Sitting in her apartment in a pale purple ball gown she eats marmalade on honey coloured toast and has time to contemplate that quote.
“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.”
And a ghost of the night before, incipient as winter dawn sunshine, appears for a moment before her mind wills it away.
She was never under the host, per se.
Sure after a cocktail or two they had their proverbial roll in the hay, but it was, she impresses on herself, purely proverbial, or so she thinks. Not at all carnal, as she remembers things, clutching at memories like stray white feathers in stormy weather.
‘Yes’, she gasps, grasping at a flash of the past through time and gin and tonics, they returned from the garden and sat with other guests, holding hands just by the band playing old time jazz at the edge of the lawn, a woman singing, doing a so-so Sarah Vaughn.
Was it ‘Summertime’? No. A number by Cole Porter.
An April breeze, a dawn that agrees, daffodils… ‘As once more she sees’ his face again in front of her again, his mouth moving to the music:
‘It’s Spring again
And birds on the wing again
Start to sing again’
Then her lips start to mirror his as they had the night before, as she joins him in ‘The old melody’:
‘I love you
That’s the song of songs
And it belongs
To you and me.’
And suddenly all the violets still in their soil that surround her make sense.
He had ordered them dug up from the very spot next where they had exchanged vows.
She remembers now.
They came delivered by Cadillac and his driver in the darkness immediately before morning broke.
In inside garden air, warding off that growing, falling sense of despair, she turns her mind to how to break it all off.
L’Essence de Cristobal Balenciaga is a light airy perfume resembling the half remembered memories of an evening perilously misspent.
Opening with an unexpected and unmentioned citrus jam note, the fragrance is soon subsumed into a vast array of flowers, all violets.
One could be deceived for thinking this the scent of a simple and straightforward young woman. That would be a mistake.
An internal accord of complexity and steely determination manifests itself in a vetiver, lawn grass and cedar tree background that gives the whole package genuine staying power and silage, whilst remaining defiantly unsweet and uncute.
This silk ball gown contains a young woman with a past that stretches back long before last night.
And as for men? They will come and go and some of them will smell, for a time at least, of violets too.