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Thread: Chicago Meet-Up

  1. #1
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    Quarry's Avatar
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    Default Chicago Meet-Up

    I have only one thing in common with Queen Latifah (well, technically, you'd count them as two).

    IT'S HARD TO WRITE ABOUT MY TIME WITH UBU
    There are so many endearing moments I could relate about the nearly 12 STRAIGHT HOURS(!) I enjoyed with the precious soul we all know as Ubu, that I would test your patience as readers. I've started and deleted six sentences trying to relate individual events so as to reveal how our affinity grew yesterday, but I'm floundering. Her voice and laughter are still swirling in my head along with mental pictures. It was soooo good. She's soooo good. Get it?

    FIRST LEG: UNION STATION TO FILENE'S BASEMENT
    Filene's is connected to T.J. Maxx on State St., and neither had anything to attract us. We just noticed they've finally resorted to people-proofing the boxes. For the complete lack of shopping charm this provides, the discounts should be deeper.



    MACY'S & MERZ APOTHECARY
    SA Pamela was such a good sport. She was our photographer by the Queen display and gave us samples. I wore some Queen on a knuckle on the train ride home and tried to like it enough to not condemn it, but it really is just another fruity frag, this time with a vanilla drydown, and its only admirable quality over all the other fruity celebuscents is that it's just a slightly lower pitch than the others. Pamela reviewed some of the Bulgari scents with us. Always needing to check out anything with "green" in its title, I smelled Omni Green Jade. Meh.

    The big fun was visting (for Ubu) and revisiting (for me) the Merz Apothecary branch inside Macy's. The array of brands and products is fabulous. The two scent highlights for me were the revelation about how good virtually all of the Anthousa reed diffusers are. They don't scream, they sing gently. The ingredients seem appropriate for fine perfumes. Their bottles are extremely tasteful and stable. I've never been attracted to reed diffusers like this before. The second happy discovery here was with Demeter Fig Leaf. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Demeter's don't last. Get over it already. This is a marvelous fig at a goofy-good price. My only problem: I already have three fig scents I can't wear often because DH is revolted. (Such was the severity of our complaints yesterday -- that being, completely petty, especially Ubu's: "Oh, I have to carry all these little bags." Oh, how we suffer.)



    A LOVELY DAY, A BEAUTIFUL CITY ... ON TO NORDSTROMS
    The hike winding through the city, over the Chicago River and up Michigan Ave. provided so much visual interest as Ubu supplied snippets about Chicago history, that our arrival at Nordstrom came in a flash.


    Marc Jacobs Lola occupied the "notice me" display. We had already "felt up" the bottle at Macy's. The cap, which appears to be a hard plastic, is actually a soft rubber, and an SAs was wearing one in her hair. On her, in her dark Asian hair, it actually looked good. Imagine it on me though, if you want to phlurt your coffee through your nose. Later, at Neiman Marcus, I spied a red Valentino bag with circular ruching that would make a good matching accessory to the Lola rubber flower. (The bag is $1,695.) This is the first and last time I will be able to post anything about fashion trends, so I'll get it all out at once: The upcoming color appears to be a gold-yellow, and I guess one is supposed to be using brow gel.

    Oh, and how was Lola's scent? As I remember, forgettable. Ubu can tell you something about the new numbered D&Gs.

    I'll let Ubu fill in the back story on this photo with Mohamed Atmani at Nordies. But I will point out the camera loves her, and it's not alone. (You little scamp, you!)



    NEIMAN MARCUS
    We decided to dodge Saks due to independent memories of pushy, ineffectual SAs, and got a round education at NM, thanks to Mark and Toni. I have a newfound respect for the Tom Fords due to Toni's layering techniques. Blending two and sometimes three different products on cards, she produced stunning, absolutely stunning perfumes. But, as Ubu pointed out, "That's now a $1,000 fragrance," given the cost of each bottle you'd have to buy to reproduce the effect at home.

    TF Urban Musk made me smile and smile and smile, but that's because it smells like a cow's hide after the cow has lounged in straw and poo. I now remember saying something similar about Profumo.it's sample of castoreum. Toni told us the scent was derived from white beaver. (Huh? Let's Google this ... son of a gun, there are a white beavers.)

    ATTENTION, LUCA TURIN: SCENTS SMELL DIFFERENT ON DIFFERENT PEOPLE
    SA Mark applied Fico di Amalfi on paper, on his hand, mine, and Ubu's. The fig and tangerine were delightful on paper and perfectly good on the two of them. My hand stunk like vinegar. Over time, it stunk less, but god and Ubu as my witness, this little hide of mine ain't ideal for a perfumista.

    BARNEYS
    Our plot of orienteering the best stops from south to north culminated in reaching the summit of shopping: Barneys new location on Oak Street. We dared not take photos inside, but I found photos of it here at The Fragrant Elf's blog. You have to click over and see the Malle section--framed photos of the perfumers, refrigerated products, and space-age aroma booths. I confirmed for my reference that Carnal Flower is, indeed, an outstanding tuberose, but the FM that was built for me remains Bigarade Concentree.

    Let's see, what can I remember anymore? Umm, they've dropped the Annick Goutal line. I don't remember seeing CdG anymore either. I don't get all the hub-bub about Kiehl's Cucumber oil. Actually, don't understand what this line is doing at Barney's at all. Le Labo has the best help-yourself-to-sniffing setup and some interesting new gel concentrates for $80. I noticed a trend with Barney's, Lucky Scent and Luscious Cargo: They'll carry Nanadebary Green in store, but show only the Nan Pink and Nan Bronze online. Ubu will fill in more here once she gets back from family activities. In general, I actually liked the old store better, and it had Charla, who was the L'Artisan boutique manager. I learned that she just moved to Denver.

    CRASHING AT C.O. BIGELOW
    A visit to this comfy hangout was sort of a nice way to come down from our frenzied high and just let the last of our sniffing reflexes spazz and sputter.

    Nasomatto frags were deemed appropriate to smell only on cotton Q-tips, not paper blotters, and Ubu was bent on identifying a common note betwixt Hindu Grass and China White, I believe it was. Bigelow's SA insisted they were the only store in town carrying this line. We had seen Nasomattos at Barney's, and I could almost believe I remember seeing the bottles at Nordies, too.



    IN LOVE
    The worst thing to happen all day was I left my cheap umbrella somewhere. Everything else was bliss. In addition to loving the experience of smelling perfume for at least 7 hours and loving Ubu's company, I loved riding the train to and from Chicago. I loved chuckling to Public Radio's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" podcasts while traveling. I loved the the rifle ammunition case packed with samples courtesy of the most generous Ubu. I loved the balsamic and olive chocolate truffles from Vosges Haut Chocolat that Ubu introduced me to. I loved the fried stuffed olives at lunch. I loved the fruit cobbler with coffee alfresco adjacent the Westin after sunset. (No, Tang, I dodged the wheatgrass.) And just when it seemed no new delights were possible ...

    A BONUS
    We noticed the time! (Think: pumpkin/carriage, mice, glass slipper.) I had to catch the 8:05 p.m. train.

    "I have to grab you a cab," Ubu said, thrusting cash in my hand out of ill-conceived guilt that she wouldn't be able to drive me through Saturday-night traffic as efficiently--nay, ruthlessly--as a city cabbie. Then, after repeated hugging (yes, Musse, I hugged her for you, too), we parted.

    As the cab navigated through crowds of pedestrians and cars, I socialized with the driver, telling him what a lovely day I'd had and with nary a hassle. Then I inquired about the kind of schedule he has to keep, praised him for his skills, visited cordially with him about his life because, well, everybody has a story.

    Nearing the station and while at a red light he asked, "So, was it a nice umbrella you lost?"

    "Oh, no. Nothing special," said I.

    He handed me a nice, new black umbrella. "Someone left this a couple days ago. If someone leaves a phone behind or something, I get it back to them, but this ... "

    A gift. A gift on top of so many gifts from this day. I saw the total coming up on the meter and wanted to be sure to give him extra (after all, I hadn't contributed much to the city coffers all day anyway, and he was so conscientious about getting me to the right entrance and on time). I handed the cash forward and said, "Keep all that."

    He flicked through the bills and handed five singles back. "This is too much," he said, "You are just such a nice person."

    "No, no," I insisted. "That's not even my money. My friend passed that to me, and it was meant for you." :brolly:
    Last edited by Quarry; 30th August 2009 at 06:10 PM. Reason: apostrophe
    Currently wearing: Winter by Dasein

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    - lovely pics ! Thank you for the great report !
    Petty small minded people have no place in my life.
    Currently wearing: Angel by Thierry Mugler

  3. #3

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Oh Quarry, you tell a great story - you had me laughing in lots of places! I enjoyed every line from the fashion tips to the white beavers to the umbrella karma saga.

    And I am printing off the pics of Ubu's highlights to take to my hairdresser...

    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

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    Brielle87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Oh Quarry love, your day sounds magical and it reminds me of how much i miss Chi-town; i lived there for almost a year around 13 years ago, great town.
    I am so happy that you both had such a wonderful time, not to mention a yummy time. You both look fabulous in front of Queen Latifah's ad, three queens in a row
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Quarry, that's such a funny, heartwarming, wonderful story! I want to go to Chicago just to hang out with you and Ubu! And maybe also to have my wrist snorfled by Mohamed!

    edit: As coincidence would have it, I also listened to "Wait, Wait" on our local NPR station on my hour's drive up to the city. It was a listener request show and I loved hearing their re-airing of Paula Poundstone having a go at food expert Michael Pollan about Ring Dings! (If you chose to listen, click on "Michael Pollan Plays 'Not My Job'")
    Last edited by Heartwood; 30th August 2009 at 07:22 PM.
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Ubu is JUST PLAIN NAUGHTY...
    But YOU, Ms. Q- YOU I want to EAT right up !!!

    If I loved you before, I love you MADLY NOW ;-)

    So happy youse guys had a blast !
    Last edited by chayaruchama; 30th August 2009 at 09:22 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Thanks bunches for posting, dear Quarry!!
    So much fun stuff to read (adore your humorous way of writing ) and the fab pix.
    Queen Latifah has NOTHING she should say against the two of you! Before reading the text, I must admit I thought Ubu was using those q-tips for picking up the coffee beans, although I couldn´t understand why...

    So, now I know what I already knew yesterday - the perfume shops of Chicago will never, ever forget you!

    Hey; of course I wish I could have joined you guys, but I´d be much more occupied talking to everybody than sniffin´. Not a bad thing though, not at all!

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    laral28's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Loved the pics and the recount of the day. I love Chicago and a weird follow-up is that I was there in late March and Mohamed actually helped me. He was wonderful. I am hoping to go again before the end of the year. I am sure I will be retracing some of your steps.
    Mapping the memory one scent at a time

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    What a great story! And no better way to start it off than that first picture! I think I got my weekly dose of laughter and sniffles just on this one post.

    The picture with Mohamed is priceless. Possibly one of the most memorable fragrance-related photos I have ever seen.

    Did I say what a great story?

    Best report ever! [hug smiley]
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
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    Currently wearing: Wanted by Night by Azzaro

  10. #10

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    What a great story! And no better way to start it off than that first picture! I think I got my weekly dose of laughter and sniffles just on this one post.

    The picture with Mohamed is priceless. Possibly one of the most memorable fragrance-related photos I have ever seen.

    Did I say what a great story?

    Best report ever! [hug smiley]
    I'm just adding dittos here. Couldn't have said it better! Thanks, RP!

  11. #11
    The power of bleu

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Sounds like you two had a blast! It's so funny, you posted about Lola too! I found the bottle hideous and didn't like the scent much either.

    I also chuckled at you saying you try anything with green in the name. I'm the same way with blue/bleu. I didn't have any luck with the blue scents yesterday.
    I've trademarked the color bleu

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    ubuandibeme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Quarry's winning personality is exceeded only by her kind spirit, generous heart & incredible artistic ability...written words, and visual asthetics! Let me see, what can I add here?

    Well, I arrived at our meeting spot and had just begun speaking with the concierge when from behind I recieved a friendly 'arm around the shoulder' hug and heard the words, "if you're not UBU, then I'm in trouble!" I turned around and sure enough, it was Quarry! Giggles, hugs, coffee, pastries, chit chat, then off to start sniffing!

    The Merz Apothecary inside the State Street Macy's was a fantastic find! Along with Quarry, I was completely impressed with the Anthousia reed diffusers. Loads of decent quality bargains to be had, we probably spent a good hour discovering all sorts of treasures. (these diffusers were also sold at C.O. Bigelow) The price was around 70 bucks, so I'll wait for a sale to snag one!

    Nordstroms! As you can see, I had a little fun with Mohamed ! C'mon, he was completely adorable and you would have done the same . When I finally tore myself away from this sexy man, I gave the new D & G line a quick test run...well...I really wasn't impressed. They are numbered 1-10, and the numbers 1 and 10 were the nicest to my senses. Priced at $65.00 per bottle, they will probably sell to the mainstream market fairly well. Before we left I purchased a bottle of Herve' Legere'. (It was also featured in one of tang's bottle collages ) As Quarry and I were sniffing the HL, she detected 'cola', I detected 'cherry', we agreed it was probably 'Dr. Pepper'. After searching on-line for fragrance notes, turns out it is heliotrope! For anyone who is interested, it also has jamine and sandalwood and was $65.00 for a 1 oz. bottle. Oh yeah, I bought a tiny purse sized roll on of Juicy Couture's Couture Couture - for my daughter - who I noticed has a 'twin' who works at the Bebe Sport in Watertower Place

    Neiman Marcus yielded engaging conversation over the Tom Ford Private Blends. Like the Boston entourage, we were also able to sample his new White Musks! I don't care what anyone says, those frags are fab! Big bucks though, but what good ones aren't? It was at this point in our day when it was plain as the shnoz on my face that Quarry has a VERY KEEN nose. She always claims she doesn't, but she's just short changing herself. One fragrance strip went to her nose and she exclaimed, "I'm getting heat"...turns out there was black pepper in it. She also could smell notes of hay in one of the other frags! The SA confirmed that note of hay! Yes, her nose is good.

    Never found the L'Artisan Havana Vanille. But when we finished at Neimans, we were overdue for some nourishment...since the Cheesecake Factory was right across the street, that's where we parked our weary selves. Quarry treated me to a scrumptious lunch. We got to learn a bit more about eachother, and the conversation always flowed easily. Very relaxing, interesting, and just plain fun! Once we were re-energized, it was time to hit Barney's!

    The new Barney's is bright, modern and open. The lower level is dedicated to fragrance and beauty. By the layout of the space it is easy to see which product brands are their priority, and which are just sort of kept around for whatever reasons. Frederic Malle is the premiere range of fragrance. The FM rep. (or S.A.) was young, European, and extremely confident in her knowledge of product & perfumers & history of perfumery. This was very exciting and refreshing for Quarry and me. She is how I imagine Nukapai to be!

    Quarry and I lavished over the entire collection from FM, and I could not leave that store without a bottle of Musc Ravageur. For me, it is the ultimate skin scent. With the cooler weather we've been having here in the Midwest, it's just perfect. (BTW I'm also fearful of possible new restrictions regarding jasmine, so I also made sure to grab a back up bottle of A La Nuit.) Ultimately, our time at Barney's wasn't cheap, but it WAS worth every penny!

    The time flew by, and I felt sad to say goodbye to my old/new friend, Quarry I feel like the luckiest basenoter alive, because I've gotten to know tang and Quarry. What began as a simple perfume hobby has evolved into two budding friendships - and that is the best bargain I've ever found!
    Last edited by ubuandibeme; 2nd September 2009 at 11:06 AM. Reason: edit out poor choice of words

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    WHAT a great account, Quarry! I love you two so much. I got a little teary eyed toward the end there (really). Thanks so much for sharing your day's adventure, and for the giggles. That was a great read!

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Quote Originally Posted by ubuandibeme View Post
    As you can see, I had a little fun with Mohamed ! C'mon, he was completely adorable and you would have done the same .
    But, of course. But Mohamed doesn't doesn't appear to be having too bad of a time either!

    Quote Originally Posted by ubuandibeme View Post
    When I finally tore myself away from this sexy man, I gave the new D & G line a quick test run...well...I really wasn't impressed. They are numbered 1-10, and the numbers 1 and 10 were the nicest to my senses. Priced at $65.00 per bottle, they will probably sell to the mainstream market fairly well.
    ITA about the D&G Tarot line. They're pretty boring. I was disappointed. I quick-sampled a few and liked 10 the best.

    Thanks for sharing, Ubu! You are all gorgeousness! Both of you!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Great story, Quarry. And please be careful around Ubu next time - she sounds like a thoroughly bad influence!
    Last edited by Snafoo; 31st August 2009 at 07:27 AM.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  16. #16

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    The next best thing to being there is reading these fabulous accounts. In March, I watched ubu leave all of the perfume SAs with smiles on their faces. The two of you together? A force of life & laughter to be reckoned with!

    Your photos & stories have left me here with a big grin on my face. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafoo View Post
    Great story, Quarry. And please be careful around Ubu next time - she sound like a thoroughly bad influence!
    Oh, she is, she is!

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    What a great story! And no better way to start it off than that first picture! I think I got my weekly dose of laughter and sniffles just on this one post.

    The picture with Mohamed is priceless. Possibly one of the most memorable fragrance-related photos I have ever seen.

    Did I say what a great story?

    Best report ever! [hug smiley]
    Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by ubuandibeme View Post
    As you can see, I had a little fun with Mohamed ! C'mon, he was completely adorable and you would have done the same .
    Believe me, I'm looking forward to it!

    What began as a simple perfume hobby has evolved into two budding friendships - and that is the best bargain I've ever found!
    This makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. I love Basenotes!
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    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  18. #18

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up



    This has replaced "Le désespoir au L'Artisan" as my favorite picture of Ubu.

    And I'm still giggling over the one of her majesty Queen Quarry!

    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

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    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Quote Originally Posted by tang View Post
    The next best thing to being there is reading these fabulous accounts. In March, I watched ubu leave all of the perfume SAs with smiles on their faces. The two of you together? A force of life & laughter to be reckoned with!

    Your photos & stories have left me here with a big grin on my face. Thank you so much for sharing.



    Oh, she is, she is!
    I totally agree. I am feeling very happy while reading everybody's accounts of their meet-ups and thinking about the great time we had yesterday.
    Evenstar

  20. #20

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    What a great day - thanks for the lovely writing and pics from both of you. I think this Worldwide Basenotes Day has brought a lot of people closer

    Does anyone walk away from a Frederic Malle line-up without a bottle of something? Not easy . . .
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 31st August 2009 at 05:11 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    What a FAB report you two! LOVE the pictures!

    (Though a little concerned you've imagined me as superior and arrogant! I'd be mortified if that's how I come across in real life :/ ).

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    ubuandibeme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Nuks, I adore you !
    Last edited by ubuandibeme; 2nd September 2009 at 11:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Wonderful report Ubu and Quarry (as usual! I love your way with words and pics!). You both look great in the pics, this thread brought a huge smile to my face.

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Quarry and Ubu! Love love love the reports and pix, thank you! Queen Latifah's gorgeous but she's got nothing on you two. Ubu, I tried the Tom Ford musks recently and agree, they are top notch. I really loved White Suede.

    Quarry you could never try our patience - if you write it, I'll read it.
    "I felt something so intense, I could only express it in a perfume." - Jacques Guerlain

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Thanks, thanks, thanks, you guys! You do know the show-and-tell aspect is a big part of the afterglow and that I wish I could have a turn with each of you for a day.

    Yes, Ubu has an exquisite hair-do. I thought that myself repeatedly.

    Oud, I just listened to that Paula Poundstone/Michael Pollan segment. Lord, I love her brain. Along the line of that broadcast's theme, I was reminded of a handy bit of advice ...

    SHOPPING TIP
    For some unfathomable reason , all the hooks were taken off the doors of the ladies room's stalls at North Bridge where Nordstrom's is located, however, toilet seatcovers were available in abundance. One of these makes an ideal "placemat" on which to set one's purse and shopping bags.

    Lilybelle, you and Ubu and I can someday have a sentimental tear race. We both confess to being quick to water an eye over soft-hearted feelings.

    Yes, Snafoo, that girl's shameless. You know, she sent me home with chocolates and a bottle of rose perfume for my husband.

    RP, your comment, "Possibly one of the most memorable fragrance-related photos I have ever seen," may possibly be one of the most memorable compliments I have ever received--right next to tdem's last post. Man, I felt that hit me dead in the sternum.

    Tang, don't you think, with her ability to emote on cue, we could make Ubu the "Face of Basenotes" -- although that's not the part of her you photographed in "Le désespoir au L'Artisan." I love this shot of The Perfumed Court's Lisa Lawler, too, from Chicago, 2007.
    Les pieds ne peuvent pas supporter un nez infatigable (the feet cannot endure an indefatigable nose)
    Currently wearing: Winter by Dasein

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    ubuandibeme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    Love this pic of Lisa Lawler! "The nose is willing, but the body is weak"! Really, do any of us EVER stop sniffing???

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    What a FANTASTIC time you had Quarry and Ubu! I loved reading your notes and seeing your hilarious pics. I can only imagine how your bellies must hurt from all of the laughter!

    "You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future."

    "Three essentials for a good life: Someone to love, somewhere to go, and something to look forward to."

  28. #28

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    What a fabulous day you had! I wish I could have been there, I've been to Chicago once with my best friend and we had a blast. I love the Cheesecake Factory too. Fantastic photos!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry View Post
    (Such was the severity of our complaints yesterday -- that being, completely petty, especially Ubu's: "Oh, I have to carry all these little bags." Oh, how we suffer.)
    This made me laugh! I was lucky enough to have a carabiner in my bag, that I normally use for clipping a toy to the baby sling. It was pressed into service to hold all my little bags together, and in a bizarre twist was exactly the same colour as my jacket.

    Now I want to go to Chicago to eat cheesecake and sniff perfume with you two. Would have to get my highlights done first though

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    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    A carabiner, yes!
    As I admitted to Ubu, I just chopped off my hair in three passes and bought a bottle of hairspray last week in anticipation of our meet. I could use some highlights, too, to break up my "salt and pepper."
    One of the things we discussed during our walk between stores was boots, and that lead to our oooooing over the darling nature of that avatar of yours, Hebe. I could see it in my mind's eye as clearly as I see it right now. Just love it!
    Currently wearing: Winter by Dasein

  30. #30

    Default Re: Chicago Meet-Up

    I've been LOL"g at this thread. I just got back on here after a 6 month hiatus.

    I'm surprised that so few peeps came out for a Chicago event. Are there not many of us on the site?




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