Monday, August 03, 2015

Lancaster County Super Fair 2015

I need a similar sign to hang on our front door.

We took a drive down to Lincoln to see what the 4-H kids were doing, and size-up the competition for the State Fair. Let me tell you, there are some very talented young people in Lancaster County!
 A lovely fairy garden. Don't the fairies look pleased? They seem so happy in their beautiful little garden.
 Prize winning vegetables. Those are impressive for this early in the growing season. We had quite a cold spring and early summer here, and Lancaster County had some terrible flooding early on. Well done, salvaging the growing season.
 Cupcakes decorated to look like corn-on-the cob! I think these are about the cutest cupcakes I've ever seen.
 A lovely bouquet of cupcakes. These are so perfectly formed. I wonder how much time was spent pinching marshmallows into pointed petals?
 Wonderful sewing.
 My favourite was a dress woven from VHS tapes.
 A well-deserved Blue Ribbon.
 There were exhibits by very young children as well (5-8 years). This blue fella looks a bit like me first thing in the morning.
Colourful weaving.

 The children raising chickens had to leave them home this year due to the outbreak of bird flu in Iowa and Nebraska. They built this giant display instead.
 Aww, isn't that sweet?
And a bottle of sick-chicken medicine made from a hay bale and a rubbish bin lid. Get better soon, birdies.
Requisite tractor photo. You don't grow up on a farm and skip the tractor photo at the fair. Danny was always partial to Deere, but New Hollands are nice. There was a time when Danny was about five that he could describe in detail all the finer points of most farm equipment. If you ever visit Lincoln, Nebraska be sure to put the Tractor Test Museum at UNL on your itinerary.
An ill-tempered, fifteen pound rabbit. Jugged hare, anyone?

We are less than four weeks from the State Fair. The excitement is building!

Thanks to all the talented 4-H kids for their hard work putting together the exhibits at the Lancaster Fair. You did a fantastic job!

We're Doomed (Again)

A local couple have developed a monitor that can track your infant's blood oxygen and heart rate through a sensor in a sock. You might think it is aimed at babies with serious health issues, but it is NOT

"What if I fall asleep and can't stay up 24 hours?"

And that statement right there is what terrifies me. You're now expected to monitor your baby 24 hours a day. The old, "Sleep when baby sleeps" advice given to generations of parents trying to juggle life with 3 AM feedings has now been expanded to, "Get a monitor complete with alarms that wakes you every time the baby kicks off a sock." Swell.

"OK well what do they do when you go to the hospital? They check the oxygen level and heart rate and you're like, OK what if we could bring that into the nursery?"

Yes, because obviously the baby's nursery should be on par with the neonatal unit at a hospital *Sarcastically slaps head*.

This product is far from unique. There are devices to start monitoring your baby's heartbeat at home whilst still in utero. Capitalising on the fears of new parents is nothing new (heated baby bottle warmers for the car, anyone?) but after a bit this sort of thing becomes normalised. If you think it stops when baby goes on solid foods and starts crawling you haven't been paying attention-before you know it children stop playing outdoors because something unpredictable might happen. Children are tracked and monitored via their mobile phones/devices so parents can see from work whether they came home straightaway from school, or if (god forbid) they stopped at the playground and took a few turns on the slide before barricading themselves in the digitally controlled home fortress. I know one woman that relocated, and rented a home to be nearer her college student child. You know, because something might happen.

Along the way we've arrived at the idea that risk is inherently a bad thing, no matter the form. Instead of encouraging children to learn the difference between carelessness and calculated risk, we remove any opportunity for problem solving from their lives. No one falls off a slide and breaks their arm ( as I did). No one tumbles down a flight of stairs and breaks their arm ( as I did). No one breaks a finger playing softball without a glove ( as I did). I didn't grow into a reckless adult, I don't drive as though I fancy myself immortal, and I don't deliberately place myself in harm's way. Still, if the situation did arise where I was staring down the gaping maw of a hungry shark, or faced with a grease fire in the kitchen, I have enough experience dealing with the unpredictable nature of life to prioritise what to do. I worry that this generation might not know to pull their head out of the shark's mouth. When seconds count, you don't want to be fumbling for the phone to text mummy.

I am concerned that these devices designed to reassure parents of their child's safety give a false impression that everything is under control. How many panicked drives to hospital, baby in tow will the false readings from these monitors cause? If you see baby sleeping restfully and breathing normally but get some worrying reading, wouldn't you trust the tech that something is wrong? *What if?* I'm concerned that dependence on technology takes common sense out of life.

I can see the day coming when not monitoring your baby/child's every move will be deemed neglect. Why wouldn't you want to be positively safe? The thing is, you can't be. The technology does not prevent life from happening. Of course we want our children to be safe. Of course we want to be reassured when we're standing in the doorway watching their chest rise and fall as they sleep that everything will be fine. You can't stay awake 24 hours. That's absolutely true. Whether or not we decide it is best to monitor our children 24 hours a day for some rare, unforeseen possibility is another question, one I fear we as a society have already answered.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Mono(tonous)Chrome

I'm like a stuck record of late-black, white, repeat. Which reminds me of my favourite joke:

Q:  Pete, and Re-Pete are sitting on a fence. Pete falls off, so who is left?
A:  Re-Pete.
Q: OK. Pete and Re-Pete are sitting on a fence...

Damn, I love that joke. Anyhoo, here I am with Re-Pete, doing more variations on the monochrome. Partly it is out of my desire to wear my white shoes and bags as much as possible before the season is over. I'll happily wear white trousers after Labour Day, but shoes and a bag are pushing it. In Nebraska anyway-it might be easier to pull off in a warm climate.

We're in full-Fair mode around here as the days tick down. This weekend is the Lancaster County Fair in Lincoln, as well as the final days of the Sarpy County Fair. I like to check out the smaller county fairs so I can size-up the potential competition for the State Fair in Grand Island. The Lancaster County Fair is a rather nice one, held at the Events Centre with adequate parking in a paved lot. That might not sound like a big deal until you ruin a pair of shoes trudging through a muddy field. Danny has finished his canning for the fair this week with a pickled mushroom and onion salad with malt vinegar and brown sugar. He's perfected his breads, cinnamon rolls, and tonight treated us to a white cake that was a bit like an angel food crossed with a butter pound cake. I'd give it a blue ribbon, but I guess that's why they don't let your mother award the ribbons. Anyway, I have one final batch of cherry vinegar to bottle up for the year and then the canner can go back into storage until I'm up to my ears in green tomatoes at the end of the growing season. That's typically about October for us.
Perhaps if there were a prize for drawing on my eyebrows evenly I could feel motivated to at least, try. I don't know...by the time I get finished pulling hairs off my chin, drawing on lips that don't make me look like the Joker, and wiping off all the mascara that managed to get on my eyelid rather than the lashes...well I just can't spend another 30 seconds screwing around with eyebrows. I am very seriously considering having them tattooed on. If I do, I'm having" DNR" tattooed to my chest at the same time. When you're young you get inked to be fashionable. At my age, you do it to avoid eyepencil and heroic measures to resuscitate you.

I mean, I have a lot of chest to work with. Maybe something like,
                                                          Do NOT Resuscitate
                                                                       and
                                                     Get the hell off my lawn tits.

Something to think about anyway.
Outfit Particulars:
Jersey knit dress-Goodwill
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Hat-K Mart
Vintage milk glass bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Flower-Tiff and Tam
Fragrance-Mademoiselle Guerlain (This shit is so sweet I'm probably developing diabetes just wearing it).
 This bracelet has matching ear-climber earrings which I've yet to wear.
What I can't capture trying to photograph this bag is how opalescent the vinyl is. It practically glimmers in the sun. I paid $3.99 for it, which is an absurdly good steal. It was dingy, but nothing that some dishsoap and water couldn't fix. It blows my mind how people will pass by a perfectly good bag because it looks a little scuffed or dirty. If the interior looks OK, I'm happy enough to give a few minutes of my time to a bag that would sell for much more in a vintage shop (after someone else cleaned it up). 



Another day, another monochrome outfit. The bow came undone and is hanging loose, so if you're thinking that looks stupid-you're correct. Why do I only notice these things days after the fact when I go to load photos? 

Outfit Particulars:
80's Esprit dress-bought it new, can't remember where (probably Field's)
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Black bangle-Imaginarium
Brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Apres l'Ondee (kinda "meh" but Danny was happy to have it-it smells better on him),



I won't bother asking you to guess at what this is. When I went to can the cherry vinegar, I found a fully grown vinegar "Mother" floating on top. Bonus! I quickly threw it into a bowl with white wine and some water and in a few weeks I should have homemade vinegar. Like a sourdough starter, it can be used indefinitely unless you kill it. I'm rather excited by this. 
I hope this isn't the start of something sci-fi-ish where it grows a brain and then climbs out of the bowl to try and kill us. I could probably out-run it, seeing as it would be quite drunk sitting in all that wine. 

 We spotted these at the library garden. How can such a pretty little bug be so destructive?
 I livened-up the monochrome with a pale pink shawl. I don't think it helped. Sigh. This is a pretty eyelet dress, but the light just wasn't cooperating.


 I'd smile, but I'm busy holding up this wall. Gosh, I'm exhausted.

Outfit Particulars:
Eyelet dress-Goodwill
Shoes-K Mart
Vintage Corocraft earrings-Thrift World
Bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups
Beaded purse-Thrift World
Shawl-Goodwill
Ring-Goodwill
Fragrance-Boucheron Place Vendome perfume and body lotion


Uh oh...I let go of the wall. I'd better get out of here before it comes crashing down. 



I'll leave you with an action shot of the jersey dress in motion. 

I hope you're having a lovely weekend. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fragrances For Heat and Humidity-Bargain Edition

Generally, I ignore all the blather about seasonal fragrances and wear what I like, when I like. Some summers however, are made for exceptions and this appears to be one. The idea of wearing anything even remotely spicy in this weather makes me gag, as does anything too heavy on the tuberose.

I once heard summer in the midwest summarised as: There's one seat left on the bus beside you, and the sweaty man without a shirt takes it. And the window won't open.

Which is pretty accurate, but I'd add: And a group of tween girls doused in CK One and numerous hair products get on the bus and sit opposite you. And the window still won't open.

Ideally then, you want something that will serve not only as olfactory protection against the sweaty man and Aqua Netted tweens, but will not inflict suffering on others. Naturally, I have some thoughts about this.

Yardley Lily of the Valley
It seems every morning since around March I've started my post-shower day with a liberal dousing of Yardley Lily of the Valley talc. The large canister is still better than half full, and at five dollars it was the scented bargain of the season. Sure, I have the lavender and April Violets talc as well, but when the dew point is over 70 degrees F. and the humidity is lingering around 80%, violets and lavender are going to smell too sweet. Where Lily of the Valley can at times waver between air freshener and antiseptic, the hot, humid weather brings out the deeper floral aspects that can be missed in cool weather. I can't say enough nice things about Yardley Lily of the Valley, and the fragrance is also an excellent value. As a bonus-it is a difficult (though not impossible) scent to over-do.

Coty Muget des Bois
A classic lily of the valley fragrance that is easily found on the web for very little money. It isn't terribly long lasting, but is cheap enough that you can keep refreshing through the day. I like the rose note here as it isn't overpowering and works well with a pleasant blast of citrus at the top.The sandalwood and musk base are nearly impossible to detect, though they are listed. I consider that skilled perfumery as it lends some depth without overpowering the bright lily of the valley. I still love most of the Coty fragrances (we won't talk about my Emeraude stash) even if they are starting to show their age. I hope they don't stop making this one. Stockpile at your discretion.

Oscar de la Renta-Live in Love
Another inexpensive gem that would seem somewhat uninteresting in winter but really blows me away in the warmer weather. Lily of the valley again, but here blended with hyacinth, rose, bergamot, cedar, sandalwood, and musk. It sounds heavy on paper, but is as fresh and refreshing as frozen lemonade on an August day. The cedar note is very well done, and avoids smelling like moth repellent. I should note however, that there is just the teeny, tiniest, aspect to Live in Love that reminds me of Deep Woods Off mosquito spray. That's not a bad thing (I rather like it) particularly if you have good associations with it of summer camp. Personally, I hated camp-but I still like the smell of Deep Woods Off. The lily of the valley, galbanum, and rose do a swell job of keeping it more perfume than bug spray. Marketed to women, Live in Love is clearly unisex. I bought mine at Marshalls for about ten dollars.

4711 Maurer and Wirtz
Cedar, basil, oakmoss, citrus-the classic summer fragrance for over 150 years. You can't go wrong with this one. Cheap, easy to find, attractive bottle loaded with nostalgia, it ticks all the boxes of what an inexpensive summer fragrance should be. It does not last more than an hour, so you'll need to reapply-but that's the idea of 4711. It is intended as a sort of pick-me-up. I think of it as a less expensive alternative to Guerlain Imperiale, and even Cedrat. You get that bright, light enjoyable fragrance without the price tag. I have nice memories of going to Kuhns delicatessen with my dad to buy Christmas presents for his customers (mostly booze because you can't go wrong with a bottle of Asbach at Christmas) and the old ladies that worked there sending me home with enough samples of 4711 to last until next Christmas. And licorice pipes that I didn't have to share with my sister because she didn't come along for the ride to Lincoln Ave ( She didn't get poppy seed strudel from Dinkels bakery a few doors down from the deli either, but we never mentioned the strudel as it was gone long before we got home). I can't smell 4711 without thinking candy and strudel as the association is so strong. Anyway, 4711 is a perfect summer bargain. I think I know what I'm baking tomorrow.

Gres Cabotine Rose
Unlike regular green Cabotine the rose flanker is a nice surprise. I'm listing it here as inexpensive as the EDT is often available at discounters for under $20.00. The rose name is misleading as it smells more of cherry blossom than rose, but it is blended nicely with notes of pepper, pear and vetiver creating a fragrance that is anything but rose scented. Interestingly, this isn't a sweet perfume at all, and it barely projects any sort of warmth. To my nose, it is quite fresh without smelling of household cleaner. As a bonus, you get an attractive bottle with a flower shaped cap.

Elizabeth Taylor Violet Eyes
Violet eyes smells exactly like Eclat de Arpege-at half the price. In fact, I prefer it to Eclat de Arpege as it lacks the sharp green note that reminds me of Glade solid from the 70's. The bottle is nicer than the stupidly designed Arpege that threatens to slip from my hands and crash to the tray each time I lift it up. Violet Eyes has a well done peach note that lacks that rotting dead animal aspect it can sometimes get. Peony is such a lovely note and I'm happy to see it used here to great effect. I paid about seven dollars for my bottle at Marshalls, and am quite happy with it. The warm weather seems to help with the longevity as well. I get several hours from a small spray on my wrist. Put on your best caftan, a few sparkly baubles and indulge your inner-Liz (you know you have one).

Fragrances of Ireland Innisfree
I'm listing this as a warm weather fragrance, though it does nicely in all seasons. The perfume has undergone reformulation since the 80's when I wore it regularly, but they've managed to keep the scent pretty much the same. I believe it had some oakmoss at one time (it does not now) and my older bottle does seem closer to a chypre than a fougere, but let's not quibble-this is a terrific fragrance for very little money. The longevity is incredible, and the silage is...all the way to Ireland and beyond.  Yes, it is strong, and yes it is vibrant-but it won't sting your eyeballs, and at most people will want to know what smells so good. You will smell good. Iris, apricot, cedar, lavender, lily of the valley-the sort of perfume that is *almost* universally loved. It will send my son running from the room, but everyone else in my immediate circle loves it. There's always one fougere hater in a family.

Fragrances of Ireland Connemara
Years ago, when I first encountered this one I thought it dull compared to Innisfree. How wrong I was. Connemara has all the bright notes of Innisfree with a good dose of rose mixed in. Carnation and orris root give it that spicy/fresh smell with that nearly impossible to describe "cold" clay smell of orris root. There's quite a bit of violet here, and for some people that would put Connemara firmly in the powdery/old fashioned category. On paper, that's true but in person what you get is a floral with a nice green base that has decent longevity for such an bargain perfume. Ever try that C Howards violet candy and gum designed to disguise cigarette smoke on your breath? It is a bit like that. By the way, for the youngsters reading-you shouldn't smoke, and your mother will know you've been smoking no matter what you do, so spare yourself the C Howards mints and Sen Sen. Don't smoke kids.

Jean Nate-The splash is great, but the body lotion is incredible. For the money, you get a wonderful body lotion that not only smells nice but does something. Sure, it is so cheap they practically give the stuff away, but it is bright, light, and inoffensive which is the sort of thing you want on hot, muggy days. I have the splash in a spray bottle which makes it convenient to blast the back of my neck and shoulders when I'm feeling miserable by midday. There's a bit of vanilla-just enough to make it smell like like lemon sorbet and vanilla ice cream which is the best antidote to summer heat I know of.

Revlon Charlie (Original)
To be fair, you can wear Charlie year round but as I first discovered it in the summer, and it is so forever etched in my 70's mind, I had to mention it here. Oakmoss, aldehydes, gardenia, and hyacinth read like an olfactory yearbook of 1977. Again, lily of the valley makes an appearance with some sandalwood and the result is an extremely well-made bargain fragrance that for someone like me never quite went out of fashion.  Put on your best white flares, get in the Dodge Dart, and load up the 8-track player with the new offering from Slade (your sister will bitch about it and want to listen to a James Taylor 8- track, but ignore her). Spray the car and yourself liberally with Charlie and go hang out at Belmont Harbor in Chicago. Your sister will want to go to North Ave. Beach, but ignore her. Spray more Charlie, and enjoy reliving your youth without all the angst and acne.

Payot Pavlova
In the last few years of my mother's life she took a liking to Pavlova. At the time, it seemed strange that someone with a perfume tray overflowing with expensive, glorious perfumes would prefer wearing this cheap drugstore scent in the crappy looking bottle. There's a dead swan on the cap-ya know, because...Pavlova the ballerina, and Swan Lake. I hate that ballet, and frankly I don't want any bird much less a dead one on the cap of my perfume bottles. What's wrong with a fancy dessert of fruit and meringues as an homage to a ballerina? Huh? Well? No, they have to go all dead swan on the perfume bottle. Geez.  To my nose it smelled floral without any real direction-a perfume that didn't know what it wanted to be when it grew up. Twenty five years later, I have a better understanding of what makes a fragrance wearable, and I'm less swayed by fancy bottles and esteemed names. Raspberry, lemon, and orange at the top makes the initial impression of Pavlova seem too weak. After a bit though, the florals come through with *just enough* tuberose and hyacinth to keep it from being too heavy in the summer heat. In fact, this fragrance almost seems made for humidity. The vetiver and oakmoss base do quite a bit to keep the florals fresh smelling, and though my mother would have been layering it over Coast soap (vile, I know but she could not be swayed. Once it was introduced in the 70's that was it) and Breck shampoo and creme rinse (that's conditioner in the 70's). Somehow, it all sort of worked on her, but you can still make use of Pavlova without resorting to Coast soap. The longevity is crap with this one, but again it is so cheap, who cares?

Vera Wang Periwinkle and Iris
I can't believe I like this one as it is so far from my typical sort of scent, but I do. It is super-cheap (they sell it at K Mart) and it won't last very long on your skin (it is a bit better on clothes) but if you're looking for something light that will cut through all the bad odours summer has to offer (everything smells like fungus and rotting garbage where I'm at) this is your bargain fragrance. Periwinkle, iris, and violet might sound a bit old fashioned, but there's so much vanilla and benzoin in it you could practically eat this one like candy. Normally, I shy away from that in a fragrance but here it just seems to work so well without smelling childish. Vanilla doesn't sound obvious for warm weather, and I can't guarantee you won't have every honeybee in a five mile radius approaching to see if you're dinner, but wear this out on a humid evening in late summer and you'll seduce the fireflies and anyone else around. I do understand that this sort of fragrance is objectionable to many people (typically I'd be one of them) so I urge you to try before you buy. My K Mart had a display of testers with other scents in the Vera Wang line. Be warned though-the green tea and pear blossom one is disgusting. I have a hard time imagining anyone liking that. Maybe a fruit fly.


Honorable Mention: Guerlain Terracotta
It isn't exactly cheap, but the edt is available online in the $30-$40 range which won't break the bank. You could save a few dollars and just slather on some Coppertone suntan lotion, but the Terracotta is a bit more nuanced. I didn't care for it back when it was released, but Danny likes it and I admit it is starting to grow on me.

Well? What about you? Have any inexpensive scents for the dog days of summer to recommend?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

National Get Your Geriatric Tits Out Day-2015




Fine, it isn't an official holiday, and I'm the only person celebrating but this is the inaugural year, and you know how lazy people are about participation. Someone had to go bra-less in this heat, and it might as well be me. I made up for it with stockings and a slip-happy now?
Knowing that this weather is with us for a bit, we took Danny to the comic book store to stock-up on reading. Poor kid hasn't been to the pool but a handful of times, and bike riding is out of the question in this bad air with asthma. Sure, we've watched movies, and read books but when you see your summer break slipping away day after blisteringly hot/humid day, someone has to intervene and make the summer a bit more enjoyable. We have a terrific comic book store near us, so thank goodness for that.

The necklace and earring set I'm wearing today was a Mother's Day gift from Danny several years ago. On most of my clothing it disappears, but I finally found the perfect dress for it. The child has excellent taste.

My local K Mart was having a sale this weekend on shoes. Already clearenced shoes were buy one, get one so these ended up costing four dollars. I bought a second pair in a similar style. They'd look better without the nana tights, I know.
Outfit Particulars:

Dress-Goodwill
Shoes-K Mart
Bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups
Ring-Goodwill
Necklace and earrings set-Gift From Danny
Bag-Etsy
Fragrance-Jovan, Woman

 The world's easiest up-do for a hot day, courtesy of a giant comb.  I like the back closure on the dress, though the strange crease across it is annoying. It won't wash or steam out, so my guess is it was a problem with the design.

 Thus concludes the first annual National Get Your Geriatric Tits Out Day, soon to be followed by National, "Put Those Away Granny" Day.

No caftan this week due to heat. Stay cool/warm wherever you are, and have a great week.




Saturday, July 25, 2015

Vintage Cabochard de Gres-Review

I don't know about, "Cultivating a winner", but I certainly have a soft spot for Cabochard. I'd find it difficult to wear in public these days, but I happily spray it on before bed. This really is a perfume that takes a bit of time to develop, and if you can avoid the urge to scrub it from your skin after the initial cloud of aldehydes, asafoetida, and lemon it does (eventually) turn into a lovely fragrance. Like many good things, it does require a bit of waiting.

Having recently reviewed Bandit, I thought it appropriate to say a few things about Cabochard as they're often mentioned in the same breath. I'm not sure that's a fair comparison, though they do share a leathery/smoky sort of base. If anything, it reminds me of Aramis (which I just learned makes sense as it was the same perfumer Bernard Chant. He was also responsible for Estee, but I guess we can forgive him that. You can't always hit it out of the ballpark. Thanks, Google!).

Oakmoss, leather, and tobacco aren't for everyone. Twenty years ago I would have insisted they're not for me, I would have protested at such extravagant use of oakmoss. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Perhaps it is a case of absence making the heart grow fonder as oakmoss has been regulated out of modern perfumes, or my nose has matured-either way I am now thoroughly converted just in time to see the stuff's use discontinued. I haven't smelled the new Cabochard, and I'm not sure I wish to.

Cabochard is categorised as a "green" perfume, which I suppose it is given the amount of vetiver, tarragon, and sage in it-but the warmth of sandalwood and patchouli combined with the cold orris root and geranium keeps it from smelling like a freshly mowed lawn sprayed with Lysol disinfectant. Cabochard isn't that sort of green (though Cabotine definitely IS). Most reviews put the leather and tobacco as dominant notes, and they're there-but to my nose the dominant note is oakmoss. And then, a bit of musk, oakmoss, and some more oakmoss. Oh hey, how about some oakmoss? Yeah? Well here 'ya go! So yeah, there's a whole hell of a lot of oakmoss in Cabochard. Although described as a feminine perfume I don't see any reason why a man couldn't or shouldn't wear Cabochard. In fact, to modern American perfume sensibilities, Cabochard seems more appropriate on a man. The only "feminine" thing I can find in Cabochard is the vague fruit/coconut notes that tend to appear and fade quickly in about the amount of time it takes to wonder what it was. It has always been my opinion that rose and lemon work better on men anyway.

I'm rather certain the thrift stores I frequent will never present me with a Madame Gres gown, but bottles of vintage formulation Cabochard do frequently turn up.
(That gown? In my thrift stores? Not going to happen).

Cabochard seems like a fragrance that was both behind and ahead of its time. The strong leather chypre fragrances of the 30's and 40's would have made Cabochard seem old fashioned by 1959. What it anticipates (without knowing it) is the unisex fragrance trend that began in earnest with the musks and herbal scents of the 60's. The "big" 80's fragrances owe something to Cabochard as well with the gigantic blast of aldehydes. I won't claim Cabochard is the embodiment of 20th century perfumery, but if you pay attention, nearly all the good points are represented.

I do think, in 2015 United States office culture, Cabochard would be a no-go. Lightly applied perhaps an hour before arriving at work you *might* be able to pull it off, but I could see it being headache inducing even to a perfume lover with all that oakmoss. Chypres need space to roam free like the waves crashing the rocks of a Greek island, which if any of the places I worked in the last 30 years were typical, that does not describe the cubicle hell of modern offices. I only recall one office with an open floor-plan rather like a newsroom, and I still wouldn't have worn Cabochard there. If memory serves, I was deep in love with Innisfree by Fragrances of Ireland at that time, not exactly a quiet scent! But not Cabochard, that would have been too much. Still, you know your office culture better than I, so use your judgement. Cabochard does make a wonderful evening fragrance.

Has anyone tried the most recent reformulation of Cabochard? Please share your impressions.






She Likes Rainbow

You thought I'd go for, "She's Like a Rainbow", didn't you? I never really liked the Stones all that much, and that song in particular always irritated me. Now, Rainbow I liked! A lot.  
Here's a good use of ten minutes if you have it. There's things worth making time for.
So back to the rainbow of my wardrobe. I was stumped for how to accessorise this dress. I knew it needed red because I've learned that from Sue. No one does red, black, and white the way Sue does. I was trying to think if purple or blue would work too, when I decided to check my collection of bangles to see if I could pull off a rainbow. Turns out, I could do both arms. Exciting, I know.
Yesterday was our hottest day in several years with the heat index hitting 118 F. Madness. That's about 45 C. Today was a bit cooler, but we're back under the heat warnings again tomorrow. I stocked-up on tinned salmon and crispbreads-I see many cold meals in our future because there's no way I'm cooking in this.


It is so humid outside, the camera (and my specs) steamed over! Eventually they adjusted to the outside air. I wore a new-to-me fragrance today-Ambre et Diamant Noir Ambergris. It is extraordinary. Worth the money? Oh yes (yes, yes, yes!). There's a great wallop of ambergris along with civet, castoreum, iris, rose and some vanilla. It sounds like a damn zoo on paper, I know but the end result is one of the best fragrances I've ever worn. I splurged on a larger-than-typical decant and I'm so glad I did. I'll do a proper review eventually, I promise. If you like animalic musks, this might be for you. Mr. ETB wanted me to douse the bedroom in it so he could read Moby Dick before bed. Obviously, I refused. Besides, the scene where they're harvesting the ambergris from a whale wouldn't smell nice as it needs to be aged before it is suitable for perfumery. I did offer to shit the bed (on his side, of course) as a close approximation of what fresh ambergris would smell like, but he declined.

Outfit Particulars:
Cotton Dress-Nearly New Shop
Vintage bangles-all over
Rings-Hobby Lobby/Thrifted
Earrings-Big Lots
Cherries brooch-Thrift World
Shoes-K Mart
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Fragrace-Ambre et Diamant Noir



 "You did What to my side of the bed?!"
That's the face I get when I ask him to smile for a nice photo. Sigh.

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

She Sells Sea Shells By the Platte River?!

 Landlocked as I am in the centre of the US, I'll take any coastal reference I can get. I miss the ocean.
The skirt is hand-sewn and there's an exact skirt in a different print that were both donated to the thrift store together. I bought both, not because the sewing is good (it isn't) but because the fabrics were so great. This one is a heavy rayon-almost like the cold rayon you find in 40's dresses, and it is lined in an equal quality material. That's so rare that I can forgive unfinished seams and shaky sewing (I wonder if it was a student project?).


 I resisted the urge to wear every shell accessory I own (and there are many) favouring quality over quantity. These tiny painted shells on my clip earrings are so cheerful. I can't, "Hear" the sea in them, of course.
This wooden and shell belt I bought some time ago figuring there would be something in my wardrobe to go with it. Today that finally happened which made me feel better about that $1.99 I forked over for it. All those tiny shells being strung onto a belt must have been maddening work for the crafts person making it. It was marked, Indonesia, and my guess is it was a tourist item. The belt is very well made.
Speaking of tropical, the gardenia finally decided to bloom. It was rather late this year. It isn't helped by the sparrows that like to sit in the branches and kick off the buds before they have a chance to flower. They must assume that a pretty little tree next to a parking lot is for their benefit-why else would you put a tree there if not for sparrows to sit in?
I thought this ring could be the ocean.

Outfit Particulars:
Skirt-Goodwill
Peasant blouse-K Mart
Shoes-Goodwill
Wood and shell belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Ring-Hobby Lobby
Earrings-New Life Thrift
Both Necklaces-Thrift World
Fragrance-Oleg Cassini for Women (though I should have worn CB I Hate Perfume, Mr. Hulout's Holiday, which is a nice aquatic, and I have it. Oh well, next time).
Bag-Goodwill

I stopped at the Church consignment boutique today to check it out. If I were looking for nice clothes to wear to work, or a party it would be great, if a little pricier than I'm used to with thrift stores. They've lost their minds on the pricing of vintage though, and most of it looked like you'd need some sort of immunization after handling them. Probably not a place I would shop regularly, but it was in the neighbourhood, and I found a nicer-than-typical dress for $12.00

The *real* shopping excitement came at the Friends of the Library Book Sale today. I've been ill all week, and really didn't feel up to going, but I'm glad I did. They had a cart of old VHS tapes for .25 cents. I spotted, Clash of the Titans and complained to Danny that they never have Jason and the Argonauts, which I've spent years searching for. Before the words were fully out my mouth-there it was! A moment later, I spotted all three Sinbad movies! I wasn't jumping up and down or anything (I'm still too weak for that) but I was so overjoyed and happy I think it might have frightened the volunteers. They're used to a more sedate version of my personality. We came right home and watched Jason and the Argonauts. I was surprised Danny remembered so much of it from the first time he saw it (he was about four and there were still video stores to rent from). So anyway, another "Sea" reference.

I remember seeing Jason and the Argonauts when it made a return to the theatres about a few years after it was released. They'd been hyping it, and I'd seen the clips and posters and really wanted to see it. It wasn't my mum's sort of movie, and my sister couldn't be bothered so finally my dad took a rare Saturday off from work and took me to see it. I want to say it was the Pickwick theatre, but after so many years I can't be certain. I remember it being a somewhat older theatre, and that it wasn't terribly full even for a Saturday matinee.
Here's a clip of the skeleton fight. Only after looking around YouTube did I notice the full movie is available. Still, it was fun to sit and watch it with Danny on a television screen. I would love to see it in a theatre again. They did give the myth a Hollywood ending however, so if you'd like a less Hollywood version of Medea's story, The Passolini version is also available on YouTube. I loved that movie so damn much, but not the sort of thing to watch with a ten year old.
I wonder if I wore something in an African print if I'd find a copy of The African Queen at the sale next week? I still need to watch that one with Danny before the summer is over.

I'm sure this weekend won't be nearly as exciting as last, what with the Gilligan's Island party and all...

But that's no reason to pack away the coconut cups and palm tree! 
I didn't read the dimensions on the palm tree carefully, and I had a bit of a Spinal Tap/Stonehenge moment when I saw how small it was. 

I hope you have a great weekend.