When I was young, it came to pass
We journeyed down through France to Grasse.
Bare-legged, tanned and floppy-hatted
We came to fields all thickly-matted
With lavendar, sweet, aromatic,
And other flowers. We were ecstatic.
The perfumes, wafted on the breezes
Were full of everything that pleases.
Heat and sunshine, brilliant hues,
Things all English girls would choose.
Freed from grey skies, threatening rain,
We vowed not to go home again!
The Maritime Alps! Bliss in a name!
Life would never be the same.
We smelt herbs and precious spices
Due to be mixed in strange devices.
Cauldrons, ever on the boil,
Mingled spice and flower and oil.
Far below us lay the sea,
Clear, flat and blue, as sea should be,
Above us, reaching to the sky,
Were hills that watched the clouds go by.
Full of scent the summer air
Soaked our skin, our clothes, our hair.
The moments passed. Too soon we left.
I felt depressingly bereft.
But still the perfume hasn't faded,
Though years have made me dull and jaded.
Breathing deep, I smell it still,
And I know I always will.