Winner of Amouage Fate Samples

Okay, the winner of the Amouage Fate Perfume samples from my post a couple of weeks ago are – Suzy Q, Jackie B, Mary P, Alison, bamboogrrrl,  and Eva S.  Just click on the Drop Us a Note at the top of the blog, send me your address, remind me of what you’ve won, and I’ll send you back a quick confirm so you know I got your e-mail, and I’ll get it mailed out to you.  

I don’t have anything perfume-related today, sorry!  I got some work stuff pressing in and a week of training starting today, and the perfume I want to review – Neela’s new one! – needs more attention than I could give it this week, but next week!  Some of you have heard me yap on endlessly about my inability to meditate, something I’ve tried to do off and on for years.  I keep trying, but eludes me because of that Vocal Jack-in-the-Box in my head that just won’t shut up.  So I picked up this book, The Untethered Soul, assuming it would be another “sounds good, but doesn’t work for me” book, but, you know what?  I’m a little hopeful about it.  It explains that Chihuahua yapping voice (no offense to Chihuahuas, I used to have one!) that has a running critical commentary on every single thing happened every single second of my life and how to start the process of quieting the little bitch down.

I’m having a bout of hibernatey-ness right now.  When I get like that, my mornings start off with that voice piping up about 3 seconds after I open my eyes, canceling everything I have planned for the day – I’m tired, I didn’t get enough sleep, I’m stiff, you can go to yoga tomorrow, skip that Pilates class, you don’t feel like talking to anyone today.  If what I did every day were decided in the first 30 minutes after I got up, everything I ever tried to do would be canceled.

The book tells you to start thinking of that voice as a person, and then put the person on the couch or next to you in bed with that same running commentary.  If I did have someone like that in my life that followed me around canceling my life, criticizing the weather, my ankles, my not doing vashistasana while I”m having shoulder problems, I’d shoot them in about 30 minutes and throw their body out the front door.


Um, this is NOT me doing vashistasana with or without shoulder injuries. Mine has never looked that good.

Now I’m paying attention. That voice has arguments over and over in my head with other people who I don’t even know if I’m mad at, plans out the rest of my life furiously and changes it every minute.  My response now is to mutter “Clip the String, Chatty Cathy” and laugh and move on. It feels like this might take a while to quiet that voice even a little, and there are times, especially in a prolonged single leg standing flow series that I think she’s so right, I AM tired and should just sit down and get a nice long drink of water and bug out early for final shavasana.  

I’m feeling a little dualish these days as I sort out that stupid voice and hopefully find a way to meditation and quiet and peace. Wouldn’t that be lovely? To enjoy every single second of your life without The Critic narrating how you feel?  

So apologies for the No Perfume day!  I will make up for it next week with the Neela Vermeire new release review, plus I am planning a violet guide for July – early suggestions welcome!  To make up for it, I’ll give away 3 sample sets of the two new Le Labos  – Lys and Ylang -and the new Amouage Fate to commenters.  So does anyone else beside me go into hibernation in summertime?  I’m trying to figure out why. I think it was that farm upbringing. Summer was a serious fun downer. We worked like dogs all summer, it was our busiest time, and I always counted the days for school to start so I could have some free time!  I don’t like the heat – I’m a Pita ayurvedically – so I don’t like being outside once it gets above about 85, unless there’s a big body of salted water nearby.  You?  Or do you have your own Chatty Cathy or Chatty Chad cluttering up your brain?


  • FearsMice says:

    I love the longer hours of daylight in summer, but the humidity and biting bugs can chase me inside fast! Which is where I pretty much hibernate in July and August…

  • hajusuuri says:

    IMHO, summer in the northeast U.S. has got to be the pits….hot and humid – yuck! My home AC is cranked down to a constant 70 and it feels oh so goooooood.

  • Steph says:

    Heat–terrible! I grew up in the south and moved to the midwest which is just as bad, most summers. When I vacation it is all Pacific Northwest. Someday I will move myself there.

    Thanks for the drawing!

  • sunnlitt says:

    Yes, I, too, have that Voice in my Head.
    “Why did you do that? Why don’t you do this? What horrible thing might be happening tomorrow?”
    Let’s take all the joy out of THIS moment and worry about some other moment, past or present….
    Some people don’t have that voice. Sounds like paradise to me!!

    Thanks for the thoughtful post and the drawing.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    I turn into a bloat-y, grumpy slug in the summertime. I hate the heat and I especially hate the humidity, so I tend to hide in my house near the fan until things cool off. I actually find myself looking forward to going to work just to be in the air conditioning!
    As I’ve gotten into my 50’s I’m finding it much easier to quiet the Chatty Cathy, partly because I just don’t care as much what others think anymore and partly because I’m increasingly aware that this life is all I’ve got, so I’d better enjoy it, be “me” as much as I can and live out my dreams. It gets surprisingly easier each year.

  • Barbara McCaughin says:

    As I live in the NorthWest plus have lots of huge trees in back and out front of my house, I celebrate the few sunny days we have, even at this time. It seldom gets above 80. I know lots of people would say how lucky I am, and I do realize it, but would sure like to see more of those 80 degree days. So, when overcast mornings hit, gloom descends and the only thing that makes me get up at a so-called reasonable hour (I’m retired) is my doggie wanting to go outside.So of course once I’m up I might as well start the coffee, fetch the paper, etc etc. No, I don’t have Chatty Cathy residing in my head – it’s too-busy Mom and &*$# oh-so-critical ego-destroying ex-husband. Over the years I’ve finally learned to simply tell them to shut up and and I get busy doing something that makes me happy – like a walk in the woods, my cardmaking hobby, etc.

  • Isabelle says:

    I can understand the need to get out of the heat, but here (north half of France) we had such a rainy and cold June that everybody has been longing for the sun. Getting temperatures over 20°C (68°F) was a cause for celabrationg, and one whole week without rain… well, let’s not get over ourselves yet.
    My own Chatty Cathy has been pestering me, on and off, for two decades at least. Her virulence is closely linked to the variations of my self-esteem, and I had to learn to shut her off or spiral into depression. She might seem friendly at first but I know she actually means “why don’t you stop doing things that make you feel good so I can criticize you endlessly until you’re convinced of your absolute worthlessness?” When meditating, mantras can actually drown her voice out. Often, when I’m not sure about an issue, and she goes off arguing endlessly over tangents related to it, I write things down. It put things in perspective ; quite often, I find that the tangents are linked to another issue I didn’t want to think about. Wrinting it all down helps clarifying things and calms the chatterbox. If she gets annoyingly loud and everything else fails, I mentally drag her in front of two pictures I put on my desk for this purpose – two moments I’m particularly proud of – and I tell her “this is the real me; this is how strong I am. Now shut up and leave me be.” Amazingly enough, it works.

  • Alison says:

    I always picture that little nagging voice as the frog that used to sit on the magician’s shoulder on “Andy’s Gang.”
    I’m hoping there’s a few of you out there that remember Andy Divine. The Magician tried to complete his illusions but was always thwarted by the Frog on his shoulder whispering in his ear telling him to do something that would mess things up. So during the summer, I have all good intentions but the little nagging frog whispers in my ear to sleep a little longer, stay inside when the sun is high, put off weeding and gardening until the next breezy, cool day so you aren’t eaten by mosquitos…etc. Gotta find a snake! But your post makes me think I need to get the book you’re reading. No need to enter me in the give-away because I am a recent winner of the Amouage Fate sample.

    • Barbara says:

      Oh Alison – yes, I do remember Andy Devine – on the radio! And I said something about that to my guy just a week ago, remembering how he would say, “Thump your magic twanger, Froggie!” And, you know, as soon as those words came out of my mouth, I realized their wicked intent, which had, of course previously escaped those long ago innocent ears of mine.By the way, I wonder if Andy was from Kingman, Arizona – there’s a main street there named after him.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m also not a fan of the summer heat. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons. I get completely revitalized in the fall when the heat and humidity go away. So I sympathize.

    I pursue a prayer life rather than meditation, but they each have that wonderful centering quality that is so healing and calming.

    I’m excited to read your violet recommendations. I love the violet in Apres L’Ondee, My Queen, Jolie Madame, Balenciaga Paris, Grey Flannel (violet leaf really), and YSL Paris Jardins Romantiques, along with original Paris.

    The Unicorn Spell is an exception. It smells like canned green beans.

  • tammy says:

    I could probably use a Chatty Cathy once or twice a week, as I am laid back to the point of sloth! ESPECIALLY in the heat, which I despise with the heat of a thousand suns, pun intended. If it never got above 70, I’d be in Nirvana. We have been in the 90s since May, with the last week in June seeing 4 days above 100 degrees. And it’s NOT a dry heat, even though we’ve had less than an inch of rain in that time!

    July and August are unbearable in the South. I hate summer.

    Off my soapbox. 😛

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    Come to think about it the little Voice of Should/Shouldn’t does sorta sound like Mom .. Hmm ..
    Yeah I have it too. And as a born and mostly raised in the Pacific NW ,I do NOT like the HOT ,STICKY MESS that is summer down in the South . Gotta go out and wash/vac the cars today UGH!
    Low to mid 70’s and I’m pretty happy . Much higher and my A/C doesn’t wanna do more than blow warm air at me when I’m off to work.((Sigh))Oh well at least I’ve got plenty of Green/ tea scents to refresh with!
    Thanks for the draw!

  • Beth says:

    Oh, I love your post Patty! I was just thinking this morning that I’d love to shut that voice up. I get a very similar running commentary. At times I lie to that voice and tell her I’m going in to work, but only for an hour. For a chatty Cathy, she’s pretty naive.

    The times I find it most disturbing are when I’m trying to pray/meditate. Then she’s suddenly super helpful, reminding me of everything that’s slipped my mind that needs to be done. Could she do that when I’m working? When I need to remember it? Oh no! It all has to come out when I am trying for 30 minutes of quiet time. Or maybe at 4am when I’m trying to sleep. What is it with this chick and the worlds worst timing she has?

    I have pictured myself duct taping her mouth shut and stuffing her in a box. Is that disturbing to anyone else?

    As to summer, i LOVE it. Mostly because I love the extra hours of sunlight. I cannot bear the getting up in the dark, going home in the dark times. It just seems like endless night and endless cold. And since I’ve lost 120lbs, I don’t really notice the heat as much.

    thanks for the draw 🙂

  • zazie says:

    I tend to welcome each season: after all, changes are necessary and I get bored quickly. Spring and summer, however, have the knack of making me feel nervous and tired. Spring has so much action going on, it is lovely, but seriously, it’s just to chatty: all chirping and budding and getting the days longer, and filling the trees – a boastful overachiever, that’s what it is.
    Summer is less, well, explosive?, than spring but it is hot, and humid, and stressful (organising the summer vacations? I hate that!). And it is a false happy (the worst cathegory of season/people): you can feel it is all smiles and kisses while clearly hating it. It is melancholic, but tries to conceal it: the beach, the barbecues, the parties….
    I feel truly truly happy when fall is back on track. I love fall….

  • Maureen says:

    I sincerely dislike that Chatty Cathy in my head…sometimes I have to say out loud “Stop It”. I have just had to break up with a man I loved but was not good for me. In spite of everyone that really loves me telling me I did the right thing, that stupid voice is on a loop in my head screaming “What did I do”. I know I did the right thing, but I’m hurt and that stupid voice does not help.

    I have trouble with meditating too. I, too, am in awe of you and your yoga prowess. I will have to try that.

    I look forward to all of your reviews…they are informative and sometimes so funny I laugh out loud.

    I used to love summer, but the heat is starting to get to me, and after a bout with skin cancer, I have to stay out of the sun, so I’m in the AC all the time now. My daughter & I are headed to AC, NJ this weekend for a little sun & sand & casino, so I am really looking forward to that…scent of the weekend will be Bronze Goddess…if I can’t be one, I can at least smell like one!

  • susan says:

    Summer is actually a pretty good time for me. I seem more motivated to work out, get things done around the house, etc., than I do in the winter.

  • Irina says:

    well, for me, summer is the only season the little voice inside my mind tends to slow down to a barely audible hummm
    the rest of the year I hear it loud and clear
    hope you’ll find the way to inner peace, soon

  • Spiker says:

    My down time tends to be February or March, too little light and too much cold. Summer is too fleeting here for hibernation. That said, the inner critic can be deafening any time of year. I suspect most people struggle with this. Just recognizing the unjustness and over the top harshness of all that criticism can be a good step. After all, why should you treat yourself worse than you would a friend, or even a stranger? Good luck with th continued meditation.

  • Martha says:

    Oh dear, oh dear! I certainly do have a Chatty Cathy in my head. Funny you should bring up meditating in this post because just yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about meditating. We had been in a meditation group, but I dropped out and he continued on. In fact, he is going to a 6 day retreat starting today; he is apprehensive, but hopeful. As one who can barely make it through a ONE day retreat, I am in awe of anyone who even has the nerve to commit to a week.

    And I’m with you on liking summer – I emphatically DON’T! I didn’t like it as a young woman and I don’t like it as a middle-aged woman. Being menopausal is like having summer all year round. So, now that summer’s here I’m stewing in a thousand different ways. Sorry for the rant.

    I look forward to the review of the newest Neela Vermeire fragrance. I love Mohur and Trayee. Haven’t tried Bombay Bling, but I’m sure it’s good.

  • Tiara says:

    Why yes, I do have a Chatty Cathy in my head but I think she’s taken up residence with her sister and mother as well. I’m driving more these days and I thats when they begin their harping. I’m learning to crank up the radio and sing along as that quiets them but that’s just a temporary solution. Will have to check out this book. As for hibernation, no way unless the heat index is unbearable. I love hanging out on our screened porch whenever possible. Dinner out there seems tastes better!

  • rosarita says:

    Not a fan of summer here, either. This year it’s been cool and wet, now it’s hot and wet. Cool is great but wet thick humidity sends me inside with the AC set onrrefrigerate. So! The voice in my head is always there. Sometimes music calms it down.

  • solanace says:

    The heat kinda freaks me out, and I’m happy I live in such a rainy place. As for that stupid little voice, as I’m getting older I’ve decided that I’m the dj of this freaking head of mine, and I often resort to some annoying (yet harmless) sticky little tune. Stupid to fight stupid. Works like a charm. I find long walks great to clear the head, too. Never tried meditating, though. I’m like a 10 year boy and the very idea of it makes me jumpy, so maybe I should give it a try :-).

  • Bridget C says:

    I am quite the opposite in summer. Living in the northeast you have to take advantage of the 20 days of summer we actually get! Although this year, we call them monsoons. Funny but the committee in my head is also quieter in the summer. Thanks for the draw!

  • Leathermountain says:

    I hide out from the heat. Right now I’m in my rose cave — I.e. the air-conditioned bedroom with the shades drawn and remnants in the air of Tea Rose, which I like to mist over my feet.

    • Martha says:

      Misting perfume on the feet sounds like a great practice! I will have to try it. Maybe I’ll refrigerate the perfume first.

  • Jackie b says:

    If we had bears here I would probably be one, find a cave in winter and hibernate. I try to block out that enabling voice too, my yoga teacher calls it Monkey Mind and we should just observe and not BE it.
    But when we do that meditation where you try to be aware of only numbers and count upwards I can get to about 4 and have to start again!
    Attention span of a gnat.

  • chrissyinoz says:

    It’s winter here in the land of Oz & it’s definitely hibernating season for me. That seems to amplify the VOICE…the one that tells me you don’t need to go to the gym today, go tomorrow/have a lie in. Having said that I do love this time of the year even if I find it difficult to get motivated. It’s a work in progress to quieten the VOICE but it definitely is less audible in the warmer months.

  • Fatima says:

    I’m the opposite. I love the warm weather. Everything comes alive! Everything is growing and blooming. Add a warm wind and I’m in heaven.
    I didn’t think it was possible, but the voice in my head has gotten much much quieter. i used to fight it emotionally and logically and failed. I took power away from the voice by laughing at it and not engaging it in arguments.

  • Kim B says:

    also not a fan of the heat – just makes me long for the snow (ducking now!!).
    as for that voice during meditation, i have started trying to meditate and i have found 8 minute meditation a great beginner’s book because the emphasis is to just ride over that chatty voice in your head, acknowledge it and refocus on the breathing – he calls it hook and release – and i can finally meditate!
    plus i cheat. i do the meditation before i even get out of bed. ok, so maybe it isn’t the perfect meditation setting but it is better than nothing and if i do it first thing, i stay on track.
    You can do prolonged single leg stands?? Wow, i bow in awe 🙂

  • Lavanya says:

    I’m not a big fan of the heat either. It depresses me a little. Rainy/cloudy/breezy weather makes me irrationally happy.. Hope you can quieten that annoying voice.have you tried ‘morning pages’, to help quieten that voice? Just beginning your day with just writing 5 pages of anything(let Miss Chatty have her say and then shut up)..might act as a ‘mind cleanser’?

  • Laurels says:

    I absolutely have that voice in my head, and when I take a moment to examine it, I realize it sounds exactly like my father. He (and the version in my head) have eased up a bit over the years, but I still envy anyone I suspect doesn’t have their own internal fountain of loathing.