Unrequited Love & Toast.

Ever stumble across a perfume by accident and blithely pass it up, only to find you can't evict it from your thoughts once you leave?

The other day, my spouse and I took a quick day jaunt up to Princeton to hit the Record Exchange. Having just completed a 72-hour at-home ambulatory EEG (an experience I urge no one to try, unless you hate to shower and plentiful electrode burns fry your burger) I felt so grateful to be out and about I could have cried. After loading up on cheap used DVDs and music, we roamed around town in the delicious June heat, finally detouring into Mandalay Trading Company, a unique eco-boutique for anyone who thinks Ten Thousand Villages is too corporate.

Here, I discovered a Love & Toast display and parked my nostrils over a tiny bottle of Honey Coconut Eau de Perfume. I clearly remember saying to my husband, "Oooh, this is really interesting-- buttery and sweet, and yet also weirdly kinky and subversive-- I'd love this on toast, all right--" but then (being obviously not in my right mind at the time) I decided to shine it on.

Rationale #1: it was too sweetie-pie-girly-girl for a 42-year-old woman, even one as marginally hip (I think) as me.

Rationale #2: that tiny bottle cost eleven dollars, which at the time seemed kind of steep, especially as we had yet to ransom our car from parking garage bondage.

Rationale #3: I have enough perfume already. Don't I?

Now, of course, I could kick myself. That stuff smelled amazing! Apply all of the adjectives I named above, plus 'mischievous', 'coy', and 'yummy'. Without being overly dessert-like, that honey note got me right where I live-- and though no coconut is listed in the scent notes, Honey Coconut captured the silty-salty-creamy quality of fresh unsweetened coconut meat that I adore. And for crying out loud, eleven dollars is only a two-dollar retail mark-up from what Love & Toast charges for this "Little Luxe" (1/3 oz.) splash version of their full-sized spray bottle. Heck, shipping and handling costs more than that!

The clincher: I had no idea Love & Toast was another love child of Margot Elena of Tokyo Milk. I have a sample set of Tokyo Milk's "Dark Collection" that I'm currently exploring, and I love Margot Elena's aesthetic with the same lobe of my brain that lights up for the Brothers Quay, Guy Maddin, Rasputina, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Edward Gorey, Chris Ware, Victorian calling cards, and Godey's Lady's Book fashion plates.

Check my EEG-- you'll see.