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Posts Tagged ‘perfume’

scent-of-a-womanFirst of all I apologise for my last post. If any of you were feeling down when you read it, it will have done little to cheer you up. I can only say it was the result of a workaday Monday morning at the year’s back end. I read the poem to my son and he said it was impressively bleak. He also said he didn’t like the poet at all – far too depressing on an empty stomach – and was appalled when he learned it was me.

So, I’m glad to say I don’t feel like that all the time, that just as there need be no firm reason for a decline in spirits, it can take equally little to restore a sense of buoyancy.

Take Sunday for example. There is a donut seller on Southport pier. A few years ago, I could not smell the donuts. Indeed, I could not smell anything. I could push my nose into a bag of the freshly fried little things and smell nothing. On Sunday though, I caught the scent of them even from the road as I drove along the promenade, and they cheered me. Ah,… donuts!

Perhaps it was the wind that carried the scent – it was a fresh day, cold – but the scent of those donuts rendered at once last Monday morning’s poem of measured misery a distant memory. I bought six. It’s one of life’s little paradoxes that even the most heavenly scent emanates from sources that in excess are bad for us, but on occasion we simply don’t care. I carried my bag of donuts to the pier’s end, their scent mingling with a brininess of the wind and an incoming tide. Heaven!

Less wholesome,  was the scent of blocked toilets in the cafe in town. I had called for coffee after my blow on the pier. The cafe was empty. I didn’t linger, yet years ago I would not have noticed the maleficent odour and would have sat down quite happily, in all ignorance. Instead, I followed my nose along Lord Street, enticed by the scent of restaurants, pizzerias, more coffee shops, then an impressive waft of perfume from through the doors of Beals.

There was more perfume from the girls in the crowds on the street.Ah, the scent of a woman!  Indeed on days like these I am in an ecstasy of perfume and can happily follow one trail after another. I realise this is not a good defence against accusations of stalking, but I am also fickle – the lightness of a daytime perfume, or the sultry heaviness of evening,.. girls, you can still warm the cockles, but it is your perfume that sets them on fire. I politely decline all other charms.

Scent opens up the unseen dimensions of the world. It’s impossible to say how extraordinary this is unless you have lost your scent, say for decades, then had it make a recovery. The health professionals I consulted offered little hope. But there’s good information out there – people who tried things and said: this worked for me. You can usually tell them apart from the charlatans by the fact they don’t want any money in exchange for this information. Alpha Lipoic Acid has worked for me. It’s just a food supplement, and it took a while, but it’s gradually opened up a door to a greater experience of the world once more.

I return to the car, return to it’s familiar scent. Yes, the familiar scent, the multilayered scent of place – impossible to label as one thing or another. I can’t define the scent of my car at all. It may be the carpets, or the vinyl top, or something leaking through from the battery in the boot. It smells, dare I say, manly, spicy, a little oily but with an acidic, almost citrus tang. And this is odd because for the first twelve years of its life this little car was owned by a woman. There were lipsticks and little perfume bottles lost down the backs of the seats, and Duran Duran CDs. Yet for all of this purely physical detritus, she seems not to have left behind much of an olfactory impression at all.

I massage my nose with fingertips while I think about this, bring back some feeling after the cold of the air, and as I do so I smell the shaving cream I used that morning, also the hint of an aftershave transferred from the fingers of my gloves – Kuros – an aftershave I wore so long ago I no longer recall the occasion. Yet there it lingers in the pockets of time, waiting to trigger the unexpected – memories of a girl I used to know, and who had a particular liking for that scent – so much so, she would borrow it from me. It would render her weak, she said.

Ah, when the scent is sharp it is a revelation.

When it’s missing from your life altogether, it’s not funny.

Sunday scent and the day feels warmer.
Pity’s Mondays round the corner.

We’ll end it there.

 

Graeme out.

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As a recovering Anosmic, currently in the hands of a doggedly determined TCM practitioner, I find that once again I really have no choice but to affirm the validity of this idea of an energy body. I’ve had no sense of smell for years, none at all. The western medical paradigm – the one that treats the body as a sort of chemical machine – failed to explain the issue, let alone provide a cure and, since it wasn’t life threatening, essentially washed its hands of the problem.

So I asked a practitioner of TCM, and she invited me into her consulting room. She stuck pins in my head, my face, my hands and my shins,  gave me a massage, talked about building up internal Qi with a herbal tonic, and about opening blocked energy channels. Then she sent me away with some Ginko and Ginseng and told me to come back next week for more of the same. After about eight weeks, my sense of smell started to reappear.

Progress was halting – it still is, but it’s getting firmer, and surer now. It came back for a few days then went away again. I had recurring bouts of Phantanosmia – the whole world smelling of something putrid that wasn’t really there – and I wondered if it had all been a fluke, if I wasn’t just back to square one – i.e. nowhere, or rather nose-where. But then I began to smell subtle things, things that really were there. It took time, but gradually my scent memory began to plug itself back together – the scent of coal fires on an autumn night, the scent of freshly split firewood, mown grass, the scent of tea, a smokey car’s exhaust, my wife’s perfume,…

Hold that thought.

My good lady’s been wearing this particular scent for years, gifted to her by a relative and I’ve never noticed it before, but suddenly it’s there, and I’m thinking: what the hell is that? that’s not a pleasant scent at all. What do I say? Don’t be an ass. I say nothing for now – and she never reads my blog, I hope. The bottle’s nearly empty anyway, so I think a trip to the fragrance counter at Boots is in order. Clinique! Now there’s a scent I used to love, and Chanel,… oh, my,… there’s whole new world out there,.. but which one??? I’m almost giddy at the prospect.

I hope I’m not tempting fate by going on about this again, that I won’t at some point simply lose my sense of smell once more for no apparent reason, but I can’t help it. The whole world just smells so damned good right now – well mostly good. Interesting, the dilemma’s faced by the recovering Anosmic. But of course, these are issues I’m delighted to be dealing with.

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