Monday, September 21, 2015

Rambling: Blogging and Perfume Blogging and Writing and Stuff

So my perfume interest is perking up, after a long gap.

And I'm debating whether to try to be a real perfume was going to say "again", but has this ever been a "real" perfume blog? I suppose the question is whether to go back to being as much of a perfume blog as I was at my maximum level of perfume-bloggyness. Back when I tried to post my scent of the day, and knew some of what was new, and sometimes even reviewed an occasional scent that was new, and not only did the Review Roundup, but tried to update old Roundups with new reviews.

Oh, and I had cat pictures. (Look, cat picture!)

Should I do that again?

Not that I would ever stop posting about sewing or pumpkins or fried chicken or random ramblings. But I would once again have a default topic, a six-posts-out-of-ten topic.

It occurs to me that although I adore Henry Mitchell, I have never read Any Day, his book not-about-gardening. While I love Herman Herst, I don't know if I'd read a book, by him, not-about stamp collecting. I haven't read any of Judith Martin's non-etiquette books, and even though I've bought them, I haven't read most of Calvin Trillin's books not-about-food.

It appears that I equate a writer with a topic. My topic has tended to be perfume. I might like my topic to be fiction, but perhaps the solution to writing more fiction is not to write less of other things, but to write more of other things.


Stepping slightly away from me (me me me!) that leads me to consider the link between a writer and a topic. Why do I find myself wanting a writer to continue to write about the same topic? The first phrase that my head came up with when I asked that question was "in jokes." In jokes represent an ongoing relationship and a comfort with that relationship. I suppose that when a writer continues to write on the same topic, continues the same conversation, it feels like we're having that comfortable relationship. Whether there are jokes or not.

I read Linda Grant's The Thoughtful Dresser, where I met her mother as a subtopic, first, and then I went on to read her Remind Me Who I Am Again, about her mother, where I ran into clothes as a subtopic, and so it was like changing topics in a conversation with someone that I already knew. I suspect that I'm going to read all of her books that clearly involve clothes, before I move on to the ones that don't have that tie.

So it appears that when online, my primary topic is perfume. Well, and also complaints about my mother, but you probably can't build a blog community around that....

....can you?

You probably can.

But I'm going to stick with the perfume for now.

Image: By aall1. Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Rambling: I get older

I turned fifty recently.


Five decades.

Half a hundred.

Also, fifty.

Himself gave me a magnificent birthday week. I suspect that I was taught as a child not to brag about such things in detail, but please consider me to be squealing delightedly.

(The storm trooper? Well, I was looking for glitter, and our birthday vacation did include Disney, so...)

Image: By Nehrams2020. Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Perfume: MCMC Kept (Mini-review) and beeswax

You may recall that I've been looking, forever, for a perfume with a beeswax/honey note that doesn't do the, um, cat thing. I considered spending big money on Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia simply because it gave me about four minutes of beeswax, about ten minutes in, roughly every third time I wore it. There was also a combination of two perfumes that gave me thirty seconds or so of beeswax, if I applied them in just the right order and sniffed about four inches away from my skin.

So you'll understand my delight that MCMC Kept gives me a good twenty minutes of beeswax right out of the bottle, with no fancy rituals required. Actually, right out of the oil applicator; I tried the oil form, at Prize (in Ashland; no affiliation except that I really like 'em). Beeswax and slightly bitter, tangy roses. Bitter and tangy in a good way; I don't like candy roses.

I can't decide if I'm still getting beeswax now that it's drying down, but I still like it. The roses are softer but still not cloying, there's a very smooth powder that doesn't tickle my nose, and the main "body" of the fragrance is a vaguely creamy rich-sweet-resinous note that I might call beeswax and might not, but it soothes the beeswax craving; it's not like that "Dang. It's over." moment with Velvet Gardenia.

The MCMC site lists the notes as red roses, black tea, cloves, leather, and amber. Well, if they say so, but our only point of agreement is the roses. I suppose what I call powder and beeswax may be what they call amber. Reviewers agree on the clove, while I don't smell it at all--which is good, because I dislike clove. As I think about it, the bitterness that I attribute to the roses and the resinous note that I see as part of the beeswax may be what others are smelling as clove...

Anyway. Enough note inventory. Beeswax, I've got beeswax. Let's celebrate. And, when I get back to the store, spend money.

Meanwhile, on the other hand (literally) MCMC Hunter, the oil form, was quite nice when I rolled it on, and is still quite nice about forty minutes in, and I can't tell you what it was like in between because I was busy sniffing Kept and squealing (mostly but not entirely in my head) "Beeswax!" And "Honeycomb!"

Hunter's notes are listed as bourbon vanilla, tobacco absolute, and balsam fir. It was a bit challenging, in a good way, when I rolled it on, and now it's comforting and plush and not the least bit feminine, but not the least bit inappropriate for a woman either. They both have very gentle drydowns, powerful but in that way that makes hugging a scented person a pleasure rather than a sneezy assault.

MCMC Love was also available for sampling, but my current policy is only one scent per hand.  When I buy Kept, and either resist or fail to resist the temptation to also buy Hunter, I'll give it a try.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rambling: Chicken Achieved


I keep starting this blog post with the fact that I got my chicken. (Yay!) And then the post has nowhere else to go. Chicken is apparently not an inspiring opening. And I delete the post. This time I'll just keep writing.

It really ought to be. Chicken, I mean. An inspiring opening, I mean. Chicken is a glorious thing. Except when I say that I consider the post where I realized that this blog was started with fried chicken and fried chicken ties back to Mom and then, ack! Run!

Anyway. Margaret Visser's Much Depends on Dinner has a whole chapter on chicken. I think. I just got up to check, and it's not on the shelf where it ought to be. I'll need to find it or get a new copy; it's one of my favorite books. Detailed discussion of chicken, butter, and salt, among other things; what more could I want?


I once again watched eat-pray-love-lady's--Elizabeth Gilbert, that's it--TED talk about creative genius, the one where she talks about the idea that your genius, or muse, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it, is something outside you that may or may not show up to help, but that either way she--Elizabeth Gilbert, that is--shows up for work. And am trying to use it as yet another motivation to write regularly. I'm also trying to avoid perfectionizing, as in, "Well, what's the point of blogging? Your goal is to write fiction!" Blog. Blog the bleeping blog, and then bump up the goals later.

I haven't actually read Eat Pray Love. I'm one of those contrary people who refuses to read anything that's terribly popular. But I really liked the woman in the TED talk, so I should read it. Or her next book. There was a next book, right? That uncertainty is somewhat on topic for the talk.

I search on Elizabeth Gilbert and, wow, she has a lot of books. There isn't just "a" next book. Well, there might be; the others could all be from before, but I doubt it.

I feel cranky now because I see that the book, of hers, that I want to read most, about creativity, isn't out yet. It won't be out until the 22nd. Not even a Kindle sample. Hmph.

I go all sour-grapesey about it and tell myself that it looks too fluffy and pastel and new-ageish anyway.  But I'll probably be buying a copy when it's out. Especially now that I'm listening to the TED talk again, because I really like it.

Buy it in paper or on Kindle? I drift to that question because, quite frankly, I'm just trying to keep myself writing. I feel guilty about buying Kindle books, because, well, Amazon, and because Not Independent Bookstore. But in theory the author still makes money, right? Or do they? Anyway, I try hard to order real live paper copies from my local bookstore, but I often give in to "Ooh! Want now!"

Tum te tum.

I've been planning to write up one of my four book ideas (three of them novels, one that nonfiction thing where I was worrying about how much expertise I would need) but I haven't gotten around to the actual writing, and so I'm not showing up for work. The one I'm aiming at is one of the novels, the only one where I have a beginning, an end, and at least a notion of the path in between. I still have dozens of major decisions to make about the plot, but that's really no excuse for failing to write, because I am confident that I am not someone who can plan and outline and write. For me, planning and outlining beyond a certain skeletal level is going to be stalling.

One of the four book ideas is, I strongly suspect, a short story. The story ending would be different from the novel ending. I keep thinking of Stephen King in On Writing discussing how Misery was going to end when he first wrote it as a short story. In a short story I could give it the cruel and ruthless ending that it really wants, but I'm not ready, yet, to whittle it down to the toothpick that it really wants to be--assuming, of course, that I could carve a sufficiently graceful toothpick.

That metaphor ran away, blowing raspberries back at me and cackling. I'm going to move on.



Yes. Don't criticize your metaphors; your brain will avenge them.

Orphan Black is on the TV, one of my favorite scenes with Helena, the one where that woman was mean to that little girl, and shortly regretted it. ("You touch her again and I will gut you like a fish.") That one. I love Helena. I always have trouble remembering that all of those characters are played by the same actress, but Helena is the hardest to remember. Well, Helena and Rachel. Come to think of it, have we ever seen Helena and Rachel interacting directly, rather than through the intermediary of a sniper rifle? Hmm.


I'm sure that Helena appreciates fried chicken. For a moment I imagine Helena and the Fifth Element girl in a scene together. My favorite scene in The Fifth Element is, of course, "Chicken...good!"

Maybe I should do a page of Great Chicken Moments In Film. I've threatened to do that before, right? The Fifth Element moment, the moment in My Cousin Vinnie where the guy in the pool hall strips a chicken leg in one bite like it's a... OK, I have no analogy.

Mm, chicken.

OK, that's full circle, so I think it's time to stop. That is all.