Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s day to you all – fathers and grandfathers and everyone that celebrates with you. Check my latest newsletter for some fragrant-fatherly thoughts for the day. For today on SmellyBlog, I decided to make a list of my favourite manly fragrances, which I will post later today as I'm planning to spend as much of the day outdoors as possible. With the 4 (or is it 5?) festivals in town it's going to be a difficult decision making day ;)



At June 16, 2008 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Ayala for your thoughts on Father's Day. I was struck by your description of the little boy in the tree that sparked a smell and your memories of your father's smell. What a poignant and striking thing smells are. On Fathers Day this year, I wished mine on the phone; as I live in a country not the one I grew up in. My father has just recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

Allow me to share a story from my own past. A few years ago, I lived in London, England for a while. While checking out a property that would later on go on to be the longest place I lived while my time there, I walked down the wide pavement towards the bridge over the Thames and the near-by property. Wandsworth Bridge Road, North of the bridge, is unusual not only for it's broad pavements on one side (though like most of London, the though fare is clogged and busy) but as a result of it's breath of pavement, known for it's local businesses spilling out onto this free footage to gain an advantage. Or least it was then; as it's been many years since I've returned to the local, and even then it had changed from my memories.

Being so near Chelsea, and being full of those in the know and Chelsea wanta-bys; Wandsworth Bridge Road at the time had the distinction of being full of pine furniture shops. A craze at that time that was just beginning to spill over from the States.

On that glorious sunny leaf speckled morn as I stroll down the avenue to view what would become my new abode for some very important years in my life, I was overwhelmingly struck with a scent. It was an overwhelming scent both physically and psychologically. I was overcome with a scent, which bespoke of: home, comfort, childhood, my father - love. It was the smell of turpentine.

Not a scent most would associate good things with. You see the second-hand pine furniture dealers were making use of the space and good weather to strip back their new arrivals. But to me...

My father was a High School Arts teacher. Though his passion and spare time were spent as a painter. I spent untold late night hours sitting on a stool in our spare room watching my father create his un-sung masterpieces. While watching the creative process, I heard him tell how the un-folding process not only created the work but revealed and informed him of who he was and what he strove to understand. And he thinned and cleaned his brushes with - turpentine. To me it smelt of love and comfort. Maybe why to this day I still love scents like "Equipage" for it's usual but challengingly balanced use of pine. Scents: what incredibly provocative things they are. Perhaps we wear them not to compel others but to subtlety announce who we truly are at our deepest levels.


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