Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Fragrance Friday

If nobody picks up on my subtle yet greedy hints and gets me the new Prada Infusion d'Iris for Christmas, I'll buy it for myself in January. Love it!

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 Redbox, drop off Netflix DVDs at a mailbox, or fill your car with gas for the weekend?

  • Tidy up real fast so your home is nice to come home to tonight. 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. I can wipe it down in under two minutes.

  • 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 West Elm. I'm still anxiously waiting for the new Williams-Sonoma to arrive.

  • 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

Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style Fragrance Set - So cute!

(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 yourself off before family members come home so they don't get overpowered!)

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.


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 or not obviously used, 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).

Getting rid of some perfumes? Here's the hard part: Perfumes deteriorate more quickly than you might think. You don't want to hand off a half-used bottle of perfume to a friend (and certainly not to Goodwill or another charity).

If you're not going to use it, don't let perfume clutter up your home. Throw it away. We're not supposed to throw perfumes in the trash, as they are flammable and can contaminate water. Instead, we're supposed to open them and let the fumes dissipate. I've found that's not so easy - several of my old perfume lids were difficult or impossible to remove without breaking the bottle. Frustrating!

Dust off and clean your fall/winter perfumes, then arrange them attractively on a counter or dresser, as long as they're not exposed to direct sunlight. 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 and minimally on your outgoing letters - but only if you are sending them to people who aren't fragrance sensitive.


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 to begin with. 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 get rid of 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).


Spiced Vanilla Bath & Shower Gel, new from The Body Shop

In my bathroom, I've discovered I have not, for once, been hoarding too many different shower gels. I might actually have an excuse to go buy a new one - just one - at The Body Shop 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 extra-long 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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