scent of a woman


I was getting very low in Shalimar, my fragrance of choice for many years. Just a few more sprays remained.

I had been thinking for some time of going back to an old scent I used to wear – L’air du Temps (the air of Spring) by Nina Ricci. I was introduced to this delightful Ricci fragrance when I bought a small bottle in Paris in 1972. I couldn’t leave Paris without a bottle of French “perfume!”

I am extremely sensitive to perfumes and other odors; I’ve been known to have an allergic reaction or even become nauseous when in the presence of odors that are over-poweringly artificial, pungent, or reeks of musk. Add household cleaners, soaps, incense, candles, and laundry detergents to the list. L’air du Temps is a rich, but delicate, floral blend of gardenia and jasmine, with tones of sandalwood and iris, and one that actually caresses my sense of smell.

I came home with a bottle of L’air du Temps, and I was eager to experience the delightful scent I remembered from so many years ago. I opened the box and gave myself a small spray.

Suddenly I was overwhelmed with memories of my mom, Dottie. It was totally unexpected, and gave me an emotional jolt. Intense waves of missing her passed over me. I had totally forgotten that mom wore this fragrance. When she moved in with me, I had to put my foot down against her passion for Calvin Klein’s Obsession which was off the charts in regards to my sensitive nose.

Such a powerful reminder how the senses (sight, sound, touch, smell) can evoke emotional responses in a person.

. . . the scent of a woman . . .  the scent of my mom. She was, indeed, a woman of Springtime, both gracing the earth with her presence and departure from life in the month of May. Spring was her favorite season.

Jasmine and gardenia entwine and drift delicately from room to room, a gentle reminder of an amazing woman who was . . .

5 thoughts on “scent of a woman

  1. Mary says:

    So beautiful and rich in wisdom and memories Deb. I keep a jar of Ponds cold cream (blue top) in my bathroom cabinet. My Mother had a beautiful complexion , and always credited it her “Ponds” ritual. When I open the jar, like you with perfume, my Moms’ spirit is immediately surrounding me, and I am happy. Thanks for sharing….. Hope all is well love ya Mary Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:26:45 +0000 To:

  2. Leslie E Shuman says:

    I really appreciated your thoughts Debbie about your precious Mom. Feb. 21st was the 43rd anniversary of my dear Mom’s Homegoing. It seems like an eternity since I last heard her voice telling me , ” It will be okay.”‘ When I would be troubled about something, just hearing her say those words to me made it okay. Moms are such special and irreplaceable gifts to us from our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the gift of memories. Love and prayers, Leslie

  3. Cathy says:

    I loved reading this as it was 11 years ago last Tues. that my Mother passed away. She also wore Shalimar. The senses are a powerful reminder of our past, our close ties, and they evoke strong emotions. Thanks for sharing…Cathy

  4. I can relate so much to your experience. It was nice you were reminded of “mom” as I felt like she adopted me many times. I loved sitting with her in the mornings and having coffee before a busy day. I miss her very much and think of her often. Lynn

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