I wrote about lying for the Hairpin!


Thierry Mugler’s Paris Apartment

“I don’t want real possession. What I need and what I wanted in this apartment was its space - and to keep it as empty as possible.”

Taken from Living Well: The New York Times Book of Home Design and Decoration, Ed. Carrie Donovan, 1981

 (via 2thewalls.com)

(via cities)


“the sweet, warm smell of coffee steaming on her stovetop.”

“the acrid, empty smell of coffee pervaded throughout the truck stop.”

we are used to hearing smells be qualified in this manner. this plays tribute to the fact that smells have overtones, or to be more specific: the physical scenes in which scents appear and the emotional stage in which they appear both influence each other. scents refer to concrete objects, but also appear carrying an overtone which is highly emotional. the coffee scent at the truck stop is surrounded by petrol fumes, industrial cleaning solvents, and greasy food.


most people are alone at truck stops. the coffee there begins to smell lonely.


the place in 
which i’ll fit
will not exist
until i make it

- james baldwin


James Baldwin, Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone

Los Angeles blue. Los Angeles blue.
Stress by Yoan Capote
“I’ve got a
lot of good
ideas but not
one that
will get me
— Eileen Myles (via wordsfirst)

The Suitor — Jane Kenyon

We lie back to back. Curtains
lift and fall,
like the chest of someone sleeping. 
Wind moves the leaves of the box elder; 
they show their light undersides,
turning all at once
like a school of fish. 
Suddenly I understand that I am happy. 
For months this feeling 
has been coming closer, stopping
for short visits, like a timid suitor. 


Frank O’Hara passed away 48 years ago today. Here is something to make all of us miss him.

PRESENT  (hear him read it here)

The stranded gulch
below Grand Central
the gentle purr of cab tires in snow
and hidden stars
tears on the windshield
torn inexorably away in whining motion
and the dark thoughts which surround neon

in Union Square I see you for a moment
red green yellow searchlights cutting through
falling flakes, head bent to the wind
wet and frowning, melancholy, trying

I know perfectly well where you walk to
and that we’ll meet in even greater darkness
later and will be warm.

so our cross
of paths will not be just muddy footprints
in the morning

not like celestial bodies’
yearly passes, nothing pushes us away
from each other

even now I can lean
forward across the square and see
your surprised grey look become greener
as I wipe the city’s moisture from
your face

and you shake the snow
off onto my shoulder, light as a breath
where the quarrels and vices of
estranged companions weighed so bitterly
and accidentally

before, I saw you on
the floor of my life walking slowly
that time in summer rain stranger and

to become a way of feeling
that is not painful casual or diffuse
and seems to explore some peculiar insight
of the heavens for its favorite bodies
in the mixed-up air

There’s a creative intelligence and “space” around your perfumes. Can you explain how you build the architecture of a perfume?
The architecture of perfume starts from the moment it’s sprayed and begins to evaporate. I imagine filling a space determined by the weight of the ingredients, their force or lightness. All this to form a balance between heavy and light, complex and simple, light and shadow. And it’s this equilibrium, this harmony, that will create the worst or the best! Certain perfumes unfurl image by image, each accord disappears to leave room for the next until you reach its heart. Others are round, compact. Their notes evaporate almost at the same rate. They’re linear from one end to the other.

What scents or places or experiences provide your own triggers? 
I’m inspired by odors that touch me, that shock me, that make me nostalgic, that remind me of other people, other places. Inspiration is everywhere—the smells of childhood, of life. A blinding white shirt in full sun, an Indian dance, steaming rice, bewitching incense drifting through a Malaysian temple. Ten years later, that incense inspired L’Ether de IUNX. To me, incense evokes uplifting prayer; it’s pure, profound, intoxicating. I like everything that burns: wood, resins, dried leaves, hot ashes, barbeques, the smell of earth and sun-warmed herbs.

Like a vocabulary of emotions, perfume becomes a living language for me. Educating one’s sense of smell means becoming more aware, looking at things differently, pausing where others hurry past. I write down my impressions and keep everything I come across in my travels. In Mali, I broke the bark of a yellow wood that tasted of quince, collected cooked seeds, burned rope; in Japan, I found soft rubber that smelled of Christmas and a neon pink ribbon that smelled like dolls; in Mexico, driftwood, fresh cactus and black corn. Large cities are kaleidoscopes of odors. Istanbul smells of roses and dust, New York of laundry fumes and cinnamon. Paris is electric heaters, fresh bread and wet sidewalks. Katmandu is dry woods and cucumber. Tokyo is grilled food, metal and plastic.

Olivia Giacobetti, the nose behind Diptyque’s Philosykos and many of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s greatest - on scents, memories and process.

“I guess you get to a point where you look at that pain as if it were there in front of you three feet away lying in a box, an open box, in a window somewhere. It’s hard and cold, like a bar of metal. You just look at it there and say, All right, I’ll take it, I’ll buy it. That’s what it is. Because you know all about it before you even go into this thing. You know the pain is part of the whole thing. And it isn’t that you can say afterwards the pleasure was greater than the pain and that’s why you would do it again. That has nothing to do with it. You can’t measure it, because the pain comes after and lasts longer. So the question really is, Why doesn’t that pain make you say, I won’t do it again? When the pain is so bad that you have to say that, but you don’t.”
Lydia Davis, from Break it Down (via litafficionado)

(via kdecember)

“Andy Warhol kept what he called a “smell collection,” switching perfumes every three months so he could reminisce more lucidly on those months whenever he smelled that period’s particular scent.”
All You Have Eaten, by Rachel Khong (via theepitomeofquiet)

(via nogreatillusion)

“I hope you all find yourselves sleeping with someone you love, maybe not all of the time, but a lot of the time. The touch of a foot in the night is sincere. I hope you like your work, I hope there’s mystery and poetry in your life — not even poems, but patterns. I hope you can see them. Often these patterns will wake you up, and you will know that you are alive, again and again.”
— Eileen Myles, “Universal Cycle.” The Importance of Being Iceland. (via winesburgohio)