Victorian Department Store in Dark Matter

I admit that I have taken a bit of artistic license with the department store featured in Dark Matter. I wanted to take you on a Victorian shopping trip and to introduce you to a beautiful part of Cincinnati. There really was a special department store in Cincinnati named Gidding Jenny, and it is where Jenny Walker goes shopping for a suitable frock for her court appearance.

Here is a nice blog about Gidding, and quite a few pictures of the colorful Rookwood facade, which is still there. But in truth, it opened in about 1907, 57 years after the action in Dark Matter. The first department stores started to appear in New York before 1850, and the idea spread fast but most of the places you would find in a city like Cincinnati in 1850 would be dry goods stores where you would find all sorts of things but they would not really be as fancy as the Gidding-Jenny store that I present you with (marble, staircases, lots of different areas in the store for lots of different sorts of products).

A woman in 1850 would have probably met with her dressmaker and picked out a pattern she liked for a new dress. Then they would go to a dry goods store and pick out the fabric and notions and the dressmaker would run up the garment in “muslin” (that is make a mock up out of a cheaper fabric so the true measurements and alterations could be worked out) and then the altered pattern would be cut out of the expensive fabric and sewn together.

The real Gidding-Jenny was an amazing department store in its day. It did have a big staircase and it was a fixture of Cincinnati life. The merchandise was all top of the line retail and they had a wide assortment of ball gowns, debut dresses, evening wear, hats, furs (!), perfumes and all the accouterments necessary for the well dressed woman of 1950-60 America. Times did change, though and modern ladies insisted on more casual less expensive clothes, and eschewed things like fur and hats. Gidding was on the down stroke and finally disappeared in the late 80’s.

One of the most loved events at Gidding Jenny was their sale which happened in the winter, as I remember. Clothes which had cost hundreds of dollars were marked down to a pittance and they were scooped up quickly. Unfortunately even that became passe as the fancy duds which were on sale had no place to go.

I brought back the old Gidding for one last lap around the track in Chapter 15 of Dark Matter to try to give the reader a little fun entering an old Cincinnati landmark in its heyday. Isabella is going to pay them a visit, too, in the future and you will get another chance to take a look at fashion in the 1850’s, and the thrill of novelty in antebellum fashion.

New Chapter of Dark Matter AND…

Image for Smirk perfumeA brand new chapter of Possets serialized novelette, Dark Matter, has appeared. This time, Jenny Kenwood Walker, that faithless golddigger of a wife of Stewart’s, will have to defend herself against Stewart’s accusations of adultery! She has been a little bit reckless and now Stewart is looking to rid himself of her and marry his true love, Isabella Bandfield.

BUT, Jenny Kenwood is not a woman to be flicked off lightly, no, she has a sly native intelligence which might just carry the day and make Stewart’s nuptials a mere dream. A lot can and will happen between Jenny getting the summons and the courtroom drama in Chapter 15 of Dark Matter! See for yourself on Possets’ website.

In addition, the new perfume, Smirk, is part of this chapter. A lively quirky unisex blend, it is bound to be a hit with its pipe dottle, sweet smoke and candy elements. Great fun to smirk along with the characters and their own elements, too.

So, catch all of the action on Possets’ website. Lots of fun and good amusing reading.

Oh and the image on this post is from Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and it is of the Moulon Rouge Dancer, La Goulue

The Violets

The violets have arrived on my front lawn. They are spectacular this year. The scent is wonderful and I can smell them from very far away. I have a sort of pinkish/purple variety and I can’t even remember the name of the type, but they are well worth looking forward to.

I cut a few and put them in a little vase and brought them in yesterday. One thing I did notice is that when you bring too many in at once, or you get too close to them, their fragrance goes from beautiful violet to overwhelming animalic very quickly! I know that, I just got greedy. So, I am distributing bits of the original bouquet around the house so I don’t get too great a concentration of violet in one place.

It is, for all its pitfalls, one of the loveliest fragrances in the plant kingdom.

A Thought on Tattoos

It just occurred to me that most of the tattooing I have seen is black. Now, I think that looks great, especially when it’s new but it occurred to me that a lot of linework tattoos would be really smashing in dark red. I was playing with red iron oxide eyeshadow this morning and it reminded me of a henna tattoo I got a while back and it also reminded me of “redwork” embroidery that I had seen and I wondered why more people don’t experiment with other color linework in tattoos.

I think that if I were going to get a tat, I would definitely think about getting a dark red one.

Tomorrow Things Are Going To Start

Just like spring, things are going to appear at Possets tomorrow. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and I think it’s the right time to initiate Cambienne again. Cambienne is the perfume which I change to match the time of the year, so the bottle you buy in Spring is not the same fragrance as you get if you buy one in July. Cambienne reflects the time of year and sometimes it includes the works of man (one had gardenia and smoke from fireworks displays in it for 4th of July, for instance). I have always felt that the year begins in early spring and so Cambienne will reflect that. What is up first? What event will be commemorated? How will it change? Find out tomorrow. There are plenty of things to think about this year, for good and bad and wonder.

Today I Saw…

…a violet beginning to raise its head above the leaves it was nestled in!

Mmmmmm, so many things happening now! Crocus has bloomed, snowdrops are actually becoming to the end of their run, bluebells are scattered around my lawn and the miniature daffodils are out. The big daffs are starting to pop and violets, oh sweet violets! Huzzah! The 20th is the first day of spring and there is a “supermoon” which is coming up this weekend. Perhaps there will be a pop of new Possets in honor of these events. What do you think?

Two Last Days Of Winter

Spring is coming on March 20th, so enjoy your last two full days of winter. Of course we are all looking forward to the end of that dreariest of seasons and the onset of that most jocular of times of the year.

I will be putting out a boatload of podcasts, blogs, YouTubes and more things this spring, so stay posted to Possets. I think you will be greatly amused.

Stewart Is Crushed In The New Chapter Of Dark Matter.

Chapter 14 of Dark Matter is ready to read. This time I focus in on Stewart and his secrets. There are a few things we have seen hints of but today Stewart is forced to come to grips with parts of his past which might be seen as inconvenient. Chapter 14 reveals more than Stewart would like to show. His past comes back to haunt him and calls into question his future. Traveling to the Midwest in 1850 was more arduous than it is now, and it gives Stewart plenty of time to confront his innermost thoughts, especially when someone he hoped he would never have to confront crosses his path and shakes up all of his cherished cornerstones of sanity.

The Next Chapter Of Dark Matter…

Stewart Walker, the hero from Dark MatterTomorrow the next chapter of Dark Matter emerges. This time the spotlight is firmly on Stewart and how he is handling his trip to Cincinnati, his past haunting him, his future peering into his eyes. Is he stable enough to stay strong through his upcoming ordeal? The answers might be a bit surprising to you when you read the next installment of Dark Matter, the serialized Victorian Romance novelette from Possets. Each chapter is accompanied by a new perfume to go with the story. This time the next offering is called “Crushed”. Stop by Possets tomorrow when it is released and get your fill of Dark Matter!