Saturday, July 27, 2013

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine

There is an array of chilly, fruity, mouthwatering citric eaux des cologne to choose from for the summer, most of them featuring bergamot, lemon, lime and/or grapefruit, but this orange-centric eau de cologne is a bit special. 2012 French FIFI Award winner in exclusive distribution (what they call Experts' Award sounds like indie or niche) Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine is perfection in simplicity. The juicy, zesty scent is that of blood oranges, so true-to-life it beckons you to drink it. Close your eyes and imagine biting into the pulpy flesh of a ripe South African orange, sweet and sunkissed, as bright as the blazing sun on the horizon. With a fragrance so brilliant, you'll need to pair it with a set of cool-lookin' shades. If you like Clinique Happy or Azzaro Azzura, Orange Sanguine will give you just the juice part unadulterated, guaranteed to lift you up in sanguine spirit, mind, body and soul.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Conan Video Response to One Direction's Perfume Commercial

I saw this on my Twitter feed today via Now Smell This. Conan O'Brien is the best! I haven't seen the One Direction perfume commercial, but all I can say is that I was surprised they came out with a Katie Price perfume (which, btw, smells like a Victoria's Secret strawberry body spray crossed with Miss Dior Cherie). My tween seems to have grown out of the 1D phase before the fragrance came out, so I don't absolutely have to go smell this.

Yes, the Federal Government Hoards Raisins

"Last month the Supreme Court ruled on an obscure little case called Horne v. Department of Agriculture, brought by a California raisin farmer who claims that by requiring him to pay into this so-called raisin reserve, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is illegally confiscating his private property. The case didn’t attract much media attention because the unanimous ruling was just a logistical one—it was kicked it back to a lower court—that was dwarfed by the gay-marriage and voting-rights decisions, which, understandably, are much bigger political issues than dried fruit." Read the article: Yes, the Federal Government Hoards Raisins by Claire Suddath, July 11, 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek

Saturday, July 20, 2013

INFJ / ISTP Tertiary Loop (plus celebrities & MBTI Types)

Famous INFJ Michelle Pfeiffer

INFJ Jamie Foxx should absolutely be the next James Bond.

INFJs are often said to be people pleasing extraverted Feelers, but as one observant ISTP had once pointed out on a forum, INFJs are also rebels. It stands to reason why we are associated with counterculture. The ISTP poster saw a similarity in the two types, INFJ and ISTP; curiously, the post was under a thread about ISTPs being mistyped as INFJs. Based on quick observation, the two are almost complete opposites, the INFJ emotionally sensitive and the ISTP as detached as an INTP, but the types share the Ni-Ti tertiary loop, meaning they have the same exact preferences but in different order (the other two that share the same top four preferences are ENFJ and ESTP who share the Fe-Se loop). So how similar are we, really?

Ben Affleck, ENFJ

INFJ and ISTP are both philosophical types. INTJs are more known for their inclination towards philosophical pursuits, while INFJs are more often associated with psychology (because as NF (iNtuitive Feelers), they're credited with being experts at character study, like the ENFJ Actor), but the fact that clergy is among the INFJ's suggested careers is with good reason; we ask the deep questions. It turns out INFJ and ISTP share a tendency to cope through philosophical means, "with ISTPs ranked first among all the types in using spiritual /philosophical coping resources." (Source: J. Shelton, in MBTI Applications by A.L. Hammer, 1996. I don't ever recall the ISTP being called a philosophical type before, but there it is--the tools they try to master are not only in the physical realm. Beliefs and belief systems can be useful tools in many cases; what we choose to believe has transformative powers.

Bruce Lee, ISTP

Now, I don't know if using exaggerated forms of MBTI types as psychological disorders is the most helpful way to figure out one's type, but since that's the concept behind the Enneagram, I suppose this method can help in some cases to gain additional insight. According to this article I found: (Know Thyself--theINFJcafe, (quoted from site), "there's a reason that types don't have BOTH top functions introverted (or extraverted). Why? The result is an unbalanced psyche. The primary job of the secondary function is to balance out the dominant.

Here's a link to the article: Dominant/ Tertiary Loops and Common Personality Disorders (my note: link on page is broken)

"The article suggests that whenever the secondary function is suppressed, underdeveloped or not given value, the individual can display characteristics of documented personality disorders. Specifically for the INFJ, a well-developed Fe is required to balance out our introverted intuition and thinking. Suppressing the Fe or ignoring its value can, according to the article, put us in a state resembling Schizoid Personality Disorder. Same for the ISTP, whose Ti/Ni loop is the reverse of ours:

ISTP/INFJ: Ti/Ni or Ni/Ti--Schizoid Personality Disorder. These types are socially incompetent for lack of trying, because they see little to no value in significant interaction with others. They live in their own abstract worlds, constantly second-guessing themselves as Ti poses a framework for a problem and Ni shoots it down as too definitionally precise. Without any real external input, these two functions will dream up all sorts of elaborate systems and implications for them, only to repeat their own self-defeating behavior, never bothering to emphasize putting any of its intense ideas into practice. Frequent disregard for rules, laws and other forms of behavioral standards is common, as no function provides any significant sense of external influence. If Se/Fe were doing its job, the user would recognize the value of connecting with others and of paying attention to their needs, preferences, habits and appearances.

"I found this fascinating. I remember coming across a description of Schizoid Personality Disorder once and laughing uneasily--because it came close to describing my personality when I'm under a great deal of stress. I tend to retreat into myself when things aren't going well, and my Fe/Se aren't able to work properly to balance out the internal thinking and introspection."

Tom Cruise, ISTP

So, not only did that article get me thinking about the philosophical nature of INFJ and ISTP types, it also reinforced something I already knew about the importance of getting enough exercise, be it physical, mental, or emotional. I reflected on how young boys often get in trouble for the simple lack of getting enough physical exertion, frustration getting built up, leading to thoughtless actions from being bored and restless. As a creative type, I can't imagine a life where I couldn't express myself in some way, because that is my form of communication. Could an artist go mad from not being able to create, like the restless youths need extracurricular activities to burn off steam? I don't know, but it sounds logical that we rational animals have a variety of needs, as well as specific needs based on individual preferences to feel healthy and whole. Sometimes, people need pure enjoyment, too, as frivolous a need as it seems.

Arnold Schwartzenegger, INTJ

I could see how based on the above information that someone might think that the people who can't get themselves to fit one type easily must be "unbalanced," but I don't think that's necessarily the case. The MBTI is not useful for diagnosing disorders, and no one should be rushed or pressured into committing to one type for fear of seeming unbalanced. What's interesting to me is that by building on Jung's original cognitive function theory which was simpler, grouping types based on the dominant cognitive function (INTJ /INFJ are essentially the same type based on Ni, likewise ISTP / INTP based on Ti), the Myers-Briggs system has given us new insight into how our secondary preference can deeply affect our needs which, when unfulfilled, can affect our overall psyche.

ESTP Bruce Willis, a man who looks 1000x better bald

So, now I can ask myself which my greater need is, that of fulfilling my Fe or Te (extraverted Thinking), to determine between INFJ and INTJ types. It's unclear to me what it means to need to fulfill my Fe more than other types do (except the ISFJ for whom Fe is a secondary function), but I can vouch for my need to feel something strong in order to feel inspired to create something and to feel fully alive.

Jesse Eisenberg, INTP

Monday, July 15, 2013

Escada Cherry in the Air

Ahhh, Escada Cherry in the Air, a luscious cherry fragrance as never experienced before. There are only a handful of other cherry perfumes I can think of: Chantal Thomass which is a Fruity Floral with a citric-floral-amber character, and Ralph Lauren Big Pony #4 which is a more ambery-woody blend. I find most cherry notes go hand-in-hand with sweet, resinous amber notes.

Aside from cherry-scented perfumes, there are cherry blossom scents out there, some of which are unsweet, almost salty light florals, and others that smell very sweet, heavy and musky, with a cherry note present in varying degrees. This Escada is as close as it's come to a cherry soliflore--musky with a cake-y gourmand base but with well-pronounced cherry notes, sweet and juicy until the dry down stage when the scent gets warmer, more like smouldering cherry incense mixing in the air with Hawaiian Punch, bubblegum and flavored berry lip gloss--flirty and fun, kind of sexy in a whimsical way.

It's lighter than, say, the raspberry muskiness of Givenchy Hot Couture, but heavier than Chantal Thomass, with less discernable floralcy and more of an edible accord reminiscent of cherry cheesecake. This is a fruity scent that's both fresh and deep, for Floral lovers, Oriental-Gourmand fans and Woody Floral aficionadas, too. So, does the fact that it's a limited edition scent for 2013 make you feel an urgency to buy it this very moment, or does it make you feel resigned to futility and say forget about it? With a scent so scrumptious, it's hard to beat the seemingly innocent siren red hot temptation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stopping a heart attack with your fingers according to Chinese medicine's energy

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in alternative medicine, but my experiences with a particular chiropractor here in New York have been most beneficial. The author of this piece which I've linked to in this post refers to "Asian" ki-iki-jutsu, but the word is Japanese. Although I have never heard of the skill (there's a lot I don't know; neither had I heard of the art of kōdō before I started perfumery, even though I had learned sadō to which it is related), I can tell you that it always feels great to have that spot pinpointed in the article, in the middle of the back between my shoulder blades, cracked by my chiropractor; it always helps me breathe better. Maybe there's something to this, and how incredible if it's true. Just a thought--could it possibly also help remedy panic attacks since these can feel like heart attacks to many people? Read the article: Stopping a heart attack with your fingers according to Chinese medicine's energy by Anne Hart, December 2, 2012 Examiner

Monday, July 08, 2013

Miss Dior (New) by Dior

Miss Dior by Christian Dior is not the same iconic perfume it used to be. Originally born in 1947, the Chypre perfume with a bright green bite and elegant leather notes juxtaposed with its classical floral heart had ushered in The New Look, alongside Dior's ultrafeminine cinch-waisted hourglass body line reminiscent of the austere look of the turn of the century, in rebellion against the relaxed, modern lines of the flapper era. The crisp yet voluptuous scent was like a starched white shirt with darts sewn under the bustline to accentuate it, and just a hint of an animalic dry down, like remnants of a tyrst from the night before that no one at the office dared question because Miss Dior was the boss' daughter.

After the degradation of the quality of the classic Miss Dior had reached an unspeakable low, Miss Dior came back with yet another new look, swathed in peachy ballerina pink hues much like its flanker, Miss Dior Cherie which came before it. Miss Dior Cherie roared onto the fragrance scene like the winner of a Miss Universe beauty pageant, placing the fresh-faced fruity patchouli chypre at the forefront of the millenial trend, ushering in the return of Chypre with the lovable, salubrious scent of pretty, girly strawberries.

The new Miss Dior is a pink Chypre like her daughter Miss Dior Cherie, uncannily so because it is the same scent, only stronger. Basically, Miss Dior has a more grown up and polished look graced by Natalie Portman, a face that carries not only the pride of an entire nation for her delicately chiseled beauty but the perfect image for Dior with her famous movie role as a ballerina. The fragrance itself is not as distinguished, comparable neither to the image nor its own debut in 1947, a scent that is not quite patrician but one that conveys an aura of luxury and confidence with a reasonable facsimile of the haughty animalic funk of a memory long passed, the now-ubiquitous patchouli chypre at the base of a fruity floral, not too distinguishable from other fashion perfumes like Flowerbomb, Coach and Jimmy Choo.

Sunday, July 07, 2013


From Wikipedia: "Orthorexia nervosa (also known as orthorexia) is a proposed eating disorder or mental disorder characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthful. The term orthorexia derives from the Greek ορθο-(ortho, "right" or "correct"), and όρεξις (orexis, "appetite"), literally meaning a correct diet. It was introduced in 1997 by Steven Bratman, M.D., to be used as a parallel with other eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa. Orthorexia is not mentioned in the widely-used DSM, but was coined by Bratman who claims that in rare cases, this focus may turn into a fixation so extreme that it can lead to severe malnutrition or even death. Even in less severe cases, the attempt to follow a diet that cannot provide adequate nourishment is said to lower self-esteem as the orthorexics blame themselves rather than their diets for their constant hunger and the resulting cravings for forbidden foods.

"Sufferers of orthorexia often display symptoms consistent with obsessive-compulsive disorder and have an exaggerated concern with healthy eating patterns." Read more: Orthorexia nervosa

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Happy Independence Day

Have a great July 4th, America!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Top 10 Fragrance List for Early Summer 2013

From Lady Gaga in her own FAME fragrance ad to illustrations by René Gruau, the mask and /or blindfold is a recurring theme in the world of beauty and perfume. From a blindfolded cupid in a Revlon Intimate ad to the abstract sadomasochistic black mask depicted in an ad for Robert Piguet Bandit perfume, the social message behind the marketing and sales of French perfumes seems clear: Hyperfocus your senses. Be epicurean, a sensualist, a hedonist. Believe in happiness that comes from outside, not just from within. When these images coincide as they often do with the selling of Animalic perfumes--civet cat and sperm whale as well as leather, fur and musk accords--we hear a materialistic message that tells us the epitome of luxury is sacrifice, the loss of life and suffering of those that were born only to serve and please us on demand. The ultimate message, however, is for the target audience to submit.

Curiously, animalic perfume becoming a symbol of luxury grew from a not-so-glamorous beginning. The practice of perfuming leather gloves is often explained as the desire for royalty to mask the smells of the plebian masses, but according to another perfume legend, it was born of the need to cover up the odor of urine which was used to soften the leather. Civet was the scent that masked the stench most effectively, and therefore it became a staple in perfumery.

There was a time when women were discouraged from wearing civet perfume which not only masked odors well but apparently was declared too masculine for them. While men's grooming became synonymous with the powerful scent of civet, women were limited to fey floral waters--that was until the birth of Guerlain Jicky (1889) which ushered in a new era in modern perfumery with its technological advances as well as gender-bending olfactive character which introduced strong, musky elements in a women's perfume.

Since then, animal notes have become useful as a fixative for many perfumes, as well as inspiring Animalic perfumes that are purposely made to smell "dirty" and "musky" to aesthetically pleasing effect. Today, most animalic notes are made with synthetics, but they provide a rich and colorful depth to the spectrum of the fragrance wheel. By Kilian Cruel Intentions, Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin and Guerlain Mouchoir de Monsieur are some of the fragrances featuring animalic notes that I've been enjoying wearing this summer.

Here is my Top 10 Fragrance List for Early Summer 2013:

1. BCBG Bon Chic
2. Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin
3. Guerlain Mouchoir de Monsieur
4. Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie
5. Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien
6. Helmut Lang
7. By Kilian Cruel Intentions
8. Cartier Panthére
9. Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque
10. Van Cleef and Arpels Feerie Rose des Neiges

Batman: A Sociopath?

From the article Batman - SociopathWorld August 27, 2008
(...) "There are many reasons why a sociopath like Batman would choose to fight for "good"--reasons that have nothing to do with a vague faith in humankind.

""Bad" sociopaths tend to have little respect for the social structure because they have been exposed to it enough to know it's rotten. The Joker makes some typical sociopathic comments about humanity, saying that people are only as "good" as the situation allows them to be. But he quickly learns that people are actually worse: empaths will frequently make irrational decisions based on something other than the exigencies of a particular situation. The Joker is surprised when the criminals and civilians on the ferries did not kill each other because he believes empaths can make the rational decision of blowing up the other ferry before they get blown up themselves. But they can't. The movie portrays the behavior of the passengers as noble, when really it is just irrational. This capacity for irrationality is probably the most disturbing thing about empaths to the sociopath. It's what makes them unpredictable and dangerous. The great thing about sociopaths is that they won't let emotions cloud their rational decision making."

Related link: Read the discussion about Batman on a fan forum at the Marvel web site.


Dear Pink Manhattanites,

I'm so sorry for the terrible image sizing on my posts as of late; I'm finally getting the hang of mobile blogging, and it's taken me quite some time to figure out how to resize photos without being able to gauge the overall look on a computer screen. If you're seeing my posts on mobile, you might not have noticed the problem, but on a computer, believe me, my posts looked awful. I've fixed the ones that needed help, and hopefully, my next blog post will work like a charm. Thank you for your patience.

Sali (your deeply ashamed editor-in-chief)