Smells like Autumn

Hi, folks – this was an entirely different post about a perfume moment which was supposed to be light-hearted and funny but wasn’t coming together that way, so here we are. Shorter days mean seasonal anxiety has been rearing its annoying, mopey head and there are Chores That Need to Happen, like new tires for my car, which I’m tackling reluctantly by interspersing them with more pleasant activities.

I’ve been wearing Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger for the past few days, I love it this time of year, such a great fall fragrance and it lasts forever on me. I’m reorganizing my limited space, and the plan is to retrieve and display more of my fragrance collection.

I polished some silver which I find very relaxing, I can’t be the only one … I think it’s like ironing, a pleasure for some and a pain for others. I also decided I needed some house plants, after figuring out a way to provide them some light, so that experiment has commenced. My house plants went to Maine along with the kids, and until now I’ve made do with succulents which work well here, it’s so dry. But I know Winter Is Coming and I’m appreciating the extra greenery along with the extra light. My one complaint about my otherwise delightful casita is that like most older adobes it’s a little dark, so I’m working on that.

I stopped by a local greenhouse as my reward for dealing with another annoying chore, and it was so nice I wandered around in there for awhile. In the front display area they were setting up their artificial Christmas trees, which was … weird, I’m not ready. In the back, though, it was peaceful and delightfully humid and smelled wonderful.

I got into a conversation with the woman who was carefully wiping down the leaves of some of the plants. She’s been working there for almost forty years, after retiring from her last job in her mid-fifties. Yeah, do the math on that one. She seemed very content. The background serenade was a few frogs that (as she explained to me) come in occasionally on the plants. I think if I were a frog, there are worse places to wind up, especially if I arrived in a shipment from some tropical locale. It was a lovely moment chatting with that woman, and my mind has returned to it several times.

Also it made me think that I want a candle or home fragrance that smells like a greenhouse as opposed to a florist – less floral and more loamy. Maybe a tiny bit of Bob’s Flower Shoppe and a big spritz of CB Black March? Can you think of a candle that smells green and earthy like that?

What are you tackling right now? Is there a seasonal fragrance you’re wearing? What do you do if / when you’re anxious?

images: random scenes from my neighborhood

  • Maggiecat says:

    My anxiety right now is based on the fact that we’ve just started a three week road trip in our RV to visit assorted and scattered family. Both my back and my introversion are not cooperating, not to mention my usual travel jitters (I like BEING in new places but not getting there – or back.) I spritz something fresh and lively and soldier on.
    Hope you find that candle!

  • shiva-woman says:

    I have spent several decades in higher education and have often fantasized about my alternative life of being a florist or plant shop proprietor, a small nursery owner perhaps. I always get such a strong sense of peace, even as the dollars fly out of my wallet on some potted lovely. When you were describing the candle, I could smell it in my mind’s imagination (Mind’s eye? Nose?). Somehow it’s not surprising that the woman with whom you had a conversation has had such a long and peacefully happy second act. Plants, pets, and perfume rule.

    • March says:

      I talked to her for a loooooong time and only cut it off when I thought: I don’t want to get her in some kind of trouble! Although hey it was probably fine. But I expect I’ll be back there! She did give me some great advice and I did buy a plant, I figured I owed them.

  • Tara C says:

    I have SAD which is why I spend the winters in San Diego. The bright sun really helps. I also enjoy ironing.

  • Musette says:

    I absolutely LOVE Bob’s Flower Shoppe, as you know (since I dragged you to the Mothership, to watch me drool over All Things Trapp)… but it could do with a bit of a loamy/dirt note.
    Oddly, I had a bit of anxiety this am – dunno why (maybe that taffy apple salad thing?) – but I stomped on it by going hard in the No5. Shower gel, body oil, Fragments (the gold gel stuff) and a touch (just a touch) of vinty parfum. I could actually feel my fangs extending, which is just what was needed.

    • March says:

      Ooooh I bet you smelled amazing. The gym is a wonderful thing — I could feel my rough mood dissipating over the course of my workout.

  • alityke says:

    I think Sisley do a seasonal candle of Eau de Campagne for Xmas gifting. Would that scratch your candle itch?
    Hibernation would be my choice between Nov & March. In fact I must have been a bear in a former life the urge to sleep til spring is so strong!

  • Portia says:

    Hey March, sorry you’re feeling anxious. Glad you’re getting green.
    Currently I’m doing a VERY little gardening at our apartment block. Just getting some replacement foliage trees because we had the hellish casuarinas dropping their needles everywhere here and on both next door apartment blocks. They were causing all sorts of problems in gutters and catchments. So I’ve put in some tube stock of Lilly Pillys and some tall growing Golden Wattle trees. Hopefully in the next few years they will rise up and shade our western wall that gets screamingly hot in summer.
    I’ve also dropped in some everlasting daisy and nasturtium seeds for a bit of brightness and easy care loveliness. Fingers crossed.
    Portia xx

    • March says:

      Oooh that sounds like a great plan for the trees! I have golden rain trees that aren’t blocking anything but the sun (yet) but man they’re messy. Western shade is key. Hope your seeds all come up!

  • Dina C. says:

    Been doing that reverse squirrelization that Anita talked about. Looking around the house with “what can I get rid of?” in my brain, since the less clutter there is, the less maintenance I have to do. Clutter and mess makes me anxious, so it helps with that, too. When I’m feeling fraught, I turn to faith, warm baths, music, and books. The greenhouse sounded very calming and serene.

    • March says:

      Oh me too, 100%. I’ve made several trips to drop off things at the thrift that supports the local animal shelter. That’s a nice thing about a small space, I want to keep it uncluttered! (like you, clutter and mess makes me anxious.) Our classical music station (or some jazz) and books is my nightly ritual.

  • cinnamon says:

    I’m with you on the seasonal anxiety. But, I hate polishing silver. Walking is my anxiety reducer. Years ago, during a bad period financially, the dog got walked a lot. When the house was refurbed (a 1920s thing built for workers at the farm across the road) the back got knocked into one big kitchen room with a huge light well/ceiling window, plus a separate work area tucked in. As to tackling, I’m trying to get ducks in a row with regard to retiring at the end of the year, which includes making endless lists of things I think/know might need financing over time — just so I know and am not caught out. Having just finished a week with the meh LL Myrrhe I’ve returned to my samples of Perfumer H Smoke, which is perfect for this time of year, and the tropical fruit of Eris Delta of Venus, which just makes me happy. Candle: I’ve not smelled them but Boy Smells has one based around green pepper called Snap and another called Gardener.

    • March says:

      If I owned this rental I’d be looking into adding skylights and maybe a window or two … oh well. Hmmm I should look into those Boy Smells, I’ve liked some of their other scents. Smoke and Delta of Venus sound like the perfect juxtaposition of scents right now. Are you getting excited for retirement, or more anxious?

  • Tom says:

    I’m wearing a bunch of different things, mostly sprightly stuff. I got a fat bottle of Patou Adieu Sagesse that I’ve been bathing in for a few days and it’s making me absurdly happy. For some reason this year the shortness of the days and all that weighs a little heavier. I’m cleaning stuff every day but nothing fun like polishing silver (which I love as well- it’s so immediately gratifying. As for new tires, that sucks. But Goodyear here will actually come to your house and put the tires on the wheel, balance it and put it on your car. Or is it Just Tires? I had them do it with two already which was great since my teeny car has no spare. Maybe they do that where you are?

    • March says:

      The tires — so many other things I’d rather spend money on! I was missing “my guys” where I used to live who I trusted with all things automotive. But I think I’ve found my new guys… that Patou sounds lovely, love those happy moments!

  • Jills says:

    Hi, March. Living on one’s own in a house where you are responsible for everything is very stressful. The town house I bought 10 years ago is 45 years old and even though lots ot things were replaced other things are breaking.
    What helps me cope are my dogs, knitting, watching movies and series and trying to fit some fun things in with friends. The other day i happened on a wine tasting at a local liquor store. That made me happy as i walked away with unusual wines. Cooking makes me happy if I am trying something new.
    I am finding that my perfumes are smelling different now and certain notes are very overpowering. I don’t know if it’s the change of season, my nose, etc, but i din’t feel like the fragrances i have are right for now.
    Let me know what you decide. Be gentle with yourself.
    Jill in pa.

    • March says:

      Thanks, honey! I’ve had the stress of a rental (I was thinking I had to move, now I think I won’t but we’ll see) and a friend reminded me of the stress of ownership, she’s spent a bunch of $ on maintenance. Happening upon events is always nice! A concert, a tasting, etc. Pulls me into the moment. And thanks for the encouragement, I am so much harder on myself. <3