Bewitching & Beautiful ~ Lancome's Magie Noire


I stumbled upon this review of Magie Noire that I wrote in 2007. It is as true for me today as it was when I wrote it...No perfume has ever made me as hungry as this one, at least not until recently when I discovered Liz Moores amazing new ode to passion and seduction, a bewitching little perfume called Bengale Rouge which I will write about on Samhain, the only day of the year where I could possibly do it as much justice as it deserves.  (BSG)




I am a woman with a past. I won’t say anymore than that to protect the innocent who may be reading this, but I have lived life hungrily at times, too often with little or no restraint. My spiritual nature is way more heathen than religious.

I really do believe in magic.

Magie Noire came into my life in my very early twenties, and I know now that I was far too ignorant of its potency to wear it wisely. It was first given to me by a mysterious Scorpio woman, with cat-like green eyes, who was the CEO of the only woman owned steel brokerage in Cleveland. She gifted me with the perfume and a warning, that men adore it and to be very careful wearing it because it was the smell of abandonment and passion, not love. Wearing Magie Noire is a bit like unleashing a wild elemental spirit, something of the past but strangely disquieting in the fragrant autumn wind or a shiver of the spine so erotic that it’s not so easily understood. Initially there is the scent of honey and tuberose, bergamot and raspberry and according to Osmoz, blackcurrant, hyacinth and oriental rose. The delirium comes as the base of civet, patchouli , castoreum and vetiver are unleashed while your skin warms to their touch. Worn with suede it becomes a totally bewitching potion. Mixed with the breath of a gorgeous thoroughbred horse it is beguiling and animalistic to the point of wanton intoxication.


Think of Kim Novak in “Bell, Book and Candle”, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman made wiser by their journey through “Practical Magic” and Catherine Deneuve in almost anything. This is not a fragrance for an ingénue, but for a sensual and independent woman who understands and desires the spell it will conjure.  My husband who unabashedly loves it and I usually only wear it for him,  yet it is the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the moon is almost full and I decided to go for a ride yesterday in the woods around dusk. It was a beautiful evening and I sprayed some on before I went. The light was dappled , the trail fragrant with wind-fallen apples and it was simply breathtaking. As we moved through the hunt field, my horse Henry pulled up short with a quiver that ran all of the way down his elegant sorrel neck. Out of the hedgerow came a cat I’d never seen before, black as midnight and just as quiet. We turned and followed her down the path.


I told you, I really do believe in magic.




None of these photos are mine..obviously:) 

Just like Magic ~ In your Grandmas China Cabinet are the Ultimate Recyclables....

My mothers Coalport Indian Tree Coral. I never tire of using it and remembering just how much she loved it. These things are made to be used, not hidden away for a another time. Another time never comes. Use them now and don't worry about it! 

Once upon a time my family owned a beautiful gift business, what would have been known in days past as a carriage trade store.  Schreibman Jewelers was  full of gorgeous china, crystal , silver and everything else beautiful. We had the largest bridal registry in Northeast Ohio and I spent my days setting tables, creating events and just generally making people very happy. I got to set tables for Julia Child, Jacque Pepin and Todd English. I was interviewed by Martha Stewart Living and Town and Country.  I worked in the business as a child..hello to anyone who has ever been part of a family business and in my adulthood,  for 30 plus years I got to be the best part of peoples lives. For the most part, nothing makes people happier than a wedding, except for the wedding gifts!  Every package we shipped out was beautifully wrapped and to this day, my old customers still stop me to let me know just how grateful they are that I encouraged them to register for those silver candlesticks that they thought that they'd never use, or that beautiful pewter tray that they fell in love with but was just impractical. I'm still a complete sucker for a beautifully wrapped package and nothing makes me happier than a handwritten thank you note. 

It has been said that I have a PhD in napkin folding:)

I closed my families business 16 years ago when it became apparent that times were changing. The internet had taken over ushering in discount branding and the big box stores were seducing everyone, everywhere with lower priced goods. Alas, what we tried to tell everyone was what they are finally realizing now....With generic brands that are available all across the country comes the problem of built in obsolescence , or in easier terms, if it stops making money, it stops being produced. In other words, a china pattern that you buy from a larger chain store today, has a great chance of not being available next year and the same goes for fine crystal and silverware. 

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If that weren't enough to sadden my porcelain loving heart, I read an article last year in the New York Times about millennials and how they don't want any if the beautiful things in our linen cabinets. I had to laugh to myself or I would have burst into tears. This is the same group that recycles and composts and they are missing one of the great solutions that's right in front of them. They have made Ancestry a huge multimillion dollar corporation and yet so many are missing the most important point. Porcelain isn't fragile and it doesn't disintegrate easily. They've pieced together entire civilizations from shards of broken dishes and pieces of silver and pewter. They've pieced together entire histories, her-stories and historical intrigues from a simple knife style or a monogrammed silver tray. 

Which should lead everyone to the same conclusion. Your mother and grandmothers dishes, linens, glasses and silver and pewterware are the ultimate recyclables. Think about it. Your mothers Haviland china has probably already had a pretty full life as the formal china you grew up with, but it doesn't mean that you need to use it formally. I use my mothers white and gold limoges dishes for everyday when I'm in the mood.  If it's 30 years old or younger, you can put it in the dishwasher...just let it get cold in the dishwasher before you take it out. The same goes for good crystal and silverware. take it out of it's cupboard and use it for goodness sakes! It's nothing to be afraid of. At the turn of the century, all meals were set with the good stuff...casual dishes really didn't come into vogue until the 60s when everything became so earthenware and earnest!  Designs from the earliest years of America are as classic and relevant today as they were 200 years ago. That's what good design is. 

Here's what I will promise you. There will come a time when you'll wish that you had some of these beautiful things from the not so distant past. You never know who is going to show up at your table for dinner and one lovely set of candlesticks, or that silver water pitcher that you didn't think you wanted can make all of the difference in how you feel about it when they do. 

Using the beautiful things that were once used by those you love or loved is a wonderful way to keep beautiful parts of your past magically alive in the present moment.

Remember, that conjuring these memories for your family is the most important thing of all...if you aren't going to use your beautiful things for your family, as much as possible, then you might as well box them up and send them to me..or someone else who will cherish them and make memories with them!

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Just kidding!  I want you to use them. If you do , you won't have to buy them again and this keeps alot of junk out of alot of landfills and don't even get me started about using cloth napkins. Yes...if you're a millennial concerned about the environment, you should be using cloth napkins. You don't get to worry about the environment if you're not doing this simple thing..Don't complain about laundering them. Here's my favorite secret. Wash them, put them in a cool dryer  and take them out and fold them while they're still warm. Then here's the secret. Put a lovely clean brick on top of them vertically,  once you've folded them all. You'll never iron them again when you see how well this works.

Faster than you can say Abracadabra....Perfectly flat, folded and pressed napkins...

You can thank me later:)