The Power of Scent

There are certain smells that transport you to another place and time.

I was at the grocery store, standing behind a stylish woman who appeared to be in her 50s or 60s. She was wearing dark slacks and a cardigan; her hair was ‘coiffed’ in a neat but not too fussy style. As she leaned over to grab a magazine from the rack, I caught her scent, and was transported to a different time….

(photo courtesy of cheriecity.co.uk)

…we were watching TV.  Back then, the four of us (did I mention I have two brothers and a sister?) would sit on the floor of the living room – legs crossed, ‘Indian style’ – intent on the large wooden piece of furniture that contained not only the TV, but also the radio and record player (remember LPs?). We were only allowed to watch the ‘boob-tube’ for a maximum of two hours each night, so we had to be selective as to what we watched. This particular night must have been a Sunday night, since we were watching “The Wonderful World of Color” (which was later renamed “The Wonderful World of Disney” after the death of its creator).  Anyway, I remember the doorbell rang, and in came our baby sitter. Mom and Dad were going out for the evening (which was normally a great thing, since most of our baby sitters could be very easily manipulated into allowing us more ‘boob-tube’ time). As Dad helped the sitter out of her coat, Mom came down the stairs. She looked amazing, in her knee-high boots (believe it or not, I think they were real snake skin…I wonder if my memory is playing tricks on me….) and a dark skirt and jacket. As she came to say ‘good bye’ (and ‘behave!’), I remember catching her scent.  At that time, her perfume was Emeraude (http://www.perfumeprojects.com/museum/bottles/Emeraude.shtml). Emeraude has a very spicy, exotic flavor to it. It smelled of mysterious nights and romance. It made me think that my Mom may be a bit more than just a mom – like maybe she’s a real woman. She certainly looked like more than just a mom.  She looked classic and beautiful…she smelled amazing (thank you Emeraude)…and she was truly gorgeous.

In that memory, my mother was 20 years younger than I am today.

Today, she is more than 20 years older than I am…and she is still gorgeous.

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