It occurred to me on the bus one day, thinking over Ambre Sultan I had sprayed on that morning, how perfume is so utterly unimportant.
It wasn’t smelling the same as it did that morning. It’s character, it’s personality had changed throughout the day and I noticed it out of the blue later. It caught me off guard, but I understood the change all-the-same—the dry-down. You’ve probably noticed this too and blamed it on shoddy manufacturing. So why can’t my perfume last forever?
Because nothing lasts forever.
Maybe “forever” is a tad melodramatic, perhaps “all day” is better suited. After all, you can fork out £100 on a bottle of fragrance, to only have it linger around (at best) a few hours. An eau de cologne? Probably.
Whilst it’s easy to jump to conclusions like “watered down”, it’s important to remember that a perfume’s very make-up is a crucial factor in odourific longevity. An amber fragrance will last longer than a citrus fragrance. Patchouli beats peppermint. And eau de colognes are no match on extraits.
Even then, an amber, patchouli, extrait will not last forever, on the skin or in a bottle. Human skin will eventually get washed (you’d hope) and materials in a bottle will rot over hundreds of years changing what once was something beautiful into something most horrid.
Surely this will last…?
I initially used to lament the last remaining drops of a perfume. Those few precious milliliters can mean the world if it’s Chanel Allure, or lesser memories if it’s Joop! I cling to those smells as if the very person that it reminds me of was still around. But they’re not.
If you’ve experienced loss or death, a dear one or a minor one, you’ll understand how letting go can be so difficult. We get so set in our ways, so comfortable with our set-ups and loved ones, “Surely this will last…?”
People come and go; your parents, your partners, your brothers and sisters, your friends and your children.
Eventually CD and DVD collections are useless, newer technology will replace them all sooner or later. Don’t count on computer game consoles to stick around, those cartridges and disks will give up too. Clothes fall to ribbons. Books get burnt or eaten by the earth. That very earth will get recycled in millions of years…
…But, the present, that’s here, right now, in-front of you, in your face, on your skin, up your nose, in your stomach. The butterflies, the heat, the smell, it’s all here, to be enjoyed, to be savoured, laughed over, completely in the moment to be lived. It means everything. It too shall come to pass. And those smells should be treasured. Not hoarded or stored away, but splashed on lavishly. Like life, enjoying it to it’s absolute fullest, right to the very brim.
Love everything you have and everyone around you. Perfume will change and disappear (eventually). Your partner, family, friends, YOU too will leave eventually. So, love your perfume, love your loved ones, and love yourself. None of us are in it for the long haul.