Feed your head?

I love the story behind Grace Slick’s writing of the song White Rabbit. It’s a combo of deep psychedelia, intellectual engagement and unfettered creativity. Maybe have a watch of the Jefferson Airplane video at Woodstock to see what I mean.

I’m in a weird headspace after last week’s ‘significant’ birthday. Seriously, I’m really starting to feel untethered. Not in a bad way but certainly a sort of lack of not control but restraint seems to have set in. I discussed this with my yoga teach/masseuse when I saw her for myofascial release. She expressed amusement but not surprise, like she completely ‘got’ the idea. Which made me feel that some how I’d been missing something for years – like I needed to be untethered?

How’s this being expressed? Well, I’ve stopped worrying (for the moment?) if my guy doesn’t send work. I just do other things I’d really prefer to be doing anyway. I keep saying to myself that 1) it is important I continue to ‘work’ because I’m paying into National Insurance (like Social Security but broader) and I need to do that for another six years to reach 30 years for my state pension; and 2) I actually (having ditched the evil client at the end of last year) find the work I do interesting and engaging. But I just seem to have reached some sort of strange point of … I’m not sure how to describe it … wanting to drift?

Anyway, right now, I spend energy thinking about what I want to do when we’re in London in late March (“Is there an exhibition I want to see? Which shops might it be fun to nose through? Which exciting restaurants are calling… Do I simply want to wander aimlessly around central London?).

I trawl through the net looking for ‘things’ that look ‘interesting’. I search for Italian delis that are reasonably close to where we’ll be staying so I can bring cannoli back to this back of beyond place I live. I cannot tell you how much I hanker after cannoli … and smoked mozzarella … I have no desire to move but sometimes there are simply things I really want that I can’t have because of where I live.

Within this is a whole candle thing that is a bit out there. To the point where I emailed an online retailer asking for recommendations specifically for the blackest black tea scent they stock (no citrus, no bergamot) and things that smell of baking (this last one is related to no longer being able to get ahold of the Diptyque Biscuit candle, which I’ve become obsessed by).

All this sent me down the rabbit hole of candles I want but are no longer available.

I’m thinking of the long gone Annick Goutal Le Sac de Ma Mere smelling of a high-end leather handbag, cosmetics, perfume and cigarettes (this sent me thinking about handbags as well – love me a good handbag). Apparently, this disappeared when AG was purchased by a bigger, less idiosyncratic company. Who in their right mind would discontinue this sort of candle? I mean everyone and their sister does a citrus, a woodsmoke, a rose, etc, etc.

I’m thinking of Dans l’Atelier de Cezanne with its linseed, paint, turps fragrance.

I have an informal list full of things to be sniffed if I’m in the right place, including the Astier de Villatte Atelier de Balthus candle (maybe like the Cezanne but 5x as expensive) and the Byredo Chai candle (again, stupid money). I have this idea Liberty in London stocks both so maybe that’s a necessary stop in March (though when I went to Liberty in September all I wanted to do was leave – just sensory overload; it was really hot during that visit — maybe I’ll feel stronger this time? Or maybe that has to do with not being used to big city things any more… ).

I do expend this type of energy regarding perfumes sometimes, but the candle thing has been stronger off and on for the past couple of years. Is that related to Covid and enforced home-ness? Plus, I seem to be able to ‘find’ most of the perfume things I want even if I choose not to buy them (I had a back and forth with a friend who has a house in France about having a couple of the small-sized Tauer Sundowners sent to her and she could bring them to this country).

So, yeah, it’s all a bit of a not-very-worrying, abstracted tizz here with no end in sight… Not unpleasant at all but a bit like being Alice at the tea party.

  • Portia says:

    Hi Cinnamon,
    London is so chock full of everything it’s always hard to pinpoint what to do. Do you have friends there? I always try to organise meet ups and wherever they land me I explore nearby afterwards.
    Ai’ve always done High Tea at Fortnum & Mason then pop across to the Art Academia or whatever it’s called. Still haven’t been to all the rooms at the V&A, the British Museum, Art or Portrait Gallery though I do try to see some every visit. British Museum and a walk down Oxford St to Marble Arch is a lovely day out.
    SO MUCH!!
    I bloody miss London.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      I do have friends in London, but I’m hoping to see them in the late spring or summer during next visit. Bar the appointment, this is meant to be a very ‘vague’ trip, with a lot of wandering and eating. A small amount of shopping maybe. I had looked at seeing the new version of Cabaret, but the tickets are stupid money. Maybe breakfast at the Wolseley one morning.

  • Musette says:

    this is a tough time for a lot of us – I like Tom’s idea of drifting when in London. Yeah, do The Important Things – but let time and the city guide you.

    I’m in a bit of work drift right now – and it’s just FOINE. It won’t be like this forever (fingers crossed) but right now… eh.


    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, that: time and city doing the guiding. And definitely ‘life drifting’ at moment. I hope the work sitch turns out the way you want and need.

  • Tom says:

    Maybe you just need to drift at the moment. Maybe when you go to London you should drift there- after all who knows what’ll be happening. Personally I like the idea of just drifting around London, preferably from Cannoli to Cannoli (I am blessed/cursed with a market on the corner that has them all the time and which I may get get some for “lunch” from.)

    I’m told that they aren’t that hard to make if you have the equipment, but I live on a fault line and I think it’s better all around if I do not explore that.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! You lunatic! You know it’s easy as pie. Or cannoli! 😉 xoxox

    • cinnamon says:

      Drift … yes, that could be it.

      Cannoli … when I lived in Brooklyn they were a regular thing, as were great delis, etc. No, I don’t really want to try making them. You can get kits online but what I want is a good Italian deli to shop in with a small area set aside for sitting vaguely over a pastry and drink.

  • March says:

    This is such a drifting time … it seems like you’ve thought it through. I told a friend that I feel like I’m waiting for something and I just don’t know what yet, and I’m okay with that. I smelled a candle downtown recently that smells exactly like green chile peppers roasting, and I’d have bought it except my house smells like that half the time anyway!

    • cinnamon says:

      Totally get the feeling of waiting for something. I wonder if part of that is waiting for warmer weather and more things growing. It’s not been an easy autumn into winter. And looking here like March will come in lion-like, but we’ll see.

  • Caroline says:

    I like carriere freres black tea candle. I’m curious what you think.

    • cinnamon says:

      Hmmm, will look the brand up. I want a really tea-y fragrance. The Diptyque I have is a little too bergamot and soap, not enough acrid tea.

  • carole says:

    I think the client you had made more of an impression on you than you realized, and i bet this bit of wandering is your way of getting a reset. That’s not a great explanation and it’s really bad use of the english language-hopefully you get my drift 🙂

    And yes-the old AG candles were something else. The cedar was divine. The Sac de ma Mere was amazing. I currently have the L’artisan 60 hour candle that corresponds to the Tea scent-but I don’t know if it’s a deep enough scent for you. I wonder if you could somehow add essential oils to a candle to get the effect you’re looking for.

    I can’t wait to hear about your trip to London. I hope you enjoy all of it, even the planning.

    Take care,


    • cinnamon says:

      I think you are totally right about the evil client having a huge impact. I’m surprised now at how freeing it was to ditch them.

      My tea candle research is ongoing. I’ve got something coming from Geodesis, a brand I had bought from years ago and forgotten about (they make a nice fig candle). So, we’ll see.

      I do wish I had a Sac de ma Mere. It just sounds so good.

  • Devon Rubin says:

    Often a “Secret London” post pops up and always shows odd, quirky, interesting things and places to see In London. Perhaps you might enjoy.

    • cinnamon says:

      Tx. It’s interesting to pop different google searches in to see the results. Mostly, it’s the usual stuff but every once in a while you get something different and exciting.