A childhood memory of my mother has to be Evening in Paris perfume. It was touted in the 1950’s as “the fragrance more women wear than any other in the world!” When she and my dad would go out for the evening, as she would bend down to kiss me goodbye, the sweet smell of Evening in Paris would fill my nostrils until they returned. I have always associated the scent of that perfume with my mom and happy times.
Each Mother’s Day, my sister and I were given a small amount of money to purchase something for my mom. That was easy! I had my dad drive me to the local Grey Drug Store, where I would scan the cosmetics counter until I spotted that cobalt blue bottle. Ahhh…Evening in Paris!
Even though she knew, in advance, what her gift would be, she always was thrilled to get her gift of Evening in Paris.
Years later, my mother lay dying in her bedroom, suffering the pain of cancer. And, this was before many of today’s pain management drugs were available. Members of our family would take turns spending some time with her. We would hold hands; pray the rosary, and talk, when she was able.
On her bedroom dresser were two things that meant a lot to her. One was her Infant Jesus of Prague statue that we got her for Christmas one year. It was the kind of statue that you could purchase outfits for that could be changed depending on the liturgical season. My sister would keep her supplied with many options, with her gift money for mom.
And next to that was her bottle of Evening in Paris, prominently displayed. You would never have suspected that it was simply inexpensive drug store perfume. You would have thought that it was the most expensive perfume in the world, imported from France.
I recently read where Evening in Paris perfume was back on the shelves, although reformulated. And it’s expensive now. The cobalt blue bottles from back in the 1940’s and 50’s are worth many times more as antiques that the perfume cost back then.
Today is Mother’s Day. Please remember your mother today. Don’t forget to tell her how much you love her, and remember it is not how much a gift costs, but the lifetime of memories that might result. It just might be her Evening in Paris!
Lucy Marciano Agnesi, my mom, would have celebrated her 64th Mother’s Day today.
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