As I’m no longer buying any new clothes, I’ve decided that maybe a new perfume is just what I need to (literally!) spice up my wardrobe. Something that’s not too overpowering, as kind to the environment as possible, but still, in the words of Kelis, ‘brings all the boys to the yard’?!
Scent is hugely evocative. Of all the senses, it has the greatest power to re-create memories and bring back thoughts and pictures, with such force it can be quite overwhelming.
I have clothes in my wardrobe that hold memories of past events. Highs and lows of my life, tucked within the silk folds of a favourite blouse or the sparkle of a sequinned dress. But it’s the scent I wore that really takes me back to places and events that have shaped my life.
It can be both positive and negative. The other day I came across a perfume sample in my drawer and absent-mindedly dabbed it on my wrists. I used to love that particular fragrance, but as the smell drifted to my nose, I was instantly back in St. George’s Hospital and overwhelmed for a split second with the grief and trauma of seeing my child in intensive care. My oldest son is now 16 and full of the joys of imminent adulthood and independence(!) but for a short while at the age of 2, he was in an induced coma fighting for his life against meningitis. The scent, which a dear friend gave to me all those years ago as a small comfort to take into hospital, transported me straight back to that time.
On a lighter note, I bought myself a small bottle of body spray from & Other Stories earlier this year, for a (rare) girls’ weekend in Marbella. Small so that I could take it in my hand luggage. For me now, the remains of that bottle hold the scent of anticipation! Of a weekend of joy, laughter and female camaraderie. Of being picked up in the early hours of the morning by a friendly neighbourhood police officer and driven to a party, because we couldn’t find the apartment we were looking for. It is the scent of sunshine, skin, cocktails and dancing. Continue reading “Scent and scent-suality…”