Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall Fragrance on Friday

Earlier this month, I sorted out my candles and room sprays, putting away summery scents and getting out autumn ones. Now I'm moving on to my perfumes, home fragrance oils, incense and bath products.


- Need to visit an ATM for cash, go to the video rental store, or fill your car with gas for the weekend?

- Tidy up real fast so your home is nice to come home to. Empty trash, empty or fill dishwasher, wipe down kitchen counters, declutter stairs and entryway, vacuum as needed. Whisk through bathrooms refolding towels, changing toilet paper rolls if needed, and tidying.

- Does your microwave need cleaning? Mine does, despite thoroughly cleaning it during our kitchen preparations last week.

- Sort through and read, then recycle any catalogs which have shown up this month. I got a Crate and Barrel, CB2, L'Occitane, Pottery Barn, Sur la Table and Baker's Catalogue. Still anxiously waiting for a new Williams-Sonoma to arrive, and I wouldn't mind if West Elm sent me something.

- Perhaps tonight before it gets dark, you might like to take your children (if any) on a nature discovery walk. Look for fall leaves, pinecones and acorns. Let the children bring a few home to arrange on their dresser or in a windowsill.

- Make weekend restaurant reservations or social plans.

- Tidy up your mail table. Recycle junk mail, read and recycle catalogs, pay bills, and respond to letters.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Fragrance Sorting

(If you don't ever wear fragrance or use scented products, instead sort out your unscented soaps, bath products, etc.)

Sort out your perfume counter/drawer/box etc, preferably in a room with an open window. Sniff every perfume, but only try on those you really are unsure about ever wearing again. (Wash off before family members come home so they don't get overpowered).

Unless your perfume is totally old and gross, you probably won't want to throw away something you know you won't wear. If it's unopened, you can re-gift it. Just be sure you know for sure who gave it to you - give the perfume to someone they don't know so you won't get caught!. Or set it aside in a special box and have a Perfume Trading party after Christmas. Invite close girlfriends and trade new or barely-used perfumes you got as gifts (again, be sure none of the perfumes you are trying to trade away were given to you by anybody on your guest list).

For perfume you are keeping, put away or store your spring and summer perfumes (The citrusy and flowery ones). Dust off and clean your fall/winter perfumes, then arrange them attractively on a counter or dresser. To avoid clutter, only display four or five of your perfumes. Store the rest in an easy to find place. Sometimes I rotate which perfumes I keep out so I don't forget to wear favorites.

If you're a letter writer, think about choosing a perfume to spritz gently on your outgoing letters - but only if you are sending them to people who aren't fragrance sensitive.

Now normally when I sort things out and throw them away, I let myself get a new replacement or two, but in the case of perfume I am going to avoid it. I usually get given two or three perfumes over the holidays as gifts. I won't need to buy perfume for years to come.

Let's all be aware of perfume etiquette: Don't wear any if you are spending time with someone with asthma or allergies; don't wear any if you are riding on an airplane (your seatmate may find it oppressive), and put very very little perfume on at all ever. We should be dabbing, not spraying, for the most part. There's never a reason to spray more than once directly on our clothes, hair or bodies. Less is more! I've also read that you shouldn't ever wear perfume to a wine tasting, as it can affect the taste of wines for some people. I had no idea.

Sort out your room sprays and home fragrances, tossing out any your spouse, boyfriend, kids or roommates don't like. Get out any mulling spices or the kind you boil on the stove to scent your house, and actually use one of them up today. Pay special attention to your potpourri - if it's old and dried and doesn't look nice, toss it. If it doesn't smell strong, use your potpourri recharge oil or toss it.

Spritz the house with your favorite home spray (if it's not going to overpower the next person who comes home today!) Or you can boil a cinnamon stick in water for a nice holiday scent (though it's more Christmasy than autumny, I think).

Last year I admitted I don't usually get to take a bath - the only bathtub in my house is small, and my teenager doesn't keep it very clean. So I've given away or thrown out my beloved Lush bath bombs and other bathtub related products. So I don't have any sorting to do in that area tonight.

In my bathroom, I've discovered I have not been hoarding too many different shower gels. I might actually have an excuse to go buy a new one - just one - at Bath & Body Works this weekend!

LOVELY LIVING: In the Weeks Ahead

Next week is "Time for Us" week. We've been working our butts off to clean up our homes, cook for our families and loved ones, and decorate things all pretty for fall. And what's coming up in November and December? We'll be working even harder to get our houses ready for company, parties, holidays, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, houseguests and etcetera. Plus finishing our Christmas shopping long before December 15th.

So I don't know about you, but I'm going to take some time this next week for ME. I'll be pampering myself, taking hot baths, indulging in a few food and beverage treats, reading and watching TV and movies that I enjoy. I still have to go to work, keep my house clean, cook for my family and take care of my pets. But I'm going to not obsess over cleaning - and since I've worked so hard lately to "maintain" the house in good shape, the truth is I don't have a ton of cleaning jobs that need doing right now.

There's plenty of time in November and December for being unselfish and helpful. Right now, I'm going to be a little bit selfish. Want to join me? Can you arrange some babysitting time (if applicable) so you get some time to yourself? Can you do extra work on Monday so you can sneak a couple hours on Tuesday to pamper yourself or do things just for you?

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