SMELLING LIKE A YOUNG GIRL
Among the latter, of course, are some of the aroma-sets that particularly resonate for this blogger: Coffee and tea merchants, Indian restaurants, and Tobacconists.
You are probably already familiar with my pipe-tobacco metaphors, so I need not mention that Latakia is a husky woman, Smyrna a sweet-faced maid, flue-cured leaf a well-bred young lady with a secret sexual-streak a mile wide, and Burley a lusty middle-aged housefrau, still appealing.
Indian restaurants smell pungently of spices. And fried food. And the after shave used by a stocky Punjabi who fancies himself quite the ladies man.
Coffee and tea merchants nose of fine young things, male and female, all wiry limbs and bright eyes.
Of course their eyes are bright, they're wired to the tits!
[Other evocative whiff-collections: Chinese grocery stores (grumpy teenager behind the cash register thinking "oh lord here's that white pervert again"), second-hand bookstores (elderly degenerate ponging vaguely of sweat, lurking in the Sci-Fi section), bars (a rich effluviastic spectrum, mostly spilled beer), bakeries (ripe, yeasty, and sensual), headshops (nothing says free love and big wobbly bosoms like patchouli), and of course the sewer-reek of almost any intersection in downtown San Francisco: ah, the rich odeur of our city, redolent of meat-eaters from the suburbs up in the office buildings, vegans from the Mission district working for low pay in failing retail establishments, the vibrant hum of the urban animal at fevered full production, sweating and grinding behind so many office doors ......... basically, sh*t. A vast variety of.]
But quite the ripest, juiciest, most evocative set of smells is to be found in an antique love poem, a wonderful archaic lust ode, praising the intertwining charms of two young persons.
" A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts."
[Verse 13, Chapter one, Song of Songs.]
Just about filled with warm fragrances.
THE SHULAMITE AND HER SWAIN
"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys..... his left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me..... the vines with the tender grape give a good smell..... my beloved is mine, and I am his - he feedeth among the lilies..... thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies..... how much better is thy love than wine and the smell of thine ointments than all spices.....
An orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits, camphire, with spikenard - spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices..... I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk..... my beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him; I rose up to open to my beloved, my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling balm, upon the handles of the lock.....
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers, his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh..... down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies..... threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number..... thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor; thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies, thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.....
I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof, now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples, and the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly..... "
Wow. Completely moist.
Dense interlocking evocations of perfume, appearance, and touch, deftly woven together into a steamy yet delightfully fresh image-world. Innocent, even, though that innocence is sometimes more alongside the lovers than present in their actual experiences.
And sometimes the innocence startles as an entirely separate and contrasting element:
"We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts - what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?"
Errrrm, guys? Haven't you been paying ANY attention? She's no longer the little girl you sent out into the fields and vineyards to tend the sheep, she's kind of grown-up now..... And she's been 'doing' things.
Breast like two young roes among the lillies? Hmmm?
Really, your sister is a wonderful person. Do you know if she's seeing anyone special right now?
Perhaps the most important aspect of the Song of Songs, however, is that which is not mentioned at all.
Something which is implicit.....
Warm weather. Sunshine.
A better travel brochure can scarce be imagined.
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.