Friday, February 26, 2010



Now is blessed
the rest remembered

People need connectors
writers, heroes, stars, leaders
to give life form ....

Ceremonies, theatre, dancers
to reassert Tribal needs and memories
a call to worship,
uniting above all,
a reversion,
a longing for family and the safety magic of childhood.

- jim morrison

photo: Felix Fernandez Penny more here

Archival Reconstitutions Redux

Life in the
Past Lane

- bumper sticker from the
Southern California Genealogical Society


Not only are Archival Reconstitutions being created in the perfume world link

but, serendipity brought my attention to a documentary on Cleopatra from the Egyptian point of view, and another from archeological/forensic teams linking ancient royals, including ones excluded from historical texts, Cleopatra: Portrait of a Killer.

With plastination and the global dna bank it's going to be interesting linking the travels of not only families, recessives and dominants, but of germs, viruses, immunities and more.

illustration: Family by Lura Astor

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aspirational Vehicles

Years ago I stood on a crosswalk of Laguna Beach's tourist row when new Hummers filled the street - shiny, new, fast, high, cocky, tourist traffic be damned esprit. There were a lot of them, and most of the Sunday drivers looked like the young military from down the coast, sitting on high. I thought, this'll sell gasoline.

Then I met a woman whose parents had bought a Hummer and she sniffed, what are people doing buying the car if they can't afford the gas? The vehicle reminds me as part hearse.

Arianna Huffington ran for governor of California against Arnold Shwarzenegger. Her site played a great animation - her driving a gas saving Prius and Arnie in his Hummer gas consumptive.
I found it! This animation still makes me laugh here it is from 2003
His direct quote, "I'm for children" plays a bit differently in 2011.

Today I read, in ... the Huffington Post ... that GM General Motors is discontinuing the "controversial brand" read here

Hummer cologne came out with in-depth branding. I test drove a spritz of the aspirational cologne vehicle Hummer 1 and it ran right over me. Just as they are designed to do. In the perfume boutique I worked at years ago, Hummer didn't do great sales but Ferrari Red and Ferrari Black were huge sellers among boys, men and women buying for boys. Aspirational vehicles in a box with the logo on Ferrari yellow.

If you are over 18, 21 or 39 depending on the country where you live, you can click here scroll down to number 3 and listen to the beginning of one Hummer song. I am sure they are singing about the manly cologne in the manly machine.
It is by The Yuppie Pricks and titled Hummer in my Hummer.

There, I did it. Linking cars - colognes - music - animation - politics - gasoline - humor!

Point lastor!

Nose Geeks


Book rec for nose geeks

A Field Guide to the Invisible, Wayne Biddle

quick chapters include:

BO, Allergens, Bad Breath, Perfume, Pheromones, Neutrinos, Musk

BO body odor
"The human body excretes or secretes thousands of volatile chemicals, many with strong odors. We leave behind a cloud of bitter ammonia, rotty hydrogen sulfide, vinegary acetic acid, pungent ethyl alcohol and skunky mercaptans. We are short work for bloodhounds."

For those hooked on The Tudors series:
"Henry VIII preferred his dollop laced with rose."

"The Versailles court of Louis XV, known as la Cour parfumee required that a different perfume be worn every day of the week. The king's paramour, Madame de Pompadour, spent 1 million francs to establish a personal perfume bank that would guarantee her perpetual novelty."

Illustration: Eyes of Lura Astor 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

keep your nose wet


I am a macrosmate a good smeller
Many mammal macrosmates have a wet nose, detecting wind direction and to varying degrees, odor location.
Microsmates are poor or small smellers, the sense appears less important

Anosmates live in an odorless world, the non-smellers, some with only a rudimentary olfactory organ

more in Piet Vroon's Smell: the Secret Seducer


Illustration: Shimmer Colors Lura Astor

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cellist plays with himself - 37 parts

Sometimes I hear music or see performing ingenuity and remember why I must've become a dancer - my body could play music, lines, chords and variations within one body.

For Fun
Ethan Winer plays 37 cello parts ... be on the lookout for their cat with a gold halo

More at his site here

Cat: Franz Marc

Thursday, February 18, 2010

THIS is what I'm talking about

THIS is athleticism making it look easy

while I only understand some of the commentators, speaking in Italian
I love their enthusiasm
molto bello!

This footage is from 2005 -
I remember watching the close-ups on his thigh
toned, elastic and vibrating, playing an incredible high-speed musical instrument on the snow

Smell the Snow!
enjoy this reminder, while this young man skis in Vancouver Olympics this week

skkkkkkeeeeeeeeeeeeeee kissing the snow

Definitely try this at home, kids
and sponsors,handlers, and commentators, if you're not allowed to party after this, I don't know when you are.

Here's someone trying it at home

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poetry of Perfume

"I’m kind of hooked to the game of art and literature; my heroes are artists and writers.

Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything, it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through any one that suits you. … and that’s why poetry appeals to me so much – because it’s so eternal.

As long as there are people, they can remember words and combinations of words. Nothing else can survive a holocaust but poetry and songs. No one can remember an entire novel. No one can describe a film, a piece of sculpture, a painting, but so long as there are human beings, songs and poetry can continue.

If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel."

Jim Morrison
Los Angeles, 1969-70

I feel similarly about perfume,
smell, scent, fragrance, odour.
Scent is real, scent is abstract.
Scent tells a story.
Scent opens a door. -LA

Illustration: Pink Snake Lura Astor

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh, and


Happy Lunar New Year

Year of the Tiger or Golden Blade

Come to think of it,  I've never smelled a tiger.

Illustration: Orange Slices Lura Astor

Woo Hooooo

The current Olympics men's downhill is how steep? Its vertical drop is greater than the combined heights of the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, writes Chris Erskine in the Los Angeles Times yesterday. This image alone reminds me of dream time. It's a morph of heights and a wooo hoooo attitude.

Haven't see the Eiffel in person, the Empire when young and we were told, drop a penny off the Empire State Building, and if it hits someone, it'll kill 'em. Funny what we remember.

Wish I'd learn to ski as a kid, when close to gravity. I love watching these athletes combine skill and speed.

Dream Building: Lura Astor

Friday, February 12, 2010

There Goes the Kingdom

r.i.p. or if you don't want to,
let it rip,
Lee Alexander McQueen
leaving earth shortly after his mom left

You certainly shook noses
with your use of cumin and
your oddly designed
perfume bottle,
a modern classic.

Jacques Cavallier, perfumer of Kingdom

For a sensitive description of the
flirtations of the dark side in
fashion and gay men creating
the feminine ID in much of our
culture here

Illustration: Pedestall Lura Astor

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the earth oscillates in G

Wolfram Huschke, playing cello four decades, says,

You see, earth oscillates in G [takes bow and plays a G], which is proved.

If you consider we are living the whole of our lives within this sound... actually, it is a rather unclean G coming with harmonics
[he bows a ‘G’ rich in harmonics]. Again - there are melodies within. This G [bows again, this time sounding like metal, evoking a rather dissonant wall of sound], ... listening to this vibration of earth rendered audible you’ll find tunes that are reminiscent of the prelude to Bach’s suite in G major [plays an excerpt].

Basically, these are tunes Bach learned from nature since he kind of resonated."

Interview Here

His electric cello

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rastrelli Cello Quartett

Rastrelli Cello Quartett
from Finland

Astor Piazzolla's Oblivion

their Dave Brubeck's Take Five


their Milonga del Angel of Astor Piazzolla

A fun, silly romp 12th Street Rag/Euday L. Bowman where the Quartett gets very Benny Hill


Their click here website (offering 3 language choices)

"Each of us learned to say the word cello before we learned to say our own names.

However, since meeting in Stuttgart, Germany in spring 2002, and later, performing together, we ended up forgetting the name of our instrument. Our ensemble's repertoire consists entirely of transcriptions, music not intended to be performed on the cello.

Our goal is to make the listener hear the saxophone playing in The Melody by Sokolov, to make a ragtime-battered piano sound in a silent movie, to let them hear Piazzola play the bandoneon again..."

Maybe it's the hair or smile, but occasionally musician Kirill Timofeev visually reminds me of Pawel Szajda the actor playing Pawel in Under A Tuscan Sun. The four lovely musicians: Kira Kraftzoff, Sergio Drabkine, Kirill Timofeev, Misha Degtjareff

The Cello Player: Modigliani 1920

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Am I Blue? Are You?

flashback to a hit in 1967 L'amour Est Bleu
click here 

As a kid, I thought the adults offered a pretty, pleasantly shmaltzy, song during the heady rock explosion in an era of harpsichords and Color Me ____ . In part it is also because they sang colors!

Paul Mauriat's orchestral version here

Not bad for elevator music or dancing down a supermarket aisle.


Blue, blue, my world is blue
Blue is my world now I'm without you
Gray, gray, my life is gray
Cold is my heart since you went away

Red, red, my eyes are red
Crying for you alone in my bed
Green, green, my jealous heart
I doubted you and now we're apart

When we met how the bright sun shone
Then love died, now the rainbow is gone

Black, black, the nights I've known
Longing for you so lost and alone

Painting: Blue Lura Astor

song: L'amour est Bleu
music: Andre Popp
lyrics: Pierre Cour
English lyrics: Brian Blackburn
singer: Vicky Leandros

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Nature of the Sense of Smell

This Friday & Saturday you can enjoy special events with Luca Turin, Tania Sanchez, Patricia de Nicolai at the Smithsonian in DC.
info here

Here, WonderMonger introduces Dr. Turin at the University of Alaska Southeast. Grab the popcorn, it's a bit over one hour, and fun.

Hear Ye Hear Ye (trends)

Ding Ding Ding
Hear Ye Hear Ye
Flavour & Fragrance Trends
of Two Thousands Ten

I was quietly drifting along the sea’s shore munching on my rhubarb as I rose on my tippy toes to see the white amber dawn, quite a difference from the night before’s mojito green absinthe tongue, not quite the satin wood texture and my eyes felt a bit like I had woody irises but the orange blossom morning and the szechwan pepper sunrise made my youthful grapefruit musk quite provocative in the shocking androgynous way that no one, no one in L.A. is immune to these days. It is simplistically fashionable in that planned simplicity way, unlike the realism of the relaxed tradition a few years ago, everyone running around in yoga gear, then it became Pilates gear, and now it is transparent fashion for us, the voyeuristic data-capturing cultures we are, we are. So? Be bold, ye of many accents and L.A. - rise to the occasion of your Colorful Future.

... poking a bit o’ fun after reading recent pronouncements. Besides I wouldn't munch on rhubarb, I'd make sure it's well cooked ... read on

Color is a Serious Business and they do affect us.

I am always impressed at dye lots and Pantone numbers, paint and eyeshadow names, car colors (pleaaaassse do away with military green for the beamer sports cars!) lipstick, blush and juice – the liquids in which fragrance is delivered.

Bell Flavors and Fragrances'
Top 10 fragrance and flavor trends for 2010

based on sample tracking, trend scouting, trend compilations from external sources. Fragrance trends were developed on the basis of trends in fashion, art, color, politics and entertainment. (I got run off a fragrance forum board years back - my essay on perfume can be political.)

Drum Roll


Grapefruit rhubarb rose youthful
Seashore driftwood androgynous
White amber/patchouli shocking
Mahogany vetiver relaxed traditional
Absinthe provocative
Mandarin/orange blossom simplistically fashionable
Mojito planned simplicity
Woody iris realism
Satin wood transparent fashion
Szechwan pepper bold accents

Newsboy, age 6, St. Louis, Missouri: Lewis Hine 1910
Nuancier Pantone: Cereales Killer
California Orange Blossoms: B.L. Singley 1897

Wednesday, February 3, 2010



What's your

-Will Farrell as Elf

answering his dad's business phone line

Ericsson Kobra: Holger Ellgaard 2007

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

color fun, color blind, color sensitives

Links for your color and colour enjoyment
including some forums

colour lovers

color rotate brings in 3D

web exhibits

play with the color control bar here

and to mix it up,
Oliver Sacks' book
The Island of the Color Blind

Illustration: Ever Evolving Flesh Flower Lura Astor

Monday, February 1, 2010

there must be magenta in the air

As a kid I call Crayola's crayon color Magenta, magnet-a because it seems to magnetize color to itself, or magnetize you to its color, with a magnetic personality. Imagine magenta. 

Crayons began my life long love of color names. Cornflower blue was night and day from Prussian blue which became Midnight Blue in the marketing department after some years. Blue-green was different from green-blue.

Graduating on to color names of cosmetics, with the attendant fantasies, on to dyes, art paints, decor paint, flora and more-ah.

Ray Brown Trio with Gene Harris on piano play Summertime to warm your winter chills:

Magnet: MacMillan and Co. 1914