These past 6 weeks have been interesting for me – I’ve been simultaneously doing a lot of Musette’s Musings while also trying to NOT get too much into my own head (more on that in a minute). As we slowly lurch back to business-as-usual, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share with you some of the things that have been on my skittery little mind.
- Timing is everything – or is it? I have given a bit of thought to the timing of the pandemic, weather-wise. So much was made of food insecurity, early on, and this is the perfect time of year to assuage that, especially if, like me, you are used to growing so much of your own food. But Social Media (especially if you’re on the gardening boards) has taken it to PANIC!!! level, which sucked nearly all the joy out of the process. I actually had to stop! and take a look at what I was doing – why on earth would one person (who lives in an area where everyone already has a garden) grow 12 tomato plants? Answer: I wouldn’t. So I didn’t. But it was a close call. Once I calmed down and accepted that 12 tomato plants wouldn’t make me and The Girl one nanobit safer, I went back to enjoying the gardening process. I still have 40 collard plants, though – but I would have 40 collard plants, no matter what – I eat them 5x week and they freeze like a dream. But the question still sticks in my mind’s craw – how much more terrifying would this be if it were, say, January? For me, I think the answer is: Way. More. Terrifying. At least for now, I can imagine I have a little bit of control over some aspect of this madness, even if it’s only the aspect of a tomato.
- Gratitude. I’m a big one for Gratitude because I have been brought those lessons on way too many occasions – but it’s interesting that so often it’s weird little things that spark the biggest moments of gratitude. Yesterday, I spent the morning in the garden, working like a fiend, then the storms came. In between the storms, I took The Girl for a quickie and as the next wave of storms neared and we headed for home I realized a profound sense of gratitude that I had a home to go to. Nothing like a heavy thunderstorm to make you grateful for a roof over your head.
- Naps. Once home, I gave in to my exhaustion, took a shower, then a nap. I rarely nap, which is a weird, control-freak/worker bee aspect of my being (see #4) but there ya go. But it was a rainy, post-garden holiday afternoon, and the sweetness of giving in… just giving. in. to that descent into sleep……. knowing there was no reason NOT to. Omgosh. The sensation of a safe surrender…. it is very.. hedonistic. Which leads us to…
- Hedonism. Hedonism gets a bad rap, being associated with the excesses of Certain Roman Emperors and that 80s resort in Jamaica – and when I took a ‘are you a hedonist?’ quiz I failed because I like to get up early (and, apparently, Certain Roman Emperors didn’t)… but the definition of hedonism is “devotion to pleasure as a way of life’. … and I ask you, isn’t that pretty much everybody? Even masochists derive pleasure from pain (not my thang but do you, darlin’ … do you). That nap? Pure hedonism. The smell of my Spring garden at 5am? Omg. Eleventy billion on the Hedonism Scale. I wonder if those Emperors ruined the definition, what with their Vomitoriums and everything. I may have failed the test because I’m allergic to oysters but I posit that some of the simplest things (drifting off to sleep during a rainstorm, the smell of warm dog fur) are some of the most hedonistic things on this earth, No Vomitorium Required.
- Early Spring Scents. This is a weird weather time, where it’ll swing from 45F to 85F in 4 hours – but even with those swings, it’s still got that Spring feel to the air (yes, even at 85F), vegetal, earthy and damp. It’s the perfect time for some really ephemeral scents that can only present themselves in early Spring. You’ll scoff at some of them but (again) I posit: these are perfect for this time of year precisely because they are so
lightweightephemeral – and in spite of being a rather pragmatic, solid gal, I do love me some ephemerals.
Romeo Gigli. A forgotten treasure, absolutely adored by my ex-DH because of its ephemeral beauty. The list of notes goes on and on and on .. but all I ever smelled was galbanum (not listed) and thin white flowers. I wore the snakes out of this back in the waning 80s (it was intro’d in 1989, with the saucer bottle and the galaxy top). And…. now that I think of it, this might’ve been my wedding day scent.
Similar in tone but not quite as interesting: Caron’s Montaigne. Fragrantica has a whole slew of notes (1987 and 2016 note lists seem nearly indistinguishable) jasmine, coriander, bitter orange, tangerine, black currant (which translates to a weak galbanum to my nose) and some sandalwood – this could only be worn on a cool day in Spring (ymmv) – it smells like my garden smells right now – a lot of … garden. Despite the ‘meh’ tone of this weird-assed review, I actually like it. It has that watery, Gymnopedies feel to it that is always to intriguing to me.
Soivohle Violets & Rainwater – I think I may be brokenhearted, as it appears Liz Zorn has removed it from her lineup. But! I think I could be a Vulcan and live to 212 and I could still tell you about this scent. Everything about it is the essence of the emotion of Spring, from the first joy of its arrival, to the melancholy of knowing it’s both elusive and illusive..and then joy in the moment that you can only experience, not hold. It’s also pragmatic – when I first smelled it, I was taken back to a florist’s shop on 56th Street in Manhattan, years ago – a squall had gone through the neighborhood and wind gusts had knocked over a couple of pots. My heart tore at the sight of these overturned pots … and I started waxing lyrical on the mutability of Life… and then reason stepped in and said ‘if you just pick the damb pot up, the flowers will be fine and you can get on with your day’. So I did. And that, my darlings, is a true story and is also the backbone of Liz’s glorious composition. Life is beautiful, Life is uncertain, acknowledge it, pick the pot up and get on with it.
Amouage Lyric. Now. Calling Lyric ‘ephemeral’ is a bit like calling Godzilla ‘kinda tall’. But bear with me. Despite its elegant, complex, heavy-hitter nature , there is a waxy, camellia-like undertone that gives it a chiaroscuro feel, with the rosy notes both warmly rounded, yet greyed out and lifted behind fast-moving clouds. I love the living daylights out of Lyric, because it’s the perfect embodiment of a rugosa rose on a damp, cloudy day when the wind is whipping the blossoms about and the scent is being tossed upon the breeze… and is gone… and even though it’s still there (have you ever tested the longevity of Lyric??? Trust me, it’s still there)… it’s a rose-that-is-not-a-rose, yet the most fabulous rose imaginable …. and impossible to pin down. Utter Perfection.
So. that’s it for my musings. I’ve actually got to WORK! I’m off to try to dismantle and rebuild a quote for some stuff I can’t even begin to figure out. What’s going on with you guys?