Shalimar by Guerlain of Paris is the only cologne I’ve ever worn. My ex-husband gave it to me for the first time when we were in college. I wore it regularly through the early marriage years, the raising children years, and the life after divorce years.
When my son Keith was an exchange student in France, I visited him and purchased a new bottle of Shalimar in Paris. He said the clerk was very snobby to this American customer, but I didn’t notice because it was such a pleasure to purchase my signature cologne in its signature home. I also met a young friend of Keith’s, Vero, that year. It was twenty-five years ago.
However, I stopped wearing perfume along the way. Maybe it was that others have allergies to various scents. Maybe it was because I’d become more simple in my dress. Maybe it was for some unremembered reason.
Still every once in a while I’d splash on some Shalimar, and each of my sons on different occasions would say, “You smell the way I remember you when I was growing up.”
Fast forward to yesterday, and what should arrive on my doorstep but a new bottle of the cologne, a gift from Vero, the woman I call my “French daughter,” the one from Keith’s foreign exchange days. We’ve visited each other often, but not as regularly as we’d like.
So I’ve invited her and her partner Patrick to share next Christmas with us. Whether they can or can’t, I think I’ll return to using Shalimar.