A number of the themes from that post still hold true: 'the mania is past, but I still love perfume', 'my collection scares and delights me in equal measure', and 'the people matter as much as the perfume, if not more so'. I am also still very much into 'slow blogging', whether I happen to have work - or not (as has been the case rather too much this year).
But my stance on a few topics has shifted since last year, plus I have thought of a few other things to mention, so here goes...
Decorating killed the perfume fridges
In my 3.6 year post I voiced concerns that the damp atmosphere in my fridges might be doing my perfume collection as much harm as the chilled temperature was doing it good. And then I had the two bedrooms decorated in the second half of 2013 and it took me all of two seconds to decide that whirring lumps of metal and glass are not a particularly aesthetic look, and both fridges were promptly relegated to the garage, where they remain today. One of them is an actual fridge in fact, rather than just a drinks chiller, so it does get pressed into service at Christmas as a temporary turkey repository. My perfumes take their chances in a cupboard under the stairs or shoeboxes under beds - oh, and I have one open receptacle for favourite bottles, that is just kept on the floor, but in a darkish spot.
|The late Charlie Bonkers with one of the fridges at the old house|
The Facebook ban has lifted - as mysteriously as it appeared!
Back in June 2013, I was troubled by my inability to promote my blog posts on Facebook, owing to the fact that a supposed 'friend' of mine anonymously had reported my blog as 'spammy or abusive', as a result of which I was not able to link to it on an indefinite basis. Then just last week, some two and a half years after this dastardly deed ;), Liz Moores tipped me the wink that the ban had vanished - as she was able to post a proper link to my review of Angélique. I feel like a suspect against whom all charges have suddenly been dropped. So, to reprise the point in my earlier stocktake - 'You can't please everybody' - you can't, but it seems the obstructive effects of trollery have an expiry date after all.
|A bit blurry, but featuring an actual Facebook link to my blog!|
I am no longer - even ever so slightly - affiliated!
At the time of my post last year I had recently agreed to display a promotional banner for Ormonde Jayne in the side bar of the blog. It was a house I had a lot of time for, and the static banner seemed in keeping with my general scheme - in fact it added a welcome dash of colour in the margins. I was most particular that I didn't want anything flickering or revolving, as that way lies an amusement arcade. However, it had only been up a matter of weeks when the PR company who acted as the go-between in this arrangement was ditched by the brand, taking my little punt at 'monetising' with it. I haven't had the urge to investigate any further tie ups, though I do get a steady stream of strange requests, the most recent being:
"We are on the lookout for fantastic bloggers (like yourself) to join our new blogger program to utilize our site to help earn more money from the products you write about as well as expand your reach with our network of users and social channels!
I would love to schedule a quick chat with you and our CMO about the program, he can explain how it works, what you get and how to get started! Just let me know a time that suits you and which medium (Google Hangout, Skype or phone) is best."
If I was in any doubt about my lack of fit for such a commercial enterprise, somebody suggesting we meet in a 'Google Hangout', whatever that might be, would pretty much nail it.
A Top Sniffs and Nasty Niffs post is not in the offing
At the start of 2014, I ventured a round up of my favourite perfumes from 2013, dubbing it a 'slightly wonky edition'. For I had sniffed so few of the actual releases from that year that I decided to supplement them with any 'newish' perfumes that had crossed my path in 2013. But when January 2015 comes round, I can't see me attempting even a hybrid post like that, because I am so behind the curve with perfume launches - and testing generally - that such a list would be a complete non-starter. ;)
Guest blogging, and liking the sound of my own voice!
I have noticed a trend in the perfume community to enlist the help of guest bloggers - either to add alternative 'voices' or to maintain a steady flow of content. Even at the five year mark I will be honest and say I don't feel the need to introduce another 'voice' on Bonkers, which may be a bit selfish of me, but there it is. I figure that if someone wants to read a different style or tone of writing they have only to hop across to one of the host of other blogs out there. Put another way, I guess I have yet to get sick of the sound of my own voice, as it were (sorry!). As for the need to maintain regular content, in the spirit of slow blogging I don't adhere to any particular schedule, so that doesn't really apply to me.
I am getting more into skincare
Ex-Mr Bonkers used to joke about my being prone to fads: jogging, sudden urges to walk on Cannock Chase, cooking, knitting, whatever it may be. Perfume seems to be a long running fad at least, albeit at a lower level of intensity. Meanwhile, my interest in skincare is at an all-time high, fuelled as of this week by the doctor taking me off my long term regime of antibiotics to combat acne. From now on, the wellbeing of my complexion is in the sole care of brands such as La Roche-Posay and Paula's Choice, which - however well formulated these products are - is a bit of a scary prospect. I do struggle to follow a single routine though, not least because I have accumulated so many tubes and samples that I want to try all of them out, sometimes even segmenting my face into different trial zones(!) Then other days - or more usually nights - I can't be bothered with all the steps of a proper skincare ritual, and end up just slapping on a bit of Astral, my new surprise cheapie love, which may get a post of its own at some point.
Perfume Land is still a warm and friendly place (by and large)
Much has been written about what a courteous, supportive and generous place Perfume Land is, with its many blogs, Facebook groups and off-line gatherings, both formal and informal. My own experience of the 'perfume scene' has also been very positive and heartwarming in the main. Underlying tensions do sometimes surface, however, and there are even occasional outbursts of mean spiritedness, posturing and borderline thuggery. But I shan't dwell on these. I would say: 'You know who you are', but I am not at all sure they do!
I am still 'bonkers about bathrooms'
My bathroom renovation - research for which has popped up in blog posts over the spring months in particular - has ground to a halt this autumn, owing to all the relevant tradesmen going temporarily awol. As I don't like the thought of being without a bathroom in winter, I probably shan't mount a major cat herding offensive now till next year. But even though the project has stalled, my heart still skips a beat when I see an unusual or particularly sought after sanitaryware fixture. Last night, for example, I spied a Lefroy Brooks deck mounted bath shower mixer set at a friend's house, and was unfeasibly excited!
And so to the odd giveaway, which consists of two prizes this year: one winner will receive a lavender scented cushion with perfume bottles on it, and another a T-shirt (UK size 12 / Europe size 40 / US size 10). Worn once, I must be truthful - to Scent Bar in LA, no less! - but I have come to the sad conclusion that I am probably too old to carry off even the merest dusting of sparkliness. (It has been washed since, I hasten to add.) The first winner picked out of the draw gets a choice of the two items, and if the second winner doesn't care for the remaining option - or if it is unlikely to fit, in the case of the T-shirt - I am sure we can come to an alternative arrangement - perfume, perhaps (outside the US, sorry!), or some other perfume themed artefact (I do have a couple of other ideas). But I thought a cushion and a T-shirt more likely to appeal in the first instance.
To enter, just leave a comment - of any kind! If you additionally have suggestions of topics you would like me to cover - or not cover(!) - or stop covering(!) - do let me know those as well.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers who have supported Bonkers down the years - or who have only recently come across it! - not forgetting the many who have landed here entirely by mistake. Followers and non-followers, lurkers and regular commenters alike, I salute you all. For while I probably would blether on like this even if no one was out there, knowing someone is reading does make the whole thing feel more worthwhile.