Happy Mother’s Day and a trip down Memory Lane

mother ma griffe
Hoping all you dear Posse folks have had a happy Mother’s Day! Now speaking of mother, many of us got our feet wet on perfume via our mothers, or perhaps a grandmother, aunt, big sister, or a family friend.

So what scents did you grow up smelling on your mother or other significant figure in your life? Do you like any of them and can you wear any of them yourself? And what scent(s) do you hope your children or significant other will remember you by?

In my case, raised by my elderly grandparents, I don’t recall any fragrance in my early childhood. Scent was likely a luxury that she didn’t care for or didn’t allow herself, as she was never a frilly, feminine kind of grandmother.

But after my grandfather died and my mother moved in with us, bottles of Evening in Paris, Arpege, Carven’s Ma Griffe and YSL’s Rive Gauche entered my memory. Never cared for any of them much on me, although I did come around a bit to Rive Gauche when I got a vintage sample of it, late in my perfume life. But still, nothing that I would wear with any kind of frequency. My mother was a very troubled soul, often bitter and angry, and Ma Griffe, especially, left a bitter taste on my wrist, so to speak, lovely though it might be under different circumstances.

Anyhoo, I’ve been so fragrance fickle over the past years that I have no idea what my son might remember me for. But I do hope that a whiff of Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Chanel Coromandel, Prescriptives’/Clinique Calyx or Guerlain’s Cuir Beluga will trigger at least a moment of recognition for him. But who knows? Perhaps it’s enough if he says, “No matter what, she always smelled wonderful (and had her lipstick on)!”

  • HeidiC says:

    Love these descriptions. My family aren’t big perfume wearers — my mom wore Chanel No 5 if getting dressed up; her mother was the same with Wind Song; my mom’s sister was the same but with Joy. And none of those really appeal to me. I got into perfume partly on my own/self-directed (even at a very young age, I was asking for Coco and Safari and Dune), and partly from a good friend who’s a perfumista.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Heidi! You kind of made your own tradition, didn’t you? I love that you were grooving on such greats as those even at a young age. You’ve got some excellent taste there, lady!!

  • SenoraM says:

    I will always associate the smell of Estee Lauder makeup products with my mother. Even the lipstick has that scent. Can anyone tell me what that scent is? After my mother died I put one of her scarves in a plastic bag so I could open it and take a deep inhale when I need some comfort. My mother was one of the most beautiful souls. As for me, my scent taste are in the oriental department.

    • Ann says:

      That is a great question, Senoram! I’m not sure what that scent is, but I’ll poke around and see if I can find out. Chanel lipsticks used to strike me the same way. And very cool that you’ve got a way to enjoy her scent when you need it — just lovely!

  • rosarita313 says:

    Love the lipstick comment 🙂 There’s a lovely lady on MUA who said that her signature scent is that she always smells great, I agree with that.

    My mother wore several different perfumes when I was little, Wind Song and Aliage I know, but the most consistent was Nina Ricci L’air du Temps which she wears to this day. I could never wear it, don’t think I’ve ever even tried it. I have given her many decants of new perfumes in the last ten years that she really enjoys wearing but she wears L’air du Temps the most, it’s a part of her.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, dear! Those are all great scents (I couldn’t wear Wind Song, but Aliage was my first Estee Lauder love!). So glad that you’ve enabled her to try new things, and that she still comes back to her beloved Nina Ricci.