Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Scent memories, perfumes from the past.

Isn't it interesting how the smell of something, anything, not just perfumes, can bring back vivid memories in  just a flash?
Naturally, most of those scent flashbacks stem from our childhood. Mom's kitchen, grandma's kitchen, the smell of your favorite bookstore or library, your dad's aftershave, even a certain part of town seemed to have it's own individual fragrance.
As most of you know, I grew up in San Francisco in the Sunset District which is (in my case was a block or 2 from the beach). It was always foggy with a heavy scent of the ocean misting through cool moist the air.
My absolute 1st scent of nature aside from the enormous rhododendrons my dad was growing in the back yard, and of course my best friend "Gretchen" my super sweet and very protective German Sheppard.

While not too far away was Golden Gate Park, and just on the other side of it,  the Haight Ashbury District.
The Haight has not changed much over time. Just more expensive, over priced shops, a bit of gentrification, and of course the homeless, no longer Hippies but, mostly the mentally ill and drug addicts. As a teen, I was not all together very fond of the smell of Patchouli but, I was far from repelled by it. It was to me, a very comforting fragrance. Homey, woody, earthy and grounding. One could not avoid it's fragrance while wondering through the Haight, along with Nag Champa, and the smell of the eucalyptus tress that lay just on the other side of the street. All these scents still lofting around this district.
It took me several years to acquire a taste for Patchouli (but, then again, I hated mushrooms and their slimy texture in my youth, and now, I can't live without them :), but, Patchouli now, to me is my absolute favorite floral/plant. Perhaps, because I'm an earth sign (if you believe in all of that) but, to me it screams earthy sexy on a primal level. It's one of those perfumes that if Patchouli was in instrument, it would be an entire drum circle. It's incredibly versatile, and no matter what wacky idea of scent combos you throw at it, it seems to always be there agreeing with ones formulaic decision. No matter who extracts this essential oil, where it was grown or even it's age, there is no mistaking it's fragrance. To some, my little favorite reminds them of old dirty Hippies. (Now, when you say "Dirty Hippies" to me, I just smile as little tiny hearts go floating over my head ;)
I suppose not everyone "gets' Patchouli or even (I shudder to say) really don't like it but, truth be told, this is what makes the world go round. How many perfumes can I possibly make with Patchouli? I don't know but, I'm never going to stop trying. Off to the lab to continue....

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