You know I love writing to you, darlings. And, most days, I’m not bad at it. But sometimes….sometimes….well, you know…..sometimes it’s better to just step back a pace and let a story tell itself, just the way it happened. I’mo let that story tell itself here, lifting conversation whole-hog from emails sent to me. I hope you enjoy it.
From Amanda Feeley, perfumer and owner at Esscentual Alchemy, asking me if I’d be interested in sniffing her newest creation, Dreams of Smoke:
We went back and forth, and also took several trials, but the final version, is I think some of my best work so far 🙂
Note from Musette: You got that right, Amanda. It’s freaking STUNNING!
Here is Nava’s copy for the scent – btw for those of you new(er) to the Posse, Nava wrote some gorgeous, evocative posts for us – I still remember her first post, about collecting – and the scarves…..hauntingly lovely prose. Dreams take you anywhere you want to go. The images of those dreams are fleeting, but they linger in the mind. We remember what we see, what we hear, what we taste, and what we smell. The senses ensure that the memories linger forever, but when the scent reappears, the experiences come rushing back as if we are still living them.
The lingering smell of smoke can be comforting. Whether it comes from a fireplace, a camp fire, or the smoky flavors of some of our favorite foods, smoke elicits a powerful reaction. The unique smokiness of Lapsang Souchong tea evokes comfort, along with soothing memories of the place where I drank it: the sitting room of the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, on a cold, rainy November day. Warm tendrils of smoke rose from my porcelain cup, complimented by a splash of cream and a bit of sugar. Every time I drink a cup of Lapsang Souchong, I am transported across the Atlantic, to a room with a roaring fire, a floral chintz sofa, and exquisite dark wood paneling that made me feel warm and safe.
Dreams of Smoke recaptures those memories. Lapsang Souchong is entwined with orange blossom, Rose de Mai, spices, Madagascan vanilla, sandalwood, beeswax and honey. Inhaling the tendrils of smoke brings me back to those chilly days, warming my heart and recreating my dreams. Florals enhance the experience, and the creamy undertones of vanilla and honey bring a smile to my face. Long after I take the last sip from my cup, the lingering scent makes me smile, because the memories are always with me.
Words by: Nava Brahe
Notes: Lopsang Souchong, Spice Accord, Rose de Mai, Orange Blossom, Vanilla Accord, Sandalwood accord, Beeswax, Honey
Then they got to talking about cancer. Backstory on Amanda. And Cancer:
After Kevin got well, I made a promise, that whenever I could I would pay forward all of the kindnesses that people had shown our family while he was sick. They brought meals, watched the 3 older children, and had a huge fundraiser for us. Without the support of family, friends, the UU, and homeschool communities, we really couldn’t have gotten through that time. I told Nava tonight on the phone, that it would be a gift to do this for her. Especially since I know what it’s like to be self-employed and dealing with cancer.
I know there’s times during chemo where you don’t feel like or really can’t physically do anything, and being self-employed makes it harder to feel like you can relax and take care of yourself. Plus cancer is fucking expensive.
Also I spoke with Nava, and she is ok with me donating part of the sales to her personally. If you don’t mind, please mention that I will be donating 40% of each sale of this fragrance to her.
From Musette: I love the practicality of this. I regularly contribute to Modest Needs (Thanks, Patty, for introducing me to that wonderful, logistically-practical charity) because while I guess there is real good that comes from contributing to major charities I ‘know’ there is direct good that comes from helping individuals get through rough times (for an explanation, please click on the MNF link – you’ll see what I’m yammering on about). I’ve been extremely fortunate to not have to deal with cancer – but I’ve been in some dire financials a time or two – and lemmetellya – having someone help you keep the lights on or get a new battery for your car so you can continue to get to work…well, it can make an immediate, positive impact on someone’s life. And what Amanda said about being able to relax and take care of yourself is equally important, especially in times of extreme stress – one doesn’t always think about that – but sometimes….sometimes…just being able to splurge on a manicure (yes!) or going out for a nice lunch instead of making the 1,000th baloney sandwich…it gives you the strength to remember that Life doesn’t always have to be a slog – and better times can be ahead.
And I’m going to do my little bit to pay it forward. Drop Amanda, Kevin or Nava (or all three!) a howdy/wish/whatever and I’ll put you in the Bruno Memorial random.org spin for a sample of this gorgeous scent. Wishing you all health and happiness! xoxoxo