Call Me Sexy Ruby (just don’t make me smell like one)

I found myself in a Macy’s this past weekend.  I had to make a return but I decided to wander around the make-up counter area first.  I was surprised at how few people work at them anymore. You know how late-capitalism forced companies to combine jobs? I bet they just have someone from the shoe department come over and match your foundation if you stand at the Clinque counter for long enough.

I came of age in the mall era and I still find them very calming. High ceilings, odd lighting, creepy mannequins – I love all of it. I believe that malls are the weighted blanket of 80s children.

Ever notice how, despite the fact there there are thousands of products at a department store make-up counter, they always smell the same everywhere and have for decades?  Well I do. Probably because I worked one of my favorite jobs at a make up counter back in my salad days.   I found myself over-inhaling like the scent memory would have enough power to transport me back to applying eyeshadow on the crepe-y lids of an elderly woman sitting on a stool near my Shisedo counter.

Then I came across the fragrance counter and a display for MICHAEL KORS SEXY RUBY.  I said to myself, oh wait, now THIS is the answer to my troubles: sexytimegemstones.    And I spritzed and sprayed and waited for some magic.


It’s too bad it really stinks. I love a floral but I hate when it’s smothered in the wrong warm somethingorrather.  Like someone stored their rose petal stash in a box of Nag Champa.

It really, really smells like some perfume that was trending in the early 90s.  I want to say Exclamation, but I haven’t smelled that in awhile. I remember the bottle so well, don’t you?


I am also not writing the name correctly – ex’cla -ma’tion, got it?  And who knew? Khol’s still sells it – here’s the fragrance info:

An ecstatic floral splash. Exclamation by Coty is a candied flower shop in a bottle, with bright notes to excite your senses.

FRAGRANCE NOTES Apricot, green, peach, bergamot, orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, lily of the valley, rose, sandalwood, amber, cinnamon, musk, vanilla and cedar.


Well well well,  now I want to do a side by side comparison of that with Sexy Ruby to see what is making me think of the 90s. Looks like ol ex’cla -ma’tion had apricot and rose and lily of the valley all mixed with some amber and sandalwood too (eeesh…not my fave).

But let’s not focus on the negative! I love a ruby. It’s my birthstone and I consider it one of the more goth-royal birthstones. I also think more people should be named Ruby and that we should do a study on old ladies named Ruby to see if their lives have been rich and sexy.

Speaking of sexy – even though I don’t like this scent, I can’t help but appreciate how nonchalantly the word Sexy is used its name.  That’s a pretty hilarious word, try it out in front of anything you’d like to have in a fragrance: Sexy Daisy, Sexy Dynamite, Sexy Ocean.   Fun, huh? But this works because rubies, are indeed, sexy and also very expensive.

Remember this movie?

Well, it’s a pretty unsexy story about turtlenecks, boring arranged marriage sex, and rubies.

A jewel of a fragrance inspired by Michael’s unique interpretation of sensuality, strength and glamour.  Boldly luxurious, brilliantly faceted, and mesmerizing to encounter.

Fragrance deets from SEPHORA

Fragrance Family: Floral

Scent Type: Warm Florals

Key Notes: Raspberry, Apricot, Indian Jasmine Sambac

About: A scent as brilliant as the jewel that inspired it. Michael Kors Sexy Ruby is a modern chypre that sparkles with sensuality. The temptation of velvet apricot and juicy raspberry gleams like a fiery ruby with the striking display of lush florals. The beguiling charm of luscious rose petals invites you in, while intoxicating Indian jasmine sambac pulls you close. It’s enveloped by the sensual warmth of cashmere woods for a boldly addictive experience.

CASHMERE WOODS – Wait a minute. Haven’t I seen or smelled that somewhere before?



Oh that’s right. It’s a Glade scent and one of Bath & Bodywork’s popular fine fragrance mists (remind self to do a post on fragrance mists).

I don’t know if I ever need to smell this  or smell like this again. All I did after spraying it on was go home, fold some stained tattered kitchen towels, mourn the end of a relationship, and watch the devastating Whitney Houston documentary Can I be Me?  Why didn’t anyone ever let her be her?

Fifteenth Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned: Orris Root!  According to this GQ article it is one of the most expensive materials to produce.  So, naturally, it is found in Coty’s $24 Ex’cla -ma’tion.

Things to work on:  Getting a real ruby and following the advice; “Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.”  If I can’t follow that advice I think I might just put that on one of those text-stagram posts so someone else can be inspired by it.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:
I was at Macy’s to return an item I purchased online. It went so quickly I’m sure it is because the clerk wanted me to get my Sexy Ruby out of her face.

Websites discovered:
I found a very comprehensive blog post about Jasmine.


The Sniffer is Back!

I’ve been healed!  After a week of worrying about the state of my olfactory nerves, I found myself out of doors in the late (late) evening having a birthday drink with my sig-O (thats short for significant other).  I caught a whiff of the jasmine behind him and was reminded of a thousand splendid perfumes.  Had I been able to smell all along? There’s no telling.


Funny that earlier that very day I happened to get an email from the tick testing lab! Apparently my tick was not lost in the mail and I was not exposed to any deadly diseases. That was one clean tick.

Here’s her full report:

Lyme: negative

Relapsing fever: negative

Babesiosis: negative

Anaplasmosis: negative


I was instructed not to use the information for clinical decisions, but I’ve decided it’s ok to decided to go ahead and live.

There’s much to catch up on. Coming up: a post on Tom Ford’s Orchid Soleil, Lollia’s Dream No. 25, and an essay about magazine page fragrance samples and job interviews.

Lessons learned: CTFO and let the flowers be smelled.

Nose Damage Haitus

Came down with a crazy head cold (aka: upper respiratory infection). Sense of smell is gone. Doesn’t help that a google search turned up several cases of people who suffered smell-nerve damaged from a simple head cold.

I’ll keep spraying perfume samples in my face until I can smell again and I’ll be back soon.

What’s POPin?

Been in land of spotty wifi, fam visits, and disastrous job interviews. Also been in the land of sun and seas and kites and shuffleboard. The other good news is that I did it all wearing Stella McCartney’s POP.   I’ll be back soon to tell you why it stinks.


Attracting Spirits with Stinky White Musk: Prada’s CANDY

I was feeling protective of things and people that can’t protect themselves so I chose the day’s fragrance sample from the few I have that had lost their sample folder homes.

Prada’s CANDY.     I like candy. Who doesn’t?


Maybe me?  Notes after my first spray:
Yeeeeck and get me to the drydown ASAP.
Smells musky and reminds me of the type of perfume people would be mad at you for wearing to a theater. I can’t wait to learn more about fragrance to be able to communicate what it is I don’t like about this.

Here’s a stab: Is this supposed to smell like a macaroon or a half-used Werther’s left in a coat pocket next to a satchel of potpourri?

I saw my boyfriend around lunch time and after the past two days, I’d grown tired of waiting for people to comment on my scent so I asked him what he thought. He said “I didn’t notice at first, but now that you pointed it out I have to go.”

I bet you that the femininity adjective in this perfume description is something like “disagreeable femininity” or a “confrontational femininity” or maybe a “geriatric femininity”.

Without a fragrance card to confirm how right I am, I had to check the Prada website:

“Bright, sensual and bold, Prada Candy fragrances are delightfully addictive scents inspired by a new facet of Prada’s femininity, where more is more and excess is everything.”

Oooooh I GET it “Prada’s” Femininity. They have been around enough to have their own take on it. I had to research this because I thought that maybe I should be ripping off some Prada femininity. I learned that Prada’s Fall 2017 line “explores feminism, femininity, and femme fatales.In a poster-covered set, the designer explores the idea that the personal is political”  Allure wrote that “Prada makes a powerful statement about feminism and make up”  A quote from the article: “The Prada woman is a very powerful woman. Even if she’s super feminine at times, she has some sort of empowerment to her and her beauty look always reflects that.”  

Yes yes I see, makeup and power and feminism are all opposing forces. Where does fragrance fit in? I took a moment to pause and appreciate that women still manage to live and work and grocery shop and care about others despite the exorbitant amount of contradictory messaging thrown at us every day.

I still needed to know what notes in this scent are buggin me out so I went to Sephora’s CANDY site:

Fragrance Family: Warm and Spicy
Scent Type:
Warm and Sweet Gourmands
Key Notes:
White Musks, Benzoin, Caramel Accord
Prada Candy is a fragrance with a novel olfactory balance combining exceptionally high-quality ingredients in excessive proportions. Magnified by white musks, noble benzoin comes together with a modern caramel accord to give the fragrance a truly unique signature.
Prada Candy is impossible to ignore.

They are right. Something that stinks is hard to ignore. Something that smells good makes you feel good. And looks like I wasn’t wrong about the Werther’s (hello caramel accord…) I decided to spend the day doing something stinky: more taxes.
Third Sample Day Breakdown

Terms learned:
Olfactory balance
Benzoin: a balsamic resin from the Styrax tree. It has a sweet odor that is sometimes described as smelling like root beer. 
Gourmand: in perfumery, describes fragrances which evoke food smells, such as chocolate, honey, or fruits.
Caramel Accord: Couldn’t find industry definite other than something about burnt sugar. I love caramel cake. It’s big in the south.

Things to work on:

  1. My dislike for musk.
  2. My preconceived notions abut what CANDY should smell like.
  3. Think about how my “some sort of empowerment”  is reflected by my beauty look.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:
Got to see my BF at lunch, got tons of editing done, got two unsolicited job leads, had a friend over for Tarot Tuesday and both of our readings were DEAD ON accurate (obviously). I attribute this more to the ghost of the House of Prada than all that white musk, burnt sugar, and benzodine or Benzoin or whatever. Maybe the ancient tarot spirits like musk. Wouldn’t that just be the case?