Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Rising Notes


Perfume and death. Connections between the two have been made for centuries. Roses are snuffed out so their essence may be captured. White flowers reveal their most seductive odours just at the point of decay. Incense is carried to the sky by the rising notes of a requiem. But maybe the links run deeper still. Maybe perfume itself - as an idea, an invention, a construct - is an expression of mortality. It bursts into life. It settles. And then it fades, despite all our attempts to keep it alive. Maybe perfume is a scented version of a sand mandala: created only to vanish. Maybe part of its purpose is to perish.  Of course, one heart-breaking consequence of this link between scent and the underworld is that the former has the power to grant us a glimpse into the latter. Smells revive the dead, albeit briefly. And a few days ago, when all our hopes and wishes and vigils ended in the inevitable, a new perfume joined Poison and Fidji in my personal lexicon of the departed: Eau Sauvage. From this point onwards, treasuring a bottle of it will be as important as hanging on to every single memory of the man who loved wearing it.

Persolaise

16 comments:

  1. Hello. Sorry for your loss. May your relative rest in peace.

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  2. I am truly sorry for your loss.
    Sylviane

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  3. Shock horror gasp ! Does this mean that the Eau Sauvage we all know and love is to be deleted ? If so you are right to stockpile any bottles you can get. Another well loved classic to be treated like this was Opium - the new opium being vastly inferior and the latest flanker black opium being dreadful.Holly

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    Replies
    1. Holly, as far as I'm aware, Eau Sauvage isn't being deleted.

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  4. I'm very sorry for your loss, D. and wish you and yours strength.

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  5. So sorry to hear that our prayers did not help...my father who deceased 7 years ago also loved Eau Sauvage and I still have his one bottle left.

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    1. Neva, thank you. And thanks for sharing the info about your father. I think Eau Sauvage was an absolute staple for so many men around the world.

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  6. So sorry to read this, Persolaise. Sending some warm thoughts your way.

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    1. Bgirlrhapsody, thanks very much. I appreciate it.

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  7. Very sorry about your loss. Poignant to have a scent as a shortcut to memory. I loved your story about the illicit creme bruleeing.

    Beth

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    1. Beth, thanks very much. Yes, I'm sure that creme brulee moment will stay with me and my family for a long time :-)

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  8. A beautifully written piece, & my condolences on your loss. My late father wore Eau Sauvage, & I freely admit to sneaking a whiff from a perfume counter every now & then.

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    Replies
    1. Carolyn, thanks very much indeed for taking the time to write. I think we could all probably write a book about the perfumes we reach for at beauty counters.

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