Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Scent is Sent

Still humming yesterday's newly-recalled childhood ditty, I took a brunch of a bunch of grapes in my living room. Occassionally I would permit myself a small glance over to the little scottie dog which, silent and stationary though it was, somehow conspired to radiate a sense of enjoyment. Together we watched Loose Women, the midday magazine show wherein loose-jowled women sit at a desk and share disparaging comments about their husbands and those men who have wronged them in the past. The dog seemed appreciative of such vituperation and indicated its approval by remaining motionless.

By the end of the programme, I felt sordid and ashamed on behalf of my sex and prepared to leave the room and retire for a candlelit Radox bath. As I did so, a scent permeated the room. An instantly and shockingly recognisable scent. At once I was transported back in time (not literally) to childhood Sunday mornings, dressing for church. My mother would take me out of the jute sack I habitually wore and bedeck me in a shirt and trousers. After this, she would prepare herself for worship by donning a dress and daubing her chin with her favourite perfume.

Without doubt, it was this smell I smelled. Penhaligon's little-known and long discontinued Brechin Bouquet. My mother's scent. It was strongest over by the mantelpiece where sat my little dog. Of course, I could not leave the room then. I lay down, inhaled the fragrant scent of Penhaligon's Brechin Bouquet, and wept at the memories aroused.


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