Apologies for the longer than normal hiatus since my hyacinth post - why, that is nearly assonance, though not quite! I managed to climb out of my temporary slough of despond as the month went on - thanks to the encouraging comments from readers, a spot of 'beditation', avoidance of the news, and (latterly) the comforting furry presence of my sometime cat boarder, Speights. He stayed for ten days, and his toy-savaging and other antics are lovingly chronicled on Facebook if you are my friend over there. And now, finally, I have a bit of work at last, which has given me a further fillip, but of course less time for blogging!
I did want to cover a couple of Lidl-related topics in this post, though: the first concerns the Suddenly Madame Glamour scented candle @ £3.99, in an on-message pink colour. For like the Tiny Tears doll of my youth - or rather not of my youth, as my mother wouldn't let me have one, because it was all too anatomically correct - so a pink shade for a candle based on a Coco Mademoiselle perfume dupe is chromatically correct. This candle may have been out for a while, but I only spotted it in the run up to Christmas. Anyway, I had to have a sniff, and it is a very faithful rendition of Coco Mademoiselle, as candles go - a pretty blunt and forgiving medium, admittedly. The scent was not overtly synthetic or over the top, as scented candles can so often be. I have spent hours in the untidy and ransacked aisles of T K Maxx, systematically sniffing every scented candle whose packaging is remotely broachable by the uncommitted customer, and believe me, I have smelt a few frogs in my time. So I would commend the candle to anyone who likes Suddenly Madame Glamour or Coco Mademoiselle and who would be happy to scent their home with even a suggestion of the wispy, wafty, diaphanous Keira.
I didn't buy one, I might add, as I prefer my scented candles to be more meditative and not mere replicas of a perfume that I love. Yes, I have just realised that I never seek out the candle corollary of a perfume I know and rate, but rather other combinations of notes that make for a happy and low key bouquet, invariably along the woody / incensey spectrum - or maybe involving sandalwood. Only ever a hint of vanilla, mind, as it is a slippery slope to the hellish sticky fug of cheap vanilla tea lights.
|Yes, it's shaped like a pineapple, but no, it shouldn't be yellow|
But more than that, I realised that regardless of how much I liked its scent, I couldn't have a pink candle in the house. Not simply because I don't have a room where baby pink could possibly coordinate with the existing scheme, but because I don't hold with the idea of a coloured candle in the first place. My rummaging in T K Maxx has thrown up the occasional mud-toned candle, and ones in pale teal and - God forbid - purple. They are just wrong on every level. Okay, wrong on the chromatic level for starters - and often the more vivid the hue, the more trashy the scent, though it doesn't always follow, as in our present case indeed. Yes, the default colour for ALL candles, irrespective of scent, is white. I didn't realise I had such strong views on the point, but seeing this pink candle in Lidl focused my mind wonderfully.
|I know Christmas is over, but at least it's white|
A Lidl bit of customer care (Suddenly!)
The other Lidl-related matter I wanted to mention is my attempt to return a spare bottle of Suddenly Woman 1. Actually both bottles I bought - having fatally succumbed to a BOGOF deal of two for £7 - are superfluous to requirements, but obviously I can't take back the one I opened. I assumed the other one might be a contender for a refund or credit note or something. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the receipt, but given the uniqueness of the product and the fact that I couldn't very well have bought it anywhere else, I thought I was in with a good chance. Well, as long as they didn't think I had stolen it of course.
Intercepting a sales assistant in free circulation in Lidl is a bit like spotting a hoopoe - they do exist, but a fair bit of 'active loitering' is required to hunt one down in their retail habitat. After ten minutes of cruising the aisles, I collared a chap filling the ready meal freezer and explained my predicament. 'Oh, not having the receipt won't be a problem' he reassured me with a smile and outstretched arm, 'take the box and go and see my colleague on Till 2.' So I hotfooted it over to where I was directed, but the check out assistant said tersely: 'Oh, he gave you wrong information - he's new here. You can't have a refund without a receipt unless you contact Customer Services first and get a reference number. The number to call's on the back of the in-store magazine - here.'
So I had the letter all ready to go on the hall table the next morning, when I received a phone call from the same Customer Services lady, announcing brightly that she was mistaken and that she could give me a reference number and I could get my money back after all.
So, a clear case of the left hand not knowing what the right hands are doing - all two of them! - or even what the left hand itself is doing, come to that - but a result for me, and I am now all of £3.99 richer, not just the £3.50 that I actually paid, though I came clean about that.
So when it comes to scented candles, where do you stand in the 'the only colour is white' debate?
And do you have any heartwarming - as in 'change of heart'-type - stories about returning unwanted perfume - or do your (involuntary) albatross sanctuaries simply keep growing?