STARSHINE ~ JICKY by Guerlain

Celebrity+graves+Westwood+Village+8xsgMqUuLBBl

Hot red lipstick kisses on cold white marble. Scott was suddenly moved to silent weeping  by that expression of love and farewell expressed by countless lips that had be pressed as near as possible to what was left of Marilyn Monroe.

The tears took him by surprise.

“Dude look he’s crying.”  Three angelic punked out skateboarders who on occasion glided into Westwood Village Memorial Park stood in a slouching tableau looking about as out of place as Roman Catholic priests on roller skates in a fashion show.

“Shush, be quiet man, he’s mourning her.”

The tears were not for the woman whose image graced his childhood bedroom walls, not really, it was more than that.  He had just six months ago divorced his husband and recently the one who loved him without question or judgement had passed. Miss Opal Gardner, his sweet dog. That was part of it yes, but deep down, below all of that recent pain, he could feel that he was morning something much more significant, something lost.

  ***

He heard the rumble of distaste that always accompanied his father’s entrance into the kitchen. His father would find Scotty every morning wrapped up in dreams of an escape to New York, submerged to his eyebrows in a world of movie made glamour behind is copy of Vogue magazine.

Scotty read Vogue and Andy Warhol’s Interview religiously and always at the breakfast table.  How could you not start a day in the suburbs of Philadelphia any other way? At least that was how little Scotty looked at it. Someday his middle-class truck driver dad would get it, would understand. Would not scowl and disapprove. Every morning with with his father’s rumble Scotty breathed in that hope. His father’s disapproval was once again deflected with the armor of glamour that was Vogue.

Vogue 1954 restored

Just about the only physical palpable magic at home was his mother’s perfume that enveloped him in layers of dreaminess. He would watch her applying her makeup for her Saturday night out.  Durring her fascinating transformation into something chic and glamorous he would wait for the final thrilling moment that Yves Saint Laurent shared with him in the forbidden exotic bottle. Opium! Yet this small amount of magic wasn’t enough for the outsider child who didn’t know how to make friends, who when he looked at Marilyn Monroe’s champagne shine knew that when he grew up, he wanted to be a hairdresser. He loved his parents and with an understanding beyond his years he knew that to them he was like a baby from Mars that was left on their front porch as a present they had no idea how to unwrap.

little scotty

The only place he truly could be himself, to step out of his star in disguise outfit he wore every day and shine was at his Godmother’s house.  The most magical place of his childhood. The walls of her bathroom were covered in autographs of old movie stars. Real autographs she had collected over the years. Judy, and Joan, Gable and Grable, Lana and Lucy. And so many more names he knew nothing about. But the glamour of that room and the magic in its walls seduced him. He made it his business to learn from is Godmother who each and every one of those stars where and just where they hung in the heavens of Hollywood. On Saturday mornings he would watch old movies on TV with her. It was his graduate school of glamour. The perfume that permeated her home, that enshrined the stars he came to love while watching with his Godmother the dreams they wove into his soul was, Shalimar.

“You know what Scotty,” She said to him one day while they watched Clark Gable and Marilyn drive off into the starry Nevada night.  “You have what Gable had. Something rare and beautiful. Starshine.”

***

The tryptic of skateboarders were gone now and he was alone with her. Maybe she wouldn’t mind if he took a selfie with her? Snap!

“Guardate qui è. Ora guarda bella con la rosa rossa. Giovane che si sa che è sepolto qui? Una grande stella, Marilyn Monroe.”

An old couple perhaps in their eighties sat down on the bench next to him and began a conversation with Scott as if he understood Italian. He smiled, he listened.

“ Siamo venuti da Italia a pagare il nostro rispetto per lei.”

It was suddenly joyous, Fellini had joined them and was directing the fadeout. Scott hugged the old couple.

“Puzzi meraviglioso. Si indossa Jicky.”

Scott laughed he somehow understood. “Yes I am wearing Jicky, It is a drug, it is a dream it is…magic.”

He said goodbye put his sad thoughts away and with Marilyn in his pocket walked out of the cemetery toward the next dream that waited for him in his blessed and lucky life.

300 x 200 me 2012

SCOTT PATRIC

 ***

Like Scott Patric said to the Italian couple, Jicky is a drug, a dream, it is magic. Created in 1889 by Aime Guerlain there are many stories associated with its creation. The most charming and melancholy is that he was inspired by lovely English girl Aime met while at university in England. But most likely he named it after his uncle Jacques whose nickname was Jicky. Aime is also the nose behind the beautiful Eau de Cologne du Coq, and several others from the Belle Epoch.

Yes it is of the gilded age, the belle epoch of Paris but it is anything but old and dated. Jicky is vibrant, rich and MODERN. Created in a time in perfumery when there were no genders applied to perfume…everyone wore Jicky. This fragrance in both its parfum and eau de toilet forms is spectacular on both men and women. It is of the now and always will be.

It opens with an herbal twang of rosemary blended in with mandarin orange, bergamot and lemon. Nice and safe yes? Not so fast there is something else, something coming up from eh bottom notes that just can’t wait to shine and sing. The spices and leather. List in the bottom they move forward in to the fading opening notes and take the lead of the middle notes.

The mid being a silky dark and dirty orris root that the leather notes latch on to. Brilliant. The spices from the base sift in with basil and Tonka creating a layer of swirling intoxicating vapors, a veil that blithely blankets each body it embraces creating a comforting caressing touch. A dry dusting of lavender on the petals of jasmine give it sparkle.

In the dry down the Leather and spices keep it warm and sensuous. There is sandalwood to add creamy smoothness along with a dash of vanilla, shimmering sunset amber and benzoin keep the embers of this masterpiece glowing long into the wee hours of its life.

Longevity for me is epic. Hours upon hours of bliss. The projection is at first impressive at about three feet then pulls in to about 18 inches for the long run. Perfect for a lady or gentleman who wants to give off an air of sophistication without the bullhorn. Jicky is something not everyone will love, it is different, challenging and more complex than most modern fragrances out there today. And yet for those of us who love the great classic perfumes of France it is essential.

Thanks to Scott Patric for sharing his memories of perfume and magic and for reminding me that Jicky is indeed wonder and bliss in a beautiful bottle.

1cb84552129bdbfd780ed20700de507f

GOODMORNING STARSHINE!

THREE A.M. ~ Dior Homme by Christian Dior

dior_logo

Her eyes were half closed in her trademark lets make love look. With  lips that shimmied and shimmered in a lush Max Factor red lipstick, she seemed to be reaching out from the screen and all the way up to the second row in the third balcony of Radio City Music Hall. She was looking at him and only him.

“The French are glad to die for love.

They delight in fighting duels.

But I prefer a man who lives,

And gives expensive……”

Jules…..Jules….JULES!”

“Huh? What?” he mumbled half awake trying to figure out where she went?

“You are singing in your sleep again.”  His wife said overflowing with three a.m. frustration. “Gentleman may prefer blondes but I prefer that you didn’t do showtunes in the middle of the night.”

“Sorry honey….” Jules whispered and waited.

A heavy sigh was her reply. He took quiet short breaths until he could hear her low adenoidal snore. He turned over in the bed toward the glow streaming though the window of Manhattan after midnight.

“Hi!” She was tangled in white sheets and propped up on one elbow right next to him in the bed. “Who’s the grumpy tomato? She doesn’t like showtunes?”

MarilynMonroe1961

(Photograph by Douglas Kirkland)

He squinted and then rubbed his eyes.

“Well?” she said not in her breathy movie voice but in her own natural and beautiful voice, a voice melodic with a hint of melancholy and on the edge of laughter.

“ah….no she likes showtunes… it’s just that I can’t sing.”

“Nonesense! I think you sing like Frank.”

“Frank?”

“Sinatra silly!” she laughed and pulled the sheet up a little higher over her bosom, lifted her head to the left and looked over his shoulder.  “You didn’t answer my first question, who’s the tomato?”

“Believe me, she’s no tomato she’s my wife.”

Was she really here he wondered. Did it really matter? Don’t question the night just keep talking.

“How did you get in here?”

“I don’t know.” She looked up at the sleep tossed lock of champagne blonde hair hanging down over her right eye. With a crooked kiss she blew it back into its cinemascope ready place.   “I just turned over and here you are.”

“Me too!” His eyes wandered slightly. “Don’t you have anything on?”

She wiggled her shoulders and gifted him with that sleepy half lidded smile. “Just this sheet, and some perfume.”

They talked until the sky began to brighten.

At 6:30 the alarm went off and he woke up slightly dazed and a little dazzled. His wife moaned. He hit the buzzer and then hit the shower. While dressing for the office he remembered her from the night before and smiled. What a strange and somehow lovely dream it had been.

He absently picked a white Brooks Brothers shirt from where it lay folded with the others in the cedar closet.

There it was as real as sunlight and twice as lovely, a red lipstick kiss on the back inside of the collar. He put the shirt on . He could almost feel her lips brush the back of his neck. For the rest of the day he could smell the luscious Max Factor red lipstick kiss from Marilyn Monroe

tumblr_kuf2u6OR1g1qap2iko1_500

*****************************

Dior Homme is a man’s fragrance famous for it’s lipstick on your collar smell that trails and lingers about a man’s neck like the playful fingers of a beautiful woman.  When you first put it on, it entwines into your hair and runs along the pulse points of the body in a warm sensuous touch that is both sexy and enticing. The amazing thing is how simply masculine it is and that is all about the Iris and falling in love with a man’s skin.

The fragrance opens with a dry hills sage smell warmed buy a summer sun. This is layered over by bright bergamot citrus zing and clean fresh lavender. This hangs around for a very short time just setting you up for the main players.

From deep in the base opens smooth refined leather note that encases the middle notes like a finely made Dior handbag. Yes it smells a bit like the inside of a woman’s purse. And in that purse is a right rich, lush and powdery scent of make-up. This aroma specifically reminds me of the old Max Factor pancake makeup my mother used to wear in the 50’s and 60’s. The make-up scent is carried off by the Iris which is huge but not overbearing. Then with the addition of cacao there comes a waxy sensual lipstick smell which is enriched with a very deep and luxe amber. It is so well designed that I find myself sniffing my wrist repeatedly in the first of many hours of long wear.

I know what you are thinking, Lipstick, makeup and masculine? How can that be?  It is all in the base where the testosterone resides and pumps relentlessly up and into the fragrance giving it its more masculine edge. Vetiver all rooty and rough mixes it up with a punch-drunk patchouli. These boys hit the dry down with the afore mentioned refined and long lasting  leather, The three carry Dior Homme into a lingering finale. At this point I found that from time to time it would  on occasion, rise up to envelop me as if my body heat had revived it from the dead long after I thought it was finished.

Dior Homme surprised me. I originally bought it to use as a layering scent, something to give oomph and panache to more understated scents like for instance, Dior Bois D’Argent. (That is a stunning combo created by my friend, Dior Fragrance Specialist Hilary Randall). But what I found it that this fragrance which is dearly loved by the online fragrance community is a stunning standalone beauty. It is complex in its simplicity, chic and sleekly masculine in its style, And it says something, that something is: I am Dior Homme, women love to wear me but they love it even more when you wear me.

 Robert-Pattinson-Dior-Homme-Fragrance

Dior Homme Five Gold Stars *****

MEMORY ~ Marilyn in August

When Clark Gable, my mothers childhood idol died in 1961 I saw my mother cry for the first time…and I didn’t understand why. A year later I understood.

(little me)

Early on the Sunday Morning of August 5 1962 I was sitting at the breakfast table eating a bowl of Trix.  With Motion Picture magazine open before me, I was reading all about the adventures of Liz and Dick in Rome. That summer I was so engrossed in the incredible drama and getting a real education at twelve all about morals and Hollywood, and how mean the ladies on my block could be about a divorcee. Liz and my Mother were the most famous divorced women that anyone on my block knew of. Between them they kept the hens of Orchid Street clucking and pecking for hours.  Suddenly in a crackly transistor radio second  Shelly Fabares’ Johnny Angel was cut off by the announcer. “Actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead this morning in her Brentwood Home……..” I burst into stinging tears.

All I could think was…”Gee if only she had known me I could’a helped her.” I found out over the years that lots of kids thought that very same thought. My friend Lane’s brother Cameron who was turning 12 wanted only one thing for his birthday on that very August 5th and that one thing was Marilyn Monroe, nothing else, just Marilyn. Imagine how HE felt when he heard the news.

Later that day my father picked me up for mandatory visitation. When I got into the car he noticed my red rimmed eyes. “What’cu been crying about now?”

“Marilyn Monroe” I barely managed to whisper her name. I knew what was coming but I at least owed her the courage of the truth. Someone owed her some kind of respect or something on this day….didn’t they?

Geez kid what are you crying over her for? She was a dumb stupid lush and a slut. Grow up and be a man!  She ain’t worth thinking about. She was just a dime a dozen movie star. Geez you and your damn stupid movie stars. Stop being such a sissy for Christ sake or I will give you something to really cry about!”

The best thing my Mother ever did when it came to my father was to divorce him.

I knew deep in my gut that he was wrong, that Marilyn was worth thinking about. She had changed us by being on the screen. Especially those of us who were children in her time on earth, children who were in trouble, unloved, abandoned, different.  She spoke to us in ways adults couldn’t hear. And we understood and loved her for it. She was one of us.

 

(MARILYN ESCORTED TO THE PREMIER OF “RIVER OF NO RETURN” BY HER CO-STAR TOMMY RETTIG)

But with her gone I had no role model. On that Sunday morning as I rode beside my father in the Chevy Bel Air on the way to the beach in Santa Monica we passed under a bridge on Olympic Blvd, the old deco bridge that connected the two lots at Twentieth Century Fox.   There across the bridge in huge gold letters a word shimmered with the promise of what would change my life for ever. “CLEOPATRA” it screamed. “Coming Soon!”.

That is another story.

  • Blog Stats

    • 223,100 hits