Twelve Smells of Christmas – Day Nine: Black with Fruit

My husband has an uncle who insists that fruitcake is a very civilized pleasure and the best way to go about eating it is in the evening along with a glass of sherry.  He’s probably right about that. (He tends to be right about everything else.)  I expect most of us could get through fruitcake with a good sherry, although I’m not sayin’ how much sherry it might take to get it down.

Are there a lot of good fruitcake recipes out there?  Do people really eat it?  I used to wonder as a child because half the ladies of my father’s parish would try their hands at fruitcake and as children, we always felt that the essential business of prizing the green cherries and candied orange peal out, left a sad, barely adequate scaffolding of cake behind, certainly not enough to satisfy us, although the ladies had poured a lot of expensive ingredients in there.

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Music for Mosquitoes

Some perfumes are simply aimed at a very high note on the scale of smell.  They are in the citrus, aldehyde, or floral ranges, nothing else can stretch that far.  I mean, even standing on its tippy-tip toes, an oriental or a chypre just can’t reach that nose-bleeding altitude.

It is an odd concept, but I remember having a recent conversation with my sister about this, and her take was that some perfumes just buzzed in her head, they were so shrill. She named some Chanels in particular.

From her description I was pretty sure that her problem was chiefly with aldehydes.  She couldn’t abide Chanel No5, for instance, and also hated No22 for the same reason. Continue reading