The English Rose

Back in the Anna Nagar days, we loved visiting our grandparents (mom’s parents specifically) during weekends. Savi thatha’s place was always like a candy house to all of us as we were stuffed with icecreams, chocolates, sugar candies, indian sweets and basically the bunch of us were dipped in anything sweet.

It was also fun to be there coz we loved rummaging through thatha and paati’s stuff. They visited a lot of foreign countries and brought back goods from abroad that fascinated us immensely. To name a few evergreen products, there was always some gillette tube from US and then the Yardley soaps and talcum powders from Europe and milk powders from all over the world. These were absolutely interesting as they were completely new to the kids and were basically products that adults always shoved away from us.

Recently, my dad got me a Yardley soap for old times sake. Yardley English Rose – Savon de luxe. It seems like yesterday that we were given Yardley bars to bathe in whenever we were at Savi thatha’s place. Janaki paati always used the Yardley English Rose much before Camay and the rest of the foreign soap gumbal made their space in the popular foreign goods section.


This is a fragrance I can always associate with Paati. She smelled great. There were times we would call her the English Paati not because she was fair…. but because of her need to be polite and in the best of behaviour. Funny how some products always remain etched in your memories…. and even if you don’t think about some people too often, these memories are tightly wrapped in some corner of your brain so that products like the English Rose remind you of the good old times. Miss you Janaki Paati, my English Rose.


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