First sets of samples were in hand. Collections of violets, roses; an introduction to perfume types. It was Day #2 for me. I thought I’d venture into roses first; not so sweet as violets, I imagined; not as serious as a Perfume 101-type review.
But I wanted something...not fussy. Not old-fashioned. And not single note. (Oooh, see how I already was incorporating lingo? “Single note.” Cool.) I pondered the names. One appealed: Black Rosette.
Would it be dark? Smokey? Tea rose, because that’s were you find the dark flowers? Open vial, apply wand...
Uff-dah! What in the world was THAT? Chemicals? That sure wasn’t a rose. Double check the vial. Yup, “Black Rosette.” Sniff wrist. Whoa, that is wild...it’s riding high up in my nose, it definitely has a ...what in the world? acetone? something burning? something in between... smell. Maybe the decanter made a mistake. Maybe it turned. But you know what’s weird? I’m sniffing my wrist again. Not only am I trying to figure out what this is, I’m kinda liking it.
And I kept sniffing, trying to figure out what was going on, amused that I was sort of enjoying it. Then the most amazing thing happened. A rose started peeking through. And to this gardener’s nose, a beautiful rose; like a gallica. Sniff again. Something’s happening, and I can trace the progress IN MY NOSE. I read, I watch films, I listen to the radio...but I have never had character development happen entirely in the realm of scent. Here it comes...the chemical-ly smell was nearly gone, and a relatively simple--but not one note--rose was in front of me.
An extraordinary moment of comprehension. It was as if somebody were whispering in my ear ("development/dry down/top notes/bottom notes"), even as the molecules poured past my receptors. I was like Helen Keller with her hand under the pump and Annie furiously signing w-a-t-e-r. Perfume can do this?
Bring me back. I want some more.