Scents of Paris: Memories of Cherries

“It is short, the time of cherries, Coral pink fruit one picks in dreams, I will always love the time of cherries.  Its a time I keep in my heart–An open wound. ”  (from an old French song of the commune).

The scent of an open Paris Market with displays of fruits, vegetables and flowers is a haven for the perfume lover; here one can wander to smell the fresh fruits and vegetables that will eventually make their way home to a dinner table.  The flowers give off a heady scent at the same time you admire their varied colors.  I like to lean in and smell the intoxicating mix of flowers on display, hoping the flower seller won’t notice. I usually do it when the flower seller has turned her back so as not to get caught with my face inside the blooms. My camera will also sneak out to capture that moment in time when the flowers are gathered in an elegant jumbled mess before they go home. Heaven,  on earth. 

The crisp brown paper bags of cherries are not the ruby cherries I remember growing up in California; they are crisp and slightly sour. They are a bit pink with a blush of yellow around the edges. They are like the difference between a perfume that has a light citris scent and the rich pungent smell of “Joy” by Jean Patou, a heady fragrance that overwhelms the senses.  Ripe and full of the promise of the “saison” the scent of cherries in the markets is  mixed with the smell of vegetables, fruits or the cheese sold nearby. I begib a love affair with the butcher, usually upon arrival.  French butcher’s are just about the sexiest men I have ever seen, no matter their age. The way they pick up the delicious roasts and chops is poetry. They are passionate about what they do. Perhaps that is the attraction.  

The cherries are just perfect with a glass of Rose, a small slice of cheese and a crust of bread. If you are lucky,  in a typical Paris apartment you can either lean out the window or sit on your porch,  if you have one. Either way, you are celebrating the joy of this simple pleasure that is the best in the world. 

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