|Photo courtesy of Annette Tudor of Tiers & Tiaras|
But yes, seven years - how did that happen? 579 posts to date, which isn't much by today's fast paced, news ticker-type media standards, but I guess each one takes me 4-5 hours on average. Which sounds like an awful long time in terms of the output achieved, but I must have rather a ponderous blogging MO. ;) On a whim I did a quick calculation and that adds up to 413 working days ie more than a year of just blogging!
I mention the 'seven year itch', because I feel I am at a bit of a crossroads. For a while there I thought I was in the perfume doldrums, but my interest can easily be rekindled by a well-timed recommendation from a friend who knows my taste well - big thanks are due to Val CQ Sperrer, Undina, Tara, and Sabine in particular for periodically recranking my perfume mojo. But what has changed for sure is that when unleashed in the perfume department of even a high end emporium like Fortnum & Mason or a specialist store like Bloom, I am no longer that 'kid in a sweet shop' eager to try everything in sight, preferring to stand back, chatting to whomever I am with, and sniffing the odd scent that is pointed out to me - usually because someone has literally handed me strip sprayed with the scent in question! So I appear to have very little self-motivation anymore to seek out new things, which is a new phenomenon.
|Still getting a kick from well organised top colours|
It doesn't bother me though, as my stash has grown to such unwieldy proportions that from a purely practical point of view it would be bad news if I was lusting after umpteen full bottles of this and that. A 10ml decant of most fragrances that take my fancy these days is quite enough, thank you.
I do additionally seem to have experienced a bit of 'decanter's blues' - a very niche condition as you can imagine!- whereby every time I go to make samples of scents, I get drenched in at least one if not several of the perfumes I am decanting. This is mainly down to a mix of leaky nozzles and the issue of 'blow back' once the vial fills up to a certain level. A level that seems to be getting lower, haha, or that is my observation.
And I guess I was also very chastened by my recent experience of getting rapped over the knuckles by the Royal Mail for attempting to post bottles internationally. That put a real spanner in the works just as I was setting out to monetise some of my stash, and I am indebted to the recipients for helping share the loss. Occasionally even now I am tempted not to bother with a hazard sticker on packages containing one or two samples within the UK, but I cannot risk being caught out again, or I might end up sharing with Rolf Harris in Stafford clink after all!
So given the limited opportunities to offload my perfume collection further afield - I could hold an open house, like Lila das Gupta recently, but Stafford is rather far away for people! - I have turned to knitting as a potential little income stream instead.
|My avatar for Runraglan Knits|
Oh, and of course since my diagnosis of eyelid eczema in the summer, I have been wearing makeup very sparingly if at all, so as not to tempt fate. I don't think perfume is a trigger, but often I don't bother putting it on either unless there is something I particularly want to try, which as we have just established is not very often these days. A little bit of me thinks it has to be better to limit the amount of chemicals coming into direct contact with my skin. Which isn't like me at all, or the me of old. Why, I have even blogged about the risk or otherwise of chemical overload in the early days of Bonkers, including in my post an amusing quote by Tania Sanchez on the subject if anyone is curious. At the time I was more concerned about my moderate alcohol consumption than being a 'walking chemistry set', but seven years on, the reference to people with allergies has rather come home to roost...certainly as far as toiletries more generally are concerned.
All of which sounds a little subdued or even downbeat, which truly wasn't my intention, yet every so often I start to wonder if I should leave blogging to the old timer behemoths and the new generation coming through, and redeploy the time gained to other activities, like cleaning the house(!), eBaying unwanted belongings, or writing the book that friends have claimed is 'in me'. But you would think that if such a book ever was in me, it would have long since worked its way out again by now...
Yeah, I confess to being an absolute shocker for lacking application, tending to tick off the quick and easy things on my 'to do' list rather than the big ones, to get that instant buzz of faux productivity, when you may only have put the bin out, paid a bill, and picked up the grapestalks the cat has strewn over the carpet. That said, I am proud that I lost my eBay seller's cherry this year, an idea that had previously languished for years in the 'too hard' box, even though I knew it would be a good way of decluttering for profit.;) And my new knitting venture, Runraglan Knits, now has its own Facebook page as of this week, and a few orders in the bag.
This is also almost the first anniversary of my having Truffle, who - although she is starting to bring in the odd field mouse now (all alive and intact, I hasten to add, and safely escorted off the premises!) - is an endless source of delight and amusement in my life. Here she is at just this time last year.
To lighten the tone, in case the above did come across as a bit 'heavy' and overly introspective, I shall announce the rather frivolous giveaway I came up with to mark this year's anniversary, namely an elephant perfume bottle. I wouldn't rush to put actual perfume in this, mind, as I have no confidence whatsoever in the hermetic properties of that stopper! The petite pachyderm has his own blog post, mind, from which I shall reprise a couple of quotes to whet your appetite:
For example, I love the refreshing directness of the seller's description:
"Not your cheap tacky tourist muck, but made by our own workshops in Cairo."
Then there is the reference to unexpectedly sumptuous materials:
"The gold used, which we always assumed was gold paint, is, in fact, 12 carat gold."
Not forgetting the reassuringly humane working conditions:
"Everyone who works for us is over school leaving age and the working conditions are good." I just checked, and it is only 14, but moving on...!
As someone with a lively interest in packaging materials, I greatly appreciated his conscientious packing strategy.
"It will, of course, be carefully packed in industrial quantities of bubblewrap in order to foil our postmen."
'Foil them' in terms of making it impossible for their postmen to break it, I assume? It is surely not illegal to send glass ornaments from Egypt?, though I could believe anything in my current state of postal paranoia.
So there you have him - 12 carat gold, eh?
To enter, please tell us where you are at in terms of your own perfume interest (I exercised restraint and didn't say the 'j' word!). Or alternatively, why you love elephants. Now I would understand if you didn't wish to win this uniquely exotic prize - I quite understand that pachyderm-themed receptacles are another decidedly niche interest - but hey, somebody might.
I will close the draw on 5/11 at midnight, which seems apt: "Remember remember the 5th of November!". I know the elephant won't forget to remind me that it is time to pick a winner.
Editor's note: I have a sneaking feeling I may have offered this perfume bottle in a past draw, and in our metaphorical Janis Ian-style game of basketball, his name wasn't called, hehe.
And finally, though I have said it numerous times before, it bears repetition, namely that my interest in and affection for the people I have met through this hobby has never wavered, and if anything gets stronger from year to year. So whether my perfume mojo is firing on all cylinders or quietly sputtering away like those gas rings you haven't turned on properly, I remain fiercely attached to my fumehead friends who help me weather the bumps on the road in perfume terms - or deal with the ups and downs (I would say "vicissitudes" but it sounds awfully wordy, even for me) of life in general.
Coming up soon...musings on Angel Muse!, and a bathroom makeover special, in which I share all the many lessons learnt along the way in my capacity as self-styled 'clerk of works'. There will be no perfumes kept in the bathroom, it goes without saying. Which takes me right back to the beginnings of Bonkers again...