Sunday, March 23, 2008

What to wear while duck is cooking

I had a shower and was without scent. The house is filled with the smell of duck; greasy, deep and gamey. I'm not going out and I'll be spending a good deal of time in the kitchen later. . .

. . .hmmm. What scent goes with the smell of duck? I'm sure Chandler Burr would tell me exactly what scent to wear, since he hosts scent dinners.

It would be lovely to ring him up and ask him, but a.) it's Easter Sunday and I'm sure he's got a pretty full day, and b.) He doesn't know me from a hole in the wall (what the hell does that expression mean, anyway?).

I got sidetracked trying to track down the origins of the above expression. I couldn't find it readily. The scent of cooking duck pulled me back to my original task. . .oh, my brain is constantly thinking parenthetically, tangentially. . .why can't I get it into line?!

Since I had just posted about Passage D'enfer, I did think of that. It is Easter Sunday, after all. I don't particularly associate Easter with those candy chicks (Peeps?), chocolate bunnies or colored eggs. Besides, there's a couple of feet of snow outside. Not exactly a Spring-like day here.

I never got that about Easter, anyway. Isn't that all about the Pagan celebration of Spring? Isn't this a celebration of the resurrection of Christ? Goodness, the whole week leading up the this day is one that should be somber, in my humble opinion. Now I've got an image of Jesus on the cross whilst children with baskets filled with plastic grass search for eggs frolic beneath him. Very strange little vignette in my mind.

Oh, the Duck. Decision: Serge Luten's Chypre Rouge. I've only worn it once, liked it instantly, and remembered it being somewhat dark without being depressing. Yes, depressing. Smokiness comes to mind - a scent I love, but at this time of the year, I'm sick of. I use a woodstove (yes, people still do) in my house and I smell burning wood all day (note to readers: locust bark or wood on the grill makes food even yummier than mesquite.)

Chypre Rouge is not smoky. It's sweeter than I remember it. When wet, I smelled curry quite strongly and felt sad when that dissipated. Curry scents, of course, go beautifully with duck. I'm planning on making curried duck with the leftover tomorrow, in fact.

Still, though the curry is now gone, it is a fine scent with the duck. I wish it was darker. I noticed the patchouli and thought: "Wait: I loathe patchouli!" Guess I've been wrong about that for a long time. I can smell it and it does not bother me.

Once, when I was the boss of a small clothing boutique, I asked a girl to scrub off her Patchouli. No matter how much she washed, I could still smell it, and I sent her home. I got a bad reputation for that. Another time, I was having breakfast in a small diner and the waitress was wearing patchouli. I had to leave. I felt like I might throw up.

Well, Serge Lutens, whatever company is supplying you with the bio-identical patchouli does a grand job. Unfortunately (or fortunately 'cause I can't afford it) the scent is just not bowling me over. It's beautiful, for sure. . .wait. . .I better stop analyzing it or else I might convince myself I need it. . .

It's too sweet. No, it's not. It's perfect. No, it's just okay. I like it. Shut up. It goes with the duck. Do I detect a hint of wine in it? Ah, perhaps my mind is playing olfactory tricks on me again.

Now I have to cut up onions and potatoes. I wonder how it will "go" with that.

Note: The painting is Jean-Baptiste Oudry's Still Life with Hare, Duck, Loaf of Bread, Cheese and Flasks of Wine (1742). This painting is the smell of roasting duck.

And again I waffle: this scent bothers me in an some way. I'm thinking "it smells like a very good perfume". That's an odd statement, but it's true. It seems almost generic. I think it reminds me of my grandmother's bedroom. That's what is bothering me. It smells like the inside of her heavy (and i mean heavy!) black lamb coat but without the mothballs. Yes, I'm waiting for the mothball smell to kick in! I am! I can picture her shoes now. Where the hell did she get those shoes? Was there a store in Brooklyn that sold 19th century shoes? Her shoes were heavy. I am trying to conjure up something, anything, light about her and I can not. It is a sign of the times in which she lived. A true depression-era woman. She carried a valise, not a suitcase. He handbag must have weighed twenty pounds. She always carried a tin of Pond's cold cream, a compact with pressed powder and bobby pins.

Okay. This is the hallmark of a great perfume. I could go on for hours about my grandmother, her house, her coats, her bags and the only slightly post-Victorian person that she was.

I have thought of something light: One picture of her. Alone. Smiling. Wearing the clothes of a flapper. I wonder what times she had then!

And now back to reality: I must go cut up potatoes and onions!

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