The mid-Atlantic region of the United States was abuzz for days about the impending snow storm. My sister-in-law Kate and I, both having lived in areas where serious snow is neither unusual nor a cataclysm, started swapping drama-nuggets from the nightly news as the storm headed our direction. I began the exchange with “a meteorological explosion.” She countered with something like “Northeast Mauled By Snowstorm,” and then “snowpocalypse,” and “snowmageddon,” and it was downhill from there. I’m still waiting for “DC Area Groped By the Abominable Snowman.”
But we were groped, and hard. I laughed at the storm, and the storm laughed back in all our faces. From Friday to Saturday we got 30 inches (76cm) of snow, more or less. Half the county was without power by Saturday. The temp. fell to 15F(-9.5C) overnight and the single digits in the outlying areas. It’s 35(1.6C) degrees right now in our neighbor’s kitchen. All the hotel rooms filled quickly, and then all the shelters. There were rumors of a high school auditorium open (if you could get there). By Friday night the power was out on the streets all around us, but ours stayed on.
So today’s post is dedicated to the Big Cheese, who gets an (Amouage) Gold star here, because he isn’t going to get it anywhere else. He spent hours canvassing our neighborhood, shoveling walks and helping the heatless, particularly the folks who are older and had nowhere to go. We’re housing three neighbors and a guest-dog, and people have been stopping by all day to warm up and charge their cell phones. But one elderly neighbor who is in a wheelchair and her husband refused to leave their house. So the Cheese scared up a generator (!), helped haul and install it, no mean feat in the snow, and found them some space heaters. Then he got up twice in the night and early the next morning to make sure they weren’t dead in their beds. He’s doing so again tonight. We’re supposed to get another five inches of snow on Tuesday, so my guess is this could go on for awhile. I have to say, it’s stunning to look at.
In the meantime, I thought I’d do a post on snow-scents, and solicit your suggestions.
Powdery Snow. At the top of my list is Lorenzo Villoresi’s Teint de Neige. Powder. White powder. Powdery white powder. Powdery white powder of Death. I wouldn’t wear it at gunpoint, but it has tons of fans. I’m talking talcum powder, not the Nasomatto China White, a different kind of white powder. For a more intellectual, spare powder, there’s Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver. And of course there’s Sienne l´Hiver by Eau d´Italie, which smells more like smoke, dank earth and hot Italian boys on Vespas… but I digress.
Pure Snow. My favorite: CB I Hate Perfumes’ Winter 1972. The perfect snowstorm. Scent of damp mitten, frozen earth and snow. I dig it out sometimes in the summer when I need some air conditioning.
Cashmere Scents. The weather outside is frightful, but you’re inside, wrapped up in a cashmere throw, looking at the idiots digging their cars out even though there’s nowhere to go. We all have a ton of these. I nominate: Barbara Bui; Estee Lauder Amber Ylang; Prada L’Eau Ambree. For a related, warm-radiator scent, and a great bottle to boot: Fendi Asja in the EDT.
Boozy Scents. You’re trapped inside with your kids; school is cancelled for the foreseeable future. Why not get liquored up? There’s the cognac of Frapin 1270. Ginestet Botrytis smells of candied fruit and wine. If you need something stronger, how about Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire, with its notes of vodka and sin?
White Floral Camphor. I rag on Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle all the time, but who can argue with a camphory tuberose in this weather? If you’re a camphor weenie like me, step down and go with Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, a soaring tuberose with the camphor reduced to a florist-shop chill. Having dug up my sample, I’m ashamed I’m not wearing this more often. Stunning. March the Maleficent Decrees: those who say they hate big white florals cannot be sure until they’ve sampled Carnal Flower.
Green, Green, Green. Many of you have sorted this already: like the right white floral, the piercing green scents can work on the snowiest day. This isn’t really my category, but I nominate vintage Carven Ma Griffe or Balmain Vent Vert; JAR Bolt of Lightning; Chanel (Les Exclusifs) Bel Respiro.
What are your suggestions for Snowpocalypse scents, in these categories or others?