She remembered the smell of grass so hot it shimmered.
The lawn a sea of blades with bridesmaids bobbing like boats upon it.
A bouquet thrown aloft by the bride that seemed to stay in the air a short eternity before arriving in her open arms.
And though it came as no surprise, for the flowers were aimed in her direction, the relief when they landed was a shiver running through her body.
The blooms buoyed her up despite their weight, lifting her shoulders, her head with confidence and hope: she is made a ship sailing higher in the water.
Soon, she thinks, she will find safe harbour too.
Raising the arrangement to her nose and breathing in deeply, her chest swelling within unused-to corsetry, she senses white roses, orange flowers and jasmine.
And in between the lightly worn innocence of lily of the valley.
She recalls a time before disappointment when the world was forever on the up, mere moments, as they appear across the years, ahead the let downs and the lows.
The other members of the matrimonial sorority kiss and congratulate her, aware to varying degrees of why she should receive this special favour.
She tastes the flavour of make up and scent in their kind attentions: sandalwood and musk, sweet resinous iris fresh from the compact.
Then they are gone to attend on the new bride and groom or their own significant others and she is left alone in the long grass of the meadow they have chosen to get married in.
He throws her smile like a life jacket.
His full lips lending his face a youthful air, belying the fact that he has known pain.
“He lost his wife within months to cancer.”
“They must have known on the day.”
She has heard the whispers and takes his hand more surely for them.
After all it might be a single best man’s duty to escort the unmarried bridesmaid, but perhaps she can be his support too today.
Their arms intertwine to form an accord as perfect as the music that accompanies them in to dinner.
Something by Debussy, she thinks, as the heat dissipates and the sun begins its descent.
The night awaits.
Caron’s Nocturnes is a reassertion of a classic composition made a new with enthusiasm and elan.
Like a wedding, the form, the shape, the ritual and ceremony remain largely the same.
It is in the detail that the fragrance asserts its own personality.
Nocturnes, despite its name, has a decidedly sunny disposition.
Possessing more than a dash of good-humoured defiance, this is a perfume with an air of optimism about it.
Perhaps it is waiting patiently for the day when it will be properly appreciated.
The beginning is all about aldehydes, mixed conventionally with citrus and citrus flower.
The impression is of a very refined sparkling orange squash made with carbonated rosewater.
The heart is undeniably floral, forming an accord that is seamlessly blended, neither jasmine nor tuberose being allowed to play their usual dominant role.
Developing from this core is the scent’s most striking facet: a chemically enhanced, pleasantly pneumatic vetiver.
This is lawn at its very lightest, as though it might float away were it not tethered to a somewhat tenuous base of sandalwood and musk, the part of the whole I like least.
Within the constraints of floral aldehydes, the strict metre poetry of perfume, this fragrance is quietly original, pairing flowers with meadow.
Nocturnes has an outdoors, daytime informality that is refreshing, airy and unquestionable highly attractive.
It is a scent one can imagine falling in love to.
Quite like infatuation, this fragrance suits all sexes equally.
By the way for the sake of clarity, I wore the version of Nocturnes pictured above, not the original and certainly not the 2013 edition, which, quite frankly, is a disaster, robbing the scent of all its elevation in the opening and taking an age to get to the sunlight flower meadow that is its joy.
The Perfumed Dandy.