Eiderdown Press
Musings about Perfume and Life
Message In A Bottle
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
Click on Links to Previous Posts, below

A Conversation on Arabie

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 

Amouage Lyric Woman

Amouage Memoir Woman

Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

Annick Goutal Vanille Charnelle

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

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

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

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


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 Dans Tes Bras

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 Angelique Noire

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Encens Mythique d'Orient

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 Jour d'Hermes

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

L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore

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


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 Musc Tonkin

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Aomassai

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

Puredistance WHITE

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Ramon Monegal Cuirelle

Ramon Monegal Pure Mariposa

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

Sammarco Perfumes Bond-T

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

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Smell Bent Florist's Fridge

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

Swiss Arabian Nouf

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 Bechdel Test

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector


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 Eau de Hongrie

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu


Last Friday I went blonde—really, really blonde.  Not by request so much as by omission: my dim-witted failure to fully convey my desires to my hairdresser.  My idea of “natural” highlights and hers obviously differ, and it is hardly her fault that she could not see my thought bubble, where my new hair was the sun-tipped honey-brown color of Jennifer Aniston’s flowing locks, only much shorter.  So the bleach came and went and bitch-slapped me blonde, and afterwards, I smiled and hugged and tipped my hairdresser.  And after that…well, if you’re a woman or a man who has spent a fair amount of time with women, then you know how the rest of my weekend went.  Teeth were gnashed, desperate emails and phone calls to sisters made, and mirrors were consulted at every turn but proved to be as nebulous with their advice as the ouija board of my adolescence.  Is it as bad as I think?  Can it be fixed?  I received basically the same answers as when I was a lovesick teenager who, in the midst of almost every séance we held for my dead grandmother, asked whether the cute Italian boy I’d had a mad crush on would ever notice me.  Yes, it said.  Maybe 2morrow.  And days later, ostensibly under the same funk as my sister who’d been wheedled into manning the other half of the planchette, Farewell.

Amazingly, the weekend passed and Monday arrived without any serious hair intervention, and while there is still enough shock in my system to severely skew my judgment, I am now thinking that this is the most ingenious thing my hairdresser has ever done.  Because my new hair is so zealously, unapologetically blonde that to wear it this way means I must wear it.  To fully inhabit it and not slouch it off as anything other than what it is: a choice, an attitude, a thumbing-of-the-nose acknowledgment that most of what falls under the category of beauty involves artifice.  My highlighted hair is like one of those glitzy silver Christmas trees from the ‘70s that remind me of discotheques: it does not invite comparisons to anything natural—it was not created to mimic but to be a shiny happy thing unto itself, ready to party and have fun.  It is artificial, yes, but in such an upfront way that I have to admire its honesty, and the honesty it demands of me if I decide to keep it.  Do I have the balls to wear a head full of bottle-blonde highlights?  I’m not certain, but I respect the way it is forcing me to choose.

Most of the messages that I put out about myself come from bottles these days—perfume bottles; I am “sending out an s.o.s.” as the Police song goes, but of a different kind than the lyrics imply.  True, I am another lonely castaway, “an island lost at sea, oh.”  (Happily married, as I am, or happily single with a wide circle of friends, we all have a place at our core that is unseen, that exists at some remove from even those who are closest to us.)  And on some level, I probably wear perfumes with the hopes of sending a signal that will encourage others to chart a course to me.  But on a more conscious level, the message that I have been putting out since I began collecting perfumes a little more than a year ago is just the opposite.  I am my own unique island, full of splendors you can hardly fathom, seems to be the message behind my perfume choices.  It is an arrogant, perhaps ignorant message, I realize.  Full of contradictions?  No doubt.  Nevertheless, it is the message that drives most of my decisions these days, especially my perfume buying ones.

Because never was I more lost than when I tried to swim in the mainstream; in fact it was much like drowning, although, admittedly, I was a poor swimmer and this was my adolescence, this period I am referring to—a crappy time in a lot of people’s lives.  Basically, it covers the period where the deep contentment I experienced growing up on a dairy farm was quickly eroded by the population at large of my high school, the demographics of which didn’t reflect the rural county I grew up in, but rather the university town where it was located.  Our school was large, almost exclusively white and affluent, with the majority of the student body being the kids of university professors and the somewhat less-elite university employees.  Farm kids were the “minority” students and were labeled in all the ways that minorities are.  The other kids called us “the hicks” (not just “hicks” but “the Hicks,” so that it applied not just to a few but to everyone who lived ten miles or more out of town).  If you happened to be good at sports, you could escape the hick label; likewise if you were really brainy, you could hang out with the nerds.  Otherwise, you were lumped into one group and targeted for laughs, avoided socially, and sometimes physically assaulted (though the latter usually only happened to the hicks who wore FFA jackets, of which I wasn’t one.  I hadn’t the nerve to join the FFA and proudly wear my redneck heritage on my sleeve).

My parents tried to convince me that cliques couldn’t exist unless one believed in them, yet knowing their argument was weak they purchased the requisite Adidas sneakers, carpenter pants, polo shirts, Speedo swimsuits and other accoutrements of the fashionable University kids—the Bonnie Belle lip smackers and Babe perfume.  And so I tried to fit myself into the mold of what was popular, to keep up on the latest trends.  Of course, what happened was that I gave up big chunks of my own individuality—I stopped writing poems, stopped talking about 4-H and cattle shows, stopped wearing T-shirts that featured Native American motifs—without the desired reward of crossing over into the territory of the perpetually cool.  For three long years I existed in a no-man’s land, where I was too ashamed to be the person I’d spent most of my young life developing into—and yet, too thin-skinned and timid in my attempts to get in with the in-crowd.

Looking back on all of this from the perspective of middle age, I realize that more than the resentment of feeling that I was forced to choose between (what I perceived then as) two sides, what I resented most was my own failure to choose either one of them.  Life is about making choices—little ones, big ones, sometimes black-and-white ones, though not usually.  Our lives are defined by our choices, and I think that’s the lesson of my high school years.  I have learned to be definitive in my choices now, to live more fearlessly by them and whatever consequences they bring, and to know they are not always set in stone—that new choices will present themselves down the road.

Though I moved away for a while, I now live near the same town where I grew up.  I have friends who are university intellectuals, friends who are local rurals like myself, and a life that is anything but mainstream.  I write, I publish books (or help others publish their own), and I collect perfumes that most people in this town have never heard of, but which are so strange and beautiful that most people I introduce them to want to smell them again—even the ones that repulse them.  I am quickly dismissed by people who can’t understand why I don’t sell decants of Sarah Jessica Parker’s perfumes, or who think that a book that isn’t available at Barnes & Noble is not a book, and I am fondly remembered by people who are looking for a whiff of something different in both these areas.  These are the things I have chosen, the messages that I am sending out and the messages that I’ve received back (for the return messages are a part of me, too).

Oh, and this week—at least for the remainder of this week—I am blonde.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 1/23/2008. 

All I Am - A Redhead

A Perfume Blog (Blacknall Allen)

Another Perfume Blog (Natalie)

Ars Aromatica

Australian Perfume Junkies

Beauty on the Outside

Bloody Frida

Bois de Jasmin

Bonkers About Perfume

Ca Fleure Bon

ChickenFreak's Obsessions


Eyeliner on a Cat

Fragrance Bouquet

From Top to Bottom - Perfume Patter

Giovanni Sammarco (artisanal perfumer) blog

Grain de Musc

I Smell Therefore I Am


Katie Puckrik Smells

L'eter - Blog of Olfactive Experience

Memory of Scent

Muse in Wooden Shoes 

Nathan Branch

Natural Perfumery by Salaam

Notes on Shoes, Cake & Perfume

Notes From Josephine

Notes From the Ledge

Now Smell This

Oh, True Apothecary! 


Olfactoria's Travels 

Parfumistans blogg


Perfume Posse

Perfume Shrine

Perfume-Smellin' Things

Purple Paper Planes

Redolent of Spices

Riktig Parfym: Ramblings of a Fragrant Fanatic

Scented Salamander

Scents of Place

Scents of Self

Smelly Blog

Sorcery of Scent 

Sweet Diva

The Alembicated Genie 

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

The Fragrant Man

The French Exit

The Non-Blonde 

The Perfumed Maze

The Perfume Magpie

The Scented Hound

The Sounds of Scent

The Vintage Perfume Vault

This Blog Really Stinks 

Undina's Looking Glass 

WAFT by Carol 

Yesterday's Perfume

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