Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Enneagram 4w5: The Bohemian

Although my recent Enneagram scores are still ambiguous (4w5, 4w3, 5w4), I'm going with my latest highest score, the four wing five Bohemian.

Here's the description on Morbid Romantic blog:

Type Four: The Individualist
Romantic, Individualist, Artist

Driven by a desire to understand themselves and find a place in the world they often fear that they have no identity or personal significance.

Fours embrace individualism and are often profoundly creative and intuitive. However, they have a habit of withdrawing to internalize, searching desperately inside themselves for something they never find and creating a spiral of depression.

The corresponding ‘deadly sin’ of Fours is Envy and their ‘holy idea’ or essence is Holy Origin. Under stress Fours express qualities of Twos and when relaxed qualities of Ones.

Four with a Five Wing: The Bohemian

Healthy 4w5’s brings profound creativity and insights of the intrapsychic sort. Their emotions are more under-the-surface than 4w3’s, and more private modes of communication (such as writing) are preferred. They have intellectual as well as emotional insights and can often synthesize experiences into something intensely personal yet timeless.

Average 4w5’s are devoted to cultivation of a personal worldview, often by philosophical or artistic means. They are more likely than the 4w3’s to be reclusive and out-of-touch with the greater social world, and to compensate they adopt unconventional/eccentric ways of life. They can be purposefully obscure and enigmatic in their expressions, then have an elitist and contemptuous view of those who failed to understand them. They tend to withdraw for prolonged periods under stress which can leave them further isolated. As a result, they are prone to hallucinatory states and total alienation.

Unhealthy 4w5’s inhabit a terrifying fantasy-world of their own creation. Their emotional torments are turned inward, causing severe depression and self-destructive thoughts. While average 4w5’s can romanticize death, unhealthy 4w5’s plunge into it.

(Image: www.enneagrambook.com)


(Edited to add) I found another interesting link here: Oldham's Personality Styles

I'm not sure what to make of all this yet but this site considers 4w5 and 5w4 sx variant to correlate to INTJ and INTP, while 4w5 sp correlates to INFJ and INFP.

Also, this site provides some insight on the topic of MBTI and Enneagram: The Enneagram and the MBTI: In Search of Common Ground, Part 3. Here, Type 4 is correlated with both INTJ and INFJ said to share inferior sensing. I'd say this is accurate at least in terms of Si being my least favored function (and it says so on every cognitive test I've taken thus far).


Related links:
INFJ and the ISTJ Shadow - 8/14/10 Pink Manhattan

INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3A posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

INFJ Female - The Final Frontier Pt. 2 posted on Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vera Wang Rock Princess (2009)

Rock Princess (2009), the new launch by Vera Wang is described as a dark Fruity Floral evocative of downtown East Village, except it's not the most original idea but a spinoff of the hit fragrance Vera Wang Princess (2006) which featured fruits, flowers, forbidden woods, musk and dark chocolate. Of course I was intrigued when I'd heard it would be a dark Fruity Floral because (and I'll try to put it humbly but can't promise) my own rockin' indie perfume creation (no longer produced) which I launched at a gig at a rock club, called Unreleased Mix aka Persephone (New York, 2006) was a dark Fruity Floral (Oriental) featuring royal purple flowers, pomegranate, natural Mysore sandalwood CO2 and dark chocolate, all notes I love, in a combination I find appealing. The limited edition Rock Princess also features fruits and flowers on a sweet, woody-vanillic-musk base, but compared to the original Princess smells to my nose woodier and more powdery, more of a woody Floral Oriental scent with fruit notes rather than like a straight Fruity Floral if you ask me. It smells like the love child between Princess, Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy, Chloé by Chloé (the newer one), Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Bath & Body Works Blackberry Amber and Chocolate Amber body sprays among other familiar fragrances. Overall, it smells like a typical patchouli-based fruity scent: sweet and a little bit dusty due to the wood notes combined with a flowery heart. Personally, like I said, I'd categorize it as another Floral Oriental gourmand, but the amplified floral heart might seem more "Floral" to some.

Let's begin by analyzing the fruit notes in Rock Princess. When I first sprayed it, I instantly got the blueberry-melon (maybe pikake) smell of Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy. This is a very fruit-focused scent, and I'd describe it as tangy and juicy. Then, it quickly turned powdery sweet and woody-dusty, sort of like Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb or Chanel Allure Sensuelle, all the while with the fruits and flowers getting more heady and intense. Rock Princess also has a rich floral heart, giving it a sort of '80s vibe. Throughout the dry down, I get the typical patchouli base in so many fragrances out there. The patchouli base I can smell in the original Princess is backed up by some kind of other wood (synthetic sandalwood or perhaps vetiver) and yummy notes. Finally, it dries down to the above smells mixed with a soapy and heady floral scent, reminiscent of Chloé. The major difference between Princess and Rock Princess seems to be that Rock Princess is a bit perfumier, maybe a bit aldehydic with a creamy cupcake note imbedded somewhere, and lily-like heady florals intensifying towards the end. Honestly, I think it smells very similar to Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Hot. I like it, although if it didn't have the name and didn't come in the heavy heart-shaped black and silver marbled bottle topped by a spiky metal crown which I'll admit is very cute, I might not have bothered with it. For now, I'm enjoying it - it's my new Spring '09 scent, one I got unsniffed. In it, I'm channeling the bubbly and talented Demi Lovato more than any act emerging from the actual East Village of NYC. If Vera Wang ever decides to launch one called Rock Queen, I'd be all over it in a New York nanosecond as well.

MBTI Angel - In his words re: Jung Function Theory

(Concrete Jungle by Alex Cybriwsky, www.allposters.com)

My sweet, smart, spiritual and very helpful MBTI angel has spoken once again! With his permission, I post his reply to me in hopes that you, too, will find clarity in understanding your true fit type. I've come to understand that sometimes, different systems interpret the Jung functions differently (for example, how the Ti and Te functional descriptions can be reversed through interpretation, whereas the ability to relate things is given credit to Te on some sites and to Ti on other sites, and how the conflict between T and F can sometimes be interpreted as the conflict between J and P, thus making me a cusp type between INFJ and INTJ (INxJ) on some tests and then the cusp between INTJ and INTP (testing as INTx on other tests). But in the end, these systems might be arriving at the same goals using different methods. In the end, we're all connected and have all of these functions within us! What have I gained from the knowledge? I strive to be less focused on my own views and defensive of the logic I think I see all the time, to loosen up and develop more empathy even as my logic (my perceived sense of well-being) seems to be getting screwed by irrationality. You know? I seem to remember reading somewhere that an INTJ doesn't bother laughing at a joke unless it was really funny. If that's true, 90% of New Yorkers would be INTJ. Maybe living in an urban area for extended periods of time will do a number on the psyche - what we learn to do to thrive in a city characteristic of survival of the slickest. You ain't pullin' the wool over my eyes, buddy! Come spend some time in this concrete jungle and you might understand. Sometimes, it's enough to make you cry.

Here's what he had to say:

"I think what is going on here is the following.

"You have a very strong Ti - a need to know how things work. You have a strong Te - a need to know how things relate. Your Te seems to be less developed than your Ti, but still very effective. You have a strong Ni - the need to ask why. You also have a strong Ne - a need to explore possibilities. Your strong Fi will cause you to feel strongly about your curiosities.

"Because of these things, you're not fitting into any of the molds very well. You don't have to fit into them. Everyone is unique, and the MBTI is a very generalized system. While a lot people fit well into these archetypes, textbook fits are rare.

"I don't even fit into them perfectly. My preference order is Ni ≈ Fe > Fi ≥ Ti ≈ Se ≥ Ne > Te ≈ Si. I have strong capacity down to Ne, and good capacity with Te and Si. Clearly, this is not the standard formula for an INFJ. INFJ is just my best fit.

"In your case, Ti > Ni > Te > Fi > Ne > Se> Fe> Si is very difficult to find a best fit for. The closest fit seems to be INTJ since you are Ni > Te > Fi > Se. But, you have a very strong Ti preference and your Ne is stronger than your Se, which means you're also going to have some very INTP tendencies, and depending on which function is more useful to a cognitive solution will behave more like one or the other. At times when your feelings become strong, you'll even seem a little like more an INFP.

"None of these types define you. You define them. The cognitive processes you have developed are your own. The types are just summations of common patterns in cognitive preference. Your pattern isn't especially common. In trying to find an explanation for why you are so unique, you've followed your need to ask why and explore possibilities to figure out how you work and how the parts relate. You found the actual pieces that make up these MBTI types, and in doing so have found a way to truly understand how you work and how these parts relate - because you don't fit the mold. You've proven you are who you are by this process. I am happy for you to have found such a degree of enlightenment and self awareness!

"But... if you don't want to bother explaining all of this to people, I'd just tell them that you're an INTJ. It's your closest fit, and gives people the initial sense of your personality that they are seeking when they ask about your MBTI. If someone wants to know more, then tell them that you have a strong Ti preference, and Ne is not too far behind your other INTJ functions. Most importantly, use it as an opportunity to explain to them the truth that no external definition is going to change the nature of a person. ;-)"


Update posted on March 31, 2009: Enneagram 4w5: The Bohemian

Related topic: Myers-Briggs, INTJ, and Autistics posted on June 16th, 2007, NTs are Weird blog - An Autistic's View of the World, thiswayoflife.org

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Clarification of the 8 Jungian Functions and why INTJ = Ti and INFJ = Fi

(Image: Goth Angel - Christian Art, mattstone.blogs.com)

UPDATE: MBTI Angel - In his words re: Jung Function Theory posted Sunday, March 29, 2009.


This is amazing info! Anyone who's confused about the meaning, or the point, of the Myers Briggs (MBTI), and anyone who's struggled as I have in finding out whether they're INFJ or INTJ, or a cusp between any of the types, would find this European site enlightening. INTJ is Ti (Introverted Thinking) and INFJ is Fi (introverted feeling)! I know that conflicts with lots of other interpretations out there but give this site a chance to explain: The 8 personality types - A description of the 8 Jung functions

If for any reason you can't access the link, here are the MBTI types and their primary functions:
Ni (introverted intuition) = INTP, INFP
Ne (extraverted intuition) = ENTJ, ENFJ
Ti (introverted thinking) = INTJ, ISTJ
Te (extraverted thinking) = ENTP, ESTP
Fi (introverted feeling) = INFJ, ISFJ
Fe (extraverted feeling) = ENFP, ESFP
Si (introverted sensing) = ISTP, ISFP
Se (extraverted sensing) = ESTJ, ESFJ

MBTI preferential order, schmorder - the strength of the function is the primary function, the embodiment of the type.

The tests which measured my cognitive functions and assessed me as having strong Te were wrong! My strongest function is clearly Ti. We're being confused by the different interpretations of the functions depending on which site we use!

With so many interpretatons out there, it's no wonder my MBTI angel dude and I have been at odds in assessing my type as INFJ or INTJ. When he'd said he heard in me Ti, that was the correct assessment. Based on the descriptions of Ti (introverted thinking) and Te (extraverted thinking) on another Jungian functions site, it sounded like it was Te that I was using to come to logical conclusions, but according to this site I just discovered, what was described as Te seems to be their decription of the function of the Ti (introverted thinking = interpreting spatial thinking, making logical conclusions which are often causally directed, making just rational judgments with subjective interpretation, interpreting relations, observing changes in own way of thinking, awareness of the self). The description and interpretation of the functions on this site ring true to me, since I recognize myself, or my favored function, in the description of the Ti which I know I use to make decisions with. However, Ti being my favored function over Te doesn't make me an INFJ as you might think. According to this site, INTJ is the very embodiment of Ti.

Likewise, according to their interpretation, INFJ is the embodiment of Fi. Although many tests have proven me to score as INFJ, the crux of my argument is, I believe some tests predicting me to be INFJ are in fact saying I function as INTJ anyway, based on their assessment of my favoring the use of Ti over Te. Accordingly, INFJ isn't more Fe than Fi but clearly vice versa.

This makes total sense to me, as do the many other descptions of the other functions and their correlating MBTI types, at least based on my experience with the people I know and the kinds of relationships I've had with them. Granted, this conviction is in large part based on my subjective-rational Ti reasoning; you can take what you will from that. Although my understanding of the functions could still change if an even more convincing definition or argument comes my way, for now, I feel like I've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - what to me is sense, or coherence.

Now, I have no idea how all this correlates to the Enneagram and my supposed type which has been defined as Type 4w3 based on my third testing (Updated March 31, 2009: Enneagram 4w5: The Bohemian). I've read somewhere this correlates to the Socionics INFp (which is the same as an INFJ), but then, how does that tie into my self-assessment of being an INTJ? They probably don't connect anywhere, and the two systems of assessing personality are just measuring different things (Enneagram calculating motivation, not primary thought function as the MBTI is supposed to do). I thought it was interesting to note, however, that Type 4w3 is said to dress stylishly (or at least with originality and creativity), and even occasionally to have a Goth bend. I do love me some black clothes (though this may just be a New York thing).

Related link: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

Friday, March 27, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Springtime in New York - Featured review: Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom

Featured review as promised: Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom (and for all you fragrance posters on the blogs and forums out there - please don't abbreviate the word "Japanese" when you talk about this scent...thank you.) :-/

Read: NY Fragrance Examiner: Springtime in New York - Featured review: Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On a Break

I'll be back after a short break while I mourn the loss of Bishop Reverend Raymond A. Jenkins of Refuge of Hope and Deliverance Church, Bronx, NY. My condolences go out to the whole family.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AOL News: Spider Man Saves Austistic Boy

Great story!

AOL News: Thai 'Spider-Man' Saves Boy in Peril, March 24, 2009

INTJ Female - the Final Frontier (for Now)

(Image: www.all-creatures.org)

Yet another UPDATE: INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3A posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UPDATE: INFJ Female - The Final Frontier Pt. 2 posted on Friday, April 10, 2009

(Update - a must read! Clarification of the 8 Jungian Functions and why INTJ = Ti and INFJ = Fi posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009)


So, my MBTI angel changed his mind after I sent him my cognitive function test results and told me I'm INTJ after all. Funny - I was just getting used to the idea of being INFJ. I don't mind being ambiguous if I can just go on being both INTJ and INFJ without people wanting to put me neatly into a box. Then again, maybe not. My own need for closure kicks in. God knows we can't fit real people into stereotypes of any kind because we're much more complex than any test allows us to be, yet I needed to know where I could belong if I had to. Now that I know I'm an INTJ, here's what you need to know about INTJs. INTJs are sensitive, emotional, romantic types who don't like to advertise this fact, and in fact would (or I should say "might" and not speak for all others) put up any wall so you don't see us for the sensitive beings we are. Like many of my friends, both online and off, who are INTJ lawyers, medical practitioners, animal rights activists and romance novelists, I live for love and genuinely care about the world, but I also happen to be shy about showing this true nature. I also have an excellent sense of logic, to the point where it is a need of mine to fulfill it. I also have Introverted Intuition (which my angel friend calls the "Jedi" in us) to guide me, whether I'm accessing my Introverted Feeling and Extroverted Sensing, or my tertiary functions. They all fuse together as one brain and make me the unique individual I am. But tonight, as my test result showed me to have strong Extraverted Thinking (Te) along with Introverted Feeling (Fi), it seems clear I'm an INTJ, not INFJ as the official MBTI Instrument test I took at the Myers Briggs Foundation had indicated. I should have known based on my own song lyrics who I am at the core:

From "All Dressed Up with No Place to Go":

Dressed up and came here just to get my heart broken
I didn't know you were already spoken for
So no one needs to know
That here I am, all dressed up with no place to go.

See? I keep much of my true feelings to myself and often suffer from it. I'm also a romantic at heart which would explain my Enneagram Type 4 reading. To confirm the accuracies of both MBTI and Enneagram types, Type 4 indicates strong introverted intuition with introverted feeling. I don't know if I have one wing or two, but from what I've researched, it seems both 3 and 5 wings would indicate leanings toward ENTJ or INTJ anyway.

Now, it all makes sense. I've also gone back and taken my MBTI test over and chosen my type, INTJ, over the reported type. I felt it was an imperfect test, since it's unfair to dichotomize compassion and logic in all instances. Life should not be lived based on generalizations of how we'd react in any given situation. On a related note, take for instance the question asking to choose between justice and mercy. The question doesn't take into consideration that sometimes, justice itself calls for mercy. I see complexities and gray areas, all things in context. I want most of all to be a person full of compassion but I know sometimes, I'm blinded by my own logic, my stumbling block. Sometimes, my logic can help me find something close to universal truth, too, but the loss I feel when I step on others' feelings isn't always worth having it. I am an INTJ.

From www.myersbriggs.org:

Your INTJ Type Description

INTJs have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. They have long-range vision and quickly find meaningful patterns in external events. They are independent, skeptical, and critical and have high standards of competence and performance for themselves and others.

They value health, home, family, and achievement.

INTJs represent approximately 2% of the U.S. population.

Characteristics of INTJs

INTJs have a clear vision of future possibilities.
Their faith in their inner vision can move mountains. Problems only stimulate them—the impossible takes a little longer, but not much.
They quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range plans.
INTJs are relentless innovators.
They make their decisions based on logic and analysis.

INTJs with others

INTJs often present a calm, decisive, and assured face to others.
They may find it difficult to engage in social conversation, preferring to talk about abstract ideas.
Others may find them hard to get to know or even aloof.
INTJs tend to respect only people who meet their high standards of competence.
Because they have high standards and because they are so good at analysis, they may appear critical of others.
They value others who think and act as independently as they do.

INTJs at work

The boldness of INTJs’ Intuition preference may be of immense value in many fields.
They are excellent long-range planners and often rise to positions of leadership in groups or organizations.
They want to see their inspirations worked out in practice, applied, and accepted by the rest of the world.
INTJs drive others almost as hard as they drive themselves.
When necessary, they can focus on the details of a project in order to realize their vision.
They will take charge, organize a job, and carry it through.
INTJs often value and use confidently their intuitive insights in fields such as science, engineering, invention, politics, and philosophy.
They are less satisfied in any job that limits or restricts their vision and innovation.

Potential blind spots for INTJs

If INTJs have not developed their Intuition, they may not take in enough information or may take in only information that fits their inner vision and make poor decisions as a result.
Also, they may concentrate so hard on their goal that they fail to look for other information that might conflict with the goal.
If they have not developed their Thinking preference, INTJs may not have reliable ways of translating their valuable insights into real-world applications.
Also, if their Thinking preference is undeveloped, they will be unable to criticize their inner vision and may not listen to the opinions of others. They will therefore be unable to shape their inspirations into effective action.
Appreciating others may be hard for INTJs, and they may ignore other people's values and feelings.

Related link: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Guerlain Après l’Ondée

By Sali Oguri - Guerlain Apres l'Ondee - Early spring in hues of melancholy

Guerlain Après l’Ondée (1906), a violet-motif fragrance, became the building block of another grand Guerlain masterpiece called L'Heure Bleue (1912), the piano to Après L’Ondée's harp. As musicians sometimes refer to the harp as a naked piano, Apres l'Ondee is a simpler composition compared to its full-bodied and more charismatic sister, and yet the picture it portrays is equally powerful and clear, as a watercolor painting whose colors are intricate hues of blues and violets - Debussy and early jazz.

Après l’Ondée in French means "after the rain (shower)". One of Guerlain's most loveliest, evocative creations, the tender, melancholic blend of shy violets and mossy, wet earth can play one's heartstrings as Itzhak Perlman, Noel Pointer or Yo-Yo Ma can do. Many violet fragrances smell extremely sharp, or hypersweet, sometimes powdery and strangely antiseptic like vintage violet candies (which I'll admit I personally find vile), and sometimes unsweet and watery, like root vegetables still clinging to dirt, but in Après l’Ondée, they smell like the wistful, delicate flowers of the English countryside. The seemingly light, quiet scent actually carries a profundity you might only discover over time, as the dry down stage on your skin reaches full maturity, as you live in it for awhile and get to know it well.

If your patience can hold out as you would sit through a classical or jazz piece, waiting for all the right moments, taking them in within the full context of each piece and performance, you can tune into the deeper nuances of this great masterpiece. Then, you'll find the treaure it held you might have overlooked: a classic house signature Guerlinade base, which according to Now Smell This blog contains bergamot, rose, jasmine, tonka bean, iris, and vanilla. I've smelled Guerlinade on its own and thought it smelled overwhelmingly like lilacs, and perhaps hyacinth - a bouquet of spring flowers so true to their scents that they seemed almost too gaseous to wear. Within the context of each perfume containing it, however, it brings each composition to life, like 9ths, 11ths and 13ths, all the colors of the chordal rainbow with all their infinite overtones sparkling above the tactile realm.

Today, Après l’Ondée is only available in eau de toilette form, and it's increasingly difficult to find. The parfum was discontinued a long time ago, but I've had the chance to sample it, so I will tell you that the parfum version is heavy on the salicylic (wintergreen) element which I did not detect in the eau de toilette.

Glamour.com - They’re Autistic—and They’re in Love

This article was posted on Facebook by my friend Tammy, and I was so moved, I needed to share it here. Please visit Glamour Magazine's website to read: They’re Autistic—and They’re in Love, Lindsey Nebeker and Dave Hamrick each used to wonder if they’d ever find lasting love. Here’s how they came together—and how, side by side, they face the world - February 2, 2009 by Lynn Harris, www.glamour.com

Happy Spring!

Enneagram Type 4

***UPDATE: INFJ Female - The Final Frontier Pt. 2 posted on Friday, April 10, 2009

****Another update: Enneagram Type 4w5: The Bohemian, posted March 31, 2009


So I finally have my answer to the MBTI type quest: I'm an INFJ, Enneagram Type 4 (Artist). I actually had to take the Enneagram test (https://www.enneagraminstitute.com) twice because my results were tied between three different numbers (5, 4 and 3), but I realized that after scoring Type 5 and Type 4 equally the first round, then type 4 and Type 3 equally the second round, the only consistent answer was Type 4. So, then when I found this site (www.enneagram.net) where I found this visual collage of Type 4 (how did Serge Lutens get in there? LOL), I knew this had to be "me". I'm not sure if my wing is 3 or 5 but I'm not concerned with that right now. I just wanted to know if I was more INTJ or INFJ and I believe I have my answer.

If anyone else has struggled with their T/F functions flip-flopping as I have, I hope you'll find some helpful insight in reading about how I came to my own conclusion about my type. I also wanted to say thank you once again to everyone who helped me along this journey to self-discovery! I also have to say, I learned that although people around you can guide you, it's good to remember only you can type yourself in the end, and the answer has to really ring true to you. I hope your quest will be as fulfilling as mine has been.

Related link: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

Friday, March 20, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Robert Piguet Fracas - The classic bombshell perfume

As insecure men would not handle well strong, intelligent women who would make them feel all the more inadequate, so goes the story of Fracas and its many feeble foes. But the mark of a great perfume, as opposed to just a nice one, usually lies in power, the unadulterated concentration in which an ingredient is used, to make the composition unique and instantly memorable...(continued)

Don't miss my featured review of Fracas and the heady, in-your-face odor of feminism! Link to: NY Fragrance Examiner: Robert Piguet Fracas - The classic bombshell perfume


I've been called a bitch when I've backed someone in a corner to get them to back up their side of an argument that they couldn't. I thought maybe it was my strong Feeling function that made me too emotional when I was backing up my side of the argument, but I realize now that it could also have been my strong Thinking function that wanted to win the argument in a just, fair manner, by actually winning the argument by being able to back it up with convincing ideas, which I did. If someone thinks I'm a bitch because I'm a better debater, tough. Maybe it's because I have the better argument to begin with. I'm starting to think I'm an INTJ and not an INFJ after all, since I won't back down just for the sake of maintaining harmonious relationships. I don't feel the need to appease someone just because he thnks nothing of bullying me into changing the game that he knows he started and lost. If he hates it so much, he should learn to become more thick-skinned and debate well, instead of crying foul or resorting to name-calling like a sore loser. He's the type of insecure guy who'll escalate towards more verbal abuse from the starting point where that descriptive word, "bitch", came from. Next thing you know, this misogynist will be telling you to shut up. My advise if you know a guy like this? Avoid. Spare yourself the misery and save your energy for a real man out there who relaxes in the face of your love of mental sparring.

Learn to recognize verbal abuse: Verbal abuse, clinical definitions of various aspects of verbally abusive behaviors, The Pillow Book

Thursday, March 19, 2009

INFJ Female - Mystic Writer (with some rational thoughts)

(Image: Wikimedia Commons, a 1969 copy of Divan e Hafez)

Update: Read my latest post to see how I came to the conclusion that I'm an INFJ: Read Enneagram 4, posted Saturday, March 21, 2009

I realized I could have looked up INFJ on Wikipedia a long time ago to read about the hierarchy of functions being the determining factor of my Myers Briggs type. So, based on some good discussions with family and friends and some more analyses on my own, I've decided INFJ is what I must be, and I guess it makes sense that the music I write and the lyrics to the music I write all have an emotional quality to them. I'm a Feeling extroverter whose Thinking function is turned inwards, which is why my impassioned way of communicating (which could just be that I'm trying to put my abstract thoughts into words and it's not always easy) can intimidate people whose extroverted Thinking and interoverted, or internalized, Feeling functions are strong, who don't understand how someone can raise the emotional output level so high without being upset (because that might be the only way they would be able to sound or appear that way). I thought INTJs tend to crescendo as they make their points, too, but maybe they're not as impassioned in their communication style as FJs are. I don't know. What I'm getting from all this is that INFJs have intense energy. I'm as artsy as they say this type is, but INFJ is also known to do well in the sciences, so that would explain my love of logic and more-or-less structured streams of thought (to make sense, which is always good).

I thought it was interesting to know that INFJ is also known as the Mystic Writer type, since I am spending an awful amount of energy writing these days, which is something I've always loved to do (and draw, too, although I haven't done that regularly in forever, and I'm not particularly good at it, but it's fun). From the stage as a singer to TV and radio airwaves as a presenter, I've worked most of my life as a communicator. I don't know about being mystical, though. It's been awhile since I've had any desire to consult the stars for my fate or uphold a dogma (unless you count my rants against the use of the term "political correctness" as a pejorative and all that stuff as dogmas), but I suppose my subjective or abstract thoughts would be mystical to those whose thoughts are more focused on the objective and tangible. When I hear the word mystical, I think of fatalism, superstition, divination. I'm more into deductive reasoning (which can be seen as future-seeing), following my intuition ("Don't eat that candy!" I rejected my inner voice once to realize the candy tasted like the scented candles it was shipped in a box with - these kinds of future-seeing events happen to me a lot), reading the signs in our world (semiotics and such) and practical (applicable in real life) spirituality.

When I say spirituality, I don't mean common sense because that simply means what the majority accepts as good, which might not actually be good, but a belief in the importance (value) of an on-going, open and progressive discussion - a round table symposium if you will - on what is considered right and good based on shared values, until the ideal solution can be refined and implemented before it's judged again. I'm not a conservative whose drive to uphold tradition is of utmost importance, but an integrator / synthesizer of ideas and people, changing or breaking tradition. But I think I try to conserve the value of human life and its dignity even as I come up with new perspectives and solutions. The belief that such refining of beliefs and values is good could be defined as a brand of spirituality. But this belief of mine is open to change. When I say I'm a spiritual person, I mean the spirit is the energetic part of me that cries out when I'm touched within. If someone's story touches my heart, I could be changed as a person forever. I can be inspired to write ten songs back to back when I'm moved. But I won't value my beliefs for the sake of them being mine. I won't identify with a belief any more than I'd label myself a lover of one genre of music.

If I take a value to heart, it's because that value is connected to real people whose lives - and whose thoughts and feelings - I value. But beliefs are forever refining in my mind even as I hold them true, and beliefs are just ideas - they aren't us and we can own them for as long as they're useful. That said, I would fight back if a value relating to basic human rights is threatened. It makes sense that INFJ is also known as the activist type. I would also analyze a belief or value to see if they can be improved, or what their actual worth might be. Maybe I want to mold the world according to my values while being flexible with my beliefs. I like molding raw materials into art according to my vision, but when it comes to controlling nature or the world, I'd rather find the true solution (of its time, and time will tell whether some beliefs and values are in fact timeless) and change my beliefs accordingly. It seems a good idea to take in and understand more angles and perspectives, getting a clearer, more truthful picture all the time. That kind of wisdom can only help us. So maybe my values don't really change even as my beliefs do. That means beliefs (what we think is true) aren't necessarily based on values (what's important to us). They're separate entities, no matter how intertwined they seem. Maybe beliefs should be objective while values will remain subjective, most likely based on whom and what we love.

Am I 100% sure I'm an INFJ and not INTJ? No, but it seems the outside world sees me more objectively as being INFJ, and sometimes, I need to weigh in the opinions of others, too. Thanks for all your help! Please feel free to weigh in - comments are open.


(Edited to add) INFJ / INTJ - Do you use simple analogies to explain complex theories? This is a helpful link to explain Introverted Intuition: Dominant Introverted Intuition - INTJ & INFJ - What is it like? by Danielle Poirier, www.personalitypathways.com

Read my previous entry on my MBTI type quest: More Thoughts from an INFJ...not INTJ...Female posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009

Update: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Introduction to Semiotics and Ads

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Click on the picture (or this link: http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/semiotics_and_ads/) and visit the home page of the semiotics, advertising, and media web site, a hypertext essay and tutorial on using semiotic techniques to analyze advertising, media, and contemporary culture, created by Tom Streeter for his students in Survey of Mass Media at the University of Vermont.

Featured Review: Naomi Campbell (plus commentary on perfume and semiotics of race)

Featured Review: Naomi Campbell (plus commentary on perfume and semiotics of race)

By Sali Oguri

"Skin scent" - the term connotes something different to everyone, from the silky, creamy vanillas to the various musks from the powdery to the animalic and feral. For some, tropical white florals are their idea of "your skin but better", and for still others, the warm, mysterious ambers or deep woods, with their slightly pungent, earthy / boozy dry downs, are the ticket to perfected "skin". The ideal skin scent is an abstract idea, potentially meaning "clean", "dirty", "naughty", "innocent", "sexy", "comfortable" (in my own skin), etc. - any adjective we can assign to a smell is a valid definition. The fun part of perfume appreciation is that the descriptions are ours to freely conjure, making it a truly personalized and creative art form. It's open to anyone who has the capacity to imagine, and boldness to be true to one's own taste. Examples of my favorite skin scents are Cacharel Noa, Penhaligon's Artemisia and today's featured review, Naomi Campbell.

Celebrity perfumes are often ridiculed but some are created by top noses and are great creations. Naomi Campbell's line of fragrances is probably more popular in Germany than here in the US but it's worth checking out. I especially love the first launch named for the eponymous supermodel: a dewy, seemingly simple yet sophisticatedly complex, natural-smelling and subtle skin scent of a Woody Spicy Oriental. I find it beautiful and versatile, easy to wear from the office to weekend outings. Created in 1999, I think it has a timeless elegance to it as well. I even love the sandy pink color of the bottle that says "Venus" to me. I'd described the scent on my blog as sweet, slightly spicy, powdery and creamy, but to be more precise, it's not an overly sweet Gourmand, nor is it too powdery. It's more of a milky, musk-based, transparent scent like Cacharel Noa with a Mediterranean twist of fig leaves and a subtle yet delicious coconut note. It's not a suntan oil scent but rather like a drinkable skin treatment. It's quite green and vegetal. The beginning stage is a bit sharp, like headspace lilies and prickly herbs, but it settles into a lovely skin scent, like sunkissed bare skin against a manly tweed blazer (I'm picking up on the green, fougere-ish (abstract fern) quality). I wonder if it was taken into account that Naomi Campbell is known to love Christian Dior Diorissimo and Creed Green Irish Tweed, both green scents on the olfactory spectrum. One would guess so, just as well as Sarah Jessica Parker's love of Egyptian musk had played a role in the creation of Lovely, and Jennifer Lopez's love of China Rain had inspired Glow.

I love this scent and highly recommend it to a perfumista looking for a more skin scenty version of L'Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier or Diptyque Philosykos. Of course since "skin scent" is subjective, you may already have the ideal skin scent in either of these two, also featuring fig and coconut. I wonder about the coconut note in Naomi Campbell, whether the inclusion of a tropical note was something added to give it a particularly "sunny" character to fit the idea of an African skin scent from an industry's point of view. I hope the industry realizes we don't want stereotypes in our perfumes. I appreciate that Naomi Campbell smells terrific, not too tropical and not too sweet and vanillic, vanilla being a note so often stereotyped as a black and Latino favorite (just as regional biases exist towards American perfumes), but I still must address semiotics of race and racism in perfume creation and marketing, especially when people in the industry so often defend this practice as artistic freedom.

Too often, I see similar types of scents marketed to the same groups, like how the American radio industry segregates genres of music as unheard of in other countries. From Mariah Carey's perfume to Calvin Klein Secret Obsession, dark beauties are so often coupled with hotness (spice) or images of the tropics and their correlating smells, like coconut. The new Halle Berry Halle perfume including fig will hopefully smell mimosa-centric rather than coconutty, but with the tropical ad campaign, I'm not holding my breath for something vastly different. We also can't forget there's still inclusion of race in subliminal form in perfume ad copies, such as Britney Spears' "blonde woods", or Serge Lutens Serge Noire and its juxtaposition of "white skin" against black elements, an age-old trick to use dichotomies to accentuate differences and set up to make one appear more appealing than the other. Maybe it's your garden variety ignorance, but as we've seen through history, it can be a very ugly trick, and easily passed off as "in your imagination" so people who do this can get away with it.

But hip New Yorkers won't put up with that crap. Plus, the industry has made headway with Beyoncé modeling for Armani Diamonds and Tommy Hilfiger True Star, neither of which are "ethnic" but rather mainstream, sporty American scents. Naomi Campbell's impressive line of a variety of scents beloved by Europeans is a sign of better things to come. In the 1930s, Jean Patou, designer for Josephine Baker, had dedicated Amour Amour, a lilting springlike floral bouquet, to dark-skinned beauties. Not that we should go back to assigning scents to ethnicities like Color Me Beautiful, but if we're going to continue with the celeb perfume fad, let's at least demand the industry to break, not perpetuate, stereotypes one subversive spritz at a time.

Featured review: Naomi Campbell (1999)

Commentary on perfume and semiotics of race and racism: From Britney Spears' perfume to Serge Lutens Serge Noire, we'll discuss it all: NY Fragrance Examiner: Featured Review: Naomi Campbell (plus commentary on perfume and semiotics of race)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Serendipitous: New York Chocolate Lovers' Perfume

New York City is known for its chocolate-loving culture. Perhaps it's most fitting that one of the best, most addictive chocolate perfumes around hails from our very own Serendipity III (Serendipity 3) restaurant, a popular tourist attraction in Manhattan's Upper East Side. I have a special place in my heart for this restaurant because I've got sweet memories of sitting down with friends after school having a foot-long hot dog followed by one of their decadent desserts. They are known for their scrumptious Frozen Hot Chocolate (if you haven't visited the shop to try this, you can buy the mix online). So, it's no wonder Serendipity III came out with their version of the Frozen Hot Chocolate in wearable, sprayable (but non-edible) form, Serendipitous, the perfume...(continued)

Read on: NY Fragrance Examiner: Serendipitous: New York Chocolate Lovers' Perfume

More thoughts from an INFJ...not INTJ...Female

(Image: Skylark by AvantFae, DeviantArt)
I've been visited by an MBTI angel through Facebook who has clarified Myers Briggs for me. As he explained it to me, "Myers Briggs Types are based on the order in which we use our cognitive processes, not the effectiveness of them. When these processes conflict, we usually choose the one with the higher priority". Order - priority under pressure = true core personality - gotcha, makes sense! So, I proceeded to search for clear definitions of the functions themselves, and voila - check out the Jungian Function Theory!! I've never fully comprehended the 8 functions (extroverted sensing, introverted feeling, etc) so I could never assess myself without the use of ready-made tests, but now that the functions are laid out before me, I could see which functions I'm most comfortable with, which ones resonate with "me". I can almost begin to see the people around me and why they think as they do, a new understanding which I'm grateful for. My MBTI mentor-angel person says, based on the little bit I've written back to him regarding my current thoughts on being an INxJ, that I'm INFJ, not INTJ. He says he hears in me Ni - Fe followed by Ti - Se. He may be onto the truth I've been looking for! However, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I took three different tests today and came up ESTJ, INTP and ENFP/ENFJ. Also, I'm still coming up INTJ on two other tests I took recently. He explained: "Having a well developed mind makes it difficult to pin down a type with these tests because they are based on the assumption that the more a function is used the better developed it must be, and do not factor in learning plateaus which eventually cause functions to level out at the individual's capacity. The trick is to figure out the order in which your mind prefers to use them."

I know that when I'm in argumentative mode, my logic (for better or worse - there is such thing as being so overrational you're being irrational) kicks in and becomes more linear, acutely aware of things like order of sequence. It drives me nuts when someone bends logic to suit an emotional argument. I thought that was a Te function, but on the other hand, I am not always a cool and emotionally detached person, either, and care pretty deeply about the world at large from a humanitarian standpoint, very Fe of me. So, I'm about 97% convinced I'm more Idealist than Rational but still questioning. I'm going to study these 8 functions and get back to ya when I have more clarity, hopefully soon.

Update: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

(Edited to add) Yet another UPDATE: INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3A posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My follow-up post: INFJ Female - Mystic Writer (with some rational thoughts), posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009.

Here is my previous post for those of you who are interested: An INTJ Woman's Thoughts on MBTI, posted Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Russian Romantics - One World Symphony Concert March 13 & 15, 2009

One World Symphony
Sung Jin Hong, Artistic Director and Conductor
Christopher Johnson, Pianist
One World Symphony Vocal Artists

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor (1909)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin (highlights)

Friday, March 13, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.
St. Ann and the Holy Trinity
157 Montague Street
(Corner of Clinton)
Brooklyn Heights

Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.
Ansche Chesed Synagogue
251 West 100th Street
(Corner of West End Ave)

General Admission $40
Seniors & Students $30

NY Fragrance Examiner: Juice it up! The Fruity Floral Fountain of Youth

Featured review: Kiton Donna (1997)

Read: NY Fragrance Examiner: Juice it up! The Fruity Floral Fountain of Youth

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An INTJ Woman's Thoughts on MBTI

Yet another UPDATE: INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3A posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Edited to add: Please read my update, More thoughts from an INFJ...not INTJ...Female posted on March 14, 2009.

I was browsing the internet looking for ways to understand why I'd often come up INTJ or INFJ with just 1 - 4% expressed Thinking or Feeling functions. I came across one theory that the Myers-Briggs Typology Test (MBTI) is an indicator test in which the varying degrees of expression within any area of cognitive function are irrelevant, but I believe the numbers are in fact relevant. They tell us the degree in which we're inclined to be more extreme forms of any of the archetypes (and yes, each of the 16 types are archetypes), and the way I'd understood the purpose of the MBTI was to try to round out our own personality so we don't become too extreme. I think we need to be a bit flexible in how we assess the results if we're to grow through MBTI and not simply use it like astrology and other forms of esoteric entertainment.

The reason I understand MBTI as I do could be because I'm (currently, based on the last test I took) an INTJ female, and as an INTJ, my personality tends to synthesize / integrate, not divide / categorize (INFJ is not too different). This is why I have a hard time with music and perfume genre categorization systems - the problem I have is not with particular systems but the idea of systemizing art in and of itself, since I see and hear pieces of everything inside everything. There's a point where definitions and divisions become obsolete, when we begin to realize the commonality between things, beyond preferences or "reality" based on provable facts and data as we know it. I might like music from one genre over others generally speaking, but I could still end up loving a song in a different genre the best because of the qualities in that one particular song. That one song could then be a unique piece of music that can't quite be categorized based on the categorization system implemented at the current time. It all sounds chaotic but really, it isn't. A piece of music or a perfume can easily be something called a crossover, or a fusion, and that is a category if we're to create it. That's another thing we INTJs like to do - create things based on new, at times antithetical, ways of seeing.

It is possible for things to be of two equal parts and not be opposites (male - female to me is a false dichotomy). Also, something can be two things at once and still be one whole, without either part (not really parts but different ways of assessing that whole being) ever losing character. This will get on some people's nerves but let's take music for instance: A musician can effectively play both classical music and jazz authentically - no, undoubtedly not everyone can, but some can, and therefore it is possible such musicians are both classical and jazz musicians, not one who plays one genre as a main genre and the other genre well, as they might like to say Wynton Marsalis does. It's silly to need to put everything in hierarchical order where order does not exist except artificially (based on taste or other subjective opinions).

(Image: by Frocky-tale)
Now, here's the part of me that's very much INFJ, thinking, or feeling if you will, about the ramifications of genre-fying human beings too definitively. As much as I love MBTI but people are not computers based on 0-1 theory but infinitely complex beings. Why can't computers create a single decent piece of music? Because it takes more than logic to create beauty. As one ENFJ who is closest to me in my life says, "There's a little bit of everyone in us all". So, if I come up testing as INTJ one day and INFJ the next, it only means I have elements of both T and F functions going on simultaneously in my psyche (justice vs. mercy = If I choose mercy, does it mean 1. I don't care about justice, and 2. I'll always choose the same way?), not that one assessment is necessarily wrong. A person whose cultural background spans more than two nations or religious backgrounds can perhaps understand this. You may never stop being one in lieu of the other, and asked to choose, it would be like choosing whom you love more between two parents or two children. It's time we gave more credibility to the unique things of the world, without pressuring them to conform, just because it makes sense to us to do so. Perhaps that kind of sense isn't all that sensible when you think about it.

(Edited to add: On the Temperament Test, I scored higher as Catalyst (NF) and second as Theorist (NT). I am an iNxJ. Now, how does all this relate to being whole-brained as opposed to being right or left brained?)

Related link: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Eco-Friendly Scents: Acorelle - Certified Organic Eau de Parfums

Acorelle is an organic (more than 90% organic, 100% natural) brand of fragrances that stands out among the eco-friendly bunch. For one thing, they smell like perfumes, composed and crafted by noses, rather than aromatherapeutic blends by aromatherapists. While many natural and organic fragrances can smell, with all good intentions behind their creations, like muddy, headshoppy and earthy smells, I find the Acorelle line to smell soft, well-rounded and refined. Generally, I appreciate mixed media perfumes in which there's a balance between natural and synthetic ingredients, the best of both worlds if you will, but this grain alcohol-based organic line (which, by the way, is made by the makers of Laurence Dumont perfumes) offers pleasant fragrances that come out of traditional packagings and yet translate easily into our modern world.

My favorite scent in the line is Amande de Ble which reminds me very much of Lostmarc'h Lann-Ael and also a bit of Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Mandorlo di Sicilia, but you may find your own favorites among their 6 choices...

Read more: NY Fragrance Examiner: Eco-Friendly Scents: Acorelle - Certified Organic Eau de Parfums

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

La Sultane de Saba

This article is a featured review at The Examiner: NY Fragrance Examiner: New Orientalism: La Sultane de Saba - perfumed body line from Parisian spa, April 3, 2009

La Sultane de Saba is a line of body fragrances that are sure to please the most discriminating perfume connoisseur. Already a popular line in France, these sensuous Oriental scents are available in Perfumed Body Lotion Spray format. I have one in front of me (in Loukoum, which I will get to later); the tall glass pump bottle resembles the shape of the older Molinard fragrances, in a smooth, simple apothecary design. This Perfumed Body Lotion Spray dispenses a very small amount of light and airy yet rich (and non-greasy), luxurious lotion at a time, making it easier to control the amount of sillage you want to create, as these fragrances are fairly potent.

I'm already addicted to Loukoum, described on Lush Oasis (www.lushoasis.com) as a "Floral Oriental with white almond milk, honey, rose oil, lemon, clove and cinnamon". Sounds delicious? Imagine the romantic and seductive, powdery soft and smoky rose-saffron marriage of Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Kashmirie, with a subtle yet deep, yummy playfulness of honeyed almond and warm spices; this is a fragrance fit for a bride wrapped in sumptuous fabrics in the most royal hues of antique rose.

These soft, fragrant Oriental inspired body milks are also available in:

Soft and Spicy Orientals:
Ayuervedic (amber-vanilla-patchouli)
Cinnamon (spicy-vanillic)
Karite des Isles (Tiare flower, Vanilla and spice)

Classic & Floral Orientals:
Orange Blossom
Citrus Green Tea and Ginger
White Musc

The Orange Blossom is positively intoxicating and pure, among my favorites in the classic collection.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Fragrance to Work 101: Basic etiquette and office-friendly scents


In celebration of Women's History Month and working women worldwide, let's discuss scent in the workplace. This is a controversial topic but I felt it was necessary to discuss what, if any, kind of fragrance would be deemed appropriate for work. Of course much of that depends on where you work and where you're located. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, where an elderly woman was forced off a bus for wearing too much perfume, fragrances were banned in all public places. Obviously, you won't be wafting any scented shampoo there, let alone '80s powerhouse Giorgio perfume. But I believe fragrance can boost confidence in people who love them, and they can be useful tools in making a workday less mundane and more pleasant. We can make wearing fragrance to work work for everyone. (continued)

Read more: NY Fragrance Examiner: Fragrance to Work 101: Basic etiquette and office-friendly scents

Friday, March 06, 2009

Introducing Portland Fragrance Examiner Donna Hathaway!

I'm thrilled to present my good friend in perfumed blogosphere, Donna Hathaway's first article as Portland Fragrance Examiner! Please read her very informative and charming piece, Comfort scents for a rainy winter, part 1. Subscribe, add her as your favorite Examiner to keep up with columns to follow. (Sorry - I fixed the link!)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Political Correctness

It's interesting how a term like "political correctness" can mean completely different things depending on your perspective. For example, political correctness could be the act of caring how another person feels about being called something, or being depicted in what to them is negative light. Political correctness, in this case, is a way thorugh which two people from different cultures can understand where each one's coming from and learn to get along, a pathway to peace, a set of basic manners which in this country, many of us try to be conscious of practicing every day - and because we want to, for those of us who do. I realize this notion is not always acceptable by some people who have other objectives in mind when they use the term political correctness. Those people use the term as a weapon to shut people up.

There is this "accusation of political correctness" to censor people who have any opinions (particularly unpopular ones) for the sake of maintaining the status quo. This anti-PCness can be useful if you're pushing your own political agenda, but it's probably not going to be popular among people who feel it's sometimes more important to rock the boat and speak their mind (takes guts to do - example: people who could say "I'd rather not be called such-and-such because it hurts my feelings") than to fake smile all the way through tea time with one-way-output cult leaders who decide what goes at their elegant little affairs ("Freedom of speech! I'll call you whatever the hell I want at my party"...though they might not say that out loud, lest they seem unruly. Better yet: "You're imagining things!" to invalidate what you said). The term "political correctness" can then be used as a weapon when people with strong opinions speak out, especially if a provocative topic is presented to them. Be careful of taking the bait at such functions. People who use the term in this way don't want opposition to their agenda, so they convince others that being too politically correct makes people distastefully opinionated for an upper social class community. They can say anything to you or about you and if you're a nice person, you're just supposed to take it.

So, it's too PC to speak up for oneself or those without a voice, but not too PC to never have an opinion for the sake of being polite in polite company? This would not go over well among my circle of friends. We're not afraid of the odor of racism, sexism, ageism, feminism, or snobbery and superficiality for that matter. We're not living with rose-colored glasses on. The term political correctness is, in the end, the act of being polite. Having manners is not really about looking like you belong to a social class because it makes you feel special. Having manners is really about caring not just what others think but how they feel, how what we say and do affect them, and it's so simple, anyone could practice it if they genuinely wanted to.


“The pejorative term 'political correctness' was adapted to express disapproval of the enlargement of etiquette to cover all people, in spite of this being a principle to which all Americans claim to subscribe” --Judith S. Marin


“The two pillars of 'political correctness' are:

a) willful ignorance

b) a steadfast refusal to face the truth” --George MacDonald

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Coming Soon: Star Trek Perfumes by Genki Wear, Spring 2009

Tiberius is coming this Spring! Don't miss my rant regarding Pon Farr, their idea for a Star Trek Women's fragrance: NY Fragrance Examiner: Coming Soon: Star Trek Perfumes by Genki Wear, Spring 2009


Edited to add the latest feedback on my Pon Farr rant (this is funny): Sandalwood and Musk, with Overtones of Ham, Angel Bedhead

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Sephora sampling: March 2009 Top Picks

This article is a collection of reviews, some of which you've read here on Pink Manhattan and some new (Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse, Calvin Klein Secret Obsession, Ed Hardy Love & Luck), plus sale codes and a list of recommendations to sniff @ Sephora. Link here: NY Fragrance Examiner: Sephora sampling: March 2009 Top Picks

Versace Baby Rose Jeans

March 3rd is Doll's Festival (Girls' Day) in Japan (hinamatsuri), and so I decided to write a super girly post. Versace Baby Rose Jeans is really a perfume marketed as a fragrance for children, but since most people here in NY don't put perfume on their kids, I think it's OK for adults to wear these kids' scents. Besides, it smells really nice! I wish I'd tried it out sooner. Baby Rose Jeans is a sweet, powdery scent, what I might describe as a modernized Jean-Charles Brosseau Ombre Rose. I smell a bit of violet along with the heart of rose (although rose never seems to be actually listed in any of the notes I come across), a hint of peach and a sweet, almost heliotropic, woody-vanillic type of base. There's some musk in here as well. It's a soft scent (timbre-wise and concentration-wise, but I still wouldn't go spritzing away like I couldn't overdo it). If it were stronger and more "grown up", it could be Lancôme Trésor or Magnifique - it's that type of powdery, rose-violetty, rich and sweet, orangey-peachy-flowery scent. For me, Baby Rose Jeans is the most non-cloying and wearable of this genre.

Osmoz lists these notes:
Versace Baby Rose Jeans (1995, Floral)
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Peach, Green note
Heart notes: Carnation, Ylang-Ylang, Orchid, Orris
Base note: Sandal, Cedar, Vanilla, Vetiver

I've also seen listed on other sites: mandarin, hyacinth, freesia and neroli.


For more Hina Matsuri images: click here.

(Image: Images de Parfums)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I know this has been passed around for awhile but it's still funny...Pass it on - long live Joe Cocker and rock n' roll!!

Click on the pic. Thanks to Fred for the forward!

NY Fragrance Examiner: Spicy Florals Part 2: The science of smelling 12 lbs. thinner

Get the skinny from Dr. Avery Gilbert! NY Fragrance Examiner: Spicy Florals Part 2: The science of smelling 12 lbs. thinner

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March 2009 Top Favorites

(Image: Svetlana Berisova, prima ballerina for the Royal Ballet of England) I feel as though I'm walking on a tightrope between my current loves at polar opposite ends of the olfactory spectrum. I want deep and warm and/ or spicy, mysterious scents on one hand, and on the other, soft, light, clear and straightforward, optimistic scents. I'm probably false-dichotomizing my own taste preferences, but duality is fun. Winter hasn't left New York City yet, but we're experiencing warmer temps, in the 50s on some days, bringing us closer towards spring. Soon enough, I'll be pulling out my trench coat to wear with these boots again. While the world around me turns up the colors of the season, I'm still rocking in black and white...and occasionally, the palest, girliest ballet pink I'll never apologize for loving. Here's my current list of favorite fragrances for the first of March, 2009:

1. Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
2. Sali Oguri Persephone New York
3. Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan Purrfume
4. Benefit Maybe Baby
5. L'Occitane Almond Blossom Dew
6. Naomi Campbell
7. Yardley English Lavender
8. Floris Malmaison
9. Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Iris Poudre
10. Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

I may revisit Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, Guerlain Metallica, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons, although I haven't been in the mood for flowery florals, citrus florals, violets or tobacco-leather in general. Chypre, nouveau or classic, is off my radar.

The most popular perfume search on Pink Manhattan last month was Issey Miyake L'eau d'Issey Une Goutte de Nuage (A Drop of Cloud). It has dominated the stats since I posted my review on February 10, 2009.

(Image: Carrier Belleuse Pierre Ballerina With A Black Cat)