Winter Solstice – Messe de Minuit

by angeliska on December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice, beloveds!
It’s not especially chilly here yet, though
it has gotten a little frost-spangled some nights,
the tease of recent snowfall amounted to only
a meagre flurry. That being said, I’m grateful to
know that the days will be longer from here on out.
The thin silver scythe in the sky and all blackened
wraiths in our garden caution me that it may get colder
yet. Bundle up, little rabbits! I get cold so easily, I have
to have almost every bit of skin covered. I’ve considered
even bringing back the ski-mask balaclava. It’s only
recently that I’ve started to get the hang of layering
properly without looking like a lumpy snowman.
There’s some evidence of my progress down below
a bit, thankfully not looking too lumpen or rumpled!
I got caught up earlier staring for way too long at
National Geographic’s hypnotic Patterns in Nature series:

Frost covers the windshield of a car in Tuscarora, Nevada.
Photograph by David Boyer

Snow covers an orchard in the United States.
Photograph by Richard Olsenius

Bare trees cast lacy likenesses on Kunming Lake in Beijing, China.
Photograph by Macduff Everton

The other night, I was invited to two costume parties:
the first was a 60’s-70’s themed holiday bash, and the
other was a Peter Pan/Lost Boys birthday party.
My conundrum was to come up with something appropriate
for both, and also warm. I went with a witchy-progrock-cult
member-medieval look that is probably more 80’s looking
than anything else, but what the hell. I’m pretty obsessed
with my new peruvian wool poncho, and having been wearing
it every day. I used to borrow my step-mama’s cloaks and
suede wrap-boots (man, I miss those!) and wander the woods
after reading piles of Elfquest comics. (Did you know you can read
ALL the old issues online
? True. Very dangerous! Oh those Pinis!)

Yeah, I probably carried a staff and definitely was fervently wishing
at all times that I had pointy ears and four fingers and that the
elves on their wolves would come and rescue my from my
adolescent misery. Anybody else with me on that?

This is me, on the moon. In my backyard. Wearing the beloved poncho,
apparently asleep. Clearly passed out on the ground (or the moon)
is my favorite pose. Yep. Stay tuned for more photos of me sleeping!

Poncho, scarf, leggings, boots = all thrifted. This is my uniform.
Not so much with the headband, though I do want to reclaim it
to it’s true glory. I’m working on revolutionizing them, and I promise
it won’t involve stretchiness, terrycloth, or being jammed down
over straightened bangs, okay? Just wait. It will be magical.

My darling Sienita left her Oaxacan gold earrings in my driveway
the day after Halloween, and I’ve been wearing them nonstop
ever since! I’m totally holding them hostage! The ransom is
100 pesos and a bottle of cherry-rum cordial, just so you know.

Witch witch witch.

Speaking of headbands, I remember being completely fixated
on the album artwork for Debbie Harry’s Kookoo.
Her face is the most perfect face, ever.
This image made such a huge impression
on me at a very young age, but I’ve never
actually listened to it! How odd. Have you?
Of course it’s by H.R. Giger! He also directed
two videos for this album, holy shit –
how have I never seen these before?

Crazy. I feel a Coilhouse post coming on!
Oh, and lest I forget – the time is nigh for winter perfumes, my darlings!
I discovered Messe de Minuit by Etro, and wear it nearly everyday.
It smells divine mixed with CB I Hate Perfume’s Burning Leaves,
with a touch of Wild Hunt. Messe de Minuit = Midnight Mass,
and for me that conjures images of abandoned churches,
Satanic rites, sexy witches, and freaky monks. Also, Hexmas!
You gotta love Etro’s own rather purple description:
“The magic flute that conquers darkness.
A boys’ choir on Christmas night.
The gleam of a Templar sword.
Alchemy and perfume, the perpetual oscillation
that lulls Merlin to sleep in the forest of Broceliande.
Messe de Minuit is primarily incense tempered
by notes of vanilla, myrrh, and cinnamon.
Woody and spicy, it is a mystical escape
from the ordinary male stereotype.”

Oh, really? Phallic much?
The main notes are:
Orange, bergamot, tangerine,
labdanum, incense, myrrh, cinnamon,
patchouli, honey, amber, musk, vanilla
There are a lot of conflicting reviews about
this one, and they’re all worth reading:
Bois de Jasmine – Messe de Minuit
Jorge de Burgos Would Approve: Messe de Minuit by Etro
Frangrantica – Messe de Minuit by Etro
Victoria’s Own – Messe de Minuit
“Snow is the most dramatic and exciting aspect
of winter in the Northern hemisphere,
dressing the world with a white gown of sparkling snowflakes.
Fête d’Hiver is my winter fantasy, with fluffy powdery snow
on a fur collar, and burning incense and cedar in the fireplace
in a little cabin in the middle of the woods.
Her brother, Bois d’Hiver smells like bringing in a fir tree
along with a trail of cold snow air from outside.
Both perfumes have a foundation of frankincense, myrrh and amber,
and have enough spices and orange peel to make them smell
almost like pomander, mulled wine and church incense.
But in both cases I tried to stay away from the usual
holiday clichés by adding a little twist: rose and gardenia notes
in Fête d’Hiver, and orange blossom and fir absolute in Bois d’Hiver.”

-by Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel Parfums
I’m intrigued by Ayala Moriel’s
winter scents, especially from her description
found at the Scented Salamander’s winter and fall
perfumes post
. I return to that one again and again:
I love reading about Christopher Brosius’
wintery concoctions. I’m really craving his Gingerbread
perfume, and wondering why I haven’t ordered
any yet! His Winter 1972 calls to me also –
it’s the scent of “fields of untouched new fallen snow,
hand knit woolen mittens covered with frost,
a hint of frozen forest & sleeping earth”
What are you wearing now that the
weather’s turned blustery?
See also:
Favourite Winter Fragrances from Bois de Jasmine
Winter Solstice – Dark Season
Snow Maidens


I just recently discovered Fresh’s “Canabis Rose.” I wouldn’t call it ‘wintry,’ per se, but it is exactly what i have been looking for. It’s sort of dirty and sweet/sour at the same time. I normally hate rose, but I could not stop sniffing my arm! I must have it. I’ve visted CB in Brooklyn, and sadly, while they smelled divine in the bottle, they smelled like over-sweet one-note candy on my skin. Chemistry, eh. I did pick up in New York, from Aedes, Dipytique’s “L’Autre,” which has to be the sexiest, dirtiest smell to ever come in a bottle. It smells like a wild hot dirty boy, thanks to it’s cumin compound. It seems to attract both sexes equally.

by Melissa on December 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm. Reply #

Happy Solstice to you as well!! And thank you posting those beautiful tree and frost pictures. The one by Macduff Everton is so beautiful – it reminds me of the “Green Meadows of Enchantment” that Brian Froud and Alan Lee draw/write about in Faeries

by Susanne Lynette on December 21, 2009 at 9:49 pm. Reply #

If you like Debbie Harry, may I very strongly recommend Videodrome? It’s by David Cronenberg, who is one of my favorite directors. There’s some needle scenes in that. Very worth checking into.

by Carly on December 21, 2009 at 10:49 pm. Reply #

I love Elfquest and Wolfriders.
I read the strips and the books for many years. I loved the world so much, it brings me great gurgling joy -that link you posted. Thanks!

by Jessica on December 22, 2009 at 1:38 am. Reply #

Aw, you make me so jealous when I read about these perfumes, as I have anosmia 🙁 I can only tell if I like a perfume, but I never know why. Sadface.
You are so awesome, I find you very alluring and wishing I was your real life friend!

by Lorra on December 22, 2009 at 3:35 am. Reply #

And a fine Solstice to you m’dear! We received 10 inches of snow, so my midwinter morning was spent digging my car out of the snow and straining my seasonally atrophied muscles in the process. Not the stuff of poetic enchantment, that’s for sure!
For all I have read of it, I have yet to try Mess de Minuit – although I assure you, it is at the very top of my list. The two scents that are in heavy rotation during these wintry months are Creed’s Angeligue Incens (which I have heard compared to “Angelical demons” and “the darker side of addiction” and “mysterious and mesmerizing…with a lot of Russian soul) & Serge Luten’s Fumerie Turque (“imagine sipping tea in front of the fireplace in a mahogany-paneled library, languishing in the embrace of an overstuffed leather chair, a snifter of the best rum on the table next to you, the ghost of the scent of the hearths previous fires and the pipes smoked embracing you”). They are both rich and fantastic – one being a siren scent, and the other, more of a Hestia hearth scent.
Good to know about Giger produced music videos! That is interesting and a possibly (definitely) disturbing viewing. I would look forward to reading a write up on that.

by Ghoul Next Door on December 22, 2009 at 5:47 am. Reply #

Watch out, perfumes can harm your liver!
Fragrance can do some bad things to your system…at best don’t spray directly on the skin (skin/largest organ: absorbs everything).

by Rio on December 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm. Reply #

you are the prettiest lady on the moon-sphere ever!!!

by verhext on December 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm. Reply #

I have said pesos and a Christmas cordial to share…the earrings and the broom, I must retrieve them! I’m so glad you are donning them and spinning your magic into their golden circles. It has been too long since we’ve caroused…will be back in the New Year. Happy Solstice, beauty.

by Sienna O'Banion on December 23, 2009 at 9:41 pm. Reply #

You are much prettier than Debbie Harry. You have the most amazing eyes ever: they are like fairyland opals. When I was a child I thought that I was a changeling,and that one day my elf parents would retrieve me. I was very conflicted about that, and spent many moments worrying about leaving my human parents when my elf parents arrived.

by Alissa Barvina on December 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm. Reply #

my sister and i spent so much time compiling lists of all the different tribes and everybody’s soul names and making sooo many pictures of moonshade and nightfall and ember. i think i ended up at art school because of wendy pini (& trina schart hyman!).

by Liza on December 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm. Reply #

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