I can’t escape the truth that I am a Southern gal. This is only evident for my love of Tyler Perry, mustard greens, and the smell of gardenias. I know that many people out there find gardenias too old-fashioned, too formal, and just too heavy. I love gardenia scents. I love those that come across humid and tropical, those that are sweet and romantic, and even those heavy, old-fashioned blends that remind me of a prim and prudish Southern woman.

Aromatique The Smell of Gardenia isn’t the highest quality gardenia out there. It is something for the home and not the body. The Smell of Gardenia reminds me so much of Sand & Sable or Jovan Island Gardenia (more of the later). It’s a formal and humid gardenia soliflore. There isn’t much more to it. It’s a “strong” gardenia. I love gardenia so I love this.

The thing about this oil is that a little bit goes a long way. This is a strong white floral fragrance. Too much of this oil could be headache inducing. I burn this oil. I think it is used to refresh potpourri. I may be 25 going on 50 but I refuse to do the potpourri thing. So, I burn it with a little water in an oil burner. The fragrance lasts a long time afterwards. It leaves my house smelling like I’m being courted by a dapper gentlemen and his gardenia boutonnière  in a courtyard in Savannah.

It retails for $9 and is available at Aromatique’s website. It’s a bit expensive but it really has a lasting fragrance that even covers up house dog odors.

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I am not a huge fan of Bath and Body Works products but when they have something that I like, I usually find that I love it and always have it around, such as Brown Sugar & Fig and Vanilla Bean Noel in the winter. This Warm Vanilla Sugar home fragrance oil is one of those products. It smells so nice for the house. It is a bit gourmand, foody, comforting but not as offensive as something like cinnamon and apple spice or blueberry pie. This smells foody but not like you’ve been trying to convince others that you’ve been baking all day. This smells very nostalgic to me. Growing up in poverty in the dirty south, we ate “sticky” rice. A dish that consisted of rice, sugar, and butter. This was the best treat ever and it sure beat the hell out of the usual diner of pinto beans, rice, and ketchup. If Mama was feeling real uppity then  she would put a dash of imitation vanilla in it and you were dining high class. I thought my ghetto family was the only family that did this but talking to other Southerners from a background of poverty, they did the exact same thing with their rice on “special” occasions. (This has to have a tradition of some sort or at least a name…)

This oil has hints of “vanilla, coconut, basmati rice, and a touch of sandalwood” according to the Bath and Body Works website. So that “basmati rice” and “vanilla” is what reminds me of lazy Sunday mornings. The hints of coconut and sandalwood make this oil a bit more posh and nice for the home. It is a sweet fragrance but not too gourmand. It is just comforting, soft, and cuddley like my favorite cardigan. Unlike the body products in this line that are heavy on the vanilla part of the fragrance, this is heavier on the sweet rice. The vanilla is there but it doesn’t smell like a birthday cupcake. The coconut isn’t beachy but more of a coconut milk and the sandalwood is faintly there. (This is beginning to sound more and more like a Thai dish). I use about 10 drops in an oil burner with the rest of the dish filled with water. The fragrance is light but still present and lasts many hours after the oil has stopped burning. It retails for $7.50 for .33 ounces. And of course, I’m sure you can find it on sale if you just wait a few weeks. They always have sales.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa is a beautiful light and feminine fragrance that is perfect for flirty spring days and hot summer nights. L’Artisan Parfumeur describes the scent:

A reminder of weekends spent at the Riviera, the perfume carries you away to the elegant shores of Cote d’Azur…Imagine the blossoming trees, the cool sea breeze, the elegant and leisurely way of life – bottled in Mimosa Pour Moi! The true mimosa soliflore, the fragrance embodies this heavenly aroma: from the flowers to the leaves to the stems. Fresh and softly-green, the scent is forever changing on the skin, every second revealing a new, silky-smooth aspect. Radiant and happy, Mimosa Pour Moi is eternal spring

Well, I have never spent weekends at the Riviera but I have lots of experience with beautiful pink mimosa trees. My pa is a bit of a gardener and loved these trees even though most individuals find them to be a nuisance. They grow so quickly and suffocate most other growth, but they are so beautiful and special. The tree added a much needed exotic flair to our Southern lives. I mean what other tree can you touch and it responds. My cousins and I spent summers climbing in those things and picking the flowers. The scent of the flowers was so light but I remember them. L’Artisan Parfumeur has managed to once again to “imagine” a scent the way I want to remember it. The initial spritz is green and fresh, resembling the leaves on the mimosa. It is crisp like violet leaves and “green”. It becomes a little fruity but not syrupy or overly sweet like most fruity fragrances on the market. It has blackcurrant buds which add a sweet tartness. I love the dry down of this fragrance. It becomes soft and “fluffy” and smells like the visual appeal of a mimosa flower. It is “fuzzy”, soft and oh so femme. It is powdery in the most sophisticated of ways. It is light and still green but posh and classy. It has a hint of “candied” violets, musk, super subtle and not so sweet vanilla. I feel a hint of violet root and warm wood. However, it is far from heavy and is just as lightweight and airy as a mimosa blossom. It is a very well composed flirty and feminine scent. I’d love to add this to my fragrance collection since I really have nothing like it. It brings back memories. I see myself as a young barefoot girl climbing mimosa trees in the humid summer, I’d even read books in the trees. I see it fresh, innocent and child like just like the initial spritz of this fragrance. However, this fragrance evolves and grows up and becomes complicated just like the barefoot little girl. It is a pleasant scent that I appreciate. I may not be as sophisticated as the final dry down of this fragrance, but I can still get there with some time.

It retails for $95 for the 50 ml, $135 for the 100 ml, the small candle is $20 and the large candle is $50. They can be purchased at barneys.com or L’Artisan’s Parfumeur’s website.

Thankful to be out of the South

Thankful to be out of the South

I try to keep this blog from being too personal. I don’t expect people to enjoy reading about my fortunes or misfortunes. That’s what reality TV is for. Anyways, on this Thanksgiving I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. This has been a huge year for me. I’ve made my first huge move. Drove across this barren country, starting in hot and bothered Nashville and making it to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments. I was prepared for the worst. It was a ballsy move. However, this has been the best thing I have ever done. Well, other than marrying my sweetheart. (Sorry to gag you with a spoon.) I’m so happy that this move worked out. I never realized why I was so unhappy. I just thought I was a bitch. I’m still a bitch but at least I am a happy one that spends weekends on the rocky coasts, finding so many golden chanterelles that I never want to see this little fungi again, and exposed to the most amazing produce ever. I love living in a place that keeps me so busy, either shopping for my new fave niche fragrance or kicking so many toadstools. It’s nice. It was a nice match for me. All I wanted was was mountains and sea with lots of fungus, good food, and feeling like I am in a place that is apart of the globe. My husband and I are happy, living in a cute yellow craftsmen a few blocks from the sea. Still no buttermilk colored French bulldog pitter patting about, still working on that. My French bulldog biological clock is still ticking. Still no delicious Mexican food. How I long for that daily! People don’t “keep it real” out here and I miss that. I come across as bitchy and pushy and that is funny. I miss people saying for Thanksgiving, “that they gonna eat till they get sick” or “until they hope to not see food ever again.” There are some differences but I needed a reason to romanticize the dirty South just like the rest of the country does. I needed a reason to think that making biscuits is cute and charming and eating pintos is something that you do even if you aren’t so damn poor that your parents can’t afford Top Ramen. It has it’s ups and downs but I’m just happy to be away from the South for a while. I’m thankful to have my own blue potato mashed potato Thanksgiving dinner sans driving to Grandma’s house stuck behind a huge ass SUV with anti-Obama, anti-gay, anti-everything bumper stickers.

Two happy peeps.

Two happy peeps.