Friday, July 26, 2013

You Can't Google That

My reliance on the omniscience of the Internet has crossed the brink of insanity and fallen into the abyss of absurdity.

I was admiring a photograph by a friend, the amazing Roxanne at J is for Jane. The photo shows the photographer's daughter's reflection in a mirror as she watches her mother brush her hair. In her comment to the photo, the photographer reflected on the time she spent as a child watching her mother put on makeup and admiring her beauty.

The image--and Roxanne's words--spoke to me both as a mother and a former child. I instantly was transported back to childhood. For me, the memory is less visual. What I remember are the smells of my mom's lipstick and perfume, which she wore only on special occasions.

As I shared the photograph and my childhood memories on the Flotsam of the Mind Facebook page, I struggled to remember the name of the perfume. I think it was Estee Lauder, but I have no confidence that is correct. It seemed silly to call my mom to ask.

That was the moment my warm childhood memories were lost to my Internet-knows-all instinct. For a brief instant, I considered Googling "Estee Lauder perfume" to see if the scent matched the one in my memory. No, really. I had my middle finger poised over the E before I realized that I couldn't yet Google a scent.

It's for the best. If there ever was a time that I didn't need Google to confirm my recollection, this was it. While I'm curious about the perfume name, it's somewhat irrelevant. Much like Potter Stewart and obscenity, I know it when I smell it. To me, that smell symbolizes fancy.

Do you have a memory of watching your mom get dressed to go out? Have you ever tried to Google something for which Google has no answer? Most importantly, Mom, what was the name of that perfume?


  1. No you can't Google a smell, but did you know you can drag an image into the search box and it will look for similar (or the same) image. Really! On the note of Mother's and memories, but Mom always wore Estee Lauder too. I'm afraid most of my Mom memories are not as good as yours, but that's another story altogether -- what I do remember vividly that can't be Googled or even really photographed is being gently woken up for church on Sunday mornings by my Dad playing the piano. He'd play for an hour sometimes -- lots of Chopin and others.

    1. What a great memory, Beth. I'm going to have to try this image search. I love finding new tricks!

  2. My mother had the best jewelry growing up and it was the thing that I remember the most about her :) I was lucky that she gave it all to me before she passed away so I have a whole jewelry box full of great memories to wear!