Thursday, July 9, 2009


The other day I spent a day with Chamade, a 1969 perfume by one of my favorite perfume houses. On one of the forums Chamade was listed as a perfume that would suit someone who wore Arpege by Lanvin. At first sniff of this tiny little bottle I knew it was love. It was at once rich and bright. According to, the top notes are hyacinth and jasmine. This Ylang-Ylang, Blackcurrent buds, and Galbanum. The basenotes are vanilla, woody notes, and balsamic notes. Fragrantica says it has, "The main notes are Turkish rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, blackcurrant buds, lily of the valley, galbanum, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, amber, iris, and Tonka bean." Perfume Shrine confirms the Lily of the Valley (Lily of the Valley which I love in Diorissimo). There is nothing that isn't absolutely lovely about the fragrance and it is true that the real magic happens about an hour in. One feels like wearing jazzy silk in a chaise lounge in a Parisian apartment boudroir with the sun beaming in. It also seemed so right to hum the Greatful Dead -- maybe because it was born at the height of the sixties. It is my happy place scent. At work I brought my tiny little bottle and the bottle fell from the co-worker's hand and it spilt so the entire office area was infused. While reduced what little I had, it was a blessing as the smell just made me feel incredibly lucky. Lucky is being able to share the scent and turn the area I worked into this amazing scent. It was sunshine. It was named after a fast, drum beat. There was a flutter, an undulation to the fragrance that made my heart flutter. It is considered a green floral with a warmth. As it dried down my co-worker thought it was powery in a good way like a newborn smells. To me, Chamade was a journey and a long one because the perfume lasted for almost the entire day. It was a beautiful trip.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuberose causes a Fracas

Last night after work we stopped at Sephora and I rolled on some Fracas on the top of my hand. Fracas doesn't take to everyone's body chemistry, but it took to mine in a amazing way. The rest of the night I would smell the top of my hand and I would not want to take it away. Tipping my head back I would just let my lay on top of my nose and the hand would seem to just melt. Fracas has been described as a buttery tuberose and it seems out of the class of tuberose scents, this fragrance the sexiest. It is not a mere floral.

Diana Rigg, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Dita Von Teese, Martha Stewart (?!?), Madonna, and Iman are among the women who have worn the perfume.

I do want to try other tuberose fragrances just for kicks: Carnal Flower, Saks Fifth Avenue for Her, Tubéreuse by Caron, Tuberuse Couture 17 by Parfumerie Generale, Guerlain Bois d’Armenie, Vintage Lanvin Rumeur, Annick Goutal Tubereuse, Balenciaga Quadrille, Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger.

So I have been thinking of turning our guest room into a boudoir/tea room/parlor. Our guest room already has a vintage feel with a vanity with a circular mirror and ancestor photos from as far back as 1870s. I am lobbying hard to get the old television and stereo out and replace it with antique seating we have in storage. Since the room has a window facing east we can put indoor fragrant plants like a fragrant miniature rose, tuberose, and lily of the valley in the room.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quan Yin

I adore this marble, jade, and Calcite crystal Kuan Yin statue. Kuan Yin has a special significance for me as she is the goddess of family, fertility, compassion, and mercy. I love what she symbolizes and we do have her in our home already, but you cannot have enough Kuan Yin because she takes away negative energy. She is water, she is life.
Great Compassion Mantra

Instructions on how to practice the Great Compassion Mantra (Da Bei Zhow) of Kwan Yin
By Vajra Regent DongShan Wu-Tsen

1. Light incense and place beside shrine;
2. Prostrate 3 times to Kwan Yin;
3. Offer one (or more) glass (es) of water which Kwan Yin will bless;
4. Invite Kwan Yin to come to you and appear;
5. Bring the palms of your hands together in the prayer-mudra;
6. Invite all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to come and be present.
7. Recite the following chant:
Lu Shian dza zo,
Fa Je Mung Shin,
Dzu Fo Haj Whey Shi Yao Wen,
Swey Tsu Dje Shang Yun,
Tsong Yi Fong Yin,
Dzu Fo Shien Chuan Song.
Na Mo Shian Yun Gai Pu Sa Mo Ko Sa. (3 times)
8. Recite the following lines to purify your speech and apologize for the pronunciation errors made by you during this practice:
An Sho Li Sho Lie, Mo Ho Sho Li, Sho Sho Li, Sa Po Ho (So Ha).
9. Recite the Kwan Yin Great Compassion Mantra 3, 5, 7, 21, 49 or 108 times.
10. Recite the short mantra 10 times:
Na Mo Kwan Yin Boddhisattva.
11. Finally, drink the water blessed by Kwan Yin. This water now has healing powers.
12. Dedicate this practice of the Kwan Yin Great compassion Mantra to the benefit and enlightenment of all beings.

My Favorite Flowers

If I had to do my wedding all over again, I would have had an evening wedding with all white fragrant flowers: gardenias, tuberoses, moon orchids, lily of the valley, stephanotis, brunfelsias, plumaria, Atractocarpus, Echinopsis, water lily, Magnolias, jasmine, Pacesetter rose, daffodils, hyacinths, white iris, white french lavender, white lotus, hydrangeas.white carnations, swan lake sweetpeas, and Casablanca lilies (!!!). There is something so elegant about white flowers on white tablecloth and place settings. Combine this with lighting from candles, white chinese lanterns, and white mini lights and it would be beautiful. On each table there could be a white quan yin statue to symbolize compassion and family love. It would still be at Stern Grove in San Francisco, because that location was absolutely beautiful. Do not get me wrong, my wedding was beautiful, romantic, and fun. The only regret was the flowers that were predominately pink and not very exceptional. The only flowers that I liked were the potted white roses, but that was my idea -- not the florists. The florist I chose was terrible as my bridal bouquet started falling apart. Later she tried to convince me that a sonya rose she used was peach rather than pink. White on white just avoids these shades of color problems and it is just more adult and classic.
I am also thinking that I could do a fragrant garden of all these flowers above, plus a moondance rose, 'Mme Legras de St Germain' rose, 'Rosa Mulliganii' , Wincester Cathedral rose,
Fair Bianca rose, Madame Hardy rose, White Buddleia "white profusion" or butterfly bush. White sage, white geraniums, white cymbidium orchids.

In our front shaded yard: Aruncus, Chelone, Dicentra, Astilbe, Gallium, Epimedium, Lamium, Tiarella, Lily of the Valley, Primula, columbine, and Viola. Also, laydown sheet and rock moss and various ferns.

It would be cool to have garden that was part moon garden, butterfly and bee garden, part fragrant garden, part fairy garden, part shade garden in mostly white flowers. I could also do my succulent garden and herb garden.