Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On the Fourth Day of a Feminine Christmas

Love came down at Christmas,
Love was born at Christmas,
Love, all lovely, love divine, 
Stars and angels gave the sign
...Love shall be our token
Love be yours, and love be mine ~ Christina Rossetti

Those are some of my favorite Christmas stanzas.  Rossetti's poem is often referred to as a Christmas carol without a tune.  I love it because it is sweet and sincere and about the sweep of good feelings that often accompany Christmas morning "down the stairs".

The Christmas in the picture depicts a sweep down the stairs of festive boxed perfume sets, the kind of special combinations that perfume and cosmetic houses provide during the holiday season.  I especially like them because one can find coordinating scented products such as body creams and talcs - items that are sold separately at other times of year.  The collections are often boxed with beautiful Christmasy wrappings and sparkles.  But even a lone bottle of scent provides a lovely Christmas gift experience, especially if it's a beloved fragrance.

There is a marvelous scene in the Fred MacMurry and Barbara Stanwyck Christmas film, Remember the Night.  MacMurry's character, prosecutor John Sargent postpones the trial against Stanwyck's thieving Lee Leander because it's Christmas.  Instead, John takes Lee to his family's farmstead where Lee experiences a different kind of holiday than she is used to.  At gift opening time, John's kindly and intuitive mother, played lovingly by Beulah Bondi, gives Lee a bottle of the unopened perfume John had given her the Christmas before.  It is a touching cinematic moment when Lee opens the unexpected gift to find a lovely crystal bottle of Hour of Ecstasy perfume.  She inhales it deeply and gives no clue she knows the present is a re-gift.  Hard-scrabble Lee has not had too many no-strings-attached gifts in her life so I immediately start rooting for her and the budding love that is growing between she and John.  I pray John will be able to drop his lawyer stance and soften his heart for the beautiful kleptomaniac. But most of all, I hope that Lee will be able to receive honest love for the first time in her life and shrug off her tough and suspicious exterior.

A friend told me he still believes that love conquers all, even in today's world.  I cheer for John and Lee every Christmas in the hopes that what my friend knows will be played out on the screen before me again.  I sigh happily when the pretty bottle of Hour of Ecstasy breaks through Lee's icy pain and paves the way for love to come down at Christmas.  Stars and angels gave a scented sign.


  1. Well, you've done it again, Donna! Your love of fragrance makes this post particularly poignant and lovely! I'm going to attach a link to the perfume blog post interview you did with me last Christmas so folks can learn more about signature scents and how crucial and wonderful they can be for a feminine Christmas! http://moviestarmakeover.com/2014/12/03/its-beginning-to-smell-a-lot-like-christmas/

    1. Click here to read MORE of Donna's wonderful wisdom and wit about perfume: http://moviestarmakeover.com/2014/12/03/its-beginning-to-smell-a-lot-like-christmas/

  2. I've seen this film and it is a lovely one. I enjoyed your rendition of the plot, and how you pointed out the significance of perfume to the story.