My grandmother, as I’ve noted previously, was a Shalimar woman. She looked like what I think of as a Shalimar woman: tall, curvy, elegant, sophisticated, and overall glamorous.
My mother inherited her mother’s good looks, but not her ‘Shalimar’ sensibilities.
By the time the above picture was taken, I was a veteran camper (having been conceived on one such trip, I’m told), nudist, and health-food eater.
That’s right. I was born to hippies.
In my tween years, I remember quite a few perfume bottles on mom’s dresser, Ysatis sticks out in my memory, probably because I liked it so little. She wore perfumes, but more often reached for the fragrance oils. The holy trinity— muguet, vetiver, and patchouli. Muguet and vetiver, as single notes, are very pretty. Patchouli, on the other hand… oh goodness, no.
I grew up in Massachusetts, just a few miles away from where my mother and her mother before her grew up. A small, conservative town 40 miles out of Boston, with only the vaguest notion of hippies and their free-love. It seemed embarrassingly carnal to my Love’s Baby Soft trained senses, but then, she was (and remains) an embarrassingly carnal woman.
For a few years I lived in Eugene, Oregon, famous for… hippies? I really don’t know how to say it any better. All those years of smelling patch on my mom didn’t prepare me for the hoardes of patchouli drenched, deodorant liberated stoners (it was the 90’s). Since that time, even in parts-per-million doses, patchouli repulses me.
Along comes Prada Eau de Parfum. How or why I bought a patchouli-ridden fragrance un-sniffed is beyond me… maybe my id wants me to be kinder to my mother.
Buy it, I did; try it, I did. Like it? I do.
Oh, it’s got patch in it, but not the Eugene brand. It’s more like the memory of sitting in my mother’s lap while she was wearing it. It’s a low, comforting, creamy, skin scent that after the first fifteen minutes hums its gentle tune for upward of five hours.
Notes, according to Robin at NST, include bergamot, orange, bitter orange, mandarin flower, mimosa, rose absolute, schinus molle, peru balsam, patchouli, raspberry flower, labdanum, tonka bean, vanilla, musk and sandalwood.