An old lady perfume? Very distinctive, almost cloying, don’t wear this when committing a crime, they’ll know it was you.
The power of fragrance is primal, it can be almost overwhelming in its ability to elicit memories and emotion. A former lover wore it, almost as if to say, “Sniff this and always remember me.” It worked. Years later, a co-worker would wear it on occasion. She learned of my experience with it and after she left that job she would occasionally send me an envelope, with only a scented tissue in it.
It seems that most modern scents are more complex, with different notes coming to the fore and then receding. Some, especially deodorants, are just plain bizarre. The internet hasn’t yet embraced “odorama”, there have been a few crude "scent players" marketed but they are more in the line of room fresheners (another strange realm). I could appreciate a few subtle nature aromas if I was reading about exotic places but most of the modern world is either neutral or offensive in its olfactory presentation. Nevertheless, I will always have “White Shoulders” to take me away, sometimes most unexpectedly, to a special place in my memory. What is your nose’s most cherished association?
First posted November 2004
Summer re-run series