I’ve Been Wearing My Mother’s Perfume


I’ve been wearing my mother’s perfume. The first time I put it on was the day she died. In my blurry-eyed grief, my gaze settled on the perfume bottle sitting unobtrusively on her bureau amongst other personal care items strewn there during her final days. Without thinking, I picked it up and spritzed some on my neck. I wore my mum all of that day.

I’ve worn her perfume twice since. I wore it the day I went to pick up her ashes at the funeral parlour. Without much thought or reason, I again spritzed it on my neck and drove to the funeral home to pick up her ashes which by now were safely stored in the blue china urn I had chosen shortly after her passing. The urn reminded me of my mother. It was her colours.


I wore it again yesterday, this time for no reason at all, except I like it. It’s strange. I spent most of my life distancing myself from my mother and her choices. Her clothes, not the ones I would choose, her shoes, sensible and comfortable, but not at all stylish. I wasn’t judging,  they were all perfect for her and I was happy that she had found her style. (Actually, I wasn’t happy when I tried to choose tops for her with the perfect neckline.)  It seems though that I have spent most of my life looking for differences instead of celebrating what we shared in common.

In the interest of righting this imbalance, I’ve decided to share some of the many things we did have in common:

  1. We both turn in the wrong direction when we exit from elevators or shops in malls.
  2. We both are introverted and prefer small gatherings of people to large groups.
  3. We both believe a good cup of tea can cure just about anything.
  4. We both love hearing and telling good stories.
  5. We both enjoy our own company and can spend many excellent hours alone.

And…it turns out, we both love the same perfume.



8 thoughts on “I’ve Been Wearing My Mother’s Perfume

  1. So sweet. This is one way of always having her near you. The sense of smell is so powerful. It keeps us grounded to the past in so many ways.


    1. Yes, smells have always been really evocative for me too. I’m surprising myself with the perfume. At first it was to feel my mother’s presence, but since has become something more pesonal. Like, gee, I might have chosen this perfume, if it hadn’t been my mother’s.


  2. Great story ♥️ It makes me think of when the kids were little and I’d leave them a shirt to sleep with. Hugs ( and yes, a cup of tea does cure all!!)


  3. Highly olfactory oriented here as well……
    Your story reminded me of times long ago ….when….I used to walk into the gils school to pick them up …… to this day they will say “mom, we always knew when you were near mom, we could smell you and hear you….by the smell of your perfume (L’Air du Temps) and your jingle jangle (silver bracelets) …thanks for the memories……brings tears to my eyes….happy tears of very fond memories!!!! I hope my grandkids will share similar memories of Nana’s scent and jingle jangles 🙂


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