In the entrance of our house there are two stone jars full of the unburied remnants of years of incense sticks. Over time, I have added patchouli oil and clove to the tamped down interior, and once, on a whim, poured in an entire vintage eau de toilette of Grès’ seminal Cabochard – just because I had found the design of the bottle, upon unboxing, so exceptionally ugly; the fancy bow of the original, sly grey velveteen, in this edition an ersatz glass stupid, gainly as a Toby jug.
Sacrilegious. Perhaps. And this was a long time ago. But I noticed, when I came in the other day, that when left to itself, other incense dissipated, windows left open – the cold chill that quickly descends on this old house when the heat is let out – I can still smell this perfume delicately in the air – a beautiful, ghostly, spirit of sepulchral Cabochard infiltratred through brittle fragments of Japanese incense, alongside lingering nuances of patchouli.
On my birthday on Thursday- naughtily taking a longer lunchbreak than allowed, in the hope of picking up a bottle I had seen in a recycle shop of the violet/heliotrope/ iris limited edition Les Metéorites by Guerlain that I hadn’t realized was as rare as it was and should have bought when I first spotted it (naturally, it had gone) ; I did, in its place, glancing constantly at the time, get another scent I was very pleased with and will write about soon, as well as a bonus 15ml vintage parfum (pictured above) of the lovely Cabochard, in its original, lost-in-a-Siberian-birch-forest box.
Once again – realizing that this base heavy, thickened unguent – a parfum extrait that had inevitably lost some of its top notes and was lacking the sharp hyacinth tang I require in a pristine version, I found, against my will, that I just couldn’t stop myself from repeating my past impulsions. Some patchouli essential oil I had received as a present; and half of the parfum. Into the urns. Splashed or dripping down into the dark space inside; the sepulchral, cool camphor of the incense and the space below, welcoming the new refreshment of its scent in quiet whispers.