Sunday, January 18, 2009

Years ago, I worked a cosmetics counter at Dillard's, then at Castner Knott department stores. One of the perks of such a job is all the tester bottles and free gifts you get, along with the employee discount. I adore fragrances. During the 2 and half years I worked in retail, I must have collected close to 100 different bottles of perfume. Some of them, I never wear but I still can't seem to part with them. (See several previous posts about me being something of a packrat.)

But different fragrances evoke different emotions and memories for me. For example, a wiff of Lauder's Cinnabar brings back visions of college and my best friend my first semester there. Cinnabar was her signature fragrance. The scent of Joop! reminds me of a girl I worked with on the Clinque counter at Castner Knott--that was her signature fragrance. Ralph Lauren's Lauren and Polo both take me back to the halls of Ridgeway High School my senior year. I remember one day someone dropped a bottle of Polo from their locker and the hallway reeked of it for days. Chanel No. 5 is what I wore on my wedding day. I bought Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist on a fantastic shopping trip to Chicago with my husband. He dutifully followed me around stores for 3 days, and carried the many, many bags back to our hotel. Calvin Klein's Obession remains a favorite all these years and reminds me of my early 20's. Hermes Caleche reminds me of a horse-drawn sleigh ride on Mont Royal in Montreal.

I can associate different events and people with so many different fragrances. Most of them bring back pleasant memories. I treasure those fragrances and the memories they evoke.

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