Perfume Chat Room, July 16

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is Friday, July 16, and WordPress tells me it is the 6th anniversary of when I registered with them! This blog’s anniversary comes a bit later. I remember that summer so well. I spent it also working remotely, because I had fallen and broken my shoulder while on a June visit to London and couldn’t leave the house. In fact, I couldn’t sleep in my own bed because of the sling I was in and the pain it caused to move too much. I slept in a “medical lift chair” in our dining room! But after the initial week or two, I was able to work online, and one of my colleagues would come over to my house two days a week.

That was the summer I learned how to blog on WordPress and discovered some of my favorite fragrance blogs and bloggers. Some of you are regular visitors here now, and I appreciate that! I had already gone down the perfume rabbit hole in 2014, when I read Chandler Burr’s “The Perfect Scent” and then Turin and Sanchez’ “Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.” Starting my own blog in 2015 was a welcome distraction from my broken shoulder and some very nasty goings-on at work. It was a bright spot in an otherwise challenging year. The name “Serenity Now” originated in my attempts to stay mindful and calm that summer.

Speaking of work, I had my first full day back at my office this past Wednesday. Boy, it was weird to be back other than for a mail pick-up. It was great to see many of my colleagues in person instead of onscreen, though, as most of them are very nice. It’s going to take a while for my introverted self to adjust to being back among groups of people. My SOTD was Pure Grace Summer Moments, a very pleasant flanker of the original Pure Grace that I actually prefer to its predecessor. Yesterday I worked from home again, because I had to teach an online workshop and it’s easier to do that from here (and tbh, I needed to decompress a bit). I felt very contrary, so I wore Chanel No. 19. What a truly great fragrance that is! I know not everyone likes it, let alone loves it as I do, but there’s no denying its greatness.

What does your daily life look like these days? Working? Working from home still? If you’ve returned to an in-person workplace outside the home, how is that going? Have you changed any of your scents or scent-wearing habits?

29 thoughts on “Perfume Chat Room, July 16

  1. I teach preschool music so hoping that I get to go back in September (my condition is no required masks for anyone because I can’t do my job properly with). I am teaching vacation bible school right now, so I know that some kids willl still be wearing them, but a whole school of masked 2/3/4’s would be overwhelming. In any case, I am keeping busy with my photography- doing a few casual senior portraits for my son’s teammates – and taking care of my husband, who tore his Achilles at the beach and had surgery yesterday. Today’s perfume is Atelier Pacific Lime, which is a summer favorite. Looking at Fragrantica it seems like a love or hate – the negative reviews are REALLY negative.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey OH,
    I love that you chose blogging as a way to rest from the world. So glad you did. I love dropping in here and seeing you and the crew.
    We are in full lockdown right now. It looks like it will last till the end of August at least. Unfortunately people will not abide by it and are still visiting relatives and friends, spreading this new Delta variant. It makes me mad because, though we are fiscally secure and Jin is still working, I really love my job and miss seeing all the wonderful people. Honestly, I also miss having play money.
    I’m wearing Silk by Andrea Maack to be a part of the NST Community Project tonight.
    Portia xx

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    • It’s an absolute bummer that you had to go into the next lock-down. I hope, it’ll get better as your spring arrives.

      I think I understand people who don’t want to follow the rules: now, when the first scare is over, and vaccinated folks do not die left and right from this virus, it’s even harder to keep putting one’s life on hold. For some of the older generation people, for example, not seeing their relatives might mean prolonging life for 6+ months… but not getting much from that life. Shouldn’t people be allowed to make that decision for themselves? I mean, if most of the places where people had to be (work, public places, non-essential shopping) are closed anyway, people who keep seeing relatives and friends are risking mostly their health and life – so, maybe it is kind of OK? I’m not sure, I’m not saying that these are 100% my believes – I’m just “thinking aloud.”

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      • Yeah, I hear what you say Undina but already with Delta we are back to numerous people in ICU on respirators etc here. It starts to get impossible if we overload the system and people are unable to get the medical help they need (C19 or otherwise).
        On top of that, this strain is hitting people from age 20 upwards. The long term costs (physical and monetary) of dealing with their short- and long-term lung problems brought on by C19 and its aftereffects are also to be considered.
        Australia is a bit different to the USA. We often give up a portion of our freedom for what we believe (or are told) is the greater good. It’s not universally accepted here but most people go along with it.
        Sorry, that read rant but it isn’t meant to and I’m not sure how to fix it. So leaving it but with a rant apology.

        Liked by 1 person

        • One of our problems in the US is that many of us also feel we should cooperate for the common good, understanding that cooperation is the foundation of civil society, but we have politicians who thrive on pandering to people’s basest impulses. Remember the movie “Wall Street”, and Michael Douglas preaching the gospel of “Greed is good”?

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        • I agree with you in general, so I’m not in the “freedom camp” – I just don’t know what’s worse for the society as a whole. We’ll go through at least a couple of iterations of all these uncertainties before (maybe) we’ll work out at least some type of a reasonable solution and not a knee-jerk reactions (though understandable).

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  3. I was a big fan of the entire Philosophy line when my kids were little….had Grace,Pure Grace, Inner Grace and Baby Grace in huge bottles. Thunked them all.
    I’ve been working live as an SLP since September five days a week wearing a mask for eight solid hours a day with severely disabled kids who don’t mask and have germ spreading habits (like spitting at me). Nothing phases me at this point.

    I fell down the rabbit hole some time in the late 60s? And I am assuming we are similar in age 🙂

    Glad that you are still enthused about blogging. So many bloggers have stopped. I miss many folks and many sites (including Australian Perfume Junkies).

    I am doing an Andy Warhol challenge. Wearing the same fragrance for three months straight then putting the bottle into a vault /museum. I am starting with Patchouli Nobile.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Always happy to see you here, Brigitte! And yes, I think we are similar in age. Wow, your job sounds incredibly challenging even without a pandemic. The kids my daughter taught last year were not disabled, and they had a hard time staying masked even with their best efforts.
      Your Andy Warhol challenge sounds very focused! Please update us here!

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  4. I’m glad you started and continue to blog! I’m still working from home. Just bought some new discovery kits and so far am liking the ones from Essential Parfums. “The Musc” smells strongly of real ambergris, yet light and clean to me…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Their approach reminds me of Frederic Malle as they put the stylized photos of the perfumers for each fragrance on the box. Each perfume is focused on 1 or 2 ingredients and also shows the percentage of natural ingredients, from 86% to 93% in the discovery kit. I’ll have to look into them some more, but so far they seem to be very well done, familiar scents with a twist.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m still retired, fortunately. My former colleagues all had to go back to the office on July 1 and most are not happy about it since pretty much all of them were doing a good job from home. But they weren’t given a choice. It’s good that you can still do some things from home. I was able to have lunch with a friend last week and that was wonderful to see her in person. We ate outside at the restaurant so I was comfortable with it. I still don’t think I could eat indoors at a restaurant, since so many people are not vaccinated.

    We’re going to a baby shower for my daughter in law this weekend so that will be fun. The twin grandbabies are now each 3 pounds and doing really well in the womb. Their mom needs to make it to 34 weeks since their lungs will be fully developed by then. I don’t think she will have any problems, but my son is worried about her. She’s only 5’1″ and she’s gotten so big now the doctor won’t let her drive anymore. She has to work from home for the last 5 to 6 weeks of the pregnancy. That happened to me the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy. I wasn’t happy being confined to the house, but it was the safest course. I’m glad she will be away from some of the people she works with who didn’t get vaccinated. She convinced most of them to get the vaccines (she’s a pharmacist) but there were a few holdouts.

    I’m probably going to wear either Indult Tihota or Penhaligon’s Luna (or both) for the party. There won’t be any gluten free food so I won’t be eating and I can just smell fabulous. :-))

    That’s great that you wore Chanel No. 19 for your class. It always makes me feel powerful when I wear Chanel No. 19. I love the No. 19 Poudre version and I wear it pretty often. It was an office favorite when I was working.

    Hope everyone has a relaxing and fragrant weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was going to pay for one of the cribs, but my son said he would prefer that I wait and pay for some more frequent house cleaning sessions after the babies arrive. I know they will need the cleaning done and my daughter in law thinks it’s too expensive to have the cleaning crew often, so I’ll pay for some cleaning and give the parents help after the twins arrive.
        My daughter in law works for a company that supplies prescription drugs to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She and the other pharmacists fill prescriptions from doctors for the patients who are resident at the nursing homes. A couple of the pharmacy techs/assistants and the delivery drivers at the company haven’t been vaccinated. I would require it if I owned the company, but I don’t!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. OH, I’m glad that you decided to start your blog when you did and keep doing it now: the Perfumeland would have been a lonelier place for me without your blog. I do still miss some of the blogs that were around either before I started or in parallel with me. I tried watching some YouTube videos about perfumes, but it doesn’t work for me. I can enjoy videos about makeup (because of the “show and tell” specifics of the topic) or even skincare (since it’s supposed to provide factual content), but I don’t think one can meaningfully speak for 10-15 minutes about one perfume – unless you were to spend 2/3 of this time discussing the box, the bottle and the brand itself… And then comments under such videos don’t stimulate the conversation – either between viewers or viewers and the content creator.

    We could return to the office. But the office where I work consists of just a few people, so we mostly work with remote folks (often from different continents) – hence, it doesn’t really matter from where we do that, as long as our projects make the progress. I’m so used by now to working from home, that I’m not sure I even want to go back. I don’t think it’ll be required from us on a permanent basis (the company where I work had permanent employees working from their home offices in cities where there were no company offices long before the pandemic, so it’s not something new), but we might start going there once or twice per week eventually. Maybe.

    I’m sure that our situation will get to what’s happening in Australia now once the school year starts and the colder weather arrives. Will it result in lock-downs? We’ll see. Meanwhile, I keep wearing my mask whenever I go shopping, which I still try to do once every 2 weeks, just with quick stop at a store at some point in between to replenish fresh produce that cannot survive 2 weeks.

    Great perfume choices! (especially No 19)

    I wear less perfumes recently because of the work load: my morning starts with multiple meetings, so by the time I’m done, I often choose to do some testing (on both wrsts) instead of wearing just one of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, what a lovely comment, Undina. I’m so glad you drop in here and you were an early supporter, which I truly appreciate.
      My husband has a similar work set-up to yours; his colleagues are spread out in so many cities (and countries), and they all travel so much in normal times, that he and others work from home much of the time (when they’re at home). The company has also greatly reduced the office space it leases, expecting that fewer people will use it regularly. Like you, I’m being cautious about going out, and keeping to the habits I’ve established of shopping in small or outside venues. My workplace is still requiring masks when inside, other than in a private office; and all employees and students must be vaccinated, or test weekly (and students have to apply for a medical exemption).
      It’s a strange environment for sure, with ongoing uncertainty.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So in today’s news, a co-worker who has spent more than a decade making my life difficult has announced he is leaving for greener pastures and a new job in a different city. He is honestly one of 3-4 colleagues I’ve had in 40+ years of working whom I have found totally problematic. If we didn’t work together, I might actually like him in a casual acquaintance kind of way, but he has been undermining me at work for almost 15 years. Wow. It’s over.

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      • I wouldn’t mind so much if he were just negative (he’s actually not). He’s very ambitious and has steadily built a little empire in our workplace by badmouthing colleagues and taking over their functions and staff, getting a raise and promotion every time.

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