(My) Best Transitional Perfumes – and The Winners!

We are having the strangest weather here:  23F one day and 53F 2 days later!  Hard to know what to wear, so I’ve been hauling out transitional perfumes that will not send me screaming from one end of the spectrum to the other.  We’ll chat about those in a minute but before I forget:  I MISSED YOU ALL!  Confluences of events got me bumped for 2 weeks.  Yow!  I’ve been busy on other Posse stuff so it wasn’t like I wasn’t all Posse’d UP! but I missed yapping with YOU! So, hey!  Glad to be back!

And, lawks! but I am LATE on announcing a couple of winners.  I had a sample giveaway awhile back and the winner was GRACE!  Contact me via my gmail (evilauntieanita) with your deets and I’ll surely get the samples out far quicker than I announced the winner, I promise.

And the winner of the Ambre de Merveilles sample is Lynne Marie!  Ditto with the gmail.  And I’ll ditto with a prompt send out.


Okay – now:  Transitional Scents.  As I type this it’s 56F at 9a in Illinois.  It’s 60F in Santa Barbara.  That’s just weird.  My OCD-pyro neighbor is in his short-sleeved workshirt.  He’s got a giant mound of sawdust he’s going to set alight.  In about 20 minutes the whole neighborhood is gonna smoke something awful!  One of these days that canister is going to blow up on him.  But right now that’s not important, since he’s still intact.  What is important is…his skinny butt is in a short-sleeved shirt.  In December.  In IL.  It’s just weird out here, feeling more like an early SF morning than IL.  So.  What to wear?   It’s damp and weirdly warm, which eliminates my Usual Suspects autumn scents.  Vintage Ubar’s sandalwoodandjammyrose vibe is too cloying and Mitsouko is like an icepick in my left eye.   Carnal Flower is my nighttime lover and I am unfaithful in the cold light of day…so…what to do..what to do…

.well, there are some really interesting Right Scents for the Wrong Season and I have had plenty of opportunity to test them out in this wacky weather.  Here are a few:

 San Francisco in Illinois:  Amouage Opus III.   The opening notes of broom & mimosa are sparkly and almost a bit skritchy.  But give it a minute.  In about 4 minutes the mimosa starts to soften and the broom smooths out into a lovely hay note.  The dry down is what blows my feeble little mind – about an hour into this scent it completely shifts and becomes this warm, powdery jasmine, with just the faintest sparkle of golden broom.  Perfect for an odd, damp day such as today.  I confess to having given the Library Collection short shrift.  My bad.  amouage opus III

(oh, look!  PyrOCD is now throwing DAMP branches on the 3′ high pile of sawdust.  yay.)





I don’t need gloves.  But I want them:  Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady.  Patchouli is one of those notes I always approach with caution and when PoaL first came out I was Not Thrilled.  The raspberry and cassis distracted me from the rose and I kept waiting for some Giant Spice to show itself and redeem what I ‘thought’ this scent was going to smell like.  That’s what I get for thinking.  Dominic Ropion knows what’s best, baby.  The fruit backs off from the rose’s thorns and …all of a sudden it’s a cool, dark, spicy rose, which is unusual enough to keep me interested.  In sub-zero temps this would have me shivering but in this weird out-of-season weather it’s perfect.  I just hauled this out in 68F.  Chicago, December 4.  The Apocalypse is Nigh, folks.  But if I’m going down?  I’m going down smelling goooood!best transitional perfumes

YIKES!  Gotta Get the Tulips in!:  LeLabo Iris 39 and Xerjoff Irisss.  Patty’s Fault.  My first Iris was  Prada Infusion d’Iris and I was so anosmic I thought they’d maybe filled the tester with water.  Thus discouraged, it was no surprise to find that I couldn’t smell L’Artisan’s Iris Pallida (turned out the muscles in my neck and shoulders were all bunched-up but more on that anon)…..so I just wrote off the Iris.  Then Patty Came to Town, armed with Xerjoff Irisss…and …well!  I took one sniff of that, fell in massive transports of lust and it was Katy, bar the door!  A succession of Iris affairs soon followed:  Delrae Mythique, the Lutens one…(crap, what is that one called?  no….not Iris Silver Mist (I can’t smell that one)….Bas de Soie!  – hey, did you know if you google Serge Lutens and plug in every letter in the alphabet you will get a hit?  Neither did I)….anyhoo,  I slept around with all of those…but my heart belongs to Iriss and Iris 39.  Must be the ‘dirty carrot’ note.  I love that smell.  Funny that, because I hate the taste of carrots.  Love turnips, though.  Though I hate the smell of turnips.   Okay – this is getting too twisted even for me.  None of these works in extreme heat or cold and they just feel…wrong..on a sunny, ashy-blue autumn day.  They are perfect in April – and in this damp, warmery-coolery weather we’re having right now.  (and yes, I know this has nothing to do with tulips.  But I still have to get the tulip bulbs in).







Amouage Memoir.  best transitional perfumes


When/if the weather goes back into the low 30s, this will be boxed back up to await the Spring.  But right now it’s the perfect transitional scent.   I also find it one of the most structured, calming scents around.  A few days ago, during the Full Moon,  I stupidly took some cold meds – my chest was aching and my mind was gone.  I almost never take cold meds because the aftereffects are so awful – they make my wonky heart hammer for hours on end and they shot the living hell out of my nervous system.  Worst of all?  I usually take the meds at night so I forget about the aftereffects in the morning, so I’m convinced that I am having an anxiety attack/nervous breakdown etcetc….and it’s just ridiculous.   I showered with Memoir gel, followed up with the cream and a spritz of the perfume…and it calmed me right the hell down – and kept me there, in the calm, for the next few hours, until the cold med yick got out of my system.  And I smelled divine – the narcotic feel of the absinthe is underlaid with a bit of rose (I can pick the rose out of any Amouage except! (wait for it) Lyric.  Go figure).  Something about Memoir’s cool, shadowy/silvery darkness says “here.  sit down, have a cup of peppermint tea.  Take a breath.  No….shut the hell up and sit the hell down.  I’ll tell you when it’s okay to get up, okay?  Okay. I’ll be back in a few minutes.  Just relax”…. very calming, like when you were a kid and your flu fever finally broke.  Your mom put you in a tepid bath and when you came out, all clean and clear, your bed was changed and there were fresh pajamas laid out.  You got in, took a nap and woke up refreshed.  Interestingly, Angela got something totally different.  It’s so hysterically, shockin’ different that I urge you to read it here. 


So…the PyrOCD flames are out, it’s now just a dull, smoky roar…I’m going to go out and get those tulip bulbs in!  What am I wearing?  Parfums de Rosine Secrets de Rose.  Though I am an unabashed Rose Lover, sometimes the Rosines get a bit too ‘crinoline-y’ for my taste.  Secrets is a serious exception.   A dry, dusty rose, underlaid with leather and a touch of astringent.  I would walk to Paris to get some of the body creme but it’s a long, wet slog…so I’ll either have to go to Paris meself or beg the daylights out of the next somebody who is heading that way.  Problem?  I fear I will spend the next couple of months diving into that jar like Esther Williams!


so…..what’s going on in your neck of the woods, weatherwise?   And what are you wearing?

  • Ninara Poll says:

    The weather here’s been bouncing between frigid and upper 60s. *exhausted by mercurial weather* At times like this, I think to myself “darn it” and pretty much just wear whatever I want. Since it’s December, I’ve been leaning towards ambers, vanillas, and generally anything gourmandish, as well as anything that smells like a Christmas tree (I have a great body spray that smells like one that and doesn’t drive me nuts!) but honestly, I’ve just been wearing whatever I’ve been in the mood for.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Yay, Musette! Glad to see you writing. . .also have no idea what to wear. So tired of my summer fragrances, but so hot here, that my big ambers would asphyxiate all and sundry. I tried L’Ambre des Merveilles, it was nice, but gone in about two hours. Today, I’m trying Musc Tonkin, and it’s fascinating, but I swear someone hid some berries in the midst of my skanky goodness. I wore MKK earlier this week in rebellion. I’m all over the map, ‘fume wise, but happy to be exploring as ever. Hope this posts. Haven’t figured out this new posting scheme, lost several, so here goes. Be well. 🙂

    • Musette says:

      BbbbbBerries? wow. I’ve got some coming from Surrender to Chance and can’t wait to try it. Will let you know about the berries! xoxoxoA

  • FearsMice says:

    As a cold weather hater, I’ve loved Virginia’s weird weather for the past few days! I’ve been enjoying my sample of Volutes, too. I haven’t tried the irises you mention (except for Prada IdI), but Mythique and Bas de Soie might be within my reach…

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Oh I have missed you all. Depression is ugly and I should be coming here more for the beauty of the Posse. Big love.

    • tammy says:

      Please do keep checking in, M! You’re missed when absent….

    • Ann says:

      Hi, sweet M! We have missed you, too. Hang in there! Sending you love and Chaos perfumed hugs …

    • Musette says:

      Sweetie, you come hang out with us! We may not be able to
      ‘cure’ your depression – but we’ll beat it down with a big, thorny stick for at least a couple of minutes, okay? xoxoxoxoA

    • FearsMice says:

      Sending you sympathy and encouragement, FragrantWitch. It may be hard for other people to understand how depression can rob you of the ability/energy to do the very things that can make you feel better, but I feel sure you know you’re among friends here and can participate as you feel able.

    • FragrantWitch says:

      You are all wonderful- thank you so much! xxxxx

  • I’m in Houston, and here fall just means it’s consistently below 90. It’s in the 60s today because we had a cool front come through yesterday, but aside from a couple of chilly days it’s mostly been in the 70s and 80s lately. I have a couple of things that I can wear in pretty much any season or weather, like Mitsouko or Omnia, but overall I think time of year has been dictating my perfume wants more than the actual weather. I found that when it got to be late August-early September what I wanted started to change a bit even though the weather wasn’t really any cooler. It was still in the 90s, but I started wanting ambers, tobacco and leather rather than the greener scents I wore in the summer. I’m wearing Chergui today, and now I’m really wanting to try Memoir after the glowing descriptions.

    • Musette says:

      I worked in Houston for three weeks in August, once. Once. I remember walking from the hotel to some little shop, two blocks away, at 11a. I was the only person on the street and after about 89 seconds I realized why. It’s like walking on the sun!

      I wonder how Memoir would like Houston in August…..??

  • Sandstorm936 says:

    The weather has been really strange lately. In Cleveland, it’s been in the 50’s and 60’s and I am having a difficult time trying to pick out my perfume for the day. During my cold/sinus infection, all I could wear was Chanel no. 22 due to the fact that I didn’t want an asthma attack. Now since I can finally wear just about anything in my collection, today’s choices are tough. It’s a choice of Mitsouko, Amouage Dia, or Deneuve. When you mentioned Memoir, it hit me that I haven’t worn that in forever.

  • Bogsc says:

    Anyone else experiencing wierd issues with this website over past couple of days? I can’t get older entries link to work (just loads blank page), I can’t get direct links to “Perfume Sample I’m Looking For…” posting to work (just loads blank page), user names in comments seem to be duplicated/repeated but it’s clear that comments have been posted by different people. I’m using Explorer as browser. This is happening on both home and work computers so I’m thinking it might be website/Discus issue?

    • bogsc says:

      Murphy’s Law…as soon as I posted about problems I was having with links/page loading etc. they disappeared. Everything seems to be working again. Gremlins….grrrrrr.

    • Mals86 says:

      I have intermittent trouble accessing the site using IE, too. Now I’ve got both IE and Firefox, and simply use Firefox when I want to visit the Posse. Yeah, it’s a pain. But other people besides myself use this computer, and they have been very vocal about not wanting to use anything other than IE, so I grins and bears it.

  • We missed you too, Musette!!! It’s so funny that you mention Iris 39, because I was just thinking of getting some now that Le Labo is selling sets of three 10 ml bottles. There’s really nothing quite like it!

  • catlady says:

    i too live in illinois (chicago) and have to get my tulip bulbs in. i hope the weather lasts long enough for me to get over my current bout of flu.

    oh well, i could always force those bulbs. (must not think that way–must feel good and get out there with shovel)

    • Musette says:

      they would force just fine. Given the choice between the shovel/flu and forcing….I would go with the force. The Force Be With You!

      I was walking around Michigan Avenue yesterday in a sweater!

      xoA (and feel better, soon!)

  • tammy says:

    Yea, weird weather here in the Ozarks, too.

    This is my first official December in my new home and 76 degrees is NOT what I was expecting. I lived in Southern CA for 25 years, so it is certainly nothing new, but I wanted some chill! I love the cold. I had been looking forward to listening to George Winston’s December on my iPod in 30 degree weather while I sipped hot cocoa in my reindeer pajamas on the deck and looked at the stars. I had to switch out my cocoa for Paradise Iced Tea, for Pete’s sake!

    I like LA Vert Violette for transitional days, or anything green or dry, like Y by YSL or Niki St Phalle, but Joy also works and there is nothing I love more than Jubilation 25 while planting bulbs in brisk weather. I have no idea why, maybe because I really do feel jubilant. There are few things I love more than planting bulbs and dreaming about the coming resurrection.

    Speaking of Amouage, can someone gimme a brief review of that $100 body creme? Cuz I am SO wanting the Jub 25 creme. It’s either that or a travel spray set of Kilian Back to Black, which I just literally sampled last night (thank you, Lauren) and fell so hard for I could barely sleep.

    What say the Posse…Kilian or the body creme?

    • tammy says:

      Or has anyone tried the lotion? It’s about half as much, so I’m thinking I could manage both it and the Kilian, but if the creme is exponentially better, maybe I should hold out for that?

      • Musette says:

        The lotion is very heavily scented. I have both the Epic lotion and body creme and …I think the difference is more the ‘luxe’ effect than the scent. You can easily get away with using the lotion. You certainly won’t get cheated, scentwise. I also have tried both the Jub25 lotion/creme – same thing. You can do either. So go for the lotion and get the Kilians. Ka-POW! Problem solved! xoxoxoA

        Ooh! Love Vert Violette! One of my few LA fb’s!

  • Mals86 says:

    Weird weather, yeah: it’s been in the 60s and 70sF this week, which is just bizarre in December. I’m starting to decorate for Christmas, which I Absolutely Cannot Do before the calendar flips to December (and we won’t even get our tree until about the 15th. because we LIKE IT that way), and I’m rethinking the whole concept of getting the antique wooden sleds out to use as porch decor. It’s currently 50F and raining.

    Ah, Memoir, Memoir… I still don’t even know how to describe it, and you know for me THAT’s weird. It’s a journey, it’s a whole slew of feelings, it’s an armchair adventure, and so much more. But yeah, really good for strange weather as long as the weather’s not too hot. Darling Ruthie sent me a little dab of the body cream, and I see what you say about it being more “legible” – the cream is simplified and easier to wear, less contradictory than the perfume.

    And Lyric, too. I never perceive it as being heavy, although it’s chock-full of stuff that could be heavy if it had a mind to be. Instead, it’s this beautiful veil of silvery-creamy-red, like tricolor shot silk. (C’mon, no rose? that’s big gorgeous dark rose in there, babes. But then I don’t get any rose out of Ubar, ever – the vintage is very sandalwoody and the rerelease all lemon-LOTV-civet.)

    Cuir de Lancome always works for me in transitional weather – not too light, not too floral, not too dark or leathery. Poifict. Climat does well, too.

    I couldn’t do PoaL because of that balsamy stuff in the base, but that is just SO much bang-for-the-buck. Lasts for weeeeeeeeks, and is gorgeous. I dread patchouli in general, but it seems I do okay with it when it is either a) aged (which smells green and fresh and herby to me) and/or b) paired with rose.

  • Dina C. says:

    Darling Anita Musette,

    Loved this post because it totally fits our Virginia weather, too! It was 70F degrees here yesterday! Weirdness. Today has cooled off a bit with a rain shower, but I spent an extra minute or three staring at my tray of scents trying to decide what to put on this morning. I finally decided on Eau Parfumee au The Rouge by Bulgari. It’s one of their tea scents — this one is based on rooibos. It has a very light, transparent oriental feeling to me. It’s pretty linear, not a lot of development here. But that’s good in this case, because I need an undemanding “wallpaper” scent on a day when the weather is unseasonal, and there is a long list of stuff to get done.

    I’m an enormous fan of iris scents, so my ears perked up at your mention of them. I find iris, like tea, to be a year-round love of mine. I have LL Iris 39 and love it in the spring. Like you, I’m wary of patch, but this earthy, carroty iris is great. Also love the Infusion d’Iris and a very long list of other iris scents. Haven’t sniffed the $$$$ Xerjoff one yet.

    I hope your neighbor quits polluting the neighborhood’s air quality. It’s great to have you back on PP — you were missed. 🙂

    • Musette says:

      Thank you, sweetie. I live out in the code-free boonies. And people here LOVE to burn. LOVE IT! They dress their deer in the yard, too. I’ve been walking down the sidewalk, on my way to the bank…and have come upon a couple of hung deer, just….you know..HANGING there, while the hunter does whatever it is people do when they are prepping to dress it. Too early in the morning and it’ll put you off chow for the rest of the day.

      I love tea scents. I got a bottle of Agraria Bitter Orange cologne for my boitday and ..I cannot tell you how much I love that stuff. Smells just like Constant Comment tea (iced). In late May/early June. In New York.


  • Audrey says:

    I’m completely with you on Opus 3 for seasonal transitions. My other ones are Lipstick Rose, Premier Figuer, H&G Clemency, and anither Zerjoff, ibitira, which on me smells very much like Apres L’Ondee but with iris instead of violet.
    However, here it’s miserable cold, wet, and frosty so it’s all about the labdanum at the moment. I have yet to try Memoir and you’re all making me want it. Badly. Achhhh.

  • Ann says:

    Hey, doll, welcome back!! We missed you something fierce! (And so did my keyboard — no spewing the past two weeks, ha!) Great post and hope you’re recovering from the fruits of Pyro King’s labors.
    I, too, love that Memoir; it’s so well-blended and it seems to work well for lots of folks. Now how to get my paws on some of that lush-o body cream without breaking the bank, ha! Hugs …

  • Portia says:

    MISSED YOU! Never leave us again please.
    Welcome back.

    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      Hey, babydoll! I didn’t leave. I got kicked to the coib! Then …they puulllllllled me back in! (lol! seriously – I bumped myself so y’all could do the giveaways). Hey! I’m reading The Light Between Oceans. I forget how close the bottom end of Australia is to Antarctica (with nothing between it) – it sounds very chilly! Morong me, I thought the whole continent enjoyed 80F temps!

      • Portia says:

        Sounds like an interesting read. Yes there is hot and cold here from the tropics to the sub arctic.
        You should come down here and see.
        Portia xx

  • Jackie b says:

    Welcome back!
    I hope your lungs have recovered from smoke damage, it’s illegal to burn off here in Oz.
    Well, hot humid and stormy today and I couldn’t think what to smell of, but now you have brought up iris…how refreshing would Iriss have been? I had a sample and squeezed it dry. Dismay, cannot afford this Ever.
    Is there a comparable iris? Or do you have to have the 3 sss’s?

    • Musette says:

      I think there are comparable irises that to the $$$’s. 😀

      For me…hmmm.. I would say Bas de Soie comes closest. Mythique, while lovely, is a touch too warm, and I39 is a tad too rooty. I am considering BdS as a possible full bottle purchase, down the line.


  • EchoCharlie says:

    I get a very similar feeling from Memoir. I feel loved and protected when I wear it..like a child in my mothers arms. The feeling is so powerful for me that, though I own a 100 ml bottle, I still use it sparingly. I love it though..very much. Today…I am in Diptyque Volutes..I also love the smell of a tobacco shop..it reminds me of my long deceased grandfather who smoked a pipe full of cherry tobacco. 🙂