"What does a child truly remember?" asks Christopher Brosius. "A child remembers kindness." The kindest person I have ever known was my great-grandmother. When I was five-twelve years old, for various reasons my parents had to go away a lot, leaving me in her loving care. I always think of her as the best friend of my childhood. Always gentle, infinitely patient, she was the archetypal granny every child should have. She'd play with me for hours, she'd make up stories for me , she'd cook the most delicious things, she'd take me to parks and to our dacha (the country house). I mentioned that dacha so many times on this blog, by now you probably know it just as well as I do...and I feel that if we could be magically transported there right now, I would have been able to find my way through the vegetable and berry beds and flower bushes as easily as twenty years ago and could show you every marvelous corner of that wonderful place.
Memory of Kindness, Brosius' ode to the country house of his Aunt, is such a time machine of sorts. Some of CB I Hate Perfume scents touch me disturbingly deeply, on a subconscious, irrational level, and Memory of Kindness is one of those scents. It is not a complex fragrance, but its realistic quality is positively striking. It smells of tomato vines, a pungent, green smell that incorporates the poignant aroma of wet earth and a slight, savory fruitiness of tomatoes themselves. It is the scent of being small, of crouching among the tomato beds, of unhelpfully picking up the least ripe fruits, of stomping all over the vines, of getting dirty, being a nuisance and getting nothing but a smile and a praise in return. It evokes the memory of being washed and fed, of a tummy slightly grumpy about the amount of fruits, berries and vegetables it devoured, of napping in a house with curtains drawn against the sun, the house with its comforting smell of damp wood, drying herbs and ripe apples...Memory of Kindness is a scent of innocence, carelessness and absolute security - the feelings that are indications of a very happy childhood.
Had I not experienced that kind of love, that kind of kindness, I am not sure what would have happened to me later in life. What my great grandmother has given me, has become a foundation so far seemingly capable of withstanding all sorts of turmoils. Greatma has lived a difficult life, survived the war with three little daughteres, struggled a lot...Very humble, very retiring, she never complained, never judged. I don't think I have ever met or would ever meet a person of such profound goodness. She died seven years ago this May and I miss her every day.
Would I wear Memory of Kindness? Gosh no, I react to it so strongly, it is almost painful to wear it. But I love to sniff my sample and to feel immediately and inexplicably comforted.
Memory of Kindness is available at cbihateperfume.com, $12.00-$60.00.
Image source, alamy.com, cbihateperfume.com.