Community, family, and frightfully good scents.

Last post I spoke of Fandoms and Communities from the indie perfume scene, and how folks make you feel welcome.

I have several “scent-sisters” in these.  Penpals of perfume.

When my brother passed, they sent an outpouring of love that still makes me tear up a wee bitslightly mist eyed a little bit weepy.  Who am I kidding?  Full-blown ugly cry.

Cards, donations, tea, and lovely trinkets for my son, feathers for TROLLCAT(who appreciated them as only a feline could), a memory book to hold notes and photos…  Oh, and perfume too.  Several of my son’s new bedtime scents were gifts from the heart.  Yup, still crying here.

The continual outpouring of love and support is overwhelming, as with my usual introvertedness and depression, I rarely ventured out in my new town to make friends, so my only friends are from back home, and seen sporadically via Skype or Google Chat(or whatever they call it these days.).  Through these fandoms, I discovered several people within twenty minutes to four hours away from me that have other likes, dislikes, children and furbabies, lots to talk about.  Some I’ve even briefly talked to on the phone.  Road trips will just have to be planned at some point…as well as getting my happy butt to the Post Office to drop off letters and parcels.

So yeah, tight-knit communities.  It’s worth spending an hour or so here and there talking on the computer to make friends…get a feel for their personality.

I’ve gotten a few samples and bottles from folks from a company called, Blooddrop Clothing & Fineries.  They’re not as dark as Black Phoenix Alchemy LabBlack Phoenix Trading Post, or Nerdy as ZOMG Smells, but what they have is so lovely and alluring, I’ll be posting my first ever review here…and if you’re not drooling over smells and tailored goods, why not?  I know I want all the pretty things!

So lots of companies go all out for noteworthy holidays like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, etcetera.  This one is similar, yet unique.  Black Phoenix Trading Post/Alchemy Lab are in full force with their Hallo weenies release, which is more gothic than usual, and gloriously so.

Blooddrop has a lovely Autumnal and Halloween collection going, and part of that is this amazing set that has me squealing(either in excitement or terror.  My brother would say more like a stuck piglet)…

Isn't this so gorgeous? Ahhhhhh!

I can’t stop squealing at this parcel! My son loved how she had wrapped the wrapped bottles to resemble giant peanut butter taffy blossoms.

The Gentlemen of Horror

The eyes have it.  No words needed if you know your old Hollywood horror, so none are used, just their eyes!  I’m a sucker for unique art and advertising, and this is it.  It’s simple, and clean, with an air of anticipatory thrills and spine-tingling dread.

On to the scents:

For Bela Lugosi

A deep, intense blend of black and red musks, graveyard dirt, lavender, myrrh, rosewood, bay, dark patchouli, blackberry, myrrh, and tobacco.

In the bottle:  Dirty, wet, black soil and wafting incense…like a night scene from Dracula.

On, it was like playing in fresh, loamy dirt near the damp, creepy, mossy woods…it’s dark, dark, dark outside.  Are you sure you should be alone?

On me: The creepy, mossy woodsy tones and loamy soil start off strong, it’s so iconicly Dracula.  As it dries, the complexity of it shines as the herbs and musk and even the fruit combine to form this primal entity.  It’s delightfully creepy and sinister.  Hours later, it’s faded to a hint of astringent Lavender, funereal myrrh, and a breath of tobacco.  It’s brilliant!

On my son: Dirt.  Making mud pies.  He wanted to jump in the bathtub the smell made him feel like he had gotten caught playing recklessly in a mudpocalypse(He’s so silly!).  As it dried, it was not quite a fougere, but very gentlemanly and austere.  He was pleasantly surprised(and secretly pleased I’m sure, though I bet he liked the dirt scent…he usually does.).

For Boris Karloff

A shifting blend of Egyptian musk, wood moss, copal incense, nighttime air, forest accord, and a gentleman’s chypre.

In the Bottle:  Very pale musky incense with a bare hint of fresh evergreen.  The scent itself was very light in the bottle.

On me:  It’s like how one imagines the mummy smells like after reviving(and you know, not corpse rot, because he’s far too elegant for that) Egyptian musk(which is so dark in this blend.  Usually it’s too headachy, syrupy sweet), resins, reedy papyrus(not listed, but this blend warming on my skin mimics the scent), ceremonial incense, fresh evergreens, and the elegant gentleman.

On my son:  Gentlemanly.  Such a lovely young man(who might have gone to picture day wearing this).  So crisp and elegant.

For Vincent Price

A distinguished, elegant blend of rosemary, teakwood, lavender maillette, velvet fabric accord, cedar, amber and a touch of incense notes.

In the Bottle:  Citrusy Rosemary, fresh woods wafting incense, and a sparkling almost antique Gin and Tonic feel…quite possibly because the Rosemary is leaning citrus.

On me:  The Rosemary stays, the air heavy with incense, the woodsy boozy feeling is flawlessly merging with the Amber, and a lazy splash of Lavender water before tossing that heavy velvet and silken cloak jauntily over his shoulders.

On my son:  Ever the Gentleman, this comes across as large as Vincent Price himself.  Elegantly appointed, it’s dashing and deeply masculine.  I picture him in a tailored suit walking…just walking, my dapper wee gentleman.  He amusedly said that he now knew what Vincent Van Ghoul smells like.

So he’s gone from Bela Lugosi last night, to Boris Karloff for school to Vincent Price after school.  I think it’s safe to say we love these.

Legend & Myth

A blend of soft musks, vanilla, fossilized amber, aged patchouli, wood accord, and yellow rose accord.

In the Bottle:  It reminds me a lot of ZOMG Smells “Rose in Amber”, as those two notes are all I can smell out of the bottle.

On me:  Where “Rose in Amber” has a dusty books and dinosaur fossils with the scent of vases of sun warmed minty red rose bouquets floating through the museum, “Legends & Myth in my mind develops this museum theme further with the scent of antiqued flax-soap polished woods showcasing the mysterious dusty tomes near the vase of roses, yellow this time, unmistakable in its fruity richness.  There’s a note of dank mossiness and muskiness(the Egyptians had amazing perfumes from what studies have been done) from the antiquities department as they clean up the mummies and cases for display.  Completely warmed up, the roses fade into the background, and the Amber takes center stage.  It’s beautifully complex, and will be a treasure alongside my beloved “Rose in Amber”.

On my son:  While he’s not usually a rose scent gent(He’s very fussy on how a gentleman should smell with roses), but since he has tried “Rose in Amber” he said he’d give this a shot.

It’s more gentlemanly with the patchouli and musk than “Rose in Amber”, and less Cool Bookworm Girl(My son’s description of it).  Still, he likes it, but says it is more suited to me.  He said this one is getting closer to a gentleman’s rose, but not quite perfected, it’s a bit sweet(Probably the Vanilla).  He will try them all until he finds that Sherlock Holmes rose or Hercule Poirot’s rose(What he describes as his ideal roses.) scent.

Merci No. 119

No description.  

A personal thank you bottle added to orders(I believe someone said it was for orders over $50).  If you ask, she will only tell you if an allergen is in it, nothing else.  Her thank you bottles are beautiful and mysterious and it’s so lovely.

In the Bottle:  There’s this lil perfume by BPAL called “The Candy Butcher” that in its original run smelled like a molten chocolate and heavy sweet cream.  In the bottle, it smells like this…

On me:  …but on, it’s a whole other ballgame.  It smells like ooey gooey chocolate cookies and Spiced Milk(Her Spiced Milk Perfume is a dreamy stunner).

On my son: “It smells like Miss Mary’s Chocolate chunky cookies.”  She was a lady I used to work with at my old job at the B&B before life as a Mom began.  She used to make him Milk Chocolate Chunk cookies dredged in homemade Ceylon Cinnamon French Vanilla Sugar.  It’s rich, decadent, sugary, chocolatey, and a hint of sweet spice.

Totally different, completely delicious.

** I acquired these insanely indulgent treats from Blooddrop Clothing & Fineries.  The opinions are my own, because now that I’ve truly experienced them I absolutely need to spread the love.**


As promised, sharing this at the bottom with another story:

So both of my siblings are very musically talented.  My sister played Violin and Flute(and taught herself a few more), and my Brother played Coronet, French Horn, Trumpet, and Marched with the Oompa Loompa…er Tuba.

One of the amusing things about the “twins”(No, seriously.  They moved, spoke, and even pranked me alike.).  My sister learned many beautiful tunes that moved me to tears, and encouraged our brother to do so as well. My brother learned complex pieces for quite a different reason, as I soon learned.

I became very familiar with Aladdin, as it was a popular band set:

“Dir dir diiiiiiir!”  Followed by delicate flute trills at four a.m. when you just went to bed at one is not restful at all.

I climb down from the ceiling and look at my sister, who’s struggling not to laugh.

“Did you put him up to this?”

*puts violin to chin and draws a Tex Avery Nope with her bow*


Next week at four a.m.:

Doot doot dootdoot doot…


*V for victory*


And the following week at four a.m.:

*cue me sleeping so peacefully…aww, how sweet*

Durr dur durrr…

Tuck and roll and run.  I was running barefoot in my pajamas at four a.m. in Autumn, chasing my brother in running gear, carrying his trumpet, laughing all the way.

Yes, my sister was in cahoots.  Made sure Mother was awake before shenanigans, fed and caffeinated.  Talented, dedicated, sneaky.

I loved every minute of it(but don’t tell her that, I have a reputation as a cranky big sister to uphold).

Until next time, hug your loved ones and tell them you love them.




A personal guide to Smellification, or working with a budget

Silly mood, silly post with some information.

So realistically, Moms and fashionable college students both have something in common:  A desperate need to stick to a budget, and a desire for quality products.

So what do you do when you want all of those amazing indie scents and skincare, but are on a way-too-tight budget?

Quite often what sounds great in text translates to less than flawless on.  When you spend $10-40 on blind-buying a single dram of perfume, it’s heartbreaking to have it smell awful on you(even after waiting and retrying).

What’s one to do?

First, look up the fandom communities of the companies you love, and join a group(or six).  Get to know the moderators(those busy bees juggling real-life AND overseeing a HUGE fandom of fashionable fanatics), and all the rules.  Look also for decanters and how well they’re recommended.

Second, learn the difference between PayPal’s Goods and Services versus Friends and Family payments.  If you pay via FNF, your transaction is NOT protected.  If you do not know the people in real life, don’t pay with this.  GNS transactions are protected by PP.

Third, go shopping!

Finding a seller selling what you want(especially after launch day and a buyer(for that traitor bottle) is usually fairly easy.

P.S.- To my scent-obsessed friends and family, yes, you still get dibs on all the traitorous bottles and vials.  After all, they’re the easiest presents ever, plus less clutter and headache for me.

Also, there are a group of dedicated folks that make a hobby of dividing up bottles and sending them in small vials(because they too get to try them all).  Give them loads of love, as they make no money off of it.  If you’re afraid of getting burned by the bottle, there is an up-side, as well as a down-side to decants.

The up-side: Smaller amount to gamble on, less hit on the pocketbook.  Also, you can pour them into cute rollerbottles and stick them in an Altoids tin for travel.  Great if you are also commitment shy, or have wonky chemistry changes.

The down-side:  That limited may not be available when you are ready to commit due to turn-around times to the decanter, and then them shipping to you.

Here is where that fandom comes in.  Now, I ALWAYS will recommend you buying from the actual companies and support them, but in cases of decant groups, they buy them from said companies and split them for you often, at a personal loss(cute packaging, supplies, time decanting, and losses if people back out after the orders are placed, etcetera).

So after buying those decants, you find a few you love.  When you go to buy bottles, they’re sold out.  Don’t despair.  You have options.  Ask around if they’ve made similar scents before.  Sometimes a general catalogue scent is close enough, and folks offer to share decants of it so you can try before you blind buy, or you buy a bunch of samples on the main sites.  I’ve been gifted sample vials of scents, and ended up having to have a bottle.

Goto the fandom groups and put in an ISO(in search of), or if you know you love it, a DISO(desperately in search of).

Look for keywords like “cleanly tested”.  What this means is they’ve dipped a toothpick in and skin tested it from that. Or BNNU(bought new, never used).  Afterward, look for US  v. International members.  Sometimes that $5 partial bottle translates to $30 with shipping costs to you because of overseas charges.

So you find your loves at a bargain, they arrive, and inside the parcel are some cute extras.  What?  What is this? What is this?

Never a given, but often a nice thing some folks in the swap/sell secondary market do is put in things they think you may like that are in the same line as what you just got from them.  Sometimes it’s not the same company.  So you try it and like it, and now have more companies to search from.  What started as a single search for ZOMG Smells, flows into Black Phoenix Alchemy LabBlack Phoenix Trading PostVillainessPossetsBlooddropSucreabeille, and oh goodness, down the rabbit hole we go!

I’ve made some pretty scent-sational penpals from this market.

*waves hi like they can see me behind the screen*

That said, I’ve also met my fair share of jerks.  Buyer beware, know the mods and PayPal rules, and don’t be afraid to talk.  I always want to talk to the folks I’m potentially buying from.  If I get an ick feeling, it’s prolly best to move along.

I’ve also had the pleasure of chatting with a few of the creators of these wonderful scented treats that turn heads.

I still say support these folks directly as often as possible, even though the secondary market usually pumps their sales straight back into those very companies.

One, it feels amazing to get it straight from the creators hands to you…

Two, when donating to one of the many charitable causes companies like BPAL/BPTP support by buying charity scents, you’re directly helping them…

And three, it feels amazing to get that gorgeous packed just for your order swag(Looking hard at BPAL/BPTP, as it’s simply amazing what they shove into a small USPS cardboard mailer.  Also looking hard at ZOMG Smells, as I swear they stalk my cart and watch how often I changed my mind before buying, and manage to slip in one or two of our curiosities.).

My son is collecting all of the neat BPAL/BPTP pitchcards(Just the neutral themed ones, he ‘shares’ with me by giving me the more risque ones), buttons, stickers, and velvet pouches.  He’s even repurposed the shipping boxes and logo packing tape to make neat holders for vials, cards, pencils, etcetera.

So yes, it’s possible to smell good on a budget(bathing, bathing first is probably the most important bit.  Good thing a lot of these places sell scented soaps and scrubs.  Get in that tub and scrub!).

The more you know!


So I’m still not back to whatever passes for normal.  I’m reminded almost hourly of shenanigans my siblings pulled, and as promised, sharing this at the bottom with another story:

Before I wrote this, I was reminded of taking my brother home from college one day, and how kind-hearted he was in the face of unpredictable well, acts of Murphy.

He always dressed sharp to school…well to anywhere really.  Even looked flawless in jeans and t-shirts (Remember this fact, it’ll be important later.).

Well anyway, we were driving down the highway and just about to make the exit to home(we were literally four minutes from home), when my car started chugging.  He tells me I should pull over to the shoulder and I do just as it quits.  I mean completely stopped.  To make it even better, the heavens open up and poured down on us just then.  So my son starts fussing(he was a tiny tot at the time), and my brother squeezes into the space between the front seats and slides into the back and does a one-man act to keep him company while I try to start the car.  Twenty-two minutes later, it finally lessens, and I pop the hood to go out and look at it.  He makes me stay in, saying that I was better equipped to take care of kiddo, so getting sick…not an option.  He opens the door, takes a single step, slips, and falls right into mud, dressed very nicely.  Nice clothes just took a mud-bath.  Not just shoes and socks, but I mean completely covered in mud, thick, freshly made mud, icy cold.

“I meant to do that,” he said as my son clapped and giggled, and I’m trying not to cry(and laugh, but not crying was more important).

Meanwhile, one hour and five minutes have passed, and a county officer, a state officer, and the highway helpers come to “help”.

Turns out the timing belt had sheared. Completely shredded.  Had he not suggested I pull over when he did, we would have slid into a whole mess of trouble.

The car got a tow home, my brother, son and I all got a ride(I actually forgot who came to pick us up, so when you see this, I’m sorry the sludge monster got your car all messy), with Chris’fer in a mylar blanket shivering and cracking jokes to keep my son smiling.  I was trying to not cry.

Yes, he caught a cold.  Yes, I pretty much brought him whatever he asked for for the next two weeks because he prevented that from being me.

There are more tales, but for now, I have this.


Trying to find my way back to normal when it’s right next to me…three scoops.

So yeah, sorry folks.  Been moping, grieving, and all that jazz, and my son did a very Chris’fer thing to bring me out of my funk.  He hammed it up with charm and style, and gently reminded me we have some ZOMG Smells scents to try that have sat unloved a while.

“Hurrah, hurrah step right up to Dr. ZOMG’s amazing Summer Scoop Shoppe!

There’s delights to tickle even the most discerning of palettes, so hurry on over and sample them today, for they won’t last…no folks, they’re practically running out the door now!

While you’re at it, take a gander in that there tent for some amazing sights that are simply out-of-this-world, I say out-of-this-world…a rare, one-of-a-kind Spacebat, the amazing Rocketfrog, and the elusive LH Squeezel.  Let’s go blasting off again!

(Do what I did…imagine a auburn haired, blue hazel eyed Angel decked out in candy stripe shirt, bold striped vest, boater hat, dark trousers and shoes, and a fancy cane.  That’s what I did when he began his schtick…then I fell off my chair laughing)

Ice Cream Soda: Honey Lavender

In the Bottle: Sharp Astringent Lavender, and a sweet fizz.

On me: Holy Wow. The soda bubbles I imagine tickling my nose.
Ice cream, sweet and creamy, is a lovely Lavender cream, with honey drizzled on top.

Oh dear God, I want some.

It’s absolutely divine. It has amazing lasting power, unlike BPAL’s honey note, it keeps on going.

I adore this!

I adore everything about this!

On my son:  Take what it smells like on me, and amp delicious.  Lil stinker.

Blood Orange Creamsicle

In the Bottle:  Wow. This is complex…and familiar. It reminds me of everything I love about Tapputi, so much so, I had to grab my aged bottle and sniff compare them.  They are very similar to my nose, only swap grapefruits with rich, juicy blood oranges and add a scoop of buttery Vanilla ice cream instead of currants.

{Tapputi is from their 2013 Sweet Scientist collection.
Notes:  Ambergris, tamarind, frankincense, red currant and white grapefruit. We thought about using her recipe, but…she got there first. Dibs, yknow?}

On me: All resemblance to Tapputi vanishes. Where Tapputi was Sun-kissed citrus and a refreshing very lightly spicy muskiness to it.  It made me cry when I wore it, as it smelled like the first grown-up perfume my Grandmother gifted me, a signature scent of one of the original Charlie’s Angels, Jaclyn Smith.
After it was reformulated, it never smelled the same.  Tapputi is everything that California was to me, and I treasure every drop of it.

This one is vibrant, sweet, and creamy, like a Dreamsicle, with a more mature edge.  Like if you drizzled Solerno and Gran Marnier over a primo scoop of freshly churned Blue Bell(in my mind, the quintessential buttery vanilla ice cream), you have a sort of idea of it.  It’s a skin scent, so unless you are really close, or I happen to run a wand through my hair, you might not notice it, which is fine when I wear Summery fragrances like this.

On my son:  Dreamsicles.  My little stinker always smells delicious.
He says it reminds him of the orange and cream bars I used to make him when I couldn’t afford to get the ones already made.

All in all, it’s a very Summery, refreshing scent.
It makes me want to sit with my son on his red Coca-Cola swing and eat Dreamsicles and talk about the good-old days.

Devil’s Food

In the bottle: Chocolate. A great big fountain of chocolate.

On me: Rich chocolate cake. Really primo icing too.

This is one of those “Gimme the cake, and nobody gets hurt!” sort of scents. It reminded me of my weekly visits to my Grandmother’s and her surprise cakes. She always made moist, rich, delicious cakes, and her devil’s food was the best. I’m glad my son got to experience it.

I’m going to layer this with the previous scent for a chocolate orange bit of decadence.

On my son: How is it possible that a delicious scent could possibly smell better? Put it on my son, that’s how. Too delicious for words. He’s threatened to send me to my room if I didn’t quit hovering.

So in short, get eleventybillion bottles of this, if you have any room in your room after buying elevenybillion bottles of Honey Lavender Ice Cream Soda, and Blood Orange Creamsicle.

This next one is just my son’s review, as he smelled Strawberry, and I sadly, cannot be a part of Strawberries world…I’m allergic to it, and he worries about a skin reaction(I’d say I’m not crying, but you know how much of a lousy liar I am regarding my tiny human bundle of amazing and how I’m not crying about it).

Ice Cream Soda:  Neapolitan

In the Bottle:  He says it smells fizzy and sweet…triple scoop sweet.

On him:  Wow.  Yeah, three scoops of fresh churned ice cream. Decadent, buttery Vanilla Bean, so incredibly rich, luscious, velvety Milk Chocolate, and Red, ripe, juicy Strawberries blended into a creamy sweet scoop of perfection.  Take these and put an amazing fizzy creamy cream soda with them.  That’s how amazing it smells.  I can’t hug him until this either fades, or he takes a bath…he smells absolutely divinely delicious.  I’m close to being sent to my room until I calm down…he smells yummy!

Yes, you do, you want eleventybillion bottles of this, though I sadly cannot.

To complete my collection of fun and delicious, I have two classics and a brand-new scent to add a bit of cute to his Carnival of Sweet Science.


Never forget March 15, 2009. On that day, a small free-tailed bat clung resolutely to the space shuttle Discovery and rose through the Earth’s atmosphere to the vastness beyond on a billowing plume of flame. No creature has ever died a more glorious death, or lived so purely the dream that pulled our distant ancestors up from the oceans and into the skies. While Spacebat’s body did not survive his flight to the stars, his dream lives on in all of us.

The scent of a soul slipping the surly bonds of earth for the stars above. Mission accomplished.

Cave stone and memorial myrrh lifted by nutmeg and delicate leather wings.

In the Bottle: Very reverential, the spice, cave scent, and fuzzy, leathery bat scent mingling with Myrrh.  Not quite sorrow, but more a memorial.

On me: Considering we have visited both Mammoth Caves and Inner Space Caverns, it smells exactly like…



“Go on, say it Mommy!  It smells like the Batman in the Batcave!”


“Never gonna…”

“…see outside if you finish that sentence child mine.”

On my son: Fine, he smells like Batman in the Batcave.

*smug grin*

Rocket Frog

When one creature reaches for the stars, we all do. On September 6, 2013, the launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) propelled Rocket Frog into a new world.

Her time aloft with LADEE was all too brief. Her reach outward–who can say what she reached for? Help? Something familiar? Anything other than the whirling flame of a rocket launch? Reasonable things all. But reach she did, and we like to think that in Rocket Frog’s outstretched arms is a metaphor for others who have found themselves thrust into difficult and dire circumstances they would not have chosen for themselves. Rocket Frog’s flight was the flight of someone unaware, unqualified, and unprepared for greatness–and it was a mighty flight. We applaud her.

This is the cool green watery scent of a frog home. A calm base before the fireball.

In the Bottle:  Very lovely aquatic…lightly floral.

On me: It’s–

“Ribbit ribbit.”


I swear he’s taken several chapters out of my brother’s book on how to troll me.

On my son: It’s just froggy on my son too. Nyah!

LH Squeezel

In the bottle:  Cute, furry, fizzy, electric.

On me and my son both…he says it smells like cute and furry, fuzzy ginger ale.  It’s so adorable, and lasts ages.


** I received these insanely indulgent treats from ZOMG Smells.  The opinions are my own, because I’m so crazy about them I just need to spread the love.**

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So, because my son has reminded me of my brother so very much as we reviewed and wrote this up, I’ll post again about my brother with a bit of humour regarding the fundraiser my sister is doing for his family, and a few funnies at my expense:

Since my brother was a huge gamer nerd, I’ll phrase it thus:

$2,500 Achievement unlocked:  My Brother-in-law is going shopping in a banana costume.

$3,500 Achievement unlocked:  My Brother-in-law is going shopping in a Pink Nightgown and rollers.

$4,500 Achievement(not yet met):  My Brother-in-law is going shopping as a Disney Princess(my son and I vote Princess Jasmine).

My brother, in addition to being the sweetest, loving, kind-hearted, most generous young man I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, was a very witty, punny guy with a strange, warped sense of humour.  I know he’d take great pleasure in all of this…possibly even engineer it so certain goals were…suddenly met at just the right time.  Yup, my Brother-in-law is going down!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

He and my sister were twins, though born years apart.  There were times I couldn’t decipher where his ideas began and hers ended.  They constantly pulled pranks on me, between him waking me up with a bugle call on his trumpet, and her finishing with a sweet but amusing bit on her Violin, to rearranging the kitchen and hiding everything I bought to make dinner with…usually in plain sight.  Their excuse to our Mother when she asked why they did thus to me(while hiding her laugh behind a hand) was, “We were saving you from the tummyache Mom!  You know she’s a horrible cook!”

I couldn’t stay angry for long.  They always have looked out for me in the most amusing ways…

…my little sister getting me used to traveling by making me drive in Downtown Chicago during Rush Hour(I have always been uneasy about driving, as I tend to get lost inside a wet paper bag) before she left home, my little brother pushing me to get help with my depression when I quit interacting with friends by threatening to hire clowns to visit daily and pitch pies at me to cheer me up.  It took exactly two pies to get me…motivated.  Then they hit me with a few more…”Because it’s funny.”

I think I can finally write again, but I’m going to post a bit more of my memories at the ends of these for a while.



Where love and grief collide

I normally censor my journal, blog thing here, and keep talk light and silly…and private.  Full of anecdotes of my son, and the people I deal with.  Full of reviews of amazing, wondrous perfumes and bodycare.

Today, I’m breaking that rule.

On Saturday, I lost my brother.  It was unexpected.  It was sudden.  It knocked the breath out of me.

My Mother and Father, living separate lives, are grieving like very few could understand.  While I suffered several miscarriages, the grief I experienced was a small thing in comparison.  This is me, personally.  Not everyone can compare grief in this manner.  I get to navigate this and try to comprehend it all.

My little sister, who was closer in age to him, is shouldering a mountain of grief while trying to help maintain several peace treaties, and assist with details.  I’m amazed at her quiet strength, and fierce determination.

My brother was charming, disarming, snarky, witty, irreverent, and so full of life and love.

He’d do almost anything for a lemon-meringue pie, and was constantly turning up the heat when I was cooking spicy foods(“Toofur, that was one Cayenne, not six scorpion peppers!”). When going out to dinner, he’d have dessert first so he’d always have room for it. He knew just the right things to say to get me to make him the previously mentioned lemon-meringue pie, or to convince me to do something I perhaps scratch that, something I adamantly didn’t want to do.

He helped pick me back up when it all fell apart…and I’m pretty damned heavy!
He became the most amazing role model for my son, the best Uncle anyone could have.
He was also a husband and father of the highest caliber.

Everyone who ever met him pretty much either wanted to be friends with him…or deck him, then have a beer with him…or both!

There’s a Chris’fer shaped hole in my heart, and life will never be the same.

His family was everything. If you can help, awesome.

If you can’t, it’s fine, but please do me one incredibly important favour:

Please, please, please go hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you. Call your folks and just say I love you. Tuck your kids in tonight(even if they might be too old for that). And send a little kind thought or prayer for my brother’s family.

I miss you ya smegging fungus!

I will be back to my usual shenanigans soon.  Right now, I need to figure out how to help my son who idolised my brother grieve…all while I figure out how to do it.


I’m a girly girl, patent shenanigans, and life with depression

So, I realise I’ve been neglecting my writing again.  It’s inexcusable I know, but for a while, I didn’t care.  Depression is an ugly thing, compounded by daily life.

I’ve tried all the suggestions…that die with a ‘t’ thing…going paleo, going gluten-free, going carb-free(which not only didn’t help, it actually made me depressed that I gained a lot of weight.  I thought eliminating processed foods, carbs, and gluten was supposed to help you lose weight.  All of my Celiac friends here are free to chuckle knowingly, and know this last bit is pure sarcasm).

Mild exercise reminded me of injuries not healed, but I stubbornly clung onto the pain as something other than feeling depressed.  Yoga has been painful, and I’ve put a halt on it until I lose the weight I piled on trying those ‘nutritional adjustment’ suggestions.  Walking in Sunshine(which actually made it worse).  I know that for a lot of folks, SAD is helped by good old-fashioned sunshine, and a few minutes in the sun(or at a fake-and bake salon), help.  I get depressed when it’s Springy, Summery nice weather, and we never got even five seconds of snow this past Winter.

Not having a physician in the new neighbourhood means I don’t have my medicine.  The new doctors want to run a battery of tests, the same ones, in fact, that I went through back home.  I cannot afford them.  Insurance doesn’t cover redundant tests that they already deemed extravagant the last time, though reluctantly, they paid a whopping 60% of the bills, because it meant I wasn’t going to file about my depression if I was happy and productive, because it saves them money.  If the insurance accepted my physicians from back homes decision that I have mild seasonal depression that’s treatable with a bare minimum of medicine and therapy, why can’t they accept it?

So anyway, I’m doing this as though I don’t know what’s going on.  But I do.  I do.

TROLLCAT has been amazing in all this, being sweet and lovable(especially with his fave kitty jerky in easy reach).  He’s noticed.

My child has been amazing in all this, giving me space interwoven with hugs and love.

I truly have zero reasons to be depressed.  Kiddo is doing well in school, though sad and a touch fearful about a new school next year.  He gets to go after a dream he’s had since the age of three, hearing Joshua Bell play a very upscaled version of this:


I have no reason to be depressed.  Yet here I am, days on end, sobbing for no reason at all, the act of getting out of bed some days is a chore, as is the urge to return to it until my child returns from school.

Depression is an ugly thing.

Meditation works when my brain doesn’t start talking a mile a minute.  I have found, however, that if I combine meditation with positive scent, and memory, it helps.

For me, these perfumes are a nod to what my medicine did, as it boosts the chemicals in my brain that govern emotional response.  It’s not perfect, as you need powerful memories and a powerful willpower to ignore DOUBT, which feeds on your depressive state.  Oddly enough, today I was reminded of an old Looney Toons intro that fits how many adults deal with depression…they act like nothing is wrong.  If you change it slightly, it can actually turn the crushing weight into something manageable.  Just alter your perception a smidge.

So on with the show this is it!

The lovely Miss Ariel at ZOMG Smells has no idea how much a 5ml amber apothecary bottle of her creations means to me.

Earth and Heaven, is earthy, which reminds me of gardening with my Mother and Grandmother at varying happy times during childhood.  It’s like damp peat moss and fresh black soil just as it begins to rain, or if you spray it with the sprinklers…then run your toes through it.  Take that and add cacao hull mulch over it, and the scent of Adam’s Clove gum, with a gentle Frankincense note that fast-forwards time and reminds me of Christmas, and huge drifts of fluffy white snow, with the clove pinched into hot chocolate, and the potting soil for the amaryllis.  Heavenly scent that keeps me grounded and centered.

Xocolatl is quite literally, the scent of spiced hot chocolate, made with heavy cream, the cocoa powder and sweeties mixed in, then top it with fresh grated cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom…at least this week it is.

This is the next masterpiece from Dr. ZOMG’s Emporium of Fine Olfactory Refreshers(my son came up with it, and I had to teach him how to sound like a carnival barker)

Dr. ZOMG’s Extremely Reliable Callipygian Embiggener

Miss Ariel in rare form, and I’m so hearing this in a carny barkers voice:

Dr. Zomg’s Extremely Reliable Callipygian Embiggener is without a doubt a triumph of form: your triumph, and your form. It represents countless picoseconds of research and purely mental footwork by the illustrious and fully accredited Dr. Zomg* and her hapless assistant**, culminating in this purity of motion*** contained in a tiny jar also known as a bottle****. If you put this substance on your skin, you will immedibately feel moderately damp in the precise location of application. Do not be concerned! This is merely a sign that it is working. Soon, with the proper mindset and repeated diligence, you too will know the glory that so many seek– greater callipyginity. Nay, perhaps even increased amounts of callipygination! Others will immediately begin to consider you more callipyginous***** (especially the ancient Greeks– yes, this product is effective even across the centuries, upon philosphers, playwrights, heterae and statesmen long dead!). Know this and rejoice.


* not actually a doctor

** pretty hapless, though

*** it only moves if you shake it. Don’t shake it with the cap off

**** yep. It’s in a bottle

***** but they might not say anything about it, because they’re shy

****** actually, it is a real product you can order. From here. Although it won’t do anything to your butt

My son asked me what callipygian meant.  I channeled Meghan Trainor…and Sir Mix-a-lot.  When he learned the answer, he facepalmed.

This has got to be the girliest girly-girl thing I own.

It’s a freaking snowglobe in a bottle!  Yes, that’s glitter.

In the bottle…this amazingly cute GLITTER-FILLED bottlethis seriously is too girly for wordsGLITTERBOMB!Resisting the urge to squeeeeeeeeeeheeheeheehee…okay, I think I’m done now…GLITTER!

I want to bathe in it like, bathtub gin sized bath.

In the bottle, it’s like creamy orange hooch.

On my son, citrusy musk, a hint of bubbly.  Not girly at all.

On me, citrusy musk and champagne.  I’m imagining a giant’s champagne flute that’s now sort of a bathtub, and I’m swimming in it!

(Yes, I’m still on about the glitter!  It’s all over my arm, I can’t stand how awesome this is!)

It’s so much fun.

I still have more ZOMG’s to review, but I need to stop squeeing like a girl first because autocorrect is embarrassing me because my giggles are making typing difficult.


** I received these insanely indulgent treats from ZOMG Smells.  The opinions are my own, because I’m so crazy about them I just need to spread the love.**


The Not Safe For Work, Kids, Church, Anyone Without A Sense Of Humour post


As I mentioned last post, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Lupercalia is a grown-up perfume set.

ZOMG Smells also has a limited run that’s mostly for adult senses of humour.

The ones that will get me grounded will be reviewed here, and a separate post for the nice ones.  As such, my son has abstained from reviewing these even though he likes some of them.

My second grounding worthy Lupercalia scent from BPAL(and the fastest censor job I’ve ever done):

BIG RED TUTU(real name at linky…NSFW, etcetera):

Red Leather and Honey

Just the artwork alone would get me in trouble with my beautiful, darling boy who knows I’m posting all of these under censor cuts.

In the bottle:  Honeyed Leather.  Really good honey, and sun-warmed leather.

Note: use a good unscented moisturiser, as most folks I know say the honey poofs quickly.  It happened to me until I slathered on a good unscented moisturiser ten minutes prior to application.

On me: Sweet Honey on the breeze, with that scent of sun-warmed leather.

I’ve also layered it with Dragon’s Tutu(see previous review), and got the smell of eating a dish of spiced honey pears and heavy cream while sitting on a leather blanket.

EDIT: The honey faded after four hours with moisturiser, an hour without.  Still lovely scents.  I’m in the search for a long-term honey note to layer with these so I can enjoy these for more than an occasional wear.


So ZOMG Smells has an adult humour line full of puns, science, and innuendo.  Once again, censored titles that click over to the real deal.

Smokin’!(NSFW, click the linky):

Cedar, wormwood, Smoke, Red Musk, Benzoin Resin, Oak-aged Cognac, and two Cloves: Bud and Leaf

It’s fiery, much like Nuee Ardente, which prompted me to ask Miss Ariel, “This would be an EPIC hookup.  What will the children be like?”

I’ll let you know when I hear back from her.  Until then…

In the bottle: FIRE!  Seriously.  Smoke, burning trees, the smell of burning acrid sap.  This is a raging fire.

On me:  It starts out fiery, then mellows into an expensive Cognac with a dash of Spiced schnapps, on the rocks, in a chilled glass that has had a dose of the Green Faerie swirled around first, a dark ring of condensation on that old Cedar steamer trunk you’re using as a coffee table.  Really smooth, really potent.

The hip bone’s connected to the…(this one’s NSFW too):

Cedarwood and Cypress, rubbed with Dirt, Bergamot Mint, Bitter Fennel, Resin, and a whiff of Diesel.

In the bottle: Manly sexy mechanic.

On me: A memory.  I remember this old pump and stop on Route 66.  I was little when we took a Holiday using that road, but I could remember the smells of that service station, a hint of black liquorice(Grandma’s and my little sisters favourite) and soft peppermint sticks, dirt swept into a pile by the door(left there because we made a pit stop), the old hardwood counter, the fresh Earl Grey tea the Mechanic had on his desk as he did a quick-check on Grandpa’s old LTD Crown Vic.

Memory in a bottle, and oddly enough, not a perverse one.

Sexy, Naughty…(yup you know it’s NSFW):

Strong Raw Honey, Balsam of Peru, Frankincense, Gingersnaps,  Pineapple, and Mandarin

I’m reminded of that old club song, Sexy, Naughty…not finishing it.

In the bottle: Fruity girly drinks at the club, a splash of scent in just the right place to make the heads turn, and not just because you’re in your hot mama clothes shakin’ it…

On me: Holy carp!  This is amazing.  It’s party in a bottle.  So good, a bit sexy, a bit boozy, a bit spicy, a bit foody, a bit fruity.  This is Girly Umbrella Drink’s bitter rival.  She’s the skanky hot cheerleader to the hot but shy nerdy wallflower.  Love. It.

Georgia…and not the song either.(last round folks, but still NSFW):

Peach, Honey, Muscadine, and Guava shave ice, a Grapefruit Bellini, Neroli, Geranium EO, Gardenia, Lily, and of course a big floofy Iris.    

If you’re looking for a present for Deadpool, I bet this would hit the spot.

It’s a raunchy play on a certain Lady…It’s very classy, despite the name.

In the bottle:  Peach on the Beach.  No, seriously.  Now I want one.

On me: Like the drink.  As it dries, the florals shine without overpowering the fruity boozy smell.

I’m not a peach person, but I love this.


** I received these insanely indulgent treats from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and ZOMG Smells.  The opinions are my own, because I’m so crazy about them I just need to spread the love.**




Lovely late Yules, my son has grounded me, and all that jazz.

Sorry folks!  Got the plague that’s been hitting the nation, and spent ordered time away from my smellies.  Bronchitis, and they thought scent would aggravate my sick.  I had to let packages sit.

So I’m half feeling guilty, as my lovely Yules scents were only acquired because the wonderful folks at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab had come down with the plague that was sweeping the nation…flu season.

On the plus side, I got to order the set of storybook scents I wanted, because they were still up.  Still feel guilty though.

I also acquired a new Carnaval Diabolique scent, and a Lupercalia(their naughty version of Valentines), and gorgeous new samples to try.

Snow White

A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers. 

In the Bottle:  Spiced baked Apples and sweetened cream cooling in the frosty air.

On me: How one manages to catch the scent of fresh snow is beyond me, but capture it they did.  I still get apples and cream, but also a hint of minty rose…anyone that’s grown white roses will know what I mean.

On my son: (yes, he’s very comfortable trying on scents clearly set up for women, and it’s amazing).  It’s that snow covered evergreen one associates with Christmas, and fresh, tart apple peel.  It’s by far the darkest turnout I’ve ever smelled on my son, but it’s perfectly masculine.  Very proper.

Rose Red

The perfected Winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

In the Bottle: Rose.  Roses you rushed to cover because of the unexpected snowfall, that lovely green scent of a fresh-cut rose at the florists(I used to be one, so I grew familiar with unpacking sleeves of roses, the trick of trimming them under lightly iced water in the coolers so they don’t shock in the shoppe coolers from being treated with cold tap water, which is warmer than how they were shipped in a refrigerator truck, and trimmed at the counters).

My son declined this one.  I expected it, but wow.  I found one he wouldn’t try.  *sniffles*  I’m sort of sad.

On me: My Little Pony butt.  Powdery fake rose.  *cries*  It smells so pretty in the bottle!  Half an hour later it died down to a pale rose scent.  This one’s locket fodder.

The Bear Prince

Shaggy fur, snow-flecked and rose-touched.

In the Bottle:  Ever smell a furry friend come in after playing in the snow?  Take that freezing cold furry scent, and add roses.  It’s lovely.

On my son:  Dreamy!  Creamy Musk with a rose in the buttonhole.  I’m so jelly!

On me:  My Little Pony butt.  After half an hour I got creamy Musk and Rosepetals.  It’s not fair!

The Peacock Queen

In dramatic contrast to the soft innocence of Snow White and the dew-kissed freshness of her sister, Rose Red, this is a blood red, voluptuous rose, velvet-petaled, at the height of bloom. Haughty and imperious, vain, yet incomparably lovely to the eye, but thick with thorns of jealousy, pride and hatred.

In the Bottle: Rosy, Rosy, Rose.  So many roses stuffed into this bottle!  It’s so regal.

My son declined this one too.  I’m really okay.  *sniffles*  I’m feeling bad I chose two he wouldn’t do more than sniff.

On me:  Oh my stars.  This is one serious rose.  Most rose perfumes change on me.  It’s like taking a bottle of Damask Rose water from the icebox and spritzing yourself, then laying down on a bed of roses.  A whole roomful of the most gorgeously outrageously larger than life roses.  From beginning to end rose.

Note:  The first time I tried this, I cried because of the MLP curse.  But then someone made me think about all the rose scents I had tried this week, so I washed my arms in V-8 juice, then warm soapy water, then waited an hour.  My issue was the staying power of these rose scents.

I also tried all three roses together as a final tribute, and wow.  It’s amazing.  Because I had removed the others and had Peacock Queen as the first layer, they combined to form this creamy, snowy, green and musky rose.  It’s brilliant.  They’re magnificent.


So I love Carnaval Diabolique.  Really, supremely adore it.  Here’s the next one in the collection.

Iulia, L’Artiste du Diable

A chittering buzz rises from a small crowd that has gathered around an opulent velvet-draped tent. Some are fidgeting impatiently; others try in vain to peep within the tent. Within moments, a slim, stunningly handsome man emerges from the entryway to the sound of gasps and scattered applause. His face is lit with fierce joy, and he bows almost smugly to the assemblage. Grabbing a flirtatious blonde from the mob, he kisses her in a rush of mad passion, his arm encircles her waist, and he leads her directly to a nearby opium den. The crowd disperses, and curiosity pulls you forward. You push open the fringed, beaded tent-flap and enter the dimly-lit room. A lovely, voluptuous redhead stands before an ornate antique easel. Her luminous alabaster skin and the phosphorescence emanating from her paintbrush seem to be the only source of light. As you adjust to the gloom, you see that the walls are covered with atrocities: an exhibit of dissolution. The myriad canvases show men and women in various stages of rot and decay, a panoply of indulgence, teeth set in fury, mouths leering in lust, hands grasping greedily.
The scarlet woman turns her gleaming sightless eyes towards you and, in a husky, compelling voice, she speaks:
“Why let the years tear at your youthful splendor? Why let the mark of your sins stain your fine features? Will you let the cold, creeping grasp of time and the toil of temptation mar your visage? Why should the pleasures of our flesh wreak such havoc?”
She leans in close to you and whispers, “Let me capture your soul on this canvas in oil and blood, and you will be beautiful forever.”
White tea, sugar cane, orange blossom, rockrose, lemon balm, white mint, and honey.

In the Bottle:  Sweetened honeyed Citrus Mint tea.  So decadent.

On my son: Honey Lemon tea.  Five minutes later, the Sugared Mint gently drifted in. Lovely.

On me:  Fruit Stripes gum punch to my face.  What the heck?  It turns out that one of my two lockets that I forgot I was wearing, had Carnaval Diabolique in it, which made my nose smell Fruit Stripes Gum.  Once I took it off and washed my neck, I could smell the vibrant Citrus and Mint notes in perfect harmony with the Honey note.  Very elegant.  Unfortunately, I cannot wear it with CD, which makes me a sad Inky.

Dragon’s ‘Tutu'(real name at the link site)

We possess a very sophisticated sense of humor! Dragon’s blood resin, white cream, pear blossom, and white honey.

This got me grounded folks.  BTW, BPAL’s Lupercalia is NSFW, NSFK, NSFC, NSFAWASOH.

My one and only Luper got me in trouble…with my eleven year old.

“Hey Mommy! Moooom!”

“Yes dear?”

“That scent smells really beautiful. Whatcha wearing?”

Me(remembering what put I on and panicking): “Um, I forget?”

My son(Who’s not convinced): Really?

Me(Completely red with embarrassment, hand over mouth mumbling): Dragon’s *mumbles*

My son: “Dragon? Dragon what? Can I try it?

Me(Knowing I’m so very much busted): “I…guess?”

My son(reading the bottle): “So the Dragon is a bonehead. *sighs dramatically* YOUNG LADY, GO TO YOUR ROOM! AND NO MORE BPAL UNTIL YOU CENSOR THIS!” Walks away muttering, “What would GGO say if she saw that? Kids these days.”

GGO is my late Grandmother, who is watching this whole thing and laughing.

So, since I was grounded to my room until I figured it out, here is a laugh for all of you.  I had to censor it, so I remembered a talk I had with a friend regarding getting her super fluffy poochie a tutu, so it became,

Dragon’s Tutu.

This is such an amazing scent on me(on my son too). He said I can keep it now.

In the Bottle: Dragon’s blood, Juicy Pears, Honeyed Milk.

On my son: Pear cream soda.  So delicious.

On me: Spiced poached pears in heavy honeyed sweet cream.

The bottle can say Tutu all it wants…I love this!

Next post will be another series collection of the General Catalogue Imp’s ears they sent me.

TROLLCAT, for those keeping up with news on him, is feeling much better, and even let me warm water bathe him weekly.  He’s taken over my comforter, especially when I want to crawl under it and nap.

This is my blankie, my bed, and my lap.

TROLLCAT showing me he’s boss.

** I received these insanely indulgent treats from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.  The opinions are my own, because I’m so crazy about them I just need to spread the love.**