The doldrums.

Once again, we're at the tail end of the serotinal season here in South Jersey. Yesterday it was sunny, clear, and dry outside with a gilded hint of autumn in sun's angle. Today, it's miserable -- sheets of rain and wind-whipped trees shivering in capitulation.

I should have no complaints. I'm inside and dry. I have most of a long, lazy week of vacation to go, ideally balanced between day trips and downtime. I can pass the afternoon exactly as I wish-- whether busy as a bee, or like an unrepentant slackass. So why I am restless, uneasy, prowling around like an anxious cat?

Because there are still four unreviewed L'Artisans from a year ago staring me in the face.

Even more than I want summer to hurry up and finish, I want this perfume sample backlog project to be over. With the equinox just days away, I can see at least one of those finish lines clearly; autumn will happen naturally with or without my help. But that other goal requires my willing participation, which is currently in short supply. I no longer want to play nice or be fair. I just want to get on with my life-- and like Sandra Bernhard's Masha in The King of Comedy, I'm prone to passively bitch, "How much longerrrrrrrrr?"

So here's unreasonable me, taking my seasonal frustrations out on a totally blameless bunch of perfumes who never did a damn thing to anybody. Salud.

Patchouli Patch (L'Artisan)
Like many career insomniacs, I possess a bottle of valerian root extract capsules that has to be bagged in plastic, then sealed in its own special Tupperware, then stored far away from everything else just for the sake of maintaining a happy home. In the hippie pong pantheon, valerian enjoys a tenured position, being as strongly soporific (and encouraging of strange visions) as marijuana. But holy hell, does it reek like roadkill. I have no idea what combination of elements is ultimately responsible for the mimicry of valerian's sweet, nauseous stench in Patchouli Patch. If not for its sake, I'd probably write this fragrance off as a generic patchouli, one among thousands. But that "little bit of difference" is enough to repel me for the next million years, never to rethink or revisit.

Scent Elements: Patchouli, caraway, anise, iris, osmanthus, sandalwood, vetiver, cedar, musk

L'Eau d'Ambre (L'Artisan)
A nice, uninspiring sweet amber courtesy of Jean-Claude Ellena. I can think of about a dozen ambers I like better -- mostly due to some small-but-telling extra feature, such as a hint of savory herb or a lacing of well-chosen flowers -- but I really shouldn't sulk, for while L'Eau d'Ambre didn't make me burst into song, neither did it make me burst into tears. A mild disappointment: geranium (which I adore) is listed in the notes, but I can find nary a particle of it here. Well, at least it doesn't have any VALERIAN in it, I hear you say. And you are quite right.

Scent Elements: Geranium, patchouli, amber, vanilla