Fiddling while Rome burns
This weeks post is I am afraid going to be more rambly that usual: I'm sure that all of you know that we've been having fires here this weekend that have put people out of their homes. I hope that they can all rebuild and get on with their lives, and once again am incredulous over the bravery of the firefighters fighting these blazes. So while some of this weekend was spent in air-conditioned indoors, a lot was not so I can't be 100% sure that some of the scents I tried were not being veiled by the smoky, choky air we were breathing.
As you know, Gaia, the Non-Blonde and I are scent twins, it's rare for us to react very differently to a scent to the point where I know if she likes something that it will smell very well on me and vice-versa. Gaia and her husband visited LA this weekend and we hit various sniff spots together.
First off was a store called Visionary on Melrose Avenue , where we were to meet Roxana Villa and try her new Chaparral scent. Stupidly, I got the date wrong and she would be there the next day, Sunday. Gaia did try Rich Hippie Psychedelic, which we would have like if it were about half the price.
Off to ScentBar. The scents we tried there kind of merge into one another as a blur, but I can state that Musc Maori might be a must-have. It's a divine comfort scent with an edge: scalded cream over dark, coffee infused chocolate with a generous helping of white musk in the drydown. Like Daniel Craig bringing you a nice steaming cup after he.. you get the picture. Gaia recommended it as one that always gets compliments..
Gaia triad on China White, which I originally thought smelled like ashtrays. I now think it smells like Cocaine. After a while it gets to Cocaine dusted roses, then roses. Not so much.
Then we went to Barneys and sniffed some more. I tried Dans tes Bras, and am torn: I like it as conceptual art, but don't know if I need to actually buy it. It's undeniable weird and quite beautiful: violets going to play-doh going to supple skin. Borneo is out there now, and it's a wonderful reminder of how talented, how out there, how crazy-genius the combo of Sheldrake/Lutens can be, and I'm sorry to agree kind of haven't lately. Even though I bought several of the last three. Love you Louve, but you ain't Borneo brilliant. but I may have to back-up my bell jars with Borneo . Chene too.
We had a lovely late lunch at a restaurant in my neighborhood called Il Pastaio. I'd never been thinking it would be pricey; it wasn't much more for our salad than Koo Koo Roo would have been and it was so much better. Funny it took someone traveling 3000 miles to get me to try a restaurant that's a short walk from my house.
Sunday Gaia and Ori were on their way back to the cold rainy East Coast and I made my way through the smoky heat to meet Roxana. She is a lovely woman, and her chaparral is a delight; even if it was slightly surreal smelling this distillation of California with it's herbal woodiness and hint of wildfires with the smell of actual wildfires so prominent in the air. She's also created a scent just for the store that's a delight of orange blossom but isn't so over-the-top femme that a guy couldn’t wear it. I don't know that she's going to be selling it through her website or if the store will sell it on their site. I hope it's both..
Of course, Gaia will be posting her take on the Attack of the Scent Twins on her blog, so please visit her for a no doubt far more lucid account. I'm off to, I think, invest in an oxygen tank.
The image, the view from the lookout at Mulholland near Cahuenga, taken on November 16th, is Tom's own.