Someone have suddenly lifted the security blanket of clouds and rainfall off the city of Vancouver so that it joins the rest of Canada with its below-zero winter temperatures. And this is before winter has even officially arrived. Even in the coldest winters, (-)9 would be rare, and would certainly not hit us before late December.
I went for a little stroll this morning (40 minutes was more than enough to convince me to stay indoors as much as possible and immerse myself with sedate activities such as storytelling - aka blogging, arts and crafts - aka perfumery).
The plants, as you can see from my stroll in Nelson Park's community gardens, have froze over all the vegetation. Everything looks so miserable - like lettuce that was left unprotected in an refrigerator for far too long. They may look dark green, but there is no life in them whatsoever. The photos above are of two victims - Swiss chard and lavender. But they are not the only ones! Nearly all the evergreen bushes (rhododendrons included) look shrinking, lifeless and frost-bitten. I'm quite relieved that in a sudden moment of sanity before crawling into bed last night I rescued my gardenia bush and let us join the family in the living room.
And I was a little shocked to find that large potted plants were even brought in for a warm cup of spiced apple cider and chai at the local coffee shop!
It is so unusually cold that I think most of us in Vancouver don't even have the proper clothes for the weather. The fireplace at my home is blazing, and I even turned on the electric heat in all the rooms in the house, yet it still does not feel quite as cozy... Even after leaving the fireplace on all night (which I never do), the place is not its usual cozy self, but I'm sure the heat will accumulate after a few more days and nights...
So, in such cold days, in addition to a good cashmere sweater we need something to keep us warm and happy besides recycled cashmere sweaters
and and borrowed ugg boots (I usually stay away from this, well, rather ugly indeed footwear, but it's practical in this dry and cold weather) - a little bit of nuts, butter and sugar seems quite appropriate. Especially when it's in a well-made almond croissant (I usually judge bakeries by how well they make their almond croissant - and so far the only descent croissant in town actually happens to be sold at Blenz Coffee
And a newer discovery of mine are these rosemary caramels
from up and coming Nektar Confections & Artisanal Pastries
. The sweetness of the burnt sugar and butter is beautifully blanaced by the rosemary that they actually feel rather wholesome... They are yet to have their own website or store front, but you can find them at the Baker's Market, or in special events. I met them at my friend's Mindan
home art sale last weekend and fell in love instantly with her simple and elegant shortbreads and with these rosemary caramels.
And last but not least - I intend to spend the remaining of the day at my studio, refilling vats with new batches of perfume that ran out because of all the intense bottling I've been doing in preparations to all my shows. For some strange reason, whatever formulation is out of stock
seems to be the one that people end up ordering.
I was up late in the lab last night, making new batches of Fête d'Hiver
, Yasmin and Zohar. It was time to refill the little rose otto vial with more otto from the big vat from the supplier... Although my studio upstairs is not freezing cold, it was too cold for this pretty lady (I mean: the rose otto). As I was pouring - always carefully, slowly and gently - a large clear crystal of rose otto (this happens to this delicate essence below room temperature) - blocked the way and caused a minor spillage... Nothing too dramatic, but I am starting to run out of this essence, so every drop is precious. I was able to save some of the otto and collect it into the Fête d'Hiver
vat. But for the remaining of the night my desk, hands, face and brain smelled like pure organic rose otto from Bulgaria... A pretty inspiring way to drift off to sleep.
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