Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Art of  Weekend : Food , Friends , Perfume



When I started writing this blog, I didn’t have any particular expectations. Certainly I didn’t expect to feel part of a community, but I do. This is due in large measure to some very generous and open-hearted people. 

Carol (of WAFT by Carol, for the uninitiated) for instance. I was an utter naive at Sniffapalooza last fall, but she — a veteran — guided me through it, became my pal, made me feel like I belonged, and that made all the difference in the world to me. So I was thrilled to find out that we’re next-door-neighbors, or close — a not-too-hard day’s drive.  Carol and her DH Michael had some doings in Atlanta, and Carol and I cooked up a perfume/food/wine/tourism weekend.

My house smells so good now! Seriously — it’s wonderful to talk and sniff with an expert, someone who knows, for example, if my fifty-year-old Arpege parfum has seriously turned or just degraded a little in the topknots (hallelujah, it’s the latter). Who knows all the possibilities in fragrance. Who is just a fine human being, and a great guest.

So we shared a terrific time, and I was overwhelmed by her generosity. Artisanal rosemary bath salts and vials of extremely rare essential oils — one from the blossoms of coffee plants and one blue lotus (the Lotus that was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, for its habit of rising and sinking below the surface of the water every day — it became a symbol of resurrection). I wore these last night, and both are unique, like nothing I’ve smelled before. A whole bag of Miller Harris samples. So far I’m loving the fig one, exactly like the cottony green stuff inside a fig leaf when you break it open. No supersweet fig jam here! Full bottles of Nohibia, a woody delight that smells of vetiver, although none is listed in the notes. Another of Rodier. Homemade plum jam. And more!

I was happy to see that Carol thought as much of the La Rose Jacqueminot as I did. And the Rosine d’Homme. And, well, just everything, and we hardly made a dent in my cabinet. Next time. There was a lot of other stuff to do, too.

People come to Atlanta, visit our cookie-cutter suburbs, and think they’ve seen the place. But the city still has some secrets. It takes years to find them. The old mill village of Cabbagetown, on the edge of downtown, is one. Now, it’s an only slightly gentrified bohemian enclave with one of the best cafes in town, source of all that chocolate. Another is Fox Bros. Bar-b-que, a roadhouse that tells you exactly where you are as soon as you step in the door. A third is the DeKalb Farmers Market, the Times Square of food on weekends, the size of a Wal-Mart, filled with every kind of ethnic delicacy and ethnic person you can possibly imagine, and the source of a Bulgarian cherry wine we gleefully polished off in front of the fireplace Saturday night. 

All in all, one delight after another, and yeah, we’ll definitely take you up on those caramel rolls, probably sooner than later!





14 comments:

Kathryn said...

Trying to imagine all the delightful smells, sights and sounds of you terrific weekend, (I read in WAFT that your man Keith provided some of the soundtrack). Much of it triggers welcome memories of my own, but I came to a full stop at "Bulgarian cherry wine". That is something beyond my ability to conjure, but it sounds really, really good. One of the things I love about our perfume community are the signposts to sensory pleasures I never before imagined existed. Thanks for sharing your good time!

Suzanne said...

It was a lot of fun reading about the visit on both your blogs. I absolutely envy Carol going to the bar-b-q joint with you!!!

Rappleyea said...

Your time with Carol sounds absolutely wonderful. I haven't had the pleasure of a face to face meeting, but just from my perfume swap dealings with her, I agree that she's a wonderfully generous individual. Sounds like you girls had a blast in Cat-lanta! ;-)

Anya said...

It's always great to hear of meetings like this, and I hope you enjoy many more in the future.

Josephine said...

After reading your account, and Carol's, I am a bit green with envy! Thanks for letting us know about this great experience!

Vanessa said...

Loved this account of what sounded like a great encounter on every possible sensory level!

It is always fun to hang out with likeminded fumeheads. I feel lucky to have had a few such opportunities in Europe and the US, and I hope to meet more people in our "community" in 2011.

Meanwhile, this week I did a swap with Waftbycarol - and two other bloggers called Carol, indeed!

Lucy said...

So true, one of the great pleasures of getting deep into perfumes these days is meeting and spending time with others of like mind. These experiences are often mind blowing learning and exposure to new things in an atmosphere of excitement and great fun.

The details in your post are delicious.

Olfacta said...

HI Kathryn -- Yes, I'd call us all hedonists, fer sure.

Olfacta said...

Hi Suzanne -- If you ever get down hea-ah, I'll take you there for some fried barbecued ribs!

Olfacta said...

Hi Rappelyea -- Cat-lanta, that's a good one -- works on so many levels -- uh-huh, that's definitely where I live. Maybe I'll do a reprint of the early post I did with the portrait of the feline ruler.

Olfacta said...

Hi Anya -- Thanks! Let me know if you ever get to Atlanta!

Olfacta said...

Hi Josephine -- I'm being amiss in not extending a similar invitation to other bloggers and commenters -- get in touch with me if you ever plan to be in this part of the world.

Olfacta said...

Hi Vanessa -- I've loved reading about your travels, too. Let me know if you're ever 'round he-ah.

Olfacta said...

Hi Lucy -- Yeah, I'm looking at the cabinet these last couple of days (and the decants drawer and samples gourd) and saying to myself, "why didn't we sniff (this) and (that) and (this)?" Annoying other obligations I guess. We could have spent a week, easily.

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