Orange you COLD???

Posse!  There’s cold.  And then there’s “it’s currently -16F with a windchill of -35F” cold.

And… alas.. we is in it – and it sucks.   However, I’m in the habit of practicing gratitude, so let me tell you a few things I’m grateful for:

  1. We did not lose power.  For those of you who live in civilization this might be an ‘eh’ moment, much as it was for the bulk of my life – when I lived in Major Metro.  Out here, at the back of beyond, it’s a regular occurrence.  I remember when I used to fantasize about having every luxury handbag I ever desired… Now?  I am saving up for a Generac.  Funny how things change.
  2. Running water – see above.
  3. CITRUS SEASON!  (the fun stuff!)  –  I wondered why citrus is so abundant in (our) Winter.  Okay, I really didn’t because I am a lazy-minded lima bean but I kinda did wonder why those little ‘cuties’  appear in the colder months.  So I turned to Dr G Oogle and BOOM! (shakalaka)  – turns out The Spruce Eats has the answers!  Jumping to grapefruits (which I love to eat during the colder months) – the ones in the South and West begin their run in January through late Spring/early Summer, which seems counterintuitive ….. until one thinks about it.  Most citrus takes a bit of time to grow and ripen, which means you’re not going to get fully-ripened citrus in May

Okay – so…. and wth, Musette?  Why are we talking about this anyway?  Well… thinking about it got me thinking about citrus perfumes and why I tend NOT to wear them in the Summer months (they fade with astonishing speed) – but… talking about Pamplemousse Rose a few posts back, I realized I’d done it a disservice because I was referring to its Summer longevity (which is nonexistent) when I should’ve been considering it in the Grapefruit Months – which is now.  JC Ellena seamlessly blends a very sweet grapefruit (the fruit, not the bitter pith) with rose (which I get – but I am always predisposed to smell rose) and a vetiver drydown (which I do not get – but I am not disposed towards vetiver).  It doesn’t last long on (my) skin – but it lasts forever on fabric!  And, just like the current crop of pink grapefruit, it is glorious.  I’ve been wearing it for… 2 weeks? now … and it’s cheering me right the hell up.  We’re heading for ice storms tonight – guess what I’ll be wearing!


To honor the Cuties, I’ve also been wearing Demeter Sweet Orange As with a lot of the Demeter scents it’s PERSACKLY what it says it is.  A fresh, juicy orange, this one at the height of perfect ripeness.  It’s not as nuanced as Pamp Rose but it ain’t trynta be.  It’s just a fresh, sunny, fun scent.  I love spraying this apres-bain and then layering Pamplemousse Rose right before I go out.  That combination is the only thing I’ve found that works against the Hoth-like cold and ice that threatens to freeze my very soul.  I wear it to the gym.  A lot.

Agraria Bitter Orange.  Funnily enough, this one doesn’t work for me in this weather.  It’s better in early Spring, when I also turn to Liz Zorn’s Violets and Rainwater; I suspect it’s the spice note that takes it out of the ‘lovely citrus on the breakfast table’ vibe.  Ditto Malle’s Bigarade Concentree: perfect for warming-up weather, this one actually makes me feel COLDER (if that’s even possible) when I try to wear it in Hoth temperatures

So.  Is it just me?  Or do some of you turn to the citrus in colder weather?  Do tell!


  • Rachel says:

    My favorite winter citrus is Hiram Green’s Dilettante which is sadly discontinued — do you all know of anything that compares?

  • Maggiecat says:

    I also love citrus scents in winter! They lift my mood, they energize me, they clear the air. I’m partial to lemon, but y’all make me want to try some more mandarin and grapefruit scents. And candles.
    On a related note, I discovered Panier des Sens recently and am loving their Precious Jasmine and Soothing Provence (lemon and cypress) scents right now.

    • Musette says:

      I have an Antica Farmacista Lemon/cypress room spray that is utterly divine! Done right, that is one of the most soothing/cleansing combos on planet Earth!

  • alityke says:

    I enjoy citrus scent anytime anywhere. Grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, bergamot, yuzu as infinitum.
    The UK is now in the midst of named storm number 10. Storm Jocelyn. Last week it was Storm Isha.
    Jocelyn is wet & windy. Isha was freezing gales & snow.
    It wasn’t like this 20 years ago. Floods & storm force gales were exceptional.
    Someone tell that to the oil rich barstewards!

  • Dina C. says:

    Great post Anita! I’ve been drinking lots of decaf hot Constant Comment tea and wearing a lot of citrus-adjacent scents. Things with neroli, orange blossom, green notes etc. That is some fiercely cold weather. So glad your power and water have been hanging in there for you.

  • March says:

    I am SO sorry you’ve had that ridiculous cold snap! It missed us. After last winter’s Hoth conditions I’m grateful. We’ve had a spate of sunny and highs in the low 40s, practically spring lol. LOVE orange frags this time of year (an old iPdF Arancia Dolce, a cheap room spray from Trader Joes), and of course — Annick Goutal Mandragore! Which smells like peppered grapefruit to me. I first tried it in Paris in February, a lifetime ago, so it is perfect for now.

    • Musette says:

      HUH! Dunno why but I would’ve sworn Mandragore was plum – but that has nothing to do with the scent – I think I’m conflating the bottle (it’s a reddish purple bottle, yes?) with the scent.

      Peppered grapefruit sounds… vaguely FABULOUS!

  • carole says:

    Another citrus lover in crisp/cold air. It’s gorgeous, and helps lift ye olde spirits. I’m in Bigarade Concentree today. Also love Eau de Patou, Eau d’Hadrien, and Bois d’Hadrien, and also Bond no 9 Little Italy, which is beautiful clear mandarin orange with jasmin and a gorgeous soft musc dry down.
    I remember Jean CLaude Ellena saying mandarin was so mellow and beautiful-I agree with him.
    Stay warm, and if you have hot yoga available take advantage of it 🙂

    • Musette says:

      I remember Little Italy – I should revisit that!

      And JCE isn’t wrong – but when it comes to perfume, is he ever wrong? Doubtful…

  • rosarita says:

    Hasn’t this been a crazy winter?? Balmy as September all thru December, then early January and boom! Sub zero and lake effect snow. Now, an ice storm, and I’m thoroughly Over It. I’ve passed through menopausal hot flashes and have reached cold old lady status, swathed in fleece and sweaters and wearing fingerless gloves in the house.
    I have only worn citrus in the summer but maybe I’ll switch it up soon. I love that you are practicing gratitude, I’m trying to do the same. Stay warm and dry!

    • Musette says:

      Yeah… you always get hammered by snow over there!
      I’m not sure why but the past few days/weeks I’ve been sleeping HOT! it’s weird. But I guess it beats shivering all night….

      Do try a citrus scent or two – I think you might be very pleasantly surprised!

  • cinnamon says:

    This made me think. I don’t love citrus to eat (used to when younger but doesn’t sit well any more) and I ignore it in perfume in cold weather. But, I love citrus in winter candles. Years ago, someone gifted me a Jo Malone grapefruit candle which 1) was incredibly strong and 2) was so perfect on winter evenings. Just brightened things right up. Occurs to me I currently don’t have a citrus candle in the rotation (yes, woods; yes, sweet). Needs to be remedied. And with you on practicing gratitude — in all kinds of ways.

  • Maya says:

    I thought about how cold you would be and felt for you. You are north of me so I was pretty sure you would have it worse.
    I don’t do too much citrus perfumes because I think of them as for summer and also find them very short lived. I do like perfumes that have a strong secondary citrus note since they last longer in summer and work for winter. I do love Guerlain Pamplelune though and that works for colder weather for me.

    • Musette says:

      We’re getting a break in the weather so I’m going to police the yard (ew – but needs must) and…. y’know.. it’s been a donkey’s age since I wore Pamplelune – must revisit!

  • Tom says:

    Well, LA is pretty notorious for its neighborhood power outages but I get your point: the fact that it’s out here is annoying since it may also be out at Gelson’s, but probably not at the Trader Joe’s down the street. And if it is there, then not at the three others on the ‘hood. And our water isn’t using electricity to be pumped up from the well and the term “wind chill factor” is thankfully a memory that I hope not to repeat.

    But yes, a good citrus can be a great thing in the cold. AG Hadrien, as refreshing as it is when it’s hot it bright little shards of frozen Meyer lemons when it’s cold and I only reach for SL Mandarin when the temps are low.

    Demeter Orange is wonderful and just as winters to me as that bag of Cuties (I’m on my third)

    • Musette says:

      I love the hell out of those things!!!

      Also… whenever we discuss Winter in LA I’m reminded of the novel ‘Terminal Freeze’ …. nope. Sorry. It’s ‘The Great Los Angeles Blizzard’ and the drunk actress dying in a snowdrift..

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    My citrus themed scents are all packed away for summer only. But I do love me a big pink grapefruit year-round!

  • MMKinPA says:

    I am a huge grapefruit eater – and the sumo mandarins. Haven’t worn citrus fragrance in the winter much but now I’m inspired.

  • Tara C says:

    Even in major metro power is not guaranteed – last April I had no power in my downtown Montreal condo for SIX DAYS which is ridiculous. I have a generator and a gas stove & fireplace fortunately.

    I am not at all a citrus person, but I do love a nice floral now and then in the midst of my chewy incensey ambers.