lately (07.31.20)

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

Introductions? I don’t know her.

Since my last update, I…

…received my EXO-SC 1 Billion Views albums (all three versions), plus the first-press posters, via KTown4U. The albums and posters arrived in one large, flat box, with the posters rolled inside a very sturdy poster tube that was tucked into the box, and the albums generously swaddled in bubble wrap. Everything arrived in perfect condition literally two days after the album release, so I am definitely ordering from KTown4U again the next time I buy multiple albums.

exo-sc 1 billion views albums - exo sehun chanyeol - park view ocean view paradise - ktown4u

From left to right: Ocean View version, Paradise version, and Park View version.

exo-sc 1 billion views albums - exo sehun chanyeol - park view ocean view paradise - album cover

At first, I assumed the neon bits were printed onto the album covers, but they’re not! I looove that the overall design incorporates the transparent sleeves. It’s kind of like a real-life filter.

exo-sc 1 billion views albums - exo sehun chanyeol - park view ocean view paradise - photocards

My photocard pulls! Please note that I pulled banana!Chanyeol: a blessing.

exo-sc 1 billion views albums - exo sehun chanyeol - park view ocean view paradise - banana chanyeol bananayeol photocard

if u are viewing this u 2 have been blessed by banana yeol

…received my first-press posters from Baekhyun’s Delight album, purchased via group order. (The posters shipped separately from the albums and took much longer to arrive.) I didn’t actually take photos of them, but the Cinnamon version is art. Sexy art.

…received a replacement for my damaged Baekhyun Delight (Chemistry version) album from SubKShop. I am happy to confirm that this one arrived in much better condition. SubKShop also sent a replacement first-press poster, but they sent it folded because apparently it’s too expensive for them to ship an additional poster tube. That was pretty disappointing, but at least they told me upfront. :\

exo baekhyun delight chemistry version solo album photocard postcard stickers first press poster

maybe it’s for the better that this poster has creases in it. i am too weak for byun baekhyun as it is. in the words of nct 127, ๐ŸŽต YOUR LIIIIPS ๐ŸŽต

exo baekhyun delight chemistry version solo album - cover - photocard sticker filter

On the bright side, I pulled this Baekhyun photocard which is so cute it makes me want to CLAW AT MY FACE.

(but also ๐ŸŽต YOUR LIPS / YOUR LIPS / YOUR LIPS ๐ŸŽต)

exo baekhyun delight chemistry version solo album - holographic postcard

๐ŸŒˆ behold! my smol gay holographic son ๐ŸŒˆ

…read Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco by Gary Kamiya. It is very good and I liked it a lot, but I am deeply biased by my own love for San Francisco. At first I actually found the author quite off-putting because the narration is obviously written from an older man’s point of view, with a few too many clever, snarky quips and ~nudge nudge wink wink~ allusions for my taste, BUT he also clearly has a lot of compassion and respect for the subjects he’s writing about, and I’d take someone who’s a bit politically incorrect but whose heart is in the right place over someone who knows all the right words to say but doesn’t actually believe them, any day.

My favorite chapters were the ones about the Farallon Islands, the Gold Rush/49ers, and the 1906 & 1989 earthquakes. The Farallones chapter is just neat from a history/science perspective, the Gold Rush chapter has SO many parallels to current day Silicon Valley and the tech industry, and the earthquake chapter was really sobering because I’d never read in such detail about the extent of the destruction in 1906, nor had I read firsthand accounts of the 1989 earthquake until now. There’s a lot I didn’t know, like how the only working fire hydrant left in the city in 1906 was the Golden Hydrant at 20th and Church.

The Gold Rush chapter also includes a (hysterical, IMO) story about the winter of 1849-1850, when San Francisco saw so much rain that it was plunged into a “mud plague” because none of the roads were paved or planked. It got so bad that the mud was 4 feet deep in some places! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ But instead of putting planks down to make the roads navigable, San Franciscans instead threw absolutely fuckin anything into the mud (because wood was expensive and reserved for building new housing), including “limbs of trees and brushwood,” “boxes, stoves, garbage, cases of tobacco, iron, sheet lead, salt beef, bags of rice and beans,” “three barrels of revolvers,” “empty bottles,” and… “hundreds of shirts,” because APPARENTLY, most 49ers were bachelors who had no idea how to do their own laundry, and laundry service was so expensive that a lot of them “simply threw their dirty shirts away and bought new ones” LMAO.

…received my perfume oil samples from Forelsket. As mentioned in my previous post, I ordered Frigg, Idun, and Sommer 2020, and the owner threw in a free sample of Grapefrukt as well. (For my mini-reviews, see further down in this post.)

forelsket - indie perfume oil samples

You can’t see it in this pic, but the little brown package was sealed with washi tape printed with runes. It was very thematically appropriate for a Norse-inspired fragrance line.

forelsket - indie perfume oil samples - frigg - sommer 2020 - idun - grapefrukt

Most companies use glass vials for their samples, but Forelsket uses these little plastic science lab-y snap-lid containers with milliliter markings on the sides. They were very unexpected but also kinda cute!

…received my Gaiam yoga strap, yoga blocks, and hand weights (3, 5, 8, and 10 pounds). I’ve already used everything but the yoga strap multiple times, so I’m gonna go ahead and declare these good purchases. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป (Side note: I am weak as all hell. Right now, 10 pounds is too heavy for me to use for anything but squats and bicep curls.)

…made boba at home using a DIY kit that basically just consisted of dry tapioca pearls, loose tea leaves, a reusable tea bag, and printed instructions. I’d only made boba once before, for a fundraiser in high school, and the process was pretty much as I remembered: a little time-consuming, but not complicated. Our boba ended up a little chewier than I usually like, but overall it was a fun little kitchen adventure for me and my partner.

…tried a couple of meals from Dinnerly, courtesy of my mom. My overall impression is that the dishes aren’t as ~gourmet~ as, e.g. Blue Apron, and most of their recipes only meet like 25% of my desired vegetable quota, BUT they’ve all been delicious and not particularly challenging to make. And, as far as I can tell, Dinnerly is pretty economical as far as meal kit deliveries go. I can see this being a good option for folks who’re getting sick of cooking at home right now, especially if your takeout options are limited or a little too pricey for frequent visits.

…received my perfume oil samples from Poesie Perfume. I ordered Soft, Athena, Artemis, Fan Dance, and Twice to Tea, and I received a freebie sample of Cybele. It took a total of 5 DAYS between placing my order and receiving my package, which was shockingly fast. (Again, for my mini-reviews, see further down in this post.)

poesie perfume - indie perfume oil samples - athena - artemis - cybele - soft - fan dance - twice to tea

My samples came with a bookmark featuring a hysterical Jane Austen quote (from Northanger Abbey, Google informs me; I have yet to read it) and a sweet handwritten note from the owner, Joelle.

poesie perfume - indie perfume oil samples - soft - twice to tea - artemis - cybele - fan dance - athena

I was most excited to try Soft (fragrant, comforting basmati rice) and Athena (sun-baked Mediterranean herbs and earth, a rich and resinous vanilla spiked with a complex blend of incense and spice, exquisite grey musk).

…thought about how much I could charge for editing med school apps because oh my god I’ve edited SO MANY secondary apps over the past couple weeks.

…viewed some rental units! got really fuckin stressed out! did not sign any leases!

…received my perfume samples from Olympic Orchids Perfume. I ordered Kingston Ferry, Night Flyer, Blackbird, Golden Cattleya, and Woodcut. (As I suspected, Siam Proun was out of stock, as it was discontinued just after I made my order. Again, for my mini-reviews, see further down in this post.)

olympic orchids perfumes - niche perfume samples - blackbird - golden cattleya - night flyer - kingston ferry - woodcut

Each sample vial came in its own little mini zip-top baggie with printed labels on both the baggie and the vial.

olympic orchids perfumes - niche perfumery - perfume samples - blackbird - golden cattleya - night flyer - kingston ferry - woodcut

I have to say, I’m glad these samples all came in their own little baggies, because I could already smell them when I opened the bubble mailer. (To be fair, I could smell the Poesie samples through the baggie they came in, too (that is, inside the bubble mailer but outside the small plastic zip-top bag containing all the samples), but it was more like a caress of scent; Olympic Orchids was a sucker punch to the nose.)

…applied to receive a free perfume sample that’s supposed to smell like “the post-war, intra-Soviet, pre-Berlin-Wall-fall German Democratic Republic (East Germany)”… I’m not really sure what to expect (or when they’ll run out of stock), but I’m very curious about place-scents.

…paid for a year’s worth of Zoom Pro. At first, I didn’t give much thought to how long my family would be using Zoom for our “family dinners,” but after a few months of paying $14.99/mo for the month-to-month Pro plan, I started to math out the long-term costs. Zoom’s annual plan comes out to about $12.50/mo, but they were offering an additional 30% discount on top of that, which would bring the cost down to about $8.20/mo.

At first, it seemed cruel to even entertain the idea of still being mostly indoors and at home for another year, but honestly, I’m not convinced the US is capable of going ~back to normal~ any earlier than next summer (and, well, Google seems to agree). Goodness knows our current pandemic response is deeply lacking, and with the regular flu season coming up in the fall/winter, I doubt things can stay open (if they open up at all in the first place). So I expect our Zoom family dinners are going to carry over at least into early next year, which means the annual plan (with extra discount) will break even with the month-to-month plan around February. I’d love to be wrong and for the pandemic to just… stop, but if I’m not, well, at least I saved some money.

…finished putting together the Suho Self-Portrait 1000-piece puzzle I started in my last post (and then promptly broke it apart and put it away, because we need our dining table back).

suho self portrait solo album cover 1000 piece puzzle - in progress

progress shots of my man coming into being. the faces weren’t to difficult to piece together, but oh my god all the hair and those brushstroke-y backgrounds were a struggle.

suho self portrait solo album cover 1000 piece puzzle - completed

kim junmyeon is art!!!

…tested the following perfumes:

Forelsket – Idun (iced green tea, heliotrope, fresh raspberries, cucumber slices, apple slices, with a splash of whiskey)

Idun comes in a red vial, which I think is supposed to evoke the image of “fresh raspberries” from the notes. This is the very first perfume oil I’ve ever tried, and it is… interesting. In the bottle, it smells like cherry-flavored Dimetapp (aka horrible), but upon application I get a combination of apple, berry, and slightly damp wood and/or chocolate shavings. The fruitiness dies down really quickly, and my skin is left with what seems like a very, very, very faint musk, with hints of wood and stale Cocoa Puffs. It has, like, virtually no throw/sillage, but it does have surprising longevity. Overall, Idun is neither pleasant nor unpleasant; it just sort of is. Because perfume oils are more skin-dependent than alcohol-based perfumes, I suspect the weakness of this particular scent just comes down to my specific body chemistry.

Forelsket – Sommer 2020 (dry grass, super sweet corn, a juicy peach, hyacinth, and the well-worn wood of a picnic table)

Sommer 2020 comes in a yellow vial, which is appropriate because this scent is all about CORN. This is the Forelsket scent I was most excited to try. In the bottle, it smells like artificial sweet corn and honey, like corn syrup or the liquid at the bottom of a can of corn, with a touch of dry, roasted(?) grass. On my skin, it starts out with a sweet, slightly savory floral, sweet corn, and dry grass, with an overall impression of Being Outdoors somehow, like maybe in a grassy field with flowers popping up. As it dries down, it becomes softer, with the sweet floral getting a little powdery and buttery. There’s still something corn-y hidden in there for a while, like an ear of corn slathered in honey butter, and eventually it dries down to just vanilla. Like Idun (and perfume oils in general), Sommer 2020 has very low throw/sillage, with the scent sitting quite close to the skin (about an inch away) for about an hour, before becoming imperceptible unless I bring my nose right up to my skin – but again, what lingers has surprising longevity. Overall, it’s pleasant and quite interesting. I feel like Sommer 2020 doesn’t quite suit my personality, but I also find myself wanting to re-sniff my wrist every few minutes.

Olympic Orchids Perfume – Kingston Ferry (a sunny morning when the fog is still hanging over the water, the tideโ€™s going out, and thereโ€™s the promise of a great adventure by water)

I’ve wanted to try this ever since I saw it in one of @rachsyme‘s Perfume Genies, which may have overinflated my expectations. It starts out smelling of dark green coniferous trees, like pine or cedar, with that sort of spiciness and slight sweetness that some wood has, before clearing up into something more like freshly cut wood. Toward the middle, it starts to smell distinctly of damp wood by a pier, with a hint of saltwater and some kind of herby flower, and in the drydown, it’s sexy and musky. Overall, it’s nice – it’s pleasant and woodsy and damp – but I don’t love it. (Actually, based on my samples from LuckyScent, I seem to have a pattern of thinking I’ll like woodsy fragrances more than I actually do, so maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise.)

Olympic Orchids Perfume – Night Flyer (as previously mentioned, this is the original formulation of Zoologist’s Bat, and it’s supposed to evoke bats, “deep-reaching tree roots, moist earth, and dripping limestone walls,” in addition to “wild jungle figs,” “ripe bananas and other soft fruit,” and “the clean, sweet scent of musky fur.”)

Night Flyer is so interesting to me. When it opens, I get cemetery, incense, wet earth, wet rocks, mothballs, and Chinese red envelopes. (Specifically, the weird musky smell of the red paper.) It somehow smells dark and ancient, but also comforting and slightly sweet. (Actually, take this with a grain of salt – on my second test, it started out smelling like a rock covered in bird poop. Like, absolutely SMOTHERED, but with very mild poop. Then it followed the same journey as my first test.) Toward the middle, the damp rock and damp/humid cave smell becomes stronger, making me think of somewhere safe and hidden, with mineral water dripping off limestone cave walls (specifically, the Natural Bridge Caverns outside of San Antonio, TX). It’s soft and slightly sweet in an earthy way. As it dries down, the fruit comes peeking out, with a touch of honey and plenty of cozy musk. Overall, I really like Night Flyer and am considering purchasing a small bottle after I finish my sample.

Olympic Orchids Perfume – Blackbird (tawny dry grass, fir and cedar trees baking in the sun releasing their sharp, incense-like resins, and juicy ripe blackberries tempting us and the blackbirds with their jammy, musky sweetness)

This opens with fresh, tart blackberry, with a touch of spice. It makes me think of a crushed berry oozing dark juice, almost in an obscene way. There’s an undertone of wood and brambles, or some other dark greenery that’s close to the ground, which gives the whole thing a kind of spiced punch feeling. After a couple minutes, I get some Christmas tree, or fir, or cedar – basically, some kind of wood with a slightly menthol-y element – but overall it stays very juicy and fruity and fresh. The wood peeks out a little more over time, but the berry scent stays true all the way through the drydown. I like this one! I don’t like it quite enough to full-size it, but it’s very…ย juicy. (My partner thinks it smells like Christmas, which isn’t totally inaccurate, but I get much more berry than I do fir/cedar.)

Olympic Orchids Perfume – Golden Cattleya (The scent of this orchid is pure gold, creating a warm and long-lasting aura like late afternoon sunshine)

Where do I start with Golden Cattleya? It starts out with aย sickly sweet honey, and some mystery flower in full, pollen-y bloom, with wafts of vanilla and powder or rice. The description and reviews suggest that this fragrance feels like the color yellow/gold, but to me it feels more like the color white, streaked with bright, pollen-y yellow. It’s like a honeyed or vanilla-soaked floral, and the floral and vanilla and honey all take turns reemerging. It stays on the powdery side, and for some reason it makes me think of the Nordstrom women’s lounge. Then it becomes a little cloying… and then it becomes a LOT cloying.

Something in Golden Cattleya reminds me of someone at my old office whose fragrance I could not stand, though I never actually figured out who or what it was. I just know that I have the same visceral reaction to Golden Cattleya as I did to my coworker, where I feel like the floral I’m smelling also smells like rotting flesh, and the scent feels like it’s soaking into the back of my throat and into my teeth. It’s like eating a piece of meat that’s been marinated in perfume, like ingesting something poisonous. It makes me think of Evangelion, when the Eva pilots inhale liquid to use their suits, like my lungs are slowly filling with a substance that doesn’t belong there. I don’t know if it’s the narcissus/daffodil or the orange blossom or the resins/amber or what, but some ingredient or note or accord in this perfume repulses me.

Golden Cattleya has pretty big throw/sillage, which is unfortunate because it smells better up close than it does a foot away. Up close, it’s a beautifully sweet, mesmerizing floral, but in the distance between my wrist and my face, some kind of reverse alchemy happens, and it ends up smelling like death, decay, and rotting meat. Even more unfortunately for me, Golden Cattleya has crazy longevity, and I was able to scrub off the (yummy) honey smell but not the rotting meat aroma for well over 24 hours, despite the efforts I made with rubbing alcohol, olive oil, coconut oil, baking soda, hand sanitizer, dishwashing detergent, micellar water, various creams and lotions, and soap and water. (And now I have a new patch of eczema cropping up on my right wrist, which is just great.) Overall, Golden Cattleya seems really well made, but I HATE it.

(On a hilarious ending note, one of my old coworkers agreed to take this sample off my hands, so I’ll be mailing it to her when I get a chance so she can experience the wonder/horror of Golden Cattleya and possibly confirm if the scent is similar to something someone in the office wore.)

Olympic Orchids Perfume – Woodcut (ancient trees inhabited by spirits from a time when the earth was new, the flowing sap of felled trees, and the burnt sugar of the treesโ€™ blood when it is heated by the saws of lumbermen and builders)

This is pretty much exactly what the description says. It smells like walking through the lumber section at Home Depot, but with a bit more sticky, rich sweetness and a touch of spice. It also smells like old things, and musty carpet, with a whiff of incense that was burned hours ago. After a few minutes, I get a sort of B.O./armpit/cumin smell that comes and goes, along with more slightly smoky sweetness, but the freshly cut wood is always at the forefront. As it dries down, it gets sweeter and sweeter, with the wood taking a backseat. I quite liked Woodcut, but it’s not something I’d ever really wear, so I’m planning to mail this to the same coworker who’s taking my Golden Cattleya sample. (I’m also mailing her my L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzongkha sample because it doesn’t really do anything for me, not even on a curiosity level. Luckily, she said she tends to like woodsy scents, so maybe they’ll work out for her!)

(I also realized belatedly that aside from walking through Home Depot, the scent memory Woodcut brings up for me is that of theater tech classes – the smell of being 15 years old and cutting two-by-fours with a table saw backstage, and learning how to use a screw gun (and stripping the top layers of skin off my finger like an idiot), and the darkness and coolness of being inside an empty theater, and so many fucking splinters, and my young and very tall teacher who once elbowed me in the face while I was standing, and who once (accurately) informed me that I probably didn’t weigh enough to operate the fly/pulley system even if I threw my whole bodyweight into it (at 15, I weighed just over 100 pounds and had the strength of a kitten), and who would make fun of me for being fussy about pretty much everything, and, later, being 20 and absolutely lost about my entire life, but feeling at home in the bowels of my college’s theater, and being shown X-rays of where my instructor accidentally staple gunned his own hand, and practicing a kissing scene with a very handsome upperclassman with very, very chapped lips, before I’d ever had my first kiss. They’re not unpleasant memories, and I’m not sorry for the years I spent involved in theater, but I’m just not that person any more, and I don’t particularly want to revisit that part of my life via fragrance.)

Poesie Perfume – Soft (fragrant, comforting basmati rice)

This is the first perfume oil I sampled from Poesie, and I just want to say Poesie’s sample vials are much easier to handle than the ones from Olympic Orchids or LuckyScent – the caps form a tight seal, but they’re not devilishly tricky to remove (Olympic Orchids wins for fussiest sample vials), and the wand/dabber picks up a nice amount of oil so you don’t have to quadruple dip to get enough product. Soft is the scent that convinced me I needed to try Poesie, which might be why I was a little disappointed by it. Itย does smell like rice, but I never realized how much of an aromatic difference there was between basmati rice and jasmine rice. Soft smells like fragrant rice, in a slightly musky way, but it’s just not the smell of rice I know and love. My partner thinks it smells like “old people,” and I suspect it’s because jasmine rice leans a little sweeter and starchier than basmati. Soft has a bit of that sweetness and starchiness when first applied, but it fades quickly and leaves a Foreign Rice smell on my skin. That being said, it’s a nice homey, sleepy scent, and while I won’t be full-sizing this, I did enjoy it. In terms of throw, Poesie seems more potent than Forelsket – this has a 2-4″ throw after the oil dries, and the scent is very consistent as it dries down. It lingers on my skin for over 8 hours, but only if I press my nose right up to my skin. It’s still pretty impressive longevity, especially considering that I prepared raw meat and scrubbed my hands and wrists a few times during that period.

Poesie Perfume – Fan Dance (sugar-dusted tart raspberries, vanilla bean, powder-white skin)

This starts out as super tart raspberry so electrically charged that it’s a little artificial, like a fizzy, raspberry-flavored cordial. Then the tartness simmers down, and vanilla comes peeking out, a little powdery but very rich and sweet, bringing to mind a pile of fresh berries served with a dollop of thick, creamy custard. In the drydown, the vanilla takes over from the berries, leaving more sweetness than tartness. Overall, Fan Dance smells bright, fun, and energetic, like being young and reveling in your own youth. I’m not sure this suits me, but it’s very yummy. Fan Dance has a 4-6″ throw after it dries, so it’s a bit bigger than Soft, but its longevity is about the same, lasting over 8 hours on me.

Poesie Perfume – Twice to Tea (a strongly brewed cup of Earl Grey tea delicately infused with all natural lavender absolute, sweetened with vanilla syrup, and lightened with a splash of milk)

I really like the way this opens, with a strong blast of sweet floral, then a freshly brewed cup of Earl Grey tea, with fragrant, bergamot-y curls of steam wafting into your face. There’s also vanilla, though it leans toward sugar/marshmallow rather than the rich, warm vanilla I prefer. Then a lightly medicinal lavender starts coming out, as well as milk or cream. Up until this point, it’s quite yummy, but then it goes all Play-Doh on my skin (to my nose, at least). From what I’ve read, this is quite common with lactonic notes, so I wasn’t totally surprised. I think it’s that combination of milk/vanilla/lavender that does it, so I guess Twice to Tea is just not for me. As it dries down, I get mostly vanilla and cream, though it still leans heavily Play-Doh to my nose for quite a while. Then it’s really sweet for a couple hours, then calms down into more of a cream and lavender smell. It has a sillage of 2-6″ and a wear time of over 8 hours on me.

Poesie Perfume – Athena (sun-baked Mediterranean herbs and earth, a rich and resinous vanilla spiked with a complex blend of incense and spice, exquisite grey musk)

This is the first Poesie scent that I LOVED. (My partner: “Finally, a good one!”) It opens with rosemary, thyme, and other herbs that I am not yet skilled enough to identify, and then the smell of damp earth and rocks, incense (made savory by the herbs), and what I suspect is myrrh. For me, it brings to mind the image of an herb-studded loaf of bread baking in a hot oven, and incense drifting out of a temple a little ways down the path. I also get what smells to me like a mystery oil that’s used for anointing or making offerings (I’m thinking this is the possibly-myrrh, because it reminds me strongly of Papillon Artisan Perfumes’ Anubis, which my partner and I both love), and that musky, green, slightly sweet aroma of wet soil. In the drydown, this goes full earthy-vanilla, so it’s warm and sweet, but grounded. The sillage is 2-4″, with a wear time of about 6 hours.

Poesie Perfume – Artemis (sweet meadow grasses, sparkling lakewater, saffron + rockrose, dried hay, a summer breeze)

I also love this one! It opens with the smell of sweet, dry grass and some kind of herb-y, slightly medicinal floral, with a bit of incense. After a few minutes I get what I can only guess is “sparkling lakewater” – it’s hard to describe but it smells like being outdoors, crouched at the edge of a body of still water surrounded by lush green plant growth. I’m not sure what saffron or rockrose smell like, but I think that’s the sweet, slightly musky and grassy smell I’m getting. As the scent opens up more, it goes sweet-floral, almost in a sparkly way, and the scent is very lightweight and floaty, before settling down into a rich, resinous sweetness with a little spice. It also goes a little sunscreen-y and juicy-sweet for a bit, but mostly it’s a sparkly musk with an undercurrent of resin as it dries down. On me, the throw varies from 2-4″ as it’s opening and 2-6″ during the drydown. (How does the throw get bigger during the drydown? I have no idea.) This lasts over 8 hours on me.

Poesie Perfume – Cybele (orange blossom, creamy almond, burning resins, a lionโ€™s mane warmed in the sun, shimmering hints of honey)

I also love this one! (Three winners in a row, and all from the Greek Goddess collection!) Cybele is more linear than Artemis, but I love every part of it. I get a blast of citrus, and then a slightly muskier and sweeter version of uncooked jasmine rice that reminds me of Dusita’s Erawan (a fragrance I desperately want to own). I truly have no idea what it is, but I LOVE it. I also get what smells like a sweetened orange, along with sweet almond oil (this is one smell I can actually recognize, because of body oil products). It has about 2-4″ of throw, but as it dries down into a sweet, rice-y/powdery light musk, the throw is more like 2-6″. Cybele wears for over 8 hours on my skin.

…listened to (and watched the new music video for ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘„๐Ÿ‘) WayV’s English release of “Bad Alive”:

I cannot BELIEVE how good they all look?! How do theyย all look this good?! HOW???

i think i slightly prefer the original mandarin version but lmao at this being the “english version” when it’s in english, korean, and mandarin. ๅจ็ฅžv multilingual kings ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‘

…listened to and cried over this cover of Lukas Graham’s “Love Someone” by Day6’s Young K:ย 

His VOIIIIICE!!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Also, I LOVE the lyrics “when you love someone, you open your heart / when you love someone, you make room” because is it not true?

(P.S. If you liked this video, Young K also did an incredibly charming cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”.)

…listened to and cried over the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s cover of Red Velvet’s “Red Flavor” for SM Station:

It’s GORGEOUS. The way they interpret the rap section is sooo cool, I love the hand clapping bit, I love how different instruments act as the “vocals” (especially the strings!), and I looove all the brass!

…felt nostalgic in a weirdly triumphant way at One Direction’s 10-year anniversary. I say “weirdly triumphant” because nostalgia usually makes me feel a little sad and a little anxious, but I really, really do not miss 1D as a group, even though this very blog is named after one of their songs. The 1D boys seem much happier and healthier in their solo careers than they were during their band days, and as a now-casual fan, I cannot possibly begrudge them that peace and freedom for my own entertainment. I don’t miss 1D, but I am and probably always will be grateful that they existed when I needed them to, when I needed something dumb and fun to get me through some very hard days. Being alive can be very difficult and very tiring, and I think that if what you put out into the world allows someone to wring a single ounce (or three minutes and eight seconds) of comfort or uncomplicated joy out of this trash life – I think that’s a triumph.

To end this post, I leave you with the uncomplicated pure pop joy of “I Would”, the best song off One Direction’s best album, Take Me Home:

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