Sunday, June 10, 2012
still-sound 74. A gentleman's fragrance
I have the pleasure of knowing a very elegant gentleman named Michael. He's a little older than me and has led an interesting life. I saw him yesterday and was saddened to hear about the recent death of his father. Most of our conversation was dedicated to him. Although he reached an impressive age and suffered poor health recently, his death was no less devastating for Michael.
Michael's father was a true gentleman. A dandy in fact. Michael was proud of this fact. He emigrated as a young man from Baghdad and spent the rest of his life in his adopted city of New York. Michael has a fine appreciation for fragrance which is most likely an inheritance from his father. He showed me an enormous old bottle of a Guerlain fragrance I have never seen before called Extrait de Pot-Pourri aux Plantes Marines. I guessed that the bottle must have originally contained 750 ml or perhaps an entire liter of perfume. His father bought it 45 years ago and kept it in his closet along with two other unusually large bottles of Hermes fragrances: Equipage and Caleche. I was familiar with the Hermes fragrances and was delighted to smell the beautifully preserved, vintage versions. In such large, spectacular bottles no less.
Michael had just returned from New York. He's due to go back in a few days for the funeral which, upon his father's request, will be held in a cathedral and feature a full church choir. I love that what Michael took from his father's well-appointed life, to remind him of his old man, were his scents.