Monday, May 5, 2008


Something I’ve always found fascinating is the link between smells and memories. It’s amazing how one whiff of a particular scent can conjure up such vivid recollections of events, places, people and emotion.

One of my grandmothers used to smoke like a chimney and yet she was a complete OCD neat freak so her house always had a very strong odor of cigarette smoke with a slight twang of cleaning supplies. I spent almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas there as a child so now when I enter a place that smells like it’s been marinating in smoke and lysol it invariably creates an image of my Grandmother in my mind, if even for just a split second. Which is slightly odd because it’s not really normal to be reminded of your grandmother when you enter a bar or the smoking section of a seedy restaurant/lounge.

My grandfather on my father’s side always smells of coffee and Old Spice and I love that combo. My Mother always smells like soap and this particularly lovely musky perfume she wears. She gave me a couple jackets the other day that she no longer wears and when I put them on I was surrounded with the scent of her and it was like I was a little girl snuggled in her arms again.It makes me wonder what fragrant memories I’m making for my children. Will artificial apple scent some day awaken fond memories of bath time with apple scented shampoo? Will the smoky scent of a campfire remind them of our evenings on the patio roasting marshmallows on our little fire pit? Will the scent of Quarter Pounders with cheese remind them of my “home cooking”?

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