Jo Set the Tone

I must admit I had a pretty good day today. It’s the first Friday in over a month that I was able to get out of bed and DO the stuff I had planned to do. Like yoga first thing in the morning with J. And showing up at the day hospital for a session on Goal Setting, followed by a group on Relationships with the half-day ending with a Relaxation session. I was so proud of myself that I did a brief victory dance when I showed up there this morning. In fact, I caught myself acting like I was in such a good mood today that I got worried. I grabbed the med student who is responsible for my file and told her she MUST make a note that if I seem to be doing very well all of the sudden, they should by no means take it to mean that I’m ready to be discharged since I’m much more confused than I seem to ever let on. Of course nobody believes me when I say that but surprisingly she said the staff had already discussed my case saying I present well but still have a lot of work to do.

But back to the having a good day part. I did in fact have a good day. My day today actually started yesterday afternoon. My lovely friend K and I had’t seen each other in months and we agreed to get together yesterday. We had rainy, yucky weather and I hadn’t the least notion of what we should do together. When I called her when my classes were done she said she had ducked into Holt Renfrew’s to avoid the rain. I was all too happy to meet her there—there’s nothing not to like about that store, except maybe for the price tags and the occasional saleswoman or customer walking around with a stick up her you-know-what. K and I are very similar when it comes to our great love of things that pleasure the senses. We started talking about fragrances—the kind of topic two girls in an upscale department store might spend hours discussing back and forth and which makes guys want to check into the nearest strip bar and have lots and lots of beer. At Holt’s, the husbands wait for their shopping wives down at the chic little café where they read the newspaper. Or pretend to as they’re ogling whatever young thing happens to be passing by. This we discovered at the end of our shopping experience, when we sat there to have a delicious, overpriced, and thouroughly enjoyable meal.

But first there was Jo. I knew she was the creator of a line of exquisite fragrances which had her fans speak about her products as though they provided a deeply spiritual experience. And so it was entirely natural that K and I should drift over to the Jo Malone counter and spend the next two hours trying out each and every fragrance. The saleswoman explained the mode d’emploi for this particular line. The idea is very simple and very clever. You can buy one scent, wear it on it’s own and be utterly transported. But you can also make your own combination by layering one fragrance over the other to create a unique signature scent. Which means of course more pots of creams and lotions and spray bottles. Talk about decadence. I left the counter with several samples which I was of course encouraged to take my time mixing and matching and generally having fun with. I kept sniffing various parts of my arms and hands which had each been anointed with different combinations. And then again, as I was ready to leave this morning, I went through a little ritual with the creams and sprays on forearms, wrists, backs of hands; Grapefruit, Lime Basil and Mandarin, Fig, French Lime Blossom made my head spin all over again, and there are so many others! To think of all the possibilities…

If scent alone can alter one’s mood (which I firmly believe is true), then you can count me in as a Jo Malone convert. Besides, it’s getting around to that time of year when I’ll just have to spoil myself (for a change!). Originally I was going to buy myself a diamond ring for my 40th birthday. That was when I had a thriving career and a whole bunch of expendable income. By comparison even say 2… 3… even 4 (!) Jo Malone bottles and jars filled with captivating elixirs—should be a more affordable kind of luxury—indeed, I would go as far as saying that it would be a very smart investment in my mental and spiritual well-being.

Tomorrow: pics from the last days of the Imagine exhibit Montreal MFA


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