Monday, September 13, 2010

A Little Blarney and Some Petty Theft

Last night, I stole my husband's heart.  Now, before you go all sweet and mushy on me, take note that I mean this literally.  You see, we're moving in a couple of weeks, so we spent a good chunk of yesterday going through closets and drawers, packing up and throwing away.  Somewhere, mixed in with a pile of fake body parts, tombstones and lone socks, was an old, tarnished Claddagh ring. 

Me:  Oooh!  A Claddagh!
Thomas:  Oh, yeah, that's from my Angel costume.
Me:  (furiously trying it on every finger and totally ignoring my chance to mock him for dressing up like David Boreanaz for--God, I hope--Halloween)  It fits me!  I'm stealing it. 
Thomas:  That's fine.  It was just going in the thrift store pile, anyway.

Gosh, he's so romantical when he talks purty.

For those of you who are trying to figure out what the heck I'm talking about, a Claddagh (CLAW-duh) is an Irish symbol, given as a token of love and committment.  It consists of two hands holding a crowned heart--a design based upon the Italian Fede ring (showing clasped hands as a sign of trust)--and stands for friendship, love, and loyalty.  The design is attributed to a Galway man by the name of Richard Joyce.

Claddagh wedding set.  14 kt. white gold, $2,795.
Photo by Linda Clifford Rings

Now, kids, settle in and I'll tell you a story.  A long, long time ago, back in the late 17th century, there lived a man named Richard Joyce.  He worked as a fisherman in the small town of Claddagh, and was all set to marry the woman of his dreams.  Lo and behold, a week before the wedding, his ship was overtaken by pirates, and the crew were all sold as slaves!  Richard was sold to a goldsmith who taught him his craft. As years went by, Richard became a master goldsmith, himself, and forged a ring for the woman he'd left behind.  When King William III came into power, he released all the slaves, meaning Richard could go home!  The goldsmith offered Richard his daughter's hand and half of his riches and property if he would stay with him, but Richard wanted to know what had happened to the love of his life.  He returned to Claddagh, found the girl, and learned that she had never married, but had waited for him.  Richard gave her the ring, and the two were married.  Together, they opened a goldsmith's shop, and lived happily ever after.

Modern Gentleman's wedding band.  $145.50.
Photo by 

There are rules to wearing a Claddagh.  Traditionally, if you are single, you wear the ring on your right hand, with the heart pointing outward.  If you are "taken", you wear it on the right hand, heart pointing in (toward your own heart).  When you become engaged, you wear the ring on your left ring finger, heart pointing out, and flip it around when you get married.  In some wedding ceremonies, the groom flips the ring around for the bride when he slides on the wedding band.

As for me, I'm not swapping my engagement ring for a costume remnant, so I have it on my right hand, facing inward.  The strangest thing happened, though.  You know how I said the ring was old and tarnished?  Well, this morning, it was shiny and sparkly and good as new.  It was probably just the tarnish rubbing off on my sheets while I slept, but I like to think there was some good old fashioned Irish magic at work.  Maybe some ancestors giving their approval.  I don't know, but it made me smile.

And now, the magic bag o' samples!  Today's vict--I mean, pick, is Aquolina Pink Sugar Body Mousse.  $30 for 8.5oz.,

According to Sephora, this is:
Stylish and lively, with a distinctive personality, Pink Sugar takes you on a journey through the pleasures and flavors of childhood with a playful blend of vanilla and caramel.

It also contains notes of Bergamot, Sicilian Orange, Raspberry, Fig Leaves, Lily of the Valley, Licorice, Strawberry, Red Fruit, Cotton Candy, Vanilla, Caramel, Musk, Wood, and Powder. 

Well, I got the baby powder and sugar scents.  This stuff is a complete sugar rush, and one I was actually really scared to try.  See, I opened the lid when the sample first came in, and a drop got on my finger.  It just about knocked me over!  The fragrance tends to mellow out as you apply the mousse--kind of like how the first stroke of wall paint always looks like neon, but the color calms down once the entire wall is covered--but it's still not a subtle fragrance.  No, sir.  I put it on around 9:00 this morning.  It's after 4:00, and it's still strong, and it's kind of getting on my nerves.  Do not wear this if you are going to be in cramped spaces, because the people around you will want to kill you.  I also would not suggest layering this scent.  One coat is enough, folks.  One light coat is more than enough.  A little dab'll do ya.

As for the mousse, itself, it's okay.  I generally prefer body butter, but on a hot day like today, the mousse is a nice, light alternative.  It's non-greasy, absorbs quickly, and leaves your skin feeling powder soft.  The problem lies in the fact that you really can't put this all over your entire body.  I only put it on my legs, arms and chest, and that was more than enough scent.  It's also, frankly, not a scent I really care for.  It's aiming for flirtatious girliness, but I think it's missed the mark.  It's not sophisticated enough to be sexy.  It's sweet, but almost saccharin.  It's girly, but little girly. 

Final verdict:  It's mediocre and too strong.  The perfume version might be better, since you can adjust how much you use and pinpoint its location, but it's just too much scent for all-over.  If you love Vanilla, Bergamot Orange, and Musk, I suggest trying Bath and Body Works Vanilla Noir.  At $10.50, there's less sugar, more moisturizers, and you're out a lot less money.

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