(Caution: this post contains a whole lotta ellipses)
Y’know… that madeleine… I’ve often wondered if the smell or taste of something is required to be persackly what it is remembered to be (and can you even prove that it is?) … or is it the alchemy caused by the attempt at memory… but if that’s the case, then what happens when you bit into/smell/feel something and it is NOT as you remember? Is it the fault of the thing? Or the fault of your memory?
Here’s what brought this to mind (and for those of you who are looking for a perfume connection, hang in there – it’s coming!):
So. Our house was a Nestle’s Quik house – that, and Hershey’s syrup (my dad loved Ovaltine – strange that I would Just Now remember that) but as kids we preferred the super-sweet stuff (mine was chocolate, my brother’s was strawberry – and a sicklier-sweeter taste than Strawberry Quik you’d be hard-pressed to find). Because it was commonplace in our house it was, well, commonplace. So when I went over to my prima Sylvia’s house and saw…Bosco…? I was enthralled! Drank 2 glasses of it (hey! don’t judge me! I was 8!!!), convinced it was this superior elixir forbidden to me. I remember it tasting different (i.e. ‘better’) than Hershey’s but I have NO idea what that taste actually was … and I am no longer 8.
So. Imagine my surprise and delight when I happened upon Bosco at World Market! I bought a bottle, put it in the pantry … and promptly forgot about it. We recently had to move that pantry so, in the midst of taking all the goods out, I came upon that bottle of the Forbidden Elixir! Decided to have my Proust Moment. Stirred a hefty slug into a glass of milk. And.
The memory that was conjured – of seeing that bottle of Bosco on my prima’s dimly-lit kitchen counter? That, along with the ‘maybe’ taste memory? That was triggered when I saw the bottle on the shelf at World Market. The taste of the Forbidden E;ixir (those 2, ill-advised glasses of chocolate milk my 8 yr old self chugged) ….I realize now that what I was remembering was the sensation, not the actual taste.
Because, believe me, Bosco tastes like Absolutely Nothing. Sure, there’s a hint of chocolatey taste (you know it’s gonna be bad when they use ‘chocolatey’) …but the overall impression is…….’eh’.
Where mah madeleine izzz?
Except – and here’s the weird part – the crappy actual experience of tasting Bosco again has not tarnished that odd memory of the glory of the Forbidden Elixir. It’s as if they refuse to exist on the same plane. Huh.
The Perfume Proust Moment was another weird one. in my mid-teens I wore Nina Ricci Bigarade
Fragrantica lists it as a Chypre, with notes of bitter orange and citrus, among others. Well, alrighty then! Here’s the thing on this one: it had zero to do with the actual perfume (more ellipses)…… and everything to do with the bottle and the box! I’d stumbled upon an empty, dusty bottle in the unlikeliest of booths in the unlikeliest of antique malls… and just the sight of the bottle brought back memories of spending weekends at my cousin Wendy’s house, back when we were 14-15 years old (that was the same time I got scalped by a baited fish hook – now that? I remember as if it happened 32 minutes ago. OW!) – ANYHOO!!! I found a bottle on the ‘bay, compared it to some I got from Surrender to Chance….
….um. okay? yeah. okay. Still love the bottle!
OOH! you know what? I’mo do a post about bottles! But not right now. Right now? I want to know what your Proust Moments are! I’ll have The Girl pull a couple of folks….. yeah, yeah… those of you who’ve recently won are all ‘where my goodies izz?’ – and rightly so! But I’ve been in silos (work) for several weeks and before that it was the Hollerdays and guess what? YOUR STUFF IS ALL PACKED, LABELED AND ON ITS WAY OUT!
Whew! I can be a bit scattered sometimes. Forgive me!
Hey (20)19 Winners:
gmail your evilauntieanitaAT and…hey! I’m being industrious! so I’ll get it out to you sooner than I got our past winners out!!! LOL! sorry, guys – I am either industrious or a total slug. But I do love you!