Happy July? We’ve now in theory changed seasons. In this house we celebrated the summer solstice with ice cream from the farm shop. The dog got Dog Ice in chicken flavour.
For the past few days, it’s been cool and mostly overcast, with the sun peeking out a bit. It is sane weather after our hot period.
As of July, I’m in the six-month countdown to retiring and am starting to really nail down some of the things I could want to do with myself. It will be interesting to see how the guy I work for responds to my notice email later this year.
My world smells incredible, as I’ve mentioned recently. The mock orange is receding a bit, but the jasmine is totally getting its bloom on. Early morning and mid-evening it wafts through the garden and into the kitchen window. (See pic below, where you can also see one of the fake wasps nests in the garden, which are meant to be too macho for the wasps – ie, they apparently won’t nest where they already see a group.)
In late afternoon, the smell of the fruit bowl – in particular, the peaches and nectarines – perfume the air.
The coriander/cilantro and the basil are working hard to be bigger plants soon. The olive is blooming. Only the roses are really struggling this year. Lots of flowers but leaf blight, meaning I’ve had to cut off all of them and dump in the green recycling bin to be taken away.
So, where is all this leading? Nowhere much actually. Just some summer thoughts.
First off, on jasmine. I adore my jasmine vine and it’s done really well since being planted over 10 years ago. But I realised I don’t have a jasmine perfume in my collection. Orange flower, tuberose, ylang ylang – I’ve got all those heady things in different forms but no jasmine soliflore or even anything based around jasmine. Years ago, I owned a bottle of Patou Joy but it was more rose and I don’t know where it went. I’m more a pongy jasmine person vs a soapy jasmine.
Next up is the fruit smell – the peaches and nectarines, as above, plus the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries when they sit in a bowl on the counter warming up and waiting to be eaten. This is my absolute favourite season regarding fruit. The peach smell sent me to the box in the closet and Mitsouko perfume. My bottle of EdP was a swap on the Makeup Alley website and sadly I can’t recall who the wonderful perfumista was. Its (see pic) is at least 20 years old – and I have no idea how old it actually was by the time I got it. I don’t wear this much any more (see juice level). The juice is still astonishing. Absolutely outrageous. Per Fragrantica, the notes for the EdP are something like bergamot, citrus (plural), jasmine, rose, peach, ylang, more jasmine and rose, lilac, oakmoss, spices, cinnamon (mentioned individually vs ‘spices’), vetiver and amber. Slightly powdery fruity floral chypre – that description doesn’t begin to reflect how incredible this smells. I haven’t had a go at the more modern iteration of Mitsouko simply because I’m afraid it will be so much less than this. Anyway, it’s glorious on cooler, greyer days, smelling of this fruity, spicy, mossiness that lasts and lasts (I could still smell this on Sunday afternoon when I put it on midday on Saturday and showered in the morning).
Then next up is that ice cream (afraid that doesn’t smell much). I’ve now added decaf lattes to my Saturday purchase from the local bakery – and I’m actually getting fewer pastries but adding in a tub with two scoops of artisanal ice cream from the farm shop. I frequently get the coffee, as it’s beautifully made and neither bitter nor too sweet. It gets teamed up with pistachio or hazelnut or salt caramel mostly, but sometimes one of their summer specials, which include mint and dark chocolate. They have hay (yes, really – it’s a farm shop, after all) and raw honey on the list at on the board at the back but neither is currently available. I am very curious about hay.
Onward to summer candles. Portia has mentioned Boujee Bougies several times, a UK-based brand. They are launching perfumes as well as candles and rebranding in the process. Which means they are selling the previous generation at steepening discounts. The minis are now a huge bargain (well, the bigger ones are as well, but the minis are like buying a cocktail that lasts). I now own Gilt (incense), Succulent (sort of green but more) and Hellflower (hothouse madness, with grapefruit, lemon, bergamot, neroli, magnolia, jasmine, ylang, LotV, sulphur and musk), and the last two are my summer burning.
Further on candles is a brand called Boy Smells. I don’t own any of these yet, but I keep looking at one of their newest releases called Snap, which is based around green bell pepper. I’m thinking this might be the replacement for my previous winter kitchen candle, which smelled of tomato leaf, fruit and soil.
Finally, this year’s ‘holiday’. It’s going to be a staycation and very close to home, involving day trips. I have just decided this isn’t the year to do much. I’ve tried several times to organise trips to Paris and in both instances things simply haven’t worked. Too much else to think about. So, some lunches out at nice places (including one where Joe the Lab is going to have to ride on a small ferry boat across the estuary). I figure I can get vicarious pleasure via all of Portia’s trips later this year.
So, there we go. Onward with summer. Are there any jasmine fragrances you love? Summer eats you’re enjoying? Vague things about the season (unless you’re down under) that are making you happy?