The problem with staying in a hotel is they want you to leave the room so they can clean it. I took my early morning walk on the beach, but now it´s noon and hotter than hell, and I´m too enervated to deal. The Big Cheese is in Phnom Penh, slaying his own dragons, and here in paradise we´ve devolved into every parental touristic joke – kids watching Die Hard and Napoleon Dynamite on local cable, or the 60-baht bootleg DVDs they sell in the streets, ordering hamburgers from room service and falling asleep by the pool.
I read this book before I left, 12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time, about a nice New York (liberal intellectual) guy and his wife who decide to unplug their three kids for the summer and take them on a slumming-through-India-Asia, etc. tour. Their kids, predictably, think most of their vacation sucks. It´s a hilarious and sad book in many ways – the hapless, well-meaning dad flummoxed by various failures and bad decisions. For instance, Tuol Sleng, the infamous Cambodian school-turned-prison, turns out to be a real bummer. Throughout the book the kids are jonesing for email and a place they don´t have to brush their teeth with orange soda. Our trip is different from theirs in several key ways – for starters, we´re hardly slumming it – but much of the journey still resonates. I bring them to the Land of the Emerald Buddha and they turn their faces toward the familiar – the glow of television, the nepenthe of Sprite. They think Thai food is disgusting beyond words.
Today I´m wearing Laura Tonatto´s Safram. I´m not loving it. I love a note of saffron, although I suppose it can wear out its welcome, and maybe it has. Maybe it´s just too hot to appreciate anything that doesn´t smell like lime ice. Maybe that faint nausea I´m feeling isn´t ennui. I´ve been hitting the local cuisine reasonably hard (we jokingly refer to all the food stalls, collectively, as Scary Noodle) and maybe last night´s $2 dinner wasn´t as fresh as it could have been. Maybe I need to lay off the mango before I turn into one.
From culinarycafe.com: “Saffron is the stigma of Crocus sativus, a flowering plant in the crocus family. Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, is costly because more than 225,000 stigmas must be hand picked to produce one pound.”
Safram is a linear scent on me. It´s not a foody smell. I can´t find a list of notes, but I swear I remember this as having some sort of spice note, pepper and more herbs, maybe, but instead I´m getting a definite hit of vanilla, like saffron ice cream, and it´s not making me happy. It´s also got a tiny hippie-oil vibe I don´t care for, that murky, mushroomy co-op smell that´s fine in a $8 hippie-oil, but not at the prices the LTs go for. I wish I´d brought along my L´Artisan Safran Troublant for comparison, which I think must be drier than this, but maybe that´s because I was layering it with one of the other Epices in the set, the Poivre? I wonder if that set is still available… yep, there it is on Luckyscent, a bargain at $75. Questions, questions. Like, how can Troublant have rose in it? I´m not remembering rose. Dang, it´s hard being away from the perfume mother ship.
You all have your bottles close at hand. Is there a singular smell – like saffron – that you love as a dominant note or soliflore in one fragrance, and inexplicably dislike in another seemingly similar fragrance? Say that last sentence three times fast.
image, saffron pistils: profumo.it