25 May 2006

The power of scent

I was wrestling a flowering shrub out front tonight, tying it to the porch railing that it is suppose to grow up and cover. From moving the branches around so much a scent came off the plant. It was a green outdoors slightly fruity smell. I was instantly in the "old neighborhood" where I was a small child. We were tearing up bits of leaves and plants making a "stew." I think it was an game of Indians.

Isn't it funny how smells can be so powerful to memory?

Others smells that come to mind:
honeysuckle - 3 separate memories pop one after the other
a certain cologne - reminds me of dating Dar
cigarettes and perfume at the same time - reminds me of my grandma hiding the fact she smokes with lots of perfume.
the smell of breakfast cooking - I'm being taken care of (grandparents, parents, husband)

I think I thought of more when I was outside, but they're gone now. What are you're scent memories?


  1. The original Old Spice...my dad. The new "sport" Old Spice...dash :)

    Honeysuckle, the first house we lived in and the AWESOME yard/patio we had. Still miss it to this day.

    Livestock farms, remind me of home.

    Rose lotions, remind me of when I was a kid and my gma would get me lotions all the time.

    Good memories! Thanks for the trip!

  2. That happens to me too every once in a while. I think I have read that this is due to the olfactory part of the brain being near the memory center.

    - The smell of graham crackers or Ritz crackers remind me of countless church nurseries.
    - The smell of old wood reminds me of countless old church pews.
    - The smell of tar reminds me of the construction job I had in high school.
    - Certain hair products remind me of the smell of Walther Hall at Evangel (mostly girls dorm).
    - The smell of dry erase markers remind me of classes at Evangel.

    Sometimes I say I like or don't like a smell, but I really mean that I like or don't like the memory attached to the smell.

  3. I had a girlfriend that (in retrospect) used way to much Carmex lip balm.

    It took me a while to be ok with T using it. She had to settle for blistex for at leat 3 years.

    .. and I always get a little bit nostalgic and a bit sing-songy when "The waving wheat ..smells sweet, when the wind comes right behind the rain......"

  4. I know what you mean! I "smelled" summer for the first time the other day. My guess is that they have filled the pool now...especially since my boys are counting down the hours for it to open on Memorial Day!

    Also, there is a certain smell for the first day of school. Seems like you don't smell that until it is officially the first day.

  5. A school smell that is potent for me is that grade-school cafeteria aroma of yeasty bread and pots of bubbling vegetable stuff. It was really strong in the library down in the basement. Also, that pink powder the school janitor would sprinkle on vomit.

  6. OHHH the pink powder stuff just made me want to vomit more...YUK!

  7. The smell of Dentyne gum reminds me of my Grandma. She loves that gum.

    Isn't it interesting that everyone has their own scent or odor? It is most obvious when one wakes up in the morning.

  8. Formaldahyde... It always reminds me of cadaver lab. It is a scent that is hard to forget and is instantly recognizable.

  9. This last weekend, I was at a couple of outside festivals - old shawneed days and A day out with Thomas - and they had hay on the pathways to dry up the rain...so when you combine that smell with people and carnival food, it reminded me of the many years we'd camp out at Cornerstone Festival...good times.

    I love the smell of charcoal on the grill and anything bbq or campfire related.