Thursday, March 4, 2010

Making Perfume out of Rain

One of my favorite childhood memories takes place at a quaint bed and breakfast somewhere in East Texas. I've been reminded of it several times recently, and now that I take a closer look, I find myself learning a new lesson from the six-year-old Scarlet.

Shadowy images, specific smells, and a plastic cup are pieces of what make up the memory of the night I decided to make perfume out of rain. My family was on a short vacation for a reason I cannot remember. It was a Texan spring evening. It began to rain, a slow drizzle. Perhaps out of childish wonder, or boredom, or a desire to smell like my mother, I decided that I would make myself some perfume. I knew what rain smelled like, and I loved it. So I put a plastic cup on the lawn of the lovely little house we were staying at in order to collect some. My logic was simple: in the morning I would crush some flowers I had found in the yard and put them in the rain water. I would then have the most beautiful-smelling perfume in the world.

In the morning, I did what I had set out to do the night before. I took my flowers (not noticing that they were now a bit wilted) and put them in the cup of rainwater. I crushed them with my stubby fingers, reasoning that they would release their smell into the water. After doing so, I knew that I held in my small hands a cup of the loveliest thing I had ever smelled, and that I had created it.

I don't remember whether I told my mother of my endeavor or what the perfume actually smelled like (probably plastic and grass). I only know that at that moment, I took some out of its cup and placed it on my wrist and neck, and for the rest of the day I knew that I smelled like a princess of the wild, like a fairy or like Thumbalina.

I knew what I was doing when I was six. I knew what I wanted and what I was creating, and I had faith that it would work out, that it was beautiful. I want to incorporate that into my artistic life now. I want faith that I am making something that smells beautiful. I want to feel like that princess of the wild. I think I'll go out next time it rains, collect some drops of water in a jar or plastic cup, and put crushed flowers in it. Then I'll douse my wrists and neck and lay on my floor and know that it is right.


  1. Oh my goodness Scarlet, it's beautiful! I feel like I just went back in time, like i traveled to the Secret Garden! You were right, i loved it! Ayyy my little Scarlet, sometimes I wonder if you even know how amazingly beautiful you are, inside and out...

  2. wow, this was amazing! This made me vary happy... I love you

  3. You. Know. How. Much. I. Love. This!