The room in the castle is illuminated only by a few dripping candles in antique and curved iron stands. A fire burns in the fireplace with a soft flicker. Here and there it spits a few sparks that hardly perceptibly die away in the air above it. I almost overlooked the hesitantly moving outlines and the shadow by the fireplace, the light in the room is so diffuse. Almost motionless she stands there, the figure. Grown tall, facing the fire and leaning slightly against the ledge of the fireplace. Small artefacts and portraits stand on them, which almost seem to move in the shadows cast by fire and candlelight. But not the figure by the fire. The long cape can only be seen on closer inspection. Black as the night and just as enveloping it embraces its wearer. I have the feeling that I am standing at the entrance to the old throne room for half an eternity looking at the scenery. I'm kind of trapped in her. The space, the people in it and the artefacts fascinate and captivate me. Whoever moves seems to do it for my perception in slow motion or simply limited to a minimum and with sublime, almost reverent elegance. The outlines perceived in the beginning are now slowly transformed into shapes. They are invited guests who either talk to each other very quietly with words or just by looking at each other. They're all dressed in black. The ladies in long, lace-trimmed robes, collars that lie broadly over the shoulders and let white skin shine out on the décolleté. The arms are wrapped in translucent lace and reaching far beyond the fingertips, so that one can hardly see hands or fingers holding the glasses with the dark amber liquid. The gentlemen are almost without exception dressed in noble black suits. Shirts from darkest red to black and with stand-up collar form the contrast to pale skin. Above the top button there is a pin with a sparkling and glowing red garnet. A gramophone lets a dusty old plate rotate on its plate, which besides the waltz also gives off a soft crunch and creak when the needle pulls over grooves with more dust. In the meantime I have gone ahead as if in a trance and stand in the midst of the guests. Only now do I perceive it, this scent. Cognac from the glasses is in the air. The candles, which have formed themselves into threatening creatures in their holders, let incense-like swaths run through the old walls. Just now a group of service personnel enters and makes its rounds in cumbersome aisle but hollow cross in the crowd. Each carries a silver tray with short-stemmed glasses and white liquid and a bowl of sugar cubes. One comes up to me and invites me wordlessly but with a benevolent nod to take a glass. The smell of absinthe gets into my nose, but also mixes with the other scents that move in the room. I refuse thankfully, because since I don't know if I am already in a dream, I don't want to deceive my senses any more. Meanwhile the room has become more filled with people. I push against a gentleman whose dark red rose on his lapel is velvety and soft against my nose. While he apologizes and makes his way through the crowd to an acquaintance, the scent of his rose follows him. Somewhere, snacks are served, I perceive spices. Those with characteristic aromas such as rosemary, laurel or fine pepper. The kind that can sometimes pull into soap. The formerly rather cool room has warmed up over time with the accumulation of people. The wafting scents resonate in the warmth and seem to change. All of them are becoming more and more one. One with the scenery, one with the guests and one with oneself. I almost feel dizzy and recognize the large oak table in front of me, which had been standing almost alone in the room before, before the guests arrived. His wood exudes a warm and homely and well perceptible smell and one of the high-backed chairs catches me in my dizziness. A dizziness that also carries a sense of well-being with it. In spite of the somewhat eerie scenery and the many unknowns, I know that nothing can and will happen to me here. I feel safe and secure amidst the scents and impressions. Now I only perceive the music in passing, the murmur of the guests seems to devour it partly, so that only fragments of it can be heard. Some of those present have found couples and are turning in waltz time. In front of me, her black robes become more and more shadowy outlines, even veils that unite in space. I close my eyes. I hear the robes rushing over the stone floor, the soft grinding of the leather soles during the waltz step. The scents that had taken me before continue their work and completely rob me of my senses. I give myself to them and let them carry me on their silken veils through space and time.
The next morning I still can't tell if I dreamt or not. In the evening I meet with friends. I feel the strange feeling of having to wear something black. Which scent do I take with me? My view through the bathroom gets stuck on a cube-like dark bottle. I've never seen him standing there before. Maybe one of my friends left it for me? He's a good fit visually. But what happens next? To be on the safe side, I only sniff the atomizer timidly. I'm scared. I'm going back. This can't be happening. Is it possible? I'll put the sprayer on my skin. That scent! As if I had traveled in a time machine in seconds, I see myself again in the castle of last night. Again I stand at the entrance, again there are only few guests and again the tall figure stands facing the fire by the fireplace. But now she slowly turns to me. The gentleman with the cape puts his glass on the ledge and approaches me almost floating. Shortly before me he stops, takes my hand and leads it to a kiss close to his lips. I still feel the breath of his warm breath on my skin when he looks up at me and quietly says: "Good evening, my dear, it's nice to see you again..."