Autumn Rhythm – My Search for the Ultimate Fall Perfume


Don’t you think there ought to be a perfume called Autumn Rhythm?
The Bombshell Manual of Style

I do.

I am once again on the hunt for perfume.  This means a few things 1.  I will drop a lot of cash. 2.  I will succumb to perfume press descriptions which I’ve learned are complete bullshit, generally speaking, but nonetheless will reach saturation point where I will feverishly smell any sample that uses words like “honeyed” “spiced” “tonka” or “boozy”.  Full disclosure:  I already hit that point a week ago.  3.  Further, when my husband arrives home he will find me surrounded by samples, blotters, bottles, notebooks, and guides and will say without fail, “It smells like a whore house in here.”  To which I will reply, “A really expensive one.”

Ah, tradition.

Speaking of tradition, we have entered my favorite season of the year. For a few years now, I’ve been searching for my perfect Autumn perfume.  I love perfume and I love Autumn.  It only makes sense that I would want to meld these two loves into one symphonically spiced dream stormcloud that is bathed in fallen leaves, Jack o’Lantern light and atmospheric moodiness.

Now that I’m fully graduated and carrying around a card that says I am an adult…  Aren’t I?  Didn’t we get one of those? Autumn has become more of a leisure season than summer.  It’s my favorite time of year and as such, I feel I should be scented appropriately for it.  Just like I ritually pull my sweaters out of my cedar chest each year, I love the idea of pulling a pretty crystalline bottle of something spiced, boozy, and warm out of a drawer.

I mean, of course, bourbon.

But after THAT, I would like to reach into a second drawer and pull out a perfume that has patiently waited until its “time.”  I want to build a scent memory and limit this particular scent only to September, October and November.  I crave ritual and tradition.

What I want is to wear on my pulse points my ultimate concept of Fall.  For me, each September, October, and November I am sucked into an autumnal bolt of toile fabric frolicking merrily amidst the falling leaves, drinking a cidery cocktail as I wave to hay-riding, football-tossing passersby on their way to a pumpkin patch, having just left an apple orchard where they ate pork chops and traded flannels.  We are all rosy cheeked, good-looking and temporarily freckled.  We will meet up a bonfire that night where we will tell ghost stories, drink hot toddies, and wear cloaks.

Can we bottle this?

I’m not looking for my Fall perfume to be revolutionary or weird.  Nor do I want to smell like a Glade plug-in.  To illustrate by contrast, I like my Winter perfumes to feel like a cozy cashmere blankie scented with vanilla smoke, a  cup of caramelized something or other in my hand.  For Autumn, I want things a bit more outdoorsy– less shelter from the cold, but still warm enough to kick through some leaves.  Slightly dry, but still cozy.   In Summer I love zingy citrus and herbs, cool breezy berries, and white musks.  Spring is all about Iris, for me, but that’s a different post.

Not all perfumes or notes have a seasonal connotation, of course.  Paris by Yves Saint Laurent, for example, is a loud rose.  Roses, to be sure, could be associated with, say, June.  But a tea rose is to Paris as Ru Paul is to a woman.  Fabulous but not real.  This is a rose that showed up via spaceship after aliens caught a glimpse of Alice and Wonderland and the Golden Afternoon.  It is juicy and shouty and I wear it not because I love roses but because it is the smell of hot pink.  Azzarro pour Homme is similarly seasonless in that it smells like the world’s most attractive man and we can all agree that’s a wonderful thing year round, no?

So my quest is specific and has a hypothesis:  Is there a scent, wearable by a human who must occasionally occupy space near other humans, that contains all the atmospheric things I love about fall?

  • cloves
  • pumpkins
  • apples
  • cinnamon
  • squashes and gourds
  • rain
  • leaves
  • color
  • sweaters
  • scary movies
  • caramel
  • brandy
  • Applejack
  • baked goods
  • hay
  • harvestiness (TM – me)
  • books
  • fireplaces
  • bonfires
  • incense
  • candles
  • football (open to interpretation, but surely a little leather and sweat wouldn’t hurt anybody)
  • Gothic fiction
  • Ghosts
  • Witches (in the cauldron dwelling healing wise woman sense, of course)
  • Pencil shavings
  • Unsolved Mysteries

I’m speaking conceptually, of course.  The concept of an apple is far more interesting in the world of perfumery than a literal apple.  I mean, save yourself the $80 and just grab a Granny Smith.  Unless the literal kind of fragrance is your jam, then hithee to a Bath and Body Works.  I’m talking about art and shit.

For each of these aforementioned autumnal concepts, I can offer a perfume-related option:

  • Incense?  Armani Prive Bois D’Encens
  • Pumpkin – Etat Libre D’Orange Like This ( a weird “pumpkin” accord inspired by Tilda Swinton of all people and frankly, it’s too much for me)  I wish the bottle would hiss, “If it’s war Aslan wants, then it is war he shall get!” when you spray it, but that’s neither here nor there.
  • Football – Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Kahn – Rrrrggggllll.  Full disclosure, this perfume smells like leather, musk, and armpits.  Really very expensive well-crafted leather, musk, and armpits.  Between the sheets leather, musk and armpits.  It’s wonderful.  As a former cheerleader, I can tell you that a football bus smells nothing like a high-end French manufactured perfume, even with the armpits.  I only WISH it did.  Rather, it smells like  all the things that glandular adolescent boys smell like including hormones, sweat, and anger.  And not just the present ones, but the total tonnage of all the football players past who also rode this bus year after year, like ghostly hormone-addled, often bloodied and grass-stained masses of testosterone and young masculinity, silently accompanying their successors to and from battle.  An image that’s almost beautiful, if not for the stench.  Throw in 50 Booster-provided sack lunches complete with bologna sandwiches, Doritos, and Twinkies as well as a few liberal and ultimately futile pumps of raspberry-scented body spray from the cheerleader occupied front of the bus and you’ve got a cumulative odor that I will never forget and yet inexplicably miss.
  • Pears – Annick Goutal Petit Cherie.  A charming little scent that is not dark enough for fall.  Yet, if you love pears, this is your girl.  (This particular juice is known to go bad before it’s time, so buy the small bottle.)
  • Witches – Ormonde Jayne Woman.  Witchy, not in the evil green-faced way, but rather the cauldron-dwelling wise woman, beautiful and terrible and lurking behind dark branches and mossy glens.  It’s unlike anything else out there.

But throw all of those together and you smell like an Autumn-themed migraine.

And I want ALL the things.

After going through dozens of samples and bottles, I’ve learned some things, realized  some notes I don’t want in this perfume and I’ve narrowed down my list to the following:

  • Brandy perfume – There is a perfume company called Brandy that produces only one perfume, also called Brandy, that smells like boozy apples and spice.  It’s great.
  • Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka – The most mainstream pick of the bunch.  The bottle is a purple apple covered in gold writing.  The juice is sweet with notes of licorice and fruit, vanilla and booze.
  • Oliban by Keiko Mecheri – Very spicy and autumnal with a big dose of incense.
  • Geisha Rouge by Aroma M – It’s an oil, instead of an EdP.  It’s gorgeous.  It smells like everything I love about the season. I am also fantastically allergic to it, but this has never stopped me in other areas of my life like hayrides, cats, dogs and rolling down grassy hills (which is awesome.)  So Geisha Rouge is NOT OUT YET even though it makes my neck burn.  There IS an EdP formulation which will probably solve the issue.  And yes, I am willing to go into aniphylactic shock for a perfume.
  • Commes des Garcon White by Commes des Garcon – A spectacular cinnamon cedar.
  • Dzonghka by L’Artisan Parfumeur – It smells like woods and tea and dry wonderful things.  It also has this peculiar (and great) note of what Finesse mousse used to smell like in the 80’s.  Like if you soaked a cedar plank in Finesse mousse, while drinking a cup of Earl Grey.  Which might sound, I don’t know, sticky– but it would smell amazing.
  • Ormonde Jayne Woman – Far too fabulous to stay with just “witches”.  I hesitate only because the thought of ONLY wearing it in Autumn saddens me.  Also, it costs a lot of money.
  • Bois de Violette – Serge Lutens.  I once heard this perfume described as “purple.”  This is right on.  I’ve also heard it described as the ultimate “rainy day at the library” perfume.  Also right on.  What’s more autumnal than plummy shades and  rainy days surrounded by books?  Purple is also the traditional color of royalty and so is the price tag on this perfume.  However, the point of luxury is not to calculate all the practical things you could have purchased with the amount you spent.  Rather the point is to enjoy it.  Still, if I do settle on this perfume, I may hyperventilate a bit at the Barney’s counter.
  • Padparadscha by Satellite – It is none of these…and yet all of them.  It’s an amber, which is hardly exciting in the world perfumery but undeniably pleasant.  What it does have is a dose of pepper.  I love pepper.  It is dry, spicy and warm.  Which is exactly how you want to feel in Autumn, as opposed to wet, bland and cold.
  • Voleur de Roses – L’Artisan Parfumeur.  Putting aside the apple and pumpkin spice version of Fall,  this is a mysterious gothic rose.  Wrought iron, thorns and the colors from the Crayola “bold” marker pack.  This is Autumn from the dark corner of a Slytherin party.  There’s patchouli here.  And earth.  Another “purple” scent.  But this time, in deep dark velvet.
  • Botrytis byt Ginestet.  “Botrytis” sounds like some sort of elderly affliction involving swollen ankles and orthopedic shoes.  The perfume, however, is nothing of the sort.  It’s honeyed, spicy.  It’s fruits are boozy.  It feels like a sunny Autumn afternoon.  Even the bottle is topped with a gold leaf.
  • Brigitte by Tocca.  The fruitiest of the nominees, take that as you will.  It’s spicy and gingery with a rhubarb note I dig.  Marketing jargon says it has a “panettone” accord, and that’ just fine with me.  It’s pretty and it’s inspired by Brigitte Bardot.  What’s not to love?
  • 1270 by Frapin.  Frapin is a French cognac maker that has delved into perfumery.  To me, this makes FAR more sense than fashion designers making perfume.  I mean, think about it.  That makes no sense.  Clothes and perfume have NOTHING to do with each other.  In fact, I would argue perfume does better without clothes entirely, but that’s a philosophical discussion. ANyway, Frapin 1270 is a cognac for the skin with many wonderful layers that unfold as you wear it.  It’s lovely and warm and unisex.
  • Black March by CB I Hate Perfume.  Oakmossy and dark without ever venturing into gourmand.  It’s green but in a deep dark woods sort of way.
  • Russian Caravan Tea by CB I Hate Perfume.  The best tea perfume out there, in my opinion.  It’s gorgeous and smoky and sweet.  The only problem is, Will and I will fight over the bottle.  We both love it.

But these are the “newbies”, relatively speaking.  The best age in perfumery was arguably the 50’s through the 70’s when mysore sandalwood wasn’t endangered, Europe wasn’t freaking out about citrus oils and allergens, and perfumers weren’t ruled by cheap executives.    What Autumn is, thematically speaking, is dark, rich, mysterious and textured.  We must look into the perfumes of the past to truly delve into this idea.  Although I must tell you that I have nixed a few of these from my nominees for the Ultimate Fall Perfume, that is purely from a personal point of view.  As a student of perfume, these not only fit the bill, they wrote the book.

  • Cuir de Russe by Chanel.  Although I’ve never had this experience, I am convinced this is how it would smell sitting in the back of a Bentley with a wealthy gentleman who had a drink in his hand, a cigar in his mind, and the window open.  It’s grand.  There is something autumnal about leather, and this is arguably the best leather. Seek ye not the perfume counter for this masterpiece, but get thee to a Chanel storefront.  It is part of their exclusive collection and yes, it is very expensive.  That said, the bottle is very generous.  And truly, you can’t beat the quality.  If you are going to splurge, splurge into this.
  • Mitsouko by Guerlain.  Whereas I would put Shalimar in my “Winter” perfumes, Mitsouko has a drier edge.  Much of the perfume community considers Mitsouko to be the greatest perfume ever created.  It is an acquired taste for some, myself included.  I’ve been “teaching” myself about it for years.
  • L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain This one has a nuttiness to it.  The Bombshell Manual calls this a summer evening scent, and I see their point.  But I raise them L’Heur Bleue’s coziness.
  • Bois Des Iles by Chanel.  Another “brunette” scent.  Probably a classier one, all told.  Bois Des Iles is similar to Ormond Woman in that I dislike the thought of limiting it to Autumn alone. It is incredibly grown up.  Even at 31 I feel like I might be being presumptuous to put it on.  Like high heels when you are 5 years old.  But how much fun are those high heels?  Perfumes: the Guide calls it No 5’s Brunette sister.  And I love that idea.

In truth, the likelihood that I would settle on a singular scent for an entire season is remote.  However, I need some sort of figurehead for the theme.  And if I pick up some flankers on the way, the more the merrier. September feels much different from November and certainly if I was feeling zany, I could find a scent for both the early and warm days and the later cold and grey days.  Halloween opens the door to even further possibilities.  My Ultimate Autumn Perfume will, I hope, encapsulate all those things and more.  If  not, well, it’s just perfume. *wink*

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Fall!


I am a hustler.  Like the aptly named Ginger in Casino, I want my end.   So when the Christmas season takes a full 21 days off my beloved Autumn, I look out for me.  No it isn’t really Fall yet, but I snagged 16 days from Summer.  Post-Labor day is Betsy Autumn.  I am sipping a pumpkin spice latte as I write this.  My year goes something like this: Autumn is Post Labor Day through November 30.  Christmas is December 1 through December 29 or 30.  Winter is December 31 through April 1.  Spring is April 1 through May 31.  Summer is June 1 through Labor Day.  I used to try to adhere to the actual seasons.  But tell Chicago it’s spring on March 21.  When I lived in Oxford, Ohio perched so very close to the American South, it was quite easy to respect the seasons and their dates.  I now reside near a giant inland sea that makes it’s own weather decisions.   So I had to start interpreting them for myself.  If Chicago had it’s way the seasons would look something like this: October 10 through  June 25 = Winter.  June 26-30 = Spring.  July through September = Summer.  October 1-10 = Fall.  I cannot abide this.

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  We live in America.  There are five seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Christmas.  I begrudge none of them, save for their respective pollen counts and shoveling requirements.  Each have their own delights.  Still root vegetables, squashes, spices, sweaters, beautiful leaves, crispy air, cider and myriad other seasonal delights are more than a few of my favorite things.

I let fall take right over in every area of my life.  I change my wardrobe, my cooking, my reading, my movies, and even the way I approach my career.  In lieu of Back to School, since I no longer attend one, I sort of make my own.  I buckle down to the basics (new monologues, songs).  I try to pick up a class.  It gives me a back to school feeling without actually pursuing another degree.

Here are the ways in which I celebrate Fall:

Household:

  • I switch the bathroom and kitchen handsoaps to a fall scent.  This year, I picked up the Bath and Body works selections.  Last year, I grabbed a pretty one from Marshalls called “Autumn.”
  • I grab the seasonal shower gels from either Ulta, Bath and Body or something similar.
  • I pick up fall scented candles and pull out the fall decorations.  Usually I make a trip to Jo-Anns for more puttering.
  • I put away my summer aprons, and hang up my autumn ones.
  • I do a big seasonal scrub to clean up the sand and pollen of summer and make way for the coziness of the season.
  • I make lots of teas, chais, hot ciders, toddies, and autumn-themed cocktails.
  • I start out the season with a big batch of Three Sisters Soup and usually close it with my Fall Stew and/or some cassoulet.
  • I pick up the October/November issues of Cooking Light, and sometimes Martha Stewart.
  • I change the table linens to an autumn theme.
  • I put autumny throw pillows on the couch.

Fashion

Cue Nancy Sinatra.

  • See previous posts.  I put away my summer wardrobe and pull out the fall/winter wardrobe.
  • I search through the September issues of fashion magazines and make a big shopping list for trends and classics.
  • I wean myself off of flipflops.  But first I do a deeper colored pedicure.
  • I get a haircut, and often deepen the color a bit.

Crafts

  • Autumn is knitting season.  I usually pick out a pattern to trudge through.
  • I like to sew this time of year.  This year I have three aprons to make for various people.

My Fall Face. Not attractive. But so enthusiastic.

Activities

  • Having grown up in the country, picking apples just sounds like (and is) work to me.  Instead, I go to the library and pick up a bunch of cozy and spooky books.
  • I like to stock up my pantry for those cold rainy nights.
  • I try to go to Ohio because the leaves are so beautiful.
  • I stop by Starbucks for a pumpkin latte.
  • Usually I make my yearly pilgrimage to IKEA.  They have great candles and it’s this time of year I like to do a lot of home improvement.
  • While I am not a fan of picking produce for “fun,” I do like to grab a pumpkin or two.
  • I like to visit places in the area that are rumored to be haunted.
  • Pumpkin ales and spicy brews are so much fun this time of year.
  • I like to visit my favorite speak easy, The Violet Hour, for their seasonal selections.
  • Shopping for new clothes, and maybe even a school supply or two for old time’s sake.
  • I have a list of movies I watch every year.
  • Halloween planning!
  • I love a fall get together with warm appetizers and autumnal cocktails, and mulled cider.

I’m not big on missing my junior high and high school years.  And I CERTAINLY don’t miss church youth group.  But with youth group, you had a guaranteed hay ride every year.  Living in the third biggest metropolis in the United States, hayrides are few and far between.  Sure I live in the Prairie State, but I wouldn’t even know where to start.  At home, you have to narrow down the damn options.  I also wish someone would put Disney’s Halloween Treat on DVD so I didn’t have to pathetically huddle in front of  You Tube to watch it in 10 minute segments.  I absolutely still dress up for Halloween should the right party come along, but I miss that in-school-and-in-costume feeling.  I don’t work in a workplace that encourages any sort of holiday festivity.  And I’ve never been a dress up for an office job kind of person.  You see, my night job requires I dress in costume.  It just feels creepy in an office.  No, that elementary school costume joy is long past.  Something else I miss with a vengeance is the annual field trip to The Garden Patch.  The Garden Patch was a gardening center on State Route 66 in between Defiance and Archbold, Ohio.  Every year, my class would hop the school busses for a field trip.  We would pick pumpkins, go on hay rides, have apple cider and donuts, walk amidst gorgeous chrysanthemums and play in the leaves.  It was grand.  There was also the Apple Butter Festival at Sauder’s Village in Archbold.  You could watch them press cider, make apple butter, pet the Clydesdale horses, ride the miniature train, buy candy at the General Store and generally have a grand old time.  Nobody is stopping me from going to the Festival, per se, it’s just that “kid” feeling is a bit lost.  Still, that “kid” did not enjoy trips to places like Jo-Anns and Homegoods.  Now, she delights in it.  I try not to dwell on the past.  Especially since I turned 21.  Heh.  No childhood joy can beat the ability to legally buy liquor.

Pretty sure this is how I look from September to November.

So off I go into Autumn sprinkling cinnamon-scented fairy dust in my wake!

 

My So Called Style – Fall Wishlist 2011


Angela Chase

Flannel shirt. Check. Ripped jeans. Check. And you guys, I totally married Jordan Catalano.

Or Dillon (90210). I don’t know for sure, but I bet he’d prefer Catalano.

I officially can’t wait for Fall.

Yesterday I posted my inspiration for Fall fashion this year. Never has it been more near and dear to my heart.

The key to a, shall we say….nostalgic look is to have the spirit of the era and yet not so authentic as to the point of costume. Part of the many reasons I count myself a Johnny Depp fan is that he embodies the spirit of the kind of fashion I like. Weird. Slouchy but not sloppy. Sexy. With a sense of humor. And a product of the 90’s. In the best way. He also knows how to rock an arm party (I will detail below). That’s the thing about the 90’s. So much of it isn’t gender specific which is not usually my style. But certain elements rise to the top. The white tshirt. Jeans. A leather jacket. Boots. These are human items of clothing. They are inherently cool. They are also a blank slate. Built for customization, and it is the accessories that define the person and the outfit.

The Spirit of the Season

I would wear this.

Yesterday, I established that Alicia Silverstone/Cher Horowitz is very much a fashion icon for me. As is Johnny Depp, as I said above. Other 90’s style icons include Eddie Vedder. Fairuza Balk. Linda Evangelista. Meg Ryan. Karen Elson. Kate Moss. Lisa Loeb. My So Called Life. Drew Barrymore. 90210.

Love Angela’s layering. Hipster’s dare to dream of Rayanne’s style.

I adore this top. I’m not usually into crochet, but the fit is great.

When I was 11, I thought Jennie Garth was the prettiest girl in the world with the best hair I had ever seen. I continually strived for and failed to achieve this style. The jacket, however, would totally work this year.

While I love Seinfeld, I never got into Elaine’s style. It was a bit too Amish for me. Jennifer Aniston’s look on Friends was a bit too “done,” however I always loved her way with a white tshirt, and her coffee shop outfit, with the black mini and the black tights was adorable. This is another of my fave’s:

This is summery, but I dig it.

The hip hop United Colors of Bennetton thing was also a bit too bright for my palette. It’s funny. While the clothing of the nineties was relaxed, often the hair and makeup was intense, if not severe. Dark lips. Pale matte skin. Thin but dark brows. Slicked back hair. It was the era of grunge. But it was also the era of high glam and the supermodel. Cindy Crawford had the big hair, the perfect makeup.

But let me also say that my 2011 Fall wishlist is not entirely circa 1993. What I am focusing on is iconic, quality items, with some cozy autumn in between. I stopped short of Birkenstocks. 1. More of a summer shoe. 2. I don’t know if I’m THAT nostalgic. Still, having graduated in 1999, you would assume (and would be correct) that a lot of my present wardrobe is already apropos for this fashion season. I did pick up a flannel last year. It was like coming home. My Dad is probably glad I bought this one rather than raiding one from his closet. I have something else I plan on raiding from his closet this year. I’ll let you know when I’ve secured it. Anyway, I have several pairs of ripped jeans, and dammit I love them. Lots of white tshirts, although it’s time for a new one. Such a classic item, but you have to refresh your supply. A denim jacket. Sweater vest. Button downs. Plaid school girl skirt. I am heavily editing my 90’s style for this year. Anything post ’96 feels not right. No ringer tees. No huge jeans (I was never into that in the first place). No baby hair clippies. Oversized is not going to be the fit I’m looking for. Rather, I want to mix proportions.

Aside from the 90’s, the runways were packed with 60’s style. I have cute little kitten heel slingbacks that will do the trick. Lots of shift-ish dresses, a plaid jumper. My black turtleneck. I picked up a pair of perfect black mary janes I can’t wait to wear with fun tights. I also have a pair of Marcia Bradyish plum t-straps. More of an early 70’s look, but it applies. One thing I adore about 60’s style is the fantastic, and highly linear tailoring. So flattering. So chic and dressed up and so very easy! If you throw on a cute a-line shift, and slingbacks, you’re done and you look polished. Being such a child of the 90’s, I very often could use a 60’s spit shine.

Plaid is big this year, with both a 60’s and a 90’s feel. I’m Scottish (and other things) by way of ancestry AND I love the early 90’s. Trust me. I dig some plaid.

The way I come up with my wishlist is a combination of items that really reflect the look I am going for, and also items that I could really use in my wardrobe. My lifestyle calls for lots of different types of outfits. I’m an actor, so I audition a lot. I feel like personal style is a major part of showing who I am. I also work 8-5 in an office in a business dress environment. I see a lot of theatre. I go to Ohio a lot. These are all situations that dictate what I wear. My list is much more unisex than past years. I expect next year it will be lots of feathers and bows and sky high heels. But this year…. without further ado – Here are my edited wishlist/shopping list items for Fall 2011!*

1. Leggings – black full length leggings. Perhaps a heather gray or a navy. Maybe even an olive green.

2. Slouchy sweaters/perhaps a tunic. I am not a tunic fan, in reference to myself, really. However, certain forms of the tunic appeal to me. One in particular is a collared version. It looks like a button down, except it isn’t. I love this shape because it does actually have a shape.  I’ve heard it called a Popover.  I like this. With leggings and maybe riding boots, I think this could be a comfy and cute Saturday outfit. Slouchy sweaters, on the other hand, are all about proportion. I’m looking for very thin knit, with slim arms, and probably and off-shoulder or boat neck neckline. No bulky knits, for the most part. I would even consider a cheery henley neckline. (Makes my boobs look fantastic. Not gonna lie.)

3. Black leather jacket – This was on my list last year. Will has one. I may just borrow. Although a super soft girly one would be awesome.

4. Varsity jacket – I never got one in high school. I will have you know I lettered twice, too. Cheerleading and choir. Guess who majored in theatre?! I didn’t buy one for many reasons, the main being I was too busy dressing like Angela Chase. Also I had recently moved from another school district and old alliances are hard to beat. Anyway. It only took me 16 years since my freshman year to finally give in. I want the Buffy look. Varsity jacket. Leggings. And a ponytail.

5. Doc Marten’s – I never actually owned a pair. My huz has a pair of really kick ass ones I bought for him one of our first Christmases as a couple. Nearly knee high. I can’t decide if I want the boot or the oxford. Probably the boot.

6. Hoops – Hoop earrings are kind of my signature. I get made fun of all the time. You should know they were also Brigitte Bardot’s signature jewelry. You just couldn’t see them under all that hair. They are on the list this year because I would like to shell out for a nicer pair than the Target multipacks I buy every year.

7. Cropped sweater/vest. Per yesterday’s post, I want to mess with proportions this season. Long shirts topped with cropped sweaters feels so dancery and cozy.

8. White shirt – This has been rotting on my list for years now. It’s no fun shopping for this staple. Particularly with my chest. Finding the right top can take forever, and you have to try it on. You can’t order this one. Still, once I secure the wardrobe holy grail, playing with it will make up for the drudgery of finding it. I want an oxford style, regular cuff, white shirt. Broadcloth, or something similar that is slightly thicker than the average blouse. I may peruse the menswear department and then have it tailored on the sides.

9. Straight leg jeans – versatile, cuffable. Ever so slightly slouchy. Dark but not indigo.

10. Ribbed tights – fall colors and jewel tones. Maybe a pair of cream. Only for my brown riding boots, though. I’m going for equestrian, not little girl.

11. Mod A-line dress – I’m picturing short or long sleeved. With tights. Probably solid color.

12. Red or grey low chuck taylors

13. Red Minnetonka moccasins – I have a pair of the classic that I use around the house. I need a pair to wear outside. They are too cute and comfy. Very bombshell in the woods.

14. Bibs – I miss them. I can’t help it. I think they look sexy, if done right. Fortunately for everyone groaning right now, outside the local Tractor Supply in Ohio, I think they are going to be hard to come by.

15. Madewell Plaid Coat – It’s not even available yet. I saw it in a magazine. To quote 90’s icon Wayne Campbell, “It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.”

16. Mad about plaid dress – Donna Ricco is a genius. She does one thing and she does it really well. That thing she does is dresses. And this is one from her line this year.

17. Jersey long sleeved maxi dress – Another item to wear with a cropped sweater. Such a dramatic sillhouette.

18. Maybe a slouchy harness boot or Frye Campus boots – Frye Campus boots in Banana have been on my radar for many a year. Will has harness boots. I’m not looking for a true harness, rather a slouchy piratey looking pair.

19. Arm party. I love tattoos. Just not on me. Rather, I dig an arm party. I have always been a fan of bracelets. Necklaces aren’t really my style, minus a couple special ones. An army party is the equivalent of one bracelet inviting all it’s friends over to play. The key is mix of textures, widths, and metals. I am looking for fun invitees to my fall arm party. I’m thinking hammered metals, bangles, and friendship bracelets. If you look at Rayanne in the above photo, she’s got a tape measure as part of her arm party. Creativity is key, and there are no rules. It’s a party!

20. Chambray shirt. – Fairly deep in color. I like the versions that are available right now. I’m picturing with leggings and also with my plaid kilty skirt.

21. Another flannel – I have one that is yellow and blue. I need one in the red/black/green area. I’m thinking with leggings.

22. Raglan sleeve grey crewneck sweatshirt

23. Brown High Heeled Boots

24. Black ballet flats

25. Day/Play dress(es) – Think Alicia Silverstone in the Amazin’ video. Not tooo hippy dippy. I already have the floral one. Could be worn with leggings?

* I won’t be purchasing all these items. This is just a list of items that would be welcome in my wardrobe.

* The total list has about 50 items on it.  That is true.

Fall Wishlist 2011

All Saints long sleeve dress
$44 – allsaints.com

Ted Baker tee dress
49 – johnlewis.com

Carven long sleeve sweater
58 – theoutnet.com

Reiss shirts blouse
110 – johnlewis.com

James Perse white short sleeve shirt
$50 – jamesperse.com

Aryn Glasser hoody
€179 – conleys.de

J Crew vintage chambray shirt
$98 – jcrew.com

H M studded jacket
30 – hm.com

Levi s romper
$55 – macys.com

Madewell knit legging
$22 – madewell.com

Ribbed stocking
$20 – topshop.com

Madewell knee high heels
$325 – madewell.com

Repetto ballerina shoes
$280 – ssense.com

Steve Madden black heels
$85 – heels.com

POL gold silver earrings
$17 – target.com

G by Guess post earrings
$15 – gbyguess.com

Rhinestone jewelry
$5.99 – tillys.com

Dr. Martens 1460
$120 – zappos.com

Converse All Star Oxfords Shoes
$30 – piperlime.gap.com

SO Striped Varsity Jacket
$20 – kohls.com

Minnetonka Thunderbird Ii
$39 – zappos.com

Golden and Glowing by Autumn


It's Fall, Y'all!

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Autumn.  Truly September through December is one big freakin’ holiday as far as I’m concerned.  I love traditions and there is something about the fall that just drips with tradition and ritual.  A couple weeks ago, my sister-in-law and I were getting mutually pumped up about fall and the things we love to do.  She likes to have a pot of soup simmering away on the stove while she puts together scrapbooks and watches college football and the Steelers.  If she’s anything like her brothers, I assume the soup ends up being sprayed all over the room and all the pictures ripped to hell.  Whatever floats your boat.

I, too, like a pot of something savory bubbling on the stove.  My craftiness lends itself more in the knitting and sewing direction.  In fact, I am just now completing a fall apron.  A few years ago, I found a couple yards of the most fabulous autumn toile.  Instead of the traditional French country scene, however, this fabric has a vintagey-50’s country scene with jack-o-lanterns, harvesty wheat and a hayride.  I adore it.  So much so I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  A skirt?  A throw pillow?  A tablecloth?  I eventually decided on an apron.  My favorite thing in my favorite fabric.  It will not only be my fall puttering apron, it will serve as decoration when it’s hanging up.  I have another autumnish apron from my Mom and a vintage one that should blend nicely.  I’d like to have aprons for every season.  Summer and spring are fairly covered due to the bright florals of typical aprons.  I have two Christmas aprons, although I would like to make another.  And winter definitely calls for a cozy flannel, I think.

There is just so much to see and do in Autumn.  Books to read.  Movies to watch.  Food to eat.   I occasionally wonder how I wasn’t born a Scorpio.  No matter.  I married one.

Each month of Autumn has a particular feel, I think.  September is very much about Back to School.  October, of course, is a bit spooky and mischevious with gorgeous colors, and November is somewhat dark and cozy.  I like to watch certain movies during certain months.  Have certain foods as well.  I sort of got a little ahead of myself this year and already made a typical September recipe in August, and watched Sweeney Todd (a November pick) last Saturday.  Ah well.  Patience is not my personal virtue.   Although, Hope, it should be noted is my middle name.

Get a load of these pumpkins!

The following are lists of SOME of the fun things I like to do when the breezes turn chilly, and the leaves get crazay.

SEPTEMBER

New clothes
New office supplies
Big Seasonal Scrub and Organization
Getting rid of old stuff
Initial fall decorating (no Halloween stuff, yet)
Apples
Late summer vegetables: corn, tomatoes
Three Sisters Soup (try tempering in a beaten egg at the end) Serve with cornbread.
Joann’s, Home Goods, and Kohls for fall candles and crafty stuff
Fall table setting
Corn chowder with homemade bread grilled cheeses or cheddar biscuits
Trip to the library
Fidget Pie
New perfect Fall sweater (this year, brown)
Michaelmas – blackberry stuff on September 29
Fall wreath
Order Halloween and Fall Items from the Victorian Trading Company
Fall essential oils
NEST pumpkin chai candle
Football – tailgating, hot chocolate
Pumpkin lattes from Starbucks
Autumn in a jar

Witchay Woman

OCTOBER

Spooky movies
Halloween parties
Fun movie nights with warm snacks and mulled cider wine
Fun spooky ipod lists: Bewitched, I Put a Spell On You, Jill Tracy songs
Planning and making Halloween costumes
My Fall Festival:  Fall stew, Sleepy Hollow, and Cider cocktails with apple dumplings and whipped cream
Trips to occult bookstores
Tarot readings
Lighting candles for those we miss
Pumpkins and Jackolanterns
Taffy Apples
Pumpkin patch/Farmer’s Market
Preserve leaves
Use pumpkin as a vase and as a toureen
Fall picnic
Vanilla candles
Pumpkin scents
IKEA
Scary books
Pumpkintinis
Football
Winter clothes out, summer clothes away
Baked Oatmeal
Ghost Tour
Donuts and Cider

Now Is The Pilgrim Year Fair Autumn's Charge

NOVEMBER

This year, we are trying to plan a fun fall getaway to a friend’s lake house
Nights with books and a pot of tea
Planning for Thanksgiving
Butternut squash
Early Christmas planning
Caramel Corn
Scary, Gothic books
Ghost stories

Truly in my head I am wearing a navy toggle sweater, holding a huge bunch of colorful leaves, wrapped in a plaid blanket with hot cider, and donuts (a huge dose of Zyrtec) on a big pile of hay, singing “Ichabod Crane” from Disney’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  Almost makes ya miss youth group.

Almost.