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Praise for Heapnose

January 13, 2010


Yesterday, Heapnose recorded its highest ever volume of traffic…A total of 93 discerning noses dropped by in the space of 12 hours., beating my previous daily record by a whopping 91 visitors.

A cynic might blame the inclement British weather and the (false) promise of  “Free cheescake for Heapnose visitors” posted yesterday on Facebook. Nonetheless, what better way to mark the occasion than to review the best of this year’s Heapnose Visitor Feedback…

” It started off ok, but quickly ran out of steam” Pat Heap on Heapnose (10.12.09)

Desperation, Heapnose you is it…” The Flat Earth Society on Heapnose (25.07.09) “Oh, you’re still writing a blog?” My Dad, on Heapnose (13.01.10)

“Jen! Your spelling and grammar are impeccable” Dafmeister on “Chanel Chance – Eau Fraiche” (01.09.09)

“Thrilling and Awesome. Thrisome. ” Owen from Mwnci on “Stampede – A Guest Review” (14.07.09)

“WTF is this?” Penny Skuse on Heapnose (03.07.09)

“Andy? Drinks Tonight?” Unknown on “Jo Malone – Black Vetyver Cafe” (18.08.09)

“Now THAT Blog is actually really really good” Jonesy, about somebody else’s blog (13.01.10)

“Jen! I had a vivid dream last night which featured you coming back to Cardiff to visit but if turned out that you were a robot with a detachable head and a video camera in your eye.”  Dafmeister on “Chanel No.5 (31.05.09)

More incisive commentary to follow, as and when I dig it out of my Facebook inbox. A huge thanks to all my readers for all your related and unrelated feedback. Let’s try and get 100 readers next week…then maybe Chanel will start sending me free samples.

Lots of Love



Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau

January 12, 2010

Forced by a hostile immigration landscape to live on separate continents, this Christmas saw me reunited (albeit briefly) with my Beardy for the first time in three months. Our period of separation was spent scratching (him) and planning an outfit for our airport reunion (me).

The fragrance problem had been vexing me for some time. Did I want cosy familiarity or Transatlantic Sexy? Did I want to knock him out at ten paces or leave just the hint of a lingering scent as i sashayed past?

A day in the post-production suite provided a golden opportunity to get some male editorial perspective on the issue. GETH my editor that day, promised to be a worthy audience.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is I want to convey sexy, but faithful, familiar but edgy. I want my perfume to say yes you know me, but I’ve been in the UK for three months and I’m my own woman, and i have edge, and vim and vigour. I’m looking for vulnerability, but only with regards to him  – it needs to also say self assured. You know?”

My audience looked blank

” So I suppose what I need is spiky vulnerability. Contemporary but potentially classic. If my fragrance were a shoe it would be a stiletto’d Ugg Boot. I need my perfume to represent all that I am, but also all that I am not, without him. It really needs to be the Alpha and the Omega.  I need to be East of Eden, but not without hope of redemption. You know, fragrance-wise.”

More silence. I sensed disinterest.

Cute bottle too…

Predictably it was Pat Heap who offered the solution.  Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau. Not to be confused with the too-saccharine Miss Dior Cherie,  L’Eau features some almost licorice base notes which give the fragrance a great deal more body than it’s sweet Cherie counterpart. It has a solid 5 hour + staying power, and in fact remnants remained, even after a 4 hour coach trip,  2 hours duty free shopping, and 8 hours non-stop eating aboard the Air Canada flight. No complaints there.

Beardy himself was underwhelmed. But, let’s face it, he was always going to be something of a supporting player in the Airport Reunion Scene….

Despite its Spring release, it’s a great Winter fragrance – warm, but somehow refreshing, and gloriously free of that heavy, gluttonous feeling that so many design houses pump into their winter scents (I’m looking at you Versace, Jacobs et al). Which, given that Christian Dior has been responsible for some of the century’s most heavyweight perfumes to date (Poison anyone?) is quite the accomplishment.


A Chance Encounter…

December 16, 2009


It’s been a while since your trusty reviewer has put pen to paper. Truth be told Heapnose has been on the move: Toronto to Cardiff to Manchester to Edinburgh to Belfast to London to Toronto. Ah the jet set lifestyle of a freelancer. Or as Pat Heap prefers to call it, the vagrant lifestyle of a freeloader.

A chance encounter with an acquaintance of a former acquaintance steered this old nose back to the grindstone, as it were.

To my surprise, and to the unabashed surprise of those who know me, I find myself working on a highly intellectual quiz show. A casual conversation with a contestant put this nose back in touch with an old colleague from law school, who, like me, having dedicated 3 (or in his case 4) years of his life to the (concededly miserable) task of studying law at one of this country’s finest academic institutions, opted to pursue a career in television.

The subsequent flurry of email exchanges which ensued revealed that far from being a penniless brother in arms, scraping a living on daytime property shows (and secretly hoping that one day when Alexa Chung, Myleeene Klass, or to be honest, even Angela Griffin calls in sick, they’ll shove me in front of the camera to bedazzle the nation), my freelancing ‘comrade’ was in fact a hard hitting and universally respected news producer. Arse.

There comes a point in one’s mid twenties where one ceases to revel in the success of others. In fact, if a story about an old school friend doesn’t end with “…and then she got fat”, frankly, I am not your audience.

Upon closer inspection, and after a restorative bottle of red wine, my freelancing comrade’s email revealed that the future divergences in our respective media paths were apparent before we even left law school.

“I bet you had the Professor Eleftheriadis talk where he begged you to continue with law and told you that the legal profession would be a worse place without you…?” (He wrote)

“Erm..yeah!” (I replied)

Actually I remember that after three tortuous years, the much revered Professor Eleftheriadis called my career at law school “disappointingly mediocre” and said that “mentioning lesbians in every essay on EC Trade Law was not really in keeping with the academic ambitions that the University of Oxford had in mind for its undergraduates.”

Further discrepancies in our  professional lives revealed themselves when he referred to

“Bumping into old law school chums on the steps of the courthouse”.

Well, unless any Oxford alumni find themselves collecting their impounded car from a yard in Niagara Falls, thus unwittingly becoming the stars of a cable show about people who get yelled at in their jobs, then there’s little chance of my “bumping into” any old law school chums in my professional future.

The upshot of this email exchange with my “comrade” was much tedious twenty-something soul searching about my life, its direction or lack thereof, the feasibility of a Trans-Atlantic career, the pitfalls of life as a freelancer, my shortcomings as a daughter / girlfriend / British Taxpayer, and the realistic long term sustainability of being peroxide blonde.

That, and a return to this blog.

His parting shot was a query as to when Heapnose might once again be back online. And thanks to his email, it now is.

I may even write about perfume next time….if anyone’s still interested?

Heapnose x

Chanel Chance (Eau Fraiche)

July 2, 2009

chance-eau-fraicheCelebrity Fans: Carolyn Hitt

The summer fragrance is a cruel mistress…one whiff of an erstwhile summer scent on a passing pedestrian can instantly transport the unsuspecting female back in time, to ill advised summer liaisons, piazzas in the late evening sun, mopeds, white trouser clad Italian lotharios, promises of Sicilian Weddings in leafy fig orchards…

Conversely, an ill-chosen summer scent will tarnish the holiday and its memories forever. The HFP (Hasty Fragrance Purchase) most often spotted at Luton Airport or 5.30pm on Boots Double Points Day is most especially treacherous in the heady summer months, when scantily clad celebrities poise ready to ensnare the unsuspecting shopper – I cite J-Lo, SJP, Jessica Simpson, and most recently Halle Berry as notable airbrushed predators.

The “safe” middle ground is to chose the summer version of one’s traditional everyday scent – this is the time of year when fragrance counters throw around buzzwords like “spritz” “essence” and “dew” to convey what is essentially a watered down version of a reputable knock-out perfume. I’ve long been suspicious of these summer editions: as a pupil of the PH perfume philosophy that a fragrance should enter a room before it’s wearer, or, put more simply “If flies aint dying I aint buying…” less impact for more money is not an attractive proposition

I was, therefore pleasantly surprised by Chanel’s seasonal take on their signature scent “Chance”. Fully prepared was I to spray half a bottle on to the skin, be displeased with the result and banish the bottle to be used in place of water in the steam iron (nb Issey Miyake’s L’Eau D’Issey is paricularly good for linens)

On the contrary, Chance Eau Fraiche packs quite the fragrant punch – it survived the “transferrence test” on both boyfriend and BEN’S DOG, caused several people in an elevator to sneeze profoundly, and, produced admirably adverse reactions in a housemate’s Jade plant. Finally a summer knockout. Oh, and it smells pretty good too.