Personal: The Diary of Scent

I was late to work this morning because I’d sat at my dresser a little too long. I’d lifted the cap and was captivated- yet again.

Three years ago when I was studying in Europe, I was looking for a special scent – one that I could call my signature scent. I never really knew what that meant because I’d never had one. All I knew, was that it was supposed to feel like you. A scent which somehow managed to describe you, epitomise you. I’d figured that out on my own because doing a google search on “What is a signature scent” yielded a million different answers and more questions from people as confused as I was.

I guess in a way it’s a bit like falling in love. You think you know what it is, but you don’t – at least not until you actually fall for someone. At least, that was how it was for me. I’d religiously gone to Sephora every few days to smell the various perfumes over and over again, enthusiastically priming my nose by smelling coffee beans in between. Once or twice I’d come close to buying one that I’d liked but not loved, simply because I thought there was something wrong with me in not being able to find a scent that I could truly feel for.

My first perfume purchase was Flora by Gucci. I wanted to like it – everyone was telling me how gorgeous it was, and even how lovely it looked sitting on the dresser with its sophisticated hexagonal bottle and little black bow. But then a few days later, I found myself back along the fragrance shelves at Sephora again.

The first time I inhaled the scent, I immediately knew that this was me. It was me through and through – and I didn’t even know why or how a scent could have that kind of an impact. It opened beautifully – a floral with spicy undertones. But what I found most intriguing was what lay beneath. There was- a certain mystery, a hint of something, dangerous- like a gaze held for a little too long, a gentle brush of an elbow against another, the sweeping of a strand of hair in the wind. There was a certain boldness in the scent which spoke volumes to me about adventure, courage, dreams and romance.

Three years on. Even the slightest whiff, I would still consider arresting – a stir in my heart, an excitement coursing through my veins. Even as I write this, I’d closed my eyes and breathed in to ignite the scent memory from deep within, and it sweeps me back to Paris- to the Eiffel Tower, to the Gardens of Versailles.

They say that true love is worth the wait. And if true love is this, then truly it is.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Express Yourself.”

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Zabrina Alexis Chew

I believe in exploration, in visiting new places, encountering people and cultures, and in learning and trying new things. I believe in pushing the boundaries, doing what you never thought you'd ever get down to doing, and to look at the world with an open mind. I believe in looking forward with enthusiasm at the adventures that await. Above all, I believe in being and feeling alive. I hope you will share my adventures with me, just as I would love to share in yours also. Here's to our friendship. After all, we're all explorers in this world together!

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