After months of intense industriousness during which time the house fell into a state of semi-squalour, now the book is finished, D is insisting on a sprucing. Some of the perfume cabinets are in a parlous state of dust- crusted Ms Haversham, and so although my natural tendency in this utterly exhausted aftermath is to just lie about doing nothing except read about the state of the world in the New York Times or immerse myself mindlessly in Netflix (after six months of hardly watching anything, playing the piano or reading a single book), my other half is rightfully demanding we now set about restituting some dignity to my ramshackle collection of bottles, cleaning them one by one, shelf by shelf, over successive weekends.
I am so lazy by nature that I practically have to be dragged towards the perfume choked armoires with the wet cloths, but I must admit that my Vol De Nuit ensemble, which I keep next to my bed ( I found an EXQUISITE new boxed 14ml vintage extrait the other day which, with its ultra-powdered ambery vanilla iris dry down, took my love of this perfume to new heights of adoration ) now is something I can lie on my futon GAZING at, drawing power from its olfactory, visual, and artistic – almost SPIRITUAL – sheer beauty.
The main cabinets are still to be tackled – the ‘men’s section’ so dust-laden there might even be spider’s webs in there for all I know, but next weekend it will be time to de-dust all the Aramis, Azzaro, Givenchy Gentlemen and so on and so forth, the Chanels and Diors; plus the heady, sweet tropicalia of my white floral and coconut shelves.
When it is all done, I think I will be quite pleased to restore some order to it all, to know where certain perfumes ARE, for a start, because you can be sure that, with the dark clouds of fascism and bigoted hatred rising all around the world as we speak ( WHAT is going on?) sometimes you just need to retreat into dreams and sigh into your wrists; OR: embolden yourself with scented, inviolable armour………protections from all the ugly brutality; gentle, incantations of unvisible artistry that are like sweet scented, sensuous buffers from the shock.