ALFANO, Mirella Elsa Geltrude
Peacefully, on February 22, 2018 at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre at the age of 75. Mirella was born on December 17, 1942 to proud parents of Italian immigrants, Francesco and Raffaela Alfano. She was the proprietor of Mirella Parfums and Cosmetics, located in the Manulife Centre for over 30 years. She will be lovingly remembered by her sister Maria(Mr. Luigi Marino-deceased), niece Marina(Michel Bergeron) and nephews Gino(Ulli), Frank, Mark and Andrew(Kimberly). Great nieces and nephews, Alessandra, Gianluc, Anthony, Matthew, Audra, Ashley, Dio, Iommi, Ben and Emma. Mirella is predeceased by both her parents and siblings, Anna, Antonio, Carmine and Benardo. Mirella’s family extends their gratitude to the health care workers, nurses and doctors at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre for their care and support. Relatives and friends are welcomed at The Bernardo Funeral Homes, 2960 Dufferin St. (2 streets south of Lawrence Ave.), on Friday from 4 – 9 pm. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated in St. Norbert’s Church(100 Regent Rd. Toronto), on Saturday March 03, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. Private Burial. If desired, a donation may be made to Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.
From the Globe and Mail :
Like an unopened bottle of a discontinued fragrance, Mirella Parfums & Cosmetics has remained hermetically sealed off from the modernizations that have transformed the Manulife Centre since both opened 33 years ago.
And with a recent makeover to the three-storey retail complex at Bay and Bloor now complete, the 419-square-foot boutique represents a bygone era: Mirrored walls, hexagonal tiles, arcade-type ceiling trim and kitschy gewgaws are not the stuff of massive North American chains.
Which, in part, explains why Mirella Alfano is closing up shop today. The 65-year-old proprietor, who dresses elegantly in black, heels and plenty of gold jewellery, has already sold much of her merchandise - scores of heady European scents (from First by Van Cleef & Arpels to Byzance from Rochas) - with nary the whiff of a celebrity endorsement.
She is also parting with the factices, those oversized dummy display bottles that can be valuable depending on the brand. The Shalimar factice, for instance, could fetch up to $2,600 and Ms. Alfano will probably find eager Internet buyers for whatever does not go by this evening.
It's her emotions that are making this exercise most difficult. "It is sad," she states plainly, her voice getting choked up and her eyes welling with tears.
Ms. Alfano, who once worked as a hairstylist, has always been passionate about perfume. When she was 14, her father gave her Écusson by Jean D'Albret. Four years later, she remembers spending $23.50 on a bottle of Jean Patou's Joy, excessive given that her job paid $28 a week.
These days, she is partial to Creed's Fleurissimo. And though it bears no relation to the women's department store of the same name that made the Manulife Centre a destination until it closed in 1991, Mirella Parfums & Cosmetics has now succumbed to the same fate.
"I always took time with people," she says. "And they've been kind to me. Lots of people come in and look, but compliments can't take you to the bank."
Ms. Alfano credits her Calabrese blood for her persistence even while suffering from an illness last year. And while she is loath to be cynical, she does lament that scents are not the same as they used to be. "This is what I wish people would learn," she says. "It's the lingo of the times - fresh and light - even if it's garbage."
She asks what I wear and then sprays Creed's Himalaya on my wrist, advising me to wait before smelling. She points out that the best place to apply fragrance is near the heart. "We're warmer there," she says. "So it stays longer." Never, however, long enough.