52 Pick-Up 2.0, #14
Sami Long Kopelman: “I am curious how Walt would have come upon Jo Malone perfume, if he is the one who bought it for Martha. How did Martha find it in such a small town as Durant?”
Really good question. I’ve got to be honest with you, what I know about fashion, cosmetics, hairstyles, and fragrances—you could fit on the head of a pin. But I have made a lifelong study of the fairer sex… What exactly does that mean, by the way? You guys are fairer than we are in looks or morals? Anyway, the good news is that I’ve got a lot of experts in the field with a wife, two daughters, and a granddaughter. One of our daughters is a lawyer back in Philadelphia and is somewhat avant-garde in her tastes and happened on that London-based perfume before it was ever as popular as it is now.
They say that the two sexes respond to different stimuli, and I can attest to that. Men supposedly respond to smells, and I guess the testament to that is the entire history of the perfume industry. I know that I’ve been in a grocery or crowd and a woman will walk by with a certain scent, and I’ll be catapulted back in time to a long-forgotten relationship. In case you’re interested, women supposedly respond to sound, the tone and timber of a man’s voice—which is probably correct with the number of women who’ve exclaimed to me about Robert Taylor’s (the actor who plays Walt in the show Longmire) voice.
Anyway, my wife tried our daughter’s Jo Malone one time, and I commented on it, which is rare for me. Well, it became cemented in Judy’s canon of products in the bathroom cabinet where I have one shelf and she has four…
Now, to Walt and Martha. I just don’t see our Walt being perceptive enough in that field to find that particular scent, not because he’s not perceptive—but if Walt’s shown a blindside, it tends to be womanly wiles. I could go the easy route and say Martha got it from Cady, but I think there might be another, even more worldly source.
Henry Standing Bear.
The Bear is much more of a citizen of the world than the sheriff. Even the choices that they made after serving in Vietnam reflect aspects of their character where Walt chose to go to the farthest reaches of the North Slope of Alaska to escape humanity whereas the Cheyenne Nation chose to embrace mankind and ended up in the epicenter of world culture, France.
There’s a part in The Western Star where Henry briefly talks about his time in Europe, and I’m looking forward to writing either a flashback to that period, or having something happen where he and Walt go to France… Just imagine that.
With his time spent globe-hopping, I suspect that at some point the Bear made a gift to Martha and that would be the source of the Jo Malone perfume.
I once wrote that good friends are the ones who can remain close without losing the ability to surprise, and I think that translates into the characters. Even though they may inhabit a small corner of the world, they are connected to the rest of it and all of humanity in ways that sometimes surprise.
It’s good to be reminded of that, even if it’s just a passing scent.
See you on the trail,