Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Time Traveler Arrived in my Home Today ...

Vintage Arpege

A time traveler arrived at my home today. A vintage bottle of Arpege. Arpege from before the reformulation that took it from a difficult complex masterpiece to yet another insipid floral.

I found it on eBay.  Yes, I know. Someone's grandmother's old left over perfume.  Liquid Gold, if you can wear it. I said if.  Arpege either works with your body chemistry, or it does not. Difficult. Either you have a strong enough personality to wear this perfume, or it wears you. Complicated. The original Arpege glides through several stages as the scent develops.  Aldehydes and citrus become Rose and Lilly of the Valley, the Rose lingers, then,  ... finally, the glorious Sandalwood and Musk (e n t i r e l y missing from the reformulation to my nose) begin to radiate through the Rose. Masterpiece.

My mother wore this perfume for special occasions, it is one of my most distinct memories of her. Arpege was my every day, all occasion perfume starting in my early twenties through the reformulation. It wasn't just a perfume that didn't smell like every third girl at the mall, it was my Achilles Shield in the world.

To me this perfume is the far off sound of rolling thunder, the glowing embers after a fire, the last moments of twilight before sunset.  Not for everyone, not made anymore, the world is a lesser place because of it. A time traveler arrived at my home today and transported me back decades. I believe that I will stay there.

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