Monday Musings: Falling Leaves and Drowning in Perfume Samples

I grew up on the east coast where the leaves put on an amazing show every fall. The leaves in California are sort of blah where I live, but it’s literally raining brightly colored leaves here in Vancouver which has me really looking forward to Thanksgiving. It’s less than three weeks away! How’d that happen so fast? Thanksgiving is celebrated in October in Canada so my daughter hasn’t been down for turkey day in way too many years, but she’s coming this year!

Here’s what caught my eye this week.

Mackenzie Childs Roasting Pan

With Thanksgiving on my mind, this black and white roasting pan jumped out. It’s in the Courtly Check pattern by MacKenzie Childs and would be an awesome update from my old Costco aluminum one. This one goes from oven to table and would look beautiful holding a turkey or lasagne, you name it. Even bread pudding would be great in this.

Chic Apron

blacj and white striped apron

Since I love to cook, I’m a bit of an apron collector. My favorites were made by a company called Heavenly Hostess that went out of business, so I always keep an eye out for quality ones. This one coordinates with my home decor and is long enough to protect what I’m wearing. I love the big front pockets to stash things in while I’m cooking.


Cruelty-Free Fragrance

Byfredo Ghost fragrance on A Well Styled Life
Byredo Mojave Ghost

My switch to cruelty-free skincare and cosmetics was gradual. The further I committed to it, the less I was able to wear my conventional fragrances. I gradually tossed them all out and wore single note essential oils. They’re lovely but I miss wearing perfume so I’ve been searching for a new one to love. While shopping in the Vancouver Nordstrom with my daughter, we came across the Byredo display and had a field day.

Jennifer Connolly trying Byfredo fragrance in Nordstrom

We smelled and sprayed and tested long enough to leave the store with a headache. After one or six too many spritzes we reeked to high heaven and couldn’t make any decisions. Luckily, Nordstrom allows you to make little samples to bring home.

I’m trying them on one at a time, fresh from the shower so I get a better idea of how they work with my chemistry. So far I am loving the Gypsy Water, Bal d’Afrique, and the Rose of No Man’s Land.

What’s your favorite fragrance?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.




  1. Shalimar by Guerlain has been my signature fragrance since it was gifted to me by a good friend before I left for my College Junior year abroad in France, some forty-plus years ago. Really enjoy your “well-styled life” advice and look forward to reading each post.

  2. I prefer no fragrance at all, other than clean skin. As I’ve aged, I’ve become super-sensitive to any kind of scent, whether from perfumes, cleaning products, candles, etc. They give me an instant migraine and I feel like I can’t breathe well. My biggest pet peeve is going into a department store and being bombarded by people hawking perfumes for me to try. I avoid it like the plague. I went to a mexican restaurant the other day and my waiter smelled like he’d marinated in cologne. By the time I left, I felt ill and it wasn’t from the delicious food.

  3. Love the scent of most perfumes BUT unfortunately perfumes don’t like me as trigger vertigo attacks (as so do flowers and scented candles). Enjoy your time with your daughter, Jennifer and HAPPY SHOPPING … ☺.

  4. I enjoy a very light spritz of Jessica McClintock year round. In spring I like to wear Lily of the Valley fragrance, but it has gotten more difficult to find. My favorite used to be Muguet de Bois by Coty, but they no longer make it.

    When my son was in high school the fad for the kids was Ax Body Spray. Every morning as he was getting ready for school, just before we had breakfast, he would come out of his room just reeking of that body spray. My eyes would immediately start itching, I’d start wheezing, my nose would block up. It was awful. I was such a mean mom, I told him he would need to put that stuff on after he was outside because it was causing my asthma to flare up. The years have gone by and he is in the Air Force now (for the past 15 years). We last saw him in May, and usually only get to see him about once a year or less because he has been in several countries overseas for quite a long time now. I can’t imagine that he still wears that particular body spray, but even if he did, it would be worth an asthma attack to have him walk through my front door right now.

  5. The local perfume counter has a container of stale coffee beans behind the counter, which they offer between sniffs to clear the nose. They also suggest sniffing only two or three scents, then trying them on paper cards and waiting 20 minutes before trying them on a wrist. It’s a process.

  6. I have worn fragrance every day since I was a teen. But now most places are “scent free” so I have to check my calendar before I apply–workplaces, theaters, even city hall!! I can understand because allergies are no fun. But I miss wearing a nice scent.
    Also, I find many of the nicest department store perfumes change into something awful on me. So I was quite happy to find Jo Malone. The fragrances stays true on my skin and you can layer them to change it up. My current favorites are English Pear & Freesia, or Wood Sage & Sea Salt. In winter I layer it with Dark Amber and Ginger Lily to warm them up.

  7. I love aprons too! My favourite is a red and white striped one similar to the one you showed…with pockets! I wear Paris by YSL as my regular scent, Diorissimo for going out, and as a special scent, Joy by Jean Patou. All floral scents. And yes, I use sparingly and don’t wear perfume while flying or to theatres, etc.

  8. I’m all for clean fragrances. My favorite for many years has been “amazing grace” by philosphy. Very light, smells like soap and water, fresh and clean.
    Occasionally for evening dressing up is Channel #5, old school I guess these days. But it’s always reminder me of glamour.
    It’s always interesting to me how different scents remind of different times and even different people who wore them. I remember chasing a man down the street to ask him what he was wearing because it was so nice I wanted to get it for my boyfriend at the time. Lagerfield – I gave it to many boyfriends after that, haha.

  9. My husband loves red door and Elizabeth Taylor’s white diamonds. I love Chanel, Chance so we compromise. I wear Chanel when we go out and the other ones around the house
    . I have a roasting pan that I love bought at a garage sale many years ago. I need a bigger rack but I’ve been downsizing the turkey till I think this year it will actually fit the turkey or I may go with just a breast. We all eat so much less meat these days.

  10. Don’t judge…I still love Chanel No. 5 and wear it when I get dressed up which is not often. I also love Chanel Chance green. Maybe Santa will bring me a bottle. 🙂

  11. I had to clean up my scent act after surgery and treatment for lung cancer. Phlur has been my go to. Ameline in lotion and spray is perfect. I highly recommend.

    1. I’m so glad you’re better, Polly. I have 3 dear friends and one friend’s young daughter who are fighting lung cancer. Thanks for mentioning Phlur. I’ll look into it.

      1. When I was a kid I loved my mother’s Chanel #5 but I also loved my Dad’s Old Spice. As a teenager I was drawn tocitrusy scents but now I like sage and cedar scents often found in a men’s line. I do not like to perfume the air around me due to allergies but I sometimes treat myself to some men’s cologne after a bath or shower, put it on my wrists, nape of my neck and even behind my knees but sparingly. That way I enjoy a little and it goes a long way to makemefeel good about myself without offending others.

  12. My winter scent is always Shalimar by Guerlain. My mother wore it & now my daughter also wears it. In the summer I wear Jessica McClintock. Buying the real perfume means I only dab a tiny bit. When the bottle is empty I put it in my underwear drawer, open.

  13. I love trying new scents but like you I get overwhelmed by the many brands and scents within and after you’ve sprayed every inch of uncovered skin, they all blend, I hope you find your new perfume. A light touch of scent makes us feel that little bit more feminine. Ooh la la!

    How lovely that Vanessa will make it home for American Thanksgiving. Do you ever come up to Vancouver to spend Thanksgiving with your daughter? You can never get enough turkey & dressing, nor great family time.

    FYI Love your boots in the colourful leaves.

  14. Duchesse, over at Passage des Perles, clued me in to Perfumeniche,com. is an informative site that sells reasonably priced decants. I found my current winter scent, By the Fireplace, through the site. It’s a very unique scent.

  15. I think you will be disappointed when you swap your alu-pan for the just beautiful looking ceramic pan. The
    Turkey will be different. Spend more money and go for a stainless steel pan. You will be more than
    grateful for that decision and it will last forever when you follow the instruction. Detailled infos see youtube.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  16. My favorite fragrance is clean skin! I am very scent-sensitive. A couple of my students were moved to another classroom over the years when their parents refused my request to eliminate the problem. A teacher with a headache and runny nose is not on the top of her game. Woo! Hoo! for your daughter coming for Thanksgiving!

  17. After having pneumonia 10 years ago, I became super sensitive to strong scents. Perfumes, cleaning products, and room fresheners have all been known to send me into coughing and wheezing spells. Consequently, I stopped wearing any perfumes and try to avoid people that wear them. I’m with the lady who talked about people marinating themselves in perfume. My worst nightmare is to pay several hundred dollars for a sewing class and then to have one or two of the other students bathe in their perfume. I have to move as far away from them as possible and hope that I will be able to breathe. If it is a small classroom, that is impossible. My coughing disturbs the rest of the class. Everyone offers to get me water. I would like to tell them to throw it on those that bathed in their perfume that morning because that might actually help me.

    Oops! Got a little carried away there. But, seriously, if you are going to wear perfume be aware that it is meant only for someone in your personal space to enjoy, not to announce your entrance into the room before you open the door and enter.

    When I wore perfumes, my favorite was Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds Summer. It was a softer, lighter version of her White Diamonds. I spritzed it on my wrists and then rubbed my wrists on my neck so that there was just a light hint of the fragrance.

  18. I used to prefer a citrusy scent, but a day of wearing anais anais convinced me that light sweet florals is the scent for me! – nice roasting pan & apron!

  19. I like Jessica McClintock in the spring and summer and I love Nantucket Briar by Crabtree and Evelyn. Sadly they no longer make it! Glad you and your daughter are having fun!

  20. Another reason to shop at Nordstrom! I’m always impressed by their level of service. I alternate between them and Simons in Canada.

  21. I like a light floral, Ive worn so many over the years, I dont have a favorite, and lately I have a lot of samples from ordering my favorite cosmetic lines when they have a package special, one of those get all this with a purchase.
    At work, there are so many people who you would swear marinate in their perfume/cologne choices, sometimes my throat will tighten up and i need a blast of albutural…and 10 minutes after they leave, they are still in the air…

  22. I use a lavender basil spray …yoga spray…from anthropologie. It’s light and it sprays lightly….ten dollars! I have 3 bottles tucked around the house.
    For more formal (rarely) events I buy Wanderlust by …? Maybe Michael Kors? It’s tucked away as Inrarely use it but when I Do, people ask me …..they like it on me! That’s all……

  23. My favourite scent is soap/water and a hint of baby powder. My idea of hell is getting seated next to a woman (or man) who has drowned themselves in scent or aftershave as the stink triggers a migraine or nausea. Same goes for those revolting essential oil burners

  24. Love Byredo. I have Gypsy Water…it’s my fav. Bal D’Afrique is lovely too. Very different from your usual department store fragrance.

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