Mother’s Day is that day of the year when I like to do as little as possible. Sleep in, drink coffee, be lazy on the sofa and no worrying about anything is allowed. Mother’s Day is for mothers- your mother, your sister the mother, your friend the mother, or you, the mother. For me, this day makes me think about when my girls were little, and seemed to need me much more than they do now. I say seemed just because even though they can bathe & dress themselves now, I like to think they still need me. But those sweet fleeting times when my girls were little, and I could hold them in my arms until they fell asleep, those are precious times. When your child feels like part of you, and not having them near feels almost like an amputation. Even when they are 24 and moving out, that painful twinge of the ghost limb is still there.
My earliest memories of my mother are scent related. Her dresser, her perfumes, and her clothes. Scarves and purses in her closet, and that sweet leather scent of the purses that held scented handkerchiefs and lipstick. I even remember the scent of her cake mascara. Cosmetics in the 60s & 70s had such a distinct scent. This is reflected in the scent memories turned into perfume that are Frederic Malle’s Lipstick Rose which conjures up the scent of strongly scented lipstick combined with soft leather and lingering perfumes inside a purse.
My mother has worn many beautiful perfumes over the years. I recall the distinctive Dior houndstooth bottles sitting on her dresser when I had to stand on tiptoe to see them, and the scent of Miss Dior to this day sends me careening back in time. The ones that really stand out for me as “her”, the ones I remember her wearing, are Oscar de Renta’s classic perfume and Guerlain Nahema. These are perfumes that I can never wear, because I would feel like a little girl in my mother’s high heels- it would be like dressing up.
Oscar to me was the daytime perfume, with tuberose, cardamom and sandalwood becoming a rich and creamy floral extravaganza. To my nose it just smelled happy and ever so slightly glam. Nahema was richer and fancier, maybe for evenings or parties? It is a heady blend of rose, plum & ylang ylang perfume with a rich woodsy base of Guerlain sandalwood with a darkness not seen in any Guerlain since.
My mother used to spend her relaxation time wearing colourful and flowing caftans with her funky Rafael jewellery.
I remember the parties in the 70s with Pink Floyd music or Sean Phillips (she loved him) playing in the background, with little silver cups filled with colorful cocktail cigarettes (remember- this was the 70s…)….falling asleep as my parents parties filled the house with music and laughter. Sweet memories, indeed. I hope my girls have the same daydreamy happiness filled memories someday as well. Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. Love you.
What are your treasured memories of your mom?