Perfume Fragrances Quotes

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An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.
H.L. Mencken (A Book of Burlesques)
Women waste so much time wearing no perfume. As for me, in every step that I have taken in life, I have been accompanied by an exquisite perfume!
C. JoyBell C.
I ought not to have listened to her,' he confided to me one day. 'One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet. But I did not know how to take pleasure in all her grace.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
It's not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: "This is what you should wear at age twenty", "That is what you must act like at age twenty-five", "This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen." But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It's always wonderful to be elegant, it's always fashionable to have grace, it's always glamorous to be brave, and it's always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!
C. JoyBell C.
You are never fully dressed without perfume!
C. JoyBell C.
You look at me, you look at me closely, each time closer and then we play cyclops, we look at each other closer each time and our eyes grow, they grow closer, they overlap and the cyclops look at each other, breathing confusion, their mouths find each other and fight warmly, biting with their lips, resting their tongues lightly on their teeth, playing in their caverns where the heavy air comes and goes with the scent of an old perfume and silence. Then my hands want to hide in your hair, slowly stroke the depth of your hair while we kiss with mouths full of flowers or fish, of living movements, of dark fragrance. And if we bite each other, the pain is sweet, and if we drown in a short and terrible surge of breath, that instant death is beauty. And there is a single saliva and a single flavour of ripe fruit, and I can feel you shiver against me like a moon on the water.
Julio Cortázar
Perfume is the key to our memories
Kate Lord Brown (The Perfume Garden)
Flowers of sin, like some black sun, Bloom in my dreams Their perfume-sodden fragrance Spreading through each heartbeat.
Shiv Kumar Batalvi
The fire. The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgment; I doubt if all the smoking censers of Dante's paradise could equal it. One breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the American West. Long may it burn.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
The fragrance of white tea is the feeling of existing in the mists that float over waters; the scent of peony is the scent of the absence of negativity: a lack of confusion, doubt, and darkness; to smell a rose is to teach your soul to skip; a nut and a wood together is a walk over fallen Autumn leaves; the touch of jasmine is a night's dream under the nomad's moon.
C. JoyBell C.
When we lift our hands in praise and worship, we break spiritual jars of perfume over Jesus. The fragrance of our praise fills the whole earth and touches the heart of God.
Dennis Ignatius
Are You Ready for New Urban Fragrances? Yeah, I guess I'm ready, but listen: Perfume is a disguise. Since the middle ages, we have worn masks of fruit and flowers in order to conceal from ourselves the meaty essence of our humanity. We appreciate the sexual attractant of the rose, the ripeness of the orange, more than we honor our own ripe carnality. Now today we want to perfume our cities, as well; to replace their stinging fumes of disturbed fossils' sleep with the scent of gardens and orchards. Yet, humans are not bees any more than they are blossoms. If we must pull an olfactory hood over our urban environment, let it be of a different nature. I want to travel on a train that smells like snowflakes. I want to sip in cafes that smell like comets. Under the pressure of my step, I want the streets to emit the precise odor of a diamond necklace. I want the newspapers I read to smell like the violins left in pawnshops by weeping hobos on Christmas Eve. I want to carry luggage that reeks of the neurons in Einstein's brain. I want a city's gases to smell like the golden belly hairs of the gods. And when I gaze at a televised picture of the moon, I want to detect, from a distance of 239,000 miles, the aroma of fresh mozzarella.
Tom Robbins (Wild Ducks Flying Backward)
I can't over-emphasize how important an exquisite perfume is, to be wrapped and cradled in an enchanting scent upon your skin is a magic all on its own! The notes in that precious liquid will remind you that you love yourself and will tell other people that they ought to love you because you know that you're worth it. The love affair created by a good perfume between you and other people, you and nature, you and yourself, you and your memories and anticipations and hopes and dreams; it is all too beautiful a thing!
C. JoyBell C.
Fragrance speaks the loudest on a subliminal level.
Marian Bendeth
Sometimes a scent is more evocative than a photo or an image. It is a primer for the deflagration of sensation, emotions, desires, uncontrollable atmospheres, dejavus that flood and wrap us like honey, until they make us drown in an unrepeatable moment of wellbeing... olfactory hallucinations that lead us anywhere: to the North of any South, to the East of any West...
The Frays had never been a religiously observant family, but Clary loved Fifth Avenue at Christmas time. The air smelled like sweet roasted chestnuts, and the window displays sparkled with silver and blue, green and red. This year there were fat round crystal snowflakes attached to each lamppost, sending back the winter sunlight in shafts of gold. Not to mention the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. It threw its shadow across them as she and Simon draped themselves over the gate at the side of the skating rink, watching tourists fall down as they tried to navigate the ice. Clary had a hot chocolate wrapped in her hands, the warmth spreading through her body. She felt almost normal—this, coming to Fifth to see the window displays and the tree, had been a winter tradition for her and Simon for as long as she could remember. “Feels like old times, doesn’t it?” he said, echoing her thoughts as he propped his chin on his folded arms. She chanced a sideways look at him. He was wearing a black topcoat and scarf that emphasized the winter pallor of his skin. His eyes were shadowed, indicating that he hadn’t fed on blood recently. He looked like what he was—a hungry, tired vampire. Well, she thought. Almost like old times. “More people to buy presents for,” she said. “Plus, the always traumatic what-to-buy-someone-for-the-first-Christmas-after-you’ve-started-dating question.” “What to get the Shadowhunter who has everything,” Simon said with a grin. “Jace mostly likes weapons,” Clary sighed. “He likes books, but they have a huge library at the Institute. He likes classical music …” She brightened. Simon was a musician; even though his band was terrible, and was always changing their name—currently they were Lethal Soufflé—he did have training. “What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?” “A piano.” “Simon.” “A really huge metronome that could also double as a weapon?” Clary sighed, exasperated. “Sheet music. Rachmaninoff is tough stuff, but he likes a challenge.” “Now you’re talking. I’m going to see if there’s a music store around here.” Clary, done with her hot chocolate, tossed the cup into a nearby trash can and pulled her phone out. “What about you? What are you giving Isabelle?” “I have absolutely no idea,” Simon said. They had started heading toward the avenue, where a steady stream of pedestrians gawking at the windows clogged the streets. “Oh, come on. Isabelle’s easy.” “That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about.” Simon’s brows drew together. “I think. I’m not sure. We haven’t discussed it. The relationship, I mean.” “You really have to DTR, Simon.” “What?” “Define the relationship. What it is, where it’s going. Are you boyfriend and girlfriend, just having fun, ‘it’s complicated,’ or what? When’s she going to tell her parents? Are you allowed to see other people?” Simon blanched. “What? Seriously?” “Seriously. In the meantime—perfume!” Clary grabbed Simon by the back of his coat and hauled him into a cosmetics store that had once been a bank. It was massive on the inside, with rows of gleaming bottles everywhere. “And something unusual,” she said, heading for the fragrance area. “Isabelle isn’t going to want to smell like everyone else. She’s going to want to smell like figs, or vetiver, or—” “Figs? Figs have a smell?” Simon looked horrified; Clary was about to laugh at him when her phone buzzed. It was her mother. where are you? It’s an emergency.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Perfume is born of both pleasure and pain. It envelops the neck and reaches deep to the heart of recollection without notice.
Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert Sixth Scents
One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet. But I did not know how to take pleasure in all her grace. This tale of claws, which disturbed me so much, should only have filled my heart with tenderness and pity.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
I thought of myself mixing the fragrance of a certain day – the heavy musk of the hillside after the rain with the lightness of fresh blossoms doused in the downpour. I thought of each little bottle as the essence of a happy day or a sad one. I mixed the scent of a lonely moment – sandalwood and bergamot lingering over a rich, peppery base.
Sara Sheridan (The Secret Mandarin)
Fragrance should never be worn like a thick scented choker, where the scent emanates from the neck in strong blasts like a foghorn! Rather, it should sparkle like twinkling stars, where small bursts disperse here and there, they elude us, pique our curiosity and make us want more.
Marian Bendeth
An addition that takes time to depart, and sometimes, never leaves at all. A smell, a touch, thoughts, moments, feelings, movements, words left unsaid, words barely spoken; they all have a distinct sense, distinct fragrances! .... A pungent of cinnamon, an aroma of a rose, a summer breeze, a sweet smile like a per-fume that lingers on and on... endlessly.
Angie karan
We choose perfumes for ourselves so we can tell the stories inside of us— the ones that we can't possibly put into words.
C. JoyBell C.
A great perfume will weave an emotional thread in the fabric of our lives." Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert Sixth Scents
Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert Sixth Scents
You feel the fragrance of goodness not only in the mere physical presence of a person, but also in the words he uses and the acts he performs. It all leaves you more perfumed.
Rabb Jyot (The Freedom of Being Human)
Духи живут во времени; у них есть своя молодость, своя зрелость и своя старость. И только если они во всех трёх возрастах источают одинаково приятный аромат, их можно считать удачными.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
There's no stopping the soul that radiates out and around us, any more than one can stop the sweet perfume of a rose. You could, of course, hold your nose. But the rose will continue to exude its rich fragrance, even while you suffocate.
Thomas Dale Cowan
But what do I love when I love my God? Not the sweet melody of harmony and song; not the fragrance of flowers, perfumes, and spices; not manna or honey; not limbs such as the body delights to embrace. It is not these that I love when I love my God. And yet, when I love Him, it is true that I love a light of a certain kind, a voice, a perfume, a food, an embrace; but they are of the kind that I love in my inner self, when my soul is bathed in light that is not bound by space; when it listens to sound that never dies away; when it breathes fragrance that is not borne away on the wind; when it tastes food that is never consumed by the eating; when it clings to an embrace from which it is not severed by fulfillment of desire. This is what I love when I love my God.
Augustine of Hippo (The Confessions of St. Augustine)
Perfumery is the best imitation of the vibrancy and subtlety of nature's evolution. Marian Bendeth, Global Fragrance Expert, Sixth Scents
Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert, Sixth Scents
Make me a fragrance that smells like love.
Christian Dior
The night was aromatic with the smell of autumn and the steely fragrance of freshly dampened blacktop. How she loved the smell of road: asphalt baking and soft in July, dirt roads with their dust-and-pollen perfume in June, country lanes spicy with the odor of crushed leaves in sober October, the sand-and-salt smell of the highway, so like an estuary, in February.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
I tensed, waiting for the fury - both his and mine - but it was only quiet and calm in the darkness of his room. I could almost taste the sweetness of reunion in the air, a separate fragrance from the perfume of his breath; the emptiness when we were apart left its own bitter aftertaste, something I didn't consciously notice until it was removed. There was no friction in the space between us. The stillness was peaceful - not like the calm before the tempest, but like a clear night untouched by even the dream of a storm.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
The trees are bedecked with snow, the air is perfumed; how sweet, how dark the sultry fragrance. Forever hypnotising, always haunting. I want to inhale the fragrance of your skin, drink from your open mouth.
Suzy Davies (Johari's Window)
In the variety of the tone of her words, moods, hugs, kisses, brushes of the lips, and this night the upside-down kiss over the back of the chair with her dark eyes heavy hanging and her blushing cheeks full of sweet blood and sudden tenderness brooding like a hawk over the boy over the back, holding the chair on both sides, just an instant, the startling sudden sweet fall of her hair over my face and the soft downward brush of her lips, a moment's penetration of sweet lip flesh, a moment's drowned in thinking and kissing in it and praying and hoping and in the mouth of life when life is young to burn cool skin eye-blinking joy - I held her captured upside down, also for just a second, and savored the kiss which first had surprised me like a blind man's bluff so I didn't know really who was kissing me for the very first instant but now I knew and knew everything more than ever, as, grace-wise, she descended to me from the upper dark where I'd thought only cold could be and with all her heavy lips and breast in my neck and on my head and sudden fragrance of the night brought with her from the porch, of some 5 & 10 cheap perfumes of herself the little hungry scent of perspiration warm in her flesh like presciousness.
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
What we talk about less often, because it is harder to explain, is the way a perfume can give breath and body to the phantom selves that waft about us as we go through our days -- not just the showgirl, the femme fatale, and the ingenue, but all the memories and dreams of the taller, meaner, sharper, sweeter, softer people we have been or long to be.
Alyssa Harad (Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride)
The horizon all around me breathed out perfume announcing her arrival as the fragrance precedes a flower
Nostalgia is where the past blurs into the present. That’s where all the best scents are to be found.
Jarod Kintz (There are Two Typos of People in This World: Those Who Can Edit and Those Who Can't)
It had been a long time since I felt the fragrance of summer: the scent of the ocean, a distant train whistle, the touch of a girl's skin, the lemony perfume of her hair, the evening wind, faint glimmers of hope, summer dreams. But none of these were the way they once had been; they were all somehow off, as if copied with tracing paper that kept slipping out of place." -from "Hear the Wind Sing
Haruki Murakami (Wind/Pinball: Two Novels)
Fragrance is everything: it is the relationship between you and your mind, you and other people, you and this world. It is the life that you lead in your head. It is the life that you lead in the ways your skin feels. It is everything.
C. JoyBell C.
True artistry in perfumery is the marriage of notes that may juxtapose each other but become harmonious in a blend. Born of pure creativity and an astounding knowledge of literally thousands of synthetics and hundreds of Essential oils, they must possess the ability to marry disparate and conjugal notes into a harmonious blend.
Marian Bendeth
I stepped out to the lawn. I remember the air that night, and how it was so brisk that it could revive the dead. The fragrance of eucalyptus stoking a home fire, the smell of wet grass, of dung fuel, of tobacco, of swamp air, and the perfume of hundreds of roses--this was the scent of Missing. No, it was the scent of a continent.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
French women choose a scent when they’re girls and use it until they’re grandmothers. It becomes their trademark. 'Ah,' he murmurs in the dark theater, 'Giselle is here tonight!' But I think that a woman usually outgrows a fragrance every decade or so.
Joan Crawford (My Way of Life)
Your perfume. . .' His tone held a faint hint of surprise. 'I'd somehow expected you to wear something more. . .sultry. I don't recognize this fragrance.' 'It's new," Courtenay said tersely. 'It's called Get Lost. You've probably never encountered it before.
Grace Green (Winter Destiny)
They ask me what kind of perfume I wear or how I choose a signature scent or what to wear to what occasion. The truth is, I just go into the perfumery and pick out the most beautiful smell. I sniff the scent and then see with my mind’s eye the vision that it brings to my heart. If I want to wear that vision with me every day until the bottle is all used-up, then that’s the perfume I’ll purchase. And I do use it up until there’s nothing left and only then do I go out to buy another one. Another vision for another year or two. Fragrance, to me, is about wearing a perspective on your skin. The scent itself is the vehicle by which you can be reminded of those pictures that those notes have opened in your soul.
C. JoyBell C.
The empress of the perfumer's palette, jasmine must be harvested before the rising sun to retain the full force of its delicate fragrance. Fragile and fleeting, jasmine is a fair nymph of a flower with a potent perfume. A world without jasmine? Simply unimaginable. -DB
Jan Moran (Scent of Triumph)
The cent you desire is hidden in the scent of a flower.
Michael Bassey Johnson (Song of a Nature Lover)
Get your head out of your ass, you already reek of hypocrisy, so why add notes to the fragrance?
J.S. Mason (The Stork Ate My Brother...And Other Totally Believable Stories)
Inhaling fragrance is to snatch time and memory and hold it tight if only for a fleeting moment.
Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert, Sixth Scents
Perfume can instigate an instant intimacy with a complete stranger.
Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert Sixth Scents
Too many "think" perfume from the head instead of "feeling" from the heart." Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert Sixth Scents
Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert Sixth Scents
Through perfume, I smell your soul" Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert Sixth Scents
Marian Bendeth Global Fragrance Expert, Sixth Scents
Take a blind man to Lycia, and he’ll immediately know from the smell of the air exactly where he is. The acrid perfume of lavender, the pungent fragrance of wild mint and thyme, will tell him
Halikarnas Balıkçısı
One, who lives, as a truth of rose; it may place the rose anywhere, it breezes perfume, even if one scatters the rose; indeed it will split into leaves; however, it will still flow its fragrance.
Ehsan Sehgal
The Awakening I dreamed that I was a rose That grew beside a lonely way, Close by a path none ever chose, And there I lingered day by day. Beneath the sunshine and the show’r I grew and waited there apart, Gathering perfume hour by hour, And storing it within my heart, Yet, never knew, Just why I waited there and grew. I dreamed that you were a bee That one day gaily flew along, You came across the hedge to me, And sang a soft, love-burdened song. You brushed my petals with a kiss, I woke to gladness with a start, And yielded up to you in bliss The treasured fragrance of my heart; And then I knew That I had waited there for you.
James Weldon Johnson (Complete Poems (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics))
Perfume makers know that, owing to genetic differences in how we experience fragrances, about half the people who inhale jasmine will think of honey, and the other half, unfortunately, will think of urine. They’re both right.
Amy Stewart (The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks)
And he sent the gentle sun of his smile upon the land; whereupon to a bud, the hosts of blossoms unfolded their glory, from one end of his empire unto the other, creating a single rainbowed carpet woven from myriad precious capsules of fragrance.
Peter Süskind
The next morning, when Thomasin withdrew the curtains of her bedroom window, there stood the Maypole in the middle of the greek, its top cutting into the sky. It had sprung up in the night. or rather early morning, like Jack's bean-stalk. She opened the casement to get a better view of the garlands and posies that adored it. The sweet perfume of the flowers had already spread into the surrounding air, which being free from every taint, conducted to her lips a full measure of the fragrance received from the spire of blossom in its midst. At the top of the pole were crossed hoops decked with small flowers; beneath these came a milk-white zone of Maybloom;then a zone of bluebells, then of cowslips, then of lilacs, then of ragged-rosins, daffodils and so on, till the lowest stage was reached.Thomasin noticed all these, and was delighted that the May revel was to be so near.
Thomas Hardy (The Return of the Native)
The pleasure of holding her washed through him in repeated waves. She was petite and fine-boned, the delicious fragrance of roses rising to his nostrils. He'd noticed it when he'd held her earlier... not a cloying perfume, but a light floral essence swept with the sharp freshness of winter air.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
My ability to mingle with men is tied into the security I feel in my perfume. I'm not even kidding. I could meet a perfect man but if I'm in between finding perfumes, I won't bother with the guy. But with a truly precious bottle of perfume in hand, I'll conquer any man. My sense of security lies in my fragrance, men are secondary.
C. JoyBell C.
Did you know we carry perfume around? It’s a special fragrance that cannot be bought at any store. It is more precious than any fragrance ever. We carry the fragrance of Christ wherever we go. The Holy Spirit has it’s own distinct scent. We are God’s Special Bottle of Perfume. And both believers and unbelievers can ‘smell’ it!
Diana Rasmussen of Prayers and Promises
But, you see, what I like about you is not that you feel foreign. And I don't think you ever did feel entirely foreign. But I like the fact that something about you still resists, refuses to become familiar, remains invincibly foreign. And it means that when I'm with you, I'm always rubbing up against a foreign element, something mysterious, irreducible, ever present, and full of happiness…It makes the way you walk and some of the things you do feel foreign to me for a moment. Your voice, on the end of the phone, from time to time: foreign. Your perfume, its vetiver fragrance, your own delicate smell: both foreign. Your subtly sinuous thought processes are so foreign to my own meanderings, and yet clearer and sharper. Of course you are not a foreigner, but how I value this foreignness in you. Perhaps keeping that foreign element is the secret.
Hervé Le Tellier
The intoxication of fragrances casts its magic spell on me.
Avijeet Das
Even the perfume-free fragrance in your delightful bubble bath you were taking was from one of my first collections, Eau de Water
J.S. Mason (A Dragon, A Pig, and a Rabbi Walk into a Bar...and other Rambunctious Bites)
Where perfumed rivers flow, Is the home of my beloved. Where passing breezes halt, Is the home of my beloved. Where dawn arrives on bare toes, Where night paints henna-beams on feet, Where fragrance bathes in moonlight, Is the home of my beloved. Where rays of light roam nakedly, In green forests of sandalwood. Where the flame seeks the lamp, Is the home of my beloved. Where sunsets sleep on wide waters, And the deer leap. Where tears fall for no reason, Is the home of my beloved. Where the farmer sleeps hungry, Even though the wheat is the color of my beloved, Where the wealthy ones lie in hiding, Is the home of my beloved. Where perfumed rivers flow, Is the home of my beloved. Where passing breezes halt, Is the home of my beloved.
Shiv Kumar Batalvi
Gera smiled in satisfaction. “The trick to wearing perfume correctly is to only apply enough that if someone else can smell it, they’d better be intimate with you. A fragrance should never linger without you in an area after you’ve left it. Rather it should be a subtle reminder that only stays on your pillow or clothes, and only when your lover’s face is buried in them.” That
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Silence (The League #5))
The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgment; I doubt if all the smoking censers of Dante’s paradise could equal it. One breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the American West. Long may it burn.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness)
The missing element couldn't be in the top notes. I figured that out quickly enough. Top notes were the ones that caught your attention, the glittering invitations that led you deeper into a fragrance. It couldn't be a middle note, either- those warm, round things, full and loving. Taking them out would induce the soft purple of wanting, but that was still too passive. Need lived in base notes. It was the difference between appetite and craving, a bruised heart and a broken one. Base notes were just that, base- subterranean and simmering, dirt and blood, grief and desire and memory.
Erica Bauermeister (The Scent Keeper)
Every perfume is made of top, middle, and base notes. Top notes are light, middle notes last longer, base notes last longest. A good perfume has all three, but they have to be in the proper proportions." The sentences washed over me in a wave of technicalities, but I could feel what she was talking about. It had happened with every scent-paper I'd smelled, the fragrance shifting, telling a story that deepened even as it disappeared. Even nature was that way, if you thought about it- the bright green of the trees giving way to the dark and complicated dirt beneath, the ocean holding the scent of death under all that life.
Erica Bauermeister (The Scent Keeper)
So along with the whiskey and perfume and smoke, she often exuded faint undertones of hay, dust, and the fragrance of horse, which once you smell it you always miss it. Humans were meant to live with the horse.
Louise Erdrich (The Round House)
There are some who believe that perfume is magic. The fragrance of a thing is its purest essence. And certain scents can awaken phantoms of past love, of sweetest reminiscence." "Phantoms?" Daisy repeated, intrigued, and the other girl replied impatiently. "He doesn't mean it literally, dear. Perfume can't summon a ghost. And it's not really magic. It's only a mixture of scent particles that travel to the olfactory receptors in your nose.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
I smelt him, smelt Johnny; for a second I thought - what? That he was there, was with me, that he wasn't...But I realised it was his perfume, the one I'd had made specially for him by an artisan perfumer in New York, his own custom-made one-off blend. It had been hideously expensive but I hadn't cared as long as it had pleased him. It was all intense essential oils, layer upon layer of labdanum, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver, ambrette, frankincense, myrrh, amber, Bulgarian rose absolute, Oud wood - the list was endless and beautiful, like a scented prayer. The woman had said some of the ingredients would keep their fragrance for a hundred years, would never die. Like me, he'd said, like us. I'd put some drops of the heavy dark oil on a couple of cotton wool pads and put them in the box when we got it, now the fragrance - strange, narcotic, archaic - filled the room like his ghost, embracing me in memories.
Joolz Denby (Wild Thing)
Yorkshire had none of the color I'd known in Cape Town- the vivid pinks and purples of the freesias and arum lilies in the flower sellers' baskets. Yorkshire had none of the fragrant floral perfume, or the tang of salt in the air from the ocean.
Hazel Gaynor (The Cottingley Secret)
In my humdrum life I was exalted one day by perfumes exhaled by a world that had been so bland. They were the troubling heralds of love. Suddenly love itself had come, with its roses and its flutes, sculpting, papering, closing, perfuming everything around it. Love had blended with the most immense breath of the thoughts themselves, the respiration that, without weakening love, had made it infinite. But what did I know about love itself? Did I, in any way, clarify its mystery, and did I know anything about it other than the fragrance of its sadness and the smell of its fragrances? Then, love went away, and the perfumes, from shattered flagons, were exhaled with a purer intensity. The scent of a weakened drop still impregnates my life.
Marcel Proust (The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust)
The bells on the streetcars ring, buses clatter by honking their horns, stuffed full with people and more people; taxis and fancy private automobiles hum over the glassy asphalt,” he wrote. “The fragrance of heavy perfume floats by. Harlots smile from the artful pastels of fashionable women’s faces; so-called men stroll to and fro, monocles glinting; fake and precious stones sparkle.” Berlin was, he wrote, a “stone desert” filled with sin and corruption and inhabited by a populace “borne to the grave with a smile.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
All April and May, the stock-pots exuded the fragrance of the crushed bones and marrow of cattle and fowl, seasoned with the crispate herbs and vegetables from her own luxuriant garden. The smells coalesced into a dark perfume that felt like a layer of silk on the tongue. My nose grew kingly at the approach of my home. There would be the redolent brown stocks the color of tanned leather, the light and chipper white stocks, and the fish stocks brimming with the poached heads of trout smelling like an edible serving of marsh.
Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides)
This is Clive Christian Number One. It's one of my favorite fragrances, and one of the most exquisite. It's made from entirely pure ingredients, mainly natural aged sandalwood from India and Tahitian vanilla, but a lot of the other ingredients - the ones that produce the fine top notes- they change slightly every year, depending on availability and the perfumers' preference." Using her skills, she smelled the scarf. "Pineapple, plum, mirabelle, and peach, heart notes of jasmine, ylang ylang, orris, and carnation. I'm betting this is the '08.
Jeffrey Stepakoff (The Orchard)
his inhuman scent enveloped me: a ferny green fragrance of spring leaves, the sweet perfume of wildflowers. Beneath that, something wild—something that had roamed the forest for millennia, and had long spidery fingers that could crush a human’s throat while its owner wore a cordial smile.
Margaret Rogerson (An Enchantment of Ravens)
The elevator wasn’t empty; it was full of fragrance. The perfume that lingered smelled like my past. Starting tomorrow, to focus on the future, I’m going to close my nose with a clothespin. One day, probably the day after tomorrow, people may regard me as a fashion visionary. Ah, but that’s life, no?
Jarod Kintz (Ah, but that's life, no?)
The Yamato spirit is not a tame, tender plant, but a wild--in the sense of natural--growth; it is indigenous to the soil; its accidental qualities it may share with the flowers of other lands, but in its essence it remains the original, spontaneous outgrowth of our clime. But its nativity is not its sole claim to our affection. The refinement and grace of its beauty appeal to our æsthetic sense as no other flower can. We cannot share the admiration of the Europeans for their roses, which lack the simplicity of our flower. Then, too, the thorns that are hidden beneath the sweetness of the rose, the tenacity with which she clings to life, as though loth or afraid to die rather than drop untimely, preferring to rot on her stem; her showy colours and heavy odours--all these are traits so unlike our flower, which carries no dagger or poison under its beauty, which is ever ready to depart life at the call of nature, whose colours are never gorgeous, and whose light fragrance never palls. Beauty of colour and of form is limited in its showing; it is a fixed quality of existence, whereas fragrance is volatile, ethereal as the breathing of life. So in all religious ceremonies frankincense and myrrh play a prominent part. There is something spirituelle in redolence. When the delicious perfume of the sakura quickens the morning air, as the sun in its course rises to illumine first the isles of the Far East, few sensations are more serenely exhilarating than to inhale, as it were, the very breath of beauteous day.
Inazō Nitobe (Bushido, the Soul of Japan)
Her soft voice played over his senses like it always had, her English accent more pronounced than ever. Or was that because his ears had become acclimatized to the Australian accents around him again? He didn’t know. He pulled in a slow breath, headache forgotten, the subtle scent of Emily’s perfume filtering into his body. His stomach knotted, his balls grew harder, that delicate fragrance flooding him with memories too haunting to bear. She’d cured him of anaplastic astrocytoma, and in the process inflicted him with something else. Something powerful and—he was discovering all too quickly—inescapable.
Lexxie Couper (Dare Me)
A rare orchid that gives off its scent only at night," Nettle replied. "The petals are pure white, far more delicate even than jasmine. One cannot obtain the essence by heating the blossoms- they are too fragile." "Cold enfleurage, then?" Lillian murmured, referring to the process of soaking the precious petals in sheets of fat until it was saturated with their fragrance, then using an alcohol-based solvent to draw out the pure essence. "Yes." She took another breath of the exquisite essence. "What is the orchid's name?" "Lady of the Night." That elicited a delighted chuckle from Daisy. "That sounds like the title of one of the novels my mother has forbidden me to read.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
He remembered as never before how exquisite and beautiful she was, and her kisses tasting of crème de menthe and her fragrance of Coty perfume would be new and sweeter than ever after the coca and the rustic perfumes of these valleys. What a feeling of satin, that of her red lips under his cracked by the wind and the sun! The astonishment in her blue eyes when he related his odyssey through these wild mountains!
Ciro Alegría
Indeed, nothing is further from realizing the pretension of the beautiful than an ill-arranged ball. So many things difficult to assemble are necessary that during an entire century perhaps only two are given that can satisfy the artist. There must be the right climate, locale, decoration, food and costumes. It must be a Spanish or Italian night, dark and moonless, because the moon, when it reigns in the sky, throws an influence of languor and melancholy over men that is reflected in all their sensations. It must be a fresh, airy night with stars shining feebly through the clouds. There must be large gardens whose intoxicating perfume penetrates the rooms in waves. The fragrance of orange trees and of the Constantinople rose are especially apt to develop exaltation of heart and mind. There must be light food, delicate wines, fruit of all climates, and flowers of all seasons. There must be a profusion of things rare and difficult to possess, because a ball should be a realization of the most voracious imaginations and the most capricious desires. One must understand one thing before giving a ball: rich, civilized human beings find pleasure only in the hope of the impossible. So one must approach the impossible as closely as one can.
George Sand (Lélia)
Sita closed her eyes and breathed into her cupped hands. Before she left, she had remembered to perfume her wrist with Muguet. The faint odor of that flower, so pure and close to the earth, was comforting. She had planted real lilies of the valley because she liked them so much as a perfume. Just last fall, before the hard freeze, when she was feeling back to normal, the pips had arrived in a little white box. Her order from a nursery company. She'd put on her deerskin gloves and, on her knees, using a hand trowel, dug a shallow trench along the border of her blue Dwarf iris. Then one by one she'd planted the pips. They looked like shelled acorns, only tinier. "To be planted points upward," said a leaflet in the directions. They came up early in the spring. The tiny spears of their leaves would be showing soon. Lying there, sleepless, she imaged their white venous roots, a mass of them fastening together, forming new shoots below the earth, unfurling their stiff leaves. She saw herself touching their tiny bells, waxed white, fluted, and breathing the ravishing fragrance they gave off because Louis had absently walked through her border again, dragging his shovel, crushing them with his big, careless feet. It seemed as though hours of imaginary gardening passed before Mrs. Waldvogel tiptoed in without turning on the light.
Louise Erdrich (The Beet Queen)
The nose is idiosyncratically central not only to our sense of smell but to our sense of who we are , in our most primal appetites. For the idea of appetite pertains to food as well as to all the sensual and spiritual experiences that drive us, give us pleasure, make us feel more alive in the moment. Scent is a portal to these basic human appetites—for the far-off, the familiar, the transcendent, the strange, and the beautiful—that have motivated us since the origins of our species.
Mandy Aftel (Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent)
He had left a huge bucket of narcissi beside the door. The tiny white flowers had been picked before dawn and they glowed as if they had been drenched in moonlight. A second, smaller bucket was packed with bluebells and Lara could smell some hyacinths in there too. She bent down and felt around for the little waxy blossoms, and their fragrance rose up to meet her. If perfumes were the feelings of flowers, as her mother used to say, then the hyacinths were as happy to see her as she was to see them.
Ella Griffin (The Flower Arrangement)
The lawn gently sloped to a winding stream, so clear as perfectly to reflect the beautiful scenery of heaven, now glowing with the gold and purple of the setting sun; from the opposite bank of the stream rose a stupendous mountain, diversified with little verdant hills and dales, and skirted with a wild shrubbery, the blossoms of which perfumed the air with the most balmy fragrance. Lord Mortimer prevailed upon Amanda to sit down upon a rustic bench, beneath the spreading branches of an oak, enwreathed with ivy; here they had not sat long ere the silence which reigned around was suddenly interrupted by strains, at once low, solemn and melodious, that seemed to creep along the water, till they had reached the place where they sat; and then, as if a Naiad of the stream had left her rushy couch to do them homage, they swelled by degrees into full melody, which the mountain echoes alternately revived and heightened. It appeared like enchantment to Amanda, and her eyes, turned to lord Mortimer, seemed to say it was to his magic it was owing.
Regina Maria Roche (The Children of the Abbey)
In the silence of fragrance, Eva saw how ambiguous, complex stories could be told. Shifting and mutating, they blossomed, bloomed and faded; their very impermanence was incredibly moving to her. You could be laughing in public yet wear, right on the surface of your skin, a perfume ripe with longing, dripping with regret, shining with hope, all at the same time. It would fade as the day faded, vanishing into gossamer on your skin. And still it had the power to catch you unaware, piercing right through you, when you hung your dress up that night.
Kathleen Tessaro (The Perfume Collector)
Tea Rose (Perfumer's Workshop) **** green rose $ Composed in 1972, Tea Rose was the first fragrance signed by the great Annie Buzantian (Pleasures), and was in many ways the first niche fragrance: the Perfumer's Workshop did nothing but fragrances, had a small range, was fairly hard to find, and had a devoted following. Tea Rose was and is a rose soliflore that illustrates how complex a composition must be before it can actually claim to smell of rose. The rose it depicts is huge, painted in watercolor, and has the species name written below it in cursive. LT
Luca Turin
It is a marvel whence this perfect flower derives its loneliness and perfume, springing as it does from the black mud over which the river sleeps, and where lurk the slimy eel, and speckled frog, and the mud turtle, whom continual washing cannot cleanse. It is the very same black mud out of which the yellow lily sucks its obscene life and noisome odor. Thus, we see, too, in the world that some persons assimilate only what is ugly and evil from the same moral circumstances which supply good and beautiful results -- the fragrance of celestial flowers -- to the daily life of others.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ode to a Cluster of Violets Crisp cluster plunged in shadow. Drops of violet water and raw sunlight floated up with your scent. A fresh subterranean beauty climbed up from your buds thrilling my eyes and my life. One at a time, flowers that stretched forward silvery stalks, creeping closer to an obscure light shoot by shoot in the shadows, till they crowned the mysterious mass with an intense weight of perfume and together formed a single star with a far-off scent and a purple center. Poignant cluster intimate scent of nature, you resemble a wave, or a head of hair, or the gaze of a ruined water nymph sunk in the depths. But up close, in your fragrance’s blue brazenness, you exhale the earth, an earthly flower, an earthen smell and your ultraviolet gleam in volcanoes’ faraway fires. Into your loveliness I sink a weathered face, a face that dust has often abused. You deliver something out of the soil. It isn’t simply perfume, nor simply the perfect cry of your entire color, no: it’s a word sprinkled with dew, a flowering wetness with roots. Fragile cluster of starry violets, tiny, mysterious planet of marine phosphorescence, nocturnal bouquet nestled in green leaves: the truth is there is no blue word to express you. Better than any word is the pulse of your scent. Pablo Neruda, Odes to Common Things. (Bulfinch; Bilingual edition May 1, 1994) Originally published 1961.
Pablo Neruda (Odes to Common Things)
The air was steeped with the heady fragrance of roses, as if the entire hall had been rinsed with expensive perfume. "Good Lord!" she exclaimed, stopping short at the sight of massive bunches of flowers being brought in from a cart outside. Mountains of white roses, some of them tightly furled buds, some in glorious full bloom. Two footmen had been recruited to assist the driver of the cart, and the three of them kept going outside to fetch bouquet after bouquet wrapped in stiff white lace paper. "Fifteen dozen of them," Marcus said brusquely. "I doubt there's a single white rose left in London." Aline could not believe how fast her heart was beating. Slowly she moved forward and drew a single rose from one of the bouquets. Cupping the delicate bowl of the blossom with her fingers, she bent her head to inhale its lavish perfume. Its petals were a cool brush of silk against her cheek. "There's something else," Marcus said. Following his gaze, Aline saw the butler directing yet another footman to pry open a huge crate filled with brick-sized parcels wrapped in brown paper. "What are they, Salter?" "With your permission, my lady, I will find out." The elderly butler unwrapped one of the parcels with great care. He spread the waxed brown paper open to reveal a damply fragrant loaf of gingerbread, its spice adding a pungent note to the smell of the roses. Aline put her hand over her mouth to contain a bubbling laugh, while some undefinable emotion caused her entire body to tremble. The offering worried her terribly, and at the same time, she was insanely pleased by the extravagance of it. "Gingerbread?" Marcus asked incredulously. "Why the hell would McKenna send you an entire crate of gingerbread?" "Because I like it," came Aline's breathless reply. "How do you know this is from McKenna?" Marcus gave her a speaking look, as if only an imbecile would suppose otherwise. Fumbling a little with the envelope, Aline extracted a folded sheet of paper. It was covered in a bold scrawl, the penmanship serviceable and without flourishes. No miles of level desert, no jagged mountain heights, no sea of endless blue Neither words nor tears, nor silent fears will keep me from coming back to you. There was no signature... none was necessary. Aline closed her eyes, while her nose stung and hot tears squeezed from beneath her lashes. She pressed her lips briefly to the letter, not caring what Marcus thought. "It's a poem," she said unsteadily. "A terrible one." It was the loveliest thing she had ever read. She held it to her cheek, then used her sleeve to blot her eyes. "Let me see it." Immediately Aline tucked the poem into her bodice. "No, it's private." She swallowed against the tightness of her throat, willing the surge of unruly emotion to recede. "McKenna," she whispered, "how you devastate me.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
Now the householder having got up in the morning and performed his necessary duties,17 should wash his teeth, apply a limited quantity of ointments and perfumes to his body, put some ornaments on his person and collyrium on his eyelids and below his eyes, colour his lips with alacktaka,18 and look at himself in the glass. Having then eaten betel leaves, with other things that give fragrance to the mouth, he should perform his usual business. He should bathe daily, anoint his body with oil every other day, apply a lathering19 substance to his body every three days, get his head (including face) shaved every four days, and the other parts of his body every five or ten days.20 All these things should be done without fail, and the sweat of the armpits should also be removed.
Mallanaga Vātsyāyana (The Kama Sutra: The Ultimate Guide to the Secrets of Erotic Pleasure)
Of what subtle substance is the Fatherland then made, that it too can travel, emigrating with us in agreement with our vagrant fantasies or our forced exiles? However far our destiny may take us, it seems as if always a little of it kept company with us, exhaling its fragrance wherever we pitch our tent. Something familiar in the face of a stranger passing, a scrap of song caught in a gust of wind, the shadow of a tree, the fugitive emanation of a perfume—less yet, a detail, a meaningless trifle, a nothing—and something within us sounds a mysterious call; a sudden combination works upon our most intimate essence—eliminates all that is contrasting, groups all that frames into the loved picture of the distant Fatherland. The Breton soul lends itself more readily than any other to this mysterious work
Guy de Maupassant (A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time))
In those hours when the general silence, not filled by any ceremony, became oppressive in that almost tangible lack, the flowers alone were a substitute for the missing singing and the absent rite. They did not simply blossom and give off fragrance, but, as if in chorus, perhaps hastening the corruption by it, poured out their perfume and, endowing everyone with their sweet-scented power, seemed to perform something. The kingdom of plants so easily offers itself as the nearest neighbour to the kingdom of death. Here, in the Earth’s greenery, among the trees of the cemetery, amidst the sprouting flowers rising up from the beds, are perhaps concentrated the mysteries of transformation and the riddles of life that we puzzle over. Mary did not at first recognise Jesus coming from the tomb and took him for the gardener walking in the cemetery. (‘She, supposing him to be the gardener…’)
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
On Floriography This poem explores the ancient practice of floriography, the coded language of flowers, as a way to express human love through the use of fragrance, colors, and vivid symbolism. By elucidating the phenomenon of florescence alongside the art of floral arrangement, the poem encourages readers to extract poetry and beauty out of a dystopic world. If you often find yourself at a loss for words or don’t know what to say to those you love, just extract poetry out of poverty, this dystopia of civilization rendered fragrant, blossoming onto star-blue fields of loosestrife, heady spools of spike lavender, of edible clover beckoning to say without bruising a jot of dog’s tooth violet, a nib of larkspur notes, or the day’s perfumed reports of indigo in the gloaming— what to say to those whom you love in this world? Use floriography, or as the flower-sellers put it, Say it with flowers. —Indigo, larkspur, star-blue, my dear.
Karen An-hwei Lee
After an initial startled gasp, his intended bride dissolved into his arms, returning his kiss with more fervor than she had ever shown before. They were on the verge of being married, after all. Amazing what a difference imminent vows could make. Her hands, originally poised against his chest as though to push him back, slid slowly up to his shoulders and stayed there, as her head tilted back, her lips matched to his. ... It was quite some time before it began to dawn on Geoff that she might be just a bit too soft. The arms encircling his neck were a little rounder than he remembered them, and her shoulder blades seemed to have receded. Geoff’s hand made another tentative pass up and down her back, without breaking the kiss. Yes, definitely smoother. It might just be the added padding of the cloak, but other discordant details were beginning to intrude upon Geoff’s clouded senses. Her fragrance was all wrong, not Mary’s treasured French perfume, but something fainter, lighter, that made him think without quite knowing why of the park at Sibley Court in summer. It was a perfectly pleasant scent, but it wasn’t Mary’s. He was kissing the wrong woman.
Lauren Willig (The Deception of the Emerald Ring (Pink Carnation, #3))
A fresh, uplifting mélange of Italian bergamot, mandarin, and raspberry that comprised the opening accord filled her nostrils with the carefree scents of spring. Her imagination soared with memories. The gardens of Bellerose, picnic baskets bursting with summer fruits on sunny Mediterranean beaches, summers spent on the Riviera, yacht parties, and the casino in Monte Carlo. The plain little bottle held the essence of the happy life she had known. She inhaled again, closed her eyes, and allowed her mind to wander, to visualize the images the aroma evoked. Excitement coursed through her veins. She imagined a glamorous, luxurious lifestyle of exotic locales, mysterious lovers, sandy beaches, glittering parties, elegant gowns, and precious jewels. And amid it all, sumptuous bouquets of fabulous flowers, enchanting and romantic, intense aromas of pure, bridal white jasmine and sultry tuberose, and the heady, evocative aroma of rose. Seductive spices, clove with musk and patchouli, smoothed with sandalwood and vanilla, elegant and sensual, like a lover in the night. And finally, she realized what was missing. A strong, smooth core, a warm amber blend that would provide a deep connection to the soul. Love.
Jan Moran (Scent of Triumph)
If loneliness or sadness or happiness could be expressed through food, loneliness would be basil. It’s not good for your stomach, dims your eyes, and turns your mind murky. If you pound basil and place a stone over it, scorpions swarm toward it. Happiness is saffron, from the crocus that blooms in the spring. Even if you add just a pinch to a dish, it adds an intense taste and a lingering scent. You can find it anywhere but you can’t get it at any time of the year. It’s good for your heart, and if you drop a little bit in your wine, you instantly become drunk from its heady perfume. The best saffron crumbles at the touch and instantaneously emits its fragrance. Sadness is a knobby cucumber, whose aroma you can detect from far away. It’s tough and hard to digest and makes you fall ill with a high fever. It’s porous, excellent at absorption, and sponges up spices, guaranteeing a lengthy period of preservation. Pickles are the best food you can make from cucumbers. You boil vinegar and pour it over the cucumbers, then season with salt and pepper. You enclose them in a sterilized glass jar, seal it, and store it in a dark and dry place. WON’S KITCHEN. I take off the sign hanging by the first-floor entryway. He designed it by hand and silk-screened it onto a metal plate. Early in the morning on the day of the opening party for the cooking school, he had me hang the sign myself. I was meaning to give it a really special name, he said, grinning, flashing his white teeth, but I thought Jeong Ji-won was the most special name in the world. He called my name again: Hey, Ji-won. He walked around the house calling my name over and over, mischievously — as if he were an Eskimo who believed that the soul became imprinted in the name when it was called — while I fried an egg, cautiously sprinkling grated Emmentaler, salt, pepper, taking care not to pop the yolk. I spread the white sun-dried tablecloth on the coffee table and set it with the fried egg, unsalted butter, blueberry jam, and a baguette I’d toasted in the oven. It was our favorite breakfast: simple, warm, sweet. As was his habit, he spread a thick layer of butter and jam on his baguette and dunked it into his coffee, and I plunked into my cup the teaspoon laced with jam, waiting for the sticky sweetness to melt into the hot, dark coffee. I still remember the sugary jam infusing the last drop of coffee and the moist crumbs of the baguette lingering at the roof of my mouth. And also his words, informing me that he wanted to design a new house that would contain the cooking school, his office, and our bedroom. Instead of replying, I picked up a firm red radish, sparkling with droplets of water, dabbed a little butter on it, dipped it in salt, and stuck it into my mouth. A crunch resonated from my mouth. Hoping the crunch sounded like, Yes, someday, I continued to eat it. Was that the reason I equated a fresh red radish with sprouting green tops, as small as a miniature apple, with the taste of love? But if I cut into it crosswise like an apple, I wouldn't find the constellation of seeds.
Kyung-ran Jo (Tongue)
May 1 MORNING “His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers.” — Song of Solomon 5:13 LO, the flowery month is come! March winds and April showers have done their work, and the earth is all bedecked with beauty. Come my soul, put on thine holiday attire and go forth to gather garlands of heavenly thoughts. Thou knowest whither to betake thyself, for to thee “the beds of spices” are well known, and thou hast so often smelt the perfume of “the sweet flowers,” that thou wilt go at once to thy well-beloved and find all loveliness, all joy in Him. That cheek once so rudely smitten with a rod, oft bedewed with tears of sympathy and then defiled with spittle — that cheek as it smiles with mercy is as fragrant aromatic to my heart. Thou didst not hide Thy face from shame and spitting, O Lord Jesus, and therefore I will find my dearest delight in praising Thee. Those cheeks were furrowed by the plough of grief, and crimsoned with red lines of blood from Thy thorn-crowned temples; such marks of love unbounded cannot but charm my soul far more than “pillars of perfume.” If I may not see the whole of His face I would behold His cheeks, for the least glimpse of Him is exceedingly refreshing to my spiritual sense and yields a variety of delights. In Jesus I find not only fragrance, but a bed of spices; not one flower, but all manner of sweet flowers. He is to me my rose and my lily, my heartsease and my cluster of camphire. When He is with me it is May all the year round, and my soul goes forth to wash her happy face in the morning-dew of His grace, and to solace herself with the singing of the birds of His promises. Precious Lord Jesus, let me in very deed know the blessedness which dwells in abiding, unbroken fellowship with Thee. I am a poor worthless one, whose cheek Thou hast deigned to kiss! O let me kiss Thee in return with the kisses of my lips.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening—Classic KJV Edition: A Devotional Classic for Daily Encouragement)
Christine's heart is thumping wildly. She lets herself be led (her aunt means her nothing but good) into a tiled and mirrored room full of warmth and sweetly scented with mild floral soap and sprayed perfumes; an electrical apparatus roars like a mountain storm in the adjoining room. The hairdresser, a brisk, snub-nosed Frenchwoman, is given all sorts of instructions, little of which Christine understands or cares to. A new desire has come over her to give herself up, to submit and let herself be surprised. She allows herself to be seated in the comfortable barber's chair and her aunt disappears. She leans back gently, and, eyes closed in a luxurious stupor, senses a mechanical clattering, cold steel on her neck, and the easy incomprehensible chatter of the cheerful hairdresser; she breathes in clouds of fragrance and lets aromatic balms and clever fingers run over her hair and neck. Just don't open your eyes, she thinks. If you do, it might go away. Don't question anything, just savor this Sundayish feeling of sitting back for once, of being waited on instead of waiting on other people. Just let our hands fall into your lap, let good things happen to you, let it come, savor it, this rare swoon of lying back and being ministered to, this strange voluptuous feeling you haven't experienced in years, in decades. Eyes closed, feeling the fragrant warmth enveloping her, she remembers the last time: she's a child, in bed, she had a fever for days, but now it's over and her mother brings some sweet white almond milk, her father and her brother are sitting by her bed, everyone's taking care of her, everyone's doing things for her, they're all gentle and nice. In the next room the canary is singing mischievously, the bed is soft and warm, there's no need to go to school, everything's being done for her, there are toys on the bed, though she's too pleasantly lulled to play with them; no, it's better to close her eyes and really feel, deep down, the idleness, the being waited on. It's been decades since she thought of this lovely languor from her childhood, but suddenly it's back: her skin, her temples bathed in warmth are doing the remembering. A few times the brisk salonist asks some question like, 'Would you like it shorter?' But she answers only, 'Whatever you think,' and deliberately avoids the mirror held up to her. Best not to disturb the wonderful irresponsibility of letting things happen to you, this detachment from doing or wanting anything. Though it would be tempting to give someone an order just once, for the first time in your life, to make some imperious demand, to call for such and such. Now fragrance from a shiny bottle streams over her hair, a razor blade tickles her gently and delicately, her head feels suddenly strangely light and the skin of her neck cool and bare. She wants to look in the mirror, but keeping her eyes closed in prolonging the numb dreamy feeling so pleasantly. Meanwhile a second young woman has slipped beside her like a sylph to do her nails while the other is waving her hair. She submits to it all without resistance, almost without surprise, and makes no protest when, after an introductory 'Vous etes un peu pale, Mademoiselle,' the busy salonist, employing all manner of pencils and crayons, reddens her lips, reinforces the arches of her eyebrows, and touches up the color of her cheeks. She's aware of it all and, in her pleasant detached stupor, unaware of it too: drugged by the humid, fragrance-laden air, she hardly knows if all this happening to her or to some other, brand-new self. It's all dreamily disjointed, not quite real, and she's a little afraid of suddenly falling out of the dream.
Stefan Zweig (The Post-Office Girl)