My Grandma Hates Perfume

Hello, Everyone!

I went to visit my grandparents over vacation, and it got me thinking. My grandmother has a famously sensitive nose, she never wears perfume, and will not hesitate to make a comment if she thinks you’re wearing something too strong. I once stopped at a Jo Malone counter while shopping with her at a department store. When I bought a bottle of Cologne 154, she told me not to spray it in the house. It was the first time I ever thought about going outside just to apply perfume.

When talking about perfume, many people mention scents that remind them of their mothers or their grandmothers. There are fragrances that take people back to their childhood, to that time when you would catch glimpses of mom putting on makeup before going out.

But I didn’t start wearing perfume until I was relatively independent and living away from home. Different perfumes conjure up college (I went through a long-lasting Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue phase) or grad school, or just traveling abroad. Scent is obviously closely linked to memory, and the memories fragrances conjure up for me usually center around places, not people. Perfume for me signifies independence and dreaming of new places and experiences.

This is why I was surprised when I visited my Grandma this time and she said ‘I have something I wanted to give you. I know you like that brand, what’s it called? It’s the woman’s name.’ Someone had gifted her some Jo Malone body wash and lotion. She knew she would never use it and thought to give it to me!

I’ll get her to try perfume yet.

What about you? Does perfume evoke specific memories for you? And are your family/friends accepting of your perfume habits?

{the painting: Poppy Field in Argenteuil; Claude Monet, 1873}

2 thoughts on “My Grandma Hates Perfume

  1. Usually perfumes do not evoke memories per se but many of them have their own stories – how I came by them, why I like them, etc.

    All women in my family wore perfumes (including my aunt who is anosmic) so I’ve never had any problems with me using perfumes. I’m not sure if my relatives realize now what my interest in perfumes means in terms of a bottles count but I would be surprised if anyone would dear to say anything to me – whatever they thought about it 😉

    1. Ooh, thanks for bringing up the fact that your perfumes have their own stories. That’s one of the things I love most about perfume, it always evokes a story.

      That’s lovely that all the women in your family wear perfume! I honestly felt a little strange about getting into perfume at first because I knew my grandma would react negatively to it. But sometimes you just can’t help your interests!

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