I always used to think that summer on our mountain starts on the 1st of June – despite the entertaining local saying that summer starts on 40th May hasta el cuarenta de mayo, no quites el sayo – loosely: don’t put your overcoat away until the 40th of May This year (2021), it turned out to be even later than that.
Cass’s blog, with Jonathan’s comments in manly blue and Georgie’s comments in a fitting (and fetching) shade of ginger
Still, June is definitely the prettiest month for the garden, when the trees and bushes are super green, the flowers are bright and perky, and their fragrances are fresh and uplifting.
July is quite often the hottest month of the summer, when you tend to get ferocious spikes in temperature that send you panting inside to whack on the air con and slam down the shutters against the lancing rays. My dad used to enjoy remarking that when you live in Spain the sun becomes your enemy especially for redheads like me! It’s coming to get you, Georgie! On those 40-degree days, you really want to hide from the heat and hope that you’ve got everything you need in the house. If not, you have to do what I once (and only once) did: drive down to the village using only my fingernails on the boiling hot steering wheel while trying to levitate my bare legs off the searing car seat. While squealing?
August is when everyone and everything relaxes: most locals are on holiday and, in normal times, it plays host to the mad week of the fiestas, the village shops and cafés adopt new (and I suspect gleefully baffling) opening hours, and a lovely kind of community torpor descends something we celebrate in our Siesta fragrance I love having friends to stay at this time of year, because the pool is as warm as it’s going to get, so you don’t have to apologise for the trauma of getting in (as you do at any other time of year), long lunches lead to drowsy afternoons and the evenings stay deliciously warm and balmy. And, of course, the fragrant flowers in the garden are giving off their richest, most potent scents. Evenings are my absolute favourite. Post siesta, showered, no greasy suncream, glass of wine, and somehow the flowers smell their best. Sign me up!
But the real August miracle is the sunsets. Honestly, I’d never seen anything like them. Me neither! Nor me! Mountain sunsets are lovely anyway, and in spring and autumn they can be pastel pink and blue, but come August, they are astonishing, wondrous, fiery orange, red and hot pink works of art.
When we first moved here, my parents were visiting in August and we’d been out on the shady side of the house. As with so many houses in the Spanish countryside, it can be quite hard to differentiate sides of the house (front and back don’t mean much when all the doors are open all day), and we’ve somehow settled for ‘morning side’ and ‘pool side’ I came in to get wine (probably!) certainly and there, outside our windows, was a quite magnificent scene, so unbelievable that I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime meteorological event and shrieked for the others to come running. I don’t require such urgency now that I know, I still do this every time! but when anyone else sees it for the first time, they are rendered speechless. We do still jump up and take photos, videos and time-lapses, though! now you’ve figured out how to work time-lapse on your phone Oi! Cheeky!
Sitting out on the terrace on a still, balmy evening, breathing in the exotic fragrances of flowers, while watching the sunset putting on its glorious show, is just heaven. And it therefore had to be a LA MONTAÑA fragrance.
Our wonderful perfumer, Marianne, is semi-retired and now works with and consults for the amazing Pia Long who creates our new fragrances. We decided to be bold and give them a brief of ‘a hot floral riot’, without embellishing it further. As with all our fragrances, a new one must have four things: it must be based on an authentic experience; it must suggest a name and an image; and we must have a three-to-five word description in mind – in this case ‘hot floral riot’ was that description. Whenever I smell it, it reminds me of being high up on the mountainside, sunset blazing and fiestas swinging down in the valley, just out of reach, so you feel involved, but from afar.. perfect positioning for me!
Well, all I can tell you, and I urge you to take my word for it, Cass never lies – she told me so is that this is a fragrance of extraordinary beauty. Not only is it a divine floral (a floral amber, if you want the correct fragrance family) featuring orange flower absolute, rose absolute and geranium, but it also smells balmy! I have no idea how, but it does, it smells like an August Sunset. So balmy and barmy! (fully expects this last one to be cut)
August Sunset will be available as a candle, reed diffuser and room mist in September