Indian Summer

Indian Summer in Athens – dragonflies mating on virtual water

I don’t know what the superlative of Indian Summer is but we are living it in Athens. Over 20 degrees in November is something we are not used to but tourists and dragonflies are making the most of it. Saturday morning walk in Plaka and coffee at the Acropolis Museum Café… In front of the Museum a glass floor allows people to walk above the ruins of ancient Athens to enter the Museum. The same glass floor continues inside the Museum as the entire Athens city centre is built on layers of thousands year old ruins. When one find themselves walking on this glass floor and they catch a glimpse with the corner of their eye of what is under the glass supporting their weight they can’t help but scream. The strangest illusion of walking on air takes over and you have to scream or jump over to solid ground. The effect is so strong that they had to block the view in some places because it was getting too uncomfortable for people. The huge glass surface is an attraction for tourists, Athenians and dragonflies alike. This morning tens of dragonflies were performing a strange ritualistic dance centimetres above the glass. On closer inspection I realised it was couples of dragonflies mating  in the air over the glass reflective surface. If you look closer in the photo each flying object is a couple of libellules, orange one in front, brown one behind, flying in tandem and mating. I do not know where the nearest water pond is, it must be more than 100 kilometres, but still the dragonflies use the reflection of themselves on the glass to simulate their dance on water. City life can be so confusing…

I had some time on my hands and went to sniff the latest Tom Ford releases.

Noir opens very nicely, with freshly cut, tart wood. It avoids cliché fruity notes. I liked it. Then I blinked and it had morphed into a patchouli – benzoin powdery base that I have smelled many times and smells much better in Cuir Ottoman. Nevertheless it is a nice perfume, I would welcome a bottle if it dropped in my hands.

The Jardin Noir series is a nice walk through an autumn garden. Nothing “noir” comes through. Rose Café is a pretty rose with some saffron although I can’t say I got the coffee.  Lys Fumé and Jonquille de Nuit are lilly and narcissus respectively, nice, delicate, very wearable but nothing to write home about. Ombre de Hyacinthe is the most interesting to my nose and the only one who can claim to venture into the dusk. Instead of embellishing the smell of hyacinth it centres on the slightly swampy smell that fills a closed room with a bouquet of hyacinths. It smells a little of egg whites and sulphuric fumes. Whether you like it or not is up to you but certainly it is the only one with something to say about a garden in the darkness.

I also had time to spray Black Violet (by Clement Gavarry) which is simply beautiful and develops in a very elegant way. I love this one. It is more woods than violet and one of the best in the Private Blend line. And of course Lavender Palm (by Yann Vasnier). This proves how talented Yann Vasnier is: lavender usually has a coarse velvet texture. Not here! Lavender Palm is creamy, oily and develops a quality that is somewhere between leather and pomade, much like mimosa.

Have a lovely weekend.

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About Christos

Scientifically minded but obsessed with the subjective aspect of things. Photos copyright of MemoryOfScent, with special thanks to Pantelis Makkas You are welcome to link to my blog but you are definitely not allowed to copy text or use the photos without my permission. All text and main photos are originals and property of MemoryOfScent All perfumes are from my collection unless stated otherwise.


  1. Even more than perfume, you made me long for some Indian Summer. (Or even just to see the sun … it’s been almost two weeks since we last had a clear day.) Enjoy it, Christos.

    • Yes, you are right but at some point this gets a little scary. It is as if all sense of seasons has been lost. And to see the dragonflies mate over glass is even stranger…

  2. Dragonflies making love mirrored in the glass ceiling of ancient ruins? I think I am in love. How poetic. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous lyrical moment in time. Wait, did you say something about perfumes?

    • Yes, I thought I’d write something perfume related because that’s the sort of blog I have but it was totally gratuitous. It was a lovely image but I only managed to capture little of it. People were standing around the glass “pond” mesmerized by the sight of those creatures mating unaware of the history of the place, the crowd of tourists, the lack of nature. As I was clicking to take the photo someone who didn’t notice what was going on and walked over the glass surface and through the dragonfly orgy sending most of them away.

  3. Trying to think of a perfume I know that might express the scene you have captured…..reminds me of a time of sitting in the garden reading a book and two little flying creatures landed in the middle of the page I was reading and had a go at it. I couldn’t turn the page until they were finished, 🙂

  4. What a nice post, Christos! I laughed at “tourists and dragonflies are making the most of it.” and was mesmerized by the image you painted.

    It was almost 30C today (also completely unusual November weather even for our warm climat) so I’m on the same wavelength (half enjoying/half being scared).

    As to the perfumes, I agree with most of your thoughts (not sure yet about Lavender Palm – need to re-try). Ombre de Hyacinthe is my favorite out of the four. Black violet – love, own a decant and enjoy wearing it.

    • I really don’t know what’s happening with the climate. Although I laugh at 12.21.12 theories I can’t help thinking that maybe it’s not the end of the world the Mayas were talking about but rather the end of the world as we know it.

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