Fair warning, Posse faithful, you’re stuck with me today and Monday. The lovely and talented Musette is away on business and I will be pinch hitting. Talk amongst yourselves.
A few weeks ago, Amanda Feeley, the perfumer behind Esscentual Alchemy botanical perfumes, was kind enough to send me some samples of her scents. She had read the post I wrote about loving vanilla and citrus notes, and contacted me. She even created a scent in my honour.
I know many of us are iffy when it comes to natural perfumes. They’re different than what we’re used to smelling, and they can be prohibitively expensive for not very much. But, when you think about it, there really is something quite special about them. First, they’re not mass produced. Second, they have a distinctive “scent” due to their formulation and ingredients. But, when they’re done right, they’re inspirational.
Amanda’s scents inspired me right out of their vials. Some of the samples she sent me reminded me of scents I wore when I was younger (hence the moldy old image), and they instantly brought a smile to my face. When a perfumer gets it right, the scents evoke images, memories, feelings, times, places…things that can be recaptured. We’re not supposed to live in the past; we’re supposed to keep plodding forward. Every now and again it’s nice to rekindle memories, especially the good ones.
The picture above is of me sitting at the “traffic” desk of my old college radio station. “Traffic” is the term used for scheduling the on-air commercials. Since we were a college station, we didn’t run any. Instead, we had public service announcements (PSAs). Hey – someone had to do it. The memories I took away from this time are some of the best of my life. And Amanda’s selection of scents immediately reminded me of this time. Anyone who is familiar with Brooklyn, NY knows that Kingsborough Community College sits at the southeastern tip of the borough, not far from Coney Island. Part of the campus is actually on the beach. For some reason, some of the scents Amanda sent me took me right back there. Thank you, Amanda.
Here’s a smattering. I’ll be doing Part 2 on Monday.
Vanilla Citron: Black tea, vanilla, mimosa and citrus. The tea note makes this one really special. It’s like sticking your nose into a tall, frosty glass of iced tea with lemon and lots of sugar. Just the way I like it. However, it’s not too sweet; it’s tart and tangy with just enough vanilla lurking in the background. Perfection.
Queen of Punk: Civet, tobacco, patchouli (not too much!), amber, cognac, rose, coffee, linden blossom, bitter orange, black pepper and mimosa. When we couldn’t get the music we needed from the record companies, a bunch of us (or just me) would hop on the D train at Sheepshead Bay station to go down to Tower Records in Greenwich Village. I always loved to stop in at this record store on West 4th Street called, “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll”. Of course, it’s no longer there, but the smell of this brought me right back to it. It was on the second floor and it smelled of musty used records, tobacco and coffee. If my father only knew how much money I spent in that place. Amanda says this is her dedication to the girl punk bands. This is spot-on early 80s Greenwich Village.
Blue Lemonade: Patchouli, vetiver, saffron, tuberose, osmanthus, ylang ylang, lemongrass, lime, tangerine, blue chamomile. The earthiness of the patchouli is tempered by the tang of citrus and lemongrass, making it smell like wet earth and grass after a summer thunderstorm. A slight hint of salt from the vetiver brings me back to the strip of beach at K.C.C.
Lime in the Coconut: Key lime hydrosol, toasted coconut tincture, lime. This one made me laugh out loud. It simultaneously reminds me of all the gin and tonics I drank before I was legal, and coconut ices from Ices Queen on Utica Avenue. Youth converging with adulthood; and Harry Nilsson.
I’m going to stop here today. I’ll save Amanda’s more “grown-up” scents for Monday. Have a great weekend!