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The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » The Vine

The Vine: February 1, 2013

Submitted by on February 1, 2013 – 9:53 AM12 Comments


I’m hoping you can help me track down a book I loved as a kid so I can give it to my nieces. It was a collection of fairy tales (predominantly European), set up so that you were to read a section on a particular date. Stories included Baba Yaga, the twelve dancing princesses, the Silkie, and a rather dark version of Hansel and Gretel. 

As I recall, it was a large (larger than a sheet of paper) glossy hardbound book, mostly white with a large illustration on the front, and probably published between 1980 and 1990. The title may have been something along the lines of “A Child’s Bedtime Stories,” but I truly can’t remember for certain. I have tried everything, and can’t seem to come up with the correct book. Help me, TN, you’re my last and best hope!



I am looking for a perfume that will make me smell like a mermaid. 

I’m a big fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and I’ve tried a lot of their oceany scents (Sea of Glass, R’Lyeh, The Deep Ones, etc.) but have never quite found the mix of salt air, ocean spray, minerals, seaweed and musk that I’m looking for. Sadly, I found out about their scent Thalassa, the Galapagos Mermaid after they’d stopped offering it — snif! I’ve considered checking eBay and the BPAL trading forums to get a bottle, but one thing about BPAL is that their scents don’t tend to last on me as long as I’d like, so I think I’d prefer an alternative that would have better staying power (say, eight to ten hours with normal application). It may be useful to note that I adore Method soaps in the Sea Minerals scent and the Yankee Candle Beach Walk scent, so a perfume that hits a combination of those notes would be quite welcome. 

A hopeful tail swish and many thanks in advance! 


Dear C,

Maybe a mix of Demeter’s Ocean, Thunderstorm, and Vetiver? You may sacrifice some staying power — in my experience, Demeter scents aren’t very strong.

Another option is Pacifica; their solid scents last through, say, 10 hours of Nebraska interstate, and you could mix the Waikike Pikake with some Tibetan Mountain Temple and see what you get.






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