I’m not entirely sure when I first knew for sure that I was deathly, panic-inducing afraid of edges. Could have been when I was about 7 and my indulgent brothers and sister snuck off the top of the chicken house while I was still gazing around, taking the ladder with them and left me there. Or it could have been when I was about 12 and was trying to conquer my fear by climbing up the ladder bolted to side of the large corn bin. I was about 20 feet in the air when my brother saw me, ran over and came up behind me on the ladder, forcing me to keep climbing. I didn’t. I dissolved into choking, screaming sobs .
Fear of edges is not a fear of heights. I don’t mind being up high at all. Planes, elevators, skyscrapers, none of those bother me. It is standing at the edge and being confronted with an unreasonable belief that I am going to tip over and something horrible will happen, the unknown something, or that I will be left on that edge forever, unable to move, paralyzed for eternity.
The fear that rules your head is the one that will rule your life and heart. My fear of edges extends to my whole life. There is that moment when life shifts, and I am on an edge – a place where I cannot see the bottom or even if it has a bottom. There is that unreasonable belief that the ground is shaky, uncertain. I know it when I get there – there is no control over a situation or person, my heart starts to race, breathing speeds up, I tense up all over, start overanalyzing everything, obsessing about details, the edge itself consumes me, or at least the idea of that scary, scary edge.
Edges and I are old and bitter friends.
Someone asked me recently if yoga had influenced some of my views on life. It definitely has. It taught me to breathe into those edges, the places that scare me. Sometimes those edges are things that happen to me or others, sometimes those edges are my own reactions – hurt, anger – that I don’t like, but I so much want that edge to go away, I pretend everything is okay just so it will disappear.
Edges never disappear, and I’ve learned to carefully creep out on my hands and knees, sometimes crawling or scooting until I can sit out there on the ledge and swing my feet over, peek over that edge just a little bit, just breathing until my heart stops racing, where I accept any pain or anxiety I feel, just breathing until I can live in complete uncertainty with the fear, but also with joy. Joy that I don’t know what will happen next, and that that is a great thing because life should be a surprise. Life has taught me if I’m in a place where my life is certain and reliable, I am almost always bored out of my mind. Certainty is not happiness, and uncertainty is not bad. For me, reversing the two works better.
Some perfumes are all edge and make me feel really uncomfortable – they seem foreign and strange, not particularly pleasant, soothing or beautiful exactly. They are other, not me, but keep drawing me in closer because they surprise me.
Soivohle Oudh Laquer is an edge. From the notes on Liz’s website:
“ sensual journey featuring a complex blend of agarwood oils, sink wood tincture and a stellar cast of supporting players. In cooking we temper the chocolate, with Oudh Lacquer we are using chocolate to temper the Oud. The scent opens with a bright balance of the Oud paired with Linden Blossom Absolute, Cepes, Anise. Orange, and Combuva Petigrain followed by a warm floral heart of Absolutes including, Orange Blossom, Rose, Aglaia, Champaca and Iris (orris butter) along with spice notes of Cinnamon and Clove. The scent is grounded in a complex pairing of notes including Cocoa Absolute, Honey, Woods, Tolu, Styrax (ambar), Patchouli, Benzoin, Tonka,Vanilla and Angelica Root Oil.”
Exactly. This goes on so sharp and clear about what it is, with an earthy quality, surrounded by leather, and then just when you are standing on the edge looking over, trying to calm your breathing with this racy, full-throated scent, you get chocolate, florals, spices and, can it be? Comfort. Aoud can be difficult for me, it’s just strong and pungent and takes no prisoners, so the way a perfumer handles it makes the difference on whether I love it or hate it. Liz does a beautiful job of not sacrificing what is the essence of oud, but rendering it warmer, wearable, not really cuddly, but approachable enough to let you at least think cuddly. If you are an oud fan, you do need to, at a minimum, try this.
Nathan has a review of Oudh Lacquer up. Oudh Lacquer is available on her website, the link is above.
Winners of the VCA Collection Extraordinaire samples are: Fernando, Cynthia W and hongkongmom.
Winners of the Fourreau Noir sample: Lara and RachelG.
Just click on the Contact Us over on the left, remind me what you won, and send me your address, and I’ll get your loot out to you!
Also, I’m so not here this week, I’m somewhere else, so not interactive comments, but feel free to chat amongst yourselves!