Still Tabu

tabuMy mother had one favorite fragrance, Tabu. She may have dabbled lightly in other perfumes, but Tabu was her signature scent.

If Mom was going to town (Our family lived on a farm, so yes, we went to town.), then her Tabu went on. Where she was going — to the store, the bank, or church — didn’t matter. It was Tabu time. When I rode along in the car with her, being wrapped in Tabu was part of the experience. The aroma was not overwhelming; it was pleasantly comforting. It was Mom.

I’m not sure how Tabu came to be “the one” for her. From what I’ve found online, Tabu was created by perfumer Jean Carles in 1932 and was nicknamed “the forbidden fragrance.” Maybe she liked the advertising or maybe she liked the price. Or maybe she just liked how it smelled. I never asked her, so I’ll never really know.

She died in March of 2004. That spring and summer, as my siblings and I went through her belongings, we found more than one bottle of Tabu in her stash. So I kept one — a small, two-thirds-full bottle of spray cologne. It has sat on my dresser now for 11 years. Every so often I open it and take a whiff. And I am going to town with my mother once again.

Laura Sternweis

P.S. July 25 is the birthday of my mother, Marguerite “Marge” Sternweis. She would have been 85.


One thought on “Still Tabu

  1. Hi, Laura,
    Just wanted you to know we make luminaria every year in memory of your mom and Kathy for our Relay for Life. It’s coming up on August 7th. Let me know if you have any other family or friends who have or have had cancer, and I will make one for them, too. And by the way, we enjoy your blog!


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