Monday, February 05, 2007

When Did It All Begin?

I have been fascinated with smells as long as I can remember. I must have an overly developed olfactory sense that originated when I was born. At least that is my only explanation for my obsession with perfume as a young girl, perhaps a toddler. Coming from a family with many aunts on each side who all wore at least one scent, I received much fuel for my fire. Aunt Suzie wore Shalimar, curled her eyelashes and listened to Led Zeppelin. Aunt Nancy wore Jean Nate, had a purple bedroom and loved to write letters to her girlfriends. No one captured my interest and curiosity greater, however, than my Aunt Mary Lynn. Not only is she beautiful, she is extremely feminine and she expresses it through fragrance and makeup. She and I have a kinship, a sacred circle if you will, of girly-girlness. My grandmother recalls that I would sit on the toilet seat and watch her apply her makeup and perfume as a wee little one.

When I became a teenager, I noticed she had a glass square container in the bathroom chock full of fragrance samples. I was amazed that she had amassed that many. How did she do it? I also remember Fracas and Cartier full bottles in her collection. And no one wore Chanel Coco better than her. In fact, I cannot wear Coco to this day because I strongly associate it with her. It belongs to her, per se.

I recall shopping with her when she discovered Cacharel's Anais Anais. She shopped the perfume counters as methodically and stealthily as a cat hunting for a mouse. And when she found it, she lingered awhile, exploring the object of her captivation. It did not take her long to decide that Anais Anais was full bottle-worthy. And in my effort to emulate her, I purchased a bottle of Anais Anais a few months later with the pennies I had saved from babysitting and wore it throughout my sophomore year of high school.

Today, I have definitely taken that childhood curiosity to a new level. With a collection of fragrances so large I'm embarrassed to admit how many I have, and a keen interest that inspired this blog, I can honestly say I have followed in Auntie's footsteps. And I am very proud of it. Here is a photo of the two of us at my wedding reception:

Thank you dear Auntie, for contributing so much to my young little life. Dear readers, my question to you is, would I be as fond of fragrance if it weren't for my Aunt Mary Lynn? Or, was it an innate fascination that Aunt Mary Lynn simply honed due to her interest? And please feel free to share your childhood stories. Reply in the comments section below.

Image source:

No comments: