Happy Holidays! (Bergdorf’s Windows 2015)

Hey guys. Happy Holidays! I know I post pics of Bergdorf Goodman’s windows every year, so here’s this year’s installation:



I dig the Swarovski turtle. I know I got some uncharming glare from the shop across the street, but I digress.

IMG_1059Looks like a fun party. Let’s get a closer look at the girl in the middle, slouching over holding a piece of cake.

IMG_1062Yeah that’s me at every party. *social anxiety lol*


IMG_1065This queen sure looks friendly and approachable.

IMG_1066The guards.


I hope you all are having a great day!

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Appalachian Collection

So my last project at Parsons is to design a collection and create a digital marketing plan. A lot of people used Instagram. And of course I used Scentsate. 🙂

My collection is based on the juxtaposition between nature and industry. It can be a pretty adversarial relationship, especially in West Virginia. First off, I chose some images to represent what my collection is about.

Harper's Ferry TrainA freight train crashing through the mountains in Harpers Ferry, WV.



There’s a good chance it’s carrying coal.


Sideling Hill, a sedimentary beauty on US Route 40 Scenic near Cumberland, MD.


Me on top of Maryland Heights looking down at Harpers Ferry.


Harper's Ferry Town

Downtown Harpers Ferry.


Someone’s backyard in Shepherdstown, WV. (I took this one.)


Shepherdstown train crossing in the snow. (I took this one too.)


Me camping with a friend.


Some metalwork by a talented local sculptor, Scott Cawood. (Took this one.)

I laid out a color story for my digital designs on Kaledo.


I took the colors from some of the images you see above. I named them after different things in Appalachia. I think the best names I came up with are Barrel-Aged Scotch, Iron Ore, Acid Rain, Andy Warhol Bridge (in Pittsburgh), Rhododendron (WV state flower), Verdigris (the wear on weathered copper; that’s why it turns teal!) and Chemical Spill (after last year’s chemical spill in Charleston.)

Here’s closeups of my prints.


Broken Stem Flowers. These are flowers on a vine, but some of them are broken. I wanted that to represent the detrimental impact that unregulated industry has on Appalachia’s natural landscape.


Here’s a knit that’s supposed to look like Sideling Hill.


This print represents acid rain.

Here’s some of my digital prints on sketches in different color schemes.






And here’s some hand-drawn designs.


And some older ones.

IMG_1047 IMG_1048

I’m so glad I went to Parsons. I learned a lot about craft, how to tell if an idea is a good one, how to market, and how to make my work more cohesive. I think all creative disciplines are related. These skills work for everything. I learned so much and I think I did a pretty good job!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Ok here we’ve got a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving. (Freedom From Want, 1942)

(c) Copyright 2005, Hoosier Photo[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D70 2006/11/19 14:59:28.2 Compressed RAW (12-bit) Image Size: Large (3008 x 2000) Lens: 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5 G Focal Length: 35mm Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern 1/4 sec - F/11 Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV Sensitivity: ISO 200 Optimize Image: Portrait White Balance: Auto AF Mode: AF-S Flash Sync Mode: Slow Sync Flash Mode: TTL-BL Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV Color Mode: Mode Ia (sRGB) Tone Comp.: Auto Hue Adjustment: 0° Saturation: Normal Sharpening: Medium low Image Comment: Long Exposure NR: Off Group A: TTL Group B: TTL [#End of Shooting Data Section]

Then I found these parodies on gunaxin.com.




And here’s Peanuts.


I’ll be eating dinner with friends. And wearing a savory perfume. Probably Un Bois Vanille.

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End Of November Shopbop SALE!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going out on Black Friday. I’m heading to Soho. (In the afternoon. Not at midnight.) I’m gonna catch those sales.

But I’m also going to catch them on Shopbop. Honestly, most of my clothes (the fancy ones at least!) have come from there since I got this widget. I’ve learned about cool brands I didn’t know anything about before, like Sea, renamed, and Joie.

From today until 11:59 PM November 30th (Eastern time), you can get 15% off orders over $250, 20% off orders over $500, and 25% off orders over $1000.



Some restrictions apply. Click the link below for details.


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My Halloween Costume

I was a sexy cowgirl for Halloween. Check it out:

me cowgirl

I made those wine-colored leather pants in Construction 3 at Parsons. And I wore Patchouli 24!

We went on a pub crawl in the East Village. The lines were insane and the crowds were unreal. On the plus side, we hit the Coyote Ugly bar.

It was a good night!

And here is our black cat, Emma Teacup.



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Take 25% Off At Shopbop Friends & Family Sale!

shopbop sale

Hey guys!

Shopbop is having one of their biggest sales of the year right now. I know that I for one plan on taking advantage of it.

From now until Friday at 11:59 PM you can take 25% off almost EVERYTHING. (check exceptions here.)

Your savings code is INTHEFAM25.

Check it out.

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Acqua di Parma Profumo

SephoraAcqua di Parma smells like sand and seawater. Not so much in the actual notes, but in the effect.

There’s 3 different types of bergamot in here. Bergamot usually lightens up a fragrance, hence its use in cologne. But there’s too much in here for AdP to be flimsy. It smells light in a heavy way, if that makes any sense. It’s like the perfume gods were playing tug of war with a proverbial rope between earthy and ethereal scents, the rope broke, and Acqua di Parma is what they got.

AdP feels summery. But it’s a bit heavy for a summer fragrance. This is a good time of year to wear it: when it’s still warmish enough for you to feel like it’s summer but the brisk evenings are starting to steal your thunder.


Here’s the rest of the note list, from Sephora: Bergamot, Orange, Ylang-Ylang, Orris Iris, Jasmine, Grasse Jasmine, Rose, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Grey Amber, Vanilla.

I can’t pick out the rose or patchouli. They’re probably invisible players whose role is to flesh things out. I can smell the amber, some overripe ylang-ylang and a substantial iris accent. I smelled some citrusy jasmine the second time around.

Overall though, Acqua di Parma Profumo is more of an effect than a perfume. I don’t really think about the notes.

Price Range: Very Expensive
Recommended Occasion: It’s what hippies could wear when they want to be prim.
Release Year: Released in 1930. Rereleased in 2000.
My Rating: 8


Check out more reviews at EauMG, The Scented Hound, Donna at Perfume Smellin’ Things, Marina at Perfume Smellin’ Things, I Smell Therefore I Am, That Smell, Odiferess.

Note: Everybody says this is a chypre. I’m not getting that. To me it just isn’t dry, dark, or mossy enough. It was apparently reformulated in 2008, so due to restrictions there no real oakmoss in it. I love it though.


*Top image from Sephora. Bottom image is a 2007 image of Makokiny Beach from Wikipedia.

Posted in Amber, Bergamot, Iris, Jasmine, Oakmoss, Orange, Patchouli, Rose, Vanilla, Ylang-Ylang | Tagged , | 4 Comments

MEMO Cuirs Nomades Collection

Hey guys, I’ve been backed up for a long time. I have a ton of perfume samples waiting for review. I’m sorry if I haven’t gotten to yours. I’ll do the best I can.

I have a lot of samples from Siren PR for MEMO, a French company that just debuted at Bergdorf’s. Founders Clara and John Molloy started their company in 2007. IFF-trained perfumer Alienor Massenet is their nose.

I want to write about their leather collection first, because leather has always been one of my pet notes. The press material for their Cuir Nomades collection gave me an interesting history lesson: back in the 17th century glovemakers would use oils to mask the scents of animal hide. Glove perfumers eventually became quite sought-out in French courts. So much so that tanneries in Grasse (then known for leathermaking) started cultivating fields of flowers to scent the gloves. When the leather trade started declining due to higher costs and competition, Grasse became known for perfume.

The Molloys put the “nomades” in Cuirs Nomades because leather is known for going everywhere. And if you think about it, that’s true. It’s used for briefcases, luxury car seats, and motorcyclists’ gear. (Can you tell I’m having a lot of fun with this press material?)


Irish Leather

irish leather

The first thing I jotted down is that it’s a rough leather. Sort of like a work boot. I wrote that there’s an Earl Grey-ish note too, and if you’re in the right mood it also smells like smoky tobacco. This is one of those fragrances that comes off a little different each time you smell it.

But I just now sprayed some on my shirt and got a rich, heady whiff of green medicinal goodness. That must be the clary sage. On skin, Irish Leather changes in subtle, interesting turns. But on fabric you get that chilly blast that Irish co-founder John Molloy wanted to evoke. It definitely smells like “one of those icy, biting mornings” as described. The drydown smells the same as the start.

When I test perfumes I try to spray them without looking at the note list first. That way I can pick out which notes actually stand out to me instead of just making myself smell what I’m supposed to. I’m proud of myself for picking up the tea note, even if it isn’t Earl Grey. Yerba mate is a South American tea that you’re supposed to drink with a straw while it’s still steeping.

The website’s picture describes Irish Leather’s mood perfectly.

Note List: pink pepper, oil of clary sage, juniper berry, green mate absolute, oil of flouve, iris concrete, Tonka bean absolute, leather accord, oil of birch, amber accord

My Rating: 7.5


Italian Leather

cruel-intentions-car (Annette in Sebastian’s 1956 Jaguar Roadster, from screeninsults.com)

This one smells distinctly high-quality. The materials really rise it above the sum of its parts, which are mainly vanilla and leather. The best Italian leather is soft and buttery and so is MEMO’s version. This perfume is cheerful.

I think it’s the iris effect that makes it so soft. The crisp tomato leaf comes in a minute later. It smells like a really clean-cut, preppy guy who has laid-back afternoon cocktail parties on his yacht. But there’s something dainty about it too. So it’s actually more like his girlfriend just put on his shirt so she smells like both of them at the same time. (Oooh! 🙂 )

This is also a strong perfume. Not strong in the sense that, say, Poison is, but it has a natural presence. Even in the drydown, which unfortunately loses the sunny details. People will know when you’re wearing Italian Leather. They just might not know it’s perfume.

Note List: oil of pink pepper, vanilla bean absolute, black currant buds, rockrose absolute, oil of galbanum, oil of clary sage, green tomato leaf, iris concrete, oil of petitgrain, oil of sandalwood, tolu balsam resin, opoponax resin, myrrh resin, benzoin resin, leather, musk

My Rating: 7


French Leather

fc2b5b74280a88dfa83748732390424d (Image from pinterest, by artist Chris Brandley.)

Sticking lime, rose, and suede together has to be one of the more original perfume ideas I’ve heard in a while. And they’re not kidding: the lime really does stand out. You get all three notes in just about equal parts. But there’s a sense to this one that feels, like the press material says, “deceptively casual. Not quite nonchalant.” I see how some people would like it. It’s perfectly blended and feels very much like you’re in a French café. I picture it as a sort of rosewater soda with lime that someone’s drinking. The drydown gets more suede-y. Towards the end it starts to smell a bit like Bottega Veneta.

But overall, it just feels a little too heavy for me. I’m more into heavy perfumes in most cases, but this one I think would be served better if it went all the way into bubbly, fresh territory and became truly nonchalant.

Note List: lime essence, rosewater essence, vernal essence, sage resin, pink pepper essence, cedar essence, musk, suede accord

My Rating: 6.5


All three of these could be unisex, even French Leather if you’re bold. They could also be layered together. I have to say, the best thing about reviewing these is that all three evoked exactly the same emotions that they were supposed to. I didn’t have to squint and pull at strings trying to figure out how Irish Leather smells like cold freedom, French Leather smells like walking aimlessly around Paris all day, or Italian Leather smells like riding through the countryside in the back of a Ferrari. It just does.

(Note: I have never walked around Paris, ridden a horse for any substantial distance or ridden anywhere in the back of a Ferrari, but hey, that’s the point of perfume. It takes you somewhere else.)

Posted in Amber, Benzoin, Birch, Blackcurrant, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Flouve, Galbanum, Iris, Juniper Berry, Leather, Mate, Musk, Myrrh, Opoponax, Petitgrain, Pink Pepper, Rockrose, Rose, Rosewater, Sage, Sandalwood, Suede, Tolu, Tomato Leaf, Tonka Bean, Vanilla | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Tubereuse Couture by Parfumerie Generale


I was going to write an in-depth associative review of Tubereuse Couture, but I want to stick to the point like the perfume does. You don’t usually find soliflores that are this on-point while also having a satisfying amount of depth.

Tubereuse Couture is an appropriately menthol-like rendition of the flower that you can feel comfortable with. It’s rich, buttery, and a touch animalic; the rough parts only make up about 20% of the effect. It’s like Pierre Guillaume measured out how much shock he could put into the fragrance while still making it comfortable for everyday use. The effect is ladylike and surprising. If Tubereuse Criminelle is too Tim Burton truck stop waitress for you, this is your best bet.

Tubereuse Couture has good sillage and staying power too.

Note List from Fragrantica: kalamanzi oil (calamondin), green jasmin shoots, ylang-ylang, sugar cane, indian tuberose, sumatra benzoin and papyrus

Perfumer: Pierre Guillaume
Price Range: Expensive
Recommended Occasion: Any
Release Year: 2009
My Rating: 8.5

Read more reviews at
The Non-Blonde: I didn’t notice this part, but now that she mentions it TC does seem a little dessert-like.
Sandra at Olfactoria’s Travels emphasizes its good humor.
Laurin at Get Lippie thinks it’s a rollicking good time.
(Why does everyone think this one’s loud except for me?)

(Top picture from Fragrantica)

Posted in Benzoin, Calamondin, Jasmine, Papyrus, Sugar, Tuberose, Ylang-Ylang | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Cafeteria (Chelsea, NYC)


Cafeteria is an all-night restaurant in Chelsea. It’s trendy, well-known, and the food’s pretty good. Cafeteria is known for clever takes on contemporary American comfort food.

Everybody is hot. At around nine at night I was sitting between a well-dressed couple in their thirties and a bridge-and-tunnel looking couple in their 20s who were getting ready to go out. (Good luck getting a table between six and midnight, because it’s always packed.)

The lights are dim, the space is modern, and they play dance music. The service is decent. There’s a candle at every table and the menus have pictures of famous fashion designers and scenesters with their favorite Cafeteria dish listed.


Order the milkshake. Any flavor. Also get the buttermilk biscuits with sweet butter.


The veggie burger is a good choice too. You can get it wrapped in lettuce. It’s big but not absurd.

If you’re there before 5 pm, get the lemon ricotta pancakes. They’re the ones at the top of the page. They’re delicious.

Their cleverest dish is the deep fried Oreos. They’re coated in what tastes like funnel cake batter. It’s made to remind you of when you ate milk and cookies as a kid. It comes with a mini vanilla milkshake in a little milk jug with a striped straw. You also get a side of mint chocolate chip ice cream.


Some dishes are better than others, but it’s worth trying a bunch of them because they’re all pretty different. And have fun people-watching.

My Rating: 7.5
Recommended Dish: Deep Fried Oreos
Atmosphere: Do not compare self to others.
Price Range: $12-$35 per person

119 7th Ave
New York, NY 10011


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