Sunday, October 28, 2012

scent in literature

My first real memory of scent in books is when I read The Tin Drum as a young adult. Oskar said that Maria smells like vanilla, so I used to dab vanilla extract on so I too could smell like vanilla.

Currently I am reading I Capture the Castle, written by Dodie Smith.  I cannot remember why I put this book in my 'to read' list on Goodreads.  I believe it is because at one of our writers' creativity night get-togethers, we were all asked to talk about some of our favorite books of all time, and this was one member's favorite.

(photo of Manorbier Castle, which was used in the 2003 movie)

And then, a few months later, Olenska mentions the book in her Soivohle Yin Hao Eau de Parfum review.  Don't you just love when that happens!?  I sure do.

This book is bursting with scent images - I'm only half way through, but I wanted to share some of these lovely passages with you:

"How well I remember that run through the stillness, the smell of wet stone and wet weeds..."

"The pale grey carpets were as springy as moss and the air was scented; it smelt a bit like bluebells but richer, deeper. 'What does it smell of, exactly?' I said. And Rose said 'Heaven.'"

"There was a wonderful atmosphere of gentle age, a smell of flowers and beeswax, sweet yet faintly sour and musty; a smell that makes you feel very tender towards the past."

"And there was a glass table with at least half-a-dozen bottles of scent and toilet-water on it. (Americans say 'perfume' instead of 'scent' - much more correct, really; I don't know why 'perfume' should be considered affected in England.)"

"I noticed the mysterious old-house smell again but mixed with Mrs. Fox-Cotton's scent - a rich, mysterious scent, not a bit like flowers."  (I wonder what the perfume was!?  The book was written in 1948 but the story is set in the mid-1930s I believe.)

And finally:

"'And how many things can you smell?' I asked Simon.  We counted up:
     Wood smoke
     A farm smell coming on puffs of breeze (we subdivided this into:  
              Straw, hay, horse, clean cows: good.
              Manure, pigs, hens, old cabbages:  bad - but not too awful if only in little whiffs),
     A wonderful pie cooking somewhere,
     The sweet, fresh smell which isn't quite flowers or grass or scent of any kind, but just clean country air -one forgets to notice this unless one reminds oneself."

Are there any descriptions of scent in literature that speak to you?

Monday, October 22, 2012


Am I just a weirdo, or do I do this to make myself giggle because I think this is some kind of inside joke only I'll get?  'This' being wearing expensive perfume (and of course I am never without lip color) when I'm in my sweats or flannels or muck boots, and all over kinda grungy.  Since I do not have a paying job at the moment, I'm not the most umm timely in the taking-a-regularly-scheduled-shower department.

For instance, two Sundays ago, I wore Chanel 31 Rue Cambon as I was going to our Scarecrow Festival and then stopped by an orchard for some apples.  Oh I was also wearing black sweats and a flannel shirt and motorcycle boots.  Yep, I'm so fancy.

A week ago Monday, I went with a friend to drive a few miles down the road as she needed to order her Thanksgiving turkey at an Amish family's home, and I was wearing Serge Lutens Bois de Violette. We then went to a chicken hatchery and ooooh-ed and awwww-ed over the baby chicks.  I was smart and did not pick up any. I'll wait until early next year to get a few more.   As it was a bit chilly, I had on a long sleeved tee-shirt, a fleece vest, hand-knitted cap, and yes, you guessed it , black sweat pants.

Today, the Moth and I headed out to our community garden plots to pull withered plants and throw them in the compost.  Grey sweat pants this time, a different flannel shirt and muck boots, and Malle Portrait of a Lady. (I don't do jeans, by the way - for some reason I boycott them in general.)

Hahaa, I make myself laugh! And I am sure that many of you 'fume fans do the same thing...right!?  Well I'm sure everyone showers more than I do. Boy am I making it sound like I'm a total slob. Hmmm...maybe I am!?  *insert nervous laughter here*

These are Kamik muck boots that I got for only 20 bucks as I needed new ones - I love the blog One Hundred Dollars A Month and Mavis posted this deal awhile back as they were on sale (I just checked the site I bought them from and they're now over $50.00!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

a quick post about my birthday this past week

A dear friend drove us to Charlottesville, Virginia to see the Dalai Lama.  We drove down to Virginia Wednesday and stayed with a friend and her family.  Then we headed to Charlottesville on Thursday (my birthday!) to hear the Dalai Lama speak, and it was an awe-inspiring experience! I was interviewed by Tibetan radio too!  Then we drove back home on Friday.

I wore Les Nereides Opoponax on Thursday, and Histoires de Parfums Noir Patchouli on Friday.  The friend whom we stayed with wore Clinique Happy, and I can see why it is so popular - a nice fresh scent!

A wonderful whirlwind of a trip!!  (I must admit I was totally exhausted on Saturday...why does one get so tired sitting in a car all day long?)  I haven't been able to catch up on my 'fume blog reading, but hope to do so soon.

The Green Tara

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A very busy week, a couple perfumes

This past week flew by - I had a lot of community-type meetings and forums and events to attend, so I wasn't very focused on perfume.

Robert Piguet Bandit (unknown vintage):  Birgit asked about leather on Monday so I rifled through my samples to find a leather, and even though I was still wearing my pyjamas, I dabbed myself with my long-neglected sample of Bandit. Although I had tested it years ago, I had forgotten how slap-me-in-the-face-with-a-leather-glove it is.  But then it gets a little fruity and the sting wears off and it gets a bit cozy!  It is SUPER long lasting.  I mean extremely long lasting - I could detect it on my wrists the next morning.   In general, I am not a big leather fan though I do adore Chanel Cuir de Russie .  But boy oh boy am I glad I have Bandit in my arsenal because there are times that I need this specific kick in the pants.

Histoires de Parfums Noir Patchouli.  A gorgeous sublime patchouli. I love patchouli, and HdP does this one different.  I believe that anyone who isn't a big fan of patch may enjoy this perfume  (edited 11/5/12 - actually NP can get very deep and rich on my skin - Tabu-esque at times.  Glad I'll be getting a 10 ml decant of this soon.  Here's a review from Olenska, and one from Michael.

And last but not least (and the perfume I wore the most this week)......
Happy early birthday to meeeeee!