Tag Archives: christmas carol

Ghost of a perfume past

I don’t know a person who wouldn’t be familiar with Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol. I’m sure someone read it to you when you were younger, or you read it on your own. Or at least you’ve seen a film based on this 1843 novel. Either way a name of Ebenezer Scrooge should ring a bell in your head & a plot of three ghosts paying him a visit on Christmas Eve should do too. One December day I realized this story translates to perfume in some way. Well, guess what… there’s someone very dear together with me. A ghost of a perfume past speaks through her lips. So turn off the lights, light a candle instead, grab your favorite hot drink, sit comfortably, relax & enjoy the story.

By Jillie

Night-time at Christmas… The black velvet sky is sparkling with diamonds, the frost is creeping towards the house crystallising every blade of grass and fallen leaf, edging closer and closer, and the owl is hooting mournfully in the skeleton branches of the oak tree. I am sitting quietly by the fire with candles lit and as their flames flicker, shadows dance in the corners of the room and I am thinking of times past. Nutmeg fills the air as the Christmas scent of the candles warms, combines with the perfume of the roses sitting on the table, and floats around me, and I try to catch the wispy memory that flits around my head. What is that fragrance reminding me of? Why am I being transported back to a Christmas of nearly thirty years ago?

fireplace

Gradually, as the spiciness grows, I realise why I am being taken back to that time; I hear the name “Eternity” whispered in my ear. That was what I was wearing then… A new perfume created by Sophia Grojsman for Calvin Klein. It was unlike anything I had smelled before. I loved its myriad of white flowers spiked with red carnation’s clovey spice, the roses and violets that softened the sharpness of the bouquet, and the gentle musk and woods smoothing it as it mellowed to its finish.
I wore it practically every day for several years and Eternity and I became entwined; it was the nearest I came to having a signature scent and even now my husband associates it with me more than any other that I have worn.

Of course eventually I was tempted away by other perfumes,
but often returned to Eternity when I just didn’t know what to put on.

Sadly, reformulation has taken its toll on my lost beauty and Eternity is now really a ghost of what it once was. It’s cheap-smelling, shrill and synthetic these days and bears little relation to the wonderful original.

But… I have several, carefully stored bottles of the pre-reformulated Eternity and wear it occasionally for old times’ sake.

I shall now anoint myself with some of my precious perfume, and once again sit before the fire, dreaming of a Christmas long ago and revelling in the presence of my ghost of perfume past…

Eternity may not be forever, but memories are.

This story was supposed to find its continuation in a trip down memory lane of someone who wears Eternity in its current version, nowadays. A true testimony from a ghost of a perfume present. If you know such person who might be willing to share their story, please let me know. I could then finish with a story from a ghost of a perfume yet to come. That way all 3 ghosts would be content. But will they ever find peace or will the story remain untold? I guess only time will tell.

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The scent of music: “Lulajże, Jezuniu”

This season together with a group of fellow bloggers we decided to organize a joint blogging event, they used to do them in previous years too, for me it’s a debut. It took us some time to decide on a theme, as we wanted to keep it in a Christmas mood without repeating the motive from last year. Finally we decided on Christmas songs and carols. Each of us picks a piece of music and we’re going to do something funny with them… We’re going to scent them with perfume!

In Polish culture Christmas Carols have a very long tradition and in most cases the historical roots of words and melodies reach as far in the past as to the XV century. Many of them were written in the language from their time of origin – they contain phrases that no longer exist in current Polish language, but because we in Poland love our tradition the verses remain unchanged for generations. More importantly our Christmas carols are very unique and you won’t find these in any other cultures I suppose! They’re all sung in Polish and English equivalents don’t exist.

Christmas Carol that I chose for this festive joint blogging event is “Lulajże Jezuniu” (like “Hush little Jesus”) – it’s a song with a character of a lullaby sung by Virgin Mary to a newly born baby Jesus. Most probably it was composed in the middle of XVII century. The author is unknown.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO “LULAJŻE, JEZUNIU”

This lullaby Christmas carol tells a story of a caring mother who will do anything to make her baby stop crying, so that he can go to sleep and rest peacefully, feeling the love and warmth of his mother right next to him. The lyrics show one of the most important things in our life – an unconditional love of mother for her child. They make us believe that no matter how hard it gets, a mother will always be by the side of her baby. If you look at the lines (I managed to find a traslated version) you might notice that it’s not a very joyful carol. Unlike the English Christmas songs that are happy, ours carols are often touching and tearful. But it doesn’t mean we don’t have any merry ones.

To scent a Christmas song such as “Lulajże, Jezuniu” I would chose a perfume that is quiet and calm. That could help baby Jesus calm down and fall asleep faster. It’s hard to chose just one perfume, but I immediately though about chamomile like in Farmacia SS. Annunziata Regina, Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint, or about gentle powdery notes like in Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette, Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige. All these fragrances to me could represent a loving and caring mother who with all her gentleness protects her child. I also thought about Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille which not only has a nice bouquet but also has a confession of love in the name. I think any of these perfumes would suit this Christmas carol.

To show you more of our happy Christmas sing-alongs I also decided to show you two of my favorite Polish Holiday songs that makes my spirit rise. They bring joy and warmth to my heart.

LISTEN TO “HEJ LUDZIE, IDĄ ŚWIĘTA” AND “A KTO WIE…”

“Hej ludzie, idą święta” (“Hey people, Christmas is coming”) is a song about happiness, about the magic of Christmas and about how the atmosphere can change us for the better. It’s about noticing the small details (like 1st evening star) that combined together make Winter Holiday special. The conclusion that comes from “A kto wie…” (“And who knows…”) is that even if we fear about the future we should have dreams and believe in them, to have faith that one day they will come true. It also sings about love and about the fact that everyone in this world deserves their chance to feel happy. Texts like this make me and other people hope for the better future, that every bad period has to come to an end. These songs could be perfumed with warm, embracing perfumes that have an inner glow, like Guerlain Iris Ganache, Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114.

I hope that you liked our idea of scenting Christmas Carols with a perfume. Make sure to visit the other blogs today to check out what songs and perfumes were chosen by my friends: Portia, Ines, Sigrun, Tara, Undina, Martha, Natalie and Judith.

PS. My favorite Christmas song in English is Mistletoe and Wine.

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