If you're in a hurry, just read the highlighted text.

Well, children, when last we discussed the elusive Mathias L'Eau de Figue, you learned that I found this sweet, organic-smelling frag pleasing (earning it at least 4 out of 5 stars in my book). I was unable to trace back my sample to its originating source, and then after one bad ordering experience (where a substitute fig frag was sent without checking with me!), I was back on the hunt to find any store on the planet that would sell it to me.

Then fate stepped in, and so did Buffalo_Gals, bless her heart. A basenotes fella posted a bottle for sale, and B-G reported this to me with as much enthusiasm as if to say, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" (My apologies to our Brit members.) I was all over it, slipping a bargain-priced paypal payment into this guy's electronic wallet. When--let's call him Steve--Steve tried to mail the bottle to me, we ran into trouble with the government. Not customs--no, the USPS computer. Despite living in a building that hasn't moved in 138 years, we're "not in the book" so to speak, and he couldn't generate a click-and-ship label from the USPS website. I asked Steve to mail the Mathias the old-fashioned way, which turned out not to be convenient for over-worked Steve (and no hard feelings about that), but it put about a 10-day delay into an already month-long process of trying to put fig to nose.

During the wait, I was poking around the NowSmellThis blog. I reminded Robin there that she should add Mathias to her master list of perfumers. She replied something to the effect, "I think Mathias has discontinued making personal fragrances; I'll have to check into that." WHAT! There will be no more?!

Now, L'Eau de Figue was hardly holy grail stuff, but understand that I can get affectionate for very few fragrances, for whatever reason. I've tested over 300 and have found fewer than 10 I really want to wear. So, this was not good news.

At this point, the pressure is on--that bottle of Mathias in the hands of the U.S. postal system was starting to look like it might as well have been floating in the ocean. I was actually scared for its well being.

Well, the ending is a happy one. The bottle, tucked in its original box, arrived safely. It's a potent brew, so it will last me eons, at least enough time to find a replacement or grow tired of it. Further, I have a collector's item, and purchased at two-thirds its retail price.

Additionally, Randy, regional director for the USPS, has launched an investigation! It appears that my city's and county's and state's representatives failed to comply with national regulations about keeping the USPS informed of road name changes. Ha! You keep a girl and her fragrance apart, and you're looking for a fight, you bureaucrats!