It wasn’t popular to visit her local botanical gardens in the winter, and that’s precisely why Lindsey went. True, most of the plants and trees were bare except for whatever was in the greenhouses, but she didn’t mind. As everyone who went either gathered in the greenhouses or waited to come at night for the Christmas light spectacular, Lindsey went during the few hours of daylight to her favorite spot: the koi pond. It was at the very back of the gardens, past several frozen decorative pools and dormant areas, past the greenhouses and the concession stand, in its own little corner. It was a large pond, lovingly cared for, with several benches around it. The pond was full of koi fish of all sizes and colors. Even in the cold, the fish were gleefully swimming without a care in the world. This was it, her near-daily moment of zen, serenity, tranquility. She was a card-carrying member of the gardens just so she could come and stare at the koi whenever she was stressed, which was happening a lot recently. A mix of work stress, holiday stress, and seasonal depression were rearing their ugly heads together, trying to attack her all at once like Cerberus. The fact was, they were winning, except for the time she spent at the koi pond. 

Her head was swimming like the fish when she finally reached the pond today, only to discover that she wasn’t alone. There was never anyone there when she went during the day, minus moms desperate for a break, dragging their kids around or pushing them in strollers while they screamed, forced to be in a beautiful place during the day when the kid would rather be staring at a screen. Today, though, there was a handsome man sitting on the bench where she normally sat. He was looking at his phone intently. Lindsey stopped short of the pond and let out a loud exhale. Her breath steamed in the air. The man looked up from his phone, directly at Lindsey, and waved. Was he … waving at her?? Did she know him? Shit. She did a quick mental rolodex of recent online dates, but no, she was sure she didn’t know him. She’d just raised her hand to start to wave back when she heard footsteps come up behind her and walk past her. “Sorry I was late, babe!” said the other handsome man passing her and meeting up with the other handsome man, who’d gotten up from the bench to greet him. They shared a quick kiss and hug, and started to walk back towards Lindsey, holding hands. They both gave her a quick wave as Lindsey flashed a brilliant smile and waved back. A fantastic amount of vetiver hung in the air behind them; they even smelled gorgeous. She walked towards where he’d been sitting. “Fantastic; the last thing I wanted today was to talk to people. And he warmed my seat!” she said out loud to herself and the fish. The koi swam; one popped to the surface and blew a bubble at her. She smiled again. Finally: tranquility was achieved.

Scent Notes: Deep vetiver, almond, a frozen snow-covered lake.