Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Currently- February 2014

The doldrums of winter edition.

Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson. This is one of my favorite books of all time and has been so for the last 37 years. A haunting winter story about little Moomintroll who wakes up from his hibernation some time in January and needs to deal with winter and the creatures that inhabit it while all the warm and familiar things are either gone or asleep .
Moomintroll trying to reason with his Ancestor

Elbow- An Audience With The Pope

Meh. I may be the only one in the known universe that didn't enjoy Sherlock. I don't get the magic of Benedict Cumberbatch (though he did impress me in Parade's End), and the whole thing, from the plots to Mary Watson as an assassin did not work for me. Oddly enough, I do like Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes as well as Lucy Liu as Watson in Elementary. Go figure.

Scents by Alexis- Body Made Luminous. It's probably the best chocolate perfume I know. The husband got me the bottle as a pre-Valentine's Day gift, and it was the last one perfumer Alexis Karl had and will have in some time, so I apologize for raving about something that's impossible to get, but I just had to. I'm obsessed.

Everything by Make, and if you saw the photos of the palette I posted today you know why. I was sent a few items for review and have ordered a few more, because this is the most impressive and cohesive makeup line I've seen in a while. It's so refreshing to find something like this after a long ennui.

Frequently Worn Item/Outfit
The above pair of Uggs. Yes, I know. Uggs. But they're sturdy enough for icy sidewalks and other environmental hazards while still having a good heel that makes me feel human. They've been through a lot in the three or four weeks I've had them and obviously can use a good shining. I'll do it tomorrow. Maybe.

Radishes sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

Guilty Pleasure
Various coconut candies.

this afternoon in my backyard

It's too obvious to even mention.

The email I received this evening from a long-time reader. Thank you, Theresa. It brought tears to my eyes.

Being able to open the window without getting a frostbite on my nose.


Random Thought
This is not very random, but kind of worth mentioning. If you have even a peripheral interest in perfume you probably already know about IFRA and the gradual crumbling of the perfume industry that it has caused since 2005. There's a telling article on Grain de Musc that you may have already read, which as far as I know is the first on-the-record cry from inside the industry. I want to know where these people were nine, five, and even two years ago when the writing on the wall couldn't have been more clear. Here's a selection of my own posts on this topic:

Something Is rotten (April 2009)
More About IFRA (April 2009)
Thoughts About IFRA And Skin Allergies (November 2009)
According to IFRA, you can't read or understand this post (January 2010)
Outlaw Perfumes- The Revolution Has Started (November 2010)
Outlaw Perfumes- Final Thoughts (December 2010)

How are you doing? What are your loves, banes, thoughts, and recommendations?

Top image: Winter 1947 in NYC via NY Daily News.


  1. Book
    I'm actually looking for something good right now. Was thinking of buying and reading everything Donna Tartt's written.

    The Weeknd's remix of "Drunk in Love" - raunchy, sexy, perfect.

    I need to watch Season 2 of House of Cards, and I've been enjoying Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

    I can't even answer this question. I just want more Montecristo right now. Gimme a barrel of Montecristo.

    HA! I knew you would love MAKE. Now I want that palette you reviewed. Bought the new NARS Kauai duo, it's nice. And the Urban Decay Naked glosses are nice too. But MAKE is exciting me.

    Frequently Worn Item/Outfit
    Boots. Boots. Boots. Have I mentioned boots? Screw this snow.

    I've been on a Mexican and Cuban binge for the past week or so.

    Guilty Pleasure
    I reorganized my makeup collection two weeks ago, and being able to play with my eyeshadows again has been fun and indulgent.

    I can't even into this. I should start popping some happy pills.

    My first day at my new job went well! And I have a date with Ari on Friday, and a show to go to on Saturday, and I hope that my Sunday is full of fun things. I'm trying to take it all one day at a time.

    Dinner on March 1st! And warmer weather!

    Sanity. Montecristo. Some new clothes. The motivation to lose a few pounds.

    Random Thought
    I'm really thirsty.

  2. I love, love that song, and Elbow in general.

    Thank you for the links about the IFRA and the perfume industry. I've been keeping up (okay, that is a lie - I have been meaning to get caught up) with some of the discussion, and I will explore that further now.

  3. Looks like Body Made Luminous is available at IndieScents! :-)

  4. I just ordered a few samples of Body Made Luminous. I am extremely unsophisticated as far as my perfume knowledge goes...and that's OK - many, many scents turn on me, so I have to be careful anyway. I happen to love gourmand scents, so your description caught my eye immediately!

    And...do you really have to wear a heeled boot in order to feel "human"? Even to walk on ice? I rarely wear heels anymore (of course, as I write that I am wearing a boot with a heel, but it is more like the heel on a cowboy boot), and I feel quite human!

  5. Hope June comes soon for you, and that I'm in a coma for July & August here in S.C. Just from the illustration alone, I know I must read Moominland Midwinter...too adorable. I've been into Leathers this winter perfume-wise, and just ordered my second bottle of Bottega Veneta. Silly as I know it must sound to you and most folks above the Mason-Dixon line, I have loved this winter with our snow and four days out of work. Of course, it's 70+ today. For music, I've been enjoying old Beatles tunes. It was my eighth birthday (2/9/64) when they first appeared in America on Ed Sullivan. Take care, dear one, and thanks for the blog I love most.

  6. The Moomintroll books were absolute favorites of mine as a child and I still love them so much I eat breakfast off of Moomin plates and bowls and have multiple Moomin cups for tea. The verbal and visual equivalent of my favorite comfort perfumes - one of which is Body Made Luminous. Was lucky enough to get a bottle of it, as well as a large decant from the StC sample site. Today my comfort is coming from Iris Ganache.

    The IFRA idiocy - quite the opposite feeling. But the GdM post actually makes me feel like maybe, just maybe this insanity can be contained, slowed down....can I go so far as to let myself hope for reversal? No. At least not yet.

    A brighter note - just went to the MAKE site. *Love* the colors, love the packaging. Hope you review more products from that line.

    Currently contemplating finding someone online who will make yarn out of cat hair and then knit it for me into a hat or scarf for DH (and myself as well, but want one as a gift for him first).

    On the weather front, we are getting a dramatic shift today and it's supposed to make it up to 70 if these clouds will ever clear (trusting they will). Wish I could send it up your way and also wish it would last through summer, but they say it's supposed to get cold again next week. Still, this is the South and it's almost March. Winter *has* to say Uncle at some point soon. Very, very soon I'm praying. I can actually see daffodil shoots coming up in our back yard through the still melting snow. I may be reduced to going out and getting down on my knees and kissing them in gratitude before I pick them once they bloom. And the violets! SO looking forward to them. We get masses and masses of them in our yard. The people who mow our grass are utterly mystified by my complete refusal to let them use any chemicals. For one, don't want to do that to any of the wild animals who come to us each day, but I also happen to really like the dandelions and violets and assorted other flowering weeds.

    Current food joy are mushrooms and melted cheese. I can't contemplate life without melted cheese. Have also fallen hard for Mandy's food sprays. Brilliant deliciousness!

  7. I love both Sherlock and Elementary, but I do not like Lucy Liu's outfits at all.

  8. Book(s)
    Vienna travel guides

    Chopin waltzes, etudes, nocturnes, mazurkas, polonaises...

    carrots and feta

    MAC Dangerous lipstick and Butter London Artful Dodger nail polish

    started the month with absinthe scents, moved on to tea scents, now it's time for vetiver

    Frequently worn item

  9. Thanks for the Moomintroll reminder! I adored those books as a kid and simply must rediscover them.

    As for IFRA…too depressing for words. Tho I appreciate YOUR words on what's been happening and continues to happen. Once upon a time I loved citrus in perfume…and oak moss…and...

    I appreciate your MAKE reviews: I got curious about the brand a while ago, but doing a google search for "MAKE cosmetics" is, as you might imagine, really useless (unless you're into DIYing your makeup items). So finding your reviews--and always such helpful, wonderful reviews--is fantastic.

    Happy winter to you. May it end soon. ;)

  10. Book: Catherine Coulter's Bombshell
    Music: Murray Perahia's Mozart piano concertos.
    TV: Love Elementary and Bones; looking forward to the return of The Blacklist
    Perfume: Musc Ravageur
    Makeup: I recently had a Guerlain makeover so I've been enjoying my new products.
    Frequently Worn Item: New dangle earrings by Ippolita.
    Food: Lots of homemade veggie soups.
    Guilty Pleasure: Watching The Following--I feel a bit like a ghoul!
    Bane: None
    Joy: A week filled with good friends, good food, good conversation, good times.
    Anticipation: Seeing my garden bloom.
    Wishlist: Nothing. I'm utterly content and at peace with the world.
    Random Thought: I've gotten such a chuckle out of Johnny Weir's outfits at the Olympics. That man sure knows how to accessorize! LOL

  11. Book: The Days of Anna Madrigal was everything I had hoped it would be. A kind friend overnighted a copy to me!

    Music: Peter Gabriel's "So." Hard to believe it is as old as it is. "In Your Eyes" is as beautiful a love song as ever.

    Joy: Rosa del Gata had a great "report card" from her annual vet visit.

    Fragrance: Tom Ford Violet Blonde. Other days, Fahrenheit by Dior

    Food/anticipation: Asparagus for less than 4.00 a pound. Roasted either with olive oil (high heat-around 400 F, or butter (low heat- around 325 F)

    Gratitude: that my cousin Anne was not at home when her apartment complex caught fire. She has a place to stay, and insurance, so it will not be as bad as it could be. Bad enough, but not worse.

    Lawrence and Rosa del Gata in Febru-weary Ohio

  12. How comfortable are those boots? I teach at the university and have to walk a lot--would these boots be confortable on long treks? It is difficult to find good looking boots that are comfortable and safe.

  13. Thank YOU, Gaia! I love my skin again!


  14. Food: Salmon w/ olives and oatmeal w/ mango and coconut milk ice cream
    Perfume: A mix of 3 incense perfumes w/ Montale Steam --stuff I have lying around.
    Makeup: pale grey eye shadow w/ a lavender hue makes my brown eyes bright and dark pink lipstick perks my mood and I need those things
    Joy: my new fountain pen and pinterest for art and textiles
    Anticipation: the year end accounting season to be over
    Wishlist: more time to myself.
    RE IFRA - I gave up even thinking about it because, I agree, everyone w/ a very few exceptions seemed intent on actually squashing comment or discusion about it and the perfume companies just seemed to fall into line without a peep. And, they didn't even HAVE to comply - it was voluntary unless I haven't understood correctly? Which could easily be the case because I gave up reading about it. The whole thing completely mystified me and still does. Thanks for posting about it. Rachelh

  15. A little late to the party but......
    Book: STILL trying to finish Game of Thrones, 1000 pages is a LOT to wade through.
    Music: Anything classical and soothing.
    TV: Looking forward to the return of The Blacklist, love James Spader.
    Perfume: I found a vintage bottle of Jicky and Shalimar and have worn them often, I'm a very happy girl.
    Makeup: My skin is going crazy lately, so it's a very simple wash of tinted moisturizer with smokey eyes (bronze colors).
    Frequently Worn Item: Cashmere-lots of it.
    Food: Lots of homemade soups like curried sweet potato or cream of tomato/basil.
    Guilty Pleasure: Sleep!
    Bane: Work issues, there's a bully in the office and no one is happy.
    Joy: A friend just proposed to his partner and I'm so very happy for them.
    Anticipation: Rain- we're in Northern California and it's dry as a bone out here!
    Wishlist: That the Japanese would cease their dolphin hunts.
    Random Thought: This year's olympics (for me anyhow) is a big yawn. Haven't watched a bit.


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