My favorite place to take a vacation would be Europe, specifically, Italy, France, and England. Perhaps I am a little biased since I am from Europe, and I miss it so much. I love my life where I live now, but at a certain undisclosed age (mine), life strolls along in a very predictable manner, taking care of kids, driving to piano and hockey practices, cooking, running errands, cleaning, and Xerox that all over again. It is a beautiful season, for which I am grateful, but at times the practical far outweighs the abandon and I wish for spontaneous lunges into adventures and overseas trips.
With that in mind, I recently walked into a certain, very popular bath and body store. I love going there for a small escape into the oasis of brilliant displays, pretty colors and of course the different heavenly scents of lotions and candles charging at my senses, leaving me inebriated with the lingering aromas. To my surprise, as soon as I open the door to the store, I quickly noticed an assortment of candles suggestively named to promote a collection of Italian, French, and British inspired fragrances: Sicilian Orange, Tuscan Herbs, Gelato, Villa Bergamot, French Baguette, Paris Daydream, and London Calling among many others. The marketing department at this store did a fantastic job naming these candles as they invoke not only a delicious smell but an experience. Personally, it captured certain emotions and whisked me away to European getaways.
The evocative aroma of the Gelato candle floods my being, instinctively tasting all the other possible flavors of chocolate, lemon, espresso, pistachio (my favorite), hazelnut and limoncello. I am slumbering on a Venetian gondola, savoring these confections, relinquishing all senses, but that of pure bliss.
Tuscan Herbs, evokes to mind a simple Italian kitchen with stark white walls, and dark wooden shelves, full of earthy spices and mosaic colored bowls. Delicious Sicilian oranges are gathered on top of a stone island, waiting to be squeezed in a succulent dessert.
Villa Bergamot claims me sitting in an adorned balcony overlooking lush vineyards laden with ripe grapes. The fragrant wine I am enjoying tastes bold and rich with nuances of lavender and bergamot herbs that perhaps had intercropped with the grape vines in the fertile Roman soil. Linen towels are swaying on a clothes line, kept in place with wooden clips. My mind is released from the worries of the world, as I watch the golden hills gently rising on the horizon like warm loaves of bread.
What can I say about Paris Daydream, as the name itself invites me to an indulgent foray into the streets of city of romance. My husband and I are relaxing in a local carriage, strolling on Paris’ cobblestone streets, horse hoofs echoing off the ancient buildings.
As I relish the scented candle named French Baguette, all I see is a beautiful French girl in white shorts with long dark hair riding a blue bicycle with a thin baguette wrapped in a checkered towel, tucked away in front of her bicycle basket. She rings her bell gently, as to caution the busy streets full of people walking to the open market. The church bells warn me it’s still early morning, so I sit outside a Parisian café drinking strong coffee and treating myself to a buttery croissant. Even though the streets are full of people busily pulsing about, life seems to stand still for me and all that matters is the present moment. As. It. Should.
Ahh…and there is London Calling, which immediately carries me away with its tea and lemon scent to Downton Abbey. Of course, I wear pastel laced dresses with silk ribbons, having clever conversations with a befitting English accent and expertly participating in the ongoing drama. And yes, there is also the possibility of skillfully riding horses in a tailored equestrian look, enjoying the beautiful English country side. Such ingeniously chosen name as London Calling evokes a longing in me to be with Jane Austen, the writer, having lemon tea and discussing her latest book.
Of course, reading this you may call me a hopeless romantic or even crazy to experience such explicit and elaborate emotions, but God made me this way. I have a vivid imagination, and yearn for places that evoke such beauty and bold excursions.
I did purchase a few of these candles, and felt as though I purchased an experience, an emotion, and as I walk through my house I enjoy their redolent, flickering glow.
God created this amazing place we call home for now, but if we miss and long for certain beauty we experience in this world, how much more extraordinary Heaven must be like! The Bible does hint in the book of Revelation of Heaven having walls of jasper, streets of pure gold, clear glass, precious stone, pearls, vivid colors, flowing rivers, and glorious lights, but it also assures us in Corinthians 2:9 that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”. We can take comfort in a magnificent, exalting and glorious Heaven, but for now lets delight and absorb the beautiful offerings of God’s creation around us, let us be fascinated by historic beauty, and aromatic foods, let us find joy in this life that is a short journey even if we have to allow ourselves certain reveries at a local bath and body store.
By Roxana Phillip-Hackett
Roxana is a wife of one, mother of two, who loves to share her faith with sincerity and honesty from her home in Hendersonville Tennessee.
Disclaimer: With certitude I was not offered any compensation, monetary or otherwise, for writing this blog, by this popular bath and body store.