Thursday 9 July 2015

The Scent Of Moving

With a life crammed full of scents, what happens when you move house and disturb your carefully stored fragrance memories? On 3rd July 2015 it happened to me. My boxed up past became alive again, and each lid that I opened brought back a myriad of emotions. They always say that the act of moving house can be cathartic, and what I found was that every item stirred a memory, not all of them good, and each of these also revealed up a scent. When I last moved in 2003 I didn't work in perfume, I was still an actor, and I didn't "think" so much about fragrance. This meant that I didn't have such a connection with my belongings.

I truly believe that the memory will recreate the scents associated with a time in your life, if you let it. If you don't let them push through then you can keep your emotions at a distance, which is sometimes what we want. Theatre programmes brought back memories of Guerlain Vetiver when I was in "Phantom Of The Opera", Acqua de Gio for "Joseph" and salty sweat on "My Fair Lady". I'll explain the last one. I was about to go to America to work on an album. I decided to lose three stone and get a tattoo ... okay, maybe I had my midlife crisis at thirty-one!

Personal items brought back tougher emotions. The smell of the first Christmas dinner that I cooked with Graeme Clark, a dear friend who died so young, made me finally realised why I value that time of the year so much. I enjoy the smell of the dinner, not the taste, because he is still with me. I could go on, except my memories are personal and my scented recollections abstract, but the act of moving stirred up emotions that I thought I had put to bed forever. I let my scented memories live again, and I relived some of the most important moments of my life.

I now live in a beautiful 1891 cottage, and each of the memories that have come with me carry a scent and a place in my history. Don't be afraid to remember. Our experiences make us what we are, and the scent memory makes them even stronger. Be brave.

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