A friend told me about her childhood living in Manhattan. She had grown up in a small building on 27th Street, several decades ago. She said that on one side of the family flat there were the wholesale flower vendors, warehousing daffodils, and that in the other direction were the furriers, busy cutting large swathes of mink down into stoles and pillowy muffs. Each weekday my friend would walk home from her school, and if she walked by the flower stalls, the slender, serious men who worked in them would give this young girl a flower to take home with her. And if she passed instead by the furriers, the large men with long smoking pipes who tended the shears there would present the young miss with a small swathe of fur. She would rub the soft fur between two fingers and find the texture of treasure there. On the other afternoons she would burrow her nose into a single flower stem, finding the fragrance held inside. And each day she could pick which direction home to take: fur or flower.
I know how she felt. This winter I find myself luxuriating in the plush texture of red Saint-Joseph, or with my nose buried deep inside glasses of intensely floral Roussanne.