Sunday, September 13, 2015

SOTD of a Wood Chopper? Une Rose

Wood has turned out to be of unexpected significance during my epic stay in New Zealand. I recently returned to the crib after having spent six weeks off the grid at Cloud 9, a vacation house down the street with only a wood-burning stove as its heat source! I was generously provided with a huge shed of already chopped wood, but eventually I had to wield the ax to make some small pieces with which to start the morning fire. Here's how it all played out, the scent of fresh wood mingling with my SOTD: 

Frédéric Malle Une Rose

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Scent of Freshly Cut Timber

and other reflections on the olfactory facets of travel...

text to follow...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Yet More Soap! The Noblest of Toiletries...

Now that I have managed to cram all of my worldly possessions in a storage space measuring 8 ft x 8 ft x 10 ft--save the contents of three very heavy suitcases and a humongous and probably "against the rules" carry-on tote, I've decided to organize everything else as well, beginning with my photographic images. This has become necessary because now that I have commenced sherapop's big adventure, I am snapping photos like a ... gasp ... tourist!

In the past, I never took photos on my trips to far-away lands. Not in Japan, not in Ghana, not in Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, Argentina, anywhere in Europe, nowhere. Partly because I always felt that tourists spent way too much time figuring out how to get the best photos and not enough time looking at things. Partly probably because it used to be rather cumbersome to take photos. You had to buy film, for one. You had to buy the right kind of film. Then you had to develop the film, upon which you'd find that many of the photos were not really worth developing. You kept them, of course, but the whole tedious and expensive process had a strongly deterrent effect.

Not so anymore. Now you can snap one hundred photos and be happy with ten of them and not have wasted anything at all. Yes, digital photography has made everyone into a photographer. Well, perhaps only to the extent that the internet has turned everyone into a writer (ahem). You don't even need a camera, though I have one, because I have yet to join the i-phone craze. Perhaps another day, but for now I still have a "dumb phone" and take pictures on a smart camera,  Nikon Coolpix, which honestly was one of the best investments I ever made. I had to bring it with me to New Zealand, because everything in this place is stunningly beautiful, and it's so far-flung that nearly no one is going to come here to visit me. Hard to believe, but it's not overhyped!

I was a bit daunted by the prospect of doing this, until some kind soul introduced me to Pixelresizer software. What a relief to be able to diminish file sizes by folders instead of one image at a time! So here I am organizing my ever-expanding collection of photographs on Flickr, and I found these entries in the Soap series:

So, yes, it can be truthfully said that I like soap!

Look carefully at the next image, and you'll see the bars I brought with me! Yeah, I know...

My only real defense is that I'll be here for eight months!

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Pictures of Lily...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pictures of Lily

After smelling the scent of these gorgeously intoxicating flowers fill the house 
where I am staying near Orange Beach, Alabama, 
I feel compelled to give

Cartier Baiser Volé

 another try!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Around the World in 2400 Perfumes...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

His or Hers? 8: Amouage Gold

Amouage Gold pour Femme (1983)
I first tried this perfume a couple of years ago, and my immediate impression was that it was very similar to Estée Lauder White Linen. Both creations offer a strong aldehyde experience. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the aldehydes really dominate these compositions. There are lots of other participants, but the aldehydes steal the show to the point where I have to be in a certain type of mood to wear this sort of perfume.

In some ways I hate to admit this, because so many people gush over Gold, but to my nose, White Linen extrait is a more appealing perfume. I somehow get that weird buzz which appears to scintillate the central nervous system of devotees of Chanel no 5. Everyone needs to have that essential life-transforming aldehyde experience with one perfume, but which one it will be varies from person to person. Chanel no 5 never really did it for me, but White Linen extrait did--once. Alas, I was never able to repeat the experience, and was a tad disappointed when I acquired a bottle of the eau de parfum and found it to have a fuzzier oak moss quality rather than the white Dial soap clarity-inducing zing.

In my initial testing of the made for women perfumes from this house I found Amouage Dia to be even more intensely aldehydic, or perhaps with fewer base notes than Gold, so I did end up preferring Gold to Dia, but if the truth be told, I was not enamored of either. Trying Gold again a couple of days ago, I realized that I still find the aldehyde a bit overdosed to the point of shrouding the flowers.

I wonder whether the same mistake was made in this case as was made with Chanel no 5? Legend has it that the mixer added five times more aldehydes than prescribed by the formula. But that was what Gabrielle selected, and the rest is history.

Perfumer: Guy Robert
Notes (from lily of the valley, rose, frankincense, orris root, jasmine, myrrh, amber, musk, sandalwood, cedar, civet + ALDEHYDES!!!! (why are they missing from the pyramid at Parfumo, I wonder?)

Amouage Gold pour Homme (1983)
I was happy finally to give Gold for guys a sniff, in honor of Vladimir Putin's recent valiant attempt to avert World War III. It is rumored throughout the world wide web that Vlad's signature scent is Amouage Gold pour Homme, so that was reason enough for me to pull out my carded sample. What I found, to my surprise, was a perfume rather close to Van Cleef & Arpels First! The first clue was the heavy civet. But the blended florals are really beautiful in Gold pour Homme as well.

In fact, upon reading a review by jtd it dawned on me that Amouage Gold pour Homme is like First without aldehydes, and Amouage Gold pour Femme is an aldehyde bomb, so First is basically the equivalent of a cross between Gold pour Homme and Gold pour Femme!

My favorite of the three is Van Cleef & Arpels First. But First is not in the running today. Amouage Gold pour Homme is a better perfume than Gold pour Femme, in my opinion. It's more complex and not marred by the aldehyde overkill of Gold pour Femme. In fact, when I wore it the other day I was forced to postpone my bath because I couldn't bear washing it away!

Some of my perfume pals do not like Gold pour Homme. Perhaps they find the civet too heavy. I, in contrast, find it to be an excellent perfume--for guys and gals alike! Yes, it's old school, in some sense, but it's also a welcome blast from the past in this age of abstraction and Twitter perfumery. I've been finding that nearly all of the Amouage pour Homme perfumes are highly wearable by me, and in several cases I prefer the Homme to the FemmeGold is no exception to the rule!

Perfumer: Guy Robert
Notes (from dog rose, lily of the valley, frankincense, orris root, jasmine, myrrh, amber, patchouli, oak moss, musk, sandalwood, cedar, civet

Running Tally: His or Hers?