Here's another short in the Woman's Picture series, a snapshot companion piece to a longer segment which will come out next October based on the character of Ingrid, who appears in name only here but is an intensely felt presence.
At the time of the Ingrid movie's release online at Evelyn Avenue, Tableau de Parfums, perfumer Andy Tauer's ongoing collaboration with the project, will release its third fragrance, named after the character. I haven't smelled Ingrid yet so I have nothing to tell you about it, other than to say I have smelled the first two, Miriam (release date: Oct. 2011) and Loretta (release date: March 2012) and can tell you they're wonderful.
All of the Woman's Picture material weaves perfume into its story lines in some way. Here, Mackie, a recurring character, shops in a vintage clothing store, trying to find wardrobe for a silent film he wants to make about Ingrid, who seems to have left him for some reason. Instead, he finds a factice, as poor a substitute for her as it is for a real perfume.
I guess I'm lucky I can't afford to collect these dummies because I don't have the space for them, but "Silent Movie" let me indulge the fantasy. Apparently, the perfume I thought was fictitious, Voodoo (the fragrance featured in this short), actually existed. But it's as rare a find as Mackie's factice is. I'm told Coty made Voodoo at one time. It wasn't very popular and was discontinued.
Mackie and his sister Meredith are a little like me and my sister and probably like a lot of siblings. They're living in the present and the past at the same time. Mackie wants to forget; Meredith wants to rehash and work through things somehow. I think maybe Mackie spends more time in the past than he wants to acknowledge. Why else would a rare factice of Voodoo be such a find? Why else would he obsess over his ex the way he does? The difference between Mackie and Meredith is that she wants to talk about it and he doesn't, or can't, or whatever.
My sister remembers the address of every house we ever lived in, and we moved around quite a lot as kids. She remembers every phone number, every neighbor's name, every last little thing I did and choose to banish from my own memory. Sometimes I can't believe the things she recalls really happened. They seem so make believe to me, and I wonder why she can remember and I can't. I can feel a little hunted sometimes in our conversations, because I've carefully selected what I want to bring along with me into the present, and her onslaught of biographical detail can be overwhelming and contradictory to my view of the past.
Like Mackie, I remember weird details, like the smell of a perfume someone wore. I don't want their address, or to remember too clearly the problems or conflicts we had. I want to remember their effect, and fragrance is like a ghost that way, carrying all that stuff in a tangle of feeling and thoughts I don't have to pick apart and break down.