A woman ran down the subway stairs past me, leaving a trail of Anais, Anais, the first fragrance created by French fashion house Cacharel.
Boom. It’s 1982. and I’m living in Paris and that’s the scent my then-beau gave me, an intense floral.
If a man trails Kouros, my knees weaken. The guy who gave me the Anais, Anais wore it. Sigh.
The night I met Jose, aka the sweetie, he wore a red silk Buddhist prayer shawl as a muffler. It was scented with his fragrance, 1881, a wonderful cologne created in 1955, “recommended for evening wear.” At the end of our first date, he took off this warm, scented silk and wrapped me up in in. Double sigh.
Eleven years later, here we are.
I often wonder what the world smelled like in 1933 or 1868 or 1743. Or 1572, as I’m currently reading a biography of Queen Elizabeth I.
Gunpowder. Leather. Sweaty horse. (Horse dung.) Coal. Fresh-cut hay. Unwashed skin. Cold, dry stone. Wool. Woodsmoke. Ordure. Blood. Freshly-cut lumber. Mud. Peat. Tallow. Tar. The ocean.
When Jose took me to Santa Fe, New Mexico, his home town, I learned several new smells: hinoki (cedar), used by the amazing local spa, Ten Thousand Waves. Sagebrush. Pinon. Chile powder.
One of my favorite smells in the world is that of sun-dried pine needles, a scent I associate with my happiest times, up north in Ontario at summer camp.
What will 2020 smell like? Or 2086?