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At the Moment (Vera Wang eau de parfum)
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
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A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

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Amouage Opus I

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April Aromatics Calling All Angels

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April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

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Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

Tightly

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

At the Moment . . .

Wearing Vera Wang eau de parfum, and yes, you can strip me of my perfumista card, but it is what I’m craving.  Maybe it’s not the kind of fragrance that inspires one to write anything deep or meaningful about it, but it’s intensely floral and makes an überly feminine statement that feels both polished and dreamy. Wearing it, I find myself humming the words to an old Carly Simon tune … “Hold me in your hands like a bunch of flowers, set me movin’ to your sweetest song.” The perfume’s bouquet of Bulgarian rose, calla lily, mandarin flower, gardenia, lotus, iris, and white stephanotis feels like it’s being carried on long green stems; the fragrance is weighted at its start with green notes that are bitter enough to impart a feeling of seriousness, by which I mean that they serve as a ballast which keeps the sweetness of the florals in check and keeps the overall composition smelling svelte and elegant. I read reviews on Basenotes.net saying that the fragrance smells synthetic in its opening stages and my own thought is just the opposite. I think the green notes have a realistic leafy astringency (however it was achieved) and make the overall composition smell more organic, such that when I wear Vera Wang I think about being in a garden setting, albeit a very groomed garden, one where an outdoor wedding is about to take place and much thought and care has been taken to ensure that it coincides with the blooming of the roses and certain white flowers. Though the sillage of Vera Wang wafts beautifully and is prominent, it’s not overwhelming or diva-like in any way; while not listed among the notes, clean white musk seems to hold the florals in a misty embrace and smoothes away any harsh edges, and the overall effect is one of water-color glide and diffuseness. This is an easy and elegant floral perfume that has me dreaming I’m on Martha’s Vineyard, a place I haven’t been too since I was in college, but that I remember as being breezy and laid-back while still maintaining its New England air of propriety.

My sample of Vera Wang came from Undina (her own lovely post about it is here), and if she hadn’t sent it I probably never would have tried it, so I’m grateful. It may not be the kind of perfume that inspires purple prose, but it’s the perfect thing to wear when you want to feel romantic and pretty and sing along with Carly Simon at the end of summer. And if you want to kick it up a notch—pretend that James Taylor is still in the picture and dance in the kitchen to Mockingbird—it works for that too.

Reading-wise, I’ve found the complement to Vera Wang edp's easy elegance and romantic charm in the novel The Fireman’s Fair by Josephine Humphreys. This novel came out in 1991 and centers on thirty-two-year-old bachelor Rob Wyatt, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, who in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo looks out at the destruction all around him and sees the makings for a fresh start—in his own life, which he’s been coasting through up to this point. Rob’s lack of enthusiasm for his career as a divorce attorney is reflected in his billable hours, which have steadily been shrinking; he is infatuated with women, yet has no lasting relationships because he’s suspended in a state of unrequited love with Louise Camden, wife of his law partner; and he has other vague regrets that trace back to a period of unhappiness in his parents’ marriage. Before the storm arrived, he had already begun taking steps away from the lawyerly lifestyle, selling his Alfa Romeo and his expensive condo in the city and moving into an old beach bungalow on one of Charleston’s barrier islands, where he becomes a member of the volunteer fire company and drives a used Toyota. In the hurricane’s messy wake, he does what to others seems irrational, but to him seems a natural extension of his chosen downward trajectory: he quits his job with the intention of finding a direction in life that feels useful. But life and Louise bring one more client to him: a nineteen-year-old lovely named Billie Poe, who is like him, a drifter, though in her situation it is by circumstance rather than choice.

While the story is about the unpredictable and hurricane-like force of love, it is one of the most dreamy and quietly luminous books I’ve ever read. I always feel like I see myself in the characters of Josephine Humphreys’ novels; I’m a sucker for the kind of theme she likes to explore (the opportunity for renewal that arises out of life’s seen and unforeseen wreckages); and her prose is always shimmering and insightful. I’ll leave you with a taste of it, this passage where Rob Wyatt, lifelong bird-watcher and ex-lawyer, spies Billie Poe at Hank and Louise Camden’s post-hurricane party:

Rob didn’t want to talk to Hank either, or to anyone else. So he found his place in a corner and settled in to watch the women. Sometimes when he saw a new one, he could be filled with longing, but he didn’t mind. The ache wasn’t unpleasant, if it didn’t get out of hand, if he kept his distance.

But he was unprepared for the one that caught his eye. Across the porch, standing in a shaft of sunset. He knew he could be in for trouble if he wasn’t careful. He tried to maintain his safe position, with a barrier of two dozen cocktail drinkers between him and her. But the crowd parted in order to tempt him. He had a clear view of her face and her extraordinary posture—knees cocked, chest high, hips tilted.

He admired the tilt. The pelvic confidence.

And yet there was also a certain contrasting timidity of gesture. The napkin around her glass was shredded. Her hair was in some disarray, and was an odd peach color, matching her dress. She didn’t look like a lawyer or a lawyer’s wife, certainly not a judge’s wife. She looked like a waitress. He was a great fan of waitresses. His heart ached.

All he could do was hold his ground, drink his gin, and watch her arms. They were bare and, unlike the arms of the women on the porch, untanned. He watched her eat a shrimp, her wide-set eyes glancing around first to see if someone was watching before she downed the pink curl of meat.

Physically, he was not a noticeable man. He had a degree of social camouflage that enabled him to move on peripheries, and to observe without being observed. Surreptitious observation had been a habit of his since boyhood, practiced first on wildlife and then on women. There were some similarities.

The birds most worth seeing, for example, were those that were secretive and skittish, and wouldn’t show themselves unless he waited hours in the woods without moving and without making a sound. He could do it. Even in boyhood, his desire was that great. A small desire demands culmination, but a great desire is self-sustaining and will wait despite heartache, despite the solitary woods of the Francis Marion National Forest, and a boy’s impatience, his legs asleep, and the gnats abuzz. He’d spent whole days there—and some nights, in an old abandoned shack known only to him—waiting. Culmination, the longed-for moment when a wild bird would eat from his hand or perch on his shoulder, never occurred. It hardly mattered. Desire and imagination and observation were nearly enough.

At any party, the old heart could ache “real bad,” as Louise, always careless of her adverbs, would have said. It ached real bad now, not only for the lonesome-looking girl but for everything in sight.

Excerpted from The Fireman's Fair, copyright © 1991 by Josephine Humphreys (Viking Penguin, New York, NY, 1991, pp. 24-25)

Credits: photo (top of page) of Carly Simon on Martha's vineyard is from a video directed by Steve Lippman that can be found here: http://vimeo.com/14630616

Video of Carly Simon and James Taylor performing Mockingbird is from the YouTube channel of Fleckman. 

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 8/27/2012.


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