Perfume Musings : A Winner & a giveaway



Hi!  from the Frozen Wasteland of Central IL.  I know it’s colder in other places but I’m not there and as far as I’m concerned -15F is about as far as I’m wanting to go, okay?   I would’ve happily spent the last 3 Days of Horror inside but I. Have. Chickens.   Stupid Birds.  Four times a day they got let out of their coop.  Me, freezing my tuckes off, standing there with a pitcher of hot water in case they got their feet stuck to the tundra.  sigh.  5-7  minutes in -15F is okay.  Minutes 1-3 are weird.  Minutes 4-6 are getting kinda ‘iffy’.  6-10?  I’m picking up chickens and throwing them up the ramp!  And…who is dumb enough to step INTO THE WATER and then back onto subzero tundra?  I’ll give you one guess:  it starts with C and it ends with S and that rhymes with morons.

And you can forget about the eggs.  If I don’t get them as they are coming out of the bird, they’re toast.  Or the opposite of toast.  Since they’re frozen.  Frozen toast?  I just Googled ‘frozen toast’.  Um………I didn’t know they made frozen toast.  Why? Considering you still have to put it in the toaster….why not just put bread in the toaster?  What am I missing here?

Not a lot to say about perfume right now.  I’m working on a post about Orange perfumes (and I’m still eating Cuties by the bagful) so I’m a bit distracted….but here are some perfume-ish thoughts:

icecleatsPPI’m going to tie this photo into a rantlet about perfume.  Just hang with me for a minute.  Okay, so when I was in 5th grade we moved and ta-daa!  changed schools.  At St Felicitas the cool girls were, apparently, not required to wear The Dreaded Shoe Boots (aka galoshes) in the snow. They would walk to school in their penny loafers, their little Irish knees beet red in the bitter cold.  Lord knows how they could even feel their toes!  But they were the Cool Girls.  And oh, how I wanted to be a Cool Girl (yeah, Sadface).  So  I would dutifully wear my Shoe Boots ….and then, once I was away from my mother’s gimlet eye, I would stash those boots under a bush in Mrs Bradley’s backyard.  Then away I would trudge, snow in my socks, risking amputation with every step.  In my 20s I wanted to look sexxaaay!  So I wore super cute little zip up high-heeled boots, in calfskin.  In Chicago.  In February.  Miracle Toes, I’m tellinya.  I remember being in such shrieking pain, so many times.  But Nobody Cool wore snow boots.

Fast forward to now.  sqooo that.  See those boots up there?  See those bright red ICE CLEATS?  I’d wear those to meet Idris Elba.  They’re warm and the cleats keep me from falling on my ample rear.  I got ’em in RED because I. Don’t Care.  If Idris lived here he’d wear them, too!

So….the perfume angle?  Well, I still hear a lot of apology and sheepish explanation given for liking something ‘mainstream’ or ‘lowbrow’. I was going to sermonize on that but Tama Blough beat me to it.  She says (and I agree)  No Snobbery.  What is it about our species?  Not 3 minutes after something beautiful or joyful is discovered, there is a cadre of folks who want to qualify and quantify it.  We don’t judge on the Posse – can I just tell you?  I can’t count the times I’ve followed some woman down the grocery aisle, sniffing like a Bluetick…and then I find the perfume I’ve been loving is that damn Britney Spears Fantasy.  After the 4th or 5th time I got completely over myself.  I like it.  It smells GOOD!  So love or hate, it’s fine – but do so for real, okay?

Oooh!  Marooned the entire weekend.  So cold I can’t even open the freakin’ curtains!  What’s a gal to do?  Make BREAD!  I rarely eat bread..but when I do, it’s homemade, with a crispy crust and hot out of the oven, soaked in buttah!  breadAnd the smell?  O.M.G!!!  It took a full day to rise and I rushed the second rise but …O.M.G.  This, my friends, is the reason the Universe made Unsalted butter.







Okay –  I need to get back to my Orange post (I dunno how Patty does these.  It’s HARD WORK!).  But before I leave – here’s the winner from the New Year’s Post:  Sarah!  C’mon DOWN!  lmk where to send some samples: anita (at) perfumeposse (and we’re ‘com’ – sorry for all the drama but I get at least 300 spams a day)

The restayouse?  Let me know how you’re coping in the Polar Vortex or, if you live somewhere that is Vortex-free, make us jeally!  Australians!  Talk to me of heat waves!  And ocean waves .  If you live in Minneapolis, do you still have your extremities?  – 20F?   What the hell is up with THAT?   Carmine is in the mood to poke the random button again. And I have samples – again.  Would love to do a giveaway.


oh!  One last photo:  see, this is how things happen here.  One day it’s 40F and you have some old Avon bottles on the railing outside…next day….fooom!    And  no, they did not freeze!iceperfume

  • JMR says:

    We’ve had some extreme cold weather, but the last couple of days indicate that the worst is behind. Today is actually lovely and the partner-in-crime and I had brunch on the patio. 🙂

  • Still open? Can I join this weather discussion? I am in central Slovakia – and we have very unusual winter this year. We are told that in few hours real winter will reach this place but till now we have had very pleasant weather with temperatures over zero all days long (degrees of Celsius of course.:-) what is completely different since usually temperature during nights used to drop to minus 20 degrees. This winter broke many thermal records. I took some pictures during Christmas and New Years day with flowers outside – something unbelievable for our latitude!

  • Shira says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! I once saw a Canada goose frozen stuck in the middle of the Charles River in Boston. They had take a boat out and break the ice and set it free. I guess some geese are about as smart as chickens.

  • Janet in California says:

    Mmmm, that bread looks delicious! Living in central California we usually don’t get too warm or too cold. We had had almost no rain this year so the summer may be brutal with water restriction and fires.

  • Maren says:

    Yup, in chilly Minneapolis here, and your post had me laughing for sure. Reminds me about the pair of of awful red rubber boots I had as a kid and hated. They “oops” “accidently” were found in the bonfire we had going at the ice skating rink. I still feel a bit bad about how naughty that was! Stay warm everyone, the weather will change, and meanwhile I do get a bit of pride of being so hardy and surviving how cold it is. And it does help to wear some perfume that helps me zen out about the cold!

  • Elena says:

    Whoo! We have been dreading walking our dog. He’s not enjoying it either, he’s a poor skinny guy (ex-racing greyhound) with about 4 oz. of fat on him and not a whole lot of fur, even with his little jacket it’s miserable. Thank goodness we’re about done with this weather. Love the fireplace though!

  • Barbara says:

    Marooned here in MI for the last three days! Must be getting cabin fever because I had a mental image of you feeding Idris Elba cuties in those boots! Heck, I’d do that!

  • FearsMice says:

    Avon: It’s Indestructible.

    The photo of the bread has me salivating. Must go bake something NOW!

  • leathermountain says:

    That last photo made my day!

  • Mary K says:

    I’m in the Minneapolis/St Paul area and I am hibernating as much as possible in order to deal with the extreme low temperatures. I’ve worn scents that make me think of summer in order to cope with things. Today i have on D’Orsay Tilleul.

    I also do not worry about boots too much; I wear my Uggs everywhere and do not change into shoes once indoors.

    Loved hearing about the chickens. Neighbors on the other side of the block from where I live have chickens, and in better weather, they escape wherever they’re confined and occasionally I see them in my yard nibbling on green things.

  • Claudia D. says:

    Definitely vortexing here in northeast Ohio. Our community has had it better than some nearby that lost power or heat! But Clevelanders are tough. We can handle just about anything! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Kandice says:

    As always, your post made me smile – both the chickens and the boots! Also, thanks for sharing the link to Tama’s post. It was a great article. And I can’t wait to read your orange post. Orange is one of my favorite notes!

  • ScentsibleOne says:

    Growing up in Chicago, I was relieved to read that I wasn’t the only one who caved to what the “cool girls” did. I used to walk about 6 blocks to Catholic high school in a windbreaker (school logo, natch), saddle shoes and bobby socks all winter long. After that, working downtown, I’d trudge in heels all day long although I do remember a cool pair of boots I did wear taking the bus to and from work in the snow. Now? fashion be damned, I’m staying warm and staying upright.

  • Tiara says:

    So happy to have zero animals these days. No dog to take out into the cold, no cat hair balls to clean off the carpet. Thought I’d be sad (and I was for about a week), but now I am quite content. Grandchildren have been filling the need for snuggling. While I’d love to have the fresh eggs, I’m OK with swinging by a local farm for those versus taking care of chickens. Of course that doesn’t make me self-sufficient, but we can’t have chickens here anyway.

    Loved Tama’s piece. YES! Why be a snob? Thankfully we all love different things. Can you imagine the cost of a bottle of perfume if we all loved the same one? Hello supply/demand.

  • Elizabeth Watson says:

    Loved this post–your stories always cheer me! I envied the Cool Girls, too, but never achieved Cool Girl status myself. So I adopted a music-nerd identity instead, with a dark & twisty side. Having grown up near Buffalo, NY, I think I habituated to the cold early on. What I cannot stand is the DRYness of my skin and nasal passages when it is this cold. And hangnails…oww.

    Wearing Iris Silver Mist today, a relatively new one for me.

  • edpgypsy says:

    Your post made me smile 🙂 But it also made me rethink getting chickens! Hubby would take care of them, but what if he were busy? Then I would possibly have to go out in the cold!!?
    Luckily here the temps are in the 30’s right now. I can handle that. It’s when you take away a digit that I start complaining.
    Stay warm and safe everyone!

  • wefadetogray says:

    The cold here in NYC is insane. there is not snow tho or just the dirty remains of past snow. I do love the cold weather better than the hot one. I have no patience for humid NYC in the summer. These past few days I have been wearing Ambre Fetiche and it has worked its magic against the cold. I am surprised those perfumes survived the snow. Your chicken stories are too funny.
    Thanks for sharing

  • susan says:

    I didn’t move to Texas to deal with this cold. *grumble grumble*

    Looking forward to your ORANGE post! ORANGE is one of my favorite notes. I got Orange Star for Christmas!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    It’s still cold here in Cleveland but much warmer than the negative temps that we have been dealing with for the past couple days. Thus far, I have dug out the bottle of CK Obsession that I got in the mid-90’s and have been wearing it. I’m thinking that people are knocking it a little too much. It’s a great perfume when worn in small doses. As of now, I’m waiting for two packages to arrive from Amazon. I’m still not going out even though I need some milk. I hate rationing stuff like that but I’m not going to freeze my butt off to get to the grocery store.

  • Michelle says:

    Ah, another hilarious & lovely classic Musette post! I’m in St. Paul & haven’t left the house since Saturday. School was cancelled here the last 2 days & I finally have to get my butt back to work.

    Loved your winter footwear stories! I’ve lived here my whole life and can definitely relate. As soon as snow hits the ground here, I wear my Sorel Joan of Arc’s (love!!!) all day long. These look very cute on skinny young things, but don’t do much for my abundant and overflowing pear-shape. Don’t care!

    In my younger years, I’m surprised I didn’t freeze to death. In late elementary, I should have worn moon boots and down jacket with hat and mittens, but we wore Nikes and those thin little school/bar jackets & walked to school ~ 10 blocks. High school was even worse. We’d go out late late on the city buses in our dark-sidey lingerie, fish nets and knee-high stiletto heeled-boots and stay out all night to be near the “scene” in uptown mpls. Crazy! Now I get to see my teenage daughter learn the same life lessons. Good times.

  • AnnieA says:

    Exactly the same as usual over here in Vancouver for January in short 7C and rain for what will be weeks on end. Ah well.

  • Dana says:

    I do enjoy your chicken exploits! My husband would love to have chickens, too. After hearing your stories, I’m not so sure. Freezing in Cleveland and tired of being in the house, so I’m heading out today to run various errands. Having something to look forward to like winning samples would be the highlight of my week. Winter doldrums have set in. Wow!

  • mals86 says:

    My jaw dropped: THEY DIDN’T FREEZE? None of them li’l bottles froze at all? Wow. (Sort of reminds me of the story of the Soviet guide taking tourists into Siberia and telling them stories about the cold while standing in front of a roaring bonfire… he pulled out a bottle of vodka, poured a toast, and gulped his down – forgetting that vodka will stay pourable at subzero temps. The shock of it stopped his heart.)

    Just last week we let our orphan calf we’ve been bottle feeding out into the big field with all the other cows with calves, so we didn’t have to go outside at all yesterday in the -17 wind chill. Stayed IN THE HOUSE in front of the fireplace. Drank hot cider. Here in the mountains of Virginia, we get all four seasons (I had a college friend from New York who was astonished to find that we got snow in Virginia)… which means that not only do we get the lovely changes plus actual spring and fall weather, we also get the crap. Humidity and upper 90sF in July and August, snow and ice and wind in January and February. But we wouldn’t move, even were it possible to pack up a 450-acre farm and slide it across country to, say, San Francisco.

    Okay, so I’ll admit to the occasional snobbery: I don’t like most of B&BW’s offerings, though there are a few of them I’m devoted to… I hate everything Britney’s put out… I hate Cashmere Mist with a vengeance. I have been known to sneer at fruity gourmands. On the other hand, I have actually smelled them, and I like to think that my Ewww Factor is based on the smell. And a lot of upscale-priced stuff is dreck, too. But hey – B&BW Dark Kiss is pretty awesome. (So of course they discontinued it. 🙁 )

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Thanks for the chicken stories, they are the highlight of my morning! I totally agree with you about “liking what you like”. Just yesterday Victoria over on Bois de Jasmin admitted liking Pink Sugar ( a guilty pleasure of mine, as well) and I gave her a big “atta girl!”. Life is hard enough without all of us judging each other. Every day I try to remind myself to just be me and be happy – not always easy. Can I ask, what were Avon bottles doing on your porch rail???

  • Martha says:

    That bread looks heavenly. Another good thing to do with great bread is soak it in great olive oil. YUM!

  • rosarita says:

    Oh, you are so funny! Poor you, dealing with recalcitrant chickens in this weather…. I haven’t left my house since Saturday – we got a ton of snow that’s now ice, and I’m taking no chances with The Knee. A nurse at my ortho’s office had a partial knee replacement the day before I did; she fell on the ice last week and dislodged the implant…. scares me to death. Stay warm, doll.

  • zazie says:

    I love your “chicken stories” they never fail to make my day!
    (Which isn’t particularly cold, BTW… ;))

  • Ann says:

    Oh, darling, the things you do for those girls! Do they realize how lucky they are to have you? Love the boots and your bread looks divine. And hear, hear, I say on no judging when it comes to perfume — you like what you like and it’s all all right. Hugs to you and stay as warm as you can. This, too, shall pass …

  • Mrs. Honey says:

    Record cold here for now, but we are going back to record heat. 82F is the predicted high for Saturday. That is the reason people come to Florida.

  • Well, the weather is nice here Musette, the pool warm and perfect for swimming. The Perfume Room painted, most of the Cull done and nearly ready to put up a sale doc. I hope you are all OK in the cold. BRRRRRR
    Portia xx

  • Elia says:

    Great looking bread!!
    We’ve had nice sun, and I’ve been seaside to enjoy it, but it is overcast today. Movies and perfume then.

  • masha7 says:

    OK, I’m a wimpy Floridian, but drat it’s cold here! I actually got to wear my puffy coat from Europe yesterday. And sneakers! 45F may seem balmy to many, but to us subtropicals, it’s The Day After Tomorrow….
    You get big points with the Big Guy/Gal for taking care of those chickens. And thanks for the bread porn, now I must bake…. How long have you been baking bread? You’ve got talent, girl.
    Stay warm!

    • Musette says:

      it’s all relative, babydoll! 45F in August here would have us rushing for sweaters, too! I rarely bake bread but this one is just so fabulous – and so easy. Anybody can do it, provided they have (along with the basic ingredients) a Dutch oven than can withstand 500F and some parchment paper. I’ll post the recipe.


      • Lynne Marie says:

        Yes, please – I’ve been having bread envy ever since I saw that gorgeous picture!! And right now in VT it is 6 degrees. So. done. with. winter.

  • Dina C. says:

    Brrrr…those chickens are so lucky that they have you! Man that sounds icy cold. Our household just has one hamster who is a cutie and easy to care for. Here in Virginia we are vortexing, too. I slipped and fell in the post office on melted snow (what a klutz!) and bruised up both knees, so I can attest that a person isn’t even safe indoors. 🙂 Your bread looks delicious. I’m looking forward to the Orange post when it’s ready. Thanks for the drawing for samples!

  • poodle says:

    Glad you posted this. I was wondering about those chickens in this weather. I’m freezing along with you. The wind chill is currently -18°F here. Have you noticed how many different sounds your house makes when it gets that cold? Mine is creaking like it never has before. I’ve got ice cleats too. I’d rather remain upright than flat on my back on the frozen tundra. My footwear choices are more about comfort and practicality than fashion, especially in winter.

    • Musette says:

      oh, Poodle! Crap. -18F STILL? It’s warmed up to 14F here and you would think we were at the County Fair in September! LOL! Folks at the grocery store, strolling through the parking lot. STROLLING! No hat! some with NO GLOVES! Everybody smiling…..

      …’s all relative. You’ll see. Wait until your neck of the woods warms up to a balmy freakin’ FOURTEEN! LOL!


  • Sarah K says:

    I cannot believe those bottles didn’t freeze! Hope you and your chickens stay warm and safe.

    • Musette says:

      I know! Crazy, innit? They got buried in the snow, then the extreme cold…but maybe the snow provided some insulation?

      I’m skeered to spritz them, though 😮


  • Laurels says:

    Frozen eggs? Do they crack? It’s nice enough here in California, but it can get below freezing at night. I’ll have to ask my Dad what they did with the chickens on freezing nights when he was a kid.

    • Musette says:

      they don’t lay at night (or they shouldn’t) so if you get the eggs in quickly during the day you should be okay. But at -15F what the hell does ‘quickly’ mean?

      They don’t crack until you crack them. And then it’s just weird.


  • jilliecat says:

    I wish you wouldn’t make me laugh, as it hurts my back! In fact, you have been on my mind every day for over a week as I damaged by stupid back by lugging a giant bag of bird seed (dratted birds); all I could think of through the pain was that you described the agony so well! I hope you are being careful with yours, especially when heading out into the snow and ice. Mine is improving, thank goodness, but not helped by reading something as funny as your post!

    • Ann says:

      Oh, you poor dear! As we all well know, back trouble is horrible. Glad to hear you’re getting better and hope you’re back to normal soon.

  • Irina says:

    hope all of you “vortexed” stay warm and without harm
    My “winter” is at 16C at noon and 8-9 durring the nights-
    Jeally, now..?
    thanks for the draw

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Musette,
    If I am the Sarah that’s lucked into the New Years giveaway I AM THRILLED,
    My email is [email protected]. Either way, stay warm Musette.

  • Solanace says:

    Hey Musette,

    You made me laugh with your boots! It’ so awful to be young and obsessed with everyone’s opinion, but when we finally get cleverer our back starts hurting… Stay warm!

  • Jackie b says:

    Mmmm I could demolish that bread right now!
    I am not sure what those ice cleats are, but walking like the Cool Girls made me think of a photo recently dug up by a school friend, of me in a very fetching kilt complete with safety pin and a daggy mustard jumper And knee socks and penny loafers.
    Mothers have a lot to answer for!

    • Teri says:

      Jackie, I had that same outfit…kilt with pin, knee socks and penny loafers. Wore mine with a cardigan sweater, though.

      • Musette says:

        Are you kidding me? That was the EPITOME of ‘cool’. Colleen Corby wore one in Seventeen magazine in the 60s and within 2 weeks every girl, from 12 to 22, had a kilt. Or they were in tears.

        Ice cleats – those little red rubber thingies on my boots have steel pins on the bottom so you can walk on snow and ice without slipping (or without slipping overmuch). Very useful.


  • Ellen says:

    I just laughed so hard at what you wrote, I practically fell off my chair. I’m in coastal Carolina and it was below freezing this morning. Twenty degrees overnight and everyone was panicking, except those of us formerly from the north.

    • Musette says:

      funny how what one area of the country just pooh-poohs, another freaks out over – I remember a friend from the north having a near heart attack when she got caught in a hurricane, while the native Carolinians were cautious..but not freaked. xoxoxoxA

  • Jennie says:

    I can’t even imagine how people cope in extreme cold, but I’ve seen pictures from the US on the news and it looks dreadful. Our recent heatwave has thankfully abated after a doozy of a storm, so its back to normal 30-odd degree C summer temps in sub-tropical Brisbane.

    Musette my sister keeps chickens – it may amuse you to know that she has been freezing big blocks of ice in her freezer to put in the chook pen so the birds can cool down in our heatwave!

    Maybe you could try some perfume with a bread note?

    • Musette says:

      Jennie, we’ve done that in extreme heat as well. If it’s not one thing, it’s another!!!
      Interestingly, I’ve never really liked bread notes – love the smell of baking bread, though!


  • Chelsea says:

    See now that’s why I’m worried about getting chickens. I’m on the west coast of Canada so it doesn’t get that cold, not much below freezing. But still cold enough that their water will freeze. I have the feeling I’ll just end up bringing them inside to the dog crate.

    A few years back we were living in the interior where it gets cold cold. And we had a puppy. I remember walking her one day when it was -15f and it hurt to breathe it was that cold. She decided to go for a swim! I guess Chessies are really well insulated because she was perfectly happy.

    Anyway, it might be cold but at least the days are getting longer.

    • Musette says:

      You can get (or make (check Grit magazine) a heated waterer. Even at its coldest we didn’t have much issue with the water.

      Water dogs are nuts! You wouldn’t catch a self-respecting Rottie in sub-zero water! LOL! xoxoxoA

  • Spiker says:

    I’m over in northern Indiana, so just about the same miserable weather as you’ve had in Illinois. I’m even more thankful for the cats now. I knew if I had a dog I’d need to walk it, but it never occurred to me the chickens would need out. Litterbox duty is a lot more appealing now. Good luck and remember it will be warmer by the weekend.

    • Musette says:

      You guys got it even worse, with the snow, didn’t you? I thought I read that pretty much the entire state was CLOSED! Yeah, since the coop is small, with an enclosed yard, they usually are out in the daytime, with the option to return to the coop anytime they want. However, at -15, leaving even the small door open was ‘iffy’…and then, what to do if one of them was in distress? If I wasn’t out there, it might awhile and I might come out to a limbless (or dead) chicken! Hence the monitoring. xoxoxoA

      • spiker says:

        What a good chicken wrangler you are! I’d worry about the fluffy little things too. We got about a foot of snow here, and yep, combined with the bitter cold it closed everything. They even closed the streets, ticketing drivers foolish enough to venture out there before noon on Tuesday. Things are getting back to normal now. I hope the rest of your winter goes well, and do please keep us all updated on the chickens.

  • Scott says:

    The funniest post I’ve read all day. Thank you for making me laugh, and for reminding me why I moved away from Maine to sunnier climes in San Francisco. I will try to remember the Arctic Vortex of Pain the next time I get nostalgic for Down East.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! you know, I never think I am funny but I am thrilled you guys get a laugh out of my posts! Hmmmm……Maine v. San Francisco. No contest for this reptile! I’d be in SF so fast…… xoxoA

  • Rina says:

    Great post my dearest Musette! I’ll start with the jeally post…here in sunny SoCal, we’re Sunny and 75 (LURVE that song!) most days, but the evenings are cold (40’s..yeah, I can hear the collective eye roll). You all are my hero, I cannot imagine how you do it. Thankfully, perfume makes it all better….

  • Nemo says:

    I always enjoy the chicken stories, thank you for sharing! I always wondered what you were supposed to do with them in the wintertime 🙂 Do they have a heater? Are their feathers sufficient insulation in the coop? Also, your loaf of bread looks absolutely scrumptious and it would be awesome if you could post the recipe!

    • Musette says:

      Winter isn’t usually this absurd – the goal is to get them acclimated to the cold, so the coop, in general, is not insulated. 8 chickens in a small coop is, in general, insulation enough. But minus-15? there is NO insulation for minus-15.

      I will post the recipe in my next post! It’s super-easy!