Paris – Biarritz

Chanel promo card and sample spray.

Absolut Citron vodka and green bell peppers an inch off the skin for an hour or so.
Unisex and pleasant–a polite one to wear on the train, but nothing special.


This song IS something special.
Stone Gossard (of Pearl Jam and Mother Love Bone) and Adam Levine did an amazing cover of this one at the I Am The Highway tribute concert. It’s worth tracking down for a listen–I’m not always a fan of Maroon 5 but Adam has a range as broad as Chris Cornell, and this tune needs it–that whole show was amazing, but today is rainy and gray and I just need the original.

Bleu de Chanel

Bleu de Chanel edgy
Ad peelie of a square blue bottle embossed with Chanel’s iconic font.

This could be this decade’s Drakkar Noir–a new definition of masculinity for these semi-enlightened times. Sophisticated and clever–strength and ego coming with style and smarts rather than brawn–this man might not have the classic pretty face but his shirt is nicely tailored and he plays cards well–he’s interesting.

Opens with icy lemonade, then smoky ginger, and lays two inches above the skin with amber, mint and sandalwood all evening long.

I wish it had more sweetness.

Edit – 6/24/21

I sniffed a bottle in the men’s department–and I got a drop on my nose.
(…sad whine…)
The world did not get any sexier, but I did have a sudden craving for lemon sweets.
When I got home the guy said I smelled like one of his golf buddies–the smart one.


Peter Gabriel always seems to carry an air of cerebral masculinity.
(The live version with The Blind Boys of Alabama is even better but there’s an ad break in the middle that’s jarring.)


Gabrielle edgyLemon and orange blossoms and neroli and tangerines.

Ylang-ylang softens the citrus and spice warms it up a bit.

I’d have thought Kristen Stewart would smell less sweetly floral than this, but there’s a certain sandalwood androgyny at the bottom that fits her mystique.

Chanel No. 5

Mini Chanel bottle in the center of a fuchsia daisy.

Chanel No. 5 is the most famous fragrance of the world, and for good reason.
No other perfume manages to be such a combination of opposites–clean yet filthy, powdery but also syrupy, delicate and heavy, soothing yet provocative, mature but gamine–all at the same time.

The 80’s eau de parfum splashes on with soapy peaches, juicy but aldehydic, and starchy boned lingerie falling to the floor, in a release of structure giving way to voluptuousness.
The flowers in the middle blend to effervescent floral cordial, chased by a Southern Comfort base–smooth woody whisky sweetened by vanilla.

I love it, but I’m no Marilyn Monroe, and this one takes a hefty pair to pull off. (I was 16 when it came out, and Lady Stetson was a bit more my speed.)
Wear with a corset and no shame.

Edit – 7/9/21.

Perfume in time of COVID-19:
Out of curiosity, I sniffed my mini bottle yesterday, and it smelled like mustard.
Today it smells like nothing at all.

The guy asked, “What texture should we have for dinner tonight?” (Flavorless potato chips are very strange!)
I’m sure I’ll be okay–I’ve been double vaxxed–so hopefully this will pass soon.


This song also came out in 1986. Madonna was our Marilyn back then.