When I was growing up in Virginia, every summer my grandmother and her sister Delia would take me huckleberry picking. Huckleberry bushes grew along ditches at the edge of woods, so one had to contend with ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, gnats, horseflies, and the occasional snake as one picked the fruit. To foil this onslaught of biting varmints, my grandmother would wear a striking outfit that made her look like a character from a Charles-Dickens-Meets-Flannery-O’Connor tale: a long-sleeved, ground-dragging dress, a tall straw-and-linen bonnet, a gauze scarf that fell to her hips, and, most strangely, kerosene-moistened cotton rags tied in bows around her ankles and wrists.
My grandmother felt sure this get-up would protect her from all manner of animal attack. It certainly attracted attention from passersby — they would slow down their cars and stare at the two elderly women (looking ghostly in their old fashioned white and pale blue outfits) hovering in the shade of the woodland. Me? Between short stints of labor-intensive berry picking, I was usually hidden in the woods, rummaging through the cooler for things to eat and drink.
When we got the buckets of huckleberries home after a four-hour picking spree, my father would cook scrumptious huckleberry dumplings and my grandmother would make huckleberry jam. The smell of huckleberries would fill the house.
I’ve tried to grow huckleberries here in Seattle but the bushes just don’t produce enough fruit to justify the space they take up, so every summer I search in farmers’ markets for the sweet fruit that reminds me, always, of my grandmother.
Voluspa’s Santiago Huckleberry body/room spray smells exactly like fresh, sweet huckleberries; it’s quite startling to smell such a realistic fruit aroma coming out of a bottle. Sprayed into the air, the huckleberry scent is bright and ‘wet’, like a freshly picked ripe berry. On skin, the huckleberry scent slowly sweetens and you can detect notes of sugar cane (huckleberry sorbet) and vanilla pod (huckleberry ice cream).
The lasting power of Santiago Huckleberry is very good whether you use it to scent your house or your body. For those of you who allow your young children to wear cologne, Santiago Huckleberry would be a good alternative to the usual citrus and orange blossom scents made for children — Santiago Huckleberry smells uncomplicated and fun.
I have nothing but kind things to say about Voluspa’s high-quality line of Japonica perfumed sprays, candles, hand lotions and hand soaps. For buying information, see the listing for Voluspa under Perfume Houses.