May 8, 2010
Thinking about my mom’s olfactory portrait conjures up many memories of the past. Often when I think of my mother there is sheer laughter in my heart, she was a very funny woman. It’s been 10 years since she crossed over and I still laugh at her antics, they continue to teach me and are the source of my strength.
One her favorite quotes, “you have to suffer to be beautiful,” was one of the things she used to say when her clients would be in the thralls of receiving a perm and squirming from sheer burn of it. When I apply this quote to life it has great significance, especially when one has set out to live a life connect to spirit.
Frances Louise Hughes was a hardy woman, not your typical girly type she defied category. Her love of nature and unordinary things lead her to be cosmetologist, but she enjoyed spending long hours on the Bayou fishing, gardening, betting the horses and cooking all kinds of foods.
Having grown up on a farm made her very aware of food and its diversity. She passed that on to her children by taking us to the country as the seasons changed to pick peaches, pecans, purple hulled peas, black berries and a whole host of fruits and vegetables. I learned from her my love of fresh foods, herbs and spice.
Looking back on this, I realized I had very good training for becoming a perfumer. The fragrance of food filled our home and I enjoyed the alchemy of taste derived by combining the elements of earth.
Georgia O'Keefe, Georgia Rose
So I would have to say, that earthy smells, mixed with her love of roses and honeysuckle would have be the fragrances that my mother was drawn to, which would probably explain the dark rich, flowery oriental perfumes she preferred.
Although there were many perfumes that sat on her dresser throughout the years, I would have to say the two that stood of the most were Opium by Yves St. Laurent and Rafinée by Houbigant. She absolutely adored these two fragrances that wore well with the vibrant colored silk dresses of the 80’s.
This was the mystery of her opposites, she loved boyish things, but her womanly side enjoyed the art of dressing up. So the Glam of the 60’s, the Bad Ass-ness of the 70’s and the Dynasty of the 80’s spoke about my mother in a way all the words I write cannot.
-Rodney Hughes, Natural Perfumes Editor