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For the Amateur Parfumeur

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Heather Writing

Some will recognize this blog's title, taken from the words of French Enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau: "Smell is the sense of memory and desire." Later, these words were masterfully integrated into the opening lines of T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Every time I spray Alfred Sung's pale, watery lilac confection Sha, I think of these lines and wonder what other  associations between lyric and scent should I explore.

Not long ago, my husband gave me a gift of poet Louise Glück's recent book of poetry, Averno.  There, in "October," she writes these words:

It is true there is not enough beauty in the world.
It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.
Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.

I have taken Ms. Glück's passage to guide me as a writer and as an explorer of the sensory world.  I hope readers of these articles will find something of beauty: an idea, an olfactory pleasure, or the candor of a well-crafted poem.


To provide feedback, share poems, report broken links, or complain to memory & desire
semi-anonymously, feel free to email me at heather [at] perfumetourist [dot] net, or use the interface below.

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Posts prior to 2015 first appeared on my previous website, memory & desire (memoryanddesire.net).