pleasant gifts



A couple weeks ago we took our niece and her boyfriend from New Jersey up for a hike in the Alps to a place called Vazzeda Inferiore (and before you ask, no, I totally forgot to bring my camera! Duh!).  It was a gorgeous afternoon, the sun was shining and there weren’t too many people about.  Perfect.

As we advanced upon our destination, at about 2,000 meters, where some well deserved prosciutto sandwiches were awaiting us, we noticed greater and greater evidence of avalanches that had ripped through the area the previous winter.  Holy smokes, nature can be scary!  The bridge that we usually cross was broken in half and we had to gingerly navigate our way across, one person at a time and taking extra care to walk in the middle. The river Mallero that carriers glacier water from the Alps was flowing furiously a mere three feet below us!  There was snow five and six feet thick in a lot of places still and trees literally littered our path as we picked our way across.  It was well worth every gasp.  The scenery and the altitude were both breath-taking.

After lunch we snoozed and caught some mountain rays.  Later we went nosing around some of the surrounding stone cottages and I ended up straddling an enormous Larch, victim too of the avalanche.  With it’s roots up in the air and the top half God only knew where I felt draw to just being with it for a while.  LV joined me as we looked at the young sweethearts musing on our own loves and as the memories spread across my heart making my mouth turn up into a smile my hands melted into something gooey.  When I turned upside down to inspect the ickiness I was as dumbstruck as a sailor witnessing land for the first time in months — eureka!

I couldn’t believe the amount of resin at my fingertips!  It was literally oozing out of where it had been broke in half.  LV got out his knife and we scraped it all up, every last ounce! Back home I weighed it, 55 grams of aromatic heaven, scraped it all into a mason jar and added 250ml of 96 proof alcohol to it.

To my nose Larch resin is soft and almost boozy in nature.  Sure, the woody note is definitely central but there’s much more depth to this resin and I can’t wait to evaluate it on a scent strip. It’s also very, very sticky and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with that in a final formula.  I’ll cross that rickety bridge when I come to it.

In the meantime, I’m just basking in the pleasant gifts of an unfortunate event of nature – I can only hope that my perfume failures turn out half as captivating as this.

Have a wonderful weekend!