Posted in Christmas and New Year, Trolleys

Santa Baby

Feeling quite Christmassy so I changed my blog theme to something softer. I like this better than the last one. I looked at it on my desktop Mac last night, and could barely see the snow as there was too much white… I hope it shows up better against this theme?

I’m exhausted after beetling around town… my sister goes so much faster than I do, and my legs were wearing out! I was a favourite of the shop assistants — my shopping trolley was dressed as a little Santa with a sparkling beard. At least I have more gifts now. I did better than I feared, as my mother is notoriously difficult to buy for.

Is it everyone who is seriously fussy about things? For instance:

– only wears certain colours
– only likes white gadgets
– doesn’t like turtlenecks or polo necks
– doesn’t like socks with tight cuffs
– doesn’t like four out of five versions of Turkish Delight
– can’t eat spices or drink alcohol
– only eats cashew nuts
– some perfumes will seriously annoy
– prefers decaffeinated coffee at home and milky latte in town
– doesn’t like fat pens
– rejected all the slippers she looked at in town
– likes chocolate but some are too sweet
– won’t listen to music except on her terms
– ‘hates’ films (but loves Shrek)

It makes you scared to buy anything.

I like to think I’m easy to please… I love pens and stationery of all types, absolutely any CD will be tried several times till I fall in love with it, all DVDs will be eventually watched and probably kept, I love bears, I love all types of coffee, even weird flavoured ones, love mugs, love most chocolates and sweets, wear all socks (no matter how garish), don’t turn my nose up at perfumes or toiletries (unless it’s the type of perfume that gives me a headache, like Yardley’s Rose or Anais Anais).

That’s what I think, anyway… in practice, other people might not agree, and would complain that I turn my nose up at things like grey jerseys, second-hand jerseys in general (from charity shops), flimsy spotted skirts, 100% nylon or polyester bed linen, some cheap ‘gift’ toiletries, a book or CD I’ve got already, the kind of gift or book vouchers you have to remember to spend in local shops before they expire, prints you must go to the trouble of mounting and framing, dog ornaments, hand-blenders, chewy nougat, hard toffees, almonds and I don’t know what else. I suppose the fact that I’ve got a list of “don’t like so much” is telling!

At least I’ve done some of the things hanging over my head… posted cards, paid a bill, got some of the treats I feel we really ought to have at Christmas…

What about the rest of you… all ready for the festivities yet?

Posted in Life and Family

T-shirts and Time

Jewelled camel design on khaki T-shirt.No, this has not suddenly turned into a fashion blog. 😋 I bought this T-shirt a few days ago because I couldn’t be bothered to fold it up again.

OK, I was already thinking about buying it, but said to myself, “Delilah, how long do you think that pretty design will last? It will start to fade after the first wash, with bits falling off and cracks appearing, and in the end you will be left with a skimpy khaki T-shirt with an indescribable splodge on the front.”

I was about to fold it back up and replace it on the pile, but others finished buying what they were buying and chivvied me to ‘hurry up’ because they were going now.

It seemed simpler and more ‘valid’ to buy it rather than stand there folding it up neatly… though I suppose there was a flash of something in my mind that said “They’ll go home with something nice in their bag. What about me? Last chance saloon!”

Perhaps the realization I was about to lose the T-shirt was what made me realize I did want it — it was a wake-up call.

Well, my thoughts descended into utter confusion. When you hurry people up and display impatience, they panic and drop the ball. They might forget their keys, leave the door unlocked or suddenly decide to buy a camel T-shirt. At least now I have a pretty photograph to remind myself of how it used to look, though it does currently still look like that.

Maybe I should frame it, then it will — er — fade in the sunlight? Pfft. Just wear it, enjoy it… that’s what everything is for.

Posted in Christmas and New Year, Rants

Cold and Tired in Scotland

I think it’s going to be a more relaxed Christmas than usual for us, because of the bad weather. I just think “hey ho, if I don’t have all the gifts, they’ll arrive later.” We all have our excuses ready; we keep being told by various sites and couriers that we might not get our presents in Scotland before Christmas Day, but I’m inclined to think a lot of it is bluster…. just like us when on Christmas Day we are telling our loved ones “sorry, you would have had three extra parcels but they’re still stuck on the motorway. Snow and ice, you know. Not my fault.”

But it was dreadful today… I mean the weather wasn’t snowy but it’s very cold.The local temperature stands at -4 degrees C, and might drop to -6. I’m so glad we got that heating fixed (it broke down, and we were three freeeeeezing days and nights without it! Though the heat is on again, I can feel the ice still tiptoeing up my spine and trying to give me a sly hug… the opposite of that warm furry Cup-a-Soup hug that would leap on you from nowhere when you had a mug of Cup-a-Soup (according to the commercials)). Anyway, we got the bus out to town in the morning, and met my sister for coffee, then drifted round the shops, and I felt awful. It seemed to me we were just going to the same shops and fingering the same goods we did for the past couple of days, and I was very bored and ‘down’. All I wanted to do was go home again. I was looking forward to going home before we even left!

It wasn’t till we DID get back home that I remembered I got up early this morning, and had already been up about 5 hours before we took the morning bus to town! I’m still very sleepy. But I felt fed up anyway, as we were spending ages in shops I didn’t want to be in (lots of waiting near the door looking at the same nasty cardigans and overpriced Christmas baubles for the umpteenth time, trying not to fall asleep on my feet), and then I was being rushed impatiently round those shops that I DID want to be in… At least I managed to get a couple of things which went off (“bleep bleep bleep”) when we were leaving the shop, and we had to have their alarms deactivated as they hadn’t been removed at the till. I don’t know why that always happens to me at least once every Christmas…

Then we went home and sat watching the same old programs we’ve seen millions of times before (Antique Roadshow, Eggheads, Pointless etc) and it was made worse by the Antique Roadshow doing “the ten best…” (pot boiler). If I had control of that remote control, the TV would either be off or I’d be watching something with more meat in it, like a film or a drama… or a DVD if I was desperate. I was looking at a family in the Antique Roadshow having a doll or a bear or something valued, and I was wondering how they could stand there looking so bright-eyed and interested. Surely the ennui of everyday life had got to them too? If they felt it, they didn’t show it, though the mother looked a little further along that road than the child.

My tiredness has turned to headache… I think that means I should have slept but didn’t really. Was dozing off on the sofa then getting up for coffee.

Sorry, I sound very grumbly! I suppose I should try and finish this Christmassy picture… will be back when I have more energy. (Probably 4 a.m. tomorrow morning…)

Posted in Gender Issues, Junk Shop Finds

Dragon Anklebiter

I was going to post this a couple of days ago but got such a headache I went away from the computer. I think too much white on the screen (or pale colours) have a bad effect on me, but aren’t always the primary cause. Unless I sit staring at them too long. Anyone else find that?

Geosomin posted this a few days ago about the claim that women love shopping because our ancestors were ‘gatherers’. I passed that snippet to Mum, and she said “no, women love shopping because they were hunters!”

I would love to say I don’t love shopping, but I suppose I do. I have a frightening number of dreams about shopping. But I don’t go ballistic about it; I don’t have a cupboard full of tottering shoeboxes, or racks of never-worn (no, wait a minute, we won’t go there!) But I know I don’t have the piles of clothes and shoes that other women have got in the habit of buying.

Bears, OK, but I don’t buy as many as I used to… most of the time now I walk straight past them, and buy a Dean Koontz paperback instead.

The thought of shopping nowadays just depresses me, because I know I don’t have room for anything new, I don’t need anything new, and I’ve seen what the local shops have and I don’t expect them to have anything new either. Ennui has set in.

For a while I was getting perfume, but stopped after I obtained my favourite few (plus bonus bottles from Mum) as I knew if I bought too much, I would never manage to wear it all before it went off.

Who could resist this little cherub, however?

Click image to view more clearly!

He was sitting in a basket of cheap teddy bears in Cancer Research, and I saw him on two or three separate visits. I kept picking him up and giving him a little squeeze, and finally Mum snatched him from my grasp and marched him to the till. She said to her friend (the volunteer at the till), “is this mad?” and her friend said “pretty mad!”
But if she knew the whole of it, she would be sending round the men (and women) in white coats.

When we got home, Mum passed me a note saying she was going to a certain coffee shop the next day to meet her friends, and did I want to accompany her? The dragon read the note carefully, then said “what’s this coffee shop thing?” and Mum said “only people are allowed there, not dragons.”
“They used to allow smoking,” I said, “but don’t any more.”
“Oh,” said the dragon, and opted out of the trip.

Today he was watching adverts about the necessity to quit smoking, and said sadly that people must be trying to stamp out dragons.
“You’re too young to smoke, anyway,” said Mum, and the dragon said “but all older dragons smoke. What will I do when I get older?”

Then some adverts came on for stuff to smear on your skin to get rid of spots, and he said that was people trying to get rid of spotty smoky dragons. I think he’s developing a bit of a chip on his shoulder… don’t you?

I’m still trying to think of a name for him… suggestions welcome!

Posted in Photographs, Political and Social Issues

Woolies Will Be Missed

Woolworths has closed down in the UK. Our branch closed on January 5th 2009 (I think some closed earlier).

It will be missed by a lot of people, though when I searched on Google to see what others were saying, there was a certain amount of ‘putting the boot in.’

A question that was asked more than once was “when did you last buy anything good from Woolworths, and can you remember what it was?”

Some items weren’t of best quality and you found out what to avoid, but I bet it was a great resource for students and pupils. They could buy budget-price bedding, mugs, sweets, CDs, stationery, stamps and batteries. They could top up PAYG phones. Luggage and storage items were available there, along with newspapers and magazines. We sometimes bought the Radio Times. Some said Woolworths offered a ‘strange mixture’ of products, but I saw nothing strange about it. Lots of shops offer a mixed selection. I mentioned in an earlier post how I went into a PC World store which had stationery, and then went into a Staples store nearby which had computers and software. You wondered which one you were in.

Anyway, since people were wondering what others found of interest there, I’m posting photos of some of the things we bought in the last few months, weeks and days of Woolworths. We bought more than is pictured, but gave things away at Christmas and the New Year. I remember an absorbent blue floor mop; a set of stainless steel storage canisters; a plastic storage basket for bathroom or kitchen; a luxurious faux fur bed throw; a wine opener.

I taught myself (I hope!) how to post smaller photos that you click to enlarge. If I got it wrong and it causes problems, I apologize… tips appreciated!

Our most recent purchases from Woolworths

I persuaded Mum to let me include some of her purchases. She owns the marzipan fruits, stainless steel trivet and storage rack (there are more in the kitchen), one of the packs of pens, the three sharpeners, the three red pens, the three bottles of Coca-Cola (do you think three is her lucky number?) Actually we got six and drank two; the other was in the fridge.

The rest are mine, including:

CDs: Glen Campbell, Chris de Burgh, Elton John (bought for Rocket Man and Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me).

DVDs: Tears of the Sun, Castaway, The Chronicles of Riddick, Pitch Black, The Wizard of Oz, Casino Royale (starring Daniel Craig).

Four posters: Prince Caspian, Tinkerbell, two Golden Compass posters. I looked for Wall-E but he must have been sold out by then.

The two Toblerones were a random gift from a neighbour.

The last few laundry hampers were pink… which suited me fine! I could imagine the last person buying a blue hamper thinking ‘ha ha, I got the blue!’ but they’re welcome to it. Though if they put it in a charity shop, I would probably snabble it.

Mum also bought some shop fittings to use as cat-dish stands.

Shop fittings from Woolies

For stationery junkies, I’m including a closer view of the notebooks, notepads, pens, blue sharpener (the other two were hiding) and two ‘flexible’ rulers! I was trying not to get the notebooks or the Signo gel pens, but in the end I couldn’t help myself. The big patterned notebooks will probably be personal journals. The littlest pad with the sticker across the front was the last one in the store. It was lying in a box of assorted things for clearance, and I felt sorry for it…

My Woolies stationery

Something spooky happened… note that our branch of Woolworths closed on Jan 5th. At home I have an electronic singing bird which twitters Christmas carols (such as ‘Jingle tweet, jingle tweet, jingle all the…’ or ‘God wish you merry gentletweet’). It had been chirping right up to the 4th or 5th. Then I took it down on Jan 6th and tried to get one last song out of it before we put it away, and it was silent. The batteries were dead. It didn’t seem a good idea leaving it with batteries which might leak during the year, so I opened up the battery case and found….

You’ve guessed it. Woolworth batteries.

Posted in TV and Films

DVD Reclutter

I bought a few sale-price DVDs from Amazon.

Oh, I know, we are supposed to be decluttering, not recluttering. Part of the rationale, though, is that when the new ones turn up, I will be able to get rid of… ahem… at least a few videos.

There’s one film I’ve been craving for ages, and if it ever shows up on a non-subscription channel on TV, I’ve never been around to see it. The DVD was just under £6, but as it’s hard to get and I really liked it, I decided I’d go for it anyway. Popped it in my Amazon basket and went to look at a few other DVDs… added another, and the basket said:

“Important information: the price of an item has changed since you added it to your basket three minutes ago… your favourite DVD has come down from £5.97 to £3.08”.

Oh… thank you, Amazon. 🙂

Rushed to the checkout before they changed their minds.

Posted in Christmas and New Year, Perfumes, Photographs

My Secret Obsession

My Christmas 2008 Perfumes

I spent most of last night Photoshopping my Christmas stash of perfumes (for my blog). Some were gifts; others bought in the sales. I’ve attached a small copy of the picture. That one called Secret Obsession says it all… I didn’t tell Mum I’d bought it, and it’s hiding in a corner of my bedroom. I sneak in every so often, open up the box, and put a little on! That one’s going to be a classic.

Everything else in the picture is a gift from Mum, except the little bottle at the front with the lacy flower… that’s Mango Delirium.

I wonder if I go over the top when I’m ‘into’ something… I had the photo blown up really big and was working away on it, and Mum came in and said “in town tomorrow, don’t go buying any more perfume… that lady in Boots was giving you funny looks.”

“What?” I said, and looked at her as though she’d burst my balloon with a pin.

“Not really, it’s just that she looked up when we went back into the shop today, and said ‘oh, it’s you.’ ”

Having reduced me to a quivering wreck of embarrassment and self-loathing, Mum looked closer at the zoomed-in section of my photo, which was unrecognizable… and said “what’s that?”

I said “it’s just a picture,” and she had to go away without me telling her. It was the very corner of the Secret Obsession bottle.

It’s a funny story now when I’m telling it, but at the time I got depressed and said “I’ve decided I’m not going to town.”

“OK,” said Mum.

I think she’s just driven my new hobby underground… I will have to buy all my perfume secretly! In my defence, I’m hardly breaking the bank. Look at the picture: everything in it was bought by Mum, except for the Secret Obsession and Mango Delirium, which were both on my wish list for several weeks. I had Christmas money to spend… why not on the scents I wanted? It makes a change from CDs, books and bears, none of which she quibbles about. The collection on top of the Secret Obsession box were from charity shops, and the rest were half-price. Actually the big pink box was probably from a charity shop too, but brand new… the glass bottle was still glued to the back of the box.

The photo isn’t clear, so for those who love perfumes, they are as follows:

  • Brown bottle and golden tube: Secret Obsession.
  • Big pink box at the other side: Crabtree and Evelyn ‘Rose’.
  • Box of miniatures from Boots: Guerlain Insolence, Amarige, Ghost, Anais Anais, ange ou demon.
  • Small bottle with lacy pink flower: Mango Delirium.
  • Collection of bottles on top of the Secret Obsession box (from left to right): La Chique, Courreges in Blue, Boots Oceanus body lotion (nice).

There will be further reviews. 🙂

Posted in Perfumes

The Mad Perfume Sprayer Strikes Again

Latest batch of perfumes I tested:

Calvin Klein ‘One’ — 2 (90s unisex classic)
Citrus-y… at first I wasn’t sure, but realized after a while that I liked this perfume. It stayed tangy all day, though in a seductive way. Mum said it was ‘intriguing’, and that she got me Calvin Klein once, but I don’t remember. (Scratches head).

Calvin Klein ‘Secret Obsession’ — 1
This was on special offer in Superdrug but I didn’t like it much when I first put it on, so I didn’t buy it. As time went on, though, I realized I liked it quite a lot… it made me think of a dark, damp, magical forest with deep, jewel-green moss. At night, when there was just a trace of it left, it went somewhat ‘soapy’ on me. If I owned a bottle of it I could always put more on and override that. I can imagine curling up with it in a warm nest, the way I did with Euphoria; I felt the same way about Calvin Klein ‘One’. I wasn’t sure about Secret Obsession at start and at end, so it fell a spot in my perfume list. But I looked in Superdrug again the next day, and it was sold out. (The other perfume on special offer, Elizabeth Arden ‘Red Door’, had hardly been touched. I didn’t try it; I sniffed the bottle and hadn’t liked it for whatever reason). The last thing I noticed about Secret Obsession is that it’s so long-lasting that when I washed it off the next morning, it was still there!

Estee Lauder ‘Beautiful’ — 1
Nice and flowery. Fresh and feminine. Friendly. Liked it. Mum said she didn’t like it, but I had just made her smell Cacharel’s ‘Eden’, which was on the same hand, and she was still scowling… I only put ‘Beautiful’ this far down the list because it’s pricier than the perfumes just above (Monsoon, Delirium etc), and if I was on the hunt for another perfume to buy, those would come first. Probably.

White Satin — 2
I received the White Satin body spray as a gift from Mum. I’ve had it in my collection since before I started all this ‘perfume testing’ malarkey, but it seems only fair to include it in my reviews. It’s a pleasant flowery perfume, innocent and old-fashioned in nature. It makes you think of a dressing table covered with cylinders of lipstick, canisters of hairspray and a heavy cut glass ‘puff powder’ thing. And yourself, wondering if Granny will catch you roaming her bedroom (which is off limits to little children). I don’t put any of this in a dismissive way; it’s a pleasant body spray; the aroma is slightly powdery but with a sweet floral note coming through.

Burberry ‘Weekend’ — 2
Sharp and lemony… it was quite refreshing. Mum liked it but I wouldn’t bother with it, unless it grew on me later. Could well do… in which case I’ll plump out this review!

Ghost — 1
Another vanilla-y perfume… it was OK, but I’m not all that into the vanilla scents. Mum didn’t like it, and though I thought it was all right, I wouldn’t buy it for myself.

Christian Dior ‘Miss Dior’
— 1 (0.5 each from Mum and me)
Whoo, expensive. £57 for the bottle I was looking at. I wouldn’t even dream of paying that, but it’s one of those key perfumes everyone’s heard of… my grandmother wore it. When I tried it, it reminded me of Ma Griffe. Mum said it was OK but she didn’t recognize it as Miss Dior. She says there’s something missing and it’s not the same. I read reviews on it earlier; it has been reformulated, possibly to remove or replace ingredients that couldn’t be used any more, but I don’t know the story. I didn’t dislike it, would be prepared to take it at face value, and was grateful that it didn’t give me a headache the way some perfumes do. It was the best of the three Christian Dior perfumes I’ve tried so far, but alien to me. For the rest of the night I kept thinking there was someone else in the room wearing this perfume, and that it had nothing to do with me…

Intimately Beckham — 1
Had this on the other wrist, and it was completely overshadowed by the Miss Dior, but that wasn’t its own fault. I quite liked it and was glad it didn’t give me a headache either, but I can’t imagine myself owning a pink perfume with a footballer’s name on it. Football and I don’t go. Setting that aside, it was a quiet, pretty, feminine fragrance without being too wild or cloying. Mum gave it the thumbs down before even learning what it was, but I’ll give it a thumbs up.

Elizabeth Arden ‘Green Tea Revitalize’ — 1.5 (1 from Mum, 0.5 from me)
A bit sharp and edgy for me, but it was OK at first. As the day wore on, it smelled more and more acridly of tea, and that didn’t really please me! I felt I might as well put real tea on as get the perfume.

Bodyshop ‘Japanese Cherry Blossom’ Eau de Toilette — 0
A bit on the sugary sweet side for me. Looking forward to trying the other Bodyshop offerings, though. I was in there looking for rose-scented hand cream, but couldn’t see any.

Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Reminded me strongly of another perfume… it bothered me all day, as it was a perfume I knew well, and its name kept bubbling up then wafting off again. I nearly choked when I finally realized I was thinking of ‘Miranda’ by Ricardo… I got 100 ml of it for £1 from Pound Mania. Reasonably pleasant, and of course the Light Blue was of better quality (didn’t degenerate into a soap-bubbly aura) but when you look at the price, I would go for Miranda any day.

Kylie Minogue ‘Showtime’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Quite a strong aroma… not unpleasant, but rather like cough drops. I don’t say that to be mean, as it’s not a bad perfume overall. Perhaps it doesn’t suit my skin-type well.

Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’ — 0
Soft and dull, faded quite fast; had no presence. I’ve read reviews on various perfumes by people saying “the such and such notes weren’t obvious on me,” or “it faded faster on me than on other people,” so maybe that’s what happened here. Leaves quite a pleasant powdery trace at the end.

Lancome ‘Magnifique — 0
On me it smelled like rubber at first… improved eventually, but only in its final stages.

Calvin Klein ‘Crave’ — 0
Apparently discontinued… and for men. ☺
I tried this on the other wrist the same day I tried Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’… I met up with Mum later and she enquired “so, have you had your perfume fix for today?” and I said “it wasn’t much of a fix!” Both perfumes were disappointing. At first spritz, I thought ‘Crave’ was nice and fresh, but it slumped quite rapidly, and turned out to have a hard note not dissimilar to the one in Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’. Fortunately it was relatively faint.

Cacharel ‘Eden’ — minus 2
The only reason I didn’t sink this right to the bottom of my list is that it wasn’t one of the ones I had an allergic reaction to. All the ones below it gave me a headache or made me feel ill. Eden made me think of some oily mechanical rubbery thing in a DIY, smelling strongly of plastic tarpaulins and shut-up-dusty-shop. It took over, unfortunately.

Yardley ‘English Rose’ — 2
This perfume is just lovely, and I didn’t ‘test’ it as such, as I already had it and had forgotten! It was still in the box, therefore quite fresh. It has a lovely Turkish Delight bloom to it. Mum probably smells ‘flowers’ rather than ‘Turkish Delight’ (as I found out when we were discussing J Lo Glow) but she says Yardley’s English Rose is one of her favourite perfumes. She was delighted when I gave it to her, as it turned out I was reacting quite badly to that as well… sore, red eyes and headache. About two or three times after washing it off, I came and sat here at my desk where it must have rubbed off from my wrists, and got sore eyes again. That’s finally stopped happening… but it strikes me it would be a good deterrent for when I’m spending too much time at the computer! Just stroke a little Yardley’s English Rose round the edges of everything, and market it as Stop Diddums. That’s the only reason I gave it such a low placing. I shouldn’t have given it a score of 2, but I liked it and was sorry to see it go. Am now looking for a Diddums-friendly rose perfume to replace it. Once I got a lovely, strong, long-lasting rose hand cream from a National Trust shop, so that might be the next place to look.

Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Lovely’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Pleasant perfume; not outstanding for me… it gave me a headache. Reading the reviews, ‘Lovely’ takes one or two people that way. Mum just said “hm, mm,” as though to say, “quite nice. I wouldn’t rush to the till with it.” I read that S.J.P. wanted an understated perfume that wouldn’t scream that she was in the room, so I guess it did that quite well. Unfortunately it tried to drive me out of the room and upstairs to bed (with a cloth over my eyes).

I’ve updated my full list of tested perfumes (below). The ones reviewed above are in bold. As mentioned before in my blog, it’s only my personal list; these scents could come across completely differently on someone else.

From places 1 to 13… I would buy. (Have you noticed the number has increased from 9 to 13? That’s the whole problem with playing this particular game, but I suppose it’s good that I would only buy 4 out of the 18 I’ve reviewed this time… and I already own one of them!)

The 11th perfume (Monsoon) was completely sold out last time I passed that spot in Boots. All to be found there is a sad (but smug) little tester bottle.

1. Calvin Klein ‘Euphoria’ — 2
2. Jennifer Lopez ‘Live’ — 2
3. Jennifer Lopez ‘Glow’ — 2
4. Paloma Picasso — 2
5. Cacharel ‘Noa’ — 2
6. Calvin Klein ‘One’ — 2
7. Marc Jacob’s ‘Daisy’ — 2
8. Calvin Klein ‘Secret Obsession’ — 1
9. Britney Spears ‘Curious’ — 2
10. Mango ‘Delirium’ — 2
11. Monsoon ‘Monsoon’ — 1
12. Estee Lauder ‘Beautiful’ — 1
13. White Satin — 2
14. Burberry ‘Weekend’ — 2
15. Ghost — 1
16. Christian Dior ‘Miss Dior’ — 1 (0.5 each from Mum and me)
17. Intimately Beckham — 1
18. Elizabeth Arden ‘Green Tea Revitalize’ — 1.5 (1 from Mum, 0.5 from me)
19. Bodyshop ‘Japanese Cherry Blossom’ Eau de Toilette — 0
20. Katie Price ‘Besotted’ — 0
21. Ricardo ‘Miranda’ — 1
22. Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
23. Kylie Minogue ‘Showtime’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
24. Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’ — 0
25. Lancome ‘Magnifique’ — 0
26. Calvin Klein ‘Crave’ — 0
27. Givenchy ‘Amarige’ — 0.5
28. Police ‘Wings’ — 1.5
29. Vera Wang ‘Princess’ — 0
30. Christian Dior ‘J’Adore’ — 0
31. Dolce & Gabbana ‘The One’ — 0
32. Britney Spears ‘Fantasy’ — 0
33. Cacharel ‘Eden’ — minus 2
34. Yardley ‘English Rose’ — 2
35. Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Lovely’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
36. Cacharel ‘Anais Anais’ — 1
37. Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’ — 0

Posted in Christmas and New Year, Technology and Software

The Season of Loving and Giving

Well, I got a reply to my email concerning an insecure page when I tried to buy something for my Christmas (full story here). I had told them about the broken padlock on my Firefox browser when I tried to register. They just said (though not quite as shortly): “see the FAQs”. To be fair, I went and looked, and there was nothing there that addressed my concerns at all. How could it possibly?

I did some surfing and read how the apparent insecurity could be caused by graphics, so I blocked all images from appearing on the registration page. Although the images duly failed to appear, the lock in the corner of the browser was still broken… perhaps that wouldn’t be a surprise to someone who knows his stuff!

This store is unlikely to get any of my custom… I will be looking elsewhere, and probably after Christmas.

Posted in Perfumes

Still on the Scent of the Perfect Fragrance

My latest tester bottles of perfume…

Jennifer Lopez ‘Glow’ — 2
We both loved this… strong and sweet without being heavy. Had spice in the heart of it. I suspect Mum liked it better than J Lo Live, but after all these perfumes I’ve tried, I can’t quite remember Live now and can’t make a direct comparison for myself. I see the pair as being neck and neck. Glow reminded me strongly of something, and it wasn’t till I was going round Woolworth that it hit me… rose and lemon Turkish Delight! The fragrance had stamina and was still Delighty much later (‘flowery’ to Mum).

Britney Spears ‘Curious’ — 2
At first Curious seemed a lighter version of J Lo Glow, without the spice. As time passed, it grew lighter, ending up as a sheen of sweet vanilla-y powder, whereas Glow never wavered in its Turkish sweetness. I liked Curious and would be happy to wear it, but it didn’t have a chance when compared directly to Glow (I had one on one wrist and the other on the other). Pretty blue bottle… would be a nice Christmas present for someone.

Katie Price ‘Besotted’ — 0
Light and pleasant in a pretty bottle, but it didn’t stand out at all. Finishes with a powdery scent, a bit dull. I would say it was a little girl’s perfume (at least that’s what it was like on me!) The tester bottle I tried was on a small island of selected perfumes in some pharmacy… it was teetering dangerously on a box at the back of the island (where anybody could sweep it off with a bag) and I said to Mum I didn’t think it would last out the day.

Christian Dior ‘J’Adore’ — 0 (my sister E stood in for Mum in the ‘sniff test’)
Before I say much about either of the Christian Dior fragrances here, I have to confess I put too much on… they came blasting out of their respective bottles and ran down my wrists. Enthusiastic products, the pair of them. J’Adore was the strongest to start with… E says it’s like soap, which is probably a fair comment. A nice light flowery soap that wafts everywhere with great gusto, but it didn’t interest me very much. I like it better as it cools, but to start with, it’s more overpowering than Pure Poison. Finally it slows and disappears, and Pure Poison takes over.

Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’ — 0 (my sister E stood in for Mum in the ‘sniff test’)
Hmm… odd one. E said it smelled of nothing in particular. It makes me think of the inside of someone’s party-going clutch bag, or a pile of freshly washed laundry from the laundromat. At least one of the Christian Dior perfumes (I suspect J’Adore) made me feel a bit nauseous for a while, and my eyes smarted… it could just be that I put too much on. I’m still recovering from the Dizzy Virus, with a touch of the unsolicited ‘hangover’, so I won’t make too much of it. The longer I wear Pure Poison, though, the sicker I feel. It’s almost as though fluff from a tumble dryer is catching at the back of my throat.

I have a confession to make… I bought Paloma Picasso. (Chews lip guiltily). It had more of a ‘mark-down’ in price than some of the others (down from £35 to around £19), and I felt I owed Boots a little something after sniffing so much of their perfumes! I put J Lo Live in my Santa Claus letter so I’m resisting that one for now.

I would have got J Lo Glow, but it was locked away in the glass cabinet, and you know what I’m like about asking for things…! I was able to pick up a box of the Paloma Picasso from the special offer stand, which I was thinking about anyway, as it was such a good price, and there were only two boxes left (panic) so… I’m going to have to wear a lot of perfume to get through it all before it goes stale. I’ve still got my White Satin, and there’s the £1 Miranda, and Calvin Klein’s Euphoria. And now Paloma Picasso.

I would wash off this Christian Dior so I can make a start on my growing stash, but it seems a waste. So I won’t. For the rest of the day I’ll be a muddled mixture of J’Adore and Pure Poison (so what’s new?)

The following is my updated list of perfume (the original, older list is in All the Perfumes of the High Street). The score ‘2’ means both Mum (or E) and I liked it. ‘1’ means either I liked it or she did… if it’s low down in the list, it tends to mean she liked it but I didn’t!

My list is a little eccentrically arranged; for instance, I gave Miranda 0.5 from each of us, but I put a 0-scoring perfume (Besotted) ahead of it. There are explanations, I guess; sometimes I quite liked a perfume but it didn’t suit me or I was reacting to it slightly… and we gave Miranda the score we did because it wasn’t as bad as we expected from a £1 bottle of perfume. It doesn’t mean I would stop using Miranda (now that I have it), and it doesn’t mean I would buy Besotted. Life is never that straightforward. 🙂

The perfumes in places 1 to 9, I would buy.

1. Calvin Klein ‘Euphoria’ — 2
2. Jennifer Lopez ‘Live’ — 2
3. Jennifer Lopez ‘Glow’ — 2
4. Paloma Picasso — 2
5. Cacharel ‘Noa’ — 2
6. Marc Jacob’s ‘Daisy’ — 2
7. Britney Spears ‘Curious’ — 2
8. Mango ‘Delirium’ — 2
9. Monsoon ‘Monsoon’ — 1
10. Katie Price ‘Besotted’ — 0
11. Ricardo ‘Miranda’ — 1
12. Givenchy ‘Amarige’ — 0.5
13. Police ‘Wings’ — 1.5
14. Vera Wang ‘Princess’ — 0
15. Christian Dior ‘J’Adore’ — 0
16. Dolce & Gabbana ‘The One’ — 0
17. Britney Spears ‘Fantasy’ — 0
18. Cacharel ‘Anais Anais’ — 1
19. Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’ — 0

PS J’Adore had faded by the time Mum got home, but I tried the Pure Poison on her, and she said “I don’t like it.” I said E said it didn’t smell of anything, and Mum said “if you offered her a sniff of pure cat pee, she would say ‘mm… very nice’.”

Seems a bit unfair, but E’s got more cats than we have! I’d feel more at home with Eau de Cat Pee than Pure Poison — I wouldn’t feel so unwell. Sorry. I’m going to wash it off.