My body’s been telling me I’m stressed for oh, I don’t know, the past two years or so. I’m not a good listener. Pneumonia and pleurisy – sorry, what was that? Repeated chest infections – did someone say something? Alopecia in my beard zone – wha? whe? when? Mono followed by a post-viral tail that doesn’t seem to have an end – what the HELL are you going on about?
I’m not listing these things to get you to feel sorry for me (that’s just an added bonus) but to make a simple point – sometimes, even when part of us is shouting loudly, we can’t tune into what the message is until it sends it in a familiar code. And that code, for me, is lists.
I know, as soon as I start producing ‘to do’ lists, something’s going wrong with me. You see, I’m not really a lister. I’m more of a ‘hold it in your head’ type, at least with the dreary stuff. Call me mister Spontaneity, or call me mister Irritating, depending on your modus operandi. I can list perfumes, plants, seeds quite happily – that’s pleasure listing. But lists based on the dreary, the everyday, the quotidian stuff of life – generally, I’d rather not. And if I do, I’m not acting to type; I’m responding to a version of myself that only appears when I’m not coping. And sometimes, we all don’t cope as well as we could.
There’s a longer story to all this, but hell I’M STRESSED. YOU EXPECT ME TO FREAKING WRITE ABOT IT IN DETAIL NOW? YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER THINK COMING! I’ll shift to perfume instead.
One scent that any avid reader of this blog’ll know I’ve been after for some time, that’s topped my pleasure list, is the Different Company’s Sel de Vétiver. I finally got round to buying a bottle. I love everything about it. Normally, I’m not one to opine about bottle design, but there’s a simple beauty to the heft and shape of this one – it’s too heavy in the hand for some, but I find its very squareness and weight comforting. It’s substantial to hold – you know you’ve got something of value (either that or a brilliant cudgel). And the screw cap is a beautiful touch – gets the industrial-cum-ziggurat look perfectly right. L’Artisan Parfumeur could learn a lesson or two – their new cap makes their bottles top-heavy and ungainly. The Different Company’s one is in perfect proportion to its parts.
But, even so, without something of worth in it, a bottle holds no meaning for me – I’m not a glass collector. Sel de Vétiver is scented perfection – at least for spring and summer. Vetiver, patchouli, cardamom, grapefruit are the dominant notes. Some of you I guess will hate this with real passion – there’s a touch of hydrogen peroxide to the top notes that could make you feel like you’re in a bad hair salon. But, to me, it’s beautiful. I love how the grapefruit and cardamom work together – all of that astringent quality of the grapefruit with none of the potential body odour badness, and a hint of spice turned way, way down. It’s a dry, slightly acidic beachside cocktail – a version of a Margarita at the best resort you’ve ever been to. It takes me away from that quotidian crap. Hell, it may even restore my health.
So, if I start listing today, I’m going to spray me some and travel away from house sale shenanigans, workday woes, health irritations and the thousand other bits of crap of which life is made, to the land of the sublime.
If you’d like a little dib-dab of this beauty to try (if you’ve been kuh-razy enough not to do so yet – it’s been out almost a year), let me know in the usual way. And the ‘Doris Day award’ (i.e. the perfume samples I reviewed last time round) goes to Theresa. Check your mail, hon!
Thanks to luckyscent.com for the photo.