The Scent Remembers When...

By Jayme Jackson


t’s happened to all of us. That innocent moment when you are walking through a mall with your mom or your BFF at Christmas and that certain scent just waifs in; slowly while you pass the perfume or cologne counter and then suddenly without warning, you feel the slight pang of the wind being knocked out of you. Fragrance. Such a small nondescript word that connotes an entire lifetime of feelings.

The first fragrance that I can remember was my Aunt Marilyn who always wore Charlie. Charlie debuted in 1973 by Revlon and was an amazing success. The 70’s were an interesting decade where women were becoming prevalent in the workforce while disco balls where shimmering at night. This created an era of musky, woodsy scents, think sultry, and sequins while making a pot of coffee at the office all rolled into one. Aunt Marilyn was quick to point out the art of the “signature scent”. This is something that always stuck with me. One scent, that identifies you- summarizes you in one whiff. Are you floral, spicy, sweet, or a combination that will always bring a smile to someone’s face years after you are gone like my Aunt Marilyn; when you smell, that smell; her smell.

Then, there is cologne. Talk about a gut punch. I’m a 90’s girl and so I often smell Ralph Lauren’s Polo, Eternity, CK One, Obsession, and Drakkar Noir and I’m instantly transported back to many, many first dates, football Friday nights, homecomings, and my guy friends. So many hopes, wishes and prayers centered around crushes and actually asking the Lord to intervene that some certain polo wearing jock would ask me to my junior prom (insert the song ‘Sometimes I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers’). Don’t act like y’all can’t think of exactly that guy’s cologne right this second.

But the best-scented memories creep up on you when you thought no one was watching or should I say smelling? Enter the high school reunion when that certain guy walks up to you from 20 something years ago and says “I always remember you used to wear Victoria Secrets Pear Glaze”. You try not to audibly gasp at the sheer news that he ever even knew you were alive. “Every time I have smelled that for the last 20 years, I’ve thought of you and smiled”. And this is the exact moment where you are waiting on the Hallmark movie crew to say “cut tape”, like a dream movie. I will never forget when that happened to me. Luckily, we are both happily married and they no longer make Pear Glaze.

So, what’s your signature scent? For the past few years, I wear 2 scents, Gucci Flora and Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry. I didn’t get the gift of chemistry that my Mama or Aunt Marilyn got of spraying a few squirts on your wrists and you can smell it all day. I have to dowse myself in perfume each day hoping I faintly smell good. The Tom Ford is extremely pricey but my husband loves it and I wear it to bed every night, it’s not strong enough for daytime on me.