six scents: 1 post

Smoke and Ashes

Please give a warm welcome to Elisa Gabbert, a new Bois de Jasmin contributor. Elisa’s first brush with perfume greatness came in the form of a bottle of White Linen lotion from her grandmother. About 20 years later, she fell down the rabbit hole after reading “Perfumes: The A to Z Guide” cover to cover on a flight. Currently she lives in Denver and is the content marketing manager at a small software company based in Boston. She also writes poetry (with collections including “The French Exit” and “The Self Unstable”) and is a founding member of Denver Poets’ Theater. You can discover her poetry and reflections on other things at her blog, The French Exit.

If we were wired properly, the smell of smoke would read as a warning sign. Yet I don’t associate smoke with Colorado wildfires or the carcinogenic properties of cigarettes and burnt toast. Instead, smoke conjures all things cozy and delicious: passing whiskey around a campfire, worn leather gloves, blown-out candles, the whiff of vanilla pipe tobacco when you pass a dapper old fellow on the street. I love smoke in my food (lox, bacon, barbecue,  smoked paprika, chipotle chiles) and I love smoke in my perfumes.

incense-smoke

Because smoke comes from fire, it’s an inherently warming scent, so as the air gets crisp and I pull out my scarves and fall jackets, I start craving my smoky perfumes. There’s a bit of magic in them – it makes sense that crushed rose petals would smell something like rose, but it’s somehow less obvious that you can bottle the effect of gray wisps rising in curls from ash.

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