Daily Prompt: Perfume and the Family Grave


I am not really the perfume type, but if it has a name then why not. I found my perfumes at the duty free when I would travel to London to visit my dad. They had small bottles of various sorts (flacon?) in a box. I still have remainders in my bathroom cabinet, for the simple idea that I never bother with it. As we have had these theme before I will try not to repeat myself and now tell you about the times when I was a kid and mum liked to visit the family grave in Stratford in East London. Today Stratford is no longer the Stratford I knew. It was discovered for the London Olympic Games in 2012 and a lot was destroyed to make room for various stadiums for the sports.

So mum and I were on our way by bus to the Woodgrange Cemetery, which has now been partially converted into a moslem cemetery. Do not ask, things change throughout the years. As we approached the area we would cross a river, probably the River Lea. We passed over a bridge and then it hit us, the strong smell of perfume, the bus smelt like a lavender market. On the river bank, Yardleys had their factory. Yardleys were the biggest perfume suppliers in England. Their products were sold everywhere: they were cheap and popular amongst the Brits. These were the days before everyone had a bottle of Chanel No. 5 in their bathroom cupboard, and our family definitely did not invest large sums of money in perfume. It was more for decoration than anything else.

When we reached Stratford we would change busses for the graveyard where most of our family members were buried. Family members that I never met in life and had only heard of from mum. My maternal grandmother was the last to be buried in the grave when I was a kid, and I never knew her. She passed on when I was 4 months old. Some years later my maternal granfather was the last to be buried in this cemetery, the grave was then full, its limit of 6 people/bodies had been reached.   I visited the cemetery on a visit to my father in London with my friend some years ago and we discovered that half of the cemetery had disappeared and had appartment blocks built on it. There have been rumours of hauntings in various appartments, but probably more due to highly strung imaginations of the people living there. Our family grave was now non existant. I knew roughly where the family grave was, but even in my days of monthly visits to the cemetery with mum, it was over populated and you had to climb over other graves to get to the one you wanted to reach.

I am drifting from the theme. The Yardleys perfume factory is also no longer there. It had to make room for the Olympic Games, and having a background smell of “Ashes of Roses” or however the perfume was named, was not the ideal scent for the background of a race or pole vault.

Woodgrange Park Cemetery
The remains of Woodgrange Cemetery

Daily Prompt: Perfume and the Family Grave

10 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Perfume and the Family Grave

    • You should experience a London bus full of lavender, that is really an experience. We all knew that the next stop would be Stratford Broadway, you could smell it.


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