Middle Eastern Incense–The Final Essentials

Great fun burning Eastern incense. Here are some things you will need to do just that. One is sort of surprising!

Fabienne Christenson has visited Dubai and the perfume market in Dubai. She has collected bakhoor, burned it, had long conversations with citizens of the United Arab Emirates about it, and has a few interesting asides. This blog will probably amuse you highly. Also, the series The Elements of Scent will continue as well. In the meantime, take a look at the main Possets site where there is plenty of Eastern (Oriental) inspired perfume as well as those of the West. Http://www.possets.com

How To Burn Middle Eastern Incense (Bakoor or Frankincense) Part 2

Now that you know how to get the charcoal started, it’s time to put a bit of incense on the fire and see what happens. In this video I will show you the proper way to burn frankincense without letting it get acrid from exposure to too high heat. Burning bakhoor will also be explored and I will show you my favorite kind of bakhoor, too.

Fabienne Christenson has visited Dubai and the perfume market in Dubai. She has collected bakhoor, burned it, had long conversations with citiznes of the United Arab Emirates about it, and has a few interesting asides. This blog will probably amuse you highly. Also, the series The Elements of Scent will continue as well. In the meantime, take a look at the main Possets site where there is plenty of Eastern (Oriental) inspired perfume as well as those of the West. Http://www.possets.com

How To Burn Middle Eastern Incense (Bakoor or Frankincense) Part 1

Burning bakoor is an art. You have to have the right equipment and know a couple of tricks to do it right. Once you try this, however, you will experience the real idea of Eastern perfumery, the oldest form of scenting there is. No education of a perfumer is complete without burning the real thing and learning to appreciate the smooth, animalic, smokey, sexy scent of good bakoor. Watch this first video and learn how to get started!

Fabienne Christenson has visited Dubai and the perfume market in Dubai. She has collected bakhoor, burned it, had long conversations with citiznes of the United Arab Emirates about it, and has a few interesting asides. This blog will probably amuse you highly. Also, the series The Elements of Scent will continue as well. In the meantime, take a look at the main Possets site where there is plenty of Eastern (Oriental) inspired perfume as well as those of the West. Http://www.possets.com

Arabian/Middle Eastern Perfumery Bakhoor

bakhoorBakhoor is an incense made of wood chips and deeply infused with essential oils and fragrance oils. The wood chips are oude in the more expensive sorts of bakhoor, and a mixture of cedar or varietal hardwoods and some oude in the less expensive sorts of bakhoor. Yes, that is very expensive and so plan to pay a lot of money for first class bakhoor.

Most of the good bakhoor will come to you in a nice box and you get a lot of it. You only need to burn a very small amount of it because it smokes fabulously and the scent is extremely heavy. Proceed with caution and start with a small burn and then work up or else you will be setting off smoke detectors and have your neighbors hating you.

The scent of bakhoor is very obviously not Western. In the West, for all our love of foodies and florals, we are pretty bitter compared to the perfumes of the East which I could characterize as more emollient and sweet. Once you smell bakhoor, you will know what I mean.

Rose, patchouli, jasmine, and black musk are all common ingredients in a good bakhoor. The rose essential oils really vary a lot and a good Arabian perfumer will play with them like an accomplished cellist plays his instrument. I have smelled sweet rose, sweaty rose, lemony rose, and black rose bakhoor. Each of them give the middle note a good twist and keeps the fragrance interesting.

Next, what is the proper way to burn bakhoor, there is a trick or two to it.

Fabienne Christenson has visited Dubai and the perfume market in Dubai. She has collected bakhoor, burned it, had long conversations with Emirates about it, and has a few interesting asides about it. This blog will probably amuse you highly. Also, the series The Elements of Scent will continue as well. In the meantime, take a look at the main Possets site where there is plenty of Eastern (Oriental) inspired perfume as well as those of the West. Http://www.possets.com

Arabian/Middle Eastern Perfumery 101

hieroglyphicswordpressheader.jpgYou have heard, of course, that the word “perfume” means through smoke. That is pretty much the first thing anyone tells you about perfumery and they always expect that you are shocked, stunned, and in awe of that rare and esoteric piece of information. You have had that point hammered into you from the day you picked up your first book on aromatherapy and it’s in the first 3 paragraphs of every other book on scent you have ever read. Yea, yea, yea. Well, the first way anyone ever perfumed anything was by exposing it to smoking fragrant woods and resins. Today you could expect to see Arab gentlemen gathering in a majalis to talk and negotiate and the entire visit follows a time honored choreography of greeting, drinking coffee, who speaks and when and who does not, and the last act is that each of the participants have their clothing smoked with bakhoor, infused with the strong and hypnotic fragrances of the East. So, there is something in the idea of smoke infusion being the method of making fragrant.

But what is this bakhoor? How do Eastern perfumes differ from Western ones? Is there a common thread running through them? How do you use Bakhoor? Where do you get bakhoor? And is there liquid perfume which exhibits the same allure of incense? And, is there any accessory to make incensing your world easier?

Possets will explore these questions and more. So, keep your eye on this space because we are going to take a trip through the ancient souks of Dubai and the Emirates, heart of the perfuming business in Arabia!

Fabienne Christenson has visited Dubai and the perfume market in Dubai. She has collected bakhoor, burned it, had long conversations with Emirates about it, and has a few interesting asides about it. This blog will probably amuse you highly. Also, the series The Elements of Scent will continue as well. In the meantime, take a look at the main Possets site where there is plenty of Eastern (Oriental) inspired perfume as well as those of the West. Http://www.possets.com

Why Do Perfumes Change? It Used To Be So Wonderful, But Now…

madmeg

Everyone who is a scent lover has had the experience of having an affair with a perfume and somehow losing touch with it. You bob along for months and years and then all of a sudden, it strikes you that you have not had a bottle of Perfume X and you would really like to renew your dalliance with said fragrance. You order it online or go to the store and buy it all wrapped up, no need to sample it…thanks, you know what it smells like.

BUT THEN the unthinkable happens. You put it on and…and …and…it’s not the same! That is actually a cardinal sin in the perfuming world. Lack of consistency means that you have either lost the formula, you are too lazy/drunk/stupid to do it correctly every time, your ingredients have changed and you don’t have the nerve to tell your clients because you know they will never buy it again, or you decide that one of the ingredients is too expen$ive to go into a perfume which you have been selling for 30 years and only 50 old ladies buy it and you can change something about it to a cheaper component and get away with it. Finally, tastes might change and you might be trying to keep up with the times by adding some of the popular notes to an old war horse.

Of course, there is also “bait and switch” to thank for a perfume shift. I was an unhappy victim of that routine when I first smelled KL by Karl Lagerfeld. It was glorious, it was beautiful, it was the sun drenched jasmine of the Mediterranean coast in June. I only had a small sample of about 1 ml but I immediately rushed out for more. What a disappointment. The “real” KL smelled like Opium/Cinnabar. The jasmine was gone, the charm fizzled. It was just greed and the conviction that no one would notice.

If you are careful, and you are the perfumer then losing the formula is actually pretty tough to do. Most of us write things down and duplicate or triplicate the record so that no matter what, you will have a copy of that formula somewhere. Now there might be a few cowboys who think that they will always know the recipe by heart and find out the hard way that you can forget things, but usually the formula isn’t forgotten at all. Most of the time the stuff which goes into a new perfume is bolder, richer, and more expensive than the stuff that they put into a mature one (that is past the new new new excitement stage plus two years). So you might get some fabulous jasmine from Southern France in the first bottles of your blend, keep that in there and charge a mean price for it. As time goes on everyone’s prices rise (so it’s hard to say you are so so exclusive any more), your name brand gets a bit shopworn, and synthetics will appear which are claimed to be just as good if not better than the real thing and you use them. The formula changes, your sales drift gently downward and unless a huge resurgence of nostalgic new clients appears (highly unlikely) then your perfume is headed for retirement, only to be trotted out once every 5 years for a “special”.

Being too lazy/drunk/stupid to do it right each time normally leads to early retirement for the maker. Sometimes, if you get lucky, a big concern will buy the name and put out a bastard version of your original potion. You can continue your life as a wastrel with your new cash infusion, and the big concern will happily run that name into the ground until the last penny is made and then it dies.

Tastes also change and that can lead to some pretty awful attempts to keep up with the times. In the last 20 or so years, a classification of perfume known as “gourmand” has revolutionized perfume. Smelling like vanilla, chocolate, tomato, banana, or caramel was in vogue, and with the new notes being pumped out of the big labs, things were getting pretty foody. The house of Dior has always been known for its abstract/sharp/perfumy creations. Nothing foody about Dior, that is antithetical to Dior…if anything said Modern (as in post war modern) it is Dior. However, time marches on and Dior was agog watching the success of things like Angel by Thierry Mugler. Something had to be done. So they grabbed their flagship fragrance, the angular/cold/sharp/sandalwood splintery Miss Dior and tipped a huge blob of sweet strawberry-like goo in it, tinted the liquid pink, put it in a stupid bottle with a huge bow on it and released it as Miss Dior. Not Miss Dior Today or Miss Dior Now, no warning of what it had become. The result was like seeing Grace Kelly dressed up like Sailor Moon. Hideous.

Finally, let’s not forget the EU with their passle of regulations against all foul things chemical (some of which I am sure are based actually in science). They have single handedly forced formula changes, and never for the better (the classic Mitsouko now smells like hot asphalt). Alas, destroying the national treasure of a perfume is looked upon as collateral damage. Taunte pis.

By now you probably know that I have some very strong opinions about consistency in perfume. I want you to know that I go through no end of trouble to keep my perfumes consistent. If something has to change because an ingredient has disappeared, I tell you about it, sell the last of it and let it go. Sometimes I actually can find a perfect replacement and don’t skip a beat. But if the perfume changes, that’s it. I yank it off the list and discontinue it.

Changed perfume is one of the great disappointments of life. I really don’t want to be the author of that kind of sadness and strive mightily to keep Possets the same from batch to batch.

This blog is brought to you by Possets Perfume which is featuring the Summer Collection for 2015 which features a brand new website and 30 perfumes for you to have fun with. Sweet sweet summer is the theme with paintings from some of the world’s most wonderful artists from around the globe. Enjoy the season at Possets!

Cityblis

The Solution To Overly Sensitive Touchpads.

a lady

I bought a new computer, a mini Dell Inspiron. Cute little bugger, screen of about 11.6″ and it whips around to become a tablet (like the much more expensive Yoga). At about $350 I was real happy about it UNTIL I started to write an e-mail to someone and the way over-sensitive touchpad popped my cursor goodness knows where and the rest of what I wrote was out there somewhere. Drat. This happened over and over. The touchpad was jerking my cursor all over the place when any part of my hand was anyplace near it. This was getting to be a plague!

So I called Dell because I had a lot of time left on my warranty. I was on the phone for >2 hrs! They had installed and deinstalled my touchpad software more than 6 times, took control of my computer, restored it to a restore point of days ago, messed with it, jinked with it. They were working away and nothing was changing. I needed the touchpad disabled and nothing was working. Nothing.

Time marched on. Dinner needed to be made. I had to make a pitstop and my husband was making hungry noises. Two hours is a long time. I had tried to disable this beast myself and failed. It kept on coming back. I know how to do these things and nothing had worked for me. Nothing was working for the tech support people either.

Finally, they offered to send me links to other possible help sites (I felt like I was being cast adrift in a rowboat with a day’s rations and “good luck, chum”).

After being cast off with best wishes and 2 wasted hours, I leapt on a solution. It works, it costs practically nothing and takes 1 minute to do. Pictures follow. You will need a piece of thick cardboard (like what you find on the back of a writing pad), and a piece of duct tape. Cut the cardboard a bit larger than the touchpad and cover it. Then take the duct tape and tape it over the touchpad. Voila! It works, the touchpad is totally disabled.

My husband, who is a real sniffy guy, asked me to make one for his Dell, too (he has had the same problem). Problem solved! And the duct tape matches the finish on the computer, and the cardboard lends a raffish air. Behold:

FullSizeRender_zpsca33b647.jpg

 

This blog is brought to you by Possets Perfume which is featuring the Spring Collection for 2015 whose theme is The Last Great Georgetown Cocktail Party. The collection will center around a short story I wrote about the adventures of my mother, her social life, and how she was a wonderful symbol of the heyday of Georgetown. The party will begin now and celebrate the last collection on my old website. For this bon voyage I have concocted twenty-one new fragrances and on whopping great short story to go with them. I think you will be amused! In this blog, I will be filling you in on life and manners in the days when ladies wore gloves, furs, and jewels in midday; smoked cigarettes with impunity, had pink gins at lunch, and generally put on the most amusing airs. So come along and be one, too. It’s a blast.

Cityblis

What Is It With Crazy Authoritarian Hardware Stores?

Link

a lady Great Mother Of Pearl, what IS it with hardware stores? Why is it that independent or quasi-independent ones are filled with the creepiest of people? Why? WHY? This has been the case forever.

Back in “the day” there was only one hardware store in Cincinnati, Aufdemkamp’s. It was the weirdest of all possible retail establishments. Located on ugly Central Parkway, the building was lowslung and very 1950-ish. AUFDEMKAMP’S screamed at you from the side of the building in aluminum letters. There were signs of instruction for how to behave yourself if you had any hope of being “helped” by the employees of Aufdemkamp’s, and you BETTER listen OR ELSE!!!

First, the was no touching anything. If you wanted to fondle some item, you had to call a “sales associate” who would unlock the case so that you could massage a screw under the watchful eye of said associate, OR he would pick it up for you, hand it to you for a brief inspection, whereupon he would replace the object into its accustomed spot unless you purchased it.

You were constantly stared at. I got the idea they inhabited a panopticon and monitored all movements, even flies if they got in.

If you did happen to look at a tool, they would decide what you were going to buy. It was hell for a woman, if you decided to buy a hammer which was (in their opinion) too hefty for you, they would not sell it to you.

I don’t understand how they thought that was good business.

I am not kidding, there was one employee in there with a German Shepard! The dog was there to scare people.

Once I had to go there on a school field trip we had to do a project with wire which could only be gotten from Aufdemkamp’s Hardware Store. The class filed in under the watchful eye of the professor (from the University of Cincinnati College of Art). One gangling kid wasn’t too big on signs, and right under one which screamed “DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING WITHOUT A SALES ASSOCIATE!!!!!” did touch a roll of the wire we needed without the company of a sales associate and immediately was treated to an encounter with The German Shepard with a fulminating person on the other end of the leash who almost drew a handgun on the poor schnook. The professor practically had to fling her body inbetween the insane sales associate and his frothing dog and the feckless freshman!

Shortly after this unpleasantness, Aufdemkamp’s shut down for good. It was the dawning of the Age of the Bigbox Hardware Store and Home Depot had finally come to town to dominate.

I sometimes wondered what had happened to the employees of Aufdemkamp’s. I suspected they got jobs as prison guards or chain gang guards but I was soon to find out the truth.

Yesterday I went to Ace Hardware to buy a bag of fertilizer. I liked Ace, it was a pleasant place where men in headsets bustled around to help you even before you were in the door. I hauled in an empty propane tank for an “exchange” and set off to find some 10-10-10 granular fertilizer in a big bag. That is very generic stuff, for all of you non-farmers, stuff which is as common as “pig tracks” as they say.

A young man came up to me,”Can I help you?” “Yes”, I said,”I need some 10-10-10 fertilizer. “Huh?” was the incredulous reply. There must be something wrong with me. He turned to his older associate sales associate and stared as if to say,”God, did you hear that? What do you make of that? Good grief!”

The older sales associate stared at me real good while pulling himself up to his full height. I am sure he thought I was some arch fiend sent to the store to confuse and confound the associates. “Can I help you?” “Yes, I am looking for some fertilizer,” I was going to start off by stating the biggest classification of the item I wanted, the next characteristic, the next and so on BUT this particular sales associate brightened leapt up in the air whilst doing a 180 turn, rushed off to aisle 7, just a few feet from where we stood and beaming and pointing boomed,”Miracle Grow, it’s right here in aisle 7!” Case closed, job done, now on to other people.

“I wasn’t looking for Miracle Grow, I wanted…” “WHAT are you growing?” he interrupted showing his grumpiness at being told he was wrong, basically. “Flowers, grass, trees, vegetable, exactly what are you growing?” It was getting mighty small in the hardware store, I didn’t see where I had failed to provide the necessary information to this tud, so I thought I would start playing with him but first I said,”Flowers.” And fought the urge to add “, asshole.”

“Oh, then you want Miracle Grow, it’s in aisle 7,” he said looking very irritated indeed. “No, I don’t want Miracle Grow,” the ‘stupid’ was silent but just barely,”I want a generic 10-10-10 granular all purpose fertilizer.”

That stopped him. 10-10-10, what the hell was that? Some incantation from a witch? Some street term? He had no idea it was the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash contained in a fertilizer, and I had no idea he was that naive. But he turned on his heel and pointed to a large bag of dry substance with a gigantic full color picture of a slime-shiny coiled worm with pincer-like mandibles and multiple protuberances up and down its front like pseudopodia or worse. The bag declared “Kills Grubs!” Ewww, no not that.

Then I was lead to the other side of the display where there was fertilizer for blue flowers, or fertilizer with 200-2-47, or fertilizer for lime rich soil or suffering from too much bat guano or raising cacti. My eye fell on a bag of 12-12-12 from a company called Green Thumb. I said,”I will take this one.” “No, you said you wanted 10-10-10,” he cried. “This is close enough,” I said clutching its 33 pounds to my bosom. “No, you said you wanted a generic and that is a brand name,” he boomed. “I never heard of them so it’s generic to me,” I said brightly. Finally, playing his trump card he flung out,”You said you were going to grow FLOWERS with it,” he fairly snarled. “I AM!” I burst out then scuttled off with my bag of 12-12-12 safe to the checkout counter where the sensible people are.

I’m lucky he didn’t chase me.

I have used that bag of fertilizer with relish. I laugh wickedly as I sprinkle grains amongst my flowers. Victory is sweet, my friends.

This blog is brought to you by Possets Perfume which is featuring the Spring Collection for 2015 whose theme is The Last Great Georgetown Cocktail Party. The collection will center around a short story I wrote about the adventures of my mother, her social life, and how she was a wonderful symbol of the heyday of Georgetown. The party will begin now and celebrate the last collection on my old website. For this bon voyage I have concocted twenty-one new fragrances and on whopping great short story to go with them. I think you will be amused! In this blog, I will be filling you in on life and manners in the days when ladies wore gloves, furs, and jewels in midday; smoked cigarettes with impunity, had pink gins at lunch, and generally put on the most amusing airs. So come along and be one, too. It’s a blast.

Cityblis

Typical Menus of Georgetown Cocktail Parties (Part 2)

a ladyNow it’s time to get down to the victuals served. Canapes were quite important but frequently ghastly. Usually they were centered around being little lumps of fat on greasy Ritz crackers. Garnish with anything from a bit of cod to a sprig of dill and that was that. Much more effort was put into presentation than into the taste of the thing.

On the other hand, there were the hot hors d’oeuvers. Ewwww. Cocktail sausages soaking in a thin mustard sauce. I hope that the Department of Health oversaw the contents of the teeny weenies. You fished them out with toothpicks and devoured them if they didn’t splat merrily on your clothes first, just being secured by a toothpick. Vienna Sausages were the real low class variety.

Then there was the vile Hot Crab Dip, this is where you might find a dead goldfish on the end of your Fritos. Bacon wrapped “stuff” was always passed around. Bacon wrapped liver looks a lot like bacon wrapped turds, the presentation suffers from the materials used. Then bacon wrapped scallops were good (if not cooked to the consistency of a white rubber eraser). And there were bacon wrapped water chestnuts for adventuresome souls.

Now, on to the main meal. Usually, it was little bits of meat cut up into chunks and combined with some uber rich sauce laced with cream or wine and loaded with canned mushrooms. Coq au Vin, Beef Stroganoff, and other stews were popular because you didn’t need to cut it up and it went on top of rice saving plate space. This was usually the highlight of the food service and was garfed down with gusto. The rice over which it was served was invariably white long grain, in my story Mother walks on the wild side serving her pheasant in wine sauce over wild and long grain rice. Talk of the town, that. Brown rice did not exist, or was only eaten by commies and savages.

Vegetables were an after-thought. Overcooked and yellow, they were not very popular. Cooking only to doneness was a French idea which caught on slowly among the good citizens of the US. Back in the day, people thought that asparagus did have to be boiled for at least half an hour. What was done to spinach was criminal, it was usually boiled into a slimy mass and stirred into a thick and ugly pasty white sauce and seasoned with old nutmeg which rendered it a truly revolting mess. Eating raw spinach wasn’t done until way later when people were sure it wasn’t poisonous. In fairness, a lot of the vegetables were highly influenced by people eating canned veggies and so they thought that was the way they should look and taste.

And dessert? Chocolate mousse was ubiquitous in high society. If you were dining out, you might get The Pastry Tray which was a huge silver platter covered in many different pastries  including: Napoleons, small tarts, slices of torte, surprisingly flavorless tuffits of dense cake armored with flavorless frosting. Merange pies were so popular, as were chess pies and Frenchified fruit tarts.

The queen of them all was the Triffle, imported from England and gave you the opportunity to show off your huge cut glass bowl. You soaked lady finger cakelettes in sherry and lined the bowl. Then you filled it with layers of whipped cream and fruit. It was a “rich melange” of high calorie fluff made wholesome by the addition of berries.

This blog is brought to you by Possets Perfume which is featuring the Spring Collection for 2015 whose theme is The Last Great Georgetown Cocktail Party. The collection will center around a short story I wrote about the adventures of my mother, her social life, and how she was a wonderful symbol of the heyday of Georgetown. The party will begin now and celebrate the last collection on my old website. For this bon voyage I have concocted twenty-one new fragrances and on whopping great short story to go with them. I think you will be amused! In this blog, I will be filling you in on life and manners in the days when ladies wore gloves, furs, and jewels in midday; smoked cigarettes with impunity, had pink gins at lunch, and generally put on the most amusing airs. So come along and be one, too. It’s a blast.

Cityblis

Typical Menus of Georgetown Cocktail Parties (Part 1)

a ladyThere were two things one needed for a good party: food and drink, and what appealed back in the halcyon days of G’Town would not be considered today’s fare. Read on and find out how tastes have changed.

First, the sorts of drinks served. Everyone drank back then, not to do so stigmatized you as either a “party pooper” or a person who was so bad off that they had become a drunk. Also, alcohol wasn’t as regulated as it is now and driving while drunk or buzzed was simply a naughty (not a deadly) thing to do. Times have changed in all these regards.

But what was offered? Typically strong liquor based drinks and often those which had to be mixed. Old Fashioneds were very popular (lots of bourbon and sweet vermouth, a fruit punch-like mix and a maraschino cherry for garnish), Manhattans (like a martini with bourbon with the maraschino cherry), Martinis (lots of gin with a little vermouth often shaken with ice but strained and poured into a saucery glass and garnished with an olive). Gimlets were gin, lime juice, and a splash of soda garnished with a lime. The Pink Squirrel consists of several liquors (sweetened fortified and flavored thick things): Creme of Noyaux (nut flavored), Creme of Cacao (chocolate) and heavy cream.  Straight liquor on the rocks was popular, so put straight booze of any sort directly on ice cubes in the bottom of a glass and that is that.

Drinking things without ice was pretty rare, and usually marked you as a “European” type. Beer was for the merry-dog/golfer/outdoorsman sort, and not often drunk by ladies. There was a lot of bourbon, gin, and Scotch about and Vodka was not very popular due to its association with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Pinkos drank vodka, pal; whiskey was for True Americans.

Wine was an exotic European drink which was too esoteric for the average American to suck down  with impunity. No one knew anything about it, you didn’t mix it with anything, and you didn’t put it over ice; all those things made it “weird”. There were lots of rules about wine, and no one knew what they were, the year it was made made a huge difference in how good it was, and there were rules about which region it came from! Argghh, who wants to remember all that to drink sour grape juice?!?

Differences also showed up in soft drinks. Ginger Ale was very different back then. Canada Dry was spicy! Really, it was a hot and sweet drink with serious ginger kick. Now it’s bland and sweet only. Moreover, it contained rose water back in the day! You could taste it as a lovely counterpoint to the hot ginger and fizz. I know that is true because I spoke to a man who used to develop formulae for Canada Dry and he told me that secret. I am sure they don’t do that today, too expensive.

There was a Diet Coke-like drink called Patio at first, it was vile. Tasted more like sweet-tangy Moxie than anything I would want. It evolved into Tab and was even more loathsome. There was no similarity to cola and yet people drank it by the gallon because it was diet.

Speaking of diet drinks, there was Fresca, which I think still exists. It was a white cloudy vaguely lemon and grapefruit thing with serious toxic saccharine tingle to it.

No one drank soda water straight. So the most popular drinks now, were the least popular then: wine, beer, soda water, and vodka were the drinks of the out crowd. Gin, bourbon, Scotch, Rye were the in-crowd drinks.

And the most refined of all the drinks was rye. You have probably never had anything made with rye and its fall from grace was astonishing. It was a brown liquor and tasted identical to bourbon to me. It was considered more sophisticated just by urban myth and cherished belief. So it was. Ladies were very put out if they asked for a Manhattan made with rye and they could only get bourbon. Rye just fell out of fashion and now it seems to be enjoying a re-entry into the world of party.

Next time, let’s talk about typical cocktail party foods.

This blog is brought to you by Possets Perfume which is featuring the Spring Collection for 2015 whose theme is The Last Great Georgetown Cocktail Party. The collection will center around a short story I wrote about the adventures of my mother, her social life, and how she was a wonderful symbol of the heyday of Georgetown. The party will begin now and celebrate the last collection on my old website. For this bon voyage I have concocted twenty-one new fragrances and on whopping great short story to go with them. I think you will be amused! In this blog, I will be filling you in on life and manners in the days when ladies wore gloves, furs, and jewels in midday; smoked cigarettes with impunity, had pink gins at lunch, and generally put on the most amusing airs. So come along and be one, too. It’s a blast.

Cityblis