Calvin Klein releases gender-free fragrance

Hey Calvin Klein, the fragrance industry already has a term for “gender-free” fragrance: unisex. I think that you know that, seeing as CK One is unisex.

Unless you just mean your marketing campaign. To which, sure, jump on that wagon before it leaves. The popularity of Orange is the New Black, the media-positive view of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, and H&M and all of the little companies that have made it safe for the big and the old to do this makes this a decent time to get on. And it really hits that “no labels” thing that millennials like.

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House of Matriarch Blackbird

Blackbird was created by Christi Meshell and first came out in 2012. It has since amassed a cult following. House of Matriarch has also gathered similar praise, as it went on to win so many awards I think it would just be easier for everyone if you just clicked above for their website.

But Blackbird: Niche leather! Oud! Cannabis! All of the hype flavors on one train. Rave reviews, including one gentleman I recall reading the reaction of who didn’t necessarily see the pleasure of wearing fragrance until he smelled this on a friend of his. So I was glad when a friend recommended we try this one together. I’m a little late to the hype train, I do live on the other side of the US after all, but I figure this stuff probably has a mild following so I’m not too far behind.


Well let’s give it a go shall we? Read More


I said I wouldn’t make a directly Iceland related post, so this post is not about Iceland (though I am absolutely going to use a ton of the same tags.) Instead I wanted to make a little tribute to my level-headed and adorable travel mate, Mr. Chokkattu.

In the kayak, Seyðisfjörður

In the kayak, Seyðisfjörður

Not only was it his idea to go to Iceland despite my original hesitation and ignorance, he helped make the trip worthwhile by being his kind, patient, sweet, wonderful self.

However. That’s not quite all he did…

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Iceland Day 3

Obviously, I didn’t really go through with the updating every day thing because of the lack of strong WiFi and time, but I have finally finished editing day 3 pictures, so here you go! It was a little chillier on day 3 than the previous two days, and we saw a little less civilization and a few more sheep, which Mr. Chokkattu and I enjoyed. Day 3 consisted mostly of water and ice, but there were lots of rocks and mountains as well, and I’ll include a bonus gallery about mountain flowers too!

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I went to Baltimore on Friday

…and it was pretty chill, besides the presence of the National Guard keeping everyone on edge. I felt bad for those boys to be honest; they don’t really get to pick their assignments and many of them did seem to emphasize with the protesters, considering their ages and races. They wouldn’t talk to us however; Julian’s camera made sure of that.

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Jo Malone Rain Series – Black Cedarwood and Juniper

Review time!

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
– Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda

Jo Malone Rain Series
Black Cedarwood and Juniper

Wet: juniper, spice, tree bark, cedar
Dry: juniper, spice, tree bark, water

I love how woody this scent starts out, and am a little disappointed it falls to the background after a few minutes. Although the distinct cedar dies out on the dry-down for me, it leaves a warmth that I feel like is necessary to round out the sweet, watery juniper. Apparently there’s chili in this as well, which likely supports that point. I can’t stop sniffing it. It smells like how I want my sheets to smell after a night in, and a scent I could get used to on my pillow at night. Quite seductive, at least to me.

I like it on myself, but I would absolutely love this scent on a guy. It’s warm and sweet without being the masculine go-to sandalwood which I feel gets overplayed, and it’s just dark enough that there’s depth and passion implied, but light enough for day wear.

Surrender to Chance – March

March: CB I Hate Perfume Black March Water

Wet: cut grass, wet leaves, moss, sandalwood?
Dry-down: cut grass, moss, pink flowers, rain, orchid
From far: Nothing really; the floral notes
Lasts: Not long at all. It’s gone within an hour for the most part

This is so interesting. It starts out like taking a drink from a fountain with rain and twigs and leaves in it or walking through the woods during, well, March, on a cloudy day. I don’t even think I can get over it; it’s so delightfully fresh. It’s almost like I’m sinking my teeth into the ground and instead of tasting disgusting the way eating dirt really does, it tastes like what I feel like it should taste like. It’s how dew or rain on a head of hair should smell.

It legitimately makes me feel happy in such cold, unforgiving weather. And then it fades into a liquid flowers smell, as if you took a bouquet of mostly honeysuckle and orchids and a rosebud or two and submerged them in water. A little like what rosebud tea would smell like if it were mixed with violets and a peppercorn or two (and now I have to go make tea. Thanks a lot, designers at CB.) The end scent has a lazy, warm, sunny element to it, as opposed to the beginning’s chilly, cloudy day.

Honestly, I’m in love, and I’ll have to stash this for a rainy spring day. I see this being worn by someone wearing a navy or red trench coat, holding a non-descript umbrella, wearing some knee-highs boots on a wet road. If this all sounds overly pretentious and poetic, I apologize. These are just the images that have been making an appearance in my head.

No seriously, it’s kind of insane how much I like this. I keep sniffing it and audibly sighing.

I’m done now, I swear.