Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scents of Buenos Aires

We just came back from our trip from wonderful, glittering Buenos Aires last week...and we miss it already!

Since we came back, it seems that everything is working to erode the beautiful feeling of Buenos Aires right out of our bodies.  There's work; there's the naughty cat who pulled all the kitty kibble off the top of the fridge (yes, we're talking to you, Mr. B); there's the charming spectacles of Toronto Tango with the "Are you kidding me, you really think that's tango?" and the tango professional/just a regular dancer ratio of 100:1;  and last but not least, there's the marvelous weather forecast that includes wind, bone-chilling temperatures and SNOW:

Make no mistake, this is not Buenos Aires...this is Toronto in APRIL

So what can we do to keep Buenos Aires with us just a little longer?

We tried calling our porteño friends.  They missed us too, and talked about the milongas they were going to tonight.  Sigh.  That makes us wish even more that we were there.

Instead of indulging in Neo-no-no-Tango, Ta-Chango, Craperango etc. as is the wont of many of those tango-ing here in "The Big Smoke", we danced the traditional way that the porteños danced, with old-fangled embraces and old-fashioned sentiment.  With my eyes closed (and therefore not paying attention to some of the nastier atrocities on the dance floor), I could almost feel myself gliding along the tile or sprung wood floors of our favourite Buenos Aires milongas.

It also really helps if you have visiting porteño friends here - for example, Maestro Alberto Dassieu.

If all else fails, you can book your next trip now.  Or you could try this, a trick that I've stumbled upon that works like magic.

Every time you go to Buenos Aires, buy a new bottle of perfume from the duty-free shop at the airport.  Make sure it's something nice you could live with - and something you haven't tried before.

While in Buenos Aires, spray your chosen scent liberally every time you go out. Proceed to have the most wonderful, exciting, pleasant time possible.  The key word is pleasant. Avoid anything all things ugly - like arguing with waiters and taxi drivers, hanging around and having conversations with tango tourists who rub you the wrong way with their arrogance and self-importance, watching tango performances with too much visible underwear, etc. Gravitate towards sublime dances with milongueros and milongueras, and anything involving big hugs and lots of affectionate kisses.

Your perfume will be infused with the great memories you have created.

"Really?" asked Man Yung.

I took the bottle of "Terre D'Hermes" we bought and sprayed it on a pulse point.  We both inhaled deeply.

"I feel like we are in our hotel room in Buenos Aires, just about to go out to a milonga with Osvaldo and Coca!" said Man Yung. 

Until someone can distill the essence of banana licuados, asado, mozzarella pizza, freshly baked empanadas, cobblestones, ruby red malbec wine, diesel fumes, taxis, air conditioning, Gardel, humidity, congested and lively tree-lined streets, tango*, and warm embraces of friends who are more and more like family - into a crystal-cut bottle...this may just be the next best thing.

* Man Yung insists adding to the list - "And Myriam Pincen!"  A milonguera so unforgettable that Man Yung is determined to learn Spanish.  All the combined forces of Martha and Manolo, Alberto and Paulina, Osvaldo and Coca were not enough to get him speaking castellaño - it only took one nod from Myriam and now Man Yung wants to be a porteño too!

Chacarera at Lo de Celia


Angelina Tanguera said...

Irene your visits to Buenos Aires are more frequent than mine - but what a wonderful idea. I will have buy a Very Large Bottle - but who cares! Thanks for the tip.

The Accidental Tangoiste said...

Aww, what a lovely thought!

Tangocommuter said...

Many thanks for your comment on my post, 'Interlude: I don't get a class with Myriam Pincen'. It was good to remember that hot afternoon in December 2009, and a 'cortado' down the road from Canning, and also to hear that Man Yung got a dance with her! I wanted to meet her as she taught with Ricardo Vidort for several years, and not getting classes with her leaves me with unfinished business in BsAs. Hopefully, next visit! I think her recent session with PractiMilongueros shows her love of the tango of the milongas, and she speaks clearly about it too.

I'm sure Man Yung's castellaño will improve very rapidly! 'Bueno, entonces...' can be irritating, but might be useful.

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Angelina and Tangoiste,

Today, I decided not to wait for spring anymore to use a warm weather perfume I have been longing to use for months and months - Annick Goutal's "Songes". It's supposed to be an evocation of the scent of frangipani at sunset on the island of Mauritius, according to the notes by the perfumer Isabelle Doyen. It's an "artisanal" scent, expensive and yummy!

I wore this scent to the office every day of the summer last year.

So, what kind of delicious reminiscences enveloped me when I spritzed "Songes" today?

...Fax machines, copier toner and deadlines!

I'll attempt a pithy remark: A perfume without memories is nothing more than a pleasant smell. Just as tango without sentiment is nothing more than noise with compas!

Thanks for your comments,

Irene and Man Yung

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Tangocommuter,

Missing classes with Myriam Pincen is unfinished business indeed! She is one of those milongueras at the very top, like Elba and Adela and Susy and Marta Fama....Man Yung was so enthralled by her wonderful dancing and great beauty (she is really beautiful, if you haven't yet had the chance to meet her face to face) that he proposed marriage!

No, she did not accept. Sorry Man Yung!

Man Yung is so crushed that forever he will have a psychological barrier to learning any more spanish. Which means that I will remain the one ho-humming "Bueno...entonces" for the rest of our Buenos Aires adventures (yes, it's true, they are useful and I use them a lot!)

Thanks for your comment, and yes, thanks for bringing it up - everyone should check out the Practimilonguero interviews with Myriam and also other reknowned milongueros.

Thanks for your comment, hope you will be able to make it to Buenos Aires very soon,

Irene and Man Yung

Toronto Weather

Buenos Aires Weather