Match game

(Author’s note: This post ran last year around this time, and this year is even crazier: middle school starting today for us, big birthday weekend, etc., and I’m swamped, so hope you guys don’t mind a little Posse rerun. Thanks!)

Can I get a collective “Hallelujah!!”?

Yep, it’s that time of year again: back to school.

Now for those of you who don’t have children it may not matter much, but for those who do, it’s a big deal.

As much as we love our kids, it will be nice to get a break from the frequent refrain of “Mom (or Dad), I’m bored!” that the end of summer often brings. And it will be good to see them get back into a routine.

My son heads back today, and even though it may seem early, other school systems here have already been in session for more than a week. But that first day will be here for everyone else before you know it.

Here’s a look at fragrances that might work for several back-to-class scenarios:

For the mom or dad for whom summer has just gone on too long: By Kilian’s Sweet Redemption (sweet relief, perhaps?) or A Taste of Heaven.

For those with little ones heading off for the first time: Parfums DelRae Emotionnelle or By Kilian’s Love and Tears (they were just in diapers yesterday, how can they be in kindergarten already?)

In the first-morning rush, Chaos to help calm the frenzy (at least for Mom).

Uh-oh, they’ve left their lunchbox, backpack, etc., at home and you’re already late for work: Sacrebleu!

For dealing with diehard sleepyheads that first morning, i.e., “Go away, Mom, I was just having the most wonderful …” — thump — head hits the pillow again: Montale’s Sweet Oriental Dream.

When your daughter finally does get up, who will you encounter at the breakfast table: Miss Charming or Lady Vengeance?

Let’s think positive and assume it’ll be Miss Charming. To go with her carefully chosen outfit: Dior’s New Look 1947.

For the older kiddos who keep late hours and can’t get up: Comme des Garcons Energy C

Speaking of teens, what might they be packing? Encens et Bubblegum, or, heaven forbid, Jasmin et Cigarette.

And with that, ahem, more mature crowd, there’s not likely to be much goodbye affection for the parental units. Take comfort in PdN’s Kiss Me Tender or Love Comes From Within.

When they come home that afternoon, and you ask, “How was your day? What’s going on at school?”: Jacomo Silences or Vol de Nuit Evasion will get you prepped for the noncommittal shrug, mumbled “Nothing” or exaggerated eye-rolling that might be forthcoming.

Getting your college-age son or daughter into a dorm or apartment? Heeley’s Menthe Fraiche to help you keep your cool during the move-in madness. To ease your frazzled nerves late in the day: a shot of Vanille Bourbon (Il Profumo) or Lubin’s Gin Fizz might be just the ticket.

And when it’s all over, they’re settled in and you’re heading home at last: Jubilation 25, Vetiver Dance or Perfect Bliss.

What scents put you in mind of back-to-school or have you looking ahead to fall?

  • Mals86 says:

    Loved this.

    My teenage daughter started classes at her science-and-technology magnet school last week, and spent most of the weekend doing physics homework… regular county schools start next Wednesday, except my youngest (ERMAHGERD, my baby is a sixth grader!!) starts on Tuesday. Classes would probably start earlier here, except that the only county schools with air conditioning are the high school and the magnet school. My boys will be sweltering at the middle school (their elementary school was worse, because the windows are tiny and there’s no way to get a cross breeze going).

    One good thing about this year is that I’ll only have to drop kids off at ONE school. Bookworm drives herself, and Gaze and Taz will be at the same school again. OTOH, Gaze is taking Geometry, and it’s only taught early in the morning, before school officially starts, so his brother will have to go early with him and hang out in the auditorium to wait for his own classes to start. (I’d let them ride the bus, but that would mean two whole hours wasted just sitting around. They might as well sleep an extra half an hour in the morning.)

    How about Bvlgari Black for that “new sneakers” accord?

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Mals, so glad you stopped by. Love your suggestion of Bulgari Black — perfect! Sounds like you guys have a pretty busy schedule, but it’s a blessing that your daughter drives and can help you out. Can’t understand why all of the schools in your neck of the woods don’t have A/C — it gets pretty darned hot there, I know. Maybe by next week it’ll cool down a bit and be more bearable.

  • annemariec says:

    Oh I do identify with your Silences and Evasion remark. I have a 14 year old son. ‘Nuff said. Last time he paid attention to my perfume hobby was when a package arrived for me and he watched me unwrap it with some interest. When he realised it was ‘just some of your smelly old perfume’ he disappeared into his room and was not seen until dinner. It was Lelong’s Indiscret.

    I’m in Australia and the long summer school break ends in early February. So life is normal here. But I’m remembering that time when my kids started in kindergarten. I should be wearing Nostalgie.

    • Ann says:

      I hear you 100 percent, Annemarie! That will be the story of my life from here on out, as well. Great suggestion on the Nostalgie — I’d forgotten that one. And I need to try it, too, so thanks!

  • Ninara Poll says:

    Ann, I’m wondering if you live in the same part of the US I do — the town in which I live started school on the 2nd(!), and most systems in this area started on the 6th or are starting anywhere from the 13th to the 16th. One town about 45 minutes away had some minor flooding that knocked out their school buses for two days, so their students missed the first two days of school and had to have a half day as their first day back (they borrowed some buses from a nearby district), and the administrators were acting like it’s the end of the world because the kids missed two days (their attitude is best summed up as “OMG, we only have FIVE snow days scheduled for this year, and this took ALMOST THREE of them, and that means we’re running over into next academic year’s school calendar, and OMFG, they have to make up those two days ASAP or the ENTIRE YEAR’S SCHEDULE ALONG WITH NEXT YEAR’S IS RUINED!!!!” I kid you not… one admin said the delay in starting the year means this year’s class schedule is going to run into next year’s. I’m also wondering who thought that only five snow days for an entire year is adequate… *head shake*)
    As to the actual post, I love this list as much as I did last year’s. It almost makes me wish I had kids simply so I could match perfume to events 😉


    • Ann says:

      That is so funny, NP! You’d think the world was coming to an end! We’re in the deep South so not too much built in for snow days, but if you get snow with any regularity where you are, they ought to be flexible, weather-wise, and realize they might need extra days for extenuating circumstances. Thanks, and glad you enjoyed the post …

  • maggiecat says:

    We teachers also love/hate this time of year, and though I taught all summer and will be in meetings much of the next two weeks, I will meet my newest set of scholars (i.e. college first year students) in two weeks. Still can’t decide what to wear…something soft anf vanilla-y to reassure them, or something like Ormonde Woman to let them know what they’re really in for? 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Both great choices, Maggiecat, but if they are newbies, I’d go for comfort and reassurance. Time enough later to show them you mean business with OW, ha! Hope you can squeeze in a bit more summer fun until your classes start.

  • Lisa D says:

    Oh, I forgot the perfect school scent – Theorema, with all of its “sharpening a pencil while eating an orange creamsicle” vibe.

  • Lisa D says:

    No kids, but I teach, so it’s back to school for me, too! I’m looking forward to fall and all of those deep, rich, sticky scents that I can’t quite manage in 100+ heat – incenses, gourmands, ouds, ambers and leathers, or any of the heavy-hitters. Some fall favorites are L’Air du Desert Marocain, Feminite du Bois, Bois de Paradis, Ambre Sultan, and just about anything by Parfumerie Generale.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, Lisa — I bow to you! I could no more be a teacher than the man in the moon, but I admire/respect those of you are. Yum, all those you mentioned sound delish (must pass on the Feminite, though, as I’m a cumin-phobe, but more for you guys). Can’t wait for cool weather!

  • Suzanne says:

    Hi Ann! I hope you’re recovering well from your super busy weekend. Did all go as planned?

    It was fun to revisit this post. Leather scents remind me of back-to-school, since my mother always bought us new shoes at the start of the school year. Clothes, too, but somehow it’s the shoes that always stick in my memory. Shoes were the defining element of the back-to-school wardrobe. Earth Shoes … remember those ugly things? I had to have them! And clogs, too. There were several years that clogs were popular.

    I can’t really think of a leather perfume that fits in with the naming theme of your post, though. I think you’ve got all the bases covered in terms of names!

    • Ann says:

      Hey, sweet Suzanne! Thanks, we got through it all with flying colors and finished up our first day of 6th grade today, so hooray for that! Your mention of clogs and earth shoes is really taking me back — a fun blast from the past. Someone needs to get a patent leather scent out there (do they even really smell like leather?) Hmmm … must investigate this. 😉

  • rosarita says:

    This was really a day brightener, thanks, Ann 🙂 I’m not sitting here having a pity party, but the start of this school year is a bit melancholy for me. I’ve worked for different schools for nearly 25 years and this is the first year I won’t be going back. My husband works for our local school system (and secured a full time job over the summer with health insurance and everything, so big relief there) and he’s back to work, we live just up the street from an elementary school and our sidewalks are flooded with little ones & parents – heck, we have a flashing school zone sign right in front of our house, so it’s impossible to ignore the start of the new school year. But autumn is my favorite season and we’re having a cool, rainy early taste; very welcome after the long hot summer. I’m wearing Coromandel to celebrate.

    • Musette says:


      Are you going to be doing something different? If so, I hope it will allow you to wear nail polish! 😀

      And congratulations on hub’s securing that position!! YAY!

      We’re having the same weather as you. I’m in a long-sleeved knit yoga top that I couldn’t have even LOOKED at, a week ago. It’s mizzling and all I can think of is….cinnamon rolls and hot coffee. Weird for August! Wearing Secrets du Rose (Rosine), which is a nice compliment to the roses that are grateful for the break from that brutal heat.

      xoxo :Devil:

      • Ann says:

        Hi, Rosarita! So glad that your DH now has a job — congratulations!! And I’ll be sending up positive thoughts and prayers that something good works out for you too. BTW, I adore Coromandel, but it’s no good on me in the heat; will have to wait until the first chilly fall to pull that beauty out. Hang in there!

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Boy, that does seem early! In NH we always started either just before or just after Labor Day weekend. And here in the UK, my daughters start on 6 September so a few weeks to go for us! And we are moving house so they are ‘helping’ me pack. Argh. I don’t want to discourage a helpful nature but still it’s SO frustrating.
    I love all of your scent suggestions-very clever! I would add Gathering Apples and Burning Leaves from CBIHP to the list as it smells like autumn to me and all that goes with it, new backpack, shoes and notebooks as well as changing leaves, sweaters and woodsmoke. I used to ADORE choosing a new Trapper Keeper when I was in middle school and I am still a paper and pen lover.

    • Ann says:

      Lucky you to have a bit more time with your girls — and to have their “help” 🙂 Nice suggestions for back to school. I used to love getting all the new stuff, too. Keeping fingers (and toes) crossed that the move goes very smoothly!

  • Musette says:

    I was in Target last week, watching kids (everyone in Central IL has a minimum of 3 ) bounce off the shelves, walls, carts, floor, each other….interestingly, I saw a lot of dads doing the back to school supply ahopping. One young dad (with 3 boys under 10) looked like he could’ve used a St Bernard with a keg of vodka strapped to his neck.


    • Ann says:

      Yep, this time of year the stores are a madhouse (not quite on par with Christmas, but …). I saw a lot of dads, too, and my poor DH was one of them. He had to go back an extra time or two to get more stuff on a DIFFERENT list we got on meet-the-teacher day. But it’s over now and we’re off to middle school now — yea!!

  • Eldarwen 22 says:

    I don’t have kids but know that school probably is going to probably start sometime next week. What I don’t like is the special ed bus rolling down our street blasting their dang horn at 6:30 every morning. It’s bad enough that I live near a intersection where accidents happen on a regular basis and having a fire station right next door. Can you tell I just hate hearing sirens at all hours and then hearing a car horn very early in the morning because someone doesn’t feel like getting their butt out of bed to go to school? I mainly work nights, so I don’t like dozing off at 4 to be woken up at 6:30. During those times I have the tendency to wear Frapin’s 1270 or Havanna Vanille.

    • Ann says:

      So sorry you have to deal with that! I understand completely as my DH works nights as well. Love your comfort scents though. Here’s hoping things get quieter for you …