Bluegrass was launched by the design house of Elizabeth Arden in 1934. That seems odd to me, I thought it was a 1970’s fragrance. I guess that’s because I was most aware of Bluegrass in the 70’s and early 80’s. In addition to a beautiful honeysuckle perfume, my grandmother wore Bluegrass.
When I was a child, I thought my grandmother smelled so good. My grandmother didn’t have much money at all, so she wasn’t able to wear glamorous clothing or jewelry or makeup, but she always look good, “neat as a pin” she would say, and she always smelled fresh. Sometimes she made her own clothing and other times she would buy simple items from discount stores that she would dress up with a scarf or a pin. She never looked wealthy or sophisticated but she always carried herself well and was kind, charming, extremely neat, clean and precisely put together.
In the spring I think of my grandmother more often. She loved the bright yellow forsythia bushes, the daffodils (which should called jonquils – are they different?), tulips and pansies. She never had a car or her driver’s license so she walked everywhere. In the spring she would walk into town and do her shopping and always pick up cards to send to her grandchildren, usually with a few dollars tucked inside.
Perhaps not surprising for a perfumista but one of the most vivid memories I have of my grandmother was her smell. I didn’t even know she wore Bluegrass until a few months ago when I asked my mother if she knew what her perfume was called. Bluegrass, said my mom. Recently I saw Bluegrass at a drugstore for $15 so I bought it. I came home and couldn’t wait to spritz it on, to see if it smelled as nice as it did on her. Well, it doesn’t smell good. It smells an awful lot like laundry detergent and a strong fresh greenish floral fragrance. It made me so sad. My grandmother probably wore Bluegrass because it was available at the drugstore and affordable to her. But then I realized I shouldn’t be sad. I always thought she smelled so good, and surely everyone who knew her did, too. Maybe Bluegrass, like everything else, has been reformulated. Whatever the case, it smelled beautiful and fresh on her.
I like to think that having the great sense of humor that my grandmother did, she would find it amusing that I bought a bottle of Bluegrass that is currently being used as a bathroom air freshener. In fact, it’s a fantastic bathroom freshener, far superior to Lysol or any of the other scents created to mask yucky bathroom odors. Bluegrass doesn’t just mask the scent in a room – it takes over! It’s clean smelling and lingers for quite a long time. Perhaps it’s on the pricey side for an air freshener but in a silly way I’ve been thinking so often of my grandmother lately – and getting a chuckle when that fresh & clean smell wafts down the hallway from the bathroom.