Posts Tagged 'L’air du Temps'

The Scent of a Woman: a Memoir.

My first memory of perfume was the ever-present bottle of Revlon’s “Intimate” which always perched on my mom’s dresser. She only wore it for special occasions and regardless of the amount left in the bottle, my dad would replenish it every Christmas. It’s been decades since I’ve had a waft of that scent but if I ever would, my whole childhood would flash before me.

“Heaven Scent” was the first smell in a bottle I remember wearing, more because it was trendy, not so much because I liked it. “Wind Song” was another popular one with the girls of Notre Dame High. The hunt was still on for a fragrance that would be just mine and like countless others, I found it in Chanel # 5.

A spritz of that classic scent would transport me to faraway places where no one saw me as a figuring-it-out-somewhat-floundering-teenage girl but a savvy woman ready to take on the world. I loved the fragrance and it also began to show up for Christmas  in the iconic black bottle. I proudly displayed it on my dresser and sometimes carried it around with me if I needed a shot of confidence.

I’m sure I took a bottle of #5 with me when I left for college but soon it no longer seemed to fit the girl I was evolving into. Musky incense was the new fragrance, not the church kind.

I have no scent memories after that until a dear friend presented me with a bottle of the perfume, L’Air du Temps (The air of summer) around 1976. I don’t think it was for my birthday but a surprise gift. “It smells like you.” she said. I loved the fragrance and have been wearing it every summer since. At the end of September, I ceremoniously put it away to pull out again the following May.

“Baby smell” was my signature fragrance for many years. Sometimes the sweet elixir of newness, sometimes sour scent of spit-up. The season of life that seems to last forever comes with its own unique offerings for all the senses. My going-out times were rare in that era, and I never thought about spritzing something on for an ordinary day like I do now.

Over the following years I would try a random perfume sample at a rare visit to the department stores. Someone who looks like they are dressed to go and perform surgery is always offering a new scent to try. I was in search of something that might “smell like me” for the rest of the year and eventually found it in Cashmere Mist. Light and not overpowering like so many.

Done. Finally, by this “Act Three” of life, it’s good to have few things settled, minor as they may be, to have more energy to devote to all the things that aren’t.

But on Tuesday this week, during a sacred time with a lifelong friend, she presented me with a small bag. Inside was a bottle of the life of my dreams I was pining for in my angst filled high school years.

Chanel # 5. I sprayed it on my wrist and felt no more longing, just satisfaction.

Whatever I was hoping for, in the seasons of waiting for my life to really begin, had been delivered. It all, of course, looked different than I imagined but the end result was the same, gratitude.

The familiar scent had come back around, it now smells like contentment. I’m wearing it everyday.

Hope for the best,

Tish

Top photo credit Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/domeckopol-610494/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1460067″>andreas N</



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