All Summer in a Day….and winners

DSCF2322Summer in the Midwest is always so strange.  We start out either blistering hot or freezing cold.  This year we got lucky – a cool ‘real’ Spring meant I got to enjoy the gorgeous lilacs that abound in this area – older than my parents, those bushes kept their fragrant blooms for almost a month.  Heavenly.

mercy 2

Summer Creepy

Now we’re into Summer.  Never mind what the calendar says.  It’s been Summer-with-a-capital-S it’sHOT!!! for awhile.  Today was 90F, which is ridiculous.  But there it is:  Summer in the Midwest.  I don’t want to talk about perfume because the only thing I’ve been smelling lately is dirt and linden blossoms – both wonderful scents but I can’t think of anything else to say about them.  I want to talk about sound.  There is a sound that accompanies an extremely hot weekday in the Midwest.  It’s always been around, more obvious  in suburban or rural settings…but it exists, even in big cities.  It’s the absence of sound.  And to me it marks the beginning of Real Summer.  It’s the stillness of a Catholic church facade on a Tuesday morning, with every carving and statue thrown into high relief, it’s almost as if the church is asleep, awaiting Sunday morning.   I drove past several churches today and every single one of them had that stillness, with doors closed against the heat and the weekday.  Schools now take on that vacant look – I remember the weird feeling I used to get when I would walk past Mercy High school on a Summer’s day; it just felt weird, as if I’d been caught peeking in a neighbor’s bedroom window.  Occasionally there would be a caretaker around the grounds but somehow that only heightened the feeling of soundlessness.

And what is it about lawnmowers?  How can they, noisy things that they are, contribute to that soundless Summer feeling.  My neighbor runs his mower twice a week (that’s his grounds above) and the moment he shows up on his rider I slip into a soundless fugue state.

So.  Obviously I’m wrong.  It’s not soundlessness.  Could it be that there are sounds specific to a hot Summer’s day?  The hum of the mower, the squee-squaw of swings in the park…do shadows in high relief have a sound?


Hmmm….too hot to figure it out.


But not too hot to FINALLY! get to the winners of the Amouage Journey draw!!!  Lawdamussy!  I have at least 438 excuses, none of which you care one whit about.  YOU WANNA KNOW WHO WON!

And so I shall tell you!


The winners of the Amouage Journey woman samples are:



The winners of the Amouage Journey man samples are:



I’m not usually gender specific on perfumes but on this one I really do want to see what the guys think of Journey Man & the women’s views on Journey Woman.  Drop me a line at anita AT perfumeposse dawt CAHM (good grief but it’s getting harder to evade the ‘bots)…tell me what you won and where I should send it – and send it I shall!

  • Kismet429 says:

    I am very late to this party (work has been cray-cray), but have been thinking about summer sounds ever since I read this wonderful post. Several are just my favorite outdoor sounds–a far-off train whistle, the diesel engine of the yellow bi-plane that flies over the house, church bells, and clock chimes. (I used to live in a neighborhood where the church bells were the Westminster chimes–OK, they were recorded, but it still gave the ‘hood that charming English village feel.). In the summer there are the birds–especially the Barred Owls with their nighttime barks and calls of “who cooks for YOU?!” and the drumming of the woodpeckers. And of course the garden sounds of lawnmowers and hissing sprinklers and of course the cicadas, crickets, and frogs.

  • Tara C says:

    Living in downtown Montreal, summer sounds like people having picnics in the park, street sweeper and garbage trucks going by, the whir of bicycle wheels, and loud music from cars stopped at the light below my balcony with their windows rolled down. And there are people out all the time, all night, all summer. The hushed silence comes here in the wnter, when we’ve just had a heavy snow and everything is muffled and still.

    • Musette says:

      But do you ever turn a corner, Tara, in the middle of the city, in extreme heat…and find the whole block sort of…silent? I used to come upon that in NY all the time – but only in that high summer heat. I worked just off 65th & Lexington and it was just weird…an entire block of…silence. Of course, it wouldn’t last…but it never was apparent except in that high heat. xoxoxoA

  • Mary K says:

    I live in MN and agree with everything on all of the Midwest summer sounds. Sometimes I just like to sit outside and do nothing but take it all in.

    And regarding moths, I caught a couple of clothes moths indoors recently and let them loose outside. Not sure how they got in, but they should be happy outdoors.

  • solanace says:

    Best thing in Summer for me is watching the stars for hours at a dark, wild beach, just listening to the waves. Love the sounds of the ocean and fully associate them with Summer and childhood vacations – probably because I have always lived (way) inland. And yes, spotting fireflies into the forest is beautiful! But in my house what actually happens during summer is an invasion of all sorts of moths, because of the jasmine bush. (And I have to pretend I´m not afraid of them, because of the kids.)

    Having so much fun with my samples, Musette! Ambra Profumum is the best amber I have ever tried, even FB worthy. I will surely explore this line further. And Bois d´Argent is like a premium Dior Homme, such a nice iris!

    • Musette says:

      Don’t be afraid of moths! Mothra, yes. Regular moths, no. And I’m so glad you’re enjoying those samples!!!! It’s fun playing with perfume, isn’t it!!! xoxoxo

  • malsnano86 says:

    I was just thinking about summer sounds yesterday! I was hanging clothes on the line and there was a mourning dove. And cows walking through the pasture, munching away. And a woodpecker in the nearby patch of trees (it’s too small to be called a wood on its own). Lawnmowers, cicadas, crickets. And the spring peepers, which don’t only call in spring around here…

    Where we used to live, in town, we were two blocks from one of the recreation fields, and the sound of kids yelling as they played is such a wonderful summer sound as well.

    That Ray Bradbury story, All Summer in a Day, has haunted me since I first read it, in an English lit textbook in 8th grade.

    • Musette says:

      those sounds are all so beautiful. I’ve been too busy and too beat to hang clothes out but next laundry day I hope to do so. Now there’s a smell! xoxoxo

      and you won! YAY!

  • teri says:

    As a born and bred Midwesterner, I grok this completely. My family always referred to that heavy stillness, usually accompanied by equally heavy humidity, as ‘corn growing weather’ and would swear that if I’d sit quietly in the cornfield long enough, I would be able to hear the corn growing. While I don’t remember ever hearing the growth process, I do remember the sound of a rare breeze stirring the corn plants with that distinctive swoosh, definitely as others have said, the sound of the cicadas lazily advertising for a date, the banging of screen doors, the hissing of sprinklers, and the oh-so-welcome tinkle of the ice cream truck.

    • Musette says:

      I thought about that ‘growing’ yesterday, too, as I was driving through the cornfields. It’s a gorgeous white noise, isn’t it? xoxo

  • Lynley says:

    That’s exactly the sound of summer. And the cicadas. When I was little I would lay on our trampoline in the backyard and listen to the lawnmowers on a Saturday morning- those endless days of carefree summer. And we had and old creaky swing too. My mum has asthma and I still remember cuddling up to her and listening to her quietly wheezing, reminding me of that swing. Even now over 30 years later I still think of that sound.
    I love how seasons have sounds. Magpies cawing are cool autumn mornings, and the swoosh of traffic on wet roads the beginning of winter, then the wind howling through trees. The timelessness of those things are such a timeless meditation.

  • Tiara says:

    I’m with Carlene. It isn’t until the cicadas begin, along with the crickets, that I feel summer is here. We have several different broods in these parts plus some who don’t seem to care what year it is. And while they’re silent, I love the appearance of lightning bugs. There is a hush of summer that I never thought but you’re right. It’s there.

    • Musette says:

      I saw my first firefly last night (isn’t there a geographical schism where X parts of the country say ‘firefly’ and Y parts say ‘lightning bug’. It’s noisy as all getout right now – but it’s 8a and the birds are HUNGRY!!! xoxoxoA

      • odonata9 says:

        I think Maryland must be near the divide – I use both equally! And now that I am in San Diego, I don’t get to see them any more and that makes me extremely sad. My husband (from SD) had never seen them before I took him back to the east coast several years ago. He was so entranced. We sat out and watched them every night and he tried (mostly without success) to photograph them.

        Sounds of summer just make me think of droning/humming sounds- cicadas, AC, lawnmowers. That stuff is easy to tune out.

        • Musette says:

          they are magical, aren’t they? And I agree with the droning/humming…it’s actually very restful, like when I ride over the airplane wing – the drone of the engines puts me right to sleep.. xoxo

  • poodle says:

    Today looks to be the hottest one we’ve had so far. It rained overnight so it will be even more humid I’m sure. Other than noise from the nearby highway, my neighborhood is almost always quiet. I love to sit outside and enjoy the weather but I swear I’m the only one who does around here. I never hear or see anyone. What are these people doing I wonder? When I do hear lawn mowers and such it’s usually a landscape service. I love the chattering of the birds during the summer and the sound of the sprinkler.

    • Musette says:

      Everyone here has vowed to NOT bitch about the heat, since we had such a brutal Winter. But I agree with you – where all de peeepuls izz? They are inside, in AC. Which is hysterical. I sat outside last night and just looked at the bark on the tree in the next yard. That tree must be 100 yrs old. It’s gorgeous! xoxoxo

  • taffyj says:

    I’m not particularly fond of the sounds of summer. For me, they are mosquitoes buzzing at my ears, construction everywhere (The Big City), and those dang blasted leaf blowers, which send me to the moon (and not in a good way). I once called my Alderman’s office and held the phone at the window, so that the sound of the leaf blower could be recorded on his voice mail.
    Winter is so much quieter!

    • Musette says:

      I used to love Summer in the city but it is noisy (I drove my alderman insane with the sounds of the beer garden SPEAKERS across the alley from me. I was fine with the white noise of voices but if you want to get your DJ on, go inside. Eventually they enclosed the entire thing, I sold my building and everybody was happy). But the sight of people sitting on terraces and sidewalk cafes, enjoying the weather….yum! xoxoxoxo

  • carlene says:

    Wait until the cicadas get here, to me *that’s* the sound of a midwest summer.