Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Relative Term

One-a-Day Photo Challenge
Day Twenty-Three:  Something Old

My house is full of old things. I've been thinking about them, trying to decide which one to photograph for today's post. You've already seen some of the oldest items I have: the letter written to my great-great-great-grandfather in 1858, my great-grandmother's family bible  from the late 1890s, the bone-handled knife that was my grandparents' wedding gift in 1919. I haven't yet shown you my grandfather's WWI army enlistment document or the pouch of rations booklets my great-aunt saved from WWII, but those deserve respectful posts of their own someday.

So I looked around. And decided, finally, on this:

I first became acquainted with Frances Denney's Interlude in 1967, and it immediately became my favorite scent. I wore it for years and years and years, never tiring of the fragrance or the frequent compliments it generated.

It's still available, apparently. The bottle hasn't even changed much. And it's still drawing rave reviews. It tickled me to read some of those reviews and see that they were as much about memory associations as they were about the product.

When I came across this old bottle of cologne in my house, I was surprised to find it. I had  stopped wearing scents in the early '90s, after grass and pollen allergies suddenly expanded to include other people's colognes and aftershave lotions. According to my calculations, that makes the bottle of cologne in the photo more than twenty years old.

Old is a relative term, don't you think? Twenty years seems ridiculously old for cologne, but you see the cracked-glass lamp that's behind it in the picture? That lamp was my mother's. I don't know for sure how old it is, but I dug around a little bit yesterday and found it in a snapshot dated December 1960. And that walnut table the lamp is sitting on? That's actually the Danish Modern cabinet of a sewing machine, a gift from my father when my younger daughter was ten months old, making it 48 this month. The lamp and the sewing machine are much older than the cologne, yet I don't think of them as being past some unspecified expiration date.

Old cologne, on the other hand, has an ick factor. I wouldn't wear it even if I didn't have allergies. Nevertheless, curiosity got the best of me yesterday. I threw caution to the wind, took the lid off the bottle, and took a big whiff. You know what? It smells as good as I remembered.


  1. Oh wow, I remember Interlude! I had no idea it was still available. Great trip down memory lane!

  2. Pottery Barn has similar lamps in their current catalog!! Some old things become new again!

  3. You SHOULD wear it! I think GOOD cologne holds up for a long time. And the good stuff never bothers my sinuses... it's the cheap crap that some people wear that send me running for my tissues!


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