Scent of a Memory

After reading Ellen’s post about perfume-making, I was wafted back to a happy scented memory from childhood. I had the chicken pox or the measles … something that itched. I scratched and I whined. I had even tired of my favorite “when-sick-at-home” tv program, Leave It To Beaver. I languished on the sofa, pitiful. In an attempt to keep my hands busy and not scratching, my parents presented me with the most perfect get-well-present-ever … my very own official no-kidding “Make Your Own Perfume Kit.” At that moment, through my eyes, mom and dad suddenly became even more wonderful than Ward and June Cleaver.


The box seemed huge. (Although today I’m guessing that it was about the same size as a Candyland box.) Inside were thousands (okay, probably tens) of bottles and dobbers and all things needed to make your very own perfume. It was like a floral candy factory and I was Cathy Wonka!

And, to my parents’ delight, it kept me busy for days. I became a mad scientist of perfumery. I created every blend imaginable, and then some. Labels were provided, so I could design the packaging and name my inventive aroma blends: Geranium Girl, Smell The Daisies, Cathy’s Love Potion. To this day, when I smell certain sweet smells, I am transported to the short time in my life when I was a prolific and successful perfume manufacturer.


When my chicken pox (or measles) finally went away, it was perfect timing. The oils, bottles, cottons and labels provided were all gone. I was ready to share my discoveries with the world. Off I went to third grade … smelling like a garden!


Do you have a memory of a favorite game or present you received as a child? If so, please share it with us. And, you might want to share the link with the person who gave it to you … perhaps he or she will be surprised and delighted that a little something given has remained a part of the fabric of your life all this time.

And, if you need a distraction for a sick little gal, you can buy a kit full of scented surprises here or here. (Caution: You may have to put your little inventor in the backyard to “air out” from time to time.)


  1. Ellen October 17, 2011

    I love the flying braids!

  2. Cathy Camacho October 18, 2011

    Cathy I loved your sweet story and illustrations! My favorite memory is much like yours. I was 6 years old undergoing open heart surgery. (Ventricular Septal Defect- hole repair) All I could think about during my hospital recovery was my one toy request: the Hasbro Sno-Man Snow Cone Maker. The commercial on tv would send me over the edge! I remember walking in the door to a family welcome home party, disoriented from a 12 day hospital bed camp out, and I bee-lined for my much anticipated Snow Cone Maker. It was the sweetest thing I ever saw (and tasted)! I made snow cones for everyone for days! A memory I will never forget! Thanks Mom!

  3. Author
    Cathy Heck October 20, 2011

    And I love your sweet story (literally!) … we are snow-cone lovers in this house, too! … And, wow, open heart surgery at 6 years old … I am sure your mom was so very happy that you were well enough to even want a snow cone! :-)

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