Tonight after years of searching, I found the name of a beloved fragrance from the past: Taji by Shulton, production date around 1965. Oh no! I’m showing my age! Oh well! My grandmother had it, it was a light oriental and I remember loving it as a young girl. It opened with a citrus note that turned to a distinct sandalwood cinnamon blend. It may have had a dash of pepper in it, too, and it dried down to woody warmth. It also had a sweetness to it which appealed to my pre-teen taste.
The gold cap was beautiful, it looked like the dome of the Taj Mahal. Smelling it and holding the bottle made me feel exotic and grown up. I would spray myself and walk around the farm, then go back to the house to try it on again and stare at the lovely bottle. As a budding perfume nut I would often raid my mothers and grandmothers dressers for perfumes to try and for some reason, nobody complained! At times I would cover myself so thoroughly that I couldn’t smell it anymore, so I would reapply again and again until I finally learned about the rewards of restraint. But this one scent filled me with such amusement and happiness that it remained indelibly etched in my mind. I can still smell it! Isn’t it funny what we retain?
But what was it called? And can it be found anymore? This one haunted me, I didn’t remember the name but I knew what the bottle looked like. It had an unusual name, something that sounded Indian or Middle Eastern. And I didn’t remember the manufacturer either. Was the maker Avon? Houbigant? Prince Matchabelli, Revlon or Faberge? Or was it something else? This was going to be a challenge. I tried for years to come up with it off the top of my head but it was impossible so I threw in the towel and turned to the internet.
It wasn’t anything rare, for sure. Back in the 1960s in rural Nebraska, our shopping choices were limited. Of course we had no internet and were too far away from the big cities with their unique specialty shops. We did have department stores and the occasional expensive dress store in larger towns that carried a selection of exotica from companies such as Worth and Molinard. Drug stores in the small towns had quite afew things; some of the nicer ones had a fun array of choices such as Chanel (yes!), Jovan and Jean Nate, and a lot of popular inexpensive lines.
I began searching on Ebay using the term “perfume” and “gold cap” then started using company names as search terms to try to come up with an image of the bottle I recognized , and after plowing through hundreds of images, nothing looked close.
Then I went to Basenotes and started searching women’s fragrances by year of production, with a guess based on my age at the time: women’s fragrances produced in 1964, 1965, 1966 etc. I found an entry for a frag named “Taji by Shulton” but Basenotes provided no images. This could be it but with no photo I couldn’t be sure. So I then Googled the words and clicked on the “Images” button to look at my results and there it was.
That gold cap. Taji! That was it! Success! Woo hoo! Someday, whenever it appears online I’ll order it. And now that I’ve gotten the hang of it I’ll search out a couple of other items that have been long gone from the market, too. I hope this essay gave you some tips to help you find that long lost favorite.
Do you have a fragrance from the past whose name eludes you? Have you ever found it?