Summer Saturday


Most of you who have been reading the Posse for awhile know a few things about me:

1. I love gardening

2. I love Summer

3. I love going BIG in Summer.    In stifling  heat and humidity I bring out my truly heavy-hitters:  Carnal Flower body butter, Tribute (and all the other hefty attars), Bulgarian Rose otto, Epic (EPIC!), Shalimar parfum (I am not kidding).  Mitsouko parfum, in 90F, is a completely different animal than it is in 20F.  Try it!  Maybe not if you work in close quarters…but go outside in some scorching heat, see how peach blossoms.  Granted, the peach is still hefting an ax – but it’s blossoming.  That’s good, right?  I delight in wearing all my Big Girls in the killing heat of a Midwestern Summer.

Except on Saturdays.

Saturdays are the days I just…settle down.  Sundays always have that vague ‘crap.  Tomorrow is Monday’  feel to them.  Still relaxed ..but you can feel your guts gearing up for another week.    Unlike Lady Violet I know full well what a weekend is.  And Saturday is My Day, in Summer.  I get up at 5:30a, get filthy working in the large gardens, shower at 8 and have breakfast in the private little perennial side garden, under the umbrellas, which, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise,  is where the dogs and I will spend the rest of the day.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I sketch, sometimes I just sit and rearrange that particular perennial border in my head (‘hmmm…I think I will move the coneflowers in early autumn…ew!… who put that pink peony THERE? ‘) – I plan for a slightly larger fountain and fantasize about the eventual height of my newly-planted trumpet vine; surely it will reach 10’ and we will have to put up supporting trellises and it will completely block my view of the neighbors.  Every hummingbird for 10 miles will converge upon my garden.  All at once.  Tomorrow.

That kind of mind-clearing time, spent sipping water with lemon and peppermint from the patch I planted to choke out the Creeping Charlie under the rain barrels.  Hey, if something is going to be invasive it might as well be useful, right?  It’s bordered by concrete on 3 sides and on the other – well, it’ll be a few years before I have to beat it back – right now the toads and I are enjoying it immensely!

For years I’ve been doing this, in one garden or another – and for those same years of Summer Saturdays I’ve been wearing the same 8am apres-bains.  Jean Nate splash (out of the refrigerator, natch) and Avon SkinSoSoft body oil.    The SSS is to keep the bugs off (it works – I have no idea why – does anybody???.  It’s worked for 20 years, bless Avon! I wore it the month I spent in Kenya and didn’t get bitten once!)  Jean Nate because it’s summer.  On Summer Saturday nights, apres- shower, I slather on Aveeno Stress Relieving body lotion though, if all has gone well heaven knows I haven’t had one bit of stress all day except when I get buzzed by a hummingbird who wanted in at the clump of monarda I was tending….but I just like how it smells.  Totally uncomplicated scents for a totally uncomplicated day.

7p I walk down to the veggie garden, check on the broccoli and tomatoes…then I go back to the little private side garden, take my seat under the umbrella and watch the birds come to the bath at the top of the fence.  It’s like a Midwestern version of a Serengeti watering hole.

What is it about Saturdays and drugstore potions?  I rarely think about JN or SSS during the week, even though I am just as likely to be outside as in, given the nature of my work, and heat is heat, whether it’s Saturday or Wednesday.

But Saturday.  SkinSoSoft.  Jean Nate.  Summer.   And that umbrella in the garden.  The perfect combination.

Do you have Saturday scents?   Are they drugstore?   (I wonder how Saturday became Drugstore Scents for me?)


photo:  my side garden.  That little white dish at the top of the fence is where I watched two hummingbirds bomb a bluejay!  And I have 3 toads!  Magilla is the big one that hangs out in the lion fountain at night, which is why I have few mosquitoes and my hostas are slug-free.  Thanks, Magilla!!

  • maggiecat says:

    Your Saturdays sound lovely! I used to garden before my back and I started feuding, and my arthritis got nasty. I still think I’d like to try it again and gaze at spots in our small yard and think “hmmmmm…roses?”

    My Saturdays are likewise less formal, a time to either experiment with scent and keep things basic. I remember Jean Nate – maybe I should find a bottle and tuck it in my frig to help me deal with our 100+ days!

  • OhLily says:

    Your Saturdays and garden both sound lovely! The green thumb gene skipped me, sadly, but I think that definitely upped my appreciation of those who do have it. Scent-wise I’m fairly old school, lots of searing citrus and greens are what I go for in the heat. Eau de Campagne, Cristalle edt, Azemour and Eau Savage have been my go-to’s since it’s been in the high 90’s.
    In addition to loving their scent it’s also so cooling to be able to apply that much fluid, and so often!

    • Musette says:

      I know what you mean. That’s the beauty of jean nate – to be able to splash with abandon, knowing it will be gone in 45 minutes.

      xo :Devil:

      • OhLily says:

        Absolutely! Sadly there’s something in the current version that just stabs at me, but using copious amounts of the original is what taught me what a ‘splash’ fragrance truly was, lol.

  • minette says:

    your summer saturday routine sounds like a slice of heaven.

    mine are usually spent indoors because of the intense heat, humidity and lack of private garden/shade. i’ve spent many a saturday testing scents – crazy numbers of them all up and down my arms at one time. but lately i don’t seem to have a particular saturday scent routine. though, if i wind up going anywhere at all, i might find myself digging in my perfume garden for something i haven’t worn for a while.

    as far as drugstore scents go, my favorite is revlon ciara, which is a lovely, cooling incense on my skin. i love it in cool and hot weather, and especially when it rains.

    shalimar in the summertime rocks! the best and creepiest compliment i have ever received was for shalimar parfum and edt one hot summer – a guy at a local nursery told he wanted “to attach himself” to me so he could keep smelling me.

    i also love big florals in the summer – right now i am on a lush gorilla jasmine jag. it’s so freaking gooood and jasminy!

    enjoy the hummingbirds and toads! love both.

    • Musette says:

      isn’t it funny how a comment like that can skeeve you out, especially if the complimenter isn’t ……well, he probably wasn’t that savory to begin with.

      Shalimar in the heat is positively sublime!

      xo :Devil:

  • Immas says:

    What a delightful post, thank you for sharing your passions.

    Weekends are my experimental days for two reasons. 1) offensive or too strong scents can be worn, scrubbed, or whatever according my whims alone 2) I’m more relaxed and happier on weekends so if I take a fancy to something it won’t have the stink of weekday work stress clinging to it.

  • Sam says:

    I love a ritual, especially one that involves relaxing outdoors in warm weather. Your Saturdays sound sublime. (And hurray for Jean Nate!) My Saturdays don’t involve a particular scent ritual, but as long as they include some lying around–especially this time of year–I’m happy.

  • dleep says:

    Reading your post was like meditating. Lovely and peaceful. Many years ago Ciara used to be my Fall weekend scent.

    • Musette says:

      Ciara! That was a lovely scent! And perfect for Fall.

      xoxo :Devil:

    • FragrantWitch says:

      Ciara! I used to have a bottle of that- coolish incense patch/floral iirc.
      I’ll have to have a nostalgia sniffa when I am next back in the US!

  • Teri says:

    I don’t garden much anymore now that I live in Colorado and the water is so carefully rationed. I xeriscaped enough of my backyard so that it doesn’t look neglected during my frequent and often long absences for work. I did put in one of those slightly tacky little electric garden fountains on a whim and I’m so glad I did, because when I turn it on, it always draws a crowd….birds, squirrels, etc., especially during this crushing heat wave we’ve been having. Mosquitos are rarely a problem with our dry climate, but SSS was definitely a part of my Midwestern youth, where ‘skeeters’ were numerous and voracious.

    I try to get up super early on Saturday morning, before the heat gets started and play a game or two of tennis with a friend. Coty Vanilla Musk has been my ‘sports’ fragrance ever since it came out back in the 1990s, I believe. It’s the only scent I’ve ever found that actually compliments human perspiration which makes it a great gym scent, too, if inside exercise is more your thing. Anyway, I guess VM would qualify as a Saturday scent.

    I so agree with you about the ‘big’ scents in the summer. The real life plants upon which most are based bloom in the heat of summer, don’t they? So it logically follows that the scents derived from them should bloom in the heat, too, right? It’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

    • Musette says:

      I like your story! Stick with it! I’m sticking with it, too! Electric fountains aren’t tacky. They’re pretty much all anybody has, though solar is making a big play (and is great for larger areas – I don’t want to run an underground cable for a freakin’ fountain!!!).

      Garden for your area, I always say. The concept of an English garden, complete with lawn, in Arizona (for example) has always mystified me.


      • Musette says:

        ps. we garden almost exclusively with rainwater. El O built a catch system with 8 – 55gal blue pvc drums he scavenged from the muni, which gravity feed, though i tend to use buckets because I need the exercise. We are building another over by the veg garden (two 55 gal drums). water is absurdly expensive here. we are in a near-drought so I have to make this water last. Praying for rain this weekend!

        xeriscaping is the way to go when water is scarce!

        xo :Devil:

  • Eldarwen 22 says:

    The family green thumb has missed me, so I gave up trying to garden years ago. I love Chanel’s Cuir de Russie and Amouages Lyric for her in 90 degree heat.

  • pam says:

    I totally enjoyed the (mental) visit to your gardens. How refreshing! And you’ve made me crave some Jean Nate. I can still remember that scent. Is it the same as ever? I agree with you on wearing some of the biggies in the heat. Gives them a whole new character.

    • Musette says:

      Jean Nate hasn’t changed a bit, scentwise – still that lemony-plastic that says “oooh! Summmmmah!”. They did put some ‘moisturizey’ stuff in there that changed the texture – it’s a bit slickery where before it was just an alcohol blast. I miss that.

      xo :Devil:

  • FragrantWitch says:

    I love the sound of your Saturdays! Why DOES Skin So Soft work for bugs? I hope someone knows.
    My Saturdays are either the chilled out, swimming lessons done, kids playing contentedly in the backyard, hubby and I reading the paper kind or swimming lessons, this birthday party, that birthday party or a million other calls on our time kind. For the former I will often sample something I’ve been looking forward to as I have the time to pay attention to the development and ‘hear’ the story/’see’ the picture. The busy run -off -my feet ones I generally choose a G rated scent like Eau de Merveilles as I don’t want another Bal a Versailles experience. Or, if I really need the fortification, I wear what I like and everyone has to deal.

    I love Jean Nate but I really pine for Jovan Eau Fresh which I can’t find anywhere for live nor money. It’s like it dropped off of the face of the earth! Or maybe I imagined it!

    • Musette says:

      Your Saturdays swing wildly!! That’s the beauty of being old…….er…I no longer have to ferry children about Of course, now I have to take my pop places but Not On Saturday!

      BaV is a hoot, isn’t she?

      xo :Devil:

    • OhLily says:

      Oh my goodness, I loved it too – It was glorious to just spray with abandon in the heat! I’ll be sure to let you know if I ever come across some, but so far I’ve had zero luck as well. Fingers crossed for luck!

      • FragrantWitch says:

        That is very kind- I’ll do likewise! In the heat it was just wonderful and fresh out of the shower on a summer evening to powder myself and slip between crisp line-dried sheets…heaven :Zzzzzz:

        • OhLily says:

          Aw, thank you! Such fond memories – Didn’t those perfumed powders with the big fluffy puffs just seemed so grown-up and glamorous?


  • rosarita says:

    What a lovely post, Ms A! I don’t have a particular Saturday scent but it always fascinates me how Saturdays have an entirely unique feel to them, whether one is working or not.

    I used to be a manic gardener before arthritis took over. Our little house just has a sliver of backyard, though, with our one ginormous maple in the middle, shading everything. My elderly neighbor has a half acre garden with a tiny fruit orchard on the other half acre, and I can sit under my maple tree and enjoy his garden. He’s been farming that garden for 35 years, cans everything, makes wine from his grapes, and must have a basement packed full of dusty mason jars from the 80s and beyond. The wine is …interesting…but the heirloom tomatoes that he occasionally shares are delicious.

    • Musette says:

      Oh…the cannnnnning! I refuse to do anything more than make salsa, curry and pasta sauce – enough to take us through to the next season. Those miles of jars one finds in the basement. Mortifyin’!

      I just planted a grapevine. No wine, but I suspect we will enjoy the grapes, as will the birds!

      Damn That Arthritis! :The-Incredible-Hulk:

      xo :Devil:

  • Nice. Your garden and Saturdays sound lovely.
    Portia xx

  • violetnoir says:

    Your garden is absolutely lovely! How did you get started?

    • Musette says:

      Violetnoir –

      This is going to sound sarcastic but it isn’t meant to be: I started by digging a hole. Really. I have found that all the plotting and planning, etc, is great – but at the end of it all, you still have to Dig The Hole. So I do. I dig and bust sod as I go, so I don’t lose heart. My gardens usually begin simply and grown exponentially – one time I recreated Giverney’s famous allee (with the roses and nasturtiums, etc) in miniature (only room for one archway, alas) – I busted over 900′ of sod (1′ wide) and in autumn will probably widen the border along the back and side fencelines by another foot. I tend to plan ‘after the fact’ LOL! lest I never get the damn thing started.

      Thanks for the compliment! It’s a work in progress. More sod-busting, as I build a raised bed along that front fence.

      xoxo :Devil: