I first met The Scentimentalist in real life the following year, on the occasion of her 40th birthday, for which she had organised a canal boat trip. I was flattered to be invited and didn't hesitate to accept, though I realised I wouldn't know any of the others there, including (technically) the birthday girl herself. But not knowing the guests - or even the host - at a party famously didn't stop me attending one at a fellow music fan's house in Ohio in 2005. I was in town on business and felt I knew the chap in question well enough from exchanges on a forum. And when I did pluck up the courage to go along, I received a warm welcome from him and his wife and their houseful of lively friends and band mates. These two experiences have made me bolder ever since about jumping at the chance to meet people you feel you know from Internet dealings based on a shared interest, whatever that might be. You will rarely be disappointed.
For her birthday, I had bought The Scentimentalist a purse spray of The Party in Manhattan, an aldehydic animalic chypre (or something along these lines). There's an amusing three way take on the fragrance in this post on Perfume Posse. Anyway, I felt it suited The Scentimentalist because it struck me as elegant, festive, effervescent, and not a little luxurious.
Fast forward to the end of 2015...The Scentimentalist and I had kept in touch very sporadically, but I hadn't heard in a long while - my fault as much as anything - and wasn't even sure that she was living in the same town.Then, thanks to the wonders of WhatsApp, a platform I had not long acquired -specifically for the exchange of kitten pics with Truffle's owner! - I received a message from The Scentimentalist out of the blue one day and our friendship was 'reactivated', to give it its proper technical term.
She explained that she had been following Truffle's progress / antics / occasional bouts of inexcusable naughtiness on the blog, and had spied a potential gift for her, namely a designer collar for kittens, by Gucci, no less! It had been reduced in T K Maxx from a whopping £100 to £3, and as such had to be bought we felt, so a purchase was duly made. The presentation mount was a bit stained, but The Scentimentalist kindly had a go at buffing it up. I said it didn't much matter if the collar itself was fine, which it was.
|Of particular note is the astonished face!|
Anyway, the collar duly arrived, and when I looked at it it didn't seem quite as I expected. Stripy, with holes in it and a buckle, but somehow not as quntessentially collar-y as I was expecting. I left the present out on the dining room table for some days, looking quizzically at it from time to time. I didn't try it on Truffle at any point, as she was still small and I didn't want to scare her with an item I wasn't 100% sure how to competently fasten.
Then one day a male friend was over - the one who lives on a canal boat, aptly enough, if you recall. He is the fellow who is noted for his crumble-making skills, and who dutifully keeps his bottle of BEX Londoner SE1 in the fridge. Anyway, it turns out that he is also bonkers about watches, and thus it was that he took one look at the cat collar and pronounced it to be a 'field watch strap'. Absolutely unequivocably. A quick google of 'Gucci men's watch strap' fetched up pictures of the very item, or others bearing a pretty close resemblance. So...I had a bargain designer watch strap, but no watch. And Truffle had no collar, but it doesn't matter a jot really. I hope The Scentimentalist would agree that £3 is a small price to pay for the rekindling of a friendship, and now that Truffle is chipped, arguably she doesn't need one anyway.
|Collarless Truffle - specially for Asali|
So The Scentimentalist and I are able to zap messages to each other on WhatsApp now, whenever the fancy takes us, which is great. Meanwhile, I have been thinking some more about Gucci, specifically which perfumes I know or like of that brand. I can't say I am familiar with the whole range, though Gucci Guilty smells fab on a friend of a friend, while Bamboo is pretty, but insipid. I didn't care for Flora, but can't put my finger on why - I think a slightly odd note of some kind spoilt it for me. The only other Gucci scent I know - and own a decant of - is Gucci by Gucci edp, which is not to be confused with Gucci Eau de Parfum, or any other slight reframing of the brand name, with or without 'Intense' suffixes!
I came across Gucci by Gucci edp round about the time The Scentimentalist and I first 'met' on Basenotes. It was possibly the first scent I had tried that smelt 'a bit sexy'- I was mostly into designer stuff at the time. Gucci by Gucci is a sweet, honeyed, patchouli and musk number, conjuring up images of black leather sofas in the foyers of smart London hotels, of late night cocktails in low lit bars and making out in taxis, of slippery fabrics and vertiginous heels. It is accessorised with gold jewellery that is a little too chunky and veering to trashy. Some of which impression has been garnered from advertising, some the design of the bottle itself(!). Now Gucci by Gucci doesn't smell trashy as such, that would be unfair, but the combination of tiare (think Loulou!)and honey makes it a little too cloying to be elegant either. But it sets a sweetly sultry tone nonetheless, and I haven't smelt anything similar since, which is also good. Plus I like how it reminds me of my early days of exploration - when my lemmings were more likely to be Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and DKNY Cashmere Mist than the latest Mandy Aftel or Vero Profumo. Gucci by Gucci certainly bottles that newbie phase of my perfume 'jour**y', and for that reason I will always have a soft spot for it.
Is there any scent you feel you have in some way 'grown out of', but which you remember fondly?