“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya Angelou
A few days ago, I boarded a flight from Bali to Singapore heavy-hearted. 48 hours spent laughing with friends, after-dark swims in the villa, styling our hair in top-knots, and unadulterated spa-ing and eating surrendered once again for life in the city.
We missed a sunset over The Rocks at Ayana because we were swimming in bathtubs full of bougainvillea (later, we’d sip our drinks in darkness and imagine how breathtaking the black seascape before us was). We missed Cinco de Mayo by a day, but made it up by gorging on the best Tex Mex on the island. We hopped out of the W to walk along the beach at night and have the most delicious drinks at Potatohead.
It was lavish, spontaneous. But importantly, full-hearted. There were frangipani in our villa which I’d collect every morning either off the ground or by gently shaking the tree (after asking for its permission). The tree’s branches hung precariously over the swimming pool.
The first thing I got home from the airport was sterilise a jar, wash the flowers, and start work on a new perfume with the very flowers I collected and carried by hand from Bali. It’s more of a gunky experiment than anything right now.
The staff at my local nursery refused to sell me more flowers to add to the perfume (“We sell trees, not flowers”), which I need to intensify the scent. Completely bummed, I began worrying and resorted to collecting some flowers that had fallen to the ground until while on the bus, I spotted… a frangipani tree. #thankyoujesus! Pink, not yellow flowers, but nonetheless beautiful. And on public property. You can tell where this is headed…
The rest of the arvo was spent in Little India, buying fresh Jasmine for another weekend project. I love the scent of jasmine, and theirs, freshly air-flown from India, carpeted the studio last night in this deliciously creamy, white flower scent. Similarly captivated by the nectar-like smell of mangoes ripening in the heat, I bought one for dessert.
After a wedding reception last night, I burst through the place, and there was a moment. Before switching on the light, you could tell there was an intoxicating scent snaking its way up from the drying table. A cloud of scent.
Jasmine flowers, including the tuberose purchased earlier in the day, were bottled then and there. Yes. Woman possessed.
My ears took delight in the mush sound as the flowers were muddled and bruised with the mortar & pestle. Sigh your last sigh, exhale your last breath.
So basically, the past week has seen me freebase my way through every flower that crossed my nose. Can’t say I don’t stop to smell the roses.