Saturday, March 11, 2006


excuse me while i interrupt. . .

or, now for something completely different. of course, it's not really completely different, because i'm enjoying one of my all-time-favorite coffees, don schoenholt's gillies famed sumatra lintong "kuda mas," the triple-picked, japanese prep bean that's fantastic in the french press.

i'm mailing this in today, so just google the blog for historical info on this coffee, or just run over to gilliescoffee.com and get ready to enjoy. which i'm doing now, as a luscious americano.

yesterday being just a gorgeous june-type day, i ran out on a fast errand to one of the best and least known places in all of nyc, the famed aedes de venusta, the cult perfume store.

long-time readers know i've spent the last few years cupping a lot of coffee, which has required me to pretty much keep the scents light and infrequent. but boy howdy do i love perfume.

in fact, i'm quite the 'fume fancier, and i love the perfume blogs like nowsmellthis. many people are surprised when i tell them these are my favorite blogs -- they expect me to say some food blog or something.

but no -- foodies have a different sensibility than we coffee people do. the 'fumies are like us javaheads: passionate, sensual, romantic, discriminating, elegant, articulate, even nearly decadent in our love for the rarest and the finest.

the vocabulary of coffee is often compared to wine, and shares many of the same bases, but actually, i find its usage and spirit closer to that of perfume. as scaa chief ted lingle often remarks, "coffee cupping is a test of olfaction, while wine tasting is an exercise in gustation."

see -- it's all about the nose.

anyway, i found myself out of all scent and went into the gorgeous little diana-vreeland hell that is aedes -- if you don't recognize this as the highest level of compliment, you're not an aedes-type person -- played with the dogs, talked to robert (who drifted by like beau brummel in his impeccable black summer cashmere), said hi to miguel (does he ever take that baseball cap off?), and then had an audience with karl.

karl is a very special person, who radiates sweetness and a deep love of scent. he has the amazing ability to talk to you, stand next to you, sniff your hand, and then confidently but gently recommend perfumes that prove to wear better on you than you would most likely choose yourself.

anyway, karl and i were talking about what would be a close substitute for some 'fumes i've long worn but which have been discontinued. karl knows i have a weakness for tuberose, and he showed me the shalini, in the amazing gorgeous lalique bottle he's keeping in a special case.

oh, it's ineffable.

of course, it's also US$900, but as miguel remarked, you apparently get most of that back and sometimes more by selling the empty bottle to the crazed collectors on ebay.

anyway, thank goodness i love karl and am happy to give him my money, because i left with serge lutens' sa majeste la rose and fleurs d'oranger, also l'artisan perfumeur's delicate and bewitching safran troublant, as well as montale's vanille, and le prince jardinier bouton de rose.

it was the talk of the perfume bottles actually that made my thoughtful. i have quite a few, much to my husband's consternation.

ok, not quite 40. well, if you count those little guerlain gilt-lozenge purse atomizers, maybe just 45. but i don't think any are particularly rare!

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