It’s a lovely smell – sweet, cakey, and not – to me – massively distinct from Eat Me. I don’t get a scent of toast, toffee or turkey (the latter of which I am quite grateful for). But when this first goes on, I do get pie crust…specifically, pie crust that has been recently doused in custard. The custard gets stronger the longer you wear it – and it isn’t an egg custard, but the kind of custard that comes out of a packet, as powder – the pleasing scent of childhood puddings with Grandparents. At some point, it morphs to pink – that pink custard-which-isn’t-custard that many British kids of my age will remember, a strange combination of strawberry milkshake and condensed milk.
I’m remembering the dining halls of my primary school as a write this, and a visceral recollection of a meal of lamb, and a pudding of jam sponge, where the lamb was so tough that I couldn’t finish a bite within the lunch break. The scent of that hall is remembered (more pleasantly) here in this perfume. It is a dining hall where the cake dominates, and that special kind of jam sponge with sprinkles and custard has dominated over any attempt to force chewy sheep-flesh into my gullet.
What a weird paragraph. Sorry about that.
But you know, one of the things I love about BPAL is its ability to provoke memory. Phantom Calliope smells like one particular Christmas in Wales, where the lights all went out and we had to hope that the petrol generator would power the fridge till the electricity came back, and I could smell gasoline and cranberry sauce, and the wax candles we were burning to see. The Dream recalls a holiday in Norfolk where I saw lavender fields in bloom. Egg Hunt Grass Stain – rolling down a hill outside some castle – again, very likely in the West somewhere – and thinking how wonderful a smell green was.
What a wonderful thing, smell; basic, and animal, and oh so sublime.