Orange Cats in My Life – Part… X*: Rusty turns 10

As I told in the story of Rusty coming into our lives (Part IV: Those that have just broken the flower vase…), we consider Rusty to be our Christmas cat and celebrate his birthday on Christmas Eve.

Cats are not dogs, so when choosing a cat as a companion, I knew what would be missing – loyalty, affection and obedience. Obedience is clearly not in Rusty’s repertoire (though I did manage to teach him not to come and ask for food before he hears the alarm clock), but in terms of loyalty and attachment, Rusty is probably the farthest to the right on the long tail of the statistical distribution of these qualities in felines.

Rusty's Tail

Rusty is also an extremely social cat: not only he spends a lot of time with me and my vSO, but he also inserts himself in the middle of any gatherings at our place: if there’s a free chair at the table, he’d sit on it and, at some point, he might feel comfortable enough to try to steal our food.

So this year I decided to invite some of my perfumista friends and their furry kids to the to the virtual celebration of Rusty’s birthday. This still being a perfume blog (at least from time to time), I also asked all of the guests to tell us what perfume(s) they plan to wear this Christmas and, optionally, why.

* * *


Hajusuuri, my lovely guest-writer and one of the most generous people in the Perfumeland, is known to many by the avatar of this extremely handsome dog. It’s not her pet but a part of the extended family, so he was invited officially to Rusty’s big 1-O celebration.

He decided to stay anonymous, so we’ll just call him H. Two of his siblings, F. and S., were also invited – not to be left out, you know how it can be in a family…

S, H and F

Hajusuuri: As to what perfume I will wear on Christmas, the theoretical answer is Chanel No. 5 L’eau from my Red bottle. The practical answer is I will be nice to my scent-phobe family members and wear a swipe of Al-Rehab Choco Musk or perhaps a teeny tiny dab of Aftelier Vanilla Smoke.

* * *


Meet Truffle, a beautiful three-year old companion of Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume), who (the cat, not V.), when is not trapped in one of the neighbours’ garages, attends to her human in time of need.

If you want to know more about Truffle, her tricks and mischief (or just to see more pictures), take a look at a Christmas post on Truffle as a kitten or a post for her second birthday.

Vanessa: On Christmas Day, after much deliberation and auditioning of samples, I have decided to wear By Kilian‘s Amber Oud. As Undina is the ‘hostess’ of this Christmas post, my selection is a nod towards her recent ‘Novamber’ sniffathon and ongoing love of the note, as well to the fact that she has given me samples of Amber Oud at least twice.;) I like Amber Oud because the older I get, the more my tolerance for sweetness in perfumes increases, and this scent, with its comforting, almost maple syrup-type amber laced with lashings of vanilla, is judiciously tempered by spices, a more austere cedar note, and of course the oud, and ends up less sticky and more sheer. I would never normally be drawn to a scent with ‘oud’ in the name, in case it is too medicinal and sharp, but the blend here is marvellously mellow and will create a warm festive hum around my person on the big day!

* * *

Boxer on his beach chair

Admit that you didn’t expect to see a rabbit at this virtual party. Boxer lives with Suzanne (Suzanne’s Perfume Journal). To keep him fit and healthy, Suzanne developed a special morning exercise routine for him. Judging by the way he looks, it works. After holidays Rusty and I should be probably consulting her to start preparing to the bikini season.

Suzanne: When I think about the perfect Christmas perfume, I think of Caron Parfum Sacre. It has a very beautiful nutmeg note intertwined among its rich layers, and nutmeg always reminds me of Christmas since it’s a featured spice in eggnog, plum pudding and the like. The nutmeg lifts the deep, velvety expression of rose, the bewitchingly syrup-and-evergreen scent of myrrh, and the custard-like vanillic base of Parfum Sacre. There’s even a small, purring amount of civet in this perfume, of which I think Rusty, the Christmas cat, might approve. ;-)

* * *


Follow the link to learn how a shy rescue kitty who graciously accepted Asali’s (The Sounds of Scent) companionship got her shiny (and perfume-related!) name Vega.

Asali: For Christmas, I will 1) wear the to me unknown perfume of my Advent Calendar#, and 2) wear Nez a Nez Marron Chic.

# Here’s the post about Asali’s DIY Advent Calendar. I’m borrowing the idea next year!

* * *

Paris Jinx Jan 2018

Two handsome greyhounds – Paris and Jinx (can you guess which one was named by Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies) and which one by Jin?) – as Portia informed me, were “so excited that Rusty is turning 10 and wish him many more happy years on this earth with you. Plus all the treats, cuddles, pats and smooches that should go along with being a pampered pet.”

Surprisingly, there’s no dedicated post on the APJ but if you read Portia’s weekly updates, it’s hard to miss that these two guys play important roles in their owners’ lives.

Portia: Nuit de Noel by Caron for Xmas Eve watching the Carols by Candlelight; UR ± Silk 19 by UER MI** for Xmas lunch. It’s a fig tea, jasmine and woods fragrance that seems good for the heat of our Xmas Day.
For Xmas evening Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations, its spicy rose and woods fits all occasions perfectly for me, adds luster to whatever i’m doing.
Boxing Day will be spent BarBQ-ing and swimming so L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Intense will get a whirl.

** I thought one of the dogs had interrupted Portia, and it was a random set of characters but I checked: it’s a name of actual perfume!

* * *


If you were to scour Val’s, the Cookie Queen, Instagram feed (@armadilloscookiequeen), you would have probably conjectured that this Snow White’s name is actually “Cat” – and would have been wrong. Her full name is Meep Meep or Meepsy (“When she was a tiny kitten she ran around the apartment so fast you could not see her”).

Val: I will be wearing vintage Chanel N°5 parfum on Christmas Day, 25th. It feels very suitable and elegant, like me. Hahahaha. Family will be here, and wearing any kind of leather and smoke would be too much. I’ve been in a N°5 binge.

* * *


Duncan, who is just 15 years young, is enjoying an early retirement with his humans in sunny Mérida. Steve (The Scented Hound) says that “for Xmas, I will be wearing my vintage Caron Nuit de Noel (of course).”

* * *


Mila, the youngest guest on today’s party (so, probably no valerian root beer for her), will grow to be probably one of the most well-traveled pets, as she accompanies her mom, Tara C on her seasonal migration between Canada and the U.S. Look at those ears!!!

Tara C: I normally wear Nuit de Noel on Christmas eve and Chopard Wish on Christmas day.

* * *

Ophelia, Border, Rita and Lucy all live with Marcella. They all decided to join the celebration, and I’m using this opportunity to introduce them to the Perfumeland since their human doesn’t have any public social media accounts where she’d be proudly demonstrating each of these beauties.

Marcella: This year I will be wearing vintage Shalimar perfume. I bought it for myself for my birthday this year. I wore it extensively in the 70’s and nostalgia prompted me to order a bottle. It’s still unbeatable. Absolutely glorious.

Actually, I think I will start off in Parfum de Thérèse which was a pre-Christmas gift from my hubs, and then transition to Shalimar once the cooking is done. Yes. That makes sense!

* * *

I don’t think I’ll surprise anybody who reads my blog for a while if I tell that on the Christmas Eve I plan to wear Climat by Lancome: not only it is my #1 all-time favorite perfume that I wear for special-special occasions, but also it was the first ever perfume that I took a picture of in general and the one with Rusty and perfume in particular (though, not the best or the last one with that perfume). And it was the first post about Rusty on this blog.

For his birthday Rusty got a new pure wool artisanal cat cave “handcrafted by women in Nepal.” He seems to like it.

Rusty in Cave

What a great party (and wonderfully smelling at that)! I’m so happy to have all of my real and virtual friends and their graceful companions to join me in celebration of the 10th Birthday of a very special orange cat in my life who is kneading and purring loudly on my lap as I’m trying to finish this post.

If you’re reading this, and you’re blessed with a furry companion, please introduce them and share a link to their pictures with us – so they could join the party and increase the enjoyment we all get from seeing each others four-legged friends. And, of course, tell me: what is your Christmas perfume this year?


Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers!


* For those of my readers who hasn’t read the previous episodes: no, I haven’t told 9 stories before this one but I thought that a 10th Birthday is a good reason to skip a couple of numerals.


53 thoughts on “Orange Cats in My Life – Part… X*: Rusty turns 10


    What an abundance of lovely furries – they are all so adorable. I once had an amazing cat who was given to me at Christmas, so naturally I named her Holly. I now have three very naughty felines who will be spending their first Christmas with us, and who are undecorating the tree for me as I write ….

    Wishing you, Rusty and all your party-goers and fellow readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. happy Birthday to Rusty!

    Undina I loved this post ! so much fun seeing the furry family members of perfume peeps, many of whom I call my friends! Thank you all for sharing!

    For this entire week I will be wearing St Clair Scents Casablanca because it’s my favorite perfume discovery for this year (or perhaps for me the best new release in the past FIVE years) On my scent devouring skin it’s a rich, unctuous, honeyed orange blossom with animalic notes (one tiny spray lasts FOREVER) and I think it is a beautiful holiday scent (and Caitlyn of This Side of Perfume agrees ;) )

    Hope you and all of your readers have a lovely holiday whatever you celebrate and a joyful and auspicious new year!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Brigitte! I enjoyed seeing them all as well.

      I think you just killed the lemming! :) Orange blossom usually doesn’t play nicely on my skin – so I’m a little less curious about Casablanca now (though I still want to try the line after all of your praises).


      • Well, I will tell you two things…some folks say it is a big white floral with animalics in the base (in other words the orange blossom isn’t nearly as prominent on their skin) and also, it reminds me quite a bit of SSS Jour Ensoleille and I know we share a love for that one. If you think you might want to try some along with First Cut let me know and I will email you.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Many happy returns to your gorgeous Rusty, the cat with the finest tail in perfumeland. How lovely to see the beautiful wee beasties of so many others too. Thank you for inviting them!

    My two: Atkins, who is the most active and talkative cat I’ve ever lived with has been with us for a year, is now about two and a half: while Herschel–who has had far too many veterinary adventures recently–is about twelve: Tomorrow I will probably be wearing some vintage Cuir de Russie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, crikey!

      I didn’t know you had the second cat. I read over NST about Herschel’s health issues, so I wasn’t sure if you were up to it – and it was the only reason I didn’t ask you to join. thank you for introducing both of the beauties to us!


  4. Happy Birthday to Rusty! Ive been catless for awhile so this post was wonderful 😍! If I was home up North Id be wearing Parfum Sacre, but since its 33 degrees here in Chile, it will likely be Chanel Allure Edition Blanche. Hope you all have wonderful holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Birthday, Rusty! My 13 year old rescue beagle, Cody, wishes you a great day. He is very interested in smells, although my perfume is far less interesting than those he finds outside. I don’t have a traditional Christmas perfume but I’m thinking I may pull out the Chanel No. 5. (Or the sample of Casablanca that Brigitte aka Marzipan “made” me buy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy birthday to Rusty and a very Merry Christmas to Rusty’s wonderful family. What a purrfect way to celebrate your birthday by inviting a whole bunch of friendly cats and dogs to this virtual party. I hope everyone gets to enjoy drinks, treats, pets and cuddles!

    One day I’d like to have a pet again and I’ll be sure to properly introduce them to Rusty and other perfume friends.

    For Christmas Even and to the midnight mass I will wear Tauer Phi Une Rose de Kandahar. A cosy and lush rose-jam perfume. On a Christmas day I’ll wear my signature – Prada Amber Pour Homme.

    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for inviting all of us to Rusty’s birthday. The girls were delighted, especially Ophelia (the black and white) who has a massive crush on Rusty. She now wants a cat cave just like his and I’ve been commandeered to print a picture of Rusty for her to hang on the wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Boxer and I are honored to be a part of this amazing gathering of pets and perfumistas who’ve come together to celebrate the 10th birthday of Rusty! And Rusty does look every inch the birthday boy in these photos, with his resplendent tail sprawled out a mile long and his agile maneuverings to capture the gold crown (which could belong to no one else, not even that delicious-looking galette des rois it had once adorned).

    This was so much fun! Merry Christmas to you, Undina and Rusty, and to all of your guests and readers!


  9. Thank you for inviting me and Mila to the party, happy birthday Rusty! That cat cave looks marvelous. Mila is very interested in perfume. Every time I spray some on, she carefully and thoughtfully sniffs my arm. No idea of what she thinks of it though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When Rusty was younger, he would try to leak some of my perfumes off of my wrists. Now he’s wiser and realizes that even he can’t deal with gallons of perfume that I own :)


  10. Happy Birthday, Rusty! Beautiful party attendees all! Thanks for the heartwarming photos. I do not have a cat but did have in the past and there are two in the close family. Cats can make you feel good just by being there.

    Judging from experience, obedience can definitely be part of a cat’s repertoire: obedience of the owner! 😊

    Happy Holidays to all. I am wearing Mugler Cuir Impertinent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you from me (and from Rusty who got treats for each congratulations on this post.
      Cats definitely have some magical properties, and we’re lucky that they allow us to live with them :)


  11. Merry Christmas to the Undina household and Happy Birthday, Rusty! Thank you for inviting me and my canine family to your party. They had a blast. As usual, H. was naughty and had to sit in the corner. Rusty, watch out for your cat cave as the doggies like to cram into anything soft and fluffy!


    • Thank you for participating! It was fun. Using this opportunity, I want to mention that I love seeing your avatar. H. Is one of the most handsome dogs I’ve seen. I can’t believe this innocence can be naughty! :))
      When Rusty is inside something (e.g., a box or, in this instance a cave), everyone else should watch out: he gets wild, and his claws are very sharp (and those dogs’ noses aren’t too sturdy – ask me how I know ;) ).


  12. Happy Birthday to Rusty! – how comfortably ensconced he looks in his new cat cave – and what a fine accessory it is too…I quite fancy one myself. Was interested to meet so many other Perfumeland pets of every species. The ears on Mila are frankly astonishing, and I enjoyed the tantalising titbit about Suzanne’s rabbit’s exercise regime. Oh, and Suzanne reminded me how much I love Parfum Sacre. That will also get a wearing over the festive season. I have been ill over recent days, but made it out of the house tonight to a friend’s for dinner, so I did apply Amber Oud just under the wire, as it were. ;) Enjoy the rest of your holidays and thanks for including Truffle in your pet line up, who like Rusty, is very high on loyalty and attachment, and next to zero on obedience, hehe..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’re feeling better: it’s never fun to be sick but it feels especially cruel and unfair to be sick over holidays.

      It’s funny: my vSO said something along the line of having such a cave for himself :)


  13. Dear Rusty, many congratulations. Thank you for the invite, says Vega, who was very proud to be included and btw finds you quite dashing! She sends you virtual snacks, goodies and a friendly head but.
    I say; dear Undina, congrats on your wonderful boy, long may he reign your household and hearts ( and your blog).
    It was so much fun to see the full party, and what an exquisite idea.

    Before answering your email, I checked and double checked, and seeing that all other bloggers gave a ‘why’ after their Christmas perfume of choice, I checked again. In my email was no why, just the which. And me being me, and you being you, I decided that was probably the way you wanted it :-D I just wanted you to know that it wasn’t t for lack of effort.
    I love the Rusty pictures with the crown, taking good cat pictures is a nightmare. I salute you to this skill. And also for managing to teach him to not ask for food before the alarm clock has rung. I should like that trick…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Asali,
      Rusty and I are extremely grateful that you found time to attend his party and for all the good wishes.

      As to the reason behind perfume choice, I was carefull not to overwhelm participants and asked for the name first, and only after they supplied those inquired why. Since your answer wasn’t any particular perfume, I gave a link to your DIY post for the explanation on which perfumes you’d selected for it. Sorry, I didn’t mean to exclude you! :)


  14. Hi Undina
    I’m only playing catch up now and missed the big birthday party. Belated wishes to Rusty, he’s looking very handsome. Would have made it to the party if I had been more on the ball😉


  15. Happy belated birthday to Rusty, Undina! Loved reading how he got to your home and seeing all the other lovely pets. I have a ginger cat called Rubio as you know. From the looks of him Rusty is much more mischievous than Rubio. Love the cat cave you bought for Rusty, does he use it?


    • I’ve just found this comment more than a year later. Sorry, I didn’t answer earlier. But, on the other hand, now you’ll get a fully informed answer.
      In more than a year Rusty used his cave as intended probably just a handful of times, and mostly if I put him inside. What he does instead is sleeping on top of it, using it as a bed.

      Liked by 1 person

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