Thursday, April 8, 2010

Perfume From the Past

        At this point in my life, I may not always have on makeup, I may be wearing my yard clothes and flip flops, but I do have on perfume.

        That is a habit that is so easy to do, I didn’t feel the rebellious need to not do it.

        Couple that with the fact that I am in one of my ‘use it up’ modes ( I will not buy more toiletries, cosmetics, etc. until I reach the end of what I already own…I think), and this morning after my yard work shower, I realized I am down to Royal Secret.

        Does anyone remember Royal Secret by Guerlain? 

        Let’s go down perfume memory lane, shall we?  In order from my youth to date, these have been my favorites:

1.    Some sort of bath powder that was sprinkled around the edges of the bathroom in Grandmother Mills’s house, after her bath.  It was in a tall metal container and was called talcum powder.

2.    the scent of baby powder

3.    Chantilly

4.    Fame by Corday

5.    Shalimar

6.    Charlie

7.    Jungle Gardenia

8.    White Shoulders

9.    Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew

10.  Estee Lauder’s Aliage

11. Dior’s Diorissimo

12. anything musk phase

13.Royal Secret

14. Clinique  Elixer- my standby- smells like my mother

15. Animale

16. Paloma Picasso

17. Anais Anais

18. whatever is on sale at SSB Perfumes, downtown McAllen

19.  whatever is on sale at Marshall’s

20.  Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle- my all time favorite

How about you?


Theresa said...

I am not familiar with that Royal Secret, Laura. As I have gotten older, I can only wear a very light scent. The one I am wearing now is called Amazing Grace. It is oh so light and I just love. I will have to check to see who makes it but it was a gift from my Niece.

Hugs to you my friend!

Stacey said...

Memories! I first wore Love's Baby Powder scent then I remember loving Charlie. For years I wore Estee Lauder Beautiful.

Jennifer@woodleycottage said...

Oh, Royal Secret! My grandmother was the buyer for a department store in Corpus Christi called Lichtensteins. (sp?) several decades back. She always dressed very classy and and that was her perfume of choice. Her whole home and car smelled like it. I found some on ebay last year and bought it just so I could smell it... It is not made any longer and is pretty hard to find but I sure do love that scent. Reminds me of my childhood! THanks for the trip down memory lane...
Have a wonderful day!

trash talk said...

I'll play along and date myself at the same time.
1. White Shoulders-my mother signature scent. Cannot smell it and not think of her...and my daddy's yearly trip to Neiman's at Christmas to get it for her.
2. Wind Song
3. Charlie
4. Baby smell (including throw-up)
5. Jean Nate
6. Anais Anais
8. Halston
9. Safari
10.White Linen
12.Chanel #5
13.Baby smell (including throw-up)
Looks like I've come full circle! There's one other, but I couldn't remember the name of it. It was made by Avon and smelled like soap. Loved the clean scent of it!
P.S. Funny...I don't wear any as much as I did. Seems like in our PC world, people are getting where they are as picky about perfumes as they are the smell of cigarettes. Have you noticed?
P.P.S. Thank you for your sweet thoughts on Easter!

Marigene said...

I have worn a few that you mentioned but my favorite old one is Maroc...wish it were still available.

Lisa said...

Oh goodness!
Youth Dew reminds me so much of my maternal grandmother and all the ladies she played bridge with. I'm telling you they would be nibbling their lil' tea sandwiches and wearing Ms.Lauder OUT! LOL!
PS My personal fave...Chanel No. 5!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Like you Laura, I always add a spray of perfume. When I was a teen, I loved a fragrance called Blue Jeans by Shulton. It came in a yellow bottle that narrowed at the neck and had a blue lid. It was so fun to wear! I have seen it only occasionally on ebay with a stiff price!

I Do Declare said...

I love this post (so much that I may steal it one day!)! I can totally smell something, especially a perfume or cologne, and it will absolutely take me back to a moment in time...

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I LOVE perfume and smelly stuff! Some old favorites would be Beautiful, Alfred Sung, Dolce Vita, Euphoria, Amor Amor, and my current oldies/favorites are: Chanel #5 and L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain. Especially the latter. Smells kind of grandma-ish and I LOVE it! I have been wearing it now for about 3 years...can only get it on e-bay cause no one around here sells it. I just ask for a new bottle from one of the kids for Christmas and it lasts me all year if I use it sparingly.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Laura, I too still wear perfume--but only like one kind these days (and it's not even an expensive kind).. I wear NAVY by Cody--and order it online from

I remember Charlie---but I also remember when I got my first little tiny bottle of Chanel No. 5..... That was SPECIAL way back then.

Thanks for coming to my blog. I hope you will return often. SO you are in South Texas. I lived in Texas (Clear Lake) for 12 yrs. --but just had to 'retire' back here in the mountains!!!

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my talk about memories! White Shoulders reminds me of my childhood and one of my very favorite aunts in the entire world. Baby powder, well, back in the day it was a necessity in baby diapering so it reminds me of my sweet baby girls.

From the Old InkWell said...

ahhh...white shoulders...I used to wear when I was a teeny bopper. Thanks for the memories!

Julie Harward said...

I love perfume too..wear it nearly everyday. Do you remember Blue Waltz in the tiny heart shaped bottle? I have worn most of those you have too. I now love Chanel#5....come say hi :D

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh Laura, I love Royal Secret! I remember buying it at a store downtown McAllen across the street from the Valley Mercantile. I don't remember the name. Oh do you remember those great stores? Puryears, oh my, Jones and Jones was the best, wasn't it? Do you remember the Village store up on North 10th? Oh my your post has brought back so many memories!

Chanel No.5

Coco Chanel

Cartier Must, oh my mom! Now, White Diamonds

Shalimar and White Shoulders...oh my dear grandmother, wonderful scents!

Royal Secret






Paloma Picasso


I love perfume, I wear it each day, may not wear lipstick, perfume, yes!

First by Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier Must are my all time favorites. Nothing but these two perfumes the last 25 years!

What a great post Laura, did enjoy the scent trip down memory lane. I know I'll be fretting in a little while, I know more will come to mind!


Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

I lLved reading this post! I never really thought of it before but the scents I have worn over the years have evolved. I want to sit down and make a list and remember where I was in my life when I wore it. Different smells do trigger different memories of places and people.

Carole and Chewy said...

YEars ago I wore Chloe occasionally. Then ended up with asthma, and can't wear any now. Probably just as well since I also spend so much time gardening that the bees/wasps would love it if I wore perfume.

Deb said...

I've never wore perfume...I'm alergic...but I do remember most of those on your list...I loved the smell of my Nana...she always smelled fresh and clean....I passed a lady at the store the other day...and she smelled just like her...made me smile

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Laura, I remember the little blue bottle of "Evening in Paris" when I was really young! Also, remember "Blue Grass". I wore Jessica McClintock for years, but my favorite now is "Happy" by Clinique! Linda

Deb said...

That was fun! I wore Charlie as a teenager. In my twenties it was Liz Claiborne (I still have a bottle).

Susan B said...

Wow! Those names bring back memories! Let's see through the years I've worn Charlie, Woodhue (my husband loved this one), Love's Baby Soft, Beautiful, White Shoulders, Wind Song,Chantilly, Obession, and many others I can't remember! My sister always wore Shalimar. I loved it too, but thought of it as her scent, so never wore it myself. Thank you for the fun post!

suzyq said...

Estee Lauder Youth Dew has been one of my favourites for many years. My latest 'find' is
'Elle' by YSL. It is just devine.

B. said...

I fondly remember some of them. My favorite is Falling in Love and Amazing Grace both by philospy

erin's art and gardens said...

love's baby soft and then halston and emeraude.
gosh, you have a good memory!

Downbythe seashoreMarianne said...

Nice topic for your post, Laura! I do seem to recall your long-time fling with Frances Denney's Interlude, as well as your Giorgio phase!! Here are my favorites over the years:

White Shoulders by Evyan

Shalimar by Guerlain

Interlude by Frances Denney

Youth Dew by Estee Lauder

Royal Secret

Dior's Dune

Jungle Gardenia

and what I wore for many, many years: Orivate Collection by Estee Lauder

But the very everyday favorites of mine currently are:

1. Coco Mademoiselle

2.Narciso Rodriguez for Her

3.Lovely by Srarh Jessica Parker

4.Vera Wang

5. Armani Code

Great reading your wonderful posts! Brings back lots of our girlhood memories when you bring up things like favorite perfumes over the years. I am also one who must wear a fragrance each day, as well as lipstick and a touch of bronzer!!
Love and miss you!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

I tend to like scents with a citrus smell...any great suggestions?

June said...

Hi Laura, see what happens when I take a blog break. I miss all these great posts. White Shoulders was my mother's perfume and so thats what I wore in school and when first married. I don't wear anything now.
I loved your last post about gardening. Don't laugh, but sometimes I threaten my plants that are not preforming the way they should by telling them I will banish them to the rear garden. It always seems to work. They are definitely like people.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I remember many of those. I have to be careful what fragrance I wear as they tend to change on me. I have always liked the citrus and fresh/clean fragrances.

Barbara said...

Laura, I am older than you and so I remember seeing in the "dime store", Evening in Paris. The bottles were a beautiful blue and usually came in a fancy shape.
Georgio....was a big one.
It was not sold in Beaumont-Port Arthur area when it first came out, so when I went to Market in Dallas, I would buy tons of it retail, add a dollar and sell it in my shops.
I have used Clique for years and still do. My daughter loves perfume and so I try to buy her something exotic every few months.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Please come and see my Thursday post and come back on Saturday for the ending. I think you will get a laugh.


Carol Murdock said...

Hey Laura~~~ LOVE this post!! GOOD SMELLING MEMORIES brought back here! I have worn many of those mentioned. I usally wear " Pleasures" from Estee Lauder now. XOXO :)

Anonymous said...

As a teenager, it was "Heaven Sent" (probably cheap but a real luxury for me) - then working in a drug store as a Jr-Sr. H/S, it was a smelling disaster when a bottle of "Blue Grass" was spilled or even opened but we had one woman that faithfully bought it -smells you dislike come to your senses as much or more than those you remember liking - especially Emeraude - the most popular because cheap or just because available in a small town drug store was "Evening in Paris" in a tiny (2" or less) blue bottle.
My all time favorites are still cheapest but will always love:
Gloria Vanderbilt
Fresh white Musk (Walmart...) (mix alcohol in a half-full spray bottle and use it to spritz down when hot and sweaty and on pillow case at night)
and the oldy but still goody to me: Tabu
Love "Red Door" on other people tho not used myself

Laura - do you read the blog: Lawntea - the writer is a wonderful writer and would really expound on this memory - as a writer yourself, I think you would love her blogs as I do --- I do love yours and hers

Debra@CommonGround said...

This is a real trip down memory lane. I wear perfume, but I don't like floral, it gives me a headache, and I really prefer men's scents so I usually go for something that has the men's companion fragrance. Right now I'm into Burberry and have been since it came out, but another is Nautica. For some reason it smells really good on me where some other's don't. My mom had a tacky saying about some perfume, but I guess it fits: "smells like a French whorehouse", not that she'd ever been to one...too funny!
Love your garden post and you're right, people ARE like plants!
love ya, dear Laura!

The Shiny Pebble said...

Hi Laura! What a beautiful blog you've got here. Anais Anais is my old time favorite! I had to stop wearing perfume when my son was born about 19 months ago. As soon as he is more independent I will be going back to my old time favorite.

Nola said...

We have had several of the same favorites. The one I miss most is Aliage! It was my fav until they stopped making it.
Yes, I remember Royal Secret, I used to work with a lady and that was her "signature fragrance"; I still think of her when I smell it.

Sarah @ Sugar Bananas said...

I love to wear Beautiful by Estee Lauder. It always reminds me of my mom :)

What a great idea for a post. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a follower now. Have a great weekend!

Karen said...

I prefer perfume that isn't sweet, so I have a hard time with perfumes. My favorite for the past few years has been Very Irresistible by Givenchy. Every time I wear it some one compliments me about smelling so good. My first bottle was actually a gift from a daughter-in-law's mother. I'm now about to finish my third bottle. Better get more!
Ladybug Creek

RachelD said...

Oh, Yes!!! Royal Secret!!! A tall, regal young woman with her hair upswept in a lovely chignon came to work in our small town, and her elegance just enchanted us all. (VERY small town, I'm talking here).

And a wonderful part of her allure to all of us home folks was her lovely perfume, the name of which she shared shyly, but readily. And we of the Avon-only set, of the lady who came to our houses with her little satchel holding tiny tear-apart one-app cologne samples (and who once went quite overboard with a new RosesRoses spray bottle to the extent that I had to launder the living room curtains, for all in the house were wheezing and had a headache)---we all longed for a trip to Goldsmith's in Memphis, just to get a bottle of Royal Secret for ourselves.

I suppose we thought it would imbue us all with that mystical "something" possessed by that nicely-dressed, charming young woman.

She's still one of my dearest friends, though now long-distance, and the merest whiff from my RS bottle sends me back thirty years to those days of longing to be tall and svelte and HER.


PS---I've had your site on my bookmarks for quite some time, and today one of my readers suggested that I might like to look in on you, saying that she thought we'd "like each other." I was very glad to say that I do and I DO.

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

What a fun post! I do remember some of those scents and some I don't recognize. I'm not big into perfume and usually only have two or three on my dresser to choose from. At the moment, I'm mostly wearing Coco Chanel’s Mademoiselle, too. It was my favorite until a young lady (stranger) said she loved it because it reminded her of her grandmother!! I'm too young for that. Now I think of being a grandmother everytime I reach for it. Isn't it amazing how even a stranger's words can have an effect on us?
Patricia :o)

Debbie's Garden said...

Wow, I had forgotten TIGRESS, but I loved it. Actually very powderly smelling, considering how the name sounds.
Norell takes me back to high school and my first love.
Smells are so memory related. The smell of Final Net hair spray takes me back too.
But now Marilyn Miglin Mystic has been floating my boat for about 12 years.

Anonymous said...

This brought back very happy memories for me. I will never forget Charlie perfume and keep a small bottle just to spray into the air every once in a while. I do this to remember my DAD! Years ago I he came to visit me and we went to have lunch and he just smelled so very nice. I commented about it and he said "I just found this great cologne called "Charlie" and I guess it is for a man since it is called "Charlie"." I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was a women's cologne. Every time I smell that scent I am reminded of my dad. Thanks for the memory.

Linda said...

Just stopping by and thought I'd leave a comment, hope you don't mind.

Thank you for the stroll down memory lane. Oh my goodness, I had forgotten about some of the perfumes you mentioned. I think I wore at least 5 or 6 of the ones listed, starting with Love's Baby Powder! Good times, good memories!

Leah said...

Paloma Picasso brings back memories. Wore it in my early 20s :)

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