– Scent of you –
“I have a particular touch for smells. I do not have to make an effort: they remain engraved in my mind and they don’t leave it easily.”
I can forget a date, a time, a commitment made long a time ago; but a smell, I just cannot forget them. The most important memories of my life are strongly correlated to smells. The one I was used to breath in my house, when I was a child, in the folds of the freshly washed sheets by my mother.
The one of the flowers in the fields, when I was running around losing my breath with my friends, without listening to our parents who were hassling us to come back, as dinner was ready. Of those people that, for better or for worse, I loved.
Here in Abu Dhabi, there are not fields full of flowers; on the other hand, however, I have learned to appreciate other scents that I smell when walking in the street: like oils and spices.
“The most important memories of my life are strongly correlated to smells.”
In a little over half an hour I will be forty. Enough to make any woman feel old, even more so when one is in my emotional situation. I would like to fall asleep and wake up tomorrow-late morning, but I am not asleep. I turn off the phone, and I decide that it will remain off for a while.
I do not want to receive trivial calls. Francesco has yet to return, he is having dinner with friends. Maybe even with some female friends, obviously younger than me. Yes, I am still jealous, and he teases me about it.
He tells me that he could not even smell the scent of another woman, after putting his lips on mine. Sitting in front of my toilet, I reluctantly decided to take off my makeup. I do not know if I hate being without makeup more or fragrance: without makeup I am too pale. Without scent, I feel like something of me is missing.
I look at my figure reflecting in the mirrors and a woman with long red hair gives me back a sharp blue gaze. My skin is as white as milk, with some freckles.
“Without scent, i feel like something of me is missing.”
Francesco is a designer and he often tells me that he could not have chosen me, because he only likes beautiful things. Like those who have their delicate balance even in their imperfections. Those you can spend hours watching fascinated, and never be tired. I followed him here, where he works, being called crazy by friends and acquaintances. However, I am used to criticism, I have got it continuously since we got engaged, and it usually washes over me.
It was Francesco to decorate our home, with a style that reflects him: elegant, sober, and unquestionably fascinating. He is thirty-one years old, nine fewer than me. I have known him since he was little: I remember that he used to ride around to my house by bicycle, asking my mother if I was out with an older boy. Yes, of course. Until when, many years later, we met in a bar. “Giulia!”
“Because he only likes beautiful things.”
“Francesco?” I asked. There was nothing left of the clumsy kid. Smiling at me there was a handsome twenty year old boy. We spent the evening together, as well as most of the subsequent evenings, until today.
Francesco does not use aftershave and I prefer it that way, because the scent of his skin is what I love the most in the world. The one I smell first when returning home in the evening, despite all the spices and incense that spread through the rooms. Two hands slowly caress my sides.
“I couldn’t bear not being the first to wish you Happy Birthday.”
Francis takes my face, forcing me to look in the mirror. He knows what goes through my head. He always knows it. “To me you have never been more beautiful than you are now, here, with me.” I close my eyes and I lean towards his belly, feeling the rhythm of his breath, letting him caress my hair, while my heart pounds, as fast as that of a young girl in love.
“To me you have never been more beautiful than you are now, here, with me..”
Perfume has been part of human history for nearly seven millennia. Born in the Middle East it is deeply connected to Egyptian civilization, where it was an intermediary between man and the gods. From the contact with the deity to embalming the dead, scent could never be absent. Spices were used which apparently favour the elevation of the soul: turpentine resin, frankincense, galbanum, laudanum, myrrh …
To get an idea of the scent importance to the Egyptians, just think that every morning the priests were used to clean and sprinkle perfume on the divine statues. The art of blending flavours, then, spread through Greece and Rome via the campaigns of Alexander the
The Arab merchants conquered the Asian market; then, at the time of the Crusades, the use of perfume returned to Europe. It is a phenomenon that does not know limits even today, indeed: in a stressed and hectic environment, the scent is a regenerating cuddle that brings relief to the body and the spirit. Even before going to sleep: the two drops of Chanel No. 5 “worn” by Marilyn became legendary.