"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Saturday, July 05, 2008

+ smells!

in continuation of my Venice Beach post, i was delighted to find in one upscale boutique a display of Chris Brosius's I Hate Perfume collection. i thought CB's scent philosophy was so fascinating, i always resented the fact that Brooklyn was such a far distance to travel, or that modern technology hadn't discovered a way to transport scent across the internet.
my favorite was Winter 1972, maybe more the concept than the scent. i love the idea and the way the smell kinda helps me put that memory in mind. that's all i really want in a bottle of expensive scent, anyway. i'm not buying the commodity, i'm buying the memory...

the interesting thing about CB's perfume is that, despite how much i love the concept, i have absolutely no desire to buy it for myself. and, i think, ppl who do, totally misunderstand CB's perfume philosophy. to them, it's still a perfume; those memories aren't their own.

i wish instead that CB specialized in bottling those scents we wish to keep, and that you could commission him to travel to your home and sit in that closet with you, taking deep breaths, and he'd write in his notebook the ingredients he'd need to distill this place into a scent: aged fur, your mother's leather purse, the silk scarves from Spain yr father bought yr mother when they were dating. the smell of untouched old clothing and what you've always supposed is the smell of moth balls but still aren't quite sure. the smell of tarnished metal jewelry and belt buckles, the smell of soft light sifting thru plastic garment bags and winding thru sleeves, a sliver of light shining on your face as you sit on the floor of your parents' closet, your arms around your knees, pulling yourself in tight and feeling hugged by all your parents' clothing, hanging down around you like a willow tree. (we'd call this one "In My Parent's Closet, 1990-2000").

if i could, i would create scents named after particular instances in my life, like "April 2007-Spring is Almost Here" and "May 2008-The Summer is Almost Over." and they would remind me of love and precious, urgent friendship, the smell of humidity and muggy Oxford air, the swan pond and sunsets on the roof, sunlight thru tree leaves in the woods and the sweet warm smell of cottonwood blooms lining the streets of Oxford and the smell of sprinkler dew lingering on the grass at night. and i would create another: "Every Summer Before This" and that would smell like sunlight shining in thru curtains and blinds in my room at home in Lexington, old dusty books and wood wax, sweat and pool chlorine and my mother's homemade lemonade and the smell of gas grilled steaks and crisp romaine in a wooden bowl with blueberries and freshly cut apples. and lightning bug luminescence after a summer evening rain, bare feet on soft carpet, VHS tapes, tennis balls and tennis shoe rubber, sunscreen and sun-exposed skin after a cold shower, and my bed at home. the smell of softness and peace.

and there'd be others i'd want bottled too, like "The Windate Writing Center - At Night" and "Serious Relationship #2". and there'd be another called "A Hug", which would be the smell of someone you love holding you tight, your face buried in their chest or your cheek against their neck, and the smell of their laundry and their hair and the warmth of their skin thru their shirt. and there'd be another called "Bike Ride - Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter & Lexington/Oxford/Suburbs/Woods/Chicago" which would remind me of open air and my hair blowing around my face, and the excitement and anticipation of adventure. clean, crisp air filling your lungs and your hair, billowing your clothes like a parachute around your body.

with fond memories and olfactory sensations,

No comments: