Mira Tokic

The everyday of fragrance

The everyday of fragrance

I lie in bed, slowly waking, and my sleepy thoughts circle around the many to-dos that lie in the day ahead. It’s going to be a long day. My drowsy eyes open slightly and I go through the individual organisational steps once more to make sure nothing can go wrong. I try to remain calm but I’m already more awake than I thought and I jump out of bed to allow myself plenty of time for a relaxed start to the day. The sun is shining; I open the window and take a deep breath. Quietly, I amble into the kitchen to make myself a coffee. I have no idea if it will really wake me up but its smell, filling the kitchen and creeping into my nose, allows me a moment to dream – about my last holiday in Provence.

I’m cycling through the purple fields. Alone. Here and now. Not a care in the world. The scent of the lavender frees my mind and I’m far away from the worries and everyday stress. Simply cycling without a destination. I get off and pluck a few sprigs of lavender to smell them. I breath in deeply to numb all the senses with it. The flowers are said to have a calming effect. That’s something I could really use right now. I cycle on, thinking about nothing.

Suddenly, an appointment at the studio jumps into my thoughts. At 2 pm. The shoes have to be ready by then. I’m anxious to know how the customer will like them. And then thoughts about tonight’s date push their way in. I’m very excited but have to try and postpone the butterflies until later.

Next stop: my beloved bathroom. The warm water of the shower splashes away. It’ll be the lime-mint shower gel today; the lavender shower foam would only catapult me back to Provence within seconds and there’s no more time for that now. It feels like a summer’s day under the water, the citrus fruits from the little bottle kissing me awake. Now I concentrate again on the shoes: The customer wanted elegant but comfortable leather shoes with a special, individual something. I hope I’ve met her tastes. I have decided on a comfortable sole and soft, brown suede for the upper.

Finished with my shower, I hop into the bedroom and think about what outfit would be best for today. It has to be something that will suit both a customer appointment and a special date tonight. I decide on a silk blouse with a small citrus-fruit print and match it with a long, summery skirt. That should work – I’m at my most comfortable when I wear it. A funny story pops into my head about a friend who was selling drinks at a summer fête in a dress with a cherry motif and most visitors ordered cherry juice.

Finished with my shower, I hop into the bedroom and think about what outfit would be best for today. It has to be something that will suit both a customer appointment and a special date tonight. I decide on a silk blouse with a small citrus-fruit print and match it with a long, summery skirt. That should work – I’m at my most comfortable when I wear it. A funny story pops into my head about a friend who was selling drinks at a summer fête in a dress with a cherry motif and most visitors ordered cherry juice.

I love the sun, the broad pavements and the morning scent in the air.

The bike is standing in the yard. It’s a fine, old bicycle that belonged to my mother. It smells of history and the many cycle tours that she went on with us kids. It’s easy to ride – perfect to flit through the streets of Berlin in summer. I love the sun, the broad pavements and the morning scent in the air. The most beautiful part of the way to the studio is my own little avenue lined with linden trees. The ground is covered in the tiny blossoms and, yes, I love to ride over this flower-strewn road. Having arrived at the studio, I just have to put the last few finishing touches to the shoes before they leave me and go to their new owner. These sandals will carry many stories on their soles in the future and will become inimitable. That’s why I love shoes and my little workshop. Every day when I open the door, I’m enveloped and greeted by the scent of the leather – like an old friend that’s always faithful and never leaves my side. Old leather, fresh leather – each has its own note with its own past.

The handover goes well. Marika, the customer, is happy and I’m relieved. That’s the end of another project in which I had invested a great deal of time, sweat and attention to detail. But when the customer likes the end product, only happiness remains and the many hours working through the night are suddenly forgotten. As a special thank you, Marika brings me a homemade apple pie, which we decide we can’t resist any longer and have to sample straightaway in the little yard behind my studio. We sit beneath a chestnut tree and enjoy the warm apple pie. Without cream, but I’ll survive. We talk a lot and get on very well together. She tells me that she is originally from San Sebastian and in Berlin misses the fresh sea air and the salt on her skin. I can sympathise and my thoughts drift off once again to the lavender fields in France.

We say goodbye, I tidy up the workshop and now have time for you! At last. All day long I’ve had to repress you, put you off, push you to the back of my mind. And now I have time and want to enjoy it with you. I want to see you, hug you, kiss you and tell you lots of stories – and above all dream with you. I don’t have the time to ride back home to freshen up. I pull a little flacon filled with Green Garden by Birkholz from my bag. With the lightness and freshness of scented flowers, lush grasses and exotic woods, it smells like an airy summer’s morning. After all, I want to please you, to surprise you. I want you to greet me and smell my neck, to kiss me there with your soft lips and your warm breath. I’m in love. Excited.

At your neck I am greeted by a waft of lavender, leather, lime and moss.

I sit in a little café at the Spree, under a tree where it’s nice and quiet. Then I see you and my heart beats faster. Still. Just like the first time we met. You smile and your eyes light up. You come up to me, hug me and kiss my neck. At your neck I am greeted by a waft of lavender, leather, lime and moss. There it is: that fragrance. The perfect fragrance. Your scent is easily discernible. Images of the lavender fields in Provence, the leather in my studio, through to the foamy surf and beloved sea air of Marika all shoot rapidly through my head – and a feeling of well-being washes over me. I just know why we are so perfectly matched. It’s a feeling. No one smells as good as you – your neck so loving, familiar and yet so full of adventure: My beloved husband.

Green Gardan: A light summer morning
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