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Finding Spring's Promise

The calendar says spring is only about a week away.

Hah! I'm not buying it. What about you?

One of the reasons I remained in the Research Triangle after my divorce many years ago rather than return home to Long Island was that, well, it's just so darn cheerful here. Seriously: Strangers smile at each other. Neighborhoods are beautifully landscaped. And the skies are blue—even in winter.

Except this year. When I really, really need the blue.

I'm normally one of those weird folks who actually enjoys the occasional rainy day and who tends to recoil from an overly bright sun—I did live in England for a year, after all. But the gray skies and drizzle day after day, week after week this winter are more than I can bear.

So when an emotionally taxing weekend with my memory-impaired elderly mother was followed by the sun poking its head out from behind the clouds for a few hours a couple of Mondays ago, I simply

had. to get. outside.

Have you ever hopped in your car and started...

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An End, and a Beginning

Yesterday was Father's Day, a day that usually comes and goes without my noticing much. It's been 14 years since my Dad left this world and, without children of my own, there isn't any direct celebration of this holiday in my life. But it doesn't mean I don't acknowledge it, or call out to my father's spirit, which I know is with me always.

I first embraced the idea that my father was always with me in Grasse. You see, my Dad passed away just a few weeks before my first visit in 2002 to Galimard Perfumery (for whom ESCENTUELLE is a certified distributor). I was supposed to have my one-on-one training with their master perfumer, Jacques Maurel (pictured below), in late September 2001, but you can easily understand why that didn't happen. I was being sent to Europe for my job (in publishing) and was adding on vacation days for my hobby (perfuming). So when my company rescheduled the trip for February and my Dad passed somewhat suddenly in late January, I couldn't ask them to change...

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