Sunday, November 29, 2015

Charles of the Ritz, Enjoli-Review

Spray on some of this stuff and you'll be feathering your hair before you know what hit you.

I wasn't expecting much, but with a full, unopened vintage bottle in my possession thanks to the local Goodwill, I knew eventually I'd have to give it a try. Enjoli was everywhere in the late 70's, but I couldn't quite remember what it smelled like beyond a lot of oakmoss and amber. How bad could it be?

I sprayed the tiniest bit on my wrist and couldn't get much, but what was there seemed OK so I went full-on 1970's woman and sprayed like I meant it (sort of the equivalent of, "Drive it like you stole it"). Well, I won't be doing that again. Despite having that damned commercial in my head for more than 40 years, I;d apparently forgotten that Enjoli is a concentrated cologne. The eight hour cologne for the twenty-four hour woman. I'm more of a four hour woman these days, at best. If I'm going to be reminding anyone he's a man, it will be because I'm yelling at him to put the bloody toilet seat down.

Strangely, Enjoli wasn't immediately familiar the way that other long gone scents have been when I tried them. Last week, I finally got around to wearing some of the gigantic bottle of vintage Diorissimo I bought (also full at the Goodwill) and before it even hit the drydown I knew which friend's mother used to wear it. Some things you don't forget, but Enjoli is so much like other fragrances of its era, it is quite forgettable. Given the choice between Enjoli and Halston, I'd go for the Halston as it is a better balanced version of the same notes.

I've always winced a bit at big aldehydes, but after they settle down, I can typically tolerate what they have to offer an overall composition. I like oakmoss and peach (Mitsouko) and most of your classic chypres, but this one goes off into a terrible green note that reminds me of my sister's favourite in that era, Aliage. It was a huge relief when she discovered Chanel no. 19! Unlike Aliage, Enjoli doesn't smell youthful or modern-it smells like something a cranky, soon-to-be-retired state worker would splash on for her job at the DMV. It grabs the form from your hands, stamps it, hands it back to you and yells, "Next!"

Enjoli does indeed last a good eight hours (a bit longer in my experience). If I liked it, that would be great, but I don't and it seems to be scrub-proof. Enjoli is swinging that frying pan at your head, daring you to try leaving. It is a bit better a few hours in, but who wants to wait that long for something to be tolerable?

I'm aware of how attached people are to Enjoli because it reminds them of youthful days, their mothers, etc. I get that. I'm sure there are people who really do love Enjoli and I wouldn't discount their credibility. Enjoli isn't a terrible fragrance, and I can understand what people see in it, but alas it is not for me. This is one blast from the past that will likely need to remain there for me. It is possible that I'm not smelling all the big florals others do (my specific jasmine anosmia might be contributing) and outside of a bit of peach and bergamot, I really don't get any fruit notes. I've seen Enjoli described as, "juicy and fruity" and I just cannot smell that at all. If anything, the peach smells a bit more like rotting meat (not always a bad thing with peach notes, but not what I'm reading described in reviews). Near the end, there's something spicy in Enjoli beyond the sandalwood, and I can't quite pin it down. Like a spicy wax, but not a spice scented candle. Maybe like a Catholic church, a few hours after mass with the scent of wax and incense still in the air. Perhaps that's it-it smells a bit like St. Cecilia's during the flower  festival. Just add a pipe organ.

Notes according to Fragrantica:
Aldehydes, carnation, oakmoss, jasmine, sandalwood, orris root, amber, orchid, vanilla, peach, musk, cedar, rose, hyacinth, bergamot, green notes, tuberose.

Did you/do you wear Enjoli? Am I missing something here? Clue me in, please.

At Christmastime My Fashion Sense Goes To Hell

It's the most wonderful time of the year. I don't have too many occasions when a red felt skirt makes sense, so the holidays it must be. I skipped the poofy crinoline because I drive a Ford Focus, and it would be a tight fit. I could have squeezed a petticoat into the Tempo though. They just don't make cars like they used to. 
My outfit was very popular with the wee ones (and one creepy middle aged man). I made several people stop and smile in the midst of a rushed holiday weekend, which made me feel it was worth dressing like Mrs. Claus. That's me-spreadin' joy all over the fuckin' place (mostly Big Lots and Goodwill, but you know what I mean).
Want to know a secret? My hat isn't a hat at all, but a fluffy headband I bought at K Mart. I liked it so much I bought one in cotton candy pink as well. I get to be strange fashionable without smashing down my hair. 
I came very close to buying this musical poodle (must have been the poodle skirt influence) that sings, "Sleigh Ride". I might need to go back and get it-everyone needs a pink poodle, right? 

I stopped to do some calisthenics with a snowman. "Reach for the North Pole...OK fine, reach for Winnipeg." 

Outfit Particulars:

Felt Poodle skirt-Fairytale Costumes
Green and gold knit top-K Mart
Headband-K Mart
Boots-K Mart
Necklaces-Both Hand-Me-Ups
Poodle pins (on top) Hand-Me-Ups
Cardinal brooch on jacket-Made it
Velvet Jacket-Can't remember
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Evyan White Shoulders

I'd like to say this is the craziest get-up I'm going to wear this season, but I think we all know that would be a lie. 
Someone has to stand in front of the fake fireplaces at Big Lots for holiday photos...might as well be the one with the furry headband and poodle skirt. 

I'm having (more) oral surgery this week (Wednesday) so posting will either be nonexistent, or kinda rambling. Probably the later, though that might not be a good thing. We'll see. After my last couple disasters, I'm not all that excited to go through this again. 

We also have (another) ice storm headed our way, so the state of our electricity is going to be fragile. 
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

4,000th Post

...and to celebrate, here's a picture of my giant ass.
Consider it a warning on the dangers of wearing what is essentially a onesie in public. That's not all my ass, by the way-it was quite baggy. If I get to the point where I need diapers again, I've got the right clothes.

Less baggy in the front view, but no less absurd. 
1980's Laura Ashley corduroy jumpsuit/onesie -Goodwill

Eleven years ago when I started this little blog I had no idea I'd still be doing it 4,000 posts later. I've met so many interesting people, and it has been a privilege being able to visit with you all on line (and once with someone in person). I won't promise another 4,000 posts, but if it happens, and you're all still here reading, I'll moon you good and proper!

Moving along...
 I made a runner for the Thanksgiving table. I couldn't resist fabric that said, "I'm stuffed."
 I stopped by the thrift store in the Dairy Queen in Council Bluffs. I asked the ladies working there if I could snap some photos to share with my readers and they were happy to oblige.
 The thrift store side used to be a gas station-the drinks cooler is now a shoe-rack. I love that place, and today I left with two beautiful sweater clips, mid-century earrings, and a Lisner necklace. At a buck a piece, I thought I did quite well. If you ever find yourself in Council Bluffs, Iowa, you must stop at Sequels. The store benefits a church that primarily is a street ministry. Knowing little else about them, I do know that they're taking care of people that have otherwise been abandoned by the system. Since I don't see anyone in an official capacity stepping in to help the vulnerable, I'm happy to help them in their mission.

As this blog started as a place to record many of the things I cooked, it seems only fair on this 4,000th post that I share a cookery tip.
 Leftover wild rice? Add it to pancake batter for a savoury dish. These also have sauteed onions and mushrooms, but you could use anything. White, brown, basmati-any rice will do. They re-heat well in a microwave, so it is worth making extra. These were fluffy, American style buttermilk pancake batter, but the regular kind work too. Served with kippers it makes a nice meal.

I'm still posting the "Plaidvent" items in the Plaid Tidings page in the sidebar. As I don't want to do a ton of cross-posting, I'll keep it brief here, focusing instead on the top.  This was an interesting outfit. The Pendleton jacket you've seen before, but the rayon skirt and acrylic pullover are both 1970's pieces that work well with a late 40's look.

 I don't knit, but if I did, this would be the sort of thing I'd make.


Outfit Particulars:
1970's sweater by Country Casuals-Goodwill
1970's/early 80's skirt by Russ Togs-Goodwill
Earrings-Grandmother Clara
Mid-Century bracelet-gift from a neighbour when I was young
Reindeer pin-Hand-Me-Ups
Ring-K Mart
Fragrance-Coty Muget

Time to break out the Christmas items.
This bracelet was a gift from a neighbour years ago, and though I hardly wear it anymore, it is one of my favourites. It is somewhat delicate and...I'm not! I couldn't resist wearing it with this outfit though, even if I removed it before leaving the house.

 I pulled out some vintage polyester for Thanksgiving day. I knew I'd be cooking (not a turkey, thank goodness) and didn't want to risk staining anything that couldn't go through the wash and tumble dryer. Vintage polyester-it could stand up to just about everything, except perhaps cigarettes. I can always tell when the former owner was a smoker, even if the smell does not linger.

Outfit Particulars:
Donnkenny 1970's polyester skirt-Goodwill
Vintage 1970's acrylic cardigan-Hand-Me-Ups
Polo Neck-Gordman's
Snowman brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-Penny's years ago
Fragrance-Cabotine Fleur
 I thought I might clean my bathroom mirror for my 4,000th post, but you know me...keeping it real.

I only discovered as I posted this that the skirt has blue in the plaid-not black! Ooops. I have a very hard time telling blue from black these days. I haven't got to the point where I'll drag a piece of clothing outside in the daylight and if I still can't tell, stop passersby to ask (we had an elderly woman in East Boston that would do just that) but I might be rapidly approaching the point where I'll have to flag someone down to open a bottle of aspirin or a jar of olives. Those rubber-gripper things help, but only so much. When I started this blog eleven years and 4,000 posts ago I could still tell blue from black, and open a bottle of pills unassisted.

So that's about it for this 4,000th post. Thanks for joining me-it has been great fun.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Perfect Dress

THIS dress would be perfect with some particularly awful passage from Naked Lunch. People would compliment you on it, start reading, call you awful names-imagine the fun! I like the contrast of a super-feminine dress with horrible text. I mean horrible in a good way, of course.

I'm giving it serious consideration. Very serious consideration. I've spent more than that on dresses I don't wear. I already get dirty looks from people-I might as well earn them.

Spotted online via Frocks and Frou Frou


Show and Tell Time

I'll give you a sneak peek at some of the pieces I bought last week at the costume shop. The gown on the left is a Mr. Blackwell Creation. I damn near had a heart attack when I googled what they sell for. I paid under ten dollars. The disco-era lurex gown on the right is by Estevez. I thought I'd wear it as a long coat, but after seeing what these fetch, I figured it might be best to avoid dragging it along the street behind me.

So those were great finds. The Halston was a nice find too, though being a "Low End" Halston made for Penny's it isn't worth much. At the time the critics were pretty harsh on the line, but viewing it from a distance of a few decades. the pieces really were pretty good. I intend to wear this one if I can squeeze my guts into it.

You rarely see a fully-lined skirt these days.
 There are groovy tops...

 ...and a Mexican tourist jacket...
 ...and a massive poodle skirt. This thing is so wide I'll need a bridal sized petticoat underneath to do it justice.
 I'm fairly sure this was made to be a costume, not an original poodle skirt-but who cares for a fiver?
So those are some of the recent purchases-I'm sure I'll get them worn eventually.

 Today, I tried out the crochet skirt.
Outfit Particulars:

Vintage crochet skirt-Fairytale Costumes
Crochet top-Goodwill
Velour top-Marshall Field's, early 90's
Shoes-ignore them, I just ran outside to do photos between chores.

I'm going to keep it brief as I have a busy evening. If I don't see you before tomorrow, have a happy Thanksgiving if you're in the US.

Dosis Fragrances

You know I love a good bargain fragrance, and if the two varieties I've tried from Dosis  are representative, they're onto something very good. I bought two sets, Dosis de Amor, and Dosis de Carino at Big Lots for $8.00 USD. Each set included a spray bottle, a roller ball bottle, and a body lotion. The way I run through hand lotion in the winter, it would have been worth it just for the generous tube alone.

Dosis is a company whose product line is aimed at the Latino community, and they're headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. I'm sure much of the design/marketing/celebrity endorsement is lost on me, but I can tell you the fragrances I tried are both quite good. Not my typical sort of thing (a bit heavy on the fruit notes) but I can confidently say if that is your kind of fragrance, Dosis is as well made as the pricier brands doing the same thing.

Before getting to the fragrances themselves I have to make a few observations about the bottle. If I were a teenager, I would adore the design on these. The ring of rhinestones at the neck of the bottle are a removable ring that can be worn. Gimmicky? Sure. The fragrance world is full of silly bottles-if you can sell perfume in a water-globe, you can include a rhinestone ring on a bottle of Dosis. My thirteen year old self would be delighted by that bonus. I'm less in love with the rhinestones studding the bottle, though time will tell how well they stay put. The bottle shape is nice, and easy for my arthritic hands to manage, and the cap is easy to remove. The sprayer works well, something that isn't always the case with bargain fragrances. The ombre effects on the bottles are just beautiful. The blue/green hues on Dosis de Carino are enough reason to buy a bottle as it looks so pretty on a perfume tray. You should display it too-Dosis fragrances probably don't require the careful storing of boxes in a cool dark spot, and at eight bucks, you're going to feel free to wear them regularly.

I'm not a fruity/gourmand fragrance lover, but Danny is. I had him try them both out, and within five minutes the bottle of Dosis de Carino had been swiped, and relocated to the dresser in his room. It had him at coconut and raspberry. Of the two, I have to agree that Dosis de Carino is the one I would wear most often. There's a hefty wallop of tonka bean and violets that mix with sandalwood and amber at the base making a rather nice combination. There's also a bit of cypress to cut through the sweetness at the top.

Dosis de Carino notes:
Tonka bean, citrus, lemon, bergamot, violet, coconut, apple, sandalwood, amber, musk, vanilla, jasmine, and raspberry.

Would I buy it again? At this price, in this gift set-absolutely. DdC is a well crafted fragrance that is unlikely to offend co-workers in close spaces, and it isn't challenging to wear. It is a youthful fragrance, but I didn't feel out of place wearing it. Because of all the sweetness and fruit, I think this is a fragrance that would be best worn in cooler weather as the coconut and raspberry could quickly become too much in heat and humidity. The longevity is pretty good for an inexpensive fragrance-about five hours, though it goes a bit longer on fabric than skin.

Dosis de Amor is a little different from Carino, though still quite pleasant. Plum notes are complicated. Done well, you get Natori. Done less well, and you get Hypnotic Poison. Dosis de Amor is somewhere between the two, offering neither the tart brightness, nor the meaty animalic notes of decay plum can have. If anything, it is a bit like those "Essence of citrus" prunes they sell these days where they have a hint of lemon or orange. I like prunes, and Dosis de Amor has a bit of that, "Just opened bag of Sunsweet prunes" smell about it. That's not a bad thing, mind. There's a lot of citrus here, and berries but there's also unexpected green notes which tempers it a bit. Dosis de Amor starts sharp from the citruses and greens, but when it finally opens out with the fruit led by the plum, it softens into a lovely fragrance, sweet though it is. I can't see myself wearing this much, but I once again consulted Danny (as he likes sweeter fragrances) and it was met with enthusiastic approval. I believe that the roller ball bottle of DdA had also relocated to his room.

Dosis de Amor notes:
Green notes, bergamot, berries, musk, plum, tangerine, red berries, bergamot, sandalwood, vanilla.

The body lotions are nice, non-greasy, and have a good, lasting fragrance.

Are the Dosis fragrances the best examples of fruity gourmand available? No, of course not. What Dosis de Amor and Dosis de Carino do is fill a space for a more affordable version of that style. They don't smell, "cheap" but they don't smell like you bought them at Saks either. There's nothing here you haven't smelled before, but both fragrances are enjoyable to wear. I can't ask much more from an $8.00 fragrance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Everybody Panic-Another Storm on the Way!

I'll believe there's a storm when I see it.

The weather service is threatening predicting snow again, this time for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Combine the frantic shopping for milk and bread at the mere whisper of snow, with a food-centred holiday and it was quite a scene at the supermarket. I only needed laundry detergent because my idea of a good time at a holiday is knocking farts out of my husband's shorts, so I was able to stand there taking in the madness without actively feeling pressured to engage-sort of like an out-of-body experience...with fabric softener. I'm a baker-we have a freezer full of bread, and I keep powdered milk on hand, so no manic shopping for this lady. 

My neck is still giving me trouble, so rather than toss money at a medical office that won't do anything, I bought a moist heat neck wrap I can microwave and then drape over my neck and shoulders. I'm wearing it as I type, and so far it is as helpful (if not more) than anything they did for me at the urgent care. Fifteen bucks, well spent. It can also be frozen for cold use. The brand I bought is Thermalon, and I am not being compensated in any way by the company. I spotted it in the pharmacy, along with other sized wraps for specific issues like lower back and sinuses. It holds heat rather well, and can be re-heated. I wish they made a full body sized wrap like a wet suit because dang-I'm feeling my age!

Outfit Particulars:

Vintage Penny Dale acetate skirt-Fairytale Costumes
Twin set-Can't remember, 90's
Vintage Forstman wool coat-Etsy
Old Navy shoes-Goodwill
Bangles-Hand-Me-Ups, and Goodwill
Vintage beads-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage French handbag-Goodwill
Vintage clip crystal earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
1950's brooch-Can't remember
Lippy-Loreal Party Pink
Fragrance-Jean Patou 1000

The skirt has a built-in crinoline at the bottom, but I do think it would benefit from something really full to take advantage of the sweep. I guess if I needed a reason to purchase a purple petticoat this skirt is as good an excuse as any. 

Each evening, I've been covering the raised bed and garden pots with fleeces even though most of what I have growing is frost resistant. This evening, I was outside tucking the garden in for the night (I didn't read it a bedtime story) when the man who delivers the weekly shopping circular was tossing the papers out from his truck as he drove slowly along. He spotted me just in time before whacking me with a rolled-up paper, tossing it instead onto the sidewalk. I think I freaked the poor guy out-I mean, who expects someone outside in the dark covering a garden with fleece blankets? That'll teach him to mindlessly toss papers at our doors. It looks like we'll be having home-grown spinach at Thanksgiving, which is something I'm very thankful for. 

This is my "Gosh, my neck hurts, but that's an awfully nice coat" face. I thought it was crazy to buy a white coat last year, and then I bought another last weekend. Moving away from the mud of the farm has really expanded my fashion options, though honestly I wouldn't wear this once there's snow and salt/sand on the ground. This is a sort of, "pre-weather" coat, so I'd better make the most of it while I can. I'm sure it won't snow Thursday, but it was fun watching the supermarket frenzy anyway. 

Know what else I'm thankful for? 
All of You!
I am. 
You guys are the best. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

I Don't Have "Plans" For Black Friday

 Top-to-bottom completely thrifted.

It finally happened-someone asked me what my "plans" were for Black Friday. She didn't ask what my plans were for Thanksgiving, if I was going to visit family, or having guests here. No, I was asked whether I had planned my shopping for the day after the holiday. Look at me-no really, take a good look. Do I project the sort of vibe you'd get from someone that would camp out in line overnight in a cold crowd for the chance to push and shove my way at whatever the latest electronic gadget is? Hello?!

I'm not sure why they persist in calling it "Black Friday" as most of the shops are now open on the holiday itself-god forbid people should have a day without spending money. Low wage workers would like to spend the holiday with their families too, even if they had to get the meal from a food bank because you can work two jobs and still not earn enough to survive. That's our national sport (after shopping) kicking people when they're down. If you think I'd brave crowds, cold, and my personal safety to engage in a free-for-all that's as exploitative to the consumers as it is to the employees...then you don't really know me as well as you think. No. I do not have plans for Black Friday. 

In other news-there's a Downy Woodpecker that keeps pecking at the empty seed-feeder and looking around chirping what I'm sure translates to, "But I *know* there was food here!" The poor dumb thing doesn't see the full feeder next to it. Go eat some safflower or suet dumbbell. I feel sorry enough for it that I might get up and go fill the feeder just for him. It is so pathetic-at least the Sapsucker eventually figured it out. He's been hanging there since I started typing. Geez. 

 Outfit Particulars:
Black knit top-Goodwill
Liz Claiborne wool jacket-Goodwill
Vintage blue and silver lurex mini-skirt-Fairytale Costumes
Socks-K Mart
Necklaces-Both Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch-Can't remember
Fragrance-Bal a Versailles

OK, I'm back-I fed the woodpecker. Five seconds after I closed the door, he was back pecking at the feeder obviously pleased with his power to manipulate humans.

I'm cross-posting the jacket to Plaid Tidings.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Today's Outfit brought To You By The Letter, P

P for Purple and Paisley.

 This isn't a suit, but the shades of purple velvet were so close I decided to go all-out and wear them together. I briefly considered a ruffled shirt, but some looks are best left in the past. Paisley seemed like a good 60's compromise.

I don't wear trousers much, but I've held onto this pair for about 25 years now. I suppose that's why they're still in good condition as they are rarely worn more than once a year (if at all). The jacket was a recent purchase that Danny has voiced an interest in having. I'm not thrilled with the look on me, so he's welcome to it. Maybe he can pull off the ruffled shirt with it.

 Necklaces help make clothes more interesting. Why wear one when you can wear three? Right?
 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage purple velvet blazer-Goodwill
Late 80's purple velvet Liz Claiborne trousers-Filene's? Can't remember
Blouse-Part of a two-piece set-Can't remember-90's
 Vintage 1960's Necklaces-all three Hand-Me-Ups
1980's eelskin clutch-Goodwill
Hideous German comfort shoes-Hand-Me-Ups (ugly, but so comfy!)
1970's bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage crystal clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Dahlia Noir (Kinda dull, but Danny likes it)

Whoops-gotta watch that lipstain/gloss combo because it wears off funny. Learn from my mistakes.

I know this is Sunday and there ought to be a caftan, but I have a new lounging robe to share with you. Long ago,( in the 70's) before there was polar fleece, there were these fluffy-furry synthetics. They made everyone look like a teddy bear, but they were warm, easy to care for, and came in the wildest colours. I had a pink robe not unlike this one that I loved. This one is from the Sears, "At Home Collection" and probably dates to the mid-late 1970's.
I dragged myself back to the costume shop in the abandoned mall to look a bit more through their vintage and costumes as it is all 50% off. I came home with a Mr. Blackwell evening gown from the 60's, an Estavez silver lurex disco maxi, a gold lame Halston skirt, and a 1950's taffeta cocktail dress. I also bought a red felt poodle skirt which is so not my style, but I couldn't pass it up for a fiver. There were a few other skirts as well. I obviously don't need anything, but at those prices I couldn't refuse.

We're in a race to finish up our lessons before the end of the semester in December. I'll be glad to say goodbye to the 20th Century, and start the Renaissance in January. I really wasn't looking forward to teaching WWII and I think it shows. We're covering the material of course, but I can't say I've been enthusiastic about it. Films have been helpful, particularly with giving an overview to the battles. I hadn't watched Tora Tora Tora since I was young, and it was interesting to note I still thought it was as well done as I did back then. Sometimes movies show their age. We've watched documentaries too, and several propaganda films.

I've been putting off reading Man's Search For Meaning, but I suppose with the semester drawing closer to the end we really need to deal with it. We're going to read it aloud (it is a short book, particularly is you skip all the psychology rubbish in the second half of the book) and it is going to be awful, but I do think if ever there was a right time to do it, now is that time. I can't open a newspaper or turn on the radio without some politician using the attacks in Paris as a justification for scapegoating a vulnerable and suffering group of human beings. The language is awfully similar, and yes I know, you're not supposed to compare people to Nazis, so I won't...if they stop sounding like Nazis.

I hope you have a great week, and that you are able to tune-out the awfulness people seem hell-bent to carry out, and others are equally happy to capitalise on.