Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Sense of Smell

Have you ever caught the scent of something and experienced a rush of memories related to that particular smell? If you have a working olfactory system, then I'll bet you have. I've written about this before, but I'm sitting in my kitchen cooking butter beans this evening and thinking about my Granny. Because, well butter beans = Granny. I can't cook butter beans without recalling dinners at her table with a full spread...fried chicken, homemade biscuits kept warm in a gold Tupperware serving dish, sweet pickles that she had canned herself, and macaroni and cheese...yum! Butterbeans are a comforting smell. If you've never cooked butter beans then I suggest you go buy yourself some and put them in a pot on the stove...so you can smell my Granny. You can't actually smell her otherwise, since she's been gone for 15 years. If she were still alive she would be 94 years old now.

You know what else brings back good memories? Strangely, the scent of Polo cologne. In the green bottle. I know. Don't gag. It's what my boyfriend wore back in 1986. He used to spray it on the bar in between the t-tops in his Trans-Am so his car reeked of it at all times. Breathtaking. Literally. Ahhh...my future hubby. He was totally awesome! Now my child has an old bottle of Polo that he occasionally uses to saturate himself before church. The memories evoked by that reeking child are wonderful. The reeking...not so much.

Gloria Vanderbilt perfume. The scent of eighth grade. Braces, crushes, making pillows in Home Ec class, passing notes, Mickey Mouse ice cream outside during break and riding the school bus which brings me to...

The stench of elementary school! When my boys get into the car after school their stuff smells like school. Milk cartons, sweaty little kids, textbooks, sand, and mystery scent. It takes me back to when I was a little girl and we used to have to dump half the playground out of our shoes before heading into the building after recess to rest our damp heads on our desks while our teacher read to us.

And finally...a scent memory from my son, Quatro. We pulled into the freshly paved pharmacy parking lot yesterday, which smelled very strongly of hot tar. Quatro took a deep breath and said, "Ahhh....Mom, this reminds me of Lego Bionicles!"

Ok. Whatever.

3 comments:

Brianna said...

That's not even fair! I was having that same thought (of how smells bring back memories) last night and I was already planning my post and then I wake up and you already did it! :(
lol It's okay, I'm still going to write mine and I'm also going to mention how you somehow stole my idea and got to the computer first. :)

a Tonggu Momma said...

Somehow I suspect the Tongginator will really associate memories with smells... seeing as how she is such a sensory-seeker when it comes to them. Me? I can't smell spaghetti without thinking of my dad. And coffee plus chili without thinking of my granddad.

Debs said...

"If you have a working olfactory system,"

I do not. It has been six years since I have smelled anything wonderful.
Reading your blog brings back memories. The thing I miss most is the smell of my husbands cologne.

Thank God for that often taken for granted ability, because it can be lost.