Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dear Scent Diary, December 13-14



I'm planning on making this a recurring feature, in which I document the fragrances I wore and/or tested during the week, including the circumstances and whether they were right for the occasion or not.  To be blunt, my Excel file is getting really bloated, and I'm not keeping track of samples very well at the moment. 

Then, too, I figure this ought to be an easy way to oversee which bottles are getting used, and which aren't. 

I'll start back a week ago, because I had an epiphany, and didn't blog about it because I didn't think it was worth a whole post.  Turns out I changed my mind.  Last Sunday and Monday, the 13th and 14th, my community chorus held its winter concerts.  They went well, no major screwups.  (Hey, you can't count on that.  Last concert, two separate soloists went totally off the rails: one skipped a portion of her solo, which you might not have noticed unless you were familiar with it - the accompanist picked up where she was, and there was no big hole; the other got completely lost and there were several measures of either silence or wrong notes.  Weird, the stuff that happens to amateur vocalists.  Both of those ladies had been just fine in rehearsal.)  I was fortunate this year to be picked for a solo, and for those (few) of you who wanted to know how it went - it was fine, and Monday I'd say was even pretty, although I don't think I ever did it justice.  I was afraid of screwing it up and never really relaxed, which is sort of a metaphor for life, right?  You can overthink things.  Anyway, I think Mozart's music is like whipped cream: perfect to start with, sheer heaven if you do it right, but even bad whipped cream is better than no whipped cream.

Here is the lovely voice of Lucia Popp with the Ambrosian Singers Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Laudate Dominum.  Please click on it to enjoy it - c'mon, it's Mozart.  It's beautiful.  You should never turn down beauty, unless you're in a hurry because somebody is bleeding.  (Oh, and I could only dream of sounding like Lucia Popp.  Sigh.)

My epiphany: I've been singing with choral groups since I was five.  (My mother made me.  That's definitely a story for another post.)  One of the cardinal rules for choral singing, along with Always Have a Pencil and Never Chew Gum During Rehearsal, is Please Don't Wear Perfume to the Concert.  Last week, I Broke The Rule.  (Gasp!) There are people who break rules all the time - a few months ago, The CEO decided to turn left at a red light, because, as he said, "We're late for church, and nobody's coming toward us for half a mile, you can see that far," - but I'm not one of them.  Breaking rules for no good reason gives me hives.  (I gave The CEO down the road for that one, especially since the kids were in the car - let's all chastise him together now: bad, bad CEO.  Bad Example.)

But I was really stressed.  I've had this cold for seven weeks now, off and on, and while it's not really hindering my daily life - it's winter, nobody's freaking out over my tissue use - I haven't been what I'd call In Good Voice since about September.  And I was dreading the possibility of screwing up Mozart, which is a crime against humanity, or at least a crime against the ears of humanity.  So, I confess, I broke the rule, and snuck a spritz of Mariella Burani.  Just one, in the cleavage, so I could lower my chin and catch a tiny breeze of it if I needed it.  MB is a comfort scent for me - it's vaguely reminiscent of Chanel No. 5, which is what my mother wore when I was a child, although it's far quieter and less immediately recognizable to the noses of many.  The low sillage and the metaphysical hand of Mom on my shoulder made it just right.

You know what?  Nobody noticed.  And later, it occurred to me that the whole perfume ban probably came about primarily because of those killah sillage monsters of the 80's.  Which I wouldn't wear to a concert, so I think I'm safe.  And I had a great time singing and smelling Mariella.

Image is Some Perfume Bottles by parfumgott at flickr.  I don't know whose collection it is, but I'm envious.  Check out the vintage Dior in houndstooth, and those Goutals in the gorgeous butterfly boules.  There's also J'Adore and Ungaro Diva, both in pretty bottles, and I recognize at the right front a vintage bottle of Nina Ricci, probably L'Air du Temps.

1 comment:

Patty said...

A perfume diary is a great idea - I think I will start one too. It will be interesting to track why we wear a certain fragrance on a certain day, how it makes us feel, if it affects our mood as the day goes on,etc.

You won't get any arguments from me over listening to Mozart - I think his music can heal the sick and raise the dead! And Lucia Popp does herself a mean Queen of the Night too. I'll throw a listening link back atcha: http://americanpublicmedia.publicradio.org/programs/xmas_cantus/ (there's a "Listen to the program" link in the middle of the page). The complete program is about 45 minutes long, and well worth listening to - beautiful, touching, and powerful.