Hodge podge

Man, I’m sorry. I only write once every two weeks, but I’m sat here, looking at a blank screen on Friday morning, having realised time’s run away with me. Work is SO busy right now and I’m either training or driving or mailing or phoning. Roll on July 22 when British schools are out for summer.

And we’ve had no rain for weeks. No hosepipe ban yet, so watering the garden’s fine. The allotment however – that’s another matter. I have to walk to the diminishing brook 200ft away, scoop up water in these 4 gallon trugs I haveand fill cans for the plants. And do this about 50 times to have any impact. And even so, things are crisping up, bolting, and saying, ‘No leaves from me dude. I’m all about the seed this year.’

Anyways, in perfume news, Kirsten won the Black Orchid. I’m buying Fleurs de Sel. And Timbuktu (wasn’t on the list because it’s everpresent in my head).

In terms of you dear reader, what perfumes are you wearing now? And which perfume can’t you stop wearing, even if it is so unlike you? I’ve decided that Santal de Mysore, one of my all time favourites, fits me as well as a sequinned boobtube. Still I love it. And the Santal de Mysore ain’t bad either. Ba-dum-cha!

Here are a couple of garden pics from the past few weeks, in lieu of words.

  • minette says:

    just wanted to say – what a beautiful garden you have! i would be out in it all the time, if it were mine. you are very blessed to have it.

  • Angie Cox says:

    Wearing lots of Une Rose ,Caron’s Nocturnes ,Potter and moore’s Lavendar and Sicilian Lemon. Anyone pestered by slugs and snails should try copper wire coils which give them a slight shock so puts them off without killing them. I have just planted huge amounts of lemon-mint.

  • Sherri M. says:

    Lee, your garden is gorgeous!!! How do you ever have time to write with keeping up with the garden and work? Here in Tennessee, we have had not shortage of rain, albeit flood conditions, but our hybrid tea roses (all the most beautiful, fragrant ones, of course) have taken a tremendous beating from the beetles and the dreaded black mold. So sad! On a happier fragrant note, this week is the one week each year when our house is filled with the drama of the lilies. I have three large tall vases filling the house with their amazing fragrance. I wish there were a lily fragrance that captures this. Un Lys, Lys Mediteranee, Des Lys: they are too sharp, missing the creamy, spicy something.

    I have been wearing Gardenia Petale, Guerlain Moscou, Iris Ganache, Drole de Rose and LOTS of wonderful samples from Lucky Scent. I have somehow managed to fall head over heels in love with Jubilation 25 in the middle of 100 degree summer and have to now “discipline” myself to go with lighter scents each morning. Somehow I still manage to go back to that one by the end of the day. Glad to see some of you also have a different perfume for morning, afternoon and evening! :-) I’m also enjoying my sample of Nuit de Tubereuse.

  • mary says:

    Lee– You inspired me to haul a watering can out to water my poor little deck containers, which were looking a little sad. I have to get out and trim back the falling over irises. Why can’t they make like MacArthur and just slowly fade away? Perfume-wise, I’m exploring around a number of samples, and enjoying my new little bottles of Odalique (late afternoon and evening)and Nuit de Tubereuse (bedtime!). Just got a sample of Dune, which March wrote about some time ago. Thought I hated it at first, but fifteen minutes on, it is really lovely. Used up my Orange Star sample on a long drive, thinking it would keep me awake. Dabbed on a sample of Montale Jasmine for le romance . . .

    • Claudia says:

      I love Dune also, but sometimes when I first spray it on, I think “Oh my God, what have I done?” Then things calm down, and all is lovely.

    • March says:

      How ’bout that Dune!? It’s a bit much at the top, but Claudia’s right, isn’t that drydown grand? The parfum’s less … egregious.

      • mary says:

        Yeah, now I’m on the hunt for it. Thanks, March! The little mini of edt is not going to last long. The drydown is really grand- but I have to confess, I do not read it as bleak or austere at all, just sort of shriek-y in the beginning, and on the drydown, soulful and elegant. If the parfum doesn’t caterwaul when it comes out of the bottle, that is what I need. :)>-

  • mariekel says:

    Lee, your garden looks like Giverny! How absolutely lovely.

    Both my parents are avid and adept gardeners. I, however, am the only person I know who can kill off ivy. Sigh.

    Speaking of gardens, I am all about green-floral fragrances at the moment. The heat has been appalling here in Swamp Central (aka Washington, DC): over 100 farenheit for several days and now just plain hot and sticky. Which makes me crave something refined and crisp to cut through the fetid murk. I have been veering repeatedly towards Jacomo Silences, Cristalle EDT, Chamade EDT and once in a while PDN Temps d’une Fete (though usually, i find that last one a bit rich for this heat). Every so often an Osmanthus scent sneaks into the mix, namely Osmanthe Yunnan and Osmanthus Interdite.

    Though today, I found myself jonesing for an incense fragrance…perhaps some L’Air du Desert Marocain tomorrow…

  • carter says:

    Your garden is gorge. I can’t even grow weeds so I am in awe of your green thumb, not to mention your masterful way with all things pickled.

    These days in the 100-plus heat, I try to visualize a sort of perfume color wheel in my head when I choosing my SOTD. You have your sidewalk urine, your subway platform vomit, your profusely sweating 300-pound, hand-holding and oblivious tourist, your rotting gutter garbage. As I read on someone’s blog the other day: it ain’t the heat, it’s the putridity. So anyway, each day I focus on one of these noxious emissions and try to imagine what fragrance group would lie directly across from it on my imaginary Wheel o’Fumes, thereby “neutralizing” it and, if all goes according to plan, making it my beyatch.

    It goes without saying that this is a work in progress, particularly since it appears to be uncharted territory as far as I can tell. In other words, I totally made it up. In other words, it’s a crap shoot. In other words, I’ll be going back to my handy-dandy, patent-pending, “The Best Defense is a Good Offense, Kill or Be Killed” approach to the fine art of summer perfumery any minute now.

    • Musette says:

      ROFL. Carter, I’m sure you’ve seen “In Bruges”…..your tourist comment made me choke on my coffee!

      stay cool (ish) I don’t envy you that awful heat!

      xo >-)

  • Louise says:

    I run over by my summer job, and perfuming has taken on a complete random spraying pattern-grab and shoot.

    Dear, the garden’s lovely, and so are you.


  • Ninara Poll says:

    I’ve gone on a temporary hiatus from perfume wearing until the temps cool a bit, as I have found high heat + body chemistry that’s gone wonky thanks to birth control = STRANGE things happening with any scent I wear (or maybe it’s just my nose that’s gone weird thanks to the hormones).


  • Olfacta says:

    Trying different natural perfumes and watching my ONE tuberose (that’s one,> plant as it begins to bloom. Some of those attars, too, which are really interesting, especially in our hot weather which was just hot but just got humid too.

    • Olfacta says:

      Oops! Can’t edit I guess. Sorry about all the itals.

      Oh, and the tuberose is getting just a little fragrant, too.

      • Claudia says:

        I’m completely ignorant about tuberose, so sorry if this is a stupid question, but can you grow it in a pot, say, on a deck?

  • aotearoa says:

    Kia Ora Lee – how glorious to have a summer garden….
    I am stacking wood for our new fireplace in mid winter and wearing L’air du Desert Marocain which is so perfect for the clear crisp day.

  • tammy says:

    Guilty as charged, though I can hardly be held accountable, as I believe it to be an inherited condition.

    My cousin the Fashion Whore saves all her dry-cleaning flotsam, and sneaks in 90% of her new clothes under cover. My cousin the Interior Design Whore brazenly carries her purchases inside in plain view, but only after she has manipulated the price tags to show really incredible pricing.

    My perfume is easily snuck inside safely in my handbag, with the occasional need for holding something at work til I can sneak it in with the groceries. I believe the By Killian came via a bag of produce from the Farmer’s Market…which reminded me somehow of all the Frenchies escaping to England during the Revolution and made me laugh so much I almost blew the entire operation!

  • tammy says:

    Lee, you and your Timbuktu and sequined boobtube can come sit by me any time, preferably in your gorgeous garden. I love you in full garden frenzy, though you’re equally fetching in Winter Renovation Mode, trying to sneak things in over your partner. (he and my husband would probably get on well.)

    I am with Tom in SoCal, greatly enjoying the extended June Gloom. The Party in Manhattan, By Killian Pure Oud, and Nuit de Noel are all in my rotation, though as luck would have it today I am marinating in AG Rose Absolue. (I will remain a respectful distance from March!)

  • LindaB says:

    Your garden looks amazing, Lee. I chose to give myself a break this year and did not plant a thing, save for a lone rosebush. Crazy. Good thing though since we’ve had the most incredible heat and humidity w/ no rain and everything is now just brown straw. Would have been a big ol waste of time, energy, and money.
    I have been wearing the heck out of EL PC Tuberose Gardenia. So wonderful in this weather!
    Glad to hear you picked Fleurs de Sel. Beautiful choice!

    • Lee says:

      Yeah – I am having to work at it HARD to keep it looking good – weeding, deadheading. It’s tough having flowers (and scented flowers) from March to November! Lots of work.

  • March says:

    Wait … is a boobtube a tube top? Those strapless stretch tube-shaped tops worn by girls who should know better?

    That’s what they’re called in Bringlish? hee.

    Here a boobtube’s the telly. No idea why.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Beautiful pictures, Lee. I’ve been wearing Nuit de Tubereuse, which is NOT me but… now I guess it is because I just bought more.

  • Claudia says:

    You know, these avatars are hysterical!
    I’ve been wearing all the citrus scents I own. Fresh Lemon Sugar,
    Un Jardin sur le Nile, Varvatos Artisan, and YSL L’Homme, to name a few. Tomorrow I might try my vintage Bellogia, for a change.

    My hydrangea plant ends every day flat on the ground, no matter how often I water it. I think it’s those big old leaves.

    • Lee says:

      You’re some kind of something in yours, aren’t you? Mind you, I am in mine…

      Is that hydrangea getting lots of sun? Mine flop a little at midday, but pep up when they’re back in the shade… I’m loving ‘Annabelle’ this year – all that cool greeny-white.

      • Shelley says:

        Hey, you know that Annabelle was discovered here in my current home state, yes? (Can’t miss an opportunity for a little rah-rah horticultural trivia…)

      • Claudia says:

        My hydrangea is supposed to be pink. The blooms start out pink, but then deepen to a beautiful shade of purple. I’ve never seen another plant that color. I guess it has to do with the acidity if the soil here. My plant does get a lot of sun in the afternoon, but it has also been very hot and dry here lately(Northern Virginia), so I think that contributes to the droop. We got rain last night and this morning, finally.

  • Cheryl says:

    Ahh the roses! Beautiful. I believe garden flowers need to be paid homage through photos!
    I’ve been wearing a vintage Miss Dior and 7th Sense by Sonia Rykiel in our limited (NOT COMPLAINING!) run of warm sunny weather (Canada/West Coast).

  • Aparatchick says:

    Lee, you’re going to have biceps of steel carrying all that water. :d

    What a lovely garden you have! Back when I lived in the Pacific NW (Seattle-ish), I grew old roses, Bourbons mostly. Mme. Isaac Pereire and Reine Victoria were my favorites: lots of color, incredibly fragrant, and tough as boots.

    The heat and humidity started early this year, and I’ve been wearing the usual summer suspects: Un Jardin sur le Nil, some of the PdN Eaux, BBW White Citrus, the Bvlgari teas, and a few incense scents that are working really well right now: Wazamba and Zagorsk.

    • Lee says:

      Great rose choices.

      Nah, my arms are still pretty much long tubes…

      Another person smelling great!

  • Disteza says:

    I admit it, I’m jealous of your garden. Well, any garden, really–we’ve got so much shade around the house that we are blessed with a bumper crop of mud. If only the moss would come in thicker! The trees do cut back on the cooling costs though, and give us lots of exercise in the fall.

    Since it’s still in the 95-100 degree range here in the DC area, I’ve been breaking out the skank collection: today’s pick was L’Air de Rien, yesterday was Aziyade, with Arabie and CB’s Musk Re-invention rounding out the rest of the week. I figure, screw it y’all, I’m hawt.

    • Lee says:

      Baby, you smell gooood. Go for it. Muscs Koublai Khan for the next working week, I’m guessing…

      Go steal some moss and settle it in! Ferns?

      • Musette says:

        ooh! Ferns with Virginia bluebells! And dead nettle and those dicentra that are so pretty in pinks and whites.

        I actually think shade gardens are often more elegant than sunny ones – by its very nature the shade garden relies on more muted colors which, like my girlie cardinal, is sometimes more appealing

        (says the alien in love with the Dior circus gown)


  • Elizabeth says:

    Nice garden shots! We have a vegetable garden this year, and I’ve managed to eliminate the slugs, so we get to eat our strawberries. Also have tomatoes, peppers, basil and a pumpkin plant. Cucumbers won’t germinate, and the tomatoes are taking forever to ripen because of the cool weather here in NorCal (I turned the heat on this morning!).

    I’ve been wearing Tallulah B2 by A Wing and a Prayer, and some of her other scents, as well. I can’t wait to try some of the other musks like the DSH one – sounds heavenly. I’ve been breaking out the heavier scents because of the weather. I love Timbuktu, as well – great choice!

    • Lee says:

      Yeah, cucumbers need heat to germinate and then careful watering or they all look sulky, wilt, then die slowly. I know from past experience. Once germinated, I treat em mean…

      A Wing and a Prayer. Never heard of that. Off to investigate!

  • Tom says:

    Lovely garden!

    We have, I think, been getting your weather. the past two weeks it’s been overcast with morning mist. No sun until about 3pm. I love it.

    You really have to take a pail to the creek to get water? How rugged! :d

    • Lee says:

      That’s me. Mr Main Man.

      Morning mist is an autumn thing here. And it is quite quite the delight.

  • Tamara*J says:

    Good morning Lee!
    I love your pictures<3
    Well whatta summer you've been having, picturing anyone trudging a huge water can back and forth in the heat is not fun, sounds like that sucks!
    What a dedicated lil' man you are.
    When your cursing the heat just recall the harsh, cold winter.

    As for your fume' choice , YAY!
    Two for ones are always a way to go huh?
    Just eek out that satisfaction a bit further with more to love<3

    It finally just this very week warmed up to about 90,
    I have been so deliriously happy, playing in the water with my baby girl and watching her dodge me while I try to spray her with the hose is so cute!
    I'm finally getting a tan, I feel more normal.
    No sun in summer makes you feel odd.

    Congrats to K!

    Oh BTW! I ended up loving my unsniffed.
    I just made myself.

    And I haven't been wearing too much fume' except for samples.
    Last night I tried Micallef's Note Vanille(boozy and sweet but reminded me of Memoire Liquide Amour for some reason)
    Micallef's Vanilla Aoud (more up my alley but I still adore Rose Aoud alot more)and DelRae's Amoureuse which this morning smells good but last night it about tweaked a headache out the side of my face.
    I still liked it.

    I was smellin my hands , all in my lil' room late , in my
    nighty with a window fan blowin' and feelin like a fat cat, all sated and content.

    Have a wonderful weekend dahhhling ;)


    • Lee says:

      Love your chirpy missives. I’m not cursing the heat, cept when the sweat dribbles most inelegantly into my lil eyes. Actually, gimme it anytime over those dark long winters.

      And the watering keeps me trim. It’s why I’m eating homemade blackcurrant and almond tart later (once I’ve cooked it…)

      And keep on being wonderful, yourself!

  • Kirsten says:

    Hey Lee!

    More squee’s etc for winning the Black Orchid (I’ll keep it safe for Autumn). Thanks so much. They say wins come in threes so I’m off to put some extra lotto lines on for the rollover this weekend!

    Today I am mostly wearing 28 La Pausa, with a little spritz of Marc Jacobs Fig Splash (as I just bagged myself a big tester bottle bargain for the summer).

    Your garden looks amazing, bet the star jasmine’s smelling lovely.

    Nice pick on the Fleurs de Sel.



    • Lee says:

      Thanks Kirsten. The star jasmine, and the regal lilies, are close to overpowering in this still, humid heat.

      You’re smelling crisp! Hope you manage to stay that way.

    • Lee says:

      My email’s dsown so I’ll post the fume as soon as I get access back!

  • Vasily says:

    Hot weather here, in the mid 80s to mid 90s F. I like Guerlain Vetiver in this weather, very refreshing. Also, CdeG No. 2 some days, and I like to splash on a little Caswell-Massey No. 6 or the wonderful lavender from the monks of Caldey Island at night. I purchased a bottle of Guerlain Habit Rouge for cooler weather wear but find I’m liking it in the warm weather, too.

    • Lee says:

      Well, good for you on the Habit Rouge though it turns into a powder monster on me!

      Similar temps here to yours Vasily.

      • Vasily says:

        I think that’s why I see people saying it smells old-ladyish … I don’t get the powdery thing on my skin, more woody-floral than anything. Amazing how body chemistry can affect things.

  • Jen says:

    Ugh – I just don’t feel like wearing anything in this heat. But I have dabbled with a my sample of Balenciaga Paris and some BBW splashes, mostly jasmine and pomegranate because that’s what I have. I’m trying not to buy anything so I can save up for either some attars or o full bottle of my first really nice scent.

    • Lee says:

      Keep cool Jen. It seems to be scorching everywhere in the Northern hemisphere – except SoCal apparently.

      • odonata9 says:

        I can attest to that. I feel like I’ve woken up in Seattle instead of San Diego. I hate to complain about weather since generally, ours is perfect, but I want to see the sun! It’s July!

  • Shelley says:

    Fleurs de Sel, eh? Someday, I’ll need to smell it on you. On me, it is emphasis Fleurs. (Maybe it’s like that for everybody, but I’m in it for the salt. You should see my margarita glass.)

    I’m struggling a bit with the phrase “in lieu of.” Because, from you, either words or garden pictures are a gift.

    What am I wearing now? Why, a sequined tube top, and…what? Oh. Um…still early, today TBD. However, I have learned that while the opening of a semi-vintage Tabac Blond edc can be cruel if gorgeous in humid heat, it dries down into a most manageable beauty. And that I might have once cast a suspicious eye at this Grapefruit Citrus thing but it can be a handy thing in same-said heat+humidity. (Over 90 F around here; Musette is either made of different stuff than I, or weather patterns have inverted their usual patterns around these larger parts. Geographical parts, I mean. Meant.)

    Have a great weekend, Lee and all.

    • Lee says:

      You’re a sweetheart.

      It’s clary sage and salt on me but *whispers* I haven’t actually got round to buying my bottle yet.

      And your parts are all in perfect proportion, I reckons.

  • Musette says:


    What lovely flowers! That blue one? what is it?

    We are having what passes for a Real Summer in this part of the world – usually we get slammed with horrible humidity and extreme heat that starts at 1am on 1June and ends in October. This year it’s relatively gorgeous, considering it’s July in the Midwest, and we are sooo grateful.

    Water is not an issue here, unless flash flooding counts.

    Anyway, my perfume options are myriad, given the relatively benign weather, but my stress levels are stratospheric, which limits my options. Lots of Charmes y Leaves, Marc Jacobs Lemon (TJM $19.99, thankyouFloyd!), Guerlain Imp.

    On the other end, when my stress levels drop I can wear BWFs – Carnal Flower, Fracas……and today I’m busting out my little sample of Tribute Attar, in honor of March and her attars. I have to get out of the office and onto the shop floor today – it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves in the heat and, um…you know what happens when physical labor is involved.

    We’ll see..


    • Lee says:

      You need a massage, my lovely.

      Yes, am sweaty here too after lugging a couple of bags of compost from the car through the house to the back garden (I have no rear access – ooer, missus).

      It’s Salvia patens ‘Guanajuato’ grown from seed this year. Overwinters with tubers, I’m hoping…

      • Musette says:

        ROFL! ooer, indeed…

        Gardenwise, I am making do this year with the table on our front porch (which sits against some old hedges). I have basil, echinacea (will be planted in autumn, once we get our reno done and the beds laid out)……I have several hanging feeders and one gold plate filled with black sunflower. A lovely lady cardinal (such elegant coloring, with the lipstick beak) and her noisy, flashy mate (I love him, too) hang out there and gorge themselves. They’re about 3 feet from me and it’s thrilling to see them every day.

        That Salvia is gorgeous! Way more refined than our common garden-center salvia found around here…must investigate…

        xo >-)

        • March says:

          Oh! Look at your avatar!

          • Musette says:

            It’s called ‘El Matadero de las Almas’ and I’d rather eat a snake than go through the Gravatar weirdness again. Not that I’m complaining, with it being all FREE and everything but! it would help if they gave some prompts. Just sayin’

            btw I passed on the Tribute ONLY because I was in a rush and couldn’t find it. If I can find it I’ll wear it tomorrow to the Hog Roast at the nursing home.

            xo >-)

  • dleep says:

    The garden is beautiful. I have been wearing lighter scents over the past few days. We had a temp of 102 this week which is very rare in New England. Yesterday I wore Yvonne LaFleur and today I am wearing Laurence Dumont Vanille Violet and it makes me feel very cool and calm. After my evening shower (taking 2/day in this heat!) I put on a drop of majmua.

    • Lee says:

      102 = ouch. 90 here today and that’s just about enough for me.

      I did have a few weeks in southern Spain once where it didn’t fall below 85 at night and got to 120 some daytimes. Truly truly hoooooooooooot.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    What pretty garden photos! Quintessentially English, too, for our overseas friends.

    In the unaccustomed heat of London I have been wearing Shalimar Eau Legere a lot, and today it is Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus, so there seems to be a pattern emerging….

  • Francesca says:

    In the pea-soup humidity that is New York, I’ve been wearing a lot of Balenciaga Paris and Escentric 02.
    Your flowers are so beautiful. What’s that blue one?

    • Lee says:

      You smell gooooood.

      The bluey is Salvia patens ‘Guanajuato’ – grown from seed. Short still, but I think it’ll head to 4 ft.

  • Masha says:

    What a fantabulous garden, good job, you two! I am sincerely impressed.
    We had hideously cold, wet weather in the Alps that killed off most of my garden, then we flip-flopped to a N. African weather pattern, and only the hardiest herbs are still alive in this strong heat. The slugs have taken everything else in a fit of Darwinic justice.
    I’m wearing mostly the Mystery of Musk perfumes (part of the Yahoo! reviewers group), and the attars March and I have been raving about. May switch to Jardin Sur le Nil and Amaranthine when those projects are over.
    Happy gardening!