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July is often a daydreamy kind of month. Sometimes, especially in the South, when it’s so hot and humid that I can barely move, my thoughts tend to drift out the window to a faraway place. With Bastille Day arriving earlier this week, and from my days in the studio sniffing our Lavender Hand Cream, I’ve found myself drifting off to the French Riviera. Several years ago I took a trip to France and ended up in Eze, which is on the coast, not far from Nice. We visited an outpost of Fragonard, a French ‘parfumeur’ that is almost a century old. As I remember it (and that’s all that matters, isn’t it? How we remember places we’ve seen, not how they actually are?) Eze was something out of a dream—all crumbly stone walls, blanketed in crawling vines and flowers. At the perfumery, we took a workshop on aromatherapy and learned about the process of making perfume. Do I remember anything specific that I learned that day? No, of course not. What I do remember is the lovely, smiling people, and the place that looked so old and crumbling, but that all my senses told me was very much alive and breathing.
Another old yet alive and breathing place, so very far from the French Riviera, is St. Simons, a barrier island of the coast of Georgia. My family has been making a yearly pilgrimage there for many decades now, and our next trip is next week. There is certainly not an historic perfumery on St. Simons, nor are there fields of lavender, but there are hanging curtains of Spanish moss, magnolia blooms, and warm, salty-spray air. It is a dreamy place in its own right, with its own soul.
Where are some of your dreamy places? What smells, flowers, or colors take you back to them?