First: our spam filter catches tons of porn every day, and I am grateful – and you should be too, because most of it is so sick and wrong it makes me yearn for the v!agra spam of yore. But sometimes legitimate comments get tagged as spam, for reasons that elude me. If you´ve lovingly labored over a comment, posted it, and it fails to appear – my apologies, I know how annoying that is. Leave another brief comment saying we´ve lost one, and I´ll put on my biohazard suit and wade into the filter and retrieve it. In a perfect world we´d check every day, but frankly the filth in the spam cesspool is so disturbing and disheartening (incest! animals!) that neither of us can face going in there.
Also: the winners of the Theorema draw: Sybil, Camilla and Gaia! Send me your address via Contact Us.
Down to business: You will be unsurprised to hear that when it comes to holiday décor, More Is More at our house, a view I inherited from my mother, who emerged from her cocoon every year around Thanksgiving and went into a frenzy that lasted into early January. She collected angels, and I still get a twinge when I see one I love in some shop and realize she isn´t here to give it to, although I have added a few to her collection. They join our ridiculous tree (she was partial to odd ornaments – pickles, dinosaurs, deep-sea-divers), the crà¨che, the spinning candle-powered nativity thing, Noah´s ark and the barnyard, the vintage cardboard Christmas village … you get the idea. This year we set up another tree on the front porch, to be joined by the icicle lights, which we just took down in May because I don´t like to rush things. It took awhile to convert the Big Cheese to my way of thinking (his mother believed in a single strand of white lights on the tree, and thought actually ornamenting it was vulgar), but he’s a smart man who picks his battles, and he obviously wasn’t winning this one. I love that guy.
Anyway, we still have to bake and decorate cookies, make a couple sheets of toffee, finish up the window stencils made with Glass Wax (try it, it´s fun!) and go to the joyously tacky Holiday Light Display at the botanical gardens. But in the meantime, here are the scents I seem to reach for this time of year:
1) Etro Messe de Minuit – yeah, I know. To normal folks it smells like mildew. But to me that´s overridden by the spices. A meditative incense fragrance I like to wear to church. However, layered with CB Black March I definitely get that Eau de Crypt thing going on.
2) Armani Prive Bois d´Encens. A brutal, uncompromising incense that I originally found unwearable and eventually bought a bottle of, because it´s a work of art. As cold as the inside of the Sainte-Chapelle in February.
3) L´Artisan Passage d´Enfer – so, are you noting a trend here? I didn´t grow up associating incense with church, but it´s not a hard connection to grasp, even if you´re totally nonreligious. PdeE – my joyous, uplifting incense.
4) Caron Nuit de Noel – the first time I read about this I knew it would be the most perfect, glorious thing I´ve ever smelled. And one of these years I´m going to smell it and that miracle will actually happen. I am powerless against the suggestion of this fragrance.
5) Donna Karan Chaos – there´s something about its woody/solar wonder that is perfect for decorating the tree, going to holiday parties, etc.
6) Serge Lutens Fleurs d´Oranger. The first time I smelled this I hated it – there´s that weird cumin note at the opening. By my third attempt I was hopelessly in love. Lush, over-the-top, one of the very few SLs I wear rather than just admire. My go-to scent on bitter cold days when I’m a bit depressed.
7) CB I Hate Perfume Winter 1972 – the smell of snow. Along with the dirt underneath, wool mittens, and the edge of your ice skates. A cold smell that warms me.
Okay, what gets you in the mood for whatever you´re celebrating (or not) in the next few weeks?
cardboard village and glass wax/stencils (and lots of other fine retro stuff): vermontcountrystore.com