Scent of a Woman

By on May 1, 2012

By Heidi McLaughlin –

Giorgio perfume was the craze of the mid eighties. The perfume manufacturer was savvy in its marketing techniques and only produced small quantities at a time. This kept the consumer wanting, fantasizing, yearning and waiting. I was one of them crazed consumers. Every time I caught a whiff of Giorgio perfume my head swiveled to find out where that unique and starting aroma came from. It almost always came from a gorgeous, perfectly coiffed and manicured, slim woman who had enough money and connections to find some of this coveted nectar.

Finally it was my turn. It showed up in a box under the Christmas tree and when I opened this stunning, perfectly wrapped package and found my treasure of perfume. I thought this made my mark as a significant woman of this century. I wore this perfume every day, just hoping that someone would catch the scent and ask, “Are you really wearing Giorgio perfume?” To which I would proudly, and somewhat arrogantly reply, “Yes, of course it is.”

Two, and then three years passed and I got sick of that same, sickening scent and I was on to bigger and better scents. The latest and the greatest…whatever it was that year.

I stopped wearing perfume four years ago. It seems that wherever I go these days I see signs like: This is a Scent Free Area, or No Perfumes or Scents Beyond this Point. It seems that fragrances are causing serious health issues. People are getting sick from scents.

Over the past number of years I have become aware of a different kind of fragrance; an exquisite fragrance that will actually save lives right now and into all eternity. It is the kind of scent that when I walk into a room, I pray that the fragrance will be so strong that people will be drawn to it and do whatever it takes to get it. That is the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Christ fully alive and beautiful in my soul. The bible tells it this way:

“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life” (2 Cor. 2:15 MSG).

But here’s the truth. No matter how hard I try I can’t be some savvy marketer to produce that fragrance. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in my soul. I know I don’t always give off that life-saving scent. I have had people tell me I can be aloof, arrogant, and unapproachable. I don’t consider myself that way, but obviously that is the scent I left in the room. It hurts me to think that this is the whiff people got from me, but I know only the Holy Spirit can change that.

Just last month I received affirmation in a radical, beautiful way. I have a new boss whose office is right beside mine. One day he came into my office with a tense look on his face and said, “I’m having a bad day and I wanted to swear on at least two occasions. But I stopped myself because I knew you would hear me. I am glad my office is next to yours because having you here makes me a better person.”

Oh the sweetness of those life-giving words. The world will not know Jesus Christ through a stench of lies, deceit, sexual immorality, stealing or something as seemingly safe as arrogance or judgment. But everyone is drawn to something beautiful, sweet, safe and loving; the scent of something that will satisfy our hungry, empty souls.

A question I often ask myself after I have left a room. Are people glad I left or did I leave a beautiful fragrance of Christ that will linger in their souls?

What kind of fragrance are you leaving?

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When she is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book; or golf and laugh with her husband, family and special friends. Her website: www.heartconnection.ca

About Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When she is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book; or golf and laugh with her husband, family and special friends. You can reach her at: www.heartconnection.ca

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Scent of a Woman