Smells Like Time

There are some perfumes that I hate — Nina Ricci Fleur L’air du Temps and Chanel #5 — my mother wore them. There are perfumes I like either for their own sake or because they were worn by someone I loved. My Aunt Martha wore one of the three Faberge colognes above, but I don’t remember which. If I ever smelled it again, I’d know.

The best (and worst!) perfumes are nature.

The nostalgia evoked through the sense of smell is the most powerful because, partly, you can’t “see” it coming or plan for it or chase it. It is always an ambush. The fragrance of a bouquet of irises is always and forever my Aunt Kelly in late May/early June showing up at our house with an armload of these flowers. Her neighbor had turned over his whole backyard to irises.


Night Blooming Jasmine

Night blooming jasmine and black sage — if I ever smell them again — will be San Diego. Honeysuckle and lilacs are childhood, and now the lilacs on my bushes are looking forward to blooming soon. All these things make up the perfume of life.

9 thoughts on “Smells Like Time

  1. I love this time of year when the Jasmine is beginning to bloom, and the orange blossoms fill the Valley with their scent. I have to say my most unfavorite scent of all is Tabu. It reminds me of my English teacher in 7th grade, who had the worst breath ever. Mix that with Tabu and it was truly awful.

  2. The only jasmine I have ever seen is in the local flower store. I must made a point of having a smell the next time I see it. It is strange how certain smells can remind you of a person you knew. The only naturaly perfume I remember is the smell of wet brick dust from the East End of London after the rain.

  3. Night blooming jasmine is beautiful. I had a huge shrub in my front yard, but the one and only frost we had one winter killed it. I used to wear Nina Ricci L’air du Temps. That and White Shoulders, I loved. They changed the scent in later years and they were just not the same.

Comments are closed.