It's been a lousy summer in Vancouver. There, I said it. Please don't hate me. July is almost over and we barely had a week and a half of descent weather. It's been rainy, cold, and even felt like October at times.
On the bright side, the linden blossoms are having an extra long blooming season. There are linden trees all around Vancouver, and usually they bloom in mid to late June. This year, they bloom from mid to late July, and probably will keep scenting the air well into August... Linden blossoms and rain... Mmm... And I'm now feeling inspired to work with the Linden Blossom CO2 that I got from Mandy Aftel when I visited her studio in Berkeley in late June. Wait - that was exactly a month from today!
So, no beach pictures to illustrate what should have been a cheerful "Best of Summer" type of article here on SmellyBlog. You'll just have to tough it out with this strange collage of linden blossom branch that I found on a wet newspaper stand last Saturday, as I was getting ready for my Orcas tea party. I brought the branch home to decorate the place, which turned out to be an innocent act of luring ants into my house... They simply love linden trees, and they love everything about my house. I should add "ant killer" (as well as "cacti killer") to my resume.
Even the rhubarb had a super short season (hardly even three weeks...!) so my new love of last summer is all forgotten, in hopes that it will return next year stronger and brighter, with its fabulous calone smell.
Today was the first day I actually sat in my porch and write while burning incense and drinking iced match latter that I fixed for myself instead of lunch. I've avoided my porch for months now, due to the horrific weather AND the roofers constantly scouring the area. There was one roofer peeking through my porch at one point, but I think I managed to scare him away, simply by taking him by surprise...
Thankfully, there were still lilacs (for a very short time) and the peonies this year were as pretty as ever. The roses, on the other hand, don't seem to be doing too well this year... All of these are smells that I've learned to associate with summer in Vancouver. But, alas, as previous summer's memories are replaced by a new summer, for better or for worse - here's how my summer smells like:
Basil, Nectarines & Blueberries - better together, in a green salad.
Pinot Noir and other strange red wines I stumble upon when in Sonoma county. Like the fish, this is new to me, because the only wine I could somewhat enjoy till recently was white.
Sweet Peas, with whom I fell in love all over again after spotting a bouquet in a little antique shop in Graton.
Sugar Peas, which when grown properly (cold, wet summers make for ideal conditions), are the perfect beach snack, all on their own. They have a fragrant crisp green yet sweet smell. Not a substitute for green string beans (a summer favourite that I terribly miss and that have been absent because of the lack of sun and heat in BC to grow them).
Perhaps I will just have to create my own summer, in a bottle... So here's a partial list, which I admit to be extremely biased as it mostly contains perfumes that I made myself, and most of them are more on the greener side (Orcas and Smiling Country and Grin body oil is how you should expect me to smell these days). What else can you wear in a summer with constant April showers?!
The others are made by other perfumer friends/colleagues of mine. In the light of the previous article, my sentiments towards handcrafted perfumes are becoming increasingly fonder.Fleur No. 1 by 1000Flowers - green, delicate floral that begins boldly with galbanum and surprised with pine bud and narcissus absolute. At its base are quiet musks, moss and the haunting violet of alpha ionone.
But I must confess that even more than Fleur No.1 I was touched by another creation of Jessica Buchanan, which is not officially released except for among friends who are privy to this beautiful, all-natural concoction of white flowers and resinous base. It's very cheerful and sensual - so perfect for those rare hot days we're getting this summer...
Le Parfum de Thérèse - basil, jasmine, melon and under-ripe plum - for me there's no summer without this masterpiece by Edmond Roudnitska.
Ineke's Angel's Trumpet from her new Floral Curiosities collection for Anthropologie - if it wasn't for Ineke I would have never paid attention to this curious plant - whose flowers turn into citrus candy heaven only after dark.
Incense Lily by Sonoma Scent Studio* - I understand this perfume has been out of production for a while, but I have a feeling that it will make a come back... Someone at Estee Lauder must have spied on Laurie when they created their Azuree de Soleil, because it's a dead ringer to that. Except that it's hand made with much care and love by Laurie Erickson.
Sombre Negra by Yosh - dark, smoky vetiver at its best.
What scents make your summer? Post a comment and enter to win a mini of Liz Zorn's Ankhara.
Draw will take place on Friday, August 5th.