Almost Halloween

It’s a bit before 6 pm and it’s pitch dark. Time changed over night and here we are till early next year.

It’s been raining again. Not drenching but certainly not light pitter-patter. The lawn out back is a sponge and the creek into the village was at its banks last night so who knows what will happen over next day or so.

We’re decidedly in autumn and nearing my favourite holiday of the year.

It’s disappointing, however, how little decorating has been done in the village vs last year. There are signs up for the annual Halloween walkabout but who knows what that will mean. This village, bar my little area of cheapness, is very pricey now, with the result that fewer families with younger children can afford to move in. The teenagers go to parties – they don’t go trick or treating. Plus, it’s due to rain yet again on the 31st

A friend who knows my fondness for Halloween sent a box this year which included holiday-specific candy (eye balls, chocolate pumpkins) to go with the candy corn hidden away.

She also included a grouping of velveteen pumpkins – to go with the velvet one I’d bought about a month ago. I’m still trying to figure out where the tableau of pumpkins will go – whether they stay together or get dotted around separately.

I got my proper pumpkin from the farm shop field. Was very pleased with myself until I noticed the other day that it’s damaged in one area. Which means it must quickly become pumpkin soup.

This October has been a very busy month workwise. That’s good – but it’s also been extremely tiring. It’s now the beginning of third-quarter company earnings reports, so should continue to be busy through mid-November. That is unless … I’m giving my notice on Wednesday and who knows how the guy I work for will react.

Also in the lovely box were some samples. I’ve been wearing Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan which seems to me a perfect Halloween fragrance (it’s a miniature size of the bottle, rather than a vial).

I tried this ages ago and really wanted to love it given all its hype. However, I couldn’t quite get there. I really like it – like really really really – but I don’t love it. However, I’m very happy to have some to hand to enjoy through the dark time (we’re down on the downslope towards the winter solstice, when it’s light here between 9 and 4).

Amber Sultan was released in 2000 which feels like a long time ago though it’s really not.

It’s a Chris Sheldrake and to me it gets sort of lumped in with things like my beloved Arabie and Chergui.

Notes include angelica, bay, oregano, incense resins, myrtle, myrrh, benzoin, amber, vanilla and patchouli. I get a lot of oregano through three-quarters of its development. I don’t mind that at all. It’s modified by the incense notes, and then in the dry-down by the vanilla and amber. As with most Lutens, it’s quite long-lived on my skin.

It seems to be available everywhere, including on Amazon. And the 50ml is a comparatively inexpensive £73 (elsewhere, the 50ml rises to £110).

It is definitely hibernation weather given the rain and the amount of work. When I’ve been able to grab time in front of the wood stove I’ve been working my way through Robert Crais’ Cole and Pike series (private detective in LA with very interesting mate who helps out).

Is Amber Sultan one of yours? Is there trick or treating round your way? Which perfume are you planning to wear on the 31st?

Pics: Pexels and mine

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Amber Sultan is icky on me but Arabie is fabulous. I don’t have anything going on for Halloween. Living in a rural area, people don’t really decorate that much. Might see those really huge skeletons with the blinking eyes and a few pumpkins. A rural area isn’t exactly trick or treat friendly.

    • cinnamon says:

      Icky. Ok. Is it the oregano note? I’m surprised at how little decorating has been done this year in the village. Took a walk earlier and looks like three houses having something up — vs last year when loads did. I wonder what has changed.

  • March says:

    The temperature plummeted in the last couple of days after a long, lovely fall — it’s -3.9C right now, ugh. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids but (weirdly?) there’s not a lot of trick or treating, and I’m not right on the street anyway. I miss the tons of kids we got in suburban DC. I got this dirt cheap potpourri-type spray that smells lovely and is light enough I’ve spritzed myself a couple of times, which I’ll deny if anyone asks.

    • cinnamon says:

      We’re getting another storm Weds night through Thurs. How do you dress for that temperature? Not really looking forward to that. Interesting on lots of kids but lack of T or T. Why deny? Sounds like a wonderful purchase.

  • Dina C. says:

    I haven’t tried Amber Sultan, but I know a lot of folks claim it as a fall favorite. I’m wearing SL Iris Silver Mist today, which seemed like a nice spooky choice. Tomorrow will be Etro Messe de Minuit which smells like old stone churches, crypts, and incense from long ago.

    • cinnamon says:

      I bought a bottle of Messe de Minuit years ago and then for reasons I can’t recall divested it. Stupid. It’s great fragrance. I really can’t wear Iris Silver Mist. I know a lot of people love it but it’s just too cold and carroty on me.

  • Portia says:

    We don’t do Halloween much, especially living in an apartment block Cinnamon.
    I’m an Ambre Sultan fan but it rarely gets a spritz. Not one this last winter, I think.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      I think in NYC children go floor to floor in apartment buildings for Halloween, and it’s easy for adults to watch them. I imagine things hide from you in your collection 🙂

      • Portia says:

        Yeah, I spent nearly two hours looking for something the other day that was right in front of me but not where it was expected.

  • alityke says:

    More flood & weather warnings. Everywhere here is waterlogged & the rivers & canals are topping out. In the valley, riverside dog walks are too boggy & as Storm Ciaran leaves more rain, they will be unusable.
    Ambre Sultan is a big love for me. That 5ml bottle looks to be the initial formulation too. The herbalness freshens the gooey amber globs. Savoury to balance the sweet if you will.

    • cinnamon says:

      I love the little bottle — like someone in marketing actually understood the attraction of having that sort of thing. Yup. Things will start here (we’re told) on Wednesday night and then we’re looking at an all day wet Thursday. I have things I need to do Wednesday AM but otherwise will put car on higher ground and hunker down.

      • alityke says:

        We’ve had torrents all day. Getting Mr Jarvis outside is requiring bribery & corruption. He must have a bladder the size of a rugby ball!
        I still have my 5ml bottle somewhere.

        • cinnamon says:

          Joe the Lab got a thorn in his paw on yesterday’s walk. Tiny — probably from one of the blackberry bushes. I hope your weather is slightly better today and Mr Jarvis can enjoy a proper stroll. I really do think the mini bottles were an inspired notion.

          • alityke says:

            Poor JtL. Hope it came out easily.
            Yes they were. More so as they were free

          • cinnamon says:

            It did once I managed to find it. Same colour as his paw pads. Were they free-be’s with a purchase?

          • alityke says:

            Those 5ml bottles were the samples for the launch of SL if memory serves me. No little 2ml sprays for SL. These gorgeous little replica 5ml bottles.
            Now THAT is style!
            On the preloved markets they are really sought after. Very rare

  • Maya says:

    The only perfume for me on the pagan All Hallow’s Eve is SL Iris Silver Mist.
    There are many nice warmer perfumes that I do like for the fall. Today was dreary, cold, and rainy with a bit of hail. I was wearing vintage Givenchy Organza. It put me in the warm tropics.

    • cinnamon says:

      Lutens does all kinds of things that seem good for pagan holidays. Sigh, yes, dreary is a good word for this type of weather. May we move on to colder with clear blue skies.

  • Tom says:

    We are having Santa Ana winds right now: 82°F and those dry winds that Raymond Chandler (I think) wrote caused meek wives to finger the edge of the carving knives while looking at their husbands neck. Oddly perfect for a Film Noir LA Halloween. Strangely, also perfect weather for Ambre Sultan: those glottal amber and spice notes really do well in the dry desert heat. It mutes it; I find it almost overwhelming in the cold.

    We are having the full fledged return on the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival after years of cancellation over Covid and budget concerns. Santa Monica Boulevard will be closed through town from 10am Tuesday to 6am Monday for the street festival which starts in the afternoon and goes until the early morning. At its height it got about 1/2 a million people, according to the media. I haven’t gone since 1994; I batten down the hatches, watch movies, and eat frozen pizza. We don’t get trick-or-treaters. They go to the big houses North of Santa Monica Blvd.

    I love your pumpkins!

    • cinnamon says:

      Interestingly, a number of Xmas carnivals are being cancelled here due to cost to town councils (we will still have a month-long Xmas fair in the nearby town). Alas, no Halloween carnivals. Did you go to the local one in the past? Thank you regarding pumpkins. They are quite fetching.

      • Tom says:

        I did go, but that was when it was a lot smaller. I don’t think they had to close the street down when I was still going. I stopped because it was A) too expensive (all the bars had super-jacked-up cover prices and the actual festival, which took over San Vicente Blvd and West Hollywood Park was even more pricey) and 2) It was too crowded and way too boozy. I did drink then, but seeing people puking drunk at 4pm and chock-a-block for a 1/2 a mile was the end of it for me. I’m far enough away that I don’t really hear it except for the news helicopters going overhead every hour on the hour to give the precious aerial shots of the crowd.

        Frankly, since it costs West Hollywood $1.5 million to put on this thing I am not sure what they are getting in value received. But I am an old fart and I want those kids off my lawn. And lets face it, I moved here, not Idaho.

  • Tara C says:

    I could never get on with Ambre Sultan because of the herbal note. It just smells like oregano on me, which is a shame as I love ambers. So I stick with things like MFK Grand Soir and PdE Ambre Russe.

    • Kathleen says:

      I also much prefer MFK Grand Sour and PE Ambre Russe, those are my favorite amber perfumes. I, like Cinnamon like SL Ambre Sultan but is is not a love.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yup, the oregano is strong on me. Still, I am enjoying my little bottle and I wonder if the oregano sits better because it’s so damp and humid here.