Vintage Perfume Treasures

You already met Annette when she hosted a generous perfume giveaway for us to mark her 60th birthday. She’s a writer and a fragrance lover, and at one point she sent me the photos of her grandmother’s perfumes. In the course of our exchange, she shared her family story, which was too fascinating to be left in an email thread. So, I invited her to tell the story on these pages. When people ask me “why perfume?” I want them to read stories like this. Because scent, like few other things, can conjure up the past and make us dream.

I’m too sentimental for my own good. At least, that’s what some people think. But don’t we have to have some sentiment in our lives, if only to keep a memory intact?

My grandmother was born in Moscow, Russia in 1900. Sometime after the Revolution of 1917 her family went to their little summer home in Odessa, Ukraine, where they could grow food to help them survive. There she later met and married my grandfather, a businessman who’d come to the U.S.S.R. from Greece by way of Asia Minor. My mother was born in Odessa in 1925 and sometime in the late 1920s she left the U.S.S.R. for good. And there the Russian part of the story ends for me.


Leaving Russia with very few of her own things, my grandmother made a new life for herself in Greece.  She had to learn a new language, and a new way of doing things, in a very different climate, but her love of my grandfather and her stubborn tenacity saw her through.

My mother married an American, and we came to the U.S. in 1956 and so the memories I have of my grandmother’s home are precious and deeply ingrained because the trips we made back to Greece over the years were idyllic moments in my childhood.

I remember my grandmother’s gentleness and adept, capable fingers that could sew beautiful dresses, throw together amazing meals, and coax a plant back to life. Those fingers wore beautiful jewelry that went with her sparkling blue eyes. I remember her sense of humor and a soft spot for animals. And of course, her love of the garden, especially her roses. I can still see her dressing table – always neat – with all the lovely bottles and tins filled with fascinating powders, perfumes, and lotions.


When my grandparents had to leave Greece in 1970, and they came to live with us in California, my mother helped them bring as much as could be allowed.  I find it fascinating that my grandmother refused to leave her perfume bottles behind.  Not much later she gave them to me.  They are my treasures, just as they were hers.  They allow me to get a small glimpse into my grandmother’s psyche.  And when my mother passed away, I brought her bottle of L’Heure Bleu, her signature scent, home and added it to my collection. I keep all those in a secretaire in my office, where I can see them every day. And if the mood strikes me, I can take one out, open it, and maybe grasp that fragrance of memory.


Annette’s photos:

1. Group photograph is circa 1926, probably taken in Odessa, Ukraine as that’s where my mother was born. It shows my grandfather (John Agniades) and grandmother (Anna Malina Agniades), and that funny little thing they’re holding is my mother (Efthalia).

2. Soir de Paris by Bourjois, one of my grandmother’s favorites. I still have the original outer box for this, with the label in Greek. It’s probably from the 1970s.

3. My grandmother’s rose garden in Kifissia, Athens, Greece, from the early 1950s.

4. A desk in my office where all the bottles live.  I think I’ve kept them in the same place for over 40 years.

5. This dark-haired beauty is Efthalia, my mother. Incidentally, both my grandparents had blue eyes, and my mother’s sister is blonde with blue eyes!

6. Some of my grandmother’s and mother’s perfumes, from left to right:

My grandmother’s Schiaparelli Shocking in its original leather case with pink satin lining.

Marquay Porte Bonheur. This amazing bottle modeled after an Arabian sheik was my grandmother’s, and I remember seeing it on her dressing table.

Guerlain L’Heure Bleu This was my mother’s signature scent. I always keep a bottle to take a sniff now and again to remember her. But I don’t wear it, because it doesn’t smell nearly as good on me as it did on my mom.

This Balenciaga bottle was among my mother’s things.



  • Sandra: I love this story. Thank you so much for sharing. I adore the photos and how much your grandmother loved perfume
    My grandmother wore tresor, but I don’t associate that smell with her.
    When I smell Biolage shampoo and conditioner I think of my grandma. July 1, 2014 at 7:23am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Sandra, Isn’t it interesting what we DO remember?
      Thanks for sharing, and reading! July 1, 2014 at 7:44pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: What an interesting story, and such beautiful pictures! Not leaving the perfumebottles behind–that’s the real pafumista.
    Your mother is an amazing beauty, she could have been a moviestar. I can imagine L’Heure Bleue on her.
    Yes, these stories and pictures must be shared on perfumeblogs, to the pleasure of all of us! July 1, 2014 at 7:24am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: parfumista, of course.
      Which perfume was in the Arabian Sheik? A treasure, that bottle. July 1, 2014 at 7:37am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: And your grandmother was very beautiful too. July 1, 2014 at 11:20am Reply

      • Annette Reynolds: The label says: “Porte Bonheur” which means something like “Good Luck Charm.” July 1, 2014 at 7:50pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: My mother’s been gone nearly 9 years and I still miss her every day. She was sentimental, like me. Guess that’s where I got it from. If only I’d inherited her looks, too!! 🙂
      Thanks for your lovely comments. July 1, 2014 at 7:46pm Reply

      • Diane Goard: Annette, you are just as beautiful as your mom both inside and out! July 2, 2014 at 11:15pm Reply

  • solanace: I can only hope Annette will become a regular writer here! July 1, 2014 at 7:38am Reply

  • Marsha: Beautiful post. Your mother is really a stunner! And your mother obviously knew where her priorities lay when she was determined to bring every single perfume bottle with them to America.

    To my intense regret, none of the women in my family were into really feminine things like perfume and nice jewelry. So I have no idea where my interest came from! But then my favorite aunt said I always had to be different.

    I also keep my perfumes in a cabinet in my bedroom. When I’m passing through my bedroom, sometimes I will stop at the cabinet and just look at them!

    Thanks again for a wonderful post! July 1, 2014 at 7:39am Reply

    • Marsha: I meant to say your grandmother didn’t want to leave her precious bottles behind! Where there’s a will, there’s a way! July 1, 2014 at 7:41am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: It’s always fascinating to me how different we all are. For you to love perfumes and feminine things while the other women in your family don’t must simply mean you’re your own person!
      Thank you, Marsha, for your lovely comment. July 1, 2014 at 7:54pm Reply

  • Michaela: I love everything in this post: photos, story, nostalgia, beloved scents, empty bottles, feelings, beauty in many forms… July 1, 2014 at 8:14am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Me, too. Victoria’s post about her grandmother’s bottles is what inspired this one. I don’t ever tire of taking something of my mother’s or grandmother’s out, or even something I’ve purchased at a vintage shop, simply to feel it in my hand and try to imagine the life that object had before it came to me. July 1, 2014 at 7:57pm Reply

  • rosarita: Thanks for sharing your amazing story and photos! I’ve never seen anything like that sheik bottle, it’s very cool 🙂 July 1, 2014 at 8:27am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: It IS cool, isn’t it?! I’m just fascinated by it.
      Thanks for your comment! July 1, 2014 at 7:58pm Reply

  • Jillie: Annette, your grandma must have had a hard life but perfume would have given her such pleasure. And now you make your memories of her (and your mother) even more vivid by looking at the bottles and sniffing them. These treasures are more valuable than gold! July 1, 2014 at 9:14am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: “These treasures are more valuable than gold!”

      I couldn’t have put it better myself. Thank you so much for your comment. July 1, 2014 at 8:08pm Reply

  • Nikki: Such a wondrous and cosmopolitan story, thank you, Annette!

    Life is beautiful when told in stories. The special bond that females have, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, is to be cherished and treasured. When I spray Tosca perfume, I think of my grandmother and her life from 1907 to 2002 in Germany and Europe. Our own lifespan is so short, and ephemeral perfumes are surviving with generational memories, giving us a glimpse of the infinite.

    The world will be better when more stories and tales of grandmothers and perfumes and roses are told. July 1, 2014 at 9:18am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: You are so right, Nikki. We need to focus on the beautiful – the evanescent things in life. There’s so much negativity bombarding us every day. Why, when there’s so much that’s simply and exquisitely lovely? July 1, 2014 at 8:15pm Reply

    • Ariane: Very beautifully put,Nikki,and you are so right!These sort of stories stay in your heart! July 2, 2014 at 3:12am Reply

    • Amer: Tosca perfume! And I thought I was the only one that remembered this… It reminds me of my childhood in my grandmothers house. I found the scent so nice as a kid that once, I opened the bottle and drunk from it expecting it to taste good too. I didn’t :s July 3, 2014 at 1:51am Reply

      • Michaela: Drink perfume?! Oh, dear… Now, I know! Spray bottles were invented to protect curious children like you! 🙂 July 3, 2014 at 10:21am Reply

        • Amer: well I don’t think an atomiser can stand in the way of a curious child really 🙂 July 3, 2014 at 5:27pm Reply

  • spe: Such a touching story and gorgeous photos! As a dark eyed brunette myself, I’m thrilled that your sultry mom wore l heure bleu – it’s an unexpected contrast. My maternal grandmother’s dresser had perfume bottles on it – one was Blue Grass. They lived on a farm in Manitoba. My mom I always associate with First and 24 Faubourg. One of my sisters with Chanel 22. Thank you for sharing your family and perfume history with us.

    How have these discoveries shaped what fragrances you prefer and wear, Annette? July 1, 2014 at 9:22am Reply

    • Michaela: Interesting question! July 1, 2014 at 9:52am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: I’m also dark-haired, and dark-eyed (although I look nothing like my mother…) and so I always thought I should be able to wear L’Heure Bleu, too. Unfortunately, what smelled heavenly on my mother smells like nothing special on me.
      I’ve had to hunt for my own signature perfume and have found several I’ve loved through the years. Since tastes change (and fragrances are discontinued, much to my dismay) I once again find myself in a constant hunt for THE perfume.
      I go from the pedestrian to the lavish in the blink of an eye. Yesterday I wore “Battito d’Alli” by Profumum Roma, mixed with Tokyo Milk’s body lotion for “Dead Sexy.” They’re a perfect blend.
      Today, it’s nearly 90 degrees here in the Northwest (very unusual) and I sprayed myself all over with Pacifica’s “Nerola Orange Blossom” and used John Master’s Organics “Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Milk.” Five hours later I can still smell that fresh orange on my skin and it makes me feel cooler. Tonight, I’ll probably splurge and use some of my “Orange Sanguine” (Atelier)! July 1, 2014 at 8:26pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: And now you’ve mentioned “Blue Grass” and “24 Faubourg” and I take suggestion so very easily that I’m sure I’ll be ordering samples of both, simply to know what they smell like! You never know: one of those two could be my next favorite perfume! July 1, 2014 at 8:30pm Reply

  • Ines: Your grandmother was an incredible beauty! 🙂 I know I shouldn’t put much attention to how women look, but I can’t help it. She looks great. And she obviously had great taste in perfume.
    Sometimes I think those two go hand in hand. 😉 July 1, 2014 at 9:41am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: I thought my grandmother was quite beautiful too, with her cool, blue eyes. I’m still amazed that my mother ended up with dark brown eyes since both her parents had blue ones! Thanks for your sweet comment. July 1, 2014 at 8:32pm Reply

  • Mary: Such a lovely, touching story and beautiful photos. I love that Greek garden!
    I don’t remember my grandmother as a great perfume lover, but, although she was a farmer’s wife, she was always perfectly lipsticked and powdered. I remember playing with the things on her dressing table, including thick, creamy Bourjois and Max Factor lipsticks. In fact, when she had a stroke in later life, my grandfather continued to paint her lips, because, although she could no longer speak, he knew she would have wanted it. I think it’s a wonderful gesture from an elderly farmer who was such a sensitive and loving husband. July 1, 2014 at 9:50am Reply

    • Michaela: Your story is very touching, too! July 1, 2014 at 9:57am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: yes, it is very moving. July 1, 2014 at 10:03am Reply

    • Bea: Now, that’s love. Beautiful! July 1, 2014 at 3:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Mary, I was misty-eyed reading this story, thank you so much for sharing. It reminded me of my great-grandfather who would brush my great-grandmother’s hair and made sure to decorate it with her favorite comb when she wasn’t feeling well. July 1, 2014 at 4:12pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: What a sweet memory. Your grandparents must have been devoted to one another. Lovely. Thank you for sharing, and thanks for your kind words! July 1, 2014 at 8:33pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Annette,
    What a beautiful story…I loved every word of it. Your grandmother and mother were beautiful women and it is interesting to see that all three generations were perfume lovers. Thank you for the wonderful incite into your family history. July 1, 2014 at 11:04am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Thank you, Phyllis.
      Isn’t it funny that my grandmother and I experimented with many different fragrances, while my mother stuck to one her whole life. I honestly don’t remember her wearing anything else! July 1, 2014 at 8:36pm Reply

  • Peter Prasad: Wonderful and charming memories saved and savored for the nose. Imagine telling time by the scents of the loved ones around you. You make me want to return to the perfume shops of Cairo and sniff the day away. Thank you. July 1, 2014 at 11:34am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Thanks, Peter. I’m with you: sniffing the day away in Cairo or Athens or San Francisco or Tacoma just sounds like fun!! July 1, 2014 at 8:37pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Wonderful story, grandmothers are the best! July 1, 2014 at 11:45am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Thanks! I only wish I’d asked my grandmother more questions… July 1, 2014 at 8:38pm Reply

  • jaime: Thank you for sharing Annette’s story! The photos, the bottle, and her memories are so precious. July 1, 2014 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Thank you, Jaime. I was flattered that Victoria asked me to write this little piece. July 1, 2014 at 8:39pm Reply

  • Gil: Loved reading this, thank you for sharing your family’s story. I never gave much thought to it, but my grandmother’s perfume – Clinique Aromatics Elixir – is as part of my memories of her as anything else. July 1, 2014 at 12:31pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: I’m so glad that this small piece sparked a memory of your grandmother for you. Thank you for sharing it! July 1, 2014 at 8:41pm Reply

  • Mel: Annette, your grandmother and mother are both gorgeous knock-outs! The first part of your story reminds me Dr. Zhivago when Tony, Yuri, and Ralph Richardson have to flee to Varykino during the Revolution and grow their own crops. The garden in Greece looks like a fantasy. I love when people we love become identified with scents. My grandmother used to keep dried vetiver in her linen closets in Mississippi – to keep the moths away. That is the scent that reminds me of her the most. Thanks for your memories – they sparked some of my own! July 1, 2014 at 2:52pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: I loved hearing about the dried vetiver in your grandmother’s linen closets. It sounds like a wonderful thing to do. Now I just have to find some vetiver!!
      It’s funny what things DO take us back in time: I love the smell of boxwood on a hot, summer day. Why? Because my grandmother’s garden was bordered by low boxwood hedges (that you can see in the photo) and I always think of her when I see or smell boxwood.
      Thanks for sharing with us! July 1, 2014 at 8:54pm Reply

      • Diane Goard: That’s what I remember from visiting YiaYia’s house was the smell of the boxwood bushes. My mom always stops and picks a little branch off of one when ever she sees one and holds it to her nose. This is stupid, but, Lemon Up shampoo brings back wonderful memories of you and Severin Drive. <3 July 2, 2014 at 11:11pm Reply

        • Annette Reynolds: Such good memories of that summer…And the fact that “Lemon Up” shampoo reminds you of those times isn’t stupid in any way! Love you, Diane! July 3, 2014 at 11:46am Reply

  • CHARDKAY: I so loved your story! It made me think of my mother and my grandmother! Being a lover of vintage perfumes, I also had to share this story with my group Facebook Fragrance Friends so that could enjoy it as much as I did. July 1, 2014 at 3:45pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: I’m so happy this piece brought back memories for you. Thank you very much for sharing it with your friends. July 1, 2014 at 8:55pm Reply

  • Bea: What a beautiful story.
    I am so incredibly fascinated by families, women especially, who have had to leave everything behind and move to new countries or new continents and and while making a new life in a new place still have the energy and desire for the good things in life, like a bottle of perfume.
    Thank you for sharing the story of two incredibly beautiful women. July 1, 2014 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Bea, I – too – am intrigued by women who are brave enough to take that big leap of faith. I’m not sure I could’ve done what my grandmother did; or even what my mother did!
      But I suppose we never know what we’re capable of until we’re faced with a challenge of that magnitude.
      Thank you for your lovely words! July 1, 2014 at 9:00pm Reply

      • Michaela: I face the same dilemma. I feel I’m not half as brave as them. But you are right, you never know… July 3, 2014 at 10:27am Reply

  • Brenda: Such a heartwarming history. Though I adore perfume, I cherish lovely perfume bottles. I have always displayed them on my dresser…and it was heartwarming to see that my daughter…as a young teenager…had started to do the same. I am so happy she has found happiness in a lovely scent. And so it goes….. July 1, 2014 at 4:08pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: I’d love to know what fragrance your daughter chose as her own.
      I sometimes wish I had a daughter of my own…Not that there’s any guarantee she’d love all these things as much as I. 🙂
      My cousin has a daughter but her interests lie elsewhere.
      Thank you for sharing. I can imagine your dressing table with all the lovely bottles and colors… July 1, 2014 at 9:07pm Reply

      • Brenda: As we are Canadian, my daughter would tag along with me to lovely, scent filled shops while we were on vacation. One such was Crabtree & Evelyn … They had a young girls line from Scarborough & Company…clean, powdery scents she liked in beautiful cloth packages and tins – which she and I still use. She graduated to Le Petit Prince and Muguet de Bois…eventually embracing scents like Burbury, Mandragore and, currently…it’s all about Jo Malone. We don’t discuss fragrances very often….but, it is a passion that we enjoy knowing we share. Thank you for being interested….. July 2, 2014 at 1:41pm Reply

        • Annette Reynolds: Oh, Crabtree & Evelyn in the “old days…” I wore Scarborough’s “Savannah Gardens” long before it was bought out by C&E. Naturally, they no longer make the perfume…I have two bottles left and jealously guard them.

          Thank you for telling me of your daughter’s perfume progression. I truly loved reading it. July 3, 2014 at 2:00am Reply

    • Michaela: That’s wonderful! I imagine her sniffing your bottles long ago, as a child, as one of her her favorite games, and she quickly discovered the wonder of scents. Lucky mother, lucky daughter. July 3, 2014 at 10:35am Reply

  • carole macleod: This was beautiful-thank you for your story, and the pictures! July 1, 2014 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Carole, thanks for your lovely comment! July 1, 2014 at 9:07pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: This lovely story helps to demonstrate that perfume is truly a universal language. Although your grandmother and mother come from different eras and countries than I, a few of their favourite perfumes are among my favourites, in particular L’Heure Bleue (and possibly also Le Dix, although the Balenciaga bottle could have held any one of several different fragrances).

    I can understand why your grandmother could not bear to leave behind her perfume bottles, Annette, and not just because I’m a perfumista. As someone once said, science gives us the means to live but the arts give us a reason to live. July 1, 2014 at 8:00pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: “… the arts give us a reason to live.”
      You are SO right, Tourmaline. I’m sure most of us need that blow dryer, but it isn’t what we’ll keep close to us at the end of the day.
      Words, music, scent, sculpted marble, colors on paper and canvas, glass, a chased silver cup, enamel on gold, hand-painted porcelain hundreds of years old: the list of artful things in the world is endless.
      Thank you for your lovely comment. July 1, 2014 at 9:15pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thanks Annette. I loved your list; life without these “artful things” would be unimaginable. July 1, 2014 at 9:40pm Reply

  • minette: such beautiful women! and a handsome man!

    love that you have these mementoes. i have a few things from my mother’s mother, and i love having them with me.

    i found cuir de russie by chanel years ago, and it felt familiar to me, even though i’d never smelled it as an adult. turns out it was one of the chanels my grandmother liked to wear. so i may have smelled it on her when i was a child and they were visiting us in the states, or we were in france visiting them.

    my mom has worn a number of scents through the years, but now with her memory loss i don’t think she remembers that she still has several lovely fragrances at her fingertips. she even forgot that she wore ma griffe when i was a child – that was the one i most associated with her. oh, well. memories come and go like ghosts sometimes.

    thanks for sharing your story! July 1, 2014 at 8:44pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: “memories come and go like ghosts sometimes.”

      Bittersweet, Minette. A beautiful, haunting way of putting it…

      Your mother’s memory loss is an enormous shame. Thank goodness you have your own memories to keep you comforted.

      Thank you for sharing, and for your lovely words. July 3, 2014 at 1:50am Reply

  • kaori: Thank you for sharing your pictures and story. They are wonderful. I have a Balenciaga bottle, Le Dix, like your mother’s. July 1, 2014 at 9:36pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: The paper label is gone on the bottle, so I’m just going to take your word for it and we’ll call it a bottle of “Le Dix!”

      Thank you for your nice words. July 3, 2014 at 1:53am Reply

  • Loric: This is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing. L’Heure Bleue is my favorite scent 🙂 July 1, 2014 at 10:26pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: As you can imagine, I love “L’Heure Bleu.” I love uncapping the bottle and taking a sniff. I do that almost weekly simply to give myself a hint of my mother. Oh how I wish I could wear it the way she did! Lucky you, that you can… July 3, 2014 at 1:54am Reply

  • Jamie: Beautiful memories. I have one of my grandmother’s purses that she must have kept a fragrance in, because to this day (and I’m 59), I can open that purse and still smell, albeit lightly, that fragrance. It’s a treasure to me.

    Thank you so much for sharing. July 2, 2014 at 6:46am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Oh, it most certainly is a treasure! Thank you for telling me about the purse. YOUR story brought back a slight memory of the same sort for me and an evening bag of my grandmother’s! July 3, 2014 at 1:56am Reply

  • Chilloften: Loved reading this story. July 2, 2014 at 10:22pm Reply

  • Amer: A very touching story indeed. I see everyone mentioned the grandmother and mother who really have movie star charm. Granddad remains unmentioned, a very typical Greek man from the start of the previous century, reminds me so much of a picture of my great grandfather who as it happens was from Asia Minor too, and also pictures of old “rebetes”, musicians of a greek style of music of that period nicknamed as “greek jazz” by some.

    The Greeks of Asia Minor where very different from those of mainland Greece. Most of them were forced to emigrate to the mainland after 1922 and because they standed out they were treated with suspicion by their fellow country men. I am mentioning this because one of the things that set them apart was their “cosmopolitan” love for perfume, especially french! That was obviously a big “no no” in a poor country. But people from Asia Minor persisted and changed the ethics and trends in the country and shaped Greece into the amalgam of Vernacular and Grand tradition with both European and Eastern sensibilities that tourists fell in love with in the 60s. Your grandparents obviously fled Greece during the military dictatorship (perhaps your grandmother’s Russian origin had something to do with it?) and left their beautiful garden behind. I’ve seen gardens like it in movies from that era, the style was apparently all the rage back then, a mixture of traditionalism and modernism. Your grand mom must have had a set of “ferre forgé” garden furniture to sit there and sip her coffee.

    I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for them to have to abandon their places so many times in their lifetime. I guess carrying her perfumes with her helped your grandmother retain a sense of continuity, creating via scent a microenvironment that remained unchanged even when the surroundings around her changed drastically.

    I wonder what happened of that garden. Kifisia is a very classy area of Athens, typically with big houses with gardens. There is a high chance that the following owners retained the garden in a state similar as that in the picture. If you want, you can contact me (ask Victoria) and I can go check on it next time I’m in Athens and send you a picture.

    Thank you for the great story. Love K. July 3, 2014 at 2:37am Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: K, I can’t thank you enough for your deeply thought-out comment and astute observations.
      My grandfather was an amazing man: he also had his own fragrance! I didn’t even think to mention it until your comment reminded me.
      I don’t know what he wore: some kind of eau de cologne, I’m sure. Maybe that’s why I’m always in search of the “perfect” eau de cologne for myself.

      As for my grandparent’s beautiful home in Kifissia: it’s gone. I don’t know what year it was torn down to make way for an apartment building, but when I visited Greece in 2006 there was nothing left of it, that I could see. I’m fairly certain it was razed in the late 1990s, or maybe even as late as 2000. I only know that it breaks my heart every time I think of it. I have the house and garden etched in my memory, and when I want to lose myself in something I go through it room-by-room in my head, and then I venture out into the garden of my mind.

      If you wish to contact me directly, K, just click on my name. That will take you to my website where you can send me an email.

      Again, thank you for your lovely, thoughtful words! July 3, 2014 at 11:56am Reply

  • Wendyr: You took my breath away with that story. I understand deep in my soul the memories fragrance can give you. My grandmother wore White Shoulders all the time. My Grandpa would proudly purchase a bottle for her every Christmas. He was a truck driver and my grandma helped out on a farm for income. I adored how she would wear her perfume and your story reminded me of her. I thank you for that! July 4, 2014 at 1:24pm Reply

    • Annette Reynolds: Yours is a beautiful story, too, Wendy. White Shoulders was a fragrance I bought as a teenager, and loved it at that moment in time. It defines my youth, the way Yardley lipsticks and The Beatles did. And so it defines your grandmother to you, and I just love hearing stories like that!

      The name, or the amount of money spent, means nothing when it comes to things we love and surround ourselves with. Right now I’d give up all my expensive perfumes for just one $7.00 bottle of Prince Matchabelli’s “Sun Shower” cologne. My entire late-teens life would flash before my eyes! July 4, 2014 at 8:19pm Reply

      • Wendyr: I get that Annette. I would pay anything to get a wonderful fragrant trail of my grandma passing me by. I think that is why I love perfume so much. It transports me to wonderful memories of people/places I love. Does not matter how expensive the fragrance is, it was my Grandmother’s special fragrance and that is very special to me. Thank you for your comment:). July 4, 2014 at 10:18pm Reply

  • Paul R: Hi my favorite Cousin on my Mothers side, Beautiful story… brings back such great memories of Greece. The gardens were so beautiful…we could pick and eat all the fruits and nuts we wanted. Also the rotten fig wars were fun. The real shame is we were never there together at the same time. BTW, Carrie thought the baby picture with YaYa and Papou was you! Much Love to you, Paul July 6, 2014 at 2:40pm Reply

  • Novice: A most beautiful and touching story. Thank you for sharing this with us. July 11, 2014 at 3:47am Reply

  • MontrealGirl: Annette, I love your presentation! Thanks for sharing. I’m also so glad you included the photos; it is wonderful to see the beautiful faces of the women that wore these treasures with pride. The Soir de Paris by Bourjois bottle design is absolutely stunning; so quintessential art deco. It’s a real masterpiece. My Grandmother used to wear Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps and I used to love the bottle for its two glass doves on the lid designed by Lalique. I unfortunately don’t have one of her old bottles but thanks to your story I just looked it up and discovered that it launched after the World War II, in 1948, and the dove on the top is a symbol of peace. Now I can add another lovely association to my Grandmother and her perfume. I also got to recall that one of the smells I associate with my Grandmother was her hairspray! LOL! She took such pride in her long hair that she always coiffed up into a chignon. Once in a while a get a whiff of that scent and it always makes me smile. Have a lovely summer! July 16, 2014 at 8:14pm Reply

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  • Victoria in Coffee and Flowers: I completely forgot about this perfume. It’s excellent. Thank you for reminding me about it. June 18, 2024 at 7:03am

  • Andrea SD in Coffee and Flowers: A*Men by Thierry Mugler has a really pronounced Arabica / Espresso note. A proper lift-me-up. June 18, 2024 at 6:02am

  • Victoria in Coffee and Flowers: What a great description! June 18, 2024 at 4:30am

  • Judith Attar in Coffee and Flowers: I always thought that Margiela Untitled smelled of coffee and shampoo, ie a London bus in morning rush hour. June 18, 2024 at 4:28am

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