Saturday, May 13, 2006

From Diorissimo To Coquette Tropique: A Post To Say I Love You, Mom

I love my mother dearly and each year, I'm learning to appreciate her more and more. It hasn't always been smooth sailing between us as we have many differences in the ways that we think and see the world. She and I both feel generational and cultural gaps as well as the occasional language barrier that challenge us but we have learned to be more open-minded (isn't openmindedness one of the best traits in a person? :-)) and patient (a hard one!) to see eachother's points.

She's Classical, I'm everything else. She's Renoir, I'm Dali. She's deep burgundy, I'm icy pink. She loved Guerlain Mitsouko perfume, I still don't get it. But we go out of our ways to see the other side, like when she kept her TV tuned to BET On Jazz to learn a little about the music that I love. I've learned not to run away when she talks about her love of all of the finer things in life such as gemstones and cameos, little white gloves and parasols to keep the sun away all summer long. I know, Mom is wise.

She taught me about perfume and she herself had always loved fine French parfums until recently when she gave a nod to my indie perfume creation and even found a place in her heart for Aquolina Pink Sugar. This is a woman who only wore classic perfumes in parfum only, no other concentration. She is a serial signature perfume lover who wears one perfume at a time, using a precious drop every day until her bottle is empty. She sticks with one perfume for years. My perfuming style must seem terribly wasteful to her but she has never judged me for my love of perfume.

Her perfumes over the years were Diorissimo, Bal a Versailles, the aforementioned Mitsouko, Jean Patou Joy and Chanel Coco. She can't tolerate certain new perfumes that I like; Coquette Tropique or Agent Provocateur she finds akin to air freshener or worse. Likewise, I can't always get into her vintage favorites although we can agree on Joy parfum which she no longer wears so I can enjoy it when I occasionally want to. However, I think we both realize that our tastes in perfume have little to do with our generation gap and more to do with our individual perceptions of scent.

For instance, she has always found aldehydic florals such as Chanel No.5 and Van Cleef First old-fashioned. Just because I'm younger than she, it doesn't mean I like every new perfume out there or find them particularly youthful, either. I happen to like many perfumes that are too green for her taste--Green being an olfactive family that she associates with a bygone era. She is not moved by the glorious Eau du Soir, a relatively new perfume creation that could easily have been launched in the '60s alongside Yves Saint-Laurent Y.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom, and to all my dear readers: may this be a day of fun and gratitude for those who have Mom around, and a warm and meaningful day of rememberance for those who have not.