The day in question would be one of those puddle jumpers of late spring, you know, umbrella and Wellington boot weather. This has been our lot for weeks on the eastern coast of the US, where the spring has been tardy and cold.
This unexpected weather has played hob with my usual perfume choices for this time of year. Normally, I would have cracked my Carons, and it would have been a Bellodgia fest with a bit of En Avion and Narcisse Blanc to break up the rose/carnation cabal. That is what it might have been like. However it’s been too raw for all those scents, and frequently too wet. I kept Coty’s l’Aimant in rotation, as the sole floral, because that smells dry and slightly peachy, a comforting perfume for cold, raw days.
Instead what has happened is that I’ve turned to gourmand perfumes to get me through an unusually chilly season. The winner, and this surprises me too, was largely Mugler’s A*men, which I turned to on the rainiest days. Very odd I know, then there was the offbeat incense Vraie Blonde from EldO on changeable humid days, on the rest, coffee scents like Ineke’s Field Notes from Paris, or tea fragrances like Robert Piguet’s Chai, and Guerlain’s Tokyo. When I wasn’t wearing those, I wore Hermes Ambre des Merveilles, which is marvelously comfortable, and has much better lasting power on skin than Elixir des Merveilles.
This switch made me wonder – how everyone else does on these unexpectedly chilly days? Perhaps other people are better organized than I am and have a number of floral orientals that smell good on wet days all ready to go, or perhaps they join in the fresh green puddle jumping of the outdoors with Vent Vert or Apres L’Ondee? It’s another way to go when the weather is uncooperative.
But it seems that when I am feeling cold, my impulse is to go and sit in the virtual café that A*Men is, and if I had to choose other scents to perform the same purpose, then they would be Hilde Soliani’s Bel Antonio, or else DSH’s Café Noir. It is, I realize a bit belatedly, the comfortable illusion of sitting somewhere warm and dry and indoors, over something hot and caffeinated, while watching the rain amble down the windowpanes. This is something that no respectable American does. Well, not in the greater New York area anyway. We do not sit and contemplate anything, unless we are scheduled to do so by a yoga class. What words do we employ for this culture of ease that Italians call la dolce vita, or more anachronistically, la dolce far niente? Eh? We call it loitering, dawdling, and, in the South of my childhood, lallygagging!
Being a bustler by nature, perhaps I prize my imaginary coffee bar more highly than the rest of the world, but there is a lot to be said for the sit down, the coffee break, especially on a day in May that is stubbornly cold and rainy, when you have forgotten your boots and umbrella in your headlong dash out the front door into the torrential rush of activity that is New York.