fallen, gone


A string of memories, brought on by a spray of my favourite scent.

I remembered the time you and I sat in that café at Kinokuniya with the bad food and good coffee and discussed our mutual admiration for Susan Orlean and "The Orchid Thief", and how we were going to brilliant journalists like her, the kind that's genuinely fascinated by what other people dismiss as ordinary. We talked about flowers and writing and and possibilities. Flowers, coffee, warm afternoon sun, the quiet hush of a shop full of paper. The smell of hope and optimism.

It had been a long, somewhat dispiriting day of diving, seeing the ruin caused by activities like ours, and while we were waiting for the boat to dock, the light became a dim gold, a breeze carried the sweet, heavy scent of frangipani over to us, as we watched the sun gently dip onto horizon we left behind. It doesn't seem possible to feel loss and contentment all at once, but we did.

We sat on a sidewalk after one too many drinks and it was chilly and damp in the worst possibly way, but we talked like we had all the time in the world. I carry your words in my heart and it's still the best advice anyone has given me. Every time I pass that tree and see the white flowers bloom, I think of you.

I have used this perfume for close to a year now, but recently, for the first time, it made me remember all these things.

Do your perfumes bring back any special memories? Do share.


Florina said…
This is so interesting! And I find it lovely how you put down in words scattered fragments of life, it's absolutely charming! My (secretly) favorite scent is J'adore from Dior because my mom wears it all the time. I associate it so much with her and with memories of her, that I don't feel quite ready yet to wear it myself and I don't like it on other people either.
Oh my! Nothing seems to bring back long lost memories quicker than their accompanying smell. I can really relate to this post.
Aïssa said…
Strangely, the perfume I'm wearing now doesn't make me revive any special moment but whenever I go through the shelves of Sephora, a few bottles always bring flashbacks: First boyfriend, girly chatters, a dashing older gentleman in an elevator complimenting me...
lapindelune said…
How beautiful, this style of writing reminds me of the fiction that I need to read and cannot locate:)

Having only this year discovered a scent that I will probably remain faithful to for years to come, I have yet to accumulate associated memories, although they are slowly beginning, in their own, enigmatic way......and yet, at the same time, the new scent also reminds me of my far off past, even if there is no direct connection - which is one of the things that makes fragrance so magical, impossible to decipher, I think. My current favourite reminds me of home comforts as a child, the scent of my mother, sensations of safety, and even family trips to unknown places, places which are still unfixed in my memory because I was possibly too young to retain them.

Strange, elusive...

Oh, and I very much love your watch in the previous post. I hope you enjoyed your night out! x
lin said…
Florina: My mum used to wear a perfume that instantly makes me think of her too, and it alarms me when I smell it on other people, hahaha. It was Estee Lauder's Pleasures.

Lottie: My sense of smell is actually quite poor, but yes, smells have a way of reminding me very strongly of very specific things. A certain smell in the before it rains always reminds me of the afternoons spent playing in school among the roots of raintrees while waiting for the school bus.

Aissa: I should try walking through Sephora sometimes and see if that happens to me. Tommy Girl always reminds me of my secondary school days because it was everyone's favourite perfume, while CK's Escape always reminds me of my first crush. But I've never actually used either perfumes.

Lapindelune: Thanks!I find it easy to write about the personal. I'm not sure why my perfume would remind me of all those pretty unconnected things, but I think it's simply because it has a somewhat "nostalgic" feel to it.
Ammu said…
Lovely post. Coconut-scented body lotion always reminds me of my mom's first apartment in Singapore...I have no idea why.
And Allure always reminds of my friend Lydia, we were at university together, and every time I stepped into her car, I would be hit with this incredible mix of tobacco + Allure. Totally heady and totally her.
a. said…
I love this post!! Chanel Coco Mademoiselle reminds me of last (southern hemisphere) summer. The beach on the south Island in New Zealand and feeling really restless because it was a period of transition for me. I struggle to put my memories into words though, I just feel nostalgic for that time when I smell it.
Human Racing said…
I love the idea behind this post! I don't wear perfume, but I always wear cocoanut lotion and although the scent doesn't remind me of any specific memories, I've always found it to be a comforting smell. For me it's more that there are certain people who I distinctly remember their perfume/cologne. I'm not sure if it was on purpose but they've definitely established a signature scent as far as I'm concerned.
G said…
Lovely post!

Clinique Happy reminds me of the locker rooms in high school. Putting on makeup and talking about the boys...

Chanel No.5 reminds me of going through all my grandmother's musty old closets... All her clothes smelled like it.

And of boys and men. I can remember what every one I've ever been with wore.
lin said…
Ammu: Thanks. For me, it's the smell of fish being fried that reminds me of my childhood home.

a: I think perfume is perfect when we have no words - it brings back everything we need to know.

austere: I agree. Sometimes I smell Chloe on someone on the street and I immediately think, "was that my sister?"

G: Thanks! I remember Clinique Happy, it reminds me of girls standing together gossiping too, because one of my friends wore it.

And thanks everyone for sharing your scent stories, I'm enjoying them.
Nhu said…
I saved this post to read when I was in the proper mood. I'm glad I did. Very sweet and melancholy.
lin said…
Quinn: Thanks!

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