I Need a Raincoat

Portland Essentials

Getting used to a new city is taking me a while, especially considering that previously, I lived in the same place for 18 years. I knew the city and surrounding country inside out, and had friends in every nook and cranny. Here, not so much.

That’s not to say I’m not liking Portland–au contraire! Old, established cities are so beautiful. I love being able to walk downtown and see architecture from various different eras all mingling together. And it’s so green down here, which has a little bit to do with the weather. That’s where I’m a bit baffled. I’ve never had to deal with rain before. And as much research as I did before I moved, reading about rain is not the same as walking out of my building to a facefull of drizzle.

Walking in the rain is one of my favorite things to do–for now. I have a hunch that halfway through November, it’s going to be mighty dull. So I need to stock up: chic raincoat and waterproof walking boots definitely, and ideally a new bag, grin-inducing umbrella and bright scarves. I’ve already eyed some of the Burberry trench coats at Nordstrom (like that’s gonna happen), and I’ve located some boots that I like at DSW (I already have some rad rubber ones for when it pours). The rest will come as it may–I’m still looking for the perfect bag.

I’m excited to start finding vintage stores and thrift shops and other cool places around here. One of them is bound to have the perfect raincoat. Raincoats of Portland, beware: I’m coming after you.


Please Stand By


Hello, lovely readers– Just wanted to let you know that I’ve moved (to Portland!) and will start graduate school next week, so posting may be a bit wonky until I get a new routine worked out. In the meantime, I’ll keep a lookout for Nubby, Winona, and Camille as I explore a new city. Cheers!

Seeing Double

Two questions:

» If you’re going to buy cheap necklaces of dubious quality, why would you pay more for the Express version when you can find the same thing at Forever 21? I also found a version of the tassel necklace at Hot Topic–I don’t know about you, but I am much more likely to buy jewelry that looks different, more personal. Sometimes I think fashion retailers take trends too literally, and it seems like lately they’ve been even more unimaginative.

» Are we going to get a prom-queen smackdown out of this? Somewhere, a stylist is going to pay. (Though I do think the dress suits Pink a lot better.)

[photos courtesy of rollingstone.com, forever21.com and express.com]

In Pursuit of Perfume: YSL Opium

Like Dior Poison, YSL Opium assaults the nose on first contact. Seriously, it reeks of alcohol and poison, and while softer scents take a while to break down, Opium stayed full-strength for a couple hours at least. When it did, it started smelling of cinnamon, almost soft with some bitter on the side (but that might be my skin). It was intruiging, but kind of off-putting at the same time–almost Poison Lite.

Who is this for? Somebody who wants a drastic change from florals, but who doesn’t want to be obnoxious about it. It would be fun to wear this with a frilly dress and mary janes, to balance out any latent girlishness. Opium is formal smelling, so it would probably work best in a structured environment, but you might be able to get away with it for a casual outfit because of the patchouli.

» Breakdown: Mandarin orange, Bergamot, Lily of the valley. Jasmine, Carnation, Myrrh. Vanilla, Patchouli, Opoponaux, Amber.

» Does it pass The Brother Test? Didn’t get a chance to ask him. Doubtful, though.

» Verdict: In the middle between intense and obnoxious, providing you don’t spray on too much. Not my favorite.

In Pursuit of Perfume: Vera Wang Princess

20 February 2009 <!–enna–> Edit

Vera Wang Princess was definitely not as “prissy prissy princess” as I expected: not too strong, not too floral. It’s very feminine and almost old-fashioned; it made me want to dress up in gloves and a hat and throw a tea party. It almost reminds me of a white wine, like a Sauvingnon Blanc, with a salty/smoky flavor in the background. It’s definitely not too sweet, not overpowering or cloying–the word that came to mind was mellow (but not in a drug trip kind of way). I think it’s the dark chocolate and musk; they temper the assertiveness of the flower scents. For some strange reason I am reminded of markers, and I don’t know why.

Unlike Flowerbomb, Princess doesn’t diffuse too far and invade a room. It would be a good one to use if you were a nurse, I think, because it would counteract hospital-y smells but not make anyone sneeze with its invasiveness.

The bottle is really pretty. The heart shape seems like it would be hard to use, but it’s not, and would look really swelegant on a dressing table.

» Breakdown: Water Lily, Lady Apple, Mandarin Meringue, Golden Apricot Skin, Ripe Pink Guava, Tahitian Flower, Wild Tuberose, Dark Chocolate, Pink Frosting Accord, Precious Amber, Forbidden Woods, Royal Musk Captive, Chiffon Vanilla.

» Does it pass The Brother Test? “Light. If I don’t hate it, it must be good.”

» Verdict: Laid-ba