Midsummer festivities are June 20, a Friday night, downtown at the water's edge in NYC this year, sponsored by the Swedish consulate and the Parks department. They promise 3-5 thousand people, many of them Swedish or from some other far Northern persuasion, who will be celebrating by singing, dancing, eating, making floral head crowns, playing and listening to music. All generally trancing out while witnessing the longest day end by watching the sun finally sink over the edge of the water for the shortest night.
I like the idea of learning to make floral garlands, especially because personally I would like to see a big comeback of people (both sexes) wearing fresh flowers, the more fragrant the better. Garland crowns, corsages, leis, boutonnieres, carrying bouquets, whatever and wherever, as a daily adornment and a pleasure. It would be great to see women walking around wearing Frieda Kahlo-like floral crowns.
This holiday has an old name, Litha, and was the opposite of Christmas, and maybe a bigger holiday in the northern European regions that remained pagan the longest (maybe Lithuania got that name by holding onto pagan beliefs so long and making big summer solstice celebrations?) The power of the sun is in every way intense in the places where the summer is one long day and the winter is one long night. People really enjoy the summer when it is such a short time of the year and they have such a short growing season.
There are countless floral and herbal perfumes that are perfect for a summer solstice party. (See last year's posting on this by Perfume Smellin' Things, a very sophisticated and thoughtful list). At the moment I am experiencing a tremendous sense of aversion to sweetness, so that cuts out a lot of the candied and fruited versions of a lot of florals, for me. My choices currently are Caron's Muguet de Bonheur, which is like a sharp tanged lily of the valley from a distance of about ten feet, which is to say, that much softened, and it gets softer as time goes on. Miele Rosa by i Profumi de Fierenze, is a soft milky rose. It has a true rose steeped in heavy cream feel to it. It was a limited edition in 2007, and I hope it's still available out there somewhere, I think it worthy of a full size purchase after sampling for a few days. Yosh White Flowers I love for the stemmy green pure floralness of it. Nothing sweet there at all, the pettigrain and Siberian fir combine with all the white florals in the book such as gardenia, jasmine, sweet pea, freesia, tuberose, narcissus, rose, and others to bring out the green tone in the floral scents without sweetness. Another favorite of mine, Creed's Fantasia de Fleurs, from the 1862 formula, is a mixture of floral uplift combined with musk that gives it a sense of relaxation and a sophisticated edge, and could be worn by anyone, man or woman, anywhere, at a wedding or at work.
Above photo, a black rose from the Boutonniere Gallery at the Knot, a wedding planner site. Wedding sites have great ideas for flowers and arrangements that I wish would be used more often than just exclusively at weddings and big parties...eccentric that I am.