Saturday, November 10, 2012

Perfume: Rambling, organizing, and a couple of Ayala Moriel mini-reviews.

It's the weekend.


I note that I'm several thousand words behind on my NaNoWriMo Blogging Thingie, and I see no hope of catching up. But I'm going to ramble incessantly all the same. So there.

I've been waiting for a chest cold to go away, and it's been raining outside, so gardening has been out. And the weekends have been a little too busy to allow for large blocks of sewing time. So what to do after work? Inventory my perfume, of course! (Oh. I should have been writing? Yeah. Well. Um. Moving on....)

I've entered every sample into OmniOutliner, complete with house, perfume name, whether it's a sample or a decant or a mini, and where it is. (For example, "Paperclip sorter" or "A->D Baggie.")

Don't mock me.

I have slightly under two hundred samples, including a couple of dozen decants. I'm surprised that the number is that small, and I'm embarassed that I'm surprised.

Putting samples in different places has made me realize (duh) that I could also put bottles in different places. This is an obvious but dangerous realization, because when I was keeping all of the bottles in one place, then that place limited the collection. If I start moving them, well...

I could move the For Reference bottles into boxes. I have, for example, modern LouLou, waiting for me to get my hands on a sample of vintage LouLou. The plan is to get the sample, wear them both, learn what there is to learn from the comparison, and then give away the modern, because I don't actually like the modern. Now, that was also the plan for Vent Vert, and now that I have a vintagesque bottle of Vent Vert (right bottle shape but script logo, no string, screwcap instead of stopper, plastic outer box, so it's not the oldest) that I love, I find that I'm able to love the modern Vent Vert because I'm less resentful of it for being a travesty of the original.

And then there are the bottles that I own because they're classics and I want to learn to love them. This is really not a good category to have; it's pretty hoarderish. Right now, it's very small, consisting of Coco and Mitsouko. It used to be Coco, Mitsouko, and No. 5, and then I actually learned to love No. 5, so, yay! sometimes it works. But I'm threatening to add Shalimar and Jicky and Coco parfum and for that matter Shalimar has more than one modern and infinite vintage options. And that's without looking at any lists.

Anyway, so, I moved the bottles for the ill-fated Under Twenty project, and some other "Hey, a full bottle is less than twice the price of a decant!" modern things into a box, awaiting my attention. I should really make an "attention or freecycle" deadline; Lady Stetson has been waiting for at least a year.

I moved all the dabber bottles into a drawer. Originally, it was a bedroom sock drawer, but then I opened the drawer and realized that there's no way Himself is going to put up with a slow-building bedroom perfume fog, so I moved them into the one and only drawer in my den. Which means that the power cords and foot pedals for my sewing machines had to go from that drawer to the sock drawer, but, well, so be it.

Oh, and the tall skinny minis and decants all went into a Ziploc in the drawer, because I'm tired of tiny Hermes Discovery Set bottles falling all over the place when I take anything out. It's like horizontal Jenga.

This left mostly niche and a few designer... well, mostly niche and Chanel in the breadboxes. OK, and a Fendi and a Lancome (the other Lancomes are in the dabber drawer) and a Lauder and a Miyake and a Piguet and a Balmain, but, wow, my collection is really niche-heavy.

I used to organize the bottles by categories--fresh greens! Boozy Orientals! Bombshell florals! And then I'd approach the collection asking myself something like, "OK, did I categorize Un Crime Exotique as an Oriental or a gourmand?" and never, ever thought anything like, "Hey, I'm feeling prim and ladylike today." So I abandoned that whole idea and re-sorted it mostly by house. Parfumerie Generale and Lutens each make up a looming mob of bottles, Chanel is a mismatched gang, there's a modest Jo Malone contingent and another of l'Artisan, and then there's a random jumble in the middle.

Speaking of bottles falling like dominoes, I'd like to communicate my preference for short, squat bottle designs. The Different Company's fat little cube. Aftelier's short columnar parfum bottles. Serge Lutens' bell jars. You could shake a drawer like you're popping popcorn and they wouldn't fall over. On the other hand, the Lutens export bottles seem to chatter nervously if I just walk by.

Just to add to the crazy and to the failure to NaNoWrite, I added all the samples to my Basenotes wardrobe, and I'm updating the bottle list. And putting decants and minis in the "used to own" list. And generally geekishly tracking it all far more than it needs.

But it's all getting me more interested in playing with my samples, and that's worthwhile, right? Right? Right!

In accordance with the recent theory that I should put my perfume money where the good stuff is being made right now, I've been testing a Moriel a day ("that's all we ask") and I'm in ever so much financial danger, because I like them all.

Espionage? Gorgeous; leather without that synthetic vibe--which seems illogical, because isn't the scent of leather said to be the scent of the chemicals used to treat it?--that dries down to gorgeous squishy vanilla.

Film Noir? It starts out friendly - I can imagine a dark film in front of me, but I know what's going to happen, and I have chocolate, so I'm not scared. It dries even friendlier, and (pause for dramatic effect) Himself likes it. Himself hasn't liked a perfume since Habanita. He gets cookie-vanilla-vibe from it. I'm not sure why I haven't put in the order for this one already.

Immortelle l'Amour? Yum. Sweet. Yeasty. Bready. This is not good for my low carb diet. I got distracted that day and didn't follow it to the end; I'll try it again.

Guilt? Ooooooh. That's the next post.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

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