Re: Coats

1

The $1000+ bag, notwithstanding what the Styles section says.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:22 AM
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Last night was opening night at the opera, and I spotted only a couple of furs, a short jacket and a wrap &mdash not surprising, since Portland is the sort of place where fur carries a bigger stigma than in, say, New York or Chicago. In fact, they may have been fake, but just as a precaution I howled like a trapped baby wolf and drenched the wearers with red dye.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:30 AM
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Yes, the bag. Definitely.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:35 AM
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"drenched the wearers with red dye."

recently i've been meditating a sort of onion-style story about a misguided animal rights activist who is up in arms about the living conditions of bee-larvae.

"they're forced to live for months in these tiny hexagonal cells where they can't even turn around! and they're only babies!"


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:38 AM
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Actually, vegans don't eat honey.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:40 AM
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no, but some animal rights activists are not vegans.
indeed, many animal rights activists eat vegans.
did i say anything about vegans?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:42 AM
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My grandmother had a fur coat. When she died it was given to my mother. I can't imagine that it is of terribly high quality as they were never wealthy, and fur is cruel, but there's an elegance to a fifty-year old coat that you can imagine passing down to someone's grandchildren. Not that you couldn't get that with a fine wool coat, but it ain't happening with The North Face.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:43 AM
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I used to have a fur coat. I bought it in a charity shop to wear to a fancy dress party. I then wore it about during a particularly cold winter, in a cheesy pimp-stylee. I found out later, when I gave it away to another charity shop, that the fur was, as far as they could tell, real and probably very expensive.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:45 AM
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re: 8

When I bought it, I thought it was fake, btw.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:46 AM
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a misguided animal rights activist who is up in arms about the living conditions of bee-larvae

Truer than you think. A guest of a long-ago housemate disdainfully rejected my offer of honey for his tea one morning. "It exploits bees," he sniffed.

Addendum to 2: There appears to be no replacement status/signaling garment here. Fur has just gone away. B would have been justifiably apoplectic about some of the things people were wearing last night, including old beige running shoes.

Portland, Oregon: "Where every day is casual-dress Friday." Emerson will back me up on this.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:46 AM
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portland, oregon: where parodies of animal-rights extremists are outdone by real ones.

(where i also once saw, in the fred meyers at 39th & hawthorne, a sign by the coffee saying
"all of our coffees are decaffeinated using %100 organic solvents!" )


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:56 AM
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I had actually thought (from no actual firsthand experience) that fur coats weren't the sort of thing you could really pass on, because an imperfectly cared for fur coat would start to shed and get mangy after not all that long a lifespan. Aren't they supposed to be high-maintenance? But pretty soon they'll be able to clone acres of mink-pelt in vats, no? And then everyone can wear fur, except that it won't ever be cold again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:56 AM
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though the original had the percent-sign on the correct side of the number.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:56 AM
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There's also the problem that fur coats only look good on the tall and the lithe. I'm a pretty tiny 5'2", and I'd look like a hedgehog. The old ladies at the opera look like tribbles.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:04 PM
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Goodness knows luxury goods these days aren't targeted at the tall and lithe.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:08 PM
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Well, I was thinking of the hand-me-down thing. It would suck to have a mother or grandmother with a NanKempneresque closet but be smurf-shaped.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:12 PM
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Being tall is expensive.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:12 PM
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12: Only guessing when my grandmother was likely to have purchased the coat, but it's already at least thirty years old (probably closer to 50.) The 'not ever cold again due to swimming polar bears' problem plus the 'I would probably get locked up for assaulting the protester that destroyed my grandmother's coat' problem means it's unlikely to be an issue, but it seems to be in good shape.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:22 PM
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"all of our coffees are decaffeinated using %100 organic solvents!"
is a fantastic joke. I would drink coffee there.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:24 PM
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Being tall is expensive

I read this to mean that making yourself appear as tall as possible, with shoes, clothes selection, slimming, etc. is expensive, not that it's expensive for you compared with average if you happen to be tall.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:29 PM
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Seriously tall makes clothes-shopping expensive just because it's hard to find clothes that fit, so when you find something nice you tend to buy it without the luxury of considering price -- you're not going to find the same thing cheaper tomorrow. But that only kicks in for the seriously tall, like my sister.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:32 PM
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fur coats weren't the sort of thing you could really pass on, because an imperfectly cared for fur coat would start to shed and get mangy after not all that long a lifespan.

You can pass them on if you care for them by putting the goddamn things in cold storage. I have a coat with a fur collar I got from my grandmother, and yes I wear it, but the collar is too fragile to be cleaned now. But it's not mangy or sheddy.

I suspect the real reason fewer people own furs these days is that central heating and cars are ubiquitous. That plus global warming.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:37 PM
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The funny thing about the ridiculously expensive bag as a signal is that it only signals to people in the know. I'm not bag-conscious at all, but I demographically should be. I assume my co-workers are schlepping around wildly expensive bags, because they're NY professional women, but I can't tell at all -- not only do I not know the brands offhand, I don't have the deeper knowledge necessary to spot the difference between a thousand dollar bag and a twenty-dollar knockoff. (Maybe they're not carrying around expensive bags. I really don't know.)

A fur coat signaled wealth to anyone; a designer bag only signals to someone who's very much playing the bag game.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:39 PM
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10: Yes, for a medium size city with pretensions to culture, Portland is very informal or even tacky.

Trumping that, Lake Wobegon is the whole nine yards of informality. I even heard it declared from the pulpid that it's OK to got to church in work clothes (farmer work clothes) as long as they're clean and mended.

Guys here tend to load a lot of trucks, too, and people live forever here, so when I moved from Portland to here I went from being a medium-sized, older, rather ill-dressed guy in an informal city to being a small, youngish, relatively stylish guy.

Of course, when I moved here I became genuinely more stylish, because my sisters and nieces buy most of my clothes for me. I've never asked them to and have evn tried to slow them down a little, but they're uncotrollable. I'm their Ken doll. It would be much worse without the grandnephew.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:43 PM
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My daughter's 5' 11," and may not have stopped growing. I wonder if she'll have passed into the inherently expensive and rare range. There seem to be many more tall women these days.

At 6' 3," I'm able to buy off the rack easily, and never go to big-and-tall, even though I'm often the biggest guy in the room. For a normal-sized woman, "size-appropriate" for such as me, 5' 7" to 5' 9," is that also the case, or is it already difficult to fit at some stores?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:52 PM
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25: As a wee person, I have the opposite problem, but I notice that many shops carry "tall" lengths in their women's pants and jeans, but the "short" lengths must be ordered on line. We are not a glamorous constituency.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:57 PM
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23: That, plus the current style of expensive bag is so fucking ugly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:58 PM
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As a woman of allegedly average height, almost nothing ever fits. On the basis of this and the anecdata in this thread, I conclude that designers are designing for Martians. (Problem: every one knows little gray men from Reticulum don't wear pants.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:00 PM
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Pants suck, because they're sold by dress-size rather than inseam, and someone with my waist and hips could be anything from 5'0" to 6'0". But that's not additional expense -- pants the right length aren't more expensive, just annoying to find. That's a problem for women generally, because sizing's stupid, but more of a problem the more unusual your height is.

I'm a rotten shopper, and I spend a lot of time realizing that I've accidentally bought pants that hit me above the ankles again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:00 PM
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"all of our coffees are decaffeinated using %100 organic solvents!"
is a fantastic joke. I would drink coffee there.

Saw, at a fast food place, a sign that said "some of our ingredients fresh."


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:02 PM
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I'm not exactly underweight, or even the correct weight, but even so, all the pants in my waist size are for people with shorter legs than me. I usually buy pants that are too big in the waist, because I might as well since I wear a belt everyday anyway. But this is the sort of thing that provides incentives to gain weight. Big Corn Syrup is surely in cahoots with Big Denim.

But as I undertand it, women's pants aren't even labeled by length and women have to hem all their pants up much of the time (my fiancee usually buys pants that have to have about five inches removed by hemming), so I'm only complaining relative to other men.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:12 PM
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32

I'm under the impression that men's sizes, where pants are defined by waist and inseam, two measurements, and shirts by collar and sleeve, another two, date from the civil war, and the data set the union army acquired in the process of outfitting. This made men's ready-to-wear feasible, and there was no comparable data set for women, on which production decisions could be based.

I've also been told that women's bodies vary much more than men's and that, particular when you want to wear clothes to show the shape off, pretty much always, fit is more critical, and comparable measurements for women might need as many as five to seven measures, which makes stocking and production much more difficult.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:14 PM
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A man cannot get a coat or pair of boots to fit him unless they are either made to his measure, or he has a whole warehouseful to choose from, you know.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:20 PM
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34

Yeah, but increased variability in women's builds doesn't explain why women's clothes are sold on the basis of a one-variable size (I'm a size 10), rather than on the basis of two variables like most men's clothes.

(And at least pants that are too long can be hemmed. Pants that are too short can only be let down by as much fabric as is in the hem, which is often not that much.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:22 PM
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35

Even for men, being tall has its inconveniences, like comfortable shoes being hard to find in size 13.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:22 PM
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Some stores stock women's trousers in three lengths for every size. If I pick the shortest length, they are too short. If I pick the average length, I drown in a puddle of pantleg.

I can only conclude that I have stubby legs for my height. But I will agree that hemming pants is much easier than getting them let out.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:26 PM
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34: They can't really be hemmed and look normal. I mean, it's better than wearing highwaters I suppose, but if you're lopping 5 or more inches off the bottom of a pair of pants, you inevitably interrupt the taper of the cut in a weird place, and then either have to deal with that or essentially re-sew both legs.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:29 PM
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38

Even for men, being tall has its inconveniences, like comfortable shoes being hard to find in size 13.
Not gonna win a comfortable shoes argument with women.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:30 PM
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There's also the problem that fur coats only look good on the tall and the lithe. I'm a pretty tiny 5'2", and I'd look like a hedgehog. The old ladies at the opera look like tribbles.

ooudemia, My mother had a seal-skin coat just like the one on the little girl in Childe Hassam's Boston Coomon at Twilight.

She's around 5'2". It looked quite nice on her.

I loved it and used to go into the closet to nuzzle up against it. I don't know where it is now, but I'd wear it. She doesn't need it in the Caribbean.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:33 PM
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BG: That makes sense, what with seal fur having short/tight/close nap (I don't really have the vocab here). I was thinking of the fluffy stuff.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:41 PM
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41

I'm sure you were. It's just that I happen to like the texture of a fur coat, and they are awfully warm. The trime was some fluffy fur. I wanted to say ermine, but it's brown, not white. I don't think it's mink.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:49 PM
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42

Damn, parallelism foul. s/b "The texture of fur coats."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:54 PM
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43

42--

nah, i think the singular in "of a fur coat" lent itself very naturally to construal as the representative of an indefinite plurality.
no foul, is my call.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:01 PM
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Some find the odor of a fur coat as distracting as that of an ill-tanned leather jacket. In close quarters (an ex-girlfriend had a couple of furs), the experience is similar to having to ride in an elevator with a smoker or someone who consumes a great deal of animal fat.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:06 PM
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45

I agree with 43, BG.

I bought a coat with a faux-fur-trimmed hood, precisely because the fur was faux, only to discover in a news article that the company was in trouble for using Chinese dog fur and labelling it as fake. That was that for the coat.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:09 PM
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I bought a rabbit-fur hat at the bazaar in Kashgar long ago, a wondrously warm and soft thing with ear flaps. After carefully toting it halfway around the world for months, I left it in a cab in New York on the way from the airport to my sister's place. God, I miss that hat. Any lurkers in the Kashgar area?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:14 PM
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29 -- Since we went all-casual-all-the-time here, I've been wondering what would happen to all those tailors employed by the places where I used to buy suits. (I've never bought a business suit that didn't require me to stand on a little stool with a guy walking around me making chalk marks. BTW, I'm terminally cheap, and these suits were never particularly expensive). Shouldn't they just go over to the womens department, and do the same for LB's pants?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:17 PM
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An expensive place, you can get pants hemmed (like, I've bought suits in places that have tailors in the women's department, and gone through the men's suit "It mostly fits, but you need the arms a half-inch longer, the waist let out a bit, and the pants hemmed to length." routine.). But most women's clothing stores don't conventionally have tailoring staff. No reason why they shouldn't, they just largely don't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:24 PM
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I … wonder what things that are considered status or luxury goods used for signaling might be the result of that change.

Unusually thick and downy body hair.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:35 PM
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Standpipe Bridgeplate, ladies and gentlemen!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:43 PM
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(claps, cheers and whistles)


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:48 PM
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Fur sales have increased in recent years. There was an article in the New Yorker last year about the popularity of fur in the hip-hop community. Designers have been using more fur, not less. Where's the evidence that fur is dead? The population shift to the Sun Belt means that more Americans these days have no call to wear fur, but it's still out there.

One of the vintage shops I visited in London had a leopard-skin coat tucked away at the back. That was really something.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:01 PM
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I wonder how many animals are killed by the deforestation and polution caused by producing the non-fur coats that people buy every year. I bet the numbers are higher than the number of animals that would be killed to make fur coats that last 30 years.


Posted by: Lucy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:19 PM
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"acknowledgement that fur is cruel" Gah, people are retarded. God forbid we raise animals for fur just like we do for meat and leather.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:26 PM
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I get confused by that argument, because people will argue that fur is significantly crueller than meat (that is, that it's not insane to be bothered by fur and fine with chicken), and I can never follow the argument clearly enough to decide if there's nothing to it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:29 PM
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I don't believe in the killing of innocent animals to make luxury wear, but mink are guilty as hell. I watched a mink stalking a chipmunk one, and they are creepy. Kill 'em all.

Trapping wild creatures is cruel, but farmed mink can be harvested in a loving, gentle, empathetic way. That's a darn shame, though, because they're mean bastards who should be harvested in a suitably nasty way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:29 PM
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All this talk of fur coats makes me think of this memorable passage from Nixon's famous "Checkers" speech:

I should say this--that Pat doesn't have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat. And I always tell her that she'd look good in anything.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:30 PM
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56 - I only wear fur from animals that committed horrible crimes and then offed themselves when they were overcome with guilt.,


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:32 PM
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"You always look great, and quit asking me".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:32 PM
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Size 13 shoes

The advantage for you guys with freakishly sized feet is that you can always find the drastically reduced stuff at places that carry overstocks, like sierratradingpost.com. They have Allen Edmonds for like a third of the retail price, but only if you're size 13+ or 7-.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:32 PM
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60 - Freaks get all the deals


Posted by: Lucy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:34 PM
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Shoe sizes have been increasing, in the sense that what once was a size 9 foot can now be a size 10 1/2 foot.

One of my superpowers is amazingly big, wide feet, considering that I'm at best a medium size guy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:35 PM
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Huh. I should look into that. I have wide feet in a men's 7, and I'm not above buying men's shoes to wear with pants if they're effeminate enough, which those look like they might be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:35 PM
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59: Does this blog comment make me look fat?


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:37 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:41 PM
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Your butt is exactly right, LB. If you want it skinny, it's skinny. If you want it JLo, it's JLo.

I just talked to a 43-year-old woman last night who had gone from 280 lbs. to about 120-130 with stomach-reduction surgery. You'd never guess it. She seemed very happy and is hooked up with a very sharp guy I know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:45 PM
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Your butt is exactly right, LB.

I bet you say that to all the girls.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:48 PM
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Your butt is exactly right too, IA, possibly better than LB's.

LB, you but might be better than IA's too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:50 PM
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"your butt"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:50 PM
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i don't know, j.e.
i'd suspend judgement till you see them wearing respectable republican cloth coats.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:52 PM
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70: it's become a lot harder to get a license to trap republicans, lately.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:52 PM
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68: Smooth, John. You've done this before.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:53 PM
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I'm the soul of charm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:56 PM
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I wouldn't wear a fur coat (though I wouldn't wear a Republican coat, either), but I do have to question some of the anti-fur arguments. Mink farms, for example: how and why is this worse than raising beef cattle for human consumption? I suppose vegans who won't eat honey can offer a consistent, if not entirely compelling, answer this question.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:56 PM
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74: Wedge, narrow end of?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:00 PM
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55: It might just be that it's a luxury item. People object to veal and foie gras partially because the inherent cruelty is greater, but partially because the cruelty seems particularly wanton given that those foods are luxury foods. A principle that said 'do not cause unnecessary cruelty' with a relatively high threshold could easily allow eating meat and wearing leather but forbid fur.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:04 PM
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I recognize the problems inherent to finding women's pants that fit, Oudemia, but as a short guy, I can tell you that Lucky Jeans stores carry short sizes in stock.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:05 PM
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But there is a funny story about a mink farm somewhere in northern Canada where the 'rescuers' released all the minks. In mid-winter. All the domesticated minks froze to death. 'We just wanted them to be free.' And popsicles!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:07 PM
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Yeah, but my Lucky jeans in short are juuuuust a tiny bit too long, and I'm a little taller than Oudemia. On the other hand, those jeans are a little bit too big around the waist, so they tend to sit lower on my hips than they ought to -- when I pull them up so the rise is actually congruent with my crotch, they're fine. Worth a try, for sure.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:08 PM
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cala, i'm shocked by your heartlessness.

you, of all people, should have more sympathy for the domesticated minx.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:08 PM
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78: Also the scene at the end of "Gorky Park" where the William Hurt character frees the sables. A waste of good fur.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:11 PM
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Domesticated minx should be liberated!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:14 PM
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The most bizarre political ad was the PETA ad comparing fur-coat wearers to women who don't shave their important area.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:19 PM
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^EVER^


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:20 PM
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re: sizes.

Getting decent fitting jackets for me is hard, I find. Right now I'm fat so the problem is getting a jacket that fits neatly across the chest and shoulders but doesn't bulge across the stomach. But usually, the problem is that jackets cut for a 44" chest tend to be either too long [I'm not especially tall] or sit like a box.

If I had the money, I would definitely pay to have stuff tailored properly.

Shirts are such a total bastard that I definitely will get some tailored, as anything that fits round the collar billows like a Seinfield 'pirate' shirt.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:44 PM
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81: But so cute, bounding across the snow! I love that scene.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 5:04 PM
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congruent with my crotch is a delightful turn of phrase.

I've recently discovered that I have a 31" inseam, which they just don't make. And apparently my natural jacket size is 37R. Which just goes to show that, yes, men's sizes are more rational, but woe betide the in-betweeners.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:12 PM
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I've seen 33" inseams as well as 32" and 34"—what could justify this unseemly (GEDDIT?) exclusion of 31"?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:16 PM
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I have a fur problem.

At this point, I've inherited: 1 fur muff--brown mink, 1 raincoat with a fur collar--dark brown fox, and, not with me at the moment, 1 early 1960s swing fur jacket--blond mink.

They don't match, obviously, not that I would ever really be tempted to wear them all at once. I've long decided that it's better that the hides be worn, now that the animals are all dead n' shit, but that doesn't really prevent people from giving me looks.

Usually not "how dare you" looks: for some reason I have yet to understand, fur seems to be some sort of sex signal the likes of which I've never experienced. Older men, in particular.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:19 PM
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I can't for the life of me imagine why carrying one's hands demurely in a warm muff would send off sex signals.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:22 PM
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88: short men are second class citizens, of course.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:26 PM
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Zebra mussels on shopping cart.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:30 PM
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JM, clearly you need to simply send all your fur to me.

Thank you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:36 PM
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JM, the thought of you with your hands in a muff has roused B's carnality.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:41 PM
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Anyway, isn't it part of the whole set of fur associations that it conveys sexy elegance sexily and elegantly? JM, while wearing a foxy collar, could probably only up the stakes by taking a drag from a cigarette holder held in a gloved hand.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:42 PM
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Also, you know, furry snuggly things seem like vaginas.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:45 PM
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Most vaginas aren't furry.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:46 PM
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In Brazil, maybe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:54 PM
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I totally need to break out my grandmother's gloves now.

I'm not sure I'd be able to give the furs away. The blonde mink has been hanging in my mother's closet for about 30 years now. Nobody dares wear it in Berkeley, but nobody has dared suggest it be, say, made into teddie bears to give to indigent children. It's one of those awkward legacy items.

Speaking of which, the baby-sealskin parka with the bright Inuit-inspired embroidery should really just be thrown away. It's left the house once in forty years: I was an Eskimo for Halloween in fourth grade, and I nearly passed out from heat exhaustion. Now there's a fur that's emphatically not sexy.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:56 PM
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The vagina is not the vulva, John. Here is a picture—NSFW and the closest I've ever come to seeing one—which indicates the vaginal opening, inside of which there is not furriness.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:58 PM
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JM, if she attends udcon 2, should doll herself up 40s-style.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:01 PM
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The risks of wearing fur.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:01 PM
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47, 85: Where do you even get this sort of thing done? Or who do you ask to figure it out? I desperately need a new suit, and I'm willing to spend decent money, but I can't really tell what "decent" is, or how to pick a place that will charge in that range, rather than being, say, 3x as expensive as I'd accept. I suppose I feel like I'm in a low-information position, and I'm afraid I'm going to get taken for a ride no matter where I go.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:02 PM
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My daughters would wear fur in a heartbeat. My mom teaches high school, and at the end of last school year had a couple Abercrombie jackets in the lost and found no one claimed. Fur rimmed collar on one, fur lined on the other. She sent them to my kids, who have been wearing them non stop the last month or so. A little big on them, but not much. Some of those 15 year old Asian girls not that much bigger than a 10 year old whitey.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:04 PM
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103: I've had good luck at Men's Wearhouse, where they do the tailoring thing (and you can even bring it back when you change shape). I imagine there are nicer places, but I don't know where they are.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:10 PM
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My first made to measure jacket hardened my heart forever against buying off the peg.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:17 PM
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I don't have that much need for suits. Got my last at Syms about 4 years ago; I've had a local Russian woman tailor take it in twice. She says she used to take delivery of Russian ready-made clothes, always too large so that she could disassemble it, cut it properly and put it back together.

But suits don't change too much: I still get some wear out of one I bought first year of law school, 1982.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:19 PM
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(Caveat to 105: my suit-buying experience is based on getting several new suits as a graduation present and promptly landing a job where pretty much anything goes attire-wise. The suits look great hanging in my closet, though.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:20 PM
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Question, inspired by the $1K bad thread and this one, what are things that people own that are a category above typical in either quality or price?

I believe that it's not extravagant to buy nice things that you actually use (within reason, of course).

I think I've said before, for me my bike and my stereo are the two things I own that I have splurged on in both attention and money (in terms of money, bike is now in the $2.5-3K range, stereo is currently less than that, but I'm umpgrading this year so it will be more, in terms of time both have been put together over a series of years, and have seen plenty of use).

I know there was a thread a while back about fancy cookware and knives. What else do people have that is potentially show-offy, but treasured?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:24 PM
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OT: Hey North American residents (excepting Arizona, I think), don't forget to turn back your clocks tonight. I almost did. That's why I'm commenting here.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:27 PM
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109: I make a point of owning as little as possible of this kind. I'm very proud of my bike, fr'instance, but it's completely hot rod, built up from found, scrounged or cheap parts. Same computers, same cars, same, same, same.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:27 PM
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what are things that people own that are a category above typical in either quality or price?

Pocket watch; wristwatch (formerly my grandfather's); fountain pen; knives; some ties; dutch oven.

All but the last were gifts, though.

There's also my sterling character, but it has a worth beyond price.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:32 PM
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109: Watches, suits, that sort of thing. Trekking gear (it can be disconcerting to find that "perfect" costs 2x or 3x what "okay" costs, but it's worth it). Specialized sports equipment (who wants to economize on a reserve parachute, for example, or the boots that one'll be wearing a couple of hundred miles from civilization?).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:33 PM
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Figurative language, Ben. Jungian archetypes. Also, I said "vagina" instead of "pussy" in accordance with the dignified tenor of this blog.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:36 PM
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/


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:36 PM
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what are things that people own that are a category above typical in either quality or price?

Various outdoor clothing like bush hat, flyfishing vest, etc., from Filson. I'm picky about firearms, and the more plain jane pieces like Rugers I end up putting time and money into aftermarket parts, hand tuning the action, etc. Also tend to buy higher quality knives, but more for camping and such rather than kitchen.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:52 PM
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I won't scrimp on musical gear. That's about it for durable goods. (Cheap versions of bourbon and beer* and wine are also dispreferred, but that probably goes without saying 'round these parts.)

*with a generous exception for PBR


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:57 PM
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I don't think anything I own falls into this category. Everything's as cheap as possible.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:00 PM
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I won't scrimp on musical gear.

Does this mean instruments or stereo equipment?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:01 PM
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119: instruments, specifically percussion. My stereo equipment is nothing too special: thrift-store record player w/integrated amp; low-end a/v receiver with so-so speakers; cheap-o CD/DVD player.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:03 PM
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I don't think anything I own falls into this category. Everything's as cheap as possible.

we should get teo something nice.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:07 PM
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Thanks, but I'm good.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:09 PM
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I don't think I own anything that's clearly a cut above. I am fascinated by things that are heirlooms and would like one day to own things that could be passed down and cherished. Like my grandmother's coat, or ben's grandfather's pocket watch or shivbunny's great-grandmother's pearls, now mine, probably not extraordinarily valuable, but pretty cool that she wore them at her wedding, too.

Uncharitably, it probably belies a desire to be old money.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:16 PM
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re: 109

I don't really own expensive stuff in terms of pure monetary value. I have several really very good cameras and a couple of which are really lovely and are a cut above 'ordinary' cameras. They aren't/weren't expensive as the bottom has completely dropped out of the film camera market. Still, they take pictures to rival most things and are really beautiful objects.

I have a moderately nice stereo, but it was mostly bought second hand for a fraction of its new value. With much lower prices now for electronic consumer goods compared to when much of it was originally made/sold, I could probably replace it, new, for $1500.

Two of my guitars are also moderately nice. These aren't expensive or vintage instruments and were never anywhere near top of the line when new. Although my main electric guitar is over 30 years old and lovely to play it's a Japanese rather than US made instrument.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:23 PM
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My own stereo, particularly the turntable, was cheap but as ttaM says, a fraction of its original value, so I guess it counts.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:31 PM
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The sofa I am sitting on came from Design Within Reach.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:41 PM
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I own a couple of bottles of expensive perfume and a pair of quite expensive summer shoes that are genuinely lovely and versatile, though eventually they will wear out past the point of repair, and I will be sad. Still, we are not talking about enormous amounts of money for any of these items, just rather a lot for what they are. A chic coat (cloth). Some good cookware.

I have a rug from my grandmother that is very nice and probably worth more than I would ever pay myself, but I'm sure not fancy by fancy rug standards. Our furniture is a mix of new and cheap (bookshelves), new and not so cheap (sofa), old and pretty not-cheap (oak table, Japanese tansu cabinet), and old and pretty cheap (dressers and a liquor cabinet that was once a built-in cabinet in someone else's house, painted cheerful colors). I wanted to buy a particular simple but expensive necklace as a present for myself and a reward to myself for winning an academic prize, but (I'm actually a little embarrassed to admit the brand, here) Tiffany's customer service was so infuriating that I didn't do it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:43 PM
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Oh, I guess I own a pretty nice TV. It's HD with a built-in ATSC tuner, but it's a CRT, so it doesn't look sexy-flat-panel expensive. I got it pretty cheap, too.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:45 PM
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(I'm actually a little embarrassed to admit the brand, here) Tiffany's

Liberal guilt rears its head. Tiffany's makes nice stuff.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:46 PM
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I suppose you could say that the Navajo rugs my mom has are an example of this, but my parents (and other relatives) bought them directly from the weavers for considerably less than you would pay for similar rugs in a gallery here or in Santa Fe. They are high-quality, authentic rugs, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:47 PM
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It's HD with a built-in ATSC tuner, but it's a CRT, so it doesn't look sexy-flat-panel expensive.

I didn't know they even made CRT HDTVs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:48 PM
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I don't really own expensive stuff in terms of pure monetary value.

There was a reason I specified quality or price. I was thinking of things that are outside of what most people would think of, but that are interesting for something more than their price.

It's been on my mind partially because I have just gotten a new pre-amp which is completely hand built. The person who built it literally started with a metal box, drilled holes for the inputs/outputs and controls, built the circuit boards himself, and every time I see it I'm amazed that I can own a piece of elextronic equipment that is that handmade (which was only affordable because he is both a friend, and charges far too little for his time).

It's nice, but it also has real personal significance.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:48 PM
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I think Rfts' concern with Tiffany is more a Woolfian fear of seeming middlebrow. Tiffany: Your source for engagement rings if you're getting married to an junior-level investment banker!
Some of our art is by real artists, but is prints or posters. A Julie Morstad etchning, an original page by Richard Sala, some Jay Ryan posters. Jay Ryan is the shit -- and has crashed on this very couch -- but isn't going to be showing up in Saatchi's collection anytime soon.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:53 PM
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Some of our art is by real artists

As opposed to what, a monkey with a paint set?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:55 PM
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131: Ayup. Also: generally considered superior to plasma and LCD in picture quality. Tubes!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:55 PM
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As opposed to what, a monkey with a paint set?

Those elephants do good work. No, you know, artists with, like, gallery shows and stuff, as opposed to work by art students or our friends or Thomas Kinkade. Professional-type artists. Artistes, with the extra E, like Case in the beginning of Neuromancer.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:58 PM
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"If any human being, man, woman, dog, cat or half-crushed worm dares call me 'middlebrow' I will take my pen and stab him, dead." I think it's probably more a fear of being middlebrow, or just overly credulous, but yeah. Maybe we can buy some fake Queen Anne chairs next.

I suspect my desire to own a Tiffany necklace is rooted about equally in my appreciation for the particular necklace in question and a book by Jane Langton (author of The Diamond in the Window) called The Boyhood of Grace Jones, which sadly seems to be out of print.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 9:00 PM
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My parents never bought any oil paintings by a guy they knew on the reservation who went on to become a very prominent Navajo artist because they were too expensive, and they regretted it once he became famous and the paintings got much more expensive. They did buy some prints of his, but they're not quite the same.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 9:11 PM
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And snarkout, there was that guy several years ago (in either 98 or 99) who won the Turner prize and used elephant dung in his paintings.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 9:19 PM
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Chris Ofili. There's a tie-in with American politics, as his Madonna paintings made Giuliani go batshit and try (illegally, iirc) to yank funding for the Brooklyn Museum.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 9:22 PM
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My brother was a bit of a commodity fetishist when I was growing up, and I think my own desire to possess the knowledge or skill rather than the object was a sort of reaction, a perhaps competitive impulse. It would be best if I simply didn't care, but I probably take a little too much pleasure in the tuning or finishing or tweaking of some common object to make it the equivalent of something more expensive.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 9:32 PM
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Brian Williams on SNL: not unfunny!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 9:53 PM
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Okay, off to an open-bar event.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 9:55 PM
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I thought this unusual salt craze was a swindle but a friend had some Maldon (sp?) salt on her table the other day and it was excellent.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:07 PM
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Maldon is the bomb. It has the most beautiful crunchy lovely delicious pyramidal flakes.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:09 PM
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Slate did a blind test a few years ago, and while Maldon won (IIRC), Morton Kosher Salt (not the regular stuff) ran it a close second and as the virtue of being vastly cheaper.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:36 PM
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I used to wear fur coats in Berkeley a lot and no one ever gave me any trouble. I have one great reversible chinese coat with silk on one side and white-and-black fur on the other. I remember people used to ask me what it was at parties, and I would say "monkey" (I actually don't know what it i). my grandmother had her fur coats stored in the summer in savannah and they all look fine now. in addition to being glamorous, fur is incredibly warm. if you start feeling bad just read cordwainer smith's "mother hittons littul kittons" and you'll be fine.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:57 PM
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re: 135

Yeah, I'm hating on the LCD tellys. I've been trying to buy a new TV recently [as ours is slowly failing] and I've looked at literally dozens and dozens ranging from the actual price range I want to spend [cheap] up into the silly money and none of them are as good as the $300 CRT TV we already have.

re: 141

I probably take a little too much pleasure in the tuning or finishing or tweaking of some common object to make it the equivalent of something more expensive.

I sort of understand that. I also really like the process of getting something that functions as well as a very expensive object but which costs much less.

This has slightly bitten me on the ass recently. Yesterday I bought a 2nd hand amp to run from the PC to a set of speakers. It was about $800 new. I paid about $125 second hand. Unfortunately, there's a quiet but noticeable constant hiss coming from it and I really can't face driving 100 miles to return it. I'd have been better just going out and spending $150 on something new.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 2:14 AM
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120: any time you see some ragged, depressed indie musician slouching around looking pitiful, just remember that he has $50,000 - to $100,000 worth of musical instruments stashed in his rat-infested one-room apartment.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 2:37 AM
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Stanley: are you a tube amp buff?

I think that salt-tastings are the Götterdämmerung of the yuppy lifestyle. There can be no beyond. We have reached the end of the world.

Though I've heard that the authentic Tajik baking soda is in a class by itself. You have to get the real stuff, though -- there are a lot of fakes cashing in on the trend.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 2:47 AM
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I defy any unfogged male reader to go to Moscow in the winter and see tall Russian women wearing long fur coats striding along the snowed-in streets - and totally retain his sympathies for animal rights activists.......


Posted by: Herr Torquewrench | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 3:23 AM
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re: 150

Oh yeah, I forget to mention my tube (guitar) amp.
Which is a 1966 (or maybe 67) 50 watt head made in the Marshall factory [it's a Park]. Worth quite a bit, actually. A couple of thousand dollars, or more. I should sell it, I basically never use it.

Same as the top one on this page:

http://www.ampheaven.com/park_amps_and_cabs.htm


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:18 AM
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I have stupidly expensive taste in perfume. I also spend a fair amount of money on nice oil paints--although I'm not going to allow myself to buy Kolinsky Sable brushes until I get MUCH more disciplined about cleaning.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:05 AM
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JM, I'm wondering whether there's a genre of muff-porn. Anyway, I think that muffs are a relic of old girly-girl life, like petticoats and dropped handkerchiefs and parasols.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:47 AM
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Yes. In order to wear that muff properly, I would need a whole new wardrobe: a lightly bias-cut or a-line coat, full skirts, dainty pumps---or, better yet, ice skates. Muffs are incompatible with the bags I own to schlepp my stuff.

The one time I got my purse snatched was when I was wearing a cute retro cape---which probably would have worked with a muff. My bag was awkwardly draped over my shoulder and very easy to pick off.

The muff I own does have a pocket sewn in. It's big enough to hold a hanky, a single key, and maybe a card case. Not practical.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:05 AM
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I don't have much in the way of things that I'm proud of/excited about. An old clock. A row of cedars trees. Neither of which I can claim much credit for, other than being in the right place to stake a claim at the right time.

I explained to my daughter some years ago that in our class, we don't inherit wealth. Experience beyond one's backyard, love of learning new things, education sufficient for some professional opportunity. And she'll inherit the clock. Maybe I'll fix it before then.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:05 AM
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BTW, the muff was a surprise inheritance from my grandfather's estate. My dad brought it down SPECIFICALLY to fuck with me. He's very amused that I have even tried to wear it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:09 AM
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I like a lady in a genteel shrug.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:11 AM
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Jackmormon: You're after my own heart. I've been attempting to bankrupt myself lately buying extrait strength old-school Caron perfumes like Tabac Blond and Poivre.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:15 AM
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You want bankrupcy-strength perfumes, you've got to go with the Jean Patou line. Oy, oy, oy.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:16 AM
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I have several books I paid $80 -- $200 for. I may end up buying a dictionary for $500 (the multi-volume Chinese version of the OED, which I have on order for $260 from an Amazon subsidiary which isn't coming through.)

I also have about 75 atlases that cost me anywhere from $20 to $125 apiece.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:17 AM
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I am glad I'm not alone in perfume spending, though I tend to go less for the classics and more for, say, Serge Lutens.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:20 AM
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Our family just sold a century old hand carved walnut bed for $3000. It's a heirloom handed down from a great-uncle we barely knew who got it from his own aunt who got it from a distant cousin whom she barely knew. Absolutely no sentimental value. According to report, the first inheritor found several diamonds in a secret drawer. The original owner was a very rich Pennsylvanian who went bankrupt and committed suicide, possibly during the depression, and who had no immediate heirs.

We sold it to our sociopath ex-bro-in-law. I believe that he thinks that he's buying the bed in which his ex-wife my sister was concieved, but no such luck. It came into the family quite recently. So his attempt at voodoo will be unsuccessful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:22 AM
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(Which I realize is as nothing when compared to buying a full bottle of, say, Joy.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:24 AM
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Lesse. I have a bicycle and speakers that were both top-of-the-line 20 years ago. I have a fairly expensive leather jacket that I didn't pay full price for. I have a large amount of music equipment (synthesizers and whatnot) that is high-end in a finicky but not really top of the line per se. I have a hand-tailored suit, but it was bought overseas, and cheap. So I dunno. I like fancy things, I suppose, but not to the point of needing the best of the best. I would, on the other hand, like to build a tube preamp.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:24 AM
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That bed sounds pretty snazzy. Were you able to locate the secret drawer yourselves?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:25 AM
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162: I wore Fleurs d'Oranger last night!
160: Word. Isn't Joy the most expensive perfume ever or something?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:25 AM
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I doubt that Joy is still the most expensive perfume EVAH, though it did at one point have that reputation. You don't want to buy it at any store with a notable markup, though. While Joy is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful perfume, I wear Sublime, which is, ironically, a little less ethereal.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:48 AM
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The bed was so huge that no one wanted it (except the sociopath). It was a robber baron bed about eight feet high.

We did find the secret drawer. It wasn't that hard if you were looking for it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:52 AM
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Perfumes might actually be a good answer to "what are the weird luxury signals today?" Every damned celebrity in the US is trying to get in on the insane profit margins of perfume, a profit which everyone acknowledges is mostly a function of branding. (Talk about your "metaphysics of value"!)

And then there's this new trend in personalised fragrances. Market-savvy perfumers are promising to ressurrect the smells of YOUR favorite memories (I remember reading that one commissioned smell ended up being some refined form of mildew, which triggered a specific association---a musty beachhouse, maybe?---with the client). Of course, snooty stores are selling giant "libraries" of fragrances in teeny-tiny packages so that the consumer can "educate his or her nose."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:00 AM
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168--
see, this is why i don't have any fancy possessions: you have to have fancy organs to appreciate them.
my nose isn't good enough to tell ethereal joy from watermelon jolly rancher.
my ears aren't good enough to tell a handbuilt preamp from a close-n-play.
(man--just occurred to me you kids will need a footnote:
http://www.timewarptoys.com/closenplay1.jpg).

and as for the rest of my organs--ffftt....

right now i'm just enjoying a package of storebrand sandwich cremes. unlike nabisco oreos, each cookie has an ebony and an ivory side. if you decry miscegenation, you can take two of them, twist them apart, and rematch the halves to suit your racist sensibilities.
and the amazing thing, pointed out to me by a child who still has taste buds, is that the allegedly cocoa side tastes *exactly the same* as the allegedly vanilla side.
i hadn't noticed. or rather, it did to me, too, but that was inevitable.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:03 AM
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I could be tempted by a perfume that would get the scent of fresh lilac exactly right.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:15 AM
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"See my wife? That's quality!"


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:30 AM
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"She looks great whatever she wears, so I never buy her anything".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:36 AM
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JM, rfts, oudemia, if you're ever in Portland you have to visit The Perfume House. It's the Powell's Books of perfume. The proprietor is an amazing guy, wildly enthusuastic; the first time I set foot in the place, he kind of grabbed me and gave me an hour-long tour of fragrances, with all sorts of fascinating lore. (His instruction yielded a payoff not long after that: I identified the scent a woman was wearing as Sacrée, and for a moment she looked at me with purest lust.)

From his website:

After 40 years of study and training, Chris was tested, then anointed as one of the world's 200 "Noses". Now, he is recognized as one of 26 by the Council of Six. To qualify as a Nose, the prospective candidate must be able to recant all of the elements that comprises the essential elements within a fragrance before the sprayed droplets reach the floor.
I assume he means 'recount,' as I doubt the Council of Six rewards people for going back on their training like that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:39 AM
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175: Oh wow. That's terrific. Tuberose! I denounce you! (Incidentally, I wear something called Parfum Sacré almost every day.)

172: Cala have you tried the Demeter lilac? Demeter goes in for "exact match" fragrances of things like single flowers or, you know, a gin and tonic.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:48 AM
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Jesus, have you run into the Portland Satanist Diabol/os Re/x Ch/urch?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:52 AM
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Thanks for the tip, oudemia! I don't know why I like that scent so much but it probably has something to do with my parents having a lilac bush the backyard (and every lilac scented candle gets it wrong!! wrong!)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:53 AM
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Walt Whitman fan, obvs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:55 AM
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176: You're right, only one e, but that's the stuff, by Caron. I'll try not to let the thought that you're ravishingly scented affect how I read your comments.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:58 AM
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180: No, do! I want to be in Odor-ama!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:04 AM
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Le Nez du Vin is a great tool for training your nose. We got it as a wedding present from my sommelier friend.

177: I haven't seen him in a while. He exudes a powerful freak aura.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:05 AM
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The muff, the scent, the cigarette holder, the parasol, the petticoats, and the strategically dropped handkerchief should bring all New York to its knees.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:08 AM
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I like a lady in a genteel shrug.

A few poetic regrets, if adroitly placed, are as becoming to a woman as gossamer hair in the moonlight. FACT.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:09 AM
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177: As I said above, he is or was the naighbot of the friend, and his Satanism schtick is apparently all he's got.

As I understand, he plays the pity game too: "Satanists: the last minority it's OK to ridicule".

I would not describe Rex as dangerous, as per above. But when clueless 15 year old guys get into something, they can be toxic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:11 AM
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Another site for perfume enthusiasts.

I do not like perfumes that overrely on vanilla. I like candy, but do not fantasize about kissing some Wonka-Moreau hybrid of woman and marshmallow.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:42 PM
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This was the perfume thread?

I've been fascinated by perfumes for a long time. I often contemplate buying a bunch of the 1/8-oz samples from LuckyScent.com. If I were a woman that would definitely be one of my hobbies.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:44 PM
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I do not like perfumes that overrely on vanilla.

I don't, either, but many people do. Vanilla is very popular for its evocation of homey comfort.

I really don't love those Demeter scents (Sugar Cookie? Pumpkin Pie? why would I want to smell like baked goods?).


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:08 PM
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Vanilla is very popular for its evocation of homey comfort.

Fenris Flippanter does not follow a lady's scent through forest, field and mountain snow because it reminds him of the cozy hearth.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:13 PM
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My fav. perfume was Vol de Nuit, which they don't sell in the US any more. Bastards.

Too sweet or too floral, ick. The list of possible non-foofy replacement perfumes I need to try is:

Caron Tabac Blonde
Caron En Avion
Guerlain Mitsouko
Guerlain L'Heure Bleu
Robert Piguet Bandit
Chanel Cuir de Russie

Although some of the Hermes scenes, in particular Un Jardin sur le Nil, are actually quite nice, too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:16 PM
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Stanley: are you a tube amp buff?

Not really. I specialize in hitting stuff with sticks. But my bandmates play on tube amps. And a coworker has an incredibly warm-sounding home stereo that runs on tubes. It's from 1960-something.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:19 PM
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Why would I want to smell like baked goods?

Don't you get a better, more wholesome kind of harassment that way?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:24 PM
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Although I also would love a perfume that really had that kind of after-beach skin and sand scent, or something that had under notes of Kern county dirt. Chances are, though, no one makes either of those.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:24 PM
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""all of our coffees are decaffeinated using %100 organic solvents!""

I think this just means they didn't use inorganic chemicals. The idea being some of the aldehyde or whatever remains in the beans and poisons you. So something organic like CO2 is used.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:27 PM
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IE using a organic=life based definition, not one of the other ones.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:29 PM
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The best scents are by Jo Malone. I really don't like anything else.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:31 PM
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Don't you get a better, more wholesome kind of harassment that way?

Oh, I dunno. "You remind me of my mother" is not always, and not necessarily, a more wholesome form of harassment.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:31 PM
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Aren't aldehydes organic? Wiki:

An aldehyde is an organic compound containing a terminal carbonyl group. This functional group, which consists of a carbon atom which is bonded to a hydrogen atom and double-bonded to an oxygen atom (chemical formula O=CH-), is called the aldehyde group. The aldehyde group is also called the formyl or methanoyl group.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:32 PM
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Mmmmm. I have some whipped cream for you, baby, right here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:33 PM
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I've always kind of liked Guerlain perfumes. My Dad got me L'Heure Bleue which is a little sweet, but I still like Jardins de Bagatelle. Dad also bought me Champs Elysees, but I couldn't bear it. (It's a nice fragrance, but one of my college roommates became enamored of it, and we had a terrible falling out. I didn't want to be reminded of her.) My favorite is a relatively new one (from the 90's--not an early classic): Samsara. I do like other perfumes. I have some from Givenchy, but Samsara is sort of my signature scent. Shalimar, however, make me want to wretch.

Cala, if you're still reading, Pacifica Candles makes some wonderful lilac stuff--candles, soap and a body butter. They do make a few fragrances, but not a lilac. The soap is the nicest of that three; it really smells like you've stuck your head in a lilac bush.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:36 PM
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Ha. I wear Tabac Blond, En Avion, and Mitsouko. TB and EA fairly frequently (although I am hoarding them now, the extrait costs), but Mitsouko, as much as I adore it, smells like a rich, older woman to me and that isn't really what I am going for self-presentation-wise.
I was at the Kirov Ring cycle at the Met over the summer and the jewel-dripping, older, uber soignee German woman who sat next to me wore Mitsouko. I complimented her on it and she replied, "I am wearing Mitsouko every day of my life!"
Ned, buy the samples! It's so much fun! I dick around on luckscent every day. Try Spirit of the Tiger by Heeley -- sexxy.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:37 PM
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oudemia, we need to meet. You, Cala and I (we're all short) need to go shopping sometime.

I had Mitsouko once too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:39 PM
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I don't have a lot of stuff I'm attached to -- I haven't got the attention span for it. Some silver spoons my great-grandfather, a traveling salesman, bought as souvenirs for his daughter, my great-aunt Mildred: they've got different placenames and such on them. There were a lot originally, but they got split up between four girls in my generation, so I've got six or eight, I can't remember which.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:40 PM
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I was at the Kirov Ring cycle at the Met over the summer and the jewel-dripping, older, uber soignee German woman who sat next to me wore Mitsouko. I complimented her on it and she replied, "I am wearing Mitsouko every day of my life!"

Yay.

And yes, absolutely, Ned, buy the samples! Why not? It's super fun.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:42 PM
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BG: Absolutely! I will quiz you on your -mi verb conjugations at the same time!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:44 PM
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I was at the Kirov Ring cycle at the Met over the summer

Before, I was imagining the peppery-sweet fragrance of Sacré. Now I feel only envy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:47 PM
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Ok, Oudemia, it sounds like you and I have compatible taste in fragrance. What do I want to replace my much-missed Vol de Nuit? Or should I just embrace the incredibly high-maintenance thing and insist on purchasing perfume in Europe once every few years?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:47 PM
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I forgot that I had Nahema too.

I love Colonial Drug in Cambridge. Supposedly you can get a prescription filled there, but I've never seen anyone try.

They used to carry a cologne line that the Prince of Wales wears. I think that that firm will also make personalized scents, some of which are made available for general sale. I think there was one made for Grace Kelly when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:48 PM
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Men's Warehouse is shit, please do not go there. If you have no idea what you are doing, go to an upscale department store. A good idea is try on something that doesn't fit, and if the salescritter says it looks go, go elsewhere. Somwhere like brooks brothers might be a store to look at too. It really depends on how much $ you want to spend. You can also hang around the city center and when you see a man that is well dressed, ask him about his tailor. this could involve hours of time, though.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:51 PM
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208: Penhaligon's?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:51 PM
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oh, yeah it seems aldehydes are wrong. benzenes and ethyl acetate are examples of decaffeination chemicals. and yes, organic in the more common definitions. but one definition of 'organic', that is etymologically important, is sourced from living things. and most of the common decaffeination processes other than co2 and water invovle industrial chemicals.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:57 PM
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En Avion really would be a terrific choice. And it's funny because both it and Vol de Nuit were created to honor air travel -- En Avion in particular to honor the daring young aviatrix. But, like many of the Carons, it's hard to lay your hands on unless you are in NYC. My beloved Parfum Sacré is also Caron, but pretty easily found at the online discount perfumes stores. I highly recommend it.
You can also get decants of the Caron and your own Vol de Nuit from places like The Perfumed Court.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 2:07 PM
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"We use only organic toxins in our products".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 2:08 PM
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Said the Middle-Aged Man of the Mountain.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 2:26 PM
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BG, thanks for the recommendation! The blurb on the site also explained why it's so hard to get a lilac scent: the blooming season isn't long enough for the perfume makers to get lilac essential oils.

"organic" in terms of solvents just means "contains a carbon bond."

I cannot stand vanilla-scented perfumes, though I like the scent of vanilla, but they're marginally better than apple-scented (or flavored) products, which always remind of me of the curious odor a sippy cup gets after the apple juice in it has been ignored by the toddler for several hours.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 3:19 PM
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Is LuckyScent.com a good store, or are there much better/more comprehensive ways to get cheap 1/8oz samples of interesting things?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 3:21 PM
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what are things that people own that are a category above typical in either quality or price?

I have a couple of pieces of really nice furniture, Louis Napoleon antiques that I picked up in France when I lived there. That period has since become quite chic, so I imagine they are worth a fair amount today, even though I paid only a modest premium above Crate & Barrel prices.

I have a few things in the kitchen that are standard issue yuppie porn: KitchenAid mixer, Henckels Zwilling knives, Le Creuset dutch oven, la Baleine salt.

Mrs. Ruprecht loves Gien faience, so we have an absurd amount of that--again, most of it acquired in France. Mrs. Ruprecht also drives a pretty nice car, though "top of the line" would be a gross exageration.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 3:47 PM
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Ned, I can't speak to the quality of LuckyScent.com. The vial samples are often free. I just wanted to add that I've always loved the little miniature bottles--even for fragrances that weren't my favorites. They don't always travel well. You'd think that they would, but my small Amarige leaked. I used to collect them, and I think that they make lovely stockiing stuffers. They might be a nice treat for your fiancëe.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 3:47 PM
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Ned, luckyscent is great and they always send along several extra samples with your order(try Luctor et Emergo by People of the Labyrinth!). The Perfumed Court sells all sorts of rare and impossible to get treats in all sorts of sizes -- try Tabac Blond, I mean, seriously, is this resistible?

les américaines démontrent sans vergogne au vieux continent stupéfait que les cigarettes ne sont plus l'apanage des hommes, et qu'entre fumoir et boudoir, la différence est dépassée.. !
Arborer négligemment au bout des lèvres ces longs fume-cigarettes en ivoire et nacre, pour entourer sa féminité d'un voile de mystère typiquement masculin, devient alors le comble de l'élégance parisienne.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 3:55 PM
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Oh, I left off the best part!

Pour marquer l'aube de la libération féminine, CARON ose en 1919 dédier à ces belles androgynes ce parfum délibérément provocateur, Tabac Blond.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 3:57 PM
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That is the best part! They osed, indeed!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:19 PM
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220--
yeah, it's weird, i've just never seen any sexy connection to smoking.
i'm old enough that it was pretty widely accepted in the culture when i was a kid. pre-ad bans, when it was a fairly standard trope in the films and tv.

but it's just always struck me as...nasty.
horrible smell, horrible effects on the body. even my defective nose can smell cigarette pong.

sure, it's transgressive, but so is, say, cutting your wrists. transgressive, self-destructive, fucked up, and not a turn on.

so, yeah, just the opposite of sexy. i mean, back in 1919 maybe it was all different, and even now ymmv and all, and i'm no part of the target audience for anyone trying to be sexually attractive in any case.

still, it's just a mystery to me why that was ever alluring.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:32 PM
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Have you ever smelled unsmoked, cured tobacco? It smells good.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:33 PM
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you mean like pipe-tobacco, or roll-your-own?
yeah; it smells less bad before it is burned.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:39 PM
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transgressive, self-destructive, fucked up, and not a turn on.

I think self-destruction is kind of sexy. I think I've outgrown that stage, but I still get why it's sexy. Cigarettes have always seemed sexy to me too. Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse. Of course if that's your philosophy you'd miss out on grading all these linear algebra exams.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:39 PM
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but there are a lot of things that smell less bad than cigarette smoke, and still are deeply unsexy. e.g. peanut butter. oil paint.
i mean--you guys are running down vanilla. i would put vanilla way, way higher on the attraction-scale than anything tobacco-related.

but, again, i'm not the people you are trying to attract, so go with what works.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:41 PM
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No! RFTS is right -- cured tobacco has a sort of sweet, rich smell -- nothing like cigarette smoke!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:44 PM
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linear algebra--now *that's* the sexy!
matrix operations! characteristic equations! ooh baby!

yeah, okay, it makes self-destruction look like a plausible alternative.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:46 PM
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227--
i'm not disputing that it's less nasty. but
1) there are lots of other vegetal smells that are sweet and rich that i don't really want on my person.
the smell of simmering artichokes. the smell of rotting hay. the smell of stringy, viscous pumpkin-guts when you're making jack-o-lanterns. all of them sweet and rich. none of them sexy.

and
2) "qu'entre fumoir et boudoir, la différence est dépassée.. !
Arborer négligemment au bout des lèvres ces longs fume-cigarettes en ivoire et nacre"

that was the come-on, right? smoking the stuff.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:50 PM
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If only there were a cologne that reeked of differential equations.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:53 PM
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with a grace note of chalk-dust.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:54 PM
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If only there were a cologne that reeked of differential equations.

If only?! If only?! All perfumes waft via dynamics describable by differential equations. Math is everywhere!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:57 PM
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Calvin Klein's "Existence-Uniqueness" for men.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:58 PM
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Navier-Strokes Eauquation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:00 PM
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232: ah, but what of the delicate musk of the only partially differentiable?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:01 PM
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B, I can't really see you wearing L'Heure Bleue. It's got a powdery sweetness to it that I just can't mentally disentangle from Pampered Old Lady.

My mother, in a fit of nostalgia, bought a bottle when she was over in Paris a couple years ago, and it smells too old on her.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:02 PM
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chanel's cauchy
guerlain's weierstrasse

but h.g., describable via is not the same as reeking of.
luckily.

(anyhow, aren't most non-homogeneous fluid flows going to waft a la non-linear dynamics? for which the differential equations would be nigh impossible to write? but i don't really know what i'm talking about here--no nose for this, either).


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:04 PM
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232: ah, but what of the delicate musk of the only partially differentiable?

For androgynous folk.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:05 PM
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anyhow, aren't most non-homogeneous fluid flows going to waft a la non-linear dynamics?

True. However, linear dynamics are very very easy. We've got some good math on the non-linear kind.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:08 PM
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A friend in high school out in the boonies lived near a tobacco barn, and man, it smelled great.

Heebie, can I suggest Cauchy-Lorentz pour femmes? That continuity... those curves...


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:13 PM
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Have you ever smelled unsmoked, cured tobacco? It smells good.

[rudner] Yes, the smell reminds me of my grandfather, before he died. [/rudner]


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:13 PM
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I bought a large bottle of this for a boyfriend and broke up with him a few months later. I liked the scent a great deal, and am now kind of sad that I associate it with a not-great relationship. There is a song that explains this, but it's an m4a iTunes file. If I post it, will it require you to enter my password, thus harming my pseudonymity?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:13 PM
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If you didn't buy the song from the iTunes music store, no. I would recommend turning it into an mp3 in any case. (Advanced --> Convert Selection to MP3).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:15 PM
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It offers "convert selection to AAC."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:17 PM
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Okay, here's the m4a. Let me know if it compromises my integrity and I'll delete the Sendspace.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:18 PM
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All is well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:20 PM
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Yay! I haven't succeeded in that before.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:21 PM
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AWB: Cool! Thank you!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:24 PM
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It's weird, both of the perfumes I use in regular circulation are designed to be "sexy." I wasn't looking for such a thing, but after smelling like 80 different things these are the ones I like, curiously: Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionelle and Gucci Envy Me.

"The woman who demands attention"? Okay, probably guilty as charged.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:25 PM
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Self-destruction seems sexy only when the self destroyed is desirable. Who cares about the short lives and lost loves of the fat, the ugly, the balding, the haphazardly-hygienic?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:43 PM
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The description of my perfume in all the ads:

Sweet and seductive, enticing and exotic, it combines creamy florals with exotic spices and a subtle hint of Moroccan incense to form a soft, yet surprisingly sophisticated scent.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:43 PM
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"Creamy florals" amuses me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:45 PM
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I totally disagree with 250, insofar as it applies to external good looks. Self-destruction insofar as it promises a rollicking wild good time with a bit of adrenaline and unexpected adventures make someone sexy. Fat and balding are irrelevant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:47 PM
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I've been wearing Jo Malone's Orange Blossom for three years, nearly every day, and somehow still have half a bottle left.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:47 PM
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AWB, the classiest perfumes come in gallon buckets, so that you know you're getting a bargain.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:48 PM
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Luckyscent.com seems like an alright store---EXCEPT FOR ITS NOT HAVING ANY PATOU OR GUERLAIN PERFUMES---and you fuckers talked me into spending some money on samples.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:22 PM
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I don't know much about perfume, but it seems that men's cologne has much more staying power. I can smell shivbunny's cologne on his shirts much longer than my perfume seems to hang around on mine.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:31 PM
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Yeah, I can smell men's cologne down the street. Men get only the best.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:34 PM
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I don't know much about perfume, but it seems that men's cologne has much more staying power.

I don't know about that; my wife can detect other women's perfume on my clothes in concentrations measured in the parts per quintillion.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:43 PM
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I never know whether I'm smelling a woman's hair products or some perfume, unless it's a particularly perfumey smell. But with guys (who, it should be said, often wear way too much), the lingering is such that one can often find a guy by following his cologne down hallways and into various rooms.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:45 PM
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I assume all you people talking about perfume are conversant with Süskind's novel, recently made into a presumably horrible movie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:46 PM
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B, I can't really see you wearing L'Heure Bleue. It's got a powdery sweetness to it that I just can't mentally disentangle from Pampered Old Lady.

Ah, good to know. No, powdery scents aren't my bag.

Of all the crazy things, I tried Sean John's "Unforgiveable Woman" (sue me, I liked the name) the other day at Sephora and it's actually kind of a nice scent. I wonder who makes it for them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:50 PM
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260: does it freak him out when you finally find him?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:50 PM
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The movie does look dreadful. I enjoyed the novel but found the end fairly weak.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:51 PM
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I do not know what novel you're talking about, and I agree that there are very, very few men's colognes that aren't disgusting.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:51 PM
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there are very, very few men's colognes that aren't disgusting.

What's the consensus of the laydeez here? Is there an expectation that a man should wear a scent? I never do, and never have (excepting junior high school dances).

(I do use deo, which has a scent, I suppose.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:55 PM
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One can often find a guy by following his cologne down hallways and into various rooms.

That's the way colognes are marketed to guys, for sure.

"The laydeez will track you to your room!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:55 PM
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RFTS: Another book-alike for us! (And yeah, the ending was just de trop.)

B: You should also try Prada and Prada Intense.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:55 PM
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I do not know what novel you're talking about

Perfume, the story of a murderer. It seems to exist in about twenty gazillion different editions, or at least more than four.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:58 PM
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261, 265: B is just feigning ignorance of that novel. She's crafting a special scent to wear to unfoggeDCon II that will cause in orgy.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:58 PM
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Snarkout occasionally wears L'Artisan Parfumeur's Dzing! and it smells superb on him, but very little at a sitting and never to work -- just at home and maybe every once in a while to a social event.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:58 PM
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an orgy


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:59 PM
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She's crafting a special scent to wear to unfoggeDCon II that will cause in orgy.

Ah, but if she had read the book, she would know what the sequel to the orgy would be.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:59 PM
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I learned to use cologne as a tracking device when I was semi-managing a restaurant in absence of the real manager. The waitstaff were mostly douchbaggy guys who wore way too much cologne and would disappear into various nooks and crannies to smoke pot during work. I had to find them to tell them their tables were complaining.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:59 PM
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A likely story.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:01 PM
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What's the consensus of the laydeez here? Is there an expectation that a man should wear a scent?

Not an expectation, but if the scent works on the man, it can be a nice bonus. Lots of things smell nice in bottles that don't work on a given individual's personal body chemistry. Less is more, though.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:04 PM
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I went to the Guerlain site and found that all the descriptions of everything are unbearably precious and stupid and devoid of information, making it impossible for me to decide whether anything is worth buying. This has happened before with other scent catalogs. At least LuckyScent has customer reviews, although not very many of them.

This seems to be something that I have to actually try swatches of, which would require interacting with a salesperson. That's not going to happen.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:06 PM
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Lots of things smell nice in bottles that don't work on a given individual's personal body chemistry.

Everything, on me. I like many perfumes on other people -- when they touch me, they all smell vaguely soapy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:08 PM
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Speaking of scents that could cause an orgy, one would be remiss not to cite Roald Dahl's stories about Uncle Oswald and Yasmine Howcomely.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:08 PM
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Yeah, I wouldn't buy perfumes I hadn't tried on.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:08 PM
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274: They were disappearing into corners to smoke pot, and you were finding them by the smell of cologne? This seems like an unnecessary waste of effort.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:09 PM
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279: My mother accidentally bought me My Uncle Oswald when I was nine or so -- Roald Dahl writes children's books, right? Distinctly puzzling, from my point of view at that age.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:10 PM
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Yeah, I wouldn't buy perfumes I hadn't tried on.

Therefore the plan to get several $3 sample vials from the online store.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:11 PM
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283: wear a little bit off each to unfoggeDCon, Ned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:12 PM
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Ned, if you're buying for your fiancee, and you don't know what she likes in scents, just get a sampler set that has scents of a few different types (floral, exotic, etc.) and that looks pretty. Something you might think is very pleasing might drive her nose crazy (e.g., me, vanilla, apples), so it's best to let her pick, and a sampler is ideal for that.

Then she'll know what she likes or what type she likes, and then on the next occasion you can buy her a bigger bottle.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:13 PM
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Something you might think is very pleasing might drive her nose crazy (e.g., me

I'm honestly not sure Ned would want his fiancee to smell like you Cala.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:14 PM
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Oh, I definitely wouldn't get anything for her without her trying it on first. I haven't bought her a single article of clothing in 4 years. Only earrings and once, a pendant. She never wears perfume anyway.

I just like the idea of being a person who is recognizable by his cologne, or gender-neutral non-girly scent.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:15 PM
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I smell very nice.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:15 PM
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Or so the mullahs would have you believe.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:16 PM
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A good perfume on a man can be really, really hott. My honey now occasionally wears Terre d'Hermès; I had given him a choice between a couple of different ones!

He puts it on in a very different way than I would, though. Instead of spritzing it delicately at teh pulse-points, he seems to want to treat it like an aftershave, with the result that it gets all over my face after we kiss and I'll smell him on me for hours after he leaves in the morning.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:17 PM
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Me smell pretty some day.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:17 PM
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Ned hasn't listened to the song in 245.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:17 PM
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Here's where Sifu tries to get Cala to send him a certain article of unwashed clothing.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:17 PM
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Cala, send me your soiled bats.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:18 PM
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My honey now occasionally wears Terre d'Hermès; I had given him a choice between a couple of different ones!

Oh, JM.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:22 PM
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I note that Golem 100 by Alfred Bester also concerns perfume, murder, and orgies. It isn't, however, a particularly good book.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:23 PM
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This discussion reminds me of the worst I have ever smelled.

By way of indirect illustration, I took a photograph of my leg that day, and above my sock, my leg (normally white as the endpapers of prestige literary fiction) was the color of a dirt road.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:23 PM
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What's the consensus of the laydeez here? Is there an expectation that a man should wear a scent?

No, not at all. There's no expectation beyond basic hygiene (which is not only expected but required). Too many men's colognes have a faux-manly scent, which doesn't always leave a favourable impression on the laydeez.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:32 PM
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I suspect the perfume/cologne industry is a racket, but Givenchy's Pour Homme (Red) is heavenly. Um. Laydeez.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:33 PM
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the worst I have ever smelled

For me, that would have to be the day the manure spreader broke down...


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:34 PM
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Is there an expectation that a man should wear a scent?

Only if he's trying to pass for a skeezy FOB foreigner.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:34 PM
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No, ogged, he likes it!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:35 PM
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Well, sure; he is a skeezy FOB furner.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:37 PM
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Of course he likes it, JM, he's Iranian. You're supposed to help him get over it, you enabler.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:37 PM
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He has US passport, is classy guy!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:39 PM
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Does he play for the Eagles? Because they stink right now.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:40 PM
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Houshmanzadeh plays for Cincinnati.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:47 PM
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Not that anyone cares anymore, but in 217 "Louis Napoleon" s/b "Louis Philippe". God, I must have been a lot drunker than I thought last night.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 5:35 AM
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They should have just kept numbering them, maybe with asterisks if they weren't in the main series. Louis CLXII* and Louis LXXVII* or something like that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 5:43 AM
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Is B. going to be wearing this scent to DC?
http://www.smellmeand.com/

Talk about orgy inducing.

My wife likes Jo Malone.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:11 PM
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If B wears that, then ogged, or someone simply must wear Sécrétions Magnifiques (you'll have to click on parfums and then find it in the list). Isn't the label art lovely? (These folks actually make a scent I really like: Jasmine et Cigarette.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 1:11 PM
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Oh. That was me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 1:14 PM
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That website is hysterical, oudemia. I hope I can sniff at some of these perfumes at Sephora.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 4:59 PM
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