When asked: “What does winter mean to you?” (for example, recently on Puredistance’s FB page in the post for their Winter Photography Contest), people publish picturesque photos and mention travels, holidays and winter perfumes. I also published a scenic picture but my answer was: Winter is a beauty I prefer to experience for a couple of days per year on short trips from the warm (and hopefully rainy) Northern California.
The last two winters that I spent in my native country were awful. The combination of the bad weather and an energy crisis made living extremely hard. Central heating system managed to maintain radiators warm enough not to freeze and burst – but not much beyond that. It was constantly cold. Everywhere.
We would wake up in the cold apartment in the morning, dress up in the kitchen with a couple of gas stove burners on. 15-minutes’ walk in cold and wind to the bus stop, 15 minutes in a freezing bus, 30 minutes in a slightly warmer subway, then another 10-minutes’ walk to the office. We would sit each next to an oil heater, but the heat from all the computers, radiators and our bodies wasn’t a match to the concrete office building with large one pane windows. In the evening another hour something back. Those last 15 minutes against the wind were especially torturous: you could complain, swear or cry but you had to walk, there was nothing you could have done on that last stretch. And all that was to get to the cold apartment (lucky if it wasn’t our turn for the rotating power outage). The only place I felt warm was under the blankets.
By the second winter we bought an expensive but very useful space heater. It had two-in-one combination – a smaller fan heater and a bigger and more powerful oil radiator. That winter I’d got a nasty bronchitis and, I know it sounds melodramatic, but I felt that this heater saved me: I would close the door and heat the room in which I stayed in bed – and I’d got better. And then it was Spring and by Fall we moved to California, where I never have to experience that cold again. But I brought here with me my gratitude to DeLonghi – the company that made the heater.
For the last many years in winter I heat my bedroom with an oil radiator heater and a smaller space heater makes my morning showers more comfortable. The coffee grinder I bought more than ten years ago still is a part of my weekend Turkish coffee ritual. All these appliances are made by DeLonghi. And every time we’re looking for something for our house, we always check if our favorite brand makes that. Like the coffee maker we bought earlier this year.
While there is no perfume brand that I could claim saved my life, there is a brand to which I feel a strange loyalty. Amouage. As I’ve mentioned before in the post “My” brand and “not my” brand, seven of Amouage perfumes were in my very first order of samples and five of those became my favorites. Currently Amouage is the only brand, for testing perfumes from which I still pay.
My Perfume Portrait lists 10 Amouage perfumes. Only Jo Malone beats that number (but it was my entry niche brand and it’s much more accessible and affordable); all other big brands – Chanel, Dior, Guerlain and Serge Lutens – have a smaller presence in there.
Ubar is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a perfume I’d put in any of my Top N lists and take to a desert island. Memoir is the second Amouage bottle in my collection. The other eight are samples and decants but I see at least a couple of bottles in my future: Lyric, Gold and Dia are very close contenders for the next full bottle spot and it will be decided based on a coin toss which decant I use up first.
Whenever I read about new Amouage release, horde of invisible lemmings immediately haul my wallet to me. There were some recent releases that didn’t work for me (most of the Library Collection, Honour, Interlude and Journey just weren’t my perfumes). But every time I hope the new one will be even more amazing than everything else I’ve previously tried. Because Amouage is “my” brand and I feel loyal towards it (and it’s not that easy to resist when those lemmings start clanging tiny tin cups against the bars).
What brands do you feel loyal to – perfume makers or any other?
Images: all but the last one my own