I have three bottles of Shalimar in my house. It was my mother’s favorite perfume, and she kept gifting it to me whenever she found it on sale. Now that I am older, I get it. I often forget that I have purchased something, resulting in finding multiples of the same item when I cleaned out my house to prepare for my upcoming move. Mom loved her Shalimar and therefore was sure I would be delighted to receive it, over and over and over.
I rushed home and sprayed myself with Shalimar. It wasn’t a strong scent, but I could smell my mother’s perfume.
But here’s the thing. I never loved how Shalimar smelled on me and I rarely wear any perfume. I tried gifting it to my daughters, but they are not into perfume and turned me down. One bottle of Shalimar sat on my dresser and the other two are in the guest bathroom. Occasionally, when I was dressed up for some occasion, I would wear it, especially after my mother died five years ago. The fragrance plus wearing some of her jewelry made me feel like she was still with me.
After undergoing extensive dental work a year ago, including a root canal and a dental implant, I noticed that my sense of smell was greatly diminished. This had a couple of positive consequences. I no longer woke at night smelling the skunks that traveled my neighborhood nor was I disturbed by the smells of paint and cleaning solutions. On the other hand, I’m not sure I would smell a gas leak and some foods didn’t taste as flavorful as they had in the past. I missed the smell of my bread or brownies baking in the oven. But most of all, I could no longer smell my mother’s Shalimar.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic forced him to close, I was seeing someone for acupuncture to treat a persistent back problem. He started asking me about other symptoms and treated me for them as well. I felt like it was working as well as any drugs I had tried, so I continued to see him. During one of my visits, I shared a ridiculous encounter I had with an ENT I saw to address the loss of smell issue. If you want the gory details, see my post When Your Doctor Uses Google to Diagnose You.
He laughed at my story, stuck me with needles, and told me to “enjoy the ride.” At some point during my “ride,” I started to smell something pleasant, like a scented candle. Granted, it was faint, but fragrant nonetheless. After my session, the acupuncturist confessed he had also treated me for loss of smell. I rushed home and sprayed myself with Shalimar. It wasn’t a strong scent, but I could smell my mother’s perfume. I started to cry. This fragrant flashback was the smell I missed most of all.
Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.