l'eau

"The history of civilization is the story of man’s emancipation from a lot that was harsh, brutish, and short. Every step of that upward climb to a sophisticated way of life has been paralleled by a corresponding advance in the art of perfumery."

— Eric Maple, by way of “Jitterbug Perfume” (Tom Robbins).

Smells like J.Crew

J.Crew just launched their first fragrances, No.31 and No.57, in collaboration with Arquiste parfums. If you’re more of a floral girl (coral lips) grab a bottle of No. 31, it’s fresh and feminine. If you’re a little more spicy (messy pony) No. 57 is for you, it’s warm with hints of vanilla and cinnamon.” (From Garance Dore)

Sounds exquisite. Check out J.Crew for the full story (I highlighted the most important parts, won’t lie):

Don’t think of Carlos Huber, an architect specializing in historic preservation and the man behind Arquiste fragrances, as a perfumer—he’s more like a storyteller. Inspired by lightning-rod moments in history, his aromatic creations call to mind (and nose) a specific time and place. These two scents (created exclusively for J.Crew) were inspired by “Exhibition by 31 Women,” the first all-female modern art show in the United States, curated by Peggy Guggenheim in 1943.

No. 31 takes cues from the fragrances worn by the artists themselves: a mix of damson plum, Bulgarian rose and patchouli are designed to evoke an avant-garde crowd.
No. 57 gets its name from the Art of This Century gallery on West 57th Street in New York City, where the show was held. The curved oak walls of the gallery and the aromatic cocktails at the bar are evoked in a woodsy blend of cedarwood, aged whiskey and cinnamon. 

More behind-the-scenes and wonderfulness here. I have got to get my grubby paws on No. 57!

Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli

Fell down a k-hole reading the comments. My favorite? The smokin’ cussin’ grandma who ate squirrel.

xovain described this as “think carrot cake, but made by a gorgeous witch.” Must. Have. Need it. Now. (Barneys, $145)

xovain described this as “think carrot cake, but made by a gorgeous witch.” Must. Have. Need it. Now. (Barneys, $145)

A cowpoke went in to see one of Santa Fe’s top astral conjoiners. But, when he walked in, the conjoiner pointed to a sign that said “Absolutely No Fragrances.” “Can’t you read?” she snapped.

“But I’m not wearing any fragrance,” said the cowpoke.

“Cologne?”

“No.”

“Aftershave?”

“Nope.”

“How about eau de toilette?”

“No, Ma’am.”

The two put their heads together and finally puzzled it out: it was his Mennen Speed Stick, in Ocean Surf.

They had a big laugh. The cowpoke did, anyway.

— “The Elusive Smell” by Jack Handey in The New Yorker’s Tales of Old Santa Fe (via tinytomato)

Estee Lauder Pleasures & the CW London Vacation

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Silly young things at the Hard Rock Cafe, London, 1998. (That’s me, front and center)

I purchased Estee Lauder’s Pleasures with one of my first paychecks (ever) from working at JCPenney (quelle shame! ha), the summer after my senior year in high school. I have purchased it since then probably once or twice more, but I have (guiltily) requested it from the PR machine a dozen times. It is easily one of my most favorite scents in the whole world - granted I’m a sucker for a beautiful floral, but this one has some extremely special connotations for me.

Fragrantica describes it:

Pleasures is a rich bouquet of fresh flowers after the rain, which is designed to suit “every woman in every season and at every moment”. It is a delightful sheer floral created from delicate lilies and peonies, elegant jasmine and exotic Karo-Karounde blossoms, all tingling with the rare essence of exotic Baie Rose. Pleasures reflects a modern woman’s desire to experience life’s little pleasures every day. The perfume was created by noses from Firmenich in 1995. Pleasures was created by Annie Buzantian and Alberto Morillas.

Chandler Burr listed it as a work of art in a recent interview with xovain, saying that Esteé Lauder Pleasures is “a great, great scent unfairly overlooked due to its Gwenyth-with-puppies ads.” Truth.

I’m sure some people find it boring, or trite, or conventional, but whenever I wear it, I can only smile. I bought it with that first paycheck, I took it on my first trip abroad and every time I smell it, I am instantly transported to seeing Parisian streets at the young age of 18, without parents, with only love and naiveté. With a healthy body, without cynicism, the whole damn world right in front of me. Isn’t it wonderful to remember how light and free everything was, whenever that time is for you - whatever age. I know many people aren’t lucky to have experienced a time of lightness, sweetness, perhaps that will come later in life, I hope it will at some point.

We are leaving for London tomorrow night, and I’m so excited! I marveled this morning at how grown up this is - we paid for our tickets ourselves, we didn’t *have* to go for work - and how amazing it will be to see the city again as a tourist, rather than a worker bee. I thought about bringing along Pleasures with me, but I think this trip will need a new scent, a new memory. Perhaps Honeymania will fit the bill - effortless, sweet, unpretentious.