Imaginary Authors: Stories IV (Air of Despair)

IA-logoAn Air of Despair’s story reminds me of one its predecessors, the Littmus lozenges in Because of Winn-Dixie, a book about a dog, and the only one I can think of where the dog doesn’t die in the end (and it’s set in suburbia, a stark contrast to Where the Red Fern grows which casually tears your heartstrings apart and chews on them like tobacco set in rural backcountry.) Read More

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.

Read More

“Creative lifestyle brands”

Picture from VF article

I admit that I’m a sucker for stories in marketing. I love storytelling and I love creative angles and interesting packaging and pretty, pretty words. I’m optimistic and gullible like that.

When it comes to fragrances, there’s a lot of that. If you’re not already a household name, it’s not like the computer has smell-o-vision, and all you have is that story and the best graphics you can invest in and reviewers writing that they’re being taken to the moon by a whiff. It’s probably why this is my current expensive hobby over something more useful like tech or politics.

Read More

Imaginary Authors: Stories II

IA-logo

Here comes installment two! In my previous post about Imaginary Authors, I decided that for these fragrances I would do something different and write some short stories based on what comes up when I smell them. These stories are based on a vigilante concept that Mr. Chokkattu and I discuss whenever someone who’s a waste of space shows up on the news, and the style hopefully smacks of Brandon Sanderson as well as a tiny hint of Haruki Murakami perhaps. Hope you enjoy!

Cape Heartache: pine, oak, embers, strawberries, vanilla Read More

Imaginary Authors: Stories

IA-logo

Bit of a different format for the reviews today. Since Imaginary Authors is all about stories and evocation, I decided to write a very short story in response to some of their products. I haven’t written nearly any very creative things since I started business school because the place kind of drains me of mental energy, so I’m really glad I was able to get this much out. These stories are based on a vigilante concept that Mr. Chokkattu and I discuss whenever someone who’s a waste of space shows up on the news, and the style is a tiny bit inspired Brandon Sanderson novels (though he does it much, much better.) Hope you enjoy!

Memoires: vanilla, sandalwood, chocolate, myrrh, warmth, woods, spring trees Read More

Iceland Day 6: Penultimate Post!

This will be the second to last post about the most beautiful and refreshing place I’ve ever visited. I will miss a number of things about Iceland, which I will enumerate in my last post, but can be summed up as: how the hell did this little island slip my travel plans. It was only because of Mr. Chokkattu that I thought of this place at all as a potential destination and that’s insane to me now.

We filled our last full day in Iceland with Snæfellsjökull and rounded the trip out back in Reykjavik at the Settlement Museum before we bid the country adieu the next morning. My last glut of pictures, 60 altogether:
Read More

Olfactory symbolism

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15638746/ns/business-us_business/t/perfumes-tied-film-do-not-all-smell-well/#.VKd0rCvF8WI

I just realized Thierry Mugler offered a coffret of 15 scents to go along with certain parts of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer in a promotion for the film (which I have yet to watch, forgive me, I’ll get to it.) I can’t. I’m a little ready to cry. Not that I would have had the money or interest back when the movie came out, since I wouldn’t have started high school yet, but the knowledge it existed and I missed it feels like a grand joke. And no one’s selling the full thing anywhere, which is to be expected.

Oddly enough, this discovery is what drove me to actually filling out applications today. I was so distraught that I was not rich or powerful enough to have this, I was determined to try and start being goddamn rich and powerful.

My priorities, ah.

I’ve always been struck by the “soft talking, big stick carrying” lilt of effective, ruthless power though, and generally wealth and power are conveyed through resins like amber or labdanum, but that signals brute force to me, not the more interesting duplicitous nature of a politician. Something that appeals to the majority, with something kind of off about it

In fact, I only discovered the coffret after searching for a realistic bloody floral (I’m not British. I mean copper, magnesium, skin, salt: blood) after a description of President Snow in The Hunger Games intrigued me. His signature was blood and roses, which would be intriguing enough, but not only can I not find an approximate for blood and roses with notes and reviews that reflect what I’m looking for, I would actually like to find a white floral mixed with blood. I’m on that jasmine kick, remember? It’s a scent reference, so I’m into it on principle. It would have been bomb to see Jennifer Lawrence at least wrinkle her nose in the new movie during those scenes, but I guess I can’t expect that much from snack food YA.

I’ll just content myself with another movie quote of her’s, probably one of my favorites from a new movie:

“There’s this top coat that you can only get from Switzerland and I love the smell of it. I’m running out of it and I don’t know what to do. The top coat, it’s like perfumey, but there’s also something rotten. I know it’s crazy but I can’t get enough of it. Historically, the best perfumes in the world they’re all laced with something nasty. It’s true! Irving loves it. He can’t get enough of it. Sweet and sour, rotten and delicious. Flowers, but with garbage.”
– Rosalyn, American Hustle

(By the way, if you haven’t seen American Hustle, I highly recommend it. It makes New Jersey relevant. Kind of.)

Greek mythology helps veterans fight PTSD

Greek mythology helps veterans fight PTSD

Ajax Defending Greek Ships Against Trojans (Bettmann/CORBIS)

PTSD and all of the polarizing emotions of going into and coming out of war is a struggle not recognized enough.

I am heartened by this sharing of stories and communication between those who understand. I think it’s a great step towards openly talking about mental illness and the effects of trauma. In all aspects of mental illness, I think the emphasis on being open, aware, and understanding is one of the best ways to help someone towards recovery.

Our veterans are routinely silenced, either by their own fear of disappointment, or by the well-meaning who believe it isn’t good to dwell on bad things. And just to reiterate:

  • “57,849 veterans are homeless on any given night.”
  • 12% of the homeless adult population are veterans
  • 20% of the male homeless population are veterans
  • 68% reside in principal cities
  • 32% reside in suburban/rural areas
  • 51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
  • 50% have serious mental illness
  • 70% have substance abuse problems
  • 51% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
  • 50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans
  • “In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness – extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Additionally, military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment.”
  • “The most effective programs for homeless and at-risk veterans are community-based, nonprofit, “veterans helping veterans” groups. Programs that seem to work best feature transitional housing with the camaraderie of living in structured, substance-free environments with fellow veterans who are succeeding at bettering themselves.”

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans