It is a long cold winter here in New England. The air is still, gray and cold. When looking out the window all I see is white. Frozen snow and ice. Did I mention cold? Ice? The outdoor light is harsh and unforgiving bouncing off the reflective ice. When I catch my reflection in the rearview mirror I note a myriad of wrinkles around my eyes that seem to have popped up overnight. This displeases me and causes me to scowl, causing even more pronounced crows feet. I try to relax and concentrate on the precarious driving conditions.
The snow is close to four feet high where left untouched and covered with a thick layer of smooth clear ice. On the rare occasion that the pale sun shines, the smooth frozen snow appears glasslike. The large winter storm that delivered snow, then sleet, then hail followed by rain has finally moved out to sea. As an ode to Mother Nature, I found it fitting to watch one of my favorite movies The Ice Storm yesterday. This omnipresent coldness is numbing in every way. The shocking feeling of opening the front door and taking a deep breath of chilling winter air makes me think of icy blasts of peppermint. Insert York Peppermint Patty commercial here: "When I bite into a York Peppermint Patty, I get the sensation of . . . "
I've been blending various perfumes mods with mints: peppermint, spearmint, and mint absolute. Mint is tricky. A light hand is needed. Mint tends to overpower all others and I believe it's an acquired taste in perfumes. I find mint absolute the most friendly, followed by spearmint. Peppermint is difficult and not my favorite. Mint also seems to have a sort of "sneak attack" on perfumes. I smell the perfume as I'm blending and I find I cannot detect the mint. I try a tiny drop more, still no mint. Apply to skin, inhale and still not a trace of the "cold" note I'm seeking. One drop more . . . oh no! It's suddenly mouthwash.
I recently created a solid perfume with notes of spearmint, violet leaf, rose, and orris to name a few. I'm not sure I like it, despite numerous revisions. I feel cranky and petulant and am sure I'm suffering from cabin fever or seasonal affective disorder. The mint is stronger than I'd like, drowning the bergamot and lime which are swallowed by the solid perfume. The rose seems non-existent despite the exorbitant amount of otto and absolute used. The costly and beautiful orris is faint and appears much later on the skin as a powder cool sigh. Perhaps I've created an unsuccessful and expensive mistake. Irritation abounds. I ask my partner what he thinks of the scent, rubbing the balm on his hand with a challenging look in my eye. "Mmmm, it's ahh . . . minty? He asks this nervously, eyes darting hoping his comment is what I'm looking for. Have I mentioned I'm a tad bit cranky?
My predicamint (sorry people--bad humor abounds when it's 1 degree outside--that's right, I said 1 degree.) The solid perfume is pretty and green. Interesting and original, but do people really want to smell minty?
Send warmth and sunshine.