Archive for the ‘Scents’ Category

A Few of My Favorite Things

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

I know all of y’all a little bit, but since I’ve never met your Sweetheart or your Sixteen Year Old Cousin or your Self-Defense Instructor, I wouldn’t know better than you what to go and gift any of them this Christmas. But I love the way Holiday Gift Guides shine spotlights on selections and shops which readers might not come across otherwise – and so I’m issuing out the first ever Treasury-approved Gift Guide, highlighting items I’m sure someone in your life would probably treasure.


1. Geneva Travel HiFi System
I demand my iPhone speakers white, un-ugly, and non-gigantic, and this is the most handsome little-ish device I’ve come across in my thirteen months of hunting. It’s got Bluetooth, of course, plus an FM clock radio, tuckable within a future-retro travel case.

2. Manjukaza Painting
Far across the sea, Hong Kong artist Majukaza strokes out a never-ending series of affordable ink wash paintings, all of them black on white, each one a little different than those that have come before, and all of them modern masterpieces.

3. Minuteman Watch
I grew up in Swatch Watches, and now tend to wear vintage timepieces off etsy. The aesthetic of Squarestreet’s Minuteman watches span both sides of the spectrum, and then settles somewhere in between. Some designs offer brown lizard print leather bands, others sport see-through candy-like cases. Whether your style is pretty Poppy or more Papa-like, Minuteman’ll tick with every look.

4. Vermont County Store Short-Sleeve Sweatshirt
Short-Sleeve Sweatshirts used to be a thing, then they basically stopped being a thing. And I just LOVE things like that. These sweatshirts appear to be cut a little on the big and baggy side but I’m gonna just go with it (like in the movie Just Go With It) and make ’em look casually cool anyways.

5. Monoi Tiki Tahiti Coconut Oil
The Line is a freakily chic shop in New York that sells some pricy little prizes. These bottles of Tahitian-made Coconut Oil cost but twelve tiny bucks though and they’re just the thing to make you feel dewy and tropical when winter turns you all dry and dreary.

6. Nate Berkus Aluminum Box
Online, almost everything Nate Berkus designs for Target looks lust-able. In person, that’s not always the case. It all comes down to (it always comes down to!) material and finish, and these shining ebony and ivory enameled storage boxes could pass for “good vintage condition” 1977 Pierre Cardin pieces. Hurly-the-Hubby thinks they’re cool too.

7. Cupid Deluxe CD by Blood Orange
iTunes gift cards are a’ight, but a real CD you can handle with care feels so much better un-stuffed from a stocking. Blood Orange’s album (I swear) is like the seductive soundtrack of some Pacific-set romance starring Mia Sara and whichever heartthrob looked hunkiest in bolo ties back in ’88. It’ll turn your half-lame life into a montage of hair-flips in hot tubs and kisses in corvettes. (Wouldn’t “Kisses in Corvettes” be the BEST name for a song? Someone go off and make that happen.)

8. Musco Orange Amber Shaving Cream
I haven’t considered straying from my praise-worthy Proraso brand of shaving cream for six or seven years now. But the Hermes-y citrus-colored tube of this orange and amber-infused Musco cream is telling me it’s time to at least consider letting something new come between me and my Mach 3.

So Happy Holidays, friends! Go give and receive with all your heart.

And for year-round insight into all I’m basically wish-listing, peek at my Pinterest boards.

Face The Morning: A Grooming Guide

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A while back, a reader asked if I’d compile a list of the grooming products I use on a daily basis, and I basically do anything anyone asks me to do. (Just ask anyone.)

I’ve always loved ink or internet-ish articles about what the semi-famous spritz on their faces, or stash in their briefcases, or would smuggle onto a deserted island. So here it is, a list of the prettifying products I swear by, and my stab at seeming semi-famous.

1. Whole Foods 365 Shampoos & Shower Gels

As this blog can attest to, I don’t mind splurging on…well, just about anything. But I’d rather save my money for overpriced t-shirts or tables – so I buy these 365 shampoos and shower gels partly because each bottle is only $2.99. The more important reason is they are paraben-free and eco-friendly, and I prefer to buy paraben-free products as much as possible cause I’m not super into sneaky diseases and defects.

If you want the real run-down of my daily routine, then you should know that I only wash my hair about once a week, and I take baths instead of showers, cause I’m a stressed-out mom of four at heart. I use the 365 Shower Gel as a non-bubbling bubble bath and then do my power scrubbing with:

2. Dial Bar Soap

Probably not un-paraben-y, and I do use hippie-approved soaps from co-ops often too, but Dial smells strong and guy-like, scenting your whole bathroom like a date with Rob Lowe in 1984. (Rando Tip: I even unwrap unused bars of Dial and stash them in my closet and dresser, before I need them in the bath. It’s like frat boy pot-pourri.)

After my daily bath, I floss, then use a natural-leaning toothpaste. Lately it’s:

3. Weleda Salt Toothpaste

It’s the sunburned color of worms, and tastes a little bit like gum and a lot like olives. (Yum?) But its multi-faceted strangeness is refreshing, and it does leave my teeth feeling smoother than glass.

4. C.O. Bigelow Shaving Cream

Although this list is starting to suggest otherwise, I am actually a sucker for cool packaging and new, intriguing scents when it comes to grooming products. And there’s no shortage of cool looking/smelling shave creams out there – Pinecone & Raisin Shave Pudding by Brooklyn Bearded Brothers Ltd. or whatever. But the last eight years or so I haven’t bothered giving any new cream even half a try, because this Bigelow stuff works so supremely. It smells minty, and makes your skin zing a bit when you shave, but….most importantly, it gives you a really smooth, slick, nick-less shave. It costs ten bucks, you can find it at even the dumbest shopping mall near you, usually. If I’ve ever been “Brand Loyal” to anything ever, it’s this shaving cream.

5. Master Spice After Shave

Shaving goes better when I only do it once every six or seven days. When I do, since December, I splash this practically vintage bottle of Master Spice on and pretend I’m Robert Redford or it’s 1974, or both.

6. Up & Up Daily Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15

Days when I don’t shave, then my face heads Up & Up. The main thing that keeps me loyal to this Target in-house version of an Oil of Olay lotion is I have yet to find any other daily SPF that doesn’t leave my eyelid skin sorta stinging the way that vacation suntan lotion does. I wish this Up & Up stuff had an SPF higher than 15, or was paraben free – but the other brands I’ve tried, at Whole Foods or The Body Shop or other places, always burn my preemie-like eyes and baby ain’t having none of that.

7. Wonderwood Cologne

When I lived in L.A. in 1998, I read in a magazine with Courtney Cox on the cover how anti-perspirants trap toxins inside your body, slowly turning your sweat into an internal enemy who lives inside you every day, wanting you dead and diseased. So since about then, I don’t use anti-perspirant or deodorant. I spritz or dab cologne around there instead, unless I have a scary job interview in the Sahara desert that day or something. I like to have a lot of scents to chose from and favor Comme des Garcons colognes, as they are usually smoky, spiky, and sultry. I ran out of their 2 scent last year, and Wonderwood is almost gone now too. They have a new one, Amazingreen, that I might try next.

8. Redken Rough Paste

I hate my hair, the world must know, and I always have. It’s hard to cut, it’s too straight and too blunt, and eternally poofy on the sides. I have a new wing in my house for all the thick creams and cements I use to try and smash everything into order. One tub of gunk I’m liking lately is this Redken paste, because it smells a little bit like the perfume Debbie Gibson came out with when I was a kid called “Electric Youth”. The cheerleader up the street who my sister and I were friends with had a bottle of it – and I always thought it smelled fun and happy. Exactly like teen girls and my dumb 2012 hair should smell.

9. Now Solutions Apricot Oil

My hair’s become a little dry over the years. I think it’s maybe the alcohol in the hair gunks I use. Hippie conditioner doesn’t seem to help that much, nor did two hot oil home treatments. But this summer I tried Fonze-ing five drops of Apricot Oil through my hair, and it worked wonderfully, so I do that about once a week now.

Besides my long mom-baths, I find it boring spending much time getting ready in the morning, and trying to look remotely alright, when my Hurly seems like he can just roll out of a nightly coma and wander out the door instantly, looking nice like he always does. So most mornings, for all my vanity, I do the bare minimum of dolling-up. When I have someone to invisibly impress though, I go the extra mile. The extra mile being:

10. Chapstick

In classic Strawberry or Cherry, I have three or four lying around my house/car. They’re just pink and dewed enough to be like a dude version of lipstick, without at all seeming like you’re wearing a dudette version of lipstick. The ‘ol Stick makes a whole face turn juicy.

And juicy faces are cool and important a semi-famous person said once, in ink or on the internet. So pay attention, and do as they do.

Refresher Course

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

There’s nothing novel about even the rarest bottle of cologne – not compared to these scented Spanish towelettes.

Combining extracts of Lemon, Bergamot, Geranium and Eucalyptus, swiftly refreshing your personal space with one of these Agua de Colonia packets during your holiday travels would instantly make any dreary layover or traffic jam as spiffy and spruced-up as a Mr. Ripley thriller.

Gifted: Gravel – A Man’s Cologne

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I had intended to share my own Holiday Wish List here, just as many Treasury readers so graciously had done over the past few weeks, but December never ends up large or long enough to fit in all we want to do with it – does it?

But maybe that was for the best.

Because I’d like to take a moment to sweetly (re)state that one of the original intentions of this Treasury was to shift the energy of a materialism-based blog away from what was desired and toward what was treasured. Away from the emptiness of wanting things toward the energy of enjoying things.

It’s not easy to do this. Not easy, especially, for me to do this.

And, arguably, it’s not money that makes the world go round, it’s wanting things that makes the world go round. I like sharing what I want, I like just as much hearing what you want and wanting things leads to creativity and hard work and pleasure and a myriad of non-shallow, non-evil pleasures.

But in this season of riches, in our privileged world in which we troll down glowing screens on thousand dollar machines to cherry-pick from a forest of fashiony blogs all the pretty things we swear we need, I just wanted to remember part of the original purpose behind my Treasury. And to non-naggingly remind myself and my far-off friends to appreciate and value and treasure all we each have – now, already, and inherently. Because there are many in this world who are not so lucky to live in the luxury that we cherry-pickers do.

Okay. So, instead of my Holiday Wish List, over the coming days I’ll post my Gifted List and share what, now that Christmas 2009 has passed, the things I am now lucky enough to actually have! I promise to slowly savor each and every item on this list before I start salivating over anything newer and seemingly shinier.

So here goes.

1. Gravel – A Man’s Cologne


Somewhere down the rabbit hole of blogs this fall, I learned about this singular scent. Created in Germany in 1957 and offered at only one retail location in each city in which it’s available, each bottle is anchored with a seabed of pebbles inside which dissolve slowly over the years, lending the cologne a salty, silty, sailor-like hit.

A scent’s actual…um, scent sometimes has little to do with why I step under its splashy haze. Often times simply its name, and thus the time and era it transports me to is the crux of its intoxication. Other times, like a shimmery sculpture, its the fragrance’s bottle that seduces – demanding to displayed as a dresser-top objet d’art.

With Gravel cologne, its these attractions plus its “sweat ‘n cocktails at a cliffside campfire” scent that set me into a spritzy-fit. Everything about it is just so awesomely outré.

Portland General Store

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

My bottle of Colona Russa from Santa Maria Novella is down to one squirt’s worth. My Prada is still half full but the pumper now refuses to pump. Any my intiguingly musty Monocle spray’s a bit too tenacious for everyday spritzing.

This time of year I like to shake up my numbed sense of scent, and lately my cologne collection is in serious need of a shake up.


This sampler pack of Portland General Store fragrances including Wood, Tabac, Whiskey, Cardamom, and Palo Santo promises strong, studly scents of adventure all fall long.


Monday, June 1st, 2009

The languid luxury of the Byredo line of scents has intrigued me for some time now. Earlier this winter I was eagerly awaiting the release of their Fantastic Man scent, created in collaboration with the mischievous magazine. Life got in the way, though – but I’m glad it did, because I’ve changed my mind.

The bottle of Byredo I want most now is the new Bal d’Afrique.


“A warm and romantic vetiver inspired by Paris in the late 20’s and its infatuation with African culture, art, music and dance. A mix of the Parisian avantgardism and African culture shaped a unique and vibrant expression. The intense life, the excess and euphoria is illustrated by Bal d’Afrique’s neroli, African marigold and Moroccan cedarwood.”

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli, African marigold, Bucchu
Mid: Violet, Jasmin petals, Cyclamen
Base: Black Amber, Musk, Vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood

As the days grow brighter and more blazing, the forbidden sizzle and scandal of Africa by way of Paris seems like the better tonic with which to tickle my sweating skin during the coming summer months.

My beautiful bottle will transform me into the most exotic little Caucasian on my block, I’ve promised myself.

On Dads’ Dressers Everywhere…

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I finally mustered up enough courage for a moustache, then stocked up on short shorts galore. I now appear, half the time, like some ordinary Dad in Detroit during Reagan’s heyday. (Finally!) To fully inhabit the role though, I’m thinking I’ll need to douse my Dad skin in a dull and un-daring drugstore scent. 


Tabac Original Cologne turns 50 this year. Right down to its dated, disco-era packaging, it’s just the fiery, faux-riche splash an ol’ Detroit Dad would’ve reached for. I gotta be reaching now too.