Monday, April 1, 2013

Perfume, and Memories

Moon and Stars perfume bottles by Lalique

Ah, perfume... This may seem like a strange post from a woman who now dresses in jeans, flannel shirts and work boots 95% of the time, but I've had such a love/hate relationship with perfume most of my adult life that I thought I'd write about it. (Reminiscing about things I love.) The majority of my relationships with perfumes were in the "hate" column, at least until I was in my mid 40's.

I remember my mother always wore some kind of scent, and although I didn't much like most of them, they were simply a part of "Mother". (Remember, this was in the 1950's.) When I started dating, wearing some kind of perfume was as important as wearing clean underwear, and I started with those perfumes and colognes my mother wore. I didn't know back then that perfumes and colognes don't smell the same on everyone, due to the makeup of our individual body oils and pH.

After not much liking the scent of my mother's perfumes on me (and finally having a job and my own money), I started buying the scents my friends wore. Chanel No. 5 was very popular, as was Joy by Jean Patou. There were many others, names I've long forgotten.

As I moved up the corporate ladder (working then in the medical equipment sales field), signs began to appear in the lobbies and elevators in the hospitals where I made calls. The signs said no perfumes fragrances, as they can severely affect anyone with a respiratory problem. I think we've all been trapped at some point in an elevator with someone wearing a very strong perfume, cologne, or after-shave... enough to make us gag.

So I was relieved of wearing any perfume with my business attire... but I still had personal relationships in my non-work hours, and the belief from childhood that a woman should wear perfume. 

I don't even remember how I came to know my favorite perfume in the tiny blue bottles, but it's the only one I wear to this day (but not very often anymore). About the time I discovered this perfume, I also learned of "walking into the perfume", which is a great way to have the perfume remain a subtle scent, rather than over-powering. ("For a subtle perfuming of your hair and clothing, spray your perfume in the air and then walk through it. If you prefer a lighter overall smell and not concentrated on one part of your body, this may be the method for you, especially wonderful for a social event where there will be lots of people.")

Je Reviens Cologne

The perfume I finally discovered is Je Reviens, which means "I shall return", and is made by Worth in Paris. The famous glass artist Rene Lalique made the bottles for this perfume (and they are very collectible). I have one bottle (Moon and Stars) like the photo at the top of this post, and even after being empty for many years, just removing the stopper releases a whiff of pure pleasure for me.


1 comment:

  1. My favorites were pure flower scents: lily of the valley, lilac or rose. Mixtures just never smelt good to me. Like you I seldom wear fragrances anymore, as I seldom have reason to dress up, even if I leave the farm sometimes. :))

    But sometimes I will just spray and walk through lily of the valley, just before bed, so I can enjoy the scent as I fall asleep.


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