Not your average May-December romance....

May is here at long last.... so why in tarnation am I posting about Christmas? Well, thanks to the generous JoanElaine, it happens that at the advent of spring, I'm reliving the delights of that other Advent. One of the samples she sent me has reawakened a certain anticipatory Yuletide feeling. Twelve days of Christmas?! Try 127!

Hidden in the crawlspace beneath our house for eleven months of the year, my mother's collection of fancy Christmas candles occupied a battered old cardboard box whose fibers had absorbed all the scents of twenty holiday seasons. When Yuletide arrived, we'd pull that box out into the light of day and begin to unpack its contents: tapers, spheres, columns, Santas, angels, fancy "Swiss cheese" candles made by mixing ice cubes into hot paraffin, and silvery "icicles" built by slow and patient wax-dripping. With these came the scents of bayberry, cinnamon, clove, orange, spruce, apple, and vanilla, all backed by the rich odor of the paraffin itself and the sooty-greasy smell of blackened wicks.

Light all of them at once, and you have Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's December-- ripples of heat and all.

Think of December as an Advent calendar, opening slowly to reveal one hidden treasure at a time. Patience is required to fully extract its charms, which start with the candle wax (kinky!) and veer towards the sweet ephemera of candy without ever overwhelming you with a surfeit of sugar. In the bottle, it smells like incense plain and simple; on skin, it smells like the contents of the most blissfully overstuffed Christmas stocking known to childkind-- all peppermints and licorice all-sorts, and nary a lump of coal.

December didn't last as long as I wished it would... but neither does Yuletide, proof that life's briefest joys are also its sweetest.

Scent Elements: Clove bud, galbanum, ginger, spices, sweet orange, balsam fir, Bulgarian rose otto, fir needle, pinecone, Atlas cedarwood, frankincense, myrrh, balsam Tolu, moss, vanilla absolute