An Affair to Remember: Champagne Cocktails and Chanel no. 22


Chanel no. 22 will  forever remind me of that iconic love story, An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. The lovers mirror one another  as they each order a champagne cocktail. When they get up to leave the bar together, Deborah dips a fingertip into her glass and gracefully dabs a drop of pink champagne behind each ear.  Perfect.

I want to say that Chanel no. 22 smells like effervescent marshmallow tinted with delicate rose. It tickles the back of your nostrils like fizzy champagne dusted with confectionery sugar. But marshmallows aren’t elegant, and neither am I, as I am typing this with Cheeto dust on my fingertips, but  Chanel no. 22 is smooth, beautiful and elegant. Cheeto cravings aside, I deserve to wear it.

I know this because Chanel no. 22 is in my wardrobe as a reward to myself for accomplishing a goal that meant a great deal to me. Last autumn, I was given an opportunity to put together two workshops as part of a wellness series for the Mental Health Association of Essex County’s Intensive Family Support Services. This fabulous organization provides  a myriad of support services for individuals who have a family member with mental illness. They truly understand the impact that mental illness has on families and offer practical support, advocacy, and psychosocial services. My workshops were called The Power of Presence: Guided Visualization and Meditation, and The Power of Image: Mandala Journaling. Each one incorporated a hands on art component. Crafting these interactive sessions allowed me to share how both art and mindfulness have been healing agents in my life, and to demonstrate them as easy to use, universal tools, accessible to anyone. I left each workshop flying high, having experienced authentic connection with fellow sojourners. I later punctuated this experience by adding a small bottle of no. 22 to my collection.

Chanel no. 22 ties together so many threads of my experience. It’s simply beautiful like the old romantic movies, and filled with associations of accomplishment, success and optimism. It always exudes an atmosphere of happiness, adding celebration to your everyday happenings. Though there are some who would wag a figure at my lack of propriety, I have zero qualms about wearing the terribly refined no. 22 while eating Cheetos in my pajamas. Yes, I am one confident woman in this baby!

If you click on the links for no.22 above, you can read excellent reviews that include specific fragrant notes and a bit of history at Olfactaria’s Travels and Bois de Jasmin, respectively.

Which of your fragrances remind you of special milestones in your life?


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About reneetamara

Writing about death, mental illness, spirituality, art and perfume. Because beauty feeds the soul, and love is beyond what we think.

7 responses to “An Affair to Remember: Champagne Cocktails and Chanel no. 22”

  1. Amanda says :

    Scents and fragrances have a way of evoking memories like nothing else! I have a hard time pinpointing what fragrance or scent reminds me of what, until I smell it and then, within seconds, I’m overcome by memories.

    I love to have a variety of perfumes for this very reason. You can “capture” memories, wonderful, tragic or bittersweet, even more easily when you switch the fragrance you wear from year to year, or even night to night. You may not know it at the moment you choose to wear it, but in the future, that scent will bring you back to a moment far more easily and quickly than words, sights or sounds can.

    • reneetamara says :

      Isn’t it amazing how scent is like a little time machine that way? So true. Sometimes scent associations can be deliberate, such as when you choose one for a special event like a wedding or graduation, but I think what you describe is more the case: those unexpected moments of scent serendipity that leave lasting impressions.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Amanda. I am also enjoying your blog very much.

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