She had turned him down the first three times he’d asked for her hand in marriage.
Indeed she often wondered why she changed her mind the fourth time he popped the question.
Perhaps it was the bright sunshine that day, the sharp smell of freshly turned soil or the sparkling scent and sight of the hyacinths newly released from their nursery beds into the park proper.
Whatever it was that made her make it, it was a decision she refused to regret.
She’d known the proposal was coming around again: he’d asked before the previous Summer, then again at harvest festival and most recently on New Year’s Day.
There’d been a surprise when St Valentine’s had been and gone without any mention of them marrying and then she realised that he restricted himself to one request per season.
So, when he arrived that morning for a walk across to Kensington Gardens to ‘make the most of the first proper day of Spring’, she knew.
He was dressed even more smartly than was normal for him. He had a bright red carnation in his buttonhole, his skin shone from polishing and he smelt splendidly of his best lavender and mandarin cologne.
He was from glossy well combed hair to shining shoes every bit the contemporary approximation of the 1920s gentleman that he secretly wanted to be.
The Park felt much bigger that day than it had been all winter.
In the newly revived light of late April it seemed to be twice the size it was in February when they had scuttled to the Serpentine to watch the foolhardy folks skating as they sat huddled in the comfort of the tea pavilion.
The horizon now was further away and the manicured ‘wild meadows’ stretched out like a lifetime in front of them.
They paused beneath a great conifer that had deceived as deciduous tree from a distance. The striking almost acid aroma of the needles pricked at their noses and he looked a little puzzled, as if the chalky green smell of the sap had unsettled him.
Then she knew that was the moment.
Before he could complete the question she heard herself responding
“Yes… but I won’t be giving up work. It is 1968, even though your family may carry on as though it’s still before the war. The Summer of love has been and gone and besides I am not a school teacher as they all think I am, though there would be nothing wrong with that, I am a professional sports coach and one day women’s tennis will be quite as important and lucrative as men’s.”
He kissed her still uncertain as to whether he might have been more careful what he’d wished for.
In the embrace she located a spicier undertone, there was coriander and cardamom in his saliva and his nervous sweat was salty with something of the sea and at the same time anointing oil about it.
She disentangled herself and held him at arms length, examining his face intently.
“You do know what you letting yourself in for, don’t you?”
He burst out laughing, then she did the same, then suddenly stopped.
“And I want an emerald engagement ring, I don’t care that everyone else has diamonds. Mine must be brightest green.”
Having taken the precaution of not buying a ring for this very eventuality he was able to laugh with a genuine nonchalance.
They walked back to town in silence save for when he stole a bunch of daffodils from the banks of them which lined way and presented them to her with a flourish.
She called him a thief, and knew he had in fact stolen at least a part of her heart.
She had his completely.
Vintage Norell by Norell Corporation is a brilliant bright green emerald of a scent standing proud from the shoddy crystals, cut price cut glass and paste of so much of modern perfumery.
Like a true precious stone its sparkle deceives with apparent simplicity only to be revealed as a complex construction of a genuine master, or indeed mistress’s, art.
Its myriad facets all gleam with a lustre born of careful consideration, expert blending and pitch perfect polish.
From the moment of its entry with an unmatched high accord of citrus, lavender and galbanum as clear as a soprano’s top ‘c’, one is left in no doubt that this will be an unforgettable performance.
What follows is an immense floral choral heart, led by a blue hyacinth that is joined in time in a duet by a wonderfully green carnation.
A clutch of South Asian spice: cardamom, coriander and cinnamon add texture while vetiver, oakmoss and narcissus give the whole piece and earthy and robust structure.
This is no blow away scent, feeling never less than sturdy in all its built to last elegant magnificence.
Standing like a Crystal Palace worthy of Oz, this is a vast and awesomely beautiful fragrance that can and should be appreciated for miles around.
Norell is a heart stopper.
As soon as a certain gentleman is able to acquire a sizeable quantity of this he is sure it will become something of a somedays signature.
Why all women don’t do the same is quite beyond him.
Please note dear friends that The Dandy tried Norell as manufactured by the Norell Corporation.
There have been several versions since, each less good and then more bad than the last.
Do take care when selecting jewels.