It’s the kind of weather I wait all year for – chilly nights, crisp sunny days. This past weekend was the summer-to-winter clothes rotation, since I don’t have enough space in my wee bedroom for both. Into the box go the sundresses, linen skirts, tees; out come the wool sweaters, flannel pajamas, heavy denim. I love winter clothes. Our summers are hot and humid and, really, for me it’s about being reasonably presentable while avoiding sunburn and heatstroke. Winter ushers in my favorite boots, my loveliest scarves, my heaviest perfumes.
Right this second the kitchen smells like baked potatoes and cinnamon rolls (don’t judge.) I’m curled up in bed on my freshly laundered flannel sheets with my laptop, reeking of Teo Cabanel’s divine Alahine, with background notes of warm radiator (mine), damp dog (also mine), and black tea. Honestly, it couldn’t get any better.
Do you wander into other peoples’ houses and marvel at the smells? I know I do. I love to breathe in, try to guess the source. Sometimes it’s mostly food; food smells like love to me. Some houses smell like dusty books, or church sanctuaries, and those are delights. Even scents that by most measures are not “delightful” will register as pleasant if they’re associated with a person or event you’re fond of – the smell of horses, or dogs, or compost. I follow my nose, selfishly taking in all of these experiences. The musty-incense smell of the antique store. The wet-wool fug of the dog groomer’s. The hay in the pumpkin patch. The hot attic, the cold basement, the gasoline in our wood garage. The exotic smell of other cities. The comforting smell of your own. How bereft I would be if I were to wake up one day having lost my sense of smell.
Someday I’m going to own one of those Fornasetti candles. I’ve been coveting them for years, just for the scent (I’m talking about the “original” Otto scent), although the containers are lovely as well, but no way am I going to spend $175 on a candle. Or, actually, huh, it comes in a room spray, which is $135 and … that I’d consider buying. I dug around and found the notes: top: thyme, lavender; middle: orris, cedarwood; base: tolu balsam, incense, birch, labdanum. Man, no wonder I love that thing. It’s somewhere between a church and a forest, with a hint of cozy library. (Edited to add: TT points out in comments that the room spray refill can be gotten from Nordstrom for $75, which is basically “Free” in perfume terms! Thanks TT!)
Is there a place you love to go, just to breathe in the scent? What smells like “home” to you?