The beautiful young woman who makes my coffee at the one café near work asked, “What perfume do you have?”, with her womanly from the core of earth Ethiopian voice and lilt.
“Which one? The one on me all over, or the one on my wrist? ”
I walked closer to her and gave her my wrist. I didn’t touch her but could feel the warmth of her face. I felt her breath on my skin.
She said, “Not this one!”
I told her what the other one was and that the one always on my wrist is Terre D’Hermés for men.
“Is it your husband’s or boyfriend’s?”
“No. It’s mine!”
“Why do you like it?”
“Something about the scent takes me back home. It smells like earth. Not like earth when it rains. Like earth in your mouth.
You know? have you ever pulled a radish or a carrot straight from the dirt? And eaten it without washing it? That taste and the smell that rises to your nose. That is exactly what it reminds me of. Or, a ripe fig that fell from the tree, covered in dirt. You can’t possibly wipe all the dirt off. That is exactly what Terre D’Hermés smells like to me.
It smells like the beautiful taste of dirt in my mouth.”