If you've been reading my blog, you know my paternal grandmother died long before I was born (in 1957), my maternal grandmother (Nana) died in 1989, my mother died in 1994, and my dad's stepmother (Ma) died at the end of last March. March-to-May was just too quick to really process the feeling of being completely motherless (though I have many women in my life who I consider motherly influences).
If you know a woman, any woman, you know they have specific preferences about everything -- from the way their bed is made, to the way their clothes are folded, to what they eat, and especially what they wear. Each of the women I knew had their favorite perfume (that would sometimes change at times):
|My mom's |
Elizabeth Taylor, Passion
|My mom would sometimes |
Growing up, my first real perfume was Chanel No. 5, which my father bought me for one Christmas. I liked the way it smelled out of the bottle, but hated the way it smelled on me. Over the years I would wear many alcohol-based scents from Bath & Body Works, or Victoria's Secret.
It wasn't until I found Burberry, London that I found a scent that I could say smelled like me, smelled like how I felt inside ("In this floral-fresh scent, gentle top notes of rose and honeysuckle are balanced by deeper heart notes of tiare flower, jasmine and peony and a hint of fresh clementine zest. Solar notes of sandalwood, musk and patchouli impart a subtle warmth to create a inspiring fragrance."). It was sexy and innocent all at the same time. It was more expensive than the $10 stuff I was purchasing in the past, but it was worth having a scent that declared who I was.
I've been wearing Burberry London for the past few years.
That is until I felt something changing within me -- I was becoming sensual, strong, and confident. Either I could pick a scent that was just as sensual, strong, and confident or I could pick a scent that would compliment that feeling, and take a back seat to it.
Before I went to Mexico, I went to Sephora and got three samples -- Cartier Le Lune, Tocca Florence, and Stella McCartney's Stella. In Stella, I found what I was looking for -- a scent that honored my past, present and future (I know this sounds corny): "A fragrance based on the contrast between the freshness and softness of the rose, and the dark sensuality of amber, Stella is a sophisticated scent focused on an intense sense of femininity.")
I know it's silly -- but they say that olfactory is our strongest sense memory. For example, try and remember Thanksgiving and I'm willing to bet you're smelling the turkey in the oven, maybe some pie, stuffing and other scents. I've always been able to remember my mother through scent -- warm summer days in the backyard with lilac wafting around us, the smell of the roses she loved through my bedroom window. I can remember my grandmother mainly from the scent of Dove Pink and peach pancakes.
Who knows, maybe some day someone will remember me by the scent I wear and leave behind. So I purchased the Stella McCartney -- even though it is much more expensive than my $10 body sprays. I think it's worth it, and I know I'm worth it.
I am very particular about scents. I am very sensitive to them and there aren't very many I can actually wear without getting some serious headaches.Reply
I do love http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/.
They are an independent company and I think you might enjoy browsing the site even if you don't decide to try anything. :)
Great to see you spoiling yourself, another Burberry fan here, I was never one to buy aftershave but this past 2 years I have indulged myself. I mostly wear Burberry Touch but now and then Burberry Weekend, Touch is my preferred one.Reply
Trésor by Lancôme is my brand. I'm very sensitive when it comes to perfumes, and get nauseaus by most of them. My mother-in-law gave me this one, and it was an excellent choice. Since then she gives me a fresh bottle every year on New Year's, and I still like it very much. I am already being identified by it by my students, or so they tell me anyway.Reply
Glad you found yours, hon.
@Crystal -- I'll check them out! I'm the same way re the headaches. I like the very subtle scents that you can't really overdo unless you take a bath in it.Reply
@Si -- I enjoy burberry alot -- it's sophisticated and delicious!
@Gudrun -- I love that I can tell when my boss is in the office. She wears the same perfume (I don't know what brand) every day. It is comforting to smell it. It's amazing how our little noses do it. I'm glad that your mother-in-law is able to give you a gift that you truly enjoy. I think I'll be bouncing back between Stella (spring/summer) and London (fall/winter).
Nice blog post. I never even thought of remembering people by scents, but after reading this I totally can. And ummmm, did you have to take me to the Thanksgiving turkey smell?? HahahahaReply
My new favorite scent is Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana, my mister just bought me a nice set yesterday.
I definitely relate scents to people and times in my life.Reply
My mother wears Shalimar, which is very overpowering. I pick up the scent sometimes when a woman is wearing it, reminds me of my mom.
I like My Insolence.. I'm kinda innocent yet bad.
Love your blog!
I am not sure what the brand was my grandmothers used but they definitely used plenty of it. My mother used to use Chanel, not sure if she still does.Reply
Myself I am a fan of less-is-more when it comes to perfume. Too much is a turn off. Just a dab can tempt and invite and lead to a great 'workout'.
@ACB -- Thanksgiving smell is the most readily recognizable scent memory that i've found. Good mister for picking out your favorite.... mister :PReply
@AGFTMW -- Shalimar is kinda old school. I've never sampled My Insolence -- what's it like?
@Patrick -- I don't wear much perfume in general. I just dab a little here and there.
I gave you an award:Reply
My fave perfume right now is Pretty. :)
Clinque Happy always makes me think of summer. :)Reply
Well, My Insolence smells powdery yet kindly flowery. Hard to describe, but smells good on me. Although it reminds me of a certain someone who is no longer, so I am now in pursuit of a new scent. Damn scents and memories...Reply
The only perfume I can't really stand is the smell of skank/kiddy-hooker/sugar.Reply
Mmmm, I love Stella.Reply
As your adoptive mom, I think you should note that I like Prada (the original, not the off-shoots) in the fall/winter, and Flower by Kenzo in the spring/summer. But I'm open to others, as long as they're not too floral. :D
Elisha -- You are one classy momma. Thank you for taking me in and giving me boozy brownies.Reply
I should give you my recipe for jack daniels chocolate velvet cake (or you could google it, and note that the recipe that is on the net calls for 2lbs of chocolate, when it's really 2 oz. That and i use 750ml of jack daniels).
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