The delights of perfume

August 24, 2017 OTHER photo



Hazel Speed


When we consider the word perfume, it invokes countless metaphorical linguistic equivalents that link fragrances with our memory banks.

Music may speak to our souls but perfume is more immediate as to how it hits our hearts and memories simultaneously, in an instant.

It is very rarely these days that I may walk past someone in the local high street, or visiting Central London, who might obviously be wearing a perfume which instantly takes me back to the 1950s.

Then there are some perfumes which we might even wear ourselves, or notice others are wearing, that remind us of happy times, or conversely, sad eras of our lives.

There are ‘his and her’ perfumes for women, and matching aftershave/colognes for men, but whilst romantic, most women prefer their own choices of perfume.

Do we realise the great effort of what goes into the gathering of the floral source materials and exotic basic choices of nature, from which the end product emerges; after complex and time consuming labours to facilitate the whole endeavour?

We live in an era where synthetics are taking over and to our loss, as original perfumes and blends decrease, probably never to emerge again.

One can visit perfume agents in various home countries who will accept commissions to produce personalised perfumes, but it is not a cheap exercise.

Alternately, one can visit Grasse in France where various perfume chemists can provide sample fragrances from which tourists often buy ‘one off’ blends of an original customised mix, for a set fee.

As a child, I used to live near a famous rose garden and in those days, children were permitted to collect fallen petals to take home. It saved the rose gardens from clearing the paths and the children often made their own perfume or let petals dry in baskets, thereby the amalgamated fragrances would last for a number of years before losing their aesthetic qualities, and lingering perfume which somehow always maintained, albeit altered slightly in mode as the petals aged.

If perfume is your interest, then I can highly recommend Patrick Süskind‘s bestselling book ‘Perfume‘, though with a warning that the ending has, for some, not been quite what they were expecting, or liked. Although a film was also made of this novel, one is recommended to read the book first, as the film did not seem to work well for many, and one can see there is a different sense between the two. If it were a wine comparison, one would remark that it did not appear to ‘travel well.’

That said, it is a gripping novel set in a historic century, and involves murders in the world of perfume manufacturing. An irony to link about the loss of so many original perfumes.





Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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