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Thursday Inspiration 45 — Phantom Dusk

Ship in bottle

The name Loretta Divine was known across the globe as creator of the famous #1 men’s cologne Phantom Dusk. The haunting dusky scent was from an essential oil recipe that only Loretta knew and was produced only by her. Its scarcity drove prices into the astronomical range. Each year department stores would have an annual contest to see who the lucky one would be to win an ounce of Phantom Dusk. Loretta made her fortune on it; but at the same time she donated much of it back into her charitable organization committed to rescuing and empowering women and children on an international scale.

Loretta was what some might call a rich recluse. She lived alone. Some say she never got over the love of her life, Chauncey Gulliver, who died in a tragic sailing accident some twenty years before.

What nobody knew was Phantom Dusk was the recipe Loretta developed just for Chauncey. After Chauncey’s death, Loretta was wild with grief. She couldn’t eat or sleep, lost in reverie of the love they shared.

On yet another sleepless night, in excruciating desperation, Loretta pulled one of Chauncey’s soft flannel shirts off of the hanger and breathed in his scent from it. Still in agony, yet she felt the sleepiness of exhausted relief come over her. She saw Chauncey in her dream that night. He embraced her and she felt the totality of his abiding love for her. She woke up hugging Chauncey’s shirt.

Her idea of marketing the scent and the name of it came from that night. She continued to mist the old flannel shirt with Phantom Dusk, until it fell apart; she took another from the hanger and began again. When all of Chauncey’s shirts had passed over the years, she bought a new shirt and misted it from her bottle. As she breathed in the shirt, her heart sank, as the essence of her beloved was gone.

Paula Light is the host of Thursday Inspiration.  Paula says:
This week’s theme is bottle and the picture is below. Here is the song snippet from “Time in a Bottle” written by Jim Croce in 1972.

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
‘Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

21 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration 45 — Phantom Dusk

  1. Jade, how I miss you.

    We’re always somewhat alerted when people over-analyse what we produce, don’t you find? But I find something so gently magnetising about the structures and orders of your texts, some soft theatricalism that converges both the wispiness of honey on bread, and the tone of emotional magnitude, of empathy, and having these elements back-grounding everything you write is such a special talent. They’re sincere, because that’s what you inspire being, to me, gentle, wispy, gifted with sensible levity, and I find that beautiful.

    I didn’t retrieve this only from this text, I read a few more, but I felt truly compelled to say it. You’re a marvelous human being.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joao, reading your comment raises my spirits in this grey time of year. I’m glad you see what you see. Yes, having a critical eye on what one willingly throws up to the light does make me squirm at times. Your eloquence and ways of articulating continue to make my esthetic sensors sing 🙂 Thank you much for your comment and for the you give your readers.


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