Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Impression/Scent: Snow, Whites, and Avignon

One of the perks of being a teacher is snow days. The night dropped a white blanket on us and I got to sleep in this morning, burrowed under duvet and throw. When I finally dug myself out, I changed into my favorite winter stay-at-home ensemble, by now as familiar and worn as a pair of old slippers: faded vintage straight-leg jeans, oversized white sweater, dark hardwood ring band, and Comme des Garcons Incense Avignon. Bare feet.

Book: Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat.
Website: Style Bubble.

One of the first things I like to do on such a day is brew a strong cup of English breakfast tea in a gigantic round white mug, and sit down at my desk. Handed down from my great-grandmother, it's made of carved dark cherry topped with a slab of veined white marble. From here, I can look out the window and see our small walled courtyard, which has been transformed into drifts of white snow with stubs of olive and russet vegetation peeking through. In the corner directly across is an evergreen tree with red berries. It contrasts charmingly against the opposing row house with its whitewashed brick exterior and black slatted shutters.

A bit further beyond is a wrought iron gate leading to a larger courtyard, this one belonging to the imposing Lutheran church with spires and art deco stained glass windows. It has a tiny children's playground next to a single row of ancient gravestones. Perhaps later this afternoon I'll bundle up and pop over there for a bracing stroll.


I'm crazy about my Avignon, which is the very first bottle I acquired (along with Tam Dao from Diptyque) when I got into perfume not a month ago. The frankincense and myrrh are somber yet comforting. There is a spiciness that my novice nose can't name. I keep ducking my head to inhale what feels like the infinite depths of this immensely warm and refined odor. Cold vaulting cathedrals, yes, but being a religion major I have always felt at home in their immense pews. Avignon is really meant to be worn with dark, heavy clothing, but having it waft out of a white expanse of thick soft wool is a delight, too.


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