5/1/14

Heaven Is A Place On Earth



Wakefield Modern Home Planned Line/House & Garden


Happy May Day everyone. I'm as happy as the next guy that spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and the air is finally beginning to smell green and Earthy and alive again. This year is especially interesting for me because I'll be buying a house in the coming months, and what better time to shop around than spring? The sun is shining, the air is humid and abuzz with newborn insects, and everyone is trying to unload their properties here in central Connecticut, which was once the urban epicenter of the brass and synthetic textile industries. There is a glut of incredibly inexpensive homes for sale here, many of them in excess of 1500 square feet, and available for under $120K. Many are in need of "handymen" for a good flip, but peppered in there are move-in ready pads that are great contenders for a guy like me.

The transition proves to be taxing on my blogging time. Searching for a house is like searching for a job: it is a full-time job in itself. There may be a stretch here on From Pyrgos where I am not as active as I've been in the past, although I have decided that the moving process will become an occasional topic of its own here. What does any of it have to do with perfume? Not a whole lot, I'm afraid. Well, perhaps a little, in the design sense. My primary focus lately has been interior design/decorating. Not just any interior design - midcentury interiors, mostly the late forties, fifties, and early sixties. My sense of personal style extends into the realm of shaping living spaces so that they become more than just rooms. On a relatively sparse budget, I intend on making my future castle an interesting before-and-after modern revivalist's dream.

The perfumes that I own from the time period in question are numbered. I think I have around three or four. There are some that are older actually, like 4711, Old Spice, Skin Bracer, Caron PuH, and my old gas-atomizer bottle of Max Factor Signature (well, that one is actually directly from the time period in question). When I think of midcentury perfumery, my mind goes right to Arden's Sandalwood. Its fresh, herbal, woody austerity is reminiscent of all the clean lines one sees in old Heywood Wakefield home living spreads. The "I Like Ike" days were all about long, tapered crests and cool color schemes, an aesthetic that extended to everything, from houses and cars to refrigerators and AM radios. You remember those little tubed radios that died if they didn't get enough airflow? No? Neither do I. Not old enough. But they were cool.

Another quirky aspect of my design sense revolves around the television, or rather the television's conspicuous absence from the proceedings. I have this room in my head, a blank canvas squarish fifties ranch kind of room, and in it are tidy furniture pieces, no more than three table lamps, a coffee table, a dry bar, a few side chairs, and lots of beautiful bold colors. The focus of the room, the anchor to which everything is moored, is a large reproduction of Joan Miro's Personages On A Red Ground. It's about art, and color, and the adopted memory of a time before instant gratification was something taken for granted. Nothing makes me cringe more than walking into a house or apartment or condo, only to be greeted by a large matte black rectangle on a piece of IKEA furniture. Americans have adopted the "sweatpants and comfort over dignity, sophistication, and style" ethic, and I'm having none of it.

Look forward to more perfume reviews in the coming months, but also be prepared to take a journey into the world of retro interior magic, where I strive to transform a dull space into something you'd find featured in The New York Times Magazine. That sounds obnoxious, but trust me on this, it's gonna be fun. I'm off to watch Hitchcock's Vertigo for more ideas.




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