Scents And Scentsability! My Kinda Signature!

Happy Monday. I hope everyone enjoyed the much-needed warmth of the past weekend. It was spectacular and so much fun to finally have three days in a row where the sun shone on us! A busy weekend was spent getting more flowers for the deck; finally sewing pockets shut on a pair of Milly for Banana Republic shorts I purchased two years ago (and due to the stretch factor, miraculously still fit me–size 8), and relaxing with aperitifs and dinner al fresco on our deck!

more flowers at home depot

Look at those Geraniums!  I just cannot stop collecting them!

Milly Shorts finally fixed

The pockets on these shorts had to be sewn shut because they stuck out in the hip area–adding yet more poundage to my ample hips!  I love the elephant print!

Aperitifs on the deck

The best way to wind up a weekend–Aperitifs before dinner on the deck!

 Today the sky is clear, the sun is shining, but the pollen count is high. That means puffy and swollen eyes for me.

swollen puffy eyes

Honestly, mascara and a bit of liner won’t help to make my puffy, pollen-swollen eyes look better. I need my allergy medicine!

I went downstairs to the kitchen to retrieve my generic Claritin which works wonders. My medicine is kept in a drawer with extra cutlery. I know. I know! It may not bet the most logical place to store my allergy medicine, but it works for me since I’m always in the kitchen. Unfortunately, Monsieur Bonaparte must have thought my logical thinking was poor judgment and he stole moved my allergy medication somewhere else. He is with clients now and I do not know where that somewhere else is.

Not in the master bath

Are they in the master bath?  Nooooooo….

Not in my makeup bath

Are they in the guest bathroom which is deemed “my” bathroom due to all my girly stuff? Noooooo….

After a wild search that would shame a crack addict, I found the sacred little box in the powder room. WTF? They are going back to the kitchen!

MOther's little helpers

Why would Bonaparte move my little helpers into the powder room?

I need to be cured of a nose that teeters between stuffed and running like a tap. My eyes need to be back to normal. But most of all, I need my sense of smell back. If that important sense does not return, I will end up overdoing my daily spritz(es) of scent.

Scent is important to me. It has been since I was a child.

Two scents—actually three scents remind me of my mother. Arpege. Midnight in Paris. For summer—Muget de Bois by Coty.   While I still love the scent of Lilly of the Valley, Muget de Bois is just too sweet for me.

Arpege eau de cologne

I found this photo online. Vintage Eau de Lavin’s Arpege. My mother practically bathed in this, as well as……

eveninginparis pic from Aunt Judy's Attic

Evening in Paris–in it’s glorious iconic bottle. Thanks to Aunt Judy’s Attic, I was able to find this vintage pic!


My mom’s signature “summer” scent. I would steal a spritz every now and then–and hope the bee’s wouldn’t find and sting me!

I can remember the very first scent that I received. Christmas 1966. ” Pretty Peach” by Avon. My mother was a believer in giving us girls a certain amount of toiletries.  In all honesty, I think I loved that bottle more than the contents! The scent itself was “fizzy” like soda.

vintage pretty peach

I felt so grown up with this “mature” looking cologne mist dispenser! Seriously–this is one iconic item!

I wore “Pretty Peach”  until I discovered….


Love’s Baby Soft. THIS was the scent to wear while in my high school days. Soft and powdery with a light and not overly sweet aroma. It probably was the most popular scent among the 13 to 17 year old crowd.  I may not have been completely innocent, but I certainly was NOT sexy! What an ad–huh?

As I entered into my older teens—and displayed a bit of a hippie edge, my go to scents were both Musk Oil and Patchouli Oil. In fact, in a nostalgic state of mind, I recently purchased a small vial of Patchouli. Bonaparte almost became ill when he smelled it. I guess his French nose is more refined!

Musk Oil and Patchoulli Oil. Right up there with bell bottom jeans, granny glasses and peasant tops! I still love the smell of both!

During my working-girl days on Wall Street, my “sophisticated” scent was “Rive Gauche”. I LOVED that scent! Unfortunately almost every other working woman in NYC did too. And the scent wasn’t “mine”.


I really thought I was so chic and sophisticated wearing this scent. So did every other secretary on Wall Street–and Midtown as well!

As I entered motherhood, any perfumes or scents were put on the back burner. My scent of choice was whatever deodorant I could find on sale. That and a mix of baby lotion were basically the only scents I wore for many years.

My scents during the motherhood years! The Baby Lotion is a great scent–nice and soft and clean!

In fact, over the years, many scents were prone to give me awful headaches so I just went without. You know how sales assistants were prone to randomly spray customers with perfume in department stores a few years back? I had to put my arm with a firm “NO” to getting spritzed. That’s how bad my head would ache from many of the colognes and perfumes!

Two scents that I love are Cabotine by Madame Gres and Byblos, but both give me the most excruciating headaches. I had to get rid of them.

Cabotine is a great winter scent and Byblos a great summer scent. Unfortunately both give me awful headaches. Too bad!

Then something happened. It was after my divorce and I had my job at Hopewell Valley Community Bank. A co-worker was wearing a scent that literally drove me crazy with desire. I needed, wanted, and COVETED the scent she was wearing. It was a pure Orange Blossom scent. By Le Couvent des Minimes. I’m telling you, the scent was clean, soapy, and just drove me nuts. I may have scared her because she actually gave me a small bottle. I later had to resort to purchasing it on eBay because it was discontinued.

Couveht des Mihimes orange blossom foaming bath

A co-worker got me hooked on the Le Couvent des Minimes “Fleur de Oranger” scent, but the original cologne ended up to be discontinued. Had I known about this body wash, I would have snagged it as well!

However, I still carried on the search for the perfect orange blossom scent. I cannot begin to tell you how many companies offer their version of “orange blossom”, but most of them don’t come close to the real thing. Its false advertising.

I would actually ration out the spritzes of my Fleur d’ Oranger knowing that the small amount I had would end.

Enter Monsieur Bonaparte. We started going out. And when we were “close” enough—i.e. “exclusive”, he asked me why I didn’t have a signature scent. He noticed my lack of perfume. I explained my Fleur d’ Oranger conundrum and how I was so confused as to why I couldn’t find the real deal.   We happened to have this discussion before he left for Paris to visit family. This was before I started accompanying him to the land of “Ohlala” , baguettes, cheese and real perfume!

Upon his return, he presented me with a beautifully wrapped box. It was too small to be candy, and we weren’t at that jewelry gifting point in our relationship. What could this be? As I unwrapped, it was a “new” Guerlain scent—L’Instant. He said it was a beautifully warm scent and I would be one of the few to carry this lovely scent as it wasn’t sold in the States at the time. My major concern was what if I hated the scent. Worse—what if it gave me a headache?

L'Instant de Guerlain

Bonaparte has a great “nose”. He picked this out for me 11 years ago and I’ve been wearing it during the cold weather ever since. I’ve gone through countless bottles–I’ve even managed to go through the pure perfume!

Well, L’Instant did have a warm scent and did not give me a headache. Eleven years later it is my signature “Winter” scent. It’s a bit heavy for me to wear in the summer, but I love the way it’s not too sweet and it’s just a bit spicy without being overwhelming. I’ve had many compliments on this parfum. (I even had the perfume too, but I used it all up). In fact, I had a gentleman follow me out of a store to ask me what scent I was wearing because he wanted to purchase it for his wife. Imagine that!

Still on my Fleur d’ Oranger scent search, I read that the Fragonard perfumerie in Grasse carried a version of the aptly named scent. During our first trip to the Cote d’Azur, I begged Bonaparte to drive to Fragonard so we could make the tour. (Interesting piece of the puzzle. Fragonard has a boutique on Blvd. St. Germain. WHY didn’t I just go there in the first place?).

Fragonard, Grasse. Fun tour

At the Fragonard boutique in the factory after the tour! Ready to get my favorite scent!

 Anyway, we did the tour; I went into the Fragonard tourist trap store and made my purchase. The Fleur d’ Oranger is the real deal. I purchased the soap too. Needless to say, I now have a huge refill bottle, soaps to bathe in and the eau de toilette.

Fragonard Fleur d' Oranger and refill

A steady supply keeps me happy and smelling fine!

In addition, I hoard Le Petit Marseillais Fleur d’ Oranger body wash and body cream when I’m in Paris. Monoprix and City Pharma sell it at a discounted price. Unlike Amazon.

31inWdfE0vLA discounted brand–but the scent is spot on!

Can you guess that Fleur d’ Oranger is my signature warm weather scent? As with L’Instant, I get lots of compliments on this scent as well. The only person who despises it is my daughter Oona. It gives her horrific headaches.

 Oona’s signature scent is Chanel’s” Madamoiselle”—a scent that is young and pretty, but stinks to high hell in the worst way on me! On her it’s magnificent!


Oona’s signature scent. Funny how a scent can smell great on one person and lousy on another!

I  have to admit. I did acquire an additional summer/warm weather scent. It happened three years ago at Orly airport.

Bonaparte and I had some time before a flight to Nice. I was browsing in a duty-free shop and checking out the Guerlain area. I spotted a bottle that was unfamiliar. There was a cute little black dress on the bottle. Curious, I spritzed some on my wrist. I was mesmerized! OK. I’m no “nose”, but this scent was driving me to a level of scent euphoria. I could detect the faint smell of cherries! In a perfume??? This was unlike any scent I’ve ever experienced. I ran over to Bonaparte and almost broke his nose with my scented wrist. In his usual French demeanor, his reaction was a typical shrug of the shoulders.


I love browsing all things beauty at Duty Free shops!

Screw it. I made the purchase and Guerlain’s “La Petite Robe Noire” now alternates with Fragonard’s “Fleur d’ Oranger” as my signature scent for summer!

La Petit Robe Noir

The summer scent that reminds me of cherries!

These are the only three scents I wear. I don’t need nor do I want anything else. They are “Me”! My “Trinity” of scents….

my three scents 002

In the name of L’Instant, Fleur d’ Oranger, and La Petite Robe Noire. Amen!

It’s funny how a scent can define or bring memories of a person in your life. Bonaparte’s aunt, Danièle Delorme, whom I consider to be my second mother, wears only one scent. Guerlain’s “L’Heure Bleue”.

L'Heure Bleue

Totally Daniele’s scent–and more so with the waft of cigarette smoke thrown in!

The first time I met her, she opened the door to her Paris apartment. Not only was a greeted by this tiny spitfire of a woman with a larger-than-life personality, but the scent she was wearing was permanently imbedded in my mind! “L’Heure Bleue and the scent of her cigarettes is a combination of the happiest scent I know. Every now and then I’ll catch the scent of L’Heure Bleue on someone and I’ll be transported back to Danièle and her apartment.   And as much as I love that scent, I would never make an attempt to wear it. It’s Danièle’s scent and her signature. Not mine.

31808-demain-tout-commence-le-livre-de-637x0-1Daniele is still in the public eye. She wrote  a memoir a couple of years ago…..AND..gigi

Daniele, not Leslie Caron, was the original Gigi.l Movie poster from the original and French version of the film “Gigi”

Last summer, Danièle took me on a little shopping spree to the Guerlain Boutique on the Champs Elysees in Paris. My one regret was not having a camera. I’ve never, ever been in a shop so feminine and ..well, girly. I was in heaven.   We were greeted like royalty and led up a stairway to a huge room. Its ceiling decorated in thousands of flowers. In the center of the room was a huge lazy Susan sort of shelving unit.


Guerlain–or as I have renamed it “Girl land” most feminine place on earth!

On this unit were various Guerlain scents. Danièle took me by the hand and told me to pick out whatever I wanted. I almost died right there. I was also touched and greatly moved by her generosity! When I picked out a small bottle of “La Petit Robe Noir” she shook her head “no” and told me to get the largest bottle.

I had to pinch myself!  Not only did I come back with the eau de parfum, but was also treated to Guerlain make-up! It was, hands down, the best shopping experience I’ve ever had in my life!

So as I end today’s post, I am reminded not only of Danièle’s generosity, but her scent. The scent of a wonderful woman! And I cannot wait to see her next month. We can share Porto and fun times together!

Daniele, Antoine and Me. I miss Antoine. I get to see him on film these days.

Daniele, Antoine Bourseiller and me, hanging out on Pont Neuf  back in 2011–or 2012? RIP Antoine–he was such a sweet man and great actor!

Here’s the infamous Tango scene from “Scent of a Woman’ XOXOXOXO! Booyaa!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Avon's Pretty Peach, Chanel Madamoiselle perfume; Guerlain Boutique, Daniel Delorme, France, France. Fleur d' Oranger, Gras, Guerlain; L'Instant; La Petite Robe Noire; Fragonard; Fragonard, L'Heure Bleue, Orange Blossom. Love's Baby Soft, Paris, Scents. Perfume. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Scents And Scentsability! My Kinda Signature!

  1. Lori says:

    Another great blog from you! Made me think of my Gram and Mom’s signature scents, as well as all of my own through the years. Fragrance is so important!

  2. Catherine says:

    Glad you like the post Lori. I do also believe the Fragrance is so important. It leaves a personal mark for us!

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