Sensuous, Seductive Sandalwood
by, 16th December 2011 at 04:44 PM (5696 Views)
Hellllooo dahhlings, just got in the door and kicked off my work boots-coffee's brewing for mumsy, my daughter just got out the door for the bus and breakfast is getting cold. Amazingly it is was during this very same situation yesterday when I experienced a revelation of the olfactory kind.
It had been a real drag of a night at work (I work at Florida State Prison, and believe you me, that place has a special fragrance all it's own). I had just broke off a bit of almond biscotti-the slightest whiff of marzipan livening me up, when something else hit my nose. Was that Shalimar?? No! Casting a quick glance about the room for the source of the smell, I suddenly realized it was the sandalwood incense that I had purchased at Dollar General just the day before.
I had purchased sandalwood because I had grown tired of jasmine and those cheap vanilla/strawberry/coconut variety packs are great for outdoors kids parties but inside the house--YUCK! Sandalwood had been the first incense I had ever smelled as a child, but I had not smelled it by itself in years. Now I was smelling it again for the first time and WOWEEE-was I having a homecoming moment with this wonderful aroma. Then something else occurred to me that brought me to full enlightenment. Shalimar!
I had all but written off Guerlain's flagship fragrance as an absolute disappointment to my nose earlier this year when I purchased it online for my daughter's sweet 16th birthday(a small bottle of the EDP). Okay, bad choice maybe (my daughter loves perfumes- Givenchy and Dior, mostly-but this one is a bit more mature). When she first sniffed it I knew immediately that I had goofed, she tried to act as though she liked it but, honey, this father knows his little girl and at that moment my heart sunk through the floor. UUGhh! An absolute failure of a pick! I smelled it and I immediately understood why.
It was confusing-a collision of fragrances that might have smelled nice enough by themselves but put all together was enough to give you a headache. And that lingering "old-ladyish" heavy powdery whiff-what the hell was that? How did this stuff survive on the market this long??! She keeps it in her vanity drawer where she assures me it will keep until maybe one day...
And now the scales have fallen from mine eyes and they have seen the glory. Sandalwood! The aroma floated about me, filling the room from the tip of the jos stick. Sandalwood! That was that whiff-the one that so rudely slammed the door in my face on it's way past my nose. How could it help but jump out at you-it has a fragrance that is just too damned large for little bottles-that's all. Chubby. Stately. Portly and priveleged.
Lusty?? Yes, even lusty.
If silk and velvet had a love-child, this fragrance would be it. Sacred images of humble bathers on the banks of the Ganjes and a maharina riding an elephant saddled with jewels. Women rinsing their garments in spiced basins. Kapok trees overgrowing ancient ruins. Even guiltier things-dark things maybe.
Trilby being seduced by the spell of Svengali-no not Svengali-a little further to the East of him...who was that Chinese guy who was always seeking eternal life in all those movies...Fu Manchu! Yes, him! Or maybe the villainous "Satan" in the novel Seven Footsteps To Satan-he was oriental, yes? And mysterious?? Oh, most definitely!
This was the smell that dominated the club scene in the roaring twenties-and now I could see why! It demands pride of place-it's nobody's runner-up. It's the high priestess, not the cheerleader and that is why Shalimar will never be a "girly" scent, but rather a "womanly" one. She has been around the block. She knows things about you--about life-- in shades of gensing-reds and ivory whites, of golds and pearls and precious woods. She has walked barefooted along the silk road and has listened to the travelers tales and has a few to tell of her own.
Sandalwood. So simple!
Now I think I finally get Shalimar!
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