hi/low hohoHO!


March is knee-deep in family stuff (all garden-variety, no Drama – but you know how those days go)…so it’s meeeee!  your sweetpatootieMusette, back for another day!

Hey!  Whereyagoin?  GET BACK HERE!


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!  The cookies! The tree! The Hanukkah candles! Fruitcake! The Cheesy Music (you know you love it!  I’m bustin’ out the Carpenters in a few minutes!)

And the Presents!  Every year, I indulge in this Give/Get-Hi/Low Fantasy.  The extravagance depends much upon the state of my simoleans but no matter what, it’s a fun game.  This year I only did  a couple of ‘gets’ because…well, I’m still struggling with the square footage of this house – and anytime you’ve lost several pairs of Beverly Feldman shoes (in a box somewhere, in storage.  Somewhere).  well, you have Too Much Stuff.   Except diamonds.  One can never have too many diamonds.  And if one can, I’m certainly willing to be the guinea pig for that particular experiment.

But for this post I’m focused on the ‘Gives”.   Here are a couple:
Scented (non-Perfume) Gifts:

HighFrederic Malle Candles.  I would probably stick with 1er Mai because I love it so and it’s an easy one for non-perfumistas to ‘get’.  For my more avant-gardes?  Coffee Society, with that indefinable smell of energy, elegance and culture. Low:   Custom-made diffuser blends (with the sticks and everything) and easier to do than you might think.

Bath Stuff I would love to give or get:   High:  Amouage Epic and Jubliation 25 bath gel and body cremes.  Need I say more?  Low: Pacifica Persian Rose (for March) and Malibu Lemon Blossom Body Washes – they’re really nicely done and at $10 a pop…c’mon!   I haven’t tried their body butters yet but the Tibetan Mountain Temple sounds divine.   I might use that Persian Rose to amp up the rose in Tribute, since Christopher Chong doesn’t love me enough to make a Tribute cream <sob!>

Foodstuff: High:  Pierre Herme Macarons for all my macaron freaky-friends (I prefer sables meself).  Low: Pierre Herme Macaron cookbook.  Especially if you’ve got a mean streak. Another great ‘low’ : homemade nut brittle.   I’ve been making this since the recipe first came  out in 2007 here    You’re welcome.

Books:  High: Michael Edwards Fragrances of the World 2011 edition.  What a beautiful, informative book !  Low:  Posh Crossword Puzzle books.  Addictive.  And you can throw them in the smallest handbag!  They have number-y versions as well (I think that’s what Sodoku is, isn’t it?  It has numbers which means I try to avoid it, when I can…but my sister loves those!  She actually took an accounting course – for fun!  Weirdo.


So what are your wants to give?  To get?  Are you giving perfume this year?  Books?   Something over the top?   El O wants this diesel extended-cab pickup truck.    Yah.  I’ll get right on that!

  • Kym says:

    While I love the idea of sharing my interest in fragrance with others – for me, it’s just too personal. Something I love and think would be a great gift for someone, they might not like. I know I’ve received many fragrance gifts in the past that I didn’t care for. So, I may stick to food gifts instead. Because, what’s not to like?

    • Musette says:

      Food is Good! If I got a box of Recchiuti Fleur de Sel Caramels or some Miette Chocolate Sables, I would be over the moon!

      xo >-)

  • Joanna says:

    My husband and I just bought each other a new hot water heater for Christmas. Merry Christmas Darling! :) I have a list of fbs I’d love but it will wait, and grow, and change. We’ve decided to celebrate Christmas together when we get our tax returns. We did just move into our first home and it’s the one thing I’ve been praying for for years so I have no complaints. Happy Holidays!

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Unless perfume is on someonelse’s list besides mine, I won’t be buying anyone perfume. It’s hard being the only perfume nut in my circle. I have a short list of full bottle perfumes that I would love to get on Christmas. The response is always, “Don’t you have enough?”, my answer is always no! So, I’m trying to get either Luckyscent, Amazon.com, Lady Ruth, or the Perfumed Court giftcards. But I have a short list of who I need to shop for.

  • mother courreges says:

    So glad the puppy is recovering! My baby had a big piece of dental stick stuck in his jaw this morning which I manually dislodged and he was so grateful he didn’t even bite me!

    Linda, I share your love for L’Occ. Verbena! I keep the handwash and lotion at my desk at work. It’s such a fresh, simple lovely scent!

    I’m just giving to charities again this year, and I to have way, way too much stuff/clutter in my life. Above all other New Years resolutions (weight loss/save money/get organized, HA!) is somehow become a minimalist(yeah, right!)

    Except for perfume of course, there’s always room for more. My wish is for a whole bunch of bottles of paco rabonnes METAL, which I sprayed constantly throughout the spring and summer and used up every drop. Sometimes you don’t realize it’s love until it’s all over!

  • Meg says:

    I got one friend a bottle of perfume she used to snipe from me when we we roommates; I am glad to be able to give a surefire fragrance gift, as I made some misses last year.

    My sister is the most fun for me to shop for, as we are very close and live together and know each other’s taste completely. It’s like shopping for myself except with 300% of the joy and 0% guilt. I already bought her a beautiful sweater. I am stumped on my Mom, always am, but I am buying a cross-country plane ticket to visit her so I might have to go a bit easy in the gift-giving department there.

    I recently “came out of the perfume closet” as it were, to my friends and family, so I am (happily!) anticipating maybe more fragranced gifts this year. It is much, much easier to strike close to home with perfume (there’s so much I would wear if I was just given some. Just not that much I am willng to pay for) than other random things, and I can also uses misses for future swaps.

    Also, Musette, your writing (as always!) is hilarious. Simoleans, hehe.

    • Musette says:


      I think your cc plane trip to visit her is a HUGE gift! Moms like their kids around them more than gifts!

      I’m glad I gave you a laugh. I use simoleans so often that now I can’t remember the ‘correct’ word. Oh, yeah. Money. I remember that now…:-?

      xo >-)

  • Julie says:

    No smelly gifts, as my friends and family are not into perfume like me. And since my husband is not a big fan of perfume in general, I know I won’t be getting any myself! So I had to take matters into my own hands and buy myself a bottle of Chene for Christmas! Parfum1 was having their 20% off sale, and I did split some of it up, so it wasn’t too extravagant. And I got one of those cute little AG Noel candles free with the order, so someone may be the lucky recipient of that. Brittle might be a nice gift to do this year – I usually do mini-loaves of pumpkin bread for friends, and last year I did little jars of spiced nuts.

    • Musette says:

      Well, that sounds perfect! I think you should keep the Noel candle for yourself – it’s such a gloriously fresh scent!

      I just made Batch #3 of the brittle – it’s so easy it’s scary! And Folks love it!

      xo >-)

      • FearsMice says:

        A big YES to that brittle recipe — it’s great! (And to anyone making peanut brittle for the first time — please follow the recipe and use roasted nuts — raw peanuts in brittle are an abomination!)

        I’m planning to get my sister a new smellie for Christmas. She isn’t into perfume, but when I waved Origins Ginger Essence at her she seemed to like it. So that’s what I’m going with…

        • Musette says:

          I know. :-< El O bought me a big ol' bag of RAW peanuts and I didn't have the heart to tell him....so I now have to roast them. No biggie...but it is another step....:-< xo >-)

  • Kate S. says:

    I have no fragrance gifts for others or needed for me. I know, what is wrong with me? I have a guitar for Himself and self-serving stuff like a Lonely Planet guidebook to the spring travel destination.

  • Anon says:

    So how do you make custom fragance diffusers?

    • Musette says:

      You get the little sticks (they are all over the place – you can even get them at craft shops but online I get them at Nature’s Garden (naturesgardencandlesDOTcom). I make my own essential oil blends and add it to their diffuser base. The rest is up to you – you can get pretty little heavy-bottomed vases, cruet-style bottles..it really is that simple. Do ‘the pretty’ with a nice ribbon, decorative stuff (I put mine on little square mirrored trays)…and you have a lovely gift!

      xo >-)

  • LindaB says:

    I wish I could “like” all these posts and comments, lol. I think I need a Facebook break. :o

    I’ve become obsessed with L’Occitane Verbena and would love to get the body lotion and shower gel. I bought the tiny size spray which I understand is very hard to come by but I know, come spring, I’ll need the big’un.

    I would love to give my mom some of the Pacifica roller ball perfumes. They’re so natural and light and right up her alley.

    • Musette says:

      And they’re cute, too! I think Pacifica’s packaging is charming.

      I have some L’Occ verbena. That stuff is wonderful!

      xo >-)

  • KirstenMarie says:

    Mussette, you are a darling! I’m willing to go in with you on the diamond experiment. ‘Cause really, to do it right you need to have repeatable results–at least if I remember my science class correctly!

    I am in the process of going from a 2000sq ft finished house with a 1000 sq ft basement to a 600 sq ft apartment, so I understand the Too Much Stuff syndrome! (All good news – it’s for a step up, wonderful opportunity for a couple years, and I can rent out the house.) I’ve asked for letters this Christmas, rather than things. Letters are precious, unique, and FLAT.

    • Musette says:

      You are IN for the diamond experiment! 😉

      congratulations on the move/step up! I am finding that I really don’t need All This Stuff. I have been in this house four years, haven’t used 99% of what’s in storage – and I haven’t missed most of it…:-?

      I love the idea of letters! I am ancient enough to remember when getting letters was a big thing. My high school crush, 2 years ahead..at UWisc …..I would get letters from him…hold onto them for as long as I could before opening…it was such a lovely experience, feeling that envelope in my pocket – oooh! away at school, all of us crowding around our student mailboxes, hoping for a little shadowed shape….

      xo >-)

  • mals86 says:

    This may be a big-ticket Christmas for us. The CEO wants a camera, a good one. We lost our pretty-decent digital one a couple of months ago, but he doesn’t want another pretty-decent one. He wants to be all Serious about photography. Which is fine. He needs a hobby that isn’t “falling asleep on the couch in front of the football game.”

    Also, I have just about talked him into buying a digital TV. Yes, you heard me correctly – we do not have a digital TV. We still have a converter box. And a DVD player, and a VHS player (yes), and a satellite box, and if you want to watch something other than TV live, you have to UNPLUG stuff and REPLUG other stuff, and it drives me nuts. (Also, we have one TV. Only one. Some people think we are insane.)

    Also also, the siderails on my antique bed are starting to crack. I’m concerned that we may find ourselves on the floor in the middle of the night sometime, so New Bed is also on the list.

    All of that to say that seriously scented gifts are not coming my way this year. I did buy myself a $3 Jovan Musk for Women to slip into my stocking, and I scooped up some of those small AG Noel candles to give ($8 apiece!), and my kids are getting some inexpensive things like Stetson All-American and cKOne Shock and B&BW Dark Kiss bath products… but that’s it.

    • Musette says:

      El O has a 60″ LCD (LED? whatev :-< ) and if I could toss that thing out the window, I would - but it won't fit. He is obsessed with it. I am fine with TV,in moderation, grateful for the more interesting programs as well as some goofy stuff - but not 5 hrs a night! Your kids are so interested in other things.....I would keep it at One TV, if I had a choice. But that's just me, sitting here with this stupid 60" THING in my house, hating its guuuuuuts, since it would be impolitic to hate El O's . :">

      xo >-)

    • Elisa says:

      Oooh, Mals, is cK One Shock the replacement for the one who wanted Egoiste???

      • mals86 says:

        Yep. It’s way cheaper – and certainly smells it – but HEY, he’s eleven. When he’s old enough to buy his own darn Chanel, that’ll be when he gets Egoiste. :)

        • Elisa says:

          Well said. I’m not quite old enough to buy my own Egoiste either, at least not the vintage stuff on eBay — I keep getting outbid!

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Mals, I hear you on the TV deal — we’re in much the same boat. My 11-year-old keeps saying he wants a TV for his room, but I have serious doubts about that. So we’ll continue in the dark ages for a while longer, ha!

  • Ann says:

    Fab post! Hope everyone at your house is feeling better today.
    No one in my family is into scent, so it’ll be more garden-variety gifts for them. As for me, well, if we can wish big, then Santa’s fragrance elf would leave under my tree a honkin’ big jar of Carnal Flower body butter (hint, hint: shower gel in that would be divine, please, Mssr. Malle) and one of FM’s cool candles or a gift certificate to TPC or Luckyscent.
    On the less-pricey side, I’ve got my eye on one of Henri Bendel’s Firewood candles (have heard they’re nice), so that’s already on my list for Santa, aka DH.

    • Musette says:

      WE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! ^:)^ Nobody barking and screaming and ….you know what? I’m actually more exhausted than I was when I was getting up 12 times a night. I think it’s gonna take a couple of days to recoup.

      El O isn’t into the whole scent thing, even though he did gift me a bottle of current Femme a few years ago, to great appreciation. I think he cannot imagine why I would need another bottle/jar/tub of anything!;))

      Here’s hoping Santa Malle hears our pleas, though I suspect it won’t happen, for the same reason we won’t be seeing Tribute body cream. Maybe a French-milled soap…

      xo >-)

  • Isa says:

    I still have no idea of what I will give. Well, here in Spain we have time until 5th January to think about it :)

    I’d love to get new scented candles. I have to write a list of the better brands and scents.

    • Musette says:

      there are some beauties out there!

      A lot of people here extend Christmas to the Epiphany, which is great (and fitting, since He got His presents then – why not us? 😕 ) – I’m not a fan of trying to cram Christmas into One Big Day – anytime during the general season is okay with me! 😉

      xo >-)

  • Sherri M. says:

    Hi Musette, hope you (and your doggie) are both feeling better today. I’m getting ready to order that little L’artisan candle (votive) sampler from Aedes. I also am considering that Molten Brown travel size set.

    About the only person I ever buy perfume for is my mother. This year I got her Chanel No. 5 pure perfume, which I do every couple years. I thought about an Amouage for her, but wanted to save some of her budget for something else, so Chanel it is. Oh, and my girls… For my daughters, so far I have some Demeters and Betsy Johson Too Too.

    Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season! :-)

    • Musette says:

      He is back to normal, thanks for asking and El O and I are SO grateful for a full night’s sleep. Funny how ‘gratefulness’ operates on a sliding scale, depending upon the current situation…:-?

      I’d be totally delighted with No 5 pure perfume. I swapped my vintage away to a good friend who wanted it for her mom – but I’m glad I did. Moms need vintage No 5!


  • Francesca says:

    I’d like to get candles and “product.” Something I can use up. I have waaaaay too much stuff, too.

    I haven’t even made out my shopping list, let alone shopped (except for a Trish McEvoy lip-gloss kit for my daughter-substitute at work). Yikes. I usually give my boss a selection of bath-bombs from Lush. This year, Uniqlo heat-producing clothing and an iTunes gift card for the DH. Tremper rose or violet shaving cream for my scent guru. There! that’s a quarter of the list right there!

  • AnnieA says:

    I just gave a friend a travel bottle of Yves Rocher’s jasmine as an early Christmas gift. To get? Maybe a Diptyque Epinette candle, as I can’t spend that much on a candle. If I knew Santa was out there I’d ask for an Amouage candle…