Your body wasn’t meant for the cold. When you were little, you’d lived in a tropical climate with warm weather year-round, and snow was only a mystical rumor, not a thing that pelted your home and body relentlessly for months. But life changes, of course, and your family had to move for your father’s job when you were barely a teen, and now you find yourself in a harsh, cold climate, with the briefest of warm summer months. You’d sensed the change in weather patterns deep in your bones during the long steamer ship cruise northward. Just a few days in and your teeth were chattering, your lips slightly blue, your “delicate constitution,” as your mother called it, so disrupted by the difference in climate that your mother had made you stay in your stateroom under blankets for what had felt like years. 

You arrived in this new land in what they said was the summer, but absolutely felt like the coldest days you’d ever known … until winter arrived. Your wardrobe didn’t seem to contain enough underthings to ever keep you warm, and the howling wind seemed to rip through the windows and walls of the beautiful-but-decaying mansion your family now inhabited. The great fireplaces were the only places you could get even a fraction of warmth. That is, until one late night, unable to sleep, you secreted away into your father’s parlor. It was where he did business, where the men retired after dinners for whiskey and pipes full of tobacco while the women went to the smaller parlor to drink aperitifs and gossip. You always wished to join the men, but were never allowed, and on those nights usually quietly excused yourself to your room to read. But this night, many hours after the guests had left, before even the servants had awoken, you took the chance and went into his parlor. 

The parlor was in the center of the mansion, with one large window far from the fire, many large leather chairs gathered in a circle, and a long leather chaise directly in front of the fire. You hurried over with your book and a blanket, your nose sniffing the spices floating through the air, making sure the errant glasses of whiskey and small cups of espresso remained intact as you maneuvered through the room, landing comfortably on the chaise. You’d barely read two pages when you felt your eyelids grow heavy, sleep overtaking you in this warm room on the leather chaise that had no right to be so comfortable, the fire warming you as its light grew dimmer. 

When your father woke you in the morning, he wasn’t angry. He’d designed the room for luxury, of course, and he gave you his blessing to let you sleep on the chaise whenever your insomnia/”delicate constitution” made for a difficult night, as long as there was no company still in the house. And that’s how you ended up spending most nights: reading by the firelight on the warm leather chaise, indulging in the luxury and secrecy of infiltrating the gentleman’s parlor.

Scent Notes: A rich blend of tobacco absolute and cognac essential oil, a well-worn leather chair in a smoky, spicy Victorian gentleman’s parlor, with glasses of whiskey and cups of espresso balancing on the wooden side tables.