Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It’s Always Good to Start with Presents

January may have 31 days, but it always seems to me to be the shortest month of the year, and this from someone born in February.  I wonder why -- I’ll give that some thought and get back to you. 

While I don’t make New Year’s resolutions (see Another Year, Another List), I do have a longstanding tradition of getting together with two of my dearest friends, Linda and Earline, in January for a postmortem lunch. 

We clink our champagne glasses, celebrate surviving the holidays and give each other presents – the kind of presents women give each other who know each other – you know, the kind of things we really want – lotions, potions, goodies.  Starting off the New Year with presents is always a good thing. 

As promised, I’ve given it some thought -- the whole January feeling like the shortest month of the year thing -- and this is the way I see it.

The annual holiday dance begins earlier and earlier every year.  It starts as a languorous waltz, picks up speed and ends in a frantic tarantella.  By the time the last of Ye Merry Gentlemen have rested, we have collapsed in a heap and those first few weeks of January are just a blur of R&R (recovery and remorse)

....which is why having a birthday in February is such an excellent idea.  Credit where credit is due goes to Mme Mère for great planning.

Courtesy of Unique Papercrafting Graphic 45

By the second month of the year, friends and family have their second wind and are ready to celebrate again.  And, since it’s the shortest month of the year, I claim the right to celebrate all month long, especially this year. 

As of yesterday, I am officially a senior citizen.  I have walked through the door marked “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here” into the Inferno of Dante’s Divine Comedy, otherwise known as Medicare hell – Part A, Part B, Part D and Part F (Whatever happened to C and E?  I don’t think I want to know.). 

Oh well, champagne, presents and a dark chocolate torte can take the sting out of almost anything. 

This beauty of a birthday cake, courtesy of my friend Earline, tasted every bit as delicious as it looks.  My friends know that I do not have a sweet tooth, so a traditional birthday cake just wouldn’t do, but they also know I cannot resist dark chocolate.  God bless girlfriends! 

My husband decided to take the sting out of this birthday with a little something in a yellow box tied up with yellow ribbon – and you thought I’d say an orange box tied up with brown ribbon, didn’t you?  Well, actually you’re on the right track – the race track, that is. 

Any idea what this is?  It looks like the stirrup of a saddle.  In fact, it’s Hermès new fragrance, Galop d’Hermès.  It’s a flat glass bottle embedded in a silver stirrup with a decorative leather strap and it comes in a yellow box tied up with yellow ribbon. 


The fragrance is positively intoxicating with earthy notes of leather mixed with roses.  There’s also an intriguing story behind this perfume. 

In 1930, Hermès opened its first New York store on 53rd Street near Fifth Avenue.  Le tout New York turned out on opening day to admire the leather goods.  One object, in particular, caught everyone’s attention.  It was a flat perfume bottle set into a real stirrup. 

While that first Hermès store was not a success, closing its doors less than 18 months later, that perfume bottle in a saddle stirrup inspired le nez Christine Nagel, a celebrated Hermès “nose” to create this new perfume in honor of that first New York store, the elegance of the era and Hermès first venture into the world of perfume. 

Well, I’d say my birthday month is off to a great start.  There will be more lunches/teas/dinners, more presents and lots more champagne.  If you think I’m going into Dante's Inferno without a good buzz, you’re crazy! 


  1. The Hermes perfume sounds beautiful, what a lovely gift to receive from your husband! Have a very happy Birthday (Month), Marie-Therese!

    1. Thanks so much for the happy birthday (month) wishes. I plan to make the most of them.

      My husband has the most amazing taste in perfume, scarves and jewelry. I just leave it up to him to choose. I'm never disappointed. Maybe that's because he only shops for my presents at Hermès. He says you can't go wrong there, and I heartily agree.

      Thanks for stopping by, Cynthia.

      Cheers, M-T

  2. All beautiful gifts M-T. Straining my eyes to see what is on the table - haha. Great friends are the best aren't they? Oh, and that cake - divine!
    Your gift from your husband - just lovely :). Definitely can't go wrong with Hermes. Ever....
    Many Happy Returns and may you thoroughly enjoy your birthday month.

    1. I'll make it easy. With the exception of Patou's Joy, everything else on my perfume tray is from Hermès. Keeps life simple. Only the best.

      Thank you so much for the happy birthday wishes.

      And thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

  3. I think that it's a very Sensible Idea to celebrate a birthday month! The more presents, friends, cake, and champagne, the better! I had to give up alcohol years ago when I discovered I liked it a little too much !! but I do remember that champagne with the orange label (Veuve Cliquot) being my favorite. The Hermes perfume sounds lovely. So nice to have a husband who gets you.
    And I hope you are quoting Dante with tongue in cheek! xo Deborah

    1. Oh my, Deborah, we do share great taste in champagne -- Veuve Clicquot is my absolute favorite. Sorry you had to give her up, but I trust your instincts.

      Yes, I have a very thoughtful husband who, also, has great taste in gifts.

      And, yes, I'm referencing Dante's Inferno with tongue firmly planted in cheek -- at least, I hope so.

      xoxo, M-T

  4. Marie-Thérèse, what a lovely tradition. Often we have too many engagements in December and nothing at all in January, when we'd enjoy one! You ladies have remedied that with your friendship reunion.

    I don't have a sweet tooth either but like you, can be tempted with a dark chocolate torte cake. So I'm not unique!

    Happy February birthday! Are you an Aquarian or Pisces? Not that I'm a serious believer, but for fun.

    1. I am an Aquarian, solidly in the middle of the sign, and really do appear to have some of the more typical attributes of that sign. My late brother was a Pisces -- artist, dreamer, romantic, brilliant, creative.

      BTW, Debra, the film "Gigi" was on TCM last night and I thought of you and our discussion about it on one of your recent posts. Hope you caught it. I enjoyed it once again. It never gets old.

      Thanks for the Happy Birthday month wishes.

      Cheers, M-T

    2. Oh no, I missed it as I only have network tv stations. However, I can usually find old movies online to watch if I look for them. To be followed up on!


  5. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Oh my, tell me about Medicare Hell... Had to go through that last year.
    Your husband knows how to surprise you with special gifts; love this Hermès and don't we all need a stirrup?!
    It is special for having two French touch friends sharing my birthday. One is born in Vietnam and she speaks French of course and loves France. She is very petite and beautiful and look at yourself...
    I too love the dark chocolate things, not sweets but pure chocolate anything taste is great.
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Dearest Mariette,

      There's nothing like sharing birthdays with special friends wherever they are in the world.

      I truly treasure our friendship not only on our birthdays but every day of the year.

      Gros bisous, ma chère amie,



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