I envy all of those living in places where you can see the stars at night. Living in (usually cloudy) city does not make it easy to stay connected with any interesting planetary action. But everyone was talking much about the total lunar eclipse coinciding with the winter solstice and I obviously missed it (being fast asleep, thank goodness!).
Excuses aside, tonight is the longest night of the year. Or was it yesterday? I'm getting all confused... Part of me wants to say up all night and beat it to the ground. And my other half just wants to crawl into bed with that flannel pyjama I was finally able to pick up from Robson street (it's very close, but I was practically unable to take care of anything besides business for up until now).
We live exactly where winter solstice should smell better than any other time of the year: people will be bringing in a tree, and the weather is perfectly cold, wet and gloomy for baking and filling the home with the aromas of warm spices.
Seasonality is beautiful in the sense that there is something familiar and expected (putting on that cozy sweater again, cooking that winter soup again, crawling into bed with a book that you haven't opened in a while. But every year is different, and there is always a sense attached to whatever it is that's different - intentional or random. That's why I like to find new interesting things that are appropriate for the season but I didn't know about before.
In these past few days of winter vacation (finally!), I've been enjoying my Bois d'Hiver candle, bathing in Spruce or Hinoki bath salts (I'm craving woods, rather than the Yuzu I bathed in previous years) and sipping a new tea I discovered that smells a lot like Fête d'Hiver! It's a black tea with rose, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, orange and cardamom. And so I will be also burning Winter Moss candle this season which is bitterly green (by Gabriel's Aunt). Chai tea will be prepared with black cardamom for a tinge of smokiness, and hot cocoa will be cooked with whole chilli pepper and fine ceylon cinnamon scrolls instead of the sweet cassia bark. Subtle, but different.
As far as perfume goes, I'm mostly caught wearing my body oils in Megumi or Song of Songs. And in addition - usually by midday I'll spray-on non other than my Orcas perfume (which I fully intend on sharing with you in the spring of 2010). It's brisk rosemary and splash of salty waves was what I need to restore my alertness in those dreadfully-long weeks of work and restlessness. And the occasional dab of Hinoki perfume for unwinding at the end of a day.
"Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean towards each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild." - Jack London, "White Fang"