Scented Quote of the Day, From Nabokov ≈ On the Scent of Butterflies


On the Scent of Butterflies

If perfumery has shown a constant fascination for the quest for animalic substances, it never went chasing after butterflies, except metaphorically speaking as l'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons exemplifies...

Russian-born, both russophone and anglophone writer Vladimir Nabokov relates in his synesthetic style - as shimmery as the wings of the butterflies he loved, studied and drew - an olfactory experience he experienced in the marshlands in the vicinity of the city of Saint-Petersburg.

« Through the smells of the bogs, I caught the subtle perfume of butterfly wings on my fingers, a perfume which varies with the species - vanilla, or lemon, or musk, or a musty, sweetish odor, difficult to define. Still unsated, I pressed forward. »

« Au travers des odeurs des tourbières, je perçus le parfum subtil des ailes de papillons sur mes doigts, un parfum qui varie avec les espèces, vanille, ou citron, ou musc, ou alors une odeur doucereuse de moisi, difficile à définir. Restant toujours sur ma faim, je continuais d'avancer. » (Notre traduction / our translation)

in Speak, Memory (1933-1966)

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