Not gonna lie, I miss the floral extravaganza of spring in Washington, D.C. I checked the news and they are guessing peak bloom for the cherry blossoms in the next week to ten days. If you ever have a chance to see them in person — I know it’s a tourist cliché but they really are spectacular down around the Tidal Basin, although you can find them blooming all over the city and suburbs.
We had Hoth-level cold for much of the last two months, which I … did not like at all, with Google telling me all too often in the morning that “with the wind chill it’s minus three degrees” (that’s -19C). But we seem to have skipped ahead out of the daytime 30s and right past the 40s — it’s been in the 50s in mid-afternoon and kind of damp for a week and I am looooving it. Everything still looks pretty dead, as it does around here in winter. The decorative cacti in people’s yards are desiccated and droopy and that hasn’t changed yet. But in the walled garden in front of my house we have these tiny daffodils (Musette said they’re called Tête à Tête, I think) and a lone crocus. They’re not really out elsewhere, but on my neighborhood dog-walks I can see the daffodil leaves are up and the stems are starting to swell with future buds, which thrills me. Other than a few scatterings of wild violets, nothing else is blooming yet, but the promise is there.
Last summer I started allergy shots after a miserable spring, and I’m about to find out how effective they’ve been. I’m not hoping for total reprieve, but an improvement would be lovely. I was patch-tested and the good news is I’m allergic to almost nothing; the bad news is I’m wildly allergic to juniper which is absolutely everywhere here. Fun fact: juniper relies on our high desert wind for pollination rather than insects or birds, so in the spring breeze there’s so much pollen it looks like the bushes are smoking and about to burst into flame. Anyway, fingers crossed my response to it has decreased dramatically after nine months of shots.
After Musette wrote about Ines recently I got a hankering for something fruity and spring-like so I dug around in The Vault (my big, airtight shipping container with all my fragrances) for the first thing I thought of — L’Artisan Mûre et Musc. I can’t smell all of it but I can smell it! And (given that I’m in a new workspace) I feel like I can give myself a spritz and not ruin anyone’s day, it’s just not that strong. I also pulled out the old standby Annick Goutal Eau du Sud which I can also smell and I think I’m going to dig some more of those out, I seem to be more able to smell the AG scents? Not sure why.
Finally I pulled out a small bottle I recognized as one of my back-in-the-day MDCI decants (how could I give that up?) I thought it was the rose one but no, it was MDCI Enlevement au Serail. This is my original decant direct from Claude Marchal when he was still naming them, mine says FK3 on the front. Notes from Fragrantica: “Enlevement au Serail was launched in 2006. The nose behind this fragrance is Francis Kurkdjian. Top notes are Ylang-Ylang, Mandarin Orange and Bergamot; middle notes are Jasmine, Tuberose, Wallflower and Rose; base notes are Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vanilla and Patchouli.” It’s so interesting, my quirky nose. At first it was sort of like when you smell an old perfume and it’s gone kinda off and flat? Only that’s my nose, not the fragrance. But as it warms up on my skin, I started to get more of the full effect – not the full full effect, but damn. This scent … do they even make this any more? I think not, sadly, because it is A Lot in a glorious way, a naked-in-mink-and-pearls old school bombshell of a scent. Maybe the illicit love child of vintage Mitsouko and old-school Rochas Femme? I probably won’t wear it to the office but I’m enjoying swanning around the house in it.