Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie

Happy 4th of July!!!!


Random perfume/food musings and general foolishness from Musette, with a quick pop-in from Miss March!!!.

I hope all of you here in the States  have a wonderful 4th of July holiday! If you’re out of the country, hoist a beer in solidarity and celebration!  It’s in the middle of the week this year, which means a lot of our customers will be slacking off on the back end, which is BONUS for meeee!  (now watch, as I get slammed with rush requests UPDATE:  what did I tell you?  I actually have a guy working today on a Giant Rush Job.  Ka-CHIIINNNNG!).  El O is off to visit his family down yonder so I plan to spend the day reading and revamping the perfume armoire.   It’s a beautiful thing.  What are your plans?

4th of July is one of those oddities for scent pairing.   Christmas has its  religious trappings (Messe de Minuit, Neil Morris Cathedral), as well as the whole ‘pine needles and snow’ connection (Neil Morris’s Dark Season comes to mind).  Diorissimo has a lock on Easter…Valentine’s Day is off the charts with roses, sexy big white flowers and romance.

What goes with The Star Spangled Banner, beer and grillsmoke?  If you had to choose a scent that says 4th of July...what would it be?   Mine would be Coty Sand & Sable, all beachy suntan oil, raging teenaged hormones, stale beer and just a hint of the beachside concrete lavatory at 3p on a Saturday in July (thank your girl Gardenia for that one).  Even though Coty was launched by the venerable Francois Coty and was for decades the personification of French Perfumery  it has, like Bruce Willis and William Shatner, been reinvented numerous times and is now synonymous with American Drugstore Scents.   In fact, I think most non-perfumistas would  assume that Coty has always been an American company, schlepping scents at Walmart and Walgreens.   Of course, M. Coty wasn’t always M. Coty, either.  Born a Corsican, Francois Spoturno took a variant of his mother’s maiden name (Coti), moved to Paris and opened his perfume house (I got the book  for Christmas  so I’m all clued in to strange M. Coty (it’s not on Amazon anymore, which is weird.  I thought Amazon had EVERYTHING. Always).  His early ventures mirrors the success story of so many Americans who came here, looking for freedoms and an opportunity to make a better life for themselves.  And since the French were gracious enough to give us La Belle Liberty I’m just going to say Thank You and try not to sob over the loss of La Rose Jacqueminot and Chypre (Chyyyypre! sob!).  Okay!  I’m over it.   Sand & Sable and hot dogs it is.

While we’re on the subject of perfume and America, did you know there was an American Society of Perfumers?  Of course you did.  I’m probably the last dog over that hill (blushes).  Despite IFF and their ilk (and there are some very talented people therein – no disrespect intended),  when I think of American perfumers, I think of the extraordinarily talented pool of Niche perfumers who do such great work:  Liz Zorn, Neil Morris, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Alexandra Balahoutis, Delrae Roth and many more, both established and emerging.   The website for ASP needs some IT attention  (the intro page just…stops…in the middle of a sentence -IT’S YOUR WEBSITE, PEOPLE!  tighten up the ship a bit)  – I yanked this off their website:  The main goal of the ASP is to foster and encourage the art and science of perfumery in the United States while promoting professional exchange and a high standard of professional conduct within the fragrance industry.

Not a bad goal.  Hoping ‘professional’ = decent behavior and courtesy within the ranks and beyond.   Again, no disrespect is intended or implied.  In fact, it’s not even directed at the ASP.  This is just my crabbing here, born of a personal dislike of Professional Organizations in general.   I dunno nuthin’ ’bout no ASP.  Except  I now know they have an annual Golf outing.  Huh.  I would’ve thought they might have an annual Wine Tasting or something but at the end of the day they’re probably sick to death of olfactory stimuli.  Like Charlie Trotter’s first kitchen crew who, at the end of the night, used to go over to the Belden Deli for late dinner.  When I asked his then-sous why, he said “I’ve been sauteeing truffles all damn night.  I want a pastrami and a Coke.”  Fair enough.

(see what I mean about ramblings?  You Were Warned.)

It then goes on to list (and, I’m going to assume, in order of importance):  Household products, toiletries and cosmetics before it ever gets to fine fragrances.   I was going to snark on that, then I remembered reading a phenomenal article by Victoria of Bois de Jasmin  about the challenges in perfuming everyday products.  Read the article here.  It’s necessary reading for anyone who recognizes that perfumery is an art and that art is not just confined to the crystal flacon.  Of course, somebody should tell Estee Lauder’s folks that they don’t have to take this quite so to heart.  I love the consistency and color of so many EL lipsticks – but wearing them is like clenching a big ol’ bouquet of aromachemicals between my teeth .  But back to Victoria’s post:  while not everyone wears perfume, it’s a safe bet to say that most of us use detergent, toothpaste and body lotion.   Apparently most raw materials used in general household/body products  STINK!  Were we to attempt to smear an unadulturated cream on our face we would drop stone-dead from the stench.   Perfuming such products, on a tight budget, is an art – and one that many famous perfumers are justly proud of having done.  Read the article – you’ll be surprised at Who Did What!   Denyse of Grain de Musc also wrote a great post about hair products and moisturizers, (and the best unscented moisturizer to use when testing perfumes) – I’m on the hunt for the Lenore Greyl shampoo that smells like Chanel No5.

Food!  If there’s one thing Missy March and I love to yark on about, it’s FOOD!    4th of July food is pretty basic fare, no matter what foodies try to do with it.   Burgers, dogs, brats, sausages, ribs.  For March, that conjures  that Josef Statkus Kolnisch Juchten (I just edited this — March) sausage perfume and because I had no idea how to spell it (and neither did she) Googling around for ‘sausage perfume’ took me here.  Who knew John Mayer was so HATED?  Who is John Mayer, anyway?     and further bopping around Google for sausage perfume, I came across this funny post from Laura Snyder, about smelling like pork sausage and beef burritos.  If she’s right, then women hoping to attract men via perfume are doing it ALL WRONG!

Further yarking with Missy March resulted in these July 4th scent/food pairings:

Corn on the cob/potato salad (American – it is Independence Day after all):  Bois Farine.

Cucumbers.  She eats ’em.  I don’t.  I wears ’em.  So does she.   The granddaddy of all cuke splashes is Caswell-Massey which is, conveniently enough, America’s Oldest Chemist and Perfumery.  1752! (c’mon.  You can do the math).  Newcomer (good for him, as otherwise he’d be dust) Marc Jacobs makes a pretty good one, too!

Tomato Leaf:  here’s where we diverge.  I don’t understand tomato leaf perfume.  I grow 5 different varieties of tomatoes every year, from seed and the leaves often make me itch.  And I love tomatoes.  Tomato leaf?  hmmm…but apparently I’m in the minority.  According to March, upon first sniffing CB I Hate Perfumes Memory of Kindness, folks have been known to weep!  huh.  Apparently it is a touchstone scent, conjuring up memories of childhood.  Apparently those children never had to handpick tomato hornworms off their mother’s rather extensive array of tomato plants.

If you have any others, please share!  Wonder if there’s a scent pairing for coleslaw?

Iced tea:  Y’all already know where I’m going with this one.  Agraria Bitter Orange.  Nothing finer.  I can’t imagine smelling like Diet Coke and if I want to smell like a gin and tonic I will wear Brillante.  I think Demeter makes a G&T scent as well, for probably 1/10th the price.  Ooooh!  Gin and Tonic.  Dang.  It’s only 11am.  Hey!  It’s SUNDAY (I’m writing this early)….11am…that’s…that’s BRUNCHTIME!!!  Ooooh!  Gin and Tonic!  I can have a G&T at brunch, right?   It’s like a Bloody Mary without the vodka and tomato juice, right?


Okay, I’m going to Stop The Ramble right here, lest it be the 4th and I’m still not done with this post.  Besides, it’s 11:59.   On Sunday.  I can have that G&T now.  Right?


xoxoxoand Happy 4th of July!!!!!

  • Sam says:

    I loved your pre-holiday ramble! And what a good question–a fourth of July fragrance? It’s always so hot–I think in terms of being refreshed rather than celebratory. So yesterday I wore Tallulah Jane Misae. It’s wonderfully green and citrusy, with lots of lemongrass to start it off and herbal woods as it keeps going. Never, ever sweet, but rather herbal. Perfect for a mid-90s day with high humidity.

    I do love Memory of Kindness and recently drained my bottle. I should have saved it for yesterday! Bois Farine, tho I also love it, I would never have associated with corn on the cob/potato salad…interesting thought. It so makes me scratch my head that I may have to give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    I hope you had a great holiday!

  • Francesca Belanger says:

    Very late to your 4th of July party, Musette, but that was one great post.

    • Musette says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! And you get a Free Hall Pass, sweetie. Hope you got tons of work done, with music rattling the windows!!!

      xo :Devil:

  • nozknoz says:

    It’s really too hot outdoors here for anything – so I’ve been careful to stay indoors and wear Habanita. (Which sounds vaguely disloyal on the 4th, doesn’t it?) I’ve also been wearing the icy Iris Silver Mist recently.

    Occasionally Amazon doesn’t have something I want, and then I head for Powells or Alibris. Sometimes their prices are better for out of print books, too. It’s worth checking.

    Musette, thanks for this delightful 4th of July ramble and for bringing March the Maleficent along. I thought of March during the derecho disaster, and her Snowmageddon posts. Tens of thousands still without power here and some community fireworks canceled. We need G+Ts all around!

  • Kimberly says:

    I love your ramblings! :Overjoy: Enjoy your gin and tonic!

  • Victoria says:

    Such a fun post, A! I chuckled at the part about the ASP website. Not sure what they do anyway.

    Wishing I were back home watching the fireworks with my mom, but at least today was warm enough to sit on the balcony and have a glass of wine. It turns dark quite late, because Brussels is so far north (apparently as north as Nova Scotia!) That’s a nice part. Rain every day–bad part.

    P.S. Glad that you liked my post on perfumes in our daily products. I really enjoyed writing that piece. 🙂

    • Musette says:

      Hi darling!!! I didn’t know you were in Brussels. I love Brussels. I used to spend a lot of time there. Great chow…but a really crabby (then) Soviet Embassy.

      That post is one of the most informative and entertaining posts I’ve ever read – ever.

      Have a waffle for me!

      xoxoxo :Devil:

      • Victoria says:

        Yep, we’ve been like gypsies lately–going from this to that place and living out of suitcases since oh, I don’t even remember… it’s been too long. The only permanent home I have right is my virtual one, BdJ! 🙂

        The crabby Soviet Embassy is an even crabbier Russian Embassy now, I’m sure.

        And my dear A, I would gladly have a waffle for you!

  • Gwyneth says:

    I’m wearing the quirky (to me) DKNY Women perfume (in the tall, frosted bottle)
    The Tomato Leaf note in it is fantastic, and the Wet Cement/Pavement note is truly reminiscent of hot, wet streets after a summer rain shower. The combined effect is one of coolness, a breath of fresh air and the smells of a summer garden. Masterful, IMO.

    As you all probably know, out here in the West of the U.S., we are suffering many, many wildfires. In my town in Idaho, we’ve already lost more than 66 homes to a raging forest fire last week. It has been devastating — however, we’re made of strong stuff and will pull through. Even though fireworks have been banned, there will be a display put on by the City tonight (with plenty of back-up firetrucks standing by…) and we will celebrate Independence Day and be thankful for our blessings.

    Best to all!

    • Musette says:


      I’m totally in awe at the resilience of all of you who are dealing with this catastrophe. To do so with such grace is humbling to my cranky ol’ bat self.

      Stay safe.

      xoxo :Devil:

    • nozknoz says:

      Cancellation of 4th of July fireworks seems like a bad omen – glad you’re having yours!

  • Ann says:

    Hi, sweetie, and happy 4th of July to you! Glad to hear you have a little time to yourself — always a wonderful thing. And keep on rambling … love to read your posts when they touch on a bunch of things — very fun! And a big shoutout to March, too! Miss you and hope you’re doing well. Holler at me if you want some tea …

    I’m doing some much-needed cleaning/de-junking and having trouble staying on track. Gotta go find a ‘fume that’ll inspire me, ha!

    • Musette says:

      I ran the forklift today (I need the practice) – just one load – but it was VERY PRICEY PARTS, so I was terrified. It was 97F at high noon. I wore Epic body cream and edp to keep me focused. It was like wearing a laser.

      xo :Devil:

  • tammy says:

    Too hot and drought-y here for fireworks, as well, and frankly too hot to even think about food. I am gonna founder on iced tea in the very near future, I have no doubt.

    Perfume-wise, you got me hooked on the Agraria Bitter Orange ions ago, though I confess I prefer it in winter, when it reminds me of Constant Comment. My Bvlgari Au The Vert is getting quite a work out this summer, but isn’t especially 4th of July-ish. I now have to hunt down the CM cucumber scent, darn you!

    I prefer my tomato leaf in candles, but I do like the scent.

    Can someone alert Patty that the StC coupon is off in a bad way???

    And good to see you, March!

    Happy 4th to all.

    • Musette says:

      I will let her know! If you have StC problems, you can also always send a message (that little pink thingy) – her phenomenal Customer Service team will be back to you in a twinkle!

      I live to enslave folks to the beauty whut is Bitter Orange. Those people need to be giving me commissions!

      Put a little bourbon in that iced tea. That’ll cure what ails ya! ;-D

      xo :Devil:

  • Style Spy says:

    Mmmmmm. tomato leaf. I’m sorry you don’t love it, Musettie-pie, I sure do. My tomato leaf frag is CdG Harissa, which I may wear today because it’s just so darn spunky and zippy and slightly weird in a good way.

    I am a non-carnivore, so I don’t want to smell like barbeque no matter how many boys it brings to the yard. I like my smoke a little more fireplace-oriented or incense-y. L’Air du Desert Marocain.

    Iced tea! Cartier La Trezieme Heure!

    I would like to read that book about Coty, I would like to read all the books I would like to read. I would like to have a dollar for every book I would like to read but will probably never have time to get around to. I would like to have the time to get around to reading them and if I had that, you could have the dollars back.

    I have to go to work today. I am only semi-independent, it would seem. Staging my own wee rebellion by refusing to seep the kitchen floor.

    • Musette says:

      Because I am feeling generous, I am going to grant you all three wishes: the books, the time..AND the dollars (so you can become even MORE independent!!!)

      I just spent 30 minutes in the blazing sun, loading ginormous parts into the bed of a pickup. Coked to the gills on Epic body cream. 95F. It is…….aMAAAYYYzing.


  • mals86 says:

    Uh… I mean, those three scent in SUCCESSION. Not all at once.

  • mals86 says:

    I enjoy every bit of your rambles, Miss A! (Coincidentally… or maybe not… I’m also a fan of Bill Shatner. 🙂 )

    I wrote a wee Fourth of July post this morning, in which I postulated the – nonexistent, as far as I can tell – perfume Independence Day perfume, incorporating all the things I love best about this holiday. Then asked my teenage daughter what such a scent would smell like. I was happily surprised when she mentioned most of the things on MY list.

    The scented plan for the day: Juicy Couture (for the watermelon), Sand & Sable (for the summery suntan-lotion), and Cartier Le Treisieme Heure (for the barbecue grill + vanilla ice cream).

    • Musette says:

      You and I are closer to Scent Twins than ever!!!

      The Shat is da Bomb!!

      (I’m still trying to resubscribe to your blog – it’s …different setup. But I will try again!)


  • dinazad says:

    Happy 4th! I’ll raise a glass to you all tonight…. nothing like celebrating somebody else’s holiday! May I recommend Lonestar Memories for a barbecue-compatible scent? Althought the Diptyque John Galliano room spray may be even better. Depends on how much your grill smokes, I suppose…

    Is there actually something that smells of cucumber? WANT! (oops, sorry about that. I get emotional at times. And greedy).

    IMHO Weil de Weil smells of lettuce. For the salad lovers out there…. (And Humiecki & somebody or other’s “Skarb” smells of lovage….)

    • Musette says:

      Caswell-Massey is the best one. It’s very refreshing!!!!! I’ll see what I can do…;-)

      I wouldn’t touch a grill with a 10-ft pole today . It’s 11:30a and already 95F. Ick. Avocados and a ginger ale. And a G&T, for later.


  • I’ll be wearing Caswell-Massey Number 6 today, an old favorite of mine. This also happened to be George Washington’s favorite cologne — citrus and spice, elegant, sublimely old-fashioned, and still very inexpensive. A joyous and fragrant Fourth to all!

    “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” — George Washington

    • Musette says:

      Have a wonderful 4th yourself, Vasily! And thanks for that thought-provoking quote. It’s a thought we would all do well to remember.

      xoxo :Devil:

    • tammy says:

      Adore the quote, Vasily! I prefer my govt in the smallest dose possible.

  • March says:

    Such a great post, A. I loved your ramble. I didn’t know most of that stuff either.

    I never did come up with an apple pie frag, did I? Well, my daughter has some hideous candle she got at the beach which she adores and which smells exactly like apple pie. Something I want to eat but not smell in a candle, apparently. Since I love pumpkin candles in the fall I’m in no position to judge.

    The local fireworks across the street (country club) got rained out last night and it’s gloomy today, fingers crossed that the weather improves.


    • Musette says:

      I keep saying I don’t like food frags in candles but I love orange and lemon and tea scents – and that’s all food, right? Not a fan of the pie, apple or pumpkin, though I do like a spiced pumpkin home scent, come autumn….

      I would be delighted to switch weather with you. We really need the rain. Alas, it keeps missing us.

      Do that Rainy Day Thing, if you’re kid-free. Read, nap, repeat.

      xoxo :Devil:

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Happy 4th from across the pond! We are going to a belated party at a friends Saturday and I can’t decide what to wear so I am making notes today. And Im with Portia, drink the G&T an then post- that would be great!

  • Cybele says:

    Gucci Rush would be my choice

  • You have that G&T, Miss M! Hope your holiday is relaxin’!

    No fireworks here this year due to drought (DH and the kids usually set off more than the town we live) and too hot and buggy to want to be outdoors at.all, but we’s still grilling’. Italian sausage w/ peppers, onions and mushrooms for lunch and steaks and tuna for dinner. Watermelon slushies for the kids and margaritas for us. Always a couple extra teens hanging out here but no party this year.

    I’m thinking Bond No. 9 Coney Island, maybe, for today. Or possibly Dzing? I have samples somewhere I’ll have to dig up. Bobbi Brown Beach and Fire Island also might be good, but i don’t have those two. Gin and tonic? Hmmm…that sounds good. Gotta get on this right away!

    Have a Happy Fourth! 🙂

    • Musette says:

      You, too! That tuna sounds YUM! When El O gets back I think we’ll grill some tuna steaks.

      Coney Island! Even though I’m not a Bond Girl, I think that’s a perfect concept for today.

      xoxo :Devil:

  • Furriner says:

    I had dinner with my mother and sister last night at an Indian restaurant on Devon (Hema’s Kitchen). Coincidentally, a big chunk of conversation was about the Belden Deli. I haven’t been since the ’80s.

    I am one of those people who like the smell of tomato leaf. Yesterday, though, I wore Comme des Garçons Rhubarb. Don’t know if it goes with Indian, but it goes with the holiday.

    Happy Fourth!

    • Musette says:

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! (yesterday)

      I hope they brought you boxes of rubies the size of grackle eggs? You deserve no less, sweetie.

      The Belden Deli. sigh. Remember that little strip mall, with the Jewel grocery and the dry cleaners. and in the center, like a beacon of comforting hope, the Belden Deli. I used to meet colleagues and friends for coffee – we’d spend 25cents for coffee and tip the waitress a dollar – she loved us. Marginal breakfast food (who knew you could cook potatoes to the consistency of paper?) but a great place to hang out.

      Alas, all gone.

      xoxo :Devil:

      • Furriner says:

        Thanks… no rubies, alas!

        Wasn’t the Tower Records there for a while? I was unemployed for about a year in 1983-84. Every night I would walk down Clark from Addison to Fullerton and back and somehow I had money to eat somewhere…. I didn’t live along any of that route, though… Don’t ask me how I did it! Anyway, that is my biggest memory of the Belden Deli, along with some other places that let us loaf!

        • Musette says:

          Tower was years after my tenure! I spent my formative YA years in Lincoln Park – we’re talking late 70s! It probably hadn’t changed from its earliest inception at that point. That was a tacky old strip mall where the Lincoln Park Pirates would tow your car, even if you were IN a store in the mall!

          sigh. I miss it.

          xoxo :Devil:

  • DRINK!! G&T till you can’t drink no more. Then write us another July 4th post.
    Portia xx

  • ??????? says:

    Happy 4th of July 🙂 The day when all american people are dress nice and go to celebrate and most of them are waiting for the fireworks. Again on the streets will be full of people and around them will have fragrant cloud which is a combination of their perfumes. Will be a beautiful time with many happy people, great fragrance around them and many fireworks 🙂