Hyderabad 10 June 2022:There is a desert I long to be walking, a wide emptiness, peace beyond any understanding of it."A group of wild young Bedouins were riding in the desert with their Chief, who was a spiritual man as well as their leader. They came in the course of their wanderings to a vast ruined palace. The young men rode through the deserted rooms, breaking off bits of the plaster and brick to smell what had gone into their making. One cried out, "In this clay are mixed the oils of rose and orange-blossom." Another exclaimed, "In this dirt I smell jasmine! How beautiful !"
The Chief stood apart and said nothing. When the young men had ridden through all of the rooms, savouring the various fragrances that could be still smelled in the ruined palace, they asked the Chief, "And what is your favorite perfume?" He smiled and leaned as far as he could out of the one of the palace windows into the empty desert wind. He reached out his hands and cupped them. Then he held out his cupped hands to the young men and said, "Smell this! The best perfume of all is the perfume of desert, for it smells of nothing."
Excerpt from "Perfume Of The Desert" by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut