In Search of Quelques Fleurs

ImageMy niece is pregnant with her first child. Rich recently chauffeured me and several family members to Columbus to attend her baby shower. Before dashing out of the house, I took a moment to dab a bit of perfume at the hollow of my neck. The lovely scent brought a smile to my face.

After I started working from home, I stopped wearing perfume on a daily basis. When Rich and I go out, I almost always forget to put it on. But I love perfume! I used to wear it to suit my mood or to suit the season. I like lighter scents for spring and summer, a bit heavier for fall and winter.

Many years ago, before the internet age, I was relaxing and reading a Glamour magazine. Inside was a Neiman-Marcus advertisement for a French perfume, Quelques Fleurs. In those days, the samples were all scratch and sniff – and so I did. I absolutely loved the perfume. LOVED IT. I tore the page out of the magazine and smelled it often until the odor dissipated .

Rich and I were dating at the time, and I showed the advertisement to him. I told him I would love to have a bottle. He took the page, cut out a small section with the name of the perfume, and he slipped it into his wallet.

We checked all of the major stores at the mall, and we called a few stores in other nearby cities, but no one had ever heard of the perfume. If I recall, there were only a few Neiman-Marcus stores (still hyphenated in those days) outside of Texas, and none of them were in Ohio.

Over the years, I occasionally thought about the perfume and askedImage for it in stores, but the French perfume I sought was not to be found.

Ten years later, a package arrived in the mail for me. I was surprised to open it and find an entire box of samples of Quelques Fleurs perfume. The internet was open for business by now, and Rich had found a listing for the perfume at eBay. There were no bottles available for purchase; there were only a few listings for samples. I was beyond delighted with the glass tubes of perfume attached to their pretty cards.

The scent was as wonderful as I remembered, and to this day, no matter how many perfumes I try and like, this is the one that does something to my heart. It takes me away to a beautiful place. Maybe it’s the multitude of notes that remind me of my childhood – the rose garden where we caught bees in our hands, my mother’s lilacs, the lily-of-the-valley growing wild in the nearby fields, and even the scent my grandmother’s powder. Yet it’s not a childish scent. It’s mature and classic.

I asked Rich how he managed to remember the name of the perfume to buy. He pulled an old worn-out slip of paper from his wallet. He had kept it all those years and continued to search for Quelques Fleurs on his own.

~sigh~

I adore my husband.

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Quelques Fleurs Perfume – One of the most renowned and admired fragrances of all time.  Quelques Fleurs L’Original forever changed floral fragrances when it became the first true multi-floral bouquet 90 years ago. A classic that has endured the test of time, the fragrance is wrapped in a theme of sculptured petals in a frosted and clear French glass.

The true Quelques Fleurs formula has never been published. An ancient formula still kept in the family archives, this fragrance will never be duplicated. The blend of soft, sensual florals uses over 250 different raw materials and more than 15,000 flowers to create just one ounce of Quelques Fleurs eau de parfum. To this day it is still produced in Grasse, France, where Jean Francois Houbigant first created his perfumes in 1775.

http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Houbigant/Quelques-Fleurs-l-Original-5356.html

Do you have a favorite perfume? A favorite cologne? Do you have a favorite scent story?

Avoiding the Circus -and- A Breakthrough

ImageDo you have a mundane daily routine? Does every day seem like the previous one? Do things never change?

That’s certainly not my life, but I sometimes pine for that level of “normal” – if only for a week or two. How in the world do you ever write with consistency when you have no routine?

When there were four dogs, a son, and a husband in the house with me, it was a three-ring circus every day. With three of the dogs and the son now gone (I kept one beagle and the husband), we are still having at least two-ring circuses.

Where is the time to write?

Yesterday was “the day.” I was determined to get down to it, and nothing was going to get in my way of writing.

Then my sister called. She needed a ride to the hospital for a CT scan. No problem. ImageThe trip to the hospital turned into two trips to the hospital, an Arby’s lunch run for a Reuben sandwich for me, one trip to her surgeon’s office, and then a third trip back to the hospital where she was admitted for emergency surgery. I arrived home late in the evening. She had her surgery today, and she came through it just fine. She’ll soon be as good as new. Yay for great surgeons!

But something happened while I was waiting for her at the doctor’s office. I thought he would see her right away, so I opted to wait in the truck and listen to the radio. Earlier in the day, in an effort to keep her distracted and make her laugh, I told her I was going to write my next series of books about a couple of weight-challenged sisters who solve crimes in their community. We laughed, but the idea intrigued me, and I thought about it again while I waited for her.

I found a little notebook in my purse. I started jotting down ideas for characters. Names, ages, married or not, kids, jobs, community, etc., and a first line that will never stand: I swear that body was hard as a rock when my butt bounced off it.

I began scribbling as fast as I could. I managed just under 1300 words before my sister Imagecame out. At home, I hurried to type the words before I would forget and could no longer read what I had scribbled.  The last line on this page is: “Sorry, Sergeant. She’s got a knife in her.”

This was huge for me! I’ve been afraid to complete the Susan Hunter series for fear there wouldn’t be anything else. I kept thinking Susan was a fluke, a flash in the pan, a one-hit wonder. Ha! No longer! Make way for a couple of fun sisters.

I’m not going to finish this first chapter just yet. I’m going to get back to Maple Leaf Hunter and enjoy writing the story. I’m going to keep an open mind that Susan just might show up again in the future – somewhere deep in a new series where she meets a couple of sisters via a Slimmers Weight Loss center.

Oh my gosh! Writing is crazy fun, and I continue to be amazed at how ideas pop up, rush in, and come together. Now, if I could just get my daily routine under control to make it all happen.

ImageEdited to add: Chinese was for dinner again tonight. I opened my fortune cookie a few minutes ago, and this one popped out!!  🙂

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When Blogging Takes a Back Seat

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Just kidding!

It was a big job to pack and ship over 1,000 books, but they were finally shipped last week. I am officially out of the used book business.

I know I’ve missed a ton of great posts, and I know I can’t catch up with all of them, but I have started to read blogs again and will try to go forward with some regularity of stopping by to see what you all are up to. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks:

~ We finally have new neighbors. I’ve been keeping an eye onImage the Stairway to Nowhere to see what they do with it, but there is nothing to report yet. The family has a well-behaved dog who looks like Carl, so I’m assuming (based on the dog) that they will be good neighbors.

~ I’ve rediscovered glass in our house. I’ve enjoyed reading Dianne Gray’s adventures as her family has moved a rugby club onto their property and is now restoring it into a beautiful home. It has been lovingly dubbed The RUC, and it has some wonderful features including some vintage windows. Rich finally convinced me that the window in the upstairs bathroom is an oldie but goodie, and there is not a plastic laminate over it; it’s 100% glass:

ImageAnd this window hides behind a shade in a spare room that is only accessible through the bathroom, so I rarely remember the window is even there:

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It’s double-paned glass with glass slats running up and down between the panes.

Image~ I read Carrie Rubin’s book, The Seneca Scourge. I enjoyed it very much. I stayed up until after 3:30 a.m. to finish it one night. I haven’t read a medical thriller in ages, and I had a hard time putting it down. Carrie, you made me cry in chapter six, and I had to grab a tissue while reading a few subsequent chapters, too. The funny thing was that no matter how many times the main character’s blonde hair was mentioned, I could only picture Sydney as Carrie! And Sydney/Carrie, you rock!

Image~ I read Matthew Iden’s book, A Reason to Live. I read it in two days, and thoroughly enjoyed this one, too. This style of book (murder, crime, suspense) is probably my number one genre to read, and Matthew didn’t disappoint. His main character of Marty Singer is likeable and easy to root for. A couple of events at the end of the book took me by surprise. I’m definitely reading the next two books in this series.

~ I’ve been cleaning and throwing things out. The room I work/write in has an echo now. I kind of like that. Most of the shipping boxes are gone from the house, but I still have to deal with packing peanuts and a few other packing materials.

ImageImage~ My hardcover books are finally on my bookshelves. The plastic shelving on the right holds the overflow. I’ve started reading A Decadent Way to Die by G. A. McKevett. She’s not a WordPress author, but I couldn’t resist the cheesecake on the cover of this one, and I want to hold a hardcover in my hands for a change. This book is in the Savannah Reid series of books. I’m only two chapters in, but so far so good.

Image~ I watched a marathon of Bar Rescue on Spike TV. It’s a bit like a train wreck, but I couldn’t look away.

~ I found a blog I must tell you about. Mr P’s Adventures. Mr P is a potato head! He has some Imagetype of adventure every day. The first time I saw one of his blog posts – happily orchestrated by Ohiophotogrl – I laughed out loud. I took the time to go back through the archives and look at every post from the beginning of the year. I was wonderfully entertained. The posts are usually short, and you can click an archived month and simply scroll down to see all the pictures and posts. You don’t have to click through to the actual post unless you want to leave a like or comment (which you will want to do as something will likely tickle your funny bone). The blog is family friendly, and your kids will enjoy seeing what each day holds for Mr P as well as to read his final daily comment: “Wonder what we are going to do tomorrow?” Please check it out!

~ I caught up with all of my business paperwork.

~ I’m nearly finished with an editing pass on Big Apple Hunter. I wanted to do this before Imagerepublishing with the new cover, and I’m happy that some small errors will now be fixed. But most of all, I’m finally ready to buckle down to continue writing Maple Leaf Hunter. My family is giving me pointers on Bigfoot creatures. Yes, that’s right. My two brothers believe in Bigfoot, and I’m putting one (or more) in my new book. Ghosts, a gorilla head, zombies, and now a Bigfoot. I’m still out of control!

Do you believe in Bigfoot? What do you do when your blogging takes a back seat?