Friday Fripperies {Wishlist edition}

fripes

1. Haunted Castles: The Complete Gothic Stories $9.88 // BirdOvPrey tee shirt $33 // Sophie Reaptress velvet brocade leggings $70 // SOTMB Fjall Hoodie $150 // Adele Mildred Peggy sunglasses $220 // Catbird X Goest Smoke & Violets perfume $34 // Theeth Skull and mushroom necklace $250 // Julia deVille claw and 3 stones ring $570

Wishlist edition? “Well, isn’t that what Friday Fripperies is,” one might be inclined to inquire, “…just a never-ending wishlist?”

Well, yes, and no. Normally by the time I share my list of frips, I’ve already acquired at least one or two things that I’ve mentioned. It’s more a to-do list, really, for me to keep track of and check things off once obtained.

However, since I am currently on a No-Buy (OMG are you as tired of hearing that by now as I am of saying it?) everything is off limits, and none of these things will be showing up on my doorstep any time soon.

What’s on your wishlist right now?  I need to shop vicariously through you! Tell me all about it in the comments!

Scents of the week {1}

An informal reporting on the scents I’ve been wearing lately, in a concerted effort to appreciate and use what I already have, as opposed to continually adding another fragrance to the collection (and another, and another). Previous to now, this collection has grown, unchecked, and has reached a point where I will never wear all of it, even if I had ten lifetimes to scent.

For week one, we have Tokyo Milk’s Arsenic, Mississippi Medicine by DS & Durga, and Chanel Sycomore from the Les Exclusifs collection.

Arsenic

As strange as it sounds, I think Arsenic smells like fresh marjoram, which, in turn, reminds me very much of Christmases when I was a little girl. I think that’s because when I first smelled fresh marjoram (which to my nose smells a little sweet, slightly piney, maybe a touch of citrus, and vaguely musty?) I realized it smelled exactly like the worn, cardboard box of Avon Christmas ornaments, gewgaws, and tchotchkes that we’d haul down from the attic, dust off, and disperse throughout our home every year for the holidays.

Medicine

Mississippi Medicine opens with an astringent, peppery cypress, and gives way to a pine-crackling, smoky fire, sweet birch, muddy grass and scorched leaves… and dries down to a sweetly herbaceous, woody, resinous scent that would smell devastating on either a man or a woman (I mention this because it is marketed toward men.) All told, this is the scent of waking with strange incense in your hair and the vague dream of descending into the dark, dancing and divining with ancestors, and having been part of rituals older than you can imagine. A scent of potent magics – both sacrificial and healing

Sycomore

Chanel Sycomore. Foliage and tall trees and rich, gritty dirt; soft smoke and damp greenery, and all the best smells of a forest ramble–but the hiker is garbed in expensive elegance, Prada boots, an Hermès scarf, Burberry coat, that sort of thing. This scent of a woodland spirit turned posh socialite; a dryad who quit the forest, now living on the Upper East Side.

How To Wear: Your Favorite Horror Film

crimson-peak-mainWith the new year comes new wardrobe resolutions: throw out/donate what you no longer wear or no longer fits properly, add more color and pizzazz to your outfits, swap your ratty stuff out for more high-quality pieces, invest in classic blazers and cashmere and so on and so forth. Blah, blah, blargh.

Ho-hum! I don’t know about you, but I nearly fell asleep typing that just now. Boo, hiss! Boring!

Now if one were to consult me, my sartorial suggestion for 2017 is to wear every day like it is your favorite horror film! Harnesses, spikes, studs, and torture couture to emulate beloved cenobites and malicious madams, the gilt headdresses and flowing silk worn by eldritch sea priestesses, or perhaps a velvet curtain-inspired antique, ruffled peignoir, to greet that poor, sweet vampire boy knocking on your window in the dead of night. Plumb the infinite depths of your terror to yield dark, fantastical prêt-à-porter revelations this season!

As always, click the image below to find a list of the apparel, accessories, and accoutrements used for each grouping.

Previous ridiculous installments of How To Wear:
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Arts
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Spring Equinox
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Winter Solstice
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Autumn Equinox
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Jean Rollin Film
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Gothic Romance Novel
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Your Favorite Tarot Deck
👁‍🗨 What To Wear Upon Greeting Death
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Melancholic Holiday
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Date With A Monster
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Dramatic Jewelry
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Tee Shirt

Hellraiser

Hellraiser

Imprint

Imprint

Dagon

Dagon

 

The Company Of Wolves

company of wolves

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death

Jessica

Salem’s Lot

Salem

The Iron Rose

rose

Crimson Peak

crimson

…and as a bonus, perhaps you might try a variation on this theme:
How To Wear: Your Favorite Horror Novel!

novel

 

 

 

A Year In Fragrance: Month 12

cabinet2
It was my intention to write about fragrances on a monthly basis in 2016, but I’m afraid I rather lost the thread of that back in November. I suspect this can be forgiven. November, for my family at least, has always been The Worst Month–relatives die, addiction and depression run rampant, all sorts of good stuff–but this November was, as I think we can all agree, particularly horrid.

And so, as it happens, I have only posted 10 installments of A Year In Fragrance– which I will link to below, if you missed any and wanted to catch up. I began this project envisioning that it would be mostly fragrance reviews, but I think it ended up being more than (and perhaps a little less than) that.  It was a year of scented memories, scents that I utterly loathed, and even some of my beau’s thoughts on certain fragrances. I suppose I will never get to the point where my thoughts coalesce into precise, well-thought out reviews; I’m doomed to ramble, and meandering rambles these perfumed ponderings shall doubtless remain.

holy mountain

For November, I will tell you that I purchased a full bottle of of Apoteker Tepe’s The Holy Mountain. Notes include “…over seven precious woods and resins along with a rare extraction of Lapsang Souchong tea smoked slowly over pinewood fires”, and if you are in the market for a smoky fragrance that smells like maybe the smoke cleared after a super-beardy wizard threw a mystical resin into a fire to conjure an ancient dragon lord or something, but the dragon flew away and the wizard has gone to bed and the fire has burned down so that only the embers are smoldering and the deeply scented, resinous smoke has seeped into all the old wooden beams in the top-most tower room where all the magical shit is locked up…well, The Holy Mountain may be the scent for you.

samples

In December, I tried to resume the practice of “shopping my own stash”, a handy idea and phrase I first heard over at EauMG; I mean, I am of course familiar with the concept of using up your own stuff before buying new things, I just don’t think I’d hear the process called that before. Clever! Anyway, I rediscovered some samples I didn’t even realize I had, and some of them are astonishingly gorgeous, Myrrh Casati by Mona di Orio and Etat Libre d’Orange’s Attaquer le Soleil Marquis de Sade chiefly among them. At the year’s end I realize: yep, still love those churchy incense scents. Perhaps 2017 will bring new loves?

A Year In Fragrance 2016:

January: Tea Rose
February: Willow & Water
March: Witch’s Workbench
April: A Dude Thinks On Stinks
May: Youth Dew
June: “Inexpensive” Stuff
July: Scents For Sleep
August: Hateful ‘fumes
September: A Tale Of Two Roses
October: Sweets For The Sweet

cabinet1

 

Memento Mori For Darkling Botanists

Kermit Tesoro Skull planter 1At Haute Macabre this I week squee over those exquisite skull planters created by Kermit Tesoro, who is a Filipino designer previously responsible for manifesting some beautifully grotesque, utterly magnificent avant-garde foot wear.

Read more: Kermit Tesoro’s Memento Mori For Darkling Botanists

There may or may not have been added squeeage due to the fact that The Order Of The Good Death shared the write up, making it the second thing I’ve written that they’ve shared this week and you’ll have to forgive me but I’m having a total SENPAI NOTICED ME moment.

Psssst…! Kermit is totally selling these! They are not up for purchase on his site though, and I haven’t got a link to share, but my best suggestion is to direct message him through Instagram, let him know you are interested in buying one, and give him your email address so that he can send you an invoice. Expect to spend around $105 or so in US monies.

16 Things I Loved In 2016

loveLet’s face it. There was not much to love about 2016. We watched as our beautiful, beloved dreams died one, by one. Whether it was our star men, our poet-bards, our very first motorcycle-riding, purple velvet wearing crushes, our hopes for a magnificent female president, or at least president who isn’t completely bat-shit bonkers, and as of when I began writing this– the loss of my beloved rebel princess, my very first role model–2016 was devastating in so many ways, and saw the end of so many wonderful things.

And so I look to the little things. The sweetness that lightened the burden. The small discoveries that made life easier, or little luxuries that eased a horrible day, a terrible month, or a no good, very bad year.

In no particular order, and for these reasons, here are 16 things I loved in 2016.
(Curious about my picks for previous years? Here’s 2015 & 2014)

nail

Christian Louboutin Nail Polish. Now someone will say to me, “Really, Sarah?”  A $50 nail polish?” And yes, I will agree, that’s pretty ridiculous. But the bottle is gorgeous, and the wand is the perfect petite height for my small hands (the stiletto lid is deceiving) and this is absolutely high quality lacquer, very long wearing. I mean, I guess it is. I knit and wash dishes and read books and type and use my hands a lot, and 2 coats lasts me a week without chipping. That’s pretty great, right? I wear it almost exclusively.

Oud Wood

Tom Ford Oud Wood Shower Gel. Yeah, so…if you weren’t keen on the thought of a $50 nail polish, you are probably not going to get on board with a $67 bottle of body wash. But this one smells like woods and incense and secret forest temples and is an utter treat. It is my secret weapon in the constant battle of “ugggghh…do I really have to shower today?”

baies

Diptyque Baies candle. I first sniffed this stunningly gorgeous candle whilst shopping at Uncommon Objects in Austin. They had it burning on a counter top near the entrance and I was so enthralled with the fragrant wafts drifting throughout the store that I had actually ordered the candle on my phone on amazon before I made a purchase from the shop I was actually in. Rude! I’m sorry, but I really had to have it. I was so surprised when I read the description for Baies: “a luscious blend of black-currant leaves and Bulgarian roses”. Usually these are not smells that I want anything to do with! But somehow this combines for a strikingly elegant scented object, a sort of woody-musky-green fragrance, that I never ever want to be without.

owl moon
Owl Moon bloodmilk X Black Phoenix Alchemy collabroative fragrance. From chapter one of bloodmilk’s sister shop, Exquisite Corpse, this is an exquisite, unique scent experience that literally sets my teeth on edge, but sometimes I need that very sort of fearsome inspiration and motivation. With notes described as “dark, rooty, sweet patchouli swirled with honey,” Owl Moon opens with the blackest, earthiest patchouli (before learning of the notes, I actually thought it was vetiver!) and calls to mind cool, moist soil at the base of a pine tree through which all of the busy little night creatures slither and crawl, the pale, ghostly light of the moon glinting off their scales and wings. A yellow-eyed owl, perched overhead, meditates briefly before silently embarking on his nightly hunt; the sour, screechy scent of his nest, littered with rodent bones and pellets, serves as a warning nearby.  This is the fragrance of potent night magics, rich and ripe with darkness and feral mysticism. The sharpness of the patchouli streaked with high-pitched honey combine to form an aura that is both graceful and grotesque, sacred and profane. If all of that reads familiar to you, this is exactly what I have written about Owl Moon before, elsewhere, but it’s not plagiarizing if it’s your own words, right?

hurraw

Hurraw lip balms. Several people mentioned these lip balms in passing this year, but I pooh-poohed them because I thought the name was dumb. Well, turns out I am an idiot. These are amazing. Vegan, organic, fair trade, all of the buzzwords that are bandied about, yes all of those things, but they are also smooth, and not at all draggy or grainy or melty or overly smelly, AND they have options that are not mint or fruit. Also, they are about $15 less than my previous favorite lipbalm, so Hurraw, despite the stupid name, is a win.

zenmed
Zenmed Anti-Redness Rosacea Treatment. I self-diagnosed myself with rosacea earlier this month, after noticing and freaking out over the course of the year fluctuations and flare-ups of redness and stinging on my face. Based on some suggestions from friends I tried this particular set of products from Zenmed and my face cleared up overnight. That is not an exaggeration or embellishment. It literally cleared up over night. (I also stopped drinking coffee and started taking omega-3s, but I really do think it was this thing in particular that did the trick.) I cannot recommend it highly enough.

And speaking of coffee. I would be remiss in not mentioning cold brew coffee on my list. Any kind, but especially the pre-made stuff in the bottle that you buy at the store. It was a lifesaver this summer when it was too hot to drink hot coffee, and I was too sweaty and lazy to go through the process of brewing the cold stuff. I’m not really drinking coffee anymore, but it certainly made this past May-August ever so much more bearable!

gardein

I think Gardein Breakfast Pockets may be my favorite discovery this year. I’m not one of those people who can eat as soon as I get out of bed in the morning; I need to take my time, sip a hot beverage (now that I’m not drinking coffee, the current beverage of choice is turmeric-ginger tea) and just go about my early hours ver-r-rrry slowly. It’s not that I am not a morning person–I am totally a morning person!– but it really does have to be at my own pace. I try to eat a little something right before my work day starts, and these hand-held little pockets are really delicious. I am also a person who absolutely cannot do sweet things in the morning, so to find a convenience food that isn’t a waffle or a poptart or a cloying breakfast bar is pretty awesome. It’s vegan, but I am under no illusions that it’s “healthy”. With no animal products and at only 200 calories though, it’s good enough for me. (Note: I am not vegan. Not even vegetarian.)

southern-reach-paperback-covers

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer left me speechless. I was certain nothing could ever measure up again, and I was very nearly afraid to start reading something else afterward! The books tell of the mysterious, dangerous wilderness of Area X and the humans exploring it: several decades ago, an inexplicable environmental change occurred and a large swath of land and sea was sealed behind an invisible and largely impenetrable barrier. “Inside it, nature shifted. It grew wild and pristine, dense and fertile—improbably pure, as though nature had said “Enough!” and reclaimed itself.”  It’s an uncanny, and genuinely surprising read that haunted me for days and probably will continue to do so for many years to come. With this series The New Yorker refers to Vandermeer as The Weird Thoreau, and …yep. Totally apt.

salt Salt Is For Curing by Sonya Vatomsky. I make myself very sad thinking about missed connections. What would life be like if perhaps I’d never gotten to know certain people, if I had carelessly just let those opportunities slip past? Sonya is one of these people. We connected via social media before I even knew they were a writer and I sometimes think…what if I’d totally ignored this weird person who started following me on twitter? What if I wasn’t a nosy so-n-so and took no notice of the fact that they were also a poet?  In my reading of Sonya’s book, Salt Is For Curing, it took all that I had not to devour this small book of spooky delights in one greedy instant. I feared that to do so, to ingest all of these potent magics at once, would give me a terribly heartsick sort of heartburn and yet leave me with the very worst sort of emptiness, knowing there is no more to be had. I drew it out for as long as I could stand. It is now in its fourth printing, which I think is basically unheard of for small press stuff, so, congrats my darling Soyna! Even if this is my fourth time saying so.

whatisawitch_456x608-456x600

What Is A Witch by Tin Can Forest and Pam Grossman is equal parts storybook, grimoire, comic book, and illuminated manuscript, What Is A Witch explores the many guises and archetypes of the witch–that ultimate icon of feminine power. The book’s lyrical language of night-song and half-rhymes, when given voice (and it absolutely must be read aloud), becomes a wild, witty, wondrous invocation, threaded throughout with fanciful visions, whimsical allegory, and magical truths. I engaged with its mesmerizing imagery and the poetic spell it cast, and immediately it awoke something within me. I felt it rise within myself, something fierce and surprising and nearly frightening in its power. If you feel yourself similarly compelled, don’t fight it. Go where this book takes you. See what you draw forth from yourself. Don’t be alarmed. Let it change you. This is magic, after all, and we are witches.

full-circle-packshot

It’s not spooky or eerie in the least, so it may surprise you to know that HÆLOS’ Full Circle is my favorite album this year. I know it’s not supposed to work this way, but I made my decision back in February and I’ve heard nothing that even comes close to changing my mind since that time. A sweeping, meditative album, comprised of down-tempo, melancholic dissonance, lustrous synth, and cinematic, kaleidoscopic strings; reminiscent of 90s atmospheric trip-hop, and reverberating with narcotic, late night poignancy, this is the sonic equivalent of the steady, gorgeous thrum and throbbing heartbeat of a hand in your own.

demonhandmaid

Two of my favorite movies this year would have to be Demon, incorporating Jewish folklore and demonic possession into a tragic tale that’s not quite horror and not quite comedy, but works quite well as precisely what it is not, and The Handmaiden, a gorgeous, deliciously twisted film, by Chan Wook Park.

coffins

My marvelous coffin-shaped jewelry and pin display boards from LifeAfterDeathDesign, which I have written more about previously here.

And numbers 14-16 are a cheat, but maybe more important than anything listed: I loved collaborating with my brilliant, talented, visionary friends on our various projects–we created not just one, but TWO wildly successful Occult Activity Books this year! That’s amazing!

I loved (is loved the right word?) that I knew when a relationship with a particular outlet was no longer working for me and was lucky enough to move on immediately to something not only better, but which also felt tremendously more right for me. Life is too short to be in an uncomfortable situation that makes you unhappy! Also, boo to bullies and blowhards, what ever form they take. I love that I finally knew when to move on, I guess is what I am saying.

And what about you? What did you take comfort in this year? What are some awesome discoveries you made? What are some of your favorites? Tell me all about it in the comments!

*featured heart garland image is, I think, from etsy seller Kirrakai

a shifting impermanence

a shifting impermanence from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

A new 8tracks playlist for the year’s end;
rifts & shifts & passages.
Artwork by Brittany Schall.

Track list:

Hypatia, WRAY | Value, Hideous Towns | Abstinencia, Linda Guilala | Pale Surrender, Savage Sister | Eudamonia, Them Are Us Too | These Times, Night School | Horror, Wildhoney | Shiver, FVNERALS | Walk the Water, Casket Girls | White Hot Moon, Pity Sex | From The Outside , Omega Vague | Loom, Somali Yacht Club | Nothing Is Lost, Ultra Material | 39, DRAB MAJESTY | Morphine, Boy Harsher | GODS, Clovvder

this, that, & the other thing {xxxi}

evegrimoireGorgeous art by Brittany Schall in Grimoire issue #1

3. dressesHow nineteenth century Britain became obsessed with insects

tumblr_oi50b0Pi9C1u4z6nuo1_500Stripcraft: Lux ATL’s Spells For The Revolution

OS-WEB-2

Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects From The Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic

The Lure of Laudanum, the Victorians’ Favorite Drug
11 Nasty Women Dominating Weird Fiction
We Have Always Lived in the Castle: America’s queen of weird hits the screen
Sex Magic: How to Cast Spells with Your Orgasms
SinSynth: Dreamy Music for a Would-Be Neon Giallo
Emily Brontë was metal-as-fuck and deserves to be remembered as such.
Witch Marks, Curses, and Magic in the Neglected History of Medieval Graffiti
The Last Bookbinder On The Lower East Side
† Bad Books For Bad People Episode 5: R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps
The Wordsmith Behind The Best -And Wittiest- Twitter Of 2016
The Rise of Science Fiction from Pulp Mags to Cyberpunk
Meet the ghosts at Los Angeles’s most haunted hotels

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