6:30 AM. Torn from my sleep by the audacious din of the alarm. Luckily a steaming cup of coffee has been left on the bedside table to lure me out of my duvet cocoon. I had a very early pre-assessment for surgery appointment at a hospital, which I suppose is nothing anyone really looks forward to. Hospitals, in my experience, have always struck me as such odd, peculiar places. Places that are meant to be havens of health and recovery that to me feel a bit tarnished in a faint essence of miasma that despite the overpowering, clinically sanitary smell of over-scrubbing with an army of cleansers and chemicals designed to seek out and burn away bacteria like some sort of molecular level Inquisition never seems to dissipate entirely. And despite the makeshift decorations and pitiable little plants, although trying their best, there is often times little cheer to be brought to such places.
After the typical measuring, weighing, poking and prodding I returned home feeling a bit flat as you sometimes do coming out of these places, and I sought a remedy. Perfume is usually two things for me. One of them is an extension of my mood and how I want the fragrance I choose to wear to adorn my immediate atmosphere. The other is purely cathartic when I am looking for a refuge from how I might be feeling or even to a point act as expression or extension of that feeling. On the way home I was thinking about Angela Flanders Breath of Hope, partly because of the name, but mainly because of the way when I sampled it on Monday evening it touched me so deeply as if I were inhaling this fragrance with all of my being.
Breath of Hope opens on my skin with an earthy, powdery floral. There is a certain sharpness I can sometimes detect in the first few minutes of the opening notes, but this soon gives way to the floral notes which become more prominent to me. They do not however lose their earthy facets and it feels to me as if they have just sprung forth from the soil and the earth still clings to them in parts. There is a lushness and verdance to Breath of Hope that makes me feel as if my hands are in the soil while watching the flowers bloom right before me and I can feel their delicate life force pushing them forth as they break through the soil to unfurl themselves before me, sighing through the effort of the gentle persistence required to bloom in conditions not always favourable.
After about an hour on my skin the floral notes of Breath of Hope seem to recede a bit behind a veil of smoky dry spices, but soon make a triumphant return to the forefront. Radiating from my skin in a soothing cloud of powdery petals and palliative earthy spices.
I don’t consider myself a religious person, spiritual to be sure, but I don’t particularly subscribe to anything formally. So yes, I have a breath of hope, a whispered prayer, and I am throwing out my message-in-a-bottle into the primordial shitstorm that the universe sometimes is to perhaps bloom again out of a very long winter. Full steam ahead. 🙂
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom,” Anaïs Nin
Described on the Angela Flanders web site as: Ancient notes of galbanum and calamus, reflect the verdant churchyard. Delicate wood notes and a hint of insence undepin a delicate whisp of an elusive spring flower.