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 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.