February 06, 2009

Lemon Favorites

I am home at the moment. Yes, at 10:30 on a Friday night. You would be too, if you were one of the many people in New York incubating the black plague (aka my first cold of the year). As I sliced a wedge of lemon for my fourth mug of tea, the sweet, tart scent managed to get through my impenetrable sinuses. Maybe it's been a while since I've smelled a fresh lemon? But regardless, the scent struck me as so fresh, clean, beautiful and bright.

I prefer lemons to citrus medleys, because the pure scent of one fruit seems less, well, fruity, than spritzing on a scent that smells like Sprite or Tropicana candies. I went through a pink grapefruit phase in college, wearing Gap's Pink body spray every day for about 18 months. But I tired of it, and the grapefruit seemed to become ubiquitous. But lemon is sharp, distinct, clean and sweet. I love the sharpness of lemon, and I hate when people try to change it. I scrape the meringue off the pie, I steer clear of lemon yogurt (too vanilla) and stick with hard candies, lemon drop shots and Italian ices. Adding sage, "cream" (whatever that is), lavender or anything else just waters down the dominant lemon.

I have always believed (well, since I worked at Bath & Body Works during college) that scents can change your mood. That's the philosophy behind the whole perfume industry. But it doesn't have to just be a scent you wear. I've found that when my Irish nose inhales pure lemon scents, I feel cheerier, happier and more energized. What more could you ask for during a gray, cold, lethargic winter?

Here are some of my pure lemon favorites!

Henri Bendel Lemon Verbena Candle, $26 at Bath & Body Works

Philosophy Powdered Sugar Cookie Body Souffle, on eBay
(Don't let the name fool you - this scent is 90% lemon and 10% sugar cookie - one of my all-time favorites, and the body souffle is an amazing light moisturizer - like a gel!)

Davies Gate Lemon Made Travel Set, $30 at Bath & Body Works
(Includes Body Wash, Body Scrub, Hand Salve, Hand Lotion and Lip Balm)

Philosophy Powdered Sugar Cookie Lip Shine, on eBay
(The perfect clear, subtly sparkly lip gloss, great scent and works on everyone!)

Bath & Body Works Kitchen Lemon Antibacterial Hand Soap, $4.50 or 3 for $10
(Pure lemon goodness, and guys don't mind using it either!)

Philosophy You Are My Sunshine Two-Piece set, Shower Gelee and Lip Shine, $30

Philosophy Lemonade Salt Scrub, $25

C. O. Bigelow Lemon Body Lotion, $24 at Bath & Body Works

Lemon Reed Diffuser, $19.95 at girlsjustwanttoshop.com

Italian ceramic plate, 4.5" diameter, $16 at ceramicadirect.com
(Doesn't smell like lemon, obviously... but how pretty for the wall!)

C. O. Bigelow Lemon Hand Wash, $12 at Bath & Body Works

Philosophy Lemonade Lip Shine, $12

Lemons, cheap at your local grocer, the ideal garnish, necessary for sangria, beautiful in a bowl or sliced on a saucer. Cut, inhale and enjoy.