The sea was calm. The horizon and the sky’s charcoal gradient were almost one. The beach were dotted with fishermen wearing headlamps over their buckets. I wondered about the state above – Queensland – and the cyclone up there. Tonight, dogs went for their walks, or sat on the grass as their owners looked at the beach, or ran along the white crash on the shore. My nose lifted. As walkers pass I smell the musk in their clothing. Under the Norfolk pines and above the grass the scent of fish and chips in white trays and paper bags slip through like oil on one’s fingers.
Today, I was a hound.
Earlier, Lynda and I hugged. She smelled sandalwood on me. In the afternoon I walked through Hyde Park and wondered if I sprayed Geranium Pour Monsieur from Frederic Malle, a gift from perfumer Daniel Pescio. I looked around, I smelled my jumper. Was it the woman drinking from the fountain? Was it just this part of the park? I circled. I searched for geranium and mint in the park. None were found other than the pines there – Hoop and Cook pines. It was the woman wearing green twenty metres ahead. We stopped at the lights on Park Street. I looked at her. A visitor. Another woman walked past. She wore Chanel No. 5. I walked up the stairs to the other side of the park and smelled mandarins, peeled and eaten. I felt my mouth tingle. Under the naves of the Hills fig trees, a younger woman walked past and she wore Narciso Rodriguez For Her.
I turned left towards the city. The grass was cut fresh. Its scent thick. It didn’t smell the green of grass or trees. It was not the smell of a romanticised green in perfume. In fact that volatile smell of freshly mown grass is a distress signal to ward off plant-eating insects. I wondered if the woman on top of her man knew that as they kissed and pressed against one another. Their black clothes on the grass almost made them one, too.
I read Denyse Beaulieu’s top ten spring scents. She included Pierre Bourdon’s Sous Les Magnolias. It isn’t stocked in Sydney, so I was content to smell Carlos Benaïm’s (I love saying that name) Eau de Magnolia, another Frederic Malle, from Mecca Cosmetica. It reminded me of Jean-Claude Ellena’s Jour d’Hermés, which my mum wears. I sprayed it on my left wrist and on top of my grey jumper. It’s still here. This is not a review but one thing is for sure, Eau de Magnolia’s sillage is great.
Sweat intensifies under my jumper, and my legs feel heavy. I am tired and hungry, and decide to have peanut butter on toast when I get home. As my night walk closes two more scents come. On a bench two men sit and talk. They wear CK One. And, as I walk up stairs I smell the trail of cigarette smoke from the woman ahead.