Annette: 1 post

Annette Reynolds is the author of two novels. Born in Greece, she grew up in California, and now lives in a 100 year old house in Washington state. Her passions are books, her garden, her animals, her Michael, and trying to relive the past through fragrance.
Right now her favorite scents are Oppononax by Les Nereides, Organza Indecence by Givenchy, L’eau de L’eau by Diptyque, and Battito d’Ali by Profumum Roma. More about her publications can be found at

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.

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