Excerpt from correspondence of 12 July 2008.
There was also another one you gave me, much later. Called "molinard de molinard."
At this precise moment I don't specifically said perfume relating to you. So I am hoping that it is nevertheless so. Because when I think of the geeks and losers I dated after you, who else would have given me 'molinard de molinard'?
Anyway, years after our doomed love affair had ended (or so it seemed at the time - that is, from 1977 to 2008), and in an effort to reconstruct the memory of this heady scent & (possibly?) the associated passion of (your?) kisses, sometime in the mid-1980s when I managed to pull off the a much-needed course correction and moved back to NY. I made a pilgrimage to Saks Fifth Avenue to purchase it for myself dammit. (Why??)
This was no distilled, concentrated, extra-strength outpost SFA as in Stamford, or even SF. I headed to the mothership Saks Fifth Avenue, the emporium, exhaustive repository, of every obscure material erotic association in the form of all manner of fetishes - perfume (in my case), but also hats, spiked heels, black cocktail dresses, negligees...
I was hellbent to find this fragrance, and roamed from counter to counter. It wasn't easy for me. I'm not exactly a fashion diva SFA model customer. A little incongruous, this driven nymph, and didn't the hourly-paid perfume counter mavens give me sarcastic eyerolls that maybe I couldn't see but could feel - and ignore! - behind my back.
No one but no one had heard of molinard de molinard, But that's the amazing thing - or was - about Saks Fifth Avenue, that is, the flagship Temple across from Rockefeller Center.
It WAS to be found there. Little old me got referred from dazzling backlit counter to counter, and finally someone with an archival spirit, rummaged in a drawer & ferreted out a package. A scarlet cellophane wrapped package containing a flacon (if that's the word, not spellchecking at this hour) the long sought after magic elixir.
The prize set me back something like 100 bucks.
I wore it with great pleasure for a long time, and honestly, I sort of forgot the original associations.
Because here's what ended up happening.
"Wow, smells like Christmas." Wherever I went. Coworkers, grocery store clerks, all remarked, sniffing the air, remarking: wow, nice fragrance, smells like.... Christmas.
I liked to wear it in December, because then it wasn't so much a problem. Well yeah - it's Christmas.
Molinard-de-molinard combined with ambient cigarette smoke (because for a long time I smoked but no longer do - not for 10 years now) equals ---- Christmas trees.
OKAY. So this piece is a mess. I know. It's getting late, and it's Saturday night and my dear editor is off at his or her country place.
This "Speak, memory." thing. What do you expect, full sentences?
As Cordelia says to Xander: Shut up - kiss me you fool!
To be continued....