Tops of Winter 2012

Before we begin:  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!   May it be a fragrant,floral,foody,flirty,FUN day for everyone!!                            

I, Musette the Ingrate, was going to start this post with my regular diatribe against Winter, then I realized  it would be churlish and possibly irritate the Nature Gods who would then send down 423 feet of snow and ice and minus-F temps in the double digits with a 54mph wind.  You know…regular Midwest winter!  Instead we’re experiencing Venice’s  winter and they,our normal Illinois nightmare (the poor things).  Perhaps the poles shifted and nobody told us?   Whatever.  I’m not complaining – yeah, it’s not Santa Barbara but it could be a whole lot worse.  That could be my vaporetto, getting busted up in the frozen canal!  Because the weather has been in the 30F-50F (yes!) range, my ‘winter’ perfume choices have been all over the place.


So…this is the 2012 Best of Winter -and because I have a rackety mind we’re opening it up to all sorts of ‘best of’.  From a perfume standpoint, the bulk of my New Best Loves are all body products.  Maybe it’s this lingering sinus infection but I find I’m able appreciate the nuances of a lot of scents via the body cremes.  To wit:

1. Iris Poudre.  I thought this was an absurd scent when I first smelled it out of the bottle.  No amount of spin worked for me (“it smells like a French perfume” huh?  What have I been wearing all these years?  Nebraska perfume?)…anyhoo, I thought it was silly.  Then Marie and Lydia made me try the body cream.  Ho, yus.  The whole ‘point’ of the perfume became obvious to me.  Now I can’t wait for the occasion to slather myself with the cream and add just a tiny spritz of the perfume.  Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise.

2. Rose du Rosine body creme.  I doubt I would ever wear this particular Rosine in the perfume form because…well, I’s not interesting or dirty enough (there will be a review of one of their dirtier roses next week)…but lemme tell you – this CREME!!  I roll around in this one like a dog in dognip!  It’s the perfect complement to vintage Ubar, amping up the rose just a bit and balancing out the lovely sandalwood.  What it does to Tribute is nothing short of erotic.  I’mo go fan myself now.

3. Fleur de Cassie body creme.  Yah.  I know.  Discontinued.  But I have a little scrab left and ….well!  The leather is so unbelievably sexy.  Glide this on right after a hot shower.  What you do after that is up to you.

The Big Bang Theory.  Nerdy Science made Sexy.   I don’t watch muchTV so it was just blind luck that I stumbled upon this little gem which, apparently, has been on for 3 or 4 years??    I’m having a blast, watching the reruns (1 a night no matter how many they run back to back.  Mustn’t gorge).  Chuck Lorre is genius! I would …well, you know…except..what if he’s not really that fabulous in person.  Better to just dream (and he’s kinda cute, too, in that ‘interesting’ way)…  and in the meantime let my brain slide out of my ear for 30 minutes!  Great writing, great ensemble.  All-around fun.  Sheldon and Leonard are the Lucy and Ethel for the Apocalyptic Age.


Tom sez:


Since this is so close to the dreaded V-Day, I’m going to talk about gifts.  I’m specifically talking to the (2?) heterosexual male readers out there who might be wondering what to give, especially since if you’re reading this and wondering you’re almost too late already.  Yes, you can call this “Ask Gay Best Friend”.  The best thing you can do?  Make her breakfast.  If you can’t make breakfast without requiring a visit from the Fire Dept (or health dept..) then steal out and buy it.  An omelette from the local diner (kept warm in the oven set at its lowest setting), coffee and a croissant from starbucks, OJ and a flower or two from the market when presented on a tray for her morning breakfast will make her happy.  Run a tub while she’s enjoying her meal in bed with the morning paper, and leave her alone to soak while you make the bed and tidy the kitchen.  If you plan on doing this on the weekend since Tuesday might be a workday then add in a split of champagne or prosecco.  Then make (or order) a romantic dinner.  Send the kids to their rooms after they’ve helped to set the table.  Candles would be good- votives in glasses are fine. A present is a nice touch, but you don’t have to go crazy.  Diamonds might be a girls best friend, but if it means the car gets repossessed it’s not so nice.  Her favorite perfume, perfumed sachets, or a gift certificate for a massage at a local spa will make her happy.   Heck it would me.  You may just get a little present in return that evening..

(ps.  from Musette:  If only I could get El O to read Tom’s post!!)


from the lovely Ann:
Byredo’s Seven Veils is a recent release that Musette quite liked, so that prompted me to get a sniff. It’s a warm, creamy, golden veil of a scent, as its name implies, and one that has charmed me completely this winter.

 A favorite from 2011, Parfumerie Generale’s Indochine is still going strong as one of my comfort “blankies” this winter. 

 My third pick is not a new scent, but an older one that was well-loved by many, but then discontinued, and unfortunately, fell completely off my radar. But when a very sweet and generous Posse-ite recently surprised me with a bottle of YSL’s Nu edp, in all its lovely, spicy-dark incense glory, my love for it was rekindled. And that sleek, round, flip-open bottle delights me no end.


from the Black-Hearted Patty:

I’m waiting… waiting for something special to arrive that I can talk about hopefully soon.  That’s my winter/Valentine’s love,the thin I don’t have yet, but I know what it is, I’ve smelled it, and it will be mine soon – at least a small sample of it.  In the meantime, I’m blinging out a jean jacket, making caftans and feeling pretty crafty on the whole, which is, um, odd. I’m not a crafty person at all, but I seem to be turning into one.  Can a leopard change its spots this far into life?

And Valentine’s Day – I used to be very anti-Cupid. No gifts, no flowers, no chocolates, no dinners.  Damaged girl from an asshole first husband who would do the most awful things and then bring me home a big bouquet of daisies to make it all better. I love daisies, they are my favorite flower, but gifts as an apology or that were “expected” on a certain day were met with lots of expletives and foot stomping.

Not anymore!  Bring on the romance. Life is too short to no appreciate the days we are given to stop for a second, remember who we love, tell them we love them. Send a Valentine to your mom, to your dad, brother, sister, to your children. Tell them how much they have enriched your life just by being in it and letting you love them and share  their life.  So here’s my Valentine to all of you – Love you !!!!!
What’s charming you this winter?  ..and for more Best of Winter check out Perfume Smellin’ Things, Bois de Jasmin, Grain de musc and Now Smell This


Rott photo: – the smoochiest face EVAH!

other image:  I have no idea.  but isn’t it pretty?

  • hongkongmom says:

    No valentines day for me either…every day should be!!!!
    That being said…my ceo arrived home after being in Taiwan overnight with a beautiful bottle of single malt and a warm stong hug!
    So happy you had a new love rekindled Anne..sososososo happy!

  • AnnieA says:

    Decided to wear my two rose perfumes together: Eau de protection and YR Rose Absolue. There was a bit of an arm wrestle, but they are now getting along fine. Odd, I generally don’t layer perfumes…

  • @Patty: I’m waiting for something special to arrive too, and then it’ll be on its way… you get my drift!
    Like Musette and Eldarwen, I’m not huge on Saint-Valentine’s day, or any day when I’m told I ought to celebrate. But then I still spent half the day drinking champagne, so somebody up there decided I was going to have fun anyway!

  • Victoria says:

    That Fleur de Cassie body cream is the ultimate indulgence. Why did they remove it from the range, why? :(

  • I’d like to try “Rose du Rosine”, sounds interesting… ;)

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day but I’m getting my parents some decorated cookies for it. It’s very rare that I become enthralled with a perfume but I am enthralled with Bal A Versailles. All I can find on Amazon is Bal A Verailles in EDT form for a reasonable price. I’ve never tried the EDT form of it but have a vintage EDP. So I am a little wary of buying a 3.4 ounce of EDT even though it’s $29.

    • Liesl says:

      I absolutely love the edt. It is the only BaV formulation I’ve ever tried, and from what I hear it is quite tame compared to vintage parfum and edc… I can’t speak to the edp, but I’m sure it’s different, too. This one’s still got some dirtiness, but it’s kind of elegant for that dirtiness, dressed in furs, pearls, and red lipstick. I say go for it! :)

      • Eldarwen22 says:

        I’m gonna order it tonight after work, because I heard that it BaV has been discontinued. I don’t know why I always seem to fall in love with the expensive perfumes, the discontinued perfumes or the perfumes that I cannot get my hands on because I live in the US.

  • Aparatchick says:

    Ah, Patty, you put that so well. Life is indeed short, and there’s no time like the present to tell those you love that you love them. A big hug never goes amiss, either.

    Musette, Big Bang Theory has some of the best characters on TV, including my absolute favorite character, Amy Farrah Fowler (the incomparable Mayim Bialik). Great character, great writing, great actress.

    Here in Florida, we’re finally back to a normal winter after two very cold (for us) winters. So even if it’s 75 outside, I’m wearing my winter heavy hitters: Tabac Aurea, Jungle Elephant, Rochas Femme. And I’ve been using scents I find comforting a lot this winter: Serendipity, Indochine, Coromandel.

    • Musette says:

      I am so in love with Dr. Sheldon Cooper, it’s embarrassing! Jim Parsons is wonderful. I didn’t realize that Mayim Bialik was also an actual scientist! I think that is so cool, like that gorgeous girl from …oh, crap – Winnie! ….Danica McKellar (had to look it up) who is a genius math nerd!

      Floyd bless ’em both!!!

      xo >-)

  • Joanna says:

    My husband and I have some bad Valentines Juju. In order to avoid repeating certian past events I picked out, ordered and paid for my present weeks ago and informed my husband what he got me. Tres romantique! Oui?
    Favorites this winter? Purple Haze cheese from Cypress Grove Chevre. It’s a fresh cheese with lavender and fennel pollen and I especially love it with honey and candied figs. It’s been a favorite of mine for a few years now but I’ve been falling in love all over again lately. Also my foodie heart loves the oysters coming from the east coast right now and the plethora of cheap but good Malbecs I’ve found this winter. Food is love. Happy Valentines Day! :)

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Joanna! I do that, too. Here’s what I’d like, honey. I’ll order it, pay for it and you can give the money for it now or reimburse me when it comes in. No hassle for you and I get exactly what I want. Or I just ask for and get cash (to get a mani, pedi, etc., but sometimes I sneak in a’fume or two — don’t tell). After 23-plus years of marriage, sometimes it just works out that way.
      I’m not big on oysters but whenever I can get to San Francisco in the spring, I do love me some Dungeness crab (and Michael Recchuti chocolates — waves at Musette!!).

      • Musette says:

        Waves back!!! 😡 I was just fantasizing about lunch at Yank Sing…where sometimes I go by myself because…well you know, you can be a Total HOG and nobody looks at you funny! :”>

        xo >-)

        • Ann says:

          Oh, man, I love that place! First time there, I went into the main restaurant in Rincon Center, but it was Sun. lunch and got some funny looks as a single diner taking up a table when folks were waiting. Then on subsequent trips, I wised up and just got whatever (and however much) I wanted across the food court at their takeout shop. Then I could pig out in peace!!

  • mals86 says:

    (Awwww, that puppy! Our dear Hayley Elizabeth Wigglebutt Dog, who’s a beagle-lab mix, got an extra bacony-treat today, and a smooch on the head from Gaze.)

    Our weather’s weird too. And I went through several years of hating Valentine’s Day, after it was ruined for me, so I’m not up for all the romantic frills I used to enjoy. But I will make a lovely family dinner and follow it up with Chocolate Truffle Pie, topped with raspberries (yum), and just yesterday The CEO asked if I’d like some jewelry. I’m going to say, Absolutely! I have a Big Sparkly Rock anniversary band picked out already. May 9 will be 20 years, and I figure I deserve big sparkly rocks for putting up with him for all this time.

    In terms of scent, I’ve been wearing the heck out of Memoir Woman. It is SO WEIRD. And I love it SO MUCH. Also been wearing some rose scents this week, for Valentine’s – and there are a ton of gorgeous rose things out there, aren’t there?

    Iris Poudre body cream… I’m imagining it right now…

    • mals86 says:

      Oh, and after discovering Big Bang Theory in November, I’m hooked. How did I miss three years of this show? I think I went to school with all those guys. They seem familiar, anyway.

      (Bookworm’s swain came over yesterday bearing red roses. She gave him candy and a homemade card. Ah, young love…)

      • Musette says:

        Oh, soooo sweet (the Bookworm Love)!

        I am not a fan of this holiday – I feel it’s one of those passive-aggressive events where expectations are never truly met – and what I really hate is The Day. What if you are just not in the mood? THEN what? 😕

        El O was in a panic. I told him to get over it. A bag of Hershey’s Kisses will do just fine. SUCH a look of relief! #:-s

        xo >-)

  • rosarita says:

    This has been the weirdest winter of my life and the mild weather is the least of it. Personal circumstances have made me feel like everything is skewed sideways and I know I’m not alone in this. A positive aspect is that I find myself letting go of things. I’ve finished off decants, samples, even a bottle of perfume. I’ve broken out the Donna Karan Black Cashmere that I’ve been hoarding and have been wearing it with abandon. I sent a package packed with samples and decants to a non perfumista friend who wanted to try some new things; packed another bunch up for Swapmania. I feel the need to clear the decks. I have spent far too much time watching British period series on Netflix, but escapism has been really necessary and that’s a great way to do it. Love the puppy pic, Musette :x And Ann, thanks for reminding me of YSL Nu. That’ll be my scent of the day.

    • Musette says:

      I think 2011 was one of the weirdest years EVAH! I consider myself blessed that I and my friends and family made it out in one piece (or each in one piece, that is. Can you imagine the sheer mass of ‘one piece’? :-?

      I, too, have started letting go of things – by enjoying them and using them up! No hoarding! There is no reason NOT to use and enjoy our perfumes, our scarves, books, lipsticks…whatever….most important, our lives. USE THEM! ENJOY THEM!

      xo >-)

  • Jayne58 says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day.

    My favourite thing this winter is my fluffy dressing gown. It has been quite cold recently here in the UK and the cost of heating has been soaring, so it has become a habit to throw on my cosy dressing gown as soon as I get up in the morning and whenever I return to a chilly house. The upside is that, in between weekly washes, it accumulates traces of all the perfumes I have been wearing. It can get quite intoxicating. Here’s some Jub25, and over here some Jungle L’Elephant. Sienne L’hiver on the cuff and Coco parfum on the collar. Yum.

    • Musette says:

      Oh, yes! Those are the best, aren’t they? I have a fleece robe that just smells goooood! Jube on the right, Epic on the left, some Lordknowswhatbutitsuresmellsgood on the inside of the collar….:x

      xo >-)

  • Sherri M says:

    V-Day’s my second favorite holiday, but I’m with Patty on the remembering who we love thing. Having a houseful of teenagers, there is always at least one with romantic angst, and I wish they could just put it aside and enjoy the day! I try to get them to enjoy the chocolate (I get them each one of those little heart boxes from the drugstore and something cheesy like socks or a stuffed animal). There’s a lot of pressure and comparison to others (who gets the most flowers, balloons, etc.) which is sad.

    I’m really blessed to be married to a great husband; the house is filled with roses and my favorite lilies. Tonight I’m making him French onion soup (he took me out to dinner last Friday) which the rest of the family likes as well. We’re going out today, so I may run out of time for creme brûlée, but I hope I can find a fun dessert down at Whole Foods.

    Perfume-wise, I’ve been loving Cuir Beluga, Jubilation 25, Confetto, Keiko Mecheri, L’Heure Defendue (Mark your calendars: Saks is running a beauty promo starting 2/16, and I am considering a FB; having gone thru several decants) AND, of course THRILLED with all the wonderful swap samples!!

  • Liesl says:

    … and Happy Valentine’s Day!! <3 <3 <3

  • Liesl says:

    Every so often I have a phase where I can’t seem to shut up about Tabac Blond, and I’m going through one such phase now. I very recently acquired Tabac Blond extrait, and I’m absolutely loving it. I have the edp, and now I can smell my leather and gasoling all year long. Love.

    Second is Bal a Versailles. This is the first year I’ve owned BaV that I actually feel comfortable wearing it, and that it’s behaved on me (as much as BaV can behave, anyway…) I’ve been wearing it a lot. It’s like we finally get each other. I remember thinking, shortly after I bought it, that I might need to grow into this one a bit. I was right. And I have. How cool is that?

    Third is Julep nail polish. In case no one knows, they’re a Seattle-based nail parlor with an amazing subscription program and gorgeous 3- and 4-free polishes in pretty little thin bottles. Actually, I’m newly obsessed with polish in general. Like fume, I’ve always liked my polish, but I didn’t know until recently that there’s a polish rabbit hole you can find yourself spiraling down, as well… Can you say Lynnderella?

    Fourth is Stila’s In the Garden eyeshadow palette. I’ve never owned or used a palette before, and this one was on one of those polish blogs, as done by a gal with eyes the same color as mine, so I decided I must have it. I used to be such a minimalist with my makeup, but I also would very rarely leave the house without my mascara, powder, and lipstick. Now, I have zero qualms trotting my unmadeup face out for the masses, but I’ve decided that if I’m going to take the time to do my makeup, I’m going to do it right and look fabulous. I finally get how fun it can be to play with color. (Patty, a leopard can change its spots at least through age 32.;))
    And I’m not sure, but I think my response length might have exceeded you four’s entire post… Thanks for a really fun question!

    • rosarita says:

      Nail polish is a whole ‘nother rabbit hole, isn’t it? I’m changing up my nails about every other day now. The Lynnderella drama on the MUA nail board has been fierce! I lurk there just to look at the pretty manicure pictures.

      • Ann says:

        Hi, ladies and happy Valentine’s Day to you!! Sorta glad I don’t have much in the way of nails (I keep ’em pretty short and sweet), or my little perfume budget would be in BIG trouble — ha!!

        • Liesl says:

          Lol, I hear ya! Fortunately, my fume craving is in stasis for now, thanks to my aforementioned TB extrait, though I totally would not mind a bottle of Bas de Soie for spring. :)

      • Liesl says:

        Rosarita, the Lynn drama on the Llarowe facebook page has been fierce, too, like I don’t even want to get involved fierce. In all honesty the colors are more nail artish than I’m really into (my nails are short and sweet, too, Ann, but that doesn’t stop me from drawing attention to them… lol ;)) but it’s tempting to try and get one just to say I have one…. All that exclusivity. I’ll get over it. ;)

        • Musette says:

          😮 I just went on that page! WTheck? Why are people stressing a NAIL POLISH? I thought maybe she’d run out of cholera vaccine or something. I consider myself ‘cutting edge’ because I manage to slap on some OPI Hopelessly in Love every week. Maybe..:”>

          xo >-)