My sister’s bathroom looks like an apothecary: rows and rows of lotions, perfumes, and sets of coordinated shampoos, conditioners, and soaps line her shelves and almost every available space. One miscalculated move and I could end up knocking her toothbrush or P2,000 perfume into the toilet. What’s scary is that she’s not the only one whose bathroom looks like it was decorated from stuff bought at The Body Shop or Essences. My sister-in-law’s bathroom looks like that too, as well as a few other females I know who smell like “Love at First Glow” or “Dewberry.”
Me, I’m no big fan of scents. It’s not that I never appreciated them ”“ heck, there was a time in college that I reeked of Ck One, Benetton Colors, and Exclamation cologne ”“ not all at the same time of course, but man, I was mad for those smells. Then when I hit my twenties, my nose shut down. Suddenly, scents became anathema to me. One whiff was enough, but if I had to go around smelling like it, then I might as well puke. Personally, I prefer the aroma of brownies or sugar cookies instead of grandmother’s eau de rosé.
I must confess however, that my fondness for food goes far beyond the edible sort. While I don’t like perfumes and such, I like fragrances that evoke kitchen scents or good food smells. Someone once gifted me with a room and linen spray called “Vanilla Bean.” Another time, some people from Crabtree & Evelyn gifted me with cooking aroma sprays in “Cranberry Compote” and “Patisserie,” the latter I especially like for its notes of vanilla and cocoa. I also have a hand wash under Crabtree & Evelyn’s “Cook’s” line that’s a blend of sage, licorice, and cucumber extracts. I keep all these in my guest bathroom and bedroom so anyone who visits me will leave smelling like they just left a bakery.
Recently, I stumbled across the Cucina Collection of Fruits & Passion, a store specializing in personal care and ambiance products. This line offers home cooks various hand care products ”“ purifying hand wash and repairing-action hand cream ”“ as well as kitchen scents. Fragrances include coriander and olive oil; ginger, Sicilian lemon and olive oil; basil and tomato; fig and fresh herb; and my favorite, zucchini flower and truffle (ah, the magic of Paris still lingers with me!) Other products I like include the room sprays, the reviver oils which are burned with incense, and the fragrant wands in glass jars.
I fall hard for the Cucina Dolce cups and candles set: two espresso cups with saucers are matched with a pair of votive candles ”“ one in cream, evocative of sweet flans and zabagliones — and the other in espresso essence. Magical! This romantic set-up will go well with an accompaniment of my gingersnaps and pumpkin crÃ¨me brulee, two desserts that conjure the smell-good Christmas spirit.