- Jan 1, 2021
Hello all. I stumble upon this text, written by Le_Coeur_Gothique, a guy or gal from Greece. Le Coeur Gothique means 'Gothic Heart', and I've read a review about Nuit de Noël (Caron) full of emotion and poetry, IMHO. I just wanted to share it with you, this evening.
All the reviews from Le_Coeur_Gothique may be found here:
All the reviews from Le_Coeur_Gothique may be found here:
Nuit de Noël by Caron
A frame in time...
It's a freezing and dreary day. Not just every day however. It's Christmas Eve. And a proper one I might say, since there's a lot of snow around. And what's more, I got all lucky in my "thematic" shopping this morning. I stumbled upon a near mint antique bottle of Nuit de Noël in a flea market, complete with its jade shagreen case, tassel and stuff, and since I've always thought of it as one of the most elegant packagings ever made, I grabbed it without further ado. I guess that wishing it was full too, would be sort of pushing my luck.
With a solid piece of history in my coat's pocket, I think that having a couple of drinks while sniffing it wouldn't be such a bad idea on this cold winter day.
So, pretending that it's 1922, I enter an old bistrot in the city's most popular square, and order a glass of fine cognac.
From where I am, I can see a girl sitting on the stairs of a building's entrance, lying opposite to the bistrot's side windows.
A cascade of fiery red hair is bursting from her beanie.
She's like a torch burning in the snow...
She has placed her bag on the cold and wet marble and she's sitting on it. She holds a small paper bag in her hands and looks excited. I wonder what the cause of her exhilaration could be. I take a sip of my cognac and smile.
What she takes out of her small paper bag makes my heart miss a beat. I recognise the plain black-capped rectangular bottle. Or, to put it better, I recognise its label. She opens it and dabs a few drops on her wrists and on the sides of her neck. Now if this is not a coincidence, then it has to be fate signing at me.
Encouraged by the spirit of the day, I decide to be a little more daring than usual and find out which of the two.
"I'll show you mine if you show me yours."
Her amber eyes widen with surprise.
"Your Christmas Eve."
"What about it?"
I sway my bottle in front of her eyes.
"Hey! This has the same name, but it's so more beautiful and looks so old. What is it?"
"The grandmother of yours. Care to meet her?"
She accepts my offer for a drink. After all it's freezing outside.
"Oh my God... This is magical..."
Although the perfume is long gone, its soul is still lingering. And sometimes an echo can be louder than the sound itself.
She remains silent with her eyes closed for quite a while. Although I suspect where she might have been drifting, I ask her anyway.
"I was trying to imagine some of the hands that once held this bottle and some of the words that were whispered because of its content being worn. Anyway, my bus leaves in four hours. Can you stand me being ecstatic for this long, oh my noble stranger?"
"Noble stranger" is how we agreed calling each other, to maintain some of the mystery that is weaved with this special and magic day.
But in any case, I tell her that I could possibly stand her more likely for four years, if she could be that dramatic the whole time.
"OK, my turn now."
Although she has it dabbed also on her wrists, she lifts her hair, tilts her head, and invites me to sniff her neck. This upretentious and impulsive gesture warms my heart. But I guess this is what this girl is all about, warming people's hearts.
I go for the sniff, and...
I don't know if it's her gesture, the perfume itself, the surrounding festive atmosphere or any combination of them, but what I smell almost brings tears in my eyes.
I struggle not to kiss her neck, but it's my apparently cold nose tip that spares me the struggle, cause it touches her skin slightly and startles her a bit.
She steps back and sees my nearly teary eyes.
"Hey you dummy... Stop spoiling me! Do I smell that good?"
"You smell like the angels working in Heaven's pastry shop, while a forest wood fire is roaring in its fireplace..."
She won't stop giggling and laughing heartily for the whole three hours we'll spent together. She won't stop sniffing her wrists either. She looks so happy and carefree.
It's time for her to leave and catch her bus.
We walk outside and we stand for a while, staring at each other.
I don't know what to say.
She doesn't seem to know either.
She hesitates for a moment.
Then she leans towards me and with her frail hand tracing my cheek, her lips brush mine for an instant.
And by this fragile token of affection, I know that her scent will remain on me forever.
She turns her back and starts to walk away.
After a few steps she stops and turns her head back.
"I'm Maria!" she shouts, before vanishing in the crowd. I stand still among hundreds of people who are walking around me hastily. I light a cigarette and lean my back against a wall.
I close my eyes and try to imagine what she might be thinking when she went outside for a couple of minutes to buy a pack of cigarettes.
I close my eyes and try to imagine her surprise when she'll discover the flacon in her bag...
I hope you're happy beautiful Maria, wherever you are.
I never saw you grow old. I never saw you become distant. And you never saw me either.
Your icon remains immaculate in my mind, just like this little wonder that made our paths cross, that cold winter morning, 28 years ago.
Your laughter is still ringing in my ears.
And like a friendly and beloved ghost, you shall visit me once more this year, on the same day that I will allow myself a dab of the perfume that is you.
Forever young... Forever happy...
Forever my Maria from the Christmas of 1986.
My beautiful Maria of Nuit de Noël...