Manhattan In The Spring

My photo of Battery Park from 2004

In an Honors Program course in college we studied New York City. Everything about it. It was probably my favorite class. Ever.

As an end to the class we all visited New York City and stayed in a lovely old apartment building from the early 1900’s or so on Park Avenue. It felt haunted but only in a way that was actually quite comforting. The room I slept in smelled a little like vintage Je Reviens.

I become speechless when I recall everything we did while we were there as it was all so thought-provoking and emotionally stirring. I’m still processing it all. All the plays. The restaurants. The art. The history.

I loved it.

Of course that wasn’t my only visit to the city but it was the most memorable. By far.

When it was time to leave we walked, as a class, toward the subway to go to the airport and I remember thinking, “I’ll go down those stairs to the subway, get on that train and then all of this will disappear.” It was nice to think of wide open spaces returning to view and yet it was also deeply unnerving. I felt like I was leaving someone behind.

Today, as I was recalling this visit as it was around this time of the year, I vaguely remembered an image that flew into my mind as we left. I’ve loved history since childhood so, at the time, I assumed it was just my imagination going wild with things I’d read or seen somewhere. But I saw an image of a young man around my age who seemed like a real person, maybe a few years older, and just today I remember the way he looked and the feeling I had that he would have wanted to take me sight-seeing around the city for much longer. It felt that if he existed that he wouldn’t have wanted me to leave… Not just yet.

Glasses and a well-fitting khaki trench coat. Intelligent. Elegant. And no, I’m not just describing a handsome man. Ha! It felt like he was from the early half of the 20th Century. Artistic but logical… Emotional. Serious. Clean-shaven.

I felt pulled at… But we were all leaving. I didn’t have a real choice to stay.

It was romantic, it was bizarre and it seemed quite otherworldly. It felt as if my heart was being torn at by leaving. As if I belonged there with him whoever he was. Almost like a permanent girlfriend for eternity. Taking in shows. Having fun. He was angry I was leaving.

I thought it was my imagination.

I find the odd, unsettling memory lovely today and I hope, if he was a ghost stuck in some purgatorial state that he’s not terribly lonely. Perhaps long into the future I can return to a city that I hope still exists… It’s changed so much already. But it always changes… So there’s hope? And we can finally go see whatever it was he wanted to show me.

Creed Aventus for Her

I used to think Creed was a little too predictable and I didn’t want to buy what everyone else was buying. But…then I decided to try Fleurissimo a few years ago and gradually they’ve become one of my most loved perfume houses. I now have full bottles of Fleurissimo, Spring Flower and Aventus for Her.

I’ve tried a decent number of their other fragrances. Not enough but more than several.

I think what amazes me about Creed is their ability to make what could easily become bourgeois and pretentious fragrances into ethereal, genius creations. Furthermore, I don’t tend to like the gender opposite version of most classic or popular fragrances all that much, but Aventus for Her is one of those rare exceptions when I not only like it but love it. If Chanel La Pausa wasn’t my signature I’d make it Aventus for Her.

Lilac, styrax, rose, pink pepper, musk, black currant, lemon and green apple all made it into this gorgeous scent. Those are some of my favorite notes. But it’s Creed so none of the notes feel cheap, off or miscalculated. It’s a delightful chypre. Absolutely wonderful.

I was given Aventus for Her by my mom last Christmas, which makes it even more special.