For Romantic Evenings


Okay, I´m walking, sort of. I saw the doctor on Thursday. I tore my fascia and maybe broke the tip of my cute little heel spur doing the 30-foot dash barefoot on concrete last week. Foot is taped, no bare feet, rest, anti-inflammatories blah blah blah … orthotics.

Remember my “shoes are boring” quote? Okay, relative to perfume that´s true. But it´s not like my entire shoe wardrobe is three pair of sensible flats. In winter things are more practical because I hate cold feet, but in summer I favor cute 2″ – 3″ wedge sandals in a rainbow of sorbet colors, and man, they are crying out to me right now. I have flats, but they lack arch support and actually a low heel is better on my back and my Achilles tendon. I have been online looking at shoes in which I can wear orthotic inserts, and wow. I am not really a sensible-shoe gal. At this point I am contemplating something heinous on the theory that at least that would look like some sort of deliberate fashion statement on my part, rather than accidental middle age fug. You know – the shoe equivalent of Querelle. Or should I just stay indoors and rest up until I can go back to wearing my paddock boots?

I thought this might be a good time to collect my samples and get things under control again. There is this pile of unlabeled vials and decants, happens all the time. I have this hilarious memory/logic gap wherein as I am slipping an unlabeled vial in my pocket, or opening an unlabeled atomizer that came in the mail, I am sure that I will always know what that fragrance is, so where’s the fire??! Why hurry to label it? It’s not like I’ll mix it up with all my other unlabeled glass vials filled with juice that’s pretty much the same color! Then months later we´re having the unlabeled sniffathon.

I found just such a decant on my desk yesterday, sprayed it all over the back of my hand, and was instantly awash in the glory that is Hermes´ Apres La Mousson (in French, “After the Melon Smacks Your Head“), a scent I reviewed here. In terms of the feeling it evokes in me, I would place Mousson somewhere between morning sickness with twins and that scene in 1984 The Movie where they strap a cage with a hungry rat to John Hurt´s face. It is a fragrance I could live the rest of my life without smelling again, and the fact that I doused myself with it in a snit is just plain funny.

Preparing my cheap fragrance post (okay, what I was really doing was perfume shopping online), I ran across Parlux´ Animale for Women, and wow, did that bring back some memories. We have a friend — I desperately hope she’s not reading this– who wears Animale for women as her signature scent. I hear the men´s version smells like Angel, kind of, and isn´t half bad. Researching this post, I am stunned to see several Animale flankers since the original was uncaged released in 1987. Anyway, the listed notes are all over the place, but I see descriptions of Animale at online discounters with words like “feminine” and “exotic” and — my favorite — “for romantic evenings,” which is true if your idea of a romantic evening is swilling fermented yaks´ milk before servicing the lusty hordes on that pile of fresh pelts behind your yurt. I once found a list of notes for Animale which ended with something like: coriander, vetiver, patchouli, civet, castoreum, musk, ambergris. And I thought, oh, well, that explains it. Animale makes Yatagan look like Mouchoir de Monsieur. I could smell this friend´s perfume for a full 24 hours after she left our house, which was about 24 hours longer than I wanted to smell it. I was fascinated by this woman – a quiet, buttoned-down academic who seemed indifferent to other forms of self-adornment – and her choice of Animale, a fragrance with all the subtlety of a pole-dancer. (Although I hear pole dancers wear fruitylicious things by BBW). I often wondered, is she anosmic? I did try (yes, it´s true) casually to interest her in something – really, anything – else, fragrance-wise, but got nowhere. As far as she was concerned, Animale was it.

If you are reading this and thinking, yeah, you ignoramus, that´s because Animale is Da Bomb – well, peace, my friend. After all, I wear CB Musk and Yatagan (thanks Louise!) and I think I smell dandy.

I am not likely to feel the need for a signature scent for myself anytime soon, but I am often called on to go fragrance shopping for/with friends and acquaintances, and their friends/family. I am fascinated by what people are looking for in a fragrance that, for most of them, will likely be the only fragrance they wear. Is it aspirational? Or are they indifferent to the message? Do they care about the notes? Do they want a one-size fits all day scent, or just something for special evenings? Mostly what I come away with is the realization that I – and probably you, if you´re reading this – do not think of fragrance like most people. Which is to say, most people apparently don´t think of fragrance all the time. At least, that´s what I have heard.

images of Mongolian wrestling:

  • Late in this, but sorry about your foot! Hope it mends really soon.
    I know it can be disabilitating not to be able to move like you want to.

    • March says:

      Thanks for your good wishes — it’s getting better, slowly, and now I know I need to take better care of it! :”>

  • zara says:

    i know it’s totally OT but i couldn’t stop laughing at the mongolian wrestlers omg 😀 where did you find them

    • March says:

      I was looking for yurt pictures and … well, there they were. This is the twisted way my mind works. You can watch them on Youtube too. What I wonder is, for all we know, that guy is 4’11”. He could still kill me though. The group photos are the best — love the outfits!

  • Mariannetm says:

    Teva and Ecco are very similar with their models! I live in Europe so some brands are not available here and others are.|-)

  • Olfacta says:

    Take heart March — you won’t be in Nursing Home Shoes forever. A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. Yes, I spent a summer in athletic shoes (with orthotics in them) feeling like the biggest schlub in the world. But even feet heal, if you do what the damned doctor says to do…rest, ice, compression, elevation — and eventually stretching and strengthening exercises. Physical therapy helps, a LOT, as feet that have been injured tend to lose ability to feed back signals to the brain, resulting in bad balance, resulting in more injuries, etc.

    Teva makes pretty cool flip flops, molded from nice soft Neoprene, with an arch support pad (molded in.) They have fabric straps and come in different colors. The soles are about an inch thick. They cushion feet well and look okay; good interim shoes.

    And, yeah, barefoot is kind of over, at least for a year or two.

    Got to respect the Foot!

    • March says:

      Barefoot is definitely over, for the near term. And I got a laugh from another commenter up there — I had to cobble something together to wear in the shower! Even flats are very difficult for me right now. But you’re right — like anything, with time and attention (and I’m taking this seriously) it will get better, and almost everyone I know at my age has some sort of chronic condition; at least it’s not my ACL or something.

  • capriccio says:

    The number of wounded feet on here is incredible!

    I am right now recovering from a re-aggravation of an almost identical injury: tore the fascia in my right foot a few years ago (two weeks with almost no walking, and not a minute barefoot since then, sadly), and re-injured it in late May driving in the mountains for three hours. The sticky vibrating gas pedal is no friend of the delicate nerves of my foot.

    One thing I learned the hard way: showering sans support will set you back days in terms of recovery. I picked up some cheap molded sandals that have an arch, and they help tremendously. They look like this:

    but only cost $6 at Target or Payless in the men’s section.

    In the good news category, I had three plus years of nary a twinge of pain or numbness between incidents, regardless of shoe (though I never tempted barefoot again), so you may be in the clear for a while after this bout.

    • Mariannetm says:

      What a relief to know that so many of you people have the same or similar problems,I mean it the nice way.
      Moosbacher sandals give me great relief and put my knees and feet in the correct position so that the next day I feel less discomfort. They are not pretty, but boy do these feel good!
      Actually Mephistos are supposed to be even better, but Moosbachers are superb and less expensive.

      • March says:

        Isn’t it interesting? Does foot injury drive one to fragrance addiction? Hmmmmmm…… 😉

        Thanks for the tip about the shoes, I’m going to check out the selection at the local healthy feet joints. Which I’ve never been into. :”>

    • March says:

      THAT IS SO FUNNY!!!!! Just yesterday, having removed the taping from my foot, I headed to the shower and thought … dang. What am I going to do about my feet!?!?! I ended up wearing my husband’s rubber sandals into the shower on an emergency basis (they are structured but much too big for me). But it was clear I need something for regular wear, so thanks.

      And I am very happy to hear your foot got better. I am trying not to be frustrated. It’s clear this is something I am going to have to be careful not to reinjure. Thanks for the link.

  • perfumequeen says:

    litter, oiled bearers and a follower with a fruit tray.

    I seriously looked for a service like that after I twisted my ankle TWICE while 8 months pregnant. someone could have made a fortune!

    • March says:

      Agh, the pregnant ankle twist! So sorry! Like being preggo isn’t crap enough already. Two of the (very few) car accidents I’ve been in were when I was pregnant with the twins. I could have bypassed the drama. /:)

  • Lara says:

    On the subject of Crocs-

    Both my adolescent clients and my twenty-something intern wear them. The clients see this as another sign that the intern is cool.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead in them, but then, I’m not a teen or a twenty-something.

  • Shelley says:

    Nobody has mentioned Born shoes yet, so I will (put one of those charming Scandi-slashes through the “o” for full-out branding). There are a few of us teachers who like the combination of style + comfort…and we ARE on our feet all day. 😮

    Time to invest in those custom shoes, methinks…

    • Shelley says:

      Oh, the perfume part…isn’t interesting that FEET and SKANK came up in the same thread? Yet I believe it is another animal smell that folks generally think of when it comes to “skank.”

      Yet, I just saw that the actor Colin Firth receives a lot of shoes from adoring fans…perhaps the days of intimates being tossed at Tom Jones have given way to Laboutin Lobbing…

      Animale = Scent to send your shoes by???

      • Musette says:

        Huh? They send him boxes of shoes? Or they THROW shoes at him? Actually, what difference does it make – why on earth are they doing that? Does he have a shoe-fetish? I don’t remember much about his characters and shoes……….?

        strange. And painful, if they’re lobbing them. You can put an eye out with a well-placed Manolo:o

      • March says:

        Okay, EEEEEWWWWW. Feet. When I think of skank 😡 it is not the feets I am thinking of, to quote the Manolo, sort of.

        Not really getting the shoe thing… 😕

        • Shelley says:

          😕 Hmm…the shoe thang…yeah, honestly, I’m not sure I entirely get it, either, except the would-be groupies are sending shoes instead of thongs. So, yup, the skankus animalus smell I believe we traditionally think of is above (literally and figuratively?) the foot fetish these ladies have. Or assume Mr. Darcy has.

          o-+o->o=> (Which one of these gals flings shoes? Which flings underthings?? And which merely layers Animale over Yatagan???)

    • March says:

      And PS I know the store I’m visiting has Born, I will check those out.

  • Teri says:

    On the theory of ‘if life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, I’d say embrace your temporary footgear challenge and wear some so totally outre that people will adore you for your cutting edge campiness. After having foot surgery a couple years back, I wore a pair of neon green Crocs that matched nothing in my wardrobe, but which were comfy for my recovering foot. When questioned about my footwear, I said I was spearheading a ‘Buy American’ movement. Instead of laughing at me for my questionable taste, people applauded me for my civic mindedness. :d

    And I have to admit, I like Animale and have been wearing it ever since it came out. At the time, it was sold in JC Penney stores – that weird limbo between Kmart and Macy’s – which is maybe why so few people remember encountering it.

    I don’t wear it every day — heck, who (other than your friend) could? — but there are some days when it suits me to be a little savage and overpowering. I’m a 5’10”, blonde, with a great big head, hands and feet, favor bright ‘attitude’ colors, and am a complete extrovert. I couldn’t NOT stick out in a crowd if I tried. So I figured I might as well embrace the hand that Mother Nature dealt me. There are indeed some days I wake up and put on an electric blue dress, 4-inch heels and spritz on some Animale. I am a force of nature. Reckon with me! 😮

    • March says:

      Yay!!!! A gen-u-wine Animale wearer! You sound like you can work it. What does it smell like to you? Does it smell spicy? Animalic? Floral? What sort of mood do you need to be in? Is it strong? Have you tried any of the flankers? Wow, am I asking enough questions? :”>

      • Teri says:

        March, I’m sorry. 🙁 I meant to haul out the Animale today and wear it so that I could give you serious answers to your questions, rather than relying on spotty memory. I’m putting a sticky note on the inside of my handbag (my oh-so-elegant reminder method) so that I’ll remember to wear it tomorrow and report back. 😉

        • March says:

          That is great, I would love a report! I’m curious whether it has more nuance on you? I mean on my friend X it was all skank; but it’s *supposed* to have florals, wonder if you get any?

  • vidalicious says:

    Ok, I just wanna see those waitress sandals on the wrestler!!!

    • Musette says:

      maybe in candy-apple red?

      • March says:

        You two are silly :(|)

        Man I have been waiting forever to use that emoticon.

        • Musette says:

          I know – I feel that way about the alien, especially after that really scary time when he morphed out of one of the other emoticons. Scared the crap out of me for a minute, then I wondered if I’d imagined it!

          • March says:

            Wait … WHICH alien?

            The cute one? Or the scary one?


            This one freaks me out: >-)

            come on, nobody should have to look at that for long

          • Musette says:

            oh, c’mon. He’s cute! He wears Eau d’Hermes. He’s a really nice guy when he isn’t doing the Alien thing out of another emoticon.:x>-)

  • aelily says:

    When I was younger, I felt the need to change my perfume every time I changed my boyfriend (I’m a serial monogamist, since sixth grade), and once I made the change, I stuck with the new scent until the next break-up. I have NO idea where this mentality came from. Then there was a period of time where I thought perfume was triggering my migraines (which, thankfully, they don’t), so I had one signature scent (Inis)for a few years. Now, it is one of the highlights of my morning to pick a fragrance to go with my mood and the day’s activities. I have to deal with a very bitchy woman on Wednesday, and I’m already trying to determine what perfume will assist me in dealing with her firmly yet calmly. Any recommendations?
    I do stick with one scent all day; unless, just before bed, I feel the need to give something else a little try. Is this the first step towards true addiction? Will is soon be trying three or four throughout the day and then dumping decants into my purse in the morning to get a fix in the afternoon? Someone, please warn me now…I’ll get a bigger purse.:)

    • March says:

      Yes, aelily. Sad but true. Soon your entire desk/glove box/ closet/ kitchen counter will have random vials sitting around, and other family members will roll their eyes every time the mailman comes with another bag of goodies. :d

      There are definite good things about wearing the same fragrance for the entire day, as difficult as I find it to do. You can really get to know a scent that way. I’m always trying four or six things and cutting the development short.

      • March says:

        Whoops — PS, I’m worried about the b!tch perfume thing. Do you wear something calming you love, and that helps? Or does it then become inexorably intertwined with the meeting with the b!tch in your mind, and that ruins the scent for you? You know: Apres l’Ondee = that heinous woman.

    • MattS says:

      Wear Yatagan. And carry a shiv.:d

  • Disteza says:

    My mother’s side of the family all have bunions in the big toe joint on the right foot. It’s a genetic thing, and because of my metal allergy I’ll never be able to have it fixed, which means that I have mostly been wearing comfort-brand shoes since my teens in an effort to try to save my feet. So far I’ve only developed an ugly bone spur, but I’m hoping that the bunion doesn’t show up at all, or at least waits until I’m past 45. I do have two closets full of cute shoes though, which I break out if we’re doing a night out that doesn’t involve too much walking. Most of the time I live in Danskos or Royal Elastics.

    On the perfume; my head would probably explode if I had to confine myself to one perfume for life. That would be like wearing the same outfit every day, all day. Blech. It strikes me that people often do not spend time on their personal appearance (I consider perfume to be a part of that) because they fear change, they’re too lazy to find out about something new, or because they don’t have the time. Sadly, I think more people use the last excuse when in fact they should be using the first two.

    From what I’ve seen while hunting through the various perfume departments is that most people know nothing about perfume: they come into a store, look through the bottles, spray some juice on a tester strip, and immediately buy or don’t buy. They don’t wait for development, they usually don’t even try the stuff on themselves (imagine doing shoe shopping that way!). Then when they get home and spray it on, it doesn’t smell like much of anything, so it doesn’t arouse any great feelings either way.

    • March says:

      I am amazed at all the people on here with foot problems (I know, I said that already!) Or maybe by a certain age, those of us who haven’t been wearing sensible shoes all our lives start to pay the piper? Or even those of us with sensible shoes … I’ve been out of super-high heels since my twenties (back) but I love a wedge. But I need more arch support, which so many shoes are sadly lacking…

      I do think most people try something in the store, buy it five minutes later, take it home and wonder where the part they liked went. 🙂

  • annie says:

    :((Sweety baby March…..HATE PAIN….I can give birth with nothing(X3)…but,from the teeth on down GIVE ME HEAVY DRUGS!!….now,as I am also retired,like the lady above,I now have fewer occasions for the fancy footware,but,if you’re out and about daily,Birkeys (QVC)…are getting rather stylish…..good thing I don’t live near you;I’d have you full of home-made goodies,WITH REAL BUTTER…..5 year old diva-princess grand-daughter,and daughter visited for the holiday week-end…they are both addicted to frags(hmmmm,how did that happen?)….the Diva said “grannie,grab your credit card,and let’s go shopping for perfumes”….she ended up with Daisy by Marc Jacobs…very fitting…..Animale…sniffed it years ago…and NEVER want to again…..please stay well,off the foot,and many hugs to you for the dratted pain:x:x

    • March says:

      I’m staying off the foot, well, sort of. The dog needs to be walked. He’s missing his master and sort of depressed, I’m coddling him with special foods. And your shopping trip sounds fun!

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh lord, March, I hope you feel better sooner, rather than later. Foot problems are a drag, but please take your time getting back into those “cute” shoes. I should know: I wore a pair of really beautiful shoes to a professional event last Thursday. They look great…but after wearing them all day, even walking around downtown in them (like the fool I am!), my feet were destroyed! Just another reminder that God did not make us to tramp around in high heels for not even a reasonable period of time.

    Speaking of which, I saw a picture and read an article yesterday in the Image section of the LA Times about these seven inch, yes seven inch, heels that my girl Gwyneth was seen wearing at some movie premiere in May. Seven inches! I can’t even imagine wearing anything like that. Whoever designed those shoes truly hates women.

    Doesn’t everybody eat, drink and sleep perfume? 😉


    • March says:

      I saw those Gwyneth shoes! Those things were insane. Although there was that pair of Balenciaga heels a couple seasons ago that I lusted for in the hugest, most ridiculous manner … still haven’t forgotten about htem. They were ugly and transfixing. Hey, those are some Querelle shoes. PS I hope your feet get better soon!

    • Musette says:

      I usually give Ms Gwyneth a pass, even with the micro-minis…but those shoes just make her look vaguely like a moron. I am ALL for sexy, exotic stilettos…and I own a lot of ’em…but any shoe that requires that somebody HOLD YOU UP8-|

      well….where are the Fug Girls when you need ’em?

      • violetnoir says:

        I know, I know! I love Gwyneth, but I have to say that those shoes just looked a wee bit ridiculous…and scary! 😮

  • Calypso says:

    Oooh, I also send sympathy about your foot and pain and sheo problems (having been through a hip replacement that really altered the way I walk and the way I see feet and shoes in general). I second the recommendation of Ecco shoes, though some of them are also a bit clunky in the Birkenstocks vein. You might also try looking for Pikolinos–you can google them. They are carried here in Houston at stores called The Walking Company which is where I saw them. They are comfortable and quite stylish and have a lot of sandal varieties. Good luck!!
    And I also share the resistance to finding a “signature scent”. For some reason I always see perfumes as having not just moods but also colors. Sometimes I choose an outfit based on the perfume I want to wear that day and at other times it’s vice-versa. (I hope I’m not just going by the bottle color!) Certain perfumes just don’t go with red or with black, while others do. Maybe it’s a weird kind of synaesthesia.

    • March says:

      I *think* the store near me carries the brands you mention but will google the Pikolinos, I love that name. (That’s how to pick a shoe, right?!?)

      I totally get what you are saying about the perfume and color! I take my outfit into account too, they have to complement each other, or I’ll pick the fragrance first and say, what goes with this? I bet most people don’t think about it that way.

      • Louise says:

        Ditto on Pikolinos-I have a cute red pair, very comfy. And the Danskos, and especially Monros-Nordies has them, but they have lots of styles on line…love ’em.

  • chayaruchama says:

    You poor petite biatchska !
    You are most DEFINITELY NOT the comfort shoe girl, alas…
    [And likely not good at doing what you’re told… just a wild hunch there, baby.]
    Rest up and ice that poor sucker !

    I too feel your pain- last Friday, I felt like a real junkie- the doc shot me up ‘between the toes’-
    What ? No smack ?
    [ My only comfort is that, if I succumbed to actually getting help- I really needed it, lol. No wussy pillow, Mrs. M. Or you, for that matter.]

    I live in Mephistos, Naots, and have white Birkies for my nursey thang.
    Danskos in the winter.
    Tant pis pour moi.

    Sig frag ?
    Whuzdat ?
    Dey hav doz ?

    I nearly crapped myself, with your scented tales today.
    Too funny, and too true.

    Take care , my little one.
    Make the Big Cheese kiss those tootsies.

    • March says:

      I had no idea before today’s post that so many of you (literally) feel my pain! And I appreciate all the suggestions. He is threatening me with a cortisone shot after things heal further (I just typed “heel further”) :d

      We are too fickle for a signature scent. [-(

  • Jennifer says:

    Feel better March and just let it heal (take this advice from someone who seemed to catch every damn flu this year because she would not rest). By the way those pictures are perfect with the caption.

    • Musette says:

      What Jennifer said! This little footsie setback is just a blip on the radar. Just be grateful you don’t have a job that requires you to stand all day!

      Another brand to research is Gabor. Several years ago I stumbled across this charming little shop in Berkeley that was all about ‘sensible’ shoes but let’s face it, this was in 2001 (probably) so people were sort of over wearing loaves of bread on their feet, even in Berkeley. I bought this cute pair of flats (slight rise in the heel – total flat wrecks my back) in a neutral shade. Worked like a charm with nearly everything except a cocktail dress. Perfect with cute summer dresses and skirts and pants. And you can slip an orthotic in, no problem! Okay, forget Gabor. I just checked the current line and they suck. This might be more up your alley for the duration of your rehab:

      • pavlova says:

        Since Musette has recommended Beautifeel shoes, take a look at these sandals in RED patent (also come in leopard!!!, black patent, and silver). Perhaps a good combo of comfy and stylish and sandal/wedge (small) What do you think?? xox

        • March says:

          Okay, I could work those, but it has to be a shoe, not a sandal — I’ve got an orthotic insert that’s cradling my heel just so and providing me with arch support. It’s not terrible but it’s black and kinda ugly and has to sit in the closed heel.

      • March says:

        Yeah, see, something like that! That’s what I need! I tried on a few pairs of flats and nothin’ doing, too hard on my back. A low wedge heel is good, and I think I need the strap across the top because the insert makes my heel more likely to pop out … thanks!

    • March says:

      Thanks, it makes me giggle looking at it. 🙂

  • moi says:

    Bummer on your foot. I’m addicted to shoes of all sizes and types (except Crocs – they are from the devil) and I hear ya on those low wedges so popular right now. I just bought a Naturalizer lemon yellow canvas sling back. Like all Naturalizers, über comfy, and cute as well. They may cure your blues.

    As for perfume, even in my blissfully scent-ignorant late teens, I was perfume-hopping, searching, not for the perfect scent for all time, but the perfect scent for “right now.” Addicted? Yes. Just last night I dreamed I was cleaning out my office closet and found four unopened bottles of a vintage Balenciaga Michelle. Before I could open them and sniff, I woke up. Talk about perfumist interruptist.

    • Eileen says:

      “(except Crocs – they are from the devil)”

      I agree whole-heartedly, moi! The only way I survive it is not to look down. Otherwise, I begin to wonder about my sanity and the general unfairness of life..

    • Musette says:

      Naturalizer in lemon yellow:-? I may have to rethink my stance on that brand……

    • March says:

      Those Naturalizers are sooo cute! But no open backs until I get better, it’s got to be something that will hold the orthotic.

      Heh, I dream about perfume too! Too bad yours wasn’t real.

  • Eileen says:

    Hope you find some cute/funky shoes, March! Foot pain is no fun, so you might as well enjoy whatever makes it better. I’ve been dealing with some foot issues for a year or so and found the only shoes I can wear comfortably are Crocs – name brand only, no knock-offs. So, I have my blue Crocs for day, and a white pair for when I feel frolicsome in the summer. For evening I have a lovely black pair — they’ve even been to the opera :”> The secret is to wear it with pride, baby! :d

    Ya know, if you wore enough Animale, maybe no one would notice your shoes? :-\”

    • Debbied says:

      That was my plan on along. If I walk in smelling of Iris Ganache or Chergui, maybe no one will think to look down at the tennies. 🙂

    • March says:

      Crocs?! :((

      Lord, I … I just can’t go there yet. Crocs are for people in the health and standing professions, and my babies. Maybe I could hire someone to carry me around?

  • dinazad says:

    Wishing you speedy recovery – with as little discomfort as possible (and realllllly cute comfort shoes)!

    Will I fall from grace if I confess that I rather like Après la Mousson? It smells like the gallons of puréed watermelon with ginger I make and consume every summer. Very refreshing! And after disappearing from my skin after about twenty seconds, it reappears about half a day later, lightly spicy. Its predecessors (Eau de Merveilles, Jardin au Méditerranée, Jardin sur le Nil) never even made it to my skin, so I can’t really comment on them. A “Jardin” which actually manages to hang around or at least reappear, is a welcome change indeed!

    I haven’t smelled Animale (although I suspect it would bore me – even MKK smells tame on me), but your description reminded me of my first encounter with Prince Matchabelli’s Cachet. To be used verrry sparingly! 😉

    On the subject of shoes: have you tried “waitress sandals”? The flat ones which are open at the toes and heel but lace up around the ankle? Around here, elderly waitresses tend to wear them. I love mine, even if I’m not an elderly waitress. Very comfortable, supporting your feet, and unusual enough to be cool.

    • March says:

      Hey, Mousson clearly works for some people or it wouldn’t have gotten made — and I don’t think most people have my reaction. Most of the reviews I’ve read have found it a polite melon-floral, maybe a little tamer than they were hoping for with that name. And since the other Jardins last forever on me (I have that skin as you know) it’s just a skin chem thing. Even though we know skin chem doesn’t exist. 😉 I’d prefer your watermelon puree, thanks. And I love watermelon, just not on my skin.

      Don’t know anything about those waitress sandals! They sound great, I will have to research them. Over here everyone’s wearing Crocs.

      • dinazad says:

        Here’s a pic of the newest waitress sandal model – not as cute as some other suggestions, I’m afraid…. :-s

        • Musette says:

          actually, those could be cute, in a Gladiator mode, if they weren’t white! I could definitely see those in a turquoise blue or a bright green – you know, where the shoes say “HELLO!” I would wear those in a bright blue, really I would!

          In my opinion, comfort shoes only don’t work when they are trying hard to be something else, like Naturalizers trying to masquerade as Manolos.


        • March says:

          I agree with Musette — I’d be all over those in another color. They do look comfortable though.

          • Mariannetm says:

            I have problems with two knees, one hip and one footl-)and I =:)refuse to walk on things like Mephistos. ARA shoes and Thierry Rabotin shoes feel and wear like pantuffles and look pretty great. And I am not addicted to anything…the folks in my head are just so demandingx(

          • March says:

            Exactly! And thanks for the shoe recommendations.

      • perfumequeen says:


        sorry about your feet! You should go get some extra pedi’s and definately do the Pilates.

  • Divalano says:

    I’m with Louise on the sig scent thing … I can barely stick to one scent a day, never mind one scent for all time.

    Shoes: girl, you can do this. I have a larger than life, 6 ft something club going, party hosting gal friend & SHE was able to pull of appropriate recovery shoes post foot surgery AND dress for the nightlife. If she can, you can.

    In other news & apropos of nada, I’ve fallen for the Nazgul … Ambre Narguile & it’s being quite fantabulous on my wrist right about now.

    • March says:

      I keep trying to wear ONE SCENT for a day, and what a struggle. I would like to enjoy something for a full day, you get to know it better.

      And thanks for the pep talk about the shoes. I am sure I can find something that works.

  • Gail S says:

    Well, my foots are okay, I just have back and knee pain :(( My Mom has had to wear orthotics for several years now and boy howdy does she have some fugly shoes! (luckily for me she doesn’t read perfume blogs). I’ll hope for your sake that you can find some better-looking shoes than she has.

    Speaking of the Mom, her goal in perfume is something that doesn’t stink that doesn’t make my Daddy sneeze. That’s about it! She has a couple that she rotates, poor woman. I haven’t figured out my sister’s priorities. I think that if I really applied myself, she could find herself with way too many perfumes, but she doesn’t have much of an income, so I refrain. My daughter is screwed unfortunately. She considers my perfume collection to be hers as well. Hehe, she went to this bath and body type place last week that will mix up shower gels and lotions and other stuff with the scents of your choice. She confessed to me last night that she briefly thought of getting a mix that would appeal to the male sex. Then she was properly horrified at her temporary lapse in judgement and changed it to something appropriately selfish :d

    Take it easy on that foot and come on down here if you need some heat. It was 105 yesterday….gasp….gasp….

    • March says:

      105?!?! Wow, that there is some heat. We’re still on the cool side here, which I suppose I should enjoy while it lasts because everything could not be greener and more jewel-like.

      • March says:

        Ack! Hit “save” accidentally. Yeah, those crazy kids! I am pretty sure Diva is getting into my collection, but given the bombs in there she is treading pretty carefully. Something weird: Enigma has been wearing a teeny bottle of Pleasures and it smells *great* on her, I can’t believe it. I hate Pleasures. On her it smells sweet and lightly spicy.

  • MattS says:

    Awww, man…Animale sounds great to me.

    I have a theory about quiet, button-downed, academic types: they’re the true freaks behind closed doors.

    If you’re still craving heat, come on down. Temps here are supposed to be in the 90’s by the end of this week and our porch could use a good cleanin’. BTW, what are you doing cleaning your porch with your bad foot? Is a lecture about not doing to much in order?

    • March says:

      I thought of you when I was doing this, actually. Wondering if you’d ever smelled it? On my friend it smelled very … pelty. Not in the least feminine. That’s why I finally screwed up my courage and asked her, I was wondering if there was some niche skank I’d overlooked! Maybe it wouldn’t be so horrible applied with a lighter hand. You’ve not tried the Male? Google the fragrance, there are some hilarious flankers.

    • March says:

      PS I know, I know about the foot. I propped it last night. But if I have to sit around, I want to do some of it on the dang porch, and it wasn’t fit for habitation. (we have an open front one as well). The pollen has been terrible this year, but I say that every year.

  • sariah says:

    That bottle is so 80s. Funny about your buttoned down acedemic friend choosing something so funky as a sig scent – I wonder if she just liked the smell, or if she was trying to signal to the world that she wasn’t all that buttoned down.

    Glad to hear you can walk again. Good luck with the shoe hunt.

    • March says:

      Yeah, and where did she ever smell it the FIRST time? Sears? I’ve never seen it anywhere. Why that and not … oh, anything else? And the bottle is hilarious. Yes, very 80s. But you know how noses are. Maybe it just smelled subtle and spicy to her.

  • Anne says:

    Hmmmmm Ummmm. Notice the trend here? I have foot pain daily too. No broken bones or torn ligaments, that must be horrible. Sorry. I hope you heal quickly. Back to the trend. Does the gene that blesses us with this perfume obsession gift also give us weak feet? Or is it all that mall shopping with people searching for a signature scent? 😕

    • March says:

      I am AMAZED about all the poor feet on here. I’ve had twinges of plantar fasciitis for years, thanks to running, but nothing this serious, and I am now fully realizing the “serious” bit is a chronic thing and I am going to have to get real about the arch support and heel cradling. Before if I just did more stretches it went away. Sigh.

      Feet should be made better. Or, less nerve endings. [-(

  • Nina says:

    Sorry about your foot, March. As a wearer of orthotic inserts myself,I have to say warmer weather is a bummer. The specialist who fitted my inserts told me lace-ups were best, and when I asked what I should wear in summer, said “Oh, just wear your usual birkenstocks’. I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. Eventually I twigged that it’s a make of sandal, and when I found some Birkenstocks in a shoe shop, I was appalled by how a) ugly and b) uncomfortable they were. I spent a miserable, in-pain summer defiantly wearing fashion wedges with NO SUPPORT. Then this year I discovered that the Birkenstock people have brought out trendy new styles, AND I learned that the key to comfort is to buy a size smaller than normal. I’m now the possessor of two pairs of rather cute flip-flops with weirdly comfortable sculpted soles. If only summer would come, I may be limp-free this year!

    Animale. I own a bottle that looks exactly like your picture, except it’s only got an inch of juice left. The rest floated up the nostrils of people around me about twenty years ago, when I bought it in Selfridges. I bought it because I really liked the smell, although it was so powerful it had to be applied in pin-head amounts. Eventually it was too strong and assertive even for me. I wonder if people thought I smelled like yak – if they did, they never told me. Perhaps I’m anosmic to yak, which is a little worrying?

    • March says:

      An ACTUAL Animale wearer! That is so great. I think I was working through a bottle of Poison right about then, so we’re even. It sounds like you thought Animale was All That and a bag of chips…

      Love your Birkenstocks story. Of course I wore them for about a year in my short-lived high school hippie phase (purple — shudder). I’ll have to check out the new styles.

  • Louise says:

    Ouch. I am sorry about the foot (need more cake?) but realllly sorry about the surely temporary abandonment of hot-looking shoes. You do wear those platform and wedgies expertly. I am predicting, though, that they’ll be back on pretty soon.

    I have bad feet and a bad back, so have had to resort to only occasional sexy shoes. Especially at work, where I put on several miles a day, I now have yielded to low boots and funky (Birkenstok-ish) sandals. There are some decent “comfort shoes”, though-Naots, the newer SASs, Danskos-wanna go shopping :d/?

    Having a signature scent would mean having a single personality.

    We here don’t get that concept. We here like having different, er, aspects of ourself, that can emerge at will, scented differently to aid in identification :));))>:p:(|)

    • March says:

      Don’t you bring me more cake woman!!! I am totally getting a muffin-top! It’s turning into a loaf-top now… I seriously need to figure out some exercise where I don’t need to stand, not quite worked that out yet. /:) For sure another week of no gym and I’ll be insane.

      I’m hoping if I buy some slightly larger shoes I can make the orthotics thing work. It doesn’t seem like it works in a loafer style, my heel comes out, so I am looking at T-straps, etc.

      • Kim says:

        recumbent biking? elliptical or ski machine? (have to stand but no running/walking) Wii-fit yoga? What about those weird rowing/rider things?

        • March says:

          I’m going to give the recumbent bike a try, we have one of those. The elliptical is weird, it makes the bottom of my feet go numb, which scares me. :”> And I think I’m going to hire a trainer to show me some free weight stuff, etc. on the floor that doesn’t press the feet. Obviously I am not the only person with this issue.

          • Louise says:

            Pilates tones the bod really well, and you can be lying down, no impact. Also-Tai Chi is super low impact, great for the butt, er bottom, once you can put some weight on the paw :d/

          • Kim says:

            I swear by Pilates for my back – it makes a huge difference. There are a number of good books with routines you can do at home without any equipment. Books by Lynn Robinson or Anna Selby are excellent and easy for beginners.

          • March says:

            There’s that Pilates studio on Wisconsin Ave., maybe this is the push I need to go over there. I did yoga for awhile there too.

            Pilates on the mat kicks my behind but wow, it’s great. Even my doctor could tell the difference in my abs (under the extra dough). :”>

          • Disteza says:

            If you need any help with the free weights let me know–I’ve worked with the fencing acadmey where I teach to develop some free weight and ankle weight – based exercise programs. Plus, I don’t charge (although I might take some unwanted samples off your hands). Feel free to send me an e-mail if you’re interested.

          • March says:

            Thanks – I’m so lazy on my own, I think I’m going to try pilates, I like having someone to push me along.

      • Existentialist says:

        And I too am sorry for your foot. Can you swim? Swimming (or even just thrashing around in a pool) would be easy on the foot and still be a good workout.

        • March says:

          If only I could swim without … you know … getting in the water. :”> Then it would be perfect, you’re right, it’s a great exercise. I swam with all the elegance of Shamu, the summer I was pregnant with the twins.

    • Debbie says:

      Yes, exactly, Louise! Different fragrances complement different aspects of our personalities. Add to that moods, events, and weather. For those with better wardrobes than mine, outfits would count too.

      I can see the aspect of people recognizing your scent lingering our something. That would be kind of neat. Not enough to convert me, but I can see it.

  • rosarita says:

    Your description of Animale, instead of horrifying me, makes me want to sniff it for myself. Hmmm. /:)

    So sorry about your foot. I have had to wear orthotics for the last four years and yeah, the shoe choices are limited. Not impossible, though. My podiatrist has several catalogs of shoes that can be purchased with a custom orthotic; you might ask about that kind of thing. There are some styles that are surprisingly cute.

    • March says:

      I have another appt next week, I will ask. In the meantime maybe I can get some love at the specialty shoe store … he’s having me try these things called SuperFeet, I hope they help.

  • alba says:

    I guess people want to have a signature scent as part of the projection of what/who they’d like the rest of the people to think they are(together with dress, cars, house…). In my case,having thirty-something fragrances may mean I’m a bit extravagant or that whatever it is I project is never easy to pin down. Or maybe people don’t really stop to analyze anyone’s perfume or projection. Sooo, let’s have fun in our “addiction” and let others find their signature.

    • March says:

      Addiction? Not me. I can quit any time I want… 8-|


      Where’s the whistling emoticon when you need him?

  • Kim says:

    Ouch!! Back and foot problems suck !!
    Try ecco shoes or Cole Haan air stlyes – some styles aren’t too bad looking and sometimes you can take out the insoles and put in inserts. Or go up a size in nice shoes and put orthotics in so you can survive the evening. Alternatively, for dress-up, wear a maxi skirt/to the floor dress with tennies underneath and no one is the wiser when the skirt covers the shoes!

    Until I discovered this blog I wore Opium, then Paloma, then Chanel No 5. Now I love Lutens’ Borneo 18??, Yatagan, Shalimar, Mitsouko, Cartier Le Must….. So I can hardly consider myself qualified to comment on the search for a subtle signature scent! :d

    • March says:

      I did the mall comfort shoe stores, but no love there. But someone reminded me there’s a specialty comfort shoe store near us I’d forgotten about, and I think they carry Ecco, Naot, Dansko, etc. And you’re right — apparently a lot of those have removable insoles so I don’t have to go up to a larger size, which would be nice, given that the shoes are kinda clunky to start with.

      Um, yeah, you’re not exactly the shrinking perfume violet, are you? 😉

  • Anthony says:

    Wait… people don’t think of fragrace all the time? I guess I can understand… sometimes when I’m… no, not then… oh yes! When I… no, no then, either… hmm… I guess I think about fragrance all the time 🙂 P.S. I would love to see a picture of the shoe equivalent of Querelle!!! HAHAHAHA!!!

    • March says:

      Seriously, it would be great, wouldn’t it? I found a pair of red patent square-toe Italian wedges with this ginormous buckle on them that I thought was getting darn close, but they were out of my size. Or, some really fugly masculine looking slightly heeled loafer — like a smaller scale pilgrim shoe? I could work that.

  • Debbie says:

    I am so glad you went to the physician. I bet that *was* excruciating pain, having broken off a little piece of bone. (groan) I hate pain. I have a lot of it with my feet, and I have just given up on having cute or pretty shoes. I have to wear orthotics; since they’re not solving the problem even wearing ONLY TENNIS SHOES all the time, I am going to a different podiatrist on Wednesday. Granted, I’m retired, so dress shoes are not high priority. However, when you have to wear them, you *have* to wear them. And it’s hard to pull of anything except jeans and khakis with TENNIS SHOES. Sniffle. I’d like to wear a pair of Coldwater Creek slacks I saw recently. But with…tennies? Huh? I tried other shoes that weren’t, and they don’t give enough cushioning even with the orthotics. Please cross your fingers for me that the new doc can help.

    Animale is animalic? I think someone sent me the wrong sample, as here is what it was like for me:

    “Lots of pretty flowers with a hint of musk. I can smell rose in this, maybe ylang. I wish it had just a bit more musk….definitely NOT animalic despite the name. It’s amazing that something this good can be had so cheaply. It does feel a little dated to me, however. If you’re into big floral scents, check this one out. It’s not sour or sharp….a hint of powder.”

    That isn’t remotely the same, er, animal. I probably would have fallen hard for the one you’re describing!

    • March says:

      There’s this flanker called Animale Animale (and isn’t that grist for confusion) wonder if that’s what you smell? They make it sounds less … forceful in their ads. It’s like the Animale for your office job or something. IMHO if they’re throwing around words like “romantic” it’s their code for DO YOUR COWORKERS A FAVOR AND DON’T WEAR THIS, ‘KAY?!?

      Tennis shoes. Gah. If I have to run around in tennis shoes I’ll have to buy myself a Juicy Couture tracksuit and frost my hair and be done with it. [-(

      • Debbie says:

        Maybe that was it on the Animale. What a disappointment, as I think I would like the one you’re describing.

        So I need to check into Juicy Coutour huh? LOL! I refuse to frost my hair.

        I’m pretty sure Apres La Mousson does not mean After You’ve Been Hit in the Head with a Melon. =)) BTW, I love it. Fruits usually get a delightful rotting accord on my skin, but JCE’s don’t. Thank heavens, as they’re pretty great when that doesn’t happen. Too bad about your chemistry on this one. Or sensibilities. Which is it?

        • March says:

          Hey, I am sure that’s the correct translation! I have tons of experience with the language … okay, not really. AT all. Would have taken French instead of Spanish if I’d known I’d be interested in perfume.

          The melon is OVERWHELMING. Like drowning in a melon. I like melon to eat, maybe just not on me…

  • tmp00 says:

    I don’t think of fragrance all the time, I think of food all the time. :d