Friday, August 22, 2008

Secret Pal 12 Question 11


And can I tell you how thrilled I am the SP question finally came up this week? I'm tapped. My brain is no longer generating useful or entertaining bits... if it ever did.

What is the best thing you've ever received in the mail?

Wow. That's a kind of difficult one.

I've been to Girl Scout Camp, was an exchange student in Mexico for most of a summer when I was 13 and went to Antarctica for six months -- letters% from home were always fantastic.

[SUMMARY: Oh, the places I've been!]

I received my AP English test scores, college acceptance letters, title to the first car I bought myself, and the neighbourhood covenants§ when I bought my house.

[SUMMARY: Validation of a life well-documented.]

I do have a story, though, about one of my favourite mail moments:

My freshman year in college, one of the first people I bonded with was Chris Erikson. He was gorgeous# and a Rush fan†† and one of those naturally popular people it's just good to have on your side.

I was in the basement of the Union getting my mail and he detoured from the pool table to say hello and, "Hey, what'd you get?" I handed my meager stack of mail over to him and he zeroed in on a letter from my friend Mark in England.

"Can I open it?"


"Can I read it?"


Now, Mark is funny as hell and creative, so I figured it'd be a good letter. And I knew there wouldn't be anything incriminating in it.

Only Mark had annotated this letter with pictures cut from magazines. And the picture that popped out‡‡ first was a photo of an erect penis, separate from its owner, with the handwritten note, "This isn't me."

Chris crowed with glee and read the letter out loud to me, giggling the whole time.

I never got a penis letter from Mark before or since, but that letter cemented me in Chris's mind as a cool chick who knew cool people, and we lived happily ever after.§§

[SUMMARY: Never has one person gotten so much credit for doing so little.]
Bois Farine - l'Artisan Parfumeur¶¶

Marin says: It smells kinda like peanut butter. Not Jif, but the stuff in a Reese's peanut butter cup. Fake peanut butter. A little sweet, a little unnatural.

I know this is supposed to be an innovative perfume and it does, indeed, smell like flour. Like flour and water paste, to be more specific. It's not unpleasant, just really odd.

Three hours in, it smells a tiny bit flowerier, which helps it be less... odd. Yeah, I'm running out of words for this one.

Oh, wait. Wait. There's a roll-out with this one! It's making me very happy -- almost giddy. The flour paste and light floral is there, but blossoming, and there's something astringent and vaguely medicinal that reads like camphor or cinnamon -- something that would make you hot or cool if you rubbed it on your skin.


l'Artisan says: Created by Jean-Claude Ellena, perfume composer of great talent and international fame, Bois Farine (Wood Flour) is the product of his encounter with a magic tree in the Reunion Islands.

Here, in a forest known as the coloured wood forest, surrounded by evocatively named trees , red wood, yellow wood, iron wood and milk wood, he unexpectedly discovered the fragrant white tree - a rare and nowadays protected species, reputed to have magical powers. This tree is specific to Reunion Island and its red flower smells like flour.

Bois Farine is a single and unique fragrance,## a magical union between witch wood and flower powder … As rich and fresh as flour rain.

Hans says: Oh, that does smell like diaper. *sniff* Yep. Diaper. Like baby powder. You know, like when you go into a baby changing station?

%FOOTNOTE (percented): And M&Ms.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): With the letter saying I'd earned the highest score in the state. Yay me. Oh, let me brag... I don't have that much to brag about.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): A milestone.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Which I read cover-to-cover that night in bed.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I *always* have a story. You may have noticed.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Looked like a blond David Cassidy.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And was, in fact, driving on the epic road trip from Gunnison to the Rush concert in Denver (2/14/86) that turned my bladder into the camel's hump it is today.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): So to speak.

§§FOOTNOTE (won't that turn your head around?): He even called me once a couple of years after graduation just because he found me in the phone book.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (put your hands up!): For those of you who may be interested (*coughSylvia* *coughRosie*), l'Artisan will ship you five samples of your choice for the price of shipping and handling ($7). Along with a catalogue that is the most beautiful, expensive example of the printer's art I have ever seen.

##FOOTNOTE (pound that point home!): Um... because nobody else would try to make a perfume smell like flour?

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