The lilt of the lavender that lingered for days,
long after, by the leaning, before the louvre,

the sweet consolation of candy floss cologne
that stayed on the pillow, after you had parted.

It is sometimes that simple; a scent to sail you back to me

as if I never left the garden,

as if I never left the comfort of your caress

though when it was there I could barely catch a breath.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly. 

This month is looking back at the scent that will stay with me before I leave Paris. The courtyard of the Louvre was filled with a lavender covered tent for a Dior Fashion show during the Paris fashion week a few years ago.



  1. Wow, Damien, you have become French in your soul. I feel like I could be reading Proust in À la recherche du temps perdu. He too speaks of the persistence of smell and its ability to unconsciously evoke past memories. Here’s my non-literal translation of one such passage from his masterpiece work, “But when nothing remains of a former past time, after the death of people and the destruction of things, smell and taste, more frail but more full of life, more bodiless, more persistent, and more faithful, they [taste and smell] alone still endure for a long time, like souls, to remember, to wait, and to hope on the ruins of all the rest, and to bear without flinching the enormous edifice of memory within an imperceptible droplet.”

    (“Mais, quand d’un passé ancien rien ne subsiste, après la mort des êtres, après la destruction des choses, seules, plus frêles mais plus vivaces, plus immatérielles, plus persistantes, plus fidèles, l’odeur et la saveur restent encore longtemps, comme des âmes, à se rappeler, à attendre, à espérer, sur la ruine de tout le reste, à porter sans fléchir, sur leur gouttelette presque impalpable, l’édifice immense du souvenir.”)

    • Well, reading this comment this morning has added sunshine to the rainstorm. Proust and myself in any proximity is a dream so thank you so much Mike, I think I owe you lunch!!! ☺️ beautiful translation too!

      • So many people are content to live life on a surface level, unwilling or unable to look inside of themselves. Your poetry, Damien, shows a rare ability to see and to embrace a deeper level, a world where fears and insecurities are real, hopes are sometimes dashed, and what we hope to be eternal turns out to be temporal. Yeah, I’m ok with speaking of you and Proust in the same sentence. 🙂

      • It can be a blessing and a burden, it’s an interesting position to dwell in, I see others who reside more on the surface and see only light and laughter and I wonder at times how restful that would be, to just be bright and then I think of the magical contrast I would miss.

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