Thursday, November 01, 2007

At Least I'm Here...

Sure, okay, I should be writing about perfume. I wore Micallef Automne to get me in the spirit of this fall-like (because lower 70s is cooler than mid-80s but still does not constitute "fall") weather, and it sort of worked. The sort of is a weather thing. I like this perfume, although I've no idea where I got the sample. The label is handwritten, so chances are it came with a decant purchase or from some kind reader who shared perfume with me. This is part of the "Les 4 Saisons" collection, and according to the Micallef Web site it contains: "Exciting red fruits mixed to rare spices - emotional." Emotional is about right. This is a dark red spice of a fragrance, but I swear the end dries to a deep rose. Or maybe it was just a wish.

Everything else I could write just feels like "yadda yadda." Blah blah "warm red velvet." Hummety hum hum "deeply mulled" something or other. Makes me feel like fill-in-the-blank star from fill-in-the-blank classic movie in that classic scene. It's like an item of clothing made out of a natural fiber. It's a particular shade of lipstick, a certain time of year or time of day. Pick one.

I had a funny thought there, because I thought: it's sort of a preppy fall fragrance. Leaves turning, folks wearing pea coats and loafers and knee socks (nobody dresses this way anymore, do they?). And so I was trying for the movie metaphor, and all I could come up with was The Sterile Cuckoo. Liza Manelli in a toggle coat. So many things wrong. For the love of god, Micallef Automne is not Liza Minelli wearing a toggle coat in The Sterile Cuckoo. (I actually happen to like that movie, though.)

Clearly, I'm having trouble today trying to find an original way to talk about perfume. Are there any metaphors left?

And so I'll move on to another favorite thing, books. I saw this article on, "The Great Novel I Never Read," where authors and critics admit to not having read ...well, books they feel they should have read. Lord, I have too many to count. Let's see, just a few:

Love in The Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Middlemarch, by George Eliot (read one-third)
Portrait of The Artist as A Young Man, by James Joyce
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann (see the story about that one here)

I could go on...but I won't. Sadly, I chalk it up to this: If I wanted to read them, I would have done so by now. I can't blame years of having to read what was assigned (nothing like a 1500-page Eighteenth century epistolary novel to keep you engaged), nor can I blame being distracted by bad, trashy novels (The Devil Wears Prada, anyone?), nor can I blame (bad) television (so I watched 90210 and Melrose Place regularly in grad school--how else does one take a break from said Eighteenth century novels? By reading Cotton Mather?). The truth is, there are just some books I feel should interest me, but they simply don't. This includes anything by James Joyce, anything by Thomas Pynchon, anything by Charles Dickens...that's just a start.

Share your dirty secret with me. WAIT! Rephrase: Share your dirty book secret with me.

Oh...I mean, tell me what great novel(s) you've managed to avoid. And if you can't do that, then give me your best shot at an untried perfume metaphor. Oh! Let's make it a drawing! Comment and let me know if you want to enter, and I'll send you a sample pack of my current fall favorites from my own (small) collection!

*image: Parfums M. Micallef