by Musette


We have had THE weirdest weather lately.  Last week it was 93F – All Day, Every Day.  Every Night.  Just stupid-hot.  Too hot to breathe, let alone move.  Then, in less than 4 hours it dropped 30 degrees – Hellloooo, Midwest!     It’s a delicious thing, this coolness but it really messed with my Perfume head.  I was going to write all about Carnal Flower and Tribute Attar in the extreme heat…but now  it’s 65F and foggy.


I’m not going to spoil your morning coffee with my original plan, which was to set the stage in Victorian England, where a flower seller encounters a scary gentleman on a foggy London street, asks his name (“it’s deHyde, though Mr. Hyde is what most call me.  But you can call me Al”)…he doesn’t rip her heart out, instead carrying her off to his town house where he transforms her into a lady and they have perfumed tea and twins Albert and Alicia deHyde. ….noooo…instead, I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you about what I’ve been wearing since the weather took this massive dip.

Aldehydes.  See?  You knew there was some point to that boneheaded story, right?  The coolish weather allows them to sparkle without turning them into a greasy, powdery mess (like a reverse funnel cake.  Yes, the first two bites are sheer, sugary heaven.  Then it cools down, the sugar gets all clumpy and greasy and Tragedy Awaits)…I wore 4 sparklers this week, just for you, my dears, while I dug up the garden and chopped wood – with interesting results.  They are as follows:

Le Labo Aldehyde 44. I fell in love with this when it was showcased as a traveling LE at the Chicago Barneys.  Then I got a bottle.  I dunno….I’m not sure what happened in the interim.  The Barneys bottle was a fizzy sparkling pop! but I’ve been getting a sour note from this one …maybe the woods, with their hint of incense?  Once it gets to the church phase it stays there.  It’s fine.  …. but I’d love to say better about something that costs as much as a Le Labo ‘exclusive’.  Boo.  Notes are addehydes, tuberose, narcissus, jasmin sambac, musks and woods.  I wore this to separate a 5′ specimen hosta.  Two hours into it, it got on my nerves.  Whither went the love?

Robert Piguet Baghari. I used to wonder what Chanel No 5 edt must’ve smelled like, back in the day.   I imagine it was very light and sparkly, with a hint of warm powder (not as warm as the parfum, of course).  Baghari comes close to what I imagine vintage No 5 edt must’ve smelled like when it was fresh out of the bottle.  Vaguely thin – but thin-on-purpose, it has an old-fashioned feel, in a very classic way.  The iris plays beautifully off the aldehyde opening – iris and powder, done right, is an irresistible combination.  I wore this to turn out 155 gallons of compost.  Wearing it, I could pretend I was Gigi’s Aunt Alicia instead of Ma Kettle.  Notes are aldehydes, bergamot, violet, neroli, jasmine, orange blossom, rose, iris, vetiver, amber, vanilla, musk.

Chanel No 5 edp. I was going to run with the vintage parfum but that’s like bringing an ICBM to a peashooter contest.  I’ve always had a bit of trouble with No 5 edp.  It has this funky-doodad  sandalwood drydown thingamajig and I thought it was just me and my wonky nose.  Then I read Luca Turin’s take on the difference – and I am NOT crazy!  turns out Jacques Polge composed this in the 80s as a modern version of Number 5 and that explains a lot.    I wore this while moving a truckbed full of logs.   It’s perfectly fine, especially if you like an incense/sandalwood drydown. It’s  just not …..

Chanel No 5 parfum. I know some hate the beejeesus out of this and now I’m wondering if it’s because you spritzed the edp?  Because…if you haven’t tried the perfume, you must.  You. Just. Must.  If you still hate it after that I’ll leave you alone, I promise.  I have an older bottle of parfum and  every time I wear it I can’t believe how gorgeous it is.  And the current is just as delish.   Yeah, the aldehydes.  Yeah the tons of jasmine and roses.  But it is so beyond the sum of its parts that I can’t describe it …this is the  perfect aldehydic floral and may just be the perfect perfume.  I could wax on about this but so many have done it better – the waxing, I mean.  Not the perfume.  There are very few perfumes in this class.  This one transcends anything Weather can throw at it.  I wore this at the close of yesterday, all day today…heck, I think I’ll wear it the rest of the week!


What’s going on with your Weather?  Has it affected your perfume choices? I’m going to go get a sweater – I’m chilly!!!


samples and bottles are all mine, from various personal sources


  1. Musette,

    The weather here in NY is just crazy too. Thursday it was 95, yesterday the high was 62??? So for the first half of the week I could only do tropical white florals, but they just don’t work at 62 so I am back to incense.

    I have never tried Chanel No. 5 parfum, I think I have to get a sample at TPC now…

    • Yes. You. Do. It is a totally different animal. Sooo beautiful.

      This weather is crazy! we’re looking at solid rain for the next couple of days.

      xo >-)

  2. Hmmmm…. Someone graciously sent me some No. 5 parfum that I haven’t yet used. Perhaps tomorrow (Monday) will be the day.

    Those hot days last week! It got over 100F up in Minnesota, and no one I knew had air conditioning. It was pure hellishness, in which I wore Angeliques Sous la Pluie one day, then Eau de Merveilles the second. I doused myself silly, thinking it would cool me down. Now with it cooler, I’ve worn Cartier XIII and Carnal Flower. Heaven, the latter; the Cartier is starting to seem “trop normal.” Oh well, it’s super expensive anyway, so that’s not a loss.

    • I wore Carnal Flower today – it never got above 75F, so it was pretty – but …you should try it in that 100F heat. It’s amazing!

      xo >-)

  3. I’m in Los Angeles and we seem to have extended our spring – without the warmth. It’ been drizzly, foggy, hazy and 60 – 70 degrees…and I’m loving it! I don’t like the heat, but do miss the “normal” 75 degree spring weather. Still, I’m just continuing to wear the scents that I loved through winter: Ta’if, Orchidee Vanille, Chergui, Cadjmere, Incense Rose, Carllion pour une Ange and a new recent love Brulure Rose. My warm-weather scents are at the ready, but it cool weather scents are my true loves.

    • That’s a pretty phenomenal list! I love LA in the fog, unless I’m stuck driving PCH (you can forget the hills – ain’t happenin). But it is kind of romantic – as long as you’re not driving in it. At night. Ick.

      xo >-)

      • It’s true, the heavy fog at night in the hills can be scary. I take is really slow – one wrong move and your “over the hill!”

  4. It’s cold and wet here too but once I have made all the effort to get the summer perfumes out of storage, it’s too much effort to go and dig out something else to wear. I had the same thing happen to me with Aldehyde 44. Instant love and then what did I see in that? I got the sour note too. Baghari for me is much warmer and more orangey for me than it sounds like for you. Chanel No. 5 is something I have never warmed to – but then I’ve never tried the parfum. Pierre de Velay No. 6 is one of my favourite aldehydic florals. Proper old lady in the best way (not that there’s a bad way to be old lady in my opinion).

        • Roja Dove has them in Harrods – which probably doesn’t help you much. There are three of them (I think 6, 11 and 23 but I am hopeless at remembering numbers so no guarantees on that). One is an aldehydic floral, one an oriental and I don’t know much about the third. I do wish Roja Dove provided samples.

  5. You will get no arguement from me on the Chanel No 5 – I am a loooong time fan, starting as 6 year old getting into my grandmother’s No 5. It is wonderful in any weather and at any time and I have received so many compliments on it. It is what I wear almost every day as I go out the door. The other stuff you all have turned on to is for when I get home at the end of the day….

    And yes, it has to be the parfum for me. There just simply is no other. Lately, just to switch it up some days, I have been layering it with No 5 Eau Premiere. Nice combo – but nothing will ever replace the parfum in my heart or my nose.

    • I actually prefer Eau Premier to the edp, so I could see how that would work!

      I would hate to have to choose between Mitsouko, Parure and No 5 – could I take all three with me to that desert island?

      xo >-)

  6. Aldehyde Ho here. I adore Aldehyde 44, start to finish-and it stays fairly bubbly on me throughout. I especially like its dryness-perfect for the local heat (though we have a lovely reprieve this week.)

    I like Baghari-but the edp is very sweet on me-I prefer the parfum, which is quite elegant. I have a bottle of the old stuff-it’s fleeting (EdC), but very classy with a strong stank note. Very nice.

    #5 is always complicated for me-I prefer the vintage edt of all formulations, but also wear EP and the wonderful body lotion-it is closer to the pre-reformed stuff. The EdP-eek! Way off, though a bottle I got in France several years ago is better than the U.S.
    version. I know-“they” say it’s all the same…but they also use a different alcohol base in France.

    Ah-and #22-just right for an aldehyde pop with incense backing.
    Another lovely aldehyde is Neil Morris Vapor-a touch of sweet, lovely long wearing aldehydes. Very girly, and adorable.

    • I have a teeny bit of old Baghari edc, and it is indeed sort of… alarming… in the middle. (The grocery store clerk leaned away from me.)

    • I know you love the 44 – and I wish I got what you get! :(( In fact, I DID get it. Then I lost it.

      Luca T says (Lucasez) that the edt and the parfum are truest to the original No5. I have a dab of edt and a bottle of the parfum – and I think he’s right!

      I don’t remember much about Vapor. I smelled it back at the Chicocoa but I was so exhausted – I will have to revisit. It sounds absolutely delightful!

      xo >-)

    • Do you prefer any one iteration of 22, Edt vs. parfum? To me the parfum is not as fizzy, and I actually like the fizz of the EdT a little better, although the parfum is soooooo rich and luxe.

  7. Our weather’s been weird, too! I keep putting my winter shoes into hibernation, then pulling them back out again; turning the heat off, then turning it back on. And…digging into the winter perfume stash. In fact, I’m thinking of wearing Angel today. Don’t think I wore it all winter, and I feel bad that I neglected it. And I’m working from home today – no chance to offend anyone. ;-)

  8. A sweater?! Really?! In Nashille, it has cooled down a bit also–down to a high of 89 today after a solid record-breaking week of temps in the 90’s. No complaints though: not too humid yet, or too many bugs, or bored kids.

    Belle Helene and De Bachmako (trouble with keyboard this morn–sorry) ha e been beautiful perfumes for beautiful days. Also been wearing Lea St. Barth, Amaranthine, Yosh Whiteflowers, Olene. When it gets cold, rainy or gloomy, howe er, I’ll turn to comfort perfumes like Alessandro, New Look 1947, Cuir Beluga, aniglia Madascar.

    Though I’m an aldehyde hater, I lo e No. 5 parfum. It’s elegant, and the parfum doesn’t bring allergies like the edt and edp do for me. And if you’re gonna need to haul logs, at least you smelled elegant doing it! Good for you! :-)

    • I really wasn’t kidding about the sweater. Not a heavy one, of course, but an extra layer just to keep the breeze from bringing up the gooseies. Of course, that’s sitting still. Hauling logs, totally ‘nother story.

      At this rate I should be a size 6 by Tuesday! 😉

      xo >-)

  9. We’ve been having miserably hot n’ muggy weather for the past week; it’s cooler today and may not hit the 90s. And I haven’t been getting my aldehydies out much, which is unusual, because my fallback position seems always to be, “When in doubt, wear aldehydes.” Over the past week, I have been testing some new things, and wearing lots of florals, which is my other default setting.

    For years I kept walking past No. 5 in stores, because that was my mom’s fragrance when I was young. It took the Stunning Vintage Parfum, bought on ebay for cheap because it was used, to change my mind. It still reminds me of her (which is fine, we have a good relationship), but it really is Da Bomb, ’nuff sed.

    I like the Le Labo very much, but it always seems to surprise me by being paler when I put it on than I had remembered it. I have a 5ml decant, and when it’s gone, I won’t pine for it. I have the same feeling about Divine L’Ame Soeur – it’s nice, I enjoy my small decant, but sometimes it’s sour and I won’t replace that decant either.

    But Vega, now – Vega is very, very beautiful, and perhaps more relaxed than No. 5. That one I think I might actually manage to save up for. (Wore it to a couple of baseball games last summer, and it was Perfect.) Mariella Burani is terrific, too: a lot like No. 5 Eau Premiere, with that citrusy angle, but with a benzoin drydown that I just love.

    And I like a nice not-too-sweet fruity floral garnished with champagne-bubble aldehydes: Hanae Mori Haute Couture (Al, citrus, and grassy jasmine) and Ines de la Fressange, the first one in the octagonal bottle (Al, rose, peach, sandalwood).

    There are an awful lot of fragrances out there that *have* aldehydes, but don’t seem to me to be *about* aldehydes. Arpege is gorgeous, but that one, to me, is all about the gorgeous deep sandalwood (I have vtg parfum). And Iris Poudre is definitely aldehydic, but what I love about it is the suedey drydown.

    • OMG, I totally forgot about La Myrrhe. LOVE LOVE La Myrrhe, and it is all alde-sparkling light.

      • So did I! I forgot! I love this scent with a passion–It’s a definite purchase when I head to Paris at the end of the year.

        • OOhhh Paris…and here I am, trying to talk various ebay Bell Jar sellers into sending to Australia! And thinking I will finally approach one of the France shoppers who will mule it over
          And La Myrrhe, it just slayed me when I first smelled it, a miracle of beauty!

          • Well….you La Myrrhe lovers have :-?…..we’ll just have to see about that one!

            Mals, I like Vega a lot, too, though sometime it hits me a bit ‘off’ – there’s this shrill note…but overall I quite like it!

            xo >-)

  10. We’re having “June Gloom” here in LA, which I actually kind of love.

    Marina got terrible sourness out of Aldehyde 44, so you’re not alone.

    • Thank God! I’m serious, Tom. I fell HARD for this one – and then…wham-ola! SourCity! I thought I’d lost my mind!!!

      xo >-)

  11. Oh, boy, now I have a perky earwig that I can’t get rid of!! :)
    But that’s OK, not a bad thing on a hot Monday morning.
    I like the Baghari (only tried the reformulated version), and thought the Le Labo was OK, but have never been able to cozy up to Chanel No. 5 over the years, although the Eau Premiere was OK. Maybe one day I’ll stumble on the No. 5 pure parfum and the light bulb will go off …

    • Gee, do you think I could use “OK” any more in one post? Ha!

      • You are TOO funny – I wouldn’t have even noticed that!

        Which No5 have you been trying to cozy up to? If it’s the edp, there’s a good reason (imo) why it isn’t working for you.

        xo >-)

  12. Here in western Canada, it’s been cool and rainy, no summer to speak of yet. My tomato plants look suicidal, I’m cutting the grass way too often because it’s growing 3 inches a day with all the rain, and yes, the weather is definitely influencing my fragrance choices. Amber, incense, vanilla…that’s all I want. Just aquired a bottle vintage Opium EDT, and it’s PERFECT right now. Along with Encens Flamboyant, L de Lolita, Ambre Sultan…you get the picture.

    It’s June 13, and the Stanley Cup Finals are still on, but this cool weather is appropriate for hockey, at least. (Go Canucks Go!)

    • Yes, usually hockey in June makes no sense at all, but cool weather helps ease the incongruity. Wearing Pafumerie Generale no. 6 on the rainy days, and Vetiver Pour Elle on the sunny days.

  13. I’m massively jealous of your chilly weather: it’s been in the upper 90’s to 100 every day for the past two weeks and will be for…well probably till Septmeber sometime. That’s Dallas for you. But I can so relate to your love for No. 5. I wore it right after a massive hurricane went through my hometown in Florida about 6 years ago. We’re out with the chain saws, the hatchets, trying to move the downed trees so we can navigate our streets and get emergency supplies, when someone turned to me and said – somewhat accusingly – “You smell good. How? (no water, no electric, etc.) Chanel No. 5, I replied, in a tone that suggested that if this wasn’t common post-natural disaster behavior, it should be. As it turns out, Chanel No 5 and chain saws are a fine mix…:-)

    • Chanel No 5 is a great answer to all kinds of questions: how come you’re so cheerful? Why so flirty? Etc.

  14. it’s been yicky hot and humid here – record-breaking heat with the very rare afternoon rainshower. ick.

    wore badgley mishka all week last week after finding a great deal on it at a local discount shop – what a great little chypre! it has everything i like in a chypre. i never see anybody talking about it. it’s really wonderful. today am wearing 24 faubourg in edp. love the jasmine.

    love chanel no. 5 in every incarnation. well, didn’t feel the need for the eau premiere, but do love the others. wore no. 5 parfum when i got married – and back then i really had to layer the no. 5 because it faded so quickly (even the parfum). the more recent edp seems to have more tenacity. i love the animalic quality of the older parfums – and there is a metallic bit early on in it that i find fascinating. i kept taking it out to play with as i read the book “the secret of no. 5.” it was fun. almost like scratch and sniff!

    • No5 does fade on me, too! Wonder why…:-?

      24 faubourg…I haven’t tried that in a bazillion years…must revisit!

      xo >-)

      • yes, do! it’s utterly gorgeous. and when you least expect it, it garners compliments (late in the day when you think no one else can smell it). it actually lasted all the way through to the next morning. and it blooms beautifully in the heat and humidity.

        today, am back to the badgley mischka!

  15. You betcha the weather changes my choices. I’m with Maggiecat, in high 90s to low 100F weather in high humidity, I have to step away from my beloved skank and incense. I joked recently that I should change my nickname to Skankincense.

    Not right now, though. Today, I nearly drowned in the spicy musk of SIP’s Musc Botanique, so musks need to be verrry light. Le Labo’s Aldedye 44 is a summer staple, along with No. 5–I wore the Eau Premiere this weekend to a birthday dinner, when I wanted to feel crisp, clean and ladylike. No. 5 always seems correct. Other go-tos: Penhaligon’s Castille, Perfect Veil, Amazing Grace, Tauer’s new Zeta, FM’s Bigarade Concentree, AG’s Hadrien (of course!), SMN’s Melograno, though, right now even that can be too cloying.

    Oh, finally bought a cheap, ginormous bottle of 4711, decanted into small plastic sprayer, and it is in my ‘fridge. I spray it liberally. It lasts about 15 minutes. I’m thinking of moving my Eau de Guerlain to the same location, for similar reasons, but it seems too elegant to put next to my condiments :D Stay cool!

    • OMG! 😮


      EdGuerlain is perfect next to condiments. I know. 😉 Trust me.

      xoxo >-)

  16. Weather! WEATHER!! Don’t talk to me about the damn weather! We are being hammered by another ‘East Coast Low’…getting enough rain up at my farm block to wash out all the creek blocks between the paddocks and the neighbours…and then since its winter, you have to wade around in freezing water to fix them or the cows get out. And all of the north coast big rivers are coming up into major flooding (I know you guys stateside have had huge floods recently too).
    Re perfume, I’m just dowsing myself in all sorts of cool weather things that had to stay on the shelf over summmer; I feel that there are just so many lovelies to wear in cool weather compared to summer when all I can do are my white florals and various fruities.
    I wore Organza Indecence to bed last night, and after seeing a very favorable reference to Mouboussin Histoire d Eau in Luca’s book, apparently a tangerine oriental, I did an ebay scavenge and ordered a bottle for $30 incu. ship to Australia. I once had a bottle of Ricci ‘Bigarade’, and adored it, and am loving the various orange things around. The MDCI ‘Rivage’ one I just adore because of the lovely orange note, and am dangerously close to springing the ridiculous $$$ for it.

    • Darling! I am SO sorry about that flooding! We were just downstate a bit, at the butt-end of the Illinois River – and it is sorta sloshy. Take care of yourself, your cows and your farm! Sorry to be so stupid but I didn’t realize you guys got freezing anything! Erm…you don’t mean ‘freezing’, right? Not like we do..(I’m trying to wrap my mind around this – I always think of Australia as Perpetually Warm)

      Nina Ricci Bigarade is the reason I ended up on the perfume boards. I wore that nonstop in my last two years of high school! I have several old bottles that I scrabbed on the eeeB. It didn’t weather the decades well – but it’s nice to have the bottles.

      xoxoxo >-)

  17. I’m a Chanel No 5 whore – all the different varieties. I just love it so much .
    Funny, I find the curren tEDP falls abit flat after a while- not much staying power on my skin . Oh well ,a joy to spritz again and again……….:d:((

      • Yeah, I find that too ! No. 5 doesn’t last too well. The longest lasting concentration on me is the EDT and also Eau Premiere. How does that figure ??

        • Calling all Perfume Science Nerds!!! I would love to know the answer to this one. The Ald 44? I can’t get rid of that one with napalm!

          xo >-)

  18. Just woke up and put on Chanel 22 before coffee because it just felt right– so nice to see you’re on the aldehyde tip, too!

    I got a teeny vintage 22 parfum and it just kills me– I love the EdT, too!

    Gentle sun, Seattle is bursting with roses and lush greenness– summer’s been a loooooong time comin’ this year…

    • I have a vintage No22 that is da bomb! Da Powder Bomb! I love it! Seattle is lovely anytime, except when the skies open up before you have a chance to dash inside a coffeeshop! :((

      xo >-)

  19. I actually like the drydown of the No. 5 EDP, in part because it smells nothing at all like the EDT (which does not agree with me!), in part because it smells *exactly* like the interior of a car my dad used to have. No idea why, but it’s a total mindtrip. That car smelled freaking great.

  20. “Stupid-hot” is the perfect descriptor. I will be stealing it and using it to describe the dank hellhole that is Virginia Summer weather.

    I may take your suggestion and find a sample of No 5 parfum. I can’t do any other version I’ve tried – it’s just not me, and I’m not sure why. I have no associations with it and anyone else, I like aldehydes, I love rose and jasmine, and I’m a fan of Chanel scents. But I just can’t do No. 5. I’ll give it one more go with The Hard Stuff. :)

  21. I wear Chanel No 5, and have the EDP. Sometimes it’s a bit sharp, but I love it. I also have a vintage EDP mini that has aged and deepened in a lovely way. Not terribly different, but just a bit deeper dry down. HOWEVER… I recently read The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume by Tilar J. Mazzeo and promptly bought the pure parfum. It’s amazing! I imagine it’s as close to the original formulation, based on the story, as it can be after all this time.

    BTW – this is a fascinating story – truly a good read!

Comments are closed.