The Scent of a Ghost

Edward left the office and headed towards the shopping mall.  His lunchtime habit a ritual of sorts, of worship and devotion. 

Being midweek, the department store was quieter, but his heart quickened with the usual excited anticipation.  The lighting and ambiance teasing him, flirting with him.

As he came to the perfumery department, he paused and inhaled deeply.  An orgy of fragrances seduced and aroused his keen nose. An immediate sense of femininity embraced him.

He closed his eyes.

He was back in their bedroom, sat at Jenny’s dresser admiring her collection of fragrance bottles.  She had always smelt good.  And sat there, before the funeral, he could still smell her. An olfactory ghost comforting him in his deepest despair. He dreaded when he would no longer smell her anymore.

In those final days, as the disease had completely ravaged her, he had told her he could never love another. He would never be unfaithful to her in death, as he hadn’t in life.

“Did you need any help, sir?” He opened his eyes. An attractive young sales assistant was smiling at him. “Were you looking for something in particular?”

He shook his head. “I’ll know it when I find it.”

Moving on he marvelled and rejoiced at the all the differing fragrances, the suggestion of other women.  Was it being unfaithful?

And then there it was, the fragrance she wore on their last anniversary. He smiled, as a tear slipped from his eye. Jenny was with him once more.

My daily micro fictions are no longer than 250 words and are inspired by word-of-the-day at

The word of the day for 22 November 2022 was “olfaction“. Photo from my street archives. See more of my street photography at

All stories & photography © 2022, DBA Lehane. All rights reserved. Please do not use or reproduce in any way without the expressed written permission of the author. Please contact me.

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