Let’s Play Questions… Vol 6: Christmas, Presents & Perfume

Source: Pinterest. Original source unknown.

Source: Pinterest. Original source unknown.

I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, if you celebrate the day, and a very happy end of the year if you don’t. For those who partook in the festivities of the day, I thought it would be nice to have a chatty post where we could all share some of the highlights. So, it’s time for another round of the Questions game. Take a gander at any or all of the following.

  1. What was your scent of the day or night, either on Christmas Eve or today?
  2. What was one of the more cozy or fun parts of either day?
  3. What were some of your favorite gifts that you received? If you received any perfume, you really must share! 🙂

I’ll start first, but please feel free to talk about whatever you’d like.

Question 1. I rarely get the chance to wear perfume just for myself, so I’m afraid last night was no exception as I was doing my usual testing. Same story for today, but at least I chose a scent that seemed to be more up my alley and bound to be enjoyable. Thus far, it has been. You will have to wait to see what it turns out to be, but an early hint: it features patchouli. (Yes, I know, I’m quite obsessed these days in my hunt for the perfect patchouli. And no, my patchouli series is not actually over. You’ve only had a temporary reprieve from my madness….)

Question 2. I haven’t really had a conventional Christmas Eve or Christmas Day thus far. For one thing, there has always a bit of a tug-and-pull in my family when it comes to which day to celebrate. My family has traditionally followed the European habit of doing things on Christmas Eve, including the feast and the opening of presents. I’ve always objected to that, and I’ve stuck pretty adamantly to my rule of leaving everything for Christmas Day itself. This year, everything got even more screwed up because of a sibling’s schedule, so we had our “Christmas Eve” celebrations last Saturday. Since I can be quite stubborn, I refused to open my presents, which resulted in much eye-rolling and resigned sighs from my family.

So, today, the Hairy German and I had an early, mini-Christmas of sorts with my parents. In a short while, we will have a small, casual lunch, picnic style. There will be tons of French cheeses for me, several types of bread, soups, smoked salmon, mini-quiches, dim sum, sushi (yes, I have a thing about Asian food), Japanese seaweed salad, gourmet pizza, lamb shanks, and other tidbits.

The Hairy German on "his" bed with his badly chewn Santa.

The Hairy German on “his” bed with his Santa.

Question 3. Some of my favorite gifts were German shepherd related! (Deutsche Schäferhund für das Leben. I would say “uber alles,” but that has negative connotations.) You should see the GSD puppy calendar in particular! The photos are so adorable, you have no idea.

I also received a few culinary and gastronomy items, from books, to special bags of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee from one of my best friends who reserves them months in advance. The beans are only grown on a particular stretch of mountains in Jamaica, and their classification as “Blue Mountain” is sharply regulated. Blue Mountain has developed the reputation of being one of the best and most expensive coffees in the world. Rumour has it that the price is sky-high mostly because all the Russian oligarchs buy it up en masse, but that sounds dubious to me. Wikipedia claims instead that 80% of the beans are exported to Japan, so clearly, limited availability of some kind is the responsible for the hype. (Wikipedia also adds that  [i]n addition to its use for brewed coffee, the beans are the flavor base of Tia Maria coffee liqueur.”) In this case, I think much of the hype is well-deserved as it really is fantastic, deep, dark coffee, and I’m lucky that my coffee-addict friend always sends me some as part of my Christmas box.

Some of the GTPC's offerings via roadfood.com

Some of the GTPC’s offerings via roadfood.com

This same friend also sends me every year two pies from the famous Grand Traverse Pie Company, which are freshly made in Michigan and arrive the very next day. My enormous box came on Christmas Eve via over-night Fed Ex delivery, and consisted of two huge pies that are 9-inches deep. This year, I received: Holiday Hill pure Rhubarb, and Opera House blueberry-peach. I’ve eaten a lot of pies in my life, and outside of the French tarte tartin, I’ve never tasted anything quite like the creations of Grand Traverse Pie Company. If you ever want to send someone food as a gift, I really recommend them. They have the most enormous range of items, from pecan to chocolate pies, cheesecakes, brownies and more. Plus, the items are so carefully packaged and so deeply insulated, they arrive in pristine condition and the result is a pie as fresh as if you had just ordered it in Michigan yourself.

In terms of perfume, I received some books on the subject, but no actual scents. I can’t decide if my family thinks I have too many fragrances, or if they simply don’t dare buy me any. Since I’ve left numerous broad hints about my wish list, I suspect it’s the former. But I did receive money, so perhaps it’s the latter. I doubt I’m the easiest person to shop for when it comes to perfume.

So, that has been my Christmas thus far. Tell me about yours!

68 thoughts on “Let’s Play Questions… Vol 6: Christmas, Presents & Perfume

  1. Merry Christmas!
    I wore ELdO Afternoon of the Faun with a little Ta’if Rose Attar from Amouage. No real particular reason except that I usually end up saving the Ta’if for special occasions and this seemed like a good one. The ELdO was nice and spicy and went surprisingly well with the rose.
    We had a relatively quiet Christmas here with just me and my kids. Of course the morning was spent trying to remain calm while assembling and figuring out all the new toys the kids had to play with right NOW! We did have our “traditional” dinner of flank steak with peppers and prosciutto, at least.
    I was very lucky to receive a bottle of Agonist Black Amber (with the receipt in case I want to exchange, my mom is so nice!) and one of the new Amouage candles, Love.
    All and all, not a bad day, despite missing being home with my family this year.

    • Merry Christmas! I think quiet Christmases are the best, especially as it can be such a stressful, hectic time of year in general. Of course, assembling kids’ toys can have its own kind of stress…. 😉 lol Your “traditional” dinner sounds lovely, though I keep reading the prosciutto as Prosecco for some reason. heh. Your mother gave some very thoughtful gifts! How nice to get perfume WITH a receipt, just in case! Had the Agonist been on your wishlist or is this the first time you’re smelling it? And how is the Amouage candle? So sweet that she chose the one called Love. 🙂

  2. My 6 year old and 10 year old chose well; they have a limited Santa Shop at their school and I know the gifts come from dollar stores but the little one gave me an actually yummy smelling candle. My eldest chose a mango mandarin shower gel that will be perfect to layer with Bombay Bling. I gifted myself with IA Cape Heartache and E Coudray Vanille Amber a few weeks ago. We had our usual British style dinner with pud and are now in food comas wearing paper crowns from the crackers. Merry Christmas Kafka and Sir Hairy <3

    • Awwwww, how sweet of your little ones! I love the idea of having a small Santa Shop at one’s school. That is a super idea, and a wonderful way to give kids a chance to get something for their parents without the parents knowing or anyone spending a lot. LOVE that! And the mango mandarin shower gel really does sound like a perfect match for Bombay Bling. 🙂

      Your English bread pudding dinner sounds delicious! Merry Christmas, my dear Vicki!

  3. In many ways 2013 is a year I’ll be glad to leave behind, but one of the nicest parts of it is that, after a longish financial dry spell, I was able to reinstate my support for several wolf-related charities that have great meaning for me. And what better time to do that than Christmas morning? The final click on the “Donate” buttons felt great. I’m wearing SSS Ambre Noir, another thing that feels great. We are happy and well-fed and so are our dogs and other animals. We never know what’s next, but this moment is radiant.

    • How beautiful, Feral Jasmine. “but this moment is radiant.” — really moving. I am *SO* impressed that one of the charities you focus on pertains to wolves. I think that is simply fantastic. Truly impressive. Poor wolves. What do the charities do? Sanctuaries, rescue, or something else?

      I know a tiny, tiny little bit about why 2013 was such a difficult year for you, and I know there is still a huge, painful hole in your heart. I send you a very big hug, my dear, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that 2014 is the best one ever for you and your husband. You deserve all the joyful things in life, and so much more. So, here’s looking at a fresh start, and a new year that will hopefully be filled with laughter and serenity.

      • I contribute to a lot of charities that work on maintaining wolves in the wild, but the one dearest to my heart is a sanctuary for captive wolves. Wealthy people are forever buying wolves and wolf-dogs for the thrill of it, then acting astonished when they start to act like large wild predators, and ditching them. Most of them are euthanized. A man in western New Mexico provides sanctuary for these magnificent animals, in which they can have room and companions of their own kind and generally act like wolves, and be cared for by a team who knows how to handle them safely. They also do a lot of education and outreach about not buying wild animals as pets in the first place. Sorry I have gone on at such length. It’s the a Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, if anyone wants to read more.

        • Please don’t apologise at all! I asked, and it’s certainly something very worthwhile. I’m really glad the chap in NM offers sanctuary, and a natural environment where they can be as they were meant to be. You know, I’ve met a few Wolf-Dogs at the dog park where I used to go, and they were such gentle, sweet creatures. But it’s true that most people who get them don’t know what they’re doing, and only buy them for the macho factor. I will look up Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. I’m so, so glad you’re helping out, my dear. It makes me respect you even more.

  4. Merry Christmas, Kafka. We do both days, too. I went to my mom’s house last night for Christmas Eve dinner. It was a small and quiet gathering this year. A lot of different family members had dinners at their homes so we were spread out, so to speak. The food was delicious and I was happy my son was able to join us. Christmas music was playing in the background and made for a cheerful mood. I went to my sister’s house earlier today to see my nieces and give them their gifts. We are going to the movies tonight … it is a tradition I have been doing with them since they were little and they always look forward to the movies on Christmas Day. Resting a bit before I head out with them tonight.

    As for perfumes I wore/am wearing … I am way too predictable and wore vintage Nuit de Noel last night. I know, right? But today I am wearing Cuir de Lancôme and it is lovely.

    I got a couple of books and candles and a gift certificate for the local movie theatre. I’m a happy girl.

    Thank you for gifting us it’s your words and may 2014 bring you lots of health, love and laughter. Xox

    • No, no, NO, you cannot mention delicious food to me and not give me details!! 😀 I must have details. (I’m more interested in food and gastronomy than I am in perfume, you know. lol) What was one of your favorite things at the feast(s)?

      What film did you see tonight? There are always so many good ones released around Christmas to make it for the Oscars. I’ve really wanted to see the Leonardo di Caprio one called the Wolf of Wall Street (??) or something like that. I think it’s so thoughtful to give a gift certificate to a local cinema as a present. The cinema is not cheap these days! What does the candle smell of, and what are the books about? Books and candles…. such great gifts!

      Now, about all that food….. 😉 😛

  5. Merry Christmas Kafka and a happy new year to you all. This particular year has been life changing for me and my family, in both some good and bad ways. The highlight of this past year was my recent eleven day long trip to Paris, where I was able to see Paris during low season without the huge crowds, and visiting some of the least popular destinations, alongside with the more well known ones. I was able to see a gorgeous Opera rehearsal in the Madeleine, free of charge and without prior knowledge of it before entering the church. I was able to see the Saint Chapelle, the Latin Quarter, the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, an entire day dedicated to the church of Notre Dame and the treasure, I was aloso able to buy a cute conmemorative 850 year conmemorative coin whilethere. Some of the less well known churchesgave me the oportunity to see them while I was practically alone inside ofthe church. I loved Saint Germain Des Pres and the Luxembourg gardens where I actually stayed in a nearby hotel

    • I was also able to visit the Opera Garnier on the day of my birthday, which honestly rivals the beauty of Versalles, it´s truly grand. The Alexandre III bridge is also very beautiful, the Louvre, the Petit Palais, and of course Versalles! That trip was the nicest moment of this year, which is what I will try to remember from 2013. I´m wearing my first niche fragrance, the floral oriental Anonimo Veneziano from Nobile 1942. I truly love this scent it makes me happy 🙂 . I got two nice lipsticks as presents and some clothes 🙂 now Ijust nneed to figure out which perfume I want, to give it as a present to myself lol 🙂 have a truly happy new year 🙂 many blessings to you and your friends and the hairy German.

      • I’m so glad you found a niche fragrance that works for you. I know you thought many others that you tried in Jovoy were “too masculine” by the standards of the mainstream fragrances that you were used to. Hopefully, we can find you another one to love down the road.

    • It’s lovely to hear more about your trip, Vicky! How fantastic to hear the Opera rehearse in La Madeleine, and for free! You went to some great places, and judging by your second comment below, you really, REALLY packed a lot in. It must have been exhausting on one level to do so much in such a concentrated period of time, but also so exhilarating. 🙂 I’m truly very happy for you, and I hope the new year brings you more joyous, really special experiences, more happy memories, and explorations. May it be the perfect year for you and those you love.

  6. Just me so I wore Caron Nuit de Nöel for Christmas Eve and today I broke out my sample of Lyric Woman…heaven! I gifted myself because of the sale price Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune for the coming hot weather or should I say hotter weather, it’s 80F today! Merry Cristmas to all of you and the best for 2014,

    • 80F on Christmas Day? It sounds like we may live in the same sort of place. lol. (Poor us! Summer is hell on earth, isn’t it?) Lyric Woman is very pretty, so I know you smelled wonderful today. Merry Christmas Tomate Farcie!

  7. I worked the day of Christmas Eve and I wore Filles En Aiguilles. Today I have on Olibanum which I wish someone would have bought for me, which they didn’t (NO ONE buys me perfume as they think I have too much [ what do they know!! ] ) LOL. I plan to slip into La Myrrhe somewhat later tonight ( which I also really wish someone would buy for me and they don’t). LOL I do love frankincense and myrrh and ’tis the season.
    The actual exchange of gifts is waiting on several members of the family to join us from other parts of the country. One can always hope for fragrance………
    Two of my sons and I sat around last night sampling a large assortment of European cheeses with a special emphasis on those from France. This was followed by an equally large selection of chocolate and much groaning, though not regret.
    All the furry dogs have been much excited by the additional members of the family making their way to the family home. They are now all happily napping until the doorbell rings yet again.
    Its been a lovely holiday.
    Merry Christmas Kafka and to the Hairy German

    • ROFL at the disgruntled “NO ONE buys me perfume” commentary, because I *so* relate! 😀 It’s really funny how outsiders’ concept of “too much” differs so widely from our own perceptions of how much perfume is normal. Heh.

      You are SUCH an olibanum/myrrh girl! We really need to get you a sample of Jovoy’s Liturgie des Heures to see what you think of that one.

      Did you mention European cheeses????!!! Followed by chocolate??! 😀 You’re my kind of girl, Ellen! Merry Christmas to you, my dear. (And thank you for the email. I plan on replying as soon as my schedule calms down, but it was lovely and touched me a lot.)

  8. Merry Christmas (still Christmas!) to you dear, Kafka. I wafted SL Fille en aiguilles Christmas Eve and today. It is a very quiet scent on me, perfect for my largely scent-phobe family. I’ve had 2 dry-down phases and I want to keep experiencing it over and over again. The extended family celebrated this past Sunday and every cousin was surprised I was there. 9 out of 10 times we manage to get together AFTER Christmas and this year was a rare exception and since I usually travel after Christmas, they hardly ever see me in the Christmas context! With the immediate family, we traditionally celebrate on Christmas morning (as it was today)…but 3 family members are sick with respiratory stuff so it was smaller than usual and abbreviated. As to gifts, I got gift cards, spending money in Euros, a nice Vera Bradley umbrella, and some food stuff. Speaking of food stuff, I unexpectedly got something from a neighbor on Christmas Eve and had nothing on hand to reciprocate (except some chocolates that were yummy but had cheap-looking packaging that no fancy wrapper could make shiny), so I raced to the grocery and got there on time to get artisanal-looking jams and biscuits and I ended up buying multiples to give to several other neighbors.

    Inquiring minds want to know — where, pray tell, can you tuck away two 36-inch pies? Each one is bigger than a large pizza, never mind that it’s deep-dish style!

    • LOLOL, I’m so hopeless and terrible at maths. Did I write 36-inches? That can’t be right, but they ARE huge! Like the size of a pizza that you’d buy in a supermarket perhaps, and definitely bigger than a big dinner plate. I was sure I read somewhere that “36” was the size in diameter, but now that you mention it, it must be wrong. LOL, now do you see why I went to lawschool and intentionally eschewed all thoughts of an MBA? Numbers…. are not my friend. 😀

      How wonderful that you got to see so many family members, Hajusuuri! I’m sorry to hear that some of your immediate, close, family members are sick, and hope it’s only a minor respiratory thing. Re. the gifts: gift cards and Euros are a FANTASTIC, useful, helpful present! (Especially the Euros, in light of your upcoming trip.) Perfume spending money!!! 😀 I can’t wait to hear all about your trip, and I hope you have a glorious time, my dear.

      • HAHA :-)…and I went for the MBA and not law school. I’m toying with you as I actually knew what you meant. One would typically refer to the diameter of the pie…your 36″ would be the circumference which means it is the equivalent of almost a 12″ pizza…HUGE. I hope you enjoyed it with your mmmm good Blue Mountain coffee.

  9. 1. Scent Selection
    On Christmas Eve I was wafting Ma Folie de Noel from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. When we arrived at church the manger scene was empty! Throughout the service children would come forward to add a figurine; an angel, an ox, a donkey, a King or 3 etc as the choirs sang a song about the particular character or animal. By the time we sang Away in a Manger I was in tears and telling myself that tears are good, tears are cleansing. Songs, like scent, carry memories and this was first carol I remember my Mum playing on the piano while Dad taught me the words and instructed me that the last verse is a prayer.

    Christmas Day; Spiced Citrus Vetiver by Sonoma Scent Studio. Today, which is Boxing Day in the Lands Down Under, I have encountered Fate Woman (have you smelt this on a man besides yourself?) on one wrist and Fate Man on the other!

    2. Christmas Day Highlight
    A 10-year old girl singing to me ‘I should have bought you flowers‘ (When I was Your Man by Bruno Mars). This is a happy-sad song to me. Once I did take someone dancing every weekend because they loved to dance and I did buy them flowers whenever I had the chance. And then one night on the dancing floor they danced away and they are still dancing today with another man. Ah Kafka, the pain of last century still echoes.

    3. Gifts
    All very practical and therefore nothing to report.

    Back to you…
    Blue Mountain Coffee – the best; but I can only find this while traveling and I did not know the interesting back story. Amazing beans.

    Which perfume will you buy Kafka with those sensible gifts of coin of the realm? May I guess Lys Epona? I know it did not last on your skin but the bottle is a great repository for the backstory and the unique juice. A collector’s item which I was happy to discover here at Kafkaesque. Or are you on the phone now to Marrakech with bespoke intentions? You are aren’t you!

    • Your church Christmas sounds very moving and emotional for you, in a happy way. 🙂 But I’m sorry to hear about the Bruno Mars memory. At least now you’re with someone who brings you great joy and comfort, so put the bitter-sweet memories away, my friend. It’s the season to remember the happy connections and warmth of life, as I know you know full well. 🙂

      You’ve heard of Blue Mountain coffee? How cool. It was all news to me before my friend started sending me the bags every Christmas. He views coffee the way you and I view niche perfumes. lol.

      In terms of my perfume wishlist, I have had Coromandel high on my list, or at the top of it. The thing is, I don’t want the more affordable 2.5 oz bottle, I want the giant vat that is almost 7 oz! And every time I thought I was ready to get it, some other perfume came along in a fantastic deal or discounted price that I couldn’t resist. It didn’t help that I blew so much money while in Paris on other perfumes. Well, 2014, I will have my enormous vat of Coromandel, come one way or another. 🙂

  10. Well my Christmas was unbelievable. I never thought that my wife really registered my enthusiasm and passion in fragrance…its like an unrequited love affair with me …I need to constantly seek out new scents to experience try and buy. Well thanks to Kafkas recent leather blog I have been obsessed with trying some new fragrances. Well to my surprise last night my wife gave me both vintage and re-released M7..I dont know where she got them but the origional has four ingredients and sold coloring on all sides of the bottle and the reformulated has 14 ingredients listed and two clear side panels on the bottle. I also received a sample of Hard Leather..plus…..Rochas Vintage Lui, Penhaligon LP #9…Aventus, and Lartisan Dzhonga and Timbuktu…..needless to say I did try every single one last night which turned into a very unique amalgam of scents. That Hard Leather..wow…I’m wearing Aventus in the hospital now and the compliments have been crazy. Don’t think I could get away with Hard Leather in the ICU. Anyway…in case you are wondering I did get my wife Sycamore and Coromandel and a gift set of Mona Di Orio. MERRY CHRISTMAS

    • What a woman! What a wife and perfect, perfect gift-giver! Mdrigotas, I’m not sure what makes me happier: the fact that your seemingly “unrequited” love affair with perfume finally registered, the number of super cool things you got, or the fact that you got Hard Leather. Probably all of it. 😀

      My God, *VINTAGE* M7 in a full bottle must have cost…. a lot! You will have to tell me in the appropriate thread for each version how they are on you, how the longevity is, and which one you prefer. I had so much problem in getting either one to really last on me, given my annoying skin. So, I’m especially curious to see how you fair.

      Hard Leather…. ha! I’m so glad to see that “Wow.” (I hope it’s a good “Wow”?) I grinned at the thought of Hard Leather in the ICU. You know something that I’ve often wondered? They talk about how coma patients can respond to voices and hear people, even if they don’t exhibit any signs. I wonder if perfume and the sense of smell can leave an impact, or get through to them? Tangential musings aside, you must let me know what you think of Hard Leather once you get the chance to try it out properly.

      As for your gifts to your wife, nice!! Which one was her favorite? Had she tried either Chanel before? The Mona di Orio gift set is really lovely and elegant, so that was really an excellent choice as well. Merry Christmas, my dear. I’m so happy you got to have a perfumed one this year.

    • Well thank you for the response. Believe it or not the vintage m7 came from a small tourist trap perfume store here in Naples, Fl. It was buried behind some other fragrances. There were two boxes…one vintage and one reformulated. So the story goes…she negotiated two for one pricing at 60 bucks. Unbelievable. I love wearing fragrances in the hospital because you can really tell how a fragrance performs because it is always cold and the air is constantly refreshed and electronically sterilized. Its almost like trying a “naked” fragrance…..nothing competes for your nose unless your near a cdiff room. What is a poor performer in the natural environment is a sillage beast in the unit. But people are sick and scents can invoke both pleasurable and unpleasureable physical responses so I have to be careful. I woke up this morning and sprayed on some vintage m7…I can see why it was ahead of its time..its very provocative and deep and swirling with what I identify as cherry, pipe smoke and wood.
      Try and get your nose on Rochas Lui…it is also extremely unique and mysterious.
      Happy New Year

      • Your wife is a gem and worth her weight in gold. I cannot believe that price for TWO bottles of M7!! Starting price on eBay for one vintage M7 is $150 at the cheapest, without a single bid, and most are in the $250 range! There are few things I love as much as a bargain, but holy smokes….. your wife’s deal!!!!

        Re. the notes you’re smelling in it, the cherry (or, for some, cherry cola) note comes from the labdanum. That is one of its occasional nuances. Just thought you might be interested, so that you can develop your nose more to single out the note in the future. 🙂

        How did she like your gifts to her, especially the Coromandel?

  11. Oh, those PIES look amazing! They remind me of my favorite local bakery, which makes incredible pies, cakes, and a wide range of other tantalizing treats. Their Ginger Spice cake is my go-to birthday cake every year (it’s a seasonal cake only and I am a thankful Fall baby) and many of their Holiday treats are Christmas traditions in my family–Stollen, gingerbread cookies, and cake pops.

    I wore Night by Sarabecca for Christmas Eve, and it’s still lingering in my hair and clothes–a lovely, sparkling scent perfect for feeling “dressed up” and elegant for the Holidays!

    I’m still enjoying my favorite gift this year–my beautiful baby girl, born in May–but my mama surprised me by picking up a one of a kind tatted lace necklace I’d had my eye on; sneaky lady cartjacked it out of my Etsy cart and I didn’t even know SHE was the one who bought it hahaha!

    • Oh, Ginger Spice cake sounds so incredibly good to me right now! And I love marzipan so Stollen….. mmmmm, tasty!

      Congratulations on your wonderful gift to yourself: your daughter! I wish you, her, and all your loved ones many blessings in the upcoming year, and hope it’s a year filled with much joy.

      • Thank you so much! I am delighted anew every day by the little leaps and bounds she makes in her growth. She will be up and chasing our Boxer babies soon, no doubt about it!

        • Boxers? I adore Boxers! My first nanny as a child was a Boxer called Velvet. She truly was like a nanny more than the family dog at times. They’re such beautiful, lovely creatures. Do you have more than one? Are they all puppies?

  12. Merry Christmas Kafka!
    Those pies look downright fabulous, I must check them out. I do a lot of baking and love pie!
    My daughter’s girlfriend made the most amazing white lasagna for Christmas Eve using a Bechamel sauce with Andouille sausage, fresh chili peppers and Kale.
    I made them a Monkey Bread this morning with a toffee sauce and Creme Brulee Almonds, it was a huge hit.
    My scent for Christmas Day was probably my FAVORITE Imaginary Authors scent, Cape Heartache. Such a great winter frag with the incense and fir.
    Bedtime scent is my standby comfort scent. Le Labo Ambrette 9.
    Thanks for having me, I so enjoy reading your posts 🙂

    • Oh, another foodie! How wonderful. I’m always thrilled to have another food-obsessed person around, so I’m glad you found me. 🙂 I have to say, I gulped and swallowed my drool most audibly at the description of Monkey Bread with toffee sauce and Creme Brulee Almonds. Good God, that sounds decadent as hell for breakfast! And the white lasagna sounds delicious too. Bechamel and Andouille…. mmmm.

      Re. perfume, I haven’t had as much luck as you with Cape Heartache, though I’ve given it a number of chances. (The review is scheduled for sometime next week or so.) But I’m sure you smell lovely in it, and it really does seem perfect for this time of year with the fir notes, sweetness, and incense. Merry Christmas, Tami!

  13. I wore vintage Ungaro Diva (which is never very Diva-ish on me, but I love the rose, moss, and sandalwood) yesterday for Christmas Eve, and today Sonoma Scent Studio’s Labdanum heavy Winter Woods.

    We have a tradition of watching the extended version of Lord of the Rings, all twelve hours, around or on Christmas, and we did that this year. Which led me to wondering out loud what perfume Galadriel might wear, much to the amusement of my family…

    We don’t actually celebrate with gifts in my family, but I still gave my partner a few fragrances I’ve been saving up for him, including Creed’s Irisia (not really Iris, more like a dark green chypre) and Parfums de Nicolai Vie de Chateau Intense (a fruity leathery chypre, with grapefruit that smells much more like peach to me), and he loved both, so I’m quite happy about that.

    Now that there are some post Christmas sales, I may go find myself a little something 🙂

    I hope you enjoyed your Christmas, dear Kafka!

    • Heh, I was just talking about vintage Diva today with someone. I love it, and I’m sure you smelled glorious.

      Do you seriously have the full, extended Lord of the Rings version as a tradition on Christmas?! I’m…. awed. That is SO DAMN COOL!!!! Mostly because 12 hours is serious, the story is so wonderfully elaborate, and it must be such a cozy, relaxing, fun way to all hang out. I think one of our traditions as a kid was for everyone to watch The Sound of Music, but that wasn’t nearly as cool!

      Speaking of sales, Surrender to Chance has a huge 20% off Boxing Day Sale, but I hope you find yourself a full bottle of something you love.

      Thank you for many, many months of joy, Cacomixtle, and for your friendship. I am so looking forward to spending 2014 with you, even if it is only remotely via the internet. May it be a fantastic, joyous year for you and your family.

  14. Merry Christmas to you! It sounds like you had a wonderful day planned, and I hope it finishes up as nicely as it sounds.

    I wore Climat, and just had a great relaxing day with my family and Mr. APB. Now I’m finishing up the day with some blog reading and a lot of gratitude.

    • It ended up with me in a food coma and taking a nap. LOL. Which is pretty much a perfect ending for me. Food-centered things usually are. 🙂 Did you eat anything fun or glorious? I’m glad you had a relaxing, cozy time, as Christmas can be so ridiculously hectic and stressful for some people, especially those juggling lots of different family commitments.

      Merry Christmas to you and Mr. APB, and a very happy new year to you both!

  15. Merry christmas and happy holidays. Hope everyone enjoyed christmas.
    Christmas Eve daytime Miranda – Fragonard and in the evening Fiction Oil – JulietteHasAGun.
    Christmas Day – Gelsomino – Galimard day and evening. I buy my own perfume gifts online as the shops here only sell the scents everyone wears from the perfume shop top 10. Christmas Eve I made appetizers is only S/O and DD and me sitting by the the Christmas tree cozy bit of tv viewing . Christmas Day was a traditional turkey dinner smalsizel bird 3.3 lbs. Today Boxing Day is leftovers.I am mostly home and lead a quiet life.

    • Oh, lots of perfume choices and selections, how wonderful! Your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day sound perfect: relaxing, quiet, intimate, and cozy! (I really hate hectic, busy Christmases where you have to run around or are juggling a thousand things to do.)

      Did you watch anything fun on Christmas Eve? The thought of fun appetizers and a really good television show or movie sound absolutely perfect to me. We did that one year with “All Creatures Great and Small,” the old BBC show, and lots of British tidbits and High Tea stuff as we watched. It was one of my favorite Christmas Eves. 🙂

      I hope you find some good Boxing Day deals on perfume, Larraine, and that the rest of your week is as cozy, relaxing, and fun.

  16. Merry Xmas everyone. This was my second Xmas in France and the meals tend to go on for quite some time with quite a few courses. Had a big Xmas Eve dinner with oysters, foie gras, chapon, cheese and gateau. I tried PHI for the evening – beautiful opening but then it died quite quickly on me which is strange because Tauer’s usually have nuclear lasting power. Will try it again. Xmas Day was spent with the wider family and I wore my present to myself – No 22 which was nice and sparkly for the day. The day for us is about the kids first when they open their presents and go crazy for a while making lego, playing games and causing mayhem ….. Then it’s onto the french food and wine. Champagne to start with canapés. … To be honest I wasn’t exactly sure what the hell was on my plate for the entree. I identified the foie gras (which I eat but I haven’t really built up a love for it) but there was something else unusual on the plate and that was gesier (gizzard) and I was only up for one taste of that. We drank sauterne with the entree. Then it was duck with cepes and a local red wine. Then plates of cheeses which I love, not particularly good for the waistline but delicious. Then la buche de noel for dessert. And then more champagne to keep going! Then when we got home we ate more cheese and baguette (because we hadn’t eaten enough LOL). Also my favourite Xmas movie is definitely Bad Santa but the kids can’t watch that one so I haven’t seen it for a few years. Happy holidays.

    • Good lord, I just about short-circuited my keyboard with drool! OH.MY.GOD. What a feast! Thank you so much for all the details so that I could live vicariously. I absolutely LOVE foie gras, and it may be one of my favorite things ever when seared, hot and with a sauce. Foie Gras with Sauternes….. *gulp* And the cheeses! The duck with cepes! Followed by even more cheese with baguette….

      I have only one question: CAN I COME LIVE WITH YOU???!

      • I know you love your cheeses! Definitely one of the best things about living in France. I find that the simple things here are really well done – the cheese, the wine, baguettes, patisseries and the charcuterie. These yummies are readily available everywhere and are not expensive. You need to come back and visit again!

      • …and can I hide in one of your trunks?? Ohhhh, the foods, the wines, the scents- I’d be in absolute heaven!! I’d be fat, and flat broke, but oh my God, wouldn’t care a bit!! 🙂

  17. Sretan Božić, once again! Three days, three roses: Rose Anonyme, PHI-Une Rose de Kandahar and, today. Mohur. My six years old son has found Lego Castle under Christmas tree so most of the time we are occupied with it. I haven’t got any fragrant present, chocolates only(I love chocolate a lot). However, a gift “from me to me” will be delivered in next few days: Olympic Orchids Deluxe Variety Box.

    • I think I would be playing with your son if I were there. I love Legos!!! Building Lego castles while eating chocolate… what a lovely way to spend Christmas!

      Rose Anonyme? I don’t know your tastes at all, Dgambas, and I really hope to rectify that in the upcoming year (so stop lurking!!!! 😉 lol), but how interesting that you would have two pale roses on your list. (The other being Mohur.) I look forward to seeing what else you may like. 🙂 As for Olympic Orchid, I almost ordered a sample of Gujarat yesterday from the big decanting site here, Surrender to Chance, when they had their special Boxing Day Sale. In the end, I took it out of my cart, because the total amount of everything was becoming a bit ridiculous, but I definitely want to explore the line in 2014. Let me know if you have any favorites out of that Deluxe Variety Box!

  18. My perfume was Un Bois Vanille.
    I didn’t get any perfume gifts but I did gift my boyfriend with Juniper Sling and he loves it (I plan on stealing it occasionally though). 😉
    My favorite gift was what he gave me – marble elephant figures for keeping books in place. He won’t tell me how he found them (they are old) but they are absolutely gorgeous and I adore them. I just have to be careful of never ever dropping one as it would break anything it lands on (including my foot).

    • I *love* elephant figures, statues, and objets d’art! For me, they are a good luck thing, so your Christmas present sounds perfect. I can just imagine what they look like, how big and heavy they are, and how impressive they must look on either side of the books. You lucky thing, I’m thrilled for you! (And nice choice on Un Bois Vanille!)

  19. I wore Caron Nuit de Noel last night. Forgot to ask my best friend what she was wearing–it was really lovely but I did not recognize it. People don’t generally give me perfume, and that is fine with me because I have very particular ideas about what I would want in a full bottle. I got a digital SLR camera, and some lovely soaps and things for my new bathroom.

    My husband and I went to friends for Christmas dinner. I brought two tarts: one of fresh slices of clementine, kiwi and persimmons, sprinkled with pomegranate on a sweet short crust spread with a thin layer of cream cheese (into which was blended lemon juice and brown sugar); the other tart was a lavender custard tart. I got the recipe for that one from Ida Meister, whom many perfumistas will know. I added shavings of semi-sweet chocolate to the top of it, and people raved about it. Made me so happy. I would make that again, it was very tasty!

    I really love meganinstmaxine’s description of the French Christmas dinner.

    Happy New Year, dear perfumistas!

    • Oh the tarts sound delicious! The one with persimmons and pomegranate in particular. Delicious! I’m afraid I have zero ability to bake. I’m an excellent chef, but baking is something far outside my purview. It’s all the numbers and math. lol. Which is why I really respect those who can do it well, as you seem to.

      A DSLR for Christmas?! Nice score! That may be far better than perfume!

  20. I love winter holidays and celebrate everything I can 🙂 We spent both days with friends and ate a lot of good food.

    I wore Amouage Ubar for the Christmas dinner (and loved every moment of it!)

    Since we exchange gifts for the New Year, even though I have it on good authority that I’m getting a perfume gift under my NY tree, I won’t reveal what it is until I get it officially 🙂

    Happy Holidays to you and the Hairy German!

    • Did you eat anything that particularly caught your fancy and made you drool? Any good cheeses? (You know my obsession with food, so I have to ask, especially as you share my love of cheese.)

      I can’t wait to hear what you get for New Year’s Eve! I love how you throw yourself into the season wholeheartedly.

      • The dinner was just superb food-wise, so I eat too much of everything 🙂 But I didn’t eat the cheese (that I brought!) even though everybody liked it. It was some experimental French brie from Whole Foods (I tried it there and liked). And I made a couple of very successful hors d’oeuvres with which I had to stop myself from eating too many since those I can repeat at any time but I wouldn’t be able to easily replicate the prune-apple stuffing or the pork roast.
        I’m hungry…

        • I love prune-apple stuffing! I use a lot of prunes in my own stuffing combinations too, along with nuts and more savory bits. Experimental French Brie? Mmmmmm. 🙂 I’m hungry now too. lol

  21. Merry Belated Christmas! This year I wore Fille en Aiguilles on Christmas Eve and Ore on Christmas Day. My wife gave me a bottle of Presence by Mont Blanc as a gift. The bottle is beautiful and I was surprised at how much I like the way it smells. It reminds me of Jaipur Homme, but a little compressed and toned down. The coziest part of my holiday involved returning home after spending the day with my parents and brother’s family; my wife and I grabbed cheeseburgers from the diner, brought them back to our place, and watched 3 episodes of Homeland (season 2) before going to sleep. It was great! Best gift? Either the Mont Blanc or a book of classic Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. Happy New Year!

    • See, for someone like me, the cheeseburgers, followed by a lot of television of a great show (as Homeland used to be) is my idea of a perfect Christmas or Christmas Eve. I love that sort of cozy thing. Plus, food and television are two of my greatest passions! So, you’re on Season 2 of Homeland. Hm. You’ll have to let me know what you think of Season 3 when you get to it.

      BTW, nice choice of Fille en Aiguilles on Christmas Eve. 🙂 Man, I so want a cheeseburger now, thanks to your comment, but it’s bloody 3:30 a.m. here!

  22. i am late, but happy belated christmas! and a very happy new year in advance! 🙂

    your christmas meal sounds so delicious! mm, dim sum and sushi. my favourite dim sum is probably har gau – shrimp dumplings in translucent wrappers. it’s been too long since i had them! for christmas eve, i had dinner with a classmate and her family (from puglia, southern italy), and we ate twice our weight in salmon, shrimp, beef brisket cooked in red wine, foccacia, and various sweets (cannoli, italian-style macarons, sweet crispy pasta, etc). i’m still feeling the effects of that meal days later!

    i’m putting dissertation-writing (and studying for the required language exams) on hold for the holidays, and to take a trip to venice. for christmas i received two bottles of perfume: hermes 24 faubourg – lovely, classy – and miller et bertaux green, green, green and green, which will probably be ideal in 6 months or so. now to try and play catch-up on your reviews! 😀

  23. I forgot to scent myself in the rush that was Christmas Eve but wore Annick Goutal Mandragore Edp from the hand painted butterfly bottle I received as an early gift from a perfumista friend. It was a quiet day down at my parents house, opening gifts in front of a warm, crackling fire. I am very explicit about perfumes on my Christmas list. No one knows enough to surprise me, so when I’m asked for my list I even go so far as to provide a link where they can buy each perfume I’ve given an option for. I always list several and it gives the buyer(s) a choice and I can be surprised at least with which particular ones I’ll get. I ended up receiving two 75 ml Chanel Les Exclusifs, Coromandel and Jersey, and a 100 ml bottle of Idole de Lubin Edp. Needless to say, I’m pleased as punch. 🙂

    • The hand-painted, butterfly bottle sounds lovely! What a thoughtful, personal touch. I know it will always make the fragrance even more special to you.

      As for your presents, I like the methodical, precise way you go about your list, complete with sales options. lololol. That’s fantastic. As for Coromandel and Jersey, those two seem to be so apart in style and type. It’s as though you covered both ends of the spectrum at Chanel. 😉 I’ve heard great things about Idole in EDP version, and have wanted to try it since the EDT was too sheer and thin for me. I’m sure you must smell glorious wearing it. Very nice choices, Devon. And how lovely to open gifts before a warm, crackling fire. I wish it were cold enough here for a fire!

  24. I hope you and the Hairy German had a joyful Christmas, dear Kafka.
    My fragrances were Kiki on Christmas eve and Jardins d’Armide on Christmas day.
    We celebrate more on Christmas eve than on Christmas day, although I’d really prefer a silent night. I had dinner with the husband and my stepchildren; then, after dinner and unwrapping presents I visited some neighbour/friends and stayed with them until the wee hours of the morning. We enjoyed drinks on their terrace since the weather was very very hot.

    As for fragrant gifts? Well, I consider my latest acquisitions and everything that arrived in December as Christmas presents: a Kiki parfum backup, Rouge Assassin and the lovely Jardins d’Armide.
    I also got a bottle of Dolce & Gabbana pour Femme, but the new reformulated version…boo!


  25. So, you know I have to ask — which culinary books did you get? My cookbook wishlist is infinitely long, which is dumb because I rarely actually cook from them (though I do sometimes), but I do love reading them and looking at pictures if they are a book of that nature. I’ve imposed a moratorium on buying more cookbooks until I get rid of some of the books on my shelves. After this, I think my new plan will be only to buy cookbooks to save, other literature will either be checked out at the library or on my kindle. While I love having shelves full of books, save for a few I know I won’t re-read them so I really have no use for shelves full of literature. Shelves full of cookbooks, however, would serve me well. 🙂

    1. I wore Parfumerie Generale’s Cuir Venenum and Comme des Garcons’ Red Carnation on Christmas eve and Christmas Day, respectively. Love them both!
    2. As for coziness, well it was 75 degrees and sunny on Christmas Day in Los Angeles, so the whole day was cozy in a literal sense. I had basically cooked for 3 days nonstop on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th so while there was some cooking on the 25th, all of the hard work was done. So just kicking back and relaxing with my family was the best part!
    3. My parents gave me money, which is always appreciated, and my brother got me an Amazon gift card, which was also appreciated! A friend got me a Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera shirt where they are calaveras (skeletons) and I absolutely adore the shirt. She knows how much I like Frida and Diego, so it was really the perfect, thoughtful gift!

    Those pies sound amazing! Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2014!

    • First, welcome back! Your Christmas sounds wonderful, though the 3 days of nonstop cooking would have exhausted me and stressed me out to no end as well! That’s some serious time in the kitchen! I’m sure it was all utterly fantastic, though! What were everyone’s favorites?

      Your presents sound perfect, especially the Frida Kahlo/Diego R. shirt. I know how much you like Frida Kahlo! What are you going to spend the money on, or are you mulling over a few varied perfume options? (Notice how I’m assuming that your Christmas present money will AUTOMATICALLY go towards perfume? lol)

      On my end, they weren’t so much cookbooks, though I did get one on Offal cookery, as books on chefs. I’m much more interested in the life of a chef, how the big ones rise to the top, and the workings behind the scene in the gastronomy world. Whether it’s the Bocuse d’Or, the experience of going through the CIA or Cordon Bleu, or the life of a Michelin chef who commits suicide over his restaurant’s ranking, I find the whole world fascinating in the way it works. Cookbooks themselves are fun, but not as interesting to me personally. I’ve somehow never been one for flipping through cookbooks beyond just a cursory glance or two. We differ in that regard. 🙂

      • Ah, cool! Books on chefs are quite interesting as well! Did you ever read The Soul of a Chef? I have to admit I haven’t read many books on chefs generally, although I really loved Soul of a Chef and it was quite a quick read and fascinating as well! My roommate bought be a book of Julia Child’s correspondence with Avis deVoto for Christmas. So far it’s been quite interesting and while I’m not really a nostalgic person, it really shows just how dead that type of correspondence is for many. That’s not to say I lament that we have email (quite the contrary), but the thrill of receiving a real, meaningful letter is quite different.

        All the food was good – standard fare, really. We had my mom’s side of the family one day and then my father’s side for the next two days and all were quite large, though totally informal affairs. The favorite was probably the tamales – I know you’re not a Mexican food fan, but they were delicious and everyone loved them. I’m now back to the gym sweating off the 9 million calories I devoured in fat-filled masa. LOL.

        As for perfumes, there are a few shortlisted. I found myself quite taken with Comme des Garcons’ Zagorsk (also liked Kyoto). It’s also very reasonably priced, so I may pull the trigger on that though I may wait to see if I can get it on eBay for cheaper. I have so many samples I want to work through that I may hold back for a while. Not to mention the fact that dresser space for perfume is virtually non-existent at this point! LOL. Of course, I always say I’m done buying and then one magically appears in the mail somehow… 😛

        • Yes, I have Soul of a Chef, as well as the other 2 books in the Ruhlman trilogy. They’re all very interesting, though not my favorite chef-y book. That might be “Heat,” or two books by former restaurant critics. (I love restaurant critic bios!)

          Re. samples, you will be getting even more sometime soon! The person from whom I ordered a whole lot of small vials on eBay didn’t send them for a whole 8 days, until way after Christmas, so they will be arriving sometime this week. That set my decanting plans back quite a bit. But soon, hopefully! 🙂

          • Oh, neat! I’ll have to check out his other books – I found his writing style so engaging.

            No rush on the decants, naturally! Although you do remind me that I probably need to re-order some vials soon as I basically only have tiny ones with dabbers left. Perhaps that would be a good use of some of my Christmas money!

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