Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chasing Butterflies and Watermelon Pickles

I first sniffed La Chasse aux Papillons at FF's initial sniff-fest.  My entire being lit up, and I said "I have been here before!"

That is the thing I love about this scent journey - being transported to places I may have been or want/wanted to be.

This poem, which was my favorite when I was a young pre-teen, loosely captures my feelings about this scent.  To me, LCaP is not a childish scent, but a most beautiful nostalgic one.

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle...
During that summer
When unicorns were still possible;
When the purpose of knees
Was to be skinned;
When shiny horse chestnuts
    (Hollowed out
    Fitted with straws
    Crammed with tobacco
    Stolen from butts
    In family ashtrays)
Were puffed in green lizard silence
While straddling thick branches
Far above and away
From the softening effects
Of civilization;
During that summer--
Which may never have been at all;
But which has become more real
Than the one that was--
Watermelons ruled.
Thick imperial slices
Melting frigidly on sun-parched tongues
Dribbling from chins;
Leaving the best part,
The black bullet seeds,
To be spit out in rapid fire
Against the wall
Against the wind
Against each other;
And when the ammunition was spent,
There was always another bite:
It was a summer of limitless bites,
Of hungers quickly felt
And quickly forgotten
With the next careless gorging.
The bites are fewer now.
Each one is savored lingeringly,
Swallowed reluctantly.
But in a jar put up by Felicity,
The summer which maybe never was
Has been captured and preserved.
And when we unscrew the lid
And slice off a piece
And let it linger on our tongue:
Unicorns become possible again.
John Tobias

The Extreme version is more peppery, but other than that and after a few tests, I prefer the original from top to bottom.  LT/TS mention aldehydes in the original - perhaps there are,  but they definitely don't bother me in this fragrance.

Notes:  bergamot, pink pepper, linden blossom, lemontree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose (from L'Artisan's website).  Perfumer is Anne Flipo.

Which also brings up a thought - have any of you wished you could go back and meet yourself at different ages?  I sure have - I recently had a wonderful dream that I was able to observe myself (we were both on a bus) when I was 21.  And yeah, I know all the Star Trek/Dr. Who scary theories about how the two yous together would rip a hole in the space-time continuum, but other than that...!

*photo of me between the ages of 8-10- I realize it's not summer and I'm not eating watermelon pickle, but it's the closest one I could find that would fit here.  BTW, I had to wear saddle shoes at school, so I also rocked them out of school - it was my fashion statement!*


  1. I love it!! And you are right, BF-- being transported through time "Which may never have been at all" is one of the very best things about perfume. (I love that line-- I'm going to use it from now on, I just know it-- how the mind amalgamates, and that becomes the "true" memory...)

    Nice shoes!!

  2. I have wished at times I could go back and tell myself that things would eventually be OK. Give myself a hug. It is still a good message and I can always use a hug. Hugs and smiles all around.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem LCN! I need to find another pair of saddle shoes - they just don't make them like they used to, though.

    Callie, that's a great idea! And here's a (((hug))) for you now.

    I also wish I could ask questions to my young self - like "what do you think about when you're about to fall asleep?" etc.


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