But no, Valentine's Day has been quiet at Bonkers Towers: Truffle came into the bed briefly this morning and purred loudly, though not in a variety of registers as I had been hoping ever since reading Joyce's comments on my previous post about feline vocalisation; for brunch I had a toasted bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese - note to self to avoid the 'lighter' version of this cheese in future, as it looks like the Sandon Road after heavy rain. Okay, heavy rain on snow, to be precise, with the cheese being white of course. And I followed that up with Treat No 2, a toasted scone with blueberry jam and squirty cream. I shan't have any alcohol later as I had a drink last night, and am trying to give my liver more days off than it knows what to do with. So yes, a pretty low key occasion all in all.
I should mention, however, that I received a mystery package on Friday, right before the Valentine's weekend(!). A tube of my go-to tinted moisturiser with SPF 30 from Paula's Choice: "Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with Antioxidants & Resveratrol: Normal - Oily Combination". Or "that blue Resist one" for short. I love it because it is a really light substitute for foundation with a decent amount of SPF in it - well, for winter, say. Anyway, there was no message inside the handwritten Jiffy bag. The writing looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place it initially. Plus it quickly dawned on me that the gift couldn't possibly be from any man I have ever dated, as none of them have a clue about the contents of my sponge bag, which massively narrowed the field of suspects. More of that anon...
Also on Friday I received a request from the friend who had stepped up to do the doorstep squeezing of my current moisturiser tube the other night: "Do you have any vegan perfume recommendations?" My friend had dabbled in the category, trying the odd scent from the likes of Eden and Ffern, but had found it hard to get hold of things to try without committing blind to a full bottle, and has tended to default to her signature staple of Stella McCartney. I like that one too, though back in 2009(!) I could not resist taking a lighthearted pop at the plethora of names of the flankers.
Regular readers know how fired up with missionary zeal I can get when someone in my circle shows an interest in exploring the vast realm of niche scents - most memorably and exhaustively, there was my rose quest for Jessica not so long ago, which ironically ended in her finding something she really liked herself, hehe. So as soon as I got the call to unearth the vegan subset of my collection (mostly in the form of samples), I jumped at the chance. The final bag comprised a mix of natural perfumes and those containing synthetic materials but also with vegan credentials. It really was a random mix of whatever I had been sent by brands or picked up along the way in swaps and gifts from fellow perfumistas, including a couple of Hiram Greens, selections from Dolma, Sage Machado, Haus of Gloi and 100 Bon, plus a few more lone samples from the likes of Pacifica and Le Labo.
Already by the end of Day One - rather fittingly for Valentine's Day! - my friend had fallen for Hiram Green Lustre, a very realistic rose soliflore with a citrus opening. I am indebted to Val the Cookie Queen for introducing me to it, and am a big fan myself. My friend has promised to let me know her thoughts on each sample she tries, and urged me to tell her to get lost if this feedback becomes annoying. As if! The vicarious pleasure to be had from seeing people discover new perfumes is the polar opposite of annoying.
Notes: Bulgarian rose, citric notes, orris root, frankincense
Today she messaged me to say that she was very taken with 100 Bon Myrrhe & Encens Mystérieux. Note that we are back to mysterious things...She is a funeral celebrant by profession, and reckoned that this one might nicely complement her services. Oh, and a big patchouli fan, and a glance at the notes corroborates why such a simple, but on-point incense scent might hit the spot.
Top notes: bergamot, fresh notes cinnamon
Heart notes: myrrh, patchouli, papyrus
Base notes: tonka bean, frankincense
Ooh, interesting that there is frankincense in both the perfumes that have appealed to my friend so far. ;) I told her to expect to sniff a few frogs along the way, but so far so good. She has already snapped up a bottle of the 100 Bon fragrance as there seem to be limited stocks left online, possibly due to Brexit shenanigans.
And meanwhile I have unmasked the mystery donor of my moisturiser! An old neighbour, who gave me a tube for Christmas, and had heard about the doorstep squeezing antics of my vegan chum, and decided I was in need of more supplies. Too kind of her by far. I ran the handwriting past her son, who asked his mother outright if she was behind the RAOK, and she admitted she was.
So there you have it...a slightly twisty turny saga of two friends linked to one skincare item, and two perfumes with incense linked to one friend. And there is love involved in the story, if not the usual romantic stuff of Valentine's, hehe...
And yes, I really do need to raid the remaindered buckets at Asda for some more flowers: my daffs are dead and my hyacinth comically sparse and disconcertingly floppy.
Oh, and if anyone has an Alexa, do ask her if she will be your Valentine. She thanked me for the invitation, saying it was sweet of me to ask, but she didn't feel we knew each other well enough, before setting me a quiz challenge to verify this point. I correctly guessed her favourite cake (Colin the Caterpillar), but blew it on her favourite animal (octopuses, not lions, although she thinks lions are "roarsome"!), and I also incorrectly guessed that she had made a record with Harry Styles instead of Ed Sheeran. Alexa magnanimously awarded me half a point for Harry Styles though, as she also likes him. But with an overall score of one and a half points, I didn't qualify as her Valentine. Hey-ho - there's always next year! ;)
How was your Valentine's weekend?
Are there any other brands of vegan perfume - or individual scents - you would recommend?
[Photo of Lustre from fragrantica.gr, photos of Myrrhe & Encens Mysterieux from fruugo and my friend, heart artwork from Etsy / Pinterest]