ooh missy i’m feeling it againSource: VINTAGE BAL A VERSAILLES: AN AERIAL SHOT
Filed under Flowers
PERFUME AND MEMORY
6:am one spring morning s few years back. The sun is not quite up. My morning coffee is brewing. I decide that I am feeling a little sexy as I walk around my kitchen and Bal a Versailles should be my perfume of the day and only the parfum will do. I dab it on my wrists, then proceed to pour a cup of coffee. I settle into the corner of my sofa to leaf through a shelter magazine as I watch the sunrise, sip and luxuriate in the smell of myself.
Suddenly I hear a commotion out on the street in front of my house. I look out to see 4 Latino men loudly discussing something in Spanish. Two were leaning on the brick wall of my yard and two were across the street standing over the body of a woman laying so close to the curb it looked is though she were about to roll over into the gutter as ribbons of blood were streaming from her lifeless body into the street.
The men standing at the bottom of my yard used hand motions to tell me to call the emergency number. I ran into the house and proceeded to call 911. An ambulance seemed to take forever to arrive. In English, I tried to ask them what happened as we waited. Somehow, they were able to tell me that she had stumbled from around the corner. They pointed. I went in the house to call 911 again. When I returned, all 4 Latino men were gone and as the paramedics, police and detectives arrived, I was the only one left to help them piece together the story of what may have happened to this poor woman who had been pronounced dead.
I told them all that I had gathered from the men on the street before they had disappeared, so the police were able to mark a blood trail that lead to the bus stop around the corner. It was determined that someone had stabbed her as she was waiting on the bus to go to work and she was trying to make her way back home when she collapsed and died. Her purse was missing, so it was assumed to have been a robbery. That section of my street was closed to traffic for more than half the day as the detectives investigated and the news crews came and went. All of this to the fragrance of Bal a Versailles. This was a traumatic experience that left me a little in shock to the horrors of what people can do to each other for days afterward. I still love Bal a Versailles and think it’s sexy, but my feelings about it are also bittersweet as there is no way I can ever don that perfume again without thinking of that morning and the murder of Delfa Hercules. That was her name.
My god. How utterly horrifying. And how nauseating it must smell now.
With the passage of time the scent strangely evokes the beauty and fragility of life. It gives me more of a feeling of bittersweet melancholy. It’s a feeling I just can’t describe, really. For me the scent is more poignant now than horrifying or nauseating.
Which makes sense, and yet ‘poignant’ is, in many ways, the last thing we want from Bal A Versailles.
Still pleased it hasn’t been totally decimated by the experience, though.
Yes, you are right. Bal a Versailles may never evoke just pure sexiness again, for me, but it is still as amazing to me as it ever was and I still wear it from time to time to bask in the complex and contradictory feelings it stirs within me. There was never anything neutral about this scent!
And that a perfume can be complex and contradictory, and more importantly, stir FEELINGS is miraculous when you consider the fact that so much of modern ‘perfumery’ is utterly incapable of doing so.
A chilling tale!
And I agree that modern perfumery cannot stir feelings as such.
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