Suzanne's Perfume Journal

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April 24, 2011:

Hair, Weather, Perfume…

You Know, All the Important Things in Life

This week I decided I was finally going to update the photo of myself on my Perfume Journal page, as it’s a year old now and I have grown weary of seeing it. I had updated the one on my “contact/about” page back in January, but for some reason it never looked right when I shrunk it down and put it here—I look a tad too excitable in it, which is true to my personality but not something I want to be reminded of every time I make updates to this page. The only problem is that I’m currently trying to grow my hair long again and it has reached this in-between stage that drives me crazy. If I wear it neatly and comb it in the smooth style that my hairdresser has painstakingly coaxed it into for the time being, I look like I should be selling Dutch Boy paints or Avon products. Or maybe a little of both. It doesn’t sit well with me, and so my habit is to muss it up and tuck it behind my ears to avoid that helmet-y, Dutch boy effect, which doesn’t quite work either: it’s still too short to properly muss without the ends going every which way and looking rough and fly-away in the process. Oh, the indecision of it all! And what is it about hair that matters so much? I don’t know, but it does, and while mine is driving me crazy, I ultimately decided to go with the roughed up, fly-away look. Perhaps I really can’t get away from having my look reflect my personality, and this one certainly matches how I’m feeling these days. Restless, reckless, anxious to get out of Dodge. Spring in central Pennsylvania is no picnic; another in-between state that makes my nerves feel jangly. With far too many nebulous and cloudy gray days that make me feel like I’m being hemmed in at that time of year when I most want to bust loose. I’ve come to realize that making peace with the weather is among my biggest challenges in life, so that’s what I’ll be working on this year, and maybe you won’t have to hear so many of my weather-related complaints here.

Perfume-wise I have pretty much hit the jackpot lately, having received a number of packages from generous perfumistas, and also having purchased some decants of a few amber perfumes, one of which I’ve been wearing all week and which snagged me a perfume compliment from a guy sitting next to me at a softball game. (Okay, from one of my sister’s old boyfriends—a guy who is therefore like family to me. But it was completely voluntary on his part, so I’m counting it anyways.) The perfume is Absolue Pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian and I bought my decant of it thinking that I’d be titillated out of my skull. By all reports, this is supposed to be some gloriously filthy stuff. I thought for sure it would have me writing a review in which I would be spouting all kinds of Prince song lyrics (is there anyone more sexy-town than Prince? I still listen to his 80s and 90s songs and can hardly keep a straight face; his lyrics are so hysterically naughty). But after a week of wearing Absolue Pour le Soir every single day, I can only report that it is flat-out beautiful to my nose—incredibly sensual, yes, but not in the dirty way I was expecting. Imagine the heat of a lover’s skin that has permeated your bed sheets after his weekend stay and now commingles with the residue of amber perfume still on your pillow and the Armagnac that slipped from your lips as it passed from his mouth to yours. That's how Absolue Pour le Soir smells to me. There is something soft and second-hand about it for all of its depth, like reliving an encounter in your mind and being swaddled in the memory of it, such that it becomes the place you revisit and keep both warm and worn by your frequent travels there.

I have tested Absolue Pour le Soir in every kind of weather that this indecisive Spring has offered up this week, the warmest being a balmy, 70-something-degrees evening we experienced a few days ago, when I did detect a bit of urine-tinged honey that registered as slightly “dirty” Which reminds me: in a roundabout way, I got another compliment on this perfume. On that same balmy evening just mentioned, I was walking with my husband through the park near our house when we saw a friend we hadn’t seen in ages. I gave her a hug and we talked awhile before she got in her car and drove away. Oddly enough, we bumped into her again today at an Easter luncheon and she said to me, “The other night when I drove home, I kept smelling something so good in the car. I couldn’t figure out what it was, and then I remembered that big hug you gave me and I realized I came away with some of your perfume. Wow that smelled good!”

(Yeah, I know we’re supposed to be wearing perfume for ourselves and not other people, but I love getting perfume compliments, don’t you?)

The fragrance notes for Absolue Pour le Soir (from the website) include Infusion of benzoin from Siam, cumin, ylang-ylang, Bulgarian and Iranian rose honey, incense absolute, Atlas cedarwood and sandalwood.

I realize this isn’t much of a post, explaining why my hair looks kooky and why I hate Pennsylvania springs and what perfume has floated my boat this week (but which I can’t seem to bring myself to review in a more thorough and engaging way). Hopefully in a few days my creativity will have returned, my head will fill with stories, and I can then wax poetic about my latest amber perfume purchases—or, better yet, the vintage fragrance that perfume blogger Olenska recently sent me with Omar Sharif’s name on it! Good god, that’s enough to make a girl want to get our her best writing pen. Bad hair-and-weather days be damned.

Absolue Pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian can be purchased at, where a 2.4 oz. bottle currently goes for $185.

Bottle image is from