I walked into the elevator today and it smelled a lot like someone was just moving large blocks of marzipan around. It’s what I imagine the spring air in Lubeck or Palermo must have smelled like if you happened to be strolling around during the 17th century.

I walked into a kind of cheap, beautiful ghost, basically. An impression of a person who was just there. And there I am: standing in the result of someone else’s choices. For better or worse I like it.

Inexpensive fragrances are elaborately built phenolic reproductions of luxury. Blank, basic drives of innocence and dewiness: vanillin, musk, benzoin, ylang ylang, and fruits. Sensual women for stalwart men. I think the smell of marzipan means approach.

In this case a hyper marzipan. Quasimarzipan. Peachier, woodier, creamier, sweeter.

I want to see the cheapest aldehydes you buy so I know what you long for. I want to know how you combine fragrance and money. I want to see your spice rack so I know who you are. I want to see the alchemy you’ve made between the inside and the outside. How do you combine or separate fragrance and experience?

I’m closing my eyes for a sec (I’m only going one floor here) and I think of almonds. Great Victorian table centerpieces and Swedish princess cakes. Life/death: the Biblical luz blooming with either early old age or long life depending on how you read it. March-pane and passover, marzipan and London Drugs. Marzipan as medicine. Sugar as a spice. Hanseatic Germany. Cyanide and Richard Kuklinski. Hungary and my grandfather and WWII.

Mostly I wonder about who brought this ghost into the elevator. Do they know who or what it could stand for at another place in time? Do they wear almonds for themselves or for someone else?

Did they know they were wearing it for me?


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I can dance to this anytime. I love Debra Hurd. Look at that jacket.