A sitting room filled with swirling blue smoke.
The great green glass ashtray as heavy as a coal scuttle by the side of the settee.
On the bookshelf a wooden rack of pipes, some long, some short, the curved shanks, the straight ones, the eleborate shapes, the giant bowls, the tiny ones.
Some ever so fancy pipes, most of them quite plain.
All rich with the burnt residues of the ritual: dense, acrid, deathly, black, intriguing as the grave.
But better still, next to them, the golden packets of the dried but still moist, amber-coloured, hay-honey-smelling raw material.
Best pipe tobacco named after a holy man and a giant canine.
Bought in flakes like giant woody sticks of chewing gum, never ever ready rubbed, so that I, the anointed assistant, could enjoy the privilege of crumbling the precious supply into portions about one good smoke in size.
The sweetness in the stuff itself and the moments shared by the glowing fire engaged in chess or politics, flights of fancy or the singular pleasure when an advert for the smoke came on the television flickering from its second hearth in the corner of the room.
His great, sack-shaped, grandmother-knitted woollen jumpers in fawns and browns, moss greens and leafy rusts.
Stay press trousers, pock marked with holes burned by the sprite-like stray strands alight at their moment of transformation from tobacco to ash.
His warm human smell given extra glow by the constant stream of clove flavoured, ruby-resembling, boiled sweets he consumed.
Only one in every five offered to me lest I should follow him down the path to dentures.
Then a call from the kitchen.
There is sweet milky tea on offer, but I know it is a bribe, for homework and rubber topped and ready sharpened pencils await me too.
Reluctantly, dragging feet across the shag pile carpet and wafting faux weary arms through the pewter puffs of smoke, I leave.
Wild Tobacco by Illuminum is a precise moment from The Dandy‘s past, repeated over in fact and remembrance many times.
I can’t promise that anyone else would ever like it as a perfume, to me it is much more personal and precious.
A memory distilled, preserved and bottled.
The Perfumed Dandy.