In the Abstract
When I wear fragrance, I let my mind go -- I can and do find notes identified by someone else, but to experience scent, I let go of my thoughts.
I love perfume for that. As a meditative state.
You can go forward or backward ... either recognition of prior experience you associate with the scent or, if you're very aware of what surrounds you now, it will be the foundation of a scent memory to come.
Today's fragrance: Fleurs d'Oranger, is a scent I associate with India. It's the cumin and my association of that spice with curries, with teeming crowds, with the painful beauty of a culture that predates mine by millenia.
If this scent can be color, it is the turquoise and magenta of a sari I once received as a gift. Vivid colors dancing slowly, yards of fabric gracefully unwinding, even as scent wafts through my awareness, moving gently around my wrists and shoulders.
The cumin always comes to me first, even before the sweet florality of orange blossom, white jasmine, Indian tuberose (ah), white rose.
Citrus peel leavens the density of the orange blossom, maybe makes it a little less sweet. I take it on faith that hibiscus seed and nutmeg have been added, because I don't recognize them.
But always first, and recurring through the life of the scent, is cumin. A sweet/sour smell so similar to that of our bodies. Scent reminder of the never completely masked mortal state.
Serge Lutens' Fleurs d'Oranger