Update: Curtains up on Bergdorf Goodman’s 2012 Christmas Windows


The windows have been revealed and gorgeous photos of all the Christmas windows are up on the Bergdorf Goodman blog. Click on the images to enlarge–they’re worth a long look–and don’t miss the commentary which begins, “You can call our Holiday Windows a study in maximalism.” After my own heart.


Now if only they would work out that teleportation thing so I could walk down Fifth Avenue on a frosty Christmas Eve and stop off for a drink with friends…



A glimpse through the window


Just a little glimpse of glamour and impeccable stagecraft today, courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman’s blog. The grande dame of department stores is in the midst of being prepped and primped for her Christmas windows. This year’s theme is “Follies” as in Ziegfield.  I cannot imagine a more perfect combination, though I say that every year.


While I was scanning the site for preview images, I spotted this photo of an earlier display. There is a point at which decoration and illustration become so fine and so elaborate, so committed to being just themselves beyond any advertisement or purpose, that they tip over into something like magic.  You will have to imagine for yourselves what it’s like to catch a glimpse of that wonder walking down a noisy, crowded city street in the dark and cold of December.

Naming Names: Chapters 2-5 Perfume Round Up


Flipping through the next few chapters of Coming to My Senses to look for unnamed perfumes, I was relieved to see that there weren’t quite as many as I feared.1 Let’s see how many we can get through in one post before we keel over, shall we?



On page 24 I mention a few of Robin Krug’s most memorable reviews for Now Smell This including one for Diptyque’s Philosykos (“not just figs but the whole fig tree…”) and Comme des Garcons’ strange but wonderful Harissa, which is still on my to-buy-a-decant list (“Red Hots melting into orange juice”). Both are still available and still good–blessings on the head of Comme des Garcons for keeping all its weirdo scents in production. Diptyque has just released an EDP version of Philosykos and it is available in a solid as well.


On page 34 I try my first samples from Luckyscent and encounter a couple of violet scrubbers that I cannot–swear!–remember the names of, but the “cheerful citrus-and-herbs concoction” that turned out to be a men’s cologne was Frank from the niche house Frank Los Angeles. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Scents: From A.S. Byatt’s Possession


I’m deep in reading and writing mode today, revving up for new projects (I hope) but I wanted to pause just long enough to share this passage from A.S. Byatt’s Possession which I am convinced, for today, is one of the best literary uses of smell I’ve seen. Much of its impact, as is always true of a story (or a smell), comes from the context–it appears at the end of the story and Byatt has been carefully introducing images of Eden and knowledge and apples and trees and storms and birth and destruction for the previous 551 pages. But I think it is very beautiful all on its own, too. And maybe not completely irrelevant to recent events.


“In the morning, the whole world had a strange new smell. It was the smell of the aftermath, a green smell, a smell of shredded leaves and oozing resin, of crushed wood and splashed sap, a tart smell, which bore some relation to the smell of bitten apples. It was the smell of death and destruction and it smelled fresh and lively and hopeful.”


Blue Monday: Adventures in Indigo


Quilted sampler square of Shibori indigo patterns created by Maura Ambrose.

The posts on this blog are searchable by sense–sight, scent, touch, taste, sound and “more” (for all those senses that don’t quite fit into the traditional categories). So far I’ve stuck mostly to scent and taste. Today’s post is (mostly) for the eye.  Last weekend I attended a workshop on traditional Japanese Shibori dyeing techniques using natural indigo dye taught by textile artist and quilter Maura Ambrose as part of the excellent new Feliz Sale. Read the rest of this entry »