Or like sweet, mildly patchouli-tinged oranges, anyway. I wanted to open the fragrance-oriented section of my blog with something simple. I’ll get esoteric later. If you’re only here for the polish, well, it’ll be back on the 31st. I haven’t had the chance to redo my nails in a few days, and also have had a couple of broken nails I’m hoping to grow out enough to groom back into shape.
Let’s talk a little about perfume and scented things (there will not be a quiz):
I own a lot of perfume. Most of it consists of oils from various companies, and most of those are from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. However, as with most things, I am primarily a gourmand-type in my consumption habits rather than a gourmet — I will test virtually anything at least once if it sounds interesting. I love smelling things, and if you ever happen to go shopping with me, you may notice that I often beeline for the sections of stores with things to sniff and will absent-mindedly pick up almost anything scented at least once, even if I’ve smelled it before and disliked it. I spend a lot of time experiencing the world through my nose, puppy-like.
This is what I chose to wear today.
Meet Tibetan Mountain Temple. This is a solid perfume from a company called Pacifica. This solid and a decant of the matching spray are the only two things I own by this company, as most of their fragrances don’t appeal to my nose.
Here’s the description of the notes from their site:
Vetiver and Indonesian Patchouli are the base of this tranquil, incense-like blend, while Ginger sits lightly in the middle and Orange provides expansive lift for these distinctive essential oils.
I find it appealing in a comforting and inoffensive way, which, since I spent the last couple of days at work in a moderately warm and very active environment, is very important. It’s easy to reapply through the day, won’t spill, and I have not yet had any difficulty with it melting. Softening, yes, and in more extreme temperatures, it might melt, but I have not personally had that experience, even kept in a jacket pocket.
On me, the scent is primarily sweet and spicy orange with a bit of patchouli and ginger. It doesn’t last too long, and doesn’t have a very heavy throw, or at least, when I’ve worn it no one has ever commented on it unless I’ve stuck my wrists in their face and yelled, “SNIFF MY ARM. I SMELL GOOD.” (note: this does not actually happen.) There is only the faintest hint of vetiver, smoky and deep, but compared to most of my other experiences with the note, it is so light as to be invisible. I am very okay with that.
I could not with any honesty say that it reminds me of the visual that I get when I think of Tibetan temples. I would expect, while possibly an array of similar notes, something much darker and smokier perhaps with a bit of peat, tea, and much stronger woody notes. That said, I do like this. It’s simple and bright and doesn’t require much thought.
I bought this at a spa in the Portland airport, but Pacifica can be found at a variety of places. Mid-range gift shops like Fireworks will usually have some of their products, as well as various other similar boutiques. Bath & beauty-type shops (and sometimes even department stores with bath & body areas) will often have some of the candles or soaps, and of course, you can always order online.
Let’s kick this off with a goofy name for a fairly pretty skittles-style manicure. I had just gotten all but one of these in a package from Beautometry that morning, and absolutely could not resist putting them all on. Please forgive my relatively terrible application; I’m still working on my “technique”.
I have huge weaknesses for gray polishes and bright and sparkly holos, so I did a sort of gray-to-black ombre manicure, plus a little hit of red at the end for punch. From left to right: Glitter Gal 3D Holographic in Silver, a-England Ascalon, Pretty & Polished Black Swan, and Glitter Gal Shade Shifters Soft Daybreak with one coat of GG 3D Holo Silver on top. Invisible on the thumb is one coat of Zoya Dove under a layer of Glitter Gal 3D Holo Light As A Feather, which is a soft gray holo that is gorgeous in person, but looked like a vaguely sparkly gray polish in every photo I took. Bah.
Linear, scattered, scattered, linear. It was a brilliant afternoon when I left the house, so these are in bright sunlight. This and the last one show off Black Swan & Ascalon’s holo sparkle the best, I think.
This one really shows off the Silver holo’s glow. One thing that I was unable to capture is the lovely lavender duochrome that Ascalon displays, most especially in the shade or indoors. In certain lights it looks entirely purple, which was pretty amusing at times, as you might expect.
Look at the gleam on that last finger. And yet I’m a little sad that I went for the full holohands look — Daybreak on its own is a beautiful coppery/brick-red shimmer with a blue-green duochrome plus occasional purple and pink gleams. Chalkboard Nails has some gorgeous swatches of it by itself and over black, which shows the other glory of the Shade Shifters line. Also, I could have called the mani “Daybreak on the Holo Deck”, which would have been especially silly. :)
The black holo, as I mentioned is Black Swan by Pretty & Polished, a wonderful indie company. I’ve got a few of their other polishes, and they’re fantastic. You’ll definitely be seeing more later.
The three Glitter Gal polishes and the a-England are available at Beautometry, as well as Llarowe and Ninja Polish, as well as possibly other independent retailers. I’m not going to say they’re cheap, because they are not, but, hey, if you can, why the hell not? I’m a pretty stodgy believer in spending money on what makes you happy, if you can.
All polishes were purchased by me for my own purposes.
Now for a brief conversation about why I like to paint my nails:
I used to bite my nails to an extreme degree. After I stopped and my nails recovered, I took a considerable delight in painting them, mostly borrowing my friend’s polishes, and often in gothic shades — midnight blue, forest green, royal purple, blood-red, glitter black. After a while I lost interest, got distracted, and my nails were usually bare, though I accumulated a few bottles as a matter of habit. For a long time, my gender identification was such that I avoided participating in many habits that I considered traditionally feminine. Then a couple of years ago, I regained some comfort in the art of being femme and began to pursue an interest in makeup and this included painting my nails.
It is not a stretch to say that nail painting is pretty symbolic for me. I still have three years to go before I reach the point where the biting is no longer over half my life. Mmm, stress-driven self-harm. Some days it’s nice to celebrate the ending of certain habits. It helps to drive home the fact that habits can be changed.
Now, my ducklings, I am going to go finish watching Gosford Park, because it’s delighting me with all the marvelous British household drama. Awkward kissing for the win!