It’s a collectively stressful time, to say the least. With COVID-19 making its rounds and responses demanding vigilance not only in our day-to-day movements but also in thinking ahead to how we can hit the ground sprinting when this is all over, tensions are high. I have a lot to be grateful for during this time, working technology and a harmonious home environment ranking top amongst them. There have been periods in the (increasingly distant) past when I did not have one or both of those things.
After my—let’s be honest—failed perfume creation over the weekend, which mostly reeked of stale coffee, I seemed to catch whiffs of it in the company kitchen, only to realize that I was smelling real coffee. Fortunately, this reversal of associations seems to be reversible.
Yesterday evening, I had the chance to sniff around Anthropologie, exploring their many flower- and food-themed candles and feminine, crowd-pleasing perfumes. I was immediately struck by how simple and beautiful most of them were. Nothing edgy, nothing challenging—just soft, sweet, inviting; like a fantasy of stepping out from a nice, hot shower into a cozily lit living room to lounge and relax in soft, fuzzy pajamas. (The lighting in the store helped with this imagery, too.) The scents weren’t too sweet, either.
Standing there inhaling their various diffuser-oil and soy-wax concoctions, I wasn’t just mentally stepping into a comfy sofa; I was also stepping back in time, to younger years when things seemed (through the aura of nostalgia) simpler. Maybe that’s when all my nose knew were mainstream fruity and floral fragrances, relying on them to inspire flights of fancy. There’s a reason they’re so popular.
The mind can go to so many different places. Things that promote happy “daydreams” should be embraced; enough other things exist that do otherwise.
For my next perfume project, I think I’ll be going for full-on cozy, with ingredients like ambrette seed, mimosa, Peru balsam, sandalwood… each smells so warm and wonderful on its own. I hope they blend well together.