A Glancing Light

It’s August…and the light is shifting, turning to a ‘glancing light’… light is hitting surfaces at acute angles and shadows are sharper.  It’s this, even more than temperature, that lets me know Autumn is just around the corner.

A few days back March and I talked about Summer – both of us LOVE the Season and look forward to its arrival – but MAYNE!  after a month or so it becomes a bit tedious.  Even more so when temps soar into the stratosphere and flowers bud, bloom and shrivel in what seems to be a minute.  And sometimes it very nearly is that minute.

Rain in August is different, too.  It smells different, even the petrichor seems… drier? There’s a part of me that keeps wanting to say ‘tireder’ but I suspect that’s just me (I just changed up my workout, incorporating more (MORE) side planks and this insane thing called a ‘Half Turkish Get-Up’  YIKES! But it’s working, so onward and upward with that damb kettlebell.)  Rain in August is similar to Rain in October – it heralds a change just around the corner.  It could be 98F – and it still feels different.  Rain at night in August feels less balmy… don’t ask me why, but it does. Harder.  Cooler.  But it also feels more soothing, making me grateful to have a reasonable roof over my head.

Morning Light.  It’s changing.  Less ‘yellow’ more ‘grey’, even when it’s sunny out.  I keep farmer’s hours – up at 5(ish) – so the shift in light is very obvious.

Hummingbirds.  Now is the time the hummers begin their migration from North, so I’ll get my trapline visitors – you can always tell by the intense aerials, totally different from ‘my’ birds who, when they settle down, are a bit more desultory in their guarding of the feeder.  Oooh!  Now is dragonfly time, as well – every couple of years swarms of dragonflies descend upon my gardens for a day, maybe two.  Talk about aerials!  They are the ultimate predator in their class, taking out all the bugs that their beating wings flush from the garden.  It’s fascinating to watch and I am mos’ def #teamdragonfly, always.  Gotta love an efficient predator.  But it’s only now, in August, that I see them do their dance, wiping all the whiteflies, et all, that they flush out.  Then they, too, will vanish until next Summer.

August is also the time I start thinking about Autumn frags.  Ubar.  Femme (in the MIghty Mouse bottle). Amouage Vanille Barka (the flip side of Summer’s Saffron Mamba and Tribute) – edging juuust a bit towards Cinnamon Roll weather, not quite there (it’s 96F here and only a madwoman would turn on her oven)…but you know it’s just around the bend.  Mitsouko, which does not work AT ALL in midsummer’s extreme heat, is champing at the bit to be let out of her bottle so she can take over the world, yet again.  By October, the world should be ready to accept her domination.  The second crop of peaches should be ready to harvest by the end of this coming week, so I’m thinking Mitsy is nearly ready, too.  Lots of readys.

Tell you what August is NOT about, at least not for me:  ambergris.  I spritzed my Ambre Grisea.  It was 89F.  I had to take a shower to get it off before it brought up my lunch!  There’s a reason I equate that with the Brittany Coast in November.  89F?  That’s a hard no.  Blecchhh!  When temps let me wear Uncle Serge’s De Profundis without fainting I’ll know it’s time for Ambre Grisea.

I’ll be sad to put away the suntan scents .  But I think I’m looking forward to Autumn.  Don’t tell anyone, though.  Gotta keep my Hot Weather cred going!

What about you?  What heralds the pending change from Summer to Autumn?  How does it affect your perfume wearing?


  • Kathleen says:

    Ahhh, Turkish Get Ups, so much fun!
    I do much better in the cooler months because I need to be outdoors. So tired of these 90 degrees days and not being able to get out and walk my pup other than early morning or bedtime. Can’t wait to feel the shift of autumn! I also prefer autumn and cold weather perfume. Looking forward to heavy spritzes of Chanel Coco, Coromandel, Amouage Lyric and Fate, Youth Dew, Arpege, Mitsouko (I’ve been wearing her in summer) and the ambers!

    • Musette says:

      LOL! I’m only on HALF Turkish Get Ups. I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for the full Turkish. Halfs are giving me the flux, alas. But I continue on.


  • Dina C. says:

    Here in Virginia, temps are still soaring up near 100. So I’m committed to my summer lineup of citrus-y favorites for now. August is my least favorite month. I’m over summer by now. Every day is full of barometric pressure, thunderstorms and resulting migraines. No thanks. Bring on fall I say!

    • Musette says:

      omg. 100F? YOIKES!!

      We’re in decent 80s and it’s dipping down into the high FIFTIES at night! Squeee!

      Y’all really are overachievers over there in VA.


  • March says:

    Lovely post. That late night rain here recently felt so different. And when I get up in the morning the temp has shifted juuuuuuust enough (it’s 59F at 7am) that I had just a moment of that “fall feeling” a couple of days ago. I’d SO much rather be hot than cold but the last month has worn on me, a bit of the doldrums. I love watching the hummers here (I usually hear them first, they’re so loud!) and about a month ago we had a ton of hawk moths all over the blooming Russian sage, I love to watch them too even though I have a faint notion that whatever caterpillar they are is a garden nuisance, could be wrong. (Maybe all caterpillars are garden nuisances though.)

  • Tom says:

    When you get more north the light does change in August, as do the temps. Even if it’s only in the wee hours of the am you get that little chill that hits some reptilian part of the brain that starts you wanting to gather nuts or head south. We won’t get it until September, but we do get it.

  • cinnamon says:

    I’m not ready to talk about the changing of the season. Lovely post and interesting what you say about the petrichor. Here, in any case, we would appreciate a bit of your rain — at night. The lawn is gone. I stopped watering it a couple of weeks ago as it’s pointless. I do the beds and cross my fingers that we don’t have a hose (hose pipe it’s called here) ban but if things don’t shift soonish I expect we will. Love dragonflies and saw them earlier in the summer. Now, it’s simply too hot. Autumn fragrances … not thinking like that yet. Just.Not.

    • Musette says:

      it is a bit early – this is just the beginning of thought. I’m still in Summer frags – and happy to be here!


  • alityke says:

    In autumn I shall sleep.
    In the UK we’ve been told to expect another heatwave. Not quite the 40c/104f of a couple of weeks that lasted just 2 or 3 days, but a whole week of around 34c/93f. Despite lifting potatoes & harvesting the first apples then prepping & making apple sauce with the imperfect ones, sleep eluded me.
    I’m waiting for the August storms, biblical thunder & lightening & sheets of warmish rain that clear the air. They never came after the 40c heat. I just pray they arrive after this hit spell. We need the cleansing & healing the storms bring. Just hope the farmers get the harvest in safely first.
    I love Mitzi in the heat, the citrus, peach & astringent oakmoss of the EdP work for me now.
    I’m only wearing Clarins Eau Extraordinaire at present. DH is waiting for the call after the experts met yesterday & the tumour continues to grow inexorably. Some plans, any plans, to start treatment pronto will help with our sleep too. Whatever the outcome I will never want to smell Eau Extraordinaire again.

  • Portia says:

    Lovely post Musette.
    Summer is OK but I find the cooler and side months suit me better. Always easier to add layers to keep warm. My basic attire in the heat is boxer shorts. Some days I wish I could peel off my skin and air condition my bones.
    Portia xx

  • Filomena says:

    I have been into citrus scents during this long hot summer. They are refreshing and inoffensive even to perfume haters.

  • MMKinPA says:

    I am not a fan of hot, so the dog days of summer aren’t my jam. If I’m not on vacation at the beach (or have daily access to a pool in the backyard) I don’t want hot. Looking forward to the cooler evenings, and for me the Friday Night Lights, when I’m back to work as a high school football photographer- are when fall begins.

  • Tara C says:

    Yes, definitely the light starts changing, not as bright, less direct, the days start feeling shorter, the leaves start to hint at yellow. I’m really looking forward to hauling out my heavier scents. I’m also in the process of another big move so every day brings me closer to my final destination, which is welcome after so many months of distress and uncertainty.

    • Musette says:

      Tara C, I’m SO HAPPY to hear you are going to be landing soon! I remember those times and I really am glad you are going to be seeing the back of it, soon!