Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shh! Listen....d'you smell something?

"Smell is often called the sense tied most closely to human memory, profoundly influencing people’s ability to recall past events and experiences."  I argued this with a colleague at work; they were all "No no, it's definitely sight" and I was all "You're totally wrong" and they were all "How often do you say 'I know I've seen that before but just can't place where?'" and I was all "How often do you smell something and say 'Mmmm...that takes me back to such and such a place'?"  Since more people agreed with me I got the win. It was a very scientific debate.

Anyway, I had a killer sinus infection this week.  And while doing something before bed to hopefully alleviate my congestion, I was taken back about 25 years, as I am every time...

Now I know that some people (my mother included) think this stuff is the grossest of the gross.  I, however, find it to be a most soothing scent. My mother, apparently overcoming her repulsion, used to rub this on our chests before bed when we were little and had colds.  It would have been after our baths and nighttime snacks, and just before getting tucked in.  This smell takes me back to a time of contentment and coziness, of when Mom could make the world seem right. I don't think it has any medicinal quality to it, but when I have a cold I use it anyway, just to briefly delude myself that I don't have to worry about adult things.

Here's a few more "time travel" scents I thought of...

~ Sauerkraut - I hate the smell of this.  My mom makes it once a year, on New Year's Day, because my father (being of German descent) grew up with this as a New Year's staple.  Though I can't stand the stuff, there's something about that first punch in the face of its aroma that just screams Mummers and the winding down of the holiday season.

~ Lever 2000 soap - there was a boy in my seventh grade class who I may have had a slight crush on, who always smelled like this soap.  When I catch a whiff now I'm in Ms. White's biology class, sharing my notes and trying my best (geeky, pubescent nerd that I was) to act coy and flirty.

~ Wind Song perfume - my mom's favorite perfume when we were growing up.  She only wore it on special occasions, occasions that necessitated dressing up.  Now? My legs get chilly as I remember wearing pantyhose and patent leather shoes, going wherever we were headed for whatever was happening.

~ Sawdust - my dad's work room in the basement.  He fiddled around here and there with woodworking, and still does.  I hated the sound of his saws and drills, but I loved the smell of cut wood wafting up the stairs.  For some reason I associate this with winter Saturday afternoons (probably because in the summer he worked outside mostly, and the weekends were the only free time he had).

Ok, back to the present.  I didn't get any sewing done this week beyond mending some things--and even that was a chore.  I felt like the Rockettes moved into my face and were practicing 24/7.  But now I've got the all clear and have a mega-sewing weekend planned (because now I'm waaaaaay behind).  Hopefully I'll have some baggy eye candy to share in a few days...

1 comment:

  1. Eek, I hate the small of Vicks! Gives me migraines, strangely. Haha :)



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