We all know that we have five senses, sight, taste, hearing, touch and smell. I think out of all the senses, smelling is the most powerful. Haven’t you been so hungry, that the moment you smell anything frying, especially hamburgers, your mouth begins to water and your stomach starts to talk to you? All from smelling hamburger cooking on the grill. I can almost hear the grill sizzling now.
One whiff of a familiar smell from the past and you’re instantly back in time to a place in your distant or not so distant memory. When it happens, it’s like a time machine inside of your mind. All of sudden, you’re there in the moment and you almost feel what ever is happening in that moment.
For me, the smell of seaweed just when the tide goes out and the sun is starting to bake the strands of seaweed, reminds me of Alaska in the summer. My mind immediately goes back to Ketchikan. When we used to spend the afternoons by the water, walking on the shore with friends, enjoying the sunshine. I can hear the sound of seaweed crunching beneath our shoes and the ocean moving in and out with the tide. The smell of fresh-cut grass reminds me of college, just around spring time. I can see and hear all the students on the lawns, studying, laughing and laying out in the sun.
The smell of Kahlua, starts to turn my stomach and I nearly want to yak! It automatically reminds me of the night and the morning after, that I had to take care of my roommate in college after she drank Kahlua all night long and then proceeded to get ill from drinking too much. I smelled it for days afterwards because it seemed like the smell was everywhere in our dorm room and in the halls. Yuck! Not a good experience.
The smell of Polo reminds me an old boyfriend from college. The smell of Polo…well, it does not bring back good memories and I, to this day, really dislike the smell. My poor husband, can’t wear it. It’s almost an aversion response. Obsession and Eternity, are good smells but they too, remind me of old boyfriends so my husband can’t wear those either. When I say reminds me of other boyfriends, I mean, I can see the faces and hear their voices. It’s not just a fleeting memory. Do you have a special cologne or perfume that does the same thing to you?
The smell of baby powder and baby lotion, reminds me of my kids when they were small and crawling around in diapers. I can hear the diapers, swishing back and forth with every move of their legs. Smelling fresh-baked sugar cookies reminds me of my mom. When I got home from school, she would have fresh cookies and ice-cold milk on the table waiting for me. I remember the yummy smells from the oven and how loved I felt.
I love getting that rush from memories…that come from smells. It’s an amazing sense…