Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy new year (2013 the year that was)

Before I started this post, I looked back at my new year entry for 2012. The scary thing is, my sentiments have not changed one bit.

As with last year, I have no desire to go down the whole best of/worst of 2013. Too many bloggers are already doing it, and if I am honest, I don't know if I have tried enough new releases to have a massive opinion one way or the other. If this sounds cynical, so be it.

If I do have a comment in general, about perfume blogging, it would be that I sense a changing of the old guard, if there was one. Some of my favourite blogs have ceased, or become diluted, or sadly still in my opinion, become a mere stepping stone to what I sense is a desire to have a career in perfume. That's not so bad, on reflection, and all the best to them if they can accomplish this.

Moving on from perfume, 2013 was a year of ups and downs. Let's be honest, no matter what we wish, I think each year always brings its joys, sorrows, sadnesses and beautiful moments. 

I leave 2013 grateful for my family, without whom I would be a lesser man, without a doubt. My children bring me great joy, and my wife is my bedrock, despite the challenges that any relationship presents. Regrets, I have a few, but I won't mention them here. That is too personal.

All that is left to say is to wish each of you the best in 2014. I hope that each of you finds the most joy and happiness within that constraint that is the weakness of our human condition.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Happy holidays!

Okay, this is somewhat belated, to say the least, but here's hoping that you all had a very peaceful and happy Christmas, and I hope every last one of you manages to spend time with those people who are special to you.

Thursday, 19 December 2013


I haven't posted a lot of perfume-related thoughts of late, as some may have noticed. It is possibly a good point to stop (for me anyway) and reflect on what perfume I have been wearing and thinking about over the past few weeks.

I haven't acquired a lot of new perfume, whether it be bottles or samples. I have been working my way through the considerable number of samples I already have in possession and in some cases have thrown away stuff that I can easily find in any department store across the land; I don't see the point in keeping it just for the sake of it. I've also tried to finish off samples where I have just a few drops left, unless it is something exceptional that I want to hang on to.

Other than that, I have found myself repeatedly returning to the Atelier Cologne line, including the excellent recent releases, Silver and Gold. The former is an iris, the latter a leather. I've also spent a bit of time with the Tom Ford Private Blends. I was also pleasantly surprised by Iris Prima, the latest Penhaligon release. Not much from this line moves me, but Iris Prima is excellent, and also has quite decent longevity, an issue I've had with the more recent Penhaligon releases.

This week I took out my sample of Caron's Nuit de Noel, a favourite of mine at this time of year. It is quite feminine, but I think that I manage to (just) pull it off!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

What I am....

Listening to:

Surprisingly (for me), not that much. I've struggled to find time to really sit down and listen, if you know what I mean. Yet, slightly contradictory, I am reading a lot. Go figure.

I am still very much enjoying the latest Dylan bootleg series album, and if you visit my last post on this, it is still the same songs that attract. I've also been enjoying a bit of Arcade Fire for my Indie fix, and Joni Mitchell for my blue mood fix.


I just finished The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. I stayed away from this book for some time, worried that it had been overhyped, particularly when it was turned into a film. I needn't have been concerned. It was a very well-written, life-affirming novel that I can highly recommend.

I am also enjoying novels in the Harry Hole series, by Jo Nesbo. Nesbo is a Norwegian writer and has been likened to Stieg Larson, but in my opinion they are quite different, other than both are Scandinavian writers.


Nada. I have better things to do than watch TV.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Some of my more regular readers may have noticed my absence over the last couple of weeks, and generally, a much-reduced blog output this year.

I can't really pin down what has contributed to this, other than the simple fact that life is busy, and perfume blogging tends to take a back seat in an environment of work pressures, a busy family life, and who knows what else. 

I've noticed a few bloggers who have called it quits this year, or hopefully just a hiatus - who knows? I don't think I've reached that stage, don't worry, but I've got to the point where I only want to blog when I have something that I really want to say, or put across, or failing that, the desire to simply say something, as the urge takes hold of me. Not ideal, perhaps, but better that than simply churning out content for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses.

Today would have been my mother's 74th birthday; she passed away almost nine years ago. It's kind of strange trying to imagine what she would have been like in her mid-seventies. But it is probably a fruitless exercise. I sometimes play this game with well known people who died before their time. At this time of year, my favourite is John Lennon, who was shot dead on December 8th, 1980. I find it very difficult to think of him as someone who would have been 73, yet look at Yoko, who is still going strong and in her way is still very cutting edge.

To be honest though, I prefer to remember the dead as I last saw them in their prime.


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