Beach Baby

by Musette


11pm… pushing hard through a rush job, El O has been on his old, busted feet for 14 hours.  Exhausted, he staggers into bed and is lights out! within seconds.   I take a shower, spritz on some perfume like I do every night (which he rarely notices or remarks upon) and climb into bed.  This comatose, beat-down old man snorts, turns over, and says ‘wow.  you smell great!’….before falling back into a serious Snore.

8am…I’m at the Post Office, dropping off a package.  The very staid, quiet, proper man who runs the counter ( and who wouldn’t flirt with his own wife in public) sniffs! and says “um.  your perfume is very nice!”  huh?

11:30am…I’m at the antique store/egg & produce shop/drycleaners.  The guy next to me at the counter, picking up his shirts, sniffs and says “your perfume is nice!  what is it?”  What is it?  Wth?  This is a  very conservative farm town. Men barely talk to women they are not related to.    They. Absolutely.  Do. Not Ask. That. Kind. of. Thing.     Ever.


So…what is this Siren Song of Fabulousness:

vintage Mitsouko?  Nah.  Gorgeous as it is, when I put that one on, men tend to recoil, if not RUN! in outright terror.

some new, hawt sexbombalicious oudh?  Naw.  Sultry incense? Sexy niche?  I don’t think so.

How ’bout….Coty Sand and Sable. Yup.    March turned me on to this scent (I quit thinking about Coty in 1975 or so, right after Elan)…  At first spritz I just knew this would be a ‘guy’ perfume (how much of a ‘guy’ perfume was a bit startling, though.  I didn’t expect all these ‘old’ dudes to be so affected by it! .   It smells exactly like 1961 at the beach.  Breck Girls.  Early Beach Boys, before the Wilsons lost their minds…..a time of sexy innocence.  I don’t know how a younger guy would respond to this scent because a) I’m old enough to be their mother so it’s a moot point and b) the thought of asking just skeeves me out.  But all 3 of the guys who went bonkers were of A Certain Age – and I have a feeling what they were smelling was that time of our lives, when nothing Truly Awful had happened yet and the world was ours to enjoy.

Billed as a tropical floral, it has that Suntan Lotion accord that one either loves or hates.  The floral notes include gardenia,tuberose,jasmine and rose…but what really attracts is the undercurrent of banana and coconut, with that sexy suntan vibe.  It was released in the early 80s but I don’t get an 80s feel from it, even though it’s a Big Ol’ Thang.  Instead,  whenever I spritz this, I am reading seventeen again and idolizing Colleen Corby, in a killah 2-piece swimsuit with matching headband.


Be warned, though:  this stuff is tenacious.  I have spritzed 3 variations – the two I got for 50cents at a flea market and one at Walgreens.  They all smell the same (hey, doesn’t Coppertone still smell like Coppertone?) and you want to be careful how much you spritz.  Just a hit will subtly seduce anybody over the age of 50 within a good-sized restaurant or office space.  Any more than that and you might trigger a Hazmat Alert.  And don’t spray it on anything you can’t wash with bleach.  It’s like Tiger Balm – get it on a wool sweater and you’ll be smelling it for years to come.


Who else has tried this one?  What about the younger crowd?  I’m too old to be asking some 25 yr old what he thinks – but I’d love to know if younger men find it as intriguing as my generation does.  Is there a contemporary version of Sand and Sable?  I’ve not tried Bronze Goddess but S&S does remind me, vaguely, of Azuree (and, to a tiny extent, Youth Dew.  Yes.  I’m serious. Maybe it’s all that brown.)


photo:  seventeen magazine 1967 Colleen Corby

perfume sources: mine and a spritz at Walgreens






LindaB August 14, 2011

Ok, I LOVED Sand & Sable way back in the 80's and haven't thought of it in a while when suddenly...I saw it in ACME!!!! On clearance!! Holy moly, I had to buy it. Wore it once and my husband, who like the men in your post, DOES NOT comment on any perfume, couldn't stop smelling me and saying how good it smelled. :-) It's been stashed in my purse ever since so I can discreetly spritz a bit when we're alone (ummm, very rarely as we have a 5 and 2 yr old) - but still, it's nice knowing it's in there and that it evokes a response from Mr. Macho Man.

LaMaroc August 11, 2011

I tried Jennifer Aniston's fragrance the other day at Ulta and the moment I sprayed it, I thought: "This is Sand & Sable!" I decided to compare it to my S&S edt once I got home but before I even left the store (I was there maybe 5 minutes) I could barely smell it where I had sprayed it on the crook of my arm. I sprayed it one more time before I left. When I got home, I sprayed S&S in the crook of my other arm. S&S completely annihilated JA. lol I could barely smell anything but a whimper of pale musk from JA. I just find this hilarious since this is suppose to be a clean, beachy fragrance geared toward perfume haters. It's basically S&S without any guts.

Jennifer August 11, 2011

:-? Sand and Sable like Azuree? Maybe you mean the newwer Tom Ford reformulation flanker stuff. The original Azuree is a Gardinia-Leather closer to Cabochard or Aramis.(Definitely could work as a unisex although it isn't marketed as such). To my nose S&S is a closer relative to Estee super cologne(another with a plutonium half life). I don't mean to be nit picky but if someone reading gets a lemming to try Azuree I would want them to get the right one.After all if you are trying to work on your tan at the beach you would want your coppertone not full english riding togs with over the knee boots and a gardinia in your red jacket lapel.

Lisa D August 10, 2011

I've never tried Sand and Sable, but I'm all for great juice at $4 a bottle! Can we tack a Best Bargain Basement addendum to the upcoming Back of the Closet post?

rosarita August 10, 2011

Oh, I have loved this post and all the comments! It's kinda like driving back roads through the midwest..... Am also loving the word *tubey*. Yeah, she hates me in S&S just as much as in Fracas....but I smelled a fabulous scent on a workmate a couple years ago and Sand & Sable was the culprit. Thanks to all for all the smiles & laughs contained herein!

Flora August 10, 2011

Well, you KNOW what I'm gonna say about Sand & Sable - Lovelovelove it! In fact I recently bought bottle of the vintage on Evilbay because I missed having it, and the current juice is more chemical than the original. I don't get a lot of Coppertone; this White Floral Queen amps up the jasmine and tubey to an alarming degree - on me it's like the trailer-trashy but still very pretty sister of A La Nuit, and I adore it. Verrrry intersting, your experience with men of "a certain age" actually noticing it - now I know what to wear to the hardware store to get decent service. :-D

karin August 10, 2011

I love this, M! I've never tried S&S, but now I'll need to test it out. The one that always got the most compliments for me was Coty Wild Musk. In the late 90's, I had a bunch of perfumes (surprise, surprise). Wild Musk was the bargain of the lot. I swear, every time I wore the thing, I'd get compliments. My boyfriend at the time would go wild. It even surprised him how much he liked it. I just couldn't believe that the $6 drugstore scent was the one he liked most!!!

grizzlesnort August 10, 2011

great review.

Bevfred August 10, 2011

OMG, I too loved Colleen Corby. The next model I wanted to emulate was Jean Shrimpton. But I never did try Sand and Sable. At that point in my life I was a Geurlain Girl. Ah, the memories!

maggiecat August 10, 2011

I'm curious to try this now, though tuberose and i famously do not get along at all. The scent that I've found men respond to most is SJP's Lovely. Except my DH, who's apparently immune to it. One of these days I'll find a scent he likes - but until then I'm having fun "looking."

Fernando August 10, 2011

Love the post, Musette. I am a "man of a certain age" myself, I guess, but my beach memories are all from another country, so I don't know if I'd react the same way to this one. But you did make me curious.

Teri August 10, 2011

:(( I'm homesickkkkkkk. Ok, I got that out. Oh to be back about 40 years lying on the beach at Ludington, MI, slathered with Coppertone, pouring over the August (huge, back-to-school edition) Seventeen magazine, eating cherries and peaches from a paper bag that we'd picked up at a roadside stand as we biked to the beach. Fending off the late-summer wasps was a well-remembered pain, but the fruit...oh that luscious fruit. What a lovely memory. If I close my eyes, I can see, hear, taste and smell it all. And Colleen Corby...OMG. Although I hadn't seen or heard of that name in at least the last 35 years, I recognized her immediately in that picture. Didn't we all yearn to be her?

Rappleyea August 10, 2011

Great review! The smell of Coppertone is the smell of my youth - although it never prevented my uber-pale skin from burning. But living in central Ky., the only beach I knew was a looonnnnggg way down I-75 to Daytona Beach. I think CB I Hate Perfume has a beachy one too - 1966 maybe? One of those years. That picture of CC could be from *this* summer's Seventeen!

Joanna August 10, 2011

I like Sand and Sable. Remember when I mentioned the scents we have hidden in the back of the closet? I think it was in reference to Ed Hardy. Well I have Sand and Sable back there, (Along with several other scents that just don't look right next to my bottle of vintage Mitsouko which is still in it's original box.)By the way, thanks for turning me onto that expensive little habit Posse! Sand and Sable reminds me of my best friend while I was growing up. I think she still wears it too, I had drinks with her last month and loved how she still smelled just how I remembered. Musette are you in Iowa? You mentioned Casey's which is the center of every small Iowa town. I'm in southern MN, right by the border. On my way to Iowa right now to buy some produce and baked goods from the Amish. For some reason I always have to really think about which scent to wear when I'm going to buy stuff from the Amish. Maybe I'll break out the Sand and Sable? I don't know, that may be too much for them.

KirstenMarie August 10, 2011

OK, on my list to try! I was into beach scents this past Spring - it came VERY late to Colorado, ask Patty - and I fell for Heeley's Sel Marin. Perfect beach - salt air, warm skin, ocean. No Coppertone, just fresh. The guys at work love it.

mals86 August 10, 2011

Oh, Sand & Sable... one of my friends on the marching band drill squad wore it, and I. Wanted. It. When I was 18, I went to the drugstore and spritzed some on from the tester (yes, the drugstore had testers in the 80s) and bought a small bottle with my babysitting-n-birthday money. I took it home. My mother MADE ME TAKE IT BACK. She insisted. She said it was far too mature for me. ?? Really? Maybe it was more that Mom has never liked BWFs. Anyway, I bought a bottle a few years ago, 15ml for $5, no lie. To be honest, it does smell better on my teen daughter than it does on me. There's a slight chemical tinge on me that she doesn't get, so I gave her my bottle. Other than that, it's a big friendly tubey-jasmine with a coconut-oil suntan-lotion angle, all "Come up and see me sometime," and I'm not surprised you got compliments on it. I did too. I think the sheer affability of it, the friendly flirtiness, is what makes men smile. (Youth Dew?? Now, I absolutely hate Youth Dew... not getting the similarity there. Huh.)

pam August 10, 2011

Love this post, Musette. I remember the NAME S&S but can't remember what it smells like. Will definitely have to track it down and try it. Not a fan of tuberose, but this sounds intriguing. When I re-tried Youth Dew a couple of years ago, it bought back so many memories that I had to have a bottle. Now maybe I should just break down and buy a bottle of Fidji,,,

Mrs.Honey August 10, 2011

My best friend and I wore Sand & Sables in the 1980s. Of course, I also wore Love's Baby Soft back then. I;m not sure how I would feel about wearing it now.

Daniela August 10, 2011

Oooh I've never smelled this one, but it sounds right up my alley. Anything to remind me of the beach gets a thumbs up, and a side of seduction doesn't hurt either! Is it similar to 7:15am in Bali? I have that one, and also Bronze Goddess.

tania August 10, 2011

I've got S & S edt and also the perfume. But given that the edt has a half-life of a few billion years, I've never dared to wear the perfume! Actually, I've never worn the edt out of the house, either. So maybe I need to experiment, see if I get followed down the road by any silver foxes....

Kathryn August 10, 2011

Oh Lord, Musette!. Of all the things I didn't remember I remembered, Colleen Corby modeling for Seventeen Magazine! It really takes me back, though not as far back as 1961. Evidently I was as fashion backward then as I am now because toward the end of that decade, that's the kind of swimsuit, hair and makeup I wore in my largely unsuccessful attempts to look like CC. Back then aspiring to a Colleen Corby look was at least in the realm of the remotely possible. Even at the most deluded phase of my adolescence, I knew that looking like Twiggy was not. I've never knowingly smelled Sand & Sable, but I bet it will trigger some scent memories when I do. After reading this post, what I really want to smell now is Heeley's Hippie Rose, hoping to find a touch of old time patchouli. I'm wondering whether that would ring a chime for those old guys who still notice how I look and what perfume I'm wearing.

dinazad August 10, 2011

Sand and what? Oh, one of those 'Murrican things. We don't have them here..... Anyhow - I know just what you mean. I get compliments when I wear Schiaparelli's "Zut" (reformulated out of its mind) which I'm not even sure I like..... (I do like letting my sentences trail out with lots and lots of periods/dots, though!)

Olfacta August 10, 2011

Hmmm. I've never smelled it. Sounds like Panama City Beach in a bottle. Will keep eyes open.

FragrantWitch August 10, 2011

Well, I am 36 and men still comment on Sand & Sable! I first bought a bottle when I was 19 ish and the boys loved it then too. I think it is the whole beach, suntan oil, warm skin, coconut rum thing... Inextricably linked with scantily clad women and free rein to ogle. :d It is the only tuberose I can wear and fortunately I don't get the banana ( shudder ). Perfect for an easy summers day!

Joe August 10, 2011

Well, hello, gorgeous! I've never smelled this cheap-o thang. But now, you can be sure I want to. My beach summer memories actually took place in the 80s, but they're all wrapped up with the Beach Boys comebacks that were hitting the charts at that time, as well as their greatest hits and the classic Pet Sounds that I was smitten with at the time. Oh yeah... my daydreamy summers at the beach. Lived about a half-hour from the coast and the grandparents had a beach bungalow (still go there most every summer) and those summer vacations still glow gold in the memory banks. If this cheap-o thang can bring even a smidge of those feelings back, you can bet it'll be worth every penny (and I mean penny) that I spend on it if I see it in CVS or the Walgreens soon. ...from July to the end of September... Oh, yeah.

jen August 10, 2011

I like the Sand and Sable, but the one people compliment me on is, like you, not my prized Mitsouko. That's jut for me. The general public(mailman, clerk, hubby), they like Va Va Voom, which I spritz on to cool off in AZ summers. Go figure.

Madea August 10, 2011

I've tried it, and it didn't work for me, but a friend of mine adored it, so I gave it to her. I didn't get suntan lotion or summer--I got tuberose(which is way too Big for me--I feel like I'm walking around in a showgirl costume in it)banana, and gardenia, which, as I've mentioned, smells like (literal) death on me, so I smelled like a zombie RuPaul. In general, I think the younger generation is way more open to different perfumes than most people assume. It's just that most of the good stuff isn't out there--someone could love caviar, but if all they ever eat is McDonald's, how will they know? I grew up in a town just like the one you described. It's almost impossible to explain to someone who's never lived in a place like this what it's like, isn't it?