Sunday, August 31, 2014

SOTD: Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle. And many off-topic remarks.

(Actually, this was the scent of this past Monday, but I didn't get to the posting part of the post until today.)

Mmm, gasoline fumes.

OK, that doesn't sound good. Does "Mmm, mothballs" sound any better? At least mothballs aren't used as a mood-altering drug. I think.

This was my first Lutens bell jar. But I didn't go to Paris and buy a full bottle in a box. I ordered it from a decanter, with the last half ounce in it. The same for my second bell jar, half an ounce of Iris Silver Mist. That's the end of my bell jars.

What's my point? I don't have one. I'm just trying a SOTD post for old times' sake.

Of course, Tubereuse Criminelle is floral as well as petroleum. I seem to recall reading about oil-bearing grasses being raised for fuel. I imagine Tubereuse Criminelle being the scent of that grass's flowers.


Luckily, I'm not among those that get a rotting meat note from this. I love the weird, the chemical, the sweaty, the skunky, even a carefully tuned bit of the fecal. Rotting meat, not so much.

I've been thinking about starting a diary. See, on the one hand there are lots of things that are either too embarrassing or too boring to post here on the blog. And I often find myself wishing that I remembered certain things about my own past life. And sometimes I think that those memories might be useful for that theoretical book or books someday.

On the other hand, I struggle with the idea of all that writing never being read by any audience. Writing, to me, is communication, and how can you communicate when no one is ever going to listen? And, equal and opposite, I worry about the diary accidentally being accessed by someone and being read. It's a thicket.

Then again, it would be good for me to get over my addiction to being read. If I'm ever going to write a book, I'm going to need to write a whole lot of words that won't be read for a very long time. I should get used to that.

No, this isn't relevant to Tubereuse Criminelle. Probably. Except that the idea of resuming SOTD posts made me think of a diary.

Of course, a diary still would't be The Whole Truth. It would occupy some middle ground between what I'm willing to publish and what happens in my head. Does anyone really tell a diary everything that can be put into words?

I just deleted a paragraph in this post, because it felt off topic--the post seems to be about Tubereuse Criminelle and SOTDs and a dairy. So I deleted a spare paragraph about jewelry. Would I do that in a diary? Would I feel the need for coherent narrative flow?

Not that this is all that coherent.

Actually, I'm going back to jewelry. You've seen me thrashing around about clothes as my current phase of Being a Girl. But the problem with clothes is that a large part of the overall package is me. My shape. My posture. My movement and position. (Does it look OK when I sit down?) My shape. My maintenance. (Did I press it well enough? Are these shoes too scuffed?) My shape.

Yeah, that shape thing is an issue.

Perfume is less of a "me" performance. Especially for me, it's largely a consumption activity--usually, I apply so little that only I can smell it. And even when that's not true, I don't need to perform--I just make a choice in private, and the perfume performs independently.

Jewelry is a sort of middle ground. It's visible, so it's not all about personal consumption. But there's not much performance involved. Unless you have a pendant flirting with your cleavage or some such thing, the jewelry is mostly performing independently, like the perfume. My contribution, again, happens in private, when I make a choice.

Maybe that's why I'm moving on to jewelry--to challenge myself with choices. I'm no longer nervous about going out in public smelling like gasoline or mushrooms or a garage floor. But I am nervous about wearing those rhinestones with that Oxford shirt. Does it work? What do you think? It's a decision. It's a mild expression of taste. But still one that keeps me at a comfortable distance.

It occurs to me that I was more comfortable with "performance" decisions--clothes--in winter. Hmm. I guess wool tends to make one's shape feel less exposed.

Anyway. With perfume, I love the whacky. Now I'm trying to edge toward the whacky with jewelry. And someday I hope to get there with clothes.

Now, "the whacky" doesn't mean "Oh, my God, what is that thing crossing the street? Is it human?" It just means a step or two away from the completely safe standard. Ideally, the kind of thing that makes you turn your head and say, "Hmm. That's an idea."

That is all.

First Image: By Christine Matthews. Wikimedia Commons.
Second Image: Mine


  1. I really enjoyed this post, with its weighing up of self-projection in both scented and jewellery terms. Interesting how radical you feel comfortable being with your perfume choices (albeit you spray very cautiously such that no third party may ever smell your sillage, however outrageous), yet how you are now fretting about jewellery. I do sometimes fret about jewellery. When I last did a project in the USA on diamonds, I really worried that the diamond ring ex-Mr Bonkers' mum gave me would be construed as a bit tacky and 80s (it was, by the more outspoken people in the biz). Mostly I think I know what I am about with the various silver necklaces that are my staple fare. But I may be wrong there too...;)

  2. Vanessa! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    I'm wearing a silver necklace right now, one that I feel perfectly confident in. Is there something about silver?