I once had an aunt named Verona, the only truly light heart on my mother's side of the family. Legend has it she'd been a card-carrying, cakewalking, gin-toting flapper-- and marriage was no reason to retire her flask and ukulele.
Two factors ameliorated Verona's induction into our tribe: her new husband Artie and his twin sister Viola, two gentle, phlegmatic people who stood out like lambs among a pride of lions. You could say that zany, uninhibited Verona was their opposite, but she could have asked for no better temperaments as a foil to her own. Their alliance resulted in lifelong friendship-- not to mention my mother's middle name. For Viola was my grandmother, and 'Veronica' (as a diminutive of 'Verona') was a good and decent saint's name. The family priest need never know that its true inspiration was as far from sainthood as a gal could get.
I met Verona only once, when I was fifteen and she ninety. I took one look at this tiny, frail lady with her sharp little Diana Vreeland beak of a nose and thought, So this is the family menace? Poker-faced, Verona looked us kids up and down as if surveying us for weaknesses. Then she bustled over to a nearby cupboard and rummaged around, emerging with an Chinese silk fan in hand. She unfurled it in front of her deeply weathered face... then peeked over the top, coquettishly batting her eyelashes. Disarmed, we all giggled.
Verona dove into the cupboard again, this time coming up with a brightly-colored novelty harmonica. Blowing one experimental note, she hacked and hawed to clear her throat. "My... dog... has... FLEEEEEEAS!" she croaked*. "They... jumped... on... MEEEEE!" Then she looked around in mock alarm. "Where are they? The fleas! YOU see 'em, don'tcha?"
And with that, it was love.
I'm remembering her now, while wearing Fair Verona-- a crazy-cakes jasmine turbo-loaded with vim! and moxie! and twenty-three skiddoo! Just when you think she's going turn irritating and wear out her welcome, Fair Verona pulls another trick out of that little cloche hat. You try mighty hard to keep to your seat, but pretty soon she's got you up and doing the Black Bottom, the Turkey Trot, the Lindy Hop. Hellzapoppin!
*Proof that she really did strum a ukulele in her day!
Scent Elements: Pink grapefruit, cardamom, jasmine, myrtle, mimosa, sandalwood, hesperides