Perfume Vacation

Now that we are back in the land of the nonvacationing, it’s… allergy season!  I barely hit the U.S. when my throat got sore, I started coughing and my sinuses went nuts.  Apparently it’s big cottonwood and Ruissian Olive time.  My house is now all closed up, and I’m finally feeling a little relief this evening.

So… I can’t smell, which puts a crimp in my perfume smelling and writing plans.  Instead, let’s talk about my perfume vacation.  I forgot to pack even a squirt of perfume in my bags.  Other than the mandatory stop at Serge and picking up that bottle for March, I didn’t smell one perfume for three weeks.  After living with perfume daily for the last three years, trying on samples like a hen pecks at corn, it was really nice… for about a week, and then I just started feeling naked and like some essential part of me was missing.

It’s disorienting to have something that has become such a quiet expression of your daily emotions not be readily available to you for that long.  So can I live without perfume? Sure, but my world was thinner, paler, with less expression of  who I was surrouding me in a perfumed cloud.  While I’m glad I took that vacation, it’s only because I appreciate now much more what perfume does subtly in terms of my well-being.

First perfume I put on when I got back?  Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan.  Even though I couldn’t even smell it.

Have any of you ever taken a vacation from perfume?  For how long?  Hey, and wish March a Happy Birthday too!

  • violetnoir says:

    A belated Happy Birthday to you, March darling! I hope you had a wonderful day.

  • Kim says:

    a bit late today but happy birthday March and welcome back Patty. Nice to know you aren’t allergic to whatever is blooming over in Europe!

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Welcome back to North America March! Thanks for posting the great pictures of your adventure – those of us who can’t travel right now can live vicariously! Sorry to hear about your allergies – that must be miserable to deal with on an annual basis : (

    It seems I’m on a permanent scent vacation during the day. My workplace has cracked down on wearing any kind of scent whatsoever. Not that I ever wore much to begin with, but it is kind of a drag. Call me insensitive, but I feel like those who are hypersensitive are sucking the fun out of life!

    On a less grumpy note, Happy Birthday March!! I hope you treat yourself to something fabulous whether it be a fragrance or something great to wear!<:-p

  • LaraJanine says:

    Sorry to hear about the allergies. If they make you that miserable, you might consider allergy shots. When I am a good girl and follow up with my weekly shot, I don’t have the sneezing, watery eyes, itchy ears and other nasal miseries.

  • Dusan says:

    P, that nose-clog being a drag, why don’t you spray some Nazgul to clear up the sinuses? 😉 Or maybe not. Glad to see you back, sweetie!
    March – have a very happy b-day! I’ll be eating that cake (what kind is it this year?) vicariously 🙂 yum yum

  • pavlova says:

    March — best birthday wishes are flying your way.<:-p Don't forget to eat LOTS of cake! xox

  • tmp00 says:

    Patty! Welcome back!

    I know I’ve done breaks from perfume, but I can’t remember the last one…

    Happy B-day March! Go Gemini!! :d

  • Marina says:

    Happiest of Birthdays to you!!! 😡

  • Catherine says:

    Happy Birthday, March! :d

    Dear Patty, it was so wonderful to read about your trip–it sounds like a grand adventure that is sure to generate many folk tales over the years amongst your family! About perfume and vacations, I would have been a bit upset to have forgotten to stuff a handful of scents in my bag. At the same time, my recent trip to New York generated revelations about how place and perfume go hand in hand. Essentially, because the smells of New York were so foreign (from the sulfur in the water to the pee in the streets to the exhaust fumes of cars and restaurants), I could barely smell my favorite scents. Instead, I could smell with much better clarity things that seemed shrill back in Iowa. I suddenly realized why so many brands that I thought I could not handle are so popular and beloved. The second thing I learned: Vero’s scents are the best traveling companions! They smell just as beautiful anywhere, and they are powerful enough to cut through the fumes of a big city. Even better, they fit perfectly with the smell of nature when walking through parks.

  • gina says:

    Welcome home, Patty! I really enjoyed reading about your vacation. As far as a perfume vacation goes, well, only for a day or two here and there. I start to feel naked, it’s weird.

    Happy Birthday, March!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shelley says:

    Welcome home! I hope that despite the allergies, the coming home was a wonderful cap to a wonderful vacation.

    Happy Birthday greetings to March…how does a twin have an EFT? Do you look for your EFQuadruplet? 😉

    @};- and <:-p for homecomings and birthdays!

    • Shelley says:

      (ack…the twin comment is a reference to your Gemini status…didn’t mean to be overly cryptic…)

  • Bryan says:

    So happy to have you safely back home. I loved reading about your adventures. I can totally picture my fam doing the same thing….we laugh A LOT. I love you, girl.

    Happy Birthday Miss March. Love you.

  • Elizabeth says:

    What a shame, I feel for you. Have you thought about medicating? Once I started taking Flonase my life changed, and I don’t take perfume vacations anymore. I had tried every pill in thet book, but this is the best, mostly because it focuses on the nose, which is what’s most important, right? 🙂

  • Marilynn says:

    Welcome home, Patty! Really sorry about the allergy thing. My daughter and grandkids have allergies and right now they’re all having flare-ups. They use Flonase once a day, Claritin in the morning and Singulair at bedtime, for what it’s worth.

    Have never taken a total perfume break before. For the past couple of years, since my stress level was at an all time high, I did stop buying perfume and wearing my favorites because I didn’t want them associated with the events in my life. But, I’m back now!!

    March: Happy Happy Birthday!!! No emoticons because I know I’d pick the wrong one! Hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

  • Tania says:

    Happy birthday!!:)

    I’ve never taken a perfume vacation, except for: when I’m ill and everything makes me feel sick; if I have a cold so heavy perfume would be wasted on me; or on a plane – for the sake of fellow passengers. (Has anyone else noticed that air stewards (both sexes) often OD on the nastiest, most ‘fashionable’ sillage-monsters from duty-free? I wish they’d remember that they have a captive audience and a limited amount of fresh air up there!)

    But I’m about to take a break. I’m going on actual vacation in a couple of weeks, camping. I think I want to enjoy smelling Nature. Also, bears go for scented products, so best not to tempt them…. 😡

  • Musette says:

    Wow. Sleep in for ONE DAY and you miss a birthday! March, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You told me you were a Gem but when I think Gem I think total crazymaker like El O…so I didn’t make the timeframe connection…..l-) (that’s me).

    Anyway @};-@};-@};-<:-p<:-p and a ...3:-o cuz we got 'em here in spades and one of them would like to wish you a Happy Birthday. I would call and warble but I sense you may be in packing mode! Patty - Welcome home! Your scents missed you! I feel your pain on the allergies. My septum looks like an Escher drawing and I'm always vaguely infected....saline inhalation (not a neti-pot, the 'snort it into your upper cavity' inhalation) works best for me. I'm stoned for a week if I take anything other than Sudafed and I only will do that for the Hitch Classic! Are you still loving the Louboutins? xo

  • Debbie says:

    Sorry about the allergies. Add me to the list too.

  • Elle says:

    Welcome back!! But sorry about the allergies! 🙁 I take scent vacations from time to time, but usually only when I’m going through something I don’t want to have any scent associations with.
    Happy birthday March!! <:-p And hope it's a fabulously scented one! 🙂 I *love* the smell of just blown out candles on a cake. I've been known to light candles just to blow them out and sniff.

    • Cheezwiz says:

      Re: the candle scent – Me too! I sometimes light the candlesticks in my living room just so I can inhale the smoke after I blow them out. Birthday candles are the best – something about the scent of blown out candles reminds me of childhood birthdays with cupcakes.

  • March the No-Taste Loser says:

    Hey, P — welcome back! Everyone is complaining about allergies this year, even folks who don’t usually have them. So it must be terrible.

    I think three weeks with no fragrance would fricking kill me. You didn’t resort to dipping into random farmacias or Douglas or whatever and spraying yourself with whatever was available?

    And Chaya called me up and sang me happy birthday! :d/

  • Dane says:

    Happy Birthday March! I hope you plan on buying yourself something prety! :d

    Patty – I can sympathize, I work on the 5000th floor of an office tower, and as soon as I get here, I start sneezing and my sense of smell falls to pieces. Hope it passes soon!

  • chayaruchama says:

    Poor Pattycakes !
    Hope you feelz better, and soon !

    WHAT- are you NUTS ?
    NO CAN DO.
    Under any circumstances.

    Already called da poor ting, Ms. March, and howled into the phone, for her birfday.
    Luvz dat goil.

    [Someone- please rescue me from lolcats !!!]:((:x[-o<[-o<

  • MattS says:

    Welcome back, love, to the land of the free and congested. My eyes have itched and burned for a week; allergies coupled with smoke from a nearby massive forest fire.

    I’ve never taken a perfume break; I did take some time off from deodorant once and the results were…umm…interesting? I just assumed I didn’t need it, showering everyday and wearing perfume. Turns out, I do need it.

    Happy Birthday Sweet March! Have the best of days and do something self-indulgent.

  • Nava says:

    Patty, welcome home from your glorious vacation. I think it was well worth the time spent scent free.

    March – Happy birthday to you. Have a wonderful day!

  • GalileosDaughter says:

    Welcome back Patty and Happy Birthday March!!

    Patty, I imagined you carrying a suitcase like the ones that the Mafioso in the movies have, a briefcase lined on the inside with foam that is cutout in the exact shape of their weapons. But the cutouts in the foam inside your suitcase would be in the shape of bell bottles. 🙂

  • Divalano says:

    Happy birthday Miss March!!! Drat … no tiara-wearing emoticon!

    Perfume vacation … does having a sinus infection count? I think I only skip it when I have a cold. I was actually thinking the other day that my sense of smell would probably be helped by an occasional perfume fast, something to give me a chance to breathe unscented air but it’s not something I’m highly motivated to try. Dieting isn’t a real strong point for me ….

  • Judith says:

    Welcome back, Patty!! I have been having terrible allergies this season, and the Claritin I normally take isn’t doing the job. Anyone have any good suggestions? (I don’t like how I feel on Zyrtec).

    Happy, Happy Birthday March!!!!<:-p<:-p<:-p

    • Divalano says:

      My allergist has me on the newer, bluer (ok so it’s not blue. anyone who knows what movie “newer, bluer” references is probably as old as I am. heh) form of Zyrtec … Xyzal. Zyzal? Not sure. It works for me. I back that up with a couple squirts of a nasal spray & some saline. Yes, I am high maintenance but I this way I can wear scent AND own cats. Oh yeah, and I sleep with an air purifier …

      • Judith says:

        Thanks! Does the new one make you groggy like Zyrtec? The air purifier sounds like a good idea, b/c I’ve been getting headaches at night.

    • March says:

      Seconding the nose spray. I use one of the older ones but they’re cheaper. On the other hand I’m pretty sure they’re steroids, or dioxin, or something else not great for you.

      Zyrtec, Claritin, Benadryl — it’s all like I washed down a Valium with some scotch. Can’t function.

      • Judith says:

        I certainly feel like that on Benadryl and Zyrtec; they put me to sleep and with Zyrtec I still feel out of it the next day. Claritin and Allegra don’t do that (to me at least) but on the other hand, they don’t work as well. I tried Claritin-D, which is now non-drowsy (with Sudafed), and it works better, and doesn’t put me to sleep–in fact, in makes me feel like I’m on speed! I will try the nasal spray and ask about Divalano’s other suggestion. Thanks!

    • Francesca says:

      Respiratory. Worst case scenario, I feel like my throat is closing up. Mostly, (sorry, TMI?? )instant heavy post nasal drip.>:p Sometimes a headachy feeling. No hives or anything like that.

    • Francesca says:

      There is an amazing herbal remedy out there called nettle tincture. A dropperful under the tongue can stop a multi sneeze sneezing fit just like that. You can also put a couple of dropperfuls in warm water and drink it. I recommend the alcohol -based tincture rather than the glycerine-based, which tastes like ass.

    • Francesca says:

      Oh, shoot, one of my previous posts was meant as a reply to Debbie’s question.

  • kathleen says:

    Welcome home Patty. The only time I take a vacation from perfume is when I have a migraine. Anything with a smell will make me feel sicker. I have taken a vacation from discussing perfumes though. Just coming out of a bit of a slump on that front now.

    Happy Birthday March <:-p @};-

  • Francesca says:

    Welcome back to the US of A!

    I hate my allergies. I’m lucky in that they aren’t as bad as they used to be, and I can wear a lot more fragrances than I thought I could.

    I’m only a recent convert to perfumania, so I don’t think I’ve taken a vacation from fragrance since succumbing to the addiction. I experience a real pang when I realize I’ve dashed out to work without spritzing something on.

    And Happy Birthday dear March!<:-p (Whee, always wanted to use that guy!)

    • Debbie says:

      Do you get skin or respiratory symptoms to the wrong fragrances? I’ve had both.

  • Erin T says:

    Welcome home Patty and declog soon! And Happy Birthday March! A curious twin, eh? *That’s* why you were of two minds about the Annam <:-p

    • March the Indecisive says:

      Don’t get *anyone* who knows me started …. I am often of two very strong opinions about everything. Once I make a decision I can live with it, but it’s hell to make the decision! I actually have people in my life who serve as the decision-makers — I lay out the options and they choose. My sister-in-law selected my towels. Musette gave me the go-ahead to buy new sheets… it’s ridiculous, but there you are.

  • Anne says:

    To OUR Divine Miss M. < :-p and 😡 !!! Had to take a break due to DH's allergies. He goes into overload (I can't understand why!) with all the smells and well..... The last time it happened was for about a month. I put away ALL samples, ALL FB's, ALL decants. Had to keep telling myself, "There's no crying in perfume collecting!" Ya, know, it was a really good thing to do. When those pesky samples started to find their way, all by their little decanted legs, back to momma.... everything, I mean everything smelled better. Notes were more discernible, more pure and I did appreciate smell so much more. I hear him sniffling more and more these days so I think another break is just around the corner. P, did you panic when you realized you forgot to pack those decants? And tell true how long did it take to choose those travel mates and which ones were they? :)>–

    • Anne says:

      OMG to March that was supposed to be a party hat wearin’ noise maker smiley face but somehow I got something that looks like it wants to lick you or else is in pain from biting it’s tongue. Sorry! Enjoy your day!

      • March says:

        Oh, I don’t know … everyone else here stuck their tongues out at me, I thought you all teamed up. 😉

  • Louise says:

    Ach, allergies. It’s hard to find a season here in DC in which something (flowers, trees, mold, dust) are not offending the sinuses, trying to block our perfume pleasure b-(

    But, hey, welcome home!

    I do take perfumeless breaks, usually either when congested, like you, or just because I want to change things up a little and/or have o/d-ed on a scent. It doesn’t last more than a coupla days, though. I usually do re-start with a new genre of perfume, say if I’d been doing the orientals real heavy, I switch to chypres.

    And March, have a b-day blast <:-p I feel the need to break cake with you soon!

  • Ain’t allergies a drag…Sorry about that, hope it soon passes.
    I have had great fun reading about your adventures in France though! Too funny and your family will have tons to joke about for months to come.

    Perfume vacation: sure and voluntarily, too! Being a perfume freak ever since I remember myself I have had the ebbs and flows of anyone steeped in this addiction.:d Sometimes a “clean palate” was necessary, so perfumes had the cold turkey treatment for about a month or so. Appreciation and even evaluation come back with renewed force and pleasure increases tenfold upon return to them.
    Sampling around does keep the sense sharp and alert, but it also makes one feel (me, at least) as though they don’t get to enjoy their collection of favourites in the end. So a break from that is also sometimes necessary. And welcome.

    OK, not to make this a treatise, ending on a Happy Birthday note for March! @};-