So after my shower I put on perfume—a soliflore, dedicated to tuberose. (My tastes in perfume have expanded, but tuberose was my first love—and they linger, in perfume as in romance.) The scent is called Beyond Love.
It very nearly is. It is certainly as overwhelming as that first, stomach-clenching fall. Sumptuous. Drenching. Lush on a scale that leaves me heavy-lidded.
In fact, narcotic.
Or better. Opiates have nothing on the luscious, ambrosial somnolence of this sensation. Breathing in, being surrounded by, this scent is as overwhelming as lying on summer grass at sunset, watching the sky as a storm rolls toward you—while sprawled between sheets made of cream-white silk.
Actually, I am sprawled on white sheets—sheets of damasked cotton-sateen. The sensory contrast—between the slight give that could pass as roughness in the fine-spun cotton, and the hedonistically sleek, impenetrably textured scent of the tuberose—is hypnotic, bewitching...
...far better than opium.
Everything registers—the three-noted chirp of the lone bird outside my open window; the rippling grey velvet of the clouds; the heavy swirl of the damp air around me as it is stirred by the coming rain; the nearly fur-soft feel of the hair at the base of my neck as my fingers lace in it. Nothing is lost, nothing struck aside by slumberous senses: Every impression plays across the sensorium, soft and heated and clear, not a single edge blurred by the scent which curls around all of them.
I want music now—something subtle and silken and drowning-deep. Something dangerous in large doses.
Something that sounds like the scent drifting from my skin.
But if there is a music that lulls with a heavy stroke—music that is slumberous, but so potent that you cannot bear to let it go to slide down into sleep—
music that drowns you in the air you breathe, because your blood binds its pleasures more tightly than oxygen—
music like the scent of tuberose and jasmine and amber and coconut and musk—
I've never heard it.
And so I lie in silence, in the falling dark of a Spring evening, bathing in the the scent of rajnigandha, “the flower of the night”. Bathing in the scent of Summer.
Of such a Summer as has never existed but in the dark, fragrant heart of a white-petalled night bloom.