will I see Milk? Everyone's telling me to. I'm resisting. I'm sure it will be great. I'm sure it's swell. But I'm just not in the mood to watch someone's tragedy in the making. And before you revoke my card, let me point out the fact that I didn't really want to see The Passion of Joan of Arc, either, and not just because it was silent. More and more, I'm looking for opportunities to laugh.

Everyone's getting cookies, too. Otherwise, I'll eat them all.


Anonymous said...

OMG what a great fragrant Christmas! I um, er....did a little shopping for myself from Santa and got (early, I could not help it) Cuir de Lancome, Lann-Ael, and 10 Corso Como. And the husband is getting samples of all of the Bois 1920s, with the promise of a bottle of the one he likes the most (if he does like any of them, he is very fussy).

I do get you on not 'getting' people who don't care about perfume. People ask "what do you want for Christmas" and I feel sheepish because I know they would think I was nuts if I rolled out my perfume wishlist. (Which isn't all THAT long I swear! *cough*)

Gail S said...

Oh goodness, AL Cafe Noir is insanely wonderful! Thanks for reminding me....trots off to spray self....

Brian said...

Oh you're in for it, fountaingirl, if you haven't already smelled Cuir. I searched for it for a whole year, until it popped up on parfum1. It's gorgeous. I wish it lasted just a bit longer but I'm so distracted by it I don't think to complain usually. I read a review somewhere comparing it unfavorably to Chanel Cuir de Russie, which is silly. They were saying it's a cheap imitation. There are so many cuir de russie perfumes. Saying they're imitating each other is like saying one christmas tree is copying another by having branches.

I also really like the Bois 1920s. Their patchouli is good. I have the Classic 1920, which was an unlikely candidate for me back when I bought it but it was smelled on my wrist more compulsively than all the others I'd seen at Perfume House. I always smell the Bois 1920s when I see them, usually at Barneys. I'm so overdue for a return to Portland and the Perfume House. I spent ten hours there over the course of four or five days last year. Maybe more. It's heaven in there.

I'm excited to get the other Luxes, Gail. Have you tried any besides Cafe Noir? It's amazing how good that frag is. And man oh man how it lasts. The closest I've come to it is a scent called Dolce by a cosmetic line called Michael Marcus. 100 bucks for a 100 ml bottle of edp. It's a combination of bright lavender, astringent rosemary, chocolate, and a few other things, but like Cafe Noir it has that clear-headedness and handles lavender in a straightforward, no nonsense way. It's not nearly as good, mind you, but not everything can be, or should be, fantastically unusual, and it's been getting very heavy rotation with me lately. I'm really curious about Queen Bess, which is on the way to my house. Spiced rose. I keep trying with that category. Parfum Sacre is lovely but doesn't project or last one me. Opone is a little flat, though pleasant, like coke without the fizz. What I want is a rose with an overload of pepper and spice and even some salt. What I get is nowhere near.

Also very excited about...well I'm excited to get all the Ava Luxes. In fact, though I'm getting a few great perfumes for Xmas, I will be highly distracted, waiting anxiously for the mail to come again, and again, until the Luxe package arrives.

ScentScelf said...

Ava Luxes I have: Black Tea, Incense Rose, Peonies, Vamp. I got them in a swap, and found that each serves a purpose. The one I wanted to like the most, Incense Rose, may be the one I like the least, but everything is relative. (And just bringing it up makes me want to go back and try again...) Midnight Violet has been marching across the top of my "try it!" list for a long time.

I'm still getting acquainted with Neil Morris scents. Two "small perfumers" I am more acquainted with, and whose product I like very much, are Liz Zorn and Roxana Villa. I find that both offer complexity and quality. (Liz Zorn has a leather called Journeyman which I am currently infatuated with, and also something called Green Oakmoss and Jasomyn, both very different--ferny chypre, deep warm uplifting floral--which make me happy.)

Thankfully, there's a precedent set by somebody like Andy Tauer, to show that you really can pursue this perfume "thing" independently, in a meaningful way, and be successful.

Julie H. Rose said...

Brian, I'm responding to this and your Dolce review. First, you made me want to run out and try Dolce, which has nothing in it that I'm particularly attracted to. Hmmm. Perhaps you should take up professional ad copy writing for fragrance companies (or do you already?)

I bring samples of scent to any and all family gatherings and parties. That way, if someone expresses skepticism or downright hostility to my opinion that perfume is wonderful, interesting, or whatever else I may be gushing on about, I break out the samples. EVERYONE has enjoyed the experience. I can't think of even ONE person who hasn't been at least a bit intrigued.

Tania said...

My family Just.Don't.Get.Perfume. At all. So I have learned never to buy it for them. Which is a pity, because it's what I most like to buy for people!
My Mum wears Body Shop White Musk exclusively, anything else I've ever given her has languished unused, or been regifted. My Dad wore Old Mice, but only because we kids bought it for him. My sisters don't wear perfume.

Sometimes I wonder if I was adopted... ;-)

Olfacta said...

I saw "Milk." A great,towering performance from Sean Penn, but the movie itself was a little too much process, endless meetings, endless talking. It's still worth it. People disparage the Seventies, but those times were so much more than bad hair and disco. Everyone questioned everything. Hey, maybe that's the point of all the meetings and all the talking...

Will put some Luxes on my samples wanted list.

ScentScelf said...

Inspired by your post/my comments, I went back to the Ava Luxe Incense Rose, and it's had nearly a full day's whirl. I must first note tenacity...I still gently waft the rose. And I also remember why I didn't put it in the strong YES seems to lack the "incense" portion of the equation.

That said, it is a lovely "true" rose in the hybrid tea kind of rose way, softened at the edges...nearly a dead ringer for the rose of rosewater & glycerine lotion. It's been on me 6+ hours.

Brian said...

Yeah, Olfacta, I've heard really good things about Penn. A guy I know worked in Milk's photo shop and said it's uncanny how close Penn gets to him. I know Milk is probably moving. I just can't do it right now.

ScentSelf, Journeyman sounds right up my alley. Abigail might have sent me some Zorn samples. I'm not sure. She's so generous with me that they become a blur until I revisit them. She's opened my eyes to a lot I didn't know about. I liked the Neil Morris fragrances but had some issues with the dry downs. They lasted well, so it wasn't that. I'm just not sure I was on the page with them at some point. That said, I still find myself wanting to spritz them. I'd heard that incense rose wasn't what I might hope it to be. Ava Luxe has so MANY. I'd love to interview her and talk to her about her process.

Tania, I have some white musk if your mom runs out. It's unused. And Julie, I want to go to those family gatherings and sniff some of those samples. My family gatherings are so staid and oppressive. Let's all inflict guilt through meticulous sign language.