Rusty the Cat: On the “Greener Grass”

A man is sitting on a railroad track.
Another man approaches him and says:
“Scooch over! I’ll sit next to you.”
A joke from my childhood*

Over the years, Rusty has learned that my vSO and I have al the things that are better than what he has: pates, meet, cheese, etc. that we eat are almost like Rusty’s wet food but better. The comforter we hide from him in our bedroom is better than the old one (a King size!) that we gave to him. And whatever we use to decorate our living space is a much better toy than anything we bring Rusty from a pet store.

But while he can’t get as much of our food as he’d like to, and our bedroom stays off-limits for him during the work week, there are some other areas of life where Rusty insists on being treated as equal (kind of).

On the sofa where my vSO spends evenings reading, surfing or watching, we have two pillows. During the day Rusty has access to both of them, but usually he prefers other parts of the house. While sitting on the sofa in the evening, my vSO usually uses one pillow to support his back and lays flat the other one for Rusty to sleep there. And every time when Rusty decides to join him on the sofa, he completely ignores the pillow conveniently laying flat, comes to my vSO and starts touching or even clawing the pillow behind his back – until he gives up and relinquishes the pillow. First we thought that Rusty considered one of these two as his and tried to reclaim it. But no: it’s whatever pillow is currently “in use.”

 

Rusty on Pillow

 

In the home office where we both work, if Rusty decides to join us during the work day, we have multiple places where he might sleep, including a special blanket on the desk to the left from my computer (as shown on the picture to one of the previous episodes of this series – Rusty the Cat: On Comfort Temperatures). I even tolerate for a while if he decides to plop himself down on my lap, even though it’s not particularly convenient if I need to write a document or do something else not related to reading or sitting on a meeting. But as soon as I get up from my chair, Rusty immediately occupies it and falls asleep. Knowing this his habit, I tried not to leave it unattended unless I would go to the kitchen (then Rusty would join me there) or plan to work standing for the next couple of hours. But recently Rusty decided that he shouldn’t be waiting for me to leave of my own accord. Instead, he would get on that blanket I mentioned and try to get between me and the seat back or keep touching my arm prodding me to vacate the chair. A coupe of days ago he did it while my vSO’s chair (which is almost identical to mine but without an additional pillow) was unoccupied and completely accessible! I gave in and worked standing for the next couple of hours (I have a sit/stand desk).

 

Rusty In an Office Chair

 

Rusty is so artless and straightforward in his pursuit of comfort, that it’s almost impossible to resist him. So, usually we don’t.

 

* For those of my readers who speak Russian, the characters in the epigraph joke were Pet’ka and Chapayev

Images: my own

Puredistance Rubikona Giveaway Winner

The winner of the draw on this blog is: VerbenaLuvvr! Please contact me with your address.

Puredistance Rubikona Draw

Instagram winner will be announced there soon.

For everybody else – a bonus Rusty shot. In the next second with his claw he pulled the bottle towards himself, played with it for a second, dropped, scared himself and jumped away. I decided not to let him play with it any more because usually the next experiment would be pushing it off the table and hunting it on the floor.

 

Rusty and Puredistance Rubikona

Puredistance Rubikona: Iacta alea esto!

I rarely participate in campaigns when new niche perfumes are launched: if I do not like them, I prefer to keep silence, and if I like them, I go through the careful testing first, then add perfume to my collection, and only after that I would write about that perfume – and only if I have a story. I have a few perfumes in my collection that I love and wear but have never covered in the blog.

With the new release from Puredistance, RUBIKONA, I had a conundrum: while I liked this perfume very much, I would not be buying it any time soon … because the brand sent me a beautiful travel spray of it. At the same time, in the “new normal” situation with perfume sales, any small brand needs all the possible help in promoting perfumes that are worth the attention. So, it wouldn’t be fair to “punish” the brand because I do not have to buy perfume now. Because of that, I am doing this post and a giveaway – as a part of the self-organized mini joint project between my scent triplets – hajusuuri and Lucas (see the details at the end of this post).

 

Rusty and Puredistance Rubikona

 

A couple of days ago Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle) published a comprehensive review for Rubikona, so I invite you to read it if you want to get a real review since from me you’re getting mostly impressions and pictures of Rusty.

Perfumer: Cécile Zarokian. Top notes – grapefruit, bergamot and mandarin; middle notes – rose, iris, ylang, clove, orange blossom and creamy notes; base notes – patchouli, cedarwood, vanilla, solar notes and musk.

Sometimes, trying to explain what something is, it is easier to describe what it is not. Puredistance Rubikona is not an exercise in edgy modern aroma creation. It absolutely cannot be described as “nice perfume.” And nobody would mistake Rubikona for an ambiance scent.

 

Puredistance Rubikona

 

I do not get any vintage vibe from Rubikona but at the same time the moment I smell it I know that it is perfume in its classical meaning: it is polished and elegant and complete, without any rough edges or artistic imperfections. Recently I find myself gravitating towards this type of perfume – neither too loud nor a whisper, not obnoxious but with enough confidence, not Angel-like revolutionary but distinct enough not to have close dupes in my scent wardrobe. And Rubikona fits the narrative perfectly.

 

Rusty and Puredistance Rubikona

 

I would like to briefly discuss the price. Historically, perfumes from Puredistance were expensive: these are not something one buys on a whim. But despite the format (spray flacons), these are extraits. And if we were to compare these to other brands’ perfumes in the same concentration, we’d see that Puredistance offers them more than twice cheaper than extraits from mainstream brands – and those sell perfumes in hundreds of thousands of bottles per year, if not more. So, it’s hard to expect a small niche brand to be able to produce high-quality perfumes cheaper.

As much as I like Puredistance’s colorful flacons, I think that even smaller volume of perfume in a glass dabber bottle à la mini bottles for Givenchy Extravagance, Organza or Organza Indecence for the current price would feel a more justified purchase. It looks though, one has to choose what to pay for – a beautiful bottle or high-quality composition.

But at that price, no matter how great and pure ingredients are, one must love perfume to justify paying this sum for a single bottle instead of 3-4-5 “instant gratifications” of discounter bargains or vintage eBay finds. And to have a chance to like it, one needs to try it first. Definitely on skin.

 

Rusty and Puredistance Rubikona

 

To help with promoting this perfume that we all liked, hajusuuri, Lucas and I are running parallel giveaways on blogs (Undina’s Looking Glass for the US and Chemist in the Bottle for Europe) and Instagram (my account is linked on the side (web)/below (mobile) and here is hajusuuri’s account – both for readers in the US). The US readers get to enter into any or all giveaways. Follow the instructions for each of the draws.

To be entered on this blog, all you need to do is to add in your comment that you live in the US. Otherwise, I’ll consider your comment as a “DNEM.”

 

Rusty's Tail and Puredistance Rubikona

 

What do you think about Puredistance bottles? Do you like them? Would you prefer glass bottles with extraits? Do you think they should produce less expensive EdP or even EdT versions of their extraits?

 

Images: my own

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

I miss those times when we used to have group posts with several bloggers. From time to time we still try to do it, and there is a great group that does Mood Scent 4 series (Portia at A Bottled Rose, Esperanza at L’Esperessence, Megan at Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha at I Scent You A Day). So, when Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume) first and then Tara (A Bottled Rose) posted their Top 20 and Top 15 perfumes correspondingly, I jumped at the chance to use this topic for the Saturday Question.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #34:

What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

We’re using a variation on the “burning building speed grab method”: don’t try to choose perfumes that would cover all possible basis or fit logical categories of “perfumes for work,” “summer wear” or “irreplaceable,” but rather an emotional selection of perfumes that you’d like to “save” from that proverbial burning building, even if all N of them are just a slight variation on the “little black dress” theme.

Name your top 5-10-15, etc., whatever feels right. I suggest to limit the selection by 20 bottles – not because I think we all could live just with that number, but just because otherwise others would probably just skim through your list – and all that after you would risk your other valuable possessions to  save those N bottles!

My Answer

I played this game many times before, but it looks like I’m more or less set in my loves: I selected a list of 30 perfumes I like the most, then sorted it by their importance to me at the moment and chose the top 20 perfumes:

  1. Lancome Climat
  2. Ormonde Jayne Ta’if
  3. Amouage Ubar
  4. Chanel No 19 EdT
  5. By Kilian Amber Oud
  6. Krigler Lieber Gustav
  7. Jo Malone French Lime Blossom
  8. Dior Miss Dior parfum
  9. Guerlain Chamade extrait
  10. Armani Prive Le Femme Bleue
  11. Puredistance Antonia
  12. Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Amour
  13. Tom Ford Fleur de Chine
  14. Jo Malone Sweet Milk
  15. Yosh Ginger Ciao
  16. Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady
  17. Amouage Dia
  18. Guerlain Cruel Gardénia
  19. Serge Lutens De Profundis
  20. Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom

 

 

When I compared this list to the list I did 3.5 years ago, interestingly enough, also prompted by Vanessa’s post, I discovered that today’s list contains 16 out of the 20 perfumes that I’d chosen then. The other four are not new, they just moved slightly up and replaced four perfumes that I still like, so, they are still in the top 30, which also includes several new perfumes that joined my collection since I created the previous list. And while I liked them enough not only to buy but to consider for this important exercise, they haven’t replaced any of my old favorites.

I won’t be linking perfumes in the list to posts I previously published about them, but just in case anyone is interested, they are all linked on My Perfume Portrait page (which reminds me that I need to update it with my new loves I accumulated in two years since the last update).

How about you? How fleeting are your perfume loves?

 

What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

Twice into the same pond*…

Do you remember those times when all Jo Malone perfumes were done in standard transparent bottles with black and white labels and silver caps? They were absolutely uniformed, and the only visual difference was in the name.

 

Jo Malone Perfumes

 

And then twelve years ago Jo Malone released the Kohdo Wood collection. It was a limited edition collection that included two perfumes – Lotus Blossom & Water Lily and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily. The first one came in Jo Malone’s traditional clear bottle with the only difference that the label was transparent. And the second one… The second one was a perfection: a beautiful black bottle with a black label. Especially cute it was in a 30 ml format. As far as I know, it was the first colored bottle for the brand (Cologne Intense collection appeared two years later).

 

 

I liked both perfumes, but back then I wasn’t familiar yet with the limited-edition concept, so by the time I decided to buy them, both were long gone. I hunted down and bought on eBay Lotus Blossom & Water Lily, but all I could get for Dark Amber & Ginger Lily was a decant. So, whenever I would find myself at a Jo Malone counter, I would be asking SAs about that perfume, telling how great it was and what a pity it got discontinued. For a while it was rumored that Jo Malone would bring Dark Amber & Ginger Lily back… and despite all odds three years later they did! I’m telling myself that my voice (well, multiple voices since I did it at different stores with different SAs) made a difference, and I contributed to the brand’s decision to re-release it. Unfortunately, by that time they’ve already had that Cologne Intense collection with all black bottles and only 100 ml (now they have 50 ml as well), so since they didn’t have that 30 ml black bottle that I liked so much, in addition to my decant, I bought their smaller promotional 9 ml bottle – and it’ll be enough for me for a while.

Several years ago, I discovered that my bottle of Lotus Blossom & Water Lily had turned. Since most of the other bottles that I bought myself, many earlier than this one, were still fine, I wasn’t sure whether the issue was with how the previous owner stored it, or if it was perfume itself that had an unstable formula. And because of that I felt reluctant to buy another bottle from eBay. But I liked Lotus Blossom & Water Lily so much that I kept checking Jo Malone’s site hoping to catch it in their Archives collection. No luck so far. (Did you know about it? Only from their site you can order some of the previously discontinued perfumes, including my favorite French Lime Blossom.)

And then a couple of months ago Jo Malone released two perfumes – Yuja Cologne and Waterlily Cologne.

I couldn’t wait for stores to open (and I was right: you still can’t test any perfumes there) and bought 9 ml bottles of both.

I wrote about Yuja in my In the Search for the Perfect Yuzu post. As to the Waterlily

Do you remember Jo Malone used to release from time to time perfume combining sets with one full bottle of their scent and a couple of small bottles of additional notes that could be layered with the main perfume to create a more unique combination. Those additional “notes” were very nice and pleasant but even more simplistic than the main line Jo Malone perfumes, if you can imagine that. Waterlily Cologne reminds me of those “additional notes.” I like the opening: to my nose it has galbanum in it, though it isn’t listed anywhere (official notes: neroli, waterlily and white musk), but in the development it’s very simplistic and just doesn’t want to stay on my skin. I’ll use up my small bottle, but it’s not something I need in my collection, and it doesn’t remind me of Lotus Blossom & Water Lily at all.

But Jo Malone was adamant to continue tempting me: recently they’ve released two more new perfumes – Fig & Lotus Flower and Cypress & Grape Vine. Not only the first one had that “lotus” part in the name that filled me with hope that this one will be “it,” but also the second one was a part of the Cologne Intense collection, hence a black bottle).

 

Jo Malone Fig & Lotus Flower and Cypress & Grape Vine

 

With stores still closed, I just had to buy those cute travel bottles from eBay. So, was the second time a charm? Not really.

I like Fig & Lotus Flower, especially in the opening. It’s a pleasant and light fig perfume, and sometimes in development I can smell vetiver. I don’t know how lotus flower smells, but in this perfume I don’t smell what I perceive as a lotus note in several other perfumes, my illusive favorite Lotus Blossom & Water Lily included. I also compared Fig & Lotus Flower with my other Jo Malone favorite, Wild Fig & Cassis (also available from the Archives collection), which smells drier and more… grown-up (?) than a bright and uncomplicated new scent. I’ll wear Fig & Lotus Flower from my small bottle, but I don’t think I’ll want more after that.

Cypress & Grape Vine had nothing to do with my waterlily or lotus quest, but since I got it as a part of the set, I tested it as well. It is too masculine for me. Cypress & Grape Vine reminds me of very traditional men cologne. But if anyone likes that style, it’s very tenacious (and not just by Jo Malone standards). I’ll see if I like how it smells on my vSO, though it doesn’t seem like his style.

All-in-all, I should probably stop buying Jo Malone perfumes unsniffed, even in smaller bottles: while I still have many favorites from the brand, I rarely like their new creations. But I’ll be checking their Archives Collection hoping for the return of my original favorite.

 

Rusty and Jo Malone Fig & Lotus Flower and Cypress & Grape Vine

 

Images: Kohdo Wood collection – JM official; all others – my own.

 

* I know that I’ve previously used the allusion to this quote from Heraclitus, but the temptation was too strong.

Rusty the Cat: On Logic

Every household has its own rules for the members, such as “Turn off the lights when leaving the room,” “Do not put an empty milk carton back in the fridge” or “No elbows or all four paws on the table.”

 

You Must Be This Tall...

 

And same as humans find creative ways of “not breaking the rule” (e.g., leaving a tablespoon of milk in the carton or claiming that they left the room just for a second), Rusty invents his own ways to assert his innocence or do what he wants.

Rusty is not allowed on the dining table. He knows that. But from time to time he still jumps on the table and “hides” behind a laptop or even an iPad: “If I don’t see you, you definitely cannot see me, right?” He looks so innocent and cute, that it’s almost impossible to get angry with him. Besides, I use this his desire to claim that table when I try to take pictures of him and perfumes: if I were to put anything new or unusual there, he’d immediately jump on the table to investigate.

 

Rusty and iPad

 

Rusty also isn’t allowed on (almost all) kitchen counters. There is a breakfast counter that we do not use. It hosts one of Rusty’s blankets where he sleeps, so this is his territory, and he’s in his right being there.

 

Rusty on a Blanket

 

Also, historically, Rusty is allowed to be on the refrigerator, which stands in the opposite side from the breakfast/blanket area. Formally, the counters between these two areas are “off limits.” But since Rusty cannot jump on the fridge without jumping first on the counter next to it, he is granted right of way and is not reprimanded for jumping there before the next jump on the fridge (look who’s talking about the cat’s logic). Rusty learned this part. So, when he wants to check something out on the forbidden part of the counter, he either jumps on it close to the refrigerator or runs through the whole length from his blanket to the fridge, then… stops and starts looking and sniffing around. If yelled at, he makes a move towards the fridge that says “I’m going, I’m going…” but stays on the counter until one of us makes a move to take him down. And then he retires to the top of the refrigerator.

 

Rusty on the Fridge

 

Several years ago, a friend of mine brought us a present from her trip to Thailand – a woven bowl. I wasn’t sure how to use it, but one day, I don’t even remember why, I put it on the counter – and Rusty declared it to be his territory. While being chased off the countertop, in addition to getting either on the blanket counter or a fridge, Rusty also might jump into that bowl, and as long as all four paws are inside, he knows that “he’s safe.”

 

Rusty in a Bowl

 

Being a cat, Rusty is a hunter. He chases, catches and eats flies, moths and even spiders. First, when he saw a prey somewhere high on the wall or the ceiling, he would keep watching it and jumping trying to catch it. Then we taught him that if he were to attract our attention to it, we would kill it and reward him with a treat. So, he would sit with his head up and meow insistently until one of us comes and acknowledges the find. From time to time, he sees “invisible insects,” as we call it. Then one of us has to raise him up so that he can see that there’s nothing there. Sometimes it takes a couple of times, because in seconds after being put down, he starts doubting: “Are you sure? Maybe something is there?”

 

Rusty Standing (and Hunting)

 

And the most recent development of the cat’s logic is that when he sleeps, and my vSO finds and kills a spider, Rusty wakes up and runs towards the kitchen where his treats are stored: clearly, he has built his own cause and effect operation: Has the spider been found and neutralized?  – Treat!

 

Rusty Sleeping

 

As you can see, Rusty is quite a logical thinker.

 

Images: New Yorker cartoon (can be bought here); all others – my own.

Perfume True To Its Name

As I mentioned once or twice before, I love orchids. But since I had almost no encounters with fragrant orchids, my love to them lives in the universe that is parallel to my perfume love: I enjoy looking at them and keep searching for perfect jewelry pieces with the orchid theme but I do not think of them as an olfactory experience. Though, once I came across a fragrant orchid.

 

Rusty and Orchids

 

Sensual Orchid created by Jerome Epinette for Laurent Mazzone Parfums in 2012 is one of those perfumes that, very likely, I wouldn’t have ever tried if it weren’t for my (rarely visiting) guest author hajussuri. Considering her my scent twin, I decided to participate in the split she hosted, even though I haven’t tested it before then.

The first thought that popped up in my head once I applied Sensual Orchid was that the name fitted it perfectly. I cannot explain what qualities of this perfume prompted the thought (it’s an I-know-when-I-see-it-type feeling), but it was a positive thing since, in general, I do not like when brands exploit sex for marketing purposes.

I didn’t even finish my small decant before I found and bought a bottle of this wonderful perfume. My quick take on it: I enjoy wearing it, and a couple of years ago it inspired me to write a haiku for the NST haiku project (which is very telling if you consider that you can count any type of poetry I ever wrote with fingers on one hand):

Sensual Orchid –
Perfume true to its name…
His heartbeat agrees

If you haven’t tried Sensual Orchid yet and want to know more, you should read Kafka’s (Kafkaesque) review.

 

Laurent Mazzone Sensual Orchid

 

Have you tried any perfumes from this brand? What did you think? I was tempted by their Radikal collection (Radikal Iris sounds interesting, right?), but nobody I know ever mentioned trying those, none of the decanter sites here has them, and I’m not adventurous enough for a blind buy.

 

Images: my own

Not Such a Silk Road…

I have “dysfunctional relationships” with Ormonde Jayne (brand): while I love it and have been loyal to it for many years, it seems that it doesn’t love me back. I do not mean me as a blogger – that is normal and expected even from a much “blogger-friendlier” brands. But I always had a feeling that they didn’t love me enough as a customer either.

Being a fan, over years I bought numerous perfumes directly from the brand, both full bottles and travel sets, in store and from their website, full-priced and discounted. And in all these years, with all perfumes bought, I got a single free sample.

I do not think it happened by chance: it seems like a rather well calculated business approach. And while I disagree with it (I would expect that someone who’s already paying for one perfume from the line is more likely to buy another one, given a chance to try it, but what do I know about business?), obviously, it has worked well for the brand, at least for the last 10 years that I’ve been following it. So, I do not hold it against them.

Recently, I got a scare: on one of the blogs I follow I read about a possible discontinuation of Ta’if – one of my top three all-time favorite perfumes. It was a false alarm, we confirmed right away that it was still available on the brand’s site. But I immediately decided that, just in case, I would need to get a back-up bottle of it soon, which I recently did, taking advantage of the sale the UK site had.

Even having to pay for the shipping via DHL (dangerous goods and all that), the price was much better than I could get from the US distributors. And since I was already paying for the shipping, and because who knows when I will get to travel to the UK next time, I decided to participate, again, in the brand’s favorite game: buy a discovery set. This time it was a discovery set for their newest line – La Route de la Soie (The Silk Road).

 

Ormonde Jayne La Route de la Soie (The Silk Road)

 

The collection includes four already released perfumes and three perfumes that will be launched this Fall.

Byzance

Top notes: Blackcurrant Buds, Milky Accord, Pink Berries; middle notes: White Wood, Wood of Cashmere, Iris Butter; base notes: Moss, Suede, Madagascar Vanilla, Balsamic Accord.

Damask

Top notes: Blackcurrant, Italian Lemon, Pear; middle notes: Rose, Jasmine, Pink Berries; base notes: Mineral amber, Musk, Vetiver.

Levant

Top notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Tangelo, Rose Petals; middle notes: Lily of the Valley, Peony, Orange Blossom, Jasmine; base notes: Cedarwood, Amber, Musk.

Tanger

Top notes: Ylang Ylang, Italian Mandarin, Italian Bergamot; middle notes: Rose Petals, Wood of Cashmere, Neroli; base notes: base notes: Moss, Dry Amber, Madagascar Vanilla, Balsamic Accord.

Indus

Top notes: Blackcurrant Buds, Lychee, Nutmeg; middle notes: Persian Rose; base notes: Musk, Chinese Patchouli, Incense, Armenian Plum.

Xandria

Top notes: Rum, Rosewood, Apple; middle notes: Ceylon Cinnamon, Tonka Beans; base notes: Dry Amber, Musk, Guaiacwood, Earthy Accord, Oudh.

Xi’an

Top notes: Black Pepper, Nutmeg; middle notes: base Cedarwood, Rhubarb; base notes: Musk, Indian Sandalwood.

 

If you are in the mood for reading reviews, you’ll easily find several for the first four, and Neil (The Black Narcissus) has just posted a quick review for all 7. If you were to ask me, for myself I liked Tanger (cheerful and the most classical-Ormonde-Jayne perfume from the collection) and Byzance (I don’t know how, but for my nose it has the same strange “hot iron note” that I like in Serge Lutens’ Gris Clair), and I think Xandria smells nice on my vSO. Damask is quite pleasant, I’m just not sure if it’s different enough from other roses I already have (though, since the FB price isn’t that bad, it might be worth trying if you are looking for an ambered rose). The other three… None of them was offensive or even unpleasant.

 

Rusty and Ormonde Jayne La Route de la Soie (The Silk Road)

 

If these perfumes are ever offered in OJ’s new 30 ml format, I might be tempted to buy a bottle or two. If no, then most likely we’ll part our ways once the samples are gone: even though I still have warm feelings toward the brand, I think they are doing just fine without my support.

But do I think this set is worth buying? It depends.

If usually you do not buy perfumes for testing, or if Ormonde Jayne perfumes have never worked for you, you can safely skip this set.

I’m convinced that it is not worth £42 (plus shipping), which the brand does not offer to redeem even partially against a full bottle purchase (I know, it works for them, but I’m trying to be a voice of reasoning for others who are not in love with the brand).

BUT

If you are an Ormonde Jayne fan, as I am, and you have a sampling budget, I would suggest you took advantage of their current private sale*: until September 7th, this set is offered at £30, including free worldwide shipping (other sets are also on sale). These are generous 2 ml spray samples in a nice box. As far as sampling goes, not only you could – you probably often do do worse (at least, it’s true for me with those $4-$6 + tax + S&H 0.7 ml dabbers from Luckyscent and other similar places). And since it’s a very new collection, you should be able to partially recoup your losses would you decide to sell it after testing or offer it in a swap.

 

* If you are in the US and have a credit card that doesn’t take a fee for foreign currency transactions, check if their conversion rate is better than PayPal’s (true in my case – I used a Capital One card). Also, if for whatever reason the online checkout doesn’t work for you, contact the UK support directly (customerservices@ormondejayne.com).

Disclaimer: No affiliations whatsoever: I’m just a slightly grumpy customer of Ormonde Jayne (I paid the full price for the set!) and a happy customer of Capital One.

 

Images: my own

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Fruity Perfume?

Following great tradition started by two wonderful bloggers, Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) and Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies), once a week I or one of the guest writers will keep the lights on in this virtual leaving room, but I hope that you, my friends and readers, will engage in conversation not only with me or the other host, but also with each other.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #26:

What Is Your Favorite Fruity Perfume?

Fruity perfumes have not the best reputation. Mature perfumistas usually associate themselves with chypres or orientals, concession might be made to gourmands and maybe florals (especially those big and white), but fruity? The confession is usually framed with: “Normally, I’m not a fan of fruity perfumes, but…” So, my question is: do you have a name to finish that sentence? Are there any fruity perfumes that you enjoy wearing?

Bonus questions: How much fruit do you eat daily? What are your favorites?

My Answer

As if whatever is happening with the pandemic weren’t enough, in different parts of the world more human-made and natural disasters keep unfolding.

Following extremely hot weather, about which I complained in the last week’s Saturday Question, last Sunday we had a night-long dry thunderstorm in our area. It resulted in multiple wildfires all around SF Bay Area. My town is safe, but the air quality goes from moderate to unhealthy and back dependent on the wind. And we all feel (and smell!) it. The fires devastate large areas, significant number of people have been evacuated, and firefighters, while doing their best, still cannot contain most of the fires.

But since I cannot do anything to change the situation, I choose to talk about things that do not really matter on a big scale, but without them brightening my life everything that’s happening would have been even more intolerable – perfumes, fruit and Rusty.

As someone who is admittedly a floral perfume fan, I’m just one step away from embracing my penchant for fruit in perfumery. There are several perfumes with prominent fruity notes that I enjoy wearing, but since my favorite fruit is mango, for my answer today I’ll go with Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling!, a bottle of which I got in Paris (when we were still traveling abroad).

 

Rusty and NVC Bombay Bling

 

Speaking of mango… Having missed most of this summer seasonal fruit (farmers markets were closed first and then or heavily restricted, while selection in stores was subpar and 50%-100% more expensive than a year before), I really look forward to getting my favorite Keitt (not to be mixed with Kent) mangoes in the next 2-4 weeks. Meanwhile, my daily ration includes a plum or nectarine and an apple or two. I like fruit and would have eaten more if I weren’t trying to limit my food intake (I just can’t call it a diet – but I’m trying to do something).

 

What Is Your Favorite Fruity Perfume?

 

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Rusty the Cat: On Boxes

As someone whose watch lists on different streaming services mostly consist of police procedural shows, I have to concede that this post, being the third after Rusty the Cat: On Food and Treats and Rusty the Cat: On Comfort Temperatures, moved the topic over the threshold when it definitely qualifies as serial… I mean, series.

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Do you know that cats love cardboard boxes?

Even though my grandparents had cats with whom I spent my summer breaks in the same house, and despite of the fact that my vSO and I had a cat once (I told this story many years ago – Orange Cats in My Life – Part I: Found and Lost), somehow I had never been privy to that cats’ trait.

I’m not sure why that was: either those particular cats that I observed were not adventurous; or maybe breeds of cats in my native country had different inclinations; or can it be that back then we didn’t have that many boxes in general, and those that we were rarely getting weren’t left out for pets to play?

Whatever it was, the first time I realized that it was “a thing” with cats was when many years ago a friend told me about the famous Japanese cat Maru and shared a couple of YouTube videos of him packing into different boxes, including the tiniest ones (it was years before he was certified by Guinness World Records as the most viewed single animal on YouTube).

And then we got Rusty, who over the years demonstrated to us how much cats love boxes.

Whenever a new box only gets in our house (which these days happens even more frequent than before), Rusty immediately plops himself on top of them. He notably likes wine boxes – probably because they are very steady and safe to jump on and off.

 

 

All other boxes are also fair game, especially once they are emptied. Rusty would pack himself into almost any box – be it large, small, tall or shallow.

 

 

Usually he stays in a new box for a while, probably until he impregnates it with his scent. After that he loses interest. But there are two boxes that we keep (replacing them from time to time on the same spot), and he uses them for years: one is a box to where he runs and hides when I yell at him for doing something he isn’t supposed to do (like trying to steal meat from a hot frying pan); and the second one is a “Greeting box,” as we call it: it stands facing an entrance door from the garage, and Rusty sits in it when we’re returning home from somewhere (on a picture below it’s a shallower box to the right from the temporary Rusty’s toy).

 

Rusty in a Box