The Palisander Conspiracy, Part II: The Mystery Of M7

I write this with still-shaking hands, the events described below are no more than ten minutes old.

Saturday was a day for rest and relaxation, or so they say.  I was lounging on the couch in nothing more than a pair of underwear when the serenity was abruptly ended.

THUD! THUD! THUD THUD THUD THUD!, went the door, loud, determined, forceful, even angry knocks over and over. I quietly got up and went into the bathroom where the clothes from last night still lay and put them on, listening intently at some scattered conversation at the door. I could pick out the words “Office Depot”, and could hear two voices, which meant there were two guys outside and they were looking for me. Oh hell, what have I gotten myself into. For a full two minutes the door was assaulted with closed fist, and then I heard another sound. A police radio. My fear turned into confusion as I didn’t believe I’d done anything to get me on the wrong side of the police.

I must’ve been a sight to see, wrinkled red shirt, wrinkled blue jeans, wild unkempt hair from sitting on the couch watching MythBusters episodes. I unlocked the door and stepped onto the porch in bare feet. The officer whose eyes I met did not look amused.

“Good morning.” obviously said in sarcasm as it was 3 in the afternoon and I looked to all intents and purposes like I’d just gotten out of bed.
“Good morning, sir.”
“Are you…Brian?”

Who?

“No sir, I’ve seen some mail for him but my name’s Daniel.”
“I see, and you obviously do not live with Brian.”

Now, I’m so frequently mistaken for being gay that I was almost offended that he assumed I was straight. As ludicrous as that sounds.

“Correct, sir.”
“You’ve got a lot of mail here. A bunch of names on them.”
“Yes sir, that seems to be the nature of the beast with this apartment, everyone’s mail shows up here even after they move. Nobody does change of address forms anymore, I don’t guess.”
“Why don’t you go ahead and get your mail?”

Uh, okay? I wondered where this was leading. I grabbed the stack of mail out of the box and sorted through it, finding only one letter to me that appeared to be junk. I took it and dumped the rest back in the box.

“Aren’t you going to get your other envelope?” the policeman asked, watching me intently.

Strange, I didn’t feel anything else but I was expecting one. I dug my hand in deeper into the box and felt a bubble mailer. I knew what it was before I even pulled it out of the box, Jack (silverbullet) had sent me 10 mL of M7 by Yves Saint Larent.

“Thanks,” I told the officer, “I didn’t feel it the first time.”
“I see.” he replied obviously unconvinced, and there was a question in the air so obvious as to be nearly palpable.
“It’s cologne,” I said, pointing at the envelope.
“Are you sure? Are you sure it’s not narcotics?”
Briefly I pondered the situation, of what if Jack had slipped a little something in the envelope how amazingly screwed I’d be.
“Pretty sure, sir. I’m a cologne writer, I’ve got about 40 bottles inside.”

He looked at me for a second, scanning my face, and then said…

“No way! That’s too cool!” I breathed an inward sigh of relief. The surreality of the experience, combined with the fact that there was a heavy wind and snow shower going on, meant I started shaking, my hands especially. I knew this was gonna be trouble.

“This one’s called M7 by Yves Saint Laurent, their 7th men’s creation which explains the name. I believe, if you smell it, you’re going to smell cherry cough syrup.”

I unscrewed the cap on one of the two 5mL roller bottles and offered it to the officer. He did not accept it, instead looking at my shaking hand.

“Do you normally shake like this when you’re talking to the police?” he asked.

“No sir, you kind of rattled me with banging on the door and it’s a little cold out here, I’m not quite dressed for it.”

He finally took the bottle, raised it to his nose and stifled a laugh.

“Here, you smell it,” the officer said to his colleague, sticking it violently towards his nose. The other officer laughed and smelled it as well. The first officer took it back and then handed it back to me.

“And you’re sure it’s not GHB or something like that?”

For those that don’t know, I’m about 5’2″ and 130 pounds.

“Sir, as much as I’m flattered you think I look like a candidate for human growth hormone, I can safely say it’s just cologne.”

The officer just laughed this time, and I started to settle down, I pointed at the bottle of M7 and said secretively, “I’ve been trying to convince myself for almost a year now that this stuff isn’t terrible.”

There was no delay, not even a little pause, as the two officers said in union…

“It’s terrible.”

The Palisander Conspiracy

Months ago, Basenotes’ mikeperez23 was kind enough to mail me a sample of CdG Series 2 Red: Palisander. However I never ended up seeing it, and was quite disappointed that it either had been lost in the mail or stolen from my mailbox.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I found out what happened to it.

June 20th, 2008 (or thereabouts)

There was a man, let’s call him Mister P, though his name is actually…

James P.
1416 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40208

But this mysterious Mister P used to live at the address that I live at now, and on that fateful day he got the mail, including a padded envelope from Miami, Florida. Not realizing that it was not for him, but perplexed nonetheless, he opens the package. Inside is a tiny glass spray bottle, with one word on it in black on a white label.

PALISANDER

Mister P stared at the bottle, and bottle stared back at him as bottles are sometimes known to do in late June when you’ve had a few. He calls a few friends and asks them to come over and help him with a problem. Let’s call them Dick and Jane, since I really don’t know their names this time. They enter his small apartment and sit down across from him at the kitchen table. Mister P turns to them with a look of concern.

“This was in the mail, it was supposed to be for the new tenant at 1420.” He then reveals the tiny bottle, and the confusion was well-nigh palpable. Mister P looks at Jane and Jane looks at Dick and Dick looks at Mister P, then they alternate and look at the other person like a clichéd action movie. After a minute or two of silence, Dick spoke up.

“It’s drugs.”

Well, that much was obvious, they knew, It had to be drugs, what else comes in little bottles with one lousy word on it? And that new tenant looked shady! With his…beard, and his…beardness. Had to be drugs from Arabiastan. But another question was now obvious, and it was Mister P that spoke up.

“Should I…give him back his drugs?”
“Well, that’s kind of awkward, isn’t it?,” Jane inquired. “Sorry for opening your drugs, here they are.”
“…You’re right. We can’t give it back.”

Dick, fresh off of parole, then took the logical next step.

“Well…we can’t give it back. Should we…try his drugs?”

They looked at each other and all slowly nodded their assent. Mister P handed the bottle to Dick, hands shaking slightly.

“Do you know what you’re doing?”
“Of course…you spray it in your mouth.” Dick replied somewhat lamely. He took a few deep breaths, opened his mouth, inhaled and sprayed the mysterious Palisander with high hopes.

And that’s when all hell broke loose.

Dick immediately began coughing a choking, hacking cough, a look of panic in his eyes.

“Oh my God, it’s poison!,” Jane exclaimed, “That tenant is a terrorist! Dick, speak to me!”
“It’s…cologne.”

Silence hit the room like a ton of bricks, followed shortly thereafter by a sniffing of the air.

“Huh. I guess it is. Well it’s not very good, is it?”
“I dunno, but it tastes awful.”

The End.

A conspiracy from outer space. Also, you’re drunk.

I’ve yet to figure out why, or how, this works, but it’s happened enough times over the past few months that I can only assume the worst. By the worst I of course mean that aliens are remotely turning off the hot water when I decide to wash my hair. EVERY SINGLE TIME! What is that? I can be in the shower 5 seconds or half an hour, whenever I say to myself “Why don’t I wash my hair?” I get a reply from a superior lifeform, observing from the Oort Cloud. Observing as my concern turns to irritation which turns into a frenzied melee of lathering, rinsing, and repeating.

Even now, as I write this naked with wet hair (which I’m sure you all were dying to know), I can only hope these lifeforms find out what they’re wanting soon.

V&R Antidote – Sovereign Specific

One of the more ubiquitous sights on Basenotes is a thread to the effect of “Given what I already have, what else do you all recommend I get?”   I just commented on one of them a few minutes ago, and I’m responsible for three or four of them myself.  One of them had several people suggest Antidote by Viktor & Rolf, the same perfumers that make the ladies’ hit Flowerbomb.  Now, these recommendations were from members whose opinions I value quite highly, so I took it to heart and committed the name to memory in case I wandered into a sample of it.

And wander I did, into Von Maur at Louisville’s Oxmoor Center, where they had a display of Antidote, and that beautiful bottle.  It is seriously one of the most stylish bottles I’ve got, pictured to the right.  But a pretty bottle is only part of what Antidote offers.

The opening blast is big and strong, a host of woods and spices.  It’s full, lush, even sparkling is a term I’d use to describe it, as it definitely has a sort of effervescent sensation to the nose.  The main players throughout are sandalwood, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Despite the massive note pyramid, I think these three are the great majority of the scent.  It is sweet yet robust all at once, and remains so for about six hours when a base of amber becomes more prominent.  This is also when the fragrance becomes slightly less masculine, but still an excellent evening wear fragrance.

The closest thing out of my wardrobe to this one is Original Santal by Creed, lovingly referred to as “The Bombay Flamethrower.” The best thing I’ve found to layer with this is, unsurprisingly to serial readers, Aramis Havana.  What I find with this “Havantidote” is that it blends the boisterous, effusive qualities of Havana and sweetens the whole thing up with another shot of sandalwood and amber.  Really worth trying at least once if you’re fortunate enough to have both.

So where do I put Antidote?  Out of 36 fragrances rated on Basenotes it’s one of only five that I gave a full five stars to.  Myself and a few other Basenoters scored tester bottles for well below retail.  It is definitely worth sampling, but if you can’t find it and Creed’s more accessible, Original Santal is similar enough to put you in the ballpark.  A very worthy fragrance, and one that’s still under the radar for a great many people.

RL Romance Silver – Flashbacks

Unfortunately, readers, this is one of those fragrances I just won’t be able to be objective or unbiased on.  My history with Romance Silver goes back several years and across oceans and nations.  It was my first designer fragrance, or at least what I’d consider designer now; prior to that if memory serves I was wearing Avatar by Coty, which I’ve only ever seen at Wal-Marts.  That said, you may come across with an idea as to what it’s like, yet.

Romance Silver starts out with a very well-done suede note, one of the first good attempts at suede in the business.  For those that aren’t familiar with the smell of suede, it’s probably because it’s more or less an invention by perfumers.  It’s a spicy note that has both ozonic and woody elements.  So it’s a slightly different take on your traditional fresh scent, and when combined with the other notes in the composition Romance Silver is unarguably masculine.  There are some wild, fruity elements to it as well, but on the whole the composition is rather tight, it’s tough to pick out individual notes.

The scent is linear, no progression to speak of in my experiences with it.  Projection is weak, but I’ve received a few compliments with it.  Longevity is outstanding, it stays on clothes for a long, long time.  As in days/weeks.  On skin I still get a good 8 hours.

Knowing what I know and have tried now, would I recommend it to myself?  I honestly don’t know, and that’s why I’m withholding a recommendation either way, except as always that one should try it if one sees it.  I mean, it is in my top 3 of the 2003 releases, below Un Jardin En Mediterranee and Gucci Pour Homme but above Burberry Brit (not including Rive Gauche or Versace Man as I haven’t tried them).

Personally, just because of the nostalgia factor it has with me, of being 17 in Bermuda, I’ll probably always keep a bottle in my wardrobe, especially when (albeit leaky) 100mL bottles can be found at TJ Maxx for 30 bucks.

Nerd News: .tel goes public.

Telnic is offering landrush registrations for .tel domains right about now.  Prices during landrush are $350 for 3 years, with General Availability launching on March 23rd for somewhere around $15 a year.  Feel free to contact me if you want/need a .tel name registered.

Redesign

For those that get my feed via Facebook, be sure and check out the new look at the blog.  I’ll make to attempt to claim I somehow designed this, but the dark, brooding blue was a bit much and honestly I always thought it was, I just didn’t have anything I liked better.  I like this look better.  Maybe it’ll even get me posting regularly again.

http://www.danieltharp.com/weblog