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The smell of friendship

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“Sometimes being with your best friend is all the therapy you need.”

                         — Unknown

It was not long ago I found myself in an unusual company of a tween. It was rather unusual in the sense that I was struggling to hold a conversation with this somewhat ten-year old looking boy, and for the record, just that you may know, I’m usually found to strike up conversations easily, except when I am hungry. My initial burst of enthusiasm and over confidence came down crashing when I realized my standard operating procedural questions, I ask in such circumstances, such as what your name is, which school do you go to, were met with short abrupt answers. Within the first few minutes into the conversation, I knew it was coming to a grinding halt. However, there was this one moment when I quizzed, had caught the attention of the other body beside me, the question was who is your best friend? The conversation that followed was more engaging and the boy sort of gave in and began to open up about his best friend. Most of us would agree that a true friend is one of the greatest treasures that one can have in life and to borrow the words of Hellen Keller, true friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart, makes so much sense. Recently, a good friend of mine who lives in California shared a poem that her daughter received from her best friend who lives in Singapore. As I read thought the verses, I could sense it was straight from the heart, the friendship between these two teens were so deep and profound, with thoughts weaved into each of the verses with great care, made it look so pure and sublime.

One such story of friendship in the world of haute couture and perfumes, was between the legendary Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy. It is said that, while filming Sabrina in 1953, Audrey Hepburn visited the French couturier Givenchy to discuss the possibility of him designing dresses for the film. Though Givenchy initially declined the invitation to design the dresses, Hepburn was persistent and invited Givenchy to dinner, by the end of which Givenchy was forced to change his mind. Though both were committed to their spouses, the platonic but deep admiration towards each other was evident, in Hepburn’s own words, “His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality.”, and in the words of Givenchy, “She persuaded me, how lucky I was to have accepted”. The story goes on to say towards the end of her life, Hepburn gave the designer a navy blue jacket, telling him “when you are sad, wear this and it will give you courage”. Overcome with emotion even 20 years after her death, he would say “From Geneva to Paris, I wept in the jacket she had given me”. Their friendship remained rock solid a good 40 years until Hepburn’s passing away in 1993. So rooted was their friendship, it is said that Givenchy crafted a perfume with peach and floral notes for Hepburn. Givenchy named the perfume, L’Interdit, which translates in French as “The Forbidden” and befitting the name, Hepburn was the only one to possess it, until it was released to the public until years after its creation in the 1960s. This was truly the smell of friendship. As the saying goes, life was meant for good friends and great adventures, let each one of us be enriched with good friends and everlasting smell of true friendship.

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2 thoughts on “A walk through lavender fields”

  1. BK says:

    It is so relatable. My childhood memories about scent is also dads old spice and musk. Even now if that scent is in the air anywhere I can only think of a freshly shaved and showered dad.

    1. scentwards says:

      Glad you could bring back those memories. The old spice after shave was so popular those days, especially because of the TV commercial.

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