You’d think it’s an easy affair, loving a perfume. Perhaps you’re looking for a signature scent. You just find it and like it and ask your self: can I picture myself wearing this? Is this “me”? And if it is, you buy it and that’s that. I abhor the concept of “signature scents”. As one person could only ever love one blend of smells, be portrayed in one single perfume. As if scents didn’t resonate much deeper inside a person than just the nasal cavity. A scent is a bundle of references that come together an evoke something. Memory you’d almost forgotten, a representation of a perfect or horrible moment. Comfort, or an emotional roller coaster. As if your life couldn’t suddenly shift and turn everything that “is” you, against you. You have to become a new you. The old signature is false now, representing a ghost.
Which is exactly how I felt last spring. All of a sudden something sort of turned my whole relationship up side down and made me have to think hard about if I wanted to remain in it, or not. I remember thinking “This is not who I want to be, I don’t want to be this person stuck in this shitty situation, figuring out this shitty decision. Something has to give. Something has to change.” I literally felt like I had to shed something, a skin, scales (the ones over my eyes?), anything.
So I shed. I changed my hair colour and started that bottle of Parfumerie Générale “Djhenné” I’d been a bit hesitant to really break into. I figured I’d in some sense recreate myself, re-invent myself. When I bought it in Les Senteurs in London, I was really going to get “Indochina”. It sounded perfect on paper, but then I tried my way through the range on the shelf, it was Djhenné” that stuck with me. And yet, it was left sitting on the shelf in my bedroom for months. I put on a tiny splash now and then to remind myself of how great it is, but somehow, I never really felt like wholeheartedly wearing it.
When I finally did, I all of a sudden realized what it was the scent instilled in me so deeply: courage. So when I picked it up and tried it on in the middle of all this heartbreak, it was suddenly clear to me. What I needed to get through it and what I had been saving this bottle for. Courage.