Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Idole de Lubin

Much has already been written about this new scent, the 466th from the centuries-old Paris house of Lubin. Founded by Pierre-Francois Lubin in 1798, the house of Lubin quickly gained renown in Paris. Lubin scents were worn by Empress Josephine and Princess Borghese - Napoleon Bonaparte's sister. Lubin fragrances made their way to America in 1830 but seem to have faded between then and now. The creation of Idole, however, may be just what was needed to conquer the New World again.

Created by Olivia Giacobetti, Idole is truly a wonder. This scent was created to evoke travels in wondrous, faraway places. I can't pick just one place. One moment I am lying under the stars in the desert, with a nomadic tribe, a sweet-wood fire and air much cooler than I expected after the heat of the day. In another moment I am in a bazaar, with the scents of cumin, saffron, woods, leather all swirling around me. Another sniff brings me to the edge of the jungle, with its fecund mysteries - beauty and danger. By the drydown, I am back home in my imaginary library. I am surrounded by the scented souvenirs I picked up in my travels, looking through photos in my big leather chair by the fireplace, with my very own ebony mask hanging on the wall.

Listed notes: Rum absolute, bitter orange peel, saffron, black cumin, doum palm, smoked ebony, sugar cane, leather and red sandalwood.

If Cumin in a fragrance scares you, don't fear it here. It must be the particular type of cumin in Idole (black cumin) that does not give the sweat accord. This is a very soft cumin, almost a hint of fresh cumin from a distance, carried on a sea breeze. The sandalwood is simultaneously sweet and powerful, a note that touches your heart, yet you don't quite understand why. Rum and bitter orange in the beginning are stunning and immediately transport you to another world. Leather in the drydown has a comfortable air of old money.

When I first tried this fragrance I thought it might be better suited for my husband - all the woods and rum felt just a tad masculine to me, but the more I wear it, the more I love it. This is a fragrance for a woman who is sure of herself, a bit worldly and sophisticated, and maybe on the intimidating side. Or for a woman who just wants to smell like that.

Olivia Giacobetti's fragrances include some of my favorites: L’Artisan Dzing!, L'Artisan Safran Troublant (another masterful use of saffron) and several other amazing L'Artisans. A few for Diptyque, including my favorite Philosykos, Hermes Hiris and many more. For a more complete list, visit Now Smell This: Noses.

Idole de Lubin is now available at Luckyscent in Los Angeles and online, Beautyhabit online and Luscious Cargo, in New Smyrna Beach and online.

Many thanks to Colombina of Perfume-Smellin' Things, Robin of Now Smell This, Victoria of Bois de Jasmin and M. Giles Thevenin of Lubin.

Today's Fragrance: Idole de Lubin.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Three Blind Mice

"I tried for a whole summer to teach our cat to play the piano. We started with an easy song. It was 3 Blind Mice. My dad said it didn't work because the cat had a tin ear, but I think it was because she kept looking around for the blind mice the whole time & never gave it her full attention. "

Every once in a while, when I can't think of anything much to say, I hop on the Story People website and artist Brian Andreas says it for me. I could get lost for hours on his site.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


We all know how to spell fuchsia, right? Yes, I did spell it right - F U C H S I A. Today's dictionary has one word separating fuchsia from fuck, and that is Fuchsin (a synthetic dyestuff, used to make a purple-red dye for coloring textiles and as a bacterial stain).

But don't you want to know WHY we spell fuchsia this way? PFG the linguist did and this is what her American Heritage Dictonary tells us of the etymology of fuchsia: NLat. Fuchsia, genus name, after Leonard Fuchs (1501-66), German Botanist

Many thanks to buleria for teaching me how to spell fuchsia, and enduring my seemingly never-ending excitement about it.

Many thanks to pfg, for learning how to spell it today and then wondering why.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

On Cheering Up: Advice

"Part your hair on the opposite side and pretend you're French."

Brigitte Bardot

I'm all over it.

Many thanks to the *other* cj for the laugh!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How to Write Goth Poetry

The Blackest Gift

It is a night of ethereal pain, a song of death,
wolves vent their cry. The dark one

Fog shrouds her pale form,
an eternal desire.

Her raven hair cascades over
pale shoulders, and her
full crimson lips part slightly, to taste the
life streaming from the
pale flesh beneath

Now a night of ecstasy,
I pine.

Created with help from the Goth-O-Matic Poetry Generator.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

On this day in history...
0308 St Marcellus I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1219 Floods in Northern Netherlands after storm, 1,000s killed
1325 Laure de Noves, beloved of Petrarch, marries Hugues de Sade
1493 Columbus returns to Spain on his 1st trip
1531 English Reformation parliament's 2nd sitting
1547 Ivan IV the Terrible (17) crowns himself 1st tsar of Russia
1556 Emperor Karel appoints his son Philip II, king of Spain
1581 English parliament passes laws against Catholicism
1756 England & Prussia sign Treaty of Westminster
1759 British Museum opens in London
1765 Charles Messier catalogs M41 (galactic cluster in Canis Major)
1776 Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks
1777 Vermont declares independence from NY
1780 Battle at Cape St Vincent admiral Rodney beats Spanish fleet
1795 French army under Pichegru occupies Utrecht Netherlands
1819 Godert baron van der de Capellen becomes Governor of Dutch-Indies
1832 Charles Darwin lands at San Tiago, Cape Verde
1863 Cruise of CSS Florida 1864 Heavy fighting takes place near Dandridge TN
1865 General William Sherman issues Field Order #15 (land for blacks)
1865 San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle started
1865 Confederate Brigadier General John Pegram marries Hetty Cary
1865 Drunken sailor attacks munitions at Fort Fisher NC, 40 die
1868 Refrigerator car patented by William Davis, a fish dealer in Detroit
1870 Virginia becomes 8th state re-admitted to US after Civil War
1871 Jefferson Long of Georgia sworn in as 2nd black congressman
1877 Color organ (for light shows) patented, by Bainbridge Bishop
1879 January record 13" of snow falls in New York City NY (broken Jan 7, 1996)
1883 Pendleton Act creates basis of US Civil Service system
1883 Québec Rugby Football Union forms
1887 Cliff House damaged when schooner "Parallel"'s powder cargo explodes
1889 128ºF (53ºC), Cloncurry, Queensland (Australian record)
1897 John Dewey's essay "My Pedagogic Creed" appears in School Journal
1905 Baseball outfielder Frank Huelsman traded for 6th time in 8 months
1905 Stanley Cup Ottawa Silver 7 sweep Dawson City (Yukon) in 2 games Ottawa Silver 7 beats Dawson City (Yukon) 23-2 for Stanley Cup, this is most lopsided playoff game, Frank McGee scores 14 goals
1906 Conference of Algeciras (about Morocco)
1908 Pinnacles National Monument, California established
1909 David, Mawson & Mackay reach south magnetic pole
1909 British explorer Ernest Shackleton finds magnetic south pole
1911 Pandora becomes 1st 2-man sailboat to round Cape Horn west to east
1913 British House of Commons accepts Home-Rule for Ireland
1914 Writer Maksim Gorki returns to Russia
1915 Congress authorizes $1 & $50 Panamá-Pacific International Expo gold coin
1919 Prohibition ratified by 3/4 of the states; Nebraska is 36th
1920 18th Amendment, prohibition, becomes the law of the land - one year after ratification; it is repealed in 1933
1920 1st assembly of League of Nations (Paris)
1920 Georgia declares independence
1925 General M Froense replaces Trotsky as People's Commissioner of Defense
1925 Leon Trotsky dismissed as CEO of Russian Revolution Military Council
1931 Bradman scores 223 Australia vs West Indies, 297 minutes, 26 fours
1933 Bert Oldfield flattened by Larwood delivery in Adelaide Test
1936 1st photo finish camera installed at Hialeah Race track in Hialeah FL
1936 Screen Actors Guild incorporates with King Vidor as president
1936 Spanish socialists/communists/anarchists form Unidad Popular
1938 Benny Goodman refuses to play Carnegie Hall when black members of his band were barred from performing
1939 Comic strip "Superman" debuts
1941 War Department forms 1st Army Air Corps squadron for black cadets
1941 US vice admiral Bellinger warns of an assault on Pearl Harbor
1942 William Knudsen becomes 1st civilian appointed a General in US army
1943 -60ºF (-51ºC), Island Park Dam ID (state record)
1943 1st US air raid on Ambon
1943 German 2nd SS-Pantzer division evacuates Charkow
1943 Red Army recaptures Pitomnik airport at Stalingrad
1944 General Eisenhower took command of Allied Invasion Force in London
1945 Scottish 52nd land division/1st Commando brigade-assault at Heinsberg
1945 US 1st & 3rd army meet at Houffalise
1947 Vincent Aurial elected President of France
1948 35 Haganah members are ambushed & killed in Gush Etzyon
1949 "Rape of Lucretia" closes at Ziegfeld Theater New York City NY after 23 performances
1949 KNBH (now KNBC) TV channel 4 in Los Angeles CA (NBC) 1st broadcast
1949 WTOP (now WUSA) TV channel 9 in Washington DC (CBS) 1st broadcast
1950 Belgium, Luxembourg & Netherlands recognize Israel
1951 World's largest gas pipeline opens (Brownsville TX, to 134th St, New York City NY)
1951 Viet Minh offensive against Hanoi
1952 New Dutch bible translation finished
1952 US Standard Board clears Stan Musial to get an $85,000 salary
1953 27th Australian Womens Tennis Maureen Connolly beat J Sampson (63 62)
1953 41st Australian Mens Tennis Ken Rosewall beats Mervyn Rose (60 63 64)
1953 Egyptian Premier General Naguib disbands all political parties
1953 KXLY TV channel 4 in Spokane WA (ABC/CBS) begins broadcasting
1954 "South Pacific" closes at Majestic Theater New York City NY after 1928 performances
1955 Jackie Pung wins LPGA Sea Island Golf Open
1955 NFL Pro Bowl West beats East 26-19
1956 Egyptian President Nassar pledges to reconquer Palestine
1957 3 B-52s leave California for 1st non-stop round the world flights
1957 Cavern Club (home of Beatles' 1st appearance) opens on Mathew Street in England
1958 William Gibson's "Two for the Seesaw" premieres in New York City NY
1961 "Conquering Hero" opens at ANTA Theater New York City NY for 8 performances
1961 Russian espionage ring detected in Great Britain
1962 Suit accuses New York City NY Board of Education uses "racial quotas"
1962 Shooting begins on "Dr No"
1963 Khrushchev claims to have a 100-megaton nuclear bomb
1963 Tennessee Williams' "Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" premieres
1964 "Hello, Dolly!" starring Carol Channing, opens at St James Theater New York City NY for 2,844 performances
1964 AL owners vote 9-1 against Charlie Finley moving Kansas City A's to Louisville
1965 "Oh What a Lovely War" closes at Broadhurst New York City NY after 125 performances
1965 "Outer Limits" last airs on ABC-TV
1965 AFL Pro Bowl West beats East 38-14
1965 Searchers' "Love Potion #9" peaks at #3
1965 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakstan/Semipalatinsk USSR
1966 Harold R Perry becomes 2nd black Roman Catholic bishop in US
1966 Metropolitan Opera House opens in Lincoln Center 1967 1st black government installed in Bahamas
1967 Lucius Amerson, becomes 1st southern (Alabama) black sheriff in 20th century
1968 21st NHL All-Star Game Toronto beat All-Stars 4-3 at Toronto
1968 Jay Allen's "Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" premieres in New York City NY
1969 Jan Palach immolates himself to protest Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia
1969 Soviet Soyuz 4 & Soyuz 5 perform 1st transfer of crew in space
1970 AAU player Steve Myers makes a basketball field goal of 92'3½" from out of bounds, Tacoma-it shouldn't have counted, but was allowed
1970 NFL realigns into 3 divisions (down from 4)
1970 Colonel Kadhaffi becomes premier of Libya
1970 Curt Flood files a civil lawsuit challenging baseball's reserve clause
1970 cjblue is born
1971 Ard Schenk skates world record 1500m (1 58.7)
1972 Atje Keulen-Deelstra becomes European all-round lady skating champ
1972 Super Bowl VI Dallas Cowboys-24, Miami-3 in New Orleans; Super Bowl MVP Roger Staubach, Dallas, Quarterback
1973 USSR's Lunakhod 2 begins radio-controlled exploration of the Moon
1973 NBC presents 440th & final showing of "Bonanza"
1974 L A Landslide kills 9, Canyonville OR
1974 "Jaws" by Peter Benchley is published
1974 New York Yankees Mickey Mantle & Whitey Ford elected to Hall of Fame
1976 "Donny & Marie" [Osmond] musical variety show premieres on ABC TV
1976 Peter Frampton released platinum live album "Frampton Comes Alive"
1977 Washington Capital's H Monahan scored on 2nd penalty shot against Islanders
1978 Soyuz 27 returns to Earth
1978 5th American Music Award Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac & Conway Twitty
1979 Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi of Iran flees Iran for Egypt
1980 Paul McCartney jailed in Tokyo for 10 days on marijuana possession
1981 Ivan Lendl intentionally loses a match in the Volvo Masters in order to avoid having to play Björn Borg
1981 John Lennon's "Woman" is released in UK
1981 Protestant gunmen shoot & wound Bernadette Devlin McAliskey & husband
1981 Boxer Leon Spinks is mugged, his assailants even take his gold teeth
1984 Paul & Linda McCartney arrested in Barbados-possession of cannabis
1984 11th American Music Award Michael Jackson
1985 "Playboy" announces end of stapling centerfolds
1986 Police arrested 3 IRA-terrorists in Amsterdam
1988 Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder fired from CBS for racial remarks
1988 NFL St Louis Cardinals announce move to Phoenix
1988 4th Soap Opera Digest Awards - Days of Our Live wins
1989 USSR announces plan for 2-year manned mission to Mars
1989 Police arrest writer Vaclav Havel in Prague
1990 2 Bank of Credit & Commerce members plea guilty to money laundering
1991 Operation Desert Storm begins - US & 27 allies attack Iraq for occupying Kuwait (air war begins January 17 at 2:38AM (local time) or January 16 at 6:38PM EST due to an 8 hour time difference, with an Apache helicopter attack)
1991 cjblue gets her bluejay tattoo
1991 7th Soap Opera Digest Awards - Days of Our Live wins
1992 "2 Shakespearean Actors" opens at Cort Theater New York City NY for 29 performances
1994 Scott skates world record 1000m (1 12.54)
1995 UPN (Universal-Parmount Network) begins telecasting (WWOR in New York City NY)
1997 Anthony Stuart takes ODI hat-trick, Australia vs Pakistan, MCG

Thanks to Scope Systems for this list.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Houbigant Quelques Fleurs

Houbigant Quelques Fleurs

What is it with Sales Assistants who know less about fragrance than I do and yet treat me like a fragrance sheep, as if I'm in your store to buy whatever you tell me smells good (baaah). Honestly, you might be charming and cute (a charming, cute man helps), but I know what I like and I know what works on me, and I also know what does not.

Recently I was in the fragrance department of a large, upscale store with a lot of niche fragrances. I was ogling the Caron display there, since you ALL KNOW I'm dying to own my very own vat of French Cancan. I asked the overly attentive (hovering, really) SA about the Cancan. As it turns out, despite the presence right there on the counter, of a beautiful little bottle labeled "French Cancan," They don't sell the stuff.

If I hadn't been there with two children who want to try every fragrance known to man, I might have discussed with him the idiocy of this, and asked him to remove Cancan from the display since it's obviously not carried there.

If I saw a Balenciaga purse in the window of a store and walked in, only to find that they don't carry Balenciaga purses, I'd be a little miffed.

ANYWAY...then the SA says to me "If you like French Cancan, you'll LOVE Quelques Fleurs." Honestly, as hard as I try, the logic of this completely escapes me, but I say to him "I've tried Quelques Fleurs and it doesn't work on me."

He responds "Oh, but it's a new crop, and it's incredible! It will stay with you ALL DAY!" I tell him I've tried it several times in the past and, while it's great for the first 10 minutes, after that it seriously heads south.

Somehow (aforementioned charm/cute factor) he persuades me to try the new batch, and then sprays it LIBERALLY all up my entire arm. All you fragrance freaks out there know how precious skin real estate can be on a sniffing expedition, so I was annoyed, even though I didn't have much sniffing to do that day. I was also anticipating the turn and didn't want to be stuck with an armful of stink all damn day.

So, as usual, it starts off glorious. Honestly, it's a beautiful fragrance. And for 10 minutes I walk around in a CLOUD (QF is not a fragrance that should ever be sprayed THAT liberally) of beautiful floral.

Then it begins - the turning of the fragrance. Slowly but surely, I can smell it going off right there on my skin. I offer liberally sprayed arm to SA man, saying "See what I mean? It's going off, right on my skin." He says "I think it smells beautiful - and it will last all day. It's wonderful!" Humph. I wander around some more, it goes further off, I make him smell it again - I say "Can you smell it, how it smells off?" "I see what you are saying but it's obviously a beautiful fragrance, still." I go in search of a Bobbi Brown lipstick for my mom, drive the poor lipstick lady nuts trying to find the perfect color, for a woman who only wears makeup that looks like no makeup, and by then I'm fully reeking.

I walk around some more and then I bump into SA again. I say "Here, smell this. Do you see how it smells STALE? Like a 100-year old perfume. It smells like a very very old bottle of parfum that your grandmother used to wear."

He said "Yes, but a grandmother with impeccable taste."

As I walked out the door, past bottles and bottles of Quelques Fleurs, I finally figured out why he'd been trying so hard with this one. Duh. It was the push of the day/week/month. Finally it clicked - why he'd been so patient instead of saying - yeah, that really stinks on you, let's look for something else. Why he compared QF to Cancan. Why he knew QF was a "fresh crop" and didn't know if they even SOLD Cancan, although it was sitting on the counter.

I will say that I am Queen of Rationalization, and I couldn't have done such a good job with a stanky woman shoving her arm in my face all morning.

Is there a point to all this? Nah. It was just a strange encounter of the fragrance kind and I thought I'd share. And please don't let my experience with QF turn you off. This is a rare occurrence, and for some reason this fragrance simply doesn't like me. I do think it's a beautiful fragrance - you don't hang around for almost 100 years in the perfume world if you're not. Anybody who likes florals should give it a shot.

Per Bergdorf Goodman online: One of the most renowned and admired fragrances of all time, Quelques Fleurs L'Original forever changed floral fragrances when it became the first true multi-floral bouquet 90 years ago. A classic that has endured the test of time, the fragrance is wrapped in a theme of sculptured petals in a frosted and clear French glass. The true Quelques Fleurs formula has never been published. An ancient formula still kept in the family archives, this fragrance will never be duplicated. The blend of soft, sensual florals uses over 250 different raw materials and more than 15,000 flowers to create just one ounce of Quelques Fleurs eau de parfum. To this day it is still produced in Grasse, France, where Jean Francois Houbigant first created his perfumes in 1775.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2006, and am honored to count many readers as personal friends. I don't have any real words of wisdom (still recovering from the plague) but would like to share with you two recent finds.

1. Sons of Provo, the movie. I don't believe this is a movie I would have ever picked up off the shelf but my husband came home with it last week from the rental place and it is the FUNNIEST movie I've seen in a very long time. Think "Spinal Tap" meets Boy Band meets the Mormon Tabernacle. From what I can tell, the movie is written, produced by and starring Mormons. I lived in Las Vegas for a while and spent some vacation time in Utah, so I have some experience with Mormons. I got an interesting view into some of the beliefs and ways of Mormons, but the movie is so tongue-in-cheek, and so brilliantly done it's hard not to love it. With songs like "Dang, Fetch, oh my Heck," "Diddly Wack Wack Mormon Daddy" and "Love Me, but Don't Show Me" this is a must-see movie.

If you actually take my recommendation and like it, and can handle a bit of adult humor, be sure to check out "Orgazmo." Orgazmo is not written, directed or starring any mormons but it's a hysterical movie. Imagine a young Mormon man, on a Mission in Los Angeles and trying to save enough money to have his wedding at the Mormon Tabernacle, who is offered a chance to make more money than he ever imagined possible - by starring as an action hero in a porn movie. Great soundtrack too.

2. How many times have I walked past S'mores Makers in stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond and scoffed? Many, I can assure you. My sister got one for her bridal shower - as a matter of fact, everybody I know who owns one got it as a gift. I always thought it kind of defeated the purpose of making s'mores. S'mores are supposed to be made over an open fire at your campsite, or even in the backyard. But the idea of making s'mores at your kitchen table always seemed absurd to me. Until last week.

I was in New York City with the family, for our annual pilgramage to the statue of Balto (the sled dog) in Central Park, the Central Park Zoo and a few shishi stores thrown in there for good measure. Before we hopped the train home, we wanted to grab a bite to eat but Hale and Hearty was closed. We walked up a bit and found Cosi. Soup, sandwiches and upstairs seating, perfect! My husband took the girls up to find a table while I waited for our food. As I walked upstairs with the food, I was greeted with a most delicious smell. I looked to the source of the smell, and saw a table of people roasting marshmallows over a little fire...making s'mores! All adults, they were having a great time debating over burning the marshmallow vs. achieving the perfect golden brown color...licking sticky marshmallow stuff off their fingers and munching on s'mores. We had to catch our train so we didn't have time to order the s'mores package, but suddenly I find myself with a most unusual desire...to own my very own s'mores maker. I am dying to make s'mores with my family at the kitchen table. Cosi even sells the s'mores kit, but it's $65!

I have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. Off to comparison shop for s'mores kits.

You have got to see what came up on Froogle. Ballerina S'mores craft kit - AAAAARGGHHHHH!!!