When we are born we are given the gift of our senses. We taste, touch, see, hear, smell... These intrinsic characteristics grow and change, becoming stronger and weaker with times relentless passing.
However, I would argue that there are senses we possess which have little to do with the tangible or known. We feel things in our bones, we known beyond knowing, see beyond seeing, hear things, taste things we can not describe. Miraculous happenings weaving their way into our genetic coding so that we may experience the more of this life.
Have you ever been somewhere and tasted it's perfume? The salty sweet brine of the tropics, the hot spice of India, the crisp clean (indescribable umami) tang of Tokyo. They are everything and nothing, savory and intoxicating. They linger in our hair, stick to our skin, settle into our clothes- winding their way into our sensory memory bank for safe keeping.
When I first came to New Orleans I felt the perfume of the city circle around me, a veil of mystery and charm. Notes of sweet and smokey tobacco. Hot spice. Bold. Unearthly. Rich bodied bourbon. Muddled like a fine cocktail (a New Orleans invention) shaken, not stirred, deftly poured into a crystalline glass lined with mint muddled sugar and ice.
The true 'fragrance' of a city has so little to do with the way it smells. It is the people, the history, the energy... the soul of a city, which dictate the way you will experience its perfume. The scent will vary from person to person, like fine oil mixing on your skin- some places will mingle with your chemistry better than others leaving you with a deep desire to find the ones that fit.
Life is full of things I long to experience; I want to taste, to savor, to smell, and see, listen and feel every moment. I want to wear the sweet perfume of today and tomorrow and know that in a years time it all could be different. But I can always remember the way the pine lingered in the cool clean air, the warm cinnamon and spice, the golden edges pricking through the velvety layer of black orchid.