Buyer Beware and Buyer Full-Steam-Ahead

Aug21cherhsnCher Style

Cher made another recent appearance on HSN network

Much of the segment is a rehash of how good the perfume is (and it is so keep buying it). Cher talked about her new book and movie and "the new version of things that we can’t talk about here." Is she referring to the album re-releases? Or some other new version of things?

They talk about some HSN products she loves and her favorite makeups and tools are lipsticks and eyelash curlers. She admits sometimes she doesn’t want to do the treadmill. Cher seems very lowkey in this segment. Maybe she's tired. I’ve been struggling with tiredness and treadmills myself so I appreciated this.

Amy Morrison sometimes tires me out with her hyper salesmanship: "We can do it all ladies!" No, we can't.

But I love Cher's blouse....like a lot. Sometimes Cher goes all mainstream with an outfit and it feels so impactfully rebellious for her somehow. After about a million compliments from Amy on how good Cher looks, Cher makes a Dorian Gray reference most people might have missed. (So nerdy!) Cher gives some sage advice like opportunities find her; she doesn’t go looking for them. One fan calls in to say he wears the new fragrance and that the movie Moonstruck kept him sane during Covid.

Beware of False Sanctuaries!

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This is a very important buyer-beware message for Cher fans. Last November I saw this purported Sanctuary candlestick gargoyle listed on eBay. My parents were both sick at the time and the price was good so I bought it on impulse too quickly. Anyway, it crossed my mind for one second to dig out my Sanctuary catalogs and confirm this item was legit, but I was at a low ebb that day and decided to take a chance. This is exactly the time when you should not take a chance, by the way, when you’re feeling low. That’s when you fall prey to purported Sanctuary candlestick holders!

As soon as it arrived I could tell it wasn’t a probable Cher product. It had no Sanctuary packaging, certification or stamp of Cherness. Not unusual for a resale. It also had some cheap green felt glued to the bottom and I don’t know Cher personally but that doesn't seem like a Cher move. Plus the felt looked a lot older 1990s green felt. So I dug out the catalogues and, as you can guess, this little guy wasn’t there.

When you’re feeling kind of raw and sad, learn from this experience and please don’t make impulsive Sanctuary purchases.


Cher Streaming Stuff Catchup

DatelineI went to categorize this post as "Television" but I don't even know what the word means anymore. Sigh. 

Anywhere, there's been a ton of Cher content in the last 6 to 9 months. Here's a partial catchup. Last week Cher was on Dateline: White House with Nicolle Wallace. It was a great interview about Celebrity civic action and Cher and Dr. Irwin Redlener's mobile Covid vehicle. 

LonelyCher's documentary Cher and the Loneliest Elephant came out a few months ago on Paramont Streaming/Smithsonian. It's not yet available on other locations but hopefully it will end up on Amazon Prime or DVD eventually.

It was a very moving story, mostly focusing on the trials of Dr. Amir Khalil from the Four Paws animal rescue. Despite the title and trailer, Cher has only a peripheral role in the movie. Which is why it's good to also watch the For your consideration video which is a solid hour of Cher and the film's producer. It's an incredible behind-the-scenes conversation about the many of the challenges both Cher and the filmmakers experienced before cameras started rolling, many challenges not even mentioned in the documentary. You come away thinking it was a miracle the film ever happened at all, let alone the rescue itself. It shows the power of perseverance and Cher's mantra of not taking no for an answer (which is a mantra reiterated in all three video clips here).

Hsn3The lightest appearance was HSN's Beauty Report talking about Cher's 2020-Fifi-award-winning new fragrance. Apparently the Fifis are the Oscars of fragrance. Far from saving the world with COVID vaccines or elephant-rescues, this kitschy girl-fest felt very personal yet still newsworthy. 

In all the clips Cher says she loves the people she works on these projects and she loves making things. They discuss the fragrance's color (Cher doesn't like the whiskey look) and  the notes, the bottle corset with the little baby studs.

The whole thing feels like fun girl-time (no matter your gender preference).  Listening to fragrance nerds talk about smells is funny (and interesting) but funny. They ogle the purse-size's twist-top bottle (so it doesn’t leak in your purse). Then they bring out Theo Spilka from Firmenich Fragrance who says they went through 57 trials and it took 4 years with 2 perfumers working on it. He says Cher knew what she wanted and he Hsn2described her initial conversations about an Istanbul incense she liked and how she "rolled up her sleeves literally." He said Cher is so loved all over world Clement Gavarry (the perfumer) was able to get quality raw ingredients like:

  • Orange flower and jasmine from France
  • Neroli from East Africa
  • Bergamot from Italy
  • Sandalwood from Australia

Spilka says it's hard to verbalize what you want making perfumes, but that this perfume is 150% Cher.

Cher drops hints of some Christmas surprise that doesn't sound like a Christmas album although she admits she would do one. She says her favorite Christmas song is (still?) "O Holy Night." 

Cher says she doesn't plan anything and that she was "talking to Herb Alpert the other night" and they both agreed that luck played a large part in their careers. 

Cher tells a story about how she was told a woman with brown eyes and dark hair would never make the cover of Vogue. As we know, Cher soon afterward was on the cover of many Vogue magazines. She says charity blesses the giver and that she really wants to tour again but she wants people to be safe. She says, "I have as good a time as you do." David, the Cher fan talking to her right then says, "I don’t know about that." They talk about a nail polish bottle Cher helped designed for Deb, her manicurist. They talk about how Cher's mom is still stunning in her 90s.

Cher-stare-kunisCher's biopic was also officially announced recently and people are speculating on who will play Cher. Because Cher is completely inimitable, (as drag queens and impersonators have scientifically proven), this will be a challenge. Talented as she may have been, the Cher cast for the TV movie And the Beat Goes On, (yes, this will be Cher's second biopic), was completely off-the-mark. 

For years I've been thinking Mila Kunis would be a good Cher although I have no idea whether she can sing or move like a groovy coolnick. She's got the comedic sense and she has a similar je-ne-sais-quoi quality, part of which is the deadpan Cher-stare.

 


Stinky Cher Words

Review"It hugs my body and caresses my soul"

This is the subject line of the latest email from Scent Beauty on Cher's Eau de Couture. "It gives me peace and comforts me. It makes me happy and gives me strength."

I'm all for aroma therapy but this ad sounds like we're pitching a magic, superfine, sunshine elixir!

"Now gather round folks. I heard you say you wanna pick-me-up that won't let you down. You're looking for a cure?....It's gotta relieve your sore bones, your aching tones and your runny nose!"

It's a good scent. But it does not exactly 'caress my soul.' In fact, this advance on my soul is not required from my beauty products. 

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My mom recently sent us boxes of keepsakes from our childhood, including art attempts, grades, our birth announcements... all that stuff. I've slowly been working through it. I can only take small amounts of my little-shit self so I have no idea how my mom put up with me. As the budding writer in the family, there are copious amounts of notes requesting sleepovers with Krissy (who lived behind us) and petitions to redress unfairnesses unspecified. 

The above letter was written on clown stationary and I had a vague memory today of covering it with the balloon stickers it came with. The letter starts by introducing myself to my mother (in case she doesn't remember me) and then launching into my Christmas wish list, which includes the overbearing request depicted above for "a sher doll" and a dog and a cat. I go on to concede that a cat is unlikely (some of us were allergic), but this was probably just a negotiating tactic on my part to leave room for bargaining down to the doll and the dog. I proceed to explain to her how much I like her and then attempt to illicit from her some positive feelings toward myself. 

I have to report the scheme worked as I did get 'a sher doll' that year. And Sonny too. But we already had a dog and I didn't get another one. 

Which is all to say I've been a fan since before I could spell Cher, which makes my appreciation almost pre-verbal. Almost. Clearly, I already had a very big mouth. 


Keep Moving with Cher Workouts

BodycWow. The last few weeks have given me a crick in my neck. Civil War is no joke. It's very stressful here on the brink.

So you have to stay hydrated. (Oy.)

You can't just melt into the couch. (Good grief.)

I had a lot of these blog posts prepared before the U.S. election but the week prior I got sick (again) and last week was just a hot mess. But here's some diversion for you.

I received the February 1993 issue of Vogue with a review of Cher's second workout VHS tape, Body Confidence. Her first VHS tape, New Attitude came out in 1991 and Body Confidence came out in 1992. I purchased them both but didn't really have any sense at the time of what else was going on in the celebrity fitness market or how well Cher's VHS tapes were received. Since then, the workout videos have been released on DVD but only for the PAL format. But happily you can get DVD players now which play any format for about $40 on Amazon. 

Bodyc2This Vogue review is from a fitness column by Rachel Urquhart. Here she reviews many celebrity offerings including tapes by Cindy Crawford, Marla Maples and Cher among others.

“In Cher Fitness: Body Confidence, the sequel to Cher’s best-selling fitness debut, there’s an even greater credibility gab to negotiate [than for Marla Maples]. It is, after all, a little hard to feel inspired by the figure of a woman who is rumored to have had ribs and teeth, among other nonessential body parts, surgically removed in order to look slimmer. [Cher never had body parts removed and it's irresponsible of Vogue to repeat it]. But that said, it’s hard to resist Cher’s approachable manner—not to mention her novel workout fashion sense.  Why not forsake baggy gray sweats for a strapless black vinyl leotard with heavy metal zipper? As for what to wear during evening sweat sessions, her sheer black body stocking covered with well-placed webs of sequins, sequined garters, and thigh-high opaque stockings seems to set just the right aerobics-goddess-cum-street-walker tone. [This is Vogue so of course they’ll notice her outfits.]

Bodyc3As for the actual workout, Cher aerobicizes through a 38-minute, easy-to-follow series of dance steps designed to get your heart rate up and shape your body without the aid of a scalpel. I liked the 45-minute muscle-toning workout that follows even better. Dressed in black shorts, fishnet stockings, and a wide vinyl belt, Cher is a relatively sedate presences here as she follows her no-nonsense personal trainer through more exercises than I ever dreamed were possible using a two-foot long rubber band. [Bands were a novelty at the time I guess]. Another reason this tape stands out is that Cher uses semi-real music-—soundalikes belt out the tunes of Chaka Khan, The Kinks and Marvin Gaye, to name a few—instead of the usual dreck heard only on exercise tapes and when the Amtrak reservation desk puts you on hold. And she does her best to seem human; she trembles when the exercise get hard; she complains; she jokes about her ‘weird elbows”; she talks about shopping. She’s not being a star—she’s just being Cher."

Work along with YouTube:

New Attitude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1kp9fbBoqA

Body Confidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhXcQsfqTJQ 


And The Thing Was Done (Cher Puzzling)

Arch-pzzleThere's a famous local film they once played before you went up into the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The documentary, called Monument to a Dream, was made in 1967 and my friend Julie and I often made fun of its final gravitas in the last scene where the narrator says:

"By strength and skill and valor they rolled the unknown back before them. They were too weary, uncomfortable, and much too seasoned to rejoice. But the idea in the restless mind of Thomas Jefferson had been given flesh. Meriwether Lewis’s dream had come true. And the thing was done."

If you grew up in St. Louis you knew this by heart ("and then the thing was done!") because every cousin and distant relation was trudged up that thing during a summer or holiday visit.

Well, I felt the same pride and gravitas when I finished my Cher puzzle. But full disclosure, I built not a single steel inch of that St. Louis Arch and I didn't put together much more of this Cher puzzle. Fortunately I had an obsessive puzzler in the house who couldn't leave it alone.

And then the thing was done, suddenly last Monday afternoon, three weeks after it started. Mr. Cher Scholar said it was the most difficult puzzle he ever did. I asked him if he thought the good people of Cher Queendom planned for it to be one of the hardest puzzles ever created or if they were just offering up the latest plug on a Cher single. He guessed the later. Other heavy puzzlers I spoke to, like Julie above, suggested they might have lost faith during the long white blizzard of the puzzle's four corners. But Mr. Cher Scholar refused to be defeated by it.

Here's the timeline of our progress:

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We finished the copyright notice first. Mr. Cher Scholar then finished the border. I did the Cher, because I've always been good at finding her name in a puzzle of words on a page. It's one of my very impractical, some would say pointless, superpowers.

20200926_114624 20200926_114624 20200926_114624

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we started working across the word Chiquitita in the middle because it was all pink. During that process when found The Eye of Cher!

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Soon we found the other eye. We then started with the legs.  Mr. CS finished the body and hands. I did some of the bouffant, the eyes and the earrings. My favorite puzzle pic is her face with the exploding black hair. 

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The white parts were truly challenging, sometimes maddening. I organized them all by shape size: little huts, human people, Gothic crosses, simple crosses, turtles and malformations. Mr. Cher Scholar then spent about a week and a few days finishing the corners. 

Puzzles are somehow comforting during this time of Covid and nasty politics. We've now done a Chiefs puzzle and a Cher puzzle. Next up is a puzzle based on the Agatha Christie novel Poirot's Christmas. The box includes no picture and reveals the novel's killer. Err. That sounds hard. 


Cher Awards 2020

Perfume-awardPerfume Award

On September 10, 2020, Scent Beauty announced that had Cher won for customer choice award by The Fragrance Foundation. Here is the Cher’s video where she gives thanks.

Kick-ass-ness Award

The Kate (The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center) also informed me that Cher will receive the 5th annual Spirit Katharine Hepburn Award in a virtual gala on Saturday, October 3 at 7:30 pm (assuming this is eastern time).

Thekate2
According to The Kate, “the award is given annually to an individual who embodies the bold spirit, fierce independence and distinctive character of the legendary Hepburn.”

Wow. This news made me tear up. It’s quite a shadow to be recognized within! I’m a fan of both but have never been able to contain these two women under the same umbrella; they’re from such different times. But feisty and mighty they both are!

This year’s gala honors Cher’s career in movies, music, television, broadway, and humanitarian efforts, including forming CherCares, and her past acknowledgement of being a fan of Katharine Hepburn. Cher has commented about Hepburn’s “determination, authenticity and uniqueness” and says she is “never bored watching her movies over and over again.”

Ditto to all that. I’ve probably read more Katharine Hepburn biographies than of anyone else and I never stop appreciating how Hepburn continued to evolve and think critically about the world and others right up until she died. She was an amazing mentor for young people and equally for us aging people. What an honor!

The gala will stream live online from www.thekate.org free but with donations being accepted.  You can also access the site here: https://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/

The award statue Cher will receive is in likeness of Katharine Hepburn (sculpted by Kimberly Monson, check it out).  I can’t help but think of the Bono Award right about now, although the Kate award is much prettier.

Spirit-award2Cher will give acceptance remarks and there will be an interview with Ann Nyberg, a past winner. There will also be an online auction a week prior to the event.

The Kate is a not-for-profit organization supporting the arts with 45,000 patrons and a 257-seat theater providing live music, theater, dance, film, opera and comedy performances. Cher joins past recipient Dick Cavett (2016), Glenn Close (2017), Ann Nyberg (2018) and Christine Baranski (2019).

I can’t wait to visit this center in Old Saybrook, CT, once coronavirus is over. It’s exactly the kind of celebrity think-tank center that I find so fascinating (see The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX), both like The Chersonian Institute but with a budget and filled with smart people!  

Perf-award2


Cher Eau de Couture Vs. Uninhibited

CpCher Eau de couture by Scent Beauty is still for sale. They're offering a travel atomizer now and a collector's edition which looks like the first edition with  chain-mail innards. Regrettably, the collectors detail page gives no indication as to what makes the collector's edition special. At that price point, that's not very motivating. I wish they would diversity into lotions and other products but maybe that's beyond the scope of this company.

For my friend Christopher’s birthday, I sent him an extra bottle of Uninhibited that I had lying around plus a new bottle of what he calls "Cher Perfume" or CP. I thought he could do some good comparisons and he sure did. These are his thoughts after wearing both scents for three hours.

He said of Uninhibited: it's “remarkable how assertive only two sprays are...the fact that it can retain that strength from a bottle 25+ years old…it dominates my personal space.”

CP is “by no means a duplicate of Uninhibited.” Uninhibited is “decidedly ‘female’ to me because it is highly floral…not ‘girly’ smelling….no sweetness…would classify as a more ’dry’ perfume….somewhat matronly quality (which is very odd because that is not a word one would ever associate with Cher)….because the composition seems somewhat old-fashioned/traditional insofar as the main quality is a musky/powdery note…perfumes that are ‘younger’ and/or more contemporary have gotten away from that angle, often emphasizing instead more gourmand profiles Preissue-perfume(food/bakery scents) or aquatics (lighter/saltier/more metallic)…there’s also a green or vegetal component that I can detect." He added that he's not much of a fan of this type of profile.

CP, he says, uses the basic profile of Uninhibited but "updates it in a number of ways…the powdery quality is sufficiently dialed down…tilting the scent more towards a unisex impression…green notes can be dark or dirty but these have a clean, bright quality…the scent is more complex…more multifaceted." He loved new perfume saying "The CP goes into rotation tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, a pre-issue bottle of Uninhibited went on eBay last week and sold for $399! So that perfume is still doing well as a resale.

 


Cher Puzzles

Puzzle As if times weren't difficult enough last month with the pandemic, but now we're feeling such national suffering over the death of George Floyd and the aftermath of horrific violence in this country (police violence, school violence, street violence)...it's a hot, sick mess. So I hesitate to tell anyone to not be active in civic engagement (and do puzzles instead). But if you're losing your mind or when things calm down, I hear puzzles are calming these days and have made a comeback during the long weekend of covid-19. 

Mr. Cher Scholar recently finished a 1,000 piece puzzle of Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium. And that made me wonder if a Cher puzzle would entice me to do a puzzle after 51 years. So I went online to look for Cher puzzles. 

I didn't find much, just a few make-your-own puzzles stuff.  But I did find this cool online Cher puzzle: https://www.jigidi.com/jigsaw-puzzle/A18WQ67C/cher

I also found the puzzle pictured here (which if you open the enlarged version, you can see Sonny, Cher and Chaz): https://www.whitemountainpuzzles.com/products/tv-families

They say puzzles are hard to come by during the long weekend. Maybe Cher merch would consider a sanctioned puzzle, something hard, like a fleet of screaming sailors with Cher strutting in a sailor hat, 1,000 pieces minimum. 


New Perfume Just in Time for Christmas

Eau

So as you may know, Cher's new perfume is available in time for all your $$$ stocking-stuffer needs, Eau du Couture. Does the name have to have so many vowels in it...so hard to spell. 

You can buy it here: https://scentbeauty.com/products/cher-eau-de-couture

I really like mine, which isn't a big surprise (and yet it kinda was when I opened it) because I liked Uninhibited and this smells very, very similar. My friend Christopher remarked that this is comforting, the idea that Cher has a one-stop smell and not a perfume opportunist like other celebrities. 

I'm not alone in my assessment either. Early reviews from frangrantica are making similar comparisons. And to remind you, here are the old reviews of Uninhibited. Or current reviews of it, as the perfume is still selling on eBay used. 

The commercial isn't quite as romantic as the last one from the 1980s and they lack her son Elijah or current boyfriend in them, but this making of the commercial was very lovely. 

MakeupHere's also an interview to go with the launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkM8REYt6Iw.  I love the tour they take her through the decades.

Cher-side-stareHave you seen those videos of people quietly doing things on YouTube? They're called ASMR videos and they tap into our audio sensory fetishes. Here's an article explaining ASMR. There's a subset of Youtubes around opening boxes. A Cher fan gets into the act in this video of hands opening the bottle. We didn't have that in the time of Uninhibited. It's oddly addictive. 

And here's the straight-out commercial which I've only seen online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voRq6jdl6FE

At one part of the making-of video, we get the very intense Cher Stare (eek!) albeit a side-glance one. The Cher stare always makes me feel like I'm trouble for something, like in this case only buying one bottle of Eau de Couture so far!

I promise Cher, I'll buy the gift set when it comes out!! I swear!


Fashion and Fumes

20190612_141854Cher is soon to launch a new perfume,  a scent she’s calling ungendered and named Eau de Couture (not quite the sparkle the name Uninhibited had). But Cher’s got a great nose for a perfume as we know. Musty old bottles of Uninhibited are still smelling nice are still selling on eBay. Someday the liquid will run out and maybe 10,000 years aliens will find it.

Speaking for myself, my Cher she-shed shelf is stock full of Cher product. I will find room.

Cher’s been working on the project for four years with with perfumer Clément Gavarry. More info: https://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/fragrance/cher-plots-fragrance-and-discusses-emojis-retirement-1203133815/

20190612_141835I love perfume. My favorite is Flower Bomb right now. Recently my friend Christopher bought me the Bob Mackie brand. It smells very strong with the following notes of pineapple, raspberry, peach, tuberose, orange blossom, narcissus, jasmine, ylang-ylang and roseand. Very floral and yet it smells very gendered to me. 

Cher-perfWhen I was going online looking for a preview of the new Cher bottle (another aspect of perfume I love), I couldn’t find one but I did find this perfume called CHER. Did anyone know about this?

Shouldn’t CHER be trademarked by now.... if it wasn’t for being such a common French word?

My friend Christopher has also been sending me subscriptions to Cosmo magazine and InSTYLE magazine. A month or so ago InSTYLE magazine had a picture of Sandra Oh wearing this Gucci dress. Does it remind you of anything?

Oh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


...like these Bob Mackie dresses Tina Turner and Cher wore in the late 1970s?

Cher-tina Cher-tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I was kind of shocked by that.