I used to look everywhere for a certain fragrance because I couldn’t pinpoint it to anything, and I hadn’t known anything like it before. Recently, I have discovered that it is what the herb vervain smells like, and I realized that I have a lot of good and bad memories associated with it.
Apparently, a smell can trigger your most obscure memories and allow you to feel the emotions we have somehow subconsciously associated with it. It was pretty much like that for me, and I decided to write about it to clear my head.
Happy-ish reading, I guess. Xx
“I’d recognize it anywhere, the scent of you— it clung to your existence, once, like everlasting perfume. I searched the world around but I never found quite anything like it, nor quite anyone like you.
There have been legends, you know? Those Faerie-folk, they keep their flowers hidden, coveted, and all to themselves. There have been stories, ad more than just rumours about flowers with a fragrance so heady, you’d chase it to the ends of the Earth. Several have searched before me, set out on a never-ending journey; they’ve all been driven insane.
Flowers meant to ward off evil, I wonder why they drew me to you. Perhaps I was one of those mindless fools. Perhaps, like everyone else, I was driven to insanity, too.
I’d recognize it anywhere, the scent of you— like I haven’t looked for it in every bottle of perfume, every stick of incense, every salve. All of it in vain for there’s none quite like you.
There have been traces left behind, lingering amidst crowds, beckoning me to nothingness. I’ve looked for you and I’ve failed, over and over again. But it might be for the best, I tell myself, for if I found it I’d be tempted to fall right back into a path I told myself I’d never walk again. Perhaps I’ll give in to the heady fragrance, go insane, for the slightest trace of you under all the vervain.
Truth remains, I didn’t even know this air I once craved was the one that once surrounded you. But I kept searching for nothing. Perhaps, you drove me to insanity too.
And how desperately I wish I didn’t recognize it, the scent of you— I wish it wasn’t tied to the hurt you left me with. And maybe I am drawn to the pain, all the memories and what-ifs; I wish you didn’t have the kind of hold on me that you do.
There have been moments of weakness, and I have looked everywhere for traces of you. Barely there, like you’d always been, now I don’t quite understand why I’d wanted to. What suffocated me before no longer does, and I am free of its violent clutches. I still look for a faint trace of it, the vervain, for it no longer reminds me of you– it’s how I know I’m free of you.
And I wish the vervain burnt me the way it did all evil– the worst crime was to put my faith in you, but all you ever did was tear me in two. And now the heady fragrance is all I have left, and I still crave it so. But that’s all it is, an elusive perfume and nothing more.”