This smells so sweet! Not sweet like frosting, sweet like darling. Burt's Bees Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment just smells adorable. It's light streaming in the open windows in the farmhouse bedroom where your white sheets were just air-dried the day before and the host, one of your oldest friends, left a little mason jar full of gummy bears on your bedside table (just the orange, yellow, and adhesive-colored ones). This tub's pudding is cuddly but not cloying, and comforting with a chewiness I associate with that tantalizing pull to bite the brand-new nub of pink eraser on a fresh yellow No. 2 pencil (it doesn't smell like that eraser, but like the feeling you imagine it will have between your molars). Even though I've learned that petitgrain is a bitter orange note, there's a homier smell I associate with the word petitgrain that comes to mind when I sniff this ointment. I would like to smell coumarin (one of the ingredients listed, along with shea butter, almond oil, beeswax, and coconut oil) and see whether the compound accounts for the dollop of countryside I'm getting, since its Wikipedia entry says coumarin is "readily recognized as the scent of new-mown hay," and is found in plants like tonka bean, vanilla grass, sweet woodruff, sweet grass, cassia cinnamon, Deers Tongue and sweet clover.
You can use this ointment, intended for babies' bums, however you might use Vaseline, and it's especially nice on rough heels (sandal season is officially over here in Cambridge) and dry elbows (the season for which is fast approaching). I mainly use it at night, but it's subtle enough that it doesn't interfere with perfume.
"Mr. Autumn Man, enjoying a seasonal stroll." --The Onion
Other things I recommend right now, from past Nosy Interviewees and from the planet:
- Elisa has been doing some great perfume writing on her blog lately, on her new favorite leather, lilies, and underwear perfumes. I loved this line: "From a distance, the impression is not unlike my vintage Shalimar – a powdery floriental with a smoker's cough." Elisa and I disagree about Agent Provocateur, which she thinks goes from uptight to dirty, and I believe to be so raunchy in its opening that I leave a small grace period before leaving the house with it on.
- Rebecca has a wonderful poem, "Self-Portrait at San Carlito," up at Verse Daily (and a book coming out in 2013!!!).
- Natalie wrote an excellent review of Zadie Smith's NW for Fiction Writers Review, and highlighted one of the book's best lines: "Overnight everyone has grown up. While she was becoming, everyone grew up and became."
- FALL! I am definitely a shameless version of Ms. Autumn Woman, and if you encountered me on the street yesterday, you would have been subjected to a six-minute (minimum) reverie on how incredible fall smells and feels and looks. I like to celebrate its arrival with an annual reading of Colin Nissan's brilliant "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers," and suggest you do the same, whatever the weather where you are.