Thick and Thin

(Okay, peeps — for the next couple of weeks we may be messing with the usual posting order.   Today is Musette.)

I got a visit from the Life Police a little while ago.  They gave me a ticket!!! and told me to shut down my Pity Party, it was going on too long, it was too loud and the neighbors were starting to complain.  I was indignant!  I loved hosting that party!  But a warning ticket from the Life Police ain’t no joke so I decided to comply.  But where to start?

Well, insides are harder than outsides so I started with the outside.   OMG! 2 sizes bigger? when did THAT happen?!?   My haiiiiiir! !!!!  what’s with the nails – are you reroofing the Vatican with your bare hands?  2 SIZES BIGGER?  WTH?   WHY ARE YOU IN SWEATS?  YOU ARE NOT AT THE GYM! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN SWEATS???

Okay You (well, ‘me’) –  First Thing:  get your lard-butt up and get to the gym, every day.  I live in the smallest town in the Universe.  We are blessed with a little gym 2 blocks from my house (everything is two blocks from my house).  Nobody’s there and they have HGTV and What Not to Wear.  No excuses!  Then my existential walk through our hilly cemetery every day (get healthy!/ why bother?)…  2 blocks from my house.  No excuses.

Man.  This is hard.  I’m so used to sitting on my lard-butt, eating a brownie and bemoaning my fate.  But I’m slogging through it.

…and slowwwwly…the poundages are slippering off.  And hey!  Nails?  They’re actually ‘done’.  And the hair – well, I’ve still got to go to a Big City for that (some things just …well, you know – it’s my hair!).

And while I’m in this improvement mode I’m noticing that my perfume choices have changed – are being assigned certain values.  Perhaps I’m every bit as insane as y’all think I am but I swear there are perfumes that make me smell fat! And some that sort of help on the thinnin’ side of things.  This came to me whilst reading Shelley’s blog post on comfort scents, where she broke things down by variations on comfort (snuggly/armored/etc) – so while I was working the elliptical I compiled my Thick/Thin lists.  This is in relation to myself alone – these scents do not conjure up any size imagery when worn by others so don’t get all bitey with me, okay? As they say, YMMV.

The List (for now)

I feel thinner already (at the gym):

Bel Respiro

No 19 edt, screaming at me to WORK IT!

Cemetery daytime


Cemetery nighttime

I don’t think so.   that’s when the zombies come out!

I feel a cupcake coming on!


Lys Mediteranee

Whoa!  my bra size is WHAT?


C-cup, bay-bee!  C-cup!

vintage Femme

3am. I’m fat! Panic attack.

Going for a walk, just me and the coyotes.  Take a stick and:

Jacomo Silences

L’eau Imperiale (Guerlain)

Y’know, I’m looking pretty good!:


vintage Diorling

I give up – I’m a mess

Ines de la Fressange (leaf bottle)

L’eau d’Hiver

Oh, shut up.  I’m doing fine!

TdC Charmes et Feuilles

Size 10 = a trip to Paris

Cartier Brillante

it will be interesting to see where these fall, once I reach my size goal, but for now they are defining my highs and lows as I struggle through this.  Do you all have particular scents that represent certain aspects of your life struggles? (weight is not the criterion here)  Would love to hear about them.  I’ll holla back when I get home from the cemetery – gotta beat the zombies!

  • Bettina says:

    It’s not easy to lose weight, I struggle with it.

  • Flora says:

    Musette, you oughtta know that Lelong pour Femme increases bra size with just one spritz…and so does Rochas Absolu. :d

    Great post, it made my day!

  • Joe says:

    Well hello! Love your post, and CONGRATS to you for doing what some of the rest of us (meaning ME) should be doing too: getting off my @ss and going to the gym every damn day. Seriously, that is a big accomplishment. You go!

    You make me laugh.

    Also, between you and me, that No. 19… I love her bunches, but she is TOTALLY the kind of skinny, personal-trainer type b*tch who would scream WORK IT!!! :@) :d

    • Musette says:

      Hey, hon! and thanks! I always have to ‘remember’ and get my buttockians in gear. Like right now – I’m on my way to the cemetery before the you-know-whos come out!;)

      xo >-)

  • ScentRed says:

    I don’t have a fat or thin scent, but I do feel an odd combination of calm, confident and a bit mysterious when I wear OJ Woman.

    With Bois des Iles I get a sense of understated glamour, despite not having the wardrobe to match 😉

    And with Chaos I feel fully rebellious – but maybe that’s because it is one perfume that both my hubby or my mother openly dislike and some days I wear it because I love it and I need to just say the heck with looking after everyone else’s needs.

    • Musette says:

      Actually, that’s a great attitude to have EVERY day. The older I get (and Rappleyea, don’t look back – I’m gainin’ on ya 😀 the more I realize that folks go along quite nicely whether I sacrifice myself or not.

      So I don’t!;)

      xoxo >-)

  • maggiecat says:

    What a wonderful post! I’ve just spent two weeks with my dad during what proved to be his final illness – COPD is BRUTAL BTW – and found myself clinging to citrus-y, happy scents as if they were the Holy Grail of some kind. Last fall following spinal fusion surgery, it was Kenzo Summer, almost exclusively. Perhaps we’re practicing a sort of sub-conscious aromatherapy? Seriously, getting oneself out of a funk requires grace and courage, which you all seem to have in abundance. You’ve made me think that I need to go getmy nails done later today…

    • Musette says:

      Oh, my dear..


      Citruses really are fun, happy scents, aren’t they? I’m glad they were able to give you a bit of a lift.

      ( Nails are a good place to start but I think – maybe a Spa Day?)

      xoxox >-)

    • dissed says:

      Yes, it is brutal. My father had it. You get your nails done. Then your hair, and whatever else you want. Then order three dozen new citrus scents.

    • ScentRed says:

      I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through.

      Do take good care of yourself – whatever form that may take.

      Perfume therapy isn’t cheap…unless you compare it to psychotherapy and then it seems to me like money very well spent 😉

  • Nava says:

    I tend to AVOID the scents that represent my life struggles, and either consign them to some deep dark corner of a closet or pitch them altogether. What can I say? I have certain superstitions that lurk in the nether regions of my brain.

    Outside the realm of generic comfort, I have to admit that I’ve never made a list such as the one you did. You’ve got me thinking now. Can’t you smell the wood burning?? :d

    Good luck with your fitness goals. You have an open invitation to travel north of the border to kick my ass whenever you want. 😡

  • grizzlesnort says:

    Honey?…does this perfume make me smell fat?– is one I’ve not had to deal with before, thank God.

  • MJ says:

    I haven’t worked out much of a life of scents scale, but I had to go to inner city court today and wore Mitsouko for courage (and MAC Dare You lips). I showed up for my side, 3 older male lawyers showed up for the other side, and I won.


    Mitsouko takes no prisoners!

  • dleep says:

    Just want to say, thanks for making me laugh out loud today!
    I love this blog.

  • Disteza says:

    Congrats on the new outlook, and best of luck on the exercise! I went through a bunch of injuries and weight gain, and have had to work my butt off, to, well, work my butt off. Problem now is that I can’t ever stop! I don’t tend to think of perfumes as thick or thin, but I do notice that some are much better performers for working out; some are better suited for eating; and some are just there to be gorgeous, and there better not be any sweat or food involved or they will make things difficult. [-(

    • Musette says:

      In my next incarnation, I want to be one of those ‘difficult’ no sweat/no food perfumes. They always seem to get their way, don’t they?

      xo >-)

  • March says:

    Oh — and Organza Indecence INSTANTLY increases my bust size by a full cup. Guys love that thing so much it’s hilarious.

    • Musette says:

      Well I definitely DO NOT need an increase…but:-? on the ‘guys love that thing’. I don’t know that I’ve ever sniffed it.

      To The Mall!

      xo >-)

    • March says:

      It’s not regular ol’ Organza — I bet Shelley has some. It’s primarily vanilla, although very spicy and zaftig. It’s a bit of a perfumista secret-handshake 😉 You know, sorta like Silences. It was rather hard to find for awhile, but I believe they reissued it a couple years ago. It’s nothing earth-shattering — a comfort scent. But I am very very fond of it.

      • Shelley says:

        In fact, she does. She likes it too much to put it with those cup runneth over selections she put on her list…because OI counts for cozy and comfort, not just “I don’t need to think with these leading the way”… She also has set aside a morsel of the fulsome vanillic nicely, and will post it in the next package. [She waves a big “hello!” to March…]

      • Nava says:

        March, just so you know, The Bay usually has TONS of Organza Indecence in stock, so think of me as your “plastic surgeon” if you ever run out. :d

        Have a great time in Paris!

        • Robin R. says:

          No way! The Bay? This I have to see. Please let it be true. [-o< Excellent topic, N. I'm thinkin' -- Amouage Tribute when I'm feeling flat broke. Also Djedi. Vintage (extrait preferably) when the modern world seems like scary place. Cadjmere when the wind is biting. Daphne when I'm feeling frisky. Mitsouko parfum when I'm really feeling in the thick of all you amazing fragrance lovers. Mitsouko parfum when I'm not, and then suddenly I am. Britney Spears Believe when I'm feeling rebellious. <):)

          • Musette says:

            I was with you until the Believe.

            Is there such a thing? I will have to try it!

            Tribute/Djedi for those ‘flat-broke’ moments…..somehow this makes perfect sense!

            xo >-)

    • mary says:

      Organza Indecence is disco in a bottle!I foraged a tiny little lady bottle from an antique store, and have been on the hunt for more. I literally have Donna Summer tunes playing in my head every time I put it on. It is a sticky shiny lip gloss-wraparound dress of a perfume! (*)

  • March says:

    Such a great list! And I am enjoying reading all these comments on a rainy morning 😡

    I will only add: I grew up literally a stone’s throw from a cemetery (we’re the last house on the street on the …. DEAD END. 8-x ) And we used to play over there, including at night. So to me, the cemetery smells like fresh cut grass, night blooming flowers, and cherry blossoms, which (if you climb the tree and are surrounded by the blooms) actually do have a wonderful, faint smell. @};-

    • Musette says:

      yeah, well…. make sure you have a good tree to clamber up into! Zombies can’t climb trees.;)

      (see, I’m just FULL of useful information – well full of ‘something’, that’s for sure;))

      xo >-)

      ps. I’m okay around those old graves – it’s the brand-new ones that sort of unnerve me. I think I watched too many 8-x flicks at an impressionable age. Or else I’m just an idiot.

      xo >-)

  • Josie says:

    I think of Jacomo Silences as a skinny, mean lady.

  • nozknoz says:

    Musette, thank you for this encouraging post and props to you for the progress you have made! <:-p I have lost 40 lbs over the last two years, after decades of slowly gaining weight and finally getting that "ticket from the Life Police." I relied on Judith Beck's cognitive-behavioral approach (really recommend her books) and got my :@) back to the gym. Can it be a coincidence that I discovered Perfumes the Guide, Perfume Posse and other frag blogs, and started exploring niche and vintage perfumes at the same time? I think it helped to have new and deeply satisfying sensual alternative treats to sub for food. I turn to vintage Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko or Shalimar when I need max reinforcement. Theorema, Ambre Soie, La Myrrhe, Bois de Violette, and Coze are also good. I turn to various vetivers, TDC Osmanthus, Virgilio, L'Ombre dans L'Eau and Olene when I need energy and focus. Vintage Le Dix and various Lanvins, Patous and Carons are sensual favorites. I'm testing Killians now and may need one or two of those, as well 😉

    • Musette says:

      Sweetie, can I come work out with you? 😡

      xo >-)

      • nozknoz says:

        Musette, I’d take you to Pilates! >:) Which is just murder, frankly, and the one place where I feel I can’t wear fragrance for reinforcement, out of deference to the teachers who are right there correcting one’s form.

        Keep up the good work! Sometimes I think it is HARDER when the gym is so close, because I, for one, tend to think, oh, I can do it any time…. and weeks pass. Months. Years. :@)

    • Aparatchick says:

      Ah, yes the decades of gaining weight. You don’t really notice when it’s a half-pound this month then a pound that month, but a year down the road …. oh, no! 😮 So here’s to you, noz for losing those 40 lbs. ^:)^ I lost 10 lbs last year and I’m working on losing 15 more this year. Although I think either the aerobics or the pilates may kill me before that happens! I’ve often wondered if my newfound love of the gourmands in my collection has anything to do with trying to lose the weight ….

  • J says:

    I just loved this post. For some reason though, I read the last paragraph as “defining my thighs and lows”….more coffee!

  • Louise says:

    Musette…I’m too wired today to say much more than… =)) =))=d>

  • Shelley says:

    I love this list! What fun. Lemme think; what might I slot in…

    Make me feel thinner : Eau de Patou
    Bountiful bodacious breastitude : Amarige or Poeme (that’s right, run away…)
    Have instead of that italian ice : Bond Little Italy
    Whatever the reality, I’m in the mood and therefore looking good : Magie Noire
    My head, my head (headache) : Eau Imperiale

    Diorling for that looking good, eh? I don’t do Diorling so well, but Diorella? Means I’m feeling good and know where both my heart and my knife are.

    Mandragore for days that could swing one way or the other. It’s got this weird way of both perking and offering comfort.

    I also used to like to wear En Passant for what I knew would be a crazy day of teaching. (Hmm; I should point out *particularly* crazy…teaching is always full of challenges.) It was a scent that I knew I could tolerate even if my head would start to threaten migraine, and was gentle enough for
    sensitive nose folk. Best of all, the thing that could be a problem–the way it seems to disappear, then re-emerge without warning–was perfect for rough days. It would be like a surprise gentle hug or touch from friend or family…there is love…that unthinking gesture that lets you know you are connected and someone cares.

    • Musette says:

      I could see how En P could do that for you. You know you and I are on opposite ends of what is considered ‘comfort’. Mine is usually clad in some sort of armor, totin’ a machine gun ;))

      xo >-)

      great list!

  • Rappleyea says:

    What a great (and funny) post! I’ve never thought about perfumes in this way. I’m more of an inward looking person myself, but this is definitely an interesting perspective.

    • Musette says:

      I find it easier to look inward when my nails are done and my legs are smooth.:”>

      xoxo your shallow >-)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Hehehehee – and I find it easier to look outward when my head is on straight. But that’s probably because I’m several years older than you and it’s gotten HARD to look outward! EEEEEEK! 😮

  • Antje says:

    You go Lady! Am repeatedly surprised how much difference a workout, shaved legs, painted nails etc. can make.

    While perfumes do influence and support me, I am still waiting for the one that can single-handely turn my mood around when I am feeling low. Instead, I keep on ordering new ones. The anticipation of new perfumes soon arriving at my doorstep definitely picks me up, although my account balance does not thank me.

    My “I am picking myself up for the gym” scents:
    TDC Osmanthus and OJ Osmanthus, Clarins Eau Dynamisante and a few green tea scents

    My “the gym will survive without me” scents:
    Hypnotic Poison, Bois des Iles pure perfume, Black Cashmere, Bulgari Black, Luctor et Emergo, Theorema and many more:)

    • Musette says:

      I know! It’s weird, innit? And what’s weirder is, basic maintenance is basically so easy to manage (everyone’s mileage may vary – other people may have challenges or situations that defy this). Once I pulled my head out of my :@) and took a good look at myself……..well. And it started with my toes. As much time as I spend sitting down, I can do it whilst the polish dries, right?

      Then I just started working my way up!

      xo >-)

      • Antje says:

        The toe-wonder:) Have to honestly admit that I can still spend more time on choosing a scent in the morning then on choosing what to wear…

    • Suzy Q says:

      Theorema is wonderful to wear to yoga class. It helps me relax and breathe.

      • Antje says:

        Might try that, thanks for the idea! Have only just picked up yoga in January with one class a week (one of the new year’s resolutions that made it through), think it’s great.

        But Theorema on the treadmill…?

    • Olfacta says:

      Ahhh, yes. It’s the ordering /i> that does it for me. And then the sound of the postal truck or the UPS van and the thud on the porch and ringing of doorbell. Uh-huh.

  • Francesca says:

    Maybe if i went back to wearing my old standby AG Esu du Sud every single day, I’d feel thinner…
    After my return to work after a back injury I wore The Party guite a bit. My thoughts were, I just broke me some spine, I am wearing this stuff to the office, SUE me.

    • Francesca says:

      It’s hard typing with a giant band-aid on a fingertip. I meant “Eau,” just in case anyone thought I was referencing a frag named after a character from an obscure verismo opera set in 19th century Japan.

    • carter says:

      Well that’s what happens when you drink b-(

  • aotearoa says:

    Musette – I think you need some Bandit!

    • Musette says:

      I love Bandit. Now that I know what it is. Carter and (I think) Denyse had to sort me out on that one. I kept wondering why everybody got lemon. I got caramel.

      I got a weird bottle, iz whut.

      xo >-)

      • carter says:

        Yup. I sent it to Paris for an expert opinion, ’cause Bandit she don’t do no steenkeeng caramel. She’s packing a shiv encased in green letha, and the ain’t afraid to use it >:/

        • Tommasina says:

          PBI: Bandit on me is fluffy pink bunnies in marabou slippers. Yup.

          • carter says:

            The old stuff or the new? EdT, EdP or extrait? That is just the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. The reformulation has some beautiful floral notes that come out quite strongly toward the middle, but fluffy? Germaine Cellier is rolling over in her grave at this very moment.

          • Musette says:

            I would say clawing her way out, in search of whomever turned her Bandit into bunny slippers is more like it!8-x

            xo >-)

  • janjan says:

    Fracas and the oncoming cupcake = too funny.

    Gucci Envy always makes me think of a thin, mean woman in a pantsuit. That’s another thing: some perfumes smell mean. Am I crazy?

    • Musette says:

      Yes! on the Envy. No! on the crazy. I see a shantung silk psuit, with a nipped-in waist. Dinah Merrill hair.

      A lot of thinner iterations seem ‘mean’ to me. Mitsouko edt is a face-shredder. Actually, Chanel 19 edt is mean, too, but I need it to be so.

      xo >-)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Some perfumes absolutely smell mean! One of the meanest to me is the Chance summer one, but I don’t know if that’s because it really is or because my boss (the devil who wears Prada) wears it. 😕

    • March says:

      Absolutely. Would nominate Cartier Baiser for this one as well, and I loved TS’s description of VC&A First in The Guide — “rich and humorless, an ideal perfume for intimidation.”

      Although my intimidation perfumes are vintage Femme and Mitsy.


  • carter says:

    I hear that, girl. Good on you! =d>

    Whenever I take a good long gander ~:> at myself in the mirror these days, I am often reminded of one of the funniest lines from one of the funniest television series EVAH, in which Eddy of Ab Fab decides to fling herself headlong (quite literally, if I remember correctly) into an intense diet and exercise program. She’s standing in the kitchen and wailing to her mother, “I am a thin person trapped in a fat person’s body, crying desperately to get out! To which her mother responds, “Just the one, dear?”

    I’m not the sort who uses perfume as a motivator, or to determine my mood; I tend instead to use scent to simply express the mood I’m already in or simply to fit the occasion, but after reading your post here tonight I just may give it a whirl. Hey, whatever works…;;)

    • Francesca says:

      I’m with you CB, though haven’t quite figured out which of my collection quite expresses the mood “suicidal beeyotch.”

      I loved Eddy’s mother.

    • Musette says:

      I remember that line! Her mom was KILLAH! wasn’t she?=)) do you remember when Eddy is on the floor, trying to do situps? And she can’t even lift her head?=))

      xo >-)

    • Musette says:

      Thanks, Carter! (Activia helps, too -:”> ) I’m basically just doing a gentle overhaul – and I really have Patty to thank for most of it (waves wildly) ‘Thanks, Patty!!!’ Watching her move through both a physical and spiritual rejuvenation with such grace and determination has been very encouraging! ^:)^

      As for the perfume, I think that’s how it shakes out for me. I don’t deliberately choose those scents, as in “ooh, I feel fat, let’s hit the Fracas”. Rather, it’s more an afterthought. “huh. :-?….seems every time I’m face down in a cupcake I’m wearing Fracas” or something like that. I can’t quite tell if the ~:> or the :@) comes first!

      xo >-)

      • carter says:

        The ~:> or the :@) ha-ha! I think the

        >-) comes first, but in my case it’s definitely the :(|)

    • Flora says:

      Gawd I loved that show! :d

    • Tommasina says:

      Carter, that’s one of my favorite lines ever, too; we use it in our house quite often, in all sorts of contexts.