You guys kill me (Patty)

I WAS going to post the winner of Andy’s Advent giveaway on Sunday, but —



comments later, I wanted to give enough time for all of you to enter and me to put off counting until I hit some deadline that forced me to do that random number generator thingie, get my number and select the winner.  Off to the random number generator, plugged in the total comments, clicked, and it produced the number 249. Of course, no easy 57 for me. After counting down more times than I can count – Dusan, you were 100, Janet in California was 200 (this is me keeping track so I don’t have to count more than 100 at a time) , I have determined the winner.  Nicolai R.  BTW, I don’t count replies, just in case someone wants to go in and recount, which you wouldn’t  really want to since it won’t change anything even if I counted wrong.  The decision of the judge is final and irreversible because I’m bad at counting and bad at math, so this was quite painful.

Nicolai, click on the contact us button over there on the left, send me your contact info and address, and I’ll fire that off to Andy, and you can let me or him know what you want, and Andy will get it sent to you.

Happy Holidays to all of you who played!  I wish everyone could win!

It’s a few days before Christmas in Denver, and the snow is falling in light fluffy piles, they are predicting 6-12 8-12 inches.  It’s Denver, predictions are less accurate than guessing the number of jellybeans in the big jar.

This is a rare, lovely treat for us.  People always laugh at me when I tell them it’s more likely Denver will be having 60-degree weather for Christmas than snow on the ground.  Our snowiest months are March and April.  Getting snow before January is heavenly – it’s an excuse to completely hibernate on the longest night of the year (hey!  that’s tonight while I’m writing this, not when you are reading this tomorrow, which is today — oh, you know what I mean).  I’ve got my extended version blu-ray DVDs of Lord of the Rings all qeued up. I’m going to run out to the grocery store early in the morning in the four-wheel drive, everyone will still be at home, waiting for the snow to stop, stock up on ingredients for oxtail soup, sides for the geese and pork roast, and then back home, into my Moroccan caftans, and I’m not moving again until after Christmas.  I’ll break out the sewing machine and start playing with my designs, drink champagne, probably too much, stare at the snow through the window and my Christmas tree lights, read, watch a few stored-up episodes of the Real Housewives, get sleepy watching my dogs sleep in front of the fire until their bellies get too hot, then move to the other side of the room while the other one gets up and takes his place by the fire.

I’ve told all my Christmas stories here before, the smells of the live tree at church on Christmas Eve night, the bags of candy they handed out full of chocolate clusters and nuts that my dad immediately pawed through picking out the stuff he knew we didn’t like when we got home.  My mom and my brother Harry singing “Chestnuts Roasting on and Open Fire” completely off-key every Christmas, and it never fails to make me laugh because they are the two people in the world that sing worse than me.  And the sadness because Christmastime holds memories of death – my grandmother, my dad, and others.  We have this running joke in my family that we should look around at Thanksgiving and see who is looking a little wan and give them an extra hug in case they slip the mortal coil before Christmas.  Christmas is memories of a frigid crystalline morning with thousands of tiny icicles hanging off of every tree and there was a carpet of icy frost on the ground  that my father had to go in that day, and my heart shattered with the intake of  soul-freezing air and healed with the beauty of the light refracting like a thousand brilliant lights as the sun came up.

Those are my Christmas stories, and the smells from my lifetime of Christmases are peanut brittle bubbling, breads baking, hams and turkeys cooking, hot chocolate, Cinnabar, cloves in the orange pomander – is that what you call it?  My new smells are ginger-lemon-honey water (I have got this infusing thing perfected), Thymes Frasier Fir candles,  and Flowerbomb extrait. Well, yes!  Hey, I like Flowerbomb, and I totally dig that extrait, it feels more grown up but keeps all the cotton candy patchouli girly-girl fluff.   Don’t judge even though I know you want to.

And I feel so grateful for another year of all of you joining us when you can, talking back to us, talking to each other, forming friendships, giving out your compassion and help when asked.  You are an amazing community of people, and I have wrapped myself this solstice night, in the days before Christmas, with my gratitude for each of you.

Well, let’s do a little more tangible expression of gratitude.  Giveaway is a teeny sample of that new JAR, Bed of Roses,  Flowerbomb extrait. Purdistance M and the first one, and maybe a couple of other things. I’ll do two of these.  so comment away on anything you want to talk about – your memories of holiday time or just winter, if you’re dreading or enjoying the holidays this year.  Since I won’t talk to you before  Christmas, Merry Chrismas to you all!!!

  • Alice C says:

    I’m probably too late for this draw, but I’m in the hospital with my hubby who had surgery on the 22nd, and we’ve had sporadic access to the internet. He’s going to be fine, but has become anemic, so we’re spending one more night here at the hospital. This is a first for me, spending Christmas at the hospital, but at least I’m not the patient. Our family celebrated on the 17th anticipating we would be otherwise occupied. It was a fragrant celebration for me! Hubby got me a sampler of Diptyque fragrances; my daughter got me a nice large decant of Dior Mitzah and one of my sisters found me some wonderful candles!

    Merry Christmas!

  • mariekel says:

    Happy Holidays, Patty, and many thanks to you and your fellow posse members for giving me a frisson of happiness whenever I land here!

  • Katherine says:

    Like Pat, I LOVE Christmas in Florida too! It has been the most beautiful beach weather this week :-D

  • Love your giveaways. Even though I grew up in Pittsburgh–I LOVE Christmas in Florida. 81 and balmy—-perfect for Christmas Eve sunset on the beach! :)

  • Patty says:

    “A Charlie Brown Christmas” always brightened a not-happy childhood at holiday time.

    Thanks for the drawing, and for your always-enjoyable blog!

  • Smellifluous says:

    Thank you so much, Patty, for sharing your hilarious and poignant Christmas memories. Reminded me of my own, so different from yours: I grew up in NYC in a rather untraditional family, so we had the tree in the morning for the kids but later in the day we all went out for Chinese food and a movie. I loved wandering through the semi-deserted streets of our neighborhood, looking at the pretty lights and decorations.

    On another note, and in the spirit of gratitude, I want to thank you–all of you at the Posse!–for your delightful, insightful, and often moving posts. Although I’ve been enjoying Perfume Posse since 2007, I rarely comment…but wanted to thank you all for brightening my mornings every day! I hope you have a grand holiday.

  • Very nice post, I love to read this type of informative articles and want to appreciate you for doing such a nice effort in research and writing. I was searching for best azzaro perfumes and azzaro fragrances, if any one knows about a good website for it, please let me know

  • london says:

    Merry Christmas! This is going to be my first Christmas Day without my mother as my husband has, not unreasonably, insisted that his parents come to us for once instead. So it will be odd. But hopefully still merry.

  • meg says:

    Happy Holidays! I’m living away from my family, so I miss them, but there is also no stress. We will travel and keep it simple for Christmas.

  • AnnieA says:

    Have committed myself to making dinner on Christmas Eve, but have scooped up an invitation for Christmas supper. Just found out that my aunt’s tumour has been blasted to bits, which is terrific news for this (or any) time of year

  • OhLily says:

    Thanks for the draw, Patty, and Merry Christmas to you and yours! I’m a fairly new poster, but I’ve been reading the blogs for about a year and a half and I just love how informative and friendly everyone in the perfume world seems to be. Happy, and fragrant, holidays to you all!

  • Lindaloo says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Patty, and to all the contributors at Perfume Posse. And to all the commenters too — may all your holiday celebrations be joyous. Though as a newbie I rarely comment I do read every post and get much delight from the comments.
    Not quite in the Christmas mood yet — I think the final shop for food and drink goodies will do it.
    One thing I appreciate about my childhood Christmases is that Christmas was a short and intense period: stores weren’t decorated until December, treats like mandarin oranges and eggnog didn’t even appear on the shelves until mid-December, and our not always symmetrical but always fabulous smelling tree went up only a few days before Dec 25 and came down just after “Ukrainian” New Years on Jan 14th.

  • Tatiana says:

    Thanks the generous draw. Haven’t been in a very cheery holiday mood. Luckily, my dear spouse and child have been more than willing to handle the decorating and cookie making. I think I’m just feeling completely overwhelmed due to my own procrastination and lack of organization skills. Maybe I’m just spending too much time reading perfume blogs.

    I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday season and the new year brings them joy, peace and prosperity.

  • Asali says:

    I am so glad I didn’t have to count 249 answers down, I might have asked the random number generator to pick again;-) Although, you could have counted 104 from the bottom, that would have saved you a bit of pain.
    Oh, wouldn’t I love to try that new JAR? So exciting.
    A very happy Christmas to you and all posses

  • Lisa D says:

    Here in the California desert, it’s generally sunny all year round, so the winter holidays are usually a nice mix of nippy mornings and bright afternoons (unlike when I lived in PA, where my toes froze some time in December and didn’t thaw until April).

    I want to tell you all how much I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this community; I’ve met some really kind, funny, generous and interesting people here over the past year. It’s been a blessing. I’m going to run off to the perfume cupboard right this minute and spritz myself with something wonderful in gratitude and celebration of my good fortune.

  • Elisa says:

    Hello there! I’m in El Paso for the holidays, but will be driving back up to Denver on the 28th. Here’s hoping we don’t have to do TOO much digging upon arrival. I want to try to make it over to the Botanical Gardens to see the lights while it’s still up. A bit of snow can only enhance them. Thanks for the draw!

    • Patty says:

      I think you’ll be okay. It’s stopped now, and I don’t think they are calling for much if anything at all over the weekend. The sun is out, it should be gone off the streets by tomorrow!

  • Kathleen says:

    Sign me up!!!!

    And I LOVE Pomander Balls…I made of several of them and tied them around the house for fragrant decorations this Yuletide season.

    • Patty says:

      That’s it, pomander!!! I need to make one. I have cloves and oranges now. But the cloves are so pricey and the oranges are so delicious, it’s a tough call.

  • Lavanya says:

    Merry Christmas to you too, Patty! I didn’t know there was a new JAR!..thanks for the draw..

    • Patty says:

      I know! I heard about it months ago, but kept ignoring it because it was a rose thing, and they told me a year ago a gourmand was coming, and I think I was just peeved it wasn’t what I thought they were going to do. I’m content now though.

      Merry christmas!

  • jirish says:

    Thanks for the generous draw, the beautiful post, and for keeping the Posse going as a place I can visit daily! Merry Christmas!

  • LindaB says:

    Patty, this is a beautiful post. I’d like to wish you, your family, and the Posse family here a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    We’re almost at 60 degrees here is Jersey – not too Christmasy feeling, lol. I’ll take it though as I do not like the bitter cold that is yet to come.

    I’m very fortunate and grateful that I have only warm, happy Christmas memories that include family, food, laughter, old movies and most of all, love. I hope that my two children will grow up and feel the same. It’s my biggest goal to give them a magical Christmas.

    Believe it or not, I’ve been struggling with a “holiday” fragrance this year. Nothing feels right. Grrr. Well, suppose I still have a few days to experiment.

    Please enter me in the draw – thank you, it’s a very generous one!

    • Patty says:

      And to you, Linda!

      60 in Jersey? That sucks. I think so many of my Christmases were blissful and happy, and it took like 30 years before I had a bad one or two. So that accumulation of happy and content, never rushed and overdone holidays soothes the bad ones. I’ve always been okay with grief and joy living side by side. It does it more often and for longer periods of time the older I get. 🙂

      I was tickled to have found mine. I was afraid Prada Candy or Angel was going to wind up being the default winner.

  • Kym says:

    It’s too early in the day (or I slept kinda poorly and I’m feeling like it’s too early in the day) for a thoughtful and interesting post for me. But I will say, since Thanksgiving was actually enjoyable and there were no fights, I’m looking forward to Christmas day with my family which will include Chinese food (if I have my way) and a movie.

    Please enter me in the draw.

  • jen says:

    Nice post, love Christms memories, funny how people have similiar ones in all parts of the country. Evil rose? Fantastic!

  • Nicole says:

    This post is a perfect example of why I always look forward to your posts especially, thank you Patty.

  • Janet in California says:

    Merry Christmas to you Patty. Thanks for all the stories you share with us.

  • dremybluz says:

    May you have the best of holiday wishes. Christmas eve mass has always been a tear jerker, remembering all those loved ones that have passed those pearly gates. This Christmas will be a hard one since it is the first Christmas without my Dad.

    • Patty says:

      and to you!!! I love midnight mass, I just can’t seem to stay awake for it anymore!

      I’m sorry for your loss. It is so hard for so long. It’s hard for me to believe my dad has been dead for 15 years. I’m not sure how that’s even possible that I’ve been without him for so long.


  • Rena says:

    Went into NY last week to look at the shop windows like when I was a kid. Bergdorf’s was closed by the time I got there so I didn’t get to visit JAR but their windows were amazing, spectacular art that could easily be in a permanent museum collection. Breathtaking. The smell of roasting chestnuts really needed colder weather to match my memories (it was in the 50s when I visited) but I still enjoyed watching the skaters at Rockefeller ctr. Happy Holidays

    • Musette says:

      NYC is the only place I ever associate with roasting chestnuts!


      xo >-)

    • Patty says:

      When we were in Paris in early November, it was so chilly,and all the chestnut roasters were out, and I love that smell and wish it were a part of my childhood. Happy holidays to you!

  • Susan says:

    Gosh, I wish I could be cuddling up to watch reality TV… I am working today and tomorrow will be spent frantically packing before our flight on Saturday… This is the first Christmas I’ll have spent with my fiance’s family, so I’m really a bit nervous about it all…

    • Patty says:

      Well, I am working, but I work from home, so I get to fool myself that I’m hibernating.

      Good luck, but you’re be fine, they’ll love you!

  • pam says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, Patty, and to all the Posse. Right now Denver may be getting snow, but we in Alabama may be on the lookout for tornadoes. It’s quite warm and very dreary.

    My scented memories of Christmas are: turkey baking, orange peel, evergreen branches (until I developed an allergy to them) and White Linen. That used to be my signature scent.

  • jen says:

    Ooohhhh…. lovely! And happy Christmas to you!

  • Anna in Edinburgh says:

    Ha! I see your LOTR marathon and I raise you the whole Harry Potter series now that it’s complete! I only hope I can still move afterwards.

    And Happy Winter Solstice Today (it shifted to the 22nd this year), which is great because today is brighter and sunnier than yesterday – spirits lifting already here.

    cheerio, and thanks for the laughs and insights all year, Posse Pals.

    • Patty says:

      Excellent! I don’t have all of those on DVD, but I should look for them.

      I never can keep track of that solstice and first day of winter thing. I keep thinking they are the same day, but they aren’t!

  • Julia says:

    My initials are JAR….so would lovelovelove to try their perfume! Some of my favorite Christmases were when I was a surfer girl type in South Africa…many moons ago. Christmas is different in a warm climate.

    • Patty says:

      I’ve never done Christmas in a warm climate. One of these days I might. My brother lived in Texas and Louisiana for quite a few years getting his doctorate and then teaching, and he only wanted to move back north so he could have snow again.

      I wasn’t expecting to like this JAR, I’m just not a huge fan of roses. It starts off all White Rose’ish, then has a touch of that golconda malevolence. It surprised me.

  • bookhouseshell says:

    really no snow here in St. Paul/Minneapolis, so strange! Last year it was some strange frozen planet where all you saw is tunnels of ice and snow. Thank you for doing this blog and I hope everyone’s holidays are merry & bright (and smell awesome!)

    • Patty says:

      That is weird. I think we got you guys’ snow this year. It’s been like this all month, which will be great until January 2, which is the time that I start pissing and moaning about the snow and cold. 🙂

  • Irina says:

    beautiful, peaceful (except the math..) post, Patty
    Merry Christmas and enjoy these days…

  • DinaC says:

    I just saw the new trailer for “The Hobbit” yesterday, and it looks awesome. Too bad we have to wait a year to see it! Enjoy your LOTR marathon. We’ve done that before, too. It’s great to watch the director’s cuts at home when you’ve got plenty of time.

    Loved your descriptions of your Christmas holidays past and present, the snowfall in Colorado and your household activities. It sounds great.

    I look forward to reading new books in front of the fireplace after all the hubbub is over. Also looking forward to some snow — but hopefully not snowmageddon this year here in DC metro area.

    Thanks for entering me in the drawing. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Patty!

    • Patty says:

      I am so excited about that!!! Oh, I’m also playing skyrimm, which is another one in the Arena series. Huge, huge game and one of the only rpg things I’ve ever liked to play.

  • loverdoll78264 says:

    Ah, to see a snowfall on Christmas Eve again. Npt likely in South Texas, but the thought is heartwarming anyway. Having been transplanted from the Greater New York metro eons ago, the holidays will never feel the same without snowfall. On a brighter note, my two year old granddaughter,Cambria, will be a joy to watch on Christmas morning. By the way she is already a budding perfumista who regularly oohs and aahs whenever she passes grandma’s perfumes all lined out on the dresser; and regularly requests that I spray her with “poom” Wishing all y’all the happiest of holidays whichever ones you observe.

    • Patty says:

      Well, it *could* happen, but suspect that would be closer to hell freezing over than most of us would like. 🙂

      I love that, “poom”!!! I keep hoping one day there’s some grandchildren around for christmas, but I’ll probably be too old to be able to see them. 🙂

  • Civava says:

    Merry Christmas to you all. I hope we get some snow for the Christmas evening.

  • hongkongmom says:

    hey patty, i am with u on the math…i get people thinking i am loony with my explanations…anyrate, just wanted to say thanx for your generosity all the time over the years and for being u and happy holidays

    • Patty says:

      Weirdly enough, I can do math and won the flash card races in third grade, but my logic at getting to an answer is sometimes too hard for even me to follow.

      Happy holidays to you!!!

  • Francesca says:

    Beautiful post, Patty. Doesn’t seem much like Christmas here in NYC– it’s actually unpleasantly muggy–what’s up with that? but I’m doing my best to get into the spirit of love and bonhomie–I think the IUNX L’Ethere is helping with that–and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

    • Patty says:

      Ew! I hate balmy Christmases, it spoils all my hibernating wishes and I just don’t get into it. I think that’s why I felt so christmasy this year, we got snow in late November and early December so much, it just puts you right there.

      Merry christmas to you, enjoy the Iunx, I love that line.

  • Matt says:

    Patty, next time, if you draw another very high number, why not counting backwards? Just an idea!

    For my part, I just finished my worst semester ever. First year for my bachelor’s degree in biology + last year for my bachelor’s degree in piano… What was I thinking? Anyway, I kinda made it through, and now it’s X-mas, so I only have reasons for being happy.

    I wish you too a very nice and happy holiday. Lots of love! :)


    • Patty says:

      Well, that would make sense, right? Except for some reason, counting backwards is harder! My brain just doesn’t seem to go in reverse, that gear just isn’t available to it!

      Hey, sometimes surviving difficult/stressful times is all you can do. Then you get to the other side, and it’s good to just enjoy

  • Alica says:

    Wonderful choice. I am currently preoccupied with my father’s health (lung embolism)and his getting better is what I wish for now. HAGD!

  • Joanna says:

    Merry Christmas Patty! And Happy Solstice! I’m finishing up baking and watching the snow fall outside. Sometimes life is so quietly beautiful. :)

  • cheesegan says:

    Thanks for the giveaway and have a great holiday. Happy Solstice.

  • tammy says:

    Patty, I found Caron and DL & CO candles because of you; they both bring me great joy, so thank you large!

    I wish you and yours every happiness, and a multitude of blessings in the New Year ahead.

    I love Solstice, but I am probably the only one who enjoys it because it IS the darkest day of the year. I love long dark snuggly nights…..

  • rosiegreen says:

    Merry Christmas Patty

  • HemlockSillage says:

    You crack me up! Don’t judge my Amazing Grace, and I won’t laugh about Flowerbomb. Actually, I like Flowerbomb. . .dabbed, not sprayed. It’s lovely.

    Enjoy your picture post card weather. It sounds beautiful. Stay safe and warm. I’d send you some of the vat of Wassail I made tonight if I could. Making it scented my whole house with oranges, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. I’m taking lots to work tomorrow to share. Making Wassail for my family is a Christmas tradition I love. Merry Christmas to all of you here at the ‘Posse. May you be blessed with joy and laughter. You all brighten my life daily :)

    • Patty says:

      I think that’s why I like the extrait, no danger of spraying, so it’s always a bit. It hangs closer to the skin too, which makes it completely lovely and more feminine, not as big and over the top. Same with that Angel Taste of Fragrance thing. I can’t wear angel, hateithatie, but whenever they do those liquers or concentrated ones that you dab, I put one small drop on me, and I’m happy as can be.

      I had to add a few ingredients, and I’m going to start on a batch of Wassail too, that sounds so yummy! With brandy or without?

  • Sujaan says:

    I loved the math explanation!
    I am having a nice quiet Christmas. I was able to find two unique gifts for my husband, a bell for his bicycle and texting gloves, both of which I am sure he will love. So, for that I am grateful. I also tried a sample of DSH Lumiere tonight, which I really liked, so that was fun!
    Thanks for another Christmas time draw!
    Merry, merry…

    • Patty says:

      My math explanations are usually painful. 🙂

      cool gifts! I picked up some texting gloves in Paris on a whim, and I have fallen in love with them. I don’t really need them for texting in the cold, but I like having my fingers free when in the car, but still having my hands warmed. They are lovely!

      Merry to you!

  • Meg says:

    Wow, what a generous giveaway! and congradulations to Nicolai. I was feeling a bit antsy about all the holiday stuff this year (kind of jealous of your LOTR marathon), partially due to unemployment and financial restrictions for present-giving. However, now that I am getting in the thick of it and finding my fears were unfounded. So far, everything is very merry and wonderful. I hope you get the snow you want!

    • Patty says:

      You know, sometimes you just have to trust it will be okay. I’m glad to hear that things are going okay now! We got the snow, still falling, it’s really beautiful. Denver snow almost never has wind with it, so it’s a picturebook snowfall.

  • sweetlife says:

    Happy Holidays to you, too, Patty! But—wait—there’s a new JAR?? Was I supposed to know about this? So intrigued!

    • Patty says:

      Yes!!! Bed of Roses. It’s a sorta malevolent rose. I keep thinking snow white’s wicked step-mother’s poisonous rose. I’m really loving it so far, just put a drop on tonight.