Gifts of perfume and memories for Mother’s Day

Gifts of perfume and memories for Mother’s Day

By Deborah Fulsang

Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps: That was the perfume my father always bought my mother when gift giving was required. Sometimes it came in a Christmas stocking, sometimes accompanying a birthday present of cashmere sweater and slacks—slacks were what we called them back in the 70s—and sometimes on its own with a big fancy bow that the saleswoman at Eaton’s or Simpson’s had thoughtfully affixed.

So this Mother’s Day, I bought my mom her signature scent.

It was so nice to watch her open it—slowly tear that cellophane from its sunny yellow box—and watch those memories brighten her face as she took that familiar kissing-doves bottle from its package. You see my mom doesn’t remember much these days, although the old stuff from when we were kids she’s still pretty good at recalling. She can’t remember what she had for breakfast a few minutes ago, but she still knows me, my brothers and her grandchildren’s names. That’s all good. Keeps conversations simpler, definitely in the moment.

And she remembers the perfume.

As my mom sprayed a bit of L’Air du Temps on her neck and wrists, those familiar notes of rose and carnation mixed with powder and spice filled the air, and her eyes smiled. Suddenly Betty Barnes was young and pretty again and my dad was at her side, blue eyes twinkling.

That ability to transport one through time and space is another reason why fragrance is so wonderful.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you.

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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.