Help Me Live Vicariously Through Your Mother’s Day

Nothing makes me sadder than all of the “15% off of our perfumes for Mother’s Day!” emails that I’ve been getting for the past two months. I would love nothing more than to shower my mom with perfume for Mother’s Day, but she doesn’t wear perfume out of respect for my father’s alleged allergies. If my mom did permit perfume-related gifts, I think that I would choose a tea scent (she’s a big tea drinker). Something like Jo Malone Earl Grey and CucumberAtelier Cologne Oolang Infini, or L’Artisan The Pour un Ete.

But since she won’t, all I can do is plan my furbaby’s Mother’s Day present to me (I’m thinking that it’s going to be What We Do In Paris Is Secret, but she wants it to be a surprise) and live vicariously through all of y’all! So spill: what are you getting yo mama for Mother’s Day? Any perfume presents? Or, if your mother is 50 shades of Joan Crawford and you’d rather not talk about her, what are your furbabies and/or actual babies getting you?

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48 thoughts on “Help Me Live Vicariously Through Your Mother’s Day

  1. At the current moment, yes my mother is 50 shades of Joan Crawford if Mommy Dearest liked to shame her daughter for having a different opinion on human rights by passive aggressively misquoting oft quoted Bible verses on her FB. Not that my mum would wear a perfume anyway. She’s cited for years she was allergic. She’s not, she’s just made a career out of belittling and hating on anything I liked that she considered frivolous. Am I sounding bitter? I am very bitter right now.

    My furry step-kids might give me a bottle of something pretty this weekend. it depends on whether or not they decide they want to budget their money or just spend, spend, spend. Considering my mood of late, I believe it may be the latter. Mama wants a bottle of Carthusia Mediterraneo.

    1. Dude, so okay to be bitter. I threw that line in there because I know that far from everyone has a warm and fuzzy relationship with their mother. I am really glad that you continue to do the things that make you happy even if others consider them frivolous. Everyone has at least one “frivolous” habit, and perfume is a harmless (and relatively cheap) one. Hey, it’s better than drug and/or gambling addictions!

      I hope that you get your bottle of Carthusia Mediterraneo! If those ragdolls know what’s good for them… 😉

      1. The tragedy is I used to get along with my mother. We were very, very close when I was a child & teenager but she has changed into an entirely different person. She can’t help it partially because she does suffer from bi-polar disorder and whole slew over other things that I will just insensitively call ‘crazy’. She was this lovely Bohemian who spoke French & studied Shakespeare in college. But her mental imbalance coupled w/ my father’s religious nuttery — which become more pronounced as he got older — has destroyed her. She’s spent the past decade judging and belittling me for reasons unknown. I just try to give her wide berth these days & try not to challenge or upset her. I’ve not seen her in a year.

        And yes, Tiny Cat & Nikki better be pooling their resources, checking the sofa for loose change.

        1. Oh, that’s so awful, I’m so sorry. People with mental illnesses can be extremely vulnerable to religious extremism. I think that the aspects of religion that a mentally healthier person would find implausible and unreasonable might make more sense to someone whose reality perception is off.

          I deeply hope that your mother, and her relationship with you, can get better.

        2. Bipolar is so, so tough for family members to live with. Speaking from experience.

          So, so sorry that the relationship isn’t close. I loved my grandmother to death, but she drove me TOTALLY FREAKING NUTS.

          And my sister and I get along, but we do better with several hundred miles between us since I’m not saying something that hurts her feelings every other day. (Me: “WHAT? Look, I’m sorry. I love you and I didn’t mean to make you feel bad.” A: “Just the fact that you were trying to be delicate about it means you think I can’t handle it.” Me (thinking that obviously she can’t handle it: “Well, I’m sorry. I really am.” Ad infinitum. Aaaargh.)

  2. I’m very excited for my mother to get her present. I found an 8 place setting of her discontinued silver on eBay, and went together with a couple of siblings to get it for her to augment her dwindling supply (over 40 years, kids and grandkids can sometimes lose stuff).

    As for myself, it’s perfume goodies all around. Hubby got me Cuir Ottoman, Bones bought Le Temps d’une Fete, and Frodo picked up a getting-hard-to-find bottle of Ex Libris. All of these lovelies, (plus some things I’ve purchased myself in the last few months) will be arriving May 28th when my scent mule makes her way up here.

    1. Awww, what a sweet gift! And you got the hook-up in a major way this Mother’s Day, lady! I’m very impressed by all of the men in your house.

  3. I’ll be lucky if my son aka Coder even calls me! I sent him hints through the interwebs – a Katwise sweater I was lusting after, and a Nook cover. He doesn’t understand my love of perfume since it’s not hardware! For MY mom, she’ll get a coupon for a trip to the art museum with me (seriously…we love hanging out and having lunch together, so this is a good gift for her!)

    1. Did you forget to install his perfume chip, Frida?? You have to upgrade to the 2.0 for that update 😉
      What art museum will you and your mom be going to?? We have so many, living near the Smithsonians, that I can never decide where to take mine.

      1. hahahaaa, I must have!!! We live in the Cleveland area – they’re having a Rembrandt exhibition. There is also an art museum here in my town (Oberlin) but we’ll go to the Rembrandt show!

  4. I no longer have a Mom to spoil on Mother’s Day 😦 However, I do have a Blue Mercury gift certificate left over from the holidays that is burning a hole in my wallet. It will probably be spent on a bottle of Serge Lutens.

    1. I’m so sorry, Lala. I hope that you get through this weekend feeling okay. Which Lutens are you thinking of? bluemercury is one of my very favorite stores for perfume shopping.

  5. My mom’s getting a tiny bottle of L’Effleur, which is discontinued and which she used to love. I’m not getting anything scented, unless you count geraniums to go in the porch hanging baskets (I don’t count that, myself). And that’s okay.

    That new bottle of Le Temps d’une Fete I bought myself was probably supposed to be an anniversary present. CEO was making noises about jewelry, but I just couldn’t handle that.

  6. I got my mom something this year – I haven’t gotten her an actual present in years. For several years I was too poor to get her anything and then last year, I could’ve gotten her something, but I forgot. D’oh. I suck.

    I wanted to get her something nice, so I took a risk – I got her this special teacup that was on Oprah’s favorites list. It has an infuser that fits into the lid of the cup so that it makes it really easy to brew a single serving of loose leaf tea. I’m hoping she likes it. She LOVES tea but has never done loose leaf so I thought it might be fun to try for her. I also got her some loose leaf Earl Grey… I hope she likes it!

    My mom does not like perfume. She doesn’t claim allergies, she just plain doesn’t like it.

    As far as what I’m hoping to get, I’m mostly hoping they didn’t spend too much on me. LOL. My daughter is too little to know what’s going on or buy anything, so it would come from my fiance. I have no idea what ‘they’ got. Just flowers would be fine. But I probably wouldn’t be angry if they got me perfume, LOL. My mom already sent me a nice card and a $25 check and said to go get a nice lunch after church for Mothers’ Day, which was sweet of her.

    1. She’ll love it!! Loose leaf is terribly exciting, and a big improvement on packaged teas. It is also way too complicated for me, which is why I stick to coffee!

        1. I LOVE THOSE MUGS! I love the ritual of loose lead tea, but keep bagged tea around as well for the convenience. Well done! :o)

  7. My mom and I have an OK relationship – one that is better with a few miles between us (I live in San Diego, she lives in MD). I got her a little gift set from Crabtree & Evelyn of “gardener’s” stuff – hand lotion, etc, in a very cute little tin. My mom is a bit of a hoarder, so for the longest time, I have tried to not buy her any “stuff” for gifts, and just got her flowers or restaurant gift cards so she wouldn’t accumulate any more junk but this was pretty cute and useful, since she does enjoy gardening.

    1. Oh, perfect! My mom tries very hard to convince herself that she enjoys gardening. It’s hard to get too much to grow in MD!! We usually get at least a few strawberries, though.

  8. At this time,my mother is in assisted living…she is 100 yrs. old,with her mind as sharp as EVER,takes no meds,and has all her own teeth..:):):)…!!…She is a real ‘corker’,as we used to say…and I love talking to her….she started my deep love of perfume,at age 10,…letting me choose my own:Mary Chess Tapestry & Yram,and Saks had their own blend:We Moderns,(which I just scooped off of e-bay)…She wore an oriental blend made by Neiman’s and Diorissimo….I will not be getting anything perfumy for Mother’s Day,as she has a tendancy to flush things down the toilet!(she doesn’t know why,and it embaresses her…last week it was her oatmeal,bowl & all…love this blog,and your perfume reviews are spot on…carry on perfumistas…carry on…

    1. Wow! Your mother sounds like an absolute wonder, Annie! I never knew that Saks and Neiman’s used to have their own fragrances- do you know when they stopped doing that?

      1. I would bet it stopped in the 60’s…I had my last bottle while in HS,and that was the last time I saw a bottle of the Neiman’s,on her dressing table…The Diorissimo of today,is a mere shadow of it’s former self….she bought her first bottle on Worth Ave in Palm Beach,as they were ‘introducing it,by billowing the fragrance out into the street…she stopped dead in her tracks,and said,”what IS that wonderful smell!!”…fun to have those memories,as I now live on pennies,but have managed a bottle of AG Ninfeo Mio for myself,and I do smell sooo good,in my Goodwill goodies…such is life…..

        1. Was the Neiman’s scent called Fauve (in a triangle-shaped bottle)? [I scored a bottle of Fauve EDT on eBay several months ago; bought it more out of curiosity than anything else, since I didn’t know they had their own scent.] If this IS the same one, contact me at snchamness at msn dot com and we’ll work out a way to get this to you.

        2. You smell AMAZING, Annie! Ninfeo Mio is my favorite Annick Goutal by far. Also, the commenter below me (Sharon) is seriously the most generous perfume lover on the planet, so if you do end up emailing her, I suspect you will be able to get your hands on some Fauve even with pennies.

  9. Arielle, I will be giving my mother a large bottle of White Linen. She loves it. Can’t get her to wear anything else. Any recommendations for a different and classier choice that you have reason to believe might appeal to a White Linen lover?

    FYI, my mother and I have been through hard times. Took me until I became a mother myself (at 41) to grasp even a little of what life had been like from her perspective, not that anyone ever truly understands another person’s experience. Still, the practice opens me up, gets me out of my own neurosis and makes me a slightly more compassionate person. Bigger bonus – we have a great relationship!

    1. Eeee! White Linen is what my grandma wears too, Debra!! I suspect that a White Linen lover might enjoy Chanel No. 22 (from the Les Exclusif collection), as both scents are heavy on aldehydes.

      I’m so happy to hear that you and your mom have a great relationship, and congratulations on your own (relatively recent?) motherhood!

      1. Thank you, Ari! I will try your suggestion!

        My motherhood is not recent. Over twenty years ago I met, fell in love, and married a very handsome and wild Latino man. He gave me the gift of a lifetime – a beautiful daughter that inherited all his best traits. She is intense, wild, passionate, creative. I love her more than seems possible.

        She turned 19 this past March. Her name is Helen Julisa. 🙂

        Keep writing, Ari. You’re brilliant.

        1. OMG! Mrs. Kupfer, finding out that you are now a reader was honestly the highlight of my day. I think about and miss you and Julisa all the time and never shut up about you two to my boyfriend. I was already planning to send Julisa a belated birthday present (perfume and Invader Zim socks) and a few little things for you; now I’ll make sure to include a sample of the No. 22.

  10. Ari, I wish my mom were still around to give a gift to. She loved perfume so much – started my passion. She loved Shalimar most of all and wore it almost exclusively but only if it was bottled in Paris – she swore the perfume bottled in America didn’t smell the same. She used Mary Chess carnation bath oil. Which I’d love to find on ebay. I hope you have a great day with your Mom!

    1. M.J., thank you for sharing these touching perfume memories of your mom with us. I love that she insisted on Parisian-bottled Shalimar! I am so sorry that she is no longer with us, and I hope that you get through this weekend okay. I won’t actually be able to spend Mother’s Day with my mom (I’ll be taking my Stem Cells final!), but I know that she’ll have a great time with my dad and little brother.

  11. My Mom has a thing for owls, so I got her these really cute owl measuring cups from West Elm that stack inside themselves like Russian nesting dolls. I asked her if she wanted body care, fragrance or jewelry for the second half of her present and she said jewelry.

    I got her a “Mom” Alex & Ani bracelet in silver and then got a “Daughter” one for both my sister and I. http://www.alexandani.com/collections-new/because-i-love-you.html

    From my fur-babies, I’m hoping for a bottle of L’Ombre dans l’Eau. (Which I was going to buy for myself, but clearly I went a smidge overboard on the M-Day gifts.) Thought, it’s a bit problematic, since neither Harley nor Ezra can use the internet OR ride the MBTA to get to Barney’s. Sadly their Dad’s out of town until Monday. 😉

    1. I HAVE SEEN THOSE OWL MEASURING CUPS AND THEY ARE THE ABSOLUTE CUTEST. I might even start baking again if I had those (wait, no I wouldn’t, but they’re still terribly cute). Nicely done!

      It’s so insensitive of your kittehs to not have learned how to use the internet to buy your Diptyque. What are you feeding them for, anyway???

      1. Mom got the box today and flipped out over the owls! (I had to explain how to get the bracelet on!)

        My cats are totally acting out with their Dad gone. Ezra’s knocking things over for spite and Harley’s calling me a “witch”. They miss their Dad, he’s the softer touch. I’m “mean Mommy”, yet they love me!

  12. My furbabies sprang for a box of Estee (Lauder) bath powder through some mysterious mind control on my DH. My mom and mother-in-law are no longer here, but I hope that everyone else who has (or is) a mom/grandmother/mother-in-law has a wonderful Mother’s Day!

    1. Those Estee bath powders are so freaking glamorous- how thoughtful of your furbabies and husband! 😀 I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day too, Sharon!

  13. Not this year. And maybe not any more? When my Mom was visiting me last year, I helped her find a fragrance that she really loves. And, of course, as a non-perfumista and someone who grew up having one fragrance only, she now only wears this one. So, I found a signature scent for my Mom. Once we knew for sure what it was, I took her to the House of Perfumes in portland and we bought it. I had her pick one fragrance in the store herself, helped by the SAs there. So she came away with two bottles. But she really only wears and loves her signature, which is L’Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons. She does not want anything else! and it feels bittersweet to me.

    1. Ah, and since I have no children, I never considered I had a chance for the holiday. But after reading your post, I realized that I am a proud Mama of two furbabies. They’ve been really good to me — they dumped their piggy-banks and got me a bunch of jasmine soliflore samples. As long as you’re not catching the whiff, I am content 😉

    2. Oh nooo, you did such a good job with your mom that you put yourself out of business! 😉 But think of all of the La Chasse aux Papillons auxiliary products that you can now get her! There’s a body oil, a solid perfume, a body cream…

      1. Oh Hey! you’re so right! My Mom is a person with skin issues though. But she probably could put the smelly body lotion over her serious body lotion, and a solid perfume for carrying with her is a perfect idea.

        Ha, I did the same job for my aunt! She was dreaming about #5 but would never get it for herself (too frivolous for her to get perfume for herself) and I gave her a set for her birthday. She was e-l-a-t-e-d. I am pretty sure that now I’ll be just refreshing her #5 body products until the bottle of perfume runs out :). And then I will also know what to do 🙂

    1. I must admit that the “furbaby mother’s day” concept is far from original, but it’s a new tradition that I’m very glad to embrace! 😀

  14. Ari, I’m so glad you don’t mind that I’m reading your Scents of Self blog. (I was truly afraid you’d respectfully ask me to bug off and blog elsewhere!!) I can’t tell you how much i enjoy your intelligent reviews and the warmth and wit in every one of your posts. I’m not at all surprised that you have amassed a devoted community of participants! You can add me to the list of your most avid fans!

    We miss you, too! You know that Julisa is coming home on the 23rd, right? That’s less than two weeks away!! I’m so excited to see her although we spent over a week with her (and Finn!) just last month and had an amazing time!

    I imagine coming home is going to be a tough transition. I know she will be contacting you as soon as she arrives (well maybe as soon as she wakes up after she arrives!) to get together. She loves you so much, Ari.

    So maybe one day this summer you’ll consent to joining me on a new perfume finding adventure? I have a very specific problem with perfumes. Most of them turn incredibly “sweet” on me after about five minutes. It’s really annoying. I know that all perfumes interact with body chemistry (although I don’t understand the science bahind it like you do) and I’d love to find one or two new scents that are different and more adventurous/intriguing than what I usually wear, i.e. Paris, Happy or Coco (please don’t yell at me!!)

    Anyway, we love and miss you, Ari. See you soon!! ❤

  15. My mom passed away four years ago, but a favorite of hers during my childhood was Evening in Paris (I’m actually wearing some vintage parfum today). An all-time favorite was Coty’s L’Origan, and a much later one was Calvin Klein Eternity. I got that for her on the last Christmas before her death.

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