Friday, 25 September 2009

On the road again

I'm leaving Italy again.
The plan is this: My father has some stuff to do in Bassano del Grappa. I take train there, I'll hang around there on Saturday and we'll go back by car together. So far so good.

Yesterday I wanted to do some errands. Like, go to I Tatti, find a book, copy a few pages, go downtown, do a bit of shopping, go to Antella to see an exhibition, pack. Instead, halfway uphill to I Tatti, I wanted to take a pic of the landscape and found out that I don't have my diary with the post-it that says what I want to photocopy (1).
I did the going downtown bit, got an ice cream, dropped to Farmacia SS Annunziata to get me a bottle of Hyle and there I found out that I left my cards at home. Including the library card to I Tatti. We had a good laugh with the pharmacist and I went home, made an omelette, finished the bottle of Chianti and did indeed pack something. Far from everything, though.

Today, I managed to close the bank account, return all the books, went to Antella and back, in time at home to finish packing, in whose midst I found out that I forgot about my article. During packing, I had an obvious Tetris fail and had to dig out half of thecontents of my suitcase to get rid of the offending corner of a storage box; in the next round, my packing skills were brought to a new, exciting level because not only I placed the box elsewhere, but reorganized the things in such a way that I needed a huge skein of angora blend to stuff the remaining space so that the things wouldn't rattle (2). I don't really know how much may my suitcase weigh but I guess that it's well above 30 kilos; since it contains quite some yarn, there are no air bubbles to speak of (3). Anyhow, I just made it for the 1554 train to Santa Maria Novella. Life is what it is, so the train dropped at track 18, the farthest from the main platform; at the end I wasn't saved from dragging a heap of crap around.
On the 8minutes trip to SMN, I stood by the door with my heap of crap when an apparently homeless guy hopped in to have a ride. He was communicative and stinky, so he kept ranting. He asked me whether I'm German, for reasons unknown (the explanation may be that I carried my knitting in a huge canvas bag with Hedergrens på Stureplan printed on it) I said Nope, I'm from Sweden, which sentenced me to having to listen to a long diatribe on relationships between Sweden and Italy and Swedish history and geography and politics while the guy stank all the time.

I had a sandwich, half of a sandwich,to be exact, before my train to Mestre landed. Dragged my crap, found my seat and all the way to Prato, I listened to a fellow traveller across the table; if I listened more carefully, I'd learn several new curses but I didn't care, I had my eternal sweater to work on and a post-it of notes I needed to decipher.
In Prato, we stopped. Foul-mouthed fellow citizen increased the cadence of his cussing along the lines of Whenever I go by train, there are some fucking troubles, we pay our taxes and our tickets to only get fucking delays. At least, they are not on strike, I thought to myself remembering my past travel experiences. After some time, it was announced that the locomotive is broken, thus the unplanned stop. Foul-mouthed fellow traveller added a few expletives towards the state, railways and universe in general and we could continue.
After doing all the math and lots of pondering, I found out that there's some inherent mistake in my sweater and the pattern is not symmetrical to the whole sweater due to some mess in modules. I decided to forgo ripping it all, casting on again (this particular cast on is very difficult) and decided that a little irregularity doesn't matter that much but for the pattern in the armpits that I could live without but... who is ever perfect.
The train was late about 20 minutes. The connecting train to Bassano del Grappa was already gone so I found another one... and yay for train blogging.

As for now, there hasn't been any railway strike but I'm not there yet. Updates later.

(1) External memory does have certain advantages. Disadvantages, too, as apparent.
(2) The other day, I went to O. with a suitcase of Italian food and various stuff and I was going back with next to nothing. We discussed the matter, finding out that suitcases should contain an inflatable pillow that could be inflated if someone lost fifteen pairs of shoes on the way so that the that remained wouldn't be tossed around. Maybe I should get the idea patented.
(3) Yarn is excellent stuffing for air bubbles, obviously. It can be squished just about anywhere.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Drunk tired and sleepless

I can't sleep again. It sucks big time and since I haven't seen a doctor in quite a while, I've run out of sleeping meds. I'm using some prediluvial antihistamins which, apart from reducing itchiness and swelling(1), make one nicely sleepy and cause silly dreams.(2) Too bad that I'm sleepy but still wake up 48 times per night, not getting perfectly alert and nervous, only sleepy and nervous.

In September, I managed thusly:
Exams done: 1/9
Papers written:0/2

I need a break. The reason why I did next to nothing is rather simple, my brain is apparently already saturated with history et al. and needs to do something else. I should start my biology courses someday soon, after the debacle with Bunch of Idiots, nice people from all directions sent me a handful of Japanese textbooks and wishes of better luck. I have a book to write, and it's not on art. Before, I need to finish a rather extensive paper and it requires going to Stockholm. Did I mention that I don't really like travelling? I like being somewhere, I like going on a day trip but anything that includes too much booking, packing, going where I don't really know it and flying, is somewhat stressful for me.

So... I got a bottle of Chianti to make me feel better. It didn't really work until O. wrote that her kitten bit all the way through to the shopping bag and soy milk carton, leaving a milk puddle in the kitchen and milky pawprints all over and offered me a calico cat skin to hang on my wall if I want one. Only then I cleaned the screen off the wine I spat out and returned to something like a normal mode and mood.

(1) Got them year and a half ago when I had penicilin allergy and the consequent rash that would win the Ugliest rash of 2008 contest if there was one.
(2) Admittedly, hardly anything could beat the Ambien-caused Build a cabin in a nice remote valley to get quiet and peace and when I finished, the whole family came visiting because it was so quite and peaceful. Nor the Ambient-caused Japanese wedding in Technicolor.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tauleto, a wine perfume

Sometimes, I open a bottle and there's something I would love to drown in.
This is rather a rare occurence, I could count such fragrances on the fingers of one hand - Basala, Black Cashmere, Une Fleur (not totally sure about this one) and last, Tauleto.
The story has it that Marco Maffei once wandered to the wine cellars of Umberto Cesari, located at Castel San Pietro, sniffed the local red Sangiovese and got Inspiration. The company materials say that it's the first wine-inspired fragrance, the Ex Floribus Vinis claims something along those lines too, but, who cares. In fact, maybe the PR people care, or some enthusiastic nitpickers; I personally prefer the fragrance speaking for itself although admittedly, the surrounding stories may be fun.
Well, I opened the sample vial and all the fruits burst out in an overwhelming way. What surprised me was that there was indeed something winey about the fragrance. Grapes, sweet raisins or maybe some very sweet and aromatic wine. I didn't expect such a direct wine reference, after the Ex floribus vinis experience, I thought that there would be some vague and indetectable connection but this was indeed apparent. Very apparent. The sillage is powerful and the head of the fragrance is stunningly beautiful.
After a while, short while, admittedly, the fragrance gets greener, like crushed unripe grapes or half a glass of wine turning sour the morning after the party....
The disappointment comes half an hour later, though... nothing is left on the skin. I haven't seen such a miserable staying power for quite a while and I find it indeed sad. No, it's not my skin - the fragrance is detectable a bit better on paper but still, it's no big deal.
The company offers various other products, perfumed candles and a line of cosmetics; I haven't tried these but I'd say that these might work better, especially the candle would release the lovable scent for a while.

When I'm back home where my fragrance collection lives, I'll try a bit of alchemy and find out whether there is something that could improve the staying power, usually jasmine anything works pretty well but jasmine itself is too strong - I'll have to think about it. Tauleto perfume is too good to be forgotten and something done to it so that it would last would be indeed a good thing.

You can ask for a sample at the company website, it however works only in some areas, doesn't say which ones. Click Contacts at the sidebar and proceed. (Feel free to comment where it actually works)

Top notes: grape, orange, tangerine
Middle notes: rose, magnolia, violet
Basenotes: liquorice, wood, musk, humus

(Notes for the fragrance taken from the Tauleto website)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Profumi delle Cinque Terre: Tentazioni di Fico and Agave

One of the companies I had never heard before but encountered them on the Fragranze fair was Profumi delle Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre is a region somewhere north-west here, at the eastern end of the Ligurian rugged coastline beyond La Spezia; I've never been there, only went on train to Genova, but I hear that it's a picturesque piece of land. Admittedly, the other parts of Italy didn't get any of my liking but I never claimed to be anything like politically correct anyways. The company searched and found inspiration in the local countryside, after all, many the small companies have, or claim to have, some specific indigenous feature. But... it doesn't matter to me in this case, even if they were inspired by the council trash dump, street crime and railway delays, the fragrances totally rock.

Agave is a more sophisticated version of my beloved Sycomore. Beat me, kill me for such a blasphemy if you wish. No, I'm no less of a Chanel junkie but where Sycomore is fresh to the verge of biting, Agave is fresh, cold and enchanting. After the first whiff of something rather medicinal - iodine disinfectant, I guess, there comes a flood of mint, with the bittersweet saffron and sour rhubarb. Oddly enough, it creates a light vetivery fragrance as a whole, or rather a four-dimensional vetiver of unexpected depths, with something glittering that is halfway there and halfway somewhere else. I don't remember encountering a mint-based fragrance; I wonder why mint isn't used more, the smell is lovely even on its own. Maybe the whole toothpaste and chewing gum affair alienated it to the perfumers, who knows. A quick search showed that mint is present in quite some fragrances I own: the fresh and pungent Liberté Acidulée, oddly enough Le Male, spicy and sweet, AA Herba Fresca - I can possibly smell it in that one but it's overdriven with other green notes and a few tons of lemon peel. And the good ole plain yet nice Green Tea from Elizabeth Arden where I don't remember it at all. None of them is built around the mint tone, though, and in fact, in none of those does it stick out in some clearly discernible manner. Agave, though, has a distinct mint candy quality which I adore in fragrances

Top notes: rum, mint, rhubarb
Middle notes: pimento, elemi, saffron
Base notes: oak wood, labdanum, musk

Tentazione di Fico
Whatever they say about big juicy leaves on their website, this one has a salty start with a bit of iodine thrown in the mixture. It's time to forget the notes, however poetic they may be, and follow the ingredients as they are stated on the box: limonene, linalool, coumarin (I guess I can trace it there if I have at least a bit of olfactory memory), citronellal - check. That one is the pungent green bit of muguet, geraniol - check, peppery floral, citral. Throw in that weird ozone smell of clary sage and a pinch of iodine and there we are. Fresh to the verge of biting, salty, pungent. The hint of fig leaves does appear a bit later, somewhat sweetish and rounded but the fragrance remains very green and somewhat salty.

Top notes: fig leaves, basil, currant leaves
Middle notes: jasmine, clary sage
Base notes: cedar wood, sandalwood, tonka bean, musk

I don't generally believe in strong evocative powers of perfumes. Most of them are abstract, it happens hardly ever to me that there would be something very specific. These two, however, are two different renderings of sea breeze. Two bottles of instant holiday, Helg might say, she's much more metaphoric than yours truly.

I would like to give some useful hint as to where get the stuff from Profumi delle Cinque Terre but I must admit that I don't know. The company website doesn't have a shop, I mailed them but I haven't got a response so far, most probably because I mailed them on Friday and normal people have weekends off. I'll be back when I have the information.

Notes taken from the company website,

Saturday, 19 September 2009

I want to go home, damn

I perfectly understand that it's the rule ingrained so deep into the matter of universe that nothing can be done with it but it's no consolation that the landladies are mean arseholes. Or only mean or only arseholes, mine being a nice sweet arsehole landlady.
It appears that in the morning, she went to a fish market or some place where she got raw fish, she fixed it for lunch and happily left the uncooked bits in the trash on the balcony. (I think there's something Southerner about leaving the trash on the balcony because the only other people whom I noticed doing it were my Greek flatmates, be the earth heavy upon them when their time comes. But I may be wrong and pigs are present about anywhere.) Now, I totally wouldn't mind leaving the trash on the balcony if the very same balcony wasn't the balcony where the French window from my room opens. All day long, I was sniffing fish trash which later in the afternoon turned into fish trash on which sun is shining.
I also fail to understand why the landlady cooks half a portion of something, eats half of that and then leaves the rest on the plate, covering it with a pot lid, saucepan or another plate, leaving a few such installations around. Isn't it easier, when she cooks every bit from the fresh, to cook that minute amount she'd eat anyway? I opt for making a full pot of whatever and eat it for three days, not nice but practical.

No, I want to be at home. There or the other there, I don't care. At parents', there's a well-equipped kitchen so I can make me a chocolate cake although I can't possibly dye fabrics there, in my place, I can make whatever mess I fancy. No fish remains, no constant washing of things at the kitchen balcony and no damn annoying people around all the time. It's not only the landlady, this house is made of painted paper or something similar so I hear all the sounds from the stairwell, the elevator and every neighbours' breath. They have three daughters, I suspect that the youngest is around 16, and lots of social life. And they start a dishwasher at eight a. m. sharp, which is plainly cruel, I the hell sleep at eight.

The most important thing is that I'll have my own cat at home when I'm there. (Can't wait for the exquisite feeling of dying of asphyxation at 3 a. m. when dearie insist on sleeping on my head and my allergy insists on existing.)

No, I'm being snarky and mean.
I've been to another of the little museums today, Casa Siviero. Little local museums have a certain charm to me, and I wonder whether someone will set up my house as one after I die. I'd better throw away my things in advance.

Thursday, 17 September 2009


I got so overwhelmed by whatever I'm doing that I decided to take a break from school and do something normal for a while.
Which means some paperwork and I detest paperwork but, well, can be managed. And I can't wait for the day when I'm back at work. I so much need a change and something else but the art crap...

Now, don't take me wrong, I still do like all that art crap. I'm just fed up for the time being and I need some chocolate cake instead.
I'll be around.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Ex Floribus Vinis No. 1 ananas sativa

The other day I was perusing the internetz and checked one of the stores I sometimes check. In general, it has the usual and expected stuff although I snatched several discontinued fragrances there. And, I saw Ex Floribus Vinis. Having never heard that name before, I did my homework, checked online and saw that it should be a wine-inspired line of fragrances.
We have alcoholism in the family so I couldn't resist and grabbed both bottles they had, No. 1 and No. 5. I must admit that I expected something more... winey. Even the names are rather floral, ananas sativa being pineapple.
When the package arrived (along with some future Christmas gifts), I was at first disappointed by the lack of presentation. The pictures on the bottles (and boxes) show a silhouette of a happy 18th century drunkard surrounded by foliage, if you look at them closely, the yellow frame of No. 1 with the black of the image kills my sensitivities and, well, it looks like another nondescript cologne.
The fragrance surprised me. I expected something more winey, admittedly, but then, it would be called Pinot Noir or Commandaria or something like that. In fact, at first, it was all jasmine to me, and quite similar to Une Fleur de Chanel, for that matter. After a while, my impression cleared a bit - not Une Fleur but Chris 1947. Chris 1947 is an adorable cranberry fragrance with a miserable staying power so I cut it with a bit of something with jasmine which enhances the cranberries and makes it stay. And, also, the fragrance changes to more pronouncedly fruity after a while, too. With discernible pineapple, and here I have to applaud that finally, there's a pineapple fragrance which isn't overtly sweet or piňa-coladaish (i. e. no coconut, thankyouverymuch), sweet oranges and grapes - at least. Could be wine pretty well, some lighter red one from the North. The company website (all flash, no direct linky) says that it was inspired by Malvasia from the hills of Piacenza. I should get a bottle to find out; I have two more wine-inspired fragrances up my sleeve so I need to do a bit of shopping anyway, I suspect. Meantime I plan to enjoy.

Top notes: peach, pineapple, papaya, mandarin orange, red berries, orange
Middle notes: cyclamen, lily of the valley, rose, oats
Base notes: sweet woods, white musk, amber

Vetiver, patchouli, iris. Name it, I'll be overdosed by that one, too.

The fragrance fair, Fragranze 7, takes place these days and today it was opened to the general public.

I came back from there a while ago totally over...everything so I had a shower, made me a salmon sandwich (there's a fragrance named Sushi impériale, did you know?), painted my toenails (no Eau d'Acétone of which I knew) and made me a big cup of strong coffee (a score of coffee fragrances out there in the wild, most of them exceedingly sweet) to give my nose a break.

The whole fair was very educational, especially for us, self-proclaimed half-experts. I got several handfuls of samples, bajillion of scented pieces of paper and some interesting information and I'll go through it all. Those who were nice to me and/or gave me samples (Keiko Mecheri, Andy Tauer, Juliette Has a Gun, Susanne Lang, Profumi delle Cinque Terre, Manuel Canovas, Olivier Durbano and a few more) will get their own posts, the latter ones only when I go through the ephemeral bits of paper.

(Yes, this heap expects me to go through and comment.)

There was a possibility to go to the matroneum of the Baptistery, today at one, so I had a break, along with a chance to get a roll of foil; sure, some nice plastic sleeve to keep my scented bits of paper would be better but one has to make do when needed.

I observed a few trends - there are local companies with rather specific background and interesting inspirations - *Tauletto (2), for example, is a wine house and I was told that one day, there was a nose tasting it and thought that it could be made into a perfume... and so they did. Indeed, from wht I can say, the fragrance reminds me of wine fairly enough, definitely more than Ex Floribus Vinis that shares the same concept but smells of, well, flowers (this one will get its own post). Or Olivier Durbano and his 'mineral' line - I'm not a troll (1), I can't say in a qualified manner how does a turquoise or jade smell but the fragrances will go on my wishlist as soon as I set it up.
Then, soliflors (and soliradices etc.). Susan Lang, I was told, even means that her fragrances be mixed; same goes for Odori - while eavesdropping, I heard the representative explaining to someone that they even have a sixpack of all their scents and that they can be mixed to one's heart's content. To each their own; and undoubtedly, there are days when I want to wear roses or sandalwood. But, well, if I'm to mix my own perfume, then I'd rather start from the scrap, thank you, than play with a handful of soliflors thinking how great a nose I am. I prefer the imaginative stream - there's something enchanting about things named, say, Bal d'Afrique or Nuit de Longchamps (Byredo will be dealt with, Lubin possibly so, too). I'll discover that saffron or cedarwood in it myself.

Now, a quick list of those that caught my attention and whom I plan to check - alas, they didn't have samples.

Perle di Bianca, inspired by the personality of Bianca Capello, Venetian noblewoman of controversial fame, she was first a mistress and then a wife of Grand Duke Francesco de'Medici. I had the possibility to try the bath oil with neroli and myrrh notes, there's something very sweet with gourmand qualities to it - it's made from hazelnut oil, that may be the thing. The perfume features notes of jasmine, citruses, amber and blackberry, with base of iris, musk and myrrh. The result is very smooth and sophisticated. I'll definitely make a trip to their shop at Bagno di Ripoli (it's somewhere around Florence, no clue where) to check without hurry.

Acqua di Stresa (site under construction) with three locally inspired fragrances, using, as I was told, local ingredients (not sure which ones).

Profumi di Cinque Terre: another newly born name, will get its own post (and I want all of their frags, damn). (Special thanks to the nice lady who gave me all the samples.)

Sigilli do not deny a sort of Roman (like, ancient Roman, although the company is located in some Gallicano nel Lazio, provincia di Roma, too) inspiration. I put my paws on five. *Claudiae, with head of tomato leaves and poppy, heart of rose and galbanum and base of patchouli and musk caught my attention by the tomato leaves, since I learned that my everlating favourite, Liberté Acidulée features these, I cannot resist trying anything that contains them. The choice proved a good one, the fragrance has a fresh air of a cold morning at the edge of a Mediterranean forest. Tuscia, old name for Tuscany, irresistible only for this, spicy, powdery, floral, musky. Smooth, discreet with a magnolia (?) undertone I'd happily skip, though. Asprosa with, if I'm right, petitgrain, bergamot, myrrh and maybe some vetiver; I think it would make a nice fresh summer fragrance if the citruses don't go bad in hot weather. Anyhow, this is the sort of citruses I like, adstringent, sharp, backed by something resiny. Thu with lots of anise that gives it the odour of sweaty armpit, no, thanks, but someone may find it sexy or something. One way or another, good and unusual fragrance. Somewhat stinky *Athunis with cedarwood, Java vetiver and musk. Very smoky, earthy and masculine, just the right thing for me. To be worn with caution lest people start calling the fire brigade, it's really smoky.

And last for now, Prudence. Based in Provence, making everything of white flowers. Just now, I have the sweet citrusy woodsy Stewart under my nose - and I love the presentation, too, with gilded statuettes of deer that do not deny being totally plaster. I love the irony.

Now, would you excuse me. Sensory overload and craving for more smoked salmon.

(1) That's a Terry Pratchett reference.
(2) Fragrances marked with an asterisk are those I WANT! The wishlist will be compiled later on.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Back to Florence

I'm back to Italy. After usual travel vicissitudes - I hate travelling, you know - I had the chance to go for lunch with the gals I used to hang together all the previous semester and whom I badly missed in summer. I told them to let me know and simply come but none did - maybe I didn't sound serious enough in that offer and it served me right, I was stuck at home with mildly entertaining and mostly annoying relatives and my own boredom.

I'm the fattest and ugliest of the bunch, should you not know. I'm also quite possibly the laziest.
I'd like to have M. at home, though. I haven't deciphered yet whether she's just being nice or whether she really means it but she thinks that I'm generous because I brought her some stuff she'd like(my mom would call that stupid), brave because I'm not afraid of walking alone in the countryside (my mom would call that stupid, too, and she'd let me know about her opinions), hard-working (an illusion shared by most of the world), smart because, for example, I go mushrooming and haven't died of poisoning yet (erm, I know around six species of wild mushrooms, no big deal). Nothing warms my heart as a bit of praise. Too bad that most of the praise is somewhat undeserved.
I must be having some bad time or something - I suspect that my grey matter changed into mashed potatoes. Naturally, such things happens preferably around the exams so I guess I'll make an idiot of myself. I'm somehow unable to concentrate and much worse, usually chocolate helps. Nowadays, I even don't feel like getting some, lest eating it.

No. 46

When there's a reason to expect a perfume in the mail, and when the package smells, it's a BAD sign. Like, very bad sign.

I'm not sure how to ascertain that once-opened bottles will not leak, and now I mean those with glass stoppers, not those with screw-on tops. I suppose that sealing it with wax or at least clingy foil could do at least some job. Last week, it happened to a bottle of Chanel No. 22 so I threw all the clingy foils and ziplocks in a box and colognized (TM) them.

How to salvage a perfume that leaked: I use the method of colognization (TM); for that, you need a tightly sealable container large than the material in which perfume is soaked and some alcohol, easy to obtain in a local pharmacy. Pour alcohol on whatever is holding the perfume (the famous red silk scarf wallpaper alert! it may be, or a heap of foils or just about anything). Put in the container, close shut and leave it there. You might shake it, toss enclosed object around to bathe them in alcohol, whatever. After some days, pour into a flacon, wring textiles, press newspapers or clumps of foil, whatever. If smell lingers in whatever there was (famous red silk scarf smells of irises and musk, I think, half a year after the accident), put it between your clothes or books or something. Which is exactly the thing that happened to No. 22 and consequently to the wrapping material of No. 46.

No. 46 has been discontinued since forever but I snatched some. I had nothing better to do than brag to Helg; she went Oh, damn, the one with the torn label that I saw on [somewhere in the internetz] the other day? Tell me no, it looks like a fake, but, if you got that one, send me a sample because were it a fake, the who made it had damn cojones and a special degree of ruthlessness. I scratched my head and thought that I asked for it, that hunting old stuff I don't know is an idiotic idea somehow in general and that it'd serve me right.
A day after that mail, it arrived. The package smelled rather well, I uttered a few curses and went to buy more alcohol (1). The wrappers went to a marmalade jar and yielded a slightly dilué version which was however powerful enough to knock me off the chair if I hadn't smelled the thing before.
Or carnation.
Probably both.

It's not that grandma-style rose like Penhaligon's Elizabethan Rose, nor that sweet, slightly sickening rose of Nahema or Mahora in extrait version (2), it's warm, spicy, carnation-y and slightly reminds me of Fleur de Feu but after a while it mellows to sweet musky calmness. Something that I badly miss among Les Exclusifs.
A quick search showed next to none results, something on Perfume Intelligence, a review by Octavian at 1000perfumes and a few discussions along the lines of Wtf is Chanel No. 46.
Excellent fragrance, dear children.

We're still discussing the possible fakeness with Helg, I sent her a sample and we'll see. Should that be a fake, then the creator should apply for a job at some place like Givaudan. Because, it had cojones, special degree of ruthlessness and created a stunning perfume worth the price, even if it were Eau de Rose by Anonymous Pharmacy of Podunk.

Now, after a while, the drydown is still sweet and musky with a hint of lily of the valley and/or vetiver and it promises to last forever. Someone out there should start taking 100 litre orders.

Top notes: bergamot, orange, neroli
Middle notes: rose, lily of the valey, ylang-ylang, jasmine
Base notes: vetiver, orris, sandalwood, coumarine, vanilla, musk (3)

(1) It's not that easy to get, in fact. They sell it only in small amounts, only 60% and they look weird at people in the pharmacy. I asked a doc friend to get me the 96% thing through the secret sources, though.
(2) Mahora deserves its own story for the bottle, if for nothing else. Not to be expected anytime soon, Mahora is left behind at home II.
(3) notes after Perfume Intelligence,

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


We have a garden. With lawn that needs mowing and all those damn plants that continue growing. After all the damn shrubbery had overgrown us and the regular trash bin wasn't enough for all those clippings, it took a few years but a week ago, we got a compost bin.
Now, a week after, it seems to be the favourite toy of the family. We started sorting out teabags and apple cores to go to the compost because, well, it's home ecology!, folks.
On the occasion of having a place to put organic waste to, mom decided that it's the right time to redo the front garden. The redwood tree, planted there as a sapling so that it could grow a bit nicely, intended to be replanted to the hotel, was somewhat forgotten there and grew to a huge tree - I suppose it could be still replanted but large trees need two years of planning (basically, you dig a trench around it to cut the roots, leave it for a year and then dig it out and move to desired place, using heavy machinery, lots of workforce and... anyways, it's a tough job) and nobody would bother anyway. The spruce was designated to be this year's Christmas tree because mom says it's fugly (rather true) and mainly, we removed all the turf that remained from once very kept lawn - now the trees there take all the nutrients and there's no space for lawn anyway.

Redesigning the garden is one thing, done comfortably over a coffee but actually doing the digging and planting and moving stuff around... ouch. Moreover, the place has bad soil, there were some ten centimetres of decent one spread over all that rubbish that remained at the construction site so in the hole for that damn piece of shrubbery, I found several rods of iron, around three bricks, the largest bit being like half of one.
But, it looks pretty.
There was a gardening fair this weekend so off we went. It's sort of tradition, going there, eating all those hot dogs and fastfoody things and bringing, well, plants.
Silly little flowers. They are planted by the magnolia and I'm curious to see how much they grow up.

Yeah, and taught the family that mouldy bread may go to the compost too. You see, for some reason, there's always the last slice of bread that goes bad. Something existential behind it, I suspect.