Comfort Zone

Hey, my beloved Posse!  Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about their Comfort Zone – usually in conjunction with something being ‘outside’ that zone.  Remember the Very Inappropriate Man?  Lordt Floyd!!!! – that was the least attractive thing about him, the clinging to that (eckSTREEEEMLY) limited zone.

A few days ago I lunched with a friend who, when asked about her food likes, said ‘I have a really small comfort zone’. She then looked at me and said ‘ you don’t really have a comfort zone, do you?’.

It got me thinking.  And I think the answer to that is No.  Living as a WoC in a hostile country, in a hostile work environment (but, really, what work environment isn’t hostile ?) if I hope to have any sort of reasonable success in life I must step out of whatever ‘comfort zone’ I might want to inhabit and just get on with it.

Ecksept.  Perfume.  And shoes (more on that some other time).

As a perfume blogger I am constantly introduced to a plethora of perfumes – and so many are interesting, compelling…all the good things.  Then there are those that are less interesting, mundane…or just FreakyAF.  In the early days of blogging I convinced myself that I had to wear – and be intrigued by- any perfume that was deemed ‘uncomfortable’ (drugstore buys and mainstream were ecksempted (my ecks key is wonky – can you tell?) in that snob way)… but anything haute?  I’d better, at the very least, find it ‘fascinating’.  And I’d better be up to wearing it, if only to test it out.

Omg.  The DRAMA of all that!  Here’s the reality:  I’m just a Regular Perfumista, just like errrybody else.  I have my likes and Lordtamighty!  I definitely haz my dislikes!  And I have certain perfumes that make me happy, make me comfortable.  And I am not afraid to love the living snot out of them for reasons that aren’t always at the forefront of elegance (where so many eckspect me to reside, like Aphrodite (or Hera, gods forbid), at all times.  Here are a few that reside – and comprise – my Comfort Zone.  These scents require no thought at all; they’re mindless grabs, and I find myself reaching for them more and more, as times become more…interesting. Right now? New samples are relegated to test strips.  My nerves can’t take the possibility of Discomfort.  Not right now (my bil’s Stage 1 diagnosis was just rediagnosed as Stage 4 – that, along with several more quotidian challenges, has my nerves shredded)

  1. Chanel No5.  Yeah, yeah.  I’ve yarked on this one ad infinituum… let’s move on.  It’s perfect.  Yah,yah. But there’s still nothing quite like it for keeping me intact.
  2. Ines de la Fressange – the glorious Alberto Morillas version for the glorious Mme Ines. If you asked me if this would be a Comfort Zone perfume I would’ve looked at you like you were bonkers. But.  And yet. In these weird days, with the weird(er) weather (and this is a melancholic time of year for me, anyway)….I find myself reaching for it A Lot.  As I’ve discussed, M. Morillas has a way with those sophisticated fruit notes .   Funnily enough, that linked post was from one of the darker times (Bruno’s decline), so you’d think I would’ve remembered. But the beauty of Morillas’s work is.. it shows up when it’s needed.  This version of Mme Ines is so overtly “I’ve got this'” in that sophisticated fruit/floral (not quite fruitY-floral)…. it demands that you give it some attention, and in doing so it redirects some of the stress.  As Yogi Berra said ‘you can’t think and hit at the same time’ – Morillas takes the thinking out of the equation, so you can settle down enough to hit. I don’t know of any other perfumer who soothes my soul quite like M. Morillas.
  3. Femme (contemporary) – as with the Morillas ‘Ines’ (there is a Calice Becker version that is much more….. well, it’s more… structured? Dunno.  It’s gorgeous – but not as delightful)…the contemporary Femme is much more In Yo’ FACE! than the vintage, The current version (in the eckaggerated Mickey Mouse bottle with the black cap) amps the plum and chypre notes… the original was a wartime creation by Edmond Roudnitska for Marcel Rochas.  I can only hope it did for those wartime women what the current does for me in these Interesting Times.  I’m wearing it right this very minute and it’s like being wrapped in a cashmere throw in a slightly chilly house (oh, hey!  that would be me, right now!!).  Something about this scent makes me want to sit up straighter and not swear so much.  And to make sure my pedicure isn’t chipped.  However, it’s not ‘ladylike’ – that word always suggests a particular e(cks)pectation of a certain type of femininity that I’m not always prepared to engage in.  This …. this is a ‘womanly’ perfume.  You might be feeling a bit fragile (Floyd knows I am) but there’s that titanium core that is holding you together.  Femme is helping. When you have time I implore you to read this absolutely stunning article on Fragrantica, which links the vaunted Mae West to Femme.  I’ve always held Mme West’s ethos in high regard – whenever I feel like ‘settling’ or trying to fit in (especially here, where I could no more ‘fit in’ than Godzilla can) I remember how she just jammed a finger (probably the middle one) in the eye of the status quo – and won.

So!  That’s me, trying to stay in my Comfort Zone so I can help my sister navigate her Decidedly UNCOMFORTABLE zone, going forward.  I am stankin’ up the jernt something FIERCE and ask me if I care.  Sometimes you just need to wrap that cashmere throw a bit tighter, so you can knit your titanium core back together.

WINNER!  Tara C, come on DOWN!  gmail me (evilauntieanitaAT) with your deets.  I cannot believe it but I think I’m actually All Caught Up! So there will be a little fun getting to you sooner than later.

ecks,ecks,ecks – and some o’s.

(note: images via pexels, WordPress wouldn’t let Musette add any, hope she doesn’t hate them! ~ March)


  • Kathleen says:

    Sending big warm hugs to you and your sister and your brother in law. I have no doubt your support means the world to them. Thank goodness for comfort zones and perfume is for me as well. I’m glad to see all the love for one of my faves No 5 and I also love Femme.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I am sorry to hear of things going from bad to worse with your BIL. I do love Shalimar for comfort and no 5. I adore how no 5 has so many variations.

  • Tom says:

    I wrote something last night but Wormpress sometimes decides that my comments are spam if I am doing it from my iPad.

    Oh well, gist of it: all of my best wishes and hugs and I wish you were here so we could stink up someplace phancy.

  • Maya says:

    Hoping very much for the best possible outcome.
    Ah, Mae West – I love her. She was spectacular and larger than life and only 5′ tall!

  • Dina C. says:

    Dear Musette,
    So very sorry to hear about your BIL’s health status being changed for the worse. So tragically sad. What a bummer. There aren’t sufficient words obviously. I agree about hanging out in the comfort zone in times of stress, and admire yours. I need to sniff the Ines scent. I have a teensy bottle of Femme parfum, so small it could fit on my thumb nail. I don’t know if it’s old or new formulation but I love that stuff. And No 5, well, goes without saying, love. Aldehydes and me are friends from way back. Love the parfum, body oil spray, and Eau Premiere. My comfort zone is all about green things. Iris, galbanum, woods, chypres, aldehydes, vetiver, hyacinth, narcissus, neroli. That spring meadow.

    • Musette says:

      oooh! That spring meadow. I totally can smell it!

      And No5. I haz all of that (including several vintage parfums) – but no Premier. Must visit that.


  • March says:

    So many hugs to you, honey. I LOVE new Femme even though it’s pretty different from the vintage. Love those sweaty notes. And I’m still kicking myself for offloading my bottle of Ines which I’d decided was too girly for me or something? It was gorgeous. Feeling like digging out some L’Artisan Mure et Musc, I wonder if I could smell it, seems perfect for this slightly warmer weather we’re having — highs in the 50s all week! xo

    • Musette says:

      You do love you some sweaty, don’t you? See… I don’t (Fem du Bois, NOT even looking in your direction) and that’s what is so interesting about Femme – I get Not One Sweat molecule. Not one. Huh.
      That Ines is so sublime – but I confess to not linking it to Mme Ines at all – at least not in my skittery mind. When I think of her the Becker version springs to mind.

      ecks o

  • rosarita says:

    Big hugs and comfort vibes to you and your family. I’ve been retreating to my CZ throughout the pandemic but I’ve stretched my wings a bit in perfume. Not much, though, just some samples. Chanel No 5 is perfect, isn’t she?

    • Musette says:

      thank you, my darling – much appreciated. I have enjoyed playing with samples – but mostly on blotters. No5 is everything perfection!

      heh (was hoping to trick my keyboard into allowing the ecks – newp!)

  • alityke says:

    I send all my best wishes to your BiL & your family affected by his diagnosis. I understand how you all are feeling.
    I did something a bit different fragrance wise to you. To avoid linking a much loved scent with difficult times I bought a calming fragrance & wear little else or I am wearing samples. I did take travel sprays away last week to link to spring & Tudor buildings.
    No rules about scenting yourself are there? A great area where You can really be You!

    • Musette says:

      that is an eckcellent (I’m getting a kick out of this ‘no-ecks’ thing, which probably says something terrifying about me)…anyhoo, I like that idea. Luckily I am not that wedded to Femme – and No5 is totally and completely bombproof, at least imo.


      • alityke says:

        Now you’ve set me off hunting Femme!
        Vintage is too linked to my mother. Is yours the 2013 Oliver Cresp sloping cap version

      • alityke says:

        I award Ms Musette a gold enabler badge!
        I bought a bottle of Femme. Done it through the supplier Rochas official stockist to make sure I get the contemporary one.

  • cinnamon says:

    Good wishes to your BiL and sister. Must be a really hard time. And good vibes to you for some ease.

    • Musette says:

      It’s definitely a difficult situation – I’m tangential to it but because I love her and she loves him… I’m struggling to try to be of some help without being intrusive.
      Thank you for the good vibes!

  • Portia says:

    Hugs and hugs Musette,
    I’m also a modern Femme fan but love the old too. I paid a LOT too much money for a vintage 15ml parfum spray and it is seriously bonkers gorgeous.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      First off, thank you for the hugs!
      Second, I dreamt of you last night – you were (re)marrying Jin but this time you were going to wear a jade green shalwar kameez, which you’d mailed to me (for unknown reasons)….and I was struggling to not wear it myself! LOL!

      In honor of your comment I’m wearing my vintage Femme (in the clear glass Mae West bottle) on the left and contemp Femme (Mickey Mouse) on the right. Vinty is stunning – but not as ‘cuddly’ as Mickey.

  • Pam says:

    I was just wearing Femme this very day! Love that perfume! There are definitely times when Comfort Zone perfumes are needed just, well, to comfort. Sending you and your family positive energy.

  • Tiara says:

    If always relegated to the comfort zone, can there be growth? In food choices, clothing, travel, friends, jobs, perfume, etc. Is a comfort zone stagnant? ????

    • Musette says:

      I think it probably contributes to stagnation. I’m all for CZ…when you need it (like I do, right now) but an entire life of CZ? NahI’mGood. I’ll take a leap into the unknown any day.

      oo (and Just. Like. That. the ecks key wonks out again)

  • Tara C says:

    Oh wow, I won something? Thank yew!! I am going through a very uncomfortable time as well and that titanium core is what’s holding me together. That and a few really great perfumes, like Cuir Beluga, Eau My Soul, Clouds, Ambre Nuit and Mitzah. My comfort zone is not that big but I’m trying to expand it so I’m not so stressed all the time. I would dearly love to have a huge comfort zone and lots more peace of mind.

    • Musette says:

      I’m wishing for you some comfort, sweetie. Those perfumes sound like an eckcellent support group!

      o(oh, that’s right – no ecks!)

      • Tara C says:

        Wishing you lots of comfort & ease too, dealing with all the family stress! I sent an email to the address you listed above, is that or something else? I didn’t get a bounce, but I didn’t get a reply either. Can you please confirm the domain?