Monday, November 14, 2011

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love The Brows.

I actually have decent eyebrows, well defined and dark - even when I was a child and my hair was blondish. They'd be really good, except one of them is higher than the other. I know, I know, nobody has a balanced face. I've seen computer images where they've made people with perfectly symmetrical faces and it's creepy as hell. It's just that my eyebrows are uneven. Really uneven, like one is way more arched than the other, making me look like a sarcastic smart-ass Mr. Spock*

I had always thought I'd gotten my eyebrows from my dad. Dad had awesome eyebrows, thick dark and black.
My parents' wedding photo. Note the awesome brows on Dad.  

 When he was young they were sort of Elvis-y. As he got older they were picking up a hint of Brezhnev.

Sadly, he died before his brows could fully realise their destiny, but I am absolutely certain that he would have eventually rocked an eyebrow combover. The man had brows.

Being a child of the eighties, I appreciate full, well-defined brows. Elizabeth Taylor, for example. Nastassia Kinski. So I've never really plucked mine, except for a few odd hairs that want to go for a unibrow, and to try and level them out a bit, so I don't always look like I'm going to say "Fascinating!"
One of the more recent pictures of my brows.

Behold, my brows in all their glory. One of them is headed north. It always does that. And it drove me nuts for years. And then it happened.

My sister does genealogy. And she happened to come across a really good picture of my maternal great-grandmother.

Sadly, I did not inherit her hair.

The first time I saw this picture I thought- Hey! Those are my eyebrows! And they are. Actually, I pretty much look just like her, I think, barring a few stylistic differences. And her brows don't look weird. They give her serious face a quirk of amusement, a hint of strength. This picture was taken sometime in the 1920's and you can see she's cropped her hair. I love knowing that Gramma had a bit of the rebel in her. And you know, after I saw this, I stopped perceiving my wayward brow as an insult to my face. I never met Pauline Navarre, but now I feel, every time I look in mirror, that she's looking back at me, and that one odd eyebrow isn't a defect, but her way of saying hello to me across the generations, a special gift from a woman who only saw me once, on the day of my birth.

*Many of my friends would consider this to be a perfect description of my actual personality, but still...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oh My Darling

Recently I got a couple of solid perfumes from Darling Clandestine. I'd been wanting to try them for some time, and earlier I purchased a couple of scents during a referral sale. They were Serpentina and Tapadero and I really liked them. I liked them enough that, during a BOGO sale I ordered solid versions of Inked and Monstre Delicat. I liked Serpentina and Tapadero but I loved, loved LOVED Inked and Monstre Delicat.

stolen from DC's etsy store.

 Serpentina, a crisp, green, ethereal fragrance with a little opium bite, smells like dirt. Not in a dirty way, but in an earthy way. A gardening way. In fact it smells like gardening, like greenness of plants and the loamy scent of turned soil. If you've ever done a bunch of gardening without gloves, this is the smell that's left on your hands, the wonderful, nurturing scent of green growing things and the earth that surrounds them.

Tapadero is another outdoorsy scent. The site calls it a sharp, clean fragrance bright with roses and sage, with a sweet smoky leather finish.  I had a pony as a child* - I usually rode bareback, but always had reins. Tapadero smells like the worn leather scent of a tack shed and a breezy summer day. Sun, sky, an endless stretch of grass, leather and utter freedom.

Nice huh? Very, but those two are nothing compared to the olfactory awesomeness of my second order.  Follow me as I describe where they take me.

Inked (this fragrance throbs with a sting of sea salt and leather and splashes of communion winet) is sexy. Really, really sexy. Sweat and leather, a hint of smoke, a drop of wine. Hell, Inked smells like sex - raunchy, primal slightly tipsy sex - the kind that leaves the bed irreparably disheveled; exhausting, exhilarating and faintly shocking. The first note is suedey, followed by a salty rush of sweaty bodily sweetness rippled through with stale cigarettes and a forgotten bottle of wine spilled on cheap carpet. One sniff and you just want to drown yourself in it, it's like the porno of perfumes.

Monstre Delicat, described as  a clean, blue, rainy fragrance with haunting, moody black notes. It's the kind of half-sleep you get as the sun is coming up after a night of abandon. It's a little sweeter, a little sadder - the wash of pale grey light on a dreary morning, the moistness of dew, of dried sweat. You haven't quite escaped the madness of the night before, but now you're struck by the poignancy of it. The reality of being transient flesh and the fleeting nature of life. It is a blue-grey scent - the scent of a rainy sky with the crackling, spicy undertones of a storm just passed, or yet to come.

Serpentina and Tapadero are complex, rich scents, but they are the sort of thing you could wear to work without feeling out of place. They're evocative and daring, but not dangerous. Monstre Delicat and Inked are very, very dangerous scents. They work very well together and almost make a kind of poetry. They're wild, sexy and out of control. They're the perfume equivalent of realising you've forgotten to re-button your shirt, or tame your hair and fix your lipstick and you know everyone's looking at you thinking "Uh, huh - they just got some."

All products were purchased by me for my own use. My opinions are my own and always will be. Your mileage may vary.

*Don't be jealous. The pony was a little bastard and he hated me. Actually he hated anything that interfered with his master plan of eating until he was as wide as he was tall and only moving when absolutely necessary. His name was Buck. I don't think I need to explain this, except to say that most of my memories of him consist of sitting on the ground watching his fat pony butt heading away from me.