Eu de Papi

When I was growing up, I remember that each day I woke to a most distinctive blend of aromas.

I knew my dad was up and getting ready for work when the mingled scents of Vitalis, Bustelo, and H.Upmann Finos insinuated themselves into my dreams and yanked me out of my sound sleep.

To this day, the distinctive aroma of Cuban coffee gives me a sense of security. Seared into my subconscious, along with the smell of coladitos is the knowledge that my Dad was working and all was right with the world.

Odd, isn’t it?

I mean I know I’m talking about cheap hair tonic, cigars and coffee. But it was the sweet scent of Eu de Papi to me. My dad was not present much. He worked very hard to support our family and for that I’m grateful. But when he was present, so were the Bustelo and the H.Upmanns. Such was my life.

It occurred to me that my kids are growing up with a completely different view of what Dad and Security means to them.
And that it looks something like this:

Their idea of dad going to work is the whirr of the laptop firing up.

Which is why I make sure there’s always some Bustelo brewing. There’s a certain continuity there, don’t you think? 
I’d hate for them to miss out on the intoxicating smell of freshly brewed espresso in the morning.

Or maybe I’d hate for Eric to miss out… Or maybe it’s just my own stuff…. It’s all a blur now…

All I know is that the aroma of espresso in the morning means that Dad is working and all is right with the world.

What are some of the distinctive smells that characterize your home then or now? Tell me.

(This story was formerly posted on my other blog, MBFCF.)

Share, por favor!

By Marta on February 8, 2010 · Posted in the habla habla

1 Comment | Post Comment

Cassy says:

I remember being a little girl in the 1970s and waking up to the smell of Mennen Skin Bracer After Shave and Canoe cologne. The smell of freshly-brewed coffee was also in the background as my Papi prepared to go to work. Before he left, I would kiss his soft, just-shaved cheek and admire his look – dress shirt and tie, pressed slacks, and cardigan sweater. Sometimes, he wore a “leisure suit”. Papi was a Spanish high school teacher, and took pride in his attire.

Years later, Papi would drive me to my own highschool, before he headed to his. He wore Polo cologne those days, and gingerly held a mug of hot coffee while he drove. Luckily my dad is still here… but the smell of that cologne makes me long to return to those times when I had him all to myself during a long car ride.

Posted on February 12th, 2010