The boatman's call.

To be quite blunt, today I feel like shit. I'm stressed out, snowed in, and sleep-deprived. I took a hot shower but am no warmer or more relaxed for it; I drank half a pot of coffee (which is supposed to wake you up, isn't it?) and only feel more exhausted. Though the world outside is diamond-bright with the glitter of sun on ice, I want nothing more than to hole up and hibernate in the nearest cave.

In these days of polar vortices, what sort of health tonic (besides chicken soup) can keep one's internal temperature from tanking? I vote for the wonderfully medicinal Caravelle Epicée de Frapin. Given that it was only nine degrees outside at dawn (and at 2:00 pm, it's barely cracked 20°F), the thermal boost I'm receiving from its overload of spice is most welcome. Just as comforting is its guaiac, an able (if not equal) substitute for sandalwood. Guaiac possesses a rich, "fat" quality that absorbs, extends, and exalts other notes the way that ghee carries the flavors of a sumptuous Bengali meal to the tastebuds. It lends perfume impressive longevity on skin without egocentrically taking it over, the way sandalwood might. I've called it 'benevolent' in earlier reviews because it really does seem intent on putting other notes first. But in the end, you can always find it in the lingering drydown it makes possible. Ah, I feel fortified just talking about it!

I'm pairing Caravelle Epicée with The Boatman's Call by Nick Cave-- a beautiful album for drifting downstream towards the land of Nod. Let me embark on that journey now.... and I'll see you on the other shore.