There are always certain things that bring back memories. Sometimes it's a sound. Sometimes it's a sight. Sometimes it can even be a smell that causes an intense sense of nostalgia.
For Eugene, the smell of high wines always brings back memories, and holds a special significance. Long ago he worked at a distillery, where he encountered the smell every day. Eugene remembers one night when he was working alone at the distillery and went up to the tower to get a magazine. In the tower he saw a dead man at the desk. He heard the dripping of the blood onto the floor. He heard what he calls "the sound of a man's life dripping away at 3 o'clock in the morning." Through it all there was the overpowering smell of high wines.
Throughout life there are always things that are unexplainable. There are connections between things that should be unrelated, connections that seem to be supernatural. How do seemingly unrelated events link themselves? Can life itself be subservient to something as simple as a smell?
"Pungent, sharp, with a kind of vicious cleanness... the coming to life of the sharp alcohols and the ethers released from the prison of the grains they were born in."