mardi 30 septembre 2014

Séville à l'aube, future perfect

When my editor asked me whether once it was finished, Séville à l’aube would bring me back to the night that inspired it, I said no. It would not bring back the past. It was the future memory of what I was living as I was developing it with Bertrand Duchaufour. It turns out this was not the memory Séville à l’aube was meant to catch in its wake.

A few weeks ago, the Spaniard in the story that inspired the scent, the one I called Roman, got in touch with me after having disappeared from my life for fifteen years. He wasn’t aware there was a perfume or a book, since it wasn’t translated into Spanish. I sent him both. Then I followed the parcel.

I wore Séville à l’aube for him. He called it “our” perfume.

Now Séville à l’aube smells of arriving at the airport at midnight, seven hours late after a missed connection, scared that seeing each other after so long we wouldn’t connect, and then laughing and kissing. It smells of listening to Mozart and Bizet with the shades drawn. It smells of hours and hours of storytelling – catching up on all those years we lived without knowing of each other’s adventures, and on the years we never told each other about when we crossed paths. It smells of lives bound to be lived apart, and of a bond that was never really broken; of two strangers, two wanderers who recognized each other as kindred souls.

It smells of duende: the moment of losing yourself to beauty, always already knowing you will lose the moment, fall from beauty.

As we kissed goodbye at the airport, he buried his nose in my neck, and said that of all his women friends, I was the one who smelled the best.


20 commentaires:

  1. What a beautiful coda, thanks for sharing.

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  2. Oh, Denyse, I am so glad! You had to risk this reunion, and how wonderful that the connection was still there. And that you wore the perfume that expressed the essence of your first meeting. So so romantic -- Yes, frissons!

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    1. Yes, it's amazing that we should still have so much in common that we could connect instantly despite the years. And he did say the perfume reminded him of the Semana Santa in Seville... But this is still very much a story of "futur antérieur".

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  3. Yay! I was wondering how things would turn out when you told me he had contacted you out of the blue! So glad to hear you got the chance to meet again.

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    1. It was odd to meet someone whom I'd basically transformed into a character in a novel. Reality is so much more complex, and of course in the book I'd changed things to suit the narrative arc. But as he also writes, he said he understood.

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  4. This is something out of an old movie!
    Solanace

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  5. This is so touching !
    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story.
    Gentiana

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  6. I'm glad to hear that you did connect again. Reading the book and reflecting on your life, I was of course glad you returned to Paris, to create this blog, your classes, the perfume and the book (and no doubt so much more that I don't know), and yet it was so sad to read about the life and love in Spain that you had to give up. You really need at least nine lives! nozknoz

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    1. Yes, I *would* have needed nine lives... But in a way, Spain to me was a place where I played out a fantasy, created (or accepted) novelistic episodes, not a place where I'd made the conditions to live. So it was never really mine to lose.

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  7. The story comes full circle. Wow. Thank you for a glimpse into what sounds like an amazing meeting. I'm so glad you could share your book and scent with him, and then learn where life had taken him. It's a capstone experience. I'm so happy for you. Be well.
    --HemlockSillage

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    1. I admit I'm still reeling... I'm not much of a one to keep going back to the past, so it did stir up a lot of things. And now that all the excitement of meeting up is behind me, life does seem a bit dull by contrast.

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  8. Speechless. What a sequel. Ah, duende. Even better that he was unaware of The Perfume Lover and Séville à l’aube. It wasn't just that you had transformed him into a character in your book but that you had also spelled him into a perfume. Delighted for you and thank you for sharing this beautiful interlude.

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    1. True, there was also the perfume, which he said did remind him of Seville during Holy Week... I had tried to find him while both book and perfume were in progress, but he's one of those rare, un-googleable people. So if he hadn't reached out, he'd have never known about either.

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  9. Réponses
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Portia! Hugs from across the world...

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