Pose Poised (Television Thoughts: Pose, The Rest of Season One, F/X)

t7wBXpTZ2jNDv47Yt6mNrcyeRXn-313x470The whole first season of ‘Pose’ has been a real electric experience. I loved the pilot episode, but I thought that the next two episodes were really weak/ But I did not give up, because the show turned around for me, and by the finale, I end up just as smitten as when it was started. The series is truly revolutionary – a show about colored trans people and is cast most appropriately. And the stories it told are not tun-of-the-mill. It sometimes delves into melodrama (and if I have to be honest, could be predictably so) but there is enough color here (literally and figuratively) that your eyes will keep watching – and will be rewarded.

But I have to admit, I was most touched by the love story between Angel and Stan, the defy-all-odds love story of the hooker with the heart of gold and the male executive working for the Trump organization. They met, they fell in love, and by the second to the last episode, he has left her because there is a part of him that cannot accept who he is. By the finale, he has come to beg for her back, saying that he has left his wife. She turns her back, and my heart is in pieces. Evan Peters is great here – I have a crush – but as a young emerging actor in Hollywood, he is very brave to be taking this role, and he will have me as a fan for life. Indya Moore as Angel is good enough, but I think if she was better, then the overall effect would even be stronger.

The ball scenes have grown on me, and though I admit some of them did not interest me that much, when the House of Evangelistas turned triumphant at the end, I was cheering them on. I grow hot and cold on Billy Porter as pray Tell, but I am happy they even included some musical theater here, when in an episode he sings ‘Home.’ and that scene satisfied the show queen in me pretty deeply. I found it very interesting that they ended the show with almost nothing hanging, as if they were satisfied with what they have done (they should be) and is not really expecting a second season. But a second season they did get, and I bet it will even be better, as the writers and actors will become more assured. I can’t wait.

Silent Flowers (Perfume Thoughts: Fleur de Peau, Diptyque)

375x500.48681I was trying to figure out what the flower is on Diptyque’s ‘Fleur de peau’ when I first spritzed it, when I realized it was iris – the paper-y kind (I always joke it smells like a library) and as I processed the perfume, I asked myself, do I need another iris scent? I mean, does the world need another iris scent?

Apparently I do, because I liked Fleur de Peau…a lot. It is light and airy but gives a very potent impression – the iris is joined by some sweet rose, and angelica, and some ambrette – it all blends very gauzy, as if you were wearing a veil. It all comes done to a musk base, but a clean one. Normally, I am not a fan of these clean white musks, but here there is enough of the flowers to make it work/ Perhaps I am getting older, as I probably would have thought this a ‘safe’ scent maybe ten years ago. But this is Diptyque, and you can really smell the quality of the perfume. This stays close to my skin, and I wish it projected more, but don’t get me wrong, I would be happy to wear this every day. This perfume marks the house’s 50th anniversary of its first perfume, and it’s a silent beauty.

Gracie and Boring (Movie Thoughts: Bloodlight and Bami)

Grace Jones.lgGrace Jones once made me wait five hours for a performance of hers at a South Beach nightclub around twenty years ago and I have soured on her ever since. Maybe I am still bitter about that because I got so utterly bored watching ‘Bloodlight and Bami,’ the documentary about her directed by Sophie Fiennes. I know she is an eccentric character, a diva, a larger than life human being, but I just didn’t get that in this film. I thought the sequences dragged, and the live performances, sandwiched between the documentary scenes, were just okay. I think she is fine on record, and her ‘La Vie En Rose’ is iconic (it’s seen briefly here as a performance for a French television show) but this just dragged on for me.

Lights Off (Music Thoughts: As The Morning Light, Susannah Adams)

411oLRNOhdL._SS500There are so many jazz vocalists with albums of standards that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish one from the other. I am sure if you blindfolded me and played a track from Susannah Adams’ album ‘As The Morning Light,’ I would not be able to identify it. This is not meaning to say that she is bad, just that she is just bland. If I have to be objective, I can say that she sings in tune, and certainly has the musicality. But she doesn’t stick out to me, and I don’t see anything new and exciting in her renditions of standards like ‘Look for the Silver Lining,’ or ‘Dat Der.’ I have heard these arrangements before, and I do not hear anything new in her vocals. To make matters worse, she does ‘originals’ that are self-indulgent and boring, and I question their validity for existence. Yawn

Hear Not (Music Thoughts: I Hear A Song, Dami Im)

track-by-track-album-review-dami-im-i-hear-a-song-02I think I wrote about Dami Im before, when her Carpenters album came out. But really, I cannot be certain. (And I am too lazy to search deeper, as the search function now as it stands is a bit wonky)  But Dami Im is a finalist on X Factor Australia and this is her fifth album. Funny, because as I was listening to this, I thought to myself, I bet this is a singer in one of those reality shows. The album veers close to being one of those ‘karaoke’ albums, wherein these singers just sing on automatic pilot. Im seems to have just a little bit more personality, but to me all still on the bland side. I think the arrangements do her in. ‘Feeling Good’  is really just the Buble arrangement (instrumental and vocal) with her just peppering in. The rest, forgettable.

Eau de Outrage (Perfume Thoughts: Outrageous, Frederic Malle)

o.45935Whenever people hear that I love perfume (and collect) more often than not, they always ask me ‘Do you have Frederic Malle?’ The snarky reply would be ‘Of course, any perfumista has,’ but of course I am much nicer than that (most of the time) Truth is, I love Malle perfumes, and for me collecting all of them would be more ‘aspirational’ than anything else because of their price. But sure, I own a couple of bottles and honestly, use them sparingly. I would love to own all of them and use them everyday, but of course, the likelihood of that happening is tiny.

The other side to that equation is that the perfume snob that I am, I now kind of look at the brand with some wary. It has become so popular, every knows about them, people consider it the Hermes bag of perfumes, and frankly, a lot of people wear them. So now I kind of put my nose up on them. But in my heart of hearts, I love them because in the end, they are good perfumes, done well with fantastic ingredients. I mean, you see where your money is going when you purchase a bottle.

Which brings me to Outrageous. This is a collaboration between Malle and Sophia Grojsman, who Malle considered as some kind of idol. And why not? She created Opium and Paris for YSL. This was originally a Barney’s Co Op exclusive from way back, and I always thought of it as ‘diffusion Malle’ because it was priced more accessibly. I have had numerous samples of this, but never really immersed myself into it. Recently, it has now been added to Malle’s regular roster, and I got another sample recently, and tried it.

It’s a beauty. A nice tropical cocktail of a perfume perfect for the higher temperature days to come. It has breezy notes of tangerine and green apple, and bergamot makes it zing. It has cinammon that rounds it up, and is finished off with white musk that is not generic smelling. It is full-bodied but feels light, and it stayed with me for hours, which is unusual for a citrusy scent, proving the worthiness of its price point. It seems a tad dated, like this was something from the nineties or early aughts – but that could be me projecting – I don’t know why, but it feels like an Annick Goutal to me for some reason. Nowadays, this is not terribly niche-y in unique wise. But all in all, I would be happy to add this to my collection, as it were. Just don’t ask me if I have it.

 

A Light Light Touch (Perfume Thoughts: L’eau de Toilette, Carven)

_9345405Spring is coming up, and if you are searching for something light, airy, watery, fresh, and clean, look no further than Carven L’eau de Toilette. It is a flanker to the great Carven Le Parfum, and both are signed by Francis Kurkdjian, so it must be good.  L’eau de Toilette is very light – think of a water color green – a bit washed put but with a sense of brightness. It starts with a limey grapefruit citrus blast – it’s there but fades quickly though it never disappears. I know people who love the grapefruit note, and this might be too late for them on that end.  Even the florals – peony and hyacinth –  are muted, giving the scent a real light touch. If you work near someone who is allergic to perfumes, this is as inoffensive (and still pretty) as it gets.