Chanel No. 5, Mother, and Mark’s birthday



My mother wore Chanel No 5 all her life. I recall, as a kid, wondering why anyone would splash on toilet water! Gross! I could never figure out how something that smelled so lovely had such a dumb name.

Yesterday, while looking for something to wear to yet another job interview, I was inexplicably drawn to the Chanel counter. Near the bottom of the polished glass case were the bottles of No 5 Eau de Toilette. The young woman staffing the display took some out and spritzed a sample card. I immediately teared up! Mother might just as well have been standing beside me.

She and I were best buds when I was small; lunches out at Sibley’s or McCurdy’s department stores in downtown Rochester, NY (we always had chicken salad on white bread, crusts trimmed with a (shared) cheesecake chaser). At Christmas there was breakfast with Santa. Yes, I am a child of the fifties. 

And so, standing at the Chanel counter, I bought a little bottle of Chanel No 5, sprayed a tiny bit close to my heart this morning and thought of another whom I love, my brother Mark, who would be 67 today! Though not here in the flesh, he is with us is so many, many ways. Be sure to look for a rambly, photo-filled blog after Thnksgiving. We will be spending it with Mark’s widow and my nephew in Asheville, NC!


One thought on “Chanel No. 5, Mother, and Mark’s birthday

  1. A very, very nice remembrance.

    My mom had some Chanel No. 5, not the “eau de toilet”, but the “parfum” version. She opted for something with a gardenia or jasmine scent.


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