Orange Cats in My Life – Part V: The Ones That Got Away

Last year in December I told what I thought was the last part of the Orange Cats in My Life series. I haven’t opened a new chapter since then – it’s still just Rusty who is everything I’ve ever wanted from a cat (though I wish he’d stop eating plastic because it gets really tedious trying to keep plastic-free all spaces accessible to him). But recently I realized that there were more sides of my obsession with cats that I haven’t covered in either those posts about real cats (Found and Lost and Those that have just broken the flower vase…) or imaginary ones (A Grin without a Cat and Love from the First ‘Awww…’). Hence this interquel (it seems to be a real word; I found it while trying to figure out if there was a special term for a story that was a sequel and a prequel at the same time).


For many years, while we couldn’t get a real cat, I was drawn to a cat theme in… everything. It doesn’t mean that anything with any cat depiction would do as some non-cat people seem to think (we all like perfumes but there are perfumes and there are perfumes – right?) but I had accumulated a number of cute Christmas ornaments, toys and jewelry featuring that object of my affection, which definitely exceeds any “civilian” person’s interest in felines.

Visual art isn’t something that is present in my day-to-day life. Two-three exhibitions per year at the local museums, three-four hours or until I get extremely bored (whichever comes first) at various museums during vacation trips and an occasional article in New Yorker magazine – that’s the extent of my interest in it. My house is decorated with a couple of enlarged photo prints, two paintings given to me by my father, who knows much more about art, and several ink drawings created by my friend many years ago. From time to time we would visit an art fair or, while on a vacation, walk into one of those galleries that seem to be so popular in all the touristy locations. But most of the objects offered there I cannot classify either as art or even suitable décor pieces – so mostly those visits had an alternate motive of warming up or cooling off (dependent on the weather at the location).

The gallery on the Big Island, in addition to a nice cool environment had also an extra attraction: a large selection of fine and costume jewelry. And while I was killing unswimmable scorching hours searching for a gem (figuratively speaking) among the offerings my vSO was browsing paintings. I do not remember if it was the only work of that author in the gallery, I don’t even know what exactly it was – an oil painting (most likely) or lithography, but it immediately captured our attention.

Nazran Govinder The Shining Sinners

Nazran Govinder, The Shining Sinners. We spent some time dancing around this piece. We almost bought it. But none of us had ever heard of the author; we’d never bought any art before, so we had no point of reference to figure out if the price was even close to be right (around $800, I think). We didn’t have a smartphone or even Internet at the condo back then to do a research. So we arrogantly decided we would do it once we were back at home. Worst come worse, I could always call the gallery and buy it over the phone…

After we came back, I read more about the artist, realized that I previously saw some of his sculptures at other galleries, decided that I wanted to get that painting (and maybe one more), got distracted… By the time I started actively looking for The Shining Sinners the author had suddenly died at age of 44. You can probably imagine what it did to his work. I couldn’t believe that I, all by myself, without reading somebody else’s reviews or articles, discovered an artist, whose paintings I liked, and I missed the chance to buy the piece that I really liked.


Once a friend of mine sent me a link to the perfect pair of boots. She said she thought those were made for me.

Camper Cat Boots

What happened next is hard to explain. They were on sale for $100. By Nordstrom. With free delivery & return. They had my size. But I didn’t know the brand (do you see the pattern?) and I thought that maybe I should look for them in a store… By the time I figured out none of the stores around carried Camper (the brand), the boots were gone. I knew everything about them by that time but it didn’t help. I searched all online stores – no luck. I set up the recurring search on eBay – nothing but a misrepresented pair in a bad shape that I bought and returned. I even wrote to Camper Customer Support recently to ask if they ever plan to re-introduce the model – they don’t. The only positive outcome from that experience is that now I and two of my friends who were following my fiasco remember it every time we are about to postpone a purchase that might not happen later. There’s a rule called “Julia’s boots”: buy first, have doubts later.


Wouldn’t it be appropriate to round-up the topic telling the story of a missed perfume opportunity? I can’t: not only there are no cat-themed perfumes that I let slip away (like those on the picture below that I borrowed from The Scented Hound’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide) but I don’t have a single regret about any perfume. It’s not that there are no perfumed I wished I could get now that aren’t available – there are plenty of those. But none of them fits the bill of “could have but haven’t.” What about you? Were there any perfumes in your life that got away?

Rare Perfumes

And since it’s almost a New Year Eve here, Happy New Year to all my friends and readers! Be happy, be healthy and let the missed opportunities in your life be only of the caliber of those in this post.

Happy New Year from me and from the most important orange cat in my life.

Happy New Year 2015


If Johana by Keiko Mecheri were a shoe…


Being parfumistas we accept that most perfumes are unisex and even those that lean towards masculine or feminine designation might be worn by any gender. The same way there are no strict rules as to which genre of perfumes should be worn in which environment or on which occasion (breathing conditions permitting).

It might be a nice contrast to put on, let’s say, a vintage Vol de Nuit extrait while wearing jeans and sneakers and running mundane errands or to use some faint and subtle skin scent with a statement evening gown. But we often think of perfumes in terms of the occasion, something like:  office-friendly, night out, beach walk or my best friend’s wedding. I thought about that while trying to classify my recent favorite – Johana by Keiko Mecheri.

It’s not an elegant and graceful Dior New Look 1947 ready for an evening in symphony (even though Luckyscent describes Johana as “elegant perfume” – I disagree).

Dior New Look and Shoes

But, on the other hand, neither it is a carefree and relaxed Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess on a tropical vacation.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess and Shoes

Following the idea above, to describe how I see it, I pared Johana with shoes. This perfume is more than just comfortable casual loafers but rather fun and playful (well, as far as “playful” goes for my clothes) Mary Jane shoes. Johana is a dramatic but at the same time airy perfume. It doesn’t make a shocking statement but keeps grabbing my attention as I wear it.

Keiko Mecheri Johana and Shoes

When I was planning my visit to MinNY last Fall I had no intention to test Keiko Mecheri line. Did I have any particular reason? Not really, it’s not one of the lines I’m boycotting. Other than MinNY having plethora of other brands to which I normally have no access, there is that strange feeling that there are too many perfumes in the line – and until then I haven’t tried a single one.

How did it happen that after I’ve tested a dozen of Xerjoff‘s, all available Mona di Orio‘s, as many as I could Miller Harris‘ and many other perfumes I ended up leaving with Amour de Palazzo on the wrist and a single sample of Johana in my bag? It must have been fate!

In several month I went through a couple of samples, liked the perfume more and more, went to MinNY site hoping to buy it, panicked since not only they didn’t have it in stock any longer but I also couldn’t find it on the brand’s website – I thought it was some kind of an unannounced limited editions or promptly discontinued perfume. So when I saw a partial bottle of Johana sold in one of the FB perfume-related groups I immediately grabbed it. It’s available again from MinNY and Luckyscent (it’s still not mentioned on the official website!) but I’m glad I got it.

Rusty and Johana

Johana by Keiko Mecheri – created in 2012, notes include Japanese chrysanthemum, galbanum, rose, wisteria, iris, cocoa, patchouly, incense, vanilla and sandalwood. I love most of these notes in perfumes. In Johana I cannot smell any of these! But I really enjoy this perfume even without being able to deconstruct it. Or maybe because of it?

If you want a real review, I liked very much Brian’s take on it (be patient, it takes a while for this site to load – I don’t know what widgets they use there but each time it’s a pain…)


Images: my own