When Life Hands You..

Yesterday it was 54F, sun BLAZING!  The Girl and I spent the bulk of the day in the garden doing garden-y things (cutting back peonies and weird suckers, etc, sitting there staring at each other and the light)..  in between times we took several nice walks and reveled in the sunshine.  I have (gasp!) DAFFODILS trying to poke their heads out of the ground.  Crazy, beautiful weather.  I wore Pamplemousse Rose.  That warm, sparkly citrus was perfect for a faux-Spring day, while also giving a nod to the onset of Citrus Season.


Today?  Gale-force winds, 30s and a mizzling rain; you know the one where, even if you are wearing a turtleneck, that ONE raindrop manages to roll down your neck and freeze you to the marrow?  Yeah.  that one. I hope those daffodils will think better of it and go back to bed.  For some reason, the sudden downward change in temps resulted in a low-level, skritchy rage – I feel like a dragon or a griffon… or a T-Rex.  Or maybe all 3.  No particular reason- probably a lethal cocktail of menopausal flux, weather, lockdown-lite, weather… did I mention weather?  I dithered about my choice of perfume – first I was thinking Mitsouko, then I realized that was an invitation to a ride in the back of a SWAT van… or an ambulance.  Donna Karan Gold was my 2nd choice and I reached for it, prepared to spray…. then I remembered that there is a rotting-fruit note therein that, normally, intrigues me (I think it’s the lily and amber combination..?).  Well, today it was catastrophic!  At first sniff I could feel my teeth sharpening and extending…. wth?  NOTHING is going on to make all that drama – but… welp!

yeah, this

So back to the mirror tray went DK Gold.

No 5 was the next option but even in my whirling state I knew that being in the same room with a hefty slug of 5 would result in me breaking something – or someone.  She’s my battleaxe – but she’s also That Friend who always instigates crap, y’know?  ‘oh, c’mon… look at the LOOK on his face (regarding some guy in the grocery who is just wanting to get some bacon)… you could probably take him out with a pork loin.  C’mon… he probably deserves it’

Buh-bye, 5.  I’m not going to jail behind your Crazy.

I couldn’t go commando because  Must. Wear. Perfume. But just trying to choose was freaking me right the hell OUT!

Until I stumbled upon Arpege (well, not really stumbled – it’s sitting right there on my dresser, in a basket of about 11 iterations)… I realized that, on its own, vintage Arpege extrait had a few too many teeth… but vintage Arpege extrait layered under vintage Arpege edt and then, after all is settled down a bit, a quick spray of the lemony  (almost Lemon Pledge) current Arpege ?  Just sublime.  It was a bit of a counterirritant, with the  lemon blurring the vintage just enough that I kept wondering what I’d put on!  A really pretty combo, though.  And it settled me right down.  Or maybe that was the light sedative I took.  Either way, I felt better and smelled great!

I suspect the coming weeks will require me to come up with a few more teeth-retracting scents (or scent layerings).  Any ideas?   And how do you get through the skritchies?  And do you think I should up my meds? 😉


  • HeidiC says:

    Your description of No 5 as The Friend Who Instigates Crap just SENT ME. That is too perfect. And “the skritchies” makes me think of Holly Golightly’s “mean reds.” All I can do is hunker down with Doritos and a sidecar, and a healthy spritz of Chanel No 19, which is like a cat hissing “keep away!”

  • Ariel says:

    I eat potato chips drink whisky. I do not recommend this strategy 🙂

    Best of luck with everything.

  • Queen-Cupcake says:

    I so wanted to comment here but yesterday was challenging. Some idiot wrapped his car around a utility pole down the street and we lost power from 5:30pm to about 11:30. My beloved cat, Frankie, is still missing and we are in a funk. For scented comfort I am picking randomly among some very nice fragrance oils by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Peace and Love

    • Ariel says:

      Oh gosh, so sorry about your Frankie! One of my cats disappeared for six weeks this fall, but was then returned by a Good Samaritan. May your Frankie return home soon.

  • Maya says:

    I can also identify with the “skritchies”! Mine are going to get worse with this nor’easter that’s coming. Winter ones can and do really slam New England hard. Patchouli Nobile, FdB Santal Complet, and Aroma M Botan work for me.

  • rosarita says:

    Skritchies. Love that word, it’s perfect. I forget Ms A, do you do incense? Commes des Garcons Kyoto is calm in a bottle for me, since Lutens Encens Lavande is unattainable. Musk works for me too, Kiehl’s or Dame New Man (the latter layers very well.) Plus I’ll do something soothing to me, like dig through all my jewelry and put a ring on every finger – yours might be looking through one of your kitchen boxes. Music helps too. Hugs!

    • Musette says:

      I do not do incense, alas. It freaks me out…… but you smell DIVINE. And yes – sorting through boxes (or the Messy Armoire – or my sock drawer) is really soothing.


  • Dina C. says:

    Arpege is a favorite of mine. Wore her as a signature scent through my 20s, so in my humble opinion, she is a wonderful answer to a grumbly day. Yesterday we had a gully-washer of rain and cold. And, Murphy’s Law, my son decided that was the time to make a Costco run because he had no food in his apartment. Ugh. We did our shopping together, and afterwards, I soothed myself with the suede notes of Bottega Veneta edp and a long nap under lots of blankets.

  • Maggiecat says:

    Also feeling achy and skritchy today (cold, windy, rain imminent, arthritis bad, etc). I went for an inexpensive lavender musk scent I bought in the gift shop of a lavender farm in Provence the summer before last, and I’ve stopped snapping and whimpering as much. I think it’s the memories as much as the light pleasant scent, but whatever works….

  • Jennifer S says:

    Picking the right perfume at those times….so tricky indeed! I wish I had the perfect fall back frag. I’m still searching for it and for me, it would have to be very in the background and unobtrusive but still detectable on a light level. Usually when I can’t decide I won’t wear anything.

  • Kathleen says:

    I always love to read your post/musings; however, this was one of your best! I think we can all relate, and you brought humor to real feelings. Your choice of Arpege as a teeth-retracting antidote to the “skritchies” is spot-on. Arpege is one of my all-time faves, especially in cold weather. Calms me right down. The other perfume that similarity feels like a warm soothing blanket is EL Youth Dew. I’ve been wearing it of late and also layer; bath oil, body lotion, dusting powder, and then a hefty dose of the perfume for full effect. xx

    • Musette says:

      glad you liked it – and I also like YD, though I don’t wear it all that well, myself. Love smelling it on others, though. That layering sound divine! xoxo

  • carole says:

    If I never loved this blog before (and I did love this blog before) Then I adore you know for putting my feelings into words. Arpege is quite a perfect scent, and I’m glad you had some on hand. I loved vintage Lauren too. In cases like this I usually go for my Chanel eau de Cologne, or Guerlain Bois de cedrat. They’ve been in my life long enough that they feel like friends-never intrusive or overwhelming. I hope things calm down for the entire world soon. Take care,


    • Musette says:

      isn’t it just THE BEST when you feel certain perfumes are like friends – good friends? And you’ve got some very good friends there! xoxoxo

  • March says:

    LOL I need the fragrance equivalent of Xanax these days…. everything’s FINE (ish) in my little corner of the universe, there’s just a Lot going on right now. Looking forward to an entire week off next week! Weirdly, for me, my vintage Lauren seems to be doing the trick. It’s familiar, pretty, and doesn’t set my teeth on edge.

    • Musette says:

      it’s what carole (above) said – it’s like having a friend over for coffee (I added the coffee part because I’m really jonesing for a good cup of coffee right now 😉 SO glad you have that whole week off! xoxoxo

  • Melanie says:

    Skritchies- great word Musette.
    My favourite layering is L’Artisan Vanille Absolute and Montale Black Oud. Don’t know why but it just works. Weather here in Oz on my side of town pretty topsy turvy too – T-shirt one day, jumper the next.

  • Cinnamon says:

    Oh, my, Musette. That. That feeling of the edge of danger. And mizzle. Such a great word and sounds exactly like what it is. And after reading Anne’s comment I’ve realised I need a tea perfume.

  • Portia says:

    Promise her the world but give her Arpege.

  • Ann says:

    As your doctor, I would say one episode of the skritchies does not necessitate dosage increase, but keep a close eye on the frequency.

    This is a good question! I wore Tea for Two today and it was very calming and beautiful. I know what you mean though, sometimes wearing the wrong thing can make things so much worse.

    I wish I had better solutions! Sometimes it’s like eating too much chocolate cake, you just have to ride it out.

    • Musette says:

      5 years ago I would’ve challenged that notion of ‘too much chocolate cake’ but as I age… yeah!
      I’m excellent at riding it out – the key for me, though, is to recognize it before it leaps out of hand – usually I’m successful, which is why I’m not doing a lengthy prison sentence 😉


  • MizChristian says:

    3 things do it for me.

    Vintage Joliet Madame
    Primal Blueprint Adaptogenic Calm (that magnesium…)
    Milk Cosmetics CBD lip balm

  • Tara C says:

    Ha! I usually go for something light, not too sweet, not too sharp. The other day I wore Papillon Bengal Rouge. Today it was 4160 Tuesdays Eau My Soul. Tried a sample of Olympic Orchids Woodcut today as well and that smelled very soothing.

    • Musette says:

      I love that not only am I not the only one who ‘knows’ this skritchiness (yep – Misery loving the hell out of company over here 😉 but that we all have our rituals to combat it! Yours are particularly gorgeous! xoxoxo