The Scent of Life


The sense of smell is, I think, the most powerful of our five senses. All you need to do is walk into your grandmother’s home, blindfolded, ear muffs on, not touching or tasting a thing, and you would know where you are, just by the smell. Someone walks past you in the store wearing perfume your friend from high school wore, and you are transported to giggling in the back of the class room during history class. Your mouth waters just walking past Auntie Ann’s (of course it does, mine is watering now just writing “Auntie Ann’s”.)


Scents mark events in our lives. Smell the salty ocean air and memories of beach vacations replay like a movie in your head. The smell of certain flowers brings back the ache of a funeral home. And Ralph Lauren’s Polo…. a long ago true love that turned out not so true after all.


My choice of scents is like a road map of my life.


I was thinking back to the perfumes I have worn over the decades. When I was a young teen, it was all about Sweet Honesty. Come on, I’m sure most of you spritzed it and felt like an angel. The pretty pink perfume in the clear bottle. It made me feel so special, and innocent.


In my early twenties, since I was so much more mature, I switched to Lauren for Her by Ralph Lauren. Of course I did, because my true love was wearing Polo by Ralph Lauren. The elegant square bottle with the gold lid was filled with a heavenly scent of floral, woods and spices. Ironically, now I can hardly stand the smell. It soured with the relationship, but, crazy as it may seem, I still love the smell of Polo.


Then I caught a whiff of Jessica McClintok and I was hooked. It was such a clean scent, smelling heavily, but not exclusively, of lily-of-the-valley (which in my opinion is what heaven must smell like.) I wore JM for years before I was married. In fact, my wedding gown was a Jessica McClintok creation. I wore the perfume while I was married, but when that fell apart, it was too painful to relive the memories it evoked.
I had to move on. I was recreating my life and couldn’t hold on to something that kept drawing me back into the past.


A lady came into work and she smelled so good! I didn’t want to be rude, but I had to ask her and when she told me the name, well, there was no doubt. I was going to get me a bottle of this liquid sunshine. Happy Heart. I love how it smells on me and more than that, when I get compliments, I love telling people I am wearing Happy Heart, because trust me, my heart is very happy at this point in my life, free and happy.


Who knows, maybe someday, when I’m an old lady, I’ll prefer White Shoulders, but I hope not. Living out the rest of my life as a happy heart is just fine with me.


Years ago, I heard a country song entitled, “The Song Remembers When”. It was a good song, but someone really needs to write one entitled, “The Nose Remembers When.” I know, it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but I’m sure we could all relate!

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