You’d think I’d know how to handle this by now – I’ve lived in the Midwest for the bulk of my life and we have these absurd blizzard-to-tropics events every Winter. Two weeks ago it was Apocalypse, 4 feet of snow with -4F. Yesterday it was 65F with a warm, wet wind. Now it’s that bitey cold, dirty Spring…the ice is still at the turn of the shallow part of the river (a more poetic take on it here) but I can smell wet dirt in the fields…nothing’s dumb enough to try to grow just yet ..but you can tell it will happen soon. Or not. Maybe it’s that quick-tease of spring to come….there’s nothing like a wet wind to give one hope……but then the weather drops 25 degrees in 12 hrs…the onset of Spring actually creates more anxiety for me than the onset of Winter, a restless uneasiness caused, perhaps, by the fear that the world (my world, at any rate) could slip back into darkness. That those clouds, skidding in on that warm, wet wind, could be bearing yet another blizzard. Perfume choices are tough right now. It seems faithless to cling to the heavier scents when Nature is maybe trying to cut me a break, yet the really light scents just can’t handle the mercurial temps. The solution seems to be GREEN – but not the sunny, warm, greenery-yallery greens of later spring. No, this weather is calling for the resinous, balsamic, sharp and intense green of Galbanum, with its aura of wistfulness and melancholy.
There’s something rather romantic about Galbanum. I always think of rainy, windswept moors and stolen kisses on the heath (never mind that I wouldn’t be caught dead on a rainy moor and I suspect heaths in February require boots – sooo over that!)..Galbanum scents are the scents of promise, the idea of a new adventure, with a slight tug of Things Left Undone. Until I did a bit of research I didn’t even know that the scents I reach for at this time of year were so galbanum-centric (because I don’t pay attention to notes). What I don’t do, though, is actually wear these scents. Not yet. They can be thin and precarious in the treacherous, shifting temps and the few times I’ve tried it I’ve gotten all itchy and chilly, like when you forget that cotton sweater and need just One More Layer between you and your jacket. I’m in luck with my galbanum collection – most of them are pretty inexpensive which means I can enjoy them in the safety of my home. I have been going all Heathcliff and Cathy, scenting my sheets with Balmain de Balmain and playing water sprite with Jacomo Silences and the shower curtain. I am skirting the edge of profanity here – according to this site, this sheet-spraying spree puts me in danger of being cut off from my father’s kin. Hmmm….if I spray the dogs. …..nah! I’m not louche enough to waste vintage Miss Dior or Chamade that way – I’ll be ready to spray those on skin in about 3 weeks. February is…well it’s FEBRUARY! That means it’s psychically cold, even if it’s 65F for a day. I save No. 19 for August.
What’s going on with the rest of you? Are you ready to transition from one season to another? We’re now back to frozen sleet. I’m so ready for Spring – mud, fog and all!
photo: Foggy Island – Denise Bratschun