Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Thoughts on MBTI, Passive-Aggression






Are you or someone you know passive-aggressive? Read about the symptoms: Passive-Aggressive Pattern

INTJ, INFJ, ENTJ, ENFJ, INTP, INFP, ENTP, ENFP, ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTP, ISFP, ESTP, ESFP - this is for all of us! I've learned that passive-aggression isn't just the domain of the Feeling types within the MBTI (Myers-Briggs personality types) as I've come across many Thinking types with the same personality defect. I'm sure I have some traits in myself being somewhat of an avoidant when it comes to toxic people, but is that really passive-aggression, to try to avoid passive-aggressive people? I don't understand people who see conflict resolution as "negative" and would rather seethe in private until hell breaks loose in the form of sarcasm (or ambiguous statements to keep you guessing what they really mean = making you insecure) or mind games (stingy with kindness yet think they give more than take, won't support anything you do but will graciously take any support coming their way, throwing compliments about others in your face but never you). I don't understand people who try to stir trouble on purpose (inserting drama, or just giving you extra things to do or think about when they know you'll be busy, leaving the car door open in the middle of winter because he needs to pump gas and you're sitting inside staying warm) or frustrate people for the fun of it (to test reactions, to get under your skin and have them on your mind that way = they "win"); yet, there are intelligent people who do this. It's a quiet power trip where one need not think of oneself as being a bully or a control freak, since it's done in such a covert, indirect, subversive way. Too bad the people who do this don't know how transparent they and their insecurities are when they do it. It's done out of hurt ("I can't do it anyway") and so the person being passive-aggressive might not even realize how much it hurts another person, which makes it even easier to make excuses like "I didn't mean to hurt anyone", thus staying perfectly innocent while all the while playing the villain (which might make them happy in achieving some identity besides "loser"). Sadly, they also expect everyone else to be the same way (projection) and have difficulty maintaining relationships.

It's twisted, I know. Intelligence and confidence don't go hand in hand, and it's sad when people think self-confidence should be "earned" rather than something everyone needs to have. Remember the old adage that we need to first love ourselves so we can love others? It's true. Confidence is a love for self so that we don't need valuation from others. When we have that, we don't need to feel small and lash out at others in this indirect way (because anger will come out in some shape or form). If you really want to be a lover of people, don't end up burdening others with this passive-aggression which, like alcoholism, always hurts others more than it hurts you. It's better to face conflict and be direct; that way, you not only build more confidence along the way but also trust in the eyes of others.



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Revlon Jontue

Please visit my article @ The Examiner where New York's Great Recession project continues: NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Revlon Jontue - femininity, dreams and surrender to fantasy

Revlon Jontue (1975) was a drugstore perfume I'd always wished I could wear. I loved the romantic, voluptuous floralcy of it, but on me, it never smelled too nice. So, I wore Charlie (1973) instead, a drier, woodier and greener type of Floral scent marketed to career women of the '70s who dared to wear pants (shock!!). Jontue was obviously marketed to appeal to the most romantic girly girl women in many of us, whether or not we publicly display this side of us in everyday life. Like many girls, I was a pink addict when I was growing up, until I turned into an angsty teenager, and then all the delicate pale pink was replaced by my love of black. Today, I'd say I've achieved a good integration of the two sides of me. Still, I know I'll forever be attracted to the soft and dreamy, stereotypical representation of femininity in our culture as epitomized by Revlon Jontue. Even if I know the concept of femininty is subjective, I'm drawn to it like I'm searching for a part of myself I wish I could recover once again. Ah - maybe what I search for is that thing called innocence. Jontue is, above all, a perfume that semiotocally bound femininity with innocence forever in our minds with the dreamy, soft focus imagery of submission and surrender to fantasy.

Jontue is described as "a tender bouquet of white flowers" on Revlon's site (www.revlon.com). White florals such as gardenia, jasmine, orange blossom and tuberose are among my favorite notes in perfumery. One would imagine such a composition would be perfect as a wedding perfume. Indeed, Jontue is a low end version of the white floral (Floral family bordering on or within the Green family) perfumes that have consistently sold very well in this country such as Estée Lauder Beautiful (1985) and Perry Ellis for Women (1985). If you're familiar with the ad campaign for Beautiful, you know they've capitalized on the wedding theme. Notice, too, that the same message in ethereal pale tones has been captured in the imagery for Jontue: white horses, billowy summer dresses and nature. As soft as its imagery, this is a sharp yet gentle fragrance, not rich and powdery, it has a crispness that I enjoy. This is a perfume made for a madonna, a loving person with tenderness to give.

Here are the notes according to Revlon.com:
Top Notes: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Rose, Gardenia
Mid Notes: Sage, Tuberose, Mimosa, Geranium, Ylang
Dry Down: Benzoin, Musk, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouly

Jung Explorer Test


Check out the Jung Explorer Test! It measures your actualized type (who you are), preferred type (who you want to be) and who you're attracted to. According to this test, both my actualized type and preferred type are INTJ. Finally, some consistency in my answers. I won't tell you which type they said I'm attracted to, but let's just say my answer was interesting...

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, April 27, 2009

Revlon Enjoli


The most vivid memory I have of Revlon Enjoli is through its mention in an article by Jhumpa Lahiri in "Remembrance of Things Psssst: Confessions of a Fragrance Fanatic" in the December 2000 issue of Allure magazine. In it, she'd written that her mother's personal favorite perfume which she'd travel with (a whole bottle in her purse - just like a perfumista) was Nina (the original circa 1987) by Nina Rocci, but that she's always taken boxes of Revlon Enjoli back home to India to give as gifts. The article had left such a strong impression on me, I sought out Enjoli to smell. Of course I wasn't expecting it to be a prestige perfume, since I was already familiar with many drugstore perfumes by Revlon: Charlie and Jontue being the most familiar to me. Enjoli seems to be hard-to-find now, as I had to go through extensive search to get my little bottle. It seems easier to find online.

Revlon Enjoli (1978) is supposedly jasmine-based, but to me, it doesn't smell of jasmine flowers per se. Example of jasmine-smelling fragrances would be (for those of you who remember) Tatiana by Diane von Furstenburg, or one of those Healing Garden scents simply called Jasmine. Enjoli is a somewhat complex (for a low-end perfume) composition with heavy florals with a rich, heavy ambery base, all leaning towards Green. It smells like Revlon Intimate and Jontue together: the tuberose-based white floralcy borrowed from Jontue, and the somewhat spicy, ambery-woody, almost Chypre (mossy) aspect from Intimate. Overall, it's a good scent, but I can't tolerate the very heavily floral and musky dry down stage. However, if you're in the mood for a retro-classic Floral Oriental-Woody (described as Floral but to me, it's on the heavy side, though not very sweet) with focus on musky woody-ambery notes (almost leathery or animalic in a way, just less so (more aftershave-y) than many high end perfumes in the same category), Enjoli is an inexpensive yet lovely way to experience American style "exoticism" (sounds like Anjali, a Sanskrit word meaning "divine offering").

Notes on www.revlon.com:
Revlon Enjoli - The essence of having it all. A modern blend of exotic florals and musk notes.
Top Notes: Hyacinth, Tuberose, Galbanum
Mid Notes: Jasmine, Tuberose, Rose, Lily of the Valley
Dry Down: Sandalwood, Amber, Oakmoss, Musk

This article is today's featured review @ The Examiner as part of an on-going series, New York's Great Recession: NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Revlon Enjoli, divine offering in American Sanskrit


Chanel Coco

(This article is today's featured review @ The Examiner: NY Fragrance Examiner: Chanel Coco - roses like wine, intoxicating chic)

Chanel Coco (1984) has previously been described on my blog as a uniquely beautiful and sophisticated rose-amber with Mysore sandalwood, a hint of leather and sultry white florals with spices and peach topping off the daring, elegant Oriental blend. It's full of character and to be experienced in parfum if possible. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little more in depth about this gorgeous now-classic number, one to be worn with that little black dress created and made iconic by designer Coco Chanel. Coco parfum was one of my most cherished gifts from my mother who gave it to me on my 25th birthday, saying a young woman destined to go places deserved to wear not just a nice perfume but a great perfume, one with elegance, prestige and a bold, attention-getting (she always thought I could stand out more - that's a stage Mom for you) and unique quality. I remember cutting the string holding the glass cap tightly to the neck of the flacon, the famous Chanel bottleneck adorning a black Chanel logo choker, releasing its sultry aroma and feeling a bit more worldly than I had been just moments before. I wore Coco everywhere I needed confidence, from auditions to work, to negotiate a new contract. I wore Coco to my singing gigs from the Yale Club to Le Cirque, to every fancy destination in the Tri-State area knowing it would be appropriate to wear, and yet it wouldn't skimp on sex appeal and drama. Warm, spicy, dazzling, a little boozy and romantic with a heart of rose...intoxicating yet chic, I loved the complex intensity and the sense of inner power it allowed me to tune into and possess.

A perfume like Coco is so much the epitome of what perfume should be, it can intimidate some less daring fragrance wearers. For instance, I once wore it to a casual gathering place in Queens, a restaurant / watering hole where a young woman about my age at the time turned to me from the bar, gave me a once-over (me wearing a little black dress, she in T-shirt and jeans) and commented that I smelled like an old lady perfume. Perhaps what she meant was that Coco was redolent of old leather-bound books that lined the walls of Coco Chanel's living room at her 31 rue Cambon apartment, the room that had inspired the in-house Chanel master perfumer. Before I'd had the chance to feel embarrassed, a young man sitting near us heard the comment directed towards me and told her what she smelled was an expensive, classy perfume. He asked what it was, and I told him it was Chanel Coco. The young lady within earshot didn't have a word to say after that. I have never forgotten this experience because it taught me that a perfume speaks a thousand words. If you're looking to be taken seriously in the world, or if you're hoping to attract someone with a keen sense of refinement, I suspect a subtle dab of Coco wouldn't hurt at all. Of course class isn't what you wear but who you are - I know the kind gentleman who stood up for me that evening could have overdosed on Brut himself, and I would have thought just as highly of him for his heroism alone. Don't get me wrong - this was not a romantic encounter between this handsome prince of a young man and me. Still, would he have had the chance to model for me what gallantry was had it not been for Coco's disturbing, mind-boggling presence? Mom was right about Coco not being a wallflower. Wear Coco, go live the life!




(Image: Chanel Coco ad featuring Shalom Harlow, www.parfumdepub.net)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why Feeling isn't Emotional: More Thoughts on MBTI - Jungian Function Theory

I posted the same thoughts on an INTJ forum (now that the cult induction thread has taken a vacation) and wanted to reiterate here. I wanted to clarify one point since I've been contemplating this all week - the part about F being about emotions. I need to get it through my own thick skull that F is not about being more or less emotional because we all feel, but about how decisions are made based on personal values, meaning judgments are swayed by what's more or less important to a person (value judgments). I suspect we all need to use this at times because we want to protect those who are important to us on a personal level. That doesn't mean Fs are illogical and Ts are unethical. We may seek to judge based on principles addressing human issues on a more global level than a personal one. As impassioned as we may feel about those principles, obviously, that approach can have blind spots when dealing with individuals. As this helpful site suggests, Ts need to remember to respect feeling (values) as important facts. I would add T anF are both rational functions (based on Judging) according to Jung, while S/N are irrational (experience / intuition based on Perceiving).

I've also been thinking about how much more music-oriented I am than lyric-driven in my approach to songwriting. I have things I want to communicate verbally but the music comes easier, and I love music for music, lyrics second or great icing on the cake (but I like the cake). I think, to oversimplify things, what's meant by T is that being systemic thinkers, Ts need logical sense in our communication style whereas F types excel in language and don't care for pure logic. I'm more of a mathematical thinker (primary focus on logic) than a language-based, meaning-oriented one (primary focus on communication style). But for INTJ, the real primary function is N, intuition which helps us with deductive reasoning. S is better at inductive reasoning, all points which are addressed in the link above, explaining how we take in data (Perceiving (S/N) = irrational functions) and decide what to do with it (Judging (T/F) = rational functions).

NY Fragrance Examiner: The power of aroma: New York coffeehouses and Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Mokha




Think Joni Mitchell & Greenwich Village coffeehouses, late night cabbies and the Greek diner take-out cup "to go". There are few things more New York than a cuppa Joe...If you're going to invest in a fragrance, you might as well choose one that works for you and gives something back - I mean something besides memories of NYC landmark coffee houses like Figaro that are no longer around.

New York's Great Recession project @ The Examiner continues: NY Fragrance Examiner: The power of aroma: New York coffeehouses and Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Mokha





Friday, April 24, 2009

Givenchy Ysatis






A power-Chypre made for an ice queen or a coloratura diva, the devastating charm of such a complex blend comes housed in one of the most exquisite bottles in a skyscraper motif ever designed by Pierre Dinand.

Read and experience the classic '80s bombshell: NY Fragrance Examiner: Featured Review: Givenchy Ysatis - '80s Art Deco


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3B


Please follow my latest post: INxJ and Jungian Function Preferences

If I thought the INTJ forums online were nutty, the INFJ board takes the cake. The administrator of the Facebook group for INFJ was apparently OFFENDED that I came back on the thread I'd started regarding Enneagram (a lively thread, I might add), to report back about my recent professional assessment as an INTJ and kicked me out of the group with a sarcastic (the unfunny kind) remark. Leave it to me to manage to get banned from a Facebook group - LOL. Perhaps he wasn't really offended but took my confession as an opportunity to play the bully he doesn't get to play in real life - who knows? If that's how an F reacts, I'd like to say I prefer the self-righteous, ruthlessly objective INTJ style over the passive-aggressive, vindictive INFJ style any day (Read my follow-up entry on passive-aggression). Of course there are mature and immature people within any type, but this kind of emotional reaction communicates how unprincipled some Fs can be, regardless of the stereotype that they're caring, empathetic individuals. I don't understand why what I posted was so horrible and I don't think I ever will since he couldn't share why he was so deeply offended. It hurt my feelings because I'm sensitive, too...but I can shake it off and move on, to be the better man, so-to-speak.

So, getting back to my professional MBTI type assessment through www.mbti.org (www.capt.org), my type professional got back to my questions today, and here's a little snippet of what she had to say: "...in my conversations with other type professionals, they have clarified that physical affection is not necessarily reflective of type. “Thinking” is basically a process of decision making." Well, then www.capt.org needs to fix that part in their own description of the INTJ as not being very affectionate or demonstrative! She continued, "When you make a decision is it from a logical perspective or from a values-driven perspective? When confused about type, I find it most useful to return to the basic questions which define each preference scale. Do you tend to make decisions based on what is most logical and objective, that deals with the basic truth of the matter, or, do you respond on a more personal level...is this ethical and right, how will others take the decision? Which process do you go through first? You may think about both parts of the decision, but consider which is your immediate response. The order matters.

"I am glad that you have determined the type that fits you best. A good thing to do now is to “own” that type. Watch your behavior, especially your decision-making process, over the next few days to confirm that it does make sense". Maybe she's as stumped as I was by my being T or F that she wants me to further try to be self-aware in the next week to verify the type, but I think what happened on the INFJ forum was a blessing in disguise for me to see the dark side of the INFJ type clearly enough to know this could not be me. In my worst moments, I would act more like the in-your-face arrogant INTJ unable to take in other points of views, more than a snake who tries to hit you in the heart with banishment and rejection without some kind of principled reason, to teach a lesson about being lovable. As an INTJ, as unfair as it might have seemed, I've cut people out of my life only if it was clear to me that having connections with them would be harmful to me. It would take a lot before getting me to such a point. A tiff on a forum? I don't like them but sometimes they happen; I have them with people all the time, including people whom I now consider friends. Now, I think it makes sense what is meant by the F type's subjective decision-making process. Those still waters of F may be deep but not necessarily in a good way.

Here's another snippet of the ongoing conversation with my MBTI pro: "...do remember that having a preference for Feeling does not mean that you are necessarily more emotional. It means that you make decisions from a personal place rather than an objective one. Thinking types love and hurt and feel and express joy. Your statement (edit) “...I can be very impassioned when standing behind a conviction." sounds like “Thinking” to me where truth is paramount and justice in upholding convictions is important. While you may wish to ask others who are close to you if they see you as more objective or subjective in your decision making, remember that you know yourself the best. It can be helpful to hear what other people see in you. What sticks out most in my mind from our conversation were more Thinking characteristics".

While my type professional will not dictate my type as it's up to me to decide my own type, she has been helpful in being able to pinpoint the functions within me at work, and to provide new insights. I can now confidently say I'm an INTJ and I'm pretty proud of that fact. :-)

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Related reading: For the INTJ (Promethean temperament), this is a fascinating look at the archetype and symbolism of Prometheus (read more at Iconography of the Prometheus myth by Gregorio Luri Medrano, www.tdd.elisava.net

"The first torch-bearer, Prometheus, is a symbol of philanthropy (this word first appears in Greek in Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound), The light of the flame is like a philanthropic star. In a third-century Prometheic sarcophagus in the Louvre, we see together the clay figure molded by the Titan, the torch, and the star. The reproduction of the act of giving life to man by putting the light from a torch near him is repeated in several varied iconographies. Quite possibly the best representation is Piero di Cosimo's picture Story of Prometheus, painted around 1515. In a detail of the picture we can see the Titan sculpting his own body in stone with the stick of the torch he has used to bring fire to Earth.

"To the extent that Prometheus' action symbolises the inert figure's realisation of consciousness, this gesture may explain Prometheus' liberation from his chains; he had been eternally condemned by Zeus to remain chained to a rock in the Caucasus. In this direction, the torch, the star and the breaking of his chains are found in the origin of an iconography of liberation which is very close to us. To give several examples, I would send the reader to look at the poster for Andre Malraux' film Espoir; the emblem of Blasco Ibáñez' publishing house Editorial Prometeo; the Statue of Liberty in New York; the gilded image of Prometheus bearing fire on the doors of Rockefeller Centre in New York..."


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Read my previous entry: INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3A posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Related links: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

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



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3A


(Prometheus brings Fire to Mankind, www.liechtensteinmuseum.at)


So I took the MBTI again, this time complete with a one hour phone assessment by a certified administrator of the MBTI, and she says I sound like an INTJ! So, there you have it, from a pro! As much as I like to rely on my own objectivity, I realize there are blind spots when it comes to self-critique. I'm glad I went ahead and made the investment, and tomorrow, I should be receiving all my files from www.mbti.org (www.capt.org) explaining to me what it all means in terms of career choices, etc. I'll share what I can with you when they come in. I'm glad to have closure now, even though she's going to send over files for both INTJ and INFJ types just to be sure I'm happy with the result. Apparently, even being a J, I tend to keep my decisions at bay for as long as the matter is too important for me to settle for anything less than perfection, the absolute truth. I'm quite the taskmaster, aren't I?

What I've learned so far is that the written tests don't always tell you your true type. I had actually come up on the written test for the first time as an INFP!! Apparently, when the person I first spoke to (not the MBTI administrator) told me to take the online portion of the test as if it was my weekend to do whatever I felt like doing, I got in a fantasy vacation-y mood and went too far in the P direction. In truth, I like spontaneity when I can control what to be spontaneous about, not when others impose their spontaneous plans onto me! So here I learned that our mood can dictate how we answer the same questions, to come up as different types.

It wasn't till the phone conversation that many fine points about my personality started to emerge, and the MBTI administrator said that in a world where women are expected to be more Feeling-oriented, where women tend to appease (often due to fear), it's rare to find an INTJ woman. This is why the Myers-Briggs tests often assume a woman has more Feeling tendencies to start with. I told her I thought that sort of bias was wrong, and she agreed. I'm not sure if she agreed because she agreed, or if she was being agreeable. Nevertheless, I liked my MBTI administrator, a fellow iNtuitive type. Although we still went back and forth (as expected) over my two rational functions, Thinking and Feeling which seem to fight for dominance in me, in the end, she said she heard lots of T in my decision-making process. Thinking types can deeply care about people, and Feeling types can be extraordinarily logical. When dealing with people, I access my F just as much as I access my S when I'm walking down the street and need to look out for cars. But when she asked me if I fit the mold of an INFJ who would be tuned into a person like a psychic would be, to almost see the entire life story of a person as she spoke, I had to admit she was not on my mind as we spoke. When I was talking with her, I wasn't tuned into her as a person as much as I was tuned into everything she was saying, the insights she brought to the table, how useful they will be to me, and whether everything she said made sense to me. Then again, of course I would be, since I paid for the assessment, wouldn't I? For $150 (plus $30 for the online test), I wasn't there to minister to her but to see if she can do the job! At least I was full of verbal praise and appreciation for her insights - there ya go, an INTJ accessing her F, letting her know she was good at what she loved to do. The difference, perhaps, is that if I were an INFJ, I might have expressed appreciation regardless of perceived competence on her part. Then again, promoting growth in people is important to me, so if we had spoken in person, I might even have offered her a thank you hug!

Which brings me to this: I had a couple of new questions for her, which I hope she'll address tomorrow. They are: 1. Are some INTJs demonstrative and affectionate with loved ones (or people in general but especially loved ones)? Because I am, and I've read INTJs are not that way, and 2. Do INTJs all control their exterior expression to the point where little leaks through? I tend to be pretty real about what I'm feeling, although I prefer to express myself in ways other than simply talking about them, which, of course is my Achilles' heel. Also, I wish I had more self-restraint but I've always been pretty outspoken, too. After all, isn't Prometheus, the Greek god that INTJ is associated with (Promethean temperament) one who brought fire? How could he do that without there being some choleric temperament mixed with phlegmatic? Anyway, I believe that with maturity, I will be an INTJ who accesses her F more and more, which won't change my type but will make me a better overall person. OK, Part 3B is coming tomorrow, so please stay tuned! And please don't be alarmed if she comes back tomorrow saying she thinks I'm an INFJ - LOL!!!

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I found this excellent resource for INTJ and INXJ types: Systems Thinker, www.systemsthinker.com Here, the correlating Enneagram types are also discussed. Scroll all the way down to go straight to the part regarding INXJ, or a blend of INTJ and INFJ.

Myers-Briggs (MBTI) has roots in Jungian Function Theory. Read this related and interesting article regarding Jungian Archetypes .

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Don't miss the update: INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3B, posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Read my previous entry: INFJ Female - The Final Frontier Pt. 2 posted on Friday, April 10, 2009




NY Fragrance Examiner: Miniature Perfumes: how the best things come in small packages




This article is part of New York's Great Recession project @ The Examiner: NY Fragrance Examiner: Miniature Perfumes: how the best things come in small packages




Saturday, April 18, 2009

My April 2009 Top 10 Fragrances & Commentary on the State of New York's Economy


Please visit my Examiner article here: NY Fragrance Examiner: My April 2009 Top 10 Fragrances & Commentary on the State of New York's Economy

My recent visit to the observation deck at the Empire State Building was kind of a shocker. Due to the economy, they've done away with actual guides and have replaced people with a pre-recorded device to carry around. When you push a numbered button, you can hear (although it was barely audible, especially with all the gusty wind up on the 86th floor) a man with the heaviest New York accent you can imagine, telling you about the ethnic duy-voi-sidee of the foods you can experience in the direction of Restaurant Row which you may (or may not) be facing right now. Oy, the cutbacks...and they're especially painful when you realize machines just can't do the job best performed by competent human beings. Thankfully, it's not all bad news here in The Big Apple; while many businesses have closed and / or moved in the past year, some small businesses have thrived - Palomba Academy of Music in The Bronx, a family-owned music school which, thanks to the owner Mike Palomba who takes good care of his talented music teachers and the young rockers and jazzers who take lessons there, got a well-deserved write-up in the Daily News this month, and another family-owned business, Starving Artist Cafe and Gallery on City Island, a haven for local artists who don't live in Manhattan or fancy pads in DUMBO, neighborhoods artists made cool and then were ironically shut out of by rising real estate as rich wanna-be-artists and fashionistas followed them. That said, City Island is a healthy mix of people, some being quite well-to-do in this charming little New England-like town. Starving Artist is a very relaxed and down-to-earth hang (with good food!) and a great local venue to show and sell visual artwork, as well as for musicians from all over the world to come and play (owner Elliott Glick is a musician as well - visit the website on My Space). So, for all the blues we're singing these days, there's still some room for growth in production and creativity.

I wish I found the perfume biz as inspiring. My latest stroll through one of my favorite stores in the city, Sephora, didn't turn out to be fruitful. There just wasn't anything new and exciting to discover, although it was nice to see they'd already gotten the new Vera Wang Rock Princess in stock. I thought there were less people there, too, not just touristwise but I felt there weren't as many staffers on the floor, either. Maybe it was because of Spring Break that the usually bustling Midtown shop seemed rather desolate - for New York, anyway. On the upside, tourism still seems to be booming, as I had the hardest time walking through those congested streets last night. The weather's been beautiful these past couple of days, and I've been happy not needing a heavy coat at night, strutting around in a skirt and fishnets with my rubber-soled Fluevog heels once again.

What fragrances do I wear on such a New York night? I'm in need of a little chutzpah in my fumes as of late, to keep my engine running. Here is my updated Top 10 list of favorites, so enjoy, and come visit us here while we still have some culture and nightlife to offer.

1. Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur
2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
3. L'Instant de Guerlain
4. Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison
5. Naomi Campbell by Naomi Campbell
6. L'Occitane Almond Blossom Dew
7. Vera Wang Rock Princess
8. Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her
9. Santa Maria Novella Tuberosa
10. Momoberry perfume oil (when I want a change of pace from my Pink Manhattan perfume oil)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb



When Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb launched at Saks Fifth Avenue in 2004, I remember seeing the entire block of store windows on full Flowerbomb display, complete with videos running their ads and the Flowerbomb jingle blaring from loudspeakers. I recall feeling the impact of the mannequins dressed up in torn drapes of red, pink and purple fabrics, the billowy chiffon turban on the ad campaign model, all in conjunction with the "bombshell perfume" concept. Everything matched, even their pretty bauble of a bottle in the shape of a hand grenade. I felt for sure this perfume was a statement of some sort, as many images we see in fashion often are vehicles through which designers communicate symbolically, subversively. I also remembered how similar the campaign was to that of Guerlain Chamade (1969) which also had been portrayed as a "bombshell" perfume of sorts, "the drumbeat signaling the moment of surrender" depicted as an image of a burning castle behind a woman with long hair turned upside down. All this is written to express just how powerful this Flowerbomb is, was, and always will be in the minds of those of us who lived through its time. Whether you love the fragrance or not, Flowerbomb was one of the strongest perfume creations to have come out in recent years, one to be remembered for years to follow...

Continue reading: NY Fragrance Examiner: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb - power and impact of the bombshell beauty



Fred Kimmel "Rainy Town" Featuring Sali Oguri Still #2 in Electronic - Trance Top 10 on Broadjam


Fred Kimmel "Rainy Town" featuring sleek vocals by New York indie artist Sali Oguri has remained on Broadjam's Electronic - Trance Top 10 chart at #2 for several weeks on end. We're very pleased that so many people are digging the track, and hope to have some new tracks to present to you soon. Please visit WUJ Productions for more Broadjam chart news and other exciting events coming up (Visit www.wujproductions.com)!

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Click on the banner to check the current standings in Trance.



(Image: photos.igougo.com)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Autism Awareness Month



April is National Autism Awareness Month.


Please visit Autism Society of America , www.autism-society.org
Autism Speaks, www.autismspeaks.org




NY Fragrance Examiner: Keiko Mecheri: Loukhoum plus two new launches of Turkish delight



Featured reviews: Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum (2002), new launches Loukhoum eau Poudrée and Loukhoum Parfum du Soir

Read: NY Fragrance Examiner: Keiko Mecheri: Loukhoum plus two new launches of Turkish delight




Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photograph - Def Leppard




One of the greatest songs of all time - I'll love this cut forever!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Castelbajac - transitional gourmand skin scent



In the past few weeks, I've gotten much more into almond scents than ever before. To be specific, it's ever since I discovered that not all almond scents smell like cherry. Nothing's wrong with cherry, but when I think of almond, I think of a warm and delectable nutty aroma with a bit of tactile softness, like nougat. If I were to compare it to a floral note, I'd say it's in the orange blossom (fleur d'oranger) range. Cherry, on the other hand, smells more intense to me, like violet candy. The difference between the two perceived notes could very well be as simple as concentration of the same base scent.

Castelbajac is among the most pleasant and unique almond-based fragrances I've come across. While it is a Gourmand with a pronounced almond note, it's also what could be considered a "clean" fragrance, or one which reminds me of detergent (or fabric softener, dryer sheet, something to do with laundry). If you remember Clean, the perfume oil roll-on made popular by celebrity wearers a few years back, or Philosoply Amazing Grace with its white musk-based, powdery, synthetic soap smell (the type you might find in some baby products), you might get an idea of what Castelbajac smells like, except it's much sweeter and more intricate than that. Castelbajac is advertised as "the transitional fragrance for adults", probably meaning it's a gateway perfume from teenybopper scents to more serious perfumey perfumes. Personally, I'd stay an "in-betweener" for as long as I'm able to wear fragrances in this niche right here - not too harshly perfumey and not too candyish. demographically, does that fall in the 18-25 age range? More perfume for all ages should be in that range just because I think they smell great, fitting into today's sensibilities and lifestyles.

Castelbajac walks the thin line between the two worlds like a seasoned tight rope acrobat. The additional notes of vanilla, orange blossom, musk and patchouli along with the almond make Castelbajac an easy-to-love-and-wear soft, casual Oriental. It's not too sweet but sweet enough for a Gourmand lover not to feel deprived; it's clean and upscale-smelling enough to give you the feeling you're wearing fragrance and not dessert. Orange blossom, often correlated with "innocence" in perfume (you would find this note in many "children's perfumes"), is an endearing note to give Castelbajac another added touch of Gourmand flavor, French kitchen style. The overall result is a sunny, slightly whimsical but still cool (not frilly), thoroughly modern sensual elixir of a skin scent, one with style and urbane edge.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter



Wishing you and yours a blessed and Happy Easter!

(Western) Easter Sunday is April 12
(Orthodox) Easter Sunday is April 19



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rochas Byzance

Please visit The Examiner where this article is today's featured review: NY Fragrance Examiner: Rochas Byzance: where East meets West in perfume

Byzance - The descriptive word "opulent" was created for this classic perfume by Rochas. Launched in 1987, Byzance, as per their advertisement, is the meeting of East and West, the conceptual idea taken from the Byzantine period (read about the Byzantine Empire on Wiki here). Although this is a very traditional French-style perfume characterized by its complex and powdery Aldehydic nature, it smells to me of traditional Arabian (Eastern, or Oriental) resins and spices, epitomizing the description of the scent of amber as written in this Wiki entry on Perfume: "Amber (Traditional): A large fragrance class featuring the sweet slightly animalic scents of ambergris or labdanum, often combined with vanilla, flowers and woods. Can be enhanced by camphorous oils and incense resins, which bring to mind Victorian era imagery of the Middle East and Far East". So, to me, Byzance is a perfume aptly named for its Floral-Oriental-Ambery-Spicy-Animalic character. It's so potent, I once reviewed it as being the kind of heavy, intoxicating scent I would imagine ancient Egyptian mummies were annointed with when being buried, to help take them over "to the other side".

Warm and rich, highly fragrant and long-lasting, the main characteristic of Byzance is muskiness. Just as John Oakes had envisioned Salome wearing Moschino (original), I imagine her in Byzance. Although Byzance smells unique, I could compare it to other spicy Oriental perfumes such as Calvin Klein Obsession (1985) or Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles (1962), both containing citrus top notes, rich floral hearts, spices and heavy, balsamic, sweet ambery-woody-musky-animalic bases (although Byzance is mellower, less spicy than those two). It can be compared to Boucheron (1988) which followed Byzance just a year after but which became more popular, probably due to Boucheron being more effusively clear and bright whereas Byzance is more Old World dusty and heavy. The basil added to citrus-orange notes in Byzance give it a sharpness while the jasmine-tuberose-Turkish rose heart give it the traditionally floral, emotional resonance. This is a perfume that's jam-packed with everything but the kitchen sink and willingly gives it all away, one slowly revealed, mysterious layer at a time.

Why Hate? — GO Create!




(Image: ¿Yh8? www.yhate.org)



Friday, April 10, 2009

INFJ Female - The Final Frontier Pt. 2



Here's the update! INTJ Female - Final Final Frontier Part 3A posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Haha - well, after alllll those posts about possibly being an INTJ, I think I'm quite certain I'm INFJ! Let's just say I got a clear indication of that during my last little experiment of going to an actual INTJ board to test the waters to see how well I'd swim, and came out bitten and bruised but still OK, with a few new friends and lots of new insights and ideas, and the knowing that I stick out like a sore thumb among them. I definitely learned a lot, and even got some links to a research paper about falling in love, as well as to a You Tube clip of an economist from the '50s. All things aside, I'm glad I had the experience, even if some of the guys I got caught up in a debate about sexism with were in complete denial of the existence of sexism, which got under my skin more than anything else. Oh, no - actually, the worst was the thread where initiation to a cult was being promoted. That was my cue to get the hell outta there! Facebook people, beware. Many MBTI-related sites can be cult-like in their insular, clique-y behavior, so FYI, this is how you know that the bad vibe you feel isn't just you: Every cult leader knows the value of communal reinforcement combined with isolating cult members from contrary ideas.

Many cults tell members to supress "negativity' (emotion), which makes people numb, confused and to experience a paradigm shift. Read more about brainwashing at this link (a Christian site but helpful on topic).

I realized while being there that my in-your-face honesty backed by my resonant F (feeling function being values-based and protective) gets a bit intense for some T types to bear. Although we can all be (brutally at times) honest, when I do it, I tend to step on toes for some reason. They say the Enneagram Type 4 tends to stand out, too, but I am a singer and ex-TV talent - what else is new? It's not like I want to stand out all the time (I am an Introvert), and believe me, if it means making people feel anxious, I don't want to stand out at all. But my voice is strong when I'm getting behind my convictions. It's no wonder the INFJ is identified with people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. This combination of logic and heart is what my MBTI angel meant when he said I was an INFJ...until all those tests I kept taking started indicating so many other possibilities. It was difficult to know which I really was, the INFJ or INTJ, because they're both dominated by Introverted iNtuition, and because my Thinking and Feeling functions are not very pronounced on either side. However, it's clear I use my logic to decipher human relationships, and I care about causes too much to be a purely rational being...not that INTJs are without heart (far from it) and certainly not that any real human should be.

So, www.myersbriggs.org, the site where I'd taken the MBTI Instrument, was not wrong in their initial assessment of me being an INFJ, even if the result was so close between INFJ and INTJ that they had me ultimately choose between their reported type and another possible type. I think I'd like to take their full test one of these days and report back on that!

Getting back to the topic of Myers-Briggs and Enneagram, here's another link I found on the topic of Type Correlations. On the bottom of the page (Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele), there's a chart listing the most common types of correlations between MBTI and Enneagram.

According to the chart, INFJs are mostly 4 (which I am) with 1 and 6 being quite common.

INTJ are mostly 1, 5 and 8, with 3 and 6 being quite common.

To read my previous entry regarding the Enneagram, link here: Enneagram 4w5: The Bohemian , posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009


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More prevous entries:
INFJ Female - Mystic Writer (with some rational thoughts), posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009

INTJ Female - the Final Frontier (for Now) posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clarification of the 8 Jungian Functions and why INTJ = Ti and INFJ = Fi posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009

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

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy Passover




Wishing Happy Pesach to all my Jewish loved ones!


(Iage: librarystuff.net)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Elizabeth Arden Pretty (2009)


In a nutshell, it smells like Happy and Beautiful had a child named Pretty. Pretty might have hung out with Benefit Maybe Baby until her parents found her to be a bad influence and asked her to please be associated instead with Kate Spade.

Featured review continues at this link: NY Fragrance Examiner: Featured Review: Elizabeth Arden Pretty (2009)


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Introducing Cleveland Fragrance Examiner Beth Schreibman Gehring!


I'm very late to the game but it's my great joy and honor to introduce Beth Schreibman Gehring, the newest fragrance writer at The Examiner! Please follow her articles by subscribing and supporting her there. Read her first piece featuring one of the greatest classics of all time: Cleveland Fragrance Examiner: House of Christian Dior - Diorissimo


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Hampton Sun Privet Bloom - The fresh Great Gatsby getaway


If fresh, dewy skin had a scent, it would be Hampton Sun Privet Bloom. Created by New Yorkers and inspired by the exclusive beaches of eastern Long Island, this scent is described on the Hampton Sun website (www.hamptonsuncare.com) as "a delicate scent that captures the purity and elegance of summer in the Hamptons, with a fresh and unique blend of sea spray, dune grass, blue plum and the captivating privet blossom". I've spent a number of summer days and nights in the Hamptons back when I used to host a Japanese TV show and also when I'd sang for events and parties thrown here and there by the well-to-do. There's not one particular smell characteristic of this resort area chockful of both nature and nightlife, but it is ultra suburbia far away from the pollution of NYC, where the grass certainly is greener, and the quality of vegetation and gourmet products sublime. Privet Bloom is a scent that could take you to the Hamptons where celebrities and professionals spend their weekends alternating attire between Bermuda shorts with sandals and couture fashions under white parasols in Great Gatsby style. The airy Green Floral aroma is perfect for visiting a local vineyard or for spending a slow, leisurely day making homemade jam with the family. Crisp and clean, it has a simple, understated quality, nature-themed and country-oriented yet translating well into many environments including a proper office setting when you return to Manhattan in time to face another Monday...(continued)

Read the rest here: NY Fragrance Examiner: Hampton Sun Privet Bloom - The fresh Great Gatsby getaway