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!