Poetry and Perfume

I thought I’d give a mention to the series of posts on Jehanne Dubrow’s blog about poems and fragrance. Each one is a meditation on scent accompanied by an appropriate poem. You can almost smell the perfume – a kind of scratch and sniff effect and the poems have included one of my favourite’s – Mark Doty’s A display of Mackerel and others that were new to me like My mother was like the bees by Jeanne Wagner.

Be warned though reading this blog has the potential to lead you into expensive ways. It hadn’t occurred to me that you could request samples of perfume by post until I read about Jo Malone’s new company. In the interests of fully entering into the spirit of things I decided to ask for some. You are restricted to two samples which seemed reasonable although I had only asked for three. So in the end I went for Gardenia as one of my choices. I have been bereft of a personal perfume ever since Guerlain’s Nahema became Unobtainium. And what with children, work, writing, National poetry month and everything else to be fitted in the chances of my getting to spend an afternoon in a department store trying out new possibilities is low. So the little bottle of Gardenia arriving in the post felt like a real treat.

Last week was significant for other reasons. `Convoy` was mentioned the Cinnamon Press newsletter and is now on the website. So it’s definitely ready to start going out into the world. On Thursday my local writers group was meeting for a crit session and I decided I should freshen up after a day at the university slaving over a computer screen. Why not give Gardenia its first outing? Well, wow, think posh florist or Kew Gardens glasshouse and you will get an idea of the scent. I felt like I did when I was ewighteen and that shop assistant offered me a sample of Nahema. Not beautiful exactly there are limits to how far a perfume can take you but poised, confident and assured of a Caroline-shaped place in the world. This was definitely me. I have the same problem now as that eighteen year old who kept going back to the perfumery counter – how am I going to afford an entire bottle? But since I’m set on having it in time for the launch of Convoy in May there has to be a way.

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