Summertime on the River

containers First, I really need to say ‘thank you’  to all of you who took the time to comment on my Bruno post last week.  I’ve read every single one of them – a couple of times.  Seriously.  Your words of support & sympathy mean so very much to me.  I would have one of those ‘missed step in the dark’ moments and the resultant suckerpunch feeling….and before I could get too freaked out I would go back to your comments and …well,it just felt better, y’know?  So, again, thank you.

Much better this week, mostly.  My bfffe came down this weekend and we had a great time doing Absolutely Nothing.  On Sunday El O and I rode her back halfway home – and this is where the ‘smells’ come in.  We rode down to Henry IL and then across the bridge, to do the Illinois River run back up north to Rte 89.   Summertime on the River.  I got the sideye from El O because I was so far behind them but …wow!  I got gobsmacked in the nose!  The scent shifts so drastically, the moment you leave the monoculture of the corn/soybean fields and enter the woods and marshes that line the river area.  Industrial corn and soy fields really don’t smell like much (unless they’ve just applied spray, in which case it smells like pesticide).  But there’s no taming a riverbed – and it’s not an easy smell to identify, either, perhaps because it’s not just ‘a smell’.  There’s the woods that usually line the general river area and depending upon where they are, they can smell divine…or manky as hell.  None of those intriguing smells are something I would want in a perfume.  But not everything has to be a scent to wear, right?  Sometimes, it’s fine just to smell stuff, like manky riverbeds.  And rivers in this area are not fast moving, so there’s plenty of opportunity to mank up.  The Big Muddy is 35 minutes west of here and I swear to you, there are days I could swear I’m smelling it, in all its silty glory.

And corn.  right now we’re in Early sweet corn season – those little poppy, pale, sweet ears…so delish!  I could eat a bazillion of them, with those little poppy kernels.  And they smell SO ….Summer.  But I don’t want to smell like them.  Is there a corn-scented perfume?    Some of you (March) love that tomato leaf smell….corn?  I dunno….

I was going to review a perfume this week but, to be honest, I’m still not quite up for the challenge.  Perfume reviews actually require focus, at least they do if you are going to give it the time and respect it deserves (and I think it does – if you’re gonna do it, do it right).  So …hang in there with me.  I’ll focus up in short order.  Also?  Not excusing myself but…it’s freakin 98F here – or at least it feels like it.   I am wearing a lot of Jean Nate, as I battle weeds in my new borders and mirror veg garden.  Lots of weeds.  Lots of Jean Nate.  Lots of showers.  LOTS of showers.

I did wear Lyric extrait (over the body creme) last night.  Holy Cats and Crackers!  I’d never tried the extrait – or the creme – in extreme heat.  WOWZ!  I’ve always been on the knife-edge of love with Lyric.  I wear it a lot, appreciate its beauty.  But I had no idea what the truth of that beauty was, until I wore it in heat.   I yabble on about perfumes that work in the heat a lot, don’t I?  Well, it’s a really interesting concept to explore and fragrances designed to perform in extreme heat really do expand and blossom.  I may wear  the bejeezus out of Jean Nate while I’m weeding (and I suspect the oil in the splash helps a lot) but it’s pretty linear.  Lyric?  You haven’t experienced it until  you wear it in 90F.   something tells me I’ve said this before.  Well, alrighty then.   It’s definitely one that bears repeating.


Okay – I’m done boring the toenails off you for this week.  I promise I’ll be back up and running soon.  I adore you all and thank you for your kindness and patience.



  • Beth says:

    I’m glad your’re feeling better. It’s an amazing thing when people you don’t actually know can bring you so much comfort. I always read your posts and enjoy everyone of them. You have a wonderful way of writing about everything. I would never survive the heat like you do!! LOL Take care xo

  • teri says:

    I grew up in a house on the river that ran through our town. we were on the high bluff side of the riverbank, so had none of the flood concerns but all of the joys of fishing and keeping a boat. The 80 stairs up and down to the bank were great training for we aspiring athletes in the summer, too.

    I’m a Pisces and bonded with ‘my’ river perhaps more than most and it nearly broke my heart when I had to sell the house, boat and dock after my mother passed away. I live in a land-locked state now, in the high desert, and miss the luxury of running water at my doorstep more than I can express.

    Rivers have as many scents as we perfumistas do, and they change them just as often, too. Sometimes they are fishy and stinky, or cool, green and flushed with snow melt, sometimes as brisk and cool as a snow queen, and sometimes they waft lovely floral scents from gardens upstream.

    I guess you can tell I miss ‘my’ river from the length of this post. But in this day of over-engineering natural resources for a myriad of purposes, there is such a charm to the whimsy and wanderings of a river.

  • Natuaromatic says:

    I totally agree with you: you must be very focused to review a perfum or anything. Just waiting for your next perfum review

  • Nemo says:

    I was in some salt marshes around the Bay Area not too long ago, and boy did they smell interesting! Dusty, salty, and faintly fish-y/algae-y. The piles of rotted logs and seagull skeletons helped set the mood, too! Also not things I’d like in a perfume necessarily, but certainly interesting!

  • Janice says:

    I love Lyric but have never tried the extrait. In fact I think you’ve mentioned how wonderful the extrait versions are of several Amouages—Dia was one, I think?—and it’s really making me want to try them, but it sounds like a potentially very expensive path to start on!

  • jirish says:

    I’m so happy you had a great weekend with your BFF. For years now, I’ve enjoyed how some of my big hitters swell in the summer heat. Chergui is great in the heat, as is Amoureuse and Black Orchid. But this year, as I’ve been working through samples, I’ve been struck by how the heat makes scents I’d previously dismissed as too soft and insignificant become legible and beautiful. Mythique, for example, barely smelled of anything to me, until I wore it in the heat.

  • Debbie R. says:

    I hope it works out with Charley. I just adopted Cindy vom Avalon, who has been a breeder for a kennel here in OH. She’s 7 y/o, and she is just perfect for us. (Old dogs for old broads.) I cannot get over it. They say she has no training, but….she does a perfect come-fore and sit when she wants something. I know what you mean about a house being lonely w/o a dog.

    I was wondering if you’d like to come over, meet her and then tell me how I can have a beautiful yard too. Mine is so bad. It was like a jungle this year.

  • Ann says:

    Sweetie, so glad to hear you had a nice weekend with your BFF, and that things are a bit better for you. Hopefully soon the good days will start to outnumber the bad. I need to go try the Lyric in the heat. I stood outside for an hour yesterday talking to a tennis coach and my Malle Eau de Magnolia was the only thing that kept me from wilting on the spot.

  • malsnano86 says:

    Lemme check… nope, still got my toenails. 🙂 So I must not be bored.

    We’ve had some cool weather here over the past few days, with the first rain in weeeeeeks – so delightful to smell that petrichor smell, like the earth is sighing in relief. Looks like it’s back to hot, though, so soon enough we’ll be getting that baked-bread-ish smell of grass seed drying on the stems. Second cutting of hay is mostly done; we’ll get maybe one more before fall. Cows are in the pasture behind the house, so we’ve got the faint whiff of grassy manure when the wind hits right.

    The heliotrope in the flower bed has been blooming its heart out all summer; my stargazer lilies popped open a few days ago, so now those two wafts are combining to make one big deliciousness every time we go in and out of the house.

    Went to the fair yesterday for a few hours, between marching band pre-camp (Gaze is a section leader, so he had to be there) and cross-country practice. Wow, the fair… I sort of hate it, because of all the people holding lit cigarettes at toddler eye level, that makes me so nervous I can’t stand it. But you can’t deny that it is a cornucopia of smells, from the fresh lemonade to the sawdust to the livestock barn, plus sausages and onions and engine grease and popcorn and cotton candy and Lion Dogs and sunscreen and sweat, and I could SWEAR I smelled Lolita Lempicka on a young tattooed mom in a tube top.

    We are now in talks with the foster mom of a lab mix named Charley. The boys and I are going to meet her on Friday and see if she might like to come live with us… hope so. The house is lonely without a thump-tail doggie.

  • Dina C. says:

    Musette, Love the photo of the corner of your yard. It looks beautiful! If that’s a sample of all your hard work, then Brava! and kudos to you dear! I have been pruning overgrown bushes in my front yard this week, so I’m right there with you…also in the high heat and humidity.

    I’m glad you had such a good visit with your BFF, and I loved your ruminations on river scent. I’m going down to a lake in August. One of the things I look forward to is the smell of the lake, the surrounding woods, and the wooden dock baking in the hot sun. Maybe I’ll get some good corn when I’m down there since there are nearby farms. Haven’t had any REALLY good corn up in my area yet.

    You have made me really curious about Lyric in the heat now. I may try a big heady rose scent today after my yard work and shower are over with. Sending you another dose of hugs (((Anita))) and lifting you up in my prayers.

  • Hey Hottie,
    Glad you are recovering. Lyric Extrait in the heat? One day I will give it a whirl.
    Portia xx

  • rosarita says:

    Hi doll. I was gone last week and missed your post – just left a comment there, so you have your condolences all in one place. My heart just breaks thinking of the year you’ve had.

    I’m in a state of perfume ennui. Nothing smells right and I’m going without more often than not, plus the mosquitoes are eating me alive – man, I despise bug repellent, won’t wear it and Skin So Soft does nothing, so I’m covered in bites because I want to be outside as much as possible. I think perfume just helps attract those little buggers. I know we’re speaking of Amouage here, but I have a new Caress body wash, Emerald something, that I’m really enjoying 🙂 It’s the little things, right? The outside summer smells are wonderful! I’m going out to get my first sweet corn of the season today and you are right, that’s a great smell. Takes me straight back to childhood.

  • Solanace says:

    Thank YOU, Musette! Monocultures suck, smell of nothing, attract no birds. Heavy hitters on the heat, on the other hand, are great. When it’s really hot, colognes may feel BOish to me, and I prefer wearing something sweet, such as Fracas or Amouage Gold (why go half way?) Well, it is always hot here, if I start being picky there will be no time for Shalimar… And my melancholic self needs some perfume candy!

  • Lynley says:

    Lyric is my ‘if I could save only one’. I first tried it on a hot summer day and it was instant head over heels. It gets big and billowy without suffocating. Unfortunately experimenting on which perfumes are on which side of that distinction is risky business. I think Memoir is the only Amouage I find a bit overwhelming, but then they Are from Oman. They’re made for the heat right?

  • poodle says:

    Like you, I love the heavy hitters in the heat. You inspired me to wear Jubilation when I was moving mulch. I never liked it until I worked up a sweat wearing it. I always wore my other big perfumes but didnt realize that sometimes the difference between thinking a perfume was okay and thinking it was amazing was a matter of some humidity and temps well over 80°F. I’ve been yanking weeds too. They grow so damn fast! I’m happy you’re doing a bit better this week. It takes time. I find weeding can be a good therapeutic distraction. Hugs to you.

  • jillie says:

    The adoration’s mutual.

    I am ashamed to say that I have only this year realised that certain perfumes bloom in the heat. My particular favourite this summer has been Jardins de Bagatelle, which seems to envelop me with gorgeousness and says to humidity “come on, do your worst, I’ll still smell great!”. My next best is Jasmine White Moss – the jasmine seems hyper-real and I feel like I am on a veranda in New Orleans with moist green tendrils covered in waxy flowers creeping towards me and practically smothering me (in a good way).

  • Laurels says:

    Glad you’re feeling a little better, and glad to have a reason to wear some of the Lyric I have left sooner rather than later.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I couldn’t comment on your post with Bruno because it brought up a lot of tears remembering what I went through with an elderly dog two years ago. Isn’t Lyric fabulous in heat? I haven’t tried the body creme nor the extract version because Amouage in EDP lasts forever when I’m working up a serious sweat. Lyric for women left me breathless when I first tried it.

    • Musette says:

      I’m a body creme HO, eldarwen, so that, in 90F,is my idea of Heaven! The extrait, gorgeous as it is (and it IS), is gilding the proverbial lily!

      I’m so sorry you had to go through that with your babydog, too. Sucks, doesn’t it? And the breaking of long-standing habits….do you know how many times I’ve dumped ice on the floor where his water bowl used to be? It’s just ridiculous! But at least now I can sort of laugh and go ‘really, A? You’re a moron!’ and then I pick it up. xoxoxoA

  • Spiker says:

    I wasn’t wild about Lyric on first sniff, but after reading your raptures in previous posts, I did order a decant and am really enjoying it. ( much better than sample dabbing). But still, extrait at 90 degrees. I’m not that brave.

    I hope the rest of your summer is as sweet as the corn.

    • Musette says:

      No bravery required, Spiker! It’s freakin’ GLORIOUS! You don’t need a lot (obviously) – just a little touch will blossom like……..;-) xoxoxo