Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Scent of a woman. For the last couple of days, whenever I have got up early in the morning to shut Graham in the living room so I can get a few more hours' sleep, I have sensed a presence in the hall, as if a woman had walked through there seconds earlier. It was the scent of an unfamiliar perfume – not mine, and not my housemate's.

Because I was in that dreamy place between sleep and wakefulness, I wondered if I could sense a ghost.

This morning when I went to sit down at my desk, the scent was in my study, too, and I was wondering if someone has been in here when I've been out, 'getting up in my bidness'.

Then I realised that on Friday I went wandering around the shops in the city trying on makeup and perfume and had accumulated lots of perfume cards. The next day I threw the cards in my wastepaper basket. I realised that I had always scented the mystery woman at the point in the hall when I walked past my study doorway.

Much like Jason Salavon's Every Playboy Centerfold: The Decades, the perfumes' individual fragrances blurred and blended into this ghost perfume that suggested an idea of woman.

I read a story by a visitor to the poet Yeats' house of how, at breakfast, the occultist Yeats' had related how he had had an overpowering dream of the scent of roses.

His wife apparently took great pleasure in revealing that, far from being a symbolic message from he supernatural realm, the smell was caused by a bottle of perfume that she had just thrown out.
And in fact when I first saw those cards they all reminded me of the Turin Shroud. Spooky!
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