Thursday, December 21, 2006

It is extremely hot

It is 37+ Celsius or nearly 100 Fahrenheit. The sky is WHITE, no not with snow clouds (though those are grey as I recall) but with smoke. Bushfires in the north east of the state have been burning furiously for over a week and the air is thick with their brimstonian waftings. Okay that sounds both hifalutin and inaccurate as brimstone is sulpher which isn't quite the same as thousands of hectares of burnt gum tree fumes but the whole experience is so oppressive that I'm falling into hyperbole. Venturing outside I can feel the smoke in my lungs and my eyes watering. There is no visibility from behind the house across the street, just whiteness.

Today I have lavishly applied ElizabethW's Sweet Tea. This is often described as being "just like ice tea, with sugar". Ice Tea is the sole remaining food item I miss from the mother country. Sure I can make it myself but I miss being able to buy it when out and drinking vast quantities of it over a sandwich. If I lived in the land of Ice Tea I would say goodbye to Diet Coke forever. Of course even though I knew it was going to be oppressive today I have not made any Ice Tea as that would require finding ice cube trays, waiting for tea to cool from boiling point and on and on. I don't do instant as I like it unsweetened and regardless instant tea does not exist in this country. Anyway, onto the perfume..

ElizabethW is an inexpensive line of perfumes from San Francisco. Sweet Tea is delicate with a lemony squeeze that avoids all the bad things I could say about lemon and fragrance. There is no citrus element. It does smell like tea in a simple and refreshing way and the sweetness distinguishes it from other tea fragrances. It is not a plant scent so much as a gourmand scent. In this weather I do not want complicated. I do not want to have to think. I just want to sit and sip and wait for the cool change to come blowing through. Sweet Tea accomplishes this very well.

"Gracious, spirited, elegant. Enticing oriental black teas, juicy fresh Amalfi lemons, and the sweetness of almond honey."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Robert Piguet's Fracas

One of the strangest things I've experienced with the perfume journey is the disturbing idea that I know myself far less than I think. Had I been assigned in school to make a list of the 10 perfumes that most describe "me" it would have included many fragrances which I find truly unwearable. Certainly that brooding introspective artiste, Black Cashmere, would have topped the list but though I've tried to wear it numerous times I find I simply do not like it. Appreciate it, yes; I cannot fault it and consider it near perfect. But wearing it makes me depressed. That's really all there is to say about it.

Of course being surprised by what I don't like isn't much fun. Far more exciting to be surprised by totally unexpected loves, yet these are equally disturbing because again I question how well I know my own tastes.

"It's VERY strong.."

"An intense tuberose"

"sexy, bombshell blonde"

So obviously not me, the Introvert. And yet I am absolutely in love with Fracas. Every morning I want her, I look forward to applying her, I can't bear to think about all the samples and decants I am supposed to be testing because every moment spent with them is a moment away from her.

She is creamy and dramatic. Her drydown is beautiful, not just the basenotes but a confection of all she has to offer and the time spent getting there. Sometimes she is as sweet as frosting and other times there is a guarded quality to her as though it is not yet her time to bloom. In the heat--oh my. How a perfume manages to capture the soft and waxy feel of thick white petals I don't know but that is what Fracas does.

Of course I understand perfectly why many hate her. I am that person myself, one the anti-Fracas crowd who finds her vulgar and appallingly loud.. or so I thought. Such a wonderful surprise to be wrong.

Robert Piguet's Fracas was created in 1948.

Top notes: bergamot, orange blossom, leafy green essence, peach blossom, pink geranium

Heart notes: tuberose, jasmine, lily of the valley, white iris, carnation

Base notes: sandalwood, musk oakmoss, vetiver, cedar