Mea culpa. It’s Friday morning. I woke up an hour or so ago. And I’ve just remembered it’s my posse week. Bad boy.

The excuse – work, innit? And whilst I’m not going to talk about that, it is really getting in the way. Alongside the start of the planting season, but that’s no bad thing.

Seeds so far: ten types of tomato, aubergine, two types of cucumber, melon, jalapeno chillis and two other chilli types. And about 20 varieties of annuals. The big sow comes at the end of this month. Or the beginning of next. Spring is slow in coming here, and the daffodils are much later than usual.

And then there’s the dahlia tubers I’m forcing to take some rooted cuttings. Too many varieties to bore you with here.

As for smells, they’re on a back seat. I’ve been craving Miller Harris’ Fleurs de Sel, now my decant has run out. This is different enough to stand out from the crowd – more an anti-perfume than the ‘Oh no! It’s l’Eau’ of Serge Lutens, it’s one part marshy seaside, to one part spa treatment, to one part Idunnowhat. Yeah, that’s right, it has three parts.

So sorry. But that’s all. Help me out by telling me what’s keeping you busy right now.

Oh, and I’ve lost nearly 16 pounds since Christmas – unintentionally really. Glad to see the back of the slow accretion of middle-aged manblubber.

  • Olfacta says:

    Finally my daffodils are up and the little narcissi I planted a couple of years ago. It looks like the extreme cold winter (for us) got my little tulips though. And it’s raining. Still f-ing raining.

    I am going to attempt tuberose this year, wish me luck…congrats on the weight loss too!

  • Musette says:

    Hey, sweets! Glad to know you’re still around, though not a round (badump-bump!=)) I’m here all week, folks! Your weight loss sounds phenomenal, as long as you’re feeling healthy.

    I’m so busy I can’t even list what’s keeping me busy but what the heck – here are the highlights:

    my papi – we are settling down, all 5 of us, in this house. His pain is now being managed pretty well without a surfeit of drugs, which is great.

    our house – we can now begin renovations, as the extreme cold is gone, along with the snow [-o< (we are known to get a boatload of it around Easter, when Nature is feeling particularly vicious) our business - too boring to go into here. Typical business-building, etc The robins are back! Where do they go in the winter? I have no idea but I'm thrilled to see them here now. It's noisy as can be out there - and it's a beautiful thing. No bulbs at all yet - What Shelley Said. But soon the bluebells will be out and that's worth the wait. SOTD: Charmes Y Feuilles. Perfect for this time of year. xo >-)

    ps. how is La Grace? the boys send her kisses!

  • Connie says:

    Wow, Lee, 16 pounds! How fabulous! Congratulations. I am also in awe of your gardening/discipline. ^:)^

    I think I may have gained a couple of those pounds you lost, though I hope to remedy that soon with my new job. That is what is keeping me busy of late. I started a new job the beginning of February after almost a year of looking (yay!) and I am now walking to work. It is 1.5 miles each way so I’d better lose weight. 😉 Trying to find parking sometimes takes about 20 minutes and puts me in a bad mood so I figured I would walk to work. It is good for me, the environment and everyone coming into contact with me in the morning … tee hee!

    I’ve never tried MH FdS but your description of it sounds delish. The only thing I have tried from MH is Feuilles de Tabac, which I quite enjoyed.

    Wishing everyone a lovely weekend …

  • tmp00 says:

    16 lbs?!? Are you still three-dimensional? :d

  • Joe says:

    Hi Lee. I almost reached for my decant (about 3ml left) of Fleurs de Sel this morning, and grabbed AdP Colonia Intensa instead. I will need some Fleurs de Sel at some point though…

    Gad, I’d love to lose SIX pounds, let alone 16.

    What’s keeping me busy is trying to organize the horrid mess of decants and samples that’s making my desk look like a disaster, or the home of one of those crazy, hoarder people. This weekend… Take care.

  • carter says:

    I’ve been busy stripping. The Terriers.

    And feeding my new opera habit. And stuffing me face with macarons:@) and drinking copious amounts of coffee and Grey Goose gibsons with lovely and amazing visiting Posse Pals.

    • Shelley says:

      Hang on a sec…trying to see if “The Terriers” was something Sally Rand did…

      • Shelley says:

        …now, for some reason, am coming up blank. Which isn’t quite how I imagine stripping would end… 😉

        The only thing that I can think of that would be more lovely than copious amounts of macaron, or coffee, or favorite martinis, would be generous serving of Posse Pals. In fact, I know I’m right on that. 😡 >:d<

      • carter says:

        Ya gotta getta gimmick!

  • mariekel says:

    well, being unemployed what keeps me busy is looking for that ever-elusive job in this non-existent economy. the good news is that I never knew DC had so many free events at any one time. i may never need to buy groceries again (well, except, of course, for paper products and toiletries. haven’t found freebies for those yet).

    dog sitting this week. my crazy basset plus huge untrained golden retriever. I must look like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon walking these two — arms being pulled in opposing directions, trying to keep from falling over.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Midterms has kept me way too busy this week. It’s not just the students who lose sleep! But spring break starts tomorrow. I’m going to dig up my poor neglected herb garden which was overrun by bermuda grass last summer, then replant. Right now my camellia bush is blooming (white flowers). Lee, I guess “Idunnowhat” is the part of FdS I don’t like. I just tried it again yesterday and I keep getting a “medicinal” note. Happy spring and congrats on your weight loss.:)

  • Tara C says:

    Meanwhile, spring has come 2 weeks early to Canada… the maple syrup is already flowing and the ice fishing and cross country skiing seasons are kaput. Here in San Diego the wisteria is already busting out… so beautiful.

  • Aparatchick says:

    Mmmm….dahlias. I always looked forward to the dahlia display at the state fair when I was a kid. Beautiful things, dahlias.

    My front yard has been keeping me busy. Our winter has been so weirdly cold for so long that the plants in my front yard all died. It’s currently a barren landscape of old mulch, brownish grass and the bare branches of dead plants. I’ve got to do something soon or the neighbors (and the dreaded Homeowners Association) will be casting baleful glares my way. Their yards look just as bad, but that never stopped anyone. [-x So I’ve been researching native plants trying to decide what to plant in place of dead crotons and ixoras. Any Floridians out there with ideas for me? [-o<

  • Disteza says:

    Hmm, the crocuses haven’t even started yet around my house, and they’re usually on the way out by now. The daffodils, after much procrastination, have finally burst free of the ground and have literally grown 3 inches in the past 2 days in an effort to catch up.

    Flamenco has been keeping me busy of late–we have a show tomorrow night, and have been practicing our butts off for weeks. Am hosting a wine and “pratice” session at my house tonight to blow off some steam, but I have to find time to go food shopping and clean the house after my physical therapy appointment this afternoon before the others show up! 😮

  • Nava says:

    Let’s see…I’ve been one with my laptop almost constantly these days; web copy has just been blowing out my…ummm…you know.

    If you get the opportunity to try Bond No. 9 Hamptons, I think you might like it: salty ocean breeze and musty old books. I don’t think it’s a three-parter like Fleur de Sel, but it’s definitely got the same vibe.

    Good luck with your planting. I will be selling daffodils in a couple of weeks for the Canadian Cancer Society, for their annual “Daffodil Campaign”.

  • Shelley says:

    I love/hate when the gardening talk comes out this time of year…most folks seem to be in areas ahead of my local gardening calendar [-( (petulantly), , unless they are on the other side of the equator :)>- (warmly). I was most excited this week to see bulbs poking up within 24 hours of a massive snow melt, but other than that, the gardening is still all in my head. Not even attempting my own seed starting this year, as schedule and travelling (a happy thing) mean I can’t tend to the emerging seedlings. I *am* looking forward to putting to use the raised beds I created last year; clay soil means I had to spend a year building up the bones and the depths, as it were.

    All of which means I try to motivate myself to hurry up and finish at least a couple of those interior projects, with the carrot that is all of your (collective, Posse folk) garden activity dangling in front of me.

    Mmm, Fleurs de Sel. I have a trio of “sel” which bring me happiness: Fleurs de Sel, Sel Marin, Sel et Vetiver. The last, I gifted to DH, so there’s a fine squat FB ready at any time. The other two are decants; the time will come when I have to decide which I invest in. Hmmm….aw, first I’d better finish up the basement clean-out. In time for spring. And the garden.

    Dahlias? I love that dahlias behave for you.

    • Lee says:

      Actually, the seed growing can be a real pain if we want to take off somewhere. I manage somehow.

      I used to grow on clay soil and thought the sandy loam I have now would be so much nicer. Ha! It’s the greediest soil on the planet. Eats up everything.

      But yes, in spite of that, dahlias do seem to love me!

  • Astra says:

    You’re in England, right? How do your chiles turn out? I’ve had trouble here getting mine hot enough during rainy seasons (and our rain is nothing to yours). Fortunately, New Mexico is only a state away…mmm, Hatch chiles.

    • Lee says:

      They need a greenhouse. They grow alright, but don’t get the fire without glass.

      And as for rain – we get very little in my part of the UK believe it or not. Some years we only get 20 inches or so.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Congrats on the weight loss! And your existence is ever-more bucolic, it seems. I don’t know one end of a plant from another, sadly, despite having been vegetarian for over 30 years.

    Isn’t it interesting that we perfume aficionados come from such different environments, from we city types to those in the countryside and those who never see a shop selling perfume from one year to the next?

    I don’t have any Fleurs de Sel to offer you, I fear. I have plenty of the delicious l’Air de Rien, should you desire some, though – Ms Harris’s finest, in my opinion.

    Good luck with the work. I’m in my Busy Season too (even though it lasts most of the year these days, it seems).

    • Lee says:

      Well, I’m a city boy originally if that helps at all!

      I have more than enough l’air for my needs, dear kind one. I love it, but rarely wear it.

  • Melissa says:

    Over the course of 10 years, I turned our large and very hilly front yard into a mixed border, filled with ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Then it became too much for me to manage. This week, I found a delightful man to assist me with my goal of rehabilitating the overgrown pseudo-jungle. I have to admit that my lower back no longer tolerates hours of heavy landscape work on a steep hill. Paying someone else to help is a relief. I might even have some free time for the far less back-breaking task of vegetable gardening. 🙂

    • Lee says:

      On with the veggies!

      I’ve just been down to the allotment and man, it always seems so overwhelming at this time of year. I soon get going though.

  • nozknoz says:

    Interesting you mention MH Fleurs de Sel. It seems to be much harder to find than the other Miller Harrises in the US. Thus I missed it at the start of my vetiver quest and now have so many vetivers (19 samples and several FBs) that I’d stopped looking for more. But an anti-perfume that is not pointless – it’s back on the list.

    Huge congrats on the weight loss, Lee! <:-p It only gets harder to reverse that trend, so you're wise to have started early.

    • Suzy Q says:

      Hey nozknoz, I’m curious which vetivers made it to FB status. I’ve begun a casual investigation into vetivers myself.

      • nozknoz says:

        I have FBs of Annick Goutal, Guerlain (current, 1987, and circa 1970), MPG Racine and Judith Miller’s Bat Sheba (which is predominantly vetiver). I have large decants of FM Vetiver Extraordinaire and Guerlain Vetiver pour Elle. The AG is probably the one I love and wear the most, but it depends on the season.

        FYI, the modern Guerlain is a completely different scent from the vintage Guerlain Vetivers in my view. I find vetiver ideal for the office, which is one reason I have so many.

        The Heeley Sel Marin is really nice, too, if you like marine notes, and Kevin did an enticing review of the Etro vetiver on NST. I hope you’ll try many and find the one(s) that you love! %%-

        • nozknoz says:

          I almost forgot the FB of Etro Shaal Nur, which LT sums up as “warm vetiver.” I don’t think of it as a vetiver per se myself, but it’s a wonderful scent.

          • Suzy Q says:

            Thanks nozknoz! I am making a list of vetivers to sniff, trying to prioritize. There are so many! I love TDC Sel de Vetiver. I’d be happy to send you my sample of MH Fleurs de Sel. I didn’t care for it.

          • nozknoz says:

            Thank you, Suzy Q! I’ve got to get around to signing up on MUA so that I have a way to communicate and swap. I love TDC Osmanthus – it’s like the vetiver of florals: natural, clean, unisex.

            FYI, I tested Profumum Olibanum yesterday, which turns out to be another vetiver – there are so many!

    • Lee says:

      It’s one of her limited edition range. Nouvelle edition? something like that…

      Thanks hon.

      • nozknoz says:

        Thanks for the explanation, Lee – I could never understand why one of the best-regarded was so hard to find!

  • Silviafunkly says:

    Isn’t Fleurs de Sel wonderful? My craving usually only starts in the summer though.

    Apart from work, am busy planning my road trip to Texas next week. Any tips?

    • Lee says:

      Which parts of Tx you travelling to? I’ve never been thataway, though would love to go to hill country…

      • Silviafunkly says:

        Seeing friends in Dallas first, then driving to Austin, further south to St. Antonio and if we have time to a national park towards the west (called Big Bend possibly?). The plan is to have no plan and drive, but am busy reading what we should not miss. Some line dancing ? A rodeo ? BBQ sampling ? For sure no pounds will be lost. :d

        • CynthiaW says:

          Dallas has a Le Labo boutique at Barneys – I’m planning on a pilgrimage at some point for sure. Fort Worth has the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and if you’re heading through Waco on the way to Austin, you can his the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

          Austin has an awesome music scene and 6th Street is a lot of fun if you’re in to the club thing. I highly, highly recommend Moonshines restaurant downtown by the convention center – the flat iron steak and side of mac & cheese is to die for. They mix a mean martini, too. For breakfast, don’t miss migas at Cisco’s on East 6th.

          The San Antonio Riverwalk is fun, although they’ve commercialized it quite a bit – not as many fun, local places and more chains. But… if you love jazz, check out Jim Cullen’s Landing – he’s awesome.

          As for BBQ, I’m afraid that I can’t make too many recommendations outside of my backyard – but both Kreuz BBQ and Smittys Market in Lockhart right outside of Austin are fabulous. County Line and Goode’s Barbecue are both chains now, but are reliable if not as great as the other two.

          • Silviafunkly says:

            Thank you so much, made notes of all your tips. I am so looking forward to it !

            I tried Aldehydes44 in London when the exclusives were on world tour and really liked it, so will definitely pop into Barneys to a refresher.


          • CynthiaW says:

            I adore Aldehydes 44 – I just can’t bring myself to pay Le Labo’s city exclusive price. If I were a signature scent gal, I might be able to do it, but I haven’t been able to justify the expenditure yet. I still want to make the pilgrimage to the boutique though.

  • Masha says:

    It’s been a rough winter for those of us in Europe, hasn’t it? It’s mid-March and our crocuses still haven’t bloomed, they’re always out by the end of February. But then, there’s still 10cm of snow on the ground here in Bavaria…so sad.
    Happy gardening! Love those jalapenos!

    • Lee says:

      Oh, the corcuses are almost finished here Masha. We’re a little ahead of you but you soon catch up!

      Go away, Bavarian snow. You’re surplus to requirements now!

  • Annelie says:

    Last year I panted patcgouli (in Sweden) and one plant has survive and seem to like living here. This year I hope I´ll get me some tuberose. 🙂

    • Lee says:

      I’m not sure the tuberose will cope with Scandinavian cold…. Mind you, I know little about the conditions patchouli likes, so don’t listen to me!

  • Louise says:

    Lee you certainly didn’t look at all chubby with a few more lbs, but if you feel extra sleeeeek, well great :d/

    My life is all work these days as well, though there’s a brief jaunt to Europe coming up to sustain me through the long days :d

    I started craving Profumum Acquq di Sale last week-so surely warm weather is on its way.

    May your seeds take root and bloom gloriously %%- =:)

    • Lee says:

      I’ve never been chubby, but I may have headed towards chunky. Not that it’s any big thing. My mind was empty this morning, and those lost pounds filled it when nothing else would…

      Thanks for the seed talk!:x

  • Lee dear, I know men lose weight faster than women, but isn’t that a little fast?
    What’s been keeping me busy is trying to get a start on my book. Of course, this involves having a lot of ideas… for other things (blog posts, perfume courses, articles). Classic. But didn’t Hemingway use to recommend warming up by writing letters, then articles, then short stories before taking the dive? Who am I to question Hemingway’s writing strategies?

    • Sharon2 says:

      Oh God, I have to write a paper for a course and I need a 12 step program along with a full support system to prepare me. A whole book!! You have my admiration.

    • Lee says:

      No, I don’t think so. I’m 6’1; it’s less than 2 lbs a week, and I’m hardly starving myself (just eating more thoughtfully after a few months of ‘if I want it, I’m agonna eat it’. Is all.

      Oh, and there’s a reason Hemingway’s books were all rather short… 😉

      I dither with the writing. But dither it is.

      btw, loved your musings yesterday on chypres. The death of the west? WHo knows?

      • I think there’ll be more musings coming (I suspect it’s part of the bookwriting avoidance technique). This time from a Baudelaire-Benjamin perspective. Ah-hem.
        And I pretty much lost weight the same way since last summer, but what with the females hormones, it takes longer.

      • waftbycarol says:

        I scratch my head at hemmingway too , I guess he was just so different from everything else at the time…the first
        ” blogger ” of sorts…straight talk , not prose .

    • Nava says:

      Nah, jump right in. The water is warm. :d