The scent of you. Burts bees skin cream. She would put that on after every shower. The steam and humidity of the shower carried it all through the house. It would permeate everything in the mornings. If I had been given the lucky draw of sleeping in it was one of the smells id wake up to. That and coffee. Mel would make a pot of coffee before starting her hour long preparations of getting ready in the morning. She would carry her coffee into the bathroom and start her day. Her time in the shower was not much longer then mine, but her preparations after seemed to go on for hours. I would never begrudge her that time. She was beautiful without doing a thing to her appearance but she still liked to go through her routine and I really did enjoy just laying in bed and hearing her fuss around behind the closed bathroom door. Know she was there.It would be shortly after I heard the shower go off that the smell of fresh coffee would be overtaken by the scent of Burt’s bees body lotion. It would come through the hallway and into our bedroom. I don’t know how much she used but it was enough for her to go from head to toes in it. I’m not so reserved to mention that along with smelling it the image of her applying it would also enter into my thoughts at times too. She had dozens of different products that were used through her morning ritual. A five pound bag of just brushes and applicators for whatever different things she had picked up over the years that she brought into her routine. But for all of them there are a select few that just engulf my thoughts and bring me back to a a multitude of different moments simultaneously.
Tom Ford Tobacco. We had been watching some television show and Tom Ford was mentioned. He’s a designer and from what I gleaned from Mel a pretty cool brand to own. She had told me she loved his perfumes, specifically one called Tobacco.So on the first birthday we celebrated as a couple I thought it would be a nice gesture to get her something from him. I went to Holt Renfrew. As a bit of a back story Mel had worked there for a few years way back in the day and apparently never took home a pay cheque because she spent every cent she made there. When she passed away I went through her closet and she had at least fifteen purses and dozens of shoes that when purchased retailed for between a minimum of five hundred dollars up to ten thousand. Keep in mind she got a staff discount so it was really only two hundred and fifty to five thousand dollars. Each. Anyway I can say that at thirty eight years old I had never bought perfume for anyone. The last scent I had bought was probably Cool Water. For anyone who’s of my age, they should be able to back date that time to the early nineties and probably remember it from the pages of Stuff magazine. Or maybe Maxium?
I went through the perfume department looking for this Ford fellows stuff. I also might need to point out generally I really hate perfumes and unnatural scents. Like I really hate them. Nothing irritates me more then someone coming into my restaurant with a cloud of smells on them.
But being as I really wanted to do something special for Mel I was going to give it a try. I went up to the counter and explained was looking for something for my girlfriend. “Do you have Tobacco by Tim Ford?”. “ Tom Ford?” She corrected me. “Yes, that guy”. They did. She showed me some smaller bottles and when she let me smell it I was so relieved to find it was pleasant. I fell in love just a bit more knowing Mel had such good taste and liked one of the few perfumes I had encountered that I liked. Being as I had no clue as to what constituted a reasonable amount of a bottle I went with the “bigger is better!” Approach and asked her for their largest bottle. It was a two hundred and fifty mil bottle. Around eight hundred dollars I recall.
When I gave it to her she was touched and also laughed at how huge it was. She explained that that bottle will probably be around for Tuesday to use, and maybe her kids too. I didn’t know, I thought it was like deodorant. A bunch under each armpit and you’re good to go. It is one of the few perfumes I love. Its subtle but mostly it was what she put on whenever we went out together. I don’t know if she did it because she felt guilty I had bought so much but either way I love it.
Pikake flowers. Mel would wear that scent often. I didn’t know what it was at the time just that I knew I liked how she smelled. I was only after a few years of living together that I realized she loved this flower from Hawaii. I knew the smell from childhood because of all the time I spent in Maui. It was a common thread that we shared. She loved Hawaii and so did i. I don’t remember ever seeing a bottle of it anywhere but I knew when she had put it on. It’s an amazingly beautiful scent. After she passed I found the little blue bottle she had of it and sprayed a little puff in the air. It was like being hit by a truck of memories. I was so overcome with emotions just smelling it. I missed her so damn much. Ever memory I had of her coming downstairs or walking into the room wearing it hit me. It just floored me. I keep it beside her ashes now and will mist a little on her spot when I feel like just being with her. It probably sounds a little weird to do that but its just something that connects me to her so I just do it.
And the Burts Bees. Tonight Tuesday had a little eczema spot on her elbows and I didn’t have the usual cream we use so I just grabbed what was in the bathroom and put it on her. To be honest I had forgotten about that one. Tuesday got real excited when I put it on and said “that was what mommy would used for our massages!” . Her and Mel would do this thing after Tuesday’s baths where they pretended to have a massage business in Tuesday’s room. Mel and her would lay out towels and set things up then Tuesday would run downstairs and tell me they were going to be busy for the next while and to not bother them. Tonight she told me all about how her and mom operated there massage parlour. I was trying not to get choked up because Tues was so happy and excited telling me all about it. I’m so glad she has that same reaction to this scent of her mother. I know as she gets older the memories are going to fade, but that one is hopefully going to stick with her forever. She remembers every detail of her mother holding her and touching her in those moments and I’m so glad she has that.