After a ruthless bout of Swedish Death Cleaning, this morning while I had time on my hands after rescheduling my counseling appointment due to some bad crab last night (why have you betrayed me, crab legs? I love you so!) I have whittled my unruly collection of fragrance samples down to about twenty five.

What to do with the other hundreds? Would you like them? There are lots and lots of of lovely niche and indie scents in here, manufacturers samples, and samples from places like Lucky Scent, and Twisted Lily, and decants from Surrender To Chance and The Perfumed Court, and probably only a tiny amount of boring Sephora perfume sprayers, which I feel I need to point out, because who really wants those? Fuck off, Marc Jacobs Daisy! Well, there are a few of those, too. There are also some vials and tiny bottles that were given to me by this friend or that, who gave me samples from their own collection, or perhaps passed something on that didn’t work for them. Maybe they will work for you? There are so many fragrances here to sniff and sample and fall in love with, or pass on!


If you’d like this GLAD bag full o’ samples*, and whatever else I’ve got lying around that I might throw in a box for you, leave a comment below and tell me something interesting. Could be something you learned, could be a piece of news, it could be something about yourself–whatever! I’m spending a lot of time on the toilet today and need some interesting links to click! I will choose a winner on Monday morning!

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but these are vials and sprayers and bottles that I have sampled, myself; some are completely full, some might be halfway full, some might only have a drop or two left. If you’re weirded out by free stuff that someone else has used, well, now you are forewarned!

*Friends outside the U.S. I love you dearly, but I really don’t want to pay for that kind of shipping or deal with the hassle, so this little giveaway is for in-country only.

catherine s says

I get really bored on the reference desk and found some things that caught my eye this week: There's a Folk museum in England that's looking for a volunteer witch.
Stevie Nicks has a temperature-controlled vault for her shawls and that's a life goal for me.
Also my 7 month-old kitten is discovering the birds outside and is stalking them.


Brenner says

Oh here is a somewhat interesting factoid: The older brother of the bass player for The Knack, who had that hit song “My Sharona” decades ago? That older brother was the first lawyer to represent Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Ah, the clammy glam of fam!

(As opposed, I suppose, to your shabby slab of crab.)

And I am, ever in your debt for scents,


Elizabeth says

Hello Mlle Ghoul! I would love this bag of samples because I am just getting into indie scents. So far I've tried out a few brands but none of the ones you mention. I do perfume sample smelling and reviewing sessions for myself as a reward for getting things done, it's so relaxing! I'm broke right now and running low on perfume samples to try, so this bag would have me set for a while, and I could try many different brands which would otherwise take me a much longer time to do! I'm also super pumped about the new Ask a Mortician video about mortuary makeup! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMyzwMCGl-k I hope you feel better soon! Best wishes, Elizabeth

Jenny says

I teach composition and intro to lit. Many of my students are wary of having to read because they were forced to or they’re busy with not just other classes, but full time jobs and kids and life..I try to make it fun and accessible. So I give them short stories to read and write about for homework. But to encourage them to read longer pieces, every semester I do a read aloud in class—I read to them every class period. I do the heavy lifting and they just listen. At first, it takes them a bit to adjust to being read to but as the semester progresses they begin to get into the whole experience. As a group, we experience the roller coaster of emotions the book creates in us. The best part is that the books that do the best with my students are horror or gothic romances from the 1960s-70s. If there is a woman running from a building on the cover, my students tend to enjoy it. They love the mystery, and the romance. They love just trying to figure out what happens next. We recently read Flee From the Past by Carolyn Hart and so many students would go home and recount what we’d read so far to their spouses, friends and kids. It’s a pretty amazing experience. That’s a bit of delight I experience every day. Seeing them interested in a genre I love makes whatever crap I encountered earlier in the day disappear. I hope you have a bit of delight today.

The Old Swamp Hag says

Some things I discovered this week that you might not have known you needed to know:

1. The Vikings conquered Europe with hygiene as much as anything else. As a monk in the British Isles noted at the time, "Thanks to their habit of combing their hair every day, of bathing every Saturday and regularly changing their clothes, [the Norse] were able to undermine the virtue of married women and even seduce the daughters of nobles to be their mistresses."

2. Basil flavored coffee is weirdly good. Try putting some dried basil in your coffee grounds. I had mine with hazelnut creamer.

3. Pygmy goats, unlike most "miniature" domestic animals, are not true dwarfs or the result of selective breeding — they're their own separate species.

4. Your site is throwing up a http security error in Chrome. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news there.)

Meagan Masingill says

Andy Anderson, an accomplished drummer who was briefly the drummer for The Cure (during the recording of their album, The Top) and The Glove (a more psychedelic side project that Siouxsie Sioux and Steve Severin did with Robert Smith), passed away recently. He was only 68. He was an acquaintance of mine on Facebook - I approached him a year or two ago when a fellow music nerd informed me that Anderson enjoyed interacting with fans. He was always polite to me and others, very kind and generous with his time. I always felt he was the best of The Cure's drummers, and when it was announced that The Cure will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, I was disappointed that Anderson was not going to be involved or formally recognized since he was never a full time member of The Cure. I've attached a YouTube link to a 1984 concert in Glasgow in which Anderson is the drummer. I know all these songs by heart. But Anderson's precision, attack, energy and versatility breathe a special spirit into these songs. He was truly a great musician.

Pamela says

I moved to the middle of nowhere to be close to a job that didn’t work out. Now working back in town I am anxiously awaiting the end of my lease to live a normal distance. A bag of perfumes and goodies would be a delightful gift to cheer me during my long commute.

Deirdre says

I am currently working on my dissertation (an anthropological study of anime & manga fandom in the US), and I think you would enjoy these summaries I wrote of three essays in Japanese Visual Culture, a volume edited by Mark McWilliams:

Pandey, Rajyashree. “Medieval Genealogies of Manga and Anime Horror.”
Taking the oft-stated supposition that Japan is an already postmodern culture as a frame, Pandey locates the source of that idea in Buddhist doctrines of the fluidity of the boundary between the self and the other, between animal and human, and between the living and the dead. He contrasts this with Western modes of thinking, in which these boundaries are quite solid, and explores how a Western tradition of horror films plays on their dissolution. Horror manga and anime, then, while they borrow from Western horror, do not resolve with a shoring up of these boundaries, but rather, like ancient Japanese folklore as well as Buddhist texts, leave them ambiguous. Thus Pandey locates the source of the Japanese postmodern in the Japanese premodern.

Yamanaka Hiroshi. “The Utopian 'Power to Live': The Significance of the Miyazaki Phenomenon.”
Yamanaka posits that Miyazaki's works--he particularly focuses on Spirited Away, but draws many others into his argument--contain a kind of "pop cultural spirituality" (237) which, in the aftermath of the bubble economy, encourages the Japanese people to find new life through a return to a sense of togetherness and community, or Chie Nakane's "web of comradeship" (254). This is exemplified by the fact that the character Chihiro is able to rescue her parents, friends, and others that she meets not just through her own bravery and resourcefulness, but through the relationships she makes while working hard in the bathhouse. Yamanaka further argues that Miyazaki's use of many Western elements and motifs in his films represents his ambivalence regarding Japan's imperialist past; thus, the unified community of Japan which Miyazaki proffers to the Japanese people with his films is not a nationalist one.

Yoshioka Shiro. “Heart of Japaneseness: History and Nostalgia in Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.”
Drawing on interviews with Miyazaki as well as the texts of his films, Yoshioka examines the auteur's concept of an inclusive "Japaneseness." Like Yamanaka in the previous piece, Yoshioka pays attention to Miyazaki's use of Western symbols as an indication of exclusiveness, but expands the idea further: Miyazaki uses pan-Asian elements, and a mashup of historical references from multiple periods, to indicate that all of these things are part of Japan, and of what it is to be Japanese. He thus offers his Japanese audience a way to embrace their history and their national identity, while still being inclusive of influences from elsewhere that have now become incorporated into what it is to be Japanese, and reflect a warm relationship with the rest of the world.

Iris says

I'm sorry to read you are not feeling well and wish you a speedy recovery. Here's a spider eating an opossum. One or the other seems disproportionate. I can't tell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuKfAFI19pg

Jean says

Today I learned how to use a long-arm quilting machine! And it was surprisingly easy. Ah, modern technology!

Katie Tims says

I love your blog and unique perfumes!
Something interesting I learned recently is that our lymphatic system carries lymph or fluid with infection fighting white blood cells in order for our immune systems to fight off toxins. Our bodies does all this stuff naturally but we can aid the process especially with congestion and inflammation by massaging certain areas. It's super relaxing and a great alternative to spicy soup for these colder months. My go to for sick time is spicy soup and aloe vera drinks with honey - my surefire way to fight sore throat!!

Octavia says

My cat likes to push boxes around the house and place them at strategic points like near a door frame. Then he closes himself into the box and waits for me to walk through said doorway. At this point he springloads out to a height of about my waist and then gives me a smack and runs off. Maybe not so much interesting as it is funny but I find my cat endlessly interesting 😸

Odessa Higley says


At the age of 15 Myself and a friend were picked from a group of individuals waiting to enter the LA Forum to see the Cure. I ended up being able to meet everyone from the Cure and Dave Gahan from DM. We even were part of one of the videos off of the Galore album.

This memory holds close to my heart because that friend passed away at 22 years of age.

Odessa Higley says

On December 30,2016 my life changed forever. My best friend /father passed away. His death affected me in so many ways. But the main outcome of it was to live each day to it fullest. To find the beauty in life and show compassion whenever possible.
My life hasn’t always been the easiest. But I take it for what it is and try understand this moment is only temporary.
Thank you for the chance.

Mari says

Greetings! I'm quite new to the world of perfume (and brand new to your site) trying to discover and learn as much as possible!

I'm from England, lived for a fair few years in Norway, and now I live here in America. My little bit of interestingness comes from one evening when I camped out in the open air in the middle of nowhere in the Norwegian mountains. It was a misty October night and my little camp was down in a low valley. I'd been asleep for a little while, but woke to see a kind of procession of people wearing what looked to be long white gowns and carrying lanterns, walking slowly and in complete silence on the hill just above me. Considering how far away I was from any roads or towns, and the early hour it all occurred, I feel it could only have been a dream, but it was so utterly vivid to me. I think about that so often and how magically surreal it felt.

Oh, and a fascinating website, ideal for your toilet visits: https://collections.albert-kahn.hauts-de-seine.fr/ A huge collection of autochrome photographs from the early 1900s. I love the photos of people most of all. The HD section is a wonderful one, if you can't decide where to start.

Susan J says

The night I was born there was a blackout on the whole Northeast coast into Canada. The hospital had an emergency generator so they were able to admit my mother as she was in labor. At the time she suspected the world might be coming to an end because of something she read in the bible. By the time her labor had ended the lights were back on. Later she realized that it took all that energy to bring me in to the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_1965

Images for my allegorical paintings of women and animals come to me in visions. I see the whole thing completed before I make it. Lately these visions have been less clear but I am strongly hearing direction to depict the divine feminine with the message that this is the energy that must come through all of us to heal the planet and each other. I feel very small in comparison to this task. https://www.susanjamison.com/

I love unusual perfume. My favorite is Serge Lutens De Profundis. I also have a small stash of vintage Joy for when I feel like smelling like a civet although I think that animals should not be used in this way anymore. https://boisdejasmin.com/2011/10/serge-lutens-de-profundis-perfume-review.html https://discovermagazine.com/2014/oct/0-animal-odors-perfume

Happy death cleaning!

Hunter says

I just got out of my gem and mineral club meeting an hour or so ago, we had a very lovely speaker. They talked about their discoveries so far of a new undiscovered dinosaur. I learned so much about them and what they do for a living. Tyrannosaurus weren't always as big as the tyrannosaurus we see in movies or museums. They were way smaller before the end of cretaceous period. I think they said they were roughly around 6 1/2 feet long. And some may have actually been covered in feathers. I thought their presentation was very interesting.

Amanda says

This is Mander. If you take a fenugreek suppulement, your armpits will smell like maple syrup. I know this firsthand.

Synde Kirman says

I’m synde and I turn 60 this week. I don’t feel 60 I feel 39 and act 39.

Dylan says

Oh my goodness I am so envious of this. I’m slightly obsessed with perfumes and tiny things. So tiny perfumes? My favorite!
Hope you feel better! Crabs are a little evil, but delicious nonetheless.

Finn S. says

I'm an aspiring business shop owner and trying my best to get it up and running this year. I underestimated how much work there is with making a shop, but I'm determined to do it.

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