Hey, everybody – greetings from Santa Fe, New Mexico! Patty, Anita and I are having a lovely time in the City Different, smack dab in the Land of Enchantment. I lived here back in the day, and visiting fills me with joy.
New Mexico smells like … well, like New Mexico, and nowhere else. It’s a dry, pungent smell, with notes of creosote, resinous evergreen, sage and warm earth. New Mexico really is like visiting a different country, and I encourage anyone who has an opportunity to make the trip. It’s high desert in the northern part of the state, so it’s not Phoenix – there are four seasons, and Santa Fe is literally at the bottom of a ski basin (no, I am not joking.) Up the road, Taos has world-class skiing. We’re staying in a casita right off Canyon Road that could not be more charming. That’s the living room (above) and the courtyard (below).
We are hitting it hard (the green chile! the spa!), but let’s talk about my scented delights: we were at a tourist trap right off the Plaza when one of my wishes came true – they had several bottles of Clear Light cedar spray sitting on a shelf. Clear Light went out of business this spring after 45 years, and by the time I found out, all their stock was gone – even from Amazon and eBay. Ten Thousand Waves and other places used to stock it, and to me it was and is the scent of New Mexico, to be sprayed liberally on your linens, couch, curtains, clothes, hair, etc. (they also have fabulous cedar needle sachets). I learned a few days ago that they’ve been bought and are planning to reopen soon (yay!), but in the meantime the three of us whooped and grabbed every bottle in that shop, to the confusion of the young man at the counter.
On Saturday we went to the excellent farmers’ market, where (in addition to produce and prepared foods) they sell crafty yarn and body products. Allow me to introduce you to Second Bloom Farm if you can’t make the trip in person and want a sniff of New Mexico. Their moisturizing lotion bar in Pinon is pretty much New Mexico in a tin. Also let me recommend Cowboy, an outdoorsy scent that smells (to me) like leather, incense and cedarwood.
Anita’s said to me that she now understands what I’m babbling about when I wax poetic about the way this area smells. Finally, a note on green chile — for those of you near Trader Joe’s, their Hatch Valley Salsa is fantastic on your eggs, burger, chicken fajitas, etc., use it that way, like a sauce. If you want to try making your own green chile sauce, Bueno sells frozen tubs of Hatch green and other life-changing necessities like tamales and posole at random grocery stores around the country. You’re welcome.