It’s funny how a whiff of a certain scent can transport you in time. Does that happen to you?
My first perfume was Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli. I was a sophomore in high school, with my first real boyfriend whom I knew couldn’t forget me because my Wind Song stayed on his mind, and also because I visited his house every day after school.
Wind Song was followed by flirtations with Jean Nate and Jovan Musk. There was a summer when Chanel Cristalle wafted through the air around me thanks to a neglected sample bottle I discovered on the mantle of my mother’s fireplace.
Looking back, my perfumes all had one thing in common: They were free, either borrowed from the women around me or given to me as gifts. I was an opportunistic lover of scents but unlikely to spend my hard-earned minimum wage on smelling a certain way, although I do remember one period of my life when I was obsessed with the smell of SafeGuard and another when the application of Johnson’s Baby Lotion was a daily ritual. As I got older and my income allowed, I tried a number of perfumes but I never found a signature scent. I’m much too fickle to stick with one thing for too long and besides, I like how the whiff of a forgotten scent can bring back memories of younger days.
I haven’t been attached to a specific scent for well over a decade. I think a dab of lavender oil on each wrist in my early forties was the last time I showed any consistency in that respect. Now, I wonder, how will I mark these most recent years without a scent to remember them by? What smell will attach them to my memory? I think possibly the smells from my kitchen will do the trick; weekend pancakes, eggs and bacon, Sunday spaghetti sauce, weekday stew, and my family’s most favorite scent of all, the one that seduces every time, a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies.
What scents take you back? Or are you more likely to be transported by a favorite song?