All posts by Nava Brahe

We don’t need Margaret Atwood to tell us we live in a dystopian universe.

 

 

I have to begin by saying I am not a fan of Margaret Atwood’s books. I did, however, recently read her seminal novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, because it seemed apropos given the current events we are witnessing. Moreover, it’s been years since I attempted one of her works. Since my brain has been rewired by chemotherapy, my taste in literature has changed slightly, along with my sense of smell.

Continue reading We don’t need Margaret Atwood to tell us we live in a dystopian universe.

I Wanna Be a Hot Size 4 Like Mama June Shannon

“There’s a Smokin’ Hot Mama Waiting to Bust Out”, and you can watch her on WE tv. Yes, Mama June, the notorious mother of Honey Boo Boo, the chubby little beauty pageant queen from Toddlers & Tiaras who captured the hearts of redneck America, has undergone a radical transformation to keep that reality television income flowing.

Mama June, otherwise known as June Shannon, 37, shocked American television viewers with her redneck lifestyle, her four children sired by three different men, and the leveraging of her youngest child, Alana, as a child beauty pageant queen. As if Toddlers & Tiaras wasn’t a horrifying enough look into a world where parents enter their children into creepy beauty pageants in order to earn a few bucks, and more importantly, live vicariously through their offspring, TLC, the network that hatched the original series, gave Mama June, Alana and their family their own reality series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Continue reading I Wanna Be a Hot Size 4 Like Mama June Shannon

Donald Trump Has Us All Distraught

I knew it was going to take a significant something to light a fire under my ass to get me blogging again. I’ve spent the last three months marinating in the American people’s decision to award Donald Trump the presidency, and watching seemingly everyone who swears they didn’t cast a vote for him become completely unhinged (myself included). Friends, family members, colleagues, online acquaintances, and even complete strangers find themselves at odds with each other over how the most unlikely candidate for the big chair is actually managing to sit in it.

Continue reading Donald Trump Has Us All Distraught

There’s A Lot I Can Say That I’m Not Gonna Say…

Image result for Images of Janice Soprano

One of my favorite characters in The Sopranos was unquestionably Aida Turturro‘s portrayal of Tony’s sister Janice. Their fictional relationship reminds me of my own relationship with my brother, but that’s a story for another time.

Someone recently asked me what was going on with my blog, and it struck me that I’ve been remiss in blogging for almost four full months. Let me tell you why: I started working full-time last May, and between freelancing for so long, and all the vile medical treatments I had to undergo post-cancer diagnosis, I was tired of pushing myself to write. Yes, some writers have to push themselves, and I count myself among those who do. I’ve also realized that for the time being, I don’t miss writing.

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that I’ve been very vocal lately. I’ve taken an active anti-Trump stance, and at present, I am content to leave the heavy lifting to others. I will disseminate writing that I feel needs to be read, but for now, I will not be doing any of it myself. I’ve shoveled a lot of shit against a very strong tide for a long time now, and I need a break. For now, I am putting some long-dormant skills of mine to good use – for people who appreciate it – and to maintain a level of sanity I’d denied myself for too long. I no longer have to chase my income; it comes to me once a week without fail.

“Toodle-fucking-oo” for now. But remember, I will be back. And I will have lots to say.

Sarah Jessica Parker Channels Donna Karan With Stash

Image result for Images of SJP StashFor about a decade, serious perfume aficionados had to endure bombardment with celebrity scents that were churned out by the dozens. Most of them were insipid fruity- florals with no imagination that were meant to appeal to teeny-boppers, and anyone into smelling like a combination of fruit cocktail and cotton candy. “Celebuscents” are still out there, but they now seem to be relegated to the shelves of WalMart and Target, and on discount e-tailer websites.

Continue reading Sarah Jessica Parker Channels Donna Karan With Stash

Ruminations on What I’ve Missed, and a Review of Valentino Donna

During my absence from the world of fragrance, a few shifts took place that I wasn’t fully aware of until recently. First, more attention was bestowed upon the niche sector of the industry, exposing some genuine masterpieces, and more than a few pretenders in the bunch. Second, bottle prices have skyrocketed over the past decade. Just yesterday, I was perusing Creed’s much anticipated feminine version of its masculine Aventus scent, only to see that a 75 mL (2.5 fluid ounce) bottle is priced at a whopping $405. I almost fell out of my chair. I was enamored of quite a few Creed scents years ago, but now, sadly, they are out of my current rage of affordability. Even scents sold in mid-level department stores, as well as in Sephora and Ulta, are rarely under $100. Despite this, my penchant for buying full bottles has endured; You can’t really blame me for wanting to replace what was taken from me, can you?

Continue reading Ruminations on What I’ve Missed, and a Review of Valentino Donna

WEN By Chaz Dean Summer Honey Peach and Summer Mango Coconut

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and learned that I would need to undergo chemotherapy and radiation after my mastectomy, there was a moment when I realized I would eventually be bald. At that point in my life, my hair wasn’t in particularly great shape. I had stopped coloring it, and wasn’t getting regular haircuts, partly because I couldn’t afford them.

Continue reading WEN By Chaz Dean Summer Honey Peach and Summer Mango Coconut

La Collection Privée Christian Dior La Colle Noir and Mitzah

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that a very special friend has been instrumental in the rehabbing of my nose. This friend has supplied me with some generous decants of fragrances from her vast collection, and I want to show my appreciation by reviewing two of them. They helped me recognize my newfound appreciation for scents I would have, in a former life, probably scoffed at.

Continue reading La Collection Privée Christian Dior La Colle Noir and Mitzah

Packaging vs. Juice: What Attracts You to Fragrance?

Wearing fragrance is open to interpretation. I like to compare it to genres of literature. For example, I love reading historical fiction, memoirs, and literary fiction. I dislike mass market paperbacks, romance novels, and science fiction. That’s just me. I don’t begrudge anyone the enjoyment of reading those books, nor do I begrudge someone wearing a particular fragrance just because it comes packaged in an attractive bottle.

The debate about packaging versus what’s inside has long been raging in the world of scent. Some fall on the side of juice first; packaging second. That mindset can be reversed depending on who you’re talking to. Personally, I think the quality of the juice has caught up to the flamboyant packaging, but again, it depends on which scents you enjoy wearing.

Continue reading Packaging vs. Juice: What Attracts You to Fragrance?

The Nose Roars Back

Have you ever had something stuck in your craw for so long you never thought it would go away? That’s been the relationship I’ve had with fragrance for the past six years. If you check out the last two blogs I posted, you’ll see that I was off scent for a long time, due to circumstances beyond my control. That is what’s been sticking in my craw for so long (What is a “craw” anyway? I keep envisioning that piece of popcorn that gets stuck in your teeth which takes yards of dental floss to extricate from your mouth.) Then, cancer treatment shattered my sense of smell so completely, I was convinced it was forever fucked. Forgive the strong language; if you’ve been down that road, you know what I’m talking about.

Continue reading The Nose Roars Back