At Grossmith, we have heard some beautiful, evocative stories of people’s memories of our perfumes, in particular memories brought back by our recreated heritage scents. We are very aware of the power and importance of scent in bringing back memories. We wanted to share with you the most touching story, which interestingly also ties in with your theme of health and wellbeing which you promote so keenly.
In April 2014, Jan Allsop from Brisbane contacted us because she wanted to buy some Phul-Nana for her mother Edith’s 90th birthday later that year. Edith Elliott used to work for Grossmith in London in 1938 filling bottles of Phul-Nana. Grossmith’s premises were near St Paul’s. Jan was keen to track down some Phul-Nana for Edith to help bring back memories of her happy time working for Grossmith.
By extraordinary coincidence, Kate Brooke the great, great, great grand-daughter of the founder John Grossmith (Grossmith was founded in the City of London in 1835) was travelling through Brisbane soon after Jan contacted us and was able to meet Edith and present her with tiny vials of Phul-Nana, Hasu-no-Hana and Shem-el-Nessim. While smelling these scents, Edith was able to reminisce about her past. She described to Jan and Kate how she and the other girls perfumed the railway carriage on their way home from work with their perfume-soaked clothes! She talked about the good looking, well dressed young man who was the manager and about her workmates in Newgate Street. She remembered that her mum had stopped her from working at Grossmith after two years ‘because of the bombing’. Sure enough, Grossmith’s premises were destroyed in December 1940.
On Kate’s return to the UK we sent Edith a bottle of Phul-Nana after which Jan said she was wearing it every day and ‘she has perked up quite a bit since’ – perhaps because it brought back memories of her younger days.
We are so pleased that a tiny vial of Phul-Nana was able to bring Edith’s memories to life again.