This ‘N That: Going Out and Maison Louis Marie No. 04 – Bois de Balincourt

Well this was a week. After being hermetically-sealed in my house (well feeling like it) for the past two years I actually ventured out. There is going to be a City Council election in town come June and a couple of my friends are running- one as a newcomer and one for his 5th term. Other people ranging from incumbents to rather, let’s just say interesting? people are running as well, but okay. So this past weekend were campaign kick-offs, where candidates have a meet and greet with speeches, coffee, nibbles and all at the homes of others to chat with voters. I went to two of them, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Now this was sort of a production, mainly due to my own laziness and parsimony. My car got smacked into in a parking lot (the person fled) which eventually meant that the drivers door no longer opens. So the procedure to drive the car is as such: get in passenger side, start car. Use a mop to depress brake pedal so convertible top can be powered down. Hop over into drivers seat and drive off (I am too tall {yes, tall. That’s my story and I am sticking to it} to slither through with the top up.) Add in a slow leak in a new-ish back tire that has to be pumped up, gas being $6.50 a gallon, and my work commute being “go downstairs”  made excuses to not go anywhere requiring more than shanks mare way too easy. But these required wheels.

So I got over it.

Both days were postcard-pretty in LA: warm but not hot, a gentle breeze, cloudless blue skies. Both events were in the backyard and were lovely. It was so nice to see people face-to-face (well, face mask to face mask for the most part) that I have not seen in a couple of years, and to take a short cruise through the hills on a beautiful day with the top down. Just to charge the battery on the car, mind you.

In the mean time one of my coworkers mentioned that another always smelled really good and she had asked him what we used. He told her it was an oil from Sephora by Maison Louis Marie called Bois de Balincourt. Seeing on the website that it was only $15 and free shipping I thought “why not?” (you’re forgiven for thinking “why not get your freaking car fixed rather than frittering away money on yet another ‘fume purchase?”)

Notes (from the Maison Louis Marie website)

Top note: Sandalwood, Cedarwood

Mid note: Vetiver, Nutmeg, Cinnamon

Base note: Amber Wood

Being an oil it does stay close to the skin- no bad thing in my opinion. I do find that it does kind of go through a brief and somewhat disconcerting phase on me where it smells precisely like the citronella candles we used in New England in a wholly futile attempt to keep mosquitoes away, but that’s not a bad scent memory for me, so I coped. None of the individual notes really stand up and shout. The scent also comes in bath, body, and home products so every aspect of your life (except perhaps your car) can remind you of someone else’s ancestral home. No bad thing, says I. Will I buy? Maybe not. It’s nice, but not necessary.

The other thing I did was get my hair cut. At this point, mowed would be a better word. I had not for a good 7 or 8 months- mainly because of that lazy thing. Even though my preferred cheapo barber is right on the corner. However since my hair was getting a bit much, resembling Barbara Bain’s in the second series of Space: 1999 and I had these things to go to I decided to at least look somewhat human. You can see and diss the difference in the photo.

I will be getting out more- another friend (Portia met her) is being installed as Mayor again next week and there are various things going on with the upcoming election that I would like to attend. I’d almost forgotten in the pandemic how nice it can be to be outside and see friends, and sometimes how important it can be. One friend I saw had been ill and I was glad to see them as feisty as ever.

And so readers, cyber-friends and all, I want to thank you for making the last two years a lot more bearable. I don’t know what we all would have done cooped up in our sterile koo-koo’s nest if we didn’t have the interwebs to give us at least the illusion of being connected. Now that we can (we hope) get out a little more, let’s enjoy the sunshine, and stay safe.

Bois de Balincourt is available from the website or from Sephora, where I purchased. Photos are mine.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Tom,
    Hair is very nice.
    Boo about your car.
    Fragrance sounds simple and wearable.
    Please wish Miss Mayor a wonderful term and hopefully we can come over and do the walk with her again. She was really cool.
    Portia xx

    • Tom says:

      Hey doll-

      Thanks! Hope you’re having a grand time- I’m enjoying you posts from the train.

  • Dina C. says:

    Nice haircut, Tom! My hair is silver, too. 🙂 Bois de Balincourt sounds like a really nice scent. I’ll give it a sniff next time I’m near a Sephora. So glad you got out and enjoyed the weather and society!

  • Maya says:

    I have sampled Bois de Balincourt. I did not get citronella. I got dill, as in dill pickles, so it’s not for me. It’s long overdue for everyone to start being out and about! I will be getting there too eventually. I broke my thigh bone above the knee last fall, but will soon be transitioning from a walker to a cane. Then I will be able to get out more too. Yay.

    • Tom says:

      Ooof! I’m sorry to read that! Knock wood, I haven’t broken anything even though I am rather clumsy and manage to take an ungainly tumble about every year or so. Bruised ego, limbs, and dignity only so far..

  • shiva-woman says:

    I just love this post! I have a Rav4 that has “problems” which I’m just delaying addressing. I “had to” purchase Couleur Vanille by L’Artisan yesterday for having survived a job I hated for 30 years–and quitting it for a while. (Free, free at last…). L’Artisan was also having a sale and a “free candle” so I went for it because I didn’t want to pay full price for a “blind buy” vanilla that I may not like (yeah, I did that…”unsniffed” buy). I miss LA, and I miss going out, and I miss seeing people too, so even a trip to the grocery store is an “event.” I’ve been cutting, coloring, double and triple processing my own hair (In fact today is the day for highlights). The last time I got a professional hair and color was December 8, 2019 by the lovely and talented Chantal, the best stylist. Then I just got used to doing my own and saving hundreds and hundreds of dollars. But I miss someone else doing my hair. YOURS looks great by the way! This was so witty and fun to read and I vicariously enjoyed riding in your convertible, enjoying balmy So Cal breezes. And I’ve been there with the slithering across the passenger seat for one reason or another. Enjoy your forays out!

    • Tom says:

      Ah I knew you guys would understand! How can I spend to fix may car when Fragrancenet is discounting Uncle Serge!?!

      Paul Newman in “Harper” had a crapped out Porsche. I don’t have a Porsche and resemble Mr. Newman in that we are both male but I keep telling myself..

  • D says:

    At some point, make sure you can out of the car easily and safely in an emergency. Also check, does your insurance cover uninsured motorist damage? Can you still file a claim/

    • Tom says:

      I can get out, thanks. Unfortunately insurance, if I used it would a) skyrocket and 2) declare the car totaled. It’s old and high mileage.

  • Musette says:

    you! your. hair. is. GORGEOUS!

    that is all.

    oh! except: get the damb car fixed.


  • rosarita says:

    Wow, you have a gorgeous head of hair and I am also jealous of your weather. My congregation is returning to in person meetings for the first time since March 2020 and I’m scanning my closet for clothes that still fit, argh. Cannot wait to see everyone, though. That convertible ride through the hills sounds lovely!

    • Musette says:

      LOL! I did the Covid 19 in reverse, which is gratifying – but a bit disconcerting. I always buy pj’s XL because of my breasticles… the bottoms are always loose-but-manageable. Until now.

      I put on a pair of loungers and, within seconds, the bottoms just.. FELL OFF!

      Luckily I was alone, except for the new foster pup who thought the falling down pants hysterical!


      • shiva-woman says:

        “Breasticles”! ? I truly did not know what those were for a minute. But I’m in my 50s, and suddenly got it (hanging out now post-breakfast in a flowing nightgown, sweater and UGG boots feeling free). Stealing…?

      • shiva-woman says:

        The ? marks are laughing emojis that somehow didn’t convey the wild hysterical laughter at “breasticles”…..

      • rosarita says:


      • Alityke says:

        Me too. Top is 2 sizes bigger than bottoms. Booty of a 20 yo boy, girls that could be used as a pair of clackers unless they’re well scaffolded. Lol at your loungers falling down. Could have been worse, you coulda tripped over them (loungers not breasticles).

    • Tom says:

      Oh the clothes witch- I did neglect to mention that I had to dress around the Covid tonnage. I look like I’m about to give birth…

  • March says:

    Fixing your car is the least emotionally rewarding thing, I had to replace a battery after YEARS and I still resent it, think of the fun things I could have wasted money on instead. You have gorgeous hair! Very “silver fox.” Mine got super-long during the pandemic and I finally cut it last summer after I moved, I too go to a local barber lol but they do a good job. Jealous of your weather!

    • Tom says:

      Emotionally maybe, financially notsomuch. I resent every dime I have spend on it.

      Weather is one of the big reasons I stay here

      • Tom says:

        Oops, misread your first sentence. Spending money on the car is not rewarding. Just saw on the news that car insurance is going up 20-40% as well. Explains my last bill..

  • cinnamon says:

    Feh, cars can be so annoying. Getting back into world sounds nice and haircut looks good (even with the ever present mask). I cut my hair myself during lockdown and as soon as I could go back to a salon it started getting shorter and shorter. It’s now Jean Seberg-ish. Always interesting what people comment on perfume-wise. Haven’t tried an oil in ages.

    • Tom says:

      This cut is actually a bit long for me. Usually it’s very short. But the Covid ton has made my face rather rounder sooo..

      I haven’t done an oil in years..