Monday, August 14, 2006

Perfume and Memory

"If only there could be an invention that bottled a memory like scent, and it never faded and it never got stale. And then, whenever one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the memory all over again" --Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Today, I got a package of perfume samples from CB I Hate Perfume. I already have a scent by them, a white ginger that makes me think of Hawaii every time I smell it. Heavenly. These new scents are Tea/Rose Absolute and Russian Caravan Tea. I'll let you now how they work out, but so far they seem promising.

It's hard for me to find a perfume that works. So many that I love in the bottle turn somehow putrid on my skin. I can't wear anything too heavy or musky or Oriental-y. My favorite is Evelyn, a rose scent from Crabtree & Evelyn. Rose is tricky--so often it tips over into musty and old lady-ish. But Evelyn makes me think of summer. Fantasy summer, not the seventh circle of hell we're currently living in. Plus it still smells like rose on my skin. I also like a lavender scent my aunt sent me from a lavender farm in Provence, and the Healing Garden's Green Tea bath gel. And there's a violet body powder they sell in the gift shops in Colonial Williamsburg I also like.

Like in the quote above, scent really does unlock the most poignant memories in a way no other sense can. My father's mother always wore Oscar by Oscar de la Renta--too much of it usually, because when she would hug me the sticky-sweet smell would stay in my hair for hours! But she also always used Baby Magic lotion on my arms and shoulders when I'd been out in the sun too long, and sometimes I open a bottle of that at Target just to feel like a kid who played outside all day in my Nana's backyard again. My mother's mother wears Beautiful by Estee Lauder. My aunt, who used to have all the great vintage gowns until she mysteriously got rid of most of them, used to wear Givenchy's L'Interdit, and I used to put it on when I played dress-up at her house. She said it was made for Audrey Hepburn, so I always felt very glamorous when I smelled it! My own mother isn't much for perfume, but she used to sometimes wear Youth Dew body powder when she dressed up, so I bought a little bottle of the new "redone" Youth Dew just to remember those times. My friend Kay uses a vanilla-sugar lotion from Bath and Body Works that smells totally yummy, so whenver I go into a bakery I think of her. :)

What is your favorite perfume, or favorite scent memory? How did you find it?


Betty S said...

How exciting. I love perfumes.

My present favorites are Amber Rose by Victoria's Secret. And a scent simply called Honeysuckle by Avon that hasn't been produced for years.

Kelli McBride said...

I love Poison by C. Dior, but it always ends up smelling like grape bubblegum on me!

My favorite perfum is a knock off of Opium called Ninja, but I don't think they make it anymore. I also loved Mary Kay's Revitalizing Spray (citrus and freesia).

I find that I can't take most perfums afterawhile, though, because of my allergies. Only these above have not given me a headache.

As for scent memory, I love the smell of basketball courts - I don't know if its the wax they use on the basketball court, but it always brings back positive feelings.