Back to school blues (or bliss)?

back to school
(Author’s note: This post has run off and on around this time of year for a few years, and this time around, it’s as crazy as ever: back to school shopping, son’s first day as a high-school senior today — yikes, how did this happen??!!! — awaiting ACT scores and readying college applications, and last but not least, his 18th birthday this week. So I hope you all don’t mind a slightly revamped Posse rerun. Thanks!)

OK, parents: Can I get a collective “Hallelujah!!”? Or maybe a big box of tissues?

Now for those of you who don’t have children it may not matter much, but for those who do, or for teachers and school employees, it’s a big deal.

As much as we love our kids, it will be nice to get a break from the frequent refrain of “Mom (or Dad), I’m bored!” that late summer often brings. And it will be good to see them get back into a routine.

My son heads back today, and even though it may seem early, other school systems around here have already been in session since last week. One nearby school system started on Friday, July 27. HELLO, people, July??!! This feels wrong on so many levels, at least to me. (Oh, for the days of my youth when school started AFTER Labor Day!) But no matter what, that big first day will be here for everyone else before you know it.

So, here’s a look at fragrances that might work for several back-to-class scenarios:

For the mom or dad for whom summer has just gone on too long: By Kilian’s Sweet Redemption (sweet relief, perhaps?) or A Taste of Heaven.

The most delicious scent to evoke pencils: Fendi’s (sadly discontinued) Theorema

For those with little ones heading off for the first time: Parfums DelRae Emotionnelle or By Kilian’s Love and Tears (they were just in diapers yesterday, how can they be in kindergarten already?)

In the first-morning rush, Chaos to help calm the frenzy (at least for Mom).

Uh-oh, they’ve left their lunchbox, backpack, etc., at home and you’re already late for work: Sacrebleu (PdN)!

For dealing with diehard sleepyheads that first morning, i.e., “Go away, Mom, I was just having the most wonderful …” — thump! — head hits the pillow again: Montale’s Sweet Oriental Dream

When your daughter finally does get up, who will you encounter at the breakfast table: Miss Charming or Lady Vengeance?

Let’s think positive and assume it’ll be Miss Charming. To go with her carefully chosen brand-new outfit: Dior’s New Look 1947.

For the older kiddos who keep late hours and can’t seem to get up: Comme des Garcons Energy C

Speaking of teens, what might they be packing? Encens et Bubblegum, or, heaven forbid, Jasmin et Cigarette?

And with that, ahem, more mature crowd, there’s not likely to be much goodbye affection for the parental units. Take comfort in PdN’s Kiss Me Tender or Love Comes From Within.

Then when they come home that afternoon, and you ask, “How was your day? What’s going on at school?”: Jacomo Silences or Vol de Nuit Evasion will help get you prepped for the noncommittal shrug, mumbled “Nothing,” or exaggerated eye-rolling that might be forthcoming.

Getting your college-age son or daughter moved into a dorm or apartment? Heeley’s Menthe Fraiche might help you keep your cool during the heat of move-in madness.

To ease your frazzled nerves late in the day: a shot of Vanille Bourbon (Il Profumo) or Lubin’s Gin Fizz might be just the ticket.

And when it’s all over, they’re settled in and you’re heading back home by yourselves, your choice of: Jubilation 25, Vetiver Dance, Perfect Bliss or classic Joy. Or perhaps something bittersweet to help you deal with the empty or partially empty nest.

What scents put you in mind of back-to-school days? For all you school folks out there, what scent did you wear or will you be wearing on Day One?

  • malsnano86 says:

    I love this post!

    Taz will be a senior when school starts here next week. I can hardly believe it. (And with him, Silences is definitely appropriate!)

  • Brigitte says:

    This year I will be getting two off to university…same school but different move in days back to back. I might just go with some frankincense oil or lavender oil.

  • hczerwiec says:

    This is too funny! I teach, so on the first day I usually wear Chanel 19 or Bandit to convey that I am not to be messed with. Once I’ve established authority, I wear something more friendly!

  • sara says:

    If I were a parent, I’d likely wear Temps d’une Fete for their first day of school!

  • Shiva-woman says:

    So funny. I’m a teacher, community college, and I can’t stand the way the agrarian calendar was replaced by year round school. I love your choices!

  • Dina C. says:

    Ann, loved your clever perfume matches with Back to School themes. Very fun! Our 21-yr-old son is moving out this week. He’s still in college locally, but he’ll be sharing an apt closer to campus. The 18-yr-old daughter is starting college in two weeks, also locally, and still living at home. For me, the big change will be not having our lives dictated by the public school system for the first time in what feels like forever. Yay! DH and I can even plan a trip during the school year. Our summers are usually hot and humid, but this summer has been all rain all the time, so bring on fall.

  • Musette says:

    this post never fails to make me laugh! And WTH is it with this outrageously early school start? Are they trying to make up for some kerfluffle from last year? Our schools here start 15 August and it just seems…weird.

    I am fortunate that I don’t have to deal with any of that anymore. El O’s cubs are in their 30s now and Grands are far away. My biggest concern is wrangling the young man who comes to help me in the garden – gotta get my schedule meshed with his – oh, for the lazy, hazy days of summer! School schedules make work schedules look like a walk in the park!


  • Tara C says:

    No kids here, I’m with Portia! I am just desperate for summer to be over, way too hot here.

  • Portia says:

    Hi Ann,
    Every day I don’t have kids is Jubilation 25 around here.
    We are currently minding Jin’s nice and nephew for a couple of weeks. I love them, they’re pretty well trained but seriously can’t wait till they go.
    Anyone with kids full time that is doing even a halfway reasonable job is a saint and a hero.
    Portia xx