I know it’s boring but I’ve gotta say it again:
I’m in Menopause
and BLUE Moon Comin’ UP!
That means my normally sunny-funny self has given way to but don’t worry, it’s just for a couple of days. Then I’m back to my Old Sweet Self. Which, come to think of it, probably isn’t much different than Baby Girl up there.
In the meantime, though, I can’t focus on actual perfume which, when I spritz it, feels vaguely like marbles rattling around in my head. Instead, I’m sniffin’ on Vegetation! Do you guys remember back when I had that vicious gum infection? I hauled all that gravel and compost and my veg garden looked like a little plant prison? That was back in late April. 800 gallons of hauled rainwater later, it blew UP! and looks more like
the gravel pathways are choked with tomato, pepper, Swiss chard, beans and more so every step I take stomps on something and releases heavenly scents….the monthlong drought and 100+ temps meant I had to let the broccoli go – after first cut I left it to bolt; I have every bee for a 3 mile radius in my garden. Broccoli blossoms actually smell…pretty! let’s talk about some of the other veg smells. In fanciful moments I amuse myself with Scents Demeter Ought to Do. Tomato leaf? Been there. How ’bout Sunburnt Cauliflower? Like rancid popcorn. The poopy smell of bolted broccoli, before it blooms. Baby poop, which isn’t the worst – but still poopish. Green (bell) pepper has been done in L’Artisan Piment Brulant – every time I spritz this I get a craving for pasta. I was going to try to make a case for jalapenos vis a vis Poivre Piquant, one of my favorite L’Artisan scents, but jalapenos have a sunny snap that is totally missing in the cool blonde aura of PPiquant. Is there a jalapeno scent in a perfume? I no longer care. I planted 10 jalapeno plants (plus 3 serrano and 4 Thai)… and it’s harvest time! I have chopped and frozen 22 quart-bags of peppers and will probably have a few more bags before the season is out. My eyes are sore and my nose is tingly…I could do without smelling peppers for awhile…
except! It’s Hatch Chile Season!!!
I live in Illinois. 1,428 miles from Hatch, New Mexico. But I love those chiles like I love emerald-cut diamonds. Raw, they’re like any other mild chile. Roasted, they are the stuff of gods! I have no idea why but one of the Krogers – in Peoria, of all places – had a huge Hatch Chile Event last weekend. I ’bout lost mah mind! Folks who live in the Southwest are sick to death of ’em – they’re everywhere! Up here, it’s like a Sasquatch sighting. I sent some to deserving and wonderful friends and am roasting the rest. Such a gorgeous smell – oooh, and Hatch chiles lend such depth to salsa.
Yes. Salsa. Another thing I love. But I’m sick to death of making it. And I’m really sick of smelling like it. I did can, my darlings. I did! Nothing exploded, nobody died. The jars all sealed, with that reassuring little ‘thwunk’ sound. I’m still scared. Come November….if I’m not Botulism Betty we’ll know I did it right. Aren’t they purty? 28 jars. I don’t need to see another Roma tomato for awhile but still they march onward, into my kitchen. A couple of the jars are underfilled so we’ll probably pop those open soonest. Yeah, I’m scared. If they’re not full to the brim, but they did the ‘thwunk’, I should be okay, right? Right? I did three batches. They’re all good, tastewise…but the last one, with the roasted Hatch chiles? OMG! But! Did I mention I’m sick of smelling like Hatch chiles? Smoky, peppery, charcoal-y/woody, fiery (fire-y?)….it permeates the skin. For a few days. Roastin’. Sweatin’. Peelin’. Choppin’. Baggin’. Freezin’….is it any wonder I’m aching for a mani/pedi, a pair of Manolos and a double martini at the Everest Room?
Nobody seems to want a perfume that smells like roasted Hatch chiles. Not even you, March. But I do wish there was a way to bottle the smell that explodes in your mouth when you bite into a sun-warmed, ripe yellow tomato. I know it’s a cliche but they smell and taste like sunshine. They taste and smell and taste and feel and smell like Everything Good in the World. On days when I’m feeling ol’ Jaws up there I go out to the vegetable garden at high noon and pick a few of the little yellow teardrop tomatoes. Pop one…and for a few minutes all is well with my soul. Is that why we love perfume so? Because it has the power to make us skritchyscratchy..or at peace..or just plain ol’ happy?
Summer garden will soon make way for fall planting (new broccoli, baby lettuces that I’ve grown from seed, garlic for next year. The next crop of potatoes) …Autumn garden smells are different. So much of the focus is below ground. And impending coolness…..I can wear scent in the garden in autumn. Scents like vintage Ubar, with that tangy hint of cinnamon …….but we’re a ways from that, yet. Except…these past two weeks have seen the influx of hummingbirds from the North, gassing up for the long trip South. I’m on a trapline so every year, around this time, they rest on my tomato cages and smoke bushes and argue over the feeders…..I wonder what they smell like, the ferocious little weirdos.
The masses of hummingbirds always fills me with melancholy – in a few short weeks it’ll be another spin around the sun before I see them again. But I don’t want to leave you with Sadface. So instead, I will ask the question my bffff asked me:
If all hummingbirds eat is nectar and sugar….do they poop divinity?
I’m here all week, folks! Tip your waitress. Then I’m off to Britt, IA, to get sneezed on by my Gentle Giants. I’m wearing Cartier Les Heures Fougueuse this year. I think they’ll like it. Can’t be any worse than when I wore contemporary Mitsouko!