Sunday is Mother’s Day. Setting aside a time to honor mothers possibly dates back to an ancient Greek Festival which honored Rhea, the mother of gods and goddesses. Anna M. Jarvis organized “Mother’s Work Day” about 150 years ago and after her death, her daughter continued the program until President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed 9 May 1914 as the first official Mother’s Day. Since then, mothers all over the world, but especially in the United States, have been receiving Evening in Paris cologne.
What? Isn’t it traditional to give all mothers those little blue bottles of cologne? When I was a child, a trip to the dime store the week before Mother’s Day was absolutely necessary. Once there, I plunked down my 25 cents and received that little blue bottle, which was clutched against my chest so I wouldn’t break it before I got home. On “The Day,” the special gift was handed over to Mother, who accepted it with a smile and said it was just what she wanted, which is amazing since she also received the same gift at Christmas and for her birthday! She must have received enough of those blue bottles to stock the dressing table of every woman in our small town.
As we both grew older, other gifts replaced Evening in Paris - usually flowers and a dinner in a nice restaurant. But we often commented on those little bottles of cologne. I asked her one time if she minded receiving the same gift for every holiday. “Why, no. I loved every one of them.”
Mother is gone now but memories of her and those long-ago Mother's Days linger. I can still see her smile and can almost capture the scent of Evening in Paris. After being unavailable for years, I understand the cologne is back on the market. Maybe I’ll drop a hint to my children that I would like a little blue bottle for Mother’s Day.