I was in a shop in London, trying out perfume. Seeing a bottle entitled ‘Rain’, I smiled, knowing exactly what to expect. Such is the memory of scent: powerful and attentive to details, the mind’s secret connoisseur. Summer trapped in a bottle. I spritzed myself eagerly but it wasn’t the scent of summer rain. It lacked its intangibility.
Summer, pregnant with memories of visits to grandparents, forgotten friendships, aimless walks in vague, incomprehensible heat – heat subdued only by afternoon rain. The perfume of the dust rising up from the wet pavement, casting a glistening veneer over the unknowable paths of snails. My personal scent, that perfume, designed to attract those memories and others, of still and silent houses. And what else is there? An evocation of a forgotten, saint-like face, yellow under the streetlamp; the radio drifting throughout empty rooms from the kitchen. The indescribable, hopeless perfume of summer rain sits on the vanity gathering dust during the year. Now, it is to be broken out and sprayed behind the ear; Summer has announced her arrival. She can be heard over the garden, at once weeping and dancing, bringing through the open doors of the balcony the perfume of afternoon rain.