Thursday, 29 September 2011

The return of summer

The weather over the past two or three days has been glorious, particularly today. Were it not for the shortening days and seeping in of russet-hued leaves, one could be forgiven for thinking it was still July or August. 

Make hay while the sun shines, the saying goes, and that is what we've been trying to do, in between school runs, work and the everyday humdrum of daily life. We ended this evening by having a picnic in the park and it was uplifting to see the children running around in shorts and t-shirts, laughing and giggling, while we quaffed a beer or two and watched the sun set behind autumnal trees. We know it won't last now, which makes it all the sweeter, albeit in a somewhat wistful manner.

Today, in the spirit of an Indian summer, I wore two perfumes that I think fit the mood of a serendipitous summer day perfectly: Ineke's Field Notes from Paris and The Different Company's Sel de Vetiver. 

Regularly visitors to my blog will probably be aware of my love for this amazing fragrance. It captures perfectly the spirit of being near the sea, or water at least, with a salty, ozone-y (in the best way possible, trust me), slightly vetiver tang that smells uplifting, bracing and yet comforting at the same time. Here is my review of it last year.

Field Notes from Paris is a perfume that I've always quite liked, but not quite fell in love with. Today it felt appropriate, with its very orange-blossom focused approach to tobacco. On a warm day the orange blossom makes one feel slightly windswept and blowsy, while the tobacco is slightly comforting but suave too. I still can't say that I am massively in love with it, but a hot day brings out the best in it, I think.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A break from perfume

Well, not really. I'm still wearing perfume, fear not, but I thought today I would post a couple of Youtube links to one of my recent favourite artists, Laura Marling.

I'm not sure how many of you know of her, particularly in America, as she is a British artist, with a predominantly folk background. She's only just 21 but has already release three albums. Reminiscent of Joni Mitchell in some ways, she is by no means a Mitchell clone and has some wonderful lyrics. Below are two songs from her latest album, A Creature I Don't Know - Sophia and Night after Night. Enjoy, and see if you can get your hands on all her albums. They're definitely worth listening to.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Behind the times

But slowly catching up. This weekend I bought a DVD box set of the first four seasons of Mad Men from HMV, marked down quite considerably. Now this is nothing remarkable in itself, but I've heard and read about this TV series for a long time now, which has gained excellent reviews and won awards left right and centre. As always, I am slow to catch up. When Mad Men came to the UK, it was on TV at a very strange time, at least to me, around 10.30pm. Now this may not be late for some people, but I'm not inclined to start watching TV at that time of night, so I never got into the series at all.

Now that I have the box set, I shall watch this at my leisure, and hopefully it will turn out to be as engrossing as everyone makes it out to be.

Today was a lovely day in the UK - sunny and warm, but with enough signs of autumn to know that we need to make the most of what is left of the good weather. My family went to a local pick-your-own fruit farm this afternoon. We collected about sixty apples, varying from Russets to Cox to cooking apples like Bramleys. I must post a few pictures soon - the colours ranged from brown to orange to red, all tinged with green. To me apple picking is a true sign that autumn is here and I can't wait to make a crumble or two!

True Grace Candles - Sacristy

This is a slight departure for me - usually I write about perfume, but today I bought a scented candle for the first time. I like scented candles, but I don't very often find ones I really like, or when I do, they tend to be astronomically priced. The True Grace range are about £21 each, so definitely not too expensive. They smell good, although I honestly can't vouch for their quality. What I can say is that they smell like they have good quality perfume essences in them, which is good enough for me. Sacristy is the one I bought, which is meant to evoke the smell and atmosphere of leather-bound prayer books, wood panelling covered with beeswax polish, pillar candles and incense. I have to admit that just smelling the candle, I do feel that they've been successful in conjuring this up - the candle does smell remarkably like a sacristy.

True Grace has an interesting range, including Moroccan Rose, Amber, Blackcurrant Leaves, Fig, Jasmine Tea, Library, Orangery, Secret Garden, Tuberose and Velvet.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Sample time again

At long last. I haven't ordered samples for what seems like an age. I went through a phase this year where I managed to get a lot of stuff from friends, both online and in various stores, and thanks as always to those people who kindly fueled my perfume habit. You know who you are if you're reading this!

So, this week I ordered a whole lot of samples from The Perfumed Court. I've only ordered from them once before, way back in about May last year. Although I find their stuff to be slightly expensive, one has to concede that they stock an amazing and varied amount of perfume.

This is what I ordered:
  • Serge Lutens - Iris Silver Mist, Santal de Mysore, Rose de Nuit, Boxeuse, Encens et Lavande
  • Maison Kurkdjian - the whole range, other than Absolue Poir Le Soir, unfortunately, as I love it
  • Dior Jules
  • Ajmal Dahn Oudh Al Shams
  • Ungaro 1, 2 and 3
  • CB I Hate Perfume - Wild Hunt, Black March and Musk Reinvention (all absolutes)
Happy days!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Scent of the day - L'Artisan

Posts have been rather scarce from me over the last week. Work commitments again. I'm hoping that by October my work load might start reducing a little, which will be welcome. I've been working flat out since May and I'm starting to feel a little worn out.

Today I'm wearing two fragrances by L'Artisan, Timbuktu and Fou D'Absinthe. I've written about both before. I own a sample of Timbuktu, but have never sprayed it before, only dabbed. I can't say it wears that differently sprayed. If anything it smells slightly fruiter and perhaps a bit more diffuse, but either way, I still like it a lot and for a L'Artisan it has quite a good longevity and sillage. 

I also entered into a competition at my local Fenwick department store to win a bottle of a L'Artisan of my choice. I certainly wouldn't mind winning, so here's holding thumbs!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Love Chloe and our wedding anniversary

It was our 11th wedding anniversary last Friday, the 9th. I always get a vague sense of panic whenever a birthday, Christmas or an anniversary approaches in our household. After 11 years of marriage, I find it increasingly difficult to find a suitable present for my wife. In fairness, she has made it easier for me in recent years, as she loves knitting and has got into it in a big way. This means plenty of knitting-related ideas, but like with all things in life, one can go too far...

So this year I ended up buying my wife a bottle of Love Chloe. Now, perfumistas among you may thing this is a fairly boring and safe choice, but actually, I quite like Love Chloe. It reminds me a lot of the style of Chanel, with plenty of aldehydes, a slight aloofness of iris, and a buttery, almost creamy undertone that hints at smooth and supple leather. Plus, my wife loves it and has hinted for a while that it is on her radar.

Personally, I think I could have done a lot worse.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Humpty Dumpty

WTF, I can hear you exclaiming as you read this title. Which idiotic perfume company has released a perfume called Humpty Dumpty, the damn numpties!

Well, no one actually. But I thought this little video clip of my two daughters reciting the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme was quite cute...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Back to school

Not for me though, thankfully! My older daughter, Hannah, starts school tomorrow, aged 4 years, 7 months and 10 days. I can hardly believe it, to be honest. It literally feels like just the other day that she was being born. I can still remember my first day at school, more than 31 years ago (Jeez,  I feel terrible just writing that), as if it was just the other day.

I had some happy days at school, but some fairly painful ones too. as I'm sure most young people do. I just hope that Hannah will have a lot more of the happier ones. We're excited for her and tomorrow will be a day of mixed emotions for her parents.

Hannah trying on her new school uniform

Friday, 2 September 2011

Faberge Vintage Woodhue

I received a sample of this vintage formulation from Carol at I've never smelled this before, and I can't claim to be any expert on vintage fragrances, but Woodhue smells both comforting and challenging at the same time. It has that vibe that perfumes from the seventies and eighties exude, but I understand that this perfume dates from the 1930s, although I have no idea of the date of the particular sample I tried. (Carol, if you ever read this, let me know please...).

Woodhue opens with a smell of leather and oakmoss to me, with a touch of floral/resinous lavender and a hint of spice that might come from Bergamot. It smells strong, but is by no means clumsy and domineering. While decidedly masculine to me, it still smells refined and elegant.

As Woodhue develops and dries down, it loses that intensity and becomes woodier, still with hints of oakmoss and leather. Basenotes lists the notes as lavender, bergamot, basil, geranium, carnation, vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood and cedar. Perhaps I am confused, as I think there is definitely oakmoss in here, but perhaps  recent formulations exclude it. Whatever, Woodhue smells lovely and I can certainly recommend it, if you can get hold of it.


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