When I first read propositions for the Parfums Dusita Poetry Contest published on Fragrantica (12th of May – 15th of June 2020) I thought I had no chance, however beautiful and inviting this idea was. To write a haiku poem? But haiku is such a demanding form, that was my first thought.
Categories were Love and Freedom, inspired by fragrances Mélodie de L’amour and Issara. The idea was to take inspiration from perfume, to create art, and to learn more about poetry.
I don’t remember writing down words that could be regarded as verses or poetry ever since high school, and I must admit that my knowledge about haiku dates back to my school days as well. And yet, I won the 2nd prize!
I forgot about the Poetry Contest for a while, but the idea kept coming back to my mind. I also took out all Parfums Dusita samples I have, including Oudh Infini. You see, I never managed to finish my review of Oudh Infini, although I started to take notes almost two years ago. Somehow, all the words seemed to be not good enough to describe what I felt. I love it so much that it leaves me speechless, like some other perfumes I love. And you should smell how beautifully it blooms on my skin! So, I let it be, hoping to publish my review sometime soon, no rush, when the time is right.
This is where this Short Poetry Challenge clicked with me at one moment: OK, I didn’t finish my review, but maybe, just maybe, I could convey my feelings by writing a poem! Why not? The main idea of the Contest is to share love, anyway…So what if I have forgotten the form? This can be solved. So what if English isn’t my first language? I’ll manage it like I always do. So what if thousands of people will apply? Make sure to give your best, the worst thing that can happen is (actually) to win and have your poem analyzed and criticized by professional writers! (Those were my thoughts…) And at the last moment, I decided to give it a try!
To cut this long story short, I found resources with many famous haiku that were written by early Japanese masters such as Bashō, Issa, Buson, and Shiki, for example. I found Montri Umavijani’s poems too, and kept reading poetry night after night for about three weeks, each night before going to sleep. I found this poem very inspiring:
It’s truth that a man
should not give in,
to the dream;
But without it,
What is life?
– Montri Umavijani
My intention was to get immersed in haiku as a philosophy, as a way of thinking and seeing things so much, that I’d finally be able to “translate” my feelings naturally, without a deliberate effort to sit down and pen down 5-7-5 form and tuck in all the other elements a proper English-written haiku should have. And to wear Oudh Infini every time while reading poetry, if possible.
Three weeks later, the contest closed and I submitted 2 poems written in a brief moment of inspiration.
One of them won the 2nd place prize! And here it is:
To say that I’m happy about this prize is an understatement: I got so emotional when Pissara read all the beautiful poems, it was amazing to hear that so many people from all around the world shared their poetry!
Congratulations to all the winners, and all contestants: poets are magicians indeed, and to connect poetry to perfumes is a pure delight! Please do read all the winners’ poems – so inspiring! I do hope that Fragrantica and Parfums Dusita might publish all 1000+ submitted poems sometime soon!
This is a booklet with illustrations Pissara made:
My review of Oudh Infini is now finished. Totally different, but this is it. And you can interpret the meaning behind the poem just like you feel perfume: with your own imagery/nose. Thank you, Pissara: you make this world a better place!
The Plum Girl
Photos: Fragrantica, Parfums Dusita, The Plum Girl
Disclaimer: A sample of Oudh Infini was given to me by Parfums Dusita for my consideration – opinions are, as always, of my own.