Our daytime high temperatures have finally, finally dropped out of the 90s to the upper 70s level which is more seasonal for us, historically. I only turned off the air-conditioning on Sunday evening.
It’s super-dry. Even after the very-welcome rain we got over the past two days, we’re well under our typical monthly average of 3.7 inches. I’d complain to the management, if I thought it would do a whit of good.
However, as a hopeful effort, last week I transitioned from summer fragrances to the ones I wear more in early autumn — not the deep autumn, chilly weather, heading-into-winter ones, but the ones for my very favorite time of year: a blue-and-gold October, embroidered with red and orange leaves. I’m sorry to say we seem to be having more of a “green leaves on the trees until they turn brown and fall to the dead grass” sort of a month, which is such a bummer.
Anyway, these are the bottles that left the Hatbox of Current Rotation for storage in the bedside washstand: Jacomo Silences edp Sublime 2012 Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere Ines de la Fressange 1998 Hanae Mori Haute Couture Arquiste Flor y Canto Arielle Shoshana Saturday Donna Karan Gold edp Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete YSL Paris Pont des Amours Carven Le Parfum Moschino Funny! Hermes Kelly Caleche edt Chanel No. 19 edp Chanel Les Exclusifs 1932 Maison Lancome Jasmins Marzipane
It was surprising to me, given our miserably hot-n-humid summer, how little I wore my usual citrusy florals, like Haute Couture, Funny!, Kelly Caleche, and the Carven. I barely wore No. 19 and the BWFs (Flor y Canto, Jasmins Marzipane, and DK Gold) as well; it seems I stuck to rose and mixed florals.
Guerlain Les Elixirs Charnels Floral Romantique remained, and so did Mary Greenwell Plum. Those are sweet florals with a little edge to them, and since it’s remained so warm this far into autumn, they’ve been serving me well.
Moving from the washstand to the Hatbox: Mariella Burani Leonard de Leonard Ralph Lauren Safari Lubin Epidor Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete Smell Bent One Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka Jacomo Silences 1978 Fendi by Fendi Cuir de Lancome Balmain Jolie Madame (mini parfum) Shiseido Inoui Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea Coty Chypre (mini parfum) Lanvin Arpege (mini parfum)
It’s probably not cool enough yet for either Tabac Aurea or Arpege, but I’ve already been wearing the heck out of Safari, Le Temps d’une Fete, and Jolie Madame (which The CEO doesn’t like, but oh well). And Epidor you’d think would be too summery, but it smells like plums and drying hay to me, and it is gorgeous. I’ve been wearing that one to sleep in.
Monday, Oct. 17 – It was downright warm for October today, into the low 80s. Indian summer, I suppose… I went out to do errands, and had to roll the windows down for comfort. Among other places, I went by TJ Maxx to see if they had any more of those Paddywax Pumpkin & Spice candles that are a gorgeous mix of PS and mellow tobacco, but of course they’re gone. Did some grocery shopping, had the MDF molding boards for the bathroom mirror-framing project recut to the CORRECT SIZE 😳 , and picked up a pair of black dress pants for Gaze since he’s been wearing his suit pants for every. single. FFA activity (he’s an officer). As I came home, I could smell that beautiful dry-leaf scent, as my tires crunched over them.
Sigh. Autumn is wonderful. Annnnnd – I later found a couple of those candles for sale on eBay, too. Yay me. 😀 SOTD was Le Temps d’une Fete, because I can’t resist it on sunny fall days.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 – ‘Nother warm one in the low 80s. I don’t particularly enjoy it. In some ways, I wonder if I should just move to England and live most of my life in weather between 32 and 65 Fahrenheit, except of course I’d have to learn that in Celsius. (The quick-and-dirty formula for F to C is: Subtract 30 and divide by two. That’s not entirely accurate, but it’s close enough for government work, as they say. So, 5C to 20C. Once I’d spent a few months living with Celsius, I’d probably be okay; I just don’t have the reference points, such as 17C feels like 65F.)
SOTD is Amouage Myths Woman, which I like just fine, and which feels like Le Temps d’une Fete and Jolie Madame extrait made a baby. I adore LTdF, and I have five little bottles of JM parfum stashed away because it is just. so. good, but somehow I don’t love Myths. It is maybe too dry for me? Maybe not quite floral enough (the narcissus is there, but not very petally)? Dunno. The drydown does last for hours, even on me.
Wednesday, Oct. 19 – Warm again. Dang it, I want my sweater weather back! And by “sweater weather,” I mean the kind of weather in which one only needs a light cardigan or jacket outside. Like, 65-75F, or late August in Kensington. 😉 SOTD was a sample from SIXTEEN92, one of six that I’ll be reviewing in two batches soon.
Bookworm was supposed to be driving home for Fall Break today, but she fell during an Ultimate Frisbee tournament on Sunday evening, and hit her head. They didn’t think she had a concussion – she had no memory loss, no nausea, no changes in vision or eye focus, no passing out – but she’s had some headaches since then, and I insisted she go to student health yesterday to get it checked out. We decided it would be best for her to stay in Connecticut and just rest as much as possible instead of subjecting herself to a 10-hour drive home and another one back on Sunday. Which is fine. I want her to feel better, and we’ll see her at Thanksgiving when we take that family trip to Belize. But I’m bummed. (But I’m FINE.)
Thursday, Oct. 20 – I miss my girl. Snif. I’ll see her in a month, when we go on our family vacation to Belize(!), but I would love to hug her now.
Today: warm again, though it’s supposed to start raining tomorrow. Wearing another SIXTEEN92 sample.
Friday, Oct. 21 – Aaaaaaand fall is back! We had an ugly storm this morning: torrential rain, plus wind whipping through the trees and ripping off leaves everywhere. It was gone by noon, and the weather was back to chilly, windy October. The rain was gone by late afternoon, in time for the stadium to dry out for the football game. SOTD was Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, sweet coziness that kept me warm in the concession stand. (Or maybe that was the heat lamps.) We ran out of hot chocolate before halftime, and for some unknown reason, the athletic department had failed to stock the always-popular Dr. Pepper, but we sold tons of popcorn. Taz came and helped; he isn’t allowed to handle food because he’s not 18, but he can take money and pass prepared food across the counter. He did a great job, not only distributing drinks and foil-wrapped hot dogs, but also keeping the stations stocked between customers. Proud of my boy.
Saturday, Oct. 22 – Went to my cousin’s renewal of wedding vows ceremony. The boys were at a cross-country thing, and The CEO had a work thing, so I went on my own. Susan and Richard started dating in high school and have now been married almost 26 years, with three lovely daughters and a son as well as a granddaughter. Congrats to them! The weather was far nicer than yesterday – windy and chilly but at least there was sunshine.
SOTD was Teo Cabanel Early Roses over a small application of Tauer Rose Delight body oil. Nice. On the way home, I stopped to sniff things at Macy’s and was disappointed to see that the perfume department at the Roanoke store seems smaller than it was a few years ago. It’s now about the same size as the one at Belk’s, and while there are a few differences in the fragrances stocked, there still aren’t many interesting scents there, and only a few that Belk doesn’t carry – Armani Sì, for example, and the Vince Camutos, nothing that caught my attention.
Having tested No. 5 L’Eau from a manufacturer spray sample the Belk SA gave me a few weeks ago, I wasn’t tempted by that tester. (I’m currently working on a review.) No. 5always smells like its wonderful self, and Eau Premiere is still lovely, so I grabbed the EP tester and gave myself a spritz for the drive home. It was still great when The CEO and I went out to dinner at the Mexican restaurant.
Speaking of our Mexican restaurant: El Ranchero has upscaled since they moved out to the strip mall near Wal-Mart, just off I-81, a couple of years ago. They’re not just offering that list of numbered specials consisting of various combinations of burritos, tacos, and chimichangas; now they’re doing seafood and steaks, too, as well as mixed drinks they didn’t serve when they were in the old building. I mean, I don’t kid myself that it is Real Authentic Mexican like you would get in Mexico (or in Texas, for that matter!), but they’ve made a move toward higher-quality ingredients. I’m so glad to see that they’re thriving. The restaurant is clearly a family enterprise, too. All members of the service staff speak English, but most of them have noticeable accents except the two younger guys who must have grown up here, given their Southwest Virginia drawls. There’s this one guy who has been there since the restaurant opened sometime in the early 2000s, and he regularly carries six plates at once. Six!! He puts a long hot mitt on his upper arm and one on his left hand, and loads that side up, then gets another plate in his right hand. Now that is some skill.
Sunday, Oct. 23 – Looks like we’re settling back into the normal October weather I love so much: clear, bright, cool. SOTD was Cuir de Lancome. Gosh, this is good stuff. I’m sad it’s discontinued (and feeling juuuust a little bit smug about the two backup bottles in the bedside cabinet).
It’s September. It’s the Autumnal Equinox, and I’ve been watching the color of the sunlight shift ever so slightly away from hot summer glare, almost metallic, to the gentle warmth of Autumn afternoons.
The whole world is green and gold, rimmed in deep blue enamel. I love this time of year. Soon enough the mountains will go all russet tweed, but not yet. For now I am wearing green and gold perfumes and glorying in this all-too-brief weather. It’s perfect.
Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete is still beautiful, even in its current eau de toilette state. The old stuff was labeled EdT, but it wore more like an EdP – deep, rich, floral but glowing woody underneath. Almost too wistfully gorgeous to bear. Smells like sunshine through leaves.
Ralph Lauren Safari is another green-and-gold I am learning to love, after finding the parfum version too sweet. Safari smells like cut grass drying into hay, plus freshly waxed wood furniture and a hint of vanilla. Its green shades straw-colored, and its gold is the warm gold of polished maple.
Guerlain Chamade is a round ball of bitter-green that gradually melts into the creamy pale gold of good custard, from cold shoulder to surrender.
Coty Chypre (the really old stuff, not the 1980s Chateau Collection rerelease) is an elemental green, and there is a power and strength to it that smells like being outside with a storm approaching… eerie billowing shadows of clear olive green and dark gold.
There are other green fragrances, certainly, and I’ve made no bones about how much I love greenies in general, but these four capture my heart in early fall. Soon enough I’ll want leathers and spices and dried fruits, Smell Bent One and Givenchy Organza Indecence and Jolie Madame and Amouage Memoir Woman… but for now, I luxuriate in mellow, vibrant green and gold.
Most people seem to associate this fragrance – which Parfums de Nicolai has recently placed on limited distribution, if not discontinued it entirely GAH I AM DISTRAUGHT – with springtime.
And I understand that. I do. The green-gold cast of it, the narcissus and jasmine and galbanum of it, that all says Springtime very clearly. However, I think I might love it even more in the fall of the year. Because the blooming part of it seems to recede when the angle of the sunlight changes and the world goes more golden, and what I smell most in it is its woody notes and lovely green-herb aged patchouli.
I tend to have a complicated relationship with patchouli. The cheaper varieties tend to smell very dusty and earthy to me, dirty in a not-good way. (I mean, dirt, plain dirt in the garden, smells nice. Dirt as in uncleanliness is a whole ‘nother thing.) Aged patchouli with rose is Magickal. Aged patchouli smelling green and alive, the way it does in Le Temps d’une Fete, is smooth and gracious.
You know how in autumn, the late afternoon sun is almost gold as amber? How it slants across fields and through leaves only now turning from green to yellow, looking like a shower of gold fit to dazzle poor Danaë?
Green fields, turning leaves, golden sun: Le Temps d’une Fete in autumn. I turn, and turn, and turn again to it – with joy.