Mad Hatters, Stinky Fingers & Other Things

Before we get to that, let’s talks WINNAHS!!!!  Bruno (photo next week, I promise) had his inaugural spin and chose Solanace & Liz K!  So – my drill:  perfumeposseDOTcom (anita at) – give me your info and I will send you out some niche samples.  If you have something you’d like to try (non-vintage) pls lmk and if I have it I will be happy to oblige.

Now…a bunch of nonsense.   Patty talked about books (and no perfume).  I’mo talk about period-pieceTV and hats and Why Don’t I Have a Maid (and no perfume)

LOL!  Did you know Mercury is STILL IN RETROGRADE?  Yesh.  And what a beastly retrograde this has been.  Normally I don’t pay that much attention  to this sort of thing but this time there has been so freaking much drama  that I had to check it out.  The planetary insanity lasts through the 28th, I believe (in true Retrograde fashion I’ve misplaced my calendar)….I’m laying low until then!  Gym, yoga, walk the dog, get the eggs, go back to bed.  Unless you are Publisher’s Clearing House or DHL with a package from Graff, don’t ring my doorbell.

And it’s not only cold, it’s COLD!  That stupid Polar Vortex is BACK.  -10F tonight.  Are you kidding me?  The weatherman looks entirely too smug about this.  He needs a slap.   I’m all about slapping the messenger these days.


photo stolen:

Perfumed Nail Polish.  How did I miss this?  Revlon ParfumerieTM has a bunch of scented nail polishes in cuteCUTE little perfume bottles.   I found these at Target and was entranced.  SOOOO cute, with scents like Italian Leather, African Tuberose, Ginger Melon and a Linen one (forgot the persack name).  I figured  the Leather and Tuberose would give me the best representation of the scents.  Well.  First, lemmetellya: the colors?  DIVINE.  Solid coverage (2 quick slicks and you’re done!).  The scents?  Well, right out of the bottle, they stink like stank-ho stink.  Urrk!  Then I read the instructions!  Oh.  You have to wait until they are dry for the scent to emerge.  Oh.  Okay.   So they dried (rock-hard finish, btw).  The results:

Italian Leather – smells like:  Cotton Candy & toulene

African Tuberose – smells like: A LOT of Cotton Candy & toulene

Ginger Melon: – Cotton Candy that’s left in a jar of jalapenos?  Or maybe a jar of toulene


the worst part is when you bring your hand up to your face.  That’s when the true Better Living Through Chemistry vibe comes through.  The good  news?  It put me off my fries.  Dang.  I really wanted those fries.

Hats:  so.  Here’s my question.  Why did women stop wearing hats?  I know the whole JFK Killed the Hat Industry legend (uh, btw – no.  remember his morning suit and silk topper?  SO elegant).. but what about women?   What happened?  I’ve been watching Miss Fisher Mysteries & Poirot, both set in the 20s & 30s and…omgosh!  Hats!  hatsI was looking at photos of my mom as a young woman – the hats are so fabulous!  I know!  I KNOW!  How we fought for Freedom! (freedom!) and The Age of Aquarius and Boom Shakalakalaka and Burn that Bra, baby!….but…dangit!  Cloches! Homburgs!  Red lipstick!  Wraps! Roadsters.  Dashing!

Of course, it’s hard as hell to be dashing when it’s -10F outside and you are slipping along the sidewalk…or, in my current life…what sidewalk?   But a gal can dream, right?  Those times look good, viewed on the DVR from This Time, especially with the makeup and lighting and the soundtrack…I love the idea of ‘staff’  (this is a BBC fantasy, okay?   I am so sure that were I to go back to 1918 I would be staff, not have staff.  Alas. So let me have my butler, my housekeeper and my lady’s maid, at least in my dreams, okay?  )


But the hats!  And the muffs!  I’ve always loved those huge muffs (the ones that hang down to mid-thigh) v. the cute little figure skater bonbons – and oh, you know the stoles?  Not the capelike stoles like my mother wore but the long, wide, flat Marlene Dietrich stoles…when women referred to  their ‘furs’ it was usually because it was a whole buncha furs!  Now, I no longer wear furs and certainly would not buy a new fur for any reason other than I was being thrown out onto the steppes and it was the last thing left on the rack.  But…again with the fantasy, okay?  In my fantasy the furs just magically come into being and they are fabulous, as am I, with the lipstick and the cloche.  And I’m on my way to M. Poirot’s flat in Montague Mansions to persuade him to come down to my country house for the weekend to help retrieve my diamonds.


If you could live in a different era, which one would it be?


  • Nitasha says:

    Thank you thank you for the Miss Fisher tip – she saved me this past week laid up in bed with an awful virus! Fantastic show – completely hooked, so hard to stop and go back to work now that I’m well and YES the HATS, CLOTHES, BUTLER…ahhh.

  • LizK says:

    I just squealed so loud when I read my name I sent poor Bat shooting across the room and Leopold down the hall. Cats don’t get very enthusiastic about my winning perfume samples.
    I love hats and have quite a few that I wore when I was in my twenties (thin, young, wore nice clothes). I even forced all the women involved in my wedding to don hats for the bridesmaids’ luncheon/birthday party/excuse to have a tea party so I consider I have made an effort in the hat popularization movement. I may have cancelled out my good work in more recent years by wearing my hideous sun hat with old scrub pants and pilfered undershirts but I do always carry a hankie so that makes me classy, right? Maybe one day I will be a size nothing again and wear heels and have a proper hairstyle and I will dig out my pretty fascinators and cloches. I just went and looked and Granville Millinery Co. are still in business which is where I frequently shopped.
    I love to read but tend to re-read British mysteries and silly cozies set between the late 1800’s and about 1940 so drop me anytime in that era and I would be happy (assuming we are going with the fantasy thing and I am neither poor nor unhealthy). I am happily re-reading Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler series when on one end of the house and my Nicholas Blake collection at the other so can’t make up my mind. Maybe someone could send me to Gail Carriger’s steampunked-out Victorian England?

  • Dina C. says:

    We are kindred spirits, you and I. I am reading a Hercule Poirot mystery right now while I wait for the library to disgorge the next Louise Penny that I’ve ordered from another branch. Love good ol’ Agatha Christie.

    I also love hats and dressing up. One of the main reasons I love theater and acting is Costumes! I wore a vintage teal fascinator hat with a big white plume and teal netting along with a magenta skirt suit as my going-away outfit after our evening wedding. It was fabulous. I’m all for bringing back hats. I’d be first in line to sign that petition.

  • tammy says:

    I love hats and have tons, though I don’t wear most of them anymore. Glasses and my current hairstyle ( or lack thereof, it’s just looooooong at the moment) hold me back. But I do have a Fedora and sort of a porkpie style that I wear frequently.

    I do think changes in hairstyles had a lot to do with the demise of women’s millinery, but honestly, when you encourage people to “let it all hang out, baby” and give into every impulse you are going to have a huge loss of class in fashion and frankly day-to-day living. Women are blatantly objectified far more now than they ever were when I was a kid watching the whole Women’s Lib thing unfold, and it’s mainly women doing it.

    If I could take electricity with me, I’d like to go back to the Medieval, Elizabethan or Victorian eras, especially the Elizabethan, I think. And of course I’d prefer to be in the aristocracy, but poor people can be happy too and are often happier than wealthy people overall. I come from an unbroken line of serfs and peasants, so I’m sure I’d fit right in. Hell, we didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing til I was 8 and I still have relatives without either. If I were in England I probably wouldn’t even miss the electricity, other than not having music constantly available.

  • malsnano86 says:

    “or, in my current life…what sidewalk?” BAAAA HA HA HA!!! Yep. With you there. Ain’t no sidewalk out here. I read articles advising people to start an exercise program by “walking around your block.” Um… no block. I’m not particularly enthused about walking either down the potholed gravel drive or through the cow-pie-infested field.

    But: hats. Oh, hats. And scarves. And hankies. Love them.

    • Musette says:

      I actually have sidewalks, mals (in some places – there’s sidewalks on one side of the street until you get to the next block (which is the last block before the end of town – then you’re on your own, bay-bee) – just not right now. Right now we have the street. Which, until 4 days ago, was an ice rink. Walking to ‘town’ was an exercise in disaster. Hell, walking to the car was treacherous!

      I’d like to go back to contacts (or get Lasik) just so I could wear hats again. And earrings. As Ann said, too much going on above the shoulders (particularly with my wild-assed hair).


    • tammy says:

      Pot holed gravel drive, cow pie infested fields AND the armadillo/groundhog tunnel ridden grassy areas while dodging snakes. Country life ain’t for sissies! 😉

  • Hats, gloves, handkerchiefs–love them all. I watch really old movies for the city views (Paris, New York, Rome) and the hats. Film noir and 1950s “B” movies are great for this. And, what about those high-heeled marabou slippers one wears with the silk charmeuse robe? Okay, mebbe I am getting a little carried away. My big ol’ paddle-feets won’t go into those little sandals anyway… But now, Hats! I can wear ’em, and have quite a few.

    The first time I heard about the perfumed nail polish, I kind of thought it would be a bad idea. I don’t wear polish anyway, but that certainly wouldn’t get me interested.

    • Musette says:

      oh, me, too! I also watch for the jewelry. Random Harvest? Check out Greer Garson’s honkin’-big solitaire. SWOONALICIOUS! I love high-heeled boudoir slippers, though they are impractical for letting the chickens out. Ditto the charmeuse robe. sigh.


  • HemlockSillage says:

    You crack me up! I think Revelon should market that polish as a dieting aid. Anything that could put me off mah fries would be a good thing, yes? As for lovely clothes of bygone eras, sigh, I want to dress up like the ladies of the 40s. I love those dresses. I look goofy in hats, so you can have ’em, but I want everyday elegant dresses to come back. And I’d not mind having a ladies maid and a cook 😉 Be well!

    • Musette says:

      My Tia Cornelia (b. 1885) was the epitome of elegance, in daytime dresses for receiving callers (for real) – she didn’t have a lady’s maid but she did have a cook; on the occasions that she did cook (she would make biscuits) she would carefully remove nail polish from 3 fingers….to knead the biscuit dough. Then she would go back to the manicurist to get the polish reapplied. Sigh. I adored her!


  • Katherine says:

    I like living in this time period for the most part. I don’t cook very well. The gross smelling nail polishes sound appealing. I’m having trouble stinking to my diet. Maybe they would keep me from eating.

  • I love that show and the perfumed nail polish. I had tried another kind that came in the regular bottles with the black caps. There were smells like mango and other tropical fruits. When it dries, the smell is strong. In fact, it overpowers any perfume you are actually wearing and sometimes becomes an annoyance. I like it, though.

  • Ann says:

    What a fun post, darling! Hope you are doing well, despite the unbelievable cold (how can spring NOT be here yet?!). I am a hat person (used to wear dashing fedoras and the like in college), but now that I’m older and wear glasses, not so much — too much going on above the shoulders, I guess. But I do have a few velvet and chenille Breton hats that I wear in winter and several jaunty straw boaters for warm weather that look good on me and cover a multitude of sins. As for the era in which I’d like to live, I’m pretty happy in the present, because I am way too fond of cars, electricity (lights, heat, A/C) and comfy indoor plumbing. But if I had to choose, the ’30s and ’40s had some of that and have always appealed to me a little, save for the Nazis and the very un-equal rights.

    • Ann says:

      BTW, your description of the Revlon nail polishes had me spewing again! I saw these advertised and I thought, “Hmmm, maybe for a pedicure?” 🙂 I don’t want these putting me off my chow, ha!

  • Solanace says:

    First of all: YAY, I won the draw, thank’s Musette!
    Love this fantasy: I’d go to an entirely nazi-free Weimar Berlin. Just the philosophers, physicists, artists, bohemians. (Sigh…)

  • dinazad says:

    Ahhhh, Miss Fisher! Isn’t she great? I found out about her via a knitting blog and am hooked. To the books, that is. I’m not sure I really want to see the series. TV usually edits out a lot of interesting side characters, and the Phryne Fisher books are chock full of very strong female characters I’d miss. And I’d miss the descriptions of all the finery and of Miss Fisher lounging in a tub full of suds perfumed with Attar of Roses or the like.
    But yes, the hats! Wonderful (royal weddings on TV are also a great opportunity to get your hat fix….)!
    I’d love to live in many different eras – provided I could choose who I’d be. Or if the era in question were properly sanitized as it is for TV consumption (I always marvel at the wonderfully shampooed hair and matchless skin of various Neanderthals or Vikings on film). Because otherwise I’d probably be some slattern in hovel desperately wishing to be somewhere else.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! I know! The idea of peasantry is vastly overrated, imo! And I’m all about sanitized! I want the background music and excellent lighting, too! 😀


      • dinazad says:

        I always thought it would be great if we had the those sweet violins or that scary music to warn us of imminent falling-in-love or vampires/zombies/bad guys……

  • thinkingmagpie says:

    Oh, gosh, I love those HUGE muffs! When I was a kid, my mom bought me a white rabbit fur cape & muff and a pretty little white hat with purple flowers for the party. Darn, I was cute! lol If I can live in a different era? My first choice would be Art Nouveau – Post Edwardian era, assuming that I can be an upper class lady. My second choice is late 18th -early 19th century, I wanna go to Egypt and dig!!

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    A few things to share –
    1. I have been TRYING to bring hats back. Unfortunately one woman can only make so much difference.I only have one head.
    2. Historically women luck out in hats -at least as far as wearring rules go . If you ever get told that you should remove a hat (blah-blah reason blah) women traditionally (since oneof the French courts before the French Revolution) Women did not have to remove thier hats in public (probably because it had every chance of being interset in a very complicated wig arrangement and affixed with multiple hatpins {look up the Happ an Stans Rose Alba big bottle for an idea of the small size pins}sometimes the “hat” was a birdcage -yes -occupied-so the IDEA that anyone even Royalty would have you try to dislodge all that was just NOT HAPPENING.
    Of course these days some consideration for appropriate venue is just polite. After all nobody wants to see only half of a theatre programe they paid good money to see.But the fuss over a fedora,cloche,newsboy cap,or beret is silly.Men have and should continue to remove hats as they traditionally have (think Three Musketeers and sweepping a hat off in a bow -Johnny Depp in Pirates movies???)
    #3 Weird but true fact -Indoor plumbing has been around since Abraham’s time .Maybe a bit before.
    No -not Abe Lincolin.Father Abraham (who had Issac and Ishmael who each founded nations Israel and some of the Arab nations respectively) So hmmm about say 6000-9000 years ago? Admittedly the richest muckety-mucks were the only ones to afford it (well I read an article on Bill Gates once that said he was considering getting a underwater stereo system set up in his pool so…umm yeah )And they used clay pottery for the pipes and maintainance was probably hard (some similarity to modern days ?? And these days a lot of people use plastic pipes back then their “disposeable ” was clay.)

    • Musette says:

      I knew indoor plumbing was old – but not ‘Father Abraham’ old. Considering the Romans had it, I always wonder how it fell out of favor for so long? Did folks just forget?

      Bill Gates is a goober. There. I said it. Maybe not a perennial goober but for that idea? Yeah.

      I love bell cloches – I particularly love the elegance of the ornamentation just behind the ear. Few women look bad in a hat, imo, especially if they take the time to dress their hair to fit the hat’s design (which is why Miss Fisher looks so good in a cloche. The bob was made for that cloche (or is it the other way around?)


  • Ellen says:

    One of my absolutely favorite subjects. I have a lot of, “but only ifs,” so bear with me. If their were medicines and baths and toothbrushes, then I would choose medieval England, but only if I was a member of the aristocracy. Being just an average person would be a quick deathand a smelling unclean one at that. My second choice would be also as a member of the upper class and I would choose the Edwardian era (Downton Abbey be still my heart.). Love the clothes, the hats, the changing a million times a day etc. The problem is that to exist in another time without being in the upper classes was usually a life of unremitting drudgery. I bemoan the lack of any “dressing up” any more, but better that than some of the modern conveniences I enjoy.

    • Musette says:

      I totally agree. In fact, that is how Barbara Tuchman explains her choice of the nobleman Enguerrand de Coucy as her primary figure in A Distant Mirror, reasoning that a peasant wouldn’t have lived a long or particularly eventful life (for her purposes, anyway) – in the 14th Century.


  • Caroline says:

    Must admit that I’m not a hat person, but it is so true that people in past eras/decades were sooo much better dressed. Proper and put together. These days my idea of dressing up is putting on cords and wearing nicer boots than the ones I wear to shovel the driveway.
    If I could live in a different era, I’d pick the late 19th century…so many innovations and growth on the horizon (except for the wars, we’ll leave those out of this fantasy!)

    • Musette says:

      I like the 19th Century (sans all the icky stuff)! and honey, I am Livin’ Your Dream. I consider it a Dressed-Up Day when I am wearing a ‘real’ sweater instead of a fleece hoodie! xoxoxoA