Autumn Leaves

Hello!! My darlings, how I have missed you!  It’s been a brutal couple of months, Chez Musette, with  both my boyz dying, then the loss of the puppies, then my darling Chloe took ill and died very suddenly – yes, alas.  We think it was a lymphoma masked by Lyme’s Disease – who knows?  But she died in my arms,  quietly, in comfort and safety.  As you know I place much importance on fulfilling my covenant with these precious creatures so to be able to help ease her out of here is a great solace to me.  I wore Amouage Gold, which gave me strength during her passing.    And I lit the absolutely GORGEOUS new Amouage candle, Joy, with the heady scent of rose liqueur, amber and licorice!  to help warm the void she left.  The whole Midnight Flower collection is gorgeous but I think ‘Joy’ is my favorite.  It’s glorious lit but wonderful as well, just sitting there, sending out wafts of fragrance from the heavily perfumed wax.joycandle_540x448_1

Chloe’s leaving brought the toll to 9 dogs in less than a year.    I am beat.  I am done.  But there was a Presa in need, so we stepped up and are short-term fostering.  She is HUGE but very good.  She just wants to guard her place and her people and be loved.  At 130lbs she has part one down pat.  As a dog she has part two on lock.   So we’re good to go.  Our job is to make sure she’s adoption-ready and she’s pretty much there already.  I do not want another dog right now so this will not be a ‘foster fail’ but! just knowing we are helping give her a chance to have a good life.  I wore vintage No5 to pick her up.   She’s a doll and she is going to be a GREAT dog for someone.

that is NOT perspective.  She's HUGE!

that is NOT perspective. She’s HUGE!

After the torrential rains of early Summer we ended up in near-drought conditions.  The ground is iron-hard.  I am recovering from a couple of stress fractures in my ankle that turned into a horrible bursitis.  I used to look at late middle agers, with their hip, knee and foot gimps (“My joints are SUPPLE!”) and think ‘them’.  And even though this is repairing, I now see that ‘them’ is now ‘me’.  And I am dismayed.  But Life is Uncertain and you either push on, in whatever way you can, or it will pull you under.  I will push on, with yoga and massage and the occasional NSAID.  But it sucks.  I am out of my Manolos and in New Balance.  And…well, that sort of sucks, too.  And the iron-hard ground is uneven as hell, which means I have to walk with a staff, like Gandalf.  And my hat ain’t nearly as cool.   But I’m still walking and I’m still aboveground – so I’ll take it!  I wear a lot of Magnolia Nobile whilst wielding that stupid staff (which is just a bamboo pole – but it keeps me vertical)

And we had our first hardish frost; I say ‘hardish’ because it’s not quite the blackening/killing frost but when you come out and all the morning glory leaves are shriveled up, you know it’s heading towards hard.  My leetle greenhouse is a lifesaver- literally.  The herbs and lemon trees are going to stay in there until near-killing temps, then they come in.  It’s weird, pulling herbs and veg at the onset of a frost.  You know  the awe and wonder that comes from the first smell of bruised tomato leaf in Spring?  It has the exact opposite effect in Autumn, prompting a melancholy that always catches me by surprise, even after 50 yrs of gardening.  Lowering skies, the threat of the frost…and those last brave tomatoes and peppers, getting snatched, higgledy-piggledy, from their vines, as the sun wanes.  I think it’s the knowledge that the smell is counterintuitive to the Season, like hot chocolate in late July.

look what I found

look what I found

And, oh!  the poor little Sungold tomatoes, the ones who will not have a chance to ripen…..a bit heartbreaking.  But in the midst of clearing a 6′ stand of Autumn Asters, LOOK WHAT I FOUND!  It’s a Blue Pumpkin, the seeds of which I planted about 20′ away – I got vines but didn’t see anything, then Life intervened and I forgot about it.  Imagine my surprise when I found this at the TOP of the 6′ fence!  Delighted.  Then I remembered the line “the frost is on the pumpkin, the hay is in the barn” and I got all melancholic again.  Then I cut some zinnias, got over it and got a move on – it  gets a bit nippy out there.  These forays are best done in ‘warm-y’ scents, the ones that evoke coziness and comfort – the current iteration of Femme, in the Mighty Mouse bottle – that always makes me think of Autumn smoke and warm cinnamon rolls. Ambre Grisea – but you need a cableknit sweater for that one and the skies have to be a bit grey and windy. vintage L’Origan, but only if I’m wearing orange or pink.  See?  And you thought perfume-wearing was EASY~ A fabulous Autumn find:  Juan M. Perez’s line, The Exotic Island Perfumer. His gorgeous tuberose perfume, Flor Azteca, is the perfect accompaniment to a warm, smoky Autumn afternoon, spent pulling weeds and plotting out where the lily bulbs will go.  Donna Hathaway wrote a wonderful review of his line here.  I was going to review his line myself but she did it first – and did it better than I ever could.  So I will just add that I get a hint of vanilla in the tuberose, along with that intriguing marine note and an undercurrent of ginger, amping up the spicy warmth.  It’s definitely a keeper!  He has a little Etsy shop and is teeeeny-tiiiiny, so plan to wait for perfume, as availability permits.  However, I can say without reservation that it will definitely be worth the wait.

Totally unrelated to Perfume, but you know you wanna – at least I wanna:  I wanna show you my Autumn Present.  Typical El O.  I asked for a garden shed, big enough to store the lawn mower, my spades and some pots.  I got this:

big enough for a bus!  Or that dog.

big enough for a bus! Or that dog.


It is 12’Hx15’Lx12′ wide. With a loft!  If he works my Very Last Nerve, I can move in there!

So!  Whazzup with my beloved Posse?  Tell me what’s up for Autumn?  Are you doing the ‘nesting’ thing, clearing out closets, etc?  I dunno why they call it Spring Cleaning – come Spring I am too busy planning my garden forays to worry about the house.  I just open the windows and hope for the best. ’tis NOW that I get the house in order – and according to Patty and March I am not alone.  What about you guys?  Tell me what’s up with you!  What are you wearing?  Ana the Presa cannot hit Random – her digits are too big (she has paws like a young lioness).  So I’ll have to do it – I’ll pull somebody and send you some Fun Stuff!  


Last thing:  who else was glued to ‘Fear the Walking Dead’?  I found it much more terrifying than TWD and now Aer Lingus?  I think I’ll just hunker down over here at Chez Musette.

  • Eloquaint says:

    I am so, so sorry to hear about Chloe. We lost our sweet 16-year-old Milo this summer. Losing them is awful, and you’ve had such a year. You have my heartfelt condolences.

  • nemo says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Chloe, so sorry for your loss! It does help, though, that she died quietly and with you there. She felt the love, I am sure! I just lost my second pet (guinea pig) in the last four months, and it does take so much out of you. Your foster dog has a great smile, though 🙂

  • Tiffanie says:

    Ha! Love the big garden shed and the big doggy.

    I’m wearing and sniffing bigger scents lately like an old-ish bottle of Oscar and a new sample of Seyrig.

    WordPress choked on my first attempt at a comment here, hope this one sticks. If it’s a dupe, sorry!

  • maggiecat says:

    Oh, so hard to lose a dog, much less 9! We’re just getting ready to adopt again, after losing our last one in the Spring. The joy they bring is worth the grief when they leave us, I think. Most days.
    Fall is definitely nesting time, as we prepare to spend more time in the nest, curled up against the icy days. I’m enjoying bringing out the heavier scents – or I will as soon as I get over this #@$! bronchitis…

  • Maureen says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss this year, it does get better with time, I’ve had to put down 2 of my Labs. I also agree with Autumn nesting, although it’s getting harder as I age, especially the garden work. I love fall, the sky, the leaves, the clothes, the boots, the slightly sad thoughts of winter. (It was 27* with ice on my windows as I came out for work on Monday…YUK! ) I am wearing the last of my Bois des Iles…just ordered a spray sample of that and Bottega Venetta, have been wanting to try that for a while. NIce shed, I’m a widow, so no husband to build me one. Take care of yourself, you smell awesome!

  • Pam says:

    So, so sorry to hear about your dogs. Dogs are so special, and I still miss my beagle who has been gone for over a year. But the other two doggies keep me sane. Sorta. And the story of your injuries is like mine (substitute knee). One day and one step at a time!

  • SamanthaL says:

    Hi Musette…like everyone, I’m really sorry for all your loss this last year….it’s very good to see you post again though. I agree 100% with the Autumn nesting…I do it this time of year a lot more than in Spring. I too feel melancholy in the fall, but I love that feeling, it actually makes me happy if that makes any sense! I’ve been wearing Tea for Two, Heeley Cardinal and Filles en Aiguilles, pretty much like every year!

  • tammy says:

    Dear lady, I don’t know what to say, except I am in awe that you have made it through such gut-wrenching times so well. Be good to yourself, and enjoy the little castle that the incomparable El O is building for you! (And feel free to send him down to Arkansas when he’s through; I’d love one!)

  • Diana says:

    You’ve had quite a challenging year. I hope the upcoming fall and winter are much kinder to you. Fall has always made me feel melancholic, but since moving to IL, the season brings on a bit of dread as well because I know that winter is following soon after. This year, I’ve decided enough’s enough! and have started looking for jobs in warmer areas of the country like southern CA and TX. My first face to face interview is next week in TX. ithings work out well and I can escape the frigid tundra and be off to a land of no (or very little) snow. 🙂 In the interim, I’ll wear my Ambre Fetiche, Musc Ravageur and any other cuddly smelling samples I can get in my grubby paws, in hopes of staving off the blahs associated with falling temperatures.

  • Shirley Munoz says:

    Love comes with joy and sadness, but it is the reason to greet each day. You embraced your dogs each day of their lives with love. They were lucky to have you.

    I see you are going through a physical passage. I experienced it too at around 60. I am now 69. Have patience, it will pass as you learn how to care for your older body. Restorative exercise is key. Yoga is good as well as light weight training and if you have a gyrotonic studio do check it out, because it’s a method developed to protect your joints, and tendons. Last night, I did four rounds of sparring, my opponents are in their twenties. Stay strong, you will get through it.

    This month I had the pleasure of visiting Twisted Lily in Brooklyn, omg, I was in heaven. They carry the Unum line and many other perfumes. I bought Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d Orange, it’s sweet, light and just what I need after a workout. I have to tell you the weather in Brooklyn was dreadful and I couldn’t wait to go back to Miami, but I would brave it again to visit this store.

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Dear, sweet Musette! I loved reading about your garden. I didn’t do much with mine this year, but helped my husband pull all of the tomato vines and stakes down last weekend. A melancholy scent, indeed. We ended up with three large boxes of green tomatoes so I gave some to my mail carrier–she makes piccalilli by the bucket. I will fry some of them, to serve with cornmeal pancakes and bacon–something like that. The many small ones I made into a “tomatillo” sauce, with onions and plenty of my homegrown garlic. It freezes pretty well; I may make enchiladas this week. So lovely to read of your comfort rituals–the candle, etc. I wish my husband was more tolerant of fragrance around the house. I also like to clear out my closets in Fall! El O is to be cherished, I think. He built you a Last Nerve Refuge! Here is a [[hug]] for him! Please take care of the ankle and don’t overuse it ’til yer ready. Wearing vintage Tigress today…oh, and thanks for the link to Juan Perez’ Etsy shop, I’ll get around to trying his products eventually.

  • Heidi says:

    Losing so many dogs so quickly — how heartbreaking! It sounds like you’re pushing through in good ways though — I like how the focus on the garden and your fabulous new shed looks forward to new growth. I get melancholy when I have to pull up the garden, too. We’re moving next year, so last year I had to seed over my big garden with grass (took up too much space in the back yard for potential buyers), though I kept the herb garden because so pretty! and so yummy-smelling! But we had our first hard frost (I’m in ND) last week, and the night before, I was cutting and freezing and drying and pesto-ing what I could, and digging up the rosemary and bay to bring in. It’s cold enough here that I’m already wearing Fille de aiguilles, Ambre Narguile, and Cuir de Russie to snuggle in. Be well, and be gentle with yourself.

  • Kandice says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Chloe. You have lost too many fur babies in such a short time. And yes, I agree. It sucks getting older and having our bodies fall apart on us. But we don’t often realize how strong we are until we look back on what we’ve survived, and you are strong beyond measure. Nurture your gentle heart and know we all love and support you here. It’s great to have you back. We’ve missed you.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Chloe. That’s incredible that such a wave of death should visit your animals in one period. I’m glad you’ve been able to take comfort in the warm scent of the Joy candle, the fading beauty of your garden, a glorious garden shed/barn, and foster dog Presa.

    The blue pumpkin is beautiful. When I was a kid, we lived in Turkey for a couple of years because of my Air Force dad. They didn’t have orange pumpkins for sale in October, so we improvised with what looked like a blue Hubbard squash. My brother and I had mixed feelings about it. We weren’t sure if it really counted, but it was also kinda cool to be different. 🙂

    As for fall scents, I love autumn, and have very very happily pulled out some of my autumn favorites: Mitsouko edt, Sycomore, Bois des Iles, 31 Rue Cambon and Cuir de Russie. Wearing my leather jacket and one of those beauties makes me feel like a million bucks. My other fall score: I successfully found a cherry red Hermes perfume bottle scarf on ebay for a good price. You’ve probably seen it before in some color variation — it’s cute — Qu’Importe le Flacon.

    I sympathize with your aches and pains. I’m in the “them,” too. For me it’s my shoulder joints, which is a mystery, cause it’s not like I do anything unusual with them. I need to weed and prune back my small backyard before the hard frosts arrive. I’ve cleaned up the front yard already. As for indoors, I agree that fall is when I like to make sure everything is shipshape before the holiday season of Hallo-Thank-Mas is upon us. 😉

  • rosarita313 says:

    Hugs and more hugs, darling Ms A, I’ve thought of you often in these past months. My daughter just had to put down her big Golden on Monday and that is such awful sadness…..I’m so sorry about your beloved pets. You are wonderful for fostering and El O is the man! I covet that “shed”! As to the stress fractures and bursitis, ack you have my deepest sympathy. I’ve been back in physical therapy this fall to strengthen an ankle that hasn’t been the same since surgery to repair torn ligaments a couple years ago and now have a small tear in a rotator cuff wah wah. This getting old thing – well, it beats the alternative, and these structural issues aren’t life threatening, but what a pain in the butt! I am enjoying the heck out of Imaginary Authors Yesterday Haze this fall and now I want to check out Juan M. Perez, it’s so much fun to discover these indie lines. Don’t over work yourself, love xxoo

  • Ann says:

    Oh, darling! I am jump-up-and-down happy to see you back here, as we have missed you something fierce, but so sad about your losses; I know what a rough year it has been. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. But looking back on it all, you have loved (and comforted) magnificently and done everything you can and survived it all, and that is an amazing accomplishment and above and beyond what many folks would do. So now, I hope you enjoy Ana and your greenhouse (greencottage?), take some time to relax, and just be. Love and many hugs to you …
    P.S. I, too, am enjoying a dab o’ Gold, also Ubar, Beloved (thanks for turning me on to this beauty) and the MFK Ciel de Gum — which to my nose smells a bit vintage-y and could have come from Guerlain.

  • Debbie R. says:

    I just wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your animals. It’s happened here too, and I know what you mean about feeling “done”. It’s one of the hard things about loving many animals; you go through the loss process a lot more often.

    I agree with you that cleaning is better done in the fall….or maybe even the winter. Spring? Who has time in the Spring?

    I have been battling skin issues for the last 18 months and just now am able to start wearing some fragrance again. Even my greatly-used fragrances feel like new discoveries! :o)

  • poodle says:

    Oh not another one! I’m soooo sorry! You must be completely drained. I just had to get through the year anniversary of losing Greta and the new puppy was a nice distraction. Sadly I don’t think Mel will be with us much longer. His tumor is getting huge. He still seems okay otherwise but he’s having some issues breathing through his nose at times. We go to the vet tomorrow to see what he thinks. I’d love to have an autumn where I wasn’t watching a dog slowly die. It’s going to be an eating and drinking issue. Other than the tumor he’s fine.
    Same here, no spring cleaning for me. It just gets covered with pollen. Fall is my big cleaning and nesting time.
    You always seem to soldier on, Miss A, and that’s inspiring. When I look at Mel I think of all you’ve gone through and I know if you could get through it so can we. I have to laugh when you say you don’t want another dog just yet. I said that too and somehow there’s a 5 month old puppy asleep on my feet as I type this. Puppyhood may be the death of me. She’s the devil.

  • solanace says:

    Oh, dear Musette, I´m so sorry about your dogs. But I really appreciate your attitude. Wear great perfume and just move on. Way to go. Love current Femme, too. Warm, cozy, sexy and chic, a combo not easy to achieve.

  • Etsy link clicked. And I don’t see the Flor you mention…. (sadness…)

  • Starling says:

    I love your beautiful words and the images they bring to mind. And how about that pumpkin just hanging so sturdily from the vine on the fence…what a real gift that is! I’m sorry to read about Chloe and I’m comforted by the fact she was in your arms. I just had a two year anniversary on the 18th of my most precious Scottie Terrier’s passing and it was such a tough and tender time of memories and such incredible yearning. The pain was so great my heart felt like it might collapse. I love the new shed and it’s always better to build bigger because they just fill up so quickly. And yes, I’m spending the Fall nesting and resting while at the same time conducting a huge purging and clean-out of all things not necessary. I’m doing it in quite a bunch of detail with specific photos because yes, I will take these tax write-offs. It’s the smart thing to do. First everyone close to me who could possibly want anything at all, is quite welcome to it, free-of-charge, of course. Then whatever is left over (and oh my goodness, there is so much) is carefully documented and then donated and I’ll be doing this everyday from now through the holidays. It feels great to see it all go. And speaking of storage sheds, lol, I’ve got a commercial-size one that I’m going to tackle this Fall, as well. I’ve been paying the exorbitant fee for years and haven’t been near it for forever. Why do we hold on to stuff like this? The only thing that is precious to me are my perfumes and thank goodness they manage to occupy relatively little space. It’s a manageable enough ‘hobby’ I suppose.

  • Neva says:

    Pffff…I don’t know what to say to your stories…there’s so much going on, but you take it bravely and Ana seems to be the right remedy for those gloomy autumn days. The shed is great! I’d make it my office (well, for reading, enjoying tea and coffee and meditating :-D)
    We jumped straight from sandals to boots (and gloves) and it’s just too quick for me. It’s simply too cold suddenly. Of course I’m sorting out clothes and shoes and for the first time in my life I consider selling them, not only giving them away or leaving them at the garbage containers.Other than that – a kitten I found has left me after a month. I guess I was no good as a stepmother. And I’m looking forward to visiting my daughter who is in the US working as an intern for a whole year. I miss her much.
    Oh yes, and here’s the consolation: a smaller bottle of Dzing! I really love its warmth and cozyness.

  • Tami.H. says:

    Hope you are feeling better today ???????????? I’ll have you know I’ll be singing that James Taylor tune in my head while I fall asleep. That’s ok, I love him. Time has sort of gotten away from me the last few months, I’ve been away from home and look forward to seeing my hubby and doggies again. I’m glad you have Anna Banana there for now, she is in he best place possible.
    Been wearing MFK Ciel de Gum a lot, it’s very pretty. Wears close to the skin but that’s ok. Am also loving several scents from Euphorium Brooklyn which are available at Twisted Lily in Brooklyn. Petales and Suédois are my current favorites.