Isn’t it funny – the ordinary, mundane events that can mark the passage of time?
Today my bottle of perfume ran out.
For some time I have watched the line of liquid get lower and lower behind the pink glass. This morning there was barely enough for my required daily application of scent before I went to work.
This event is neither interesting nor noteworthy in the general context of the life, but to me it represents more than an empty bottle.
I bought this bottle of perfume last year, in the first days of October, while I was in France. I stood in the Sephora shop in St Quetin with Ashy as she bought me bottle after bottle to squirt onto the strips of tester card. We sniffed and compared, some were discarded very quickly, others made it to the “interesting’ pile, then eventually we settled on this one. I paid for it in Euros, trying to spend the last of the local currency before we flew home.
Each day since then I have worn this perfume. A sniff of my arm returns me to that store and the exacting process of choosing just the right scent.
Now that it has run out I am one further step removed from that day, from that holiday, from the cool days of Europe in my big red coat and black scarf.
This bottle emptying marks a passage of time. I have bought another bottle – exactly the same, but it came from the pharmacy down the road at the local shopping centre. It smells the same, but using it doesn’t have the same associations. This new bottle belongs to a perfunctory occasion – it was part of a shopping list that included ordinary family items.
The other was just for me. It was special, completely indulgent.
I liked that.