Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New year, old and new(!) doubts, some muzzy-headed sherry musings, and a 2015 round up (of sorts)

Traunsee aka Cookie Queen country, Austria
First things first - a very Happy New Year to everyone!

Right, so this is the time of year when - as sure as hydraluron is the Rolls-Royce of plumping agents - I can be found still awake at 2am, endlessly googling holy grail night creams that are within my budget, suitable for oily skin and for layering over nocturnally applied serums; that are pampering, thick but not too claggy, and also safe for use on the delicate eye area. And yes, as you can imagine I am still looking, though wondering about possibly giving Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream a try.*

And it is also around this time that I can be found rootling in my holding pen / 'purgatory punnet' of skincare products, which I am as hesitant to sling as I am to wear - for a variety of reasons from allergies to oiliness to lack of SPF to out of dateness (and everything in between). But then in a sudden access of thriftiness I invariably fish a couple of moisturisers out, and as long as they don't look like they need to be stirred with a stick, I reincorporate them somehow in my day or night regime. The Dr Lewinn's Eye Firming Cream may yet be for the high jump, mind, on account of its weird, glue-like consistency, slight sting and disconcerting shimmer, which doesn't even disappear on application.

All that glistens is not good

Yes, New Year is very much a time of  navel gazing, generalised anxiety, and tentative steps towards self-improvement. I plan to drink less alcohol and eat less sugar, yet on Jan 1st I found myself knocking back several admittedly microscopic hobnail goblets of sherry, and dispatching a whole Double Decker in the time it took me to fill my hot water bottle. So that's going well...

I must say that having finally made my highly considered sherry purchase - I went with a Fino in the end - I am disappointed. It is supposed to be 'dry and crisp', and instead tastes flat and faintly sweet, and to all intents and purposes like a bottle of regular wine that has been left open for days. Plus I copped for a wholly undeserved muzzy head after both the times I drank it. In googling how Fino sherry is meant to taste, I chanced upon this tip for identifying 'off' wine:

"If it smells like sherry and isn't sherry, it's probably turned."

So sherry is meant to resemble wine that's turned - and that's a good thing?**




In summary therefore, my New Year was marred by a disappointing choice of festive tipple, dogged by the usual intimations of dermatological deterioration, and to cap it all, my SOTD to kick the New Year off felt all kinds of wrong - none other than EL Intuition, a rancid bottle of which was the only perfume to my name at the time when sudden onset perfume mania struck back in early 2008. As soon as it landed on my skin I recoiled from its discordant grapefruit-forward fuzziness, but my friend Gillie - who is not one for insincere blandishments - turned up shortly afterwards and spontaneously said I smelt nice. We reckon it must have been some felicitous accord of the perfume and the two slices of wheaten toast I had just finished eating.

I should intuitively have avoided this

To reprise the theme of New Year resolutions for a moment, I think I might be better off setting the bar a little lower than something related to my alcohol and sugar intake. Consequently I am also resolving to 'use a teapot more often' and 'finish off at least one of the serried skittles of shower gels ranged round the end of the bath'.

And no New Year's post would be complete without a retrospective review of the perfumed year. Or something loosely perfume-themed by way of round up. It is a while since I abandoned my 'Top Sniffs and Nasty Niffs' format, quite simply because I hardly test any new launches these days - hey, I am barely aware of what they are. And I don't even remember everything I have smelt that was new to me, regardless of its year of launch. So a very lopsided rest of post this will be, but here goes...



Scented highlights 

Roja Dove Danger

I broke my cardinal rule of not blind buying this year when I sprung for boxless, topless bottles of this and Innuendo in a recent Roja Dove 'outlet' sale. (I already own Scandal and drew the line at 'Mischief' on egregious name grounds alone.) Though actually Tara and I did sniff Danger and Innuendo four years ago, and I was sure I had liked them back then. The reviews I could find were favourable in the main, plus my friend Sam Malone, who knows my taste well, said they were both very 'me'.



And so it proved. I liked Innuendo a lot, while Danger was the one that really hit the spot. It is is like a high quality Samsara, with a lovely soft citrus-vanilla-sandalwood vibe, but without the animalic aspect of Shalimar, say. Samsara is the best reference point, but lose the screech. I'll say this about Roja Dove's range: though the regular prices have skyrocketed since I bought Scandal, his perfume always smells high quality. You are never aware of the aromachemicals within, which is not the case with some niche lines. When I told Tara about my Roja Dove haul, she mistakenly read that as 'hall'...whereupon we spent an amusing moment mentally redecorating my (sparsely furnished, predominantly cream and terracotta-toned) hall in an opulent fusion of Chinoiserie and Swarowski bling, featuring black lacquered cabinets, ornate mirrors, and a giant crystal chandelier.

Papillon Artisan Perfumes Salome

If Liz Moores had a quid for every blogger who has included this fearless fandango of filth in their 'Best of 2015' lists, she could buy another horse - or at least another playmate for Jicky, Mimi and Bengal 'studmuffin', Thunderbolt. And Salome is also one of the standout scents of 2015 for me - for nostalgic ancestral reasons, and because it was a surprise grower. I have come such a long way in terms of perfume tastes since my days of being  'VM I hate civet' on Basenotes. Now I have morphed into 'VM I even embrace fossilised hyrax excrement'. Who'd have thunk I'd learn to love funk?



Puredistance WHITE

This wasn't love at first sniff - indeed, as Birgit and Tara are my witnesses, the opening on my skin had a bit of an austere, haylike facet that I really didn't care for to start with, though the cosy tonka drydown always appealed. I have since tried WHITE in winter and it is playing much more nicely on my skin from the off, and shaping up to be a cold weather staple.



Giorgio Armani Privé Myrrh Impérial

Uncharacteristically for me, I actually did a bit of airport duty free sniffing at Charles de Gaulle(?) and was reeled in by this soothing oriental blend of myrrh, benzoin, amber and vanilla. I have yet to acquire a sample of it, so that can go on my list of moderately achievable resolutions for 2016!

By Kilian Beyond Love

I had a surprise rapprochement with this heady, gourmand, tuberose soliflore and soon sprang for a purse spray of it on eBay. 2015 has been a bit of a year of tuberose exploration in fact. Please don't ask me what else I have tried - though I did buy a bunch of tuberose scents in Bloom in May, I do remember that.

4160 Tuesdays Goddess of Love and Perfume

I have Bonkers reader Crikey to thank for alerting me to this scent, her favourite and mine of Sarah McCartney's new extrait strength Crimes of Passion line. It is an unctuous fruity chypre with a cocktail of fruit in it including peach, so I really shouldn't like it, but I do. I thought it might be a bit like Mary Greenwell Plum, but it's smoother, more velvety, and with more heft. The full-on fruitiness is cut through with yuzu and grapefruit (though happily I don't compute the grapefruit in isolation) and the musks and vanilla round and soften the whole composition out. I bought myself a purse spray for Christmas!



Azzedine Alaia Alaia Paris - a scented 'WTF!' moment

I have read a number of very positive reviews of Alaia Paris and happened to be given a sample by a friend who picked one up in a shop. I have worn it three times now but am still waiting for the 'WTF' moment to become an 'Aha!' one. The opening on me is some kind of clean, abstract, aqueous floral, a bit like Hugo Boss Femme if anyone remembers that, then it quickly segues into a warm, musky, woody base with a liberal sprinkling of pepper. The base is pleasant but unremarkable, while the opening leans more generic. My nose was never that great at the best of times, and I honestly think I am losing the plot with this one. Why, I can't even be bothered to doubly double dot my 'i's!

Then I turned for help to Robin's review on NST, as my taste has historically been quite closely aligned with hers; thankfully she has nailed Alaia's kaleidoscopic will-o-the-wispiness:

"...fresh, airy, mineral, peppery, warm, all at once. On paper, a chilled watery citrus aspect is more noticeable than on skin, and the pepper seems even more dominant."



So I was right about the pepper at least. Robin goes on to say that she feels this would be an inoffensive general purpose scent that has more gravitas than your average designer offering. So the fact that I find myself underwhelmed by a perfume that five years ago would probably have been just up my street is perhaps indicative of the fact that my taste has moved on to scents that make more of a statement. Like suddenly trying to appreciate the delicate flavour of semolina or junket when you have been living on nothing but curries.

Packaging highlight

Regular readers know that I take a disproportionate interest in perfume packaging, and my impromptu award for this goes to Anya McCoy, for her adorable orange, bias-beribboned purple box of samples. Of these, my favourite was her Ylang Flower Tincture - sadly lost in my stolen luggage in the summer - but I remember it as a juicy, tangy tincture of ylang-ylang, for that's exactly what it is!

An Orangeman's delight!

People highlights and perfume-related angst

At the risk of sounding like a cracked record, it is the encounters with fellow perfumistas that really excite me these days, rather than sniffing new perfumes. To be honest I worry slightly that while I like all the scents mentioned above - like them a lot even - they aren't transcendental as such. I saw a post on the Facebook fragrance site by a chap who had smelt a Micallef perfume recently and actually cried because he had found his holy grail vanilla. And he's a grown man! So I wonder if I have simply tried too little this year for the odds of an epiphany to be stacked in my favour, or whether I am too hardboiled, or have just reached a more mellow phase in my hobby where nothing is going to get my heart racing. I am racking my brains to remember if I have ever felt completely transported by a scent - you know, a feeling of being utterly blown away. I'd like to think so, but as I sit here I can't connect with any such feelings from the past. Even my all-time favourite scents don't move me now to that degree.

So between my lack of nasal nous (which has bothered me for a while) and this new concern about a lack of emotional sensibility, I am starting to wonder whether I should stick to travel writing, where I started out - it does periodically creep back into the blog, after all. Or maybe only write about perfumes if there is a glaringly obvious humorous angle. At times I am perilously close to feeling like a fraud, or at least to someone hanging onto their credentials as a perfume blogger by their fingertips. Particularly as I am no longer bothered to seek out new releases by and large - or even read about them! Apologies for that potentially rather maudlin digression. I guess alarming levels of introspection go with the territory at New Year. ;)

But back to the more upbeat topic of the people highlights...!

These were meeting Val the Cookie Queen, not once but twice this year during the German and Austrian tours of The Monochrome Set. Her epic feats of roadying on her home turf in Ebensee truly saved the day. To that I would add having Sabine and Tara come to stay at my house in August, meeting Liz Moores at Papillon HQ in October, and variously hooking up with Tara, Birgit and Liz in London in March.

I have organised my stash since Tara's and Sabine's visit
Oh, and on the list must go my virtual friendship with Rachael Potts. Rachael is a perfumista who is married to experimental film maker, Tony Potts. Tony Potts is generally held to be the Monochrome Set's 'fifth Beatle' in that he famously lived in a squat with some of the band in the early days, and produced the videos and back projected films for their live gigs. What are the chances of such a fine colliding of worlds? Rachael and I will finally get to meet later this month, after enjoying a steady back and forth of Facebook messages since May. ;)

Card from Carol A Spiros - perfect match for my new glass cat!

And the final 'people highlight' is simply carrying on my existing friendships in the blogosphere. I value that network of like-minded friends more than I can say.

Animal highlight

Oh, if I may be allowed an animal highlight, no prizes for guessing who that might be...;)

Truffle Ganache Salome Bonkers, in her younger kitten days!

2015 also found me on a bit of a knitting craze: scarves, wristwarmers, legwarmers, a greyhound coat(!), and now vintage looking headbands. I promise not to turn Bonkers into a knitting blog, but as I have said, I do feel at a bit of a crossroads in terms of my interest in perfume. Not my love of it per se, but my quest for novelty, certainly. Then I did manage to sell a few albatross bottles in 2015, and to tidy and reorganise my collection, which has helped me focus more on - and appreciate - what I have already, whilst still remaining open to the odd new thing that crosses my radar. Liz Moores' upcoming White Moth fragrance sounds like my cup of tea, for example, and I am also curious about Vero Kern's new tobacco scent.

Mary, sporting her new coat, which took months in the making!

Make up highlight

If there is one item of make up I would like to lob into this look back at 2015, it is a Rimmel Colour Rush Lip Balm in the shade Not An Illusion, which I saw Lisa Eldridge wearing on one of her many inspirational videos. It's a warm, reddy-browny-nude that would be flattering on a lot of people I imagine, and which has a cupcake-y vanilla scent that I don't find at all unpleasant, quite the reverse. I also like the fact that even when the balm wears off it leaves a stain, which none of my other lipsticks do, rather needing constant reapplying. And this Rimmel lip balm is only £5.99. No, that is Not An Illusion! Definitely something I chuck in my handbag and find I am using as a default for any outfit that doesn't call for pink lipstick - it has temporarily knocked Burberry Nude Rose and Copper Mist off their YLBB perch, to give you an idea.



So there you have it - a very mixed bag of a 2015 round up that runs the full gamut from dodgy sherry to bargainous lippy and existential angst. Do please share your highlights of 2015 in the comments - scented or otherwise - I bet I have forgotten a ton of things!


*UPDATE - the latest bout of googling has led me to order a tub of Super Facialist Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Peaceful Skin Night Cream!

**UPDATE - I managed to enlist a friend's help to test the sherry, who pronounced it to be fine, but not as flavoursome as some Finos she has known. I promptly rehomed the bottle with her and may yet buy myself a bottle of Amontillado, even though the holidays are well and truly over.



26 comments:

  1. Happy New Year!

    Great round-up and a fun read as usual :)

    I said I was going to stop buying so many dang lip products in 2016, and here I am less than 24 hours after making that statement really jonesing for that Rimmel lippie...

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    1. Hi Victoria,

      Thanks! I have caught up with your NY post now and am most impressed that you managed to try as many releases from 2015 as you did, given the upheaval of your move.

      Oh, I am sure you won't regret the Rimmel lippie - it has a lovely texture and at that price you can afford to be profligate!

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  2. Happy new year Vanessa!
    I enjoyed the scattergun approach to your 2015 round up and I look forward to reading to post perfume fatigue bonkers outcomes. I think you should knit Truffle a jumper (or at least kitten mittens). She'd look great in Hermes orange.

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    1. Hi Odiferess,

      Scattergun is what it was, haha, but that is how my mind seems to (not) work these days.

      Truffle could seriously do with kitten mittens to stop her scratching me under my jeans. I am torn to ribbons though she doesn't know she is hurting me - I am just a squidgy climbing frame to her. And I agree, Orange would look pretty nifty. ;)

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  3. I just have to say it: if you were to start going to bed 2-3 hours earlier than you do now, you would possibly be able to save a quid (or ten) on your skin care products ;)

    Since I'm working (still!!!) on my year-round post, I'll skip the perfume part for now (though I know exactly how you feel).

    Of course now, after reading this post, I'm dying to try this Rimmel lipstick. I should try finding it somewhere at a store. Before the holidays I had an itch to buy a lipstick but I was busy to do my regular routine* - so I decided not to buy any. (*Since I have a tendency of liking/buying the same shades of lipstick just from different brand - not on purpose, now to buy anything new I bring all my current lipsticks with me to avoid unintentional duplication :) )

    You should try cutting Truffle's claws. If you teach her now, she won't object too much when she gets older. Just make sure to cut only the very end of them - not to hurt her.

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    1. Hi Undina,

      Oh my goodness, you are so right about going to bed earlier. That really should be my New Year's Resolution before anything else. I know it and have simply got into bad habits. I blame it on living with a musician for 17 years - they are noted night owls of course.

      I am glad you understand my perfume malaise - well, that is perhaps too strong a term, as I do enjoy sniffing things still, but I rarely get blown away.

      I expect the Rimmel lipstick is easy enough to find - the quality has been compared in some of the reviews I have read to much more expensive brands. I certainly love the feel of it and don't mind the smell. But anyone who hates vanilla should steer clear.

      That's a great idea to bring all your lipsticks of that shade with you - I should try that as it is a trap I fall into, being drawn to the colour I already own time and again!

      And I should try cutting Truffle's claws, it's true. I might need someone else to hold her though, as when I tried to wipe her paws the other day she bit and bit me!

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  4. Dear Vanessa, what a wonderful post to read over a cuppa. It had everything!

    You have whetted my appetite for a 4160 that I haven't yet tried- (I am awaiting a sample package today), you have made me jealous because you have met amazing Liz Moores, You have had me nodding in agreement about Salome and you have kindly provided me with one of Truffle's baby photos.

    We all get perfume ennui after maybe a possible saturation? I go through phases. Sometimes my heart lifts when I sift through my samples and sometimes it sinks with a lack of inspiration. However, I, like you I still live in hope of an epiphany even though life gets in the way some days. There's still treasure on the island, even when I don't feel like looking at the map.

    Very interested to read what you say about Alaia- I've had it recommended to me and there's a real buzz about it, but I know that feeling where you just can't get as excited as everyone else and think you've missed the punchline.

    Thank you for a great newsy post. A very Happy New Year to you dear Vanessa and fluffy Truffle!
    Sam xxx

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    1. Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your lovely comment, which has helped me get things in perspective. 'Ennui' is also an excellent word for the condition I may be suffering from, or 'saturation' indeed. I have exactly that same dual feeling about my collection overall - sometimes it is great to have so many bottles and decants to choose from, so many bases covered as it were, and it is positively comforting to have so much in my stash, then at other times I think: 'Oh God, I am never going to use all this lot up in my lifetime.' That's a clever analogy about the treasure on the island, btw!

      I don't think I have read a single review of Alaia that hasn't been complimentary - many are fulsome in their praise, and from bloggers whose opinion I trust much more than my own. Either its subtle nuances and complexity are lost on my skin, or my mind just doesn't appreciate that style of scent any more - I suspect a bit of both. Alaia is nice enough but I would never have noticed it or thought twice about it if there hadn't been all this buzz. Having initially tested it, I put the sample straight into long term storage (from which perfumes rarely emerge!) and it was when I started to come across all these reviews that I went rummaging in the box to fetch it out again for a retrial.

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    2. "There's still treasure on the island, even when you don't feel like looking at the map."
      Just want to let you know how much this has helped me today. Thank you.

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    3. Isn't it a great line? ;)

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  5. We will have to start looking for dates for a repeat visit, my dear.
    I can recommend the Boots Drops of Youth Night mask. It comes in a gigantic pot,is very moisturising and slightly tightening.
    I have tried far fewer perfumes than usual last year, but Alaia was one I did have a go at, and I can really not understand the love it gets. It's nice, yeah, but very very subtle. If it had been a niche release rather than designer brand - I doubt anyone would have taken any notice. My favourite releases of the year were Long Courrrier by PG and Salome.

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    1. Hi Sabine,

      Ooh, thanks for the tip about that Boots cream. Alaia is incredibly subtle isn't it? People talk about its mineral and chalky facets and I think I might just about know what they mean, but I ain't sure even so. Maybe it is relatively sophisticated versus the rest of the designer launches last year - 95% of which I also won't haven't tried - and that is why it rose to the top of the pile.

      Oh, d'you know, I so nearly featured Long Courrier, but had written myself into the ground at the point when it occurred to me and it just missed the cut. But yes, it definitely deserves an honourable mention, and thanks for the heads up about it!

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    2. PS Always great to see you - April or May might be a nice time of year. Probably a bit miserable before, weather- and gardenwise.

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  6. What a great post!

    Have you given up on Paula's Choice? I am so committed now I don't look at other brands any more.

    I agree that the Alaia is very aqueous and mineral on paper. It's nothing I'd ever wear but I think people admire it for being different from most mainstream fragrances.

    Coming to visit you was a definite highlight for me this year.

    Please don't ever think you're fraud. We love your writing, whatever the topic. That's why we're here. Don't feel you have to conform to one particular genre.

    The big meet-up at PLL this month is going to be so much fun!

    P.S. Thanks for linking to A Bottled Rose :)

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    1. Hi Tara,

      Thanks! I still love Paula's Choice and am using a Resist Hydrating Cream as a sort of serum at night and her SPF 30 slightly tinted moisturiser by day. I have not identified a pampering night cream in her range though, which I could put on my eyes. I always put some kind of anti-ageing treatment round my eyes at night - EL Night Repair or the Redermic Eye Cream, for example - but they are invariably particularly crepe-y the next morning because I have not dared put a moisturiser on top of that, and my eyes really do need something. Most of the night creams specifically say to avoid the eye area!

      Alaia was maybe a bit different from other mainstream fragrances, but both the girly floral opening and the peppery trail in the base didn't seem that distinctive, on me at least. Better than Coco Noir, though!

      Thanks for the reassurance about not being a fraud, though I think I will probably continue to feel a pressure *to feel more* as well as to write more enthusiastically. And that there is something lacking in my nose or general makeup if I can't. The not being able to parse the clever composition of Alaia seemed to reinforce that, but I couldn't pretend to like it more than I do even though I think that is the way the wind is blowing. I came close to cutting that part out of my post altogether, so that I didn't look foolish(!), but then decided to take the risk of 'outing myself' as someone who can't quite see its appeal. ;)

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  7. Happy New Year to you and Truffle! I don't mind what you choose to write about - it's all interesting, witty and worthwhile to me. The fact that you take the time to put fingers to keyboard is a testimony that you certainly don't come across as "fraud" in any way. We change, morph, develop, drift - it's all good and the blogs I enjoy most are those that include snippets of the writer's life - they serve to provide a picture of the whole gem rather than a single facet. So I say, rattle on about knitting, travelling, cat mittens, toilet fittings, packaging - and if you feel like it - perfume musings.

    I know exactly what you mean about perfume ennui. I've been collecting for decades and have gone in and out of the Holy Grail and Empty Pot O'Gold doors. As my first love is vintage, I've pretty much exhausted my sniffing of that genre in my time and so to keep my obsession going, I stepped onto the niche path a couple of years ago when I started reading blogs. It's been interesting but I must admit, disappointing for the most part. These "newbies" just don't hold the same fascination for me and I often wonder if I'm even smelling the same thing when I read rave reviews for X and I think it smells like a duck's butt. (Please, no one ask how I would know that - just thinking about it is traumatic...) So much of my experience these days can be summed up as "meh" which brings on a wave of melancholy. Then I remember I have vintage Tabac Blond, Shalimar, Emeraude, Bandit, Bal a Versaille et al and all is not lost :)

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    1. Hi SallyM,

      Great to hear from you and thanks for the encouragement to write on other topics as the mood takes me. I certainly would find it hard to exclude snippets of my life from Bonkers, so am glad you don't find it too 'personal'.

      I was most interested to hear where you are up to in your perfume 'j***ney', and how you have also been less than impressed with a lot of niche launches, albeit you are coming from a different baseline of primarily liking vintage.

      Yes, I can definitely relate to that feeling of melancholy and 'meh-ness', especially as it feels out of step with many other people who are still fired up to seek out new releases - and appreciate a lot of them.

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  8. A very happy new year to you!

    I am so delighted that you fell for Goddess of Love and Perfume, it makes me feel all proper somehow. (And I am still surprised by how much I like it, given my general loathing of fruity scents.) I'm also tickled that Sarah's released a new fragrance which combines that and Sexiest Scent--a combo I happened on accidentally and thought, oooh, but that's nice. Her blend is, of course, smoother and more balanced than a haphazard layering. (But if you have any SSotP do try a mixed spritz!)

    With the Alaia, I found it an interesting shape-shifter on paper but so very dull to wear. Several times. I kept trying, wondering what loveliness I was missing. And then gave up and realised that no, it wasn't for me and probably not worth the angst. Salome, however, came out to dance properly on a second try. Woof. She's a feisty girl. I'm to hold off on the final drops in that sample (thank you again) until I'm past the 3 to 6 months perfume buying embargo.

    (Top tip on the claw cutting, as she's still a baby it's worth trying: when you are cuddling/tucked up, particularly if you are holding her against your, try very gently squeezing her paws--so as to extend her claws--while giving her Best Scritches so she associates it with a regular safe happy thing. Way before you try trimming. Otherwise it is a two person and a heavy towel job, with endless apology treats to follow...Apols for egg sucking lesson if that's old, old news/knowledge.)

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    1. Hi Crikey,

      I am very grateful to you for the steer towards Goddess of L & P, and I know what you mean about it making one feel proper. We are similar in not normally caring for fruity scents but that one breaks the mould. And the fruit is nicely toned down with other notes.

      I think I know the one you mean that combines Goddess and Sexiest SotP - I must try the layering comparison you suggest versus the new one, as I have a sample of it!

      So pleased to meet another person who was underwhelmed by Alaia on skin. I must admit to not having tried it on paper, with having been given a sample in the first instance. If I had been testing it in store that might have been my first impression of it. I will PM you re Salome, so go ahead and use the last drops of that sample whenever!

      What a great tip on the claw cutting - I am going to try that. Making her associate it with a cuddly experience is clearly key. And you are not teaching me to suck eggs at all - my previous experience of claw cutting is very minimal, and largely unsuccessful!

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  9. Thanks for the recommendation of the Rimmel lippie. I have never tried that line, but I now I know where to jump in!

    I agree that the best part of the Perfume World, for me, has been the people. Fun, generous, and ready for adventure!! I live away from the big city, but whenever I can, I love to join in with the fun!!

    I, too, am in a bit a funk with concerning my relationship to fragrance. I have too many samples, too many choices--a bit of the joy has been lost. So, I am using the scents that give me pleasure and remembering to enjoy them! And, I am trying to not be seducing into the never-ending quest for that elusive next-best-thing.

    I love your writing, whether it be about scent, or Truffle, or travel. Thanks for sharing.
    Rebecca

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    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for your kind comment about the blog and I hope you like the Rimmel line of lip balms. For those who like a sheer plum colour, Keep Mauving is very good. Not quite right for my yellow skin tone, but props for its punning name!

      Sounds like we both enjoy the people side of this hobby as much as anything, and that you too are suffering a bit from 'ennui'. I am definitely diving back into my collection of favourite bottles so as not to lose the connection with them - and morale generally - in too much (hit and more often miss) sample testing.

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  10. A fun post to read as usual,and I'm not much use on skin creams. Do know a wonderful French lady who is an expert on skin care and she says, always be consistent and usually recommends Clarins as a reliable brand.

    Lipsticks, well this year mine was Lipstick Queen's Frog Prince a green lipstick that reads pink.

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    1. Hi Blacknall,

      I like Clarins stuff a lot and probably would pick that in addition to Paula's Choice if I had to choose one skincare 'house'. However, I would be lost without my Liz Earle and Clinique cleansers, so I can't be consistent to one brand as such. I think it is okay to use a variety of cleansers - or acid toners and serums and this and that - to get different benefits, but you do have to use them for a while to see those. So consistency in that sense, absolutely.

      Frog Prince sounds as mad as - well, a box of frogs!

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  11. Love that dog sweater! I think it might be the most stylish dog sweater I have ever seen.I haven't tried any of the perfumes you listed as liking this year, but still very much enjoyed the blog post (especially the kitten pictures!)

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    1. Hi Yuki,

      Oh, am pleased you like the greyhound sweater. It took me forever, I can tell you that, but is made from nice merino wool and the ceramic buttons on the belt came from a craft market in Prague, of all unlikely places. So no other dog in Great Haywood will have one like it, that's for sure! ;)

      I don't know offhand if we are friends on Facebook, but there is an avalanche of kitten pics on there...;)

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  12. The Scentimentalist13 January 2016 at 15:57

    Hi Van, I enjoyed your honesty about the Alaia! So much so, in fact, that I charged off to John Lewis to re-try today. (Sampled on launch, discarded with a not-disrespectful 'meh'). Was left feeling insufficiently 'intelligent' to appreciate it. My summary of the whole experience is as follows: acetone + iris → pencil lead + violet → l'Eau d'Issey. And there you have it. Have missed you, chum! xx

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