For me, self-care has always helped in times of sorrow: long soaks, cozy pajamas, time with my knitting needles...and perfume. Even if my heart isn't into it, as it really hasn't been, I couldn't help but notice the lovely new scent about me one afternoon. The name of the fragrance doesn't matter as much as the way it swarthed me in a delicate warmth as I tried to focus on my job. The watery tuberose sat on the edge of my consciousness as the deeper notes of musky jasmine floated about, reminiscent of a damp greenhouse in winter filled with hot house flowers and the promise of a fresh spring.
As part of my soothing ceremonials, I've been even more liberal with my perfumes, finally trying the generous samples sent to me by a New York boutique. Those vials gave me a sense of the expectant hope I know will come full-on again soon. I sprinkled an old favorite on my arms before bed the other night and woke to its fragile remnants - just enough to jumpstart a better mood as I rose for work. A lily of the valley cologne perked me up on laundry day after I spritzed the linen closet - for just a second I was back in high school, a world far away from terrorist bombs and hate. Later, when I reached for a clean towel, I went back again and this time the cheery timbre lingered longer.
Perfume's gift is that it takes us on a quick trip to yesterday where happy memories wait to sustain us. But for real healing, perfume offers us blessed comfort and a prayer for better days ahead.