The Perfumery! Never felt the need for a dressing table?


Ever felt the need for pink fluffy talk?

I haven’t ever had a dressing table with a stool but my grandparents and my parents always had one and there was always a sort of air of female mystery to them; drawers on either side with handkerchiefs, nylon stockings, underwear, boxes of  talcum powders and those fluffy brushes with little satin bows on the top. There were special green glass containers shaped like mermaids or with pot pouri inside, and trays to put your pearl necklaces and earrings in. I still have a whole set of black ebony dressing table tray and ring holders and a selection of bristle hairbrushes and mirrors which are boxed and on the loft and never to be used.

Is it that we just don’t have the time, or the room, or is it just another thing to dust? We had Maids, as in Downton Abbey? We have Spas now and ‘body-brushing’ (only just found out what this is!) I can remember reading a book by a famous Turkish Sufi Master called Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak “Love is the Wine” and about brushing his wife’s hair, which is one of the other reasons I keep my hair long, as I am rather like Mr B Pussycat who loves his hair brushed.

My lovely hubby has just been perusing our library on Sufi Mystics and thinks it isn’t that book! Hahaha I made him look! Memory is a wonderful thing if it throws you back to move you forward!

The other reason is that I have been nagging my architect husband to build me a turret at the back of our house, so I can hang my hair down like Rapunzel. It hasn’t materialised, but it is so delicious thinking about it.

I think my love of  the Eastern Culture stems from my reading the Arabian Nights, when I was a child;  I could almost smell the turkish delight, and the perfumes, and the night scented air. I have just been reading a book by a turkish lady, Elif Shafak ‘Forty Ways to Love” and her latest, ‘The Architects Apprentice’ It has made me realise that we absorb so much from our childhood, which stays within our being, and it returned my heart to that wonderful poetry by Rumi, and the search for the soul. Anyway I digress but only to point out, how we have forgotten to make time for these ‘mindful’ meanderings, and hair-brushing and dressing tables, indeed. Don’t you just love all the different shapes of glass bottles? Pop into the glass section of the V&A in South Kensington. Food for the glass lover! I just so so so love perfume it sends me on different journeys, depending which one I use. I used to sit on the telephone in the ‘olden days’ sniffing the pot pouri on the telephone table. I am a very Olfactory person. My son gave me Perfume to read ages ago and I can’t see it on the shelf so forgotten who it is by? Brilliant strategy of writing. I love “strategies” for sharing truths and wisdoms AND for getting people to do things they hadn’t thought they wanted to do! Ha ha ha xxxxx Love you. Toodlepip!




  1. Plz consider writing a post on your sufi bookshrlf., i am very interested but was not taught this or introduced to it growing up even though I went to an Islamic school, I think your fun writing style would keep it READABLE and interesting. My sister says some Rumi 7translators are way off on the meaning and dilute the depth so I wd be interested to see which translations to you think are best

    1. Your sister is absolutely right. However words mean different things to different people; just as some people can read the words ‘pure silence’ and others ‘feel’ it. We have books by Idries Shah and his brother on our shelves which over our years have been a source of contemplation but will try a ‘Sufi Shelf Post’ I am so very pleased you are interested.

  2. Dear AMR’s Mum,
    I loved your perfume post & the way you write.
    Im also fascinated about dressing tables. I love my mums and all the little silver trinkets & perfume bottles on it.
    The other thing she keeps on it is a small matchbox with 2 tiny plastic babies in it. It looks like a little cot. It was given by mums nursing friend in the 60’s. What she didnt know is only a couple years later mum had twins. (Of which i am one)
    So small things can tell big stories!
    Keep writng your wonderful blogs & tell us more stories about your childhood & growing up.
    Love Rachel xx

    1. Rachel what a wonderful story! There was something on TED last week which was about a chaap who had set up a story booth in America somewhere. People could drop in and have their story listened to. Aaaaaaagh Will send you the link!

      1. That sounds like a great idea! Story telling is in itself such a wonderful thing. I guess that is why your post appealed to me so much because you were telling the story as you would have said it.I found it charming. Thanks xx

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