A Perfumed Christmas Carol – The Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Christmas Present And Christmas Yet To Come

I just watched Charles Dicken’s classic tale of transformation in the form my children prefer it – A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. And while Miss Piggy and Co. are doubtlessly entertaining, I still prefer the original text with its acerbic wit and deadpan deliverance.

“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.” Indeed.

When Undina suggested this story as a theme for this years Christmas post (take a look last year’s O Tannenbaum theme here), I was immediately drawn in. So here is my attempt to determine my Perfumes of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come.

Ghost Of Christmas Past:

ghost past

It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin.

The Christmas days of my past smell of snow and anticipation, of cookies and curiosity. When I think back, it was all about excitement, about freezing your toes off in church and waiting for that silver bell to chime as a sign that the Christkindl was finally here (and gone again in a flash before you could open the door and catch a glimpse).

I wish I could add a memory of a smell other than that of carp and mulled wine, that I could say something like: My mother always wore Caron Nuit de Noel… but , alas, she didn’t. My mother has not worn perfume for one single day of her life (or rather for as long as I have known her, who knows about the secret, shadowy days of her past…).

My Grandmother wore Diorissimo, which she reserved for days like this and for her birthdays. I know this as a fact, I remember her bottle on the nightstand, but I don’t recall ever conciously registering the smell on her.

My Ghosts of perfumed Christmases past, are ephemeral indeed.

“I am mortal,” Scrooge remonstrated, “and liable to fall.”

Ghost Of Christmas Present:

ghost present

It was clothed in one simple green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. Its feet, observable beneath the ample folds of the garment, were also bare; and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath, set here and there with shining icicles. Its dark brown curls were long and free; free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air. Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard; but no sword was in it, and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.

This Christmas, like the Christmases of the past few years spent with our children, are once more filled with a magic I had deemed lost over the years as an adult. Once more I find myself looking for the Christkind and hoping to catch a glimpse of its golden smock as it goes about its business, flying around from window to window bestowing gifts upon the children who have been good all year. (Well, my boys get something anyway, we can’t all be good all the time. 😉 )

Part of me is hating the forced cheer and various pressures of the season, but another part – the one that never grows up, I guess – enjoys the boundless joy of anticipation, the prospect of wishes possibly being fulfilled, the idea of magic about to happen and the safety of family all around, everybody healthy and happy and well fed.

I will smell of Puredistance I, as I have in the past two years. It is a perfume of great clarity and somberness. It has elegance and purity and poise. It has so many of the attributes I’d like to have.

My Ghost of Christmas Present has the qualities I strive for.

Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come:

ghost future

It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.

Thinking about the Christmases of the future is the hardest, of course. How do I want them to be? Am I happy and content with how things are today and do I want them to stay like this in the future? What would I like to change? What could be improved? What do I stand to loose, inevitably, some day in the future? How will the Christmases yet to come look like?

I have no way of knowing, I can only hope that whatever will transpire will be kind to me and mine. I can only hope that life and its inevitable ups and downs will leave me whole and able to move past whatever is thrown at me.

What I don’t know, I can’t predict, but what I can do, is dream. And this being a perfume-themed post after all, let’s dream about the perfume of Christmas yet to come:

I will smell unbelievably good in my new signature extrait de parfum made for me by Roja Dove, commissioned by The Husband. A heavenly creation, named in the Dove tradition of snappy one-word titles: Ethereal

My Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come smells delicate, delightful, exquisite, fragile, fine-spun, graceful, soft, subtle and tender.

Scrooge was better than his word.  He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father.  He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.  Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms.  His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

Take a look at more Christmas Ghost posts on these blogs today:

All I Am – A Redhead
ChickenFreak’s Obsessions
The Muse in Wooden Shoes
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
Undina’s Looking Glass
Another Perfume Blog

Image source: dark-stories.com, watershed.online.com, fcpablog.com

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Caron, Puredistance, Roja Dove and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to A Perfumed Christmas Carol – The Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Christmas Present And Christmas Yet To Come

  1. Haha, I read this post a bit too fast and got stuck on the words “in my new signature extrait de parfum made for me by Roja Dove, commissioned by The Husband”. All I could think was “oh no he didn’t, oh no he didn’t!”. 😀

    I still haven’t decided myself. Shiseido Feminité du Bois parfum or Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée. Puredistance M would also be a nice choice. The outfit: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8489/8285361380_3e79004721.jpg

  2. Sandra says:

    Great post today! Loved it. You will smell lovely on Christmas. When you do get a signature scent you must let us all have a look! We can also dream. 😉

  3. the husband says:

    now don’t you hate when a christmas surprise somehow gets dicovered a few days before ……
    since it isn’t a surprise anymore I will have to cancel, i am afraid. will buy chanel no5 instead, because their tv ad is great and if brad likes it i can too. 🙂

  4. the husband says:

    Maybe I should hide but wherever I go – there you are. My luck, my fate, my fortune.

  5. Pingback: Ghosts of Perfume Past, Present and Future « All I am – a redhead

  6. Ines says:

    I see snow features in your past as well! 🙂
    I also hate the forced cheer but it doesn’t trouble me really. I find this time of year to be loving and warm and I enjoy myself as much as I can.
    Finding something under the tree helps as well. 😉

  7. poodle says:

    Wonderful post! I’d like to go on the record as saying that I agree with your kids and think The Muppet Christmas Carol is fabulous. I’m also a huge fan of Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol too. I do like the more traditional versions as well. Reading the replies, your husband seems to have a great sense of humor. Pity he had to cancel your signature extrait. 😉 I’m sure the Chanel will be fine. Like he said, if Brad likes it…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Poodle!
      I will probably see the Muppets at least once more in the next few days, and I actually look forward to it. 🙂
      The husband is quite a funny guy (most of the time 😉 ).

  8. Nancysg says:

    I laughed out loud about “Husbands” plans for Chanel No. 5 and the Brad endorsement. Thanks for the Christmas cheer.

  9. Suzanne says:

    This is just beautiful, Birgit. It really puts me in the Christmas spirit … also makes me wish I could see what Christmas is like in Austria.

    I feel a bit funny now, as my own post isn’t that Christmas-y … I wasn’t certain how to focus on the theme so mine is a bit … odd. 😀

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, Suz, I just read yours and it is not odd at all, but deeply touching. You captured all three ghosts so very well. Especially the Ghost of the Present shows the amazing community we have so well. It is the collective sillage of a bunch of amazing people that smells better than any one person ever could.

  10. brie says:

    Lovely post and a very enjoyable read (including comments from the husband :)!!).
    Happy holidays and a healthy, prosperous new year to you and all your readers!

  11. Vanessa says:

    Beautiful, evocative post, topped off by a fun exchange with The Husband! Good on you for keeping up the Christmas PD1-wearing tradition. I may give Poivre 23 another outing on 25th, as I enjoyed it so much yesterday.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, V!
      Poivre 23 is indeed so lovely. Seeing that it is a city-exclusive, it could be hard to find, but you are well-placed for it.
      I think I shall wear my decant tomorrow in your honor.

  12. Pingback: Joint Blogging Event: Three Ghosts of Christmas – Ghosts of Perfume Past, Present and Future « Undina's Looking Glass

  13. Undina says:

    What a beautiful post (and a very thoughtful husband)!

    I love winter holidays! Forced or not, it is joy. I wish a wonderful Christmas to you and your family and hope for everything in your future will be exactly as you hope.

    And thank you for everything 🙂

  14. Delightful post! My perfumed Christmas past is Nahema floating above foody delicious Christmas smells – thanks to my Mum! My perfumed Christmas present is Prada Eau Ambree or JM Pomegranate Noir while walking outside in the cold with my family. Maybe my perfumed Christmas future lies in an unopened box from Sonoma Scent Studio, waiting for me under the Christmas tree.

  15. Natalie says:

    Wonderful post, B. Happy holidays to you and the family!

  16. Catherine says:

    Oh I adored this post and the theme!! 😀 Like you I don’t really have any fragranced memories of Christmases past… perhaps other than the smell of pine trees which we usually had, in my teens, even though my family doesn’t actually celebrate Christmas per se. But childhood Christmases not so much. Actually my first recollection of Christmas was probably picking out my own gift when I was 6 or so (a tea set!), and hiding our neighbors’ presents for their children in our house so their kids could have the magic of Christmas.

    This year I haven’t decided what I’m going to wear for Christmas yet. I think I wore Tea for Two last year. Maybe I’ll go with that, or perhaps Un Bois Vanille or Jeux de Peau, we’ll see. 🙂

    And as for Christmas yet to come… maybe vintage Shalimar edp or another of Andy Tauer’s collection I haven’t tried yet. 🙂

  17. ginzaintherain says:

    Wow. This is amazing, seriously. Merry Christmas!!!

  18. JoanElaine says:

    What a gorgeous post, B. I think the attributes you have given Puredistance actually describe you (and your writing) already!

    Believe it or not, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is my favorite ghost. The transformation of Scrooge from grumpy and greedy to giddy and giving is truly a Christmas miracle!

    May you and your family have the happiest of Christmases. Enjoy that beautiful extrait!

  19. What a wonderful post, Birgit! I loved reading it. It sounds like you are well on your way to creating an olfactory Christmas memory trigger for your family 🙂

  20. masha7 says:

    Now he’s not part of Dickens’ cast of characters, but he’s part of a German and Austrian Christmas, so I must ask you…what perfume does the Krampus wear???

  21. bloodyfrida says:

    Happy Holidays, B!! For my Christmas Future, I hope to see the Lipizanners in Austria one of these years as I have wished for this since I was a little horse-obsessed girl in the 70s. And to be able to share the holidays with grandchildren. Since my son has grown up and out of the house, the holidays are not quite the same. Enjoy those little ones, esp during the holidays – children do make it so very special!

  22. I’m quite sure your children will have lovely memories of Christmas Past smells!

    Enjoyed this very much, and I hope that someday you DO get your commissioned fragrance from Roja Dove…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Well, unless we win the lottery it’ll remain a dream, but that is fine, I’m sure reality can never be as perfect as a dream, even when it comes to M. Dove… 🙂

      I hope twenty years down the line, my boys still think of Christmas when they smell the (hopefully still available!) Puredistance I.

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