If you were in my…

by Musette the Mystified


I was going to write about chocolate and flowers today but I can’t.  I need your help, my dearest Posse.  Here’s the scoop:  After months of lobbying, my company has been invited to a very important corporate meeting.   Yay!  As important, if not more, I will be meeting with a key player from the company with which we have formed a strategic partnership – this  is one I am very excited about – we are entering the next phases in Renewable Energy and this partnership will allow us to explore broader avenues of design and fabrication...blahblahblahyoudon’tcareIdon’tblameyou… butit’sBig Doin’s….


…..so I’m stoked.  Can you tell?  But I don’t know what to wear, perfume-wise!  I’m torn: usually I go with what makes me comfortable, which is Mitsouko.  But I found out that Mitsouko, coupled with my rather assertive nature, can be a bit unnerving to guys – and this is NOT what I am looking to do here.  Carnal Flower ? To va-va-vooom, I’m thinking.  It has to be something I can wear like a favorite couture jacket but has that ‘oh, honey’  feel of a fleece hoodie.

I’ve narrowed  the options to the following:

Vintage Parure (well, that’s a ‘duh’ .  It’s ALL vintage, as Guerlain has not seen fit to see the light)…I love the silken combination of bergamot, plum and rose, wrapped in all that green…but it doesn’t last long on me (weird, yes). I tend to apply sparingly – perhaps if I spritzed a tad more – but what if I over-spritz.  Is that possible?

Cuir de Russie parfum – perfection beyond pearls.  But is it too ‘dressy’?  This is an energy plant, not a Mad Men boardroom – at some point I will be donning a hard hat and steel toe boots.

vintage Diorling – elegant as all get-out, not as lush and louche as the Chanel – but does the concept of leather in a fragrance translate in a room full of men wearing Dockers?

I discarded the gorgeous Cartiers Brillante and Fougeuse – the former is too stilettos and cocktails and the latter, if you are not nuanced in perfume, conjures up ‘horse’.  I don’t want them wondering if I just fell out of the hayloft.  These folks know haylofts. Both Cartiers do better in the City.

Liz Zorn’s Centennial.  I have been wearing it a lot and getting lots of compliments but I dunno…..maybe too sex-peachy?  I love it but it hangs right on the knife edge, where contemporary Femme fell over (remember that awful time I wore contemporary Femme and a fuzzy sweater to a conference?  I felt like I’d shown up in last night’s negligee!)

The Oddball Choice:  LeLabo Iris 39.  Cool, confident…but maybe TOO cool?  These are extremely conservative people.  I am not.  At all.  I am a complete Alien in this environment, from an ethnic, gender and attitude standpoint.  And they are writing the checks.  So I have to make sure I don’t just Wack myself out of contention here.
Weirdo:  vintage Diorella.  It would be grand – but I tend to be over-aware of it (it is SO strangely beautiful).  I always wonder if folks (read: regular guys) ‘get’ this one.  El O often sniffs towards me (from a distance) when I wear it,  like a dog does when he senses a pack of coyotes near…


Last Ditch Perfection:  Amouage Jubilation 25.  ’nuff said.  But is it enough?  Or is it too much?  Can it bridge the bespoke jacket/fleece hoodie chasm and bring me to that level of perfect comfort I so desperately need?


My hand strays, yet again, to vintage Mitsouko edp….but it’s wa-ronnnng!  Forbidden Love, there.


So….what are your thoughts?  I have many, many more scents (yah,  quelle surprise and all that) but these are my default comfort armor choices.  If you were in my steel-toe boots, which would YOU choose?   Is there some scent I’ve missed that will hit all my Corporate requirements and still make me a happy, secure, comfortable alien?  What is your ‘default perfection’ scent for events such as this?

I have today to make the decision, tomorrow I am on the 8-hr road to Cornville.  Helllllllp!

  • Cheryl says:

    Of those you mention Chanel CdR. It’s never anything but classy. But…I have to say…these choices are all either coldish or nightime. At a subliminal level you do want UNITY and TOGETHERNESS and WARMTH. So I’s go for perfumes that have a sunny friendly warmth as their DNA. For this PARTICULAR occasion. You’re job isn’t to intrigue mystify and show your edges.

  • OperaFan says:

    I know I’m late, but I just want to cast my vote for Cuir de Russie. Based on the setting you described above, CdR sounds ideal among the scents I’m familiar with.
    CdR is what I call a “serious” perfume. It has that great unisex quality and I’ll just make a general assumption that men in general like leather, which means they’re more likely to pay attention to you when you speak. It’s got a very contemporary feel to it so you don’t project “girly girl” and soft enough so you don’t come across too severe. So – my 2 cents.

  • nozknoz says:

    I’m not very familiar with CdR, but I’m with those who find ideal for business.

    I’m sure your vintage Diorling would be fine, too, but it’s as scarce as hen’s teeth – seems like a shame to wear it when you’ll be concentrating on other things. I can see why you might turn to Diorella, but I agree with Denyse that a touch of the closely related Le Parfum de Therese would be even better for disarming the guys.

    And hurray for your company, Musette!

  • Dante's Bra says:

    Big ups down here for Cuir de Russie (warm but not too girlie) or PdT (womanly but with that awesome golden leather drydown, and you’ll feel unique and confident).

    Good luck on the meeting, I’m sure you’ll rock it with your wit and charm!

    • Musette says:

      I wore it today, DB and I have to agree with you…..CdR is beautiful. I also have PdT in The Dreaded Train Case!


      Thanks for the kind wishes!

      xo >-)

  • Joanna says:

    BTW, Liz Zorn’s Retro Collection is on sale right now. So bummed that the Centennial is sold out!

    • Musette says:

      Where were you last Wednesday? The ‘sold out’ is my fault – and I didn’t buy all the bottles myself, alas! :(( (I am a greedy weasel). I reviewed Centennial, mentioned the sale and Wham-o!

      Of the Retros that are left, I suspect you would love Oolong Ti. It’s gorgeous!

      xoxo >-)

      • Joanna says:

        Good question, where was I? It was only a week ago but I can’t remember. The stress from buying a home has caused short term memory loss and long term money loss.
        But you are soooo right I do love Oolong Ti. I had a sample and it’s on my FB want list.

  • Joanna says:

    I vote for the Mitsouko since that seems like what you’ll be most comfortable in.
    I actually think the vintage Diorling translates well with the steel toes and hoodies. Keep in mind I work part time at a garbage transfer station and am familiar with pairing steel toes and hoodies with perfume!

    • Musette says:

      OMG! That’s right! I forgot! You know of what you speak, my Goddess! I am definitely putting the vintage Mits in, ‘just in case’ as well as the vint. Diorling. Ya nebber know.

      xo >-)

  • Daniela says:

    Like a lot of other people here, my suggestion is Chanel. Perhaps Coco? or No.19? Coco in particular is both womanly and assertive. Or Hot Couture EDP? Or Michael Kors? So many options!

    Good luck with your meeting!

    • Musette says:

      I am definitely putting the Chanel in the train case.

      Did I mention El O hates the train case? HATES it! He knows there are at least 4, if not more, bottles of perfume in there and it freaks him out! ;))

      Thank you for the good wishes!

      xo >-)

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Big congrats on the beginning of such an exciting venture! My first thought was Black with it’s rubber, tea and vanilla- all things found in a factory with a comforting warmth underneath but then thought that rubber might not be so good from a renewable perspective. Second thought was Silver Factory which makes me think of shiny, metal tanks and pipes with some incense burning somewhere. Clearly, I am stuck in an industrial groove! Of your choices, I second CdR or the Brilliante. Both gorgeous, elegant and intelligent- sounds a perfect fit for you! :)

  • NinaraPoll says:

    Oooh, congrats! I hope this meeting brings many, many good things your way :D
    As for perfume… given how bizarre corporate cultures have become about such things and the additional considerations Dilana pointed out above, I feel almost compelled to say: Don’t do it. Don’t wear anything. Or if you must, restrict the application to a dab of scented lotion/cream, or perhaps a small spritz of your choice on a handkercheif to keep in your pocketbook. Of course, now that I’ve said all that, the other party at the meeting will probably show up drenched in the modern version of Bleu de Chanel ;)

    • Musette says:

      This will be a pretty big meeting – almost a conference. So there will prolly be quite a few ‘fumes…..or not. Always hard to tell. El O wears nothing, so that’s one down. Whatever I wear will be close to the skin.

      And thanks for your good wishes! Much appreciated!

      xo >-)

  • Flora says:

    I would go with the Juby 25 if it were me – it’s friendly yet not cuddly, accessible yet luxe. Mitsy might just bite…. even though you won’t. ;-)

  • barbara mc says:

    Congratulations, first of all….much as I love Parure, I am thinking of something closer to your skin-yes, a drop of something that makes you feel finished…not too much sillage-Black Vetyvr or Orange Blossom(Malone)…in agreement with Sweetlife-nothing distracting-until after signing on the dotted line…all the best..

  • sweetlife says:

    Dearest, Musette, congratulations and good luck!

    Adding my voice to the chorus for cool, close to the skin frags, very sparingly applied. (I vote CdR parfum, PdT, or Iris) As in, just a drop somewhere that you can smell it for comfort, but not as a projection. Not because you need to make a concession (if you’re an alien, there’s no making a concession) but because you won’t want to distract them from the business at hand. Plenty of time to slather on whatever you want when the dotted line’s been signed and you’re out celebrating!

    • Musette says:

      Thank you, darling! I’m ogling the contenders now. El O is mystified. “what the hell are you doing?” me: “oh….uh…never mind”…. El O : 8-|


      xo >-)

  • annie says:

    O.K….I’m an older woman,so I have learned a LOT:):)…This is ,indeed,like an interview situation,where less,or NONE (EEEK!)is more…the Iris would be great,or TDC Iris,ditto,all with just a touch here & there,..believe me,these people are NOT the type to appreciate ANY perfume,and I feel it would put you at a disadvantage…hard to say,but,there,I said it….and believe me,I love drenching in a great ‘fume!…Loads of luck to you,and have fun

  • mary says:

    Good luck, Anita! I know whatever you pick will be fabulous. Jub 25 always puts me in a good mood. Mitsouko is better for me on cooler days. PdT is great for rounding out the hard edges. No bad choices on your list, you just have to calibrate to your mood. Have a great meeting.

  • maggiecat says:

    Congratulations and good luck! It’s hard to go wrong with Chanel or Amouage for that matter. Maybe more male viewpoints would be useful? My experience is that men tend to like more woodsy, spicy scents than floral, but my experience is based mostly on DH and his dislike of most scents, so there you are. Let us know what you choose and how it goes!

  • Dilana says:

    Actually I do care about your project, I am in construction and am studying LEEDS environmental certifications.

    As for a fragrance suitable for this occasion, (something I muse about), you do not want to come off girlish and trivial, which is how some guys in conservative industries think about fragrance. (Will there be people with a history of actual job site experience at the meeting?). Moreover, unless you happen to chose something that another person in the room wears or has bought for his/her spouse, I doubt that they would register anything but the fact that you are wearing a perfume. This is particularily true if the meeting is about environmental designs. Some places regard fragrance as not environmentally cool. (The NY City Department of Health, for instances bars fragrances and encourages water drinking as part of a healthy office program).

    Therefore, I would avoid anything which too agresively announces that you are wearing a perfume. Chose a fragrance with low sillage; the job of the scent is not to impress anyone,but to make you feel good. I would probably reach for an Atalier Cologne or some Iris Nobile Eau de Toilette. Cuir De Russie may be a bit heavy.

    • Musette says:

      Go over to my site bearboringDOTcom – it’ll show you a bit about what we do for the renewables industry.

      This meeting is on-site and will probably be half office folks/half site folks. They are definitely Regular Guys – 90% of them will be dashing out the door for a smoke every chance they get! The Renewables Industry is …well, it’s populated by ‘guys’ and, interestingly, is less ‘green’ than you might think – at least when it comes to the boots on the ground. I don’t think they drink much in the way of water.

      How far are you along with LEEDS? I am learning more about that as we move into new aspects of enviro (we work with a guy who installs Green Roofs and he was explaining the various ways companies try to get around compliance.

      xo >-)

  • Janice says:

    Congratulations on the meetings—this sounds very exciting! Adding my vote for Cuir de Russie, which seems to me both elegant and not something I’d feel uncomfortable wearing with steel-toed boots.

  • jen says:

    Chinatown. You will smell good and they wont know if its you or them or something else in the room.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Adding my vote for the Cuir de Russie. On me at least, it wears very soft and close to the skin, with almost indiscernible leather, and very lightly floral.

    Second choice would be Denyse’s suggestion of Brillante. Iris 39 might work if – unlike mine – your skin doesn’t amp the musk in it.

    As much as I love, adore and wear vintage Mitsy (and aldehydes), I would avoid both oak moss and aldehydes. In my experience they register as “strange” and/or “off-putting” smells to non-perfume lovers. Same for the Jubilation 25 – the cumin might read as B.O. to some.

    Congratulations and good luck!

    • Musette says:

      You get MUSK in I39? 😮

      I would kill myself stone-dead. Seriously. I get bitch-slapped enough from Milady Musk as it is (remember Drama Nuui? Fresh Lemon Sugar? June Jacobs Citrus? I STILL wake up screaming from those disasters – especially the Nuui, which Shelley still laughs at – what a production of disaster that was! =))

      CdR is definitely going in the bag! I can just see El O’s face…./:) – four pairs of shoes and 12 bottles of perfume. ;))

      xo >-)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Oh yeah… I was in love until about mid-way through and then that ubiquitous musk base took over, reached up her generic brand deodorant trail and strangled me! BLERG! And of course, it took two days for it to scrub off. Same thing happened with the VCA iris.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Cuir de Russie would be my first choice, to add to the chorus. It is elegant, powerful, and, heck, what besides leather to wear with hardhats and steel toed boots? :D It is a lovely, comforting scent, and I also know it is tough being a woman in a male dominant world. Chanel’s non strident leather may be the best power fragrance I know.

    Now, if you were wanting a more ladylike, subtle power vibe, I’m with Parfum de Thérèse, but that requires pearls and heels for me! Best wishes to you in your meetings, and whatever you wear, I hope it makes you feel comfortable and confident. Go get ’em!

  • Tara says:

    Good Luck.. I hope the meeting is very successful!

    I think I would go with CdR, because it is Chanel and Chanel means business. It’s elegant, appropriate, and a little cool, but that’s ok because you don’t wham ’em to see you sweat. ;-)

    You should probably choose what makes you feel comfortable and confident and is not distracting in anyway.

  • KirstenMarie says:

    Ok, sweetie, this one isn’t on your list, but think about Ormande Jayne’s Woman. It’s a lovely spicy woody scent (based on hemlock). I work with the military – can you say conservative and must-be-careful-not-to-give-out-wrong-vibe-and-lose-all-credibility?) The guys (and gals!) I work with love this one. It has sillage, so if you try it be careful how much you put on. But I could see it stretching from boardroom to hard hat and steel-toed boots. It’s elegant enough for the first, and woody enough for the latter. Just a thought! :)

    Hugs, and CONGRATS!!!! for landing such a good gig! I really did enjoy hearing about it before you cut off at the blahblahblah – so here’s to celebrating with you, no matter what juice you go with!

    • Musette says:


      That is an excellent choice, born of obvious experience! My biggest problem with OJM is that I cannot smell it, myself! 😮 I KNOW! Weird, innit? I have trouble with all of hers – something triggers a vague anosmia, like the L’Artisan Iris. But I’ve heard they are beautiful, just like your description!

      I stopped at blahblahblah because I tend to yark the living daylights out of the emerging fuels industry. Ask March. Ask Shelley. We would’ve been here for 3 days. It’s sort of the Wild West of Energy – nobody knows what’s next, what will work (and be profitable) for the long-term….we are 2nd or 3rd tier in that what we do is in response to what comes up – but in order to be viable we need to stay informed. This strategic partnership could allow up first-tier access, where we could be designing and inventing machines for processes in tandem with the processes…that would be fabulous!


      • KirstenMarie says:

        Yeah, weird, but Mitsy doesn’t like my skin, so you can daub it for me and I’ll daub OJW for you. :)

        Emerging fuels is so cool! Look at you go, brainy perfumista! What you’re doing is keeping our planet green by getting us away from oil and gas. If you get it greener, please go talk to Guerlain and the EU. Maybe if we green up enough on the fuel side, they’ll bring back things like the REAL oakmoss. I know. I keep dreaming. But it worked for Martin Luther King!

  • Catherine says:

    Vintage Diorling gets my vote! It’s perfect across so many settings. Congratulations, Musette! I will send out good, good vibes!

  • Debbie R. says:

    I haven’t smelled any of those except Parure and Mitsuoko. My only suggestion is to wear something that doesn’t have a lot of sillage. In fact, do you have any fragrance oils that you particularly like? Other than that, I like the above suggestion about putting it places where you’ll get wafts occasionally but not any real projection. I think we live in a really anti-fragrance society.

    • Musette says:

      I wear pretty close (and not a lot), which is good. El O doesn’t like a lot of sillage so in order to keep Household Peace I keep it close. Even Mitsouko holds close on me. I’ve found that guys, in general (and this meeting promises to be 98% men) are happier with less perfume. El O’s first response is always “it’s not too strong’ – only then does he go in for the actual scent

      Obviously we are talking non-perfumistos here. ;))

      xo >-)

  • Gvillecreative says:

    Cuir de Russie for sure. It’s confident, it’s chic, it’s beautiful, it’s femme, and it smells like someone who smells good (rather than someone who is wearing a ton of perfume).

    Good luck in the meeting!

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    I think Cuir de Russie. It reads leather, but not saddle leather, and I don’t think it will be distracting.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, sweetie! I second Denyse above on the Brillante, as it reads friendly and non-threatening, at least to me. Or what about one that you were coming around to a while back: SL’s Bas de Soie? It might work, too, unless you think it’s too chilly-cool. Or would a light application of the Carnal Flower body butter be too much? Whatever you choose, wear it with grace and confidence and you can’t go wrong. Good luck!!

    • Musette says:

      Thanks! I thought of BdS and spritzed it as a test – there’s a 😕 in there……I would spend too much time trying to figure out what it was (that’s why I don’t wear Diorella to meetings. I still haven’t figured it out, after all these years and wearings)

      Y’all are slowly turning me towards the Brillante. You know I love it, so it wouldn’t be a chore! ;))

      xo >-)

  • Katherine says:

    I would probably choose Chanel, either No. 5, No. 19, or my true love No. 22. You can never go wrong with the classics!

  • Bear in mind that most fragrances that don’t fall within people’s habitual codes don’t actually register consciously. Especially when applied sparingly, just so you get a bit of a whiff yourself for comfort.
    My personal choice would be Le Parfum de Thérèse because it’s got powerful positive vibes. I could go for L’Heure Brillante because citrusy scents read as clean and soigné, not overtly feminine which is not what you want to give off. If Diorella weren’t something distracting to you I’d go for that too.

    • Musette says:

      You know, I thought about PdT – it reminds me of what I love most about the vintage Diors, without that distraction Diorella always brings (I think I actually love it TOO much!). I have a little pot of the body cream and the perfume – it’s going with!


      xo >-)

  • Olfacta says:

    I’d go with the Iris. You want to be cool. Believe it or not, some people still don’t understand Mitsouko.

    • Musette says:

      I know! 😮 What the heck? El O finds it very offputting! Women tend to like it more than men, it seems….:-?

      I’m taking Iris 39 with me, just in case. I cannot take them all, lest El O finally gets the evidence he needs to have me committed (‘yer honor, she brought TEN perfumes to a one-day meeting. TEN!’)

      xo >-)

  • DinaC says:

    I’m only sorry you didn’t throw out ten more suggestions, because I love reading your thumb-nail sketches of each and every option. First off, I love your taste, and I totally get your rationale when it comes to scents.

    I’m tempted to suggest Cuir de Russie, too, because there’s nothing like the cool elegance of a Chanel classic, in my opinion. Along those same lines, 31 Rue Cambon, Bois des Iles or some vintage No. 19 would be on my short list.

    Sending best wishes for a great meeting. Whatever you choose, I hope it goes very well. :-)

    • Musette says:

      I like 31RC a lot – like Bel Respiro better. The CdR parfum(my choice) is divine. I agree with you about the cool elegance of Chanel classics.

      Glad you like my choices! These really are my defaults and they rarely, if ever, change.

      xo >-)

  • sybil says:

    I think you should wear what makes you happy. Because seriously, (and sadly) no one is ultimately going to care besides you. So wear whatever you choose with pride, be confident, and best of luck at the big meet!

    • Musette says:

      You’re right! Luckily we’re driving (v. flying – we got rid of our G-6 last week. I didn’t like the color of the leather seats ;)) ) so I can take several options. That Super 8 motel room is gonna smell goooood!

      xo >-)

  • Sherri M. says:

    Oh, you have such wonderful choices!

    I think the J-25 is too sexy. I’m not a fan of the Iris 39, but I think a feminine yet cool and aloof iris could work here.

    I also like Brillante. I do get what you’re saying about the cocktail dress and stilettos, but it is one perfume that people like all across the board. It just smells good, and I think it would be refreshing to get wafts of, especially if it were summer.

    Personally I vote for Parure or Mitsouko. They’re both autumny and rich.

    I’m so happy for you! May this open many doors for you and I know you’ll choose just the right thing! :-)

    • Musette says:


      Thank you! It’s tiny steps…but The Longest Journey Begins and all that. I am very excited!

      I’m going to try Parure on El O, see what he says – he’s ‘them’ minus the Dockers (only because he’s in the shop/field most of the time) so if it works for him…:-?

      xo >-)

  • hongkongmom says:

    PS An alien who needs warming in a hostile enviroment might need to wear Chanel no5 parfume!!! Can’t go wrong with that!

    • Musette says:

      I know! I considered that…but I gave my vintage parfum to the mother of a dear, dear, generous friend – don’t regret it for an instant but it’ll be awhile before I come across another…

      xo >-)

  • hongkongmom says:

    Jubilation 25 is a slightly “warmer” mitsouko!! She is definitely a notch down from her and less dry. I think she is balanced between Mitsouko and Carnal Flower.
    Le labo feels more ladylike, classical.
    Otherwise…I would go with either your original two choices and I would have enough power for the meeting,so that I would WEAR either of these two greats!!! At this point it would be carnal flower!!
    What an exciting place to be…NJoy it all!!

  • tammy says:

    I have never smelled Mitsouko, but I say if that’s what you love slap it on. Sparingly. Deep in your cleavage and along your inner thighs, so you get wafts, but aren’t wafting, if that makes sense.

    Myself, I’d probably go green, pun intended. But I’m on a Chanel 19 kick, so that’s no doubt influencing my thoughts. (My other kick is Jubilation 25, how funny you mentioned it!)

    What is the one you wear that the horses tolerate?

    • Musette says:

      They like the floral chypres – they love Liz’s Historical Chypre/Centennial (you know they hate Mitsouko b-( – the one they seem to actually LIKE is contemporary Femme. They hate Brillante (a Percheron sneezed on me – hard – from that one)….I think they might like Fouguese.

      Mitsouko has an assertive edge that can be a bit …..:-? …8-x….yes! …..8-x It amps my chompy personality, which is the opposite of what needs to happen here, alas.

      xo >-)

  • Lavanya says:

    I would suggest Cuir de Russie parfum – it seems to stay close to the skin and is a perfect balance (atleast on my skin) of elegance, ‘self assuredness’ and beauty. But then I have only discretely dabbed from a sample, so not sure how it seems when worn as the main scent.

    Jubiliation 25 seems too dressy (to me), though a beautiful choice. You know, it might actually work. It is feminine yet strong.

    Recently when I went for a meeting/interview, I wore Iris Poudre (it is interesting yet not too demanding, and doesn’t smell weird/attract too much attention- those were my criteria lol)..

    Good luck, Musette!!

    • Bryan says:

      I second the CdeR parfum. It is comfortably chic. It doesn’t ask too much of the wearer or those in its wake.

      Otherwise, there’s a modern classic like MDCI Promesse de L’aube or Enlevement. Beautiful and complex, but not overpowering or girly.

      I’m sure whichever you choose, you’ll rock it…as well as those boots. I want some now that I think of it. : )

      • Musette says:

        =)) on the boots. Bryan, I hate them like a mongoose hates a snake! But you know, they now make steel-toe PUMPS! Seriously. It makes sense, though – a lot of us do not spend a lot of time at plants and when we (they) do, it’s often in a skirt or dress slacks. So a couple of construction-type shoemakers said 😕 and the steel-toe pump (and casual shoe) was born!

        I’m wearing the CdR parfum today – and it’s behaving beautifully!

        xo >-)