Hola, amigos — I am still in Santa Fe doing a lot of
eati- shopp- hard work and I’m lacking regular computer access, so this will be a quickie.
First off, in case the suspense was killing you, Fanta Se is still fantastic, and I harbor weird fantasies about moving back here and wearing the same three flax skirts to meditation every day… or, wait, maybe the cute peasant blouse? With the concha belt and the boots? Did I mention the boots? Did I mention the fabulous consignment stores? Als0, I am living on green chile chicken enchiladas and Rolaids. Did I mention the margaritas? The massage at Ten Thousand Waves? If you visit, definitely stop by the Waves…
Okay, so, perfume. (btw Santa Fe still smells amazing, and it’s monsoon season here so everything smells just that much better after the rain.) To me, the default fragrance smell of Santa Fe is Cedar Mountain (hope that link works) which was the Santa Fe smell for a long time, this line being the product you were likely to get rubbed down with at the Waves and elsewhere. You mix the oil in the bottle with water and spray … well, wherever (closet, your person, the air). One whiff brings me right back here. The Waves has moved on to some hinoki and yuzu products, both of which are practically the new lychee/pink pepper, but today’s find is … the Indian Champa body products from There, which if I am reading the packaging correctly is, believe it or not, the house brand of Cost Plus World Market, which they have here and I love. Anyhoo, there are other less interesting scents — oh, wait, here’s the link — the cherry blossom, lotus etc. are just fine. But this! Here’s their blurbage: “inspired by the delicate Golden Champa flower, which possesses a rich, ethereal scent that is prized by the people of India…. it is often placed near temples and ashrams… ” there’s a bar soap, liquid soap, bath scrub, lotion, and shower gel listed on their website, and I got the body oil in the store.
When I have more time and a better computer I’m going to investigate the champa/champaca connection, specifically whether we’re talking about the same thing and whether they’re magnolia, plumeria or something else entirely. In the meantime, let me say this smells a lot like Ormonde Jayne Champaca, which I love, with two main differences — 1) The World Market Champa is, unsurprisingly, less sophisticated (although lovely) and 2) it costs eight bucks or thereabouts and is available stateside, and apparently online.
I put some of the body oil on this morning after my shower and it’s still going strong late this afternoon. The great thing about the champa smell is: it smells like an incense flower, halfway in between. I am pretty sure they use it to make nag champa incense, but it’s not like that; there’s no smoky aspect. I’m thrashing around here because it’s like trying to describe the smell of a gardenia. I mean, there’s just nothing like it. It makes me think of the flower necklaces at the shrines in Thailand. It’s powerful and meditative and unsweet and haunting.
In sum: here are two interesting, reasonably-priced things to try while you’re saving up for Nombre Noir or one of those giant Chanel bottles.
I’ll probably be checking in here later today if I can weasel back onto a computer. If not, take care and I will see you Weds.
photos: Ten Thousand Waves, inside and out