Memory – Estee Lauder Cinnabar parfum

Estee Lauder CinnabarSo when I am fixated on the new to the extent I can’t see anything else, I cast my eyes to the old – the perfumes that are full of memory and the power only memory can bring.

Memory lives in another place, the room at the top of the stairs where all painful sharp edges have been removed.  The rotten parts of the body of the memory have been scoured away by nature and  time, and the wounds are just thin white scars.  All that is left is the purified essence of a place/time/person/relationship –  the complexity fuzzed up to be a gorgeous faded tapestry on the wall that you can’t see clearly anymore.  The memory is soft, shabbbily beautiful.  You ignore the fraying because it isn’t important now because that memory doesn’t live in the present – it is safely in the past.

Cinnabar in the EDT/EDP was the first perfume I picked solely on my own.  My first grown-up girl perfume was Estee Lauder Private Collection.  I picked it only because my Aunt Nelda wore it, and she was so chic and smart, I trusted her taste implicitly.  Never mind that I was probably 10-20 years too young to be wearing it.  I was 19.  One day I sniffed Estee Lauder Cinnabar at the Macy’s perfume counter, probably around holiday time.  Amber, spice and incense. This was like Christmas Day come to visit, and it settled me mentally in front of the fire with my cocoa and flannel nightgown.

I wore this for years off and on, mostly in the winter when the heavy orientals are so magical.  Then one day, probably the same day I got rid of all my clothes with the 2-inch thick shoulder pads (well, except that one red dress with the cinched in waist that I can’t bear to part with) I stopped wearing it, moved on to Chloe or KL or something sunnier.

The years of Estee Lauder Cinnabar took me through my first brief marriage to a man that was wild, destructive, lying, cheating, funny, gorgeous, smoking hot and in possession of the most beautiful pair of blue eyes I’ve ever stared into.  That’s a memory I never thought I would be able to look at without doubling over in pain.  Not because I loved him that much, but because he came close to destroying me.

And I loved him a little bit less than that much.

It took me years to smell Estee Lauder Cinnabar again.  Cinnabar in the EDT is nice, but it wasn’t until I smelled the pure parfum that I got the distilled memory of Cinnabar and the bleached, beautiful memory carcass of that time with that man that was so wrong, but made me laugh as none have since.  Cinnabar in parfum smooths out the edges, lets me drink in the richness and comfort of feeling so warm and alive but with none of the pain.  It lives in a beautiful gold room with red carpets at the top of the stairs, and I like to go up there and rock from time to time by the fire.

So why in the world doesn’t Estee Lauder bring this back permanently in parfum? Everyone has that perfume that brings back a chaotic or magical time in your life that is filled with intense memories, don’t they?

  • Flora says:

    Wow Patty ,what an awesome story, and everyone else’s memories too. I never cease to be amazed by the power of perfume to evoke so many emotions.

    I remember Cinnabar when it first came out, doing battle with Opium. I was wearing Anais Anais back then, but one sister wore Opium, and so I could borrow hers if I wanted, but I never did, since I thought it wasn’t me, and it truly was not, though I know I could rock it now that I am much older.

    The one I can’t wear anymore is Fleurissimo. I love it dearly, and I consider it to be Creed’s best fragrance by a mile, but I was wearing it at a very difficult time in my life, when several different disasters converged to form a hellstorm the likes of which I hope to never see again. One of those was falling hopelessly and unrequitedly in love with someone to whom I was little more than wallpaper, though we worked in close proximity. This torture endured for over a year while the rest of my life continued to fall apart. It took me years to recover from all of it, and the aroma of the perfume that once delighted me only served to remind me of how many, many ways I had failed. Maybe someday Fleurissimo and I can make peace, but it has not happened quite yet.

  • AnnieA says:

    Oddly, I have a False Memory perfume: Tuscan Leather. It smells utterly of Kindly Grandfather, yet no one in my family smoked…

  • Nava says:

    Way late to the party, but memories have been front and center in my mind for months, if not years. I often lament the non-existence of a lot of things that are no longer with us (hence my Body Shop memories from last week!). I was never a fan of Cinnabar, but I can so relate to how you feel about it.

    I’ve been almost afraid to smell all the new things you’ve smelled lately. First because it sounds like I’d want many of them. Second, what’s new never quite lives up to what used to be. Is that depressing? :”>

  • Tara C says:

    Two scents come to mind. The first one is Byzance, which I wore in 1987 when I was dating a lovely Spanish man who unfortunately had serious depression issues, but he smelled like warm brown sugar, just delicious. The second is Eau de Givenchy, which I wore when I was dating my second (now ex) husband… the promise of dreams come true and the love of my life. Can’t wear it any more due to the disaster of that marriage, but I still love Byzance, even though it makes me choke up when I first spray it on, remembering myself when I was just 21 and filled with hopes and dreams. A friend once said that when she smelled Byzance, it smelled like something you have always known in your heart is true. Loved that description.

    • Patty says:

      I really want a man that smells like warm brown sugar now, seriously. I had no idea anyone could smell like that.

      I’ve never smelled Byzance, I think I need to change that. Did they change formulation, or can you still get it and have it smell like it should?

      • Tara C says:

        I haven’t bought a bottle in a couple of years (I had bought a good stock of it), but I believe it does still smell very close to the original and is still satisfying. I’d give it a try!

  • violetnoir says:

    This is a beautiful post, Patty. Your writing is lyrical and rich. I can actually feel the sensations and emotions that you describe so vividly and accurately jumping off the page and into my heart.

    My scent memory is of a fragrance that I never wore as a child or young adult. My beloved grandmother wore Diorissimo, and she wore it quite well. It was “her” fragrance and, even though it is gorgeous, I always considered it hers.

    After she died, the memories of her wearing it were so sharpened in my mind, that I couldn’t even bear to smell it, much less wear it.

    Until one day I sniffed the cap of a nearly empty bottle on my mom’s dressing room table. The memories flooded back, but this time, I wasn’t so sad about them. In fact, I was happy. So happy in fact, that I purchased my very first small bottle of the EdT last Spring.

    I don’t wear Diorissimo often, but when I do, I think about my Gram, and I smile.


    • Patty says:

      Well, thanks, R!

      Isn’t it an amazing discovery when you have more happiness about a memory than sadness? It never fails to startle me that somehow I set my grief down on the side of the road without realizing it and kept everything that I wanted.

      xo, my friend.

  • barbara says:

    After a breakup that left me devastated emotionally and financially in the 80’s, I went to Paris wearing Jean Loius Scherrer-deep, longing, like I was.Confident the change of scenery would heal my gutted soul,I kept to myself until a young model adopted me. More frightened of being alone that I was secretly, she wore her boyfriend’s Habit Rouge deodorant.I brought Habit Rouge home-a reminder of the hopeful trust and lightness of youth(I was twice her age, and needed reminding).Each night after her rounds, she would bang on my tiny room door to share her day with such enthusiasm.We stalked the streets in our furs in abandon.I made a strange connection to loss and hope between the two fragrances, and can’t smell one without remembering the other.I brought home youth and light-and most of all, trust that she taught me….

    • Patty says:

      That is a seriously great memory. The time between loss and hope is so hard to live, but as one will wash over the other for a time, it makes you transcend for a little bit of time everything you are and everything that’s happened to you.

      all of my life’s most creative times that are full of personal expansion happen during those times

  • moongrrl says:

    212 Men.

    My college boyfriend wore that scent exclusively. We’ve been apart for over ten years and I still can’t smell it without feeling nauseated. He treated me like sh** and I let him because I loved him and didn’t know yet that *real* love shouldn’t break your heart over and over.

    • Patty says:

      I have a couple of people associated with nausea as well. Living will break your heart over and over, but one person shouldn’t have the exclusive concession on it, I agree.

  • fleurdelys says:

    😮 OMG, what are the chances – my first name is Patty, and I also have an Aunt Nelda! Although my Aunt Nelda’s favorite fragrances are Charlie and Sweet Honesty (which smell wonderful on her, BTW). As for fragrances that evoke strong memories, before perfumista-hood took over I never wore any scent long enough to associate it strongly with an event. The only thing that comes close is a cheapo, 70s-era, marketed-to-teenagers cologne called Skinny Dip – a godawful sweet, cloying thing. However, I loved it and wore it for a short time, and afterwards could never sniff it without thinking about going on performing trips with the high school chorus. Oh, and creosote – always brings me back to the New Jersey Shore boardwalk.

    • Patty says:

      I remember Skinny Dip! I don’t remember loving it, though. 🙂

      Creosote are the posts we had on the farm that we made teepees with. I like that smell. 🙂

      And how weird is that coincidence?!

  • My last relationship ended terribly but it was him who I have to thank for the perfume obsession that is so characteristic of myself today. There’s a handful of things that he wore that remind me of this sense of idealism and hopefulness that I think I’m incapable of ever having about a relationship anymore, as my romantic ideals about love overcoming the worst adversities have been replaced with practical ones about not having to save someone from themselves or teeter on the brink of destruction to be a worthwhile relationship.

    Maybe one day I’ll be able to smell Dior Homme or Arpege pour Homme again and not be filled with that sense of blind optimism that I almost miss, but at the same time… my life is a lot better off for letting go of that naive ideal.

    • Patty says:

      I think I’m entering my idealistic phase again. But I apply the sorting piece of it much more rigorously before allowing my impracticality to blossom.

      I hate giving it up, so I think jsut sorting out which adversities are a deal-breaker work pretty well 🙂

  • Suzanna says:

    After a hiatus of a couple of decades, I recently smelled Cinnabar again. And it made me ill, right there in an ULTA, as if my breathing apparatus were going to seize up.

    What went wrong that this innocuous searching for a fragrant reminder of one’s personal pathway caused such a bad and unexpected reaction? Surely Cinnabar was never this musky, or was it? Did the perfumer really commit the act of compositional hubris that seemed evident from the cinnamon? And what was that too-sweet floral in the center?

    I never want to smell it again. If I dare revisit it, it will be in memory only. I will talk about its strength instead, as I remember it; did it seem to contain more oil than any other mass-market scent? How it stained! I used to like the lotion best of all.

    If ever there were a scent that could turn a mousey-haired secretary into a sloe-eyed vamp worthy of the gambling dens in Macau, this was it.

    • Patty says:

      Yikes!!! I never found it vampy on me at all. Maybe it is, but I read it as homey.

      Giorgio can do what Cinnabar did to you in a heartbeat.

  • Shelley says:

    Since I am a late-bloomer, perfume-wise, I have no personal scents that connect with memories of me at a different time. Sure, I can spray Anais-Anais and recall certain elements and moods of high school, most of them relating to “special times”—perfume was NOT something my mother endorsed as a daily dosing.

    However, there is Aramis, and a certain dark haired “older” man who put me in a swoon. That does provoke more specific memories, and a certain incarnation of me.

  • March says:

    P — what a great post. Wow. And it was you who introduced me to Cinnabar at Bergdorf a couple years ago, they had the extrait then, I take it it’s not something they carry regularly? How sad. I ended up getting a vintage bottle on eBay and it is stunning. I blogged on it on here…. it’s more me than Opium is, really lovely. So I owe you for that. 😡

    • Patty says:

      I know, we’ve talked about it a lot here. I’m sure I’v mentioned it more than once and probably told some of the same stories. Hazards of old age. 🙂

  • mals86 says:

    “I loved him a little bit less than that much.” Thank you for that, Patty, it’s a beautifully stark phrase, and yet evocative.

    I don’t have deeply emotional memories tied to a scent that I wore – lucky me. But Sonoma Scent Studio’s Tabac Aurea sent me reeling in memories of my first serious boyfriend. It was a disastrous relationship with the potential of life ruination, so I felt lucky to get out, but I struggled with guilt for years nevertheless.

    He left a sweatshirt behind, and for months afterward I’d bury my nose in it and sniff… ahhh. He did smell wonderful – never wore scent, it was all him. Tabac Aurea brought back his smell, which was, really, all I missed about him.

    • Patty says:

      There is a primal attraction in scent. if I don’t like the way someone smells, subconsciously it’s so over before it begins. but if I do, then I just get stupid. 🙂

      Bet we can all relate to that.

  • Melissa says:

    Before Opium and Cinnabar, both of which provoke powerful memories, there was Ciara. It is now relegated to the shelves of drugstores, but back in the day, you could find it at reputable department stores, perhaps not high-end, but decent places to shop. It was, and still is, a high voltage, powerhouse oriental. One spritz and heads turn. Surprisingly, I just looked it up on Basenotes to find 7 positive reviews and not one single negative or neutral.

    At the vulnerable age of 16, I was enthralled with a 22 year old woman who I met through friends. They were equally smitten. Worldly (in our eyes), gorgeous and married to an older man, she loved the company of her 16-17 year old gaggle of female groupies. She wore Ciara and soon enough, so did the rest of us. She took us shopping, helped us to develop our style and made us feel sophisticated. Unfortunately, she could also be irresponsible, narcissistic and occasionally cruel. The memories are more bitter than sweet.

    Every so often I stare at a bottle of Ciara on eBay and I am so tempted to buy it. I loved the smell back then. I have sniffed it a few times since. It evokes anxiety, although I have to admit, the scent is not unpleasant. Why would I wish to buy it? My only explanation is that I need to master the discomfort of the memory.

    • Patty says:

      Ciara was beautiful. I can’t smell the recent incantations, but I should go look for some vintage!

      What a great memory though. I know it holds bitterness, but to be so young and that enthralled with someone is heady stuff.

      Pema Chodron’s recent book talks about shenpa, that uncomfortable chest-tightening stuff we all run across feeling. And how we need to develop the habit of just breathing through our discomfort, even if it’s briefly before we have to disengage. I think there’s real power in breathing through a scent that evokes powerful feelings.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Beautiful post Patty. You made me feel your pain. That scent for me is Je Reviens in extrait – first worn when I was about 12, way too young probably, but an uncle had sent it to me from France and I loved it beyond all reason. I wore it through any number of ‘wrong’ relationships for years. Now as a woman of a certain age, I think I’ve figured out the lessons that my soul wanted to learn from those relationships, and I’ve let them and the pain go, I find I’ve also let Je Reviens go – not because it evokes memories or pain, but because it is no longer me.

    • Patty says:

      Beautifully said. Cinnabar is no longer me either to a certain extent, but I love the memory it has of me being so free and not knowing how unkind and thoughtless and cruel the people you love could be. That’s a lesson we all get to learn. Figuring out how to live, knowing all of that, but open to all of life’s possibilities, as we all start out, is the thing Cinnabar teaches me.

      • Rappleyea says:

        “being so free and not knowing how unkind and thoughtless and cruel the people you love could be. That’s a lesson we all get to learn.”

        That is so very true and beautifully said yourself. And the response to the cruelty and thoughtlessness of loved ones comes from Mother Teresa: “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

        • Patty says:

          Mother Teresa really did get it, and she is right. Pain/hurt/fear should never stop you from loving, and it creates the perfect circle if you live completely full out.

  • mi-cuit says:

    I think I’m a little too young (and too reclusive) to have scent evoke the kind of memories that the rest of the posse is sharing, and honestly, I am moved. carmencanada, your Habanita story sounds like the plot of a golden age of Hollywood movie and puts into perspective that Carmen post you did a while back. 🙂

    Vintage Habit Rouge I can no longer wear since my father copied me and started wearing it in the bucketloads. My vintage L’Heure Bleue I now associate with my mother since she liked it so much we shared the bottle for a while. L’Heure Bleue is even more of a comfort scent due to the association. It’s getting a little bittersweet though. It makes me miss the connection I have with my mother in advance since it won’t be long before life, time, geography, and circumstances start getting in the way of our relationship. L’Heure Bleue, at least, I can always keep close.

    • Patty says:

      Well, the good and bad thing with age is that you have a lot more memories. 🙂 The problem with growing older is you become more afraid to throw yourself into life as completely in the way that creates memories that are worth having. That’s where I struggle right now, trying to live completely open, but so aware of how much hurt that can bring. I’m making peace with it.

      I understand that advance feeling. Jergens lotion is my anticipatory grieving scent. My mom doesn’t wear perfume, but that’s a lotion she wore a lot when I was young.

      • Scent Hive says:

        OMG Patty……Jergen’s Yelllllowwww. Remember that ad jingle? So many good, bad and ugly memories wrapped up in that one from childhood I’m afraid.


  • Louise says:

    Cardin for men…ah, Jean Jacques…high school teacher, model, tall, part Mahgreb…a 17 year old’s devastating downfall.One shiff of his oversprayed ego, and I was lost…. Fortunately, he was so aloof that his b.s. eventually sparked disinterest in me, rather than longing 8-|

    I bought Cinnabar in college, as a way of “expanding” my perfume wardrobe-Opium. I eventually found the edt too raspy, and forgot about it.

    But the wonders of ebay….I bought a mini parfum about 4 years ago, and have tried, with some success, to convert friends to the richer, clovey marvel. I keep grabbing up minis as I see them. My one larger (15 ml maybe) bottle came to an untimely end-tipped over on my wood table as I decanted :((

    The table shore smelled nice, though :d/

    • Patty says:

      The end to your 15 ml breaks my heart. I finally found another one recently. I look at those minis, think naw, but I think I need to start picking those up beause the bigger bottles are few and far between.

      I do have the high school obsession that went on for years too long, including the occasional chance meetings at dances with electrical sparks and all. He was also self-obsessed. I haven’t seen him in decades. I’d love to know if that myopic introspection continued in his life or no?

  • Habanita. She turned me into some kind of Carmen: I went to Seville, started wearing carnations in my hair, painted a beauty mark under my eye, wielding a fan and smoked Havana cigars at the bullfights. I also went home with a couple of bullfighters. Hence my pseudo, which was my knickname in those heady years.
    I wore Habanita for 10 years and gave her up when I became monogamous — that’s when I started olfactory polyamory. I still can’t wear her.

    • Shelley says:

      CC/D, are you playing with language? Because your “knickname” had me chuckling…
      (I’m just a knucklehead when it comes to getting silly thoughts in my noggin.)

    • Patty says:

      You simply have the best stories. I want to trade some of mine for yours. 🙂

      • What can I say? I’m just an adventurer at heart…;))

        • carter says:

          I totally want to be Denyse, and this story makes it even more of a tempting to run away to Buenos Aires and live for tango.

          As for romantic scent memories of my own, my first love smelled of caramel, cinnamon and cedar. It wasn’t cologne, it was truly how his skin and hair naturally smelled. His name was Rice, and I wanted to live life forever in his pocket. Whenever I hear the song “Caramel” by Suzanne Vega I dream of caramel, I think of cinnamon, and long for him.

  • This is lovely, Patty, and very strange coincidence because I’ve had Cinnabar on my mind for some reason, and want to smell it for the first time! It’d be fun to share a glass of nice red wine or Scotch with you and trade stories!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, Cinnabar, I love it so.

      I agree. No one ever takes me up on this, but if anyone is ever around Denver, I’m happy to meet Posse friends for wine any time!

  • Jared says:

    Nice post Patty! I haven’t been a perfume-obsessed guy long enough for them to have attached themselves to memories. However, even in the year or so, already some associations have been formed. It makes me wonder, though, if the script can be re-written, so to speak. For me, the intense memories are attached to sound, not smell, in the form of songs. Sadly, some songs cannot be listened to anymore, and while I try to recover them, they bring back feelings too painful to live through again. I know this process of re-writing can be done in theory (is it called decathexis or something clinical terminology?), but in practice I just don’t know. Some things seem to have imprinted so much that they are irrevocably bound. Maybe I have to remember that the halls of memory house happy times as well as sad times, and that to experience all of them means we have truly engaged with life and lived!

    • Patty says:

      I’ve got some other smell things that aren’t perfume. It’s hay. I spent so many hours curled up in the top of our barn in the hay bales reading and petting the kittens, it’s like that is my own personal smell.

      I haven’t heard about this re-writing Is it just associating something else with a song/smell? I don’t think I’d want to do that. I agree with what you say -life is full of a smorgasbord of the range of human emotions, or it should be. The more you have with intensity marks how you have lived.

      Our hospice classes spend so much time on the thought that dying well is simply the end result of living well. I think if we hold on tightly to the idea that all of this is so temporary and that you have to drink it all in every second, you will cherish even the painful moments, when some time has burnished them of the worst of their pain. Honestly? I’d rather feel pain or something. There are moments I’m afraid to let go of anger or pain associated with people that have hurt me because I’m afraid I won’t feel anything at all for them.

  • Margot says:

    1975 – Shalimar perfume. I have the crystal bottle, empty now, but still evocative. It was given to me by my first husband – a man who could give thoughtful, beautiful gifts, but very little of himself.
    When I think of him, I feel sympathy, regret, and sadness – for wasted youth and missed connection. So much has passed into faded, and increasingly distant memories, and I am grateful for the peace that has taken their place.
    I still love Shalimar. I do not think of him when I wear it,
    except for a brief moment, to honor our innocence, his long ago gift, and what might have been.

    • Patty says:

      Those are hard ones. I think I’ve been married to his twin,, except for the gift part. I gave him wonderful gifts that he still has and cherishes and every gift he gave me broke – that pretty much sums up 18 years of my life. That memory is not far enough in the past for me to live with it easily.

      I’m hoping I’ll be able to write about it without all of my residual anger burning through my words in another decade or so.

  • 2scents says:

    Clinique Wrappings puts me directly back into the Murphy bed of my bohemian apartment where I first fell hard in grownup love. I can never own it, even a sample, but when I catch the odd whiff of it on the air I gulp at it even though my heart still hurts.

    • Patty says:

      Oh. xo I love hearing you guys’ stories. I tell so many of my own, some more than once.

      I have a couple of other scents that can still make me hurt and angry. That time between the memory being born and the time it goes into the safe place in history can be awfully long sometimes.

  • Nina Z. says:

    Beautiful post, Patty. And it just so happens that I’m going through a similar perfume experience.

    When I was in my teens and twenties, I wore Cabochard, mostly in EDT form. (My husband thinks this is the sexist scent ever because that is what I wore when we first met, but that is another story). It smelled so good on me that my mother decided to copy me and she started wearing it, too (I was young enough to be flattered). Then, when I was about to turn 30, I decided that I needed to switch to real perfume and to a new fragrance that was more “sophisticated.” After systematically trying almost 100 fragrances, I chose Lancome’s Magie Noire and my husband bought me a large bottle of the perfume for my birthday. Again, my mother thought it smelled so good on me that she copied me and switched to wearing it, too (this time I was not so pleased). Then, a couple of years later when I became pregnant and very nauseated, I suddenly couldn’t stand the smell of Magie Noire, so I stopped wearing it and gave my perfume to my mother. And I never went back to it, even after both kids were born, because even though it represented a happy time, it also reminded me of being nauseated and of smelling the perfume on my mother while I was nauseated. I went back to Cabochard for a time, and then a few newer scents. Meanwhile, my mother kept on with Magie Noire. When she died a couple of years ago, I found in her bathroom the old bottle of perfume I had given her, and as I took it from the cabinet, just the smell coming from the bottle brought up such a combination of pain from her death combined with the visceral memory of being pregnant and sick, that I set it out on the sidewalk (we do that in Berkeley) for someone else to take. Of course, two years later, I was kicking myself because I learned it has been reformulated and the original–my original–was selling for hundreds on ebay. But I let it go. Then, a few weeks ago, I found an old purse atomizer I had back then and when I uncapped it, wow, my Magie Noire, from way back then. I still haven’t sprayed in on myself (and may never because I have no idea how much is in there), but I find myself uncapping it now and again, and I am beginning to make peace with it.

    • Patty says:

      Time does heal most everythig, if you let it. I think it’s just letting go of the painful parts by not nursing them, then you let time do the rest, and it will.

      I’m sure you will make peace with it, and then it will have the power to make you smile and remember and laugh because your mom trusted your taste so much that she would pick what you picked, which is incredibly sweet, though I totally get how annoying it would have been at the time!!! 🙂


      • Nina Z. says:

        Actually writing this made me think maybe she just wanted to smell like me. (I also found in her bathroom cabinet a bottle of my latest fragrance, which I’d never smelled on her, so she was obviously keeping it a secret! And that is pretty funny.)

  • Mike Perez says:

    What a beautiful story Patty, it brought a tear to my eye.

    I still have not smelled Cinnabar in parfum – but I do remember (a couple of years ago) reading your excitement about it and I always remembered it. In fact, just the mention of the scent (or walking by a EL counter and spotting the rectangular bottle) makes me think about you. So, I guess your story back then even made an impression on me (even though I didn’t know the back story). I have tried the sibling JHL by Aramis and while I can see why people like it, its a little bit too aldehydic for me (probably like Cinnabar EdT).

    My perfume that brings back chaotic and/or magical times? Well since I’m a guy, it’s Bulgari Pour Homme. The first scent that my first boyfriend and I shared, the man who was SO not the right guy for me but whom I fell deeply in lust with for about 5-6 years. Ever so often when I’m at Sephora I pick up a tester of the Bulgari, inhale and feel all tingly inside – but unlike you I’m not ready to commit to a full bottle of it.

    Gimme a couple more years.

    • Patty says:

      Oh, Mike, those love when we were young do have power for a long time, don’t they? Give it time. It shocked me the day I smelled that, looked back and didn’t go into a blind rage or curl up in a fetal position. For years, I just wouldn’t look at it or talk about it. When that time comes, it is bittersweet in a way that only those kinds of memories can be. Even my sister, who wanted to do nothing but kill him, can laugh about him now. He entertained her more than me, I think.

      Doesn’t the power of smell memory just stun you?