Borrowed from Pixabay


Please excuse my near radio silence here. I’ve had writer’s block in a major way.


After my brother passed away suddenly at the beginning of summer I didn’t feel much like  wearing perfume much less writing about it. In fact, I didn’t have much of an appetite for anything.?


A few weeks ago, our 19 ½ year old cat who was completely deaf and suffering from Sundowners Syndrome had a stroke. I like to think of it as an act of kindness that I had the vet euthanize her but it was tough. So many sweet memories.


The good news (finally some really good news) is that we just sold our home! I’ll be moving in just a few short weeks to California where I’ll be closer to family and the beach. Santa Barbara here I come! ? ✈


I’ve been California dreaming of palm trees, zesty oranges, sunsets over the ocean and driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. It will be a new chapter in my life at a time when I really need one.


The scents that really capture the essence of California to me are:


Kai perfume oil – Not to be confused with the more recent Kai Rose, which is lovely too, but reminds me of what I’d get after layering Kai with Diptyque Eau Rose. It’s light, soothing and tropical aroma that I first discovered in California. It also conjures up memories of an idyllic vacation in Hawaii.


Susan D. Owens Child – The innocence and simplicity is the opposite of edgy. Unlike many of the popular new releases in CA now which seem to lean towards incense and “transparent woods”, this is a delicate and romantic scent.


Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie – I’ve loved some of Van Cleef & Arpels scents (First was a high school favorite) but this really captures the essence of the SoCal vibe. It really wasn’t a great pick to try wearing for my brother’s recent funeral though. It really set off a kamikaze of emotions.


Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk – A creamy, beachy coconut scent with a hint of lime and white musk, Beach Walk is the perfect embodiment of a lazy beach day. It’s super understated and there’s an almost salty quality that I love. Sailing Day is another nice fresh aquatic scent from the line.


Thymes Eucalyptus – Woodsy, clean, fresh and clean smelling, the scent of Thymes Eucalyptus is uniquely invigorating. A hint of citrus balances out the petit grain note and lends a cheerful, upbeat quality. I’m less a fan of the cologne and body lotion, but the body wash and home fragrance mist smell amazing.


Le Labo Lys 41 – This is my absolute favorite fragrance from the Le Labo line. It’s so deliciously addictive that I can’t stop sniffing myself after applying it. My favorite is the alcohol-free liquid balm which comes in a rollerball and is perfect for travel. A bonus is that you can personalize it so also makes a great gift. Mine (which is sadly nearly empty) is named The Journey.


Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt – I adore this unisex beach scent that evokes the sensation of sea air mixed with the salty and mineral texture of sand and stones. The beach I’m imagining is Big Sur rather than somewhere in SoCal such as Santa Monica or Newport Beach. Sometimes It’s a great fragrance to spritz on when you feel the need for a mental vacation.


Rosie Jane James – An uplifting scent with a hint of earthiness perfect for transitioning into fall, James reminds me of old school California perfume oils.  A top note of fig leads to a sensual gardenia heart note, while its amber base smells warm and grounded.


Wishing you a relaxing and Happy Labor Day Weekend! If I’ve missed any sniff-worthy perfumes that take you on a fragrant journey to sunny California please chime in below.







  1. AirplaneJane says:

    Wow Im so sorry to hear of the hard times you family has dealth with this year. Its a beautiful thing that you are able to move to California. Your description of the oranges could make me view them on the side of the road. I love the perfume descriptions. Im a visual person and would love to see images of the perfume with the descriptions. Makes me inspired to try some new ones. 

    • Erica says:


      Thanks so much for your sympathies. Life is unpredictable but I’m moving ahead with optimism. If you want to see the images of the perfumes just click on the name and it’ll bring you to a longer review of each. The only one not reviewed on my site was Thymes Eucalyptus. I’m planning to include it on an upcoming post on body lotions since that’s the only product I’ve tried. I couldn’t resist including it though since Eucalyptus is such a CA scent:)


  2. Jagi says:

    Wow! You went through so much, thanks for sharing. My sympathies on your brother’s passing. Sad when a family member is no longer there. The same for your cat. 

    I wouldn’t have an appetite for anything either. But can’t imagine the pain you must be feeling over all this. Please know you are in my thoughts. 

    Hopefully, the new chapter will lift some unhappiness away. 

    • Erica says:


      Your words are so comforting. Thank you so much. I’ve always believed that life is for the living but it’s hard when you’re grieving to remember that. I’m feeling very grateful for those closest to me now. 

      Wishing you happiness and health,


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