For the first time I heard this carol many years ago in the Victoria’s Secret‘s TV commercial for one of their perfumes – Dream Angels Heavenly. Since then they’ve used Carol of the Bells in several ads with nauseating texts on top so I’m avoiding those now. But that first one that featured only instrumental was magical. Back then I didn’t know what it was but I liked it immediately.
Music isn’t a part of my day-to-day life. A couple of headsets you’d find in my household are those that I use for Skype meetings and a noise cancellation travel headset, a birthday gift for my vSO from me. From time to time we listen to music – on long car trips or during parties – but I may go for weeks without playing a single song.
But for a month every year I become a music fan: on my work commute instead of talk shows or news I listen to the Bay Area Official Christmas Music Station. I love Christmas music and do not mind listening to numerous versions of The Little Drummer Boy again and again.
You know literary technique “his version of the story – her version of the story”? One of those in our family involves me remembering that my vSO stumbled across a Pink Martini CD while suffering through my shopping at Nordstrom. He insists that it was a more manly neutral location – at a Starbucks. Wherever it was, Pink Martini became one of our favorite groups. I bought all of their CDs. We went to five of their live shows. Some of their songs are original but I like them mostly for finding and performing songs from different parts of the world, in different languages and music genres.
Even though I’ve known for a while that Carol of the Bells was created by a Ukrainian composer based on a folk chant “Shchedryk” I haven’t heard the Ukrainian version of it until three years ago when I bought Joy to the World – a Christmas Music CD recorded by Pink Martini.
Are you still waiting for the scent part? Alright… While many perfumes bring out various memories and associations, the reverse approach rarely works for me: I always have a hard time scenting movie characters, colors or moods. Selecting the song was easy: I think Carol of the Bells is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs, it moves me every time I hear it. But when I tried to match that intense, slightly disquieting and unsettling music piece to any perfume in my collection I failed. And then I thought of a different type of fragrant product that I had in my collection probably from the time I heard Carol of the Bells in that commercial: a Shimmer Body Powder scented with another Victoria’s Secret’s perfume from the same Dream Angels collection – Halo.
While giving a perfect long-lasting shimmer to skin, Halo powder has a very light scent of that perfume, which doesn’t interfere with wearing any perfume of my choice. And since there are not that many occasions for which sparkles on my skin are suitable (mostly I use it for winter holiday parties) my wand will last for many more years. And now every time I wear it, no matter which perfume I choose to complete my outfit, I will think of a beautiful Christmas carol that came from the same place as me and found here its new home and a new holiday to celebrate – as did I.
Merry Christmas and Happy Winter Holidays!
Read other song-scent pairings in The Scent of Music joint blogging event: