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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

At the Moment

The end of August signals both the end of summer vacation "in vivo" (because the in vitro experimentation continues) and the anticipation of autumn. Therefore expectations and feelings are quite mixed, though the first days of September invariably put a spring to my step. Here are some of the things I do, think, use these days; more to come come September when all the exciting things launch. Please share yours in the comments!

Wearing 

I'm on a strict T-shirt diet. They're plain with no fussy details, they have a scooped neck and quite short sleeves for maximum coolness and they come in a wide array of cool colors: aqua, salmon pink,  fuschia, canary yellow, white of course, emerald green, Prussian blue...They've been a god-sent during the hot days of August. and they go with everything.


Putting an impressive bib-necklace on top is enough to make an outfit. This one I've worn a heck of a lot of. It looks ultra cool up close since it's glazed and looks like liquid glass is overlaid over the snake print. Lots of compliments on it.


 


I intend to follow through with this practical fashion trick during the cooler autumn days opting for thin jumpers with long sleeves.  

Reading 


Derrida, Between the Blinds. It's anyone's guess why I chose to read this in English and not its original French or in a Greek translation (oh wait, probably because there is no Greek translation of this one AFAIK). I found it on Amazon and it looks intimidating enough to keep people off my back during commutes. I might even learn a few things!  :-D


Listening

I discovered the Montreal Guitar Trio and the California Guitar Trio just a little while ago. Here they perform one of my favorites (on many levels) from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (originally by Ennio Morricone)/Reel Matawa (by Richard Matawa) at Montreal in 2009.

Sniffing 


Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra 
A gorgeous interpretation of ambergris (and woody notes) mixed into the structure of classic Cologne. It doesn't smell citrusy though, instead it smells like a stranger you want to jump his bones. It's unisex and very appealing packaged too. Review to follow.  

Narciso Rodriguez L'Absolu For Her 
Another variation in the endless variety of NR perfumes, this one takes the familiar musk core and injects a healthy dose of jasmine and tuberose. It feels the way it sounds and will have Rodriguez fans perking up their ears this autumn I bet.  

Prada Infusion d'Amande As soft and purring as a kitten by the fire, this once limited edition has made a re-appearance. With come-hinter tonka bean, velevty heliotrope and bittersweet almonds, it's a great transition into the soft textures of the fashions for Fall 2015.

Preening

I'm testing out a new thing for the following months: a copper plum eyeshadow. I'm using Oriflame Copper Plum eyeshadow (these are singles and inexpensive so experimenting comes cheap). This is the effect I'm aiming at, surrounded and deepened by a little greyish taupe in the crease. Isn't it pretty? 




And now on to you. What are you doing at the moment?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Vintage Advertising Champions: Part of The Art of Living


In a totally typical of 1970s sensibilities pose and text, this print ad for 4711 Eau de Cologne reinforces the idea of scent as a well-being gesture. A luxury for every day, a quotidian gesture of pleasure after the bath or shower, the complement to your soap.

The scent of 4711 Eau de Cologne typified a whole generation in Greece; everything was bathing in it, it seems. But the memory and generational seal hasn't vanished. There came Greek equivalents like the lifestyle Mirto cologne which came in lemon, reminiscent of 4711, and in lavender, to be shared by the whole family as shown in the below commercial from the 1980s.
"You wear Mirto and you feel the coolness.
You wear Mirto and you feel the freshness.
You wear Mirto and you feel so much better,
Mirto, Mirto, Mirto"


There is also the continuous presence of the concept of Eau de Cologne in a retro style context in contemporary culture too!
Rous (in the music video below) recorded the song 4711 in 2013, in which it's incessantly referenced how the singer loves the trail of his fragrance wafting from his girlfriend after having sat at the back of his motorbike or from his left-over blouse in her apartment and just how much he loves it when strangers ask what cologne he wears. A genuine case of sensory pleasure becoming intellectual stimulus!




But the piece de resistance is probably this incredible commercial for 4711 from 1971 I found on Youtube. Tagged "the Body Cocktail" it puts the fizz in cheese; not a cheesy bone in its body. Enjoy!




Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Special Homage: Coco Chanel

Today would have been Coco Chanel's birthday, had she been around and withstanding the scrutiny for her infamous past. No matter what anyone has to say about the lady herself and her tumultous personal life, her enduring style has really changed the way we see fashion and how women dress themselves. That's you see the advantage of avant-garde; making history.

via

Chanel's characteristic use of jersey fabric, pants for women, that do not resemble the harem, the trademark quilted handbags, two-toned pumps, pearls and costume jewelry, the freedom of fluidity & movement in her jackets, the stark usefulness of neutral colors such as beige, white, black and navy and her philosophy of function vs. decoration have made Chanel an icon of the 20th century and a true liberator of women from the constrictive garments of La Belle Epoque. We owe her that much.

Her fragrances of course couldn't but follow her unerring sense of style. The famous Chanel no.5 was followed by many others, notably No.19 commemorating her birthday on August 19th. This is what I am wearing myself today, reveling in both its sharp galbanum and vetiver cutting through the humidity (thick like it could be cut with a knife) and luxurious enough with its orris background.

So in her own honor, please find some related articles of mine on her style, beauty advice, iconography and of course perfumes.
And please share your own experiences with Chanel beauty & perfumes in the comments!

Coco by Chanel: fragrance review

Chanel No.19 & Heure Exquise: Twin Peaks

On Classifying Chanel No.19 & perfume review 

What's the True Story of Chanel No.5?

Cultural history: Exposition Chanel

Chanel No.5 Through the Years

Chanel No.46: fragrance review & history

I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire: Imaginative Fantasies

Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia: fragrance review [And a collective Chanel Les Exclusifs link.]

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Perils of Youth or the Requisites of Glamour?

The question of mutton dressed as lamb is, sadly, present even in perfumeland. People actually ask whether a spritz of Clinique Happy, Escada's Pacific Paradise or a Rihanna fragrance might seem too juvenile for them, as if there is an age police around checking under their armpits and behind their ears for compliance to respective age bracket. Obviously that's faulty thinking: wear what you like, perfume is an equal opportunity employer.

But what happens when the question is put in reverse? To paraphrase an infamous quote, can you ever be too young for your perfume? This is the question I put into the test. Like with porn, if you have to ask about it, it probably means you are. But let's get serious.


the caustic Margo Channing courtesy of giphy.com


Youth, especially these days when the desire for wisdom is culturally shunned, doesn't look up to maturity. Long ago little boys and little girls were dressed like little gentlemen and little ladies. Nowadays people in their 70s wear velour tracksuits and bows in their hair and that's considered tasteful (permissible it undoubtedly is, perish the thought of fascist taste police).
And yet the retrospective desire "for the good old days" (which were anything but good, really, come to think about it) around the millennium, has sparked a resurgence for vintage and retro items, from floppy felt hats in glamorous design to opera gloves and strings and strings of long necklaces, all the way to boho chic. Perfumes and beauty items couldn't fall far behind, so they followed.

Therefore we have this paradox. An extremely youth-oriented culture is viewing retro as totally glamorous, yet at the same time questions itself on its being a good fit for that sort of gilded beauty.
Have no fear. Perfume can and should be embraced by the young even in its classic form, that is in compositions which seem old-fashioned or even antiquated sometimes. By exploring one's options, one's horizons and ultimately one's limits, we get a better grasp of who we are. And as fashion designer Ciara Boni once said, "Style is knowing exactly who you are and having the guts to declare it at the top of your lungs".

So without further ado, please visit the link to my latest article: Am I Too Young for my Perfume? And please indulge in the conversation, here and/or on Facebook. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Back and Spinning, plus Eau Libre

I'm back after a few (deserved) days of holidays away from home, wetting my striped bikini and grilling a mean BBQ aromatized by fresh thyme, so expect to actually see some posts on these pages from now on after this short blog inertia like a dutiful nerd kittie.


In the meantime, I had written a review for one of the less known fragrances by the venerable house of Yves Saint Laurent (magician of le smoking, if you recall). This also came from a clan of products that usher the 1970s in a step as assured as that of an ethic-laced wedge on cork heel rocking the Studio 54 era. That is, Eau Libre, which a very kind reader of this blog sent me a sample of a long while ago. This is a deserved review and it's posted in full on this link on Fragrantica. As always, you're welcome to comment here or there or both ways.
(And stay tuned for more articles of this kind of scents in the very near future)

For those who still haven't left for summer holidays hope you get a great rest and enjoy yourselves and we'll be catching up.


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