I was walking through a local store when I passed a section where men and women’s cologne and perfume were displayed. I stopped and looked at some old fragrances I had not seen in years. English Leather, Old Spice, Jade East, and Brut. My cologne preferences changed many years ago. These oldies sparked some long-forgotten memories.
I reached down and picked up a bottle of Brut cologne and opened the container to take in a long-forgotten fragrance. Immediately it was 1966. I was driving my 57 Chevy on a warm California summer night heading out to pick up my date. Other fragrances were also present in the car that night – the leather tuck and roll upholstery, leaded gas, and the warmth of a summer night swirling through my open window and around my head. It was a free-feeling memory of my youth when life was explored without responsibility carried along by the new and unfamiliar experiences of a youthful life accented by the fragrances of a particular moment in time.
When I placed the bottle of Brut back in its place on the store shelf, I also returned the memories of the past to their place in history. As much as I enjoyed the momentary trip back into my youth, I was glad to be who I am today, not that kid in 1966.
As I stood in the store aisle, I was reminded of the power of memory and what can trigger its recollection, the good and the bad. All memories require a place on the shelf of life. They aren’t meant to lead our lives. They are reminders of what we lived through as we moved forward in life. We are no longer the person portrayed in the memory. That is not a sad thing. It is simply part of growing up and moving on with life enjoying the fragrance of each new experience that marks the milestones of our journey.