I remember in the late 90’s someone turned me onto Penhaligon’s and I instantly became intrigued by their history. Anyone that’s been in existence this long must be doing something right. As an impulse shopper, I ran to Saks Fifth Avenue to experience their magic. Of all the scents I smelt, LP No 9 stood out the most. It was warm and very masculine in a traditional sense. It seemed like something a banker would wear. I purchased it and after wearing it for a bit, didn’t like it anymore. Why, my taste started to change. I longed for something new. So I offered it to my brother because I could see he took a liking to it.
On Thursday May 21st, New York City Policeman shattered my world when they told me my beloved brother, Lamont R. Bishop, collapsed and passed away on his way home from the gym. My body went cold and I felt alone. Nothing would ever be the same.
After I returned home from the hospital with my family, I walked into his room as I began grappling with my new reality and there it was on his dresser staring at me. I’ve gone in there hundreds of times to ask him to cut my hair, for advice, to watch Sportscenter, help him pick out a shirt and tie combo, to compare who had a better Windsor knot, to give him a hug and never paid much attention to it. But on this particular day, the first fragrance I ever gave my brother, sorely stood out. After holding it in my hand and remembering the moment I gave it to him, I took it back into my possession. I then took a quick shower because there was much to do and proceeded to spray a bit on myself. The next day I sprayed a bit more on myself and did so every day for the next week. So many things have been running through my head but in a weird way LP No 9 has bought me a bit of comfort and it will forever be a part of my scent wardrobe.
Ya see, LP No 9 will forever remind me of my brother. It is indeed masculine and very traditional. But now it also represents everything that made my brother loved by so many, endearing, smooth, sweet, familiar, and strong. LP No 9 just feels right and that’s how you felt when in the presence of Lamont.
I feel cheated by life because Lamont was a mere 35 years old when he passed. He was on his way to receiving his PH.D in psychology, is survived by his 1 year old son named Aidan A Bishop, was making plans to marry his fiancee Aquila Lovell and had an entire life ahead of him. But most of all, he always had a moment to listen because he cared. He embodied all of the good qualities we’ve come to understand a man is to stand for. He loved his family and inspired his friends and colleagues to strive for greatness.
As I sit outside his room writing this post, I’m reminded by its stillness that my beloved brother is gone. Its surreal because he was only 35. It’s surreal because we spoke the night before and he told me he was proud of me. It’s surreal because we were supposed to grow old together. It’s surreal because my brother, my only brother is no longer here. But the memories are deep, the love is deeper and I can thank God we had the best relationship one can ask for. Best of all, I can spray a bit of LP No 9 on myself and remember L, aspire to be the man he was and look forward to hanging with him again one day. In the interim, I pray for strength and understanding and hope you will pray for me as well.
This is truly a Fragrant Moment. Very sorry for your loss, but I am honored that you were willing to share this experience with us. I will be on the hunt for LP No9 for sure!
“It just feels right”. Man, that is exactly how I felt in his presence. from you & him joining me to get bagel & a newspaper for my mom’s, to going to the park to play ball, there is always this unencumbered happiness to be together. Even in tragedy he’s left us with love to cherish. I’m so happy you have shared with us this particular moment…”Lou” is always here…and probably kicking my cat!
Beautiful tribute, Barney. Scent memory is powerful and I am glad you have this particular one to cherish.
The best post by far.
The olfactory memory is everlasting. B, this post is both moving and powerful (and so well written i might add!). A cherished one for sure.
Wow… I’m speechless and proud beyond words…
That was dope and deep! Lamont lives on through what he leaves behind. Good words from a great man! WE GOT YOU B!
Its real life experiences such as this, which add to the journey of all human beings, family and love ones, helps us reflect on the important things in life, knowing we are only here for a short time, but love is here forever. May your bother continue to shine in your life, as you continue your journey with all he has given.
My deepest condolences. 35 with the world in front of him — damn.
It’s funny how a scent can trigger memories for us, isn’t it?
My prayers are with your family.
As I read this post I am reminded of the importance that an older sibling plays in the lil ones life. At times they may act like they don’t listen to your advice but more often than not they do secretly, from perfumes, to clothes, tv shows, education, parenting etc. The relationship that exist is irreplaceable.
Life brings with it nostalgic familiar relationships that are accompanied by certain scents. Who can’t remember their grandma jumping out of the shower smelling like Jean Nate. Girl cousins sharing Ninna Ricci. The first boy that looked at me smelling like gross Old Spice. Now # 9 bringing back the fond memories of L. Bishop into your life. Stay strong, live long B. Congratulations to you on making the June issue of Heart and Soul magazine.
A wonderful, thought provoking post B. A couple days ago I told my Brother that I loved him, which is something that I very rarely do. You remind us all how important that is to do, often.
Thank you, and God Bless you and your family.
B, beautifully written.
I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three. ~Author Unknown
My heart goes out to you and your family, this is a beautiful tribute to your brother. It both welled my eyes and reminded me how much I like Blenheim Bouquet. Thanks……I pray you are continually lifted by the love and insight of The Most High.
Beautiful and moving. I keep my grandfather’s last bottle of Guerlin to feel he’s always close by but never heard of anyone doing the same. I’m so sorry for your loss, he sounds like he was a wonderful person. Please know your family has been in my prayers.
What a wonderful and thoughtful tribute to your brother. I’m sure he will be proud when he reads this in the heavens. Peace..
I am really extremely sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like he really lived life and gave to the world. I love the way you write about your scent memory here. I went to a funeral of a good friend who died too young from an HIV related issue. His elderly parents were of course distraught. His mother kept spraying his cologne because she said it smelled like he was still there- when she said that I just couldn’t stop crying. Scent is so powerful.
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An amazing display of words for strangers like myself to appreciate a gentleman we never knew yet this ode to brotherhood through scent says so much about your dear brother. Well said BB!
The Trev, thank you so much. It was and is a heartfelt post. Our sense of smell is an amazing thing. I engaged mine in this one.