A Phantom II: The Perfume

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

Reader, have you ever breathed deeply,
with slow savour and intoxicated sense,
a church’s saturating grain of incense,
or the long-lasting musk in a sachet?

Profound magical spell where we
are drunk on the past restored in the present.
So lovers on an adored body scent
the exquisite flower of memory.

From her pliant and heavy hair,
living sachet, censer of the alcoves,
a fragrance, wild and savage, rose,

and from her clothes, velvet or muslin, there,
impregnated with her pure years,
emanated a perfume of furs.

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