Saturday, April 17, 2010

strawberries, sugar, and cream

NO perfume can capture the absolute delight of strawberries andIMG_4289 cream, and that is a great pity. Today I enjoyed my first bowl of fresh cut strawberries floating in whole milk and sugar, and I have to say that few things delight me more. I love the tangy, acidic muskiness of the strawberries in contrast with the smooth creaminess of the milk, and the way the fruity juice from the strawberries slowly turns the milk pink and imparts the most beautiful flavor. 

I was racking my brain for a scent that emulates the unique joy of this culinary combination, but all I could think of were failed attempts (Miss Dior Cherie, Victoria’s Secret Strawberries and Champagne). I have not tried Fragonard’s Juste un Baiser, which supposedly has notes of strawberry and vanilla, but I would be surprised if it were successful. I remember trying a Voluspa fragrance a long time ago thcurlylocks 3at seemed like a very tart, floral, wild strawberry, but alas, I have forgotten its name…. Another I must try is Neil Morris Perfumes Woodland Strawberries, but I have to get my hands on it first. I ramble.

Does anyone else find it amusing that my first idea of domestic happiness came from one of my favorite nursery rhymes sung to me by my mother, and that in some ways, that ideal has yet to be surpassed? I quote it here, from The Original Mother Goose:

Curly Locks, Curly Locks,
Wilt thou be mine?
Thou shalt not wash dishes,
Nor yet feed the swine;
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam
And feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream.curlylocks

Ah, if only my waistline and pocketbook would permit such excess, such would be the life for me!

It is interesting to compare three classic illustrations of this nursery rhyme. The first, by the great illustrator Kate Greenaway, appeals to me the most, because it is both romantic and realistic; the charming young suitor is luring the lovely daughter away from the drudgery of her daily chores with what is surely a very sweet-smelling bunch of fresh strawberries. The second, illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright,  offers us a fantasy image of Curly Locks’ lifestyle post-marriage. She looks awfully young to me. And the juvenilization of this nursery rhyme is taken the farthest by curlylocks 2 Jesse Wilcox Smith as seen below.

Whatever image you prefer, the fantasy of leisure and sensual pleasure is the same, and I always find myself humming that little nursery rhyme my mother sang me around this time of year, when I dip into those luxurious bowls of strawberries, sugar, and cream.

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