Thursday, April 8, 2010


This gift of my favorite OLD parfume and bath powder (with a puff) came from my little sister last week. She was excited to have found it online, as it isn't sold in fine stores any longer. She probably spent a small fortune on it. Parfume vs. cologne. The result and the prices match. 

When she was young and impressionable, it was the only scent I wore. It was a signature thing. I felt elegant and sophisticated. It bedazzled her when I would allow her to take out the glass stopper from the  bottle to dab on a drop. She would smell delicious for days if she didn't bathe or wash it off. Real parfume has staying power that blends with your body's natural chemistry and oil. This mingling creates a signature scent, unique, yours alone.

I haven't looked for it, seen it, or thought about it for twenty years or more. Opening it was delightful at first. The box, bottle, and container were familiar, bringing back many memories. Some a bit provocative. 

Gingerly, I dabbed some here and there. Immediately, I felt like throwing up. The memory wasn't matching the reality. My chemistry has changed since way back when! I smelled like an ancient woman trying to conceal some horrible body odor behind the wretched stench of dime store cologne. 

It was scrubbed off with soap as soon as I could manage. The high quality parfume had penetrated my skin like a tattoo. A full sleeve tattoo. I felt pregnant with morning sickness ALL day. Couldn't shake it off. Car sick. Sea sick. 

My little sis called wondering if I was surprised and delighted. Lying wasn't going to work. She is so generous, she would have kept me supplied for the rest of our lives. I would want to be the first to die. Seriously. 

The only thing to do was confess. 

We laughed till tears ran, and changed our minds ~ tainting the memory a smidge. This will be my first and only give away on this blog. You can have the boxed set. I'll pay shipping. I will even pay you to take it. 

I am unable to throw such delicious memories in the trash or thrift store. Save them from such a tragic end? It would be like giving grandma to Goodwill.

Would you like me to send you a sprayed paper sample? [evil grin]


Anonymous said...

Ummm excuse me. I'd love it... shouldn't it be passed down? I promise to not wear it around you and it most likely wont smell ancient on me. sheesh mom. love you too. I have memories of that too, ya know.


Anonymous said...

i don't wear perfume
and it looks like you already have a taker :-)

check out the poetry idea at my blog
and feel free to add your 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

That is so hilarious. What, your "chemistry" changed? I'm sure mine has too. My feet have grown by a size and my whole body shape has shifted around since I turned 45. So no surprise if it's happening in the cells too!

Isn't if funny, too, how the impressions we remember from when we were younger may not be accurate years later? Not sure why that is...

Maureen said...


I used to wear Dior perfume. I can't wear any kind of perfume now. I developed an allergy to all of it, no matter the kind. Your latest experience with Ombre Rose is like my experience stepping in an elevator that reeks, except I also can't breathe. And men's parfume is the worst!

Camel, a whole-body shape-shift?! I guess women are lucky; for us, it's usually just a particular part.

A Simple Country Girl said...

it would be like giving grandma to goodwill

I smelled like an ancient woman

Oh my, how you tickle my funny bone. I reckon you better give it to your daughter. Her cells are likely young enough to handle the stink (err, the aroma). I, too, am not a fan of the permeated smell thing. For one, I am allergic to bees and if I add a little smell to my already sweet self (big Ha!), they buzz me all day. And like Maureen, I am scent-sensitive and suffer from the 3-H's (headache, hurl, hack-sputter-gag).

Just realized, if all the girls here so far got together on a hot, sultry sunny day, we would be able to smell one another's body chemistry in a scentsational manner. ;-)

Julie Evans said...

I happen to be visiting my little sister this week and just read this to her. Thanks for that delicious laughter we just got to share. Made my second cup of coffee even better than the first.

M.L. Gallagher said...

kathleen, this is brilliant and funny and delicious too -- fortunately, the scent doesn't rub off in cyberspace, only the delicious aroma of laughter and joy.

So happy your daughter has stepped up to the plate to ask for what she wants -- how beautiful that the smell of you is a delicious memory for her we all get to share in.

thanks my friend.



Susan said...

My grma D 'bathed' with an Estee Lauder perfume as she did NOT bathe or shower (fear of water - go figure!)

Like you, when she gave me a gift of the same perfume one Xmas, I couldn't wear it. Brings back bittersweet memories....

S. Etole said...

whatever became of our being a "sweet fragrance" ... :-)

Kathleen said...

This hit a familiar sweet spot girls? Camel, I'm with you - Maureen might only have one part - I have several. I think we all concure - anything other than natural scent is not good, huh? Is it a getting old thing?