Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back in Business, sort of

Don't forget to enter the drawing for a sample of Krizia's "Teatro Alla Scala" which ends at midnight, Monday Jan 18th, US Eastern Time!

Thanks to all of you who sent me “get well soon” wishes! I’ve made some wonderful new friends here.

I can now type, but only in short bursts so...hello, random!

Has anyone seen the new show “Men of a Certain Age?” It’s on TNT, on Monday night. Remember Andre Braugher, Lt. Pemberton from “Homicide: Life on the Street?” He plays the oldest of three pals, all well over 40, all facing the diminishing returns of middle age. The other two are Ray Romano (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and Scott Bakula (“Boston Legal” and a hundred other things).

Men have gotten a bad rap about a lot of things in the last 40 years or so. Enough preaching. Watch the show. It’s beautifully written and painfully real.

More TV news (can you tell what I’ve been doing while immobilized?) Anthony Bourdain is back with another season of “No Reservations.” I had serious reservations about last season. If last night’s show on Panama is any indication, welcome back Tony!

Alright already, perfume. I finally got around to trying Le Labo’s “Patchouli 24,” with a new method of sampling: take the whole vial, empty into hand, apply to neck, wrists and chest and wear all day. Take occasional notes. Here they are:

“Patchouli 24 by Le Labo It’s true! Smoke and leather and a little, tiny bit of patch. Put on around 10:25 am, about 1 1/2 mls. 2:45 pm - smokiness only. 5:30 pm - ash. (How do they do that?) Ends with smoke and a little vanilla. I’d love this on a man. A real good fragrance, for a guy.”

Which is another way of saying not everything is for everybody.

Interesting how my blog hit counter breaks down Olfactarama readership by operating system, and around 50% of you use a MAC, which is much higher than the general population. When I first made the switch to MAC, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t have time for geekery. I just needed to get stuff done.

Now, having read and implemented the content of “Mac OS X Snow Leopard -- The Missing Manual” I can say that I had no idea what I was doing. This is a fab-u-lous operating system. And, believe it or not, some of us still need a book to help us fully utilize its capabilities. This one is by New York Times computer columnist David Pogue, and the ISBN is ISBN-13: 978-0-596-15328-1.

OMG! Is this beginning to sound like advertising! It is! But let me assure you: no media company is paying me and no perfume or publishing company is sending me any freebies! This silly issue has apparently raised its ugly head, again.

Here’s the scoop: so far, only one small and one very small perfume company have sent me so much as a 1 ml. vial of anything. We bloggers still get our product the old-fashioned way. We send it to our friends. Then they send things to us. If all else fails, we pay for our itsy-bitsy samples, just like everybody else...

I mean, have you tried to get a free sample out of any SA lately? I hear they still give them out in New York. But here? No way.

The world of schwag is much smaller now. When I worked in music all those years ago, I needed a moving crew to carry it all out to the car. Now? Fuggetaboutit. The bean-counters, the ink still drying on their MBA’s, have figured out yet another way to Keep Tabs.

Mmmmm....My Sin. I got some of the real perfume the other day. Wore it all day. What is in this stuff! It’s a dark aldehydic floral, mixed so well it resists deconstruction, other than to whisper “Lush” and “This is what Joan Holloway on Mad Men would wear” and “Why in the world did Lanvin ever discontinue this?!”

And...on a final note...speaking of Joan Holloway, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a man, any, um, straight man, with whom I’ve ever discussed “Mad Men,” who didn’t say in some way or another that he’d really like to, well, you know, know her.

And still the twenty-somethings continue to starve themselves.


Photo copyright ArieLiona, used under license from

"Men of a Certain Age" is on TNT (basic cable) at 10 pm on Monday night (on the US East Coast, anyway).

"No Reservations" starring Anthony Bourdain is on The Travel Channel (basic cable) at 9 pm on Monday night, also East Coast time.

No freebies were accepted for the writing of this post.

Notes for Le Labo's Patchouli 24 EDP, concocted by Annick Menardo, include birch, styrax, patchouli and vanilla.


chayaruchama said...

Well, darlin', I'm glad you are feeling a bit better !

Re: Patch 24.
I really adore it, but realize it's NOT one I could 'wear to work', LOL.

For dirty ashtrays, Miss Balmain is a real go-to, for me; just the loveliest, floral dirty ashtray ever.;-)

My Sin ?
Ask Donna H ., or BG, LOL.
Watch their eyes roll back !
I don't know why Lanvin stopped, I truly don't; women became self-conscious ?
PC-ism, before its time ?

Today, Gaia reflects on another must-try, Sortilege de Le Galion.
That's all I'm saying.;-)

Care sweetly for yerself !

The Left Coast Nose said...

"Men of a Certain Age"-- hell yes!! How long have I been waiting for this show? (Even more so, how long has my husband? He just sits and watches it with the sweetest sad look on his face, like this is something he's been longing for his whole life...) Men sitting around being HONEST about their FEELINGS!!! With EACH OTHER!! AAAuaahhhh!

No common ground on the sniffs today, but anything Ms. Joan Holloway might have been wearing is something I'll have to get to.

Glad to see you're back at the keyboard where you belong.

Olfacta said...

Hi C! Thank you! I adore Miss Balmain. Actually today would be a good day for it...

olfacta said...

Hi R --

So very perceptive of you. I looked over at mine Monday night while we were watching the show and same the exact same look, of involvement, but also relief.

Bloody Frida said...

hello! I'm new and just started reading your blog, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it...and I'm glad you're feeling better. Now, how do I enter the contest!?

ScentScelf said...

Hey, I had flagged that show as a "find it/try it" based on previews I saw in December...and I missed it...but had just said to someone else I'm going to try to Hulu and catch up. I'm not a big one for television, but not because I am anti. Just don't bother unless it grabs me...or I fall prey to a story arc. ;)

Was also hoping to catch with spouse, as you and LCN did.

Meanwhile, mmmm, My Sin vintage...those older Lanvins. Something about them makes them entry points to the kind of something I wouldn't ordinarily be inclined to. Like, aldehydes and Arpege. And, while I'm not a bottle freak, I do like those...

Olfacta said...

Hello Bloody Frieda -- You already have. All one has to do is leave a comment. Oops! I forgot to mention that. Must have been all the pain stuff. Anyway, thank for your nice comment, and welcome!

Olfacta said...

Hi S -- Definitely watch the show, with spouse if possible. Our Monday nights are reserved for it now.

Good to hear from you!

Bloody Frida said...

thank you!!!

Guess what came in the mail today - Miss Balmain. And oh no!!! It's "perfumey" to me (as I wrote to the Left Coast Nose, I do think that scents I do not like contain aldehydes and/or galbanum). I SOO wanted to like it. I'm still gonna give it another real test, plus I know someone in my childhood used to wear it, I just have to figure out who it was. Oh and since TAS has aldehydes, perhaps I should take myself out of the contest.

"Men of a Certain Age" is great - who'd thunk this show would actually produce a crush on Ray Romano for me?

Mals86 said...

I've been a-digging in the rich archaeological ground of vintages for some months, but haven't gone looking for My Sin... it sort of scares me. Dark is difficult for me - about the only Dark thing I wear is Magie Noir (witchy beautiful thing it is, it totally eats my head).

But I wear vtg versions of Jolie Madame, Je Reviens, Sortilege, Arpege, No. 5, and L'aimant at least as often as I wear, say, Serge Lutens, if not more often.

Glad you're better.

Rappleyea said...

Oh boy, you're back and in fine style! YEA!!! But a WHOLE vial of Patch 24???? Wow! You're brave. I've noticed that the more of it that you put on, the smokier it gets. And big thanks for the Missing Manual rec. I'll go order that now.

I can't tell you how young I was when I wore My Sin. Really young, like junior high. I was attracted to all sorts of things (Je Reviens, Bal a Versailles, etc.) that 40 years later, I come on line and am told that they were "skanky". Who knew??

The Left Coast Nose said...

@ Bloody Frida "...crush on Ray Romano"... Right!?!?!? After all the passive-aggressive whingeing on "Everybody Loves Raymond" did not think that was possible.

You know, he is weird on the show, and everyone, including himself, calls him out on being weird, and he seems just about as EXACTLY as weird as just about everyone I know. So are we finally starting to get at some truth here?

Olfacta said...

Hi everybody!

M -- The scarier the better, I always say. Of course, I do work alone...although I wore My Sin to an art opening recently and got some nice compliments. Been thinking about ordering some Magie Noire, but haven't done it yet.

Olfacta said...

Hi R -- Believe it or not, I never watched "Everybody Loves Raymond." Not even once. I sound like a TV junkie with all the MM and so on but, in reality, hardly ever watch the thing. Just my shows. Like my grandmother used to say, "my stories." (Insert horrified gasp here -- I've just realized that MM and the new one are serial dramas, aka "soaps." Good ones, but soaps.

Lorelie said...

Bloody Frida, if Miss Balmain becomes a rude and unwelcome guest, I wouldn't mind straightening her out:) for you. I also adore her; I've never sniffed vtg.
Olfacta, it's interesting about the Mac-I was very wary at first-had a Toshiba laptop since 94-yes, so true-but iMac is awesome and I know I'm not using it to its full potential. Huge, oops, meant Hugh Hefner hmmmmaybe that wasn't an oops, uses the iMac for his layouts...saw that on E! which I don't watch anymore. I'll check out Men of a Certain Age on Hulu, too.

Bloody Frida said...

Lorelie - I already gave my sample away - I'm sorry!

Scent Hive said...

Nordstroms and the beloved Perfume House are still generous with the samples here, so I feel really fortunate on that front :-)


PS: Off to DVR that show!

weegee said...

As a survivor of the days when reggae concerts in Santa Fe would prompt the descent from Taos of many, many VW vans carrying well-weeded hippies who lived in tents and preferred dabbing patchouli oil to bathing, I can only "do" patchouli when it's buried in the mix, acting as a catalyst for the alchemical transformations it so often sparks in otherwise ordinary ingredients. So, as a first time reader here I am IN TOTAL AWE of your sampling technique of pouring on the whole d*mn vial! I have resolved as of this moment that I,too, shall sample in this manner from now on, 2ml vials max though as I'm not all THAT brave!!

Someone mentioned an oldie that I'd considered my own well-kept secret, but since I've finally obtained my lifetime supply I don't mind sharing my enthusiasm for Le Galion's Sortilege. Deep, rich, complex, syrupy-chypric-floral (a contradiction, I know!!) and well worth searching for.

I just swapped away my bottle of Teatro without thinking to keep a little vial for old time's sake, so count me in, please!

Liisa Wennervirta said...

I must say that I love smoky stuff. And dark, too, but definitely not dark in the sense of film noir or that headless lady from the old Magie Noire advert, that makes me cringe. I could be counted to the twenty-somethings (twenty-eleven, to be exact) who starve and pour handfuls of Dzongkha over themselves. Just different worldview and tastes in smoke.

hotlanta linda said...

My Sin : Do you love patch-plus-orangeblossom over sandalwood w/ vertiver? It`s the first pairing that blows your senses away into darker thoughts!