T.S Eliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock came up with the immortal line of having "measured out his life with coffee spoons".
Somewhat less arrestingly I have been counting the (academic) years by the new leather-bound notebooks I buy every September, a perpetual student even while lecturing others.
The mixed feelings of new beginnings and the wistfulness of the rainy season produce a compelling crash in me: Perhaps it's merely that I was born in autumn that it holds a special place in my heart. Perhaps it's that autumn is a special season any way, reminding us of our own mortality.
Whatever it is,
"La Petite Fille de la Mer" (Girl of the Sea) by Greek composer Vangelis, captured in this visually beautiful clip titled "Autumn" below, is following me these days.
I accordingly got myself a new bottle of Eau de Monsieur by Annick Goutal to replenish my finished one. It's a criminally underrated fragrance from 1980 which pioneered the use of immortelle back when no one would think of having that fenugreek-like aroma about them. Its sexy, maple & moss over warmed sand dunes, tawny atmosphere reminds me of the passage of summer into winter.
My evening-unwinding scent for when I'm in? Douce Amère by Serge Lutens (click for review), a mix of sweet and bitter like absinth liquor.
And then there are things that easily lend themselves to autumnal thoughts by their very nature. Whenever I catch a glimpse of Andrei Tarkovsky's Zerkalo (The Mirror) I find myself listening to the hush of nature going to sleep. Christopher Brosius' Burning Leaves comes to mind...With a touch of the gently decaying red apples and myrrh incense of Wazamba (review here).
During the day I am fantasizing of striding moors à la Catherine Earnshaw in sturdy and mean boots. I have zeroed on these ones by La Redoute. My black riding boots scent? Chanel Cuir de Russie in extrait de parfum or Doblis by Hermès, baby! (click for reviews)
And of course this calls for a nice cashmere little sweater that can be worn any day and not be cumbersome (we don't get the Yorkshire weather, after all!). This Isle of Skye little number looks perfectly cozy and flattering. I'd like it in charcoal grey and would pair it with just about anything: colourful shirts, print scarfs, jeans, my A-line skirt in pitch black...
My cashmere sweater scent? Barbara Bui Le Parfum and Sonia Rykiel Woman, not for Men! in Eau de Parfum strictly. (Interchangeably, they're quite similar, as you can read here)
In the evenings, as the weather cools progressively, I have been reverting to my comforting Crème Spendide Nuit by Annick Goutal, whose rose essence is perfectly calming while the texture is a dream: Its instant moisturising claim is not misleading. And spraying my surroundings with my latest obsession, Opopanax by Diptyque: If you even remotely like the classic Shalimar by Guerlain, give the Diptyque a whirl. The resinous powdery touch is perfect for centering and I love the elegant bottle.
I was watching Strange Days by Kathryn Bigelow (Cameron's wife for those who don't know her) on TV the other day. 14 years yesterday since its release and it struck me how modern it still looks, how original. (And I still absolutely adore the above song by PJ Harvey.)
In a way we're living snippets of the lives of others through the Internet these days: Their experiences become our collective "Squids" and you're in one of them. So I hope you enjoy the ride and are left with a desire to Playback!
Please visit the following blogs for more thoughts on favorite Fall scents & associations:
The Non Blonde, Under the Cupola, Ayala's Smelly Blog, Savvy Thinker, Olfactarama, Notes from the Ledge, Ars Aromatica, Mossy Loomings, I Smell Therefore I Am, Tea Sympathy and Perfume.
Sepia Tree photo credit: Autumn in Sepia by Rick Lundh (via gallery.photo.net) manipulated by me.
All other photos by Elena Vosnaki (click to enlarge)
Clip October Dream originally uploaded by Shastasheene, Clip from Mirror originally uploaded by unkindrublicrpp, clip of Juliette Louis singing in Strange Days by SanJayaPrimeon Youtube.