Diary of a Mad Perfume Blogger

Saturday, January 14th: I manage to drag my father into a Lush store. This is significant because my father cannot smell. He lost his sense of smell after breaking his nose in a car crash before I was born. As a result, all perfumes smell the same to him, and he considers my perfume habit a bit frivolous and silly. He would ordinarily never accompany me into a perfume store, but I’m banking on Lush’s quirky image to persuade him. My father is an oddball. A terribly lovable oddball, of course, but he likes the weirdest things. He is currently trying to teach himself how to play the ukelele.

The Lush saleswoman very generously offers to demonstrate a bath bomb for us. She detonates a sparkly purple one named Phoenix Rising, which immediately begins merrily whizzing around the bowl. My father is tickled. Not surprising, considering that he is essentially a mad scientist. Okay, okay, “inventor”. He creates devices that detect breast cancer. I once had to help him radiate earthworms for one of his experiments. He goes home with a bath bomb and some wasabi-flavored Toothy Tabs. Victory!

The Lush saleswoman also compliments me on my new haircut. I have not in fact, gotten a haircut, but I go with it because nobody ever compliments me on my short hair (which makes me look vaguely like Snape).

SOTD: Lush Vanillary, a delicious caramelized vanilla, which I spray on while my father browses the bath bombs. Vanillary is even weirder than Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille- where UBV uses woods, a natural accompaniment to vanilla, Vanillary incorporates a dissonant jasmine note.

Sunday, January 15th: My boyfriend Drew is home from Iowa today! We have a delicious dinner with my family at Benihana’s. Like the hibachi fiend I am, I eat every damn grain of fried rice and find myself carrying a food baby by the end of the meal. I decide to name the food baby Jessamina, after my Italian great-aunt. My father (remember the part where I told you he was an oddball?) enthusiastically invites Drew to go snowboarding with him tomorrow. Sadly, we have to get back to Baltimore.

SOTD: Cartier Baiser Vole, the only perfume that I remembered to bring in my purse. Unfortunately, the lovely lily fragrance wilts in the face of the hibachi grill.

Monday, January 16th: It’s MLK day! I decide to watch an Uhura-centric Star Trek episode to honor Dr. King, who famously convinced Nichelle Nichols not to quit the show. Nichelle had gotten fed up with William Shatner’s demands for more and more lines and screen time (Oh, Bill, you absolute cad), so she had handed in her letter of resignation the night that she met Dr. King. As he shook her hand, Dr. King told her that he was a huge Star Trek fan, that it was the only show that he allowed his children to watch.

Upon hearing that she was planning to quit, he gave the kind of speech that only MLK could: “[Your role as Uhura] validates what we are marching for, because three hundred years from today, there we are! And there you are! In all our glory and all your glory! And you CANNOT leave!” The next day, Nichelle Nichols marched into Gene Rodenberry’s office and asked him to rip up her letter of resignation. (I’m not going to lie: I tear up every time I hear that story!)

SOTD: Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Mokha. I haven’t yet figured out how to use my housemate’s fancy new coffee maker, so I figure that a coffee scent is the next best thing.

Tuesday, January 17th: Great success! I have figured out how to use the fancy new coffee maker. The rest of my morning is less triumphant. Zelda has decided that she is no longer afraid of water. While I am very happy for her, this makes my bath time somewhat less peaceful than it used to be. Normally my morning bath is when I catch up on my favorite perfume blogs, but today’s bath mostly consists of trying to fend off an unreasonably vicious kitteh. Why is my cat so scary, you guys? I am almost positive that she is not supposed to be biting me this much. I am thinking of having a DNA test done on her. We know that she is half Siamese, but I suspect that the other half is jaguar or cheetah.

Later, Zelda, Drew and I catch up on Top Chef. The other chefs are being mean to my favorite contestant, Beverly. I pray that they will be struck with karmic retribution in the form of undercooked risottos and overcooked fish dishes. When the show ends, I get started on my class reading for tomorrow: Sophocles’ The Theban Plays. These include the story of Oedipus and his daughters. They are kind of super depressing. Spoiler alert: EVERYONE HANGS THEMSELVES. Because my study methods involve creating crudely-drawn, deeply unfunny comics about the material, I present to you: Oedipus Comics!

SOTD: Escada Rockin’ Rio. I needed something mindless and cheerful after all of that everyone hanging themselves business.

33 thoughts on “Diary of a Mad Perfume Blogger

  1. I’ve never been to a Lush store (meep). There is one in Austin and I don’t even know how long it’s been here! My plan is to go in the next month or so. I got a Lush soap for Christmas from my future-sister-in-law and I really like it.

    Also, your post is making me crave hibachi.

    1. Lush is SO FUN, dude. The products are excellent, handmade and vegan, the employees are extremely well-trained and helpful, and everything smells great. About half of my beauty routine involves Lush products now (I even use their solid shampoos and toothpaste!)

    1. Thank you so much, Sujaan! After many frustrating years of ADHD, I am so glad to have finally found a study strategy that works for me. I just wish that I wasn’t such a terrible artist!

      1. Oh, I think your artwork is fantastic! If it were drawn to perfection it would not be nearly as interesting or entertaining…or memorable. 🙂

        1. What a terribly sweet thing to say, thank you! My brother is the artist in the family… and the mathematician, and the looker….

  2. Haha, love your diary posts! I am lying in bed in the dark reading this, nursing a food baby of my own. I went out for a 3 course lunch at the local tertiary college cooked by the catering students. You get gourmet food for less than the price of a McDonald’s chicken wrap menu in Switzerland.

    I love the thought of your father’s unusual but important work – he is exactly the sort of “industrial respondent” I might come across in my own job. : – )

    And I am a bit worried about Zelda. It is my friend Clare you need to you speak to really, because she has just been on Safari, but there could be something in this half Jaguar or whatever theory. Or at the very least, a Maine coon with behavioural problems. Charlie Bonkers only bites if she thinks you are trying to stick your finger down her throat to administer a pill, but sometimes not even then.

    1. Thank you, Vanessa! Jessamina is mostly gone now, but I have no doubt that she would quickly return in the face of that yummy-sounding 3 course lunch.

      I am a little concerned about Zelda’s biting, too. She has been vaccinated against everything, so rabies isn’t an issue, but… I really have no idea how to get her to stop. I’ve tried yelling “no!”, ignoring her, even spraying her in the face, but nothing has worked.

      1. Fortunately, for me, none of the cats I sit are biters, but have read a vet’s advice that the best way to deal with this problem is to push whatever part of your anatomy she is biting firmly back at her (ie lean into the bite). Although this feels counterintuitive and downright painful, it apparently startles and discourages the beasties because they are not used to the “prey” they love to toy with fighting back rather than pulling away (which just makes it a game). The article went on to say that failing that you may be looking at Prozac.

        1. Ummm, I really hope the first tip works, because I am a little frightened by the idea of kitteh Prozac! I don’t think she’s depressed, just overly playful and doesn’t realize that she’s hurting me.

      1. They’re all so fun! They’re my favorite thing to demo. I get really excited! Mainly because I tried to wash my hair w/ my dad’s bar soap when I was little…didn’t work too well…oh…that’s cause it was LAVA, and I ended up w/ pumice in my hair.

        Al uses Soak and Float – or as I like to call it “beef jerky campfire”.

  3. Love the Mad diary! Love also the MLK story. I learned just the other week somewhat to my suprise from a newspaper article that our Swedish King at the time was a big fan of Dr King. There was a foto from when the king had Dr King and Harry Belafonte over for dinner and apparantly made a private donation to mr Belafonte to use for the legal defence of arrested members of the Black Panthers…Sadly I have to say that our present King doesn’t have the intellectual stature of his grandfather, sometimes to the embaresment of his loyal subjects 🙂

    1. How interesting! I am always so heartened and impressed to hear about the people who did the right thing at a time when it really mattered. It’s so easy to say “Well, people just didn’t know any better back then”, but clearly there have always been at least a few people who knew the right thing to do.

  4. Your diary is hilarious. I’m going to have to stand up for your dad and his ukulele interest. It’s not the least bit weird, or my sister wouldn’t be playing one. You really have to sit down with your dad and watch the documentary Mighty Uke to appreciate the instrument. Or, if you just want to procrastinate for a moment check out YouTube for Langley Ukulele Ensemble – Flight of the Bumblebee.

    “Food baby” – now part of my vocabulary.

    1. Thank you, Linda! And thank you for sticking up for the noble ukulele! That documentary sounds right up my dad’s alley, do you know if it is on Netflix?
      As a sodium fiend, “food baby” has long been a part of my vocabulary 😉

      1. Don’t know about the Netflix (not a subscriber). I saw it on a documentary channel and it is still being toured to festivals and special showings with live performances added. Looks like there is a DVD for sale on the film’s website (film name plus dot com).

        Re the Prozac for Zelda the jaguar (no option to reply under your reply): I understand it is prescribed for its anti-anxiety/OCD properties. Rather than pharma, you might have success with Feliway. A friend of mine uses it and her previously highly skittish, unsocial cat calmed down. (Poor guy had reason to be suspicious – he was rescued from a crack house). It’s apparently a pheromone dispersed in one of those wall plug-in fragrance dispensers — scent undetected by people.

  5. Love the scent diary. You make me smile and giggle. As far as Zelda is concerned (btw, I love that name) given that she has some striping she could be part Bengal cat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_(cat)
    They are extremely playful and love water. Also how old is she? She might be the kitty equivalent of teething. Losing her kitten teeth and having the adult teeth come in. That said I’ve also heard that leaning into the bite can deter it. Animals really don’t like having things pushed down into their mouths.
    Good luck with Zelda and keep the scent diary coming.
    I’m really impressed. I don’t know where you find the time to do this blog along with your studies.

    1. Tatiana, I think that you may be right on about the possibility of Zelda being part-bengal. I googled “Siamese Bengal mix”, and the cats that came up look just like her. She is seven months. I tried leaning into the bite today and I have the very painful scratches to show it 😦
      Thank you so much for your kind words. When I am taking my ADHD medication, I am able to be very efficient and have enough time for blocking. Unfortunately, the medication sometimes raises my heart rate to around 150, so I am not sure how much longer I will be able to take it.

  6. I really enjoy your diary (scented and not) entries so please keep them coming!

    Is Zelda trying to get into the bath with you or is she just attacking you from the “shore”? Is closing doors out of question? (Rusty really hates closed doors and starts yowling but I still do it – cruel me).

    1. Thank you, Undina! She does both. I can definitely kick her out, and she doesn’t even yowl (or make any noise at all- she is a silent kitteh, which makes her even more sinister), but I can never go through with it when I see her sad face as I’m about to close the door!

  7. Yay for oddball parents. They certainly make life more interesting and, at times, much more embarrassing. I’ve found that having an oddball father has helped me get along much easier with other oddball people, though, so I guess that’s a plus(?)
    If he was still alive, Sophocles and I would be bros. Despite the fact that everyone dies in the end, I love the grand sweeping drama of Greek tragedies. Yes, people die, but they die with panache and usually extremely long and eloquent speeches referencing at least one or two gods. Personally I find it hilarious, but that may be the fault of growing up with aforementioned oddball father.

    Also, if the fancy new coffee maker is a Keurig or something like it, just wait. They are the best, if a little expensive for serious coffee drinkers. I know some people don’t get it, but two words: Instant caffeination.

    1. It is indeed a Keurig! I love the idea of you and Sophocles as bros. I always wondered why ancient people who were about to die were allowed to give such long speeches. I feel like in real life, the executioner cut them off after the first sentence.

  8. Haha! ‘a bit frivolous and silly’… that’s the typical reaction from people! You made me think of my mother-in-law, who’s the very anti-Perfumista, always passing on (and ‘dismissing’) perfume world, utterly unable to distinguish a carrot from an apple with her nose (Grrr!)…

    Your father looks like a cross between Spielberg and the Spielberg’s Captain Haddock! 😀

    Lol on Oedipus thing…. ‘super depressing’ hahahaha! I love your comic!

    UBV but with more Jasmin??? wew…… I must seek Lush Vanillary out (I haven’t paid attention to Lush fragrances)!
    I have to announce that I also have a number of Lush items at home (and some in my purse)…. They’re highly addictive! 😉

  9. Hello there I am a completely random person that found the cute picture of your cat whilst searching for Lush product images. I happen to have the same type of cat, Lynx Point Siamese, and she is just as horrifying! I don’t know what it is but she must think I am another cat and she loooooves to nip at my ankles and jump out and scare me when I come out of the shower haha. I had a black cat and he never acted as insane….. Maybe it’s because they are little girls and I hear Siamese like to mess with you 🙂 Anyway, just thought I would share my 2 cents.

    1. Hi Alyson! It’s a huge relief to hear that I’m not the only one being held hostage by my Siamese! This cat is waaaay too smart for me. But I love her with all my heart, as I’m sure you do yours 😀

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