I didn't smell this one in the bottle... I'd tried it before, in Florida, and thought I didn't like it. But I already had an imp on the way. So I tried it out this evening, just to give it a fair shake.
I'm not getting woods. I'm not getting linen. There might be a touch of leather underneath, but what I'm getting is this.
I am nine years old and, like every Sunday, I am at my grandparents' house. We have had mushroom barley soup in wavy green glass bowls. I have watched Grandma Essie scoop neat curls of Neapolitan ice cream for everyone but me. (I am still allergic to milk, an allergy I won't outgrow til shortly before her death.)
My parents are in the kitchen talking to Grandma Essie. My five-year-old sister is asleep on the couch. Grandpa Joe sits in his armchair, takes out his pipe and a pouch, and beckons me over. "I got a new tobacco," he says. "Come give it a smell, tell me what you think."
I walk over, and he lifts the pouch to my face. I close my eyes. I inhale... one, twice. The smell is rich and deep. I look back at him. "I like it, Grandpa."
He smiles and packs some into the pipe. "Good, good. So tell me about your week."
And I sit and tell Grandpa about my week. He asks about school, about dance, about my stories. We talk until I'm almost as tired as my sleeping sister. On the way home, I will fall asleep in the car; for now, I stay awake, not wanting to waste a moment with Grandpa.
Grandpa Joe died when I was ten. He was my favorite relative ever, and I was his favorite grandchild. I've written about him before.
I was a weird kid. I've often thought that Grandpa was the only family member who got me.
And that scene would repeat every visit. After dinner.
Lifting my wrist to my nose right now, that's what I'm smelling. That's what I'm reminded of. Grandpa's tobacco pouch.
I think I have a new comfort scent.
(He would have gotten such a kick out of Elayna. *shakes head, smiling* She's named for him, you know, him and my grandma.)