Saturday, 18 April 2009
MEMORIES OF LONG AGO AND LIFE RIGHT NOW.
I was thinking the other day about how much I like perfume and flower scents.I'm really looking forward to the stocks being available, as I shall have a bunch a week for the season. Or getting white or yellow freesias, the purple and red don't smell. Even the humble daffodil has a wonderful delicate scent. I got a new bottle of perfume for my birthday, or rather I got a new bottle of one I've been wearing for a while.
And a bit like music having a soundtrack in my life, perfume has as well. There are smells I have adored and others I wouldn't give house room to, and in terms of flowers the ones I cannot stand are lilies, makes me nauseous.
I've had such fun remembering the various bottles that have had a particular impact on my life. Starting with the first bottle I brought in a duty free shop, when I was 15 and going to Minorca with my parents, it was called Ma Griffe, by Craven. I bought bottles of it over the next three years every time I went away, it held the promise of sun sea and and least the dreams of sex, and definitely holiday romance, with doe eyed Spanish lads.
The next bottle that came my way was brought for me, and I was much to young to enjoy it, it was Channel No 5, given to me by my first love. I wore it because he gave it to me, but I can't say liked it till I was much older. But I loved him very deeply, and this always made me feel close to him when we were apart. Which probably explains why I was a bit like Marilyn Monroe, as I too wore it in bed!!
The smell I associate with my Mother was Joy by Jean Patou, a smell I stole from her and she would then replenish my supply at Christmas. It reminds me of her dressing table with it's drawer of old lipsticks and messy powder compacts
There is the year that I drove to Calais to met my husband, he couldn't come back in to the country for three weeks for tax purposes, after six months away at sea. So we met up and drove slowly down to Venice. He had got me a bottle of Arperge by Lanvin, a perfume I came to to adore, and still love to this day.
By the time my eldest son came along and I was in my mid 30s, the perfume had got very heavy, Opium by YSL or Cinnibar by Estee Lauder, smells that if I encountered today would make me gag with their sickly cloying smells.
The next perfume I was bought by a man, was L'Eau D'Issey by Issey Mikake, by the man who would become by second husband when he went to Japan for work,and when we still liked each other. We stopped liking each other the day we got married, which probably goes someway to explain why we were only together for five weeks!!!
The smells of the last few years have been heavily influenced by Jo Malone, who makes perfume of one or two notes, and my favourite of these, and one I'm into my fourth bottle of is, Honeysuckle and Jasmine. Which to me smells like summer, with an ever so gentle reminder of suntan lotion of long ago time in my life.
There are others that stand out because they take me back to where I smelt them, I cannot smell Clinique Elixier without in my imagination being with my friend in Philadelphia as it has always been her signature scent.
Or the few years I spent going to stay in France in the summer with my friends, who now live in Devon. Those holidays passed by in clouds of Helmut Lang. Or once on a trip out to Grasse and a visit to the Fragonard Perfume factory some of their perfume was purchased. I still have the last remaining drops of the wonderful precious scent obtained there. One smell of the bottle and I'm back sitting in the Veranda drinking local Rose and having long lunches of bread and cheese in the shade of the midday sun overlooking the Luberon.
Right now the two bottles I have on the go are the Jo Malone and L'instant Magic by Guerlain. This second one is the one I had for my birthday from my sons. The first bottle I got in December, and wore all round New York. So evocative memories of a wonderful holiday. I love the headieness of it, it's reminiscent of another of Guerlain's perfumes I used to wear, Shalimar, that I've now outgrown but have fond memories of from a lifetime ago.
And I have handed on this enjoyment of smells to my youngest son who has the finest collection of aftershaves known to man. And each represent a memory, usually of a girl to him....
So do you have a scentrack of your life?