Perfume for Goodbyes

My flight home leaves tomorrow. For those of you keeping track at home, Drew will be spending the next year getting his Master’s at the London School of Economics while I finish my last year at Hopkins in Baltimore. Tomorrow I’ll probably be a total crybaby about it (although I doubt that it’s humanly possible to cry harder than I did when he said goodbye to the cat).

He was there on the day that I brought Zelda home! Look, look!

But today, I’m keeping it together while I plan what perfume I’ll wear when we say goodbye.

When we’re young, our scent memories are mostly chosen for us. We develop associations with brownies because they’re what our mothers baked for us; with Old Spice, because that’s what our fathers wore; with lilac bushes, because our parents drove us to somewhere that had lilac bushes. With time, we grow into the curious pleasure of creating scent memories for others. We get to control (to a certain extent) which scents our loved ones will associate with us. We get to decide what our significant moments will smell like.

None of the perfumes that I have with me here in Iowa are really suitable for goodbyes. TokyoMilk Bittersweet? The name is right, but the chocolate frosting scent is all wrong. Hermes Ambre Narguile? This is no time for a spiced apple danish. Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise? Closer, but it lacks a certain gravity.

I reserve the right to completely change my mind at the last minute, but I’m leaning towards the Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee that I gave him for his last birthday. It’s the fragrance that I most strongly associate with him, with us. And there’s something serene about Vanille Insensee, so I’m hoping that it will help soothe the hysterical crybaby that will doubtless emerge. I am seriously a Sailor Moon-grade crybaby, you guys. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Sailor Moon, she is kind of a total crybaby.) And not the glamorous kind of Sailor Moon crybaby, either.

THAT kind of Sailor Moon crybaby.