Going Forward

By March

We had a thread on here once about the stages of perfume addiction.  I think I was stuck in the pedal-to-the-floor phase for a looooong time.  I had to smell everything – just as soon as I read about it.

The last year has been all kinds of strange, and in some ways I’m better for it.  I threw everything out there, and I got so much back.  I sold off most of my perfume collection this winter, partly because I needed the dough and partly because at some point I’m going to have to move, and I wasn’t packing several hundred bottles of perfume.  It was a little sad, and also very liberating.

What stage of perfumista am I now?  The stage where I’ve pared down my collection drastically (no worries, I probably have more than 50 bottles) – things I love and wear, or things that I just love and can’t bear to part with.  A couple of you could tell stories on me about how I waffled about some of those bottles.  I smelled YSL Paris on a gal recently, and I identified it.   I’m wearing scents that remind me of a particular time and place (I bought my Worth Courtesan in Edinburgh), or scents that just make me very happy (Majmua attar, Tauer Desert Marocain, Lutens’ Cedre) without burning out too many brain cells about why that is.

So I’ve reached a point where I feel like I just don’t have anything new to add to the conversation about perfume.   This was brought home to me recently when I surveyed the shelves of Sephora, sniffed their ever-dwindling collection of scents (Kenzo Flower Boring Tag and Vera Wang Dumbstruck Lovestruck) and thought, meh.  Who cares?  I’m gonna go home and put on some Fendi Theorema.

I’m home maybe three hours a night when my kids are awake.  That’s a good thing; I’m grateful to have a job, and I’m happy to be in a place where I just grab a random bottle off my shelf and think, this.  But I’m spending my evenings playing with the dog and hanging with the kids and catching up on bills.   I’m not spending it seeking out five or ten new scents.

And now, just because I can: the words of one of my all-time favorite poems, by Loren Eiseley, in the highly-recommended All The Night Wings:

Words for Forgetting

Go forward on these simple roads,
Do not turn back.
The stars behind you in the wind will blow,
The coyote’s track
Delicately replace the lifted dust
Of your own heel.
Go forward and the dark will close
About you. You will feel
The fragrant emptiness of prairie miles.
Now you will own
Nothing that is not yours, yourself
Down to the naked bone.


I want to thank you all for your love and rockets over the last four years.  I’m going to take my seat as a spectator and occasional commenter for the time being.  I’ll be seeing you.

  • Austenfan says:

    Hugs from Holland! It’s all I can say, really. You will be much missed by me, anyway.
    I do hope to hear about Hecate and Buckethead, the sequel one day!

  • Lucy says:

    March, you are such a good and distinctive writer I hope you do find the time do a piece here and there, once you have had some time to situate yourself within your new circumstances. You’ve had so much influence on the perfume community and perfume writing too, mixing the personal in, and your infectious enthusiasms, there’s no need to wonder for a moment if anyone will read it, because we all wait for what you have to say.

    So I look forward to next time.

  • Joanna says:

    I’ve been a reader here for a long time, but I’ve never commented before today. I’ve only been exploring perfume for a couple of years, and you’ve really helped guide me along and I’ve been introduced to some incredible things thanks to you. I’ve always been particularly fond of your reviews and I’ll be sad to see less of them. I’d just like to thank you for all you’ve done. It’s meant a lot to me.

  • ggs says:

    [[[March]]] so happy for you. Being a commenter is just fine–blogging takes so much time, and we working Moms totally DO need to make choices about priorities for our limited “free” time. Thank you for sharing the terrific poem, and everything else that you’ve shared over the years that made Perfume Posse the first blog I bookmarked.

  • Joan says:

    Good luck!

  • hotlanta linda says:

    Be WELL, CONTENT, and continue to grab those brass rings!!! We will need your visiting posts for a shot of humor!!! 🙂

  • Dear March ,
    I do echo Andy’s thoughts. It’s a bittersweet choice that you are to be able to make, the move from the dense rich inner life of writing into the messy real world of dogs and kids and home. I know that you have made the right one for yourself and I wish you the best… You won’t regret it. I closed a family business that was my breath and blood over 9 years ago because I had reached the place that you were and I desperately longed to know my son. That’s when the goddess showed me the path to the writing room. Can’t wait for your return, if you return … Whatever that looks like for you! Have a blast!


  • Victoria O says:

    Well my dear, I can certainly relate. It happened to me much the same way, and while I was still working. I thought that when I retired from my job I would get back into it again, but honestly my time now has become even more precious. Sometimes I still feel inspired to write, but wonder who would care? I still revel in the joy fragrance brings me, personal moments which now belong to me alone. It is a more intimate and personal experience, yet sometimes I smile as it calls to mind the people, the places, the passion.

    Enjoy your decision, your time, your life!

  • Ula says:

    Dear March, just so you know – I will miss you here. But then again, whatever you feel like doing is most probably the right thing. And moving on is one of the hardest things to do. I hope that despite your resolution, you will still grace us with your presence here (or on Facebook) and drop a line or comment now and then 🙂
    ps. 50 bottles are still insane, for some people 😀

  • Madelyn E says:

    Good Luck March. It takes courage to move on. You will be missed ~~~

  • Andy says:

    Dear March

    I feel I understand, and we will all miss your voice here. But then we will imagine how you play with your dogs and enjoy your family. and then we will smile.
    Much love

  • You often made coffee come out of my nose, now you make tears come out of my eyes. We learn by going where we have to go, Theordore Rothke says.

  • Natalie says:

    The vagaries of life have relegated my own perfume habit to the backseat, too, so I hear where you’re coming from, whatever your own vagaries might be. Damn vagaries! Still, even the biggest sea changes in life can’t alter your talent as a writer; I hope you’re able to let that talent flourish again at some point. In the meantime, all the best to you, and thank you so much for sharing your thoughtfulness and wit with us.

  • bellemoon says:

    Best wishes, March.

    I don’t comment often but I read every single post and have always enjoyed yours. I will miss your voice in this blog, but I totally understand about real life.

    Many blessings, happy sniffing.

  • Flora says:

    I will just join the chorus here and say that I will miss you a lot, and I hope to see you back here once in a while. I have learned a lot from you about perfume and a LOT of other things, and you are an inspiration for my own writing and my personal struggles with both painful endings and new beginnings. Plus, we are both going gray in a similar way, so we are fellow “silver vixens” discovering the good things about getting older ,and hopefully wiser. Rock on!

  • Tamara J.* says:

    All changes,
    even the most longed for,
    have their melancholy,
    for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves,
    we must die to one life,
    before we can enter another. ~ Anatola France

    I separated from my husband in Sept. and have been on the weirdest but stunning emotional roller-coaster. It was a death of an ideal even though that “ideal” never existed between us,we should have never stayed together.
    Still such a sad,painful struggle since I have known him since eighth grade and have four gorgeous daughters with him.
    Now I’m in a new relationship and that’s taking time and patience even though he is the most kindest man I’ve ever known.
    It’s so new and strange to me to be treated that way, with kindness and regard.
    Everything in me has to be “re-learned”.
    I’m overwhelmed by my feelings most days.

    Anyways all that to just really say that even if you feel alone, your not the only one.
    And I loved your posts and thoughts and will miss them.
    In whatever you do be well and remember that you matter to many,many people.

    xoxo ~ T

    • Ann says:

      Hi Tamara, just saw your post and wanted to comment. I can only imagine how painful and scary it must have been for you, but I think you’re very brave to make that huge step. Glad to hear that good things are growing from it. Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers …

  • JG says:

    I’m so disappointed, but I totally understand. Everyone else has so eloquently expressed my feelings and thoughts. However, I will say this: I’m hoping it’s not goodbye, but “a see you later.”

    Wishing you the best of luck and happiness.

  • mals86 says:

    When the blogging gets in the way of Real Life, best to let the blogging go. This is the right choice, at least for now. You need to just be you – especially if what that means is currently in a state of flux – and you need to have time with your kids. That’s the Important Stuff. Which you know, already.

    I will miss your writing terribly. I’m positive that you will be thrilled by *something,* sooner or later, perfume or kicka&& boots or whatever, and will want to write about it. When you do, I will want to read it.

    Much love, a little sadness, and good luck to you as you head off on a new yellow brick road. I won’t say goodbye.

  • CM says:

    Relative newbie and often lurker, I’ve especially enjoyed your writing. Best of luck to you! I’m looking forward to your return!

  • Patty says:

    Pish tosh! You just wait, I’ll run across something completely phreaky, send it to you, and you’ll at least have to say something about it.

    You enriched The Posse in ways that are incalculable, and though I’ll talk to you just as often, I will miss reading your thoughts about anything and everything. You have a unique voice, but at least we have four years worth of archives to go through whenever we miss reading you the most.


  • nozknoz says:

    March, gaah, the commutes in this area, by the time I get home from work and the gym, a comment or two are all I can muster, and I don’t have kids, or even a plant needing my attention. And you’re in a new, creative job now, so you need to focus your creative energies on it.

    Love the poem, love the majmua, loved the the seven day signature scent challenge and swapmania, and deeply appreciate all you’ve contributed here. “When one door closes, another opens.” Looking forward to your occasional comments from the other side, too. Best wishes for every new stage!

  • Catherine says:

    Sweet March,

    Much luck and love and happiness to you. I’ll miss you here at Perfume Posse. I don’t comment much, but I read and catch up whenever possible.

    Enjoy your children, your dog, your job, and your life.


  • Milena says:

    Wishing you all the best, March.

  • Wordbird says:

    Thank you for all your reviews – of perfume, shoes, cars even – that sometimes left me thinking and other times left me lemming. We have fairly similar tastes, so I will miss your take on things. Though thankfully, I’ve calmed down a bit too and no longer have the urge to try everything NOW. 🙂

    And thank you for the tales of Buckethead and Hecate and Ava and the plants in your garden and the weather on your face and your grey hair (it’s beautiful and it suits you) and letting us into your life. It’s been incredibly kind of you to let us all see the intimate daily details of your life.

    So thank you for that. And though I’ll miss your reviews and insights dreadfully, I think we should all be kind to you too, and let you take that step back and become one of the crowd. Come join us. Look, here, we’ll budge up. There you go. Nice boots!

  • minette says:

    i feel you, march. it must be that season of life. even though my reasons are different, i totally get where are, because i’m there, too. do hope you will consider writing about your life and whatever it is you went through and surived to thrive in the past year – it could inspire others. mostly i want you to keep writing somewhere because i always enjoy reading you. until then, i wish you happy trails!

  • Ann says:

    Sweet March, I second so many of the wishes above, from our wonderfully eloquent Posse-ites. I’ll always remember your kindness, encouragement (and patience!) as I took my shaky first baby steps into posting on the Posse. Wishing you all the very best with your beautiful family and great new job. Here’s hoping that you’ll grace us with your presence, from time to time, when you can. So let’s not say “goodbye,” just “so long” for now. Big hugs to you!!

  • Victoria says:

    March, your writing has made me laugh and dream, and you are such a special presence here. Wishing you lots of happiness and sending you lots of hugs.

  • Dionne says:

    When I first fell down this hole 2 1/2 years ago, you made perfume accessible with your humor. It was wonderful to read posts so funny, when a lot of perfume seemed like initials I didn’t understand, notes I couldn’t identify yet and a lot of people who were just a bit intimidating in their good taste.

    Thank you for your writing. Enjoy this next stage fully, and best wishes.

  • sariah says:

    I will miss your writing on the posse. Onward ho! And big hugs

  • You know how I feel about you and your writing, and that I wish you all the very best. Hope I get to read more of you someday, on perfume or not. Feel free to sneak back in here whenever the muse strikes again… xoxo

    • March says:

      Yeah, the timing sucks. Don’t think I’ve not had some dark laughs over that. You and Denyse talking about the Posse in books, a fine compliment, right when I bail… the muse is lurking around here somewhere, probably in the corner of my closet.

      • sweetlife says:

        Eh, I wouldn’t worry so much about the timing. That’s what archives are for! And July is still a ways off. The muse/job/life trifexis may look a bit different by late summer…fall…there is always another bus!

  • annie says:

    (sniffle,sniffle,sobbing lil’ tears in hanky)…LOVE your posts sooo much,but,really do understand where you are…Being retired,recently widowed,etc,I find I wear either deep,dark,interesting(or weird)perfumes,or fresher(note:NOT CLEAN,FRESH…ACK!) notes,as I have moved to NC,which is much warmer than Ohio….You have introduced me to many of my choices…My stash is very low,and will stay that way….but,I did so love the ‘ride’….hugs to you….

    • March says:

      Oh! I wanted to move to Wilmington! No idea where I’ll wind up in a couple of years. But nobody knows where they’ll be in two years, right? Clean + fresh = Nemesis.

  • Elizabeth Watson says:

    Love you, Musette. Thanks for the poem. ♥

    • Musette says:

      Not me! I’m not going anywhere! How would you guys get your weekly guffaw at my crazy ways?

      ’tis March who is leaving us, though we hope not for forever!


      • nozknoz says:

        Musette, I’ve so enjoyed hearing more from you over the last months – your wise old bat posts are the silver lining!

  • Cheryl G. says:

    You have made a good decision.
    It’s all about your children.
    Move forward and know that a stranger across the continent will ocasionally think to herself,” I hope March is doing well”.

  • Mimi Gardenia says:

    I have crawled out from under my perfume rock to wish you the very very best, March. Like others have said, your writing is great. I have lurked here and read for years and I mostly lurk ! *LOL*

  • Amy K says:

    March, out of all the perfume blogs I’ve ever read and still read, you’ve always been my favorite writer — even when you’re not writing about perfume. Your post that resonated the most was the one about dress shopping with your oldest daughter. I’ve got a daughter of my own now, which makes it that much more moving to me. But of course I’ve also loved all the perfume reviews where you seemed genuinely thrilled to find a fragrance that smells like sweaty feet, or ass crack, or something stinky:) Please let me know if the syrupy barnyard of L’Air de Rien starts sounding good and I’ll be happy to send a decant. Best wishes to you and your family on your new adventure.

    • March says:

      The day I fall in love with Rien will be the day the earth reverses on its axis… which, let’s face it, is entirely possible in perfumista-ville. I’ll be on here blogging about how it’s the shiznit. (sorry, I was watching Generation Kill excerpts and laughing inappropriately.) And these comments mean so much to me. I can’t express it.

  • helenviolette says:

    Wishing you the very best March. Count me into the crowd of adoration for your prose. I have to admit to being in a similar place, perfume wise, so I understand your need to spread your wings. xxoo

  • Kathryn says:

    To paraphrase one of my favorite writers, Maurice Sendak: “the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go- we’ll eat you up- we love you so!” But March said, ‘No!’ ” Still, I’m looking forward to your occasionally rejoining the wild rumpus. You know we all think that you’re still hot!

    • March says:

      I am pretty sure the rumpus will continue. I had a post semi-written in my head about the continuing adventures of Hecate and Buckethead.

      • Marla says:

        Bring it on! I’ve got teens now, too. But I’m not a good enough autobiographical writer to do anything about it…yet.

  • Tom says:

    Well this will always be your house and the door is always open. I hope to read your thoughts again soon and wish you all the best.


  • Olfacta says:

    There are many endings right now, it seems.

    I will miss you!

    • March says:

      It’s kind of an ending, mushed up into a mess of a beginning. Like layering a Lutens with a L’Artisan and deciding how you feel about it. But how will I know if I don’t try, right?

  • Mindy says:

    Best wishes to you March.

  • reglisse says:

    Wow. I am so sad to hear this, but I wish you only good things moving on, forward and upward. I think most of us would agree, sometimes in life, something has to give–better it be writing about perfume than being with family.

    That said, I will selfishly miss you and your stories and commentaries. Good fortune where ever your journey takes you (and a hearty thank you and hug for sending me a sample of Theorema back in the day, which is still a major love.)

    • March says:

      Did I send you Theorema? Well, freaking good for me. That was one of my early perfumista discoveries…. one of my bottles went off, I hope that’s not a trend.

  • Aubrey says:

    March – You’ll be missed!

  • Dusan says:

    Sigh. It feels like the end of an era. While I’ve been absent from the Posse as a commenter for longer than I’d like to admit, I have never once skipped your post, Marchie dearest. Your beautiful writing always struck a chord with me no matter the topic, and I thank you for that. Your voice will be missed, but hey at least you’re not going away, only forward. Love you.

  • Robin says:

    You made several of my “stages” richer experiences, March, and I thank you for that, and like everyone else here, I’m wishing you well and missing you already.

    • March says:

      Robin, if I had a dollar for every time I went and looked to see what NST said about a fragrance, I could buy myself a bottle of Amouage. You have been an incredible source of support, and a true and patient and gracious friend.

  • Dearest March,
    I can’t really add anything to the lovely sentiments expressed above. I’ve so enjoyed reading and learning from your posts. You write like a dream.

  • rosarita says:

    Oh, dear March, I knew this day would come. I admire you so much; your bravery, generous spirit and especially your wicked sense of humor. I will miss your fabulous writing very, very much. Lots of love and wishing you all the best in your new adventures.

  • Marla says:

    Thanks for all your great reviews over the years, March, and life commentary as well. It’s good to know you’ll be around. I had to give up most of my collection for a very traumatic move across the Pond last year, now what I wear is very different (except for the Japanese perfumes, my only constant!). I don’t review too much, don’t have access to much, but I’m more and more entranced by the plants and substances that go to make up perfume, hence the birth of Nerd Girl! So as you have more time and settle into the new life, new directions are going to appear for you as well!
    (And glad you kept the majmua;-)

    • March says:

      The majmua. I could write about the majmua forever, and I will never forget that I owe you for that, you and your weird little sample. I have some I mixed into a beeswax tin, and I put it on before I do yoga. My sheets and pillow smell like majmua frequently. The thing that breaks my heart is the two (?) regular sources closed up shop. Because everyone deserves some majmua, and all those other bizarre attars, like the one with marigolds. And the one made of baked dirt.

      • Marla says:

        I agree. I have my little bottles of about a dozen, now extinct, attars in a special lined silk box. I wear them only once in a while, for example, the genda/marigold on the Days of the Dead. I think Liberty Natural still has some older vintages they can sell, but I don’t think majmua is in there anymore…I can’t believe Musette can’t smell it?!!

  • March,

    This is heart-breaking to read! I know you have to do what you have to do. Life does hand us changes and we do have to go forward. Just don’t forget us…(hey we can at very least offer comic relief!) and hobbies are a great distraction from the things of life we can’t control but would do better not to think about.

    As Ronny says, I’ve enjoyed and appreciated all your posts–perfume and non-perfume. You’re an excellent writer; you can bless the world in a lot of ways with even that alone.

    Lots of love, take care of yourself and your family and we wish your path to be bright and filled with love and every good thing.

  • Ronny says:

    Oh, no, March, please don’t go. Please. There are probably a fair number of us readers/commenters/whathaveyou who, while not in the exact same place as you, are in some similar period of ongoing upheaval and change.

    Your posts — on life or perfume or both — are always wonderful: beautifully written, full of insights, pathos and humour.

    For me (lone parent having, between Xmas 2008 and now, been made redundant, started a small business, moved and moved again — and am in the process of doing that once again) reading what you write is pleasure and relief. I understand completely if you have other things that need doing, but twice a month? Please.

    I realise it’s a bit selfish, but we’d miss you too much if we didn’t get a March fix 🙁

    • March says:

      Patty’s already on to me — what I need is not to feel like I *have* to say something … you would laugh if you knew how long I spend crafting my posts, and how dissatisfied I often am with them. I am giving myself a time-out from this personal guilt-tripping, and we’ll see what happens.

  • Jillie says:

    I suspected that this was coming, March. Everything passes, good and bad, and life evolves.

    Thank you for all your amazing writing over the years, for sharing your knowledge and your humour. As everyone else will say, I will miss you lots and send you best wishes for the next part of your journey.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    March, Your voice on the Posse made me feel immediately welcome here and indicated I had found kindred spirits. Thank you for all the smiles and inspiration you have shared with us and I wish you all of the very best in your future endeavours!

  • violetnoir says:

    Wh-wh-what??? Did you say that you are leaving?? I don’t know what to say, darling.

    I mean, I’ve been busy dealing with my own work/personal issues over the past year, but I guess I just knew…okay, assumed…that you may take a break, but would always be here. I should know better!

    Much love to you, March. May the fragrant emptiness of prairie miles sustain and nurture you as you move forward in life.

    Much love and hugs!

  • Joanna says:

    “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe

  • lisa_67 says:

    March, I am going to miss your commentary here. I enjoy all of the PP reviewers, but you are a kindred scent spirit, and I usually found that your experience of a fragrance mirrored or anticipated my own. I celebrated when you discovered a treasure, knowing that I could look forward to sampling it eagerly. You have also inspired me to revisit my worn-out copy of Eisely’s The Immense Journey, which I last savored in college. What a writer! Thank you for your many contributions to this community. You will be sorely missed, but I wish you the best in your new adventures!

    • March says:

      What a writer, indeed. It’s nice to have a kindred spirit. I too found Loren Eiseley in college, and I have several books of his. I especially like his poetry. Curling up with one of those books is like eating a few squares of excellent chocolate. I appreciate the gift of really lovely writing.

  • tammy says:

    March, I wish every possibly blessing and joy in this new life….you’re rockin’ it so far. What an incredible inspiration you’ve been.

    I sure will miss your posts, though.

    Thank you for all you’ve shared with us and blessed us with!

    • March says:

      Everyone (anyone?) who comes back and reads these comments – wow. Just … having a moment over here. I’ve read these several times, and I am touched, and honored, and verklempt.