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Betwixt & Between

Date: 2012-04-10 18:21
Subject: Food Meme
Security: Public

"100 Foods to Try Before You Die"

An interesting list, but literally all over the map. I wonder how they came up with it.

1. Venison – y
2. Nettle tea -y
3. Huevos rancheros – y
4. Steak tartare -y
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding -y
7. Cheese fondue -y
8. Carp -y
9. Borscht -y
10. Baba ghanoush – y
11. Calamari – y
12. Pho -y
13. PB&J sandwich – y
14. Aloo gobi – y
15. Hot dog from a street cart -y
16. Epoisses - y
17. Black truffle - only minuscule shavings, but yes
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes – y
19. Steamed pork buns -y
20. Pistachio ice cream – y
21. Heirloom tomatoes – y
22. Fresh wild berries – y
23. Foie gras -y
24. Rice and beans – y
25. Brawn, or head cheese -y
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper -y
27. Dulce de leche -y
28. Oysters – y
29. Baklava – y
30. Bagna cauda - yes, though it made me ill (boo, anchovies)
31. Wasabi peas – y
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl –y
33. Salted lassi - y
34. Sauerkraut – y
35. Root beer float – y
36. Cognac with a fat cigar – yes to to cognac, no to the cigar
37. Clotted cream tea - y
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O shot – y
39. Gumbo -y
40. Oxtail -y
41. Curried goat -y
42. Whole insects - assuming candied and/or dipped in chocolate count
43. Phall  -not authentic UK style
44. Goat’s milk -y
45. Single malt whisky – y
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala – y
48. Eel – y
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut -y
50. Sea urchin -y (not an experience I'll repeat - texture issues)
51. Prickly pear -y
52. Umeboshi -y (just this last year, definitely an acquired taste I didn't acquire)
53. Abalone -y
54. Paneer – y
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – y
56. Spaetzle – y
57. Dirty gin martini – y (vodka martinis aren't martinis)
58. Beer above 8% ABV – y
59. Poutine -y
60. Carob chips -y
61. S’mores – y
62. Sweetbreads -y
63. Kaolin - isn't this more a supplement than a food?
64. Currywurst -y
65. Durian -y
66. Frogs’ legs -y
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake – y
68. Haggis -y
69. Fried plantain – y
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette -y
71. Gazpacho -y
72. Caviar and blini -y 
73. Louche absinthe -y
74. Gjetost, or brunost -y
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – y
78. Snail – y
79. Lapsang souchong -y
80. Bellini – y
81. Tom yum -y
82. Eggs Benedict – y
83. Pocky -y
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef - wagyu yes, Kobe waygu no
86. Hare -y
87. Goulash – y
88. Flowers – y
89. Horse
90. Criollo (isn't this a cuisine, in which case yes, rather than a specific dish?)
91. Spam -y
92. Soft shell crab -y
93. Rose harissa -y
94. Catfish – y
95. Mole poblano – y
96. Bagel and lox – y
97. Lobster Thermidor -y
98. Polenta – y
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee -y
100. Snake =y
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Date: 2012-03-01 08:27
Subject: BPAL Inquisition
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes
White chypre, French Lavender, rose geranium, opopponox, Peru balsam, bois de rose, lime & vanilla absolute.

White scents, especially florals, aren't my thing, but I love me some chypre, and lavender, so I had to try this one. The lavender is dominant, as expected, but there's a sense of spice there along with the expected powder. The lime is drifts in and out; it works unexpectedly well with the sharp lavender. It definitely hits that 'dapper gentlemen' note that chypre/lavender blends often evoke but there's a resinous undertone that grounds and rounds and the drydown is gorgeous - if this sort of scent is your cuppa tea. I can totally see how many would consider it overdone and soapy (which I often get from white scents) but this one works for me.
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Date: 2012-02-29 09:08
Subject: BPAL Inquisition scents
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes
In the midst of moving and reno madness, it's time to stop and smell the roses admist the sawdust. I managed to get a few decants, so I'm going to attempt to review some of them here.

Red musk, carnation, myrrh, and honey.

Carnation is the diva here, with a trumpeted red musk salute. A big floral, nothing subtle but the honey (often a problem) seems to be behaving (crossing fingers). As the carnation settles down into its aria the myrrh plays the anchoring chorus. This is going to age beautifully (I haven't found a red musk/resin blend that didn't!); despite being loud it's a balanced scent with moderate throw. And good last.

This scent is also designed to go with a bath oil (which I often use as post-shower moisturizers. The oil is a combo of carnation, orange blossom honey, myrrh and neroli and it works wonderfully with the perfume oil. The honeys are behaving (perhaps because of the hint of bitterness from the neroli) and on the long dry down the myrrh has mellowed everything out.
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Date: 2011-04-04 14:13
Subject: SotD: Biwa
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, sotd
 BIWA...  tangerine, black currant, white musk, honey and tagetes. 

This starts off with delicate, zesty tangerine with a hint of musk and honey. The marigold note is light and adds a floral complexity to the blend. The honey powders upon drydown, and with the musk creates a long-lingering loveliness that I wasn't expecting. I barely pick up the black currant at all, except perhaps as a hint of sharpness in the blend, but that could be the marigold's doing, too; I'm uncertain. I probably won't get a bottle of this, but I"ll certainly enjoy the decant when I want a delicate bright citrus blend that isn't predominantly lemon.

And I'll mention here a blend of great fail on me, one that doesn't get SotD status 'cause I had to wash it off almost immediately.

.... vanilla infused amber, leather, beeswax, cyclamen, oakmoss, peru balsam, orange blossom, red ginger, tonka, opoponax, myrrh and black pepper.

So many notes that I love in this one. So many. And yet this scent is a complete disaster on me. In the vial, it's fiery ginger and orange blossom and leather with hints of pepper and oakmoss and resins. For a brief glorious moment wet on my skin, its a spicy conflagration and the beeswax and vanilla open into luxurious creamy goodness. And then, POW! WHAM! sour plastic. If it was honey rather than beeswax in the blend, I'd suspect the same honey note that makes O such a disappointment, but I don't think I've had a scent turn so bad so fast on me since WAR which, surprise surprise, also has red ginger. Is this the villain? maybe (but I love VILF!).  So definitely not for me -- the decant might scent a nice candle, tho. 

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Date: 2011-04-01 18:43
Subject: SotD: An Appraisal of Sensual Pleasure in the Four Seasons
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, daily ramble, scent notes, sotd
I wore an old favourite, Lucy, Kissed, (2009, from the Trading Post) when I went off this morning - one of my many red musk blends, this one with dark roses and violets, yew and juniper, patchouli and oude. Perhaps because I felt like I was one of the living dead at the time. But the day was actually far more pleasant than I expected, bright and sunny through the late morning/early afternoon and it actually felt springlike despite the piles of stubborn snow scattered about on gardens and under trees.

But its time now to look to the new Shunga scents, which are only up til the end of the month. So here's the first:

: wild plum, lemongrass, frankincense, honeysuckle and teak.

I'm surprised I like the plum and lemongrass notes as much as I do in this; they are mild and sweet and add a roundness to the frankincense. Even the honeysuckle is delicate and restrained. The frankincense remains the dominant note in the drydown, deepened by the woody teak. Intriguing blend.

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Date: 2011-03-20 11:10
Subject: BPAL testing, the final bit (for now)
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, test
THE RING... antiquated amber, frankincense, patchouli, hay, oakmoss, skin musk and white mint.  
This starts off smooth and mellow, with the amber and frankincense in soft, dusky accord, and just a faint hint of mint. The skin musk keeps this close as the moss and patchouli warm up and the hay is prominent but its all very well blended. I get a hint more mint on drydown but unfortunately the dreaded playdoh note develops, probably from the skin musk. I can see where this would be a lovely, dusty earth and soft incense scent on the right person, but sadly, not on me.

STANDING FEMALE NUDE... red rose and red currant with amber, blood orange, myrrh and golden musk. 
Red rose bursts out, juicy, bright and bold, with a faint dusting of amber. The fruits develop next, first the orange - a lovely blend with the rose - and a hint of sharper currant. The myrrh adds sweetness and grounds the mix (and I can only distinguish it as a separate note on late drydown; I love rose and myrrh together - they compliment each other so well). A lovely scent, but the currant adds a faint bitterness on my skin and as I have other rose scents I like just as much, or better, I can let this one go.

SLEEPING NYMPH AND SATYRS... wild woods, Bulgarian rose, tolu balsam, vanilla absolute, ambergris, honey & vanilla.
Honeyed woods (I suspect there's some teak in there) and rose, beautifully balanced with balsam added edge. The vanilla is distinct and yet adds overall creamy smoothness and the ambergris drifts and partners with the balsam in a lovely duet. This is one of those scents were I can pick up every note and yet nothing really outshines anything else. I like this more with every wearing - definitely bottle worthy.
    ETA sadly, I must revise this one -- there is something odd in the final drydown that I didn't catch before. Two more wear tests proved it not a fluke. I'll enjoy what's left of my decant in a locket, but this one is off the bottle list.

WRESTLERS... vetiver, guiac wood, peru of balsam, two musks, labdanum, saffron and rum accord.  
The rum and musks are prominent  at first, underlain with the saffron. The woods are rather light, and the vetiver takes its time but eventually beats down the musks. It's smooth and warm and faintly butterscotchy .... and then the rum (not unexpectedly) goes funky on my skin. woe! 

This is the last batch of my Lupercalia decants; time to do a final check on my favourites and put an order in before they come down on Monday. Thank goodness the Shunga scents are up until the end of April, as I'm still waiting on those decants and the Chocolate Box scents, too!  Tho those come down Monday as well, I ordered full decants of them, which I think will be enough since I have lots of foody chocolate scents already -- but I'll check the .org reviews anyway, just in case.

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Date: 2011-03-18 14:15
Subject: BPAL testing, the saga continues...
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, test
 The Venustas series, A Tribute to William Etty and the Elegance of the Human Form.

A very well blended scent: the mahogany is glorious beneath a drift of apple. It's surprisingly delicate with hints of rose developing as it warms up. There's a freshness here that plays well with the overall woodiness of the scent. Lovely but not enough that I'd reach for it before something else.

MALE NUDE, ARMS UPSTRETCHED... dark musk, linen and red chypre.
I was ready to like this before I opened the decants, and wow, do I!  A layered musk blend (I'm betting it's red musk holding the base of the chypre). The linen note gives the spice and wood a clean edge and plays nicely with the top citrus of the chypre (I'm thinking bergamot). Decent throw, incredibly drydown and despite the fact I'm brimming with red musk scents already, I have a soft spot for chypres too, so I'm sorely tempted to get a bottle of this one.

MANILUS HURLED FROM THE ROCK... frankincense, leather accord, sandalwood, Himalayan cedar, nutmeg & violet leaf.
Another scent that's right up my alley. Sharp - almost overpowering - leather over warm resins. Then the leather softens into something well worn and brown, and the woods warm up, making this drier and dustier with the spice of the nutmeg at the center of it all. The cedar grows a bit more prevalent on further drydown, with the violet leaf adding a hint of sweetness and the frankincense keeping it bright. This will age amazingly well. Definitely getting a bottle of this one.

NUDE WOMAN RECLINING... calla lily, honeysuckle, Turkish jasmine, ambrette, galbanum, iris and bourbon vanilla.
Loud, heady floral, opening with a blast of lily and honeysuckle, so much so that I almost didn't skin test this. But the other notes had promise, and it does grow creamier and smoother on dry down. The vanilla is remarkably subdued and I get only faint hints of the jasmine. This is a morpher and the final stage is sweet and creamy with dreamy floral hints, but its a long journey to get there and way too floral for me until then. 

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Date: 2011-03-18 00:48
Subject: Testing BPAL rather than sleeping...
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, test
 And here's the last three of the Ode to Aphrodite scents:

KATASKOPIA... tuberose, mandarin, jonquil, black sandalwood, green musk, styrax, hyacinth and violet musk.
HEELLLLOOO tuberose!  This is a big floral, sharp and green. And oddly watery, which I wasn't expecting. The florals mellow and the mandarin begins to hold its own but the best part of this scent is woody resin base (the sandalwood is strong in this one, young jedi).  Too much floral and it goes powdery. Not for me. 

KYTHERIAN... black narcissus, purple orchid, neroli, white sandalwood, ambergris, plum musk, jonquil, thyme, oakmoss & grapefruit.
This is one of those scents I wanted to try just to see how everything worked together. The fruits are the most prominent when wet (and I include the plum musk in this), followed by the orchid. I don't really pick up the thyme or sandalwood. Fruit with attitude, and cold. Just the barest hint of oakmoss on drydown to start to warm it up. Strong throw, and overall a very 'purple' scent and something in here is putting the Soap in soapiness (daffodil, is that you?)

NIKEPHOROS... black currant, patchouli, blood orange, oakmoss, galbanum, benzoin and white mint.
Oakmoss and galbanum may be waltzing in the center of the dance floor but patchouli and blood orange are the prom royalty of this blend. Benzoin lurks near the band, white mint plays the wallflower. Black currant shows up late and spikes the punch. I thought this would be too fruity for me but it grows more earthy in the later dry down and I find myself sniffing my wrist over and over. Quite undecided about this one.

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Date: 2011-03-17 22:32
Subject: Testing bpals continues...
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, test
 HEKAERGE... red patchouli, myrrh, lemongrass, gurgum balsam, lavender and honey.
I wasn't sure I'd like this, because of the lemongrass, but I can't pick it up at all; this opens with patchouli sweetened by honey and myrrh; the lavender adds a nice edge. The balsam is in there somewhere, added to the overall spice-woodiness of the scent and as it mellows it deepens into spicy resinous woody heaven. Definitely bottleworthy.

NYMPHIA... white rose, apple blossom, spun sugar, mango, cucumber, freesia, coconut and lavender. 
A sweet and fruity floral, as might be expected. The lavender is slim to non-existent as, sadly, is the coconut (except perhaps adding a slight creaminess to the blend). Mango and apple and rose, mostly. Pretty, but too fruity for me.

APATROPHIA... complex Eastern musk with orange blossom, peppermint, lime peel, spikenard, petitgrain and white cedar.
A lovely spicy musk, with a hint of citrus, underlain by dry woods. Sadly, it goes a little soapy on me in the drydown. 

APHROGENES... orris root, iris, white honey, white sandalwood, coconut and cherry blossom.
I love orris, but I'm not sure I get the distinction between orris and iris as notes - orris is iris root, and iris flowers are either practically scentless or stinky, ime, so I'm not sure what's up with that. Regardless, this is a lovely scent. The coconut and white sandalwood (sometimes problematic for me) balance each other perfectly - the sandalwood keeps the coconut from being too loud and the coconut adds enough cream to smooth out the SW's dryness. Orris is faintly sweet to being with and it gets a boost from either the cherry blossom or the honey (I don't find the coconut at all sweet in this blend), or possibly both. A sweet dreamy scent - I like it a lot, but I have a number of other orris blends I adore, so I don't know if I need this one too.

AREIA... dragon's blood resin, pimento berry, olive wood, rosemary, black cherry, persimmons, red musk and red rose.
So many lovely notes in this one, resulting in an unusual dark blend. I get cherry and red musk at first, with some spice from the dragonsblood and pimento. There's an odd herbal note from the rosemary, and the olive wood is present, but it seems at odd with the rest of the blend; perhaps my skin is amping it. The rose seems to come up only at the end, when the dragonsblood goes powdery (of all the resins, it's my least favourite, I think). I really quite like this wet, but it doesn't seem to agree with my skin once it dries - nothing horrible, just meh. Which is a pity, because the initial throw is fascinating.

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Date: 2011-03-16 19:04
Subject: Testing bpals...
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, test
 My Lupercalia decants arrived yesterday, so now I have to snif and test and decide which ones (if any) I want bottles of, and before next Monday, too. I'm going to start with the most likely candidates in the Ode to Aphrodite series and add the others in as I get to them.  So here goes...

ANTHEIA... grandiflorum jasmine, damask rose, ylang ylang, gardenia, sweetbriar and apple blossom dusted by    golden amber.
I usually love jasmine-rose blends but the ylang ylang kills the rose in this one, and there's only a hint of gardenia. The apple blossom has fled for the hillls and the amber drifts aimlessly about in the drydown and it becomes clear to me once more that grandiflorum is my least favourite jasmine. Overall a big floral that's heady in all the wrong ways. 

APATOUROS...  black fig, green tea, opoponax, ciste absolute, myrrh, carnation, nutmeg & Brazilian vetiver.
This starts off all fig and green tea underlain with smoky spicy carnation. The fig doesn't stick around long on my skin, but the tea does (WIN! as far as I'm concerned) the myrrh adds sweet depth to everything on the drydown. A dark, mysterious scent, but it's not cloying at all. It didn't last long on my skin (unusual with resins) but its lovely and I don't really have anything quite like it. Possible bottle contender.

peru balsam, vanilla bean, Rainier cherry, bitter almond, golden honey, rose water, lemon peel, sugar cane   & benzoin.

This could have been overly sweet, even candy-like, but the benzoin and balsam hold the sweetness in check while the vanilla warms up. Once dry on the skin the sweet is nicely balanced by hints of tart lemon and sharper almond, but the vanilla remains prevalent and I only pick up the faintest touch of rose water in the mix. A light, creamy skin scent.

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Date: 2011-03-15 19:15
Subject: Scent of the Day: Tears, Idle Tears
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, sotd
TEARS, IDLE TEARS... a bittersweet aquatic lifted by white rose, olibanum, amber, orris, davana and oude.  

As a general rule, I'm not a real fan of aquatics, but this intrigued me enough to order a decant. It's watery alright, clear and bright with swirls of orris and faint resins. The rose is remarkably timid, at least until the davana starts to open up and then the rose beats it back, claiming front row in the floral array. I hardly detect the oude at all, except on the long drydown, beneath the final soft floral resins. A surprising amount of throw for such a soft scent, too.  Verdict: lovely, but not something I'll reach for often (I have many other rose blends I like more) but I'll be happy to keep the decant for those misty days when I'm feeling wane.

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Date: 2011-03-13 16:40
Subject: Scent of the Day: The Russian Dance
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, sotd
 THE RUSSIAN DANCE... florentine iris, black tea, labdanum, patchouli, champaca, benzoin and ambergris.  

Initially I was wary of this one because of the iris, but fortunately had a chance to test it thoroughly. As might be expected from the description, I find the iris note here quite similar to that in Florence - that orris note that I love. This opens as a light and faintly spicy floral mix of orris and creamy champaca that mellows quickly into a sweet, resiny incense blend. The tea note is distinct, more of a duet than a blend and the patchouli only comes though in the long drydown into a somber grey scent that lingers for hours. I look forward to seeing how this ages.

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Date: 2011-03-12 18:16
Subject: Scent of the Day: The Arabian Dance
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, sotd
 THE ARABIAN DANCE...   leather, coffee, hazelnut, tobacco and Middle Eastern spices.

Soft leather gloves worn by a coffee fiend who hangs out in cozy after hour clubs, that's what this smells like. The combo of leather and coffee is amazing, underlain by the hint of hazelnut and smoke (not stale cig smoke, which I can't abide, but pipe smoke that takes me back to my early childhood). The spices are subdued; I'd says like cardamon and maybe nutmeg among them - more of a harmonious mix that reminds me of spice bread without being foody. Very well blended; its only on drydown that the leather grows into the more prominent note.

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Date: 2011-03-11 15:09
Subject: Scent of the Day: Ebenezer Scrooge
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes, sotd
EBENEZER SCROOGE   ... neglected leather, oakmoss, tonka bean, black pepper, cumin and vetiver.  

This opens like I just walked into a leather shop, almost overpoweringly so. But that initial sharpness fades and the tonka plays sweet peacemaker between the pepper and cumin - all the notes are distinctly there, spicy, but playing nice. I don't get much of a sense of oakmoss, but that might be what's smoothing the edge of the leather, and the vetiver provides a nice ground note, neither overly smoky nor earthy and only a slight tang hinting of citrus. (I like vetiver is pretty much all its forms, but this one is particularly nice.)  Definitely a sense of dust and age and recluse to this scent - excellent for a pre-reform Scrooge. So glad I got a bottle of this.

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Date: 2011-03-07 14:33
Subject: BPAL reviews
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, notes, review
 My Yule order arrived today, along with two Luper scents that I ordered unsniffed because the listed notes were so persuasive; I am not disappointed!

 Parma violet and leather accord with beeswax, Egyptian musk, orange blossom, white tea, lavender, myrrh, and copal. 

Inspired by an Edna St.Vincent Millay poem, this is lovely, almost soothing. Wet, there's an initial hit of lavender, and the violet and musk are strong, but neither overbalances the other and somehow they work very well with the sharper tea and lavender notes. Beneath that, the leather is gentle: a ladies' fawn leather gloves, well worn, and the beeswax is sweet and mingled with the orange. It all mellows into a soft spring floral with rich resin underneath. I think this one will be a must-try for violet fans, and I suspect it will age very well.

Red musk, East African patchouli, tonka, white gardenia, black narcissus, champaca, Roman chamomile & massoia bark.

This one was more of a risk to me; while I have to watch gardenia and I'm sensitive to chamomile, it has many notes I love and it's inspired by a favourite Sappho poem. But this looks to be a winner, especially for red-musk lovers like me. The musk and patchouli are upfront and loud, but mellow quickly, allowing the flowers to rise: the gardenia and champaca are lush but nicely darkened by the narcissus). I get a hint of spicy woody cream (hello, tonka! massoia!); I suspect the late drydown will be a waltz between the musk and mossoia. I don't get the chamomile at all. Another one that will age well, I think.

Very well pleased with both these scents, and I suspect I'll be wearing TDNBR a lot this spring. 

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Date: 2011-02-01 22:15
Subject: Blessed Imbolc!
Security: Public
Tags:brigid, daily ramble, imbolc

O Brigid, Keeper of the Flame,

Come, bless us now and always,

Inspire our hearts and forge our skills

To serve you this and each day.

O Brigid, Keeper of the Flock

You give us food and clothing

We tend the flocks with your sure hands,

Your healing, and your knowing.

O Brigid, Keeper of the Wise,

The Poets, Smiths and Shepherds,

Keep bright your flame in all our hearts

For now, from this day forward.’


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Date: 2011-01-01 14:17
Subject: 2011
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble
Good morning, 2011. looks at clock. er, make that, Good Afternoon. My first prediction for this year: French Toast!! Yum.
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Date: 2010-11-01 13:55
Subject: New Year Resolutions...
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble, samhain, spirit
New Year Resolutions are always a bit... flexible ... around here, because we celebrate several calendars. Samhain is the best known in pagany circles. For me Halloween is my favourite holiday - costumes and spookies and treating the trickers. OH, and the decorating. I love me some Halloween decor. But Samhain, as well as being the turn of the year in a Celtic context, is also an ancestor feast, so overall our celebrations are more Day of the Dead than Day of Candy (though I somehow always buy far more than I can reasonably give away), and decor reflects that. Skulls and spiders, pumpkins and gravestones and other harvest things.

Last night was a delight; our street is full of youngsters and the oldsters get in the spirit, too - many of the parents taking their kids down the block were dressed up. If I hadn't forgotten to recharge my camera, I'd have some pix, but sadly, not this year. I dressed in my spider dress and tattered, flowy black cloak, and gave out candy from my book of spells (which is hollow and cackled maniacally when opened. kids love it, and I do too).

Being a Sunday, and very cold, things quietly down early this year. Not a single visitor past 8pm. So it was time for feasting (pork roast and spiced fruit, scalloped potatoes, mead and apple cider and pumpkin pies) and time spent with good company. For me, that's the real heart of this holiday, friends and family, and celebrating the present while we remember and honour the past. Both feasting table and ancestor shrine were alight, and this time of year poppies bedeck my lapel and shrine alike.

But its also about looking to the future, which begins with a long cold winter, being fearful but holding hope and knowing warmth and light lie beyond the dark and the cold. So for me it's also a time of reflection and resolution. No hard-line resolutions, though, just movement in good directions. I plan to carve out more time for quiet and calm, regain some spiritual focus. And to help nourish my spirit, do some of those creative projects that have been on the back burner for too, too long.

And write. Every day. I'm starting here, but this won't be my only outlet, and I'm taking it one day at a time. The year has turned, and is moving forward. And so should I.
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Date: 2010-09-27 12:32
Subject: BPAL GC Wants
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, swap, wants
- Hetairae
- Lolita
- Siren
- Spellbound

-Dragon’s Heart
-Dragon’s Reverie

-Sudha Segara
-Velvet !
-Has No Hanna



- Egle
- Godfather Death
- Thy Godfather’s Present
- Bensiabel
- The Miller’s Daughter
- The White Rider
- The Red Rider
- The Black Rider
- The Chicken-legged Hut
- The Witch’s Repast
- Fire for thy Stepmother’s Daughter
- The Death Horse
- The Grave Pig
- The Old Goblin

- Tweededee
- Brusque Violet
- How Doth the Little Crocodile
- ‘tis the Voice of the Lobster

- Ogygia
- Pais de la Canela
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Date: 2010-09-11 18:31
Subject: Remember
Security: Public
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Date: 2010-05-14 15:59
Subject: Book meme, doing the rounds....
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Tags:books, meme
book stuff hereCollapse )
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Date: 2010-04-18 02:21
Subject: Book List Meme
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Tags:books, meme
Another list of 'must reads' (a confusing list - isn't Hamlet included in the 'complete workes' of the bard?) These I've read and these I didn't finish for various reasons (but should) and the rest go onto my ongoing reading list. (Yeah, I love lists.)
Here's the list...Collapse )
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Date: 2010-04-14 19:05
Subject: Still brain dead...
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble
I really think I'm still recovering from the stale air in the dealer's room this past weekend. No creative juice at all and I can't seem to focus on any one project for more than an hour. So today I'm sorting and repacking jewellery (and getting my next show application sorted), which involves sewing new storage bags to keep all the sterling pretties shiny, doing laundry (sorely overdue) and sorting MTG cards (so I can sell some more and make them more accessible so we can actually, gasp! play with them sometime), spending a little bit of time out in the fresh air inspecting the garden, and dabbling in other household chores.

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Date: 2010-03-26 13:31
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match 7
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
Beanman & Beanwoman Prepare to Attack the Vagina
skin musk, white amber, ambergris, orange blossom, ylang ylang, coconut milk

(Yeah, this is one of those names.) This scent is gorgeous, and very well balanced - other than a faint spike upon opening (likely the yy) no one note overwhelms. I didn't think this would work on me - I'm always cautious about skin musk and white amber, and don't particularly like ylang ylang - but it is a soft and light creamy floral with great last and no plastiky drydown. (It's been a couple hours since first application, I think its safe to say that.)


Red bush tea, vanilla, white peach, golden amber, mandarin, lotus root & myrrh

Oh, this might have been my perfect spring scent. And I do really, really like it. Soft fruity tea with a faint herbal touch, richly rooted in myrrh. The vanilla is subtle and not particularly foody and there's a light touch at first from the lotus. But on drydown, there's an odd.. something. I'm pretty sure its the lotus. I've tried this several times, hoping ... well, just hoping. I think this might work in a locket and I will retest in a week or so incase its weird cycle-related body chem, but lotus often doesn't play nice with me. :(

Winner: The Bean spouses. Bottleworthy.
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Date: 2010-03-25 11:05
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match 6
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
Octopus and Abalone Diver
Ambergris accord, water lily, freesia, sea spray, molluscan seashell accord, and driftwood.

I'm generally not a fan of aquatics and this is no exception. There were hints of notes I liked in this (the ambergris accord?the wood?) but overall, no. Just no. It made me sneeze and I had to wash it off.


Autumn Moon of the Mirror Stand
Honey, quince, vanilla, white cognac, Spanish mandarin, and golden tobacco.

Starts off with tart pear (must be the quince, maybe the mandarin) drenched in vanilla-honied cream (cream?) and then the tobacco rustles its way to the front (definitely get the sense of dry leaves here). The booze note is light and not really very boozy at all. Wonderful throw, with swirls of tobacco to balance out the tart and the sweet.

Winner:: Autumn Moon, no contest. Looking forward to seeing how long this lasts...
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Date: 2010-03-25 10:37
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match 5
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Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
Lovers in a Carp Steamer
Cranberry, thyme, teakwood, mint, cedar, tobacco flower, and red currant.

Surprisingly fresh, with neither the cranberry nor thyme overwhelming (though fairly sharp in the imp) and just a hint of mint for coolness. The woods come up with a hint of spice as it dries and I'm finding it enticing; I keep sniffy my wrist with a fervour usually reserved for more foody scents.


Konseishin the Penis God

Apple blossom, champaca, fir needle, cistus, myrrh, Peru balsam, and Tan Xiang.

Harsh resin-sap in the imp, but fades down quickly. The apple is MIA; this is mostly fir and myrrh with a hint of balsam. It reminds me of Faunalia without the musk and while I quite like it, I think I need to do some side-by-side comparisons to decide if I need both.

Lovers in a Carp Steamer. This fades quickly but I love the woods on drydown.
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Date: 2010-03-24 16:48
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match - Intermission
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Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
oolong tea, lilac, sheer musk, crushed ginger, wisteria, delphinium, lavender

A rather watery floral, and quite strong, with lilac predominant at first and then wisteria getting sharp as it dries. Nary of touch of tea, or of ginger - very disappointing - and only hints of lavender. Ends up very soapy and too floral overall. I had to wash this one off (and my wrist still smells of soapy flowers).
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Date: 2010-03-22 16:52
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match 4
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
White sandalwood, rice flower, honey, black pepper, and oakmoss. 

Starts off with a blast of honey and a hint of a sharp, almost sour note which thankfully fades quickly. Not sure if I could pick out rice flower if you waved it under my nose, but I think the honey drowns it out in any case. The honey remains as the pepper kicks in; very nice. Good last, with a honied powdered (hello sandalwood!) finish. I quite like this.


Olive blossom, cardamom pod, amber, morning star lily, bergamot, and a well-aimed snowball.

I was worried about this one because of the lily, but it is very well behaved. This started off as a spicy floral with a hint of citrus - so light that if I hadn't been looking, I would have missed it - and then mellows into a sweet creamy floral with a woody amber base. There's a hint of coolness with that cream - which isn't really a cream note per se but rather a smooth quality to the scent. The more I smell this the more I like it.

WINNER:  Okayaki by a faint edge, and only because it is such a unique scent. Both have bottle potential.

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Date: 2010-03-18 11:33
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match 3
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Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
Prosperity of a Country
Frankincense, orris root, asuhi, leather, and ginger-infused cream accord.

A hint of frankincense over soft leather and powdery orris. Very light, and I slathered. Fades quickly. Nice, but I have other leather scents with better staying power and the ginger never showed up at all.


Pink Mood
Vanilla, star anise, cherry blossom, peony, violet leaf, and neroli.

Starts off peppery with a sharp edge of green, could be the violet leaf or the cherry blossom, which can be sharp. Then the pepper opens up into harsh black licorice - reminds me of how Dutch salty licorice tastes, but that sharp green note remains too. It later mellows out nicely and gets a bit of a creamy note (oh, hello vanilla) but nah, too uneven.

Winner: both knocked down to the minors
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Date: 2010-03-17 11:08
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match 2
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Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
Penis Admiration
Lilac, ho wood, smoky vanilla, galbanum, and tonka.

So many notes to like in here, and then there's the lilac. Which I enjoy in the wild and not so much in a perfume. Fortunately it gets smothered in cream as the vanilla warms up and hints of smoky wood drift by. Much softer and lighter now; this is a perfect example of a scent I would have written off without a wear test. Drydown is very soft, but a lovely blend of woods and vanilla.


Picture Book & Pleasure Toys
Pink rose, red musk, red sandalwood, oakmoss, vetiver, nectarine, black tea, ambrette, jasmine, and blackcurrant bud.

Wow! Scuffle in the toybox - a lot going on in here, starting with the vetiver and rose duking it out and the sandalwood cheering them on. The rose wins, but a hint of vetiver smoke remains. The red musk drifts in and out but decides not to stay. The sandalwood does its best smooth things over but the rose remains sharp and hisses at the jasmine (disappointing - they usually play well together on me). No sign of the tea at all. The final drydown is pleasant and powdery, with a lingering hint of rose, but not worth the confrontation up front.

Winner: Penis Admiration Quite a surprise, considering that first hit of LILAC. But I think that will soften with time and suspect this will age wonderfully. This wins it a spot on the 'possible' list.
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Date: 2010-03-16 16:34
Subject: Iron Shunga Death Match 1
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, decants, scent notes, shunga
There are FIFTEEN Shunga scents this spring. OMGS. There's only one way to winnow them down - IRON SHUNGA DEATH MATCH!!

Rice powder, osmanthus, rose geranium, magnolia, khus, and chestnut.

Rich and warm even in the imp, very nutty and almost sweet. The chestnut is definitely the major note and grows almost buttery (or maybe creamy - the rice powder?) over a touch of spice/incense - must be the khus or geranium. Quiet and a touch foody.


Kiss Among Discard Tissues
Blackberry, white gardenia, burnt mandarin rind, Indian musk, khus, and white musk.

This fades so quickly its hard to get a handle on it - sweet floral with a hint of fruit; the khus is very, very light, just a touch of earthiness. If it keeps fading I'm definitely going to have to try a second test to get a true read on it.

WINNER: Harimise. possibly bottle-worthy
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Date: 2010-01-19 12:23
Subject: So where's the snow?
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble
It seems so strange, to be so far into January, and to see mulched beds when I look out my office window, and not banks of snow. I was talking to my father this morning, and he says its been a very English winter - damp and cold and occasionally frosty with rimed trees, but little snow. So why did I have this urge to make porridge this morning, old fashioned steel cut, cook it on the stove top constantly stirring, porridge? I dunno, but it sure tasted fine, with nuts and dried fruit, accompanied by hot, strong tea.

Various household projects continue apace - I have nearly all our music (70 GBS) loaded to a EHD now, well everything except my anime soundtracks, but that's only 30 or so cds, so the end is very nearly in sight.
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Date: 2010-01-06 20:15
Subject: Wednesday's child is full of woe...
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Tags:daily ramble
Why, exactly? Because some day fortunes had to less than stellar? Or did they just want something to rhyme with go? Older versions of the song/poem had Friday as the bad luck day. Just something I was pondering as I headed off to the dentist this morning. The hygienist was a wee bit ungentle, but otherwise the checkup was unremarkable. Yah me.

It was a sunny, so even though temperatures didn't breach the positive, it was a nice day. I headed up to Greektown for avocados and olive oil and then took the streetcar from the subway since my foot was hurting and I nearly wiped out on Woodbine hill walking home yesterday. Now I'm waiting for the bread's final rise and looking forward to having a warm heel smeared with honey with my tea before bed.
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Date: 2010-01-03 20:49
Subject: In the spirit of a new year...
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble, music
... and all that jazz, I'm going to try very, very hard to post more regularly. Sometimes there'll be substance (one hopes). Sometimes not. We'll see.

Right now I am in the depths of a project I'd hoped to finish during my recent downtime - putting all my music (in its various formats) into iTunes. So I can find what I need when I need it, pay more attention to what I have, put together new play lists and listen to it more often. I have many heap loads of tunes and haven't been enjoying them. So time to review and edit. I'm presently at 43 gbs. I suspect I may actually have double that...
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Date: 2009-12-06 18:38
Subject: École Polytechnique Massacre
Security: Public
Tags:feminism, loss

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Date: 2009-11-11 11:22
Subject: Lest We Forget...
Security: Public
Tags:loss and service, remembrance
 Both my parents are veterans, and blessedly still living. I have grandparents I never met and those I barely remember, and among them, vets of the war to end all wars. It didn't, and people are still dying in service.




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Date: 2009-11-05 11:27
Subject: Waaah!
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes
 So I've been feeling poorly (and kinda grumpy as a result) and in an attempt to seek comfort (or at least some company in my misery), went into my stash of the precious and slathered Bah! (turkish coffee and whiskey and mocha, oh yum!) and it now its gone all plastiky on me.


Hopefully it's just a temporary body-chem change... but in the meantime, Waaaahhhh!
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Date: 2009-09-16 17:18
Subject: Snagged from Eumelosdrizzle...
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble, meme
Life Soundtrack, IPOD versionCollapse )

...and the iTunes version:Collapse )
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Date: 2009-07-16 15:40
Subject: Stolen meme....
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble, meme
...because I've been overwhelmingly busy and thought I'd ease back into this posting thing...

question memeCollapse )
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Date: 2009-06-06 18:53
Subject: BPAL lunacy & summer scents
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, lunacy, scent notes

SMOKEY MOON  Soft sandalwood, nicotiana, and velvety orris drifting over lustrous pale musks, stephanotis, elemi, and cyclamen.  Torn about this one... I love smoky scents, but pale musks often go soapy on my skin and the floral notes aren't among my favs.

THE FEAST FOR THE GREATLY REVERED ONES (live until Aug 8) Cacao mixed with ground maize, agave wine, and octli, mixed with herbs and spices native to central Mexico.  I really can't imagine how this smells but I've loved every Mexican-themed scent she's done, so I'll do this one on faith.

LABORES SOLIS  (live until Aug 8)  On July 22, we will be experiencing a total solar eclipse. This is the Labores Solis: the sun’s rays expressed through frankincense, amber, heliotrope, saffron, and chamomile, crossed with Luna’s Artemisias, manifesting in darkness. YES. Definitely yes. Resins, saffron and artemisia? Can't miss that, even if there is chamomile, too. 

NONAE CAPROTINA (live until Aug 8)  The scent is of goat's milk, ripe fig and a hint of sweet myrrh. Creamy fig and resin? I'm there even without the Juno associations.


SEASON OF THE INUNDATION (live until Aug 8)  Akhet: the advent of the rising of the Nile floods -- the heart of the fertility and prosperity of Egypt. As Sirius climbs the horizon, Hapi begins to collect the tears of Isis, causing the waters of the Nile to rise. As the flood ebbed, the waters left a rich, black silt that was integral to the fecundity of the land.

Sweet, black silt mingled with holy myrrh, melilot, hyssop, spikenard, balsam, cedar, and a hint of melting snow from the Abyssinian hills.  Tempting, fab concept. Prolly wait for reviews.

THE FESTIVAL OF ANUKET (live until Aug 8)  Anuket is the Embracer, a Goddess of Passion and of the waters of the Nile that caress the land and bring forth fruitfulness. She is the Nourisher of the Fields, the Giver of Life, and She Who Shoots Forth. A goddess of the hunt, archers, movement, and speed, she has the head of a gazelle, and sometimes wears a headdress of ostrich feathers. She is a protector of children at birth, and nursed many of the great pharaohs of Egypt. 

Shimmering offerings of gold scattered through life-giving, fertile waters. Not sure what this will smell like, but the imagery... wow. Gold metallic? Certainly bright, with maybe an aquatic note? Likely wait for reviews.


++ SUMMER GARDEN MINISERIES  (live until Sept 6)

LAWN GNOME  Benevolent groundskeepers, these carefree plaster and stone companions lighten the hearts of passers by. Red currant, molasses, vanilla cream, moss, and patchouli.  WANT!

PLASTIC PINK FLAMINGO  Vigilant day-glo guardians of lawn and patio, stalwart protectors of the home. Pink sugar-crusted marshmallow, dandelion, and sap. ROFL! Hard to resist marshmallow notes so presented. And I love dandelion.

SPINNING MULTICOLORED METALLIC PINWHEEL  Polycarbonate and metallic film monuments to domestic whimsy, whirling merrily in the summer breeze.  Raspberry, lime, blueberry, tangerine, lemon, juniper, and white grape.  Hmm... love raspberry, but the rest... too fruity? Too acidic? Likely wait for reviews,

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Date: 2009-05-26 12:57
Subject: Busy month of May...
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble
So, I've been eaten by my garden. Which is only fair, considering my intent should my veggies be fruitful. This is the first summer in a couple of years when I haven't have back issues curtailing me, so I started off slow but this last fortnight I've been getting busy. I've cut turf and turned beds (with the help of friends, thanks!) and moved stones and pavers, done all sorts of groundwork: the peat and bone meal and compost was flying about, let me tell you. There is also now something that suspiciously resembles a stargate or rings platform in the middle of my garden; completely unintended initally - oh, fruitful subconscious, the tricks you like to play!

I did my baskets (now hanging merrily off the garage, filled with bacopa and petunias and verbena and sweetpea) and pots (oh the nasterums and coleus and geraniums and lobelia and licorice and a few patio tomatoes).

As for veggies, the cucs and zuccs and peppers and eggplants are in the ground. The heirloom tomatoes are waiting patiently - I did 6-7 hours yesterday and today I'm forcing myself to take it easy; it's also really windy - hopefully it will calm down later. I did get all the soaker hose down in the back; that wind didn't help. I have new stonecress for the rock border, too.

And then there's the front beds. Various sedum groundcovers and ivy await!
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Date: 2009-05-26 12:18
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, bptp, scent notes
Le Mat arrived today; this is a set of three scents, designed to be worn separately or in combination. I'll be using this entry to keep track of my wear tests.

Le MatCollapse )

Red currant, Moroccan musk, sage, and frankincense.
    Sweet, dried berry musk, with drifting wisps of frankincense. The musk is rich, but light, and as it dries develops a woody undertone - must be a very understated sage.

Golden pear, amber, fig leaf, oakmoss, bronze musk, mahogany, patchouli, and a smattering of glittering pyrite.
    Pear and fig leap out of the bottle, which is fine since I love both notes. There's also a metallic brightness that's a little harsh at first but quiets down. I can hardly pick out the patchouli at all  - a bit of spicy wood on drydown and then the warm amber swells up. The final blend is subtle, woody resin with hints of ripe pear and warm figs.

Black currant, rhubarb, mushroom, champaca, and myrrh.
I can really smell mushrooms, which sounds odd but its actually quite nice. Rhubarb foiliage, and not the tart stalks I was expecting. The champaca and myrrh have a bit of a spat but soon reach detante and only on dry down dose the black currant show up and its carrying a switchblade - there's an edge to this berry. But overall there's almost no throw and I find I keep smelling my wrist, so somehow it's all working. This is going to age very, very well.

Enough for now; I'll see how well everything lasts, and then give the combos a try. But wearing all three at once (if not actually blended together) is very promising.

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Date: 2009-05-08 11:02
Subject: BPAL! wonderfulness
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, bptp, lunacy, scent notes
Wild strawberries, strawberry flower, vanilla-infused sugar, early summer grasses, and milky dandelion sap.

Bright summer flowers, fresh herbs, and a bit of citrus rind dampened by the scent of morning mist and rain.

LITHA 2009
Golden honey, moss, honeysuckle, chamomile, parsley, white gardenia, frankincense, carnation, vervain, gum arabic, yarrow, liquid copal.


A summer bonfire, with frankincense and myrrh, bay rum, and white rose.

(Forum exclusive)
Jasmine, vanilla, cedar, moss, marigold, purple verbena, candied tamarind, lime rind, margaritas, Dorian, Snake Oil, mal de ojo.

Hmmm... this all sound lovely, fruiyt and herby and light, but... will the moon be too sweet? June Gloom is a resurrection and I've had a sniffy of it, but do I like it enough for a full bottle? Litha I have a bottle from '06, but being a delicate scent, is what I have still true and did I like it that much anyway? I'm most tempted by St. John's Eve, though the rum is a wee bit worrying, will it overpower the rest (and how many frankincense and myrrh scents does a resin girl need anyways?) And the forum scent... there's my beloved jasmine heading the herbed parade, and marigold!! but the citrus? Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

The Warrior Queens, on the other hand, I want them ALL. (I think I've finally come to the realization that I like berries, the darker the better, but not necessary fruits, especially not the citrus. Fig, pomegranate, I'm all over. Lime and exotic fruits, not so much.)

HER PERFUME: Amber, fig, vanilla flower, oak, patchouli, vetiver, dragon’s blood resin, leather, and neroli.
HER BATH: Fig, neroli, amber, vanilla, patchouli, pine needle, and vetiver.

HER PERFUME: Pink musk, white ginger, tea leaf, night blooming jasmine, bergamot, and leather.
HER BATH: White ginger, tea leaf, night blooming jasmine, neroli, rose, and lotus root.

HER PERFUME: Sakura, white orchid, mandarin, bamboo, red sandalwood, plum blossom, and lilac.
HER BATH: Sakura, plum wine, and rice flower.


HER PERFUME: Red musk, pomegranate, orange blossom, and melon.
HER BATH: Red musk, pomegranate, red cherry, myrrh, and blood orange.


HER PERFUME: Red currant, golden amber, blackberry, honey, and pink pepper.
HER BATH: Red currant and honey.

HER PERFUME: Red carnation, red roses, Spanish cedar, velvet musk, pomegranate, clove, and incense.
HER BATH: Frankincense, benzoin, carnation, and balsam of Peru.


HER PERFUME: Orris, clove, costus storax, patchouli, hyssop, frankincense, balsam, and saffron.
HER BATH: Orris, amber, balsam, calamus, and frankincense.
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Date: 2009-05-01 02:41
Subject: "What potent blood hath modest May."
Security: Public
Tags:daily ramble
Very rainy today; the garden will have to wait until it dries out a little. I still have a patch to turn and de-turf, but the beans and peas have been in for a couple weeks now.

It's been a very busy week, full of worries and reliefs. Encouraging news about my brother and uncle, on the medical front. Spent a lovely day on Wednesday with my parents, which included a walk through an old beech grove by the river - daffodils and cowslips and trilliums just starting to bloom.

Happy May Day everyone!
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Date: 2009-04-01 19:02
Subject: April Fool Salons
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, notes, salons
Dust, tumbleweeds, cedar, and tobacco.

Rum-soaked cotton candy, boot-stomped licorice whips and circus peanuts, scorched marshmallows, a dribble of corn whiskey, cigar smoke, and greasepaint.

Wasabi, pu-erh and Touareg teas, green cedar, myrrh, white sage, khus, frankincense, and coriander.
   Oh so tempted... but the white sage is an iffy note for me. EDIT Hmm.. Engine 93 has white sage, too. And I love that. I think this is worth a try.

Smooth wood, sweet pipe smoke, tonka, and Irish coffee.

Skin musk and flowering sugar cane.

Dark musk, star anise, agarwood, styrax, vetiver, gaiacwood, King mandarin, violet leaf, and black vanilla.

Pink rock candy, strawberry cream, and splashes of gin, vermouth, and grenadine.

Spiced Satsuma orange, tangerine, rich amber, black licorice, teak, cinnamon, and vetiver.
  Here kitty, kitty!

Gold-washed frangipani, vanilla flower, vanilla bean, coconut, hibiscus, papaya, pineapple, bouganvilla, passion fruit, and three orchids.

Spun sugar, sparkling rainbow candies, strawberries, merangue, and cherry fluff.

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Date: 2009-03-16 11:35
Subject: Lost Generation
Security: Public
Watch it all...

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Date: 2009-03-10 14:42
Subject: More BPAL...
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, lunacy, notes
Flower Moon embodies the unrestrained bliss, energy and color of the season: a bouquet of vivid, sexy blooms, coated in thick, golden honey... wisteria, swamp jasmine, honeysuckle, daffodil, rhododendron, phlox, and a mix of California wildflowers.
    This sounds lovely, but I always worry about the honey note and I'm really not a floral girl...

And some new GCs:

      :no real note description, just the poetic inspiration, but it sounds like apples and smoke/ashes. Intriguing, but I have harvest scents of cidery bonfires that I think I'll prefer.


The Tree of Poisons. Every aspect of this tree is toxic, from the narcotic, lethal fumes that it emits, to its oozing, poisonous sap. 

A deceptively tranquil scent: heady fruits, dry bark, and deep green leaves, enveloped by a dark and sinister murk.
    This sounds promising - definitely want to try it out.

Honey-sweet and soporific.
    Oh, there's the honey again. With the added promise of 'will the lotus turn to bubble gum?'  Good thing I can get an imp of this to test, first.


Whiffs of cinnamon bark, almond, and spikenard surround a perfect fruit, whose scent is akin to a tamarind, with the grace of a fine grape, as warm and rich as a fresh fig, glistening red like pomegranate seeds, and as crisp as an apple.
    Yes. I'm a very good evil girl. Want this.


 Barbed, sanguinary greenery, fleshy and sharp. 

    People eating tree. Hmmm... I do like bloody scents, but will that sharp note be herbal or metallic? One to test.


A massive tree that held, in its lowest boughs, a nest of bare-breasted men and women. The souls sprawled within the Zieba Tree’s branches were trapped in reverie, lost for all eternity in their fantasies.

A dreamlike, listless scent, misty and hazed, with wisps of white sandalwood, eddying musks the colors of eventide, shimmering pale resins, davana, lemon blossom, orange blossom, and white peach.
 Loving the concept of this, but will it be too lemony for me? And white sandalwood? Pale resins - white amber, maybe?


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Date: 2009-03-02 10:52
Subject: BPAL More temptation...
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, notes
A mixture of Italian greenery, gleaming metal, and classical Roman cologne: rosemary, bergamot, lemon rind and vervain with costus, balsam, benzoin, gray amber, dittany, white narcissus and iris.

Bards of Ireland
Where wealth accumulates and men decay. A scent of opulence, luxury, depredation, and dissolusion: velvety orris root and glittering bergamot, ambergris, red currant, honey, and neroli, with red oakmoss, patchouli, labdanum, and black musk.

Red roses, blood-flecked lilies, upturned earth, yew branches, and blood mingled with river sand.

Unutterable grief expressed through the scent of balsam, frankincense, blackberry leaf, oud, white rose, driftwood, zdravetz, and bitter clove, beneath the cold waters of the River Corrib.

Peat and rolling grass-covered hills, with wine-dappled heather, white clover, cloudberry, juniper berry, bluebell, dandelion, and cross-leaved heath.
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Date: 2009-01-10 14:12
Subject: bpal OMGS!! Ode to Aphrodite (and Eros)
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, lupercalia
Divine, shining.
White amber, coconut, white musk, oakmoss, and tobacco flower.
    This one comes across as remarkably aquatic on me; it must be the white amber and white musk. Overall it's light and vaguely floral and I can't really pick up the coconut at all; definitely a 'white' scent. LATER: there's a lovely spicy resin in the drydown - I suspect I will like this one better when it has some age on it.

She who turns to love.
Florentine iris, frankincense, violet, ylang ylang, amber, and orchid.
     A strong floral - violet with sharp hits of iris until the orchid comes out front and center. The ylang ylang jumps around a bit waving for attention, then subsides. The resins are soft; again, I suspect I'll like this better later on.

Richly crowned.
Antiqued amber, frankincense, pomegranate, myrrh, rose absolute, and bois de rose.

Vanilla amber and orange blossom.
   OMGS. Definitely need a back up of this.

Deviser, contriver.
Black plum, burgundy wine, sandalwood, and champaca.

The dark, of night.
Teak, frankincense, caramel, oakmoss, red currant, labdanum absolute, bitter clove, patchouli, star anise, tobacco, and black musk.
   Oh, how do I love thee? There isn't a single thing in here I don't adore. I even like the tobacco note! Want more!

Of shapely form.
Jasmine, honey, labdanum, rosehip, ambrette seed, delphinium, and white ginger.
   Very sweet floral overall, but jasmine directing the rest; even the rosehip can't stand up to her and the ginger and del are faint end traces on drydown. I like it, but Feu Follet remains my fav jasmine scent.

Laughter loving.
Peach wine, carnation, lemon peel, osmanthus, blood orange, wood violet, and tuberose.

Of the sea.
Bergamot and French lavender.
     Lovely, but you REALLY have to LOVE lavender!! Fortunately, I do.

Mother of Desire.
Rose absolute, caramel, ripe red berries, pink pepper, Balsam of Peru, cognac, and benzoin.
    Beautiful. Back up bottle ordered!!

Lily of the valley, tea rose, orris, ambergris, and plumeria.

Ally in love.
Vanilla, heliotrope, red sandalwood, pear, black lily, white wine grape, and white rose.
   Understated and lovely, and that pear note lingers until the sandalwood (I do believe red is my favourite) starts with the woody powder action.  Am sorely tempted to get a backup, especially since J likes it too.

Ambergris, pale musk, peru balsam, golden amber, cedar, lavender, spikenard, narcissus, vanilla caramel, white sandalwood, and woodmoss.
   Lavender comes roaring out of the bottle, so much so that for a moment I thought I'd put on Pontia by mistake. It calms down into a herbal musk with hits of spice - and pale and powdery, likely the white sandalwood at work. I'm really finding I need to watch that note, but the drydown here is very appealing.

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Date: 2009-01-09 19:39
Subject: 'cause all the cool kids are doin' it
Security: Public

Your Word is "Fearless"

You see life as your one chance to experience everything, and you just go for it!

You believe the biggest risk is being afraid and missing out on something amazing.

Sometimes your fearlessness means you're daring. You enjoy risky activities.

And sometimes your fearlessness means you're courageous. You're brave enough to do the right thing, even when it's scary.

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my journal
April 2012