Beer on a Champagne Budget

“After you’ve been having steak for a long time, Beans, beans taste fine.                                      
And after you’ve been drinking champagne and brandy,                                                              
You’re gonna settle for wine.”

He said, “the world is funny, and people are strange                                                                  
And man is creature of constant change,              
And after you’ve been having steak for a long time,                                                                      
You know that bean’s taste fine.”

Shel Silverstein

Generally it’s supposed to be the other way around, of course, and I suppose that all of us assume that if we hit the big time, we would not have a fond nostalgia for the lager and weenies of our pasts.

Nevertheless, even when you have traded up for champagne and caviar,  nostalgia can strike. I remember one evening years ago in May, in New York when a much younger Guts and I were walking down Fifth Avenue next to Central Park, eating slices of pizza. Across the avenue, I saw two couples getting into a stretch limousine, the women dressed up to the nines, both of the husbands in black tie. One of the men looked over at us, scruffy and contented, and gave us such a look of poignant envy I have never in the intervening quarter of a century forgotten it.  That man wanted out. Out of that evening, out of that limo, and, one suspects, out of that jacket.  Big Time.

Sometimes all of us do. I am always fascinated by the pedestrian tastes we share.  I shall like Anne Pliska and Clark Bars until the day I die.  I know that neither one is a great masterpiece.  I know that there are umpty eleven formulae featuring geranium and vanilla and amber, but this does not seem to matter.  I just like the stuff.

Similarly lately I found myself liking Sensuous Noir. Sensuous Noir is really Estee Lauder’s understandable attempt at capturing a little of the Calvin Klein Euphoria market.  Or so I guess.  Their version is darker, drier, and more sophisticated, but it could easily pass as a man’s scent, and probably should be worn by guys as well as girls.  Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s a well made scent, featuring the solid quality the Lauder Corp. is known for, but it’s not innovative.  I don’t think anyone else was particularly impressed by it. The trend of launching perfumes that could be guy scents, for the gals seems to be an on going one.  Kate Walsh’s Boyfriend is very popular at my local Sephora, in that sense only, Sensuous Noir is edgy.

Now this is not a case of slumming.  I like Sensuous Noir.  The scent is calming and sexy in the way that a smoke bummed casually on a street corner is. I have gotten through half a bottle of the stuff over the last winter. But let’s be honest, it’s not – impressive. Sensuous has the feeling of an indulged vice, a small one, but a vice nonetheless.  If I ran into Roja Dove at the end of my street (which is unlikely, since I don’t think he commutes on New Jersey Transit) what would I say I was wearing? Eh?  I strongly suspect it would be  a case of, “Oh, er, um, I’m wearing Eau de …mumble.”

But then again, perhaps I ought to have the courage of my tastes if not of my convictions, because after all I recognize sometimes, we all want out of that soiree, and that limo and that jacket big time.

And that beans, and pizza,  taste fine.

(As you will have guessed,  Sensuous Noir, which retails for 48.50 USD an ounce, is part of our reasonable perfume series.)


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