Barcelona Day 2

Finally got to sit down and finish these up! Cut a bit into my sleep time, but a Friday night bar or club would have cut in just as much and I’m not particularly tired. Mr. Chokkattu is fast asleep beside me, on the other hand, and has been for hours now. (While he’s sleeping, make sure to click the link and see his photos! He has a much nicer camera and training, so those photos will be much less lackluster than mine.)

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Barcelona 1.2 (Museo del Perfum)

It’s been one busy week since I’ve been back, but I think I’ve finally gotten back into the swing of things and I’m just hoping I can keep my energy up. I will probably be making tons of lists and setting alarms as well as calendar events this week just to keep track of everything. And it certainly doesn’t help that I haven’t gotten used to organizing and paying attention to several calendars at once.

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Anyway, on the first day in Barcelona, we were walking down Passeig de Gracia and we came across Perfumeria Regia which, if you didn’t know, has a backdoor mini-museum of very old perfume bottles that you can ask to see for about €5. I only wish it was more a museum and less of a fairly unorganized (though it does seem to go by years? Except the Chinese stuff is strewn about the room, and most of the bottles don’t have dates next to them) not well-lit, dusty, hodge-podge of someone’s probably meticulously gathered collection. It’s just doesn’t seem very dignified to toss around history like that. It was more a tome than a museum which is a shame.

That being said, I tried to take as many decent pictures as I could with my afraid-of-the-dark camera phone and then edit them to color correct (though a lot of the yellowness/warmth is native to the room) and make sure the bottles are highlighted!  Read More

Barcelona Day 1

Some of you may know that every year the Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona. If you knew that, you’re either Mr. Chokkattu or a huge tech nerd (or both), and as for the rest of you, the Mobile World Congress is held by the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, a huge network of nearly 800 operators and more than 250 companies in the mobile sphere, every year in Barcelona and is essentially one huge conference with talks, lectures, exhibitions, panels, and demos.

Mr. Chokkattu got to go to this giant annual event and do cool things like interview tech disruptors and play with virtual reality goggles, and I just got a t-shirt.

Just kidding, he flew me out for the weekend immediately proceeding the conference.

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L’Air du Desert Marocain vs. Lonesome Rider

Took me long enough.

I’ve written about LADDM before:

Tauer L’Air Desert Du Marocain

  • Wet: oak, amber, vetiver, cedar, balsamic vinegar
  • Dry: vetiver, cedar, coriander, amber, jasmine, balsamic vinegar

Mr. Chokkattu’s first love, and the one he wears the most often, LADDM is a dark, woody, smoky, slightly sweet thing with a low voice and dark hair. It starts with a sharp balsamic over a dark base, and then evens out, and as per the name the resulting fragrance is dry, hot, and slightly sweet. I really like this one, and Mr. Chokkattu only let me borrow this one because he has another sample of it.

New impressions:

L’Air du Desert Marocain is still Mr. Chokkattu’s favorite (though A La Nuit is edging in), and fortunately I am not at his freezing place trying this on, but I still think this could benefit from a bit of heat, at least to give it context.

Sweet sun-dried grass and hay, powdery amber, hot, warm cardamom, basil, singed cedar and oak bark and ashes and incense, all on a bed of jasmine. Read More

Happy Valentine’s Day!(Carnal Flower)

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you have as lovely a one as I will with someone special!

First of all, it’s freezing where I’m writing this. Mr. Chokkattu’s new landlord sounds like a cheap bastard from all I’ve heard of him and seems to be illegally turning off the heat wherever he feels it would save him money. This is coming from a household that tries to keep the heating and cooling to a minimum, and regularly has to turn up the heat or up the air conditioning for guests; what I am experiencing is worse. I had my feet on a radiator for a while and that radiator has been shut off for god knows why.

Anyway, all this to say that this is not the optimal temperature for Carnal Flower, and I know this, so while I’m going to write my reactions based off of how I feel now, I’ve had Carnal Flower for a while and I know it’s an entirely different beast when allowed to bloom in say, 80 degree weather when driving to the beach, as I have worn it in the past.

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, for those who may not know, was composed by Dominique Ropion. Mr. Ropion has concocted other potions for Frederic Malle, as well as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Dior, Armani, Givenchy, Gucci, JLo, Kenzo, a regular crap-ton for Lancome, YSL, and the creator of Thierry Mugler’s Alien and Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb. His career has been a pretty veritable success, and I’m sure if we measured perfumers the way we measure musicians, he would have hit platinum or double platinum or whatever the distinction above that is by now. Read More

Parfums de Marly: Oajan, Lippizan, Kuhuyan reviews!

Parfums de Marly is another one of those fun contemporary fragrance houses that liken to old traditions; as far back as Louis XV’s prestigious horse races, and as front-facing as the MySpace-esque format and music on their web page. But that’s not a knock; the page has a clean, intuitive look, and I appreciate it over the many companies who believe it should be as difficult and stylistic as possible to learn any information on their pages. I do wish the waltz they’re playing didn’t stop so abruptly before starting over.

Anyway, I have heard good things about this brand, and hope to one day also try Herod and Habdan, as well as see their take on women’s fragrances!

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Good night, Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman has died at the age of 69 from cancer.

I wanted to write a little something to remember him by for myself, as well as include some bits of his talent just in case anyone’s forgotten about how amazing this man was because I am just incredibly sad and I don’t really know what else to do.

As a child of the Harry Potter era, reading and watching it fervently, going through as many ups and downs as the characters and the actors that I could know about, the most important of Alan Rickman’s roles to me was Professor Snape. He made Snape accessible, funny, steely but gentle, and his motivations complex and understandable to the point where even JK Rowling changed her perception of the character after watching Rickman’s interpretation. Fanfic after fanfic about the softer side of Snape, and the possible misunderstood an maligned nature of the Slytherin house in general, came out full force after his portrayal because of his portrayal.

We all fell in love. I know I did.

He is missed by that cast and Rowling herself.

Good night Mr. Rickman. You will be sorely missed.

Imaginary Authors: Stories III (Every Storm a Serenade)

IA-logoI’ll preface this to say that when Mr. Chokkattu got Every Storm a Serenade in the mail, it also came with Cape Heartache and Yesterday Haze and Yesterday Haze had leaked all over everything. Mr. Chokkattu, who is not a big fan of fig, was not pleased and we tried to scrub it off our hands and off the other bottles and were unable. The other samples still smelled ostensibly like Yesterday Haze for a whole week, and it stuck to our hands for hours afterwards. Mr. Chokkattu also reported his clothes smelling like it the next day. So for all of you that really like fig and woods, but were concerned about longevity, don’t be. Yesterday Haze is a great fig. Get a bottle, have fun.

I have a lot to say about this one. Every Storm a Serenade is Imaginary Author’s “traveling by ocean” aquatic scent (read: woody) in comparison with their Falling Into the Sea aquatic scent, which is more “at the beach” and not a little soapy in execution. And Falling Into the Sea lasts an awful lot longer, which is unfortunate because I’m not that fond of Falling Into the Sea at this temperature, and like Every Storm much better.

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Tocca Reviews: Graciella & Cleopatra

The last of the reviews! They might get a little preachy, just a warning, and I paired these last ones because they are both meant to represent real people (and out of the ones I got are the only ones that are; Giulietta is named after a real woman, but is based on her and her husband’s relationship.)

Gonna say this right now, but Florence and Cleopatra are probably my favorites of the bunch! No surprise there.

Reviews a go!

Graciella (fruity floral)
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