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Synthetic Jungle by Anne Flipo for Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.

If I happened to have been wearing Frédéric Malle´s Synthetic Jungle, these might have been my impressions.

JUNGLE: 1. an area of land overgrown with dense forest and tangled vegetation, typically in the tropics. 2. a style of dance music incorporating elements of raga, hip-hop, and hard core; consisting of very fast electronic drums, and slower synthesized bass lines.

SYNTHETIC JUNGLE: 1. a piece of acid-house (techno, rave) music by Limbo. 2. a perfume by Anne Flipo for Frédéric Malle.

I have been watching the internet like a hawk, since the beginning of 2020, for information on the what is now the soon-to-be-released, beginning of September as far as I know, Synthetic Jungle from Malle. All you could ever find was the trademark registration information for the name. Then in April of this year information started to trickle in. Note list includes basil, galbanaum, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, patchouli, oakmoss.

Possible Impressions.

Green up the yin-yang. A bright galbanum opening, and a darker, more vintage galbanum in the oakmossed base. Very indolic from both the jasmine and the muguet. Walking into a hothouse of transparent lushness. Quite a prominent jasmine, and possibly a hyacinth. Acutely modern, without taking away from the more traditional aspect of the green genre. Just beautiful. An impressive addition to the collection.

Henry Rousseau. Tropical Birds and Flying Things.

Does Frédéric Malle go to the South Goa Indian Jungle Parties? And will we ever know?

CQ

With thanks to my Fabulous Malle Fairy Godmother.

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Ordering Chanel in 2021. Coromandel EdP.

“While she looks at you so cooly, and her eyes shine like the moon in the sea, she comes in incense and patchouli, so you take her, to find what’s waiting inside, the year of the cat. AL STEWART.

It was not until last week when I went to Vienna with a girlfriend that I bothered to really try the Coromandel EdP. It fell into the “it cannot possibly be better than the EdT, oh my gosh what did Chanel do?” category.

The service and knowledge in the stand-alone Chanel beauty store in Vienna is excellent. Totally welcoming, you can spray everything, and all of the parfum extraits are out to try. (That has not been my experience in the Chanel Boutiques, you know, the ones that have security on the door, and take your backpack when you walk in.) We were sprayed top to bottom with Le Lion and Coromandel, each given both perfumes in the cute mini form, and sent off to breakfast and truck around town whilst the fragrances settled. Who knew if we would even go back? I also grabbed a few drops of the Coromandel Extrait and off we went.

My girlfriend knew before exiting the store that she would be back for Le Lion. We returned in due course, and she made the purchase. We both received more cute minis, and as the fabulous SA said, one can never have too many. I was enjoying the Coromandel EdP, but not enough to justify buying it, I still have the EdT after all.

I came home and spent the next four days wearing the EdP. Well well. It is much smoother than the screechy EdT. Screechy does not mean I don’t like it, I love it. But it can be wearing on the nose. Several years ago Tara and I tried a number of the EdPs in the store in Covent Garden. My Coromandel impressions at the time were that they had taken the incense out, an integral part. Uhm, nope. So I never bothered again.

Fast forward five years. The incense is there, but in the base notes, and to my nose it was in the heart notes of the EdT. Therein lies a really big difference. The EdP is not as tenacious and what is not to love about a rich patchouli, benzoin, and incense base? Infinitely more wearable, not as tenacious, divine dry down. Chanel Patch don’tcha know?

I WhatsApped Chanel Vienna and ordered a bottle. Two days later I had it. WhatsApp? Of course, Why? How do you order your Chanel?

CQ

*Yep, Chanel here have a WhatsApp number. I’m screwed. Thank you Peter.

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Freddie Albrighton Perfumes

DREAMY. LIGHT. COMFORTING. WEARABLE. AFFORDABLE. ACCESSIBLE.

“I went out on the balcony to clear my head, I was burning up in my queen-sized bed, down on the strip beneath the billboard moon, teenaged kids look for love in the neon sex and doom, of your Hollywood perfume.” Hollywood Perfume. The Pretenders.

I first met Freddie in 2014 and we have remained friends ever since. We share a deep love of Vero Profumo, and of the Hermessence collection, and of Malle’s Le Parfum de Therese. Style matters.

Although on the surface it may look as though Freddie Albrighton leans more towards the weird and unwearable (indeed I do believe he had a phase of this) he actually has a deep love for fragrances that are quite classical in their construction and beauty.

That is not to say that I wasn’t apprehensive when he told me he was going to create his own perfume line. After all we have all had more than enough of the complete and utter crap put together by people in their broom cupboards and sold at extortionate rates to those who were not brought up on the literary folklore tale of The Emperor`s New Clothes penned by Hans Christian Anderson.

I need not have been. Freddie Is an artist, clear to see in his tattoo work. This translated well in the cross-over to perfume, proving he would not be satisfied with anything less than performing to the best of his ability. You are either a perfectionist or you are not – this being a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection, and only offers up what to them, at the time is the best that they can do.

MABEL´S TOOTH. A dark fragrance, but Mabel has a diamond on her tooth, allowing it to glint and glisten. Ristretto with a splinter of caramel. Earthy and nutty. Not for those who take marshmallows in their chocolate.

BERNADETTE MARGARET EVELYN THERESA. Vintage without the vinegar. Full of joy and flowers. Apricot schnapps and quantum droplets of patchouli. The beauty of this is quite astonishing and there is actual love in the formula. You can feel it. I want to drown in it.

BOYS. Walking into Top Shop on Oxford Circus. Straight onto the first level, full of plastic earrings, leather bags, fake leather bags, pink fluffy slippers, purple fluffy slippers, cupcakes, candy canes, lollipops, key rings, a photo booth or two. Add a hefty dose of shattered violets and a hit of musk.

This collection is exactly what we need after a year of lockdown, and as we manoeuvre our way through the months to come. Perfumes that are bright and cheerful, and a delight to have on the skin. These have no nuclear bases that cling ’til you’re in a coma. They slowly vanish, leaving a whisper of what was. And then you spray more. At 89 pounds for 50ml, what are we waiting for?

http://www.freddiealbrighton.com

Stay tuned for an Instagram live interview with @freddiealbrightonperfume and me @armadilloscookiequeen. Imminent.

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Vero Profumo Eau de Parfums – The Return

And what costume shall a poor girl wear, to all tomorrow’s parties?” Lou Reed.

The Vero Profumo Eau de Parfums, although related to both the Voiles and the Extraits, are quite different. The EdPs are available again as limited editions in the black VP bottles. Online only, from Campomarzio. The Voiles are no longer available, and apart from a couple, neither are the extraits. You missed out? Tough.

Vero Kern once said that she likes to put “something a little bit disturbing” into her fragrances. Perhaps a note that people cannot identify. Sometimes it may disturb in a positive way and sometimes in a negative. “A characterful perfume has to have this disturbance, otherwise it is flat.” The Eau de Parfums are anything but flat.

The EdPs are sensual. Carnal, fleshly, unchaste. Voluptuous and beautiful. Lustful, earthy, and warm.

Vero commented at the launch of the original three edps, Rubj, Kiki, and Onda, that the new perfumes were not diluted versions of the extraits. An EdP needs a structure highlighting more the top notes as opposed to the base notes; but the aim still being to keep the original style of the extrait intact.

Vero in her Atelier.

The EdPs are delightfully lascivious. “I replaced the animalic notes with the unique scent of the passion fruit …. it lends a sensual and erotic lightness to the composition.” The luscious passion fruit links the four perfumes, Rubj, Kiki, Onda, and Rozy, adding to their communal seductiveness. (There is no passion fruit or cumin in any of the Voiles or the extraits, regardless of what you read – discontinued anyway. The number of comments and posts from people in the past writing about the cumin in Rubj Voile or extrait, used to make Vero crazy. Me too. I mean really? )

The above does not apply to the Mito EdP. That is a completely different kettle of fish. It is rich and green, sparkly and mossy, uplifting and elegant. Oh and the Mito Extrait is divine, but suck it up, it’s discontinued. NAJA stands alone from them all. And at the moment of writing this is still available.

I have the Rubj and Kiki EdPs in the black bottles, and the fragrances are exactly the same as in the original bottles. No changes at all. So chill.

Vero and Val

All of the perfumes Vero created are exquisite, but it is so much more than that. They have the same effect on me as The Velvet Underground did when I first heard them. Both added to my soul. Both Vero and the Velvet Underground have an erotic, revolutionary, pioneering, and subversive character. A most powerful perfume synesthesia. Vero and the Velvets stand at opposite ends of the bridge that connects me to the young woman I was, and to who I am now.

CQ.

Some of the above thoughts have appeared in previous pieces I have written.

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LIPSTICK SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS

“Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not the colour, but to accept God´s final decision on where your lips end.” Jerry Seinfeld.

You would think in these extreme times that life would hold more than a lipstick. But perhaps it is because of this very thing that it does not. Just before Christmas I got a package in the post, so totally unexpected that I did not even realize it was for me. I assumed it was for my husband and left it on the side. Upon opening it he said that it must be meant for me as the lipsticks within were not his colour.

One of the two lipsticks I received was the Burberry Deep Crimson. Well this has actually changed my life. I have always worn red, proper red. But over the last year or two I haven’t felt quite comfortable in the colour. The Burberry is as it says, a deep crimson, but it has like a microdot of fuschia embedded in it. And for the first time in my entire life I have a lipstick with pink in it that looks amazing. Fits like a glove. I am a new person. I ran out and bought a deep pink nail polish to match, because there is nothing like matching toes and lips is there? My first pink polish. A complete makeover.

I bought a bottle of Malle´s Le Parfum de Thérèse. I had used four travels over the last few years, and thought it was time. I wanted to buy the 50 ml and the store only had the 100 ml. I bought it anyway. I did feel guilty for a moment – but the store had a twenty per cent off of everything month so it was a bargain don’tchaknow?

Talking of Malle I am nearly out of my Carnal Flower. I have had it for ten years. It is thick and green, leaves a sheen of oil on your skin, and is an exquisite flower shop in a bottle. I doubt that I will replace it as, if I remember correctly, the current version just does not cut the mustard.

I am continuing to take cold showers every morning, and the water that comes out of the tap in the winter is damn cold. As Wim Hof says “Cold showers are the gateway to flow and energy and peace.”. I know I recommended them last post, but now I double recommend them. Mind over body. It has been said that you no longer need coffee after a cold shower. Whatever.

I had a three hour live radio show on January first. I live about 35km from the studio. As I was just going into the second hour of the show my husband sent me a text, informing me that he was walking towards the studio to meet me. Walking. I went into my default mode, total panic. It was minus temperatures, pitch black, and I was sure he would get run over by a truck. He had it all planned, I could just pick him up from somewhere along the side of the road on my way home from the studio. About 13km into the walk he came to the small town at the end of our lake. There is a small train station there. (Well actually there are two, as Vanessa from Bonkers well knows, but I digress.) As luck or God would have it there was a train due in three minutes later, which he happily hopped onto and it took him to within about 2km of the studio. I was so relieved when he messaged me that he was on a train. Of course there were no trucks out on the first of January during a curfew, and total lockdown but ……..

Next show was 15 January. As I began a couple of people messaged, asking if Chris was walking up to the studio again. Obviously not. It was minus three and snowing. I said as much on the radio and settled into the broadcast. The guy who has the show after me arrived about twenty minutes before the end of my show, and we were talking a little. I went to line up my next track, when I heard him laughing uncontrollably. As I looked up there was a guy standing in the studio, dripping wet, high powered LED lights on top of his head, and a full face mask. All I could see was Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. Seriously, for a few seconds I could not compute what was going on. It was like a trip, no sense of time or of what was happening. I mean it was only my bloody husband. He had biked the whole way up to the studio in the snow including through some gnarly woods. And he was not on an e-bike. When I realized who it was I was completely disorientated. I had to tell the listeners. By then I was laughing, and was getting “I knew he would do that” and “that is no surprise” messages. The thing is the dude thinks he’s totally normal.

As of Monday we have to wear the FFP2 masks. The medical masks and face coverings are not allowed anymore.

I guess most of you have seen that Campomarzio70 have launched a limited edition of the Vero Profumo EdPs. NAJA is also available, and last I looked a couple the extraits. Postage costs in some countries are über-expensive but take a look if you are interested anyway. They are exclusively online at Campomarzio70.

2021. Year of the Pink. Bring it on.

CQ.

I am indebted to Lady Jane Grey.

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CQ. 2020.

By Val the Cookie Queen

PNEUMA. Is an Ancient Greek word for “breath”, and in a religious context for “spirit” or “soul”.  

Well the year started off pretty much like any other.  Until it wasn’t. 

We will start with perfumes since this is what unites most of us who read A Bottled Rose.  Scent of the first hard lockdown  was Neela Vermiere´s Mohur EdP and the Extrait.  Perfume of the second, Strangelove’s fallintostars EdP.  (Waiting for the oil to arrive in the post as this goes to press.)

What did I buy this year?  Chanel Le Lion.  IUNX Eau Blanche, and a couple of 20ml refills for IUNX Talc.  Hiram Green Vivacious.  Strangelove’s fallintostars EdP and the oil.  I still plan to get Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese before the end of the year, as there is twenty per cent off here until the 31st of December.  

My tunes of the year.  Tool – Pneuma (2019)  John Grant – GMF (2013)

I have been taking cold showers for years, except they were never really that cold, I just turned them down from hot.  But for the last few months I go the full Wim Hof, and turn them down to freezing.  It has completely changed my morning routine.  It cleanses the mind, as it is impossible to think of anything at all as your body reacts to the cold.  I am up to about 60 seconds.  Cannot recommend it highly enough.  (And please don’t say you can’t do it, I mean starting with 15 seconds?  Puhleeeese.)

It takes me ages to finish a book these days.  Either because I have the attention span of a piece of wallpaper or because I seem to have at least five books at a time on the go.  But Tara recommended Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens so what choice did I have?  I read it through totally captivated, even cancelling a training session to keep reading.  I loved it and really found myself buried in a book for the first time in a long while.  Great stuff.   

I have been doing the live radio show Baking Bad with the Cookie Queen for a couple of years now, and although nervous before each show, am no longer scared spitless of making mistakes.  That is not to say that I won’t, but at least I kind of know my way around the equipment now.  I have a show on New Year’s Day 2021, 18:00 – 20:00 CET.  I cannot imagine that anyone will be too busy, apart from recovering from a hangover maybe, so tune in!!  The livestream link is always in my Instagram. @armadilloscookiequeen. 

Despite the lockdowns two new Indigo stores opened this year, which upped the number of stores I supply to fifteen.  And although it has not killed me yet, it still might.  They are shut at the moment though and apart from deliveries will remain shut until at least the middle of January, so I have no money, but a bit of a break.   Highlight of the year was getting my backside out of Austria and making it into Switzerland for a few days to visit really good friends.  Sure sitting on a train for eight hours with a mask on was not a much fun as other things I have done, but it is what it is.   

I downloaded the Calm App, probably along with several million others!  Lying in bed at night and listening to stories, or practicing breathing techniques is just brilliant. Not that I am highly strung or anything.  LMAO.  

I have mentioned it before but it bears repeating.  I am so thankful for the technology that allows us not just to keep in touch with people, but to build up new friendships.  We live in incredible times, and in a world of great beauty.  Gratitude and optimism. 

What a ride this year has been.  Have a peaceful festive season, and may we all arrive in 2021 safely and ready for The Pandemic Part II.  (Not to be confused with The Omen Part II)

“Pneuma, reach out and beyond, wake up remember, we are born of one breath, one word, we are all one spark, eyes full of wonder.”  PNEUMA. TOOL.   

CQ

 

 

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strangelove nyc fallintostars edp

 

Strangelove NYC.  Founder: Elizabeth Gaynes.  Creative Director: Helena Christensen.  Perfumer: Christophe Laudamiel.  Result: A stunning collection of perfumes. 

fallintostars is the most recent of the five edps and oils in the Strangelove collection.  Oud, jonquil, rosewood, amber, pink peppercorns.  (labdanum and peru balsam?).  

Aurorean:  Belonging to the dawn, or resembling it in its brilliant hue.

 

The edp opens with warm and honeyed oud/ouds.   Unlike the number of perfumers that claim to have used exquisite raw materials,  Laudamiel and Strangelove actually have.  Despite its quite opulent richness, it never becomes heavy, and as it wears it leaves a trail of golden amber.  Animalic, sensual, elegant, divine.  

Completely and utterly addictive.  As perfumistas we hope for, but rarely receive compliments on what we are wearing. Each time I have worn fallintostars someone has asked what it is.   

Offering an alternative to mass perfume, Strangelove are truly niche.  The eau de perfumes are available in bottles 15ml, 50ml, and 100ml.  Sure they are pricey, but you pay for what you get.  Quality has a price.  There are many expensive so called niche perfumes to choose from.  The challenge is to sift the wheat from the tares.  

“And they know just what we do, that we toss and turn at night, they’re waiting to make their moves on us, the stars are out tonight.”   David Bowie. 

CQ

With the exception of the fallintostars oil, I have all of the Strangelove’s in the small oil pots, and the 5 x 2 ml edp sample set.  I bought the 15ml fallintostars recently.  I wear all of them.  I never write about what I do not own and wear.  Just to clarify.  

 

 

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Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen.

“Don’t you just know I waitin’ for the train that goes home sweet Mary, hopin’ that train is on time, sittin’ downtown in a railway station, one toke over the line ……” One Toke Over the Line. Brewer & Shipley. 1970.

We flew to Lucerne very early in the morning at the beginning of December for a three day work trip sometime at the end of the eighties. It was bitterly cold and there was snow on the ground, but with clear blue skies and sunshine; we picked up a car at the airport and went to the very nice hotel to check in and dump our cases.

We had to meet a car and its driver around 11.00 in the Lucerne train station underground car park. We left our car a few hundred meters away from the station and walked there, arriving punctually. We went down into the car park and took a look around for a car with Dutch plates, but found no one. Hoping it was just late we went back up into the train station and sat in a café for a while. After giving it about an hour we repeated our steps in the search for the car. Again, nothing. We began to think that the guy had not made it. We repeated the above one more time, to no avail, and started to get a bit paranoid.

We went to a phone box to make a call to Holland. Things ran differently in the days of no mobiles, and took a lot longer to reach people. Disadvantage was trying to get through to someone who may or may not have been at home by a land-line. Advantage was that tracing calls from phone boxes was extremely unlikely, if not impossible. No answer.

After about three hours, paranoia level quite high, we got through to The Man in Holland. He told us that the guy we were there to meet had called and asked where we were, and told him that he was on the very lowest level of the car park, and lurking in very furthest corner. Not suspicious at all.

He had been there since morning. You need balls of steel for this kind of work. We had gone down to the third level of the parking garage, where there were nearly no cars, and took a look on the fourth level, where there were no cars at all, and not gone on down to the sixth level.

We got our car and drove into the carpark, parking up on the second level. I climbed into the back seat and covered myself with a blanket. Chris said he would be back in a few minutes and headed down to find the guy. I laid there frozen with fear, wondering what I would do if he did not return.

I heard the screech of wheels approaching, and a car turned sharply into the space next to us. Was it them? I was barely breathing. The boot opened and a 10kg bag was thrown in, and the boot was then slammed shut. We left the cars and all went up into the Bahnhof to eat, after which the guy we met, having finished his part of the job, left.

Smooth sailing from then on. Chris grabbed the bag and carried it up to a storage locker in the station, I stood from afar watching. He deposited the bag, locked it up and pocketed the key. We drove about forty kilometers, where we delivered the key, along with the locker number, to one of the Swiss Angels.

Job done, we went back to the hotel. It had been a long day.

I recently came across a postcard from Switzerland that I had sent my mother and stepfather in England. Excitedly telling them that we had gone away for a break and to do some Christmas shopping. Perhaps this is the truth and as with other Strange Tales the above story is but a figment of my overly-active imagination.

CQ

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NARS Audacious EdP 2019 by Olivia Giacobetti

Contradiction.  A combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.  A situation in which inconsistent elements are present.           

François Nars’ cult cosmetic brand NARS founded in 1994, celebrated 25 years in the business last year.  To acknowledge this milestone, he launched the NARS debut perfume, choosing the brilliant French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti to work with.  Giacobetti  has only  been creating for her IUNX brand and this is her first work outside of that for a number of years.  The fact that she does not just churn out fragrances making her a stellar choice.

White frangipani and smoke of incense  —   Tiare flower, ylang-ylang essential oil, sandalwood  —  White cedar essential oil, white musk.

A study in light and dark, it opens with the frangipani, immediately tempered with Giacobetti´s translucent incense.  A contradictory scent, it never goes near a suntan product.   The sandalwood becomes central, but the frangipani, tiara, and ylang-ylang remain, albeit behind the weightless veil of the incense smoke and cedar. Giacobetti`s use of the white musks keeping a constant translucency.  Effortlessly exquisite.

The bottle, designed by Fabien Barron, sprays with the very finest of mist;  the skin is coated in nearly invisible droplets.  Minimal and all black, it belies the ethereal delicateness of what is inside it.

ED06A0C9-A1D2-4619-9120-4E6300FDA436       Bottle my own.  

For those who have been disappointed that Audacious is not a cloying oud or an ambroxan laden skin-glue, NARS never was going to go with the nuclear creations that come out of the “backstreet abortion clinic perfume” genre.  And that in itself is exactly why this perfume is AUDACIOUS.

CQ

 

 

 

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CATSINOMA

 

IMG_4644

As readers of the blog may remember Meepsy/Mitzi had a massive nosebleed back during the lockdown here. The vet was not sure whether the bleeding was coming from inside the nose or from the outside. And yes, it was impossible to tell. He gave her some sort of Jackie Kennedy shot, with a lot of puppy-uppers in it and some antibiotics. Which did the job just fine. For a few weeks.Her nose began to have slight scratches on it, which would bleed a little, and then dry up and fall off. It was causing her nose to shrink. A couple of weeks ago we made the decision to take her to the very highly rated animal clinic about a half hour drive from here, and skip the local vet.She was diagnosed with carcinoma on her nose. Unbeknownst to us it is fairly common for white cats, as they have very pink noses. Whatever it is total shit. We made an appointment to have it removed, at the cost of a vacation which we will not be taking anyway because yeah, Covid.We believe that secretly she wants to be a pug-cat and that this is part of the transitioning. Nose-jobs are never cheap.She had the operation yesterday. She is always quiet in her carrier, as she is at the vet. But I know she is scared to death by the way that she behaves. It breaks your heart, but if you have a pet you also have a responsibility to care for them.

IMG_4623

 

The operation and (slight) recovery took about three hours. We picked her up. She looked like death warmed-up with a cone collar, but she crawled out of her carrier onto my lap on the way home and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the massage and rubs that I gave her.She has spent today sleeping in my wardrobe, drooling into the cone, and generally looking rough. Nevertheless she is totally up for belly rubs and a brush, as she cannot care for her self at all. As of writing this she has not eaten or drunk a thing, and of course I want her to.

The day before her operation she received a care-package in the post (her first ever mail) from her Katzen Tante in Germany. She was so excited to sniff/smoke her catnip, and to eat all of the yummy strips of jerky for cats.  That was pre-op and I am sure it gave her the strength to go through it.  Right now she won’t touch a thing.

I blew off my training class at the gym tonight, just in case anyone needs proof as to how much I care about her.

I hope that they have got all of the cancer out, and that it does not crop up somewhere else.  So yeah.

UPDATE. Twenty four hours later.

We loosened her collar last night and she finally ate and drank little water.  She stayed hidden all day today, but I am just home from the radio studio, 21:00.  She came out and let me take her collar off and I massaged and groomed her for a long while, and she ate food which we laced with cat painkiller!  She is now out on the balcony.  

IMG_5860

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