"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, September 22

The Scent of a Woman...

My father died in December 1970. He was only two months shy of 54. My mother died two months later in February 1971. She was only 56. I don't have a whole lot of things to remember them by. A card or so and a letter or two. Very few photos. My mom's coffee cup. My father's rosary. And an old ceramic elephant that's been repaired so many times it's covered with yellowed glue lines. I don't know why it was special to my mother, but it was, so I kept it. It's been carefully wrapped and stored in a shoebox, along with a bottle of perfume.

My mother loved things that were pretty, and she loved her "smell goods." I think she put perfume on every day, whether she was going anywhere or not. She liked Chanel No. 5 and Coty fragrances best... L'Aimant, L'Origan, Emeraude. I don't think Coty even makes them anymore. This particular bottle of perfume was on her dresser when we cleaned out their apartment all those years ago. It was one of her favorites, so I kept it. Goofy things we do in times of turmoil.

It's an almost full bottle of L'Aimant. Still. After 34 years, it hasn't evaporated. After 34 years, it hasn't turned into alcohol. You know how sometimes you can smell something and it immediately reminds you of something or someone else? Of another time or another place? That's how it is with this bottle of my mother's perfume. After 34 years, I can open it and I can smell her. Like she was standing right there. Memories come flooding back and it's almost like I can reach out and touch her. After 34 years, the tears come flooding back too. After all this time.


At 9/22/2005 9:35 PM, Blogger Marjorie said...

I'm sorry that it's still hard for you...

At 9/23/2005 5:01 PM, Blogger kajira said...

Aw, shucks, Marianne. I'm sorry you're having such an emotional time of it lately. My mom's "smell good" was White Shoulders. I took the last bottle I'd given her, but that's long gone somewhere between Seattle, Reno, Port St. Lucie, Colville and it didn't follow me here.

*Beeg Hugs*

At 9/23/2005 10:44 PM, Blogger me said...

Thanks so much, ladies. *sigh* I have GOT to get out of that basement! lol It's overflowing with memories.

Kajira, my sister loves White Shoulders -- I do too but use it mostly on my pillows.

Thanks for stopping by, both of you. :D


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