Wednesday miscellany: smells like fall edition

It’s hard to believe we’re already wrapping up September! Feels like it just flew by. I’ve been keeping busy, both online and offline, so thought I’d share a little of what’s been going on, a new favorite fall fragrance & more…

Susan B. wears a plaid blazer, red top, and red bead bracelets.

I’m always going on about how shopping within your seasonal color palette can help build a cohesive wardrobe. Well, here’s an example. This sweater was the very first thing I purchased after my color analysis in 2019. Look how beautifully it works with this recently-purchased blazer! I’ll have more examples soon.

Fall fragrance update

As the weather cools, I like to switch out my fragrance. But I’m running very low on some of my favorites, which have either been discontinued or are no longer available in the U.S.

I’d seen YSL “Libre” on someone’s list of favorite fall fragrances, and the description sounded like something I might like. While I was out running errands yesterday, I decided to stop and try it. It was nice, OK.

But the sales associate suggested I try this one. I asked her what the difference was and she replied “vanilla,” so I knew I had to try it. Love at first sniff, and still loved it on my skin 6 hours later. It reminds me of one of my favorites, Serge Lutens “Chergui,” but without the tobacco notes. I think it’s a perfect fragrance for fall. A little goes a long way…I’d suggest a light application.

(Every time I post about fragrance, I feel that I need to add a caveat about being considerate of others who may be sensitive to fragrances. I mostly wear fragrance for myself, at home, and avoid wearing it if I’m going to be in a crowded public situation, e.g. traveling, theater. I think most of us have learned to be considerate about our use of fragrance, but it’s still a little pleasure I allow myself.)

When fall days turn crisp, I love the smell of a wood fire. But air quality and climate change concerns have curtailed use of my wood-burning fireplace. This feu de bois candle from Diptyque re-creates that “fall fireplace” fragrance, without felling a tree.


Bella’s a pretty low-maintenance dog, at least as far as grooming goes. Every 6-8 weeks is all she needs. But I could tell that dropping her off at the grooming salon for a few hours was a bit stressful for her. So I decided to try one of the mobile grooming services in our area.

They show up at your house with a van that’s completely equipped for bathing and other grooming. I figured it would be a calmer environment than being in a loud room with a bunch of other dogs around. And I’m just a few feet away, in case she needs any reassurance or the groomer has questions.

I think it went pretty well…

Bella at mobile groomer getting her "facial."
Bella’s “spa day,” started off with a doggy facial 😂

She seemed to get comfortable with the groomer quickly, and was calm and happy at the finish.

Bella all clean and ready to party!
All clean and ready to party!

Always glad I have these on hand…

I decided to stick with tradition, and on Monday hosted the family dinner gathering to break the fast at the end of Yom Kippur. It was a lovely evening, relaxed and celebratory.

Our dining table seats 10 with leaves added, but we only have 6 dining chairs. So I use metal folding chairs to make up the difference. Many years ago, I purchased some folding chair slipcovers similar to these, and am always glad I did.

Even though our entertaining style is casual, they make the dining area look so much nicer. As we’re coming up on the holiday entertaining season, thought it was worth a mention.

What’s your favorite fall fragrance (natural or human-made?)

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  1. Happy Wednesday, Susan! I am typically not a fragrance-wearer. I was gifted a small cologne rollerball pen many years ago in a fragrance I like, and over the years I’ve used it, but not often. I also use a rollerball of essential oils. These are lasting years and years as it’s not part of my routine to use fragrances.
    Yesterday I chose to wear a bright red top and I got two compliments on the color. It is more of a tomato red. I was happy to receive the compliments, and I might wear this top more often now. I have it in my closet specifically for when church days when the liturgical color is red.

  2. As a person who is allergic to fragrance, I think it is worthwhile reminding people to only wear scents in private settings. Avoid wearing fragrance in public to respect the health of others.

  3. You look amazing! The sweater and bracelets look so pretty together. I looked at the bracelets on your link- can you comment on which color offered looks most autumn to you? Many seem spring like to me. Maybe the browns are autumnal?

  4. Hi Susan! You look wonderful as usual! Like be the Madewell jacket—did you take a size 6? Hope your hostessing went well!

      1. Thank you Susan: I think the jacket comes in 4 and 6. I was wondering if you went up to 6 in order to have the ‘oversized’ look?

      2. Oh I’m sorry! I didn’t realize at first that you were referring to the Sutter Jacket. I’m looking at the Shea Jacket!

  5. Like you, I like to switch my fragrances once fall arrives. I loved Tweed for years and years, but now it’s obsolete, like so many things that, as you get older, you find have disappeared.
    So now I’m searching for that fall/winter fragrance that will give me pleasure.
    Bella looks lovely and very relaxed. I have a pyr mix that has bad anxiety out I. Public. So twice a year I have a great mobile groomer out to the house. It’s only twice a year because my dogs are large and the costs rivals my monthly light

  6. That slipcover is a great idea! And I absolutely love the Madewell jacket. Something about 2023 is whispering, “Plaid. Plaid. Windowpane check;)”

  7. Oh, Bella’s spa day pictures are so sweet. You have sold me on the wisdom of groomers who come to the house.
    That sweater does light up on you.
    I found out my long time favorite perfume, Van Cleef & Arpels’ “First” has been reformulated. I like it a little more than the original. It’s always wise to be careful about wearing scent, thanks for the reminder.

  8. I’ve always loved Prince Matchabelli’s Golden Autumn. I still buy it on eBay, but the fragrance doesn’t last long.

    1. Yes! This is also my new fall favorite. I also like Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt,
      AERIN Amber Musk, and Ellis Brooklyn Super Amber. None of them is long-lasting, so I don’t think any of them is offensive. (Certainly they don’t last as long as some of the heavy fragrances many of my favorite hair products unfortunately use!)

  9. I don’t comment very often but wanted you to know that I read all of your blogs and appreciate the time and thought that you put into each one. The variety is always fun–everything from fashion to travel to your adorable puppy dog, and more. Thank you.

  10. For fall I do love Hermes Caleche. But for some reason I still reach for JoMalone Wood Sage and Sea Salt. I’m a New Englander hanging on to the very last bit of summer!

    1. I love all the Jo Malone scents I’ve tried and agree that the Wood Sage is a great one to transition into fall.

  11. Hi Susan, I so enjoyed the fragrance topic today. Like you, I’m wearing fragrance lightly and more for myself lately. I find myself skipping it when I head to the doctor or hairdresser, or having lunch with friends. I do enjoy Chloe’s Rose parfum year round. My other favorites, Chanel Eau Premiere or Chanel No 5, L’eau feel more suited for the warmer months. I was delighted to see Bella today, I’d been wondering how she was doing. Oh my, what a face!

  12. I’m happy that you had a nice family and friends gathering for the end of Yom Kippur. Wishing you a happy new year.

  13. Susan, that red sweater with the blazer is a great combination, and your lipstick is perfect with the outfit. Will you share the details on the lip color, please? Thanks! Linda

  14. Dear Susan,
    Thanks for another great outfit idea. I bought a similar shirt plaid jacket recently and need to pop my red tee under it. I have similar hair colour to you and I love how you’ve styled your jacket.
    Also love your snippets of life posts!
    Best wishes,
    Julie xx