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A Diary of scent (April 27th) by Gillian



This scent. ‘Indian Garnet’.

Resting on my dressing table, I picked it up the other day and used it. It’s delicate, gorgeous perfume transported me back to when I first discovered it. It was November 2018 and I was on a flight to Kuala Lumpur.

A tiny sample bottle of this eau de toilette had been left in the toilets for people on board to try (a marketing ploy to encourage us to buy a full size bottle). Of course it worked! How could I resist! It will always remind me of luxury travel, fine dining, exotic places, my wonderful partner….


Other scents conjure up different memories for me. Body Shop’s ‘White Musk’ will always have surreal and frightening memories. Of hospital wards, nurses glaring, cigarettes rationed, trembling hands, extreme restlessness, food uneaten.

Strange though, that when I have since passed a Body Shop in the mall, I find myself lured in, as if being seduced by my mind, to find the ‘white musk’ and to smell it.


It makes me wonder what scent will remind me of the COVID -19 lockdown that we are currently in? Will it be the hand soap that I am so frequently using? Or the smell of bean chilli cooked so lovingly by my daughter? And what will those memories be? How will they feel? Will they be of empty streets, face masks, queues outside food shops? Will they be of worry and fear? Or will they be of families chatting six feet apart at the end of garden paths? Or my neighbours’ children playing in our garden because they don’t have one? Will it be of sharing and giving?


Maybe it will be all of these things and more, and I will be grateful to be alive and well and to be able to experience those memories, in whatever context they present.



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