What would we be without our sense of smell? We would find it hard to eat, to know where there is danger or recognize our mate. Chemistry is an part of what makes us human; when mixed with the poetry of our souls we become complete. Memories are part of our experience on the planet and begin when we are very young. Some might say they begin at birth and influence the rest of our lives. This is what happened to me with the perfume by French designer Guy Laroche, Fidji (pictured) when I discovered it in my mother’s things shortly after she passed away. I opened a drawer where she kept her stash of her favorite perfumes: Chanel No. 5, L’Heure Bleu, Joy and Fidji were all neatly arranged in their boxes (still unopened). My mother was a stylish woman of the 1950’s so these choices are very much of that era except for Fidji. From the 1970’s, this scent is a classic from the house of Guy Laroche. Categorized as an oriental fragrance Fidji is like the “breaking bad” of fragrances when you have been a devoted Chanel girl. The intense floral notes of this fragrance are evocative of that mood of a desert island after the top notes of a more classical refined nature have subsided. Like a fine wine there is a complexity to this perfume that makes it a classic oriental fragrance with a modern twist. I imagine that my mother wanted to escape to that desert island herself on more than one occasion.
When I opened the bottle for the first time, the memories of my mother came flooding back; her sense of adventure, creativity and joy. This fragrance is the key that unlocks all those happy memories for me. When I am feeling a sense of sadness and loss I simply open this bottle, touch my wrists with its crystal stopper and close my eyes. The scent of this perfume gives me comfort, courage and a warm envelope of memories that surround me. In a world crowded with too many things, the isolation of our sense of smell is a powerful antidote.
Here are some of the unique advertising campaigns for this perfume that remains a world class fragrance and classic of the 1970s. If you are in Paris, you can find it at most pharmacies and online.