the mysterious admirer
She made herself beautiful: her now silver-grey hair was carefully pinned, a light jacket went with her flowered afternoon dress, and her shoes and handbag matched the ensemble excellently, as always. She was still a beautiful woman.
The hat with the large openwork brim sat a little jauntily; but as a Venetian, she knew the power of the sun reflected off the canal. At her age, she didn't want to expose herself to it unprotected.
Besides, she loved hats!
Excited she was: Today she would finally meet him, her mysterious beau!
Since the spring, she received lovingly compiled gifts several times a week:
beautiful handwritten poems, prettily wrapped potpourris of dried tropical fruits.
Someone here knew how much she loved the fresh scents of bergamots, oranges and their siblings. Even just the porcelain bowls they were in were little masterpieces.
Small bouquets of flowers also arrived from time to time: tied prettily, in a white lace cuff, the stems wrapped with ribbons in matching colours.
Such real cavalier bouquets, so-called Biedermeier bouquets: as if they were arranged to dance.
By now she was waiting regularly for these attentions.
She sat in the little garden that bordered directly on the canal, in the shade of the thickly overgrown arbor.
It is the small-flowered jasmine, so particularly fragrant and so fond of climbing, that basks and grows and blooms there.
Together with the slender tendrils of ylang-ylang, a summer-scented refuge has formed here over the years.
Here she can do needlework, read, enjoy her afternoon tea, and now and then a gentle breeze blows in from the canal, bringing coolness and the delicate fragrance of the water lilies that bob on the little garden pond, now blooming again every year, thanking her for her prudent care.
Her carefully tended roses, along the wall facing the neighboring palazzo bloom profusely, exuding their beguiling fragrance.
How she loved this place!
Here, flattered and curious as a young girl, she longed for the messenger's arrival.
What would he bring this time?
The surprise was great; the bouquet of cheerful summer flowers was accompanied by a short note:
"Will you meet me tomorrow afternoon at the Cafè Florian when the music is playing there? I'll be waiting!"
She put her hand to her cheek: why was her foolish old heart beating so excitedly?
After an almost sleepless night, she had made a decision: she would go to the Piazza San Marco in the afternoon and see who was waiting for her there.
Hidden by the arcades there, she could look out for the stranger and then still decide: Do I stay or do I go!
So, in her dressy afternoon wardrobe, she made her way to the meeting place: every inch a Contessa of old Venetian nobility!
And all the while she felt so wonderfully young, buoyant and frivolous!
A first, cautious glance at the tables and chairs in front of the Cafè Florian, made her stumble:
Surely this couldn't be!
She flushed, heart pounding to her throat - she walked faster and called out brightly and happily:
It was he! The great, hitherto unrequited love of her life was sitting-no! now he was standing beside the little table-in Marcus Square, here in Venice!
The music of the orchestra enveloped her coaxingly as he took her, hesitatingly at first, in his arms.
It was him! No doubt about it, that was his scent!
That unforgettable scent that had surrounded him even as a young man:
A spicy blend of labdanum, heavy earthy patchouli, creamy sandalwood oil, plus the warmth and light sweetness of vanilla!
He had found her; after decades they held each other in their arms and one thing was already certain at that moment: they would never lose each other again in this life!
"Anonimo Veneziano" immediately tells me this love story, entwined with a ripe, oriental fragrance that promises tenderness and warmth!
Elegant, quiet femininity - transcending boundaries and time: simply beautiful, composed around an extraordinary floral heart.
Of the durability of a love that can be extended again and again by re-spraying - until all eternity.