April 10, 2024

I - Imari


Theme: Grief Work and Healing Journey

When my mom passed away, I finally realized why people become so attached to their loved one's clothes (and it’s because we live our lives in our clothes, memories are attached to them, and our scent clings to them). I had a hard time dealing with my mom’s clothes because I could picture her wearing them, and then there was the fact that they still smelled like her. Not her perfume, but her.

Although her clothes and her room didn’t smell like her signature perfume—because she had been out of her signature perfume for over a year—I found myself wanting to smell it for comfort and to remember my mom.

Our sense of smell is powerful. We can catch the whiff of something and be brought back to a time when we were children. We can pass by a stranger in a store, catch the scent they are wearing and recall our mom or dad or teacher or [fill-in-the-blank] using that same scent.

For me, AVON scents hold powerful memories. 

My mom sold AVON for years.

I even sold AVON for years.

My mom’s favorite perfume is Imari by AVON.

She also loved Haiku by AVON.

Another perfume she loved, although not by AVON, was Shishado.

My mom loved to get the Imari and Haiku perfumes and powders (back when they sold powder). I can vividly recall my mom sprinkling the scented powder beneath her mattress sheet after it’d been washed and shaking some into her pillowcases whenever she changed them. Her bed always smelled so delicious and indulgent and warm and safe when I was growing up.

She liked AVON’s shower gels, too, such as the cherry blossom and rose scents. My mom loved anything with a rose scent. I currently have her Rose perfume from Bath and Body Works. In fact, that became my go-to perfume after my mom passed away to help me feel close to her. I still use it.

Soon after my mom passed away, I wanted to buy a bottle of Imari perfume just so I could spritz some on her bed. I don’t have an AVON lady, but my local flea market has an AVON booth, which is where my mom and I would buy our AVON products when we had extra money and wanted to drive to the flea market. My sister and I spent the day together mid-April and went to the flea market. My only goal…my one purpose for that trip…was to buy a bottle of Imari perfume. And I did. Smelling it was like being wrapped up in my mom’s arms.

When I was reading the book Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom’s Graphic Novel by Tyler Feder, there’s a page titled Cliché Grief Remedies that Actually Work, and one illustration on that page says, “Spraying their perfume or cologne on one of their shirts and hugging it.”

I did not spray a shirt to hug, but I did spray her bed, a pillow, and a partially-finished blanket she was making that I now sleep with at night.

Using their favorite perfume or cologne really does help.


  1. So right. Smell can be so evocative, and provocative come to think of it. My mum was also an Avon Lady back in the seventies. I decided not to follow in her footsteps. ha ha. Just visiting on the A to Z hop.

  2. What a lovely post. Scents are so important in evoking our memories.

  3. In my favorite Christmas movie, the boy goes to a perfume counter to buy a perfume that reminds him of his dead mother. Being able to smell it makes him feel close to her.

    1. Aw. That’s so sweet and heartbreaking at once.

  4. Yes, scents are memory-invoking. My memory is of English Leather cologne, worn by guys when I was in high school -- and sold at our local department store. One whiff and I am right back there.

    1. It’s amazing how a scent can transport us through time.