I saw this on the side of a building somewhere between Seventh Avenue and Murray Hill. I feel like posterity is missing out because we don’t emblazon brand names directly to the sides of buildings anymore. Thirty story computer images on Times Square are nice, but they aren’t organic, you know?
I turned on Facebook and Twitter yesterday and everyone was ranting about Miley Cyrus doing this:
at the MTV Video Music Awards.
I am indifferent to the moral turpitude assigned to Miley by horrified bloggers everywhere, who often included statements of disinterest at the end of their rants to suggest intellectual superiority. However, Miley Cyrus has proven to be better clickbait than www.scentsate.com, so I’ll take the opportunity to offer her some perfume suggestions.
Highbrow: Guerlain’s Insolence eau de parfum. This is a jam-packed fragrance, filled with energy and brash sex appeal that is not actually sexy but grabs more than enough attention to open up conversation, much like Miley’s performance.
Petit Fracas is not only a legitimately sexy, bright, and good quality perfume; it also hits that not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman spot she’s aiming for perfectly.
Lowbrow: Juicy Couture. Good clean tart fun. I wore this out one night to a disco while dressed like a sorrostitute. I got a ton of compliments.
Paris Hilton Can Can: Also a good perfume, starring a celebrity who is famous for the same type of thing. It’s more of an everyday thing, so Miley might wear this while doing something else.
Miley, if you or anybody working for you is reading this I’d like to say that if I were 20 and famous I’d dance like that too. I might do other things as well to benefit society, but that’s not relevant to my article. These are solid perfume suggestions that I think would fit your persona. No judgment. No guise. No frippery.
I have to say I miss West Virginia a little. I went to college there and visited frequently before I moved up here. I took these photos of an old brick train station in Martinsburg from the window of an Amtrak train:
A little bleak, aren’t they? But they haven’t been knocked down because bleak isn’t that scary. I bet whoever is living in these now loves them more than the people waiting for the train way back when did.
More information about Martinsburg’s train station is available at Great American Stations.
Rainy Street Scene by Debra Hurd at dailypaintings.com
I’m in New York!
Photography, fashion, and perfume reviews on the way!
I saw this on Facebook:
This dress is what I want today. I don’t know where I’d wear it. But I think I’d wear it with something a little ethereal, but also blatantly feminine and kinda sexy. Few perfumes match this profile at all, but Aimez Moi by Caron fits the bill perfectly.
Is my favorite.
“I may be no better, but at least I am different.”
(image from cutestpaw.com)
As promised, my review of Merz Apothecary!
I found out about Merz when my dad bought me some Outremer perfumes from their online store, Smallflower. I reviewed Tosca, one of their many hard-to-find products, and Merz Apothecary left an awesome comment. When I went to Chicago I was thrilled to have the change to visit their shop downtown.
Merz Apothecary is a wonderland of unusual things from all different places. The first thing that caught my eye was a pineapple and ginger room spray. Everything was beautifully laid out and accessible. They have a rack of Demeter perfumes:
including the hard-to-find Chamomile Tea.
They have DS and Durga, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Diptyque, and a whole rack of Outremer:
Outremer makes beautiful, $22 perfumes with art-deco labels. It makes one-note wonders like Vanille, Oceane, and The Tea. I have The Tea and I love it. It’s more complex than you’d expect. It also makes scents based on beach resorts, combinations of scents (I love Lavande de Cassis) and a series of scents based on different decades. 1957 comes in a purple-labeled bottle with a car on it, and it smells like mureberry, which is earthy and tangy at the same time. 1962 comes in a yellow-labeled hazy dreams bottle with a Beatles-looking picture on it. Most of their scents are good, but I already have four so I didn’t buy any.
I also found this unusual French roll-on tropical perfume:
Merz Apothecary also carries plenty of top-of-the-line soaps. A lot of them are Swedish, like the egg-based and chamomile face soap Eiwit Zeep, and this God Jul Christmas soap:
that smells like cloves and yuletide, as promised.
Prominently featured are these adorable animal soaps, including See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil:
and so on. I didn’t purchase any of them because they are too cute to use and would just end up being a display.
Go towards the back of the store in the Loop and you’ll find a ton of shaving products, natural toothpaste, and other unusual things like this bar shampoo:
Best of all, the salespeople are friendly and they know what they’re talking about. Merz Apothecary was started in 1875 in the North End of Chicago (I didn’t get to their original store in Lincoln Park) by a Swiss-German pharmacist named Peter Merz. The Merz family eventually sold it to a young pharmacist named Abdul Qaiyum, whose son Anthony runs the stores now. Read more here.
I bought a bar of Swedish sunflower soap called Solros Tval, and this Burt’s Bees carrot night cream:
I want to beat the clock on caring for my skin!
Here I am outside Merz:
I highly recommend going to Merz if you visit Chicago. It’s one of the oldest cosmetic stores around and they still do a great job distinguishing themselves from the mass market.
Musings On Chicago.
(Picture from National Geographic)
I’ve lived on the East Coast for my whole life, but I liked Chicago more than any city here except for NYC. It’s fun, approachable, and merges art and business masterfully. Plus you can actually live there comfortably. My friend rents a gorgeous apartment near Andersonville. It’s four blocks from the lake and two blocks from the metra and costs a little over $800 a month. I don’t know if you could find an apartment near Georgetown Waterfront for double that. The sand was imported to the lake so it felt a little phony, but it was still really clean and beautiful. I liked swimming in Lake Michigan because there are oceanlike waves but no malevolent things like sharks or piranhas lurking around.
The neighborhoods are distinct and fairly small, so the North End didn’t feel like a big city. People like to say that it’s “distinctly American,” but I don’t really know how to gauge that since I’ve never been outside the USA. I can say that Brittney’s area felt suburban: there were car shops next to bars next to empty buildings next to kung fu studios next to ice cream parlors, and you could drive down the street as easily as you could take the bus. I found the lax planning comforting in this context. You can tell that Chicago and its neighborhoods developed organically as opposed to being orchestrated and hyperdeveloped.
I saw an exhibit called “Impressionism and Fashion” at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was amazing because the clothes were shown in such spectacular detail, and many were painted in Paris, the fashion capital of the world at the time. Unfortunately they didn’t allow pictures, but I also got to see the full collection of views from Mt. Fuji from Katsushika Hokusai. Here’s a few highlights:
I also recommend the Thorne Miniature Rooms exhibit. It’s a series of tiny rooms based on different historical periods and places, commissioned by Narcissa Thorne. Check it out:
Then I went to Lincoln Park Zoo and saw this amphibian:
and this pygmy hippopotamus:
Chicago maintains its history as well as any evolving thing can. Andersonville was mostly populated with Swedish settlers, and there’s a Swedish-American museum in the heart of it. (I recommend the exhibit about the Sami, a tribe of reindeer-herders. I asked if they still make a living this way and was told that it’s similar to how many people in some rural Scandinavian areas, like the Faroe Islands, work as fishermen.) Andersonville even has an old-fashioned Swedish bakery, where I bought an almond, strawberry jelly, and chocolate tart shaped like a heart. I wish I could have posted it in retaliation to all of the cake/candy/tart/beer pictures on Facebook, but I ate it too fast to think about that. And it was delicious.
So yeah, Chicago is a fantastic city and I look forward to going there again!
I’m sorry to keep you waiting for so long.
(Dr. Seuss’ The Waiting Place from michaelvenske.com)
It took me forever to find my camera cord so I could add my pictures from Chicago and Merz Apothecary. Expect reviews of both soon.