Archive for the ‘Scent Diary’ Category

Montane Birch Forests in Torkilstoten (winter), by ArildV, from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, Jan. 2: Back to school! I managed to stifle my evil laughter as I dropped off the slaves (children) at school today. We put away the rest of the Christmas decorations, and I worked on a post or two. It is very cold and windy, with a high temperature of 30F, wind chill making it feel like 22F. Brrrrr. I did go get the boys from the bus stop, which is half a mile from the house. Hope the track team is running inside today.

No single SOTD today – I’m testing several things, including By Kilian Love (don’t be shy), DSH Marzipan, and a few other things I can’t remember now. Oh, yes – Amouage Honour Woman and SL Fourreau Noir.

We’ve had snow, starting at about 5pm and going through the evening, with about an inch of accumulation. I’m sure school will be delayed tomorrow. SOBedtime: DSH Chypre, which goes well with the wild wind outside and the warm covers on my bed.

Tuesday, Jan. 3: Woke up to two inches of snow and the snuggly leftover amber base of Chypre. The county schools went on two hours delay, which meant that Governor’s School was canceled, so poor Bookworm was able to get another couple of hours of sleep. It’s the dry, granular kind of snow, though, so although temperatures are in the low 20sF, the wind will blow most of it away as the day goes on.

SOTD: By Kilian Back to Black. It’s lovely rich honey-gingerbread tobacco for awhile, and then it goes cherry-Play-doh heliotropin. No.

I’m struggling a little bit with working on a novel set in a sticky Virginia summer, while snow swirls around outside and my windchimes are gonging away. (I love my windchimes – they’re large and tuned to a pentatonic scale, so that they are pleasant to listen to, not tinkly like the cheap ones.)

SOTEvening: Givenchy Organza Indecence. Yummy stuff. I made Joe Chicken for dinner (see recipe here), and then we watched Virginia Tech play Michigan in the Sugar Bowl. It was a nerve-wracking evening. (VT wuz robbed! Danny Coale caught that TD pass in bounds!)

Wednesday, Jan. 4: As predicted, the snow has mostly blown away. Temps are in the upper teens, though, and the wind chill factor makes it feel like 7 below zero. (Brrrrr!) SOTD: Carnal Flower. Omigosh, it’s so amazing. I only have a small decant which I treasure.

I’m working on porting my blog over from WordPress.com to webhostinghub.com. You’d think that it would be as easy as it was when I moved from Google Blogger (www.musesinwoodenshoes.blogspot.com) to WordPress’ blog host (https://museinwoodenshoes.wordpress.com) – but it isn’t. Arrrrgh! The new site actually exists now.

Thursday, Jan. 5: Frosty in the a.m., warmer by noon. I got a perm and my hair stinks, but it’s the price of beauty… SOTD: Amouage Honour Woman. First community chorus rehearsal of the new semester; we’re doing Haydn’s The Creation, which is early baroque stuff. Probably more interesting for us than for our audience, and although I love singing Bach and Handel, Haydn’s a little… well, obvious. He’s like early 50s rock-n-roll as compared to, say, Springsteen – the form was simpler when he was writing, so he hits you over the head with the classical approximation of “three chords and a bridge.” Oh well. SOTEvening: more Honour Woman.

Friday, Jan. 6: After dropping the boys off, I got drafted by The CEO to help move some cow-calf pairs from the Seven-Acre Field into the Barn Lot, because today’s weather was going to be nice, with temps in the upper 50sF and he needed to give them pour-on dewormers and their annual vaccinations. So I helped some and got yelled at a lot (“Bring ’em up! Don’t let those get past you! Go faster!”), and The CEO and Jeff worked 80 pairs today while I wrote a (quasi-) review of Amouage Honour Woman. Exhausting.

SOTMorning: Honour Woman. This was, obviously, before I had to go outside and chase cows. SOTAfternoon, post-shower: By Kilian Love and Tears, which smells very nice but bores me silly. Not a big jasmine fan. SOTEvening, right wrist: Anne Pliska, which strikes me as being something like Organza Indecence on steroids.

We indulged ourselves, and ate Little Caesar’s pizza for dinner tonight, along with green beans and salad. Yum.

Saturday, Jan. 7: Warm weather like yesterday. The CEO headed off with Gaze and Cory (who lives in the mobile home on the farm and sometimes helps us on weekends) to get up a cow-calf pair and treat them for a health problem. Bookworm left early this morning for an indoor track meet. I kept Cory’s little boy, Ty, who’s two. Taz helped keep Ty occupied, so the normal Saturday housecleaning took awhile. SOTD: Anne Pliska vs. Organza Indecence throwdown.

Sunday, Jan. 8: Weather still nice. SOTD: Sweet Redemption. The CEO and Gaze are deeply, deeply into playoff football, while Taz keeps clamoring to watch his new Harry Potter DVDs… Bookworm is off to church with PETBoy, and then spending the day with him. I think he’s even cooking lunch for her and his family today.

Still working on the new site and whipping it into shape. Just uploaded a new header photo taken with The CEO’s new camera, and it looks pretty good. The ads will not appear right away, but I’ve gotten the posts transferred and the blogroll rewritten.

If you know of any well-written, consistently-maintained blogs that I’ve missed, please do let me know! There are several I’ve added recently, and I dropped a few that are not being maintained, while leaving a few that have no new posts but which are so well-written that I still enjoy consulting them. (I really miss Rita of The Left Coast Nose – she might be my Evil Scent Twin as well as my ideological opposite, but I appreciate her passion and her personal investment in her blog, and while she’s in… Bolivia?… her sniffery blog is lying fallow. Perhaps she’ll take it up again at some point.)

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Image from lorislighteddlites.com

Monday, Dec. 26: Busybusybusy, mostly cleaning up from Christmas. SOTD: Um… nothing. Forgot. (Forgot! That’s just crazy.)

Bookworm was packing up her stuff for the marching band’s trip to the Champs Sports Bowl in Florida, where they’ll join several other bands to provide the halftime show. They’re also going to see the Blue Man Group, eat dinner at Medieval Times, go to the Universal Studios themepark and Islands of Adventure, and march in the Mini Macy’s Day Parade at Universal, as well as attend the bowl game and play the halftime show. Fun trip – for them, anyway. (You could not pay me enough to induce me to go as a chaperone to 72 teenagers, but there are plenty of parents going, such that there is one parent for each group of four kids. Better them than me, I say.)

Curiosity and Primrose came over and spent much of the day here with us, the kids playing football out in the yard with their cousins. That was lovely. Bookworm and PETBoy went out on another of their mysterious outings in which they go to visit his mother’s grave, and then they came back to have dinner with us and watch a DVD on the new big-screen TV.

I did put on a bit of B&BW Dark Kiss lotion before bed, which I like very much but have to limit my access to since it’s become Bookworm’s default fragrance. Had to get up at 2:20 a.m. to take Bookworm to the high school; the band bus was scheduled to leave at 3:30. Aargh.

Tuesday, Dec. 27: Slept late. Who wouldn’t? Broken night, and rain in the morning… good sleeping weather, as they say around here. SOTD: Amouage Memoir Woman. I had been considering Bottega Veneta. I’m determined to finish this darn review, even though I keep getting stuck on it. Is it better to review something new and well-done I don’t particularly like, or to go back into my stash and talk about something that isn’t all over the other blogs? I think it depends. I think I should discuss Bottega Veneta and how nice it is to see a mainstream release that’s not mindless – and also why I don’t like it.

I have something of the same feeling about Prada Candy. Although I like it, it doesn’t induce rapture, and I don’t think I have much of interest to add to the discussion of it. I think perhaps instead of separate reviews, I may do a post on gourmand fragrances in general, with mini-reviews. I love writing mini-reviews anyway.

I packed up all the Christmas wrapping stuff and put it in the attic. I reuse gift bags and tissue paper and bows if at all possible, only throwing them away when they’re irretrievably battered. This approach is slightly greener than wrapping everything in paper and throwing it away when used, but then I’m not terribly green (as in environmentally conscious) except where it is economically sensible and/or convenient. I recycle, of course, which involves taking paper/plastics/aluminum to the town recycling center once a month, which is neither convenient nor economically sensible, but rather a civic duty, in my opinion. But I won’t go so far as to insist on wrapping everything in dish towels. I like gift bags.

Wednesday, Dec. 28: SOTD: Champagne de Bois. Gaze helped The CEO move a bunch of cows and then doctor them (anti-pest pour-on medication to get them through the winter without worms and lice, and the annual disease-preventing shot).

Watched part of “Men Who Stare At Goats” (George Clooney, Ewan MacGregor) with The CEO. We’ve seen it before, and it’s just So Bizarre that I couldn’t take it and went to bed. SOBedtime: Havana Vanille.

Thursday, Dec. 29: Frosty-cold. Happy 17th birthday to PETBoy! SOTD: Amouage Memoir Woman. I must have worn this thing six times by now, and I still can’t figure it out. It’s wackalicious.


PCHS marching band in Orlando, photo by Nicole Ward. Bookworm's fourth from the left in the front row, with her gloves tucked up in her left epaulet strap.

We watched the Champs Sports Bowl (Florida State vs. Notre Dame) to see if we could get a glimpse of Bookworm and the PCHS marching band, but no dice. I hate it that you never get to see the halftime show when you watch a televised football game – except for the Super Bowl, but that’s not my kinda halftime show. You know me: I like marching bands, not the Black Eyed Peas.

The CEO and boys took down the Christmas tree today, because it was starting to get a little crunchy. We left up the garland and the electric candles in the windows, as well as the nutcrackers, which I usually leave on display until the second week of January because I lurves them so much.

Read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and enjoyed it very much. A strange novel, but delightfully strange (like Memoir, perhaps). Detractors on Amazon’s review pages don’t seem to like it because it “doesn’t make sense,” but it’s fantasy, people, it’s not supposed to “make sense.” The story’s coherent; just because you can’t explain what happens in it doesn’t mean it’s worthless. I was reminded of the bizarre and inexplicable and wonderful things that happen in Roald Dahl’s delightful classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Have these people never read Dahl? Probably not. Or they excuse the fantastic elements by saying, “Oh, it’s a kids’ book.” In any case, the author mentions Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab on her acknowledgements page, and I found that delightful as well. I hope that doesn’t mean that I’ll have to go and snap up BPAL imps now, which I have been avoiding doing. It would be so much better to go and sniff those in person. If they’ve got a Night Circus sample, I might have to get it. I’m guessing it would have notes of caramel apple and bonfire and popcorn, maybe the candles from the Wishing Tree, or the roses from the Ice Garden…

Friday, Dec. 30: My little desk, the one I keep my laptop on? It’s walnut. Well, it smells like Memoir Woman. Not surprising, of course, since I’ve worn it several times this week, but nice.

We took delivery of a new young bull today. The CEO wants to call him Hamlet, because his ear tag says… well, you guess.

I kept forgetting to put on perfume today, mostly because Memoir has stuck to me, even through a shower. Also, I am easily distracted when everybody is home. Aargh. The kids start school again on Jan. 2, so I won’t have to keep running the dishwasher twice a day. I finally put on a bit of Liz Zorn Centennial not long before bedtime. Cozy.

Saturday, Dec. 31: Warm today, in the low 50s. Fed the calf, cleaned the house. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum. The day’s mail contained a package from France (squee!), with a sample package of some of the L’Oeuvre Noire scents and all three of the Arabian Nights scents, because I had “liked” the By Kilian page on Facebook way back in October when they were offering this sample set. I’d been thinking about Sweet Redemption, so I nabbed that one right out of the package and spritzed it on. Whoa. Full review coming up (and I mean that this time, not like with Prada Candy and Bottega Veneta, which I really should review but can’t seem to find the enthusiasm for).

Bookworm came home this evening! So glad to see my girl; I missed her. Her brothers would say they didn’t miss her at all, but I notice they were pretty huggy with her.

Sunday, Jan. 1: Happy New Year! Church today, followed by the removal of most of the Christmas decorations, our New Year’d Day family tradition. SOTD: Sweet Redemption again.

My parents came by for a visit and took us all out for dinner, and that was lovely. SOTE: Mary Greenwell Plum. You know, I went back over the past year’s Scent Diaries and counted up the number of times I wore fragrances, and Plum was the thing I wore most often. (Duh, right?) The fragrance next on the frequency list was Alahine, and I wore Plum twice as often as I wore Alahine!

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Scent Diary, Dec. 19-25, 2011

Church pew decoration, image from http://www.susan03.com

Monday, Dec. 19: Ah, the week of Christmas. So, so much to do… SOTD: DSH Festive, which is really lovely. I have an oil sample; wonder what it would be like as a room spray?

Tuesday, Dec. 20: New TV! Exciting!! CEO drove to pick it up, and it is beyond kewl. SOTMorning: Abdes Salaam Attar Rosewood. Pretty, but I don’t love it. The TV, I do love. When we finally made the decision to move to digital, we went all out: 50” plasma. My brother-in-law K was urging us to go for the 1080 pixel one, because he says that you can really tell the difference with a home theater experience. However, we don’t have a Blu-ray or a home theater kit. We have a DVD player and a VHS tape player, for heaven’s sake! Mostly, we watch TV on our TV, so we went for the 720 pixel instead. We’re quite happy with it. (Particularly since that choice saved us $250.)

SOTEvening: Parfum Sacre. I often forget how nice Parfum Sacre is, and I shouldn’t.

Wednesday, Dec. 21: Weather wet and warm, in the upper 50s. Bookworm and The CEO have the stomach crud that I had last week and the boys had over the weekend, but Bookworm is really sick. I only have wrapping and cooking to do (and a bit of cleaning), so things are okay. SOTD: Prada Candy. It makes me want Hanae Mori, but I do like the Prada.

Thursday, Dec. 22: Warm again, and the rain has dried up. The ailing are at least somewhat better. I am finished wrapping gifts. The house smells good because I have candles out (Pumpkin Spice, Winter, Cranberry Spice) and we’ve done some baking. I smell good, too, in Alahine.

Friday, Dec. 23: Warm. Taz woke me up last night, vomiting. Urgh. SOTD: Alahine again. Went to my parents’ house to celebrate Christmas with my brother and sister and their families, whileTaz and The CEO stayed home. It was a lovely day. Saw my nephews Doodlebug (age 7, the redheaded one) and Choppers D (age 2, now speaking in complete sentences).

Saturday, Dec. 24: Warm again. Cleaned the house, put away some Christmas presents, made an eggnog cheesecake. SOTD: Alahine, all day. When it wore off, I put on more. It’s Christmassy. Went to Christmas Eve service at our old church, wanting the candlelight and the classical music and the gentle feeling of it… and the new minister does things differently, so it didn’t feel the same. Awkward. Still lovely, but awkward.

Sunday, Dec. 25: Merry Christmas! Chilly today. The CEO, who usually spends four hours feeding cows on Christmas Day, only had to feed the calves some corn, so he was gone about half an hour. SOTD: Alahine again. We opened stockings; we ate scalloped apples and homemade cinnamon rolls and bacon for breakfast. We opened gifts. In the afternoon, The CEO’s mother and older sister J, and his other sister E and her family, including niece Primrose and nephew Curiosity, joined us for dinner. PETBoy came over to have dessert and watch “Mr. Bean’s Christmas” on the new large TV with us.

SOTBedtime: Parfum Sacre again. I’ve been very staid in terms of scent choice this week, but I’m ready to test some new things soon. January’s coming, and it always seems that I’m drawn to big white florals in cold weather. Look out for the Tuberose Series reviews to be renewed!

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Scent Diary, Dec. 5-11, 2011


My nutcracker collection. Can anybody guess which one is my favorite? Hint: it's the oldest one in the ranks. I think I was 17 or 18 when my grandmother gave him to me.

Monday, Dec. 5: Arrgh. Tired. Grocery shopping and some running errands today. SOTD: Tabac Aurea, very lightly spritzed. I once put three spritzes on – neck and both wrists – and about died. Way too strong.

Every time I try to sit down and write on my NaNo novel, I can’t get anything done. I think maybe I just need to set it aside and do Christmas stuff and pick it up again in the new year. It needs some time to perk.

Tuesday, Dec. 6: Rain, off and on. Wearing a tiny bit of Carnal Flower in the morning, and then later, testing Bottega Veneta (for review).

The CEO took Taz off to the 4-H Dramatic Reading contest for the county elementary schools. He read from My Father’s Dragon (great book!) and did well, but not well enough to go on to Regionals. Bookworm and I went to Gaze’s Christmas band concert, and that went very well, too.

Wednesday, Dec. 7: Rain, all day. Did some laundry, put out some Christmas decorations, went over to my aunt’s house to pick up a few linens from my late grandmother’s stash, since her townhouse has been sold. SOTD: Prada Candy (also for review).

Thursday, Dec. 8: Clear and cold. SOTMorning: Bottega Veneta again.

Another shocking occurrence at Virginia Tech today: a man shot a campus police officer while the officer was doing routine traffic stops, then ran elsewhere on the campus and eventually shot himself. While the incident was being investigated, and while it was unclear whether the second body was that of the shooter, the university was in lockdown. It was a stressful afternoon for both The CEO, who is one of the Emergency Coordinators for the building where he teaches, and for me, because I’d been expecting him home for lunch.

No one other than the officer and the shooter were hurt, but good grief, that was well past enough, wasn’t it? It’s so strange that Blacksburg, which is still in so many ways a small and friendly town even when full of 24,000 students, should harbor such violence.

SOTAfternoon: Teo Cabanel Alahine, a lovely comforting thing for the ugly day. Also tried a wee bit of By Kilian Rose Oud on the back of one hand, and it’s very nice as well.

Went to a band parent informational meeting concerning the band’s trip to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando later in the month, then zipped off to chorus rehearsal. Our concerts will be Sunday afternoon and Monday evening.

Friday, Dec. 9: Clear and cold again in the morning, with afternoon highs at 50F. I did a bit of laundry and wrapped a few gifts with Gaze, who was home sick. No scent until late in the afternoon, and then I went looking for a sample of Soivohle (Liz Zorn) Quan Yin. Couldn’t find that, so I went for Frederic Malle Noir Epices. Mmmm.


Cows in the Twenty Acre Field behind the house. The old farrowing shed is now used to shelter orphaned calves; we call it The Guest House.

The CEO sold two full trailer loads (approximately 120 yearling calves) to a feedlot in Iowa today. He was very, very pleased, because the steers weighed 830 pounds on average and the heifers averaged out at about 765 pounds – they’re not too fat, but they are big and growing well, and should therefore be worth more than The CEO had figured them to be.

I made an absolutely beautiful apple pie. We ate half of it.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Bookworm’s off to an indoor track meet (all day). The rest of us cleaned up and wrapped presents and got a few more Christmas decorations out. I really like to do it a little bit at a time. Next weekend we’ll put up our tree. I also did quite a bit of online shopping, and I’m closer to being finished with the shopping tasks.

Bookworm ran well in the 1000 meters (a middle distance), with a personal record of 3:27, and also a PR in the 3200m (about 2 miles) of 12:37. Yay!

SOTD: SL Arabie, which I found interesting but uncomfortably foody until very late into the drydown, when I suddenly picked up a hint of myrrh, which I like very much.

Sunday, Dec. 11: Frosty. Made biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast, wrote checks to cover the honoraria for our community chorus instrumental accompanists, and got dressed for the concert.

Since there was a request repeated for singers to not wear perfume the day of the concert, I cheated: cotton ball spritzed with Iris Poudre, dropped down into my, um, brassiere. I could smell it, but just barely, and I doubt it bothered anyone.

The concert went fairly well, except for that one song where we went flat and I could hear it going but one person can’t do much to bring the pitch up. (One person, like one bad apple in a barrel, can bring the choir down.) Aargh. We had several instruments beside our usual piano/organ accompaniment: a harp, a guitar and a string bass, an additional piano, tubular bells, and a brass quartet from the high school band. This group included PETBoy, who did a beautiful job as usual, as did the rest of the kids.

Went on to church at 5:30, which is an awkward time if you ask me. Nobody wants dinner before we leave, and the service goes until 7, and we take 40 minutes to get home, and then the earliest you can eat is about 8:00 pm, which is a time when we’re usually getting kids into a pre-bedtime shower. Aargh.

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Perfume convention in Holland by parfumgott at Flickr.

Monday, Nov. 28: Uhhhh… what did I do on Monday? Lots of stuff, I remember, because The CEO and I were preparing to go to the Virginia Farm Bureau convention in Norfolk. I wrote a very little (mostly bad, filler dialogue, that I told Bookworm was fluff, and she agreed with me so we must be right). Did some laundry, packed bags, that sort of thing… the rest is a blur. SOTD: uhh…. hmm… oh, heck. I just can’t remember. I’m writing this on Wednesday morning, having failed to update the Diary on Monday, so who knows?

You realize, of course, that all the time I could be lying. And you’d never know.

Ahem. I’m not.

Daily NaNoWriMo wordcount: 1983. Total cumulative wordcount: 51,880. I probably need another fifteen hundred words just to make sure I’m over the top. Remember that thing about the NaNoWriMo word counter being considerably less generous than the Open Office one? Last time I checked, the document (including the July stuff) was counted by Open Office at 55,233. NaNo said 53,139.

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Rain. Dropped kids off at school, drove to Norfolk. (That’s about a six hour drive, peeps. It’s pretty far to drive from the west side of Virginia to the east side, and we’re not even as far west as you can get! I know, we’re no Texas, but still. Virginia is wider east-to-west than the North Island of New Zealand is long, north to south.) SOTD: Amouage Lyric Woman. Wrote a little bit in the car, but my laptop battery has the stamina of an 80-year-old playing soccer, so that quickly became a non-option for spending time.

We got to our hotel at 2:30 pm and the room wasn’t ready. “Check back after 4 o’clock,” the desk clerk said. We went in to our district caucus at 3:30. When we came out of that meeting at 4:30, the room still wasn’t ready. “Check back with us in half an hour,” she said. It wasn’t ready at 5:15, either. “Go ahead and give me your credit card number for incidentals, and we’ll call your cell phone when it’s ready.” We went in to dinner at 6:00, and The CEO’s phone buzzed at 6:10. The room was ready… we weren’t. (Dinner was lovely: steamed green beans, mashed red potatoes, chicken breast in a delicious rosemary-paprika sauce, a frisee salad and a dessert bar thing including a chocolate fountain that The CEO and I skipped in order to go claim our room.) We did finally check in at about 8:00 pm, and were treated to some lovely Boursin and crackers and Chardonnay as an apology for the delay. Yum. We felt much better. Scent of Bedtime: Tableau de Parfums Miriam.

Daily NaNoWriMo wordcount: 1431. Total cumulative wordcount 53,311. That does push me over the top – Yay, I’m a Winnah!

Wednesday, Nov. 30: The rain cleared up, and we had nice weather here in Norfolk. (Locals, I’m told, say Naw-fock.) I’m supposed to be filling in for an absent voting delegate in the policy sessions, but The CEO says there’s nothing controversial up for discussion this year, and no significant board elections, and I think he felt guilty at not telling me that Stuart was not going to be here, so I’m writing instead of sitting in the meetings. Woohoo. I still have two crucial scenes to write, so the novel isn’t quote – FINISHED – unquote. Still, I knocked out 50K of pretty decent stuff this month, and I’m proud of me. SOTD: Chanel 31 Rue Cambon. It makes me feel rich. And nice.

After lunch (spring green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, pork loin roast with mustard sauce, roast potatoes, and steamed vegetables, with some rather dry orange-coconut cake), I WENT SHOPPING.

YES, I DID. It was a novelty to me, Dear Readers. I thought possibly I might spend my birthday Macy’s gift card at the shopping center that’s two blocks’ walk from our hotel, but they don’t have a Macy’s. They have H&M, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, and just about every other store that you could possibly ever ever want – lingerie, clothing, shoes, books, toys, housewares, bath products, you name it.

Yes, I am aware that those of you with access to this kind of mall are now laughing at me. But really, it’s so exciting! My local mall is skimpy. The mall in my parents’ hometown is a little better, but nothing like this one. I managed not to hyperventilate with happiness. I bought Christmas gifts for each person in my family – sale items, of course.

And then, Dear Readers, I SNIFFED NORDSTROM. Met a lovely and helpful SA named Edie, who tells me that Dec. 3 is a special fragrance sale day, where most fragrances at Nordstrom will sell at regular price, but a full-size fragrance purchase will also get you the body product(s) and/or miniature size included, and that if I want to call her and order by phone, there wouldn’t be any shipping charge. I have perfumista friends who do this all the time (cough Dear Daisy cough), so I knew it was possible, but this is the first time a sales associate has ever offered this sort of thing to me. Edie* made me samples of Prada Candy and Bottega Veneta, and tossed in a few other manufacturer samples as well, and she gave me her card. I loved Prada Candy on a paper strip, found Chanel No. 19 Poudre disappointing (I’m sure you’re not surprised), and thought that Tom Ford Violet Blonde smelled like Smarties, at least in the topnotes – i.e. not my thing. Bottega Veneta is very nice, but Cuir de Lancome is kicking its butt all over the playground for now.

* If you don’t have a delightful Nordstrom SA of your own and you want Delightful Edie’s phone number, send me an email and I’ll give it to you.

The Eastern Seaboard counties usually host a “crab legs and cocktails” reception at this conference every year, and the last night’s dinner usually features either prime rib or some kind of steak. Tonight? Salad with blue cheese dressing, more mashed red potatoes, and roasted asparagus. Steak, undercooked for my taste – although I prefer steak to prime rib, which tends to give me the willies with all that fat on it. The crab legs were faaaaabulous, though. (I wonder why the hotels always give us so much meat on our plates. The chicken breast on Tuesday was just right, but three slices of pork for today’s lunch was about two slices too much. And I couldn’t have eaten all this steak even if I hadn’t chowed down on crab legs.)

SOTEvening: Lolita Lempicka. I liked it when the nice Roman guy spritzed me last spring, and I like it from the sample that Delightful Edie gave me too. At the same time, it seems a lot like Caron Aimez-Moi on steroids, so I suppose I don’t really “need” any.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Clear weather. Oddly, it seems that it will be colder here on the coast than at home in the mountains – usually it’s the other way around. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum. Drove home today. Also testing Bottega Veneta. I might need to employ the spritz-until-wet technique in order to experience it properly, because it is very subtle in this cold dry weather.

The evening was very cold and clear at home, around freezing. I had to miss seeing the band march in the P— Christmas parade because I had community chorus practice, which went pretty well. Bookworm said she had enough clothes on to stay warm.

And someone at chorus complained about people wearing perfume during performances, so I can’t do that anymore – even light things that I could barely smell. Sigh. Still, the complaint is of an “it makes my throat burn” nature, so I suppose I can’t quibble too much.

Friday, Dec. 2: Clear and cold again. SOTD: Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan. Which I kinda sorta like, but am not in love with despite all the perfumistas enraptured with it. The Serge I keep wanting to wear again is Jeux de Peau, which has surprised me. (And of course La Myrrhe, which was absolute true love at first sniff.)

Saturday, Dec. 3: Another clear-and-cold. We went to the D— Christmas parade to see Bookworm march with her Santa hat and ribbon-decorated saxophone. We were pleasantly surprised to see so many entries in the parade: the marching band, a deputation from the VFW post, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Kazim Shriners, the Ruritans, the Brothers in Arms Harley-Davidson club, two area church floats, the 4H club, an environmental club, a local horse club, the mayor and town council members, and the volunteer fire department (on the ladder trucks, of course).

SOTMorning: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque. Taz hated it, Gaze liked it, The CEO said it was nice but girly. (Girly??) Taz: I hate that. It smells like… decaying steel! Gaze: Steel doesn’t decay, you dummy. If it smelled metallic that would be a good description, but it isn’t metallic at all. Me, to Gaze: So what does it smell like to you? Gaze: Syrup. Wood, maybe. Is there… um, musk in there too? It’s kind of… dirty. Like the cattle working pens. Me (delighted): Yes! It’s pretty dirty. And there’s a lot of tobacco. Gaze: Tobacco?? That perfume does not smell like cigarettes. Me: Nope. It smells like pipe tobacco. Unburned tobacco smells nice, sort of like gingerbread. Gaze: Oh. Well, that [FT] does smell sort of sweet. Yeah, I can see “gingerbread.”

To be honest, this thing smells like animal butt covered in caramel to me, which is sort of freaky and unsettling until whatever that animalic note is – it smells like a really filthy musk to me, or possibly a honey note gone pervo – calms down.

Cleaned the house. Then we went to my grandmother Nell’s townhouse to pick up some of the last bits of furniture left before the new owner moves in. I miss her. Weird to look at her furniture and think, this is the tangible stuff that’s left behind. SOTAfternoon: Amouage Memoir Woman. I was expecting it to be dry and animalic and smoky and weird… but it isn’t. It’s lovely. Piney frankincense, I think, and a sweet leathery note. Very comfortable, actually. I didn’t check the notes list, so I don’t know for sure, and I was busy enough hauling furniture to not notice the whole development.

The CEO watched Virginia Tech‘s football team get their butts handed to them (again!) by Clemson. After all the snide things he’s had to say about the University ofVirginia‘s football team this season, I can only say: HA! Howdja like them apples? (Three guesses as to where each one of us went to college, and the first two don’t count. I get my revenge for his team being better at football where I can. For example, I bought Gaze a jacket recently, and it’s UVa BLUE AND ORANGE, not VT maroon and orange. So there. I don’t mind being petty now and again.)

Sunday, Dec. 4: Frosty this morning, warm in the afternoon. The calves were dotted all over the field this morning, lying down while their mamas grazed. No SOTM. This month, our church is having evening services only, which is weird but sort of nice. Put out my collection of nutcrackers, which all have Teutonic names like Heinrich and Wolfgang and Karl. Because it amuses me, that’s why.

Bookworm is swimming in the vasty sea of homework-and-upcoming-exams, and barely keeping her desperate little blonde head above it*, so PETBoy went to church all by his lonesome this morning, and then joined us in the afternoon for our church services. It’s the only time, outside of school and marching band activities, that they’ve seen each other all week. Poor sweeties. Bookworm says I’m way too concerned. (* All A’s so far, even in the college-level classes, but she gets so stressed.)

SOTAfternoon: I Profumi di Firenze Tuberosa d’Autonno. I liked this before, but today it was too sweet to start and then disappeared too fast. Huh. SOTEvening: Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger, which I was fully expecting to hate, given its reputation for sweaty orange blossom. For one thing, this OB isn’t doing its usual boring soapy impression. In fact, I think there must be a buncha jasmine and tuberose in there too. For another, it may be that I am not very sensitive to cumin. The famously-raunchy, cuminy Amaranthigh (Penhaligon’s Amaranthine) is so innocuous on me that I wear it to church.

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"A Warm Glowing Red" from freewallpapers4desktop.com. The last of our leaves have finally gone brown and left the trees this week.

Monday,  Nov. 21:  Warm today, into the upper 60s, but cloudy, with rain off and on. Got my turkey breast out of the freezer and into the fridge to thaw for cooking on Thursday morning.  SOTD: Bath & Body Works Velvet Tuberose hand cream, with a weensy spritz of DelRae Amoureuse on top.

SOTEvening: Mary Greenwell Plum.  Off to the high school for the end-of-marching-band-season potluck dinner, followed by the Parents’ Meeting for Winter Sports.  I cannot imagine what the coaches have to tell us this time that’s different from what they had to tell us at the Parents’ Meeting for Fall Sports two and a half months ago.   I can’t believe I’m missing the video from the Wake Forest band competition, which I couldn’t go to, for this stupid sports meeting.  Usually The CEO does the track stuff and I do the band stuff, but he’s off at the School Board meeting.

(Answer to “what’s new?”: nuthin’ much, except for the disturbing fact that the Indoor Track team will not be allowed to run inside the school on wet or cold days because the maintenance guys are supposed to be cleaning the new tile floor.  Yeah.  That’s a good reason to kick 38 kids out into the snow, right?  They can’t use the gym because the basketball teams are practicing in it, and the football field house is primarily a weight room and not suited to running.  The industrial arts building is better physically suited to a practice facility, particularly for sprinters.  However, it houses a daycare that lets out at 5:30 pm, and school officials don’t want 180-pound sprinters barrelling down halls that could contain toddlers… they’ll have to find a solution, and soon.)

Daily NaNoWriMo word count is 2528, with a cumulative total of 41,178.  Scent of Bedtime is Alahine again.

Tuesday, Nov. 22:    Warm but rainy again.  Poor Gaze got sick last night; looks like he’s got the 24-hour crud that hit Taz and Bookworm last week.  SOTD: Parfumerie Generale Praline de Santal.  (Nice.  I like.)

The CEO and I went to the benefit program at the high school, in which the choir sang, the drama department presented a one-act play, and the band played.  It was nice.  SOTE: Amouage Lyric Woman.  It rained ugly all night.

Daily NaNo wordcount 2879, for a cumulative total of 44,057. 

Wednesday, Nov. 23:  Kids out of school.  Rain cleared off during the morning.  Windy and chilly but not miserable.  I hope the track team had a place to practice! SOTD: Smell Bent One, which I still like very much and should wear more frequently. 

Gaze helped me make scalloped apples, a Thanksgiving tradition for us.  Yeah, yeah, we made them early, but the bags of apples on the counter were getting in the way.  I’ll try to post a recipe later – it’s kind of a pain, because my recipe came from my mom, and goes something like, “use all the apples you have, add as much sugar and cornstarch and lemon juice as you think it needs, cook until it looks right.”  So there’s actually nothing written down, and I’ll have to write it down myself and check it for accuracy.

Daily NaNo wordcount 1749, for a cumulative total of 45,806.

Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving:  Clear, lovely day with sunshine.  The CEO went out early this morning to move a bull back out of a field full of cows where he ought not to be, and found a cow dead for no apparent reason.  She wasn’t old, she hadn’t recently had a calf, she hadn’t been obviously sick, she wasn’t dehydrated, she hadn’t gotten her feet up the hill. (Weird, huh? If a cow lies down on a hill the wrong way, having feet up at a higher level than her head, it messes up her digestion so that  she begins to bloat, and then she can’t breathe.  That happens occasionally.)  We’re postulating a pregnancy that went wrong, but without an autopsy there’s no way to know.  SOTMorning:  Si Lolita, for no other reason than it’s pretty and the mini was close at hand.

Made spiced cider and cooked a turkey breast.  Added a snap to Bookworm’s new purple blouse (for modesty, her idea) and ironed it; then she went off with PETBoy to his grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving lunch.  Made gravy.  Heated up the scalloped apples that Gaze helped me make yesterday.  The rest of us went over to The CEO’s mother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  His sister E, brother-in-law K, sister J, and E & K’s kids – Curiosity and Primrose – were there, and Bookworm and PETBoy came and joined us for their Thanksgiving: The Sequel.

SOTD: Organza Indecence.  I considered Jeux de Peau, Champagne de Bois, and Alahine, but decided OI would be just right.  Also thought of that sample of Ambre Sultan, but I was leery of trying something so new before going to spend time with people who are not perfumistas.

Daily NaNo wordcount 2802, for a cumulative total of 48,608.  (However, the OpenOffice wordcount tends to be pretty inflated.  I’ll bet that NaNoWriMo says it’s only about 47K.) 

Friday, Nov. 25:  Went to validate my wordcount at NaNo, and I (oopsie!) included the whole document, not just the stuff written in November.  The official total wordcount is 57,209 per NaNo (58,569 by OpenOffice’s overly generous count).  I won’t consider myself a “winner” unless I can get 60,000 before the end of the month, because I wrote 9920 words in July.   I certainly think it’s doable.

Clear and cold today.  My nephew Curiosity spent the night, and all three boys have been building forts and shooting each other with Nerf guns all morning.  Primrose wanted to come over and play, but Bookworm is out with her dad and Jeff, moving a group of cattle from the Morgan place back home for the winter, and Primrose doesn’t want to be here until there’s more estrogen in the house.  Not that she put it that way… but she’s a very girly little girl, completely uninterested in Nerf guns or forts.  (As an eleven-year-old, I’d probably have picked up a Nerf gun myself.  Sadly, I was six years older than the oldest of my cousins, and always a bit left out of cousin play.)

SOTD:  testing Rose Kashmirie again.  Still a no, I think, or at least a not for me.   Daily NaNo wordcount 41, for a cumulative total of 48,649.

Saturday, Nov. 26:  Lovely weather!  Cousins over for a visit in the morning, then a bit of housecleaning and off to my parents for Late Thanksgiving and my dad’s birthday.    SOTD: Tableau de Parfums Miriam.   (Poor PETBoy.  He went with us, largely because Bookworm asked him to, and I think he was bored out of his skull.)  It was lovely to see my brother and his wife, and their darling little boy Chopper D, who is – gasp! – no longer a baby.  He’s two and talking and completely fascinated with blue cars and watches.  He, um, “borrowed” Bookworm’s watch and wore it all afternoon.  No, it did not fall off: he’s big for his age, and she’s small.

Daily NaNo wordcount 0, for a cumulative total of 48,649.   (Except that when I verified my wordcount at NaNoWriMo, the stuff I’ve written this month has been folded into the 9920 words that I wrote in July, so it thinks I’ve “won.”  I WILL get to 50K written this month.  It’s coming up fast.)

Sunday, Nov. 27:  Cloudy and windy again.  The CEO preached at a small Presbyterian church (once pastored by his dad’s first cousin, now down to about 22 members, mostly elderly) today.  Bookworm went to chuch with PETBoy, and the boys and I went to the later (11 am) service at our church today.  Advent started this Sunday, which was a surprise to me.  I’d stopped being in the habit of Advent, once we left our previous church for our current one, but looks like it’s back.  Which is sort of nice.  An advent wreath is a nice tradition – but I admit that I got sick of only singing Advent hymns for a month, because there are only about six of them, and there are alllll these dozens and dozens of lovely Christmas hymns that weren’t getting sung at all, except on Christmas Eve, and then only the first verse.  There are whole generations of young Presbyterians growing up without learning the beautiful second and third verses of Joy to the World, for example.

Also, I am SO, SO not ready for the Christmas stuff.  Not yet. My Christmas things will start getting hauled out gradually, beginning with the nutcracker collection the first weekend in December, the Nativity set, electric candles and a door wreath the second weekend, followed by a tree on the third weekend.  And it will all come down on New Year’s Day, because that’s the way I roll. I know that the town administrations in the area have had decorations up for two weeks, and I know the official “Christmas season” has already begun, but I don’t like this whole let’s-celebrate-for-six-weeks-and-buy-lots-of-stuff thing.  I just don’t like it.  Now get off my lawn!

I realize that my “let’s sing Christmas carols now” and “let’s not decorate yet” preferences may seem idealistically opposed, but they make sense to me.   Okay.  OVER it.  Shutting up now. 

SOTD: Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Chypree.  I don’t know whether my sample has gone off, or what: there seems mostly the ambergris-heavy Tauerade in this, where once I remember lots of dark rose and spices.  I mean, it still smells good.  It just smells different than I remember.  SOTEvening: Caron Parfum Sacre.

Daily NaNo wordcount 1248, for a cumulative total of 49,897Almost there…  if I’d been able to stay awake last night, I’d be there already.

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Image from Wallpapers etc.

Monday,  Nov. 14:  Sunny and warm, in the low 60s.  SOTD: SSS “Classic” tester, Nov. 3 version.  Reminds me quite a bit of Tableau de Parfums Miriam (which I’ve said before), except that Classic’s heart is more mimosa-rose and the base has some oakmoss and patchouli.   Classic is more… well, classic, (duh) with that vaguely chypre base.  Miriam is so tender and nostalgic, in a different kind of way.

A pretty good NaNo day:  Daily word count is 3119, with a cumulative total of 26,114.

Tuesday, Nov. 15:  Rain. And half the denizens of this household have a cold.  (The observant among you will note that “half the denizens” works out to two-and-a-half people, or if we’re counting pets as well, that makes three-and-a-half living beings.  However, if we take the two pets and make them equal to one person, which PETA would certainly chastise me for doing, then that makes three denizens of the household with a cold, and that happens to be the case: Taz, Bookworm and I are sniffling, sneezing, and snotty-nosed.  ‘Tain’t no fun.  I’m tellin’ ya.)

SOTD: Nothing.  Nada.  I got busy and I forgot, and by the time I remembered, I didn’t want to waste time on sampling something, but samples were all that were handy to the desk on which I write, and although I would probably have benefited from a brief jog over to the dresser where I keep most of my in-season bottles and decants, all of five feet away, I couldn’t be bothered.  Because then, my dears, I would have had to have chosen something, and I was getting my main characters Day and Meredith out of a potential scrape with the obviously-drunk and possibly-dangerous meth-head redneck Jackson brothers, and it was taking all of my attention.  I had no attention to spare for perfuming myself with licquored-up Jacksons on the loose, because their mama’s people is Cecils and Odells from Little Creek, and don’t nobody mess with them ‘thout a shotgun. 

Clearly I am overusing my dash key today.  No matter: Daily NaNo wordcount 2888, for a cumulative total of 29,002.  I did choose a bedtime fragrance: Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita.  I like a good peppery floriental; too bad this one has such lousy staying power.

Wednesday, Nov. 16:  Taz woke me up last night with the thrilling news that he had vomited, and a little bit got on his pillow but he made it to the bathroom for the rest.  Oh, joy.  I was so tired that I told him to just pull his comforter onto the floor and sleep there, and I’d clean up later.  By morning, he was feeling better and said he was hungry, and the bed wasn’t that icky, so I wasn’t worried about him.  But then Bookworm called me from school, telling me that she’d thrown up too and would I please come get her?  So they were both home today, and I held off on scent so that should any of us be stricken by more nausea, at least I wouldn’t ruin a fragrance with bad associations.    Later in the afternoon, I chose Prada Infusion d’Iris, which is so light and pleasant that I figured it would survive any such attack.  But there was none.

Daily NaNo wordcount 1207, for a cumulative total of 30,209.

Thursday, Nov. 17:  Cold.  Rainy. Everybody feeling better and back at school. Meant to wear L’Arte di Gucci today, but got distracted.  SOTD: Parfumerie Generale Aomassai, which is gorgeous and rich and roasted-smelling for ten minutes, after which it smells like a very nice masculine oriental.  Overall, I’m disappointed that it isn’t earthshaking, but it is pleasant.  Trying not to get sick today; took a two-hour nap in the afternoon. 

Finally it cleared up, and I picked up Bookworm at school and took her to the courthouse to get her official driver’s license.  In Virginia, you’re still required to go before a judge (usually in a group hearing), and hear about your responsibilities as a driver, how driving is a privilege and not a right, and that if you are still a minor, your parents still control whether you can possess that license or not.  You also hear about the risks of driving, the biggest reasons for accidents in drivers under 21 (inexperience, distraction, speeding, impairment due to drugs/alcohol), and that recently-increased legal penalties for delinquent behavior such as alcohol possession or truancy can affect your driver’s license.  It’s a sobering discourse, followed by the ceremonial presentation of the license to the new driver’s parent.  In any case, I held Bookworm’s freedom there in my hot little hand for all of four minutes before recognizing out loud that she’s mature and trustworthy, and handing it over to her with a reminder that I didn’t go through 28 hours of labor with her and sixteen years of parenting, just to have all that good work ruined by her death in a vehicle, so be careful  with it.

Had a good community chorus rehearsal.  Wore Alahine to bed.  Yum.

Grr.  Having NaNo difficulties… every time I sit down to write something, it comes out STUPID.  Lousy 146 word count today, cumulative count 30,355.   Not behind yet, but I am puzzled by the reason for the setback.  What did I do wrong?  Why aren’t my characters telling me what’s going on?  They should be.  I have all sort of plot and character-development ideas… though I know for a fact that I am avoiding writing an action climax.  Maybe that’s it; they know I’m being a total chicken about the car crash night and they resent me.

Friday, Nov. 18:  The CEO comes home tonight, yay!  Bookworm has a date. Got to do a little cleaning-straightening and think up something nice for dinner.  It’s very cold and clear outside, and nearly all of our beautiful fall leaves are on the ground, but it smells nice: a bit of woodsmoke in the air, some damp decaying leaves, and the odor of frost over large areas of grass.  Drinking Pumpkin Spice Chai tea, yum.  Burning Pumpkin Spice candles, too – it’s become a NaNoWriMo ritual almost.

SOTD: Tauer Une Rose Chypree.  Totally not what my character would wear, but no matter. I’m digging it.  I don’t think fragrance cognitive disconnect is behind my recent word blockage… I don’t think so. I wasn’t writing any better with the Infusion d’Iris on instead.  SOBedtime: Alahine again.  I love Alahine.  (And you know? It plays nicely with URC.)

Daily NaNo wordcount 4689, for a cumulative total of 35,224.  Woo-hoo! 

Saturday, Nov. 19:  Cleaned house, took recyclables to the county collection place, bought another two gallons of milk, yada yada… SOTD: Guerlain Idylle edt.  It’s lighter and less patchouli-heavy than the edp, with some lily of the valley on top of the rose and jasmineand I like it a lot more.  It does have patchouli, that “clean” version that perfumistas love to hate on, but that kind seems to bother me less than the other.  It is somewhat… hm… higher-pitched than a lot of patchoulis, but the entire edt version of Idylle is fairly high-pitched, and I rather like it.

Daily NaNo wordcount 1480, for a cumulative total of 36,704.  SOTE: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur.  (How come the pretty, floral edt version of Black Orchid got discontinued and the shrieking, dirt-and-cucumbers original edp version didn’t? I don’t know either.)

Sunday, Nov. 20:   Cloudy but warmer, with temps in the mid-50s.  Early church (good music, sermon on the Widow’s Mite).  SOTMorning: nothing except the remains of Voile de Fleur on my red sweater. Managed to cut down the remaining salvia and the dead foliage, made a huuuuge dish of faux Beef Stroganoff for lunch.  Football on TV for the males in the house.  That’s not to say that the females of the house don’t partake: I prefer my football live, though I’ll watch a game or two if I have nothing better to do.  Bookworm likes football, too, but PETBoy ate lunch with us, and then they spent some time talking (talking, ha!) standing outside near his truck before she had to come in and do the rest of her homework.

SOTAfternoon: Honore des Pres Vamp a NY.  I’m now getting that bubble gum note that some people talk about with it.  It’s borderline Way Too Trashy, but on me that’s gone in about half an hour, and since I never hated it the way I do certain topnotes (cough cough Tubereuse Criminelle cough), I do love the Vamp again once it’s into the tuberose-and-vanilla heart that I think of as its main character.

Daily NaNo wordcount 1480 1946 , for a cumulative total of 36, 704 38,650.  (oops, didn’t update properly).

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