Sexy Boys, Little Girls


I’m baaaaaack! I have now had the sort of rigorous training that would allow me to win a medal in house-packing Olympics, earning higher marks for the Degree of Difficulty in executing packing maneuvers with two preschoolers (not mine) and a standard poodle underfoot, and hay fever. There was much work and a fair amount of drinking, as we toasted each other, and the house, and test-tasted various bottles of liquor to decide whether they should be discarded. We did a lot of Making Merry, and at some point I took a long walk in the early evening, so I could have a little private cry and say goodbye to that particular chapter of my life. I am happy to be home.
This post is only tangentially — and eventually — about fragrance. If you´re not interested, feel free to skip it.


In what seems like several lifetimes ago, I did investor relations for a NYSE-traded firm. I was surrounded by high-testosterone Land Sharks of the Young Turk variety. I could bring in things like leftover canapàƒ©s and Halloween candy and they´d all be circling around eating at 8:10 a.m. Their agendas were simple: money, sex, food and play, not necessarily in that order.

At some point I had some medical tests done and was stunned to learn that my testosterone levels, while nothing that would impress a Land Shark, were indecently high for a woman. I did some research and discovered a study that revealed that women who worked in mostly-male environments frequently had very high T-levels. One explanation for that fact would be that women with high T-levels would be attracted to the sort of high-risk work environments that males occupied, but this argument was punctured by the fact that women in administrative support roles in those places, who were presumably doing nothing more high-risk than answering the telephone or filing documents, also tended to have elevated T-levels. It seemed that mostly-male work environments brought everyone´s T-levels up.

Now I live in an estrogen-rich, girl-centric household, and I wonder if my T-levels have fallen. Of course, The Big Cheese and Number One Son provide enough surplus testosterone to propel a small country toward civil war. Anyway, I pondered my T-levels recently as I paused in the mall to admire the topless male models on photographic display outside Abercrombie & Fitch (see photo at top). As I gazed at the point where their perfectly honed abdominal muscles disappeared into the tops of their very low-slung jeans, I believe my face conveyed the focused alertness of a horny 16-year-old. Then, embarrassed to be staring at photos of men who are, technically, young enough to be my sons, I shook my head and went back to surveying the mall around me.

tiara.jpgAnd what I find that concerns me, when I turn my gaze from male models and perfume, is the way our culture is priming its young (and ever-younger) girls to be objects of sexual attention. I noted that Claire´s, which used to be a place for the tween girl set, has sprouted an offshoot called Icing, and the tweens are being redirected there. The original Claire´s is now being repositioned to aim its wares toward girls who are recently out of diapers and looking for some bling, with entire walls given over to princess tiaras, nylon fairy wings, glitter sunglasses and tiny purses that say things like High Maintenance.

libby.jpgThere is also a store called Club Libby Lu, which is a birthday party destination for the preschool girl set. Girls at these events are made up and dressed up in the sort of outfits that would qualify them for backup dancers in a Britney Spears video à¢â‚¬” pudgy baby bellies hanging out of sequined tube tops over their low-cut dance pants, blue eyeshadow, and the sort of accessories I associate with pole dancers.

I find the whole Libby Lu thing disconcerting. I am not alone; the local paper featured an article full of parents´ mixed feelings. I wonder if my youngest daughter will ever be invited to a birthday party at Libby Lu, and if so, will I let her go? I am, I guess, more a Build-A-Bear birthday party type of mom, and Libby Lu makes my skin crawl. (Actually, what I am is a squirt-guns-in-the-backyard kind of mom.)

I don´t suppose my testosterone has fallen too low, however, because I found myself pondering sexy fragrances the other day, stuck in traffic on the Beltway (I guess we are now giving LA a run for its money in the Nation´s Worst Traffic Sweepstakes.) I was mentally diagramming the relationship among my Big Three Sexy fragrances, the three that seem to have a direct line to the Land Shark part of my brain. This is what I came up with (***WARNING: INAPPROPRIATE MATERIAL!!!):

Guerlain’s Jicky Parfum is like a woman taking off her couture silk ball gown to reveal à¢â‚¬¦ she´s wearing leather panties.

Malle´s Musc Ravageur oil is like a woman taking off her severe white linen sheath dress to reveal à¢â‚¬¦ she´s wearing no panties.

Desprez Bal a Versailles EDP is like a woman taking off her couture organza ball gown to reveal à¢â‚¬¦ she´s really a man.

photos: torsos,; tiara,; Club Libby Lu participants,

  • andy says:

    hmmm… that’s a special post of yours. First the cuties. Really lovely. I wonder what their T-level ioying the Testosteron -loaded environmes? then the ball a versaille. Here, you caught me: “Desprez Bal a Versailles EDP is like a woman taking off her couture organza ball gown to reveal … she’s really a man.â€?
    Isn’t she not a woman pretending that she is a men and people around her thing she is a man and she enjoys it, knowing that she’s a women? Well… confusing.. for me ball a versaille is quite on the estrogen site, but heck: these hormones fool us anyway, so why bother If we should bother about anything then it is the cuties. The next time: Do not hesitate. Watch them recklessly!…. that was my best blog reading this week. Thank you.

  • Lisa S says:


    I was spendthrift with the little bottle that first year she was gone (this was 16 years ago)and used it all in that year. I needed it because the world was offering me no solace. Of Course this was before most of the baby-boomers really started losing THEIR parents & made it an Oprah-worthy topic. :-w

    This was my liquid Prozac and I used as needed and then started in on EdTs that I found at Marshalls (this was 1990ish). Someday…I’ll get another little parfum but it’s taken a back seat to other fragrances as I’ve moved on with my life. Still have a small EdT to sniff though…

  • March says:

    Lisa — that is a beautiful story about BaV! I think I own (approx.) the same tiny bottle, which I bought because it was the easiest way to get ahold of something stronger than the EDT, and I am usually a bigger fan of the stronger concentrations of a fragrance. The first time I smelled it, it was one of those “where have you been all my life?” moments. I can see that you find it both comforting and magical. Do you wear a drop or two occasionally?

  • Lisa S says:


    Another sister got the Poison.

    My first BaV was a .25 parfum that was on my mom’s dresser -a tiny gem that my elder and very chic sister Emily had bought for her, along with the Poison and also Opium. Emily also bought me Lauren, the original Calvin Klein, Magie Noir, and Halston at various occasions of celebratory gifting in the 80’s….

    Mom wore her Poison & Opium on special occasions – but that tiny BaV, she left it untouched and it seemed talismanic sitting there, like a tiny perfect diamond surrounded by brass and enamel bangles. It wasn’t until after she passed that we split the perfumes among us girls & I chose the tiny BaV parfum (snob then…snob now probably). b-)

    So for me BaV is in a whole different metaphorical light than for some. I find it comforting and very very magical.

  • March says:

    Cait, I do not know WHERE those musings came from.:-?

    Bal does fascinate me. It’s the most overtly feminine of the three, but there is something so muscular and powerful in the drydown… there I go, gender-stereotyping, but I find that kind of direct message “masculine.” Hmmmph.

    Age 12?!?!? ‘Scuse me while I go lock up my daughter.

  • March says:

    Katie — see, I attributed “humpy” to you above. Because it’s so perfectly descriptive. I think it’s your fault, along with Marina’s, that I ever discovered BaV, isn’t it?#:-s

  • March says:

    P, honey, we’d have to throw them back, they’re just wee babies. But you’re right. They are not hard to look at.

  • March says:

    Lisa — wow, to have discovered Bal in my 20s!:((

    You lucky, lucky thing.

    I was still wearing something wretched like Poison.

  • Cait says:

    i am a happily married woman too, but i totally agree with patty you should put those sculpted boys on your blog.:”>

    I was surprised you think bal is a tranny, because i always associate it with the straightest most beautiful female friend of the family who wore it when i was little.
    fortunately, i was still presexual, not tarting around at libby lu at that age. heh.

    a social worker i know was saying that in general, girls are getting pressured to have sex around age 12 these days. imagine! i think the idea of turtlenecks and fulltime surveillance sounds good to protect our little girls these days.

    march, i see these perfumes as your twisted muses of debauchery, no?

  • Katie says:

    Hee on the BaV. There’s shared fragrances, unisex fragrances, and now according to March, there are transex fragrances. Heh.

    ““Desprez Bal a Versailles EDP is like a woman taking off her couture organza ball gown to reveal … she’s really a man.â€? But does she have an angry inch? I’m trying for some unknown reason to picture Hedwig wearing BaV now 😉

  • Patty says:

    Can we just pin this picture to the top of the blog? Every time I bounce back to click on another blog link on the left, I see that picture, and I just drool a little, it’s really lovely.

  • Lisa S says:

    Mary Mother of Mercy! 8-| I cringe yet again.
    This Libby Lu thing sends chills down my spine. Don’t have any little ones (except for those who’ve gotten my platelets & I consider my kids even if I don’t know them) but even a solo flyer like me knows that Enough IS Enough. What is going to become of that generation of little dress-me-up-Britneys? I feel bad enough for the teens of today.

    Itme was we had to wait for “risque” things until we had our own money to buy them…like Bal a Versailles…my first HG fragrance from my 20’s. And now Musc Ravageur which on my skin is BaV all over again but with the top and middle notes whacked off and just the phenominally sexy-warm drydown. But on me? None of it plays out as “naughty bits”…just grownup goodness.

  • March says:

    Vi Noir — Have you seen Bal? The goofy bottle alone is enough to scare you off. But the JUICE … notes are: Necco wafer, incense, floral, and … Special Sauce? Civet? To use Scentzilla’s word, it smells humpy. I’d say if you like incense it’s worth a try. It’s got that kind of spicy darkness to it. Marina made me do it.

  • March says:

    Mimi — I am not entirely sure where these thoughts come from.:”>

  • March says:

    Robin — I know, Garfinckels goes away and in its place we get… Libby Lu?

    There’s Bob the Builder for my son, and I am insanely grateful.

  • March says:

    Marlen — aHA!!!!! I KNEW posting that hot photo might get you to come by for an ogle!!!

    Seriously, don’t you think Bal’s a man?


  • March says:

    trinity — okay, you can have #1 to be your barn slag, I’ll take 2 or 3 (or 2 AND 3):x

  • March says:

    P — package-watcher.

    You are killing me. Do they wax, do you think? They must, right?

  • March says:

    P — sure, my mom and dad said no all the time to stuff like that. But I SWEAR the age all that foolishness started was so much later. I wasn’t tarting around as a 6-year-old. Jiminy.>:p I mean, look at those pictures!! That is WRONG.

  • March says:

    Marina — you’re on — what WOULD she wear?!?\:d/

  • March says:

    Donna — ah, the Mitsouko Conundrum. :-w

    Basically I think it’s like the Caron Conundrum. Hey, you either like it and it’s fab, or you don’t and it smells old-ladyish. There are PLENTY of people who are not in the Mitsouko fan club.

    The little girl thing — yes, they are so beautiful, and I appreciate beauty (and product) as much as the next gal. But leave my 5-year-old alone, y’know?

  • violetnoir says:

    Hot dang! Send all those hunks over to my house honey! Oh, to be young again.

    I hate places like Libby Lu. What they are doing is objectifying little girls in the worse possible way, all in the name of “fun.”

    But back to the good stuff, I was screaming with laughter by the end of your post. Exactly what does that Desprez Bal de Versailles fragrance smell like anyway? 😕

  • ROFL, the visuals your words evoked were just too vivid and the timing of the delivery spot on. I’m going to re-read it one more time…. ROFL!

  • Robin says:

    Hope I never see a Libby Lu. Claire’s just about makes me break out in hives. Glad I have a son & not a daughter whenever I read stuff like this…

  • Marlen says:

    Guerlain’s Jicky Parfum is like a woman taking off her couture silk ball gown to reveal … she’s wearing leather panties.

    Malle’s Musc Ravageur oil is like a woman taking off her severe white linen sheath dress to reveal … she’s wearing no panties.

    Desprez Bal a Versailles EDP is like a woman taking off her couture organza ball gown to reveal … she’s really a man.


  • trinity says:

    Please send model # 1, the one on the left in the low-slung jeans, over to my house, post-haste. I am a happily married women, yes, but I would love to watch him do some yard work. He can then go over to the barn and clean stalls.
    Something about a hot man mixed with horses just about sends me over the edge….

  • Patty says:

    PS — Thanks you as well for eye candy. That V is just mesmerizing, and I’m totally not a package watcher. Great photography.

  • Patty says:

    Missed you, glad you’re back!

    I’m just avoiding Jicky, I guess. I don’t LIKE leather underpants at all, not that I’ve tried them or anything. I have a hard enough time with a thong.

    I’m so glad I don’t have girls. They’d be dressed in skirts to their calves and turtlenecks. I do not understand the need to turn them into mini tarts in outward appearance, like Barbie ‘Ho for grownups.

    But I blame adults for this. Little girls want all sorts of things that their parents have to say no to. I wanted to wear skirts up to my butt when I was in 7th grade, and my mom and dad told me not only no, but hell no.

  • Marina says:

    thank you for the beautiful title photo *lecherous grin*

    The Libby Lu thing is disturbing. I don’t think I’d let my little one go there. I am a watches-too-much-Law & Order SVU-and-suspects-everybody kind of mom.

    Your Big Three Sexy fragrances- spot on! Well, maybe I’d respectfully disagree about MR oil and severe linen dress…Can’t imagine her wearing that 🙂

  • Donna Linton says:

    “Desprez Bal a Versailles EDP is like a woman taking off her couture organza ball gown to reveal … she’s really a man.”

    Fragrance description please?

    Now THAT’s just funny. Thanks for the laugh.

    I tried Jicky recently really enjoy the spicy thing going on. Unfortunately I’ve tried and tried to make friends with Mitsouko but I wind up smelling like an old lady. What IS it with that fragrance?

    On the subject of the disgraceful marketing toward little girls these days. This raises the flame of rant in my gut. I’ve a five year old girl; half tom boy half butterfly.

    Now I thought Barbies were the scourge of raising a girl with decent self esteem and lady-like behaviour. Saw Bratz and changed my mind. Gawd. If i see one more graphic t-shirt with snotty statements or platform flip-flops etc. I’m gonna shriek.

    That Libby Lu thing looks like a good reason for projectile vomiting. Little girls are beautiful. They’re at their pinacle of innocent perfection. Why would anyone put makeup on them?

    ok Rant finished. (in a mood today)